Opening Statement 4.16.17
Opening Statement 4.16.17
Published on Apr 15, 2016
” Remy tries to out-Democrat the candidates in last night’s CNN debate.”
Bernie reminds me of Alfred E Neuman .
Not a huge Trump fan , but even less of a fan of GOPe
This is our 4th attempt at publishing a photoshop and while I’m thoroughly enjoying the creative process , and for the most part the end products , I could use some guidance on how to blend my work together to look of a piece . As delightful of an image as the above PS is , it is painfully obvious that Hill has been added in . I tried many adjustments but could not get the large mass of her coat to blend into the existing background . Any suggestions on how to blend two photos would be much appreciated .
Published on Jun 6, 2015
” Declaring his foreign policy to be a raging success based on some unnamed “poll,” Barack Obama has invited derision and laughter. Here, Judge Jeanine samples his “accomplishments” and asks how he could possibly make such a claim.”
” Under the tutelage of his imposing father, himself a historian and economist, John Stuart Mill began his intellectual journey at an early age, starting his study of Greek at the age of three and Latin at eight. Mill’s father was a proponent of Jeremy Bentham’s philosophy of utilitarianism, and John Stuart Mill began embracing it himself in his middle teens.
Born in 1806, John Stuart Mill was the eldest son of James Mill and Harriet Barrow (whose influence on Mill was vastly overshadowed by that of his father). A struggling man of letters, James Mill wrote History of British India (1818), and the work landed him a coveted position in the East India Company, where he rose to the post of chief examiner. When not carrying out his administrative duties, James Mill spent considerable time educating his son John, who began to learn Greek at age three and Latin at age eight. By the age of 14, John was extremely well versed in the Greek and Latin classics; had studied world history, logic and mathematics; and had mastered the basics of economic theory, all of which was part of his father’s plan to make John Stuart Mill a young proponent of the views of the philosophical radicals.
By his late teens, Mill spent many hours editing Jeremy Bentham’s manuscripts, and he threw himself into the work of the philosophic radicals (still guided by his father). He also founded a number of intellectual societies and began to contribute to periodicals, including the Westminster Review (which was founded by Bentham and James Mill). In 1823, his father secured him a junior position in the East India Company, and he, like his father before him, rose in the ranks, eventually taking his father’s position of chief examiner.”
” It was not until 1843 that John Stuart Mill became known as a philosopher. In this same year he published System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive, his most systematic work.
Whatever is known to us by consciousness, is known beyond possibility of question. What one sees or feels, whether bodily or mentally, one cannot but be sure that one sees or feels. No science is required for the purpose of establishing such truths; no rules of art can render our knowledge of them more certain than it is in itself. There is no logic for this portion of our knowledge. But we may fancy that we see or feel what we in reality infer.
Attacking “intuitionist” philosophy, he argues in favour of logic as the most adequate method of proof. Despite the fact that truth “may seem to be apprehended intuitively,” Mill stresses the fact that, “it has long been ascertained that what is perceived by the eye, is at most nothing more than a variously colored surface.” It thus the object of logic to “distinguish between things proved and things not proved, between what is worthy and what is unworthy of belief.”
In 1848, Mill published Principles of Political Economy, which soon became the most important text of his time. The book examines the conditions of production, namely labour and nature. Following Ricardo and Malthus, he emphasizes the possibility of change and social improvement and examines environmental protection needs. In order for these to be obtained, he considers a limitation of both economic growth and population growth, as the polis itself is indispensable. Furthermore, Mill argued in favour of worker-owned cooperatives, which clearly reflect his views.
On Liberty, published in 1859, caused the greatest controversy of John Stuart Mill’s career and has since become a classic of liberal thought. Written and developed in close collaboration with his wife, Harriet Taylor, Mill examines the nature of power and argues for an absolute freedom of thought and speech. For Mill it is only through such “freedom” that human progress can be attained and preserved. As he states: “The subject of this Essay is not the so-called Liberty of the Will, […] but Civil, or Social Liberty: the nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual.” He thus asserts a„very simple principle“: “that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others[…] The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.” “
” John Stuart Mill’s view on liberty, which was influenced by Joseph Priestley and Josiah Warren, is that the individual ought to be free to do as he wishes unless he harms others. Individuals are rational enough to make decisions about their good being and choose any religion they want to. Government should interfere when it is for the protection of society. Mill explains,
“The sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinion of others, to do so would be wise, or even right…The only part of the conduct of anyone, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns him, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.”
