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Welcome to New York, Fun Not Allowed

by Mars ( 79 Comments › )
Filed under America, Blogmocracy, Democratic Party, Guest Post, Regulation at December 15th, 2014 - 6:00 pm

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20141205/park-slope/parks-dept-puts-stop-spinning-playground-equipment-after-injuries

Parks Dept. Puts a Stop to Spinning Playground Equipment After Injuries

PARK SLOPE — The city is putting the brakes on spinning playground equipment following reports of injuries, a Parks Department spokeswoman said.

Rotating metal saucers that kids ride at two Park Slope playgrounds were recently welded into place so they can’t move, and the city has made similar modifications or removed a total of seven disks citywide “in the interest of public safety,” the spokeswoman said.

The spokeswoman declined to discuss how many injuries had been reported or other specifics.

Turning the spinning disks into statues angered Park Slope parents, who said the city was going too far to protect kids.

“I think it sucks,” said dad David Friedlander, whose 2-year-old was disappointed to find the the spinning disk at Vanderbilt Playground in Prospect Park suddenly stuck in place in late November. “I think it’s a sad commentary on how litigious and afraid we’ve become of having our children get a few boo-boos.”

Friedlander said his son had tumbled off the disk — which is about 4 feet wide and stands about 2 feet off the ground — onto the rubberized ground below, but he doesn’t consider the equipment a safety hazard. Friedlander said it should be up to parents to decide if their children can handle playing on the saucer, not the city.

“This makes me completely insane. What’s the point of even going to the playground? Better lock up the swings, too,” wrote one frustrated mom of a 3-year-old on a South Slope email list.

Parents in that neighborhood said they’re bummed a similar rotating saucer at Slope Park on Sixth Avenue and 18th Street was also recently welded so that it can’t move.

The city removed a swing at Slope Park last year after several kids broke their legs while playing on it, but parents said the spinning metal disk didn’t seem to present nearly the same risk. Parents who visit Slope Park frequently said they’ve never seen kids injured while playing at the saucer.

Though several families filed claims against the city regarding the Slope Park swing, no claims have been filed regarding the spinning disks there, according to the City Comptroller’s Office.

The Parks Department altered the following spinning disks:

► Union Square Park, Manhattan — welded stationary

► McNair Park, Manhattan — welded stationary

► Central Park, Manhattan — removed

► Utopia Park, Queens — removed

► Mullaly Park, The Bronx — removed

► Slope Park, Brooklyn — welded stationary

► Prospect Park, Brooklyn — welded stationary

A spokesman for City Councilman Carlos Menchaca, who represents the South Slope, said his office hadn’t received any complaints about the rotating saucer at Slope Park, and a spokesman for City Councilman Brad Lander said no one complained about the metal disk at Vanderbilt Playground until after it was welded into a stationary position.

Mom Rebecca Stein said both her daughters, who are 5 and nearly 2, love to play on the rotating saucers at Vanderbilt Playground and Slope Park. The equipment lets her kids test boundaries and get a feel for how their little bodies balance and move, Stein said.

“They think it’s fantastic,” Stein said. “They love the thrill of balancing and sort of playing risky. It’s being close to danger, but without any real danger.”

Stein said both her children had slipped off the saucers, but the worst that ever befell them was an extreme case of dizziness. She lamented the loss of the disks as part of a larger trend away from letting children play freely.

“Playgrounds are so sanitized now,” Stein said. “There’s no thrill. In the playgrounds of our youth you could climb and feel like you were above things and use more of your imagination. I don’t think that happens anymore.”

To be fair, this time it isn’t the government that’s out of control, this was the determination made by the judge in a law suit. Remember, the libs say we have no need for tort reform.

If anyone has noticed, this isn’t just a New York problem though. All over the country places like malls have either eliminated their playgrounds or made them into new “safe, soft” playplaces that kids just frankly don’t find fun in the least. Play areas that used to be packed by kids are now largely ignored due to the utter lack of enjoyable activities. Fortunately places like McDonalds have managed to find a middle ground with enjoyable “soft” activities that have electronic elements involved giving the kids added enjoyment.

