Of Course the People Don’t Want War


“Why of course the people don’t want war… That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” – Hermann Goering, Nazi officer

Or you can denounce the peacemakers as “isolationists”. That seems to work as well.

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August 14, 2014 · 9:35 am

The Hill: Democrats Have Raised Impeachment Some 20 Times More Often Than Republicans


Brad S.:

You need to understand what should be considered an “impeachable offense” before you argue for or against impeachment. High Crimes and Misdemeanors are not necessarily limited to simply breaking the law by the POTUS. Learn more here:

http://www.constitution.org/cmt/high_crimes.htm

Originally posted on JONATHAN TURLEY:

260px-capitol_building_full_viewI recently wrote on the issue of impeachment that has been reportedly so widely in the media. As I noted in the column and in prior interviews, there is no serious move toward impeachment by the Republicans and most of the impeachment talk has come from the White House and Democrats, including in fund-raising campaigns. Indeed, I was critical of the Washington Post column after one of the hearings in which I testified on executive over-reach. While the issue of impeachment was mentioned only a handful of times and usually to dismiss it as an option, the column was entitled “Republicans see One Remedy for Obama — Impeachment.” It seems that even denying impeachment as an option still constitutes discussing impeachment. Now The Hill newspaper has looked at the congressional record to see who is raising impeachment more often. The result was that Democrats raised the issue 20 times more…

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Failing to note the connection (there is plenty of historical evidence that it takes only one small miss-step or incident to trigger global conflict).
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/feedburner/voxpopoli/~3/jOjb_sQQrBo/failing-to-note-connection.html

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August 7, 2014 · 12:19 pm

Israel-Palestine — An Alternate Christian View


Brad S.:

An article worth spending some time to dig into. Excellent resources at end.

Originally posted on gospelbbq:

Whose side should Christians take in the Israel-Palestine conflict?

by Joel McDurmonM

July 2014

Readers who have learned their lessons well will, of course, see the title question as a fallacy—the fallacy of a complex question. Nevertheless, I keep getting variations of that question; some fallacious and others not—and so I decided to make a few comments.

AThe answer to the above question is “neither.” Both sides are in the wrong in certain ways, and America should have no entangling alliance with either, and no obligation to either. Those who understand biblical laws for warfare and foreign policy will have no problem with this. But many are still confused, largely because of a few factors:S

1) their eschatology mistakenly informs them that modern-day “Israel” is something special;

2) their facts are delimited by one major news outlet or another (often of genus Vulpes), or filtered through end-times

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New York Port Authority Claims Ownership Of Skyline Image in Latest Trademark Abuse


Brad S.:

If the State can own the rain that falls from the sky, hits your roof, and eventually finds its way into the local sewer, then certainly they own the photons that reflect off the buildings, and stream into your camera lens!

Originally posted on JONATHAN TURLEY:

NYC_Top_of_the_Rock_Pano

Warning: the image above may get you sued by the New York Port Authority. We have long discussed the insane evolution of trademark and copyright laws. Now, Fishs Eddy, a housewares store in Manhattan, has been hit with a cease-and-desist letter from the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) over dishes that merely show the skyline of the city. The MTA claims that the common silhouette of the city includes some of its “assets” and that the store must destroy all of its products with the images and promise never again to sell images of the skyline. It is reminiscent of the English decision finding that taking photographs of London icons are also violations. Here the authority is claiming ownership to skyline images and 9-11 images even in silhouette.

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3 Business Lessons From The Sinaloa Drug Cartel (Revisited)


English: Money seized during "Project Cor...

English: Money seized during “Project Coronado” by the DEA. Going in “La Familia Michoacana” article. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An article posted by Devin Liddell on  Co.Design has a sub-title “Innovate Like a Syndicate”, but the conclusions of the article show a huge leap in the application of legitimacy to a business model that is wholly illegitimate.

To sum-up the articles main points:

  • There are cartels that have out-lasted traditional brick-and-mortar business for generations
  • Cartels have insanely high margins on products
  • Individuals working for cartels have a huge profit per employee when compared to traditional businesses
  • Profits happen despite efforts of governments and law enforcement to shut down cartels
  • Cartels achieve all the above due to a superior culture when compared to Fortune 500 companies

Let’s address these points using some basic economics and common sense.

Cartels, much like monopolies, are in business due to government participation, not in-spite of it. Were it not for the State restricting competition, as well as restricting the supply of products, prices and profits would plummet. Therefore it’s in the best interest of the cartels to persist the adversarial role of the State. The State restricts competition by making it extremely costly to get involved in illicit businesses, and winnows out the weak by raising the cost of entry into the marketplace through police power. This serves to maintain the established cartels position of power and prominence.

Cartels don’t have the compliance burdens imposed by the State, nor the tax burdens – giving them a much greater profit margin potential only dreamt of by most brick-and-mortar companies.

