Author Archives: R.D. Walker

Gun violation prosecutions plummet under Obama

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Holder’s Justice Department isn’t really all that interested in prosecuting violations of gun laws.

While President Obama decries gun violence and presses for more laws to restrict ownership, his Justice Department has prosecuted 25 percent fewer cases referred by the main law enforcement agency charged with reducing firearms violence across the country, a computer analysis of U.S. prosecution data shows.

Federal prosecutors brought a total of 5,082 gun violation cases in 2013 recommended by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, compared with 6,791 during the last year of George W. Bush’s presidency in 2008, according to data obtained from the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys.

The 2013 totals represent a 42 percent decline from the record number of 8,752 prosecutions of ATF cases brought by the Justice Department in 2004 under Mr. Bush, according to the data.

It is often argued that there is no need to create new gun laws as long as violations of current laws go unprosecuted. That is true, as far as it goes. The reality, however, is that the administration isn’t really interested in prosecuting violations of gun laws. The administration wants to disarm the populace. New gun laws are designed to disarm the law abiding, not punish those who violate the law.

Again, Obama has no interest in preventing gun crime, his goal is disarmament.

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Fake Obamacare apps usually approved

Plenty of fake people voted for the members of Congress who passed Obamacare. I suppose it makes sense that fake people would benefit from it.

An undercover operation found that the majority of fake Obamacare applications submitted were approved by the health law’s enrollment system.

Fake applicants were able to get subsidized insurance coverage in 11 of 18 attempts, according to a report from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. The agency conducted the sting operation to test the strength of the Affordable Care Act’s eligibility-verification system.

The findings will be discussed at a House Ways and Means hearing Wednesday. They were revealed in an advance copy of the testimony from Seto Bagdoyan, head of GAO’s Forensic Audits and Investigative Service, provided to the Associated Press.

The undercover investigators created fake identities by inventing Social Security numbers, income, and citizenship, and by counterfeiting documents.

Eleven of 12 fake online or telephone applications were approved, according to Bagdoyan. Five of six phone applications were successful, with the exception of one caller who declined to give a Social Security number. Six online applications were initially blocked by the verification system, but the investigators were able to find a workaround by going through the call center.

“The total amount of these credits for the 11 approved applications is about $2,500 monthly or about $30,000 annually,” Bagdoyan said, according to a report from NBC. “We also obtained cost-sharing reduction subsidies, according to marketplace representatives, in at least nine of the 11 cases.”

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Senator Cruz responds to Obama’s de facto travel ban to Israel

The FAA’s ban on flights to Israel is a major victor for Hamas. It hurts our ally and it aids our enemy. Here is the Senator’s statement.

“Today, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it was extending its ban on flights by U.S. carriers into Israel.  The rationale was that because one Hamas-launch rocket had landed in a field one mile from Ben Gurion International Airport, the ‘potentially hazardous security situation created by the armed conflict between Israel and Gaza’ necessitated this extreme action that has so far cancelled some 160 flights and left tens of thousands stranded.

“Obviously, no one wants to place civilian travelers in harm’s way, and the recent downing of Malaysian Airways flight 17 by pro-Russian militants in Ukraine is a stark reminder of the dangers posed by regional unrest.  But security concerns in Israel are hardly breaking news, and given the exceptional challenge Israel faces, Ben Gurion has rightly earned the reputation as one of the safest airports in the world due to the aggressive security measures implemented by the Israeli government.

“Given that some 2,000 rockets have been fired into Israel over the last six weeks, many of them at Tel Aviv, it seems curious to choose yesterday at noon to announce a flight ban, especially as the Obama Administration had to be aware of the punitive nature of this action.

“Tourism is an $11 billion industry for Israel, which is in the middle of a summer high season already seriously diminished by the conflict initiated by Hamas.  Group tours have been cancelling at a 30% rate.  This FAA flight ban may well represent a crippling blow to a key economic sector through both security concerns and worries that additional bans will down more flights and strand more passengers.  It hardly matters if or when the ban is lifted. At this point, the damage may already be done.

