Freedom and Liberty
“Wages” being a euphemistic term in this case:
Home to the world’s worst economy, Venezuela is beset by severe food shortages, riots in the streets and hyperinflation that’s closing in on 700 percent. World oil prices have plummeted — and Venezuela relies on oil for 95 percent of its income.
Agriculture was neglected as Chavez and Maduro placed all their economic chips on crude and elected to import goods from abroad while spending on social programs that rallied the poor behind the government.
But now Venezuela has no cash to import food or other essentials. And because Chavez nationalized so much industry, it has no private sector to compensate.
So Maduro has now issued an executive decree that subjects all workers to being forced to work for 60 days (or more, “if circumstances merit”) in the fields, growing badly needed food.
Economically, the move makes no sense. Morally, it’s barely one step up from government-sanctioned slavery.
And there’s a Senator from Vermont that would love to see the system that is sliding into slavery at work here. More intriguing is the fact that there are studies out that say that Sanders should have won the primary election that was apparently fraught with fraud and rigged from the beginning. Think about that for a minute.
What does that say – other than total ignorance – about those who felt it was a good idea to “feel the Bern”? Not that Bernie would have had much success in passing and implementing his programs. I’m simply making the point that a significant portion of our population thought this potential tyrant was the best choice because – historic blinders, ignorance or both. Not that anyone is getting a particularly better deal with the two nominees of record (one a crook and the other a clown).
What continues to puzzle me is how Venezuela, which is in the news every single day and pretty much implemented every one of Bernie Sanders policies and programs, is ignored so resolutely by these people. How do you do that and call yourself intellectually honest?
But considering their second choice, honesty – intellectual or otherwise – doesn’t seem to be much of a priority.
So there’s that …
So much for honoring 5 slain police officers. Oh, Obama started out alright, but then he just couldn’t help himself. He had to slip into ideological mode and tell a whopper of a lie to try and get it headed around the world before the truth could put on its shoes. The lie?
“It’s easier for a teenager to get his hands on a Glock than a computer…or even a book.”
Is it? Really? This is rhetorical garbage presented as “the truth”. It is a base assumption you are supposed to swallow so when he says you need to give up your right to arm yourself in self defense, you will assume it is “for the children”.
The truth? To get a book, all you need is the price of one or, if that’s not available, there are libraries which will give a child a book to read for just showing a library card. I’m sure he’s heard of them. And, as for a computer, again, it’s a price thing – come up with the money, get the computer. Ironically, most libraries also have public computers.
But, and he might not know this, they won’t check out a Glock to you.
No, that process involves just a bit more work. First you have to be 18 to even be considered as eligible to buy a gun. Then, there’s that price thing again, not to mention a federal background check. Hmm … I’ve never had a federal background check to buy a computer nor was I required to get one to buy a book.
Like most other things this man says, it is falsifiable nonsense. It’s propaganda. It’s the big lie, told often enough to be believed by low information citizens, especially on the left. It is a false trail diverting the country from the real problem, a problem he has been instrumental in enabling.
Why couldn’t he just be a president for a day and join the country in mourning 5 officers who did gave their lives protecting others from a murderer?
You’ve likely seen them, but these numbers tell a completely different story than those the “Black Lives Matter” tell and the media hypes:
The Washington Post has been gathering data on fatal police shootings over the past year and a half to correct acknowledged deficiencies in federal tallies. The emerging data should open many eyes.
For starters, fatal police shootings make up a much larger proportion of white and Hispanic homicide deaths than black homicide deaths. According to the Post database, in 2015 officers killed 662 whites and Hispanics, and 258 blacks. (The overwhelming majority of all those police-shooting victims were attacking the officer, often with a gun.) Using the 2014 homicide numbers as an approximation of 2015’s, those 662 white and Hispanic victims of police shootings would make up 12% of all white and Hispanic homicide deaths. That is three times the proportion of black deaths that result from police shootings.
The lower proportion of black deaths due to police shootings can be attributed to the lamentable black-on-black homicide rate. There were 6,095 black homicide deaths in 2014—the most recent year for which such data are available—compared with 5,397 homicide deaths for whites and Hispanics combined. Almost all of those black homicide victims had black killers.
