Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Short Economics Lesson

An economics professor at Texas Tech said he had never failed a single student before but had, once, failed an entire class. That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer. The professor then said ok, we will have an experiment in this class on socialism.

All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A. After the first test the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. But, as the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too; so they studied little. The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around the average was an F.

The scores never increased as bickering, blame, name calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else. All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great; but when government takes all the reward away; no one will try or want to succeed.

Could not be any simpler than that....


Obama Reaches Out to 'Moderate' Pirate Community

After maintaining his silence for two days, President Obama will soon make his first public statement about the pirate attack upon an U.S.-flagged vessel off the Horn of Africa. After several inquiries and a few well-placed bribes, Exurban League has received an early transcript of the President's remarks:
Good evening. As you know, early yesterday, Somali-based pirates attacked the Maersk Alabama, a freighter carrying relief supplies to Kenya. While we do not yet know all the details, the Alabama's crew re-took control of the vessel and forced the pirates off the ship.

Since the pirates are still holding the captain, I have sent FBI negotiators to facilitate his safe and speedy release. I assure his friends and family that I will not stop until this man-made disaster is resolved in a peaceful, tolerant and ecologically-sound manner.

Obviously, this incident has raised many concerns among Americans. There have been calls for justice and even violence against the misguided perpetrators. But such an emotional reaction has led to the disparagement of entire groups with which we are unfamiliar. We have seen this throughout history.

For too long, America has been too dismissive of the proud culture and invaluable contributions of the Pirate Community. Whether it is their pioneering work with prosthetics, husbandry of tropical birds or fanciful fashion sense, America owes a deep debt to Pirates.

The past eight years have shown a failure to appreciate the historic role of these noble seafarers. Instead of celebrating their entreprenuerial spirit and seeking to partner with them to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.

Some of us wonder if our current Overseas Contingency Operation would even be needed had the last administration not been so quick to label Pirates as "thieves," "terrorists" and worse. Such swashbucklaphobia can lead to tragic results, as we have seen this week.

To address this issue, I have instructed Vice President Joe Biden to create a cabinet-level Czar of Pirate Outreach and Buccaneer Interrelation. In addition, June 1-7 has been designated as Pirate Awareness Week, during which all federal buildings will fly the Jolly Roger and sponsor sensitivity training. Thankfully, my American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will fund free grog and hard tack for all attendees.

Finally, to all pirates listening to international broadcasts, shortwave services and ship-to-shore radio, let me say this:

Ahoy, me regret arr relationship has set sail in a scurvy manner. Arr people share many mutual 'alues and concerns on t' raging main. Perchance, could ye handsomely release the cap'n o' the ship and I assure that no harm will come t' ye or ye hearties. Let us smite t' reset button and launch our seabond on a new pegleg. Savvy? Godspeed t' ye and t' ye beauties. Aye, me parrot concurs.



Now for something more serious

Read the excerpt below:

“Bigots have problems with their theories. Bigots will argue that the targets of their hatred share some collective trait that makes them bad in some way thus justifying their own hatreds. They will rant about ‘Kikes,’ ‘Niggers,’ ‘Faggots,’ etc. Yet, they are plagued by the ‘exceptions’ that they have to make to their hatred. Blacks are bad news, except for the blacks they know. Gays are evil, except for a few friends, or family members they don’t want to talk about. Jews are an evil conspiracy except for the nice Jewish doctor who cared for mother. A small band of hard-core fanatical bigots will, of course, make no exceptions. But the average, run-of-the-mill bigot constantly finds exceptions to his stereotype. Yet he seems capable of compartmentalizing his irrational bigotry to take this into account. He tells himself that the collective he hates is evil and that the individual he likes is the exception. Amazingly bigots around the world happen to find these ‘exceptions’ in their lives. All the others are evil, just not the ones they know.”


Does that attack on "bigots" sound logical? It's not remotely. There are exceptions to every rule but that doesn't make the rule useless or wrong. Most correlations in the social sciences are far from perfect. But they may still be useful. How about the statement: "Cats have fur". That's a pretty safe and reliable statement but there are one or two breeds that have no fur. Does that mean we should stop expecting cats to have fur or that belief in the furriness of cats is wrong?

One expects brainlessness from Leftist "anti-racists" but the above quote, sadly, is from a libertarian site. Libertarians can get as fanatical as Leftists sometimes. And anti-racists are regularly just as addled as racists are. When the word "race" is mentioned, logic usually flies out the window.



Stranded on a plane? Grin and bear it, says court: “A court has thrown out a lawsuit brought against American Airlines by a woman who was stranded for 9-1/2 hours on the tarmac in Austin, Texas, in 2006. In dismissing the case, US District Judge Robert Dawson said airlines are not legally bound to provide a ’stress-free environment’ when such a delay occurs. But Catherine Ray, who brought the lawsuit that charged false imprisonment, isn’t giving up the fight. She’s filing a motion for the judge to reconsider the case, and if that fails, she plans to appeal. ‘It’s just unjust — the thought that an airline can do that to a person and get away with it,’ says the Fayetteville, Ark., woman.”

Making the trains run on time : “Proponents of a bigger, stronger state often claim that the result of their proposed interventions will be an increase in efficiency. Centralized planning will produce a high-quality, standardized product or service. Economies of scale will reduce costs and ease access to services. ‘Say what you will about Mussolini,’ they tell us — ‘he made the trains run on time.’ In point of fact, Italian trains seem to have been no more or less punctual under fascism than they were in the period immediately prior to Mussolini’s ascent in 1922. The claim of increased efficiency through bigger government, however, is worth examining. Does the state improve our lives by more efficiently delivering certain goods and services than we could expect from unregulated market? The market’s answer to that question — in areas where the claim can be put to the test, at any rate — is an unqualified ‘no.’”

Obama’s bid for nuke-free world: Bad idea : “During his trip to Europe last week, President Obama announced that the US will host a global meeting this year to address the threat of nuclear weapons. The president called for reinvigorated international institutions to combat the prospect of nuclear terrorism and reverse nuclear weapons proliferation. He agreed to new negotiations with Russia to reduce both countries’ nuclear arsenals. These efforts should be made. However, Mr. Obama also announced that the US must ’seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.’ This is a goal that will undermine global nuclear security.”

Dear supporters of Barack Obama: “Obama supporters, you got everything you wanted on Election Night. Obama won big, the Democrats won big in Congress, the Democrats cleaned up at the state level. But the only change you got was even more of what you hate. An escalation in our wars overseas, blatant, disgusting government windfalls for the wealthiest Americans, and an overwhelming sense that a group of oligarchs have partnered with the President to enrich themselves at everyone else’s expense.”


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, April 10, 2009

Good Friday today

Well. I made it to the service at my old church: Ann St Presbyterian. Good Friday is a major religious occasion for Christians in Australia, with Easter Sunday secondary. I gather that it is the other way around in some countries. So I got up at 8am and managed to be at the 9am commencement of the service with time to spare. The church is only 10 minutes drive from where I live so that helps. Anne came along too as it happens to be her old church too. It was a communion service so went on a bit longer than usual. It felt good to be back among the sort of people "from whence I sprang". And it was good to hear a Scottish accent from the pulpit too. I feel sorry for Leftists who don't appreciate such things. It must be very unpleasant to be angry with the world about you all the time. I certainly don't think the world is perfect but I don't hate it. I just enjoy getting on with my own life in my own way.

The congregation was mostly Caucasian with only a few Asians present. The Koreans who used to attend have now built their own church. The pews at Ann St were still pretty full though. The minister, Archie McNicol, is one of the old school who is not afraid to mention "The machinations of the Devil" and such things so it is real religion that gets preached there and not conventional bromides. I noticed that the long prayer included a supplication for the conversion of the Jews. Traditional of course. But I would have been happier if it had also included a prayer for the safety of the Jews.

The reading was from John Chapter 19 and I was struck by the great lengths Pilate went to NOT to crucify Jesus, but the Pharisees were relentless and finally accused him of disloyalty to Caesar -- which Pilate of course could not risk. Many of the claimants on righteousness today -- Warmists, Leftists, obesity warriors etc. -- are just as nasty and hostile in my view.

