Tuesday, April 29, 2014


from: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Tidbits of wisdom from the ancient past.

Since happiness is an activity of soul in harmony with virtue, we must consider virtue to see if she can help us to understand happiness. The student of politics studies virtue above all else since he wishes to make his fellow citizens good and obedient to the laws. Aristotle

Our American politicians obviously did NOT study Aristotle.


NBA Sanctions Donald Sterling with a 2.5 Million Dollar Fine and Life Suspension...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Words have consequences as Clippers owner Donald Sterling found out in a very large way. His 80 years of life experiences should have taught him this lesson. But old beliefs and habits die a hard death.

If his bi-racial (eye candy) ex girlfriend V. Stiviano is telling the truth it confirms Sterling's racism as well as his social awareness stupidity (or perhaps senility) to boot.

Sterling's reported remarks give a glimpse not only into the innermost feelings of Donald Sterling, but into a greater reality as well. A reality many refuse to recognize or admit, even if they recognize it exists. The reality that bigotry, racism, and intolerance does indeed still exist in 21st century America.

There has been criticism from fringe right buffoons with all the misinformation and BS that accompanies totally agenda driven rhetoric. As typical the truth lies beyond the rhetoric.

Mr. Sterling, banned for life from association with the Clippers, and fined 2.5 million dollars by the NBA, mifgt want to consider selling the team and forgo the ultimate pressure that is curtain to follow.

Words have consequences...

- Los Angeles Times - NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued sweeping sanctions against Donald Sterling on Tuesday morning in response to controversial remarks about blacks purportedly made by Sterling. Silver said the Clippers owner was banned from any association with the team for life and fined $2.5 million. Silver added that he would urge other owners to force a sale of the team.

Silver said the lifetime ban would stand regardless of whether Sterling was ultimately forced to sell the team he's owned for 33 years. The commissioner said the NBA constitution allowed owners to eject Sterling if three-quarters of the owners voted in favor of such a move and that he would commence the process of expulsion immediately.

“I fully expect to get the support I need from the other NBA owners to remove him,” said Silver, who appeared visibly agitated throughout his remarks.


Read the full article BELOW THE FOLD.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Idiocy of Open Carry... And Lax Firearm Laws

from: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

In Georgia open carry on display. The NRA, and politicians bought by the NRA can be proud of the lunacy they have worked to create.

Read the article BELOW THE FOLD. Via: Memeorandum

The Silencing of Legitimate Views...

From: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Freedom of speech is a right all free people are entitled to. Using good judgement in the exercise of that right is prudent. If making public addresses requires a permit it is advisable to do so. Paul Weston, chairman of the party Liberty GB found this out first when a women, hearing Mr. Weston quote something she found offensive used the fact he did not have a permit (authorization) to get him arrested.

Liberty GB - Today Paul Weston, chairman of the party Liberty GB and candidate in the 22 May European Elections in the South East, has been arrested in Winchester.

At around 2pm Mr Weston was standing on the steps of Winchester Guildhall, addressing the passers-by in the street with a megaphone. He quoted the following excerpt about Islam from the book The River War by Winston Churchill:

"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the faith: all know how to die but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith."

Reportedly a woman came out of the Guildhall and asked Mr Weston if he had the authorisation to make this speech. When he answered that he didn’t, she told him "It's disgusting!" and then called the police.

Six or seven officers arrived. They talked with the people standing nearby, asking questions about what had happened. The police had a long discussion with Mr Weston, lasting about 40 minutes.

At about 3pm he was arrested. They searched him, put him in a police van and took him away.

One can only guess as to the motivation of the women who called the cops. It is more likely than not that it wasn't about the lack of "authorization".

Via: Memeorandum

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Review of Picketty's Hot Best Seller...

From: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

One of the better reviews IMO of the Piketty book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” is by David Brooks in The New York Times.

