Saturday, April 25, 2009

ANZAC day today

Australia's most solemn day of commemoration
Another small meditation on antisemitism

I can't help myself, can I? I can't leave Die Judenfrage alone. I can never quite free myself from the dangerous delusion that my goodwill towards Israel in particular and Jews generally should permit me to speak freely about why I think Jews have the horrendous problems that they do have.

There has been much said about Ashkenazi IQ and I think that there is no doubt about a substantial Ashkenazi advantage in that regard. Much less noted is something that I think is equally important: High Ashkenazi drive. By that I mean motivation to "succeed" in various ways. And the combination of high drive and high IQ does put Ashkenazim into society's prestigious positions with great frequency -- a frequency which enraged Hitler and has enraged many others before and since.

It would be easy to say that the drive to succeed and grow rich is a natural response to persecution: Because of their horrendous past, Jews feel a need to "make up" for that past somehow or protect themselves in the event of a new Pogrom. And I think there must be an element of that. But I think, for what it is worth, that there is a genetic component too. There is plenty of evidence that personality is strongly inherited genetically so that is a fairly safe conclusion. The environmental influences that selected for high IQ could well have selected for high drive too. Jews should be brimming over with energy, and I think many are, from what I see.

What I now want to ask is whether that drive is safe. How do other people respond to finding that large numbers of people in positions of influence in their society are Jewish? I think that to ask the question is to indicate the answer: Lots of people resent having "aliens" telling them what to do and think. And while a significant subset of Jews retain a distinctive identity with distinctive practices Jews WILL be seen as aliens. So should Jews ignore that resentment? Maybe. German Jews once did. But I think it is very unsafe to ignore it. Germany was once the most cultured, enlightened and civilized society on earth with a large Jewish elite and look where it ended up.

Advice is the world's most oversupplied and useless commodity but I will venture some anyhow. I think Jews should ease up -- relax more. Among the Goyim there are many high IQ people who work happily away as butchers, mechanics etc. Their friends and family are their rewards in life. Could it be the same for Jews too? Fame and fortune may not really be as good as they are cracked up to be. They might just make you a more prominent and more resented target one day. There is no doubt that antisemitism is once again on the rise worldwide -- even in Japan, amazingly enough.

And achieving that fame and fortune may entail sacrifices that are not worth it. Take, for example, England's Susan Greenfield (ancestrally Gruenfeld, presumably). She is an academic neurologist so is clearly a smart lady. And she has certainly fulfilled what many would see as a dream. Britain's Labour Party government has made her a Baroness! She is a member of that august body, the House of Lords.

But how did she manage that? By becoming a sort of intellectual prostitute. She has used her academic position to propagandize in favour of many things that Britain's Leftist elite believe in -- such as the belief that the workers spend too much time in front of TV and entertaining themselves with computers. You can see an example of that here where I look at her latest attempt to justify medically that belief in the evils of computers. What she writes is sheer drivel -- pure speculation without an ounce of proof behind it. It is a very low place for a scientist to end up in. I personally think that scientific integrity would have become her better, even if fewer baubles came with it. One hopes that she eventually will come to that conclusion too.

Just for purposes of illustration, let me describe a high IQ, high drive Goy whom I know. I will call him "S". S is in his early 40s, has a beautiful wife and two attractive children. He has recently had a large and airy house built for himself and his family that is specifically designed for entertaining. He is as happy a man as any I know. I am sure he is not perfectly happy. Who is? But I am sure he is at least as happy as (say) Susan Greenfield. From the available online biographies of her I gather that she is divorced and childless. S has been in the military for all his working life and has risen through the ranks but not to a position of any great distinction. He recently served in the Gulf so is no chocolate soldier. As befits a military man his hobby is fighting -- martial arts -- and he is as a result very fit and healthy -- and his hobby is also a good outlet for any surplus energies. So he has lived a good life, greatly appreciated by his friends and relatives but entirely out of the public eye. So he is happy with no need for fame and fortune at all.

I am sure that the life S has chosen would not be attractive to many Jews -- though Greg Sher is remembered with great honour -- but I think it shows clearly that fame and fortune is not the only way to a good life.



Some economic sanity for a change: "Three cheers for President Obama's decision, announced quietly on Monday, to repudiate a campaign promise and not press for new labor and environmental regulations in the North American Free Trade Agreement. The last thing the Western Hemisphere needs are more trade barriers that would snarl supply chains and damage commerce. Perhaps we should call this Austan Goolsbee's revenge. Recall that last year the Obama economic adviser had told a Canadian diplomat to ignore Mr. Obama's Nafta campaign rhetoric; the candidate was merely pandering to Big Labor. When that disclosure became news, Mr. Goolsbee was banished to the campaign's isolation ward for imperfect spinners. Now we know Mr. Goolsbee -- not the candidate -- was the one telling the truth. Mr. Obama got an earful on trade from his counterparts at the Summit of the Americas over the weekend and that might have something to do with his Nafta walkback"

LOST at sea: “The return of piracy to the high seas demonstrates the limits of international law. The ‘international community’ might agree that it is wrong to seize ships for ransom, but a few thugs with guns in Somalia beg to differ. Paper guarantees cannot stop seajackings. Yet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wants Congress to ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty, the ultimate in paper guarantees."

Abolish the “death tax”: “If there were a prize for the most destructive tax, the death tax surely would be a prohibitive favorite. Known to policy wonks as the estate tax, this levy is a punitive form of double taxation that penalizes people for trying to create a nest egg for their children. The damage to families, though, is just the tip of the iceberg. The real problem, at least to economists, is that the death tax discourages economic growth by reducing saving and investment.”

The drug war: A bonanza for the enemies of freedom: “If it had been dreamed up by Satan himself in the bowels of Hell, the War on Drugs couldn’t be more diabolically calculated to destroy our liberties and promote the cause of evil in the world. In the Netherlands, where marijuana is (de facto) legal, and most hard drugs are virtually decriminalized and available to addicts by prescription, the rates of drug use are actually lower than in the United States. That means we’ve militarized and corrupted our police forces, turned the Bill of Rights into toilet paper, and handed the country over to gangs (including gangs in police uniforms) — all for absolutely nothing.”

Is “sexting” same as porn?: “I am sure that Vermonters don’t like the idea of teens sending sexy pictures from one phone to another. Nor do Ohio and Utah parents want their kids using cellphone minutes to bare their bodies with their buddies. Nevertheless, their state legislatures are among the first trying to sensibly ratchet down the penalties for ’sexting.’ They are backing away from laws that currently treat a teenager with a cellphone the same way they treat a child pornographer. They know there’s a difference between truly dreadful judgment and a felony. Over the last months, sexting — that spicy combo of sex and texting — has created something between a moral panic and a reprise of ‘Trouble in River City.’”

New Obama adviser is anti-Israel: "While President Bush was "blindly" and "mindlessly" supportive of Israel, President Obama may be less willing to give the Jewish state "blank checks," says Rosa Brooks, the Obama administration's new adviser to one of the most influential Pentagon officials. Brooks will advise Michelle Fluornoy, the undersecretary of defense for policy, a position that wields enormous power over drafting U.S. military doctrine in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. Until accepting her position earlier this month, Brooks, who did work on behalf of George Soros' philanthropic foundation, also served as a columnist for the Los Angeles Times. A WND review of her opinion pieces in the newspaper finds trends that defenders of the Jewish state may view as anti-Israel, including distorting history to seemingly whitewash Palestinian terrorism."

N.Korea has world's largest artillery force: " The top US commander in South Korea said on Wednesday that North Korea has the world's largest artillery force and could rain fire on Seoul should the communist state decide to provoke all-out conflict. General Walter Sharp's comments came amid rising tensions on the peninsula. Last Saturday the North's military reminded South Korea that its densely populated capital is "only 50 km away" from the border. Sharp, commander of some 28,500 US troops in South Korea, said the North has "an old but very large military that is positioned in a very dangerous place, very close" to South Korea. "They have a very large special operating force. It has the world's largest artillery force that is positioned as far south as possible and that can rain on Seoul today," he told local business leaders. The North maintains 80,000 special forces and is believed to have some 13,000 artillery pieces deployed along the border, Sharp said. Cross-border relations are at their worst in a decade after South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak abandoned his predecessors' policy of providing almost unconditional aid to the North. Sharp said US and South Korean troops are prepared to "fight and win" at any moment, stressing they "have operational plans prepared in order to be able to meet any contingencies".


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 24, 2009

Self confidence as a boost to educational achievement among bottom-performing blacks

The abstract below appears to be the study some Leftists refer to in their zeal to show that African IQ levels have more potential than is normally apparent. The article is not unreasonable. That blacks at the very bottom rung of educational achievement are there because of low IQ PLUS low motivation is a perfectly straightforward idea that raises no new issues. But is it true? The effects reported below cover only a 2 year time-span -- which is ludicrous for evaluating the effectiveness of the procedure. "Fadeout" of such improvements as the child moves into adulthood is the norm. There is no reason to believe that the procedures reported below will be any different
Recursive Processes in Self-Affirmation: Intervening to Close the Minority Achievement Gap

By Geoffrey L. Cohen et al.