I will, however, miss playgrounds.

Bill Whittle: Obama’s black skin privilege

by 1389AD ( 13 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Political Correctness, Racism at December 12th, 2014 - 3:30 pm

On YouTube:

Published on Dec 5, 2014 TruthRevoltOriginals
Everyone knows it is true, and no one has the courage to say it. The American people are letting Barack Obama destroy this country through illegal executive orders for one reason and one reason only. In his latest FIREWALL, Bill Whittle has the courage to speak out and make the case that no one else will make.

TruthRevolt has the transcript.

Anonymous supporter attacks a Fox News camera

by Rodan ( 213 Comments › )
Filed under Fascism, Politics at November 25th, 2014 - 9:22 pm

Last night’s riots in Ferguson was the result of an alliance of various groups. One of the main organizers of the disturbances was the online Anarchist group Anonymous. They ordered a general mobilization of their supporters and helped to coordinate the various protests across the country. In Ferguson, the Anonymous supporters wore Guy Fawkes masks and were at the forefront of the riots. They even attacked a Fox News camera!

Update: Here is another Anonymous rioter standing outside a looted store.

Anonymous Ferguson

The protestors and rioters are really an eclectic mix of Leftists and Rightists who have jumped on the Michael Brown situation to further their own pet causes. The media is not reporting this because they want a racial angle, when clearly this has evolved beyond race.

Schoolhouse Rock OOT

by Macker ( 19 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Entertainment, History, Immigration, OOT, The Constitution at November 23rd, 2014 - 10:00 pm

Who all here remembers Schoolhouse Rock? I’m sure we all do!
Well, the liberal folks over at SNL make a mockery of Обама’s recent act, utilizing one of the classic tunes from that series, “I’m Just A Bill“:

Too bad they didn’t depict Обама’s character in regal garb. But no matter. lobo91 is right: it would indeed be funny if it wasn’t so accurate.
It’s The Overnight Open Thread!

Marion Barry Dead at 78

by Macker ( 1 Comment › )
Filed under Democratic Party, Headlines at November 23rd, 2014 - 11:49 am

A Legendary Crooked Politician, synonymous with Washington, DC and Cocaine, passes. And here I thought the cereal was named after him!

WASHINGTON — Former District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry, whose four terms were overshadowed by his 1990 arrest after being caught on videotape smoking crack cocaine, died Sunday morning. He was 78.
Barry’s family said in statement that he died shortly after midnight Sunday at the United Medical Center, after having been released from Howard University Hospital the previous day. He had battled kidney problems stemming from diabetes and high blood pressure and underwent a kidney transplant in February 2009.
The statement said Barry’s family requested that their privacy be respected, and further details would be forthcoming.


Power Corrupts. And Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.

MULTICULTURALISM? …first define “culture”

by 1389AD ( 137 Comments › )
Filed under immigration, Multiculturalism, Political Correctness at November 20th, 2014 - 5:00 pm
Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Harry Richardson at The Pickering Post has the story:

All of today’s Australians (even the Aboriginal people) are either migrants, or descended from people who migrated here from overseas. From the founding of the modern Australian State at Federation, until the early 1970’s, the basis of our immigration policy was more or less the same as that of the United States.

This was articulated clearly in the following letter from Theodore Roosevelt to the American Defense Society:

In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American. There can be no divided allegiance here.

Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language… and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.

This policy worked because our earliest immigrants worked hard to become Australians. The great majority were from Europe and the UK, whose cultures were quite similar to ours. Cultural harmony is no problem with harmonious cultures. Children of immigrants were almost indistinguishable from their school mates.

These immigrants turned Australia into one of the most prosperous and successful countries in the world. Sometime between the early 1970s and the early 1990s however, every “Western” nation around the world (excluding wealthy “non Western” countries such as Japan) decided to implement a previously unheard of doctrine known as multiculturalism.

