Sunday, August 28, 2016

Charles Krauthammer gets it right on the Clintons

Here is Charles Krauthammer's column.

Charles notes that "It's not until a Rolex shows up on your wrist that you get indicted."  What people miss is that "protection" leaves no trace, and that paying to avoid costly action against you is just as much "pay for play" as paying to receive a visible benefit.
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THE CLINTON BRIBERY STANDARD

Bernie Sanders never understood the epic quality of the Clinton scandals. In his first debate, he famously dismissed the email issue, it being beneath the dignity of a great revolutionary to deal in things so tawdry and straightforward.

Sanders failed to understand that Clinton scandals are sprawling, multilayered, complex things. They defy time and space. They grow and burrow.

The central problem with Hillary Clinton's emails was not the classified material. It wasn't the headline-making charge by the FBI director of her extreme carelessness in handling it.

That's a serious offense, to be sure, and could very well have been grounds for indictment. And it did damage her politically, exposing her sense of above-the-law entitlement and -- in her dodges and prevarications, her parsing and evasions -- demonstrating her arm's-length relationship with the truth.

But it was always something of a sideshow. The real question wasn't classification but: Why did she have a private server in the first place? She obviously lied about the purpose. It wasn't convenience. It was concealment. What exactly was she hiding?

Making a Tesla S

Here is a link to a video showing how a Tesla S is made.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Sorry, Hillary: Trump's policies are clearly better for blacks

An article by John Lott in the New York Post.
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Hillary Clinton claims that some of Donald Trump’s appeal is “xenophobic, racist, misogynistic.” On Thursday she asked, “If he doesn’t respect all Americans, how can he serve all Americans?”

But who actually cares more about blacks, in particular poor blacks?

On everything from education to jobs to crime, Trump’s policies offer a lifeline to people who have been losing ground for decades. Hillary’s policies will just exacerbate them. And no amount of speeches will change that.

On education, Trump strongly supports school choice. This would give inner-city blacks a way out of horribly performing public schools. Clinton attacks charters and clearly opposes other forms of school choice, opting to protect teachers unions at the expense of students.

And who’s harmed the most by illegal immigration? Who’s most likely to suffer unemployment or wage reductions due to the added competition? Young, unskilled blacks and Hispanics. The biggest beneficiaries? Wealthy people who get to pay less for lawn care and housecleaning.

But crime is the immediate, life-and-death issue for so many blacks and Hispanics trapped in high-crime urban areas. Too many come to physical harm, have their property stolen, or lose their jobs as businesses are driven from their neighborhoods.

Clinton seems more focused on helping criminals rather than their victims. She has promised to cut the US prison population by over 50 percent. By contrast, Trump says the problem is a lack of police in high-crime, heavily black areas. He believes in making things riskier for the criminals, not for the victims.

Clinton has responded to the Black Lives Matter movement by calling for more restrictions on police use of deadly force. She has refused to support stiff prison penalties for those who “knowingly caus[e] bodily injury” to police officers. But if you don’t believe that the police are the problem, making their jobs more dangerous or difficult means police will be less effective in stopping crime in these high-crime areas.

Clinton doesn’t understand that the most likely victims of violent crime — poor blacks living in high-crime, urban neighborhoods — are the ones who stand to benefit the most from being able to defend themselves, and in fact her gun-control plan basically amounts to letting whites get guns but not minorities.

For example, in Colorado in 2013, when the state enacted a tax on the private transfer of guns, all but two Democrats voted down a Republican amendment that would have exempted people below the poverty level from paying the new state tax.

High fees to register guns in places such as Washington, DC, New York City or Chicago have meant that only the wealthy can legally own guns.

Or take something as seemingly innocuous as background checks. Virtually everyone who fails a background check is someone who is legally eligible to buy a gun, so we’re not talking here about preventing guns from falling into the wrong hands. Law-abiding minorities, particularly blacks, are the ones most likely to be stopped from buying guns.

Hillary Clinton claims that background checks have stopped 2.4 million dangerous or prohibited people from buying a gun. But when she says that what she really means is that there were 2.4 million “initial denials.”

About 96 percent of “initial denials” are dropped after the first two stages of review. Many more are dropped during the three remaining stages. But the Obama administration no longer conducts those reviews, which means nearly all initial denials are likely still mistakes — they’re just never corrected.

Eventually applicants used to be able to get their gun, though the delay could be dangerous for someone who needs a gun for self-defense. Now, however, most applicants are forced to appeal their denial, and will likely find it necessary to spend thousands on an attorney to do so.

These “initial denials” affect certain racial groups more than others. Hispanics are more likely to share names with other Hispanics, and the same is true of blacks. Because 30 percent of black males are forbidden from buying guns because of their criminal records, law-abiding black males are especially likely to have their names confused with those of prohibited people.

Democrats clearly haven’t served blacks well, and more of the same isn’t going to help. If blacks are willing to listen to Trump, his logical arguments may have a real chance of winning them over.

Monday, August 22, 2016

From Russia With Money

Here is a link to an article, "From Russia With Money", from the Government Accountability Institute.

The Executive Summary reads:
  • A major technology transfer component of the Russian reset overseen by Hillary Clinton substantially enhanced the Russian military's technological capabilities, according to both the FBI and the U.S. Army.
  • Russian government officials and American corporations participated in the technology transfer project overseen by Hillary Clinton's State Department that funneled tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.
  • A Putin-connected Russian government fund transferred $35 million to a small company with Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta on its executive board, which included senior Russian officials.
  • John Podesta failed to reveal, as required by law on his federal financial disclosures, his membership on the board of this offshore company.
  • Podesta also headed up a think tank which wrote favorably about the Russian reset while apparently receiving millions from Kremlin-linked Russian oligarchs via an offshore LLC.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

International Trade

Academics argue that International Trade (IT) is good because comparative advantage makes it possible to produce more of everything with IT than without it, hence can make everybody better off. Here is an example that illustrates the academic argument.

Countries A and B have two-product economies, cars and corn. If country A devotes all of its resources to producing cars, it can produce 1,000 cars. If it devotes all of its resources to producing corn, it can produce 1,000 tons of corn. Alternatively, country A is able to produce a combination of cars and corn, with a tradeoff of 1 car for 1 ton of corn. If country B devotes all of its resources to producing cars, it can produce 2,000 cars. If it devotes all of its resources to producing corn, it can produce 1,000 tons of corn. Alternatively, country B is able to produce a combination of cars and corn, with a tradeoff of 2 cars for 1 ton of corn.

Country B has a comparative advantage with respect to cars. Its cost of an additional car is ½ ton of corn, whereas it is 1 ton of corn for Country A. On the other hand, Country A has a comparative advantage with respect to corn. Its cost of an additional ton of corn is 1 car, whereas it is 2 cars for Country B.

