Saturday, October 17, 2009

What Is Happening to Rush Limbaugh Matters

This was written before Rush was given his marching orders but is still to the point

It appears that the purveyors of political correctness and the ignorant or hate-filled on the far-left are about to exact their revenge against Rush Limbaugh. With the majority of the liberal mainstream media in their enraged and partisan corner, they are about to browbeat, threaten and even blackmail the required number of cowardly NFL owners needed to reject Limbaugh’s bid to purchase the St. Louis Rams.

Congratulations to all involved in this witch hunt. With this one act of purely partisan-driven retribution, they have highlighted exactly why so many Americans fear freedom of speech and individual liberties may soon be a thing of the past. Liberal groupthink is on the way and let the character assassination aimed at Limbaugh serve as a warning to all those who dare to question the nanny state. From the Ivory Tower of the liberal intelligentsia, we can almost hear the screams of “Just as we know the Sun revolves around the earth, we know that same earth has warmed over the last decade. Agree with us, heretic, or be prepared to be burned at the stake.”

What was Limbaugh’s crime? He had many, apparently, the most unforgivable of which being the fact that for the last two decades, he has been the most powerful and most listened-to voice on the right. For that alone, the far left would like to see him deported from the country or deposited in a dark, dank dungeon. Beyond that, the flimsy excuse used by the handmaidens of the left to deny Limbaugh an ownership stake in the St. Louis Rams is the fact that in 2003, he dared to offer his opinion. As we have come to learn, as far as the liberal elite is concerned, freedom of speech exists in this country for them alone. Conservative opinion needs to be denied, devalued, or attacked wherever and whenever it makes itself known in high schools, the college and university level, media, entertainment or even sports.

In 2003, on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown -- a show in which Limbaugh was being paid and encouraged to offer sometimes controversial opinions -- he had the temerity to offer one -- and state that he believed that for politically correct reasons, some in the sports media were reluctant to criticize Donovan McNabb of the Philadelphia Eagles because he was an African-American. Agree with Limbaugh or not, that was his opinion. It was his right to offer it.

I happen to believe that McNabb is an incredibly tough, gifted and battle-tested quarterback. That said, I also happen to believe that Limbaugh was right to point out that for politically correct reasons, some sports reporters -- the vast majority of whom now lean left in their political and social beliefs -- may have wanted McNabb to succeed for reasons beyond the football field.

No matter; only seconds after that remark by Limbaugh in 2003, the liberal media, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the left-leaning ESPN, decided that Limbaugh had to go. Flash ahead to 2009, and we have the far-left Keith Olbermann -- a man who has said enough vile things about conservative Americans to fill a phone book -- doing weekly commentary for NBC’s Sunday Night Football package. No problem there as far as the left is concerned.

Beyond the corporate censorship against Limbaugh that is being orchestrated by a number of interconnected interest groups from the left, there is something just as insidious going on. Something the far-left has bet conservatives are powerless to stop …or replicate. That being the threats against conservative or independent commentators and the intimidation of advertisers who are associated with such programs or outlets.

Three cases in point being Glenn Beck’s program on the FOX News Channel, Lou Dobbs on CNN, and the nearly advertiser-empty pages of The Weekly Standard run by William Kristol. With pitchforks and torches in hand, the far-left has been working overtime to threaten advertisers on the Beck program or with FOX, have gone viral with a petition to have Lou Dobbs fired from CNN, and have made sure that advertising money does not find its way onto the pages of The Weekly Standard.

As this blacklisting, intimidation, and censorship of free speech takes place, the mainstream media remains mostly silent. As an ally of those who would attack Limbaugh, Beck and Dobbs, they see no reason to criticize what they decades before, referred to as “Un-American” activity.

Advertisers can run in any far-left publication or newspaper without fear as they know conservatives not only can’t or won’t employ the tactics of the left, but don’t have the media in their pocket to makes such threats stick. From Limbaugh to The Weekly Standard, those on the left who seek to expunge dialog, transparency, facts, and basic American liberties, feel they are easily winning the battle.

As they seek to crush Limbaugh, Beck and Dobbs, who or what is next?



Can't they demonize Limbaugh without making stuff up?

On the question of who should own the hapless St. Louis Rams, we can't say we have much of an opinion. It's unfortunate that controversy-shy NFL owners forced Rush Limbaugh to withdraw from an investment consortium bidding for the team, but it's hard to muster much outrage. Blogger Tom Maguire puts it in perspective: "Love him or hate him he has made fabulous living being controversial and (that awful word) divisive. That has opened some doors to him and, unsurprisingly, closed others."

But there is a genuine outrage in the use of phony quotes to accuse Limbaugh of racism. notes that CNN and MSNBC have both attributed the following fabricated quote to Limbaugh: "I mean, let's face it, we didn't have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: Slavery built the South. I'm not saying we should bring it back; I'm just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark."

Another NewsBusters item quotes MSNBC's Rachel Maddow citing this phony quote: "You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray. We miss you, James. Godspeed." Ray assassinated Martin Luther King.

According to the second NewsBusters item linked above, these quotes appear in "101 People Who Are Really Screwing America," a 2006 book by Jack Huberman. (Disclosure: Huberman also quotes this columnist--accurately, as far as we can tell--in explaining why "The Wall Street Journal editors" are one of the "people who are really screwing America.") A blogger who goes by the handle "Mike Smash!" tracks the James Earl Ray quote further back, to a September 2005 blog posting by one "zedlappy," who seems to have found it on a since-edited Wikipedia page.

So what we have here is simply a slander that has become an urban legend--and one that reporters and commentators don't bother to check because it fits their preconception of Limbaugh....

Those journalists who have attributed fake quotes to Limbaugh have not only done him wrong but have fallen short of the most basic professional standard. They owe Limbaugh an apology, and they owe their audience a correction.

More here


A Crazy Double Standard

It's difficult for a public figure like Rush Limbaugh successfully to sue for the defamation he suffered at the hands of a media lynch mob and credulous opponents during his membership in the Checketts group.

But the irony is staggering. Last night on Anderson Cooper 360, CNN called in Al Sharpton to denounce Rush Limbaugh. That's right, Al Sharpton -- a true racist who has incited racial violence which later led to rioting; refused to apologize for defaming a police officer whom he falsely accused of raping a young black woman; made a variety of apparently anti-semitic remarks; and even called fellow blacks who disagreed with him "yellow n----rs." Yet Anderson Cooper and his producers feel that Sharpton is qualified to comment on Rush Limbaugh's alleged bigotry. Now that's rich.

Al Sharpton -- qualified to run for President and to be courted by the Democrat elite. Rush Limbaugh -- not qualified even to be part owner of a football team. Amazing how the double standards for liberals and conservatives work, isn't it?

As for all those football players seething with righteous indignation against Rush -- what's their beef with Rush (do they even know)? And if it's because Rush opposes affirmative action, every football player who hates Rush for that stance should be prepared to surrender his NFL jersey right now to a player of a different race, one "underrepresented" on the football field.




The Attack on Rush Limbaugh - An Anatomy of Fabricated Racism: "Fear is as effective in enslaving us as iron shackles. One more nail was hammered deeply into America's freedom coffin when a group of private sector entrepreneurs were intimidated by race hustlers into ousting talk show host Rush Limbaugh from the consortium formed to buy the St. Louis Rams. Armed with nothing more than demonstrably false charges of racism, fabricated to destroy Limbaugh, several black NFL players claimed publicly that they would never play for a team owned by Limbaugh. Into the cauldron of racial slime jumped the usual race mongering suspects, The Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton - aided by the liberal media, including CNN, MSNBC and their ilk. The phony charge of racism is continuously used as a weapon to silence conservatives who dare stand up for our nation's traditional values and oppose the radical socialist agenda of Democrats and the Obama Administration. Limbaugh deserves our gratitude for showing no fear of the race-baiters, fighting back and helping to preserve the freedoms that have made this country great.

