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Jesus never taught “tolerance”

  Pioneer. Champion. The new Jackie Robinson. These are the accolades being heaped on Jason Collins for making the following announcement:  I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay. – Jason Collins Gee, I didn’t know he was black. Glad he came out about that one. But seriously, we have now reached a place in America when proudly proclaiming to the world that you probably enjoy post-game showers for more than the soap and shampoo makes you a hero in the eyes of the world. As if it takes a lot of courage for a multi-millionaire, 34-year-old, has-been athlete looking for post-retirement publicity to make such a politically correct announcement. Good thing the folks at Nike are there for homosexual athletes to fall back on. I’d hate to see this guy homeless. But even if they weren’t there for him, he has the support of several upstanding individuals inside and outside the NBA. A few of the notables include: Proud of @jasoncollins34. Don’t suffocate who u r because of the ignorance of others #courage #support #mambaarmystandup #BYOU – Kobe Bryant / NBA player and suspected rapist (charges were dropped when the victim elected not to testify in the case) I have known Jason Collins since he […] . . . → Read More: Jesus never taught “tolerance” . . . → Read More: Jesus never taught “tolerance”

Can You Name the One Nation in the World with a Higher Corporate Tax Rate than the United States?

I’ve made the point before that the United States foolishly imposes the highest corporate tax rate of all developed nations. But that obviously means it is theoretically possible for there to be a nation in the developing world that has a higher corporate tax rates. Well, according to this map produced by the Financial Times, […] . . . → Read More: Can You Name the One Nation in the World with a Higher Corporate Tax Rate than the United States? . . . → Read More: Can You Name the One Nation in the World with a Higher Corporate Tax Rate than the United States?

“No Loans” on Gun Sales: G.E. as Socially Responsible or Financially Savvy?

In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newton, Connecticut that took place in late 2012, General Electric announced that the company would no longer finance consumers’ gun purchases. Russell Wilkerson, a G.E. spokesman, wrote in an email that the new policy was being adopted “in light of industry changes, new legislation and tragic events that have caused widespread re-examination of policies on fire-arms.”
                                                               Do business principles mandate treating this product like any other?  Source: NBC News
In other words, the policy shift was not simply a reaction to Sandy Hook. Rather, the company’s executives were adapting to changes in the organization’s environment, including the industry itself. This opens up the question of whether the new policy can be classified under the rubric of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Perhaps the adaptation was simply good business, with the appearance of “CSR” adding some reputational capital through a good public-relations campaign.

Well-meaning moralists in particular may have a tendency to project their own salient sense of obligation onto other people, and even pets. Rather than feeling a sense of loyalty, for example, your dog may simply be keeping close by because it is hungry and is accustomed to being fed by you. Once while I, a mere ten-year-old in the forest behind my house, was setting up what I optimistically thought could be a rabbit trap out of a waist-high old wire cage, my first dog walked up to me holding a rabbit in its mouth. I have no idea how to explain that—certainly not by positing any moral obligation. Perhaps my dog had merely been hungry. An organization can be similarly thought of as an economizing organism.

Generally speaking, an organization, like an organism, must adapt to its changing environment, or risk being replaced by a competitor that has achieved a better fit and thus can operate more efficiently in order to survive. Does such adaptation, which renders a company more fit by means of a sort of competitive natural-selection process, involve obligation manifested as responsibility to that environment?

After all, to do one’s duty is not typically said for what a person wants to do anyway. You would quickly see through my claim that it is my duty to eat the remaining chocolate sundae (so not to waste food). “Someone should eat the ice-cream before it melts; I suppose I’ll have to force myself.” People do not typically fall over themselves to do something out of a feeling of responsibility. For the sense of obligation or responsibility to be the primary motivator, the person (or persons, as in the case of a company) must not otherwise be inclined, as from the anticipation of a benefit, to act. When stimulated, self-interest tends to eclipse the felt-duty of responsibility. This thesis can be applied to GE’s policy on financing firearm purchases. Can the policy fall under the rubric of corporate social responsibility if the costs and nugatory next to the benefits? In other words, what if marketing the policy is simply good business?