A 2-year follow-up of a randomized field experiment previously reported in Science is presented. A subtle intervention to lessen minority students' psychological threat related to being negatively stereotyped in school was tested in an experiment conducted three times with three independent cohorts (N = 133, 149, and 134). The intervention, a series of brief but structured writing assignments focusing students on a self-affirming value, reduced the racial achievement gap. Over 2 years, the grade point average (GPA) of African Americans was, on average, raised by 0.24 grade points. Low-achieving African Americans were particularly benefited. Their GPA improved, on average, 0.41 points, and their rate of remediation or grade repetition was less (5% versus 18%). Additionally, treated students' self-perceptions showed long-term benefits. Findings suggest that because initial psychological states and performance determine later outcomes by providing a baseline and initial trajectory for a recursive process, apparently small but early alterations in trajectory can have long-term effects. Implications for psychological theory and educational practice are discussed.

Science 17 April 2009: Vol. 324. no. 5925, pp. 400 - 403


Presidential Poison

His invitation to indict Bush officials will haunt Obama's Presidency -- and make bureaucrats who might otherwise help Obama sit on their hands -- fearful of how a future GOP administration might use this precedent. Once again the man shows that he is a fool

Mark down the date. Tuesday, April 21, 2009, is the moment that any chance of a new era of bipartisan respect in Washington ended. By inviting the prosecution of Bush officials for their antiterror legal advice, President Obama has injected a poison into our politics that he and the country will live to regret.

Policy disputes, often bitter, are the stuff of democratic politics. Elections settle those battles, at least for a time, and Mr. Obama's victory in November has given him the right to change policies on interrogations, Guantanamo, or anything on which he can muster enough support. But at least until now, the U.S. political system has avoided the spectacle of a new Administration prosecuting its predecessor for policy disagreements. This is what happens in Argentina, Malaysia or Peru, countries where the law is treated merely as an extension of political power.

If this analogy seems excessive, consider how Mr. Obama has framed the issue. He has absolved CIA operatives of any legal jeopardy, no doubt because his intelligence advisers told him how damaging that would be to CIA morale when Mr. Obama needs the agency to protect the country. But he has pointedly invited investigations against Republican legal advisers who offered their best advice at the request of CIA officials.

"Your intelligence indicates that there is currently a level of 'chatter' equal to that which preceded the September 11 attacks," wrote Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, in his August 1, 2002 memo. "In light of the information you believe [detainee Abu] Zubaydah has and the high level of threat you believe now exists, you wish to move the interrogations into what you have described as an 'increased pressure phase.'"

So the CIA requests a legal review at a moment of heightened danger, the Justice Department obliges with an exceedingly detailed analysis of the law and interrogation practices -- and, seven years later, Mr. Obama says only the legal advisers who are no longer in government should be investigated. The political convenience of this distinction for Mr. Obama betrays its basic injustice. And by the way, everyone agrees that senior officials, including President Bush, approved these interrogations. Is this President going to put his predecessor in the dock too?

Mr. Obama seemed to understand the peril of such an exercise when he said, before his inauguration, that he wanted to "look forward" and beyond the antiterror debates of the Bush years. As recently as Sunday, Rahm Emanuel said no prosecutions were contemplated and now is not a time for "anger and retribution." Two days later the President disavowed his own chief of staff. Yet nothing had changed except that Mr. Obama's decision last week to release the interrogation memos unleashed a revenge lust on the political left that he refuses to resist.

Just as with the AIG bonuses, he is trying to co-opt his left-wing base by playing to it -- only to encourage it more. Within hours of Mr. Obama's Tuesday comments, Senator Carl Levin piled on with his own accusatory Intelligence Committee report. The demands for a "special counsel" at Justice and a Congressional show trial are louder than ever, and both Europe's left and the U.N. are signaling their desire to file their own charges against former U.S. officials.

Those officials won't be the only ones who suffer if all of this goes forward. Congress will face questions about what the Members knew and when, especially Nancy Pelosi when she was on the House Intelligence Committee in 2002. The Speaker now says she remembers hearing about waterboarding, though not that it would actually be used. Does anyone believe that? Porter Goss, her GOP counterpart at the time, says he knew exactly what he was hearing and that, if anything, Ms. Pelosi worried the CIA wasn't doing enough to stop another attack. By all means, put her under oath.

Mr. Obama may think he can soar above all of this, but he'll soon learn otherwise. The Beltway's political energy will focus more on the spectacle of revenge, and less on his agenda. The CIA will have its reputation smeared, and its agents second-guessing themselves. And if there is another terror attack against Americans, Mr. Obama will have set himself up for the argument that his campaign against the Bush policies is partly to blame.

Above all, the exercise will only embitter Republicans, including the moderates and national-security hawks Mr. Obama may need in the next four years. As patriotic officials who acted in good faith are indicted, smeared, impeached from judgeships or stripped of their academic tenure, the partisan anger and backlash will grow. And speaking of which, when will the GOP Members of Congress begin to denounce this partisan scapegoating? Senior Republicans like Mitch McConnell, Richard Lugar, John McCain, Orrin Hatch, Pat Roberts and Arlen Specter have hardly been profiles in courage.

Mr. Obama is more popular than his policies, due in part to his personal charm and his seeming goodwill. By indulging his party's desire to criminalize policy advice, he has unleashed furies that will haunt his Presidency.



A budget worthy of Mr Bean

Britain is making large financial mistakes too -- driving out its most productive industries via the usual destructiveness of kneejerk Leftist ideas. High British taxes have already driven a lot of large firms out of Britain so what has the Labour government just done? Put up taxes even more! "Give more British jobs to foreigners" seems to be the motto

Alistair Darling has saved the economy. Unfortunately the economy he has saved is the wrong one. In true Mr Bean fashion, yesterday’s Budget saved the economies of Switzerland, Luxembourg, Jersey, Hong Kong and other low-tax jurisdictions (polite society no longer describes them as tax havens), which only three weeks ago his boss Gordon Brown had boasted of closing down. As for the British economy, one can only sigh in disbelief. To cram so much bad news and so many policy blunders into an hour-long speech was quite an achievement.

To understand all these statements, let us start by focusing on just one figure, the only figure that really meant anything in the Budget speech and the only one that Mr Cameron studiously failed to mention amid all his ritual fulmination against zillions of pounds in borrowing and scandalously inaccurate Treasury forecasts. This figure was 50 per cent, the new tax rate on the rich....

First, the announcement of any significant tax increase, at a time when the Chancellor was trying to restore business confidence and boost housing and consumption, went completely against the logic of efforts of the Government’s faith in fiscal stimulus. Mr Darling’s biggest mistake in the PreBudget Report (PBR) was to negate the benefits of his VAT cut by preannouncing a big increase in income tax and national insurance, but instead of learning from this mistake he decided to repeat it....

In different circumstances, when global finance was booming, when Britain boasted of its light-touch business-friendly regulation, when law firms and multinational companies were willing to pay telephone-number salaries to retain London staff, a Labour government might have been able to impose a 63 per cent tax on senior employees (which is what the marginal tax rate will amount to once income tax and national insurance are combined) without displacing significant amounts of business....

But this is no longer the case. Global finance and multinational businesses are in a period of ruthless restructuring and cost reduction. The same is true of all the ancillary activities such as law, accountancy, architecture, advertising, management consultancy, design and so on, which ultimately depend on their proximity to the decision makers in globalised business and finance.

In the past few years, the difference between the 50 per cent of income left after tax and national insurance in Britain and the 70 per cent left to most residents in Switzerland might not have been enough to motivate many corporate relocations. But in today’s more cost-conscious environment, banks and multinational companies will be sorely tempted by the near-doubling of net pay that they can achieve for their employees simply by moving out of Britain before Mr Darling’s new taxes and national insurance charges are imposed.

The result is likely to be a substantial shift of global businesses from Britain, at precisely the time when London needs to restore its credentials as the leading global centre for finance and business services.... Moreover, it appears on the basis of postwar experience that most of the industries in which Britain has comparative advantage – not just banking and business services, but also pharmaceuticals, energy, electronic technology, entertainment and design – are dependent on workers who are both highly paid and internationally mobile.

It is likely, therefore, that banks and hedge funds will not be the only businesses encouraged to move out of Britain – pharmaceutical and oil companies, architects and designers may be just as motivated by the prospect of paying much lower tax in other business centres, whether in Europe, America or the Far East.




Ann Coulter's mother has just passed away and Ann has written a beautiful eulogy to her here.

