Leftists at AP launch smear campaign against Trail Life USA

The AP recently ran a story smearing Trail Life USA, a new, and rapidly growing, alternative the Bout Scouts. Via Bookworm Room:

The photograph ran last Sunday in newspapers across the nation and generated hundreds of angry emails and some threatening telephone calls to Trail Life headquarters.

But it turns out that the boys were not saluting Hitler and contrary to the first Associated Press caption, they were not reciting a creed. The boys were singing “Taps,” a longtime Boy Scout tradition that the Texas Trail USA troop had adapted as their own.

The boys had gathered in a circle with their hands raised straight into the air. They gradually lowered their hands as they sang the song. It concludes with their hands flush against their side.

The picture AP selected to accompany their story about Trail Life?


Leftists / Democrats will stop at nothing to advance their agenda. Drag business owners to court if they object to participate in a gay wedding? Absolutely. Sue Nuns from the Little Sisters of the Poor because they refuse to provide birth control pills. Check. Launch a smear campaign against a youth organization because they aren’t down with allowing openly gay members or leaders. Not a problem.

Democrat politicians are completely supportive of this agenda.

How does the casual Democrat, the someone who isn’t overtly political, feels about being part of a movement that isn’t above smear and intimidation campaigns.

Main Governor introduces plan requiring wind projects demonstrate how their proposals would affect electricity prices and proponents balk

Finally, a little sanity:

Re-writing the goals would send a message to developers that Maine residents must benefit from wind-power projects, supporters told the legislative Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee.

“We should alter our goals to expand our economy, provide employment and lower electricity costs, so that when a developer looks at our state’s wind resources, they are encouraged to build these turbines here, employ as many Mainers as possible and provide lower electricity rates to Mainers,” said Republican Rep. Lance Harvell, of Farmington, who introduced the measure on behalf of LePage’s administration.

But critics say the governor’s measure will merely increase costs and regulatory burdens on wind project developers by forcing them to show how their proposals would affect electricity prices — something they say would be nearly impossible to do.

“(The administration is) irrationally opposed to clean energy like wind, and this bill is one in a series of obstacles to make it more difficult to build wind power in the state,” Glen Brand, chapter director of the Sierra Club Maine told The Associated Press.

Developers know that wind power is more expensive, so, naturally they will say its impossible to predict how their project the effect.

****** h/t National Wind Watch ******

Real Clear Politics: Even Jimmy Carter wasn’t this bad

carter and obama

Jack Kelly @ RCP documents the epic disaster that is commonly described as Obama’s foreign policy that is a must read. Wrapping up his column, Mr. Kelly concludes with this stinging observation:

Because he so often has “led from behind,” blustered and retreated, our enemies don’t fear our president; our allies don’t trust him; neither do they respect him.

American influence has shrunk along with the president’s stature. During the crisis there, Ukraine’s defense minister refused to accept calls from our secretary of defense.

Not even the hapless Jimmy Carter made so big a mess. Relations have soured even with Canada, which is tired of being jerked around on the Keystone pipeline.

Everyone except low information voters saw this coming a mile away.

Fed willing to “trade” a little additional inflation for a reduction in unemployment

You know how this is going to end. Badly:

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said Friday the central bank should be willing to allow inflation to go over its 2% target if that will help the economy get back on track more quickly.

“We need to repeatedly state clearly that our 2% objective is not a ceiling for inflation,” Mr. Evans said in the text of a speech.

“A slow glide toward our goals from large imbalances risks being stymied along the way and is more likely to fail if adverse shocks hit beforehand,” the policymaker told an audience at a conference in New York held by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. “The surest and quickest way to get to the objective is to be willing to overshoot in a manageable fashion.”

A willingness to go over the Fed’s 2% inflation target is to some degree already included in the Fed’s regime on monetary policy making. The central bank currently holds that it will not consider raising rates as long as the jobless rate is above 6.5%, so long as expected inflation does not go above 2.5%. Officials have made it clear they want inflation on target but, even so, this guidance suggests the Fed is willing to trade a little bit of above-target inflation to get unemployment down more quickly.

A better plan is to take our medicine now, right Miton?

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Of course we won’t take our medicine now, it’s an election year.

Robert Reich recycles Karl Marx

The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people.

Karl Marx from his Third Manuscript Private Property and Labor

Robert Reich is worried about WhatsApp, because Venture Capitalists (a.k.a. Facebook) paid them a lot of money, however, WhatsApp doesn’t employ a lot of people:

Whatsapp’s value doesn’t come from making anything. It doesn’t need a large organization to distribute its services or implement its strategy.

It value comes instead from two other things that require only a handful of people. First is its technology — a simple but powerful app that allows users to send and receive text, image, audio and video messages through the Internet.

