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The Most Interesting Man in the World Has Passed Away

This is easily the best obituary I have ever read. You're not as sad that he died as you are that you didn't go with him. He was, the most interesting man in the world.

Irishman Dies from Stubbornness, Whiskey

Chris Connors died, at age 67, after trying to box his bikini-clad hospice nurse just moments earlier. Ladies man, game slayer, and outlaw Connors told his last inappropriate joke on Friday, December 9, 2016, that which cannot be printed here. Anyone else fighting ALS and stage 4 pancreatic cancer would have gone quietly into the night, but Connors was stark naked drinking Veuve in a house full of friends and family as Al Green played from the speakers. The way he died is just like he lived: he wrote his own rules, he fought authority and he paved his own way. And if you said he couldn't do it, he would make sure he could.

Most people thought he was crazy for swimming in the ocean in January; for being a skinny Irish Golden Gloves boxer from Quincy, Massachusetts; for dressing up as a priest and then proceeding to get into a fight at a Jewish deli. Many gawked at his start of a career on Wall Street without a financial background - but instead with an intelligent, impish smile, love for the spoken word, irreverent sense of humor, and stunning blue eyes that could make anyone fall in love with him.

As much as people knew hanging out with him would end in a night in jail or a killer screwdriver hangover, he was the type of man that people would drive 16 hours at the drop of a dime to come see. He lived 1000 years in the 67 calendar years we had with him because he attacked life; he grabbed it by the lapels, kissed it, and swung it back onto the dance floor. At the age of 26 he planned to circumnavigate the world - instead, he ended up spending 40 hours on a life raft off the coast of Panama. In 1974, he founded the Quincy Rugby Club. In his thirties, he sustained a knife wound after saving a woman from being mugged in New York City. He didn't slow down: at age 64, he climbed to the base camp of Mount Everest. Throughout his life, he was an accomplished hunter and birth control device tester (with some failures, notably Caitlin Connors, 33; Chris Connors, 11; and Liam Connors, 8).

He was a rare combination of someone who had a love of life and a firm understanding of what was important - the simplicity of living a life with those you love. Although he threw some of the most memorable parties during the greater half of a century, he would trade it all for a night in front of the fire with his family in Maine. His acute awareness of the importance of a life lived with the ones you love over any material possession was only handicapped by his territorial attachment to the remote control of his Sonos music.

Chris enjoyed cross dressing, a well-made fire, and mashed potatoes with lots of butter. His regrets were few, but include eating a rotisserie hot dog from an unmemorable convenience store in the summer of 1986.

Of all the people he touched, both willing and unwilling, his most proud achievement in life was marrying his wife Emily Ayer Connors who supported him in all his glory during his heyday, and lovingly supported him physically during their last days together.

Absolut vodka and Simply Orange companies are devastated by the loss of Connors. A "Celebration of Life" will be held during Happy Hour (4 p.m.) at York Harbor Inn on Monday, December 19.

In lieu of flowers, please pay open bar tab or donate to Connors' water safety fund at

I'm guessing that whoever wrote this won't mind that we are sharing it. Hat tip to Mike Dixon for posting it on FaceBook.


Santa Claus Actually Lives In Venezuela

Editor's note: Dan Mitchell is our most well known guest contributor. Okay, that's BS. I just like to call him a guest contributor because it gives this little blog some class. 
The truth is I have Dan's express written permission to republish stuff he writes. He's a contributor in that sense. He cares more about educating people and freedom issues than he does about getting me to pay him for his stuff with money I don't have. 
Cato pays him, and I hope it's a lot.

You can get on his email list and see all his posts for free, and you ought to.  International Liberty