Excerpt -
... Politically, the global wealth tax is utopian, as even Piketty understands. If the left takes it up, they are marching onto a bridge to nowhere. But, in the current mania, it is being embraced.

This is a moment when progressives have found their worldview and their agenda. This move opens up a huge opportunity for the rest of us in the center and on the right. First, acknowledge that the concentration of wealth is a concern with a beefed up inheritance tax.

Second, emphasize a contrasting agenda that will reward growth, saving and investment, not punish these things, the way Piketty would. Support progressive consumption taxes not a tax on capital. Third, emphasize that the historically proven way to reduce inequality is lifting people from the bottom with human capital reform, not pushing down the top. In short, counter angry progressivism with unifying uplift.

The reaction to Piketty is an amazing cultural phenomenon. But it says more about class rivalry within the educated classes than it does about how to really expand opportunity. Of course, this perspective could just be my own prejudice. When it comes to cultural analysis, I, like Piketty, am quasi-Marxist.

Hat Tip to BB Idaho for the link he provided to several other reviews.

Via: Memeorandum

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Recommended Reading, Thomas Piketty’s best-selling new book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”...

From: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Time to shed the right -vs- left, socialism -vs- capitalism hyperbole and purchase Thomas Piketty's new book "Capital in the Twenty-First Century."

PARIS — Thomas Piketty turned 18 in 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell, so he was spared the tortured, decades-long French intellectual debate about the virtues and vices of communism. Even more telling, he remembers, was a trip he took with a close friend to Romania in early 1990, after the collapse of the Soviet empire.

“This sort of vaccinated me for life against lazy, anticapitalist rhetoric, because when you see these empty shops, you see these people queuing for nothing in the street,” he said, “it became clear to me that we need private property and market institutions, not just for economic efficiency but for personal freedom.”
(emphasis mine)

But his disenchantment with communism doesn’t mean that Mr. Piketty has turned his back on the intellectual heritage of Karl Marx, who sought to explain the “iron laws” of capitalism. Like Marx, he is fiercely critical of the economic and social inequalities that untrammeled capitalism produces — and, he concludes, will continue to worsen. “I belong to a generation that never had any temptation with the Communist Party; I was too young for that,” Mr. Piketty said, in a long interview in his small, airless office here at the Paris School of Economics. “So it’s easier in a way to reopen these big issues about capitalism and inequality with a fresh eye, because I was too young for that fight. I don’t have to justify myself as being pro-communist or pro-capitalist.”

In his new book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” (Harvard University Press), Mr. Piketty, 42, has written a blockbuster, at least in the world of economics. His book punctures earlier assumptions about the benevolence of advanced capitalism and forecasts sharply increasing inequality of wealth in industrialized countries, with deep and deleterious impact on democratic values of justice and fairness.

Branko Milanovic, a former economist at the World Bank, called it “one of the watershed books in economic thinking.”


“Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” with its title echoing Marx’s “Das Kapital,” is meant to be a return to the kind of economic history, of political economy, written by predecessors like Marx and Adam Smith (emphasis mine). It is nothing less than a broad effort to understand Western societies and the economic rules that underpin them. And in the process, by debunking the idea that “wealth raises all boats,” Mr. Piketty has thrown down a challenge to democratic governments to deal with an increasing gap between the rich and the poor — the very theme of inequality that recently moved both Pope Francis and President Obama to warn of its consequences.

Mr. Piketty — pronounced pee-ket-ee — grew up in a political home, with left-wing parents who were part of the 1968 demonstrations that turned traditional France upside down. Later, they went off to the Aude, deep in southern France, to raise goats. His parents are not a topic he wants to discuss. More relevant and important, he said, are his generation’s “founding experiences”: the collapse of Communism, the economic degradation of Eastern Europe and the first Gulf War, in 1991.

