Sunday, August 22, 2010
As each day passes, I appreciate George W. Bush all the more
Yes... I had some problems with his policies. Yes... he, at times, was not the conservative we expected him to be. Yes... he embraced the left too many times for my liking.
But as we continue to hear about the number of golf rounds played, the number of vacations taken, the number of Muslims bowed to, the number of times Israel has been disrespected, the number of times America's enemies have been embraced, the number of taxes that are being and will be raised, the death panels that are sure to come, the health care that is sure to be rationed, the defense cuts that are being promoted, the social programs that are being buttressed, the redefining of terms, the dismissal of American exceptionalism, the aristocracy of those currently in charge, the racism being charged wrongly against those in opposition, the racism being ignored by the Department of Justice, the stimulus dollars that are nothing more than a slush fund for allies, the corruption in high places, the appointment of radical cronies to positions of influence, the apology tour, the incompetence during the BP oil disaster, the lack of transparency despite all the promises and more... and I'm sure there's more but this is what has rattled quickly off the fingerprints... the more I miss W.
To underscore the point, I bring you two videos. Ponder them silently and miss the man along with me.
SOURCE. (Videos at link)
Gates and Buffett Take the Pledge
Wealthy businessmen often feel obligated to 'give back.' Who says they've taken anything?
Bill Gates and Warren Buffett announced this month that 40 of America's richest people have agreed to sign a "Giving Pledge" to donate at least half of their wealth to charity. With a collective net worth said to total $230 billion, that promise translates to at least $115 billion.
It's an impressive number. Yet some—including Messrs. Gates and Buffett—say it isn't enough. Perhaps it's actually too much: the wealthy may help humanity more as businessmen and women than as philanthropists.
What are the chances, after all, that the two forces behind the Giving Pledge will contribute anywhere near as much to the betterment of society through their charity as they have through their business pursuits? In building Microsoft, Bill Gates changed the way the world creates and shares knowledge. Warren Buffett's investments have birthed and grown innumerable profitable enterprises, making capital markets work more efficiently and enriching many in the process.
Other signers of the pledge, like Oracle's Larry Ellison and eBay's Pierre Omidyar, have similarly transformed the way people all over the world exchange information and products. They have democratized the transmission of ideas and goods, creating opportunities for people who never would have had them otherwise.
Successful entrepreneurs-turned-philanthropists typically say they feel a responsibility to "give back" to society. But "giving back" implies they have taken something. What, exactly, have they taken? Yes, they have amassed great sums of wealth. But that wealth is the reward they have earned for investing their time and talent in creating products and services that others value. They haven't taken from society, but rather enriched us in ways that were previously unimaginable.
Heavy Regulation? Or Job Growth?
Bad news abounds. Claims for new jobless benefits jumped by half-a-million last week. The unemployment rate hovers near 10 percent, and isn’t expected to decline any time soon. President Barack Obama reacted in knee-jerk fashion, by calling for more federal intervention in the economy.
“Small businesses and community banks that loan to small businesses have been lagging behind,” he said. “If we want this economy to create more jobs more quickly, we need to help them.” He wants to provide some $12 billion in tax breaks to small businesses and $30 billion to small banks.
Yet the federal spending is piling up, and seems to be doing little except running up the national debt.
Earlier this month, lawmakers returned from vacation for a day so they could pass a $26 billion measure that would supposedly “save” the jobs of 300,000 teachers. The joke’s on them: The New York Times reports that many school districts plan to bank the bailout money instead of hiring teachers back for this school year. Los Angeles, for example, “laid off 682 teachers and counselors and about 2,000 support workers this spring and was not sure it would be able to hire any of them back with the stimulus money,” the paper reports.
This particular batch of spending, we’re told, was paid for. Lawmakers have promised to trim tens of billions from food stamps in the year 2014. We’ll just have to hold our breath to see if those cuts actually happen.
All this comes on the heels of the $800 billion (and counting) “stimulus” bill. Obama promised that bill would keep unemployment below 8 percent. Oops. These days, Vice President Joe Biden’s been reduced to complaining that $800 billion simply wasn’t enough.
Yet if, in fact, federal spending can boost the economy, it ought to be in overdrive by now. It’s not. So what’s holding things back? It could be death by a thousand cuts. Or, to be more specific, death by thousands of pages of regulations.
This year alone, Obama has signed a massive health care bill and a financial regulation bill. Nobody knows exactly what’s contained in those thousands of pages -- not even the people who voted for them.
“We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi explained before the health care measure passed in March. On the financial front, “No one will know until this is actually in place how it works,” Sen. Christopher Dodd explained before the Senate passed his financial reform measure. How reassuring.
It’s no surprise to learn that Dodd’s bill contains measures that will make it more difficult to hire workers.
One provision “pushes all federally regulated financial firms that do business with the government and their subcontractors to hire more women and minorities,” the McClatchy news service reported recently. The only jobs this provision will create are federal jobs at a new Office of Minority and Women Inclusion to be included in each federal regulatory agency.
Meanwhile, a “largely overlooked provision of the law gives federal agencies expanded powers to write regulations dictating pay at financial firms,” The Washington Post adds. “How they choose to use these powers could have a major impact on whether banks pursue excessive risks.”
These are just a couple of the regulatory time bombs tucked into the financial bill. Rest assured many more will come to light in the years ahead. The same holds true for the 2,000-plus page health care bill. President Obama got angry at Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Vir., for bringing a copy of that bill to the health care summit in February.
