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The Whip

Morning Whip, May 24, 2010

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When It Comes to Security, Think 'Natural': Security Organizations Could Be More Effective If Officials Learn from Nature

Security systems could be more effective if officials looked at how organisms deal with threats in the natural world, University of Arizona researchers suggest in the May 20 edition of the journal Nature. The authors are working with security and disaster management officials to help put some of their recommendations -- such as decentralizing forces and forming alliances -- into practice.

Wow. Decentralizing forces. Forming alliances. Sounds kind of . . . oh, I don't know . . . federal--with a lower-case F. It certainly doesn't sound like a central bureaucratic behemoth of a national government arrogating power to itself and concentrating it in Washington, DC, where it's hours--if not days or weeks--from being able to respond meaningfully to a crisis that needs a rapid response.

Morning Whip, May 17, 2010

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What is a Right? -- If you want to know what our problem is, this is it--the fundamental misconception on the part of otherwise fairly smart people on what a right really is. The simplest way to understand it is: A right to engage in a behavior occurs when that behavior does not require another person for you to engage in that behavior. If what you want to do requires somebody else to do something, it can't be a right, because you are dependent on somebody else to give that behavior to you. That is why being left alone is a right. You don't need anybody else to be left alone. Life is a right--you don't require another person to simply exist. Food, clothing, shelter are all rights only to the extent that you can obtain them without the intervention of another person.

When you must engage another person to obtain something, or to engage in a behavior, you have moved beyond the concept of a right, to the much more complex area of interpersonal behavior--which includes social interactions, economic transactions, and politics. But social interactions, economic transactions, and political actions are not--can not be rights. Rights precede all of those interpersonal transactions, and set limits upon them.

Rights are inherent to every individual, do not require another person's action in order to exercise, and set limits upon the behaviors that one individual may perform with or for--or impose upon--another individual.

Noonish Whip, May 14, 2010

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Things have piled up over the past couple of days while we've been out playing. Here's some of the stuff:

Morning Bell: Can We Avoid Becoming Europe? -- You really need to read and understand the following paragraph before you continue to support Obama and the Democrat's century-old progressive New Deal agenda:
The Washington Post reported on its front page that the bailout of Greece was forcing “European governments [to] rewrite a post-World War II social contract that has been generous to workers and retirees but has become increasingly unaffordable for an aging population.” And a New York Times headline blared In Greek Debt Crisis, Some See Parallels to U.S. with David Leonhardt reporting: “The numbers on our federal debt are becoming frighteningly familiar. The debt is projected to equal 140 percent of gross domestic product within two decades. Add in the budget troubles of state governments, and the true shortfall grows even larger. Greece’s debt, by comparison, equals about 115 percent of its G.D.P. today.”

The New Deal never made economic sense. It was a huge, elaborate, complicated Ponzi scheme. The Great Society just added another layer to it. Now, all the Democrats in Washington are really doing is just putting a new coat of paint over the same wrong-headed, failed policies that they've been pushing since before the Woodrow Wilson Presidency. That's why Biden called it a "Big *censored*ing Deal" -- his words, not mine. It is an apt name for this final chapter in the "New Deal." The end is near for collectivist "progressivism." The question is: what will come next? Freedom? Or fascism with a "caring face?"

Pattern of Death -- . . . is what happens when you "empower individuals" and "promote tolerance of diversity" but simultaneously remove the individual's right and ability for self-defense, while at the same time encouraging---no---demanding that certain groups engage in protected outrageous behavior to address some hypothetical past grievance. That is a bad foundation for a civil society. You can be for tolerance, OR you can be for leveling the playing field/evening the score/redressing past wrongs/making things come out fairly for everyone/equality of outcome. You can't do both. Not possible. Human nature won't permit it. The two are utterly incompatible moral goals. Advocating "fairness" is the polar opposite of advocating "tolerance" because what you are tolerating is precisely the unfair distribution of human knowledge, ideas, ability, industry, and property.

"An armed society is a polite society" is a much firmer foundation for a civil and stable society. There is little terrorism in Switzerland, home of one of the most heavily armed populaces on Earth.

Time Is Not On ObamaCare's Side -- It won't get better. It will only get worse. More onerous. More expensive. More oppressive. Enjoy your dwindling freedom while it lasts. The 2010 election is your last chance to avoid the European Disease of "progressivism." If the Democrats are not decisively turned back in November, we will continue our descent from the extraordinary American Experiment with individual freedom and liberty into the cold, gray, drab world of common, stifling social democracy. Or worse.

Half of Russians believe bribery solves "problems" -- Watch for similar headlines in the next year or two from America, if the 2010 elections go badly for lovers of freedom. When power and money flow into the state, corruption is the natural and inevitable result. Corruption is why the third world remains The Third World. Corruption is why Russia will always be Russia. When bribery becomes commonplace, freedom cannot survive.

Afternoon Whip, May 11, 2010

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NYT Tells Greece to Abandon Socialized Medicine?

