Friday, July 28, 2017

Brain Damage In 99% Of Cases: Is This The NFL's Worst Nightmare?

By Julianna LeMieux — July 26, 2017

Football is not the same game it was 10 years ago. Evidence over the last decade has been mounting that parts of the game are harmful to some of its players. Specifically, those who experience repeated concussions or head trauma, resulting in a type of irreversible and degenerative brain damage called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

A new report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), entitled Clinicopathological Evaluation of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in Players of American Football brought this issue into the spotlight this week, largely because of its splashy results..........What the study suggests is that some football players will end up with brain damage. However, the percentage of how many is still up in the air - way up in the air. I don't want to deflate this important work (I'm not Tom Brady, after all), but, any further numbers or details are yet to be determined.

The main reason for this lies in where the brain tissue that was analyzed came from - which is a brain donation program. This means that the family of football players donated their bodies after death. It is not unreasonable to assume that there was a reason to do so, for example, that their loved one was experiencing depression, mood swings or other effects of brain trauma. So, the brain samples create data that are highly skewed in the direction of people who were experiencing some symptoms of CTE. The authors even state in their paper that "caution must be used in interpreting the high frequency of CTE in this sample, and estimates of prevalence cannot be concluded or implied from this sample."..........To Read More.....

A Primer on Inequality, Growth, and Fairness

July 27, 2017 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty
 
In addition to his exemplary work as a Senior Fellow for the Cato Institute, Johan Norberg narrates some great videos for Free to Choose Media. Here are some that caught my eye.
But my favorite video, which I shared back in January, is his concise explanation of why policy makers should focus on fighting poverty rather than reducing inequality.

I’m posting it again to set the stage for a discussion on inequality and fairness.



Now let’s dig into the main topic for today.

A study by three academics from Yale’s Department of Psychology concludes that people want fairness rather than equality.
…there is no evidence that people are bothered by economic inequality itself. Rather, they are bothered by something that is often confounded with inequality: economic unfairness. Drawing upon laboratory studies, cross-cultural research, and experiments with babies and young children, we argue that humans naturally favour fair distributions, not equal ones, and that when fairness and equality clash, people prefer fair inequality over unfair equality.
My former grad school classmate Steve Horwitz wrote about the aforementioned study
…what we really care about is something other than inequality per se. We care about upward mobility, or average income overall, or how well the least well off do. …A recent study in Nature argued, with evidence, that what bothers people more than inequality per se is “unfairness.” People will accept inequality if they feel the process that produced it is fair. …when I give talks about inequality. I point out the number of Apple products visible in the room and ask them if they think the wealth Steve Jobs and other Apple founders accumulated over their lifetimes was objectionable. Is that the kind of inequality they object to? Students are usually hard-pressed to articulate why Jobs’ wealth is wrong… I also remind them that economic studies show that only about 4% of the total benefits of innovation accrue to the innovator. The rest goes to consumers.
Steve cites Nozick and Hayek to bolster his argument before then making the key point that markets produce material abundance based on genuine fairness.
As Robert Nozick argued in Anarchy, State, and Utopia: if each step in the evolution of the market is fair by itself, how can the pattern of income that emerges be unfair? …Hayek…observed in The Constitution of Liberty that if we want equality of outcomes, we will have to treat people unequally. If, however, we treat people equally, we will get unequal outcomes. Hayek’s argument was premised on the fact that human beings are not equal in our native intelligence, strength, skills, and abilities. …If people really care about fairness, then supporters of the market should be insisting on the importance of equality before the law. …Equality of outcomes requires that we treat people differently, and this will likely be perceived as unfair by many. Equality before the law corresponds better with notions of fairness even if the outcomes it produces are unequal. …If what appear to be concerns about inequality are, in fact, concerns about unfairness, we have ways of addressing them that demonstrate the power of exchange and competitive markets. Markets are more fair because they require that governments treat us all equally and that none of us have the ability to use political power to protect ourselves from the competition of the marketplace and the choices of consumers. In addition, market-based societies have been the best cure for poverty humans have ever known.
Writing for CapX, Oliver Wiseman analyzes other scholarly research on equality and fairness.
A 2012 study by behavioural economists Dan Ariely and Mike Norton generated some attention for demonstrating that Americans wanted to live in a more equal country. But more equal is not the same thing as fully equal. …if you let people choose between equal and unequal societies – and then tell them that they themselves will be assigned a level of wealth within it completely at random – most people choose inequality. And that preference is observable across the political spectrum, in different countries and at a range of ages.
But people don’t want undeserved inequality since that is the result of unfair interventions (i.e., cronyism).
This paper’s conclusions help explain much of the outcry over economic inequality in recent years. Occupy Wall Street and the very idea of the “one per cent” emerged just after the financial crisis plunged much of the world into recession, and US and British banks were handed billion-dollar bailouts to steady the ship. The anger didn’t come from the fact that bankers were so well paid. It came from the perception that they’d made that money by piling up risk rather than being particularly clever or hard-working – risk that was now being underwritten by the taxpayer. The wealth wasn’t just distributed unequally, but unfairly. The market mechanisms that most people accepted as the rules of the economic game suddenly seemed rigged. …Voters, in other words, don’t want equality – they want fairness. …As the Soviets found, true economic equality cannot be accommodated within a system that allows people tolerable levels of economic and political freedom. But fairness, by contrast, is something capitalism can – and should – deliver.
Professor Tyler Cowen of George Mason University cites some additional academic research buttressing the conclusion people don’t object to fair types of inequality.
…most Americans don’t mind inequality nearly as much as pundits and academics suggest. A recent research paper, by Graham Wright of Brandeis University, found that polled attitudes about economic inequality don’t correlate very well with the desire for government to address it. There is even partial evidence, once controls are introduced into the statistics, that talk of inequality reduces the support for doing something about it. …It’s not obvious why such counterintuitive results might be the case. One possibility is that…talk about economic inequality increases political polarization, which lowers the chance of effective action. Or that criticizing American society may cause us to feel less virtuous, which in turn may cause us to act with less virtue. …A variety of other research papers have been showing that inequality is not a major concern per se. One recent study by Matthew Weinzierl of Harvard Business School shows that most Americans are quite willing to accept economic inequality that stems from brute luck, and that they are inclined to assume that inequality is justified unless proved otherwise.
Last but not least, Anne Bradley of the Institute for Humane Studies augments this analysis by explaining the difference between ethical market-driven inequality versus unfair cronyist-caused inequality.
The question of whether income inequality is bad hinges on the institutions within that society and whether they support entrepreneurship and creativity or thuggery and exploitation. Income inequality is good when people earn their money by discovering new and better ways of doing things and, through the profit mechanism, are encouraged to bring those discoveries to ordinary people. …Rising incomes across all income groups (even if at different rates) is most often the sign of a vibrant economy where strangers are encouraged to serve each other and solve problems. Stagnant incomes suggest something else: either a rigged economy where only insiders can play, or an economy where the government controls a large portion of social resources, stalling incomes, wealth, and wellbeing.
She includes a very powerful example of why it can be much better to live in a society with high levels of (fair) inequality.
Consider the following thought experiment: knowing nothing other than the Gini index scores, would you rather live in a world with a Gini of .296 (closer to equality) or .537 (farther from equality)? Many people when asked this question choose the world of .296. These are the real Gini scores of Pakistan (.296) and Hong Kong (.537). If given the choice, I would live in Hong Kong without thinking twice. Hong Kong has a thriving economy and high incomes, and it is the world leader in economic freedom. The difference between these two countries could not be more striking. In Pakistan, there might be more income equality, but everyone is poorer. It is difficult to emerge out of poverty in Pakistan. Hong Kong provides a much richer environment where people are encouraged to start businesses, and this is the best hope for rising incomes, or income mobility.
Her example of Hong Kong and Pakistan is probably the most important takeaway from today’s column.