Read the rest of the article BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum

An Obedient Soldier... Wasserrnan Schultz...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, that bumbling Congresswomen and Chairperson of the Democratic National Convention doesn't believe politics or political considerations will play any part in Obama's final decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. Righto... and we have a bridge to sell ya Debbie. In you case it would be "A Bridge To Nowhere" because that is obviously where you spend most of your time already.

We do have to give this however, she certainly is the willingly obedient sheeple that the President knew she would be. Se certainly is not disappointing her BOSS.

POLITICO - Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz doesn’t believe President Barack Obama’s decision on the Keystone XL pipeline will be swayed by politics.

“As a member of Congress who represents hundreds of thousands of people in south Florida, I want to make sure the right decision is arrived at and that the president makes that decision carefully and doesn't factor politics into his decision, which I don’t think he is,” Wasserman Schultz said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

She wouldn’t say whether the latest delay in the pipeline approval process — announced Friday — would be potentially helpful to Democrats, since it likely signals that a final decision won’t come until after November’s midterm elections. “What's true is the decision over the Keystone pipeline is complex, and it’s one that has to be examined very carefully. It affects multiple states," she said. "What's also true is that incumbent senators like [Louisiana Democrat] Mary Landrieu understand the issues that are important on the ground in their states to their constituents."

You can read more Wasserman Schultz HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Via: Memeorandum

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Feminism and the Risk Factor...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Came across an article in the FEDERALIST that is intriguing and thought provoking. It is one particular women's response to and article in the Atlantic and talks about risk taking and feminist perceived insecurities.

Why Are Feminists So Insecure? 6 Reflections On The Confidence Gap

I read the piece and was completely flummoxed by it, for a variety of reasons. Here are six reflections on the most serious problem of our era week: The Confidence Gap.
1) It isn’t about confidence.

The article is really about risk-taking and how men differ in their risk calculations from women. To give just two examples from the article, and to give you an idea of its tone:

“We watch our male colleagues take risks, while we hold back until we’re sure we are perfectly ready and perfectly qualified.”
“If a woman walks into her boss’s office with unsolicited opinions, speaks up first at meetings, or gives business advice above her pay grade, she risks being disliked or even—let’s be blunt—being labeled a bitch.”

Leaving aside the melodramatic stereotyping and bizarre generalizations about how people love unsolicited advice from men but abhor it from women, you’ll note that risk is the main ingredient in the supposed confidence gap.
2) Opportunity Cost. How does it work?

And in order to have a conversation about risk, it’s good to talk about opportunity cost, and even just the particular opportunity costs associated with risk-taking. We should look at how women, on average, value what they must trade in for the potential benefits of risk-taking. That’s not well discussed in the article.

Yes, men really do show, on average, a far greater proclivity for risk-taking. See, for example, all of human history. And they tend to have different calculuses about what they seek or are willing to make do with in terms of lifestyle and stress. It is true that risk-taking behavior works out very well for men. But it also works out horribly for them. How can that be? Well, they do have higher average outcomes than women. But when they fail, hoo-boy do they fail. We’re talking job loss, demotion, loss of status, physically problematic stress, serious inconsistency in pay, homelessness, prison, and so on and so forth.

None of the down-sides of risk taking are given proper weight, which makes the sloppily sourced article naive and unhelpful, at best. Maybe women should fight their nature and go match men in the CEO and imprisonment categories. I don’t know. But we should at least be honest that women choose less risky moves in part because they frequently don’t have to take risks like men do and frequently don’t want to take risks like men do.

The article also fails to note that women, on average, choose less risk for reasons having to do with things other than cash money. If you make one choice, you lose other choices. If you prefer making money and having a ton of power, you make different decisions than if you prefer having a nice work-life balance, a flexible schedule, non-remunerative benefits, and what not. The tradeoffs for risk-taking and aggression in a corporate environment might involve things that you are not comfortable giving up. This can be a bad thing, but it is by no means necessarily a bad thing. Either way, this issue should have been discussed far better.
3) Is second-guessing our nature really so empowering?

