Golden State Hypocrisy One California for Me, Another for Thee. By Victor Davis Hanson

http://www.nationalreview.com/node/374856/print

No place on the planet is as beautiful and as naturally rich as California. And few places have become as absurd.

Currently, three California state senators are either under felony indictment or already have been convicted.

State senator Leland Yee (D., San Francisco) made a political career out of demanding harsher state gun-control laws. Now he is facing several felony charges for attempting to facilitate gun-running. One count alleges that Lee sought to provide banned heavy automatic weapons to Philippines-based Islamic terrorist groups.

State senator Ron Calderon (D., Montebello), who had succeeded one brother, Thomas, in the state assembly and was succeeded by another, Charles, now faces felony charges of wire fraud, bribery, money laundering, and falsification of tax returns.

State senator Roderick Wright (D., Inglewood) originally entered politics as a champion of social justice. Not long ago, the Democratic leaders of the California senate in secretive fashion paid $120,000 in taxpayer funds to settle a sexual-harassment suit against Wright. This time around, not even his fellow senators could save Wright, who was convicted earlier this year on eight felony counts of perjury and voter fraud.

What is the common denominator between all three California senators — aside from the fact that they are still receiving their salaries?

One, they are abject hypocrites who campaigned against old-boy insider-influence peddling so they could get elected to indulge in it.

Two, they assumed that their progressive politics shielded them from the sort of public scrutiny and consequences that usually deter such deplorable behavior.

Criminal activity is the extreme manifestation of California’s institutionalized progressive hypocrisy. Milder expressions of double standards explain why California has become such a bizarre place.

The state suffers from the highest combined taxes in the nation and nearly the worst roads and schools. It is home to more American billionaires than any other state, but also more impoverished residents. California is more naturally endowed with a combination of gas, oil, timber, and minerals than any other state — with the highest electricity prices and gas taxes in the nation.

Discipline Disparities Fourteen-year-old Kahton Anderson Illustrates What’s Wrong with the Racism Meme. By Heather Mac Donald

http://www.nationalreview.com/node/374884/print

Last week I invoked the case of a 14-year-old Brooklyn boy arrested for shooting another teenager, in making the claim that behavioral differences, not racism, drive the disparity between black and white student suspensions. The Obama administration had released its latest school-discipline data on March 21, showing that black students are suspended at three times the rate of white students. The civil-rights industry predictably greeted this information as yet more proof that schools are biased against black students. The day before the federal data were published, eighth-grader Kahton Anderson had opened fire on a Brooklyn bus when several members of a rival “crew” (a localized mini-gang) got on; an innocent 39-year-old father was fatally shot in the head.

Anderson was relevant to the school-discipline debate as an emblem of the pathological urban culture that is manifested both in the black crime rate and in classroom misbehavior. “The chance,” I wrote last week, that Anderson was “a model pupil, quietly paying attention in class and not disturbing his fellow students and teacher, was close to zero.” That statement proved prescient. A fuller picture of Anderson’s school behavior is now in. It is exactly what one would expect.

According to the New York Times, Anderson

was frequently in trouble. Sometimes it was for violating the school’s uniform code or disrespectful chatter in class. . . . Sometimes it was worse: He had a sealed arrest from 2011, and often, high-school-age members of a crew students knew as “R&B” or “RB’z” — the initials stand for “Rich Boys” — loitered outside the school, waiting to fight him.

JONAH GOLDBERG: CLIMATE ACTIVISTS UNCAGED ****

http://www.nationalreview.com/node/374887/print
Gawker’s Adam Weinstein suggests arresting those on the “wrong side” of the climate-change debate.

Finally, someone has come up with a way to settle the debate over climate change: Put the people on the wrong side of the argument in cages.

A writer for the website Gawker recently penned a self-described “rant” on the pressing need to arrest, charge, and imprison people who “deny” global warming. In fairness, Adam Weinstein doesn’t want mass arrests. (Besides, in a country where only 44 percent of Americans say there is “solid evidence” of global warming and it’s mostly due to human activity, you can’t round up every dissenter.) Fact-checking scientists are spared. So is “the man on the street who thinks Rush Limbaugh is right. . . . You all know that man. That man is an idiot. He is too stupid to do anything other than choke the earth’s atmosphere a little more with his Mr. Pibb burps and his F-150’s gassy exhaust.”

