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Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Legal Pot...

"But let’s set these aside and suppose, for the sake of argument, that the free production, commercialization and consumption of cannabis proves in practice to do no harm, or at least much less harm than other products, such as cigarettes, that are permitted. What then? What would that tell us about policy towards drugs in general?
Not very much, I am afraid, for what is true of cannabis might not be true of other drugs. In other words, wise policy for cannabis might not be wise policy for ketamine, LSD, cocaine, or dexamphetamine. It is surely difficult to envisage (except for those who value consistency above prudence as a political virtue) a situation in which one could buy any or all of these drugs as if they were bread or chocolate.
To this, of course, the response might be that what is envisaged is a controlled market, as the sale of alcohol is controlled in the province of Ontario, or indeed is subject to restrictions to one degree or another throughout the Western world. There is, after all, something between a completely free market and total prohibition.
Such a controlled market would entail the abandonment of the abstract libertarian principle that everyone should be free to do anything he liked so long as he did no (direct) harm to others. It would mean conceding that the state had a legitimate interest in what its citizens did. But it seems to me almost as impossible to envisage the state actually supervising, and therefore inspecting, the sale of all—or indeed any—of the above-mentioned drugs to its citizens, as to imagine a totally free market in them."

link
My take:
As a natve American (born in NYC), I was particularly puzzled how one of the great colonies and later US states, home of the authors of the Declaration, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and various other foundation stones of freedom and free enterprise, could presume to socialize a government monopoly for the sale of packaged alcoholic beverages. Virginia does not apparently trust the authorities of Scotland, Jamaica, France, Canada, Kentucky, and other government approved certifiers of quality and quantity to protect the alcohol consumers in its silly Commonwealth from counterfeit, adulterated, watered-down, or bootlegged Scotch, Rum, Cognac, Champagne, Vermouth, Canadian Whisky, Bourbon, Southern Comfort, Tequila, Courvoisier, Jameson Irish, or Mount Gay.
In fact, the thoughtful control freaks of Virginia won’t let anyone but their own state owned enterprise purvey packaged liquors to the consumer or make a profit from the business. They run hundreds of “package stores” staffed by state employees, in state owned buildings on state owned or leased tax-free real estate, where they pay no income tax, license tax, employer payroll tax, need not carry insurance, account for their receipts, sales tax collections, or inventory taxes. They have every advantage that no private employer or merchant can get and they have a monopoly enforced by arrest, prosecution and imprisonment. This is America?
New York State perceived a problem with gambling, with bookies, and the numbers racket afflicting poor and uneducated people. Their solution was to establish Socialized Bookmaking, where anyone above a certain age is free under the law to wager against the State. Off-Track-Betting and then the State Lottery were brought in with all those comparative business advantages of Virginia’s liquor stores, plus a massive advertising budget to lure idiots on subways, busses, billboards, radio and television to risk hard-earned cash on a fool’s game designed by Madison Avenue doctors of psychology to create the maximum addictive effect on its victims.
Now every state is doing it. When the decriminalize prostitution, you can be assured that the State will make all the hookers abandon their independent contractor status and become State Employees licensed, inspected, inured, and paid through the state’s VISA and MasterCard processing system after a nominal fee is extracted. The State will be the Pimp.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Big Brother

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"Today, Friday 31 July 2015, 9am CEST, WikiLeaks publishes "Target Tokyo", 35 Top Secret NSA targets in Japan including the Japanese cabinet and Japanese companies such as Mitsubishi, together with intercepts relating to US-Japan relations, trade negotiations and sensitive climate change strategy.
The list indicates that NSA spying on Japanese conglomerates, government officials, ministries and senior advisers extends back at least as far as the first administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which lasted from September 2006 until September 2007. The telephone interception target list includes the switchboard for the Japanese Cabinet Office; the executive secretary to the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga; a line described as "Government VIP Line"; numerous officials within the Japanese Central Bank, including Governor Haruhiko Kuroda; the home phone number of at least one Central Bank official; numerous numbers within the Japanese Finance Ministry; the Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Yoichi Miyazawa; the Natural Gas Division of Mitsubishi; and the Petroleum Division of Mitsui."