Obama intelligence official says interrogation provided 'high value information': "President Barack Obama's top intelligence official sent a memo to his staff saying "high value information" was obtained during interrogations using controversial techniques. The document from Admiral Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence, was issued last week on the same day as the White House released secret Bush administration legal memos authorising the use of methods that Mr Obama has described as torture. But a condensed version provided to the press omitted the detail about the value of the information – a move that has incensed Mr Obama's critics and opened him up to accusations of manipulation for political purposes. Adml Blair's original note to his staff last Thursday said "high value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al-Qaeda organisation that was attacking this country". The memo is an embarrassment for Mr Obama because the conclusion reached by Adml Blair, who oversees the CIA and 15 other US intelligence agencies or departments, undermines a central plank of the White House argument – that the harsh techniques did not work."

We've got it all wrong on fishing strategy, says EU: "Europe’s fishing industry is on the brink of suicide and several species are in danger of extinction after 25 years of policy failure,the European Commission said yesterday. Officials admitted five key failings in the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy as they prepared to tear up the idea of a centrally dictated strategy. They launched the search for an alternative, saying that much of the responsibility for fishing must be returned to EU member states. One key failing that has led to the near-extinction of stocks of cod, bluefin tuna and anchovy is the “deep-rooted problem” of fleet overcapacity, with campaign groups arguing for a 40 per cent cut in the EU’s 90,000 vessels. Its admission that Europe’s controversial fisheries policy had failed was broadly welcomed by the fishing industry. The Commission said that 88 per cent of EU stocks were overfished, compared with only 25 per cent worldwide."

Right on! "Police officers should wear name tags on their uniforms and those who deliberately hide their identity could be sacked, Met Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson said today. The police has come under severe criticism for its handling of the G20 protests and Sir Paul, Britain's most senior policeman, said he wants officers to be more easily identifiable to the public. He also made it clear though that he wanted his senior officers to take a more robust approach in supervising the rank and file officers to ensure they could both be praised and have problem areas identified."


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 23, 2009

For St. George and merrie England!

Today is St. George's day, the national day of England (not Britain. Britain includes Scotland and Wales) so I have just hoisted the flag of St George from my flagpole. It has mostly in the past not been much celebrated in England but, thanks in part to Boris Johnson, the "Turkish" Mayor of London, it will be this year. Boris is a great joker. He does have some distant Turkish ancestry (Turkish Jewish if I remember rightly) but even his grandfather was an RAF bomber pilot in WWII and he himself went to Eton and Oxford.

CIA Waterboarding Produced Intel That Stopped Attack on Los Angeles

Anybody who thinks that torture is a simple problem in moral philosophy hasn't thought about it at any length

"Soon, you will know." That is the ominous statement an uncooperative Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, told his Central Intelligence Agency interrogators when they initially asked him, after he had been captured, about additional planned al-Qaida attacks on the United States. In March 2003, KSM became the third and final terrorist ever waterboarded by the CIA. The other two were Abu Zubaydah and Rahim Al-Nashiri.

So few were waterboarded because the CIA was so strict in the criteria for deciding when the technique could be used.... Before they were waterboarded, both KSM and Abu Zubaydah did not believe Americans had the will to stop al-Qaida, the 2005 Justice Department memo says, citing information from the CIA. "Both KSM and Zubaydah had 'expressed their belief that the general U.S. population was 'weak,' lacked resilience and would be unable to 'do what was necessary' to prevent the terrorists from succeeding in their goals,'" said the memo. "Indeed, before the CIA used enhanced techniques in its interrogation of KSM, KSM resisted giving any answers to questions about future attacks, simply noting, 'Soon, you will know.'"

After he was waterboarded, KSM provided the CIA with information that allowed the U.S. government to close down a terror cell already "tasked" with flying a jet into a building in Los Angeles. "You have informed us that the interrogation of KSM -- once enhanced techniques were employed -- led to the discovery of a KSM plot, the 'Second Wave,' 'to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into' a building in Los Angeles," says the memo, referring to information CIA provided to Justice. "You have informed us that information obtained from KSM also led to the capture of Riduan bin Isomuddin, better known as Hambali, and the discovery of the Guraba Cell, a 17-member Jemaah Islamiyah cell tasked with executing the 'Second Wave,'" said the memo.

"More specifically, we understand that KSM admitted that he had (redaction) large sum of money to an al-Qaida associate (redaction) ... . Khan subsequently identified the associate (Zubair), who was then captured," said the memo. "Zubair, in turn, provided information that led to the arrest of Hambali. The information acquired from these captures allowed CIA interrogators to pose more specific questions to KSM, which led the CIA (to) Hambali's brother, al-Hadi. Using information obtained from multiple sources, al-Hadi was captured, and he subsequently identified the Garuba cell. With the aid of this additional information, interrogations of Hambali confirmed much of what was learned from KSM."



Spengler comes out

There has been much speculation about the identity of the insightful "Spengler". It had always seemed to me that he was an elderly German Jew. It turns out that I was nearly right. He is a not so elderly Jewish Germanist. See below. It is a small surprise that he is a RELIGIOUS Jew, though. He seemed too cynical for that. But that does undoubtedly underpin his basic premise: That only Israel will survive the cultural decay that seems to be besetting most nations. Given that Leftist insanity is at least as prevalent in Israel as it is anywhere, I wish I could be as optimistic

During the too-brief run of the Asia Times print edition in the 1990s, the newspaper asked me to write a humor column, and I chose the name "Spengler" as a joke - a columnist for an Asian daily using the name of the author of The Decline of the West.

Barely a dozen "Spengler" items appeared before the print edition went down in the 1997 Asian financial crisis. A malicious thought crossed my mind in 1999, though, as the Internet euphoria engulfed world markets: was it really possible for a medium whose premise was the rise of a homogeneous global youth culture to drive world economic growth? Youth culture, I argued, was an oxymoron, for culture itself was a bridge across generations, a means of cheating mortality. The old and angry cultures of the world, fighting for room to breath against the onset of globalization, would not go quietly into the homogenizer. Many of them would fight to survive, but fight in vain, for the tide of modernity could not be rolled back.

As in the great extinction of the tribes in late antiquity, individuals might save themselves from the incurable necrosis of their own ethnicity through adoption into the eternal people, that is, Israel. The great German-Jewish theologian and student of the existential angst of dying nations, Franz Rosenzweig, had commanded undivided attention during the 1990s, and I had a pair of essays about him for the Jewish-Christian Relations website. Rosenzweig's theology, it occurred to me, had broader applications.

The end of the old ethnicities, I believed, would dominate the cultural and strategic agenda of the next several decades. Great countries were failing of their will to live, and it was easy to imagine a world in which Japanese, German, Italian and Russian would turn into dying languages only a century hence. Modernity taxed the Muslim world even more severely, although the results sometimes were less obvious.

The 300 or so essays that I have published in this space since 1999 all proceeded from the theme formulated by Rosenzweig: the mortality of nations and its causes, Western secularism, Asian anomie, and unadaptable Islam.

Why raise these issues under a pseudonym? There is a simple answer, and a less simple one. To inform a culture that it is going to die does not necessarily win friends, and what I needed to say would be hurtful to many readers. I needed to tell the Europeans that their post-national, secular dystopia was a death-trap whence no-one would get out alive.

I needed to tell the Muslims that nothing would alleviate the unbearable sense of humiliation and loss that globalization inflicted on a civilization that once had pretensions to world dominance. I needed to tell Asians that materialism leads only to despair. And I needed to tell the Americans that their smugness would be their undoing.

In this world of accelerated mortality, in which the prospect of national extinction hung visibly over most of the peoples of the world, Jew-hatred was stripped of its mask, and revealed as the jealousy of the merely undead toward living Israel. And it was not hard to show that the remnants of the tribal world lurking under the cover of Islam were not living, but only undead, incapable of withstanding the onslaught of modernity, throwing a tantrum against their inevitable end.

I have been an equal-opportunity offender, with no natural constituency. My academic training, strewn over two doctoral programs, was in music theory and German, as well as economics. I have have published a number of peer-reviewed papers on philosophy, music and mathematics in the Renaissance. But I came to believe that there are things even more important than the high art of the West and its most characteristic endeavor, classical music, the passion and consolation of my youth. Western classical music expresses goal-oriented motion, a teleology, as it were - but where did humankind learn of teleology? I no longer quite belonged with my friends and colleagues, the artists.

G K Chesterton said that if you don't believe in God, you'll believe in anything, and I was living proof of that as a young man, wandering in the fever-swamps of left-wing politics. I found my way thanks to the first Ronald Reagan administration. The righting of America after it nearly capsized during the dark years of Jimmy Carter was a defining experience for me. I owe much to several mentors, starting with Dr Norman A. Bailey, special assistant to President Reagan and director of plans at the National Security Council from 1981-1984. My political education began in his lair at the old Executive Office Building in 1981, when he explained to me that the US would destroy the Soviet Empire by the end of the 1980s. I thought him a dangerous lunatic, and immediately signed on.