Venezuela and Santa Claus vs Thomas Sowell and the Little Red Hen

Earlier this year, I borrowed from Dante’s Inferno and created the Five Circles of Statist Hell. At the time, I suggested that Venezuela was on the cusp of moving from the third circle (“widespread poverty and economic misery”) to the fourth circle (“systematic and grinding poverty and deprivation”).
Since we now know that children in the country are suffering from hunger and malnutrition, I think we can safely confirm that Venezuela has made that crossing, joining the dystopian hell of North Korea (though you can make a good argument that the savage regime based in Pyongyang actually belongs in the fifth circle).
And just in case you need another piece of evidence about Venezuela, consider these excerpts from a surreal BBC report.
Venezuelan authorities have arrested two toy company executives and seized almost four million toys, which they say they will distribute to the poor. Officials accused the company of hoarding toys and hiking prices in the run-up to Christmas. Last week, the government issued an order to retailers to reduce prices on a range of goods by 30%. …Venezuela…said…”Our children are sacred, we will not let them rob you of Christmas,” it said in a tweet, along with photos and video of thousands of boxes of toys. …The agency also posted photos of the two executives being marched from the premises by a squad of heavily armed soldiers.
Here’s some additional background on the economic situation in the country.
This is not the first time Venezuela has ordered price cuts on retailers, or mobilised armed units to enforce it. In late 2013, the country introduced laws allowing the government to fix prices and dictate profit margins. …The same measures have been used to fix the prices of basic products such as flour, meat and bread – but supply is limited in a country where many people go hungry.
Before continuing, I can’t help commenting that BBC journalists apparently can’t put 2 and 2 together. The reason supply is limited and people are suffering is because of the price controls and intervention.
Anyhow, here are some final passages from the article.
The Venezuelan government is becoming increasingly unpopular as the country’s economic crisis grows. …The International Monetary Fund estimates that inflation – the rate at which prices go up – will hit 2,000% next year.
Yup, Venezuela is a regular Shangri La. No wonder Bernie Sanders is so infatuatedwith the place.
But let’s focus today on the Venezuelan government’s attempt to play Santa Claus by seizing toys and selling them at below-market rates.
I don’t know if this move will be politically popular since that depends on whether ordinary people have some degree of economic sophistication.
But we can say with great confidence that it represents terrible economic policy. That’s because, as Thomas Sowell has wisely noted, it’s very difficult for a government to steal wealth more than one time.
The victims (both the ones who already have been looted and the ones who might be targeted in the future) quickly learn that it’s not a smart idea to accumulate assets that can be stolen by the state. In effect, the productive people of the country learn to behave like the Little Red Hen.
In the short run, though, the Venezuelan government gets to play Santa Claus. At least for 2016.
But it won’t have that option in 2017. And because the nation’s kleptocratic government is running out of victims, it’s just a matter of time before the system collapses, at which point the government either gives up power or launches a brutal crackdown.
Hopefully the former.
Though it would remain to be seen whether the leftist thugs who currently hold power are able to escape the country with all the loot they’ve stolen, or whether they get the Ceausescu treatment.
They deserve the latter.


Trump Saves Jobs in Indiana! Wait, What Just Happened?

By Grant Davies

This morning as I was reading the feed on my Face Book home page I came across a post written by Mark Malter, a guy who understands the number one rule in Henry Hazlitt's book Economics in One Lesson.* His short explanation of the economic impact of the recently announced deal by Donald Trump to "save 1,000 jobs in Indiana" was right on the Malter.

(The unedited post is re-published below for those who have a desire to learn what econ 101 never taught them.)

Others' observations about the claimed 1,000 jobs being saved that followed made many good points. As Dr. Walter Williams frequently says "let's look at it." Of course it's my blog and I'm a famous blogster so we will look at mine first.

My first observation/suggestion was that perhaps the country ought to lower the taxes for everyone, including Carrier (owned by UTX), as a way to stop companies from fleeing the USA.

As an aside, the media calls it "shipping jobs overseas" to confuse and manipulate the gullible. Which is what I just did by describing it as "fleeing the USA." Unfortunately for me, my readers are neither gullible or manipulable.

Next I reached for my tin foil hat and posited that it might not be a coincidence that this deal was in Indiana, home state of Mike Pence, the future VP and current Governor of the Hoosier State.

Subsequently my comment was that the whole point of the exercise was to buy votes from witless voters in Indiana with their own money. (Not like that's a very innovative idea.)

Another point I made was that this deal is straight from the Illinois playbook. So much for Indiana politicians being entirely different from "The Chicago Way" politicians. Did anyone ever believe that anyway? (Just to be clear, I didn't even though I just fled from that place to Indiana myself.)

My final comment was that Trump is taking credit (?) for a deal for which his influence was indirect. Pence made the deal, he is still governor of Indiana. Technically speaking, Trump has no power yet to make deals, particularly deals between states and the companies that do business in them. 