The second is its network effect: The more people use it, the more other people want and need to use it in order to be connected. To that extent, it’s like Facebook — driven by connectivity.

Whatsapp’s worldwide usage has more than doubled in the past nine months, to 450 million people — and it’s growing by around a million users every day. On December 31, 2013, it handled 54 billion messages (making its service more popular than Twitter, now valued at about $30 billion.)

Robert Reich is making a straw man argument by holding up a single flashy, headline grabbing example of Venture Capitalist acquisition, and drawing the conclusion that we’re all doomed and there are no more jobs. While WhatsApp is grabbing all the headlines and getting the massive payday, there are literally thousands of other small start-up’s scrapping to become the next Facebook, Google, WhatsApp and Instagram. Some are well funded and others aren’t, but theses thousands of startups are employing tens of thousands of highly skilled people, contributing to the growth of our economy.

Of course this fact doesn’t fit the leftist narrative:

But we’re not getting more jobs.

In the emerging economy, there’s no longer any correlation between the size of a customer base and the number of employees necessary to serve them. In fact, the combination of digital technologies with huge network effects is pushing the ratio of employees to customers to new lows (WhatsApp’s 55 employees are all its 450 million customers need).

Meanwhile, the ranks of postal workers, call-center operators, telephone installers, the people who lay and service miles of cable, and the millions of other communication workers, are dwindling — just as retail workers are succumbing to Amazon, office clerks and secretaries to Microsoft, and librarians and encyclopedia editors to Google.

I know I’m beginning to sound like a broken record but I’ll say it anyway, government jobs like postal workers do not add to our economy. Reich continues:

Productivity keeps growing, as do corporate profits. But jobs and wages are not growing. Unless we figure out how to bring all of them back into line – or spread the gains more widely – our economy cannot generate enough demand to sustain itself, and our society cannot maintain enough cohesion to keep us together.

Our economy, our way of life is doomed unless we (a.k.a. the government) needs to do something.like take from one group and give it to another. Typical leftist thinking.

It’s odd that we keep hearing from Reich and his ilk that the creative destruction happening in our economy is a harbinger of doom while in the real world, employers can’t hire enough skilled trades and STEM professionals.

Again, the truth doesn’t fit the left’s narrative.

College lib’s who complain about income inequality quiet when college football coaches get massive paydays

Colleges are hotbeds of leftist / liberal thinking.

Leftists and liberals are continually complaining about income equality.

So, why aren’t leftists / liberals up in arms over the massive pay of college football coaches salaries? For example, Michigan State just gave their entire coaching staff a big pay raise:

On Tuesday, the university showed it is committed to remaining in the same category by amending the contracts of coach Mark Dantonio and his entire staff, giving the head coach a substantial raise and making assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi the highest-paid assistant in the Big Ten.

Dantonio’s new deal adds a year to his current contract — he’s now signed on for six years — and raises his base salary from $682,905 to $2 million. He also saw his supplemental income increased to $1 million from $869,000, and had $86,000 added to his contingent annual base, up from $200,000. He also will continue to receive $100,000 from his shoe/apparel agreement and $50,000 guaranteed performance incentives.

A nice new perk, Dantonio also will have access to a private plane for 25 hours for personal use, something basketball coach Tom Izzo also enjoys.

All together, Dantonio’s total compensation package nearly doubles, to $3.64 million from $1.99 million and makes him the fifth-highest paid coach in the Big Ten behind Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, Michigan’s Brady Hoke, Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz and Penn State’s James Franklin.

Nice gig for a college football coach. $3.64 million per year and use of a private jet.

Lib’s are also strangly quiet about University of Michigan hiring a new offensive coordinator for over $800K per year:

Michigan is continuing its trend of handsomely paying its football coordinators and now has two of the top six paid assistant coaches based on last season’s salary figures.

New offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, hired last month after two seasons at Alabama, will make $830,000 this season, according to his contract released Tuesday through a Freedom of Information Act filing.

The contract was signed last Friday.

Seriously, lib’s are always whining about evil CEO’s earning 1,000 X what the average worker earns. Why aren’t they picketing these colleges for paying football and basketball coaches exorbitant salaries? The left should be demanding that the universities set an example of income equality, and pay the coaches the same as a physics professor.

The sports programs don’t even pay the players while the universities make untold millions off the athletes effort.

(And don’t even bring up scholarships- it cost the school nothing to put an extra chair and textbook in classroom for the student athlete)

Not a peep from the left about this.

Democrat John Dingell: It will take a while for ObamaCare to “control the people”

Watching guys like John Dingell, who’ve spent way too much time siphoning money from our economy and passing laws and edicts while not contributing a single nickle worth of economic growth, is galling.

