The High Cost of Liberalism
Liberals advocate many wonderful things. In fact, I suspect that most conservatives would prefer to live in the kind of world envisioned by liberals, rather than in the kind of world envisioned by conservatives. Unfortunately, the only kind of world that any of us can live in is the world that actually exists. Trying to live in the kind of world that liberals envision has costs that will not go away just because these costs are often ignored by liberals. One of those costs appeared in an announcement of a house for sale in Palo Alto, the community adjacent to Stanford University, an institution that is as politically correct as they come. The house is for sale at $1,498,000. It is a 1,010 square foot bungalow with two bedrooms, one bath and a garage. Although the announcement does not mention it, this bungalow is located near a commuter railroad line, with trains passing regularly throughout the day. Lest you think this house must be some kind of designer's dream, loaded with high-tech stuff, it was built in 1942 and, even if it was larger, no one would mistake it for the Taj Mahal or San Simeon.
Wrestling Chaos in America’s Classrooms
After being forced to subdue an 18-year-old classroom drug dealer with a hostility towards authority and an apathy for education, Santa Monica High School science teacher and wrestling coach, Mark Black, immediately found himself under attack from a second teenager inside his inner-city classroom. As if enduring multiple attacks were not enough for the day, Black then found himself abandoned by his politically correct superintendent. After Black stopped the attack and hallway drug dealing, Santa Monica-Malibu Superintendent, Sandra Lyon, suspended the 60-year-old educator and emailed a controversial note to parents condemning Black while consoling the drug dealer's family. Lyon's inept leadership and treatment of the popular teacher has ignited multiracial outrage in the community. Nevertheless, the local president of the NAACP, Darrell Goode, wants an investigation.
The United States of SWAT?
Regardless of how people feel about Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy's standoff with the federal Bureau of Land Management over his cattle's grazing rights, a lot of Americans were surprised to see TV images of an armed-to-the-teeth paramilitary wing of the BLM deployed around Bundy's ranch. They shouldn't have been. Dozens of federal agencies now have Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams to further an expanding definition of their missions. It's not controversial that the Secret Service and the Bureau of Prisons have them. But what about the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service? All of these have their own SWAT units and are part of a worrying trend towards the militarization of federal agencies -- not to mention local police forces.
The Sad State of the Economics Profession
It is not an exaggeration to say the current reputation of economists is probably just below that of a used car salesman. The recent failures of economic policies to boost growth or employment have tarnished this image even more. This, however, is in sharp contrast to the past when economists were seen as the intellectual roadblock to popular misconceptions, bad ideas, or more importantly, government policies sold to the public on false assumptions. Popular slogans such as "protecting American jobs" play on nationalism, but in reality only serve special interests. The economist of the past would never have hesitated to highlight the fallacies in such reasoning. Most economists today, however, have sold themselves to the enemy. They work for government agencies such as the IMF, OECD, World Bank, central banks, or academic institutions where their research is heavily subsidized by government agencies. To succeed they have to "toe the line." You don't bite the hand that feeds you.
Obama’s War on US Energy
A nation without adequate energy production is a nation in decline and that has been the President's agenda since the day he took office in 2009. He even announced his war on coal during the 2008 campaign even though, at the time, it was providing fifty percent of the electricity being utilized. It's useful to know that the US has huge coal reserves, enough to provide energy for hundreds of years and reduce our debt through its export to nations such as Japan. It increased coal-fired power generation by ten percent in 2013 while Germany's coal use reached the highest level since 1990. Both China and India are increasing the use of coal. So why is coal unwelcome in the US? Because Obama says so. On April 15, the White House held a "Solar Summit" to continue promoting subsidies for solar panels and the Obama Energy Department has announced another $15 million in "solar market pathways" to fund local government's use of solar energy. Its "Capital Solar Challenge" is directing federal agencies, military bases, and other federally subsidized buildings to use solar power.
