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Rush: ‘Orders from GOP donors to take out Trump’

Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh

WASHINGTON – Who won the great debate?

According to the mainstream media, the winner was … Fox News.

According to Rush Limbaugh, the loser was … Fox News.

At least, in the sense that the network may have blown its credibility with conservatives.

And Limbaugh said he saw it coming.

“Everybody should have known this was gonna happen,” he said. “This is presidential politics, and Republican candidates are where media people score their points. It’s where they build their careers. It’s where they establish their credentials.”

The conservative talk-radio giant saw another motivation for the moderators’ attack-dog tactics.

He said GOP bigwigs ordered Fox to take out Trump.

What do YOU think? Was Fox News out to get Donald Trump? Sound off in today’s WND poll

Fox News Debate Moderator Megyn Kelly

Fox News Debate Moderator Megyn Kelly

On Friday, Limbaugh began by telling listeners how, on the day of Thursday’s debate, he had learned “that big-time Republican donors had ordered to take out Donald Trump in the debate last night.”

“We all made a mistake,” he explained. “We assumed that the orders went out to the candidates. But the candidates did not make one move toward taking Donald Trump out. The broadcast network did; the candidates didn’t.”

Rush said it was clear that Fox News had it out for Trump when his colleagues refused to pile on, even when given multiple opportunities to bash the front-runner.

“Not one of the remaining nine candidates joined Megyn Kelly in taking the shot at Trump. Not one. Yet we have been told that there were orders from Republican donors to take Trump out.”

If, in addition to targeting Trump, Fox News was indeed looking to get some love and respect from the left and the establishment media with its relentless attacks on Republican candidates in the Thursday night’s debate, it’s mission was accomplished.

The media and much of the rest of the left raved about the performance of Fox moderators Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace.

  • Washington Post: Columnist Richard Cohen declared, “The only winner I feel confident in naming is Fox News. Political analyst Chris Cillizza declared Fox a winner, calling the moderators “outstanding.” Aaron Blake praised Fox’s “tough” questions and chided conservatives for being mad at Fox, saying “they shouldn’t be.”
  • New York Times: Op-ed columnist Frank Bruni gushed, “It was riveting. It was admirable. It compels me to write a cluster of words I never imagined writing: hooray for Fox News.” And, “This was an inquisition. On this night, the network that pampers Republicans provoked them instead. It was great television, and even better politics.”
  • MSNBC: Andrea Mitchell tweeted, “So far the clear winners are Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier and Chris Wallace for their q’s.” Former MSNBC host Abby Huntsman tweeted that Kelly “is pretty darn bad a–.”
  • CNN: Brian Stelter cited the “almost unanimously positive reviews” of Fox’s “tough debate questions” by both the media and liberal commentators.
  • BuzzFeed: Editor in chief Ben Smith called Fox News chief Roger Ailes “clearly the winner of this. This is really good TV.”
  • Glenn Greenwald: The liberal journalist tweeted: “Credit where due: these questions from the Fox moderators are almost all quite good.”
  • Scripps News: Washington Bureau Chief Ellen Weiss gave “kudos” to Fox for “asking each candidate tough questions on their weak spots.”
  • Foreign Policy Magazine: managing editor Yochi Dreazen said tough Fox questions left some candidates looking “shell-shocked.”
  • American Public Media: Public radio host Kai Ryssdal wrote, “have to hand it to Fox News moderators for going after their guys.” He tweeted, “@msnbc anchors would not have been – and will not be – as tough on Dems as @FoxNews was on GOP tonight.”
  • Fox: Even the host network declared itself the winner, with patriarch Rupert Murdoch tweeting, “What a fantastic night for USA, democracy, freedom and incidentally Fox News.”

Fox’s focus on itself as the key player in the debates may have been evidenced by the fact that the moderators dominated the on-air time, speaking for 31.7 percent of the two-hour event.

That was far more time than any one candidate received. The average was approximately seven minutes per candidate. Trump, under constant fire from Fox moderators, got the most time at almost 11 minutes.

Fox News debate moderators, Chris Wallace, Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier

Fox News debate moderators, Chris Wallace, Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier

Why the Fox fixation on itself?

Jeremy Peters of the New York Times offered the theory that Fox saw it as a chance to gain respect and recognition from its leftist peers in the media, although he put it in terms that sympathized with that ambition

“For the journalists of Fox News, the debate offered a potentially defining moment in front of millions of people, during one of the most anticipated political events of the year,” he wrote.

“This was an opportunity to demonstrate that their network is not, as its critics have charged, a blindly loyal propaganda division of the Republican Party, that Fox journalists can be as unsparing toward conservatives as they are with liberals, and that they can eviscerate with equal opportunity if they choose.”

But many conservatives were livid with Fox over the moderators’ incessant attacks on the 10 GOP presidential candidates.

A caller on Friday told Limbaugh, “I thought I was watching MSNBC. The moderators methodically torpedo each candidate, with Donald Trump being the biggest target.

“And the worst was Megyn Kelly, who you just referenced, who thinks she’s all that and just too cute, asked that ridiculous name-calling question and referenced the nonexistent war on women.”

That’s when Limbaugh agreed, saying, “Everybody should have known this was gonna happen. This is presidential politics, and Republican candidates are where media people score their points. It’s where they build their careers. It’s where they establish their credentials.”

In an article headlined, “Conservatives are mad at Fox News and Megyn Kelly. They shouldn’t be,” the Washington Post compiled a few tweets representing the conservative fury at Fox across the nation, writing, “This kind of stuff was all over social media Friday morning.”

Kelly-tweet3

kelly-tweet4kelly-tweet2

kelly-tweet

 

tweet 3

As for which candidate actually won the debate, reactions were all over the map.

Opinion appeared evenly divided on whether Trump helped or hurt himself.

But, according to the Drudge Report poll, as of early Friday evening, he was the landslide winner.

The clear losers? GOP establishment favorites Bush and Christie.

  • Trump: 44.67 percent (258,414 votes)
  • Cruz: 14.37 percent (83,159 votes)
  • Rubio: 10.46 percent (60,497 votes)
  • Carson: 8.92 percent (51,617 votes)
  • Paul: 6.09 percent (35,213 votes)
  • Kasich: 5.25 percent (30,396 votes)
  • Walker: 3.51 percent (20,318 votes)
  • Huckabee: 3.37 percent (19,512 votes)
  • Bush: 2.07 percent (11,987 votes)
  • Christie: 1.28 percent (7,401 votes)

Many pundits agreed that Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio; and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson all performed well and boosted their fortunes.

Fox limited the participants to the top 10 in an average of five national polls as of Tuesday.

Making the cut were Trump (23.4 percent), former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (12.0 percent), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (10.2 percent), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (6.6 percent), Carson (5.8 percent), Cruz (5.4 percent), Rubio (5.4 percent), Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (4.8 percent), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (3.4 percent) and Kasich (3.2 percent).

Fox News certainly was an indisputable winner in one important respect: ratings.