What’s almost as irksome, is the fawning press coverage of Dingell’s retirement. Why isn’t the media, particularity the local media playing this clip where Democrat Dingell let’s his true colors show on a local morning radio show here in Detroit?

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Yep, the progressive Democrat dream according to John Dingell is to “controlling the people.”

Income Equality: A and B decide what C shall do for D…Except that they take a little bit of a commission off on the way

Born of a commitment to remedy the economic and moral defects of capitalism, it has far surpassed capitalism in both economic malfunction and moral cruelty. Yet the idea and the ideal of socialism linger on. Whether socialism in some form will eventually return as a major organizing force in human affairs is unknown, but no one can accurately appraise its prospects who has not taken into account the dramatic story of its rise and fall.

Library of Economics and Liberty

While perusing YouTube looking for a Milton Fridman video to wrap up the MCT “Creative Destruction” post, I ran across this video that looks to be from the very late 70′s or early 1980′s. Friedman ‘debates’ (although it is not much of a debate) a young idealist worried about income inequality:

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Fast forward almost 40 years, and the left is still whining about the same thing, namely income inequality:

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio used his first State of the City address Monday to press government to marshal its power to battle income inequality, a liberal call to action that will be closely watched around the nation.

By virtue of a campaign focused on income disparity and landslide win that installed him at the helm of the nation’s largest city, de Blasio has become a leading spokesman for a growing movement to narrow the gap between the haves and have-nots.

He promises to help by hiking taxes on the rich to pay for prekindergarten, raising the minimum wage and providing ID cards for people in the country illegally.

“We’re fighting to give everyone a fair shot,” he said Monday during the speech at a community college, “so that city government doesn’t set its priorities by the needs of those at the very top … while ignoring the struggle of those born under a less lucky star.”

And how does Mr. Socialist Mayor plan to remedy the situation for those born under a less lucky star? Taxing the snot out of the ‘wealthy’

The first Democrat to deliver the address in more than 20 years, de Blasio unveiled a decidedly left-leaning agenda. His signature issue, to which he devoted the climax of his speech, was to again call for a tax hike on New Yorkers making more than $500,000 a year to pay for universal prekindergarten.

“Many wealthy New Yorkers … know that a gilded city isn’t the New York they signed up for, even if they currently find themselves doing quite well,” de Blasio said. “Raising taxes on the rich makes our commitment to our kids more than just words.”

Democrat / Socialist… Same thing.

What is interesting is what Fridman said at the end of the video clip at the beginning of the post:

You can only aim at equality, by giving some people the right to take things from others. And what ultimately happens when you aim at equality, is that A and B decide what C shall do for D…except that they take a little bit of a commission off on the way.”

So true.

VW Chattanooga Auto Workers Reject UAW in Historic Vote

I half expected the UAW to successfully organize the VW plant:

Workers at a Volkswagen factory in Tennessee have voted against union representation in a devastating defeat for the United Auto Workers union’s effort to make inroads in the South.

The 712-626 vote released late Friday was surprising for many labor experts and union supporters who expected a UAW win because Volkswagen tacitly endorsed the union and even allowed organizers into the Chattanooga factory to make sales pitches.

“This is like an alternate universe where everything is turned upside down,” Cliff Hammond, a labor lawyer at in Detroit, told The Wall Street Journal, noting that companies usually fight union drives.

“This vote was essentially gift-wrapped for the union by Volkswagen,” said Hammond, who previously worked at the Service Employees International Union.

The setback is a major defeat for the UAW’s effort to expand in the growing South, where foreign automakers have 14 assembly plants, eight built in the past decade, said Kristin Dziczek, director of the labor and industry group at the Center for Automotive Research, an industry think tank in Michigan.

I wonder how many VW workers in Tennessee remember this photograph of a union member beating down a Right To Work supporter during Michigan’s Right to Work vote in 2012?

angry obama voter 3

According to the WSJ:

A win would have marked the first time the union has been able to organize a foreign-owned auto plant in a Southern U.S. state, and would have been particularly meaningful, because the vote was set in a right-to-work state in the South, where antiunion sentiment is strong and all past UAW organizing drives at automobile plants have failed.

The Chattanooga workers had been courted steadily for nearly two years by both the UAW and the IG Metall union, which pushed Volkswagen management to open talks with the UAW and to refrain from trying to dissuade American workers from union representation.

Also from the WSJ, an interesting point:

Other UAW opponents said they dislike the union’s support of politicians who back causes like abortion rights and gun control that rub against the conservative bent of Southern states like Tennessee. Still others objected to paying dues to a union from Detroit that is aligned with Volkswagen competitors like GM and Ford.

Very interesting point.