The service ended with the hymn "Rugged Cross" -- one of my top favourites.

There is occasionally a furore when secularists or Anglicans (but I repeat myself) remove the crucifix from some church or chapel. We had an example of that very recently in Australia. They would be perplexed how to attack Ann St. Presbyterian, though -- because it has neither cross nor crucifix in it. That is because it is an old "Wee Free" church and its Scottish builders weren't going to have any "graven images" in it. With all the polished wood in it, the interior is still a beautiful one, though. See below:

Israeli leaders mislabelled by media foes

Comment from Australia

OVER the next year or two, probably for as long as it stays in office, there will be a sustained effort to demonise the Israeli Government of Benjamin Netanyahu. The speech last week by Netanyahu's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, in which he explicitly supported a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute but was reported as if he had said the opposite, is a case in point.

But even the way Netanyahu and Lieberman are typically described is entirely misleading. Netanyahu, not least in the Australian media, is almost always called "hardline right-wing". This would be the equivalent of calling the government of John Howard or Malcolm Fraser hardline right-wing, or calling the recently defeated government of Helen Clark in New Zealand hardline left-wing.

Netanyahu leads the Likud Party, which has been Israel's main centre-right party for decades. Under Menachem Begin in the 1970s, a Likud government gave up the whole of the Sinai desert in a land-for-peace deal with Egypt. Netanyahu, who has held many portoflios in previous governments, has as part of his coalition the left-of-centre Israeli Labour Party.

It would be much more honest to label Netanyahu's Government centre-right. This question of language is of the first order of importance. The ancient Chinese sage Confucius, when asked what would be the main political reform he would carry out if he achieved state power, replied: "It would certainly be to rectify the names." Israel's enemies, heirs to ancient anti-Semitism, are on a relentless quest to delegitimise and demonise it at every point. Mislabelling a democratic government of mainstream, democratic politicians as hardline right-wing is an important part of that quest.

What about Lieberman's speech? Lieberman is the leader of the Yisrael Beiteinu party. Lieberman too has previously been a cabinet minister. His party is mainly supported by Russian immigrants. It is fair to say he is to the right of Netanyahu but not fair to say he is an extremist. His policies mix a hard line on national security with social liberalism.

Russian Israelis often have a somewhat attenuated connection to Orthodox Judaism and can therefore be disadvantaged in rulings concerning conversion, marriage and other family matters, where religious parties have considerable influence. There is nothing sinister about this. It is the sort of debate Ireland had in recent years about allowing divorce. Lieberman wants to secularise these matters.

On security issues his sharp language marks him out as a polarising figure. But there is no doubt he is a democrat and, by broader Middle East standards, an extremely mild politician. He is most famous for wanting all Israelis to take a loyalty oath. This is seen as insulting to Israel's Arab citizens. I think it is an unhelpful and unnecessarily polarising proposal, but it is not the black hand of fascism.

Similarly, Lieberman wants all Israelis to be forced to undertake military or other national service. This is also seen as hitting at Israeli Arabs, as they may not want to serve in the Israeli Defence Forces. But Lieberman also wants this provision enforced on Orthodox Jews, who do not do military service either.

Further, in Lieberman's vision of a two-state solution he is keen to transfer Israeli Arab towns into a Palestinian state. Some territorial swap is inevitable if a two-state solution is to work, but presumably no Israeli citizen would be forced to give up their citizenship, whatever happened to the land underneath them. So Lieberman's proposal cannot remotely be classed as ethnic cleansing or anything like it.

I think Lieberman's rhetoric is often unhelpful to Israel and exacerbates problems, but it is certainly not unreasonable for Lieberman to want to debate the civic identity of Israel's Arab citizens.

In his initial speech as Foreign Minister on March 30, Lieberman said the Annapolis peace process, which has been running for the past couple of years, is dead. But Lieberman fully committed himself to the road map negotiated and endorsed in 2002 by the US, the European Union, the UN and Russia, which also involves commitment to a two-state solution.

There is only one difference between the road map and Annapolis. Annapolis was based on the idea that the Israelis and Palestinians negotiate a final status agreement now on who would have what territory, and then one day the Palestinians will be able to form a government that can rule its own territories and provide proper security.

The road map, on the other hand, provided for reciprocity: that both the Palestinians and the Israelis had to undertake certain obligations along the way. Israel had to dismantle illegal Jewish settlements (that is, illegal under Israeli law) and prevent any territorial expansion in the existing settlements. (Lieberman is at times even critical of the previous government for not doing this.) The Palestinians had to form a functioning government and suppress terrorism.

When the Israelis withdrew unilaterally from Gaza, this was a kind of road test for Annapolis. But all they got, after a temporary ceasefire, was a constant barrage of rocket attacks. The Netanyahu Government is now inclined to stress reciprocity.

Indeed, in responding to Lieberman's remarks US spokesmen did all stress reciprocity.

Netanyahu, when in office previously, made a number of agreements that involved Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian land and all of which had as their object a two-state solution. Like Lieberman, Netanyahu is committed to the road map, which has as its goal an independent Palestinian state. But this is dependent on the Palestinians forming an effective and sensible government and meaningfully renouncing terrorism.

This is completely out of the question at the moment because half the potential Palestinian state, Gaza, is ruled by the terrorist death cult Hamas. Despite the protestations of Hamas sympathisers in Australia, the Hamas leadership, the charter which it still upholds and all Hamas spokesmen say Hamas will never recognise Israel's right to exist or to occupy a single inch of territory. This is not the occupied territories we're talking about but Israel proper. Hamas has also said it will never give up terrorism. Hamas may one day change its mind on all this, but at the moment it is inconceivable that the Palestinians could meet their obligations under the road map. That rules out a Palestinian state for the moment.

It remains an ambition of the vast majority of Israelis that they can live in peace beside a peaceful neighbour, both behind agreed borders. In saying this is not available at the moment, neither Netanyahu nor Lieberman rules it out forever in the future. The international press might at least get this basic fact right.




Bob Quick should slow down: "British police arrested 12 people in anti-terror raids in northwest England overnight, a spokesman said, in what reports said was a major operation. The raids were mounted in locations including Liverpool John Moore University and Manchester, according to BBC television, adding that they were part of a long-planned operation brought forward by a security gaffe. Britain has been on high alerts since July 2005 suicide attacks in London killed 56, while car bomb attacks were foiled in London and Glasgow in June 2007. The operation was ordered hours after Britain's top counter-terrorism policeman, Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick, was caught on camera clutching sensitive documents as he arrived in Downing Street. The documents, which included full details about planned operations, were legible on pictures taken by photographers and distributed around the world, the BBC said. Shortly after the raids were announced Scotland Yard said that Mr Quick apologised to his boss, Metropolitan Police chief Paul Stephenson, saying he "deeply regretted" leaving the document on show. "Assistant Commissioner Quick accepts he made a mistake on leaving a sensitive document on open view and deeply regrets it. He has apologised to the Commissioner and colleagues," said a Scotland Yard spokesman. [The speedy one was also the cop behind the controversial raid on the offices of a member of Parliament]

Who will stop the pirates? “The American merchant sailors who fought pirates to retake their US-flagged ship, which had been seized Wednesday in waters off Somalia, showed a stiff resolve against maritime piracy that the world community so far has not. Merchant vessels and the global economy will continue to be at risk from ransom-seeking pirates until the maritime powers adopt — and enforce — a zero-tolerance policy to stop the hijackings, say maritime security experts. With the ship’s captain reported to be in pirates’ hands, the unfinished drama casts a bright spotlight on increasingly insecure shipping lanes. The hijacking of the Maersk Alabama cargo ship -– which apparently involved the first hostage-taking of American merchant sailors in the pirate-infested waters off Somalia — at first appeared to end hours after the ordeal began, with the 20-member crew overpowering and detaining one pirate and others fleeing to the sea.”