Dollar loses reserve status to yen & euro: "Ben Bernanke's dollar crisis went into a wider mode yesterday as the greenback was shockingly upstaged by the euro and yen, both of which can lay claim to the world title as the currency favored by central banks as their reserve currency. Over the last three months, banks put 63 percent of their new cash into euros and yen -- not the greenbacks -- a nearly complete reversal of the dollar's onetime dominance for reserves, according to Barclays Capital. The dollar's share of new cash in the central banks was down to 37 percent -- compared with two-thirds a decade ago. Currently, dollars account for about 62 percent of the currency reserve at central banks -- the lowest on record, said the International Monetary Fund. Bernanke could go down in economic history as the man who killed the greenback on the operating table. After printing up trillions of new dollars and new bonds to stimulate the US economy, the Federal Reserve chief is now boxed into a corner battling two separate monsters that could devour the economy -- ravenous inflation on one hand, and a perilous recession on the other. "He's in a crisis worse than the meltdown ever was," said Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital. "I fear that he could be the Fed chairman who brought down the whole thing"... "The stimulus is what's toxic -- we're poisoning ourselves and the global economy with it."

Update on the MIAC Report: "Remember the MIAC Report from last February? This was the report issued by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) to law enforcement officials across the state warning them to watch out for supporters of limited government. The report, titled "The Modern Militia Movement", caused quite a stir in the media and the blogosphere. Bill Wilson, President of Americans for Limited Government, filed a FOIA request to obtain the information that went into creating the report. The results of that FOIA were not surprising. The information did not exist. According to Steven Frisbie, the Custodian of Records at the Missouri Highway Patrol, no background materials that were used while the author drafted the report existed. And even more interesting was the claim that they have no record of who wrote the report. Bizarre. The group tasked with collecting intelligence in Missouri cannot even keep track of its own office. It would appear that the MIAC operation is nothing but an amateur operation complete with mustache/glasses disguise kits. They have no idea what is going on inside of their own office."

Obama's tax deception: "The real key to Obama's victory a year ago -- indeed his "signature" issue -- was his promise not to raise taxes on the middle class. No matter how you look at it, though, what a difference a year makes. Not only are middle class American families getting no tax relief, Obama administration officials are refusing to rule out the possibility that taxes on middle class families will actually increase in an effort to help the government pay for all of this new spending. So much for Obama’s plan to “bleed the rich” in order to fund middle class tax relief – now everyone must bleed as the President and his Congressional allies scramble to pay for all that “hope and change” they’ve created. Aside from the obvious demerits of “Robin Hood-style” tax policy (it’s never a good idea to go after the people creating the jobs, is it?), the reality is that Obama’s now-scrapped middle class “tax cut” would have barely made a dent when compared to costly new government mandates being forced upon American families. For example, according to an unreleased report prepared by Obama’s own Treasury Department, the cost of the administration’s “cap and trade” energy tax on the typical American household came out to $1,761 a year. On top of that, we learned this week that the latest multibillion-dollar proposal to “reform” the health care industry would cost the typical American family of four over $4,000 a year by the time the plan is fully implemented.

Big business kills a damaging tax increase on overseas profits: "Raising taxes on the overseas profits of American firms has been a central plank of Barack Obama's agenda since his campaign for President in 2008. The proposal was featured in the President's budget in February and was the focus of a May speech in which he said that corporations were "shirking" their responsibility to support his huge increases in federal spending through higher tax payments. But as this newspaper reported Tuesday, the Administration appears to have shelved the plan to limit business use of the current deferral of taxes on profits earned overseas. This climbdown comes after a full-court press by U.S. multinationals, notably including some of Mr. Obama's Silicon Valley supporters, which argued that raising taxes on U.S. companies abroad would do nothing to create jobs in the U.S. while undermining American competitiveness overseas.

Man gets 50 jobs in 50 states in 50 weeks: "A Californian man went from being bored in a dead end job to getting 50 different jobs in 50 different US states in 50 weeks. Dan Seddiqui, 27, of Los Altos, decided he would prove there were jobs out there and he was going to try as many as possible in just one year. So he left his office job in Skokie, Illinois, to try everything from being a lobster catcher, a jazz conductor, a TV weatherman and even a Las Vegas wedding planner. … In choosing the jobs that he wanted to try in each state, Mr Seddiqui decided that he would try a career that each state was most famous for. So he became a wedding co-ordinator in Vegas, conducting two weddings, and was a musician co-ordinator in jazz-obsessed New Orleans.”


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, October 16, 2009

Britain's Channel 4 to screen documentary that asks whether IQ is linked to race

Channel 4 also aired an "incorrect" programme on climate change. Report below from the mainstream "Daily Mail"

Channel 4 is facing a race controversy after deciding to give a platform to scientists who claim that white people are more intelligent than those who are black. A documentary, fronted by former BBC News correspondent Rageh Omaar, will interview professors who claim brain power is linked to racial grouping. It will include claims that the most intelligent people in the world are North-East Asians from parts of China, Japan and North and South Korea.

The Australian Aborigines will be said to have the lowest average IQ.

The broadcaster has decided to air the comments, which will be abhorrent to many of its viewers, as part of a series of programmes about race and science, aimed at busting 'science's last taboo'. Bosses at the channel claim the season will strongly challenge these opinions and 'explode' the myth that science can support ideas of racial superiority. But the decision to air the issue at all could prove incendiary and is in danger of throwing the channel into another race row. The broadcaster was inundated with complaints in 2007 after it aired the alleged racist bullying of Shilpa Shetty on Celebrity Big Brother.

To promote the series, Channel 4 has altered photos of Baroness Thatcher, The Beatles, England's 1966 World Cup winning football team and U.S. President Barack Obama to change their racial appearances.

In Race and Intelligence: Science's Last Taboo, Omaar talks to academics who believe that aspects of the human brain are linked to race. He interviews Richard Lynn, emeritus professor at the University of Ulster, who has amassed data which he believes shows there is a global league table of intelligence between the races. He is seen claiming that 'the top rate' are North-East Asians who have an average IQ of 105, followed by North and Central Europeans with a score of 100.

He claims American Indians have an IQ of 87, and that sub-Saharan Africans 'pretty well on either side of the equator' have IQs of around 70. He says Aborigines have the lowest scores of around 65. He says: 'When sub-Saharan Africans come and live - and even several generations of them come to live - in European or North American countries, their IQs increase because of course their environment is improved, their schooling is better and their nutrition is better. 'But their IQs don't rise up to the same level as Europeans.'

British-born J Philippe Rushton, a psychology professor at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, is also interviewed. Professor Rushton claims the differences between black and white and East Asian brains is due to general intelligence. He says black people have smaller-sized brains than white people and are not as intelligent as white people.

In the programme a range of academics line up to criticise the views of the two men. Oona King, Channel 4's head of diversity, said the programme will show conclusively 'that you cannot link race to IQ'. Miss King, a former Labour MP, added: 'Even people who know the race agenda inside out will learn a lot from these programmes.' She called for a 'heated debate' about race, saying: 'This series will change the terms of the debate.'

Dr Watson sparked controversy in 2007 after claiming in a newspaper interview that black people were less intelligent. His views prompted London's Science Museum to scrap a planned talk by him, saying the opinions went 'beyond the point of acceptable debate'. The 79-year-old American geneticist - who does not appear in the show - said he was 'inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa' because 'all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours - whereas all the testing says not really'. He added that he hoped that everyone was equal, but then alleged that 'people who have to deal with black employees find this not true'. In the interview he claimed genes responsible for creating differences in human intelligence could be found within a decade.

Dr Watson was hailed as achieving one of the greatest single scientific breakthroughs of the 20th century when he worked at Cambridge in the 1950s and 1960s, forming part of the team which discovered the structure of DNA. He has been director of the Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory on Long Island, in the U.S., a world leader in research into cancer and genetics, for 50 years.

Dr Watson has been at the heart of several scientific furores over the years. He once reportedly said that a woman should have the right to abort her unborn child if tests could determine it would be homosexual. He has suggested a link between skin colour and sex drive, proposing a theory that black people have higher libidos. And he also claimed that beauty could be genetically manufactured, saying: 'People say it would be terrible if we made all girls pretty. I think it would be great.'

In his book, Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science, he writes that 'there is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. 'Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so'.

Omaar also said in a clip of the show that views society found offensive 'are not defeated by being ignored'.



Taxing the Rich. When will the Leftist haters ever learn?

The rhetoric of increasing taxes on the rich has been a goal of populist presidents since FDR. The Obama administration has pledged to increase the taxes on those making over $250,000 to fund increased social programs and a supposed middle class tax cut. However in the past, increasing taxes on the rich has had just the opposite effect.