But Weinstein’s magnanimity ends there. Someone must pay. Weinstein suggests the government simply try the troublemakers and spokespeople. You know, the usual suspects. People like Limbaugh himself as well as ringleaders of political organizations and businesses that refuse to toe the line. “Those malcontents must be punished and stopped.”

Weinstein says that this “is an argument that’s just being discussed seriously in some circles.” He credits Rochester Institute of Technology philosophy professor Lawrence Torcello for getting the ball rolling. Last month, Torcello argued that America should follow Italy’s lead. In 2009, six seismologists were convicted of poorly communicating the risks of a major earthquake. When one struck, the scientists were sentenced to six years in jail for downplaying the risks. Torcello and Weinstein want a similar approach for climate change.

“Come Get Us” by Peter Huessy

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4245/come-get-us

The entire purpose of nuclear weapons is to deter possible threats to the United States, especially the use of nuclear weapons against us by a major nuclear-armed state. They are primarily weapons of “war prevention” rather than “war fighting.”

Destroying a mere 10 targets would be a far less daunting task than taking on the 567 American nuclear assets an adversary has to fear today. Why would anyone make it easier for our enemies to target U.S. nuclear forces? The Global Zero study even admitted this critical flaw. What assessment has been done by Global Zero to determine that the world is going to be a lot less dangerous then?

In the latest proposed defense budget, a preview of which had been discussed a day earlier by DOD leaders at the Pentagon, on February 26, 2014, Doyle McManus of the LA Times took Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to task for not slashing the funding for the US nuclear deterrent.

McManus concluded that U.S. nuclear deterrent forces can be dramatically curtailed through a series of sleight-of-hand moves mixed in with a mash of disarmament happy talk, including cooking the books on the relevant nuclear numbers based almost entirely on a 2012 report by an organization known as “Global Zero.”

McManus began with the claim that, “Almost every expert on nuclear weapons agrees that the United States has a far larger nuclear force than it needs to deter attacks,” including more warheads and platforms upon which the warheads are carried. He then reassures his readers that the U.S. has even more nuclear weapons than our main adversary Russia, so there apparently is nothing to worry about.
What are the facts?

It is true that Russia does not publish exact date on its nuclear forces. Two arms control experts, Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists and Robert Norris of the Natural Resources Defense Council, explain “Russia does not disclose how many nuclear weapons it has….[we] use public statements made by Russian officials, newspaper articles, observations from commercial satellite images, private conversations with government officials, and analysis of Russian nuclear forces over many years to provide the best available unclassified estimate of Russian nuclear forces.”[1]

With those caveats in mind, they place Russian nuclear warheads — deployed on platforms, in reserve and awaiting dismantlement, at 7800 while U.S. warheads are estimated to be 7400.

While the U.S. and Russia both will deploy roughly an equal number of warheads on their long-range strategic systems as required by the New Start Treaty of 2010, Russia has a major advantage in smaller-yield nuclear weapons. These are generally thought to be mated to shorter-range delivery systems, often referred to as “tactical nuclear weapons” for which there are no arms control limits.

Even the current estimates of greater numbers of Russian tactical nuclear weapons assume we are not underestimating Moscow’s nuclear stockpile which we did throughout the Cold War.[2]

This Russian advantage was highlighted in an essay by the former Commander of the US Strategic Command and the top military authority over America’s nuclear deterrent, retired Admiral Richard Mies. In the Spring 2012 issue of Undersea Warfare Magazine, dedicated to the nuclear strategic deterrent mission[3], the retired admiral explained Russia’s warhead advantage — that could actually be as great as four to one — by highlighting the US elimination of most of its tactical nuclear warheads and our countries lack of warhead production capacity, which contrasts sharply with Russia’s many thousands of theater nuclear weapons it has kept in its stockpile and its robust warhead production capability.

Given current Russian aggression against Ukraine, and its massing of 20,000 troops on Ukraine’s eastern border,[4] the US-Russian nuclear balance may be a critical aspect of whether hostilities break out between Ukraine and Russia.

McManus however appears to make light of Russian nuclear modernization. He references comments from Brookings Institute arms control expert Steven Pifer, a former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, who explains away Russian nuclear weapons modernization as indicative only that “Putin needs the political support of the small towns in Russia that produce military equipment.”

McManus also similarly leads us to believe that it is only members of the U.S. Congress “from missile states” who support the nuclear missiles making up our nuclear Triad for land, sea and air because they provide jobs in their states.