Medical providers urge Obama to save “conscience” rule: “Doctors from across the country have come to Washington to try to save a federal regulation that gives added protection to medical workers who choose not to perform certain procedures, like abortion, that they morally object to. ‘It is open season on healthcare professionals of conscience,’ said David Stevens, CEO of the Christian Medical Association. ‘Discriminate at will.’ … Obama announced a month ago that he was reviewing the regulation.”

Holder tells prosecutors that justice is their only priority: "Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday warned federal prosecutors of increased scrutiny in the wake of mistakes in the corruption case against former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens. Holder told assistant U.S. attorneys for the District of Columbia that they must respond to negative perceptions of federal prosecutors by doing "the right thing." "Your job as assistant U.S. attorneys is not to convict people," Holder said. "Your job is not to win cases. Your job is to do justice. Your job is in every case, every decision that you make, to do the right thing. Anybody who asks you to do something other than that is to be ignored. Any policy that is at tension with that is to be questioned and brought to my attention. And I mean that."

A Fawning Frenzy For Michelle: "Imagine being Laura Bush and turning on the television and watching the absolute deluge of sticky-sweet syrup being poured all over Michelle Obama during her European debut as first lady. It is as if every TV reporter was handed a pamphlet of talking points and ordered to compare Mrs. Obama to Jackie Kennedy. NBC's Dawna Friesen gushed: "Though Harvard-educated Michelle Obama has substance, not just style, and that's what sets her apart." Apart from … whom? Unspoken, but unmistakeable, NBC's saying Michelle has more substance than Laura and more style than Hillary. Everyone expects the press to be polite and gentle with the First Lady, but this is ridiculous. The official "news" media line now is that Michelle is the most smashing and fashionable and intelligent first lady in recent history, maybe ever."

A Clintonesque lie: "The White House is denying that the president bowed to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia at a G-20 meeting in London, a scene that drew criticism on the right and praise from some Arab outlets. "It wasn't a bow. He grasped his hand with two hands, and he's taller than King Abdullah," said an Obama aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The Washington Times called the alleged bow a "shocking display of fealty to a foreign potentate" and said it violated centuries of American tradition of not deferring to royalty. The Weekly Standard, meanwhile, noted that American protocol apparently rules out bowing, or at least it reportedly did on the occasion of a Clinton "near-bow" to the emperor of Japan. Interestingly, a columnist in the Saudi-backed Arabic paper Asharq Alawsat also took the gesture as a bow and appreciated the move. Bald-faced lie and the world knows it."

The good old days: " I had a school friend whose father drove his family the length of Africa from Pretoria to Beirut in the early 1950s, and from the time they left South Africa (then a dominion like Canada)until they crossed the Sudanese - Egyptian frontier, travelled exclusively across British colonial territory. Apart from wear and tear on the vehicles they encountered no really bad roads, though they were mostly dirt, no malaria (largely eradicated), no crime, friendly people, and had a journey of their lives. I doubt whether you could drive around a street in Pretoria today without your car falling into a pothole or without being mugged, let alone cross Africa without serious incident."


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, April 09, 2009

The Answer To Obama's Hand Of Friendship

As we all know, stupid politics involves defending ourselves militarily against those waging war upon us. Smart politics is reaching out a hand of friendship to our enemies instead, inviting them to unclench their fist. They know it makes sense. Who would not want the goodies that would flow from such a gesture, after all? This is Ahmadinejad's response to Obama's sustained charm offensive towards Iran:
Thanks to the steadfastness of the Iranian nation, which stands behind the dear leader [Khamenei], this nation continues in its glorious path and is known to the world as a nation that cannot be defeated. Today, thanks to great achievements, the threat to Iran has been lifted, and no power in the world entertains the notion of taking action against the Iranian nation. Even if someone were to entertain this notion and want to undertake any act of aggression against the nation. he should know that the Iranian nation is ready, and any hand outstretched in order to attack will be cut off.

And this is the Taleban's response to Obama's wish to reach out to the moderate elements of the Taleban:
According to a report in a Pashtu-language newspaper, the Taliban spokesman in Afghanistan has declared that the Taliban do not have hardliners and moderates in their party, and that they will not talk to the Afghan government and the U.S. unless the foreign troops leave Afghanistan.

... The Taliban fighters of the Mullah Dadullah Front in Afghanistan have rejected the offer of talks from U.S. President Barack Obama to moderate Taliban and have said they are not ready to hold negotiations with Obama, according to a March 9 report in a Pashtu-language newspaper in Pakistan. The report quoted a spokesman of Mulla Dadullah Front, Rahbarmal, as saying that the Taliban will continue jihad under the leadership of Mullah Omar...

Looks like Obama's hand of friendship is causing fists to clench even more. Smart.



The bowing Obama

He bowed twice on his recent trip to Britain... But he only meant it once

In his boyhood he would have learned that the guardian of the holy places of Islam is himself holy


A beautiful video that I think all parents will understand

If only we Anglos could express ourselves as well as Greeks and Italians can!


BrookesNews Update

Will cleansing the banks' "toxic assets" stimulate the US economy? : Since the heart of credit is real savings it is obvious that no government schemes such as cleansing banks balance sheets can boost fully backed up credit. All that various government plans can do is to redistribute a given pool of real savings. Wealth generators however cannot work efficiently in an environment of government controls and money and credit out of 'thin air'
Inflation, productivity and living standards : Once again we find that history provides us with a much better guide to monetary policy than that offered by the great majority of today's orthodox economists and media pundits
The Wizard of Oz or, the Man behind the Curtain… aka Obama: One of the first items on Obama's agenda was to give over a billion, with a B of our hard earned dollars to support Hamas terrorism under the guise of rebuilding Gaza. The translation to that is that Hamas will take that money and spend it to re-arm itself and build more tunnels in order to complete its stated mission: Israeli genocide
Our "Road to (financial) Hell" is paved with gold for the likes of George Soros: description" CONTENT="The bank bailout is a gigantic confidence trick. Although Geithner and Obama appear able to fool Americans with the aid of the Democrats' one-party media house organs, the rest of the world is not so gullible. And who benefits directly from this scheme? The likes of Goldman Sachs who backed Obama to the hilt
The Republican Party: lost in the wilderness: Much of the party leadership has become emotionally addicted to the placebo of political pragmatism, swallowing the media-driven misconception that, to voters, ideological 'moderation' is somehow the political gold standard. So, the Grand Old Party has become the Bland Old Party, suffering a largely self-inflicted electoral thumping at the ballot box two election cycles running
Someone tell Obama: Americans did not cause the financial crisis, the world's central banks did : It was not some sinister cabal of financiers that inflated share prices and wrecked retirement accounts but the lousy monetary economics that the Fed and its fellow central bankers practise. Even though history and sound monetary theory fingers central banks for the financial crisis politicians and journalists still insist on scapegoating the banks



Charlie Foxtrot is having a laugh at Obama's ignorance of the fact that Austrians speak German. It's just amazing how empty that Leftist head is. Obama must not even know anything about Hitler, who was, of course, an Austrian.

Israeli reservists want newspaper investigated: "IDF reservists have asked Israel's attorney general to investigate a major newspaper for publishing testimonies by soldiers alleging human rights violations. More than 46 reservists who served in Israel's recent military operation in Gaza sent a letter to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz asking him to launch a criminal investigation into the Hebrew-language daily Ha'aretz for publishing the claims of at least two soldiers without checking to make sure they were real. The soldiers said later that they did not actually witness the incidents. An IDF investigation determined that the events described never happened."

Don't laugh: "The Prime Minister hopes to make Britain "a world leader" in producing and exporting electric cars and hybrid petrol-electric vehicles. Trials for electric cars in two or three cities could be up and running as soon as next year, he said. As part of the plan, the Government will also open talks with power companies to ensure vehicles can have their batteries recharged at power points at the roadside." [If all their conventional cars fell apart all the time and sent their makers bust ...]

