Free Markets, Free People

More stray voltage

Has anyone been following this “raisin taking” case before SCOTUS? It has to do with the government literally taking a portion of a producers crop because they want to keep prices artificially high:

The forced transfer is part of a 1937 program that requires farmers to turn over a large portion of their raisin crop to the government so as to artificially reduce the amount of raisins on the market, and thereby increase the price. Essentially, the scheme is a government-enforced cartel under which producers restrict production so as to inflate prices.

And, of course, you know who loses – consumers. And producers. But note the program’s birthdate – yup, a New Deal bit of nonsense that should have long been trashed. Given how the oral arguments went yesterday before the SCOTUS, it may soon see the dumpster. The government first tried to argue that it really wasn’t a “taking”. That didn’t go well. So:

[Deputy Solicitor General Edwin] Kneedler put most of his emphasis on the argument that there is no taking because the Hornes and other raisin farmers actually benefit from the program that confiscates their raisins. In the words of Justice Antonin Scalia, the government’s argument here is that the Hornes are actually “ingrates” who should be grateful for the government’s largesse. As several justices emphasized, even if the Hornes really do benefit from the confiscation of their property, that does not change the reality that a taking has occurred. The fact that property owners benefit in some way from the taking of their property may affect the level of compensation they are owed. But it does not change the reality that a taking has occurred in the first place. Justice Samuel Alito noted that the government’s logic leads to the conclusion that there is no taking in any situation where the government seizes personal property for purposes that might potentially benefit the owners in some way.

The most important argument, and the one usually overlooked or ignored, is as follows:

If private firms tried to establish a similar program on their own, the government would bust them for a blatant violation of antitrust law.

So why is our government doing it?

The Advice Goddess (Amy Alkon) takes on “trigger warnings” and does a very credible job explaining why they and those who would impose them should be ignored:

I’ve thought this for a while. They are yet another way for people who have done nothing noteworthy to get attention and have unearned power over others.

In fact, she entitles her piece “Trigger Warnings: A Form of Covert Narcissism.”  She also quotes a Kent State professor who “gets it”:

Kent University’s professor of sociology Frank Furedi claims that calls for trigger warnings are a form of “narcissism,” with a student’s desire to assert their own importance acting as more of a factor than the content they are exposed to.

In other words, it’s a form of avoidance they can lay on the person who “triggers” them.

This brings me to my favorite line in the Alkon trigger warning piece:

And as I’ve noted before: If you are so emotionally traumatized by the normal college curriculum, you do belong in an institution, but not one of “higher learning.”


The Climate Change Nazis are just not happy with “liberal democracy” because, you know, it depends on the will of the people instead of the will of the all knowing elite. Some selected passages from a piece by  Mark Triffitt (Lecturer, Public Policy at University of Melbourne), and Travers McLeod, Honorary Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at University of Melbourne:

… Specifically, the failure to tackle climate change speaks to an overall failure of our liberal democratic system…

… Successfully tackling climate change and other big policy challenges depends on making tangible the intangible crisis of liberal democracy.

It means understanding that liberal democracy’s governance machinery – and the static, siloed policy responses generated by such democracies – is no longer fit for purpose.

So, solution? (I bet you can guess):

[D]emocratic powers should be transferred to unelected bureaucrats, who would still somehow be “accountable” to parliament, despite having “staying power” beyond individual political cycles.

Or in their own words:

Granting more decision-making power to institutions independent of the government of the day, but still accountable to parliaments (such as the Parliamentary Budget Office or Infrastructure Australia). This would increase the capacity of policy planning and decision processes to have staying power beyond individual political cycles.

Yes, because when the party in power is the same party that wants whatever the bureaucracy wants, oversight is so exceptional and wonderful and our freedoms are protected to the nth degree – not!   There are closet despots everywhere, and especially among the climate alarmist crowd.

And finally there is the Hill/Billy update, this one concerning a uranium deal with the Russians:

The latest installment in the ongoing saga of shady Clinton Foundation finances is a story involving a deal in which Russians took take greater control of a major U.S. uranium company, Uranium One.

The details are somewhat involved, but the gist is that because the takeover deal involved uranium, a strategic asset, it required approval from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Around the same time the deal was going through, the Clinton Foundation took millions of dollars in donations from a foundation run by the founder of Uranium One and did not disclose the transaction, in defiance of an arrangement made with the Obama administration to identify Clinton Foundation donors. In addition, Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 by a Russian financial firm linked to the Kremlin for a speech in Moscow as the deal was happening. The New York Times has an extensive report, building on work from Peter Schweizer’s book about the Clinton Foundation’s foreign funding, Clinton Cashhere.

The questions raised by the story are obvious: Did the millions in donations to the Clinton Foundation, and the hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to Bill Clinton for his speech, have any influence on Clinton’s decision as Secretary of State to approve the project?

Seriously?  You have to ask that question?

The reaction to the story from team Clinton, meanwhile, does not exactly inspire confidence that the Clintons have been entirely transparent about what transpired.

For example, Fox News reporters, also drawing from Schweizer’s book, dug into various aspects of the story, and found evidence that officials from Kazakhstan’s state-owned energy company Kazatomprom visited with Bill Clinton at his home in New York to inquire about a possible deal with Westinghouse, which is also involved in the nuclear energy business. When contacted about the meeting by Fox News, a Clinton Foundation spokesperson denied that the meeting had ever happened. But when Fox News produced photos of the meeting, the Clinton spokesperson changed the story and said that it had happened.

In short, Clinton’s spokesperson flatly lied about a meeting Bill Clinton had with foreign officials, and admitted the truth only when presented with evidence to the contrary.

