Thursday, January 10, 2013

'Deficit Reduction Is Not a Worthy Goal'

Those in the know always carry around a $100 Trillion Zimbabwe banknote just in case.



Weekly Standard ^

Carney: 'Deficit Reduction Is Not a Worthy Goal' Daniel Halper January 10, 2013 10:55 AM
White House spokesman Jay Carney said yesterday that "deficit reduction is not a worthy goal onto itself":
"Most importantly because deficit reduction is not a worthy goal onto itself," said Carney, talking about government spending. "This is all about making our economy stronger, making it more productive and allowing it to create even more jobs. That is the most important thing when it comes to economic policy as far as the President is concerned."
U.S. debt is estimated to be $16,432,659,028,067.50.

Farewell, Mr. Boortz

Townhall.com ^ | January 10, 2013 | Matt Towery

For my money, the single most talented voice in the modern history of talk radio is retiring later this month. Not "one of" the most talented -- the most talented.
Neal Boortz began his career in radio while in college at Texas A&M, but his long stint in commercial radio started as one of the many individuals he would, over the years to follow, continually cut off: opinionated callers. Boortz in the late 1960s was a frequent caller to a local Atlanta talk show, and when the host died unexpectedly, he went from brash caller to brash host.
But Boortz's rise to the Radio Hall of fame (he was inducted in 2009) was not a jump from one rising radio market to another. Nor was it, for a good many years, all that lucrative. The truth is that Boortz, who dubbed himself everything from "The Talkmaster" to "Mighty Whitey" is an extremely shy and introspective person. In large gatherings, unless forced to, he will cling to the perimeter of a room away from others. In private, he is known to be extremely polite and unassuming. So now Boortz's cover is blown.
And while Boortz's politics of Libertarian mixed in with a large dose of conservative Republican leanings can sometimes be interpreted more as harsh and tough than most who have such large stages on radio, the man who will soon retire from his top-10 position among talk radio hosts is quite the opposite.
Always a soft touch for those in tough spots, Neal Boortz often quietly put his money and time where his mouth was not. He raised funds for the hungry, gave private donations to kids needing toys for Christmas, helped out many a family who had lost a spouse and had children to feed and mortgages to pay. Boortz never let most folks know of this "softer side" because, on the air, he was truly what I would term the personification of "intelligent chaos."
It was chaos because over the many years leading to his syndication in 1999, and certainly thereafter, Boortz would utter just about whatever came into his mind. He constantly called public schools "government schools," deriding their quality and calling them "tax-funded child abuse." He put just about everyone and everything in his target, ranging from Islamic extremists to Southerners devoted to the Confederate flag. He was, as he proudly proclaimed, an equal opportunity offender.
But what made Neal Boortz the best to ever preside over the phenomenon America now identifies as "talk radio" was his razor-sharp mind and equally sharp wit.
Boortz was trained as a lawyer and spent many of his years prior to syndication working hours both as a practicing attorney and radio personality. And the skills he honed as an attorney helped him slice and dice issues and those who dared to challenge him on air like few others could. Like a good trial attorney, Boortz would present his case, always with facts. And one slip-up by a would-be opponent, one lack of "evidence" for their statement, even one mispronounced word could lead to sudden death invoked by what his critics considered the talk show equivalent of Seinfeld's famed "Soup Nazi."
Then there was the humor. Over the years, too many people, including some big names in the media, mistook Boortz's style of, as he called it, "stirring the pudding" as being "vicious." The truth was, to those who listened daily, it was clear that Boortz often had his tongue firmly implanted in his check, pushing the limits of what he could say and mock.
None was funnier than his homage to indecipherable "street talk," as Boortz and his late Associate Producer Royal Marshall played a news interview from the shooting of a man (who survived, I might note) by the name of "Boo." The witness's sentences are virtually impossible to understand, but Marshall provided a "street talk" interpretation with the same deadpan perfection of a U.N. interpreter.
A quick online search will find the bit all over the Web, and it is hilarious.
The brightest, brashest and best voice of our time leaves talk radio at the height of his game just before a second term for President Obama. Those who were his loyal listeners will miss his daily dose of "intelligent chaos." To put it in more personal terms, and snatching a theme from the late humorist Lewis Grizzard, "Boo got shot ... and I'm not so happy myself." Your fans will miss you, Mr. Boortz.

