Free Markets, Free People

Bruce McQuain

Stray Voltage

Oh, Canada:

On Wednesday in Ottawa, Justin Trudeau was sworn in as Canadian prime minister. He wasted no time in announcing his newly chosen cabinet of exactly 15 men and 15 women, which fulfilled a campaign pledge he’d made about gender equality. One reporter asked Trudeau why the perfect male-female split was so important to him. The prime minster’s response: “Because it’s 2015.”

Translation – the best qualified for the job is a 20th Century concept.  In the 21st Century, it’s what you have (or don’t have) between your legs that matters.  Heh, yeah, governance won’t suffer.  Trust them.

Hillary Clinton signed a non-disclosure form concerning classified material?  Say, didn’t David Petraeus sign one too?

As the nation’s chief diplomat, Hillary Clinton was responsible for ascertaining whether information in her possession was classified and acknowledged that “negligent handling” of that information could jeopardize national security, according to a copy of an agreement she signed upon taking the job.

A day after assuming office as secretary of state, Clinton signed a Sensitive Compartmented Information Nondisclosure Agreement that laid out criminal penalties for “any unauthorized disclosure” of classified information. …

Meh.  We know this isn’t going anywhere soon, if ever.  And besides, “what difference does it make now.”  She’s a Democrat after all.

One very important reason we need the Idiot-in-Chief out of office as soon as possible:

The picture being painted by Obama’s soon-to-be-former advisors is one of a president paralyzed with indecision. He is being increasingly tested by the world’s bad actors and revisionist powers and has little resolve to act early and decisively. That is an impression that was confirmed by Reuters in October. They reported that the president was similarly incapacitated by the People’s Republic of China’s brazen decision to create new islands that would function as naval and air bases in the middle of the contested Spratly Islands late last year.

* * * * * * *

As the fruits of Barack Obama’s feckless approach to foreign affairs ripen, and the conflicts that he sought to resolve only deteriorate, the president’s advisors are increasingly training their fire on him. In the final year of this administration, that trend is only likely to intensify. If the Obama era is going to be remembered as the period when the seeds of chaos and conflict were sown, surely more creatures of Washington are going to emerge to make sure that they do not take the blame for sowing them. A president who has so perfected the art of throwing others under the bus is about to get the same treatment.

He’ll get a dump-truck load of criticism in the near future as the rats desert the obviously sinking ship.  “Pathetic”, “weak” and “indecisive” will some of the kindest descriptions this man’s legacy will reap.

Camile Puglia calls out the feminists and SJWs on the transgender issue:

“I think that the transgender propagandists make wildly inflated claims about the multiplicity of gender,” she said.

“Sex reassignment surgery, even today with all of its advances, cannot in fact change anyone’s sex, okay. You can define yourself as a trans man, or a trans woman, as one of these new gradations along the scale. But ultimately, every single cell in the human body, the DNA in that cell, remains coded for your biological birth.

“So there are a lot of lies being propagated at the present moment, which I think is not in anyone’s best interest.

“Now what I’m concerned about is the popularity and the availability of sex reassignment surgery, so that someone who doesn’t feel that he or she belongs to the biological birth, gender. People are being encouraged to intervene in the process.

“Parents are now encouraged to subject the child to procedures that I think are a form of child abuse. The hormones to slow puberty, actual surgical manipulations, etcetera. I think that this is wrong, that people should wait until they are of an informed age of consent.

Child abuse as well as abusing any thinking person’s intellect.  They radical left has vastly over reached on this one.  And that’s a good thing.

And what is wrong with the way public policy is formulated today?  Well, it could be as simple as this:

The first lessons I teach my economics students are about means-and-ends and tradeoffs. I tell them that whenever we analyze a policy matter, whether it’s the minimum wage, health care, ivory hunting or abortion, we have to ask ourselves these questions. First, do the chosen policies achieve the desired goals? Second, what tradeoffs do we face with regard to a particular policy; that is, are there alternatives that would yield better results?

