Shame, Shame On The New York Times

David French over at the NATIONAL REVIEW has an excellent article on this topic, and is the one Prager is reading from:

The New York Times published its editorial in response to yesterday’s vicious, violent, and explicitly political attack on Congressional Republicans — an attack that wounded four and left Representative Steve Scalise in critical condition in a Washington-area hospital — and it is abhorrent. It is extraordinarily cruel, vicious, and — above all — dishonest. The editorial doesn’t just twist the truth to advance the board’s preferred narratives; it may even be libelous, a term I choose carefully.

Yesterday’s shooter, James Hodgkinson, left little doubt as to his political leanings and his political motivations. He was a vocal Bernie Sanders supporter, belonged to Facebook groups with names such as “Terminate the Republican Party” and “The Road to Hell is paved with Republicans,” and he was constantly sharing angry anti-GOP messages and memes. Before opening fire, he reportedly asked whether the players on the baseball field were Democrats or Republicans. In other words, all available signs point to an act of lone-wolf progressive political terror.

How does the Times deal with this evil act? The editorial begins innocently enough, describing the shooting and even forthrightly outlining Hodgkinson’s politics. But then, the board says this — and it’s worth quoting at length:

Was this attack evidence of how vicious American politics has become? Probably. In 2011, when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl, the link to political incitement was clear. Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs.

Conservatives and right-wing media were quick on Wednesday to demand forceful condemnation of hate speech and crimes by anti-Trump liberals. They’re right. Though there’s no sign of incitement as direct as in the Giffords attack, liberals should of course hold themselves to the same standard of decency that they ask of the right. (Emphasis added.)

Let’s be blunt. In its zeal to create moral equivalencies and maintain a particular narrative about the past, the Times flat-out lied. There is simply no “link to political incitement” in Loughner’s murderous acts. The man was a paranoid schizophrenic who first got angry at Gabby Giffords years before Palin published her map….

(READ IT ALL)

Trump’s “Conversion” and Bank Account (Updated File)

This first audio is just uploaded and it quite long. The other audio/videos below it are shorter, so you may want to skip this first media file to get the gist of the post:

Trump-Darth-Vader

This seems to be a popular rejoinder when people confront Trump supporters about him being a Democrat:

  • Yeah, but Reagan was a Democrat before being a Republican.

Brent Bozell responds to this non-sequitur in the National Review special edition on Trump:

A real conservative walks with us. Ronald Reagan read National Review and Human Events for intellectual sustenance; spoke annually to the Conservative Political Action Conference, Young Americans for Freedom, and other organizations to rally the troops; supported Barry Goldwater when the GOP mainstream turned its back on him; raised money for countless conservative groups; wrote hundreds of op-eds; and delivered even more speeches, everywhere championing our cause. Until he decided to run for the GOP nomination a few months ago, Trump had done none of these things, perhaps because he was too distracted publicly raising money for liberals such as the Clintons; championing Planned Parenthood, tax increases, and single-payer health coverage; and demonstrating his allegiance to the Democratic party.

Its called a “moral bank account,” Reagan spent years involved in the conservative movement before running. Trump has just “changed”… but wants single-payer health care (more left than Obama-Care), wanting to put his extremely left wing-sister on the Supreme Court, etc.

Prager explains this to the first caller in this two call upload:

The “A Time for Choosing” speech given by Reagan in 1964 could never be made by Trump:

However, I agree with George Will that this delineation with the common man of what a Republican “is” versus “isn’t” is past it’s time of any fruit:

On this weekend’s broadcast of “Fox News Sunday,” while discussing the National Review’s special edition in opposition to  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, conservative commentator George Will said  it might be too late.

Will said, “General Douglas MacArthur said that in war, every disaster can be explained in two words ‘too late.’ The question is whether the conservative wing of the Republican Party, AKA the Republican wing of the Republican Party, is beginning too late to rally against Mr. Trump.”

(Breitbart)

Of Land Grabs and Militias ~ Oregon

Here is the David French article from National Review that Prager interviewed French about:

Watching the news yesterday, a person could be forgiven for thinking that a small group of Americans had literally lost their minds. Militias are marching through Oregon on behalf of convicted arsonists? A small band of armed men has taken over a federal building? The story practically writes itself.

Or does it? Deranged militiamen spoiling for a fight against the federal government make for good copy, but what if they’re right? What if the government viciously and unjustly prosecuted a rancher family so as to drive them from their land? Then protest, including civil disobedience, would be not just understandable but moral, and maybe even necessary.

Ignore for a moment the #OregonUnderAttack hashtag — a rallying cry for leftists accusing the protesters of terrorism — and the liberal media’s self-satisfied cackling. Read the court documents in the case that triggered the protest, and the accounts of sympathetic ranchers. What emerges is a picture of a federal agency that will use any means necessary, including abusing federal anti-terrorism statutes, to increase government landholdings.

