Monday, May 31, 2010



Memorial Day 2010

by Oliver North

ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, Va. -- This is the place that receives the most attention on Memorial Day, though it is but one of 141 national cemeteries in the United States and 24 others located on foreign soil. Many of our countrymen will observe this "last Monday in May" holiday with travel, shopping and picnics. But those who take the time to visit one of these hallowed grounds will have an unforgettable experience.

These are the final resting places for more than 3 million Americans who served in our armed forces -- as soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen and Marines -- including the nearly 5,500 who have perished in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A visit to one of these quiet memorials is a tribute to those who made history by wearing our nation's uniform and taking up arms to preserve our liberty and free tens of millions of others from tyranny. In words written on stone markers, these places tell the story of who we are as a people.

Regardless of when they served, all interred in these cemeteries sacrificed the comforts of home and absented themselves from the warmth and affection of loved ones. Since 1776, more than 1.5 million Americans have lost their lives while in uniform.

At countless funerals and memorial services for those who lost their lives in the service of our country, I hear the question, "Why is such a good young person taken from us in the prime of life?" Plato, the Greek philosopher, apparently sought to resolve the issue by observing, "Only the dead have seen the end of war." I prefer to take my solace in the words of Jesus to the Apostle John: "Father, I will that those you have given me, be with me where I am."

My sojourns to this "Sacred Ground," as Tom Ruck calls our national cemeteries in the title of his magnificent book, remind me that among those here are veterans who served with my father and all of my uncles in the conflagration of World War II. Only a handful of those 16.5 million from that "greatest generation" remain. Others resting in these consecrated places were tested just five years later in our first fight against despotic communism -- on the Korean Peninsula. They braved stifling heat, mind-numbing cold and an enemy that often outnumbered them 10 to one.

Here are headstones of those who served in the decade between Korea and Vietnam. More than 12 millions young Americans donned military uniforms in what was called "the cold war." It was only cold for those who didn't have to fight in it. They served on land, air and sea in lonely outposts, dusty camps, along barbed wire barriers in foreign lands, on guard against those who would have done us harm if they had the chance.

Between 1964 and 1975, more than 7 million young Americans were committed to the bloody contest in Southeast Asia. The names of 58,267 who died from that fight are on the wall of the Vietnam War Memorial -- some of them were my Marines and my brother's soldiers. Headstones in cemeteries all across this land testify to more of their selfless sacrifice -- and serve as a reminder that the victory denied in that war should never happen again.

In the three-and-a-half decades since Vietnam, not a single year has passed without Americans in uniform being committed to hostile action somewhere around the globe -- including Grenada, Beirut, Panama, the Balkans and Kuwait. We are not a warlike people. But for more than two centuries, ours has been the only nation on earth willing to consistently send its sons and daughters into harm's way -- not for gold or oil or colonial conquest, but to offer others the hope of liberty.

Since Sept. 11, that great legacy has been borne by volunteers serving in the shadows of the Hindu Kush, along the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates, in the Persian Gulf and on anti-piracy patrols in the Indian Ocean. These young Americans are engaged against a merciless enemy who has proven repeatedly that there is no atrocity beneath them -- and that they will do whatever it takes to kill as many of our countrymen as possible.

Those now in uniform deserve our thanks, for no nation has ever had a better military force than the one we have today. And no accolade to those presently in our country's service is greater than honoring the veterans who preceded them on Memorial Day.

SOURCE

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Obama, ACORN and Stealth Socialism

by Anita MonCrief

As an ex-ACORN insider and ex-radical who used Democrat donor lists to raise money for ACORN alter-ego Project Vote and designed the ACORN 2005, 2006 and 2007 Political Operations Year End PowerPoint presentations, I know that President Obama (for whom I now regretfully admit I proudly voted) was an ACORN guy for many years and realize that he became the instrument for the implementation of its stealth socialism agenda.

National Journal rated Obama the most “liberal” United States Senator, even more “liberal” than avowed socialist Bernard Sanders of Vermont (for whom then Senator Obama campaigned), because he earned it.

In her sensational New York Times no. 1 bestseller, “Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies,” published in 2009, intrepid Michelle Malkin generously gave me “special thanks” for daring to expose ACORN corruption and wrote about it and the New York Times cover up of the Obama/ACORN relationship in detail at pages 244-49. (Since that material was added after the manuscript had been sent to the printer, I did not make the index.)

Stealth socialism in vogue

It’s not surprising that on May 3, 2010 Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliot released “The Manchurian President: Barack Obama’s Ties to Communists, Socialists and Other Anti-American Extremists” and on May 15, 2010 former Speaker Newt Gingrich released a book titled “To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular Socialist Machine.” Of course they are right about Obama’s radical ties and “secular socialist machine.” (I’m looking forward to Laura Ingraham’s “The Obama Diaries,” out on or about July 13, 2010, but I bet President Obama isn’t.)

Even though on October 21, 2008 The New York Times killed the Obama/ACORN expose on which I been reporter Stephanie Strom’s source and I decided to blow the whistle myself and appeared on Laura Ingraham’s radio show before the end of the month, Bill O’Reilly of Fox News apparently did not learn about it until March of 2009 (the month in which attorney Heather Heidelbaugh, for whom I voluntarily became a witness in the Pennsylvania ACORN, testified before a Congressional committee about ACORN voter registration fraud and the New York Times cover up), it was inevitable that the truth about Obama, ACORN and “stealth socialism” finally would become generally known as the socialist agenda was implemented. After all, the idea was for Obama to deliver as President on that “fundamental change” that he promised as a presidential hopeful.

After an appealing generality becomes an examinable specific and the cost calculations are done, putting lipstick on a pig doesn’t fool nearly as many people. For example, Obamacare is a massive wealth redistribution program and–no surprise–not long after it was enacted, an Obama Administration official acknowledged it and we learned that Obamacare would be much more expensive than it had been officially estimated before it was passed.

Defining stealth socialism

Graham L. Strachan explained the “stealth socialism” path this way:

“Why did the Western media persist in calling the social system in the Communist bloc ‘Communism’ instead of Socialism? They did it to manufacture a false reality: to protect the reputation of another form of Socialism which existed in the West….so-called ‘Democratic Socialism’, socialism by stealth, socialism achieved through the ‘permeation’ of existing political institutions by members of organisation such as the Fabian Society, in order to influence the policies adopted by those institutions towards socialism.

“Democratic Socialism itself was based on a lie: that Socialism could be implemented peacefully through the ballot box. The implication was that if the voters didn’t like it they could vote it out again. That was a hoax. Since Socialism does not permit private ownership of property, it cannot be ‘democratic’ in the sense of allowing a choice of political Parties. This is not a matter of ideology, but of logistics. It would be impossible to have a two Party system of genuine democracy, for example, under which the state nationalised all property including business when the Socialists were voted into power, then sold it all back to the people again when they were voted out. The intention of Democratic Socialism was (and still is) to be democratic just long enough to gain power. Then it will declare the ‘end of history’ and entrench itself forever, enforcing its politically correct speech and thought on everybody, and being just as tyrannical as its Marxist revolutionary counterparts.”

How to make a socialist the ACORN way

As an ACORN insider my indoctrination as a socialist was a slow but steady progression from radical liberalism to embracing the stealth socialist methods that had made ACORN a powerful force in American electoral politics. Two years ago, in the mist of a heated presidential election year, I noticed a Facebook page of Socialism 2008. The graffiti-like picture beckoned young Socialists to Chicago, Illinois on June 19th, 2008. I RSVPed for the event on Facebook without fully understanding what had just taken place. The line between radical, liberal Democrat and socialist was almost invisible at this point.

Working for ACORN/Project Vote facilitated my crossing the “socialist”threshold and I had become what insiders termed “one of the true believers.” True believers were instrumental in the survival of ACORN and the process of making an employee a true believer began on the very first day.

Inside ACORN offices across the country, young, idealistic liberals were being ingrained with the Saul Alinsky style of Organizing. Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals was never mentioned by name, but Alinsky’s tactics were used on employees and ACORN members.

ACORN’s strategy of stealth socialism was aimed at gaining power through duplicity and somewhat assimilating into society. Alinsky, the “father of community organizing,” taught that the path to power necessitated the use of people who would serve as pawns.