Freedom of speech
An influential advocate of freedom of speech, Mill objected to censorship. He says:
I choose, by preference the cases which are least favourable to me – In which the argument opposing freedom of opinion, both on truth and that of utility, is considered the strongest. Let the opinions impugned be the belief of God and in a future state, or any of the commonly received doctrines of morality… But I must be permitted to observe that it is not the feeling sure of a doctrine (be it what it may) which I call an assumption of infallibility. It is the undertaking to decide that question for others, without allowing them to hear what can be said on the contrary side. And I denounce and reprobate this pretension not the less if it is put forth on the side of my most solemn convictions. However, positive anyone’s persuasion may be, not only of the faculty but of the pernicious consequences, but (to adopt expressions which I altogether condemn) the immorality and impiety of opinion. – yet if, in pursuance of that private judgement, though backed by the public judgement of his country or contemporaries, he prevents the opinion from being heard in its defence, he assumes infallibility. And so far from the assumption being less objectionable or less dangerous because the opinion is called immoral or impious, this is the case of all others in which it is most fatal. “
“Two Letters on the Measure of Value” 1822 “The Traveller” “Questions of Population” 1823 “Black Dwarf” “War Expenditure” 1824 Westminster Review “Quarterly Review – Political Economy” 1825 Westminster Review “Review of Miss Martineau’s Tales” 1830 Examiner “The Spirit of the Age” 1831 Examiner “Use and Abuse of Political Terms” 1832 “What is Poetry” 1833, 1859 “Rationale of Representation” 1835 “De Tocqueville on Democracy in America [i]” 1835 “State of Society In America” 1836 “Civilization” 1836 “Essay on Bentham” 1838 “Essay on Coleridge” 1840 “Essays On Government” 1840 “De Tocqueville on Democracy in America [ii]” 1840 A System of Logic 1843 Essays on Some Unsettled Questions of Political Economy 1844 “Claims of Labour” 1845 Edinburgh Review The Principles of Political Economy: with some of their applications to social philosophy 1848 “The Negro Question” 1850 Fraser’s Magazine “Reform of the Civil Service” 1854 Dissertations and Discussions 1859 A Few Words on Non-intervention 1859 On Liberty 1859 ‘Thoughts on Parliamentary Reform 1859 Considerations on Representative Government 1861 “Centralisation” 1862 Edinburgh Review “The Contest in America” 1862 Harper’s Magazine Utilitarianism 1863 An Examination of Sir William Hamilton‘s Philosophy 1865 Auguste Comte and Positivism 1865 Inaugural Address at St. Andrews – Rectorial Inaugural Address at the University of St. Andrews, concerning the value of culture 1867 “Speech In Favor of Capital Punishment” 1868 England and Ireland 1868 “Thornton on Labor and its Claims” 1869 Fortnightly Review The Subjection of Women 1869 Chapters and Speeches on the Irish Land Question 1870 On Nature 1874 Autobiography of John Stuart Mill 1873 Three Essays on Religion 1874 On Social Freedom: or the Necessary Limits of Individual Freedom Arising Out of the Conditions of Our Social Life 1907 “Oxford and Cambridge Review” “Notes on N.W. Senior’s Political Economy” 1945 Economica
” Further to my note on last week’s UK election, Mark Wilson writes from beautiful County Down:
Hey there, Mark is of course right when he says that no one outside Northern Ireland cares about the difference between the ‘official ‘ unionists (or their name, since the ‘official’ went out years ago!) and the DUP. Lots of people in Northern Ireland don’t care either and want a united unionist party which can ally with English, Scottish and Welsh parties as our interests coincide. That’s quite a traditional British position, do you not think?
Anyway, for people like me stuck in the sticks with unrepentent sectarian murderers failing to represent us by refusing to go to Westminister, the greater truth is that it’s better to be represented by any respectable unionist than any nationalist. Sorry for bothering you with trifles – may providence smile on you lot in your battle with the climatologists!
Well, I wouldn’t call the disintegration of the Mother of Parliaments a “trifle”. (I wouldn’t call Michael E Mann a climatologist, either, but that’s another matter.) You allude to Sinn Féin members who won’t go to Westminster because they refuse to take their oath of allegiance to the Queen. But you don’t need to steer clear of Westminster to decline allegiance in a broader sense. When the Kingdom of Scotland votes as overwhelmingly for the SNP as the (southern and western parts of the) Kingdom of Ireland did for Sinn Féin in 1918, they too are refusing allegiance to the existing political arrangements.”
