Monday, May 31, 2010

Kagan and the benefits of incompetence

Roger Kimball writes of Pres. Obama's incompetence (Hat tip: Instapundit):
The man can pose. He can preen. He cannot, judging by his performance these last eighteen months, govern. His handling, which is to say his ostentatious mishandling of the BP oil spill, is only the latest evidence that he is wildly out of his depth.
It is not surprising then to find evidence accumulating that Obama's pick for the Supreme Court is incompetent as a lawyer. Power Line reports that, in her efforts at Harvard to discriminate against the military, Elena Kagan signed on to a brief that not even one member of the Supreme Court could agree with:
Kagan signed in the Solomon Amendment case argued that law schools didn't violate the Solomon Amendment because they treated the military the same as they did other employers. It was an argument confined to the statutory language of the amendment. The Supreme Court blew it off in the first few pages of its analysis.
At Volockh Conspiracy, Stewart Baker reviews the incompetence of another brief filed by her office (Hat tip: Instapundit).
What does all this say about Elena Kagan, woman of mystery and Solicitor General until two weeks ago? Nothing good, I fear. The brief is at best a hacked-together, please-no-one compromise. At worst it borders on the unprofessional.
What does it mean to have such a person on the Supreme Court? While undoubtedly a reliable vote for the left, she appears unable to form a coherent argument. Consequently, decisions that she writes are unlikely to have lasting influence. Since Pres. Obama is sure to nominate leftists to the Supreme Court, the best we can hope for is an incompetent and, therefore, ineffective leftist. Elena Kagan seems to fit the bill.


PREVIOUSLY on the rule of law:
Justice Scalia explains the rule of law
Obama administration overturns rule of law on immigration
The end of the rule of law
Obama and the rule of law
The AP mis-understands the rule of law

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Obama's health care and economic policies explained

First, watch this video (Hat tip: Instapundit):

You get the point: however great things are, people complain, people tell you all the faults.

It is the same with the US economy. No matter that free markets have produced societies of wealth unimaginable only a few decades ago, there are always things to complain about. We may have the best health care in the world but, they say, isn't it just awful that you actually have to pay for it. Free markers provide the world's highest standards of living but, they say, isn't it just awful that the growth rate occasionally fluctuates down (recession). They wonder: Why can't we have expansions without ever having to bother with recessions?

Obama's health and economic policies see America as a glass-half-empty not realizing how lucky we are to have a glass and especially to have one half-full.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of Obamanomics and how it differs from economics:
Study: Liberals are economically illiterate
Obama modeling US economy after Europe's
Irresponsibility pays!
Obamanomics prolonging the recession
US Aaa bond rating threatened by Obama's budget says Moody's
Obamanomics illustrated II
How Dems are prolonging the recession
How Obamanomics destroys jobs
Obamanomics illustrated
Deficits: Obama goes where no man has gone before (illustration)
How to raise the standard of living
Obama's anti-intellectual economic theory
Obamanomics and the test of science
Obamacare may raise insurance costs by 54%
Harvard economist explains why Obamacare will raise premiums
HHS says Obamacare will cause costs to go up and cause employers to drop coverage

How racist is the left?

Here is HBO's Bill Maher explaining how he thinks a "real" black would act as President:
"I thought when we elected a black president, we were going to get a black president. You know, this [BP oil spill] is where I want a real black president. I want him in a meeting with the BP CEOs, you know, where he lifts up his shirt where you can see the gun in his pants. That's -- (in black man voice) 'we've got a motherfu**ing problem here?' Shoot somebody in the foot."


Real blacks are gangsters. Ha ha ha, funny, right?

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of racism on the left:
Democrats move to their comfort zone
Black students, harassed for "acting white," get $150,000
“You can’t vote against healthcare and call yourself a black man.”
"The city wasn't ready to hire a white police chief."
A prominent black politician says the white incumbent cannot properly represent black voters.
San Franciscans discriminate against blacks.
"He's not black and he can't represent me, that's just the bottom line."
NAACP defends racism.
Stanford finds Democrats are racist.
Obama nominates a racist.
Leaders acknowledge Democrat base is racist.
"That's just how white folks will do you." ---Barack Obama.
Dem says Dem primary voters are racist.
Dems accuse Bill and Hillary of racism.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Some thoughts for the Memorial Day Weekend



Michelle Malkin has more on the meaning of Memorial Day here, here, and here.

