Posted by Sgt. Mom on May 24th, 2013 (All posts by Sgt. Mom)
The most famous want-ad in the history of the Wild West appeared in a California newspaper in 1860: “Wanted. Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over 18. Must be expert riders, willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.”
What restless, fit and daring male teenager could resist? Besides considerable prestige, the Pony Express job paid north of $100 a month, or more depending – a higher rate of pay than for all but those at an executive-level for the transcontinental freighting company of Russell, Majors & Waddell. The Pony Express service was initiated partly as a stunt to attract public attention and partly for a deadly serious purpose; to fill in the communications gap between the established United States (Northern Division) and the outposts in the Far West – California, Oregon, Nevada and Utah – as a transcontinental telegraph line was being surveyed and constructed. The riders carried nothing valuable in their mochilas; only the mail, and newspaper dispatches; they depended for their safety on the speed of their horses, and perhaps a pair of Navy Colt revolvers in saddle holsters. Company policy was that riders would not engage in careless gunplay. Indeed, their horses – many of them pedigreed and in superlative condition – and those revolvers were the only items tempting the larcenous to even consider attacking a Pony Express rider.
The riders eventually hired did tend to be young; one began work at the age of eleven, and they did tend to be light of build physically. There was no uniform dress provided, although the straight-arrow member of their employer triad, Alexander Majors, did insist on them swearing an oath of teetotality, and also to abjure swearing and fighting with other employees. It was a prestigious thing, to be a rider for the Pony Express; both ‘Wild Bill’ Hickok and ‘Buffalo Bill’ William Cody later claimed to have been Pony Express riders. Hickok was a stage station employee of Russell, Majors and Waddell, and William Cody was a messenger, but neither of them were on strength as transcontinental express riders during the brief glory year of the Pony Express. The riders gained fame for spectacular feats of endurance; one of them was English-born Robert “Pony Bob” Haslam. He participated in the record-breaking feat of transmitting the written copy of Lincoln’s first inaugural address from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California in seven days and seventeen hours. But that wasn’t Pony Bob’s most hazardous drive.
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Posted in History | No Comments »
Posted by Dan from Madison on May 23rd, 2013 (All posts by Dan from Madison)
My copy just landed here in the wilds of Wisconsin. Looking forward to this one.
Posted in America 3.0 | 4 Comments »
Posted by Jonathan on May 23rd, 2013 (All posts by Jonathan)
David Foster’s post included a link to this column about career risk. The author argues that it’s risky to bind yourself for the long run to an apparently-secure institutional job, because institutions can fail and leave you hanging. You are better off to keep trying new things and accepting failures and short-term uncertainty, in exchange for greater long-term adaptability. I think he’s half right about this.
He’s right that it’s a good idea to accept opportunities and take calculated risks, but he’s a bit off in his framing of the overall issue. What distinguishes the resilient from non-resilient career paths in his examples isn’t risk-taking per se, it’s diversification. Instead of investing all of your career effort in a relationship with one big company that is the sole buyer of your services, you should diversify among multiple, smaller customers, none of which is big enough to put you out of action if they fire you.
This is basic risk management. It is difficult to assess long-term risk going into a venture, no matter how smart or experienced you are. There are too many things that can change over time. The big-company job or big institutional customer may appear to offer security but that’s an illusion. They can be belly-up in a few years for reasons no one can anticipate. The rational strategy is therefore to diversify your income among multiple sources as smart people have always understood. Just as independent professionals know to keep a large enough number of clients that a loss of business from any one client won’t hurt them much, prudent people with institutional jobs may use their income streams to finance investments in real estate or other alternative revenue sources. There is no one career path that works for everyone. As America transitions from its 2.0 institutional model to a more decentralized and individualistic system, people increasingly will need to take account of risk and diversification in managing their careers. That’s probably better for everyone in the long run.
Posted in America 3.0, Business, Personal Finance | 8 Comments »
Posted by Lexington Green on May 22nd, 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
America 3.0 received a great review from Jeff Carter on his Points and Figures blog — which you should read daily.