He does bow briefly in the direction of “fairness,” with an aside that representatives in Congress “might” be motivated by “honest differences in strategy,” but in his essay, that remark is the only indication that there might indeed be reasonable differences in strategy among Americans concerning their nuclear deterrent future.

As explained by leading nuclear expert Dr. Mark Schneider[5], Russia has adopted a nuclear weapons use doctrine that allows for the first use of nuclear weapons in local and regional wars not only in response to WMD attack but also in a conventional war. Schneider underscores that it was Putin who was directly responsible for this doctrine when he was National Security Council Secretary in the 1990s. He signed the policy into law as acting President of Russia in 2000.

This doctrine even goes so far as to view the first use of nuclear weapons in a crisis as a “de-escalation of a conflict.” Additionally, Russia employs various types of nuclear attack threats as a means of intimidating its neighbors. Since 2007, there have been about 15 overt Russian nuclear targeting threats from senior officials, including four from Putin.

Then McManus, having assumed Russia has fewer nuclear warheads than America (highly certain a false assumption) and that Russian arms modernization is largely due to retail politics and not a hostile intent against the US or its allies (again a highly dubious assumption), endorses the Global Zero 2012 report.[6]

UK: Our New Sharia Law by Douglas Murray

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4246/uk-sharia-law

The question of what constitutes “voluntary” remains. Could the state ever have confidence that a woman whose marital problems were put before a Sharia court actually “volunteered” for this process, or avoided it, or would have any say whatsoever in accepting the court’s judgement? In reality, the woman never stood a chance.

If we are indeed seeing the beginning of this process, we are far from seeing what lies at the end of it.

What is Sharia and what should be our attitude towards it? These questions, which have intermittently swirled around Britain in recent years, have just re-erupted thanks to a recent story in the Sunday Telegraph.

The story revealed that The Law Society — the body which represents and advises solicitors in England and Wales — has drawn up guidance for its members on how to draw up wills in accordance with Islamic law. The document can be seen here. As the Telegraph pointed out, High Street solicitors in England and Wales will now be assisted in drawing up documents that refuse women an equal share of inheritance and that discounts the potential inheritance of non-believers entirely. Nicholas Fluck, president of The Law Society, told the Sunday Telegraph that the document, which would be recognised by the national courts, would promote “good practice” in applying Islamic principles. The paper claims that this document effectively enshrines Sharia law in the British legal system for the first time.

THE WAR ON POVERTY $21 TRILLION LATER: THE BIG FAT LEFTIST FAILURE: MATTHEW VADUM

http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/matthew-vadum/the-war-on-poverty-21-trillion-later/print/

Fifty years and trillions of dollars after the “War on Poverty” was launched, Americans aren’t much better off, according to a study published by Republican reformers in Congress.

The War on Poverty has barely made a dent in poverty, said the 205-page report unveiled by the House Budget Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.). The report was created in the hope of starting a discussion in Congress about reforming poor-relief programs.

In 1965, the poverty rate was 17.3 percent. In 2012, it was 15 percent. This means taxpayers blew a staggering $20.7 trillion over the last half century in order to achieve a paltry 2.3 percentage point decrease in poverty.

Those on the Left consider this to be social progress by way of coercive redistribution. Mere results have always been less important to the Left than intentions.

Although a sane person would consider the minuscule reduction in poverty a humiliating defeat, left-wingers have successfully been changing the subject, moving the discussion away from their policy failures for 50 years now.

It began back in the Sixties, when instead of being satisfied with New Deal-era programs like Social Security, left-wingers resolved to move America even farther away from its founding ideals, fundamentally changing the country by erecting a supremely sclerotic behemoth welfare state answerable to no one.

The War on Poverty itself was a part of the massive left-wing social engineering and vote-buying scheme known as the Great Society. This war really should have been called the war on American values. As a result of misguided government policies that grew out of the War on Poverty, out-of-wedlock birthrates have mushroomed, David Horowitz and John Perazzo reported in “Government vs. the People.”

Despite an orgy of federal spending, blacks and other minorities have suffered the most from big government poverty alleviation efforts. The anti-marriage, anti-family tilt of welfare policies has devastated black communities.

In his first State of the Union address on Jan. 8, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson ushered in a half-century of government-incentivized sloth, indolence, dependency, and social decay. He exhorted Congress to launch a new belligerency against a perpetually ineradicable foe.