With 24 million people watching, the prime-time debate from Cleveland became the highest-rated cable news program of all time, and Fox News’ most-watched program ever.

So who actually won?

The only debater declared the clear winner by virtually unanimous acclaim was not even on the prime-time stage: Carly Fiorina.

GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina

GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina

She appeared in the 5 p.m. ET debate for the seven GOP candidates who did not make the top 10 roster for the prime-time debate.

But her fortunes looked a lot brighter Friday, as the rave reviews poured in immediately following, and even during, her bravura performance.

  • The Washington Post said Carly won “by a lot.”
  • Karl Rove said: “Carly Fiorina walked in tonight, owned the stage, owned it big.”
  • Nate Silver of 538 said Carly was “crushing it.”
  • National Review reported: “Left, Right, and Center Agree: Carly Crushed It.”
  • In an article titled, “Carly Fiorina won the happy hour debate. By a lot,” the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza gushed over her “poised and confident” answers.” He added, “What made Fiorina stand out – more than what she said on any particular topic – was that she looked up to the moment. She was prepared and poised. She rarely glanced at notes. She spoke freely and easily. She had the ‘it’ factor.”
  • Immediately following the debate, Fox News political analyst Chris Wallace observed, “I’d have to say I was most impressed with Carly Fiorina. I think she just stood above the other six people on the stage. She was sharp on national security. She was, not surprisingly for a former CEO, sharp on domestic policy and budget, money issues. I just think there’s kind of a sharpness and intelligence about her and a precision [in] her message that really cuts through. I was frankly a little surprised that she didn’t make the top 10.” He said he believed the former Hewlett-Packard CEO’s performance could help propel her into the top-tier candidates.
  • Fox News political analyst George Will said, “I agree with Chris. Carly Fiorina stood out for the precision, fluency and the way she managed to pack a lot into one minute or into 30 seconds.”
  • And yet another Fox News analyst, Brit Hume, declared, “We have a consensus winner: Carly Fiorina won this debate.”

Follow Garth Kant @DCgarth

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Again! Houston pastors go to court to enforce city charter

Houston Mayor Annise Parker

Houston Mayor Annise Parker

Houston’s lesbian mayor, who once subpoenaed the sermons of local pastors in her fight for a transgender ordinance, apparently isn’t giving up, even though the state Supreme Court recently slapped down her arguments.

Pastors and other members of the city’s No Unequal Rights coalition said Friday they are returning to court against Annise Parker, who was found to be in violation of the city’s charter, with a claim she’s violating the city charter, again, in how she’s chosen to describe that ordinance to residents in the coming election.

Coalition attorney Andy Taylor confirmed an Emergency Motion for Expedited Relief is being filed with the Texas Supreme Court “to seek a mandamus ordering the mayor and city council to submit ballot language for her ‘Equal Rights Ordinance’ that conforms with the city charter.”

He already had argued before the city council for alignment with the city charter, pointing out the city charter requires a vote on ordinances when opponents collect enough signatures of residents.

That provision, Section VII-b, Section 3, specifically requires, “the council shall immediately reconsider such ordinance or resolution and, if it does not entirely repeal the same, shall submit it to popular vote at the next city general election, or the council may, in its discretion, call a special election for that purpose; and such ordinance or resolution shall not take effect unless a majority of the qualified voters voting thereon at such election shall vote in favor thereof.”

Just what is going on in America? The details all are in “A Queer Thing Happened to America,” which explains how America of 40 years ago, when most knew little about homosexuality, arrived at the point that one can’t watch a sitcom without being indoctrinated with the “gay” lifestyle.

But the wording adopted by the city for the November election regarding the proposed ordinance that would allow men who describe themselves as women to use women’s facilities in public locations like locker rooms and recreation centers, and vice versa, provides that a vote “in favor” would be to repeal.

Which reverses what many people would expect.

Taylor explained that the prescribed language allows citizens to vote “for” a dispute ordinance.

The mayor, and her council, instead have set up language offering citizens an opportunity to “repeal” the disputed plan.

They are moving forward with plans to propose on the ballot: “Shall the city of Houston repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, Ord. No. 2014-530 which prohibits discrimination in city employment and city services, city contracts, public accommodations, private employment, and housing based on an individual’s sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information gender identity or pregnancy?”

The coalition said the language is “leading and manipulative” and to meet the requirements of the charter should be changed.

The coalition points out that, technically, there is no ordinance to repeal because once an election has been set, there is no enforcement allowed of such a measure.

“Our position is that regardless of whose political advantage it achieves, the city charter requires an affirmative vote to adopt the ordinance, a negative vote to defeat the ordinance and since we have fought for and stood for the rule of law, we will continue to do so, trusting God and His truth to prevail,” the coalition statement Friday said.

In the petition to the state Supreme Court, the coalition explains:

“The coalition’s chief concern about the ordinance is that it would potentially endow a biological male with the legal right to forcibly enter a women’s public restroom without the knowledge or consent of the adult or minor females using that Houston facility.”

It cited the recent opinion under which the city was “ordered to either repeal the suspended ordinance in its entirely, or else place it on the ballot for a public vote.”

But the language proposed for the vote “is in direct conflict with the non-discretionary and unambiguous terms of the Houston city charter.”

“Because the charter language … requires a majority of the popular vote in favor thereof, the respondents have a clear and unmistakable ministerial duty to submit the suspended ordinance to the electorate in such a manner that a voter may cast a ‘Yes’ or ‘For’ vote if they are in favor of the ordinance, and a ‘No’ or ‘Against’ vote if [they] are not in favor of the ordinance,” the coalition told the court.

The charter, the court filing explains, does not allow for a vote on whether the city should “repeal” a suspended ordinance.

“This format is legally wrong, as it perverts the clear mandate from the charter and reverses or flips the impact of a vote in favor of a vote in disfavor of the suspended ordinance. More specifically, the respondents’ current wording would require a voter who is in favor of the suspended ordinance to vote ‘No’ or ‘Against’ the proposition, while a voter who is not in favor of the suspended ordinance to vote ‘Yes’ or ‘For’ the suspended ordinance.

“This is a legal recipe for an electoral disaster. Voters will be confused, because someone who is against the proposition cannot vote against…”

The city council and mayor have a “fundamental misunderstanding” of their own charter, the brief explains.

“The purpose of a [referendum] petition is to ask the city council – not the electorate – to repeal the ordinance. If the city council fails to repeal, then the electorate gets to vote, up or down, on the exact same ordinance. But the public vote is not a vote to repeal. The vote is a vote to pass or implement or enact.”

The city’s plan, then, is “the exact opposite of what is required.”

The matter is urgent, since a ballot printing deadline is Aug. 31, the petition explains. It asks the court to correct the wording.

It also asks for an accurate description of the ordinance. The city has called it the Houston Equal Right Ordinance but that text is not found in the original.

The coalition said, “If opponents of the suspended ordinance were to request the insertion of the “Child Predator Protection Act’ into the ballot language, the respondents would be strenuously opposed. … Politics and slanted language have no legitimate place on the ballot.”

