Every time a gun crime happens in this country, the mainstream media give it sensationalistic coverage, and liberals cover their mouths with their hands like little girls and then remove them and start howling about the necessity of even more gun control legislation than the historically high levels we have now.
As the just published third edition of John Lott’s classic More Guns, Less Crime exhaustively demonstrates, liberals are moving in exactly the wrong direction in their zeal to stop gun crime.
Lott’s central thesis is that (1) criminals are less likely to commit violent crimes if they know there are significant numbers of concealed carry permit holders with weapons, (2) gun restrictions make it harder for law-abiding citizens to obtain guns for self-defense, (3) gun restrictions have no effect on criminals’ intent or ability to obtain weapons, and (4) gun restrictions thus disarm only potential crime victims, whereas reduced gun restrictions arm citizens and frighten off criminals.
Lott supports his hypothesis via mountains of data analyzed at the national, state, and county level, looking at both overall rates of crimes and the more relevant changes in trends before and after permissive nondiscretionary laws are passed. He examines multiple categories of crime including murder, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery. He shows that his results hold, both controlling and not controlling for every demographic variable under the sun, as well as unrelated but important crime rate indicators such as arrest rates, policing strategies, and national trends. read more »
Leftists hate movies about business, because they don’t understand its function and believe wealth is generated by redistributing it from rich people who “appropriated” it from the masses.
Leftists love movies about lawyers, because litigation is the primary means by which they can take down prosperous corporations and “spread the wealth around.”
No business venture was ever launched on the primary basis of deciding who would get what profits if the undertaking were successful. No litigation to determine who gets what for his role in a venture was ever instrumental in helping an undertaking succeed.
“The Social Network,” the recent film about the founding of Facebook, could have been an exciting, uplifting, inspiring, rags-to-riches story about a young entrepreneur who started a $25 billion company and became the youngest billionaire ever, and the creative steps he went through in solving thorny design, implementation, and managerial problems.
Instead, Hollywood has given us a nasty, cynical, exploitative yarn about slimy people harassing and suing the pants off one another, excruciating and embarrassing depositions taken and disputed, and flimsy contracts and partnerships violated and dissolved.
To the extent that “The Social Network” is engaging, it’s like watching a 12-car pileup, where the cars are driven by obnoxious social climbers and rapacious lawyers.
The development of the Facebook site and its spreading use around the world should have been the main story of the film, with the ugly legal wrangling just blips in the background. Instead, the film puts the malicious finger-pointing and backstabbing front and center, with details about the creation of the site mere interludes between the bickering. read more »
Saturday Night Live (SNL) is held up by “television historians” as a paragon of insightful, ruthless satire of the political scene.
Whatever merits SNL might have once had in that department, lately its level of political analysis has been about as deep as the shot glasses its writers undoubtedly empty before they pen each week’s program.
In its recent season opening skit—which was overlong and dolefully unfunny, like the rest of the show these days—SNL mocked Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell over—wait for it… her wacky background! The tasteful, thoughtfully written sketch included an O’Donnell impersonator admitting that she masturbates constantly and an interlude in which the onanist pleasured herself off-set and returned to ask fellow performers for snacks.
Two years ago, during the 2008 presidential election, Tina Fey’s impression of Governor Sarah Palin was a hit, not because it was especially accurate, but because (1) it was amusing to watch the antics of this colorful, clueless, moose-hunting politician Fey had created out of whole cloth who bore no characterological resemblance to her real-life model, and (2) there was schadenfreude in seeing the snarky Fey gussy herself up and try but fail to imitate the classiness and charisma of the real Palin.
In a similar display of what passes for the evidentiary basis for Democratic public policy nowadays, comedian Stephen Colbert testified before the House last week on the plight of migrant workers. Colbert cited as firsthand experience the publicity stunt whereby he recently spent a few hours in comfy upstate New York being photographed loading crates of vegetables for the United Farm Workers. Colbert bored and abused committee members with his bottomless ego, then demonstrated his pro-gay credentials by telling a charming joke about Iowan “corn packers” that caused his audience to groan in revulsion. read more »
Once upon a time, there was a fantastic Tea Party candidate for the U.S. Senate from Delaware who promised to reduce the size and scope of government and adhere to constitutional limits on its power and, as a bonus, did not tell Bill Maher that when she was in high school she had had friends who experimented with “witchcraft,” express mixed feelings about masturbation 14 years ago on camera, default on her mortgage in the middle of the housing crisis, misstate the number of counties she won in her prior run for Senate, and take more than four years to graduate from college.
