Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Paris "Setback"

The Paris ISIS terror attacks are a grim reminder of what happens when western-and especially American-civilization retreats from leadership in a world where, we seem to have forgotten, the default condition under which most of mankind lives is barbarism.
Liberals and libertarians of the Rand Paul school blame this on George W. Bush. But that accusation based on events of 2003-04 skips over an intermediary period during which conditions had been, if not idyllic, then the least-worst they have been before or since.
Go to your public library and pick up a copy of the New York Times or the Wall Street journal for any day in 2007 or 2008, and you will be hard-pressed to find any front-page mention of Iraq, much less ISIS . The "failure" narrative had lost its bite. The death rate of American soldiers was barely above that of training accidents. Iraq had become the biggest non-issue of the day.
As I wrote on WesternJournalism.com on June 18, 2014, a few short years ago, "We owned the country. We operated the oil fields. Saddam Hussein was dead; his murderous Baath party was defeated; and Al-Qaeda and the jihadis, if not gone, were neutralized. At that point, we could have drafted a Constitution based on the principle of separation of powers such that conflict between Sunnis and Shias and Kurds took a back seat to aggregations of citizens along different dimensions, neutralizing the religious one. We could have supported a leader who was able, ready, and willing by principle and conviction to govern across sectarian lines; we didn't have to settle for the partisan Shia autocrat prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki; and we could have imposed the time-honored practice of term limits (even on the one we chose.) We could have given every adult Iraqi citizen, men and women, equal shares of common and preferred stocks and bonds of a fully privatized formerly national oil industry, giving them a direct stake in the defense of peaceful free-market capitalism and private property rights, as well as a sense of sharing in both the national purpose and its bounty...At the very least, we could have negotiated a realistic and appropriate Status of Forces agreement.
But all of that would be Imperialism and ugly-Americanism, of course. Unacceptable! At the very least, too expensive!"

Too expensive? As Ted Cruz famously said at the last debate, if you think it's expensive defending America, try NOT defending her!"

In a world full of ambitious tyrants, there will always be the need for a powerful and benevolent force in the world to promote peace, stability, human rights and trade. Since the end of World War II, that force has been America-the Pax Americana.

Like it or not, our domain of responsibility, though far from exclusive, includes France, western Europe, Israel and, well, the world. Spitting on the graves of our own soldiers and throwing the ordinary citizens of uncivilized nations who risked their lives to help us under the bus, is not leadership.

To return to a position of strength will probably require a leader willing to tell the American people things they would rather not hear.

See the complete article at: WesternJournalism.com

AG writes:
Yes Howard!
Never miss an opportunity to bash a libertarian- it’s the new great American pastime.
Further, never let us allow facts to get in the way of such good rhetoric.
Of course the ISIS attack in Paris is our fault for failing to lead (kill enough people BUT DO IT BENEVOLENTLY).
BTW I did get your hidden message that Rand Paul likely caused the Paris attacks through his weakness and is possibly even a terrorist ISIS sympathizer.

If only W had a few more years…..

We owned the country. We operated the oil fields.

How dare those pesky Iraqis think that Iraq should belong to the Iraqis. Infidels.
How could they actually think they should be allowed to determine their own government, constitution, or share of their national bounty.
You are right that they should take what we give them and be grateful for that.
After all, America knows best! We are the "dear leader" of the world and it is our responsibility to LEAD (by lead we actually mean kill).

I’m glad you agree that Reagan, Eisenhower et al were weak fools to advise against a state of perpetual warfare. America must be STRONG and we must LEAD. (The new GOP platform). Individual rights and freedom are really an anachronism in the dangerous world of 2015 where such fearsome people like Jihad Johnny are hiding under every bed. If only McCarthy were around today he would know what to do. Root ‘em out! Kill em all and let God sort them out! I mean Hitler had a lot of great ideas, he just shouldn’t have done that naughty stuff to the Jews.

We must reshape the world through force into a peaceful utopia where ambitious tyrants are vanquished from history, this is the humane solution and recent history (2007-2008) proves that it is the only viable solution. A thousand points of light! The barbarians are at the gate and these weak liberals and libertarians are, well, WEAK!

