"How a loss of faith in politicians and democracy could make 2012 the most frightening year in living memory"
3 days ago
Yet, even if we were to concede that there’s no firm historical or Constitutional foundation for this nation’s current open borders policies, can it not be argued that there is a compelling moral case for the views espoused by those at the Wall Street Journal editorial board, Cato Institute, Reasonoids, and other trendy, beltway cosmotarians? You would definitely think so if you took their arguments at face value. The notion that we have no moral basis for barring certain immigrants from entry into the United States is certainly widespread in certain libertarian circles, but I don’t believe that makes the idea, ipso facto, libertarian. Julian Simon, in a 1998 essay published in the Journal of Libertarian Studies, articulated the perspective felt by many that individual autonomy takes precedence over other “public” goods, including our national borders. In an anarcho-capitalist reality, nation-states would not exist, therefore deciding who should or should not be admitted to your nation would be a moot point.I don't follow these issues very carefully so there still isn't a very solid idea that would be espoused by me on immigration. It is understood that you have the right to freedom of association, movement, and contract to anywhere you choose. At the same time should you simply bring your cultural sensibilities with you to a new land or place.
But while it might seem logical that freedom of movement, freedom of association, and freedom of contract-and at its most essential level, the individual him or herself-are all prioritized over the wishes and feelings of citizens who have a vested interested in preserving the character of their nation, there are those that don’t think these competing values are necessarily mutually exclusive. In a persuasive essay written for Lew Rockwell several years ago, N. Stephan Kinsella made a very compelling argument that while the disposition of property in our society is unjust-insofar as the state has no right to expropriate land that rightfully belongs to individuals-so long as that property is entrusted to the state it has a responsibility to act as caretaker for the rightful owners. In this case, it has the responsibility to prevent the ingress of people that citizens do not want to welcome into their country. While those who are opposed to communitarianism in even its most minimal form might reject Kinsella’s public pool analogy, I think he makes a convincing case that some prophylactic measures need to be enforced to prevent the exploitation of your property-even if it’s already been subjected to theft by the state.
There are many cogent arguments against the current trendy libertarian support for open borders, several of them outlined by the first presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party, John Hospers, in paper published by the Journal of Libertarian Studies over a decade ago entitled A Libertarian Argument Against Open Borders. The concluding paragraph of the essay is especially perceptive in its analysis of the problem:
Occasionally, we hear the phrase “limousine liberals” used to describe the members of the liberal establishment who send their children to expensive private schools while consigning all the others to the public school system, which educates these children so little that by the time they finish the eighth grade they can barely read and write or do simple arithmetic, or make correct change in a drug store. It would be equally appropriate, however, to describe some other people as ”limousine libertarians” —those who pontificate about open borders while remaining detached from the scenes that their “idealism” generates. They would do well to reflect, in their ivory towers, on whether the freedom they profess for those who are immigrants, if it occurs at all, is to be brought about at the expense of the freedom of those who are not.
The one sure GOP loss is in the new 16th District, which swoops from Rockford south through Joliet, and then east to Will County and the Indiana border. The new district combines bits and chunks of old districts, and effectively is the place where Illinois' loss of population in the Census is most clearly reflected.BTW, I found this article that lauds the architect of the current state Congressional map for exactly this map but for other things he helped to orchestrate:
Two Republican incumbents are running there: Rockford veteran Don Manzullo and Joliet newbie Adam Kinzinger. It's tempting to pick the energetic and good-looking kid in this one, but I wouldn't discount the veteran, who has a fair-sized lead in early polling.
Either way, the Republicans will lose one incumbent here — even if, as expected, the winner of the Manzullo/Kinzinger match trounces the Democratic nominee in November.
Almost as certain is the eventual defeat of Tea Party flamethrower Joe Walsh.
Yes, the Democrats have yet to navigate a rather noisy March primary contest between Raja Krishnamoorthi and Tammy Duckworth. But the district tilts Democratic, and word on the street is that national Democrats are preparing to dump all kinds of money into the contest.
If Mr. Walsh were untarnished, he might survive in what, after all, is a 100% suburban district. But his video-caught bad judgment in harassing constituents and demanding that President Barack Obama "quit lying" are a bit much. And it's rarely good politics to be accused by your ex of holding out on $100,000 in child support payments.