As for the costs, GE Capital Finance had already stopped providing consumer financing for new gun-shop customers in 2008. The policy change in 2013 merely extended the ban to existing customers. It is not as though potentially new customers would be discouraged. Even if new and existing gun customers had been eligible for financing before the policy change in 2013, we would still be talking about a small fraction of GE’s revenue. It might simply be good business to end such a small revenue stream. Wells Fargo had stopped financing gun purchases in 2004 “for business reasons,” according to company spokeswoman Lisa Westermann. Perhaps it was just good business behind GE’s decision to extend its ban in such a way that the policy would be good publicity without much cost in the sense that the company could still make money lending to firearms purchasers in spite of the ban!

According to USA Today in 2013, GE’s “decision affects fewer than 75 retailers, which GE says is about 0.001% of all gun retailers.” This is because the policy “affects only retailers that sell firearms exclusively.” General merchandise stores, which sell other products as well as guns, are excluded from the company’s lending ban. Walmart is such a store. This represents a gaping loophole, making the policy as publicized misleading, and therefore suspicious as to the motive behind it. Put another way, GE would still be financing guns—just not through stores that sell only guns. Were the executives at GE really feeling a responsibility not to encourage gun sales after what had happened at Newtown, Connecticut, they would not have made the distinction unless they were legally obligated with retailers like Walmart to cover any big-ticket item. In that case, GE should have objected to storylines such as the one in USA Today, “GE Won’t Make Loans to Buy Guns.” Especially if the company was making this misleading claim, the gap between the publicized CSR and the actual policy could mean that the intent had been to use “marketed CSR” for reputational capital with little cost (i.e., good business).  

If most of GE’s lending on gun purchases was through multi-merchandise retail stores, GE could capitalize on sympathy from the school shooting without having to give up much financially. Interestingly, the shooter’s father, Peter Lanza, was a GE executive at the time—the company being based in Fairfield, Connecticut. If GE executives had felt obligated, being at such close range to the tragedy, to stop contributing to gun sales, why then the loophole and misleading storyline? Something is not quite right here. Taking rather than using a difficult decision on the basis of CSR would not involve manipulation. Were extant contracts a temporary obstacle, this would have been noted publically because the objective would have been to stop lending on gun purchases rather than to grab as much good public relations as possible without much cost.

If risk or cost is of concern, being socially responsible may not be the best option. As in the case of gun control, entering a controversial debate puts a company at risk for being negatively viewed by the “other side.” A USA Today poll taken at the time of the policy change in 2013 found public support for new gun-control legislation “slipping below” 50 percent. GE risked many people agreeing with John Meek, the owner of a gun store in Illinois, who called GE’s policy “an injustice” because the instrument rather than the user is being blamed. In other words, being socially responsible may not be as “politic,” and thus as good in terms of cost (i.e., lost non-gun-purchasing customers who disagree with the company’s position on gun control) and reputational capital as managers may suppose. Where to executives’ motive is based on a societal obligation, these hits are willingly taken, but where CSR is being used for image purposes, unanticipated costs are highly relevant.

Put another way, a company whose policy is forged out of CSR principles “puts its money where its mouth is,” whereas a company whose policy is good business including the marketing of CSR does not depart from business principles. There is reason to suppose that GE falls in with the latter rather than the former category, given the loophole, the “CSR marketing” benefits, and what little the company stood to give up. GE’s policy decision can be characterized as ethically misleading, likely not primarily motivated by a sense of social responsibility to curtail gun sales, and good business. I suspect that the vast majority of corporations are like this, rather than being truly socially responsible, and yet are viewed as such by good-meaning mortals who innocently project their own moral values on to what is actually effective, rather than “good,” marketing.

Source:

Paul Davidson, “GE Won’t Make Loans to Buy Guns,” USA Today, April 25, 2013.

. . . → Read More: “No Loans” on Gun Sales: G.E. as Socially Responsible or Financially Savvy? . . . → Read More: “No Loans” on Gun Sales: G.E. as Socially Responsible or Financially Savvy?