Simply stated, it’s better to be poor in a jurisdiction such as Hong Kong where there is strong growth and high levels of upward mobility. Indeed, I often use a similar example when giving speeches, asking audiences whether poor people are better off in Hong Kong, which has only a tiny welfare state, or better off in nations such as France and Greece, which have bloated welfare states but very little economic dynamism.

The answer is obvious. Or should be obvious, at least to everyone who wants to help the poor more than they want to punish the rich (and there are plenty in the latter camp, as Margaret Thatcher explained).

And I’m now going to add my China example to my speeches since inequality dramatically increased at the same time that there was a stupendous reduction in poverty.
Once again, the moral of the story should be obvious. Focus on growth. Yes, some rich people will get richer, but the really great news is that the poor will get richer as well. And so long as everyone is earning money through voluntary exchange rather than government coercion, that also happens to be how a fair economy operates.

 

Cartoon of the Day

President Trump and His Department of Justice: A Clash That Should Not Be

Judge Andrew Napolitano Jul 27, 2017

During the past two weeks, President Donald Trump has made no secret of his unhappiness at the management of the Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Actually, Trump seems most agitated at the growing parts of the DOJ that are not under Sessions' management.
He is also angry that the trail of the well-known evidence of the crimes of his former opponent Hillary Clinton seems to have been vacated by the DOJ.

How is it that parts of the DOJ cannot be controlled by the attorney general, whom Trump appointed to run the DOJ? And with a mountain of evidence of Clinton's espionage -- her failure to safeguard state secrets, crimes far more treacherous than those alleged against Trump's campaign -- why has she not been prosecuted?

Here is the back story...........To Read More.....


When Activists Pretend to be Journalists: Stéphane Horel and her Monsanto Rage

on

I used to teach courses for journalism students (during the time when that was a field of study and a viable profession). I concentrated my lessons on integrity, objectivity and proper research. Journalists had to ask fair questions, be open to all ideas and report information to allow readers to make up their own minds. They should not be driven by an agenda or a personal need to communicate an activist message. 

headshot
Stéphane Horel (Source:Huffpost)

If Stéphane Horel were a journalism student of mine, she would fail.

A month ago, I got a list of questions from Stéphane for an article she was preparing on Monsanto. Her questions were leading and McCarthyesque (Are you or have you ever been a Monsanto Shill?).

As Stéphane’s obsession with attacking the chemical industry is legendary, she has rejected my offers of contacts with neutral scientists and has no problem with twisting facts to suit her agenda or those paying her to write activist campaign material disguised as journalism, I decided to answer her questions on the condition that I could publish my response after the publication of her article.........To Read More.....

Banalising the Risk Perception of Endocrine Disruption



on

These are claims the Risk-Monger made last week … and some people mistook my use of an image of a baby (assumedly consuming deadly doses of soy) as a legitimate attack … even coming to the defence of soy. They missed the point. It is not about the actual risk to our hormonal systems from coffee, soy and chick peas – a risk that is extremely low to the point of insignificance (except maybe for newborns). Rather, it is a communications method I would advise risk managers to enforce: what I call imposing the “banalisation of risk perception” on the endocrine disruption debate.

Many with little or no chemistry-toxicology training (ie, most people) have been made afraid of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) by mal-intended activists campaigning against chemical substances like Bisphenol A (BPA) and pesticides. Because there is so little known about how the endocrine system reacts, this uncertainty created a rich opportunity for scare-mongering, especially as it concerns highly emotional and personal issues (ie, my kit or my ability to procreate)......There are no facts involved here; risk perception is emotion-based stemming from cultural narratives that are now fed by the blast-furnace of social media........People smoking a pack of cigarettes a day were refusing to eat chicken with a “justified illogic” (“I choose to smoke this cigarette; I did not choose to eat an infected chicken!”). After the crisis had passed, studies showed there was no increased health risk from the dioxin exposure.................To Read More....

Risk-based or Hazard-based Regulation

on



Originally published on 27 August 2015 – Re-posted for the Risk School series
This is a three-part blog. In part one I look at the irrationality of hazard-based regulation. In the next blog, I will identify the type of person who promotes it – someone I will call the “contrapreneur”. Finally, their success will be explained as only possible in a vision-less world where expediency is the political virtue.
Today, no doubt, most of us have managed the following risks:
  • Controlling the exposure to injury from falling down stairs by using the hand-rail or taking care
  • Reducing exposure to obesity and other health risks by limiting calorie intake
  • Avoiding exposure to a car accident by stopping at a red light
Risk-management is ubiquitous. From the moment we get up to after we fall asleep, we are managing our exposure to hazards with every decision we take. The formula is very simple:

Risk = Hazard X Exposure..........To Read More....



Democrats fail to kill 'poison pill' rider targeting EPA water rule

by | @ Washington Examiner

Democrats failed Wednesday night to kill a "poison pill" rider in a $789 billion spending bill targeting the Environmental Protection Agency's Waters of the United States rule.

"Poison pill riders are policy changes," said Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, in opposing the Democratic amendment. "If you don't like them, they are poison pill riders," he said. Simpson is the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee's energy and water panel.

The Waters of the U.S. rule, implemented by the Obama administration, greatly expanded the agency's jurisdiction where states once had authority to manage waterways.

"EPA's idea of a new definition [of waterways under the rule], is 'OK, we'll control everything,'" Simpson said. "Nobody wants dirty water," but the states "did a good job before [the EPA] rule."
     

Police union president faces death threats after criticizing ‘Black Lives Matter’

By Victor Skinner July 25th, 2017

Many folks in the Black Lives Matter movement aren’t interested in facts.  It’s a lesson Cincinnati Fraternal Order of Police President Dan Hils learned the hard way.  Hours before a mob of Black Lives Matter agitators took to the streets on Saturday to protest the death of Sam DuBose – a black man killed by a University of Cincinnati officer two years ago – Hils attempted to provide some perspective.  In a Facebook post addressed to “Black Lives Matter Protesters,” Hils wrote that “I have the list of the homicide victims in the city of Cincinnati in 2017. As of July 17th, there have been 39 homicides. Of those homicides, 32 of the 39 victims were black.”............ (more…)

Democrat Leadership is Involved in a Massive Criminal Cover-Up – Mainstream Media Silent

By Onan Coca July 27, 2017

Former Democrat National Committee chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) may be in a world of trouble. Her former IT team has long been under suspicion for a series of very serious crimes. However, Schultz ran interference for her IT team for months and even fought to keep investigators from gathering evidence of their crimes. When confronted on her behavior Schultz dissembled and continued to make it harder for everyone to do their jobs. Thankfully, Imran Awan, the man who Schultz worked so hard to protect made one too many mistakes and was caught attempting to flee the country and return home.......To Read More....