“Organizing for power was Alinsky’s political end, not political party influence. When he asked his new students why they wanted to organize, they would invariably respond with ’selfless bromides about wanting to help others,’ according to Ryan Lizza writing in The New Republic. Alinsky would then “scream back at them that there was a one-word answer: “You want to organize for power!’”

Saul Alinsky almost single-handedly invented the modern art of community organizing… He was a master teacher of others, and left a legion of trained disciples and organizations, including Obama and Clinton.”

Every ACORN employee was given a copy of the ACORN Organizing Model, bylaws and various information on running campaigns, but the real education was in how ACORN operated behind the scenes. Like Alinsky, ACORN openly organized to build power, but ACORN’s ace in the hole was the black community.

Community organizers became the “information police” for minorities in dozens of cities. As the official representative for its members, ACORN was able to frame the debate in ways that aligned with its People’s Platform. The platform is based on the socialist idea of sharing the wealth. Members were asked, even coerced, to attend rallies and protests for issues ACORN had decided would lead to power.

As students exited schools with a “liberal arts” education and a desire to help, ACORN stood ready with the social justice flag in one hand and a cigarette lighter and American flag in the other. Attending such events like Socialism 2008 was the culmination of two years of looking the other way and accepting a little bad in order to save the “movement.” Some leave ACORN at this point but the ones who stay are trusted just a little more.

The Road from radical terrorists to professors and community organizers

With greater access comes greater understanding of the true subversive nature of ACORN. As stated last summer in my article “Liberal Fallout Zones“:

“Poverty is big business and a predicate for class warfare intended to perpetuate political power in the masters of that big business. In the current climate special interest groups are writing bills and influencing votes amid a huge liberal spending binge.”

That spending binge is more like a bender now because ACORN, recognizing the past mistakes of other radical groups like Weather Underground and Students for a Democratic Society decided the best way to gain power as was to pass unnoticed in mainstream America. Radicals like Frances Fox Piven and her husband Richard A. Cloward retreated into the world of Academia where they penned papers on Socialism peppered with Alinsky tactics and a new name: The Cloward-Piven strategy

On May 2, 1966, Columbia’s Professor of Social Work Richard A. Cloward, and his then research associate Frances Fox Piven, wrote a pivotal article in The Nation, articulating “a strategy to end poverty.”

In what became known as the Cloward-Piven strategy, the article argued a revolutionary approach to mobilizing the poor in the form of class warfare against capitalist forces viewed as exploiting labor and oppressing the poor.

David Horowitz, a long-time student of leftist political movements in the United States, characterized the Cloward-Piven strategy as seeking “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.”

Cloward and Piven argued a “guaranteed annual income” should be established as an entitlement for the poor, a right the poor could assert and demand to be paid.”

Other radicals like ACORN founder Wade Rathke and former Project Vote executive director, Zach Polett formed organizations and began implementing their socialist agenda while using the poor and minority communities as a defense if anyone dared question their actions. According to its website, ACORN planted its seed in American politics long ago and continues to play an “insider’s game” to maintain it.

“Finally, ACORN® began playing the insiders’ game in American politics. Congressional lobbying is practiced by ACORN® staff. Leaders and members became a central part of the insiders’ games, too. Members elected to office or serving on APACs acquired experience and skill applying power from the inside of the political process. Instead of confronting opponents in actions (something ACORN® will never stop doing), members could trade and negotiate from inside positions of power.

ACORN®’s work on the savings and loan bailout provided effective means of developing and applying power for low- and moderate- income people. ACORN® members won appointment to the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) to help determine the management of the billions of dollars of assets the government seized. The payoff to these activities came, and still comes, when substantial numbers of ACORN® members developed the ability to move inside the political sphere that has for so long been closed to low- and moderate-income people.”

Much more HERE


My Twitter.com identity: jonjayray. My Facebook page is also accessible as jonjayray (In full: http://www.facebook.com/jonjayray). For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)

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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)

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Barack Obama's credibility hits rock bottom after oil spill and Sestak scandal

The combination of Obama's passivity over the Gulf oil spill catastrophe and his cynical political manoeuvrings could spell disaster for him, argues Toby Harnden

The first thing Barack Obama probably should have done was to order the livestreaming Oil Spill Cam to be turned off. As the President insisted to Americans that he was "singularly focused" on staunching the flow, there was that mesmerising image on their television screens of plumes of hydrocarbons gushing relentlessly into the Gulf of Mexico.

When any political leader feels they have to declare that they are "fully engaged" in an issue, it is clear that they are in trouble. Talking about it undermines the very point you are trying to make - not to mention that pesky Oil Spill Cam showing that, 38 days into the Deepwater Horizon disaster, not a whole lot had been achieved.

Even judging Obama by his words, he has fallen woefully short over what has now eclipsed the 1989 Exxon Valdez wreck as biggest oil spill catastrophe in American history. He may have described it as an "unprecedented disaster" in last Thursday's press conference but a week into the crisis he was blithely stating that "this incident is of national significance" and rest assured he was receiving "frequent briefings" about it.

George W Bush's unpopularity and perceived incompetence was encapsulated by the way he dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Candidate Obama branded it "unconscionable incompetence".

Central to Obama's appeal was his promise to be truly different. His failure to achieve that is now at the core of the deep disappointment Americans feel about him. At the press conference - the first full-scale affair he had deigned to give for 309 days - he appeared uncomfortable and petulant.

His approach to the issue was that of the law student suddenly fascinated by a science project. He displayed none of the visceral indignation Americans feel about pretty much everything these days - two-thirds now say they are "angry" about the way things are going - resorting instead to Spock-like technocratic language and legalese. "I'm not contradicting my prior point," he stated at one juncture. During those 63 minutes of soporific verbosity, about 800 barrels of oil poured into the Gulf.

Obama engaged in the obligatory populist bashing of Big Oil and, of course, demonstrated the Obama administration's version of Tourette's Syndrome, blaming the previous administration for the situation when, by my reckoning, it's a full 16 months since Bush left office.

By Friday, he was sticking his finger in the sand at Grand Isle, Louisiana as part of a photo op self-consciously designed to contrast with Bush's famous looking down on the Katrina devastation from Air Force One. It was Obama's second visit to Louisiana in the 39 days since disaster struck. According to NBC's Mark Knoller, in the same period Bush visited the post-Katrina region seven times.

But perhaps the most dangerous sign during the press conference for Democrats fearful of an unprecedented electoral disaster in November's mid-term elections was the evasion and opacity of the man who promised a new era of transparency and a different kind of politics.

When asked about the resignation of the director of the Minerals Management Service - an agency he had excoriated - he professed that "I don't know the circumstances in which this occurred". She had, of course, been fired.

Even worse was Obama's refusal to say anything about the growing furore over White House attempts to persuade Congressman Joe Sestak to pull out of the Democratic Senate primary contest in Pennsylvania. Obama's advisers had preferred the Republican turncoat Senator Arlen Specter - and Sestak inconveniently let slip that he'd been offered a government job to step aside.

That was potentially illegal and for weeks the White House stonewalled. When, even more inconveniently, Sestak beat Specter, the trust-us-nothing-untoward-happened approach would no longer wash. But still Obama declined to answer the question on Thursday, fobbing the reporter – and America – off with the promise that "there will be an official response shortly on the Sestak issue".

This did indeed come the following day – conveniently timed for that Friday afternoon news void before the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Lo and behold, it turns out that none other than former President Bill Clinton was asked by Obama's chief of staff and Chicago enforcer Rahm Emanuel to offer Sestak a place on a presidential board.

Whether or not the law was broken, the cynicism of this is breathtaking. Obama offered a break from the Clinton-Bush past and an end to the shoddy backroom deals of Washington. So what does he do? He tries to deny Pennsylvania voters a chance to decide for themselves by using his former foe Clinton to offer a grubby inducement.

It was perhaps a fitting end to one of the worst weeks of Obama presidency, in which a Rasmussen one poll pegged his popularity at a new low of 42 percent. In an environment in which Americans are disillusioned and cynical about Washington and all it stands for, the Clinton-Sestak manoeuvre could be a political calamity for Obama.

Perhaps he should be grateful after all that the Oil Spill Cam was still beaming up footage from the sea bed.

SOURCE

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Poverty, Capital and Economic Freedom

When poor countries grow rich, it rarely has anything at all to do with how many mouths they have to feed or the abundance of natural resources. Instead, across the globe, poor countries of all sizes, climates, and endowments begin to grow rich as two key factors increase.

