Saturday, November 28, 2009

Real Pilgrims Sought Purity, Not Tolerance or Diversity

As American families sit down to their traditional Thanksgiving feasts they will naturally recall the familiar story of the Pilgrims taught to every school kid and, in the process, distort the true character of the nation’s religious heritage.

Most children learn that the Mayflower settlers came to the New World to escape persecution and to establish religious freedom. But the early colonists actually pursued purity, not tolerance and sought to build fervent, faith-based utopias, not secular regimes that consigned religion to a secondary role. The distinctive circumstances that allowed these fiery believers of varied denominations to cooperate in the founding of a new nation help to explain America’s contradictory religious traditions – as simultaneously the most devoutly Christian society in the western world, and the country most accommodating to every shade of exotic belief and practice.

Concerning the Pilgrims who celebrated the First Thanksgiving in 1621, they didn’t travel directly from their English homes to the “hideous and desolate wilderness” of Massachusetts. They sailed the Atlantic only after living for twelve years in flourishing communities in Holland—the most tolerant and religiously diverse nation of Europe. They left the Netherlands not because that nation imposed too many religious restrictions but because the Dutch honored too few. The pluralism they found in Amsterdam and Leyden horrified the Pilgrims. They were separatists who considered themselves “a people apart” and who preferred isolation on a distant shore that facilitated the building of a unified, disciplined, strictly devout commonwealth, not some wide-open sanctuary for believers of every stripe. The famous Mayflower Compact defined their purpose explicitly as “the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith…”

The like-minded Puritans who followed them (and whose much larger settlement of Massachusetts Bay annexed the Pilgrims’ Plymouth in 1691) showed similar determination to build a model of single-minded religious rigor. The leaders of this idealistic venture were in no sense the victims of oppression back home, but rather counted as wealthy and influential gentleman who wielded considerable political influence. Even after their fellow Puritans won total power (and executed a king in 1649) the Massachusetts colonists chose to remain in their “city upon a hill” in the New World rather than to return to the compromises and complications necessitated by the fractious politics of England. The famous shipboard sermon by which Governor John Winthrop inspired his flock for the challenges of their “errand into the wilderness” declared that “when God gives a special commission he looks to have it strictly observed in every article….to serve the Lord and work out our salvation under the power and purity of his holy ordinances.”

Beyond the four New England colonies (which each began as energetic theocracies representing various strands of Puritanism), other major settlements took shape according to the dreams and dictates of other denominations. William Penn and his fellow Quakers followed their “inner light” to establish Pennsylvania as a “holy experiment,” while the aristocratic Calvert family set up Maryland as a refuge and a base of operations for devout British Catholics. Even the less explicitly religious colonies, where early settlers seemed to care more about finding gold than finding God, received royal charters that declared their underlying mission of spreading the faith. Virginia’s charter described a mandate for the “propagating of Christian Religion as such People as yet live in Darkness.” At the first landing of the original Jamestown expedition (April 26, 1607), Captain Christopher Newport took it upon himself to erect the colony’s first structure: a large cross at Cape Henry to mark their arrival.

How, then, did these enthusiastic true believers with their often uncompromising standards ever manage to join together in a new nation in 1776 – a nation that has been characterized ever since by a religious diversity and inter-denominational cooperation altogether unprecedented in human history?

The Revolutionary struggle forced their hand, with soldiers from more than a dozen Christian traditions and sects (as well as a disproportionate representation of the colonies’ tiny Jewish minority) fighting side by side in the Continental Army. When General Washington ordered “divine services” to build morale among his weary troops, he made some effort to avoid excluding New England Congregationalists or Virginia Baptists or Carolina Methodists or, for that matter, the random Catholic or Mennonite. In the eight year struggle, Massachusetts soldiers served willingly under the brilliant Quaker General Nathanael Greene – even though their Puritan forebears might have been among those who order the occasional hanging of his co-religionists in the previous century.

Violent struggles had broken out from time to time in the past among various faith communities—with Puritans challenging Catholics for control of Maryland, for instance, and fighting the bloody Battle of the Severn in 1655. But for the most part the wide open spaces of the new continent allowed even the most impassioned theological enthusiasts to build their own spheres of influence without confronting or oppressing their potential rivals in far flung neighboring settlements. The constant threat of Indian violence and the even more dire menace of British suppression made some level of mutual respect a practical necessity, even for localities that bitterly disagreed.

The First Amendment to the Constitution ratified this arrangement of uncontested local authority with its careful wording: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” The Constitutional formulation limited the power of the federal government to impose a single national faith, and to provoke the dangerous battles accompanying such an attempt, but did nothing in the eyes of the zealous founders to interfere with the established churches (that received direct government funding and endorsement) on the state level. The esteemed liberal scholar Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law School writes: “A growing body of evidence suggests that the Framers principally intended the Establishment of Religion Clause to perform two functions: two protect state religious establishments from national displacement, and to prevent the national government from aiding some, but not all, religions.” With this understanding in mind, religious voting restrictions (limiting the franchise to Trinitarian Protestant Christians, for instance) continued in several states for more than forty years under the Constitution.

The Pilgrims and their spiritual descendants never had to retreat from religious fervor or Biblical demands to join the new Republic, thanks to the continued existence of more or less autonomous, localized refuges and enclaves. No one can suggest that our Founders embraced secularism or relativism, but they did come to accept the notion of separate faith communities following their own distinctive rules while managing to live side-by-side and to cooperate where necessary.

Thanksgiving in that sense doesn’t celebrate religious freedom, but rather coexistence. We remain a nation of impassioned, fiercely committed, openly competing believers who have nonetheless established a long tradition of letting other faith communities go their own way. We can be pious and uncompromising at our own Thanksgiving tables, without menacing, or even questioning the very different proceedings in the home next door. The limitless boundaries and vast empty land of the fresh continent, plus the challenges of a long Revolutionary struggle, gave the faith-filled fanatics of the founding the chance for a freedom more profound than mere religious tolerance: the right, in their own communities, to be left alone.



So Much for Transcending Race

Given how high the hopes were for Barack Obama -- and how many of those hopes were pinned on the candidate's supposed ability to bridge America's racial divide -- it is sobering to analyze this linked Gallup survey.

The President's approval has slid to 39% among whites; the only reason it remains in the high 40's overall is because he enjoys a 73% approval among non-whites (and even higher, understandably, in the African American community alone). Apparently, the racial divide remains with us for the foreseeable future -- perhaps, ironically, worse than ever, to the extent that African Americans perceive any unfairness in the critiques of the President that they attribute, rightly or wrongly, to his race.

But even if the President has proved unable to transcend race, he has done a great favor for America, especially its young, albeit unwittingly. Every generation must be reminded anew about how precious freedom is, and how insidiously government can begin to take over -- and how destructive (to our liberties, to our economy, to our culture, even) an overweening, hyperactive, steroidal government can be.

Jimmy Carter taught an earlier generation about the disaster that lefty economics and soft foreign policy creates. Perhaps it may be that Barack Obama and his "Big Government knows best" agenda is doing the same thing. And if that's the case, I'm thankful -- for that and so much more.



Why Won’t the Mainstream Media Cover the ACORN Story?

It’s blindingly obvious why corrupt leftist lawmakers including House Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) and his subcommittee chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) won’t investigate their good friends at ACORN, but as evidence continues to mount of ACORN’s habitual, potentially criminal wrongdoing, why does the mainstream media refuse to investigate a scandal that “could be as historically significant as Watergate“?

Big Media seems to be taking cues from what NewsReal blogger Kathy Shaidle calls the George Soros Steno Pool at Media Matters for America. Throughout the continuing revelations about ACORN, Media Matters has steadfastly defended its allies at ACORN. One has to wonder if ACORN is keeping Media Matters on retainer and if so how big the regular checks must be.

Soon after the first few hidden-camera videos of James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles surfaced in September showing the public ACORN’s barely concealed criminal proclivities, John V. Santore of Media Matters launched a sleaze attack against O’Keefe, Giles, and their online publisher, Andrew Breitbart. Because O’Keefe, Giles, and Breitbart are conservatives there is no way they could be honest reporters of facts, implied Santore. Giles even attended events at the National Journalism Center, he noted. Heavens! Of course ideological disqualification never applies to left-of-center media outlets.

Santore also focused on the journalistic ethics involved in the undercover video sting operation, arguing that because the reporters had an animus against ACORN they couldn’t be trusted. Tell that to the award-winning crusading journalists throughout American history who have helped to bust up (other) crime gangs and expose malfeasance everywhere. Having an opinion or a desire to do the right thing isn’t a requirement to be a reporter nor does it disqualify a person from being a reporter.

Appropriately, on his TV show Glenn Beck observed: "The New York Times wonders why they are losing readers. It’s because reading their paper is like entering a time machine or reading the news in your rearview mirror. They didn’t even bother to jump on the ACORN story, which came complete with corruption, hookers and pimps."

