Free Markets, Free People

Government

Who changed the deal?

That’s the question here.  Which entity decided, arbitrarily, to change the conditions of the agreement?

DC officials are furious as Walmart has reneged on a promise to build stores in lower-income areas of the city. Walmart announced last week that they will be shuttering 269 stores throughout the country. (The already-existing three DC stores will remain open.) The company cited the unexpectedly high building and labor costs as to why they would not move forward with the additional locations, but was more open in a meeting as to how DC’s labor laws, including its higher minimum wage, are making it harder to operate a business.

Let’s see.  Was raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour within the District a part of the deal?  Do you think Walmart would have agreed to build had it known that such a raise in labor costs was in the offing?  My guess is “no”.  Thus the citing of “unexpectedly” high … labor costs.   And obviously, it also costs more, then, to build the store in a union town, because when the lowest paid worker gets a raise such as this, guess what happens to the pay of the higher paid workers?  That’s why unions back the minimum wage.

The WaPo sheds some more light on the subject:

Evans said that, behind closed doors, Walmart officials were more frank about the reasons the company was downsizing. He said the company cited the District’s rising minimum wage, now at $11.50 an hour and possibly going to $15 an hour if a proposed ballot measure is successful in November. He also said a proposal for legislation requiring D.C. employers to pay into a fund for family and medical leave for employees, and another effort to require a minimum amount of hours for hourly workers were compounding costs and concerns for the retailer.

“They were saying, ‘How are we going to run the three stores we have, let alone build two more?’ ” Evans said.

Exactly!  When the government that made the deal then changes the conditions, it isn’t the company which is the problem.  It is the government assuming the power to set the labor cost for the company (plus this new fund that’s likely to pass into law) which is at fault.  If anyone should be “furious” it is the company and the citizens now denied the low cost of goods Walmart would have brought to those neighborhoods.  A perfect example of the government engaging in “bait and switch”.

So who, exactly, is it that gets hurt?

Why the very people they were purported to want to help.

The poor.

What a surprise.

~McQ

The political strategy of a crocodile tear

Mr. Obama shed a tear yesterday as he told us why he was going to bypass Congress and enact gun control (at least a small part of it) by executive order.  Speaking of “gun violence” instead of violence in general, he said:

“We do not have to accept this carnage as the price of freedom,” Obama said.

That’s simply poppycock. We don’t have to like it but freedom, as has been said any thousands of times, is not free.  Nor is it pretty or neat.  Nor are there those who don’t suffer because of it. It always has a cost – a price. But the alternative, what most Democrats seem to want, is the state deciding everything you can or cannot do, everything you can or cannot own.  That alternative is unacceptable to those who value freedom and are willing to suffer the cost.

No one is in favor of “carnage”.  But it isn’t the guns which cause the violence, sir.  Figure it out please.  When you tell me that abortion instruments are what kill about a million unborn human beings in the US each year, perhaps I’ll at least consider your thinking to be somewhat consistent.  And of course, that means cars and pools and rope, well you name it, also need to be controlled even more because the “carnage” they cause rivals anything to do with that involving guns.

Gee, given the numbers, perhaps he ought to be going after Planned Parenthood instead of demonizing the NRA.

Oh, and this was rich:

“No matter how many times people try to twist my words around, I taught constitutional law, I know a little bit about this. I get it,” he said. “But I also believe that we can find ways to reduce gun violence consistent with the Second Amendment.”

Apparently he thinks he knows the Constitution, but if true, he’d know it doesn’t allow aristocracy, and certainly it doesn’t allow kings.  Laws are passed through Congress and if the President doesn’t have the heft or gravitas or whatever he needs to see it done, then it doesn’t get done. Obama doesn’t have any of that. And the people have been quite clear that they don’t consider guns or gun control to be much of an issue.  In fact, it barely registers, no pun intended. So instead he  does “work arounds” with executive orders.  Tell us again about how you know the Constitution, please?

But let’s get to the nuts and bolts of what went on yesterday, shall we?  It is about, get ready for it, ideology:

Despite professing an unflinching commitment to curbing gun violence, Obama and Biden have been thwarted by Congress and what Obama calls a lack of national will to change the way Americans think about guns.

Got it.  It’s about changing the way you think about guns.  Its about making them the equivalent of a cigarette.  You remember when cigarettes were popular?   And what happened?  Well, think about it.  It wasn’t about people making poor choices and suffering for them that was the “cause” of their diseases. It wasn’t about their refusal to heed the strident warnings about smoking.  It became “the cigarette”.  That was the “cause”. And it was the cigarette that was killing people, not the people’s choices.  The object became the problem.  People were excused for making poor decisions even though the information that cigarettes caused horrific health problems had been out for years … decades.