In reality, the fear of what he might do to UTX in regards to future defense contracts may have made the whole thing happen. That point was made by another commentator on the thread and was a valid speculation.

Finally, another poster said the idea that any of these deals could halt the trend of globalization was a delusion. I agree wholeheartedly.

However, the absolute best comment was on a different post elsewhere on Face Book. It was Julie Borowski who inspired me to make this meme with her short quip. 

So the answer to the question "Wait, what just happened?" is that nothing has changed for the people who wanted change from Trump. The government is still buying votes from the gullible with their own money. And those buyers haven't even been sworn in yet, so if you are into selling your vote to them, hold out for an all cash deal with you as the payee.

"Trump didn't save 1,000 jobs today. He cost many more jobs than that amount. Besides the $7 million taxpayer bribe to a private company, by using the power of the government to force Carrier to remain in Indiana, their costs will be higher than if they had moved to Mexico (if not, why were they moving?). That means the price of air conditioners will rise, and every homeowner and business owner in America will now have less money to spend on other goods and services, which means marginally lower production elsewhere in the economy, and far more than 1,000 jobs either lost or not created. It's just that those jobs are spread out as only a few here and a few there, too invisible to make headlines." - Mark Malter 

*  "The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups." - Henry Hazlitt.


Election Outcome and College Students

Editor's note: This article is re-published here with the express permission of Dr. Walter Williams.

Trump and College Chaos 

By Walter E.Williams

If one needed more evidence of the steep decay in academia, Donald Trump's victory provided it. Let's begin by examining the responses to his win, not only among our wet-behind-the-ears college students, many of whom act like kindergartners, but also among college professors and administrators.

The University of Michigan's distressed students were provided with Play-Doh and coloring books, as they sought comfort and distraction. A University of Michigan professor postponed an exam after many students complained about their "serious stress" over the election results. Cornell University held a campuswide "cry-in," with officials handing out tissues and hot chocolate. One Cornell student said, "I'm looking into flights back to Bangladesh right now so I can remove myself before Trump repatriates me." The College Fix reported that "a dorm at the University of Pennsylvania ... hosted a post-election 'Breathing Space' for students stressed out by election results that included cuddling with cats and a puppy, coloring and crafting, and snacks such as tea and chocolate."

The University of Kansas reminded its stressed-out students that therapy dogs, a regular campus feature, were available. An economics professor at Yale University made his midterm exam "optional" in response to "many heartfelt notes from students who are in shock over the election returns." At Columbia University and its sister college, Barnard, students petitioned their professors to cancel classes and postpone exams because they were fearful for their lives and they couldn't take an exam while crying. Barnard's president did not entirely cave, but she said, "We are, however, leaving decisions regarding individual classes, exams, and assignments to the discretion of our faculty." She added, "The Barnard faculty is well aware that you may be struggling, and they are here for you." At Yale, it was reported that the "Trump victory (left) students reeling." Students exhibited "teary eyes, bowed heads and cries of disbelief" and had the opportunity to participate in a post-election group primal scream "to express their frustration productively."

Whether you are a liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, you should be disturbed and frightened for the future of our nation based on the response of so many of our young people to an election outcome. We should also be disturbed by college administrators and professors who sanction the coddling of our youth. Here's my question to you: Does a person even belong in college if he cannot handle or tolerate differing opinions? My answer is no.

What lies at the heart of multiculturalism, diversity and political correctness is an intolerance for different opinions. At Brown University, some students claim that freedom of speech does not confer the right to express opinions they find distasteful.

A while back, a Harvard University student organization representing women's interests advised law students that they should not feel pressured to attend or participate in class sessions that focus on the law of sexual violence if they feel that it might be traumatic. Such students will be useless to rape victims and don't belong in law school.

In a previous column, I cited an article on News Forum For Lawyers titled "Study Finds College Students Remarkably Incompetent," which referenced an American Institutes for Research study that revealed that over 75 percent of two-year college students and 50 percent of four-year college students were incapable of completing everyday tasks. About 20 percent of four-year college students demonstrated only basic mathematical ability, while a steeper 30 percent of two-year college students could not progress past elementary arithmetic. NBC News reported that Fortune 500 companies spend about $3 billion annually to train employees in "basic English." Many of today's college students are not only academically incompetent but emotionally so, as well, and do not belong in college.