If the Democratic nominee runs even a mediocre campaign, Mr. Walsh is there for the taking.
The Democrats have some other opportunities. But they're not as good.
One is in the new southwest suburban 11th District, where — assuming the primaries go as expected — former Democratic congressman Bill Foster will take on GOP incumbent Judy Biggert, whose current 13th District was dismembered by Democratic remappers in Springfield.
Mr. Foster sometimes isn't the best of campaigners, and it's been at least a decade since Ms. Biggert really was pressed. So each will have to step up their game. But expect big spending, particularly on the Republican side. And watch to see how popular Mr. Obama is at election time, because it could make a difference is this district.
Mr. Obama's popularity also will be a factor in the north suburban 10th Congressional District.
GOP incumbent Bob Dold, a sometimes-moderate in an increasingly conservative Republican Party, on paper is vulnerable. But his stock has risen among GOP pros, and Democrats oddly were unable to recruit any of several state lawmakers who would have been instant favorites in the 10th.
We'll see who wins the Democratic primary: contenders Brad Schneider, Ilya Sheyman and John Tree all have a shot. Then we'll see if Mr. Dold really can convince voters he's been reborn in the mold of John Edward Porter or Mark Kirk, the district's prior two moderate GOP congressman.
Michael Madigan, A: Madigan had two big victories this year. His Congressional re-map looks as though it will eliminate four Republicans, wiping out the gains the GOP made in 2010. Politico was so impressed with the map it declared that Madigan had “punched his ticket to the partisan hall of fame.” Also, Madigan’s nemesis Rod Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison, giving his daughter another argument when she runs for governor as a reformer in 2014.Well 2012 is just next year. We shall see if Madigan, the speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, is successful with his maps producing the desired results. We shall also see of Hinz is correct
Carol Moseley Braun: Named the black community’s “consensus” candidate after Rep. Danny Davis and state Sen. James Meeks realized they couldn’t beat Rahm Emanuel. Completed her political decline by accusing Patricia Watkins of being “strung out on crack” and repeatedly yelling “tampon” at Emanuel during a Tribune editorial board meeting. After winning one precinct and getting only 9 percent of the vote, the “recovering politician” has finally recovered.She was a long way from being a recovering politician when she remained in the 2011 mayoral race. She wanted to try one more time and failed.
Within days, all of Facebook's 800 million users' profile pages will change. And with it, every photo, status update, wall posting, since your Facebook birth will be much more easily visible.I found this story via Instapundit who noted:
Facebook claims Timeline will make profiles more comprehensive.
Consumer advocacy groups say it violates users privacy.
"We want people to decide if they want to post the old stuff on the wall, says Marc Rotenberg, of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. "We want people to decide whether the stuff Facebook wants to post, is the stuff they want. It really should be up to the user, not Facebook."
But for now it'll be up to Facebook to decide, and users to try to hide the stuff they'd like to keep private.
FACEBOOK IS DOOMED BECAUSE OF TIMELINE. Not due to privacy concerns, but because the new Timelined pages look like nothing so much as old MySpace pages.There is a reason why I and many other never use MySpace anymore. I've always liked FB better, but if MySpace could just become a place for bands to promote themselves then who knows what FB will be. That being said FB could be just another dead social network. There are many online too, for example I used to be on BlackPlanet and sadly I haven't thought about that place in years.
When he arrived, he was the son of a Republican luminary — George W. Romney, who had run the American Motors Corporation before becoming governor of Michigan — who was still insecure about his own talents, according to family members, former classmates and professors. When he graduated, he was an academic star and a hot recruit, convinced he could play on a bigger field than he had previously dreamed. He had found two new homes: in Massachusetts, a state he would eventually govern, and in finance, a field he would eventually help shape.I would think that "an analytical, nonideological way of thinking" is what we would want in a President. However, we're talking about politics and it's ok to be analytical once in office but in order to work that way you have to get elected. If you hope to have a long tenure you also have to be mindful of those who think politically or ideologically.