…read the rest, it is worth it…

The Piecemeal Dismemberment On Religious Liberties Continues

Legal Insurrection notes the following melee churches find themselves in since the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling:

Less than 48 hours after the decision was handed down, New York Times columnist Mark Oppenheimer called for the end of tax exemptions for religious institutions.

And the piecemeal dismemberment on religious liberties continues.

Now infamous for their intolerance of Christianity, Oregon continues to be ground zero for theBiblical Principles vs. Ideological Fascism showdown.

National Review’s David French explains an emerging problem for Oregonian pastors seeking liability insurance.

Churches, like virtually every functioning corporation, protect against liability risks and the potentially ruinous costs of litigation through liability insurance. With same-sex marriage now recognized as a constitutional right — and with news of Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries awarding a lesbian couple $135,000 in damages for “emotional, mental and physical suffering” after a Christian bakery refused to bake their wedding cake — pastors are reaching out to insurance companies to make sure they’re covered. And at least one insurer has responded with a preemptory denial: no coverage if a church is sued for refusing to perform a same-sex wedding.

While denying insurance coverage is not itself an encroachment of religious liberty, lack of protection is as much a problem; one that could easily sink any independent church that winds up the defendant of a complaint….

Here is more from the National Review article (h/t to Jim G.), For Churches That Won’t Perform Same-Sex Weddings, Insurance Begins to Look Iffy

In the aftermath of Obergefell v. Hodges, pastors and church members are experiencing a wave of anxiety over what many of them deem the “nightmare scenario”: lawsuits or government action designed to force them to perform or recognize same-sex marriages. While there are — so far — no meaningful judicial precedents that would permit such dramatic interference with churches’ core First Amendment rights, lawsuits challenging church liberties are inevitable.

Indeed, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission has declared that prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity “sometimes” apply to churches and has stated that a “church service open to the public” is not a “bona fide religious purpose” that would limit application of the law. In 2012 a New Jersey administrative-law judge ruled that a religious organization “closely associated with the United Methodist Church” wrongly denied access to its facilities for a same-sex wedding.

Churches, like virtually every functioning corporation, protect against liability risks and the potentially ruinous costs of litigation through liability insurance. With same-sex marriage now recognized as a constitutional right — and with news of Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries awarding a lesbian couple $135,000 in damages for “emotional, mental and physical suffering” after a Christian bakery refused to bake their wedding cake — pastors are reaching out to insurance companies to make sure they’re covered. And at least one insurer has responded with a preemptory denial: no coverage if a church is sued for refusing to perform a same-sex wedding.

On July 1, David Karns, vice president of underwriting at Southern Mutual Church Insurance Company (which “serve[s] more than 8,400 churches”), wrote an “all states” agents’ bulletin addressing same-sex marriage. It begins: “We have received numerous calls and emails regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriages. The main concern is whether or not liability coverage applies in the event a church gets sued for declining to perform a same-sex marriage.” Karns continues:

The general liability form does not provide any coverage for this type of situation, since there is no bodily injury, property damage, personal injury, or advertising injury. If a church is concerned about the possibility of a suit, we do offer Miscellaneous Legal Defense Coverage. This is not liability coverage, but rather expense reimbursement for defense costs. There is no coverage for any judgments against an insured.

In other words: Churches, you’re on your own. (National Review has tried to reach Mr. Karns and Southern Mutual’s corporate office, and they have not yet returned our calls.)

[…..]

Yet, as of July 1, it appears that thousands of American churches are more exposed than they imagined….

Tony Perkins comments on the Democrat Party, in a similar (although not in the same context and depth) fashion to Democrat Candidate Jim Webb when he said: “The party has moved way far to the left, and that’s not my Democratic Party.”

…On one hand, the Left is trying to cripple churches’ ability to fight back, and on the other, they’re trying to strip away protections for the everyday believer. Like most liberals, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz isn’t hiding the fact that religious liberty is next on her kill list, especially for individual Americans. “I think [our country] made the distinction between protecting the First Amendment rights for religious organizations or religiously-affiliated organizations and being able to discriminate, broadly, simply because of one individual who owns a business and their own values and their being able to impose those values on either their employers or their customers,” she told CBN’s David Brody.

Once again, liberals are setting up the faulty argument that religious exercise must be confined to institutions — not individuals. As any constitutional scholar would tell you, that’s a deliberate distortion of the First Amendment! It’s like saying the Second Amendment only applies in gun clubs. The reality is, and the Founders understood, religious liberty is a fundamental human freedom. In fact, it was Eleanor Roosevelt — from Wasserman-Schultz’s own party — who chaired the drafting committee of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. And it could not be more clear: “[E]veryone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

What’s happened to the Democratic Party? After 70 years, there’s nothing “democratic” about it!

