Category Archives: 074 Politics and Culture
During a GOP event at West Virginia’s capitol, hostilities rose when a poster showed Rep. Ilhan Omar (D) and the World Trade Center on 9/11.
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Koch Brothers Announce Plans to Intervene in GOP Primaries in Support of RINO, Open Border, “Free Trade” Republicans
The Koch Brothers network announced they will intervene in GOP primaries in support of RINO hacks and open borders Republicans. The Kochs are not happy with the direction of the country under President Trump. They want Paul Ryan-like Republicans who can push trade policies that wipe out the US middle class. The Washington Examiner reported: […]
Today was the last day to register to vote in many states. I know this because my Facebook feed is full of women telling me how to vote. And how to not be a gender traitor.
Here’s what I have to say:
I don’t care how you vote.
And many of you don’t care how I vote.
But before I get demonized and belittled for being a conservative woman, let me explain how I arrived at being a conservative, despite the constant bullying pleas from the Democrats.
I believe that you know how to spend your money better than the government does.
I believe that crippling regulations stifle innovation and lead to complacency.
I believe in American exceptionalism, and hope that Americans will reclaim their integrity, intelligence, and grit.
I believe a person is a person, no matter how small.
I believe in personal responsibility. Yes, that includes not getting black-out drunk and expecting the rest of humanity to take care of you. It also includes dressing respectably.
I believe in freedom. Freedom from the tyranny that dictates the social superiority complex.
I believe in equality. Do not diminish me to my gender and call me a traitor for logically disagreeing with liberal women.
The Affordable Care Act is not affordable. It reduces choice and competition, which leads to unaffordable care and premiums.
We need to do better by women who are struggling with an unplanned pregnancy. Abortion is not the only option, and to disguise the killing of a child as “women’s health” is not only deceptive, it is morally corrupt.
I believe in my ability to compete sans affirmative action. The perpetuation of female victimhood is exhausting and insulting.
The roads should be the first thing to be funded. Collectively, this country spends billions on Medicaid but can’t fill our potholes. Money does not grow on trees.
I believe in private property and the right to defend your property by any means accessible to you. Gun control is a farce as debunked by the cities with the strictest gun control laws and highest murder rates.
Republicans, more often than not, cannot be blamed for irresponsible financial management at any level. Look at Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore…
I don’t play the game of identity politics. Neighbors will solve cruel behavior, not politicians.
I don’t believe the government should parent our children, manage my finances, or control education.
I’m a conservative because I have thought about it. I’m a conservative because I refuse to be a pawn. I’m a conservative because I believe the future is brighter when we trust our citizens to lead independent lives.
Vote how you want. Stop complaining about the way I vote.
Jon Alexander has raised some serious challenges to the concept of “arming teachers” to strengthen security in our schools. Allow me to shift the debate somewhat by adjusting its fundamental assumptions.
Speculation isn’t necessary
In the U.S. today, at least fourteen states have laws on the books which allow school boards to authorize concealed carry of firearms by school staff, under various conditions, while ten more states do not restrict concealed carry to school staff members only, although most of them still require specific, individual permission of the governing school board. The number is growing every year: last year, Wyoming joined; this year bills are pending in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Meantime, in Ohio alone, over 1,000 trained school staff members are carrying concealed handguns in more than one-quarter of the school districts in that state. In South Dakota, Texas, Colorado and other states, significant and growing numbers of school staff members are already legally carrying concealed firearms – while Utah has allowed anyone with a state concealed carry permit to carry a firearm on school property for going on 19 years.
So, this is not a new idea; quite the contrary. We have a considerable amount of experience with it, and because of the decentralized approach, wherein state laws and school board policies differ, we have quite a variety of experiments underway.
How is it working out? Famously. While mass shooters have not been particularly deterred by the presence of uniformed School Resource Officers (Columbine High School and Parkland, Florida being particular examples), there is no evidence of a single school shooting taking place in any district across the country where trained, non-law enforcement school staff members are carrying concealed weapons. Correlation is not causation, but that fact cannot be easily dismissed.
There are also zero examples of injuries resulting from the kind of mishaps commonly predicted by the skeptics: no accidental shootings, no rowdy students shot by frustrated teachers, no gun take-aways by students. They’re just not happening.
