Saturday, October 31, 2009


There is a "Halloween edition" of GREENIE WATCH just up.

Losing Ground: Hispanic children fall behind their peers quickly, a study finds

All the studies show that Hispanic illegals and their offspring have markedly lower average IQ scores than the white average. My orientation in psychometric research has however always been great caution about the validity of any tests used and I initially felt that the remarkable success of ancient Central Americans in building rather advanced civilizations despite being cut off from the major source of human progress (the Eurasian continent) implied a higher IQ for their descendants than the tests showed.

That is however a fairly arguable proposition and the findings reported below have changed my mind. I think that the findings below confirm what the IQ tests say. The results below show what I very "incorrectly" call the "chimpanzee effect". A month old chimpanzee is much smarter and more capable than a human infant of the same age but the human does of course far surpass the chimp eventually. In other words, low IQ is less evident in the early years and most evident in adulthood. We find a similar effect in blacks. Average black IQ is closer to average white IQ in childhood than in adulthood. Beyond the early teens, black IQ stops rising but white IQ does not. White IQ peaks at about age 16.

And what is reported below is precisely another example of the chimpanzee effect: Intellectual achievement gap smallest in early childhood but rapidly increasing with age. I must stress that I am NOT saying that either blacks or Hispanics are similar to chimpanzees. ALL human beings of any race are much smarter than chimps. I am just using chimps as a vivid demonstration of what seems a general truth: That real gaps in intellectual ability become evident later rather than sooner -- and the Hispanic developmental pattern is exactly what we expect of an average IQ that is indeed lower

A forthcoming study on Hispanic children’s cognitive skills underlines the challenges the country faces in aspiring to close the achievement gap between these children and their white and Asian counterparts. Hispanic “children fall behind their peers in mental development by the time they reach grade school, and the gap tends to widen as they get older,” reports the New York Times. “The drop-off in the cognitive scores of Hispanic toddlers, especially those from Mexican backgrounds, was steeper than for other [low-income] groups and could not be explained by economic status alone. . . . From 24 to 36 months, the Hispanic children fell about six months behind their white peers on measures like word comprehension, more complex speech and working with their mothers on simple tasks.”

This new study, from the University of California–Berkeley, may be unusually blunt in its assessment of Hispanic cognitive development, but it is hardly unprecedented. A 2004 study by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office found a similar decline in Hispanic students’ ability to keep up with their peers in learning English. Children from Mandarin- and Spanish-speaking households begin kindergarten with similar levels of English proficiency, but their paths quickly diverge. The Mandarin-speaking students make continuing progress in mastering English, while the Hispanic students’ advance stalls out in the second and third grades as the demands of California’s English-proficiency test grow more difficult. Mandarin kindergartners establish oral skills in English in one year, the legislative analyst found, and by the beginning of second grade, they have begun developing a mastery of reading and writing, unlike Hispanics. The widening English-proficiency gap between Asian and Hispanic students may reflect parental willingness to expose children to English at home, but the gap occurs in math as well.

This summer in Southern California, I observed Hispanic students who had been taught in English throughout their school careers, yet who possessed very weak formal language ability. An in-class reading assignment at Locke High School in Watts asked students to answer the question: “Why is it important to use all your skills during your teen years?” A ninth-grader wrote in response: “To make it better.” Another question, “What sudden insight came to the engineer?” elicited the answer: “How to put the little mirrors.” While diagnosing the student-written sentence, “The pigs squealed loudly because the’re [sic] bored at the barn,” a high-school English teacher in Santa Ana asked his class: “Why does the dependent clause need to be in the past tense?” A student answered: “Because you’re talking about a lot of people.”

The Berkeley researchers speculate that the early decline in Hispanic students’ language and reasoning skills may reflect inadequate maternal stimulation in the home. And indeed, a Santa Ana elementary-school principal recounted to me her largely unsuccessful efforts to get parents to teach their children such basic kindergarten-survival tools as cutting with scissors and the words for colors. “Kids come in not knowing the alphabet in Spanish or the sounds of Spanish,” she said. “They use three-word sentences; they come in without oral-language ability.”

The Berkeley study will inevitably be used to buttress the Obama administration’s plans to pour billions of federal taxpayer dollars into early-education programs. As a matter of education policy, such efforts represent wishful thinking. Head Start has been repeatedly shown to have no lasting effect on students’ academic performance. Even the most successful and lavishly-funded of such early-intervention programs — the iconic Perry Preschool Project from the early 1960s in Ypsilanti, Mich. — explained only 3 percent of the earnings of its participants at age 40, and about 4 percent of their educational-attainment levels, wrote John J. Miller in NR in 2007. Replicating the Perry Project’s services on a national scale for Hispanic children would be extraordinarily expensive and produce only modest results. Many children who receive early intervention provide inferior intellectual stimulation for their own children, whether for innate cognitive or for cultural reasons.

But the more interesting implications of the study and others like it are for immigration policy. Our de facto immigration policy is currently weighted to a population that appears to require massive additional government education spending — even before formal schooling begins — to be made academically competitive. This choice would not seem to be economically rational, at least so long as we aspire to universal college-going. If the country remains committed to sending a far greater number of students to college, as even many conservatives continue to be, we better get ourselves a different mix of immigrants if we don’t want to bankrupt our education budgets. Alternatively, if the open-borders lobby prevails and Latin American migration continues to dominate our immigration flows, it’s time to acknowledge that many students never will be college material, nor do they need to be to lead productive, fulfilling lives.



Vincent Luebeck

What would you think of a man who went around the place singing to himself snatches from a cantata written by an obscure 17th century German composer? You would probably think him quite mad but in your kinder moments you might say: "An eccentric; probably an academic". I am that person and I am a born academic (I wrote my Ph.D. dissertation in 6 weeks; some people take that many years) so I hope I can be excused. The words that are stuck in my head at the moment are: "Und deine Fusstapfen triefen von Fett". I must have sung them to myself a hundred times in the last few days. The words are so crazy that I dare not translate them but they are in fact a quotation from the Psalms. What makes them good is the music that Vincent Luebeck has set to them.

All of which comes about because I have been playing lately one of my favourite cantatas: Gott wie dein Name by Vincent Luebeck. Luebeck was 11 years older than J.S. Bach and more famous than Bach in his day. And at his best Luebeck is as good as Bach. And I mention all that because I have just discovered that people have begun to put up some Luebeck works on YouTube. A good example below for those who like that sort of thing:

Note the extensive use of pedals. Pedals usually access the largest pipes.


More on the hidden man


Looking for evidence of Obama's past, Fox News contacted 400 Columbia University students from the period when Obama claims to have been there, but none remembered him.

Wayne Allyn Root was, like Obama, a political science major at Columbia who also graduated in 1983. In 2008, Root says of Obama, "I don't know a single person at Columbia that knew him, and they all know me.

I don't have a classmate who ever knew Barack Obama at Columbia. Ever! Nobody recalls him. I'm not exaggerating, I'm not kidding." Root adds that he was also, like Obama, "Class of '83 political science, pre-law" and says, "You don't get more exact or closer than that. Never met him in my life, don't know anyone who ever met him. At the class reunion, our 20th reunion five years ago, who was asked to be the speaker of the class? Me.

No one ever heard of Barack! And five years ago, nobody even knew who he was. The guy who writes the class notes, who's kind of the, as we say in New York, the macha who knows everybody, has yet to find a person, a human who ever met him. Is that not strange?

It's very strange." Obama's photograph does not appear in the school's yearbook and Obama consistently declines requests to talk about his years at Columbia, provide school records, or provide the name of any former classmates or friends while at Columbia.

NOTE: Root graduated as Valedictorian from his high school, Thornton-Donovan School, then graduated from Columbia University in 1983 as a Political Science major (in the same class as President Barack Obama WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN IN).

SOURCE. See also here for more. The story seems odd even for Mr. Coverup but, although the story first aired in 2008, I cannot find anywhere that have attacked it in their usual way, although it is mentioned on one of their discussion threads. There seems no doubt that Root did say what is reported above. So it looks to me that Snopes have been unable to find anyone who remembers differently.


Too important not to criticize

Among the most pathetic letters and e-mails I receive are those from people who ask why I don't write more "positively" about Obama or "give him the benefit of the doubt."

No one-- not even the President of the United States-- has an entitlement to a "positive" response to his actions. The entitlement mentality has eroded the once common belief that you earned things, including respect, instead of being given them.

As for the benefit of the doubt, no one-- especially not the President of the United States-- is entitled to that, when his actions can jeopardize the rights of 300 million Americans domestically and the security of the nation in an international jungle, where nuclear weapons may soon be in the hands of people with suicidal fanaticism. Will it take a mushroom cloud over an American city to make that clear? Was 9/11 not enough?

When a President of the United States has begun the process of dismantling America from within, and exposing us to dangerous enemies outside, the time is long past for being concerned about his public image. He has his own press agents for that.

Internationally, Barack Obama has made every mistake that was made by the Western democracies in the 1930s, mistakes that put Hitler in a position to start World War II-- and come dangerously close to winning it.

At the heart of those mistakes was trying to mollify your enemies by throwing your friends to the wolves. The Obama administration has already done that by reneging on this country's commitment to put a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe and by its lackadaisical foot-dragging on doing anything serious to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons. That means, for all practical purposes, throwing Israel to the wolves as well.

Countries around the world that have to look out for their own national survival, above all, are not going to ignore how much Obama has downgraded the reliability of America's commitments.

Iraq, for example, knows that Iran is going to be next door forever while Americans may be gone in a few years. South Korea likewise knows that North Korea is permanently next door but who knows when the Obama administration will get a bright idea to pull out? Countries in South America know that Hugo Chavez is allying Venezuela with Iran. Dare they ally themselves with an unreliable U.S.A.? Or should they join our enemies to work against us? This issue is too serious for squeamish silence.

More here



Report: Feds overstated jobs created under stimulus: "A Colorado company said it created 4,231 jobs with the help of President Barack Obama’s economic recovery plan. The real number: fewer than 1,000. A child-care center in Florida said it saved 129 jobs with the help of stimulus money. Instead, it gave pay raises to its existing employees. Elsewhere in the U.S., some jobs credited to the stimulus program were counted two, three, four or even more times. The government has overstated by thousands the number of jobs it has created or saved with federal contracts under the president’s $787 billion recovery program, according to an Associated Press review of data released in the program’s first progress report.”

Russians to ride nuke spaceship to Mars: "A nuclear-powered spaceship that can carry passengers to Mars and beyond may sound like science fiction. But Russian engineers say they have a breakthrough design for such a craft, which could leapfrog them way ahead in the international race to build a manned spacecraft that can cover vast interplanetary distances. They claim they’ll be ready to build one as early as 2012. In a meeting with top Russian space scientists Wednesday, President Dmitry Medvedev gave the nuke-powered spacecraft a green light and pledged to come up with the cash to cover its $600-million price tag.”

It’s not just marijuana — DEA is at war with other medicines too: "Our efforts to control the lives of people who take drugs for fun have led us to destroy the lives of people who take drugs for serious medical conditions. The harsh reality here is that the best medicines often become popular with people they weren’t intended for. That’s going to happen no matter what you do. But if every effective pain reliever is overly restricted, then the medicine’s primary purpose of relieving pain can never be achieved. The drug war has gone blind even to the most basic functions that drugs are supposed to serve in our society.”

SC: Pols celebrate success of Boeing welfare scam: "The landing was delayed, but Boeing has arrived in South Carolina and is bringing along 3,800 jobs to build its new, state-of-the-art jet. Jilting its longtime Washington state manufacturing base, the Chicago-based airplane maker said Wednesday it will build its second 787 Dreamliner assembly line in North Charleston. … The General Assembly … approved a massive tax incentive package, part of a host of promises made to Boeing since the company first discussed the possibility of locating in South Carolina in August. The package would eliminate income and other taxes for the company for a decade and provide low-interest construction bonds.”

Britain: Stop outlawing jobs: "The Trade Union Congress (TUC) is calling for the UK national minimum wage to be increased to £6 an hour from October 2010. In Scotland a government committee suggests the public naming and shaming and an increase in fines for employers who break the minimum wage. While in Jersey the Employment Forum has outlined plans to increase the minimum wage to £6.20. The sound of breaking windows fills the British Isles. The timing of this is awful — not [that] there ever is a good time to outlaw jobs — but with unemployment set to continue to rise into next year, those at the margins will of course be adversely affected by restrictions on employer and employee.”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Friday, October 30, 2009

Dismantling America

By Thomas Sowell

Just one year ago, would you have believed that an unelected government official, not even a Cabinet member confirmed by the Senate but simply one of the many "czars" appointed by the President, could arbitrarily cut the pay of executives in private businesses by 50 percent or 90 percent? Did you think that another "czar" would be talking about restricting talk radio? That there would be plans afloat to subsidize newspapers-- that is, to create a situation where some newspapers' survival would depend on the government liking what they publish? Did you imagine that anyone would even be talking about having a panel of so-called "experts" deciding who could and could not get life-saving medical treatments?

Scary as that is from a medical standpoint, it is also chilling from the standpoint of freedom. If you have a mother who needs a heart operation or a child with some dire medical condition, how free would you feel to speak out against an administration that has the power to make life and death decisions about your loved ones?

Does any of this sound like America? How about a federal agency giving school children material to enlist them on the side of the president? Merely being assigned to sing his praises in class is apparently not enough.

How much of America would be left if the federal government continued on this path? President Obama has already floated the idea of a national police force, something we have done without for more than two centuries. We already have local police forces all across the country and military forces for national defense, as well as the FBI for federal crimes and the National Guard for local emergencies. What would be the role of a national police force created by Barack Obama, with all its leaders appointed by him? It would seem more like the brown shirts of dictators than like anything American.

How far the President will go depends of course on how much resistance he meets. But the direction in which he is trying to go tells us more than all his rhetoric or media spin.

Barack Obama has not only said that he is out to "change the United States of America," the people he has been associated with for years have expressed in words and deeds their hostility to the values, the principles and the people of this country. Jeremiah Wright said it with words: "God damn America!" Bill Ayers said it with bombs that he planted. Community activist goons have said it with their contempt for the rights of other people.

Among the people appointed as czars by President Obama have been people who have praised enemy dictators like Mao, who have seen the public schools as places to promote sexual practices contrary to the values of most Americans, to a captive audience of children.

Those who say that the Obama administration should have investigated those people more thoroughly before appointing them are missing the point completely. Why should we assume that Barack Obama didn't know what such people were like, when he has been associating with precisely these kinds of people for decades before he reached the White House? Nothing is more consistent with his lifelong patterns than putting such people in government-- people who reject American values, resent Americans in general and successful Americans in particular, as well as resenting America's influence in the world.

Any miscalculation on his part would be in not thinking that others would discover what these stealth appointees were like. Had it not been for the Fox News Channel, these stealth appointees might have remained unexposed for what they are. Fox News is now high on the administration's enemies list.

Nothing so epitomizes President Obama's own contempt for American values and traditions like trying to ram two bills through Congress in his first year-- each bill more than a thousand pages long-- too fast for either of them to be read, much less discussed. That he succeeded only the first time says that some people are starting to wake up. Whether enough people will wake up in time to keep America from being dismantled, piece by piece, is another question-- and the biggest question for this generation.



Be thankful for men who risk this to serve their country

Retired Army Sgt. Richard Yarosh has gotten used to the stares. His face is blanketed in knotty scar tissue. His nose tip is missing. His ears are gone, as is part of his right leg. His fingers are permanently bent and rigid. All is the result of an explosion in Iraq that doused him in fuel and fire three years ago.

"I know people are curious," he said. "They'll stop in their tracks and look. I guess I can understand. I probably would have stared, too." Soon, a lot more people will be staring at Yarosh's face but in a very different way: A life-sized oil painting of him will go on display at the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington later this month. The portrait, by Matthew Mitchell, is a finalist in the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, which recognizes modern portraiture at the gallery known for its collection of notable Americans.

The gallery received more than 3,300 entries. Many are less conventional portraits, including video and photos, but others, like that of Yarosh, draw strength from the traditional head-and-shoulders composition, said curator Brandon Fortune.

Mitchell's use of the style - historically reserved for nobility, a high-ranking military officer or a president, not a disfigured soldier in an Army T-shirt - democratizes such paintings, Fortune said. "The portrait is clearly meant to honor him. I think that contributes to the gravity of the presentation," she said....

The day was Sept. 1, 2006, and Yarosh was manning the turret of a Bradley assault vehicle, patrolling a road that he'd been on "a million times." Only this time, the vehicle hit an explosive device. The fuel tank blew, and Yarosh was instantly covered in flames. He took a blind jump from the top of the vehicle, breaking his leg and severing an artery that would eventually force an amputation. He rolled around in the dirt, but with so much fuel, he couldn't get the fire out. He lay there, next to the burning vehicle, and gave up. "I wasn't in pain. I could accept the fact that I was going to go. This was how the Lord would take me," he said.

But for reasons he still can't explain, Yarosh rolled to his right one more time and suddenly fell into a canal, where the flames were extinguished. Fellow soldiers pulled him from the water even as his body armor disintegrated into ash, and he survived....

Yarosh was astonished when he saw the completed portrait. "It was perfect. I couldn't believe that he captured me," he said. "It captures my pride. I'm proud of the way I look. I'm proud of the reason for the way I look."

More Here

Another tale of American military heroism here


Halloween: A Teachable Moment About Socialism

I'm not a big fan of Halloween, but I have some advice for those of you who expect to allow your children to take part in the ritual of trick-or-treating: Use the five guidelines listed below and allow the 2009 version of the costume- and candy-intensive holiday to serve as a teachable moment about socialism and about "spreading the wealth around" in the manner touted so often by President Barack Obama:

1. Tell your child he cannot eat any of the candy he collects and will, instead, have to take all of it to the ACORN office nearest your home (wipe tears);

2. Tell your child he will have to turn over their bags full of candy to the government-authorized agents who, in addition to collecting the candy, will need to record his name, Social Security number and contact information for future use (wipe tears);

3. Tell your child he will have to wait 12 weeks for ACORN officials to count all of the candy he collected and repackage it for equal-share redistribution among all children in their community (wipe tears);

4. Tell your child that, within 12 weeks, he should expect to be provided instructions for picking up a his fair and equal share of the treats he collected after ACORN officials finish counting all of the collected candies (wipe tears); and

5. Tell your child that the scenario above offers them a glimpse of what the future in the United States will look like if socialism is allowed to flourish (wipe tears for last time) and that he can keep his children from having to experience such pain by voting for - and by encouraging others to vote for - conservatives whose values line up with those of this country's founders and the framers of the U.S. Constitution.




Mad about free trade: "Interview with Daniel Griswold, author of Mad About Trade. Griswold: “John Mackey is right. Free trade has been wrongly branded as something for the benefit of big business at the expense of average Americans. Most Fortune 500 companies benefit from globalization, and that is fine. They employ a lot of Americans and sell a lot of U.S.-brand products around the world. But trade is also about benefiting tens of millions of low- and middle-income American families by insuring competition for their consumer dollars. Free trade is about creating better, more sustainable jobs for our children, building relationships with people in other countries, lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, and sending young girls in developing countries off to school rather than to the field. Our task shouldn’t be that difficult. Evidence and economic logic are on the side of free trade. We just need to tell the story in a way that connects with people in their everyday lives.”

The world of Salamanca: "The subject of the medieval period highlights the vast gulf that separates scholarly opinion from popular opinion. This is a grave frustration for scholars who have been working to change popular opinion for a hundred years. For most people, the medieval period brings to mind populations living by myths and crazy superstitions such as we might see in a Monty Python skit. Scholarly opinion, however, knows otherwise. The age between the 8th and 16th centuries was a time of amazing advance in every area of knowledge, such as architecture, music, biology, mathematics, astronomy, industry, and — yes — economics.”

Neutering the Net: "I have always been an opponent of ‘net neutrality,’ but mostly because the proponents of it I’ve read have taken it to mean unlimited bandwidth for almost no cost, something that would guarantee the death of the net. Bandwidth costs money. Somebody has to pay for it. Those who use it should pay for what they use. Most people view ‘net neutrality’ as an entitlement, something the internet service providers somehow ‘owe’ them. Balderdash! But the recently proposed FCC rules do not do that, if Wired’s excerpt (link below) is representative. They’re more like guaranteeing that your long distance carrier may not disconnect your call because you’re talking about changing carriers.”

NASA launches newest, behemoth rocket: "NASA’s newest rocket successfully completed a brief test flight Wednesday, the first step in a back-to-the-moon program that could yet be shelved by the White House. The 327-foot Ares I-X rocket resembled a giant white pencil as it shot into the sky, delayed a day by poor weather. Nearly twice the height of the spaceship it’s supposed to replace — the shuttle — the skinny experimental rocket carried no passengers or payload, only throwaway ballast and hundreds of sensors. The flight cost $445 million.”

Latest battle in book price wars: "The American Booksellers Association loves people who buy books. It loves them so much that it wants to protect them from wicked retailers who sell popular titles at affordable prices. In fact, it wants to protect them from themselves. Consumers, after all, are likely to rejoice at the chance to pick up a bestseller like Stephen King’s Under the Dome or John Grisham’s Ford County for just $9, well below their list price of $35 and $24 respectively. The ABA, a trade group for independent bookstores, is doing all it can to preserve the republic from such pernicious bargains. In a letter to the US Department of Justice last week, the association called for an investigation into the ‘predatory’ behavior of, Wal-Mart, and Target — behavior it said ‘is damaging to the book industry and harmful to consumers.’”

Maximum confusion over minimum wages: "Given that we have rising unemployment, a reduction in minimum-wage rates might bring relief to some unemployed workers. Demand for labor increases with lower wages. However, advocates of minimum-wage laws often have trouble with economic reasoning. Some see the wealth of large corporations as a sign that they can afford to pay their workers more per hour. Others think that employers exercise monopsony control over wages from the buyers’ side of labor markets.”

“Saving” jobs isn’t always good: "The Obama administration is patting itself on the back for saving the jobs of thousands of educators by doling out stimulus funds earlier in the year. But should we all cheer just because Ms. Frizzle didn’t get the boot? Teachers, like all professionals, have no right to employment. In the private market people who are good at their jobs are in demand and courted with money.”

The 2009 Economics Nobel Prize: "The Nobel prize committee described Ostrom’s findings as showing that privately organized communities often manage resources such as lakes and fish better than do governments. First of all, government bureaucrats have a knowledge problem; they lack sufficient information about what to regulate. Moreover, as economist Friedrich Hayek pointed out, the relevant knowledge is decentralized and ever changing, so even with computers the remote governmental authorities are unable to collect sufficient knowledge to efficiently micro-manage such resources. They may not even know what knowledge they should be gathering.”

Guantanamo laureate: "Candidate Obama often sounded as if he had always assumed that Bush first created Guantanamo as a monument to his Constitution-shredding paranoia, and only later filled it with largely innocent prisoners. At one point Obama offered his Senate office to help lawyers sue on behalf of Guantanamo prisoners. But as President Obama has discovered — just as he has dropped his campaign talk of ending renditions, tribunals, wiretaps, and intercepts, and of rapidly withdrawing from Iraq — Guantanamo is a bad choice among a number of worse ones.”

British defence chiefs blamed for leaky aircraft that crashed: "The Ministry of Defence and Britain’s largest defence company were officially blamed yesterday for the deaths of 14 servicemen who were killed when an RAF Nimrod surveillance aircraft burst into flames over Afghanistan three years ago. In one of the most damning official reports published, the MoD was accused of sacrificing the safety of members of the Armed Forces to cut costs. The ministry was guilty of a “systemic breach of the military covenant” between the nation and the men and women of the Forces, the report said. “Airworthiness was a casualty of the process of cuts, change, dilution and distraction,” Charles Haddon-Cave, QC, concluded after a 20-month review of the background to the disaster on September 2, 2006, which represented the single biggest loss of life of service personnel in one incident since the Falklands conflict in 1982... There had been signs before the disaster that the Nimrod MR2, of which aircraft XV230 was one, had design faults, notably the juxtaposition of fuel pipes with hot-air ducts which presented a “catastrophic fire risk”."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Simplistic thinking in politics and the ad hominem fallacy

Sad to say, in politics logical thinking seems to come a poor second to emotional appeals -- and we see a pernicious example of that below.

Historical revisionism is found among both Leftists and nationalists, though it is far and away most prevalent on the Left. Some surveys have shown, for instance, that a majority of U.S. Democrat voters are "truthers": People who believe that it was George Bush who blew up the Twin Towers on 9/11/2001. And the chronic Leftist denial of the horrors of Communism is legendary.

Compared to that, the skepticism about the Holocaust seen among some nationalists is small beer but the Left-dominated media seek out such views like sniffer dogs and make a huge deal about any of it that they find. So one skeptical word about the holocaust serves to stigmatize someone for life, even if it was a passing phase or an incidental element in the evolution of that person's thinking.

The prime example of that at the moment is of course Nick Griffin of the anti-immigration British National Party. And the fact that he is a staunch friend of Israel is not allowed to excuse him. So the Jewish writer below is right to say that support for Israel from nationalists is an embarrassment. But it is only an embarrassment because of the simplistic thinking of Leftists in the media and politics -- who with kneejerk predictability resort to the ad hominem fallacy (The fallacy that a statement is wrong because of who said it). So if Griffin supports Israel, support for Israel must be wrong: Quite incredible stupidity but staple fare for the Left.
In politics Over the past few weeks, the Jewish state has been publicly endorsed by two particularly controversial members of the far right.

Firstly, Nick Griffin, leader of the racist British National Party, which currently accepts only white people as members, declared that his was the only party to support Israel in its "war against terrorists" during Operation Cast Lead.

While Griffin, who was elected in June to the European Parliament, is not usually paid much attention, this time was different. He was speaking on Britain's most prestigious political television program, BBC's Question Time. The decision to invite him had proven so controversial that 8 million viewers tuned in, compared with the program's usual 2 to 3 million. The entire country was hanging on his every word.

Just three weeks earlier, the Conservative Party — now widely expected to win the next election — was embroiled in a national row over its alliance with another European member of parliament, Poland's Michal Kaminski.

Kaminski, who leads an important rightist bloc, has been disliked in Jewish circles since he declared in 2001 that the Poles should not apologise for the massacre of Jews by Polish residents of Jedwabne in 1941, unless "the whole Jewish nation [apologises] for what some Jewish Communists did in eastern Poland". There were also concerns that he had worn the Chrobry Sword, a symbol of the Catholic ultra-right in Poland and that he still maintained these unsavory connections.

So when, in early October, he appeared at the Conservative Party's annual conference, the main Jewish representative body – the archaically named Board of Deputies – wrote to Conservative leader David Cameron asking for reassurances. Labour's foreign minister, David Miliband, went on the attack and the ensuing media row, which is still ongoing – the Conservatives were forced to recently reassure Hillary Clinton on the subject — tarnished what should have been Cameron's moment of triumph.

But it did not go unnoticed that Kaminski was in Britain as the special guest of the Conservative Friends of Israel — who had also taken him, this summer, to Israel, where he was pictured smiling by the Western Wall and was welcomed by deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon. Kaminski, it emerged, was considered a staunch friend of Israel in Brussels, where he regularly spoke up for its right to self-defence...

But for Israel, this is a disaster. From now on, anyone in Britain supporting Israel publicly can be expected to be told they are holding a position only the racist BNP, or the likes of Kaminski, holds. It will many years to shake off these associations.



Perhaps I should add a few words about the Mieczyk Chrobrego or Chobry Sword, and point out that it too has become the target of an ad hominem slur. Some history: Boleslaw I Chrobry became the first King of Poland in 1025. He was a brilliant man and very successful militarily. He greatly enlarged Poland by conquest of neighbouring areas. He was able to turn Poland into one of the largest and most powerful monarchies in Europe. In the summer of 1018, in one of his most famous expeditions, Boleslaw captured Kiev (now in the Ukraine), where, according to legend, he notched his sword when hitting Kiev's Golden Gate. Later, a sword known as szczerbiec, meaning notched sword or "The dented one", would become the ceremonial sword used in the coronation ceremony of Polish kings. It is now kept at Wawel Cathedral, a church located on Wawel Hill in Kraków, which is Poland's national sanctuary. The cathedral has a 1,000-year history and was the traditional coronation site of Polish monarchs.

So it is easy to see why a representation of the Chobry sword would be chosen as their symbol by a minor 20th century Polish nationalist political party. That it was a patriotic icon long before the 20th century, however, is the main point. That 20th century nationalist political parties have used it does NOT mean that it is solely a 20th century nationalist political party symbol. It is simply a Polish patriotic symbol generally and any Pole could wear a representation of it with pride.


The race and IQ debate on Britain's Channel 4 TV

Britain's Left-leaning "Daily Mirror" had a laconic summary of the matter but of greater interest was a particularly well-informed comment from one of its readers, which I reproduce below, with his links made clickable. I then close with a most amusing comment from Britain's "Greenest" (and faltering) newspaper, the inaptly-named "Independent":

1. I have little faith that this show would have provided an objective take on things as it relied on the Lewontin Fallacy (more within group gene variation than between group variation). This was debunked in 2003 by Cambridge geneticist AWF Edwards. The problem is that it overlooks the correlations and that genes vary in frequency across groups.

2. Efforts to tar IQ tests with bad things in history overlook the fact that Stalin and Hitler banned IQ testing. In Hitler's case he banned them because Jews did well on them.

3. IQ tests actually have a progressive background in allowing working class kids with academic ability to get into Colleges previously only for the rich. See here

4. Tests aren't perfect but they predict academic performance very well. More recently neuroscientists have identified that people have quite distinct brain characteristics which correlate with iq test performance. These include cortical thickness, myelination quality and efficiency in processing info.

UCLA neuroscientist Paul Thompson & Yale Psychologist Jeremy Gray summarize these findings here.

5. These traits are significantly heritable.

"The UCLA researchers took the study a step further by comparing the white matter architecture of identical twins, who share almost all their DNA, and fraternal twins, who share only half. Results showed that the quality of the white matter is highly genetically determined, although the influence of genetics varies by brain area. According to the findings, about 85 percent of the variation in white matter in the parietal lobe, which is involved in mathematics, logic, and visual-spatial skills, can be attributed to genetics. But only about 45 percent of the variation in the temporal lobe, which plays a central role in learning and memory, appears to be inherited.

Thompson and his collaborators also analyzed the twins' DNA, and they are now looking for specific genetic variations that are linked to the quality of the brain's white matter. The researchers have already found a candidate--the gene for a protein called BDNF, which promotes cell growth. "People with one variation have more intact fibers," says Thompson."

Source for the above quote

6. Many genes have undergone significant change over the past 10,000 years so the possibility that groups would differ to some extent on average is not implausible.

"Dec. 10, 2007 - Researchers discovered genetic evidence that human evolution is speeding up - and has not halted or proceeded at a constant rate, as had been thought - indicating that humans on different continents are becoming increasingly different.

"We used a new genomic technology to show that humans are evolving rapidly, and that the pace of change has accelerated a lot in the last 40,000 years, especially since the end of the Ice Age roughly 10,000 years ago," says research team leader Henry Harpending, a distinguished professor of anthropology at the University of Utah.

Harpending says there are provocative implications from the study, published online Monday, Dec. 10 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: "We aren't the same as people even 1,000 or 2,000 years ago," he says, which may explain, for example, part of the difference between Viking invaders and their peaceful Swedish descendants. "The dogma has been these are cultural fluctuations, but almost any Temperament trait you look at is under strong genetic influence."

"Human races are evolving away from each other," Harpending says. "Genes are evolving fast in Europe, Asia and Africa, but almost all of these are unique to their continent of origin. We are getting less alike, not merging into a single, mixed humanity." He says that is happening because humans dispersed from Africa to other regions 40,000 years ago, "and there has not been much flow of genes between the regions since then."

Source for the above quote

Now for a gem from "The Independent", below:

It is an abhorrent notion yet with some scientific credibility. James Watson, the co-discoverer of DNA, has expressed gloom about the future of Africa on the basis that "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours, whereas all the testing says, not really". There are plenty of other illustrious scientists who support the view that there is a kind of global league table of intelligence, apparently with the Australian Aborigine at the bottom, and Omaar talked to several of them. But he found that their assertions are largely based on IQ tests that militate against the developing world, taking no heed of "wisdom, social intelligence and creativity". Moreover, in South Africa, where educational opportunities are no longer determined by race, such ideas are increasingly confounded.


Even by Green/Left standards, the implication that war-torn, dirt-poor and half-starving Africa is a powerhouse of "wisdom, social intelligence and creativity" is seriously deranged. Sadly for the wittingly-blind Left, "wisdom, social intelligence and creativity" is mostly to be found among the high IQ populations of European and East Asian origin -- JR



ACLU still fighting George Bush (They miss him so): "After the Senate today passed a Homeland Security appropriations bill with an amendment that would grant the Department of Defense (DOD) the authority to continue suppressing photos of prisoner abuse, the American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to Secretary Robert Gates urging him not to exercise the authority to suppress the photos. The amendment, which would allow the DOD to exempt photos from the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), is aimed at photos ordered released by a federal appeals court as part of an ACLU FOIA lawsuit for photos and other records related to detainee abuse in U.S. custody overseas, although it would apply to other photos in government custody as well. The bill will now head to President Obama's desk for signature. The ACLU letter states that the photos would show the pervasiveness of detainee abuse and would shed light on the connection between that abuse and the decisions of high-level Bush administration officials. According to the letter, the photos "are of critical relevance to an ongoing national debate about accountability."

Boondoggle coming up: "The White House is expected to announce Tuesday a multimillion-dollar deal that will convert a closed General Motors plant in Wilmington, Del., into a factory making electric vehicles. Vice President Biden will make the announcement that Fisker Automotive of Irvine, Calif., is expected to invest $175 million to retool the plant. Fisker, which will pay the old GM $18 million for the facility and equipment, is getting tax incentives from the state of Delaware, although officials there declined Monday to say how much. Fisker plans to make a car in Delaware that is being developed under the name "Project Nina" after the ship belonging to explorer Christopher Columbus. Russell Datz, a Fisker spokesman, said that the project's name is meant to be "symbolic of the transfer from the old world to the new in terms of auto technology." The car is expected to cost about $39,900 after tax incentives. The Fisker facility is expected to create 2,000 jobs"

Large Hadron Collider switched on after year of repairs: "After starting it with a bang, which promptly turned into a whimper, scientists have quietly powered up the Large Hadron Collider for a second time. The preliminary run was low key compared with the ill-fated switch-on in September last year, but CERN scientists said the first beams suggested that the £3.6 billion experiment in Switzerland was finally under way again. “It’s the beginning of a very well-planned and cautious switch-on,” Brian Foster, a particle physicist from the University of Oxford, said. On Friday proton beams and lead ions were sent at a relatively low energy around a section of the ring containing the “A Large Ion Collider Experiment” (Alice) detector. Protons were also sent through the LHCb detector, which is designed to investigate why the Universe is made up almost entirely of matter and hardly any antimatter. The beams travelled through a quarter of the ring in total. “The acid test of any accelerator is when you put the beam in,” said Steve Myers, director of accelerators and technology at CERN. “We were holding our breath a little bit, but it worked incredibly well.”

Obama using the White house to solicit political contributions: "During his first nine months in office, President Obama has quietly rewarded scores of top Democratic donors with VIP access to the White House, private briefings with administration advisers and invitations to important speeches and town-hall meetings. High-dollar fundraisers have been promised access to senior White House officials in exchange for pledges to donate $30,400 personally or to bundle $300,000 in contributions ahead of the 2010 midterm elections, according to internal Democratic National Committee documents obtained by The Washington Times."

DC sniper set to die by lethal injection: "The mastermind of the 2002 Washington, DC-area sniper attacks will die by lethal injection next month, Virginia officials said Tuesday. John Allen Muhammad declined to choose between lethal injection and electrocution, so under state law the method defaults to lethal injection, Virginia Department of Corrections spokesman Larry Traylor said.”

Feds: Chicago men planned to attack Danish paper: "Two Chicago men who were schoolmates in Pakistan plotted terrorist attacks against a Danish newspaper that triggered widespread protests by printing cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, federal prosecutors said Tuesday in announcing charges against the men. David Coleman Headley, 49, traveled to Denmark in January and July to conduct surveillance on possible targets, including the Copenhagen and Aarhus offices of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, prosecutors said in criminal complaints filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago.”

Tax, privacy and the state: "In Norway, an extreme intervention in privacy has become a deadly threat to respected and peaceful citizens, their families, children and spouses. This weekend a number of Norwegians received blackmail letters threatening them to hand over large sums of money to the offenders. The offenders have used the publicly available tax database to pick out their victims. Each year the Norwegian government publishes all Norwegian citizens’ tax information on the internet for everybody to look at. From this database you can find out the income, paid tax and wealth of all Norwegian people and Norwegian companies. Offenders have picked out those most likely to be able to pay.”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Leftism rots the brain (again)

There is a program being shown shortly on British TV about the connection between race and IQ. So Britain's most widely circulated "quality" newspaper has published an anticipatory article on the subject by a Professor of Genetics at a prestigious British university: University College, London. From the personal particulars he mentions, one gathers that he is also a long-time Leftist activist.

Quite unsurprisingly, he pooh-poohs the idea of any connection between race and IQ. But in the article he makes not one single reference to any scientific fact (despite over 100 years of academic research on the subject) and his only criticism of those who say that there is a connection between race and IQ seems to be that they are all elderly (which is not true and even if it were, so what?). Can academic standards get any lower than that? To read such schoolboyish amateurism from an eminent professor of genetics is about the clearest demonstration one could ask of the fact that the "all men are equal" crowd have lost the intellectual argument. All they have to fall back on is crude political polemics.

Insofar as one can detect any argument at all in his article, he seems to be saying that the unfailingly low standard of average black educational achievement is due to poor education -- quite ignoring the fact that American educators are at their wits' end in trying to find anything that will budge the black/white "gap" in attainment. If our twitchingly Leftist professor of genetics can find ANYTHING that will get blacks achieving at anywhere near white levels he will get a Nobel prize (not that that means much these days).

Our sad professor explains high Asian academic achievement by the "push" that they get from their families. And there is a similar article here which proclaims that low black educational attainment is due to "absent" black fathers. There is a small grain of truth in that. Parental pressure can indeed raise educational achievement to some degree. But since our unscientific professor's article consists mainly of anecdotes, perhaps I can offer a counter-anecdote. Let me in fact offer two anecdotes to show that parental pressure is only a minor factor in intellectual attainment:

My son had zero pressure on him during his schooling and I was an "absent father" throughout. His mother and I split up in the same year that he began school. But he was always a couple of years ahead of his class in reading age and now has a first class honours degree in Mathematics from a distinguished university and is well set for an academic career. How come? I am a high-achieving academic and he has academic genes. He didn't need pushing. He mainly just coasted but the work was easy for him so he still did well.

And I myself grew up in a working class family, which, like most such families, had no expectations of high achievements among its children, and I was in fact discouraged from continuing my education beyond junior school. But my parents were both great readers of books and both had siblings who did exceptionally well at school. So I obviously got good genes from them which enabled me also to cruise and still do well academically.

Explanations for low black achievement in terms of black family patterns do have one virtue: Black families are not going to change any time soon so if that is the problem, we have to conclude that the attainment "gap" is immovable. And it is immovable, though not for that reason.


Decline is a choice. Retreat abroad begins at home

By: Charles Krauthammer

This is not the place to debate the intrinsic merits of the social democratic versus the Anglo-Saxon model of capitalism. There's much to be said for the decency and relative equity of social democracy. But it comes at a cost: Diminished social mobility, higher unemployment, less innovation, less dynamism and creative destruction, less overall economic growth.

This affects the ability to project power. Growth provides the sinews of dominance--the ability to maintain a large military establishment capable of projecting power to all corners of the earth.... The express agenda of the New Liberalism is a vast expansion of social services--massive intervention and expenditures in energy, health care, and education--that will necessarily, as in Europe, take away from defense spending.

This shift in resources is not hypothetical. It has already begun. At a time when hundreds of billions of dollars are being lavished on stimulus and other appropriations in an endless array of domestic programs, the defense budget is practically frozen. Almost every other department is expanding, and the Defense Department is singled out for making "hard choices"--forced to look everywhere for cuts, to abandon highly advanced weapons systems, to choose between readiness and research, between today's urgencies and tomorrow's looming threats.

For example, missile defense, in which the United States has a great technological edge and one perfectly designed to maintain American preeminence in a century that will be dominated by the ballistic missile. Missile defense is actually being cut.

The number of interceptors in Alaska to defend against a North Korean attack has been reduced, and the airborne laser program (the most promising technology for a boost-phase antiballistic missile) has been cut back at the same time that the federal education budget has been increased 100 percent in one year.

This preference for social goods over security needs is not just evident in budgetary allocations and priorities. It is seen, for example, in the liberal preference for environmental goods. By prohibiting the drilling of offshore and Arctic deposits, the United States is voluntarily denying itself access to vast amounts of oil that would relieve dependency on--and help curb the wealth and power of--various petro-dollar challengers, from Iran to Venezuela to Russia. Again, we can argue whether the environment versus security trade-off is warranted. But there is no denying that there is a trade-off.

Nor are these the only trade-offs. Primacy in space--a galvanizing symbol of American greatness, so deeply understood and openly championed by John Kennedy--is gradually being relinquished. In the current reconsideration of all things Bush, the idea of returning to the moon in the next decade is being jettisoned.

After next September, the space shuttle will never fly again, and its replacement is being reconsidered and delayed. That will leave the United States totally incapable of returning even to near-Earth orbit, let alone to the moon. Instead, for years to come, we shall be entirely dependent on the Russians, or perhaps eventually even the Chinese.

Of course, if one's foreign policy is to reject the very notion of international primacy in the first place, a domestic agenda that takes away the resources to maintain such primacy is perfectly complementary. Indeed, the two are synergistic. Renunciation of primacy abroad provides the added resources for more social goods at home. To put it in the language of the 1990s, the expanded domestic agenda is fed by a peace dividend--except that in the absence of peace, it is a retreat dividend.

And there's the rub. For the Europeans there really is a peace dividend, because we provide the peace. They can afford social democracy without the capacity to defend themselves because they can always depend on the United States.

So why not us as well? Because what for Europe is decadence--decline, in both comfort and relative safety--is for us mere denial. Europe can eat, drink, and be merry for America protects her. But for America it's different. If we choose the life of ease, who stands guard for us? ...

So why not? Why not choose ease and bask in the adulation of the world as we serially renounce, withdraw, and concede?

Because, while globalization has produced in some the illusion that human nature has changed, it has not. The international arena remains a Hobbesian state of nature in which countries naturally strive for power. If we voluntarily renounce much of ours, others will not follow suit. They will fill the vacuum. Inevitably, an inversion of power relations will occur.

Resistance to decline begins with moral self-confidence and will. But maintaining dominance is a matter not just of will but of wallet. We are not inherently in economic decline. We have the most dynamic, innovative, technologically advanced economy in the world. We enjoy the highest productivity.

It is true that in the natural and often painful global division of labor wrought by globalization, less skilled endeavors like factory work migrate abroad, but America more than compensates by pioneering the newer technologies and industries of the information age.

There are, of course, major threats to the American economy. But there is nothing inevitable and inexorable about them. Take, for example, the threat to the dollar (as the world's reserve currency) that comes from our massive trade deficits. Here again, the China threat is vastly exaggerated.

In fact, fully two-thirds of our trade imbalance comes from imported oil. This is not a fixed fact of life. We have a choice. We have it in our power, for example, to reverse the absurd de facto 30-year ban on new nuclear power plants. We have it in our power to release huge domestic petroleum reserves by dropping the ban on offshore and Arctic drilling. We have it in our power to institute a serious gasoline tax (refunded immediately through a payroll tax reduction) to curb consumption and induce conservation.

Nothing is written. Nothing is predetermined. We can reverse the slide, we can undo dependence if we will it.




Obama's big change: He moves America to the Right: "As promised, Barack Obama is bringing change to America. He's making it more Republican. It's not that more people are actually becoming Republicans or calling themselves Republicans -- the number of voters who formally identify with the party is at its lowest point in years. But we appear to be in the early stages of a shift in which political independents, people who not too long ago were sick of Republicans, are now leaning toward GOP positions on some key issues. They still call themselves independents, but they're worried by the left-leaning policies of President Obama and the Democratic Congress, especially on the economy. "The middle, which wanted to move away from George W. Bush, did not want to move this far left," says a Republican pollster who is tracking the shift. "They are tending to agree with what Republicans are saying more and more, despite the previous eight years."

Something really scary for Obama's Democrats: "The collapse of the Democratic campaign for governor of Virginia speaks volumes - chapters, anyway - about what the body politic is trying to tell Barack Obama's Democrats. They're learning, painfully, that campaigning without George W. Bush is baffling, frustrating and scary. Worse, it offers a preview of what the congressional campaigning will be like next year. One Obama doorbell ringer, working neighborhoods in Northern Virginia for Creigh Deeds, says even the promise of free pizza can't lure faithful Democrats to a rally."

Read the bills? How about reading the Constitution?: "You can live in this town for years and still occasionally find yourself gobsmacked by what counts as "normal" by Washington standards. Take the ongoing debate over whether it's fair for us to expect our elected representatives to read the laws they pass and expect us to follow. Recently, Sen. Thomas Carper, D-DE, and Rep. John Conyers, D-MI, scoffed at the idea that they should read the health care legislation working its way through Congress (hey, it's only a matter of life and death). That attitude has inspired the "Read to Vote" campaign--designed to get congressmen to pledge to "read every word of every bill before casting my vote." Is reading the cap and trade bill tough? Tough. If you're planning to regulate every industrial process in America, you may have to do some heavy slogging. It's said that the Roman emperor Caligula posted new laws high on the columns of buildings so citizens couldn't read them and figure out how to avoid their penalties. He could have achieved the same effect by covering the country with such a dense thicket of rules that no one could tell what the law commands. Legend has it that Caligula also made his favorite horse a senator. Considering how lightly most of our legislators take their constitutional obligations, you could probably do worse."

Corrupt agency finally in the gun: "The government's legal aid program for the poor has agreed to recover taxpayer money that it spent inappropriately on a decorative Italian-stone wall, but lawmakers in Congress are now pressing for an investigation into new whistleblower concerns about the program. The Washington Times reported earlier this year that the Legal Services Corp. (LSC) had spent $188,000 on imported Italian stone to decorate a Texas office, an expenditure that auditors later ruled was unjustifiable. But LSC officials will face a congressional panel Tuesday with members who still have concerns with the agency's spending habits and management. The federally funded legal aid program has been dogged for years with questions about how it spends its money, which has included providing its executives with limousine transportation from its Georgetown headquarters to Capitol Hill, $14 Death by Chocolate pastries, and first-class airfare. LSC received $390 million in federal funding in 2009; President Obama asked Congress to give LSC $440 million for 2010, an 11 percent increase, and also eliminate several restrictions governing how LSC can use its money."

Obama the golfer: "President Barack Obama has only been in office for just over nine months, but he's already hit the links as much as President Bush did in over two years. CBS' Mark Knoller — an unofficial documentarian and statistician of all things White House-related — wrote on his Twitter feed that, "Today - Obama ties Pres. Bush in the number of rounds of golf played in office: 24. Took Bush 2 yrs & 10 months." Lots of time to golf... not enough time to decide our Afghanistan policy or send much needed troops to the region..."

Kiss and tell: UK census wants to know your sleeping partner: "Here is some sound advice for anyone having an illicit love affair: if you do not want to be found out, do not arrange to sleep together on the night of March 27-28 2011. That is the night when the Government is going to count the British population, creating a precise, comprehensive record of who was sleeping where, how old they were, what ethnic background they came from, and what kind of central heating kept them warm that night. The 2011 census is already being called a ’snoopers’ charter.’ It is certainly going to give everyone an incentive not to lay their head to rest in the wrong house, at least for that one night. The Conservatives complained yesterday that the 32-page questionnaire is too long, too expensive, and likely to undermine public support for the exercise, especially since anyone who does not fill in the form risks a £1,000 fine. They will be sent out by post but it will be possible to fill them in online.”

Memo to Obama: Capitalism trumps racism: "A new political thriller from PBS, ‘Endgame,’ provides the little-known, true back story of apartheid’s end in South Africa, with credit given to a for-profit mining company. Foreseeing that deteriorating conditions in South Africa would likely result in a total loss of their assets, Consolidated Goldfields initiated secret discussions between representatives of the white South African government and the exiled black African National Congress (ANC), paid for and hosted at the company’s estate in England. These talks resulted in Nelson Mandela’s being set free after nearly 30 years in prison, and the public promise by South African President F.W. de Klerk to end the government-sanctioned system of discrimination known as apartheid. Thus, Malcolm X had it completely wrong when he opined: ‘You can’t have capitalism without racism.’”