The Spyfiles 4

2014-09-15
Today, 15 September 2014, WikiLeaks releases previously unseen copies of weaponised German surveillance malware used by intelligence agencies around the world to spy on journalists, political dissidents and others.
FinFisher (formerly part of the UK based Gamma Group International until late 2013) is a German company that produces and sells computer intrusion systems, software exploits and remote monitoring systems that are capable of intercepting communications and data from OS X, Windows and Linux computers as well as Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Mobile devices. FinFisher first came to public attention in December 2011 when WikiLeaks published documents detailing their products and business in the first SpyFiles release.
https://www.gammagroup.com/default.aspx

video

https://wikileaks.org/spyfiles3
"Documents in Spy Files #3 include sensitive sales brochures and presentations used to woo state intelligence agencies into buying mass surveillance services and technologies. Spy Files #3 also includes contracts and deployment documents, detailing specifics on how certain systems are installed and operated.
Internet spying technologies now being sold on the intelligence market include detecting encrypted and obfuscated internet usage such as Skype, BitTorrent, VPN, SSH and SSL. The documents reveal how contractors work with intelligence and policing agencies to obtain decryption keys.
The documents also detail bulk interception methods for voice, SMS, MMS, email, fax and satellite phone communications. The released documents also show intelligence contractors selling the ability to analyse web and mobile interceptions in real-time."
[The site IS safe.  Google is warning because authorities have warned Google to make this material unavailable by posting a warning.  If you click "more details" there is an open link to the material there, which is entirely safe, but which they want to scare you about. Doubtless, your visit to that link will be reported to the NSA.]

If you trust the USG, the ATF, the IRS, etc., you still might not like that customers of FinFisher could be ANY government anywhere in the world including Mongolia, Oman, Dubai, Estonia, Pakistan, Vietnam, and even Nigeria.   Everyone in Nigeria is part of a criminal enterprise or two so your data could go into the hands of such crooks.  If you think Nigeria wouldn't allow that to happen, ask yourself "how many arrests have ever been made in Nigeria for the infamous 419 Advance Fee Fraud racket.


Friday, July 31, 2015

How to Lie with Statistics

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How to Lie with Statistics (1954) by Darrell Huff (July 151913 – June 272001) is an introduction to statistics for the general reader. It uses a breezy, non-mathematical approach to making sense of statistics, and to recognizing nonsense when you see it. This is the best-selling statistics book of all time.

Quotes[edit]

Quotations taken from the 31st printing of the 1954 W. W. Norton edition; ISBN 0-393-05264-8 (cloth), ISBN 0-393-09426-X (paperback)
Currently available in the 1993 W. W. Norton edition; ISBN 0-393-31072-8 (paperback)
  • The secret language of statistics, so appealing in a fact-minded culture, is employed to sensationalize, inflate, confuse, and oversimplify. Statistical methods and statistical terms are necessary in reporting the mass data of social and economic trends, business conditions, "opinion" polls, the census. But without writers who use the words with honesty and understanding and readers who know what they mean, the result can only be semantic nonsense.
    • Introduction
  • A well-wrapped statistic is better than Hitler's "big lie"; it misleads, yet it cannot be pinned on you.
    • Introduction
  • Who are those who chucked the questionnaire into the nearest wastebasket?
    • Chapter 1: The Sample With the Built-in Bias
  • Even if you can't find a source of demonstrable bias, allow yourself some degree of skepticism about the results as long as there is a possibility of bias somewhere. There always is.
    • Chapter 1: The Sample With the Built-in Bias
  • This is the little figure that is not there—on the assumption that you, the lay reader, wouldn't understand it. Or that, where there is an axe to grind, you would.
    • Chapter 3: The Little Figures That Are Not There
    • Referring to degree of significance
  • It is all too reminiscent of an old definition of the lecture method of classroom instruction: a process by which the contents of the textbook of the instructor are transferred to the notebook of the student without passing through the heads of either party.
    • Chapter 3: The Little Figures That Are Not There
  • There is terror in numbers. [...] Perhaps we suffer from a trauma induced by grade-school arithmetic.
    • Chapter 5: The Gee-Whiz Graph
  • Nothing has been falsified—except the impression that it gives.
    • Chapter 5: The Gee-Whiz Graph
  • If you can't prove what you want to prove, demonstrate something else and pretend they are the same thing. In the daze that follows the collision of statistics with the human mind, hardly anyone will notice the difference.
    • Chapter 7: The Semiattached Figure
  • The president of the American Statistical Association once called me down for that. Not chicanery much of the time, said he, but incompetence. There may be something in what he says, but I am not certain that one assumption will be less offensive to statisticians than the other.
    • Chapter 9: How to Statisticulate
  • What comes full of virtue from the statistician's desk may find itself twisted, exaggerated, oversimplified, and distorted-through-selection by salesman, public-relations expert, journalist, or advertising copywriter. [...] As long as the errors remain one-sided, it is not easy to attribute them to bungling and accident.
    • Chapter 9: How to Statisticulate
  • It's all a little like the tale of a roadside merchant who was asked to explain how he could sell rabbit sandwiches so cheap. "Well," he said, "I have to put in some horse meat too. But I mix 'em fifty-fifty: one horse, one rabbit."
    • Chapter 9: How to Statisticulate
  • "Does it make sense?" will often cut a statistic down to size when the whole rignarole is based on an unproven assumption.
    • Chapter 10: How to Talk Back to a Statistic

