Saturday, January 31, 2015

Quit Wasting Time on Moore, Maher & Dean Michael Reagan | Jan 29, 2015

Michael Reagan

Bill Maher called Chris Kyle of "American Sniper" a "psychopath patriot." 

Michael Moore called military snipers "cowards" who shoot people in the back. 

Howard Dean said "American Sniper" appeals mostly to angry Tea Party types. 

So what? 

Why do we conservatives give two cents about what these lefties and liberals say about "American Sniper" - or anything else? 

Nothing they ever say is surprising. Nothing they say ever adds to the debate, has any effect on anything or helps us find a solution to a serious problem. 

The predictable - and wrong -- things these liberals and others on the left said about "American Sniper" glorifying killing or whitewashing the Iraq war couldn't stop or hurt that great movie. 

Its record $250 million box-office take in just two weeks says it all. 

Spending time or space reacting to anything Moore tweets or Maher says on his barely watched HBO show is a waste of time for conservatives and their media. 

Dean's comment (which he later apologized for) was seen and heard by far more people on conservative media outlets than on Maher's show. 

Ditto for Moore's garbled tweets, which otherwise would have been seen only by his mindless followers. 

So why does the conservative media take the bait, time and time again, and give the inane comments of liberal cranks so much attention and publicity? 

Simple. It's great for their bottom lines. 

Unfortunately, attacking your enemies - even when you can predict what they'll say before they say it - is what the American TV viewing audience wants. 

I wish I could change it, but the reality is that it's all about getting higher ratings. 

Whether it's on MSNBC, CNN or Fox News, the media boxing ring has been set up for everyone to be always fighting somebody else. It's all about clashing opinions and playing to the opposite corners. 

You watch MSNBC to be mad at the right and Fox to be mad at the left and no one watches CNN.  

These staged media fights are rarely worth watching and they don't bring any benefit to the country, the conservative cause or the political process.

It's rarely a fair fight. Alan Colmes and Bob Beckel are the Washington Generals of Fox News.

And what good does it do for more than 2 million people to watch four conservatives beat up Beckel every night on "The Five"?

Beckel, not to mention Fox News, is laughing all the way to the bank.

But the show is a total waste of time for everyone else. You might as well watch an hour of professional wrestling.

I'm looking for straight news, news I can use, not reports on dumb things said by my enemies. But straight news is hard to find on TV these days.

Other people have noticed the news shortage. Last year during D-Day celebrations in Normandy I was talking to some high-ranking members of the 82nd Airborne.

"What news do you guys watch?" I asked.

"Al Jazeera America."

"'Al' what?"

"Al Jazeera. Because we're looking for straight news, not opinion. We'll form our own opinion."

Al Jazeera America being touted for its un-spun newscasts by U.S. military leaders is a shocking and depressing thought.

But straight news won't sell to the TV masses in America, where the news media have turned us into a National Inquirer country.

We're not getting the news we need or can use from network and cable TV. We get bad news, gotcha news, sensational news or shock-video of car wrecks.

The conservative media only make things worse when they constantly publicize the stupid things liberals say.

It may be good for ratings. But at some point you have to say to the conservative media moguls, "Guys, there are a lot of important things going on in the world and what Michael Moore and Bill Maher think are not two of them."

 
 
Michael Reagan

Michael Reagan

Michael Reagan, the eldest son of Ronald Reagan, is heard daily by over 5 million listeners via his nationally syndicated talk radio program, "The Michael Reagan Show."
 