“Flatly lied”.  Or as most would put it, “business as usual”.


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20 Responses to More stray voltage

  • Clinton apologist: There is not a shred of evidence.

    Reporter (eying the remains of a shredded server): Would you like to try rephrasing that…???

  • Well, at least the Russians probably used Kazhak uranium for any activities with Iran, rather than any US mined product.

    Speaking of Iran and Russia, did anyone catch the video of the S-300 test launch the other day? bwaaahahahahahahah

    So that’s how they work right out of the box is it?

  • “We need a new politics of meaning. We need a new ethos of individual responsibility and caring. We need a new definition of civil society which answers the unanswerable questions posed by both the market forces and the governmental ones, as to how we can have a society that fills us up again and makes us feel that we are part of something bigger than ourselves.”
    —Commencement address by Ol’ Walleyes

    Jeeezzz. I hope they didn’t pay x to the sixth power bucks for THAT…

    • “how we can have a society that fills us up again and makes us feel that we are part of something bigger than ourselves.”

      That particular sentiment, expressed by anyone, scares the bejeesus out of me. I seem to have heard it before, and it bodes no good.

  • Obviously,, the “raisins” were a precursor to the LGBTQ community.
    FDR was trying to save the LGBTQ “raisins’ from market forces.

  • There’s a liberal agenda hidden within the Clinton agenda.

    Turning US nuclear private assets over to oil Producing Russia who has a conflict of interest in helping the US develop nuclear power is a nice way to push nuclear power further out reach of US consumers.

  • … but we were blind-sided by the Clinton Foundation news…

    Unease at Clinton Foundation Over Finances and Ambitions

    Soon after the 10th anniversary of the foundation bearing his name, Bill Clinton met with a small group of aides and two lawyers from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Two weeks of interviews with Clinton Foundation executives and former employees had led the lawyers to some unsettling conclusions.

    The review echoed criticism of Mr. Clinton’s early years in the White House: For all of its successes, the Clinton Foundation had become a sprawling concern, supervised by a rotating board of old Clinton hands, vulnerable to distraction and threatened by conflicts of interest. It ran multimillion-dollar deficits for several years, despite vast amounts of money flowing in.

  • “We’re sort of seeing the world order cracking around the edges,” says Robert Kagan, a conservative author and historian whose writing has caught the president’s attention. “The only thing Obama can hope is that it doesn’t completely collapse while he’s still president.”

    We live in “interesting” times…

    • Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?


      The Brits could never have imagined a world where the internecine warring they fostered to keep overall control within the empire would break out of the old imperial playpen.
      Not that the Russians, in their Soviet guise, weren’t doing their level best to create pretty much what we see today in Eurasia. If they could have just held out another 25 years…but who’s in charge? Oh, right, the good old KGB wearing a modern mask.
      Putin hasn’t forgotten what their goal was, and a century of work has come to fruition. I don’t think Putin gives a rat’s ass about Leninist socialism though, he’s more interested in the glory of Mother Russia. So a world leader who actually loves his country and doesn’t buy the post modern bullshirt that the ‘old’ ways of making a country powerful won’t work in the new millennium.

      And who does the US have watching the walls?

      the Choom gang.

      Obama was the exactly wrong man to deal with the unexploded bombs left behind by the Imperial masters of Britain, Turkey and Russia(either version).
      Actually, Obama was the exactly wrong man to deal with pretty much anything of consequence.

  • “When women of any age, whether on college campuses or military bases or even in their homes, face sexual assault, then no woman is secure,” she declared.

    “Every woman deserves to have the safety and security they [sic] need. That means we have to guarantee that our institutions respond to the continuing scourge of sexual assault.”
    —Ol’ Walleyes Clinton, enabler of sexual assaults

    I mean, the apparent and subtext contradictions in that would take a nice LOOOOONG fisking to illuminate. It suggests that she’s been taking “Self-Parody 101” from Herr Professor Doktor Erp.

    • Hillary, world’s biggest misogynist enabler.

    • In order to achieve that security, we’re going to pass a law that says women can’t leave the house except under escort by male members of her family.

      The alternative is we’ll pass an unfunded mandate for the states that there will be a one to one ratio of police officers to women so we can provide the safety and security they need.

      • But how on earth are they supposed to use all that government mandated free contraceptive equipment that is so necessary for the health of womyn?

  • Note that Furedi is an emeritus professor at Kent University in the UK, not Kent State University (which is in Ohio).

  • This whole campus “oh my” crap.

    What the hell happened to liberated women?
    When did they start channeling their Victorian ancestors (the cultured fainting couch vaporous ones as opposed to the ones that settled the American West)

    College Speaker:”The statistics on campus rape are over inflated”

    Feminist co-ed audience member: “Oh my, oh my! I feel faint! I need a couch! (fans self repeatedly with program) oh my, such opinions shouldn’t be voiced in polite company! Oh my!!!! (fan fan fan fan)”
    “Quick, I must find the fainting room! I shall be safe form such ideas there! Oh my! Oh my!”

    • Well, looker, liberated women became the enemy of the new feminists. Look up Christina Hoff Sommers. And, as always, the current model of the Collective hates NOBODY with the venom it saves for those it considers “traitors” to their dogma.

      And it IS just dogma. Defended with greater intolerance than any in history, I’d argue. They don’t burn people just yet, but you know they would. How can I say that? We’ve seen it.

      • The Fundamentalism comparison seem’s applicable.

        • And they’re too historically (hysterically) ignorant or mis-directed by their education to see how they’re parroting the behavior of their not too distant ancestors who were essentially property but on a ‘safe’ pedestal so long as they were in polite society.