Quotes about How to Lie with Statistics[edit]

  • There is some irony to the world’s most famous statistics book having been written by a person with no formal training in statistics, but there is also some logic to how this came to be. Huff had a thorough training for excellence in communication, and he had an exceptional commitment to doing things for himself. [...] In the publishing field, this is what one means by pioneering, original work.
    • J.M. Steele, "Darrell Huff and Fifty Years of How to Lie with Statistics", Statistical Science, 20 (3), 2005, 205–209.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:
Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:
  • J.M. Steele, "Darrell Huff and Fifty Years of How to Lie with Statistics" [1]

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Homicide rates of western counties...

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  • Avatar
    Pardon me, Mr. savannachimp, but I can't let that stand. You are shamelessly blowing total Hot Air up our skirts here and it's embarrassing. We're not all gullible fools here, you know.
    You said: "Every other Western country has people with the same mental issues. We don't have the same level of slaughter, and it's not because we're locking everybody up."
    But the facts don't bear out that conclusion at all:
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    A much nice, neater table with pretty little flags is on view athttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... (which you'll find easier to see), but:
    Country Rate Count Region Subregion Year Listed
    Anguilla (UK) 7.5 1 Americas Caribbean 2012
    Antigua and Barbuda 11.2 10 Americas Caribbean 2012
    Aruba (Netherlands) 3.9 4 Americas Caribbean 2010
    Bahamas 29.8 111 Americas Caribbean 2012
    Barbados 7.4 21 Americas Caribbean 2012
    British Virgin Islands (UK) 8.4 2 Americas Caribbean 2006
    Cayman Islands (UK) 14.7 8 Americas Caribbean 2009
    Cuba 4.2 477 Americas Caribbean 2012
    Dominica 21.1 15 Americas Caribbean 2010
    Dominican Republic 22.1 2,268 Americas Caribbean 2012
    Grenada 13.3 14 Americas Caribbean 2012
    Guadeloupe (France) 7.9 36 Americas Caribbean 2009
    Haiti 10.2 1,033 Americas Caribbean 2012
    Jamaica 39.3 1,087 Americas Caribbean 2012
    Martinique (France) 2.7 11 Americas Caribbean 2009
    Montserrat (UK) 20.4 1 Americas Caribbean 2008
    Puerto Rico (US) 26.5 978 Americas Caribbean 2012
    Saint Kitts and Nevis 33.6 18 Americas Caribbean 2012
    Saint Lucia 21.6 39 Americas Caribbean 2012
    St Vincent & Grenadines 25.6 28 Americas Caribbean 2012
    Trinidad and Tobago 28.3 379 Americas Caribbean 2012
    Turks and Caicos Islands (UK) 6.6 2 Americas Caribbean 2009
    United States Virgin Islands (US) 52.6 56 Americas Caribbean 2010
    Belize 44.7 145 Americas Central America 2012
    Costa Rica 8.5 407 Americas Central America 2012
    El Salvador 41.2 2,594 Americas Central America 2012
    Guatemala 39.9 6,025 Americas Central America 2012
    Honduras 90.4 7,172 Americas Central America 2012
    Mexico 21.5 26,037 Americas Central America 2012 See notes below.
    Nicaragua 11.3 675 Americas Central America 2012
    Panama 17.2 654 Americas Central America 2012
    Bermuda (UK) 7.7 5 Americas Northern America 2012
    Canada 1.6 543 Americas Northern America 2012