The Racist, Discriminating Democrat Party
The Democrat Party, the party of slavery, which openly practices the only form of discrimination that is acceptable today in American politics -- class warfare -- and discrimination against the successful, yesterday, for the third time in recent weeks, wrongly accused the Republican Party of racism. Yesterday's folly saw New York Congressman Steve Israel assert that "to a significant extent, the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism and that's unfortunate." This follows remarks by Attorney General Eric Holder, who claimed at a forum on civil rights that the past five years in Washington have been marked by "unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly and divisive adversity." "If you don't believe that...you look at the way the attorney general of the United States was treated yesterday by a House committee." The reality is that Holder was treated appropriately -- as he is inept and this administration is constantly lying to the public.
Why Yellen Should Leave Us Scream’en
In a speech to the Economic Club of New York today, Dr. Yellen delivered a serving of pie-in-the-sky that would have made Greenspan look circumspect and Bernanke appear at least partially sober. She actually espied two years down the road a point at which the battered and ruined US economy would enter the promised land of inflationless full employment forever, world without end: "Yellen noted that the central bankers and many economists see a return to full employment and stable prices by the end of 2016. This would be the strongest economy in a decade: "I find this baseline outlook quite plausible," she said." That's hideous. The US economy has not remotely entered a sustainable full employment zone since Greenspan took the American economy permanently into bubble land at the turn of the century. And the two year forward economic forecasts of the Fed Chair persons and their merry bands of money printers have been ridiculously wrong.
Bring Back the HUAC
Paul R. Hollrah
In the years immediately following World War II, most American were understandably concerned about Communist infiltration at the highest levels of the US government. For example, how could anyone forget the photograph taken at the Yalta Conference, February 4-11, 1945, in which Alger Hiss, a deep-cover Soviet agent, was seen leaning over FDR's shoulder, whispering advice to him as he negotiated with Churchill and Stalin? Hiss served as Roosevelt's senior advisor on political affairs. Roosevelt arrived in Yalta carrying copies of the Morgenthau Plan, which advocated that the post-war occupation of Germany include measures to eradicate Germany's ability to wage war, and to remove or destroy other key industries basic to military strength. The Morgenthau Plan was the brainchild of yet another deep-cover Soviet spy in the highest echelons of the Roosevelt administration, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Harry Dexter White.
Time Bombs in Democrat Coalition
The Republican Party is roiling with internal conflicts, say the analysts. The TEA Party is confronting the establishment. The noninterventionists are at war (forgive the expression) with the interventionists. The libertarians would like the party to endorse same-sex marriage. Fair enough. These conflicts will play out during the primaries in 2016, and we'll discover whether they are serious fault lines or merely squabbles. Meanwhile, the Democrat Party, supposedly the firm fortress of the middle class, minorities and women, is actually showing some internal stresses as well. Little fissures are snaking through the crust, perhaps reflecting tectonic movement beneath. The president's approval rating has been tumbling downhill. Obamacare, the poor economy and now also foreign policy are considered weaknesses. A recent Associated Press-GfK poll found that 58% disapprove of his handling of foreign affairs. Nearly twice as many Americans believe the economy will worsen in the coming year as say it will improve. The Institute of Politics at Harvard reports that among voters between the ages of 18 and 39, 57% disapprove of Obamacare.
A New, More Sinister IRS Scandal
J. Christian Adams
Yesterday was a significant day in the IRS abuse scandal. The scandal evolved from being about pesky delays in IRS exemption applications to a government conniving with outside interests to put political opponents in prison. Emails obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act reveal Lois Lerner cooking up plans with Justice Department officials to talk about ways to criminally charge conservative groups that are insufficiently quiet. Larry Noble, a law professor now with the Soros-funded Campaign Legal Center, was cited in the emails as someone agitating to jail conservatives who "falsely" report on IRS forms that they are not engaged in political speech. Lerner talked about setting up meetings with Justice Department election lawyers who wanted to talk about making Noble's dreams a reality -- this after Senator Sheldon Whitehouse raised the idea of criminal charges for conservatives who are not sufficiently quiet, charges that they falsely completed an IRS tax exemption form.