“Even given the remarkable resilience and prosperity of its economy, Israel has always been vulnerable to economic blackmail.  In the 1970s, we saw the Arab League boycott, which tried to punish any financial institution that did business with Israel.

“Today we have similar noxious efforts by the Boycott, Divest, Sanction or ‘BDS’ movement, which seeks to punish Israel for the fact that the militant terrorist elements embraced by the Palestinian Authority make any peace deal an intolerable security risk to Israel at this time.  But the Obama Administration has refused to robustly denounce this effort to undermine our ally.

“Instead, Secretary of State John Kerry issued a veiled threat last February when he encouraged boycotts of Israel and said that absent serious Israeli concessions at the negotiating table, Israel’s economic prosperity was ‘not sustainable’ and ‘illusory.’ Secretary Kerry unfortunately reprised this theme just this April, when he threatened that Israel risked becoming an ‘apartheid state’ if Israel did not submit to his chosen solution to the Israel-Palestinian crisis.

“Taken in the context of Secretary Kerry’s comments, yesterday’s action by the FAA raises some serious questions:

  • Was this decision a political decision driven by the White House?
  • If the FAA’s decision was based on airline safety, why was Israel singled out, when flights would be permitted into Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen?
  • What was the FAA’s ‘safety’ analysis that led to prohibiting flights to Israel, while still permitting flights to Ukraine—where a commercial airline flight was just shot down with a BUK missile?
  • What specific communications occurred between the FAA and the White House?  And the State Department?  Why were any such communications necessary, if this was purely about airline safety?
  • Was this a safety issue, or was it using a federal regulatory agency to punish Israel to try to force them to comply with Secretary Kerry’s demand that Israel stop their military effort to take out Hamas’s rocket capacity?

“When Secretary Kerry arrived in Cairo this week his first act was to announce $47 million in additional aid to Gaza, which is in effect $47 million for Hamas.  In short order, this travel ban was announced by the FAA.  Aiding Hamas while simultaneously isolating Israel does two things.  One, it helps our enemy.  Two, it hurts our ally.

“Until these serious questions are answered, the facts suggest that President Obama has just used a federal regulatory agency to launch an economic boycott on Israel, in order to try to force our ally to comply with his foreign-policy demands.

“If so, Congress should demand answers.”

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Sen John Walsh (D-MT) says PTSD made him do it

Senator John Walsh (D-MT) was appointed by the state’s Democrat governor and holds one of the contested seats up for grabs in November. In 2007, at the age of 46, he completed his Master’s Thesis at the Army War College. It was 14 pages long and about 25 percent of it was flat out plagiarized.

Mr. Walsh completed the paper, what the War College calls a “strategy research project,” to earn his degree in 2007, when he was 46. The sources of the material he presents as his own include academic papers, policy journal essays and books that are almost all available online.

Most strikingly, the six recommendations Mr. Walsh laid out at the conclusion of his 14-page paper, titled “The Case for Democracy as a Long Term National Strategy,” are taken nearly word-for-word without attribution from a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace document on the same topic.

In his third recommendation, for example, Mr. Walsh writes: “Democracy promoters need to engage as much as possible in a dialogue with a wide cross section of influential elites: mainstream academics, journalists, moderate Islamists, and members of the professional associations who play a political role in some Arab countries, rather than only the narrow world of westernized democracy and human rights advocates.”

The same sentence appears on the sixth page of a 2002 Carnegie paper written by four scholars at the research institute. In all, Mr. Walsh’s recommendations section runs to more than 800 words, nearly all of it taken verbatim from the Carnegie paper, without any footnote to it.

Needless to say, the military frowns on stealing other’s work for a master’s thesis. In fact, degrees are generally rescinded and promotions withdrawn when it is discovered. Why did he do it? He says it was PTSD.

U.S. Sen. John Walsh of Montana says he was on medication and being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder when he used unattributed work of scholars in his master’s thesis.

Walsh says he unintentionally made incorrect citations in the 2007 paper, written nearly two years after he returned from Iraq.

Walsh told The Associated Press on Wednesday that his “head was not in a place very conducive to a classroom and an academic environment.”