These kinds of simple questions often are ignored by policymakers and the public.

Instead, today the party is considered first and foremost and alternatives are hardly ever considered. If it is deemed good for the party, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.  Thus the mess in which we find ourselves.

Have a good weekend.


EPA chief wants to clamp down on air conditioning coolant

Because, you see, air-conditioning uses HFCs and she’s convinced that banning them would help lower the global temperature and fight global warming – you know, the pseudo-science that has proven to be unproven … in fact, almost everything the alarmists predicted would happen hasn’t and everything that wouldn’t happen has.

But when you’re really in the redistribution of income business any narrative, no matter how discredited, will do:

EPA Chief Gina McCarthy wants the world to stop using hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in air conditioners and other consumers products as part of President Barack Obama’s plan to fight global warming.

McCarthy is so determined to make this happen, she’s taking the lead role at an ongoing United Nations summit to expand the current global treaty covering ozone-depleting substances. The EPA chief hopes that her agency’s recent HFC regulations will convince other countries to join the U.S. in limiting the chemicals.

“Because of the importance of taking aggressive action on these chemicals to achieve global climate goals, I will be leading the United States delegation at that meeting,” McCarthy wrote in an oped for The Guardian.

“Over the past year, the US Environmental Protection Agency has completed four separate actions that both expand the list of safer alternatives to HFCs and prohibit them from certain uses in the refrigeration air conditioning, foam, and aerosol sectors where safer alternatives such as hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs), hydrocarbons and lower-polluting blends are available,” McCarthy wrote.

“Solutions are here, and it’s time to amend the Montreal Protocol to reflect that,” McCarthy wrote, adding that phasing out HFCs would avert 0.5 degrees Celsius of global warming by the end of the century.

Total nonsense, of course.  And, a rhetorical question – who will something like this hurt most?  That’s right, those who can least afford it.  This is politics marching to the tune of a bankrupt ideology.  HFO’s cost more than HFCs.  HFCs, by the way, do not deplete the ozone layer and as real science has shown, greenhouse gasses are not having the warming effect on the earth that the “science” of the alarmists have claimed.

So what’s the point?  Zealotry.  Zealotry in the service of ignorance simply because she has the power.  She “believes” this to be true and thus you will conform if she has her way.

Meanwhile in the real world:

A team of European researchers have unveiled a scientific model showing that the Earth is likely to experience a “mini ice age” from 2030 to 2040 as a result of decreased solar activity.

Their findings will infuriate environmental campaigners who argue by 2030 we could be facing increased sea levels and flooding due to glacial melt at the poles.

How long have we been saying the bulk of our climate is determined by that big yellow burning thing in the sky?  You know, the one the alarmists have either ignored or discounted.

Guess who I think has a better chance of being correct in this case?


Houston, we have a solution

And in this day and time, surprisingly it’s “no”.  Michael Walsh writes:

And bathrooms won, as Texas voters said to hell with with “equality and inclusiveness,” which they and the rest of the country are just now figuring out mean a wholesale destruction of cultural norms as the descendants of the Frankfurt School continue their merry work to overturn thousands of years of human history. The war against the Left is partly a fight over the language, which we are losing, and this is a good example. ”Transgender” bathroom “rights” has gone down in Houston. But it will keep coming back until heteronormativity is destroyed.

There’s always a line.  Sometimes it surprises us when it is finally reached and crossed, but you can always count on that happening at some point.    The line is the place in any cause where those who favor the cause push it too far and people finally wake up and say, “you know, this is BS.”  Apparently the “transgender” nonsense is the “cause” that crosses the line.

The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance — Proposition 1 on the local ballot —would have extended bans on employment and housing discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national original and other classifications to gay people, bisexual people and transgender people.

What Houstonians figured out rather quickly is this had nothing to do with “equal rights”.   It had to do with using the force of law to humor a special class who wanted to buck the norm for no good reason other than they could.  Opponents called it the “bathroom ordinance”.  Why?

