Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Cruising the Web

So if Obama is supporting Biden over Hillary is that just part of Obama's war on women?

Ben Carson has a very good column in USA Today about what blacks should really be doing instead of trying to disrupt politicians' speeches.
This is where we should march:

Let’s head down to the board of education. Teaching is a tough job and thank God there was a teacher who convinced me that I was not dumb, but our schools are failing and we have no power to abandon them. The actions of rogue police officers take black lives one at a time. Our public school system has destroyed black lives not in the ones and twos, but in whole generations.

The schools don’t teach and our children don’t learn. Too many public schools are controlled by teachers unions focused more on the convenience and compensation of adults rather than the education of children who started out far behind. Their failures don't kill as quickly, but they do kill as surely as a bullet.

Let’s confront the entertainment industry that lines its pockets by glamorizing a life where black men are thugs and our women are trash. Let’s tell them we plan to start talking with our wallets.

It is time for them to pick on someone else because we have had enough. Demeaning women is not art, and it shouldn’t be profitable. Neither is glorifying violence and equating prison time with authenticity. Straight Outta Compton, #1 in movie theaters, is just the latest example. You only have to watch the trailers.

Let’s go down to city hall. Living behind a door with three deadbolts is not living in freedom. Being too scared to walk around your block at night is not the pursuit of happiness we were all promised.

Let's go over to the crack house. We need to tear it down. Profiting from selling poison to our children and destroying lives must not be the ambition of our children. These monuments to our destruction deserve our active scorn not our silent acceptance.

We should go to Washington. For decades they have fought the "War on Poverty." Poverty won. We lost.

Over 19 trillion dollars has been wasted, but can anyone identify a single battle won as a result? We certainly have not helped the poor “lift themselves out of the ruts of poverty” as Lyndon Johnson promised — far from it. These programs have been a great American failure.

We should have a talk with the Democratic Party. Let's tell them, we don’t want to be clothed, fed and housed. We want honor and dignity.

We don't want a plan to give us public housing in nice neighborhoods. We want an end to excuses for schools that leave us without the means to buy our own houses where we choose to live. We want the skills needed to compete, not a consolation prize of Section 8, Food Stamps and a lifetime of government paperwork.

Finally, we need to go over to the Republican Party. We need to tell them they have ignored us for too long. They need to invite us in and listen to us. We need to communicate and find a different way.

There are many things to be angry about when you are consumed by hopelessness. Bernie Sanders isn’t one of them.
This is very nicely done. If he talks like this on the next debate, he'll go even higher in the polls.

The WSj asks a decent question: Is it better for a candidate to "represent the agenda of one rich guy or 1,000 rich guys?" The implication of Trump's claiming that he would be a better leader because he would not be beholden to any special interests since he wouldn't need their money is that only rich guys could run for office.
But most politicians aren’t rich, which means they have to raise money from others. This has the benefit of testing the level of their support as well as forcing them to build political coalitions. The broader their support, the less likely any single donor or constituency would have inordinate influence.

Campaign money also increases political competition. Without donations, politicians who aren’t wealthy or well known would never be able to wage a competitive campaign for the White House. A major reason this year’s Republican field is so wide and deep is because candidates have access to more donations via super PACs. Americans should want a system in which middle-class candidates like Marco Rubio or Scott Walker have a chance to be President.

“I know how the system works better than anybody,” Mr. Trump also says, explaining that accepting a large donation creates an obligation to return the favor. Favors to campaign donors happen every day in Washington, but politicians also often disappoint their campaign supporters once in office. Politics attracts many despicable characters, but some of the people drawn to government service are there because they are animated by a cause....

The stolen base in the Trump argument is that if elected the other candidates would have agendas but he wouldn’t. The truth is that even if he never takes a nickel from a lobbyist, Mr. Trump will still be influenced by his largest campaign donor—himself. To say the least, he’s never been shy about pursuing his interests.