Suppose there is no IT, and Country A is producing 600 cars and 400 tons of corn, and Country B is producing 1000 cars and 500 tons of corn. Then aggregate production is 1,600 cars and 900 tons of corn. Aggregate production of both cars and corn can be increased by having Country A produce only corn and Country B produce only cars. In that case, aggregate production is 2,000 cars and 1,000 tons of corn. Since production of both cars and corn is higher, every citizen of both countries can have more cars and more corn, which is good. However, without IT, this would not happen, because Country A’s citizens want cars in addition to corn, and Country B’s citizens want corn in addition to cars. IT is necessary to achieve the potential benefit, ergo, academics conclude that IT is good.

While IT is necessary to achieve aggregate production efficiency and greater output of everything, it is not sufficient to guarantee that everyone has more than before. In the above example, Country A’s car jobs and Country B’s corn jobs disappear. Academics argue that those who lose car jobs gain corn jobs and those who lose corn jobs gain car jobs. This argument is problematic. First, even if true, there is no guarantee that all of the new car and corn jobs will pay well enough to provide more cars and more corn to all of the displaced workers. Second, if the new jobs do not provide more cars and more corn to all of the displaced workers, there is no arrangement in place to assure a reallocation that does.

IT has the potential to make everyone better off, but, in reality, leaves some workers worse off. Academics argue that this can be avoided by having the winners share some of their winnings with the losers, i.e., give some of their extra cars and corn to those who do not end up with more. Unfortunately, there is no mechanism in place for achieving this, and no likelihood of one soon.

Academics claim that IT is a no-brainer. In reality, IT creates winners and losers. The real argument for IT is that the cost-benefit analysis, particularly in the long-run, favors it.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Armed Citizen


Veronique De Rugy takes down Hillary's economic plan

Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.  Here is her commentary about Hillary's plan for the economy.  Her analysis is on target.

Clinton's economic plan is not only bad for the economy, but substitutes tyranny for freedom.
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Hillary Clinton recently laid out her plan for the economy, which boils down to more government, more spending, more taxes, more regulations and more red tape. It translates into more debt and less growth. Some of the most outrageous provisions of her plan are those that target U.S. corporations abroad.

To be fair, Clinton's policies are very similar to those of President Barack Obama. They both want to prevent U.S. companies from leaving the country through a process called inversion. They both also fundamentally misunderstand the reasons behind inversions and try to fix the perceived problem by treating the symptoms rather than the causes.

The reason companies engage in inversions (usually by merging with a foreign firm to pay taxes abroad instead of at home) is obvious to most economists: U.S. companies doing business overseas are put at a terrible disadvantage because of our punishing corporate income tax system. The United States has the highest rate of all the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries (35 percent at the top federal level and close to 40 percent when you add state taxes), including all the big welfare states in Europe.

The United States also taxes income on a worldwide basis. This means that a U.S. company operating in Ireland pays the Irish rate first on its Irish income and then will pay the U.S. rate minus the tax paid in Ireland when it brings the income back to the United States. Contrast that with a French competitor doing business in Ireland. The French company pays the low Irish rate of 12.5 percent, period. To cope with the penalty or to try to remain competitive, U.S. companies are either not bringing their income back to the United States (there's supposedly $2 trillion of earned U.S. income abroad) or performing inversions.

As it happens, there is wide bipartisan support to reform the corporate income tax. But it wouldn't happen under a President Clinton. Her plan would change a key rule to make it more difficult to invert. Another portion of her plan would limit the deductibility of interest when it is supposedly used as a tool to avoid American taxes. Never mind that it would be up to the government to decide when the use of such a deduction would be appropriate or not.

Another provision is an "exit tax" on companies that relocate outside the United States without first repatriating earnings kept abroad. This one is particularly awful because it amounts to demanding a ransom from companies when they decide that enough is enough and that the survival of their business requires them to effectively change their citizenship.

Interestingly, Clinton may have gotten this authoritarian idea from her husband, who enacted a law in 1996 that imposes an exit tax on people who decide to move abroad and change their citizenship to avoid the same punishing tax system. It's worth noting that the United States is one of the very few countries taxing individuals on worldwide income.

What's stunning is that Clinton's refusal to reform the corporate income tax doesn't fit well with her claim that she wants to help American workers and that she cares about rejuvenating left-behind communities, such as Detroit. The economic literature shows that workers are shouldering the burden of the corporate income tax.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, the American Enterprise Institute's Kevin Hassett and Aparna Mathur note, "Our empirical analysis, which used data we gathered on international tax rates and manufacturing wages in 72 countries over 22 years, confirmed that the corporate tax is for the most part paid by workers." In a piece appropriately called "The Cure for Wage Stagnation," they also cite works by the University of Michigan and Harvard University, among others. For instance, they write, "In (a) 2009 paper, (Kansas City Fed economist Alison) Felix and co-author James R. Hines of the University of Michigan discovered that the effects of lower tax rates are especially strong for union workers."

You would think that Clinton would be more favorable to helping low-income Americans and union workers in particular. If she were, the way to go would be to reform the corporate income tax, not to arbitrarily prohibit companies from moving to where tax laws are less punitive.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Tyler Cowen blows away Bernie Sanders on Denmark

Tyler Cowen is a professor of economics at George Mason University. Here is his perspective about Bernie Sanders's about the superiority of Denmark over the US.

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During the Democratic primary season, Bernie Sanders stressed some of the superiorities of Denmark over the U.S. And indeed Denmark is wealthy, has strong social and economic indicators, and it offers a comprehensive safety net.

But is it the policies of Denmark that we should admire, or is there something special about being Danish? A closer look at the evidence shows a more complex picture and one actually pretty favorable to the American way.

Nima Sanandaji, a Swedish policy analyst and president of European Centre for Entrepreneurship and Policy Reform, has recently published a book called "Debunking Utopia: Exposing the Myth of Nordic Socialism." And while the title may be overstated, his best facts and figures are persuasive.

For instance, Danish-Americans have a measured living standard about 55 percent higher than the Danes in Denmark. Swedish-Americans have a living standard 53 percent higher than the Swedes, and Finnish-Americans have a living standard 59 percent higher than those back in Finland. Only for Norway is the gap a small one, because of the extreme oil wealth of Norway, but even there the living standard of American Norwegians measures as 3 percent higher than in Norway. And that comparison is based on numbers from 2013, when the price of oil was higher, so probably that gap has widened.

Of the Nordic groups, Danish-Americans have the highest per capita income, clocking in at $70,925. That compares to an U.S. per capita income of $52,592, again the numbers being from 2013. Sanandaji also notes that Nordic-Americans have lower poverty rates and about half the unemployment rate of their relatives across the Atlantic.

It is difficult, after seeing those figures, to conclude that the U.S. ought to be copying the policies of the Nordic nations wholesale. It is instead more plausible to think that Americans might learn something from the cultural practices of Nordic-Americans. Sanandaji says those norms include hard work, honesty, a strong civil society and an ethic of cooperation and volunteerism.

