Archive for the ‘Must Reads For The Week’ category

Must Reads For The Week 4/21/18

April 22, 2018

GOVERNMENT CENTRAL PLANNING DESTROYS COMPLEX SYSTEMS

Why Systems Fail, by Charles Hugh Smith, at oftwominds.    Excerpt from the article: 1) “Systems are accretions of structures and modifications laid down over time. Each layer adds complexity which is viewed at the time as a solution.”

“This benefits insiders, as their job security arises from the need to manage the added complexity. The new layer may also benefit an outside constituency that quickly becomes dependent on the new layer for income.”

“In short order, insiders and outsiders alike habituate to the higher complexity…….. Few people can visualize alternatives, and any alternative that reduces the budget, payroll or power…..is rejected as “unworkable.”

“In this set of incentives, the “solution” is always: we need more money. But increasing the budget can’t fix what’s broken….. As a result, new layers rarely replaces previous layers; the system becomes more and more inefficient and costly as every new layer must find workarounds and kludgy fixes to function with the legacy layers.

2) “The organization is incapable of instituting deep reforms due to organizational sclerosis…… The structure itself has lost the feedback loops and accountability needed to radically restructure a failing organization.”

These dynamics can manifest in both private-sector corporations and public-sector agencies….All of this contrasts with self-organizing networks which lack the hierarchy necessary for sclerosis, self-serving insiders and fatally blinded management. Since “this is the way the system works,” we have a hard time imagining how public agencies and corporations might be obsoleted by self-organizing, opt-in transparent rules-based networks.”

“Since failing systems are incapable of structural reform, collapse is the only way forward. Unfortunately collapse doesn’t guarantee success; if the rot is deep enough, the wherewithal to assemble a new more sustainable system may be lacking.”

EXAMPLES

Kentucky Teachers Want A Taxpayer Bailout, by Troy Vincent, at mises.org. Teachers unions and Government bureaucracies are examples of what is talked about above. Teachers unions are incentivized to get as much money for its constituency group as possible. That constituency is not the students it is the teachers. Politicians and bureaucrats cave in to these demands because the future fiscal problems that will arise, because of their decision, will be the problems for future politicians. And even if they are still in office, no one will remember that the previous decisions were responsible for the current fiscal problem. In this case the  feedback loop for politicians comes from the voters. But if voters are not informed enough to know what caused the problem, they can’t exercise their power. Ultimately voters will bear the fiscal burden of the decisions made by teachers unions and politicians. But voters have only themselves to blame for the problem because they were economically ignorant voters in the first place.

The War Between Public Pensioners And Tax Donkeys Is Heating Up, by Charles Hugh Smith, at oftwominds.com. Many State public pension systems are underfunded. Raising taxes is the only solution because we know the teachers unions will never give up anything. And politicians will always cave to the unions. Unfortunately someone will have to give something up. And that means tax payers will have to give up more of what they have produced. At some point this will come to an end. Because if you continue to consume more than you produce, at some point there will be nothing left.

US Budget Deficit Hits $600 Billion In 6 Months, As Spending On Interest Explodes, at zerohedge.com. And this: US Deficit To Soar Over 40% In 2019, Exceed $1 Trillion By 2020, at zerohedge.com. This debt is unsustainable. There will come a point where this debt can’t be paid off. We may have already passed the point of no return. Politicians and bureaucrats will never shrink the size of their fiefdoms, so collapse may be the only solution.

Californians Flee The State In Droves Over Taxation And Housing Costs, at zerohedge.com. Politicians have caused this problem. The solution is going to be forced on States like California when enough people leave. Where will the revenue come from when enough people leave. The scale will be tipped in the wrong direction. You can’t confiscate money from people who don’t exist.

Illegal Immigrants Shielded From University of California Out-Of-State Tuition Hike, by Keil Huber, at thecollegefix.com. If they are lucky they will spend more so the collapse can happen sooner.

LA Is Painting Some Of Its Streets White And The Reasons Why Are Pretty Cool, at cbsnews.com. Do the environmental crazies think there is no cost to their policies. $40,000 a mile adds up quickly. I hope this happens so California has to face economic reality sooner rather than later. It will be less costly.

