Category Archives: 074 Politics and Culture

Ron Paul’s Texas Straight Talk 4/13/15: You Are the New Enemy

“So who is the real enemy? The Russians?

No, the real enemy is the taxpayer. The real enemy is the middle class and the productive sectors of the economy. We are the victims of this new runaway military spending. Every dollar or euro spent on a contrived threat is a dollar or euro taken out of the real economy and wasted on military Keynesianism. It is a dollar stolen from a small business owner that will not be invested in innovation, spent on research to combat disease, or even donated to charities that help the needy.

One of the most pervasive and dangerous myths of our time is that military spending benefits an economy. This could not be further from the truth. Such spending benefits a thin layer of well-connected and well-paid elites. It diverts scarce resources from meeting the needs and desires of a population and channels them into manufacturing tools of destruction. The costs may be hidden by the money-printing of the central banks, but they are eventually realized in the steady destruction of a currency.

The elites are terrified that peace may finally break out, which will be bad for their profits. That is why they are trying to scuttle the Iran deal, nix the Cuba thaw, and drum up a new ‘Red Scare’ coming from Moscow. We must not be fooled into believing their lies.”

(Via.) Liberty Crier <—Read more/listen to the talk here

New York’s expensive startup initiative only created 76 jobs

“When Governor Andrew Cuomo launched Start-Up New York in late 2013, his office called it a ‘game-changing’ initiative that promised ‘a windfall’ of innovation. The program established 356 tax-free zones in order to ‘attract high-tech and other start-ups.’ However, a new report from the state’s Department of Economic Development found that the initiative only created 76 jobs in 2014, despite a $28 million ad campaign.

Cuomo’s senior economic aide told Capital New York that 76 jobs was ‘a good number that we can stand behind,’ and it was only a matter of time before the other jobs materialized.

The zones created by Start-Up New York were tied to 62 sponsoring colleges and universities. The program allowed companies to operate tax-free for 10 years ‘on eligible campuses and spaces.’ According to the report, those 76 jobs came from 30 companies in industries like software, biotech, and manufacturing. The companies were supposed to invest $91 million over five years, but only invested $1.7 million.”

(Via.) The Verge

Guns in Schools for Student Safety

“Patrick Neville was a sophomore at Columbine High School when two peers, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, murdered 12 students and a teacher before taking their own lives.

Neville is now a Republican Representative from Castle Rock. On Monday, 16 years after surviving one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history, he will defend a bill to allow anyone with a concealed carry permit to bring a firearm to school.

‘I remember fathers coming up to me whose sons I knew well, asking where they were,’ said Neville. ‘People I’d known since elementary school are no longer with us today. I think some of the staff who were heroic in so many ways that day, if they’d had the ability to equip themselves, some of my friends might still be with us.’

Neville said the trauma of the Columbine shooting not only motivated this bill but changed how he thought about life in general.”

(Via.) The Colorado Independent

Bill for concealed carry in evacuations headed to Gov. Rick Scott

More common sense gun deregulation legislation is looking likely in Florida, as the Tampa Bay Times reports: “TALLAHASSEE — Floridians soon could be allowed to carry a concealed weapon in the first two days of an emergency evacuation, even if they don’t have a concealed license to do so.

The House approved SB 290 by an 86-26 vote Thursday, sending the bill to Gov. Rick Scott.

Supporters, backed by the Florida Sheriff’s Association, say the legislation is necessary so lawful gun owners can take their weapons with them to avoid looting after a natural disaster.

‘Imagine the thousands and thousands of weapons that are going to be left alone in people’s homes when police are not available and first responders are slow in responding,’ said Rep. Julio Gonzalez, R-Venice.”

Of course the proposed legislation has kicked the hyperbole of the gun centralizers and hoplophobes into high gear. Fortunately, more people are seeing through their fear mongering and relegating their message to the trash bin of ideas where it properly resides.  

(Via.) Tampa Bay Times <—Read more here

The Costs of Hysteria

“Suppose the scientific consensus on climate change is right. Let’s also stipulate, for the sake of argument, that the computer projections used by the United Nations and the US government are correct, and that economists are able to translate those data into meaningful projections about costs and benefits to people living in the future with climate change.

Despite what the public has been led to believe, the situation is not a crisis at all — and certainly not something that demands drastic government actions to avert serious damage to the environment. In fact, implementing the wrong policy can cause far more damage than it can prevent.”