Mark Isler: Baltimore and Democrat Strongholds (Kevin Williamson)

Here is Kevin D. Williamson’s National Review article Mark Isler is reading from:

A few weeks ago, there was an election in Ferguson, Mo., the result of which was to treble the number of African Americans on that unhappy suburb’s city council. This was greeted in some corners with optimism — now, at last, the city’s black residents would have a chance to see to securing their own interests. This optimism flies in the face of evidence near — St. Louis — and far — Baltimore, Detroit, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco…

St. Louis has not had a Republican mayor since the 1940s, and in its most recent elections for the board of aldermen there was no Republican in the majority of the contests; the city is overwhelmingly Democratic, effectively a single-party political monopoly from its schools to its police department. Baltimore has seen two Republicans sit in the mayor’s office since the 1920s — and none since the 1960s. Like St. Louis, it is effectively a single-party political monopoly from its schools to its police department. Philadelphia has not elected a Republican mayor since 1948. The last Republican to be elected mayor of Detroit was congratulated on his victory by President Eisenhower. Atlanta, a city so corrupt that its public schools are organized as a criminal conspiracy against its children, last had a Republican mayor in the 19th century. Its municipal elections are officially nonpartisan, but the last Republican to run in Atlanta’s 13th congressional district did not manage to secure even 30 percent of the vote; Atlanta is effectively a single-party political monopoly from its schools to its police department.

American cities are by and large Democratic-party monopolies, monopolies generally dominated by the so-called progressive wing of the party. The results have been catastrophic, and not only in poor black cities such as Baltimore and Detroit. Money can paper over some of the defects of progressivism in rich, white cities such as Portland and San Francisco, but those are pretty awful places to be non-white and non-rich, too…

[….]

The other Democratic monopolies aren’t looking too hot, either. We’re sending Atlanta educators to prison for running a criminal conspiracy to hide the fact that they failed, and failed woefully, to educate the children of that city. Isolated incident? Nope: Atlanta has another cheating scandal across town at the police academy. Who is being poorly served by the fact that Atlanta’s school system has been converted into crime syndicate? Mostly poor, mostly black families. Who is likely to suffer from any incompetents advanced through the Atlanta police department by its corrupt academy? Mostly poor, mostly black people. Who suffers most from the incompetence of Baltimore’s Democratic mayor? Mostly poor, mostly black families — should they feel better that she’s black? Who suffers most from the incompetence and corruption of Baltimore’s police department? Mostly poor, mostly black families.

And it’s the same people who will suffer the most from the vandalism and pillaging going on in Baltimore, too.

The evidence suggests very strongly that the left-wing, Democratic claques that run a great many American cities — particularly the poor and black cities — are not capable of running a school system or a police department. They are incompetent, they are corrupt, and they are breathtakingly arrogant. Cleveland, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore — this is what Democrats do.

And the kids in the street screaming about “inequality”? Somebody should tell them that the locale in these United States with the least economic inequality is Utah, i.e. the state farthest away from the reach of the people who run Baltimore.

Keep voting for the same thing, keep getting the same thing.

…read it all…


Here is a conversation via my FaceBook:


To say that the many, many issues that plague our inner cities are entirely the fault of the Democrats is repugnant and unfair. These people have no hope. They have been left behind with absolutely nothing to lose. I’m certainly not trying to justify what they are doing, no one can legitimately…but lets at least breath enough oxygen to realize that there are more than a few Republican state officials in Maryland, including the governor himself, and trying to pin these criminal actions on one political party seems to me to be cheap and tawdry..regardless of the ineptness of the mayor. And oh by the way…maybe if less black men were to be killed at the hands of white policemen without a rational justification or explanation, well then maybe this country wouldn’t be a powder keg waiting to explode.

...I Respond:

I would not say entirely, but a majority of. From the mixing of Marxist cultural and economic principles into faith, from secularizing society, to subsidizing failure through welfare paying for the 70% of black kids born into single family homes, from multi-cultural studies that create a separateness identity (E Pluribus Pluribus), to teaching them about “white privileged,” an over exaggerated history (for instance, how slavery is taught, and the “genocide” against American Indians… as two examples), to supporting groups like the Nation of Islam and other cults as equal to traditional faith, to not allowing liberty in free-markets and taxing businesses out of areas to allowing rioters space to destroy… on-and-on.

ALL these are Democrat supported by-and-large, and NOT Republican supported, by-and-large. A powder keg doesn’t just — “walla” — magically occur. It is supported and supported by some ideology. The question is — which ideology? The Party that wants to keep 67% of single women voting for them? You mean the Democratic Party WANTS to help keep women married when a higher percentage of married women vote Republican?

Please. They encourage illegitimacy in order to win. They encourage “victim-hood” (race, class, gender) in order to create angst alive via cultural Marxism in order to get votes.

[….]

I forgot: to keeping education a monolithic failure and not allowing freedom to send kids (via vouchers) to better schools. Washington DC, the majority of black parents want vouchers… people like Sen. Reid vote against every-time, but then blames poor education on the Senate floor for Baltimore.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your ignorant masses yearning to breathe free.”

...I Respond:

And let the left shackle them in legislation, fines, taxes, political correctness, welfare, teaching white privilege, etc., etc., so in the end it is no longer “E Pluribus Unum”, but “slaves to the state” with a new moto, “E Pluribus Pluribus.”