So, what’s it all about, this neo-liberalism stuff, then?: "So let’s play a little game shall we? Yes, we are indeed the evil cabal that has imposed neo-liberalism upon the world in recent decades. Yes, it is indeed all our fault: the current recession, the globalisation, the insistence upon light regulation, privatisation, freer trade if no one is quite ready for free trade yet. Yup, it’s us, the neo-liberals, teaming up with the Illuminati, the Rosicrucians and whoever Dan Brown is going to write about next to bend the globe to our will. So what’s it all about then? Other, of course, than the intense pleasure of the exercise of power over mere mortals? This actually …. world poverty rates fell by 80% from 27% in 1970 to slightly more than 5% in 2006. … The corresponding total number of poor fell from 403 million in 1970 to 152 million in 2006.”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

In 1942, it came down to one Marine


It's hard to envision -- or, for the dwindling few, to remember -- what the world looked like on Oct. 26, 1942, when a few thousand U.S. Marines stood essentially stranded on the God-forsaken jungle island of Guadalcanal, placed like a speed bump at the end of the long blue-water slot between New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago, the most likely route for the Japanese Navy to take if they hoped to reach Australia.

On Guadalcanal, the Marines struggled to complete an airfield. Japanese Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto knew what that meant. No effort would be spared to dislodge these upstart Yanks. Before long, relentless Japanese counterattacks had driven supporting U.S. Navy vessels from inshore waters. The Marines were on their own.

As Platoon Sgt. Mitchell Paige and his 33 riflemen set about carefully placing their four water-cooled .30-caliber Brownings, manning their section of the thin khaki line that was expected to defend Henderson Field against the assault everyone expected on the night of Oct. 25, 1942, it's unlikely anyone thought they were about to provide the definitive answer to what had previously been a mainly theoretical question: How many able-bodied U.S. Marines does it take to hold a hill against a desperate attacking force of 2,000?

Nor did the commanders of the mighty Japanese Army, who had swept all before them for decades -- OK, they decided not to push Marshall Zhukov any further in Manchuria -- expect their advance to be halted on some God-forsaken jungle ridge manned by one thin line of Yanks in khaki in October 1942.

But by the time the night was over, "The 29th (Japanese) Infantry Regiment has lost 553 killed or missing and 479 wounded among its 2,554 men," writes naval historian David Lippman. "The 16th (Japanese) Regiment's losses are uncounted, but the 164th's burial parties handled 975 Japanese bodies. ... The American estimate of 2,200 Japanese dead is probably too low."

You've already figured out where the Japanese focused their attack, haven't you? Among the 90 American dead and seriously wounded that night were all the men in Mitchell Paige's platoon. As the night of endless attacks wore on, Paige moved up and down his line, pulling his dead and wounded comrades back into their foxholes and firing a few bursts from each of the four Brownings in turn, convincing the Japanese forces down the hill that the positions were still manned.

The citation for Paige's Medal of Honor picks up the tale: "When the enemy broke through the line directly in front of his position, P/Sgt. Paige, commanding a machine gun section with fearless determination, continued to direct the fire of his gunners until all his men were either killed or wounded. Alone, against the deadly hail of Japanese shells, he fought with his gun, and when it was destroyed, took over another, moving from gun to gun, never ceasing his withering fire."

In the end, Sgt. Paige picked up the last of the 40-pound, belt-fed Brownings -- the same design which John Moses Browning famously fired for a continuous 25 minutes until it ran out of ammunition, glowing cherry red, at its first U.S. Army trial -- and did something for which the weapon was never designed. Sgt. Paige walked down the hill toward the place where he could hear the last Japanese survivors rallying to move around his flank, the belt-fed gun cradled under his arm, firing as he went. And the weapon did not fail.

Coming up at dawn, battalion exec Maj. Odell M. Conoley was first to discover the answer to our question. On a hill where the bodies were piled like cordwood, Mitchell Paige, alone, sat upright behind his 30-caliber Browning, waiting to see what the dawn would bring. One hill. One Marine.

But "in the early morning light, the enemy could be seen a few yards off, and vapor from the barrels of their machine guns was clearly visible," reports Lippman, the historian. "It was decided to try to rush the position."

For the task, Maj. Conoley gathered together "three enlisted communication personnel, several riflemen, a few company runners who were at the point, together with a cook and a few messmen who had brought food to the position the evening before." Joined by Paige, this ad hoc force of 17 Marines counterattacked at 5:40 a.m. Discovering that "the extremely short range allowed the optimum use of grenades," they cleared the ridge.

And that's where the unstoppable wave of Japanese conquest finally crested, broke and began to recede. Sixty-seven years ago, on an unnamed ridge on an insignificant jungle island. But who remembers, today, how close-run a thing it was -- or why we found ourselves in such desperate straits in 1942? .....

But once, 85 long years ago, the arrogant victorious allies quibbled about whether bankrupt Germany should be made to pay them $4 billion or $10 billion in reparations over the next 60 years, as frustrated German veterans in Bavaria grew fed up and marched down to join the German Workers' Party, an outfit that promised them a rebirth of Aryan glory, a "New Deal," if you will.

Once, those who sought "peace, peace at any price" sold scrap steel to the Japanese, attended "peace conferences," stood by and hoped for the best as Hitler re-militarized the Rhineland and then grabbed Austria and the Sudentenland in what we now know were a series of huge bluffs -- the fuhrer started out using "tanks" that would barely have stood up to a cap pistol.

We gave away our advantages, one by one, based on our trust in the good will of man. Till it came down to one Marine. Shall we have to cut it that close, again?

More here



My granddaughter, Ashley is a recent college grad. She drives a flashy hybrid car, wears all the latest fashions, and loves to go out to nightclubs and restaurants. Ashley campaigned hard for Barack Obama. After the election she made sure I (and all other Republican family members) received a big I told-you-so earful on how the world is going to be a much better place now that her party is taking over.

Having lost both roommates, Ashley recently ran short of cash and cannot pay the rent (again) on her 3 bedroom townhouse. Like she has done many times in the past, she e-mailed me asking for some financial help. Here is my reply:

I received your request for assistance.

Ashley, you know I love you dearly and I’m sympathetic to your financial plight. Unfortunately, times have changed. With the election of President Obama, your grandmother and I have had to set forth a bold new economic plan of our own…”The Ashley Economic Empowerment Plan.” Let me explain.

Your grandmother and I are life-long, wage-earning tax payers. We have lived a comfortable life, as you know, but we have never had the fancier things like European vacations, luxury cars, etc. We have worked hard and were looking forward to retiring soon. But the plan has changed. Your president is raising our personal and business taxes significantly. He says it is so he can give our hard earned money to other people. Do you know what this means, Ashley? It means less for us, and we must cut back on many business and personal expenses.

You know the wonderful receptionist who worked in my office for more than 23 years? The one who always gave you candy when you came over to visit? I had to let her go last week. I can’t afford to pay her salary and all of the government mandated taxes that go with having employees. Your grandmother will now work 4 days a week to answer phones, take orders and handle the books. We will be closed on Fridays and will lose even more income to the Wal-Mart.

I’m also very sorry to report that your cousin Frank will no longer be working summers in the warehouse. I called him at school this morning. He already knows about it and he’s upset because he will have to give up skydiving and his yearly trip to Greenland to survey the polar bears.

That’s just the business side of things. Some personal economic effects of Obama’s new taxation policies include none other than you. You know very well that over the years your grandmother and I have given you thousands of dollars in cash, tuition assistance, food, housing, clothing, gifts, etc., etc. But by your vote, you have chosen to help others — not at your expense — but at our expense.

If you need money now, sweetheart, I recommend you call 202-456-1111. That is the direct phone number for the White House. You yourself told me how foolish it is to vote Republican. You said Mr. Obama is going to be the People’s President, and is going to help every American live a better life. Based on everything you’ve told me, along with all the promises we heard during the campaign, I’m sure Mr. Obama will be happy to transfer some stimulus money into your bank account. Have him call me for the account number which I memorized years ago.

Perhaps you can now understand what I’ve been saying all my life: those who vote for a president should consider the impact on the nation as a whole, and not be just concerned with what they can get for themselves. What Obama supporters don’t seem to realize is all of the money he is redistributing to illegal aliens and non-taxpaying Americans (the so-called “less fortunate”) comes from tax-paying families.

Remember how you told me, “Only the richest of the rich will be affected”? Well guess what, honey? Because we own a business, your grandmother and I are now considered to be the richest of the rich. On paper, it might look that way, but in the real world, we are far from it.

As you said while campaigning for Obama, some people will have to carry more of the burden so all of America can prosper. You understand what that means, right? It means that raising taxes on productive people results in them having less money; less money for everything, including granddaughters.

I’m sorry, Ashley, but the well has run dry. The free lunches are over. I have no money to give you now. So, congratulations on your choice for “change.” For future reference, I encourage you to try and add up the total value of the gifts and cash you have received from us, just since you went off to college, and compare it to what you expect to get from Mr. Obama over the next 4 (or 8) years. I have not kept track of it, Ashley. It has all truly been the gift of our hearts.

Remember, we love you dearly….but from now on you’ll need to call the number mentioned above. Your “Savior” has the money we would have given to you. Just try and get it from him.

Good luck, sweetheart.

Love, Grandpa




I have just put up here a once-famous 1936 essay by W.T. Stace called "THE SNOBBISHNESS OF THE LEARNED". He expresses views that have long been mine also.

NASA is “go” for crucial rocket test: "NASA is set to blast off a prototype rocket on Tuesday that carries hopes of returning humans to the Moon, and for the first time to Mars, despite deep uncertainty about the program’s future. The space agency said everything is in order for Tuesday’s two-minute, 30-second test of the Ares I-X rocket, a first look at the launch vehicle designed to replace NASA’s aging space shuttle fleet.”

OK: New abortion laws spark court battles: "Two new laws being challenged in the Oklahoma courts would give the state some of the strictest abortion laws in the country by forcing women to answer questions about race and their relationships, and to listen to a doctor talk them through an ultrasound. Legal challenges to the laws are in their early stages, but observers say the trajectory of cases could mirror that of the partial-birth abortion debate, which went through Nebraska courts and was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court before Congress made it a federal law that was upheld in 2007…. Opponents of the laws say they were drafted to make a woman’s already difficult decision to have an abortion even more difficult.”

The best plan: No plan: "A guy in Florida, who figured out a new way to keep bugs off his oranges, made it happen. But not by himself. A guy who started a little trucking company in Texas, who figured out how to make things run just a bit faster and more efficiently, made it happen. But not by himself. A farmer in Iowa, who put in the extra time to cultivate that extra field, made it happen. But not by himself. Millions of individuals, not governed or guided by any central plan, most of them not even aware of the rest of the picture, made it happen. But if there was no master plan making them all do what they do, and making them all work together in harmony, what could possibly have made it all work? Simple: the quest for personal gain.”

Kemp’s keys: "I believe that free-market capitalism — on the supply-side and along with King Dollar — is the best path to prosperity. That’s the model my late dear friend Jack Kemp successfully espoused to President Reagan more than 30 years ago. It’s the incentive model of economic growth. It conquered the inflation of the Carter years, and launched a 20-year prosperity that saw the creation of 45 million new jobs and a twelve-fold stock market increase. It’s the model that expanded the investor class to 100 million strong through the Clinton 1990s. I spoke this week at the launch of the Jack Kemp Foundation in Washington, and I emphasized this model along with the universal, timeless economic principles on which it is based. Today this model seems all but forgotten in the nation’s capital, but I firmly believe it is just what we need to reignite American economic growth and exceptionalism.”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Monday, October 26, 2009

America’s Obama Obsession - Anatomy of a Passing Hysteria

Victor Davis Hanson

For 30 months the nation has been in the grip of a certain Obama obsession, immune to countervailing facts, unwilling to face reality, and loath to break the spell. But like all trances, the fit is passing, and we the patient are beginning to appreciate how the stupor came upon us, why it lifted, and what its consequences have been.


Barack Obama was elected rather easily because, in perfect-storm fashion, five separate trends coalesced last autumn.

1) Obama was eloquent, young, charismatic — and African-American. He thus offered voters a sense of personal and collective redemption, as well as appealing to the longing for another JFK New Frontier figure. An image, not necessarily reality, trumped all.

2) After the normal weariness with eight years of an incumbent party and the particular unhappiness with Bush, the public was amenable to an antithesis. Bush was to be scapegoat, and Obama the beginning of the catharsis.

3) Obama ran as both a Clintonite centrist and a no-red-state/no-blue-state healer who had transcended bitter partisanship. That assurance allowed voters to believe that his occasional talk of big change was more cosmetic than radical.

4) John McCain ran a weak campaign that neither energized his base nor appealed to crossover independents. McCain turned off conservatives; many failed to give money, and some even stayed home on election day. Meanwhile, the media and centrists who used to idolize McCain’s non-conservative, maverick status found Obama the more endearing non-conservative maverick.

5) The September 2008 financial panic turned voters off Wall Street and the wealthy, and allowed them to connect unemployment and their depleted home equity and 401(k) retirement plans with incumbent Republicans. In contrast, they assumed that Obama, as the anti-Bush, would not do more bailouts, more stimuli, and more big borrowing.

Take away any one of those factors, and Obama might well have lost. Imagine what might have happened had Obama been a dreary old white guy like John Kerry; or had Bush’s approvals been over 50 percent; or had Obama run on the platform he is now governing on; or had McCain crafted a dynamic campaign; or had the panic occurred in January 2009 rather than September 2008. Then the trance would have passed, and Obama, the Chicago community organizer and three-year veteran of the U.S. Senate, would have probably lost his chance at remaking America.


I note all this at length because Obama seems to act as if this right-center country — one that polls oppositely to his positions on most of the major issues (deficits, spending, nationalized health care, homeland security, Guantanamo, cap-and-trade, etc.) — has given him a mandate for a degree of change not seen in nearly 80 years.

Apparently, Team Obama figured that with sizable majorities in both the House and the Senate, Obama would snap his fingers, Congress daily would pass bills redefining America, and Obama would stay in perpetual campaign mode to hope and change the country to accept his agenda. Governing would be like campaigning, as audiences fainted hearing the details of a 1,500-page health-care bill or of ever more sins from America’s past.

But, after just a few months in office, that proved not to be the case. Just as a number of planets had to line up precisely to allow an inexperienced hard-left ideologue to be elected president, so there would have had to be a similar configuration to allow him to govern successfully.


1) Obama had to match his unity rhetoric with brotherly action. In fact, he has done the opposite. At one time or another, Obama and his supporters have, rather scurrilously, insulted doctors, insurers, the police, tea-partiers and town-hallers, opponents of his health-care plan, non-compliant members of the media, and a host of other groups as either greedy, dishonest, treasonous, unpatriotic, moblike, racist, or in general worthy of disrespect.

Fewer and fewer Americans now believe that Obama — after just nine months of governance — is a uniter. In Obama’s world, doctors carve out children’s tonsils for profit, racist morons rant at legislators about losing their private health care, and trillions in borrowed money must be paid back by the greedy rich whose capital was unearned in the first place.

When his base supporters lambaste him for softness, they are lamenting his inability to become an effective partisan — not a lack of partisanship in general. In surreal fashion, liberals demand that the ideologue Obama become more ideological precisely at the time his ideologically driven agenda is souring millions of non-ideological Americans.

2) His opposition is no longer ossified, but decentralized and grass roots. One of the oddest proofs of that statement is the sudden leftist furor at tea parties, town halls, the media, dissent, and free speech. As long as Obama was opposed by calcified Republicans in Congress, there was no real danger to him. But once the opposition proved populist, panicked liberal elites started demonizing populism — and Obama now finds himself opposed to the popular grievance-mongering that was once the mother’s milk of our Chicago organizer’s existence.

3) Obama campaigned on the notion that even if voters might not like his policies, they most assuredly would like him. Even that spell is now lifting. The more the American public gets to know Barack Obama, the less they find him appealing.

On matters racial, their campaign-season unease with his connection to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, his toss-offs like “typical white person,” and his stereotyping of rural Pennsylvanians has not been allayed; rather, it has been amplified by Eric Holder’s Justice Department, Obama’s own statement that the Cambridge police acted “stupidly” in arresting Professor Gates, and the use of the race card by prominent Democrats from the likes of Rep. Charles Rangel to Gov. David Paterson of New York.

Much of the newly stirred public suddenly assumes two things from the Obama administration: that the president himself will periodically say something racially insensitive or unwise; and that his supporters will call opponents of his policies racist. If we have wearied of all that in nine months, think what four years of it will do to the public mood.

More here


How to deal with an angry Leftist

From a conservative bookstore proprietor

A woman came in last night looking for a book by some feminist author that I had never heard of before, no big surprise there. So, I look it up in our search engine and the computer says that we might have it in the store. MIGHT have it, not WILL. So I tell her that I can check our inventory and see if it’s there and show her the section it would be in.

“No, that’s fine, I’ll find it myself. I’m going to look around a bit first”

Ten minutes later, as I’m showing another customer to 1984 I run across her in Literature looking around and she barges in to the conversation I’m having with my customer and sneers “Where is the section on Women’s rights?” I tell her again “It’s upstairs and I’ll be happy to take you to it as soon as I am done here.”

“No, I can fine it myself.” Note the lack of a ‘thank you’.

Sooo, as you can probably guess, I end up helping another customer find the Christianity section, which is upstairs, and as we get to the top of the escalator that same woman is standing in the middle of Independent Readers YELLING “Is there SOMEONE ACTUALLY WORKING here who can HELP ME!!!!”

Once again (because we were slammed with customers) I offer to show her the section and she is bitching the whole way about how the women’s studies section should be near the front of the store because it’s so important and how this author’s book should be on display because she’s doing a signing tour in California right now and she’s a NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST!!

Well, we get there and we have no copies. She flips her sh*t over it and repeats how wonderful this writer is and how we should all be required to read her crap and then says “Why don’t you have 900 copies here?!?! You have plenty of room! Her book should be displayed all over the store to inspire women everywhere about what they can do!”

I had to. I know it was wrong but what can you do when the set up is that perfect? “Well, ma’am, we were going to but we’re saving that spot for Sarah Palin.”



Where Are the Defenders of Capitalism?

When the “New Deal” is taught in public schools around the nation, students are told that Franklin D. Roosevelt’s big government programs were there to “save capitalism.” And when George W. Bush pushed for bailouts and stimuli at the end of his term, he stated, “I've abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system.”

Now, Americans have elected a president who has taken the stance that private companies have failed at healthcare, pollution control, automobile manufacturing, banking, and fiscal solvency during this recession. And Barack Obama has threatened a government healthcare takeover, costly cap-and-tax restrictions, and draconian bank regulations along with more bailouts and trillion-dollar, deficit exploding stimuli.

So now the left and Michael Moore are helping Obama bury the free-market system by asking rhetorically, with a clear alternative in mind, “What is the price that America pays for its love of Capitalism?” But the real question should be: “Where are the defenders of capitalism and free-markets?”

Capitalism assumes that markets have “free competition.” That means for a business to succeed, it does so without the help or hindrance of government coercion.

Many of those who blame capitalism for this recession use businessmen and capitalists as their scapegoat. But the truth is, these powerful individuals are anything but champions for the system that has made them rich.

For example, in last week’s Slate column Eliot Spitzer wrote "The chamber [of commerce] remains an unabashed voice for the libertarian worldview that caused the most catastrophic economic meltdown since the Great Depression.” When the truth is, as Timothy P. Carney at the Washington Examiner reports, “The Chamber lobbied for the Great Wall Street Bailout, lobbied for the $787 billion stimulus bill, and supported a bigger Cash-for-Clunkers.”

The unprecedented massive new growth in government has changed “market-entrepreneurs” into “political-entrepreneurs.” In other words, money-hungry businessmen can do far better lobbying a few politicians with the power to allocate billions (now trillions), then trying to please millions of private individuals who each may spend thousands.

In the past, the champions of capitalism become winners by satisfying consumers with products that people want to buy. The apologists for the new big government system become winners by satisfying politicians by delivering bribes and campaign contributions (but, I repeat myself) that directly result in votes.

In short, the real culprit is not true capitalism; it is the political “pay-to-play” perversion of capitalism. The reason big government destroys productivity and wealth is that it causes efficient resources and capital to be shifted towards political favoritism and lobbying. Every single dollar that is spent taking a congressman out to dinner or a junket (excuse me, “fact-finding trip”), could have been used to expand production or create a new and exciting product.

During the Great Depression it was Objectivist Ayn Rand and economist Ludwig von Mises that stepped up to the plate to defend capitalism. So, where are our defenders of capitalism today? Well, you needn’t bother sending Diogenes to Wall Street.




I have put up a fair bit up on my Paralipomena blog recently, for those who find what I post there interesting. I don't call myself a Greenie but I must say that my latest post there has got me fuming. I also wonder whether anyone looks at my Homepage (Backup here). Some of the links on it have been dead for over a year and nobody has mentioned it to me so I gather that it must be pretty boring. Anyway I have just updated all the links on it (I think and hope) so it is at least fully usable again.

Reality: It's a bitch: "The discussion began with our Left-leaning friend saying that we need stringent government regulation of, well just about everything, in order to protect the Little Guy from rapacious Big Boys with lots of power. To do this we had to give the State lots and lots of power to counter-balance the Big Guys out to hurt the Little Guy. It's a pretty standard argument from the Left. My reply was what I would call Libertarianism 101. Simply put, I argued that history has shown that when the State is given such powers it is rarely used to protect Little Guy. Instead Mr. Politician conspires with Big Guy to use the new fangled powers in order to make life for Mr. Politician and Big Guy better at the expense of Little Guy."

The trouble with unions: "The underlying trouble with unionization is its ability to capture government, particulary when that industry is so protectected by the government. Ironically many on the left - often quite rightly - disparage the relationship between big business and government, but they also need to accept that many unions behave no better. The problem in both instances is not the survival and expansionist interests of business and unions, but the power of the government to regulate and discriminate."

And the worst airport in the world is in Delhi? No: In London: "Heathrow airport has again been voted the worst airport in the world, according to a global poll of airline passengers. The survey of members of Priority Pass, the world's leading independent airport lounge programme, included responses from 160 countries. The respondents to the annual survey have taken, on average, 17 flights in the past year. It is a repeat of last year's result when Heathrow was still recovering from the ill-fated opening of Terminal 5, which saw passengers suffer lengthy flight delays and large numbers of lost bags. “We are working very hard to make every passenger's journey to or from better than the last one, and these figures demonstrate the we are making good progress,” said the airport's chief operating office Mike Brown. “However, the challenge is continuously to raise standards and through our long-term investment strategy, which sees £1 billion spent on facilities and services every year, we are rebuilding an airport of which the UK can be rightly proud." Charles de Gaulle airport, in Paris, was voted second worst, followed by Los Angeles, Frankfurt International and Miami International. Singapore Changi, a perennial favourite, finished top, followed closely by Hong Kong's Chek Lap Kok. Amsterdam Schiphol was the pick of Europe's airports."

There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc. He has a lot to say this time about the appearance of the British National Party on BBC TV.


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hate Crimes Bill passes, eroding civil liberties and constitutional double-jeopardy safeguards

Yesterday, Congress approved a measure to dramatically expand the existing federal hate crimes law, by adding it to an unrelated defense appropriations bill. The measure would expand current law to cover virtually all hate crimes already covered by state law (both by adding gender, sexual orientation, disability, and transgender characteristics to a law originally designed to protect racial minorities, and by getting rid of the requirement that a hate crime affect federally-protected activities to be prosecuted in federal rather than state court.)

The measure was opposed by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on double-jeopardy grounds. As I previously explained at length, the bill’s sponsors seek to use it to reprosecute people in federal court who have already been found innocent of hate crimes in state court, taking advantage of the “dual sovereignty” loophole in constitutional protections against double jeopardy. Civil libertarians like Nat Hentoff and Wendy Kaminer also object to the bill on double-jeopardy grounds. Backers of the bill, like the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and Commissioner Michael Yaki, supported the bill partly as a way of trying all over again people who were either found not guilty, or who were convicted only of ordinary crimes, while being acquitted of hate-crimes (like the teenagers acquitted of hate crimes in the Shenandoah incident, and the California case of Joseph Silva and George Silva).

Such re-prosecutions can be an enormous waste of money, and grossly unfair to the people who are reprosecuted, driving them into bankruptcy to pay lawyers to represent them all over again when they have already been found innocent in state court after an expensive trial. When the government re-prosecutes someone, it gains an enormous tactical advantage over the defendant from using the prior prosecution as a test-run, even if the defendant is innocent — making a guilty verdict possible even if the defendant is in fact innocent.

The bill contains speech-related provisions designed to allow prosecution of people who are not violent and do not intend to cause hate crimes, but whose speech inadvertently incites a hate crime by some violent, bigoted nut. For now, courts are likely to block such prosecutions on First Amendment grounds, under the Supreme Court’s Brandenburg decision banning prosecutions of people whose speech unintentionally incites violence or other illegal acts (and the federal appeals court ruling in White v. Lee faithfully applying that principle to speech that incites violations of federal civil-rights and anti-discrimination statutes). But if the ideological composition of the Supreme Court changes substantially, it is conceivable (although far from certain) that that could change. Although the provisions will probably prove unsuccessful in censoring speech, it speaks volumes about the mindset of the hate-crimes bill’s backers that they would even try.

The bill also raises serious constitutional federalism issues under the Supreme Court’s Morrison decision, as I explained earlier.

Passage of the bill was aided by lousy reporting, in which journalists, like Reuters, depicted the bill as simply a harmless measure to add sexual orientation to the list of protected characteristics covered by the federal hate-crimes law, ignoring its many other, far more important (and dangerous) changes to federal hate-crimes law.

Many supporters of the hate crimes bill want to allow those found innocent to be reprosecuted in federal court. As one supporter put it, “the federal hate crimes bill serves as a vital safety valve in case a state hate-crimes prosecution fails.” The claim that the justice system has “failed” when a jury returns a not-guilty verdict is truly scary and contrary to the constitutional presumption of innocence and the right to trial by jury.

But it is a view widely shared among supporters of the hate-crimes bill. Syndicated columnist Jacob Sullum pointed out in 1998 that Janet Reno, Clinton’s Attorney General, backed the bill as a way of providing a federal “forum” for prosecution if prosecutors fail to obtain a conviction “in the state court.”

Supporters of the hate crimes bill also see it as a way to prosecute people even in cases where the evidence is so weak that state prosecutors have decided not to prosecute. Attorney General Eric Holder has pushed for the hate crimes bill as a way to prosecute people whom state prosecutors refuse to prosecute because of a lack of evidence. To justify broadening federal hate-crimes law, he cited three examples where state prosecutors refused to prosecute, citing a lack of evidence. In each, a federal jury acquitted the accused, finding them not guilty.

As law professor Gail Heriot notes, “Some have even called for federal prosecution of the Duke University lacrosse team members –despite strong evidence of their innocence.” Advocates of a broader federal hate-crimes law have pointed to the Duke lacrosse case as an example of where federal prosecutors should have stepped in and prosecuted the accused players — even though the state prosecution in that case was dropped because the defendants were actually innocent, as North Carolina’s attorney general conceded (and DNA evidence showed), and were falsely accused of rape by a woman with a history of violence (including trying to run over someone with her car) and making false accusations.

The Obama administration supports the hate-crimes bill, which it used as a wedge issue in the 2008 election.

The Obama administration recently urged restrictions on hate speech and blasphemy at the United Nations, joining in calls by left-wing lawyers and conservative Islamic countries to treat such speech, protected by the First Amendment under Supreme Court rulings, as a human-rights violation. Religious minorities have often been persecuted for “blasphemy” in Islamic countries for disagreeing with Islam, criticizing the prophet Mohammed, or interpreting Islam’s holy book, the Koran, differently than the majority of Muslims do. In the U.S., college hate-speech codes have been used to discipline students for criticizing affirmative action, defending the death penalty against racism charges, and calling homosexuality immoral. In Canada and Britain, hate speech laws have been used to punish religious criticism of Scientology and homosexuality.



The Chicago Way

The Chamber of Commerce is only the latest target of the Chicago Gang in the White House

When Barack Obama promised to deliver "a new kind of politics" to Washington, most folk didn't picture Rahm Emanuel with a baseball bat. These days, the capital would make David Mamet, who wrote Malone's memorable movie dialogue, proud.

A White House set on kneecapping its opponents isn't, of course, entirely new. (See: Nixon) What is a little novel is the public and bare-knuckle way in which the Obama team is waging these campaigns against the other side.

In recent weeks the Windy City gang added a new name to their list of societal offenders: the Chamber of Commerce. For the cheek of disagreeing with Democrats on climate and financial regulation, it was reported the Oval Office will neuter the business lobby. Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett slammed the outfit as "old school," and warned CEOs they'd be wise to seek better protection.

That was after the president accused the business lobby of false advertising. And that recent black eye for the Chamber (when several companies, all with Democratic ties, quit in a huff)—think that happened on its own? ("Somebody messes with me, I'm gonna mess with him! Somebody steals from me, I'm gonna say you stole. Not talk to him for spitting on the sidewalk. Understand!?")

The Chamber can at least take comfort in crowds. Who isn't on the business end of the White House's sawed-off shotgun? First up were Chrysler bondholders who—upon balking at a White House deal that rewarded only unions—were privately threatened and then publicly excoriated by the president.

Next, every pharmaceutical, hospital and insurance executive in the nation was held out as a prime obstacle to health-care nirvana. And that was their reward for cooperating. When Humana warned customers about cuts to Medicare under "reform," the White House didn't bother to complain. They went straight for the gag order. When the insurance industry criticized the Baucus health bill, the response was this week's bill to strip them of their federal antitrust immunity. ("I want you to find this nancy-boy . . . I want him dead! I want his family dead! I want his house burned to the ground!")

This summer Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl criticized stimulus dollars. Obama cabinet secretaries sent letters to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. One read: "if you prefer to forfeit the money we are making available to the state, as Senator Kyl suggests," let us know. The Arizona Republic wrote: "Let's not mince words here: The White House is intent on shutting Kyl up . . . using whatever means necessary." When Sens. Robert Bennett and Lamar Alexander took issue with the administration's czars, the White House singled them out, by name, on its blog. Sen. Alexander was annoyed enough to take to the floor this week to warn the White House off an "enemies list."

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor? Targeted for the sin of being a up-and-coming conservative voice. Though even Mr. Cantor was shoved aside in August so the Chicago gang could target at least seven Democratic senators, via the president's campaign arm, Organizing for America, for not doing more on health care. ("What I'm saying is: What are you prepared to do??!!")

And don't forget Fox News Channel ("nothing but a lot of talk and a badge!"). Fox, like MSNBC, has its share of commentators. But according to Obama Communications Director Anita Dunn, the entire network is "opinion journalism masquerading as news." Many previous White House press officers, when faced with criticism, try this thing called outreach. The Chicago crowd has boycotted Fox altogether.

What makes these efforts notable is that they are not the lashing out of a frustrated political operation. They are calculated campaigns, designed to create bogeymen, to divide the opposition, to frighten players into compliance. The White House sees a once-in-a-generation opportunity on health care and climate. It is obsessed with winning these near-term battles, and will take no prisoners. It knows that CEOs are easily intimidated and (Fox News ratings aside) it is getting some of its way. Besides, roughing up conservatives gives the liberal blogosphere something to write about besides Guantanamo.

The Oval Office might be more concerned with the long term. It is 10 months in; more than three long years to go. The strategy to play dirty now and triangulate later is risky. One day, say when immigration reform comes due, the Chamber might come in handy. That is if the Chamber isn't too far gone.

White House targets also aren't dopes. The corporate community is realizing that playing nice doesn't guarantee safety. The health executives signed up for reform, only to remain the president's political piñatas. It surely grates that the unions—now running their own ads against ObamaCare—haven't been targeted. If the choice is cooperate and get nailed, or oppose and possibly win, some might take that bet.

There's also the little fact that many Americans voted for this president in thrall to his vow to bring the country together. It's hard to do that amid gunfire, and voters might just notice.



Moore Hypocrisy and Hype

By Meegan Cornforth

In his latest celluloid uppercut to the upper crust, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore examines the Home of the Brave to find it has been repossessed and its occupants turfed heartlessly out onto squalid Main Street USA.

Capitalism: A Love Story looks at America's affair with capitalism and suggests that the global financial crisis should be the catalyst to end this relationship once and for all. Moore even concludes the film with the defining statement: Capitalism is evil! (In case there was any doubt, Moore's family priest makes the same hellfire and brimstone pronouncement earlier in the film. How impartial!)

While Capitalism makes some good points about the inconsistency and incompatibility of free market philosophy with government bailouts of industry, and the need for greater transparency and accountability of the financial industry, it offers an unashamedly biased and inaccurate view of capitalism.

For example, it raises but fails to properly address the issue of greed. Moore chooses easy targets to focus on: fat cats in power with little concern or empathy for Joe Average. Exposed are mercenaries such as the Condo Vulture who profit from home foreclosures, and the judge who receives kickbacks from a privately run youth detention centre for reaching inmate quotas. These real-life snapshots of wicked, caricature capitalists are indeed obscene, but they are not examples of true capitalism. Corporatism and abuse of power are not consistent with the principles of free and fair trade. Moore was recently challenged and flummoxed on this very point by a libertarian college student.

What Moore does not acknowledge is the individual greed that is endemic in Western society - the greed that caused countless sub-primers to buy McMansions they couldn't afford - the greed that has driven a credit-backed spending spree on status consumer goods. Moore chooses to skirt the issue of personal responsibility and the film is the poorer for it.

While railing against capitalist `brainwashing,' Moore has the hypocrisy to cheer for socialism in an extremely blinkered fashion, effectively turning his film into an instrument of socialist propaganda.

However, the most alarming aspect of the film is a throwaway line - hidden in emotive words about the right to universal health care, education and housing - about the state's right to seize control of property and the means of production. This from a filmmaker supposedly championing democracy.

Perhaps Moore's next film should be set behind the Iron Curtain - Socialism: A Love Story Gone Wrong.

The above is part of a press release from the Centre for Independent Studies, dated October 23. Enquiries to Snail mail: PO Box 92, St Leonards, NSW, Australia 1590. Telephone ph: +61 2 9438 4377 or fax: +61 2 9439 7310



The myth of the multiplier: "As appealing as the Keynesian story sounds, many economists have long doubted it. In 1991, looking across 100 countries, Robert Barro of Harvard presented historical evidence that high government spending actually hurts economies in the long run by crowding out private spending and shifting resources to the uses preferred by politicians rather than consumers. For a dollar of government spending, we end up seeing less than a dollar of growth. Can long-term poison be short-term medicine? Even in the short run, if there's a big decline in the demand for workers, why should that alone cause mass unemployment? If all those workers really want to work, why won't wages just fall until all the workers have jobs? That's how markets end a glut, whether it's a glut of employees or a glut of blue jeans: with lower prices. If recessions really are caused by a fall in demand (and nothing else), why don't wages fall enough to keep people from losing their jobs?"

How to liberate an economy: "Brian Carney and Isaac Getz’s Freedom, Inc. is a timely book. It’s also countercyclical and somewhat counterintuitive. After all, most of today’s writing about economics and business is haunted by the current crisis: nearly every author and commentator expects that either more or less government intervention will bring the economy out of its difficulties. But Carney and Getz remind us that without well-managed enterprises, there would be no economy at all. Crisis or no crisis, the engine of economic growth has always been, and will always remain, entrepreneurs. Nations without entrepreneurs — whether they drive them out with excessive taxes and regulations, or in more extreme cases, suppress, exile, or kill them — never reach prosperity. One can often ascertain the condition of a nation’s economy by assessing the cultural, legal, fiscal, and social status of its entrepreneurial class.”

Stop blaming racism for black parents’ failure: "Growing youth violence in the United States will not be resolved until we find the moral courage to address the racial issues that underlie it. During a Chicago school visit earlier this month to the site where a black honor student was beaten to death by a mob of black students, Attorney General Eric Holder stated that growing youth violence in America is not just ‘a black problem,’ but a problem for all races. The trouble with this statement is that it is statistically untrue. Youth violence may not be solely a black problem, but it is primarily a black problem. … The question is not whether young blacks, particularly males, get involved in violent incidents more frequently than other races. The question is why.”

A Nobel Prize for showing that freedom works: "Pundits and politicians act as if government can solve almost any problem. At the slightest hint of trouble, the ruling class reflexively assumes that knowledgeable, wise and public-spirited government regulators are capable of riding to the rescue. This certainly is the guiding philosophy of the Obama administration. So how remarkable it is that this year’s Nobel Memorial Prize in economics was shared by Elinor Ostrom, whose life’s work demonstrates that politicians and bureaucrats are not nearly as good at solving problems as regular people.”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Descendant of the organ of the Soviet Communist party points to similarities between Obama and Hitler

The writer clearly views Obama with some contempt so the article is mocking but it does point to some real similarities

Here in the U.S. there has been some comparisons made between President Obama and Hitler. Usually in reference to the idea of Fascism. Some have labeled this comparison as wrong and Racist in Nature. But it appears that this "Label" is not Preventing the online Russian News Source, Pravda, from literally Comparing Obama to Hitler. Here is part of the Article:
"Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Benito Mussolini were very popular at the time, but they were not presented with the Nobel Prize. Yet, they were nominated for same.

If we look down the history from 1900 to 2009, we will find only one person who was extremely popular and talked about like President Obama. That person is Adolf Hitler, leader of the Nazi Party and chancellor of Germany.

Despite both men’s popularity; there are more scary similarities between these two leaders: Both Obama and Hitler share similar ancestries: Obama German, Hitler Austrian. Both leaders had been surrounded by many controversies concerning birth certificate, citizenship and religion.

Both had the father figure issues. Obama’s parents separated when he was two years old and they divorced in 1964. His father returned to Kenya and saw him only once more before dying in an automobile accident in 1982. Hitler had a troubled relationship with his tradition-minded authoritarian father, who frequently beat him.

During their teenage years both leaders had problems with alcohol. Obama called the alcohol phase "greatest moral failure", Hitler called it “most humiliated experience in life”.

Both are unloved by the Jewish, for Hitler is well known why, for Obama, well, his victory in Presidential elections was not received with welcome in Israel.

Time magazine named Obama person of the year in 2008, Hitler in 1938.

Both had bestseller books: Obama had “Dreams of my Father” (memoir) and “the Audacity of Hope” (political convictions), Hitler had “Mein Kampf (My Struggle) in Volumes 1 and 2. It combines elements of autobiography with an exposition of Hitler's political ideology.

Obama was influenced by Martin Luther King, Hitler by Martin Luther.

Both Obama and Hitler came to power during the recession-depression; Obama in 2009, Hitler in 1933.

Both are personality cult leaders, portrayed as saviors of political and economical depression; Obama as an American savior, Hitler as German. A cult of personality arises when a country's leader uses mass media to create an idealized and heroic public image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise.

Both are/were very gifted orators, having ability to attract great interest in their speeches. Both have/had hand gestures when giving a speech.

Both leaders had initiated health reforms, environmentalism and animal protection rights, among others.

Obama and his extravaganza occupied Europe and North Africa with their charm. Next in agenda is Asia Tour (Korea, China, Japan and Singapore). On the other side, Hitler’s military occupied Europe, North Africa, East and South East Asia, and Pacific Ocean. The question is: will Obama go by the Hitler’s path and visit Pacific Ocean in his next tour?

Talking about Hitler and Obama, one cannot avoid Hitler’s words without thinking of Obama;
"All great movements are popular movements. They are the volcanic eruptions of human passions and emotions, stirred into activity by the ruthless Goddess of Distress or by the torch of the spoken word cast into the midst of the people”.

“The art of leadership . . . consists in consolidating the attention of the people against a single adversary and taking care that nothing will split up that attention. . . . The leader of genius must have the ability to make different opponents appear as if they belonged to one category”.

“All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach. By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise."

But this Comparison isn't Fair because Obama is nothing Like Hitler.... Hitler Was able to get the Olympics Brought to Berlin.... Whereas Obama Failed to Get the Olympics Brought to Chicago...


To read the full article in Pravda go here


They’re ALL Communists

Back when people were tippy-toeing around the “s” word (“socialist”), and before he was elected, I called out Obama’s basic political inclinations for what they are - communist. Though plenty pooh-poohed this, and called it extreme or unsubstantiated, there was ample proof in Obama’s own writings, his interviews, and the political leanings of his mentors (Saul Alinsky, Frank Marshall Davis), his pastor (Jeremiah Wright) and his friends. It’s absurd to hear people say now that Obama is governing differently than he campaigned. If you think that, you weren’t listening.

But those who still harbor any doubts need only look at his team of “advisors.”

White House Communications Director Anita Dunn is the most recent Obamirror. In the address so many have been airing recently, she offered Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong as an inspiration to students who might need to “figure out how to do things that have never been done before.” Well, golly - a man who “figured out” how to murder 70 million Chinese certainly gets points for novelty.

Before Dunn, it was ousted “green jobs czar” Van Jones, a self-admitted communist.

“Science czar” John Holdren has written of the possible need (and constitutionality) of mandatory sterilization and forced abortions to forestall whatever crisis du jour he and his colleagues Paul and Anne Ehrlich were predicting back in the 1970s (The coming ice age! Catastrophic food shortages! Death to billions!)

“Regulatory czar” Cass Sunstein has argued in favor of government regulations banning hunting and eating meat, humans representing animals in court to protect their “rights,” government intervention to ensure that the “constitutional guarantee of free speech is adequately serving democratic goals,” (whatever those are) and “libertarian paternalism,” whereby government controls the choices you make. (Late comedian George Carlin would have had a field day with that oxymoronic suggestion.)

And none of this even mentions the laundry list of tax cheats.

These appointments are routinely characterized as amateurish leadership; examples of poor vetting. This would be laughable were it not so obviously false. How many of Obama’s advisors have to be exposed as communists and Marxists before some of the duller-witted among us admit not only that there is a pattern here, but that it is deliberate, and reflects the leanings of the White House?

Connect the dots, people. It’s not that Jones, Dunn, Sunstein et al were not properly vetted; it’s that they were. It’s not that Obama wasn’t familiar enough with their viewpoints; it’s that he was. These people were not chosen despite their views; they were chosen precisely because their views coincide with Obama’s own. If it walks like a communist, talks like a communist, and espouses state control in the name of “the people” like a communist, it’s a communist.

In February of this year, Newsweek giddily proclaimed, “We are all socialists now!” But Obama is no mere socialist. A socialist just wants your money; a communist wants complete control of your life. Some questioned the tone of my October 2008 column when I wrote it; how temperate it looks now in light of the first nine months of the Obama administration.

Obama has nationalized banks and car companies, fired the chief executive of a major corporation, appointed unaccountable ministers to set salaries for executives in private industry, castigated and threatened secured bondholders and run roughshod over their contract rights in favor of political patronage, spent nearly a trillion dollars in “stimulus” legislation that was loaded with payback and pork, proposed “cap-and-trade” legislation that will confiscate American wealth and transfer it to third world nations, many of whom are run by leftist dictators. And his pièce de résistance would be a government takeover of the entire health care industry in the United States, the crowbar by which government will be forced into every aspect of our lives from birth to death.

All of this has been accomplished by deceit, trumped up indignation, and demonization of private enterprise and business leaders – classic Marxist propaganda. But it is still not enough. Too many Americans still oppose Obama’s attempts to take over the American health care industry (54% according to the latest Rasmussen poll). Over 40% now “strongly disapprove” of Obama’s performance as President. Hundreds of thousands have turned out at “tea parties,” townhalls, and a march on Washington. Resistance is growing.

Obama knows that Americans who favor limited government, personal liberty, free market exchange, and individual responsibility opt to get their news and commentary outside the controlled Pravda press that has cast him as a “god,” and pitches his statist agenda adoringly. Thus, because every good communist knows you must have a stranglehold on the media, he has now launched a full-scale attack on Fox News, and other media that refuse to toe his party line.

This is right out of the Marxist-Leninist playbook, as is Obama’s methodology. In the style of history’s most talented dictators, Obama remains above the fray, having thugs, well-meaning but ignorant “social justice” Christians, leftist theorists, and political hacks to make his arguments and do his dirty work for him.




Obama sees worst poll rating drop in 50 years: "The decline in Barack Obama's popularity since July has been the steepest of any president at the same stage of his first term for more than 50 years. Gallup recorded an average daily approval rating of 53 per cent for Mr Obama for the third quarter of the year, a sharp drop from the 62 per cent he recorded from April. His current approval rating - hovering just above the level that would make re-election an uphill struggle - is close to the bottom for newly-elected president. Mr Obama entered the White House with a soaring 78 per cent approval rating. The bad polling news came as Mr Obama returned to the campaign trail to prevent his Democratic party losing two governorships next month in states in which he defeated Senator John McCain in last November's election. Governor Jon Corzine of New Jersey is in severe danger of defeat while Democrats are fast losing hope that Creigh Deeds can beat his Republican opponent in Virginia. Twin Democratic losses would be a major blow to Mr Obama's prestige." [People are realizing that his fine talk has nothing behind it]

W.H. tells Congress that policy 'Czars' won't testify: "The White House has told Congress it will reject calls for many of President Obama's policy czars to testify before Congress - a decision senators said goes against the president's promises of transparency and openness and treads on Congress' constitutional mandate to investigate the administration's actions. Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, said White House counsel Greg Craig told her in a meeting Wednesday that they will not make available any of the czars who work in the White House and don't have to go through Senate confirmation. She said he was "murky" on whether other czars outside of the White House would be allowed to come before Congress. Miss Collins said that doesn't make sense when some of those czars are actually making policy or negotiating on behalf of Mr. Obama. The debate goes to the heart of weighty constitutional issues about separation of powers. The president argues that he should be allowed to have advisers who are free to give him confidential advice without having to fear being called to testify about it. Democrats and Republicans in Congress, though, argue that those in office who actually craft policy should be able to be summoned to testify because they do more than just give the president advice."

Murtha, Moran steer millions to defense firm: "When software firm MobilVox wanted to break into the lucrative world of defense contracting, it pursued an unmistakable strategy: It expanded operations from its Northern Virginia base in Rep. James P. Moran's congressional district to the southwestern Pennsylvania district of Rep. John P. Murtha. Working with two of the most powerful members of a House subcommittee that controls Pentagon spending, the company also hired lobbying firms that employed former top aides of both the Democratic lawmakers and Mr. Murtha's brother. Company executives and their lobbyists donated thousands of dollars to the two congressmen. Soon, money flowed the other way. Between 2003 and 2009, Mr. Murtha and Mr. Moran helped deliver $12 million to MobilVox in earmarks - money that is set aside by lawmakers for pet projects in the government's annual spending bills. The latest House defense spending bill introduced and pushed through by Mr. Murtha includes an additional $2 million earmark for MobilVox requested by Mr. Moran."

Uncovering the bull under the bailout: "Congress put American taxpayers on the hook for $700 billion last year when it approved the massive bailout to paper over the imprudent lending decisions of nine Wall Street giants: Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, State Street and the Bank of NY Mellon. The bailout was essential to save the nation from a complete economic meltdown. Or so insisted President George W. Bush, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. One year later, however, a little-noted report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office questions whether the bailout -- known officially as the Troubled Asset Relief Program -- saved anything other than the jobs of greedy Wall Street executives and the political hides of their protectors in government."

Can government fight epidemics?: "Now that the vast undersupply of H1N1 vaccines has finally impacted the market, the latest debacle of government-supplied health production has been exposed. Millions of shots were produced but not distributed on time, and in some areas the majority of promised shots have not been delivered. The vast magnitude of this undersupply reveals not simple dysfunction in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) but rather the necessary failure of central planning.”

“Net neutrality” is socialism, not freedom: "Advocates of imposing ‘network neutrality’ say it’s necessary to ensure a ‘free’ and ‘open’ Internet and rescue the public from nefarious corporations that ‘control’ technology. Few proposals in Washington have been sold employing such deceptive language — and that’s saying something. But few public policy ideas can boast the unashamedly socialist pedigree of net neutrality. The modern Internet is a creation of the free market, which has brought about a revolution in communication, free speech, education, and commerce.”

Secret space plane nears maiden voyage: "You would think that an unpiloted space plane built to rocket spaceward from Florida atop an Atlas booster, circle the planet for an extended time, then land on autopilot on a California runway would be big news. But for the U.S. Air Force X-37B project … seemingly, mum’s the word. There is an air of vagueness regarding next year’s Atlas Evolved Expendable launch of the unpiloted, reusable military space plane. The X-37B will be cocooned within the Atlas rocket’s launch shroud — a ride that’s far from cheap. While the launch range approval is still forthcoming, has learned that the U.S. Air Force has the X-37B manifested for an April 2010 liftoff.”

Britain today: "The prospect of an armed police service moved a step closer yesterday when Scotland Yard announced the formation of a new firearms unit that will routinely patrol gun crime hotspots in London. The armed patrols are being deployed after a dramatic rise in gun crime. They will target key areas in North London, where Turkish gangs are engaged in a bloody turf war, and south of the Thames, where gangland shooting incidents have soared. The C019 Proactive Unit will walk estates while some officers will use motorbikes to provide the capability for high-speed pursuit. Scotland Yard said that the armed patrols began in June, on a trial basis, with a team of 21 officers. That number is set to double next month. While national crime figures recorded a 5 per cent drop in firearms offences, and gun crime is down by as much as 27 per cent on Merseyside, London has experienced a 17 per cent rise from 1,484 to 1,737 offences in the 12 months to September. The increase is being driven by a Turkish gang war, which has resulted in three firearms murders since March as two groups, the Tottenham Boys and the Bombacilar, fight for supremacy. In South London there has been a rise in teenage gang shootings." [A Turkish gang war in Britain? If that's not a failure of policy, I would like to know what is]


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Friday, October 23, 2009

Psychopathic talk

Words that sound good but have no meaning or intention behind them

"Politicians of all stripes routinely spin facts and logic so fast they make the rest of us shake our heads in bemused wonder. Then there are those rare occasions when a prominent politician says something that clearly deserves a place in the Political Chutzpah Hall of Fame. President Obama earned a place in the pantheon with his Saturday radio address:

'It's smoke and mirrors,' he said. 'It's bogus, and it's all too familiar. Every time we get close to passing reform, the insurance companies produce these phony studies.... The fact is the insurance industry is making this last-ditch effort to stop reform even as costs continue to rise and our health care dollars continue to be poured into their profits and bonuses and administrative costs that do nothing to make us healthy, that often actually go toward trying to figure out how to avoid covering people....'

