Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Everything Is Bigger In Texas...

...except earthquakes.

A minor earthquake measuring a preliminary 3.4 magnitude rattled a suburban community west of Dallas during the night but there were no immediate reports of any damages or injuries, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The quake struck at 11:05 p.m. CDT Saturday and was centered about 2 miles north of The Dallas suburb of Irving, the survey's national earthquake monitoring center in Golden, Colo., reported. Geophysicist Randy Baldwin told The Associated Press by phone from Colorado that the quake lasted several seconds and was strong enough to have been felt near the epicenter and possibly as far as15 or 20 miles away.
I had just turned on my computer (located in a second-floor bedroom) when the tremor hit. The monitor rocked back and forth an inch to each side for about a second.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Obama Administration Changes Its Tune Regarding The Benghazi Attack

The film Innocence of Muslims came to the attention of the Islamic world on September 6, when it was first reported by an Egyptian daily newspaper. A clip was televised on Salafist TV station al Nas on the 8th. Protests erupted in Egypt.

But did the film have anything to do with what happened in Libya?

The Washington Post has a chronological list of statements made about the attacks. Early on we were told that spontaneous protests over Innocence of Muslims sparked the Libyan attacks.

For instance, on September 16, Susan Rice claimed: "Based on the best information we have to date ... it began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo."

But on September 20, Margaret Brennan of CBS News reported: "Witnesses tell CBS News that there was never an anti-American protest outside of the consulate. Instead they say it came under planned attack. That is in direct contradiction to the administration’s account."

Who do we believe - Rice, or eyewitnesses? Since she also made the laughable claim of "a substantial security presence with our personnel and the consulate in Benghazi," I vote for the eyewitnesses.

We were also told that the administration didn't know early on whether or not it was a terrorist attack (as opposed to a mob action). On September 19, Mathew Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, stated, "What we don't have at this point is specific intelligence that there was a significant advanced planning or coordination for this attack."

But now the White House says it knew within 24 hours that it was a terrorist attack.

Did the White House have any intelligence prior to September 11 that an attack against the Libya consulate might be in the works? Kim Sengupta of The Independent reports, "According to senior diplomatic sources, the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted, but no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert and "lockdown", under which movement is severely restricted."

Later that day (September 14), Jay Carney responded: "I have seen that report, and the story is absolutely wrong. We were not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent. That report is false."

On its website on September 6, the Overseas Security Advisory Council had posted a memo stating that "OSAC currently has no credible information to suggest that al-Qa’ida or any other terrorist group is plotting any kind of attack overseas to coincide with the upcoming anniversary of September 11." The blog Speak With Authority reports that the memo was scrubbed, some time between the 8th and the 12th. Why?

Congressional leaders of both parties want answers regarding the already-established misinformation. Most troubling are the allegations reported in The Independent that the administration had "actionable intelligence" (in Carney's words) prior to the attacks, contrary to claims by Carney and the OSAC memo. I would hope that Kim Sengupta's sources would come forward and tell us what they knew and when they knew it.

If the film didn't sparked the Libya attacks, what did? Sengupta states: "There is growing belief that the attack was in revenge for the killing in a drone strike in Pakistan of Mohammed Hassan Qaed, an al-Qa'ida operative who was, as his nom-de-guerre Abu Yahya al-Libi suggests, from Libya, and timed for the anniversary of the 11 September attacks."

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Romney’s Speech Before The Clinton Global Initiative

Michelle Malkin has the transcript. Inspiring stuff.

Don't be too taken aback that a Bill Clinton initiative is actually doing something productive for overseas markets. A lot of folks don't realize how despotic Third World economic policy is even when compared with some of the worst of Europe - which is worse than the whole of Clintonomics. Bill Clinton's strongest suit is that he always been a hawk for free trade; anti-protectionists by nature embrace a certain number of market freedoms that are sorely lacking in the Third World.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Obama's Other Rube Goldberg Legacy

The Dodd-Frank finance legislation. This remark leaps out at me.

Going after financial institutions because of false advertising or outright deceit is one thing; pursuing cases against them because their customers supposedly can’t understand the fine print is another — and frankly, I don’t trust the right-away-wrong CFPB [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] to distinguish which is which.

Of course they can tell the difference. It's in the fine print of Dodd-Frank. :-)

Note a double standard. If customers cannot understand the fine print of finance institutions' rules, finance institutions may be liable. Is taxpayers cannot understand the fine print of the 1040 and its associated forms, taxpayers are liable.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Truth In Advertising


Obama lies when he claims he created jobs. The official unemployment figures - which Obama relies on - do not count those who have given up on looking for work as part of the workforce.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

They Told Me If I Voted For John McCain, The Secretary Of State Would Be Making A Big Fuss Over Public Blasphemy

And they were right!

