Monday, November 21, 2011


I'm Signing off until early next week. I hope everyone has a safe and happy THANKSGIVING!

Use of pepper spray against Occupiers costs officers

UC Davis took action against two of its campus police officers who pepper-sprayed passively resisting Occupy demonstrators. These tactics may only create sympathy for the demonstrators, anger sympathizers, help recruitment into the movement, and increase their credibility. Of course, this might be what some of the demonstrators and/or their leaders were hoping for.

What is the best method for creating new, long-term jobs in the U.S?

The Obama administration seems to believe that more government spending on temporary projects is the best way to create jobs. Common sense suggests that recovery and growth of the private sector is the way to go. Government projects only raise the deficit and create economic uncertainty among the segments of the private sector who have the capital to create real jobs.
It is thus not surprising that the Obama administration has put off deciding on a large-scale private sector project that would create both temporary and long-term jobs and lower the cost of oil in the U.S.--the Keystone XL pipeline. The environmental concerns have already been addressed. See the linked article by a well-known Texas economist.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Great article on Libertarianism.

Link to "Left and Right: the Prospects for Liberty," by Murray Rothbard (1965). Note thaT when Rothbard refers to "Liberalism" he (e.g. p. 3)is referring the "Classical Liberalism" not the contemporary liberalism exemplified by Roosevelt's New Deal (see p. 12.) This is a classic statement of libertarianism. Being a "cautious" libertarian I do not necessarily agree with everything in the article, but it is a classic in libertarian thought. If you are interested in libertarianism or political philosophy (e.g. there are discussion of socialism and Marxism) this is a very worthwhile read of only 23 pages. Lew Rockwell's website is a little too "uncautious" for me in many respects, but is a good website for libertarian thought.

The Obama Care Case in Plain English

This article from scotusblog attempts to use plain English to explain the ObamaCare cases before the Supreme Court. The Court decided to hear 3 separate appeals from lower courts. As the article states, this decision will be a "historic one." Hopefully the decison will be announced in June or July.

Great article on Limited Government from Forbes.

Couldn't have said it better myself

69% believe ObamaCare is Unconstitutional

According to this Rasmussen poll, 69% of Americans believe the federal government has no power under the Constitution to require that people purchase medical purchase. Let's hope 69% of the Supreme Court agrees and reinforces the concept that the federal government is one of limited powers.

Recusal Refusal: Latest on the ObamaCare case

Justices Thomas and Kagan refused to recuse themselves (sit out) the ObamaCare case.
No net change as Thomas will vote almost certainly vote against it, Kagan (appointed by Obama) will almost certainly vote for it. Obama sought "empathetic" Justices for the Supreme Court. How could any sincerely "empathetic" Justice vote against expanding the welfare state? They will cancel each other out. As usual, J. Kennedy will be the swing vote in what is very likely to be a 5-4 decision.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

More on ObamaCare case

More on the Supreme Court's ObamaCare case at Scotus The usual suspects reacted as expected. NY Times in favor of the law, Wall St. Journal hopes it is overturned.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Supreme Court to hear ObamaCare case

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear cases on the constitutional challenges to ObamaCare. Although what the Justices say during oral argument will probably give a better basis for predictions, based on prior cases, the Court's 4 conservatives (Scalia, Thomas, Alito and C.J. Roberts) will vote against ObamaCare. The Court's 4 liberals (Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomay and Kagan) will vote for it. Kennedy will be the swing vote. This will decision will be HUGE in what it says about the powers of the federal government. If ObamaCare is upheld, it will be only a short step to a federal government with no constitutional limits save the Bill of Rights. The doctrine of "enumerated powers" will be only a verbal shell.

More covering up on Operation Fast and Furious?

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry may have been murdered by a gun allowed to get into Mexico as part of BATF's Operation Fast and Furious. The criminal case against one his alleged murderers has been sealed. Even the docket is hidden from public view. One organization calls this an "extraordinary step" in which the "risks of abuse are very high." More CYA?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Income inequality propaganda exposed.

The Left and Occupiers make great complaint about the unequal distribution of income in the U.S. No doubt it exists, but there is more to it than meets the eye. Our progressive income tax was intended to make the wealthy pay more, but a multitude of exemptions, deductions, credits, etc. tend to defeat this. Perhaps this is where reform should come. However, the Left wants more, actual income equality (a form of "social justice"). As usual Thomas Sowell points out the sloppy thinking (if not propaganda) of the income equality position.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Another Plea in W. Texas (Winkler County) Retaliation-Against-Nurses Scandal

Dr. Rolando G. Arafiles, Jr., The Winkler County Texas M.D. who started the ball rolling for the unlawful retaliation against two nurses who reported his misconduct, finally got his comeuppance. The two others involved, the Sheriff and County Attorney (who was acting D.A.) have already been sentenced (see prior posts).