Sorry for taking your time, back to work...

Yours always humming Rule Britannia,

Howard writes back:
Thank you AG,
For the record, I don't blame Rand Paul for anything ISIS has done. I do call him out for skipping over Obama's actions in assigning causation to our current situation.
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Paul a month ago in Washington D.C. at the Wednesday Morning meeting of Americans for Prosperity. He took questions in particular about Syria. While I have my disagreements with him, I respect him for being very well-informed and consistent in his principles.


...which brings us back to:Answering the Libertarian Indictments on Iraq

Collective Bargaining Disagreement

A new study reveals that collective bargaining for teachers has a negative effect on future earnings, occupational skill levels and hours worked.
“Students who spent all 12 years of grade school in a state with a duty-to-bargain law earned an average of $795 less per year and worked half an hour less per week as adults than students who were not exposed to collective-bargaining laws. They are 0.9 percentage points less likely to be employed and 0.8 percentage points less likely to be in the labor force. And those with jobs tend to work in lower-skilled occupations.”

Read the complete article by Larry Sand at Unionwatch.org

Monday, November 16, 2015

Jamie Glazov: The Life and Work Of David Horowitz

David Horowitz is significant to CitizenEcon.com because he is one of the very few former radicals turned conservative who have adequately explained in scholarly detail the nature of America's leftists who came to such prominence in the editor of this site's hometown, Berkeley, California.

"Horowitz grew up in a Communist enclave in Queens called Sunnyside Gardens. As a child, he attended the Sunnyside Progressive School, a pre-kindergarten program the Party had set up and, as an adolescent, spent summers at a Party-run children’s camp called “Wo-Chi-Ca,” short for “Workers’ Children’s Camp.” In 1956, when Horowitz was seventeen, the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev delivered a secret speech in the Kremlin about the crimes of Stalin. The “Khrushchev Report,” as it was subsequently called, was leaked by Israeli intelligence agents to the public, causing a crisis among the faithful. Party members who had previously dismissed claims by their opponents that Stalin was responsible for the deaths of millions as “slander,” now had no choice but to admit that the charges were true. They left the Party in a mass exodus that killed the Communist Party as a force in U.S. political life, although for many like Blanche and Phil Horowitz, it was impossible to give up the socialist faith."

Read the full article by Jamie Glazov at FrontPageMag.com

Saturday, November 14, 2015

I thought the President said the war was over and the ISIS J.V. team was on the run

They didn't target Charlie Hebdo this time.

They don't hate us because we draw blasphemous cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. They don't hate us because of our policy in Israel (except to say that they hate the fact that Israel exists). They are not retaliating for any specific military or "Imperial" move on our part, with the possible exception of our retreat from leadership.

Rather, they despise us because of who we are and what we stand for, and they hold us in contempt for the weakness we are showing by allowing them to overrun our countries and our cultures, and for running away when the going gets too easy.

In June 2014 I wrote that, "In the Fall of 2008...a majority of Americans, including a plurality of Republicans, were eager to get beyond George W. Bush and their weariness of his Iraq misadventure. That scorn may soon turn to nostalgia as the American people realize how much has been lost in the squandering of the real gains and opportunities afforded us at the height of our success in Iraq in that year." See: Our Intolerable Success in Iraq.

Are we there yet?

If not, we only have continue on cruise control and wait for it. In Europe, it started with mass, uncontrolled immigration of a culture hostile to western values, leading eventually to neighborhoods governed by Sharia law, "No-Go" zones for westerners in their own cities, and public thoroughfares blocked for mass Islamic prayers. Now we have the simultaneous, coordinated massacre of over 100 French, American and other western citizens.

Recently, we have our first American city (Hamtranck, Michigan) electing a Muslim majority to its city council, ready to be governed by Sharia, and unlawful street-blocking Islamic prayers in Los Angeles.

Twenty years ago, Rudy Guilliani demonstrated how barbarism could be subdued via a policy of zero tolerance for petty crimes. We can still stave off catastrophe if we will simply reassert the confidence of our culture and our constitution.