The ACORN scandal is a great story yet apart from Fox News and a few other media outlets, the media has been ignoring it. What coverage we’ve seen –especially from the Associated Press– tends to focus not on ACORN’s corruption, but instead on the political ramifications of what is now happening to the radical advocacy group-cum-organized crime syndicate. Still other news stories focus on the journalistic ethics involved in the hidden-camera videos of James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles that helped to show the public ACORN’s barely concealed criminal proclivities. Particularly tedious are the whiny, typo-laden essays of Eric Boehlert of Media Matters who declares that whatever the videos are, they’re “not really journalism at all.”

Media critic Jack Shafer of the liberal website excoriates the mainstream media for ignoring the ACORN story. Shafer wrote: "The liberal advocacy group Media Matters for America complains that the ACORN videos, which aren’t a “major story,” are driving an “incomplete, misleading” media stampede. But Media Matters is wrong. Independent news organizations, including the Washington Post, the New York Post, and the Baltimore Sun, are chasing the ACORN story not because they’ve been bamboozled by the Breitbart exposé but because the dress-up stunt has pointed them toward what could be fertile grounds for wrongdoing."

Actually, when Shafer wrote the above referenced column on Sept. 23 it appeared the media was actually going to do its job and thoroughly investigate ACORN. Alas, it was not to be.




The President of France supports a pedophile: "Roman Polanski’s family yesterday praised the role played by Nicolas Sarkozy in securing the film director’s release on bail after two months in a Swiss prison. The French President “has been very effective” behind the scenes, according to the film director’s sister-in-law Mathilde Seigner, as Mr Polanski prepared to move from a cell to house arrest in his luxury chalet in the exclusive Alpine village of Gstaad. The Swiss authorities said that Mr Polanski would be allowed out once the agreed bail of 4.5 million Swiss Francs had been received. They have ordered that he should not leave his chalet - for fear that the first-rate skier might slip over the nearby border via a mountain pass into his adopted French homeland and escape US justice a second time. Mr Polanski must turn in his passport and have a surveillance system installed at his chalet, where he will wear electronic tagging, the Swiss Federal Office of Justice said in a statement. “He must not leave this house,” the ministry said. Should he violate the terms of release, the bail, raised against the director’s apartment in Paris, will be forfeited to the Swiss Government."

Irish Catholic Church 'covered up' sickening catalogue of child abuse by paedophile priests: "Thirty years of sex abuse by paedophile priests was covered up by the Roman Catholic Church on an 'astonishing scale', a damning report has found. Four archbishops were among those condemned for allowing hundreds of vulnerable children to suffer so they could protect the Church's reputation. The Catholic hierarchy was granted police immunity and Church leaders protected abusers in some cases with the blessing of senior law enforcers. Hundreds of crimes were not reported while police treated clergy as above the law, investigators said. Fear of the public anger that would have followed high-profile prosecutions of priests was seen as more important than preventing the sex offenders from repeating their crimes, it concluded. Instead of reporting the allegations, Church leaders shifted the accused from parish to parish, allowing them to prey on new victims. The report, by the Commission of Investigation, said: 'The Dublin archdiocese's preoccupations in dealing with cases of child sexual abuse, at least until the mid 1990s, were the maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation of the Church, and the preservation of its assets.' The archdiocese 'did its best to avoid any application of the law of the state', it added".

Seattle silliness: "After 13 years of delays, and cost-overruns that tripled its estimated cost, Seattle finally finished the first 14 miles of its insanely impractical light rail system. Running between downtown and the airport, “Central Link” cost an unprecedented $330,000,000 per mile—nearly $200,000 per yard. Of course, ridership is barely half what officials predicted—and interest on construction expenses alone means a subsidy of $200 per ride. My wife and I tried the new system, experiencing a jerky, pokey ride that took 45 minutes. Officials claim the normal time will be 36 minutes, but acknowledge that the popular 194 Bus travels the same route (at a lower fare) in just 32 minutes! To force the unwilling public to use the white elephant light rail, they’ve arrogantly announced cancellation of the 194 Bus, starting in February."

Obama's grandmother in Mecca for 'Hajj' ceremony: "The grandmother of US president Barack Obama has arrived in Saudi Arabia for the 'Hajj' or Islamic pilgrimage to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, a Saudi daily said on Wednesday. Sarah Obama, 87, is being accompanied by a nephew and Obama's cousin, Omran. On Wednesday Sarah Obama was in the valley of Mina with an African delegation, according to the Saudi daily Okaz. Obama, the mother of the American president's father, lives in a village in Kenya and is one of the many guests of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud." [During the election campaign, it was claimed that the the woman concerned was a CHRISTIAN]

NY Democrat says Obama an 'obstacle to peace': "In defiance of President Obama's demands that Israel cease building in sections of Jerusalem and the West Bank, New York state assemblyman Dov Hikind laid the cornerstone for the second phase of a new Jewish construction project in the Nof Tzion neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem. Together with Knesset Member Danny Danon, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, Hikind spoke with reporters about the Jewish right to build in Israel's capital city. Hikind, a Democrat, asserted banning Jews from building in neighborhoods was segregation. He expressed wonder that an African-American president would endorse such a policy in the 21st century. Speaking with the media, Hikind blamed Obama for stalling the peace process. According to the assemblyman, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has latched onto Obama's calls for a settlement freeze as an excuse not to negotiate with Israel. According to Hikind, a Jew cannot even build a bathroom in Jerusalem without international condemnation".

Diversity has jumped the shark, horrifically: "It cannot be said often enough that the chief of staff of the United States Army, Gen. George Casey, responded to a massacre of 13 Americans in which the suspect is a Muslim by saying: "Our diversity ... is a strength." As long as the general has brought it up: Never in recorded history has diversity been anything but a problem. Look at Ireland with its Protestant and Catholic populations, Canada with its French and English populations, Israel with its Jewish and Palestinian populations. Or consider the warring factions in India, Sri Lanka, China, Iraq, Czechoslovakia (until it happily split up), the Balkans and Chechnya. Also look at the festering hotbeds of tribal warfare – I mean the beautiful mosaics – in Third World hellholes like Afghanistan, Rwanda and South Central L.A. "Diversity" is a difficulty to be overcome, not an advantage to be sought. True, America does a better job than most at accommodating a diverse population. We also do a better job at curing cancer and containing pollution. But no one goes around mindlessly exclaiming: "Cancer is a strength!" "Pollution is our greatest asset!"


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 (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)


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, November 27, 2009

If the Races Were Reversed, We’d Be Hearing About This Nationwide

By Debbie Schlussel

If White people were targeting Black men at a big city mall in America and beating them senseless and filming it for racial snuff films, I guarantee it’d be a national media story. In fact, we’d see Presidential campaign commercials vilifying the Republican Presidential nominee with it. But, sadly, since it’s the other way around here, it remains a news story confined to Denver. The roles of the races and racism in this case simply don’t fit the mainstream media’s preferred narrative of victims and victimhood.
Peter DeQuattro, a 25-year-old cook, exited the Mall Ride at Civic Center Station around 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 8, after his shift at a Lower Downtown bar. His next recollection was writhing on a gurney in the back of an ambulance, an eye swollen shut and adrenaline pumping as EMTs struggled to restrain him. DeQuattro, who is white, was one of the most recent men targeted in a downtown-centered spree of attacks where small groups of black men and youths — many with admitted gang ties — tried to knock out white or Latino men with whacks to the head. They sometimes stole from them or taunted them with racial epithets.

DeQuattro never knew what hit him, though police have told him three men blindsided him from behind and then pummeled his face while he struggled from the ground to fight them off. In the process, they broke a bone just above his eye. The maroon bruise is just starting to fade, two weeks later.

“I usually don’t have to worry about these things,” said DeQuattro, hinting that his 6-foot, 4-inch stature normally deters would-be muggers. In this case, it might have been an incentive. “I never thought I would be the victim of a hate crime.”

No way. A hate crime like this–a race-based hate crime–would never happen in this Obama era of post-racialism. Would it?
Denver police announced Friday that they’d been investigating the spree of similar assaults in tourist areas like the 16th Street Mall and LoDo for four months and had arrested 32 suspects. Police apprehended a 33rd man, Torrence McCall, when he turned himself in Sunday afternoon after first calling a local television station.

A gang-prevention leader, the Rev. Leon Kelly, has suggested the assaults are being videotaped and used to show how quickly the assailants can knock out their victims. According to Kelly, the recordings are traded on the black market and bolster street credibility.

Hmmm . . . there’s a market for beat-the-cracker snuff films. What does that tell you about racism against White people in the Black community in America? It’s far too accepted. That’s what it tells me.
The 26 attacks that police know about have followed a similar pattern. A small group of black men approach their white or Latino victim. Sometimes, racial epithets are used to taunt victims before they’re attacked. But often, they’re sucker-punched with “a whack to the head” and sometimes robbed, said Lt. Matt Murray.

Like I said, this one is restricted to Denver media reporting because only White on Black racism merits national attention in America.



Obama and the Democrats do NOT have America's best interests at heart

It is time to cast aside all remaining doubt. President Obama is not trying to lead America forward to recovery, prosperity and strength. Quite the opposite, in fact.