For example, in 1932, the top individual tax rate was increased from 25% to 63% and eventually rose to 79% by 1937. During that same period, the overall share of taxes paid by those with incomes over $100,000 fell from 50% to 27% of all taxes. Roosevelt\rquote s desire to blame the wealthy investors for the continuing Great Depression, rather than his own economic policies, actually reduced the tax contribution of the very wealthy.

This occurs, of course, because politicians intent upon increased taxes on the rich neglect the fact that the rich, unlike the rest of us, have alternative ways of legitimately investing their money, such as municipal bonds that do not result in taxable income, instead of investing in companies that expand to create jobs. And not just any jobs but productive ones that do not depend upon a coerced tax base of citizens.

While populist administrations want to make sure that the rich pay their fair share, the rich actually already pay for most of the cost of government. In 2005, the top 5% of taxpayers, those with incomes above $150,000, paid 60% of all income taxes paid. Before the Reagan tax reductions of the 1980, that same group paid less than 40%.

While increasing the taxes on the rich may be popular politically, the result is that their share of tax revenue is reduced by alternative investment. This forces the middle class to pay a larger share of the tax burden. This is exactly the opposite result of what those trying to get the rich to pay their fair share would like you to believe.



Jackson & Sharpton Effort Against Rush Limbaugh is an Effort to "Get Whitie" and a "Racist Act," Says Leading Black Conservative

This statement was issued today by Deneen Borelli of the national black leadership network Project 21: "The left-wing jihad against Rush Limbaugh is un-fair and un-American. Rush is being targeted simply because he is a conservative and a leading critic of President Obama's wealth redistribution policies.

With conservative blood in the water, it's predictable to see the 'race card duo' -- Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton -- circling the victim. Since the election of the first black president, they have been searching for some white meat to feed on and Rush just happens to be a juicy target. Whipping up unjustified black anger is their specialty.

Frankly, I see their effort as 'get whitie' -- an inherent racist act. It's outrageous that the 'race card duo' are worried about Rush buying a football team following a graphic example of black on black gang violence in Chicago -- Jackson's home town. As so-called black leaders they should be putting their time and effort in dealing with the human tragedies in the urban community: crime and failing schools and not a conservative exercising his right to play in the free market."




U.S. troop funds diverted to pet projects: "Senators diverted $2.6 billion in funds in a defense spending bill to pet projects largely at the expense of accounts that pay for fuel, ammunition and training for U.S. troops, including those fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to an analysis. Among the 778 such projects, known as earmarks, packed into the bill: $25 million for a new World War II museum at the University of New Orleans and $20 million to launch an educational institute named after the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat. While earmarks are hardly new in Washington, "in 30 years on Capitol Hill, I never saw Congress mangle the defense budget as badly as this year," said Winslow Wheeler, a former Senate staffer who worked on defense funding and oversight for both Republicans and Democrats."

An Olympian traitor: "After hemming and hawing for weeks, Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe did what many knew she'd do: support the abominable Baucus health care overhaul. The GOP has a big problem. Some who march under its banner don't really accept the basic philosophy it espouses -- one of low taxes, small government and support of the Constitution. Snowe is one of those. Her decision to vote "aye" on the Baucus bill, which passed out of the Senate Finance Committee on an otherwise partisan 14-9 vote, was called a "surprise" by some. It wasn't. She's done this for years, undercutting her party and lending support to the opposition. Don't look for some transcendent reason. "My vote today is my vote today," Snowe said, clarifying nothing. "It doesn't forecast what my vote will be tomorrow." Nothing like standing firmly on principle."

Media Outlets Neglect to Mention that Doctor Photo-Op Was Staged: "In his latest push for a health care overhaul bill, President Obama spoke to doctors in the White House Rose Garden yesterday. Painting a nice picture of the event were many media outlets that neglected to mention the White House's doctoring (forgive the pun) of the audience in an attempt at a powerful photo-op. Doctors attending the event were instructed to show up in white lab coats to give observers the feeling that doctors stand behind the President's health care plans. "White Coats in the Rose Garden, as Obama Rallies Doctors on Health Overhaul," read a New York Times blog post headline. "The roughly 150 doctors assembled wore white lab coats under the brilliant fall sun," the Washington Post recalled. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote, "Obama faced rows of smiling doctors, all wearing white lab coats." NBC News also noted the white coats donned by the doctors in attendance. But none of these media outlets mentioned that the White House had to hand out lab coats to a number of the doctors in attendance who showed up in business attire. Apparently trying to drive home the image of medical professionals applauding the President, the White House would not start the press conference until all of the doctors were dressed in the "spiffy" outfits, in the President's words. Rather than cover the clear attempt by the President to use visuals to enhance the public perception of support from the industry, media outlets chose to rehash White House talking points."

Just what Britain needs; Fewer productive workers and more parasites: "Nearly a million jobs in private industry and commerce have been lost in just 15 months, the latest unemployment figures showed yesterday. But the full impact of the recession has been shrugged off in the public sector, which has seen a boom of over 300,000 in recruitment of bureaucrats. There was an increase of 88,000 in the jobless numbers in the three months to August. Ministers hope the figures may signal an improvement in the economy, but the gloss was taken off by the extent to which the Treasury has subsidised employment. But while hundreds of thousands of taxpayer-funded jobs have been created in Whitehall and its branches, town halls and quangos, the private sector has been punished. And pay rises in the public sector are running far ahead of inflation and at nearly three times the rate of wage increases in private business. At the end of June there were more than six million workers in the public sector, up by 304,000 on March 2008 when the recession started to bite. However, over the same 15-month period the number of employees in the private sector dropped by 919,000. And many of the new public sector workers do not appear to have been the 'front-line' staff such as teachers, nurses and policemen of whom ministers like to boast. For example, recent figures showed that the number of teachers has dropped over the past few months, while town halls have continued to hire staff, often to the kind of posts regularly mocked as 'non-jobs'.

Britain is in danger of going bust, warns EU: "Britian's economy was consigned to a list of those at 'high risk' yesterday because of the spiralling national debt. The European Commission issued a humiliating warning that the worsening budget deficit poses 'serious concerns' that the country will be unable to meet future spending commitments, such as pensions. The growing number of elderly people threatens to make debt unsustainable and has led to the UK economy being ranked alongside nations such as Latvia, Greece and Romania. The warning plunged the Government into a furious row with Brussels, as Treasury officials said it called into question the EC's ability to carry out 'credible economic analysis'."

Colorado minimum wage to drop as living costs fall: "Colorado will become the first state to reduce its minimum wage because of a falling cost of living. The state Department of Labor and Employment ordered the wage down to $7.24 from $7.28. That's lower than the federal minimum wage of $7.25, so most minimum wage workers would lose only 3 cents an hour. Colorado is one of 10 states where the minimum wage is tied to inflation. The indexing is thought to protect low-wage workers from having flat wages as the cost of living goes up. But because Colorado's provision allows wage declines, the minimum wage will drop because of a falling consumer price index. It will be the first decrease in any state since the federal minimum wage law was passed in 1938."

Dollar sinking: "The U.S. dollar plumbed a 14-month low against the euro on Wednesday, sending gold prices to record highs and pushing up oil for a fifth day to a 2009 high of $75.12 a barrel. U.S. stock futures were up 1 percent, indicating a higher open on Wall Street, while the MSCI all-country world stock index rose 0.8 percent to a new 12-month high. Improvements in Chinese export and import data for September as well as a surprising rise in its copper imports also boded well for the rest of the year, offering fresh evidence that its economy is firmly on a recovery track and that the global economy is improving, too... The dollar dropped 0.6 percent against the yen to 89.20 yen, bringing lows below 88 yen hit earlier this month back into view. The latest rush to buy yen and sell dollars came after Naoki Minezaki, a senior vice finance minister in Japan, told Reuters that yen strength is due to dollar weakness which will likely persist, and the government should not intervene in markets just because the yen is rising. The euro climbed 0.2 percent to $1.4877, after earlier rising to $1.49, the highest since August 2008."

