(Video) National Popular Vote and the attack on the electoral college

May 25, 2015

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The Electoral College is one of the more obscure features of our government, yet it plays a crucial role: it elects the president, not the popular vote. When people in a state go to the polls, they’re really voting for slates of electors pledged to a particular candidate. The electors have traditionally honored the voters’ wishes (with the occasional individual exception for a protest vote), but the fact remains that they could choose someone other than “the People’s choice.” It also means that, occasionally, a candidate could win enough electoral votes to win the presidency while not winning the overall popular vote, as happened in 2,000 in the race between George W. Bush and Al Gore.

The fact that the winner of the popular vote might not win the race has annoyed a lot of people, especially on the Left (1), and they have proposed something called the “National Popular Vote,” a compact among the states comprising 270 electoral votes (the number need to win) to award them to whomever wins the national vote, regardless of individual state results. Not surprisingly, given the source, this represents an end-run around the system established in the Constitution, rather than an honest attempt to amend it.

In the video below from Prager University, attorney and author Tara Ross explains how the Electoral College works, why it was set up this way, and why NPV is a very bad idea:

Footnote:
(1) Because, you know, the Electoral College is “unfair!” “Unfairness” meaning “I didn’t get what I want!”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Free Speech: I find your lack of faith disturbing, America.

May 24, 2015
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Do we need a refresher?

Via Tom Nichols, here’s Charles Cooke on the results of a survey showing a majority of Democrats and a significant minority of Republicans effectively favor repealing the 1st Amendment:

Depressing news from YouGov:

“YouGov’s latest research shows that many Americans support making it a criminal offense to make public statements which would stir up hatred against particular groups of people. Americans narrowly support (41%) rather than oppose (37%) criminalizing hate speech, but this conceals a partisan divide. Most Democrats (51%) support criminalizing hate speech, with only 26% opposed. Independents (41% to 35%) and Republicans (47% to 37%) tend to oppose making it illegal to stir up hatred against particular groups. Support for banning hate speech is also particularly strong among racial minorities. 62% of black Americans, and 50% of Hispanics support criminalizing comments which would stir up hatred. White Americans oppose a ban on hate speech 43% to 36%.”

What’s disturbing is that the speech in question doesn’t directly incite violence. It doesn’t urge people to go right now and burn the shops of those unliked people “over there.”

Rather, the “hate speech” referred to is a vague term (1) meaning “hurtful things you said that I don’t like.” To give a personal example, I’m very clear regarding my dislike for Islam: I think it an antisemitic, misogynistic, and bigoted faith with aggressive imperatives that lead it to demand supremacy over other faiths and to make war on their adherents until they submit. I have serious questions about whether it is or can be compatible with liberal, post-Enlightenment societies, at least with regard to Muslims who choose to live it as Muhammad intended.

For some, that would qualify as “hate speech”under the standards of that survey, because I would be “stirring up hatred” against Islam, though I would never advocate violence against Muslims, no matter how strong my criticisms of their faith. As Cooke explains, that standard is nevertheless exactly what would get me in trouble in the UK, where free speech protections are dying on the vine under the assault of laws such as the Public Order Act.

That a majority of the self-identified adherents of one of our two major parties would favor laws to criminalize the expression of thought — and that a large portion of the supposedly conservative party would agree with them! — is profoundly disturbing. I hope, indeed, I pray, that this is simply because people agreed with something they thought “sounded reasonable” and didn’t think through the implications thereof, rather than indicating a fundamental change to something that has made us, as a nation, truly exceptional.

Otherwise, we’re in deep trouble.

RELATED: While a number of Republicans have lost their way when it comes to free speech, let’s not forget that it was the Democrats who actually proposed an amendment effectively gutting the 1st Amendment.

Footnote:
(1) This is a great analysis of the increasing calls in the MSM for censoring free speech. Well-worth reading. (h/t Charles Cooke)


(Video) In which Ted Cruz owns a “reporter” on Gay rights

May 23, 2015

Senator Cruz isn’t my first choice for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, though I’ll happily vote for him if he is. However, he gets an unqualified high-five from me for putting this shill for Democratic National Committee talking points in his place:

Pardon me a moment… smiley dance smiley cheering smiley thumbs up

Few things tick me off more than the progressive Left’s hypocrisy on women and Gay rights: silently ignoring the hideous abuse both suffer under Islam while creating fake controversies here at home.

Go, Ted!


Instead of Ending Poverty, Big Government Subsidizes Dependency

May 20, 2015

Phineas Fahrquar:

I wish more people would see this: while begun with the best of intentions, the welfare state only traps people in poverty, providing an anchor that weighs against bettering their own lot.