In September of last year, American Thinker published my article, Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis. Part of a series, it connected then-presidential candidate Barack Obama to individuals and organizations practicing a malevolent strategy for destroying our economy and our system of government. Since then, the story of that strategy has found its way across the blogosphere, onto the airwaves of radio stations across the country, the Glenn Beck television show, Bill O'Reilly, and now Mark Levin.

The methodology is known as the Cloward-Piven Strategy, and we can all be grateful to David Horowitz and his Discover the Networks for originally exposing and explaining it to us. He describes it as: "The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis. The "Cloward-Piven Strategy" seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse."

Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven were two lifelong members of Democratic Socialists of America who taught sociology at Columbia University (Piven later went on to City University of New York). In a May 1966 Nation magazine article titled "The Weight of the Poor," they outlined their strategy, proposing to use grassroots radical organizations to push ever more strident demands for public services at all levels of government. The result, they predicted, would be "a profound financial and political crisis" that would unleash "powerful forces ... for major economic reform at the national level."

They implemented the strategy by creating a succession of radical organizations, most notable among them the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), with the help of veteran organizer Wade Rathke. Their crowning achievement was the "Motor Voter" act, signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1993 with Cloward and Piven standing behind him.

As we now know, ACORN was one of the chief drivers of high-risk mortgage lending that eventually led to the financial crisis. But the Motor Voter law was another component of the strategy. It created vast vulnerabilities in our electoral system, which ACORN then exploited. ACORN's vote registration scandals throughout the U.S. are predictable fallout.

The Motor Voter law has also been used to open another vulnerability in the system: the registration of vast numbers of illegal aliens, who then reliably vote Democrat. Herein lies the real reason Democrats are so anxious for open borders, security be damned.

It should be clear to anyone with a mind and two eyes that this president and this Congress do not have our interests at heart. They are implementing this strategy on an unprecedented scale by flooding America with a tidal wave of poisonous initiatives, orders, regulations, and laws. As Rahm Emmanuel said, "A crisis is a terrible thing to waste."

The real goal of "health care" legislation, the real goal of "cap-and-trade," and the real goal of the "stimulus" is to rip the guts out of our private economy and transfer wide swaths of it over to the government to control. Do not be deluded by the propaganda. These initiatives are vehicles for change. They are not goals in and of themselves except in their ability to deliver power. They and will make matters much worse, for that is their design...

More here


Effort To Curb Financial Giants May Worry Markets Even More

More taxpayer bailouts or increase markets' regulatory uncertainty? That may be the trade-off from legislation dealing with financials deemed "too big to fail." The House Financial Services Committee voted 38-29 last week to expand federal power over Tier 1 firms, which face more scrutiny because they pose a systemic risk. It was an amendment by Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Penn., to the Financial Stability Improvement Act. "(The) Kanjorski amendment would empower federal regulators to rein in and dismantle financial firms that are so large, inter-connected, or risky that their collapse would put at risk the entire American economic system, even if those firms currently appear to be well-capitalized and healthy," Kanjorski said in a press release. "Therefore, American taxpayers should no longer be on the hook for bailouts, as financial companies would not be able to become 'too big to fail.'"

Critics say investors will be wary of putting money into activities of companies when regulators can later order those firms to discontinue those activities. "These firms may be held back from profitable ventures their non-Tier 1 competitors can enter," said John Berlau, director of the Center for Investors and Entrepreneurs at the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute. "Investors will take into account that these firms may receive greater harm from regulators than their competitors." ...

"The only way to end taxpayer bailouts is to end taxpayer bailouts," said Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and a member of the Financial Services Committee. Hensarling says the Kanjorski amendment would create more political uncertainty in markets. "It is completely irrational to believe that substituting the arbitrary actions of unelected federal bureaucrats for the judgments of well-informed market participants will reduce the government's moral hazard for the impact of its actions on shareholders, creditors, counterparties and others," he said...

More here


Judge punishes 'repulsive' bank and writes off subprime mortgage

Hard to understand why the bank was so foolish. It failed to apply basic principles for dealing with debtors in default. Flexibility and compromise are the keys to best outcome. The bank should fire whatever moron was in charge of the matter

Greg and Diane Horoski's story may seem familiar. They bought their home before the boom and, when house prices soared, increased their mortgage to finance a small business. Interest rates rose, health bills poured in, and then the housing market crashed so that they ended up owing thousands of dollars more than their bungalow was worth.

Yesterday they went to court in New York expecting to be thrown out - but instead they emerged with their debt of $500,000 written off and a mortgage-free home. Judge Jeffrey Spinner ruled that their lender's behaviour had been “harsh, repugnant, shocking and repulsive to the extent that it must be appropriately sanctioned so as to deter it from imposing further mortifying abuse”.

Facing financial difficulties because of Mr Horoski's health problems, the couple began having trouble making the mortgage payments in 2005. IndyMac Bank, a division of the California-based OneWest Bank, which services the loan for Deutsche Bank, sought to evict the couple.

IndyMac claimed that with interest and penalties they owed more than $US527,437. Because the case involved a high-interest “subprime” mortgage, the bank was required by New York state law to attend a court conference to seek a settlement that would keep the owners in their home before completing the foreclosure. The bank, however, rejected repeated offers by the Horoskis to make reduced monthly payments with help from their adult daughter. It flatly turned down an offer by the daughter to buy the house for its current value with money from another lender to pay off the bulk of the mortgage.

The judge was outraged and accused the bank's representatives of an “opprobrious demeanour and condescending attitude”. He pointed out that the Horoskis had turned up for court on six occasions, despite Mrs Horoski's difficulty in walking and her husband's many health problems. “At each appearance, they have assiduously attempted to resolve this controversy in an amicable fashion, only to be callously and arbitrarily turned away,” he wrote. Eviction would leave the Horoskis and their daughter homeless, “leading to an additional level of problems, both for them and for society”. The mortgage was “hereby cancelled, voided, avoided, nullified, set aside and is of no further force and effect”.

Mr Horoski told the New York Post that negotiating with the bank was “like dealing with organised crime”. He said: “I think the judge felt it was almost a personal vendetta. The bank was so intransigent that he decided to punish them.”




Sarah Palin memoir tops US book sales: "Republican former governor Sarah Palin's memoir Going Rogue shot to the top of the US bestseller list in its first week after publication, industry figures showed overnight. With almost half a million copies sold, Going Rogue: An American Life beat new blockbusters by James Patterson and Stephen King to become the highest-selling book in the country, according to Nielsen BookScan. She launched the memoir, published November 16 by HarperCollins, with a blitz of media appearances and a political campaign-style book tour. Her appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show received huge attention, both contributing to publicity for the book and also boosting Oprah's own ratings -- in some markets doubling viewership, Nielsen said. Ms Palin's electability remains in dispute, but in the book race she does well against other Washington heavyweights. First week sale statistics show Going Rogue selling 469,000 copies, less than former president Bill Clinton's 2004 memoir, My Life at the same period of sales, but just ahead of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's 2003 Living History. Going Rogue trounces the performance of President Barack Obama's 2007 Audacity of Hope which had sold 67,000 copies a week after publication, Nielsen figures show."

Europe's new "Foreign minister" is a former peacenik and friend of the Soviets: "Baroness Ashton of Upholland’s past came back to haunt her yesterday when the European Union’s new foreign affairs chief was forced to deny taking funds from the Soviet Union during her days as treasurer for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Lady Ashton, a surprise choice for her post, was challenged to deny that she had contact with Russian sources while she was in charge of its accounts at the height of the Cold War. The Times has learnt that concerns about her CND involvement are felt across countries from the former Iron Curtain now in the EU and that MEPs plan to question her about it when she appears before them for the hearing to confirm her in her post. Nigel Farage, the UK Independence Party leader, raised the matter on the floor of the European Parliament yesterday, earning himself a reprimand for referring to Lady Ashton and Herman Van Rompuy, the new European President, as pygmies. Mr Farage added: “She was treasurer during a period when CND took very large donations and refused to reveal the sources."

Ireland’s Christian Brothers to pay £146m to victims of child abuse: "The Christian Brothers religious order is to give €161 million (£146 million) in cash and property in reparation for its role in decades of child abuse in Ireland. The Brothers said that €34 million in cash would be used to help victims of abuse, whose plight was identified in a government report in May. However, the move was criticised, with one victims’ group describing it as “mere smoke and mirrors”. The Ryan report chronicled cases of tens of thousands of children who suffered systematic sexual, physical and mental abuse over decades at residential homes run by 18 congregations. It concluded that the Brothers order was responsible for most of the cases. A transfer of €127 million in property will be used to “begin to repair trust with so many people in Ireland, who felt betrayed by the Brothers”, the order said in a statement. “We understand and regret that nothing we say or do can turn back the clock for those affected by abuse,” the statement said. “Our response reflects the moral obligation we collectively and individually feel.” The Christian Brothers made their announcement on the eve of publication of another report, which is expected to shake the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland."