A local broadcaster, KTRH, when the dispute arose, asked, “Is Mayor Annise Parker trying to pull a fast one on Houston voters?”

And the Family Research Council noted, “Jesus said, ‘Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.” Unfortunately, that’ll be a lot harder for Houston voters in the next election. Thanks to an administration that apparently sees people as a nuisance in their advance of an anti-religious freedom agenda, voters will have to pay extra close attention this November, when the Houston bathroom bill is finally on the ballot. Mayor Annise Parker is up to her old tricks – the most recent being her intentional manipulation of the ballot language.”

The commentary continued, “The city council isn’t fighting fair because it knows it can’t win fair. If opening up bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms to any gender were as popular as liberals argue it is, they wouldn’t have to deceive people! At least one member, C.O. Bradford, was outraged that the city was playing games on such a serious issue.”

WND reported only days ago when several of the pastors involved in the dispute sued the mayor.

“Each plaintiff brings this civil rights lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. [Paragraph] 1983 for defendant [Mayor Annise] Parker’s wrongful actions under color of state law depriving each of them of procedural and substantive due process under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, as well as to vindicate their liberty interests under the Bill of Rights and Amendments to the United States Constitution,” the complaint, filed in Harris County District Court, says.

The fight is over a transgender ordinance Parker pushed through the city council more than a year ago. Some members of the Houston Area Pastor Council and other pastors formed an alliance to collect signatures to force the city either to overturn the ordinance or allow voters to have their say.

Although the city secretary certified enough signatures had been turned in, the mayor and city attorney manipulated the results to avoid allowing a popular vote.

Eventually the state Supreme Court stepped into the fight, during which time the city had subpoenaed the pastors’ sermons, and called a halt. The justices ordered the council to either repeal or put to a popular vote the ordinance.

“If the city council does not repeal the ordinance by August 24, 2015, then by that date the city council must order that the ordinance be put to popular vote during the November 2015 election,” the ruling said.

The court also suspended any enforcement of the ordinance.

Just what is going on in America? The details all are in “A Queer Thing Happened to America,” which explains how America of 40 years ago, when most knew little about homosexuality, arrived at the point that one can’t watch a sitcom without being indoctrinated with the “gay” lifestyle.

A major and unprecedented focal point of the conflict has been the city’s demands for the Christian ministers’ sermons.

“Now known as the ‘Houston 5,’ several of whom are plaintiffs herein, these Houston pastors valiantly fought the subpoenas by filing motions and briefing in the court from which the subpoenas had been issued,” the lawsuit explains. “Surprisingly, defendant Parker did not back down or apologize. Instead, she and her then-City Attorney, David Feldman, embraced what had transpired and strongly defended their unconstitutional subpoenas and illegal actions.

“For example, David Feldman said: ‘Some [petition] signatures were acquired at churches which make the sermons fair game.’ Feldman also said, ‘If they choose to do this inside the church, choose to do this from the pulpit, then they open the door to the questions being asked.’ The major did the same thing. On Twitter, defendant Parker echoed her city attorney’s defense of the subpoenas: ‘If the 5 pastors used pulpits for politics, their sermons are fair game.’

“Thus, by improperly issuing unconstitutional subpoenas, and by refusing to withdraw such subpoenas when given the opportunity and ratifying those wrongful actions instead, Defendant Parker violated the constitutional rights of the Houston 5, emanating from the First Amendment of the United States Constitution,” the complaint says.

The case drew national attention when WND broke the story that Parker had issued subpoenas to the five pastors for copies of their sermons and other communications. After the story was turbocharged by posting on the Drudge Report, the pastors called for an investigation of city hall’s actions.

A subsequent nationwide outpouring of criticism prompted officials to drop the subpoenas.

Rush Limbaugh at the time called the subpoenas “one of the most vile, filthy, blatant violations of the Constitution that I have seen.”

Opponents of the transgender ordinance had collected some 55,000 signatures for repeal. The city secretary stopped counting after she reached the required number for a recall of 17,269, plus a margin of error.

The city, however, claimed that only a few thousand were valid, based on rules they said needed to be applied even though they were not in the city charter, such as legibility issues.

The state Supreme Court said, “We agree with the relators that the city secretary certified their petition and thereby invoked the city council’s ministerial duty to reconsider and repeal the ordinance or submit it to popular vote. The city secretary unequivocally stated that ‘I am able to certify that … the number of signatures verified on the petition submitted on July 3, 201, is 17,846′ and that only 17,269 were required.”

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Anti-white professor slammed as ‘idiot’

Ferguson

Race relations between police and blacks have been tense for months now.

E.W. Bishop, a Christian pastor, lawyer, former candidate for lieutenant governor of Virginia and founder of the nonprofit STAND – Staying True to America’s National Destiny – sent a sharp rebuke one anti-white professor’s way, basically saying on Fox & Friends on Thursday: You’re an idiot.

First, the professor commented, via an opinion piece in Salon published on the heels of the University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing’s fatal shooting of Samuel DuBose. DuBose was black; Tensing, white, and the shooting fueled racial police-community fires that have been burning for over a year, since white policeman Darren Wilson shot to death black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

“White America, you’re killing us,” wrote Lawrence Brown, a black professor with Morgan University in Baltimore, in Salon. “Your law enforcement officers, your criminal justice systems, your jail cells are all weapons of mass destruction. … White America has built an edifice of violence in the psychology and culture of white police officers and correctional officers that continues to dehumanize indigenous and black lives.”

Is THIS really happening? “Scam: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America.”

He then referenced the percentage of white prosecutors in the country, and said only four percent were “people of color.” And that, he continued, contributed to what he described as a racist justice system.

“This is a system that is designed to protect white lives that inflict bodily harm on black and indigenous populations, rarely prosecuting and convicting police who kill without due cause,” he wrote. “This is a system that is working to achieve exactly what has been perpetrated against indigenous and black folk since Europeans landed on Plymouth Rock. As Malcolm X famously proclaimed: ‘We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, the rock was landed on us.’ White America, when are you going to lift the rock of white supremacy and stop allowing police to get away with murder?”

Bishop called such rhetoric unnecessarily inflammatory – and also said President Obama could have done much more during his years in the White House to counter such claims.

“It’s idiot professors like this who are the problem,” Bishop said, on Fox & Friends.

He then pointed to the fact he and his family members were black, yet managed to stay out of jail – something he said was due the fact they didn’t commit the crimes that led to imprisonment. And Obama could very easily press that reality in high-crime communities, if he only wanted, Bishop said.

But instead, Obama plays the “race card” to promote his own agenda, he said.

“This president has not used the opportunity to go into communities and say let me show you how my wife and I succeeded,” Bishop said. “Instead they played the race card.”

 

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How Greece Can Rise from the Ashes: The Kiwi Plan

By Bill Frezza

The signs of floundering entitlement democracies are everywhere these days — from poster child Greece to bankrupt Puerto Rico.