Those years also help illuminate who Mr. Romney is now: a Republican candidate for president accused of having no core convictions, a once-moderate governor suspected of tailoring his views for political expediency. Nearly four decades ago at Harvard, Mr. Romney embraced an analytical, nonideological way of thinking, say former classmates and professors, one that both matched his own instincts and helped him succeed. On a campus rife with political and social ferment, he willfully distanced himself not only from politics, but also from larger ideological frameworks and heated debates.
Eager, driven and tremendously hardworking, he mastered the Harvard Business School method of literally looking at the world on a case-by-case basis, approaching each problem completely on its own terms and making recommendations based on data.
In the classrooms where Mr. Romney distinguished himself, there were no “right” answers — no right questions even, just a daily search for how to improve results. The Mitt Romney classmates knew then was a gifted fix-it man, attuned to the particulars of every situation he examined and eager to deliver what customers wanted.
While long-term unemployment and the foreclosure epidemic is challenging family members of all ages, there is reason to worry that the stress and uncertainty children face today will thwart their ability to thrive in the future, experts warn.This is a good article. I never thought in terms of the children and how they may weather the job loss of a parent.
“It’s not only a life-changing experience for the adults that are losing our jobs, it’s also a loss for the kids,” said Williams. “Whatever happens to us is a domino effect happening to our kids. The most important thing is our babies.”
Indeed, there is growing evidence that a parent’s job loss adversely affects how children behave, how they achieve in school and even how they do in the job market later in life.
“Whenever parents are stressed out, children sense that stress,” said Lynn Knobloch-Fedders, a licensed clinical psychologist and director of research at the Family Institute at Northwestern University. “That creates a lot of uncertainty for the children.”
For one thing, job loss can shake up parental roles.
“That can be unsettling for the entire family,” Knobloch-Fedders said. “Let’s say the father is at home and was not at home before. The father has to adjust to being at home. The mother has to adjust to having the father take over some of those responsibilities, and the children have to adjust to a new family environment and a [different] parent’s approach to homework and activities and things. That’s often a very difficult transition for a family.”
Regardless whether Mom or Dad loses the job, children more often have trouble at school.
When low-income mothers suffer job losses, there is a 40 percent increase in problem behavior among children in the classroom, according to research by Heather Hill, assistant professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. That problem behavior ranged from children being more withdrawn and showing signs of depression to such things as acting out, disobeying, and being physical with other kids or teachers, she said.
Problems can occur at higher income levels as well. Children were 1.6 times more likely to repeat a grade if their father lost a job, research that focused on middle and higher income families found. The research by Ariel Kalil, professor in the U of C Harris School of Public Policy Studies, also found children were more likely to be suspended or expelled from school and less likely to attend college.
The President’s speech got me thinking. My kids are no smarter than similar kids their age from the inner city. My kids have it much easier than their counterparts from West Philadelphia. The world is not fair to those kids mainly because they had the misfortune of being born two miles away into a more difficult part of the world and with a skin color that makes realizing the opportunities that the President spoke about that much harder. This is a fact. In 2011.You will see at the end of this posting links to several rebuts to Marks' comments. I will add my two cents just as Hicks and those other links have.
I am not a poor black kid. I am a middle aged white guy who comes from a middle class white background. So life was easier for me. But that doesn’t mean that the prospects are impossible for those kids from the inner city. It doesn’t mean that there are no opportunities for them. Or that the 1% control the world and the rest of us have to fight over the scraps left behind. I don’t believe that. I believe that everyone in this country has a chance to succeed. Still. In 2011. Even a poor black kid in West Philadelphia.
It takes brains. It takes hard work. It takes a little luck. And a little help from others. It takes the ability and the know-how to use the resources that are available. Like technology. As a person who sells and has worked with technology all my life I also know this.
If I was a poor black kid I would first and most importantly work to make sure I got the best grades possible. I would make it my #1 priority to be able to read sufficiently. I wouldn’t care if I was a student at the worst public middle school in the worst inner city. Even the worst have their best. And the very best students, even at the worst schools, have more opportunities. Getting good grades is the key to having more options. With good grades you can choose different, better paths. If you do poorly in school, particularly in a lousy school, you’re severely limiting the limited opportunities you have.