CA: Bureaucratic tyranny. Man jailed after housing homeless on ranch: "A California rancher who houses homeless people on his property chose to serve 90 days in jail rather than accept probation after being convicted of misdemeanor safety violations. Dan de Vaul says the terms of probation offered Monday would prevent him from sheltering about 30 people who reside at his ranch and participate in a substance abuse recovery program. The 66-year-old de Vaul says he is proud to go to jail for housing the homeless. About 30 supporters applauded as he was led out of court in handcuffs.”

Bureaucrats with badges: "There is no shortage of shameful exploits by TSA agents and other airport security personnel in the post 9/11 era. An octogenarian World War II hero was delayed and repeatedly searched when he attempted to board a plan carrying his Congressional Medal of Honor. A planeload of soldiers were forced to remain in their jetliner during a four-hour layover. TSA officials ruled the servicemen posed a security threat because they had weapons stored in the belly of the aircraft. The soldiers were en route home after a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Another soldier, who had his jaw wired shut following surgery for a bullet wound, was prohibited from boarding his aircraft because he possessed a small pair of wire cutters required to cut open his jaw in a medical emergency. These embarrassing episodes are not surprising to anyone familiar with government bureaucrats armed with ‘rules, policies and procedures’ and employing no commonsense.”

Revisiting and expanding the Laffer Curve: "The Laffer curve is about how much imposition or other types of trouble, people are willing to tolerate from their fellows. Arthur Laffer, a professor at the University of Southern California, is supposed to have drawn a bell shaped graph on a napkin once to show that up to an indeterminate but peak point of the curve people are very likely to put up with the burden of taxation. The peak isn’t the same for everyone, but everyone does have such a peak.”

AZ: Would you pay a toll to beat traffic?: "Solo drivers on Interstate 10 could soon zip past traffic by paying a toll to use the carpool lane if a prediction by former U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters proves right. She says high-occupancy toll, or HOT, lanes on I-10 could soon be available for frustrated drivers. In two months, the cash-strapped Arizona Department of Transportation begins courting private investors to improve the highway system. Already, state and regional transportation agencies have fielded inquiries from numerous would-be investors, consultants and contractors about all kinds of projects, including HOT lanes.”


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 (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)


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, November 26, 2009

This Thanksgiving, Celebrate without guilt

Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday. It is used to celebrate man's ability to produce. It is a day filled with wonderful things to commemorate a person's production throughout the year. The mouth-watering turkey, aromatic pies, savory trimmings and, in some cases, cosmopolitan decorations are a testament to weath creation. It is these facets of the holiday that should be a source of pride to every self-reliant person.

However, there are those, motivated by hatred for mankind and our comfort and happiness, who would rather make Thanksgiving into a day based on guilt. Thanksgiving critics, such as environmentalists and religionists, criticize our lifestyles. They say that Americans should be ashamed for consuming so much (especially food). Our material abundance, they say, contributes to a depletion of things like the planet's natural resources.

Critics insist that the construction of homes and buildings, usage of fossil fuels, abundance of food and drink, driving vehicles are cause, not for celebration, but should be condemned. That we should feel guilt for our selfish ways and that Americans have a duty to give reparations to those less fortunate. They shudder at the possibility of the rest of the world being able to consume the way Americans do.

If the world came to consume the way we do, it will result in a utopia, not a dystopia as many doom-gloomers insist. For the world to embrace economic freedom, even in minimal amounts, means that the production of wealth is multiplied.

Human survival is not automatic. In order for someone to live, their life depends on producing successfully. From the food we eat, the clothes on our backs, the science researched and art forms we enjoy, every act of production requires thought. The greater the thought, the greater the creation. Yet all production is the result of creation. The wealth created where it didn't exist before and was the result of human effort to reshape places and elements considered of little value into a scheme to benefit mankind. Not the result of mystical creation as told in holy texts such as the Bible or Koran.

In terms of Thanksgiving, less than a year after the founding of the Jamestown settlement in the 1600's, only 46 of the 104 original colonists were left alive, most having perished for lack of food. This was due, in large part, to the colonists casting off their relgious tenets, since applying them to their way of life was destructive. At first, colonial land and farming was owned and worked on a communal basis along with the care and raising of children. It wasn't until rejecting their religious beliefs and embracing free trade that the death, famine and misery that resulted from the Jamestown colonists initial communistic policy ended. The Pilgrims were so pleased with the results from their change of heart that they prospered and didn't starve that they saw it as an occasion for a Thanksgiving.

However, the colonist's bold step required thought and action to put their new policies to work. In order to survive, the colonists had to produce. And to produce, they used their logic and reason.

It was Abraham Lincoln who made the first Thanksgiving an official holiday in 1863. Upon making his declaration, Lincoln stated that we have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. Yet this statement and the many declarations made by clergy and environmentalists condemning our abundance while calling on us to sacrifice for the greater good or because society or some mystical element - such as God or nature - demands it, is an insult to everything we work for throughout the year.

Thanksgiving is not about faith and charity. It is about thought and production. The proper thanks for one's wealth is not mystical guilt, sacrifice or condemnation but celebration, if one has rightly and morally earned it. When you sit at the dinner table with family and friends ready to consume your dinner on fine china, ignore those who damn your ability to live by calling for you to sacrifice -- and revel in the day since it is done in commemoration of your hard work and effort. You have earned it.



Obama secrecy: Another broken promise

Big rethink when he has got something to hide. But the secrecy tells most of the story anyway

After seven months of stonewalling their FOIA requests, Don Loos and the National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation have been forced file a complaint with the U.S. District Court demanding the Department of Labor be compelled to give them the information they seek. So much for Obama's promise to run the the most open and transparent administration in history.

On Obama's first day in office, the Department of Justice issued the following memorandum regarding FOIA requests:
The President directed that FOIA “should be administered with a clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails.” Moreover, the President instructed agencies that information should not be withheld merely because “public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears.”

Agencies were directed to respond to requests “promptly and in a spirit of cooperation.” The President also called on agencies to “adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure” and to apply that presumption “to all decisions involving [the] FOIA.” This presumption of disclosure includes taking “affirmative steps to make information public,” and utilizing “modern technology to inform citizens about what is known and done by their Government.”

The Obama administration's full-throated endorsement of transparency here only makes the administration's utter failure to respond to FOIA requests that much more infuriating. Loos has been trying for months to get basic information regarding the relationships between union bosses and Obama Labor department employees, including:

* Records from communications and recorded events where specified Obama appointees and Big Labor official were present

* Lists of lawsuits involving the Department of Labor and Deborah Greenfield within the past eight years.

* List of any gifts received by Solis in the past 5 years from Big Labor or its officials

* Specifically provide in detail (a) notes, (b) agreements, (c) communications, and (d) agendas related to the regulations related to the labor union and officer disclosure rules

* Copies of phone logs

* Copies of any notes or documents related to any enforcement of any labor laws and any outside groups such as labor unions, American Rights at Work, or ACORN

None of this information should be a closely guarded state secret. To the contrary, the public is probably owed such knowledge. And as bad as the Department of Labor is behaving, stonewalling FOIA requests is common throughout the Obama administration.



The “Science Presidency”

Remember when President Obama said that he was going to “restore science to its rightful place”? Apparently, that statement needed to be translated from the vagaries of “hope and change” to modern English: Right-wing anti-science policies are out; left-wing anti-science policies are in.

For starters, President Obama appointed Cass Sunstein as the head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Mr. Sunstein believes that all recreational hunting should be banned. He also believes that meat consumption should be phased out in the United States, and he holds the unique belief that animals should have the right to sue humans in court. Naturally, the animal would be represented by a human lawyer—a policy other than that would just be silly. But who exactly would represent the animals in court is unclear at this point. Dr. Doolittle might be available, though.

All satire aside, with someone this disconnected from reality working in the White House, one wonders what impact he could have on the ability of scientists to conduct biomedical animal research.

Also, remember Mr. Obama’s obsession with creating green technology jobs as a way of leading us out of the recession? According to a report described by George Will in his Washington Post column, Spain’s massive subsidization of renewable energy has cost that country 110,000 jobs. Far from helping Spain’s economic crisis, this foolish subsidization appears to have contributed to its mind-blowing 19.3% unemployment rate.

As if this weren’t bad enough, a fantastic op/ed by Joel Frezza brought up several more examples of “junk science” coming from the White House, a few of which I’ll summarize and expand upon.

Mr. Frezza describes how the Obama Administration is asking for areas of Alaska to be deemed “critical habitat” for polar bears. This move could severely limit the ability to drill for oil and gas in the region, in a time when our nation is in desperate need of energy sources. It appears that, once again, Mr. Obama has caved to propaganda-spewing environmentalists who have ignored recent evidence indicating that polar bear populations are increasing. In fact, polar bear researcher Mitch Taylor claims that of the 19 populations of polar bears, only two have exhibited declining numbers. As a side issue, it’s also interesting to note that people like Captain Planet (Al Gore) who refer to polar bears as “endangered” don’t even have their facts straight: Polar bears are officially listed as “vulnerable”—an entirely different conservation status. This status is given to animals which may become endangered if conditions don’t change. Arguably, however, conditions are changing because their population has been increasing.

