One of the things that make the history of clashes over race or ethnicity such a history of tragedies around the world is that — regardless of whatever particular issue sets off these clashes — many people see the ultimate stakes as their worth as human beings. On that, there is no room for compromise, but only polarization. That is why playing “the race card” is such an irresponsible and dangerous political game.
Today, America’s waterways are so much cleaner that I swim in New York City’s once-filthy Hudson River — right beside skyscrapers in which millions of people, uh, flush. The air we breathe is also cleaner than it’s been for 60 years.
In a rational world, environmental bureaucrats would now say, “Mission accomplished. We set tough standards, so we don’t need to keep doing more. Stick a fork in it! We’re done.”
OK, I went too far. America does still need some bureaucrats to enforce existing environmental rules and watch for new pollution problems. But we don’t need what we’ve got: 16,000 environmental regulators constantly trying to control more of our lives. EPA should stand for: Enough Protection Already.
The death of pragmatism
Rafael Ramírez, chairman of the state oil corporation and vice-president for the economy, had argued for a unified exchange rate, reducing the money supply and raising the domestic price of petrol. After months of dithering, the president finally gave his answer by moving Mr Ramírez to the foreign ministry and splitting his super-portfolio into three separate jobs, none of them in the hands of a political heavyweight.
Why the Democrats will probably lose
Military Intelligence Confirms That Twelve Missing Commercial Jets Can Be Used As Weapons Against U.S. Cities
The alleged beheading of freelance journalist James Foley by the shadowy ISIS (or Islamic State) has sparked outrage and horror around the globe.
I say “alleged” because we are not sure if the decapitation was real or faked.
After three decades of covering wars in the Mideast, Africa, Latin America, and Afghanistan, my reaction as a journalist was also outrage – but cautious outrage.
We westerners have a charming and quaint belief that killing people from the air by using bombs, rockets, shells, napalm and cluster munitions – or even nuclear weapons – is somehow not really as bad as ramming a bayonet into an enemy, blowing him to pieces with heavy artillery, or slashing his throat the way sheep are killed.
Air warfare is clean. Air warfare is the American way of war.
“We’ve heard a lot in the last number of weeks about what police officers can’t do, and what police officers shouldn’t do,” groused Patrick Lynch, designated spokesliar for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, New York’s largest police union. “No one’s telling us what we are able to do, and what we should do, when we’re faced with a situation where the person being placed under arrest says, `I’m not going. I’m not being placed under arrest.’”
“What is it we should do?” continued Lynch, his voice colored by theatrical incredulity. “Walk away?”
If the would-be arrestee isn’t involved in an actual crime — that is, an act of aggression against another person — the only morally suitable answer is: Yes. The cop should shut up, go away, and refrain from molesting one of his betters. The experience might encourage him to find honest work.
“We don’t have that option,” Lynch insisted. “Nor would the public that called and complained about these crimes want us to. If they called, it’s important to them.”
Lew Rockwell has just shown how the New York Times and other Republicran media belittle the rapidly growing impact of serious Libertarian thinkers and actors on America and beyond and shows that a large and growing minority of serious people in America are thinking seriously about the ideas and goals of Libertarianism.
In short, the best and brightest of Americans are awaking more and more to the catastrophes of the System and to the realistic and moral alternatives Libertarians have been proposing forcefully for centuries.
This is not yet clear even to most of the serious people waking up to Libertarian thought and action, both because of the Big Media belittling and blacking-out [censoring] of the serious Libertarian thought and action and because most of the Americans awaking to all of this still feel a need to hide their real thoughts and desires from the oppressive people who rule the System and might throw them down Big Brother’s Memory Hole along with Libertarian truths.
Even investors who typically eschew precious metals have been hard-pressed to ignore the platinum industry this year. The longest strike in South African history paired with surging Asian demand is set to push the metal back into a physical deficit in 2014 – and could have repercussions for years to come. While gold remains the most conservative choice for saving, the “industrial precious metal” platinum is a compelling investment for those, like me, who are bullish on global net economic growth.
China in the Driver’s Seat
As with gold and silver, examining platinum demand takes us to the Eastern hemisphere and China’s rapidly expanding economy. In particular, the growing Chinese middle class is generating massive demand for new automobiles, which in turn is consuming plenty of platinum.
For the last ten years, autocatalysts have composed 40-50% of total global platinum demand. Autocatalysts use platinum to clean the emissions of motor vehicles, and 95% of the world’s new passenger cars come equipped with them. Both auto production and emissions standards are steadily increasing around the world, especially in the huge emerging market of China.
Warren Buffett Knows Less Government Means More Economic Activity
Remember the “Buffet Rule?”
Forget Economic Patriotism—It’s Time for Economic Freedom
Political rhetoric in the United States, particularly on the right, has a strong tendency to focus on the incomparable economic freedom of Americans and American businesses. They portray the rest of the world as more socialistic and the American system as the closest thing to a free market economy operating in the world. Yet that is far from the truth. In fact, America is swiftly being supplanted as a preferred place of business by many other countries in the rich world.