First, countries grow rich as their human capital improves. Human capital is the term economists use to describe the value that a country’s people possess through their accumulated experience and education. For example, there is little doubt that India’s recent growth explosion is due in large part to the education—including the knowledge of the English language—of its people.
Second, countries grow rich as they invest in and accumulate physical capital: the machines, tools, infrastructure, and other equipment that make the product of each hour of physical labor more valuable.

That which both human capital and physical capital share is that they both transform the result of an hour of a person’s hard work into something of even greater value. As the value of an hour of labor rises, employers gladly pay higher hourly rates, knowing that their bottom lines will be the better for it.

If we want to be effective agents in aiding the poor, we should focus our efforts in directions leading to the enhanced value of an hour of labor. That is, we should help poor countries wisely grow their stocks of human and physical capital, all the while bearing in mind that markets and their prices send the best available signals regarding where our efforts can have the greatest impact. The newfound success of innovative micro lending efforts such as Kiva can help show us ways to effectively invest in the accumulation of physical capital by the global poor. Compassion International is a marvelous organization that works to further the education—the human capital—of poor children worldwide, with a financial accountability record above reproach.

Further, markets work best when economic systems maintain the dignity of human beings. First, human beings grow and flourish—and accumulate human and physical capital—in systems that afford them considerable economic freedom. Economic freedom means that people are able to make personal choices, that their property is protected, and that they may voluntarily buy and sell in markets. Yet, economic freedom requires the protection of private property. When property rights are clearly defined and protected, people will work harder to create and to save. When they are confident that the fruits of their labors cannot be taken away arbitrarily or by force, people everywhere have greater assurance that their labors will lead to better lives for themselves and their families. Today’s rich collection of NGOs that work toward basic human rights play a critical role in this regard.

Finally, we should be outraged at the protectionist agricultural policies of already-rich nations such as the United States. When we allow the agricultural lobby to garner sweetheart deals from the U.S. House and Senate, the poor in other nations simply cannot compete with American growers of many crops because the trade rules are so utterly slanted against those in other nations.

For example, it is illegal for sugar buyers in the United States to purchase their sugar from sources outside the United States, even though the world price of sugar lies below the federally mandated price of sugar in the United States. This is wonderful, though, for U.S. sugar beet growers in the United States; it means they have a captive supply of buyers at a price that is being kept artificially high by federal decree. If the United States were to abandon such self-centered policies, sugar growers everywhere would have access to our markets, and the price of sugar would fall for all of us.

Moreover, confectioners and soft-drink makers in the United States would be able to produce their goods at lower costs, thereby adding to their job security. In one well publicized case in 2002, the Life-Savers candy factory in Holland, Michigan, was relocated to Canada, though the Michigan factory had been in operation for over thirty-five years and employed six hundred or so American workers. By moving to the northern side of the U.S.-Canada border, Life Savers slashed its input costs dramatically because, in Canada, Life-Savers was free to buy cane sugar at the world price: sugar grown by those who need the income most.

Sugar is not the only market we currently protect to keep out lower-priced commodities in an effort to help poor farmers in the United States. We have erected similar barriers that turn a blind eye to the plight of the global poor in markets for cotton, peanuts, and several other products that we can grow at home. In fact, by now you can probably see another reason why coffee prices are low. Because coffee cannot be grown in Ohio, or in France, rich northerners have not erected protectionist barriers to keep out the coffee that foreigners make.

If we really care about the global poor, we should work to make trade freer for everyone in our global community: a level playing field for all. That means tearing down all of the barriers we use to keep the global poor from working in the very jobs in which they are perfectly positioned to make the greatest lasting gains.

SOURCE

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Obama official: Jihad Is Legitimate Tenet Of Islam

Some Muslims use "jihad" as a way to describe a personal religious struggle. Others use it to describe their desire to slaughter nonbelievers. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out which definition is most fitting for terrorists who want to murder United States citizens.

Why, then, would the United States counter-terrorism chief, John Brennan, go to great lengths to explain how jihad is a "holy" struggle? Here's Brennan's quote from Fox:
Nor do we describe our enemy as 'jihadists' or 'Islamists' because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one's community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children.

It seems that Brennan is woefully unaware of the direct connection between Islam and violent acts of extremism. The fringe of any mainstream religion can certainly be capable of these kinds of acts, but the reality is that these acts are simply more prevalent among Muslim believers. Moreover, Brennan is involved in counterterrorism, not religious affairs. It's his place to deal with the realities of religious violence, not to serve as a public relations lapdog for our dangerously image-conscious Commander in Chief.

SOURCE

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Democrats hope to entrench change that will outlast their time in office

Beginning last summer, Obama and the Democrats made sweeping health care legislation their top priority. This is when the tide in public opinion began to change. The more Obama talked about the need for health care "reform," the less people liked it and the more they voted against it every time they were given a chance -- culminating in the election earlier this year of Scott Brown, a little-known Republican, to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the death of Ted Kennedy. Brown turned his campaign into a crusade against Obamacare -- promising to use his vote as the 41st Republican senator to deny the Democrats the supermajority needed to overcome a GOP filibuster.

Then something remarkable happened. Though public opinion had clearly moved to the right, Obama and the Democrats decided to move left-hard left-in rejigging congressional rules to jam their health care bill through Congress via a simple majority vote. Revved up by this "victory" in securing the passage of a manifestly unpopular piece of legislation, the Democratic leadership now aims to replicate this success in passing other bills that have the enthusiastic support of the party's liberal base and are roundly opposed by most other Americans. This includes cap and trade and legislation granting new powers and privileges to the unions.

Under this first-things-last approach, Obama and the Democrats -- cheered on by the intellectual class that is dominant in the universities and within the news media -- are persuaded that they should seize the moment, while they are still in control of both houses of Congress, to pass "enlightened" if unpopular legislation, and then sell the virtues of such legislation to the people once it is already law. They are equally persuaded that good intentions trump any need for good economics -- or careful and honest analysis of weighing the supposed benefits against the likely costs. As a friend of mine put it, "The economic consequences be damned when one's sense of moral superiority is all that matters."

More here

There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.

My Twitter.com identity: jonjayray. My Facebook page is also accessible as jonjayray (In full: http://www.facebook.com/jonjayray). For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)

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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)

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Saturday, May 29, 2010



Hot air about Israel

Once again Obama proves that he can talk the talk. We now know however that he often does not walk the walk. While the event below was full of nice symbolism and vague rhetoric, where is the mention of Iran and the nuclear threat overhanging Israel?

The athletes, the astronauts, the alternative music, the black rabbi, the white dress uniforms and, above all, the left-handed baseball giant: Welcome to Barack Obama's Jewish America.

The first-ever Jewish America Heritage Month celebration at the White House on Thursday underscored the Obama administration's determination not to be locked into Washington's conventional notions of Jewish leadership.

President Obama did not exactly snub the usual suspects who have peopled similar events for decades. There was Lee Rosenberg, the president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and there was Alan Solow, the chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Both also happen to have been major fund-raisers for Obama's campaign, as were several others among the 250 or so in attendance.

But the image that the White House sought to convey was one of Jewish America not necessarily bound to the alphabet soup of the Jewish organizational world and of pro-Israelism. Instead, Obama presented an array of Jewish heroes and celebrities who pronouncedly defied Jewish stereotypes. In addition to the major givers, the entrepreneurs and the communal leaders, there were also sports heroes -- including Sandy Koufax -- veterans, non-profit innovators, journalists, actors and organizers.

The reception was in the works for months, and planning predated the tensions between Israel and the United States precipitated in early March when Israel announced a major housing start in eastern Jerusalem during an official visit there by Vice President Joe Biden, who also was at Thursday's reception.

Still, the White House's message was timely: Obama would not be second-guessed by his pro-Israel critics on his friendship to the Jewish community and to Israel. The reception included a traditional reference to the "unbreakable" Israel-U.S. alliance dating back to within minutes of Israel's establishment.

Obama also made it clear, however, that he sees the alliance as part of a America's strategy of outreach to the world.

"My administration is renewing American leadership around the world -- strengthening old alliances and forging new ones, defending universal values while ensuring that we uphold our values here at home," he said. "In fact, it's our common values that leads us to stand with allies and friends, including the State of Israel."

The dual message -- closeness to Israel coupled with global outreach -- has characterized the recent "charm offensive" launched by the White House in the wake of the recent tensions with Israel. Obama is hosting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next Tuesday, and the signs are that it will be a higher-profile reception than the thief-in-the-night encounter the two had when tensions were at their highest in March.