Some would like to dismiss it as something that has been done by Rand Paul and others. Even the NYT is having no part of that.


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Obama says he doesn’t watch the news…

Except, evidently, when he needs to know what is going on in his administration.

In scandal after scandal in the Obama administration, President Obama has said he didn’t know about the problems until he heard it on the news.

But the president changed his tune about his supposed ignorance at a Democratic fundraiser near Seattle on Tuesday night.

Mr. Obama told supporters that he doesn’t watch the news because, “Whatever they’re reporting about, usually I know.”

That contrasts with the explanations that the president and his aides have given from scandals in the past few years ranging from long wait times and deaths at the VA, to the IRS targeting tea party groups, to the Fast and Furious gun-running operation, and the Department of Justice spying on news reporters.

Well, you can’t teach him anything because he already has all the answers. You know, like a 13 year old.

Remember when Sarah Palin refused to state which newspapers she reads and that was a big ‘gotchya’ for the MSN? Yeah, good times.

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The War on Work

How the welfare state discourages work, imposes dependency and exacerbates poverty. Worth six minutes of your day.

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Flashback: History is already proving Obama is a clueless tool

Down the memory hole. In this episode, Mitt Romney plays the role of a wise and patient teacher explaining geopolitics to a not-too-bright, arrogant and disrespectful student played by Barry Obama.

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Thomas is racist, sexist and homophobic

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Thomas the Tank Engine, that is. So says the Guardian. James, normally a red engine, had to work with a coat of pink primer.

James is mortified that he has to travel while pink and proceeds to hide from all the other trains along the way. When he’s caught, the other trains – including Thomas – viciously laugh and mock him.

“What are you doing James? You’re a big pink steamie,” says Diesel, the bad-boy engine. (For the record, all the “villains” on Thomas and Friends are the dirty diesel engines. I’d like to think there was a good environmental message in there, but when the good engines pump out white smoke and the bad engines pump out black smoke – and they are all pumping out smoke – it’s not hard to make the leap into the race territory.)

But once James gets back on the rails and picks up Granddaughter Hatt and her friends, all seemingly ends well because the girls love pink.

Well guess what? It’s not OK. You think a little boy watching Thomas is going to file away the lesson that pink is OK for boys? No, what kids remember is that James was laughed at, cruelly, over and over again, because he looked different and was clad in a “girly” pink color.

I like articles like this. Every single one of them that is printed reduces the effectiveness of the accusations of the race mongers.

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If Tomorrow’s Headlines Were Honest

If the MSM honestly reported what happened today with the DC Circuit decision on Obamacare, this is what the headlines would read.

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Breaking: Obamacare Crippled

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If this decision isn’t reversed, Obamacare as it exists today has been destroyed. This kicks the foundation out from under the whole stinking edifice.

In a potentially crippling blow to Obamacare, a federal appeals court panel declared Tuesday that government subsidies worth billions of dollars that helped 4.7 million people buy insurance on HealthCare.gov are illegal.

A judicial panel in a 2-1 ruling said such subsidies can be granted only to those people who bought insurance in an Obamacare exchange run by an individual state or the District of Columbia — not on the federally run exchange HealthCare.gov.

“Section 36B plainly makes subsidies available in the Exchanges established by states,” wrote Senior Circuit Judge Raymond Randolph in his majority opinion, where he was joined by Judge Thomas Griffith. “We reach this conclusion, frankly, with reluctance. At least until states that wish to can set up their own Exchanges, our ruling will likely have significant consequences both for millions of individuals receiving tax credits through federal Exchanges and for health insurance markets more broadly.”

It will, of course, be immediately appealed.

Hat tip to Uke.

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Anti-Christian pogrom in Iraq

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US media completely ignores it.

For the first time in 1,600 years, Mass is not being said in Mosul: an ancient culture has been wiped out in a matter of weeks. It’s a war crime that, strangely, no one seems to want to talk about.

