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The Implicit Racism of Ezra Klein December 16, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.
56 comments

Ezra Klein leaps proudly into the gun control controversy, claiming that he’s just presenting a list of 12 “facts” to help inform the debate. There are many things wrong with his list, but in this post I want to focus on just two:

5. America is an unusually violent country. But we’re not as violent as we used to be.

and

6. The South is the most violent region in the United States.

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Right Answer, Wrong Reason December 16, 2012

Posted by Sobek in Law.
10 comments

Taranto has a quick run-down on a recent decision out of a federal court in Chicago (!), striking down the Illinois ban on concealed carry.  The short version: in D.C. v. Heller (2008) the Supreme Court said the Second Amendment defines an individual right to keep and bear arms in the home, for self-defense, in the District of Columbia.  In McDonald v. Chicago (2010), the Supreme Court said that right applied to all the states.  In 2012, Illinois tried to limit the effect of Heller and McDonald by saying sure, you can have a gun in your home, you just can’t take it outside.  In Moore v. Madigan, the Seventh Circuit said nice try, Illinois, but no, when you leave your house, you take the Constitutional rights with you.

I congratulate Judge Posner for getting that right.  But there’s a huge problem with his reasoning that has been bugging me ever since I read the opinion.

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Thinking Like a Liberal December 15, 2012

Posted by Sobek in News.
1 comment so far

Something awful happened?  The best solution is to demand innocent people give up rights that I don’t use or value anyway!

Bottom of the River December 13, 2012

Posted by Retired Geezer in Philosophy, Science.
12 comments

OK, I shamelessly stole this from my Blog Mama, Sondra K.

Pelosi Exposes Her Inner Tea Partier December 13, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.
6 comments

Breitbart has a video of Nancy Pelosi’s idiotic rambling about holidays. They’re mocking her reference to Kwanzaa, but I was struck by the last line of the video (this is from memory, so it’s not likely to be word-for-word accurate):

“…but they don’t really know if they’re going to be able to pay in January for the purchases they made in December.”

Isn’t this exactly the criticism that the Tea Party has had of the administration’s policies? How can Pelosi lecture us (in her fumbling, wandering way) on thinking ahead about financial consequences at the personal level, and then turn around and completely ignore those consequences at the national level?

Nothing Says “Christmas” . . . December 12, 2012

Posted by Michael in News.
13 comments

. . . like an authentic, heartwarming nativity scene recreated on your mantel.

011

One Pound Fish vs. Horse Dance December 12, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.
2 comments

Michelle Jaworski of The Daily Dot asks the important question: Is ‘1 Pound Fish Man’ the Next Psy?

I don’t think so, though the article is certainly worth a read – he’s an authentic London fishmonger who became famous for his “Come on ladies, come on ladies, 1 pound fish” cry to potential customers.

Still Waiting for Those Exports to Double. And Waiting. And Waiting. December 11, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.
3 comments

As you may recall from a post in October, the President promised to double US exports in 5 years, with the clock starting in January of 2010. This wasn’t an idle promise: cranking up exports is one of his fundamental strategies to promote economic growth.

“If we’re going to grow, it’s going to be because of exports,” Mr. Obama told a meeting of business executives at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in Hawaii in November [2011].

To reach that goal, exports have to climb to $280 billion by January 2015. Unfortunately for the President (and our economy) we stalled out at $180 billion for the past year:
united-states-exportsDec2012

The President doesn’t often make verifiable predictions, because every time he does, he falls on his face. I hate to discourage him from making concrete promises, but this one was wildly optimistic and beyond his control to keep.

The scariest part is that there must have been an economic advisor who told him that this was a sure thing. No wonder everything they’ve done has been ineffectual at best.

The Real Employment Situation December 10, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.
20 comments

I didn’t have a chance to write a post about last week’s unemployment report, but that’s OK – they haven’t meant much for the last 3 years anyway. With all the people bailing out of the job market, coupled with the big increase in part-time workers, it’s hard to tell how we’re doing from the U-3 number that gets all the attention.