My own view is that many groups work hard, but that a disciplined, family-based approach to education and human capital investment is the important norm in this context. All the main Nordic groups in the United States have high school graduation rates over 96 percent. That compares to an average of about 82 percent for the U.S. as a whole.

Given all that, should one conclude that the American system of policies and laws is superior and the Nordics ought to try to copy the Yankees? Probably not.

For one thing, Nordic immigrants to the United States probably came from the better trained, more literate and more ambitious segments of the population. For instance, data on Danish migrants from 1868 to 1900 show that laborers were underrepresented in the group and artisans and craftsmen were overrepresented by a factor of two. It is perhaps no wonder that the ethnic Danes in the U.S. are relatively high earners, because they are the results of a process of positive selection. And there is a growing literature showing that the cultural traits of migrants can persist to some degree for generations in their new countries.

Furthermore, larger countries tend to have higher levels of income inequality than do smaller countries. The most successful producers in the U.S. are selling to larger home markets, and they will earn more than comparably talented producers in Denmark. And some of that trickles down to higher earnings for their doctors, dentists, and other service providers as well.

But this cuts both ways. The less successful producers, or for that matter the unemployed, often have a harder time in the U.S. than in Denmark. A small country with higher ethnic homogeneity and with only a few concentrated population centers usually can provide higher levels of social insurance without experiencing the level of system abuse that might occur in the U.S.

The goal should not be for either nation to copy the other, but rather to borrow the best policies of the other. Conservatives should note that when it comes to regulatory efficiency and business freedom, Denmark has a considerably higher score than does the U.S., at least according to the Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom.

Most of all we should consider the option of greater freedom of choice for residence decisions. For all the anti-immigrant sentiment that is circulating at the moment, would it hurt the U.S. to have fully open borders with Denmark? It would boost American gross domestic product and probably also improve American education. History teaches that serious assimilation problems would be unlikely, especially since many Danes already speak English.

Open borders wouldn't attract Danes who want to live off welfare because the benefits are so generous at home.

How's this for a simple rule: Open borders for the residents of any democratic country with more generous transfer payments than Uncle Sam's.

George Borjas: On Vetting Immigrants

George is a Professor of Economics and Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. He presents a convincing argument that Trump's immigration policy is more in line with history than Hillary's.

Here is George's blog article.
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Donald Trump gave a foreign policy speech yesterday where he outlined some of his key proposals to expand the “ideological” vetting of immigrants. Here is the oh-so-serious mainstream summary of the proposals in the New York Times; and here is a better written and more insightful take by Milo Yiannopoulos.

Needless to say, the proposals immediately attracted over-the-top reactions. I knew it wouldn’t take long before somebody called them un-American, and MSNBC (of course) nicely obliged; a commentator quickly commented that “this is the single most un-American thing I have ever heard in my life.” And one of the opinionators at the Washington Post opined (and I’m only slightly paraphrasing) that Trump’s ideas were “crazier than crazy.”

I’ve been interested in the historical precedents of vetting immigrants for a long time, and I was actually planning to write a couple of pages about that in We Wanted Workers. But in the interest of keeping the book short and accessible, almost all of that account quickly went by the wayside. If all those pundits were to just do a couple of minutes of googling before reacting, it would become very apparent very quickly that immigrant vetting has a very long tradition in American history. In 1645, the Massachusetts Bay Colony restricted the entry of paupers. One of my favorite examples is the 1917 Immigration Act, which listed the many traits that would make potential immigrants inadmissible, including:

All idiots, imbeciles, feeble-minded persons, epileptics, insane persons; persons who have had one or more attacks of insanity at any time previously; persons of constitutional psychopathic inferiority; persons with chronic alcoholism; paupers; professional beggars; vagrants; persons afflicted with tuberculosis in any form or with a loathsome or dangerous contagious disease; persons not comprehended within any of the foregoing excluded classes who are found to be and are certified by the examining surgeon as being mentally or physically defective, such physical defect being of a nature which may affect the ability of such alien to earn a living; persons who have been convicted of or admit having committed a felony or other crime or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude; polygamists, or persons who practice polygamy or believe in or advocate the practice of polygamy; anarchists, or persons who believe in or advocate the overthrow by force or violence of the Government of the United States, or of all forms of law, or who disbelieve in or are opposed to organized government, or who advocate the assassination of public officials, or who advocate or teach the unlawful destruction of property; persons who are members of or affiliated with any organization entertaining and teaching disbelief in or opposition to organized government, or who advocate or teach the duty, necessity, or propriety of the unlawful assaulting or killing of any officer or officers..of the Government of the United States or of any other organized government.
Even a century ago we were already filtering out people who had unwanted social traditions (such as polygamy) and had put in place ideological filters against anarchists, persons who advocate the destruction of property, and persons who believe in overthrowing the Government of the United States.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

John Cochrane takes apart the Clinton Economic Plan

From John Cochrane's website.  John is a Professor at the University of Chicago and a world class economist.
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For example, follow me down to the Fact sheet at the bottom of the website to figure out just what the "infrastructure" plan is about. Some snippets:
  • Clinton will make smart, targeted, and coordinated investments to increase capacity, improve road quality, and reduce congestion
  • Clinton will prioritize and increase investments in public transit to connect Americans to jobs, spur economic growth, and improve quality of life in our communities. And she will encourage local governments to work with low-income communities to ensure that these investments are creating transit options that connect the unemployed and underemployed to the jobs they need. She will also support bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure 
  • Clinton will make smart, coordinated investments that upgrade our aging rail tunnels and bridges, expand congested highway corridors, eliminate dangerous at-grade railway crossings, and build deeper port channels to accommodate the newest and largest cargo ships. Clinton will also focus on vital “intermodal” transfer points between trucks, rail, and ships—including the “last-mile connectors” between different modes, like the local roads that connect highways to ports. She is committed to initiating upgrades of at least the 25 most costly freight bottlenecks by the end of her first term. (bold italics in the original) 
  • The Federal Aviation Administration is currently pursuing a “NextGen” upgrade program... But these efforts have fallen chronically behind schedule and well short of expectations. Clinton will get this crucial program back on track and ensure that it is managed effectively and with accountability.
  • Clinton will also invest in building world-class American airports...with reliable and efficient connections to mass transit. ... 
  • committing that by 2020, 100 percent of households in America will have access to affordable broadband that delivers world-class speeds sufficient to meet families’ needs.
  • A wide-ranging system of advanced energy fueling stations for the 21st century fleet. A network of roadway sensors capable of alerting drivers to a dangerous icy patch a mile ahead. 
  • Clinton will invest in creating a world-leading passenger rail system to meet rapidly growing demand and build a more mobile America. 
  • ...Clinton’s plan will modernize our pipeline system, increase rail safety, and enhance grid security. It will also build new infrastructure to power our economic future and capture America’s clean energy potential. ...
  • We need a bold agenda to revitalize our aging water infrastructure and make it more sustainable and energy efficient. Clinton will work to harness both public and private resources to support these efforts. 
  • Modernizing our dams and levees ...our efforts to maintain these critical structures are haphazard and under-resourced ...We need to substantially increase funding to inspect these structures, bring them into good repair, and remove them where appropriate. ... 
  • Clinton will support efforts to increase dams’ capacity to deliver affordable and reliable electricity while reducing carbon pollution.
And it goes on like this.