Imams at Two Different California Mosques Call for the Destruction of the Jews

 By Onan Coca July 27, 2017

If you believe the anti-Semitic hatred of Islam is confined to “radicals” living in the Middle East, you’re dead wrong. There is a reason that Jews are fleeing Europe in droves these days. There is a reason that most religious hate crimes committed in America are committed against Jews – not Muslims – and the number isn’t close, even though Jews and Muslims number about the same in America. (5 million Jews, 3.5 million Muslims.)......To Read More.....

Thursday, July 27, 2017

EPA Website Gets Major Overhaul, Yanks Climate Change Hoax Info

 By Andrew West April 30, 2017

After 8 years of misguided leftist policies being propagated by the Obama administration, the EPA is finally getting an overhaul.

For decades, the political leftists of the globe have pushed a massive hoax on the governments of the world, claiming that human beings and their industrial byproducts were causing a rapid incread in temperature across the globe. The hoax, which came to be known as “climate change” or “global warming”, was then exploited en masse by globalists and liberals to guilt the world’s more gullible populations into over-regulating even the most minute of industries. This, in turn, created more government jobs for their cohorts, and helped to usher in the possibility of a New World Order, or global government, that would be installed to combat this terrible situation.

The only problem with all of this, however, was that the science was bunk. As recent as 40 years ago, these same industries were being blamed for a rapid cooling of the globe that many liberals thought would bring about a second ice age. In order to gain the support of the people in their quest to over regulate and create these opportunities for fellow politicians, the liberals needed saddening imagery to get the public on board.

Cue the polar bears......To Read More....

Cartoon of the Day!


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GOP Turncoats Vote “No” To Obamacare Repeal, After They Voted “Yes” Under Obama

By Andrew West July 26, 2017

The American people will likely suffer under Obamacare’s disastrous price gouging mandate for some time to come, after several republicans defected today during an Obamacare repeal vote. For nearly seven years, Americans have begged and pleaded with federal officials to end the foolish and expensive experiment known as Obamacare.  The disastrous legislation, forced to limp through the legislative process despite significant, damaging last minute changes by congress, became the law of the land early in Barack Obama’s first term as President.  Soon after, the American people would be under siege, as the IRS began implementing enormous fines should American citizens not purchase health insurance.  Worse still, this predictably raised insurance premium rates to an obscene cost, forcing many Americans to choose between the IRS penalty and healthcare.......To Read More....

Conservative Senate candidate says McConnell ‘has got to go’

Posted July 26, 2017 12:10 PM by Chris Pandolfo

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala. said Wednesday that if elected to serve in the U.S. Senate, he will not vote to keep Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. as majority leader.  “Inside the Republican conference, Mitch McConnell has got to go,” Brooks told reporters at a Heritage Foundation breakfast. “He’s the head of the swamp of the U.S. Senate.”

The conservative Rep. Brooks is challenging appointed Republican Senator Luther Strange in a special election for the Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Strange was appointed by disgraced former Gov. Robert Bentley, and many Alabamans see the appointment as a corrupt deal struck between a governor that was mired in scandal, and the state attorney general, Strange, prosecuting him at the time. Former Alabama Supreme Court Judge Roy Moore is also running, and holds a commanding lead in the polls.....To Read More...  

America Needs Tax Cuts and Tax Reform, but Can the GOP Deliver?

July 26, 2017 by Dan Mitchell
 
It’s depressing to see how Republicans are bungling the Obamacare issue. But it’s also understandable since it’s politically difficult to reduce handouts once people get hooked on the heroin of government dependency (a point I made even before Obamacare was enacted).
 
Unfortunately, I fear that the GOP might bungle the tax issue as well. I was interviewed the other day by Dana Loesch on this topic and highlighted several issues.
Here’s the full discussion.



What’s especially frustrating about this issue is that taxes should be reduced. A lot.
Brian Riedl of the Manhattan Institute debunks six tax myths. Here they are, followed by my two cents.

Myth #1: Long-term deficits are driven by tax cuts and falling revenues

Fact: They are driven entirely by rapid spending growth
Brian nails it. I made this same point earlier this year. Indeed, because the tax burden is projected to automatically increase over time, it is accurate to say that more than 100 percent of the long-run fiscal problem is caused by excessive spending (particularly poorly designed entitlement programs).
 
Myth #2: Democratic tax proposals would significantly reduce the deficit

Fact: Their most common proposals would raise little revenue
Once again, Brian is right. There are ways to significantly increase the tax burden in America, such as a value-added tax. But the class-warfare ideas that attract a lot of support on the left won’t raise much revenue because upper-income taxpayers have substantial control over the timing, level and composition of their income.
 
Myth #3: Taxing millionaires and corporations can balance the long-term budget

Fact: These taxes cannot cover Washington’s current commitments, much less new liberal wish lists
Since even the IRS has admitted that upper-income taxpayers finance a hugely disproportionate share of the federal government, it hardly seems fair to subject them to even more onerous penalties. Especially since the IRS data from the 1980s suggest punitive rates could lead to less revenue rather than more.
 
Myth #4: The U.S. income tax is more regressive than other nations
 
Fact: It is the most progressive in the entire OECD
There are several ways to slice the data, so one can quibble with Brian’s assertion. But when comparing taxes paid by the rich compared to taxes paid by the poor, it is true that the United States relies more on upper-income taxpayers than any other developed nation. Not because we tax the rich more, but because we tax the poor less.
 
Myth #5: The U.S. tax code is becoming more regressive over time
 
Fact: It has become increasingly progressive over the past 35 years
Brian is right. Child credits, changes in the standard deduction and personal exemptions, and the EITC have combined in recent decades to take millions of households off the tax rolls. And since the U.S. thankfully does not have a value-added tax, lower-income people are largely protected from taxation.
 
Myth #6: Tax rates do not matter much to economic growth
 
Fact: They are among the most important factors
There are many factors that determine a nation’s economic success, including trade policy, regulation, monetary policy, and rule of law, so a good tax code isn’t a guarantor of prosperity and a bad tax system doesn’t automatically mean malaise. But Brian is right that taxation has a significant impact on growth.
 
In the interview, I said that I had two fantasies. First, I want to junk the corrupt internal revenue code and replace it with a simple and fair flat tax.

Second, I’d ultimately like to shrink government so much that we could eliminate the income tax entirely.

Many people don’t realize that income taxes only began to plague the world about 100 years ago.

If we can somehow restore the kind of limited government envisioned by America’s Founders, the dream of no income tax could become a reality once again.

But if Republicans can’t even manage to cut taxes today, when they control both the executive and legislative branch, then neither one of my fantasies will ever become reality.