Police officers—of all races—are also disproportionately endangered by black assailants. Over the past decade, according to FBI data, 40% of cop killers have been black. Officers are killed by blacks at a rate 2.5 times higher than the rate at which blacks are killed by police.
Some may find evidence of police bias in the fact that blacks make up 26% of the police-shooting victims, compared with their 13% representation in the national population. But as residents of poor black neighborhoods know too well, violent crimes are disproportionately committed by blacks. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, blacks were charged with 62% of all robberies, 57% of murders and 45% of assaults in the 75 largest U.S. counties in 2009, though they made up roughly 15% of the population there.
Such a concentration of criminal violence in minority communities means that officers will be disproportionately confronting armed and often resisting suspects in those communities, raising officers’ own risk of using lethal force.
So this gathering of facts would, or should, support an entirely different narrative – if the media reported on it honestly and if they had analysts who dealt in facts instead of emotion and opinion driven by ideology and agenda.
I’ ve seen these facts numerous times in numerous places and they’re pretty hard to argue against. If black men are disproportionately represented in crime statistics it is because they disproportionately commit crimes – especially homicide. If black lives mattered to “Black Lives Matter” that is one of the major issues the movement would be confronting. But, of course, it’s not. Instead it is focused on another issue, one that they have wildly misrepresented. That is that police are out to kill blacks and black men specifically.
Nonsense. There is nothing among the facts above that supports that contention. Conversely, there’s much to say that BLM’s claim is exactly what I called it – nonsense.
Once you add to that the lack of leadership from the White House and Barack Obama and you can see why this has become an explosive problem. As Myron Magnet points out in City Journal:
True to form, Obama went into grievance-mongering mode on July 7. . . . . His familiar conclusion: “If you add it all up, the African American and Hispanic population, who make up only 30 percent of the general population, make up more than half of the incarcerated population. Now, these are facts. And when incidents like this occur, there’s a big chunk of our fellow citizenry that feels as if because of the color of their skin, they are not being treated the same. And that hurts.” . . .
If you want to ignite race riots, a sure-fire way to do it is to stir up black hatred and suspicion of cops, which will in turn make cops warier of blacks and more trigger-happy, and so on, until an explosion occurs. So thanks, President Obama. You have set back American race relations by 50 years.
And he has. Grievance mode that blows past the facts provided by Heather MacDonald in favor of – nonsense. Gangs and gang related activities of two minority populations lend themselves heavily to what grievance mongers like Obama would like to call “disproportionate.” Also note that he’s gone after police who are responsible for 258 deaths of blacks while other blacks are responsible for the remaining 5,827 deaths. That, to a reasonable person, would seem the most frightening statistic if you were concerned about “black lives”, wouldn’t it?
Finally, as for “disproportionate,” when you see statistics like blacks were charged with 62% of all robberies, 57% of murders and 45% of assaults in the 75 largest U.S. counties in 2009, though they made up roughly 15% of the population there, what would you expect to see in arrest results? Those who are making this “disproportionate” aren’t the police. They’re the black criminals. Another great issue for a real human rights organization to address.
But Black Lives Matter isn’t a human rights organization. They totally ignore the real issues facing the black community. No, they’re a racist organization that, in the mold of the blamer-in-chief, are trying to play victim and blame shift the problems of the black community on whites and police while claiming the motivation is racism.
It’s … that’s right … nonsense.
What happened today, with the FBI Director folding like a wet paper box and recommending Hillary Clinton not be prosecuted, has to go down in the annals of the history of the United States as the day respect for the law in this country died.
Andrew McCarthy outlines the irrefutable facts in the case:
There is no way of getting around this: According to Director James Comey (disclosure: a former colleague and longtime friend of mine), Hillary Clinton checked every box required for a felony violation of Section 793(f) of the federal penal code (Title 18): With lawful access to highly classified information she acted with gross negligence in removing and causing it to be removed it from its proper place of custody, and she transmitted it and caused it to be transmitted to others not authorized to have it, in patent violation of her trust. Director Comey even conceded that former Secretary Clinton was “extremely careless” and strongly suggested that her recklessness very likely led to communications (her own and those she corresponded with) being intercepted by foreign intelligence services.