I believe that tracking full-time jobs is a better approach, which I’ve done in a couple of previous posts here. But today I thought I should figure out how the full-time jobs situation is doing when you take population growth into account. So here’s a chart which I think is pretty telling; full-time employment divided by the “Civilian Non-Institutional Population.”
 
FullTimeEmploymentvsCivPop

That pretty much sums up the effect of President Obama’s policies on the job market. I can’t believe that anyone else could have propped up the economy with over $5 trillion of deficit spending, and had basically no effect on employment.

The man is a miracle worker.

RITD Cover With Cool Hat, Slow Intro, Many Candles, Great Lighting Job, Dramatic Key Change and FOG December 9, 2012

Posted by Michael in Music, News.
2 comments

Samantha the Sheepdog Encounters Snow for the First Time December 9, 2012

Posted by wintersetruss in Man Laws, Nature Shit, Personal Experiences.
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Mo' Money (in pajamas) takes Samantha out to play in snow

Mo’ Money (in pajamas) takes Samantha out to play in snow

 

  We woke up this morning to a surprise – SNOW!  Thank God I got my deer last weekend before the weather turned.

 

  Moses got out of bed, threw on his coat & shoes, and took our 4-month old Great Pyrenees sheepdog puppy out to enjoy her first snow expeerience.

 

  Last time I joked about how Sam is going to catch Moses in size.  As of a week ago last thursday, the score was Moses 43 pounds, Samantha 33 pounds (up 8 pounds in 3 weeks).  I told him that he’d better start doubling up on biscuits & gravy if he wants to stay ahead of the eating monster who lives in our house now.  Yesterday I took Moses AND Samantha to Des Moines to do some early Christmas shopping while Mommy worked on some projects.  On the way home, Mo said “I think we should start calling Sam “Fuzzball” Daddy”.  I told him that he should call her that when she does something she’s not supposed to do.  Sort of like how Mommy uses his first, middle AND last names when he’s in trouble.

The 2-Second Guide to Understanding Obama’s Policies December 9, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.
5 comments

Alfred S. Regnery (publisher of the American Spectator) reduces the President to his essentials:

A friend from Chicago, involved in Illinois politics who has known Obama since his early days in the Illinois State Senate, told me that two things that trump everything else in Obama’s mind: redistributing the wealth and empowering labor unions. Look at everything the President does, my friend says, and you will find one or the other lurking in the background.

[emphasis mine] Sounds about right. In fact, he probably wouldn’t disagree – I’ll bet he’s proud of those positions.

When you elect a social worker to the highest office in the land, you find that all of the administration’s policies are informed by one simple misconception: that success can only be achieved by taking from the less successful.

This is one of the fundamental differences between liberal and conservative economic thinking. The President and his followers believe in a zero-sum economy: if you give 10 kids one toy each but find out the next day that one kid has two toys, that means another kid has none. Doesn’t matter how the kid got the extra toy – it could have been a fair trade, or a reward for some great deed, or something nefarious. Doesn’t. Matter. The mere fact that the kid has the extra toy means that he has deprived another child, and that is inherently evil.

Ergo, supporting labor unions and redistributing the wealth is the only moral and just path.

Conservatives, by contrast, believe in an expanding economy – the number of toys per kid can increase, particularly if you incentivize the kids who have a knack for cranking out toys. Then there are two sources of potential immorality: the child who obtained extra toys via foul play, and anyone who tries to keep a child out of the toy-making economy. But the children who acquired extra toys legitimately are heroes in this system – they have increased the average number of toys per person, so that now everyone can have more than one.

Ergo, punishing the wealth creators and rewarding those who don’t create wealth is counter-productive and even a little evil.

Looking back at the evolution of living standards under various economic systems, I think it’s obvious which approach is more realistic and successful. And where true evil lies.