Back when I was graduating from college, all I heard was how it was time for America to step aside from world leadership. The Japanese would run the show. Today’s college students hear how the American experiment has failed, and the Chinese will step in to fill the void. No doubt, China will be a force in the 21st Century, but America will be too. There is something in our DNA as a country. America 3.0 defines that core competency America has.
As we say in the book: “We are better equipped than most of us know to take advantage of the changes that are already underway, to turn them to our advantage, to once again astonish the world.”
Jeff is one of the people working on making this happen.
Thank you, Jeff.
Posted in America 3.0, Book Notes | 2 Comments »
Posted by David Foster on May 22nd, 2013 (All posts by David Foster)
Former FDCI head Sheila Bair says that low interest rates are hurting, not helping, the economy
Boring, narrow, think-alike apparatchiks.
Educational credentialism and the landed aristocracy.
The irreversible decline of Sears
Rita King is not impressed with Marissa Mayer’s ban on remote work at Yahoo
How volatility boosts career resilience
Seven characteristics of creative people
Stephen Hawking’s warped moral calculus
19 emotions for which English has no words
AT&T predicted the future in these 1993 ads…but how many of these possibilities-turned-actualities was it really able to convert into sources of revenue and profit?
The CEO of Siemens USA thinks young people should seriously consider careers in manufacturing. (When he talks about high-level executives at Siemens who started as apprentices on the shop floor, I have to wonder how many of these success stories are in Siemens USA versus Siemens in Germany)
Some vintage air travel photos
The 22 most beautifully secluded places in the world
Posted in Aviation, Business, Economics & Finance, Education, Human Behavior, Management | 11 Comments »
Posted by Lexington Green on May 22nd, 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
America 3.0 will not have Federal income tax. Or so we hope.
The recent disclosures regarding the despicable malfeasance of the Internal Revenue Service provide support for a specific argument we make in America 3.0.
In a recent WSJ article entitled A Brief History of IRS Political Targeting, James Bovard provides a damning quote the book A Law Unto Itself: The IRS and the Abuse of Power (1990) “In almost every administration since the IRS’s inception the information and power of the tax agency have been mobilized for explicitly political purposes.”
The assertion that IRS employees in Cincinnati embarked on a localized rogue operation was preposterous on its face. The IRS employees did what their bosses told them to do. There is no incentive for a low level bureaucrat to do anything innovative and spontaneous, ever, for any reason. This case is no exception.
The problem here is not personnel. It is not whether the directive to harass Tea Party groups originated in the White House. It is not whether firing someone as a ritual sacrifice will assuage the public.
It is much bigger than that.
The IRS is structurally and inevitably a pathological organization that is destructive of our liberty. The people who work there, without regard to their personal morals, face pernicious incentives. That is one of the most poisonous things about bureaucracy. Ordinary, decent people end up participating in destructive policies and processes with no personal malice and even with little or no personal fault.
The power the IRS possesses, like every power granted to government, will be abused. And the IRS possesses enormous power, and the temptation to abuse that power will prevail, inevitably and frequently and destructively.
That is why, in our book, we argue for the abolition of the IRS.
The information routinely gathered by the IRS on law-abiding citizens is abusive and out of step with liberty and privacy. The routine gathering of personal information on every taxpayer is an affront to the letter and spirit of the Fourth Amendment. Yet we have come to accept this as normal and tolerable.
It isn’t, and we shouldn’t.
The required disclosure of personal economic information required in filing tax forms constitutes perhaps the largest single invasion of civil liberties in America, violating the spirit of the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee against search and seizure of personal information without a judicial warrant. … Ending income taxation will end this circumvention of the Bill of Rights, one which has been used again and again to political advantage by unscrupulous presidential administrations.
Repealing the 16th Amendment, ending the income tax, and abolishing the IRS are indeed ambitious goals. At the moment, they appear to be impossible goals. Americans are not yet ready to think this big. But these are goals worth pursuing, and what is possible is not set in stone. Today’s impossible can become tomorrow’s inevitable.
Destroying the files of the Internal Revenue Service would be the largest restoration of privacy since the destruction of the records of the East German Stasi and other Eastern European secret police services, possibly more so since the Stasi spied only on part of its population but the IRS is interested in everyone who makes any money at all.