Finally, Mr. Frezza points out the economically ludicrous and scientifically unsound subsidization of biofuels. Liberals see the subsidization of biofuels as killing two birds with one stone: Fixing the planet and helping out America’s farmers. However, science has something entirely different to say about biofuels. The production of biofuels emits nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas. The planet, unfortunately, doesn’t find it very funny, since nitrous oxide is a much more potent contributor to the greenhouse effect than is carbon dioxide. As The Economist points out in this article, a policy meant to make things better is merely an expensive way of making things worse.

Honestly, this list could go on and on. What is so infuriating is the fact that Mr. Obama self-righteously proclaimed to be the protector of science, when the truth is that he simply replaced Mr. Bush’s special interests with his own. In what has to be the most stunning broken promise in Mr. Obama’s presidency, instead of “restoring science,” he has simply resorted to “politics as usual.”




KY: Officials say census worker staged suicide: "A Census Bureau worker in Kentucky who was found dead in September with ‘FED’ written on his chest killed himself and staged his death to look like a homicide, state and federal law enforcement officials said Tuesday. … investigators concluded that Sparkman wrote the word on his own chest, then strung a rope from a tree, placed a noose around his neck and leaned forward, using his own body weight to cut off oxygen to his brain. Witnesses told investigators that Sparkman had discussed ending his life. He had also discussed recent federal investigations of Kentucky public officials and the negative perceptions of federal agencies expressed by some residents of Clay County, Ky., where he lived, investigators said. Before his death, Sparkman also secured two life insurance policies, totaling $600,000, that would not pay out for suicide.” [No apology from the hysterical Left for prejudging the matter?]

The "Bing" strategy behind News Corp, Microsoft link-up: "The surprising feature of the reaction to Rupert Murdoch's statement that he wanted to charge for online access to his media empire's content, was that anyone was surprised that he would want to. Well, we are now getting some clue to how Murdoch might think he can do it. By playing off Microsoft's desire to build an alternative search engine to the Google dominance. Reports out of Europe suggest plans are afoot for publishers to `de-link' from Google -- request Google not to, prohibit it from, linking to their content. And going exclusively with the Microsoft alternative. The 'charge''would come from Microsoft paying for that exclusivity. In effect paying for a franchise to publish an online version of the print product. There are a huge range of both competition and practical questions raised by the idea. And it would remain to be seen how successful -- or not -- it could end up. But it goes some way to answering the puzzle unleashed by Murdoch's observation."

Great! Airlines fined for stranding travellers on plane: "The US government has imposed its first-ever punishment against airlines for stranding passengers aboard aircraft, fining three carriers $175,000 for a six-hour ordeal in Minnesota. Continental Airlines and its ExpressJet Airlines affiliate were fined $US100,000, while Mesaba Airlines, a unit of Delta Air Lines, was fined $US75,000, the Transportation Department said. Continental, ExpressJet and Mesaba all reached settlements with the government's Aviation Enforcement Office. The action served as a sharp reminder to carriers about service just as the busy Thanksgiving Day travel period gets under way. Regulators found all three airlines violated a law prohibiting unfair and deceptive practices for their roles in the August 8 incident in Rochester, Minnesota. Forty-seven passengers were stranded overnight aboard a Continental Express plane en route from Houston to Minneapolis that diverted to Rochester due to bad weather. ExpressJet operated Flight 2816 for Continental while Mesaba was the only airline staffing the Rochester airport at the time. Mesaba refused to let passengers exit the plane and enter the terminal because there were no federal security personnel on duty at the time. Government officials concluded that passengers could have entered the terminal so long as they remained in the secure area."

'Godfather of Spam' jailed for four years: "A Hong Kong resident and three other men, including the self-proclaimed "Godfather of Spam", have been sentenced to prison for their roles in an email stock fraud scheme, the Justice Department said. The sentences, ranging from 32 to 51 months in prison, were handed down by US District Judge Marianne Battani in federal court in Detroit, the department said. Alan Ralsky, 64, of West Bloomfield, Michigan, and his son-in-law, Scott Bradley, 48, also of West Bloomfield, were sentenced to 51 months and 40 months in prison respectively on the same charges. FBI special agent Andrew Arena said Ralsky, the self-proclaimed "Godfather of Spam", flooded email boxes with unwanted spam email and attempted to use a botnet to hijack computers to assist them in the scheme. A botnet is a network of computers infected by malicious software. According to court documents, the conspirators used spam emails to manipulate thinly traded stocks between January 2004 and September 2005. They would profit by trading in the stocks once their share prices increased on purchases by recipients of the spam emails."

Losing Nicaragua: "With U.S. policymakers distracted by the situation in Honduras, Nicaragua continues to move toward authoritarianism. On October 19, a Nicaraguan Supreme Court panel overturned a constitutional provision limiting presidents to two non-consecutive terms in office. The ruling will allow incumbent Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega — the Sandinista party leader, former Soviet client, vociferous critic of the United States, and current Hugo Chavez acolyte — to run for another term in 2011. If there were any doubts that Nicaraguan democracy is slowly being extinguished, this latest development should remove them. The Nicaraguan Supreme Court is composed of 16 members. Thanks to a political deal made by Ortega and Arnoldo Aleman, a former Nicaraguan president who went to jail for massive corruption, half the magistrates are appointed by the ruling Sandinistas, and the other half are appointed by the opposition Liberals. But due to the May 2009 death of one Liberal-appointed magistrate, and the fact that his seat still has not been filled, the Sandinistas currently enjoy an 8-7 majority, which means the court is effectively a Sandinista rubber-stamp.”

Seven big lies about the stimulus: "1. Raises = jobs: This one turns out to be pretty common. For example, the Associated Pressreported that one nonprofit in Georgia used stimulus money to give its employees raises, then multiplied its total number of employees (508) by the percentage points of the raises (1.84) and told the White House that the stimulus had saved 935 jobs. (Its directors said they were just following instructions they received from the White House.) Other nonprofits did the same. According to the AP, this fraud exaggerated the number of jobs created or saved by 9,300.”

Our bills should be written in plain English: "Our Founding Fathers wrote the documents creating the greatest nation the world has ever known using plain English. Although drafted by highly educated and talented people, they knew that in order to get the public to support their efforts the common folk, as well as the cultured, had to understand it. There is not a doubt in my mind that the average American high school student today can fully understand and appreciate the words and the meaning of the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and the Amendments thereto — including the Bill of Rights. The same cannot be said of the healthcare bill passed by the House. … There is no way even the average legislator can fully understand a 1, 900+ page highly technical bill — even with the help of the ample staff members who work for them.”

America's Al-Qaeda lawyers: "Some of the nation’s wealthiest and most powerful law firms have donated hundreds of millions of dollars in free legal services to terror suspects at the Guantanamo Bay prison. Their work, bolstered by left-wing activists groups, has helped to free, or force the transfer, of hundreds of al Qaeda suspects to third countries. Some have gone back to terrorism and the job of trying to kill Americans.”


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, November 25, 2009

Black is bad -- researchers find

It's far from a watertight piece of research but the conclusions may well be accurate. Since being black in the USA is highly correlated with being criminal, poorly educated, welfare dependant etc., there are clear reasons why people might associate blackness with something they dislike

A study released today draws a connection between political partisanship and the skin tone of political candidates. Researchers from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago suggest people believe that a lighter skin tone is more representative of a candidate with whom they are politically aligned than a politician with a darker complexion.

"We found that people not only 'darken' those with whom they disagree, but also 'lighten' those with whom they agree," states the article, "Political partisanship influences perception of biracial candidates' skin tone," by Eugene Caruso, Nicole Mead, and Emily Balcetis, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Caruso, an assistant professor of behavioral science at Booth, was part of a team of a researchers who asked participating undergraduate students to identify his or her political affinity and then select the most representative photo of President Obama from a set of images. Participants were shown three photos: the original image, a lightened version and a darkened version. "The more people who thought that the lightened photos were representative of Obama, the more likely they were to report having voted for him in the election," Caruso said. "And that held as we controlled for political beliefs and attitudes."

Dr. Melanie Killen, a professor of Human Development at the University of Maryland, is skeptical of the study's findings, saying the conclusions drawn are too broad. "It does tell us that people are aware that there are associations with race, that it can be positive or negative and that in the political arena it is important to consider," said Killen. "But, there's a lot of complexity to these issues and when I read an article like this I get worried. People are aware that there are more negative and positive associations with skin tone and darker is negative and white is more positive. What do we do with the attitudes? Do they use it and manipulate it or is it that there are these associations out there and they understand that?"

Diana Owen, associate professor of political science at Georgetown University, told ABC News the study hints at a valid point, but, "I'm not so sure that the way they carried out the research with the manipulations of the images is particularly convincing or good. There's not a uniformity in imagery, so that conflates the findings in some way. Obama is casual in the lighter image and more formal in the darker image."

Owen suggests that even subtle tweaks to photographs can elicit a different response. "For example if you put a flag behind a candidate and you do a study of the public's perception of a candidate with the flag in the background and without the flag in the background, overwhelmingly people rate the one with the flag more positively. There are just certain triggers. They shouldn't have picked one where Obama is casual versus formal."