Revealed: Mueller’s FBI Repeatedly Abused Prosecutorial Discretion, by Mollie Hemingway, at thefederalist.com. The legal system is important if a country is to function properly. But the rule of law has been in the process of breaking down for decades. When the rules don’t apply equally, and prosecutors are above the law, you no longer have a legal system.

What Attorney-Client Privilege?, by Andrew Napolitano, at lewrockwell.com. You may think this is OK because it is happening to Trump. But what is going to stop  prosecutors from doing this to you. Or rights are being trampled on. This is another example of the erosion of our the legal system.

More Hilarious Facts About Tesla From A Hedge Fund Shorting The Stock, at zerohedge.com. Government has been subsidizing the purchase of electric cars. This allows the waste of scarce resources to continue long after this waste would have been stopped under normal market conditions. Losses are just as important as profits in transmitting information to producers. Producers need to know what, and how much, to produce. When Government tries to pick winners, they usually fail miserable. And once again taxpayers get caught without a chair when the music stops.

WHERE SOLUTIONS COME FROM

Solutions Only Arise Outside The Status Quo, by Charles Hugh Smith, at oftwominds.com. Excerpt from the article: “…Institutions are fundamentally incapable of responding effectively or reforming themselves. The universal solution of failing institutions and hierarchies is throw more money at the failings in the doomed hope that doing more of what’s failed will magically solve the systemic problems. We see this dynamic in all the major public-private structures or our economy/society: Higher education (solution: make students borrow even more trillions, or have the government borrow more trillions); Healthcare (government needs to borrow more trillions), and national defense/security (government needs to borrow more trillions).”

“As a result, solutions are only possible outside these ossified, self-serving centralized hierarchies.”

“When faced with fiscal crises, central states/banks inevitably succumb to the temptation to print/borrow currency in whatever sums are needed to fill the shortfall of the moment. This….seems to be magic at first…..but eventually gravity takes hold and the currency’s purchasing power declines, as the real economy the production of goods and services) grows at rates far below the expansion of currency. Even the greatest empires in human history have been unable to resist the “easy” solution of devaluing currency…….

“Existing systems optimized for bygone eras and maximizing the security and wealth of insiders are doomed to fail…… Solutions will only arise outside the control and boundaries of existing systems, as all structural solutions threaten to obsolete or replace existing structures, displacing all the incumbents and insiders who benefit from the continuing failure of the institutions they manage and control.

Institutions like markets, money and law were created by spontaneous order. Government central planning did not create them. Since people don’t understand that these came about spontaneously, they also don’t understand that Government central planning has created all the problems with these institutions. Allowing solutions to come from the spontaneous order created by individuals making decisions, is the only way these problems can be solved. Government central planning can’t solve the problems it created, because it has no incentive to do so. Taking decision making power away from centralized Government, and returning it to individuals, is the only way this ends well.

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Must Reads For The Week 4/7/18

April 9, 2018

Mr. Mark Robinson Addresses Greensboro City Council In Support Of The Second Amendment. No one could have made these points better.

Mr. Robinson Nails It. Read this quote from Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand: “Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s of a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against…..We’re after power ad we mean it….There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding Citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

Ayn Rand: “The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.”

London Mayor Unveils  New Stop-And Frisk Police Policy To Enforce City-Wide Knife Ban, at zerohedge.com. I didn’t think this was real. This could have been from The Onion. This story makes the above quote from Atlas Shrugged ring true. London Mayor Sidiq Kahn said: “….These statistics (37,443 knife offenses) show …… a government that has been desperately weak on crime for the last eight years, as well as weak on the causes of crime.” So what is the ’cause of crime”? Knives! Here is more from Mayor Sidiq Kahn: “Let me be clear – there is no reason to carry a knife. To anyone who does – they will be caught, and they will feel the full force of the law.