Obama Syria statement and why our enemies are laughing out loud!

Barack Obama rhetoric is worthless and our enemies are now 100% certain of that fact! Barack Obama painted the United States into a corner by establishing a ‘red line’ in Syria over the use of chemical weapons there that has effectively locked the … . . . → Read More: Obama Syria statement and why our enemies are laughing out loud! . . . → Read More: Obama Syria statement and why our enemies are laughing out loud!

“Modernise or die”?

A common idea in current circulation is that Right wing parties must modernise or die – my co-author, Chalcedon wrote this at my place, and it seemed an idea to offer it here where there is a good audience of conservative-minded people who might not favour appeasement.   A senior Conservative Minister in the British Coalition Government, […] . . . → Read More: “Modernise or die”? . . . → Read More: “Modernise or die”?

Jews are “Allah’s enemies, the sons of pigs” – in child’s hate poem recited on Pal TV

Yes, this is an example of how the Palestinians ‘educate’ their children for peace.What they’re really teaching them from the cradle is to dehumanize Jews and be willing accomplices to jihad terrorism.And a reminder, this is official Palestinian State … . . . → Read More: Jews are “Allah’s enemies, the sons of pigs” – in child’s hate poem recited on Pal TV . . . → Read More: Jews are “Allah’s enemies, the sons of pigs” – in child’s hate poem recited on Pal TV

Bush, 9/11, Obama, Boston and the Axis of Evil

[Update of Miss water-boarding-obtained intel and Bush yet? published Sunday? It’s easy to forget the fear that gripped America in the aftermath of al Qaeda’s September 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. soil. It’s even easier to take for granted the homeland peace that followed until the Islamist-inspired  Tsarnaev Brothers & Co. bombings in Boston on the Ides of April, 2013. And it’s even easier than that to not | Read More » . . . → Read More: Bush, 9/11, Obama, Boston and the Axis of Evil . . . → Read More: Bush, 9/11, Obama, Boston and the Axis of Evil

COMMON CORE = COMMUNIST CRAP

The latest push to shove the federal Common Core Curriculum down states throats via the threat of ending federal funding to those states that do not implement it has hit Florida. The state legislature is currently in committee writing legislation to implement it and make it state law. I am not going to argue the merits of the Common Core as a viable education model because the jury is still deliberating its content and methodology. What I am going to discuss and emphasize is the effectiveness of the federal body that will gain permanent control over every level of education in America and its success rate since first taking this role in 1980.

The Dept. of Education:

Since its inception and implementation by Jimmy Carter on 05/04/1980 has been very effective at redefining and changing the overall quality and efficiency of the way our children are educated. Before the Dept. of Ed. the national high school graduation rates were around 80% (peaking at 81% in the 1970’s). More importantly the effective reading and math comprehension levels were at a 10th grade level and to get into a college or state university a minimum SAT score was 1300. (an Ivy League education required 1550)       The aggregate IQ as determined by MENSA for the average high school graduate was approximately 98, the general populace 88.

Here is a very independent white paper from 2 German scientists that show a very different trend in our education:

“THE AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE: TRENDS AND LEVELS,” J. HECKMAN AND P. LAFONTAINE (2010)

“For a number of reasons – poor survey design, uncounted incarcerated males, inclusion of GEDs, inclusion of immigrants, etc. – surveys commonly used by economists like the CPS provide poor measures of the US high school graduation rate. Heckman and LaFontaine attempt to fix these mistakes by comparing the CPS, decennial Census records, and annual high school surveys to create an accurate measurement of the US high school graduate rate. The current rate is around 77%, lower than the peak of 81% around 1970. Graduating rates among males are lower, and among blacks are far lower. Indeed, low education rates continue into college, with only about 25% of the current cohort graduating from college, and less than half ever attending college of any kind. This divergence in educational outcomes is likely a large driver of stagnant wages since the early 1970s, since wages among college graduates and postgrads have continued to increase. The US has fallen behind many other developed countries in the past four decades in both HS and college graduation rates. To my mind, these numbers are a national disgrace, and such low rates of human capital are absolutely drivers of future high crime rates and lower economic growth.”                                                                                                                                             For the full text:http://ftp.iza.org/dp3216.pdf (WP – full version in ReStat May 2010)