Mosul is the second-largest city in Iraq and the place where many Christians believe Jonah was buried. Since the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) rode into town, their faith has been forced underground. Bells have been silenced, the hijab enforced with bullets. Tens of thousands fled after being offered an unattractive choice: convert, pay a religious tax, or be put to the sword. The levy was unaffordable. According to one local news agency, Isis troops entered the house of a poor Christian and, when they didn’t get what they wanted, the soldiers raped the mother and daughter in front of their husband and father. He committed suicide out of grief.

Having driven away the worshippers, the Isis fanatics are now trying to extinguish the physical legacy they left behind. A centuries-old church has been burned to the ground; Jonah’s tomb has been desecrated. Isis wants to create the Islamic equivalent of Year Zero, a brave new world with no evidence of Christianity, women’s rights, democracy or even that most subversive of instincts, human pity.

The same is occurring in Syria where Christianity has existed since before Saul was converted on the road to Damascus. Christianity predates Islam in Damascus by seven centuries.

Yeah, there will be no Crusade. There will be no rescue. Nearly two thousand years of Christianity in Mesopotamia and the Levant is being extinguished and the West doesn’t care a whit.

There is only one place in the region from Pakistan to Morocco and Turkey to Somalia where Christians are safe: Israel.

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Russians claim Ukrainian aircraft tracked Malaysian flight

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An SU-25, they say. Russian Times…

The Russian military detected a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet gaining height towards the MH17 Boeing on the day of the catastrophe. Kiev must explain why the military jet was tracking the passenger airplane, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

“A Ukraine Air Force military jet was detected gaining height, it’s distance from the Malaysian Boeing was 3 to 5km,” said the head of the Main Operations Directorate of the HQ of Russia’s military forces, Lieutenant-General Andrey Kartopolov speaking at a media conference in Moscow on Monday.

“[We] would like to get an explanation as to why the military jet was flying along a civil aviation corridor at almost the same time and at the same level as a passenger plane,” he stated.

Propaganda ain’t what it used to be. The SU-25 “Frogfoot” is a ground support aircraft with an unarmed ceiling of 23,000′. It’s ceiling is less when it is carrying external weapons. The Malaysian airliner was cruising at 33,000′. The maximum speed of the SU-25 is about the same as the airliner.

So we are asked to believe that the Ukrainians were able to intercept the Malaysian airliner with an aircraft that, when carrying air-to-air missiles, has a ceiling more than 10,000′ below the airliner and a maximum speed, when armed, less than the cruising speed of the civilian craft.

Furthermore, we are being asked to believe that the Ukrainians purposely shot down a civilian airliner in order to pin it on the Russians. For that mission, they chose an aircraft that would require a huge amount of luck to be able to barely pull off the attack.

Occam’s Razor tells me that the obvious answer is that trigger happy Russian militiamen, who had been shooting down Ukrainian aircraft for weeks, misidentified the airliner as a Ukrainian military transport and blew it out of the sky.

The SU-25 conspiracy theory isn’t even up to moonbat standards.

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Lerner emails may exist after all?

On this week’s exciting episode of Lost…

The IRS might not have lost the backups of former agency administrator Lois Lerner’s emails after all, according to a top IRS official.

In testimony released Monday, Thomas Kane, the IRS’s deputy associate chief counsel, told House Oversight investigators last week that the agency was examining whether all the back-up tapes which held the emails have been recycled.

The IRS told lawmakers in June that the tapes had been recycled, one of the reasons that an untold number of Lerner’s emails were missing. Since then, the IRS commissioner, John Koskinen, has repeatedly stood by those statements in congressional testimony.

But Kane, the top IRS official in charge of producing documents for Congress, said on Thursday that: “I don’t know if there is a backup tape with information on it or there isn’t. I know that there’s an issue out there about it.”
“It’s an issue that’s being looked at,” Kane also said.

Meanwhile, if you own an industrial shredder, the IRS has a bidding opportunity for you to consider.

Days after IRS officials said in a sworn statement that former top agency employee Lois G. Lerner’s computer memory had been wiped clean, the agency put out word to contractors Monday that it needs help to destroy at least another 3,200 hard drives.