But lets talk about the main points of the article, ” these culture-driven brands have three key attributes”:

  1. Credo: “Actionable and authentic values” whereby these cartels “have distinctive rituals, symbols, and artifacts to express their credos”, giving them some kind of supposed “authenticity” (unlike corporate motivational posters). Like most hierarchical models of business, the corporate culture is designed to insulate those at the top from competition from those below, while at the same time concentrating wealth and power in the hands of the few at the top. It’s the same for cartels that exist outside of traditional law and cultural mores. Unlike traditional corporations, violation of these “Credos” is not just fatal to your career, but to you and your family. Very motivational!
  2. Improvisation: To sum up, find ways around impediments to your distribution network, then diversify your income streams. Sounds like basic business strategy to me.
  3. Small-but-big: While I agree that small and agile is good given my background managing software development and agile methodologies, the structure implemented by cartels is more likely due to risk mitigation. When the police show up and bust your operation, they only capture an isolated cell, leaving the vast bulk of the operation intact and productive. It’s merely a byproduct that this structure can also very efficient.

In  summary, Mr. Liddell makes the following statement, ” legitimate businesses wish they had the cultural clarity and business results of these underworld organizations”, and I’m sure some do. More to the point, it’s about results. To get similar results, but to do it in a fashion that does not use the illegitimate power of cartels (or the State) will require an environment for business close to what the cartels operate under. How about the following as a start:

  • Minimize or repeal all corporate taxes
  • Relieve businesses of the incredibly burdensome compliance requirements from all the alphabet-soup of state and federal agencies
  • Understand that cultural values are inculcated from society, not corporations, and good citizens and workers become so because they are raised that way – not at the point of a gun
  • Get the State out of business, as it creates massive economic distortion wherever it interferes

Oh, and there’s only one way to defeat those pesky cartels, and that’s to take away their government enforced monopoly.

The original article is here.

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Has Rand Paul been right all along about Israeli independence?


Brad S.:

This has been my position for many years. Israel does not need our largesse, and it gives too big a voice to the parasites in Washington over matters that they know little or nothing about.

Originally posted on Rare:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has argued in the past that the U.S. should explore cutting aid to Israel because a more independent Israel would be better off.

As the fighting intensifies in Gaza, Israel is starting to realize what independence means, Breitbart reports.

“Israel is acting with greater independence than it has in decades, ignoring Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry as they push for a ceasefire that most Israelis see as premature,” Joel B. Pollak writes. “In previous rounds in Gaza, the Israeli government had to weigh carefully the risk that it might alienate the White House if it pressed too hard for victory. By now, however, there is no risk: the Obama administration is effectively on the other side.”

Rand Paul’s notion of a more independent, and thus stronger, Israel, is not unheard of even among Israelis. The Daily Beast’s Eli Lake writes:

Ironically, the United States may…

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Articles: Weekend Must-Read: Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist


'illegal asylum seeker' is an oxymoron - Refug...

‘illegal asylum seeker’ is an oxymoron – Refugee Action protest 27 July 2013 Melbourne (Photo credit: John Englart (Takver))

Hang out in leftist internet environments, and you will discover a toxic bath of irrational hatred for the Judeo-Christian tradition. You will discover an alternate vocabulary in which Jesus is a “dead Jew on a stick” or a “zombie” and any belief is an arbitrary sham, the equivalent of a recently invented “flying spaghetti monster.” You will discover historical revisionism that posits Nazism as a Christian denomination. You will discover a rejection of the Judeo-Christian foundation of Western Civilization and American concepts of individual rights and law.

via Articles: Weekend Must-Read: Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist.

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Australia Repeals Carbon Tax


Brad S.:

Anti Carbon Tax Rally, Melbourne

Anti Carbon Tax Rally, Melbourne (Photo credit: mugfaker)

More evidence that lawyers should not pretend to be economists. Taxes imposed on manufacturers of anything are invariably passed on to consumers. This includes co-called “carbon offset” taxes. In the process, the money is laundered through exchanges and the state bureaucracy, enriching the non-productive leach sector of the economy at the expense of the middle-class.
You liberals whine about the inequality between the 1% & the 99%, then want to impose even more draconian financial policies that exacerbate the problem!
OH NO! THERE’S A CLIMATE CRISIS (there’s always a crisis) so we need to TAX MORE to CONTROL PEOPLE and SAVE THE WORLD! Ad nauseum.

Originally posted on JONATHAN TURLEY:

200px-Tony_Abbott_-_2010220px-AlfedPalmersmokestacksIn a major setback to effort to combat climate change, Australia’s Abbott government has secured a repeal of the carbon tax. It is the first major country to rollback on the basic environmental protection. Abbott’s government is suggesting that it will pay corporations not to pollute — a proposal that would cost a huge amount and environmentalists insist is unlikely to be successful.

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You Trust Too Much


Frédéric Bastiat

Frédéric Bastiat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?”  – Frederic Bastiat

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July 17, 2014 · 9:34 am