About That Overpopulation Problem

Slate ^ | Jan. 9, 2013 | Jeff Wise

The world’s seemingly relentless march toward overpopulation achieved a notable milestone in 2012: Somewhere on the planet, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the 7 billionth living person came into existence.

Lucky No. 7,000,000,000 probably celebrated his or her birthday sometime in March and added to a population that’s already stressing the planet’s limited supplies of food, energy, and clean water. Should this trend continue, as the Los Angeles Times noted in a five-part series marking the occasion, by midcentury, “living conditions are likely to be bleak for much of humanity.”

A somewhat more arcane milestone, meanwhile, generated no media coverage at all: It took humankind 13 years to add its 7 billionth. That’s longer than the 12 years it took to add the 6 billionth—the first time in human history that interval had grown. (The 2 billionth, 3 billionth, 4 billionth, and 5 billionth took 123, 33, 14, and 13 years, respectively.) In other words, the rate of global population growth has slowed. And it’s expected to keep slowing. Indeed, according to experts’ best estimates, the total population of Earth will stop growing within the lifespan of people alive today.
(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...

Flag Stomping Could Cost South Carolina Teacher His Job

ABC OTUS News ^ | January 10, 2013 | Jilian Fama

Scott Compton, a South Carolina high school teacher, is facing possible dismissal by his school board for stomping on an American flag in three of his classes last month.
Compton, who teaches honors English at Chapin High School, has been with the school for seven years, but the tenure of his job is now in question as the Lexington-Richland 5 school board will decide whether or not to dismiss the teacher for his actions.
...
"He drew a couple of symbols, like one of them was a cross, and he said, 'What does this represent?' and everybody said, 'Christianity,'" said Copeland.
"Then he proceeds to take down the American flag, and said, 'This is a symbol, but it's only a piece of cloth. It doesn't mean anything,' and then he throws it down on the floor and then stomps on it, repeatedly."
...
The future of Compton's teaching career is now in the hands of the school board.
"The superintendent thought the best course of action for Compton is termination," Bounds told ABC News. "But the case has to go to the local board and they will ultimately decide whether or not to support the superintendent's decision."
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...

Hey, Media, will you be next?

Local | January 10, 2013 | From The Deer Stand

Now that Obama has decided he has unlimited powers and can ignore Congress and the U.S. Constitution, how far will he go with his "executive orders" and "recess appoitments?" Now it's gun control, next it'll be what? As this power-hungry, law-ignoring, dictator keeps flexing his muscles is the media in his sights? How about an executive order that all news stories or articles concerning the government have to be reviewed by a government panel prior to publishing or airing? Sound far-fetched? Perhaps. But, as Obama keeps stealing powers that he doesn't legally have the sky is the limit. Be careful what you wish for!

Brian Williams may end up having to call the White House asking Obama's approval to air a story. After all, Freedom of the Press is only guaranteed in the Constitution and we all know that means little to the current White House squatter.

What Defines an American?

 by conserv8

I see the turmoil that is sweeping the great nation to the south of me and was moved to compose a web page voicing concern. I got to the point where I was about to voice my opinion of what an American is. I now think it might be better if members of this site did so themselves.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
When I was in my seventh year my family moved to a small town in Westphalia Germany as part of the post-war Canadian contingent. I attended an on-base elementary school that was also attended by several American children. At the start of each morning the classes would be regaled by the obligatory O' Canada and then we would stand and watch while the several American children faced their flag, placed their hand over their heart and proudly voiced the Pledge of Allegiance. Some of us thought that was very cool.
During the last year of the four-year rotation my family traveled to the sizable American Base located in the city of Frankfurt. They had a PX, a very large department store. It was the first time I had ever encountered such a sight. There were isles and isles of shelves filled with almost every conceivable item. I was in no little state of wonder and awe. After no considerable amount of time, there was an announcement over the PA system that I payed no attention to, that to my amazement had a great and drastic effect upon the people all around me. I saw men and women crying, consoling each other, the place was in a turmoil. And then every body was ushered out and the PX was closed.
That was the day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
My brother and I were regulated to silence while my mother and fathers' attention was glued to information coming out of the car radio the whole trip home with the only explanation that "something of world importance has occurred." I recall sitting there and wondering why and how one person could have such a profound effect upon so many others. What was it that provoked such a sense of purpose and unity?
Americans. Who are those people?
What is an American? What defines them?