I worked for Bailey's consulting firm after he left government, simultaneously pursuing a doctorate (never quite finished) in music theory. I owe most of all to the music theorists in the school of Heinrich Schenker with whom I studied in the doctoral program at City University.

Another mentor was Professor Robert Mundell, the creator of supply-side economics, among his other contributions. As an economist for the supply-side consulting firm Polyconomics in the late 1980s and early 1990s, I had dozens of conversations with Mundell, who won the Nobel Prize in 1999. I can't claim to be a Mundell student, but he graciously allowed me to acknowledge his help in a 1994 article I published in Journal of Applied Corporate Finance. What I gleaned from Mundell allowed me to begin a successful career on Wall Street at an age when most of its denizens already are over the hill.

By the late 1990s, I no longer believed that solving problems of economic stability and growth was sufficient to resolve problems that manifested themselves in economic form. Working in the inside of the financial world, ultimately as a member of the executive committee for fixed income of America's largest bank, I saw how easy it was to prejudice the efficiency of markets and to introduce distortions that eventually would have awful consequences.

I no longer quite belonged with my old friends the economists. I had left economics for music, and left music for finance, eventually working in senior research positions at Bear Stearns, Credit Suisse and Bank of America. At Bank of America, I created from scratch a highly rated fixed income research department between 2002 to 2005, with 120 professionals and mid-nine-figure compensation budget. By 2005, it was no longer clear how the financial industry would play a helpful role in fostering prosperity, and philosophical differences prompted me to take my leave.

Exile among the fleshpots of Wall Street had its benefits, but I had other ambitions. My commitment to Judaism came relatively late in life, in my mid-thirties, but was all the more passionate for its tardiness. The things I had been raised to love were disappearing from the world, or changing beyond recognition. The language of Goethe and Heine would die out, along with the languages of Dante and Pushkin.

Europe's high culture and its capacity to train universal minds had deteriorated beyond repair; one of the last truly universal European minds belongs to the octogenarian Pope Benedict XVI. In 1996, the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had said in an interview published as Das Salz der Erde, "Perhaps we have to abandon the idea of the popular Church. Possibly, we stand before a new epoch of Church history with quite different conditions, in which Christianity will stand under the sign of the mustard seed, in small and apparently insignificant groups, which nonetheless oppose evil intensively and bring the Good into the world." The best mind in the Catholic Church squarely considered the possibility that Christianity itself might shrink into seeming insignificance.

Renewal could not come from music, nor literature, nor the social sciences. The wells of culture had run dry, because they derived from faith to begin with. I was raised in the Enlightenment pseudo-religion of art and beauty. Initially I looked at faith instrumentally, as a means of regenerating the high culture of the West. Art doesn't exist for art's sake.

The high culture of the West had its own Achilles' heel. Even its greatest cultivators often suffered from the sin of pride, and worshiped their own powers rather than the source of their powers. Painfully and slowly, I began to learn the classic Jewish sources. My guide back to Judaism was the great German-Jewish theologian Franz Rosenzweig, and my first essay on these subjects was published by the Jewish-Christian Relations website in 1999 under the title, "Has Franz Rosenzweig's Time Come?"

The intersection point in the Venn diagram of my background had shrunk to the point of vanishing. As a returning religious Jew, I had less and less to discuss with the secular Zionists who shared my passion and partisanship for Israel, but could not see a divine dimension in Jewish nationhood. So-called cultural Judaism repelled me; most of what passes for Jewish culture comes down to the mud that stuck to our boots as we fled one country after another. The Hebrew Bible and its commentaries over the centuries are the core of Jewish culture, with a handful of odd adjuncts, such as the novels of S Y Agnon or the last, devotional poems of Heine.

Both as classical musician and as a Germanist, I had better insight than most Jews into the lofty character of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI. His writings on the spiritual riches of Western classical music were an inspiration to me almost thirty years ago, when it seemed possible that this most sublime of Western arts would die out for lack of interest. Ratzinger was kind enough to review and comment on the draft of one of my articles on music theory in the 1980s. There is a connection between Ratzinger's insider's grasp of music and his Fingerspitzengefuhl for Jewish theology - something I tried to express in an essay entitled "The Pope, the Musicians and the Jews."

I was in, but not of, the world of rabbinical Judaism, of classical music, of cultural history, of conservative economics, of practical finance - I belonged everywhere and nowhere. I could address each of these spheres only ironically and aphoristically, in a voice that only could be anonymous - for anonymity allowed me to be in but not of all of them. As First Things editor Joseph Bottum observed to me, "Spengler's" voice freed my style. Why not openly identify myself? Because my readers then would have jammed my thinking into the Procrustean bed of their prejudice.

In 2000, there was nothing to do but to cast my thoughts upon the waters. When the first of these essays appeared I had no expectation that they might interest a wide public. To my astonishment, they were read, and read extensively. Then came 9/11, and my tale of the existential angst of nations was borne up by the Zeitgeist. The Spengler forum at Asia Times Online grew to nearly five thousand registered members. The essays often reached a million readers a month.

As I wrote pseudonymously for Asia Times Online, new friends announced themselves - journalists, academics, clergy, and people of faith from many walks of life, not least the indefatigable group of good friends that manages the Spengler Forum. The editors of First Things asked me for an essay on Franz Rosenzweig and Islam, which I published in 2007, and later a piece entitled "Zionism for Christians", which appeared in 2008 under the pseudonym "David Shushon". That was a milestone for me.

I had subscribed to the journal not long after its inception in 1990, the year I finished my PhD coursework in music. To write for First Things was an unanticipated honor. I came to know the magazine's editor Joseph Bottum, as well as such regular contributors as George Weigel, Russell Hittinger and R R Reno. On January 8, 2009, the magazine's founder Richard John Neuhaus died. A few weeks later Jody Bottum asked me to join the staff of First Things as an editor and writer. It seems only heartbeats ago that I was in dark seas, looking up at this beacon; now it is my turn to help keep the lighthouse.

As for Asia Times Online - this scrappy, virtual expat bar - I was there at the founding, and will contribute to it as long it continues to upload, if somewhat less frequently than before.

"Spengler" is channeled by David P. Goldman, associate editor of First Things (




Domestic Terrorist Added to FBI Most-Wanted Terrorists List is NOT a Veteran! "In what must be a huge surprise to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, the first domestic terrorist named to the FBI’s list of Most-Wanted Terrorists appears to have no military experience. In other words, he’s not what Napolitano would describe as a “right-wing extremist” who needs to be watched by law enforcement. The FBI added Daniel Andreas San Diego, a 31-year-old American animal rights activist, to its list of Most-Wanted Terrorists this morning."

Why do "progressives" love trains?: “AMTRAK lives on subsidies; always has, always will. Americans have limited demand for passenger-train services. Nearly everyone prefers to use a personal automobile, for all sorts of good reasons, including privacy, flexibility, and convenience. None of this is news. Transportation economists have been documenting it in study after study for decades. Yet the leftists of this country at some point — I’m not sure exactly when it happened — fell head over heels in ideological love with trains. I lived for many years in the Seattle area, where traditional religion does not rank very high with the bulk of the population, but devotion to ‘light rail’ serves as a perfect substitute for belief in a higher power.”

Hooray! "The New York Times Co. reported a quarterly net loss of $US74.5 million ($104 million) overnight, a day after its flagship newspaper scooped up five Pulitzer prizes, the highest awards in US journalism. Times Co. shares plunged 15.56 per cent to $US4.94 on Wall Street as the company, which also owns The Boston Globe, International Herald Tribune and other papers, reported a drop in advertising revenue of nearly 30 per cent. Revenue for the Times Co. declined 18.6 per cent to $US609 million in the first quarter from $US747.9 million in the same quarter last year. The Times Co., which posted a net loss of $US335,000 in the first quarter of 2008, said advertising revenue at its publishing segment dropped 28.4 per cent in the first three months of 2009, including an 8 per cent decline in online advertising revenue at its News Media Group. The New England Media Group, which includes the Boston Globe and, saw a 31.4 per cent decline in advertising revenue."

US Supreme Court limits police search powers during arrests: “A divided U.S. Supreme Court limited police powers, ruling that officers violated the Constitution when they searched the car of an Arizona man who had already been handcuffed and put in a patrol car. Voting 5-4, the justices today overturned Rodney Gant’s three-year prison sentence for possessing the cocaine officers found in his car. The majority said police needed a warrant because Gant had already parked the car and walked away from it when police arrested him for driving with a suspended license. Writing for the majority, Justice John Paul Stevens said the search didn’t fall within an exception to the warrant requirement the court has carved out for searches that take place at the time of arrest. Stevens said that exception existed to ensure an arrested person didn’t grab a weapon or destroy evidence.”