Michelle Obama Says Barack ‘Was Like The Good Parent’, Calls Trump ‘The Other Parent’. by William Cummings, at usatoday.com. The fact that progressive leftists, like Michelle, think of the President and the government as a parent means they think we are their children. The problem with this paternal relationship narrative, constructed by the progressive left, is that close to 50% of the citizenry believe it. Nothing could be further from the truth. You are responsible for yourself. Our Government was not founded to be responsible for you. When Government does something for you, it means that politicians and bureaucrats must first take from what other citizens have produced. Why? Because Government doesn’t produce anything. Individuals in the market produce wealth. Government consumes wealth.

DHS Has Detected Possible Cell Phone Surveillance In D.C. and Doesn’t Know Who Is Doing It, at washingtonpost.com. These StingRay devices have been used against U.S. citizens for years by local and federal law enforcement. So the Government is getting a taste of its own surveillance medicine. Good! Doesn’t taste so good. Does it?

Scott Pruitt Is Trump’s Biggest Asset, So The Left Wants Him Gone, by Mollie Hemingway, at thefederalist.com. Rolling back onerous EPA regulations has made Scott Pruitt a hero in my book. Which is why he is a villan in the eyes of the progressive left.

Illegal Immigrants Shielded From University Of California Out-Of-State Tuition Hike, at thecollegefix.com. Illegal Immigrants in California don’t have to pay out-of-state tuition. But out-of-state U.S. citizens do. This makes perfect sense. Illegals living in California vote in California elections. U.S. citizens living outside of California don’t vote in California elections.

THE ECONOMY

Fed’s QE-Unwind Proceeds Despite Stock Market Sell-Offs, at zerohedge.com. First of all the Fed should never have purchased U.S. T Bills and/or Mortgage Backed Securities. The Fed interfered with what the market would have decided these assets were worth. This interference has kept interest rates below what they would have been on the free market. The liquidation would have been painful but swift. All the Fed has done is allow more pain to be felt incrementally over time.

Subprime Auto Implosion In Full Effect As Lenders Start Dropping Like Flies, at zerohedge.com. This is the automobile businesses version of the popping of the 08 Housing bubble. Loaning money to people who can’t pay it back is a recipe for disaster.

Mall Vacancies At Six-Year High As Local Economies Stumble On Retail Slump, at zerohedge.com. Commercial real estate was over built thanks to easy money from the Fed. Under market interest rates and sound money this commercial bubble would not have gotten off the ground. Building all these malls was a waste of scarce resources. This land (resources), labor and capital could have been used in more productive activities. Artificially low interest rates funneled resources into non productive activities. On a similar note, Retail Real Estate Bubble Turns Manhattan Into A “Shopping Wasteland“, at zerohedge.com, Please. No more government help or bail outs. Government intervention is what caused the bubble in the first place. Allow the liquidation to happen. It will hurt, but it will put the economy on solid ground from which to build.

US Congressman Pushes Bill To Reinstate Gold Standard, at zerohedge.com. Our dollars purchasing power would increase if it was pegged to a certain weight in gold. Prices rising is not inflation. Printing money is inflation. Increased prices is the symptom of the money printing problem.

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Must Reads For The Week 3/31/18

April 1, 2018

GUN CONTROL?

Armed Resource Officer Stops Maryland High School Gunman, at zerohedge.com. I have talked to people, who did not know that this happened. Here is an example of a good person with a gun taking out a bad person with a gun. The main stream media barely covered this. Why? It didn’t fit their narrative on the gun debate. These situations can be stopped when you have the resources in place at the moment the s#!+ hits the fan. If you wait for police or SWAT to arrive, it is too late.

Superintendent Says Students Are Armed With Rocks In Case Of A School Shooting, by Peggy Lee, at wnep.com. We know a picture of a gun inside a red circle with line through it doesn’t stop shootings. So having rocks to throw at a shooter is better than having nothing when you are operating under the constraint of a gun free zone. A gun free zone takes a gun out of the hands of a law-abiding persons. But it does nothing to constrain a person with bad intent. At least this school accepts the fact that some sort of weapon is needed to fight against a bad guy with a gun. But it is not wise to take a rock to a gun fight.