Obama's 2013 Agenda: No Women, Less Guns, More Taxes

Pundit Press ^ | 1/10/13 | Aurelius

With 2013 just underway, Barack Obama's agenda for the coming year is readily apparent. Though Mr. Obama promised many foolish things during his campaign in 2012, the lies he has told are the ones making the headlines thus far this year.
His agenda for the coming year? No women, less guns, and more taxes on the middle class, or "lies, lies, and more lies"...
First is the fact that the President, despite attacking Mitt Romney repeatedly for being "anti-woman," has thus far refused to nominate any women to his cabinet in his second term. This has been met with largely silence from liberals, who blindly took in the President's repeated misogynistic ads depicting women as either feeble-minded and promiscuous, or utterly dependent on the government.
Thus, ironically to those on the Left, completely expected from those on the Right, Mr. Obama's huffing and puffing over 'respecting women more than Republicans' was a crass power play to receive votes. Unfortunately, it worked.
Second, President Obama is looking into much stronger gun laws for our nation. His proposals thus far include: everyone having a background check to own any firearm, a stiffening of penalties for improperly using a weapon, and a nationwide database to track the movement and sale of every single weapon in the United States...
To add insult to injury to President Obama's hypocrisy, this flies directly into the face of his previous statement that, "I am not going to take your guns away... That just ain't true. That just ain't true!" Caulk up another lie.
Third, the President promised that there would be no increase on taxes for the middle class. He promised that only the "rich" would pay more. Yet, once again, the President has lied. And again, conservatives saw it coming, liberals have been caught off guard.
(Excerpt) Read more at punditpress.com ...

Paul Ryan Brilliantly Evokes Clueless Conservatism

Forbes ^ | 01/10/2013 | Louis Woodhill

The 2012 elections showed that the American people don’t like clueless conservatism any better now than when they were getting it in massive doses from George W. Bush.
If the electorate really favored progressivism, they would have given the Democrats control of the House of Representatives, and they did not. Instead, the voters used the election to deliver the biggest jolt to the Republicans that they could without giving the Democrats complete control of government.
The 2012 election amounted to a desperate attempt by the electorate to purge the Republican Party of clueless conservatism. Clearly, the people are trying to force the GOP to come up with new candidates with new ideas. Actually, what the voters really want are new Republican candidates with old ideas—the ideas that produced two landslides for Ronald Reagan.
When choosing a presidential candidate, Republicans have a tradition of nominating whoever is “next in line”. In 2016, this will be Paul Ryan, who was the Republican candidate for vice president in 2012.
Paul Ryan is a brilliant, hard-working, and very nice man. And, he is the very model of a modern clueless conservative.
In his interview on Hugh Hewitt’s show on January 2, Ryan touched upon all of the core principles and beliefs of clueless conservatism. Now, all the Republicans have to do if they want to lose the House of Representatives and 60+ seats in the Senate in 2014 is to follow the precepts that Ryan so earnestly laid out in his conversation with Hewitt.
(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...

Economic Collapse! A Leading Indicator Of Better Times To Come!

TMO ^ | 1-10-2013 | Darryl R Schoon


It’s going to get better; but, first, it’s going to get worse
Time of the Vulture, 3rd ed. 2012


