Perhaps this is why Farrar’s outfit are so smart:
During a speech on Tuesday in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden told his audience that the Jews “have contributed greatly to America. No group has had such an outsized influence per capita,” inspiring the New York magazine headline, “Biden Praises Jews, Goes Too Far, Accidentally Thrills Anti-Semites.”
But cringe-inducing philo-Semitism is not just a U.S. phenomenon. In a recently published memoir, titled A Collection of Works Written During Leisure Time, Wu Guanzheng, who from 2002 to 2007 was China’s top anti-corruption official, reminisces about his time in Israel. “I bought some books on the Jewish people,” he writes. One, which he cites later, is written by someone with the name “Abraham” and called — you guessed it! – Why Are Jews Intelligent. Read more »
The Atlantic has put together some proper facts and statistics about “gun violence” in America. I think you will be surprised, particularly those of you like the dick Piers Morgan who call for assault rifle bans just how few deaths are caused byt people armed with assault rifles:
How much gun violence is there in the U.S.?
There were 8,583 homicides by firearms in 2011, out of 12,664 homicides total, according to the FBI. This means that more than two-thirds of homicides involve a firearm. 6,220 of those homicides by firearm (72%) are known to have involved a handgun.
It’s worth noting that violent crime rates of all types have been steadily decreasing since the early 1990s. No one is quite sure what is causing this decrease, though there are many theories, ranging from tighter gun control laws to more innovative policing and changes in the drug market. Whatever the cause of this decline, America still has a homicide rate of 4.7 murders per 100,000 people, which is one of the highest of all developed countries (see: international comparison).
Gun violence also affects more than its victims. In areas where it is prevalent, just the threat of violence makes neighborhoods poorer. It’s very difficult to quantify the total harm caused by gun violence, but by asking many people how much they would pay to avoid this threat — a technique called contingent valuation – researchers have estimated a cost to American society of $100 billion dollars.
Guns are also involved in suicides and accidents. 19,392 of 38,264 suicides in 2010 involved a gun (50%), according to the CDC. There were 606 firearm-related accidents in the same year — about 5% of the number of intentional gun deaths.
Good piece on the Nordic countries in the Economist – highlights how their economic model is working but interesting reasons why:
- Sweden has reduced public spending from 67% to 49% of GDP from 1993 to today
- Top marginal tax rate has been cut by 27% from 1983 and continuing to fall.
- Scrapped taxes such as property, gift, wealth and inheritance taxes
- Corporate tax rate cut to 22%
Before this Sweden had been demoted from 4th richest in the world in the 70’s to 14th in 1993. Read more »
Has American turned the corner economically?
Charles Morris thinks so in an interview with Economist, and his news won’t be nice reading for the Green Taliban.
But now, something has gone horribly wrong, has it not?
Growth followed infrastructure and we’ve certainly let our infrastructure lapse, but America is now on the edge of a major energy-producing boom and it is right where the industry that drove growth in the 19th century was: the Midwest. We are now producing shale gas. The output, in terms of energy, will soon be as great as Saudi Arabia’s oil output is right now. In the 2020s all of North America will be energy independent and America will probably be a net exporter. We are seeing steel and chemical companies moving back from overseas. It’s going to be very interesting.
A new industrial revolution based on a similar model?
I think so. There are things we have to do to make sure it’s managed right. All the environmental stuff is eminently manageable. But modern economies flourish with good infrastructure. You impose a hobble on growth if you let it lag, and we’ve let it lag.
It’s not going to happen overnight but one reasonable forecast shows a million manufacturing-related jobs out of the gas boom by 2017. That’s $350 billion of economic activity driven by this, a 2% addition to annual GDP. I think there’s a good case for optimism.
A great piece from the Washington Free Beacon about how the media have already written off Mitt Romney:
The election is over, and Mitt Romney lost. He’s toast; his goose is cooked; put a fork in him he’s done; he’s yesterday’s news. Disagree? That’s too bad. The American media have made up their minds. And on this they are certain: Barack Obama is a lock for reelection. They may not be sure when Romney lost exactly—was it his trip to England, Israel, and Poland? Was it the Clint Eastwood speech at the RNC? Was it Romney’s response to the attacks on our embassies in Benghazi and Cairo? Was it his leaked remarks on government dependency? The exact date doesn’t matter. What matters is that the chorus has spoken. The politburo has decided. A consensus has been reached. Romney will lose, and the only question is by how much. The voters might as well stay at home.
But not so fast. It seems that Mitt is closer than the media would like to believe.
Here is where the campaign actually stands. The Real Clear Politics average of polls has President Obama in the lead with 48 percent of the vote, and Mitt Romney close behind with 45 percent. That is a tight race, with less than seven weeks before Election Day. The fundamentals, moreover, seem not to have changed much at all, despite hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising. Americans remain disappointed in Obama’s job performance while liking him personally, but recent history and Romney’s personal and political nebulousness make them reluctant to embrace the challenger.
