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Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Resolution: A Gold Standard for 2016!

Candidate Ted Cruz has raised the point on the stump:  we need a stable currency again.  We need to
reconsider the merits of the gold standard.  Otherwise, another world crisis like 2008 seems inevitable.
Here's an excellent piece by Ralph Benko, one of the country's chief evangelists for gold as currency, on why this idea should be in the mainstream of debt:  Gold is a Very Good Idea

The critics want constant currency inflation and a politicized monetary policy.  We have already seen the Fed is feckless.  A true gold standard depoliticizes money.  It is also constitutional, while our current monetary policy is not.

The other part of the problem is that the dollar must cease being the international reserve currency.  This underwrites all the excess spending and our government never having to live within its means.  But that's for another day.  Happy New Year!

Why Populist Parties Are Succeeding

It is simple: conservative parties have sold out their base supporters.  In Europe and the United States, we are experiencing a political realignment.  John O'Sullivan offers this good explanation in National Review:  conservative-party-failures-populist-alternatives  What Trump realizes is that Americans are deeply frustrated that we continue to open the doors to the immigrants of the world while getting little in return.  And we do this during a period of low growth and high unemployment.  In Europe the populists attack the twin failures of the Euro and the Schengen borderless continent.  The real problem is that this realignment is happening only on the Right, and it risks clearing the path for the socialists here and in Europe to consolidate their grip.

O'Sullivan is right that Trump is in this to stay and that he relishes the fight.  People like his personality, his patriotism, and his unwillingness to back down or apologize.  He also challenges the recent Republican obsession with global security and military interventions.  But, with the exception of immigration, he is liberal on just about every issue.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

More Info Linking Marijuana Use to Violence

Check out this column by British author Kathy Gyngell:  cannabis-is-at-the-root-of-the-terror-threat

We might be barking up the wrong tree, looking at radical Islam as the root cause of the terror problem.  So many of the perpetrators are just drug-using losers.  Few of them go to mosque or are particularly religious.

No, marijuana use doesn't cause terrorism.  But it certainly lowers inhibitions and it contributes to delinquency.

The supporters of legalized marijuana need to answer for this bad behavior.

Ms. Gyngell cites evidence that Colorado voters are beginning to have buyers' remorse about support pot legalization.  Public health issues have worsened; marijuana traffic accidents are up. (Ohio voters, learning something by others' bad example,  rejected legalization last month.)

Check out this devastating report on marijuana from the American College of Pediatricians: marijuana-use-detrimental-to-youth  The FDA still hold marijuana as a schedule I drug.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Venezuela: Good Win, But Watch for a Coup

Chavez's "red fascist" movement was clobbered in the polls yesterday.  The opposition will control the National Assembly for the first time since the destructive Chavez movement took over the country in 1998.  Here's a good link to the preliminary results: Opposition wins in Venezuela

Congratulations to the brave leaders of Venezuela's opposition, who truly are unappreciated democratic heroes.   Free Leopoldo Lopez!

(One correction:  the opposition is not made up just of conservative and moderate parties, as this piece alleges.  Some oppositionists in Venezuela are leftists too who just happen to hate Chavez, Maduro, and their warped legacy.  One of the reasons why Chavez succeeded so easily was the public was conditioned for years to accept statist and socialistic public policy.)

Hard to believe anyone would vote for his PSUV party after the irreparable damage it has done to that country.  But the fact is, no matter how bad a national situation gets, there are some who benefit from the status quo.  Venezuelans had voted for socialism for years, and they got it good and hard.

President Nicolas Maduro will be forced to govern with a hostile National Assembly.  He will ignore it, undermine it, or disband it, or set up a parallel "people's assembly."  His minions will assault opposition legislators as they try to enter the building. We have seen this play out before.   

Andres Oppenheimer spells out Maduro's possible next steps here:  What will Maduro do next?  Best line of the piece:  
it's time for Latin America's diplomatic community to stop behaving like a mutual protection society for repressive regimes. 
The Latin American republics band together to defend its presidents, no matter what criminal behavior they are up to.  (See the sad policy on Honduras in 2009.) I would add that it is time for the US to recognize that democracy is not defined by an "elected" president.