Another Obama sycophant: "While the National Endowment for the Arts has attracted attention as a propaganda arm of the Obama administration, the National Endowment for the Humanities has so far escaped such attention. Have we missed something? The new chairman of the NEH is former Republican Rep. Jim Leach. Leach supported Obama during the campaign and must have had dreams of office higher than the chairmanship of the NEH. The NEH itself is of course supposed to be nonpartisan. In his capacity as chairman, however, Leach has become something of an Obama mouthpiece... The theme of the speech was the NEH's "Bridging Cultures" initiative. According to Leach, the initiative is aimed at changing the allegedly "disrespectful" attitudes of many Americans toward Muslim contributions to culture. I'd settle for Leach building a bridge of respect to Americans such as Rep. Wilson, but he clearly has bigger fish to fry. The anthropologist and National Association of Scholars president Peter Wood raises a red flag concerning Leach's speech here. I urge you to read all of Professor Wood's commentary on the speech. Professor Wood says just about everything that needs to be said about it."


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, October 15, 2009

Obama's destruction of the U.S. dollar

With U.S. debt set to exceed 100% of GDP in 2011, it's no wonder people are looking for alternative ways to preserve wealth

Unprecedented spending, unending fiscal deficits, unconscionable accumulations of government debt: These are the trends that are shaping America's financial future. And since loose monetary policy and a weak U.S. dollar are part of the mix, apparently, it's no wonder people around the world are searching for an alternative form of money in which to calculate and preserve their own wealth.

It may be too soon to dismiss the dollar as an utterly debauched currency. It still is the most used for international transactions and constitutes over 60% of other countries' official foreign-exchange reserves. But the reputation of our nation's money is being severely compromised.

Funny how words normally used to address issues of morality come to the fore when judging the qualities of the dollar. Perhaps it's because the U.S. has long represented the virtues of democratic capitalism. To be "sound as a dollar" is to be deemed trustworthy, dependable, and in good working condition.

It used to mean all that, anyway. But as the dollar is increasingly perceived as the default mechanism for out-of-control government spending, its role as a reliable standard of value is destined to fade. Who wants to accumulate assets denominated in a shrinking unit of account? Excess government spending leads to inflation, and inflation plays dollar savers for patsies—both at home and abroad.

A return to sound financial principles in Washington, D.C., would signal that America still believes it can restore the integrity of the dollar and provide leadership for the global economy. But for all the talk from the Obama administration about the need to exert fiscal discipline—the president's 10-year federal budget is subtitled "A New Era of Responsibility: Renewing America's Promise"—the projected budget numbers anticipate a permanent pattern of deficit spending and vastly higher levels of outstanding federal debt.

Even with the optimistic economic assumptions implicit in the Obama administration's budget, it's a mathematical impossibility to reduce debt if you continue to spend more than you take in. Mr. Obama promises to lower the deficit from its current 9.9% of gross domestic product to an average 4.8% of GDP for the years 2010-2014, and an average 4% of GDP for the years 2015-2019. All of this presupposes no unforeseen expenditures such as a second "stimulus" package or additional costs related to health-care reform. But even if the deficit shrinks as a percentage of GDP, it's still a deficit. It adds to the amount of our nation's outstanding indebtedness, which reflects the cumulative total of annual budget deficits.

By the end of 2019, according to the administration's budget numbers, our federal debt will reach $23.3 trillion—as compared to $11.9 trillion today. To put it in perspective: U.S. federal debt was equal to 61.4% of GDP in 1999; it grew to 70.2% of GDP in 2008 (under the Bush administration); it will climb to an estimated 90.4% this year and touch the 100% mark in 2011, after which the projected federal debt will continue to equal or exceed our nation's entire annual economic output through 2019.

The U.S. is thus slated to enter the ranks of those countries—Zimbabwe, Japan, Lebanon, Singapore, Jamaica, Italy—with the highest government debt-to-GDP ratio (which measures the debt burden against a nation's capacity to generate sufficient wealth to repay its creditors). In 2008, the U.S. ranked 23rd on the list—crossing the 100% threshold vaults our nation into seventh place.

If you were a foreign government, would you want to increase your holdings of Treasury securities knowing the U.S. government has no plans to balance its budget during the next decade, let alone achieve a surplus?

In the European Union, countries wishing to adopt the euro must first limit government debt to 60% of GDP. It's the reference criterion for demonstrating "soundness and sustainability of public finances." Politicians find it all too tempting to print money—something the Europeans have understood since the days of the Weimar Republic—and excessive government borrowing poses a threat to monetary stability.

Valuable lessons can also be drawn from Japan's unsuccessful experiment with quantitative easing in the aftermath of its ruptured 1980s bubble economy. The Bank of Japan's desperate efforts to fight deflation through a zero-interest rate policy aimed at bailing out zombie companies, along with massive budget deficit spending, only contributed to a lost decade of stagnant growth. Japan's government debt-to-GDP ratio escalated to more than 170% now from 65% in 1990. Over the same period, the yen's use as an international reserve currency—it clings to fourth place behind the dollar, euro and pound sterling—declined from comprising 10.2% of official foreign-exchange reserves to 3.3% today.

The U.S. has long served as the world's "indispensable nation" and the dollar's primary role in the global economy has likewise seemed to testify to American exceptionalism. But the passivity in Washington toward our dismal fiscal future, and its inevitable toll on U.S. economic influence, suggests that American global leadership is no longer a priority and that America's money cannot be trusted.

If money is a moral contract between government and its citizens, we are being violated. The rest of the world, meanwhile, simply wants to avoid being duped. That is why China and Russia—large holders of dollars—are angling to invent some new kind of global currency for denominating reserve assets. It's why oil-producing Gulf States are fretting over whether to continue pricing energy exports in depreciated dollars. It's why central banks around the world are dumping dollars in favor of alternative currencies, even as reduced global demand exacerbates the dollar's decline. Until the U.S. sends convincing signals that it believes in a strong dollar—mere rhetorical assertions ring hollow—the world has little reason to hold dollar-denominated securities.

Sadly, due to our fiscal quagmire, the Federal Reserve may be forced to raise interest rates as a sop to attract foreign capital even if it hurts our domestic economy. Unfortunately, that's the price of having already succumbed to symbiotic fiscal and monetary policy. If we could forge a genuine commitment to private-sector economic growth by reducing taxes, and at the same time significantly cut future spending, it might be possible to turn things around. Under President Reagan in the 1980s, Fed Chairman Paul Volcker slashed inflation and strengthened the dollar by dramatically tightening credit. Though it was a painful process, the economy ultimately boomed.

Whether the U.S. can once more summon the resolve to address its problems is an open question. But the world's growing dollar disdain conveys a message: Issuing more promissory notes is not the way to renew America's promise.



Who's Behind the White House War on Fox News?

The Left just can't take criticism. They know how vulnerable they are if people get to hear both sides of an argument -- JR

White House interim communications director Anita Dunn assumed the role of lead Fox News Channel-basher this weekend. The attack was a dud. The left-leaning Nation magazine ridiculed President Obama's press shop for turning him into the "whiner-in-chief." AOL media columnist Jeff Bercovici called the war on Fox a "loser's strategy" that "signals weakness." And that's the friendly fire.

Dunn found refuge in rival CNN's green zone, where she blasted Fox News as a "research arm of the Republican Party." Unhappy with headline-generating Fox News hosts who have wrested control of the news cycle from Team Obama, Dunn complained about "opinion journalism masquerading as news."

Well, that is certainly an apt description of an Obama-sympathizing "news" segment on "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," which purported to "fact check" a Saturday Night Live skit mocking the president's lack of accomplishments.

Yes, the "real" news fact-checked the fake news to cover for Obama's deficiencies. Zero complaints from the White House communications office about that. Or about authentic CNN journalist Anderson Cooper using his prime-time show to make vulgar sexual jokes about Tea Party activists. Or about the joint White House-ABC News health care reform infomercial that aired earlier this summer.

Some "opinion journalism" is more equal than others.

Debates about the blurred lines between opinion and journalism are all well and good. But don't the talking-points crafters in the Oval Office have something better to do than carp about the talking points they don't like hearing on the one cable network that hasn't been completely overrun by Obama sycophants? (Full disclosure: I've been a Fox News contributor since 2001.)

Where are the seasoned press gurus to help Nobel Peace Prize-winner Barack Obama appear more presidential and less petty and thuggish?

The corruptocratic affiliations of Obama's communications team are illuminating. His press shop can't rise above the fray because they've been entrenched in the Beltway fray for years. They can't help themselves.