So what is it that has the media painting Obama as the victor? Is it his likability? His celebrity endorsements? Or could it be the journos’ own political bias clouding their vision? If the fog lifted for just a moment the journos might just see that if they reported the reality, that voters see it as a closer race, then that will actually make for a much more exciting last few weeks of campaigning.
Have a great July 4:
from The Brigade
This photo is meant for the protesters on Wall Street. Not the actual 99% of Americans. I. for one, am not in the 1%…but I don’t blame others. These lazy protesters do not represent America. This user submit is a great representation of how we got to number 1…hard work.
It can only be described as irony when Pat Robertson describes the GOP candidates as too extreme:
You know you’ve hit rock bottom when one of the most radical, hate-spewing figures in America calls you “extreme.” That’s how televangelist Pat Robertson described the field of GOP candidates, Right Wing Watch reports. On his show The 700 Club, Robertson warned that the GOP base is pushing their party’s presidential nominees to take such extreme positions that they will be unelectable. “I believe it was Lyndon Johnson that said, ‘Don’t these people realize if they push me over to an extreme position I’ll lose the election?’” he said. “Those people in the Republican primary have got to lay off of this stuff. They’re forcing their leaders, the frontrunners, into positions that will mean they lose the general election…They’ve got to stop this! It’s just so counterproductive!”
I read this post at Federalist Paupers and thought about the parallels here in new Zealand after the tragic killing of Rosemary Ives. There were a great many calls from gun-grabbing liberals for tighter controls on firearms, without them thinking that the controls were quite tight enough and that Andrew Mears broke every single one of them with his stupid action. The point was missed utterly about how few people actually get killed or injured during hunting, and the fact that it is actually more dangerous driving to recreational areas than being in them.
The post at Federalist Paupers nicely provides some numbers and some facts that counteracts the gun-grabbers. The post also nicely shows why no one will ever successfully cow the United States, either politically or externally.
The state of Wisconsin has gone an entire deer hunting season without someone getting killed. That’s great. There were over 600,000 hunters.
Allow me to restate that number. Over the last two months, the eighth largest army in the world – more men under arms than Iran; more than France and Germany combined – deployed to the woods of a single American state to help keep the deer menace at bay.
But that pales in comparison to the 750,000 who are in the woods of Pennsylvania this week. Michigan’s 700,000 hunters have now returned home. Toss in a quarter million hunters in West Virginia, and it is literally the case that the hunters of those four states alone would comprise the largest army in the world.
These numbers are part of why those of us who grew up in rural parts of the country simply don’t comprehend the gun-grabbing impulses of some. Every single year, millions of Americans carry high power rifles into the woods and more or less do as they please – some shoot at deer, some just drink a lot – and it is a complete non-story. The number of people injured and killed by these guns will pale in comparison to those injured and killed in driving accidents during the same time period.
But however well or badly we handle our guns, woe will befall he who thinks he can conquer America. 500 years ago, Machiavelli compared ancient Persia with then-modern France. Persia was highly centralized, so the emperor was firmly in control of all parts of his realm, and could muster enormous numbers of men to any part of the country. But if you could defeat that army and the central authority that raised it, then you would almost immediately control the whole nation, as Alexander showed. Medieval France, on the other hand, was very decentralized, with petty dukes controlling small centers of power throughout the country. Because of this, the king of France had only marginal control over vast swaths of his country , but no invader could stand a chance at conquering France because of all the small bands of local opposition.
I wish N.M. was around today, if only to hear the praise he would have for a nation that every year assembles and then disbands the world’s largest army purely for the purpose of managing its deer population. For millenia, philosophers have pondered how one can maintain a well-armed population that can fend off all attackers, while simultaneously maintaining ordered governance. In America, we’ve fulfilled this dream, and we’ve done it so well and so effortlessly that no one seems to have noticed.
That kind of puts things into perspective and shows up the nonsense of the gun-grabbing liberal elite who have never had the pleasure of tracking, and matching guile and stealth with deer or any other animal. Ironically the same greenie gun-grabbers that want to stop hunters are also the ones wanting to rid the country of deer and other pests, they seem quite happy to dump literally thousands of tonnes of toxic poison on our forests but don’t want people to enjoy the outdoors and dispatch a few pests along the way.
In the US deer hunting, for example, is largely limited to defined seasons. Here in New Zealand we would be better to manage our deer populations by changing the laws to remove them from the noxious pest list and to instead create a new tourism industry encouraging people to come to Ne Zealand seeking trophy animals. The only thing stopping this is the dogmatic instance of DoC and the green lobby for the total eradication of deer from New Zealand, something that is unachievable and un-needed.
It is high time that the facts were shown to politicians in a meaningful way and that isn’t through Peter Dunne. He pretends to support hunters and fisherman and yet he hasn’t done a single thing for them. Far better would be the establishment of list of hunting and fishing friendly MPs, so that people who enjoy the outdoors can see for themselves whether or not their local MP is on their side or not.