Originally posted on International Liberty:

President Obama recently took part in a poverty panel at Georgetown University. By D.C. standards, it was ideologically balanced since there were three statists against one conservative (I’ve dealt with that kind of “balance” when dealing with the media, as you can see here and here).

You won’t be surprised to learn that the President basically regurgitated the standard inside-the-beltway argument that caring for the poor means you have to support bigger government and more redistribution.

Many observers were unimpressed. Here’s some of what Bill McGurn wrote for the Wall Street Journal.

The unifying progressive contention here is the assertion that America isn’t “investing” enough in the poor—by which is meant the government isn’t spending enough. …President Obama…went on to declare it will be next to impossible to find “common ground” on poverty until his critics accept his spending argument.

I think this argument is nonsense. We’re spending record…

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(Video) Is the radical Left trying to take over the Democratic Party?

May 18, 2015

Could have fooled me: I thought they had been doing that since the 60s “New Left” decided to take over the party from within after 1968. Then again, maybe this is a generational shift — the new progressive Left pushing out the graying generation of the New Left, the way the New Left swept aside the old New Deal liberals.

Regardless, here’s an interesting discussion of New York City’s “Sandinista Mayor” DeBlasio possibly mounting a challenge to Hillary, courtesy of PJTV:

Of all the possible challengers to Hillary, it’s either Senator Warren or Mayor DeBlasio who pose the strongest threat. And if either one of them wins, I suspect the Democrats will be facing a electoral wipeout to rival 1984.


And… North Korea creatively executes another general

May 13, 2015
"I've got some bad news, boss..."

“The dogs aren’t hungry? OK, get the AA squad!”

I’m beginning to think this is Kim Jong Un’s hobby: some people play Chess or collect stamps, he has generals who annoy him shot:

North Korea has publicly executed the country’s defense minister after the regime accused him of treason, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.

Hyon Yong Chol was killed by firing squad using an anti-aircraft gun at a military school in front of hundreds of people in Pyongyang around April 30, the agency reported, citing a media briefing by the National Intelligence Service at its headquarters in Seoul.

Hyon “was purged for lese majeste” because he was seen “dozing off” during a military event and “did not carry out Kim’s instructions,” the agency said. It wasn’t clear what instructions Hyon failed to carry out.

With “an anti-aircraft gun.” (pause) (imagines) The guy was probably obliterated by the first round.

Like I said, I’m beginning to think this is not just a way for Kim to make sure the army doesn’t even think of trying to overthrow him (1), but that this is his recreation. I mean, why else think of so many bizarre ways to kill someone when a bullet to the head will do, unless you think it’s entertaining? We’ve seen execution by mortar, by flamethrower, and by being thrown to the dogs. Execution by machine gun seems almost pedestrian by comparison, unless one is wasting an ex-girlfriend in the process.

Not that I feel all that sorry for the late General Hyon. Let’s face it, he had prospered under a Stalinist tyranny that has to rank as one of worst in human history. He was, up until the moment of his arrest, one of the elite: he almost certainly enjoyed good food, a nice apartment or even a home, car and driver, and probably some graft privileges. He was an elite in a regime that runs the world’s largest prison camp masquerading as a nation, in which not only are thousands sent to horrid prison camps on the flimsiest of pretexts, but their families, too. Whole generations of people are born in those hellholes knowing nothing but a living Hell. And while I’m not familiar with Minister Hyon’s career, I wouldn’t be surprised he had denounced people a time or two along the way, nor that he dutifully cheered when someone else got the ax.

So, no, I don’t have much sympathy for the capo when the Godfather finally decides to whack him. Risks of the job and all that. But I do hope he had no young family members, who otherwise are likely on their way to the North Korean gulag.

Footnote:
(1) Yet again I have to wonder if some general or generals aren’t —very quietly and very privately— considering taking out Kim before he decides they need to meet the firing squad. With a “Dear Leader” this bloodthirsty, it would seem a necessity of survival.

 


Small Government Is Efficient, and Decentralized Government Is even Better

May 8, 2015

Phineas Fahrquar:

One reason I grew to be a limited government conservative is that the empirical evidence shows that it delivers better results, as in the linked article below:

Originally posted on International Liberty:

In early November of last year, I shared some remarkable data from a groundbreaking study published by the European Central Bank (ECB).

The study looking at public sector efficiency (PSE) in developed nations and found that “big governments spend a lot more and deliver considerably less.”

Later in the month, I wrote about a second ECB study that looked at a broader set of nations and further confirmed that smaller government produces better results.

The first ECB study clearly concluded that “small” government is more efficient and productive than either “medium” government or “big” government. Based on the second ECB study, we can conclude that it’s even better if government is…well, I guess we’ll have to use the term “smaller than small.”

Today, we can augment this research by looking at a new study from the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF’s new working paper on “Fiscal Decentralization and the Efficiency…

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