Democratic media consultant Dunn's claim to fame is her decade-long service as chief strategist for disgraced Democrat and former Senate Majority Leader turned health care lobbyist Tom Daschle. She was in the thick of his failed re-election campaign as Daschle asserted a bogus property-tax homestead exemption claim on his $1.9 million D.C. mansion -- which he listed as his primary residence despite voting in South Dakota and claiming it as his primary residence in order to run for re-election. And Dunn was with Daschle during the years he failed to pay gobs of taxes on a luxury car and driver provided to him by crony donor Leo Hindery Jr.

After working as communications manager for Obama's political action committee and then as senior adviser to his 2008 presidential campaign, Dunn "trained" White House press secretary and anti-Fox sniper Robert Gibbs. Deputy communications director Dan Pfeiffer is another young protege of Dunn's, who worked with her on the disastrous 2004 Daschle re-election campaign.

(Another Daschle connection: Obama transition adviser John Podesta, who served as Daschle's counselor and has helped staff the administration with many alumni of his left-wing think tank, the Center for American Progress. One CAP fellow, Hugo Chavez-admiring radical Mark Lloyd, has attacked conservative talk radio -- the second home of several Fox News hosts -- and is now the FCC's "Diversity Czar.")

Dunn is married to Robert Bauer, a Washington, D.C., corporate lawyer who served as general counsel for Obama for America. It was Bauer who lobbied the Justice Department unsuccessfully last fall to pursue a criminal probe of American Issues Project (AIP), an independent group that sought to run an ad spotlighting Obama's ties to Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers.

It was Bauer who attempted to sic the DOJ on GOP donor Harold Simmons and sought his prosecution for funding the ad. It was Bauer who tried to bully television stations across the country to compel them to pull the spot. All on Obama's behalf.

While conservatives revel in the left's hysteria over Fox News Channel's dominance, more of Obama's friends hope he'll wipe his nose and man up. Fat chance. As long as he's surrounded by career flacks who demonize dissent to distract from the Beltway stench, the White House will remain an all-whine zone.




Some background here on the latest hero of American conservatism, Hannah Giles. She sounds a great gal.

GOP uses ACORN to fight bank redlining law: "Conservative Republicans are capitalizing on the troubles of community activist group ACORN — ranging from charges of voter registration fraud to embarrassing videos of its employees — to revive their long-standing fight against a federal law that grades banks on their investments in poor and minority neighborhoods. The 1977 Community Reinvestment Act was intended to end redlining, a practice in which banks in effect walled off many inner-city neighborhoods from mortgage loans. But some GOP lawmakers say it has outlived its purpose and is being used inappropriately by ACORN to shake down banks for money.”

The real problem with ACORN: "Eventually I soured on welfare in a number of ways. Even with the women it was doing no good. They had no sense of self-sufficiency. It was just a sophisticated form of begging. They would develop a sense of entitlement so that ‘getting ahead’ simply meant making more and more strident demands on more and more people. And that’s what Wade Rathke seems to have picked up on. He said on the Fox show that when funding ran out for welfare rights he moved to Little Rock to start his own community organizing effort, based on that same sense of endless grievance. ACORN became skilled at moral gangsterism, shaking down governments and corporations for larger and larger amounts, making ever more ridiculous demands.”

Tire trade tirade: "In 2002, President George W. Bush helped make us poorer by signing off on higher steel tariffs. In 2009, President Barack Obama helped make us poorer by signing off on higher tire tariffs. Is this supposed to be change we can believe in? Economic analysis shows that trade creates wealth. The law of comparative advantage demonstrates that when we specialize and trade, we produce more wealth using the same resources. Preventing trade means that we use more resources to produce less wealth.”

SCOTUS to hear asset forfeiture overkill case: "Asset forfeiture is one of law enforcement’s most potent weapons against drug crimes. When private property such as cars, boats, houses, and money are used in a narcotics transaction, US laws allow the police not only to seize those assets but to profit from the seizures. But a problem arises when the confiscated property belongs to someone unaware that crimes were taking place. In such instances, it can take a year or more for the owner to get back the seized property. The US Supreme Court Wednesday takes up a case examining whether a federal appeals court was right when it ruled that officials in Chicago were taking too long to return property to innocent owners.”

Dangerous Bible quotations: "A Delta airliner en route from Seattle to Atlanta has made an unscheduled stop in Nashville after a disturbance on board. No one was hurt. Nashville International Airport spokeswoman Emily Richard says passenger Paul Marchuk III was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest by airport police. WSMV-TV in Nashville reported that a passenger had to be subdued by other passengers after he began quoting Bible passages. Richard said she had no information about that.”

Russia: Moscow court rejects Stalin grandson’s libel suit: "A Moscow court rejected on Tuesday a libel suit filed against a newspaper by the grandson of dictator Joseph Stalin. Yevgeny Dzhugashvili demanded Novaya Gazeta retract parts of an article that said Stalin personally signed death warrants. He also demanded 10 million rubles ($340,000) in compensation for damage to his honor. The paper’s spokesperson, Nadezhda Prusenkova, told reporters the article was based on recently declassified documents, including death warrants bearing Stalin’s personal signature. The warrants were then forwarded to the NKVD to be carried out. … The court hearings drew public attention and were attended by supporters of the Stalinist ideology. Verbal clashes were heard in the corridor between the activists and the defense team.”

Fresh kidneys for sale: "Part of the notion of treating individuals with dignity is that they have control over what is done with their own bodies and their parts.’ Who could disagree with that principle? A new study, ‘Trafficking in Organs, Tissues, and Cells and Trafficking in Human Beings for the Purpose of Organ Removal’ done at the behest of the United Nations and the Council of Europe, correctly observes, ‘In order to obtain organs and tissues from the living, there is agreement that, from an ethical standpoint, it is necessary to have a legally competent individual who is fully informed and can make a voluntary, uncoerced choice about donation.’ Right on. However, once these principles are enunciated, the report — co-authored by University of Pennsylvania bioethicist Arthur Caplan and three European colleagues — oddly concludes that individuals have the right to control their bodies, except when they want to sell one of their organs.”

Some blind worship of government: "The hoariest and most oft-repeated cliche in American politics may be that America is the greatest country in the world. Every politician, Democrat and Republican, seems duty bound to pander to this idea of American exceptionalism, and woe unto him who hints otherwise. This country is ‘the last, best hope of mankind,’ the ’shining city on the hill’ or the ‘great social experiment.’ As if this weren’t enough, Jimmy Carter upped the fawning ante 30 years ago by uttering arguably the most damning words in modern American politics. He called for a ‘government as good as the American people,’ thus taking national greatness and investing it in each and every one of us. … The fact of the matter is that whenever anything really significant has been accomplished by our government, it is precisely because it was better than the American people.”


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, October 14, 2009

A Leftist has a nightmare

I have a nightmare.

I have a nightmare that sometime before the 2010 elections, the scales will fall from your eyes and you will see us as we really are.

I have a nightmare that you will read C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters and realize that it is not fiction.

I have a nightmare that you will read Plunkitt of Tammany Hall and get firsthand instruction in how we steal elections.

I have a nightmare that you will read Machiavelli’s The Prince and realize that we got there way ahead of you.

I have a nightmare that you will read Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and recognize us in the figure of Ellsworth Toohey — the “friend” who is in fact your mortal enemy.

I have a nightmare that you will read Dickens’s Bleak House and see us in the character of Mrs. Jellyby, the “telescopic philanthropist,” who lets her own family go to hell while she frets over the fate of an African tribe.

I have a nightmare that you will re-watch Saving Private Ryan and realize that Corporal Upham, the liberal stickler for process played by Jeremy Davies, saves the German prisoner’s life only to get most of his platoon killed, including Tom Hanks. And then commits the very war crime he tried to stop.

I have a nightmare that while you’re enjoying the scatological dialogue and ultra-violence of Pulp Fiction, you’ll realize that Vincent Vega, the unbeliever, dies unredeemed in Butch Coolidge’s bathroom, while Jules, who accepts the reality of miracles, grants absolution to Pumpkin and Honey Bunny and is thus saved.

I have a nightmare that you will go back and watch any B-movie made between 1933 and 1963, like Gun Crazy, and see an America that was not afraid of inanimate objects like firearms, and instead blamed the man for the crime.