MSNBC’s Touré Blames Terrorism on Poverty ~ (UPDATED)


New Video Above


 

~ Thanks to Twitchy for the links ~

So did “POVERTY” drive terrorism, as Toure says? Lets start with National Review’s article, How Khalid Learned His ABCs

…At Chowan, Mohammed bonded with other Arab Muslim foreign students known as “The Mullahs” for their religious zeal. Alumni say “The Mullahs” kept to themselves and shunned their American counterparts. So much for the vaunted diversity benefits of cultural exchange (“We take great pride in the wonderful relationships developed with our international students,” crows Chowan’s Office of Enrollment Services.)

Mohammed then transferred to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where he earned his degree in mechanical engineering along with 30 other Muslims. Also studying engineering at North Carolina A&T at the time was Mazen Al-Najjar, the brother-in-law of indicted University of South Florida professor and suspected Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist fundraiser Sami Al-Arian.

While in North Carolina, Khalid Mohammed may have had contact with Ali A. Mohamed, another key bin Laden operative who enrolled at an officer-training course for green berets at Fort Bragg in 1981 and gathered intelligence for al Qaeda as a U.S. Army sergeant before being convicted of participating in the African-embassy bombing plot.

According to intelligence officials, Mohammed applied his American education to organize the 1993 World Trade Center bombing plot (six Americans dead), the U.S.S. Cole attack (17 American soldiers dead), and the September 11 attacks (3,000 dead). He has also been linked to the 1998 African-embassy bombings (212 dead, including 12 Americans), the plot to kill the pope, the murder last year of American journalist Daniel Pearl, and the Bali nightclub bomb blast last fall that killed nearly 200 tourists last fall, including two more Americans.

Elite U.S. colleges and universities continue to help train students from America’s most hostile enemy countries. Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Sudan — all official state sponsors of terrorism — sent nearly 10,000 students to the U.S. on academic visas between 1991 and 1996 alone. In the 2000-2001 school year, Mohammed’s native Kuwait sent a total of 3,045 undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate, and other students to the U.S. His adopted homeland, Pakistan, sent nearly 7,000 students here. Osama bin Laden’s native Saudi Arabia sent more than 5,000 students. Mohamed Atta’s native Egypt sent nearly 2,300.

Between 1989 and 1995, nearly 100 Middle Easterners paid bribes to community-college teachers and administrators in San Diego — the home base for at least two September 11 hijackers — in exchange for counterfeit admission papers and grades, which allowed them to get student visas. The mastermind of the scheme, Iranian-American businessman Sam Koutchesfahani, pled guilty to visa fraud in 1998, along with officials from six colleges. The whereabouts of his “students,” who poured a total of $350,000 into the plot, remain unknown….

…read more…

The next article submitted for review is also by Michelle Malkin, and is entitled, “Educating the ignorant Kumbaya candidate,” and it is aimed at statements made by the candidates running for the 2008 office of President:

…As for Obama’s continued delusion about the “climate of poverty and ignorance” that supposedly breeds Muslim terrorists, can American politicians ever rid themselves of this unreality-based trope? This belief is part and parcel of the same idiocy that lead the State Department to embrace “spa days” for Muslims to “build bridges” with the Arab world and President Bush to open up our aviation schools to more Saudi students to “improve understanding.” John McCain also alluded to education-as-cure for Islamic terrorism at the L.A. World Affairs Council in March, when he declared that “In this struggle, scholarships will be far more important than smart bombs.” Just what we need: more student visas for the jihadi-infested nation that sent us the bulk of the 9/11 hijackers.

Author and National Review Online blogger Mark Steyn’s sharp rejoinder to McCain then applies to Obama now: “There’s plenty of evidence out there that the most extreme ‘extremists’ are those who’ve been most exposed to the west – and western education: from Osama bin Laden (summer school at Oxford, punting on the Thames) and Mohammed Atta (Hamburg University urban planning student) to the London School of Economics graduate responsible for the beheading of Daniel Pearl. The idea that handing out college scholarships to young Saudi males and getting them hooked on Starbucks and car-chase movies will make this stuff go away is ridiculous – and unworthy of a serious presidential candidate.”

Ayman al-Zawahiri didn’t need more education or wealth to steer him away from Islamic imperialism and working toward a worldwide caliphate. He has a medical degree. So does former Hamas biggie Abdel Rantissi. Seven upper-middle-class jihadi doctors were implicated in the 2007 London/Glasgow bombings. Suspected al Qaeda scientist Affia Siddiqui, still wanted by the FBI for questioning, is a Pakistani who studied microbiology at MIT and did graduate work in neurology at Brandeis….

…read more…

The third article for review is likewise by Malkin, and is entitled, “The myth of the poor, oppressed jihadist,” clearly showing that the “jihadi-as-victim canard to the trash bin of deadly dhimmitude.”

The Independent of London has a piece up today on the wealthy, pampered lifestyle of would-be Christmas Day bomber Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab.

The Nigerian elite enginnering student studied at one of Britain’s leading universities, “lived a gilded life” and “stayed in a £2m flat.”

