The big news
The Fed has just "printed" one trillion dollars of new U.S. Greenbacks. It has created a huge amount of new money out of thin air. Governments have that prerogative. It doesn't actually run the printing presses faster. It does it in a more complicated way than that but the result is the same. Its main effect is to put fresh cash in the pockets of the banks and other financial institutions. The good news is that it is not debt. The taxpayer is not going to be required to pay more tax to fund it. The bad news is that it will devalue whatever greenbacks you at present own. They will buy less in the future -- "inflation" in other words. So it IS a tax in the long run.
Will it work? Will it get the banks lending again? Will it create jobs? Nobody seems terribly optimistic. The real problem is to restore business confidence so that businesses start hiring again but most of the O-man's agenda is anti-business and intent on jacking up business taxes so it will do nothing for that. Abolishing regulatory burdens on business (e.g. Sarbox) and halving company tax is what is needed to perk up business. Like FDR before him, Obama thinks business is the enemy -- when it is in fact the only way out of the present problems. Kicking business when it is down so stupid that only a Leftist could do it. But that is the FDR/Obama thinking.
Lots of commentary here
‘Palestinians’ Who Helped Create Israel
By Daniel Pipes
Palestinians have so loudly and for so long (nearly a century) rejected Zionism that Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, Yasir Arafat, and Hamas may appear to command unanimous Palestinian support. But no: polling research finds that a substantial minority of Palestinians, about 20 percent, is ready to live side-by-side with a sovereign Jewish state. Although this minority has never been in charge and its voice has always been buried under rejectionist bluster, Hillel Cohen of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has uncovered its surprisingly crucial role in history.
He explores this subject in the pre-state period in Army of Shadows: Palestinian Collaboration with Zionism, 1917—1948 (translated by Haim Watzman, University of California Press); then, the same author, translator, and press are currently preparing a sequel, Good Arabs: The Israeli Security Agencies and the Israeli Arabs, 1948—1967, for publication in 2010.
In Army of Shadows, Cohen demonstrates the many roles that accommodating Palestinians played for the Yishuv, the pre-state Jewish community in the Holy Land. They provided labor, engaged in commerce, sold land, sold arms, handed over state assets, provided intelligence about enemy forces, spread rumors and dissension, convinced fellow Palestinians to surrender, fought the Yishuv's enemies, and even operated behind enemy lines. So great was their cumulative assistance, one wonders if the State of Israel could have come into existence without their contribution.
The mufti's absolute rejection of Zionism was intended to solidify the Palestinian population but had the opposite effect. The Husseini clique's selfishness, extremism and brutality undermined solidarity: using venomous language and murderous tactics, declaring jihad against anyone who disobeyed the mufti, and deeming more than half the Palestinian population "traitors" pushed many fence-sitters and whole communities (notably the Druse) over to the Zionist side.
Consequently, Cohen writes, "As time passed, a growing number of Arabs were willing to turn their backs on the [rejectionists] and offer direct assistance to the British or Zionists." He calls collaboration with Zionism "not only common but a central feature of Palestinian society and politics." No one before Cohen has understood the historical record this way.
He discerns a wide range of motives on the part of the Yishuv's Palestinian allies: economic gain, class or tribal interests, nationalist ambitions, fear or hatred of the Husseini faction, personal ethics, neighborliness, or individual friendships. Against those who would call these individuals "collaborators" or even "traitors," he argues that they actually understood the situation more astutely than Husseini and the rejectionists: accommodationists presciently realized that the Zionist project was too strong to resist and that attempting to do so would lead to destruction and exile, so they made peace with it.
O'S FOREIGN FAILURES
By RALPH PETERS
AMERICA'S enemies smell blood and it's type "O." All new administrations stumble a bit as they seek their footing. But President Obama's foreign-policy botches have set new records for instant incompetence.
Contrary to left-wing myths, I wasn't a fan of the Bush administration. (I called for Donald Rumsfeld to get the boot in mid-2001.) But fair's fair. Despite his many faults, Bush sought to do good. Obama just wants to look good. Vice President Dick Cheney was arrogant. Vice President Joe Biden is arrogant and stupid. Take your pick.
Don't worry about the new administration's ideology. Worry about its terrifying naivete. Consider a sampling of the goofs O and his crew have made in just two months: China: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (you know that gal married to the Saudi hireling) crawled to Beijing to tell the party bosses that human rights don't matter. Our "relationship" is more important than freedom and human dignity. Beijing's response? A staged military confrontation with an unarmed US Navy vessel; continued screw-America currency cheating; a renewed crackdown on dissidents and, yesterday, a call for a new global currency to replace the dollar. Thanks, Hill. You're a sweetheart.
