Monday, December 11, 2006


It is not really news that Hollywood is still producing anti-business movies, but there is a certain irony in it nevertheless. Although these movies tap a certain envy and resentment of corporate wealth, that large corporate wealth comes from far more modest individual amounts of money from about half the population of the United States, which owns stocks and bonds -- either directly or because money paid into pension funds or other financial intermediaries are used to buy stocks and bonds. The irony is that the average Hollywood star who is making anti-business movies is far wealthier than the average owners of those businesses, who are half the population of the country.

The Los Angeles Times refers to documentary "films" that are "critical of corporate power." But just what does this vague word "power" mean when it comes to businesses? Wal-Mart is the big bugaboo these days but what "power" does Wal-Mart have? I lived three-quarters of a century without ever setting foot in a Wal-Mart store and there is not a thing they can do about it.

It so happened that this past summer in Page, Arizona, I needed to buy some toiletries, which caused me to go into a nearby Wal-Mart for the first time. Inside, it looked more like a small city than a large store. But the prices were noticeably lower than in most other places. Is that the much-dreaded "power"? Apparently Wal-Mart does not pay its employees as much as third-party observers would like to see them paid. But obviously it is not paying them less than their work is worth to other employers or they probably would not be working at Wal-Mart. Moreover, third parties who wax indignant are paying them nothing.

Much more here



The chairman of the Labour party, Hazel Blears, has warned that immigration is set to explode as an issue before the next general election in a way "unseen before in UK politics". Blears suggests the government's argument that the current policy benefits the economy holds little sway with voters, and says Labour risks appearing "unconcerned and out of touch".

In an intervention which will surprise cabinet colleagues, she told The Sunday Times: "Labour must address people's concerns about immigration head on. "Simply making the `liberal' argument that immigration is good for the economy, or starting from the viewpoint of `human rights' does not give people the reassurance that politicians understand people's genuine concerns."

Blears has been alarmed by an internal analysis of campaigns by the Labour party in Keighley, West Yorkshire, where the British National party (BNP) is particularly active. The document, which has been seen by The Sunday Times, is being studied closely at Labour headquarters. It says the party's failure to address public concern about immigration is playing into the hands of both the Tories and the BNP and warns that Labour "will not be forgiven by the electorate" if it does not address the problem.

In a further warning to Labour, the report says the Asian community in Keighley is becoming "disengaged". The threat is being taken seriously by Blears, who believes there is a risk that support for Labour from Asians is diminishing elsewhere in the country. The document also questions the quality and performance of some Labour councillors in the area, describing some as "woefully inadequate". It says potential Labour voters are defecting to the BNP, not because they are racist, but because they believe their "genuine grievances" are being ignored by mainstream parties...

Blears's warning comes after Tony Blair, the prime minister, declared that immigrants who do not like British values should leave the country...

More here



British Conservatives back return to Victorian values: "The Conservatives are to launch a crusade for personal morality to try to halt what they say is a breakdown in traditional family values. It comes in the wake of a Tory report that says unmarried parents are driving a generation of children into crime and drug dependency. Dominic Grieve, the shadow attorney-general, said last night that people who tackle teenage yobs should not be prosecuted for assault. He added that strict Victorian values on family life had in some ways been successful. The Tories claim the rise in cohabitation and single parenthood is unleashing a social and economic crisis. In an appeal to grassroots supporters, the party will this week put the promotion of marriage back at the heart of its agenda, warning of dire consequences if more couples are not encouraged to wed. A report commissioned by David Cameron, the Tory leader, claims the breakdown of the family is driving boys into the arms of street gangs at an annual cost to the country of more than £20 billion... It is the first heavyweight submission by the panels Cameron set up when he became leader to thrash out party policy. The interim report of the Social Justice Policy Group, headed by Iain Duncan Smith, gives an insight into the possible elements of the party’s next election manifesto. It warns that family breakdown, drug and alcohol addiction, welfare dependency and educational failure have created an underclass mired in misery and “cut off from much of mainstream society”. The burgeoning underclass also “threatens the wellbeing of middle-class people living in once tranquil neighbourhoods”. The report suggests that without a radical reappraisal of government policy towards marriage and the family, social tensions will grow, fuelling violent crime.

Stupid Leftist populism: "What is the difference between "populism" and "fascism by the majority"? I sure can't see any difference. I love it when I see stuff like "take on the oil companies" or "take on the drug companies." The oil companies make about an 8% profit in a good year. Drug companies are a bit higher, but not that much. Let's say the government runs their profit down to zero. That would then yield everyone about a 6% discount at the pump (presumably gas taxes would not go down, thus the lower percentage) and an average 12%-ish discount on drugs. Is it really the Democrat's intention to trash incentives in these critical industries for future long term investment (oil exploration in one, drug R&D in the other) so politicans can hand out a 6% discount to the voters?

Britain. Islamic martyrdom redefined: "A government-backed Islamic organisation is teaching young Muslims that dying while fighting for the British armed forces is an act of martyrdom. The British Muslim Forum (BMF) explains to young people that even if a Muslim soldier dies in combat while fighting in an Islamic country such as Afghanistan, he will still be regarded as a martyr and a hero for this country. The BMF is holding talks across Britain to persuade young people not to follow the teachings of Muslim extremists who instruct their followers that joining the British military is a "traitorous act". Its aim is to counter radicals' misuse of the term "martyr", which has become associated with terrorist suicide operations."



"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

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" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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