Carl Ray Louk

"FRIENDSHIP NEVER ENDS" SG-1996
"LET LOVE LEAD THE WAY" SG-2000
"THE PHOENIX SHALL RISE" SD
"EVEN A MAN WHO IS PURE IN HEART AND SAYS HIS PRAYERS BY NIGHT, MAY BECOME A WOLF WHEN THE WOLFBANE BLOOMS AND THE AUTUMN MOON IS BRIGHT." LT-1941
"FLESH OF MY FLESH; BLOOD OF MY BLOOD; KIN OF MY KIN WHEN SAY COME TO YOU, YOU SHALL CROSS LAND OR SEA TO DO MY BIDDING!" CVTD-1895
"FROM HELL'S HEART I STAB AT THEE, FOR HATE SAKE I SPIT MY LAST BREATH AT THEE" CA-1895 
"I HAVE BEEN, AND ALWAYS SHALL BE YOUR FRIEND" Spock 
"TRICK OR TREAT, TRICK OR TREAT CANDY IS DANDY BUT MURDER, OH MURDER, IS SO SWEET" CRL-2003 
"EYE OF NEWT, AND TOE OF FROG, WOOL OF BAT, AND TONGUE OF DOG ADDER'S FORK, BLIND-WORM'S STING, LIZARD'S LEG, AND OWLET'S WING. FOR A CHARM OF POWERFUL TROUBLE, LIKE A HELL-BROTH BOIL AND BABBLE. DOUBLE, DOUBLE, TOIL AND TROUBLE, FIRE BURN, AND CALDRON BUBBLE" WS

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Obama's Narcissistic Dissing of Israel David Limbaugh | Jan 30, 2015

David Limbaugh
It is just like the Obama administration to twist its own mistreatment of Israel into an opportunity to slander Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer.

Like petulant children, Obama and his crew treat any resistance to their agenda as unprovoked hostility, personally directed at Obama, and lash out personally at those who would resist their dubious and aggressive behavior.

Despite Obama's persistent slighting of Israel, he simply will not let pass Netanyahu's acceptance of House Speaker John Boehner's invitation to speak before a joint session of Congress. It doesn't matter that he refused to meet with Netanyahu, disingenuously citing concerns over interfering with the upcoming Israeli elections. Truth be told, he'd like nothing more than to interfere with those elections in an effort to unseat Netanyahu. In fact, unconfirmed news reports have circulated that an Obama political team is in Israel working on that very goal.

The Drudge Report led its page Thursday morning with the headline "Outrage at Israel," over a photo of Obama scowling at Netanyahu. The link is to a New York Times article, which confirms that Matt Drudge was hardly guilty of hyperbole here.

The Obama administration admits how "angry" it is that Netanyahu accepted Boehner's speaking invitation without consulting the White House. By no means must anyone, including the leader of one of our allies, ever do anything that could be interpreted as being disrespectful to this president -- irrespective of whether this president drew first blood with his own pattern of disrespect toward that leader. What's good for the goose, in this case, is not good for the gander, because the gander is our imperial president, Barack Obama, whose preferences and ego must take priority over the interests of the United States.

Putting presidential pettiness aside, what should responsible world leaders and congressional leaders in the United States do in response to an aggressive Iran hellbent on acquiring nuclear strike capability and an administration hellbent on blocking realistic efforts to thwart Iran? Are they to sit around in joint paralysis because they would rather betray the interests of their nations, world peace and sanity than offend the narcissist in the Oval Office who has turned an intentionally blind eye to Islamic terrorism and the threat Iran represents?

Moreover, don't you think it's objectively untoward for the Obama administration to fan the flames of a public feud with Israel? It has broken decades of precedent by publicly criticizing Israel and Israel's leaders throughout Obama's time in office, and it is castigating Israel for poisoning the relationship between our countries? It's the type of behavior you get with an administration more engaged in navel-gazing than governing on behalf of the nation under its charge.

While the administration is classlessly attacking the Israeli ambassador, he is showing restraint in return, declining to return personal insult for personal insult and responding, "I have no regrets whatsoever that I have acted in a way to advance my country's interests." Dermer said that he didn't think it was his place to inform the administration and that it was Boehner's prerogative to notify the White House of the Netanyahu congressional address. Sounds reasonable to me.

It is so typical of our media to focus on the party in conflict with the Obama administration. With this event, the spotlight is on Dermer instead of the administration's reckless passivity regarding Iran's nuclear ambitions and its snubbing of Israel and Netanyahu.