When I presented Time of The Vulture: How to Survive the Crisis and Prosper in the Process to the Positive Deviant Network in March 2007, the economic collapse hadn’t yet happened. The next year, it did.
At the time, I suggested those in attendance shed debt, sell their homes and buy gold. Then, the US real estate market was functioning without direct government aid, gold was $650 per ounce and the financial system was stable.
Those days are gone and are never coming back. The imbalance between credit and debt that occurred during the Great Depression is now back; but, today, the à la 1930s massive deflationary collapse will be accompanied by monetary disorder on a cataclysmic scale.
In August 2008, I wrote about the monetary component of the coming collapse in my article, The Four Tires of the Apocalypse:
The euro, the yuan, the yen, and the dollar—the four major fiat currencies—are The Four Tires Of The Apocalypse; and although the economy’s engine, the credit markets, have seized up and are receiving most of the attention, somebody should take a look at the tires.
The mechanics, the central bankers, are instead focused only on the engine. Their solution again proves that good mechanics are hard to find. Like hacks at the corner garage, they’re pouring more credit into an already flooded engine, a sure sign they don’t know what they’re doing.
They’re not even looking at the tires. They should because the tires are fiat made of paper. The front tires are the Japanese yen and the Chinese yuan. The rear two are the euro and the US dollar; and it’s the two rear tires that now pose the greatest threat, the driver’s side rear, the US dollar, in particular—and the spare in the trunk, the British pound has a leak.
Of the four, the Chinese yuan is the newest, which in credit-driven economies is a plus, as usage in [debt-based] economies equals less tread and more debt. Nonetheless, the Chinese yuan is not capable of carrying more than its present load although it is presently holding its own.
The other front tire, the Japanese yen, unlike the Chinese yuan, is well-worn and its tread is almost gone. Its debt load is enormous (the highest ratio of debt to GDP of all major economies) while its pressure, sic interest rate, is the lowest of all, incapable of handling more.
Currently at only 0.5 % because of an almost fatal blowout in 1990, the Japanese yen still hasn’t yet recovered—that the tire is still in service after its severe blowout is in itself something of a miracle.
But the two rear tires, the euro and the US dollar, are the source of our future trouble as they are particularly vulnerable to the continuing collapse of credit markets. The euro and dollar, like all fiat currencies, are dependent on the strength of their underlying economies, economies addicted to credit from increasingly insolvent banks, banks which are in far more trouble than presently believed.
Like someone who has HIV and has only confessed to having the clap, the money-center banks in Europe and the US are holding assets both on and off their balance sheets that are virtually worthless, with actual losses totaling $1.6 trillion, four times what the banks have yet admitted; and because the value of fiat currencies are a function of their economies, the collapse of the US dollar and euro may be ahead…
Today in 2013, the focus of the mechanics, i.e. central bankers, is still on the engine which despite trillions of dollars of credit is still in danger of completely seizing-up; and, although the bankers’ solution of even more credit(e.g. QE1, QE2, QE3, etc.) has failed to restore the automobile’s momentum, the failure to do so hasn’t stopped the mechanics’ attempts to add yet more credit to the already flooded engine.
Central banks have the money—after all, they print the coupons that pass as such—to hire academia’s best and brightest; but even their well-paid hirelings cannot solve what cannot be solved. When a paradigm shift occurs, what once worked no longer does. There are no solutions. End of paradigm. End of story.
A PARADIGM SHIFT IS IN PROGRESS

The inability to revive the bankers’ credit and debt-based economy is a sign that a paradigm shift is underway. Economists today believe the global economy is experiencing a series of exogenous shocks, e.g. the collapse of the US real estate bubble, the collapse of financial markets and investment banks in 2008 and the sovereign debt crisis in 2010, etc.; but such shocks appear to be exogenous only because economists are viewing the shocks from within the current paradigm.
The increasingly serious shocks are not exogenous. They are the result of increasing internal systemic instability, an indication that a fundamental paradigm shift is occurring; and, when paradigms shifts occur, the question is not how the paradigm can be saved—the question is when and how it will end.
Today, central bankers are unable to control markets just as economists are unable to explain them. This is characteristic of what Thomas Kuhn called a paradigm change. In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn’s uniquely insightful academic monograph published in 1962, Kuhn introduced the concept of paradigm change into the general lexicon.
Paradigm changes.. result from the invention of new theories brought about by the failure of existing theory to solve the problems defined by that theory. This failure is acknowledged as a crisis by the scientific community.
http://des.emory.edu/mfp/Kuhn.html
SYSTEMIC INSTABILITY & PARADIGM CHANGE