Replacing the existing code with a VAT or sales tax would require different rules and procedures, and eliminating the existing IRS and creating a new organization from scratch would be a step in the right direction.
We should begin thinking and planning today for a successor method of Federal taxation, and a new organization with no track record to fund the smaller, more focused, more transparent federal government we will need for the 21st Century, the era of America 3.0.
Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments »
Posted by Jonathan on May 21st, 2013 (All posts by Jonathan)
Submitted by a reader:
Posted in Obama, Photos, Politics, Tea Party | 3 Comments »
Posted by Trent Telenko on May 21st, 2013 (All posts by Trent Telenko)
Over the week end of May 18-19 2013 the Obama Administration official Dan Pfeiffer went out and spun the IRS scandal saying “The law is irrelevant”. On the contrary, the law is very much relevant to the IRS scandal, including prohibitions against specific acts by IRS personnel and more general laws of which the ones to watch concern private civil actions for damages under the federal Racketeering, Influence and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act (18 USC 1961, et seq.) and Civil Rights Act (42 USC 1983, et seq.). There is every possibility that the victims of the IRS’s suppression of Obama political opponent free speech rights will sue the IRS and individual IRS employees under the civil rights and civil RICO laws for a $150-to-$650 million legal payday.
Remember, _THE IRS CONFESSED_. There is no argument that it admitted some of its actions concerning Tea Party organization tax-exempt applications were unlawful, i.e.., illegal. It is obvious that the IRS and its staff engaged in an organized multi-work unit, multi-state, plus Washington DC Headquarters, wide conspiracy to suppress the Tea Party. The IRS unlawfully applied special rules to Tea Party applicants that it did not to others and that conspiracy prevented them from exercising their free speech rights for the 2010 and 2012 election cycles.
It also is very clear that the IRS — via the questions it was asking the Tea Party and other religious non-profits — was busy creating a quite extensive Nixonian/Ailinskyite ENEMIES LIST for future use in intimidation and the depriving Obama Administration political opponents of their Constitutional Rights.
Those are classic CONSPIRACY AGAINST RIGHTS (18 USC 241) and DEPRIVATION RIGHTS UNDER COLOR OF LAW (18 USC 242) violations.
See these criminal federal civil rights statutes, whose violation gives rise to civil liability for damages too:
“Conspiracy Against Rights (18 USC 241)
If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or
If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—
They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.”
“Deprivation Rights Under Color of Law (18 USC 242)
Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both;
and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.”
That is the criminal side of things.
The problem AG Holder is going to suffer obstructing discovery in civil rights and civil RICO lawsuits against the IRS is that criminal prosecutions and civil suits for damages proceed in tandem. The civil suits aren’t stayed by criminal prosecutions on the same subject, let alone by criminal “investigations” short of prosecutions.
The IRS “Special Group’s” delay of tax exempt status prevented Tea Party NGO’s from fund raising and participating in two political cycles (2010 and 2012) by educating “low information voters” as to the political issues of the day, like the National Rifle Association does. The NGO’s whose applications for tax-exempt status were slow-rolled can claim “trade and business” damages under Civil RICO provisions of Federal law. And the Supreme Court of the USA decided decades ago that criminal acts by the Federal government “under the color of law” do not qualify for sovereign immunity under the Federal supremacy clause of the constitution.
To quote a lawyer I know –
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Posted in Big Government, Civil Liberties, Crime and Punishment, Current Events, Elections, Health Care, Law Enforcement, Obama, Politics, Tea Party, The Press, Uncategorized | 24 Comments »
Posted by Lexington Green on May 20th, 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
Glenn Reynolds, in addition to writing a foreword for the book, has a column in USA Today about America 3.0, the soon-to-be-published book by Jim Bennett and myself.
The book’s authors, James Bennett and Michael Lotus, argue that things seem rough because we’re in a period of transition, like those after the Civil War and during the New Deal era. Such transitions are necessarily bumpy, but once they’re navigated the country comes back stronger than ever.