The Internal Revenue Service solicitation for “media destruction” services reflects an otherwise routine job to protect sensitive taxpayer information, but it was made while the agency’s record destruction practices remain under a sharp congressional spotlight.

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Gasoline was cheap in 1939

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Yes, sixteen and a half cents was was cheap, but it really isn’t a fair comparison since wages were much less too. We really have to adjust for inflation. So let’s do that.

Gasoline
Price in 1939: $0.165 per gallon
Adjusted to 2014: $2.82 per gallon
Today: $3.60 per gallon

How about other items?

More below the fold…

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Only 15 ppm of lower atmosphere CO2 from fossil fuels.

A paper published today in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics offers some important information…

Radiocarbon dioxide (14CO2, reported in Δ14CO2) can be used to determine the fossil fuel CO2 addition to the atmosphere, since fossil fuel CO2 no longer contains any 14C. After the release of CO2 at the source, atmospheric transport causes dilution of strong local signals into the background and detectable gradients of Δ14CO2 only remain in areas with high fossil fuel emissions. This fossil fuel signal can moreover be partially masked by the enriching effect that anthropogenic emissions of 14CO2 from the nuclear industry have on the atmospheric Δ14CO2signature. In this paper, we investigate the regional gradients in 14CO2 over the European continent and quantify the effect of the emissions from nuclear industry. We simulate the emissions and transport of fossil fuel CO2 and nuclear 14CO2 for Western Europe using the Weather Research and Forecast model (WRF-Chem) for a period covering 6 summer months in 2008. We evaluate the expected CO2 gradients and the resulting Δ14CO2 in simulated integrated air samples over this period, as well as in simulated plant samples.

We find that the average gradients of fossil fuel CO2 in the lower 1200 m of the atmosphere are close to 15 ppm at a 12 km × 12 km horizontal resolution. The nuclear influence on Δ14CO2 signatures varies considerably over the domain and for large areas in France and the UK it can range from 20 to more than 500% of the influence of fossil fuel emissions. Our simulations suggest that the resulting gradients in Δ14CO2are well captured in plant samples, but due to their time-varying uptake of CO2, their signature can be different with over 3‰ from the atmospheric samples in some regions. We conclude that the framework presented will be well-suited for the interpretation of actual air and plant 14CO2 samples.

Got that? No? Let me summarize.

Only about 3.75% [15 ppm] of the CO2 in the lower atmosphere is man-made. The remainder of the total 400 ppm is naturally occurring. If only 15 ppm are the result of burning fossil fuels, the 130 ppm increase since pre-industrial times that the IPCC has its panties in a knot over can’t very well be a man-made fossil fuel artifact, can it?

Enjoy your carbon foot print. It just doesn’t matter.

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What if the warnings of global warming alarmists are true?

Let’s try a thought experiment. Let’s say the global warming alarmists are correct. Let’s say that humanity must immediately and radically reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being released by mankind or see catastrophic changes in the global climate. Many alarmists claim that it is already too late to prevent catastrophe; the rest say the emergency is so dire that we must all do our best to reduce our carbon footprints.

In order to reduce carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, we must radically reduce the amount of fossil fuels we burn. That means gasoline, oil, coal, natural gas and so forth must be greatly reduced or eliminated.

This is going to be difficult because there is no “green” alternative for air travel. Current technology pretty much requires burning fossil fuels. Maybe there is a hydrogen fuel cell or something the future, but in the near term I guess we are just going to have to give up the convenience of fast air travel.

Let’s press on. There are really five types of carbon neutral energy sources we could use to fuel our homes and industry. These are nuclear, hydropower, wind, solar and biomass.

Nuclear could actually be used to power the planet but the people who are alarmed about global warming are equally alarmed about scary radioactive nuke power. They hate nuclear as much – or maybe more – than they hate coal. No, nuclear is right out.

Hydroelectric dams produce a lot of energy but, again, they are hated by the same people who fear global warming. They demand ‘free rivers’ and are actually working hard to eliminate existing dams. They certainly aren’t going to accept new dams on currently free rivers.

That leaves wind, solar and biomass. How are they shaping up to save the world? Not so great.