Obama has repeatedly assured us that his administration is monitoring Iran, while Iran has pressed forward and the administration has virtually allowed it to continue through its phony promises and deferred negotiations.

In between veto threats in his State of the Union address, Obama lectured us on the imperative of "combining military power with strong diplomacy" and leveraging "our power with coalition building. ... We're upholding the principle that bigger nations can't bully the small."

Well, tell that to Netanyahu and Israel. Tell them you and Secretary of State John Kerry haven't been bullying them into swallowing your agenda for them -- including halting settlements in their own West Bank and accepting the 1967 borders. Tell them you haven't publicly sympathized with anti-Israeli positions by referring to the lands Israel acquired from enemies who unsuccessfully waged war against it as "occupied lands" and by effectively declaring moral equivalence between Israel and Gaza in Gaza's war of aggression against Israel in 2014.

Then please explain to the rest of us how your diplomacy has been working out with Iran -- not to mention Russia and the rest of the world.

President Obama is doing a fine job of appeasing terrorists, especially in releasing the most dangerous terrorists back into the world, where they can resume their jihad right where they left off, and in eliminating from the administration's lexicon words that properly identify the terrorism we face with Islamic extremism.

This administration is so wrong about so many things, but sharing space at the top of that list are its willful ignorance in recognizing our enemies and its intentional mistreatment of our ally Israel.

 
 
David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh, brother of radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, is an expert on law and politics. He recently authored the New York Times best-selling book: "Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel."

©Creators Syndicate
 
Carl Ray Louk

"FRIENDSHIP NEVER ENDS" SG-1996
"LET LOVE LEAD THE WAY" SG-2000
"THE PHOENIX SHALL RISE" SD
"EVEN A MAN WHO IS PURE IN HEART AND SAYS HIS PRAYERS BY NIGHT, MAY BECOME A WOLF WHEN THE WOLFBANE BLOOMS AND THE AUTUMN MOON IS BRIGHT." LT-1941
"FLESH OF MY FLESH; BLOOD OF MY BLOOD; KIN OF MY KIN WHEN SAY COME TO YOU, YOU SHALL CROSS LAND OR SEA TO DO MY BIDDING!" CVTD-1895
"FROM HELL'S HEART I STAB AT THEE, FOR HATE SAKE I SPIT MY LAST BREATH AT THEE" CA-1895 
"I HAVE BEEN, AND ALWAYS SHALL BE YOUR FRIEND" Spock 
"TRICK OR TREAT, TRICK OR TREAT CANDY IS DANDY BUT MURDER, OH MURDER, IS SO SWEET" CRL-2003 
"EYE OF NEWT, AND TOE OF FROG, WOOL OF BAT, AND TONGUE OF DOG ADDER'S FORK, BLIND-WORM'S STING, LIZARD'S LEG, AND OWLET'S WING. FOR A CHARM OF POWERFUL TROUBLE, LIKE A HELL-BROTH BOIL AND BABBLE. DOUBLE, DOUBLE, TOIL AND TROUBLE, FIRE BURN, AND CALDRON BUBBLE" WS

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Friday, January 30, 2015

I bid you good after noon. I am at Dialysis and hooked up. I had three hours and 53 minutes left. I will come off around 5:30 PM.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Shooting Itself in the Foot Judge Andrew Napolitano | Jan 29, 2015

Judge Andrew Napolitano
Ali Saleh al-Marri is a convicted conspirator who entered the United States before 9/11 in order to create a dreaded sleeper cell here that might someday launch an attack on Americans similar to what we witnessed earlier this month in Paris. When the feds woke from their slumber on 9/11, they wisely began to search immigration records for persons who came here with no discernible purpose from places known to spawn terrorist groups and who had overstayed their visas. Al-Marri was one such person.

The feds arrested him, originally on the visa violation, and then, after connecting the dots, on a series of conspiracies to aid terrorist organizations here and elsewhere.