With many people now acting as if it is time for "a woman" to become president, apparently they have learned absolutely nothing from the disastrous results of the irresponsible self-indulgence of choosing a President of the United States on the basis of demographic characteristics, instead of individual qualifications.
Americans this summer are not so much war weary as war wary. We certainly do not want any further entanglements in the Mideast. But we do know that great countries keep their word. If they don’t keep their word, they cease to be great countries. Our pledges must not be "a scrap of paper."
She then spent eight years in the Senate, the “world’s greatest deliberative body,” during which time she distinguished herself only by voting for the Iraq war. She spent much of the middle years of the decade trying to explain away her vote.
Hillary Clinton ran for president in ‘08 against the dovish Sen. Barack Obama. He is credited with the best putdown in the history of Democratic presidential debates. Without looking up from his notes during their New Hampshire encounter, the Senator from Cool said: “You’re likeable enough, Hillary.”
Insurance company policies charge higher premiums to those who are obese. The National Institutes of Health reports that those with a body mass index greater than 40 have a six- to 14-year lower life expectancy. Again, actuarially, that makes sense. Indeed, there's a strong advocacy for higher life insurance, as well as health insurance, premiums for those whose lifestyle choices impose a greater financial burden on society, which obesity does. But there's one important exception.
And that just about exhausts the good news for Democrats on a surreal Tuesday when their presumptive candidate for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut -- the state's attorney general, Richard Blumenthal -- chose to hold a news conference at a Veterans of Foreign Wars hall to discuss why he had falsely said he fought in a foreign war. National Democrats may try to find a less damaged candidate for Connecticut, but first they may have to do that in Illinois.
Early accounts are especially unreliable when reporters think they have a white racism story. Stirring up racial hatred is how journalists make up for sending their own kids to lily-white private schools.
As detailed in my book Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama, the old media's standard for any police shooting of a black person is: "Racist until proved innocent." We got three-alarm racism stories for the shootings of Jose (Kiko) Garcia, Eleanor Bumpurs, Michael Stewart and Edmund Perry.
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief
And not seek for kind relief?
And I get especially irked when I think about how their authoritarian policies will hurt the most vulnerable in society.
But I nonetheless feel sorry for statists when I see them fumble, stumble, duck, and weave when asked why global evidence contradicts them.
In other words, it’s almost painful to watch when they are asked why nations with varying degrees of statist policy – such as Venezuela, France, the United States (under Obama), Argentina, and Greece – suffer from economic stagnation and decline.
Its policymaking committee recently stated inflation is below 2 percent. Yet, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumer price inflation has been accelerating since March and is now 4 percent.
It asserts the economy and labor market are improving, but that denies the trials of most ordinary Americans whose wages continue to lag inflation or many who remain unemployed.
The Obama recovery has delivered 2.1 percent annual GDP growth. That’s about the same as the Bush expansion but half the pace accomplished during the Reagan-Clinton era. And the Bush-Obama economy has created 6 million jobs, whereas it would need 40 million to match the Reagan-Clinton record.
The jobless rate may be down from its recession peak of 10 percent, but much of this results from adults, discouraged by the lack of decent job openings, have quit altogether. They are neither employed nor looking for work.
Only about half of the drop in the adult participation rate may be attributed to the Baby Boom generation reaching retirement age. Lacking adequate resources to retire, a larger percentage of adults over 65 are working than before the recession.
Compare these realities for a sense of where we stand...
IRAQ WAR COALITION 2003 – Albania, Australia, Bahrain, Britain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech, Denmark, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Kuwait, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Netherlands, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United States.
“We don’t have a strategy.”
“No boots on the ground.”
“We will not intervene militarily.”
“We have 1000 advisors in Iraq.”
“Limited airstrikes in Iraq will commence.”
“We are looking at striking Syria.”
“We will increase sanctions.”
"Justice will be done."
Also known as ISIS, the group has claimed credit for the brutal murders of two American journalists in recent weeks. Furthermore, there is a growing threat of affiliated terrorists staging an attack in the U.S.
Farage: Int'l Rules Will Prevent UK From Keeping Militants Out
UK Independence Party (UKIP) Leader and member of the European Parliament, Nigel Farage declared that international regulations will prevent the UK from keeping ISIS militants out of the country on Tuesday’s “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel. Farage commented that Prime Minister David Cameron was “following my lead” by trying to revoke the passports of potential ISIS militants, but added that “he’s going to bang straight into the European Commission on Human Rights, who will tell him we cannot render people stateless.”
President Obama: We Must Organize the Arab WorldDuring a press conference in Estonia on Wednesday morning, President Obama was asked about the purpose of the NATO alliance, ahead of a conference with allies in Wales. Obama described NATO as “unique in the annals of history” because of its success but admitted that the group had to move quickly to address evolving global threats.
“We have to recognize that threats evolve, and threats have evolved as a consequence of what we’ve seen in Ukraine, but threats are also evolving in the Middle East that have a direct effect on Europe,” he said.