U.S. Taxpayers contributing to European Bailouts

The economic crises and riots in Greece, Portugal and Ireland and the impending crisis in Italy are major economic concerns in the U.S. It appears that American taxpayers are at least indirectly contributing to the bailouts of European governments who are reaping the consequences of huge deficits brought on by reckless spending and vote-buying. It doesn't make any difference who is in the White House, or who controls Congress, the more people find out about their own government the angrier they should get (e.g. Operation Fast and Furious).

Monday, November 07, 2011

Occupy Wall Street is a secret Wall Street Plot?

I knew it! Occupy Wall Street is really a corporate/Wall Street/capitalist plot to make more money. OWS applied for a trademark so it can protect the market for its T-shirts, flags, and other goods.

The lessons of Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Italy and California for the U.S.

Over a century ago, I think it was de Tocqueville who quipped that democracy would work well in America until politicians figured out they can buy votes with benefits, programs, etc. We hit that point a long time back, and both liberals and conservatives have been guilty. Left-wing Democrats and Obama, however, are the most culpable so far.

Look at the patterns for the economic problems in Western Europe and many places in the U.S. such as California. In Europe, Italy is the latest (following Greece, Ireland and Portugal) to go into a financial crisis.

It is not rocket science to figure out how this happens on the city, state and national levels. Politicians offer high wages, generous retirements to government employees. Government lowers the retirement age and promises big benefits. Government employees and their unions, become strong political supporters.The poor a given handouts rather than real opportunities to improve their lot. The government really doesn't want these folks to become successful. Once their dependence on handouts end, they no longer need those politicians. The public slowly gets drawn in with programs. Anyone who hints that benefits, salaries, etc. might have to be cut will not get elected. The politician with the best handout package is likely to get elected. The deficits balloons and default and bankruptcy become likely. The government responds with job-creation programs that only exacerbate the deficit and creates no long-term jobs. Domestic and foreign investors get nervous and cut back. With no private sector investment, no jobs are resuscitated and no new jobs are created. Government bond ratings go down and the issuers have to raise the interest rates to get new borrowers. Leftists try to play the race card and the politics of envy. They blame corporations and Wall Street, when it's government that started and created the basic mess. It's a vicious circle. Austerity programs bring discontent and rioting. You don't have to be a genius to see that this is where the U.S. is headed. You can argue that this will not happen to the world's largest economy. However, when will China become the world's largest and most powerful economy and then the U.S. has to dance to all the Chinese, Saudi and other U.S. debt buyers? The handwriting is on the wall! If you can't figure out who to vote against in the 2012 presidential elections, there's no hope for you. However, it goes beyond that, vote for people with some realistic understanding of real world economics. As the Trojans said "beware of Greeks bearing gifts."

NRA's theory on BATF's Gunwaler/Fast and Furious Operation

One always has to take the NRA's claims with a grain of salt, but this one might be right. I have wracked my brain for a logical explanation for BATF's illogical and dangerous operation Gunrunner. The NRA's position makes more sense than anything I've been able to come up with.

Friday, November 04, 2011

More economic common sense

Have you ever found an article that says what you want to say, but says it a lot better than you can. This article on Greece, Ireland, and the European economic crisis says it all and has a message for America. Government financed job-creation programs only create temporary jobs, increase the deficit and exacerbate economic uncertainty. The unemployment rate in the U.S. is not going to go down markedly until the private sector feels confident enough to invest in America. That's one thing that the left and "occupiers" don't seem to get.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Latest on BATF's Fast and Furious Scandal

The more the media digs into the trash mound, the smellier it gets. Latest on Operation "Gunwalker/Fast & Furious." Everyone involved is currently in the denial mode. How long will it be until a sacrificial lamb (e.g. Napolitano?) will be thrown under the bus/sacrificed? This is not Fox News or the NRA reporting, this is CBS!

New Social Science Fraud

We rely on the social sciences for help in solving policy and legal puzzles. Unfortunately, fraud is rarely discovered and is probably more prevalent than we think. I am reminded of the Bellesiles fraud. Given that most of academia leans Left, I wonder how many "progressive" policies are based on unreliable studies and data. Don't get me wrong, there are academics on the Right who are guilty of the same thing. There are just more academics on the Left.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

S.Ct. case on liability for false testiimony before grand jury

Another example of law enforcement and prosecutor wrongdoing. Issue is what kind of immunity from civil suit the officers get. IMHO no absolute (total) immunity, just qualified immunity (requires good faith by public officers). There has to be some accountability. This case reminds me a little of the West Texas nurses case covered in prior post.