After he was arrested by the FBI in Peoria, Ill., and while he was being held in federal custody, he was kidnapped by U.S. military officials who arrived at the lock-up purporting to possess the lawful authority to seize him, authorized by President George W. Bush himself.

Bush had signed an order declaring al-Marri an enemy combatant and directing the military to seize him from the custody of federal prosecutors and bring him to a Navy brig. In several of the numerous cases it lost, the Bush administration argued to federal courts that once it declared a person an enemy combatant, the person was stripped of all rights.

There was and is no such category in American law as enemy combatant. The Bush administration made it up from historical terminology. But the post-9/11 era was a fearful time, and most folks accepted Bush's unconstitutional stripping of rights from detained persons as a route to safety. Al-Marri would soon be stripped of more than his rights, and that would lead to less safety for the rest of us.

Al-Marri is in the news this week because he was recently released from a federal prison and returned to his native Qatar. He was involved in a prisoner swap for an innocent American couple wrongfully imprisoned there. The release of al-Marri has the neocons accusing President Obama of "letting free a known terrorist."

In our system, the president wears many hats. One is the chief federal law enforcement officer and another is the chief diplomat. In the former, he is subject to the laws Congress has written; in the latter, he is subject only to the Constitution. In the execution of foreign policy, he cannot commit a crime, of course, but if he did, he probably would not be prosecuted.

He recently secured the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl by swapping him for five known al-Qaida leaders who had been held for 11 years without charges at the prison camp at Gitmo. Obama arguably provided aid to a terrorist organization by sending al-Qaida leaders back to their organization -- a felony for which his Department of Justice has successfully prosecuted Americans whose behavior was far more benign than his own.

Yet, the courts have been loath to interfere with any president's execution of foreign policy, no matter its apparent lawlessness. The courts permitted Abraham Lincoln to use troops to rob American banks, rape American women, and burn state and federal courthouses; they permitted Woodrow Wilson to prosecute those who sang German beer hall songs in public during World War I; and they permitted FDR to execute unsuccessful German saboteurs in the U.S. without any meaningful trial.

Because al-Marri was tortured by the U.S. Navy for two years, he pleaded guilty to one low-level crime, instead of to the true conspiracies with which he was involved -- and he received a reduction in his sentence commensurate with the number of days he endured the torture. The feds agreed to this because they were fearful of revealing what the Navy had done to him. He had served 87 percent of his federal sentence by the time of his release last month. The standard period of sentence service in the federal system before release is 85 percent.

The feds shot themselves in the foot on this al-Marri case. They had much evidence against him. They needn't have kept him naked, blindfolded, shackled and wearing earplugs for months. He should have been prosecuted aggressively and humanely in a federal court in Chicago or New York City, where the feds have yet to lose terror prosecutions and the trials are basically fair. Instead, after he was arrested by the FBI, kidnapped by the military and brought to a Navy brig in South Carolina, he endured a systematic, fruitless, detrimental-to-justice, rarely-heard-of-in-modern-American-history authorized prisoner abuse.

The troops who tortured al-Marri are lucky; they could have and should have been court-martialed. The authorities who ordered it should have been prosecuted. If this had been the other way round -- if the FBI had kidnapped him from military custody and tortured him (this is unthinkable today) -- the FBI agents would have been fired and prosecuted.

Under federal law, all convicted federal prisoners are in the custody of the president. He can pardon, release, trade or commute a sentence for any prisoner as he sees fit. But he cannot undo the demonstrable legal mess a predecessor created by his fixation on torture.

 
 
 
 

Judge Andrew Napolitano

Judge Andrew Napolitano

Judge Andrew P. Napolitano is the youngest life-tenured Superior Court judge in the history of the State of New Jersey. He sat on the bench from 1987 to 1995, during which time he presided over 150 jury trials and thousands of motions, sentencings and hearings. He taught constitutional law at Seton Hall Law School for 11 years, and he returned to private practice in 1995. Judge Napolitano began television work in the same year.
 