The present financial crisis is caused by a systemic failure of credit and debt-based economies. The maturation of the modern credit economy has led to such levels of debt that additional credit can no longer induce sufficient growth to service and/or retire previous debt.
This is in keeping with Hyman Minsky’s financial instability hypothesis; and, because the modern banking system itself is the cause of the current instability with apparently exogenous forces merely exacerbating systemic weaknesses, efforts by central bankers to respond to these forces will inevitably prove inadequate.
The balance between credit and debt, when disrupted in modern economies, fails to produce adequate growth; and efforts of central bankers in post-peak modern economies to induce the necessary growth results only in sequential asset bubbles and the continuing debasement of currencies.
Credit-based capitalist economies need to constantly expand in order to deal with constantly expanding levels of compounding debt; and when central bankers are no longer able to induce sufficient expansion, economies collapse as debt levels become unsustainable.
That this is now occurring comes as a surprise to modern economists who correlated the previous extraordinary success of credit-based economies with infinite longevity. Economic historian David Hackett Fisher provides evidence to the contrary, that no era lasts forever; that all periods of social, cultural and economic equilibrium end in waves of rising prices resulting in economic collapse. The present era is no exception; and that we have forgotten history does not mean we are immune to its reach.
Professor David Hackett Fisher, author of The Great Wave: Price Revolutions and the Rhythm of History, observed that recurring price-revolutions, i.e. waves of rising prices, appear throughout history resulting in the collapse of existing eras, e.g. the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, etc.
According to Professor Fisher, the current price-revolution will end The Era of Victorian Equilibrium, i.e. the era of modern banking/capitalism; for modern banking/capitalism was responsible for England’s extraordinary power and wealth during that period.
Capitalism, an inherently unstable system of vast potential, has played a major role in world events for over two centuries. Today, however, capitalism is in disarray; for we are approaching the culmination of another great wave of rising prices which will bring capitalism’s two-centuries-in-the-sun to a devastating close.
The present wave shares characteristics with all price-revolutions. The primary characteristic is rising prices and the present wave will be no exception. In each of the four previous price-revolutions since the 12th century, Professor Fisher noted:
..Food and fuel led the upward movement. Manufactured goods and services lagged behind. These patterns indicated that the prime mover was excess aggregate demand, generated by an acceleration of population growth, or by rising living standards, or both.
Eventually, prices went higher, and became increasingly unstable. They began to surge and decline in movements of increasing volatility. Severe price-shocks were felt in commodity movements. The money supply was alternately expanded and contracted. Financial markets became unstable. Government spending grew faster than revenue, and public debt increased at a rapid rate. In every price-revolution, the strongest nation-states suffered severely from fiscal stresses: Spain in the 16th century, France in the 18th century, and the United States in the 20th century.
…Wages, which had at first kept up with prices, now lagged behind. Returns to labor declined while returns to land and capital increased. The rich grew richer. Inequalities of wealth and income increased. So did hunger, homelessness, crime, violence, drink, drugs, and family disruption.
pp. 237-238, David Hackett Fisher, The Great Wave: Price Revolutions and the Rhythm of History, Oxford University Press, 1996
The banker’s credit and debt-based paradigm is ending and despite what central bankers and governments desperately wish, in 2013 or soon thereafter, their economic engine will either seize up or the bankers’ excessive monetary easing will cause one or more of the tires to explode. You can bank on it
PROFESSOR ANTAL E. FEKETE AND THE NEW AUSTRIAN SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS
The growing interest in the school of Austrian economics is a function of the times. The present economic paradigm built on paper banknotes, credit and debt is in disarray; and, as the bankers’ credit and debt-based paradigm is increasingly unable to solve the problems it caused, the search for alternative explanations and answers is gathering momentum
Confronted with..crisis, scientists take a different attitude toward existing paradigms, and the nature of their research changes accordingly. The proliferation of competing articulations, the willingness to try anything, the expression of explicit discontent, the recourse to philosophy and to debate over fundamentals, all these are symptoms of a transition from normal to extraordinary research.
Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Chapter VIII, 1962
My first exposure to Austrian economics was in 1973 when I read the obituary of Ludwig von Mises in the Wall Street Journal. Von Mises’ belief that through freedom of choice, i.e. the exercise of free will, humanity would reach its full potential resonated strongly with my own core beliefs.
A much deeper understanding of Austrian economics occurred as a result of my friendship with Professor Antal E. Fekete, a strong proponent of the Austrian School of Economics. In keeping with that friendship I would like to share an announcement from Professor Fekete:
1.Effective December 31, 2012, I have retired as President of NASOE [The New School of Austrian Economics], following my 80th birthday
2.Professor Juan Ramon Rallo of King Karlos University [King Juan Carlos University] Madrid, Spain, has been appointed as new president effective January 1, 2103
3.An anonymous donor has donated $1 million to establish a fund for the purpose of supporting the work of NASOE. By the terms of the donation the fund is to be kept in physical gold and silver
4.The first meeting of NASOE will be in Madrid, March 29-31, 2013. More information will be available soon