Obama Works the Refs

The GOP's poor understanding of blogs

The Dark Side of Engagement with Governments

Halliburton: work on oil rig finished before blast

Federalization of Disasters Bankrupting FEMA

Animals Talk, Sing and Act Like Humans? Young Children's Reasoning About Biological World Is Influenced by Cultural Beliefs -- Personally, I think we think more like animals (well, mammals, anyway) than most scientists want to admit . . . of course, that's not what this article is about. Oh well . . .
while young urban children revealed a human-centered pattern of reasoning, the rural European-American and Native American children did not. Children's experience, including the extent of their day-to-day interactions with the natural world and their sensitivity to the belief systems of their communities, influences their reasoning about the natural world.

Morning Whip, May 11, 2010

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Cancer report energizes activists, not policy -- "But the report from the President's Cancer Panel on Thursday has underwhelmed most mainstream cancer experts and drawn only a puzzled response from the White House. Even members of Congress who usually are eager to show they are fighting to protect the public have been mostly silent."

Obama: Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength -- ""With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations, -- none of which I know how to work -- information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation," Obama said."

Worst President Ever? Or just the most ignorant?

Skepticism and Independence: Bad! -- "Why should a mother with an Ivy League MBA suppose that she is less capable of teaching her children arithmetic than a state-school graduate with a BS Ed.? (As a proud alumnus of Jacksonville State University, I don’t intend this as a put-down of state-school graduates.)"

And, oh, by the way, Jax State stole the 1985 Division II National Basketball Championship Game from South Dakota State. So, take that, McCain! Cheater!

Afternoon Whip, May 10, 2010

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Shocker… Far Left Progressives Have Low Levels of Economic Knowledge -- which comes from this story:

Economic Enlightenment in Relation to College-going, Ideology, and Other Variables: A Zogby Survey of Americans -- Haven't I been saying for a while that a particular trait of leftism/liberalism/"progressivism" is economic illiteracy? The proof is in this Zogby survey analysis.

SDSU beats ORU twice

Least Successful P.R. Campaign Ever? -- "Notwithstanding relentless negative coverage in the press combined with positive reports on protests against the law, and condemnation by President Obama and many other prominent politicians, Rasmussen finds that nationally, 59% of voters favor a law like Arizona's."

Have people begun to totally tune out and discount anything what Obama and the Democrats say? If so, it's about time . . .

Team Obama Says If There’s a Successful Terror Attack – The US Will Attack Pakistan -- And, related to the immediately above: Does Pakistan take Obama seriously? Does anyone in this world, except hard-core partisan Democrats in the United States?

Morning Whip, May 10, 2010

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Oh the Irony: "America is Back!," Baby, But The Magazine Proclaiming This Just Might Go Out of Business -- Newsweek magazine, circling the drain . . .

Nuance: 31% of Birthers approve of Obama’s job performance -- "Enjoy this now because it’s straight down the memory hole tomorrow."

The unintended but foreseeable consequences of Obamacare
Two of the industries that traditionally offer work to members of these groups are leisure/hospitality and retail. As Furchtgott-Roth explains, many of these employers do not provide their employees with health insurance, and both sectors have large percentages of part-time workers. Obamacare threatens to raise costs in these sectors because every employer with more than 50 workers will either have to offer health insurance or pay an annual penalty of $2,000 per worker. For part-timers, employers will pay $2,000 for each "full-time equivalent worker," a block of 30 weekly hours of part-time work by the same or different employees. Employers thus have a strong incentive not to employ more than 50 workers. By avoiding that threshold, they won't have to provide health insurance and will gain a cost advantage over competitors.

See? All it takes is a rudimentary, passing acquaintance with the very, very simple-to-comprehend economic law of supply and demand--of the balancing of demand and supply against a price point.

Here's the basic theory:
If you raise the price of something, people will consume less of it. If you lower the price of something, people will consume more of it.

Now, here's the leap of logic which seems to escape Democrats:
Business owners are people.

They make decisions based on what is best--financially--for their companies.

Obamacare raises the cost of hiring people. Therefore, businesses will inevitably do less of it.

Too simple and straightforward for those wise and wonderful Ivy-League-educated Democrats in Washington to get their minds around, I guess.

Morning Whip, May 9, 2010

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Hyperventilating on Venus -- "I bought off on the “runaway greenhouse” idea on Venus for several decades (without smoking pot) and only very recently have come to understand that the theory is beyond absurd."

New Nerve Cells, Even in Old Age -- In mice, anyway . . .

Politics and Economics: A Deadly Mixture -- Separation of church and state has worked fairly well . . . how about a separation of wallet and state?

Used Car Prices Rise as Administration Declares Victory on Cash for Clunkers -- As I recall, pretty much everybody who understood the first thing about economics predicted that this would be the exact result of "Cash for Clunkers:" higher car prices for the people who can least afford to pay higher prices for cars--those who can't afford new cars but must rely on the used-car market. Your all-knowing government bureaucrats at work as usual--chopping the little guy off at the knees while simultaneously promising him the ability to run faster. It's sweet for the bureaucrats and the power-lusters when the rubes fall for it.