Under the defeated ordinance, local businesses that discriminate against various classes of people — including transgender people using whatever bathroom they want — would face fines up to $5,000. The failed law specifically exempted religious institutions.

But everyone else?  Well, they were on the hook for that $5k fine if they didn’t establish that men with penises who claimed they felt like a woman would be allowed to use the women’s bathroom.  That idea obviously went over like a lead balloon in Houston:

By the wee hours of Tuesday morning, 95 percent of the ballots had been counted and 61 percent of voters opposed Proposition 1.

It only came to a vote because the Supreme Court ruled that the ordinance required the vote of the people it would effect, i.e. the citizenry.  And the citizenry resoundingly sent a message to city hall.  NO!

This, of course, doesn’t mean the issue will go away.  Once started by the political left, they never seem to go away.  However, they’re going to have to find a new way to approach the cause other than forcing it on people.  Seems few, if any, of their “causes” are popular enough that the people want to enact them by vote.  So control of government is more than just desired, it’s essential.

Anyway, hooray for Houston.  They got this one right.


Meanwhile, in Europe …

All is going as planned … well, at least as George Soros has planned:

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban accused billionaire investor George Soros of being a prominent member of a circle of “activists” trying to undermine European nations by supporting refugees heading to the continent from the Middle East and beyond.

“His name is perhaps the strongest example of those who support anything that weakens nation states, they support everything that changes the traditional European lifestyle,” Orban said in an interview on public radio Kossuth. “These activists who support immigrants inadvertently become part of this international human-smuggling network.”

Of course, Orban is under intense attack for trying to protect his nation’s sovereignty by keeping these uninvited refugees from flooding his country.  And one of the activist who have decided that nation states are “obsolete” is George Soros.  In fact, he doesn’t even bother to deny it:

Soros said in an e-mailed statement that a six-point plan published by his foundation helps “uphold European values” while Orban’s actions “undermine those values.”

“His plan treats the protection of national borders as the objective and the refugees as an obstacle,” he said in the statement. “Our plan treats the protection of refugees as the objective and national borders as the obstacle.”

And, of course, we all suspect his hand in the illegal immigration crisis the US faces as well.

Don’t you love it when someone, unilaterally and without consultation, decides somethings obsolete and then does everything in his or her power to undermine that established norm?

I mean, who are you anyway?  The “little people”, of course, and per Mr. Soros’ philosophy, he exists to make decisions for you.  After all, the rabble doesn’t know what’s best for them, do they?


Another closet totalitarian speaks out

This is one that you have to read to believe.  It is one of those irredeemably stupid people and two time losers that helped Obama to two terms.  Of course you won’t be particularly surprised that she is the director of Women and Gender Studies at The College at Brockport – whatever that is.  Apparently she and her family ate off of Obama placemats prior to 2008 and were pretty sure that this was the guy who could change the world, stop the seas from rising and deliver the utopia that includes “free stuff” and world peace.  Then reality set in, sort of, and the goodie bag wasn’t delivered as promised, the seas ignored him and world peace was even more illusory than before his ascension.   But they still BELIEVE!

Today, I write this letter with a bleeding heart. I admire Obama. But he has let me down. I am disappointed because his presidency could have done more for our country, and sadly, the many taken lives who cannot read this essay. I still worry about urgent social tensions facing our nation, and I recognize their ongoing complexities in policy and legislative action. But gun violence can be averted. Can our country ever be free from senseless gun-crime?

Firearm possession should be banned in America; President Obama can orchestrate this directive. His presidency can be remembered as a remarkable turn in United States history where a progressive leader forever changed the landscape under which we live and work. This is his legacy. To establish gun control laws in America that will reduce high levels of male violence and usher in a culture of peace and civility.

Barack Obama is the president of the United States. He can change the country. He can do it today. I believe in him.

Ye gods.

