Saturday, 22 June 2013

Health Alert update- Mercury... The pics are very graphic but you need to read...this is scary







 

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Immigration: The Practice of the Principle

Steve Horwitz:
Don Boudreaux brilliantly counters those "libertarians" and conservatives who argue against more immigration because the new immigrants will vote for a larger government. Imposing the *certain* cost of denying other human beings the ability to improve their lives (and ours economically in the process) by coming to the US because of the *possibility* they may vote in a way we don't like is profounding immoral, IMO. And then there's this analogy:

"Consider freedom of speech. Were I to look around and discover that the overwhelming number of people with something to say publicly are people with whom I profoundly disagree. I might worry – with justification – that if these people keep speaking unobstructed by the state, they will so change the ideas and culture of my fellow Americans that the freedoms that I cherish (including freedom of speech) will likely be destroyed. Should I qualify my commitment to freedom of speech? Should I make an exception in this case because the facts as they appear today suggest that the continued exercise of freedom of speech will lead to outcomes hostile to freedom?
No way. There is no way I would ever say "Well, in this case we should deny or modify freedom of speech. It's the practical course to take." Freedom isn't valuable because it is guaranteed never to fail; it's not so guaranteed and it never has been. Freedom may well destroy itself. That's a risk I'm willing to take, especially if the proposed means of saving freedom is to restrict it."

Immigration: The Practice of the Principle
by Don Boudreaux on June 22, 2013

From the time of the Founders, there was never a time when immigration was not debated in political terms, with an eye to how the new arrivals would vote.
-- Frank H. Buckley, "An Exceptional Nation?" (2013) (p. 50 in chapter 2, here)

A few friends whose opinions I hold in the highest regard have challenged me recently to reconsider my support for open immigration.  Their challenge springs neither from the economically uninformed Luddite view that immigrants will steal 'American jobs' (or lower Americans' wages) nor the worry that more immigrants will be a net drain, through their direct use of the welfare state, on the public fisc.  Their challenge springs instead from the more plausible concern that immigrants will use their growing political power to vote for government policies that are more interventionist and less respectful of individual freedoms.

This concern isn't absurd (especially to those of us who believe that culture and rhetoric play a leading role in determining the actual law and policy of society and the performance of the economy).  If too many people from countries less free and economies less dynamic than America come to the U.S. and then vote for the same policies that condemn their native countries to second- or third-world status – policies based chiefly on envy, zero-sum thinking, hostility to bourgeois pursuits, belief in secular salvation by Great Leaders, and mountains of plain old economic ignorance* – then the very commitment to freedom that leads me to support open immigration might be inconsistent with the long-run maintenance of freedom.

There is, of course, the chief empirical question: Will immigrants under a more welcoming and open regime generally vote as my concerned friends fear they will vote?  This empirical question is layered atop another: Because immigrants to America will themselves be influenced by the American political culture that my concerned friends (like me) are keen to protect from further deterioration into dirigiste-ism, might American political culture be strong enough to protect itself by altering over time – and in time – immigrants' attitudes toward the state and markets?

As Frank Buckley's quotation above reveals, concern over the likely voting patterns of immigrants is nothing new.  Past fears seem, from the perspective of 2013, to have been unjustified.  Or, at the very least, the benefits immigrants from 1789-2013 have brought to America almost surely overwhelm whatever costs immigrants might have inflicted via the ballot box on the economy.

Of course, the fact that past fears have proven unjustified or overblown doesn't prove that current fears are unjustified or overblown.  But our American experience with immigration over the first 224 years of this nation's existence should at least give pause to those who worry that something utterly new is afoot today.

But let's assume for the moment that today's immigrants – those immigrants recently arrived and those who would arrive under a more liberalized immigration regime – are indeed as likely as my concerned friends fear to vote overwhelmingly to move American economic policy in a much more dirigiste direction.  Such a move would, I emphatically and unconditionally agree, be very bad.  Very.  Bad.  Indeed.

I still support open immigration.  I cannot bring myself to abandon support of my foundational principles just because following those principles might prove fatal.  I cannot tolerate state power to interfere with my and others' freedom of association, and with people's freedom of migration, on the grounds that scaling back such state power might lead to more state power wielded in other dimensions.