Runaway deficit spending, calamitous monetary policies, bloated public employee payrolls, incentive-killing welfare programs, confiscatory taxation, unfunded entitlements, dishonest government accounting, corporate cronyism, and job-killing regulations have mired most Western democracies in such a deep quagmire of voters’ own making that one despairs of finding a cure.

And yet, a cure has not only been found but has already been put into practice with great effect, offering practical lessons for any reformist who cares to look. New Zealand today stands as a beacon of freedom and prosperity, ranking number three in the Legatum Prosperity Index.

It wasn’t always so. In fact, few know the story of how that country transformed itself from a socialist basket case into one of the world’s most prosperous nations.

That story is updated and retold, with practical advice for activists, in my new monograph published by the Antigua Forum, New Zealand’s Far-Reaching Reforms: A Case Study on How to Save Democracy from Itself.

Two prime movers stand out, finance ministers from opposing political parties who made common cause to rescue the country they loved: Sir Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson. It was a privilege to interview these elder statesmen in depth, capturing their remembrances, recording their advice, and putting it all in the context of the voluminous legislation they championed together.

The story of how they defied their own party leaders and convinced voters to endorse a radical overhaul of New Zealand’s body politic stands as perhaps history’s greatest national transformation that didn’t first involve a country being bombed into rubble. Like life-saving surgery, it involved nothing less than cutting out the parts of democracy that had grown cancerous in order to save the whole.

Predictions that voters would rebel when special privileges, subsidies, and entitlements were taken away were all proven wrong.

 

What Douglas, Richardson, and their allies bequeathed us was a virtual how-to recipe for saving a government that had, as Margaret Thatcher so aptly put it, “run out of other people’s money.” Their accomplishments are too many to list in depth, but here is a brief rundown. While it took years of hard work, at the end of the day, they

  • privatized most state-owned enterprises, allowing competition to both stop the fiscal bleeding and raise the level of service
  • ended phony accounting practices designed to hide the truth from voters by shifting reporting of government finances to GAAP standards used in private industry
  • opened the government’s books, publishing monthly departmental income statements and balance sheets for all to see
  • repealed protective tariffs and eliminated farm subsidies, ushering in an era of free trade and a boom in agricultural productivity and export prowess
  • put the civil service bureaucracy on pay-for-performance contracts, while giving career administrators a free hand in hiring, firing, compensation, and outsourcing
  • halved top marginal income tax rates from 66 percent to 33 percent, while eliminating capital gains and estate taxes and shifting to a growth-friendly consumption tax regime
  • eliminated foreign exchange controls, allowing the New Zealand dollar — popularly known as the “kiwi” — to float
  • put the central bank under contract with the finance minister to deliver a published, targeted level of inflation
  • gave every employer and employee the right of free contract by eliminating forced-unionization labor laws and industry-wide multiemployer contracts
  • broke the public-education monopoly by shifting to an all-charter school system that allows any child to attend any school, determined only by parental choice

These changes took a decade to enact across the 1980s and early ’90s, a decade of political upheaval that nonetheless delivered results that have stood the test of time.

Most remarkably, predictions that voters would rebel when special privileges, subsidies, and entitlements were taken away were all proven wrong when New Zealanders were presented with a coherent plan boldly executed by competent leaders. The study reveals the precise political tactics used to overcome the fierce opposition from entrenched special interests.

The results remain clear for all to see. GDP increased fourfold, while the government debt-to-GDP ratio dropped to 30 percent (despite a short-term debt spike in the aftermath of the 2007–08 global recession).

Today, New Zealand operates under a system described as being designed by Hayekians, run by pragmatists, and populated by socialists. 

 

Today, New Zealand operates under a system described as being designed by Hayekians, run by pragmatists, and populated by socialists. But because the rules of the game were permanently changed, there has been little backsliding to the electoral malaise described by H.L. Mencken as “a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.”

In fact, thanks to the fiscal transparency brought about by GAAP accounting and open books, most elections since the mid-1990s have seen the unusual — and pleasing — spectacle of both parties trying to outdo each other over who will be more fiscally responsible.

There is no reason why the same remedies couldn’t be applied across the bankrupt southern zone of the European Union, or even in the United States. All it takes is the will to make it happen, the courage to stand up to politicians and cronies devoted to protecting the status quo, and a little Kiwi know-how.

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The Credential Is Killing the Classroom

By Isaac M. Morehouse

“I wish college were like this!”

I hear this exclamation over and over at the seminars put on by organizations like the Foundation for Economic Education and the Institute for Humane Studies.

Attendees are blown away by the excellence of the content, the professors’ willingness to engage students even in free time, and the intelligence and interest level of the other participants.

And it’s not just the students who see a difference. Faculty also talk about how these seminars are far better than typical college classes.

What causes this distinction?

One obvious explanation is self-selection. Faculty and students who choose to give up a week of their summer to discuss ideas are high caliber and highly engaged.

But college has self-selection, too. Shouldn’t it be full of professors and students who are earnest truth and knowledge seekers of the finest quality?

With the rare exception of one or two classes, college is nothing like this. Why does the self-selection only produce quality learning in these seminars?

It’s because college offers an official credential — a degree. Educational experiences outside of college do not.

That’s it. Every other difference is insignificant.

Imagine how different these summer seminars would be if they offered an official, government-approved piece of paper at the end — something without which you couldn’t get past the first screening of job applications. A summer seminar selling a magical ticket to a job that Mom and Dad would feel proud of and that society would respect would be overwhelmed with attendees. And many of them wouldn’t give a hoot about what they had to do to get the paper at the end. Demand for faculty would spike, and many instructors would do whatever it took to get the paycheck and retreat to quiet corridors where they could be with their books and the few colleagues who actually care.

It would become, in a word, college.

The evidence is everywhere that the credential is killing the classroom. I’ve guest taught entry-level college classes before. It’s pretty painful. Most of the students are half asleep, grumpy, forlorn, texting, and generally inattentive.

I like to joke that if aliens from another planet came down and observed a typical class at a typical university and were asked what they had witnessed, they would scan the cinder block and fluorescent room, ponder the pained look on student faces, and conclude it was a penal colony. Imagine their surprise when told these people are not only here of their own free will, but paying tens of thousands of dollars for their suffering.

Not every classroom is that painful, but few inspire the joy of learning. Consider this: when class is cancelled, everyone is happy — students and professors alike. What other good can you think of where you pay in advance and are excited when it’s not delivered?

What other good can you think of where you pay in advance and are excited when it’s not delivered? 

 

But what is the product that colleges are selling? The professors may not always realize it, but it’s not their lectures the students are buying. It’s nice to get a little enjoyment and knowledge out of the deal, but that’s not what tuition pays for. After all, if that’s all that students were seeking, they could simply sit in on classes without registering or paying.

They are there for the credential. The credential is the signal to the working world that they are at least slightly better, on average, than those without it. That’s it.

In some fields the credential is required, and in many others alternative ways to measure competence are illegal, so the signal of a degree retains artificially enhanced value. Even so, that value is fading.