The resultant comprehension levels are now at an all time low with 60% high school graduates reading at 8th. grade levels and math even lower. Most cannot perform simple algebra and without electronic assistance cannot perform simple math. The average IQ for grads’ is 90 and the populace average is 80. The standards for MENSA membership have always been the top 2 percentile of tested IQ’s, in 1970 it took an IQ of 150 to be considered in that percentile today it only requires an IQ of 135.

I can continue to identify and more importantly quantify the erosion of education since the federal govt. started direct oversight, but any American who has children or raised children or interacted with children in the last 40+ years can recognize the failings of the Dept. of Ed. and its devastation on our culture.

What is more frightening is why are our state govt.’s so willing to acquiesce our 9th. and 10th. Amendment rights so quickly? Why do we elect school boards and appoint administrators to over see the education of our children to see them systematically neutered by the Dept. of Ed.? Federal $$$$$!

To get the money you must get with the program whatever the current program is no matter how bad or how egregious. It is pay to play and if you don’t play then you don’t get paid.  In the first stages of the implementation of Common Core in place like Texas there have been multiple instance of push back by both teachers and more importantly parents when they have learned what their little Johnnie or Suzy are being taught.(or more importantly NOT TAUGHT) The removal of things like Algebra and Early American History in favor of Islamic studies and Homosexual awareness.

A recent article from the folks at the CATO Institute summed it up very well:

Saying Common Core Not Federal a Joke, but Joke’s on Us!          

By: NEAL MCCLUSKEY

“Last week I posted video from an American Enterprise Institute conference featuring supporters of national curriculum standards—the Common Core—dismissing concerns that implementing the standards might cost lots of taxpayer arms and legs, and laughingly brushing aside concerns that the Common Core might lead to federal control of school curricula. The latter emanated largely from Chester “Checker” Finn, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, whose organization is a leading national standards supporter.

Yesterday news came out that made clear just how serious—and unfunny—concerns about a federal takeover are. According to Education Week, the U.S. Department of Education will start a “technical review process” for the Department-selected consortia creating the national tests to go with the standards. And what will that review look at? Not compliance with accounting standards or something administrative, but test “item design and validation.” That means, most likely (in-depth information from the Department was off-line as of this writing) reviewing the specific questions that will go on the tests. And what is tested, of course, ultimately dictates what is taught, at least if the test results are to have any concrete impact, ranging from whether students advance to the next grade, to whether schools gain or lose funding. Since the ultimate point of uniform standards is to have essentially uniform accountability from state to state, they will have to have some concrete impact, rendering this a clear next step in a major Federal incursion into curricula.

Now, maybe Finn wasn’t aware of any of this last week when he blew me off with knee-slapping zingers about the U.N. taking over the Common Core, but I doubt it: according to Education Week, one of Fordham’s employees, Kathleen Porter-Magee, will be on the federal review team, as will frequent Fordham collaborator William Schmidt of Michigan State University. So either Finn is an extremely hands-off manager, or as he summoned his inner Don Rickles last week he knew very well that federal tentacles were inching even deeper into America’s schools.

Ha, ha, America. Joke’s on you.”

Neal McCluskey

The 9th. Amendment to the Constitution states: “ The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”

The 10th. Amendment states the following: “The powers NOT delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are RESERVED to the states respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE”

It is not difficult to see that once again our Rights as defined are being transgressed by the political class and govt. bureaucrats that are currently dominated by the progressive socialist ruling class elites who do not believe in the Constitution or your right’s as defined by them.

I am calling my state reps. now to rip them a new one and let them know a storm is coming and it will cleanse this nation of ALL the cancerous bodies now destroying it and we will not stop until we have our Republic as founded.

In Freedom,

Dr. Keith C. Westbrook  Ph.D.

“WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF- EVIDENT, THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL, AND THEY ARE ENDOWED BY THEIR CREATOR WITH CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS, AMONG THESE RIGHTS ARE LIFE, LIBERT AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. THAT TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS, GOVERNMENTRS ARE INSTITUTED AMONG MENT, DERIVING THEIR JUSTPOWERS FROM THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED.”                                                                              Thomas Jefferson

. . . → Read More: COMMON CORE = COMMUNIST CRAP . . . → Read More: COMMON CORE = COMMUNIST CRAP

The Emperor’s Red Line Has No Color

You probably don’t remember when President Obama first announced his “red line” warning to Syria that the use of chemical weapons by Syria or even the moving around of those chemical weapons would trigger serious action by this administration against the Al-Assad regime. “Crossing that red line”, in the words of the president “would be a game changer.”   The president did not make that warning from the oval office.  He made the statement on August 20, 2012 at the White House daily press briefing held by Jay Carney, the president’s press spokesman.   President Obama  surprisingly came on to the platform to take over for Jay Carney and turn the press briefing into a press conference.  Also, president Obama did not have prepared remarks making his red line warning to Syria.  President Obama made his red line comment as an off the cuff response to a question from Chuck Todd of NBC News.  And it was the very last question of the press conference, so you have to wonder if the red line pronouncement would have ever been made if not for Chuck Todd’s question.  Not only was Obama’s red line to the Syrian regime made off the cuff, but it was made in the heat of a close presidential race when Obama was trying to show his tough foreign credential bona fides.  So, that makes one wonder if the call for a red line was a serious warning to the Assad regime or the warning was a non serious threat with a hope by president Obama that just his statement would make that red line moot because Assad would not dare cross it?

I don’t want to torture you by having to watch the whole press briefing turned press conference-so, the relevant question by Chuck Todd came at the 15:35 mark and the president finally got around to answering that part of the question at the 18:32 mark to the end of the press conference.

Now we have had acknowledgement by U.S. intelligence that indeed, reports of chemical weapons use by Syria is considered credible.  So, now has the president’s red line been crossed?

This from Spencer Ackerman on Wired.com:
“Blink and you’ll miss it, but President Obama just revised and extended his “red line” for stopping Bashar Assad from using chemical weapons against Syrian civilians.”
““We cannot stand by and permit the systematic use of weapons like chemical weapons on civilian populations,” Obama said today, per Reuters’ Jeff Mason”….
“The key word in that statement is systematic. The surprise White House acknowledgement, in a letter to senators yesterday, said that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons, particularly sarin gas “on a small scale.” …
“The statement gives the president wiggle room”…”Combined with Obama’s call for to investigate and substantiate the assessment of the chemical use, Obama has now implied it would take a widespread use of the chemicals to prompt the U.S. to involve itself more deeply in the rebel effort to overthrow Assad”…. “But even “systematic” use of chemical weapons begs the question of how much sarin and other deadly gasses Assad can use before Obama feels compelled to stop him.”

It is looking like president Obama’s warning to Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad not to cross the red line of using or moving around chemical weapons was a bluff which Assad has called.  A bluff called which looks like will not be seriously answered by president Obama.

This post is not calling for military action in Syria.  Frankly, I don’t want to see any US troops sacrificed to prop up what my turn out to be an even more dangerous and worse rebel force in Syria.  Those rebel forces which include the Muslim brotherhood and even Al Qaeda people.

This post is meant to show how an off the cuff non-serious remark by president Obama is showing weakness to Syria, the Mid East, and the entire world on America’s foreign policy.  Also, by the president announcing a red line but not acting on a violation of it weakens the president’s credibility.   I could give a damn about Barack Obama’s credibility being weakened in the eyes of the world, but the president speaks for America.  So, this also weakens America’s credibility, which I do care about.  So, I am not criticizing the lack of immediate military action by the president, but I am criticizing his making the red line comment in the first place-which obviously was not serious.

The big problem is the chemical weapons themselves.  These weapons must be accounted for and contained.  If the weapons get loose you could  have weapons of mass destruction in the hand of terrorists, the one thing Israel, the United States and all free loving people of the world fear most.   So, to keep the chemical weapons out of the hands of Muslim terrorists must be our policy.