The article on developing confidence ends by telling women that their brains are malleable:

Almost daily, new evidence emerges of just how much our brains can change over the course of our lives, in response to shifting thought patterns and behavior. If we keep at it, if we channel our talent for hard work, we can make our brains more confidence-prone. What the neuroscientists call plasticity, we call hope.

Nothing shouts “be confident in your natural abilities!” like “your brain is mushy and able to be reshaped by propaganda!” But maybe that’s just me. Still, all this second-guessing of female traits doesn’t feel empowering. At all. Feminists seem to be on a constant campaign of obsessive gender reflection, the net result of which is to tell women they’re bad at what they’re doing. Don’t call bossy people bossy. Don’t be considerate of others. Please keep kids out of the picture for the vast majority if not entirety of your fertility. If you do choose to stop fighting your fertility for a brief period, you shouldn’t let kids affect your career. You need to crush or at least smother your maternal instincts at all costs. In order to succeed in life, you must be like men — emulate everything they’re doing.

I love being female, and I’m actually quite confident about being a woman, but the only time I even come close to feeling bad about myself is when major media outlets and elite feminists use their power to tell me there’s some major flaw with me being female.

Also, it’s kind of funny that the article is all about obsessive overthink keeping women from taking the risks they need to in order to succeed. I do hope that whoever wrote this at least noted that an article ostensibly against such overthinking ran 7,242 insufferable words. By the way, I challenge you to read the first section without gagging, either at the over-the-top generalizations about how universally awesome women are or about how victimized the elite authors are by their gaping self-doubt. The humblebrags in that section alone are epic. “Katty got a degree from a top university, speaks several languages” and yet thought “her public profile in America was thanks to her English accent.” Claire was CNN’s Moscow correspondent while in her 20s but supposedly deferred to the “alpha-male journalists around her, assuming that because they were so much louder, so much more certain, they just knew more.”

The thing is that even if we’re just talking about lower braggadocio levels, what if that’s an ingredient that makes women better at social bonding? Leadership is important to society. Absolutely. But so is a basic functioning community. Heck, call me a woman if you must, but I could make a good argument that community bonds are even more important than CEO leadership. There’s no reason that men and women must fill one or the other category (and every single person reading this knows men and women who fit various high-risk/low-risk/high-confidence/low-confidence categories) but neither do we need to insist on denigrating people who do the hard work of community bonding, whatever that given community is — in office environments, immediate families, extended families, local congregations, Brooklyn co-ops, boxing clubs, etc.

So if women have, as the article claims, a “part of the brain [that] helps us recognize errors and weigh options,” why do we want to get rid of it or curb it? Why are we ashamed of something that’s awesome? Why are feminists so down on women’s brains? I mean, again, leadership and risk-taking are great for humans. Don’t get me wrong. But so are wisdom and restraint.

There are 6 more reflections so continue reading the rest BELOW THE FOLD

All comments are welcome but in this particular instance comments from the female set are especially encouraged.

Via: Memeorandum

Friday, April 18, 2014

Chelsea With Child... Progressive Media Goes Bonkers!

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Not that the event of Chelsea Clinton being with child should be a big deal, except apparently to Crooks and Liars and as would be expected Momma and Poppa Clinton.

Well, I suppose if Momma Hillary gets herself elected to the presidency of our developing Oligarchy it may be a big deal because we may be looking at a possible Clinton Dynasty right here in America. Oy Vey!!!

At any rate one of the bastions of progressive "journalism" CROOKS AND LIARS just couldn't help themselves and threw out the bait in their article Will Chelsea Clinton's Pregnancy Become Another Right Wing Conspiracy? UPDATED

It's a plot!


... But I'm forgetting myself because Hillary is not allowed to be a happy mother. We may see a normal life unfolding, but Teabirchers see coverups and conspiracies.