Don't Be Pro-Israel, Be Pro-Sarah

Posted by Daniel Greenfield Tuesday, July 25, 20175 Comments @ Sultan Knish Blog

Chaya Salomon was murdered at a Sabbath dinner with her family. The 46-year-old Jewish woman was stabbed to death alongside her 70-year-old father Yosef and her 36-year-old brother Elad.

Photos show the kitchen of the Salomon house in the Israeli village of Neve Tsuf covered in blood. The youngest Salomon daughter had given birth to a new member of the family. The bottle of Glenfiddich on the table was never opened. Instead an Islamic terrorist burst in and stabbed the new grandfather. Tova, the new grandmother was badly wounded. Elad’s wife rushed the children to a safe room.

The smiling terrorist was taken away. He had come armed with a Koran and a knife. “I know that with Allah my dreams will come true," he had posted on Facebook. "I will go to heaven.”

His dreams coming true have more to do with the Palestinian Authority and American taxpayers. Like all terrorists who kill Israelis, he will be receiving a salary from the PA. And the PA is funded by you and me.

Abbas, the terrorist leader who is Israel’s “peace partner” in the “two-state solution”, touched off this atrocity. Fatah, the organization behind the Palestinian Authority, has repeatedly called for violence. The terrorist’s Facebook message included this plea, "Put in my grave Arafat's Keffiyah and the ribbon of the Al-Aqsa Brigades". The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade is the “military wing” of Abbas’ Fatah movement.

Another terrorist attack. More funerals. More calls for restraint by both sides.

There are the formal condemnations before everyone moves on to the business of being pro-Israel. The term “pro-Israel” doesn’t mean much. Anyone and everyone can be pro-Israel.

AIPAC isn’t backing the Taylor Force Act which would cut off taxpayer money to the Palestinian Authority until it stops funding these attacks. J Street, the anti-Israel group which claims to be pro-Israel and also claimed to be “appalled” by the Salomon murders, is lobbying against the Taylor Force Act.

What did this fake pro-Israel posturing amount to when Chaya was being murdered in her own home?

In previous weeks, liberal Jewish clergy fulminated angrily at their more conservative counterparts in Israel over a religious controversy. Daniel Gordis, who makes an excellent living writing “pro-Israel books”, put forward his own version of BDS. Netanyahu and “Israel’s consuls-general in the US should be shunned and disinvited”. Americans should fly Delta and United instead of El-Al. “Meetings with hospitals’ fund-raisers should be canceled. The hospitals did nothing wrong, but when they start running out of money, Israelis will start to care.”

No doubt.

I don’t write to take a position on this issue. Only to note that some “pro-Israel” figures can dig into more reserves of anger when fighting the Jewish “right” than over the murder of Israeli Jews.

It’s easier for even professionally “pro-Israel” figures to rage at Israel than at the murderers of Jews. If only they could feel a fraction of the same anger when looking at the Salomon’s bloody kitchen floor.

Where is Gordis’ call to watch Muslims die in hospitals in Ramallah to make them care? It would be deemed monstrous. “Un-Jewish.” Anyone proposing it would be shunned in “pro-Israel” circles.

If Gordis has a position on cutting off aid to the PA after its murders of Israelis, I have yet to find it.

So much of pro-Israel advocacy consists of meaningless lip service. Israel is an abstraction for many of them. Chaya Salomon was a real person. She bled out on a white kitchen floor on Shabbat.

And so I offer a counterproposal. Instead of being pro-Israel, let’s be pro-Chaya.

Pro-Israel is a meaningless metric. Obama claimed to be pro-Israel while funding the terrorist murder of Jews from the West Bank to Iran. “I am 100 percent pro-Israel," Bernie Sanders insisted after pushing for an anti-Israel platform, falsely accusing Israel of killing 10,000 “innocent” people in Gaza and putting a BDS activist in charge of his Jewish outreach. If that’s pro-Israel, what exactly is anti-Israel?

It’s easier to understand what it is to be pro-Chaya than to be pro-Israel. If you want to be pro-Chaya, don’t fund her killers. And not just pro-Chaya, but pro-Hallel. Hallel-Yaffa Ariel was a 13-year-old girl who came home from a dance recital and was stabbed to death by a Muslim terrorist in her bedroom. Or pro-Michael. Rabbi Michael Mark was driving home with his wife and children when he was murdered. Or Pro-Taylor. Taylor Force was a veteran of two wars who was stabbed to death in Tel Aviv.

The Taylor Force Act that would cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority if it continues funding terrorism is named after him.

Pro-Israel can cover a multitude of sins. It devolves easily into abstractions. And then we are told that giving money to Islamic terrorists is the pro-Israel position because Israeli security depends on the terrorists keeping the peace. For decades, we have been told that the two-state solution which creates a terrorist state inside Israel is actually pro-Israel. And therefore the destruction of Israel is pro-Israel.

The left is adept at such Orwellian insults to reality. In the same way that bringing Muslim terrorists to America is hailed as patriotic, funding Islamic terrorists and Iran’s nukes become vital to Israel’s security.

And so let’s take a step back from the hall of mirrors. Let’s consider instead what is pro-Sarah.

Sarah will be the next victim of Islamic terrorism. Somewhere she is getting on a bus or cooking dinner for her family. And the next Muslim terrorist, let’s call him Mohammed, is plotting to kill her.

Mohammed has been listening to the calls by Fatah to kill Jews. He has seen crowds cheer the murderer of Chaya, Yosef and Elad. He has been told by the preacher on Palestinian Authority television that if he kills a Jew, he will go to heaven. He sees Fatah's Facebook message, "If I fall I will not be the first to die, and not the last to die #Rage!" And he knows that he will receive $2,000 a month if he succeeds.

What is the pro-Sarah policy?

Is it to pour millions more into the war chest of the terrorists so that they can pay Mohammed for her murder? Is it the continuing championing of the Palestinian Islamic State that Mohammed is killing for?

Let us break through the intellectual abstractions because Sarah and Mohammed are real. In a week or two from now, Sarah will be bleeding out on the living room floor while her children scream. Or she will lie dying on the back seat of her car with blood and broken glass surrounding her head. It’s happened before and it will go on happening until the pro-Israel position becomes the pro-Sarah position.

Everyone or almost everyone is pro-Israel in theory. As long as pro-Israel encompasses both opposing and supporting the murder of Jews, both opposition to BDS and support for BDS, both opposition to terrorists and support for terrorists, then anyone can join and it’s meaningless.

Israel is not an abstract idea. It is a nation of millions of individuals. And these individuals are being killed, one by one, by the genocidal imperative of Islamic Supremacism. If Israel, its geopolitical role, its complex political and religious institutions, its history of thousands of years, its relationship to the Jews of the diaspora is too much to take in, it may be easier to focus on the lives of those individuals.

There is a booming pro-Israel industry. Much of this industry accomplishes very little. It celebrates boosterism and eschews controversy. It seeks a meaningless middle ground. It believes that Israel is morally superior because it continues to strive for peace even at the expense of Israeli terror victims.

There is no pro-Sarah industry. But maybe there ought to be one. And in the future, if we want to determine whether someone is truly pro-Israel, we should ask whether they are pro-Sarah.

Are they for doing whatever it takes to stop her from being murdered tomorrow?