In business that’s fine and plastering his name everywhere has built a well-known brand and accumulated a fortune that may even be as large as he says it is. But it’s naive to examine his career and conclude that he lives only to serve others. It’s not clear to us why the agenda of one rich guy in Manhattan is superior to one that incorporates the views of a thousand rich guys across the U.S.

Then again, Mr. Trump is new to the presidential campaign and on Sunday he said he also is open to taking contributions, large and small, as long as there are “no strings attached.” Like any other politician.

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This is how oppo research is done as Republicans are dumpster diving at the Clinton Library for information on Hillary. I guess they should start working up their oppo on Biden and Warren.

The teachers unions never give up trying to keep members from opting out of their union.
The Mackinac Center charged that the Michigan Education Association arbitrarily changed the address that teachers must mail if they want to invoke their right to opt out of the union under the new state law. The union quietly changed the address two months before the 30-day period during which it accepts the letters.

People who sent letters to the union headquarters in East Lansing received letters in response explaining that the requests would only be accepted if mailed to a separate post office box. The procedural change was quietly announced at the bottom of the "members only" section of the union website and became effective June 3. The union accepts the letters only during August, so a person who missed the announcement also could easily miss the deadline by the time he or she received the letter rejecting the initial request.
Consider it the Brezhnev Doctrine of union membership.

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John Leo has a collection of things that are now racist that you might never have realized were racist.
2. M.A.s may be racist, postmasters too. Stephen Davis, master of Pierson College at Yale, says the word “master” in his title is severely upsetting some students and driving them off campus. He wants Pierson and Yale’s eleven other residential colleges to have “heads” rather than “masters.”

3. Liking white meat is racist. Writer Ron Rosenbaum said in Slate that racism accounts for the popularity of white-meat turkey over more flavorful dark meat. “White meat turkey has no taste,” he explained. “Despite its superior taste, dark meat has dark undertones for some. Dark meat seems to summon up ancient fears of contamination and miscegenation as opposed to the supposed superior purity of white meat.”
Gosh. I like dark meat better than white meat. I wonder if that will help cancel out the fact that I have a Master's degree.

Sugar protectionist tariffs is sending jobs overseas.
Sugar-using industries now have a big incentive to relocate from the United States to countries where access to their primary ingredient is not restricted.

If the government wants people making Oreo cookies and similar products to keep their jobs, a logical starting point would be to eliminate the U.S. sugar program, including barriers to imported sugar.

This obvious connection between the lost jobs and sugar quotas was missed by many observers. According to one online commenter: “This is why tariff[s] on products coming to U.S must be raised.”

That’s backwards. When protectionist policies like the U.S. sugar program lead to offshoring, the response shouldn’t be to pass new laws to discourage such offshoring or to raise tariffs even higher. The response should be to eliminate government policies that encourage offshoring in the first place.

The loss of Oreo cookie jobs should reinforce a lesson on the job-destroying aspect of protectionist trade policies.

According to a 2006 report from the government’s International Trade Administration: “Chicago, one of the largest U.S. cities for confectionery manufacturing, has lost nearly one-third of its SCP manufacturing jobs over the last 13 years. These losses are attributed, in part, to high U.S. sugar prices.”

That lesson appears to be lost on unions that are supposed to represent the workers losing their jobs in Chicago.

Another policy fail for government putting its thumb on the scales.
Berkeley’s pioneering soda tax is failing to hit consumers as much as public health advocates had hoped, with stores only passing on 22 percent of the tax to customers.

Berkeley, Calif. was the first city in the nation to vote for a soda tax, with supporters arguing the higher price would cut consumption of sugary drinks and help tackle obesity. The law took effect in March and forced distributors to pay a 1 cent tax per ounce of soda. However, Berkeley’s store owners have refused to play ball and have only passed on a fraction of the price increase to consumers.

Economists John Cawley of Cornell and David Frisvold of the University of Iowa gathered price data from all Berkeley’s groceries, supermarkets, pharmacies, convenience stores and gas stations. Prices in these stores were then compared to a sample of shops in San Francisco. Published in the National Bureau of Economic Research, the paper found that just 21.7 percent of the tax was passed to customers.