Large institutions form because transaction costs are high, with tons of individuals exchanging goods, services, and information separately. This is why family names mattered so much in times past. Economist Ronald Coase famously explained the existence of firms using this basic logic. It works for universities, too. When it’s hard to prove your worth, you get a trusted institution to vouch for you. It’s a shortcut that reduces risk on the part of those who want to hire you.

But each passing year, the value of this institutional reputation-backer declines compared to the available alternatives. Technology has dramatically reduced information costs, so it is now easier than ever to vouch for yourself — or to get vast networks of clients and customers to vouch for you.

Whose steak is the best? Where once you had to rely on a few food critics or word of mouth among a small set of friends, now Yelp reviews let you consult a vast array of food lovers.

With reputation markets, you can build a better signal than what college is selling.

As long as legal and cultural norms make the degree the primary signal of value in the marketplace, the classroom will continue to decline in quality. When the majority of students are purchasing one good (the credential) but are made to endure another (the classroom), they will continue to see formal education as more of a cost than a benefit — and they will behave accordingly, sliding through to minimize pain and suffering.

The classroom isn’t doing the credential any favors, either. Most employers admit that a degree signals very little these days. Everyone has one. Most universities sell as many as they possibly can. Cases of professors passing bad students and universities passing bad professors are well known, and the institutions’ clout is waning.

Even employers who still require a degree ask for much more on top of it, because sitting through a bunch of classes you didn’t care about and doing the minimum amount of passionless hoop-jumping doesn’t convey much about your energy, eagerness, and ability to create value in a dynamic market.

My professor friends sometimes chastise me for what they think are unfair criticisms of college. What I’m suggesting, however — that the credential should be separated from the classroom — reflects my respect for great professors and the value of their style of education.

Classroom learning at its best — classes like those I’ve experienced in summer seminars — is so powerful and so valuable that I hate to see great education destroyed and diminished by artificial attachment to a supposedly magical credential. The subsidies, loans, restrictions, requirements, and licensure laws, as well as the parental and societal worship of college as the great economic security blanket, have filled the classroom with so much clutter that it’s a rarity for quality interaction to occur.

I’m excited to see the cleavage between the credential and the classroom happening right in front of us. It’s not the proliferation of free online university courses that will fundamentally change the college experience in countries like the United States, where access to information is already rich. The “massively open online course” is just a new delivery system for a current good — and one that most Americans aren’t buying anyway. The real shift is occurring as fewer and fewer employers look to the degree as the dominant signal, and as more and more young people build their own.

When the dust settles, we’ll see great teachers and researchers doing their thing with eager audiences of students who are actually there to purchase that unique product, not just suffering through it on their way to getting something else they really want. The host of mediocre faculty will lose, but the good ones will win big, both in economic opportunity and in quality of the craft. So will the young customers who wish to learn from them.

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Baby-parts judge fears ‘violence’ – against abortionists

 

cute-baby-girlThe beleaguered abortion industry got some help Monday in its fight to prevent the release of sensational undercover videos – one of which may include evidence of infants born alive and then killed – from a California judge who ruled he was extending his order prohibiting public release of certain video evidence by the Center for Medical Progress.

The order came from Judge William H. Orrick, who was nominated to his post by President Obama and has strong financial links to him, having been both a major donor and bundler for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Orrick raised at least $200,000 in that effort and donated $30,800 to committees supporting Obama, according to Public Citizen, the Federalist reported.

He extended his order that prevents the CMP from releasing videos it acquired by going undercover to the National Abortion Federation and recording comments and conversations there.

At Monday’s hearing, Orrick barred the group through Aug. 27 from releasing those recordings.

Orrick expressed worries about “people’s privacy” and what he called the history of “violence” against abortionists.

As Bob Egelko reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, the CMP described its work Monday as legal investigative journalism, saying the NAF videos were just part of its extended series exposing illegal activity.

Earlier videos in the series reveal Planned Parenthood executives negotiating over prices for various body parts of unborn infants. Federal law bans the sale of such body parts.

Planned Parenthood has denied that it profits from sales of baby parts, and looks only to cover costs associated with processing the “tissue.”

A lawyer for the CMP pointed out that a confidentiality pledge should not apply to recordings made in public areas “where there is no expectation of privacy,” but Orrick disagreed.

The organization has said it followed all applicable laws in making the undercover recordings of NAF and other organizations.

After the CMP started releasing its undercover work – four videos already have been made public – the National Abortion Federation was one of two abortion interests to go to court to preemptively try to suppress public airing of their own statements.

As WND reported, NAF, in its court move, claimed it was seeking to protect “the safety and security of our members.”

“That security has been compromised by the illegal activities of a group with ties to those who believe it is justifiable to murder abortion providers,” said NAF President Vicki Saporta in an announcement about the filing. “CMP went to great lengths to infiltrate our meetings as part of a campaign to intimidate and attack abortion providers.”

Saporta provided no support for her claim that CMP is tied to “those who believe it is justifiable to murder abortion providers.”

Read the tested and proven strategies to defeat the abortion cartel, in “Abortion Free: Your Manual for Building a Pro-Life America One Community at a Time.”

The other case in which statements reportedly obtained by the CMP are targeted for suppression was filed by StemExpress. There, a Los Angeles Superior Court ordered that a hearing be held in a few weeks on whether those can be released.

In response to that move, CMP said, “StemExpress, a for-profit company partnered with over 30 abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood, to harvest and sell aborted baby parts and provide a ‘financial benefit’ to Planned Parenthood clinics, is attempting to use meritless litigation to cover-up this illegal baby parts trade, suppress free speech, and silence the citizen press reporting on issues of burning concern to the American public.”

The statement continued, “They are not succeeding – their initial petition was rejected by the court, and their second petition was eviscerated to a narrow and contingent order about an alleged recording pending CMP’s opportunity to respond. The Center for Medical Progress follows all applicable laws in the course of our investigative journalism work and will contest all attempts from Planned Parenthood and their allies to silence our First Amendment rights and suppress investigative journalism.”

StemExpress claimed unfair competition, breach of contract, interference with contractual relations, fraudulent inducement of a contract, receipt of stolen property and invasion of privacy. The complaint explains that after the meeting with undercover videographers in a public restaurant, StemExpress insisted that a confidentiality agreement would be imposed.

StemExpress also said it “offers [the] largest variety of raw material in the industry, as well as fresh (non-frozen) and cryopreserved human primary cells” and that it works with 30 “procurement sites.”

It was in an interview with CNN that CMP chief David Daleiden give his view as to why StemExpress was so concerned.

He said, in an interview during which the CNN reporter was combative, that his StemExpress, which partners with Planned Parenthood to dissect unborn babies and remove the most valuable body parts, is trying to suppress “a specific video recording of a meeting with their top leadership where their leadership admitted they sometimes get fully intact fetuses shipped to their lab from the abortion clinics.”

“That,” he said, “could be prima facie evidence of born-alive infants. That’s why they’re trying to suppress that and they’re very scared of it.”

See the interview:

“Fully intact fetuses” – who logically could not become “specimens” without somehow having first met their demise – could be protected by the Born Alive Infant Protection Act adopted in 2002.