Before Obama goes much further bashing the health insurance industry, let's review what Obama said during the 2008 presidential campaign. He made two promises that attracted crucial support from independents. He promised 'a net federal spending cut' and to 'cut taxes for 95 percent of American workers.' But from his first day in the Oval Office, Obama has been on a spending binge of such unprecedented magnitude that the federal deficit this year is more than $1.4 trillion, or nearly three times what it was under George Bush in 2008.

If Obama's health care reform plan becomes law, the deficit will be even bigger. As for cutting taxes, that is a topic Obama assiduously avoids these days because he is too busy pushing massive new federal programs that will indirectly add thousands of dollars to the costs of living for virtually every American family, through more expensive health insurance premiums, skyrocketing gasoline and utility bills, and higher prices for food and other consumer goods. In view of these facts, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that Obama's campaign promises were just so much ... smoke and mirrors. Not only were Obama's bullying remarks Saturday harsh and hypocritical, they also sounded desperate, shrill and divisive. Not what one expects from a president promising bipartisan reform."

More here


Obama's Thin Skin

Barack Obama is once again taking cues from his amigo to the south, Hugo Chavez. The Obama administration has declared war on FOX News—the right-of-center news channel that features hosts such as Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity.

What did FOX News do to instigate this presidential snub? It fact-checked Obama administration guests, which Anita Dunn, communications director for the White House, claims is "something I've never seen a Sunday show do."

As a result of this dastardly and cowardly practice of irresponsible journalism (in today's world, responsible journalism means having blind faith in all news bits passed to you), the Obama administration has stopped supplying guests to the "Fox News Sunday" news program. Additionally, Dunn stated that FOX was "opinion journalism masquerading as news." And, Obama advisor David Axelrod encouraged other news stations to 'isolate' FOX by cutting ties with the channel.

The Obama administration's coercive relationship with the mainstream media is no secret, and there are few things President Barack Obama hates more than a lack of control. Hordes of former journalists have joined the Obama team, and Dunn even admitted that the Obama team "very rarely" communicated to the press anything they "didn't absolutely control." Because FOX News, for all of its missteps, is one of the only major news outlets not in the tank for Obama, it can be expected that the control-monsters in the Obama administration would wish to avoid this type of informational anarchy.

For those thinking that this is eerily similar to the behavior of oppressive dictators, just refer back to earlier this year when reports from Venezuela told of Chavez's plan to generate a "map of the media war" that identified private news outlets hostile to his dictatorship. Months later, Chavez began revoking broadcast licenses from dozens of radio stations. Is Obama heading in this direction, as well?



Obama's War on Fox News Becomes a Quagmire

THE WHITE HOUSE - Despite the President's promise of a swift and decisive victory, Obama's War on Fox News has developed all signs of an unwinnable quagmire, making the White House even more isolated in its unilateral attempts to crush the growing media insurgency. As the war continues to grind on for a second month, public opinion is shifting towards a quick and complete withdrawal. While many observers still agree that the "War on Limbaugh" is a "just and necessary war," even the former supporters of the war effort are now labeling the War on Fox an "unnecessary war of choice" and claim that the cable channel had nothing to do with Obama's falling approval numbers.

Some say that the general in charge, Anita Dunn, greatly underestimated the power of fiery critic Glenn "Muqtada" Beck and his band of radical followers, who have inflicted heavy casualties on White House forces.

The war has recently passed an ugly milestone as Obama's hand-picked czar Van Jones exploded in the middle of the battlefield littered with pencils, notebooks, blackberries, and media tags, sending shockwaves of terror through the ranks of reporters in the service of the administration.

Accusations of war crimes continue to surface, the most recent war atrocity being Katie Couric's interview with Glenn Beck, after which the prominent Fox News commentator was found outside the CBS studios disoriented, with plucked eyebrows, and a coveted jar of M&Ms stolen from his pocket.

While the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison is being shut down, President Obama is rumored to be in talks with Fidel Castro to use the East German political prison on Cuba's Isle of Pines as a secret detention center for the "enemy commentators." However, the White House's unilateral decision to classify all Fox News journalists as "enemy commentators" has been roundly criticized by human rights organizations, who maintain they should be covered by the "Inside the Beltway Convention."....

The war is also personal for the aging media veteran Dan Rather, who had won many media battles but one single failure brought him a dishonorable discharge. As a result he is now suffering from Post-Traumatic-Stress Disorder (PTSD), has become homeless, and lives somewhere under the Manhattan Bridge. "This war has put a lot of wear and tear on liberal commentators," Rather observes. "Their families are being broken up because they come back home with PTSD, STD, PMS, with drug and alcohol addictions, and afflicted by severe violent and suicidal tendencies."

It is hardly a consolation that Rather is soon expected to be joined under the bridge by Rachel Maddow, Maureen Dowd, and Katie Couric, whose activist group "Boobs not Bombs" failed to distract Americans from watching Fox News by publicly flashing their breasts. The trio has been reportedly suffering from a host of psychological disorders ever since the polls revealed most Americans still preferred the sight of Bill O'Rilley's receding hairline.

More of this splendid reportage here. Good satire is never far from the truth.


'A Minority for Analytical Purposes'

That story we noted yesterday about the Justice Department's decision to forbid Kinston, N.C., to switch from partisan to nonpartisan elections for local officials is even more curious than we realized. A reader passes along a link to the Aug. 17 letter in which Loretta King acting assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division, informed the Kinston's lawyers of the decision:
According to the 2000 Census, the City of Kinston has a total population of 23,688 people, of whom 14,837 (62.6%) are African-American. The total voting age population is 17,906, of whom 10,525 (58.8%) are African-American. The American Community Survey for 2005-2007 estimates the total population to be 22,649, of whom 14,967 (66.6%) are African-American. As of October 31, 2008, the city has 14,799 registered voters, of whom 9,556 (64.6%) are African-American.

Although black persons comprise a majority of the city's registered voters, in three of the past four general municipal elections, African Americans comprised a minority of the electorate on election day; in the fourth , they may have been a slight majority. For that reason, they are viewed as a minority for analytical purposes. Minority turnout is relevant to determining whether a change under Section 5 [of the Voting Rights Act] is retrogressive.

Black voters have had limited success in electing candidates of choice during recent municipal elections.

The letter does not allege any effort to suppress the black vote. Assuming the absence of such efforts, the reason that "black voters have had limited success in electing candidates of choice" is that so many of them have not bothered to vote!

The Justice Department's position, then, is that the Voting Rights Act requires the department to intervene on behalf of the political preferences that it imputes to people who cannot be troubled to go to the polls. This may well be a correct reading of the law--in which case, it's a screwy law.



BrookesNews Update

Is manufacturing really signalling good news for the US economy? : "Reasonably informed commentators recognise that Obama's massive borrowing and huge deficits must eventually drive up interest rates. What most of them don't get is that this will kill off time-consuming projects, the sort that are instrumental in raising living standard. In short, the rise in interest rates could be sufficient to kill economic growth. This is because they would be reflecting the amount of savings that the government was consuming at the expense of capital accumulation
Is the US economy facing deflation? : Since inflation is about increases in money supply, obviously an increase in spare economic capacity cannot reduce the rate of inflation as most commentators are saying. Only the Fed's monetary policy can exercise control over the money supply. Hence, regardless of the economic slack, the more money the Fed creates, the more damage it inflicts
The Australian economy: things not as bright as they look : The historical fact is that government spending in itself has never overcome a recession unless funded by the central bank. To put it crudely, it only works when the spending is supplied by the printing press. Furthermore, what we should call inflation-driven recoveries plant the seed for the next recession"
The same media that tried to lynch Rush Limbaugh praised the Stalinist Paul Robeson : The Rush Limbaugh media lynching has at least awakened even more Americans to the political viciousness of the media and their outrageous mendacity. Unable to find the slightest evidence of racism by Limbaugh they resorted to knowingly using racist quotes invented by a leftist. This is the same media that whitewashes American Stalinists who wanted to see their country destroyed
Obama's Hokey COLA spending binge: Every day, in ways large and small, this government shows itself to be the most fiscally reckless and irresponsible in American history - frighteningly on par with those that wrecked once-wealthy Argentina in the 1940s and Germany in the 1920s
Nazism is Socialism: "In his brilliant 1933 essay Hayek explains why Naziism was a socialist movement with Marxist roots with a hatred of capitalism and individualism. The same thing is happening in the US today. The hatred, the anti-liberalism and the sheer intolerance of the American left is creating a vicious political atmosphere that is beginng to closely mirror the totalitarian mindset that destroyed German democracy
Here He Comes: Mr. Universe : Obama's Nobel Peace Prize is every bit as offensive as it is absurd. He is one of the most divisive president's in U.S. history. Take his radical promotion of abortion on demand - up to and including the grizzly and, according to the AMA, never necessary practice of partial birth abortion
The Seduction Of Lindsey Graham : Graham may be right about one thing: Glenn Beck clearly represents the thinking of conservatives, not the GOP. And Sen. Lindsey Graham is now willingly spouting the talking points of the left and abandoning the conservative principles that got him elected. He has been seduced by the left and his reward is ever more national face time and political influence
Isn't America under Obama great? : Obama has proposed a new auto insurance reform plan with a public option. There are millions without auto insurance that need to be protected and it is not fair that they are not covered. The unfortunate who do not have documentation to prove they are American citizens must be also able to share the American dream of a car in every garage or front yard



Video makers release tape of Philly ACORN visit: "Two conservative activists released a new undercover video targeting the community-organizing group ACORN on Wednesday, an attempt to reignite a simmering political controversy surrounding the Democratic-leaning organization. The new videotape shows filmmakers Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe, posing as a prostitute and her boyfriend, soliciting advice about a possible housing loan from workers in the Philadelphia office of ACORN Housing Corp. "At no point were we kicked out, at no time were we asked to leave," O'Keefe says on the tape of the Philadelphia visit. Neil Herrmann, ACORN's lead organizer in Philadelphia, was quoted in news accounts last month as saying that an employee at the office had asked O'Keefe and Giles to leave. On the edited tape released Wednesday, the couple were not asked to leave."

Domestic woes spur Iran's consent to nuke deal: "Iran's initial agreement to back down in the face of international pressure and ship its nuclear fuel outside the country shows that the regime feels vulnerable after waves of protests and other setbacks to its regional influence. Iran scholars and proliferation specialists say the government in Tehran is trying to shore up its legitimacy in the aftermath of its disputed June presidential election and stave off more economic sanctions. Iran is also feeling insecure because of bombings in its southeast, setbacks to allies in Lebanon and Gaza, and defections abroad, including that of a presidential adviser's daughter. "They're feeling under a lot of pressure," said Greg Thielmann, a senior fellow at the Arms Control Association."

Senate defeats costly Medicare 'fix': "The Senate on Wednesday blocked an expensive change to the way doctors are paid under Medicare over concern about the mounting deficit, in what Republicans called the first defeat for President Obama's health care plan. Democratic leaders had sought the 10-year, nearly $250 billion bill as a fix to the long-term Medicare problem, but without proposing a way to pay for it, they lost support from moderate Democrats, signaling that cost could become a significant hurdle to a reform bill."

Ignorance is (a politician’s) bliss: "Various convenient fictions (’That to secure … rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,’ for example) notwithstanding, the real basis of government power is the ability of politicians to con us into believing that we need them — that without their plans and programs and policy, society would instantly degenerate into chaos and ‘a war of all against all.’ Even the most cursory examination of that claim exposes it as a fraud. In truth, government does very little to enhance your life. It’s at least as likely, and probably more so, to violate your rights as it is to protect those rights. If government does something you truly need done, it doesn’t do it as cheaply or as well as market entities would. If government does something you don’t need done, it’s just background noise at best and dead weight at worst. And the lion’s share of government activities are of a third sort — undertaken entirely for the purpose of forcing you to buckle under to, and pony up for, the first two kinds of activities.”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Arrogant elites

There's nothing new in America about the mutual suspicion or incomprehension of city slickers and country bumpkins, says Todd Gitlin, a Columbia University journalism professor and sociologist.

Gitlin points out that you do not have to venture outside urban America to find similar divisions within cities themselves. “There are millions of people in the New York metropolitan area to whom the New York Times speaks a foreign (and alien) language, who don't feel represented by its tone, who even feel outraged by it, seeing it as relaying an insider conversation and dissing outsiders,” he said.

A lethal combination of distrust and apprehension is escalating not only with the media but with the government it covers. Part of the problem is the perception beyond the beltway that the media actually made Barack Obama president. Evidence of that lies in the outrage voiced in town-hall meetings and tea-party demonstrations during this summer’s congressional recess. The body of coverage was tilted to highlight the small percentage of extreme attendees, and media elites and former president Jimmy Carter labeled as “racists” those who disagreed with the president.

Main Street Americans are baffled by these political elites’ perception of them.

The point must be made that this is not a Democrats-specific problem. Former President Bill Clinton and his original communications team (including George Stephanopoulos, Paul Begala, James Carville) understood Middle America, conservative strategist Jordan Sekulow says. “Instead of isolating middle-of-the-road Americans, who pay attention to the news but don’t live and die with the politics of the day, they made them insiders,” Sekulow explained.

The Obama administration almost appears to be forgetting blue-collar Americans who have been the Democrats’ political backbone. The administration still caters to labor leaders, but they don’t dictate policy or wield the same power they once did. If they did, the health-care bill passed by the Senate Finance Committee would be to their liking and the Employee Free-Choice Act – card check – would have been enacted months ago. “The culture has been cutting-loose (from) elites, or those it perceives as elites, for decades now,” said Columbia’s Gitlin, a 1960s political activist.

CNN’s King sees significant anxiety and fear among the people he visits in diners across the country. “Listening to them,” he explains, not to political talking-points, helps him to speak for Americans when he interviews anyone, from congressmen to the president.

Ironically, the nation’s elites probably are more aware of the resentment against them because the country is tighter-knit than before and there aren't too many hiding places, Gitlin says. Yet they tend to remain clueless as to why anyone would resent them.

The anti-elitists, who know the world isn't going their way, are holding onto their theories for dear life.



Does Obama Believe in Human Rights?

Not if you go by deeds rather than words

Nobody should get too hung up over President Obama's decision, reported by Der Spiegel over the weekend, to cancel plans to attend next month's 20th anniversary celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Germany's reunited capital has already served his purposes; why should he serve its?

To this day, the fall of the Berlin Wall on the night of Nov. 9, 1989, remains a high-water mark in the march of human freedom. It's a march to which candidate Obama paid rich (if solipsistic) tribute in last year's big Berlin speech. "At the height of the Cold War, my father decided, like so many others in the forgotten corners of the world, that his yearning—his dream—required the freedom and opportunity promised by the West," waxed Mr. Obama to the assembled thousands. "This city, of all cities, knows the dream of freedom." Those were the words. What's been the record?

China: In February, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton landed in Beijing with a conciliating message about the country's human-rights record. "Our pressing on those [human-rights] issues can't interfere on the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis," she said.

In fact, there has been no pressing whatsoever on human rights. President Obama refused to meet with the Dalai Lama last month, presumably so as not to ruffle feathers with the people who will now be financing his debts. In June, Liu Xiaobo, a leading signatory of the pro-democracy Charter 08 movement, was charged with "inciting subversion of state power." But as a U.S. Embassy spokesman in Beijing admitted to the Journal, "neither the White House nor Secretary Clinton have made any public comments on Liu Xiaobo."

Sudan: In 2008, candidate Obama issued a statement insisting that "there must be real pressure placed on the Sudanese government. We know from past experience that it will take a great deal to get them to do the right thing. . . . The U.N. Security Council should impose tough sanctions on the Khartoum government immediately."

Exactly right. So what should Mr. Obama do as president? Yesterday, the State Department rolled out its new policy toward Sudan, based on "a menu of incentives and disincentives" for the genocidal Sudanese government of Omar Bashir. It's the kind of menu Mr. Bashir will languidly pick his way through till he dies comfortably in his bed.

Iran: Mr. Obama's week-long silence on Iran's "internal affairs" following June's fraudulent re-election was widely noted. Not so widely noted are the administration's attempts to put maximum distance between itself and human-rights groups working the Iran beat.

Earlier this year, the State Department denied a grant request for New Haven, Conn.-based Iran Human Rights Documentation Center. The Center maintains perhaps the most extensive record anywhere of Iran's 30-year history of brutality. The grant denial was part of a pattern: The administration also abruptly ended funding for Freedom House's Gozaar project, an online Farsi- and English-language forum for discussing political issues.

It's easy to see why Tehran would want these groups de-funded and shut down. But why should the administration, except as a form of pre-emptive appeasement?

Burma: In July, Mr. Obama renewed sanctions on Burma. In August, he called the conviction of opposition leader (and fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner) Aung San Suu Kyi a violation of "the universal principle of human rights."

Yet as with Sudan, the administration's new policy is "engagement," on the theory that sanctions haven't worked. Maybe so. But what evidence is there that engagement will fare any better? In May 2008, the Burmese junta prevented delivery of humanitarian aid to the victims of Cyclone Nargis. Some 150,000 people died in plain view of "world opinion," in what amounted to a policy of forced starvation.

Leave aside the nausea factor of dealing with the authors of that policy. The real question is what good purpose can possibly be served in negotiations that the junta will pursue only (and exactly) to the extent it believes will strengthen its grip on power. It takes a remarkable presumption of good faith, or perhaps stupidity, to imagine that the Burmas or Sudans of the world would reciprocate Mr. Obama's engagement except to seek their own advantage.

It also takes a remarkable degree of cynicism—or perhaps cowardice—to treat human rights as something that "interferes" with America's purposes in the world, rather than as the very thing that ought to define them. Yet that is exactly the record of Mr. Obama's time thus far in office.

In Massachusetts not long ago, I found myself driving behind a car with "Free Tibet," "Save Darfur," and "Obama 08" bumper stickers. I wonder if it will ever dawn on the owner of that car that at least one of those stickers doesn't belong.



GOP Congresscritters losing touch with the grassroots

For decades, political observers have watched with fascination the battle raging inside the Republican Party. Whether the contest has been between Sen. Robert Taft and Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, between Barry Goldwater and Nelson A. Rockefeller, or Ronald Reagan and Gerald R. Ford, the battle has always been viewed as a fight between "conservatives" and so-called "moderates."

However, as recent events reveal, such a formulation misses the point. In fact, the real battle being waged is between Washington insiders - as represented by the congressional wing of the Republican Party - and grass-roots Americans from all walks of life throughout the country.

The actual events that prompted this observation were hardly anything of consequence. The gadfly, wannabe "cool" chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele, issued a policy statement titled a "Health Care Bill of Rights." Within days, Senate Republicans led by Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander lashed out at Mr. Steele, intoning, "We are elected to set the policy."

And that, in a nutshell, points up the real fight being waged in Washington today. The congressional wing has grown alienated from the very people who sent them to Washington.

You see expressions of this almost every day. Just last weekend, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham held a town-hall meeting where he ran headlong into opposition for his love of compromise. When pressed by the crowd, Mr. Graham had advice for the grass roots. He replied to a critic of his many liberal positions, "If you don't like it, you can leave." That may be exactly what is happening.

In a special election to fill a vacancy in New York's 23rd Congressional District, insiders and lackeys of the congressional wing selected a liberal assemblywoman who supports President Obama more than the Democratic candidate, is radical on most social issues and is tied by marriage to the AFL-CIO.

Local activists refused to accept such a candidate, so the Conservative Party mounted a challenger. As of this writing, the Conservative candidate, Doug Hoffman, is rising rapidly in the polls as the Republican sinks toward single-digit support. The real Republican Party finally is rising up against the self-appointed mandarins of the congressional wing.

New York 23 is not an isolated case. In Virginia's 5th Congressional District, a solid conservative, Bradley Rees, has publicly announced he will run as an Independent next year if the D.C. power brokers select a liberal challenger to freshman Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello. Again, grass-roots activists are rising up to tell the congressional wing to either get on board or get run over.

The response coming back from the congressional wing is invariably the same: They do what they want to do, not what the people who sent them to Washington want them to do. You and I are irrelevant.

Well, that is what has gotten us into this mess.

That attitude has allowed the culture of corruption to flourish regardless of which party is in power. It is this arrogant disrespect for citizens that has led us to the brink of financial ruin.

So, with all due respect to Mr. Alexander: Phooey! You and your cohorts were sent to Washington to represent the views of the people back home. You were given the task of implementing the ideas and policy positions embedded in the platform. And, you were sent to Congress to serve, not dictate.

The millions of Americans who have from time to time put their faith in one party or the other are starting to awaken. They will no longer sit by silently and take whatever scrap is thrown their way. They increasingly are taking Mr. Graham's advice - they are leaving.




Zogby Interactive: Obama Job Approval Falls Back to 49%: "President Barack Obama's job performance rating has fallen slightly to 49% in the most recent Zogby Interactive survey, slipping below the majority job approval mark of 52% he enjoyed late last month. The Zogby Interactive survey of 3,694 likely voters nationwide found 49% approving of Obama's job performance, 51% disapproving and 1% undecided. The survey was conducted Oct. 16-19, 2009, and carries a margin of error of +/- 1.6 percentage points. A Sept. 28 Zogby Interactive survey was the first time since early June that President Barack Obama's job performance received majority approval in a Zogby Interactive poll of likely voters."

RINO calls cops on reporter who asked her about Card Check: "John McCormack is a reporter working for The Weekly Standard. Dede Scozzafava is the extremely liberal New York Assemblywoman running as a Republican to succeed Rep. John McHugh from the Empire State's 23rd congressional district in the upcoming special election. Scozzafava was speaking at a GOP dinner Monday evening. McCormack was reporting on Scozzafava's campaign, including her recent pledge to the AFL-CIO to support Big Labor's top legislative objective, the Card Check proposal - currently stalled in Congress - to abolish the secret ballot in workplace representation elections. Scozzafava apparently didn't appreciate being asked about her support of Card Check because after she left and McCormack went to his laptop to file a report on the evening's event, the police showed up.

Top NYC cop back in jail: "Bernard Kerik, New York City’s disgraced former police commissioner, went to jail Tuesday after a judge revoked his bail for disclosing sealed trial information that could poison his upcoming corruption trial. Robinson revoked Kerik’s $500,000 bail following a hearing that lasted more than three hours regarding confidential trial information that Kerik disclosed to the trustee of his legal defense fund, who in turn released it to The Washington Times. The newspaper did not publish the information. Kerik’s attorney, Barry Berke, argued that the trustee was part of Kerik’s legal team and therefore was allowed to see the information. But Robinson, who had warned Kerik last month that he would be jailed for similar behavior, said he did not believe Kerik and delivered a stern rebuke.”

SCOTUS reins in cops: "The US Supreme Court has let stand a ruling in Virginia that police officers must personally observe erratic driving before stopping a suspected drunken driver. On Tuesday, the high court declined to take up an appeal involving a Richmond motorist who was pulled over by a police officer based on an anonymous tip that he was driving under the influence of alcohol. The issue in the case, Virginia v. Harris, was whether the officer was justified in confronting the driver with a roadside sobriety test, or whether he should have waited until Harris’ driving gave rise to a reasonable suspicion of drunk driving independent of the anonymous tip.”

Alienated and radicalized: "Comes now, the ‘Oath Keepers.’ And who might they be? Writes Alan Maimon in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Oath Keepers, depending on where one stands, are ‘either strident defenders of liberty or dangerous peddlers of paranoia.’ Formed in March, they are ex-military and police who repledge themselves to defend the Constitution, even if it means disobeying orders. If the U.S. government ordered law enforcement agencies to violate Second Amendment rights by disarming the people, Oath Keepers will not obey. ‘The whole point of Oath Keepers is to stop a dictatorship from ever happening here,’ says founding father Stewart Rhodes, an ex-Army paratrooper and Yale-trained lawyer. ‘My focus is on the guys with the guns, because they can’t do it without them. We say if the American people decide it’s time for a revolution, we’ll fight with you.’"

Some competition in Britain at last?: "Airport operator BAA has agreed to sell Gatwick, Britain's second busiest airport, for 1.5 billion pounds (2.5 billion US dollars, 1.6 billion euros), the Financial Times reported. Citing people familiar with the matter, the FT reported on its website that the deal with Global Infrastructure Partners, which already own London City Airport, will likely be announced before markets open on Wednesday. The Competition Commission approved details of the sale late Tuesday, it said. In August last year, British regulators called for BAA to sell three of its seven airports in Britain -- two in London and one in Scotland -- in order to end a dominance they said hurts both passengers and airlines."

Church of England to lose some of its real Christians to Rome: "The Roman Catholic Church today moved to poach thousands of traditional Anglicans who are dismayed by growing acceptance of gays and women priests and bishops. The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams admitted that he had been caught out after Pope Benedict XVI announced a new “Apostolic Constitution” to provide a legal framework for the many thousands of Anglicans and former Anglicans who wish “to enter into full visible communion with the Roman Catholic Church”. The announcement paves the way for thousands of Anglicans worldwide to join the Roman Catholic church while maintaining elements of their own spiritual heritage. The constitution, a canonical structure, will provide “personal ordinariates” that will allow Anglicans to “set up church” within the Catholic church while retaining elements of their former ecclesiastical identity, such as Anglican liturgies and vestments. Traditionalists, including up to six Church of England bishops, had visited and pleaded with Rome to provide some sort of structure inside the Catholic Church for their wing of the Church of England because of liberal moves towards women bishops and gay ordinations."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Racist and anti-democratic mandate by Obama's Justice Dept.

KINSTON, N.C. -- Voters in this small city decided overwhelmingly last year to do away with the party affiliation of candidates in local elections, but the Obama administration recently overruled the electorate and decided that equal rights for black voters cannot be achieved without the Democratic Party.

The Justice Department's ruling, which affects races for City Council and mayor, went so far as to say partisan elections are needed so that black voters can elect their "candidates of choice" - identified by the department as those who are Democrats and almost exclusively black.

The department ruled that white voters in Kinston will vote for blacks only if they are Democrats and that therefore the city cannot get rid of party affiliations for local elections because that would violate black voters' right to elect the candidates they want.

Several federal and local politicians would like the city to challenge the decision in court. They say voter apathy is the largest barrier to black voters' election of candidates they prefer and that the Justice Department has gone too far in trying to influence election results here. Stephen LaRoque, a former Republican state lawmaker who led the drive to end partisan local elections, called the Justice Department's decision "racial as well as partisan." "On top of that, you have an unelected bureaucrat in Washington, D.C., overturning a valid election," he said. "That is un-American."

The decision, made by the same Justice official who ordered the dismissal of a voting rights case against members of the New Black Panther Party in Philadelphia, has irritated other locals as well. They bristle at federal interference in this city of nearly 23,000 people, two-thirds of whom are black.

In interviews in sleepy downtown Kinston - a place best known as a road sign on the way to the Carolina beaches - residents said partisan voting is largely unimportant because people are personally acquainted with their elected officials and are familiar with their views.

More here


The State of Joblessness

The tragedy of Jennifer Granholm's Michigan

State lawmakers will soon face large budget deficits again, perhaps as much as $100 billion across the U.S. Here's some free budget-balancing advice: Steer clear of the Michigan model. The Wolverine state is once again set to run out of money, and it is once again poised to raise taxes even as jobs and businesses disappear.

In 2007 Governor Jennifer Granholm signed the biggest tax increase in Michigan history, with most of the $1.4 billion coming from business. The personal income tax—which hits nonincorporated small businesses—was raised to 4.2% from 3.95%, and the Michigan business tax levied a surcharge of 22%. The tax money was dedicated to the likes of education, public works, job retraining and corporate subsidies. Ms. Granholm and her union allies called these "investments," and the exercise was widely applauded as a prototype of "progressive" budgeting.

Some prototype. Every state has seen a big jump in joblessness since 2007, but with a 15.2% unemployment rate Michigan's jobs picture is by far the worst. Some 750,000 private-sector payroll jobs have vanished since the start of the decade. For every family that has moved into Michigan since 2007, two have sold their homes and left.

Meanwhile, the new business taxes didn't balance the budget. Instead, thanks to business closures and relocations, tax receipts are running nearly $1 billion below projections and the deficit has climbed back to $2.8 billion. As the Detroit News put it, Michigan businesses are continually asked "to pay more in taxes to erase a budget deficit that, despite their contributions, never goes away." And this is despite the flood of federal stimulus and auto bailout cash over the last year.

More here


Is Obama Turning the USA into the Next Evil Empire?

When Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an "evil empire" in 1983, he was articulating in the boldest terms what had always been an American understanding. The Kremlin had long been fomenting communist revolution the world over, and we had long pursued our policy of "containment."

Thus did we fight wars in Korea and Vietnam, facilitate coups d'état against people such as Salvador Allende and support anti-communist rebels such as the mujahedeen in Afghanistan. Of course, plans didn't always come together. There was the Bay of Pigs debacle, and the covert Iran-Contra operation getting front-page exposure. The "police action" in Korea ended in a stalemate and Vietnam just became stale, losing the public and political support necessary for victory.

Many also questioned the wisdom and even the legality of some of these foreign interventions, and other people, often for ignoble reasons, refused to wrap their minds around the fact that there is such a thing as the lesser of two evils and that it is virtually always the anti-communist option. As for any mistakes or moral lapses -- which ever plague endeavors of mortal design -- for now I'll just steal a concept from Otto von Bismarck and say that sometimes foreign policy is like sausage, in that it may look good when it's served, but you wouldn't want to be there when it's made. Other times, though, viewing it in its totality is like being presented with whole octopus. The only way it can be stomached is if you keep your eyes closed.

But although the dishes did vary, American presidents had always served the same cuisine. John Kennedy didn't flinch during the Cuban missile crisis, and, although he stumbled dreadfully, at least could contemplate a Bay of Pigs. Lyndon Johnson might have had a dark heart, but he certainly seemed to have it in opposing the Viet Cong guerrillas. Even Jimmy Carter, the poster-boy for peanut policy and appeasement, signed an order approving aid for the mujahedeen. But now, finally, we may have turned a corner.

Barack Obama's support for the Honduran ex-president who would be king, Manuel Zelaya, is without American precedent. Zelaya is Hugo Chavez' mini-me, as he, like the vitriolic Venezuelan, sought to subvert his nation's constitution and extend and expand his power. And of this there is no doubt. The Honduran constitution prohibits a president from serving more than one term, and Zelaya, aided and abetted by Chavez and a mob of thugs, was using illegal methods to circumvent the prohibition. This is why Honduras' supreme court ruled against him; it's why he was opposed by the nation's congress, the majority of its people and the Catholic Church. It's why Zelaya was removed from office.

In taking the wrong side, Obama has turned what could have been a temporary crisis into a protracted one, a situation that could devolve into bloody civil war. And what's so tragic is that supporting the interim government of Roberto Micheletti likely would have diffused the situation and yielded long-term stability. After all, there was no reason to think that Honduran authorities who enforced the law in removing Zelaya would depart from this and not hold the planned November elections. As for Micheletti, he is from Zelaya's own Liberal Party and shows no strongman tendencies. So what is the bottom line? It's plain that Honduras was bucking the banana-republic stereotype in upholding the rule of law. And now Obama is giving us banana-republic foreign policy in promoting the rule of the lawless.



Shut Up, They Explained

The administration's war against Fox News has reached something of a low point: "[White House Communications Director Anita] Dunn also criticized Fox's Chris Wallace for referring to the administration as filled with "crybabies." ("We kept ourselves from ... responding, 'I am rubber, you are glue,'" Dunn said)".

Of course, if she had actually "kept herself from responding" with that elementary-school riposte, she wouldn't have responded with it. Sort of like if I were to keep myself from pointing out that Dunn is an ignorant Communist sympathizer.

The assault continued on this morning's news shows, with David Axelrod claiming that Fox is "not really a news station (sic)."

Actually, Fox is nowhere near as consistently pro-Republican as CNN is pro-Democratic, which is one reason it has a more bipartisan audience. As to MSNBC, of course, there is no comparison. And broadcast television is monolithically Democratic--NBC, CBS, ABC, the View, the Today show, Good Morning America, 60 Minutes--the list goes on and on.

One might wonder why the Obama administration is so outraged that a single network fails to toe its line. The administration acts as though it deserves a monopoly on the news. Isn't that unreasonable?

Maybe, except the fact is that the Democrats do need a monopoly. Their problem is that controlling almost all news outlets isn't quite enough, because without a complete monopoly, inconvenient news still gets out--ACORN, Van Jones, Anita Dunn, and so on. If it weren't for Fox, criticism of the Democrats wouldn't be illegal, it would just be nonexistent. Or invisible, anyway. Hence the administration's frustration.

While that frustration is easy to understand, it is a little hard to see what Obama hopes to gain by constant railing against Fox News. Presumably the Democrats don't seriously believe they can intimidate Sean Hannity et al. into shutting up. Maybe they think their attacks will damage Fox's credibility with the public, but most independents are so skeptical of government that the attacks are likely to boost Fox in their eyes.

Free speech--it's an inconvenience the Democrats haven't yet figured out a way to deal with.


Rupert is smiling: "FOX News has again been attacked by the White House, with Barack Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, declaring the President did not want "the CNNs and others in the world" to be led by Fox. He told CNN yesterday that Mr Obama regarded the channel as providing not so much news as "a perspective". Mr Obama's chief adviser, David Axelrod, told ABC that programming at Fox - owned by News Corporation -- was geared towards making money. "It's not just their commentators, but a lot of their news programming, it's really not news," he said. "It's pushing a point of view." Fox News's senior vice-president of news Michael Clemente said the White House had failed to distinguish between news and commentary. At Friday's annual general meeting, News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch told shareholders: "There were some strong remarks coming out of the White House about one or two of the commentators on Fox News ... it has tremendously increased their ratings."



Maoist in the White House: "Anita Dunn, is described by the online encyclopedia Wikipedia as ‘one of the major decision makers of the Obama campaign’ and as one of Obama’s ‘four top advisers (along with David Axelrod, David Plouffe, and Robert Gibbs).’ She currently holds the position of ‘White House Communications Director.’ She is married to the President’s personal lawyer, Robert Bauer. In 2008, Newsweek named Dunn and Bauer the new ‘power couple’ in Washington, D.C. This last June, at a high-school commencement exercise, Dunn had this to say: the third lesson and tip actually comes from two of my favorite political philosophers Mao Tse-tung and Mother Teresa …”

White House boasts: We 'control' news media: "President Obama's presidential campaign focused on "making" the news media cover certain issues while rarely communicating anything to the press unless it was "controlled," White House Communications Director Anita Dunn disclosed to the Dominican government at a videotaped conference. "Very rarely did we communicate through the press anything that we didn't absolutely control," said Dunn. "One of the reasons we did so many of the David Plouffe videos was not just for our supporters, but also because it was a way for us to get our message out without having to actually talk to reporters," said Dunn, referring to Plouffe, who was Obama's chief campaign manager. "We just put that out there and made them write what Plouffe had said as opposed to Plouffe doing an interview with a reporter. So it was very much we controlled it as opposed to the press controlled it," Dunn said."

While Rupert Murdoch is looking forward to GROWING revenues .... : "The New York Times newspaper plans to cut 100 newsroom jobs by the end of the year through buyouts and might resort to layoffs as it reels from the advertising revenue drop endangering US newspapers. The news, delivered in a memo to employees by Times executive editor Bill Keller, came after the newspaper's workers already took a five per cent pay cut for most of this year and a similar program last year. "When we took our five per cent pay cuts, it was in the hope that this would fend off the need for more staff cuts this year," Mr Keller wrote. "But I accept that if it's going to happen, it should be done quickly. The Times posted the news on its website. It said the paper's news department had 1250 employees, down from 1330 at its peak. It added that no other US newspaper had more than about 750 journalists. The Times, which plans to report its third-quarter results on Thursday, has been dealing with declines in advertising and mounting debt that have forced it to slash costs and sell assets."

Backers of £3million prize rewarding good governance in Africa say they can't find anyone to give it to this year: "The backers of a $5 million prize celebrating good governance in Africa said Monday they cannot find anyone to award this year. Sir Ketumile Masire, former president of Botswana, said the committee could not select a winner for the prize, which aims to recognise African leadership that will improve the prospects of people in the continent. Billed as the largest annually-awarded prize in the world, the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership consists of $5million (£3.1 million) over 10 years and $200,000 (£123,125) annually for life thereafter. Contenders include democratically-elected former African heads of state or government who have left office in the last three years. Sudanese mobile phone entrepreneur Mo Ibrahim set up the prize as part of his foundation designed to support good African leadership that will improve the prospects of people in Africa. But, announcing the decision in central London, he said: "This is an award for excellence. The jury meets and sets a bar somewhere. "There's no way for us to know the reasons behind the decision. It's tough." Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, was one of the members of the panel who made the decision."

Justice blocks names in gay rights ballot case: "Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has temporarily blocked Washington state officials from releasing the names of people who signed a ballot measure on gay rights. Kennedy’s ruling Monday temporarily blocks a federal appeals court ruling last week that ordered the release of the names. Kennedy said his order would remain in effect while he considers a request by a pro-marriage group that asked him to reverse the appeals court ruling.”

Cash for clubbers: "We thought cash for clunkers was the ultimate waste of taxpayer money, but as usual we were too optimistic. Thanks to the federal tax credit to buy high-mileage cars that was part of President Obama’s stimulus plan, Uncle Sam is now paying Americans to buy that great necessity of modern life, the golf cart. The federal credit provides from $4,200 to $5,500 for the purchase of an electric vehicle, and when it is combined with similar incentive plans in many states the tax credits can pay for nearly the entire cost of a golf cart.”

Judge KOs shelter kickback scheme: "Every time we turn around, it seems, we hear of an abuse shelter being accused of discrimination, fraud, or other head-shaking irregularities. And now a judge has ruled the entire abuse shelter industry in the state of West Virginia is wracked by conflict of interest, gender bias, and financial kickbacks. The menage a trois involves a government agency, a well-heeled trade organization, and 14 domestic violence shelters located around the state. Here’s how the scratch-your-back scheme works …”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A 21st century genocide under way

And the Leftist media avert their eyes. It appears to be the height of political incorrectness to mention the stuff below as you will not see it in any mainstream publication that I know of. Yet I have been to South Africa twice and could clearly see the way the tide was running on my last visit there under the new black regime. Just about all white South Africans that I know are desperate to escape the country or have escaped but getting accepted into another country is the problem. Talk to almost any white South African who has escaped and you will get confirmation of the account below. Even "liberals" who initially supported the new black-run government have now often voted with their feet. Famous South African novelist and opponent of apartheid, J.M. Coetzee, now lives in Australia, for instance -- JR

There is racial genocide of the South African Boers [whites of Dutch origin] taking place as I write and the Western media know all about it because they have agents and reporters there, but keep it from the outside world, presumably to allow it to go on.

It follows on from what was done to French Algerians, the Belgians of Congo, and the Portuguese of Angola and Mozambique, and what is happening in Zimbabwe. All these peoples were violently forced off lands which their ancestors had occupied for centuries. It was done with the encouragement of the US and British governments and made possible by finance taken from their own taxpayers for the purpose. What is behind this? It is what is now called Globalisation, which is a euphemism for the attempt to create a New World Order.

African-ruled countries are a variation on a theme of total corruption, and it is a matter of time before South Africa collapses. The 3.5 million Whites remaining might slow that process but the end result is inevitable and Western elites and journalists must take responsibility. The chaos on the railways is an indicator. Locos are not turning up at coal mines to collect fully-loaded trains, and the power stations are out for coal. The electricity generating plants are fast deteriorating and break down regularly, and the country has been plagued with power cuts for the last few years. The ANC is still dominated by members of the South African Communist Party, they are anti-white racists, and they have a vigorous land confiscation programme on the statute books. Farmers and their families are regularly murdered.

These things are little reported in the west because the liberal-left media fully support the ANC as they fully supported Mugabe in 1980 and thereafter and for the realities to be broadcast by our media would demonstrate the real facts of African rule and destroy the unrealistic ideology of racial equality that they desperately need to believe in else their whole falls and their lives have been wasted.

The dream was Mandela accepting the Nobel Peace Prize for all who have opposed racism. It was awarded to him, the ANC and all South Africa’s people. The reward was to be freedom and democracy in an open society which respected the rights of all individuals. This is the fantasy. What is the reality? Mass genocide of Boer farmers.

The genocide is happening on the farms where Boers are being murdered, but not just Boers, Indian farmers are also targeted; the targets are usually defenseless, especially old people.

The government does nothing to prevent attacks, so the farmers have begun to co-operate in mutual defence. That the Black government wants Boers harmed and driven from their land as indicated by their programmes to force Boers to sell their property to blacks. These programmes are to remove a huge percentage of white farmers and can give these farms to blacks.

At the beginning of the decade there were 40,000 White farmers in South Africa and there have been is 3,037 murdered in racial genocide and more than 20,000 armed attacks perpetrated by groups of militant, young Black racists on commercial farmers, since the ANC came to power in 1994. This is certainly higher as the South African government and police, with the world’s press keep it covered up. Boers are often tortured or raped first, by boiling water forced down their throats, tendons cut, burnings, personal humiliations - most perpetrators are protected by Blacks within government and the police and not tried. Now ask yourselves, gentle readers, when did you see this on television news or read about it in your quality newspaper?

The idealism that accompanied the birth of new South Africa has been destroyed by black rule yet the rainbow nation is still a fantasy to Western elites. They need to believe in it or face the reality that racial equality does not exist. The dream of truth and reconciliation and the deification of Nelson Mandela make it hard to accept that after whites gave way to Blacks the Boer minority would be subjected to racial genocide. Boers, you see, have not been sentimentalised, are not figures of sympathy but dehumanised as racists so their murder is not seen as important.

The SA government forbids the publishing of South African police crime statistics without their permission. Media crime reports are vetted by the police. The world’s media want to pretend the new government is responsible or face the fact that races are not equal on one hand; on the other, to keep the overseas aid for mineral rights deals quiet.

Interpol’s global murder figures for South Africa are about double the number of “recorded murders,” the farm murder rate is four times the official South African murder average. The world’s leading authority on genocide, Dr Gregory Stanton of “Genocide Watch”, stated how serious the Boer genocide is in his 2002 report.

SA Blacks, especially ANC youth, still sing the old ANC resistance song “Kill The Boer”. This shows their purpose. The Boer is just a farmer but the grudge goes on. Boers are honest, taciturn people work who hard with their hands. Their children consider leaving but have no country to return to. The “Kill The Boer” slogan has been ruled hate speech by the SA Human Rights Commission because it incites people to kill Afrikaners. But the ANC sing “shaya ma buru” at public meetings all over South Africa. The UN Genocide Convention declared that ruling regimes killing ethnic minorities is legally genocide and could be pursued in the International Criminal Court.

The new rulers have imposed racial quotas that deny work to most young Afrikaners, whether or not they have the right qualifications. Mbeki’s programme of Black Economic Empowerment is called “rectifying action” - Affirmative Action. Thousands of ANC civil servants give preferential treatment to blacks over whites and even browns. “Progress” plans are implemented, fines and other sanctions imposed. In most cases it’s an unqualified or illiterate black who gets the job. Whites are left with begging or emigration.

If the farmers are wiped-out the rest of South Africa and parts of southern Africa will be plunged into famine: as in Zimbabwe the Boer genocide may lead to the death of millions by starvation and outbreaks of Cholera.

Does anyone protest?

Archbishop Desmond Tutu criticised Black Economic Empowerment, but because it enriches such a small minority of already powerful blacks not because it impoverishes the white minority. His world-famous moral indignation does not stretch that far. People put themselves first when community spirit breaks down and Afrikaner intellectuals want to keep their own jobs so conform to the black apartheid system like the Judenräte under the Nazis. Those who criticise Black Economic Empowerment are de-humanised as racists. Yet, the government replacing 35,000 commercial South African farmers by blacks is more than imposing job quotas in industry and commerce. The farmers are landowners and have a special bond with their territory. The authorities are undermining that and the SAHRC has endorsed the withdrawal of commandos from rural areas to leave the Boers open to murder and banned the term “ farm attacks” from the SA Rural Protection Plan as it links the Boers to their land and makes clear what people are being targeted but these are now the more abstract “murders” which is vague and gives the impression that it could happen to anybody.

The Government is made an inventory of South Africa’s farmers by race to … "monitor the patterns of land ownership as it implements land reform, the deeds registration system would be improved to reflect nationality, race and gender of land owners".

There has been legislation to make it possible for the government to expropriate assets summarily without having to apply in advance to a court. The ANC is rewriting the South African Constitution but not stating what it's being replaced with.

In 1991 the White population of South Africa was 5.1 million however, as of 2007 the official White population of South Africa was its lowest of 4.2 million, even though millions of White refugees from other parts of Africa added to South Africa’s White population in recent years. Whites are persecuted and dispossessed for being White leaving them unable to afford council tax so they end up living in shanty huts in Black neighbourhoods which hate them because of their race. An example is the ‘Affirmative Action’ policy of the national school netball championships committee - teams which do not have enough Black children have points given to the opposing side before the game has started!

This could develop into full scale racial genocide and ethnic cleansing like in Zimbabwe and the Belgian Congo before it which was another of the richest Nations in Africa but is now war torn. The elites know the history but keep doing it to African countries.

The killings show savagery and brutality as most are tortured and die slowly and in agony yet in many of the murders, no property is stolen. This shows a savage, uncivilised hatred for fellow humans that we can not comprehend but the authorities and international media pass it off as “crime related” when it is racial genocide.

It will continue to deteriorate for Whites, especially poor ones as Jacob Zuma could be next President. He is openly racist, he has convictions for rape and embezzlement and he believes a shower can cure AIDS!

In 2006 there were 55,000 reported rapes in South Africa but official estimates are that another 450,000 rapes were not reported. Therefore, about 1,300 women can be expected to be raped every day. A study by Interpol, the international police agency, revealed that South Africa has the most rapes in the world - a women being raped every 17 seconds and this does not include the number of child rape victims.

Interpol estimated that one in every two women in South Africa would be raped. Raping children as a cure for AIDS is a vile practice. The Telegraph reported on 11 Nov 2001 that on an alleged rape of a nine-month-old baby girl by six men in a remote part of rural South Africa was part of an 80 per cent rise in child sexual abuse over a year, much of it connected with the Aids pandemic.

More than 67,000 cases of rape and sexual assaults against children were reported last year, compared with 37,500 in 1998. Some of the victims were only six- months-old. Many die from their injuries, others contract HIV. The largest increase in attacks has been against children under seven. There is a prevalent superstition that having sex with children cures Aids. Police said at least one of the men who raped the nine-month-old girl is HIV-positive. The baby has also been tested for the virus and given anti-retroviral drugs as a precaution.

What can we do? People can contact their democratic representatives and pressure them. They can write to the media. They can post on internet blogs and circulate the information round the net. They can point out that western elites are ignoring a genocide which they themselves brought about by forcing the change in governing class. They could demand motions be introduced in their respective parliaments urging the SA government not to abolish the SA rural Commando System and leave the Boers open to racial genocide for ideological reasons. They could demand that it be clear to the South African government that this genocide is now being publicised around the world, and call on them to condemn white ethnic cleansing and racial genocide of whites.

SOURCE (See the original for links)


Hillary Clinton suffers from imaginitis again

Hillary Clinton has been caught out “mis-speaking” again in a manner that suggests that she hasn’t learnt from past experiences of her globe-trotting, “lily-gilding” speeches.

The US Secretary of State was exposed during her battle with Barack Obama to become the Democratic presidential nominee over her claims to have landed in Bosnia under sniper fire. She was even described as “a wee bit silly” for claiming greater credit than was her due for the Irish peace process, having made several visits to Northern Ireland as First Lady.

She was back in Belfast last week, giving a gentle push to politicians dragging their heels over a final piece in the peace process jigsaw. But according to the Sunday Life newspaper, during a speech she made to the Stormont parliament she said that Belfast’s landmark Europa Hotel was devastated by an explosion when she first stayed there in 1995.

The Europa, where most journalists covering the decades-long conflict stayed, was famed as Europe’s most bombed hotel, earning the moniker “the Hardboard Hotel”. However, the last Provisional IRA bomb to damage the Europa was detonated in 1993, two years before President Clinton and his wife checked in for the night. The last time the Europa underwent renovations because of bomb blast damage was in January 1994, 22 months before the presidential entourage booked 110 rooms at the hotel.