Unfortunately that candidate doesn’t exist. A candidate who was the real Christine O’Donnell’s primary opponent, however, does exist: he voted for the Democrats’ cap-and-trade legislation, bank bailout, and stimulus bill, and has refused to support repeal of ObamaCare; his name is Mike Castle. O’Donnell’s general election opponent Chris Coons supports all of the above and more, and is also Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s self-described “pet.”
Similarly there’s a candidate for governor of New York named Carl Paladino who has promised to cut state spending by 10% and taxes by 20%, reduce economically crippling state pension obligations, and cut 60,000 positions held by workers deemed incapable of executing their responsibilities. You may consider him unfit for office, because he had an extramarital affair and also forwarded some e-mails he had received with offensive jokes in them—until you consider his general election opponent Andrew Cuomo, who as President Bill Clinton’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary played a key role in the subprime mortgage crisis that led to the financial collapse of 2008. read more »
President Barack Obama wants the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 extended at the end of this year for only those making under $250,000, and not for small business owners and two-income families—sorry, “the filthy, stinking rich.”
Republicans, including House Minority Leader John Boehner, want all of the tax cuts renewed.
Last June, Obama’s former economic advisor Christina Rohmer published an empirical paper demonstrating that tax cuts stimulate economic growth.
In July, Obama’s Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke observed that continuing all of the Bush tax cuts past 2010 would be a wise idea.
Recently, moderate Democrats and Independents in Congress including Senators Kent Conrad, Evan Bayh, Ben Nelson, Jim Webb, and Joe Lieberman, and a dozen Representatives, have stated that they are open to extending all of the Bush tax cuts.
Last week, Peter Orszag, Obama’s former Director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote an editorial in the New York Times supporting both sets of tax cuts as preferable to neither.
The stimulus bill Congress passed in February 2009 was supposed to be spent predominantly on infrastructure rebuilding projects.
At an address to AFL-CIO members at Laborfest in Milwaukee on Monday, President Barack Obama pushed an additional $50 billion-plus stimulus bill designed to fulfill the novel task of… rebuilding the country’s infrastructure.
Obama warmed up his working class audience by wearing an open-collar shirt with rolled up sleeves, referring to his listeners as “folks,” and reminding them of the miserably unprosperous Reagan years, when unemployment plummeted from a Carter-induced 10% in 1982 to 5% by the end of Reagan’s second term.
The President’s proposed infrastructure spending aimed to rebuild roads, railways, and runways, not to mention public union coffers and Democratic Congressional reelection campaigns.
The bill would be paid for by eliminating tax breaks for oil and gas companies, also known as “raising taxes.”
In addition, the President proposed a new federal Infrastructure Bank of unspecified cost and scope that would use tax dollars to borrow private funds to fuel future projects. You know—sort of a cross between Amtrak and Fannie Mae, with all the efficiency of the former and all the transparency of the latter.
Chastising Republicans for their platform of “No, We Can’t” and their propensity to oppose everything he suggests, Obama declared, “If I said the sky was blue, they’d say no. If I said fish live in the sea, they’d say no.” Actually, if he said never-ending Keynesian spending orgies stimulate long-term economic growth, we’d say no. But close! read more »
In anticipation of President Barack Obama’s primetime address to the nation last night on the Iraq War, columnist Eugene Robinson wrote, “Now that the Iraq War is over… only one thing is clear about the outcome: We didn’t win.”