To date, the video investigation has resulted in at least eight states beginning investigations of Planned Parenthood. Several congressional committees are doing the same, and on Monday the Senate narrowly failed to approve a ban on federal money for Planned Parenthood, which promises to keep the fight looming in Washington.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said the videos were just too much.

“I am very troubled by the callous behavior of Planned Parenthood staff in (the) recently released videos,” he explained, “which casually discuss the sale, possibly for profit, of fetal tissue after an abortion. Until these allegations have been answered and resolved, I do not believe that taxpayer money should be used to fund this organization.”

From statements by Planned Parenthood officials that ranged from “I want a Lamborghini” to discussion about how to salvage certain saleable parts by crushing surrounding parts, the videos are self-explanatory.

No. 4:

No. 3:

No. 2:

No. 1:

An old story

WND also has reported that as horrific as the videos appear, they should surprise no one, since such practices have been documented for nearly two decades already.

One price list uncovered by a pro-life organization dated June 1998 shows that the price per specimen from a second trimester abortion is $90 fresh and $130 frozen.

Mark Crutcher, whose Life Dynamics organization was a ground-breaker in investigating the abortion behemoth that gets some $500 million annually from U.S. taxpayers, worked on that investigation.

His group reported back in February 2000 how the baby parts market works: “A baby parts ‘wholesaler’ enters into a financial agreement with an abortion clinic in which the wholesaler pays a monthly ‘site fee’ to the clinic. For this payment, the wholesaler is allowed to place a retrieval agent inside the clinic where he or she is given access to the corpses of children killed there and a workspace to harvest their parts.”

He continued: “The buyer – usually a researcher working for a medical school, pharmaceutical company, bio-tech company or government agency – supplies the wholesaler with a list of the baby parts wanted. … when such orders are received … they are faxed to the retrieval agent at the clinic who harvests the requested parts and ships them to the buyer.”

The documentation was provided at that time to Life Dynamics by a worker who left Comprehensive Health for Women, a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Overland Park, Kansas.

“Black genocide in 21st century America?” Watch incredible “MAAFA 21” documentary!

Among the documents was a “Fee-for-Services” Schedule A, effective June 1998, which outlined a charge of $220 per specimen for first-trimester aspiration abortions and $260 if the baby parts were frozen.

Crutcher’s report, citing Planned Parenthood’s own paperwork, found that one agent sold during February 1996 alone 47 livers, 11 liver fragments, seven brains, 21 eyes, eight thymuses, 23 legs, 14 pancreases, 14 lungs, six arms and one kidney-adrenal gland.

Read the tested and proven strategies to defeat the abortion cartel, in “Abortion Free: Your Manual for Building a Pro-Life America One Community at a Time.”

He also sold three orders of blood from the unborn child. The retrieval agent “harvested all of the parts,” the report said, explaining that “in order for the blood of an aborted child to be sold, the dead baby had to be brought to him intact.”

The “specimens,” the report said, would have generated up to about $25,000 in revenue for one month from one retrieval agent at one Planned Parenthood business.

Crutcher reported that the tissue logs reveal that one baby is often chopped up and sold to many buyers.

For example, babies taken from donors 113968 and 114189 were both killed late in their second trimester and cut into nine pieces. By applying the price list, buyers would have been invoiced between $3,510 and $5,070 for these parts, he said.

 

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Practicing Gratitude in the Shadow of the Third Reich

By Lawrence W. Reed

Each week, Mr. Reed will relate the stories of people whose choices and actions make them heroes. See the table of contents for previous installments.


German-born Anne Frank is surely the most unusual best-selling teenage author of the 20th century. She penned but one volume, a diary, while hiding from the Nazis during the German occupation of the Netherlands.

“How wonderful it is,” she wrote in that tiny hideaway, “that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

Imagine it. Living each day for two years crammed behind a bookcase in an office building, knowing that without notice you might be found and hauled off to near-certain death at a concentration camp. Barely a teenager, she managed to write those and many other remarkable passages before she and her family were discovered in August 1944. They were sent to the Bergen-Belsen camp, where Anne died in March 1945, just three months before her 16th birthday.

How is it possible for a youngster to see so much light in a dark world, to find within herself so much hope and optimism amid horror? What insight! What power! That’s been the magic of Anne Frank for the past seven decades.

When Anne was four, her parents fled Germany. That was in 1933, the year the Nazis came to power. The Franks sought refuge in Amsterdam but then were trapped there when Hitler occupied the Netherlands in May 1940. Two years later, with persecution of Jews escalating, they went into hiding.

Eight days into her diary, on June 20, 1942, Anne wrote this reflective note about her undertaking:

For someone like me, it is a very strange habit to write in a diary. Not only that I have never written before, but it strikes me that later neither I, nor anyone else, will care for the musings of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl.

Little did she know that once her writings were found and published after the war as The Diary of a Young Girl, she would be immortalized as an icon of the Holocaust and beloved by millions the world over. That’s not only because of her remarkable eloquence at such a young age but also because of her undefeatable attitude. It was one of optimism, hope, service to others, and, perhaps most important of all, gratitude for the good she saw in a war-torn world.

This entry from April 5, 1944, just four months before the last thing she would ever write, will touch almost anybody’s heart:

I need to have something besides a husband and children to devote myself to! I don’t want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met.

Her diary is full of such uplifting sentiments. One would expect to find endless tales about the privations and claustrophobia of confinement, fearing discovery at any moment. Not from this girl! Yes, there are dark moments and candid admissions of temptation, even disdain and disappointment, but just when you think she’s down and out, she bounces back with observations like, “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

In a remarkable 2008 book by Robert A. Emmons titled Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier, the author reveals groundbreaking research into the previously underexamined emotion we call “gratitude.” As defined by Emmons, gratitude is the acknowledgement of goodness in one’s life and the recognition that the source of this goodness lies at least partially outside oneself. I think this was the secret to Anne Frank’s character.

Years of study by Emmons and his associates show that “grateful people experience higher levels of positive emotions such as joy, enthusiasm, love, happiness and optimism, and that the practice of gratitude as a discipline protects a person from the destructive impulses of envy, resentment, greed and bitterness.”

A grateful attitude enriches life. Emmons believes it elevates, energizes, inspires, and transforms. The science supports him: research shows that gratitude is an indispensable key to happiness (the more of it you can muster, the happier you’ll be) and that happiness adds up to nine years to life expectancy.

Gratitude isn’t just a knee-jerk, unthinking thank-you.

 

Gratitude isn’t just a knee-jerk, unthinking thank-you. It’s much more than a warm and fuzzy sentiment. It’s not automatic. Some people, in fact, feel and express it all too rarely. And as grateful a person as you may think you are, chances are you can develop an even more grateful attitude, a task that carries ample rewards that more than compensate for its moral and intellectual challenges. If Anne Frank could do it with all that was going on around her closeted world for two years, you and I have few excuses for failing to muster it as well.