The positive view of all this is that someone running the vast American bureacracy should have a detailed plan for what they want that bureuacracy to do. Well, there is plenty of detail here, and it's a good bet that Donald Trump has never thought about traffic jams at intermodal transfer facilities.

So how can I say there is no "plan?"

Socialism - only for the dummies

Here is an article by Jeffrey Tucker on socialism.  He gets it right, and is funny, to boot.
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Amnesty International has finally had enough of the goings-on in Venezuela. With a population starving, the government issued a forced-labor edict. Amnesty said: “Trying to tackle Venezuela's severe food shortages by forcing people to work the fields is like trying to fix a broken leg with a band aid.”

Actually it’s more like fixing a broken leg with a bullet to the head.

Forced labor is indeed a human-rights abuse. Maybe you notice a pattern here. Wherever socialism is tried, people suffer. Each case is different because no tyrannical regime behaves exactly like any other. But the root of the problem is the refusal to allow people to own, accumulate, trade, and associate.

Surely that is the core of the problem in Venezuela.

Here We Go Again

No, say the socialists. “The problems plaguing the Venezuelan economy are not due to some inherent fault in socialism.”

Socialism seems to be the most persistent non-falsifiable ideology on planet earth. The socialists are like people who swear that gravity doesn’t exist and keep hopping around on two feet, expecting to rise into the clouds at any moment. It never happens, but the faith that there is no gravity remains unshaken.

What, in any case, is socialism? No matter how one describes it, no matter how many failed cases you point to, no matter how often all its central ideas are refuted, the socialist refuses responsibility.

So let’s just take at least someone’s word for it. The Socialist Party of Britain gives this shorthand description of what socialism is: “free access to all goods and services.”

Interesting idea. I think I’ll take a Bentley, a vacation to Europe, a custom-made suit, and a lifetime of haircuts. For free. Thank you very much.

How Green Hurts the Poor

Here is an article by William Shughart and Michael Jensen.  There are always trade-offs.  Beware those who talk as if there were none.
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The clean energy mantra is so loud that it often drowns out the feeble cry of energy poverty. Many Americans are finding it more and more difficult to pay their utility bills, yet this important issue is nearly absent from the debate about America’s energy future.

Modern progressives, who have long fancied themselves as champions of the poor, now see energy policy only through the lens of climate change. Their call to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, at any cost, drives public policy. Consequently, the sources of our most reliable and affordable electricity, existing coal power plants, are being shut down across the country as overzealous federal and state regulatory mandates force utilities to use less reliable, and more expensive sources such as wind and solar power.

For those on fixed incomes, increasing energy prices mean that the gap between what they can afford to pay and what they are paying for electricity is widening. If we continue to push aside cheap coal-generated electricity for more expensive alternatives, many more of the nation’s poor will fall into that gap as they struggle to keep their lights on and their refrigerators running.

To be considered affordable, utility bills should be no more than 6 percent of one’s income. But according to new research, energy costs now represent 20 percent or more of income for many of the poorest Americans. That affordability gap of 14 percentage points translates into an extra $40 billion per year.

Only about 1 in 5 families eligible for the federal government’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program actually received funding last year. While climate change evangelists might suggest the answer to this affordability crisis is more funding for energy assistance programs, that’s only a Band-Aid solution that ignores the critical issue of why energy costs are rising.

While low-cost natural gas—thanks to the shale revolution—has moderated rises in energy prices, we cannot assume that natural gas will stay cheap forever. Today, natural gas is the largest source for generating the nation’s electricity. It also heats half of American homes and is being exported in ever-growing volumes.

In the past, when natural gas prices spiked (which they have a history of doing), utilities could turn to abundant, reliable and low-cost coal power to hold down energy costs. But many of those coal plants, once the backbone of our electricity sector, are now gone or are threatened with regulation-induced death. While coal is still used to generate a third of the nation’s electricity, an ever-lengthening list of EPA regulations continues to push critically important coal plants into early retirement.

But renewable energy can’t fill that void any time soon. Despite receiving tens of billions of dollars in subsidies, wind and solar still generate less than 6 percent of the nation’s electricity and remain undependable sources of electricity generation.

Improving the environmental performance of our energy sector is a worthy goal. But doing so by regulatory fiat, while trading reliable and low-cost energy for more expensive and less reliable alternatives, is not the right path forward.

Purposefully driving up the cost of energy, while millions of Americans already struggle to pay their utility bills, is irresponsible. We cannot cut the world’s carbon emissions alone, but we can certainly make U.S. energy poverty a full-blown crisis if we continue on our current course.

Innovation and competition, not heavy-handed regulation, are the keys to keeping the cost of energy from breaking household budgets. Maintaining, or even lowering, energy costs must be as important a consideration in U.S. energy policy as any efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Immigration - Watch Out

Some cultures are incompatible with ours.  Some potential immigrants from these cultures cannot accept our laws or our cultural values.  Allowing them to reside in the US could lead to the kinds of disruptive events seen in many countries that have allowed indiscriminate immigration.  A certain amount of assimilation is necessary for stability and cooperative living.

Here is a reminder of what we are dealing with - from Jonathan Turley's blog.

There is a war going on - we ignore it at our peril.
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Like many Muslim countries, Turkey has a long and troubling history of child brides and arranged marriages. Some Islamic clerics have maintained that there can be no age limitation on child brides. They often note that Muhammad married Aisha when she was seven and consummated the marriage at nine years old.Just as Pakistan recently struck down its protection for girls from such abuse, the Turkish Constitutional Court has ruled annulled a provision that punishes all sexual acts against children under the age of 15 as “sexual abuse.” It is a major set back for girls and women in Turkey and another example of how the Islamic fundamentalists have taken over this once secular country under the authoritarian rule of our ally Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

A lower court insisted that the law is flawed for failing to distinguish between a four-year-old and a fourteen-year-old girl. Most people would find that distinction hard to stomach, but we have seen child brides as young as six in Muslim countries. The lower court also insisted that “consent” must be considered as a defense for girls between the ages of 12 and 15.

Recently, the same members annulled a provision that imposed at least 16 years of imprisonment in cases of child rape for the same reasons.