    Saint Pierre and Miquelon (France) 16.5 1 Americas Northern America 2009
    United States 4.7 14,827 Americas Northern America 2012
    Argentina 5.5 2,237 Americas South America 2010
    Bolivia 12.1 1,270 Americas South America 2012
    Brazil 25.2 50,108 Americas South America 2012
    Chile 3.1 550 Americas South America 2012
    Colombia 30.8 14,670 Americas South America 2012 See notes below.
    Ecuador 12.4 1,924 Americas South America 2012
    French Guiana (France) 13.3 30 Americas South America 2009
    Guyana 17.0 135 Americas South America 2012
    Paraguay 9.7 649 Americas South America 2012
    Peru 9.6 2,865 Americas South America 2012
    Suriname 6.1 33 Americas South America 2012
    Uruguay 7.9 267 Americas South America 2012
    Venezuela 53.7 16,072 Americas South America 2012
    ================================================
    Then, there are actually:
    1.) Only five countries with lower homicide rates than in the US in the west. 
    2.) 38 Countries, if my count is right, in total in the west counted by UNODC.
    3.) 32 Countries show higher murder rates than the US (they count PR & VI, separately).
    4.) 6 Countries in the UK (where I believe handguns are banned) and 3 countries in France have higher homicide rates with just one French jurisdiction enjoying a lower rate.
    5.) Statistics are always problematic because one cannot know how many police, military, or judicial killings are counted as homicide (Intentional homicide, as defined by UNODC, is "unlawful death purposefully inflicted on a person by another person"), and one even marvels if Mexico, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Brazil, or Venezuela are CAPABLE of counting their homicides. I doubt it.
    So you may want to amend your through-your-hat statement about "every other western country," and begin taking potshots at your fellow United Kingdom realm subjects and French neighbors to the east. I won't hold my breath.
    Cheers.
    P.S. Oh wait, THIS is what you and the Toronto bureaucrats call multicultural? 
    The most common reported ethnic origins[3] of Toronto residents are those from England (12.9%), China (12.0%), Canada(11.3%), Ireland (9.7%), Scotland (9.5%), India (7.6%), Italy (6.9%), the Philippines (5.5%), Germany (4.6%), France(4.5%), Poland (3.8%), Portugal (3.6%), and Jamaica (3.2%), or are of Jewish ethnic origin (3.1%). There is also a significant population of Ukrainians (2.5%), Russians (2.4%), Sri Lankans (2.3%), Spanish (2.2%), Greeks (2.2%), people from the British Isles in general (2.0%), Koreans (1.5%), Dutch (1.5%), Iranians (1.4%), Vietnamese (1.4%), Pakistanis(1.2%), Hungarians (1.2%), Guyanese (1.1%), and Welsh (1.0%). Communities of Afghans, Arabs, Barbadians,Bangladeshis, Bulgarians, Colombians, Croats, Ecuadorians, Grenadians, Macedonians, Mexicans, Nepalis, Romanians,Salvadorans, Serbs, Somalis, Tibetans, Trinidadians, and Vincentians are also recognized. Established ethnic neighbourhoods such as Chinatown, Corso Italia, Little India, Greektown, Koreatown, Little Jamaica, Little Portugal andRoncesvalles celebrate the city's multiculturalism.[4]"
    2.2% Spanish! Wow, that's got to be some great Cinco de Mayo up there. Whoops no one to celebrate the 26th of July Movement, it seems. 'cept you.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

No President has ever made a long-term arms control agreement on his own authority.