WaPo: White House Earns 4 Pinocchios For ISIS 'JV' Rewrite
Weird how things work out among the White House Press Corps and the White House. After 8 months, 2 beheadings, and weeks of being a top story, a reporter finally asked White House spokesman Josh Earnest about President Obama's January description of ISIS as "JV." And on the day this finally happened, Earnest just happened to be as prepared for the question as a man can be, “I thought somebody might ask this question today so I wanted to pull the transcript of the interview[.]"
Taliban Allies Consider Joining Islamic State
Fighters from Hezb-e-Islami in Afghanistan, allies of the Taliban, are considering joining the Islamic State (IS).Their commander, known simply as Commander Mirwais, said Muslims everywhere are "thirsty for an Islamic caliphate" and that his fighters are watching to see if IS proves to be "a true Islamic caliphate."
According to BBC News, Commander Mirwais referred to IS "by its Arabic acronym Daish." And he made clear that he and his men already "have links with some Daish members."
Commander Mirwais added:
Obama: ISIS Can Become 'A Manageable Problem'
President Barack Obama said that ISIS can be shrunk to “a manageable problem” if the international community works to “isolate” it on Wednesday.
ISIS Says, “The US-Mexican Border Is Now Open”, And Are Planning On Crossing Into The United States Through The US-Mexican Border
ISIS Says, “The US-Mexican Border Is Now Open”, And Are Planning On Crossing Into The United States Through The US-Mexican Border
An ISIS propaganda trading group recently posted these disturbing words on Twitter:
the US-Mexican border is now open large numbers of people crossing
The Texas law department found a message on Twitter from ISIS, saying
Americans in for ruin (sic).
ISIS wants to cross into the United States through the US-Mexican border. The Texas Department of Public Safety has given this warning:
A review of ISIS social media messaging during the week ending August 26 shows that militants are expressing an increased interest in the notion that they could clandestinely infiltrate the southwest border of US, for terror attack … Social media account holders believed to be ISIS militants and propagandists have called for unspecified border operations, or they have sought to raise awareness that illegal entry through Mexico is a viable option … The identities of persons operating these accounts cannot be independently verified; however the accounts were selected for monitoring based on several indications that they have been used by actual ISIS militants for propaganda purposes and collectively reach tens of thousands of followers… One account was verified as belonging to an individual located in Mosul, Iraq.
Judicial Watch has made this statement:
Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat.
According to the Texas law department, some 32 Facebook and Twitter posts by jihadists have been found expressing interest in the US-Mexican border, with even “calls for border infiltration.” ISIS knows that there are a large amount of people crossing into American through Mexico, and plans on using this to their advantage. As the Texas law department reports:
The current system of interventionism and cronyism will not cure our economic woes
by JAY BOWEN
A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both. - Milton FriedmanAs the economic recovery from the financial crisis continues to disappoint on a variety of fronts—particularly job creation and real income growth—calls for a more inclusive capitalism grown louder. A chorus of critics is particularly obsessed with what they perceive as an increasing inequality—of both income and opportunity—that the current system has wrought.
Income inequality has indeed increased over the last five years, primarily because of the sharp rebound in stocks (the market is up 200 percent since the depths of the downturn). But most measures of income inequality do not take into account taxes, social welfare transfer payments, or non-cash benefits such as health insurance and pension benefits. When these factors are considered inequality actually decreased between 2000 and 2010, according to a Brookings Institution analysis.
The End of Politics—Part One
Our current social operating system might soon be obsolete
by MAX BORDERS
We have already entered the next phase. Call it the Age of Connection. Once we realize all the benefits of this next phase, we’ll see how wasteful and acrimonious the prior phase had been.
Trench warfareMost days it doesn’t seem like we are entering a transpartisan, post-political era. Most people are so locked into the political paradigm that arguments about who is to fund whose birth control—or whether the schools should get another bond—seem bigger than life. Each side cedes mere inches back and forth between election cycles in a kind of trench warfare. Such is the nature of politics. And in politics the only thing we share in common is a desire to take power, as there is one ring to bind them.
The tribe who has the ring rules the land, at least for a while. The other side snatches it back sooner or later and the whole thing starts all over again. Yet each side labors under the idea that if they can just get and keep the ring, they will use it to good ends. We’ll give it to the right people, they imagine. The right people are incorruptible. We’re still waiting on the right people.
The End of Politics—Part Two
As humanity decentralizes, our moral norms will change, too
by MAX BORDERS
In the early 1990s, the nervous system of a new global order began to emerge. Twenty years on, a generation of children raised online has reached adulthood. What does this mean for the future of human social organization?
Three important things, among others, perhaps. Digital natives are:
- Used to the concept of “exit.” If you don’t like some product, service, operating system, or social media group, you can switch.
- Comfortable with forming and maintaining relationships online. These relationships can be intimate, casual, or impersonal.
- Cynical about politics as a process and means of making positive change. Give them a relatively low-cost alternative and they’ll be fine to adopt it—like downloading an app.