More HERE

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Fascist economics still alive and well

What is called "state capitalism" below is just Fascism reinvented

It's quite likely that the financial crisis that began in 2007 and is, just now, threatening to unravel the European Union represents the final period in a two decade era of the West's "end of history" hubris. While the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have sullied the aura of Western military power, the financial crisis has surely cracked the other pillar of Western dominance, free market capitalism.

There is, in no other words, no better time for a challenger to rear its head and take on the "Washington consensus" that free markets and free politics are the true engines of growth, power and prosperity. And such a challenger has arisen in the form of what Ian Bremmer, in his engaging new book The End of the Free Market, dubs "state capitalism."

State capitalism, Bremmer writes, "is a system in which the state dominates markets primarily for political gain." From state-owned corporations operating in strategic industries like natural resources or defense, to enormous sovereign wealth funds in the hands of autocrats with opaque operating principles, state capitalism has enabled the world's autocratic states to reap the benefits of capitalist enterprise while maintaining a vice-grip on political freedom.

In Bremmer's telling, the world's autocratic states learned a valuable lesson from the implosion of the Soviet Union: command economies do not work and when they fail, they can bring down the over-arching political system with them. They also watched the post Soviet experiment in crash liberalization with horror. To protect their hides and preserve their privilege, autocratic rulers in China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere have created a "hybrid" system that leverages many of the tools of capitalism to generate wealth while the heavy hand of the state ensures that wealth is put to the service of the elites and rulers of each country.

Most of Bremmer's slim, accessible volume (just 200 pages, excluding end notes) is devoted to a tour of the world's dominant and emerging state capitalist systems in places such as Malaysia, Brazil, and the United Arab Emirates. Bremmer's picture of global state capitalism is nuanced - he acknowledges that even free market democracies interfere in markets for political purposes, as is the case with Europe and America's generous farm subsidies and tariffs. The signature difference is the degree and scope of state interference and the lack of democratic transparency in the countries that practice state capitalism.

According to Bremmer, this hybrid model has serious repercussions for the U.S. and other capitalist democracies. Since economic competition is global, companies with state ownership or state influence can distort markets and harm consumers. They can, for example, pay above market prices for natural resource contracts to lock up long term supplies. They can trade freely with the world's pariah states, offsetting the impact of sanctions. More than that, as China emerges from the world's worst recession with 10 percent GDP growth, these state capitalist systems can lure "fence sitting" states like Brazil and India to their brand of government, further tilting the global economic playing field. Goodbye Washington consensus, hello Beijing consensus.

Only not quite.

Despite the dramatic (indeed, misleading) title of the book, there's no indication that we've reached the end of the free market. In fact, Bremmer says so explicitly in his conclusion. Unlike competitors of yore, state capitalism is less an ideology than a methodology. What unites the state capitalist systems of the world is how parochial they are: the leaders are too focused on defending their own skins to worry about world domination or exporting a revolution. What's more, as Bremmer writes, none of the practioners of state capitalism believe in mercantilism - the notion that there is a finite allotment of wealth and that the only way to grow share is to take share from others. So while their state champions and sovereign wealth funds can distort global markets, the world can escape the beggar-thy-neighbor cycle of economic destruction that marked the Great Depression.

Indeed, it's clear from the book and from Bremmer's confidence in free market capitalism, that state capitalist systems contain the seeds of their own destruction. As Bremmer demonstrates, the primary goal of capitalist activity under a state capitalist system is to defend the political interests of the state. But those interests often align quite closely with the material prosperity of the state's own citizens. China wants to maintain its torrid growth rates not so its president can lounge around in opulence, but to provide the millions of jobs it needs to stave off social unrest. The implicit social contract of state capitalism - you can earn a good living if you don't care about political freedom - acknowledges the urgent need to provide improved standards of living to its citizens.

That's a difficult straddle. China has managed it for thirty years and may be able to for thirty more, but the inherent inefficiencies and corruption of state capitalism don't augur well for its future.

That's not to argue for complacency. While he mercifully avoids the doom-mongering that often attends discussion of the rise of China or the re-emergence of Russia, Bremmer does make some brief and modest suggestions for U.S. policy in the face of state capitalist competition. Stay verbally committed to free market capitalism, expand free trade agreements, particularly with countries that practice state capitalism, sustain a military lead over potential competitors like Russia and China, and selectively assert American rights and interests with unfair competitors like China. In short: stay calm, and stay true to the principles that made the "Washington consensus" so attractive in the first place.

SOURCE

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Harvard study finds increased gov’t spending results in unemployment

Don’t color Veronique de Rugy shocked, shocked to find that government spending crowds out private investment, but the results of the new study by Harvard Business School will certainly shock some Keynesian academics — and high-ranking government officials. Instead of providing a stimulating effect to the economy, government spending creates pressures on private industry to reduce staff and investment. The study’s authors count themselves as among the shocked:
Recent research at Harvard Business School began with the premise that as a state’s congressional delegation grew in stature and power in Washington, D.C., local businesses would benefit from the increased federal spending sure to come their way.

It turned out quite the opposite. In fact, professors Lauren Cohen, Joshua Coval, and Christopher Malloy discovered to their surprise that companies experienced lower sales and retrenched by cutting payroll, R&D, and other expenses. Indeed, in the years that followed a congressman’s ascendancy to the chairmanship of a powerful committee, the average firm in his state cut back capital expenditures by roughly 15 percent, according to their working paper, “Do Powerful Politicians Cause Corporate Downsizing?”

“It was an enormous surprise, at least to us, to learn that the average firm in the chairman’s state did not benefit at all from the unanticipated increase in spending,” Coval reports.

This surprising result does not come from a misapprehension about pork and its relation to the chairmanships of the committees. Indeed, the study shows that pork dollars flow in mighty streams from those chairs to home districts and states. It’s not just earmarks, either, but also legislative expenditures that increase:
The average state experiences a 40 to 50 percent increase in earmark spending if its senator becomes chair of one of the top-three congressional committees. In the House, the average is around 20 percent.

For broader measures of spending, such as discretionary state-level federal transfers, the increase from being represented by a powerful senator is around 10 percent.

And yet:
In the year that follows a congressman’s ascendancy, the average firm in his state cuts back capital expenditures by roughly 15 percent.

There is some evidence that firms scale back their employment and experience a decline in sales growth.

If this seems counterintuitive, it might be from marinating too long in Beltway conventional wisdom. When private entities (citizens or businesses) retain capital, it gets used in a more rational manner, mainly because the entity has competitive incentives to use capital wisely and efficiently. The private entity also has his own interests in mind, and can act quickly to use the capital to its best application. Private entities innovate and look to create and expand markets, creating more growth.

In comparison, government moves much slower with capital. It generally works to its own benefit and not that of private entities. Lacking competition, there is no incentive for efficiency. Most importantly, it rarely creates new markets or growth but instead creates a spoils system that ends up reorganizing the status quo to favor some and disfavor others.

All of that is certainly true in the long-term sense. It now appears true in the short-term sense as well, despite the immediate application of government funds to specific areas. If this study is true, it calls into question the entire concept of Keynesian stimulus, and it shows that the Obama administration has gone in an entirely wrong direction both in concept and in practical terms in attempting to create economic growth. The best way to achieve growth appears to be to eliminate government interventions and to keep capital in the hands of the private sector. And that’s no shock at all to anyone who pays attention to economics.

SOURCE

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ELSEWHERE

Two structural reasons why government fails: "The bottom line is that socialist planners attempting to abolish markets, but interested in efficiency, would have no way of knowing what people value, so they would be unable to determine what outputs to make from a given set of inputs or which inputs to use to make any particular output. They would not be ‘planning;’ they would be stumbling around in the dark and the result would be economic chaos and poverty. This critique holds not just for attempts to substitute planning for markets completely, but also for any government attempts to intervene in specific markets.”

Government: No costs, all benefits: "Government has no costs — only benefits — according to several professors in economics at the University of Missouri–Kansas City, which is well known for its heterodox (i.e., usually very anti-market) economics department, writing at The Huffington Post about deficit ‘myths.’ I hesitate to actually use the label ‘economist’ to describe any of these people, because they do not seem to accept the very basic economic concept of opportunity cost — at least not when it comes to government spending.”