Because you can’t be pro-Israel if you aren’t pro-Sarah. You can’t be pro-Israel if you support funding the murderers of Israelis. You can’t support both Israel and her enemies or support Sarah and her killer.

Then we’ll know who is and isn’t pro-Israel. Because pro-Israel will finally mean something.

 

Enemies of humanity

Mosquitoes and uncaring environmental activists perpetuate poverty, disease and death

Steven Lyazi

After being infected again with malaria last July, I spent almost a month in a Kampala hospital. Paying for my treatment was extremely difficult, as it is for most Ugandan and African families. I was lucky I could scrape the money together. Many families cannot afford proper treatment.

Where and how can they get the money to go back to the hospital again and again, every time a family member gets malaria, when they also need food, clothes and so many other things – or malaria makes them so sick that they can’t work for weeks or even months? Many parents can do nothing except watch their loved ones die in agony, and then give them a simple burial.
 
Far too many people still die from malaria every year in Africa, the vast majority of them women and children. Too many more die from lung and intestinal diseases, because we don’t have electricity, natural gas, clean water, or decent modern homes, clinics and hospitals.
 
Malaria also makes many people so weak that they die from other diseases that people in Europe and the United States rarely even hear about, like chronic dysentery. It saps people’s strength for years and leaves them with severe liver and kidney damage. Cerebral malaria causes lifelong learning and memory problems.
 
All these diseases create enormous barriers to Africa’s economic growth. They drain our national healthcare budgets and deepen our poverty. Malaria control and treatment alone cost Africa over $12 billion annually. Uganda alone spends $11 million a year fighting it. The disease drains an estimated $100 billion every year from the African economy.
 
Malaria also hits India and other countries really hard. The World Health Organization (WHO) says it drains India’s economy of as much as $2 billion every year. Billions in wages are lost, because people die or are absent from work, have low productivity due to fatigue, and have to spend so much on bed nets, insecticides, bug repellants, medicines, treatments and hospital care.
 
Terrible roads mean that, even when AIDS and other drugs are shipped to African countries, few people receive them. Many sit in warehouses until their expiration date passes, and then those expired drugs get sold on the black market. People buy them, and die. Other times, they take drugs until they feel better, and then sell the rest of the prescription. Then a more deadly, resistant malaria comes back and makes them even worse.
 
And yet global green campaigners endlessly spend money trying to prevent Africans from using fossil fuels, promoting renewable energy and trying to sell us little solar ovens. But this great generosity does nothing to address the horrible realities of people dying now – day after day, year after year. Greens worry constantly about Africans being exposed to insecticides. We worry about dying from malaria.
 
We don’t need enemies of humanity. What we need is financial and political support to conquer malaria, lung diseases and intestinal parasites. We need clean water and affordable, reliable electricity in our villages and cities. We need modern hospitals.
 
We need environmental activists to realize how important fossil fuels and hydroelectric plants are to having decent, healthy living standards, lights, computers, the internet, clean hospitals, clean water, and everything else modern countries have.
 
We need them to support us Africans in preventing malaria in the first place – which means we need more than bed nets. We need campaigners to recognize that we have the same rights as people in modern, rich, industrialized countries to decent living standards and modern technology.
 
Malaria viruses are constantly mutating, making available treatments less effective. Many families cannot afford the drugs, and many of the drugs are fake, just packaged to look like the real thing. People spend money on them, they don’t help at all, and people die.
 
The WHO says over 3 billion people around the world are still at risk of getting malaria. In 2015, there were 212 million cases of malaria and 438,000 people died, the vast majority of them in Africa.
 
Many of these illnesses and deaths could be prevented if just a few simple steps were taken right now, especially by allowing and encouraging countries to use preventive measures that work, like DDT.
 
So many people have access to medical care only on an irregular basis. Others have never learned how to take proper care of themselves or their children. But the most fundamental problem is malaria-carrying mosquitoes that are the source of our biggest scourge. And there is a readily available life-saving solution – DDT and other pesticides to kill mosquitoes and keep them out of our homes.
 
To me, there is simply no substitute for DDT. It is the most affordable, longest lasting, most effective mosquito repellant in existence. Sprayed in tiny amounts on the walls of traditional homes, just once or twice a year, DDT repels mosquitoes from the entire house, kills any that land on walls, and perplexes or irritates any that are not killed or repelled, so their urge to bite is gone.
 
Other pesticides that some activists say we can use are not as appropriate, or they are up to six times more expensive than DDT, or they have to be sprayed much more often. Every dollar spent this way is a dollar that’s unavailable for safe drinking water, electricity and other critical needs. 
 
DDT for indoor residual spraying programs is rejected because it is supposedly dangerous to the environment and might be detected in our blood or on agricultural products. We use it carefully, it is less dangerous than other pesticides, and being able to detect it does not mean it is a risk to anyone. No one has ever died from it, and it can help prevent malaria and other diseases that ruin our lives and kill us. 
 
Where DDT is used in the developing world, malaria cases and deaths often drop by 80% or more. Where it is not used, people die. If we can prevent malaria and other insect-carried diseases in the first place, we won’t have so many people sick and out of work. Families won’t have to spend their savings on treatment. Doctors and nurses won’t be overwhelmed, and will have the time and resources to address other health problems. It’s that simple.
 
But too many politicians and activists have made it impossible to prevent the disease by killing and repelling mosquitoes. They constantly oppose DDT use and insist that developing countries rely on insecticide-treated bed nets, larvae-eating fish and other strategies that are simply inadequate.
Malaria is no longer a killer in western countries – because they used DDT to help eradicate the disease decades ago. That may be a key reason as why many well-off westerners talk about environmental considerations being supreme, and tell Africans and other third world countries not to use pesticides because of supposed health risks and environmental damage.
 
Malaria also has nothing to do with global warming. It existed for centuries in northern Europe and even in Siberia. The same mosquito species still live there. They just don’t carry malaria anymore, and so cannot transmit it to people. That’s what we want to do in Africa.
 
Americans would never tolerate being told they could not protect their children – or that they should rely on bed nets or wait more long years for new drug treatments or magic mosquitoes that cannot carry malaria. But Africans are repeatedly told we have to be content with exactly these limited safeguards, while parents and children get sick and die. That is inhumane and imperialistic.
 
If wealthy nations and NGOs really want to help developing nations, they should support fossil fuel power plants for reliable, affordable electricity. They should support DDT as an important part of the solution to eradicate this serial killer, so that Africans can work, spend less on malaria, have more money for other healthcare and family needs, and develop as much as rich nations have.
 
Steven Lyazi is a student and worker in Kampala, Uganda. He served as special assistant to Congress of Racial Equality-Uganda director Cyril Boynes, until Mr. Boynes’ death in January 2015. He plans to attend college and help his country and Africa get the energy and other modern technologies they need.


A few thought from Paul Driessen a frequent Paradigms and Demographics contributor. - Steven Lyazi, my young friend in Uganda, had another brush with malaria a few weeks ago. He writes about it in his latest article, and offers his thoughts on African versus environmentalist priorities.