Gun violence can be averted by banning guns?  One would assume then that knife violence, sword violence, club violence and fist violence  can all be “averted”- if we “ban” all those things.  Because we know that as soon as a law is passed, and all those are banned, it will “usher in a culture of peace and civility”.  Because … every violent male will put those things aside and become a part of … what?

Would anyone actually want to be a part of this woman’s world?  She’s all for taking things away from you. In fact, she lobbies for it.  And my guess is she’d be fine if the things were taken away from you violently in the name of her utopia. You know, whatever’s necessary.  After all, that’s what government is for, right?

As with most progressives, she’s anti-freedom, a closet totalitarian and has an anti-male bias so strong it colors everything she says or does.

And she votes.


Stray Voltage


Thought you might enjoy this.

No surprise here:

“Hundreds of immigrant families caught illegally crossing the Mexican border told U.S. immigration agents they made the dangerous journey in part because they believed they would be permitted to stay in the United States and collect public benefits, according to internal intelligence files from the Homeland Security Department.”

Now where would they ever get such an idea?

Hey, wait, didn’t Obama promise “no boots on the ground” in Syria?

The U.S. plans to send a small team of Special Operations forces to Syria as boots-on-the-ground advisers to rebel groups, according to military sources.

President Barack Obama has authorized “fewer than 50” Special Operations forces to deploy to northern Syria, The Associated Press reported.

I’m sure there will be massive anti-war protests this weekend because of this broken promise and escalation in Syria.

Yup, and pigs will fly …

Apparently we don’t have time anymore to debate important things  like a national budget in the Senate:

Forced by opponents to hold votes after midnight, GOP leaders held the support of just enough Republican and Democrats to give final Congressional approval to a two year bipartisan budget deal, as lawmakers backed away from a possible U.S. government default.

You see, now they have to read it to find out what’s in it.  How, you ask?  How does this happen?  Well, here’s a clue: 18 Republican Senators voted to shut off debate on the two year budget deal.  Among them McCain, McConnell and Graham.  And establishment Republicans wonder why no one on the right is particularly interested in any of them becoming President.

Finally, a reminder.  Ahmed says:



So, what do you think?

I find this observation by Joel Kotkin to be interesting:

Generational politics pose both risks and rewards for each party. A Trump candidacy may excite older voters and many younger white voters, but the cost among a pro-immigrant, heavily minority millennial voting bloc could prove damaging over the longer run.

Democrats, too, face risks, particularly if they continue on the path of radical wealth redistribution and draconian climate change regulation. Although still strong, support for Obama has been steadily weakening since 2008. Millennials are the only age group to still approve of President Obama’s record, but by only 49 percent, not exactly a ringing endorsement.

The future may be determined by the extent that millennials feel that Democratic policies inhibit their ability to move up economically. Younger millennials, having grown up during a weak economy under a progressive president, are notably more conservative than older ones, notes a recent Harvard study.

They increasingly share some attitudes with conservatives, having become notably more deeply distrustful of many of the nation’s political institutions. Nearly half describe themselves as independents, far more than any other age group.

To be sure, mllennials will likely stay more liberal than boomers (about as many are conservative as liberal), but they could shift further to the right once they enter their 30s and start earning a living.

Independent is a pretty flexible label and hides a lot of biases that might otherwise put them solidly in one camp or the other.  But the realities of life do indeed have a tendency to temper idealism.  As you grow older, you realize how little your priorities for what you earn matter to government.  You are simply a cash cow to them and they’ll use force to make you pay your “fair share” … as defined by them.

When you begin to get into your career and raise a family, and watch as your priorities in life become second to the government’s you have a sort of epiphany.  Most, at least, begin to pay a little more attention to what is happening via government and begin to drop the youthful silliness that marks their adolescent and college years (colleges are incubators of silly ideas … see past 7 years).   You begin to see government for what it really is … a “legalized” and ever expanding protection racket.  Something that, if Paulie ran it in the neighborhood, would be illegal because it would be considered extortion.  But then, if you disagree with government and refuse to pay the protection money, what happens?

