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Law is Obsolete: Revolutionary Justice with the Full Backing of the Administrative State

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VICTOR DAVIS HANSON:  Any particular law at any particular moment can be judged obsolete & an impediment to social justice. natl.re/1kRCLWn

NRO

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Secular Stagnation Is a Cover-Up: Failed Keynesian Policies Have Blocked Growth

American-dreamers

 “A new Wall Street Journal poll finds that three out of four Americans think the next generation will be worse off than this generation. So long American Dream.”

Editor’s note: Larry Kudlow is economics editor of National Review. Stephen Moore, a frequent contributor to National Review, is chief economist at the Heritage Foundation.

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For National Review OnlineLarry Kudlow & Stephen Moore:kudlow_rectangle

John F. Kennedy campaigned for president in 1960 by belittling Dwight Eisenhower’s three recessions and declaring, “We can do bettah.” He was right. In the 1960s, after the Kennedy tax cuts were implemented, prosperity returned, the economy grew by almost 4 percent annually, unemployment sank to record lows, and a gold-linked dollar held down inflation.

“It would be hard to conceive of a worse set of policy prescriptions than the ones Larry Summers and his Keynesian collaborators have conjured up.”

But today many leading economists are throwing up their arms in frustration and assuring us that 2 percent growth is really the best we can do.

Barack Obama’s former chief economist Larry Summers began this chant of “secular stagnation.” It’s a pessimistic message, and it’s now being echoed by Federal Reserve vice summerschair Stanley Fischer. He agrees with Summers that slow growth in “labor supply, capital investment, and productivity” is the new normal that’s “holding down growth.” Summers also believes that negative real interest rates aren’t negative enough. If Fisher and Fed chair Janet Yellen agree, central bank policy rates will never normalize in our lifetime.

“These measures have flat-lined the economy. It’s as simple as that.”

Unfortunately, Americans seem to be buying into this dreary assessment. A new Wall Street Journal poll finds that three out of four Americans think the next generation will be worse off than this generation. So long American Dream.

But secular stagnation is all wrong. It’s a cover up for mistaken economic policies that began in the Bush years and intensified during the Obama administration. Read the rest of this entry »


Ukraine Strikes Russian Convoy, Scores

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Kiev (AFP) – Max Delany with Anais Llobet in Kamensk-Shakhtinsky, Russia reporting: Ukraine said on Friday it had destroyed part of a Russian military convoy that entered onto its territory in an incursion that has sent cross-border tensions rocketing.

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NATO accused Russia of active involvement in the “destabilisation” of eastern Ukraine, where pro-Kremlin separatists have been fighting against Kiev for four months.

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The two countries have also been wrangling for days over a Russian convoy that Moscow says is carrying humanitarian aid for besieged rebel-held cities but which Kiev suspects could be a “Trojan horse” to provide military help to the insurgents.

Fears that the border clash could spill into all-out war between Kiev and Moscow sent major share markets tumbling across Europe and the United States. Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTO] This Week in History: August 14, 1945: President Truman Announced Japan’s Unconditional Surrender, Ending World War II

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Official U.S. Navy Photograph. [Troopship returns], 1945. New-York Historical Society.

August 14, 1945: President Truman announced Japan’s unconditional surrender, ending World War II. American troops began returning to New York harbor soon after the German surrender in May 1945. Two million New Yorkers flocked to Times Square upon the announcement of Japan’s surrender on August 14, 1945, signaling the war’s end. While the Allies’ victory was widely celebrated, the country faced great losses; approximately 400,000 Americans were killed in the war, including 18,000 New Yorkers. (via)

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CHART: Violent crime is lowest in 44 years and half the rate in 1991, so why have we become United States of SWAT?


Israel Outflanks White House on Strategy

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Benjamin Netanyahu, left, looks on as President Barack Obama speaks at the White House in MarchBloomberg News

JERUSALEM—WSJAdam Entous reports: White House and State Department officials who were leading U.S. efforts to rein in Israel’s military campaign in the Gaza Strip were caught off guard last month when they learned that the Israeli military had been quietly securing supplies of ammunition from the Pentagon without their approval.

Since then the Obama administration has tightened its control on arms transfers to Israel. But Israeli and U.S. officials say that the adroit bureaucratic maneuvering made it plain how little influence the White House and State Department have with the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu —and that both sides know it.OG-AC312_gazala_D_20140813175922

 “We’ve been there before with a lot of tension with us and Washington. What we have now, on top of that, is mistrust and a collision of different perspectives on the Middle East. It’s become very personal.”