English writer, poet, and philosopher G.K. Chesterton once said, “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

Think about that, especially Chesterton’s use of the word wonder. It means “awe” or “amazement.” The least-thankful people tend to be those who are rarely awed or amazed, in spite of the extraordinary beauty, gifts, and achievements that envelop us.

A shortage of wonder is a source of considerable error and unhappiness in the world. What should astonish us all, some take for granted or even expect as an entitlement.

We’re moved by great music. We enjoy an endless stream of labor-saving, life-enriching inventions. We’re surrounded by abundance in markets for everything from food to shoes to books. We travel in hours to distances that required a month of discomfort for our recent ancestors.

In America, life expectancy at age 60 is up by about 8 years since 1900, while life expectancy at birth has increased by an incredible 30 years. The top three causes of death in 1900 were pneumonia, tuberculosis, and diarrhea. Today, we live healthier lives and we live long enough to die mainly from illnesses (like heart disease and cancer) that are degenerative, aging-related problems.

Technology, communications, and transportation have all progressed so much in the last century that hardly a library in the world could document the stunning accomplishments. I still marvel every day that I can call a friend in China from my car or find the nearest coffee shop by using an iPhone app. I’m in awe every time I take a coast-to-coast flight, while the unhappy guy next to me complains that the flight attendant doesn’t have any ketchup for his omelet.

None of these things that should inspire wonderment were inevitable, automatic, or guaranteed. Almost all of them come our way by incentive, self-interest, and the profit motive, from people who gift their creativity to us not because they are ordered to but because of the reward and sense of accomplishment they derive when they do.

Some see this and are amazed and grateful, happy and inspired. Others see it and are envious and unappreciative, angry and demanding.

Which are you? The answer may reveal whether you’re a person who will leave the Earth a better place or a place that will regret you were ever here.

If you want to make a better world, start by making a better self; it’s the one thing you have considerable control over in almost any situation.

 

Anne Frank’s message will be remembered for many more decades to come, hopefully forever. It reminds us that, no matter the circumstances, we can brighten our lives and those of others around us. We don’t have to sink into despair. We can find good in the smallest of things that can overwhelm the biggest of evils. Our attitude, the old saying goes, determines our altitude. If you want to make a better world, start by making a better self; it’s the one thing you have considerable control over in almost any situation. 

Anne Frank didn’t live long enough to see or possess very much. But because she found within herself an undying gratitude for what she had — and an awesome ability to communicate it — we can be thankful that she inspires millions to this day. No matter how old you are, you can learn some critically important life lessons from this brave teenage heroine.

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Why the Candidates Keep Giving Us Reasons to Use the "F" Word

By Steven Horwitz

“There are far too many candidates,” writes Dana Milbank at the Washington Post. “And to gain attention they are juggling, tooting horns and blowing slide whistles like so many painted performers emerging from a clown car.” The two clowns making the most noise in recent weeks are Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

At first glance, it would seem they couldn’t be more different: a Democrat and a Republican, a friend of the unions and a CEO, a man of relatively modest means by congressional standards and one of the wealthiest men in the United States. But a closer look reveals some interesting similarities and teaches us an important lesson about the history of ideas. What Sanders and Trump have in common is no laughing matter.

Recent articles by libertarians on both candidates have suggested that they are both strongly nationalist. Dan Bier tore apart Sanders for his views on immigration, and both Jeff Tucker and Jason Kuznicki have associated Trump with nationalism and perhaps even a variant of fascism. I think they are all on to something: Sanders and Trump have a lot more in common than many think. But before I get there, we need to take a detour into the history of socialism and fascism.

Sanders and Trump have a lot more in common than many think. 

 

In its original conception, Marxian socialism was strongly internationalist. Marx’s theory was based on the idea of class struggle and the disparity in power between those who owned the means of production (the capitalists) and those who did not (the proletariat).

Marxism has nothing to do with nationality. It’s all about class, defined as whether or not one owns capital. For true Marxists, a German worker has much more in common with a Russian worker or an Italian worker than he or she does with a German capitalist. Marxism did not give any importance to national borders.

For many in the early 20th century, this was a problem with Marxism, especially in the aftermath of World War I. Much like today, people were looking for a “third way” between capitalism and socialism. For many of those people, that third way was fascism.

Today we use the word fascism as an epithet, especially for bossy people. We associate it with dictatorships, and especially with Nazism. It turns out that fascism was a fairly well-worked-out theory of how to organize a society, and in its original form was not about racism or anti-Semitism directly. Fascism was an attempt to combine what people saw as the best parts of capitalism and socialism, and then to do so in the context of putting nationality before class.

The most extensive writing about how fascism would work came from the Italians in the 1920s and 1930s, and interested readers should find a copy of Luigi Villari’s The Economics of Fascism to see the details. (You can find a nice summary of those ideas in Sheldon Richman’s entry on fascism in the online Concise Encyclopedia of Economics.)

The fascists argued that the whole notion of class conflict was the problem. Instead of pitting class against class and tearing nations apart, why not bring all the parties together and give them the chance to cooperate with each other rather than struggle their way to socialism? The fascist economy was built around a series of cartels where the state, the nominal owners of the means of production, and the workers (represented by labor unions) would get together and figure out what to produce, how to produce it, what to charge, and how much profit would be “allowed.”

The fascists agreed with socialism’s desire not to leave markets to spontaneous ordering forces, but they thought the nation-state should direct the economy, not the workers. Both capitalism and socialism involved conflict, not cooperation. The same third-way thinking, and some of the same structures, were present in the first two years of the New Deal in the United States. The cartels of the National Recovery Administration were modeled after Italian fascism, and FDR and Mussolini were mutual admirers.

You can see how fascism took elements of both capitalism and socialism, then added nationalism. The idea was to look out for the welfare of the nation-state first. The Italian capitalist and the Italian worker were both Italians first and foremost, and that should be the first call on their allegiance. Lashing socialism to the glorification of the nation-state gives us fascism, and you can see why anyone who represented a threat to national identity would quickly become a problem.

Lashing socialism to the glorification of the nation-state gives us fascism.

 

This is one reason why the German version of fascism so easily linked up with a long history of German anti-Semitism. The Nazis were undoubtedly socialist (recall that Nazi is short for National Socialist German Workers Party), as even a quick glance at their 1920 platform will tell you. They were also, even at that date, fiercely nationalist. In Hitler’s hands, that national pride quickly became a desire to glorify the Aryan race.

Plus, recall that Jews were disproportionately both capitalists and supporters of the Marxist revolution in Russia — not to mention the symbol of the cosmopolitan, rootless nomad for centuries. Many of those who wanted to reject both capitalism and Marxian socialism saw the Jews as the symbol of both.

So what does this have to do with Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump?

I would argue that they are both “nationalist socialists.” That is, they both embody key elements of fascism. They both think the nation comes first, and they both think the United States is an organization (not a spontaneous order) that should be under someone’s control.

The difference is that Sanders sees both the problems and the solutions from the workers’ perspective, so he’s focusing on both the exploitation by capitalists and keeping immigrants out to protect the wages of US workers. The losses to US workers matter more than the large gains to foreign-born workers coming here.