The contributions of Professor Fekete to the understanding of today’s economic crisis are many and worthy of thought and discussion; and Professor Fekete’s choice of Professor Juan Ramon Rallo to succeed him at the New Austrian School of Economics is an excellent one.
Appropriately enough, an article by Professor Rallo, posted by the Ludwig von Mises Institute in January 2009, is entitled Economic Crisis and Paradigm Shift. More commentary and thoughts by Professor Rallo can be viewed on his Facebook (English translation) page.
THE PARADIGM SHIFT AND GOLD

It is not possible to discern a new paradigm before it emerges. When the Middle Ages were still collapsing, the possibility that the Renaissance would succeed it was impossible to then see. So it is today.
The transition between the old paradigm and the succeeding paradigm will not be easy. They never are. Professor David Hackett Fisher’s Great Wave has yet to completely crest and break although it now appears to be gathering the terrible and requisite strength to do so.
Of such price-revolutions, Professor Fisher writes: This model understands price-revolutions as autogenous, self-generating processes. It is an historical idea. Each stage contains within itself the seed of the next stage; and the one after that. The causal sequence is not fixed and rigid in its determinism. It develops as a chain of individual choices, and as a consequence its structure changes from one great wave to the next.
…we are living in the late stages of a very long price-revolution, perhaps in the critical stage. It also tells us that these are global processes. Our destiny is now closely linked to the condition of all humanity. The patterns of the past also suggest that what will happen in the future depends in no small degree on the choices that we make. Human beings do not hold everything in our hands, but our collective power to shape historical processes has grown enormously in the past 800 years. We can use this power wisely or foolishly. Our choices will make a difference for our children and grandchildren, and for generations yet unborn.
I will not sum up Professor Fisher’s thoughts for they are not hard and fast answers but rather suggestions for navigating the perilous and consequential times ahead. Just as the current paradigm cannot solve the current crisis, neither will reflexive ideological responses by the left and right formed by the present paradigm , e.g. state intervention vs the ‘free market’, work either.
Such responses may provide ideological comfort in such times but history shows they have little relevance in transiting what now confronts us. I suggest reading Professor Fisher’s book, The Great Wave, for a deeper understanding what is now about to happen.
If you believe you already possess the requisite understanding, you are most likely wrong. When paradigms change, the rules change too. What is known is that gold and silver will provide safety when paper currencies will become worthless; but in a paradigm shift of this magnitude, gold and silver alone will not insure a successful transit.
When houses are built on sand
And money’s based on debt
The end times are in motion
But you ain’t seen nothing yet
Gold and silver will help
When money’s no longer gold
But only faith will give you the strength
To make it to the end of the road
My current youtube video is titled: Time of the Vulture 2013 wherein I discuss the significance and futility of QE3. The Fed’s decision to provide monetary easing ad infinitum will eventually end in the destruction of paper money itself.
When I wrote Time of The Vulture: How to Survive the Crisis and Prosper in the Process, most did not believe an economic crisis of historic magnitude was about to occur. Today, most don’t believe a far better world will emerge out of the coming economic collapse.
It will. A better world is coming. You can bank on it.
Buy gold, buy silver, have faith

FLASHBACK:Eric Holder: Gun Owners Should 'Cower' in Shame Like Smokers

NewsBusters ^ | 1/10/13 | NB Staff

The hot new video at MRCTV.org is 1995 footage of Attorney General Eric Holder, when he was the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. In his remarks before the Woman's National Democratic Club, broadcast by CSPAN 2, Holder said people should be ashamed to own guns, just the way that cigarette smokes now "cower outside of buildings" to smoke.
"What we need to do is change the way in which people think about guns, especially young people, and make it something that's not cool, that it's not acceptable, it's not hip to carry a gun anymore, in the way in which we’ve changed our attitudes about cigarettes. You know, when I was growing up, people smoked all the time. Both my parents did. But over time, we changed the way that people thought about smoking, so now we have people who cower outside of buildings and kind of smoke in private and don’t want to admit it.” Laughter followed. (Video at link)
(Excerpt) Read more at newsbusters.org ...