I wouldn't be surprised at all if Hillary gets asked to comment on Chelsea's pregnancy by the media, since that's only natural, right? But after that happens more than once I really expect Limbaugh and all the wannabees to scream bloody murder that Chelsea's announcement was staged, a set-up plot which is being aided by the librul media to cover up Benghazzzzzzzziiii!

And they say conservatives can't let a sleeping dog lie and intentionally keep pointless BS alive.

Who cares really?

Have a Good "Good Friday" and a "Happy Easter."

Via: Memeorandum

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Noble Lie...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Greek philosopher Plato introduced "the noble lie" to politics in his "The Republic." The concept is people are for the most part not bright enough to handle their own affairs so they need a few leaders who will feed them tales to keep them in line and presumably happy, thus avoiding revolution. Of course that is just a nutshell explanation but you get the drift.

There of course have been many such instances of such leaders throughout human history and the following article by Christian Schneider writing in the JOURNAL SENTINEL makes the argument President Obama is prone to such shenanigans. Whether this is in fact true or not is for you to determine after considering all the facts.

America's enlightened leader of today, President Barack Obama, appears to embrace the "noble lie" construct in order to feed the populace whatever he may be selling. Obama keeps reeling off the howlers, one by one, hoping that even though what he says isn't true, the public will side with him because it should be true.

We saw this last week with the "celebration" of Equal Pay Day, a quasi-holiday based on a fictional statistic. We might as well have a holiday celebrating Spider-Man's birthday. The idea that women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, a "fact" trotted out by Obama in his State of the Union address, takes into account none of the factors why the illusionary disparity exists.

For instance, while the Census Bureau statistic compares full-time workers, "full time" means different things in different workplaces. As Mark Perry and Andrew Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute have found, men are almost twice as likely as women to work more than 40 hours a week and women almost twice as likely to work only 35 to 39 hours per week.

The statistic also doesn't take into account marriage and family decisions women make. Children often take women out of the workplace, leaving them with less experience when they re-enter the workforce later in life. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, single women who have never married earned 96% of men's earnings in 2012.

White House economist Betsey Stevenson even conceded that the administration's go-to was misleading when she told MSNBC, "I agree that the 77 cents on the dollar is not all due to discrimination. No one is trying to say that it is. But you have to point to some number in order for people to understand the facts."

Continue reading tghe complete article BELOW THE FOLD

Via: Memeorandum

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Democrats and Voter Fraud, is There Any Ethics Anymore?...

One of my regulars who frequently comments and always challenges that which she perceives is inaccurate or purely partisan challenged this site (me) to research and provide evidence that voter fraud is a serious problem that has effected presidential elections.

Shaw KenaweSat Apr 12, 08:55:00 AM EDT

"To be balanced the president should address democratic voter fraud,"

Okay. Fair enough. Could you tell us what the percentage of voter fraud is? We have approximately 100 million eligible voters. What is the percentage of voter fraud, say over the last 30 years, and how has it affected presidential elections. If you and the GOP say this is a serious problem, we need to see the evidence that it IS a serious problem.

As this site more often than views things in a shall we say more philosophical and ethical perspective rather than a outcome perspective as things are or have been the last 30 ears responded s follows.

Rational Nation USASat Apr 12, 09:23:00 AM EDT

My posistion has always been clear, voter fraud, regardless of how prevalent must be addressed. Fraud is like a cancer, left untreated it spreads and becomes more pervasive. Even accepted in some, perhaps many circles.

I'm getting too old and too tired to care much anymore. Besides, nothing you, I, or any other average American thinks or does will make a difference. The corruption in both political parties is slowly destroying our national character.

As I am sure the more astute libertarian and fiscally conservative readers of this site understand is that voter fraud, irrespective of which party is quilty will, if ignored continue to metastasize and like a cancer completely corrupt our democratic republic. Which BTW in my never humble opinion is rapidly turning into an Oligarchy. But that is a subject for another day.