” Friedrich August Hayek ; 8 May 1899 – 23 March 1992), born in Austria-Hungary as Friedrich August von Hayek and frequently known as F. A. Hayek, was an Austrian, later turned British , economist and philosopher best known for his defense of classical liberalism. In 1974, Hayek shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (with Gunnar Myrdal) for his “pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and … penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena”.
Hayek is an economist and major political thinker of the twentieth century. Hayek’s account of how changing prices communicate information which enables individuals to coordinate their plans is widely regarded as an important achievement in economics. He also contributed to the fields of systems thinking , jurisprudence, neuroscience, and the history of ideas.
Hayek served in World War I and said that his experience in the war and his desire to help avoid the mistakes that had led to the war led him to his career. Hayek lived in Austria, Great Britain, the United States and Germany, and became a British subject in 1938. He spent most of his academic life at the London School of Economics (LSE), the University of Chicago, and the University of Freiburg.
In 1984, he was appointed as a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour by Queen Elizabeth II on the advice of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for his “services to the study of economics”. He was the first recipient of the Hanns Martin Schleyer Prize in 1984. He also received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 from president George H. W. Bush. In 2011, his article The Use of Knowledge in Society was selected as one of the top 20 articles published in the American Economic Review during its first 100 years.“
” If any twentieth-century economist was a Renaissance man, it was Friedrich Hayek. He made fundamental contributions in political theory, psychology, and economics. In a field in which the relevance of ideas often is eclipsed by expansions on an initial theory, many of his contributions are so remarkable that people still read them more than fifty years after they were written. Many graduate economics students today, for example, study his articles from the 1930s and 1940s on economics and knowledge, deriving insights that some of their elders in the economics profession still do not totally understand. It would not be surprising if a substantial minority of economists still read and learn from his articles in the year 2050. In his book Commanding Heights, Daniel Yergin called Hayek the “preeminent” economist of the last half of the twentieth century.”
” Hillary Clinton is the favorite U.S. presidential candidate among millionaire voters and would win a head-to-head contest with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, according to the third CNBC Millionaire Survey conducted in March that was released today.
The survey, which polls 750 Americans with a net worth of $1 million or more, found that 53 percent of millionaires would vote for the Democratic ex-Secretary of State, compared with 47 percent for the GOP presidential hopeful, in a hypothetical general-election match-up. Clinton had the support of 91 percent of Democratic millionaires, 13 percent of Republican millionaires and 57 percent of Independent millionaires.”
” Congress is required by law to pass a budget each fiscal year which lays out the framework for allocating taxpayer dollars for all federal programs. Additionally, Congress must pass 12 function and program –related appropriations bills that then distribute the funds to the various departments, agencies, and programs.
Instead, Congress and the administration have relied on last-minute continuing resolutions (CRs) and omnibus spending bills that kick the can down the road by adopting only set levels of funding — providing no oversight over the worthiness of program spending, nor prioritizing spending according to our country’s needs.
As President Reagan famously said: “Government programs, once launched, never disappear…a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.”
This broken approach must end if we are to ensure long-term competitiveness and quality of living in America for future generations.
Let’s take a deeper look at the problem:
- Continuing resolutions keep programs on “auto-pilot” from year to year without any assessment of whether the money is being well spent. There have been more than 20 of these resolutions in the past five years.
- Nearly 200 government programs are “fragmented, duplicative, overlapping or just inefficient,” according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.
- Congressional committees, charged with scrutinizing how each federal department and agency is actually spending taxpayer dollars, are strapped for time to do so. Committees, on average, hold specific program oversight hearings only a few hours each month and generally focus attention on only one or two programs each year — neglecting many programs under their jurisdiction.
- Without proper legislative oversight, wasteful government spending continues its meteoric climb as more and more power is ceded to the unaccountable executive branch to govern the programs. No oversight translates into a bureaucracy jobs program — paying federal workers billions to implement programs that have outlived their original mission.
Incredibly, it’s been revealed that the government does not actually know the exact number of agencies, offices and government corporations it comprises. (A cursory count on various lists shows the number is in the several hundreds).”
