Monday, June 28, 2010

The Supreme Court Fails The Country

Five addled brain morons just gutted the First Amendment in the name of Political Correctness. Today the Court struck down the right of free association for citizens.

I am seething with anger.

This means war. Conservative groups on college campus need to fight and fight hard. Is there a socialist group on your campus? Great, pack their opening meetings and vote one of your own to "lead" the group. Maybe there is a gay/lesbian alliance on your campus? Great. Get every evangelical on campus to to take over that group. A muslim student association on campus? Great, get every friend of Israel, Jewish or otherwise, to take over that group.

Fuck 'em. If they want war, then give it to them.

Really this country would be a better place if Stevens, Ginsburg, Kennedy, Sotomayor, and Breyer were never born.

From the rational part of the decision (i.e. the dissent):

I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that today’s decision is a serious setback for freedom of expression in this country. Our First Amendment reflects a “profound national commitment to the principle that debate onpublic issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.” New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U. S. 254, 270 (1964). Even if the United States is the only Nation that shares this commitment to the same extent, I would not change our law to conform to the international norm. I fear that the Court’s decision marks a turn in that direc-tion. Even those who find CLS’s views objectionable should be concerned about the way the group has beentreated—by Hastings, the Court of Appeals, and now thisCourt. I can only hope that this decision will turn out tobe an aberration.

I will not be holding my breath.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Forgetting 1 + 1 = 2

More brilliance in thinking! Foreclosures by Race and Ethnicity: The Demographics of a Crisis

Our new research shows that the foreclosure crisis is not over, and runaway foreclosures continue to drain hundreds of billions of dollars in wealth from families, hitting communities of color the hardest.

  • An estimated 2.5 million foreclosures were completed from 2007 – 2009, and an estimated 5.7 additional ones are imminent.
  • An estimated 17% of Latino homeowners and 11% of African-American homeowners have already lost their home to foreclosure or are now at imminent risk.
  • The great majority of homes lost were owner occupied, as are those at imminent risk of being lost.

And this comes as a surprise how exactly? One of the stated goals of loosening the criteria for getting home loans (including the riskiest sub-prime mortgages) was to increase home ownership among minority groups. Those loans were always the riskiest, so it should come as no surprise that they would be hard hit by foreclosures when the economy hits a prolonged slump.

There is nothing profound in my observation; its simple common sense. Seemingly, it is a sense beyond many these days.

U.S. v. Slovenia

Fixed I'd say.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Democrats Want Your Money: All Of It

First they started taking about "nationalizing" people's 401(k)'s, now they want to eliminate the mortgage interest deduction. From QandO:

You crank up Turbo Tax and you begin doing your taxes. About half way through, the sweat is beginning to form on your upper lip. You wonder, after all that’s been withheld during the year, how you could owe what TT says you owe at the top of the screen.

Then you get to the deduction phase and you plug in your mortgage interest deduction. Suddenly your angst disappears. The amount owed tumbles, in fact, it might even go in a positive direction. Thanks goodness.

Well, Bunky, if the President’s commission on have their way, that sweaty upper lip will be a permanent fixture for your tax preparation work day. They don’t like it, they’d rather eliminate it than any spending, and they’re talking about doing away with it:

And now that sentiment has turned against all the federal red ink — and cost-cutting is in vogue — Democrats on President Barack Obama’s financial commission are considering the wisdom of permanent tax breaks such as the mortgage deduction and corporate deferral. Calling them “tax entitlements,” senior Democratic lawmakers have argued they should be on the table for reform just like traditional entitlement programs Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.

I can’t imagine a more unpopular thing to do for a citizenry and electorate that already feels hard pressed when it comes to taxes. And comparisons with the taxation levels in other countries really has no bearing, since it is the level of taxation the citizens of this country are willing to bear that matters. And they’ve made it plain that they feel they pay plenty in that department.

First off, Social Security and Medicare are not "entitlement" programs, they are social insurance programs, which is the reason why there is a separate FICA withholding from everyone's paycheck. Entitlements are means tested payments, while social insurance benefits are determined by the payments we make into them. To treat Social Security as if it were the government giving everyone charity is simply false. However, pro=government thugs want to dispense with such legal niceties and make everything income tax and thus make everyone beholden to the Federal government. They want power, as usual.

Which, of course, is the reason why they are turning against the idea of home ownership for average Americans as well. It used to be we valued the ability of Americans to be self-sufficient, at least as an ideal. Thomas Jefferson held up the model of the yeoman farmer, a self-sufficient individual who took care of himself and, when dire circumstance called, defended the country as a citizen soldier. An integral part of such a vision was the idea that the citizen would own property including his own home.

This ideal is, of course, a difficult one to realize universally, but the incentives in the tax code were put in place to make it more of a reality than it otherwise might have been. This is a reality which is anathema to the current "liberal" understanding which no longer believes in the abilities of average Americans to be free upstanding citizens. To the new overlords, the average American is something like a wild untamable but fundamentally weak beast which must be managed, much like a herd of bison. If people begin to believe they can and should look after themselves, well, that is the great danger for this view. It threatens everything the Democrats hold sacred. Namely power.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Friday, June 04, 2010

The Stakes

First this:

As the crisis over a deadly Israeli commando raid on a vessel carrying Turkish activists continued to command the attention of top officials in Washington, Jerusalem, and Istanbul, Namik Tan, the Turkish ambassador to the United States, called Friday for engaging Hamas in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict...

"For a final solution, you cannot ignore Hamas. That's what we are saying," said Ambassador Namik Tan. "This is not the first time that we are trying to bring this into the discussion. We have told this to the Israelis, to our American friends, to our international interlocutors, everyone. How could you imagine a final solution without Hamas?"

Of course a "final solution" is what Hamas is already on record as wanting. And, yes, it is the same "final solution" Germany attempted in the 1940's.

People like this dillweed, and this nitwit, are all for it.

Hugh Hewitt is right. It's getting to be about time to choose a side.

ADDING:

In case you were wondering:

I've met Namik Bey a few times, and he is smart and capable. He is absolutely fluent in English and was both the former spokesman of the Turkish foreign ministry and Turkey's ambassador in Israel. Simply put, it is hard to believe that the ambassador wasn't simply trying to provoke.

This was no accident.