In Australia, this policy was introduced in 1973 by controversial Whitlam Minister and suspected Mafia collaborator Al Grassby. The public was never consulted about this policy, and the concept of “culture” was never defined.

If you have ever been to a “cultural” festival or celebration, you would most likely have found it full of exotic spicy foods, ethnic people doing lively, interesting dances and wearing unusual and brightly coloured clothing. When we hear the term “culture,” these days, this is what immediately springs to mind.

If this were all that was meant by the term “culture,” then a multicultural human society might exist in peace and harmony. What is there NOT to like about that?

However, the flaws in this policy come into stark relief when we understand the deeper meaning of the word “culture”. This meaning is far less visible and will never be on display at any “cultural” festival, but is in fact, far more important. Culture in its deepest sense, refers to the set of values which are used by a society to determine its ethics. It is those things which a society, as a whole, considers to be right or wrong.

An example: Hindus consider it very wrong to kill a cow, whereas most Westerners are happy to enjoy a nice rump steak. For this reason, India may have laws outlawing the killing of cows, whilst we have no such law.

This has nothing to do with ethnicity or race. If you or I had grown up in a Hindu family in India then we would also probably consider killing a cow to be morally wrong. This is the basis of any culture, a set of shared beliefs in what constitutes right and wrong which are shared by one group but not another.

These values are passed on from one generation to the next by parents, religious institutions, media, schools, peers and other institutions.

Each of the different cultures has its own concept of right and wrong. There is no universal definition of what is right and what is wrong. We in the West tend to rather arrogantly assume that the Ten Commandments’ principles of not to kill, steal, cheat, or lie etc. exist in every culture but this is demonstrably not true.

In the past (and probably even today in remote areas) there have been warrior societies where killing was considered a rite of passage for all males. The Vikings were somewhat famous for glorifying rape, pillage and plunder and there are numerous examples of cultures which considered particular Western (Judeo/Christian based) “sins” to be virtues.

Going back to our original example, we cannot say that all Westerners will agree to killing cows for food, or that no Hindus will ever have a sneaky t-bone steak. However most Hindus would consider eating beef to be “wrong” and for most Westerners it is “OK”.

The doctrine of “multiculturalism” as opposed to “multi ethnicity,” dictates that groups of people with different cultures will live in one society and retain their culture, rather than trying to assimilate into the culture of the host nation.

The first problem with this lies in the fact that the laws which a society makes, and agrees to be governed by, are simply an extension of the culture of that society.

Continue reading…

More Good News From Tuesday’s Election

by Iron Fist ( 128 Comments › )
Filed under Democratic Party, Election 2014, Politics, Republican Party at November 13th, 2014 - 7:00 am

This is important:
The Election Map

Republicans had a very good Nov. 4; this much we know.

But merely looking at the GOP’s likely nine-seat gain the Senate and its double-digit gains in the House doesn’t really do its wave justice.

While the GOP is likely to control 54 percent of all Senate seats and 56 percent (or so) of the House come January, it also will now control more than two-thirds of state legislative chambers across the country — as in nearly seven in 10. And given Republicans also won at least 31 governorships, they are basically in control of the state government in 24 states. That could soon hit 25if they win the still-undetermined governor’s race in Alaska.

(Worth clarifying: These numbers include Nebraska, which technically has a nonpartisan, unicameral legislature but is, for all intents and purposes, a GOP-controlled state.)

The Democrats, meanwhile, control just six states, with a seventh likely to come when the Vermont legislature picks Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) as the winner of last week’s closer-than-expected election, in which neither candidate attained the necessary 50 percent.

That 24-6 split is actually significantly bigger than it was after 2010, when Republicans emerged from that wave election with complete control of 21 states, to Democrats’ 11 — about a two-to-one advantage, versus today’s four-to-one edge.

This is, in many ways, better news than our taking the Senate, because it is an indicator of how people want their government to be where it is closest to them. The States were intended to have more influence over your daily lives than the Federal Government. This is because those Legislatures are closer to the people they represent. Representative democracy is a wonderful thing, for all of its warts and boils. As governments go, it works better than anything else mankind has produced, if your goal is a peaceful, prosperous State. One of the reasons that Americans reject Leftism is that Leftism is not trying to produce a peaceful, prosperous State.