And I would use the technology available to me as a student. I know a few school teachers and they tell me that many inner city parents usually have or can afford cheap computers and internet service nowadays. That because (and sadly) it’s oftentimes a necessary thing to keep their kids safe at home than on the streets. And libraries and schools have computers available too. Computers can be purchased cheaply at outlets like TigerDirect and Dell’s Outlet. Professional organizations like accountants and architects often offer used computers from their members, sometimes at no cost at all.
News that all the graduate students in my Future of Media seminar would receive iPads for the semester generated a flurry of excitement.Check this out:
Some students replied with exclamation points in their email messages. Some stopped and asked when the iPads would be available. Others passed on word to classmates and seemed to enjoy the envious responses.
Then something odd happened: The students, all in their mid- to late 20s, became self-conscious about carrying iPads. They refused to use them in public. They felt elitist. In their eyes, the iPad represented snobbery, a technological tool that no one needed and whose utility was far from apparent. Used to a graduate student frugality, they didn’t want to be seen as profligate.
I was surprised about the students’ embarrassment. Part of the experiment of having the iPads was to consider how tablets might fit into the future of media. Were they a fad or a potential institution? Would they displace laptops? Become a favored companion to smartphones? How might journalists use them? Educators? Students?
Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised, though. Last year, a psychological profile of iPad owners described them as “selfish elites.” And earlier this year, a study found that those most likely to buy iPads had incomes of $100,000 or more.I've been thinking about getting an iPhone and have the concern about becoming a "selfish elite". Having any Apple product doesn't necessarily cause me to think more of myself than others. Although I wish I could buy cases of iPads for students of my old elementary school (GO BADGERS) and my old high school (GO FALCONS). Let's leave aside the perception of "classism and think in terms of technology for everyone! Not necessarily for iPads but any tablet device include the Nook or the Kindle.
Illinois residents are fleeing the state. When people leave, they take their purchasing power, entrepreneurial activity and taxable income with them. For more than 15 years, residents have left Illinois at a rate of one person every 10 minutes.Rich Miller at Capitol Fax also notes:
Recent data from the Internal Revenue Service shows that, in 2009, Illinois netted a loss of people to 43 states, including each of its neighbors – Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky and Iowa. Over the course of the entire year, the state saw a net of 40,000 people leave Illinois for another state.
The data reflects a continuation of a trend of out-migration from Illinois that has lasted more than a decade. Between 1995 and 2009, the state lost on a net basis more than 806,000 people to out-migration.
When people leave, they take their income and their talent with them. In 2009 alone, Illinois lost residents who took with them a net of $1.5 billion in taxable income. From 1995 to 2009, Illinois lost out on a net of $26 billion in taxable income to out-migration.
Keep in mind this data was compiled well before the tax hike. Also, the net out-migration actually seems to be slowing. The average over 15 years is just under 54,000, so 40,000 net outmigration is less. That could be because of the recession and the fact that lots of people can’t sell their houses, however.Illinois has issues. I noted at least two of them in the post about Illinois' governor's mansion. Corruption and fiscal issues. The state just concluded a session that looked at the fiscal issues. Illinois can't hope to solve these problems unless there's a way to stimulate the economic environment here. Give the people a reason to stay here.
Illinois policymakers must change the failed policies that have prompted so many people to leave Illinois. The state needs to lower taxes so that it can compete with its neighbors as well as states around the country.Do you agree?
In addition, the state must end its culture of spending and borrowing, which ultimately drive up taxes and chase away residents. Only through fiscal discipline can the state avoid a crisis and set the tone for a wave of in-migration.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has died at the age of 69, state-run television has announced.Via Instapundit!
Mr Kim, who has led the communist nation since the death of his father in 1994, died on a train while visiting an area outside the capital, the announcement said.
He suffered a stroke in 2008 and was absent from public view for months.
His designated successor is believed to be his third son, Kim Jong-un, who is thought to be in his late 20s.
North Korea's state-run news agency, KCNA, urged people to unite behind the younger Kim.
"All party members, military men and the public should faithfully follow the leadership of comrade Kim Jong-un and protect and further strengthen the unified front of the party, military and the public," the news agency said.