I am very busy with the important things in life and haven't the time right now to spend the amount of time Shaw would have me spend detailing and comment on all the specifics incidents to which I referred.

In the interest of good faith I shall simply link to that which concerns me. Shaw, I am sure will read the links and as she always is may feel welcome to respond to specific links.

Another Case of Voter Fraud in a Texas Democrat Primary?

Democrats Honor Vote Fraud Criminal in Cincinnati

Woman Just Released From Prison for Voter Fraud is Honored by Ohio Democratic Party

WOW! Al Sharpton & Democrats Honor Convicted Voter Fraud Felon Melowese Richardson at “Welcome Home” PartyWOW! Al Sharpton & Democrats Honor Convicted Voter Fraud Felon Melowese Richardson at “Welcome Home” Party

Ohio Democratic Party should rescind endorsement of group promoting voter fraud

Dems’ Voter-Fraud Denial

Before I move on I will highlight that I have never said, nor will I ever say, that voter fraud is unique to just the democratic party or that parties (both) don't attempt yo suppress the vote in their parties self interest at times. What peeves me, and it is the point of a prior post, is that Democrats/Progressives in their holier than thou rhetoric will never admit to the truth IMNHO.

As I patiently await replies from my esteemed colleagues of the opposite political persuasion.

Via: Rational Nation USA

Friday, April 11, 2014

Voting Rights and Presidential Hyperbole...

Straight from the President's mouth, in code.

President Barack Obama struck hard at restrictive voting rights laws Friday, calling them a Republican political tactic conceived to address a made-up problem.

Pretending that there’s widespread impropriety, he said, is just about keeping Democrats from winning.

Yeppers, damn right! Only if Democrats win is the right to vote safeguarded! Only if Democrats win has the will of the people been served! Evil yet lawful Republicans, Libertarians, and Conservatives everywhere are lurking behind every corner, and in the shadows to subvert the will of the people and preserve the the righteous vision that only democrats and progressives have for America.

This BS is getting so GD sickening it makes the sane want to puke. But whatever, things are so politicized, rancorous, and driven by hyperbole it is becomomg almost impossible to believe we'll ever become one nation again.

it's good to be old...

Read the full article BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum

GOP Righteous Right Warns the Leadership Against Choosing Las Vegas as Host City for Its 2016 National Conventiin...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Oops, not again. As the GOP leadership considers which major city to host its 2016 national convention the religious right has warned against selecting Las Vegas. It matters not (apparently) the positive attributes of the cities ability to host a major national convention, the numbers of hotels etc. it matters only that Vegas is considered "The City of Sin" by the self righteous rollers that comprise the religious fundamental faction of the GOP. Is anyone taking bets on what the Gee-Oh-Pee'er leadership will decide?

WASHINGTON— Some of the heaviest hitters on the religious right are pressuring GOP leaders to cross off Las Vegas as a potential host city for its 2016 convention, warning that putting the next convention in Sin City will harm the party’s image and drive away supporters.

Dallas already pitches itself as a more wholesome alternative to Vegas, and the push-back could bolster the city’s effort.

The leaders sent a letter last week to Republican chairman Reince Priebus, putting him on notice that picking Vegas would generate friction. They call the city a “trap waiting to ensnare. … What could go wrong? The answer is obvious.”

Leaders from the religious right who have joined the effort include Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association; Phyllis Schlafly, founder of Eagle Forum; Andrea Lafferty, president of the Traditional Values Coalition; Paul Caprio, director of Family-PAC; and James Dobson, president of Family Talk ministry.

“The GOP is supposedly interested in reaching out to conservatives and evangelicals. Maybe that’s just a front, but if they really mean it this is not the way to do it,” Dobson said Tuesday. “Even though Vegas has tried to shore itself up and call itself family-friendly, it’s still a metaphor for decadence. There’s still 64 pages of escort services in the yellow pages. … You can’t have it both ways.”