The vote was a close one: 7-6. However, with Erdoğan taking over every aspect of Turkish government and life, it is doubtful that the courts will remain divided in the future. Erdoğan has demanded that courts, journalists, teachers and every other profession adhere to his views at the risk of arrest.

International conventions treat 18 are the age of majority. International groups have condemned the decision as reinforcing the practice of child brides and the six dissenting members have called the ruling a cause for “public indignation.”

In the meantime, the Erdoğan regime has continued its demands that other countries shutdown media critical of the president or Turkey. It has officially protested stories in Western media on the stripping away of these laws protecting young girls. Erdoğan has been empowered in his efforts to silence the media after Angela Merkel caved into his demands that a comedian be charged for insulting him. Erdoğan has also been encouraged by the Obama Administration’s continued support even as he has rounded up critics, shut down media, and impose Islamic rules on the population.

Monday, August 15, 2016

What the Democrats have done for Illinois, they will do for the United States, if given the chance

Here is a column by George Will.  He is on target.  Progressive control of Government will destroy our freedom and economy.
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Seated in his office here, wearing neither a necktie nor a frown, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is remarkably relaxed for someone at the epicenter of a crisis now in its second year and with no end in sight. But, then, stress is pointless when the situation is hopeless. Besides, if you can ignore the fact that self-government is failing in the nation’s fifth-most populous state, you can see real artistry in the self-dealing by the Democrats who, with veto-proof majorities in the state legislature, have reduced this state they control to insolvency.

Illinois’s government, says Rauner, “is run for the benefit of its employees.” Increasingly, it is run for their benefit when they retire. Pension promises, though unfunded by at least $113 billion, are one reason some government departments are not digitized at all.

What is misleadingly called the state’s constitution requires balanced budgets, of which there have been none for 25 years. This year, revenues are projected to be $32.5 billion, with spending of $38 billion. Illinois Democrats are, however, selective constitutionalists: They will die in the last ditch defending the constitution’s provision that says no government pension can be “diminished or impaired.”

Sunday, August 14, 2016

My grand daughter, Karoline, lifting 315 pounds

video

F-16 vs a bird

The F-16 is taking off from the Grumman facility on Long Island.  You will see a dark streak coming from in front pass to the left - that is the bird.  The bird is ingested into the engine, which fails.

video

Whale on way to Bimini

Jose took his kids to Bimini in his 27 foot Glacier Bay catamaran (twin Yamaha 150 hp engines).  On the way they saw a sperm whale.  It is in the second half of the video.

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Gun control advocates cannot be trusted to tell the truth

Here is an example, from John Lott, of the kind of uninformed, purposely misleading, etc. attacks that the purveyors of the truth about guns have to go through.  John's book "The War On Guns", says it all.  If you want to know the truth about guns, read it.
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I have responded previously to some of these claims by Evan DeFilippis and Devin Hughes. Their latest attack is over atThinkProgress, which bills itself as providing a progressive perspective. No doubt, the attack was prompted by the extensive media coverage that I have been getting for my new book, The War on Guns. The attacks that they and others are engaging in show that they are worried that people will learn about the facts in that book. Indeed, they mention my book near the beginning of their attack piece.

On the bottom of line of whether concealed carry reduces murder rates, here is a list of papers published in peer-reviewed journals by economists and criminologists.

Let me go through DeFilippis’ and Hughes’ points.

1)“Lott’s assertion that more guns leads to more safety formally repudiated by a National Research Council panel

DeFilippis and Hughes incorrectly describe the National Research Council report. The NRC report simply said that they could not draw any conclusions with respect to right-to-carry laws.

The decline of civility

Here is Walter Williams's column "The Decline of Civility".  WW is on target.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.
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One of the unavoidable consequences of youth is the tendency to think behavior we see today has always been. I’d like to dispute that vision, at least as it pertains to black people.

I graduated from Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin High School in 1954. Franklin’s predominantly black students were from the poorest North Philadelphia neighborhoods. During those days, there were no policemen patrolling the hallways. Today close to 400 police patrol Philadelphia schools. There were occasional after-school fights — rumbles, as we called them — but within the school, there was order. In contrast with today, students didn’t use foul language to teachers, much less assault them.

Places such as the Richard Allen housing project, where I lived, became some of the most dangerous and dysfunctional places in Philadelphia. Mayhem — in the form of murders, shootings and assaults — became routine. By the 1980s, residents found that they had to have window bars and multiple locks. The 1940s and ’50s Richard Allen project, as well as other projects, bore no relation to what they became. Many people never locked their doors; windows weren’t barred. We did not go to bed with the sound of gunshots. Most of the residents were two-parent families with one or both parents working.

How might one explain the greater civility of Philadelphia and other big-city, predominantly black neighborhoods and schools during earlier periods compared with today? Would anyone argue that during the ’40s and ’50s, there was less racial discrimination and poverty? Was academic performance higher because there were greater opportunities? Was civility in school greater in earlier periods because black students had more black role models in the form of black principals, teachers and guidance counselors? That’s nonsense, at least in northern schools. In my case, I had no more than three black teachers throughout primary and secondary school.

Starting in the 1960s, the values that made for civility came under attack. Corporal punishment was banned. This was the time when the education establishment and liberals launched their agenda that undermined lessons children learned from their parents and the church. Sex education classes undermined family/church strictures against premarital sex. Lessons of abstinence were ridiculed, considered passe, and replaced with lessons about condoms, birth control pills and abortion. Further undermining of parental authority came with legal and extralegal measures to assist teenage abortions, often with neither parental knowledge nor parental consent.

Customs, traditions, moral values and rules of etiquette are behavioral norms, transmitted mostly by example, word of mouth and religious teachings. As such, they represent a body of wisdom distilled through the ages by experience and trial and error. The nation’s liberals — along with the education establishment, pseudo-intellectuals and the courts — have waged war on traditions, customs and moral values. Many people have been counseled to believe that there are no moral absolutes. Instead, what’s moral or immoral is a matter of personal convenience, personal opinion, what feels good or what is or is not criminal.

We no longer condemn or shame self-destructive and rude behavior, such as out-of-wedlock pregnancies, dependency, cheating and lying. We have replaced what worked with what sounds good. The abandonment of traditional values has negatively affected the nation as a whole, but blacks have borne the greater burden. This is seen by the decline in the percentage of black two-parent families. Today a little over 30 percent of black children live in an intact family, where as early as the late 1800s, over 70 percent did. Black illegitimacy in 1938 was 11 percent, and that for whites was 3 percent. Today it’s respectively 73 percent and 30 percent.

It is the height of dishonesty, as far as blacks are concerned, to blame our problems on slavery, how white people behave and racial discrimination. If those lies are not exposed, we will continue to look for external solutions when true solutions are internal. Those of us who are old enough to know better need to expose these lies.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

More income inequality, please

The notion that income inequality is bad is ludicrous.  Which of the following income distributions do you prefer to which others?