(Via.) Foundation for Economic Education <— Read more here

Penn Jillette Can’t Have His Gay Wedding Cake and Eat It Too

“Popular entertainer and self-described libertarian Penn Jillette disappointed many liberty advocates in this recent CNN Tonight segment. The discussion was nominally about homosexuality and Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but the real issue at stake was and will continue to be freedom of association.

The controversy stems from cases where business owners have refused for religious reasons to sell engaged gay couples wedding cakes and flowers. For example the owner of a bakery in Colorado was sued by a gay couple for refusing to bake a wedding cake for them. The court ordered him to bake wedding cakes for same-sex couples, give his staff anti-discrimination law training, and submit quarterly reports to the state’s Civil Rights Commission confirming that he is complying with the government’s orders.

Jillette unfortunately fell into the trap of making this issue about religion and homosexuality: ‘You’re not talking about forcing people to engage in gay sex, or even endorse gay sex. We’re asking them that maybe they can treat people the same as other people, and that does not seem unreasonable. It’s okay, I suppose — although goofy – to be against gays, but it’s not okay to be against people who simply want to use your services.’ “

(Via.) Liberty.me <—Click here to read more

Greg Gutfeld: Gun Control Losing Because Americans Refuse to Feel Guilty over Self-Defense

“On April 3, Fox News’ host Greg Gutfeld explained that the media’s gun control arguments increasingly fall on deaf ears because Americans refuse to feel guilty over using guns for self-defense.

Gutfeld said, ‘No matter how hard the establishment media tries, they can’t convince good people how bad guns are when they’re in the right hands.’

He then explained that the American people, while supportive of the police, have simply come to realize that there are long seconds–and frequently, agonizing minutes–between the time they dial 911 and the time police arrive. Moreover, he stressed that Americans understand that in many instances the police will only be coming to count bodies–that any defense that is going to happen has to happen before badges, handcuffs, or sirens are on the scene.

Gutfeld suggested the gun control media’s inability to understand these things has only placed greater distance between their esoteric arguments and the American people. He said:

Perhaps the media misses the big point. They do their theorizing from the fish bowl of a well-protected studio and travel to and from work at reasonable hours through tiny neighborhoods in secure vehicles. The fine people of Detroit don’t have that luxury; they realize that any argument against arming yourself is full of holes, which is not the way they’d like to end up being.

Empirical support for Gutfeld’s claims can be seen in the pro-gun attitude taking hold in Detroit’s heavily black community right now. Breitbart News recently reported that concealed carry is surging in the black community, and no less a prominent figure than Detroit Police Chief James Craig explained that this is a seismic shift from how things have been historically.”

(Via.) Breitbart <— Read more here

New York Deputy Slaps Citizen for Not Allowing him to Search Car

“In a Facebook message interview with Photography is Not a Crime, Roberts explained that he and his buddy, Colin Fitch, who owns the car, had parked it at a business that was closed and walked to a nearby party Thursday night. They didn’t spend much time at the party but when they walked back to the car, they were confronted by deputies who had spotted a rifle in the back seat and wanted to search the car.

Fitch had purchased a .22 rifle earlier that day and had left in the back seat, Roberts said.

When Deputy Glans asked to search the car, Fitch would not give him permission, insisting he had done nothing illegal.

‘We’ll get a fucking search warrant, alright,’ Glans said. ‘Wanna do that?’’Let me see your fucking keys,’ Glans said.

‘Why?’ Fitch responded.

‘I’m going to search your fucking car, that’s why,’ Glans replied.

‘You can’t do that,’ Fitch said.

‘Wanna fucking resist?,’ Glans said before striking him.

‘If you have nothing to hide in there, we’re just going to check and be on our fucking merry way. Understand? Asshole.’”

 

(Via.) PINAC

What Happens After A Mega Corporation Raises Its Workers’ Wages

“Earlier today, McDonalds announced that it would become the latest company to raise hourly pay for 90,000 workers by more than 10% and add benefits such as paid vacation for its restaurant workers. Specifically, starting in July, MCD will pay at least $1 per hour more than the local legal minimum wage for employees at the roughly 1,500 restaurants it owns in the U.S. The increase will lift the average hourly rate for its U.S. restaurant employees to $9.90 on July 1 and more than $10 by the end of 2016, from $9.01 currently. Finally, McDonald’s also will enable workers after a year of employment to accrue up to five days of paid time-off annually.

With this announcement, McDonalds joins the following companies which have likewise raised minimum wages in recent months:

  • WalMart
  • Aetna
  • Gap
  • Ikea
  • Target
  • TJ Maxx

Surely this is great news for the workers of these above companies, as some of the massive wealth accrued by corporate shareholders may be finally trickling down to the lowliest of employees, right? As it turns out, the answer is far from clear.