The same sort of argument is being made about guns and “the strategy of a tear” was just the latest emotional appeal to a people who’ve been pretty darn logical about guns so far and aren’t buying into the argument as readily as they did with cigarettes.  In fact, they’re not buying into it at all and are, instead, buying more and more guns.  If you can’t get them to swing your way, cry on national TV.  That’ll show ’em how sincere you are.   And, of course, it seems to have fooled a good number of people out there already.

But to the point – this is frustration for Obama because you and most Americans won’t think the way he wants you to.  So?  So screw you, he’ll stamp his feet, hold his breath and make you do it by taking unilateral action.  But he knows the Constitution, by George.

This is just another in a long line of tantrums by this man.  When he can’t get his way, he simply looks for a means to impose his will.  He has no concept of what a President is or what one is supposed to do and he’s certainly no Constitutional scholar.  This is just the latest example.

So why is the cigarette model not working for the left?  For the most part it is because there really is no redeeming value to a cigarette.  But there is tremendous positive value to a gun.  You can’t defend yourself or your family with a cigarette.  You can’t feel more secure in your person with a cigarette.  You can’t protect your life or your property with a cigarette.  So despite the demonization of the object the left has committed itself too, the positive aspects of gun ownership simply won’t be buried, even with a tear.

The bottom line however should be clear – the left will do whatever it thinks necessary to strip Americans of their right to own firearms.  You will see every sort of argument tendered and numbers that, without context, seem horrific.  Such as “30,000” gun deaths – 62% of which are suicides.  Anyone who believes removing guns will prevent suicide just isn’t very serious about discussing suicide.  Japan, which has strict gun control laws, has more suicides than the US.  The problem isn’t the means.  It is the mental state of the person.  35% are homicides, most gang related.  No matter the laws passed, criminals are not going to obey them.  This seems to be a point the left can’t comprehend.  And finally accidents claim most of the remainder (about 606 in 2010).  “Mass shootings”?  A small minority of the final total.  And, in fact, gun violence and gun homicides are and have been trending down for quite some time.

However, like “climate change”, the alarmist hysteria continues despite the fact that the data doesn’t support it.

So now, it is all about an emotion.  A tear.

My freedom isn’t for sale for a tear, crocodile or otherwise, Mr. Obama.

~McQ

 

The President’s [yawn] speech

I’ve seen many critiques of it, but for me it was, well, boring.  Why?  Because it was so predictable.  Other than some grudging acceptance of the terrorism that has spawned in the US, it was the usual nonsense of lecturing the citizens of the US like they were children.  Jim Geraghty picked up on that too:

At this point in his presidency, Obama speaks with only one tone, the slightly exasperated and sometimes not-merely-slightly exasperated “adult in the room” who constantly has to correct his fellow Americans, who are always flying off the handle, calling for options that “aren’t who we are,” betraying our values, and so on. He’s always so disappointed in us.

At certain points, Obama sounded as if he was speaking to children. “The threat is real, but we will overcome it.” “We will not defeat it with tough talk, abandoning our values, or giving in to fear.” “We will prevail by being strong and smart.”

And yet, we’ve heard nothing “strong or smart” from the man giving the lecture.   Nothing.  For instance:

He made yet another pitch for barring anyone on the no-fly list or terror watch list from purchasing firearms. He simply ignored any of the objections, whether it’s the lack of due process or judicial review, the arbitrary, foggy nature of how someone gets on the list, or the fact that 280,000 people with no recognized terrorist group affiliation are on the list.

Sounds good to those who don’t really think about it, but is it?  Not really.  Why?  Well, that’s fairly simple:

You know who wasn’t on the no-fly list? The San Bernardino shooters. Nor was the Fort Hood shooter. Nor the Boston bombers. Nor the Chattanooga shooter. In other words, no perpetrator of any major attack on American soil was on the no-fly list.

So again, the “smartest guy in the room” acts exasperated with the “children” but offers up a whole lot of nothing – except the usual dump truck load of words – that addresses the problem.

As someone tweeted when they found out that Obama, Biden and Rice among others were meeting to address San Bernardino, “Our JV team”.

~McQ

About San Bernardino

One – the immediate politicization of any tragedy involving guns, facts or no facts:

Just when we think that politics can’t sink any lower, President Obama once again proves us wrong by politicizing the tragedy in San Bernardino before the facts were even known. What we do know is that the American people are heartbroken by these horrific crimes — and despite what the president would have us believe — America’s law-abiding gun owners are heartbroken by these horrific crimes as well. At the same time, we are sick and tired of this president suggesting the men and women of the National Rifle Association are somehow to blame.