These college snowflakes and their professors see themselves as our betters and morally superior to ordinary people. George Orwell was absolutely right when he said, "There are notions so foolish that only an intellectual will believe them."

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.


Our Side is Good and Great

Editor's note: While reading the post below by our guest contributor Seth, please notice that it is not pro-Trump or anti-Hillary. It's pro-critical thinking. That's what Seth does best.

Crying wolf has consequences

By Seth

First, hats off to Caitlin McGill, Vox, for having a “Scary, Awkward” conversation with her Dad about his vote for Trump.
Political discussion shouldn’t be scary or awkward, though.
But we have made it so. One reason it is is that both sides have overused identity politics for so long.
“Our side is good and great. The other side is bad. You don’t want to be bad, do you? Stick with us.”
I wanted to take the opportunity to address some of Caitlyn’s conversation. My responses below aren’t necessarily what I think, but what I imagine her Dad might think and just point out areas where I don’t believe what she says and he says are on the same spectrum of political speech.
Caitlyn:  I voted for Clinton because she seemed to represent equality for women and people of color, but more so because she did not represent the Islamophobic, homophobic, sexist, and racist thinking that Trump does.
This is a great example of the ‘my side good, other side bad’ politics. It keeps you from having to do the harder work of actually thinking.
I Googled the things that caused people to think Trump is the names she calls him. There are articles dedicated to each of the names she calls him.
I didn’t find them convincing. This Huffington Post piece is the top result when you Google “why is Trump a racist”. Its author, Lydia Cooper, provides “13 examples” of his racism.
First, some of the examples seem to have nothing to do with racism, like the first example. Lydia doesn’t even attempt to connect it to racism and left me scratching my head right off the bat.
This piece by Scott Alexander sums up well how I feel after reading stuff like Cooper’s piece. It also provides counter evidence to one of Cooper’s examples, “He refused to condemn the white supremacists who are campaigning for him,” which shows that she has her facts wrong, but is willing to put her head in the sand about that. And, if she’s willing to do that for that example, her credibility for the rest of her writing is in question.
Not only that, but Cooper herself, just a few paragraphs later says that Trump did disavow them. What she didn’t include, and what Alexander covers, is that no white supremacists campaigned for him or even officially endorsed him. That meme is a fiction meant to paint a specific picture in your head.
Caitlyn and Lydia should both read up on the story about the Boy who cried wolf.
The other thought I had, that is different from Alexander’s, is that if those examples were considered reasonable proof of Trump’s racism, then anyone could be painted as a racist, or any of the other things they called Trump.
I believe the election results show that, for some people, those on the left have already cried wolf a bit too much. Now might be a good time to bone up on forming better arguments, instead of faking it.


Things That Make Me SMH

By Grant Davies

Recently, while enjoying a comedy show with family, I heard a routine that not only made me laugh but also gave me an insight into a question I have been pondering for a very long time.

It began for me as a "shake my head" moment so long ago I can't even remember when it was. I guess the millennials call that "SMH" in today's online world. In the world as I remember it the phrase was: "Things that make 'ya go hmmm.." (Even though it's too early in this essay to digress, I just did.)

The question of why people vote as they do (or justify their vote when it all goes wrong, as is most often the case) has fascinated me for quite a while. I was certain it wasn't because of what candidates stood for or what they said they stood for, even though that's what voters claimed. Many of us gullible types actually believed that for a long time, until we became cynical grown-ups.

But I was still perplexed by those who defended the indefensible. Why did they do that?  Lots of people have posited opinions about it including the most popular opinion that: "fill in the blanks" don't care about anything as long as their "fill in the blank" political party is in power.

In today's messy situation that translates into "Hillary can get away with anything because she's a Democrat" or "Trump can say or do anything because he isn't a Democrat." (I would debate the part about him not being a Democrat, but again, I digress.)