“These results imply that the Berkeley soda tax, because it is passed through to consumers to a lesser extent than anticipated, will result in less of a reduction in consumption, and thus less health improvement, than anticipated,” the study said....

Sin taxes have come under fire from economists for being regressive and hitting the poorest consumers hardest. A recent study by the Mercatus Center concluded that “sin taxes — taxes that are intended to change the behavior of consumers—are one prominent category of taxes with a disproportionate effect on the poor.”

To demonstrate the regressive nature of sin taxes Mercatus cited a study in the U.K. showing the poorest 20 percent of households spend roughly $2,000 per year on sin taxes, amounting to around 11.4 percent of their disposable income. (RELATED: Sin Taxes, Zoning Laws And Occupational Licensing Are Holding Back The Poor)

Poor British households spend almost 40 percent of their disposable income on sin taxes, compared to households in the top 20 percent who spend just 15 percent.

The Iran deal is making strange bedfellows.
Behind Riyadh’s ire is the sense that, in its pursuit of a nuclear accommodation with Tehran, America is tilting away from its traditional Middle East allies and toward Iran’s ayatollahs. For these Arab states, the new Washington dispensation means forging security arrangements that a few years ago would have seemed unthinkable. Perhaps the most astonishing of these developments is the nascent alliance between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Anwar Eshki, a retired major general in the Saudi armed forces, has spearheaded Riyadh’s outreach to Jerusalem. He made history in June when he appeared on a panel in Washington, D.C., with Dore Gold, the newly appointed director-general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry. At that event, Gen. Eshki outlined a vision for the Middle East that included Arab-Israeli peace, regime change in Tehran, democracy in the Arab world and the creation of a Kurdish state. And while Gen. Eshki says his outreach to the Israelis is a purely private enterprise, it hasn’t been interpreted that way in the region, in large part because he is a prominent and well-connected figure in the Saudi security establishment.

Trump's petty and tasteless revenge continues as he resumes his attacks on Megyn Kelly.
“I liked The Kelly File much better without @megynkelly,” Trump tweeted. “Perhaps she could take another eleven day unscheduled vacation!”

The Republican candidate’s critique of Kelly was the latest in a revenge campaign since the two clashed over the GOP presidential debate on Aug . 6

He tuned in Monday night to attack her return to the anchor desk.

“@megynkelly must have had a terrible vacation, she is really off her game,” Trump lamented. “Was afraid to confront Dr. Cornel West. No clue on immigration!”

Trump supporters also chimed in with an online onslaught against Kelly. The Donald retweeted one hater who said, “The bimbo back in town.”
I guess this will make his poll numbers climb.

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This will give people more confidence in the EPA.
U.S. officials knew of the potential for a catastrophic "blowout" of poisonous wastewater from an inactive gold mine, yet appeared to have only a cursory plan to deal with such an event when a government cleanup team triggered a 3-million-gallon spill, according to internal documents released by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA released the documents late Friday following weeks of prodding from The Associated Press and other media organizations. While shedding some light on the circumstances surrounding the accident, the newly disclosed information also raises more questions about whether enough was done to prevent it.

The Aug. 5 spill came as workers excavated the entrance to the idled Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado, unleashing a torrent of toxic water that fouled rivers in three states.

A June 2014 work order for a planned cleanup noted the mine had not been accessible since 1995, when the entrance partially collapsed.

"This condition has likely caused impounding of water behind the collapse," the report said. "Conditions may exist that could result in a blowout of the blockages and cause a release of large volumes of contaminated mine waters and sediment from inside the mine."
Yet they seemed totally unprepared for what their studies said may happen to actually happen.

The dumbest college courses for 2015. Don't you want to pay thousands for your kids to take these courses?

And this is how CNN changee its headline for its US and international editions. Because the biggest part of the story of brave men stopping a terror attack on a French train was that a minor French actor got a minor injury in the attack.

Allen Guelzo has an interesting essay about the role of religion in the Civil War and the impact that the War had on religious faith in the country.