So what shouldn’t be something that anyone could get around, assuming every box was checked as Comey says, is the consequences of their felony violations.
But … when it comes to the elite (politicians and various media types), there’s always a “but” … then Comey says:
Yet, Director Comey recommended against prosecution of the law violations he clearly found on the ground that there was no intent to harm the United States.
Intent or lack of intent really doesn’t repair the damage her gross negligence cost us, does it? In fact, that’s the point – “intent” is irrelevant. Damage to our national security is relevant. Comey is arguing that opposite – that if we mishandle classified material in such a way that it causes damage to the United States and its national security, but we do it with “no intent to harm”, why we’re good to go. As long as we intended no harm, well, in “otherworld” apparently “no harm was then done” and we should be left to do it again when occupying an even higher office. One can come up with endless variations on the “no intent to harm” nonsense when applied to other crimes. And guess what – it doesn’t do any better when used in those sorts of context either.
I have to wonder where James Comey will go to get his integrity back, because with that bit of nonsense he lost it. As did the organization he heads.
I wonder if he even thought about that. Apparently this whitewash was worth his honor and reputation, including that of the former proud organization he leads. Disgraceful doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Intent? In a gross negligence case? It isn’t even relevant. As McCarthy points out:
In essence, in order to give Mrs. Clinton a pass, the FBI rewrote the statute, inserting an intent element that Congress did not require. The added intent element, moreover, makes no sense: The point of having a statute that criminalizes gross negligence is to underscore that government officials have a special obligation to safeguard national defense secrets; when they fail to carry out that obligation due to gross negligence, they are guilty of serious wrongdoing. The lack of intent to harm our country is irrelevant. People never intend the bad things that happen due to gross negligence.
I would point out, moreover, that there are other statutes that criminalize unlawfully removing and transmitting highly classified information with intent to harm the United States. Being not guilty (and, indeed, not even accused) of Offense B does not absolve a person of guilt on Offense A, which she has committed.
One doesn’t need to be a Supreme Court Justice much less even have a law degree to understand these points. So how in the world did Comey justify this to himself to the point that he actually made this pitiful argument? How? How does a man who is qualified enough to be selected to lead one of the most elite law enforcement agencies in the world – one more time … law enforcement agency – just trade in his honor, integrity and reputation that quickly for … what?!
Finally, I thought McCarthy’s conclusion was spot on:
Finally, I was especially unpersuaded by Director Comey’s claim that no reasonable prosecutor would bring a case based on the evidence uncovered by the FBI. To my mind, a reasonable prosecutor would ask: Why did Congress criminalize the mishandling of classified information through gross negligence? The answer, obviously, is to prevent harm to national security. So then the reasonable prosecutor asks: Was the statute clearly violated, and if yes, is it likely that Mrs. Clinton’s conduct caused harm to national security? If those two questions are answered in the affirmative, I believe many, if not most, reasonable prosecutors would feel obliged to bring the case.
Comey’s job is not to decide whether to prosecute or not. His job is to gather the evidence and let those who do that job make that decision. And he clearly gathered enough evidence, according to himself, to make the case.
And then threw out an irrelevant excuse as justification for not doing so.
No penalty for Clinton’s obvious gross negligence and the harm she did to national security. No accountability.
And the same can be said for Comey. Oh he won’t be reprimanded, you can count on that. No, the only way he’d have gotten in trouble with the administration is to recommend indictment. Nope, he’ll likely be able to keep his job in the next Clinton administration – at least until Hillary finds someone more suitable and amenable to her priorities. Yup, no accountability for Comey either.
Well, except to be seen by those who know better as a honorless political hack who traded his integrity and reputation, and that of the FBI, for a pat on the head from his masters.
Remember, folks … laws are for the little people.
I assume you may have seen this:
The FBI’s study showed 64 “mass killing” incidents from 2000 to 2013. The gunmen in these cases murdered 418 people.
The 418 people who were killed over a 14-year period works out to an average of 29.8 persons a year.