Concealed carry of firearms by school staff – or church cadres, or businesses, or even just broadening the right to legal concealed carry by civilians – provides the ability to defend innocent lives in the first seconds that they come under attack, when police are minutes away at best. While some in our society have difficulty grasping that simple concept, even more push back against the assertion that this capability actually deters attack, and that the deterrence is far more powerful when it is in fact concealed carry by unidentified persons, whose presence, location, numbers, and response cannot be predicted by a would-be offender. Some people understand this concept implicitly, while others do not. We are asked, “Where’s your data?” We point to the absence of mass shootings where people are known or likely to be armed, and especially to public schools in districts across 24 states that allow concealed carry by non-law enforcement (under a variety of conditions and requirements, but the skeptics ask, “How can you prove that the absence of shootings there has anything to do with concealed carry by permittees in their schools?” Well, here’s the answer: there’s no definitive data. There’s no proof. This is not something that can be established statistically. It requires critical thinking, common sense, and some experience-based understanding of how humans think, plan, and act in the arena of violence.
In 2015, U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Craig Broyles submitted his Master’s thesis at the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Titled Military Maneuver Terrorism, it addresses the threat against the U.S. and the West of terrorist attacks involving multiple attackers using small arms, explosives, and other low tech, like those that occurred in Mumbai, India (2008), at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya (2011), and at the Beslan school in the Russian republic of North Ossetia (2004). He cites, among many other sources, a piece that I wrote as a research paper at the Naval War College in 2007 and published in Homeland Security Affairs in 2008: Paramilitary Terrorism – A Neglected Threat, which made several of the same points. We both applied similar concepts that are familiar to people schooled in risk management, threat assessment, intelligence, and the operational and strategic arts.
LTC Broyles recommends several potential remedies to this threat but points out that deterrence is the most important strategy against the threat of a large, organized armed group of terrorists attempting a mass casualty attack. If such an attack is executed, regardless of how well we respond, the consequences will be terrible. Better to keep it from happening at all.
One thing that terrorist organizations have in common with most of the apolitical psychopaths who perpetrate mass shootings is a penchant for planning, and especially a desire for their action to go off according to plan, without a hitch. They study their target, and if they don’t select a target because it is undefended, they have carefully prepared plans on how to circumvent or defeat whatever defensive element is there. Unpredictability is their worst enemy. They have one shot at it, either because it’s an individual who plans to die on site when he is done, or an organization that risks irreplaceable resources by coming out of the shadows to execute an attack.
The presence of an unknown number of unidentified armed defenders, in unknown locations, with response plans and specific training and rehearsals that the attacker cannot find out, is precisely the kind of thing that discourages or deters them from ever acting. “Beginnings are delicate times” as some sage said, and the chance of having your grand one-off final curtain event come apart in its first minutes, because of stout resistance you were unable to predict, is literally a show-stopper.
LTC Broyles points out the obvious – that, because of the unpredictability it creates, concealed carry of firearms by American citizens, everywhere they can (and therefore presumably do) carry, deters terrorists and other bad actors. The jihadist killing spree on the streets of Paris in November, 2015 has not occurred on the streets of any American city, and I can think of one primary reason why. We should be working to extend the distributed security provided by discreetly armed citizens into more locales, rather than fewer. Arm school staff, arm church security teams, arm business associates in the workplace. The police cannot be in these places to protect us – though we welcome and rely on their assistance – but we can.
Bill Tallen is Executive Vice President – Tactical Operations of Distributed Security, Inc. Prior to joining the enterprise he had a 20 year career with the Department of Energy, where he served as a Federal Agent, team leader, unit commander, training instructor, and manager in the agency which provides secure transportation of nuclear weapons and nuclear materials within CONUS. He helped to found DOE’s Special Response Force program, developing and teaching urban and close quarter battle techniques to Federal Agents charged with recovery of lost assets. He has designed and conducted a variety of wargaming efforts in support of vulnerability assessments, security system design, and leadership training, and has taught a variety of crisis decision making models. Bill holds the degree of Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College.
The gunman who attempted to slay Republican Congressmen at a baseball practice had a Facebook feed. Before it was deleted, everyone could read his vitriolic attacks on the rich, his denunciations of capitalism and corporate culture, his calls for high taxes and wealth redistribution, and, of course, his push for Bernie Sanders to be the ruler of us all. We all know the litany of gripes that drove him.