These are the things … just some among many … that begin to dawn on people as they get older.  And it usually pushes those with the ability to reason, to the more fiscally conservative, smaller less costly side.

Of course, some never get it, and they’re the type that elected this idiot in the White House and will vote for Hillary Clinton (or Bernie Sanders and then Hillary Clinton).

They will never understand that there is nothing free in the world, most of the problems we are “scared” with originate with government (and that government is NOT the answer) and simply have no problem with their freedom being limited if it is limited by the “right people”.

However, as you read this blurb, you see something that should clue you into why we’re in this shape.  And it isn’t millennials.  It’s boomers.  They defy the point I’m trying to make (“about as many are conservative as liberal”) with about half remaining in fantasy land.  Of course, they also lived in the golden age of the US in terms of total wealth.

So I dispute the belief expressed by the author that millennials will “likely stay more liberal than boomers.”  Perhaps socially, as in social issues.  But in pocket book issues, they’re hardly found the living easy.  And the big government help they were told was so necessary and good isn’t at all panning out like promised.

Is there any wonder the Democrats are insistent on importing new voters, legally or not?

But are millennials “game changers” like Kotkin contends?

Frankly I don’t really see any generation as “game changers” at the moment.  But you may disagree.


Germaine Greer states reality – chaos and vilification ensue

One thing about getting old is you’re less tolerant of BS, no matter what the stripe. That’s especially true if you’re one of the women who helped define modern “feminism”.

Germaine Greer, the 76-year-old author of “The Female Eunich,” is making waves by lambasting the idea that Caitlyn Jenner may be honored by Glamour Magazine as “Woman of the Year.” Jenner isn’t a woman, says Greer. He’s just attention-starved and seeking to steal the limelight from the women in the Kardashian family.

He hasn’t actually had to endure what feminists depict as the true horrors of womanhood, such as being cursed with what Greer delicately characterizes as a “big, hairy, smelly vagina.”

When told that such comments are hurtful to the transgender community, Greer doubled down. “Try being an old woman. For goodness sake, people get hurt all the time, I’m not about to walk on eggshells.”

Now frankly, I think much of “feminism” is BS. And especially the phase it is now in. Feminism, as I see it, helped start this movement toward the “cult of the victim”.

All that being said, it is hilarious to see what is happening with the Jenner thing. I happen to agree with Greer – he’s an attention seeking whore living among the ultimate attention seeking whores and he wants more of the attention.

So how does this sort of nonsense (not the repudiation of Greer but the “Jenner thing”) gain traction? The usual suspects are involved:

Our insatiable media must find new ground to break in tantalizing the public and normalizing what was once considered aberrant behavior. Cultivating a live-and-let-live attitude isn’t enough; alternative lifestyles must be celebrated as not only equal but superior to the boring, oppressive traditions that have dominated until now.

Indeed, it is the so-called “cool kids” who dominate the culture wars because the dominate the media and entertainment industry. Who are the “cool kids”? Well, they’re those who don’t want to be judged on their aberrant behavior or actions and thus try to normalize them by shouting down and vilifying anyone who stands up for more traditional lifestyles.

To this point, they’ve been mostly successful in their methods. But there’s always a time in any sort of movement such as this that lines begin to be crossed. Lines where it is obvious even to those who support the cause generally where they can see that “the emperor has no clothes”. Jenner provides one of those moments and Greer calls the “cool kids” out on it.

Reaction? See above. In a petition begun to keep her from speaking at Cardiff University in the UK, Greer is vilified with feminist code language for “dirty, rotten traitor” to the cause:

“Greer has demonstrated time and time again her misogynistic views towards trans women, including continually misgendering trans women and denying the existence of transphobia altogether.

“Trans-exclusionary views should have no place in feminism or society.

“Such attitudes contribute to the high levels of stigma, hatred and violence towards trans people – particularly trans women – both in the UK and across the world.”

So there. The fact that Jenner doesn’t possess that big, old smelly defining thing, nor has had to live with it disqualifies her as a “woman” in Greer’s view. But we’re dealing with post-modern feminism now. And that’s whatever the radical feminists say it is. Greer is no longer welcome in that club.