The EPA’s Light Bulb Mercury Problem

Townhall.com ^ | January 9, 2013 | Susan Brown

Ninety-six. That’s the number of 60-watt incandescent light bulbs I purchased last weekend after learning the other kind, the compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) environmentalists are so in love with, are hazardous to my health and to the environment. I would have preferred a higher wattage but discovered the 75-watt version was outlawed January 1st.
It took about three hours to replace every CFL bulb in my house and carefully place them in a huge plastic container used to transport them to the recycling center at a local home improvement store. I said a quick prayer for safety while coasting down the road in my SUV. A HAZMAT decal would have come in handy because had I been in a collision, I had enough mercury on board to make the evening news. And because I am a Conservative, they might have labeled me a home-grown terrorist.
CFLs aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Back in 2008, some Yale University scientists isolated CFLs’ benefits down to one: lower energy bills. The scientists questioned whether a little savings was worth the danger attached to mercury exposure and “runoff downstream.”
Besides making the environment sick, researchers recently discovered these “environmentally friendly” light bulbs aren’t friendly to humans either. According to the UK Telegraph, CFLs “should not be left on for extended periods, particularly near someone’s head” because “they emit poisonous materials when switched on.” The report found those “carcinogenic substances” should be “kept as far away as possible from the human environment” because they may cause migraines, skin problems and breast cancer. Great.
It really makes no sense. Somehow it’s okay to have mercury housed in delicate glass bulbs inside every home in America, yet the EPA feels compelled to enact new regulations like the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) limiting mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants promising MATS would raise kids’ IQs, prevent a substantial amount of premature deaths, reduce heart attacks, and lessen childhood asthma. I’d settle for weight control and whiter teeth.
Sounds wonderful. Problem is, the EPA’s logic is about as twisted as a CFL, considering most people don’t live next to a coal-fired plant, but every home in America using CFLs is at risk of mercury exposure.
They say the pricey CFL’s are cost efficient, but fail to mention their measure for efficiency decreases if the bulbs are switched on and off. Nor do they discuss the outrageous price per bulb or the gas usage (carbon footprint) involved in transporting old bulbs. They also fail to factor in human nature; most people will simply discard old bulbs instead of spending their Saturday driving to the recycling center.
Seems to me, enacting the most expensive EPA rule revision in history, MATS, has less to do with people and more to do with coal-fired plants. Back in January 2012, the Washington Times said the rule will cost power plants up to $18 billion a year and “will be passed directly to consumers.” I’ve always believed Progressives love the planet but hate the people who live on it. Think about it. They are quick to condemn environmental violators but conveniently ignore the massive amounts of mercury Mother Nature herself spews out by way of volcanoes, deep-sea vents and geysers. Maybe we should tax the planet, just for good measure.
According to Power Engineering Magazine, by 2016, EPA rules will force the shutdown of “32 mostly coal-fired power plants” in 12 states, and possibly 36 others. The shutdowns will lead to higher power costs, less jobs, and potential rationing. Before long, we’ll be rubbing sticks together to cook food, stay warm, and find our way to the community outhouse.
But, in the meantime…tonight I celebrate. I purged my home of all those hazy mercury-filled bulbs and I’m switching on every last one of my incandescent bulbs to celebrate -- in hopes the Google Earth satellite will drift my way and snap a picture. My house will be one of the brightest spots on the planet, second only to Al Gore’s.

Ryan asks if Obama will meet deadline to submit a budget request this year

The Hill ^ | 1/9/13 | Erik Wasson

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Wednesday asked the White House if it will once again miss the legal deadline for submitting an annual budget to Congress. Under the law, Obama must submit a budget by the first Monday in February, but he has met the deadline only once. The annual budget submission is supposed to start a congressional budgeting process, but that has also broken down. The Senate last passed a budget resolution in 2009. “Given the critical importance of addressing our nation´s fiscal problems, I am writing to ask whether the President will submit
(Excerpt) Read more at thehill.com ...