Carl Ray Louk

"FRIENDSHIP NEVER ENDS" SG-1996
"LET LOVE LEAD THE WAY" SG-2000
"THE PHOENIX SHALL RISE" SD
"EVEN A MAN WHO IS PURE IN HEART AND SAYS HIS PRAYERS BY NIGHT, MAY BECOME A WOLF WHEN THE WOLFBANE BLOOMS AND THE AUTUMN MOON IS BRIGHT." LT-1941
"FLESH OF MY FLESH; BLOOD OF MY BLOOD; KIN OF MY KIN WHEN SAY COME TO YOU, YOU SHALL CROSS LAND OR SEA TO DO MY BIDDING!" CVTD-1895
"FROM HELL'S HEART I STAB AT THEE, FOR HATE SAKE I SPIT MY LAST BREATH AT THEE" CA-1895 
"I HAVE BEEN, AND ALWAYS SHALL BE YOUR FRIEND" Spock 
"TRICK OR TREAT, TRICK OR TREAT CANDY IS DANDY BUT MURDER, OH MURDER, IS SO SWEET" CRL-2003 
"EYE OF NEWT, AND TOE OF FROG, WOOL OF BAT, AND TONGUE OF DOG ADDER'S FORK, BLIND-WORM'S STING, LIZARD'S LEG, AND OWLET'S WING. FOR A CHARM OF POWERFUL TROUBLE, LIKE A HELL-BROTH BOIL AND BABBLE. DOUBLE, DOUBLE, TOIL AND TROUBLE, FIRE BURN, AND CALDRON BUBBLE" WS

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When Politics Defy Reality: The Real State of the Union Features Dishonesty and

Dr. Ben Carson
AdChoices

In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama was upbeat and inspiring, particularly if a listener had no prior knowledge of his many speeches that were quite similar but bore no fruit. It almost appeared that he was living in an alternate universe that bore no resemblance to present-day America and the current global stage.

He boasted that the economy was doing very well and that unemployment had been cut in half since he took office. Perhaps someone should educate him about the labor force participation rate, which is at its lowest point in the past 36 years and reflects the number of people who are actually working versus the number of people who are eligible to work. The unemployment rate can easily be manipulated in whichever direction one desires by including and excluding certain groups of people.

He also boasted about the record-high stock market numbers. He failed to indicate that savings accounts and certain types of bonds, which used to be the mechanism whereby average Americans could enhance their net worth over a long period of time, were no longer appealing, and that the stock market was one of the few places where gains could be made. While the stock market has always been particularly relevant to the wealthier members of society, the influx of these smaller investors is further driving the income gap.

He talked about the need to further tax the rich because they are not paying their fair share. He failed to mention that the top 1 percent pays 37 percent of the federal income taxes, while earning 19 percent of the income. Since he is so concerned about fairness, perhaps he should consider a proportional (flat) tax, which hits everyone according to their ability to pay. To make this even more fair, we could eliminate all loopholes.

His claim that we are winning the war against terrorism, even though he failed to mention the name of the radical Islamists who are behind the terror, was almost laughable in light of its rapid growth and spread throughout the world. He appeared not to recognize that our premature withdrawal of troops from Iraq was a mistake that facilitated the development of the Islamic State. His bravado about chasing the terrorists and eliminating them bears no resemblance to his actual policies and demonstrates his contempt for the intelligence of his audience.

He demonstrated great courage in talking about how the Affordable Care Act is actually resulting in a reduction in health care spending. This may be true on some levels, but the reason for that decreased spending is secondary to the reluctance of people to seek medical care when they have deductibles of thousands of dollars.

I wonder whether he and his team ever considered the fact that we spend $400 billion a year on Medicaid, which covers about 80 million Americans. That's about $5,000 per enrollee. Many of the concierge practices that target those who are financially well off only cost $2,000 to $3,000 per year. If we spent Medicaid dollars wisely, we could provide excellent care, including catastrophic care, for considerably less money than we are spending now.