The Independent says Abdulmatallab’s privileged status is “surprising” — “a very different background to many of the other al-Qa’ida recruits who opt for martyrdom.”

Actually, there’s nothing surprising about it. The only surprise is that so many supposedly informed people — from British journalists to our own commander-in-chief — continue to perpetuate the myth of the poor, oppressed jihadist.

Abdulmutallab isn’t the first terrorist admitted to a Western institution of higher learning who spread fundamentalist Islam on campus.

  • Al Qaeda mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed enrolled at tiny Chowan College in Murfreesburo, N.C., which had dropped its English requirements to attract–ahem–wealthy Middle Easterners. At Chowan, Mohammed bonded with other Arab Muslim foreign students known as “The Mullahs” for their religious zeal. Mohammed then transferred to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where he earned his degree in mechanical engineering along with 30 other Muslims. Mohammed applied his Western learning to oversee the 1993 World Trade Center bombing plot (six Americans dead), the U.S.S. Cole attack (17 American soldiers dead), and the September 11 attacks (3,000 dead). He has also been linked to the 1998 African-embassy bombings (212 dead, including 12 Americans), the plot to kill the pope, the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl, and the Bali nightclub bomb blast that killed nearly 200 tourists, including two more Americans.

(See “How Khalid Learned His ABCs,” NRO, Marc h 3, 2003)

  • Ayman al-Zawahiri didn’t need more education or wealth to steer him away from Islamic imperialism and working toward a worldwide caliphate. He had a medical degree. So did former Hamas biggie Abdel Rantissi.
  • Seven upper-middle-class jihadi doctors were implicated in the 2007 London/Glasgow bombings.
  • Suspected al Qaeda scientist Affia Siddiqui, is a Pakistani who studied microbiology at MIT and did graduate work in neurology at Brandeis.
  • Osama bin Laden did a summer school stint at Oxford.
  • 9/11 lead hijacker Mohammed Atta went to Hamburg University to study urban planning.
  • British-born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, a London School of Economics graduate, was convicted of abducting and murdering American journalist Daniel Pearl.

…read more…

Just a small correction to the above Tweet, via Yahoo Answers, “Osama Bin Laden is Rich???“:

  • You bet. When Mohammed (his father) died in a helicopter crash in 1968, his children inherited the billionaire’s construction empire. Osama bin Laden, then 13 years old, purportedly came into a fortune of some $300 million. (Sources: Defense Journal, and, Encyclopedia Britannica.)

Biggest Political Blunder in a Hundred Years

Via Libertarian Republican:

Via Breitbart:

Republicans have erased a nine-point deficit on the generic congressional ballot and are tied with Democrats, according to a Quinnipiac poll released this week. 

On the generic ballot, each party received 39 percent of the vote, while “a combined 23 percent of registered voters either prefer another candidate, wouldn’t vote, or are undecided.”

In late September before Obamacare rolled out, Democrats had a nine-point advantage on the generic ballot. Republicans have since won over independents, who had split evenly last month, winning them by “an 11-point margin, 37 percent to 26 percent.” 

More Confirmation of Obama-Care Killing Job Opportunity and Business Growth (i.e., working poor hit the hardest)

National Review (via Gateway Pundit):

‘I would like to black those days out — does that tell you how bad they were?” says Carl Schanstra, owner of a small Illinois parts-assembly firm. During the recession, his sales dropped by around 50 percent, and Schanstra was forced to take a calculated risk: He downsized considerably, reworked his business strategy, and invested his life savings to tide the manufacturing company through the hard times.

“We laid off 20 people in one day,” Schanstra tells National Review Online. “That day sucked. We got rid of some of the high-level management that was not functioning correctly, as well as our low-level people. We cut and cut and cut. And as the owner of the company, I went without a paycheck for over three months, several times throughout that period. You get to compound on that company’s traumatic experiences, and then add that you don’t have any personal income as well.”

At first glance, it looks like Schanstra’s sacrifices paid off. Automation Systems Inc. is once again stable, and sales continue to rise. During the recession, the firm was housed in a leaky old building with a gravel loading dock and tarps aplenty to protect equipment when it rained. Three months ago, Schanstra was able to move into a much bigger, light-industrial new building.

But the company now faces a new problem because of the Obama health law. Automation Systems Inc. has expanded to include 37 employees today, and Schanstra says he wants to hire more — maybe as many as 200 or 300 in the next 10 to 15 years. But once the business crosses the 50-employee threshold, it will have to pay $40,000 in penalties, plus $2,000 for each additional employee. That’s because of the so-called employer mandate, a fee imposed on businesses that get too big without providing health care the federal government deems acceptable.

“The government has made it clear with the health-care law that the incentive is to have companies under 25 people, where we can get tax breaks,” Schanstra says. “The mid-range companies with the labor of 25 to 60 people — those companies are going to be impacted by this dramatically.”