A funeral for Kim Jong-il will be held in Pyongyang on 28 December and Kim Jong-un will head the funeral committee, KCNA said.
During the 2010 and 2011 summers, I was a cashier at Wal-Mart #1788 in Scarborough, Maine. I spent hours upon hours toiling away at a register, scanning, bagging, and dealing with questionable clientele. These were all expected parts of the job, and I was okay with it. What I didn’t expect to be part of my job at Wal-Mart was to witness massive amounts of welfare fraud and abuse.I remember one night I was at a Jewel in the suburbs. This woman in front of me was dressed really nice and her shoes and fingernails appeared to match colorwise. She couldn't possibly be on government assistance looking the way that she did, right? Wrong, she paid for her groceries with food stamps. To this day and this was many years ago, that still blows me!
I understand that sometimes, people are destitute. They need help, and they accept help from the state in order to feed their families. This is fine. It happens. I’m not against temporary aid helping those who truly need it. What I saw at Wal-Mart, however, was not temporary aid. I witnessed generations of families all relying on the state to buy food and other items. I literally witnessed small children asking their mothers if they could borrow their EBT cards. I once had a man show me his welfare card for an ID to buy alcohol. The man was from Massachusetts. Governor Michael Dukakis’ signature was on his welfare card. Dukakis’ last gubernatorial term ended in January of 1991. I was born in June of 1991. The man had been on welfare my entire life. That’s not how welfare was intended, but sadly, it is what it has become.
During a brief hearing last week, U.S. District Judge James Zagel brought up the idea of compelling the Tribune to turn over its notes from a conversation with the juror before any of the lawyers in the case even raised the issue. The judge identified the juror in Monday's ruling as Candy Chiles.Tribune editor Gerould Kern offered his thoughts on this ruling:
The defense argues that the Chicago woman compromised the verdict by concealing her criminal history and potential bias during jury selection. In an effort to bolster their position, Cellini's lawyers sought access to notes of Tribune reporter Annie Sweeney from a brief interview with Chiles.
In his ruling issued late Monday, Zagel ordered that Sweeney "produce any and all notes, memoranda, tape recordings, documents, or other records, from Oct. 3, 2011, to present, of any conversations the journalist had with the juror" related to her previous criminal history or answers during jury selection.
Cellini's attorneys could not be reached Monday for comment.
The Tribune filed a motion Monday morning suggesting the subpoenas were a fishing expedition and saying Cellini's lawyers should instead question the juror, other jurors in the case, co-workers, neighbors, friends and family.
"Subpoenas to journalists should be a last resort in exceptional cases — not an automatic first step," the newspaper's lawyers wrote.
Journalists must be free to ask questions and collect information secure in the knowledge that their notes will not be seized by the government or litigants in court and used for other purposes. Unfortunately, that security now is threatened by this ruling.I know that at times we don't care for the work of the journalists. We may believe them to be bias towards one point of view or another. Sometimes they may be unfair to the other side of a story.
We believe that these subpoenas are unnecessary and in fact do harm to the independence of the reporting process. We are disappointed by Judge Zagel's ruling, and we now are considering our options.
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His flashy, expensive clothes, his gigantic posse, his brash swagger all point to the wannabe gangster type. I mean, the man is broke but he still had a driver take him to court every day? That’s gangster if I ever saw it.I might have seen the scene in the Godfather series where Fredo was murdered but I don't remember the context. I skipped the part of Miller's column where he describes the moments that undid Fredo and Blago alike. Fredo was upset that his father Vito Corleone passed him up and made his brother Michael cheif of their crime family. Blago on the other hand was recorded on an FBI wiretap expressing his displeasure over a 13% approval rating by Illinois voters.
The thing is, Blagojevich was never much good at the gangster role.
Sure, he had most of the theatrics down, but aside from firing a bunch of helpless state workers without the proper political connections, he was a failure right down the line.
Blagojevich declared war on House Speaker Michael Madigan when he was still in the Illinois House. By 2007, all hell had broken loose. This was supposed to be his Michael Corleone moment, when he would wipe out all his enemies in one fell swoop.