When was the last time you heard a sermon against envy or observed a media figure casually recognizing its evils? And yet, when the folks at National Public Radio were reflecting on his motives, the hosts declined to speculate. They feigned to be completely mystified how a happy, charming, good soul such as this could have turned to violence. Had the tables been turned – say an alt-right agitator had shot up a civil-rights protest – there would have been no question about the motivation.
Away, way back in 1977, when I began writing my first novel, _The Probability Broach_ (still in print, after four decades), I was regarded as something of a nutcase because I argued that American society would be a much better, safer place if everybody who wanted to, carried a gun. I was by no means the first to do so, nor was I the only one at the time, but, except for Robert A. Heinlein, Elmer Keith, and the ghost of H. Beam Piper, I often felt very much alone in my simple, straightforward, common-sense advocacy of exercising one’s natural rights under the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Now, of course, forty years later, armed self-defense has become a social movement. The degree to which I share responsibility for that is debatable, but I am proud of any part I may have had in it.
Last weekend (no, I am not changing the subject) was a pretty lousy one for peace and civil order in the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Egged on by various evil shamans (one of them in the States), Islamic terrorists employed an automobile and big knives to wound and murder dozens of innocent individuals who were trying to enjoy a warm summer evening—in a near-Arctic climate that doesn’t offer many of them—and whose only “crime” was that they did not choose to follow the benighted religious precepts of a 7th century Arab merchant-trader.
Yes, we can.
“The homeowner was alerted somehow, he looked outside and saw the suspects trying to steal his vehicle,” Lt. Bill Miller from the Tennessee Highway Patrol said late Friday.
The homeowner called his neighbor and both men, each armed with a gun, confronted the fugitives…
Gordon Tullock used to taunt anarchists by asserting that if the USA abolished its government, people would not have to worry about the Russians taking over the country because “the Mexicans would get here first.”
This little story actually incorporates a common objection to anarchy—namely, the idea that because, if a country abolished its government, other countries would not necessarily follow suit, the governments of those other countries would be free to, and would, simply take over the country that, lacking a government, also lacked an effective means of defending itself against takeover by a foreign power.
This thinking presumes at least two critical ideas: first, that defense of a population requires a government that rules that population; and, second, that if a government has the power to take over another country, it will do so.
Deets said women like her are savvier today than ever before when it comes to their firearms and their fashion. “The demand is greater so we as women have stepped up our standards. We don’t have to settle for something that is tactical or ugly or cheap. We’re not willing to compromise fashion for function.”
Source: Georgia Public Broadcasting
The best statistical estimate for the number of lives saved each year by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is zero. Certainly, there are individuals who have benefited from various of its provisions. But attempts to claim broader effects on public health or thousands of lives saved rely upon extrapolation from past studies that focus on the value of private health insurance. The ACA, however, has expanded coverage through Medicaid, a public program that, according to several studies, has failed to improve health outcomes for recipients. In fact, public health trends since the implementation of the ACA have worsened, with 80,000 more deaths in 2015 than had mortality continued declining during 2014–15 at the rate achieved during 2000–2013.
Illinois Might Be Doomed to Financial Collapse
Once of the reasons that tax increases in Washington are such a bad idea (and one of the reasons why a value-added tax is an especially bad idea) is that the prospect of additional tax revenue kills any possibility of genuine entitlement reform. Simply stated, politicians won’t do the heavy lifting of fixing those programs if they think can use a tax hike to prop up the current system for a few more years.
However, if we don’t fix the entitlements, the United States faces a very grim fiscal future regardless of new revenue because the burden of government spending will be expanding faster than the growth of the private economy.
Indeed, tax hikes presumably will accelerate the problems by weakening economic performance, creating an even bigger gap between the growth of government spending and the growth of productive output. Sort of a double violation of my Golden Rule.
Tax Payers Are Escaping
I hope out of the 160 foreign embassies she wrote she included the 107 countries that have higher homicide rates and tighter gun control than the United states. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate
“Meaning many international students at Kansas universities would be surrounded by firearms without the legal right to also carry one — making it potentially even more dangerous for these students,” she wrote. “Considering the shooting of two Indian men who were presumed to be ‘Middle Eastern’ by a white supremacist in Olathe, Kansas last week, international students, especially those from certain countries or regions, are at a greater risk of being the victims of deadly violence once this campus carry law goes into effect.”