And I’m laughing my rear end off.


Another Obama administration foreign policy “triumph”

In another “foreign policy triumph” for the US, Afghanistan, a client nation of the US for over a decade, is apparently turning to an old patron:

Afghanistan, battered by worsening security, is reaching out to an old ally and patron—Russia—just as the Kremlin is seeking to reassert its position as a heavyweight on the world stage.

President Ashraf Ghani has asked Moscow for artillery, small arms and Mi-35 helicopter gunships for his country’s struggling military, Afghan and Russian officials say, after the U.S. and its allies pulled most of their troops from Afghanistan and reduced financial aid.

“Russia is seizing the opportunity,” a U.S. official said.

Certainly, there are plenty who are aware of the old saw, “the graveyard of empires” and will shrug this off as good riddance. Let Russia deal with it.

Of course the point is that Afghanistan is turning to Russia mainly because it doesn’t have any confidence in the US anymore. We all understand that Afghanistan is both tribal and corrupt. But that goes with the territory, literally and figuratively. Russia is unlikely to worry to much about that.

It also demonstrates on a micro level what we are seeing on a more macro level. With the decline of US influence in the area, Russia is taking the opportunity to assert its own. Whether you care one whit about Afghanistan, this is a disturbing trend. And, just as obvious, our “leaders” haven’t a clue on how to stop the trend. Obviously Afghanistan feels that their worsening security is inextricably linked to US decisions. The country appears to have no confidence in the US.

Unfortunately, that ‘no confidence’ vote didn’t originate in Afghanistan. It has been echoed by other countries in the region as well … to include Israel.

The foreign policy of this administration, that of Mr. Obama, Ms. Clinton and Mr. Kerry, have seen the withdrawal of the US in the area and a diminution its prestige and power.

Some may cheer this, but the bottom line is that such actions (or lack thereof) have made the region and the world a much more dangerous place than it was in 2008.


Colleges: First Amendment outdated?

That, at least, is the result of a survey recently completed:

To put some numbers behind that perception, The William F. Buckley Jr. Program at Yale recently commissioned a survey from McLaughlin & Associates about attitudes towards free speech on campus. Some 800 students at a variety of colleges across the country were surveyed. The results, though not surprising, are nevertheless alarming. By a margin of 51 percent to 36 percent, students favor their school having speech codes to regulate speech for students and faculty. Sixty-three percent favor requiring professors to employ “trigger warnings” to alert students to material that might be discomfiting. One-third of the students polled could not identify the First Amendment as the part of the Constitution that dealt with free speech. Thirty-five percent said that the First Amendment does not protect “hate speech,” while 30 percent of self-identified liberal students say the First Amendment is outdated.

This is simply the latest proof that colleges and universities in this nation are turning from bastions of free speech and academic freedom to institutions that are enabling and enforcing “speech codes” that student activists demand. The result is the death of “robust intellectual debate” on campus. Now administrations feel moved to “protect” those who are uncomfortable with uncomfortable ideas. And they demand penalties and the quashing of those ideas. The very notion that our great institutions of higher learning have bought into this anti-intellectualism should be an anathema to them. But instead they support these sorts of movements.

Just recently Williams College began an “Uncomfortable Learning” speaker series to provide “intellectual diversity” on campus. Ironically, it then disinvited conservative writer Suzanne Venker when, according to the college, her proposed visit was “stirring a lot of angry reactions among students on campus.” Obviously her ideas went beyond “uncomfortable learning”, however Willams College now defines that phrase. But one thing is clear, Williams College is about as committed to “intellectual diversity” as Hillary Clinton is to the truth.

Given all this, is anyone even remotely surprised to see supposed intellectuals who are the products of this sort of education system calling for the jailing of “climate deniers” and the banning of their speech? Free speech is dying in this country and it is doing so in the very institutions that should be its staunchest defender.