It gets better:

No, state legislatures aren’t the sexiest things in the world. But as a means for demonstrating a national wave, they’re about as pure an indicator as you get. That’s because they’re the lowest-profile office (i.e. people vote the party more than anything) that is pretty uniform across the country. And as of today, the GOP is dominating in an unprecedented way.

To put this in a little more perspective, I added up the number of Americans who will now be in GOP-controlled states, versus those states under complete Democratic control.

According to my numbers, across all 50 states, 49.7 47.8 percent of Americans will now be led by GOP-controlled governments with little/no ability for Democrats to thwart them. If Gov. Sean Parnell (R) pulls off his reelection run in Alaska, it will be more than 48 percent.

Not quite half of us are almost entirely free of the yoke the Democrats would put around our necks, at least as far as our State governments are concerned. Keep in mind, these numbers are for people who have utterly rejected the Leftist view of the nation. These are people in places where the Democrats have little say at all. The only yoke the Democrats can place on us is from Federal laws already passed. We have actually, to a degree, achieved the One-Party State that the Left wants for itself. This is an awesome responsibility.

We haven’t won the war with the Democrats, but we have won an important battle. Several important battles, when you look at it as a whole. Contrary to what the Democrats think, the American people aren’t stupid. We are slow to act, and slow to anger, but when we come around to it, we have a tendency to do the right thing. Now is not the time to get complacent, though. As Buzzsawmonkey points out, now is when the real work begins. We have elected Republicans. We now have to force them to govern as Republicans.

You’re Stupid!

by Iron Fist ( 158 Comments › )
Filed under Politics, Progressives at November 12th, 2014 - 7:46 am

And the Democrats hate you, so vote Democrat!

Supporters of the Democratic Party have many theories to explain the drubbing they were handed on Election Day. The explanations seem to boil down to one basic proposition, however: Voters are too stupid to know what’s good for them.

Let me say it clearly: The Democratic Party will continue to underperform until it learns to take election beatings a bit more personally.

The sheer variety of theories based on the stupidity of voters is what’s so impressive. For instance, the Obama administration’s record is good, and the economy is finally doing better; but voters are too stupid to see that. Or: The policy record is poor and the economy is screwed, which is the Republicans’ fault for paralyzing Washington; and voters are too stupid to see that. Or: The policies are bad, the economy is screwed, and Democrats are to blame for failing to press the robust progressive agenda that voters want; then voters (who really are impossibly stupid) punish this lack of commitment by electing conservative Republicans.

These theories aren’t mutually exclusive, apparently. I think Paul Krugman has supported all of them at various times. Like many progressives, he’s lost count of all the ways voters are stupid.

This is the Democrat answer to the election. It is not that the voters rejected Leftism and all its works, but that they were too stupid to vote the way that they should vote. The subtext of this is “Will no one rid me of these troublesome elections?” The Left are totalitarian in mindset. Their real goal is and always has been the establishment of a totalitarian dictatorship with them at the head of it. Anything else that they espouse, whether it is civil rights, gay rights, women’s rights, or what have you is simply a means to an end. You can see this all over the place. The Democrats don’t really try very hard to hide what they are. They know that they can fool 51% of the people most of the time, and that the Right is too chickenshit to come out and say The Left are EVIL, so they don’t feel like they have to hide it. Think about it. We’ve now heard this kind of refrain several times, from several different Leftist leaders, whether it is Obama’s “bitter clingers” statement or this last guy’s assertion that the voters are stupid. Think about all the things that they have said in private that we haven’t heard tapes of.

The article finishes up with this:

The constant emphasis on social injustice, economic inequality, class struggle and the existential perils of climate change advertises a far-reaching transformative ambition. Here’s the problem: Even putting aside the question of competence, U.S. voters aren’t sold on the idea of having their society transformed. They just want it made better. To be popular, the progressive agenda therefore needs to be plausibly delimited. The Democrats need to make clear what they won’t do as much as what they will. Without a clear program, that’s difficult.