Mrs Clinton told assembled politicians at Stormont: “When Bill and I first came to Belfast we stayed at the Europa Hotel ... even though then there were sections boarded up because of damage from bombs.”

More here



Easy-money mortgages still provided, by the feds: "So you thought easy-money mortgages with little or no down payment for people with bad credit was a thing of the past? Think again. You can get just such a loan today - and it's guaranteed by the federal government. Loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) have become "the new subprime," and these loans are exposing taxpayers to the same kinds of soaring default rates and losses that brought down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as destroyed many banks and the private market for mortgage loans. While private lenders learned a lesson from the mortgage crisis and are shying away from easy-money loans, the FHA has stepped into the breach. The agency has provided backing for 37 percent of all mortgages used to buy homes this year. After the collapse of much of the private mortgage market last year, Congress and the George W. Bush administration greatly expanded the FHA's original Depression-era program aimed at assisting sales of modestly priced homes by more than doubling the ceiling on loans that the agency can insure to $625,500 while maintaining its loose lending terms - ensuring that nearly any home sale could be covered by the agency. Whitney Tilson, manager of investment firm T2 Partners LLC called "cataclysmic" the surging default rates of more than 30 percent on loans insured since 2006 by the FHA. "The FHA's portfolio is exploding and the taxpayer is now on the hook for 100 percent of the losses," he said."

Greenspan’s latest epiphany: "Mr. Big Stuff himself, as he used to be called on CNBC during his heyday, has spoken once again. But this time, Alan Greenspan has uttered an inconvenient truth. So, will Washington and Wall Street listen? The former Federal Reserve chairman’s statement Thursday before the Council of Foreign Relations in New York about today’s megabanks (’if they’re too big to fail, they’re too big’) is so self-evident a fifth-grader would get it. But the adults who are formulating economic policy at the Treasury Department and on Capitol Hill have treated that simple statement as heresy. … Neither has there been much of a ripple in the financial press over Greenspan’s comments.”

Ignorance is bliss: "While all the talk at present is about economic corners turned and markets charging ahead, no one is paying much notice to an American economy deteriorating before our eyes. These myopic commentators seem to be simply moving past the now almost-universally held conclusion that before the crash of 2008, our economy was on an unsustainable course. If these imbalances had been corrected, then perhaps I too would be joining in the euphoria. But evidence abounds that we have not veered at all from that dangerous path.”

Borrowing trouble on our dime: "In their tireless quest to squander our money as foolishly as possible, Our Rulers run a series of ‘federal laboratories’ to ‘[advance] federal research and technology.’ Perhaps they aren’t aware that American ingenuity is — or used to be — world-famous; that inventors like Thomas Edison, while working for their own and their investors’ profit, serendipitously benefit us all; and that even in today’s corporate State, private companies often allocate part of their budgets to R&D. But governments verging on the totalitarian do as they please. And R&D pleases ours. Obviously, the nefarious Department of Defense and NASA require rafts of researchers, but only the naive imagine that other bureaucrats as well as civilians coveting cushy government jobs and pensions are content with that. Ergo, federal labs abound in such numbers — 317 to be exact — that we’re cursed with a ‘consortium’ of them.”

Cut the tax on jobs: "The payroll tax hits 60 percent of Americans, including anybody who runs a business. Cutting it would be fast, easy, and effective. Where a tax credit is complicated and invites rent-seeking, a tax cut is transparent. Last December, AEI’s John H. Makin calculated that if the payroll tax were suspended for 12 to 18 months, personal discretionary income would rise by 3.5 percent. Workers would have fatter paychecks to spend. The increase in consumption would spur demand. Meanwhile, since the payroll tax also hits employers, a reduction would lower the cost of hiring additional workers. Another way to go would be not to suspend the tax, but to reduce it — permanently.”

Repeal the minimum wage: "In July, the federal minimum wage rose from $6.55 per hour to $7.25 per hour. Before it went into effect, the Shelby County Commission in Tennessee passed an ordinance requiring firms that contract with the county to pay a ‘living wage.’ Similar ordinances are in place around the country. But these laws actually eliminate opportunities for low-skill workers and waste resources. They also couldn’t have come at a worse time: The last thing people on the margins of the labor market need are laws that will make them more difficult to employ. With unemployment hovering near 10%, perhaps now is a good time to consider repealing the minimum wage.”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Monday, October 19, 2009

Purveyor of exaggerated claims about racism denies that there are exaggerated claims about racism

The accuser below is the good ol' SPLC again: A fundraising racket that gets lots of donations from gullible people by finding racists under every bed. They are a prime example of the way flimsily-based accusations of racism are used to attack conservatives and whites generally. It is critics of illegal immigration who give the SPLC their biggest orgasms. If you think that illegal immigration drives up crime and places big burdens on the taxpayers who have to pay for the government services which illegals use, you are a racist, according to the SPLC. I am sure I would be a Nazi if they ever got around to noticing me

An organization that tracks hate-group activity in the U.S. is accusing Vanderbilt University professor Carol Swain, a black scholar known for her conservative stances on race and immigration, of being an apologist for white supremacists. The incident started last week when the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center posted a blog item critiquing the documentary A Conversation About Race, mentioning that positive comments by Swain lent the film an air of legitimacy.

Swain fired back, making her case against the advocacy group in a blog submitted to the news site The Huffington Post and in a string of messages she sent to followers on her Twitter account. "There aren't enough new hate groups 2 keep the SPLC busy, so they target individuals & conservative organizations 2 raise money," Swain wrote in a Twitter update Thursday. Swain, a professor of law and political science, said in an interview with The Tennessean that she feels as if she has "been attacked" by the group.

Mark Potock, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project, responded, "If that is what she believes, she is suffering from some sort of low-grade megalomania." Potock said the goal of the Hatewatch blog posts about the film was to "spare (Swain) the embarrassment of continuing to endorse the work of a man who has referred to black people — including the president — as monkeys."

The film in question, A Conversation About Race, opens with a clip of then-Sen. Barack Obama's campaign speech on race followed by words from the filmmaker, Craig Bodeker. "I agree with Senator Obama. … I can't think of another issue facing our country that is more timely or more important today than the issue of racism," Bodeker says in the film. "I also can't think of another issue that is more artificial, manufactured and manipulated. … It's used too often as a tool of intimidation like a hammer against Caucasian whites. "

The Hatewatch blog post described the film as a "a hit among white supremacists looking for a smart-sounding defense of their beliefs. Contrary to its title, A Conversation about Race … (is) a slick 58-minute documentary devoted to proving the thesis that racism is a bogus concept invented to oppress whites." Swain is quoted as saying the film is, "Outstanding. … Meticulously done. … I highly recommend this film." Bodeker lists the blurb as the first one on the film's Web site.

"Why is her review valuable? Why is it important? Because she is an African-American woman," Bodeker said in an interview. "A member of the Vanderbilt University faculty and the National Council on Humanities and she has a Ph.D. — you better believe I put her quote on the DVD box, on the poster. That's how this is done. You try to attract attention."

For her part, Swain contends that the documentary is a valuable tool that could be used in classrooms to initiate a conversation on race that includes the perspective of what may be a growing number of white people. "I just think that if we do not discuss these things … you are creating the conditions for ethnic violence and unrest," Swain said.

But Potock said the film's premise, that racism is a myth, is ridiculous in a country that practiced chattel slavery for 200 years and allowed Jim Crow laws to stand for 100 years thereafter. The idea that white people are oppressed by conversations about racism or allegations of racism is insidious, Potock said. Swain's endorsement of such ideas, he said, is shocking. "What it made clear is that Carol Swain is an apologist for white supremacists," said Potock, adding that her endorsement represents a kind of cover that can funnel extremist ideas into reputable publications and ordinary people's conversations.

Swain sees things differently. If there are going to be conversations about race, she thinks they have to include what the Southern Poverty Law Center may consider extremist or hateful positions. "The new white nationalism that I fear that I see … is not about groups," Swain said. "It's about white people, individuals, thinking that they are under threat and that they have to ban together to protect themselves. My fear is that unless we create forums for people to safely and openly express themselves, then you are going to drive more young people into these extreme groups."



What is Equality?

President Obama recently spoke to the Human Rights Campaign about "equality." Here is how he began his speech:
Thank you so much, all of you. It is a privilege to be here tonight to open for Lady GaGa. I've made it. (Laughter.) I want to thank the Human Rights Campaign for inviting me to speak and for the work you do every day in pursuit of equality on behalf of the millions of people in this country who work hard in their jobs and care deeply about their families -- and who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.

I don't know much about the singer Lady GaGa. But I do know a little about equality: there is no such thing.

The myth of equality started in the late 18th century. The successful American Revolution (which had nothing to do with equality) guaranteed "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." The failed French Revolution promised "Liberté, égalité, fraternité," (liberty, equality, fraternity). It disintegrated into the Reign of Terror.

The French discovered (long before the Soviets and the Communist Chinese) that equality among human beings is impossible. Utopians on the left continue to ignore those lessons.

Our Founding Fathers were fully aware of the dangers of the state trying to impose "equality" on its citizens. The specific word "equality" does not appear, anywhere, in either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. Variations of the word "equal" ("equal" and "equally") appear twice in the Declaration of Independence and eight times in the Constitution. Let's take a look at the appropriate appearances of the word "equal" in our founding documents.

The two appearances of the word "equal" in the Declaration of Independence both refer to a "starting point" for human beings under the law. The first line of the Declaration of Independence reads in part:
"... to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them ..."

In other words, if people are not treated equally before the law by their government, they may "dissolve the political bands." Stated differently, if all citizens do not have equal protection under the law, they have a right to overthrow the regime. This has nothing to do with the state making people equal, or forcing them to be equal, or guaranteeing that all citizens are equal - this is a revolutionary statement about overthrowing an unjust regime.

The second use is the famous one:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Our Founding Fathers believed that we have the same rights "coming out of the box," so to speak. But after that ... all bets are off. The government protects only three things: life, liberty and property. It does not make us equal. God takes care of that.

Let's move to the Constitution. Of the eight appearances of the words "equal" or "equally" in the Constitution, seven of them are about technical voting procedures or holding office, or some other "rule of order" for the internal process of governing. (Keep in mind the word "equality" appears nowhere in the Constitution.) Only once does the word "equal" apply to all citizens. It appears in the first section of the 14th Amendment:
...nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Here we vividly see that the duty of the state is not to make people "equal." The obligation of the state is to protect life, liberty, and property. It does this by trying to insure us, as citizens, equal protection under the law.

The Founding Fathers knew that it was impossible to make human beings equal. People have a variety of talents, skills, and aptitudes. The freedom to pursue those differences among us is what has made our country great. In fact, the Founding Fathers, in #10 of the Federalist Papers, said as much:
The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government. From the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property, the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results; and from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors, ensues a division of the society into different interests and parties.

The promise of the Constitution is that when a stronger (or wealthier) party (or faction) illegally takes advantage of a weaker (or poorer) party, the weaker party will have protection equal to the stronger party under the law. That is how our system is supposed to work.

Every effort to impose equality has ended, to paraphrase George Orwell, making all people equal ... but some people more equal than others. In almost all socialist and communist countries this has been attempted through force by the state. Wealth is confiscated from the rich and redistributed to the poor to achieve "equality." Yet those running the state always end up with more wealth and power than the state's now "equal" citizens.

In his infamous radio address of 2001, Barack Obama flatly stated his disagreement with our constitutional system:
But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution.... [T]he civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change.

Attempts to enforce equality through "redistributive change" are not only unconstitutional; they are efforts to impose upon the masses a Utopian pipe dream. Such efforts have failed everywhere they have been attempted. Wealth may be redistributed, but it does not, and cannot, make people equal. The attempt will fail here, in America, under President Obama.

SOURCE (See the original for links and references)


NFL discredited by the Limbaugh affair

The writer below believes that the NFL will lose a lot of followers among Rush's many fans

In retrospect, the vicious and slanderous attacks that poured out on Rush from the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson were to be expected. These two guys never miss an opportunity to sling a little racial slander and grab some limelight. But several liberals in the news media decided to get on board the slander train and that's when things started getting out of hand. Then some current and former NFL players along with a select group of the sports media decided to jump into the Rush feeding frenzy and things really began to go overboard. This band of ignorant and slanderous liberals attributed unthinkable racial statements to Rush without any definitive proof. The angry mob's accusations ultimately led to Rush's removal from the group bidding for the St. Louis NFL franchise.

But the story doesn't end there. Not one NFL owner or representative came out to denounce the uncivil tone and unfounded slanderous attacks made against Rush, who, as if they were too ignorant to know, happened to be one of the NFL's biggest supporters as well as a prospective owner. It was the ultimate responsibility of the NFL's commissioner, Roger Goodell, to put a stop to this nonsense. But did Goodell step forward? No. In fact, he did just the opposite and climbed on the slander train himself by saying that "divisive comments" would not be welcome in the league. Goodell's statement was reprehensible and became the straw the broke the camel's back for countless thousands of Rush supporters. It was game over -- adios NFL!

Unlike the NFL, in the game of life there are not always clearly defined winners and losers. However, in this tragic situation there are a few of each. The biggest losers are the NFL and the St. Louis Rams, who lost an opportunity to have an awesome new competitor and minority owner. The merry host of media slander slingers also lost the last bit of respect anyone may have ever had for them. And America just lost a little of what makes her the greatest country in the world -- civility, respect and fairness. Rush Limbaugh, on the other hand, became a big winner in the eyes of his loyal listeners for the responsible and dignified manner in which he handled the whole situation.

More HERE (See the original for links)



The source of some of the the libels against Rush Limbaugh has now been tentatively identified. It is a super-"correct" NYC law firm -- Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP -- with far-Left connections and which has been a big donor to Obama. It has a specialty in sports-related matters. Lying is apparently part of that specialty. Being truthful is not part of "correctness", it would seem. Lets hope Rush takes them on in the courts.

I don’t see why Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is upset: "It’s not like he got actually mugged, or anything. Just robbed while taking mass transit. I mean, sure, the incident suggests that San Francisco is a crime-ridden disaster, but what Democratic-controlled urban area isn’t, these days? Shoot, the current unemployment rate of Mayor Johnson’s Sacramento itself was 12.3% in August. That’s almost double what it was a year ago; when did you get elected, again? It’s nice that you’re taking mass transit, by the way. Although I have to wonder: how many of your constituents would rather that you knocked down local unemployment a couple of notches, instead? Yes, this is the guy that got AG Gerald Walprin fired."

Osama bin Laden, family man: "Andrew Neatty of AFP previews a book to be published at the end of the month, written by his first wife and her son, revealing something of the personal side of the man. This is one angry, mean, cruel man. Not just to infidels. Some highlights: Soon after, bin Laden began to travel to Pakistan and Afghanistan to fight against the Soviet occupation, returning to tell his sons tales of battles in Afghan caves and mountains under Soviet fire. He eventually returned to Saudi Arabia a hero, but at home was increasingly disciplinarian, punishing his children -- who eventually numbered more than a dozen -- for transgressions such as "showing too many teeth" while laughing. Meanwhile, Najwa was kept in seclusion with Osama's new wives, one of whom she picked, in a spartan home without the mod-cons that make life in the stifling desert lands of Saudi Arabia and Sudan more comfortable. "My father would not allow my mother to turn on the air conditioning that the contractor had built into the apartment building," Omar relayed. "Neither would he allow her to use the refrigerator that was standing in the kitchen." Despite this aversion to modern appliances, bin Laden indulged in his penchant for fast cars, including at least one gold-colored Mercedes. He once even bought a speed boat."

Job losses deliver '09 baby bust: "The year 2009 is proving to be a baby-bust period in the nation's history as new data show that many couples are now either waiting or dialing down their hopes to start or enlarge their family. Demographers report that the ongoing recession may send the nation's birthrate into a nose dive. Although states report vital statistics differently and some data are unavailable for 2009, there is increasing evidence that money woes may have kept couples from expanding their families as concern over job security and finances has mounted over the past year. "It may well be that couples saw it coming," said Carl Haub, a senior demographer at the Washington-based Population Reference Bureau, who has tracked shifts in birthrates as influenced by the economy. With record unemployment and job losses, the bursting of the housing bubble and a mass of foreclosures, along with sagging consumer confidence, some measures are pointing to a significant drop in the birthrate, perhaps greater than historic declines marked by the Great Depression in the 1930s and the oil-fueled recession of the 1970s, he said."

There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Progressivism: How Many Steps Forward This Time?

When English philosopher John Locke, who greatly influenced America’s Founding Fathers, claimed that mixing our labor with what was formerly common property gave us the right to now call that property our own, he both reaffirmed the Protestant work ethic and provided a philosophical defense of private property rights.

Writing of the rights affirmed by the English [“Glorious”] Revolution of 1688, Locke focused on three: “life, liberty, and the right to own private property.” Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence famously broadened the scope of the third to the more comprehensive “pursuit of happiness.”

For Locke, it was to secure and protect private property rights that governments were formed. Even the rights to life and liberty, for him, sprang from the property rights that we have to our own body and our own person.

That we have these rights not from government but from our Creator was obvious to Locke and the Founding Fathers. As such they were inalienable [“unalienable” was a printer’s typo]. While an alien is separated from his or her homeland, these rights could not be separated from us, not even by government.

When Barack Obama claimed that it was effectively his goal and that of his administration to fundamentally remake America, he did so from the standpoint of Progressivism, a loosely constructed conglomerate of political philosophies which share in common a rejection of the view of our nation’s founding documents as given above.

Influenced by the German philosopher Hegel’s view that the entirety of human history is in a constant state of flux and development, Progressivism views them not as incorporating timeless and invariable truths concerning fundamental human rights and government’s role in protecting them, but as anachronistic documents, culturally bound to their own time and circumstances, inadequate for contemporary challenges.

President Wilson, a Progressive pioneer, suggested applying a Darwinian metaphor to the Constitution: Like an evolving species it needs to adapt to its environment to meet contemporary needs. It is a living, not a static, document.

According to Ronald J. Restritto in an article entitled “The Birth of the Administrative State,” it was President Woodrow Wilson who first suggested a way to free American government from the checks and balances placed on it in the Constitution and pave the way for Progressive reforms: vest more and more real power in the hands of unelected administrators.

He seems to have genuinely held what strikes many as an incredibly naïve belief, namely that administrators who were experts in their own fields, would somehow be above politics and so interested in devoting themselves to serving the needs of the citizenry that checks and balances on their actions would be unnecessary.

Whether Barack Obama accepts Wilson’s view, he seems to have learned its lesson well. In appointing one unelected Czar after another to positions of overriding authority in his administration, he has engineered countless end runs around Constitutional safeguards.

While Locke believed that governments should be instituted for the protection of individual rights and liberties, Progressivism has from its inception loathed individualism and its political expression in our founding documents. In “The Meaning of ‘Progressive’ Politics” Barry Loberfeld quotes Herbert Croly, a Progressive writer, as saying that, "The Promise of American Life is to be fulfilled ... by a large measure of individual subordination and self-denial."

Reading this, one is reminded of Barack Obama’s response to a question from an NBC News reporter on why he thought his proposal for a government takeover of the health care system had aroused such widespread antipathy. As Obama put it: "It's an argument that's gone on for the history of this republic, and that is, What's the right role of government? How do we balance freedom with our need to look out for one another? ... This is not a new argument, and it always evokes passions."

No wonder the great concern of center right Constitutional Originalists is that the Obama Administration, with its unchecked Czars, unwavering Congressional support for a large and invasive government – and admitted quest to “balance freedom” -- seems to think that it can advance Progressive reforms in far more than merely incremental ways. And if it does, it may finally be able to tip the balance that remakes America into a Socialist state once and for all.



No apology for the lies about Rush Limbaugh

There will be no voluntary mea culpas from Rush's race slanderers despite the irrefutable fact that they spread poisonous and damaging lies with actual malice. To the left, Rush is the most prominent face of conservatism and the most influential opponent of President Barack Obama's destructive agenda and so must be stopped -- irrespective of the despicable means employed.

The left systematically destroyed President George W. Bush with the most egregious lies, repeated to the point that people who knew better even began to believe them. The formerly respected CBS News anchor Dan Rather was so convinced by his liberal bias that Bush was evil that he refused to apologize for slandering him with a story later proved to be manufactured -- and that's giving Rather the benefit of the doubt that he was unaware the story was fabricated from the get-go. To Rather, it didn't matter because he was convinced Bush possessed the character of someone who would have engaged in the acts of which he was falsely accused.

And what was it about Bush that led Rather to the conclusion that he possessed such low character? In Rather's eyes -- though many conservatives would strongly dispute this -- he was a conservative and conservatives are evil.

The parallel with Rush's leftist slanderers is striking. It's one of the first things that occurred to me as I heard their sniveling responses, one by one refusing to utter a syllable of apology and instead using the occasion of being caught red-handed in malicious lies as a further opportunity to reiterate their libel.

"How dare you suggest that we have done anything wrong in attributing statements to Rush he never uttered? Even if he didn't say those words, you know he was thinking them or something much worse."

On what basis do they make such preposterous statements? Purely and simply for the reason that Rush is an unabashed conservative and unabashed conservatives are presumptively racist.

There isn't an ounce of fairness in these deliberate bearers of false witness or their supporters. If the supporters were just slightly honorable, at the very least they would condemn the slanderers for their indefensible tortuous utterances. They wouldn't even have to say one word in defense of the super patriot they loathe; just call to the carpet the brutish verbal thuggery of their ideological soul mates.

Many outraged Rush fans are directing their ire at Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, but I would argue that this is an inefficient allocation of their righteous indignation.

These two household name-level, race-hustling opportunists have no credibility, including with the mainstream media and other liberal prostitutes who continue to aid and abet their shenanigans, such as this one. It's a pact of mutual convenience. The liberals know full well that few on the right have the moral courage to oppose their mischief for fear of being labeled racists themselves. So they shamelessly prop them up to enable them to agitate racial disharmony and deliver race-oriented votes to the Democratic Party.

So please direct your angst not at these direct agents of racial toxicity, but at their leftist enablers in the media, the Democratic Party and the government -- those who not only empower these hate-spewing mouthpieces but also participate in the poison by issuing such destructive lies as "a vote for a Republican is a vote for another church to burn" and "President Bush left poor blacks on the rooftops in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina because Republicans don't care about blacks."

While you're at it, please reserve just a smidgeon of your outrage or disgust for those lukewarm conservatives who contribute to the destruction of race relations and to the advancement of liberal causes by pandering to false characterizations of authentic conservatives, such as Rush, who aren't afraid to stand up for the truth, even when it will subject them to virulently fraudulent charges of racism or other slanders.

If any of you are sufficiently naive to believe this NFL incident is merely about Rush, you have a rude awakening in store. The left is on the march -- the march to isolate, stigmatize, demonize, discredit and ultimately silence those who stand in their way. If you haven't read up on the plans of Obama's Federal Communications Commission czar to shut down talk radio or if you aren't following the tyrannical workings of the administration in trying to cram down unpopular legislation without a shred of transparency, then you'll eventually witness the lengths to which these people will go -- as illustrated here.

At the risk of sounding trite, we are at a crossroads in this country, and the left is proving each day how ruthlessly unprincipled it will be in advancing its goal of fundamentally changing this nation.

I pray and honestly trust that conservatives will be emboldened, not cowered, by this nasty, sordid turn of events.


Breitbart points out that there are various NFL owners who have ACTUALLY said worse things than Rush was ALLEGED to have said -- with no repercussions on them.


BrookesNews Update

The US economy: inflation, deflation, stagflation - which one will it be? :Assuming that Obama adheres to his present course then there is every possibility that the monetary dam that Bernanke constructed will eventually flood the banking system and generate surging inflation, sending the dollar into free fall and leaving Americans struggling with stagflation
Getting it right on the asset boom and the recession:The asset boom is being blamed on excess liquidity. If only, so it is argued, we can maintain monetary equilibrium then all will be well. This is the kind of dangerous thinking that got the world into this awful financial mess in the first place
Consumer spending, taxes and the US recession : Obama and his leftwing cronies are intent on loading the US economy down with a tidal wave of tax increases - including grossly irresponsible taxes on energy, huge deficits, colossal increases in spending plus a massive expansion of government. That these policies amount to an anti-growth program that will have dire consequences for future living standards has yet to sink into the collective mind of the American public
How the vast right wing conspiracy really works : Obama and his leftwing cronies are intent on loading the US economy down with a tidal wave of tax increases - including grossly irresponsible taxes on energy, huge deficits, colossal increases in spending plus a massive expansion of government. That these policies amount to an anti-growth program that will have dire consequences for future living standards has yet to sink into the collective mind of the American public
The government does not create wealth; it merely redistributes tax money received :We live under a system where virtually nothing is beyond the reach of the national government so more and more of the income of working Americans and businesses must be confiscated to support the expanded range of government activities
Commies, Fascists and Perverts, Oh My!:Obama's is drawing many of his appointees from a political and moral cesspit. One such appointee is Kevin Jennings, an ardent supporter of the North American Man-Boy Love Association. This organization demands to be allowed to sexually prey on young boys. So why is Obama appointing these creeps?
Jewish self-haters or victims? : Obama and his leftwing cronies are intent on loading the US economy down with a tidal wave of tax increases - including grossly irresponsible taxes on energy, huge deficits, colossal increases in spending plus a massive expansion of government. That these policies amount to an anti-growth program that will have dire consequences for future living standards has yet to sink into the collective mind of the American public



Obama from Kenya, archived report says: "An archived article from 2004 on Barack Obama's run for the U.S. Senate in Illinois describes the relative political newcomer as "Kenyan-born," providing further fuel for speculation over the president's eligibilty for office. WND has noted various news reports that have either stated or implied Obama's birthplace is not Hawaii, as he has claimed, but Africa. The issue is significant, since there are a number of lawsuits challenging Obama's eligibility that argue if he was not born in the U.S., he does not meet the requirement in the Constitution that the president be a "natural born" citizen. WND further has reported on the disagreement among those documenting Obama's presidency over which Hawaii hospital was his birth place. Now have come a flood of blog questions and e-mails regarding the apparently archived article from the Sunday Standard in Kenya. The report starts out, "Kenyan-born US Senate hopeful, Barrack (sic) Obama, appeared set to take over the Illinois Senate seat after his main rival, Jack Ryan, dropped out of the race on Friday night amid a furor over lurid sex club allegations."

Official: Obama 'disgusted' with Israel: "U.S. officials in recent days expressed to the Palestinian Authority that President Obama's administration is "disgusted" with Israel, a top aide to PA President Mahmoud Abbas told WND in an interview. Nimr Hamad said the White House was disgusted that Israel is refusing to halt all settlement activity as a precondition for re-starting talks with the PA over the creation of a Palestinian state. "Settlement activity" refers to Jewish construction in the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem. Hamad repeated that the term "disgusted" was used more than once in recent meetings with U.S. envoys to describe the administration's attitude toward Israel. Hamad did not name the U.S. envoys using the terminology."

Obama has love-in with George Bush senior: "A day after telling supporters in San Francisco that he was cleaning up a mess left for him by former President George W. Bush, President Obama came to his predecessor's adopted home state Friday to honor his father, former President George H.W. Bush, for his public service. Mr. Obama arrived deep in enemy political territory to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Mr. Bush's inaugural address and call to action that led to the creation of the Points of Light Institute, the nation's largest volunteer-management and civic organization. The president lauded the 41st commander-in-chief, who is now 85 years old, for being a leader "who promoted the ethic of service long before it was fashionable," and for choosing a life of service over "a life of comfort and privilege." The president, who was born more than a decade after Mr. Bush fought as a Navy pilot in World War II, cited Mr. Bush's wartime sacrifices to hammer home the point. "If President Bush could fly 58 combat missions when he was younger than many of you here today, and keep on fighting even after he was shot down and nearly captured by the enemy, then surely you can keep going when your service project gets a little tough," Mr. Obama said at the campus that's home to Mr. Bush's presidential library."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Saturday, October 17, 2009

What Is Happening to Rush Limbaugh Matters

This was written before Rush was given his marching orders but is still to the point

It appears that the purveyors of political correctness and the ignorant or hate-filled on the far-left are about to exact their revenge against Rush Limbaugh. With the majority of the liberal mainstream media in their enraged and partisan corner, they are about to browbeat, threaten and even blackmail the required number of cowardly NFL owners needed to reject Limbaugh’s bid to purchase the St. Louis Rams.

Congratulations to all involved in this witch hunt. With this one act of purely partisan-driven retribution, they have highlighted exactly why so many Americans fear freedom of speech and individual liberties may soon be a thing of the past. Liberal groupthink is on the way and let the character assassination aimed at Limbaugh serve as a warning to all those who dare to question the nanny state. From the Ivory Tower of the liberal intelligentsia, we can almost hear the screams of “Just as we know the Sun revolves around the earth, we know that same earth has warmed over the last decade. Agree with us, heretic, or be prepared to be burned at the stake.”

What was Limbaugh’s crime? He had many, apparently, the most unforgivable of which being the fact that for the last two decades, he has been the most powerful and most listened-to voice on the right. For that alone, the far left would like to see him deported from the country or deposited in a dark, dank dungeon. Beyond that, the flimsy excuse used by the handmaidens of the left to deny Limbaugh an ownership stake in the St. Louis Rams is the fact that in 2003, he dared to offer his opinion. As we have come to learn, as far as the liberal elite is concerned, freedom of speech exists in this country for them alone. Conservative opinion needs to be denied, devalued, or attacked wherever and whenever it makes itself known in high schools, the college and university level, media, entertainment or even sports.

In 2003, on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown -- a show in which Limbaugh was being paid and encouraged to offer sometimes controversial opinions -- he had the temerity to offer one -- and state that he believed that for politically correct reasons, some in the sports media were reluctant to criticize Donovan McNabb of the Philadelphia Eagles because he was an African-American. Agree with Limbaugh or not, that was his opinion. It was his right to offer it.

I happen to believe that McNabb is an incredibly tough, gifted and battle-tested quarterback. That said, I also happen to believe that Limbaugh was right to point out that for politically correct reasons, some sports reporters -- the vast majority of whom now lean left in their political and social beliefs -- may have wanted McNabb to succeed for reasons beyond the football field.

No matter; only seconds after that remark by Limbaugh in 2003, the liberal media, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the left-leaning ESPN, decided that Limbaugh had to go. Flash ahead to 2009, and we have the far-left Keith Olbermann -- a man who has said enough vile things about conservative Americans to fill a phone book -- doing weekly commentary for NBC’s Sunday Night Football package. No problem there as far as the left is concerned.

Beyond the corporate censorship against Limbaugh that is being orchestrated by a number of interconnected interest groups from the left, there is something just as insidious going on. Something the far-left has bet conservatives are powerless to stop …or replicate. That being the threats against conservative or independent commentators and the intimidation of advertisers who are associated with such programs or outlets.

Three cases in point being Glenn Beck’s program on the FOX News Channel, Lou Dobbs on CNN, and the nearly advertiser-empty pages of The Weekly Standard run by William Kristol. With pitchforks and torches in hand, the far-left has been working overtime to threaten advertisers on the Beck program or with FOX, have gone viral with a petition to have Lou Dobbs fired from CNN, and have made sure that advertising money does not find its way onto the pages of The Weekly Standard.

As this blacklisting, intimidation, and censorship of free speech takes place, the mainstream media remains mostly silent. As an ally of those who would attack Limbaugh, Beck and Dobbs, they see no reason to criticize what they decades before, referred to as “Un-American” activity.

Advertisers can run in any far-left publication or newspaper without fear as they know conservatives not only can’t or won’t employ the tactics of the left, but don’t have the media in their pocket to makes such threats stick. From Limbaugh to The Weekly Standard, those on the left who seek to expunge dialog, transparency, facts, and basic American liberties, feel they are easily winning the battle.

As they seek to crush Limbaugh, Beck and Dobbs, who or what is next?



Can't they demonize Limbaugh without making stuff up?

On the question of who should own the hapless St. Louis Rams, we can't say we have much of an opinion. It's unfortunate that controversy-shy NFL owners forced Rush Limbaugh to withdraw from an investment consortium bidding for the team, but it's hard to muster much outrage. Blogger Tom Maguire puts it in perspective: "Love him or hate him he has made fabulous living being controversial and (that awful word) divisive. That has opened some doors to him and, unsurprisingly, closed others."

But there is a genuine outrage in the use of phony quotes to accuse Limbaugh of racism. notes that CNN and MSNBC have both attributed the following fabricated quote to Limbaugh: "I mean, let's face it, we didn't have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: Slavery built the South. I'm not saying we should bring it back; I'm just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark."

Another NewsBusters item quotes MSNBC's Rachel Maddow citing this phony quote: "You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray. We miss you, James. Godspeed." Ray assassinated Martin Luther King.

According to the second NewsBusters item linked above, these quotes appear in "101 People Who Are Really Screwing America," a 2006 book by Jack Huberman. (Disclosure: Huberman also quotes this columnist--accurately, as far as we can tell--in explaining why "The Wall Street Journal editors" are one of the "people who are really screwing America.") A blogger who goes by the handle "Mike Smash!" tracks the James Earl Ray quote further back, to a September 2005 blog posting by one "zedlappy," who seems to have found it on a since-edited Wikipedia page.

So what we have here is simply a slander that has become an urban legend--and one that reporters and commentators don't bother to check because it fits their preconception of Limbaugh....

Those journalists who have attributed fake quotes to Limbaugh have not only done him wrong but have fallen short of the most basic professional standard. They owe Limbaugh an apology, and they owe their audience a correction.

More here


A Crazy Double Standard

It's difficult for a public figure like Rush Limbaugh successfully to sue for the defamation he suffered at the hands of a media lynch mob and credulous opponents during his membership in the Checketts group.

But the irony is staggering. Last night on Anderson Cooper 360, CNN called in Al Sharpton to denounce Rush Limbaugh. That's right, Al Sharpton -- a true racist who has incited racial violence which later led to rioting; refused to apologize for defaming a police officer whom he falsely accused of raping a young black woman; made a variety of apparently anti-semitic remarks; and even called fellow blacks who disagreed with him "yellow n----rs." Yet Anderson Cooper and his producers feel that Sharpton is qualified to comment on Rush Limbaugh's alleged bigotry. Now that's rich.

Al Sharpton -- qualified to run for President and to be courted by the Democrat elite. Rush Limbaugh -- not qualified even to be part owner of a football team. Amazing how the double standards for liberals and conservatives work, isn't it?

As for all those football players seething with righteous indignation against Rush -- what's their beef with Rush (do they even know)? And if it's because Rush opposes affirmative action, every football player who hates Rush for that stance should be prepared to surrender his NFL jersey right now to a player of a different race, one "underrepresented" on the football field.




The Attack on Rush Limbaugh - An Anatomy of Fabricated Racism: "Fear is as effective in enslaving us as iron shackles. One more nail was hammered deeply into America's freedom coffin when a group of private sector entrepreneurs were intimidated by race hustlers into ousting talk show host Rush Limbaugh from the consortium formed to buy the St. Louis Rams. Armed with nothing more than demonstrably false charges of racism, fabricated to destroy Limbaugh, several black NFL players claimed publicly that they would never play for a team owned by Limbaugh. Into the cauldron of racial slime jumped the usual race mongering suspects, The Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton - aided by the liberal media, including CNN, MSNBC and their ilk. The phony charge of racism is continuously used as a weapon to silence conservatives who dare stand up for our nation's traditional values and oppose the radical socialist agenda of Democrats and the Obama Administration. Limbaugh deserves our gratitude for showing no fear of the race-baiters, fighting back and helping to preserve the freedoms that have made this country great.

Dollar loses reserve status to yen & euro: "Ben Bernanke's dollar crisis went into a wider mode yesterday as the greenback was shockingly upstaged by the euro and yen, both of which can lay claim to the world title as the currency favored by central banks as their reserve currency. Over the last three months, banks put 63 percent of their new cash into euros and yen -- not the greenbacks -- a nearly complete reversal of the dollar's onetime dominance for reserves, according to Barclays Capital. The dollar's share of new cash in the central banks was down to 37 percent -- compared with two-thirds a decade ago. Currently, dollars account for about 62 percent of the currency reserve at central banks -- the lowest on record, said the International Monetary Fund. Bernanke could go down in economic history as the man who killed the greenback on the operating table. After printing up trillions of new dollars and new bonds to stimulate the US economy, the Federal Reserve chief is now boxed into a corner battling two separate monsters that could devour the economy -- ravenous inflation on one hand, and a perilous recession on the other. "He's in a crisis worse than the meltdown ever was," said Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital. "I fear that he could be the Fed chairman who brought down the whole thing"... "The stimulus is what's toxic -- we're poisoning ourselves and the global economy with it."

Update on the MIAC Report: "Remember the MIAC Report from last February? This was the report issued by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) to law enforcement officials across the state warning them to watch out for supporters of limited government. The report, titled "The Modern Militia Movement", caused quite a stir in the media and the blogosphere. Bill Wilson, President of Americans for Limited Government, filed a FOIA request to obtain the information that went into creating the report. The results of that FOIA were not surprising. The information did not exist. According to Steven Frisbie, the Custodian of Records at the Missouri Highway Patrol, no background materials that were used while the author drafted the report existed. And even more interesting was the claim that they have no record of who wrote the report. Bizarre. The group tasked with collecting intelligence in Missouri cannot even keep track of its own office. It would appear that the MIAC operation is nothing but an amateur operation complete with mustache/glasses disguise kits. They have no idea what is going on inside of their own office."

Obama's tax deception: "The real key to Obama's victory a year ago -- indeed his "signature" issue -- was his promise not to raise taxes on the middle class. No matter how you look at it, though, what a difference a year makes. Not only are middle class American families getting no tax relief, Obama administration officials are refusing to rule out the possibility that taxes on middle class families will actually increase in an effort to help the government pay for all of this new spending. So much for Obama’s plan to “bleed the rich” in order to fund middle class tax relief – now everyone must bleed as the President and his Congressional allies scramble to pay for all that “hope and change” they’ve created. Aside from the obvious demerits of “Robin Hood-style” tax policy (it’s never a good idea to go after the people creating the jobs, is it?), the reality is that Obama’s now-scrapped middle class “tax cut” would have barely made a dent when compared to costly new government mandates being forced upon American families. For example, according to an unreleased report prepared by Obama’s own Treasury Department, the cost of the administration’s “cap and trade” energy tax on the typical American household came out to $1,761 a year. On top of that, we learned this week that the latest multibillion-dollar proposal to “reform” the health care industry would cost the typical American family of four over $4,000 a year by the time the plan is fully implemented.

Big business kills a damaging tax increase on overseas profits: "Raising taxes on the overseas profits of American firms has been a central plank of Barack Obama's agenda since his campaign for President in 2008. The proposal was featured in the President's budget in February and was the focus of a May speech in which he said that corporations were "shirking" their responsibility to support his huge increases in federal spending through higher tax payments. But as this newspaper reported Tuesday, the Administration appears to have shelved the plan to limit business use of the current deferral of taxes on profits earned overseas. This climbdown comes after a full-court press by U.S. multinationals, notably including some of Mr. Obama's Silicon Valley supporters, which argued that raising taxes on U.S. companies abroad would do nothing to create jobs in the U.S. while undermining American competitiveness overseas.

Man gets 50 jobs in 50 states in 50 weeks: "A Californian man went from being bored in a dead end job to getting 50 different jobs in 50 different US states in 50 weeks. Dan Seddiqui, 27, of Los Altos, decided he would prove there were jobs out there and he was going to try as many as possible in just one year. So he left his office job in Skokie, Illinois, to try everything from being a lobster catcher, a jazz conductor, a TV weatherman and even a Las Vegas wedding planner. … In choosing the jobs that he wanted to try in each state, Mr Seddiqui decided that he would try a career that each state was most famous for. So he became a wedding co-ordinator in Vegas, conducting two weddings, and was a musician co-ordinator in jazz-obsessed New Orleans.”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Friday, October 16, 2009

Britain's Channel 4 to screen documentary that asks whether IQ is linked to race

Channel 4 also aired an "incorrect" programme on climate change. Report below from the mainstream "Daily Mail"

Channel 4 is facing a race controversy after deciding to give a platform to scientists who claim that white people are more intelligent than those who are black. A documentary, fronted by former BBC News correspondent Rageh Omaar, will interview professors who claim brain power is linked to racial grouping. It will include claims that the most intelligent people in the world are North-East Asians from parts of China, Japan and North and South Korea.

The Australian Aborigines will be said to have the lowest average IQ.

The broadcaster has decided to air the comments, which will be abhorrent to many of its viewers, as part of a series of programmes about race and science, aimed at busting 'science's last taboo'. Bosses at the channel claim the season will strongly challenge these opinions and 'explode' the myth that science can support ideas of racial superiority. But the decision to air the issue at all could prove incendiary and is in danger of throwing the channel into another race row. The broadcaster was inundated with complaints in 2007 after it aired the alleged racist bullying of Shilpa Shetty on Celebrity Big Brother.

To promote the series, Channel 4 has altered photos of Baroness Thatcher, The Beatles, England's 1966 World Cup winning football team and U.S. President Barack Obama to change their racial appearances.

In Race and Intelligence: Science's Last Taboo, Omaar talks to academics who believe that aspects of the human brain are linked to race. He interviews Richard Lynn, emeritus professor at the University of Ulster, who has amassed data which he believes shows there is a global league table of intelligence between the races. He is seen claiming that 'the top rate' are North-East Asians who have an average IQ of 105, followed by North and Central Europeans with a score of 100.

He claims American Indians have an IQ of 87, and that sub-Saharan Africans 'pretty well on either side of the equator' have IQs of around 70. He says Aborigines have the lowest scores of around 65. He says: 'When sub-Saharan Africans come and live - and even several generations of them come to live - in European or North American countries, their IQs increase because of course their environment is improved, their schooling is better and their nutrition is better. 'But their IQs don't rise up to the same level as Europeans.'

British-born J Philippe Rushton, a psychology professor at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, is also interviewed. Professor Rushton claims the differences between black and white and East Asian brains is due to general intelligence. He says black people have smaller-sized brains than white people and are not as intelligent as white people.

In the programme a range of academics line up to criticise the views of the two men. Oona King, Channel 4's head of diversity, said the programme will show conclusively 'that you cannot link race to IQ'. Miss King, a former Labour MP, added: 'Even people who know the race agenda inside out will learn a lot from these programmes.' She called for a 'heated debate' about race, saying: 'This series will change the terms of the debate.'

Dr Watson sparked controversy in 2007 after claiming in a newspaper interview that black people were less intelligent. His views prompted London's Science Museum to scrap a planned talk by him, saying the opinions went 'beyond the point of acceptable debate'. The 79-year-old American geneticist - who does not appear in the show - said he was 'inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa' because 'all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours - whereas all the testing says not really'. He added that he hoped that everyone was equal, but then alleged that 'people who have to deal with black employees find this not true'. In the interview he claimed genes responsible for creating differences in human intelligence could be found within a decade.

Dr Watson was hailed as achieving one of the greatest single scientific breakthroughs of the 20th century when he worked at Cambridge in the 1950s and 1960s, forming part of the team which discovered the structure of DNA. He has been director of the Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory on Long Island, in the U.S., a world leader in research into cancer and genetics, for 50 years.

Dr Watson has been at the heart of several scientific furores over the years. He once reportedly said that a woman should have the right to abort her unborn child if tests could determine it would be homosexual. He has suggested a link between skin colour and sex drive, proposing a theory that black people have higher libidos. And he also claimed that beauty could be genetically manufactured, saying: 'People say it would be terrible if we made all girls pretty. I think it would be great.'

In his book, Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science, he writes that 'there is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. 'Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so'.

Omaar also said in a clip of the show that views society found offensive 'are not defeated by being ignored'.



Taxing the Rich. When will the Leftist haters ever learn?

The rhetoric of increasing taxes on the rich has been a goal of populist presidents since FDR. The Obama administration has pledged to increase the taxes on those making over $250,000 to fund increased social programs and a supposed middle class tax cut. However in the past, increasing taxes on the rich has had just the opposite effect.

For example, in 1932, the top individual tax rate was increased from 25% to 63% and eventually rose to 79% by 1937. During that same period, the overall share of taxes paid by those with incomes over $100,000 fell from 50% to 27% of all taxes. Roosevelt\rquote s desire to blame the wealthy investors for the continuing Great Depression, rather than his own economic policies, actually reduced the tax contribution of the very wealthy.

This occurs, of course, because politicians intent upon increased taxes on the rich neglect the fact that the rich, unlike the rest of us, have alternative ways of legitimately investing their money, such as municipal bonds that do not result in taxable income, instead of investing in companies that expand to create jobs. And not just any jobs but productive ones that do not depend upon a coerced tax base of citizens.

While populist administrations want to make sure that the rich pay their fair share, the rich actually already pay for most of the cost of government. In 2005, the top 5% of taxpayers, those with incomes above $150,000, paid 60% of all income taxes paid. Before the Reagan tax reductions of the 1980, that same group paid less than 40%.

While increasing the taxes on the rich may be popular politically, the result is that their share of tax revenue is reduced by alternative investment. This forces the middle class to pay a larger share of the tax burden. This is exactly the opposite result of what those trying to get the rich to pay their fair share would like you to believe.



Jackson & Sharpton Effort Against Rush Limbaugh is an Effort to "Get Whitie" and a "Racist Act," Says Leading Black Conservative

This statement was issued today by Deneen Borelli of the national black leadership network Project 21: "The left-wing jihad against Rush Limbaugh is un-fair and un-American. Rush is being targeted simply because he is a conservative and a leading critic of President Obama's wealth redistribution policies.

With conservative blood in the water, it's predictable to see the 'race card duo' -- Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton -- circling the victim. Since the election of the first black president, they have been searching for some white meat to feed on and Rush just happens to be a juicy target. Whipping up unjustified black anger is their specialty.

Frankly, I see their effort as 'get whitie' -- an inherent racist act. It's outrageous that the 'race card duo' are worried about Rush buying a football team following a graphic example of black on black gang violence in Chicago -- Jackson's home town. As so-called black leaders they should be putting their time and effort in dealing with the human tragedies in the urban community: crime and failing schools and not a conservative exercising his right to play in the free market."




U.S. troop funds diverted to pet projects: "Senators diverted $2.6 billion in funds in a defense spending bill to pet projects largely at the expense of accounts that pay for fuel, ammunition and training for U.S. troops, including those fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to an analysis. Among the 778 such projects, known as earmarks, packed into the bill: $25 million for a new World War II museum at the University of New Orleans and $20 million to launch an educational institute named after the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat. While earmarks are hardly new in Washington, "in 30 years on Capitol Hill, I never saw Congress mangle the defense budget as badly as this year," said Winslow Wheeler, a former Senate staffer who worked on defense funding and oversight for both Republicans and Democrats."

An Olympian traitor: "After hemming and hawing for weeks, Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe did what many knew she'd do: support the abominable Baucus health care overhaul. The GOP has a big problem. Some who march under its banner don't really accept the basic philosophy it espouses -- one of low taxes, small government and support of the Constitution. Snowe is one of those. Her decision to vote "aye" on the Baucus bill, which passed out of the Senate Finance Committee on an otherwise partisan 14-9 vote, was called a "surprise" by some. It wasn't. She's done this for years, undercutting her party and lending support to the opposition. Don't look for some transcendent reason. "My vote today is my vote today," Snowe said, clarifying nothing. "It doesn't forecast what my vote will be tomorrow." Nothing like standing firmly on principle."

Media Outlets Neglect to Mention that Doctor Photo-Op Was Staged: "In his latest push for a health care overhaul bill, President Obama spoke to doctors in the White House Rose Garden yesterday. Painting a nice picture of the event were many media outlets that neglected to mention the White House's doctoring (forgive the pun) of the audience in an attempt at a powerful photo-op. Doctors attending the event were instructed to show up in white lab coats to give observers the feeling that doctors stand behind the President's health care plans. "White Coats in the Rose Garden, as Obama Rallies Doctors on Health Overhaul," read a New York Times blog post headline. "The roughly 150 doctors assembled wore white lab coats under the brilliant fall sun," the Washington Post recalled. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote, "Obama faced rows of smiling doctors, all wearing white lab coats." NBC News also noted the white coats donned by the doctors in attendance. But none of these media outlets mentioned that the White House had to hand out lab coats to a number of the doctors in attendance who showed up in business attire. Apparently trying to drive home the image of medical professionals applauding the President, the White House would not start the press conference until all of the doctors were dressed in the "spiffy" outfits, in the President's words. Rather than cover the clear attempt by the President to use visuals to enhance the public perception of support from the industry, media outlets chose to rehash White House talking points."

Just what Britain needs; Fewer productive workers and more parasites: "Nearly a million jobs in private industry and commerce have been lost in just 15 months, the latest unemployment figures showed yesterday. But the full impact of the recession has been shrugged off in the public sector, which has seen a boom of over 300,000 in recruitment of bureaucrats. There was an increase of 88,000 in the jobless numbers in the three months to August. Ministers hope the figures may signal an improvement in the economy, but the gloss was taken off by the extent to which the Treasury has subsidised employment. But while hundreds of thousands of taxpayer-funded jobs have been created in Whitehall and its branches, town halls and quangos, the private sector has been punished. And pay rises in the public sector are running far ahead of inflation and at nearly three times the rate of wage increases in private business. At the end of June there were more than six million workers in the public sector, up by 304,000 on March 2008 when the recession started to bite. However, over the same 15-month period the number of employees in the private sector dropped by 919,000. And many of the new public sector workers do not appear to have been the 'front-line' staff such as teachers, nurses and policemen of whom ministers like to boast. For example, recent figures showed that the number of teachers has dropped over the past few months, while town halls have continued to hire staff, often to the kind of posts regularly mocked as 'non-jobs'.