Clueless Obama: “If President Obama doesn’t understand why the economy tanked, he surely won’t know what recovery requires. And if he doesn’t know that, he’s surely part of the problem, not the solution. In his speech on the economy at Georgetown University this week, Obama again showed that he hasn’t a clue what caused the economic calamity. He spent a few paragraphs of his speech ‘explaining’ to the students what happened — but he got it wrong. Had this been a class, he should have gotten an F.”

The apologists: “For 50 minutes, Obama sat mute, as a Marxist thug from Nicaragua delivered his diatribe, charging America with a century of terrorist aggression in Central America. After Daniel Ortega finished spitting in our face, accusing us of inhumanity toward Fidel Castro’s Cuba, Obama was asked his thoughts. ‘I thought it was 50 minutes long. That’s what I thought.’ Hillary Clinton was asked to comment: ‘I thought the cultural performance was fascinating,’ she cooed. … Thus the nation that won the Cold War, contained the cancer of Castroism in Cuba, liberated Grenada, blocked communist takeovers of Guatemala and the Dominican Republic, and poured scores of billions in aid into this region was left undefended by its own leaders at the Summit of the Americas.”


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 22, 2009

Obama and Friedman

I think Obama is dumb, an emptyhead who knows nothing. And I think he sometimes half-realizes that himself. Because of his profound ignorance, it seems that Obama has heeded his advisers on what to do about the economic crisis, and, whatever one thinks of them, they are NOT dumb. And what they are doing through Obama is not as silly as most conservative commentators make out. Conservative commentators routinely brand the Obama policies as "Keynesian", which they undoubtedly are. But they fail to look at the alternative. And Milton Friedman's analysis is of course the alternative.

Keynes correctly identified the major problem of the Great Depression as being a demand deficit. He thought that deficit could be made up by a large program of government spending on public works. Friedman, however, looked deeper and asked WHY there was a demand deficit. And the answer to that was almost childishly simple -- far too simple for intellectuals. Friedman pointed out that the rash of bank failures created by the incompetent Federal Reserve system of the day after the 1929 crash was the culprit. As banks failed, the savings invested in them vanished. People lost their money and they could not spend money they did not have. THAT was the reason for the demand deficit.

So both Keynes and Friedman agree that spending power has to be restored. Friedman was certainly very emphatic about the importance of a stable money suppy. From Friedman's analysis, the obvious priority is to protect people's savings -- and the FDIC was set up to do just that. And the FDIC has indeed had some role recently. But, however we do it, in the end we have this time not made the mistake of the Great Depression. Spending power is being restored even if it is being done in a very slow and sub-optimal way. So I expect that there will be substantial recovery by the 2010 mid-terms -- which is a very mixed blessing from my point of view.

How about that! I am venturing a prophecy. Since 99% of all prophecies are wrong, I am offering a stringent test of my understanding indeed.

The very best way of restoring liquidity to the economy would probably have been to cancel all company tax for one year. That would certainly have done more to preserve and create jobs than handing out trillions to the prestidigitators of Wall St.


Federal Lawsuit Filed Over DHS ‘Rightwing Extremist’ Report

The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, announced last week that it filed a federal lawsuit against Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The lawsuit claims that her Department’s “Rightwing Extremism Policy, ” as reflected in the recently publicized Intelligence Assessment, “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment, ” violates the civil liberties of combat veterans as well as American citizens by targeting them for disfavored treatment on account of their political beliefs. Click here to read the complaint filed by the Thomas More Law Center.

Napolitano tried to blunt the public furor over the Report by a half-hearted apology to veterans, but she left out of her apology all of the other Americans her Department has targeted because of their political beliefs. In fact, officials in DHS now admit that their internal office of civil liberties objected to the language in the extremism report, but the Department issued it anyway.

Janet Napolitano is lying to the American people when she says the Report is not based on ideology or political beliefs. In fact, her report would have the admiration of the Gestapo and any current or past dictator in the way it targets political opponents. This incompetently written intelligence assessment, which directs law enforcement officials across the country to target and report on American citizens who have the political beliefs mentioned in the report, will be used as a tool to stifle political opposition and opinions. It will give a pretext for opponents of those Americans to report them to police as rightwing extremists and terrorists. You can imagine what happens then.



Vive la France!

In what may mark the first ever occurrence of its kind, France is right. Additionally, its leader is refusing to surrender. And that's no joke.

At a recent lunch with members of the French parliament, President Nicolas Sarkozy dove headfirst into one of the three forbidden table conversation topics: politics. Although the menu options are unclear, the French President made kabobs of his fellow world leaders by skewering them through and through.

Angela Merkel, he said, was confused at the G-20 summit. He likewise charged that José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero of Spain is not “very clever” and Italy's Silvio Berlusconi is a power-hungry narcissist.

Some of his harshest words, however, were reserved for Barack Obama. Referring to him as “weak and inexperienced”, President Sarkozy said that his American counterpart:

“has a subtle mind…was elected two months ago and never ran a ministry in his life. He doesn't have a position on a number of things…[Mr. Obama] is not always operating at a level of decision-making and efficiency.”

Wait a second. Was that criticism? Of Barack Obama? Couldn't be! If you're an establishment member of the mainstream media, now would be a good time to shout “stop the presses!”—that is, of course, if the presses weren't already going out of business thanks in part to their utter abandonment of unbiased, journalistic accountability.

Granted, somewhat thorny relations between the American and French heads-of-state have been a recurring trend over the years. But this is entirely different. Mr. Obama is, of course, the self-proclaimed “citizen of the world,” a transcendental leader who's come to put America back in the good faith of its neighbors. Unfortunately for him (and fortunately for freedom-loving societies worldwide), that doesn't seem to be the case anymore.



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 21, 2009

Why poor countries stay poor

Many economists think corruption is a rational response to irrational incentives. The World Bank’s “Doing Business” database lists 40 countries, from Iraq to Ethiopia, in which legally acquiring the necessary permissions to export a single standard cargo container takes more than one month. The more difficult it is to do something legally, the larger the temptation to do it illegally. Small wonder that in developing countries, few people make more money than customs officials.

If perverse incentives create corruption, that suggests a simple solution to an age-old problem. Hence for the last decade or so the mantra of aid agencies has been “institutions matter”—even if it is not clear what humanitarians are supposed to do with this insight.

There is a popular alternative view that says corrupt countries are corrupt not because the incentives are perverse but because they’re stuffed full of crooks, born and bred. In this view, corruption is cultural, and poor countries are poor because their citizens are dishonest (or lazy, or fools).

Into this controversy strode two economists, Raymond Fisman of Columbia and Edward Miguel of Berkeley, with a 2006 research paper that was brilliant and trivial in roughly equal measure. Fisman and Miguel realized that to test the two theories about corruption, you would ideally need to pluck people from all over the world, place them into a community whose laws they could ignore with impunity, then see who cheated and who was honest.

Impossible? Not at all. The United Nations in Manhattan kindly provided guinea pigs for just such an experiment. Diplomatic immunity meant that parking tickets issued to diplomats could not be enforced. The decision to park legally or not, therefore, was a matter of each person’s conscience.

Fisman and Miguel found that countries with endemic corruption at home, as measured by the anti-corruption organization Transparency International, were represented by habitual illegal parkers. Chad and Bangladesh, so often near the top of “perceptions of corruption” rankings, produced more than 2,500 violations between them from 1997 to 2005. Squeaky clean Scandinavians, on the other hand, committed only 12 unpaid parking violations, and most of those involved a single criminal mastermind from Finland. On the face of it, this evidence supports the view that poor countries are corrupt because they’re full of corrupt people.

Yet incentives clearly matter, too. In 2002, after decades of playing cat and mouse with the United Nations, New York City won much greater power to punish deadbeat diplomats. (The former New York senator and new secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, gets some of the credit for this change. Let’s hope the world’s diplomats don’t hold it against the State Department moving forward.) The city began to tow cars and the State Department deducted fines from the relevant foreign aid budgets. Almost overnight, unpaid violations fell dramatically.



How Each Nation Sinks or Swims

Alan Beattie's "False Economy" finds that countries' choices, not the luck of the draw, largely determine their fates. He is undoubtedly right about that but it sounds like he gives a poor account of what the important decisions are. The key drag on prosperity is socialism and socialistic instincts are overwhelmingly influential among many populations -- such as in Latin America -- with Argentina's Peron regime being a prime example of socialism's destructiveness

BOOK REVIEW of "False Economy: A Surprising Economic History of the World" By Alan Beattie:

The U.S. is the world's largest economy while Argentina is a serial debt defaulter with a history of dictatorship. Things could have gone the other way. Both countries had ample land, natural resources, and a flood of immigrants, Alan Beattie argues in False Economy: A Surprising Economic History of the World. But Argentina was cursed with huge landholdings bestowed on Spanish colonizers. Instead of entrepreneurial farmers, Argentina's estates bred an indolent ruling class with little interest in taking the sorts of risks that modernize an economy.