The president also made some fantastic comments that served as applause lines regarding energy, education and a few other subjects. The real state of the union is characterized by dishonesty and deception. Instead of pretending that everything is rosy, perhaps it would be wise for the president to replay the part of the speech about bipartisan cooperation and then figure out how his multiple veto threats, failure to communicate and reluctance to seek bipartisan solutions fit the theme of his address.

 
Carl Ray Louk

"FRIENDSHIP NEVER ENDS" SG-1996
"LET LOVE LEAD THE WAY" SG-2000
"THE PHOENIX SHALL RISE" SD
"EVEN A MAN WHO IS PURE IN HEART AND SAYS HIS PRAYERS BY NIGHT, MAY BECOME A WOLF WHEN THE WOLFBANE BLOOMS AND THE AUTUMN MOON IS BRIGHT." LT-1941
"FLESH OF MY FLESH; BLOOD OF MY BLOOD; KIN OF MY KIN WHEN SAY COME TO YOU, YOU SHALL CROSS LAND OR SEA TO DO MY BIDDING!" CVTD-1895
"FROM HELL'S HEART I STAB AT THEE, FOR HATE SAKE I SPIT MY LAST BREATH AT THEE" CA-1895 
"I HAVE BEEN, AND ALWAYS SHALL BE YOUR FRIEND" Spock 
"TRICK OR TREAT, TRICK OR TREAT CANDY IS DANDY BUT MURDER, OH MURDER, IS SO SWEET" CRL-2003 
"EYE OF NEWT, AND TOE OF FROG, WOOL OF BAT, AND TONGUE OF DOG ADDER'S FORK, BLIND-WORM'S STING, LIZARD'S LEG, AND OWLET'S WING. FOR A CHARM OF POWERFUL TROUBLE, LIKE A HELL-BROTH BOIL AND BABBLE. DOUBLE, DOUBLE, TOIL AND TROUBLE, FIRE BURN, AND CALDRON BUBBLE" WS

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Defense Against Demagogues Walter E. Williams | Jan 28, 2015

Walter E. Williams
When gasoline sold at record prices, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said, "I think it's time to say to these people, 'Stop ripping off the American people.'" When the average price of regular gas was close to $4 a gallon, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called for Congress to look into breaking up giant oil companies. The claim was that "Wall Street greed (was) fueling high gas prices."

Today in some places, gasoline is selling for less than $2 a gallon, less than half of its peak price in 2008. The idiotic explanation that attributed high oil prices to greed might now be adjusted to argue that big oil executives have been morally rejuvenated. They are no longer greedy and no longer want to rip off the American people. My guess is that everyone in the oil business would like to charge higher prices. Plus, there's no legal prohibition against big and powerful Exxon Mobil's selling its regular gas today for $4 a gallon. Exxon stations don't do so because the market wouldn't bear that price.

The attempt to explain human behavior by greed is foolhardy. If we define greed as people wanting much more than what they have, then everyone is greedy. Show me someone who doesn't want more of something, be it cars, houses, clothing, food, peace, admiration, love or war. The fact that people want more is responsible for most of the good things that get done. You'll see Texas cattle ranchers this winter making the personal sacrifice of going out in blizzards to care for their herds. As a result of their sacrifice, New Yorkers will have beef on their grocery shelves. Which do you think best explains cattlemen's behavior, concern about New Yorkers or their wanting more for themselves?

This year's congressional efforts to reduce corporate income tax will create great opportunities for demagogues. The United States has the highest corporate income tax rate among the 34 industrialized nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The effect of high corporate taxes gives corporations incentives to lower their effective tax rates by engaging in activities that lower their competitiveness and to shift profits to foreign subsidiaries.