Person               Income               Income               Income               Income
Number             Case 1                Case 2                Case 3                 Case 4
   1                        10                       5                        10                        3
   2                        20                       5                        10                        8
   3                        30                       5                        10                        8
   4                        40                       5                        10                        8
   5                        50                       5                        11                        8

Clearly, Case 1 is the most preferred.  Yet, it has the most income inequality.

The case rank from high income inequality to low is:  1, 4, 3, 2.  This does not comport with what a reasonable person would consider desirable.


Assuming that charity is allowed, but not Government income redistribution, my preference, from best to worst is: 1, 3, 4, 2.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Don Boudreaux gets it right on the minimum wage

Here is Don's letter to one of his blog patrons.   Don is Professor of Economics and
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercator Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030
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You disapprove of my approving quotation of Terry Jones who describes efforts to raise the minimum wage as “a national disgrace.” Astonishingly (because you read Café Hayek regularly), you write as if my objection to the minimum wage springs from a sinister wish to prevent low-skilled workers from being enriched. But you are mistaken. My economic objection to the minimum wage is, and has always been, founded on the fact that the higher is the minimum wage, the fewer and worse are the employment opportunities for low-skilled workers. This economic reality does not disappear simply because some (although hardly all) empirical researchers into the effects of minimum wages fail – amidst the enormous size, complexity, and dynamism of the economy – to detect these negative consequences.
So, yes, I regard minimum wages as disgraceful. They disgracefully strip low-skilled workers of a valuable bargaining chip – namely, the ability to compete for jobs by offering to work at wages below an arbitrarily set minimum. As a means of decreasing some workers’ abilities to find employment, minimum wages are simply less sanguinary than would be a government policy of, say, chopping off all low-skilled workers’ left hands or poking out their right eyes. Unless you believe that such overt violence against low-skilled workers would not worsen their prospects of finding employment, you should see that the veiled violence against these workers that is so sweetly called “the minimum wage” disgracefully worsens their prospects of finding employment.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Free speech? You are dreaming.

Jonathan Turnley's blog entry "British Man Reportedly Convicted Of Making Offensive Comments About Muslims On Facebook.

The US is moving in the same direction.
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England has seen the rise of calls for speech prosecutions, including calls from powerful politicians for crackdowns on insulting or offensive comments. We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, particularly in England ( here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). The rapid decline of free speech in England has been both chilling and frightening for civil libertarians as the country appears to have abandoned this once defining right of Western Civilization. Now, a Manchester man reportedly has been arrested and sentenced for making “grossly offensive” comments about Muslims on Facebook. Stephen Bennett, 39, (who has a Muslim mother-in-law and sister-in-law) has been sentenced to 180 hours of unpaid work and a 12-month community order for expressing his views.

Bennett reportedly went on to the Greater Manchester Police’s Facebook page and posted comments like “Don’t come over to this country and treat it like your own. Britain first.” The next thing the father of seven knew, there were police at his door. He was accused of violating a law pushed through by former Prime Minister Tony Blair that makes it a crime to “send by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character” or “cause any such message or matter to be so sent.” It is a ridiculously ambiguous and vague law that seems calculated to chill speech. One has avoid speech that others might find offensive or menacing.

There is no shortage of people who want to shutdown the speech of others and claim such offense. Various people complained to the police about Bennett’s comments and one Muslim witness at his trial warned that his comments could be a “potential tool for radicalization.” (It was an ironic point since this law is itself a form of extremism in the denial of a core civil liberty). Another witness claimed that a remark about Asian women was “offensive to all women.”

Recorder Andrew Long at sentencing readily adopted the tone and authority of the public censor. He noted that it is “impossible to believe” that such comments did not reflect his personal views or that he was “at least a sympathizer” with those who expressed such views. He denounced Bennett for risking the “stirring up racial hatred in the present climate” and “playing into the hands of the enemies of this country.” Really? Criminalizing speech plays in the hands of our enemies. ISIS and extreme Islamic countries like Iran seek the denial of free speech, particularly in criticizing religion. I am not afraid of ISIS, which remains on the wrong side of history in resisting liberty. I am far more afraid of those in the West who are rolling back on civil liberties in the name of defending them. Long was “fighting” extremism by yielding to it. The risk of “stirring up” people sounds like another example yielding to the “heckler’s veto” in silencing those with whom we disagree. Long condemned Bennett for expressing his views and said “Your remarks damaged the community in which you live, and it’s the community that you must repay.”

I am not particularly interested in Bennett’s views. While I find many views to be offensive, I believe that the cost to criminalizing speech is a far greater danger for free countries. England is a tragic example of how speech regulation can become insatiable with ever widening areas of prohibited speech. What is incredible is that people exercised their right to denounce Bennett’s views on Facebook, but that was not enough. Some of these people wanted him arrested for uttering views with which they disagreed. It appears that you are allowed to hold unpopular views but you are not allowed to utter them in Great Britain.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Don't believe Obama, Clinton, or the media about mass shootings

Here is a Los Angeles Times Op-Ed by John lott, an expert on gun matters.
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Many believe that the United States is unique in terms of mass public shootings. Even after the attacks last November that left 130 dead in Paris, President Obama had the gall to claim, “We are the only advanced country on Earth that sees this kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency.”

It fits the narrative, as Hillary Clinton said recently, that our mass public shootings “are rooted in the much too readily available weapons of mass killings, usually assault weapons.” If the U.S. would only adopt the types of gun control laws that exist in other countries, this problem would supposedly go away.

But we shouldn’t let Obama and Clinton’s vague impressions dictate policy. To get a handle on how the U.S. really compares to the rest of the world, what’s important to know is whether Americans are more at risk of dying in a mass public shooting than foreigners. And to find out, we need to adjust for population, just as we do for “ordinary” murder rates. (It’s not illuminating to compare the raw number of homicides in a big city like Los Angeles and some small town.)

Traditionally, the FBI defines a mass public shooting as four or more deaths in a public place that are not part of some other crime, such as a robbery. That definition tries to pick up on the sorts of cases that rivet our attention. Shocking events — school or nightclub shootings – where the purpose is to kill lots of people and generate lots of media attention.

Along with several colleagues, I compiled a list of these cases in the U.S and the European Union, including the United Kingdom. We relied on Nexis and other news aggregators as well as national police reports and the University of Maryland’s “Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism.”

Using the traditional FBI definition, the EU and the U.S. each experienced 25 mass shootings during the first seven years of Obama’s presidency (January 2009 to December 2015).

The rate at which people were killed was virtually the same: 0.083 per million people in the EU versus 0.089 per million people in the U.S. But the injury rate in the EU was more than twice as high: 0.19 versus 0.087.