But as Bennett and Lotus note, the problems of America 2.0 are all soluble, and, in what they call America 3.0, they will be solved. The solutions will be as different from America 2.0 as America 2.0 was from America 1.0. We’ll see a focus on smaller government, nimbler organization, and living within our means — because, frankly, we’ll have no choice. Something that can’t go on forever, won’t. If America 2.0 was a fit for the world of giant steel mills and monolithic corporations, America 3.0 will be fit for the world of consumer choice and Internet speed.
Do read the whole thing, please!
Prof. Reynolds was also kind enough to link to his article on Instapundit, including a link to the Amazon page.
You can pre-order either the hardcover or the electronic version.
Posted in America 3.0 | 4 Comments »
Posted by David Foster on May 20th, 2013 (All posts by David Foster)
Catherine Engelbrecht and her husband own a small manufacturing business.
Catherine dared to express political opinions and organize political activities which were not to the liking of the Obama administration and its left-wing allies. Very quickly, Engelbrecht Manufacturing found itself facing inquiries from the IRS and the FBI and OSHA and the ATF.
Read Catherine Engelbrecht’s story here.
Of course, we can’t be sure–and Catherine can’t be sure–that these investigations were politically-motivated. Maybe the aggregate of separate actions by separate agencies was merely a matter of chance. It seems about as likely as being hit on the head by a meteor, but it’s possible.
And it is specifically this impossibility of knowing what is really behind discretionary activities on the part of large and powerful government bureaucracies (absent legal action forcing the agencies to reveal their internal documents and discussions, which most people will not be able to afford) that makes this sort of thing so frightening.
I don’t think any seriously-informed person can doubt that a climate of intimidation is being driven by the Obama administration. Obama has clearly brought some of the toxic aspects of Chicago political culture to Washington with him, and these are added to the end-justifies-the-means philosophy which is a staple of leftism in general.
As long as Barack Obama is in office, I don’t see how anyone can feel reasonably assured of fair and nonpolitical treatment by any federal agency.
Catherine Engelbrecht says the harassment has forced her to seriously reconsider whether her political activity is worth the government harassment she’s faced.
“I left a thriving family business with my husband that I loved, to do something I didn’t necessarily love, but [which] I thought had to be done,” she says. “But I really think if we don’t do this, if we don’t stand up and speak now, there might not [always] be that chance.”
Posted in Business, Civil Liberties, Obama, Politics, USA | 22 Comments »
Posted by Lexington Green on May 20th, 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
We are pleased to announce that James C. Bennett will be speaking at the Western Conservative Summitt 2013, sponsored by the Centennial Institute and Colorado Christian University.
Jim will be speaking on Monday, June 17, 2013 at . His topic: Envisioning America 3.0, CCU Beckman Center, 8787 W. Alameda Avenue Lakewood, CO.
Where is the voice of practical optimism to counter worries from both left and right that the USA faces irreversible decline? One such voice is that of James C. Bennett, historian, economist, space scientist, and futurist. Based right here in Colorado, Bennett is the originator of the Anglosphere concept and a Centennial Institute fellow. Join us on Monday evening, June 17, at 7:00 p.m. in the CCU Beckman Center to hear about the important new book he co-authored with Michael J. Lotus, America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century – Why America’s Greatest Days are Yet to Come.
Jim’s talk is free and open to the public, but registration is required.
Posted in America 3.0, Announcements | No Comments »
Posted by David Foster on May 19th, 2013 (All posts by David Foster)
Lord, Thou hast made this world below the shadow of a dream,
An’, taught by time, I tak’ it so – exceptin’ always Steam.
From coupler-flange to spindle-guide I see Thy Hand, O God -
Predestination in the stride o’ yon connectin’-rod.
John Calvin might ha’ forged the same – enorrmous, certain, slow -
Ay, wrought it in the furnace-flame – my “Institutio.”
I cannot get my sleep to-night; old bones are hard to please;
I’ll stand the middle watch up here – alone wi’ God an’ these
My engines, after ninety days o’ race an’ rack an’ strain
Through all the seas of all Thy world, slam-bangin’ home again.