Britain is in danger of going bust, warns EU: "Britian's economy was consigned to a list of those at 'high risk' yesterday because of the spiralling national debt. The European Commission issued a humiliating warning that the worsening budget deficit poses 'serious concerns' that the country will be unable to meet future spending commitments, such as pensions. The growing number of elderly people threatens to make debt unsustainable and has led to the UK economy being ranked alongside nations such as Latvia, Greece and Romania. The warning plunged the Government into a furious row with Brussels, as Treasury officials said it called into question the EC's ability to carry out 'credible economic analysis'."

Colorado minimum wage to drop as living costs fall: "Colorado will become the first state to reduce its minimum wage because of a falling cost of living. The state Department of Labor and Employment ordered the wage down to $7.24 from $7.28. That's lower than the federal minimum wage of $7.25, so most minimum wage workers would lose only 3 cents an hour. Colorado is one of 10 states where the minimum wage is tied to inflation. The indexing is thought to protect low-wage workers from having flat wages as the cost of living goes up. But because Colorado's provision allows wage declines, the minimum wage will drop because of a falling consumer price index. It will be the first decrease in any state since the federal minimum wage law was passed in 1938."

Dollar sinking: "The U.S. dollar plumbed a 14-month low against the euro on Wednesday, sending gold prices to record highs and pushing up oil for a fifth day to a 2009 high of $75.12 a barrel. U.S. stock futures were up 1 percent, indicating a higher open on Wall Street, while the MSCI all-country world stock index rose 0.8 percent to a new 12-month high. Improvements in Chinese export and import data for September as well as a surprising rise in its copper imports also boded well for the rest of the year, offering fresh evidence that its economy is firmly on a recovery track and that the global economy is improving, too... The dollar dropped 0.6 percent against the yen to 89.20 yen, bringing lows below 88 yen hit earlier this month back into view. The latest rush to buy yen and sell dollars came after Naoki Minezaki, a senior vice finance minister in Japan, told Reuters that yen strength is due to dollar weakness which will likely persist, and the government should not intervene in markets just because the yen is rising. The euro climbed 0.2 percent to $1.4877, after earlier rising to $1.49, the highest since August 2008."

Another Obama sycophant: "While the National Endowment for the Arts has attracted attention as a propaganda arm of the Obama administration, the National Endowment for the Humanities has so far escaped such attention. Have we missed something? The new chairman of the NEH is former Republican Rep. Jim Leach. Leach supported Obama during the campaign and must have had dreams of office higher than the chairmanship of the NEH. The NEH itself is of course supposed to be nonpartisan. In his capacity as chairman, however, Leach has become something of an Obama mouthpiece... The theme of the speech was the NEH's "Bridging Cultures" initiative. According to Leach, the initiative is aimed at changing the allegedly "disrespectful" attitudes of many Americans toward Muslim contributions to culture. I'd settle for Leach building a bridge of respect to Americans such as Rep. Wilson, but he clearly has bigger fish to fry. The anthropologist and National Association of Scholars president Peter Wood raises a red flag concerning Leach's speech here. I urge you to read all of Professor Wood's commentary on the speech. Professor Wood says just about everything that needs to be said about it."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Obama's destruction of the U.S. dollar

With U.S. debt set to exceed 100% of GDP in 2011, it's no wonder people are looking for alternative ways to preserve wealth

Unprecedented spending, unending fiscal deficits, unconscionable accumulations of government debt: These are the trends that are shaping America's financial future. And since loose monetary policy and a weak U.S. dollar are part of the mix, apparently, it's no wonder people around the world are searching for an alternative form of money in which to calculate and preserve their own wealth.

It may be too soon to dismiss the dollar as an utterly debauched currency. It still is the most used for international transactions and constitutes over 60% of other countries' official foreign-exchange reserves. But the reputation of our nation's money is being severely compromised.

Funny how words normally used to address issues of morality come to the fore when judging the qualities of the dollar. Perhaps it's because the U.S. has long represented the virtues of democratic capitalism. To be "sound as a dollar" is to be deemed trustworthy, dependable, and in good working condition.

It used to mean all that, anyway. But as the dollar is increasingly perceived as the default mechanism for out-of-control government spending, its role as a reliable standard of value is destined to fade. Who wants to accumulate assets denominated in a shrinking unit of account? Excess government spending leads to inflation, and inflation plays dollar savers for patsies—both at home and abroad.

A return to sound financial principles in Washington, D.C., would signal that America still believes it can restore the integrity of the dollar and provide leadership for the global economy. But for all the talk from the Obama administration about the need to exert fiscal discipline—the president's 10-year federal budget is subtitled "A New Era of Responsibility: Renewing America's Promise"—the projected budget numbers anticipate a permanent pattern of deficit spending and vastly higher levels of outstanding federal debt.

Even with the optimistic economic assumptions implicit in the Obama administration's budget, it's a mathematical impossibility to reduce debt if you continue to spend more than you take in. Mr. Obama promises to lower the deficit from its current 9.9% of gross domestic product to an average 4.8% of GDP for the years 2010-2014, and an average 4% of GDP for the years 2015-2019. All of this presupposes no unforeseen expenditures such as a second "stimulus" package or additional costs related to health-care reform. But even if the deficit shrinks as a percentage of GDP, it's still a deficit. It adds to the amount of our nation's outstanding indebtedness, which reflects the cumulative total of annual budget deficits.

By the end of 2019, according to the administration's budget numbers, our federal debt will reach $23.3 trillion—as compared to $11.9 trillion today. To put it in perspective: U.S. federal debt was equal to 61.4% of GDP in 1999; it grew to 70.2% of GDP in 2008 (under the Bush administration); it will climb to an estimated 90.4% this year and touch the 100% mark in 2011, after which the projected federal debt will continue to equal or exceed our nation's entire annual economic output through 2019.

The U.S. is thus slated to enter the ranks of those countries—Zimbabwe, Japan, Lebanon, Singapore, Jamaica, Italy—with the highest government debt-to-GDP ratio (which measures the debt burden against a nation's capacity to generate sufficient wealth to repay its creditors). In 2008, the U.S. ranked 23rd on the list—crossing the 100% threshold vaults our nation into seventh place.

If you were a foreign government, would you want to increase your holdings of Treasury securities knowing the U.S. government has no plans to balance its budget during the next decade, let alone achieve a surplus?

In the European Union, countries wishing to adopt the euro must first limit government debt to 60% of GDP. It's the reference criterion for demonstrating "soundness and sustainability of public finances." Politicians find it all too tempting to print money—something the Europeans have understood since the days of the Weimar Republic—and excessive government borrowing poses a threat to monetary stability.

Valuable lessons can also be drawn from Japan's unsuccessful experiment with quantitative easing in the aftermath of its ruptured 1980s bubble economy. The Bank of Japan's desperate efforts to fight deflation through a zero-interest rate policy aimed at bailing out zombie companies, along with massive budget deficit spending, only contributed to a lost decade of stagnant growth. Japan's government debt-to-GDP ratio escalated to more than 170% now from 65% in 1990. Over the same period, the yen's use as an international reserve currency—it clings to fourth place behind the dollar, euro and pound sterling—declined from comprising 10.2% of official foreign-exchange reserves to 3.3% today.

The U.S. has long served as the world's "indispensable nation" and the dollar's primary role in the global economy has likewise seemed to testify to American exceptionalism. But the passivity in Washington toward our dismal fiscal future, and its inevitable toll on U.S. economic influence, suggests that American global leadership is no longer a priority and that America's money cannot be trusted.

If money is a moral contract between government and its citizens, we are being violated. The rest of the world, meanwhile, simply wants to avoid being duped. That is why China and Russia—large holders of dollars—are angling to invent some new kind of global currency for denominating reserve assets. It's why oil-producing Gulf States are fretting over whether to continue pricing energy exports in depreciated dollars. It's why central banks around the world are dumping dollars in favor of alternative currencies, even as reduced global demand exacerbates the dollar's decline. Until the U.S. sends convincing signals that it believes in a strong dollar—mere rhetorical assertions ring hollow—the world has little reason to hold dollar-denominated securities.

Sadly, due to our fiscal quagmire, the Federal Reserve may be forced to raise interest rates as a sop to attract foreign capital even if it hurts our domestic economy. Unfortunately, that's the price of having already succumbed to symbiotic fiscal and monetary policy. If we could forge a genuine commitment to private-sector economic growth by reducing taxes, and at the same time significantly cut future spending, it might be possible to turn things around. Under President Reagan in the 1980s, Fed Chairman Paul Volcker slashed inflation and strengthened the dollar by dramatically tightening credit. Though it was a painful process, the economy ultimately boomed.

Whether the U.S. can once more summon the resolve to address its problems is an open question. But the world's growing dollar disdain conveys a message: Issuing more promissory notes is not the way to renew America's promise.



Who's Behind the White House War on Fox News?

The Left just can't take criticism. They know how vulnerable they are if people get to hear both sides of an argument -- JR

White House interim communications director Anita Dunn assumed the role of lead Fox News Channel-basher this weekend. The attack was a dud. The left-leaning Nation magazine ridiculed President Obama's press shop for turning him into the "whiner-in-chief." AOL media columnist Jeff Bercovici called the war on Fox a "loser's strategy" that "signals weakness." And that's the friendly fire.

Dunn found refuge in rival CNN's green zone, where she blasted Fox News as a "research arm of the Republican Party." Unhappy with headline-generating Fox News hosts who have wrested control of the news cycle from Team Obama, Dunn complained about "opinion journalism masquerading as news."

Well, that is certainly an apt description of an Obama-sympathizing "news" segment on "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," which purported to "fact check" a Saturday Night Live skit mocking the president's lack of accomplishments.

Yes, the "real" news fact-checked the fake news to cover for Obama's deficiencies. Zero complaints from the White House communications office about that. Or about authentic CNN journalist Anderson Cooper using his prime-time show to make vulgar sexual jokes about Tea Party activists. Or about the joint White House-ABC News health care reform infomercial that aired earlier this summer.

Some "opinion journalism" is more equal than others.

Debates about the blurred lines between opinion and journalism are all well and good. But don't the talking-points crafters in the Oval Office have something better to do than carp about the talking points they don't like hearing on the one cable network that hasn't been completely overrun by Obama sycophants? (Full disclosure: I've been a Fox News contributor since 2001.)

Where are the seasoned press gurus to help Nobel Peace Prize-winner Barack Obama appear more presidential and less petty and thuggish?

The corruptocratic affiliations of Obama's communications team are illuminating. His press shop can't rise above the fray because they've been entrenched in the Beltway fray for years. They can't help themselves.

Democratic media consultant Dunn's claim to fame is her decade-long service as chief strategist for disgraced Democrat and former Senate Majority Leader turned health care lobbyist Tom Daschle. She was in the thick of his failed re-election campaign as Daschle asserted a bogus property-tax homestead exemption claim on his $1.9 million D.C. mansion -- which he listed as his primary residence despite voting in South Dakota and claiming it as his primary residence in order to run for re-election. And Dunn was with Daschle during the years he failed to pay gobs of taxes on a luxury car and driver provided to him by crony donor Leo Hindery Jr.

After working as communications manager for Obama's political action committee and then as senior adviser to his 2008 presidential campaign, Dunn "trained" White House press secretary and anti-Fox sniper Robert Gibbs. Deputy communications director Dan Pfeiffer is another young protege of Dunn's, who worked with her on the disastrous 2004 Daschle re-election campaign.

(Another Daschle connection: Obama transition adviser John Podesta, who served as Daschle's counselor and has helped staff the administration with many alumni of his left-wing think tank, the Center for American Progress. One CAP fellow, Hugo Chavez-admiring radical Mark Lloyd, has attacked conservative talk radio -- the second home of several Fox News hosts -- and is now the FCC's "Diversity Czar.")

Dunn is married to Robert Bauer, a Washington, D.C., corporate lawyer who served as general counsel for Obama for America. It was Bauer who lobbied the Justice Department unsuccessfully last fall to pursue a criminal probe of American Issues Project (AIP), an independent group that sought to run an ad spotlighting Obama's ties to Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers.

It was Bauer who attempted to sic the DOJ on GOP donor Harold Simmons and sought his prosecution for funding the ad. It was Bauer who tried to bully television stations across the country to compel them to pull the spot. All on Obama's behalf.

While conservatives revel in the left's hysteria over Fox News Channel's dominance, more of Obama's friends hope he'll wipe his nose and man up. Fat chance. As long as he's surrounded by career flacks who demonize dissent to distract from the Beltway stench, the White House will remain an all-whine zone.




Some background here on the latest hero of American conservatism, Hannah Giles. She sounds a great gal.

GOP uses ACORN to fight bank redlining law: "Conservative Republicans are capitalizing on the troubles of community activist group ACORN — ranging from charges of voter registration fraud to embarrassing videos of its employees — to revive their long-standing fight against a federal law that grades banks on their investments in poor and minority neighborhoods. The 1977 Community Reinvestment Act was intended to end redlining, a practice in which banks in effect walled off many inner-city neighborhoods from mortgage loans. But some GOP lawmakers say it has outlived its purpose and is being used inappropriately by ACORN to shake down banks for money.”

The real problem with ACORN: "Eventually I soured on welfare in a number of ways. Even with the women it was doing no good. They had no sense of self-sufficiency. It was just a sophisticated form of begging. They would develop a sense of entitlement so that ‘getting ahead’ simply meant making more and more strident demands on more and more people. And that’s what Wade Rathke seems to have picked up on. He said on the Fox show that when funding ran out for welfare rights he moved to Little Rock to start his own community organizing effort, based on that same sense of endless grievance. ACORN became skilled at moral gangsterism, shaking down governments and corporations for larger and larger amounts, making ever more ridiculous demands.”

Tire trade tirade: "In 2002, President George W. Bush helped make us poorer by signing off on higher steel tariffs. In 2009, President Barack Obama helped make us poorer by signing off on higher tire tariffs. Is this supposed to be change we can believe in? Economic analysis shows that trade creates wealth. The law of comparative advantage demonstrates that when we specialize and trade, we produce more wealth using the same resources. Preventing trade means that we use more resources to produce less wealth.”

SCOTUS to hear asset forfeiture overkill case: "Asset forfeiture is one of law enforcement’s most potent weapons against drug crimes. When private property such as cars, boats, houses, and money are used in a narcotics transaction, US laws allow the police not only to seize those assets but to profit from the seizures. But a problem arises when the confiscated property belongs to someone unaware that crimes were taking place. In such instances, it can take a year or more for the owner to get back the seized property. The US Supreme Court Wednesday takes up a case examining whether a federal appeals court was right when it ruled that officials in Chicago were taking too long to return property to innocent owners.”

Dangerous Bible quotations: "A Delta airliner en route from Seattle to Atlanta has made an unscheduled stop in Nashville after a disturbance on board. No one was hurt. Nashville International Airport spokeswoman Emily Richard says passenger Paul Marchuk III was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest by airport police. WSMV-TV in Nashville reported that a passenger had to be subdued by other passengers after he began quoting Bible passages. Richard said she had no information about that.”

Russia: Moscow court rejects Stalin grandson’s libel suit: "A Moscow court rejected on Tuesday a libel suit filed against a newspaper by the grandson of dictator Joseph Stalin. Yevgeny Dzhugashvili demanded Novaya Gazeta retract parts of an article that said Stalin personally signed death warrants. He also demanded 10 million rubles ($340,000) in compensation for damage to his honor. The paper’s spokesperson, Nadezhda Prusenkova, told reporters the article was based on recently declassified documents, including death warrants bearing Stalin’s personal signature. The warrants were then forwarded to the NKVD to be carried out. … The court hearings drew public attention and were attended by supporters of the Stalinist ideology. Verbal clashes were heard in the corridor between the activists and the defense team.”

Fresh kidneys for sale: "Part of the notion of treating individuals with dignity is that they have control over what is done with their own bodies and their parts.’ Who could disagree with that principle? A new study, ‘Trafficking in Organs, Tissues, and Cells and Trafficking in Human Beings for the Purpose of Organ Removal’ done at the behest of the United Nations and the Council of Europe, correctly observes, ‘In order to obtain organs and tissues from the living, there is agreement that, from an ethical standpoint, it is necessary to have a legally competent individual who is fully informed and can make a voluntary, uncoerced choice about donation.’ Right on. However, once these principles are enunciated, the report — co-authored by University of Pennsylvania bioethicist Arthur Caplan and three European colleagues — oddly concludes that individuals have the right to control their bodies, except when they want to sell one of their organs.”

Some blind worship of government: "The hoariest and most oft-repeated cliche in American politics may be that America is the greatest country in the world. Every politician, Democrat and Republican, seems duty bound to pander to this idea of American exceptionalism, and woe unto him who hints otherwise. This country is ‘the last, best hope of mankind,’ the ’shining city on the hill’ or the ‘great social experiment.’ As if this weren’t enough, Jimmy Carter upped the fawning ante 30 years ago by uttering arguably the most damning words in modern American politics. He called for a ‘government as good as the American people,’ thus taking national greatness and investing it in each and every one of us. … The fact of the matter is that whenever anything really significant has been accomplished by our government, it is precisely because it was better than the American people.”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Leftist has a nightmare

I have a nightmare.

I have a nightmare that sometime before the 2010 elections, the scales will fall from your eyes and you will see us as we really are.

I have a nightmare that you will read C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters and realize that it is not fiction.

I have a nightmare that you will read Plunkitt of Tammany Hall and get firsthand instruction in how we steal elections.

I have a nightmare that you will read Machiavelli’s The Prince and realize that we got there way ahead of you.

I have a nightmare that you will read Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and recognize us in the figure of Ellsworth Toohey — the “friend” who is in fact your mortal enemy.

I have a nightmare that you will read Dickens’s Bleak House and see us in the character of Mrs. Jellyby, the “telescopic philanthropist,” who lets her own family go to hell while she frets over the fate of an African tribe.

I have a nightmare that you will re-watch Saving Private Ryan and realize that Corporal Upham, the liberal stickler for process played by Jeremy Davies, saves the German prisoner’s life only to get most of his platoon killed, including Tom Hanks. And then commits the very war crime he tried to stop.

I have a nightmare that while you’re enjoying the scatological dialogue and ultra-violence of Pulp Fiction, you’ll realize that Vincent Vega, the unbeliever, dies unredeemed in Butch Coolidge’s bathroom, while Jules, who accepts the reality of miracles, grants absolution to Pumpkin and Honey Bunny and is thus saved.

I have a nightmare that you will go back and watch any B-movie made between 1933 and 1963, like Gun Crazy, and see an America that was not afraid of inanimate objects like firearms, and instead blamed the man for the crime.

I have a nightmare that some of you are old enough to recall a time when the law was an honorable profession, the Constitution was not so deconstructed that, essentially, all that is left of it is the Commerce Clause, and your doctor charged a fee for service and made house calls.

I have a nightmare that when you think of the late Ted Kennedy, resting peacefully at Arlington Cemetery, all you will be able to see is Mary Jo Kopechne, gasping for air in the Oldsmobile while the senator returned to his hotel room and went to sleep.

I have a nightmare that you will remember that Sirhan Sirhan was a Palestinian who hated Bobby Kennedy because of his support of Israel.

I have a nightmare that you’ll realize that, far from being a right-wing nut, Lee Harvey Oswald was a self-proclaimed Marxist who defected to the Soviet Union, came home with a Russian wife, agitated on behalf of Castro’s Cuba, tried to re-defect to Russia, returned to Dallas, brought his rifle to work, and killed JFK with a classic marksman’s shot group: miss, hit, kill.

I have a nightmare that you’ll remember that, in the week leading up to the murders of George Moscone and Harvey Milk, there was no right-wing “climate of hate” in San Francisco as Nancy Pelosi, aka Maerose Prizzi, would have you believe. Instead, the city was riveted by the murders of Congressman Leo Ryan and journalists Don Harris, Bob Brown, and Greg Robinson at the Port Kaituma airstrip on Nov. 18, 1978. This was followed by the “revolutionary suicides” of hundreds of Jim Jones’s radical-leftist Peoples Temple followers, most of them African American. One of the suicide notes read, “I, Marceline Jones, leave all bank accounts in my name to the Communist Party of the USSR.”

I have a nightmare that people will eventually realize that Dan White, who shot Moscone and Milk not over gay rights but over Moscone’s refusal to give him back his seat on the Board of Supervisors, was a Democrat.

I have a nightmare that one day Dianne Feinstein, a good and decent woman who not only was there but owes her entire national political career to the tragic events of Nov. 27, 1978, will straighten out Maerose Prizzi, as well as the rest of the country.

I have a nightmare that eventually you will recall that, just a few years after the events depicted in Milk, the newly liberated gay community in San Francisco was decimated by AIDS.

I have a nightmare that one day you will recognize the destructive philosophic effect on the American way of life of the “Institute for Social Research,” aka the Frankfurt School of radical neo-Marxists — Adorno, Horkheimer, Fromm, Habermas, Marcuse et al. — who, fleeing Hitler, arrived in America in 1934 and promptly affiliated with Columbia University, where they injected their notions of “critical theory” and “scientific Marxism” into the body of American academe.

I have a nightmare that one day, perhaps during another Great Awakening, the Supreme Court will overturn Murray v. Curlett, which outlawed school prayer in a lawsuit brought by Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the founder of American Atheists. In 1995, O’Hair was murdered along with her son and granddaughter by another American atheist, who chain-sawed their bodies into bits.

I have a nightmare that one day the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade, thus returning abortion to the states — although, alas, we will never get those 40 million dead souls to pay into the Social Security system.

I have a nightmare that I will still be alive when the Mother of All Ponzi Schemes finally beggars the nation, and the heroic, eco-friendly childless couples starve to death as they realize they forgot to manufacture their old-age meal tickets.

I have a nightmare that you will finally understand what the Manchurian Candidate, “mmm mmm mmm / Barack Hussein Obama,” meant by “fundamental change.”

I have a nightmare that one day Bill O’Reilly will wake up and realize that he’s letting a valuable television franchise descend into idiotic “culture warrior” and “body language” segments, and that he needs to stop hawking his books and Factor gear and remember to dance with what brung him — before the audience abandons him in favor of Glenn Beck.

I have a nightmare that we liberals won’t be able to stop Andrew Breitbart or any of the other maquis now shooting at us from every tree and from behind every rock, turning our own tactics against us, mocking us and rendering us frustrated and impotent.

I have a nightmare that W. will go on national television, rue his not naming a viable successor, castigate McCain for his disgraceful accommodationist campaign, and apologize for not fully executing the Bush Doctrine when he had the chance.

I have a nightmare that, one day soon, the New York Times will collapse into irrelevance, along with Time, Newsweek, and The New Yorker, and no one will be there to set the TV networks’ agendas, forcing you to once more think for yourself.

I have a nightmare that you will pick up a copy of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and actually read it, boring and poorly written as it is.

I have a nightmare that you will organize and rally to take back your country from the frauds, poseurs, hollow men, gangsters, communists, atheists, perverts, Daley Machine hacks, ballerinas, and Jake Lingles who have parlayed a desire for Change, a touching but absurd reliance on Hope, and a huge dollop of racial guilt into something this country has never seen before.

I have a nightmare that you will come to understand the truth of Goya’s axiom that “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters.”

I have a nightmare that Sarah Palin will get the Republican nomination for president in 2012.

I have a nightmare that she will win, scattering us like so many scuttling Gregor Samsas.

I have nightmare that . . .

Nah. Never happen. You’re too stupid.



They still spell it 'Amerika'

For those of us who grew up in the era when Weather Undergrounders Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorhn were familiar names in the news, it is always discomforting to be reminded of Barack Obama's many associations with people of the radical left - Ayers, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Van Jones, etc.

Such folks' political thought never progressed beyond the 1960s because the revolutionary New Left didn't disapear, it simply went on to graduate school and then careers, mostly in the mainstream media, academia, the non-profits, the bureaucracy of state and local social work, and Blue State politics. Many bought BMWs and flat screens who nevertheless never stopped dreaming of revolution. In their hearts, they still spell it "Amerika."

More recently, as the first year of the Obama administration has unfolded and the basic outlines of his domestic and foreign policies have emerged, that discomfort has steadily become more tangible as the radical roots of the Sixties have broken ground in the White House and now are spreading rapidly into every corner of the federal government.

Obama grew up suffused in this culture of obsessive alienation and its distempered worldview, it is his fundamental frame of reference concerning America's past and its principles. Early on in places like Harvard and Chicago, he learned to speak always in language that appears to reassure when in fact it obscures and conceals his roots and what those roots tell us about who he appoints and why he follows the policies he does.

Whatever Barack and the people he has surrounded himself with may profess with their mouths at any particular time, their actions show they still loathe America and our standing as most powerful nation on earth, as well as our free enterprise, individual liberty, reverence for family and local communities, Main Street, the U.S. military, Christianity, and every other hallmark of the traditional culture and values of Western civilization.

And now they think they have the power and position to do what they've always wanted to do - tear it all down and remake it in their millenarian image of Leviathan. As philosopher Erik Voegelin would say, they don't merely intend the immanentization of the eschaton, they are securing the appropriations and regulations to make it happen.

Viewed from that assumption, things become so much clearer. On foreign and military policy, Obama's dominant principle is to apologize, to reverse a previous course - thus disavowing the intrinsically moral role of America in protecting freedom - and to seek rapproachment with our enemies on their terms.

Everywhere it is withdrawal, falling back, humbling of the nation that defeated Hitler and Japan, then rebuilt both as well as the rest of Europe, and engaged and won the Cold War with the Soviet Union. There can be no legitimate U.S. national interests overseas to be protected because Obama and his mentors never accepted America's legitimacy on the world stage. For them, we have always been the imperialist power and we must therefore be brought down.

On domestic policy, deficit spending as never before seen enslaves present and future generations with debt, destroys the currency and renders a crippling inflation all but inevitable. They have effectively nationalized key sectors of the formerly free economy - banking, the auto industry, communications - and they are moving to put freedom of speech and the press under the supervision of federal bureaucrats.

They are suffocating the remainder of the productive economy with more and deeper regulation that will eventually kill the animating spirit of entreprenurial innovation and risk-taking that powers economic growth and job creation. And they are rendering the country permanently dependent on foreign oil and hamstringing its future development by forcing conversion to unproven alternative energy sources.

And no matter their promises or rationale now, when they are finished, they will have turned the shining city on a hill into something more resembling a Third Word ant heap. No wonder Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro and Muhammar al-Ghadafi heap praise on Obama.

Obviously my ability to put these things into words falls far short of the gravity of the times, but fortunately there is Charles Krauthammer's extraordinary piece in The Weekly Standard. He brings all of these strands and more together in far more and telling detail than I can summon in this space. If you read nothing else this weekend, you must read his "Decline is a choice."

And then reflect on the fact that the choice is being made for us, not by us.




Obama fails to win Nobel prize in economics: "In a decision as shocking as Friday's surprise peace prize win, President Obama failed to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences Monday. While few observers think Obama has done anything for world peace in the nearly nine months he's been in office, the same clearly can't be said for economics. The president has worked tirelessly since even before his inauguration to wrest control of the U.S. economy from failed free markets, and the evil CEOs who profit from them, and to turn it over to wise, fair and benevolent bureaucrats. From his $787 billion stimulus package, to the cap-and-trade bill, to the seizures of General Motors and Chrysler, to the undead health-care "reform" act, Obama has dominated the U.S., and therefore the global, economy as few figures have in recent years."

After 12 years of Leftist government, Britain is the worst place to live in Europe : "Britain is the worst place in Europe to live despite offering the biggest salaries, a study reveals today. High incomes in the UK are cancelled out by long working hours, poor annual leave, rising food and fuel bills and a lack of sunshine. Researchers weighed up official data for ten countries, including France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Poland. It found Britons enjoy the highest aftertax household income of £35,730-a-year, more than £10,000 above the European average. But most of it goes on keeping a 'roof over our heads, food on the table and our homes warm', according to the European Quality of Life Index. After comparing 17 quality of life measures, the study ranked Britain at the bottom-with Ireland second from last. The best quality of life can be found in France and Spain. Britons can expect to work three years longer - retiring at 62 years and 6 months - than the French, and die two years younger at 78.9. Workers here get the least annual leave in Europe, with 28 days a year, compared with 41 in Spain. We also have to contend with a higher cost of living, paying more for fuel, food and transport." [The Brits were once well ahead of Europe in most ways after Mrs Thatcher's reforms]

Plan for women bishops put on ice to avoid defections from Church of England: "Plans to consecrate women bishops in the Church of England have been delayed by at least four years in an attempt to avoid mass defections by opponents of women’s ordination. Church legislators have backtracked on a decision made by the General Synod, the Church’s governing body, last year to consecrate women bishops with minimal concessions to opponents. The Church will now be asked again to approve the plans for “super bishops”, which were rejected in July last year and which will create a new class of bishop, operating in traditionalist zones “untainted” by the spectre of women bishops. But the revisions are expected to be strongly contested by supporters of women’s ordination."

The nutty archbishop again: "The Archbishop of Canterbury has called for “unsustainable” air-freighted food to be replaced gradually by homegrown produce from thousands of new allotments. In an interview with The Times, Dr Rowan Williams said that families needed to respond to the threat of climate change by changing their shopping habits and adjusting their diets to the seasons, eating fruit and vegetables that could be grown in Britain. He said that the carbon footprint of peas from Kenya and other airfreighted food was too high and families should not assume that all types of food would be available through the year. Dr Williams called for more land to be made available for allotments, saying that they would help people to reconnect with nature and wean them off a consumerist lifestyle. The Archbishop was accused, however, of threatening the livelihoods of a million families in sub-Saharan Africa, who depended on exports of fresh produce to Europe."

All that bureaucracy for nothing. US still can’t trace foreign visitors on expired visas: "Eight years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and despite repeated mandates from Congress, the United States still has no reliable system for verifying that foreign visitors have left the country. New concern was focused on that security loophole last week, when Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, a 19-year-old Jordanian who had overstayed his tourist visa, was accused in court of plotting to blow up a Dallas skyscraper.”

Economics is not just money and shopping: "Too often, when I appear on the radio or TV and talk about the perverse incentives of some new government policy, I’m accused of being an ‘unfeeling economist’ who ‘reduces everything to money.’ Well I ain’t. And that view misunderstands what is actually about. Economics is the science of choice. True, many of the choices we make involve giving up money to get something we want. But many more choices hinge on giving up other, non-monetary things — like our time and effort. Should I go out with friends, or stay at home reading my book? I cannot do both. Should I mow the lawn, or offer to help out at the school fete? No money is involved in these decisions, and yet they are properly ‘economic’ decisions.”

DOT warns airlines: Pay up fast for lost bags: "Chalk one up for consumers in the ongoing push-and-pull with the airline industry: The Dept. of Transportation is warning airlines that they will be punished if they don't compensate passengers whose bags were lost or delayed. DOT rules regulate that airlines cover -- up to $3,300 -- expenses consumers are forced to make should they find themselves without their bags. The amount is meant to help pay for replacement clothing, shoes and accessories, but it also includes costs for everyday needs like toothbrushes, shampoo and skin-care cleansers. But many carriers have in recent months reimbursed passengers only for necessities that were purchased more than 24 hours after arrival on the premise that the bag could be located and delivered within that time. What's more, carriers are limiting the payback only on the outbound leg of the trip. Mosley said DOT began scrutinizing airlines policies when it found a number of violations, including the rules for mishandled baggage, by Spirit Airlines two months ago. The deep-discount carrier was fined $375,000 Sept. 17 for all the violations in what was the largest fine for a consumer-protection violation. Passengers with complaints about air travel experiences can contact DOT at 202-366-2220 or through the Website at"


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, Fox News

by Bill O'Reilly

Big birthday this week: Fox News Channel is 13 years old. I was there on Oct. 7, 1996, when the channel was launched with about 15 million subscribers. Now we have about 90 million. Back then, if "The Factor" received 50 e-mails a day we were happy. Now, we average about 2,000 electronic letters daily. FNC is perhaps the biggest media success since the networks were formed in the 1940s. Fox News is a billion-dollar enterprise that dominates cable news ratings and is consistently in the top five of all cable programs. Simply put, FNC is on fire even after all these years.

There are two compelling questions on our birthday. First, why the big success? Second, why do many media people despise us?

The success part is two-fold. There is no question that FNC leans to the right, because it gives conservative voices a prominent place on the air. No other TV news operation does this. So, logically, conservative Americans tune in for long periods of time.

Also, Fox News is not boring! This, I believe, is the biggest reason for our success. Like us or not, we move things along. We have lively people on the air. We take chances and do things differently. In primetime especially, Americans do not want dull programming. Many news programs simply recite the day's events. That will not cut it anymore. You have to give viewers something unique and entertaining. FNC does.

That makes our competitors and the ideologues running many of the nation's newspapers furious. They don't like the traditionalism of Fox News, and they seethe at our success. Thus, on any given day, you can view scathing personal attacks against FNC anchors. Think about it: Why the rage? Nobody is forced to watch Fox News. If you don't like Beck, Hannity or O'Reilly, watch the Food Channel.

The hysteria over Glenn Beck is a great example of why Fox News dominates. Here is a guy with an opinion. He has a television show. That's it. Beck freely admits he's not a newsman in any sense. He's just a guy who loves his country and wants to talk about it. Apparently, that is driving the intelligentsia insane. They can't stand a guy like Beck mouthing off. But why? Last time I looked, Beck held an American passport. So he's entitled to speak his mind. A big corporation is smart enough to pay him to do that, and millions watch. Isn't the USA a great country?

Obviously, I'm happy to be celebrating 13 years on Fox News. When I took the job, I was just looking to make a nice living and have a little fun. But now, "The O'Reilly Factor" is part of the American fabric, a broadcast that actually influences the debate in this country. Way back in 1996, who knew?



Media not biased enough for Obama

There was never a single moment when White House staff decided the major media outlets were falling down on the job. There were instead several such moments. For press secretary Robert Gibbs, the realization came in early September, when the New York Times ran a front-page story about the bubbling parental outrage over President Obama's plan to address schoolchildren — even though the benign contents of the speech were not yet public. "You had to be like, 'Wait a minute,'" says Gibbs. "This thing has become a three-ring circus."

For deputy communications director Dan Pfeiffer, the more hyperbolic attacks on health-care reform this summer, which were often covered as a "controversy," flipped an internal switch. "When you are having a debate about whether or not you want to kill people's grandmother," he explains, "the normal rules of engagement don't apply."

And for his boss, Anita Dunn, the aha moment came when the Washington Post ran a second op-ed from a Republican politician decrying the "32" alleged czars appointed by the Obama Administration. Nine of those so-called czars, it turned out, were subject to Senate confirmation, making them decidedly unlike the Russian monarchs. "The idea — that the Washington Post didn't even question it," Dunn says, still marveling at the decision.

All the criticism, both fair and misleading, took a toll, regularly knocking the White House off message. So a new White House strategy has emerged: rather than just giving reporters ammunition to "fact-check" Obama's many critics, the White House decided it would become a player, issuing biting attacks on those pundits, politicians and outlets that make what the White House believes to be misleading or simply false claims, like the assertion that health-care reform would establish new "sex clinics" in schools. Obama, fresh from his vacation on Martha's Vineyard, cheered on the effort, telling his aides he wanted to "call 'em out."

The take-no-prisoners turn has come as a surprise to some in the press, considering the largely favorable coverage that candidate Obama received last fall and given the President's vows to lower the rhetorical temperature in Washington and not pay attention to cable hyperbole. Instead, the White House blog now issues regular denunciations of the Administration's critics, including a recent post that announced "Fox lies" and suggested that the cable network was unpatriotic for criticizing Obama's 2016 Olympics effort.

White House officials offer no apologies. "The best analogy is probably baseball," says Gibbs. "The only way to get somebody to stop crowding the plate is to throw a fastball at them. They move."

The general in this war is Dunn, 51, a veteran campaign strategist who arrived at the White House in May... Since her arrival, the communications operation has been tightly refocused, with greater emphasis on planning ahead to shape the news cycle and controlling staff contacts with the press.



A hiring tax credit returns from the dead

The White House is finally coming to realize that taxes affect job creation. Terrific. Its solution seems to be to bribe employers for hiring new workers, albeit only for a couple of years. Less than terrific.

Alarmed by the rising jobless rate, Democrats are scrambling to "do something" to create jobs. You may have thought that was supposed to be the point of February's $780 billion stimulus plan, and indeed it was. White House economists Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein estimated at the time that the spending blowout would keep the jobless rate below 8%.

The nearby chart compares the job estimates the two economists used to help sell the stimulus to the American public to the actual jobless rate so far this year. The current rate is 9.8% and is expected to rise or stay high well into the election year of 2010. Rarely in politics do we get such a clear and rapid illustration of a policy failure.

This explains why political panic is beginning to set in, and various panicky ideas to create more jobs are suddenly in play. The New York Times reports that one plan would grant a $3,000 tax credit to employers for each new hire in 2010. Under another, two-year plan, employers would receive a credit in the first year equal to 15.3% of the cost of adding a new worker, an amount that would be reduced to 10.2% in the second year and then phased out entirely. Why 15.3%? Presumably because that's roughly the cost of the payroll tax burden to hire a new worker.

The irony of this is remarkable, considering the costs that Democrats are busy imposing on job creation. Congress raised the minimum wage again in July, a direct slam at low-skilled and young workers. The black teen jobless rate has since climbed to 50.4% from 39.2% in two months. Congress is also moving ahead with a mountain of new mandates, from mandatory paid leave to the House's health-care payroll surtax of 5.4%. All of these policy changes give pause to employers as they contemplate the cost of new hires—a reality that Democrats are tacitly admitting as they now plot to find ways to offset those higher costs.

Alas, their new ideas are little more than political gimmicks that aren't likely to result in many new jobs. Congress doesn't want to give up revenue for very long, so it would make the tax credits temporary. Thus anyone who is hired would have to be productive enough to justify the wage or salary after the tax-credit expires—or else the job is likely to end. An employer would be better off hiring a temp worker and saving on the benefits for the same couple of years.

More here


The Disincentive to Work

When a recession hits, the first number everyone keeps a close eye on is the unemployment rate. Every American can relate with those who lose their jobs since it puts both their family and their career in jeopardy.

But what the government does to try to combat this invariably fails on pretty much every level. Not to mention, it was largely the government intervention that artificially created a false market, propped up inefficient industries, and spawned the inevitable unemployment in the first place.

And now what the recession is doing in the economy is shifting capital and resources to more efficient uses. That means those people who left their jobs to go pursue this false market (that the government calls “booming” industry) must now be laid off. And that also means fixing the problems that government first created.

For example, that is exactly what was seen in the recent housing bubble. People left their jobs to become real estate agents or building contractors. And now that the housing market was flooded with supply under the government-created guise of a false demand, some of those people must return to find efficient jobs in limited growth sectors.

So how does the government respond? Do the politicians whose errant policies spawned a recession admit their malfeasance and let the private sector correct its course? No, they pen H.R. 3548 the “Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2009.”

This act would extend unemployment benefits to “50 percent of the total amount of regular compensation” or “13 times the individual's average weekly benefit amount” for the year in the 29 states that have unemployment 8.5% or higher. And Congress has decided to pay for this by raising the IRS surtax on the employers that will, in turn, either raise prices or lower wages for all states.

And that’s not all. Economists R. Mark Gritz and Thomas MaCurdy found in their paper “Measuring the Influence of Unemployment Insurance on Unemployment Experiences” that “an individual who collects UI [Unemployment Insurance] is likely to experience a longer spell of nonemployment, at least to the exhaustion of UI benefits.”

In other words, unemployment insurance does not help alleviate unemployment. It exacerbates it. And that is simply because when people get paid to not work they do not try to find a job as that would result into a loss in benefits.

Once again this is a case where government means do not achieve the required (and often falsely touted ends. The politicians claim they are attempting to lower unemployment, which in turns increases production but what they end up doing is redistributing money from those who are employed (or in some case consumers, which includes unemployed) and incentivize the unemployed to stay that way through a direct redistribution of wealth.

A better plan would be to give businesses permanent tax cuts so that they can expand production and hire more people. That is the real plan that would reduce unemployment, increase productivity, and not create yet another large government program adding even more red tape to already overburdened businesses.

But don’t hold your breath: after all, creating and extending government programs is how politicians keep their jobs!




Amusing: Truth Serum has "interviews" with newsworthy figures showing what might happen if the interview subject were on truth serum. It is headlined as The Conservative Comedy Cure For That Painful Liberal Hangover.

Iran: Regime to murder three for protesting election theft: "Three Iranians have been tentatively sentenced to death in connection with post-election protest activities, according to semi-official state media. The three — who were identified only by initials — were accused of contacts with opposition groups, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported Saturday. … Tens of thousands of Iranians took to the streets in protest following the country’s contested June 12 presidential election. Incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won a second term despite widespread fraud accusations by supporters of opposition candidates.”

In deadly ’08 Afghan battle, US weapons failed: "It was chaos during the early morning assault last year on a remote U.S. outpost in Afghanistan and staff Sgt. Erich Phillips’ M4 carbine had quit firing as militant forces surrounded the base. The machine gun he grabbed after tossing the rifle aside didn’t work either. When the battle in the small village of Wanat ended, nine U.S. soldiers lay dead and 27 more were wounded. A detailed study of the attack by a military historian found that weapons failed repeatedly at a ‘critical moment’ during the firefight on July 13, 2008, putting the outnumbered American troops at risk of being overrun by nearly 200 insurgents.” [People have been warning about this for years]

Chronic depression: "The authorities still do not understand what is going on. They are used to fooling most of the people most of the time. They think they can dupe them again — with bailouts and boondoggles. But real demand has vanished as households try to pay down their debt. That is not going to change anytime soon. Not while the federal government is sabotaging a genuine recovery. It’s savings — capital — the US economy needs. A capitalist economy in which the capitalist have no capital won’t work. Why is there no capital? Because the feds take it.”

Less religion means more government: "Soviet communism adopted Karl Marx’s teaching that religion was the ‘opiate of the masses’ and launched a campaign of bloody religious persecution. Marx was misguided about the role of religion but years later many communists became aware that turning people away from religious life increases dependence on government to address life’s problems. The history of government coercion that comes from turning from religion to government makes a new study suggesting a national decline in religious life particularly alarming to those concerned about individual freedom.”

Property rights are human rights: "A sad confusion that has once again made its way into general circulation is that the right to private property is a mere invention designed to legitimate greed and obscene riches. Actually, this is like claiming that the right to life is a mere invention designed to legitimate crude selfishness and unrestrained personal ambition. And actually there is something to this but nothing insidious, nothing bad in the end. One’s right to one’s life is indeed a moral and political bulwark against others making use of one against one’s will. The right to life is the principle by which slavery and involuntary servitude are morally and politically rebuffed, so they ought to be part of the legal system of any civilized, just human community even if they can be unwisely, imprudently applied by some.”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Monday, October 12, 2009

In Defense of Glenn Beck

by Jonah Goldberg

For a self-described rodeo clown who frequently admits he isn't that bright, Glenn Beck must be doing something right. A de facto leader of the populist backlash against President Obama, he made the cover of Time magazine, with his tongue sticking out no less. His books are immediate best-sellers. His radio and TV shows have stratospheric ratings. His one-man comedy performances draw packed audiences, and the proceeds from his numerous ventures have him making north of $20 million a year.

But perhaps his most impressive feat is his ability to unite a broad coalition of liberals, media scolds and conservatives under the single banner of Beck-hatred.

Now, before I proceed, I should disclose the fact that I like Beck personally and that his support for my book "Liberal Fascism" was a huge boon, helping to push it to No. 1 on The New York Times best-seller list. As a Fox News contributor, I have appeared regularly on his show. Whether that gives me more, or less, credibility when I say I cannot defend some of the things he says is for others to decide.

Still, much of the anti-Beck backlash (He's an extremist! He's paranoid! He's hate-filled!) from the left is hard to take seriously. First, this is a crowd that lets Michael Moore and Janeane Garofalo speak for them, and that celebrated the election of unfunny man Al Franken to the Senate. If you think it's racist to oppose Obama's health care reform efforts, it goes without saying that you'll think Beck is an extremist. This is what liberals always say about popular right-wingers, including Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley. For over 20 years liberals, including Presidents Clinton and Obama, have insisted that Rush Limbaugh is everything from an unpatriotic hatemonger to an enabler of domestic terrorism. It makes sense that they'd give Beck the same business.

Or consider Jon Stewart, the legitimately funny host of "The Daily Show." Stewart is reminiscent of Will Rogers -- a humorist who was nonetheless anointed by the National Press Club as the "ambassador at large of the United States." The liberal establishment swoons over him. The Television Critics Association bequeathed its award for outstanding achievement in news and information to a show that isn't even a news show. Times columnist Frank Rich seems to have a man-crush on the Peabody comedian, while Bill Moyers of PBS insists that "you simply can't understand American politics in the new millennium without 'The Daily Show.'" The hosts of NPR's in-house press watchdog show, "On the Media," claim Stewart as their role model!

Stewart's M.O. is to launch lightning attacks as a left-wing pundit and then quickly retreat to his haven across the border in Comedystan, but Beck must be pelted from the public stage for blurring the line between theater and punditry? Really?

Over at MSNBC, which until recently floated no end of paranoid theories about neoconservative plots, Beck is boogeyman for his sometimes bombastic rhetoric about fascism and whatnot. Some complaints have merit, but this is the same network whose favorite conservative pundit is the populist Pat Buchanan, not even a Republican, who has written a book explaining why World War II was a mistake and how Hitler craved peace. Meanwhile, Keith Olbermann's shtick is far more dishonest: He pretends he's Edward R. Murrow reincarnated when he's really Al Franken with more important hair.

The conservative criticism has more bite. Many conservatives believe Beck is undermining conservatism with his often goofy style and his sometimes outlandish and paranoia-tinged diatribes. In an ode to conservatives such as William F. Buckley, my friend Charles Murray writes, "Don't tell me that we have to put up with the Glenn Becks of the world to be successful. Within living memory, the right was successful. The right changed the country for the better -- through good arguments made by fine men." Murray is nostalgic for conservative leaders who were, like Murray himself, soft-spoken intellectuals.

There are problems with such nostalgia. First, there has always been a populist front on the right, even during the "glory days" when Buckley was saying he'd rather be governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phonebook than the faculty at Harvard. Moreover, whatever Beck or Limbaugh's faults, they are more cheerful -- and more responsible -- warriors than the populist right-wingers of yesteryear. The Tea Partiers may be rowdy and ideologically diffuse, but their goals -- like Beck's -- are indisputably libertarian. And from a conservative perspective, popular libertarian uprisings should be preferable to the sort of statist populism so often celebrated on the left.

Most important, popularity is what the intellectuals were fighting for: to create a conservative culture (Americans describe themselves as conservative over liberal 2-1 ). By definition, making conservatism popular means making it less stuffy and intellectual and more accessible. Not only is Beck good at that, he actually gets people to read serious books in ways Buckley never could. Why defenestrate him from the house of conservatism merely to preserve the rarefied air?

Besides, why should conservatives support an unfair double standard? Liberals never see the antics of their more flamboyant celebrities as an indictment of liberalism itself. Perhaps it's time conservatives adopted a more liberal standard.



Crime, Census and Censorship

There are serious problems with the administration of the U.S. census. Americans have good reason to be wary of the stranger's knock on the door. Unfortunately, anything critics say about the federal census can and will be used against them in the court of left-wing opinion.

First, the disturbing news about the government's most recent census travails: According to a new General Accounting Office report, botched fingerprinting by ill-trained employees led to the hiring of some 36,000 census workers with insufficient background checks. "More than 200" of those workers may have had serious criminal records, according to the GAO. The investigators revealed that: "…of the prints that could be processed, fingerprint results identified approximately 1,800 temporary workers (1.1 percent of total hires) with criminal records that name check alone failed to identify. Approximately 750 (42 percent) (of those) were terminated or were further reviewed because the Bureau determined their criminal records -- which included crimes such as rape, manslaughter and child abuse -- disqualified them from census employment."

Gulp. This comes on the heels of the Census Bureau's admission that it is uncertain of the final cost of the 2010 decennial census, and that it faces ongoing problems with handheld computers used to collect data. The failure of the handheld devices will increase census costs by up to $3 billion, officials told a House subcommittee last month. On top of that, blogger Tim Mak points out, the bureau is grappling with cost overruns of nearly $90 million related to verifying its address list.

Then there's the troubling alliance between the Census Bureau and the aggressively partisan Service Employees International Union -- whose many leading officials and organizing tactics are inextricably intertwined with the disgraced personnel and methods of the ACORN community organizing racket.