If you compare the U.S. to individual countries in Europe over the same time period, the U.S. had the 11th highest fatality rate. Because of Anders Breivik’s 2011 attack at a summer camp, Norway had the top spot — 1.9 per million people per year. This rate was 21 times higher than that of the U.S. But other advanced countries such as France, Switzerland, Finland, Belgium and the Czech Republic also came in above the U.S.

Looking only at frequency of attacks — as Obama seems wont to do — while still adjusting for population, the U.S. came in 12th, with 0.078 per million people.

Compared to the rest of the world, moreover, the U.S. and Europe are quite safe from mass public shootings. In Russia and elsewhere, struggles over sovereignty have led to a large number of devastating attacks. For instance, the 2004 Beslan school siege— carried out in the name of Chechen independence — claimed 385 lives.

Even if we exclude such killings, we still find that the U.S. is relatively safe. Of the 25 worst mass public shootings from January 1970 through June 2016, only one occurred here: The attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., that left 49 people dead. Ten occurred in Nigeria, including a 2014 Boko Haram strike in which 300 people were killed. At the bottom of the list is the Port Arthur shooting in Australia, in which 35 people were killed.

Attacks by Boko Haram in Nigeria, Lashkar-e-Taiba in India, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in Pakistan and Al-Shabaab in Kenya may seem different in kind than shootings in the West — but they’re not. Just like the Islamic State-inspired shootings in Orlando and Paris, they’re examples of radical Islamist terror. Similar targets were struck using similar weapons by terrorists with the same goals.

We should also bear in mind that guns are not the only tools of mass killing. A man in Nice recently killed 84 people with a truck.

In the U.S., by far the worst mass murder at a school was carried out with dynamite in 1927. That attack left 45 dead and 58 injured. The 1995 Oklahoma City bombing killed 169 people; the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing killed three and injured 280. Of course bombings are rare in the U.S., but not abroad. From 2009 to July 2014, Russia saw 0.24 annual deaths per million from bombings with four or more fatalities. That rate was almost 2.7 times higher than the death rate from mass public shootings in the U.S. during the same period.

Obama has changed the gun control debate by repeating claims over and over again until they become accepted facts to many people. The media absorb and amplify these claims, reinforcing the idea that America would be safer if only it were more like Europe. That’s not the case.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Thomas Sowell gets it right on the election

Here is Sowell's column.
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The good news is that both political conventions are now behind us. The bad news is that the election is ahead of us.

No one knows how this election will turn out but -- given the awful presidential candidates in both parties -- the worst case scenario may be only marginally worse than the best case scenario. National polls may suggest a close election ahead but presidential elections are not decided by who has a majority of the popular vote. In a country already divided, if not polarized, one candidate could win the popular vote and the other candidate win the Electoral College vote, which is what decides who goes to the White House. That could polarize us more than ever.

Everything may depend on what happens in the battleground states where neither party has a decisive advantage. Until recently, Hillary Clinton seemed to have a clear lead in those states. But that difference has narrowed to within the margin of error in some state polls.

Turnout is the wild card, in this election more than in most. There was booing in both conventions -- and there are other signs that those who lost are not taking it kindly. How the losers vote, or stay home on election day, may determine who the winner will be.

If the Democrats lose this election, and Trump beats Hillary, it may not be anything more than losing a given election, as happens regularly, and Democrats can just regroup for the next election.

But if the Republicans lose, it can be much more serious for them and for the country. If Hillary Clinton inspires distrust, Donald Trump inspires disgust, even among many Republicans. If Trump goes down to defeat, he could taint the whole Republican party, costing them the Senate now and future elections later.

Even if Trump disappears from the political scene after defeat, his reckless, ugly and childish words will live on in innumerable videos that can be used for years to come, to taint Republicans as the party that chose such a shallow egomaniac as its candidate for President of the United States.

A President Trump could of course create a longer-lasting stigma. However, he might possibly be sobered up by the responsibilities of the presidency. But someone who has not matured in 70 years seems unlikely to grow up in the next 4 years.

With Hillary Clinton as President and Democrats in control of the Senate, she can appoint Supreme Court justices with as much contempt for the law as she has demonstrated herself, and Senate Democrats would rubber-stamp her choices.

Democrats have already shown their desire to stifle the free-speech rights of people who disagree with them on global warming and other issues. Hillary Clinton has made no secret of her desire to have the Supreme Court reverse its decision that corporations and labor unions both have free-speech rights.

The Obama Department of Justice has already been looking into ways that anti-racketeering laws can be used to threaten individuals and organizations that challenge the global warming scenario that has been used to promote more government control of what fuels can be used.

The Second Amendment right to have a gun is at least as threatened as the First Amendment right to free speech would be if Hillary Clinton gets to pick Supreme Court justices. The lifetime tenure of federal judges means that whoever is in the White House for the next four years can change the course of American law for decades to come, losing our freedoms irretrievably.

Much has been made of Hillary's "experience" in politics. But it has been an experience of having proved to be wrong, time and time again. As a Senator she opposed the military "surge" in Iraq that rescued that country and defeated the terrorists.

As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton carried out foreign policy decisions that led to major setbacks for American interests as far as the eye can see -- whether in Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Ukraine, North Korea or China. This is the kind of "experience" we don't need to see repeated in the White House.

Voting for an out of control egomaniac like Donald Trump would be like playing Russian roulette with the future of this country. Voting for someone with a track record like Hillary Clinton's is like putting a shotgun to your head and pulling the trigger. And not voting at all is just giving up.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Mr. Khan’s attack on Donald Trump at the DNC convention

Mr. Kahn suffered the loss of his son. That is a terrible tragedy for him. His tirade at the DNC suggests that he is very angry about losing his son, and that he has focused some of that anger on Donald Trump. Trump was not responsible for the death of Mr. Khan’s son. Mr. Khan’s anger is undeserved.

Mr. Kahn asserts that under Trump’s current immigration stance, he (Mr. Khan) would not have been admitted to the US. Trump’s current stance reflects the current risk level, not the lower risk level at the time Mr. Khan entered the US. Applying immigration rules that reflect current risks to when they were much lower is addressing a straw man. Moreover, since Trump only requires proper vetting of immigrants, Mr. Khan, who could have been vetted at the time, would have been admitted to the US under Trump’s current stance. Mr. Khan’s position is both irrelevant and untrue.

Mr. Khan is angry because, he asserts, that Trump has made no sacrifices, which also is irrelevant. Would Mr. Khan feel better if Trump now loses a son? Does he wish this on Trump?

Mr. Khan held up a copy of the Constitution, while asking, belligerently, if Trump had ever read it. The Constitution does not validate Mr. Khan’s statements. The Constitution does not require “sacrifice” to be President and does not require that immigrants be admitted. Perhaps Mr. Khan should reread the Constitution, and more carefully.