” Other states have plenty of corruption, but it’s hard to beat New York when it comes to sheer volume. The indictment Monday of Dean Skelos, the state Senate majority leader, and his son Adam came just three months after charges were brought against Sheldon Silver, then the Assembly Speaker. Having the top leaders in both chambers face indictment in the same session is an unparalleled achievement, but Skelos is now the fifth straight Senate majority leader in Albany to face indictment.
New York doesn’t so much have a culture of corruption as an entire festival. So far, Senate Republicans are standing by Skelos, but if they decide to make a change, they probably won’t turn to Thomas Libous, the chamber’s Number Two leader. He faces trial this summer on charges of lying to the FBI, while his son faces sentencing later this month on similar charges. All told, more than two dozen members of the New York state legislature have been indicted or resigned in disgrace over the past five years. “Albany for a long time has had a culture of self-interest, where private gains are woven in with public policy,” says Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause in New York.
Clusters of corruption and even convictions are not unique to New York. Silver was one of four state House Speakers to face indictment over the past year (Alabama, Rhode Island and South Carolina are home to the others). In Massachusetts, three Speakers prior to current incumbent Robert DeLeo all resigned and pleaded guilty to criminal charges. When Dan Walker died last week, it was hard for obituary writers not to note that he was one of four Illinois governors over the past five decades who ended up in prison. “While I’m a proud New Yorker and want my state to be ahead in everything, I’m not sure we’re ahead on corruption,” says Daniel Richman, a former federal prosecutor who teaches law at Columbia University.
Richman is kidding, but he makes a serious point. Give any U.S. attorney a year and 10 FBI agents and he or she can probably come back from the state capital with a passel of indictments. Having said all that, however, the waters in Albany have long been heavily stocked with potentially big fish. Remember in the movie Lincoln, when the president decides he has to resort to low dealings to get the anti-slavery amendment through Congress? The characters he relies on to do the trick come from Albany.”
” The Supreme Court has been asked to allow Kansas and Arizona to verify that only United States citizens are registering to vote in those states. (See PJ Tatler’s coverage here). Unfortunately, a single federal bureaucrat refused to allow the two states to weed out non-citizens trying to register to vote.
Meet Alice Miller, the acting executive director of the Election Assistance Commission.
Miller alone, from her inside-the-Beltway office, refused to amend the Kansas and Arizona version of a federal voter registration form to include state laws requiring proof of citizenship. Backed by a swarm of left-wing groups, Miller, by herself, made it easier for foreigners to vote in Kansas and Arizona.
You might wonder how a single federal bureaucrat could have so much power over how elections are run in Kansas and Arizona. Federal law, commonly known as Motor Voter, requires states to accept a form drawn up by the Election Assistance Commission to register voters in their state. But states can ask the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to revise the version for their state to include state qualification laws. In Kansas and Arizona, registrants must establish that they are citizens to be qualified to register. When Kansas and Arizona asked the EAC to print new forms with those state law requirements, Miller refused.
Kansas and Arizona sued, and a federal court ordered the EAC to reprint the forms. However, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and held that Miller had the power to deny Kansas and Arizona new forms.
The Supreme Court has been asked to take the case, a case which implicates both the integrity of American elections as well as the reach of federal bureaucrats.
Normally, the commissioners at the EAC decide what versions of a form the states can use, but the EAC lacked a quorum. Into this vacuum swept Miller.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation has filed an amicus brief for the American Civil Rights Union with the Supreme Court. The brief asks the Court to take the case and to restore the constitutional balance which Miller has disrupted.”
” The staff of Charlie Hebdo was honored tonight at the PEN American Center gala, following much controversy, and they received a standing ovation as they affirmed their commitment to free speech and free expression.
There was a recent controversy when a group of authors refused to participate in the gala because of their opposition to what they perceive as the French publication’s “intolerance.” Salman Rushdie and a whole host of other writers stood up for Charlie Hebdo, defending them from that charge of intolerance and insisting the free speech principle is of paramount importance.
Well, the gala happened tonight (under heavy security), and they received the award to a standing ovation.”
The six dhimmi authors who shamefully refused to participate are: Peter Carey, Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose, Teju Cole, Rachel Kushner and Taiye Selasi .