I wonder if Hillary still defends secular dissent...

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John Kyl Is Right

He says the Cairo embassy statement is comparable to blaming a woman for her rape.

Civilized people can bear ridicule of that which they hold dear without killing people. The problem is that the Muslim community has way too many uncivilized people - and not enough civilized folks (Muslim or otherwise) are standing up to those sorts.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Today I caught a bit of Mark Levin's show. He was upset that the Obama administration didn't consider that maybe - just maybe - our embassies and consulates might need beefed-up defenses on 9/11. Earlier this morning I was thinking something a little different: shouldn't our embassies and consulates in Libya and Egypt have been massively armed as soon as each of them became powder kegs? For that matter, considering that Islamic supremacists are still at war with us, shouldn't ALL our embassies and consulates in Muslim-majority nations be packing maximum heat?

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

No Sympathy

Chicago teachers are on strike.
Chicago teachers have the highest average salary of any city at $76,000 a year before benefits. The average family in the city only earns $47,000 a year. Yet the teachers rejected a 16 percent salary increase over four years at a time when most families are not getting any raises or are looking for work.
It's one thing for airline pilots with 100K salaries to strike. They get their incomes from actual commerce, and not from taxpayers. Those Chicago teachers can suck on chalk for all I care.


Eleven Years Ago

See last year's post on 9/11.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Johnny Depp, Part Deux

Regarding the post below, it turns out that the news story Ann Althouse and I reported doesn't correspond with its title.

Ann's source, from Townhall Finance: Johnny Depp Flees France Over Tax Hikes. Its source, from the Houston Chronicle: Johnny Depp moves back to America to avoid paying taxes in France.

The Townhall title implies that some change in French tax policy is driving Depp away. Not quite:

However, Depp has now moved his family out of France after government officials asked him to become a permanent resident, as he feared he would end up paying tax in both countries.

He tells Britain’s The Guardian newspaper, “Well, I kind of do (live back in America). I’m between wherever I end up on location, and then the States. (I left because) France wanted a piece of me. They wanted me to become a permanent resident. Permanent residency status – which changes everything. They just want… Dough. Money… I’m certainly not ready to give up my American citizenship.”

Depp goes on to explain that if he spends more than 183 days a year in France he will have to pay income tax in both Europe and America, adding, “So you essentially work for free.”
Depp left because France was about to force him into its taxing jurisdiction. Not the same thing as a tax hike. That doesn't mean that French tax policy - or ours - bears no resemblance to Lord Cutler Beckett.

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Life Imitates Art

Art: private-sector pirate Captain Jack Sparrow vs. public-sector pirate Lord Cutler Beckett.

Life: Johnny Depp flees France's piratical tax rates.

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A Little Late

From the convention:


Monday, September 03, 2012

Abolish Labor Day

(An annual blog tradition continues - original 2003 post here.)

The US Department of Labor has a webpage on the history of Labor Day. The DoL describes the spirit of the holiday thus:

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Why do we have a holiday dedicated to only one element of commerce? The "strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country" is dependent on five factors:

  • Liberty. Laws regarding commerce and property rights are relatively fair and consistent. Taxation levels, while far from ideal, are such that (except in a few areas) they do not choke out business startups and growth. The streets are free from warfare and from government pogroms.
  • Culture. Society generally encourages private-sector employment; in several African nations, by contrast, the college-educated gravitate heavily toward government jobs. The rate of crimes against person and property, except in various urban neighborhoods, is not so high that businesses are driven away.
  • Entrepreneurs. These are the people responsible for the organization of an entire company, the establishment of its entire product line, and the assumption of the risk inherent in the venture.
  • Investors. Businesses must be financed. Outside sources such as banking institutions and stockholders routinely invest in established businesses, and occasionally provide capital for startups. Investors assume some degree of risk.
  • Labor. Traditionally this term is used to signify all non-managerial positions within a company. I use it to refer to include all non-entrepreneurial positions in a company. The common usage of "labor" and "management" insinuates that managers (including entrepreneurs) don't really do anything, that their organizational duties isn't really "work." I use "entrepreneur" and "labor" to distinguish between those responsible for an entire company and those responsible for portions of it.

Happy Commerce Day! Drink a toast to the Bill of Rights, peaceful citizens, Bill Gates, Wall Street, and all your coworkers.

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