Then I saw a quote by a guy named David Applegate. I don't even know who he is, but what he said made sense and it went a few steps down the road towards the question that I had been pondering. He said:

"On a micro level, a voter may cast a ballot for any number of reasons unrelated to actual policy positions: because of the candidate’s name, appearance, or party affiliation; because that’s how members of the voter’s family have always voted; because that’s how the precinct worker who dragged the voter to the polls instructed the voter to vote. But on a macro level it’s fair to say that American voters are largely in one of two camps: those who want more government and those who want less." 

I was attracted to it because he was saying in part what I had been saying for quite a while. Namely, we have this whole right/left, Republican/Democrat thing wrong. It's been more/less all along.

Well, as it turns out, that's not quite it either. At least as far as my question is concerned. And it all became an epiphany moment for me when the comedian at the show went into his routine about why he voted for Barack Obama. The comic's name is Dwayne Kennedy. He said he voted for Obama because Obama was black. He went on to say that since that was the reason for his vote, no matter whether Obama did a good job or a bad job, he was not disappointed because Obama is still black. It was a funny routine. I laughed. More than that, it was an insight that never quite occurred to a regular mope like me.

So the answer to the question of why people vote for certain candidates and why they are never disappointed no matter what the candidates subsequently do, is that unless the fundamental reason they voted for someone changed, there could be no disappointment. And life just got easier for the voter who came to that conclusion.

If you voted for Obama because he was black, that ain't changing. Voila! If you voted for him because he was a Democrat, that ain't changing. If you voted for him because you hated/feared Republicans, that ain't changing.

I have scoured the news sites looking for a story about Hillary seeking a sex change operation. I didn't find anything. So I think people who are voting for her because she's a female are safe. The people who are voting for her because she isn't Trump are safe as well.

People voting for Trump because they actually think he will "Make America Great Again!" will be disappointed. But I think both of them will get over it.

So my "SMH" moment has turned into a SLAP MY foreHEAD moment. Duh! Now I get it. And it only took me 66 years.


No Chance in Hell

Gary Johnson has a substantially better chance to win the general election than Trump has to win Illinois. Think about that. If you vote in Illinois, your vote for Trump will NOT help one iota in keeping Hillary from the White House. 

Not one iota.

The same is true if you are a Hillary voter trying to keep Trump out of office. Hillary will win Illinois in a landslide. Trump has no chance in hell.

What state do you live in? Take a look and see if the same applies to your state. Unless you live in one of the ten "Purple" states, you are in the same boat.

Vote for something, not against someone.


Is There Any Way Out of This Sickening Mess?

By Grant Davies

I have been retching for weeks at the inevitable prospect of another horrible President being elected in November. The country has had so many in a row that it's amazing that the thought could upset my stomach, much less give me the heaves.

But when it became obvious that it would be either Hillary or "The Donald" as the new chief executive I doubled over and looked for a barf bag the size of Trump's ego.

However, things are looking a little less green around the gills since I made up my new delusional scenario that would allow the country to avoid one of these catastrophes in favor of a different fate that hasn't had a chance to make me sick yet.  What on earth could that escape hatch possibly be?

It's all tied to a simple mechanism called the Electoral College. A candidate needs 270 of those electoral votes to be elected or the whole thing gets thrown into the House of Representatives where the new president would be chosen by the votes of those geniuses. And they don't have to choose one of the deadlocked candidates. They can choose anyone they want, except people who are ineligible, like Obama, or G. W. Bush. So how would this end up in the hands of that wise body?

There are actually several ways and as long as we are dreaming we might as well dream big. At least long enough to avoid returning to the above inevitable nightmare. That brings us to the genesis of my scenario.

I watched a video that made the case that if former Governor Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for President, (and on the ballot in all 50 states) could win just one state - in this case his home state of New Mexico - he could deny the other two candidates the 270 they need and put the thing into the House. Interesting prospect, however unlikely, I thought.

But then I heard about the efforts of Bill Kristol, editor of the Neo-Con magazine, The Weekly Standard, to get a credible and well financed "conservative" candidate to run against the rest. I thought, "this guy must be an imbecile because almost everyone in politics knows it's way too late to get on enough state ballots to win."

Silly me. Now in a moment of rare clarity I understand his intentions, which have nothing to do with winning the Presidency.  They have everything to do with denying Trump the White House and saving the GOP from almost certain extinction. Even if it takes a Hillary presidency to do it.