Demagogues will claim that corporations should pay their fair share of taxes. The fact of the matter, which even MIT economists understand but might not publicly admit, is corporations do not pay taxes. An important subject area in economics, called tax incidence, says the entity upon whom a tax is levied does not necessarily bear the full burden of the tax. Some of the tax burden is shifted to another party. If a tax is levied on a corporation -- and if the corporation is to survive -- it will have one of three responses or some combination thereof. It will raise the price of its product, lower dividends or lay off workers. The important point is that only people, not some legal fiction called a corporation, bear the burden of any tax. Corporations are merely government tax collectors.

Here's a tax-related question: Which worker receives the higher pay, a worker on a road construction project moving dirt with a shovel or a worker moving dirt atop a giant earthmover? If you said the guy on the earthmover, go to the head of the class. But why? It's not because he's unionized or that employers just love earthmover operators. It's because he is more productive; he has more physical capital with which to work.

It's not rocket science to conclude that whatever lowers the cost of capital formation will enable companies to buy more capital, such as earthmovers. The result is that workers will be more productive and earn higher wages. Policies that raise the cost of capital formation -- such as capital gains taxes, low depreciation allowances and high corporate income taxes -- reduce capital formation and do not serve the interests of workers, investors or consumers.

The greatest tool in the arsenal of demagogues is economic ignorance, which my colleagues in George Mason University's economics department battle against tooth and nail.

 
Walter E. Williams

Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.' 
 
Carl Ray Louk

"FRIENDSHIP NEVER ENDS" SG-1996
"LET LOVE LEAD THE WAY" SG-2000
"THE PHOENIX SHALL RISE" SD
"EVEN A MAN WHO IS PURE IN HEART AND SAYS HIS PRAYERS BY NIGHT, MAY BECOME A WOLF WHEN THE WOLFBANE BLOOMS AND THE AUTUMN MOON IS BRIGHT." LT-1941
"FLESH OF MY FLESH; BLOOD OF MY BLOOD; KIN OF MY KIN WHEN SAY COME TO YOU, YOU SHALL CROSS LAND OR SEA TO DO MY BIDDING!" CVTD-1895
"FROM HELL'S HEART I STAB AT THEE, FOR HATE SAKE I SPIT MY LAST BREATH AT THEE" CA-1895 
"I HAVE BEEN, AND ALWAYS SHALL BE YOUR FRIEND" Spock 
"TRICK OR TREAT, TRICK OR TREAT CANDY IS DANDY BUT MURDER, OH MURDER, IS SO SWEET" CRL-2003 
"EYE OF NEWT, AND TOE OF FROG, WOOL OF BAT, AND TONGUE OF DOG ADDER'S FORK, BLIND-WORM'S STING, LIZARD'S LEG, AND OWLET'S WING. FOR A CHARM OF POWERFUL TROUBLE, LIKE A HELL-BROTH BOIL AND BABBLE. DOUBLE, DOUBLE, TOIL AND TROUBLE, FIRE BURN, AND CALDRON BUBBLE" WS

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Owning Ideas John Stossel | Jan 28, 2015

John Stossel

For most of history, people suffered in miserable poverty.

Then, in a few hundred years, some new ideas made life hugely better for billions of us -- things like running water, the printing press, the steam engine, electricity, the Internet.

We want people to keep coming up with new and better ideas. But there's a problem: Why would you bother to spend years inventing something if other people can just steal your idea? Who will devote years and millions of dollars to making a big movie? Or a dozen years and billions of dollars to bringing a new drug to market? Almost no one.

Filmmaker Kirby Ferguson sums up problem: "Let's say a guy invents a better light bulb. His price needs to cover not just the manufacturing costs but also the costs of inventing the thing in the first place. Let's say a competitor starts manufacturing a copy. The competitor doesn't need to cover those development costs, so his version can be cheaper."

Then he profits, but the original inventor goes out of business. That's why America grants time-limited patents and copyrights to creators of songs, books, movies, paintings, drugs, etc. Fine.