To be clear, no one wants to see even one life lost to tragedy, but the mainstream media’s focus on “mass shootings” to the detriment of other news where hundreds or even thousands more lives were lost is telling.For example, the CDC bicycle-related injury report for 2010 shows that almost twice as many people died on bicycles in that one year than were killed in “mass shootings” during the 14 years studied by the FBI. Thus, while there were 418 deaths in “mass shootings” from 2000 to 2013, there were 800 deaths by bicycle in 2010 alone.
Moreover, there “were an estimated 515,000 emergency department visits” due to bicycle accidents.
And CDC death statistics for 2010 show there were 26,009 deaths from “falling” for that year alone. That’s right–26,009 deaths in one year from falls from ladders, counters, roofs, mountains, etc.
To summarize there were an average of 29.8 deaths a year for 14 years from “mass shootings” versus 800 bicycle related deaths and 515,000 bicycle related trips to the emergency room. Plus an additional 26,009 deaths from falling.
Now this isn’t news to anyone who has been following this debate for any length of time and has been interested in the facts, not the ideological take or spin.
In a nation of 300 million plus with about the same number of guns among the population, the loss of life in mass shootings is … that’s right, statistically insignificant. That doesn’t mean we should like them or condone them or not feel grief and outrage about the deaths. What it means is that there is no crisis, no significant problem, no reason to concern ourselves about draconian gun restrictions because of “mass shootings”. Oh sure they give the 24 hour news channels plenty to shout about and of course it gives the politicians what they feel is an easy mark to “solve” the problem. But just as the 26,009 deaths from falling are statistically insignificant (hey, I know, let’s outlaw falling .. or should we outlaw stairs and ladders?), so are the mass shooting statistics.
“Assault weapons” are not a problem (they’re semi-automatic weapons … period) and mass shootings, while a tragedy are certainly not a crisis that requires more laws, regulations and rights violations. The gun control laws in place now have never stopped a mass shooter from doing his thing. What has stopped them though are other armed and law abiding citizens.
That’s the lesson that should be taken away from these tragedies. Not the guns. The statistics do not support any further gun control because of “mass shootings”.
Sigh. I guess the old maxim “you get the government your deserve” certainly rings true today. House Democrats are staging a sit in because the Speaker of the House won’t call a bill to the floor that violates the Constitution and denies due process to people who are placed on its secret no-fly and terrorism lists.
They’d like you to believe it is a “gun control” bill. In fact, it is a “due process denial” bill, and we ought to refer to it that way. Their claim is expanding government’s authority to defy the guarantees of the Constitution will help curb gun violence.
Really? How? Will it stop someone who ends up on the list and still wants to buy a gun from getting one? Certainly not as just about any criminal can tell you (and as study I linked a few posts back revealed). Again, that “Human Nature 101” thing seems to stump these deep thinkers.
And the irony is that one of those leading the charge for violating the Constitution and denying due process – civil rights icon John Lewis (okay, it’s a bit of double irony) – was once placed on a no-fly list without due process.
So what has been the result of not getting their way and denying you due process protection? They’ve been reduced to throwing a collective tantrum and harkening back to the good old days when they were protesting Vietnam or whatever. They even come up with a clever chant – “No Bill. No Break”. You see they’re supposed to take a legislative break and now, apparently, the desire to deny you your rights is so strong they feel called to pretend they are Social Justice Warriors and act accordingly.
Where’s “Black Lives Matter” when you need them. Now here is a perfect protest for them to hijack and they’re nowhere in sight.
Not that I necessarily believe there’s anything better coming along behind it, but this one is just blatant with its disregard for both the law and our traditions.
To say I was aghast at the decision to censor the 911 call from the Orlando murderer (even though what was said was widely known) would be an understatement.
I immediately asked “why”? Now, I’m not a conspiracy theorist at all so I don’t subscribe to much of what some are saying out there. To me it speaks of three things, in this order – 1) politics, 2) fear and 3) arrogance.