Consider freedom of speech.  Suppose that I looked around only to discover to my horror that the overwhelming number of people with something to say publicly are people with whom I profoundly disagree.  I might worry – with justification – that if these people keep speaking unobstructed by the state, they will so change the ideas and culture of my fellow Americans that the freedoms that I cherish (including freedom of speech) will likely be destroyed.  Should I qualify my commitment to freedom of speech?  Should I make an exception in this case because the facts as they appear today suggest that the continued exercise of freedom of speech will lead to outcomes hostile to freedom?

No way.  There is no way I would ever say "Well, in this case we should deny or modify freedom of speech.  It's the practical course to take."

Freedom isn't valuable because it is guaranteed never to fail; it's not so guaranteed and it never has been. Freedom may well destroy itself.  That's a risk I'm willing to take, especially if the proposed means of saving freedom is to restrict it.

I have no illusions (I really and truly do not) that anything I write here, or that I might write in follow-up posts or essays, will convince my concerned friends that the greater danger to the freedom that they cherish lies in excusing pragmatic-seeming exceptions to freedom rather than in a principled commitment to maintain freedom – to maintain it on all fronts, as full-throttled as possible, and with optimism that freedom supported with principle and as a matter of principle is very likely to prove to be stronger and more enduring than they think.

Finally here, I ask my concerned friends to consider that the very same government – the very same set of politicians and bureaucrats – that they (my friends) rightly and wisely distrust to wield the power to tax and regulate is the government and set of politicians and bureaucrats that my friends are willing to trust with the power to regulate and restrict immigration.  That's a tactic that strikes me as being suspect in principle and highly dubious in practice.

….

* I'm aware that, although I didn't intend the result, my list here of the feared faults with immigrants' economic thinking is a very good description of the thinking of the editorialists at the New York Times and of a huge number of other American intellectual elites – very few of whom are recent immigrants to America, and many of whom look as though, and were schooled as though, their ancestors sailed to these shores on the Mayflower.


http://cafehayek.com/2013/06/immigration-the-practice-of-the-principle.html

Republican Big Spenders


Republican Big Spenders
Douglas French
June 22, 2013

The collective fondness for presidents grows after they leave office for a simple reason. The next occupant of the office is always worse.

For instance, George W. Bush's approval rating is now 49% versus 46% who view him negatively. Absence has certainly made some hearts grow fonder from the post-Katrina, 2008 Wall Street bailout days.

Conservatives may carp about Obama and his spending, while pining for the good old conservative days of "W." They may want to have their memories jogged with Stephen Slivinski's book Buck Wild: How Republicans Broke the Bank and Became the Party of Big Government.

When it comes to spending the hard-earned money they steal from you, modern Republicans are just as guilty as Democrats. Slivinski lays it out in black and white. When it comes to growth of government annualized on a per-capita basis, LBJ takes the cake, at 4.6%, followed by George W. Bush at 3.1% through his first five years. (The book was written prior to Obama taking office.) Carter is a close third at 2.9%, followed by Nixon/Ford and Ronald Reagan. Bill Clinton actually scores the least growth: only 0.03%.

Clinton gets a bad rap from conservatives for Monica and her blue dress and Hillary with her attempted takeover of health care. But when he left office, "federal outlays equaled only 18.4% of GDP," Slivinski writes. "That's the lowest government spending had been since 1961."

At the same time, the way Republicans pay homage to Reagan one would think he had cut government to the bone while in office. In the Republican presidential debate at the Reagan Library last year, each candidate talked about how great the Gipper was.

Well, Reagan didn't cut government at all. But as the author points out, "You have to give him credit for holding [the welfare state] to a 2% real annual growth rate." Additionally, Slivinski gives Reagan a lot of credit just for speaking on behalf of smaller government.

Yes, Reagan talked a good small government game. Plus, he did slow down what had been 4% annual government growth in the 1960s and '70s to just over half that during the '80s.

But as Slivinski chronicles, Reagan was but a minor speed bump in Washington's quest to spend more of your money.

Buck Wild isn't just a book about numbers. What makes it interesting and valuable is the picture of the budget process that it paints. A young policy wonk, David Stockman, was Reagan's director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The shaggy-haired bachelor was ready to work 15-hour days to slash Washington's bloat.