“Let this session of Congress be known,” Johnson exclaimed, “as the session which declared all-out war on human poverty and unemployment in these United States.”

The Economic Opportunity Act (EOA) of 1964 became the centerpiece of the new war. It expanded the nation’s social safety hammock, turning government resources into war materiel to be used against the American system of constitutionally limited government.

Islamic Human Slaughterhouses for Christians — on The Glazov Gang

http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/frontpagemag-com/islamic-human-slaughterhouses-for-christians-on-the-glazov-gang/
This week’s Glazov Gang episode was joined by Walid Shoebat, a former Muslim Brotherhood terrorist who turned to love and Christianity. He is the author of his most recent book The Case for Islamophobia and heads the organization RescueChristians.org.

He joined the program to discuss Islamic Human Slaughterhouses for Christians:

OBAMA’S MIDEAST NIGHTMARE: DANIEL GREENFIELD

http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/dgreenfield/obamas-mideast-nightmare/print/

A man sits holding a cup of coffee in a restaurant. He drops the cup and it cracks. Everyone around him berates him for his thoughtless stupidity.

Then a second man enters and after delivering a fine speech on the virtues of making this into the best restaurant that it can be, begins smashing all the cups and then the plates. He overturns the tables, tears down the curtains, breaks the lights, tumbles all the food to the floor and sets the whole place on fire.

The first man was named George. The second man was named Barack.

During George W. Bush’s last month in office, thirty-one Americans had died in Iraq and Afghanistan. By June, the month of Obama’s infamous Cairo speech, that number had climbed to forty. And by that same time next year, it was at sixty-eight.

When Bush left office at the end of his second term, the region was mostly stable aside from Iran’s nuclear program. By the time Obama had finished his first term, it was in a state of endless war.

Koch: I’m Fighting to Restore a Free Society Instead of Welcoming Free Debate, Collectivists Engage in Character Assassination: Charles Koch

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303978304579475860515021286?mod=Opinion_newsreel_1

Mr. Koch is chairman and CEO of Koch Industries.

I have devoted most of my life to understanding the principles that enable people to improve their lives. It is those principles—the principles of a free society—that have shaped my life, my family, our company and America itself.

Unfortunately, the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation’s own government. That’s why, if we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we have no choice but to fight for those principles. I have been doing so for more than 50 years, primarily through educational efforts. It was only in the past decade that I realized the need to also engage in the political process.
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A truly free society is based on a vision of respect for people and what they value. In a truly free society, any business that disrespects its customers will fail, and deserves to do so. The same should be true of any government that disrespects its citizens. The central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life, but those in power are capable of running it for you. This is the essence of big government and collectivism.

More than 200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson warned that this could happen. “The natural progress of things,” Jefferson wrote, “is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” He knew that no government could possibly run citizens’ lives for the better. The more government tries to control, the greater the disaster, as shown by the current health-care debacle. Collectivists (those who stand for government control of the means of production and how people live their lives) promise heaven but deliver hell. For them, the promised end justifies the means.

ANDREW CUOMO EDUCATES DE BLASIO…..SEE NOTE PLEASE

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303978304579473513472208506?mod=WSJ_Opinion_AboveLEFTTop&mg=reno64-wsj

IS THIS TURN TO THE RIGHT REAL OR IS IT A REHEARSAL FOR HIGHER OFFICE BY A VERY CANNY POLITICIAN?….RSK

Maybe Bill de Blasio should have played it a little cooler. New York City’s new mayor roared into office promising a war on charter schools, and his main achievement seems to have been a political backlash. The budget deal that Governor Andrew Cuomo concluded over the weekend with state legislators overrules nearly all of Mr. de Blasio’s assault on charters. It requires New York City’s school district to find space for charter schools or provide a $3,000 per-pupil subsidy for private space. The subsidy would grow over time.

New York Post editorial writer Robert George on why the Governor’s budget adds funding and new protections for the state’s charter schools. Photo credit: Getty Images.

The mayor is also prohibited from charging charters rent and nixing co-locations without the schools’ consent. Charter operator Eva Moskowitz, a particular target of Mr. de Blasio’s union allies, will be able to open three schools as planned this fall. This is especially good news since her Success Academies are holding their annual lottery for admission on Friday and they include some of the top performing schools. Fifth-graders at Harlem Central Middle School, which Mr. de Blasio sought to close, have the highest pass rate of 2,254 schools in New York on state math exams.