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So here we stand, on the verge of environmental calamity. Perhaps it is too late, we are told, but certainly our only hope is to radically reduce carbon dioxide emissions around the world. Europe, China, India, America, everywhere we are told must immediately, materially and permanently reduce carbon dioxide.

Since we have ruled out nuclear and hydro, that leaves solar, wind and biomass. Sadly, they offer absolutely, positively no hope to supply the world’s energy needs now or anytime in the foreseeable future. That leaves only one option: A radical reduction in energy use and a commensurate radical reduction is standards of living around the globe.

So here is the question: Does anyone believe this is possible? Outside violent coercion by a totalitarian global government, is it even remotely possible that seven billion people plus will agree to substantial reductions in quality of life, comfort, life span, and health? Of course not. It isn’t possible.

That means, if we assume the warmist warnings are true, we must prepare for climate change. If it is as severe and dire as they insist, it cannot be stopped without global warfare and totalitarian coercion to force standard of living reductions. Since it cannot be stopped, every ounce of energy and ever dollar spent should be on preparation for what is to come.

Tellingly, the alarmists aren’t really interested in preparation. They continue to focus on seizing control of the global economy to engage in authoritarian measures that will not affect the climate in the least. That tells you everything you need to know about global warming alarmism.

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Obama demands Putin investigate Putin

Today President Obama demanded that Russian President Vladimir Putin investigate the separatists Putin has obviously ordered to suppress evidence that they were armed by Putin. Only when Putin fully reveals any alleged role Putin played in the cover-up of the details of the downing of the Malaysian Airliner will Putin be able to take action and, if necessary, isolate and punish Putin. On the other hand, if Putin announces that there isn’t a “smidgen of corruption” in the separatist militias, the world will be able to rest easy.

President Obama on Monday said “the burden now is on Russia” to stop separatists from tampering with evidence and allow international investigators access to the crash site of the downed Malaysia Airlines plane in Ukraine.

“[Russian President Vladimir] Putin has direct responsibility to compel them to cooperate with the investigation,” Obama said during a brief statement from the White House.

Obama said international investigators have been denied access to the site “which begs the question, ‘what exactly are they trying to hide?’ ”

He added that pro-Russian separatists have been removing bodies from the site and called on Russia to step in.

In fairness, I give Putin a better chance at getting at the truth than I give Eric Holder to learn anything about the IRS Scandal.

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All Praise the A/C!

Fort Lauderdale, Dallas, Phoenix, Guam… fine places to live. Friggin uninhabitable without one of man’s greatest inventions: The air conditioner.

My 90 year old grandmother does not like summer. She grew up on a farm in Iowa and she says between the heat, the stink of livestock and 100 million flies, she learned to hate summer as a child and, even after 40 years of air conditioning, still doesn’t care for it. It must have sucked to leave that great an impression on her.

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Ron Paul: Don’t blame Russia

Sure, Putin handed over hypersonic surface-to-air missiles to drunken Russian militia fighting to take control of Ukrainian territory. Sure, Putin said they should use the missiles to shoot down Ukrainian aircraft. Sure, Putin put a Russian military intelligence officer in charge of the drunken militiamen. Sure, the drunken fools misidentified a civilian airliner and blew it out of the sky. Sure, there is a major cover-up by the Russian government.

Ron Paul says none of this means we should blame Russia.

Anti-war advocate — and longtime libertarian thorn in the side of the Republican Party — Ron Paul spoke out Friday about the Malaysian jet that was shot down over Ukraine.

His verdict: don’t blame Russia.

“[Russina President Vladimir] Putin is a little bit smarter than that,” the former Texas Congressman told Newsmax on Friday. “I don’t think he would ever come close to participating in an act like this.”

Paul urged caution in assessing the situation.

“Under these circumstances, it’s very difficult to get the real information so everybody’s angling to propagandize and make their position known,” he said. ”It’d be unwise to say, well, the Russians did it, or the Ukrainian government did it, or the rebels did it.”

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Klavan’s One-State Solution: Give the Middle East to the Jews

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The Criminalization of Parenthood

A topic I have written about before. As a former free range kid, I worry about what we are doing to the next generation.