He was a true believer ready to throttle the federal government back to what the Founders had in mind. However, Stockman found out that tearing away at Washington's bureaucracy is easy to propose and hard to accomplish.

Jimmy Carter had ramped up the federal budget to 17% above the inflation rate. With all of that fat, implementing a hiring freeze, cutting travel budgets 15%, and putting a temporary halt to furniture and office equipment expenditures should have been a breeze. Not in D.C. There was so much squawking about the proposed cuts and freezes "that within a week after Reagan's inauguration, Stockman ended up allowing so many exemptions that the directive became virtually meaningless."

Reagan may have wanted to take a meat ax to government, and his OMB director may have wanted to cut government, but most of the people Reagan appointed were interested only in maintaining the Washington status quo.

Reagan famously wished to eliminate the Department of Education. However, Terrel Bell, whom Reagan appointed as education secretary, turned out to be four square against downsizing government. "Those who accused me of being part of the education establishment were right," Bell wrote in his memoirs.

The chapter "Why Reagan Matters" is especially instructive. Most voters believe that if the right people were elected, this whole big government mess would be fixed. Reagan was the right guy at the right time. What happened? Washington plays by its own set of rules, no matter who is president.

Slivinski gives the reader a crash course in Baseline Budgeting 101. In 1982, courtesy of Carter's last budget, Congress expected the budget to grow 11%. When Reagan proposed a 6% increase instead, Capitol Hill had a collective hissy fit. You, a reasonable reader, might ask, "Why? 6% is still a healthy increase." But in Washington, what Reagan proposed was a 5% cut!

Washington is never-never land, where dreams and pork are made and the money appears from nowhere -- either from hapless taxpayers or selling bonds.

The voters spoke again in 1994, sending young firebrands to Capitol Hill to stop the madness. Freshman like Sam Brownback and Joe Scarborough called themselves children of Reagan, "passionately committed to taming the federal behemoth," writes Slivinski.

However, the revolution was short-lived, and 10 years later, little remained of their proposed reforms.

Just what happens to these well-intentioned folks who pledge to fight on behalf of the taxpayer? It's that smell. Washington's white marble has a smell. And as New Hampshire Sen. Norris Cotton told Tennessee's Howard Baker, "And when you can smell it, you'll like it. And you'll be ruined for life." As Slivinski explains, once your Congress person smells the marble, he or she has "gone native." Fighting Big Government is just something that is talked about. The real agenda is to keep the peace and go along to get along.

But it was the George W. Bush administration that really went off the fiscal rails. Slivinski's chapter "Selling Out" is a blizzard of Bush's budget-busting numbers and percentages. Post Sept. 11, the total number of pork projects sent to the president was 8,341, a new record. As Winslow Wheeler, senior analyst for the Senate Appropriations Committee, quipped, "War is not hell; it's an opportunity."

It could have been so different. As the author explains, in the wake of the attacks, Bush could have pulled a "full Gipper" and used his popularity to slow down government spending. Instead, he signed every bill that came his way. This was guns and butter on steroids. "The net result was a one-year 10% increase in discretionary spending after adjusting for inflation ­ the biggest real rate of growth since 1967, and almost twice what Bush had proposed."

Stephen Slivinski is an expert on taxes and budgets, and works for the Goldwater Institute, after serving as director of budget studies at the Cato Institute. His time at Cato gave him keen insight into the ways of Washington. He writes that the capitol "always reminded me of a high school. It's cliquish and thrives on popularity contests."

Congress needs adult supervision, but that is sorely lacking. With Washington's culture of spending and waste, even those thinking they will come to Washington and slay the government dragon are quickly conditioned to play Big Government's game.

Buck Wild is a quick read that will make you understand where your money goes and why. It may not make you happy, and you may shake your head in disgust, but knowing the truth is its own reward.

http://lfb.org/blog/republican-big-spenders/

Why Liberals Kill More




June 21, 2013

Why Liberals Kill

By Selwyn Duke

"Liberal institutions straightaway cease from being liberal the moment they are soundly established: once this is attained no more grievous and more thorough enemies of freedom exist than liberal institutions." This quotation's author, Friedrich Nietzsche, was no traditionalist himself; in fact, he was a harsh critic of Christianity who coined the phrase "God is dead." Yet he knew that your republic would be dead the day liberals assumed enough power within it.