As the following WSJ story released overnight, here is what happens when mega-corporations such as WalMart and McDonalds, whose specialty are commoditized products and services and have razor thin margins, yet which try to give an appearance of doing the right thing, raise minimum wages. They start flexing their muscles, and in the process trample all over the companies that comprise their own cost overhead: their suppliers and vendors…”

(Via.) Zero Hedge <—Read the rest of the article here

The Liars that are Attempting to Sell an Article V Convention to the Conservative Base…

“Mark Levin and other promoters of an Article V Convention are flat out liars. This is the only determination one can conclude when looking at their advertisements and marketing schemes and presentations….the only reasonable deduction you can make when listening to Michael Farris’, Mark Levin’s, Mark Meckler’s, and other promoters’ presentations on the Convention of States Project. I know of no other way to put this. There is no chance whatsoever that these attorneys, supposedly trained in Constitutional law, are telling their audiences the truth. I would say the same of those who have been brought into market Article V as sales experts. The very best thing you can feebly attempt to say is they are half-truth tellers. It’s the second half that is full of lies.

I have a copy of the Constitution here with me where it is read frequently. You might want to criticize my lack of legal degree, but I know a liar when I hear one. And I can understand it when someone is using false premises and using illogical conclusions. The holes in the Convention of States’ and others’ propositions (amendments), are so large you could drive a semi-truck with a piggy-back trailer through them—that is IF you know what is in the Constitution. Of the many, you can find two of these holes here and here.

In previous articles I have described just some of the money behind this attempt to hijack the Constitution. Here, here, and here

There are more links below to help you see more of that, if you wish to pursue the scurrilous trail on this.

I am adding to the Convention of States the rest of the Article V Convention proponents because I (and you) might as well lump them in with the rest of the liars who are desperately trying to convince the American public that our Constitution isn’t just quite good enough or to their liking, or is too antiquated, or is just not pertinent to our current circumstance, or is not anything enough, or wasn’t legal in the first go ’round, or…..on and on. I know this is a disheartening piece of news to some people who wanted badly to believe that the Convention of States was the magic bullet. But sadly, COS is just as corrupt as the others wanting their hands on the Constitution since the 1960’s. Ford Foundation – Tugwell’s New States Constitution.’

Liars always want something from you. This falls into many categories. They might want your money, your admiration, power over you, or just to get away with something. In this case, however, these liars are playing a high stakes game with your life in an arena that they want to convince you is ‘their playground.’ Your role, they suggest, is to promote them and then stand back while they work their ‘magic.’ They tell you often how educated and experienced they are. They tell you, ‘If only you’ll buy my book,’ or ‘If only you’ll proselytize on my behalf,’ or ‘If only you’ll tell the legislatures to do what I ask,’ or ‘If only you’ll donate some money,’ etc…”

(Via.) Freedom Outpost: <— Read the rest of the story here

For Privacy or Transparency, Bitcoin Benefits Liberty

“Proponents of Bitcoin, myself included, tend to focus on the potential for privacy it offers against increasing government intrusion into our financial affairs. But Bitcoin is not only a tool for those who wish to remain hidden—scofflaws, paranoid conspiracy nuts, crypto-anarchists, and of course the ever-present three-headed bogeyman of terrorists, drug dealers, and child abusers. It is also a tool for those who value transparency. Does that sound like a paradox? Well, it isn’t. A major characteristic of a technology that increases freedom is that it can be used for a widely varying range of choices.

I’ll talk a bit more about how that works in the case of Bitcoin later on, but first I’d like to submit as evidence for the transparency benefits of Bitcoin the recent discovery of extensive corruption on the part of two government agents involved in the Silk Road seizure. The agents—DEA agent Carl Mark Force IV and Shaun W. Bridges of the Secret Service—are allegedly jointly responsible for, amongst other crimes, the misappropriation and laundering of over a million dollars worth of bitcoin (estimated at the price at which they would have sold at the time they were obtained) confiscated from the Silk Road website. Carl Force was also a major investor in, and employee of, Bitcoin exchange CoinMTK while involved in the case, and is accused of having stolen customer funds while there.”

(Via.) Bitcoin Benefits Liberty <— Read the rest of the story here

Wikileaks reveals one of the most controversial chapters of Obama’s big Asia trade deal

What could possibly go wrong? Thank God for that bipartisanship, right?

“TPP proponents, which include both President Obama and many congressional Republicans, say the dispute settlement mechanism is a way to prevent countries from discriminating against foreign firms. Indeed, the leaked chapter lays out that a country must give foreign investors treatment ‘no less favorable than that it accords, in like circumstances, to its own investors.’