GOP Congressmen Peter Roskam, Patrick McHenry and Mark Kirk pointed out in a letter to Census Director Robert Groves that the SEIU donated more than $4 million to ACORN in 2006-07. ACORN founder Wade Rathke, who covered up his brother's million-dollar embezzlement of ACORN funds, is the "Founder and Chief Organizer" of SEIU Local 100. In Chicago, SEIU Locals 1 and 880 have contributed $230,000 to ACORN groups in Illinois and Texas. Many of their offices are co-located.

Given "SEIU's intimate financial relationship with ACORN," which the Census dropped from its partnership contracts after last month's prostitution sting video fiasco, "you should take action to protect the public from the corruption of the 2010 census," the GOP critics wrote. Their warning has gone unheeded.

Instead, Groves, the SEIU and several pro-illegal amnesty groups recently launched "a historic campaign" to target "the estimated 50 million Latinos living in the United States." Inclusion of the massive illegal alien population has resulted in a radical redrawing of the electoral map. More people equals more seats. More illegal immigrants counted equals more power -- for ethnic lobbyists, Big Labor and the Democratic Party.

Alas, watchdogs can't call attention to the politicization of the census enumeration process and its bureaucratic woes too loudly.

Three weeks ago, a part-time census worker was found murdered in rural Kentucky. Bill Sparkman was tied to a tree by the neck (his feet touching the ground when discovered), and the word "fed" had been scrawled on his chest with a felt-tip pen. Police are still investigating and haven't ruled out three possibilities: suicide, accidental death or homicide. "We're not responding to any of the speculation, the innuendo or the rumors," Don Trosper, spokesman for the Kentucky State Police, told the Christian Science Monitor last week. "The Kentucky State Police concerns itself with facts."

But this hasn't stopped rabid opportunists from convicting outspoken conservatives in the media of the unresolved crime/non-crime/incident. The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan immediately fingered "Southern populist terrorism, whipped up by the GOP and its Fox and talk-radio cohorts." Author Richard Benjamin acknowledged that the area where Sparkman died is an infamous drug haven, but zeroed in on "anti-government bile" as his favored culprit. Benjamin singled out GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota for her criticism of ACORN and the Census.

"Progressive" talk-show host Stephanie Miller blamed the Tea Party movement for inciting violence. Echoing the unhinged liberal base, New York magazine indicted conservative talk-radio giant Rush Limbaugh and other "conservative media personalities, websites and even members of Congress."

They did this with abortionist George Tiller's shooting in Kansas, the Holocaust Museum shooting in Washington, D.C., and the Binghamton immigration center shooting in New York. Motives had yet to be determined and bodies were still warm, but that did not stop the liberal stampede from redefining conservative political expression as an incitement to violence.

This cynical move to demonize criticism of the census is part of a larger drive by the left to muzzle limited-government advocates at every opportunity. Who needs the Fairness Doctrine? The criminalization of conservative dissent is well underway.



BrookesNews Update

What is really happening to the US economy? : The administration's attempts to revive the US economy by encouraging consumer spending will fail. If consumer spending were to rapidly expand the result will be a highly unbalanced recovery that will keep the higher stages of production depressed resulting in another 'rustbelt'. It is now self-evident that the administration is at a complete loss as to the recession
Can an increase in spare capacity reduce the rate of inflation? : Given large idle capacity and still growing unemployment most experts are of the view that the Fed can pursue aggressive monetary pumping without igniting the rate of inflation. This is an extremely dangerous error
Are increased savings prolonging the US recession? :The recession has America's economic commentariat lamenting the 'problem of insufficient consumer demand' and the rise in savings. What they are giving us is the paradox of thrift, one of the oldest and gravest fallacies in economics
Unmasking Obama:It is now abundantly clear that the image of Barack Obama sold to the American electorate was tightly edited, air-brushed, and exaggerated. He has worn a series of masks - eloquent orator, brilliant scholar, centrist, and literary sensation. All of these masks are coming off as he copes with a job for which image will not suffice
Stop the spending and cut the taxes : There was a $787 billion stimulus package, $700 billion in TARP funds and a variety of Treasury and Fed initiatives that, according to Bloomberg News, add up to $11.6 trillion in taxpayer exposure - all as part of an effort to revive the economy. And what does the US have to show for it? 10 per cent unemployment
Barack Obama's dance with despots : We have a President most avid plaudits come from two-bit, tin-horn Marxist dictators who have spent their entire adult lives imprisoning, murdering, and maiming their enslaved minions. And to make matters worse, that President - Barack 'Sorry-to-be-an-American' Obama - is in lockstep agreement with all of what Castro says and much of what Castro does
Why I Became A Conservative : Becoming a conservative in Liberal Land has its costs: ' I lost my husband. I no longer speak with my feminist mother and my liberal siblings. Eight years after my epiphany, and 33 years after moving to Los Angeles, I sold my home and business. I said good-bye to the few friends and family I still had, and left Los Angeles for good



Obama Should Keep Bush Tax Cuts to Get Presidency Back on Track: "President Obama may have bigger problems on his hands than reforming healthcare. For the first time, the Washington Whispers poll tested the public's appetite for continuing the Bush tax cuts, which start expiring next year, and it topped healthcare reform as the No. 1 idea that could help Obama reclaim his presidency. Over one third of those in the poll from Synovate eNation said keeping the tax rate low will help the president, just edging out his top priority at 33 percent: doing whatever it takes to reform healthcare. But continuing the cuts doesn't seem likely, since he campaigned against them and ridiculed them in his recent healthcare speech to Congress. The findings in our poll are similar to others recently that show Americans eager to keep taxes low while they wait out the recession."

Double-dip recession may be ahead: "A "V" recovery is one in which a sharp drop is followed by an equally sharp rebound. The dreaded "W" describes an economy that plunges, then recovers, luring investors into the market and businessmen into new investments, only to drop again before a final recovery, with substantial losses all around for the prematurely optimistic. The optimism engendered by soaring share prices in the quarter just ended came to a screeching halt when the Labor Department issued a jobs report so grim that the Lindsey Group consultancy warned its clients not to read it "without a bottle of Prozac handy." A spate of bad news followed. Factory orders down year-on-year by some 20 percent; a mortgage market functioning only because the government is guaranteeing about 80 percent of those written; consumer credit so tight that it is falling at the fastest rate since the crisis began two years ago, and credit increasingly unavailable to small businesses; Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner forced to be economical with the truth lest the dollar collapse and proclaim that a strong dollar is "very important to this country;" Goldman Sachs predicting that high unemployment will drive down wages and purchasing power. And that's only in the short run...."

Antisemitism at Britain's major Leftist newspaper: "Here is a little quiz. The Guardian has posted up a list here of everyone who has won the Nobel Peace Prize since its inception. Q: Which three names are omitted from the Guardian list (even though they do appear on the list which the Guardian has purportedly reproduced)?*** A: Menachem Begin, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin. And what is the common link between these three names? Precisely. It appears someone at the Guardian actually went to the effort of removing the names of the three Israeli statesmen who won the prize. Facts are sacred? ***Update, 1650: Lo and behold, the three Israeli names have now been added to the Guardian list."

Iran: Israel's threats "inexplicable": "Iran's ambassador to the UN, Mohammad Khazaee, sent a letter of protest to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moonin which he wrote that "there is no explanation for Israel's continuing threats against Tehran". He was referring to an interview given by former Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh to the Sunday Times in which he said that if Iran were not further sanctioned by this Christmas Israel would attack the country. Sneh told the paper that if Israel were forced to attack the Islamic Republic on its own it would do so, remarks the Iranian ambassador deemed "irresponsible". He said he hoped the UN would take steps against such comments. "Remarks such as these, stated once in a while by Israeli leaders, are no more than sorry excuses aimed at avoiding supplying answers regarding Israel's nuclear arsenal and deflecting public awareness from the crimes and terror Israel commits in the region," he said."

No homosexual condemnation of pedophilia?: "With justification, gays frequently object to conflating their sexual preference with pederasty. But that's why it would be welcome, in the midst ofthis weekend's gay pride events, for some gays to express their opinion on whether Kevin Jennings is an appropriate choice to serve as President Obama's Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools at the U.S. Department of Education. Jennings, of course, is the man who failed to report an illicit sexual relationship between a 15-year-old student in the school where he worked, and an older man. He also wrote the forward to a book titled, "Queering Elementary Education" (read his essay here; it obviously encourages bringing sex and sexual orientation curricula into even the earliest years of school). Now, it appears, Jennings was also fan of one Harry Hay, a staunch defender of the National American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). Right. A guy with Jennings' background and associations has no place anywhere near a school -- or accepting taxpayer dollars for a post in the Department of Education. From his history, it seems that he is far, far too comfortable entertaining the possibility of adults having sex with children. Will anyone in the gay community be willing to stand up and draw the line between one's own sexual proclivities (whether straight or gay), on the one hand, and implicitly condoning the acting-out of those proclivities with children?"

There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize -- What More Do You Need to Know to Understand Today's World?

Commentary below by the always insightful Prof. Barry Rubin from Israel. I would add that I personally am mostly amused by the award. The "Peace" prizes have long been an expression of Leftist politics. They are awarded by a committee of Norwegian politicians. The Nobel prizes in science are awarded by a committee of Swedish academics. The Norwegian prizes just feed off the good name of the Nobel science prizes. There is a list here of some of those who were more deserving this year. Also see here. Possibly the most deserving person ever of getting a prize for his contributions to peace was Mahatma Gandhi. But despite often being nominated, he never got one. The Norwegian politicians had other priorities. The irreverent Bob McCarty is wondering when Obama will be made Miss America. We can't be sexist about these things, can we? -- JR

The news that President Barack Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize seems like a prize bit of satire, like Chicago getting the Olympics. “Are you laughing or crying,” wrote a reader to me. “Neither. I’m thinking about what this tells us about the world today,” I responded. Then I checked over and over and over again on the Internet and called up several people just to make sure that this wasn’t a satire, that some new type of computer virus hadn’t infiltrated my software that would make fools of anyone credulous enough to believe this hoax.

And then I realized that it makes perfect sense. It was considered a big joke when people quoted Woody Allen, the American comedian and film director, as saying, that showing up is eighty percent of success. (Allen says he doesn’t remember ever having said that.) With Obama the percentage is considerably higher.

But after all the mocking or cheering, what this shows is that we live in the world now not of realism but of imagination and wishful thinking. The Nobel Committee even said that they gave the prize not because he has done anything but that they support him. They want him to do something.

In the past, the ancestors of Westerners had to work hard, mostly live in grinding poverty, face wars and famines. Remember the proletariat? Remember the slums? But now they —or at least not only the elites who govern but also the masses of the upper middle class that make and shape the news— are living off the fat of the land. In America, even slum-dwellers usually have cars, hi-tech music devices, and expensive sports’ shoes among the young.

Is it an accident that according to the UN Human Development Index, Norway, once the home of starving farmers and fishermen, is number one in the whole world in terms of living standards. While the Norwegians did some of it themselves, a lot comes from the exploitation of oilfields off their coasts, unearned wealth.

And the left, no longer is champion of the actual poor and downtrodden, they just talk about it a lot. In good Marxian fashion they pursue their own interests: bigger government and grant programs to give them jobs and to provide for their needs; the feeling of being a good and moral person even when those they are supporting are terrorists.

To a large extent, too, those who govern—as in the times of aristocratic rule—don’t actually produce anything, or at least not anything but words, concepts, proposals, programs, and statements. The old American slang for this is that they’ve never met a payroll. Some of them have, but the money came from either government or foundations. They know about selling an idea but not manufacturing three-dimensional objects.

Meanwhile, the resource base of society is narrowing, at least in Europe, and societies are living beyond their means. Crime is rising; terrorism and mass violence is peeking out. Proportionately large sections of proportionately large immigrant populations may not want to integrate. But to adjust to these facts makes the voters unhappy and so everyone pretends otherwise. Don’t worry, be happy is a theme which wins a lot of backing.

In all of this context, feeling good is more important than doing good. Doing good may involve doing gritty things, like building factories to employ people at higher wages (uh, oh, environment, man-made global warming, nasty developers demonized in films) or to work real hard in school or start a small business and slave away at it (what are you, Asian?)

Films, music, and other forms of entertainment—the main shapers of popular ideas—portray constantly young people who have lots of money but have never worked for it. Instant success, instant fame, instant wealth. And so what better symbol for this is Barack Obama, the man who has never achieved anything except being elected president. (His earlier posts were mainly the gifts of the most corrupt political machine in America.) He talks; everyone cheers and goes home.

Listen to the words of the Nobel Committee statement: “Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future."

Really? But I would say all American presidents capture the world’s attention. As for giving people hope for a better future, which people? Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Hugo Chavez? Are peasants in their fields in China and India saying to their children: “Look little [insert appropriate name] Barack Obama will save us!”

It is one thing to believe in a messianic figure but doesn’t he have to do something first?

It’s more like electing someone the world’s most popular parent because he let the kids stay up all night, not do their homework, throw parties, and consume large amounts of alcohol and drugs.

And this one: "His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population."

The most obvious point is that whether he shares the values and attitudes of Americans, the country he leads, is of minor importance. But exactly what are these values and attitudes? Oh, I have it, that the United States has long been the world’s greatest villain.

And best of all, the head of the Nobel Committee stated that the prize was given, “because we would like to support what he is trying to achieve"

It’s sort of like giving the Nobel Prize for chemistry to a scientist who hasn’t discovered anything but seems like a nice person and is, after all, trying to cure cancer. So we support what he is “trying to achieve.”

But what if he is trying to achieve it badly, What if he is trying to achieve it in a way such that he is destined to fail and make things worse? By this standard British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain deserved the Nobel Peace Prize of 1938 for his efforts to achieve peace? That’s why Nobel Prizes—and sometimes presidencies—are given to people who have already done something. They have proven an ability to do so.

President Theodore Roosevelt, a man who, in comparison, makes Obama look like a microbe, received the prize for negotiating peace in the Russo-Japanese war. In comparison, Obama has helped set back the Israel-Palestinian conflict 20 years (to be fair, 18, that is before the Oslo agreement).

But yes that’s the measure of the world today: If you envision something that makes it true. If you tell a smug elite what it wants to hear, not only do they applaud but they report in all their media that everyone applauded.

The biggest problem with all this is the following: The fate of the world may depend on whether Barack Obama is capable of learning. Yet if Obama keeps getting rewarded for doing nothing or doing the wrong thing he won’t learn. And things will get worse.

Yet we live in the real world ultimately, not the world of public relations and wishful thinking. There are prices to be paid. Impractical idealists can get people killed and make big messes as much as cynics. Let me amend that: far more than cynics.

What sums up this situation best is a line from Tom Lehrer, the math professor who once wrote successful liberal satirical songs but then stopped and never did again. Asked why, he responded: When Henry Kissinger got the Nobel Peace Prize it killed satire. Poor satire is really in trouble now.



Cloistered Media Libs Don't Get It

CNN "senior political analyst" Gloria Borger doesn't get it. Like so many cloistered mainstream media liberals, she just can't imagine why anyone would oppose Barack Obama's agenda. To her, it's all politics.

Where was Borger when Democrats, purely for partisan purposes, pummeled President George W. Bush for eight years? But let's stay focused on the present, because Republican opposition isn't about paybacks or getting even.

Borger argues that "Republicans don't really want to work with Obama" because they stand to regain congressional control simply by opposing his agenda without offering any ideas of their own. Their opposition couldn't possibly be grounded in principle because, to narrow-minded liberals such as Borger, the only legitimate ideas are liberal ones.

"In my next life," she writes, "I'd like to be an opposition party leader. What fun to go to work every day knowing you will always be right, largely because your ideas will remain untested. ... If we were in charge, you sing, the people would have tax cuts! More money in their pockets! And no deficits! But more jobs!"

Sorry, Gloria, but our ideas have been tested -- since the beginning of this republic -- and the record is pretty solid, though you might not view America's history with similar pride, given the left's revisionist mindset about America's mythical "imperialism" and capitalistic "exploitation."

As a matter of fact, reductions in marginal income tax rates have consistently stimulated economic growth without exacerbating our deficits, whose growth during the Reagan and Bush years (relatively modest, in retrospect) was attributable to unchecked government spending.

I understand that most liberals have decreed a consensus on catastrophic man-made global warming and barred further public debate despite global cooling for the past decade. But what's truly empirically indisputable is that the Kennedy, Reagan and Bush tax cuts all generated robust economic growth and yielded increases in government revenues. That may seem counterintuitive to you, but what seems counterintuitive to us are liberal plans to deliberately smother the engine of capitalism in order to imperceptibly reduce disputed global warming while other nations are prepared to "stoke their own furnaces" and offset anything we do anyway. Also counterintuitive (and nonsensical) is Obama's plan to dismantle our nukes while terrorist regimes are nuking up.

Conservative foreign policy ideas have passed the test, too. Try Ronald Reagan's "peace through strength" Cold War victory over the Soviet Union. Consider George W. Bush's phenomenally effective post-9/11 national security policies, which prevented any further attacks on American soil. How, by the way, is Obama's appeasement approach to turn us into a beloved nation by, say, our allies in France and Israel working for you? Poland? Tibet? How do you reconcile his affinity for tyrants -- such as Ortega, Chavez and Zelaya -- and his hostility toward democratic regimes in Israel and Honduras?

But if you want to talk "tested," Gloria, let's look at Obama's major domestic ideas. We have the sweep of world history as evidence that his socialistic agenda will destroy our prosperity and our liberties.

You must be impervious to socialized medicine's record of perfect failure everywhere it's been tried, including here (in part), and unwilling to take Obama at his (previous) word that his goal is indeed a single-payer system. You must also be blind to the wholesale fraud in his tested and failed Keynesian backloaded "stimulus" bills.

But how do you defend his populist campaign promises to restore transparency to government and not increase taxes on 95 percent of the American people? His cynical dismissal of claims that Obamacare could cover illegal immigrants and federally fund abortions?

The Heritage Foundation reports that Obama's no-taxes pledges for families making $250,000 a year or less "lasted exactly 15 days," as he signed a bill hiking tobacco taxes 156 percent. The House passed a trillion-dollar energy tax, and Obama is prepared to impose punitive taxes on employers and individuals who don't procure health insurance. House leaders are also threatening a national value-added tax. Of course, the dirty little secret is that with all of Obama's budget-busting programs, he'll have to pass enormous taxes on everyone just to pay the increased interest on the national debt.

Meanwhile Heritage reports that Sen. Max Baucus' health care bill would still leave 25 million Americans without insurance (kind of defeats the stated purpose, no?) and would dramatically increase the government's role in health care by expanding Medicaid. Predictably, Democrats also just rejected a Republican amendment to require any health care bill to be published online before the Senate Finance Committee votes, with nary a protest from Mr. Transparency, President Obama. Obama has also been silent in the face of congressional Democrats blocking proposed amendments to bar federal funding for abortion.

Though Gloria Borger apparently can't grasp this, conservative opposition is grounded in principle and "tested" ideas -- not primarily partisanship -- and a duty to save the nation from efforts to transform it beyond recognition.




Just going by averages, I know that a lot of my readers will be dog-lovers. This story is for you.

CBO math says tort reform cuts deficit: "Bolstering what's likely to be a key health care reform argument from Republicans, Congress' budget scorekeeper ruled that limiting medical malpractice lawsuits would reduce the federal deficit by $54 billion over 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office - in an analysis that projects a nearly10-fold increase in savings over its findings last year - said tort reform would cut costs by limiting the use of diagnostic tests and other services health care providers and doctors use to reduce exposure to lawsuits".

Obama Policies Turn Off Independents: "Independent voters, who have held the balance of power in recent elections, appear to be shifting to the Republican side, less than a year after they put Barack Obama in the White House. In different GOP polls released over the past two weeks, independents have shown irritation at the administration's spending policies. A recent Republican National Committee poll for GOP leadership and a Resurgent Republic survey released this week find that independents are angry at Democratic leaders and are sympathetic with the tea party tax protesters".

F.H.A. looking wobbly: "A year after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac teetered, industry executives and Washington policy makers are worrying that another government mortgage giant could be the next housing domino. Problems at the Federal Housing Administration, which guarantees mortgages with low down payments, are becoming so acute that some experts warn the agency might need a federal bailout.... some 20 percent of F.H.A. loans insured last year — and as many as 24 percent of those from 2007 — faced serious problems including foreclosure, offering a preview of a forthcoming audit of the agency’s finances.... to its critics, the F.H.A. looks like another Fannie Mae. The hearings on Thursday came on the same day that the federal agency charged with overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac provided a somber assessment of those giants’ health. In the year since the government stepped in to rescue them, the companies have taken $96 billion from the Treasury, and may need more. Since the bottom fell out of the mortgage market, the F.H.A. has assumed a crucial role in the nation’s housing market. Created in 1934 to help lower-income and first-time buyers purchase homes, the agency now insures roughly 5.4 million single-family home mortgages, with a combined value of $675 billion."

USA Today circulation down 17%: "USA Today expects to report the largest decline in circulation in its 27-year history, threatening its No. 1 position among U.S. dailies as the growth of online news and the slump in travel pummel the newspaper. While most large dailies are struggling to hold on to print subscribers and newsstand sales, USA Today is being hurt by a drop in traffic at airports and hotels, the newspaper's mainstay. It also increased the price of single copies to $1 from 75 cents in December. In a memo to staff Friday, USA Today publisher David Hunke said the average circulation at the Gannett Co. newspaper was 1.88 million from April through September. That marks a loss of 398,000 copies, or 17 percent, from the same period the year before at the newspaper, which is printed on weekdays only."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Saturday, October 10, 2009

ACORN Thugs Throw Out Republican Registrations

ACORN activists are famous for using your tax dollar to register characters like Mickey Mouse. But what would happen if they did something really weird — like register Republicans? As reported by Pam Geller, Black Republican Fathiyyah Muhammad of Jacksonville discovered the answer when she signed up to register voters for ACORN at $3/head.

In stark contrast to typical ACORN operatives, Muhammad is an entrepreneur who grasps the concept of economic liberty. As she puts it: "America is the place you can live your dreams if you work at it."

When potential voters didn't have a preference, she signed them up as Republicans. An apparatchik back at the ACORN office was not pleased. "I showed what I had, and he said, "No, no, you a fraud, there can't be any black Republicans,' and oh, he just kind of hung me out to dry.… But of course their main aim was to register only Democrats. They're not interested in registering Republicans."

As for the Republican registrations she collected… "They just discarded those, they weren't valid. All of the registrations… they just threw those out."

To top it off, ACORN stiffed her for the $3 per registration she'd been promised. "Everyone else got paid, all the other people got paid, but I didn't. And I didn't make a big deal about it, I just figured that it was another one of life's experiences."

Let's hope the whole country learns from its recent experiences with ACORN — and with the community activist it helped place in the White House.



Problem Bigger Than Just ACORN

ACORN's scandals hit a nerve with conservatives. It's likely no one in the media would understand why even if they were to try. Congresswoman Michelle Bachman, however, gets right what so many people have missed, which is that the real problem with ACORN is that it's not just ACORN.

She is quoted in The Hill saying there needs to be "a ‘strong investigation' into a variety of nonprofits in the wake of political corruption allegations at ACORN," and that, "a broader investigation of other nonprofit organizations is needed because they could be using federal funds to influence the outcome of elections, like ACORN did." "No political party should be funded through a quote ‘nonprofit,'" Mrs. Bachman added.

For years conservatives have been warning that taxpayer money going to nonprofits is being used to benefit the Democratic Party. Nonprofits that are, or as they become, dependent on taxpayer money, are invariably supporters of Big Government. There are thousands of nonprofits getting taxpayer money that not only couldn't care less if a conservative ever held office, but that support Democratic policies and politicians, and are actively working to defeat conservative principles.

The Republican Party has been a big enabler of Democrats' using taxpayer money to turn cities, counties and even states bluer. It's nice to see that someone in Congress understands the bigger picture and the more troubling aspects of how too many nonprofits use taxpayer money for partisan purposes.

This is not just one nonprofit breaking the law; it's downright theft from taxpayers for political purposes, and it's Democratic political corruption that stinks to high heaven.



Obama's anti-American blacks supporting one-another

Sometimes it's tough to tell who plays for America and who plays for ... well, the other guys. Take Mark Lloyd [above] -- the Federal Communications Commission "diversity czar" who has expressed starstruck support for Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, and yet utter contempt for the U.S. First Amendment. Amazingly, Lloyd received a ringing endorsement this week from recently-appointed FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn. Take a look at Clyburn sticking up for Lloyd in this exclusive interview granted to Ashley Hester of FITS News ...

As you can see in the video above, Clyburn was asked point blank if Lloyd's support of the Chavez regime and his efforts to regulate media content here in America were “in keeping with the mission of the FCC or any other U.S. government agency for that matter.”

“I will say to you that I did not read whatever his alleged statement is,” Clyburn said in a somewhat rambling response, later hinting that Lloyd may have said some things “that might have been misinterpreted.” “I know him to be a true American,” Clyburn said later in the interview. “I know him to be a lover of this country. I know him to be a committed employee. That’s the Mark Lloyd I know.”

Clearly, Clyburn doesn’t know Lloyd very well at all. While Lloyd’s love of America is dubious at best, his love of the Chavez regime in Venezuela is boundless.

“In Venezuela, with Chavez, (it) is really an incredible revolution – a democratic revolution – to begin to put in place things that are going to have an impact on the people of Venezuela,” Lloyd said at a 2008 media conference. “The property owners and the folks who then controlled the media in Venezuela rebelled – worked, frankly, with folks here in the U.S. government – worked to oust (Chavez). But he came back with another revolution, and then Chavez began to take very seriously the media in his country.”

Indeed he did begin to “take very seriously” the media, actually shutting down a network that disagreed with him. Of course that was just one component of what Lloyd calls a “democratic” revolution that also saw the government seize private property and nationalize Venezuelan industry.

But it’s not just Lloyd’s support of Chavez that’s so disturbing – it is his radical views on the Fourth Estate here in America. “My focus here is not freedom of speech or the press,” Lloyd writes in his 2006 book, Prologue to a Farce. “This freedom is all too often an exaggeration. At the very least, blind references to freedom of speech or the press serve as a distraction from the critical examination of other communications policies.”

Uh, no. Freedom of speech and of the press is the only communications policy that matters. Or at least that’s the way it should be. Not to Lloyd, though. “[T]he purpose of free speech is warped to protect global corporations and block rules that would promote democratic governance,” Lloyd writes later in his book.

Huh? Say what? The last time we checked, the purpose of free speech was to protect the democratic process from people who would seek to undermine it … people like Lloyd, quite frankly.

It gets worse, though. According to Lloyd, the best way to deal with media outlets that don’t subscribe to the government’s views is to threaten them, harass them, sue them and … if necessary … take away their licenses. He also supports forcing commercial owners who don’t tow the government line to pay fines and fee to support government broadcasting, basically replacing “dissenting” voices with government-sanctioned content.

Amazing, isn’t it? And this guy works for the American government … your government … in a position that was created especially for him by the administration of President Barack Obama. But according to Mignon Clyburn, whose job it is to regulate the marketplace of ideas in this country, we shouldn’t worry because Lloyd is a “true American” who “loves his country.” If that’s true, people, then this country is in serious, serious trouble …



Obama Administration Defiantly Defends Another Radical Appointee

I continue to be amazed at the naivete of people who keep giving President Barack Obama the benefit of the doubt concerning his radical appointments, saying his administration isn't doing its job in vetting the appointees. When will they wake up to the reality that Obama is deliberately picking people, such as Kevin Jennings, who share his radical values?

When prescient commentators were warning of Obama's radical friends and colleagues, such as Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers, during the campaign, his apologists diverted proper scrutiny, saying it's absurd to judge Obama by association. Even flawed cliches can work wonders when you have the entire mainstream media flacking for you.

Then when the radicalism of "green czar" Van Jones came to light, the left's reflexive reaction was that Jones was being victimized by an extremist element on the right and that the Internet itself had now been exposed as "an open sewer of untreated, unfiltered information." It was only when Jones' own extremism became too obvious to deny that the left shifted its line of defense to: Obama's team let him down by failing to vet Jones.

As I wrote at the time, "It's not Obama who didn't vet Jones, but the MSM who have never vetted Obama. Had they vetted Obama, they would have realized that he is Van Jones." It seems that if you wait long enough, the Obama administration will get around to vindicating its legitimate critics, such as those of us who warned that Obama was insincere when he pretended that the public option was not an indispensable component of his health care scheme. (We hear that he's recently conducted a series of secret meetings with members of Congress, trying to cobble together a majority on a bill that includes the public option.)

Indeed, with his appointment of Kevin Jennings to head the Education Department's Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, Obama has vindicated those of us who said that the Jones selection wasn't a failure of vetting, but about Obama's appointing a like-minded radical.

Now that Jennings' radical homosexual activism has been exposed, the Obama administration hasn't said: "Oh, sorry, another one slipped through our relatively new vetting process. The president will fire him, and we'll pick someone who reflects the president's values."

The Washington Examiner's Byron York reports that Jennings seems to have the full backing of the White House. Press secretary Robert Gibbs defiantly referred Jennings' critics to the statement of Education Secretary Arne Duncan -- no centrist himself, by the way -- who stated: "Kevin Jennings has dedicated his professional career to promoting school safety. He is uniquely qualified for his job and I'm honored to have him on our team."

Well, America, are you honored to have yet another far leftist on your team and in a position to influence the education of your children, no less? Kevin Jennings' focus hasn't been safe and drug-free schools, but gay activism, which is why Rep. Steve King of Iowa has called on President Obama to fire him. According to York, King insists that Jennings has no experience in anti-drug work and that his background has not been school safety, but promoting homosexuality in public schools, including at the elementary level.

Jennings not only ran the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network but also founded it, in 1990. Sure, GLSEN purports to be primarily interested in preventing discrimination and violence against gays and lesbians in schools. But promoting homosexuality and demonizing those who don't embrace its values more fairly describes its mission. Karen Holgate of the Capitol Resource Institute put her finger on the MO of such groups when she said: "This whole movement is not about tolerance. It's about redirecting the hate towards anyone who does not agree that homosexuality is a normal, positive and healthy lifestyle."

In 2000, GLSEN, along with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, co-hosted a "Teach Out" at Tufts University, in Boston, where organizers instructed public-school teachers how to incorporate positive messages about homosexuality into their curricula. At this conference, GLSEN also led a youth workshop, "What They Didn't Tell You about Queer Sex & Sexuality in Health Class," which was advertised to "youth only, ages 14 to 21."

During the session, one instructor explained the process of "fisting" to the students. Fisting is the consensual insertion by one person of his hand and arm into another person's anal cavity. How is this instruction helpful in preventing bullying?

I'm not sure how the Obama administration will attempt to explain away Kevin Jennings' sordid associations, any more than it can rationalize his admitted failure, as a high-school teacher, to notify the parents of a 15-year-old boy who told him he had had relations with an older man, instead telling the boy, "I hope you used a condom." How much longer can Obama partisans deny who Obama really is?




Obama joins Yassir Arafat: "President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples," the Norwegian Nobel Committee said, citing his outreach to the Muslim world and attempts to curb nuclear proliferation. The stunning choice made Obama the third sitting U.S. president to win the Nobel Peace Prize and shocked Nobel observers because Obama took office less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline. Obama's name had been mentioned in speculation before the award but many Nobel watchers believed it was too early to award the president." [A great victory for hot air]

Officials: ACORN won't get grant: "Obama administration officials said Wednesday there is no chance that ACORN will get a Homeland Security grant it was awarded last month because of a provision in a bill signed into law last week prohibiting any federal funding to the controversial group. Several members of Congress said they were pleased that ACORN will not get the money, which would have come from funding typically earmarked for fire departments across the country, but they questioned why it had been awarded to ACORN in the first place. At least one also still wants official assurance of a permanent withdrawal of the $997,402 fire safety grant. "We are perplexed as to how this organization would even be considered for a first-responder grant," said a letter sent Wednesday to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano by Rep. Darrell Issa of California, ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee."

Hate crime laws may extend to homosexuals: "Congress is poised to expand federal hate crimes laws to include sexual orientation, attaching it to a defense bill that could still run into trouble because it tests President Obama's will to cut spending. The House on Thursday voted 281-146 to pass the 2010 defense bill, which lays out Pentagon priorities for the next year and sets the rules for thorny issues such as treatment of suspected terrorists. The Senate still needs to act, though passage is expected. "It's a very exciting day for us," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who called expanding hate-crimes laws to include sexual orientation a long-standing goal of hers. But Republican leaders said the bill criminalized "thought crimes" and complained bitterly that Democrats forced the provision through as part of the defense bill."

Why the US will survive this recession: "Over the course of two months, New York State alone lost more than $100 million. Of 850 banks in America, 343 closed. The unemployment rate for blue-collar jobs skyrocketed to 30 percent. Most agree that this incredible collapse was due in large part to banks and a system that encouraged wild speculation and extended credit beyond what could be supported. Sound familiar? This is not a description of what happened last year. Rather, it occurred during the abject and catastrophic ‘Panic of 1837.’ (New York’s losses then would be about $1.9 billion in today’s dollars.) While there is much to learn from the collapse itself, the recovery process through 1844 offers important lessons to America in 2009.”

The cost of corporate communism: "Lack of choice, lazy, unresponsive customer service, a culture of exploitation and a small powerbase formed by cronyism and nepotism are the hallmarks of a communist system that steals from its citizenry, and a major reason why America spent half a century fighting a Cold War with the U.S.S.R. And yet today we find ourselves as a country in two distinctly different categories: those who are forced to compete tooth and nail each day to provide value to society in return for income for ourselves and our families and those who would instead use our lawmaking apparatus to help themselves to our tax money and/or to protect themselves from true competition. If you allow weak, outdated players to take control of the government and change the rules so they are protected from the natural competition and reward systems that have created so many innovations in our country, you not only steal from the citizens on behalf of the least worthy but you also doom them by trapping the capital that would be used to generate new innovation and, most tangibly in our current situation, jobs.”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Friday, October 9, 2009

Elites and Tyrants

by Walter E. Williams

Rep. Diane Watson said, in praising Cuba's health care system, "You can think whatever you want to about Fidel Castro, but he was one of the brightest leaders I have ever met." W.E.B. Dubois, writing in the National Guardian (1953) said, "Joseph Stalin was a great man; few other men of the 20th century approach his stature. ... But also -- and this was the highest proof of his greatness -- he knew the common man, felt his problems, followed his fate." Walter Duranty called Stalin "the greatest living statesman . . . a quiet, unobtrusive man." George Bernard Shaw expressed admiration for Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin.

John Kenneth Galbraith visited Mao's China and praised Mao and the Chinese economic system. Gunther Stein of the Christian Science Monitor admired Mao Tsetung and declared ecstatically that "the men and women pioneers of Yenan are truly new humans in spirit, thought and action," and that Yenan itself constituted "a brand new well integrated society, that has never been seen before anywhere." Michel Oksenberg, President Carter's China expert, complained that "America (is) doomed to decay until radical, even revolutionary, change fundamentally alters the institutions and values," and urged us to "borrow ideas and solutions" from China.

Even Harvard's late Professor John K. Fairbank, by no means the worst tyrant worshipper, believed that America could learn much from the Cultural Revolution, saying, "Americans may find in China's collective life today an ingredient of personal moral concern for one's neighbor that has a lesson for us all." Keep in mind that estimates of the number of Chinese deaths during China's Cultural Revolution range from 2 to 7 million people. Mao Tsetung was admired by many academics and leftists across our country. Just think back to the campus demonstrations of the '60s and '70s when campus radicals, often accompanied by their professors, marched around singing the praises of Mao and waving Mao's little red book, "Quotations from Chairman Mao Tsetung." Forty years later some of these campus radicals are tenured professors and administrators at today's universities and colleges, as well as schoolteachers and principals indoctrinating our youth.

The most authoritative tally of history's most murderous regimes is in a book by University of Hawaii's Professor Rudolph J. Rummel, "Death by Government." Statistics are provided at his website. The Nazis murdered 20 million of their own people and those in nations they captured. Between 1917 and 1987, Stalin and his successors murdered, or were otherwise responsible for the deaths of, 62 million of their own people. Between 1949 and 1987, Mao Tsetung and his successors were responsible for the deaths of 76 million Chinese.

Today's leftists, socialists and progressives would bristle at the suggestion that their agenda differs little from Nazism. However, there's little or no distinction between Nazism and socialism. Even the word Nazi is short for National Socialist German Workers Party. The origins of the unspeakable horrors of Nazism, Stalinism and Maoism did not begin in the '20s, '30s and '40s. Those horrors were simply the end result of long evolution of ideas leading to consolidation of power in central government in the quest for "social justice." It was decent but misguided earlier generations of Germans, like many of today's Americans, who would have cringed at the thought of genocide, who built the Trojan horse for Hitler to take over.

Few Americans have the stomach or ruthlessness to do what is necessary to make their governmental wishes come true. They are willing to abandon constitutional principles and rule of law so that the nation's elite, who believe they are morally and intellectually superior to the rest of us, can have the tools to implement "social justice." Those tools are massive centralized government power. It just turns out last century's notables in acquiring powerful central government, in the name of social justice, were Hitler, Stalin, Mao, but the struggle for social justice isn't over yet, and other suitors of this dubious distinction are waiting in the wings.



The Consolidators: A Western by Mark Lloyd

There can be little doubt about who wears the black hats in the new, myopically focused, socialistically inspired drama of the Old West by, and starring, FCC Diversity Officer Mark Lloyd.

The villains in Lloyd’s saga are the commercial owners of radio stations, like Clear Channel Communications, who typically have “stations in multiple markets or more than three stations in a single market.” Portrayed by him as being analogous to the cattle barons of the Old West, who greedily come into town and gobble up scarce resources and leave the local population in the lurch, these corporate station owners are represented as doing the same with the limited broadcast resources throughout the land.

And it just so happens, Lloyd’s research tells him, that the stations in the possession of these group owners “were statistically more likely to air conservative talk.” Furthermore, he claims that, in markets where there is “a clear demand and proven success of progressive talk” these dastardly bullies “still elect to stack the airwaves with one-sided broadcasting.” In short, the game plan of these feckless capitalists is to go broke. These are just some of the inane conclusions reached in Mr. Lloyd’s much discussed article, “The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio.”

Elsewhere, Lloyd claims to take the side of his much maligned townsfolk in a piece called “Local Media Diversity Matters.” Ostensibly defending their “Constitutional rights of free speech” he claims, “Americans’ ability to learn about and debate local, state and national issues and to monitor our representatives depends upon our exposure to news and discussion that is not controlled by a small group of mostly like-minded corporations.”

Leaving aside that he somehow forgot to add the obligatory word “evil” before “corporations,” it seemingly never occurs to him that this “small group” may, in fact, express the free-market friendly views of the many ordinary Americans who choose to listen to their radio programming. He seems to ascribe to the Marxist illusion that views supportive of free-markets can’t be the real beliefs of ordinary people.

Meanwhile, back in town, some of the citizens, meeting at the local courthouse, are calling on Marshall Lloyd to save the day by making the FCC reinstitute the “Fairness Doctrine.” Lloyd declines, explaining that he does not believe that repeal of the “Fairness Doctrine” in 1987 caused conservative radio to dominate the airwaves. So, simply reinstating it will not fix the “problem.”

What he thinks really caused the consolidation of ownership in radio stations, and the explosion in numbers of conservative talk radio stations nationwide, was an action by the FCC in 2003 “that substantially relaxed a wide range of media ownership regulations,” in part by the creation of a new Diversity Index.

Now Lloyd intends to rectify the situation by applying a newly developed, anti-free-enterprise formula for measuring media diversity in local communities. He holds that it will, “measure media diversity according to democratic values, not market values” (Exactly which democratic values are diametrically opposed to market values he doesn’t make clear.)

And exactly what anti-democratic values will his diversity formula overcome? Well, in an article entitled “Forget the Fairness Doctrine” he observes that, even in its heyday in the 1960s, it did not address the fact that the mainstream media was “middle-class, anti-communist, Protestant, male and white.”

His earlier research tells him, that “stations owned by women, minorities, or local owners are statistically less likely to air conservative hosts or shows.” So, he wishes to use the power of government, as embodied in his new diversity formula as a tool for wresting the licenses, and station ownership, of groups now supporting conservative talk radio so that he may redistribute them to those he considers worthy of his largesse. What a fine example of the Marxist principle of the redistribution of wealth from someone who praised Chavez’ Communist takeover of Venezuela as an “incredible revolution” and who has voiced the view that Chavez had it right when he shrewdly took over 200 stations owned by land-owners who represented his political opposition. Mark Lloyd has, it seems, learned well from his de facto mentor.

And does anyone with one iota of common sense really think that Lloyd’s planned move to squelch the Left’s conservative talk radio opposition, no matter what its ostensible justification, is anything other than the same sort of stark political power grab that Chavez master-minded in Venezuela---under the guise, of course, of helping the people?

Conservative talk radio virtually saved the entire medium of AM radio from oblivion in the 1980s. If anything, its proponents are heroes for doing so. And I don’t therefore have a very good review to write of Lloyd’s western portraying them as the villains. I also don’t view him as wearing a white hat either. It is extremely alarming that someone whose core views are so obviously antagonistic to free-market capitalism has been given such a place of prominence in the increasingly bizarre Obama Administration.



Black "News Analyst" Labels Police as Racist Terrorists

Marc Lamont Hill, the far-left hip-hop professor and paid Fox News Channel analyst, has a record in support of cop-killers. And now we have learned that he went on "The O'Reilly Factor" to defend black militants who held a March vigil in honor of Lovelle Mixon, a suspected rapist with a lengthy criminal record, who murdered four Oakland police officers. Hill said on Fox News that the activists, many of them from a communist organization, were protesting "police terrorism."

Recall that Hill claims that cop-killer Assata Shakur, who fled to Communist Cuba after escaping from prison, is innocent. Hill has also declared his support for Mumia Abu-Jamal, another convicted cop-killer, who is on death row. Hill called him a "freedom fighter" and "political prisoner" devoted to "black liberation" and announced that the convicted killer would be contributing to Hill's website as a weekly contributor. "Welcome Brother Mumia!!!!" Hill said.

The defense of the protesters in the Mixon case adds to the growing concern about this Fox News contributor, who is paid handsomely by the channel to appear on various Fox News Channel shows and is supposed to provide the appearance of fairness and balance. But is cop-killing a matter that requires two sides of the issue?



Clunkers in Practice

One of Washington's all-time dumb ideas

Remember "cash for clunkers," the program that subsidized Americans to the tune of nearly $3 billion to buy a new car and destroy an old one? Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood declared in August that, "This is the one stimulus program that seems to be working better than just about any other program."

If that's true, heaven help the other programs. Last week U.S. automakers reported that new car sales for September, the first month since the clunker program expired, sank by 25% from a year earlier. Sales at GM and Chrysler fell by 45% and 42%, respectively. Ford was down about 5%. Some 700,000 cars were sold in the summer under the program as buyers received up to $4,500 to buy a new car they would probably have purchased anyway, so all the program seems to have done is steal those sales from the future. Exactly as critics predicted.

Cash for clunkers had two objectives: help the environment by increasing fuel efficiency, and boost car sales to help Detroit and the economy. It achieved neither. According to Hudson Institute economist Irwin Stelzer, at best "the reduction in gasoline consumption will cut our oil consumption by 0.2 percent per year, or less than a single day's gasoline use." Burton Abrams and George Parsons of the University of Delaware added up the total benefits from reduced gas consumption, environmental improvements and the benefit to car buyers and companies, minus the overall cost of cash for clunkers, and found a net cost of roughly $2,000 per vehicle. Rather than stimulating the economy, the program made the nation as a whole $1.4 billion poorer.

The basic fallacy of cash for clunkers is that you can somehow create wealth by destroying existing assets that are still productive, in this case cars that still work. Under the program, auto dealers were required to destroy the car engines of trade-ins with a sodium silicate solution, then smash them and send them to the junk yard. As the journalist Henry Hazlitt wrote in his classic, "Economics in One Lesson," you can't raise living standards by breaking windows so some people can get jobs repairing them.

In the category of all-time dumb ideas, cash for clunkers rivals the New Deal brainstorm to slaughter pigs to raise pork prices. The people who really belong in the junk yard are the wizards in Washington who peddled this economic malarkey.




MI: Detroiters turn out for “free government money”: "Thousands hoping to get applications for federal help on rent and utility bills turned Cobo Center into a chaotic scene today. They came by foot, wheelchair, bicycle and car. About six left by ambulance after tensions rose and people were trampled, according to a paramedic on the scene. One unfortunate soul got his car booted. Detroiters were trying to pick up 5,000 federal assistance applications from the city at Cobo because Detroit received nearly $15.2 million in federal dollars under the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, which is for temporary financial assistance and housing services to individuals and families who are homeless, or who would be homeless without this help. … Outside Cobo on Wednesday, some people reportedly were going through the crowd, snatching the necessary applications from those who’d already obtained them. There also was a constant din of screams from people insisting they be let inside.”

Support Is Building for a Tax Credit to Help Hiring: "The idea of a tax credit for companies that create new jobs, something the federal government has not tried since the 1970s, is gaining support among economists and Washington officials grappling with the highest unemployment in a generation. The proposal has some bipartisan appeal among politicians eager both to help their unemployed constituents and to encourage small-business development. Legislators on Capitol Hill and President Obama’s economic team have been quietly researching the policy for several weeks. “There is a lot of traction for this kind of idea,” said Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the Republican whip. “If the White House will take the lead on this, I’m fairly positive it would be welcomed in a bipartisan fashion.” [This is what should have been done with the "stimulus" money]

Mobs, violent criminals turn to Medicare fraud: "Lured by easier money and shorter prison sentences, Mafia figures and other violent criminals increasingly are moving into Medicare fraud and spilling blood over what was once a white-collar crime. Around the nation, federal investigators have been threatened, an informant’s body was found riddled with bullets, and a woman was discovered dead in a pharmacy under investigation, her throat slit with a piece of broken toilet seat. For criminals, Medicare schemes offer a greater payoff and carry much shorter prison sentences than offenses such as drug trafficking or robbery.”

Arguing with the left: Some recent examples: "One man argued with me that the State must take care of everyone. I was pretty much unable to say anything in response since he tended to shout me down the moment I started to speak. I would say: ‘If you aren’t going to let me say anything then the conversation is over.’ He would insist that he’d let me speak and then halfway through my first sentence start shouting again. He finally stormed off. Now and then he’d pass by me and couldn’t resist flinging an insult each time. The oddest one was he walked past and shouted to an oncoming individual, who had no part of the previous ‘discussion,’ that: ‘Libertarians are just people who refuse to grow up.’ Considering how strenuously he was arguing that the State must care for us, due to our own inabilities to take care of ourselves, I found the argument a bit odd.”

Obama kowtows to labor unions: "Last year as a presidential candidate, Barack Obama told the Building Trades National Legislative Conference that ‘we need to make sure the government uses project labor agreements to encourage completion of projects on time and on budget.’ He complained that project labor agreements had been banned by the Bush administration. PLAs require construction firms to follow union work rules and to hire their workers through a union hiring hall. Workers hired under PLAs have to pay union dues whether they belong to the union or not. Candidate Obama’s audience knew perfectly well that his speech had more to do with their wallets than with any high-minded concern for the public interest. The real purpose of PLAs is to discourage nonunion contractors from bidding on public projects. It’s a matter of the 16 percent of construction workers who belong to unions protecting their jobs and perks from the other 84 percent.”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Why are webhosts so ill-mannered?

The internet and books have opposite vices and virtues. Books are highly permanent (we have some copies from a couple of thousand years ago) but are not readily accessible. You generally have to take a trip to a library if you want to access one. The net on the other hand is instantly and very conveniently accessible but it is also evanescent. A file of writings or a picture on the net can disappear in an instant and maybe never be found again. And the vanishing act is often the fault of the webhost rather than anything that the writer or photographer concerned has done. Many newspaper sites, for instance, seem to have a policy of deleting their own articles after quite short periods of time.

But I like to keep all the files of my writings publicly available regardless of what any individual webhoster or bloghoster might do. So I try to address the big weakness of the net by following the systems theory axiom that redundancy is the path to systems reliability. In other words, I keep multiple copies of my files up -- so that if one copy disappears, there will be others to be found. As a result, I have had a lot of dealings with the various webhosts where I place copies of my files/writings. And it is truly amazing how many webhosts I have gone through over time. Whether "free" or paid, there are at least a dozen (maybe 20) locations where my files were once found which no longer host my files. Some webhosts have simply gone bust and disappeared altogether and others have decided that my files are "incorrect" in some way and have deleted or blocked them.

And I am not complaining about that. It is precisely because I expect such impermanence that I keep multiple copies of my files online. What I DO object to, however, is that NOT ONCE have the webhosts concerned had the manners to email me in advance and warn me or consult me about what is going to happen. It is always a case of "shoot first; ask questions later".

It is actually a rather common event for webhosts to be "down" for various periods -- sometimes for a week or more. One would think that on such occasions, they would email their users and say something like: "We are having problems. Don't go away. We expect to be back up in a couple of days". But that never happens. The site eventually comes back online with no explanation or apology. Even sites that boast that they talk to their users are the same. And some sites of course NEVER come back up and you are left to figure that situation out. Even if you email them to ask if the cessation of service is temporary or permanent, you never get a reply.