This understanding is necessary to properly evaluate the current Obama administration scandals involving NSA surveillance and IRS abuses. Critics' main focus has been debating what power the government should have, and this is a legitimate and important discussion. But even more significant is who wields that power. After all, you can exhaustively regulate the police, but it will be largely for naught if those with the great power of a gun and badge are fundamentally corrupt.

The recently departed Buzzfeed columnist Michael Hastings touched on liberals' will to tyranny in a piece titled "Why Democrats Love to Spy on Americans." Addressing the surveillance scandal he wrote:

The very topic of Democratic two-facedness on civil liberties is one of the most important issues that [Guardian columnist Glenn] Greenwald has covered. Many of those Dems - including the sitting President Barack Obama, Senator Carl Levin, and Sec. State John Kerry - have now become the stewards and enhancers of programs that appear to dwarf any of the spying scandals that broke during the Bush years, the very same scandals they used as wedge issues to win elections in the Congressional elections [sic] 2006 and the presidential primary of 2007-2008.

Precisely. When G.W. Bush played fly-on-the-wall, he was a lawless fascist. But when liberal Democrats play 1984-Brave New World, well, as Senator Harry Reid said earlier this month, "Everyone should just calm down."

But liberals are actually being quite consistent - historically. Infamous leftist Maximilien Robespierre is best known for authoring the French Revolution's spasm of violence and using the guillotine to murder thousands. What's less well known is that prior to assuming power Robespierre was a staunch death-penalty opponent.

And the list continues. The communist Khmer Rouge promised Cambodians peace, equality and prosperity, but then proceeded to kill off a third of them between 1975 and '79. The Soviet Bolsheviks adopted the slogan "bread, peace and land," but then purposely starved to death nine million people during the "Great Famine." Mao Zedong pledged to give the Chinese a better life but only delivered a quicker death, exterminating 60+ million of his countrymen. Fidel Castro promised his nation free elections in 1959, but then became the world's longest-serving non-royal leader, reigning as Cuba's dictator for 52 years.

In our time, too, this leftist shape-shifting is evident. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) preaches an animal-liberation line and even condemns meat consumption, but kills 89 percent of its shelter animals. Barack Obama promised to have history's most transparent administration, yet it has been the most opaque, giving us scandals characterized by abuse of law and power and the trampling of Americans' rights. And this brings us to a question: Does power really corrupt liberals more absolutely than anyone else?

I remember an incident in which a very liberal colleague at a former workplace was caught in a misdeed. His response was to cavalierly brush it off, saying with a chuckle, "Situational values." Another incident at that business involved a student of mine to whom I was quite close. Alluding one day to the difference between me and his liberal parents, he said out of the blue (I'm paraphrasing), "You're the only one who's consistent, who says the same things all the time." Is this a surprise? Liberals have given us the credos "If it feels good, do it" and "Whatever works for you [addendum: 'at the moment']."

This brings us to a truth about the modern left. Generally speaking, like all relativistic people, liberals don't have principles.

They have feelings.

And feelings change with the wind.

Of course, some have learned the hard way - mostly through debating liberals, only to find they're virtually immune to reason - that the left isn't intellect-oriented but emotion-oriented. But the question is, why do liberals deify their own feelings?

The short answer is that they have little else to deify.

But a more in-depth understanding requires some philosophical exploration.

Let's face reality: it can be hard for us human beings to be consistent. Principle can sometimes bump up against our worldly desires, and this is when being "situational" can be seductive. But there are things that can influence a person's likelihood to stand on principle. One is having a world view stating that consistency actually is better than inconsistency.

I've long pointed out that the most basic difference between the people we today call liberals and traditionalists isn't the apparent ideological divide. It is that the latter tend to believe in Moral Truth whereas liberals are almost universally moral relativists.

This is nothing less than an issue of operating in two completely different universes of reality. When you believe in Truth, morality is something objectively real to you, like matter itself. And most significantly, you view it as what it is: unchanging. This means that your yardstick for morality is the same whether convenient or inconvenient, whether you're out of power - or in power. It is unbending and non-negotiable. Oh, this doesn't mean absolutists can't betray their principles; man is weak and we all falter. But in the aggregate, it serves as a "controlling power upon will and appetite," to quote Edmund Burke, and thus mitigates man's do-what-thou-wilt default.