Bad-time bonuses: “People often complain about executive pay. I don’t. What other people get paid isn’t my business. But after we discovered that many of the major companies bailed out by our government went on to give their execs bonuses, I changed my tune, a bit. How did failed companies and failed businessmen deserve bailouts in the first place? After being bailed out of their mess, the failed execs earned bonuses how? For bringing home the bacon from politicians? This problem is not limited to private enterprise at the public nipple. Take DC Metro. This governmental organization, tasked with providing public transit in the District of Columbia and adjacent areas, is in deep financial woes, even worse than many businesses. The transit authority threatens deep cuts in service. And yet, somehow, they just managed to hike the salaries of management, not to mention the wages of hourly workers.”

Welcome to the new class warfare: “We are in the midst of a new class warfare and our constitutional rights are eroding before our very eyes. The government has an ideological predilection toward egalitarianism — or forced equality. … The Constitution, which guarantees freedom of contract and denies the power of the government to take life, liberty, or property without due process (suing for it), is an obstacle for the government. Freedom is an obstacle for all governments. Thus, the administration will trample whatever constitutionally-guaranteed liberties it can get away with in order to acquire the power to re-order our lives so as to bring about its egalitarian vision for America. Unfortunately, we will all suffer before the government realizes that our financial prosperity has come from private, uninhibited initiative, not from Soviet-style central planning.”

More Muslim arrogance: "Trevor Hill owns what was once a blighted, rundown building in Knoxville, Tennessee. Hill has upgraded and repaired the building and built a restaurant there that he’s christened The Hill restaurant. It’s a full service restaurant and that means it is to serve alcohol. And that last fact seems to be causing a conflict with the folks that own the neighboring building: the Anoor mosque. Apparently one of the mosque board members, Nadeem Sidiqqi, is upset that an American property owner could possibly serve alcohol in his own business. Sidiqqi thinks he should be able to tell the owner of The Hill restaurant that he shouldn’t be allowed to serve alcohol so close to his mosque. He thinks that the city should invent a law that would mandate a “buffer zone” so that his religious tenets can be enforced on his neighbors. Sidiqqi wants to prevent neighboring property owners from doing as they wish with their own property."


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, April 08, 2009

Chag Kasher Vesameach!

In case that's a bit obscure, let me repeat the greeting using some Yiddish: May you have a kosher un freilachen pesach. There are of course two Hebrew words even in the Yiddish but the middle bit is plain German: und froelichen in High German. People sometimes grumble at me when I say that Yiddish is a German dialect with a few Hebrew words thrown in but you have just seen an example of that. Anyway, I am wishing my Jewish readers "a happy and kosher passover"

Curiously, Passover and Easter coincide closely this year. Passover is this Thursay and Good Friday is this Friday. The dating of Easter is loosely based on the Jewish custom but the two days can still fall quite a way apart.

It always amazes me what a hash Christians make of Christ's commandment: "This do in remembrance of me" (Luke 22: 19). They just don't do it. Easter is supposed to be the Christian remembrance of the Last Supper but no Christian service is anything like a Passover Seder. And, even more strangely, instead of the taking of the bread and the wine being an annual event, some Christians do it daily! Even Presbyterians do it once a quarter. And most services are in the morning instead of in the evening!

If there really are any Christians around who try to remain faithful to the Bible, they should be arranging with a local Jewish community to attend a seder this Thusday. I am not the one commanding it. Christ commanded it!

I have not this year made any arrangements to attend a seder myself but I may drop in to the Good Friday service at my old church if I wake up early enough. But I only go to church for sentimental reasons these days. I don't believe in any of it any more. And Good Friday is normally the one day of the year when I do like to renew my connections with the great Protestant traditions and thinking that remade our world. Getting out of bed in time for a 9am service is a bit of a challenge, though. That's normally when I wake up! Retirement has its advantages.


My Annual Visit to a Mainline Protestant Church

The following is from someone else who rarely goes to a mainstream church -- for reasons quite different from mine. I share his heartache, however. It is painful to have empty twaddle preached from the pulpits of a once great faith. The "ministers" concerned defile the religion they purport to represent. Fortunately, in my old church the old faith is still preached. I am as comfortable with that as I am uncomfortable with the theological prostitutes who have taken over many modern churches

I made my annual visit to a Sunday morning service in a "mainline Protestant church" a couple weeks ago. It is an eerie experience. Heart-wrenchingly eerie.

A magnificent building.

A magnificent choir singing, "Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of he world, have mercy on us" (in Latin).

A closing hymn, "Lord, I want to be a Christian."

Three women pastors on the platform and two men.

Pews filled with well-to-do looking folks.

The reason I say it was eerie is that much of this religious language means something totally different in their minds from what I mean by it. There is a keeping of the language and a demythologizing of the original meaning.

On one of our earlier visits No. l recalls the pastor saying that when he was a child he used to read stories like the one about Jesus walking on the water as if they were literally true.

What made my visit heart-wrenching was that the children's choir sang these words-trust me, I am copying them from the bulletin-"Birds and trees, people and plants, dolphin and whale all lives are equal. . . . Sister Rain, Brother Stone bring us back to our true home."

So when I stand at my study window that looks out over the downtown cityscape of Minneapolis, I pray: "O God, have mercy on us. Send a shocking revival to the churches-and a great awakening to this city. In Jesus' mighty name. Amen."



Warnings on Iran

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the nuclear threat from Tehran

Benjamin Netanyahu formally became Israel's Prime Minister last week, and he could not have been blunter about the strategic challenge ahead: "It is a mark of disgrace for humanity that several decades after the Holocaust the world's response to the calls by Iran's leader to destroy the state of Israel is weak, there is no condemnation and decisive measures -- almost as if dismissed as routine." He added, "We cannot afford to take lightly megalomaniac tyrants who threaten to annihilate us."

Americans in key positions have noticed this Israeli message. In a meeting Thursday at the Journal, Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told us that "there is a leadership in Israel that is not going to tolerate" a nuclear Iran. Tehran's atomic designs, he said, were a matter of "life or death" for the Jewish state. "The operative word is 'existential.'" When we asked him whether Israel was capable of inflicting meaningful damage to Iran's nuclear installations, his answer was a simple "Yes."

The Admiral was also clear about Iran's challenge to the U.S. "I think we've got a problem now. . . . I think the Iranians are on a path to building nuclear weapons." For the time being his counsel is diplomacy, noting that "Even in the darkest days of the Cold War we talked to the Soviets." But, he added, "we don't have a lot of time."

If Israel decides to strike Iran the consequences -- intended and unintended -- will be felt far and wide, including in Iraq where, Admiral Mullen says, Iran's ability to cause mayhem "has not maxed out at all." We thought readers might like to know how the Chairman sees the threat, and how well he appreciates Israel's peril.




Portugal's drug decriminalization success: "Champions of harsh drug criminalization laws as the best solution to curbing drug use will be chagrined to find that Portugal's eight year history of decriminalization has led to lower drug usage rates. According to a new report entitled, Drug Decriminalization in Portugal: Lessons for Creating Fair and Successful Drug Policies, while drug use across the European Union has risen steadily since 2000, Portugal, which has the most liberal drug laws of any country, has actually seen its prevalence rates decrease in various age groups since it decriminalized all drugs in 2001. Prevalence rates measure how many people have consumed drugs over the course of their lifetime."

AP would "rein in" sites using its content : "Taking aim at the way news is spread across the Internet, The Associated Press said on Monday that websites that used the work of news organizations must obtain permission and share revenue with them, and that it would take legal action against those that did not. A.P. executives said they were concerned about a variety of news forums around the Web, including major search engines like Google and Yahoo and aggregators like the Drudge Report that link to news articles, smaller sites that sometimes reproduce articles whole, and companies that sell packaged news feeds. They said they did not want to stop the appearance of articles around the Web, but to exercise some control over the practice and to profit from it."[I would be delighted to give AP half of my revenue from my blogs. 50% of zero is still zero]

Don't leave the driving of GM to them : "Anyone who's a car buff ought to get a hearty laugh out of the Obama administration's insistence that Chrysler's ultimate survival is based on its willingness to merge in the next 30 days or so with Fiat, the maker of notoriously unreliable cars. The rumor is that Fiat is not really an Italian acronym for Italian Automobile Factory of Turin (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino), but is an English acronym for Fix It Again Tony. The president has told Chrysler that it must make nice with the Italians or lose its enormous taxpayer-funded allowance. . You have folks who can't master $50 tax software thinking they can solve the enormously complex financial problems of one of the world's most significant industries. Would you trust the Treasury secretary (or most anyone in this administration) to fill out your taxes correctly?"