Bursting the myths of the Great Depression: "Review of The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal by Robert P. Murphy: “Government of all kind depends on elaborate mythologies to keep the people complacent in the face of constant attacks on their liberty, their property, and even their lives. Kings used to proclaim that they were divine or at least that they ruled with divine approval, so disobedience to them was actually disobedience to God or the gods. That worked to keep most of the citizenry in line for a very long time. As religion started losing its hold over people, rulers came up with new ideas. One was that the state was like a big, sheltering family where everyone had to cooperate for the common good — as directed by the government. Another idea was that the alternative to control by the government, anarchy, was so terrifying that it must be opposed at every turn.”

Obama admin. down in Zogby poll: "Positive opinion about the federal government's handling of a British Petroleum (BP) Gulf of Mexico oil spill is down 13 points from two weeks ago, dropping from 29% to 16%, a new Zogby Interactive survey finds. Currently, 16% rate the federal government's response to the spill as excellent or good. The same question in a May 7-10 Zogby Interactive survey found a total of 29% giving a positive rating. Opinion of British Petroleum's handling of the spill is also down from the previous poll, going from positive ratings of 25% then to just 15% now."

My Twitter.com identity: jonjayray. My Facebook page is also accessible as jonjayray (In full: http://www.facebook.com/jonjayray). For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)

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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)

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Whose Blowout Is It, Anyway?

by Charles Krauthammer

Heres my question: Why are we drilling in 5,000 feet of water in the first place?

Many reasons, but this one goes unmentioned: Environmental chic has driven us out there. As production from the shallower Gulf of Mexico wells declines, we go deep (1,000 feet and more) and ultra deep (5,000 feet and more), in part because environmentalists have succeeded in rendering the Pacific and nearly all the Atlantic coast off-limits to oil production. (President Obama's tentative, selective opening of some Atlantic and offshore Alaska sites is now dead.) And of course, in the safest of all places, on land, weve had a 30-year ban on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

So we go deep, ultra deep -- to such a technological frontier that no precedent exists for the April 20 blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

There will always be catastrophic oil spills. You make them as rare as humanly possible, but where would you rather have one: in the Gulf of Mexico, upon which thousands depend for their livelihood, or in the Arctic, where there are practically no people? All spills seriously damage wildlife. Thats a given. But why have we pushed the drilling from the barren to the populated, from the remote wilderness to a center of fishing, shipping, tourism and recreation?

Not that the environmentalists are the only ones to blame. Not by far. But it is odd that theyve escaped any mention at all.

The other culprits are pretty obvious. It starts with BP, which seems not only to have had an amazing string of perfect-storm engineering lapses but no contingencies to deal with a catastrophic system failure.

However, the railing against BP for its performance since the accident is harder to understand. I attribute no virtue to BP, just self-interest. What possible interest can it have to do anything but cap the well as quickly as possible? Every day that oil is spilled means millions more in losses, cleanup and restitution.

Federal officials who rage against BP would like to deflect attention from their own role in this disaster. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, whose departments laxity in environmental permitting and safety oversight renders it among the many bearing responsibility, expresses outrage at BPs inability to stop the leak, and even threatens to "push them out of the way."

"To replace them with what? asked the estimable, admirably candid Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander. No one has the assets and expertise of BP. The federal government can fight wars, conduct a census and hand out billions in earmarks, but it has not a clue how to cap a one-mile-deep out-of-control oil well.

Obama didn't help much with his finger-pointing Rose Garden speech in which he denounced finger-pointing, then proceeded to blame everyone but himself. Even the grace note of admitting some federal responsibility turned sour when he reflexively added that these problems have been going on for a decade or more -- translation: Bush did it -- while, in contrast, his own interior secretary had worked diligently to solve the problem from the day he took office.

Really? Why hadn't we heard a thing about this? What about the September 2009 letter from Obama's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration accusing Interior's Minerals Management Service of understating the "risk and impacts" of a major oil spill? When you get a blowout 15 months into your administration, and your own Interior Department had given BP a "categorical" environmental exemption in April 2009, the buck stops.

In the end, speeches will make no difference. If BP can cap the well in time to prevent an absolute calamity in the Gulf, the president will escape politically. If it doesn't -- if the gusher isn't stopped before the relief wells are completed in August -- it will become Obama's Katrina.

That will be unfair, because Obama is no more responsible for the damage caused by this than Bush was for the damage caused by Katrina. But that's the nature of American politics and its presidential cult of personality: We expect our presidents to play Superman. Helplessness, however undeniable, is no defense.

Moreover, Obama has never been overly modest about his own powers. Two years ago next week, he declared that history will mark his ascent to the presidency as the moment when "our planet began to heal" and "the rise of the oceans began to slow."

Well, when you anoint yourself King Canute, you mustnt be surprised when your subjects expect you to command the tides.

SOURCE

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Death of the Postmodernist Dream

As crises mount abroad and voters’ anger grows at home, Obama’s dream of a new world order has died a quiet death. In just a few months the brave new dream world as we knew it has died — but with a whimper, not a bang.

There will be no more lectures on soft power and a Baltic-to-Mediterranean postmodern culture. Suddenly European Union expansion is dead in its tracks. The question of Turkish membership, after a decade-long controversy, has been settled without so much as a demonstration. The Europeans don’t want another Greece in their midst; the Turks don’t want German bankers running their sagging finances. A soaring Euro was supposed to reflect the sobriety of socialism; instead, it hid its profligacy, but only for a while.

So the welfare state is discredited. In the past, we used to be warned that static population growth, vast public-sector employment, early and generous retirement benefits, and high taxes were not sustainable. In recent years, those lectures were caricatured as partisan or hypothetical. No longer. The Greek meltdown — with Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain on the brink — has shown that European socialism does not work. Bankruptcy, not politics, is the final arbiter: Individuals, firms, and nations either buy particular bonds or they don’t. And a nation like Greece, in turn, either pays what it has borrowed or it doesn’t. All the op-eds in the New York Times cannot change that fact.

Al Gore will continue to channel from his Montecito hilltop the latest green consensus of the international academic community. But fairly or not, neither he nor it will be listened to all that much: He has made one too many millions off his hysteria, and professors have fudged one too many publicly funded studies. The result is that almost at once both have lost the people’s trust. A volcano, not hot weather, shut down European air travel. The Sierra Nevada is still buried under snow in late May. At least this year, a wet, cold state of California is not going to blow away, as Energy Secretary Chu warned not long ago.

It is fine and good to invest in wind and solar power, and other alternative energy sources — if for no other reason than to drain the swamp of the oil-rich Middle East — but soon Americans will be paying a fortune for gasoline and electrical power. As gas hits $4 a gallon, they will want more oil drilling, more coal mining, and more nuclear, hydro, and natural-gas energy, not less. Green mongering is not what it was just a few months ago.

Then there is Arizona. Over 70 percent of the American people support the state’s efforts to stop illegal immigration, which amount to nothing more than enforcing currently unenforced federal laws. The hackneyed charges of racism and nativism are ignored. The Left can cite California’s Proposition 187 and warn the Republicans that they will lose the Hispanic vote, but 70 percent margins reflect angry citizens of all races and ethnicities, who are tired of seeing laws ignored, their state governments bankrupted, and Mexican presidents shaking fingers at them.

That Mexico treats illegal aliens far less humanely than does the United States, and that it deliberately encourages its own citizens to break U.S. immigration law (to the extent of publishing a comic book advising on how to illegally cross the border) reminds us that Barack Obama knows as little about Mexico as he does about Arizona’s law when he talks of an age to come without borders.

I do not think the word “reset” will be used much longer to characterize American foreign policy. Reset from what to what? After all, is Iran closer to getting a bomb or further away than it was a year and a half ago? Are terrorists more or less likely to attack and kill inside the United States? Is Syria now a more or a less helpful player in the Middle East? Is Israel safer or less safe, more or less a U.S. ally? Are Putin and Ch├ívez now more helpful players on the world scene, in appreciation of Obama’s olive branches? Does a North Korea or an Iran feel more or less emboldened to run risks in testing the status quo? Is China more or less provocative in the Pacific?

The more provocation is ignored in one region, the more it is pursued in the other. The new audacity is predicated on the universal notion that the new United States either cannot or will not fulfill its retrograde function of deterrence — or might even privately sympathize with the assorted grievances that serve as pretexts for ignoring the sanctity of the border, selling missiles to terrorists, pursuing the bomb, or aiding in uranium enrichment.