But what happens when a person doesn't believe in Truth? What then will be his yardstick for behavior? Well, if what we call right and wrong isn't determined by anything above man, then man himself is its author. But will it ultimately be a function of his intellect? Consider that the intellect's job is to use reason, a quality that the relativistic left ostensibly values. What is reason, however? It's not an answer, but a method by which answers may be found. But there can be no answers to moral questions if there's no Truth; hence, there then is no reason for reason.

This is why following relativism out leads us to a striking conclusion: Since we can't say that anything is objectively right or wrong, better or worse, the only yardstick we have left for behavior is feelings. Truth is a tale, faith is fancy, but emotion is certainly real. We can feel it - deeply. And, oh, how seductive is that siren of anger, envy or any passion? Just think how readily emotion inspires action.

So, ultimately, relativism boils "morality" down to taste. This is why that guide "If it feels good, do it" really does make more sense in the modern liberal universe than anything else. But whose feelings should hold sway? Well, we may to an extent defer to those of the collective, but, ultimately, you're just another mortal, same as I. Why should I subordinate my feelings to yours, especially since mine are the only ones truly real to me? This is, mind you, what contributes to the deification of the self. Liberals' feelings do for them what God does for people of faith. They tell them how to behave.

And this is why liberals will often do anything for victory. When the Truth lies at the center of your world view, it will, in its immutable and infallible way, define what's right. But nature abhors a vacuum; thus, when a person's core is bereft of Truth, an emotion-derived agenda takes its place. It then defines what's "right." And that will be whatever advances that agenda at the moment, be it vote fraud, targeting opponents with the IRS or, when power is sufficiently solidified, perhaps killing 25 million "capitalists." And the lesson, dear voters, is that it really does matter what master your leaders serve.

This morality-of-the-moment madness is why, in all fairness, liberals aren't always quite as hypocritical as they seem (just almost). For hypocrisy is saying one thing while intending to do another. Robespierre might have been very sincere when inveighing against capital punishment while out of power, and also very sincere when using it liberally while in power. It's just that the decrees of his personal god, you see, had changed.

And now we have a change agent, in every sense of the term, in the White House.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com


Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2013/06/why_liberals_kill.html at June 21, 2013 - 03:07:40 PM CDT



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Pics and toons 6/22/13/ (2)






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Pics and toons 6/22/13 (1)





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The wife won't like this



     


 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Yesterday I accidentally overturned my golf buggy.



Elizabeth, a very attractive and a keen golfer, who lived in a house adjacent to the golf course, heard the noise and called out,
"Are you okay?"



"Yes I'm fine thanks," I replied.

"Just forget your troubles. Come to my house, rest a while and I'll help you get the buggy up later," she said, smiling.

"That's mighty nice of you," I answered, "but I don't think my wife would like it."

"Oh, come on," Elizabeth insisted.

She was both insistent and persuasive.

"Well okay," I finally agreed, and added, "but my wife won't like it."

After a restorative brandy and lessons on her private driving range and putting green, I thanked my hostess. "I feel a lot better now, but I know my wife is going to be really upset."

"Don't be silly! Elizabeth said with a smile, "She won't know anything. By the way, where is she?"

"Under the buggy!" I replied.

 

 


 



 

 



 



 



 

     



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Obama sends more US troops to Jordan; CIA trains jihadists in Syria





creeping posted: "War Mongerer in Chief, depleting our military, leaving our borders wide open and granting amnesty to 30 million illegals. via AFP - US military presence in Jordan expands to 1,000 troops The US military has expanded its presence in Jordan to 1,000 troops"
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New post on Creeping Sharia

Obama sends more US troops to Jordan; CIA trains jihadists in Syria

by creeping

War Mongerer in Chief, depleting our military, leaving our borders wide open and granting amnesty to 30 million illegals. via AFP - US military presence in Jordan expands to 1,000 troops The US military has expanded its presence in Jordan to 1,000 troops, officials said Friday, in a show of force amid a raging civil […]

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