Malaria drains some $100 billion a year from African economies, he notes, and kills over 400,000 people a year, mostly in Africa. “And yet,” he says, “global green campaigners endlessly spend money trying to prevent Africans from using fossil fuels, promoting renewable energy and trying to sell us little solar ovens.

But this great generosity does nothing to address the horrible realities of people dying now – day after day, year after year. Greens worry constantly about Africans being exposed to insecticides. We worry about dying from malaria.”

Thank you for posting his article, quoting from it, forwarding it to your friends and colleagues – and helping to change the mindsets that continue to hold Africa back, by imposing harmful policies on countries that are trying to end killer diseases and raise living standards to what Americans and Europeans enjoyed 50 to 100 years ago.

Paul

Tampering With Tamiflu

By Michael D. Shaw

Tamiflu (Oseltamivir phosphate) is an antiviral indicated for the treatment of influenza. The drug was approved by the US FDA in 1999; and was approved by the European Medicines Agency in 2002. As of 2014, the drug had generated sales in excess of $18 billion. Based on various flu scares, the US stockpiled 65 million treatments at a cost of $1.3 billion. Other nations followed suit, so that by 2009, 96 countries possessed enough Osteltamivir for 350 million people.

In 2010, the drug was added to the World Health Organization’s Model List of Essential Medicines, on its so-called “core” list. As WHO puts it: “The core list presents a list of minimum medicine needs for a basic healthcare system, listing the most efficacious, safe, and cost-effective medicines for priority conditions.”

One can only assume that this relative fast-tracking of a drug to the WHO list—not to mention its fanatical acceptance by public health authorities—must have been based on an avalanche of clinical data. But, as would be revealed in a series of articles published in the BMJ, this “avalanche” consisted of exactly three published clinical trials. It turns out that there were many more unpublished trials, and these did not paint such a rosy picture.

As a result, Oseltamivir has been downgraded in the WHO list of essential medicines from a “core” drug to one that is “complementary”—a category encompassing drugs that are deemed less cost-effective. The sad tale behind all this is summarized in a BMJ editorial (published 12 July 2017) entitled “WHO downgrades status of oseltamivir.” This article itself is the culmination of BMJ’s heroic efforts to elucidate the matter.

Indeed, unpacking clinical data for Oseltamivir has been a challenge. In 2009, the highly respected Cochrane Collaboration published a review of neuraminidase inhibitors, including Tamiflu, and the results were hardly awe-inspiring. Some time later, the same researchers would learn of several unpublished trials.

The BMJ led the way in getting Roche to release all the unpublished trials, resulting in the April 2014 article entitled “Multisystem failure: the story of anti-influenza drugs.” Among other things, this work confirms that the drugs have modest benefits, that need to be better weighed against possible harms. It is also less than kind toward most of the agencies involved in the expensive rush to acquire massive stockpiles of them, to the great benefit of the manufacturers.

The July 2017 editorial offers three important take-away lessons:

Firstly, it is vital that all trials be published, and that individual patient data be made available for independent re-analysis. Efforts are under way and deserve our support.

Secondly, money spent stockpiling drugs that are minimally effective is money not spent on other public health priorities. Because diverting these funds causes direct harm to the public, we must demand better evidence to inform these decisions.

Thirdly, belief in the efficacy of Oseltamivir may have led to less research to find truly effective drugs for influenza, again harming the public.

The editorial was written by epidemiologist Mark H. Ebell who also notes that “Withholding these data was a serious breach of research ethics by Roche: suppressing information obtained from patients enrolled in trials of a then experimental drug, who thought that they were contributing to the medical knowledge base.”

Jeff Sessions Is Indeed on the Way Out

Too much has come to a head against one of the honorable and dedicated men in the Trump administration.

Arnold Steinberg July 25, 2017

More than two thousand libertarians attended the annual Freedom Fest conference last weekend in Las Vegas. Numerous speakers focused their criticism of the Trump Administration on one man — Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

It wasn’t personal animus toward Jeff Sessions. Some of the speakers know him and like him. I even heard a few critical of Sessions to acknowledge that he is a “good and decent man” but he is “wrong…on issues that ‘libertarians care about.’”

More than one of his critics was even sympathetic — noting that Sessions was being subject to a “slow water torture” — unseemly and undignified, and even unfair to Sessions, that is the leaks, and even the past statements by President Donald Trump.

This weekend conference concluded before the most recent statement by POTUS. I myself have had occasion to relieve people of their responsibilities, that is, to fire them. But I would treat those people with respect and courtesy and surely not criticize them in semi-public.....To Read More....

My Take - Sessions had to recuse himself as a matter of law?  Really? What law. I keep reading this but no one says what law requires it. I think that's a load of horsepucky. It's clear there's going to be a reckoning and at some point Senators are going to have to realize - they're not President of the United States. Mueller's gone and I now think Sessions is also gone sooner than I predicted.

Every President has saddled himself with appointees that needed to be fired but they were afraid it would be political suicide. Jimmy Carter is cited as such an example when he fired four cabinet heads, which they claim was an admission his administration was a mess and that's why he lost to Reagan. Baloney. He lost because he was an abject failure as a President. 

I don't like all this public backstabbing either.   If he's going to do it - do it now - and get if over with!

Science News of the Weird

By Alex Berezow — July 21, 2017

As a native Midwesterner who made the move across the country to Seattle for graduate school, I have grown accustomed to very pleasant summers. Apparently, I have grown soft as well. When I got on the plane at SeaTac, it was about 75 degrees. When the plane landed on Venus in Kansas City, it was nearly 100 degrees. I guess I just never noticed how miserably hot Midwestern summers are. And the cicadas? Goodness. Shut up already.

Coming back to the Midwest -- which I don't do often since most of my family has left -- creates in me a weird mix of nostalgia and déjà vu. But it's definitely not as weird as these stories from the past week:

1. Mice fall from the ceiling of Chipotle.......
2. Panera Bread continues its war on chemistry.......
3. An anti-GMO activist accuses a science journalist of being pro-science........
4. Serial cat killer sentenced to 16 years in prison.........
5. Coffee recalled for containing "Viagra-like" ingredient.........To Read More...

Rational Vaccines and Genocea's Herpes Vaccines Update

By Josh Bloom — July 16, 2017

Ihave written much about herpes vaccines, especially Genocea's GEN-003 and Rational Vaccines' Theravax (1,2). Although we are still years from having an approved herpes vaccine, this does not mean that nothing is happening.

Based on positive results from Phase II trials (Genocea presented its results at a poster session at IDWeek 2016, in New Orleans last October ), the company is preparing for Phase III trials in the US in 4Q 2017. The company says that enrollment is already complete.

Rational is taking a very different route. The company, founded by Dr. Bill Halford (3), an immunologist at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, Illinois, has decided to bypass the United States entirely and conducted a 20-person pilot study on the island of St. Kitts using hand-selected patients. This decision raised more than a few eyebrows because of its controversial nature. Now the company has said that it plans to gain approval for Theravax in Mexico, which has a reciprocal agreement with Canada, so the vaccine would automatically be approved there as well. We'll have to see how it goes. At this time there are no published results from Rational.