Why, you ask? Well because this supposed “leader” of ours is all about politics and agendas. He’s already decided what is “best” for the rest of us whether or not the actual fact match the narrative or not.

Two, which is related to One.  The hypocrisy and cowardice of the left.  Radical Islam has struck more than once here in the US the and cowards won’t acknowledge it or face it.  But they will vilify and defame those who won’t strike back and blame them for the problem such as Christians, the NRA, and the Right in general.  God help you if you believe in the 2nd Amendment.

Screen-Shot-2015-12-03-at-2.20.24-PMYes I know Jon Gabriel and yes I know he’s being totally sarcastic.  I also know he makes the point perfectly.  By the way, did you see where Bloomberg and MSNBC tweeted that the shooting was only “blocks away from a Planned Parenthood” facility.  See “One” above.  Think narrative construction.

Three – we now have the Attorney General of the United States promising to take action against US citizens if she considers their rhetoric to be anti-Muslim and “edges” towards violence:

Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Thursday warned that the Justice Department could take aggressive action against people whose anti-Muslim rhetoric “edges towards violence” and told the Muslim community that “we stand with you in this.”

Speaking at Muslim Advocate’s 10th anniversary dinner, Lynch said since the terrorist attacks in Paris last month, she is increasingly concerned with the “incredibly disturbing rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric … that fear is my greatest fear.”

Who will be the arbiter?  And, why selective treatment?  See “Two” above.  They won’t face the real enemy and they want to chill speech pretending it is anti-Muslim rhetoric that is the problem, not Radical Islamists.

These three things are consistent in every shooting that involved radical muslims.  One, the attempt to initially frame it so that the right is the problem.  Then to frame it as if it was just another “mass shooting” – you know, “workplace violence.”  The cause: guns, not followers of a 7th century death cult.  Two, deny, deny, deny and try to shift the blame.  Don’t face the reality of the problem.  “ISIS is contained”. Instead of facing the problem and addressing it, Mr. Obama’s answer is to contemplate stricter gun laws by executive order that will do nothing to stop what happened in CA.  But the left believes that the criminals and killers out there will be done … even though in California had every law Obama want’s nationally in place and supposedly functioning and the Islamic Radicals still had the banned weapons.  Third, the erosion of freedom.  Now we have the AG saying she’ll decide what “edges” toward violent rhetoric and will apparently act unilaterally to arrest the “perpetrator”.  However rhetoric “edging” toward violence against any other non-protected group?

Meh!

~McQ

 

The Paris Conference is about income redistribution, not the health of the planet

We’ve been offered all sorts of nonsense about the importance of battling climate change.  Lately the meme has been that ISIS is a result of climate change (even though, for the past 10 years, the climate hasn’t changed).  We’ve been treated to all sorts of theories masquerading as “proof” that climate change is real.  We’ve watched the alarmists ignore contrary data and continue to tell their big lie.

Why?  How does the lie survive as an actual movement?

Well, for one thing, there is a 100 billion dollars at risk, offered by the apparently guilt-ridden alarmists of the West, and the “third world” isn’t about to let that get away.  It is about global income redistribution.  All you have to do is look at who lines up on what side.  India and China, for instance, insist they are “third world” and by George, they want a piece of that 100 billion.  So they become willing participants in this lie, not because they necessarily believe any of it, but because there’s a pay-off.

Do they plan to actually do anything to mitigate CO2 production?  Uh, not really.  And they’re not the only ones:

More than 2,400 coal-fired power stations are under construction or being planned around the world, a study has revealed two weeks after Britain pledged to stop burning coal. The new plants will emit 6.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and undermine the efforts at the Paris climate conference to limit global warming to 2C. China is building 368 plants and planning a further 803, according to the study by four climate change research bodies, including Ecofys and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. India is building 297 and planning 149. Rich countries are also planning new coal plants. The nuclear disaster at Fukushima has prompted Japan to turn back to coal, with 40 plants in the pipeline and five under construction.

Here it is in graphic form:

inline_e358737c-98_1021170a

In other words, no one is really serious at all about reducing CO2 – except the guilt-ridden, “white privilege” shamed Westerners who are more than happy to use their dubious “science” and your money to assuage their guilt. And of course, the “third world” who is quite happy to take advantage of that guilt, and your money, while ignoring the supposed “problem” completely – well, other than talking the talk.  They have no intention of walking the walk.

The big lie, told often enough, becomes “the truth” … if you let it.

This, however, is just a lie fashioned to take your money and give it to others your imperial rulers deem “more deserving”.