The Last Thing America Needs Is a Reignited War on Weed – FEE
The marijuana legalization movement has been holding its breath, waiting to see how President Donald Trump will address the issue.
Public opinion and state law have leaned heavily in favor of decriminalizing the controversial cannabis plant over the last several years, signaling the inevitable downfall of the government’s war on drugs.
However, as numerous state victories gave advocates hope that the end of prohibition was near, the unexpected election of Donald Trump threw the legalization movement a curveball no one was anticipating.
Legalized marijuana is projected to create a quarter of a million jobs by 2020.
While the future of marijuana in America is still unclear at the moment, if Trump wants to keep his campaign promises of job creation and financial growth, he should strongly consider the economic benefits of marijuana legalization.
The Future is Green
As a presidential nominee, Trump spent much of his campaign promising national job growth. Reaching out to the blue collar working class, Trump promised to bring jobs back to American manufacturing.
However, if Trump is serious about fostering an environment of economic prosperity and job creation, he may want to set his sights on the burgeoning marijuana industry instead.
According to a recent report released by New Frontier Data, the marijuana industry is projected to create more than a quarter of a million new American jobs by the year 2020.
By the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ own projections, the legalized cannabis industry is expected to outpace growth in any other sector over the next few years, including American manufacturing. In fact, manufacturing jobs are expected to decrease by 814,000 over the next seven years.
Additionally, the marijuana industry is currently estimated to be worth about $7.2 billion. Given its current success and expected trajectory, the entire industry is expected to grow at a rate of 17 percent annually.
Likewise, the New Frontier Data’s report estimates that the medicinal market alone will increase its worth from $4.7 billion to $13.3 billion by the year 2020.
Of the 25 states that have decriminalized cannabis in some capacity, seven of those states have allowed for its recreational use. As a result, the recreational industry is also expected to increase its worth from $2.6 billion to $11.2 billion by 2020.
While these projections are bound to have positive effects on the national economy and create a plethora of new American jobs, the estimates will never come to fruition if the Trump Administration decides to backtrack on the progress made thus far.
Good People Don’t Smoke Marijuana
Had Hillary Clinton won on election night, as many had expected, it is highly unlikely that the war on drugs would have suddenly come to a screeching halt.
Not only is Clinton’s own track record on the matter weak, but her husband also contributed greatly to the perpetuation of the problem.
Former President Bill Clinton helped escalate the war on drugs through his support of mandatory minimum sentencing laws and other policies that were prevalent during the “tough on crime” era of the 1980s and 1990s.
However, Mrs. Clinton’s terrible track record on the issue does nothing to excuse Donald Trump, should he make the same mistake.
“Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
While Trump is not a strict ideologue by any means, he has unfortunately chosen to surround himself with advisors and cabinet appointees who have struck fear into the hearts of advocates of marijuana policy reform.
Trump’s decision to nominate Jeff Sessions as his Attorney General only heightened this paranoia among his critics.
Sessions has been a longtime supporter of civil asset forfeiture, which essentially incentivizes law enforcement to use the drug war as a pretext for stealing property from anyone merely suspected of drug-related activity.
As if Session’s support for highway robbery weren’t bad enough, he has also gone on the record making outlandishly biased statements including, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
Since Sessions has the legal authority to impose federal drug laws on the states, this comment is quite concerning, to say the least.
While Trump’s own comments on the matter have been somewhat neutral, Press Secretary Sean Spicer added fuel to the fire last week when he hinted that the White House might soon begin enforcing federal marijuana laws once again.
Under the direction of former Attorney General Eric Holder, the federal government agreed to more or less “look the other way” when states made the decision to legalize cannabis. This policy has allowed states like Colorado to add over $1 billion worth of revenue to their local economy and create new jobs for its residents.
Just a few days ago, Sessions publicly recommitted himself to the drug war by saying:
“I don’t think America is going to be a better place when people of all ages, and particularly young people, are smoking pot. I believe it’s an unhealthy practice, and current levels of THC in marijuana are very high compared to what they were a few years ago, and we’re seeing real violence around that.”