The growing chorus against foreign aid: "She may be speaking of Latin America, but the problem is true everywhere Western donor nations ladle dollops of aid to poor countries. The notion that public policy problems cannot be solved by throwing money at them should not be controversial - yet when it comes to poverty in developing countries, that remains the largely dominant approach. Thankfully, however, Mary O'Grady's critique appears part of a growing chorus, as the media attention that Zambian author Dambisa Moyo is receiving for her new book Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and Why There is a Better Way for Africa."

Government stimulus packages are attempts to deny reality : "Government demand-management policies aimed at stimulating economic activity do not and cannot create any new wealth - economic stimulants will not succeed. Government stimulus proposals are illogical. The government cannot inject money into the economy without first removing it from the economy. The government can distribute funds only by collecting more taxes, borrowing from the private sector, or printing additional money. There can be no stimulus if the government increases the ability of some people to spend by decreasing other people's ability to spend. When a government taxes or borrows it simply transfers spending power from private owners to political spenders."


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, April 07, 2009

A news roundup I can't beat

First, take a look at the picture of the bear -- according to the US Fish & Wildlife Service office in Kalispell, Montana, that little fella has taken to sitting every day at the picnic table apparently waiting to be fed and to have his winter den dug by government employees. Although he once was self-sufficient, he now begs for a handout every day from our generous government. Because of this, residents have taken to calling him Bearack Obama!

Next, according to the Detroit News, a new industry is starting up in Detroit, and I suspect that it actually is the fast-growing industry in the city (other than working for the government). The new industry is urban hunting and skinning. Yes, like a scene out of I Am Legend, the wilderness is retaking the city of Detroit, and the animal population is moving into areas that were once inhabited by productive men. Years of Democrat control in action!

The story in the Detroit News is the story of a young 69-year old entrepreneur, who has to supplement his Social Security checks by hunting raccoons in the city of Detroit. Apparently this guy kills coons with the help of his rifle and coon dog, butchers the meat, and sells it to local residents, and he also sells the skins- but doesn't pay taxes on these sales (must be a Democrat). The meat is not USDA approved (probably something to do with rabies), but the video about the story (go to the link for the article to watch it and howl with laughter) shows coon meat being served with liver and onions and Faygo red pop- just the way mom made it!

In other news, Obama recently was in England, and since he had to talk to people over there, he brought with him 5 speech-writers and 12 teleprompters for the weekend. I don't think that was enough- I heard some of his stammering and stuttering in a press conference- but still- 12 teleprompters? Can't you just bring one and move it from place to place? Or do they have to put a separate one up everywhere he goes and load it with his thoughts?

Sadly the teleprompter didn't let his wife know that you aren't supposed to touch the Queen of England -- it's apparently a big no-no. Doesn't anyone on his staff do any research on this stuff? I guess not- Michelle put her arm around the Queen and gave her a noogie on national television- probably not a good idea, but at least her arms were fantastic!

Lastly, least we forget how low the bar was for Presidents (and yet Obama still gets under it), here is a hilarious clip from a George W. Bush press conference where he is talking about fighting the biggest threat to our lives- zombies. That's right- laugh if you want, but apparently zombies are a big threat, and I am glad our President did everything he could to wipe them out- click on the link if you don't believe me. Enjoy! [It's a mashup]



In Israel, a voice of realism

by Jeff Jacoby

IF AVIGDOR LIEBERMAN'S first speech as Israel's new foreign minister did nothing else, it certainly vexed the media. The Associated Press called it a "scathing critique of Mideast peace efforts" that had diplomats "cringing," while other reports said Lieberman had "dropped a political bombshell," "sparked an uproar," "repudiated a key accord," and "reinforced fears." The New York Times pronounced Lieberman's remarks "blunt and belligerent," describing the foreign minister as a "hawkish nationalist" who is "not known for diplomacy" and heads an "ultranationalist" party that is "seen by many as racist." Headlines summed up Lieberman's debut as an attack on peacemaking: "Lieberman dashes peace hopes," "Israeli official hits peace efforts," "Lieberman dumps peace deal."

But the headlines were wrong, as anyone can ascertain by reading Lieberman's short address. Far from disparaging peace, Israel's new foreign minister called for pursuing it with the respect and realism it deserves. And far from "dumping" agreements entered into by his predecessors, he explicitly committed himself to upholding the Roadmap -- a step-by-step blueprint to a "two-state solution" adopted by Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and the international Quartet (the United States, the United Nations, Russia, and the European Union) in 2003.

"I voted against the Roadmap," Lieberman acknowledged, but it was "approved by the Cabinet and endorsed by the Security Council" and is therefore "a binding resolution and it binds this government as well." However, he insisted, it must be implemented "exactly as written" and "in full." The Road Map imposes specific obligations that the Palestinians must meet prior to achieving statehood -- above all, an unequivocal end to violence, terrorism, and incitement against the Jewish state -- and Israel will not agree to waive them in order to negotiate a final settlement.

If Lieberman is as good as his word -- and if he is backed up by Benjamin Netanyahu, the new prime minister -- we may finally see an end to Israel's fruitless attempts to buy peace with ever-more-desperate concessions and retreats. Under Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert, Israel surrendered the entire Gaza Strip, released hundreds of terrorists from prison, expelled thousands of Jews from their homes, and even offered to divide Jerusalem with the Palestinian Authority. "But none of these far-reaching measures have brought peace," said Lieberman. "To the contrary." The steeper the price Israel has been willing to pay for peace, the more it has been repaid with violence: suicide bombings, rocket attacks, kidnapped and murdered soldiers, and wars with Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

It is time, Lieberman is saying, for Israel to stop genuflecting to a feckless and counterproductive "peace process" and to return instead to the pre-Oslo policy of deterrence...



Destroying The Integrity Of Nonprofits

The recently passed so-called stimulus law contains dire threats of which most Americans are unaware. The law, containing untold billions for nonprofits, vastly lubricates an already slippery slope that will destroy the independence and integrity of America's nonprofit sector. Under the legislation, our country's vast network of nonprofit organizations -- groups that serve our spiritual needs, help mitigate poverty, care for seniors and disabled veterans, and work to cure disease -- would become increasingly dependent on the government, and increasingly subject to the whims of the party in power. Unfortunately, this is neither the first nor the last step.

Two institutions historically have provided a check on abuses of power by politicians and government: nonprofits and the news media. Both have been imperfect but essential critics and watchdogs of political abuses for one reason: they have remained independent from the government.

Nonprofits such as churches, educational institutions, unions, and charities have been critical players in issues such as slavery, segregation, workplace issues, conservation, prison reform, protecting the Constitution, health and safety, life and death, and nearly every issue affecting our freedom from overzealous government.

One of the first steps of any dictatorial regime is to control the dissemination of information, especially about government. We certainly wouldn't trust the objectivity of news agencies if scores of them were to be financed even partly by the government. As a general rule, take government money, and you become an adjunct of government.

Nonprofits, which are important to the marketplace of ideas, are no different. Taxpayer funding of nonprofits not only increases their dependency on government, it buys the silence of nonprofits when they would otherwise criticize politicians, or creates a cheerleading squad for the agenda of those in power.

Easy money, i.e., taxpayer money, institutionally weakens nonprofits' desire and even ability to find other sources of funding. And like addicts, they become hooked to the point they are willing to sacrifice their principles and do whatever it takes to get the next fix.

The result has been that many so-called non-ideological charities have become sycophants to political power and the taxpayer money that flows from it. This should trouble anyone who understands and appreciates the importance of an independent nonprofit community.