The skin tone in images came up during the Democratic primaries of the 2008 presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton's campaign came under fire from the liberal blogosphere for putting out a television ad attacking Obama that some believed portrayed the candidate with a darker skin tone. Likewise, Time Magazine was once criticized for darkening O.J. Simpson's skin color for its cover picture.

Killen also expressed concern about the small sample size of the study and its failure to address the background of the participants. "It's not about 'people' -- it's about the white majority, high status," said Killen, a developmental psychologist. "It's one thing if you're looking at eye blinking or memory in a study, but you're looking at issues of race and ethnicity. Don't you need to know the ethnicity of the participants?"

When asked by ABC News about the race and ethnicity of the participants, Caruso acknowledged the limitation. "We did ask participants to indicate their race at the end of the study and we were hoping that we'd be able to test for differences. Unfortunately, fewer than 10 percent of our participants identified as being black, so we didn't have enough power to test between black and non-black participants," Caruso said.



Obama's Nice Guy Act Gets Him Nowhere on the World Stage

Comment from Germany

Barack Obama looked tired on Thursday, as he stood in the Blue House in Seoul, the official residence of the South Korean president. He also seemed irritable and even slightly forlorn. The CNN cameras had already been set up. But then Obama decided not to play along, and not to answer the question he had already been asked several times on his trip: what did he plan to take home with him? Instead, he simply said "thank you, guys," and disappeared. David Axelrod, senior advisor to the president, fielded the journalists' questions in the hallway of the Blue House instead, telling them that the public's expectations had been "too high."

The mood in Obama's foreign policy team is tense following an extended Asia trip that produced no palpable results. The "first Pacific president," as Obama called himself, came as a friend and returned as a stranger. The Asians smiled but made no concessions.

Upon taking office, Obama said that he wanted to listen to the world, promising respect instead of arrogance. But Obama's currency isn't as strong as he had believed. Everyone wants respect, but hardly anyone is willing to pay for it. Interests, not emotions, dominate the world of realpolitik. The Asia trip revealed the limits of Washington's new foreign policy: Although Obama did not lose face in China and Japan, he did appear to have lost some of his initial stature.

In Tokyo, the new center-left government even pulled out of its participation in a mission which saw the Japanese navy refueling US warships in the Indian Ocean as part of the Afghanistan campaign. In Beijing, Obama failed to achieve any important concessions whatsoever. There will be no binding commitments from China to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A revaluation of the Chinese currency, which is kept artificially weak, has been postponed. Sanctions against Iran? Not a chance. Nuclear disarmament? Not an issue for the Chinese.

The White House did not even stand up for itself when it came to the question of human rights in China. The president, who had said only a few days earlier that freedom of expression is a universal right, was coerced into attending a joint press conference with Chinese President Hu Jintao, at which questions were forbidden. Former US President George W. Bush had always managed to avoid such press conferences.

A look back in time reveals the differences. When former President Bill Clinton went to China in June 1998, Beijing wanted to impress the Americans. A press conference in the Great Hall of the People, broadcast on television as a 70-minute live discussion, became a sensation the world over. Clinton mentioned the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, when the government used tanks against protestors. But then President Jiang Zemin defended the tough approach taken by the Chinese Communists. At the end of the exchange, the Chinese president praised the debate and said: "I believe this is democracy!"

Obama's new foreign policy has also been relatively unsuccessful elsewhere, with even friends like Israel leaving him high and dry. For the government of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, peace is only conceivable under its terms. Netanyahu has rejected Obama's call for a complete moratorium on the construction of settlements. As a result, Obama has nothing to offer the Palestinians and the Syrians. "We thought we had some leverage," says Martin Indyk, a former ambassador to Israel under the Clinton administration and now an advisor to Obama. "But that proved to be an illusion."

Even the president seems to have lost his faith in a genial foreign policy. The approach that was being used in Afghanistan this spring, with its strong emphasis on civilian reconstruction, is already being changed. "We're searching for an exit strategy," said a staff member with the National Security Council on the sidelines of the Asia trip.

An end to diplomacy is also taking shape in Washington's policy toward Tehran. It is now up to Iran, Obama said, to convince the world that its nuclear power is peaceful. While in Asia, Obama mentioned "consequences" unless it followed his advice. This puts the president, in his tenth month in office, where Bush began -- with threats. "Time is running out," Obama said in Korea. It was the same phrase Bush used against former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, shortly before he sent in the bombers.



Arrogant ACORN stung again

On October 1st, 2009 California Attorney General Jerry Brown announced that an investigation had been opened into ACORN’s activities in California, resulting from undercover videos showing employees seemingly offering to assist the undercover film makers with human smuggling, child prostitution and even tax advice to boot.

Although ACORN has denied any wrongdoing, some of the employees involved were terminated, and ACORN has publicly stated that they would fully cooperate with any investigations that followed.

Interestingly, the local head ACORN organizer in California, David Lagstein was caught on tape earlier this month speaking to an East County Democratic Club. Mr. Lagstein stated: “…the attorney general is a political animal, but certainly every bit of the communication we have had with them has suggested that the fault will be found with the people that did the video and not the people with ACORN.”

Continuing, Mr. Lagstein stated: “…we are fully cooperating, some of the investigators visited our office this morning and I think they really understand what’s going on.” Shockingly, we now learn that the ACORN office in National City (San Diego County) engaged in a massive document dump on the evening of October 9th, containing thousands upon thousands of sensitive documents, just days prior to the Attorney General’s visit. has learned that not only did this document dump occur, but the documents in question were irresponsibly and brazenly dumped in a public dumpster, without considering laws and regulations as to how sensitive information should be treated.

I am a local licensed private investigator. I took it upon myself to keep an eye on what the local ACORN office was up to, in light of the release of the undercover videos. I retrieved these documents from the public dumpster.

Documents shared with include information exposing not only the inner workings of ACORN in California, but also personal, sensitive information belonging to employees, members and clients of ACORN. ACORN and its few remaining defenders insist that the “good” ACORN provides outweighs the transgressions exposed in the recent undercover video sting. But, ACORN’s massive dumping of these documents and the cavalier manner in which it betrayed the trust of its supporters betrays that talking point.

ACORN’s political agenda is also exposed, with thousands upon thousands of documents revealing the depth of the political machine that is ACORN, and its disturbing ties to not only public employee labor unions but some of the most radical leftist organizations.

The laws governing how sensitive, personal information such as social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, immigration records, tax returns, etc. must be treated are very stringent, and thus it seems as if ACORN may have committed serious violations in that department alone, with thousands upon thousands of potential plaintiffs.

Over the weeks and months ahead, will continue to release information from this shocking document dump by ACORN, slowly revealing the ugly truth of ACORN: the fact that their stated mission of helping the poor and downtrodden is just a ruse and a cover for an organization that is highly partisan and highly political, and thus rotten to the core.




TX: Palin book signing draws 4000: "Sarah Palin drew a crowd of over 4,000 on Monday to her book signing at Fort Bragg, though the former Alaska governor kept her appearance from turning into the kind of ‘political platform’ that some military officials were concerned about. Palin did not give a speech during her three-hour stop at the North Carolina Army base, apparently living up to her pledge to tone down the event after Fort Bragg officials expressed concern that the visit could prompt grandstanding against the Obama administration. … The Fayetteville Observer reported that about a dozen people had been waiting since Sunday. More than 1,200 people were lined up outside the Fort Bragg store where Palin was signing books by the time she arrived Monday morning.”

No new taxes?: "With the Bush tax cuts set to expire at the end of 2010 and both health care reform bills calling for increased tax revenue, the Obama Administration and Congress are about to saddle the American people one of the largest tax increases in history. The standard liberal litany for such a raid on taxpayers' pockets is that working Americans have a "moral obligation" to "feed the poor" -- or in the case of health care, pay their medical bills.

Huge debt burden incurred by Democrats A page one, top-of-the-fold New York Times report Monday warns that U.S. debt is rising so fast that the federal government is careening toward a "payment shock" in the not-too-distant future. The Times lead headline read: Federal Government Faces Balloon in Debt Payments: At $700 Billion a Year, Cost Will Top Budgets for 2 Wars, Education, Energy. The national debt now stands at over $12 trillion and the White House estimates that the cost of servicing the debt will rise to more than $700 billion a year in 2019, up from $202 billion this year. The Times suggests that $700 billion annual payment cost may be conservative. The additional $500 billion a year in interest payments would surpass the combined budgets this year for education, energy, homeland security, plus the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Times observes. "Even as Treasury officials are racing to lock in today's low rates by exchanging short-term borrowings for long-term bonds, the government faces a payment shock similar to those that sent legions of overstretched homeowners into default on their mortgages," The Times reported on Monday. Interestingly, the alarming Times analysis comes as the nation is in the midst of a debate over healthcare reform proposals that could add many billions of dollars to the overall debt.