The new world order as envisioned by Obama in January 2009 was, I think, supposed to look something like the following: A social-democratic America would come to emulate the successful welfare states in the European Union. These twin Western communitarian powers would together usher in a new world order in which no one nation was to be seen as preeminent. All the old nasty ideas of the 20th century — military alliances, sovereign borders, independent international finance, nuclear arms, religious and cultural chauvinism — would fall by the wayside, as the West was reinvented as part of the solution rather the problem it had been in its days of colonialism, imperialism, and exploitation. A new green transnationalism would assume the place of that bad old order, a transnationalism run by elite, highly educated, and socially conscious technocrats — albeit themselves Western — supported by a progressive press more interested in effecting social change than in merely reporting the tawdry news.

Obama can still push that story, but more and more Americans disagree with his 21st-century vision. Stuck in the past, they instead believe that capitalism, not socialism, brings prosperity; that to reach a green future we need to survive for now in a carbon and nuclear present; that all, not some, laws must be enforced; that our country is different from others and needs to maintain the integrity of its borders; and that there are always going to be a few bad actors abroad who must be deterred rather than appeased.

We will hear all sorts of angry charges as these dreams die, but that will not mean they are not dead — even if we are lucky and they go out with a whimper rather than a bang.

SOURCE

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ELSEWHERE

The European financial crisis very cogently explained here by two Australian comedians. The best comedy has a lot of truth in it

A nice story here about not underestimating people, particularly deaf and doddery old guys.

No End To Freddie And Fannie Red Ink: "Taxpayers will continue to shoulder losses by mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac, (FRE) their regulator told a House panel Wednesday. Democratic lawmakers continued to show no interest in taking up their reform. The testimony by Edward DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, elaborated on an FHFA report to Congress released late Tuesday. It stated that Fannie and Freddie would be "unable to serve the mortgage market in the absence of the ongoing financial support."

Line item veto: "President Obama wants Congress to give him the line-item veto — that is, the power to veto specific parts of Congressional bills, rather than the whole thing. That way, supposedly, the president can just cut out the waste. … On its face, it seems like a good idea. It may cut down on useless pork like bridges to nowhere. But the suggestion that it will help control spending is laughable. … It would be nice to eliminate pork, but it’s chump change compared to the big picture. Even now, Congress and the president are pushing for $200 Billion in new spending.”

Leaked: Admin plan would lock up 13 million acres: "A leaked partial document produced by the Bureau of Land Management and obtained by Fox News suggests the Obama administration is considering a plan to lock up 13 million acres of land — and the Department of Interior is refusing to answer questions. First, a little background: The federal government owns about one-third of the land in the United States — most of it in western states. For example, 84 percent of Nevada is owned by Uncle Sam. But the government leases large parcels of federal land for all sorts of things — grazing, mining, exploration, recreation. Those commercial activities create jobs and tax revenue for the states. Tax revenues from commercial activity on federal lands often pays for local schools. However, with the single stroke of his pen, President Obama can use the Antiquities of Act of 1906 to turn federal land into National Monuments.”

“Death panels” were an overblown claim — until now: "During the debate over ObamaCare, the bill’s opponents were excoriated for talk of rationing and ‘death panels.’ And in fairness, with a few minor exceptions governing Medicare reimbursements, the law does not directly ration care or allow the government to dictate how doctors practice medicine. But if President Obama wanted to keep a lid on that particular controversy, he just selected about the worst possible nominee for director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the office that oversees government health care programs. Obama’s pick, Dr. Donald Berwick, is an outspoken admirer of the British National Health Service and its rationing arm, the National Institute for Clinical Effectiveness (NICE).”

My Twitter.com identity: jonjayray. My Facebook page is also accessible as jonjayray (In full: http://www.facebook.com/jonjayray). For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (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)

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Thursday, May 27, 2010



More on the pontificate of Pius XII

The Cardinal in charge of Christian unity at the Vatican has promised that the Vatican archives for the entire period of the Second World War, when the Church has been accused of failing to do enough to help the Jewish people, will be opened soon for scholarly research...

Addressing one of the most sensitive and difficult aspects of Jewish-Christian relations, the papacy of Pius XII, described as "Hitler's Pope" by the influential British author and academic John Cornwell, Cardinal Kasper promised that the full archives for the period covered by the Second World War would soon be opened to schoars at the Holy See in Rome. "We have nothing to hide," he said. "We do not need to fear the truth."

Describing the state-sponsored organised murder of six million European Jews as "the absolute low point" in the history of anti-Semitism he nevertheless said that the Holocaust could not be attributed to Christianity as such, since it also had clear anti-Christian features...

Defending the record of Pius XII, a candidate for canonisation who was Pope from 1938 to 1958, while Rome was under the heel of Mussolini and later occupied by Germany, he said that the contemporary assessment of his Pontificate was rather positive.

"The New York Times, which is not known as a Church–oriented newspaper, had already in 1941 published an editorial where it spoke of the Pope as the only voice in the silence and in the dark with the courage to raise his voice," the Cardinal said. "After the deportation of more than 1,000 Jews from Rome — only 15 survived — in October 1943 he ordered a general Church asylum in all convents and ecclesiastical houses, including the Vatican and Castel Gandolfo. According to authoritative estimates, about 4,500 Jews were hidden." ...

He promised that the archives for Pius XII's papacy would be online within six years. Since 2003 access has been available up until the end of the Pontificate of Pius XI in 1939, a period in which the future Pius XII was Secretary of State.

"The material which is already accessible now proves that Pius XII was at no time Hitler’s Pope. On the contrary, he was the closest co-operator of Pope Pius XI in the publication of the encyclical Mit brennender Sorge (With burning anxiety, 1937), which was a fervent condemnation of Nazi race ideology...

The Cardinal said: "Pius XII was not a man of prophetic gestures; he was a diplomat and decided not to be silent but to be moderated in his public statements because he knew that stronger words would improve absolutely nothing; on the contrary, they would provoke brutal revenge and worsen the situation. Therefore he decided not so much to act through words but to help practically as much he could. In this way alone in Rome he saved thousands of Jewish lives."

More HERE

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Obama's cunning new plan to cut Medicare fraud

One of the reasons ObamaCare received a 10-year “deficit-neutral” rating from the Congressional Budget Office was because it promised to cut waste, fraud, and abuse from Medicare on average by about $50 billion a year, or $500 billion over ten years. That’s an amazing claim, because as noted by a 60 Minutes segment that aired last year, Medicare fraud is estimated to total about $60 billion a year....

So, with the solvency of the Treasury on the line, Obama must have a really good plan to eliminate nearly all Medicare fraud, right? Well, a recent flier sent to Medicare recipients by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) revealed yesterday by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell promises that “The new law contains important new tools to help crack down on criminals seeking to scam seniors and steal taxpayer dollars.”

Like what? Seniors are alerted that “You are an important resource in the fight against fraud. Be vigilant and rely only on your trusted sources of information about your Medicare benefits… Call 1-800-MEDICARE if you… want to report something that seems like fraud.”

That’s the big plan. Grandma and Grandpa will succeed where the CMS and Justice Department have failed to bring down a $60 billion-a-year criminal syndicate (as pervasive as the U.S. narcotics trade) leeching off of American taxpayers — and those savings are just a phone call away. All they have to do is dial 1-800-MEDICARE.

Don’t believe that this is the government’s basic plan to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse? CMS does. On Medicare.gov, the official site of Medicare, it states, “You, as the Medicare beneficiary, are the most important link in finding Medicare fraud. You know better than anyone what healthcare services you have received. Review your Medicare Summary Notice when you receive it, and make sure you understand all of the items listed.”

One hopes that those summary notices are written in really big letters — and in terms somebody besides a doctor might understand. Even if they were, depending on 65- to 90-year-olds to spot overcharging or outright fraud after Medicare benefits have already paid out appears in the least to be a very flimsy approach to saving $50 billion a year.

More here

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THE SAGA OF RAND PAUL - DEMOCRATIC PARTY RACIAL POLITICS IN ACTION

By Frances Rice

Regardless of the issue - from immigration to ObamaCare - Democrats, with the complicity of the liberal media, demonize as racist average Americans who oppose their socialist agenda and are unhappy about how President Barack Obama and the Democrats in control of Congress are ruining our economy with massive deficit spending.