Obama goes ahead with missile defence shield despite disarmament pledge: "The United States would continue to develop a missile defence shield until Iran abandoned its nuclear ambitions, President Barack Obama said in the Czech Republic. As long as the threat from Iran persists, we will go forward with a missile defence system that is cost-effective and proven," he told a crowd of about 20,000 gathered in Hradcany Square, next to Prague Castle. "Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile activity poses a real threat, not just to the United States, but to Iran's neighbours and our allies." He hailed the "courageous" Czech Republic and Poland for "agreeing to host a defence against these missiles".

Brother, can you spare a decade? : “Not surprisingly, everyone from Wall Street to the halls of Congress is worried that the current recession will turn into the dreaded D, and has seized on desperate rescue measures. But was the Great Depression all bad? Did anything good come out of the 1930s? I started doing some research and was amazed to find a bright side to the gloomy ’30s — a lower cost of living, great new inventions and other technological advances, new forms of entertainment, more sports and reading, and a return to sober social behavior.”

The flat tax is not flat and the FairTax is not fair: “Our current income tax system, inaugurated in 1913 with the adoption of the 16th Amendment, began with a 1 percent tax on taxable income above $3,000 ($4,000 for married couples). A series of surcharges of up to 6 percent were applied to higher incomes, with the maximum rate being 7 percent on taxable income over $500,000. Less than 0.5 percent of the population ended up paying income tax.”

Prominent British black sabotaged by arrogant black wife: "When Paul Boateng became Britain's first black High Commissioner it was hailed as a major breakthrough in the white, middle class, pubic school dominated diplomatic service. The Daily Telegraph has now learnt that the former head of the Equalities and Human rights Commission has been lined up to replace him in the prize posting of South Africa. The disclosure that Mr Boateng, 58, is returning to Britain comes only months after the Daily Telegraph reported that the Foreign Office was investigating allegations that his wife Janet, 52, had bullied the black domestic staff. Ministers were alerted about the inquiry because of the sensitivity of the complaint against Mrs Boateng, a former Lambeth social worker, in post-apartheid South Africa. The complaints of verbal bullying against cooks, cleaners, gardeners and security staff poisoned the idyllic atmosphere at the High Commissioner's sumptuous residence in Cape Town. Saying goodbye will be a serious wrench for Mr Boateng who became Britain's first black Cabinet minister when he was made Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 2002... When Mr Boateng was sent to Cape Town by Tony Blair after the 2005 general election senior foreign office officials were appalled as he had no experience of the diplomatic service or Africa."


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, April 06, 2009


I am going to try to explain where the word "Nazi" comes from. It is as plain as a pikestaff to a German-speaking person but I doubt if I have ever come across an English speaking person who "gets" it. Jonah Goldberg probably gets it but Yiddish is a German dialect so he has a head start.

OK: The first thing to note is that Hitler's political party was called (in English) the "National Socialist German Workers' Party". And the curious thing is that the word "National" is spelled exactly the same in German as in English. So in German the party was called the: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei. "National" is in fact a borrowing from English/French. It's spelled the same in French too. But it is PRONOUNCED differently in the three countries. Germans pronounce it (approximately) as "nartsionarl". But a German word pronounced that way would not be spelled that way. It would be spelled as "Nazional". German has strict spelling rules (unlike English) so that is obvious in German. So "Nazi" is simply the first two syllables of "National" -- where "national" is pronounced in the German way. Maybe that is as clear as mud but I hope it is not. If not, just take my word for it that "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National". Quite mundane, really. Much less exciting than you might expect.

But Nazis were not simply the "Nationalists". There was another German political party at the time called Nationalists. "Nazis" were "national socialists" because "National Socialists" is one word in German: Nationalsozialisten. So "Nazi" could be an abbreviation of both "Nationalists" and "National Socialists". It was of course normally applied to the latter. Hugenberg's Nationalists were a much more minor party.

Jamming two or more words together to make one longer word is very German. In English we do the same but use Latin and Greek words as the starting point. Perhaps the most curious example of that is the word "television" -- where the Greek word "tele" (meaning "afar") is combined with the Latin word "videre" (to see). In German, a TV set is a Fernsehgeraet, or "far-seeing-gadget". I think the German word is more straightforward.

Mixing Greek and Latin is considered rather crass in the making of English words so "television" should probably have been "teleskopia" if we had stuck to Greek. A bit too close to "telescope", maybe.

Tags: Nazi word meaning derivation origin


I reproduce below part of a report from 2007 about antisemitism in Germany today. The report repeatedly calls the antisemitic NPD party "far-Right" but at the same time keeps noting how Leftist it is. There are none so blind as those who will not see. Hitler was a Leftist who was also a nationalist and so are the NPD

Success of the Neo-Nazi NPD in East German Elections

In the last two parliamentary elections for East German federal states, the Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands (NPD) achieved significant success. In 2004 in Saxony it won 9.2 percent of the votes; in 2006 in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, 7.3 percent. In some small municipalities it even became the strongest party. The NPD particularly attracts young people with a low level of education: in Saxony, 21 percent of voters aged eighteen to twenty-four voted NPD, and for those under thirty-five with only basic secondary education the figure was 26 percent.

This success for the NPD-for decades an unimportant party winning less than 1 percent of votes-also reflects the modernization and radicalization of its politics and propaganda. First, the NPD focuses its work on East Germany. Second, it has opened up toward explicitly neo-Nazi individuals and groups (such as the grassroots, unofficial Kameradschaften). Thus, the "left-wing"-voelkische, national-revolutionary tendency within the NPD has clearly gained in importance.

Third, the NPD cultivates the image of a "people-oriented" middle-class party. By cooperating with schools and citizens' groups, organizing children's events and leisure activities, and offering free private tuition for students, the NPD deepens its local roots. Fourth, it has successfully made contacts with the right-wing youth subculture. It distributes free right-wing rock CDs at schools, projects an activist-rebellious image for the NPD youth organization Junge Nationaldemokraten, and offers concerts by skinhead bands after NPD events.

Fifth, in the context of its increasingly national-revolutionary orientation the NPD also adopts current topics and increasingly uses anticapitalist and anti-imperialist terminology. In East Germany, in 2005, it joined massive protests against cuts in unemployment support, while adopting aggressive populist propaganda against "those at the top" who did nothing for the "ordinary German." The NPD also mobilized against the Iraq war of "U.S. imperialism," its fierce anti-Americanism finding much sympathy. The NPD agitates massively against "capitalist globalization." Employing slogans such as "Work for millions instead of profit for millionaires" or "Social instead of global," it calls instead for a national "people's economy" and for "Volksgemeinschaft" (people's community)."

Sixth, the NPD incites hatred against immigrants, declaring them to be the cause of unemployment, criminality, cuts in social security benefits, and the loss of "German identity." Under the slogan "Germany for Germans," the party demands an "ethnic reconquista." It describes the German government as "far-Left" and "bribed."

The NPD also seeks to rehabilitate National Socialism. Party chairman Udo Voigt considers Hitler "undoubtedly...a great German statesman." The NPD member of Saxony's federal-state parliament, Juergen Gansel, cites a "just economic order," "national sovereignty," and "internal pacification" as great achievements of National Socialism. At the same time the NPD vehemently denies, minimizes, and relativizes German crimes, and it agitated against the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin with slogans such as "Kindergartens and old-age homes instead of a Holocaust Memorial" and "Stop the memorial! Seventy-six million for the people!"

For the NPD, the Allies were the true warmongers and the Germans the real victims of World War II. In January 2005, on the anniversary of the Allied air raid on Dresden, the NPD members of the Saxony parliament spoke of the "bomb-Holocaust of Dresden" stemming from British "eliminatory anti-Germanism," of "industrial mass murder of the civilian population that was planned in cold blood." They said a memorial for German victims should be built instead of the Berlin Holocaust Memorial.

