Life is a Bungling process...
Jean Giraudoux who first said, “Only the mediocre are always at their best.”
"the difference between a negotiation and an argument ... an argument being something you can win." Christopher Buckley (Thank You For Smoking)
If you have ten thousand regulations, you destroy all respect for the law. Sir Winston Churchill
"summum ius summa iniuria" ("More laws, more injustice.") Cicero
"Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." Ronald Reagan
"Why did God make so many damn fools and Democrats?" Clarence Day
“You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead.” Stan Laurel – “Brats”
"If I feel like feeding squirrels to the nuts, this is the place for it." - Cluny Brown
"Oh, pshaw! When yu' can't have what you choose, yu' just choose what you have." Owen Wister "The Virginian"
Oscar Wilde said about the death scene in Little Nell, you would have to have a heart of stone not to laugh.
"Half the World spends its time laughing at the other half, and both are fools." from Think Fast Mr. Moto
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Second City swindle
Friday, December 30, 2011
The Government needs this lesson: "Poverty is to be stayed away from even for the purposes of Study"
Published: 27 December 2011
Incentives matter! This simple two-word sentence is the heart of Economics 101. Ask any economist, and she will tell you, “Yes, incentives do matter!” It also seems so simple and obvious when you stop and think about it. Sadly, as we start to think of more complex issues and problems, the importance of this little phrase seems to get lost in the shuffle.
Take for example the issue of bureaucracy. Most bureaucracies are seen as terribly inefficient. The average person may even rant about how terrible the DMV or post office is (no matter how much it tries to appear like a normal business). Most people may understand that the problem has to do with incentives, but they will still probably think there is no choice but for the State to perform such functions. They likely believe that making a few changes or putting in the right bureaucrats can fix things.
Today’s document, Henry Hazlitt’s New York Times review of Ludwig von Mises’s Bureaucracy, shows why we come to view bureaucracies as inefficient. They simply lack the knowledge and incentive to perform efficiently no matter how benevolent the bureaucrats may be. As Hazlitt states, “For the main thesis of Professor von Mises is that bureaucracy is merely a symptom of the real disease with which we have to deal. That disease is excessive State domination and control.”
-more at link-
Thursday, December 29, 2011
President Obama keeps pushing for gun control. "I just want you to know that we are working on [gun control]. We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar,” President Obama told Sarah Brady, the former president of the Brady Campaign, this past spring.
His push as been quiet but relentless.
Just this past week Obama signaled that he was going to just ignore two new parts of the 2012 Omnibus Spending bill. Although he signed the spending bill into law, he simultaneously issued a so-called "signing statement," a note that presidents have started attaching to legislation stating how they interpret the law they are signing or whether they believe part of it is unconstitutional.
Obama’s statement claimed that Congress couldn’t put restrictions on how he wanted to spend to fund lobbying for gun control and the National Institute of Health studies of gun control.
But why should the federal government use taxpayer dollars to pay for lobbying?
Obama has had numerous false starts on gun control. Just in November, his administration moved to ban target practice on public lands, but the opposition was so swift and strong they immediately backtracked.
A couple of weeks ago the Obama administration suffered another embarrassment. It was discovered that the Obama administration oversaw the sale of guns to Mexican drug gangs in its Fast & Furious program to bolster statistics of guns crossing over to the border to these very drug gangs.
This scandal is quite incredible as the Obama administration ordered gun dealers to make sales to Mexican drug gangs against their wishes to help the administration’s push for more gun control. And this follows the revelation in July that the Obama administration had pushed federal agents involved in the Fast & Furious scandal to support gun control regulations during their congressional testimony.
read on at:http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/12/28/president-obamas-anti-gun-agenda-shows-no-sign-stopping/print#ixzz1hy2oD0U8
According to the New York Times, the answer seems to be “yes.” An article in yesterday’s Times by Michael Luo collects some anecdotes about misbehavior by a few licensees in North Carolina. The Times article has some numbers in it, and it provides the number of North Carolinians with carry permits (240,000). After a thorough search of North Carolina records, the Times finds that about 1% of permitees were convicted of something, other than a traffic offense, over the past five years. Of these 2,400 convictions, by far the largest group is “nearly 900 permit holders were convicted of drunken driving, a potentially volatile circumstance given the link between drinking and violence.”
“Drunk driving” (which, I would guess, the Times uses as a shorthand for lesser offenses such as driving while impaired) is a serious crime in itself. But just because a woman has three glasses of wine with dinner at a restaurant, and then gets caught in a police checkpoint, doesn’t make her some “potentially volatile” person who is going to murder somebody in an inebriated rage.