And the Blogspot subsidiary of Google (which hosts this blog) is as bad as any of them. You would think that a big company like Google would be conscious of PR but it is not so. They too act first and ask questions later. I have lost track of how many times my blog sites have been blocked by them -- and never after any advance warning. Usually, I can fill out a form, the form gets acted on, and the site is unblocked but NEVER have I received an explanation as to why the block was put on. And sometimes the block lasts for over a week: At which point I tend to move to another bloghost, which is part of the reason why I now have two blogs hosted on Wordpress and two on That comes at some cost as I lose my old page ranking, so if anyone reading this has a site of their own it would help if they put up a link to my new POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH site.

And sometimes filling out the Google/Blogspot form does you no good at all. The obstruction is permanent and repeated requests for review of the block are ignored -- again without explanation. No manners or anything else much there.

I have become VERY wary about such shenanigans over the years, however. I don't blame anybody for thinking that I have gone overboard but at the moment I have my files spread over ELEVEN different webhosts. None have all my files but between them all there are usually three copies of any file available. I realize that I must sound slightly mad but I think that if you had had my experiences with webhosts you might be nearly as bad or mad. The way I have it set up, if one host goes down, I have to reload only a subset of my files, not the whole lot. Even that can be pretty pesky, though. And I have various pages -- including this one -- which have sufficent links to lead you to ALL my files (writings), regardless of where they are hosted.

So what is the answer to the question I ask in the heading above? I can only see the answer as lying with the general lack of civility these days. Under the influence of the prevailing Leftist gospel that "There is no such thing as right and wrong", people who can hide behind anonymity see no reason for civility. Maybe there is a Christian webhost somewhere who has higher standards than that but I have yet to find one.


McChrystal Slams DoD Bureaucracy

The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan bitterly complained in an interview Sunday about the Pentagon bureaucracy that he said was hampering his efforts to fight insurgents. In a profile on CBS television's "60 minutes," Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal said he faced pressure to move quickly from Defense Secretary Robert Gates while the Pentagon had moved slowly to get officers assigned to his staff.

"The secretary talks in terms of 12 to 18 months to show a significant change and then we eat up two or three months just on sort of getting the tools out of the tool box," McChrystal said, according to a transcript of the show to air later Sunday. "That really hurts," said McChrystal, shown in a video conference with the Pentagon.

The four-star army general, who was appointed to lead U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan in June after the previous commander was sacked, demanded the Defense Department had to move with more urgency. "The average organization when someone asks when you want something, they pull out a calendar," he said. "But in a good organization, they look at their watch and we really got to get that way."

McChrystal said he was slightly surprised by the strength of the insurgency when he took over his post. "I think that in some areas that the breadth of violence, the geographic spread of violence -- places to the north and to the west -- are a little more than I would have gathered," he said.

He also repeated his warning that if the NATO-led mission was perceived as an occupier that posed a threat to civilians, the war would be lost. "If the people view us as occupiers and the enemy, we can't be successful and our casualties will go up dramatically," he said. McChrystal said 265 civilians had been killed by U.S. or allied forces in the past 12 months.

In a quarterly report released Saturday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said 1,500 civilians had died between January and August, with August the deadliest month so far this year.

Military officials have credited McChrystal with reducing civilian casualties in recent months by ordering a change in tactics, including scaling back the use of air strikes and artillery fire, as well as requiring soldiers to exercise more caution when driving on Afghan roads.



Obama and the General

The White House finds a four-star scapegoat for its Afghan jitters

Democrats have found someone worth fighting in Afghanistan. His name is Stan McChrystal. The other night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went after the commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan, "with all due respect," for supposedly disrespecting the chain of command. Around the Congressional Democratic Caucus, we're told Members refer to General McChrystal as "General MacArthur," after the commander in Korea sacked by Harry Truman.

White House aides have fanned these flames with recent leaks to the media that "officials are challenging" his assessment asking for more troops. In the last two days, the White House National Security Adviser and the Secretary of Defense have both suggested that the general should keep his mouth shut. President Obama called him in Friday for a talking-to on the tarmac at Copenhagen airport.

Though a decorated Army four-star officer, the General's introduction to Beltway warfare is proving to be brutal. To be fair, Gen. McChrystal couldn't know that his Commander in Chief would go wobbly so soon on his commitment to him as well as to his own Afghan strategy when he was tapped for the job in April. We're told by people who know him that Gen. McChrystal "feels terrible" and "had no intention whatsoever of trying to lobby and influence" the Administration. His sense of bewilderment makes perfect sense anywhere but in the political battlefield of Washington. He was, after all, following orders.

Recall that in March Mr. Obama unveiled his "comprehensive new strategy . . . to reverse the Taliban's gains and promote a more capable and accountable Afghan government." The Commander in Chief pledged to properly resource this "war of necessity," which he also called during the 2008 campaign "the central front on terror." The President then sacked his war commander, who had been chosen by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in favor of Gen. McChrystal, an expert in counterinsurgency.

Upon arriving in June, Gen. McChrystal launched his assessment of the forces required to execute the Obama strategy. His confidential study was completed in August and sent to the Pentagon. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Michael Mullen told Congress that more troops would be needed, and a figure of 30,000-40,000 was bandied about. The figure has clearly spooked the Administration".

More here



It's Official! Iran Publicly Says it Fooled U.S. and Europeans in Geneva, Offered Nothing: "And now it's official! Iran's Supreme National Security Council has announced that the main "concession" it supposedly made in the Geneva meeting with the United States never happened. It has no intention of sending off its enriched uranium to Russia to be turned into someting fit only for medical research at all. This supposed pledge made by Iran was the alleged big development that set off so much optimism after Iran met with the United States along with China, France, Germany, Russia, and England). No, says the Iranian government. This is merely an old idea--Tehran offered the same plan back in 2007 and then, after using it to stall for months, rejected it-- which it has been planning to discuss on October 18 in yet another meeting with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Not only did it not offer anything new in Geneva, the Iranian government maintains it offered nothing at all."

Senate passes Pentagon budget, war funding: "The Senate has passed a $626 billion Pentagon funding bill that would bring the tab for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to more than $1 trillion. The measure passed by a 93-7 vote. It would also ban outright any transfer of accused enemy combatants from the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility into the United States. Current law permits transfer of detainees to face trial or go to prison.”

Firefighters lose large FEMA grant to ACORN: "Nearly $1 million in Homeland Security funding typically earmarked for fire departments has been awarded to ACORN, despite a clear signal from Congress that it intends to cut off federal funding to the embattled group. The grant to ACORN's Louisiana office became public on Oct. 2, less than three weeks after the House and Senate voted to cut off ACORN funding after employees were caught on video advising a fake prostitute and pimp on scams. It was one of only three such grants issued to the state and made up almost 80 percent of the firefighting money earmarked for Louisiana, prompting one of the U.S. senators from the state to demand that the funds be taken back. "I request that you rescind this grant based on a history of abuse of federal dollars by ACORN and their clear lack of expertise in this area," said Sen. David Vitter, Louisiana Republican. Mr. Vitter, who was routinely notified of the grant before it became public, sent his letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Sept. 22, saying the money should be given "to a more deserving group of first responders." One such group might have been the St. Tammany Parish Fire District No. 3, which applied for a $120,000 grant to purchase smoke alarms for low-income families after a January fire killed four children in a home that had no working detectors."

The NYT "Ethicist" is a comedy writer!: "Randy Cohen has written humor articles, essays and stories for numerous newspapers and magazines. His first television work was writing for "Late Night With David Letterman," for which he won three Emmy Awards. His fourth Emmy was for his work on "TV Nation." He received a fifth Emmy as a result of a clerical error, and he kept it. For two years, he wrote and edited News Quiz for Slate, the online magazine. Currently he writes The Ethicist for The New York Times Magazine. Each week, in Moral of the Story, he will examine a news story from an ethical perspective."

WI: “Prayer death” parents sentenced to probation, jail time: "A judge sentenced a Wisconsin couple to 10 years probation and 30 days a year in jail for the next six years [stayed pending appeals] for praying instead of seeking medical care for their dying 11-year-old daughter. … The girl died of complications from undiagnosed diabetes on the floor of the family’s home while people around her prayed. Someone called an ambulance after she stopped breathing.”

Pepsi, the homosexual drink: "God hates Diet Pepsi!’ A group advocating ‘traditional family values’ claims it has the signatures of 500,000 people who have pledged to boycott Pepsi over what it says are the company’s activities promoting gay rights. The American Family Association (which boasts ‘2.5 million online supporters’) ‘asked PepsiCo to be neutral in the culture war and not support the homosexual agenda,’ it said in a press release Tuesday. ‘PepsiCo refused. The company continues to give financial support to homosexual organizations.’ The AFA launched its boycott campaign in January over PepsiCo’s ‘continued support of same-sex marriage and homosexual advocacy.’”

Consensus. Margaret Thatcher in a 1981 speech: "For me, pragmatism is not enough. Nor is that fashionable word "consensus."... To me consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects—the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner "I stand for consensus"?

“Death tax” destroys wealth: "The politicians in Washington impose double taxation on interest, dividends and capital gains, but the ‘death tax’ wins the prize for being the most self-destructive part of the internal revenue code. Adding an extra layer of tax when someone dies is an unsavory combination of bad economics and immoral grave robbing. The current policy is especially foolish since every economic theory — even Marxism — agrees that saving and investment are the keys to long-run growth and higher living standards.”

Fascism: Why can’t it happen here?: "Recently I saw Ed Schultz on MSNBC, in the context of a story on the murdered census worker in Kentucky, running a clip of Michelle Bachmann’s comments. She claimed that census data had been used by the government in the past to round up American citizens (namely the Japanese-American Nisei on the West coast in early 1942). ‘The government rounding up American citizens?’ Schultz asked incredulously. ‘That goes beyond psycho talk.’ Now, I’ll be the first to stipulate that Michelle Bachmann goes beyond psycho. But Schultz acted as though the idea of the U.S. government rounding citizens up was so ludicrous, on its very face, as not to deserve refutation. Why? Because the U.S. government is run by the kinds of angels that James Madison wrote of? Because the American people are uniquely predisposed to resist authoritarianism? Or just because there’s something ‘different’ about the American genetic makeup, or maybe something different in the water here? The idea of the U.S. government as an object of fear, that its growing police state powers might be used against the American people for the wholesale suppression of dissent, is hardly a right-wing preserve, as Schultz seems to suggest.”

Why Chile is more free than the United States: "In the 2009 Economic Freedom of the World Report, Chile is now #5, one place ahead of the United States. In 1975, of 72 countries, Chile was No 71. How did this happen? The explanation lies in what I call the ‘Chilean Revolution,’ because it was as important and transformative to my country as the celebrated American Revolution that gave birth to the United States. The exceptional political circumstances of this period have obscured the fact that from 1975 to 1989 a true revolution took place in Chile, involving a radical, comprehensive, and sustained move toward economic and political freedom (from a starting point where there was neither one nor the other).” [It was a great start for Chile when Pinochet cut the bureaucacy in half]

NYC: Big Brother Bloomberg is watching you (even more closely): "On the heels of breaking up an alleged bomb terror plot, New York is planning to place high-tech security cameras, license plate readers, and ‘weapons sensors’ in midtown Manhattan. Office workers and tourists — and possible terrorists — will have cameras watching their every move as they visit Macy’s, shop for diamonds at Tiffany & Co., or gawk in Times Square. … Sensors will try to detect chemical, biological, and radiological threats. But some terrorism experts have questioned whether a camera network will deter terrorists. They also say that sensors are known to give off ‘false positives.’ Meanwhile, civil rights organizations are concerned that the project will be another encroachment on civil liberties.”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I imagine that there must be a few people who read this blog who share my love of Baroque music. So for them some news: I have just discovered the music of Zelenka, a Czech contemporary of Bach whom Bach thought highly of. I am listening to one of his Kyrie Eleisons as I write this. It is marvellous. What a wonder that the Baroque period is still yielding up forgotten treasures for us! I have also just heard on the radio one of his oratorios: "Penitents at the tomb of the Redeemer". It grabbed me immediately.


A Poisonous Cocktail: Expanding the Community Reinvestment Act

The White House and Congress want to expand a 30-year-old law--the Community Reinvestment Act--that helped to fuel the mortgage meltdown. What the CRA does, in effect, is compel banks to seek the permission of community activists to get regulatory approval for bank expansions and mergers. Often this means striking a deal with activist groups such as ACORN or unions like the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and agreeing to allocate credit to poor and minority areas that are underserved.

In short, the CRA encourages banks to make loans they would not ordinarily make. What's more, these agreements often require that banks offer no-money-down mortgages and remove caps on how much debt a borrower can take on. All of this is done in the name of "financial democracy."

Liberals pooh-pooh the idea that a 30-year-old law could have contributed to the current subprime crisis and credit crunch. But what they ignore is the massive expansion of CRA-commitments forced on banks in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis.

According to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, in the first 20 years of the act, up to 1997, commitments totaled approximately $200 billion. But from 1997 to 2007, commitments exploded to more than $4.2 trillion. (Keep in mind this is more than four times the size of the current health bill being debated in Congress.) The burdens on individual banks can be enormous. Washington Mutual, for example, pledged $1 trillion in mortgages to those with credit histories that "fall outside typical credit, income or debt constraints," and was awarded the 2003 CRA Community Impact Award for its Community Access program. Four years later it was taken over by the Office of Thrift Supervision. In 2004 Bank of America agreed to provide $750 billion in CRA loans to applicants with poor credit who had previous difficulty obtaining a mortgage. By 2008 Bank of America was reporting that CRA loans represented only 7% of its portfolio but 29% of its losses. Numerous large banks are now in the middle of enormous CRA commitments. In 2004 J.P. Morgan Chase agreed to provide $800 billion of such loans over the course of 10 years.

For all the talk of unsold condos in Miami and foreclosed McMansions in California, the epicenters of the mortgage crisis are inner-city urban areas--precisely those areas where the CRA was most applicable. As the Boston Federal Reserve put it in a massive 2008 study, "In the current housing crisis foreclosures are highly concentrated in [urban] minority neighborhoods." The study found that borrowers in these areas were seven times more likely to be foreclosed on than the general population. Analysis by the Pew Research Center and another by The New York Times found that mortgage holders in these areas had foreclosure rates four times higher than the national average. In short, the CRA is compelling banks to make trillions in loans to individuals who have poor credit and who often can't or won't make their payments.

Now comes Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, and 50 other co-sponsors (all Democrats) of H.R. 1479 the "Community Reinvestment Modernization Act of 2009," who want to expand the CRA to include not just banks but also credit unions, insurance companies and mortgage lenders. Congressman Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has supported the idea in the past. The SEIU and ACORN, along with a host of other activist groups, are also behind the effort.



Stimulating Our Way to Depression

In 1932, FDR had an opportunity to change the conventional way that governments deal with a recession. His predecessor, Herbert Hoover, who also had a tendency towards central planning, had started the process. Instead of allowing markets to correct themselves as they had in all the previous panics, as depressions were then called, both men instituted programs of government intervention.

Hoover signed the Smoot Hawley tariff even after many of the leading economists of the time personally implored him not to sign it. A tariff would help improve farm prices, which was a cornerstone of the progressive movement. He asked businesses not to lower wages, as had been done in previous panics. Wages remained high but unemployment soared.

Although Roosevelt had campaigned on a platform of balanced budgets, once in office things changed. Many of his advisors were college professors and writers from within the progressive movement. Very few were trained economists, but several had been to Russia and seen Stalin’s central planning first hand. Others had an admiration of Benito Mussolini’s nationalization of industry in Italy. Once FDR was in office they were determined to apply what they had seen in America.

The utility industry had been one of the most highly leveraged industries to be affected by the Stock Market Crash, and was essential to industrial production. The newly developed utilities were grossly overvalued similar to the internet companies of the 1990’s or the housing industry of early last year. By 1932, utility stocks were worth a mere fraction of their 1929 value. FDR began to plan how the government would replace private utilities as a large scale electrical power producer. This would also enable him to take credit for providing thousands of construction jobs and control energy production. The first government utility was the Tennessee Valley Authority. It would provide power in the Appalachian region rather then allow private industry to electrify the area.

To prevent wages from going down in response to the demand for labor, FDR instituted the National Industrial Recovery Act, which allowed large business to form cartels in exchange for allowing unionization of their plants. This helped large businesses that had lower costs absorb the additional costs of unionization but was very damaging to small businesses. Wage rates were 25% higher than they should have been, but so was unemployment. Prices for goods were also 25% higher then they should have been.

When unemployment failed to go down as the result of the NIRA programs and the associated unionization, FDR instituted numerous make work programs through out America. These programs employed not only construction workers but also actors, artists and writers. These programs also greatly increased government expenditures and the national debt.

FDR and his progressive advisors generally resented those people that earn more then their college professor salaries, especially industrialists. They blamed industrialists for not hiring more people to reduce unemployment. This gave progressives justification to raise the marginal tax rates on the wealthy from 26% to above 90%. The wealthy responded by investing in other types of investments and their share of the total tax revenue actually fell during the Depression.

Even though the ideas and programs that FDR and the progressives instituted were not effective in preventing the stock market crash of 1929 from turning into the Great Depression, they were effective in creating a loyal voting base. By demonizing the wealthy, FDR was able to take credit for the government jobs his programs created at the expense of jobs in private industry that the provisions of the NIRA took away. FDR learned by 1935 that a crisis should never go to waste.

If this narrative sounds familiar, it should. The progressives of the 1920’s that had been shut out of politics since Wilson’s administration needed a crisis to return to power and institute their ideas of central planning in America. Today liberals are trying to do the same. Progressives of the 1930’s stifled industrial production with regulation and unionization and today they want to do the same. During the Depression, progressives wanted to control the production of energy, today they propose cap and trade to do the same thing.

Socialists then and now rely on the writings of the economist, John Maynard Keynes to justify large government spending programs to stimulate the economy. However, Keynes himself wrote to FDR in 1938 questioning his spending programs and why FDR would use only one aspect of his economic theories. The answer is very simple: government programs create the illusion of improving the economy. People only see the jobs created by government programs, never the jobs that are lost in the private sector to create them. Programs focus on the benefits that will be provided to a particular segment of society, never to who pays for those benefits. Progressive solutions buy votes but not economic prosperity.



McChrystal’s critics are wrong — very wrong — to suggest he has gone PC

By Frederick W. Kagan

The politicization of the analysis of American generalship is one of the worst consequences of the partisan excesses of the past several years. Whether it was Gen. David Petraeus in 2007 or Gen. Stanley McChrystal today, far too many commentators on both sides of the aisle have become comfortable saying that commanders who offer recommendations the critics don’t like are doing so because they have become captive of some ideology. Petraeus was charged with carrying water for the Bush administration’s supposed crusade to spread democracy throughout the world. Now McChrystal is accused of committing the soldiers under his command to needless death and maiming out of a misplaced sense of political correctness inspired by Barack Obama.

The reality is that America’s commanders over the last eight years have consistently given their best professional military advice, making the recommendations they thought would achieve the goals set for them by their political masters. That includes all of our commanders: Tommy Franks, Ricardo Sanchez, John Abizaid, George Casey, David Barno, Karl Eikenberry, Dan McNeill, David McKiernan, David Petraeus, Ray Odierno, and now Stan McChrystal. Some of them were right, some were tragically wrong. But not a single one of them made a recommendation to his superiors or gave an order to his soldiers that he did not think would lead to the success of his mission. American commanders simply do not do such things, and it is time to stop trying to avoid serious discussions of strategy by claiming that they do.

General McChrystal and the team that drafted his assessment and policy recommendations (full disclosure: I was a member of that team in June and July) may be wrong, of course. War is extremely complex, and no one is infallible. But before consigning the McChrystal assessment to the dust-bin of history, we owe it to such a commander to consider carefully the possibility that the sophistication in the document is not simply pseudo-intellectual code for political correctness. It may in fact represent an attempt to grapple with the real complexities of the situation on the ground as seen by officers who have spent years of their lives operating in Afghanistan against our enemies — something that none of their defenders or critics among the chattering classes (myself included) can say.

Andy McCarthy’s attack on McChrystal in this regard is particularly odd. McChrystal should be Andy’s hero: As commander of U.S. special-forces efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan for more than four straight years, McChrystal is responsible for killing and capturing thousands of Islamist terrorists. As the recent 60 Minutes interview revealed, McChrystal has personally accompanied his soldiers on some of those raids. He’s met the enemy fighters Andy so rightly wants to target — met some of them rather personally. This war has not been a clinical or theoretical exercise for McChrystal, nor has it been the stuff of Foreign Affairs essays. It has been as dirty and bloody as anything Andy McCarthy or Ralph Peters could desire. One thing no one can say about McChrystal is that he has a problem killing the enemy.

More here



Obama's big money-printing splurge has destroyed confidence in the value of the dollar: "In a graphic illustration of the new world order, Arab states have launched secret moves with China, Russia and France to stop using the US currency for oil trading. Iran announced late last month that its foreign currency reserves would henceforth be held in euros rather than dollars. In the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning – along with China, Russia, Japan and France – to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar. Secret meetings have already been held by finance ministers and central bank governors in Russia, China, Japan and Brazil to work on the scheme, which will mean that oil will no longer be priced in dollars. The plans, confirmed to The Independent by both Gulf Arab and Chinese banking sources in Hong Kong, may help to explain the sudden rise in gold prices, but it also augurs an extraordinary transition from dollar markets within nine years."

Sanctions are a stupid idea: "President Obama has vowed to keep the pressure on Iran over its nuclear program after last week’s meeting in Geneva, and his advisers said the United States was intensively recruiting other nations to join in a harsher economic embargo against Tehran should diplomacy fail. But as the focus on sanctions intensifies, a review of the United States’ experiences in enforcing its own longstanding restrictions on trade with Iran suggests it would be difficult to truly quarantine the Iranian economy. Black market networks have sprouted up all over the globe to circumvent the sanctions. A typical embargo-busting scheme was detailed in a plea agreement filed in federal court here on Sept. 24, the day before Mr. Obama and European allies announced the existence of a previously undisclosed Iranian nuclear enrichment facility near Qum. In the court filings, a Dutch aviation services company and its owner admitted that they had illegally funneled American aircraft and electronics components to Iran from 2005 to 2007..."

Lawmaker calls on Obama to fire official in gay sex ed controversy: "Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King is calling on President Obama to fire gay activist Kevin Jennings, the controversial head of the Education Department's Office of Safe & Drug Free Schools. Although Jennings has come under heavy criticism from social conservatives in recent months, King is the first member of Congress to call for his ouster. King says Jennings has no background in anti-drug work, and his experience in education has focused not on the issue of school safety but on introducing the topic of homosexuality into the classroom, including in elementary schools. "The totality of his life has been the promotion of homosexuality, and much of it within education," says King. "He has focused on nothing else during the last two decades, and that is not the focus that our schools need to be on."

The Republican revival: "Ignore anyone who says Republicans have no chance of winning 40 seats in next year’s midterm elections and grabbing control of the House of Representatives. A landslide of that dimension is quite possible. All it would take is for current political trends to continue. If that happens, Republicans will win the House in a landslide. The Senate is another story. The deep trouble that’s beginning to engulf Democrats is now an inescapable fact of political life. With the congressional election 13 months away, Democrats have time to halt their decline and prevent a Republican surge. But they’ve shown no signs of reversing their slide. In 2006 and 2008, they were on offense. Today they’re stuck on defense.”

Irwin Stelzer on the revival of the right: "A funny thing happened on the way to the collapse of market capitalism in the face of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. It didn't. Indeed, in Germany voters relieved Chancellor Angela Merkel of the necessity of cohabiting with a left-wing party, allowing her to form a coalition with a party favouring lower taxes and free markets. And in Pittsburgh leaders representing more than 90% of the world's GDP convened to figure out how to make markets work better, rather than to hoist the red flag. The workers are to be relieved, not of their chains, but of credit-card terms that are excessively onerous, and helped to retain their private property—their homes. All of this is contrary to expectations. The communist spectre that Karl Marx confidently predicted would be haunting Europe is instead haunting Europe's left-wing parties, with even Vladimir Putin seeking to attract investment by re-privatising the firms he snatched. Which raises an interesting question: why haven't the economic turmoil and rising unemployment led workers to the barricades, instead of to their bankers to renegotiate their mortgages? All of those factors contribute to the unexpected strength of the right in a world in which a record number of families are being tossed out of their homes, and jobs have been disappearing by the million."

GOP to gain many seats in '10: "Following major setbacks in 2008, the national political landscape for Republicans has improved so dramatically in recent months that election analysts say the only remaining question is how deep the Democrats' losses will be in the 2010 congressional midterm races. President Obama's approval rating has fallen to 51 percent in the Gallup tracking survey. A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed that voters were nearly evenly divided on which party should control Congress, with Democrats edging Republicans by just three points, down from a seven-point lead in July, and election analysts have moved nearly two dozen Democratic House seats into "competitive" rating columns benefiting the Republican Party... Longtime elections handicapper Charlie Cook agrees that the national political movement has turned decidedly away from the Democrats at this point in the two-year election cycle. "As the political environment for Democrats has turned ugly, it is widely assumed the party will sustain losses in next year's midterm elections. The operative question is: How bad will those losses be?" he said in a recent analysis for Congress Daily".


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Tuesday, October 6, 2009


THE future of top-rating TV comedian David Letterman is uncertain as the CBS Network that airs his Late Show contemplates investigating his past relationships with female staff, following a bizarre extortion plot. Letterman stunned his audience last week when he revealed on his nightly program that he was the victim of a $2million blackmail attempt.

Stephanie Birkitt [above], a personal assistant to Letterman, has emerged as the woman at the centre of Robert Halderman's blackmail attempt. Halderman lived with her briefly and allegedly used some photos and correspondence involving Letterman to set up the extortion, saying he planned to write a damning screenplay unless the star paid him.

A second woman who was previously an intern on the Letterman show, Holly Hester, has came forward as another former fling. She told The New York Daily News she had been madly in love with Letterman and would have married him. "He was hilarious," she said.

After making fun of other people's wacky sex lives for years, Letterman last week said that a man had threatened to expose his past relationships with women who worked for him on the Late Show. The television comedian went out of his way to be seen to do the right thing by going straight to police and co-operating in a sting that led to the arrest of Halderman, a disgruntled network producer. Halderman, an Emmy-award winning producer for the CBS series 48 Hours, faces up to 15 years' jail after demanding money in return for keeping quiet about evidence he had of Letterman's past dalliances.

While Letterman is not accused of any wrongdoing by police, the issue has presented CBS with a conundrum. So far the network is standing by Letterman, who is enjoying a ratings resurgence since the rival Tonight Show was taken over by Conan O'Brien. Under the terms of his contract, Letterman's quaintly named company Worldwide Pants leases airtime on CBS, so he is not an employee. The network is believed to be concerned about some sections of its audience with puritanical views.

More here

Another comment on the wandering trousers: "As one of America’s most successful television comedians, David Letterman built an entertainment empire on jokes about sex — notably involving former President Bill Clinton’s trousers. Yesterday the joke was on Letterman as his own complicated sex life dominated US tabloid headlines and provided his late-night comic rivals with an irresistible source of new material including a shapely blonde, a salacious diary, mystery photographs and a peculiarly inept blackmail plot. “If you came here tonight for sex with a talk show host,” said Jay Leno, Letterman’s most formidable late-night rival, “you’ve come to the wrong studio.” For Bill and Hillary Clinton and countless other victims of Letterman’s rancid barbs — notably Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska to whom he recently apologised for off-colour jokes about her family — there may have been a certain grim satisfaction in seeing the perennially cocky comedian admitting to “creepy” behaviour."


Barack Obama furious at General Stanley McChrystal speech on Afghanistan

The relationship between President Barack Obama and the commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan has been put under severe strain by Gen Stanley McChrystal's comments on strategy for the war. According to sources close to the administration, Gen McChrystal shocked and angered presidential advisers with the bluntness of a speech given in London last week.

The next day he was summoned to an awkward 25-minute face-to-face meeting on board Air Force One on the tarmac in Copenhagen, where the president had arrived to tout Chicago's unsuccessful Olympic bid.

Gen James Jones, the national security adviser, yesterday did little to allay the impression the meeting had been awkward. Asked if the president had told the general to tone down his remarks, he told CBS: "I wasn't there so I can't answer that question. But it was an opportunity for them to get to know each other a little bit better. I am sure they exchanged direct views." An adviser to the administration said: "People aren't sure whether McChrystal is being naïve or an upstart. To my mind he doesn't seem ready for this Washington hard-ball and is just speaking his mind too plainly."

In London, Gen McChrystal, who heads the 68,000 US troops in Afghanistan as well as the 100,000 Nato forces, flatly rejected proposals to switch to a strategy more reliant on drone missile strikes and special forces operations against al-Qaeda. He told the Institute of International and Strategic Studies that the formula, which is favoured by Vice-President Joe Biden, would lead to "Chaos-istan". When asked whether he would support it, he said: "The short answer is: No." He went on to say: "Waiting does not prolong a favorable outcome. This effort will not remain winnable indefinitely, and nor will public support." The remarks have been seen by some in the Obama administration as a barbed reference to the slow pace of debate within the White House.

Gen McChrystal delivered a report on Afghanistan requested by the president on Aug 31, but Mr Obama held only his second "principals meeting" on the issue last week. He will hold at least one more this week, but a decision on how far to follow Gen McChrystal's recommendation to send 40,000 more US troops will not be made for several weeks. A military expert said: "They still have working relationship but all in all it's not great for now." Some commentators regarded the general's London comments as verging on insubordination.



Brain-dead conservatives? No, it’s the elitist critics at room temperature

“Is Conservatism Dead?” screamed the headline on page one of the Washington Post’s Outlook section Sunday. Behind that headline is the photo of a nude white male body being medically resuscitated, seemingly without success, along with small black letters: “Nope. Maybe Just Brain Dead.” The article was by Steven F. Hayward, described as the F.K. Weyerhaeuser Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Just a couple of days before, the New York Times’s David Brooks was flailing at conservative radio “talk jocks” Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck whose intellectual shortcomings, he charged, are the real reason behind the decline of the Republican Party. About the only place in America where there is not an unemployment problem is in the ranks of one-time conservative elitists getting checks from the liberal media —to attack conservatives. How else could Kathleen Parker be on a legitimate payroll?

What is the real sin of Limbaugh and Beck in the eyes of these liberal media darlings? Is it their ability to communicate with the American people? Is that why “tea baggers” so offend the learned Fellow Mr. Hayward?

What these elitists don’t seem to understand is that more and more people are turning to Glenn Beck because he is the best place to go for exposes on powerful forces like ACORN and Presidential Czar Van Jones. The facts speak for themselves. Day after day, Beck was reporting the facts about the corrupting political forces behind ACORN and the real Van Jones resume which should have made him unemployable to anyone outside Washington’s far left. There was nothing about ACORN or Jones in the Post or the Times whose ombudsman actually had to launch an investigation to explain how his news institution could miss the ACORN story.

But as soon as the truth behind ACORN and Jones was unearthed by Beck (with help from today’s version of Candid Camera) they overnight were as popular in Washington as a strain of swine flu. Before Beck’s reporting, ACORN had an automatic, Congressionally fueled pipeline into the federal budget —good for tens of millions. The Obama White House was pointing to Jones as a green-age prophet. After Beck’s reporting, Congress could not move fast enough to begin defunding ACORN—and Jones was run out of town in the middle of the night.

You can bet you didn’t get any reporting on these dubious characters from Brooks or the F.K. Weyerhaeuser couch at AEI. In fairness to Hayward, if you read him far enough you will find he does have some appreciation for Beck —when he is interviewing professors.

Now I am not so much of a populist as to be thrilled by Beck’s every show. Those focus groups with Mothers are too much for me, and as for Frank Luntz’s regular appearances, I can only figure he has pictures.

Sometimes when Rush has been out on golfing outings, his usually extraordinarily insightful shows don’t carry the informational punch as when he is in close touch with what is happening beyond the sunny paradise of south Florida. But in these times you can’t be in touch with what’s really happening without listening to Rush and watching Beck. That’s more than you can say about their elitist critics.




Olympic failure is Bush's fault!: "Some Chicago officials say anti-American resentment likely played a role in Chicago's Olympic bid dying in the first round Friday. President Obama could not undo in one year the resentment against America that President Bush and others built up for years, they said. "There must be" resentment against America, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said, near the stage where he had hoped to give a victory speech in Daley Center Plaza. "The way we [refused to sign] the Kyoto Treaty, we misled the world into Iraq. The world had a very bad taste in its mouth about us. But there was such a turnaround after last November. The world now feels better about America and about Americans. That's why I thought the president's going was the deal-maker."

This mission is not McChrystal clear: "Deep down, national-security conservatives know President Obama will not wage a decisive war against America’s enemies in Afghanistan. They also know that the young men and women we already have there are sitting ducks. Ralph Peters notes that our commanders, obsessed with avoiding civilian casualties, have imposed mind-boggling rules of engagement (ROE) on our forces, compelling them to retreat from contact with the enemy and denying them resort to overwhelming force — including the denial of artillery and air cover when they are under siege. As the Washington Examiner’s Byron York recently reported, even some Afghans are telling our commanders to ’stop being so fussy … and kill the enemy.’ Yet the national-security Right is urging that we up the ante and put another 40,000 American lives at risk in this hostile theater, under this commander in chief and the same military leadership that dreamed up the ROE. Why? To attempt, under the rubric of ‘counterinsurgency,’ the unlikeliest of social-engineering experiments: bringing big, modern, collectivist, secular government to a segmented, corrupt, tribal Islamic society — a society that has been at war with itself for three dozen years, which is to say, since the first futile effort to impose big, modern, collectivist, secular government ran smack into Afghanistan’s tribal Islamic ways.”

Now will Congress investigate ACORN?: "Evidence continues to accumulate from far and wide that the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now is lousy with corruption. The latest revelations come from Louisiana and Oklahoma. In the former, the local ACORN Housing Corp. office received contracts worth a combined $625,000 from the City of New Orleans for repairing existing low-income housing and developing new units in poor neighborhoods. The contracts were paid for with funds from federal Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. An investigation by the Pelican Institute think tank of New Orleans, however, found that no work was actually performed to fulfill the contracts. Worse, Pelican couldn't talk to the ACORN official managing the contracts because he had left the organization months ago. One more thing: The office address listed on the contracts for ACORN turned out to be a vacant lot, although new plumbing connections indicated a trailer had recently been located on the site."

The recovery that isn’t: "For those market boosters who are prattling on about the possibility of a ‘jobless recovery,’ I offer an invitation to join me for a breakfast of ‘fat-free bacon,’ ‘eggless omelets,’ and ‘no-carb bread.’ As unappetizing as such a meal may sound, it would nevertheless offer more substance than the oxymoronic concept of an economic resurgence without job creation. Those who do cling to the absurd belief that, absent exponential productivity gains, the economy can expand while workers are being laid off will undergo a massive test of their convictions now that it’s clear the employment picture is bleak.”

Revolutionary Anti-Semitism: "Meet one of Honduras's most vocal advocates for the return of deposed president Manuel Zelaya to office. He's not your average radio jock. He started in Honduran politics as a radical activist and was one of the founders of the hard-left People's Revolutionary Union, which had links to Honduran terrorists in 1980s. A few years ago he was convicted and served time in prison for raping his own daughter. Today Mr. Romero Ellner is pure zelayista, hungry for power and not ashamed to say so. This explains why he has joined Venezuela's Hugo Chávez and Mr. Zelaya in targeting Jews. Mr. Chávez has allied himself with Iran to further his ability to rule unchecked in the hemisphere. He hosts Hezbollah terrorists and seeks Iranian help to become a nuclear power. He and his acolytes cement their ties to Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by echoing his anti-Semitic rants. Mr. Zelaya, recall, was arrested, deposed and deported on June 28 because he violated the Honduran Constitution. He snuck back into the country on Sept. 21 and found refuge at the Brazilian Embassy in the capital. Mr. Romero Ellner's calumny against Jews was a follow-up to Mr. Zelaya's claim that he was being "subjected to high-frequency radiation" from outside the embassy and that he thought "Israeli mercenaries" were behind it. The verbal attack on Jews from a zelayista is consistent with a pattern emerging in the region."

Iran's Big Victory in Geneva: "The most widely touted outcome of last week's Geneva talks with Iran was the "agreement in principle" to send approximately one nuclear-weapon's worth of Iran's low enriched uranium (LEU) to Russia for enrichment to 19.75% and fabrication into fuel rods for Tehran's research reactor. President Barack Obama says the deal represents progress, a significant confidence-building measure. In fact, the agreement constitutes another in the long string of Iranian negotiating victories over the West. Any momentum toward stricter sanctions has been dissipated, and Iran's fraudulent, repressive regime again hobnobs with the U.N. Security Council's permanent members."

Test of laser from C-130H melts hood of car: "New video released by the Air Force and Boeing Co. show what happens when a C-130H Hercules aims the Advanced Tactical Laser at the hood of car. In the video recorded Aug. 30 during a test flight at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., the laser melts the hood and sparks a fire. A press statement from Boeing said the laser ‘killed the vehicle.’ The weapon uses a chemical laser that fills the cargo hold of C-130 to produce a laser beam fired from a turret mounted in the belly of a C-130.”

Pakistan: Billions in US aid never reached Pak army: "The United States has long suspected that much of the billions of dollars it has sent Pakistan to battle militants has been diverted to the domestic economy and other causes, such as fighting India. Now the scope and longevity of the misuse is becoming clear: Between 2002 and 2008, while Al Qaeda regrouped, only $500 million of the $6.6 billion in American aid actually made it to the Pakistani military, two army generals tell The Associated Press. The account of the generals, who asked to remain anonymous because military rules forbid them from speaking publicly, was backed up by other retired and active generals, former bureaucrats and government ministers.”

Oppressive airport security again: "Those who do not deal with border crossings — either personally or through the movement of goods and/or services — do not understand what the establishment of Fortress America is doing to the reputation, economic well being and character of the U.S. By Fortress America, I mean the wall of aggressive bureaucratic obstruction and control over everyone and everything that enters the U.S. The most obvious examples are the U.S. airports which, from personal experience, I can attest are more totalitarian, dehumanizing and time-consuming by far than those in Communist China. One of the most common requests foreigners (that is, non-Americans) now make to travel agents is for flights that do not transfer or touchdown in the States; indeed, foreign airlines are advertising this ‘feature’ as a selling point and sometimes charge 100s more for the ’service.’”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Monday, October 5, 2009

Amazing: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is just another self-hating Jew

One of the more appalling examples of the Jewish skill at getting themselves into prominent positions. Judge Goldstone has got nothing on this guy

He has shocked and angered the world with his calls for Israel to be wiped off the face of the earth, and dismissed the Holocaust as a ''detail'' of history. But new evidence uncovered by London's Daily Telegraph suggests there may be a secret behind Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's attacks on the Jewish world.

A photograph of the Iranian president holding up his identity card during elections last year shows his family has Jewish roots. A close-up of the document shows that he was previously known as Sabourjian, a Jewish name meaning cloth weaver. The short note scrawled on the card suggests his family changed their name to Ahmadinejad when they converted to embrace Islam after his birth.

The Sabourjians traditionally hail from Aradan, Mr Ahmadinejad's birthplace. The name derives from the Jewish for ''weaver of the Sabour'', which is the Jewish Tallit shawl in Persia. The moniker is even on the list of reserved names for Iranian Jews which is compiled by the country's Ministry of the Interior.

Experts last night suggested that Mr Ahmadinejad's track record for hate-filled attacks on Jews could be an overcompensation to hide his past. Ali Nourizadeh, of the London-based Centre for Arab and Iranian Studies, said: ''This aspect of Mr Ahmadinejad's background explains a lot about him. By making anti-Israeli statements, he is trying to shed any suspicions about his Jewish connections. He feels vulnerable in a radical Shia society.''

A London-based expert on Iranian Jewry said the ''jian'' ending to the name specifically showed the family had been practising Jews.

More here


You Commit Three Felonies a Day

Laws have become too vague and the concept of intent has disappeared

When we think about the pace of change in technology, it's usually to marvel at how computing power has become cheaper and faster or how many new digital ways we have to communicate. Unfortunately, this pace of change is increasingly clashing with some of the slower-moving parts of our culture.

Technology moves so quickly we can barely keep up, and our legal system moves so slowly it can't keep up with itself. By design, the law is built up over time by court decisions, statutes and regulations. Sometimes even criminal laws are left vague, to be defined case by case. Technology exacerbates the problem of laws so open and vague that they are hard to abide by, to the point that we have all become potential criminals.

Boston civil-liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate calls his new book "Three Felonies a Day," referring to the number of crimes he estimates the average American now unwittingly commits because of vague laws. New technology adds its own complexity, making innocent activity potentially criminal.

Mr. Silverglate describes several cases in which prosecutors didn't understand or didn't want to understand technology. This problem is compounded by a trend that has accelerated since the 1980s for prosecutors to abandon the principle that there can't be a crime without criminal intent.

In 2001, a man named Bradford Councilman was charged in Massachusetts with violating the wiretap laws. He worked at a company that offered an online book-listing service and also acted as an Internet service provider to book dealers. As an ISP, the company routinely intercepted and copied emails as part of the process of shuttling them through the Web to recipients.

The federal wiretap laws, Mr. Silverglate writes, were "written before the dawn of the Internet, often amended, not always clear, and frequently lagging behind the whipcrack speed of technological change." Prosecutors chose to interpret the ISP role of momentarily copying messages as they made their way through the system as akin to impermissibly listening in on communications. The case went through several rounds of litigation, with no judge making the obvious point that this is how ISPs operate. After six years, a jury found Mr. Councilman not guilty.

Other misunderstandings of the Web criminalize the exercise of First Amendment rights. A Saudi student in Idaho was charged in 2003 with offering "material support" to terrorists. He had operated Web sites for a Muslim charity that focused on normal religious training, but was prosecuted on the theory that if a user followed enough links off his site, he would find violent, anti-American comments on other sites. The Internet is a series of links, so if there's liability for anything in an online chain, it would be hard to avoid prosecution.

Mr. Silverglate, a liberal who wrote a previous book taking the conservative position against political correctness on campuses, is a persistent, principled critic of overbroad statutes. This is a common problem in securities laws, which Congress leaves intentionally vague, encouraging regulators and prosecutors to try people even when the law is unclear. He reminds us of the long prosecution of Silicon Valley investment banker Frank Quattrone, which after five years resulted in a reversal of his criminal conviction on vague charges of obstruction of justice.

These miscarriages are avoidable. Under the English common law we inherited, a crime requires intent. This protection is disappearing in the U.S. As Mr. Silverglate writes, "Since the New Deal era, Congress has delegated to various administrative agencies the task of writing the regulations," even as "Congress has demonstrated a growing dysfunction in crafting legislation that can in fact be understood." Prosecutors identify defendants to go after instead of finding a law that was broken and figuring out who did it. Expect more such prosecutions as Washington adds regulations.

Sometimes legislators know when they make false distinctions based on technology. An "anti-cyberbullying" proposal is making its way through Congress, prompted by the tragic case of a 13-year-old girl driven to suicide by the mother of a neighbor posing as a teenage boy and posting abusive messages on MySpace. The law would prohibit using the Internet to "coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person." Imagine a law that tried to apply this control of speech to letters, editorials or lobbying.

Mr. Silverglate, who will testify against the bill later this week, tells me he figures that "being emotionally distressed is just part of living in a free society." New technologies like the Web, he concludes, "scare legislators because they don't understand them and want to control them, even as they become a normal part of life."

In a complex world of new technologies, there is more need than ever for clear rules of the road. Americans should expect that a crime requires bad intent and also that Congress and prosecutors will try to create clarity, not uncertainty. Our legal system has a lot of catching up to do to work smoothly with the rest of our lives.



Obama's Two Americas

Obama's coalition was an alliance of the upscale and downscale

Why is Barack Obama having trouble getting a health care plan through a Congress dominated by his own party? Partly because the coalition that elected him is an unwieldy blend of the rich and the poor. The two groups view the need for radical surgery on the nation's health delivery system quite differently.

Thomas Edsall, a correspondent for the New Republic, has written a provocative piece on just how different Mr. Obama's majority was last year when compared with previous Democratic victories. In 1976, Jimmy Carter won the White House while carrying voters making less than $30,000 (in today's dollars) by 18 points. Fueled by support from young and minority voters, Mr. Obama carried that demographic by a whopping 31 points. But he also carried voters earning over $200,000 by six points, a first for a Democrat. Where Mr. Obama failed to gain much traction was with middle-income voters, which he split with John McCain. In previous elections, Democrats had won by carrying a majority of moderate-income voters.

Mr. Edsall calls the Obama coalition "a successful alliance of the upscale and the downscale -- wealthy and needy marching hand in hand, sharing animosity to George W. Bush and the war in Iraq" But he also calls the Obama coalition a fragile one when it comes to economic issues. The Gallup Poll reports that voters earning under $30,000 a year wanted health care reform by a 13-point margin. But those earning over $75,000 a year opposed reform by 16 points.

The splits in the Democratic majorities in Congress reflect this tension. Health-care reform often pits members whose districts and states contain many uninsured people against fellow Democrats from wealthy districts who fear reform will squeeze research hospitals and generous health insurance plans.

Mr. Edsall sees the Democratic Party's income split as having implications for other issues such as the "cap and trade" climate tax bill. He questions "whether a long-term coalition so disproportionately reliant on the far reaches of the income spectrum is sustainable. And if it isn't? That leaves only one thing for Democrats to do: redouble their efforts to once again become the party of the middle class."



Some Differences Between Left and Right

People often wonder what is the difference between a conservative and a liberal. The simple fact of the matter is that the major difference is that conservatives wonder first what it is they are responsible for while liberals wonder first what everyone else should be doing for them. Here are some brief rules of thumb:

If a conservative sees a U.S.flag, his heart swells with pride.

If a liberal sees a U.S. flag, he feels shame.

If a conservative doesn’t like guns, they don’t buy them.

If a liberal doesn’t like guns, then no one else should have one either.

If a conservative is a vegetarian, he won’t eat meat.

If a liberal is, they want to ban all meat products for everyone.

If a conservative sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to defeat it.

If a liberal see an enemy he wonders what he can do to appease him.

If a conservative is homosexual, he’ll quietly enjoy his life.

If a liberal is homosexual, he’ll demand everyone get involved in his bedroom activities.

If a successful conservative is black or Hispanic, he’ll see himself as having succeeded on his own merits.

Successful liberal minorities still claim “racism” and want government to give them even more.

If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to work to better his situation.

A liberal wants someone else to take care of him.

If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.

If a liberal doesn’t like a radio show, he demands that the station be shut down or censored.

If a conservative is a non-believer, he just doesn’t go to church.

Non-believing liberals demand that everyone cease believing and demands churches be censored.

If a conservative needs health care, he shops for it, or chooses a job that provides it.

Liberals demand that everyone else provide him with healthcare for free.

If a conservative sees a law, he thinks long and hard before suggesting a change.

If a liberal sees a law he assumes it is just a suggestion and does what he wants anyway.

Conservatives feel there is a right and wrong.

Liberals feel that nothing is really wrong… unless it is believed by a conservative.

Conservatives believe in freedom, responsibility, tradition, and self-reliance.

Liberals believe in license, government restrictions, upending tradition, and collectives.



An example of the outstanding but sometimes unrecognized quality to be found among America's military men

You're a 19 year old kid. You're critically wounded and dying in the jungle in the Ia Drang Valley , on 11-14-1965, LZ X-ray , Vietnam . Your infantry unit is outnumbered 8 - 1 and the enemy fire is so intense, from 100 or 200 yards away, that your own Infantry Commander has ordered the MediVac helicopters to stop coming in. You're lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns and you know you're not getting out. Your family is 1/2 way around the world, 12,000 miles away and you'll never see them again. As the world starts to fade in and out, you know this is the day.

Then - over the machine gun noise - you faintly hear that sound of a helicopter..!! You look up to see an un-armed Huey!! But.... it doesn't seem real because no Medi-Vac markings are on it. Ed Freeman is coming for you..!! He's not Medi-Vac so it's not his job, but he's flying his Huey down into the machine gun fire anyway. Even after the Medi-Vacs were ordered not to come. He's coming anyway.

And he drops it in and sits there in the machine gun fire, as they load 2 or 3 of you on board.. Then he flies you up and out through the gunfire to the Doctors and Nurses. And, he kept coming back..!! 13 more times..!! He took about 30 of you and your buddies out who would never have gotten out.

Medal of Honor Recipient, Ed Freeman, died on August 29, 2008 at the age of 80, in Boise, ID

It took until July 2001, some 36 years after the events above, before he was awarded his nation's highest military honor -- for actions taken on November 14, 1965. The medal was presented by President George W. Bush in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, together with a glowing citation.


There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Literary Lion Obama Will Roar No More

By Jack Cashill

The major media will not likely tackle the emerging evidence of Obama's stunning literary fraud, but the days of Obama's boasting about his writing skills are just as likely over. The immediate cause of concern at the White House is Christopher Andersen's largely benign new book, Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage.

