It's the weekend, so...

...at ESPN:

NEW YORK -- The NFL and its locked-out officials met twice this week but remain far apart in settling their financial dispute, according to sources.
 
Despite substantial discussion, "significant" and "serious" economic gaps remain and no further talks are scheduled, according to a source.
 
The regular officials have lost an average of more than $50,000 each so far. The average official made $150,000 last year for a 20-game season. They have missed seven game assignments, including preseason.
 
The NFL locked out the regular officials in June and has been using replacements as the season enters its third full weekend. Many players, coaches and fans have been upset with what they say is poor officiating...
 
 
And since it IS the weekend, and since the whole wide world has gone crazy, why don't we just dance:
 
 


 

You always finish everything you start, right?

Right.

I. love. this. post.  Yet another take on how the lamestream media, this time in the form of the Administration's Press, spins news and statistics:

Once again, a reporter from the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, has told a major fib about the situation in the new-home construction industry, thereby vastly exaggerating its degree of improvement — claiming a 60% surge during the past nearly 3-1/2 years when it has been 15% at most.
 

Today’s figures from the Census Bureau on housing starts weren’t terrible, but they surely weren’t cause for major optimism — except at the AP, where Martin Crutsinger cited “steady progress in the housing recovery” and committed the same serious mistake other AP writers have made (examples herehere, and here), namely pretending that the term “housing starts” has the same meaning as “home construction.”...

...Over a year ago, someone who is now a former AP reporter tried to claim in a conversation that treating “home construction” as identical to “housing starts” is okay because the average reader, listener, or viewer doesn’t really understand what “housing starts” are. Give me a flippin’ break. Equating the terms is misleading and deceptive. How much more obvious can it be?...

That says it all, doesn't it?  The media believe that lying is OK because people are stupid.

Wonderful.

Absolutely read the whole thing.
 

For Obama, this is a feature, not a bug

When my daughter was in fifth grade, we read (together) a sort of primer on economics called Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? It cited earlier versions of the following report, information that she hasn't forgotten.  My, how things have changed in just a few years.

Via the Daily Caller and Weasel Zippers, the Economic Freedom of the World: 2012 Annual Report:

...the Fraser Institute released its “Economic Freedom of the World: 2012 Annual Report.” Analyzing data from 144 countries based on 42 distinct variables, the study’s authors rank countries according to their relative level of economic freedom.

After ranking 2nd in 2000, the U.S. falls to 18th in this year’s report. As the authors explain:

“[T]he United States has fallen precipitously from second in 2000 to eighth in 2005 and 19th  in 2010 (unadjusted ranking of 18th). By 2009, the United States had fallen behind Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Chile, and Mauritius, countries that chose not to follow the path of massive growth in government financed by borrowing that is now the most prominent characteristic of US fiscal policy. By 2010, the United States had also fallen behind Finland and Denmark, two European welfare states. Moreover, it now trails Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Estonia, Taiwan, and Qatar, countries that are not usually perceived of as bastions of economic freedom.”

But as Michael Tanner points out at NRO

...when it comes to defending economic liberty, Mitt Romney has spent most of his time in a defensive crouch. He occasionally breaks form to promise he won’t really reduce taxes on the wealthy, won’t cut Medicare, and wants to keep some parts of Obamacare. He’s actually running ads attacking the president for not confronting China over trade.
 
Americans instinctively know the importance of economic freedom. They know that it is their ability to invest, start businesses, and hire workers that builds a prosperous country. They know that millions have come to this country and prospered because they had freedom to pursue their economic aspirations as well as their personal ones. And they find this freedom now slipping away.
 
They need a candidate to speak for them . . . and for freedom.
Come on, Governor Romney.  Time to trust your pants and take off the kid gloves.  It's time for bare-knuckle boxing.
 

Cowboys and Angels

Since I absolutely, positively can't do politics every second, here's a favorite of both mine and my teenaged daughter's:

Classical wisdom...

...recounted by one of this redneck's favorites, Victor Davis Hanson:

...He counts the principles of ancient Greek citizenship off on his fingers: “First, beware of success. Success can lead to self-destruction and divine retribution. When things are going well for you, be modest, because it’s not necessarily always from your talent, but also from your luck.” That’s a lesson Greek heroes learned the hard way.
 

