Saturday, August 07, 2010
In Afghanistan we see an appalling and probably hopeless example of what a low IQ society looks like
IQs are low throughout the Muslim world and inbreeding is almost certainly one of the causes. And Afghanistan has long been extreme in its Islamic practices, perhaps in part because it is so rural.
The preference for cousin marriages stems from the fact that Mohammed made divorce so easy. So the only protection for women and children is having the whole family onside
UNICEF says that 26 of every 100 Afghan children die before the age of 5. This is the worst child mortality rate in the world. Of the survivors, 60% suffer from moderate to severe physical and mental stunting, The average death age is 45, among the lowest lifespan in the world, and I suspect that this is even worse for women.
Brinkley finds it no surprise that two-thirds of Afghan adults cannot read and write. How do you modernize such a country? And since few women (outside cities) get any education at all, the national illiteracy rate is probably even worse. Illiterate women produce illiterate children.
We already know that there is no obstetrical medical care available outside the major cities, resulting in a horrific maternal death rate. I have trouble believing the population numbers we are given. Not enough young mothers and babies are surviving to produce a population explosion.
What are the consequences of these conditions in Afghanistan and Pakistan? Nobody cares about the girls since they are married off early. But for the boys, so many of them stunted and low IQ, what can they do? Parents send them to Islamist Madrassas, where they memorize the Koran in Arabic (not their language) and are brainwashed to serve as cannon fodder “to protect Islam.” High IQ not required for this.
One cultural custom found everywhere in the conservative Muslim world is preference for the marriage of first cousins, repeated over generations, which produces not only the high infant mortality rate, but terrible birth defects—especially mental ones. Nobody is taking statistics on this yet—but observers—many with UN aid agencies—see the results in villages from Pakistan to Palestine.
This is not new in world history. There has always been a noticeable difference of intelligence between the well-fed city dwellers and peasant communities. Even in the early days of our own country, the jokes about the “country bumpkin” were common enough to indicate this difference. During my sojourn in Iran, I also noted the flood of country people coming to Tehran for opportunity. The city people scorned them as “donkeys.”
We now know that problems in Afghanistan or a Palestinian village can wind up killing us. It is a serious issue. Just ask the Marines who are training Afghan police. Their trainees are often either stoned or dim-witted, a reality reported on by villagers being policed.
Obama and Democrat popularity slumping
As we suggested in our recent column, the new Gallup/USA Today poll confirms that Barack Obama's ratings have collapsed as a result of the WikiLeaks release of Afghan War memos. Down from 46 percent in the most recent poll, Obama's job approval has plunged to 41 percent -- the lowest it has ever been in any major poll.
Democrats have now joined in the defection from Obama impelled by their increasing anger over his continued involvement in Afghanistan and the emerging double-dip in the recession. Support for his war policies there has dropped to 38 percent from 46 percent in February, while approval of his handling of the economy has plunged to 39 percent.
Elected as a peace and jobs candidate, the defections over these two issues among his base are likely to be especially injurious in the 2010 congressional elections. The generic Republican vs. Democratic ballot now shows an 8 point GOP lead, according to Rasmussen Reports.
We have recently reviewed polls for five Republican House challengers to Democratic incumbents in Iowa, North Dakota, Virginia and New York, and were shocked to see the Republicans leading in each. Normally, one would consider GOP chances excellent if the challenger were able to hold the incumbent to under 50 percent of the vote, since the undecided almost always goes entirely for the challenger. But to actually show leads at this point is incredible.
Once Democrats start abandoning Obama, there is no bottom to his ratings. Disaffection and cynicism spread easily in that party, and the left has shown signs of increasing galvanization against the war. More than 100 House Democrats voted against war funding, about 40 percent of the total Democratic membership in the House.
Adding to the party's woes is, of course, the emerging scandals involving Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., and Maxine Waters, D-Calif. Coming just as the fall campaign kicks off, they remind one of the Mark Foley scandal that so darkened GOP chances in 2006. With the House Democrats certain not to expel either member but to slap each on the wrist, the scandal will flare into a conflagration that will further diminish Democratic chances in November.
In a presidential year, these Democratic defections would only be consequential were there a third candidate or a primary challenger to choose. But in an off-year, staying home is a viable option, particularly for the minority and young voters Obama lured to the polls for the first time in 2008. Their defection will be disastrous for Obama and will cost him control of both houses of Congress.
Panic on the Letterman show
Speaking with far-left MSNBC News commentator Rachel Maddow on his program, Dave listened as she put forth the preposterous theory that Fox News wants to frighten white Americans by reporting negatively about black Americans. "Scaring white people is good politics on the conservative side of the spectrum, and it always has been. The idea is that you sort of rile up the white base to be afraid of an other, to be afraid of scary immigrants or scary black people..."
In the past, paranoid, dishonest rants like that would have been dismissed as fringe speak. But not anymore. Without a shred of evidence, a guest on Letterman's "Late Show" (which by the way gets trounced in the ratings by FNC every night) defines an entire news organization as a racist enterprise. And Letterman goes along with the program, adding: "These people are continuing to fan this flame and ... that is cancer."
Please. The only people Fox News is scaring are far-left loons who see their shining city on the hill on fire. For 18 months, the United States has been governed from the left, and things are not going well. I'm sorry if this analysis frightens some folks, but when you spend a half-trillion dollars trying to stimulate the economy and you create just 600,000 jobs, well, people are going to notice.