There Is No ‘Epidemic Of Mass School Shootings’ – Children Are More At Risk When They Ride In A Car, Swim In A Pool, Or Put Food In Their Mouths, by Mark J. Perry, at carpediemblog. You have a .2% or 1 in 491 chance of dying in a car accident, a .1% or 1 in 1,133 chance of drowning, a .03% or 1 in 3,461 chance of dying by choking on food, and a .01% or 1 in 11,125 chance of dying by mass shooting. Which has more press coverage by the main stream media? Perception is not reality. Perception is a tool used for political purposes.

Protesters Say Ban Assault Weapons ….Whatever They Are.

You can’t take anyone seriously who has no idea what they are talking about. Their opinions are tied to emotion and not facts and logic. People like this become useful idiots for politicians and tyrants.

Protesters Talk Gun Control At March For Our Lives.

Are these people ignorant or stupid? Being ruled by emotions makes you stupid.

Actors Cold Read Gun Facts Off Of A Teleprompter.

You can educate ignorance, but you can’t do anything about stupidity.

Police Seize First Firearms Under Florida’s New Gun-Control Laws, at theorlandosentinel.com. The question is who determines whether a person is a potential risk to himself or others? In the case of the Florida school shooter, there  were enough facts that the FBI said they made a mistake by not going after this kid. But what happens when tyrants in government have the discretion to determine potential risk to self or others? Where is the line to be drawn? More importantly, who decides where the line is drawn?

Do The Kids Know This? at targetliberty.com. Hitler, Stalin and Mao all confiscated guns before they killed multiple millions of their citizens. And Stalin and Mao were the darlings of the left.

You Can Try To Repeal The 2nd Amendment, But You Can’t Repeal History, by David Harsanyi, at thefederalist.com.   The 2nd Amendment protects the right of the people to protect themselves from their own government when it becomes tyrannical. Excerpt from the article: “Noah Webster reasoned that, “The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops….” His only mistake was trusting the whole body of the people would always uphold the Constitution. “

Contemporary liberals often view this form of rhetoric against the government as an endorsement of sedition……What contemporary critics fail to comprehend, however, is that founding generation believed those who would undermine the inalienable liberties explicitly laid out in the Bill of Rights were the ones committing sedition.”

TRUMP TARIFFS HARM ECONOMIC ACTIVITY

Against The Whole Concept Of The ‘Balance Of International Payments’, by Robert Higgs, at economicpolicyjournal.com. When you trade with (purchase something from) another person, each person receives more in value than what they gave up. The exchange would never take place otherwise. When you purchase a candy bar for $2 dollars. You value the candy bar more than the $2 and the store values the $2 more than the candy bar. The store owner doesn’t have to purchase something from for  $2 to “balance the payment”. The account is balanced when a trade (or exchange) is made. It doesn’t matter if the trade is $2 for a candy bar, or if a car company in America purchases steel from a steel company in China.

Trump’s Steel And Aluminum Tariffs, by Walter Williams, at jewishworldreview.com.    That which is seen and that which is unseen. Excerpt from the article: “Last Week, President Trump enacted high tariffs on imports of steel ad aluminum. Why in the world would the U.S. steel and aluminum industries press the president to levy heavy tariffs?”

“The answer is simple. Reducing the amounts of steel and aluminum that hit our shores enables American producers to charge higher prices. Thus U.S. steel adn aluminum producers will earn higher profits, hire more workers and pay them higher wages. They are the visible beneficiaries of Trump’s tariffs.

But when the government creates a benefit for one American, it is a virtual guarantee that it will come at the expense of another American – an unseen victim. The victims of steel and aluminum tariffs are the companies that use steel and aluminum. Faced with higher input costs, they become less competitive on the world market……To become more competitive in the world market, some firms may move their production facilities to foreign countries that do not have tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum.

Politicians love having seen beneficiaries and unseen victims….In the cases of the steel and aluminum industries, company executives will know whom to give political campaign contributions. Workers in those industries will know for whom to cast their votes. The people in the steel and aluminum using industries may not know whom to blame for declining profits, lack of competitiveness and job loss. There’s no better scenario for politicians. It’s heads politicians win and tails somebody else loses.

Trade War: What Is It Good For?

Why We Learn Nothing About Trade, by Carmen Elena Dorobat, at mises.org. The ideology of 17 century mercantilism was destroyed by the ideas on free trade by the classical liberals of the 19 century. Unfortunately these protectionist ideas keep rising from the dead. It is time to drive a stake through the heart of this failed ideology once and for all.