Slam-bang too much – they knock a wee – the crosshead-gibs are loose;
But thirty thousand mile o’ sea has gied them fair excuse….
Fine, clear an’ dark – a full-draught breeze, wi’ Ushant out o’ sight,
An’ Ferguson relievin’ Hay. Old girl, ye’ll walk to-night!
His wife’s at Plymouth…. Seventy-One-Two-Three since he began -
Three turns for Mistress Ferguson…. an’ who’s to blame the man?
There’s none at any port for me, by drivin’ fast or slow,
Since Elsie Campbell went to Thee, Lord, thirty years ago.
(The year the ‘Sarah Sands’ was burned. Oh roads we used to tread,
Fra’ Maryhill to Pollokshaws – fra’ Govan to Parkhead!)
Not but they’re ceevil on the Board. Ye’ll hear Sir Kenneth say:
“Good morrn, McAndrew! Back again? An’ how’s your bilge to-day?”
Miscallin’ technicalities but handin’ me my chair
To drink Madeira wi’ three Earls – the auld Fleet Engineer,
That started as a boiler-whelp – when steam and he were low.
I mind the time we used to serve a broken pipe wi’ tow.
The whole poem is here.
Posted in Poetry, Tech | 6 Comments »
Posted by Carl from Chicago on May 19th, 2013 (All posts by Carl from Chicago)
While across the pond in London I saw these blokes pedaling some sort of “party bike” (there is an entry in wikipedia for it with a similar photo on Tower Bridge) through London traffic. Apparently there is one sober guy who steers and everyone else drinks and likely occasionally pedals. I saw a few of them and as they went by the pedestrians lots of people hooted at them or tried to give some sort of hi five or British equivalent. In River North we have the party buses (trolleys) these seem more eco-friendly, I guess.
By the way I am trying this blogging for the first time with an application through my iPad so if it looks a little funky I will get better over time.
Posted in Britain, Humor | 2 Comments »
Posted by Dan from Madison on May 18th, 2013 (All posts by Dan from Madison)
This photo has been making the rounds lately; the leader of the free world in (yet another) awkward moment.
I first saw this when watching the news with my wife, and I blurted out – “did they really need to have the Marine hold that umbrella? How insulting to the Corps. It doesn’t look like it is even raining very hard.” My wife laughed and said (wisely) “why on earth would you expect anything different from Captain Zero?”.
And what in blazes is the President doing touching that Marine? If he wants the umbrella adjusted, couldn’t he just ask him to raise it a bit higher?
I also noted to my wife at the time that it is likely against uniform code for the Marine to hold the umbrella, and that was proven to be correct (no males in any US armed services are allowed to hold an umbrella while in uniform). However, I am sure that following orders (especially from the CIC) outweigh that detail, and the Marine did what he was told. As always.
But, you know, sigh.
This last five years have been absolutely brutal for Obama and his handlers in all sorts of public situations, over and over and over. The President’s handlers either are just a bunch of idiots, or Obama is simply not listening to them. They have no understanding of what the cameras will capture, how things will look ahead of time, or what protocol even is. Someone in that office should have seen the forecast and mentioned to the President that if it rains, would he perhaps like a STAFFER to hold an umbrella for him, or does he simply want to be tough and soak up a raindrop or two, or (insert many non embarrassing options here).
But no. Again, we get another breakdown and millions of people get to point and laugh or shake their heads in disgust at the President and his staff for being insensitive, and just downright lazy and dumb.
It makes me worry that the whole damned administration is run like this. Amateur hour at the White House, as a friend of mine recently said.
Posted in Just Unbelievable, Military Affairs, Obama | 39 Comments »
Posted by Sgt. Mom on May 17th, 2013 (All posts by Sgt. Mom)
When gold was discovered in the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada in 1848, it didn’t take very long for word to get out. From the eastern United States, California was then a six-month journey by mule trail or covered wagon over land – that or a long sea voyage around South America, or two sea voyages broken by a short but disease-plagued trek across the narrowest part of Central America. The sea voyage was expense, the overland journey a bit less so – and it probably seemed much more direct, anyway.