Some of these cases have been reported, but some are first-person accounts, and in some the conduct of neighbors and the police and social workers may be more defensible than the anecdote suggests.

But the pattern — a “criminalization of parenthood,” in the words of The Washington Post’s Radley Balko — still looks slightly nightmarish, and there are forces at work here that we should recognize, name and resist.

First is the upper-class, competition-driven vision of childhood as a rigorously supervised period in which unattended play is abnormal, risky, weird. This perspective hasn’t just led to “the erosion of child culture,” to borrow a quote from Hanna Rosin’s depressing Atlantic essay on “The Overprotected Kid”; it has encouraged bystanders and public servants to regard a deviation from constant supervision as a sign of parental neglect.

Second is the disproportionate anxiety over child safety, fed by media coverage of every abduction, every murdered child, every tragic “hot car” death. Such horrors are real, of course, but the danger is wildly overstated: Crime rates are down, abductions and car deaths are both rare, and most of the parents leaving children (especially non-infants) in cars briefly or letting them roam a little are behaving perfectly responsibly.

Third is an erosion of community and social trust, which has made ordinary neighborliness seem somehow unnatural or archaic, and given us instead what Gracy Olmstead’s article in The American Conservative dubs the “bad Samaritan” phenomenon — the passer-by who passes the buck to law enforcement as expeditiously as possible. (Technology accentuates this problem: Why speak to a parent when you can just snap a smartphone picture for the cops?)

And then finally there’s a policy element — the way these trends interact not only with the rise of single parenthood, but also with a welfare system whose work requirements can put a single mother behind a fast-food counter while her kid is out of school.

I am afraid to let the kid roam and it isn’t because I am afraid of predators. I am afraid of busybodies, over-zealous police, ignorant prosecutors, radical social services workers and all manner of stupid over regulation. On second thought, these people and their nanny state enforcers are predators.

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Front Page, 45 Years Ago Today

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More below the fold…

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Who is to blame for the fighting in Gaza?

Universal agreement on the Bill Maher show. Amazing. Watch this.

Maybe there is hope.

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Up All Night Easy Listening

More below the fold…

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Socialists are Cheaters

No surprise here…

The game was simple enough. Each participant was asked to throw a die 40 times and record each roll on a piece of paper. A higher overall tally earned a bigger payoff. Before each roll, players had to commit themselves to write down the number that was on either the top or the bottom side of the die. However, they did not have to tell anyone which side they had chosen, which made it easy to cheat by rolling the die first and then pretending that they had selected the side with the highest number. If they picked the top and then rolled a two, for example, they would have an incentive to claim—falsely—that they had chosen the bottom, which would be a five.

Honest participants would be expected to roll ones, twos and threes as often as fours, fives and sixes. But that did not happen: the sheets handed in had a suspiciously large share of high numbers, suggesting many players had cheated.

After finishing the game, the players had to fill in a form that asked their age and the part of Germany where they had lived in different decades. The authors found that, on average, those who had East German roots cheated twice as much as those who had grown up in West Germany under capitalism. They also looked at how much time people had spent in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. The longer the participants had been exposed to socialism, the greater the likelihood that they would claim improbable numbers of high rolls.

In socialist dictatorships, the game is rigged against you. You quickly learn that you either lie, cheat and steal or you lose. If the rules of the game are designed so that fair play results in certain loss, we would all cheat.

If playing by the rules means standing in a long line to get bread at a government store only to discover, nine times out of ten, that the bread is gone before you reach the counter, you will not let your children go hungry. You will cheat and buy bread on the black market.

If playing by the rules means living in a one room flat and waiting five years to get an apartment large enough for your family, you will bribe the housing authority officer.

Socialism corrupts not because it makes people immoral, it corrupts because the rules of socialism reward corruption.

As you think about that, think about this: VA wait lists, Obamacare health care rationing, government subsidies, food stamps, education grants, etc. How will Americans react to “if you like your plan you can keep your plan”?

We are being set up for a corrupt, cheating culture.

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