~McQ

The media, the left, their politicians and the truth about gun violence

I don’t know about you but I find that no matter where I turn, I’m being told that gun violence, gun crime … anything negative to do with guns … is at an all time high.

Is it any wonder that this is what people believe?

SDT-2013-05-gun-crime-1-4

Check out the second chart. Note the key word in the title of the chart … “unaware”.

Why are they unaware?

Well, for one the media sensationalizes every event that might involve a gun.  And they usually misrepresent, or don’t report, the fact that gun crimes and homicides are down … a lot!  They imply it is getting more and more dangerous out there and the threat is … guns.

But that is simply not true.  In fact:

SDT-2013-05-gun-crime-1-1

 

Yet we have a President and the Democrats who’ve claimed that gun violence is epidemic.  Obama even made the claim yesterday that other countries don’t have mass shootings … in Paris … a week or so after a mass shooting (what effin type of a cocoon does the man live in to make such out of touch and idiotic statements such as that?).

In reality, in a country in which there are more people than in 1993 as well as more guns, we see everything trending down and markedly so:

Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49% lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew. The victimization rate for other violent crimes with a firearm—assaults, robberies and sex crimes—was 75% lower in 2011 than in 1993. Violent non-fatal crime victimization overall (with or without a firearm) also is down markedly (72%) over two decades.

Those are huge numbers.  Yet to hear the left, you’d think the gun violence epidemic was about to overwhelm us unless we do something NOW!  And of course, the solution they most favor is the elimination of guns for law abiding citizens.  I say that very purposely because it would only be law abiding citizens who would be effected.  Criminals would then have free reign.

The point of this rant is to point out that, just like with “climate change”, we’re being lied to again and the data obviously refutes the lie … in both cases. But for the left that doesn’t matter.  They firmly believe in their agenda and they’re more than willing to lie to accomplish it, credibility and integrity be damned.  The media is complicit and politicians are the most visible agitators. That’s why you have a Democratic President in Paris pushing both lies and the media doing its usual job of spreading them.

Sometimes you just want to bang your head against the wall, for all the good calling them out on it does.

~McQ

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?

~McQ

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.

~McQ

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?

~McQ

Is the UN focus on “global warming” immoral?

Bjorn Lomborg thinks it is.  In today’s Wall Street Journal, he takes exception with the UN’s continued pushing for a “solution” for “climate change”, formerly known as “global warming”.  Lomborg thinks that it ignores the real problems out there and this focus on global warming takes money away from them for what is, at best, a marginal problem.

In a world in which malnourishment continues to claim at least 1.4 million children’s lives each year, 1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty, and 2.6 billion lack clean drinking water and sanitation, this growing emphasis on climate aid is immoral.

For instance, says Lomborg, according to a recent study, if the UN spent .57% ($570 million) of the $100 billion climate-finance goal on mosquito nets to help control malaria, it could reduce malaria deaths by 50% by 2025 and save approximately 300,000 lives.

Instead, the UN is more interested in the world’s largest wealth redistribution scheme.  Somehow the scam has rich nations happy to pledge their citizen’s money and poor nations lining up to receive it.  How much will actually go toward addressing the real problems Lomborg highlights is anyone’s guess, but if history is to be a guide, not much.  There’s a reason the poorer countries are poor and that has much to do with who is in charge.

Anyway, Lomborg points to the obvious, or at least what should be obvious, in terms of this rush to be “green” and what the world (and the UN) could be doing instead:

Providing the world’s most deprived countries with solar panels instead of better health care or education is inexcusable self-indulgence. Green energy sources may be good to keep on a single light or to charge a cellphone. But they are largely useless for tackling the main power challenges for the world’s poor.

According to the World Health Organization, three billion people suffer from the effects of indoor air pollution because they burn wood, coal or dung to cook. These people need access to affordable, reliable electricity today. Yet too often clean alternatives, because they aren’t considered “renewable,” aren’t receiving the funding they deserve.

2014 study by the Center for Global Development found that “more than 60 million additional people in poor nations could gain access to electricity if the Overseas Private Investment Corporation”—the U.S. government’s development finance institution—“were allowed to invest in natural gas projects, not just renewables.”

Wow.  Electricity.  Its been with us for over a century.  We all know its benefits.  We all know how well its access could help lift those without it out of poverty.

Yet the UN is more interested in chasing the chimera of “global warming” and its unproven science.  The reason, of course is power.  Money and control equal power.  And this scheme with $100 billion changing hands under the auspices of the UN offers undreamed of opportunities for those in the UN to engage in an unprecedented level of graft.  There just isn’t the level of opportunity in helping the world’s poor gain electricity.

As you’ve heard many, many times … follow the money.

~McQ