In any large population (e.g., 240,000) there will be at least a small percentage who over a period of time are found guilty of some crimes. This does not mean that that population as a whole is dangerous. It would have been useful to compare the conviction rates of North Carolinians who have carry licenses with the convictions rates of those who do not. I suspect that the non-licensee crime rate would be much higher, especially for violent gun crimes.
In a 2009 article in the Connecticut Law Review, I collected data from Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Louisiana, Texas, and Florida. (The state data begin on page 564 of the article.) The data show that concealed carry licensees are much more law-abiding than the general population, and that the rate of gun misuse of any sort (let alone having something to do with violence in public place) is less than one in one thousand.
Instapundit collects some other responses to the Times’ effort to foment hysteria and prejudice against the persons who exercise the constitutional right to carry firearms for lawful protection.
[This post was corrected in response to reader comments, including the fact that I wrongly wrote that the Times had not reported the total number of licensees.]
President Obama and Michelle had dinner last night at Honolulu’s famed foodie paradise, Alan Wong’s.
The middle class was not invited.
I realize the Obamas are wealthy people, and that wealthy people have the right to drop $260 of their disposable income on chow. But if you’re going to inviteAssociated Press photographers along to capture your trip to Target and stage photo ops at PetSmart and Best Buy, then I’m going to write about your unpublicized excursion to Alan Wong’s.
The press pool was not invited in to take photos this time. In fact, others were discouraged from doing so too. From the pool report:
Diners have been trying to takes pictures of POTUS, only to be chased off by advance staffers.
Since when are people not allowed to take pictures?
According to the pool report, the Obamas and their friends dined on the five-course “tasting menu” that was tasty to the tune of $75 a person, $105 with wine. Among the highlights were “Sassey Salad” and bacon wrapped pork loin.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
This isn’t just a low moment. It is despicable. The United Nations General Assembly has just paid tribute to the late North Korean tyrant, Kim Jong Il, with delegates standing to observe a minute of silence in his memory.
The Associated Press reports  that this kind of tribute is “customary for leaders who die in office” and that North Korea’s Mission to the UN requested this tribute to Kim. There were no speeches, and the chamber was half empty.
None of that excuses the depraved act of the UN honoring a man whose rule was responsible for abominations and atrocities inflicted by Kim Jong Il and his regime during Kim’s 17 years in power, or for that matter Kim’s long prior career under his father of engineering terrorist acts such as bombings and abductions abroad. For the UN to pay any tribute to Kim Jong Il is to insult the million or more Koreans who died of famine, the hundreds of thousands consigned to Kim’s prison camps, and the many millions more leading lives of grotesque fear and deprivation — all as the cost of Kim’s rule.
Nothing in the UN rulebook requires the General Assembly to pay tribute to its array of resident monsters. The Assembly could have replied to the North Korean mission that there will be no tribute to anyone, dead or living, who contributed to North Korea’s totalitarian horrors. But this same General Assembly that annually demands billions of dollars from U.S. tax payers — and gets them from our federal government — has just paid tribute to Kim Jong Il. What more do we need to know?
Worst Spin Possible = in the 1930s the glacier was falling apart as quickly as it has been recently.
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you’re having a lovely vacation. Because I’m not actually on vacation. Unless you consider drinking coconut coffee from the Keurig while I work in my office a vacation. Because I don’t. At any rate, I saved the US taxpayers nearly $4 million by not being First Lady and flying off for a 17-day vacation in Hawaii on the taxpayers dime. You can thank me later.
Michelle Obama, noted supporter of the 99% and champion of the poor, on the other hand, is reportedly draining taxpayer funds to finance a massive year-end festival of relaxation on the sunny shores of Oahu while the rest of us slave away so that we aren’t unemployed come her husband’s fourth year as President.
And don’t think she’s dressing like a regular tourist while she’s there, either, you peons. As she accompanied Barack and family to church services on the Kaneohe Bay Marine Base on Sunday, Michelle sported a Resort Collection Sophie Theallet sundress (thumbnail), which, at the time it was purchased in late 2009, cost between $1K and $2K. Similar dresses from the Resort 2012 collection sell for that much and more.
- Karl Trenker confronted two men; was shot three times
- Used battlefield training to stem blood from his wounds
- He was never hurt while serving in Afghanistan and Iraq
Last updated at 8:02 PM on 27th December 2011
A U.S. Marine officer has told the incredible story of how he survived a street robbery by plugging bullet holes in his body with his fingers.
Lieutenant Colonel Karl Trenker, 29, of Miramar, Florida, was shot three times as he confronted two men who had stolen a gold chain from him.
He said he used his battlefield training from Afghanistan and Iraq to stem blood from chest wounds by shoving his finger into the gaping wound. ...
As he showed off the necklace one of the men shoved him and grabbed the jewellery.