Tammy Bruce reminds us that Memorial is "not a 'happy' holiday."

PREVIOUSLY on Tea Party movement and its opponents:
"Traitors to America and Proud of It!"
Collected photos of this year's San Francisco Tea Party events
Minutemen vs. May Day protesters in San Francisco; Two arrested
A tax day Tea Party breaks out in San Francisco's Union Square
A tax day Tea Party breaks out on the San Francisco Peninsula
3 in 10 Californians identify with tea party protests
To protest Obamacare, San Francisco holds a sick-in (Nov. 15)
A Tea Party greets Obama in San Francisco (Oct. 15)
Videos of the October 15 San Francisco Tea Party
San Franciscans speak to Nancy Pelosi (Aug. 14)
The San Francisco Tax Day Tea Party Protest in Pictures (Apr. 15)
Farmers protest in San Jose (Nov. 21).
Tea Party breaks out in Palo Alto (Nov. 21

Two Massachusetts towns want to play Russian Roulette

According to Common Dreams:
Two communities in Massachusetts—Amherst and Leverett—have passed resolutions welcoming a few cleared [Guant├ínamo] detainees once Congress lifts its current blanket ban.
PREVIOUSLY on terrorism:
Obama's national security strategy revealed! (comic)
Yet another left-wing terrorist
Obama's humane plan for terrorists: kill rather than interrogate
The root cause of terrorism
Gitmo torture: Metallica is proud of its music's message to terrorists
Speaker Pelosi's deep thoughts on giving Miranda rights to terrorists.
AG Eric Holder was for enhanced interrogation before he was against it.
The NY Times finally admits we were fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq
Gitmo torture tactic revealed: "she touched my thigh!"
Terror color codes updated for Obama (illustrated)
NY Times skeptical of Bush but trusts terrorists
Global warming predicted to cause more terrorism
Before Al Qaeda: the socialist-terrorist alliance of the 1980s

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"Traitors to America and Proud of It!"

Who are the left? Who are the people who advocate for illegal immigrants? This amazing video shows the left-wing protesters yesterday in San Francisco shouting at the Tea Party crowd:
They chant:
Traitors to America and Proud of It!
Traitors to America and Proud of It!
and
Red, white, and blue
We spit on you!
In the background of the video, you can see pro-amnesty signs. More pro-amnesty signs from the same protest are here.

Thanks to Larry of Fund47 for sending the video. Have a look at Fund47 for some excellent photos of San Francisco Tea Parties.

WELCOME to readers of Uncoverage.

MORE on yesterday's protests:
A Tea Party greets Obama in San Francisco and the left is not happy about it

MORE on San Francisco's sometimes violent pro-amnesty protests:
Minutemen vs. May Day protesters in San Francisco; Two arrested

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Tea Party greets Obama in San Francisco and the left is not happy about it

UPDATE: For still more outrageous video ("Red, white, and blue; We spit on you") go here.

When Pres. Obama came to San Francisco today for a fundraiser for Sen. Boxer, he was greeted by a Tea Party. This upset San Francisco's sometimes violent leftists who chanted:
Racist, sexist, anti-gay
Tea Party go away!

Last October, left and right freely intermingled at a protest in San Francisco. That friendly atmosphere ended when three right protesters were injured and at least two leftists arrested after this year's May Day rally at San Francisco's Civic Center.

Today's protests were at the top of Nob Hill across Mason street from the Fairmont Hotel where Pres. Obama and Sen. Ma'am Boxer's fundraiser was being held. The police divided the block into two sections, the right half for the Tea Partiers and the left half, naturally, for the leftists. This is the view of the left side: If one looks more closely at the left side, one can see the preprinted ANSWER coalition (communist) signs, mostly in Spanish:
The right-hand side held the Tea Partiers:
The round floating black object (seen both above and below) is a blimp labeled "FailedSenator.com," a website created by Carly Fiorina, a liberal Republican who hopes to challenge Sen. Boxer this Fall.
Notice the sign above which reads "We the people or they the ruling class?" Both left and right seem to agree that Pres. Obama is the leader of the ruling class. The two sides disagree over who represents "the people." The (leftist) speaker in the video above explains that he thinks that Tea Partiers are the rich who got that way by denying the poor their due.

