Friday, June 17, 2016
“The Pink Pistols gives condolences to all family and friends of those killed and injured at Pulse,” began Patton. “This is exactly the kind of heinous act that justifies our existence. At such a time of tragedy, let us not reach for the low-hanging fruit of blaming the killer’s guns. Let us stay focused on the fact that someone hated gay people so much they were ready to kill or injure so many. A human being did this. The human being’s tools are unimportant when compared to the bleakness of that person’s soul. I say again, GUNS did not do this. A human being did this, a dead human being. Our job now is not to demonize the man’s tools, but to condemn his acts and work to prevent such acts in the future.”
Patton’s concerns are that knee-jerk gun-control efforts may make preventing future events harder rather than easier, as only the law-abiding potential victims will be affected by such laws. “It is difficult, if not impossible, to foresee such an event,” continues Patton, “But if they cannot be prevented, then they must be stopped as fast as someone tries to start them.”
Thursday, June 9, 2016
The United States has always cherished its "melting pot" ethos of e pluribus unum -- of blending diverse peoples into one through assimilation, integration and intermarriage.
When immigration was controlled, measured and coupled with a confident approach to assimilation, America thrived. Various ethnic groups enriched America with diverse art, food, music and literature while accepting a common culture of American values and institutions.
Problems arose only when immigration was often illegal, in mass and without emphasis on assimilation.
Sometime in the late 20th century, America largely gave up on multi-racialism under one common culture and opted instead for multiculturalism, in which each particular ethnic group retained its tribal chauvinism and saw itself as separate from the whole.
Hyphenated names suddenly became popular. The government tracked Americans' often complicated ethnic lineage. Jobs and college admissions were sometimes predicated on racial pedigrees and quotas. Courts ruled that present discrimination was allowable compensation for past discrimination.
Schools began to teach that difference and diversity were preferable to sameness and unity. Edgar Allan Poe and Langston Hughes were categorized as "white male" or "black" rather than as "American" authors.
Past discrimination and injustice may explain the current backlash against melting-pot unity. And America's exalted idealism has made it criticized as less than good when it was not always perfect.
Nonetheless, for those who see America becoming a multicultural state of unassimilated tribes and competing racial groups, history will not be kind. The history of state multiculturalism is one of discord, violence, chaos and implosion.
So far, America has beaten the odds and remained multiracial rather than multicultural, thereby becoming the most powerful nation in the world.
We should remember that diversity is an ornament, but unity is our strength.
Victor Davis Hanson
Thursday, June 2, 2016
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
The first step in inventing something shouldn't be waiting for government approval. What would ever get done?
"Regulators like to see new types of law and regulation imposed upon the internet and restrict emerging technologies," warns Adam Thierer, author of "Permissionless Innovation."
"From drones to driverless cars to the 'internet of things' ... they want to put the genie back in the bottle of all this wonderful innovation that's out there."
"Think about 20 years ago. If Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, if Steve Jobs of Apple or anybody from Google had to come to the government, say, the Federal Communications Commission and get their blessing or a license to operate, you have to wonder how many of them would even exist today," said Thierer.
I assume that most would not exist, or if they did, they would be much less useful than they are now. All Silicon Valley innovation would have been slower and dumber had they been forced to apply for FCC permission each step of the way.
Luckily, in the '90s, a Republican Congress and President Bill Clinton gave entrepreneurs a green light. Shrinking regulation was a popular idea then. As a result, American innovation pulled ahead of the rest of the world. We got iPhones, Google and Facebook because competing private businesses ran the show.
In Europe, politicians took control. French bureaucrats created a computer network called Minitel and spent a fortune giving free computers to millions of people. The Minitel computers replaced paper phone books. People also used them to chat, book train reservations, etc.
Lots of people celebrated the "forward-thinking" French bureaucrats, but by 2012, Minitel was dead — replaced by unplanned innovation from America.
Europe treated innovation as something that could be run by centralized industrial policy. Today, many in the U.S. want to follow that example.
Try anything with a drone that involves making money, and government says you have to wait for permission from the Federal Aviation Administration.
"That's not the way innovation happens," says Thierer. "It's a bottom-up spontaneous kind of thing. Create the right environment and innovators innovate."
Government worries about irresponsible things you might do with your drone, like fly it into an airplane. But drones weighs less than seagulls, which hit planes all the time.
"If you base all public policy on hypothetical worst-case scenarios, then best-case scenarios never come about," says Thierer. "We'll never get life-saving or life-enriching innovations."
Fortunately, not everyone listens to regulators. At one hospital, volunteers use 3-D printers to create prosthetic hands for kids with missing limbs. It's illegal to make such a device without FDA approval, but they do it anyway.
Things can go wrong. But we have mechanisms for dealing with mistakes other than requiring licensing that prevents new things from ever being. Parasitic lawyers will sue you if you injure someone. Property rights and common law can be used to punish those who violate the rights of others.
Says Thierer, "There are always risks in the world. But we have ways of solving that without preemptive, precautionary, permission-based controls."
When we consumers see a new invention or new way of doing business, we ask whether we might benefit from it. Politicians and bureaucrats ask whether the innovator got their permission. Can we tax it? Is it fair? Is it safe? Government errs on the side of saying no.
When we assume that everything new must be approved by the state, innovation heads to other countries. Drone-makers now are moving to Canada and Australia, warns Thierer. Driverless car companies are going to the U.K.
It might seem prudent to have a rule that says: Don't try anything new unless we're sure it's safe. It's actually called "the precautionary principle," and that's basically the law in Europe. But reasonable as that sounds, "make sure it's safe" also means: Don't do anything for the first time.
This is a recipe for stagnation. Think of all the innovation that came out of Europe lately. I can't think of much either — Ikea, the wireless heart rate monitor. Of course, they were invented years ago, before regulation grew and European innovation died.
Let's not let it happen here.By John Stossel
Thursday, December 3, 2015
Only if the people realize they are the only ones who can make themselves safe, only when the politicians stop trying to push gun control as a substitute for a vigilant, armed people, only then will we be safe[r].
The Democratic fascist has no real feeling for human beings, so they substitute boilerplate remarks.
Here the ordinary, Democratic Party crank can use the Democratic boilerplate code to make any criminal use of firearms into a political call to ban guns for the law-abiding.
"My heart just breaks for the victims of the _(place)_ shooting in _(city)_. Those _(number greater than 3)_ people didn't deserve to die in a hail of bullets. Thoughts going out to their families and loved ones as they mourn the senseless deaths of these _(# dead)_. I will keep the _(# wounded)_ survivors in my thoughts and hope for a swift emotional and physical recovery.
Enough hate. Enough gun violence. It's time for solutions. We have to fix what's broken. Tonight, as we think of our _(place)_ neighbors, let's all be resolute in moving forward together to make our state, our nation and world a safer place."
(based on a speech delivered by Jay Inslee, governor, Washington state)