Actually, I can think of about 12 things that are clearer about the outcome of the Iraq War than the conclusion that we didn’t win: (1) Obama was wrong about the surge, (2) Vice President Joe Biden was wrong about the surge, (3) President George W. Bush was right to ignore Congressional Democrats and the Iraq Study Group and order the surge in 2007, (4) insurgent violence dropped precipitously after the surge was implemented, (5) if Democrats had had their way on the surge in Iraq, per Harry Reid’s declaration that “this war is lost,” it would have been lost, (6) Biden was wrong about dividing Iraq into ethnic partitions, (7) Biden is a loon for claiming that the Iraq War could be one of the great successes of the Obama administration, (8) Iraq is now the fourth-most politically free Middle Eastern country, after democracy Israel, republic Lebanon, and constitutional monarchy Morocco, (9) General David Petraeus’ Iraq surge set the model for beating back insurgents and winning in Afghanistan, (10) despite liberals’ bleating about its expense, eight years of the Iraq War—including training and preparation for the March 2003 invasion—now turn out to have cost less ($709 billion) than Obama’s useless trillion-dollar stimulus bill, (11) Bush’s popularity didn’t sink to the level that Obama’s is at now until late 2005, two-and-a-half years into the Iraq War and well into Bush’s second term, and (12) Obama’s address last night was full of bromides, revisionist history, and platitudinous prescriptions for the future that have little relation to what will actually need to be done in the War on Terror according to a fair evaluation of conditions on the ground. read more »
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently characterized the likelihood of a resolution from upcoming U.S.-force-fed peace talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as “difficult but possible.”
He has it exactly backwards—it is easy but impossible.
“Possible” implies that both parties are on the same terrain, respect the other’s interests, and are acting in good faith. “Difficult” implies that the two parties are far apart, but that with creativity and temerity they may be able to trade off competing interests and find win-win solutions.
“Impossible” implies that one party is inherently opposed to the interests of the other, and therefore would not negotiate in the conventional sense even if it left both parties satisfied, because the first party by definition is not satisfied if the second party is. “Easy” implies that the first party’s demands could yield an instant solution if given up, if that party were thinking and acting rationally—or if the second party were willing and able to use overwhelming force to obviate the first party’s demands.
I think it’s safe to say that the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships are not on the same terrain, inasmuch as the preferred outcome of the conflict as expressed by Palestinians is for Jews to literally be driven off of that terrain into the sea. Given that Israel does not wish to voluntarily self-destruct, that’s where “impossible” comes in.
If they haven’t already done so after a half-century of murderous genocidal rhetoric and blood-spattered conflict, I also doubt the Palestinians will charitably give up their demands tomorrow, which rules out “easy.” That leaves only the overwhelming force option. read more »
The landing gear of the American Airlines plane that terrorists flew into 1 World Trade Center on 9/11 smashed through an unoccupied building two blocks away at 45 Park Place where Muslims now wish to build a monument to Allah. The engine of the plane landed in the street behind the building.
Presumably Islamist hijackers wouldn’t attack the rebuilt World Trade Center if the new mosque might be damaged in the process. Will Obama thus be endorsing the building of the mosque as a creative, Islam-sensitive, preventive security measure in the war on terror?
It’s true that those who wish to build Cordoba House—now the swanky- and Manhattan-sounding Park51—technically have the freedom to do so, since they are purchasing the land and have the right to build whatever they want on it if they adhere to zoning regulations.
This right is contingent on the mosque’s funders not being supported by sponsors of terror from Middle Eastern countries with which we are at war—an assumption that is highly suspect and should be investigated vigorously and precipitously. We already know, for example, that the chief sponsor of the Cordoba Initiative, which is providing $100,000 in funding for the mosque, is the radical Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who has refused to denounce Hamas as a terrorist organization. We also know that President Obama sent Rauf, using taxpayer money, on a Middle East “good will” tour on which he will be hitting up Islamist leaders for donations for the mosque. read more »
Liberals have generously treated us to a motley assortment of apologia for President Obama’s economy-wrecking fiscal policies over the past 19 months:
(1) The economy is doing fine (Ezra Klein)! We should have expected the recovery to be agonizingly slow, and it is—hence, Obama’s policies worked.
(2) The economy isn’t doing well, but it would have been doing even worse without the stimulus bill (Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s and certified boob). Without a Keynesian spending orgy—or as Obama puts it, “moving the economy forward”—unemployment wouldn’t have stopped at 10% and might have risen to 12 or 13 or 15%.
(3) The economy is doing poorly, and it’s because the Democrats didn’t do enough (the ever-certifiable Paul Krugman). The stimulus should have been much bigger, and financial regulations should have been much harsher. To compensate we need “a second big stimulus, plus much more aggressive Fed policy.”
In contrast, conservatives have suggested the following interpretations of events:
(1) The economy is going to improve soon (Larry Kudlow). We won’t experience a double-dip recession and growth is resuming, so we should be more optimistic. Obama’s policies aren’t helping, but American ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit are strong enough that we can recover anyway. read more »