Second, “Don’t have inflated expectations of human nature. Humans are not born, as Rousseau thought, as good people who need to be liberated. Rather, they need to be civilized. Thucydides knew that civilization was very thin. You need to preserve it. We are one blink away from savagery.” He sharpens his point by citing Occupy Wall Street. “Did you see all of the feces and debris on their campgrounds? Is this what 2,500 years of democratization and science have led to?”
 
“The point is that human nature is capable of doing as much damage as good if it’s not carefully embedded within civilization.” The 2008 Greek riots show how quickly order can dissemble in chaos and violence.
 
Third, and perhaps most importantly, a citizen of ancient Greece had more responsibilities than rights. Fulfilling those duties embodied civic virtue: “You, as the ancient Greek,  must participate in government and vote. You must raise a family. You must not break the laws. You should own land and produce food for the country. You must be in the militia. In exchange, the ancient Greek received freedom and protection.”
 
Mindful of his duties to the state, for instance, Socrates refused to flee Athens when he was being sentenced to death unjustly, even though he had the opportunity to. “Today, there’s a sense that you don’t owe anyone anything.” As Hanson has written elsewhere, “every Greek man, woman, and child now owes about $40,000 to the northern Europeans, with almost no means of paying back that huge sum.”
 
Finally, the ancient Greeks were skeptical of utopianism. “They didn’t think education can really change human nature. They knew that we are simply human beings with appetites and that what a person says is not necessarily what he does or how he lives.”
 
Hanson points out that Greece, once the cradle of Western civilization, has abandoned these ancient and time-tested principles. This brings to mind the fourth requirement of good citizenship: an awareness of history...
 
 
 

Hey...ya gotta eat

Not only do you have to eat, but doing so in pleasant company with keynote speaker US Senate candidate Wendy Long, Congressman Tom Reed, the three NYS Senators who represent Tompkins County and lots of other interesting people is a good thing.  Everyone is welcome, but we need to hear from you ASAP:

 

Constitution Day is September 17th...

...that's tomorrow, folks, and we need to make sure it's not the last time we mark the day.

At the LATimes:

Alleged 'Innocence of Muslims' filmmaker taken in for interview
 

Just after midnight Saturday morning, authorities descended on the Cerritos home of the man believed to be the filmmaker behind the anti-Muslim movie that has sparked protests and rioting in the Muslim world...

Glenn Reynolds writes at Instapundit:

...By sending — literally — brownshirted enforcers to engage in — literally — a midnight knock at the door of a man for the non-crime of embarrassing the President of the United States and his administration, President Obama violated that oath. You can try to pretty this up (It’s just about possible probation violations! Sure.), or make excuses or draw distinctions, but that’s what’s happened. It is a betrayal of his duties as President, and a disgrace.
 
He won’t resign, of course. First, the President has the appreciation of free speech that one would expect from a Chicago Machine politician, which is to say, none. Second, he’s not getting any pressure. Indeed, the very press that went crazy over Ari Fleischer’s misrepresented remarks seems far less interested in the actions of an administration that I repeat, literally sent brown-shirted enforcers to launch a midnight knock on a filmmaker’s door.
 
But Obama’s behavior — and that of his enablers in the press — has laid down a marker for those who are paying attention. By these actions he is, I repeat, unfit to hold office. I hope and expect that the voters will agree in November...
So while the economy and foreign policy are critical, this election is more fundamental than that.
 
As Chris Muir points out in today's Day By Day (which appears daily over there in the left sidebar), let's all "Feel the Paine":
 
 
 

What could possibly go wrong?

Ah, yes, it's time to print more money for more "quantitative easing":

 
WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve launched a new campaign to stimulate the economy Thursday that it said would continue until its help was no longer needed or its efforts became counterproductive, opening a fresh chapter in its five-year-old response to the financial crisis...
Definitely read the rest—there's lots to make you shake your head in amazement—but the thing that jumped out at us here at Redneck Mansion was this:
The committee’s statement said that the Fed now expected to hold short-term interest rates near zero at least through the middle of 2015...
After all, what could be bad about that?  Lower mortgage payments, lower car loan payments, lower student loan payments, than there were when Jimmy Carter was president, for instance.
 