Beattie, world trade editor for the Financial Times, aims to confront the idea that "our economic future is predestined and that we are helplessly borne along by huge, uncontrollable, impersonal forces." The way countries develop is as much a function of the choices made by ruling elites as it is of markets or natural resources, he says.

Beattie, who studied history at Oxford University and economics at Cambridge, draws on both disciplines to overturn assumptions about the evolution of the global economy. For example, the data do not support the belief that Islamic societies inherently perform worse than other nations, or for that matter that there is any correlation between religion and growth. Malaysia has both a strong Islamic identity and a modern economy [And a large non-Muslim Chinese minority who do all the work]. Religion is an obstacle only when development is blocked in God's name, often in self-defense by those who hold power, Beattie argues.

And corruption isn't necessarily a barrier to growth, in Beattie's eyes. The late Indonesian strongman Suharto oversaw rapid development even as he and his cronies grew rich on bribes and preferential deals. China's growth has taken place amid pervasive corruption. As long as the officials taking bribes can deliver what they promise, "it simply becomes a tax."

False Economy is full of insightful nuggets, such as Beattie's account of how the profligate ways of the Portuguese in India opened the door for the British. But it's not always clear how these digressions fit into his central argument; sometimes they even punch holes in it. We can be masters of our own fate, he seems to say, except when we're prisoners of history. Beattie sees Russia stuck in a tradition of authoritarianism and state property ownership that dates to the Mongolian conquest in the 13th century—and he has little faith that it can ever break free.




Obama’s Revenue Plans Hit Resistance in Congress: "President Obama is running into stiff Congressional resistance to his plans to raise money for his ambitious agenda, and the resulting hole in the budget is threatening a major health care overhaul and other policy initiatives. The administration’s central revenue proposal — limiting the value of affluent Americans’ itemized deductions, including the one for charitable giving — fell flat in Congress, leaving the White House, at least for now, without $318 billion that it wants to set aside to help cover uninsured Americans. At the same time, lawmakers of both parties have warned against moving too quickly on a plan to auction carbon emission permits to produce more than $600 billion. The unwillingness to embrace some of the major White House tax and revenue proposals has frustrated administration officials. They note that lawmakers, many of them supporters of the president’s ambitious agenda, clamor to hold down the deficit while balking at the proposals to finance his program. Clint Stretch, a top tax policy analyst for the consulting firm Deloitte Tax, said, “The president and the budget committees have set very ambitious targets for revenue raising, and they did it against a set of proposals that are going to be very hard to enact.”

Homeland Security leaders still defending memo on veterans: “Top Department of Homeland Security officials on Sunday defended an agency intelligence assessment warning that veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan could be susceptible to recruitment by right-wing extremists, though one said it should have been ‘more tightly written and presented.’ Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano said on CNN’s State of the Union that she regrets that some people took offense over the report, but added that ‘a number of groups far too numerous to mention’ were targeting returning veterans to carry out domestic terrorism attacks.” [How about mentioning just one? The Obama regime are scared shitless by the military. They know that only the military stands between them and a complete Fascist takeover]

Turkey: Thousands march to protest Muslim government actions: “Thousands of people marched to the mausoleum of secular Turkey’s founder on Saturday to protest the arrests of university professors and others accused of involvement in an alleged plot to topple the Islamic-rooted government. More than 5,000 people waved Turkish flags, carried posters of Turkey’s late leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and chanted: ‘Turkey is secular and will remain secular!’”

UK: Market forces must make way for interventionism, says British minister: “New Labour will today abandon 12 years of support for market forces by unveiling an interventionist strategy under which the Government will subsidise the growth industries of the future. In an interview with The Independent, Lord Mandelson said the drive could create hundreds of thousands of jobs in hi-tech and low-carbon industries over the next 10 years, to compensate for the smaller financial services sector that will emerge from the current recession. The new strategy marks a reversal of the Government’s free-market approach since Labour won power in 1997, as ministers follow the bailout of Britain’s ailing banks by intervening in other key areas of industry.” [So Britain is about to head back to pre-Thatcher poverty]

The Waco butchers are back : “Sixteen years ago we were reminded of the deadly danger of having the left-liberals in charge of the police state. The largest massacre of American civilians by the US government since Wounded Knee climaxed on April 19, 1993. The siege that had begun on February 28 with a botched ATF publicity stunt ended when the Branch Davidian church and home went up in flames, after an FBI-operated tank on lease from the military was driven through the building, pumping flammable CS gas for six hours into the place where women and children were cowering in fear. Chemistry professor George Uhlig later testified that the high concentration of the gas combined with poor ventilation subjected the women and children to conditions ’similar to … the gas chambers used by the Nazis in Auschwitz.’”

If you want war, work for justice: “I think it is a more plausible slogan than the usual version. If you and I disagree because I want an outcome more favorable to me and you want an outcome more favorable to you, there is room for compromise — as we see whenever people bargain over the price of a house. But if we disagree because I see what I want as just and the alternative as unjust and you see it the other way around, compromise looks to both of us like moral treason.”

Who would be hurt by ending the drug war: “Momentum is growing to legalize some drugs, which is good. So what will it mean if drugs are legalized? In terms of abuse, it is unlikely that matters will change significantly in terms of general usage. The ending of prohibition provides an object lesson in that as consumption of alcohol changed very little once prohibition was repealed. If anything the damage will be lessened the way the damage of alcohol was lessened due to the introduction of quality and price competition. But the real area of focus is in how the economy will be impacted by the ending of drug prohibition.”

FDR and compulsory unionism destroyed jobs: “For decades, labor unions struggled for power, but until the 1930s they had made little headway. Unions were based on force and violence, which repelled a substantial number of employees as well as employers. The aim had been to raise the wages of members above market levels, but this was only possible if they went on strike, forcibly prevented employers from hiring other employees, shut down businesses, and ultimately forced employers to accept union demands.”


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 20, 2009

The real story of Obama's decision making with the hostages off Somalia

AH, now it comes out: Having spoken to some SEAL pals here in Virginia Beach yesterday and asking why this thing dragged out for 4 days, I got the following:

1. BHO wouldn't authorize the DEVGRU/NSWC SEAL teams to the scene for 36 hours going against OSC (on scene commander) recommendation.
2. Once they arrived, BHO imposed restrictions on their ROE that they couldn't do anything unless the hostage's life was in "imminent" danger
3. The first time the hostage jumped, the SEALS had the raggies all sighted in, but could not fire due to ROE restriction
4. When the navy RIB came under fire as it approached with supplies, no fire was returned due to ROE restrictions. As the raggies were shooting at the RIB, they were exposed and the SEALS had them all dialed in.
5. BHO specifically denied two rescue plans developed by the Bainbridge CPN and SEAL teams
6. Bainbridge CPN and SEAL team CDR finally decide they have the OpArea and OSC authority to solely determine risk to hostage. 4 hours later, 3 dead raggies
7. BHO immediately claims credit for his "daring and decisive" behaviour. As usual with him, it's BS.

Read the following accurate account.

Philips’ first leap into the warm, dark water of the Indian Ocean hadn’t worked out as well. With the Bainbridge in range and a rescue by his country’s Navy possible, Philips threw himself off of his lifeboat prison, enabling Navy shooters onboard the destroyer a clear shot at his captors — and none was taken.

The guidance from National Command Authority — the president of the United States, Barack Obama — had been clear: a peaceful solution was the only acceptable outcome to this standoff unless the hostage’s life was in clear, extreme danger.

The next day, a small Navy boat approaching the floating raft was fired on by the Somali pirates — and again no fire was returned and no pirates killed. This was again due to the cautious stance assumed by Navy personnel thanks to the combination of a lack of clear guidance from Washington and a mandate from the commander in chief’s staff not to act until Obama, a man with no background of dealing with such issues and no track record of decisiveness, decided that any outcome other than a “peaceful solution” would be acceptable.

After taking fire from the Somali kidnappers again Saturday night, the on-scene-commander decided he’d had enough.

Keeping his authority to act in the case of a clear and present danger to the hostage’s life and having heard nothing from Washington since yet another request to mount a rescue operation had been denied the day before, the Navy officer — unnamed in all media reports to date — decided the AK47 one captor had leveled at Philips’ back was a threat to the hostage’s life and ordered the NSWC team to take their shots.

Three rounds downrange later, all three brigands became enemy KIA and Philips was safe.

There is upside, downside, and spinside to the series of events over the last week that culminated in yesterday’s dramatic rescue of an American hostage.