Here is an expressive sign from the Tea Party side:

As another example of the upset leftists, here is a man with a bullhorn who, before being drowned out by another leftist with a bullhorn, shouts repeatedly "Tea Party fascism":

The video above shows the space between the left and right sides. This space, a DMZ if you will, was created and enforced by the SF Police.

It was evident that the left liked their "racist, sexist, anti-gay" chant as they kept repeating it. Here is how it sounded from the Tea Party side of the DMZ:

(Update: Who is anti-gay? A liberal hopes for the murder of a gay tea party supporter.)

Some on the left did have coherent points to make. The woman below, for example, observes that our Afghanistan policy seems inadequate to the task:
While hundreds showed up today from the anti-Obama left and anti-Obama right, there were four people who appeared in support of Obama:
At least with four people, the pro-Obama supporters outnumbered the one protester whose concern was for extraterrestrial rights, shown here as he talks to one of SF's finest:
Today's Tea Party was organized by the Bay Area Patriots.

WELCOME to readers of Gateway Pundit, Bookworm Room, WhatReallyHappened, Crooklyn Conservative, Truth is Contagious, Judicial-Inc, Marooned in Marin, Winds of Jihad, and 21st Century Rebel.

For more photos of this event, see Fund47.

PREVIOUSLY on San Francisco area tea parties:
Collected photos of this year's San Francisco Tea Party events
Minutemen vs. May Day protesters in San Francisco; Two arrested
A tax day Tea Party breaks out in San Francisco's Union Square
A tax day Tea Party breaks out on the San Francisco Peninsula
3 in 10 Californians identify with tea party protests
To protest Obamacare, San Francisco holds a sick-in (Nov. 15)
A Tea Party greets Obama in San Francisco (Oct. 15)
Videos of the October 15 San Francisco Tea Party
San Franciscans speak to Nancy Pelosi (Aug. 14)
The San Francisco Tax Day Tea Party Protest in Pictures (Apr. 15)
Farmers protest in San Jose (Nov. 21).
Tea Party breaks out in Palo Alto (Nov. 21

Monday, May 24, 2010

Justice Scalia explains the rule of law

The LA Times reports on the Supreme Court's latest affirmative action case:
Justice Antonin Scalia, speaking at the court Monday, said he and his colleagues were applying the civil-rights laws as written by Congress, not necessarily as he and others thought it should be written.    . . . .

In Monday's opinion, Scalia acknowledged this law created "practical problems for employers" and could "produce puzzling results." He concluded, however, "it is a problem for Congress, not one that federal courts can fix."
If you are making decisions about what to do, you should be able to trust that the laws, as written, can guide your choices and, if you follow the law, then the law will protect you. The left, by contrast, thinks that courts should be able to re-write laws on a whim.

PREVIOUSLY on the Obama and the rule of law:
Obama administration overturns rule of law on immigration
The end of the rule of law
Obama and the rule of law
The AP mis-understands the rule of law

Obama and the law

Hope n'Change comments on the Obama administration's view of enforcing the laws of the land (click on the graphic to enlarge):PREVIOUSLY on the Obama and the rule of law:
The end of the rule of law
Obama and the rule of law
The AP mis-understands the rule of law

What are the Democrats core beliefs?

Jonah Goldberg summarizes a Pew Center poll on what Democrats believe:
According to the Pew Center, the less you like to fly the American flag, the more likely it is you are Democrat. The more you think hard work and personal initiative aren’t the ticket to the good life, the more likely you are to be a Democrat. The more you believe the United Nations is a better steward of international relations, while America is a negative actor on the world stage, the more likely you are to be a Democrat. The more you believe that the government is there to help, the more likely it is you are Democrat. The less seriously you take religion, the more likely you are to be a Democrat.
PREVIOUSLY on the psychological outlook of Democrats:
Politics of happiness: Democrats and psychological depression
Obama's dark outlook
Democrats and misery loves company
Liberalism explained as a guilt complex
Democrats: thinking like adolescents
Analyzing foreign policy using a child's point of view
Democrats ask children for foreign policy advice
Economic reasoning by childhood analogy
Childhood pain and liberalism
Democrat envisions a politician as a substitute father
Presidential candidates as "potential parent figures"
Was it uncle Sam who taught you right from wrong and wrapped your gifts at Christmas?
President as parent