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"... this deal may represent the single worst policy outcome of all of Obama’s illegalities.
Mike Ramsey has set forth the case that the Iranian deal is unconstitutional both under the original meaning and under modern law.  Under the original meaning, the Constitution’s provides the way to make major international agreements – through supermajority approval in the Senate, as set forth in Article II, Section 2.  Moreover:
Making major international agreements in the way the text prescribes is not just an eighteenth-century relic; it is the usual course for the United States today (subject to some exceptions noted below).  And the usual course is that if an agreement cannot get two-thirds approval in the Senate, there is no agreement.
What then are the possible justifications for it?  First, the “deal is an executive agreement, done on the President’s independent authority.”  But under the original meaning, there is a strong argument that executive agreements must relate to temporary and minor matters.  Moreover, a similar result obtains under modern law:
the agreements made by prior Presidents under this power have been minor and typically limited to settlements of claims, arrangement of military affairs, diplomatic recognition, and other matters within the President’s military and recognition powers.  No President has ever made a long-term arms control agreement on his own authority.
Second, “The deal is a nonbinding “political commitment” rather than a treaty.  Ramsey claims such nonbinding actions are legitimate under both the original meaning and modern law.  But the Iran deal:
doesn’t look like a nonbinding agreement.  Iran appears to understand it as a binding agreement.  And at least some of its terms appear to (purportedly) constrain U.S. action in the future, beyond the end of President Obama’s term.  It’s likely that a vocal defense of the agreement as nonbinding would substantially undermine the deal.
Finally, Congress will approve the deal.  While the original meaning does not allow a majority of each house of Congress to approve a treaty, in modern times sometimes Congress has done so.  But Congress is very unlikely to approve the deal.
Not only is the deal unconstitutional, its unconstitutionality is essential to it occurring.  If the President had to secure two thirds of the Senate or a majority of both houses, this deal almost certainly would not be approved.
Thus, once again, this President is taking illegal action to make an end run around the Congress to do things that are extremely problematic.  But this time, I fear, the consequences of his action may be worse than in the other cases.  The Iran deal is dangerous."

"Liberal -> Progressive

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When a political movement changes labels, that usually means its adherents are unelectable.
Take the Democrats in 2004. When the presidential candidacy of Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, a liberal protégé of the state’s senior senator, Ted Kennedy, went down in flames, their party almost immediately switched from the buzzword “liberal” to “Progressive.” Not only was this changing the subject, it was reaching for the latter term’s historically bipartisan connotations. The Democrat Woodrow Wilson had been adapting himself to a doctrine first put into circulation in national politics by a Republican, Theodore Roosevelt.
The initiators of the change in emphasis, Democratic consultants Paul Begala and James Carville, declared that the Democratic Party needed to reexamine itself. But then it turned out that the new label was only semantics. Four years later, Barack Obama, despite running from the center, showed that when off teleprompter (advocating spreading the wealth), he was very much in sync with his predecessor candidate. By the 2012 election, he no longer even donned the camouflage, but ran as an unapologetic liberal.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Allen West -- Facts about Socialism