Between 2007 and 2010, the U.S. lost 27,409 manufacturing firms, according to data from the Census Bureau, most of the losses presumably occurring during the recession. At its low point in June 2009, American manufacturing production was down about 21 percent from what it had been in December 2007. The manufacturing sector became a symbol for everything that had gone wrong: Why can’t the U.S. make things like it used to? Is the U.S. losing its global edge? Factory jobs were America’s hottest export, as the story went, and furrowed faces personified the trend.

President Obama took up the cause, setting a goal to double U.S. exports by 2015 and to create a million new American manufacturing jobs in the process. Early in the stimulus, politicians on the left pushed for federal aid and Buy America clauses. Most neglected to mention, of course, the regulatory burden and union wrangling that have made these companies less competitive than their global counterparts.

Taxpayer money has since flowed copiously toward the manufacturing sector. Just last July, the president was pushing for a 2013 budget with $11.245 billion in funding for various manufacturing initiatives, and that’s on top of existing programs and the stimulus money.

At first, it seemed to work. Manufacturing has boomed in the past three years, a rare occasion for optimism in the midst of a lukewarm recovery. Though the manufacturing sector faces a skill-set mismatch, it’s one of the few sectors with plentiful jobs available. Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute reported last year that as many as 600,000 manufacturing positions remained unfilled.

Yet that growth is fragile, as recent news has demonstrated. For the first eleven months of 2012, inflation-adjusted manufacturing essentially plateaued, leading to speculation that the sector was re-entering a recession. The most recent data, collected in November, show that manufacturing remains short of what it was before the hard times hit.

And it’s hard to say which direction manufacturing is headed next, says Alan Tonelson, a research fellow at the U.S. Business and Industry Council, which represents some 2,000 small and medium-size manufacturers.

“We have come back a lot of the way, but we’re not back all the way,” Tonelson tells National Review Online. “And what I find discouraging about this is, we’re still behind the manufacturing eight-ball despite the trillions of dollars that have been poured into the economy by the stimulus and the Obama administration. It seems like that spending should have created much more growth for the buck.”

Even so, a recent survey by ThomasNet found that 48 percent of American manufacturing companies want to hire. But many of these companies will be affected by the new employer-mandate fees, which would certainly give them reason for pause.

Automation Systems Inc. is the perfect example. The employer mandate has made it financially untenable for the business to expand in the U.S., so Schanstra is reluctantly looking south of the border.

“I’m going to do what’s best for the company no matter what, so what jobs we have here, we can keep here,” he says. “As a business owner, I will learn the restrictions that the government imposes. But based on those restrictions, much of my business may no longer be within the country.”

…read more…

We Know What Causes Radicalism-Now Lets Do Something About It

National Review has posted an excellent article on the causes of radical Islam:

The Coordinates of Radicalism: Sharia compliance correlates with violent attitudes among American Muslims.

…..The authors found that 51 percent of the mosques featured severely violence-positive literature; an additional 30 percent distributed moderately violent tracts; and 19 percent offered nonviolent materials. What’s more, there was a strong correlation between sharia-compliant behavior and the presence of severely violent (as well as moderately violent) tracts. And while the mosques that were not as sharia-compliant (e.g., mosques that did not segregate the sexes during prayer or enforce straight prayer lines) featured less in the way of violent materials, the percentages of even these mosques that had violence-positive literature on site was disturbingly high. (See Table 2 of the MEQ essay.)

The second, related correlation the study examines is between the presence of violence-positive materials at a given mosque and the recommendation of these materials to worshippers by the mosque’s imam — a direct promotion of violent jihadism. To cut to the chase, if these materials are on site, the imam is nearly always found endorsing them. The more observably sharia-adherent the imam, the more certain this conclusion. For example, 93 percent of imams who sported the traditional full beard were found to recommend violence-positive literature. Nonetheless, more than three-quarters of imams who did not manifest similar indicia of sharia-compliance were still found to endorse the pro-violence literature if it was on site.

Perhaps the most jarring finding in the study involved mosque attendance. As the authors observe, “mosques that contained written materials in the severe category were the best attended, followed by those with only moderate-rated materials, trailed in turn by those lacking such texts.” We are not talking small divergence here: Severe-material mosques were found to have a mean attendance of 118 worshippers at services, while no-violence mosques had 15. The moderate-violence mosques came in around the middle, at 60.

In this aspect of the study may lie whatever modest silver lining there is. The Kedar-Yerushalmi survey examines what goes on in the mosques. It does not account for what happens outside the mosques or for how many American Muslims actually attend mosques with any regularity. That is to say, the fact that only 19 percent of mosques actually reflect what Islamic apologists portray as a vibrant, predominant brand of “moderate Islam” does not necessarily mean that only one in five American Muslims is a moderate.

Thousands of Muslims pray privately, as Islam permits. They visit mosques rarely, if at all, and when they go it is more for social or cultural purposes than for instruction. If they are Westernized, pro-American Muslims, they may resist the mosques precisely to avoid the influence of rabble-rousing clerics who have been recruited or trained by Saudi-backed Muslim Brotherhood elements. The study does not account for these Muslims. Their number would edge up the percentage of Muslim moderates, perhaps considerably.