VENEZUELA = SOCIALIST PARADISE

Socialist Utopia: Child Gangs Fight For “Quality Garbage” With Machetes In Venezuela, at zerohedge.com. How bad is it when your best option for getting food is to fight others for the possibility of finding it in the garbage?

Venezuela Faces A Terrible New Crisis: A Shortage Of Blood, by Rachelle Krygier, at washingtonpost.com. There is a shortage of medical supplies and blood in this socialist utopia. Economic systems produce different standards of living.

Venezuelans Report Big Weight Losses in 2017 As Hunger Hits, by Vivian Sequera, at reuters.com. Venezuelans have lost an average of 24 pounds over the last year. There are consequences of choosing socialist central planning over free market capitalism.

The Venezuela Diet – Remy

 

Must Reads For The Week 3/17/18

March 18, 2018

Bankrupt Baltimore ‘Somehow’ Finds Money To Fund Lawyers For Illegal Immigrants, at zerohedge.com. This how government at every level works. Spend more money no matter how big your debt burden is. And especially if that spending helps you politically.

California High-Speed Rail Is A Budgetary Trainwreck As Cost Soars 20% to $77 Billion, at zerohedge.com. Government makes bad decisions about infrastructure spending. Why? Because it doesn’t make these decisions beholden to a market pricing system. They have unlimited access to tax dollars, which means operating at a loss does not constraint their spending.

The FBI Now Admits It Could Have Prevented The Florida High School Shooting, at zerohedge.com. We have been brainwashed to look to government for solutions to every “problem”? Since government is made up of fallible human beings, why would we think they are better at weighing trade offs than we are? The incentives and constraints individuals in Government work under are different than the incentives and constraints individuals in a free society operate under. The real question is, who should make decisions? Individuals in a free market or individuals in government?

Mass Shootings & Psychiatric Drugs, at theburningplatform.com. Excerpt from the article: “When it comes to the debate over mass shootings in America, why does the discussion always to toward tougher gun laws? And yet, we are not talking about the role of antidepressants and other psychiatric medication. The truth? The connection between mass shooters and these medications is stunning.” Since  these drugs can cause suicidal thoughts, can they also cause homicidal thoughts?

Another Liberal-Created Failure, by Walter E. Williams, at jewishworldreview.com. Another example of the unintended consequences of liberal policies. The liberals started to shut down mental hospitals in the 70’s because they thought the mentally ill could be mainstreamed through the use of psychotropic drugs. It didn’t turn out as planned. What are the chances of individuals in government saying they made a mistake and giving power in this area back to the states and cities? Not very good.

Venezuela Faces A Terrible New Crisis: A Critical Shortage Of Blood, at washingtonpost.com. Reporter Rachelle Krygier thinks the problem is because of, “Lower oil prices and populist policies by the late Hugo Chavez and his successor have plunged Venezuela into a spiraling economic emergency. The health system, which is also plagues by Mismanagement and corruption, is crumbling.” All of us know that socialist central planning is the reason Venezuela is in the mess it is in. Rachelle Krygier is either ignorant of economics, or she doesn’t want to blame the collapse on her socialist vision of the world. Either way. Nice analysis!

The Best Way To Compete With China Is To Free The Economy, by Thorsten Polleit, at mises.org.  State capitalism can never compete with free market capitalism. Protectionist policies and tariffs are moves toward State capitalism or are moves away from free market capitalism. Why would you pick policies that we know will not work toward making ‘America great again’? Economic ignorance!

American Laws – Not Chinese Laws Make American Industry Less Competitive, by Justine Murray, at mises.org. Government regulations and taxes are the reason businesses in America started to move their operations out of the country in the first place. Getting rid of regulations and decreasing taxes will bring some businesses back. But protectionist tariffs will drive up consumer prices which will ultimately cost jobs.