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...
"Then again, has anyone ever articulated to the American people what socialism is as a governing philosophy – and that it has failed every time it’s tried? Perhaps the GOP nominees should stop with the circular firing squad and just do a simple comparative assessment between the ideals of a Constitutional Republic and a Progressive Socialist state.
So I figured this ol’ southern fella would give them a helping hand, with five facts about socialism you need to share with every Democrat you know.
1. First of all, socialists believe in wealth redistribution. This is the most threatening principle for a free market/free enterprise opportunity economy. It seeks to punish those who have worked hard to earn and achieve and believes that it is the job of the state to “level a playing field.” We hear the poll-tested marketed lexicon of fairness, fair share, economic patriotism, and other gimmick words that sound nice. My question is simple; when will progressive socialists share their iPhones, iPads, and all the other niceties they have?
Wealth redistribution does not work because it basically says the indomitable individual industrial entrepreneurial spirit does not (and should not) exist. And if anything has built this great nation to its impeccable level of exceptionalism, it has been individual industrialism. But if socialists have their way, success and achievement become targets of envy.
You know, this past weekend the USA Women’s Soccer team won their third World Cup — unprecedented. Carli Lloyd completed a first ever hat trick in men’s and women’s World Cup history. Every team from all the nations represented had the chance to win the World Cup, but one team was the champion. It was the most widely viewed sports event and we even watched in our home. It brought out all Americans because we like winning. Socialists don’t like winning, they like believing they can choose the winners. Socialists would have redistributed goals from Team USA to Japan in order to promote fairness. We don’t accept that on the soccer pitch — why do we accept that as a governing principle for our nation?
2. Socialists believe in nationalizing the economic production of a country, they do not believe in the private sector, the free marketplace of ideas. They believe in their control and I remember one Rep. Maxine Waters making a mistake and saying that we should nationalize the airlines — she caught herself.
When you consider legislation offered such as Obamacare, it’s about government having a preeminent role and competing against the private sector. You hear the liberal progressive socialists of the left talk about government investments — that is simply not possible. Government does not invest, it spends, and it spends other people’s money.
And the fallacy of socialism is that it works out REALLY well until you run out of other people’s money. If the government gets into the business of public sector growth and engagement in the marketplace, you end up with crony capitalism. You end up with a government that believes it can pick those winners and losers in the marketplace — Solyndra anyone?
What’s worse, the private sector cannot compete with government nationalization of production because government can just raise taxes to increase capital, or print money. Folks out in the free enterprise world cannot do that — thank God.
But just as we saw the shares of three healthcare companies skyrocket after the recent SCOTUS decision in King v Burwell — government should not be able to mandate to individual citizens that they MUST purchase a private sector commodity — inconsistent with the Commerce Clause — but very beneficial to the business that the government has chosen to coddle. In these past Obama years, we’ve seen an incredible intrusion of the federal government into the private sector — case in point, college student loans. It never ends up well — but that’s what Obama, Sanders, and presumably Hillary Clinton embrace.
3. Socialists believe in the creation and expansion of the welfare nanny-state. That is the purpose of wealth redistribution: the move away from the opportunity society to the dependency society. And all one has to do is look at the increase of Americans in poverty and on food stamps in these past six years. Consider the Great Society programs of Lyndon Johnson, especially the REALLY nutty idea of government providing checks to women who have children out of wedlock…with an interesting caveat, no man in the home.
So government removed Dad from the home and that especially affected the black community which 50 years ago had almost 77 percent two-parent households — today that number is barely 25 percent. Socialists come up with these GREAT ideas — mostly billed as free — but the truly intended consequences are detrimental for the society. As Wall Street Journal editorial board member Jason Riley pleads in his book, Please Stop Helping Us. But that is the issue, in that socialism is emotional in its core and these elitists truly believe they can feel better by helping someone — when actually they are promoting the soft bigotry of low expectations.
The dependency society that results from the expansion of the welfare state breeds a lack of drive, determination, and initiative. Socialists do not believe we need a safety net for those who slip off the ladder of success and achievement, which advocates for the individual to get back up and climb. Socialists believe in a hammock — which eventually dry rots.
4. Socialists actually believe in social utopianism — they call it social justice. What this means is that socialists believe it’s not the individual who has the unalienable right to the pursuit of happiness. It is a collective right granted by testate to guarantee happiness. Which is why socialists believe they must redistribute wealth, nationalize production, and give everyone a hammock.
Socialists do not believe in individual exceptionalism – as a matter of fact, “you did not build that” — someone else made it possible. And therefore justice is the sharing of what you THINK you have achieved – you can bet Hope Solo and Abby Wimbach are not about to give up that World Cup!
Socialists do not believe that if you work hard you can have a better life. They believe you must work hard in to spread it around — shared prosperity — because that is what makes a society happy – and makes them feel good, the essence of collectivism as the individual is lost.
Heck, it was MSNBC commentator Melissa Harris-Perry who even stated that parents do not have their own children — that they belong to all of us. Way wrong answer there, Mel.
I don’t need reparations. I just wanted to be a part of the opportunity society, not one based on classifying me as a victim needing standards to be altered to achieve justice for me. Socialists don’t believe individuals can be a victors — not on their own. The State exists to provide its version of justice — which is horribly unjust. Socialists like Julian Castro believe Fair Housing means socially engineering neighborhoods, and if you do not fit their definition — a utopian vision — you are in violation of being socially just.
5. Lastly, Socialists embrace the secular society. Why? Because faith has to be rooted in the State. Here in America, if God is removed from the public sphere, then who becomes the grantor — and subsequently the taker — of your unalienable rights, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?
The recent SCOTUS decision on redefining marriage — well, it has resulted in a State punishing citizens for their religious beliefs. That is exactly why folks fled Europe for America in the first place — religious freedom and liberty. There is a reason why we sing God Bless America — and He has, but that is not what socialists prefer.
It was Karl Marx who termed religion as the “opiate of the masses.” Nah Karl, we just know you should never put your faith in man. The Founding Fathers invoked Divine Providence as they signed their 56 names to the Declaration of Independence. They realized King George III was a flawed human being and the divine rights theory was not the way towards individual liberty — freedom comes from the natural rights theory. And that is why our individual rights are granted from our Creator, God — not Obama, Sanders, or Clinton.
It is a time for choosing, America. This socialism stuff may sound enticing but let me end again with the words of Churchill: “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”
I hate being miserable, and I certainly don’t want to share misery with anyone. That’s not how we roll in America folks!"