Anti-Semitism in NPD Propaganda

Although open anti-Semitism is prohibited in Germany, the NPD uses it in only slightly moderated form throughout its propaganda. Mostly the NPD presents Jews as the main obstacle to putting German crimes aside and building a proud "national identity." A member of the NPD executive stated:

We are not to be pseudo-morally blackmailed, politically treated like children, and financially squeezed dry by the Holocaust industry...sixty years after the end of the war.... No German needs to put up with the Jews constantly presenting themselves as victims and the cult of guilt that the Jewish side has exercised for sixty years. Similarly, the psychological warfare by Jewish power groups against the German people must be stopped immediately.

Again it is the Jews who blackmail and exploit the Germans, and again the "German people" must protect themselves. The NPD finds Jews to be the originators of dangerous "work undermining the foundations of German communal life." The "critical theory" of Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer, and others -"all of them the sons of rich Jewish fathers"- is said to be a "destructive program of undermining people, state, culture, and family," a "poisonous muck that was supposed to damage the internal organs and the brain of the body of the German people."

Anti-Semitism is also prominent in NPD propaganda against globalization and "U.S. imperialism." Even when not explicitly mentioning Jews, the NPD says the world is dominated by a conspiracy of "controllers of capital," "globalists," and "plutocrats." Characterizing the United States as a "decadent society of the West," "civilization of grocers," or "embodiment of the antination" also has clear anti-Semitic overtones. The NPD often conflates anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism: "Just like a squid, dollar-imperialism has the world in its stranglehold,...the global power of Jewish capital strategists...seems to have reached its world-historic climax." "Jewish-America" is said to be working to destroy all "peoples" throughout the world: "In Washington and New York-it may remain an open question if the tail called Israel wags the dog called the USA or not-there are the deadly enemies of all peoples."

Of course, the NPD is also hostile to the Jewish state. "Jews and Americans who are driven to the same extent by Old Testament hatred of other peoples and the belief in chosenness," "Jewish-America," and "USrael" are said to be foisting their "neoprimitive dollar civilization" on the world, with "the Jews" intending to "build up ‘Eretz Israel' through a campaign of extinction against the Arabs."

Notwithstanding the NPD's usual hostility to foreigners and Islam, all Arab and Muslim enemies of Israel are guaranteed its solidarity. The party particularly approves Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because of his threats to annihilate Israel and his recent Holocaust-denial conference. As for Iran's earlier Holocaust-cartoon contest, the NPD submitted a caricature showing the Berlin Holocaust Memorial as an Israeli missile launching site.

The NPD says German politicians are entirely "true to and in serfdom to USrael." Only the NPD, it claims, has the courage to stand up to the "impudent financial demands of the Zionist lobby,...the more and more unscrupulous lust for predominance over the world expressed by the American East Coast, [and] Israel's state terrorism."

The NPD's agitation against the "Israeli entity" features much anti-imperialist terminology and iconography that is typical of the Left. Neo-Nazis of the Kameradschaften and the Junge Nationaldemokraten demonstrate against Israel wearing keffiyehs, and the NPD youth organization flaunts posters of stone-throwing Palestinians. The NPD protested the summer 2006 war in Lebanon with slogans such as "No to war and repression," "For the freedom of peoples," and "Hurrah for international solidarity."

For the NPD, the Jews are the driving force behind every evil: globalization, immigration, "Wallstreet," "East Coast," "U.S. imperialism," the pluralization of values, the democratizing and dissolving of "people," the state, culture, and family. This classical anti-Semitism is supplemented by the specifically German accusation that the Jews seek to impose a guilt complex on the innocent Germans and destroy their national identity. This is the old, anti-Semitic principle: the Jews, now in combination with the United States, function as the global evil, the counterimage that is necessary for forming an integrated Volksgemeinschaft.



Obama Census Plan: No Illegal Alien Left Behind

I have seen the electoral future, and it is rigged. With fraud-prone, ideologically driven interest groups swarming the census-gathering process, the left is solidifying its chances of a permanent ruling majority. Lax immigration enforcement is the not-so-secret key to the Democrats' power grab. And the Obama administration is all too happy to aid and abet.

The volunteer groups Locke is entrusting to protect accuracy and fairness include the voter registration con artists of tax-subsidized ACORN, the amnesty activists of Voto Latino and the labor bosses of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The fate of $300 billion in federal funding -- and, most importantly, the apportionment of congressional seats -- rest in their hands.

As for "privacy rights," it's not your privacy rights they care about. It's the privacy rights of millions of illegal aliens, whose advocates have enshrined for them a sacred right never to be questioned about their immigration status. Obama's census partners are using the process to pressure homeland security agents to halt interior enforcement efforts and workplace raids so that illegal alien cooperation with the national survey is maximized. Inclusion of the massive illegal alien population has resulted in a radical redrawing of the electoral map.

The census is used to divvy up seats in the House as a proportion of their population based on the headcount. More people equals more seats. More illegal immigrants counted equals more power... Translation in plain English: Open borders have profound consequences. And they don't end with congressional apportionment. The redistribution of power extends to presidential elections because the Electoral College is pegged to the size of congressional delegations.




See here for an explanation of the present economic woes in terms of "Austrian" economics

Peta under fire over claim that it kills most animals left at its US headquarters: "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - is itself on the receiving end of angry words over its own treatment of animals after it emerged that the organisation put down 96 per cent of the animals handed into its American headquarters. Of 2,216 animals taken to its premises in Norfolk, Virginia, last year, 2,124 were put to sleep - almost six per day. Homes were found for just seven. The high-profile charity, famous for its "I'd rather go naked than wear fur" campaigns, has euthanised more than 20,000 pets in the last decade, according to figures it has supplied to Virginia state officials.

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, April 05, 2009

Obama=Hitler (?)

The lack of results so far from the various "stimulus" plans seems to have got the American Left worried already. How else can one explain the appearance in the NYT of an article which declares that Obama's actions are similar to Hitler's and that Hitler was successful in his economic policies? I would never have predicted an article like that in the NYT in a million years!

Taranto writes at some length about the broader aspects of the comparison so I will confine myself to the economic argument in the article. Although I am a former High School Economics teacher, I am not fully engaged with economic statistics these days so I will speak in general terms and hope that a more detailed critique will emerge from elsewhere.

The Hitler comparison is in fact only one of the dubious comparisons used in the article. The writer declares successes where few others would. That the Hoover/FDR policies did not cure unemployment is, I think, undeniable but to our NYT writer they were a success -- as were the policies behind the Japanese doldrums of the 1990s. So one must suspect from the outset some flimsiness in the Hitler comparison too.

Much has been written about the German economic recovery of the 1930s but the first point that needs to be made is surely that Germany's position at that time was very different from that of the USA today. The twin impacts of a currency totally destroyed by inflation under the Weimar regime and a continuing demand for "reparations" were huge negative factors for the German economy at that time. And the large reductions in those problems were more the work of the brilliant Hjalmar Schacht at the Reichsbank than anyone else. Just relieving Germany of those problems was a very good "stimulus" to an economic recovery.

And it was also the manoeuvring of Schacht that enabled Hitler to finance his public works programmes. The programmes concerned did of course run up huge debts and it was only Schacht that kept Germany out of some form of bankruptcy. But Schacht could only do so much and by 1939 Germany was effectively "broke" and it is often contended that Hitler's march to war in that year was as much an economic necessity as an ideological imperative. Germany's generals certainly did not think that they were ready for war at that time. They felt that their buildup would not be complete until a couple of years further down the track. And the outbreak of war in 1939 in fact saw Germany facing French forces that were in most ways numerically superior to it.

So Hitler went to war to loot the gold in the Bank of France and elsewhere as much as for any other reason. Thanks to the brilliance of General von Manstein he initially succeeded in his objectives. One shudders to think what might have happened if he had put Manstein in charge of the Russian campaign.

Obama does not have to go to war to deal with the debt problem he is creating. Because America is the provider of the world's reserve currency, he can simply print all the greenbacks he likes to pay his government's bills. And he has already started doing that on a large scale. That is of course called "inflation" and there are plenty of commentaries from all sorts of sources on the evils of that. That it rewards debtors and penalizers savers has always been obvious but in the present case it has also started the process of snatching away from the world its reserve currency. And the consequences of discouraging saving (and hence capital formation) worldwide must indeed be grim.