One … If they acknowledge that fact that this was a terrorist attack by a representative of a sworn enemy that the administration (and by extension, the leading Democratic contender for President) has badly mismanaged to the point that they are regularly striking random targets here – well, that reflects pretty badly on the “home” team. So let’s pretend it’s something else and let’s divert attention to things like guns, Christians and the NRA.
Two … They’re afraid of ISIS and what ISIS can and will do. So they handle that fear by ignoring it and pretending it doesn’t exist and hoping it will go away, or at least leave us alone. If they call it’s name (i.e. Islamic terrorism) and acknowledge its existence, they’ll be called upon to do something. They haven’t a clue about how to do that. So again they divert. The US Attorney General, in attempting excuse the “omitting” of parts of the transcript of the 911 call talked about her ‘greatest fear’ – and it ain’t ISIS or attacks on Americans:
Speaking to the audience at the Muslim Advocates’ 10th anniversary dinner Thursday, Lynch said her “greatest fear” is the “incredibly disturbing rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric” in America and vowed to prosecute any guilty of what she deemed violence-inspiring speech.
“The fear that you have just mentioned is in fact my greatest fear as a prosecutor, as someone who is sworn to the protection of all of the American people, which is that the rhetoric will be accompanied by acts of violence,”she said.
Three … pure arrogance. While other examples of censored releases were blamed on “glitches” (French President’s remarks, State Department briefing), they didn’t even try on this one. It’s rather hard to blame “glitches” when actual words are replaced with the word “omitted” or actual words are changed to other words (Allah/God). The administration isn’t even playing the game anymore. No more blaming it on glitches, just pure and plain censorship because the words said by the killer don’t help support the narrative this fearful administration has been trying to push on the people for almost 8 years.
And now, the Attorney General of the United States says her greatest fear is “rhetoric” against Muslims? Really?
Speaking of rhetoric, “the most transparent administration” ever has forever made it clear that transparency is campaign rhetoric for consumption of the rubes in flyover country only. They won – they’re your rulers. They can do whatever they want.
Suck it up, buttercup.
I’m still sitting here shaking my head as I watch and listen to the left react to the Orlando massacre.
If you simply read their screeds you’d have concluded by now that it was the work of a right-wing Christian (or just a plain old “toxic male”) with an AR-15 instead of a Sig wielding Muslim who had pledged allegiance to ISIS in a 911 call prior to the massacre and was a registered Democrat.
In fact, the AR-15 meme has taken on a life of its own with such luminaries of the left as lyin’ Michael Moore and domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and some wimpy NYT metrosexual calling for its ban. On what grounds one wonders, but hey, they’re leftists – fantasy is their business if it helps them move their agenda one inch further to fruition. Ignore the facts, full speed ahead. Moore even made up stuff about the round(s) the AR-15 fires claiming they are banned by the Geneva Conventions. Uh, no. Not even close. Pure fiction.
Sally Kohn, a CNN contributor, went on a bigoted anti-Christian rant that attempted, in however a tortured manner, to make a moral equivalence between Christian disapproval of homosexuality and Islam’s death sentence for homosexuals.
Milo Yiannopoulos, a right-wing gay activist, explains the difference for those who lack the ability to discern it:
There are eleven Muslim countries in which I could be killed for being a homosexual. The state penalty is death. One hundred million people live in country where the penalty for homosexuality is death. This is not radical Islam. This is mainstream Muslim society.
And this isn’t some hazy made-up claim like Michael Moore’s, it’s their law. Guess who is taking political donations from those countries?
Instead of facing the truth of Orlando, the left, as usual, has chosen to divert and pretend the problem is on the right. That way, their agenda remains viable and they don’t have to confront nasty little ideological conflicts they’re trying so damn hard to avoid:
“Look what’s happening in Sweden. Look what’s happening anywhere in Germany, anywhere there are large influxes of a Muslim population. Things don’t end well for women and gays. The left has got to make a decision. Either they want female emancipation and it wants gay rights or it wants Islam. It’s got to pick.”
But, at this point, it refuses to do so. It is more afraid of being called Islamaphobic than it is of condemning a religion/ideology that throws gays off of buildings, burns them or hangs them and treats women as chattel.