Unfortunately, it appears the emperor has no clothes and his red line has no color.

. . . → Read More: The Emperor’s Red Line Has No Color . . . → Read More: The Emperor’s Red Line Has No Color

Gay Marriage From The Inside

Lesbian activist Masha Gessen tells the truth about the motives behind the drive for gay marriage. . . . → Read More: Gay Marriage From The Inside . . . → Read More: Gay Marriage From The Inside

President Potter’s misguided vision

When President Potter met with SCSU Aviation students, he said “I just have this to say about the aviation program being closed, the decision has been made, the chancellor signed off on that decision…” He’s absolutely right. The decision was made. Chancellor Steve Rosenstone signed off on the decision. It’s also true that the things […] . . . → Read More: President Potter’s misguided vision . . . → Read More: President Potter’s misguided vision

The Lion And The Eagle

  A lot of times around here we are working to keep up with a busy political scene, and like everybody else, we get topical and don’t go back and look at how we got here. Jess and I both have a love for history, so we’re not quite as bad as some that way but it […] . . . → Read More: The Lion And The Eagle . . . → Read More: The Lion And The Eagle

Two-question political quiz!

Because things are not always how they seem to be! Question 1: If you knew a woman who was pregnant, who had 8 kids already, three who were deaf, two who were blind, one mentally retarded, and she had syphilis, would you recommend that she have an… . . . → Read More: Two-question political quiz! . . . → Read More: Two-question political quiz!

Even Libertarians Have Fantasies

I’ve shared two personal fantasies on this site, but I must be a policy wonk because they involved a vision of a  politician telling a voter to grow up and an imagined interaction between the Governor of Texas and the United Nations. Not exactly steamy stuff, I realize. And even when I posted a video […] . . . → Read More: Even Libertarians Have Fantasies . . . → Read More: Even Libertarians Have Fantasies

Keystone Cops, Senate de-Bakk-le edition

In March of 2011, Sen. Bakk hinted that Republicans didn’t have the sufficient experience to run the Senate. Yesterday, the DFL-controlled Senate laid the biggest egg in Minnesota legislative history: There were a few hiccups along the way but the Minnesota Senate voted for a tax bill that raises income taxes on top earners, increases […] . . . → Read More: Keystone Cops, Senate de-Bakk-le edition . . . → Read More: Keystone Cops, Senate de-Bakk-le edition

MAPE, AFSCME know about deceptive and misleading ads

This statement on Workday Minnesota’s website is spin. Take this statement: MAPE, the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, and AFSCME Council 5 denounced the corporate-backed “United for Jobs” initiative as a misleading and deceptive paid advertising campaign. The ads target Governor Mark Dayton’s proposal to raise more revenue for public services by raising taxes on […] . . . → Read More: MAPE, AFSCME know about deceptive and misleading ads . . . → Read More: MAPE, AFSCME know about deceptive and misleading ads

InfoWars Douchecanoe Confronted

Got to love this. A Bostonian gives some shit to a InfoWars Douchecanoe asshat. Warning Graphic Language:   . . . → Read More: InfoWars Douchecanoe Confronted . . . → Read More: InfoWars Douchecanoe Confronted

Let me get this straght

Early today over at ViralRead, I posted about Van Jones getting arrested in St Louis. He was joining the Miner Unions and their families […] . . . → Read More: Let me get this straght . . . → Read More: Let me get this straght

CAIR Director ‘Radical Islam Is Not Primary Driver of Terrorism In the World ‘

Interesting, to see how Bill O’Reilly deals with the typical Muslim Brotherhood spin about ‘perverting Islam’.Especially coming from Niwad Awad, who would almost certainly be sitting in jail for material support for terrorism in the Holy Land Foundatio… . . . → Read More: CAIR Director ‘Radical Islam Is Not Primary Driver of Terrorism In the World ‘ . . . → Read More: CAIR Director ‘Radical Islam Is Not Primary Driver of Terrorism In the World ‘