It won’t do to say, “Trust us to dismantle this fundamentally broken society and build something new. You can leave the details to us.” That’s what Democrats were offering the country last week. The voters said, “No, thanks.” I wouldn’t call that stupid.

He comes at this really from a Center Left perspective (it is in Bloomberg News, after all). Even he can’t be sold on the “pass it to see what’s in it” blank check to Big Government to do whatever the hell it pleases. He doesn’t come to the same conclusion that I do, that the Democrats are evil. He still essentially sees the Democrat’s problem as a messaging problem. He is wrong. The reason the voters reject the Democrat’s position is that most Americans want a prosperous, free, and happy America. The Democrats want none of this. And the “stupid” voters are starting to see that.

Warren G and Silent Cal and the Banker Mellon

by coldwarrior ( 216 Comments › )
Filed under Barry Goldwater, Election 2014, Elections 2016, government, History, Open thread, Politics, Progressives, Republican Party, Ronald Reagan, The Political Right at October 31st, 2014 - 6:21 am

Are we ready for Old School economics? Are there any GOPsters who dare do this in DC? Does the Right have an economic spine?

Lower taxes, Less Government? OH MY!

Good ol’ Warren G. & Silent Cal: Harding & Coolidge understood basic economics

By Amity Shlaes

Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Republicans and Democrats resemble one another too closely for voter comfort these days. Whatever their own political leanings, voters would prefer more diversity in the policy spectrum.

Consider the question of whether the federal government should increase spending. Politicians’ answers come in a broad range: “yes” or “yes, a lot.” Even candidates who talk about cuts are really only speaking about reductions in increases. In fact, politicians don’t believe they really can make cuts. No modern president has, or at least no president who took office in peacetime.

Not Bill Clinton, who told the nation the welfare era was over. Not even Ronald Reagan, the great free-market president of the postwar era. Budget cutters, the assumption runs, can’t get elected. Federal austerity, the politicians often warn, might hurt the economy anyhow. Presidents just can’t say “no.”

But there have been peacetime presidents who said “no.” Two were presidents we scarcely hear about anymore, Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge. The 29th president died amid scandal in 1923 — but not before cutting the federal budget. Coolidge then served 512 years, to 1929, a period when the population and the economy grew. Yet when Coolidge left the White House and returned to his hometown of Northampton, Mass., the federal budget was actually lower than when he came in.

How Harding and Coolidge managed to say “no” is a good story and one that couldn’t have happened without the contribution of the nation’s greatest banker, Andrew Mellon.

The story starts in 1920 and in a fiscal landscape that would seem familiar. As today, the federal debt loomed over the future. Yet tax rates, ranging into the 70s, could hardly be pushed higher. The government had expanded, but various groups were pressing for greater federal spending. World War I veterans did not all find jobs and many were disabled — they sought a pension or a bonus.

With commodity prices bouncing up and down, farmers demanded some kind of subsidy stream as well. The presidents lacked control or even oversight of the budget: Congress called the shots. Yet Harding, an ebullient senator of Ohio, and Coolidge, a quiet governor of Massachusetts, ran and won on a ticket of “no.” They would say “no” to both high taxes and government expansion.

Harding did some of the first hard work of cutting. He shepherded through the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, which unified the budget process under the president and gave the White House the power to impound and sequester. Harding also cut the budget and vetoed veteran pensions and farm subsidies.

Harding appointed Mellon as Treasury secretary, and Mellon adroitly rescheduled the debt; Harding and Mellon also passed a round of tax cuts. Harding was not a “naysayer” by temperament. He disliked using the veto on his old Senate colleagues. He appointed friends, rather than professionals, to key posts. Their corruption tainted his reforms and aborted them.