Trump sees all of this from the CEO/owner/capitalist perspective. He thinks the United States is, or should be, like a big firm where we all work together for a common goal. He envisions himself as the CEO, negotiating deals with other countries as if they, too, were just big corporate firms. But nations are not firms — they are spontaneous orders.

As I argued in an earlier column, “Socialism Is War and War Is Socialism,” this desire to turn spontaneous orders into hierarchies is characteristic of both war and socialism. It is also deeply embedded in fascism, and Sanders and Trump exemplify that tendency among the presidential candidates, though they do so with different emphases and rhetoric.

Their commonalities are also why our conventional binary left-right political spectrum makes no sense. That one candidate is perceived as far to the left and the other as (to some degree) a right-wing capitalist shows the depth of our failure to understand history. They have both rejected the spontaneous order of the market as well as the cosmopolitanism of liberalism and socialism. They are fascist brothers under the skin.

That both are getting the attention and support of so many Americans should be a matter of grave concern. After all, some clowns are far more scary than funny.

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Suspect ID’d in Memphis cop killing

(USATODAY) — Police in Memphis identified a 29-year-old convicted bank robber as the man who allegedly killed a city cop during a traffic stop on Saturday.

Police director Toney Armstrong on Sunday evening told reporters that officer Sean Bolton apparently interrupted a drug deal and that after “some type of physical altercation,” Bolton was shot and killed by a passenger in the car. Armstrong said police were searching for 29-year-old Tremaine Wilbourn and had issued a warrant for his arrest.

Wilbourn had been free on supervised release by the U.S. Western District Court for a 122-month sentence for bank robbery, Armstrong said. He now faces a first-degree murder charge.

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Allen West: Navy to prosecute Chattanooga hero

Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White and family

Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White and family

According to former congressman and retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Allen West, the U.S. Navy has decided to bring charges against the naval officer who fired his personal weapon at Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez during the ISIS supporter’s July 16 attack on the Chattanooga U.S. Naval and Marine Reserve Center.

Abdulazeez, armed with a handgun and an assault rifle, killed four Marines and one sailor.

In the posting on his website Saturday, West wrote:

“Ladies and gents, resulting from the text message I received yesterday, I can confirm that the United States Navy is bringing charges against Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White for illegally discharging a firearm on federal property.

“The text message asked if it would be possible for Lt. Cmdr. White to reach out to me. To wit I replied, ‘Affirmative.’”

Following the attack, several military officials with knowledge of the internal investigation on the shooting reported White – the commanding officer for the Navy Operational Support Center – likely fired his personal weapon at Abdulazeez. Reports said one of the murdered Marines, armed with his own personal 9mm Glock, possibly engaged the shooter as well.

Killed were Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, Sgt. Carson Holmquist and Lance Cpl. Squire Wells, as well as Navy petty officer second class Randall Smith.

Department of Defense regulations prohibit most service members from being armed on U.S. soil, including most personnel at reserves and recruiting centers like the ones in Chattanooga. Only law enforcement or service members who are acting as military police are allowed to carry weapons on such properties.

This infallible argument for armed self-defense presents real stories of Americans fighting back – and surviving because they were armed. “America Fights Back: Armed Self-Defense In A Violent Age” is a must-read for anyone who has ever wondered if concealed carry can actually save and protect.

The attacker was a naturalized American citizen, but was born in Kuwait to Jordanian parents and had traveled to Jordan for a seven-month stay last year.

Abdulazeez opened fire on the first facility, a recruiting office, from his rented, silver Mustang convertible and never got out. No one was hit. He then went to a joint Marine-Navy facility about seven miles away.

Officer White confirmed Thursday to the Knoxville Free Press that he had used his personal weapon to try to fend off Abdulazeez.

White, who has served in the Navy for 13 years, moved to Chattanooga in April with his wife and six kids — and a seventh on the way. His wife, Franicia White, said she supports her husband’s actions that day.

“He values human life enough to protect his sailors and others,” she said. “I am honored to be his wife and stand by him 100 percent.”

Whether or not the shots fired by White or the unnamed Marine struck Abdulazeez has not been reported.

“What kind of freaking idiots are in charge of our Armed Forces — pardon me, our ‘unArmed Forces’?” said West in his posting.

“What would they prefer — that Abdulazeez had been able to kill all the Marines and sailors at the Naval Support Reserve Center?

“Let me draw an interesting contrast: Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus is more concerned about lifting the ban on transgendered sailors. Mabus has a problem in that for the first time since 2007 the U.S. Navy will not have a carrier battle group operating in the Persian Gulf. But this knucklehead has no problem with the Navy seeking to destroy the career of a sailor, a commander of an installation, returning fire against an Islamic jihadist attack.

“I do not care if it was his personal weapon, he deserves a medal for facing the enemy.”

What do YOU think? Sound off on the report the Navy will prosecute Chattanooga hero.

WND revealed two days ago a new report saying the U.S. military is authorizing service members who are at remote locations – such as a recruitment center – to be armed, even if they’re not in law enforcement.

According to a report at The Hill, Defense Secretary Ash Carter has signed a new memo specifying that qualified troops can be armed, on orders from their commanders, at locations such as the off-base reserve center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Carter had cited the Chattanooga shooting as evidence of the “continuing threat to DOD personnel.”

“This incident and the ongoing threat underscore the need for DOD to review its force protection and security policies, programs and procedures, particularly for off-installation DOD facilities.”

The change in policy notwithstanding, Cmdr. White will not be spared, according to West’s sources.

“Can you imagine the message this sends to ISIS and all the enemies of America? West asked. “We are going to end his career and court-martial a man who drew his sidearm to protect his command, and the assigned sailors and Marines.

“Are they just supposed to sit and be butchered, gunned down, until local law enforcement come along? Let’s be very clear here, I can attest that there are many reserve and National Guard troops who are carrying concealed during their drill periods … why? Because they are lions, not sheep, like the imbeciles who are making the decision to punish Lt. Cmdr. White.

“Here’s what needs to happen. Flood the phone of SecNav Ray Mabus and SecDef Carter and ask them whose side they’re on. Demand the charges being brought against Lt.Cmdr White be immediately dropped. If those charges are not dropped, I will personally lead the charge to have Carter and Mabus removed from their positions.”

On Wednesday, a petition was filed at the White House website asking President Obama to “honor our brave men … who saved lives by returning fire.”

“But for the gallant actions under enemy fire of LCDR Tim White and his men, many more lives would have been lost that day,” the petition reads.

We petition the President to honor our brave men by presenting medals for bravery to LCDR White and all of the service members, including the fallen, who saved lives by returning fire.

“What he did there was a very brave thing,” Michael Seewald, a friend of White’s who signed the petition, told the Knoxville Free Press. “It would be so easy for somebody to just try to get away and escape, but he tried to defend the people there. I’m not sure that was in the protocol for what they were supposed to be doing, but I think he felt he had a responsibility to protect his people.”

The White House petition must reach at least 100,000 signatures by Aug. 28 in order to get a response from the administration.