But opponents, including some congressional Democrats, say it gives corporations too much power. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has argued that, among other things, ISDS undermines sovereignty by allowing foreign companies to attack US laws and regulations outside the US court system. Warren also fears ISDS could weaken environmental and labor laws.”

(Via.) Vox

How Gun Rights Harm the Rule of Law — The Atlantic

The Atlantic misses the mark on this story, not shocking due tot he fact it’s a hit piece on your rights.

“But this also has social consequences. Thanks to Stand Your Ground, citizens must now fear their armed neighbors in addition to prospective criminals. What if someone who spies you walking down the street thinks you look suspicious? What if you become a target for would-be George Zimmermans? Or what if the man you argue with, or potentially insult or offend, even unintentionally, is armed and irascible—and the argument escalates? Related Story

The Secret History of Guns

The latter possibility was chillingly illustrated in a movie theater in Tampa last year, when retired police captain Curtis Reeves shot and killed Chad Oulson after the two had argued, and Oulson threw popcorn in Reeves’ face. Reeves initially invoked Stand Your Ground, claiming he did not know if Oulson meant him bodily harm. Florida’s Stand Your Ground law protects gun owners if they so much as sense the threat of bodily harm. In the darkened movie theater, Reeves said he could not tell the nature of his assailant’s weapon—he didn’t know that Oulson was only throwing popcorn. In a Stand Your Ground society, it makes sense to suspect your neighbor—and fear the worst.”

(Via.) The Atlantic

California Need Prices More Than Rain:

“As Alex Tabarrok points out, California has plenty of water. What it doesn’t have are prices — or rather, market prices. Although a lot of well-meaning people insist that water is a right, I notice that my ‘right to water’ in no way changes the fact I have to pay the government monopoly for it ($44.91 last month). So even if there is a right to water, as Tabarrok quotes Matt Kahn, there is no natural right to always pay half a cent per gallon for it, regardless of supply or demand.

The price controls and subsidies for water use also have behavioral consequences:

As David Zetland points out in an excellent interview with Russ Roberts, people in San Diego county use around 150 gallons of water a day. Meanwhile in Sydney Australia, with a roughly comparable climate and standard of living, people use about half that amount. Trust me, no one in Sydney is going thirsty.”

(Via.) Foundation for Economic Education

Another Gun Control Failure: N.H., Mother Murdered Her Two Children and Then Killed Herself

“State public records show the Obukhovs had domestic issues and legal problems.

Alexey Obukhov was arrested on Aug. 24, 2013, on allegations of domestic assault against his wife, and police confiscated arms and ammunition from the family’s home, according to state court papers.

The charges against Obukhov were dropped after his wife would not testify, and the guns and ammunition were later returned to the home, the papers state.

Alexey then applied to Bedford police for a license to carry a concealed weapon. But Bedford Police Chief John J. Bryfonski denied the application, determining that Alexey was ‘an unsuitable person to possess a license to carry a concealed weapon,’ according to the court documents.

Bryfonski declined to comment Monday on the apparent murder-suicide.

Obukhov appealed the chief’s denial, and during a Nov. 5, 2013, trial court hearing, the chief cited the wife’s statements to police that she had been assaulted by her husband, as well as photographs of her injuries, as reasons for denying Obukhov’s application. The court upheld the denial.

Obukhov filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court, which reversed the lower court’s ruling on Nov. 20 of last year.

The court said the evidence did not support a determination that Alexey was ‘unsuitable’ to be licensed to carry a concealed weapon.

Alexey’s gun shop drew national attention in 2013 when it covered a window with a picture of President Obama, calling him ‘the Firearms Salesman of the Year,’ alongside pictures of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong. The pictures remain in the window.”

(Via.) The Boston Globe

Federal Agents Investigating Bitcoin Money Laundering Extorted, Stole Over $1 Million In Bitcoin

“This is one of those sad times when The Onion realizes it has badly, and permanently, missed its IPO window.

Just released from the Department of Justice

Former Federal Agents Charged With Bitcoin Money Laundering and Wire Fraud

Agents Were Part of Baltimore’s Silk Road Task Force

Two former federal agents have been charged with wire fraud, money laundering and related offenses for stealing digital currency during their investigation of the Silk Road, an underground black market that allowed users to conduct illegal transactions over the Internet. The charges are contained in a federal criminal complaint issued on March 25, 2015, in the Northern District of California and unsealed today.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag of the Northern District of California, Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson of the FBI’s San Francisco Division, Special Agent in Charge José M. Martinez of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation’s (IRS-CI) San Francisco Division, Special Agent in Charge Michael P. Tompkins of the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General Washington Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Lori Hazenstab of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General in Washington D.C. made the announcement.”