The Las Vegas host committee’s marketing pitch for the 2016 convention emphasizes the city’s number of hotel rooms (150,000), golf courses (50) and places of worship (531).

Jack St. Martin, executive director of the Las Vegas 2016 host committee, sidestepped the evangelicals’ objections Tuesday. With so much hotel and meeting space, he said, the city “offers the Republican Party and the conservative cause the best opportunity in a generation to house, train, educate, motivate and activate the grass-roots volunteers that make up the foundation of the GOP.”

But the potential for viral video of delegates engaged in Hangover-style hijinks makes some party insiders nervous. When Vegas boosters made their pitch to the RNC on March 21, former Nevada Gov. Bob List acknowledged such concerns.

“We took it head-on,” he said. “Las Vegas is a metropolitan area of over 2 million people. We’re not just all blackjack dealers and pawnshop operators. This is a city with 6,000 members of the chamber of commerce, 20,000 Boy Scouts. We have massive soccer leagues, the fifth-largest school district in America. We’re an all-around city with a fast-growing population of Catholics and Jews and Hispanics. It’s a big metropolitan area.”

Should the leadership decides to go with Las Vegas I for one will start making early plans to attend the festivities.

Via: Memeorandum

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The ObamaCare Divide Creating Two America's...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Red and blue state map, based on returns in last four presidential elections. (Wikimedia Commons/ Angr)

This site is not a supporter of the mechanisms of ObamaCare and questions whether it in fact will ultimately make health care either more accessible r affordable. Except for those receiving a subsidy or are getting it free.

All that aside I do agree with following Moyers & Company article stating that ObamaCare is widening the gap between red America and blue America.

Something needed to be done with our health care and insurance system. Most agree that the pre ObamaCare system needed some work. Unfortunately reason failed American politics and what we have achieved is an ever more polorized country with no end to the polarization.

Perhaps it is time to officially form a Blue United States of America and a Red United States of America. Because in reality we are moving ever closer to the breaking point.

The fact that the citizens of “red” and “blue” states live in what are essentially two countries with very different governments has largely flown under the radar, but it may become the defining story of our time. The two major parties are not only highly polarized ideologically, but as Dan Balz noted in The Washington Post, “polarization has ushered in a new era in state government, where single-party control of the levers of power has produced competing Americas.” Three-quarters of US states are now controlled by one of the two major parties — the most in 60 years — and “officials in these states are moving unencumbered to enact their party’s agenda.”

When the Supreme Court ruled that states could decline Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion without facing a penalty, the justices set in motion a process that’s now pushing our two countries even further apart as about half of the states passed on the opportunity to insure their poorer residents.

Read the full article BELOW THE FOLD

Via: Memeorandum

Monday, April 7, 2014

Race and the Obama Presidency...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Race, always the deepest and most volatile fault line in American history, has now become the primal grievance in our politics, the source of a narrative of persecution each side uses to make sense of the world. Liberals dwell in a world of paranoia of a white racism that has seeped out of American history in the Obama years and lurks everywhere, mostly undetectable. Conservatives dwell in a paranoia of their own, in which racism is used as a cudgel to delegitimize their core beliefs. And the horrible thing is that both of these forms of paranoia are right.

The above words from The Color of His Presidency ring true to the thoughtful as well as honest person. Please take the time if you have not already done so to read the entire article BELLOW THE FOLD. It will be well worth your time.

Via: Memeorandum

Now THIS Is One Mean Rockin Piece of Music!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Has the SCOTUS Completely Lost It? - Updated 4/4/14

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Putting all political, ideological, and social issues aside for the moment, and turning to the issue of money in politics, just how in the hell the SCOTUS ruled to strike down aggregate limits on federal campaign contributions escapes all logic. Aside from the fact that pull peddlers, and make no mistake about the fact that the more money contributed the greater the pull, will undoubtedly spend greater suns of money to influence politicians (think Koch and Unions) our counties long term rational self inters will increasingly be on sale to the highest bidder.