I have a nightmare that some of you are old enough to recall a time when the law was an honorable profession, the Constitution was not so deconstructed that, essentially, all that is left of it is the Commerce Clause, and your doctor charged a fee for service and made house calls.

I have a nightmare that when you think of the late Ted Kennedy, resting peacefully at Arlington Cemetery, all you will be able to see is Mary Jo Kopechne, gasping for air in the Oldsmobile while the senator returned to his hotel room and went to sleep.

I have a nightmare that you will remember that Sirhan Sirhan was a Palestinian who hated Bobby Kennedy because of his support of Israel.

I have a nightmare that you’ll realize that, far from being a right-wing nut, Lee Harvey Oswald was a self-proclaimed Marxist who defected to the Soviet Union, came home with a Russian wife, agitated on behalf of Castro’s Cuba, tried to re-defect to Russia, returned to Dallas, brought his rifle to work, and killed JFK with a classic marksman’s shot group: miss, hit, kill.

I have a nightmare that you’ll remember that, in the week leading up to the murders of George Moscone and Harvey Milk, there was no right-wing “climate of hate” in San Francisco as Nancy Pelosi, aka Maerose Prizzi, would have you believe. Instead, the city was riveted by the murders of Congressman Leo Ryan and journalists Don Harris, Bob Brown, and Greg Robinson at the Port Kaituma airstrip on Nov. 18, 1978. This was followed by the “revolutionary suicides” of hundreds of Jim Jones’s radical-leftist Peoples Temple followers, most of them African American. One of the suicide notes read, “I, Marceline Jones, leave all bank accounts in my name to the Communist Party of the USSR.”

I have a nightmare that people will eventually realize that Dan White, who shot Moscone and Milk not over gay rights but over Moscone’s refusal to give him back his seat on the Board of Supervisors, was a Democrat.

I have a nightmare that one day Dianne Feinstein, a good and decent woman who not only was there but owes her entire national political career to the tragic events of Nov. 27, 1978, will straighten out Maerose Prizzi, as well as the rest of the country.

I have a nightmare that eventually you will recall that, just a few years after the events depicted in Milk, the newly liberated gay community in San Francisco was decimated by AIDS.

I have a nightmare that one day you will recognize the destructive philosophic effect on the American way of life of the “Institute for Social Research,” aka the Frankfurt School of radical neo-Marxists — Adorno, Horkheimer, Fromm, Habermas, Marcuse et al. — who, fleeing Hitler, arrived in America in 1934 and promptly affiliated with Columbia University, where they injected their notions of “critical theory” and “scientific Marxism” into the body of American academe.

I have a nightmare that one day, perhaps during another Great Awakening, the Supreme Court will overturn Murray v. Curlett, which outlawed school prayer in a lawsuit brought by Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the founder of American Atheists. In 1995, O’Hair was murdered along with her son and granddaughter by another American atheist, who chain-sawed their bodies into bits.

I have a nightmare that one day the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade, thus returning abortion to the states — although, alas, we will never get those 40 million dead souls to pay into the Social Security system.

I have a nightmare that I will still be alive when the Mother of All Ponzi Schemes finally beggars the nation, and the heroic, eco-friendly childless couples starve to death as they realize they forgot to manufacture their old-age meal tickets.

I have a nightmare that you will finally understand what the Manchurian Candidate, “mmm mmm mmm / Barack Hussein Obama,” meant by “fundamental change.”

I have a nightmare that one day Bill O’Reilly will wake up and realize that he’s letting a valuable television franchise descend into idiotic “culture warrior” and “body language” segments, and that he needs to stop hawking his books and Factor gear and remember to dance with what brung him — before the audience abandons him in favor of Glenn Beck.

I have a nightmare that we liberals won’t be able to stop Andrew Breitbart or any of the other maquis now shooting at us from every tree and from behind every rock, turning our own tactics against us, mocking us and rendering us frustrated and impotent.

I have a nightmare that W. will go on national television, rue his not naming a viable successor, castigate McCain for his disgraceful accommodationist campaign, and apologize for not fully executing the Bush Doctrine when he had the chance.

I have a nightmare that, one day soon, the New York Times will collapse into irrelevance, along with Time, Newsweek, and The New Yorker, and no one will be there to set the TV networks’ agendas, forcing you to once more think for yourself.

I have a nightmare that you will pick up a copy of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and actually read it, boring and poorly written as it is.

I have a nightmare that you will organize and rally to take back your country from the frauds, poseurs, hollow men, gangsters, communists, atheists, perverts, Daley Machine hacks, ballerinas, and Jake Lingles who have parlayed a desire for Change, a touching but absurd reliance on Hope, and a huge dollop of racial guilt into something this country has never seen before.

I have a nightmare that you will come to understand the truth of Goya’s axiom that “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters.”

I have a nightmare that Sarah Palin will get the Republican nomination for president in 2012.

I have a nightmare that she will win, scattering us like so many scuttling Gregor Samsas.

I have nightmare that . . .

Nah. Never happen. You’re too stupid.



They still spell it 'Amerika'

For those of us who grew up in the era when Weather Undergrounders Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorhn were familiar names in the news, it is always discomforting to be reminded of Barack Obama's many associations with people of the radical left - Ayers, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Van Jones, etc.

Such folks' political thought never progressed beyond the 1960s because the revolutionary New Left didn't disapear, it simply went on to graduate school and then careers, mostly in the mainstream media, academia, the non-profits, the bureaucracy of state and local social work, and Blue State politics. Many bought BMWs and flat screens who nevertheless never stopped dreaming of revolution. In their hearts, they still spell it "Amerika."

More recently, as the first year of the Obama administration has unfolded and the basic outlines of his domestic and foreign policies have emerged, that discomfort has steadily become more tangible as the radical roots of the Sixties have broken ground in the White House and now are spreading rapidly into every corner of the federal government.

Obama grew up suffused in this culture of obsessive alienation and its distempered worldview, it is his fundamental frame of reference concerning America's past and its principles. Early on in places like Harvard and Chicago, he learned to speak always in language that appears to reassure when in fact it obscures and conceals his roots and what those roots tell us about who he appoints and why he follows the policies he does.

Whatever Barack and the people he has surrounded himself with may profess with their mouths at any particular time, their actions show they still loathe America and our standing as most powerful nation on earth, as well as our free enterprise, individual liberty, reverence for family and local communities, Main Street, the U.S. military, Christianity, and every other hallmark of the traditional culture and values of Western civilization.

And now they think they have the power and position to do what they've always wanted to do - tear it all down and remake it in their millenarian image of Leviathan. As philosopher Erik Voegelin would say, they don't merely intend the immanentization of the eschaton, they are securing the appropriations and regulations to make it happen.

Viewed from that assumption, things become so much clearer. On foreign and military policy, Obama's dominant principle is to apologize, to reverse a previous course - thus disavowing the intrinsically moral role of America in protecting freedom - and to seek rapproachment with our enemies on their terms.

Everywhere it is withdrawal, falling back, humbling of the nation that defeated Hitler and Japan, then rebuilt both as well as the rest of Europe, and engaged and won the Cold War with the Soviet Union. There can be no legitimate U.S. national interests overseas to be protected because Obama and his mentors never accepted America's legitimacy on the world stage. For them, we have always been the imperialist power and we must therefore be brought down.

On domestic policy, deficit spending as never before seen enslaves present and future generations with debt, destroys the currency and renders a crippling inflation all but inevitable. They have effectively nationalized key sectors of the formerly free economy - banking, the auto industry, communications - and they are moving to put freedom of speech and the press under the supervision of federal bureaucrats.

They are suffocating the remainder of the productive economy with more and deeper regulation that will eventually kill the animating spirit of entreprenurial innovation and risk-taking that powers economic growth and job creation. And they are rendering the country permanently dependent on foreign oil and hamstringing its future development by forcing conversion to unproven alternative energy sources.

And no matter their promises or rationale now, when they are finished, they will have turned the shining city on a hill into something more resembling a Third Word ant heap. No wonder Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro and Muhammar al-Ghadafi heap praise on Obama.

Obviously my ability to put these things into words falls far short of the gravity of the times, but fortunately there is Charles Krauthammer's extraordinary piece in The Weekly Standard. He brings all of these strands and more together in far more and telling detail than I can summon in this space. If you read nothing else this weekend, you must read his "Decline is a choice."