The Need for Semi-Automatic "Assault" Weapons

Townhall.com ^ | January 10, 2013 | Katie Pavlich

By now, we’ve heard the argument about semi-automatic "assault" rifles: nobody needs one. we’ve heard the only reason why someone would obtain this kind of weapon is so they can kill people, which is far from the truth. We’ve also heard the argument from both the Left and the Right that a pistol is how someone protects their home.
"I really don’t know why people need assault weapons. I’m not a hunter but I understand people who want to hunt," Republican Rep. Peter King said on Morning Joe earlier this week. "I understand people who live in rough neighborhoods or have a small business and want to maintain a pistol to protect themselves as long as they’re properly vetted and licensed. But an assault weapon? "

While the use of pistols in the home are helpful, they’re not the best weapon to use when it comes to protecting property. This is why people need a semi-automatic rifle which yes, can come in the form of an AR-15.

Let’s go back in history for a moment. While everyday life in America compared to the rest of the world is pretty darn easy and relatively safe, the reality is things can change overnight, regardless of whether you live in a decent neighborhood. Take for example the Los Angeles riots in 1992, when business owners were forced to defend their property from angry mobs causing severe chaos: $1 billion in property damage, 50 dead, 4,000 injured, 3,000 fires set and 1,100 buildings damaged. In this case, a handheld pistol was in no way sufficient, but semi-automatic rifles were.

Business owners in LA’s Koreatown knew what was coming their way, so they armed themselves with shotguns and semi-automatic rifles in order to defend their property. They stood on their rooftops as they watched black smoke pour down the street. The cops weren't there to help them.

“One of our security guards was killed,” Kee Whan Ha told NPR in April 2012, 20 years after the riots took place. "I didn't see any police patrol car whatsoever. It's a wide open area. It was like the Wild West in the old days, there was nothing there, we were the only ones left."
Business owner Richard Rhee felt the same way and told the Los Angeles Times, "Burn this down after 33 years?... They don't know how hard I've worked. This is my market and I'm going to protect it."

“Assault weapons” saved Koreatown and it’s fair to say the people holding them saved the lives of many that day.
Then of course, there was the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. New Orleans became a place of complete anarchy in a matter of hours. In addition to property owners being forced to stave off mobs of people roaming for food, water and shelter to survive as the government failed to provide emergency services, they had to protect themselves against dangerous looters. But not only were New Orleans residents forced to defend themselves against immediate threats to their person and property, residents also had to protect themselves from the government.
As the water started to recede, leaving New Orleans a chaotic wasteland, police officers began going door to door confiscating weapons. Who did they take them from? Mostly poor black residents in New Orleans' 9th Ward.

The New York Times reported in September 2005, “No civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to carry pistols, shotguns or other firearms.” The paper pointed out that rich residents and business were allowed to hire hundreds of security guards with firearms to protect them. Sadly, the poor in New Orleans didn’t have the same luxury.

Superintendent of police at the time P. Edwin Compass III said, “Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons.”

What happened days before weapons confiscation was tyranny of the worst kind. Henry Glover, a 31-year-old black man was shot and killed by New Orlean’s police officers. They also burned his body.
A New Orleans police officer was laughing after he burned the body of a man who had been gunned down by police in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, a fellow officer testified Thursday.

The testimony came during the trial of officer Greg McRae and Lt. Dwayne Scheuermann, who are charged with burning the body of 31-year-old Henry Glover in a car after he was shot and killed by a different officer outside a strip mall on Sept. 2, 2005. Three other current and former officers also are charged in Glover's death.

A former officer, David Warren, is charged with shooting Glover. Prosecutors say Glover wasn't armed and didn't pose a threat to Warren.

Scheuermann and McRae are accused of beating people who drove Glover to a makeshift police headquarters in search of help. The three men were handcuffed when the officers drove off with the car containing Glover's body.

Former Lt. Robert Italiano and Lt. Travis McCabe are accused of falsifying a report to make it appear Glover's shooting was justified.
When politicians and gun grabbers tell us we “don’t need” semi-automatic, "assault," or "military style" weapons, they don’t know what they’re talking about.

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