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Preview of Obamacare: Doctors abandoning Medicare


The Houston Chronicle reports on surveys showing that nearly half of Texas physicians are refusing to take new Medicare patients and another 100 to 200 a year have gone the next step and are dropping their existing Medicare patients:
“This new data shows the Medicare system is beginning to implode,” said Dr. Susan Bailey, president of the Texas Medical Association. “If Congress doesn't fix Medicare soon, there'll be more and more doctors dropping out and Congress' promise to provide medical care to seniors will be broken.”

More than 300 doctors have dropped the program in the last two years, including 50 in the first three months of 2010, according to data compiled by the Houston Chronicle. Texas Medical Association officials, who conducted the 2008 survey, said the numbers far exceeded their assumptions. [Emph. added]

What made Obama and his allies think that they could manage health care for all Americans when they knew full well that they could not find the funds to support Medicare by itself?

PREVIOUSLY on Obamacare:
The dawning of the reality of Obamacare
Consumers outsmart Massachusetts' version of Obamacare
Obamacare threatens high tech jobs
Obamacare and trillions of dollars of unfunded mandates
The fraud of Obamacare, as seen from the left
Pelosi: Pass Obamacare so artists can quit their day jobs
How many House Democrats would be vulnerable this fall because of Obamacare?
Britain's Obamacare: Hospital patient dies of thirst as nurses ignore his pleas for water
Nobel Laureate economist explains why socialized medicine always fails
Rep. Ryan explains the dishonesty of Obamacare economics

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Are Tea Parties breaking out worldwide?

Nick Rizzuto writes on the beginnings of Tea Party movements around the world:
In recent months, inspired by what they are observing here in the states, Tea Party organizations have begun to rise in up the furthest corners of the world. While these organizations might have different concerns, ones that are specific to their particular nations, it is clear that each has formed around the same concepts: limited governance and individual liberty.

Ironically it was England, who in the 18th century was at the unpleasant end of a Tea Party, which was the first outside of the US to hold a Tea Party rally, launching their national movement in February of this year. In addition, Tea Party organizations have popped up in Ireland, the Netherlands, Australia, and Japan. Most recently, we have learned that Israel is planning on staging its first Tea Party in Tel-Aviv.

There is a tea party planned for Tel Aviv (more here) on Friday, July 16. Great Britain's tea party movement is discussed here, here, and here. The Dutch Tea Party is planning an event for Saturday, May 29. There is discussion of a possible German Tea Party movement here. Whether these represent genuine political movements, like the tea party in America, or are merely astroturf remains to be seen.

PREVIOUSLY on USA tea parties:
Collected photos of this year's San Francisco Tea Party events
A tax day Tea Party breaks out in San Francisco's Union Square
A tax day Tea Party breaks out on the San Francisco Peninsula
3 in 10 Californians identify with tea party protests
To protest Obamacare, San Francisco holds a sick-in (Nov. 15)
A Tea Party greets Obama in San Francisco (Oct. 15)
Videos of the October 15 San Francisco Tea Party
San Franciscans speak to Nancy Pelosi (Aug. 14)
The San Francisco Tax Day Tea Party Protest in Pictures (Apr. 15)
Farmers protest in San Jose (Nov. 21).
Tea Party breaks out in Palo Alto (Nov. 21

Friday, May 14, 2010

San Francisco Tea Party Movement

From Larry of Fund47, here is a montage of photographs of this year's San Francisco Tea Party events:


There are many more photos at Fund47.