But that is not the Islam Muslims are getting in American mosques. In sum, the study shows: The more sharia-compliant the mosque and its imam, the more virulently anti-Western is apt to be the Islam being preached there. Nor can it be ignored that this promotion of a pro-violence and anti-Western Islam in more than 80 percent of American mosques is of a piece with polling conducted of Muslims living in Islamic countries. As Messrs. Kedar and Yerushalmi remind us, a 2007 survey conducted by WorldPublicOpinion.org found that substantial majorities in Morocco, Egypt, and Pakistan — and a majority even in reputedly moderate Indonesia — favored the implementation of sharia law and the insulation of their countries from Western values.

It is time to stop pretending that there is some other cause for this. Many things can prompt a tinderbox to conflagrate, but it has to be tinder in the first place. Islam is the tinder. We can hope that brave Muslim reformers can build on the small but far from invisible havens where a nonviolent, pluralistic Islam has taken root. But to deny an obvious nexus between the mainstream Islam of the mosques, the violent jihadism of the terrorists, and the stealth jihadism of Islamist organizations is to remain willfully blind.

…(read more)…

PART 2

PART 3

Reducing Crime To Genes

Determinism has reemerged heavily in evolutionary psychology. It is nothing new, but it seems to be the “go to” theory as of late. Bio-Edge has this interesting story o recent story in regards to this:

Can an imaginary gene keep you behind bars?

Nearly every day, it seems, you read about the discovery of a gene for genius, for obesity, for voting conservative, for cancer, for chocaholism, for alcoholism, whatever. Scientists’ bombastic press releases are taken reasonably seriously by glossy women’s magazines and hucksters selling genetic testing kits, if not by their colleagues.

But has it ever happened that an undiscovered gene is taken seriously? This would turn genetics into a quasi-religious faith based on nothing more serious than the glossy women’s magazines. But it did happen and it nearly meant a longer jail sentence for a man convicted of possessing child pornography.

The New York Times reports that a Federal District Court judge in Albany, NY, spurned reports that a man was “at a low to moderate risk to reoffend” because, in his opinion, he had a yet-undiscovered child-porn-viewing gene. He handed down a severe 6 and a half year sentence plus a life term of supervision thereafter. The expected sentence was about 5 years.

The judge, Gary L. Sharpe told the defendant, “It is a gene you were born with. And it’s not a gene you can get rid of”. Nor did Judge Sharpe need evidence for his genetic theory — because he was sure that it would be discovered within 50 years. The “opinions of the psychologists and the psychiatrists as to what harm you may pose to those children in the future is virtually worthless here”.

“You are what you’re born with. And that’s the only explanation for what I see here,” the judge said.

However, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has quashed the sentence. “It would be impermissible for the court to base its decision of recidivism on its unsupported theory of genetics.” They declared that a sentence relying on findings not supported in the record “seriously affects the fairness, integrity and public reputation of judicial proceedings.”

If a Federal Court judge believes so strongly in the power of imaginary genes that he is willing to throw people in the slammer, what about the man in the street? It looks as though genetic determinism has a bright future. ~ Biopolitical Times, Feb 2; New York Times, Jan 28

I wrapped up one paper with this point on determinism:

The point is that our actions, thoughts, decisions and the like, cannot be reduced to just chemical reactions in our brain. Some headline examples:

“Infidelity – It May Be In Our Genes”;

“20th Century Blues” –  Stress, anxiety, depression: the new science of evolutionary psychology finds the roots of modern maladies in our genes;

“Born Happy (Or Not)” – Happiness is more than just a state of mind… It is in the genes too;

“Born To Be Gay?”;

“What Makes Them Do It?” – People who crave thrills, new evidence indicates, may be prompted at least partly by their genes;

“Your Genes May Be Forcing You To Eat Too Much”.

And as I have already shown with the examples I made to you last post, this “determining” factor undermines all rational thought and expression, and thus, morals.

Mikey Refutes determinism (wind noise accepted only because she does a decent job in answering the main issues at hand):

Jim Manzi dealt with this growing problem a bit in his article, “Escaping the Tyranny of Genes: The Fallacy of genetic Determinism,” from the June 2nd (2008) National Review:

OLD THOUGHTS, NEW ERRORS

Now, the idea that the vast majority of people share a set of stable, inherent characteristics—that is, the idea that there is such a thing as human nature—is not new. Nor are the subsidiary ideas that individuals have somewhat varying inborn natures; that this variation is partially heritable; and that individuals who share a lineage will demonstrate common traits and tendencies. All of these beliefs are at least several thousand years old, and probably predate written records.

What’s new is that—because we believe that we have uncovered at least a component of the physical manifestation of human nature, in the form of the genome—many now believe that we can operationalize these old ideas: that we can explain the causes of the behaviors of individuals and groups sufficiently to predict these behaviors scientifically. Those who believe this  believe that we can remove the mind-body problem from the  purview of philosophy by reducing the mind to a scientifically explained physical phenomenon. When pushed, such theorists will generally admit that we cannot yet do much of this, but will then state confidently that we “are starting to understand” or “are on the verge of explaining” various human behaviors.