Andersen contends that the ambitious Obama, unaware of JFK's own literary fraud, hoped to launch his own political career with a book as did John Kennedy with the discreetly ghost-written Profiles In Courage. Despite a large advance, Obama found himself "hopelessly blocked." After four futile years of trying to finish, Obama "sought advice from his friend and Hyde Park neighbor Bill Ayers." This he did "at Michelle's urging," she being the more pragmatic half of the couple.

What attracted the Obamas were "Ayers's proven abilities as a writer." Barack particularly liked the fluid novelistic style of To Teach, a 1993 book by Ayers. This he hoped to emulate for his own family history. In fact, he had already taped interviews with many of his relatives, both African and American. The key sentence in Andersen's account is the one that follows: "These oral histories, along with his partial manuscript and a trunkload of notes were given to Ayers." Adds Andersen, "Thanks to help from veteran writer Ayers, Barack would be able to submit a manuscript to his editors at Times Book." The manuscript in question would become Obama's 1995 memoir, Dreams From My Father, what Joe Klein of Time Magazine called "the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician."

From textual sleuthing, I had come to a comparable conclusion more than a year ago, namely that Obama had "turned the framework of his life over to terrorist emeritus Bill Ayers who roughed it in with his own darker sentiments and experiences."

As one example of Ayers' involvement, I had argued that Dreams' tale of Obama's year-long relationship with a rich, green-eyed lovely seemed to have mined the details of Ayers' own relationship to the late Weatherwoman Diana Oughton. From a close reading, I doubted there was such a girl in Obama's life. So does Andersen. "No one," he writes, "including his roommate and closest friend at the time, Siddiqi, knew of this mysterious lover's existence."

It did not matter, however, how accurate was my analysis. From the perspective of Obama's literary defenders, I was a barbarian who could effectively be kept in check outside the gates.

Andersen writes from within the gates. He has no agenda. His book is dispassionate, softly liberal and largely sympathetic to the Obamas, particularly to Michelle and her family. A popular celebrity journalist, he interviewed some 200 people for the book, many of them close to the Obama family. The Obamas had likely given at least their tacit blessing to the project. Given that the natural audience for his book skews female and left, Andersen had no reason to invent facts that would alienate his base. He has no track record of doing the same.

Although Andersen cites me on textual comparisons, I was clearly not the source for the personal details of Obama's life. His retelling of the story was based on what he had been told by someone very close to the action. He had access to people who would never have talked to me, quite possibly Michelle herself or even Bill Ayers.

Clearly shaken, the Obama-centric media find themselves in a fix not unlike that of medieval astronomers upon discovery of a new planet. Every time this happened, these geocentrists had to figure out a convoluted new loop to describe the planet's rotation around the earth. So it is with challenges to the Obama myth, even unwitting ones like Andersen's. Obama's acolytes must find some convoluted new explanation to account for each unexpected deviance from the mythic overview.

Defenses mustered in the last few days include a lack of attribution by Andersen, his ignorance of an imagined "computerized analysis" by an Oxford professor, the citation of me as source and/or a reliance upon me as source. Each of these explanations implies that Andersen is a fraud and a liar and that he contrived the story he told. Andersen's highly successful career as a celebrity journalist argues strongly against such an interpretation.

What impresses the reader about these defenses is how easily their architects satisfy themselves and presumably the Obama faithful with their soundness. The Washington Independent's David Weigel, for instance, is among those who dismiss Andersen's claim because he credits me as a source. To trivialize my contribution, Weigel cites one point of comparison between Obama and Ayers -- their mutual use of the phrase "behind enemy lines" to establish their place in capitalist America -- as though I had not also listed hundreds of other such comparisons, many much more compelling.

Had he read Andersen's book, which he does not appear to have, Weigel would have seen that Andersen's retelling of the story was based not on what I had written but on what Andersen had been told by someone who was on the scene. A close reading of the book, however, might have shaken Weigel's faith in his Milli Vanilli of messiahs.

"I've written two books," Obama told a crowd of students and teachers in Virginia last year. "I actually wrote them myself." The media should be able to protect his reputation among the willfully blind but don't expect to hear Obama make comparable boasts in the near future.



ACORN's Prophetic Lawyer

ACORN's lawyer warned ACORN 15 months ago to begin fixing its massive internal problems or face certain catastrophe. ACORN didn't listen. It let the problems fester. The advice from Elizabeth Kingsley of Harmon, Curran, Spielberg Eisenberg LLP came in the form of an eerily prophetic legal memo to ACORN dated June 19, 2008, the day before ACORN's national board fired disgraced founder Wade Rathke.

The memo is a kind of Holy Grail for ACORN researchers. One source of mine keeps a copy in a safety deposit box. I've lost track of how many people have asked me over the last year if I knew how to get a hold of it. One source told me yesterday that there are many people who would "kill" to gain possession of it. This is a bit of an exaggeration perhaps, but not much.

In articles by investigative reporter Stephanie Strom, the New York Times has published excerpts of the document. Incidentally, aspects of the Old Gray Lady's coverage of ACORN were top-notch last year until management made a conscious decision to suppress Strom's reporting before Election Day, apparently for political reasons.

Bearing the subject line "Initial Report on Organizational Review," the Kingsley memo is addressed to ACORN and major affiliates ACORN Beneficial Association, ACORN Housing Corp., ACORN Institute, ACORN Votes, American Institute for Social Justice, Citizens Consulting Inc., Citizens Services Inc., Communities Voting Together, Pennsylvania Institute for Community Affairs Inc., and Project Vote (formal name: Voting for America Inc.).

The complete memo will be posted at Andrew Breitbart's later today. It consists of sequentially numbered pages, but one page -- page 14 -- is missing, so in my file page 13 abruptly jumps to page 15. My source, who insists on anonymity, says the document arrived in that form via a fax machine. I have not retouched or altered the document in any way except where I superimposed the logo of the think tank I work for, Capital Research Center.

Underscoring how important the document is to ACORN, all pages except the first page bear lawyerly caveats at the top: "Sensitive Report -- Do Not Distribute Beyond Initial Recipient List." Perhaps that's community organizer-speak for "TOP SECRET."

The Kingsley memo paints a picture of a once-proud activist conglomerate in utter meltdown and confirms some of the most serious allegations about ACORN now being heard on Capitol Hill. The problems within ACORN, she admits, are systemic. Kingsley explains that her concerns fall into four major categories: "respect for corporate integrity, the necessary separation between different types of political work, the niceties of 501(c)(3) tax compliance and accounting for those funds, and a big-picture question about organizational capacity." She goes to great pains explaining that she is not trying to single any person out, "but to point to systemic institutional concerns."

Americans who follow the news know that the activities of the ACORN network, a tangled mess of interlocking directorates and affiliated tax-exempt groups that routinely swap seven-figure checks, have long cried out for a probe under federal racketeering laws. The undercover prostitution sting videos that began popping up at in mid-September made America intensely interested in ACORN for the first time. While the mainstream media is now covering ACORN, kind of, sort of, no longer can ACORN be said to be the exclusive preserve of Fox News Channel and conservative talk show hosts.

In her reference manual for left-wing activists, The Practical Progressive, Erica Payne reports ACORN's total 2008 budget was $50 million. Surely that figure is too low.

The network has taken in at least $107 million in donations and $53 million in federal funds since 1993, yet it owes millions of dollars in back taxes and is eligible for up to $8.5 billion in federal funding this year.



Recent postings on ICJS

ABC Report on Palestinian TV show

Judge Goldstone - Peace criminal

US Pledges to quash Goldstone report

Demonisation from Down Under

The BEST statistics you ever saw

The Limits of Polite Discourse Exposing People to Evil Ideas



I have now caught up with my "best of" picture and cartoon galleries. Selections for the first half of this year are now up. The updated index file to the galleries is here or here.

The Olympic Defeat: "The International Olympic Committee can be a fickle bunch, so there's no humiliation in Chicago's failure yesterday to win its bid for the 2016 summer games. The Windy City gave a good effort, losing out in the first elimination round to Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro, which eventually won the nod. If Mr. Obama and the White House made a mistake, it was in their apparently boundless faith that somehow Mr. Obama's personal popularity would carry the day. As if, merely by seeing the rock star in person, the delegate from, say, Egypt would abandon his simmering dislike for America, forget all the dinners and deals cut with the Rio Committee, and reward Chicago. In that sense, the Olympic defeat is a relatively painless reminder that interests trump charm or likability in world affairs. Better to relearn this lesson in a fight over a sporting event than over nuclear missiles. Oh, and one more silver lining: This is one decision Mr. Obama can't blame on George W. Bush, though no doubt at MSNBC they will try."

Unemployment Rate Highest in 26 Years: "The recession's toll on workers rose again in September, with the unemployment rate climbing to 9.8 percent, its highest level since 1983, as the count of the nation's jobless topped 15.1 million, according to a government report released Friday. The report underscores fears that, even as some sectors of the economy have stabilized and stock markets have rallied, the prospects for workers remain bleak.

The minimum wage hike has driven the wages of teen employees down to $0.00.: "Yesterday's September labor market report was lousy by any measure, with 263,000 lost jobs and the jobless rate climbing to 9.8%. But for one group of Americans it was especially awful: the least skilled, especially young workers. Washington will deny the reality, and the media won't make the connection, but one reason for these job losses is the rising minimum wage. Earlier this year, economist David Neumark of the University of California, Irvine, wrote on these pages that the 70-cent-an-hour increase in the minimum wage would cost some 300,000 jobs. Sure enough, the mandated increase to $7.25 took effect in July, and right on cue the August and September jobless numbers confirm the rapid disappearance of jobs for teenagers. The September teen unemployment rate hit 25.9%, the highest rate since World War II and up from 23.8% in July. Some 330,000 teen jobs have vanished in two months. Hardest hit of all: black male teens, whose unemployment rate shot up to a catastrophic 50.4%. It was merely a terrible 39.2% in July."

Don't Blame Voters for California's Budget Woes: "With the Golden State still struggling to balance its books, politicians from both sides of the aisle have come up with a nifty way to avoid responsibility for the mess: Blame the voters. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, summed it up for his fellow pols recently by telling a reporter: "All of those propositions tell us how we must spend our money. . . . This is no way, of course, to run a state." State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat, has made similar comments in denouncing "ballot-box budgeting." Their indictment is false. Voters aren't tying lawmakers' hands too much, but too little... In looking for the causes of the state's budget mess, a good place to start is with the unionized public employees, who have filed their own lawsuit against the budget. Public union ranks have grown a whopping 37% since 1990 and consume about one-third of the $85 billion budget in wages and benefits. California also faces a total unfunded future liability of about $110 billion for pensions and health-care benefits."

CBS Television Spins David Letterman as Victim: "David Letterman admitted during taping of The Late Show with David Letterman yesterday that he had sex with female staffers and, later, became the target of a $2 million blackmail attempt. Immediately thereafter, it appears his handlers at CBS began to spin the talk show host as a victim, working overtime to limit the damage to their network and, possibly, save the show. In reviewing how The Early Show reported on Letterman’s infidelity this morning, I found it disgusting — but not surprising at all — how the network spin doctors cut and spliced the clips to minimize the damage. Instead of airing the entire admission, they cut the show clip after Letterman said, “…and I can prove that you do some terrible things.” Only running the entire admission segment would have revealed the full scope of his Ted Kennedy-like actions"


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Saturday, October 3, 2009

ACORN's 'Power Plan' Found in Oklahoma City

A five-year ACORN plan to "make Oklahoma a progressive state in the way it was 100 years ago" was found amid thousands of documents left behind last year in an abandoned office formerly used by the Oklahoma City branch of the controversial leftist community organizing outfit.

The tax-exempt non-profit is required by federal law to avoid partisan politics but the heart of the "Power Plan" makes clear the organization's goal of transforming the Sooner State from one of the nation's most consistently red states to the blue side of the spectrum, like California and New York:

"Therefore, the route to power is twofold: First, build powerful city organizations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa that can control these municipalities. Second, become an influential organization by shaping a handful of strategic legislative districts that, by themselves, can change who controls the state legislature. "(W)e will be seen as the force that is making Oklahoma a progressive state in the way that it was 100 years ago. "By using this power to win significant changes for working people, by the end of our 5 years, we will have legitimized the progressive takeover of the statehouse and head into 2012 with a real possibility of changing what Oklahomans look for and expect out of their Congressional delegation."

Also found among the documents, according to, was a suggested script for approaching volunteers in Houston to help ACORN recruit voters to support President Obama during the 2008 presidential election:

"Those internal documents include a sheet titled 'Canvass recruitment' a script directed towards ACORN activists in Houston which says: 'Hi, my name is ____. We are hiring Outreach Workers to remind people to get out and vote for Barack Obama in the upcoming election. One of our team members spoke to you today and you signed up for our intake tomorrow. You are interested in working with us on this important election, correct? "It continues: 'We're hiring for people to go door to door talking to registered voters in Houston to get out the vote for Barack.'"

The documents were left behind in an office in Oklahoma City's "Little Mexico" neighborhood, according to the Red Dirt Report's Andrew Griffin, who originally broke the story. Adam Carter, the ACORN organizer running the office, apparently left town without paying rent owed for the office space.



Worse off than their parents

Parents usually want their children to have a better life than they did. In the United States, the parents of today's under-30 crowd may be disappointed in that hope. Throughout last year, they were far more likely than other age groups to have reported unemployment in their households. Labor force participation for those ages 16-24 has decreased to its lowest levels since WWII as a Pew report on the graying work force notes that the recession has tilted the job market towards older workers and those with degrees.

The Pew report also says that nearly a third of the public has come to believe that a degree is necessary to get a good job, whereas 30 years ago, just under half believed that. As former President Clinton pointed out last week at a a press event, the cost of a degree has tripled in recent decades, entirely wiping out the benefits of every government assistance program for college costs.

Those college costs are usually financed instead by loans which are currently not eligible for bankruptcy protection. Loan repayment therefore eats up larger percentages of future earnings which have been plummeting for 8 years for those under 55. Bad timing for anyone who's taken out student loans in recent years in the hopes that the job market would catch up to their education expenditures, and worse luck if their parents' declining wages reduce the possibility for family assistance.

A third of adults under 27 also lack health coverage, with nearly half of those young adults earning less than $14,000 per year. Since wages for most people have been effectively stagnant, they have not kept pace with health coverage increases, and the lower you go down the economic ladder, the truer that is. Especially because there's been an ongoing decline in employer-based coverage that has disproportionately affected low-income workers and the small businesses that create the most jobs.

For another worrying indicator, an AARP poll earlier this year indicated that around a quarter of adults 18 and over are living with parents or in-laws. Another 15 percent were worried they might have to do so soon, while one in seven lived with a sibling.

I don't know about you, but the American Dream I was sold didn't include worse buying power and relative wealth than my blue-collar, high school-educated parents for myself, my peers and those who came after me.


The Leftist author above can see the problem but goes on to say that the solution is more factory jobs! She seems unable to see that ever more of America's wealth is being sucked up by a vast, continuously growing and useless bureaucracy that has been foisted on Americans by Democrats at Federal, State and local levels. America's vast army of paper-shufflers CONSUME wealth. They don't create it. And, to add insult to injury, they are on average paid far more than private-sector workers



Readers who liked my small gallery of pictures and cartoons from the first half of 2008 may be interested to know that I have now put up a gallery of pictures and cartoons from the second half of 2008. The updated index file to the galleries is here or here.

CA: Brown launches ACORN probe: "The attorney general of California has opened an investigation into ACORN and the circumstances under which its employees were secretly videotaped, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced on his Twitter page Thursday. Schwarzenegger wrote he had ‘just heard’ that the state’s attorney general, Edmund G. Brown Jr., is opening an investigation following the release of five hidden-camera videos that depicted ACORN employees offering advice to filmmakers James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, who posed as a pimp and prostitute, on how to skirt tax laws and avoid detection by authorities. ‘Just heard from Atty Gen Jerry Brown that he is opening an investigation of ACORN in Calif,’ the governor wrote. But according to a Sept. 25 letter from James Humes, California’s chief deputy attorney general, an investigation had been launched last week.”

Social Security collectors up 19%: "The number of retired workers who began collecting Social Security benefits jumped by a record 19% in the 2009 fiscal year that ended Wednesday as aging Baby Boomers and the unemployed chose to retire early. More than 2.6 million retired workers entered the Social Security system, up from 2.2 million in fiscal 2008. That’s a much bigger increase than during past recessions.”

Saturn: Why one of Detroit’s brightest hopes failed: "General Motors’s Saturn brand — touted as ‘a different kind of car company’ — had high aspirations, borrowing the Japanese manufacturing model of team production, among other things. But the Saturn experiment fell to earth with a final thud Thursday as a ‘goal-line’ deal to keep the brand alive fell apart. Saturn’s latest slogan — ‘We’re still here’ — suddenly seemed like a cruel joke as 350 dealerships are likely to close and 13,000 people face potential layoffs. True, Saturn made money in only one of its 20 years of car production. But in the end, it was internal resistance to the funky start-up and its pioneer attitude that felled it. In other words, the very qualities that Cornell labor expert Harry Katz, in his book Shifting Gears, predicted could transform Detroit’s ingrained big-car culture, doomed one of its brightest prospects.”

Poll: Abortion opposition grows: "More than four in 10 Americans favor making an abortion more difficult to have, up 6 percentage points from 2007, according to a poll released today by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. The poll found that 45% of Americans favor making abortion illegal in most or all cases, up 4 percentage points from last year. The Pew analysis of past polls found that abortion is less of a critical issue for both liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans than it was a few years ago; however, the drop-off in concern was more pronounced for liberal Democrats (26 percentage points) than conservative Republicans (9 percentage points).”

Government seeks ban on texting truckers, bus drivers: "The Obama administration said Thursday it will seek to ban text messaging by interstate bus drivers and truckers and push states to pass their own laws against driving cars while distracted. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the administration also would move to put restrictions on cell phone use by rail operators, truck drivers and interstate bus drivers.” [This seems a reasonable safety measure]

The box Obama built: "Once the health care debate ends, President Obama faces another daunting challenge: curbing an unsustainable level of debt in the federal budget. This is more than next year’s problem because the two issues are also linked in a non-obvious way. Due to how Congress addresses deficit reduction, decisions on health care today will affect the White House’s fiscal policy options in the future. Few have mentioned this critical connection: health reform puts the president in a box, and the always politically risky tactic of raising taxes may be the only way out. The ghosts of the current reform effort will haunt Obama’s ability to reduce red ink for the remainder of his tenure.”

Perfect YouTube video stars Rep. Baron Hill: "During one of his recent town hall meetings, a student asked Hill why she couldn’t record the event. Hill explained that he refuses to allow videotaping because of the chance that excerpts could be put up on YouTube in a compromising position. Of course, it’s now on that Web site and I challenge anyone to find a more perfect YouTube video, at least in the political realm. He knew it was going to be difficult to control his message and tried to do it on his own terms by attempting to ban average citizens from recording the event. He even digs a deeper hole in the video excerpt when he says that it was his town hall meeting and constituents aren’t going to tell him how to run his office. So much for the humble public servant aspect of being a representative I guess. Rarely do we see so much truth packed into about 70 seconds.”

How Congress is cooking the books: "Last week, the Senate Finance Committee voted 12-11 not to wait for the Congressional Budget Office to ’score’ its health-care bill before the committee votes on it. Imagine that: Some senators actually wanted to know how much the bill costs before voting on it. Let them get away with something like that, and before you know it they’ll be demanding honest accounting practices — sending the whole legislative process to hell in a hand basket. When it comes to the health-care-reform debate, you see, honest budgeting is nowhere to be seen.”

Zero tolerance gets detention: "Horror stories related to zero-tolerance policies have grabbed headlines for as long as the rigid policies have existed. That could have been predicted by anybody with half a brain. If a policy draws unforgiving lines when it comes to ‘violence,’ ‘drugs’ and ‘weapons,’ then it’s inevitable that children will be expelled and even arrested and jailed for writing gory stories, toting penknives and sharing aspirin. As the outrage, ridicule and lawsuits in response to zero-tolerance, even the legislators and educators who’d implemented the policies to absolve themselves of the responsibility for difficult decisions began to back away from what they had wrought. Even the laziest school administrator must recoil at the response to nine- and ten-year olds hauled away in handcuffs for drawing violent pictures with crayons, if not at the reality of the incidents themselves. So, finally, we get legislation intended to alleviate the worst abuses of zero-tolerance policies.”

Britain: “Go” orders: Guilty without charge: "During the Labour party conference Home Secretary Alan Johnson revealed yet another reason to boot the party out at the next election. Renewing Labour’s pledge to ‘clampdown on crime’ (read: creating more punishments and bureaucracy under the pretence of ‘action’), he has unveiled plans to bar alleged wife beaters from their homes through the Domestic Violence Protection Order. ‘Go’ Orders can be placed on suspects, banning them from their homes for up to two weeks, while allowing victims of abuse time to consider legal action. Apparently, this has been dreamt up to close a ‘loophole’ in legislation whereby the Police can only ‘protect’ a victim of domestic violence if a suspect has been charged with a crime. This ‘loophole’ sounds horribly similar to the long-standing practice in the UK of no-one having their liberty infringed upon without sufficient evidence to suggest it is in the public interest to do so.”

Thomas Friedman’s selective history and left-wing paranoia: "The Friedmans of the world feigned no concern whatsoever about the atmosphere of hate engendered then possibly leading to violence when their ideological foe sat in the White House. They seemed to see nothing wrong with the demonization of Bush. The cries of ‘traitor,’ ‘war criminal,’ ‘liar’ and ‘loser’ apparently didn’t coarsen the dialog or create a ‘poisonous political environment’ like they do now. And the Southern Poverty Law Center had nothing to say about the virulent hate that was evident then. This demand for respect for the President of the United States we hear today wasn’t at all evident in the left’s gleeful celebration of shoes thrown at the President of the United States during a press conference, was it?”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Friday, October 2, 2009


I have commented on this in the past but I am still rather bemused about how accounts of human evolution leave out dogs. We hear lots about cranial size etc. but such discussions normally leave out our symbionts: dogs.

The relationship between dogs and humans is both ancient and amazingly powerful. How many human households to this day do not include a dog? Not many.

And yet there is a perfectly clear evolutionary reason why that is so. Dogs and humans complement one another. Dogs have the big and sensitive nose, big and sensitive ears and weaponized jaws that we lack. And we have the big brain that can give dogs good direction in the hunting life that comprises most of our evolutionary past. Without dogs we would probably still be tree-dwelling vegetarians. I wonder if modern-day vegetarians are averse to dogs? I wouldn't be surprised. There's a research paper in that.

These days we are long past the stage where we need dogs -- but we still love them. They are our "other half". They made us possible. I believe stories I have heard about a man being upset when his wife left him but being REALLY upset when his dog died. I have shed tears over a dog myself.


The Neocons Make a Comeback

Neocons are back because Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il and Vladimir Putin never went away

The other day I was asked by a writer for a mainstream French newspaper to say something about the "return" of the neoconservatives. His thesis seemed to be that the shambles of Barack Obama's foreign policy had, after only nine months, made what was thought to be the most discredited wing of an ostensibly brain-dead conservative movement relevant again. And France—no longer straining at the sight of Michelle Obama shopping in Paris's 6th arrondissement—is taking notice.

My answer was that the neocons are back because Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il and Vladimir Putin never went away. A star may have shone in the east the day Barack Obama became president. But these three kings, at least, have yet to proffer the usual gifts of gold and incense and myrrh.

Instead, the presents have been of a different kind. North Korea claims to be in the final stages of building a uranium enrichment facility—its second route to an atomic bomb. Iran, again caught cheating on its Nonproliferation Treaty obligations, has responded by wagging a finger at the U.S. and firing a round of missiles. Syria continues to aid and abet jihadists operating in Iraq. NATO countries have generally refused to send more troops to Afghanistan, and are all the more reluctant to do so now that the administration is itself wavering on the war.

As for Russia, its ambassador to the U.N. last week bellyached that the U.S. "continues to be a rather difficult negotiating partner"—and that was after Mr. Obama cancelled the missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic. Thus does the politics of concession meet with the logic of contempt.

All this must, at some level, come as a surprise to an administration so deeply in love with itself. "I am well aware of the expectations that accompany my presidency around the world," Mr. Obama told the U.N.'s General Assembly last week with his usual modesty. He added that those expectations were "rooted in hope—the hope that real change is possible, and the hope that America will be a leader in bringing about such change."

Yet what sounds like "hope" in, say, Toronto or Barcelona tends to come across as fecklessness in Warsaw and Jerusalem. In Moscow and Tehran, it reads like credulity—and an opportunity to exploit the U.S. at a moment of economic weakness and political self-infatuation.

For those much-scorned neocons, none of this comes as a surprise. Neoconservatives generally take the view that the internal character of a regime usually predicts the nature of its foreign policy. Governments that are answerable to their own people and accountable to a rule of law tend to respect the rights of their neighbors, honor their treaty commitments, and abide by the international rules of the road. By contrast, regimes that prey on their own citizens are likely to prey on their neighbors as well. Their word is the opposite of their bond.

That's why neocons have no faith in any deals or "grand bargains" the U.S. might sign with North Korea or Iran over their nuclear programs: Cheating is in the DNA of both regimes, and the record is there to prove it. Nor do neocons put much stock in the notion that there's a "reset" button with the Kremlin. Russia is the quintessential spoiler state, seeking its advantage in America's troubles at home and abroad. Ditto for Syria, which has perfected the art of taking credit for solving problems of its own creation.

Where neocons do put their faith is in American power, not just military or economic power but also as an instrument of moral and political suasion. Disarmament? The last dictator to relinquish his nuclear program voluntarily was Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, who did so immediately following Saddam Hussein's capture. Democratization? Contrary to current conventional wisdom, democracy is often imposed, or at least facilitated, by U.S. pressure—in the Philippines, in the Balkans and, yes, in Iraq. Human rights? Anwar Ibrahim, the beleaguered Malaysian opposition leader, told me last week that "the only country that can stand up" to abusive regimes is the United States. "If they know the administration is taking a soft stance [on human rights], they will go on a rampage."

None of this is to say that neoconservatism represents some kind of infallible doctrine—or that it's even a doctrine. Neocons have erred in overestimating the U.S. public's willingness to engage in long struggles on behalf of other people. They have erred also in overestimating the willingness of other people to fight for themselves, or for their freedom.

But as the pendulum has swung to a U.S. foreign policy based on little more than the personal attractions of the president, it's little wonder that the world is casting about for an alternative. And a view of the world that understands that American power still furnishes the margin between freedom and tyranny, and between prosperity and chaos, is starting to look better all the time. Even in France.



Thugs, Tea Parties And Treacle

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi berated town hall and tea party protesters this month, tearfully warning they'd incite violence. Well, there's been violence all right, at Pittsburgh's G-20. But it wasn't the tea partiers. It takes gall to characterize ordinary Americans, freely exercising their rights of speech and assembly in civic forums, as "mobs" while ignoring a pack of leftist thugs now smashing a U.S. city. But that's what Pelosi did, directing her righteous tocsin to the Norman Rockwell-like gatherings of Americans who opposed her expansion of government this past summer.

"I have concerns about some of the language that is being used because I saw ... I saw this myself in the late '70s in San Francisco," Pelosi said, choking up, her eyes brimming with tears. "This kind of rhetoric is just, is really frightening and it created a climate in which we, violence took place and ... I wish that we would all, again, curb our enthusiasm in some of the statements that are made," she told a congressional forum Sept. 17 in a bid to silence peaceful protesters.

Scroll ahead one week to the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh: Some 1,000 hooded rioters descend on the city waving signs such as "Smash the G-20" and "Eat the Rich." Many take "direct action" to "challenge capitalism" in what organizers brazenly call an "unpermitted protest." Unlike the town hall citizens, they didn't "hurl" statements — just tire irons, bricks and rocks, in an effort to damage private businesses. "Sometimes you just got to say f--- it and get down," read a Web statement by the organizers "Pittsburgh G-20 Resistance Project," making no secret of their intent to wreak mayhem. "Despite the use of rubber bullets, chemical weapons, and LRAD (noise) attacks, demonstrators remained on the streets for hours and actions continue across the city," the group's press release read.

By that they meant attacks on 13 pre-picked Starbucks stores, a Whole Foods, an American Apparel, a Trader Joe's, U.S. military recruiting stations, check-cashing outlets, 13 PNC bank outlets and other institutions, all conveniently listed as possibilities on a Google map. Many of these places saw smashed windows and graffiti attacks after they turned up on the blacklist.

This kind of violence is nothing new. It was found in Seattle in 1999, where former Obama administration green czar Van Jones got himself arrested. It was repeated at other summits in Turin, Italy; Washington, D.C.; and London. These leftists detest capitalism, abhor private property — and have ties to the Democratic Party.

The unwillingness of the Democratic establishment to defend free markets emboldens the rioters. In destroying private property and impeding trade, these anarchists prove their aims aren't democratic. They resemble the mobs of Castro's Cuba who engage in violence against citizens to enforce conformity.

The outrage of it all raises questions about Pelosi's real agenda in her one-sided criticism of tea partiers. By criticizing only tea partiers and ignoring rampant thugs, she seeks to repress peaceful dissent. With that setup, it's no surprise that there's a mudslide of violence now rolling down on us from an energized radical left.




A Leftist wail about them being restrained from street thuggery: "No longer the stuff of disturbing futuristic fantasies, an arsenal of ‘crowd control munitions,’ including one that reportedly made its debut in the U.S., was deployed with a massive, overpowering police presence in Pittsburgh during last week’s G-20 protests. … Bean bags fired from shotguns, CS (tear) gas, OC (Oleoresin Capsicum) spray, flash-bang grenades, batons and, according to local news reports, for the first time on the streets of America, the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD). Mounted in the turret of an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC), I saw the LRAD in action twice in the area of 25th, Penn and Liberty Streets of Lawrenceville, an old Pittsburgh neighborhood. Blasting a shrill, piercing noise like a high-pitched police siren on steroids, it quickly swept streets and sidewalks of pedestrians, merchants and journalists and drove residents into their homes, but in neither case were any demonstrators present. The APC, oversized and sinister for a city street, together with lines of police in full riot gear looking like darkly threatening Michelin Men, made for a scene out of a movie you didn’t want to be in.”

Progressive claptrap: "There’s something charmingly quaint about the leftists’ continuing attack on capitalism, which is a type of economic order that, if it ever existed at all in this country, has not existed in recognizable form since the 1920s — in a more plausible assessment, not since the years before World War I. Yet the so-called progressives never tire of beating the long-dead horse of capitalism. Are they so ideologically blind that they cannot see how governments at every level have intervened and intervened again until they have displaced or distorted every element of the economic order that might once have contributed to its capitalist character? We live, as F. A. Hayek observed as long ago as 1935, not in a market system, but in a situation of interventionist chaos, where virtually every market is so hog-tied by regulations, laws, and taxes or so artificially pumped up by subsidies, regulatory advantages, and tax loopholes that virtually nothing remains pure and unsullied by the filthy hand of the interventionist state.”

Judge reverses jury, nixes $388 million judgment against Microsoft: "A U.S. District Judge gave Microsoft a break Tuesday, essentially ruling that the jury that heard a patent infringement case against it was clueless. He then overturned its record $388 million verdict against the company. U.S. Dist. Judge William E. Smith issued the ruling in a case brought by Singapore-based Uniloc software against Microsoft. He found the jury was incapable of ruling on the case, vacated its verdict, and entered a new one in Microsoft’s favor. … Uniloc, which claimed Microsoft used its anti-piracy invention in the Windows operating system and its Office productivity suite, said it plans to appeal.”

UK: Woolworths set to return to the high street next month: "Less than 10 months after Woolworths’ final stores closed, the iconic style is set for a high street comeback. Alworths — a new ‘Son-of-Woolworths’ chain selling everything from picture frames to pick ‘n’ mix confectionery — will open its first batch of stores next month. The grand opening on 5 November will be 100 years to the day since Frank Winfield Woolworth unveiled his ‘five-and-dime’ concept to Britain with his first shop, in Liverpool. … While the new Alworths name is at best a compromise between old and new — the original Woolworths brand name and logo were sold for £12m several months ago to the Shop Direct Group owned by the Barclay Brothers — in most other respects, Alworths will prove reassuringly familiar. ‘We are talking about this being a Woolworths by any other name,’ said an insider.”

FBI denies editing OKC bombing tapes: "The FBI says it did not edit videotapes of the aftermath of the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building before turning them over to an attorney who is conducting an unofficial inquiry into the bombing. The FBI turned over more than two dozen tapes taken from security cameras on buildings and other locations around the federal building to Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue, who obtained them through the federal Freedom of Information Act. Trentadue said the tapes are blank at various times in the minutes before the blast.”

The brainy bunch: "Many people, including some conservatives, have been very impressed with how brainy the president and his advisers are. But that is not quite as reassuring as it might seem. It was, after all, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s brilliant ‘brains trust’ advisers whose policies are now increasingly recognized as having prolonged the Great Depression of the 1930s, while claiming credit for ending it. The Great Depression ended only when the Second World War put an end to many New Deal policies.”

Government extortion: Egyptian-style and American-style: "The idea of bribing government officials and police officers seems incredibly foreign and ridiculous to ordinary Americans. Indeed, to be extorted into paying money to a person who is supposedly employed to protect you in order to keep him from harming you, seems like the height of outrageous corruption. And so it is, but Americans are hopelessly naive if they think that their government does not engage in extortion on a regular basis as well. To be sure, the American brand of government extortion does not occur in dimly-lit back rooms or on the shoulder of the highway, with government officials secretly demanding cash from their prey, as is the case in Egypt, Mexico, and countless other countries in the so-called “developing” world. On the contrary, American-style government extortion usually occurs above the board, for everyone to see. It just goes by more polite labels, such as ‘permit fees,’ ‘licensing fees,’ or ‘registration fees.’”

Another area where fewer rules seem to work best: "Officials in Drachten, Holland, wanted to reduce accidents and injuries on the town’s roads, so they turned to a traffic engineer with an unusual idea: eliminate rules. Hans Monderman believes that people are more careful when they are subject to fewer commandments and less direction. So he removed road signs, traffic lights and even markings. The so-far positive results suggest that better results may well come from letting people make ad hoc arrangements on the spot than from subjecting them to top-down control. Part of the problem is that regulations seem to create a false sense of security — and entitlement.”

Fiscal alcoholism: "Thanks to our Senior Fellow Tim Ambler for introducing me to a new phrase: fiscal alcoholism. It was coined by Gyorgy Kopits, a member of the Hungarian National Bank’s monetary council, in the Wall Street Journal recently. The phrase neatly sums up the illness in Hungary’s public accounts — and in the spending habits of many other countries around the world. They know that they should be giving up their reckless spending and borrowing. But they like the high it gives them. And they reckon that one little bit more spending or borrowing can’t do them much harm, can it …?”

Myth of the underpaid public employee: "Though it hasn’t been true for years, many people believe that government employees receive lavish employment and retirement benefits in order to compensate for their meager paychecks. The reality is that their paychecks aren’t meager at all: Government jobs often pay more than those in the private sector, and the difference between the two is growing. Consider the lucrative lot of the men and women who work for Uncle Sam. In 2008, according to data from the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, the 1.9 million civilian employees of the federal government earned an average salary of $79,197. The average private employee, by contrast, earned just $49,935. The difference between them came to more than $29,000 — a differential that has more than doubled since 2000.”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Beware socialist snake-oil vendors

A comment from Australia

THOSE on the Left have a new spring in their step. Right across the spectrum of left-wing politics, from Michael Moore to [Australian Prime Minister] Kevin Rudd, they are determined to build momentum for a new social democratic project. On these pages others have spent the past week bouncing around their ideas about progressive economics and the need to resuscitate the moral impulse behind social democracy. Determined not to waste a crisis, the language of the Left is, as always, clever, tapping our emotions with talk of rebuilding a better society. Yet, under new disguises, the same old frauds are being peddled. What is being sold as progressive is regressive if genuine progress is our aim. As the global Left rises up to claim its ideology will prevail, there has never been a more critical time to be reminded that economic freedom sits at the heart of liberty and human advancement.

Most sensible people won’t fall for the far Left’s new anti-capitalist racket. Moore, who is filling his pockets by denouncing capitalism in his latest shock-doc, Capitalism: A Love Story, is preaching to the converted. Ditto economics professor Richard Wolff, star of another documentary, Capitalism Hits the Fan. Delighted that the global recession “creates space for people like me”, Wolff is riding high on the international speaking circuit as a critic of capitalism. Good luck to them.

Most people, however, realise that free markets have lifted people from poverty in numbers never before seen: those subsisting on less than $US3 a day dropped from half the world’s population in 1970 to 17 per cent by 2000. Yet, in the wake of the economic crisis, recent polls suggest a growing fondness for socialism over capitalism, a dramatic change from polls just a few months earlier.

This shift betrays the danger that emanates from those who understand how to reframe the debate with clever, softer words. Political leaders such as Kevin Rudd, not to mention the commentators who have filled these pages during the past week, talk about social democracy, democratic socialism and social justice. Certainly, many of the wiser minds on the Left have evolved from old-fashioned socialists advocating central control of the means of production, but they remain wedded to the belief that a small group of elites can, and must, fashion a better world.

Their form of “progressive economics”, which places government at the centre of the economy, resurfaced most recently at last week’s Group of 20 meeting in Pittsburgh. To be sure, the Prime Minister has done well to ensure that Australia will be included in global economic debates. Greater co-ordination among countries is also admirable. But what if co-ordination involves a larger group of countries making co-ordinated but wrong decisions based on a flawed set of beliefs?

The latest G20 statement was full of talk about a profound crisis justifying drastic action. Governments yet again pledged to “do something”: discourage excessive risk-taking, keep up the stimulus spending, limit executive bonuses and impose tighter regulation of financial markets. Government must now be at the “centre of the economy” to avoid the boom and bust cycles of the past, said the leaders.

The glaring omission from these grand-sounding statements is an acknowledgment that government action played a large part in fuelling the boom in the US housing market that became a bubble in the wider mortgage market and finally burst across the globe. Successive US administrations mandated taxpayer-funded home loans to those who, in more prudent times, would be regarded as clear credit risks. There is a great deal of irony, and even more dishonesty, when social democrats such as Barack Obama and Rudd exploit the crisis to demonise free markets.

As [Australian] Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull noted in his speech to the Policy Exchange in London last week, US governments effectively underwrote two-thirds of the US mortgage market using government creations, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The GFC was triggered, in large part, by governments in the US assuming a place at the centre of the economy to pursue well-meaning social goals that delivered disastrous unintended consequences. Without an honest appraisal of the causes of the global meltdown, the case for social democracy is a fraud.

While the Left’s catchcry of social justice is intuitively appealing, there is a reason no philosopher has been able to articulate the principles of social democracy. The closer one looks, the clearer it is that the Left’s language of a new social democratic project is deliberately couched in emotional, ambiguous terms as camouflage for an old project of centralising power in the hands of a few elites who presume to know what the rest of society wants.

Refugees from the Left - men such as Irving Kristol - have a knack for nailing the illiberal tendencies of left-liberal “reforms”. Kristol, who died last week, likened them to amateur poetry, “more concerned with the kind of symbolic action that gratifies the passions of the reformer rather than with the efficacy of the reforms themselves”. Their elephantiasis of moral sentiment means that they are overwhelmingly concerned with “revealing, in the public realm, one’s intense feelings: we must ‘care’, we must ‘be concerned’, we must be ‘committed’. Unsurprisingly, this goes along with an immense indifference to consequences, to positive results or the lack thereof.”

These are not arcane arguments for political philosophers. They go to the heart of human progress and how we live. For example, as Australian Industry Group chief executive Heather Ridout pointed out last week, the union movement’s hardline push against flexibility clauses in new workplace agreements harks back to an era when “if a mother wanted to collect her kids from school early, they would have to ask everyone on the shop floor whether it was possible and get a collective vote on it”. Those who advocate social justice by centralising power necessarily diminish our individual freedom.

With remarkable relevance to today’s debates, William Simon, US treasury secretary under Richard Nixon, wrote in 1978 of the searing experience of the last great recession caused by the “promise-borrow-spend” programs of social engineers on both sides of politics. In A Time for Truth, Simon tracks a recession that deepened on the back of growing government intervention and stimulus spending. The conclusion was clear: “the country ... taught the social engineers a lesson.”

More than 30 years later, history may repeat itself if we allow ourselves to be duped by those preaching a new order of social democracy little different from its forebears. The danger of replicating neo-Keynesian spending policies of the early 70s is we may end up with the disastrous stagflation - economic stagnation, high unemployment and inflation - that defined the middle to late 70s. With that in mind, it is worth repeating what Milton Friedman wrote in the preface to Simon’s book. Critical analysis of social democracy is needed so that “socialist snake oil no longer sells so readily”.



Opportunity or Dependency?

Despite what its detractors might say, the fact remains that the Republican Party is the party of opportunity. Contrast the historical success of this approach with the historical failure of the opposite approach, dependency, taken by the Liberals and currently embraced by the Democratic Party.

America has long been known as the land of opportunity, however there is now a belief among some that it should become the land of dependency. For hundreds of years immigrants risked everything to come to America not because of the programs it offered, but because of the opportunities it provided.

History has shown that when workers and entrepreneurs get to keep most of what they earn, they work harder and put money back into the community in the form of purchases and charitable contributions.

When governments impose income redistribution schemes to “spread the wealth,” workers and entrepreneurs loose their incentive to work as hard and have less to reinvest back into their communities. This is especially true in the case of charitable giving. Why should individuals make voluntary charitable contributions when the government has already invoked involuntary charity?

The concept of dependency is most extreme in communist nations such as the former USSR and Cuba, where the government controls all aspects of one’s employment and income. The individual is completely dependent upon the government for every aspect of his or her livelihood, and even their life, in these repressive regimes. The same dependency occurs to varying degrees in socialist countries all over the world, however the results are always the same, dependency destroys opportunity and economic growth.

In a recent article by Fareed Zakaria in Newsweek magazine, he correctly states that it has been the spread of capitalism in countries like India and China that has lifted millions of people out of poverty. When one studies the economic winners and losers around the world, the winners are those countries that provide opportunities for its citizens and the losers are those countries that make their citizens dependent upon the government and consequently their government dependant upon IMF loans and international subsidies. Cuba has not survived since 1959 because of its vibrant economy. It was subsidized by the USSR for much of its communist history and is now being subsidized by the leftist government of Venezuela.

Clearly, despite its perceived inequities, opportunity provides a far better life for the citizens of a country than dependency, the alternative being proposed by the Obama Administration and the Democratic Party.



BrookesNews Update

The US recession: more unemployment and a sinking dollar : Unemployment is still rising even though Bernanke has been cranking up the Fed's money machine. His policy using inflation to lower unemployment by cutting real wage rates and driving down the dollar has yet to bear fruit. Even if he succeeds any recovery based on these monetary foundations is doomed to be a short-lived one. Maybe too short to save Obama
Is the Keynesian liquidity trap a threat to the US economy? : Negative interest rates are unlikely to move major economies away from a liquidity trap if the pool of real savings is in trouble. Contrary to popular thinking, the threat posed to the major economies is not the liquidity trap, but the government and central bank stimulus policies aimed at countering it
Interest rates and the recession - what you weren't told : One of the reasons that so many analysts got the recession wrong is because failed the connection between interest rates and production. This failure not only caused some of them make absurd claims about a 'dual economy' it also led some of them to even announce the death of the inverted yield curve is still alive. No wonder so many investors lost their shirts
The Democrats anti-tax hypocrisy : The Democrats' opposition to tax cuts borders on the hysterical at time. Apart from their insincerity (the only kinds of tax increases they support are those their fabulously rich supporters can easily avoid) there is the utter bankruptcy of their so-called economic arguments
Who is the president -Barack Obama or David Axelrod? :There is speculation about who is really behind Obama's teleprompter. At the very least it is clear that Obama's Senior Advisor, David Axelrod, shares mouthpiece honors. We frequently hear Robert Gibbs in his role as Obama press agent explain to the news media what the president means during his speech marathon but comments by Axelrod actually sound like the president speaking
Schoolhouse Shariah in the US :Leftwing judges who banned Christianity from schools forcing children to sit through classes on the Islamic religion and the glories of the barbarism that is called sharia law. Needless to say, these Christian-hating judges are Democrat appointees
President Obama and Brazil's Lula's make the "axis of moderation" a servant of the "axis of evil" : In South America a communist axis has been formed with Chavez and Castro as its linchpin and with President Lula of Brazil hovering in the background. This axis has targeted Honduras democracy for destruction. The strange thing is that Obama is supporting this anti-democratic monstrosity. The same man who insults the UK even as British troops are dying along with US troops in Afghanistan is throwing his weight behind a bunch of Latin American Marxist thugs. Now why would he do that?
The religious left finally discovers with radical Islam: "Many members of NCC churches might be surprised to learn of Islamist violence against Christians, since the NCC and most of its member communions have hardly ever discussed it before
A dog of a health care message : It seems that Obama changes his health care message more often than people change their underwear. It was heath care reform, it was insurance reform, then it was health care reform again and then it was insurance reform. Obama has even changed the villains; first it was the Republicans, then it was talk radio, then Fox News and the CBO



Obama backs down from stupid Israel policy: "Almost unnoticed, Binyamin Netanyahu won a major victory last week when Barack Obama backed down on a signature policy initiative. This about-face suggests that U.S.-Israel relations are no longer headed for the disaster I have been fearing. Four months ago, the new U.S. administration unveiled a policy that suddenly placed great emphasis on stopping the growth in Israeli “settlements.” (A term I dislike but use here for brevity’s sake.) Surprisingly, American officials wanted to stop not just residential building for Israelis in the West Bank but also in eastern Jerusalem, a territory legally part of Israel for nearly thirty years. The geniuses of the Obama administration eventually discerned that this double hardening of positions was dooming their naïve, hubristic plan to settle the Arab-Israeli conflict within two years. The One’s reconciliation with reality became public on Sept. 22 at a “summit” he sponsored with Abbas and Netanyahu (really, a glorified photo opportunity). Obama threw in the towel there, boasting that “we have made progress” toward settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and offering as one indication that Israelis “have discussed important steps to restrain settlement activity.” Ironically, Obama supporters have generally recognized his failure while critics have tended to miss it."

China: Public barred from “celebrations” of regime’s anniversary: "Ordinary Chinese citizens hoping to come onto the streets of Beijing to watch a triumphant military parade to celebrate 60 years of Communist rule have been ordered to ’stay at home’ and watch the event on television. Any thoughts that a spontaneous, flag-waving crowd might gather to cheer on the 180,000 marchers as they process through Beijing’s Tiananmen Square have been scotched by security fears ahead of Thursday’s anniversary. ‘People who can go to watch the parade are invited guests with tickets,’ said Ji Lin, the vice-mayor of Beijing, ‘For other citizens the parade will be screened live and the citizens can watch it via TV.’”

FDIC chief wants overdraft fees restricted: "Even as some banks pull back their policies, the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is calling for tight restrictions on fees charged for overdrawn checking accounts. In the past week, some of the nation’s largest banks have announced plans to change the way they assess overdraft fees.”

American commander to send 4,000 more troops home as Iraq war winds down: "The top general in Iraq is sending home 4,000 more U.S. troops by the end of October as the American military winds down the six-year war. Army Gen. Ray Odierno said in remarks prepared for a congressional hearing Wednesday that the number of U.S. soldiers in Iraq will total about 120,000 over the next month. He said that will mean about 4,000 fewer troops than are in Iraq now — about the size of an Army brigade.”

NY: Health care workers protest mandatory H1N1 flu shots: "Several hundred health-care workers, civil libertarians and members of anti-vaccine groups on Tuesday railed against a mandate that medical professionals get seasonal and swine-flu vaccines. But the state health commissioner said their arguments are baseless. Nurses and other health-care workers said they shouldn’t be forced to get a vaccine that they don’t believe has been tested appropriately as a condition of keeping their jobs.”

Dodgy Dan loses one: "A New York court on Tuesday dismissed Dan Rather's $70 million breach of contract lawsuit against CBS Corp., noting that the network continued to pay the anchor $6 million a year even after he left the evening news broadcast. Rather sued CBS and its top executives in 2007, claiming he had been removed from his "CBS Evening News" anchor post over a report that examined President George W. Bush's military service. The Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court -- New York's trial-level court -- said the complaint "must be dismissed in its entirety." The five-judge panel ruled unanimously that a lower court "erred in declining to dismiss Rather's breach of contract claim against CBS." The court said there was no breach of contract, because CBS still paid Rather his $6 million annual salary after the disputed 2004 broadcast under the "pay or play" provision of his contract."

CT: The State of corruption: "They used to call Connecticut ‘The Land of Steady Habits,’ but lately it has been more like the land of steady handouts. One mayor received expensive wines and Oriental rugs. A governor scored a free hot tub and cathedral ceilings; his aide landed a stack of gold coins. And a state treasurer finagled … well, money. They are just a few of the prominent city and state officials collared in corruption probes in recent years. But their downfalls, and resulting efforts to reform ethics rules, apparently have not stemmed the tide of charges against public servants. The latest to be arrested — for the second time — is Mayor Eddie A.Perez, for alleged extortion. The spate of scandals is a source of chagrin for the state, and the sting of each new nickname — ‘Corrupticut,’ ‘Louisiana with foliage’ — worsens with each new corruption arrest and indictment.”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)