Incredibly, Democrats even stoop to condemning as racist anyone who dares to engage in philosophical discussions about the constitutional limitations on federal powers - just ask Rand Paul who dared to voice the fact that a few aspects of the 1964 Civil Rights Act lacked constitutional authority.

Lost in the media-generated firestorm designed to falsely paint Paul as a racist and derail his bid for a US Senate seat is any discussion about the reason why civil rights laws were necessary in the first place - Democratic Party racism.

In his new book, "Whites Blacks & Racist Democrats", Wayne Perryman provides startling details about racism in the Democratic Party from 1792 to 2009. Perryman describes how the Democratic Party became known as the "Party of White Supremacy" that fought to preserve slavery and enacted discriminatory laws to deny civil rights to blacks.

Included in Perryman's book are facts about how the Republican Party that was founded in 1854 as the anti-slavery party became the party of freedom and equality for blacks. Republicans fought to end slavery; amended the U.S. Constitution to grant blacks freedom, citizenship and the right to vote; and pushed to enact every piece of civil rights legislation from the 1860's to the 1960's over the objection of the Democrats.

Perryman brought to light the 1875 Civil Rights Act, the first law that dealt with accommodations and equality and was passed by a Republican-dominated Congress. To their eternal shame, Democrats in 1883 convinced the United States Supreme Court to declare the 1875 Civil Rights Act as "unconstitutional." Eleven years later in 1894, Democrats passed the 1894 Repeal Act to overturn the previous civil rights legislation passed during Reconstruction by Republicans.

Perryman also revealed that in 1964 while debating the accommodations portion of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Democrat Senator Olin Johnson of South Carolina argued: "Mr. President, this is the blackest day in the U.S. Senate since 1875, when the Congress passed a Civil Rights bill similar to this one. It was 89 years ago that the [Republican] Congress passed the nefarious Reconstruction era Civil Right laws, identical with what we are now discussing, which were later declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Senate, if it passes this measure before us, will be compounding that unconstitutional error made back in 1875. I predict that this bill will never be enforced without turning our nation into a police state and without the cost of bloodshed and violence..."

Ignored by the media today, as they attempt to paint all Republicans as racist, is the fact that Jim Crow laws were enacted by Democrats to force private businesses to refuse services to blacks. Those Jim Crow laws were in violation of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which states, in part: "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." The entire text of section 1 of the 14th Amendment is below.

It is rank hypocrisy for the liberal press to give Democrats, including former Klansman Democrat Senator Robert Byrd, a pass for their real racism, while attacking Rand Paul, labeling him as a racist for his theoretical musings about the 1964 Civil Rights Act. In essence, Paul, who said he detested racism in any form, wondered whether other means, such as boycotts, may have been effective in forcing an end to non-governmental racial discrimination. Paul focused on the fact that the 14th Amendment to U.S. Constitution provides the federal government only with the power to stop racial discrimination by state and local governments.

Our nation will continue to be divided along racial lines until we bring an end to the Democrats' despicable race-baiting by holding Democrats accountable for their racism - past and present.

SOURCE

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BrookesNews Update

The US economy really is in trouble : The US economy is in serious trouble. Manufacturing is signalling bad news and monetary policy is erratic and destabilising. Obama's solution is more of the same by appointing Keynesians to the board of the Fed. He might as well give every American a printing press
The Eurozone stimulus package and economic fundamentals : The $1-trillion stimulus plan to prevent the eurozone economies falling into an economic black hole is heading for failure. The plan involves the European Central Bank (ECB) stepping on the monetary accelerator to give the financial markets a quick fix. Such policies only make things worse — it is not possible to create something by printing money and redistributing real wealth. All that such policies produce is a further economic impoverishment
Inflation: The Reserve Bank's bogeyman : Right now, it's not inflation we need to worry about but a collapse in the China's boom. Yet the Reserve — along with politicians — carries on as if the Chinese economy is a perpetual motion machine. It sees inflation as the real enemy even though the monetary indicators are saying otherwise
The mining industry and the rent resource tax: The Institute of Public Affairs gets it wrong : By taking accepting the orthodox view of economic rent mining industry executives have intellectually disarmed themselves. Once they conceded that the rent doctrine is a sound one they could not logically argue against its implications. The advice offered by the Institute of Public Affairs, orthodox as it was, only made matters worse
Fidel Castro: a typical media double standard at play : Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Julia Sweig praises Castro psychopaths who tried to plant a massive bomb in the New York's Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal. Meantime, Castro's media pals are still spiking the story while promoting Swieg, a truly nauseating Castro toady. This attempted massacre by Castro is another communist horror story that Sean Penn and his Hollywood buddies will never film
Carbon capture and burial — the carbon cemeteries are already full : Billions of dollars are being wasted on sacrifices to the global warming god — endless bureaucracy, politicised research, piddling wind and solar schemes, roof insulation disasters, ethanol subsidies, carbon credit forests, carbon trading frauds and huge compliance costs
Is Kagan a lesbian? Why it matters : At a time of war, in the face of the grand civilizational challenge that radical Islam poses, Kagan treated military recruiters worse than she treated the high-powered law firms that were donating their expensive legal services to anti-American terrorists
Doing Washington D.C. : Washington D.C. has been taken over by those who seek power and influence. It has a very clear social hierarchy, as do most cities. Unless you're rich, famous, powerful or an insider, you're no-one. Just the poor sucker whose taxes pay for it

My Twitter.com identity: jonjayray. My Facebook page is also accessible as jonjayray (In full: http://www.facebook.com/jonjayray). For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)

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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010



New British Prime Minister sets out a libertarian/conservative agenda

Far from perfect but an impressive start. Britain is once again in the hands of people who love their country and respect the individual


Opening ceremonies above. The Brits still do pomp best of all

BRITISH Prime Minister David Cameron tilted the coalition away from the Liberal Democrats with a Queen's Speech that defined tax, immigration and police reform on Tory terms. The Prime Minister promised a "new start for Britain" with smaller, better government as he unveiled 23 Bills to transfer powers to voters and transform politics.

The fine print of the 18-month legislative programme revealed that he had won a series of behind the scenes victories over his coalition partners. They included:

A commitment to lower taxation, the first time since the coalition was formed that such a pledge has been made. Nick Clegg told The Times last week that the Government's priority was to rebalance the tax burden, not to reduce it. Last week's coalition programme promised "more competitive, simpler, greener and fairer" tax, but no mention of lower taxation;

Scope for George Osborne [Chancellor of the Exchequer] to keep rises in capital gains tax to a minimum. The Lib Dem policy - to increase CGT from 18per cent to 40per cent for top earners, in line with income tax rates - was trimmed in coalition talks. Last week the Government said rates would be "similar or close to" income tax rates. The Queen's Speech documents water that down, saying that CGT will be taxed at rates "closer" to income tax;

A reinstatement of the Tory election pledge to cut non-EU immigration to tens of thousands a year. The aim disappeared from the coalition programme as the Lib Dems accepted an undefined annual limit. The level is now back;

Tory aides also made clear that a referendum on the alternative-voting system - the big Lib Dem win from the coalition negotiations - would not take place for up to three years and possibly longer. Although a Bill enabling a referendum to take place was included in the Queen's Speech, there was no commitment to a date. Tory aides said such a vote should coincide with a boundary review, intended to cut the number of MPs. This is likely to take at least two years, and possibly longer. Lib Dems would like a vote as quickly as possible - at least before public enthusiasm for "new politics" has ebbed.

After the monarch delivered her 56th Queen's Speech - the first on behalf of a coalition - Mr Cameron ignored the niceties of the State Opening, and tore into Labour.

The choreography of the occasion requires the Leader of the Opposition to open hostilities. Harriet Harman, the acting Labour leader, delivered a measured speech that promised her party would not pull its punches.

Mr Cameron, however, started throwing his even before reciting the names of British troops who had died in Afghanistan since the Commons last met - a roll call with which, by recent custom, party leaders open.

He said Ms Harman's speech was missing something: "Not one word of apology for the appalling mess that has been left in this country." Mr Cameron, who has come under pressure from Tories to put his - and their party's - stamp on the coalition, used the occasion as an extension of the election campaign in terms of his rhetoric.

He said of Labour: "They gave us big spending. We will bring good housekeeping. They trusted in bureaucracy. We will trust in community. They governed in the party interest. We will govern in the national interest."