Two young Gold Rushers who hit the trail in the spring of 1849 were William Manly and John Rogers; young and adventurous single men who had come by separate means as far as Salt Lake City. Manly already had an eventful trip just getting that far. From an account written much later, he seems to have been a broad-minded optimist, good-humored and above all – adventurous. He and some companions had decided to venture down an uncharted river in canoes – and only an encounter with some helpful Indians prevented them from going all the way – down an uncharted river and into a deep and impassible canyon. With one thing and another, they had arrived too late in the season to consider crossing the Sierras by the Truckee River Pass. This was three years after the Donner Party – which served as a Dreadful Warning to all wagon train parties considering a mountain passage late in the trail season.
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Posted in History, Society, USA | 12 Comments »
Posted by David Foster on May 16th, 2013 (All posts by David Foster)
Professor Anne Hendershot, a sociologist, was targeted for an IRS audit in 2010 after she wrote a series of articles, mostly in Catholic publications, that were critical of Obamacare. The IRS summoned Professor Hendershott to a meeting to discuss the “business expenses” associated with her writing. Hendershott reports that the IRS agent wanted to know “who was paying her” and barred her husband from attending the inquiry, even though the Hendershotts file joint returns. Hendershott says that she was so traumatized by the experience that she stopped writing about political topics, which presumably was the intended effect.
“It was clear they didn’t like me criticizing the people who helped pass Obamacare,” she said of the audit,” later adding, ”The IRS is very frightening.”
In addition to creating stress and fear, Hendershott said that the experience came at a great emotional and financial expense for the family, noting that even after the audit the government sought more information from her.
(excerpted from PowerLine and The Blaze)
Of course, she can’t prove that she was targeted politically (or couldn’t until now, when subpoenas directed against the IRS may force the revelation of such information.) And that is precisely what makes the power wielded by the IRS and other Federal agencies so frightening. An individual can be sentenced to a Kafkaeqsue subterranean passage of indefinite duration, at the discretion of low-level officials in a local office, Cabinet officials in Washington, or mid-level bureaucrats anywhere in between. Hence, the maintenance of individual freedom requires that Federal Government activities be conducted with a high degree of integrity and respect for law.
What apparently happened to Professor Hendershott should not be happening to anyone in America.
Obama says he is “angry” about the IRS political activities that have been revealed. Sure, he’s angry about the political impact of the revelations on his administration. But is he angry that the activities occurred in the first place?
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Posted in Britain, Civil Liberties, History, Politics, USA | 26 Comments »
Posted by Lexington Green on May 15th, 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
We have received many requests for an electronic version of our upcoming book America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century-Why America’s Greatest Days Are Yet to Come. We are happy to announce that there will be an electronic version of the book.
You can now pre-order the Kindle version via Amazon.
It is also available for pre-order for the Nook via Barnes & Noble.
(Cross-posted on America 3.0.)
Posted in America 3.0, Announcements, Book Notes | No Comments »
Posted by Sgt. Mom on May 15th, 2013 (All posts by Sgt. Mom)
And so it begins; at first a trickle of rocks falling down a steep mountainside; then more and bigger rocks, and then half the mountainside comes away and falls away in a mighty roar, the earth trembles, and White House spokes-minion Jay Carney is probably looking around desperately trying to figure out what hit him. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Big Government, Civil Society, Conservatism, Leftism, Obama, Taxes, Tea Party, The Press, USA | 21 Comments »
Posted by Lexington Green on May 14th, 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
Mr. Bennett and Mr. Lotus received their copies of America 3.0 yesterday.
It is was strange, in a good way, to hold the thing in my hand, after all this effort.
I went back and looked at some old emails, which contains lines like “I am staying here today and tonight until I am done with Ch.5,” or Jim saying “I am working through the weekend, pretty much. Will take a break Sunday for the Broncos-Chargers game.” One funny thing is that we thought we would not have enough words, but we ended up having plenty.
In any case, I can now swear on oath that I have seen it, it exists, and if you order one, it looks pretty good, it’s legible, and it feels nice in the hand.
Cross posted at America 3.0.