And then reflect on the fact that the choice is being made for us, not by us.




Obama fails to win Nobel prize in economics: "In a decision as shocking as Friday's surprise peace prize win, President Obama failed to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences Monday. While few observers think Obama has done anything for world peace in the nearly nine months he's been in office, the same clearly can't be said for economics. The president has worked tirelessly since even before his inauguration to wrest control of the U.S. economy from failed free markets, and the evil CEOs who profit from them, and to turn it over to wise, fair and benevolent bureaucrats. From his $787 billion stimulus package, to the cap-and-trade bill, to the seizures of General Motors and Chrysler, to the undead health-care "reform" act, Obama has dominated the U.S., and therefore the global, economy as few figures have in recent years."

After 12 years of Leftist government, Britain is the worst place to live in Europe : "Britain is the worst place in Europe to live despite offering the biggest salaries, a study reveals today. High incomes in the UK are cancelled out by long working hours, poor annual leave, rising food and fuel bills and a lack of sunshine. Researchers weighed up official data for ten countries, including France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Poland. It found Britons enjoy the highest aftertax household income of £35,730-a-year, more than £10,000 above the European average. But most of it goes on keeping a 'roof over our heads, food on the table and our homes warm', according to the European Quality of Life Index. After comparing 17 quality of life measures, the study ranked Britain at the bottom-with Ireland second from last. The best quality of life can be found in France and Spain. Britons can expect to work three years longer - retiring at 62 years and 6 months - than the French, and die two years younger at 78.9. Workers here get the least annual leave in Europe, with 28 days a year, compared with 41 in Spain. We also have to contend with a higher cost of living, paying more for fuel, food and transport." [The Brits were once well ahead of Europe in most ways after Mrs Thatcher's reforms]

Plan for women bishops put on ice to avoid defections from Church of England: "Plans to consecrate women bishops in the Church of England have been delayed by at least four years in an attempt to avoid mass defections by opponents of women’s ordination. Church legislators have backtracked on a decision made by the General Synod, the Church’s governing body, last year to consecrate women bishops with minimal concessions to opponents. The Church will now be asked again to approve the plans for “super bishops”, which were rejected in July last year and which will create a new class of bishop, operating in traditionalist zones “untainted” by the spectre of women bishops. But the revisions are expected to be strongly contested by supporters of women’s ordination."

The nutty archbishop again: "The Archbishop of Canterbury has called for “unsustainable” air-freighted food to be replaced gradually by homegrown produce from thousands of new allotments. In an interview with The Times, Dr Rowan Williams said that families needed to respond to the threat of climate change by changing their shopping habits and adjusting their diets to the seasons, eating fruit and vegetables that could be grown in Britain. He said that the carbon footprint of peas from Kenya and other airfreighted food was too high and families should not assume that all types of food would be available through the year. Dr Williams called for more land to be made available for allotments, saying that they would help people to reconnect with nature and wean them off a consumerist lifestyle. The Archbishop was accused, however, of threatening the livelihoods of a million families in sub-Saharan Africa, who depended on exports of fresh produce to Europe."

All that bureaucracy for nothing. US still can’t trace foreign visitors on expired visas: "Eight years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and despite repeated mandates from Congress, the United States still has no reliable system for verifying that foreign visitors have left the country. New concern was focused on that security loophole last week, when Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, a 19-year-old Jordanian who had overstayed his tourist visa, was accused in court of plotting to blow up a Dallas skyscraper.”

Economics is not just money and shopping: "Too often, when I appear on the radio or TV and talk about the perverse incentives of some new government policy, I’m accused of being an ‘unfeeling economist’ who ‘reduces everything to money.’ Well I ain’t. And that view misunderstands what is actually about. Economics is the science of choice. True, many of the choices we make involve giving up money to get something we want. But many more choices hinge on giving up other, non-monetary things — like our time and effort. Should I go out with friends, or stay at home reading my book? I cannot do both. Should I mow the lawn, or offer to help out at the school fete? No money is involved in these decisions, and yet they are properly ‘economic’ decisions.”

DOT warns airlines: Pay up fast for lost bags: "Chalk one up for consumers in the ongoing push-and-pull with the airline industry: The Dept. of Transportation is warning airlines that they will be punished if they don't compensate passengers whose bags were lost or delayed. DOT rules regulate that airlines cover -- up to $3,300 -- expenses consumers are forced to make should they find themselves without their bags. The amount is meant to help pay for replacement clothing, shoes and accessories, but it also includes costs for everyday needs like toothbrushes, shampoo and skin-care cleansers. But many carriers have in recent months reimbursed passengers only for necessities that were purchased more than 24 hours after arrival on the premise that the bag could be located and delivered within that time. What's more, carriers are limiting the payback only on the outbound leg of the trip. Mosley said DOT began scrutinizing airlines policies when it found a number of violations, including the rules for mishandled baggage, by Spirit Airlines two months ago. The deep-discount carrier was fined $375,000 Sept. 17 for all the violations in what was the largest fine for a consumer-protection violation. Passengers with complaints about air travel experiences can contact DOT at 202-366-2220 or through the Website at"


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, October 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, Fox News

by Bill O'Reilly

Big birthday this week: Fox News Channel is 13 years old. I was there on Oct. 7, 1996, when the channel was launched with about 15 million subscribers. Now we have about 90 million. Back then, if "The Factor" received 50 e-mails a day we were happy. Now, we average about 2,000 electronic letters daily. FNC is perhaps the biggest media success since the networks were formed in the 1940s. Fox News is a billion-dollar enterprise that dominates cable news ratings and is consistently in the top five of all cable programs. Simply put, FNC is on fire even after all these years.

There are two compelling questions on our birthday. First, why the big success? Second, why do many media people despise us?

The success part is two-fold. There is no question that FNC leans to the right, because it gives conservative voices a prominent place on the air. No other TV news operation does this. So, logically, conservative Americans tune in for long periods of time.

Also, Fox News is not boring! This, I believe, is the biggest reason for our success. Like us or not, we move things along. We have lively people on the air. We take chances and do things differently. In primetime especially, Americans do not want dull programming. Many news programs simply recite the day's events. That will not cut it anymore. You have to give viewers something unique and entertaining. FNC does.

That makes our competitors and the ideologues running many of the nation's newspapers furious. They don't like the traditionalism of Fox News, and they seethe at our success. Thus, on any given day, you can view scathing personal attacks against FNC anchors. Think about it: Why the rage? Nobody is forced to watch Fox News. If you don't like Beck, Hannity or O'Reilly, watch the Food Channel.

The hysteria over Glenn Beck is a great example of why Fox News dominates. Here is a guy with an opinion. He has a television show. That's it. Beck freely admits he's not a newsman in any sense. He's just a guy who loves his country and wants to talk about it. Apparently, that is driving the intelligentsia insane. They can't stand a guy like Beck mouthing off. But why? Last time I looked, Beck held an American passport. So he's entitled to speak his mind. A big corporation is smart enough to pay him to do that, and millions watch. Isn't the USA a great country?

Obviously, I'm happy to be celebrating 13 years on Fox News. When I took the job, I was just looking to make a nice living and have a little fun. But now, "The O'Reilly Factor" is part of the American fabric, a broadcast that actually influences the debate in this country. Way back in 1996, who knew?



Media not biased enough for Obama

There was never a single moment when White House staff decided the major media outlets were falling down on the job. There were instead several such moments. For press secretary Robert Gibbs, the realization came in early September, when the New York Times ran a front-page story about the bubbling parental outrage over President Obama's plan to address schoolchildren — even though the benign contents of the speech were not yet public. "You had to be like, 'Wait a minute,'" says Gibbs. "This thing has become a three-ring circus."

For deputy communications director Dan Pfeiffer, the more hyperbolic attacks on health-care reform this summer, which were often covered as a "controversy," flipped an internal switch. "When you are having a debate about whether or not you want to kill people's grandmother," he explains, "the normal rules of engagement don't apply."

And for his boss, Anita Dunn, the aha moment came when the Washington Post ran a second op-ed from a Republican politician decrying the "32" alleged czars appointed by the Obama Administration. Nine of those so-called czars, it turned out, were subject to Senate confirmation, making them decidedly unlike the Russian monarchs. "The idea — that the Washington Post didn't even question it," Dunn says, still marveling at the decision.