Malign neglect at Ft. Hood: "Holder promised a ’sound investigation’ of the shooting. It was a nice try, but Holder’s tone did little to disguise the speciousness of his words. We already know the answer to the three questions Holder posed. There were flags that were missed. There was miscommunication. And there was a lack of communication. The relevant question is not whether there were errors, but why — after eight years of restructuring our national security and intelligence infrastructure to prevent such failures — there were grave errors that cost 13 people their lives. The answer to that question is becoming all too clear: a deadly combination of political correctness and institutional stupidity. And in the days since the Fort Hood attack, those characteristics have remained on prominent display — both at the top of the Justice Department and in its ranks.”

Conservatives seek “Reagan litmus test” for RNC funding: "Eager to ensure that ‘tea partiers’ don’t undermine GOP candidates, conservative members of the Republican National Committee are pursuing the creation of a Reagan rule that would bar the Republican Party from funding candidates who fail a conservative litmus test. The group is circulating a petition among committee members that would enshrine former President Ronald Reagan’s proposition that his 80 percent friend was not his 20 percent enemy. The rule would require Republican candidates to share at least 80 percent of the party’s main tenets to be eligible for party aid.”

White House lied about why honest auditor was fired: "Just hours after Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa released a report Friday on their investigation into the abrupt firing of AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin, the Obama White House gave the lawmakers a trove of new, previously-withheld documents on the affair. It was a twist on the now-familiar White House late-Friday release of bad news; this time, the new evidence was put out not only at the start of a weekend but also hours too late for inclusion in the report. The new documents support the Republican investigators' conclusion that the White House's explanation for Walpin's dismissal -- that it came after the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps, unanimously decided that Walpin must go -- was in fact a public story cobbled together after Walpin was fired, not before. Walpin was axed on the evening of June 10, when he received a call from Norman Eisen, the special counsel to the president for ethics and government reform, who told Walpin he had one hour either to resign or be fired. The next day, congressional Republicans, led by Grassley, objected, charging that Walpin's dismissal violated a recently-passed law requiring the president to give Congress 30 days' notice before dismissing an inspector general.

Plundering California. Public-sector unions have brought the state to its knees: "The economy is struggling, the unemployment rate is high, and many Americans are struggling to pay the bills, but one class of Americans is doing quite well: government workers. Their pay levels are soaring, they enjoy unmatched benefits, and they remain largely immune from layoffs, except for some overly publicized cutbacks around the margins. To make matters worse, government employees—thanks largely to the power of their unions—have carved out special protections that exempt them from many of the rules that other working Americans must live by. California has been on the cutting edge of this dangerous trend, which has essentially turned government employees into a special class of citizens. When I recently appeared on Glenn Beck’s TV show to discuss California’s dreadful fiscal situation, I mentioned that in Orange County, where I had been a columnist for the Orange County Register, the average pay and benefits package for firefighters was $175,000 per year. After the show, I heard from viewers who couldn’t believe the figure, but it’s true. Firefighters, like all public-safety officials in California, also receive a gold-plated retirement plan: a defined-benefit annual pension that offers 90 percent or more of the worker’s final year’s pay, guaranteed for the rest of his life (and the life of his spouse)."


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, November 24, 2009

China Alone?

By GORDON C. CHANG (Reviewing "When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order", by Martin Jacques)

This book says we can expect, in the near future, the loss of American preeminence, the fall of the West, and the global dominance of a Chinese civilization-state. China will not just take its place at the top of the international order, it will fundamentally change it. “We stand on the eve of a different kind of world,” author Martin Jacques asserts.

And what is the motor of this epochal change? Rapid economic growth that will continue for decades. Following cousins and neighbors, hundreds of millions of Chinese peasants will leave farms, migrate to cities, and become prosperous. This inexorable process could see the industrious Chinese develop the world’s largest economy, probably by 2027 (Goldman Sachs’s latest prediction). And the recent global downturn, now barely a year old, will hasten the erosion of America’s strength and accelerate China’s rise.

Has Jacques correctly interpreted the broad sweep of events? No. He is an extrapolationist; and, unfortunately for him, he is assuming the indefinite continuation of trends just when history is making a sharp turn. As a consequence, almost every important prediction in this long book is wrong. We are, as Jacques writes, standing on the eve of a world that will be different, but it is not the one he foresees.

China, the author forgets, prospered during an extraordinarily benign time, the post–Cold War period of seemingly never–ending globalization and economic expansion. But that era is over. This year, according to the normally sunny World Bank, the global economy will shrink for the first time since World War II, and global trade will decline more than it has in any of the last 80 years. Economies are delinking from one another and, in all probability, will continue to do so for some time.

That’s extraordinarily bad news for China, which has an economic model particularly ill-suited to current conditions. The country’s economy — now and for the foreseeable future — is dependent on exports, but sales to customers abroad are falling precipitously in this dismal environment. As we saw in the Great Depression, it was the export powerhouses that had the hardest time adjusting to deteriorating economic conditions and, consequently, suffered the most. That is proving to be the case now as well. Jacques notes China’s dependence on exports but then shows that he does not comprehend its significance.

Therefore, it is no surprise that he does not understand the barriers to the restructuring of the Chinese economy. He says the economy will remain competitive “for many years” because “the condition on which it rests, the huge migration of rural labor into the cities, is destined to continue for several decades.” China’s problem, however, is not keeping manufacturing costs low, which is what Jacques is getting at by focusing on the continual enlargement of the labor force. The problem is that foreign customers are no longer buying Chinese goods in the quantities they did in the past. As a result of quickly declining global demand, the pattern of China’s migration is reversing for the first time in the history of the People’s Republic. Tens of millions of Chinese migrants who used to work in the country’s coastal factories have returned to the countryside in the past year. Many, if not most, of them remain out of work today.

Jacques, to his credit, acknowledges the existence of unemployment and other factors, but he then makes the same mistake almost every other China analyst does: He assumes that Beijing will succeed in stimulating domestic consumption to take up the slack. In fact, owing to Beijing’s recent policies, consumption’s role in the economy has slid from an average of about 60 percent throughout the People’s Republic era to around 30 percent today — no country has a lower rate — and almost all of the government’s measures to jump-start the economy dampen consumption.

Furthermore, Jacques fails to see that Beijing, because of the demands of China’s political system, is renationalizing the Chinese economy and closing the door to foreign investment. Chinese leaders are reversing policies responsible for the growth of the past three decades. The implications of these trends are profound, and Jacques should have examined them. It is simply not good enough to note concerns, dismiss them, and devote just seven pages of text — out of 435 — to the sustainability of the country’s economic growth, the assumption on which his entire book rests.

This shortcoming is a symptom of a larger problem with the book: It minimizes the flaws inherent in Beijing’s one-party state. China’s economy has progressed about as far as it can within the country’s political system, and the Communist party is limiting the further development of Chinese society. For instance, Jacques writes about the rise of China’s universities but never mentions the severe — and worsening — ideological constraints that have held them back. Similarly, he discusses China’s cultural power but never mentions the party’s strict censorship of movies, books, blogs, and every other form of expression, including karaoke songs.

And then there is demography. At the heart of Jacques’s argument is that Beijing’s geopolitical dominance will be overwhelming because it governs a state with far more people than the other nations that have sat atop the international system. “China, as the world’s leading country, will enjoy a demographic weight that is qualitatively different from that of any previous hegemonic power in the modern era,” he writes. Yet Jacques fails to look at demographic trends. Beijing’s one-child policy has caused some of the most abnormal gender patterns on the planet and will result in a rapidly shrinking population in about two decades. Sometime around 2030, China’s archrival, India, will take over the No. 1 ranking in population.

Fertility rates are never set in stone, but Chinese ones cannot rise much as long as the Communist party is around. Why? Although virtually every demographer, Chinese and foreign, will tell you the one-child policy is misguided, the party cannot repeal it because to do so would eliminate a crucial element of control over the population, especially in restive rural areas. Moreover, Beijing’s leaders, during a time of skyrocketing unemployment, will not dismantle an enormous bureaucracy that reaches into virtually every hamlet in the country. And why does this matter? Because China will get old before it gets rich. No one has figured out how Beijing will care for a rapidly aging population with a quickly shrinking workforce.

Jacques underestimates the dislocations that Communist rule has caused and overestimates the ability of the country’s political leaders to remedy them. Worse, he completely misses the significance of striking changes in Chinese society during the three decades of the so-called reform era, which began when Deng Xiaoping grabbed power at the end of 1978.

The reforms Jacques credits to the Communist party were, in fact, started by common folk who circumvented its strict rules. Deng, now credited with beginning the process of transformation, began his tenure as China’s paramount leader by adhering to orthodox Communist economics. Peasants and entrepreneurs, however, sparked growth by doing things their own way in defiance of central-government prohibitions on private activity. Deng, in short, succeeded because the Chinese people disobeyed his rules. His genius, if we can call it that, was to have the good sense not to obstruct them when he finally learned what they were doing.