Mr. Khan’s loss makes his anger and comments understandable, even though they are ill chosen, irrelevant, and incorrect. What is not forgivable is the Democrats’ exploitation of Mr. Khan’s loss.

Monday, August 01, 2016

John Lott's new book, "The War On Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies"

You can buy John's book here.  I recommend it highly - if you want to know the truth.

Here are some short reviews.

“The Second Amendment has no better defender than John Lott. What makes him so invaluable is his ability to go beyond philosophical arguments and to engage opponents of gun ownership on the facts. Through rigorous research and analysis of data, he has been able to show in previous books that increased gun possession can actually make people safer and reduce crime. In The War on Guns, his latest contribution to the gun debate, he takes aim at a wide range of anti-gun shibboleths and exposes the fraudulence of each one. For that, he has done his country and the cause of gun rights a great service. For anyone looking to be armed with the truth about guns, I highly recommend that you add this book to your arsenal.”
—TED CRUZ, U.S. senator, Texas

“Amidst threats of terrorism, the need for John Lott’s The War on Guns and a rational debate on guns has never been greater. Paris and San Bernardino show us that gun-free zones won’t stop terrorists. As this book documents, these killers consciously pick targets where they know victims will be sitting ducks. Lott carefully proves that the push for more gun control only makes the types of attacks that we fear more likely to occur. Next time you drop your child off at school, try and find the sign saying, ‘Gun Free Zone.’ Stop for a moment and ask yourself, ‘Does this really keep my child safe?’ If you still have questions, read The War on Guns.”
—NEWT GINGRICH, former Speaker of the House

“John Lott is the nation’s preeminent expert on guns, and in The War on Guns he has done it again. Do mass shootings occur more in the U.S. than other developed countries? No. Did Australia’s gun laws make them safer? Hardly. Will background checks on private transfers of guns make us safer? No. He destroys one myth after another. John Lott is a national treasure.”
—MARK LEVIN, constitutional lawyer, New York Times bestselling author, and host of the nationally syndicated radio show, The Mark Levin Show

“The war on guns will never end because the anti-gun zealots will never raise the white flag even though the research and data in this book has soundly defeated them. The key is to continue to beat back their propaganda, misinformation, manipulation of data, and even outright lies, in order to protect our God-given right to keep and bear arms.”
—SHERIFF DAVID A. CLARKE JR., sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin


“John Lott is the most dogged, intellectually credible, academic defender of the right to keep and bear arms in the United States today. He is also the chief beast in the night to the gun control crowd. His works are must reading for those of us on the front lines in these debates. The War on Guns is his best work yet. In it, the reader will find well-documented all the data, statistics, practical, legal, and moral arguments one will ever need to support the natural right to self-defense. The statists will fear this book. Freedom lovers will crave it.”
—HON. ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO, senior judicial analyst Fox News Channel, and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School

“To paraphrase a once-famous commercial slogan, ‘When John R. Lott speaks, everyone listens.’ Or, at least they should when this leading expert on all matters gun control speaks out so provocatively and persuasively. In his new book, Lott delves into the myriad ways in which anti-gun ‘statistics’ and ‘research’ have been used to perpetrate utter falsehoods and misleading propaganda. If there is to be any intelligent, honest, and objective discussion of gun policy in the United States, then The War on Guns ought to be required reading.”
—CHARLES J. GOETZ, Joseph M. Hartfield Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Virginia School of Law

“John R. Lott is a role model for those who do scientific research on important problems. He is objective and logical. He uses the best evidence available—data from natural experiments on the effects of gun regulations—to compare the effects of alternative policies. He fully discloses his analysis, and responds to critics by conducting further research. As a result, his findings have persuaded many people. Lott’s scientific approach is the opposite of the advocacy research that fills many academic journals, and which the media delight in reporting. Lott’s The War on Guns exposes and explains the deceptions used by gun-control advocates. Those who want to live in a safer world will benefit from Lott’s findings. Of the many gun regulations to date, there are no scientific comparisons that have found a reduction in crime or death rates.”
—PROFESSOR J. SCOTT ARMSTRONG, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

“We should all thank and admire John Lott for single-handedly changing the debate on guns from ill-informed rhetoric attacking gun ownership to hard-headed empirical analysis that shows the benefits of allowing law abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons. The War on Guns continues this debate by showing that the anti-gun lobby has spent millions of dollars making false and misleading claims about guns. Once again, John Lott provides careful and rigorous empirical analysis that undermines these claims. Kudos to John Lott for having the guts to take on the anti-gun lobby.”
—PROFESSOR WILLIAM M. LANDES, senior lecturer and Clifton R. Musser Professor Emeritus of Law & Economics, University of Chicago Law School

“John Lott is more responsible than anyone else for arguments that gun ownership in the U.S. increases safety and reduces crime. Arrayed against him are the entire public health establishment and much of the media. In this book, John carefully analyzes many of the arguments made against gun ownership—for example, there are more gun homicides and mass shootings in the U.S. than elsewhere, background checks reduce gun harms, “Stand Your Ground” laws harm African Americans and increase crime—and shows using both statistical and anecdotal evidence that they are incorrect. He also shows that wealthy opponents of gun ownership (such as Michael Bloomberg) finance much fallacious “public health” research on the effects of guns. Anyone interested in the gun debate should read this book, and opponents of gun ownership have an intellectual obligation to confront the arguments.”
—PROFESSOR PAUL H. RUBIN, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Economics, Emory University

“John Lott’s new book, The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies, does just that. Lott deals with a wide variety of claims that question the value of firearms for self-defense, providing the analysis and facts the public needs to see through the distortions of gun control advocates. This is a valuable guide to a more balanced understanding of the issue.”
—PROFESSOR JOYCE LEE MALCOLM, Patrick Henry Professor of Constitutional Law and the Second Amendment, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

“John Lott’s new book, The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies, is an indispensable source of facts, insights, and cogent argument. Anyone who wants to be informed on the gun control issue has to read this book.”
—CARLISLE E. MOODY, Professor of Economics, William and Mary

Hillary Clinton, the Russian Reset, and Cronyism

Here is a link to an article by the Government Accountability Institute.  The article lays out the kind of dealings the Clintons have been doing for years.

The article begins with the following Executive Summary.

  • A major technology transfer component of the Russian reset overseen by Hillary Clinton substantially enhanced the Russian military’s technological capabilities, according to both the FBI and the U.S. Army.
  • Russian government officials and American corporations participated in the technology transfer project overseen by Hillary Clinton’s State Department that funnelled tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.
  • A Putin-connected Russian government fund transferred $35 million to a small company with Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta on its executive board, which included senior Russian officials.
  • John Podesta failed to reveal, as required by law on his federal financial disclosures, his membership on the board of this offshore company.
  •  Podesta also headed up a think tank which wrote favorably about the Russian reset while apparently receiving millions from Kremlin-linked Russian oligarchs via an offshore LLC.