PREVIOUSLY on tea parties in the San Francisco bay area:
A tax day Tea Party breaks out in San Francisco's Union Square
A tax day Tea Party breaks out on the San Francisco Peninsula
3 in 10 Californians identify with tea party protests
To protest Obamacare, San Francisco holds a sick-in (Nov. 15)
A Tea Party greets Obama in San Francisco (Oct. 15)
Videos of the October 15 San Francisco Tea Party
San Franciscans speak to Nancy Pelosi (Aug. 14)
The San Francisco Tax Day Tea Party Protest in Pictures (Apr. 15)
Farmers protest in San Jose (Nov. 21).
Tea Party breaks out in Palo Alto (Nov. 21)

Liberal echo chamber in action

Fox News reports:
Despite repeatedly voicing concerns about Arizona's new immigration enforcement law in recent weeks and threatening to challenge it, Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday he has not yet read the law, which is only 10 pages long. [Emph. added]
That is the (liberal) news cycle in action. Mr. Holder reads a story. He repeats what he read to a reporter. Because Holder is the Attorney General, what he says is considered authoritative and becomes the basis for a new news story (which may be read and repeated by another quotable official, becoming the basis for another new news story...). This is the "echo chamber" in action.

By the way, is AG Holder using ignorance of the law as his excuse?

MORE: Instapundit has a round-up on Holder's admission.

PREVIOUSLY on politics, knowledge, and ignorance:
Obama derives his knowledge from ignorance
Study: Liberals are economically illiterate
Obama and constitutional law
Ignorance at McClatchy Newspapers
Richard Posner and ignorance of economics
Ignorance enables ideological certainty
The belief in the intelligent bureaucracy
News media: bias or ignorance?
Politicians and ignorance

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

California steps closer to bankruptcy

CMA tracks market indicators on the probability of bankruptcy for governments around the world. The State of California is now in its list of the ten governments most likely to go bankrupt in the next five years, sandwiched between Lebanon and Latvia:
Hat tip: Credit Writedowns

California's probability of bankruptcy is listed as 20%. The fact that it isn't higher may spur the legislature on to greater spending.

Last week, Greece was rated number 1 most likely to go bankrupt but, thanks to the bail-out plan, it is now ranked only at #4.

RECENTLY on California politics:
Republicans in San Francisco? Two seek to challenge Speaker Pelosi
Matt Grocott for San Mateo County Supervisor
California's schools need Lydia Gutierrez
Senate candidate Chuck DeVore wows crowd on San Francisco peninsula
Polls show DeVore strengthening against Sen. Ma'am Boxer
Will Boxer go the way of Coakley?: CA Senate race tightens (Jan. 2010)

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Obama: ignorance is knowledge

AFP reports on a speech given by Pres. Obama:

"You're coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don't always rank all that high on the truth meter," Obama said at Hampton University, Virginia.

"With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations, -- none of which I know how to work -- information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation," Obama said. [Emph. added]

Here we have a president who does not know how to work an iPod and, yet, he somehow believes that he is qualified to determine its value. This is reminiscent of Pres. Obama's claim that he did not need to know "all the facts" before he declared that the Cambridge police "acted stupidly. As a man who went to law school, why doesn't he have a better appreciation of the importance of facts when making arguments?

RELATED: JamieWearingFool has more on the President's speech. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

WELCOME to Instapundit, ShoutFirst, and Eckernet readers.

PREVIOUSLY on politics, knowledge, and ignorance:
Study: Liberals are economically illiterate
Obama and constitutional law
Ignorance at McClatchy Newspapers
Richard Posner and ignorance of economics
Ignorance enables ideological certainty
The belief in the intelligent bureaucracy
News media: bias or ignorance?
Politicians and ignorance

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Republicans in San Francisco? Two seek to challenge Speaker Pelosi

John Dennis and Dana Walsh face off in the Republican primary on June 8. The winner will run against Speaker Pelosi this fall. The LA Times reports that Dana Walsh has a very impressive donor list: 33,000 people from all 50 states. Here she is addressing the tax day Tea Party in San Francisco:

While Dana Walsh appears to be a mainstream conservative, her opponent, John Dennis, who is more of a Ron Paul-style libertarian, is hostile to the Federal Reserve and wants an immediate withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan.

San Francisco is so lopsidedly liberal that Pelosi's aides, the LA Times reports, "can't even remember the last time Pelosi ran a TV or radio spot." The city has not elected a Republican to Congress since 1972.