Media outlets will often speak loosely of things such as a “happiness gene,” a “gay gene,” or a “smart gene.”

[….]

SOUND THE WARNING

The fallacy of what might be called “geneticism” is particularly tempting to conservatives, because it appears to provide scientific support for the idea of an innate human nature—an idea that has long been assaulted from the left. But this temptation should be resisted. If the pretense to scientific knowledge is always dangerous, it is doubly so when wedded to state power, because it leads to pseudo-rational interventions that unduly extend authority and restrict freedom. That the linkage of race and IQ is provocative to contemporary audiences is not surprising: It is almost a direct restatement, in the language of genetics, of the key premise of Social Darwinism. That prior attempt to apply beliefs about human nature to public policy should be a cautionary tale for our era.

Just as Newtonian physics formed part of the backdrop for the thought of the Founders, Darwinian biology—from its beginnings, even before being synthesized with genetic theory—has found expression in both descriptions of physical evolution and conceptions of human society as similarly evolving. In the decades after the publication of On the Origin of Species, evolution became the dominant scientific metaphor for understanding human society. Woodrow Wilson was clear about this when he said in The New Freedom (1913):

Now, it came to me … that the Constitution of the United States had been made under the dominion of the Newtonian Theory… Politics in [the Founders’] thought was a variety of mechanics.

The Constitution was founded on the law of gravitation. The government was to exist and move by virtue of the efficacy of “checks and balances.”

The trouble with the theory is that government is not a machine, but a living thing. It falls, not under the theory of the universe, but under the theory of organic life. It is accountable to Darwin, not to Newton. It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life. . . . There will be the family in a great building whose noble architecture will at last be disclosed, where men can live as a single community, cooperative as in a perfected, coordinated beehive.

Many thinkers at that time believed that Darwinian evolution represented not just a metaphor, but a physical explanation of the material superiority of European civilization. The application of evolutionary ideas supported the eugenics movement in the U.S. and Europe, in which policymakers gave natural selection a helping hand by encouraging differential breeding rates for “fit” and “unfit” persons.

This idea was the basis of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.’s Supreme Court opinion upholding the right of the Commonwealth of Virginia to sterilize the feeble-minded, which ends with the immortal statement that “three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Let’s be clear about the results of this decision. A specific 18-year-old girl named Carrie Buck, who had been accused of no crime, was placed on a table, whereupon an agent of the state sliced open her abdomen and cut her Fallopian tubes against her will. She lived from that moment until her death with no chance of having children. All of this was done because Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. was pretty sure that her children would not have been smart enough. The ironic denouement is that, just prior to this operation, Carrie Buck had actually had a daughter—whose subsequent performance in school was average at worst and often better.

This was not an aberrant case; over 60,000 Americans were forcibly sterilized in the 20th century. The Laughlin Model Law, which was the basis for most state statutes that regularized this practice, chillingly permitted the forcible sterilization of any “probable potential parent of socially inadequate offspring,” and provided tactical inspiration for relevant statutes in Nazi Germany.

It was, in fact, the conflagration of the Holocaust that made human eugenics a more or less forbidden research topic for decades. But this halt has proved temporary. As the Holocaust passes from living memory, and biology makes enormous advances, the human inclination to intellectual vanity is reasserting itself. This seems almost inevitable. The sense of seeing beneath the surface of things, provided by the greatest scientific insights, is intoxicating. Genetic maximalists are just a modern version of the Pythagorean cultists or the Newton-inspired Enlightenment philosopher.

Despite their confidence in predicting future discoveries, however, our ignorance about humanity runs deep, and the complexities of mind and society continue to escape reduction to scientific explanation. This ignorance is one of the most powerful arguments for free-market economics, subsidiarity, and many of the other elements of the conservative worldview. Science may someday allow us to predict human behavior comprehensively and reliably, so that we can live in Woodrow Wilson’s “perfected, coordinated beehive.” Until then, however, we need to keep stumbling forward in freedom as best we can. NR

Below is a paper that refutes the deterministic paradigm, see especially pp. 12-15:

Reduction’ism

A Travesty of justice via the Obama Administration

Ghailani Acquitted of All But One Charge

(National Review) Ahmed Ghailani was found not guilty of each of the over 280 counts against him — save one — in the first civilian trial of a Gitmo detainee conducted by the Obama administration.

Ghailani was charged with one murder charge for each of the 224 people killed in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, but was found not guilty on each. The lone guilty verdict came on conspiracy to destroy government buildings, which comes with a sentence of 20 years to life.

The jury in the case deliberated for seven days, with one female juror requesting to be replaced on Monday after telling a judge she disagreed with her peers on the verdict and was worried she’d face their ire.

Though Ghailani had previously confessed to his role in carrying out the bombings, that confession and a crucial prosecution witness were thrown out because each stemmed from interrogations at a CIA camp.

(See, Terror Trials from Blogspot)