The gold bugs are of course as happy as pigs in mud at the moment and gold exporting countries, such as Australia, are doing a roaring trade. But the net effect of that is to increase the Reserve Bank of Australia's holding of American paper -- and it is precisely that which now seems unwise. So from that alone one can see that the gold standard has its own problems -- which is why it was abandoned many years ago.



By Sheldon Richman

We expected little of sense to come out of the G-20 summit, and it met our expectations with flying colors.

When you don’t understand how the economy got into a mess, you are not likely to understand how it can get out. Politicians either can’t or won’t graps the key fact: “the free market” did not cause our problems. How do we know this? It’s logic: the nonexistent cannot be the cause of anything. I’d like someone to show me this free market that brought on all the current turmoil. Please. The banking industry gets most of the blame, but banking has been part of a formal government-sponsored cartel since 1914 and is regulated, as well as privileged, by multiple layers of authorities, among them the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Comptroller of the Currency. An international agreement among the major central bankers, the Basel Accord, controls capital requirements and related matters. (Before 1914 a patchwork of regulations existed.) And let’s not forget the regulators in the states. With perhaps a local or exception or two, there has never been an unregulated banking industry in America (or most anywhere else).

This only scratches the surface of the corporate state’s stewardship of the economy. But politicians, who wield power and spend coercively acquired money for a living, have no incentive to see this. How could they? That’s not how the game of politics is played. They have no reason to see things in a way that would counsel against their exercising authority.

So, with complete predictability, the Gang of 20 promised to spend over a trillion dollars they don’t have to “stimulate” the world economy, to help struggling countries through the IMF (its record is so good at that), and other noble purposes. The G-20 also endorsed worldwide inflation by central banks and promised—I love this one—to “take action against” tax havens.

“The era of banking secrecy is over,” said the communiqué, as though that were a good thing. “We stand ready to deploy sanctions to protect our public finances and financial systems.”

The Obama administration led us to believe it was standing firm against a world regulatory authority, which was pushed by French President Sarkozy. But you be the judge. Here’s what the communiqué says:

“We each agree to ensure our domestic regulatory systems are strong. But we also agree to establish the much greater consistency and systematic cooperation between countries, and the framework of internationally agreed high standards, that a global financial system requires…. In particular we agree: … to establish a new Financial Stability Board (FSB) with a strengthened mandate, as a successor to the Financial Stability Forum (FSF), including all G20 countries, FSF members, Spain, and the European Commission…; to reshape our regulatory systems so that our authorities are able to identify and take account of macro-prudential risks; to extend regulation and oversight to all systemically important financial institutions, instruments and markets. This will include, for the first time, systemically important hedge funds; to endorse and implement the FSF’s tough new principles on pay and compensation and to support sustainable compensation schemes and the corporate social responsibility of all firms….”

And more—as if the regulators could have the requisite knowledge to manage economic affairs. This is a regulatory cartel, and to the extent it squelches competition among jurisdictions, it will produce all the evils of a coercive monopoly. That of course is the point. There is to be no safe haven where people can protect their wealth from the grasping politicians.

Economies Aren’t Run

The presumptuous and undistinguished assembly in London—why are they regarded by the media as wise men and women of accomplishment?—aspire to run the world economy, and they know that out-and-out nationalization is not necessary to that end. Of course, they disclaim any such objective. The current White House occupant, Barack Obama, said in his post-conference news conference that he believes in the free market—he did say that!—but that government must set rules to keep it from running “off the rails.”

Well, of course, an economy is not a locomotive and there are no rails. It’s people engaging in exchanges. “Society is purely and solely a continual series of exchanges,” said the eighteenth-century French liberal economist Destutt de Tracy. So Obama’s idea translates into politicians regulating our peaceful, consensual conduct in order to bring about or to avoid certain outcomes. The current economic turmoil has politicians convinced that they must limit risk taken by financial firms. This, pardon me, is a bad joke. It is none other than government itself that has systematically socialized risk in the financial industry and therefore encouraged individuals and firms to undertake greater risks than they would have taken otherwise. The irony is that the more the politicians strive for a risk-free society, the greater the danger to us all. That’s moral hazard, the largest manufacturer of which is the state.

If banks, hedge funds, and other sorts of operations (including government-sponsored enterprises) assume the Federal Reserve or the Treasury will bail them out in a crisis, they will be less risk-averse than they would have been without that guarantee. If depositors see an FDIC sticker on every bank they encounter, they won’t be too particular about which one they entrust with their money. Safety will not be a competitive factor because deposit insurance makes them all appear equal. The bankers know this.

Full Market Discipline

If politicians were really interested in reducing reckless financial activity with the potential for external harm, they would want to see the full force of market discipline at work. The full force. But remember the point about political incentives. Letting market forces discipline banks, insurance companies, automakers, and other firms would leave politicians and bureaucrats little to do. Market discipline—the threat of loss and bankruptcy—is the product of laissez faire, and, loosely translated, that means: “Politicians, keep your cotton-picking hands off peaceful voluntary exchange.”

We face a serious challenge. On the one hand, people who understand markets realize that government regulation—which includes the corporate safety net—was the essential cause of the economic failure. Any seeming irrationality by bankers and financial managers must be grasped in the context of well-understood government guarantees, including the implied promise by the Federal Reserve—the Great Counterfeiter—to buy toxic assets and provide fiat liquidity in a crunch. This was the indispensable underpinning of the government housing policy that encouraged the making and securitizing of dubious mortgage loans (prime and subprime) and the underwriting of those who invested in them.

On the other hand, people who don’t understand markets or who dislike markets can always blame them for any problem that arises. After all, government regulators, no how much power they have, can’t be everywhere watching everything, can they? So as I’ve written elsewhere, “No matter how much the government controls the economic system, any problem will be blamed on whatever small zone of freedom that remains.” (I modestly acknowledge that Laurence Vance has dubbed this, Richman’s Law. I have no objection.) And the “solution” will be—of course—more regulation. Just ask Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Don’t think of regulation as being imposed. Think of it as the modest price for government privileges and protection.

So the market’s opponents can rely on demagogic sound bites and pervasive economic ignorance, while the market’s defenders must ask people to think. Sad to say, this puts the freedom philosophy at a disadvantage. And so we press on.




I have recently put a couple of things up on my personal blog -- for anybody outside family who takes an interest in my boring personal life. I like my life to be boring, mind you.

Unemployment rate hits 8.5%: "The nation's unemployment rate shot up to 8.5% in March as employers shed 663,000 jobs and cut workers' hours to a record low, the Labor Department said Friday in a report showing continued rapid deterioration in the job market. A record 13.2 million Americans were out of work last month. Firms have cut 5.1 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007, with nearly two-thirds of the cuts happening in the last five months. The unemployment rate was up from a seasonally adjusted 8.1% in February, and at 8.5% it is the highest since November 1983. A year ago the rate was 5.1%. For the first time since 1985, less than 60% of the U.S. population was working."

The O-man gets some things right: "US President Barack Obama has urged the NATO allies to boost their own military strengths, and has warned that Europe is more likely to fall victim to a terror attack than the US. In Europe on his first major overseas trip since becoming president in January, and seeking to drum up support for his new Afghan strategy, Mr Obama praised Washington's partners but said they should raise their game. "NATO is the most successful alliance in modern history. The basic premise of NATO was that Europe's security was the United States' security, and vice-versa," Mr Obama said in France ahead of NATO's 60th anniversary summit. "That is its central tenet, that is a pillar of American foreign policy that has been unchanging over the last 60 years. It is something that I am here to affirm," he added, standing alongside France's President Nicolas Sarkozy. "We would like to see Europe have much more robust defence capabilities. That is not something we discourage, we are not looking to be the patron of Europe, we are looking to be partners with Europe," he said. "The more capable they are defensively, the more we can act in concert on the shared challenges that we face."


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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)