PREVIOUSLY on San Francisco area and California races:
Matt Grocott for San Mateo County Supervisor
California's schools need Lydia Gutierrez
Senate candidate Chuck DeVore wows crowd on San Francisco peninsula
Polls show DeVore strengthening against Sen. Ma'am Boxer
Will Boxer go the way of Coakley?: CA Senate race tightens (Jan. 2010)

Friday, May 07, 2010

Obama's national security strategy revealed!

ComicallyIncorrect observed a secret meeting between Janet Napolitano and Pres. Obama:
Hat tip: Vocal Minority.

PREVIOUSLY on terrorism:
Yet another left-wing terrorist
Obama's humane plan for terrorists: kill rather than interrogate
The root cause of terrorism
Gitmo torture: Metallica is proud of its music's message to terrorists
Speaker Pelosi's deep thoughts on giving Miranda rights to terrorists.
AG Eric Holder was for enhanced interrogation before he was against it.
The NY Times finally admits we were fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq
Gitmo torture tactic revealed: "she touched my thigh!"
Terror color codes updated for Obama (illustrated)
NY Times skeptical of Bush but trusts terrorists
Global warming predicted to cause more terrorism
Before Al Qaeda: the socialist-terrorist alliance of the 1980s

Study: Liberals are economically illiterate

In economics, there are some basic laws that are beyond dispute. One of them, for example, would be the law of supply and demand. How well do people understand these laws? Economic Journal Watch, a peer-reviewed journal, has published a study done by George Mason University in collaboration with Zogby that attempts to answer that question. They asked eight basic economic questions of 4,835 people. Their first interesting result was that college-graduates did not know more about basic economics than those with a high school education or less. The second interesting results was that economic knowledge depended strongly on political philosophy with self-identified liberals and progressives being much less knowledgeable than self-identified conservatives or libertarians. Table 2 from their paper shows these results (click on the table to enlarge):
What happens if rents are artificially lowered? The law of supply and demand says that demand goes up and supply goes down. In other words, there will be a shortage. According to the table above, only 14 % of "very conservatives" or 16% of libertarians answered the rent control question incorrectly. However, an amazing 71% of liberals and 79% of progressives answered this question incorrectly. In none of the eight questions did the liberals/progressives do better than conservatives/libertarians.

If Democratic policies, such as Obamacare and cap-and-trade, seem economically irrational, it is likely, according to this study, a result of the proponents of those policies being economic illiterates. The left really does not understand or does not want to understand the law of supply and demand.

In my conversations with liberals, the root of the problem seems to be a refusal to consider more than one side. In the rent control issue, for example, a liberal's sympathy is with the renter and he will refuse to consider that landlords and people who might consider becoming landlords also have rights and options. Many liberals would seem to be intellectually capable of considering how all sides would respond to a policy if they wanted to but they don't because they don't want to.

Hat tip: Todd Zywicki/Volockh.

UPDATE: Ilya Somin suggests, without providing any actual evidence, that there might be other questions that conservatives might answer poorly.

UPDATE: Liberal blogger Mathew Yglesias weighs in:
As best I can tell, his argument is that because many rank-and-file progressives have mistaken ideas about economics, it’s okay for conservatives to have wrong ideas about climate science.
This might provide some consolation for the left except that the conservative position on global warming is in agreement with real scientists while the left's is governed by unsavory politicians (Gore), disreputable bureaucrats (UN), clowns (Hansen), and con men (Jones, Mann).

Mr. Yglesias continues:
The good news about progressives is that actual policymaking in, for example, the Obama administration is not based on elementary errors of economic policy.
which might be true except for porkulus, bail-outs, cap-and-tax, and Obamacare, etc.

WELCOME to readers of Natural Fake.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of Obamanomics and how it differs from economics:
Obama modeling US economy after Europe's
Irresponsibility pays!
Obamanomics prolonging the recession
US Aaa bond rating threatened by Obama's budget says Moody's
Obamanomics illustrated II
How Dems are prolonging the recession
How Obamanomics destroys jobs
Obamanomics illustrated
Deficits: Obama goes where no man has gone before (illustration)
How to raise the standard of living
Obama's anti-intellectual economic theory
Obamanomics and the test of science
Obamacare may raise insurance costs by 54%
Harvard economist explains why Obamacare will raise premiums
HHS says Obamacare will cause costs to go up and cause employers to drop coverage