Please read The Barbarians Are Inside, And There Are No Gates, by Mark Steyn, at: SteynOnline.com.

And: Adios, America!: The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole. (Maybe that should be "Wadaeaan, Amrika!"

Friday, November 13, 2015

Brand-new Insights into our Current Circumstances

"The characteristic feature of present-day policies is the trend toward a substitution of government control for free enterprise. Powerful political parties and pressure groups are fervently asking for public control of all economic activities, for thorough government planning, and for the nationalization of business. They aim at full government control of education and at the socialization of the medical profession. There is no sphere of human activity that they would not be prepared to subordinate to regimentation by the authorities. In their eyes, state control is the panacea for all ills...America is faced with a phenomenon that the framers of the Constitution did not foresee and could not foresee: the voluntary abandonment of congressional rights. Congress has in many instances surrendered the function of legislation to government agencies and commissions, and it has relaxed its budgetary control through the allocation of large appropriations for expenditures, which the Administration has to determine in detail."

Those words were written by Ludwig von Mises in 1944. Read more: http://www.rrpec.org/documents/Mises.pdf

Rasmussen: Little Support for Punishing Global Warming Foes

Global warming advocates are calling for the prosecution of groups who disagree with them, and New York State has taken it a step further by investigating Exxon Mobil for refusing to play ball with the popular scientific theory.

But 68% of Likely U.S. Voters oppose the government investigating and prosecuting scientists and others including major corporations who question global warming. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 17% favor such prosecutions. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided.

Read the complete article at M.RasmussenReports.com

Mark Steyn: Imperialist Warmongering Deniers of the Human Right to Science

The nations of the world have issued their demands for this month's Paris climate conference, and the Government of Bolivia has cut to the chase:

The capitalist system is a system of death. Hence, capitalism is leading humanity towards a horizon of destruction that sentences nature and life itself to death. In this regard, for a lasting solution to the climate crisis we must destroy capitalism.

Yeah, but, as the American media like to say about Trump, where are the specifics?

Oh, don't worry. The Bolivians have a ten-point plan.

Read the complete article at: SteynOnline.com

National Review: Why Businesses Leave California

"For most of the 20th century, California was a place that people and companies moved to in search of opportunity. The Golden State still has its beautiful climate and technically skilled workforce, but today these things are not enough to prevent companies from leaving the state. A new study seeks to quantify the trend of companies fleeing California and determine how, and to what extent, it is caused by California’s hostile business environment."

Read the complete article at: NationalReview.com

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Obama Drags Democrats to Lowest Levels in Generations

As I have said many times, rumors of the death of the Republican party have been greatly exaggerated. Republicans now hold more state mansions (32), more state legislatures, and more city halls than we have in decades, perhaps generations. The Democratic bench is thinning and greying. This we have to thank Obama for; the destructive effects of his domestic policies and absence of leadership abroad have achieved a clarity of choice between the parties which has been lacking in prior years.
If you don't believe me, read the New York Times!:

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Post-FoxBusiness Debate Scorecard

Here is the CitizenEcon.com scorecard on the FoxBusiness Republican presidential candidate debate:

Cruz was very strong, but he needs to convince doubters that he can 1) beat Hillary and 2) GOVERN, not just be passionate and smart. The base alone will not suffice. He held his ground, but it remains to be seen whether he gained any last night.

Carson is very likable on a personal level. He needed to demonstrate that he can can play with the big boys and girls, which is to say Rubio and Fiorina, on economics and policy. He fell short. He hasn't read enough of Thomas Sowell or CitizenEcon.com yet.

Trump was more restrained than usual, neither hurt nor helped himself. We may thank him for all the attention and color he has brought to the campaign and to issues that would not otherwise have been brought up, and allow him to settle quietly below Cruz, Fiorina, Rubio, Carson...

Rubio did very well, was very articulate and authoritative all around. His vulnerabilities are 1) He looks like he's 25, and 2) immigration-absolutist conservatives don't trust him. He needs to have a private come-to-Jesus powwow with Ann Coulter, Mark Levin and some Tea Party leaders and convince them that he has seen the light.
Dear conservatives: Whatever Rubio's weaknesses, they pale in comparison to the duplicity and deceit of Obama and Rodham-Clinton. Rubio won't be penning capricious unconstitutional executive orders in the middle of the night.