The munitions surprise and previously unreported U.S. response added to a string of slights and arguments that have bubbled behind the scenes during the Gaza conflict, according to events related by senior American, Palestinian and Israeli officials involved.

[See photos and maps surveying the destruction in Gaza.]

In addition, current and former American officials say, U.S.-Israel ties have been hurt by leaks that they believe were meant to undercut the administration’s standing by mischaracterizing its position and delay a cease-fire. The battles have driven U.S.-Israeli relations to the lowest point since President Barack Obama took office. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Hubris: Obama Taking Credit for Iraq Troop Withdrawal Over and Over in 2012, Ducking Responsibility for it in 2014

President Obama took credit for Iraq troop withdrawal over and over in 2012 before ducking responsibility for it in 2014. The first 3/4ths of this is predictable grandstanding, electioneering, credit-taking, campaigning, boasting, signature Obama. The sweet spot starts at around 46 seconds.

via Bombs Over Erbil – YouTube.


CNN Poll: Trust in Government Lower than an Arthropod on a Gravel Parking Lot Low

"See how low to the ground I am? According to my analysis, public faith in government is even lower."

“See how low to the ground I am? Research shows that trust in government is even lower.”

“The number who trust the government all or most of the time has sunk so low…”

CNN‘s  delivers the bad news: Four decades after President Richard Nixon resigned, a slight majority of gpoj-approved-panicAmericans still consider Watergate a very serious matter, a new national survey shows. But how serious depends on when you were born.

” …that it is hard to remember that there was ever a time when Americans routinely trusted the government.”

– CNN Polling Director Keating Holland

The CNN/ORC International poll’s release comes one day before the 40th anniversary of Nixon’s resignation on August 9, 1974. With the Watergate scandal escalating, the second-term Republican president had lost much of his political backing, and he faced almost certain impeachment and the prospects of being removed from office by a Democratic-dominated House and Senate.

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There’s a big generational divide over the significance of the scandal, with a majority of those older than 40 describing Watergate as a very serious problem and those under 40 saying it was just politics.

“Just 13% of Americans say the government can be trusted to do what is right always or most of the time.”

The poll also indicates that the public’s trust in government is at an all-time low. Read the rest of this entry »


CNN Map: Hong Kong Apparently in Brazil


[VIDEO] Trash-Talkin’ ISIS Punk Bitch-Slaps U.S. Leadership: ‘Don’t Be Cowards and Attack Us With Drones…Send Your Soldiers’

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“I say to America, that the Islamic Caliphate has been established, and we will not stop. Don’t be cowards and attack us with drones. Instead send your soldiers, the ones we humiliated in Iraq.”

From The CornerAndrew Johnson reports:

The jihadist group in control of much of northern Iraq right now is confident it can defeat the United States, and eventually take over the White House, but they don’t want the U.S. using any of its advanced military weaponry.

“We will humiliate them everywhere, God willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House.”

The United States began air strikes, using manned fighter-bombers, against the jihadist group this morning…(read more)

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National Review Online


Coming Attractions: Pundit Planet Welcomes New Hong Kong Photo Editor Deb Fong

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Pundit Planet is proud to welcome a new addition to our Hong Kong BureauDeb Fong.

My name is Deb Fong. I am American by birth, Chinese by heritage (my grandparents were born and raised in Guangdong, China, before heading to America), and now a Hong Kong-based expat recently relocated from NYC.

Funny where life takes you – I never expected to actually live here, although I have always treasured trips throughout Asia more than anywhere else in the world….

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I plan to immerse myself in everything – the amalgam of cuisine, culture, the incredible natural surroundings, the promise of new friends with their own unique stories.

Hong Kong is also an incredible base for the rest of Asia, and I cannot wait to explore the continent in greater depth than ever before…(read more)

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People from Other Countries List What Surprised Them About Coming to the U.S.A.

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With Helpful Commentary From An American, Yours Truly

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That’s quite a list!

First, lets touch on the ones that I, a native of the U.S.A., agree with, or can relate to. Then we’ll get to some corrections and minor disagreements. Lets begin!