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Abercrombie & Fitch

History link

As early as 1913, A&F had adopted the slogan, "The Greatest Sporting Goods Store in the World".[9]

That was THEN:

"Founded in 1892 in the Manhattan borough of New York CityNew York, by David T. Abercrombie and Ezra Fitch, Abercrombie & Fitch was an elite outfitter of sporting and excursion goods, particularly noted for its expensive shotguns, fishing rods, fishing boats, and tents. In 1976, Abercrombie & Fitch filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, finally closing its flagship store at Madison Avenue and East 45th Street in 1977.[5]     
[We used to spend many pleasant lunch hours in that store marvelling at the excursion, safari, expedition, and exploration gear and wonderful merchandise that they sold.  They regularly outfitted Teddy Roosevelt.  They had a shooting range in the basement and a pool on the roof.   In 1938, 40% of sales at the great flagship Madison Avenue store was guns.  There was a gorgeous collapsible 4-man wooden boat with canvas cover that could be back-packed anywhere that a man could walk or hike.  Twelve floors, we loved that place.]


Shortly thereafter the name was revived in 1978, Oshman's Sporting Goods, a Houston-based chain owned by Jake Oshman,[6] bought the defunct firm's name and mailing list for $1.5 million[7] ($5.2 million in 2013 dollars).[8]Oshman's relaunched A&F as a mail-order retailer specializing in hunting wear and novelty items. It also opened shops in Beverly Hills, Dallas, and (by the mid-1980s) New York City. Finally, in 1988, Oshman's sold the company name and operations to The Limited, a clothing-chain operator based in Columbus, Ohio.[9] "

And this is NOW:

"Product criticism[edit]

In 2002, A&F sold a shirt that featured the slogan "Wong Brothers Laundry Service – Two Wongs Can Make It White" with smiling figures in conical Asian hats, a depiction of early Chinese immigrants. The company discontinued the designs and apologized after a boycott started by an Asian American student group at Stanford University.[82] That same year, abercrombie kids removed a line of thong underwear sold for girls in pre-teen children's sizes after parents mounted nationwide storefront protests. The underwear included phrases like "Eye Candy" and "Wink Wink" printed on the front.[83]


More T-shirt controversies occurred in 2004. The first incident involved a shirt featuring the phrase, "It's All Relative in West Virginia," a jab at alleged incestuous relationships in rural America. West Virginia Governor Bob Wise spoke out against the company for depicting "an unfounded, negative stereotype of West Virginia", but the shirts were not removed.[84] Later, another T-shirt that said "L is for Loser" next to a picture of a male gymnast on the rings gathered publicity. The company stopped selling the shirt in October 2004 after USA Gymnastics president Bob Colarossi announced a boycott of A&F for mocking the sport.[85]
In 2005, the Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania launched a "Girlcott" of the store to protest the sale of T-shirts displaying sexist messages such as "Who needs brains when you have these?", "Available for parties," and "I had a nightmare I was a brunette." The campaign received national coverage on The Today Show, and the company pulled the shirts from stores on November 5, 2005.[86] Five days after this media coverage, A&F pulled two of the shirts off of its shelves, released an apology to girls for producing the T-shirts, and agreed to have corporate executives meet with the "Girlcott" girls at the company's headquarters.[87]
Bob Jones University, a non-denominational Protestant university located in GreenvilleSouth Carolina, and its affiliated pre-collegiate schools, along with other Christian schools have prohibited A&F and Hollister clothing from being "worn, carried, or displayed" on its campuses because of "an unusual degree of antagonism to the name of Christ and an unusual display of wickedness" in the company's promotions.[88]
After A&F raised its price points in 2004, its products have been described as overpriced.[81] After the company opened its flagship store in London, England and Paris, France, the brand was criticized in the United Kingdom and France because the merchandise that was offered to the customers cost double (or a direct $/£ - $/€ swap) compared to prices found in the U.S.[89]
A T-shirt controversy arose again over A&F's Back-to-School 2009 collection of "humor tees".[90] One shirt proclaims "Show the twins" above a picture of a young woman with her blouse open to two men. Two other shirts state "Female streaking encouraged" and "Female Students Wanted for Sexual Research".[90] The American Family Association disapproved of the influence of the "sex-as-recreation" lifestyle shirts, and asked the brand to remove its "sexualized shirts" from display.[90]"

You've come a long way, baby.