It would only take one or two small states for Kristol's candidate, or Gary Johnson to win in order to get the above desired result. How about both of them winning a state? It's possible because so many people can't stomach either of the choices that have been shoved down their throats.

For that matter, what about "Bernie the Socialist?" He could get on the ballot in one or two of the blue states where he wiped the floor with Hillary and easily help depose the two presumptive future monarchs.

Then we have the situation described above. A GOP controlled house who don't want Trump as President (for many reasons) picking someone like Paul Ryan or some other status quo person as a compromise candidate.

So there you have it. My attempt to convince myself that my nightmare is over and all will end well. Umm, maybe not well, but not horrible in the same way as a Trump or Clinton presidency.

It won't happen of course, but it beats puking into the barf bag all night, at least until I wake up to reality again. So, the answer is yes, there is a way out of this sickening mess. But only in my dreams.


Examples Are Not Definitions

By Grant Davies

We all need to know the definitions of political systems so we can spot them when we see them. For a long time I have described our own system as having evolved into fascism , mostly as people rolled their eyes.

Here is the definition I have used to dispel the false notion that what the Nazis were defines what we should think of when we see fascism. While it is an example, it is not the definition.

"Capitalism is a system where property is privately owned and privately controlled. Communism is a system where property is collectively owned and government controlled. Socialism is a system where property is government owned and government controlled. Fascism is a system where property is privately owned and government controlled."

Now I have come across this article by Dr Thomas Sowell, written in 2012, which explains it nicely.

The question is: which politicians in today's news cycle are fascists? As it turns out, most are.

Socialist or Fascist

Thomas Sowell | Jun 12, 2012

It bothers me a little when conservatives call Barack Obama a "socialist." He certainly is an enemy of the free market, and wants politicians and bureaucrats to make the fundamental decisions about the economy.

But that does not mean that he wants government ownership of the means of production, which has long been a standard definition of socialism.

What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.

Read the rest HERE at

I don't see a fascist behind every tree, just the tree on the White House lawn. - Me


Election Thoughts - Ten Seconds Worth

By Grant Davies

A few thoughts, bullet point style.

  • The Democrat Party has been co-opted by the lunatic left. 
  • The GOP has been co-opted by a lunatic. 
  • The one good thing that seems to be happening is the demise of these two parties.
  • Maybe we can start again if they crumble into well deserved dust. 
  • Change can be a messy process. 
  • Maybe even gruesome.
  • Comments are welcome.


Bernie Must Be Furious

By Grant Davies

When commenting on a Face Book thread describing how Hillary gets more delegates after having her fat ass handed to her in New Hampshire by Bernie the Socialist, a person pointed out the irony.

He said, "Bernie must be furious that a small group of people could take something he rightfully earned and redistribute it to somebody else that they feel deserves it more, even though that person didn't rightfully earn it."

Perfect! Just effen perfect!


Obama Gets Today's Whopper Award

By Grant Davies

I know it's not a revelation that politicians lie. Among others, Obama has told a ton of whoppers. But I just started this feature recently so let's just deal with the one that happened today. 

It was featured on my Face-Book feed under the title, "The biggest gun control lie Obama is selling" on the website RARE.

I'll let the article speak for itself instead of pretending I did a lot of background investigation myself. You can decide for yourself if it merits "The Whopper of the Day Award." 

But since I'm the editor of this huge blog, I declare it to be so. I will post only the beginning of the article in order to comply with the "fair use" provisions of the copy-write law.   You can read the rest of the short article at the link.

"Let’s break this down in all the many places this is totally wrong.

First and foremost, Obama’s suggestion that felons (violent or otherwise) can purchase a firearm is untrue. It is illegal for a felon to buy or own a gun. Full stop. Even more, there are legal consequences for anyone who sells or gives guns to a felon or any prohibited person.

You’d think the president and his cadre of policy makers would be aware of this most basic gun law, but somehow they’ve completely ignored it. We’re not off to a good start.

Next, buying a gun on the Internet is not like shopping at Amazon or Ebay. When you purchase a firearm from a dealer, it is not shipped to your door with a ribbon on top. Rather, you must ship it to a federally licensed dealer and go through the normal background check.

The gun, magazines, and any other accessories must be legal in your state. There is no loophole. It is a lie to say otherwise."