Almost immediately following word of the rescue, the Obama administration and its supporters claimed victory against pirates in the Indian Ocean and [1] declared that the dramatic end to the standoff put paid to questions of the inexperienced president’s toughness and decisiveness.

Despite the Obama administration’s (and its sycophants’) attempt to spin yesterday’s success as a result of bold, decisive leadership by the inexperienced president, the reality is nothing of the sort. What should have been a standoff lasting only hours — as long as it took the USS Bainbridge and its team of NSWC operators to steam to the location — became an embarrassing four day and counting standoff between a ragtag handful of criminals with rifles and a U.S. Navy warship.



The Obama Democrats: By the Numbers

$34,000: the amount of federal taxes Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner (D) failed to pay during his employment at the International Monetary Fund despite receiving extra compensation and explanatory brochures that described his tax liabilities.

$75,000: the amount of money that the head of the powerful tax-writing committee, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), was forced to report on his taxes after the discovery that he had not reported income from a Costa Rican rental property. His excuses for the failure started with blaming his wife, then his accountant and finally the fact that he didn't speak Spanish.

$93,000: the amount of petty cash each Congressional representative voted to give themselves in January 2009 during the height of an economic meltdown..

$133,900: the amount Fannie Mae "invested" in Chris Dodd (D-CT), head of the powerful Senate Banking Committee, presumably to repel oversight of the GSE prior to its meltdown. Said meltdown helped touch off the current economic crisis. In only a few years time, Fannie also "invested" over $105,000 in then-Senator Barack Obama.

$140,000: the amount of back taxes and interest that Cabinet nominee Tom Daschle (D-SD) was forced to cough up after the vetting process revealed significant, unexplained tax liabilities.

$356,000: the approximate amount of income and deductions that Daschle (D-SD) was forced to report on his amended 2005 and 2007 tax returns after being caught cheating on his taxes. This includes $255,256 for the use of a car service, $83,333 in unreported income, and $14,963 in charitable contributions.

$800,000: the amount of "sweetheart" mortgages Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) received from Countrywide Financial, the details for which he has refused to release despite months of promises to do so. Countrywide was once the nation's largest mortgage lender and linked to Government-Sponsored Entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Their meltdown precipitated the current financial crisis. Just days ago in Pennsylvania, Countrywide was forced to pay $150,000,000 in mortgage assistance following "a state investigation that concluded that Countrywide relaxed its underwriting standards to sell risky loans to consumers who did not understand them and could not afford them."

$12,000,000: the amount of TARP money provided to community bank OneUnited despite the fact that it did not qualify for funds, and was "under attack from its regulators for allegations of poor lending practices and executive-pay abuses." It turns out that Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), a key contributor to the Fannie Mae meltdown, just happens to be married to one of the bank's ex-directors.

$23,500,000: The upper range of net worth Rep. Allan Mollohan (D-WV) accumulated in four years time according to The Washington Post through earmarks of "tens of millions of dollars to groups associated with his own business partners."

$2,000,000,000: ($2 billion) the approximate amount of money that House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-WI) is earmarking related to his son's lobbying efforts. Craig Obey is "a top lobbyist for the nonprofit group" that would receive a roughly $2 billion component of the "Stimulus" package.

$3,700,000,000: ($3.7 billion) not to be outdone, this is the estimated value of various defense contracts awarded to a company controlled by the husband of Rep. Diane Feinstein (D-CA). Despite an obvious conflict-of-interest as "a member of the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee, Sen. Feinstein voted for appropriations worth billions to her husband's firms ."

$4,190,000,000: ($4.19 billion) the amount of money in the so-called "Stimulus" package devoted to fraudulent voter registration ACORN group under the auspices of "Community Stabilization Activities". ACORN is currently the subject of a RICO suit in Ohio.

It's not just a culture of corruption. It's a culture of corruption and stupidity. All of the aforementioned clowns are still in office, ruling like the royalty they've become.



The latest NYT editorial

The Somali pirate “crisis” has triggered many of the responses one would expect. People are angry, demanding action and often violence against pirates. Even the usually peaceful — some might even say Christ-like — President Obama didn’t put a stop to the siege against the pirates, and now he has pirate blood on his well-manicured hands. And Americans are happy about this! Perhaps all the anger is because we think we’ve been victimized, like the pirates just randomly decided to try and loot our ships and take our people hostage for ransom. But there is nothing random about this. It’s time to stop and really ask ourselves the hard question: Why do they plunder us?

...what’s the real solution? Instead of harming the pirates, we need to learn to work with them. All they want is to take people hostage and get ransom money to feed their pirate families. This is money we can easily afford, so what is the problem? Hostage-taking does delay a shipping schedule, but that’s something we can easily work around. Maybe we can devise a system to instantly wire pirates the ransom money as soon as they board, allowing them to leave victorious and with little delay. That allows them to keep feeling like they are in control while minimizing the harm to us. We can also develop a program to teach pirates necessary 21st century skills that will help move them from piracy on the high seas to the more modern and less violent software piracy. Finally, we can start using “pirate” as a term of respect instead of mockery. That way, they can maybe see us not just as targets for plunder but perhaps also as friends.

More HERE (Satire)


LGF has changed sides

A second Andrew Sullivan. That hunger for approval CAN overwhelm facts and logic

I hadn’t followed LGF for a while, and then I finally started using an RSS reader recently and began adding all the big blogs including one of the first blogs I had ever read: Little Green Footballs. I missed what led to it, but Charles Johnson seemed to be on a anti-Creationism kick now… which is okay. Some of them can be quite annoying and a little obtuse at times. It seemed like half his posts were on the subject, though, and something about that seemed well… a bit off, I guess. I basically agreed with him, it’s just the intensity that was disturbing. I’m not even sure most biologist care to get in that debate that much. Then he started getting on what he saw as extremism anywhere in the right-wing. Okay, extremism is bad, so I guess that’s okay. But then it seemed like every post was on some conservative idiocy he wanted to expose. Eventually I was like, “Am I remembering wrong, or didn’t he used to go after liberals too?”

So yesterday I saw he had a headline with Napolitano in the title, and I thought, “This should be good. It will be neat to go after her idiocy.” But no, it was Judge Andrew Napolitano from FOX News of course, because why talk about the Obama administration when someone on FOX News said something or other. And maybe he had a good point about Andrew Napolitano, but I just didn’t care. There are already plenty of blogs focused on constantly exposing bad things about the right-wing — they’re called liberal blogs. If you are a friend of the right and are one day critical, everyone will sit up and pay attention. If that’s all you do, eventually to conservatives you become as tiresome and predictable as any kneejerk liberal.

Which is only an issue if you care whether conservatives want to read you.

Look at his post on the tea parties. If that appeared in the comments section of Hot Air, we would have called him a concern troll. The dude is gone. Sullivan gone. BTW, if I ever start posting hate mail from right-wing idiots to show how brave I am for saying the hard truth and to get my ego assuaged by my sycophants, please get me professional help.



An interesting comment from a reader:

"While reading through China's government website, I came across an interesting statement on their "Economic system" page. According to the government's web site, a policy "encouraging certain lead groups and areas to become rich first, enabling them to help others towards prosperity too" was adopted. Isn't that Ronald Reagan's trickle-down economics? Today's reported Obama's response to Tea Party protestors: "Americans need a "government that is working to create jobs and opportunity for them, rather than simply giving more and more to those at the very top in the false hope that wealth will trickle down." While China is moving away from a centralized government toward trick-down economics, America is moving towards centralized government".


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 19, 2009

Stiglitz Says Ties to Wall Street Doom Bank Rescue

Stiglitz is Left-leaning but is a very distinguished economist. Most of what he says seems obviously true to me. Savers deserved protection under existing FDIC guarantees but the insolvent banks should have been allowed to fail -- as any badly managed business should be -- JR

The Obama administration’s bank- rescue efforts will probably fail because the programs have been designed to help Wall Street rather than create a viable financial system, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said. “All the ingredients they have so far are weak, and there are several missing ingredients,” Stiglitz said in an interview yesterday. The people who designed the plans are “either in the pocket of the banks or they’re incompetent.”

The Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, isn’t large enough to recapitalize the banking system, and the administration hasn’t been direct in addressing that shortfall, he said. Stiglitz said there are conflicts of interest at the White House because some of Obama’s advisers have close ties to Wall Street. “We don’t have enough money, they don’t want to go back to Congress, and they don’t want to do it in an open way and they don’t want to get control” of the banks, a set of constraints that will guarantee failure, Stiglitz said.

The return to taxpayers from the TARP is as low as 25 cents on the dollar, he said. “The bank restructuring has been an absolute mess.” Rather than continually buying small stakes in banks, the government should put weaker banks through a receivership where the shareholders of the banks are wiped out and the bondholders become the shareholders, using taxpayer money to keep the institutions functioning, he said.