(Via.) Zero Hedge

Push for Concealed Carry on Campuses is Gaining Ground

“At least 11 states are considering whether to allow concealed weapons on college campuses this year, the latest chapter in a now seemingly annual legislative debate between gun control advocates and gun rights supporters.

Bills have been introduced, at least once, in almost half of the 50 states in the past few years. Despite slow success thus far — just seven states have adopted versions of campus carry laws — gun rights advocates have their eyes on two very large prizes this year: Florida and Texas.

Right now, the odds are starting to stack up in their favor. The Texas bill has passed the Senate and is on its way to House. The version in Florida has passed through two Senate committees and is headed to the Judiciary Committee.”

(Via.) Inside Higher Ed

US Troops Poisoned by Nerve Gas In First Gulf War?

“On March 23, 1991, the Army Central Command Nuclear, Biological and Chemical wrote an under-the-radar memo to the XVIII Airborne Corps with some revealing information: ‘ARCENT has positive confirmation (by urinalysis) of cml (chemical) agent blister casualty in VII corps. We are not to bring this up to the press. If press asks, XVIII abn (airborne) Corps has had no cml (chemical) casualties.’

Based on the findings of the United Nations Special Commission, namely that nerve gas was detected in some of the rockets that U.S. bombs hit, the Joint Chiefs in November of 1991 briefed the Central Intelligence Agency and the White House. Nothing was done, and both the DOD and CIA have been actively involved in covering up the evidence. For example, the UNSCOM memo was declassified for a short period of time before the CIA stepped in and took it down.

Saddam obtained both biological and chemical weapons with the help of the Reagan and Bush administrations but the Department of Veterans Affairs has denied 80 percent of affected veterans seeking full disability status.

‘If you’re DOD, you’re admitting your policies contributed to the veterans’ illnesses,’ former CIA analyst Patrick Eddington wrote in his book, ‘Gassed in the Gulf.’ ‘If you’re the VA, you’re admitting you don’t know how to treat the vets. If you’re the CIA, you blew another estimate and that’s not something you want on your resume.’ Eddington resigned after his superiors clamped down on his desire to expose what had happened.”

(Via.) Truth In Media

The State Is Spying on You Right Now. Where’s the Outrage?

“What’s going on here?

What’s going on here is government’s fixation on spying and lying. Think about it: The Israeli Mossad was spying on Kerry while the CIA was spying on the Mossad. Hillary Clinton thought she could destroy her emails just because she is Hillary Clinton, yet she forgot that the administration of which she was an integral part dispatched the NSA to spy on everyone, including her. And though it might not voluntarily release the emails she thought she destroyed, the NSA surely has them. The police have no hesitation about engaging in the same warrantless surveillance as the feds. And when Hayden revealed a cat-like smile on his face when challenged about the feds in our bedrooms, and the 10,000 folks in the audience did not reveal outrage, you know that government spying is so endemic today that it is almost the new normal.

Yet government spying is not normal to the Constitution. Its essence—government fishing nets, the indiscriminate deployment of government resources to see what they can bring in, government interference with personal privacy without suspicion or probable cause—was rejected by the Framers and remains expressly rejected by the Fourth Amendment today.

For our liberty to survive in this fearful post-9/11 world, the government’s lawless behavior must be rejected not just by the words of dead people, but by the deeds of we the living. When the president violates the Constitution and the Congress and courts do nothing to stop him, we have effectively amended the Constitution with a wink and a nod—by consent, if you will. Its guarantees of liberty are only guarantees if the people in whose hands we repose it for safekeeping honor them as guarantees and believe and behave as such because the Constitution means what it says.”

(Via.) Reason.com

What Is the Cost of Educating Boys Like Girls?

“Rather than being appreciated for the future explorers, warriors and leaders they were designed to be, boys are viewed as defective little girls. Teachers want them to love reading and play nice, and no one wants to know where their hands have been. What is the real trouble with boys? Well, simply put, they are not girls.

Boys are no longer judged by their developmental standards. We have lost sight of a very basic tenet of humanity, one that our ancestors understood since the beginning of time: girls are very different from boys. Boys with uniquely masculine strengths, once prized, are no longer valued. In fact, these traits of boyhood are considered dangerous, even pathological.”

(Via.) PJ Media – Lifestyle

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