Must Reads For The Week 3/3/18

March 4, 2018

SCHOOL SHOOTING AND GUNS

There Are Fewer School Shootings Now Than During The 1990’s, by Ryan McMaken, at mises.org. Are school shootings increasing? The homicide rate in general and school shootings in particular are lower than what they were in the 80’s and 90’s. Here is an excerpt from the article: “Many observers will still point out that even a small number of school shootings is too many. That’s true enough, but when the multi-decade trend is downward, it would hardly be honest to attempt to frame the current situation as a “crisis.” Indeed the challenge should be to discover what factors have led to the decline in violence, and act accordingly. Given the gun ownership has greatly increased in recent decades, it may be that the answer lies somewhere beyond a simply government prohibition on guns.”

I Used To Think Gun Control Was The Answer. My Research Told Me Otherwise, by Leah Libresco, at washingtonpost.com. When Leah Libresco started to research gun deaths she was not a fan of the NRA because she thought they blocked “common sense” gun control measures. Here research shot holes in the “common sense” gun control measures she favored. In the article she states, ” The best ideas left standing were narrowly tailored interventions to protect subtypes of potential victims, not broad attempts to limit the leathality of guns.”

The Left Thinks Handgun Bullets Are Too Slow To Stop People Wielding Rifles, by Brandon Morse, at redstate.com. It is impossible to have a conversation about guns with people who are ignorant about guns. Many on the anti-gun side don’t understand that the media created category known as an “assault rifle”, is not a fully automatic weapon. An “assault rifle” fires one bullet with one trigger squeeze just like a handgun. In this article we witness more ignorance by people in positions of influence. Politicians and journalists can’t be trusted because politicize everything.

South Carolina Lawmaker Giving Guns Away To Teachers, at zerohedge.com. State Senator Steven Long is giving away 2 hand guns to willing teachers. Here is what he said, “We must do everything we can to ensure the safety of children in schools, both K-12 and our higher education institutions. Allowing teachers or school staff members to carry is the most efficient and most effective way to do this….for those who are willing and able, we need to allow them this protection.”

We’ve Got To Do Something” Sheriff Greets Teachers At Gun Training, by Jennifer Baker, at fox19.com. Butler County Ohio Sheriff Richard Jones offered free concealed handgun training classes for teachers and staff members after the school shooting in Florida. He didn’t expect the response he got and had to cap the number at 300. In Butler County, school boards have the authority to allow staff and teachers to carry a gun. Whether they give permission or not is a different story. At best, having school staff members with guns could deter a would be shooter from deciding to carry out his act. It could obviously minimize the damage once the shooting starts. At worst if a teacher was disposed to become a school shooter, he or she could get a gun in school easier. As if they couldn’t get a gun inside the school easily right now. If you look at the trade offs I think it is a good idea. But what are the odds that school board members will think outside of their “progressive anti-gun box”.

NRA, Gun Groups See Membership Soar After Florida Massacre, at zerohedge.com. The left is demonizing gun owners just as they demonized the ‘deplorables’ before the last election. Look what happened.

AR-15 Wielding Neighbor Stops Knife Attack, by Shannon Antinori, at patch.com. The neighbor had a valid firearm owner’s ID and a concealed carry permit. Regular citizens who go through the process of getting a concealed permit are more restrained from shooting anyone than most police officers. The concealed carry holder knows he will be in deep s#!+ if he just starts shooting. Cops know they will be protected by playing their ‘I feared for my life’ get out of jail free card.

Police Unions Defend Bad Cops Who Do Awful Things. Why Won’t They Defend Broward County Deputy?, at reason.com. I always thought police stuck together through thick and thin. But I was wrong. Only police who pay union dues are part of the police fraternity.

Incompetence Wasn’t The Problem In Broward County, by Jack Cashill, at americanthinker.com. Could the Federal Government’s PROMISE program been responsible for the action, or lack of action, by the sheriff department concerning the Florida school shooter?  Solutions mandated by Government central planners always create perverse incentives. This could be the case here. You decide.

 

CARTOONS

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

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Must Reads For The Week 2/24/18

February 26, 2018

FLORIDA SCHOOL SHOOTING AFTERMATH

FBI Tipster Transcript Leaked: Cruz Will “Get Into A School And Shoot the Place Up”: Full Text, at zerohedge.com. No investigative action was taken from the agency that tells us, “if you see something say something”.