Read more here:

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Cubans Are Leaving the Socialist Paradise

Good article in the WaPo on the big spike in Cuban immigration to the US.  Under the Clinton Era "wet foot/dry foot" policy, if Cubans reach US soil, they are granted citizenship and welfare benefits.  This corrupt deal must end.  It should have ended once Obama started the normalization process.   More Cubans Coming to America

Lots of Cubans are getting stranded in third countries on the way to the US.  Ecuador has apparently been a big destination lately.  It has open borders and it operates on the US dollar.

Unintended consequence of Obama's Cuba opening:  Cuba becomes more of a dependent on the US, and a bigger headache.  The idea that Cuba will become a "up-by-the-bootstraps" success story is pure fantasy.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

American Becoming a Harder Target

The San Bernadino attack is the worst terrorist event on US soil since 9/11, in terms of victims killed. According to the FBI, since 2000 only two incidents have occurred in which more than one attacker was involved. Check out this good piece by Peter Bergen: Terrorist Attack Explained The article has some good links, including one breaking down how many jihadists have been tracked and arrested on US soil. Link: New America on Terrorist Extremism My two quick takeaways from all this: The Inland Regional Center apparently did a great job training its employees on shelter-in-place and active shooter response, and the local police response time was outstanding.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Trump the Traitor

Why does the liberal media hate Donald Trump so much?  He is after all a media and entertainment figure himself, and he's a proven "ratings magnet."  What gives?

Pat Buchanan explains it a bit here: why-liberal-media-hate-trump/   Pat reasons it is because Trump has abandoned the religion of political correctness and refuses to kowtow to the media's self-righteousness.  Instead of apologizing for verbal transgressions, Trump "doubles down," and in fact insists the media apologize to him.  Priceless.

That explains it in part.  But it overlooks a deeper problem the media has with Trump: that he is a traitor to the cause.  By criticizing open borders and suggesting that mass immigration is not all unicorns and rainbows, Trump breaks from the media's One-World religion.  Likewise, the conservative masses like Trump, and that simply proves he is unacceptable.  Trump has been a reliable liberal all his life, so they feel betrayed by his defection.

This doesn't justify a conservative voting for Trump.  I still half-believe he is a Trojan Horse in the Republican Party.  It is only fair to point out that the man is not completely without virtue.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Mass Shootings Not on the Rise

The shooting yesterday in San Bernadino, CA was shocking and inexplicable.  How do you categorize it?  Workplace violence?  Terrorism?  Why did this guy Syed Rizwan Farook decide to do this, and why did he drag his wife into it?  

Are mass shootings--defined by the FBI as four or more victims--on the rise?  Not according to criminologists at Northeastern University, who claim they have held steady at about 20 events per year for the last four decades or so.  See this article in Slate:  mass_shootings_in_america

The homicide rate in general has been declining for years, but these mass incidents suggest deeper problems.  And no one has a reasonable solution to this.

Even if some of the employees at the training center were armed, it probably wouldn't have done much good, as the couple employed AR-15s and wore body armor.  They were well prepared for this mayhem.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Reverse Immigration: Mexican Families Leaving the US

The Pew Research Center reports that many Mexican families are returning to Mexico.  Between 2009 and 2014, net immigration from Mexico to US has been -140,000.  For the first time since the big immigration wave began in the 1970s, the trend is reversing.   Here's a key passage from the report:
The views Mexicans have of life north of the border are changing too. While almost half (48%) of adults in Mexico believe life is better in the U.S., a growing share says it is neither better nor worse than life in Mexico.Today, a third (33%) of adults in Mexico say those who move to the U.S. lead a life that is equivalent to that in Mexico – a share 10 percentage points higher than in 2007.
Family reunification is cited by those polls as the main reason for the return.  We have to think too that the US economy's poor performance over the last several years has a lot to do with this.  And now with the oil collapse, the Texas economy will be much less of a magnet.   Here's the full report: mexican-immigration__FINAL.pdf