Pakistan: With viral corruption throughout and Islamist fanatics sweeping half of its territory, Pakistan's coming apart. Its Dem-adored prez tries to ban opposition parties and gut the judiciary. It has nukes and seethes with hatred of America. And Islamabad controls our primary supply route into Afghanistan, using it as an extortion tool. Obama's response? Billions in new aid for Pak pols to pocket. We'd be better off handing the money to AIG to pay out more bonuses.
Afghanistan: Obama's Vietnam. Am I the only American who remembers that candidate Obama had a plan to capture Osama bin Laden and fix our previous "mistakes" in Afghanistan? President Obama doesn't have a clue.
Iran: Obama tried to reach out, to talk. After all, talking got him to the White House. But America-bashing is what keeps Iran's leaders in office, it's their political essence. After 30 years of fierce hostility, hasn't anyone figured out that the senior mullahs need us as an enemy? Without the Great Satan America to blame, they'd have some real explaining to do to their homies. So O got the left-hand finger.
He wanted to chat with the Taliban, too. They told him he could stick it where the sun don't shine.
North Korea: Obama wanted a fresh start. North Korea's response? Threats of war with South Korea and the kidnapping of two American journalists. And the renewed pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, along with rocket tests.
Cuba: Obama would like to liberalize our relationship. The Castro boys told him to kiss off. They need an enemy, too. (Dear Mr. President: It's not always about us or how evil America is.)
Venezuela: Guess who else needs an enemy?
Mexico: The good news: Obama knows where it is on a map and recognizes that Mexico's government faces a narco-insurgency that threatens our country, too. His first action? Cave to the Teamsters, violate a lawful treaty on cross-border trucking, reignite fading anti-Americanism and undercut President Felipe Calderon.
Poland: Obama's stance on our bravest ally on the European continent? The Russians are more important than you are. He's sending the same message to Ukraine and Georgia.
There's a new conservative blog called The moderate curmudgeon that takes a rather humorous approach to news commentary.
Obama firm on Afghanistan: “Confronting an inherited and faltering war, President Barack Obama plans to dispatch thousands more military and civilian trainers to Afghanistan by the fall on top of the 17,000 combat troops he has already ordered, senior administration officials said Thursday. Obama’s war strategy, which he plans to announce Friday, includes no timeline for withdrawal of troops. The war began more than seven years ago.”
NY: Deal reached to repeal “Rockefeller” drug laws: “Gov. David A. Paterson and New York legislative leaders have reached an agreement to dismantle much of what remains of the state’s strict 1970s-era drug laws, once among the toughest in the nation. Opponents of the so-called Rockefeller drug laws held a rally outside the governor’s office in Manhattan on Wednesday. The deal would repeal many of the mandatory minimum prison sentences now in place for lower-level drug felons, giving judges the authority to send first-time nonviolent offenders to treatment instead of prison. The plan would also expand drug treatment programs and widen the reach of drug courts at a cost of at least $50 million.”
Clinton admits it: US antidrug policies have failed: “Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Mexico yesterday with a stark admission, saying that decades of US antinarcotics policies had been a failure and had contributed to the explosion of drug violence south of the border. ‘Clearly what we’ve been doing has not worked,’ Clinton told reporters on her plane at the start of her two-day trip. She said it was unfair for the United States ‘to be creating a situation where people are holding the Mexican government and people responsible. That’s not right.’ Clinton’s comments appeared to be the most sweeping by a top Obama administration official in accepting a US role in the drug violence in Mexico.”
Obama says automakers need “drastic changes”: “President Barack Obama said Thursday his administration will help Detroit’s struggling automakers only if the companies and their stakeholders make ‘pretty drastic changes’ to reshape their industry. Obama, responding to a question during an online town hall meeting, said the current business model for U.S. carmakers was unsustainable and the Big Three would need to change their ways. The president said he planned to announce decisions on the future of the industry in the coming days.”
The MTV president : “However talented the man might be, Barack Obama as silver-tongued savior, is in reality a creation of the mainstream media. When George W. Bush was inarticulate at times, he was the butt of jokes and worse; a buffoon who got through life on the coattails of his father. Yet, when Obama stutters through rehearsed speeches or maniacally laughs while discussing our ailing economy on 60 Minutes, these gaffes are either ignored or oddly offered as further proof of his oratory genius. But why? Because those who control most major newspapers and TV are immature dreamers still stuck on their vision of a socialist utopia; the stuff of teenaged vows to ‘change the world.’ And their hero epitomizes all they hold dear; a hip, youthful knight who champions activism — whatever that means — and looks good doing it.”
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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)