Ironically, the war on drugs, which Sessions adamantly supports, is responsible for that increase in potency, as economist Mark Thornton has demonstrated.
According to “the Iron Law of Prohibition,” when substances are prohibited, black market providers are incentivized to increase potency because more potent forms take up less storage space, are easier to transport, and sell for more money. This is considered necessary to mitigate the risk of being caught and incarcerated.
Session’s Reefer Madness-inspired statement is absolutely frightening considering his position of authority as Attorney General of the United States of America.
The White House might actually begin enforcing federal marijuana laws once again.
But in the spirit of maintaining optimism, there is still reason to hope that Trump’s alleged commitment to economic growth will overpower the draconian beliefs held by some of his cabinet appointees.
The Economic Savior
Trump was elected as the “no nonsense” businessman who was going to fix our national economy and create jobs for the American people. As America’s “economic savior,” his supporters firmly believed he was the candidate who would restore prosperity to the middle class. This is the promise that ultimately got him elected to the highest office in the land.
Since assuming office, he has shocked the public by actually fulfilling most of his campaign promises— which has been both slightly encouraging and downright terrifying.
While there can be no defense of his love for protectionist policies, he has still maintained his support for a free market economic system.
If this is true and he is as committed to economic reform as he claims to be, then perhaps the economic repercussions of marijuana legalization can change his mind, or at least drown out the backward influence of his advisors.
Brittany Hunter is an associate editor at FEE. Brittany studied political science at Utah Valley University with a minor in Constitutional studies.
This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.
Insightful and a first mover…
Billionaire Softbank Group Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son revealed Monday (Feb. 27) at Mobile World Congress his plan to invest in singularity. “In next 30 years [the singularity] will become a reality,” he said, Tech Crunch reports.
“If superintelligence goes inside the moving device then the world, our lifestyle dramatically changes,” he said. “There will be many kinds. Flying, swimming, big, micro, run, 2 legs, 4 legs, 100 legs,” referring to robots. “I truly believe it’s coming, that’s why I’m in a hurry — to aggregate the cash, to invest.”
“Son said his personal conviction in the looming rise of billions of superintelligent robots both explains his acquisition of UK chipmaker ARM last year, and his subsequent plan to establish the world’s biggest VC fund,” noted TechCrunch — a new $100BN fund called the Softbank Vision Fund, announced last October
The horrors of being treated like a common citizen…
A newly-retired hero detective with more than 600 arrests wants to carry a gun in retirement — but the NYPD has treated him like a common criminal in denying his application, he claims in a legal petition.
Source: New York Post
Chairman Trump may well be a child in a man’s body – erratic, lacking in finesse, as articulate as a gangsta rapper, contradictory, and missing the cognitive functions allowing one to think before acting. But.. But… he does seem smart enough to have thought a little about Russia. Thought alone is a welcome surprise from Washington.
The establishment for their part are fuming!
First their rice bowls are at risk, and to top it off they’re now publicly mocked. To egomaniacs this is worse than acne to a prom queen. As I mentioned a couple weeks back the mockery has come thick and fast:
CNBC’s John Hardwood decided to conduct a Twitter poll to see who the American people trusted when it came to the DNC hacks. Did they believe Wikileaks, who deny Russian involvement, or do they believe the intelligence community who has blamed Russia despite ZERO hard evidence being shown to the public?
The results were shocking and it stunned the media elite!
The absurdity over Russia has turned into a social meme. Few buy the narrative and those that do increasingly find mainstream thinking to be questioned.
Source: Capitalist Exploits
Don’t Ruin A Chance for Tax Reform with “Border Adjustments”
As part of an otherwise very good tax reform plan, House Republicans have proposed to modify the corporate income tax so that it becomes a “destination-based cash-flow tax.”
For those not familiar with wonky inside-the-beltway tax terminology, there are three main things to understand about this proposal.
- First, the tax rate on business would drop from 35 percent to 20 percent. This is unambiguously positive.
- Second, it would replace depreciation with expensing, which is a very desirable change that would eliminate a very counter-productive tax on new investment outlays. This is basically what makes the plan a “cash-flow” tax.
- Third, any income generated by exports would be exempt from tax but the 20-percent tax would be imposed on all imports. These “border-adjustable” provisions are what makes the plan a “destination-based” tax.