Instead, the fight lasted two years and ended with a paranoid and deranged Blagojevich caught on FBI wiretaps plotting ways he could leverage Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat to get himself appointed to a Cabinet post, or a cushy job making big bucks or raking in tons of campaign contributions from U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Madigan’s obvious desire to pursue impeachment charges and Obama’s rise to the nation’s top job had finally collapsed Blagojevich’s insane belief that he was the one destined for the White House, and he didn’t handle it well.
Like Fredo, Blagojevich was far too interested in the flashy life to take care of business, though both were convinced they were destined for greatness. Fredo’s botched shortcut up the family tree by helping a rival gangster try to kill his own brother undid him.
Blagojevich’s illegal shortcuts resulted in a 14-year prison sentence and permanent infamy.
It’s an agreement between states to moot the Electoral College by casting electoral votes for the candidate who wins the national popular vote. The compact would take effect once it’s ratified by states comprising 270 electoral votes. So far, nine states with 132 electoral votes have joined. They’re all reliable blue states that are usually ignored by candidates.
The Illinois General Assembly ratified the compact in 2008, and it was signed by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. It’s been seen as the Democratic Party’s revenge for the election of 2000, when Al Gore won the popular but lost in the Electoral College to George W. Bush. But the compact was supported by former Republican Gov. Jim Edgar, who pointed out that presidential candidates only visit Illinois for money. (The last big campaign event here was a 2000 rally for Gore in downtown Chicago.)
“When you govern, you remember particularly where you campaigned,” Edgar told the National Press Club. “You remember who you met when you campaigned. Today, for president, most of the states, most of the people are really ignored by the candidates, because they only concentrate on a few states. My home state of Illinois, we’re pretty much ignored, unless they drop in to Lake Forest to have a fundraiser. We have over 12 million people who are disenfranchised. That happens throughout America. In fact, most of the American people are left out of this process.”
Former governor Rod Blagojevich has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for his conviction on 18 counts of corruption charges, including selling the U.S. Senate seat of President Barack Obama. He has also been fined $20,000.Well at least it's finally over. Time will tell if our Ousted governor will finally realize what's happened. There are a lot of observers I'm sure who might still wonder that. Will he understand when the bars finally close on him!
This is a simple case of inflation: When you artificially pump up the supply of something (whether it's currency or diplomas), the value drops. The reason why a bachelor's degree on its own no longer conveys intelligence and capability is that the government decided that as many people as possible should have bachelor's degrees.
There's something of a pattern here. The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we'll have more middle class people.
But homeownership and college aren't causes of middle-class status, they're markers for possessing the kinds of traits -- self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. -- that let you enter, and stay in, the middle class.
Subsidizing the markers doesn't produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them. One might as well try to promote basketball skills by distributing expensive sneakers.
Professional basketball players have expensive sneakers, but -- TV commercials notwithstanding -- it's not the shoes that make them good at dunking.
Despite civil rights legislation enacted in the 1960s and ’70s, a lack of federal enforcement of and funding for black employment initiatives kept the parents of today’s college students from making significant strides, Beasley writes – and their children have modeled their career preferences accordingly. There is more occupational diversity among black employees today, but the differences as compared to whites are still significant.
For example, according to the 2000 Census, the top 20 white-collar careers among both black and white employees include elementary and secondary education as well as registered nursing. But break it down further and you’ll find that white people hold proportionately more high-status positions: lawyers, physicians, surgeons, chief executives and financial, general and operations managers. Black employees, in contrast, trend toward “service-oriented, racialized jobs” including counselors, education administrators, preschool and kindergarten teachers and community and social service specialists. Taken together, the differences in employment result in: chief executives being the fifth most common white-collar occupation among whites, but 35th among blacks; lawyers being 10th among whites but 27th among blacks; and physicians being 19th among whites but 31st among blacks.
Thus, Beasley concludes that a persistent lack of black employees within certain fields is the source of “significant economic and status disparities” between black and white populations in America.
The U.S. unemployment rate fell last month to its lowest level in more than 2½ years. More of the unemployed either found jobs or gave up looking and were no longer counted as unemployed.
The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate dropped sharply to 8.6 percent, down from 9 percent in October. The rate hasn't been that low since March 2009, during the depths of the recession.
About 13.3 million Americans remain unemployed.