San Mateo County Supervisor's race

With so many important national and statewide races this year, it is easy to overlook races with important but local consequences. In the very liberal County of San Mateo (San Francisco Peninsula), there are five candidates running in a non-partisan race to replace Rich Gordon as a County Supervisor. The San Mateo Daily Journal has an article on them with an online (non-scientific) poll. The notable result is that the leading candidate in this poll is the tea-party-endorsed candidate, Matt Grocott:

We won't find out if this non-scientific poll means anything until the election on June 8. However, Mr. Grocott is sane, sensible, and fiscally responsible. That makes him just the kind of Supervisor that the deficit-ridden county government needs right now.

Monday, May 03, 2010

California's schools need Lydia Gutierrez

While California's public universities are sometimes excellent, California's K-12 public education is a disaster, as Los Angeles' Wave newspaper reports:
California ranks next to last in states where the adult population has at least a high school education, according to a report released by the California Faculty Association at Cal State Los Angeles.

Ranking 49th out of 50 states is an indication of the state’s deteriorating educational status in recent decades, according to “California at the Edge of a Cliff,” by Thomas G. Mortenson.

Tonight, Lydia Gutierrez, a school teacher with twenty years experience, explained what's wrong with California education to a rapt audience at a meeting of MyLiberty in San Mateo. She gave a whirlwind tour of the complex maze of policies and bureaucracies that strangle our public education system. She is running to become California's school superintendent in the election on June 8. I hope she succeeds.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of education:
Gov. Christie on New Jersey and the astounding greed of its teacher's unions
NY State Dept. of Education spending priorities
Public school caught spying on kids at home
Study: sexist women teachers stunt learning of girl students
Black students, harassed for "acting white," get $150,000
Teaching self-esteem backfires
Education in Korea vs. the US: does "self-esteem" backfire?
LA pays teachers not to teach
What teachers learn in teacher's ed.
Obama promises to throw money at schools
How to get a job teaching in California even if you are illiterate

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Minutemen vs. May Day protesters in San Francisco; Two arrested

SCROLL down to find updates and additions.

It was a beautiful Saturday in San Francisco's Civic Center. On one side of Polk Street were about 40 Golden Gate Minutemen protesting in favor of immigration being safe and legal. Here is the scene from their side:"What has two hands and only nine digits? An illegal alien with my social security number."

The protester above is seen facing a police van with flashing lights that was called in as pro-illegal demonstrators surged from the other side of Polk street toward the Minutemen. Here you can see the May Day protesters carrying Che signs and waving a Mexican flag at the Minutemen:
How dangerous was it? A man on the Minuteman side writes that the pro-illegals were preparing for violence:
They came as a mob almost up to our side of the street. I saw some bottles of water about to be thrown, and I saw some wrapping their heads with SEIU t-shirts to mask their faces in case someone broke rank and started to attack us. This of course would have allowed the entire mob to begin the violent attack.
They know enough to protect their anonymity when anticipating violence. They may not know how to fill out immigration papers but they do know how to riot.

The SF police pushed back, keeping the pro-illegals on the other side of Polk street:

In the foreground in the photo above are the pro-illegal protestors, behind them is a line of police, then Polk street, then police tape and barricades, then another line of policemen, then several parked cars, then more metal barricades, then the forty or so Minutemen protesters. The police were being careful. I would have gotten more photos of the Minutemen side but the police were not letting anyone near them.

Also, as shown above, the police had their backs to the Minutemen and faced the May Day crowd. Despite all the media reports about "right wing" violence, the police clearly knew which side was peaceful and which side was dangerous.

The success of the police in protecting the Minutemen caused frustration on the pro-illegal side and they responded with extreme crudity, as my Minuteman correspondent writes:
They responded with the bird and a gesture that looked like masturbation followed by tossing the result my way. Must be some Central American gesture as I've never seen it before.
Just how well prepared San Francisco police were can be seen in this photo looking from Civic Center, across Grove Street, toward the Bill Graham Auditorium and showing a very long line of police cars and police motorcycles waiting to swing into action:
(Despite the preparations, three Minutemen were attacked but more on that below.)