Slang

Is slang unique to the U.S.A? That’s news to me! But, I can’t disagree. A product of diversity, poor public education & rich teachers unions, multi-linguistic confusion, terminal hipness, and bad manners.

Jogging

True! Not only does everyone in Boston jog — all 636,479 of them — everyone in America jogs. Every day. Even babies jog. Don’t you? We started in the 1970s, and the fad just never ended! We love it.

Huge serving portions, ice water, baby seats, baby strollers, giant cars, obesity, general safety, wastefulness, etc. 

Check, check, check, agreed, those are things many of us observe, too.

Sensitiveness towards race and religion

Those are two unrelated things, but linked by a common desire to not offend.

Sensitiveness towards Race 

Yes, it’s a touchy issue here. Well-intended people don’t want to offend, so extraordinary caution is the default position. The stakes are high. One could lose their livelihood, social status, apartment, friends, savings account, and library card, if they accidentally say the wrong thing. Especially when a recording device is on.

Additionally, the guilt narrative has been successfully transferred from one generation of innocent people to subsequent generations of innocent people, the actual guilty oppressors being inconveniently long-dead.

To complicate things, not-so-well-intended people sometimes like to indulge in fake outrage, pretending to be offended. Sometimes for self-amusement, other times to practice their grievance theater performance skills, other times to lay the foundation for serious litigation.

But the good news is, these rules only apply to native-born Americans. If you’re a first-generation U.S. citizen, resident alien, or visitor to the U.S., you’re granted honorary immunity. You can say goofy things that would otherwise be heard as loaded with offensive racial meaning, and it’s not taken personally. It’s a free pass. Enjoy it! Just don’t overuse it. They’ll eventually catch on, and make you feel guilty.

Sensitiveness towards Religion

Not so much! We’re quite free to mock religion! So long as it’s Christianity, Christianity, or Christianity. If it’s not one of those three, then we have to check with our cultural advisors first.

Okay, that concludes the agreeable things. Now, let’s get to work. These are things visitors should know!

Tipping

Even if it’s unfamiliar, or peculiar, by your standards, most of us are obligated to know some basic customs of places we visit. And enjoy learning that, as part of the travel experience. It’s elementary travel advice, and basic good manners.

Of course, you can do like many foreign visitors do, and pretend to be ignorant, as a perfect excuse to not tip. It’s worked for millions of our guests. Feel free to use this excuse.  Or, failing that, complain that ‘the math is too hard”, so you can tip less. Also, if you’re tipping the person who cut your hair, you’re getting your haircut at the wrong place.  Read the rest of this entry »


WSJ/NBC Poll: Americans Lack Confidence in the Country Long-Term


[VIDEO] Immigration Policy and Preventative Measures Down Under: ‘If You Come the Wrong Way, You Will Never Get to Stay’

“It is controversial, but it is working.”

The idea at the heart of this policy is not controversial. In fact, it’s one that the majority of the American public already supports. And is supported even more passionately by new U.S. citizens, those who immigrated here legally. It’s the enforcement apparatus required that’s controversial.

“These people that were coming were seen as queue-jumpers, and it’s not fair to the genuine refugees.”

Exactly. What about those who waited in line, and followed the rules? Many feel betrayed, and resent that their respect for the process is being undermined by pro-amnesty activists. Not just radical groups protesting at the border, but pro-amnesty activists in all three branches of government. Often the loudest voices are the ones with the most questionable motives. American-Boomerang

[Check out Nick Adams's book "The American Boomerang: How the World's Greatest 'Turnaround' Nation Will Do It Again" at Amazon.com]

From The Corner:

Australian-born political commentator Nick Adams joined Bill O’Reilly to share his country’s approach towards illegal immigration. Part of the policy includes the national Navy physically intercepting boats of immigrants trying to enter the country illegally and denying them the ability to land on Australian shores.

A moat? Nations like Japan, and Australia, have a natural geographical protection–surrounded by deep water–from millions of immigrants crossing borders illegally to “live in the shadows”. The U.S. Mexico border is 1,989 long. 

Though, to be fair, as critics of the pro-border control argument remind us, the majority of the U.S.’s illegal immigrants don’t enter by crossing borders illegally. They do it by applying for temporary visas, then violate their visas by overstaying. Then exploiting pro-amnesty sentiment to justify never returning to their native residence. Or, you know–not unlike getting distracted and neglecting to get a haircut–being busy, and forgetting to return home for ten or twenty years when the visa is up.