He said the Queen's Speech signalled the end of "years of recklessness and big government and the beginning of the years of responsibility and good government". He seized on the letter left by Liam Byrne for his successor as Treasury Chief Secretary, David Laws, that there was "no money" left. "They lectured us about their golden rules, but in the end the only golden rule was never trust Labour with the economy of this country."

The programme of Bills includes plans to set up the office for budget responsibility - a panel of independent economic experts to prevent forecasts from becoming politicised. Other measures are intended to give parents and other providers more scope to set up "free schools" within the state sector; repeal ID cards and a host of other Labour measures that allowed the state to hold personal details; point the way to an elected House of Lords, establish a new voting system for the Commons, and new powers for voters to recall their MPs.

Yesterday marked the first business day for Tories and Lib Dems to share the government benches - last week's get-together was for the ceremony of electing the Speaker - and it did not take long for potential faultlines to show. Simon Hughes, the former Lib Dem frontbencher who was not given a job in Government, rose to challenge Mr Cameron, asking for a commitment from "his Government" towards council housing....

Mr Cameron also said it was time to "ratchet up" pressure on Iran over its nuclear ambitions, and that the Government would pursue stronger UN and EU sanctions against Tehran.

On the issue of elected police commissioners, the Queen's Speech documents refer only to elected individuals. Asked to clarify the position, MrCameron told MPs that the plan "to elect individuals as commissioners" would go ahead. His spokesman said the coalition had "refined" its position on police commissioners to increase their accountability.

Police chiefs have opposed the plan. Sir Paul Stephenson, the Scotland Yard commissioner, warned last night (Tuesday) that the operational independence of police chiefs must be the Government's starting point.

More here

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Socialism: The New Feudalism

Leftism is old and failed, not "new"

Exactly which side of the political spectrum is dragging us toward the past? Recently Bill Maher said on his show, "Democrats in America were put on earth to do one thing: drag the ignorant hillbilly half of this country into the next century, which in their case is the 19th..."

This is the type of rhetoric we hear from liberals all the time, ‘the old ways of capitalism and individual responsibility are over and it is time to move into a more collective and social era.' Hence the name MoveOn.org or the term progressive, coined to signify progression into a new era and away from individual responsibility and greed.

The left should study history and the rhetoric of a distance political system called Feudalism. Many people have a misconception that the early socialist thinkers like Jean Jacques Rousseau, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Engels were original thinkers, writing ideas about collectivism and equal sharing of property. But one only has to look back a few centuries to see they were simply recycling old failed ideas with some new jive attached.

After the era of Viking, Magyar, and Muslim raids gradually subsided, Europe began to reorganize itself into a Feudal society. The old ways of the Germanic tribes were ending, which meant less freedom and more central power.

The Feudal system was nothing more than creating a ruling class who owned all the land and wealth and provided security and safety to all the serfs; in turn the serfs provided work and servitude to their master. But many people do not realize the collective aspect of how serfs lived together.

After the ruling class reaped the finest of the crops and livestock for themselves, the serfs were to distribute all the yield of their labor amongst everyone equally. They had no rights to any crops or land for themselves, all belonged to the community, which was bestowed upon them by their feudal lords. They also shared in utilities. Most peasant societies had a communal oven that was also shared to save on resources. (1)

The ruling class, which consisted of the clergy and lords, did everything they could to spread feudalist propaganda in order to keep the serfs in line. John of Salisbury wrote a short piece in the twelfth century called ‘The Body Social.' In it he describes the proper role of each peasant and how they should all work together as a collective body for the better of the community.

"Then and then only will the health of the commonwealth be sound and flourishing, when the higher members shield the lower, and the lower respond faithfully and fully in like measure to the just demands of their superiors, so that each and all are as it were members one of another by a sort of reciprocity, and each regards his own interests as best served by that which he knows to be the most advantageous for the others." (2)

In 1274 AD Thomas Aquinas wrote something similar in his book, the 'Summa Theologica.' "For since every individual is a part of the community, so does each man, all that he is and all that he possesses, belong to the community as well." (3)

Now let's compare that thought to a quote to an early progressive icon, Teddy Roosevelt. "Every man holds his property subject to the general right of the community to regulate its use to whatever degree the public welfare may require it." See a parallel of ideologies? (4)

The Feudal propagandists were not above painting tales of evil freedom fighters murdering a good, virtuous, feudal lord. Galbert of Bruges wrote a piece in 1127 AD titled, ‘The Murder of a Feudal Lord.' In it he writes about a family of freedom fighters struggling against a Feudal lord who wishes to bring them into serfdom. The family fights to keep their lands and freedom and ends up murdering the Feudal lord. Of course, Galbert painted the family as ignorant for not understanding that the Feudal Lord only wished to provide them with security and a proper place in society. All he wanted to do was establish order throughout his realm, which was so desperately needed for the betterment of the community. (5)

This is exactly the type of rhetoric we hear from the left all the time. With their ideas of the redistribution of wealth, and a central controlling nanny state, we're told things such as: ‘You should listen to those who know better. You should care more about the community over your own desires; conservatives are just a bunch of ignorant hillbillies clinging to old ideas and must be forced into a better and more ordered society.'

In actuality, the left is leading us right back into feudalism, where men are enslaved to lords, knowledge is left to the ruling class, and freedom and ingenuity are hindered to prevent man from reaching his full potential. This is exactly why our founders pulled us away from the ideas of Europe and gave us every right and freedom the feudalists said were wrong to have.

If Bill Maher and other liberals want to lead us into the next century they should first study history, because they are actually dragging us back a millennium.

SOURCE

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ELSEWHERE

Natural selection at work? "Mexican drug smugglers are increasingly peddling a form of ultra-potent heroin that sells for as little as $10 a bag and is so pure it can kill unsuspecting users instantly, sometimes before they even remove the syringe from their veins. An Associated Press review of drug overdose data shows that so-called ‘black tar’ heroin — named for its dark, gooey consistency — and other forms of the drug are contributing to a spike in overdose deaths across the nation and attracting a new generation of users who are caught off guard by its potency. ‘We found people who snorted it lying face-down with the straw lying next to them,’ said Patrick O’Neil, coroner in suburban Chicago’s Will County, where annual heroin deaths have nearly tripled — from 10 to 29 — since 2006. ‘It’s so potent that we occasionally find the needle in the arm at the death scene.’”

Baby boom for the over-forties but overall British birth rate is down: "The number of children born to mothers in their forties has almost trebled in the past two decades and continues to rise, latest figures show. Nearly 27,000 babies were born to women aged 40 and over in 2009 — compared with the 9,336 live births in 1989. In 2009 women had an average of 1.95 children each, down from 1.97 children in 2008.The figures also showed that theproportion of births to mothers born outside Britain continued to rise, from 24.1 per cent in 2008 to 24.7 per cent in 2009. The proportion of births to overseas mothers has increased every year since 1990, when it was just under 12 per cent. [The over 40s birthrate reflects gradual improvements in IVF]

Somali pirates go on trial in the Netherlands: "The first trial of Somali pirates to be held in Europe opened yesterday morning when five suspects entered the dock smiling at their lawyers and watched by a heavy police presence. The alleged pirates were charged under a law against “sea robbery” dating back to the 17th century after being accused of trying to hijack a cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden. They were allegedly armed with automatic weapons and rockets when they were arrested in January last year. They face up to 12 years in jail afer a five-day hearing at Rotterdam district court. The Netherlands is staging the trial because the men are accused of targeting a ship flagged in the Dutch Antilles"

How to create the illusion of low taxes (Don't count everything): "To the surprise of opponents of big government, the U.S Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) estimates that taxes at all levels of government take only 9.2 percent of our income, the lowest rate since Harry Truman was president. USA Today and various news-media personalities, like Chris Matthews of MSNBC, have used this statistic to hammer those who complain about President Obama’s profligate fiscal policies. If this all seems too amazing to be true, you are on the right track.”

Corrupt mortgage giants escape reform: "There won’t be any reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the corrupt, government-sponsored mortgage giants that even Obama administration officials admit were at the ‘core’ of ‘what went wrong’ in the financial crisis. The ‘Obama Administration says Fannie, Freddie reform’ is ‘too hard,’ reports the Washington Examiner.”

My Twitter.com identity: jonjayray. My Facebook page is also accessible as jonjayray (In full: http://www.facebook.com/jonjayray). For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (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)

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