Interestingly, they have said that herpes patients can gain access to this experimental vaccine, either by enrolling in a foreign clinical trial (the company says they are planning to start trials with about 40 participants) or by the company's compassionate use program, which is now being run in the Dominican Republic. All people who are interested should contact Minerva Labs, a contract research organization (CRO) there. I am listing their contact information for informational purposes only. I am not endorsing any company and as I have said many times, there is no data available from them. Use some caution and make sure you are engaging in informed consent since this is outside the United States.

Minerva Labs
info@minervalaboratories.com
www.minervalaboratories.com (Website is under construction)
Phone:  1-917-546-0973 or 1-844-726-7402.

Notes:
(1) You can read my interview with Genocea's CEO Chip Clark here.
(2) You can read my intereview with Rational's CSO Dr. Bill Halford here.
(3) Dr. Halford passed away in June after a five-year battle with a rare form of nasal cancer.

Former CIA Director Calls for Coup Against Trump if Special Counsel Mueller is Fired

By Onan Coca July 26, 2017

Would it surprise you to learn that a former CIA Director might encourage members of the government to enact a coup against President Trump if he fired one of his employees? It surprised me. I thought that I had become desensitized to the hubris of the left, but apparently their lawlessness can still surprise me.

Former CIA Director John Brennan, and former DNI James Clapper, were speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer at the Aspen Security Forum recently, when the topic of special counsel Robert Mueller came up. (You can see the full transcript from the interview here.) Both men voiced strong support for Mueller but then Brennan took things a step further and openly advocated for a coup against President Trump if he ever decided to fire Mueller (who as special counsel was hired by the executive branch and serves at the President’s pleasure).......To Read More....

Once again, PolitiFact is just PolitOpinion

Posted July 25, 2017 03:24 PM by Rob Eno

On July 18, Ricochet’s Jon Gabriel put together two sets of data that painted a clear picture of the media’s Russia narrative obsession. The graph was picked up by other right-of-center news outlets, and Trump administration officials brought up Gabriel’s work on the Sunday shows to defend the Trump administration. That’s when the Left’s thought police — you may know them as “fact checkers” — jumped in to attack Gabriel and his work.

First up, here’s the chart in question.......The chart was included in this story explaining what exactly he was trying to show. He juxtaposed a Bloomberg poll asking Americans what issues they cared most about with data from the Media Research Center showing how much time evening newscasts devoted to each issue. Here’s what he found..........To Read More....

Measles Outbreak Out Of Control In Europe

By Julianna LeMieux — July 17, 2017

Measles outbreaks create a lot of fear (and frustration) in people.

That is, in part, because measles 1) is extremely contagious - one person will spread it to 90% of non-immunized people that they contact 2) can spread quickly in a population that is under-vaccinated 3) can lead to long-term health complications and/or death 4) is completely preventable due to an effective vaccine.

People suffering from measles seems ridiculous, given that the United States declared that measles was eliminated in 2000.

However, falling vaccination rates in the United States have caused several recent outbreaks. In 2015, a nationwide spread that originated at the Disneyland Resort Theme Parks in California led to 147 cases. From these, there was one reported death - the first measles related death since 2003. In addition, there is currently an outbreak going on in the Somali community in Minnesota (79 cases - no deaths so far.) .......... To Read More....

 
My Take - Insane leftists have to have scares or they will have to get real jobs. Virtually everything they promote ends up as a disaster for those who follow them, or those who have their schemes imposed on them.  I often wonder at the heartache of those parents who refused to have their children vaccinated for childhood diseases and then watched them unnecessarily die because they listened so some Hollywood loon. 
 
The blood on the hands of these activists of the left is staggering and far worse than the socialist monsters of the 20th century (fascism and communism are two sides of the same coin - socialism)who killed 100 million innocent people to promote the socialist state.  The activist have surpassed them and the number is growing.
 
DDT was the start, unnecessarily killing up to 100 million people, causing billions to the sickened with long term negative consequences for the survivors.  And that was just the beginning. 
 
The one thing no one asks: When are they going to be held accountable for what they've wrought?

Evergreen State College to face $3.8-million lawsuit from Prof. Bret Weinstein and wife

By Thomas Lifson July 26, 2017

Finally, cowardly university officials who allow leftists racists to intimidate their opposition may face accountability in court, thanks to a lawsuit being prepared to be filed in the State of Washington.  Evergreen State College there has become the national symbol of violent political correctness suppressing free speech with institutional support.


When the school sponsored its annual "Day of Absence & Day of Presence," in order "to explore race in ways that support our students, staff, and faculty of color," radical students demanded that all white people leave campus.  Prof. Bret Weinstein, a biologist and self-proclaimed progressive, refused and taught his scheduled classes, resulting in a mob confrontation (video here).

Now, according to an exclusive report by Campusreform.org, preparations are underway for a lawsuit seeking financial accountability for the alleged violation of Professor Weinstein's rights in the incident and its aftermath............More
 

Why the Left Protects Islam

Ben Shapiro  Jul 26, 2017
 
Richard Dawkins is no friend to conservatives. The atheist author has spent much of his life deriding Judaism and Christianity. He once stated, "An atheist is just somebody who feels about Yahweh the way any decent Christian feels about Thor or Baal or the golden calf." Dawkins says that even moderate religious people "make the world safe for extremists." He's far to the left on politics: He's pro-abortion rights, and a supporter of the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats in Britain.
But he's also smart enough to recognize that radical Islam is a greater threat to human life than Christianity or Judaism. He explains: "I have criticised the appalling misogyny and homophobia of Islam, I have criticised the murdering of apostates for no crime other than their disbelief. ... Muslims themselves are the prime victims of the oppressive cruelties of Islamism."

Such language makes him a pariah among leftists...........To Read More.....

 

Democrat Representative Promises to “Eliminate” Trump if Democrats take Power

By Onan Coca July 26, 2017

The Democrats have been quickly ramping up the rhetoric against President Trump over the last few months, and even though their words have led directly to a series of threats and attacks on GOP politicians… the Democrats don’t seem to care. They just keep right on demagoguing President Trump while arguing that the current leadership in Washington, D.C. may literally mean the end of democracy in America.

In the wake of the Alexandria, Virginia attack on the congressional GOP baseball team, there was some hope that the Democrats might realize the danger of their rhetoric and tap the brakes a bit. Sadly, they seem to have left the attack in the past and have already forgotten about the fear that they implanted in the mind of the Alexandria shooter… because they continue to use the same language that they were using before. .....To Read More....

Democrat Leader’s Personal IT Guy Arrested Attempting to Flee to Pakistan

By Onan Coca July 26, 2017

Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s top information technology (IT) aide was arrested Monday attempting to board a flight to Pakistan after wiring $283,000 from the Congressional Federal Credit Union to that country.

He attempted to leave the country hours after The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group revealed that he is the target of an FBI investigation, and the FBI apprehended him at the airport.

Credit union officials permitted the wire to go through, and his wife has already fled the country to Pakistan, after police confronted her at the airport and found $12,000 in cash hidden in her suitcase but did not stop her from boarding, court documents show.......... To Read More....