When the war in Afghanistan turns chaotic, Americans are not going to be pleased. When the nation's debt is increased by more than a trillion dollars a year because of record spending, folks are going to get a bit nervous. So, in order to counter those realities, the far left must divert attention from them. Thus, the scary black people deal.
In reply, here's a Top 1 list for Letterman and his uber-liberal guest: The American people don't need to be "riled" up by phony race baiting. They are already riled up by reality. And the polls prove it.
State governments are oozing bureaucratic fat
The New York Times pulled together a list of how the stimulus money was to be spent. Funding included $87 billion to “help states with Medicaid costs.” $53 billion to “help states prevent cuts to essential services like education.” $27.5 billion to “provide money for highways and bridges,” which will, of course, be built by government employees. And so forth. The stimulus bill was, in large part, a massive bailout for state and local governments.
The need arose because in some ways, state governments are in even more fiscal trouble than the federal government. Washington, after all, can always print money. That would destroy the national economy in the long run, but politicians aren’t known for looking to the long run. Anything beyond the next Election Day may as well not exist for them.
But states are required to make ends meet year after year. Some, including California, are finding that almost impossible. In the Spring 2010 issue of City Journal, Steven Malanga explained why: “The unions’ political triumphs have molded a California in which government workers thrive at the expense of a struggling private sector. The state’s public school teachers are the highest-paid in the nation. Its prison guards can easily earn six-figure salaries. State workers routinely retire at 55 with pensions higher than their base pay for most of their working life.”
It’s not simply unionized state employees who’ve been getting rich at government expense, of course. Elected officials at all levels do very well, too.
Robert Rizzo, the chief administrative officer in Bell, Ca. recently quit his job after his constituents learned he was making more than $787,000 per year, roughly twice what President Obama pulls down.
City Council members were making almost $100,000 per year for part-time work. They were able to pay themselves so much because the city changed to “charter status” a few years ago. Rizzo, by the way, will be able to keep his $650,000 a year state pension. Good work if you can get it.
There’s clearly government fat to trim, but our leaders seem reluctant to get out the scissors. Last month, President Obama asked Congress for another $50 billion in aid for states. “Because the urgency is high -- many school districts, cities and states are already being forced to make these layoffs,” Obama declared, “these provisions must be passed as quickly as possible.”
Maybe, instead of starting with teachers, governments could find other places to cut.
After all, while private business has been cutting back in this recession, Uncle Sam has been hiring. The federal government has added 240,000 new employees while private employers have eliminated some 8 million net jobs. In June, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the unemployment rate for government workers was 3.4 percent, roughly a third of the national private sector rate.
Government spending, at all levels, is simply unsustainable. That makes this a good year for our leaders to finally start trimming back the size and scope of some government bureaus.
Obama hot air hides an ongoing disaster for America
On July 2, President Obama declared, "And finally, because of this law, the American people will never again be asked to foot the bill for Wall Street's mistakes. (Applause.) There will be no more tax-funded bailouts -- period. (Applause.) If a large financial institution should ever fail, this reform gives us the ability to wind it down without endangering the broader economy. "
The occasion of his bold statement was the signing of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.
So imagine our surprise when less than two weeks later Fannie Mae requested $1.5 billion more from the U.S. Treasury. This request came after the 12th quarterly loss by Fannie, and with this money Fannie's take from the taxpayers' wallet will grow to a whopping $86.1 billion for one company. Together with its twin Freddie Mac the bailout package is over $200 billion.
Fannie Mae, aka the Federal National Mortgage Association, was created in 1938 as a government sponsored enterprise (GSE) to bolster the housing market by increasing Americans' access to cheap home loans during the last Great Depression. Freddie Mac, aka the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., was created in 1970 to end Fannie's monopoly in the secondary mortgage market. Both are mandated by Congress to help increase home ownership.
The problem we have with this housing mandate is that not all Americans deserve, nor are they responsible enough, to go deep into debt to purchase a home.
Everyone understands that mortgage debt stands at the center of the ongoing financial crisis. Responsible analysis concludes that too much credit was extended to too many un-credit-worthy buyers of homes. At the center of this debacle stand these government-sponsored private financial firms named Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Neither of these firms were "reformed" by the so-called Reform Act.
Fannie has long been a favorite tool of America's political left. A revolving door has allowed politically connected White House and Congressional aides to spend time at Fannie becoming fabulously wealthy.
The examples of this revolving door are many, but the most famous and wealthiest is Obama campaign adviser Franklin Raines. Raines served on both the Carter and Clinton White House staffs before becoming Chairman and CEO of Fannie Mae. In the Fannie job this former bureaucrat earned over $100 million.
Raines was eventually pushed out of Fannie in an accounting scandal. He was accused by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), the regulator of Fannie Mae, of manipulating the firm's accounting so that he and other senior executives could pocket ever-larger bonuses.
While at Fannie, Raines began a program in 1999 to encourage bank loans to individuals with low incomes. He also downgraded credit requirements on loans that Fannie Mae purchased from banks. Raines claimed the program would allow borrowers who were "a notch below what our current underwriting has required" to get home loans. The move was praise by liberals because they believed it would increase the number of minority and low-income home owners. We now know the program is central to the ongoing mortgage defaults still unfolding at Fannie.
So the foreclosure crisis limps on with no end in sight.
To understand Obama's failure at financial reform, you only have to analyze his rhetoric. At the same July 21 ceremony he boldly proclaimed about the bill, "It demands accountability and responsibility from everyone." Problem is, on its face this statement is a bold faced lie. Fannie and Freddie have been neither fixed nor reformed and both are bleeding the taxpayers daily.
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, 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)
Posted by JR at 10:50 PM