 Nick Adams noted that not implementing such preventative measures was encouraging people to take the life-risking journey across the ocean…(read more)

 National Review Online


Misdirection: ‘Executive Orders’ Shell Game

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One of the many things Obama campaigned on was a promise to restore confidence in the federal government’s competence after the failures of the Bush years. Building a case for expanding, not reducing, the role of big government in American life, while curbing overuse of executiveshellgame power, scaling back military obligations, and ending intelligence agency abuses, the effort succeeded, and Democrats took power. Five years later, Obama’s campaign to make government better, more responsive, and more accountable is widely recognized for what it was–empty campaign rhetoric. Once in the White House, his administration became more secretive, more adventurous, and more abusive than any in the post-war era.

And the campaign never ended. Employing a variety of tactical maneuvers and rhetorical sleight-of-hand, this administration seeks to provide cover for one power grab after another. Defending Obama’s use of executive orders, his team–with help from the media–are waging a cynical campaign to mislead the American public.

This point can’t be made enough–quantity isn’t the issue, quality is–but that won’t put a dent in the rhetorical armor shielding the White House from charges of overreach. The predictable boasts by Administration officials and talking heads about Obama’s record of issuing fewer executive orders, or less than his predecessors, is meant to fortify effort. Why so cynical?  One answer–though this deserves further exploration in a future post–is that it banks on the public’s escapist tendencies, it urges them to tune out.

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At The CornerJonah Goldberg writes:

Barack Obama is constantly mocking the House lawsuit by referencing the fact he’s issued the fewest executive orders of any president over the last century. His spin-squad, paid and unpaid, parrots the argument at every turn. My yell-at-the-TV gripe about this has mostly revolved around the fact that the number of executive orders has nothing to do with anything. The president could issue a hundred executive orders a day — about casual Friday dress codes, the need to label food in the West Wing fridge, about how August 15 will hence forth be known as “Wacky Sock Day” — and no one would care. Or he could issue one executive order during his entire presidency. If that one order was about “Wacky Sock Day,” again no one would care. Read the rest of this entry »


NY POST Cover August 5 2014: ‘CNN GAL BITES EMT!’ ‘EBOLA! Man Tested in NYC’

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New York Post front page for Tuesday, August 5,….


Photo of the Day: Mia Love

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Santaquin City parade


Report: China on Course to Become World’s Most Christian Nation within 15 years

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The number of Christians in Communist China is growing so steadily that it by 2030 it could have more churchgoers than America.

Speaking with our Hong Kong Bureau Chief yesterday about the often overlooked historical role of the post-reform Christian church as an incubator of enlightened self-governance and radical reform (try to imagine the civil rights movement without it) I was left with the impression that Communist China’s effectiveness at resisting reform and discouraging dissent would almost guarantee that Christianity’s future in China is not hopeful as it might appear. With Maoist China’s record of hostility to Christianity, and current success at containing or crushing competing ideologies, is this report–predicting an uninterrupted rise of Christianity in China–drawing premature conclusions?

Note the reverse image in the mirror: the decline of Christianity in the west. And consider the more troubling historical reverse: the persecution, slaughter, and displacement of Christians around the world.

Liushi, Zhejiang province – For the Telegraph reports: It is said to be China’s biggest church and on Easter Sunday thousands of worshippers will flock to this Asian mega-temple to pledge their allegiance – not to the Communist Party, but to the Cross.CIM_Gospel_Tract

“It is a wonderful thing to be a follower of Jesus Christ. It gives us great confidence.”

The 5,000-capacity Liushi church, which boasts more than twice as many seats as Westminster Abbey and a 206ft crucifix that can be seen for miles around, opened last year with one theologian declaring it a “miracle that such a small town was able to build such a grand church”.

“It is going to be less than a generation. Not many people are prepared for this dramatic change.”

The £8 million building is also one of the most visible symbols of Communist China’s breakneck conversion as it evolves into one of the largest Christian congregations on earth.

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“Mao thought he could eliminate religion. He thought he had accomplished this. It’s ironic – they didn’t. They actually failed completely.”

“It is a wonderful thing to be a follower of Jesus Christ. It gives us great confidence,” beamed Jin Hongxin, a 40-year-old visitor who was admiring the golden cross above Liushi’s altar in the lead up to Holy Week.

Read the rest of this entry »


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