Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Post lifted from SCA. See the original for links

Says Craig Smith of the New York Times of Nikolas Sarkozy:

Arrogant, brutal, an authoritarian demagogue, a "perfect Iago": the president-elect of France has been called a lot of unpleasant things in recent months and now has five years to prove his critics wrong.

Try this is on for size, Mr Smith: The New York Times has also earned the right to be referred to as brutal, authoritarian and a bastion of leftist demagoguery. In addition, the New York Times has proved it's preference for deceit when needed and deliberate disregard for the truth as a matter of course. Perhaps the New York Times can use the next five years to prove their critics wrong.

Mr Smith goes on to note that

Mr. Sarkozy's personal life has been less successful than his public one: in 1996, he divorced his first wife, with whom he has two sons, and married C,cilia Ciganer-Albeniz, with whom he had another son.

For years, Ms. Sarkozy acted as Mr. Sarkozy's closest aide, but she left him to have a very public affair with another man in 2005. The couple have since reconciled, but Ms. Sarkozy has been notably absent from her husband's presidential campaign, fueling rumors that he will inhabit Elysee Palace alone.

Has Mr Smith referred to Hillary Clinton's private life as `less than successful' than her political life? Has Mr Smith or anyone at the New York Times made note of the former President's absence from Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign trail? Is Bill Clinton's invisibility on the campaign trail meant to imply that if successful, the Senator will inhabit the White House by herself? Does appointing the former president as `Ambassador to the World really mean there are irreconcilable differences between Senator and former president? Or do those kind of inferences selectively applied by the New York Times?



Government grew under Clinton, and grew even faster under his successor. Government is so big today that more than half the population gets a major part of its income from the state. So says a study by economist Gary Shilling. Shilling, a Springfield, N.J., consultant and forecaster, says the portion of Americans feeding substantially at the public trough stands at 52.6 percent. In 2000, it was 49.4. It seems unbelievable that in 1950, only 28.3 percent of Americans lived off the taxpayers. Shilling projects 60 percent by 2040.

One out of five Americans works for some level of government or for a firm that depends on taxpayer financing. One in five also draws Social Security or a federal pension. That number will grow as the baby boomers move on to Social Security, which, let's not forget, is a transfer program. Among other recipients of largess: Nine million are on food stamps, 2 million received housing subsidies, and 5 million go to school on the federal taxpayer. In Shilling's reckoning, dependents of recipients are also part of the group he calls "government beneficiaries."

Wasn't the welfare system reformed in 1996? On the surface, yes. Cash payments are available only for a limited time and recipients are expected to work eventually. Millions of women once on welfare have gone to work. But the idea that the taxpayer has gotten a break or that overall dependency has decreased is a myth. As the AP reported: "The welfare state is bigger than ever despite a decade of policies designed to wean poor people from public aid. The number of families receiving cash benefits from welfare has plummeted since the government imposed time limits on the payments a decade ago. But other programs for the poor -- including Medicaid, food stamps and disability benefits -- are bursting with new enrollees. The result ... is that nearly one in six persons rely on some form of public assistance, a larger share than at any time since the government started measuring two decades ago."

More here


Brookes News Update

US economy and China's currency - what gives?: It is still being said that manipulation of China's currency is undermining American manufacturing. Like so many things in economics this charge completely ignores the real forces at work
Australian economy: the recession it should have had, and its money supply: There was a time when economists would have looked at the money supply. Now they reach for the economic tealeaves otherwise known as the national accounts. Is that why our economists are so blase about the Australia's shrinking manufacturing base?
Remembering the Bay of Pigs: The Bay of Pigs 46 years ago but Cuban patriots still remember the courage and sacrifices of those who tried to rid their country of the cowardly and sadistic Dictator Fidel Castro
Why the Australian Democrats are not a respectable political party: The Australian Democrats are trapped in a downward spiral of politically suicidal decision-making
Israel has nothing to celebrate: Now Olmert is paving the way for more concessions to the Arab terrorists. It will create more demands from Arabs and more Jewish lives will be lost. Nothing will please the enemies of the Jewish people except our total extermination
The Democrats are worse than we thought: One of the few Democrats I know of who has consistently hoped for our troops to fail is Dennis Kucinich. The fact that Dennis Kucinich is now a Democratic trendsetter may just be the saddest thing ever



Chris Brand has a new lot of posts up on his usual themes

China Hand has just put up a new post on whether Confucianism is a religion or not

Rubin on the origin of anti-market bias: "Our primitive ancestors lived in a world that was essentially static; there was little societal or technological change from one generation to the next. This meant that our ancestors lived in a world that was zero sum -- if a particular gain happened to one group of humans, it came at the expense of another. This is the world our minds evolved to understand. To this day, we often see the gain of some people and assume it has come at the expense of others."

The dubious pedigree of the EU idea: "Ten years ago I wrote a book the first chapter of which examined Nazi and fascist arguments in favour of a united Europe. I used this Nazi pro-Europeanism scurrilously to discredit the claim made by today's pro-Europeans that the European idea was born out of reaction against Hitler, and to show that hostility to national sovereignty has an anti-democratic pedigree. Most of the quotations dated from 1941, European propaganda having been emphasised when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. By 1942, a conference was organised in Berlin by leading Nazi party officials and industrialists entitled `European Economic Community'. Of course, the Nazis did not invent the idea of a united Europe. That dream has been around since the collapse of the Roman empire, gaining new attractiveness after the Reformation and after the first world war. But Nazi pro-Europeanism was very detailed, concentrating on many of the technical aspects which we associate with the EU today, especially the Europeanisation of industry and agriculture."


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and 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" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


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