“There Was A Mistake Made” – FBI’s No. 2 Refuses To Provide Details On How Cruz Tips Were Fumbled, at zerohedge.com. This is an example of Government failure.

Officer’s Hesitation To Stop Shooting Fits A Pattern Of Police Cowardice, at the federalist.com. Armed school resource officer didn’t try to enter school to stop shooter. Government failure? Excerpt from the article: “It’s a lot easier to police good people than bad ones. That’s why police …….want to take law-abiding citizens’ guns instead of to go after criminal…..Scaring dopey teens and banning AR-15s is easy. Following up on truly dangerous people, building a case about their mental health, getting the evidence a judge needs to act, that’s hard work. So is going into a building where shots are being fired. Cops aren’t heroes for doing “easy”. They are heroes – and most of them are – for doing the hard stuff.”

“Shocked And Outraged”: Four Broward Deputies Waited Outside School As Children Were Massacred, at zerohedge.com. Government failure anyone? Four officers from the Broward County Sheriff department failed to enter the building when they arrived on the scene. And people are blaming the NRA?

Guns And Schools: Can The Market Do Better? by Jeff Deist, at mises.org. Why do people look to Government first when they want “solutions” to “problems”. Government doesn’t provide the incentives to come up with a solution, a trade-off or the tolerable best that can be accepted. Individuals in Government aren’t incentivized to “solve” problems. They need the problem to exist for the simple fact that they can use it for their political benefit. People need to understand that these problems could be dealt with best by allowing each school system to implement their ideas for making their schools safe? Excerpt from the article: There are no top-down political solutions available from Washington. Gun control doesn’t actually prevent crime, but it does provide the political class and media with another diversionary bitter cultural debate. Americans are deeply divided on guns, just as they are deeply divided on abortion and climate change and scores of other issues. And why should we expect otherwise, in a far-flung country of 320 million people with wildly diverse geographies, economies, and cultures? ….. Contrary to popular belief, the Second Amendment neither “federalized” gun laws nor created a right to private ownership of firearms. It simply enshrined the notion that “the people” need to be armed to defend themselves potentially against the state itself.

Security Works At Disney – But Can’t Work At A Public School? by Ryan McMaken, at mises.org. Excerpt from the article: “Those places (private sector) that actually value the safety and quality-of-experience for the people present have a much different attitude about security than public schools do. And, no doubt, part of the reason that public schools and their supporters can continue to get away with their dismissive attitude toward real security is because no matter how many shooting take place on school property, the schools are never held legally accountable. It’s much easier for the counties and the school boards to shrug and say “there’s not enough money.

6 Reasons Your Right-Wing Friend Isn’t Budging On Gun Control, at thefederalist.com. Excerpt from the article: “Second Amendment advocates truly view owning a firearm as an intrinsic right and a must to preserve liberty. It has nothing to do with hunting. It has nothing to do with hobbies……..So many gun control advocates are begging for a conversation on this issue, and it’s unfortunate they don’t see the Second Amendment advocates as willing to engage. I find it hard to have an honest and vulnerable conversation about a deeply held right when the starting point is often challenging my motives while coming from a place of ignorance on firearms. If you’re really looking to win over your gun-loving friend, try reading up on firearms, dumping anti-NRA talking points, and assume he or she is equally committed to preventing these evil acts.

GOVERNMENT IS FORCE

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Pulls Stunning Coup In Map Drawing Stunt, by Kyle Sammin, at thefederalist.com. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court usurped the power of the legislature with this ruling concerning the drawing of congressional districts. Courts are not legislative bodies.

CalPERS Is Near Insolvency; t Needs A Bailout Soon” – Former Board Member Makes Stunning Admission, at zerohedge.com. California’s public pension program isn’t going to be able to fulfill its promises to retired workers. This is another example of Government having no incentive to fight the public unions when it comes to increasing benefits. Years of caving to unions has brought California’s pension program to the brink of insolvency. At some point someone will have to give something up. Do you want to bet it will be the tax payer?