Bush almost had a few moments of statesmanship in which he might have answered the 64 dollar question posed by Mark Steyn, to wit, why a third Bush in 30 years is indispensable. But he is so verbally clumsy and socially awkward, he gives the impression of being the high school dork who couldn't get a date.

Rand Paul scored a few points, like pointing out that inequality is highest where Democrats are in charge, but his repeated blaming ISIS on W. Bush without mentioning Obama's premature withdrawal calls his judgement into question.

Kasich was HORRIBLE. His rants and interruptions were appalling. Not only were his policy prescriptions wrong, but he was rude and aggressive promoting them.
Kasich should be traded to the Democrats in exchange for Webb. Webb would even be a more acceptable VP to Cruz than Kasich would. And Kasich and Paul should be off the stage, to bring Jindal up to the adult's table. Jindal is under-rated and needs to have his turns.

Carly needed to distinguish herself or her somewhat stalled campaign would be in trouble. She not only shone, but stepped one rung at a time through the debate to come out on top, with her mastery of philosophy, policy, executive experience and issues, especially foreign policy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) Doubles Down on Zero Tolerance for Climate Change Doubters

See these stories and resources and use your own brain:

Michelle Malkin: Questions About High-Tech Guest-Workers Should Be ‘Centerpiece’ Of GOP Pres. Debate

CitizenEcon.com is not endorsing any one person's opinion here, but this is an important issue that has received insufficient attention.
Possibly the strongest rebuttal, or at least caveat to Malkin's arguments is that the oppressive government footprint, from excessive taxation to Sarbanes-Oxley to Dodd-Frank to Section 1706 of the 1986 Tax Equity and Fairness (there's that trigger-warning word) Reform Act (TEFRA), have crippled the economy and screwed America's best and brightest more than immigration policy. American programmers (like the editor of this site) have to compete with low-wage workers whether they are here or in India.

Read the complete article at Breitbart.com.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Dr. Thomas Sowell tops himself -- again.

I have read at least 20 of Dr. Sowell's 40+ books. I didn't think he could get any better, but he just topped himself again. Burn your library and drop out of liberal arts college; you only need one book to understand all of human history, culture, politics, migration, conquest, inequality, geography and economics, and that's Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International perspective.

Free Speech and the Right to Bear Arms

"Those who are opposed to the Second Amendment have never received death threats for exercising their rights under the First."

I'll take credit for that if it isn't already taken.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

French Meteorologist fired from TV Job for Speaking out against Climate Change Fraud

Philippe Verdier, a meteorologist for France Télévisions, has been fired for expressing a dissenting opinion in the Climate Change debate.

Watch these videos before they get censored, and buy his book "Climat Investigation."

The UN Climate Change conference in Paris (Le Bourget) is comming up in just a few weeks.

In French...

(This one with English subtitles:)



War crimes tribunals for climate change “deniers” (like us)?

Nine years ago self-proclaimed “climate hawk” David Roberts was contemplating Nuremberg trials for deniers.

Read the complete article by Mark Steyn on www.steynonline.com.

Fred Thompson Validates the Laffer Curve

Fred Thompson, the actor and senator who passed away this past Sunday at age 73, articulated better than most how and why lower marginal tax rates lead to a more robust economy accompanied by HIGHER revenue to the treasury. Too bad George W. Bush's tax cuts were only temporary.

Read the complete article (renew your subscription) at: The Wall Street Journal.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Bibliography for a Soon-to-be-announced Project

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Thomas Sowell on the Mission of the Speaker of the House

"Contrary to the thinking -- or lack of thinking -- among today's Republican leaders, Reagan did not go to these Democratic voters and pander to them by offering them a watered-down version of what the Democrats were offering. He took his case to them and talked -- yes, TALKED -- to let them know what his own agenda offered to them and to the country."

Read the complete article by Thomas Sowell at Townhall.com.