Posted in America 3.0, Announcements, Book Notes | 11 Comments »
Posted by Lexington Green on May 14th, 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
IRS Intimidation Forced Founder to Shut Down Tea Party Group.
Progressive Group: IRS Gave US Conservative Groups’ Confidential Documents.
IG report: ‘Inappropriate Criteria’ Stalled IRS Approvals of Conservative Groups.
During the 2012 election cycle the Internal Revenue Service did not act as an objective, nonpartisan arm of government subject to the rule of law.
Instead the Internal Revenue service acted as an arm of the Democrat Party, engaged in harassment, intimidation and opposition research for partisan political purposes.
The result of the most recent Presidential election, in the key state of Ohio, was impacted, possibly decisively, by this intentional, partisan, coordinated, unlawful activity.
Yet this entity, the Internal Revenue Service, will imprison you if you disobey it.
There are “voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity … that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner.”
Heed the voices.
Posted in Anti-Americanism, Big Government, Crime and Punishment, Politics, Public Finance, Tea Party, USA | 6 Comments »
Posted by Jonathan on May 13th, 2013 (All posts by Jonathan)
J.V. DeLong in a comment at The Right Coast:
Maybe it was a bad week for the Obama administration — and maybe it was a fine week.
If the Obama-ists weather these scandals with no damage except squawking from the conservatives, then they will know that they are invulnerable, and are free to use the IRS, the regulatory agencies, and the legal system to harass all enemies without limit.
The real test is of the Democratic Party. Does it stand with the Republic, or has it turned into a Leninist party that controls the government according to the will of the Leader? Based on the performance of the Dems at the Benghazi hearing, the latter seems the case.
Posted in Big Government, Current Events, Leftism, Obama, Politics, Quotations | 12 Comments »
Posted by Lexington Green on May 13th, 2013 (All posts by Lexington Green)
In America 3.0 we discuss the origins of the common law, and how it was well-suited to adapt inductively to changing conditions, in contrast to the more top-down Roman law that predominated on the Continent.
This recent post on the John Wilkes Club blog, makes this point nicely:
There is no eschatology in the common law: its purpose is to reflect changes in the cultural, social and economic structure, not to direct them towards an objective preconceived in the minds of cultured and erudite elites for our betterment. Likewise there is no eschatology in free markets: they are a tool for the allocation of goods and services according to ever-changing consumer preferences, not for directing them towards some imaginary ‘ideal’ allocation. Not only is there no ethical basis for the social and economic coercion which rational, artificial, imposed order inevitably involves; but also, because even a benevolent genius is trapped in the prison of imperfect information described by Hayek and others, it does not work.
The post cites to The New World of the Gothic Fox: Culture and Economy in English and Spanish America by Claudio Veliz, a great favorite of ours, and concludes in Hayekian fashion: “… the ability to manage the modern welfare state is not just beyond any particular person, but beyond anybody … .”
Quite so. And that why is it is failing. And that is why the next iteration of America will be flatter, more networked, less coercive and better, cheaper and faster at everything that matters. But we have to get all this detritus out of the way, first … .
Cross-posted on America 3.0.
Posted in America 3.0, Anglosphere, Book Notes, Britain, Civil Liberties, History, Libertarianism, Quotations, Society, USA | 4 Comments »
Posted by Sgt. Mom on May 13th, 2013 (All posts by Sgt. Mom)
Center section of a quilt on display two Saturdays ago at QuiltFest, in Boerne, Texas.
Posted in Photos | No Comments »
Posted by Trent Telenko on May 13th, 2013 (All posts by Trent Telenko)
The Obama administration has a huge “management problem” with its spin of the nakedly partisan and highly illegal IRS denial of Tea Party non-profit tax status. One that makes the IRS scandal an “on-going criminal conspiracy” in the RICO sense and places “Nixon offense” impeachment charges in Pres. Obama’s future.
This is the IRS Tea Party Case Timeline Courtesy of ABC News:
This is my list of the Cincinnati, Ohio and IRS HQ management positions involved in Tea Party cases by title, location and first date mentioned from the linked document.