That’s what the Sally Kohns, Michael Moores and Bill Ayers of the left should be doing. Instead they’re after a weapon that wasn’t even used in the massacre and a Constitutional amendment that gives us the freedom to defend ourselves.
Ed Rensi is the former CEO of McDonalds and he commented on the reality of a $15 minimum wage and how most businesses will handle it:
“I was at the National Restaurant Show yesterday and if you look at the robotic devices that are coming into the restaurant industry — it’s cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who’s inefficient making $15 an hour bagging French fries — it’s nonsense and it’s very destructive and it’s inflationary and it’s going to cause a job loss across this country like you’re not going to believe.”
He continues, “It’s not just going to be in the fast food business. Franchising is the best business model in the United States. It’s dependent on people that have low job skills that have to grow. Well if you can’t get people a reasonable wage, you’re going to get machines to do the work. It’s just common sense. It’s going to happen whether you like it or not. And the more you push this it’s going to happen faster.”
That’s the one he got right. Here’s the one he got wrong:
I think we ought to have a multi-faceted wage program in this country. If you’re a high school kid, you ought to have a student wage. If you’re an entry level worker you ought to have a separate wage. The states ought to manage this because they know more [about] what’s going on the ground than anybody in Washington D.C.”
Good grief, Mr. Rensi, why not let the market handle it? You know, supply and demand? What the heck is wrong with you? You wouldn’t even be discussing this if government hadn’t intruded and decided unilaterally that you should pay your employees a certain amount of money for their labor. It is because of government you’re even discussing automation above. And now you think government – even state government (you know like California or New York?) – would be the solution?
And you were a CEO of a major corporation?
Denmark is abandoning wind power. Up till now, Danes had been paying very high energy bills, 66% of the bill being “green taxes” and only 15% going to energy generation. Under pressure from Danes, who enjoy the highest energy prices in Europe, Danish politicians are abandoning wind power as “too expensive”:
Denmark’s government abandoned plans to build five offshore wind power farms Friday amid fears the electricity produced there would become too expensive for Danish consumers.
“Since 2012 when we reached the political agreement, the cost of our renewable policy has increased dramatically,” said Climate Minister Lars Christian Lilleholt, a Liberal Party politician representing the country’s minority government, according to Reuters.
The government would have had to pay $10.63 billion to buy electricity from the five wind farms — a price deemed too expensive for consumers who already face the highest electricity prices in Europe.
“We can’t accept this, as the private sector and households are paying far too much. Denmark’s renewable policy has turned out to be too expensive,” Lilleholt said.
Imagine that. The fact that “renewable energy” forms have been installed doesn’t equal “cheap energy” (much like ObamaCare doesn’t mean “cheap insurance”, even though you were led to believe it would). And all of them have required some sort of subsidy to survive – which means they’re obviously not self-sufficient (that meaning that they can’t produce a product at a price that consumers are willing to pay and make enough profit to ensure their continued production). In fact, I’m having a very rough time finding any “renewable” source of energy that is self-sufficient.
Of course, the reason for the emergence of “green” and “renewable” energy sources is the “global warming” scam. That scam allows the environmental extremist agenda full run with your money. And this, so far, has been the result (don’t forget Spain).
Meanwhile, in the US, we’re apparently going to continue with the fiasco and while we’re at it, kill more endangered species by extending the license to kill them that wind farms already have to 30 years:
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency charged with protecting bald and golden eagles, is once again trying to make it easier for the wind industry to kill those birds.
Two weeks ago the agency opened public comment on “proposed improvements” to its eagle conservation program. It wants to extend the length of permits for accidental eagle kills from the current five years to 30 years. The changes would allow wind-energy producers to kill or injure as many as 4,200 bald eagles every year. That’s a lot. The agency estimates there are now about 72,434 bald eagles in the continental U.S.
And the media, which will make sure to run the picture of an oil soaked bird above the fold on page one and in the lead on newscasts, is not interested in this story at all. As for the enviros? Well, much like the so-called feminists were willing to remain silent about Bill Clinton’s sexual abuse of women, they must also have malleable principles that allow them to sanction at least 4,200 chopped up bald eagles a year for the sake of “green energy”.