” U.S. Special Operations Command is preparing to launch a five-month, multi-state exercise across private and public land to prepare Army special forces for threats anywhere in the world. Or at least that’s what the Pentagon would want you to believe. Officials and citizens in Texas, one of the states involved, see something potentially more nefarious in the exercise, dubbed Jade Helm 15. And now Rep. Louie Gohmert is joining them.
” Over the past few weeks, my office has been inundated with calls referring to the Jade Helm 15 military exercise scheduled to take place between July 15 and September 15, 2015,” Gohmert said in a Tuesday statement. “This military practice has some concerned that the U.S. Army is preparing for modern-day martial law. Certainly, I can understand these concerns.”
” When leaders within the current administration believe that major threats to the country include those who support the Constitution, are military veterans, or even ‘cling to guns or religion,’ patriotic Americans have reason to be concerned,” Gohmert wrote.”
” The congressman took particular issue with the layout and labels of the Pentagon map for the exercise. “Once I observed the map depicting ‘hostile,’ ‘permissive,’ and ‘uncertain’ states and locations, I was rather appalled that the hostile areas amazingly have a Republican majority, ‘cling to their guns and religion,’ and believe in the sanctity of the United States Constitution.” Gohmert called on the Pentagon to change the map, the names on the map, and said “the tone of the exercise needs to be completely revamped so the federal government is not intentionally practicing war against its own states.” “
” Federal Communications Commission member Ajit Pai, one of two Republicans on the five-member commission, says he’s concerned that the government will try to control websites like the Drudge Report based on their political content, CNS News reports.
Pai, speaking Saturday at the annual Right Online conference in Washington, D.C., said he envisions net neutrality regulations passed by the agency could result in crackdowns on websites in “the direction of content… What you’re seeing now is an impulse not just to regulate the roads over which traffic goes, but the traffic itself,” he said.
” It is conceivable to me to see the government saying, ‘We think the Drudge Report is having a disproportionate effect on our political discourse. He doesn’t have to file anything with the FEC. The FCC doesn’t have the ability to regulate anything he says, and we want to start tamping down on websites like that,'” Pai said, according to CNS.”
” Controversial, intolerant and provocative. Mainstream media outlets broke out these three words to describe the “Draw the Prophet” contest, the American Freedom Defense Initiative and Pamela Geller.
While the police were still checking cars for explosives and attendees waited to be released, CNN called AFDI, rather than the terrorists who attacked a cartoon contest, “intolerant.” Time dubbed the group “controversial.” The Washington Post called the contest, “provocative.”
Many media outlets relied on the expert opinion of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a multi-million dollar mail order scam disguised as a civil rights group, which had listed AFDI as a hate group. Also listed as hate groups were a number of single author blogs, including mine, a brand of gun oil and a bar sign.
The bar sign, which hangs outside a bar seven miles outside Pittsburgh, appears to be made out of metal and plastic. It is reportedly unaware that it is a hate group and has made no plans to take over America.
The SPLC’s inability to conduct even the most elementary fact checking did not stop news networks from inviting its talking head on to suggest that AFDI got “the response that they — in a sense — they are seeking.” Neither CNN nor MSNBC were impolitic enough to mention that no AFDI supporter had used its materials to plan a killing spree, while at least one of SPLC’s supporters had done just that.
But being “controversial” and “provocative” has nothing to do with who is doing the shooting. It’s a media signal that the target shouldn’t be sympathized with. The Family Research Council, which was shot up by a killer using the SPLC’s hate map, is invariably dubbed “intolerant.” The SPLC, which targeted it, is however a “respected civil rights group” which provides maps to respected civil rights gunmen.
A contest in which Bosch Fawstin, an ex-Muslim, drew a cartoon of a genocidal warlord is “controversial” and “provocative,” while the MSA, which has invited Sheikh Khalid Yasin, who has inspired a number of terrorists, including apparently one of the Mohammed contest attackers, is a legitimate organization that is only criticized by controversial, intolerant and provocative Islamophobes.”
” A new poll released Monday indicated that Americans believe race relations are at their worst in more than two decades.
The CBS News/New York Times poll said 61 percent of Americans characterize race relations in the U.S. as “bad,” including a majority of white and black respondents. The figure is the highest since 1992.
A total of 79 percent of African-Americans believe police are more likely to use deadly force against a black person than against a white person, while 53 percent of whites believe race does not play a role, the survey said.
Black respondents were also more likely than white respondents to believe their local police make them feel anxious rather than safe, the poll said.”