1. Determinations Unit Group Manager (Ohio?)  — 1 Mar 2010
2. Acting Manager, Technical Unit  (Ohio) — 16 Mar 2010
3. New Acting Manager, Technical Unit  (Ohio) — 1 Apr 2010
4. Determinations Unit Program Manager (Ohio?) — 25 Apr 2010
5. Determinations Unit Area Manager (Ohio?)– 26 Oct 2010
6. Technical Unit manager (Ohio) — 16 Nov 2010
7. Senior Technical Advisor to the Director, EO (IRS Washington DC) — 13 Dec 2010
8. New Technical Unit Acting Manager  (Ohio) — Jan 2011
9. Acting Director, Rulings and Agreements  (IRS Washington DC) — 1 June 2011
10. Director, EO. (IRS Washington DC) — 29 June 2011
11. -Title or titles unknown- in EO function (IRS Washington DC) Headquarters office — 5 July 2011
12. IRS Chief Counsel (IRS Washington DC) — 4 Aug 2011
13. New Acting Director, Rulings and Agreements  (IRS Washington DC) — October 2011
14. New Acting Group Manager “of the team of specialists” (Ohio?) — March 2012
15. Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement (IRS Washington DC) — 8 Mar 2012
16. Senior Technical Advisor to the Acting Commissioner, Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division (IRS Washington DC) — 23 Mar 2012
17. Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement (IRS Washington DC) — 23 Mar 2012
18. Senior Technical Advisor to the Acting Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division Commissioner (IRS Washington DC) — 23 Apr 2012
19. Director, Rulings and Agreements (May be same as #10 above, IRS Washington DC)– 17 May 2012
20 -Title(s) Unknown- Quality Assurance Unit (Ohio?) — May 2012
21 -Title(s) Unknown- Operations Unit (Ohio?) — May 2012
22. New Acting Determinations Unit Group Manager  (Ohio) — 15 July 2012
August March 2012 then IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman testified before Congress that the IRS was not harassing or making a special effort to deny Tea Party affiliated organizations their non-profit tax status. The above list either makes IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman a liar or a sock puppet for Obama administration IRS appointees who did lie. Douglas Shulman is going to need to lawyer up regardless.
The fact that there were, by my count three different “Manager, Technical Unit” and two “Determinations Unit Group Manager” in Cincinnati, Ohio involved over several years makes this Tea Party witch hunt anything but a “local IRS unit run amok.” This was an on-going criminal conspiracy involving IRS senior management over a matter of years.
A class action RICO lawsuit by the Tea Party against the IRS is very much on the table and the IRS won’t have sovereign immunity for “criminal actions taken under the color of law.” That point about federal government criminality was decided decades ago in various US Government high level nuclear waste dumping law suits before the Supreme Court.
Impeachment of President Obama for IRS-related “Nixon Offenses” is now on the table.
Note — This is the
3rd 4th Update of this post
Posted in America 3.0, Anti-Americanism, Big Government, Conservatism, Crime and Punishment, USA | 16 Comments »
Posted by Michael Kennedy on May 12th, 2013 (All posts by Michael Kennedy)
Last week was a week for the conspiracy theories. First, we had Benghazi and the hearings which interviewed career State Department officers, most of whom probably vote for Democrats. The fact that they were ordered not to talk to Congressmen and denied any attempt at help when under attack, even from as close as Tripoli, invites speculation about motive. Peggy Noonan, a little unusually, hits this one out of the park.
Since it is behind a pay wall, I’ll quote a few bits.
What happened in Benghazi last Sept. 11 and 12 was terrible in every way. The genesis of the scandal? It looks to me like this:
The Obama White House sees every event as a political event. Really, every event, even an attack on a consulate and the killing of an ambassador.
Because of that, it could not tolerate the idea that the armed assault on the Benghazi consulate was a premeditated act of Islamist terrorism. That would carry a whole world of unhappy political implications, and demand certain actions. And the American presidential election was only eight weeks away. They wanted this problem to go away, or at least to bleed the meaning from it.
That sounds about right to me.
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Posted in Elections, Health Care, Islam, Medicine, Middle East, Military Affairs, National Security, Politics, Tea Party, Terrorism | 12 Comments »