In An Unexpected Twist, Judge In Flynn Case Asks Mueller For “Exculpatory Evidence“, at zerohedge.com.  Another example of government abuse of power. The special counsel is supposed to turn over all of its evidence to attorneys for the  defendant. Even evidence that doesn’t help the prosecutions case. They didn’t turn it over before Flynn plead guilty. This is an example of tyrants using the power of government to get the outcome they want.

Scandal, Corruption, And Law Breaking – And So What, by Victor Davis Hanson, at nationalreview.com. The breakdown of the rule of law starts with Government. This is an example of individuals in government operating illegally. People don’t respond well to being told to follow the law when the people telling them are breaking the law. This never ends well.

CARTOONS from theburningplatform.com

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 

Must Reads For The Week 2/17/18

February 19, 2018

OPEC Future In Doubt As US Production, Fig Count Surge, at zerohedge.com. America’s shale revolution has changed the world oil market. OPEC wants to cut production to “balance the market”. What “balancing the market” means to OPEC is increased prices. Unfortunately for OPEC American shale is balancing the market. When the price of oil rises, because of OPEC’s production cuts, it now becomes profitable for frackers to produce more oil which ultimately lowers the price.

Inconvenient Energy Fact Of The Day, by Mark J. Perry, at carpediemblog. Solar and wind are going to provide a small percentage of of the worlds energy for the foreseeable future. So why are we wasting tax dollars to subsidize these non productive energy sources? It makes no sense outside of the political arena.

The Boston Globe Editorial Board Unloads On The ‘Pipeline Absolutism’ Of Environmentalists, by Mark J. Perry, at carpediemblog.com. Once again environmentalists activities are increasing the cost of energy. Excerpt from the article: “Why is LNG coming 4,500 miles for Boston from the Russian Arctic when the US is the world’s No.1 natural gas producer? The simple answer to the question is a lack of natural gas pipelines in New England due to the “pipeline absolutism” of anti-fossil fuel environmentalists who have blocked all new pipeline expansions…

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Updates Mars Colonization Plans, by Jason Davis, at planetary.org. I’m going to throw a wrench in the spokes of Elon’s plan. How will this colony be supplied with food, water, oxygen, and other supplies to sustain life on Mars? Since there are no Walmarts on Mars, these life sustaining supplies will have to be continually transported from Earth to Mars. Is this logistical nightmare even possible? And what would the cost be (probably to tax payers) if it was possible?

Why Don’t Schools Use The Most Effective Teaching Methods? By Joy Pullmann, at thefederalist.com. The simple answer is because our educational system is essentially a monopoly. Excerpt from the article: “ …and monopolies create very powerful special interests whose sole purpose is to protect those interests. And they undermine the public’s interests using the public’s money. In short, to get U.S. public schools to actively care about better instruction, what we need is some massive trust-busting.”

Loan Shark Nation: Forcing Our Kids To Choose Between Student Loans and Everything Else, at zerohedge.com. The result of Government taking over the student loan business is the cost of college has increased dramatically. Forcing our kids into debt serfdom.

How To Kill 300,000 Americans With Opioids, by Trey Goff, at mises.org. This is a great article explaining the unintended consequences of government intervention.

FBI Admits “Protocols Were Not Followed” Before Florida Massacre, at zerohedge.com. This isn’t the first time the FBI missed the warning signs of mass shooters and terrorists. But here are few points. 1) It is easier to connect the dots after the fact than it is before the fact. 2) I didn’t think we are allowed to profile, are we? 3) I think we all agree it is a good idea to keep guns out of the hands of people with mental problems.

CIA Argues The Public Can’t See Classified Information It Has Already Leaked To Favored Reporters, at zerohedge.com. Our “public servants” are really self servants.

The Media Stopped Reporting The Russia Collusion Story Because They Helped Create It, by Lee Smith, at thefederalist.com. Excerpt from the article: “But the first vehicles of the Russiagate campaign were not bloggers or recent J-school grads lacking wisdom or guidance to wave off a piece of patent nonsense. They were journalists at the top of their profession—editors-in-chief, columnists, specialists in precisely the subjects that the dossier alleges to treat: foreign policy and national security. They didn’t get fooled. They volunteered their reputations to perpetrate a hoax on the American public.

 

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Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Gary McCoy