Yet Deng’s successors have not been so wise. Today, there’s unimaginable social change at unheard-of speed thanks in large part to economic growth and social engineering, yet at the same time China’s rulers are standing in the way of meaningful political change. They have become more repressive just as the Chinese people are demanding political liberalization. Read When China Rules the World, and you will see none of this crucial history.

And you will see almost nothing about how the forces of modernization almost always overwhelm intransigent political institutions, whether we examine 18th-century France or 20th-century Taiwan. Jacques’s failure to examine this issue is a major problem. If asked, he would probably answer that China is unique and that the Chinese people stand behind their leaders because they believe in the unity of the country.

He portrays the Chinese people as supporting Beijing’s brand of authoritarianism. But while they may be nationalistic, they are also defiant. Given the turbulence in Chinese society — there are perhaps as many as 90,000 major protests a year — we have to wonder what a radical change in form of government would mean for China’s place in the world. Many fondly hope that transformation in Chinese society will be gradual and peaceful; if it is, China will have a chance of eventually dominating the international system as Jacques predicts. Yet the scenario of evolutionary adaptation, which he argues is the most probable, appears inconsistent with the last 2,000 years of Chinese history — and unlikely in the current hardline system. It is much more probable that the clashes between the Chinese people and their government — the demonstrations appear to have been larger, more frequent, and more violent in recent years — will eventually result in a complete failure of the one-party state.

Perhaps China can avoid revolutionary turmoil, but Jacques does not say much on this topic beyond declaring that “the rule of the Communist party is no longer in doubt.” He never explains how a country that has trouble governing itself at this moment — and that has a history of radical change — will soon be able to dominate the rest of the world.



Eternal Gratitude

Carolyn Blashek was in shock, like many of us, on 9/11. She was searching to find something that would assuage her concerns. Her decision was to enlist in the Army. The Army recruiter took one look at this then-46-year-old, 5’ 5”, and 115 lb. woman, and suggested she find another way to channel her energies. That recruiter definitely saved Islamic terrorists from a severe thrashing.

Looking for something to fulfill her commitment to help, she volunteered at the military lounge at Los Angeles Airport. Ms. Blashek had a unique experience with a particular soldier on leave, one who really had no family at all. It became clear what the soldiers in war zones really needed – which then became her mission – was to help our best men and women believe that someone here in the homeland actually cared.

Starting in her home, Carolyn created something different – and special. Her objective was to send each soldier an individually addressed box that included not only helpful items, but also a handwritten note. This is not an easy task to accomplish. She has to get the names and the locations of our soldiers which is something the military does not hand out willy-nilly. The decision to release this information is left to the commanders in the field or on the ships. You see, these packages are meant for the men and women in harm’s way -- those that most need to know that we sincerely care – and deeply appreciate what they are doing for us.

From the days in 2003 and 2004 when you would visit Carolyn’s house and be greeted by a wall of boxes, the operation has really changed. Operation Gratitude has taken over the Army National Guard Armory in Van Nuys, California. I stopped by recently and what I saw there made me particularly proud to be American.

At first glance, it looks like Santa’s workshop three days before Christmas. You are stunned by the mass of people hard at work on an assembly line. Almost 1,000 volunteers (no one at Operation Gratitude gets paid) are busy working away on this season’s goal of sending 70,000 boxes to our brave souls in Iraq and Afghanistan. Who would have thought this could happen in California, the heart of blue-state America?

While looking at the line, I asked Carolyn: “Who organized this? You have many talents, but an operation of this scale clearly required someone with real skills in mass production.” She led me to one of their 70 supervisors, Charlie Othold, who holds the title of Director of Operations. Charlie is your definition of grizzled, old guy. He did 20 years in the Air Force and then another 20 at Lockheed as a logistics engineer. He detailed to me how they are set up to package 1,200 boxes an hour.

Since 2004, Charlie has worked essentially a full-time job for Operation Gratitude. He spends at least 30 hours per week at the Armory because there is such a tremendous amount of work required to get the donated products -- lip balm, sunscreen, CDs, hats, t-shirts, flash drives and myriad other items -- into the boxes, along with a personalized letter from a child or adult from across America. Charlie served in Viet Nam. When I asked him what it would have meant to him to receive one of these boxes, I had to stop and compose myself as I was overwhelmed by the moment. Charlie told me what he thought the difference would be from the generous yet impersonal bag from the USO. I noticed a tear in the eye of this tough guy and I knew what it would really have meant.

Not all of the volunteers are military veterans. I spoke with Gregg Contreras, a self-employed security contractor, who has a second job working as a supervisor at Operation Gratitude. He came on board in 2005. We discussed “the corner,” which is where the personalized label goes on the box, and the moment that the whole process becomes real because it now has a soldier for which it is designated. From there volunteers then complete hand-addressed customs forms as required for each box to reach its destination. Contreras, who never served in the military, now has found his calling. He gets up every day personally committed to do what he does for Operation Gratitude. Yes, he says, he has to do it.

The Armory has become a magical place. Volunteers have taken a thought, a concept and made it happen. Because there is no staff and no meetings and no bureaucracy, they succeed on their mission. They are just ordinary citizens doing an exemplary job for people who do something extraordinary for this country and for the free people of the world every day. It is an unbelievable convergence of people doing good for people who are doing greatness. You walk out of the armory wondering who is benefiting more – the volunteers or the soldiers - and the answer is both.

As we enter this week of unique American experience of giving of thanks for all we have and for all of those who came before us to make this the wonderful country it is, remember Operation Gratitude. Despite the incredibly generous donations of products, they still need $11 to cover the cost of mailing each of those 70,000 soldiers receiving boxes this holiday season (the packages can only go by USPS). Remember that whatever you are suffering is nothing compared to what they are enduring for us. So please go to and help make sure that America’s finest people know we are thinking of them daily and that we appreciate what they are doing for free people everywhere.




Army allows media at Palin event at Fort Bragg: "The U.S. Army said Friday it would open Sarah Palin’s appearance on Fort Bragg to media, a reversal from earlier in the week when the military wanted the event closed out of fears it would prompt political grandstanding against President Barack Obama. The attempt to ban media at the event scheduled for Monday was met with protests from The Associated Press and The Fayetteville Observer. The military then proposed limited media coverage, but lifted that plan Friday.”

Sarah Palin dines with Rev. Billy Graham in NC: "Sarah Palin arrived for Sunday dinner with the Rev. Billy Graham a day before a planned stop on her book tour in eastern North Carolina. The former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee flew into Asheville and then went to Billy Graham's mountaintop home in Montreat for dinner, said Jeremy Blume, a spokesman for Graham's son, Franklin. Franklin Graham invited Palin. The elder Graham has never met Palin, who is scheduled to stop at Fort Bragg on Monday to promote her memoir, "Going Rogue: An American Life." Franklin Graham got to know Palin early this year in Alaska. She accompanied him as Samaritan's Purse, a Boone-based international relief agency he heads, delivered 44,000 pounds of groceries to Alaskan families who had been hit by a harsh winter in villages along the frozen Yukon River. Samaritan's Purse has an office in Alaska, and Franklin Graham owns a cabin in the state. Graham also leads the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which his father founded decades ago."

Three Mile Island radiation not significant: "The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the small amount of radiation detected at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant is not significant. Specialist John White told ABC News that there was no indication that radiation at the plant exceeded or even approached regulatory limits. The commission sent investigators to the central Pennsylvania plant after a small amount of radiation was detected.”

Report: UK documents detail Iraq war chaos: "Leaked British government documents call into question ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair’s public statements on the buildup to the Iraq war and show plans for the U.S.-led 2003 invasion were being made more than a year earlier, a newspaper reported Sunday. Britain’s Sunday Telegraph published details of private statements made by senior British military figures claiming plans were in place months before the March 2003 invasion, but were so badly drafted they left troops poorly equipped and ill-prepared for the conflict.”

Five cities that will rise in the New Economy: "In Houston, the Texas Medical Center is expanding so quickly that it will soon become the seventh largest downtown in the US. By itself. … In Seattle, the erector-set cranes along the waterfront and big forklifts at the airport are loading exports into containers with the constancy of a piston: plywood to Beijing, halibut and crab to Tokyo, Granny Smith apples to Moscow. … In Fort Collins, Colo., town fathers are aggressively transforming the heart of the city into a zone that generates as much electricity as it consumes. … As the United States emerges from the worst recession in 80 years, a new economy is taking root that will help create the next tier of powerhouse cities in America.”

Obamanomics 101: "During the Depression, President Roosevelt demonized business and the wealthy (’economic royalists’) and raised their taxes. When they declined to invest and stir economic growth, he accused them of staging a ‘capital strike.’ The Obama equivalent, if it comes to that, would be a ‘hiring strike.’ We haven’t gotten there yet. But Obama has made clear in his 10-month presidency that he has minimal respect for business or the profit motive. Ambitious, talented young people should work for nonprofits. Last summer, he criticized doctors who gouged by insisting on expensive tonsillectomies to cure simple sore throats. They reflected a ‘business mentality,’ he said. And what the president doesn’t understand — or, to be more charitable, refuses to acknowledge — about free markets, the economy, and competition could fill a book, or at least an Obama speech.”


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)