Stiglitz, 66, won the Nobel in 2001 for showing that markets are inefficient when all parties in a transaction don’t have equal access to critical information, which is most of the time. His work is cited in more economic papers than that of any of his peers, according to a February ranking by Research Papers in Economics, an international database.

Financial shares have rallied in the past month as Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. all reported better-than-expected earnings in the first quarter. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Financials Index has soared 91 percent from its low of 78.45 on March 6.

The Public-Private Investment Program, PPIP, designed to buy bad assets from banks, “is a really bad program,” Stiglitz said. It won’t accomplish the administration’s goal of establishing a price for illiquid assets clogging banks’ balance sheets, and instead will enrich investors while sticking taxpayers with huge losses, he said.

“You’re really bailing out the shareholders and the bondholders,” he said. “Some of the people likely to be involved in this, like Pimco, are big bondholders,” he said, referring to Pacific Investment Management Co., a bond investment firm in Newport Beach, California.

Stiglitz said taxpayer losses are likely to be much larger than bank profits from the PPIP program even though Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair has said the agency expects no losses. “The statement from Sheila Bair that there’s no risk is absurd,” he said, because losses from the PPIP will be borne by the FDIC, which is funded by member banks. Andrew Gray, an FDIC spokesman, said Bair never said there would be no risk, only that the agency had “zero expected cost” from the program.

“We’re going to be asking all the banks, including presumably some healthy banks, to pay for the losses of the bad banks,” Stiglitz said. “It’s a real redistribution and a tax on all American savers.”

Stiglitz was also concerned about the links between White House advisers and Wall Street. Hedge fund D.E. Shaw & Co. paid National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers, a managing director of the firm, more than $5 million in salary and other compensation in the 16 months before he joined the administration. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. “America has had a revolving door. People go from Wall Street to Treasury and back to Wall Street,” he said. “Even if there is no quid pro quo, that is not the issue. The issue is the mindset.” ...

Stiglitz was also critical of Obama’s other economic rescue programs. He called the $787 billion stimulus program necessary but “flawed” because too much spending comes after 2009, and because it devotes too much of the money to tax cuts “which aren’t likely to work very effectively.” “It’s really a peculiar policy, I think,” he said.

The $75 billion mortgage relief program, meanwhile, doesn’t do enough to help Americans who can’t afford to make their monthly payments, he said. It doesn’t reduce principal, doesn’t make changes in bankruptcy law that would help people work out debts, and doesn’t change the incentive to simply stop making payments once a mortgage is greater than the value of a house.

Stiglitz said the Fed, while it’s done almost all it can to bring the country back from the worst recession since 1982, can’t revive the economy on its own. Relying on low interest rates to help put a floor under housing prices is a variation on the policies that created the housing bubble in the first place, Stiglitz said.




During a White House press briefing yesterday, ABC's Jake Tapper pointed out that unemployment is right about where an Obama economic adviser predicted it would be without the stimulus.

Tapper also noted that Obama had announced the 2,000th stimulus project the day before, but it turns out that this is the 2,000th planned project. Tapper asks Gibbs: How many projects have actually been started?

Gibbs will, uh, look into it: "I can certainly look for a number. I think what we highlighted was the fact that you've got bids that are coming in. You've got the acceptance of a bid. But I can get exact numbers in terms of how much ground has actually been broken."
Oh, and about that very worthwhile 2,000th project, the Christian Science Monitor reports:
[I]t seems almost churlish to question whether Kalamazoo County really needs three east- and three west-bound lanes on I-94, especially at a cost of $68 million to federal taxpayers. While the population of the western Michigan county has grown 3 percent since 2000, it’s not exactly congested. “We’ve got a lot of things to deal with out here, but traffic isn’t one of them,” said Monitor correspondent and Kalamazoo resident Yvonne Zipp in an interview. Rush hour lasts 10 minutes, maybe 15 on a Friday, she added.




Stock market corrections are beautiful — and necessary: “Every correction is different, the result of various economic and/or political circumstances that create the need for adjustments in the financial markets. While everything is down in price, as it is now, there is actually less to worry about. When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. In this case, an overheated real estate market, an overdose of financial bad judgment, and a damn the torpedoes stock market, propelled by demand for speculative derivative securities and Hedge Funds, finally came unglued. But it is the reality of corrections that is one of the few certainties of the financial world, one that separates the men from the boys, if you will. If you fixate on your portfolio market value during a correction, you will just give yourself a headache, or worse.”

Wiretaps OK if the Obama regime does it: "The National Security Agency intercepted private e-mail messages and phone calls of Americans in recent months on a scale that went beyond the broad legal limits established by Congress last year, government officials said in recent interviews. Several intelligence officials, as well as lawyers briefed about the matter, said the N.S.A. had been engaged in “overcollection” of domestic communications of Americans. They described the practice as significant and systemic."

Tea parties widespread: "Wednesday’s deadline for filing income tax returns offered some Americans a timely excuse to vent their frustrations as demonstrators attended more than 750 Tax Day tea parties in cities like Boston, Washington, East Hampton, N.Y., and Yakima, Wash. The events were meant to protest government spending, particularly the Obama administration’s $787 billion stimulus package and its $3.5 trillion budget. Fox News covered the events all day with reporters and hosts at the scenes. Neil Cavuto, a Fox host, and Michelle Malkin, a conservative contributor, headlined the protests in Sacramento while Sean Hannity broadcast his show from the protests in Atlanta. The Web site listed its sponsors, including FreedomWorks, a group founded by Dick Armey, the former House majority leader; Top Conservatives on Twitter; and The idea for the demonstrations grew in part out of a blast from Rick Santelli, a CNBC commentator who on Feb. 19 at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange said that the Obama administration was promoting “bad behavior”.

Swedish Canutes trying to hold back the tide: "A court last night found four men guilty of promoting copyright infringement by running The Pirate Bay, one of the world's top websites for illegal file-sharing, and sentenced them to a year in prison. The court also ordered the four - Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundstroem - to pay damages of 30 million kronor ($4.9million) to the recording industry, which hailed the ruling as a symbolic victory. "The Stockholm district court has today convicted the four people charged with promoting other people's infringement of copyright laws," the court said in a statement. Representatives of the film, music and video games industry had sought 117 million kronor in damages and interest for losses incurred from millions of illegal downloads facilitated by the site. Founded in 2003, The Pirate Bay makes it possible to skirt copyright fees and share music, film and computer game files using bit torrent technology, or peer-to-peer links offered on the site. None of the material can thus be found on The Pirate Bay server itself. The four, who denied any wrongdoing, are expected to appeal against the verdict and had previously vowed to take the case as high as the Supreme Court."

The fox put in charge of the henhouse: "The White House turned to an experienced former investment banker Friday to run the federal government's $700 billion bank rescue effort, selecting the head of mortgage giant Fannie Mae as an assistant treasury secretary. Herbert Allison Jr., Fannie Mae's president and CEO, will replace Neel Kashkari, a holdover from the Bush administration. Allison, who must be confirmed by the Senate, would bear the title of assistant treasury secretary for financial stability and counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. He would be in charge of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the fund that has injected billions of dollars into banks in hopes of unclogging credit. He would inherit a program that has been sharply criticized in Congress and which banks have come to view warily because of the restrictions attached to receipt of its funds".

Old dreams are new again: “Faster, more frequent Amtrak trains could be running on Texas tracks in just a few years — and someday soon, bullet trains may zoom across the prairie from a Dallas-Fort Worth hub — after President Barack Obama announced a major commitment Thursday to high-speed rail. An infusion totaling $8 billion in federal stimulus money and $5 billion from the federal budget over five years will be spent on track upgrades and other improvements in up to 10 corridors across the U.S. beginning this year.”

Obama’s opiate: “Let’s cut through all of Barack Obama’s baloney. His speech on the economy at Georgetown University on Tuesday was a testament to the massive ego of a callow leader with grandiose pretensions bordering on megalomania. Everything he outlined in his vision for a near-Utopian economic future is designed to come about through the intervention of a government central planner — his own Oneself — combined with the coercive force of government to make it happen. It’s a promise of economic growth at the point of a gun, at least tacit if not explicit — and all as if some genius in the Oval Office or elsewhere in Washington has the wherewithal to know exactly how and where to ‘invest’ and to ‘regulate’ and to ’stimulate’ and to ‘reform’ (the latter meaning, in most cases, to have government either take over something or else kill something it currently considers politically incorrect).”

And they call US paranoid … : "The federal government’s latest warning to police agencies about ‘rightwing extremists’ is an outrage and adds fuel to an increasingly troubling situation. The report, titled, ‘Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment’ was produced by the Extremism and Radicalization Branch, Homeland Environment Threat Analysis Division of the Department of Homeland Security, in coordination with the FBI. It consists of 8 pages of what can only be described as paranoid ranting and conflation.” [Michelle Malkin has more details]


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)