Essentially, America is now on sale to the biggest and deepest pockets of corporate American and labor unions. Everyone should take a long pause and consider the ramifications of this ruling. Especially since it will likely be followed by a complete elimination of ALL campaign contribution limits.

Frankly the thought of our nation's elected representatives and senators being influenced by, and our nation ultimately governed by the interests of the highest bidders should scare the hell out of every patriotic constitutional conservative, libertarian, and liberal in America.

The American Prospect - We need to start asking the question now, because if the Supreme Court strikes down all contribution limits, disclosure will be the justification.

There is going to be a lot of speculation about how the Supreme Court's decision in McCutcheon v. FEC to eliminate the aggregate limits on campaign contributions will affect the influence of big money in politics. That's because it serves to make an already complex system a little more complex, and there are multiple ways the decision could matter; on the other hand, it might make no difference at all. For the moment, I want to consider the role of disclosure, because I think it's going to become increasingly important in the near future, particularly if the Court goes all the way and eliminates all contribution limits. It should be said that in this case, they could have done that, but decided not to (only Clarence Thomas, in a concurring opinion, advocated eliminating all limits). But there is some reason to believe that the conservatives on the Court will go there eventually. And if they do, disclosure is going to be their justification: that as long as we know who's giving money to candidates, the risk of corruption will be small. That might strike you as reasonable, or it might strike you as absurd (you think the banks aren't getting their money's worth when they donate to every member of the committees that oversee them?), but it will be an argument that conservatives are likely to be making with increasing frequency in the coming years as they try to remove the last bricks from the crumbling edifice of campaign finance restrictions.

In his dissent in McCutcheon, Stephen Breyer wrote that "in the absence of limits on aggregate political contributions, donors can and likely will find ways to channel millions of dollars to parties and to individual candidates." He then ran through some scenarios—perfectly legal, if a little complicated—by which they could do that...

If you place the interests of the average middle class American, the interests of our nation's citizenry, regardless of economic strata they inhabit, and the long term economic health of our nation you will be VERY concerned with this ruling and what is quite likely to follow.

Read the rest of the article BELOW THE FOLD.

More information HERE, HERE, and HERE

Via: Memeorandum

PS: Site has returned to 24 hour viewing and commenting hours.

Update 04/04/14 - Via The Hill

“This case represents yet another missed opportunity to right the course of our campaign finance jurisprudence by restoring a standard that is faithful to the First Amendment. Until we undertake that reexamination, we remain in a ‘halfway house’ of our own design.” - Clarence Thomas

Justice Clarence Thomas is a man for whom I have a great deal of respect. As a black conservative it is undoubtedly arguable that he has occupied a minority slot in the black community. His unapologetic posture in the pursuit of his conservative constitutional principles is admirable. Respecting a man for his principled consistent beliefs however doesn't mean one must always agree with his positions.

Justice Thomas's position is absolutely correct, if considered ONLY from a purely philosophical viewpoint. If all individuals had the same wherewithal to contribute in equal sums to political campaigns (as well as exerting equal influence by lobbying legislators) I would be the first standing up in support of Justice Thomas's view that all campaign limits ought to be eliminated.

However, as the above conditions have never existed, nor will they ever exist, elimination of gall campaign limits, a road Justice Thomas and presumably the court (by the natural extension of the recent court decision) is contemplating, would he a huge mistake. Why? Because it tilts the paying field in the direction of the interests of monied individuals and corporate interests.

That's my take. What's yours?

Complete article BELOW THE FOLD

Via: Memorandum

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

2,995 Years To Find The Plane... Sounds Like a Project for the Feds!

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Certainly sounds like a project the federal government may want to jump in on and fund with taxpayer dollars. Since absurdity is its specialty and all.

Read the story BELOW THE FOLD

Via: Memeorandum