Well, this is what's wrong with it:
...The worst taxes of all might be those that don't wear the scarlet "T" but, instead, sap wealth by stealth. And nothing in this department matches the interest-rate engineering that is quietly but massively transferring money from savers to government...
 
... If Washington had to pay the average interest now that it paid in 2000 (6.4%), it would be paying $500 billion more each year to stay afloat. Just matching the average rate it paid at the end of the George W. Bush administration (3.2%) — it would have to pay $130 billion more annually.
 
Every year Washington adds another $1 trillion or so to the debt, making its dependence on low interest rates even worse. Like central bankers everywhere, the Federal Reserve is doing what it can to lower government borrowing costs, though of course this is not its stated mission.
 
Officially, it pumps liquidity into the banking system and keeps rates low in order to spur private-sector borrowing. But when the biggest borrower by far is Washington, Washington gets the lion's share of the benefit.
 
The biggest losers from this hidden tax are those who have accumulated savings and are now trying to live off them. Retirees and near-retirees, especially those without pensions, must be wondering if anyone is on their side....
We hope somebody at the Romney-Ryan campaign is listening:
...Romney and Ryan can step forward with a persuasive solution.
 
They can offer a simple argument: The only way to get interest rates back to a level where savers get their due is to break the government's debt spiral.
 
Raising taxes won't work, because that will weaken the economy and interest rates will have to stay low to keep it from collapsing. The real answer is tax reform to spur economic growth along with entitlement reform to rein in spending over the long term...
Read the whole thing...and then go educate your friends and family. The media isn't going to do it for us.
 

A Time for Choosing

It's been almost 50 years, so maybe we need some reminding.

Ronald Reagan, 1964:

***

I am going to talk of controversial things. I make no apology for this.
 
It's time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, "We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self government."
 
This idea? that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.
 
You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream-the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, "The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits."
 
The Founding Fathers knew a government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing.
 
Public servants say, always with the best of intentions, "What greater service we could render if only we had a little more money and a little more power." But the truth is that outside of its legitimate function, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector.
 
Yet any time you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we're denounced as being opposed to their humanitarian goals. It seems impossible to legitimately debate their solutions with the assumption that all of us share the desire to help the less fortunate. They tell us we're always "against," never "for" anything.
 
We are for a provision that destitution should not follow unemployment by reason of old age, and to that end we have accepted Social Security as a step toward meeting the problem. However, we are against those entrusted with this program when they practice deception regarding its fiscal shortcomings, when they charge that any criticism of the program means that we want to end payments....
 
We are for aiding our allies by sharing our material blessings with nations which share our fundamental beliefs, but we are against doling out money government to government, creating bureaucracy, if not socialism, all over the world.
 
We need true tax reform that will at least make a start toward I restoring for our children the American Dream that wealth is denied to no one, that each individual has the right to fly as high as his strength and ability will take him.... But we can not have such reform while our tax policy is engineered by people who view the tax as a means of achieving changes in our social structure....
 
Have we the courage and the will to face up to the immorality and discrimination of the progressive tax, and demand a return to traditional proportionate taxation? . . . Today in our country the tax collector's share is 37 cents of -very dollar earned. Freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp.
 
Are you willing to spend time studying the issues, making yourself aware, and then conveying that information to family and friends? Will you resist the temptation to get a government handout for your community? Realize that the doctor's fight against socialized medicine is your fight. We can't socialize the doctors without socializing the patients. Recognize that government invasion of public power is eventually an assault upon your own business. If some among you fear taking a stand because you are afraid of reprisals from customers, clients, or even government, recognize that you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he'll eat you last.
 
If all of this seems like a great deal of trouble, think what's at stake. We are faced with the most evil enemy mankind has known in his long climb from the swamp to the stars. There can be no security anywhere in the free world if there is no fiscal and economic stability within the United States. Those who ask us to trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state are architects of a policy of accommodation.
 
They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right. Winston Churchill said that "the destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits-not animals." And he said, "There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."
 
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.
 

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