High-speed rail gets us stuck in traffic

By David Schwartzman July 24, 2017

It will soon be nine years since high-speed rail was passed in California. But Californians haven’t gotten the high-speed rail system they were promised. Instead, high-speed rail has taken a new form: it is more expensive and smaller in scope, and it will substantially increase traffic congestion in urban areas.

High-speed rail will cost Californians billions of dollars. In urban areas, increased traffic may cost Californians billions more. Its business plan relies on unrealistic ridership projections. The project is devoid of private funding because businesses see high-speed rail as likely to run at a loss. While high-speed rail wastes more taxpayer dollars, the private sector makes it obsolete with technological innovation, which will reduce future income from the high-speed rail system. High-speed rail authorities have violated federal law  by making significant changes to the proposition approved by voters. High-speed rail has not been the success voters imagined when the bill passed..... To Read More....

 

 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

And Senators Think Trump is Crazy?

By Rich Kozlovich

On July 25, 2017 Andrew West posted this article, Congressional Hot Mic Reveals “Worried” Senators Think Trump is “Crazy” stating:

"From the moment that the unconventional President first entered the Oval Office, there has existed a childish and shallow “resistance” to everything that Trump and his conservative supporters stand for.  The President has been nearly completely stagnated by these unfathomable attacks and the rhetoric of the now-radical leftists who aim to employ chaos in their opposition to the administration.  This has created an environment in which Donald Trump has been forced to grind uphill, forcefully, for every minute piece of action on his agenda.  With these obstacles in his way, and the mainstream media constantly questioning his ability to do the job we hired him to do, it comes as no surprise that members of congress would be falling for the despair in the air." 
He goes on to report about a "hot mic" conversation between two Senators:
 “At the end of a Senate subcommittee hearing on Tuesday morning, someone sitting near Chairman Susan Collins (R-Maine) didn’t switch off a microphone. Collins was recorded discussing the federal budget and President Trump’s lack of familiarity with the details of governing with a colleague — apparently Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.), the ranking Democrat on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies subcommittee. “After Reed praises Collins’s leadership of the hearing, she laments the administration’s handling of spending. “’I swear, [the Office of Management and Budget] just went through and whenever there was “grant,” they just X it out,’ Collins says. ‘With no measurement, no thinking about it, no metrics, no nothing. It’s just incredibly irresponsible.’ “’Yes,’ Reed replies. ‘I think — I think he’s crazy,’ apparently referring to the president. ‘I mean, I don’t say that lightly and as a kind of a goofy guy.’ “’I’m worried,’ Collins replies.”

This shouldn't surprise anyone regarding Collins.  Collins is "worried", and why?   Apparently she's worried in the Trump budget they "just X out" grant money ‘With no measurement, no thinking about it, no metrics, no nothing." And she finds "It’s just incredibly irresponsible".

How about this as a metric. We're 20 trillion dollars in debt! Huge amounts of grant money go to leftists, environmentalists, radical universities promoting leftist insanity.  In my opinion most of that grant money is nothing more than vote buying at taxpayer expense.  And it's high time it was stopped across the board.  How's this for a metric - get rid of all grant money expenditures, and stop increasing deficit spending!

Are some grants worth the money. Of course, but so what? We're broke, and it's high time someone realized it's the government's job to run government, not fund everything.  Collins should be worried about that, but no, she's worried were not spending enough money based on some mythical leftist measurement that justifies not giving borrowed money away.  Well, when it comes to leftist measurements for not giving money away - there isn't one. 

There's a new sheriff in town and he actually understands budgets.  Unlike Collins - and probably Reid - he's actually run something large and successful, and he had to make the money to pay for everything in his budgets - not print it like the federal government - or go out of business. 

And they think Trump is crazy! 


 

Cartoon of the Day

Cartoons: Michael Ramirez for July 21, 2017

Video of the Day!


Protestors Need Your Money

By Rich Kozlovich

So many of these townhall events are real freak shows.  It's clear these events are stacked with leftists wasting the time of anyone attempting to discuss anything intelligently.  They're constantly interrupting the speaker with cat calls, mindless liberal diatribe, and shouting.  They go to all these meetings, and we know some of them have been offered $15,000 a month to quit their jobs to be protesters.  Actually they're expected to become the leaders, recruiters and organizers of the anti-Trump movement, and if they don't do it very well....they're gone.

But here's the beauty of this.  By their actions they're in effect saying:  I didn't vote for you, I'm going to do everything in my power to destroy you and and your policies and I demand you abandon the views and positions of those who did vote for you.  And if you don't.....I'm not going to vote for you in the future! Wow!  Now, do they really think that's effective?  Yes - with the help of the left stream media - they do!

 
Now, let's think about this for a minute.   To be able to do the mental gymnastics that makes all of this seem rational must require extra special intelligence.  Especially since the issues they're demanding conservatives adopt are proven failures:  Health care, global warming, alternative energy, immigration, education and welfare among a few.  All failures the leftists demand conservatives fix....by adopting their failed policies. For which they'll blame conservatives for any disasters surrounding these schemes.....and leftists will be the first to point their fingers. 

But all these leftist issues have been abject failures, promulgated by the left, imposed on the nation by the left and administrated by the left,  and that's the reason Trump was elected, to fix these insane schemes of the left because the nation is sick of the left.  Except for the approximately 45% who still think socialism, abortion, welfare and high taxes on the rich are the answers to the nation's problems.  That in spite of the fact there is no successful historical precedent to justify that kind of thinking, but there's tons of history to show otherwise, and that history is incontestable. 

The worst of it is - many so-called conservatives fall for it.  But are they really conservatives?  George Will and Charles Krauthammer are perfect examples of highly educated, and highly intelligent people who professed to be voices of conservatism and yet have a moral foundation built on sand, and views that shift just as easily.  Their egos are so large it's makes me wonder how there can be any room left for intellect. 

Then there's John Kasich who believes he has the right to define conservatism as he see fit.  And he sees Obamacare as an expression of that definition - and according to him - with God's approval.   It's my belief John Kasich, John McCain, Jeb Bush and a host of other "conservatives" are clear representations of so many who claim to be conservatives - they suffer from a serious case of weird compounded by a massive infection of hubris. 

Okay, so why don't conservatives go there also? 

Years ago when I was a trustee of one of the trade associations representing Ohio's pesticide and fertilizer applicators we attended our scheduled beinnial visit to the Ohio State House to present our concerns and issues with our state's legislators.  It turns out there was a massive protest in Columbus that day over a bill regarding public employee unions.  What a circus, and it was a bit scary going through the gauntlet lining the front entrance, and one of the ladies in our group was even spit on.
But even in this setting you had to laugh at these people.  There were two guys walking around the capitol building over and over again with signs saying:  "Tea Partiers:  Get A Job!" 

Now, it's clear they thought they were making a real cogent argument, and to believe that takes some real mental gymnastics.

Tea Partiers have jobs, that's why they weren't there!  And when they're not working they go home, cut the grass, eat dinner and go to bed so they can go back to work the next day and put in another ten hour day, or go to a second job in order to pay the taxes that allow protesters to protest and not work.

Is it any wonder they think conservatives are stupid?