Few reckoned that Coolidge could continue or complete what Harding had started. Voters figured Coolidge was a lame duck, “the accident of an accident.” The real Republican candidate would emerge in 1924. Coolidge’s colleagues in Washington didn’t expect much either: “Coolidge had little about him that was regal,” recalled George Wharton Pepper, a senator of Pennsylvania.

Still, Coolidge pushed forward where Harding had hesitated. He and Mellon sought and received several more rounds of tax cuts, bringing the top marginal income tax rate down to 25 percent, a level even lower than Reagan’s. In his years observing railroads, Mellon had noted that when you cut the toll for a rail line, you might get more business. An owner charged, as Mellon put it, “what the traffic will bear.”

Mellon thought the same principle might apply to tax rates. Perhaps lower rates would permit more business activity and therefore bring higher revenues. Today we call this philosophy “supply-side economics.”

Coolidge was not as enthusiastic. His thrifty temperament led him to obsess about the budget. In fact, the president kept twin lion cubs, which the White House named “Tax Reduction” and “Budget Bureau.” The point was that the lions were twins: Fed on steak, they weighed the same. To match Mellon’s tax cuts, Coolidge kept up with budgets. He also vowed to prevent future spending. “It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones,” Coolidge had written his father years before. As president, Coolidge “killed” 60 laws by veto, compared with Harding’s record of six.

The result of Mellon’s partnership with Harding and Coolidge pleased most Americans. Government became smaller; the number of strikes fell. Mellon had won his bet: Revenues for the government actually increased from 1924, even though tax rates were lower. The team lowered the debt by a third. Working-class families became middle-class when they found they were able to acquire new comforts such as Model Ts and Model As, electricity, and indoor plumbing. The 1920s were not the fragile illusion depicted in, say, “The Great Gatsby.” Voters knew it and rewarded the pro-austerity Coolidge in 1924 with a resounding victory.

Under Herbert Hoover, policy shifted, with the White House becoming active. This shift, indeed the whole story, is little known, in part because people blame the Great Depression of the 1930s on the 1920s. But that is misplaced. As I noted in “The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression,” the economic crash had multiple causes. Few had much to do with policies from 1920 to 1928.

Knowing about the Harding-Coolidge-Mellon record doesn’t assure us that voters will elect to the White House a candidate who says “no.” Knowledge of that forgotten record merely broadens the range of options politicians can feel comfortable offering to voters today. That is, such knowledge makes a candidate who says “no” possible. And asked whether a wider range of policy choices represents an improvement, even those who oppose such policies will probably want to answer “yes.”

Congressional Democrats’ disapproval hits a 20-year high

by Iron Fist ( 50 Comments › )
Filed under Democratic Party, Politics, Republican Party at October 27th, 2014 - 7:00 am

This is your good news for the day:

A new poll shows Americans’ disdain for Congress is weaker than it has been in more than three years, but neither party has much to brag about.

The Washington Post-ABC News poll shows 50 percent of Americans say they “strongly” disapprove of the way Congress is doing its job. The good news: That’s the lowest that number has been since March 2011. The bad news: It’s still half the country really disliking Congress.

And when it comes to the two major parties, the improvement doesn’t really show.

In fact, congressional Democrats are facing their highest disapproval rating in at least the last 20 years, at 67 percent. Meanwhile, 30 percent approve of the job congressional Democrats are doing.

This is good news indeed. The last time the Democrats clocked this low, we swept both the House and Senate (in 1994). We don’t need to rest on our laurals, though:

Democrats, though, still remain more popular than the GOP. Just 25 percent of Americans say they approve of the job Republicans in Congress are doing, while 72 percent disapprove.

The difference between the two parties, though, is smaller than it has usually been.

You have to remember that this is the Washington Post, no bastion of “Fair and Balanced Coverage”, and that the media in general is extremely supportive of the Democrats. If they weren’t, the Democrats would be in the cellar. Also, you have to remember that the Democrats benefit from the welfare suck vote and the government worker vote. Both trend strongly Democrat, for obvious reasons, and they are thirty percent or so of the vote now.