Sunday, January 20, 2013

Daniel Hannan–Occupy Wall Street Debate at the Oxford Union

British MEP Daniel Hannan gave a speech in a debate before the Oxford Union earlier this week in which he defended capitalism and pointing out that the system we have now is not capitalism but corporatism. He also said that the Occupy Wall Street crowd were occupying the wrong places.  This man is one of the most eloquent speakers I’ve ever heard. Watch, listen and learn.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Looking Into My Father’s Eyes

It’s ten years to the day since my Father passed. I miss him.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What’s Old Is New Again

Via Instapundit we have the news that Fort Lauderdale's Octavio Marc David Silva is using the micro-funding site [Kickstarter] to back his new line of jeans specifically designed with men's, ahem, anatomy in mind.

We’ve seen this before, a very long time ago. It’s called the codpiece

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Argument from Intimidation–A Favorite Debating Tactic of Bullies With No Other Argument Otherwise

Not only was Ayn Rand prescient when she wrote “Atlas Shrugged” in 1957 she did it again with this essay from 1964. It’s a bit shorter than “Atlas Shrugged”. It’s about what she identified as another logical fallacy that she called the Argument from Intimidation which is closely related to Argumentum Ad Hominem. From the essay:

The essential characteristic of the Argument from Intimidation is its appeal to moral self-doubt and its reliance on the fear, guilt or ignorance of the victim. It is used in the form of an ultimatum demanding that the victim renounce a given idea without discussion, under threat of being considered morally unworthy. The pattern is always: "Only those who are evil (dishonest, heartless, insensitive, ignorant, etc.) can hold such an idea."

Argument from Intimidation is the type of “argument” employed by Piers Morgan as he debated Ben Shapiro of last week but Shapiro recognized the tactic and wouldn’t be intimidated and as Roger Kimball put it a PJ Media, Morgan was deftly filleted by Shapiro.

Go and read the whole essay. It isn’t long and it’s well worth the read if you want to recognize and defeat the tactic.

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

An Open Video Letter to Senators Franken, Klobuchar and Rep. Nolan

This is an excellent demonstration of why an “assault weapons” ban is nothing more than an attempt to limit our freedom to defend ourselves. Gun control is about controlling people, not guns. Stewart Mills, owner of sporting goods retailer Mills Fleet Farm in Minnesota demonstrates very convincingly that a 12 gauge shotgun is far more destructive than an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. The shot gun inflicts far more damage in a little over 3 seconds than the AR-15 inflicts in over 33 seconds.  Watch and learn.

(via Power Line)

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Monday, January 07, 2013

If They Come for Your Guns, Do You Have a Responsibility to Fight?

That is the question Dean Garrison, a blogger I haven’t heard of before, is asking. It’s a question we should all be asking ourselves. He’s made it clear where he comes out on the question.  You’ll have to answer it for yourself though.

An important reminder from the post:

About a month ago I let the “democracy” word slip in a discussion with a fellow blogger. I know better. Americans have been conditioned to use this term. It’s not an accurate term and it never has been a correct term to describe our form of government. The truth is that the United States of America is a constitutional republic. This is similar to a democracy because our representatives are selected by democratic elections, but ultimately our representatives are required to work within the framework of our constitution. In other words, even if 90% of Americans want something that goes against our founding principles, they have no right to call for a violation of constitutional rights.

Our founders did not want a “democracy” for they feared a true democracy was just as dangerous as a monarchy. The founders were highly educated people who were experienced in defending themselves against tyranny. They understood that the constitution could protect the people by limiting the power of anyone to work outside of it much better than a pure system of popularity. A system of checks and balances was set up to help limit corruption of government and also the potential for an “immoral majority” developing within the American People. We have forgotten in this country that we are ultimately ruled by a constitution.

Read the whole thing.

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Sunday, January 06, 2013

Reason–Why Double Taxation Must Cease

A must-read article over at Reason on why taxation of capital gains and dividends should be lower if not zero. I personally favor the FairTax, which is a tax on consumption, not income.

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Saturday, January 05, 2013

Afterburner with Bill Whittle–The Rule of Lawlessnes

Bill Whittle’s latest Afterburner video is up. In it he details the descent of our government into lawlessness and rule by decree.



Bill kind of skimmed over why Harry Reid will not allow the Senate to pass a budget.The reason Harry Reid has not passed a budget out of the Senate in nearly 4 years can be explained by two words: baseline spending. That is Washington’s way of doing budgets. They take all the services the government is currently providing, assume they will continue providing all of those, add a bit for inflation, say 5% and then if anyone proposes an increase of only 2% they start shrieking about how you’re cutting the budget, or taking credit for budget cutting depending on the optics you want. With no budget, Washington has been spending at the 2009 level which has all the “temporary” stimulus spending baked into it and operating on a series of continuing resolutions. If they were to pass a budget in line with 2007 our deficit would be nearly erased but it won’t happen because the stimulus spending is being used as a giant slush fund that Obama is using to reward his favored constituencies.

More on how baseline budgeting works here.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Banning “Assault Weapons” Is the Wrong Answer

Forbes has a good article that explains just why a ban on “assault weapons” is a futile gesture. Referring to the “assault weapons” ban that was in effect from 1994 to 2003:

The evidence is in on the effect of her previous assault weapons ban: zero, zilch, nada, as the saying goes. The ban made no perceptible difference in the gun violence statistics when it went into effect, and no perceptible difference when it was allowed to expire 10 years later, in 2003.

That is because the term “assault weapon” is just a PR stunt that fools the gullible and easily deluded. It is defined in legislation by cosmetic features that frighten white bread suburbanites, but do not involve any functionality of any gun. We tried it, conservatives said it wouldn’t work, and it didn’t work. Yet, it is the liberal answer to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn.

In the wake of atrocities such as Sandy Hook it’s easy to get caught up in emotionalism and feel that we need to “do something.” As Megan McArdle put it over at The Daily Beast:  “There's a terrible syllogism that tends to follow on tragedies like this: 1. Something must be done. 2. This is something. 3. Therefore this must be done.” She also says:

“It would certainly be more comfortable for me to endorse doing something symbolic--bring back the "assault weapons ban"--in order to signal that I care. But I would rather do nothing than do something stupid because it makes us feel better. We shouldn't have laws on the books unless we think there's a good chance they'll work: they add regulatory complexity and sap law-enforcement resources from more needed tasks. This is not because I don't care about dead children; my heart, like yours, broke about a thousand times this weekend. But they will not breathe again because we pass a law. A law would make us feel better, because it would make us feel as if we'd "done something", as if we'd made it less likely that more children would die. But I think that would be false security. And false security is more dangerous than none.”

There’s lots of good information in both articles and I recommend that you go and read both of them.

Update: More from Larry Correia Quote: “So now that there is a new tragedy the president wants to have a “national conversation on guns”. Here’s the thing. Until this national conversation is willing to entertain allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons, then it isn’t a conversation at all, it is a lecture.”

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