But today Fox won't let me sing the song "Happy Birthday" on my TV show. That's because Warner Music bought the rights to it in 1998. People now have to pay Warner about $2 million a year to use the song in commercials and movies.

Sheesh. Why does Warner get such a long copyright? The song already existed. It's not like the composer needs protection.

Bridgeport Music, a business that makes no music but obtains copyrights and then sues people, won a lawsuit over two seconds of sound. When we questioned that, their lawyer wrote back: "I personally do not understand those who criticize people for protecting their intellectual property ... (We) happen to own valuable music."

Give me a break. He's an opportunistic parasite.

I wonder about my former employer, Disney, too. It paid nothing for the Snow White story because it was in the public domain. But then Disney managed to get its version of Snow White copyrighted for 95 years. Will 95 years of protection make Disney's animators more creative? I doubt it.

In the era of the Internet, when young people take mashups and do-it-yourself parodies for granted, maybe intellectual property in its current form has outlived its expiration date.

David Koepsell, of the Center for Inquiry, says today's rules are hostile to free speech. "Intellectual property law actually prevents me from making certain expressions, things that are allegedly other people's own."

Lawyer Stephan Kinsella, author of "Against Intellectual Property ," says copyright decreases intellectual output because it "prevents people from saying what they want to say, from copying, learning, sharing, remixing." That stops some books from being reprinted and movies from being remade.

When Hollywood complains about "piracy," Kinsella asks, "Why call it piracy? Pirates stole. But if you copy ideas, you don't take anything away from the originator."

Thomas Jefferson once agreed, writing, "He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper (candle) at mine, receives light without darkening me."

Kinsella points out that movie industry income doubled even though films are now widely copied. "The danger to artists and to people who want to get their name out there is obscurity, not piracy."

I'm not sure what to think. Some of you watch my shows on YouTube. I like that because it means my show reaches more people. But those who post my videos do actually steal from Fox. If everyone can do that, why would Fox pay me or cover the cost of doing my show? When I see myself on YouTube, I both smile and cringe.

So how should ideas be protected? Magicians and comedians found ways to protect their inventions without government -- by keeping tricks a secret or shaming people for stealing jokes.

I'll explore these ideas on my TV show in its new slot, Friday, 9 p.m. Eastern. And if some clips from it turn up on YouTube ...

 
 
 
John Stossel

John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at >johnstossel.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. ¬©Creators Syndicate
 
Carl Ray Louk

"FRIENDSHIP NEVER ENDS" SG-1996
"LET LOVE LEAD THE WAY" SG-2000
"THE PHOENIX SHALL RISE" SD
"EVEN A MAN WHO IS PURE IN HEART AND SAYS HIS PRAYERS BY NIGHT, MAY BECOME A WOLF WHEN THE WOLFBANE BLOOMS AND THE AUTUMN MOON IS BRIGHT." LT-1941
"FLESH OF MY FLESH; BLOOD OF MY BLOOD; KIN OF MY KIN WHEN SAY COME TO YOU, YOU SHALL CROSS LAND OR SEA TO DO MY BIDDING!" CVTD-1895
"FROM HELL'S HEART I STAB AT THEE, FOR HATE SAKE I SPIT MY LAST BREATH AT THEE" CA-1895 
"I HAVE BEEN, AND ALWAYS SHALL BE YOUR FRIEND" Spock 
"TRICK OR TREAT, TRICK OR TREAT CANDY IS DANDY BUT MURDER, OH MURDER, IS SO SWEET" CRL-2003 
"EYE OF NEWT, AND TOE OF FROG, WOOL OF BAT, AND TONGUE OF DOG ADDER'S FORK, BLIND-WORM'S STING, LIZARD'S LEG, AND OWLET'S WING. FOR A CHARM OF POWERFUL TROUBLE, LIKE A HELL-BROTH BOIL AND BABBLE. DOUBLE, DOUBLE, TOIL AND TROUBLE, FIRE BURN, AND CALDRON BUBBLE" WS

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