The May Day protesters, numbering a thousand or more, gathered around a stage in Civic Center:
If the speakers at the May Day rally were speaking English, I would try to summarize what they said, but they weren't. There were, however, colorful displays of flags, some Mexican, some Honduran, among others:It must have been frustrating for the May Day crowd not to have Geo. Bush to kick around anymore. Instead, they were reduced to calling Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer a Nazi and racist:
The sign reads "I talked to your kids about racisim[sic.] last night. I told them that treating another group of people unfairly was wrong. They agreed. Signed, tu[sic.] nanny." The sign, of course, is also adorned with Nazi symbols and a "Heil Hitler." (Will Speaker Pelosi ever acknowledge that protesters on her side "carry swastikas"?)

The man shown below wanted Obama to "open the stables for the horses." I decided not to ask for a translation:
May Day rallies are not only about immigration. They are also about communism. While some of us may think that the USSR was a failed experiment, those belonging to the International Bolshevik Tendency still think fondly of the glory days in 1917:
My Minuteman correspondent writes about the media hypocrisy:
I also saw all the communist literature being sold in the Plaza. No media reports on this commie stuff, but would the media have reported if our side were selling Mein Kampf?
The man below was at the May Day rally to promote the "All African People's Revolutionary Party" with "a call to strengthen the solidarity between African people and the indigenous people of the Western hemisphere":

San Francisco is famous for colorful characters and they were also there for this event:
There were also lots of t-shirts and buttons for sale. Marijuana legalization advocates have a new slogan as seen on the button below: "legalize today, get high tonight":

At the end of the demonstration, I watched as the police escorted the Minutemen out of the area. Apparently the escort did not last long enough. ABC News reports that a large group of illegal-rights supporters followed them to the BART station (San Francisco's subway) and punched and kicked them. Three Minutemen supporters were injured. At least two of the attackers were arrested and will "likely be charged with felony assault and robbery."

UPDATE 1: Uncoverage has more on the vandalism in Santa Cruz that followed the pro-illegal demonstration. Local ABC News is reporting more than $100,000 in damages to Santa Cruz businesses:








UPDATE 2: One of the participants on the Minuteman side offers a few comments. For one, he describes his encounter with an AP reporter eager to make the Minutemen look bad:
Of course, there were no racist signs on our side, but when I met an AP photographer, I said, "Are you looking for a racist sign?" He excitedly looked around and said, "Where?" I pointed out to him that there were no racist signs, that racism was the farthest thing from our minds, and that his excitement about a possible racist sign was evidence that he WANTED there to be a racist sign. I told him my question was about him, not the sign. Obviously the possibility of a racist sign fit into his narrative, the one in which he got to be the hero in exposing what he was sure that was at the core of our ideology. The media are so transparent right now in their clear leftist slant.
UPDATE 3: Steve Kemp of the Golden Gate Minutemen has issued a statement:
I am very proud of all who showed up and stood with us, and also to those who wanted to, but truly couldn't. ....

Yes there was danger, but we had about 15 SFPD Officers assigned to protect us. I've been to many protests during my four years with the Minutemen, and as we expected, this was absolutely the worst one I've witnessed. The arrogance, vile hatred and racism that these "peaceful immigrants" displayed was disgusting - absolutely disgusting.

They walked OUR streets that WE pay for, that our parents and grandparents paid for (some with the ultimate sacrifice), openly admitting that they are here illegally, carrying mass murderer Che Guevara posters with pride, communist flags, socialist tables set up at the Civic Center Plaza, and Mexican flags waving on a beautiful spring day in a city that we all used to love called San Francisco. They spit at us, threw things and flipped us off. All while calling us "hate mongers", "racists" and "Nazis". And having the nerve to whine about "racial profiling" and how unfair America is to them. ....

This has been going on for some time now, and I got news for anyone that will listen. The "New Patriot Movement" had better get off of their butts and take a stand before we're totally overrun by people who think it's their right to take back "their" country.

Steve Kemp
Golden Gate Minutemen

WELCOME to readers of Sondrak, Nice Deb, Uncoverage, MichelleMalkin, Marooned in Marin, LibertyPost, National Policy Institute, Blogs for Borders, and Plain Politics.

PREVIOUSLY on tea parties in the San Francisco bay area:
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