Lt Colonel Trenker said he chased after the two men when one of them turned round and opened fire, hitting him multiple times.
He said he plugged the bullet holes while calling his girlfriend on his cell phone and calmly telling her: ‘I've been shot.’
‘He's talking to me just as calmly as I'm sitting here talking.
‘He told me: “I've been shot three times, my fingers are in the bullet holes, the police are going to take care of the kids".'
Officers responding to the shooting found 20-year-olds James Flournoy and Jeff Steele close to the scene.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2079107/Marine-Karl-Trenker-shot-Craigslist-sale-turned-heist-plugged-holes-fingers-told-kids-hed-fine.html#ixzz1hqug8MEv
One of my favorite Christmas movies is “A Christmas Story,” the 1983 classic that centers on young Ralphie’s machinations to have Santa Claus bring him a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. Ralphie’s mother, of course, fears he would “shoot his eye out” if this occurred.
Watching the movie recently brought to mind the manner in which GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is being blasted by some of his Republican opponents and by certain firearms organizations for being insufficiently supportive of the Second Amendment. As a strong supporter of that provision in our Bill of Rights and a long-time board member of the National Rifle Association, I am always sensitive to claims that candidates aren’t supportive of the Second Amendment.
In this instance, the claims that Gingrich doesn’t support the Second Amendment are, at best, mistaken and, at worst, intentionally deceptive. In either event, the claims and the simplistic manner in which they are being bandied about do an injustice to both Gingrich and the Second Amendment.
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/12/26/newt-gets-bum-rap-on-gun-rights/#ixzz1hqqrAd92
Not Crony Capitalism, it's Crony-Graft-Corruption-Fraud! MF Global chief missing $1.2B is financial adviser to EPA
The Washington Times 12-27-11
Yet as the House and Senate interrogated Bradley I. Abelow and other top executives at MF Global Holdings Ltd., lawmakers did not mention Mr. Abelow's role as a financial adviser for the Environmental Protection Agency, which as of Tuesday listed him as the chairman of its financial advisory board.
Even as he finds himself the public face of a bankruptcy and admitted to lawmakers that he had no idea how client funds disappeared, Congress and the administration have voiced no public concern about Mr. Abelow's role advising the $8.6 billion government agency on its finances.
"EPA relying on Wall Street for financial guidance is like the blind leading the blind," said Jeff Ruch, president of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group based in Washington.
"In Abelow, you have a Wall Street executive who just presided over the disappearance of $1 billion in investor funds purporting to help guide federal infrastructure financing."
The EPA did not respond to multiple messages concerning Mr. Abelow's status with the board, though the EPA's website still reports that he is its chairman and notes his job at MF Global.
-read more at link-
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
So it’s official. The New York Times, or at least columnist Paul Krugman, has declared us to be in a worldwide depression. And just in time for Christmas.
I reached Douglass North, and gave him a rundown on what I was witnessing in Russia. Then I asked him how long it would take before Russia might become a normal, free and, democratic society — in which both the utilities and the political institutions really worked. I was hoping against hope for an answer with a time horizon within the decade or so.
North replied: “Oh, about 50 years.”
Let us hope it won't take that long here after Obama.
Twenty years ago this Christmas day, Mikhail Gorbachev gave a speech announcing “I hereby discontinue my activities at the post of President of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.” And with that, the totalitarian and murderous construct of the USSR, already uncoupled earlier that month by Russian President Boris Yeltsin and the presidents of Ukraine and Belarus, was no more.
These were monumental events. Yet so tumultuous is the world right now that the 20th anniversary of the Soviet collapse is figuring as little more than a footnote in the news. In Russia itself, the events of the hour are the protests against the reign of Vladimir Putin, with tens of thousands of people bravely demonstrating in the freezing streets, alleging foul play in the recent parliamentary elections and, as the AFP reports , carrying banners with slogans such as “We woke up and this is only the beginning.”
If so, it has been a long beginning. Twenty years have passed since Russia officially embarked on its awakening. An entire new generation has come of age, and the years since Christmas of 1991 have been filled with trouble, disappointments, crude grabs for Russia’s colossal natural resources, the fading of freedoms once promised, and the rise of a new autocracy. There would be room for a more joyous celebration of the Soviet collapse, were there less call to deplore a great deal of what has followed.
But I would not give up on Russia, or at least on the Russians.
Bernhard Goetz victim commits suicide on anniversary of subway shooting. How did Eric Holder miss releasing him early?
"Ramseur’s sentence, 180 days in jail plus a $1,500 fine, was tacked on to the 8 to 25 years he was already serving for the 1985 rape of a pregnant Bronx woman on a deserted rooftop."