All the criticism, both fair and misleading, took a toll, regularly knocking the White House off message. So a new White House strategy has emerged: rather than just giving reporters ammunition to "fact-check" Obama's many critics, the White House decided it would become a player, issuing biting attacks on those pundits, politicians and outlets that make what the White House believes to be misleading or simply false claims, like the assertion that health-care reform would establish new "sex clinics" in schools. Obama, fresh from his vacation on Martha's Vineyard, cheered on the effort, telling his aides he wanted to "call 'em out."

The take-no-prisoners turn has come as a surprise to some in the press, considering the largely favorable coverage that candidate Obama received last fall and given the President's vows to lower the rhetorical temperature in Washington and not pay attention to cable hyperbole. Instead, the White House blog now issues regular denunciations of the Administration's critics, including a recent post that announced "Fox lies" and suggested that the cable network was unpatriotic for criticizing Obama's 2016 Olympics effort.

White House officials offer no apologies. "The best analogy is probably baseball," says Gibbs. "The only way to get somebody to stop crowding the plate is to throw a fastball at them. They move."

The general in this war is Dunn, 51, a veteran campaign strategist who arrived at the White House in May... Since her arrival, the communications operation has been tightly refocused, with greater emphasis on planning ahead to shape the news cycle and controlling staff contacts with the press.



A hiring tax credit returns from the dead

The White House is finally coming to realize that taxes affect job creation. Terrific. Its solution seems to be to bribe employers for hiring new workers, albeit only for a couple of years. Less than terrific.

Alarmed by the rising jobless rate, Democrats are scrambling to "do something" to create jobs. You may have thought that was supposed to be the point of February's $780 billion stimulus plan, and indeed it was. White House economists Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein estimated at the time that the spending blowout would keep the jobless rate below 8%.

The nearby chart compares the job estimates the two economists used to help sell the stimulus to the American public to the actual jobless rate so far this year. The current rate is 9.8% and is expected to rise or stay high well into the election year of 2010. Rarely in politics do we get such a clear and rapid illustration of a policy failure.

This explains why political panic is beginning to set in, and various panicky ideas to create more jobs are suddenly in play. The New York Times reports that one plan would grant a $3,000 tax credit to employers for each new hire in 2010. Under another, two-year plan, employers would receive a credit in the first year equal to 15.3% of the cost of adding a new worker, an amount that would be reduced to 10.2% in the second year and then phased out entirely. Why 15.3%? Presumably because that's roughly the cost of the payroll tax burden to hire a new worker.

The irony of this is remarkable, considering the costs that Democrats are busy imposing on job creation. Congress raised the minimum wage again in July, a direct slam at low-skilled and young workers. The black teen jobless rate has since climbed to 50.4% from 39.2% in two months. Congress is also moving ahead with a mountain of new mandates, from mandatory paid leave to the House's health-care payroll surtax of 5.4%. All of these policy changes give pause to employers as they contemplate the cost of new hires—a reality that Democrats are tacitly admitting as they now plot to find ways to offset those higher costs.

Alas, their new ideas are little more than political gimmicks that aren't likely to result in many new jobs. Congress doesn't want to give up revenue for very long, so it would make the tax credits temporary. Thus anyone who is hired would have to be productive enough to justify the wage or salary after the tax-credit expires—or else the job is likely to end. An employer would be better off hiring a temp worker and saving on the benefits for the same couple of years.

More here


The Disincentive to Work

When a recession hits, the first number everyone keeps a close eye on is the unemployment rate. Every American can relate with those who lose their jobs since it puts both their family and their career in jeopardy.

But what the government does to try to combat this invariably fails on pretty much every level. Not to mention, it was largely the government intervention that artificially created a false market, propped up inefficient industries, and spawned the inevitable unemployment in the first place.

And now what the recession is doing in the economy is shifting capital and resources to more efficient uses. That means those people who left their jobs to go pursue this false market (that the government calls “booming” industry) must now be laid off. And that also means fixing the problems that government first created.

For example, that is exactly what was seen in the recent housing bubble. People left their jobs to become real estate agents or building contractors. And now that the housing market was flooded with supply under the government-created guise of a false demand, some of those people must return to find efficient jobs in limited growth sectors.

So how does the government respond? Do the politicians whose errant policies spawned a recession admit their malfeasance and let the private sector correct its course? No, they pen H.R. 3548 the “Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2009.”

This act would extend unemployment benefits to “50 percent of the total amount of regular compensation” or “13 times the individual's average weekly benefit amount” for the year in the 29 states that have unemployment 8.5% or higher. And Congress has decided to pay for this by raising the IRS surtax on the employers that will, in turn, either raise prices or lower wages for all states.

And that’s not all. Economists R. Mark Gritz and Thomas MaCurdy found in their paper “Measuring the Influence of Unemployment Insurance on Unemployment Experiences” that “an individual who collects UI [Unemployment Insurance] is likely to experience a longer spell of nonemployment, at least to the exhaustion of UI benefits.”

In other words, unemployment insurance does not help alleviate unemployment. It exacerbates it. And that is simply because when people get paid to not work they do not try to find a job as that would result into a loss in benefits.

Once again this is a case where government means do not achieve the required (and often falsely touted ends. The politicians claim they are attempting to lower unemployment, which in turns increases production but what they end up doing is redistributing money from those who are employed (or in some case consumers, which includes unemployed) and incentivize the unemployed to stay that way through a direct redistribution of wealth.

A better plan would be to give businesses permanent tax cuts so that they can expand production and hire more people. That is the real plan that would reduce unemployment, increase productivity, and not create yet another large government program adding even more red tape to already overburdened businesses.

But don’t hold your breath: after all, creating and extending government programs is how politicians keep their jobs!




Amusing: Truth Serum has "interviews" with newsworthy figures showing what might happen if the interview subject were on truth serum. It is headlined as The Conservative Comedy Cure For That Painful Liberal Hangover.

Iran: Regime to murder three for protesting election theft: "Three Iranians have been tentatively sentenced to death in connection with post-election protest activities, according to semi-official state media. The three — who were identified only by initials — were accused of contacts with opposition groups, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported Saturday. … Tens of thousands of Iranians took to the streets in protest following the country’s contested June 12 presidential election. Incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won a second term despite widespread fraud accusations by supporters of opposition candidates.”

In deadly ’08 Afghan battle, US weapons failed: "It was chaos during the early morning assault last year on a remote U.S. outpost in Afghanistan and staff Sgt. Erich Phillips’ M4 carbine had quit firing as militant forces surrounded the base. The machine gun he grabbed after tossing the rifle aside didn’t work either. When the battle in the small village of Wanat ended, nine U.S. soldiers lay dead and 27 more were wounded. A detailed study of the attack by a military historian found that weapons failed repeatedly at a ‘critical moment’ during the firefight on July 13, 2008, putting the outnumbered American troops at risk of being overrun by nearly 200 insurgents.” [People have been warning about this for years]

Chronic depression: "The authorities still do not understand what is going on. They are used to fooling most of the people most of the time. They think they can dupe them again — with bailouts and boondoggles. But real demand has vanished as households try to pay down their debt. That is not going to change anytime soon. Not while the federal government is sabotaging a genuine recovery. It’s savings — capital — the US economy needs. A capitalist economy in which the capitalist have no capital won’t work. Why is there no capital? Because the feds take it.”

Less religion means more government: "Soviet communism adopted Karl Marx’s teaching that religion was the ‘opiate of the masses’ and launched a campaign of bloody religious persecution. Marx was misguided about the role of religion but years later many communists became aware that turning people away from religious life increases dependence on government to address life’s problems. The history of government coercion that comes from turning from religion to government makes a new study suggesting a national decline in religious life particularly alarming to those concerned about individual freedom.”

Property rights are human rights: "A sad confusion that has once again made its way into general circulation is that the right to private property is a mere invention designed to legitimate greed and obscene riches. Actually, this is like claiming that the right to life is a mere invention designed to legitimate crude selfishness and unrestrained personal ambition. And actually there is something to this but nothing insidious, nothing bad in the end. One’s right to one’s life is indeed a moral and political bulwark against others making use of one against one’s will. The right to life is the principle by which slavery and involuntary servitude are morally and politically rebuffed, so they ought to be part of the legal system of any civilized, just human community even if they can be unwisely, imprudently applied by some.”


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)