But Cantor wasn’t bringing a “prop,” he was bringing a copy of the law we’ll all have to live under for years to come (unless it’s repealed). It’s unlikely that anyone has read and understands that entire measure. But we’ll be learning about expensive, job-killing aspects of it as they arise through the years ahead.
Over-regulation doesn’t work. Remember Sarbanes-Oxley, passed in the wake of the Enron scandal? It was supposed to protect Americans against financial shenanigans. But it didn’t prevent Bernie Madoff from looting customers for billions. Regulators at the Securities and Exchange Commission didn’t protect us, either, even though they should have known about Madoff.
Uncertainty makes business leaders (and all of us) tentative. Our country can have heavy regulation, or it can have steady job growth. It’s time to choose which path to pursue.
President Obama & Union Leaders Continue To Advocate For Job-Killing Legislation
In spite of the fact that our nation's economy is struggling and talk of a meaningful recovery has halted, both President Obama and Big Labor bosses continue to advocate for the Employee 'Forced' Choice Act (EFCA), legislation economists believe would result in massive job loss and seriously harm our nation's top job creators, small businesses.
Due to the burdens and restrictions it would place on employers, EFCA would result in 600,000 lost jobs in one year alone, while at the same time, saddling small businesses with debts and liabilities forcing many to close their doors or move overseas.
As a result, for well over a year, nearly every major business organization in the country has been calling on the Obama Administration and Congress to table the job-killing legislation and focus on measures that will grow the economy and stimulate hiring.
Unfortunately, Big Labor's millions appear to have more influence with politicians in Washington, D.C. than do the voices of their constituents.
President Obama recently re-stated his support for EFCA telling the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Executive Council that "we are going to keep on fighting to pass the Employee Free Choice Act."
Understanding there is not sufficient bipartisan support in Congress to pass legislation that will cost America even more jobs, Obama went further saying, "[t]here is a reason why we nominated people the National Mediation Board ... We're going to make sure that the National Labor Relations Board is restored."
President Obama is advocating for agencies stocked with Big Labor's cronies to execute administratively what the Congress has been unwilling to do.
This leads one to ask, why would the President say in one breath job creation is his top priority and in the next espouse having bureaucrats enact job-killing policies? The answer is simple, "payback."
Obama owes these same union bosses for having helped elect him in 2008 when Big Labor spent nearly half a billion dollars to propel him into office. And these same bosses have said very clearly and on the record, they expect a return on that investment and have put politicians on notice that they had better hold up their end of the bargain.
Shortly after the President made his comments on EFCA, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka pledged to secure a vote on the Employee 'Forced' Choice Act. He has repeatedly voiced hope for EFCA, legislation that removes workers' right to a secret ballot vote and puts the government in control of small businesses dictating employee salaries and benefits. Trumka declared, "I think you'll see the Employee Free Choice Act come up again [in Congress]. I think you'll see it probably before the end of the year."
With Congress in recess and many members visiting their hometowns and districts, it should be made clear to them where the American people stand - which is in direct conflict with what Mr. Obama and Trumka are trying to promote.
Muslim medical care
Mohamed Fathy, a brilliant journalist and a talented writer, recently went on holiday to Alexandria with his two children, his wife and her sister Nashwa. They all had a wonderful time and then suddenly an unfortunate incident took place. A speeding car hit Nashwa as she was crossing the road and she suffered serious injuries and fractures, her clothes were torn and she lost consciousness. Because she was alone at the time of the accident some passers-by took her to a government hospital in the centre of the city.
What happened after that is beyond imagination. Nashwa and dozens of other injured people were dumped into a place which bore the name “Emergency Unit” and she stayed there for two hours without any first aid or treatment and without any doctor examining her. Mohamed Fathy arrived at the hospital and found Nashwa on death's door. He asked for a doctor to examine her but nobody paid any attention. With the passage of time and the apathy of the hospital staff, Fathy lost his temper and started shouting at everyone he met: “We need a doctor … I beg you … The patient is going to die.”
After intensive contacts Mohamed Fathy managed to get in touch with the director of the hospital, Dr Mohamed el-Maradny, who appeared extremely upset at the idea that anyone might contact with him about patients. Dr Maradny said: “Delays with scans are quite normal. Even if you're in a private hospital and you pay the doctors' fees scans can be delayed.”
The hospital director was trying to remind Fathy that Nashwa was receiving free treatment so her family did not have the right to complain about anything. Fathy spoke to the director at length about humaneness and the doctor's duty to tend the sick, and after a long conversation between Fathy and the director, he did order scans for Nashwa.
At this point a new problem arose. A janitor came up to Nashwa, whose condition had greatly deteriorated, and was about to carry her in his arms to the scans department. Mohamed Fathy objected, arguing that carrying patients with fractures required a trained medic because moving the patient's body carelessly could lead to death. The staff at the hospital ridiculed Fathy's idea, which seemed very strange to them. “What do you mean, medic? We don't have that kind of thing here. Either this man carries her or we leave her where she is,” they said. The janitor gave Nashwa a violent yank and her screams resounded throughout the hospital.
After all this negligence, which was close to criminal, it would have been natural for Nashwa to die in the government hospital, but luckily she survived and almost miraculously Mohamed Fathy managed to move her to a private hospital where she underwent an emergency operation which saved her life.
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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)
Posted by JR at 8:00 PM