Saturday, October 02, 2010



Obama's aim is destruction

In Bob Woodward’s new book, President Obama is quoted as saying “We can absorb a terrorist attack.” Thus Woodward reveals in stark clarity Obama’s ambivalence and reluctance to prosecute a war against terrorists who organize against us, let alone the governments that give them safe harbor and support.

Regrettably, Obama has no such ambivalence about his war on the ambitious, the achievers, the job-creators, and the affluent. His entire presidency is about this as punishment, not pragmatism. He is not a fool; he knows the destruction he wreaks.

His health care reform is, as administration insiders have admitted, a scheme to re-distribution wealth -- as was his GM rescue, in which bondholders and stockholders were robbed in favor of union interests, and dealership-family business owners were callously “executed,” in a demonstration of his re-distributive power.

Examine every Obama initiative and you will find, at its core, re-distribution of wealth -- a fundamentally un-Christian concept (Thou Shalt Not Steal) and patently un-American. It is rooted in communism and socialism, not democracy. When merchandised not as the evil it is but as “economic justice,” it can be made temporarily popular with masses -- especially if they are having their own financial lives deliberately destroyed. That’s how to create not just the desire but desperate need for a seemingly benevolent dictator who will put a trans-fat free, salt-free chicken in every pot and an electric car in every garage. Gee, where have we heard this pitch before?

Carter’s toothy smile cannot hide his rank bitterness about being broadly viewed as a failure America said “good riddance” to rather than “thank you.” He’s angry at what he sees as the stubborn stupidity of the American public, too damn dumb to understand the superiority of his policies and his leadership.

President Obama displays the same arrogance and the same pique with the stupidity of the public. His administration has suggested the need for “re-education” of the majority of Americans who reject Obamacare -- although they haven’t mentioned rounding up people for incarceration in camps (a tactic of other regimes that share his philosophies).

At a town hall, when an articulate woman explains why she is “exhausted” with defending the hope ‘n change guy she voted for, Obama lectures her about credit card regulations. He shows his toothiest grin, just like Carter’s; both masking rage. Like Carter, he sees himself as a miraculously successful president getting no credit from ignorant masses for his legislative successes, for finally making sweeping health care reform (destruction and takeover) a reality – after all prior presidents failed, etc.

Obama can surely see his supporters disappearing. Michael Moore is now a vocal critic. Jon Stewart skewered him with clips of that CNBC town hall and a particularly pointed, vicious question. Chris Matthews begs him nightly to toss his teleprompter. His defenders in the media as well as those with Obama bumper-stickers not yet peeled off are, as that woman put it, exhausted. Administration figures have been slinking off, his media and far-left base is critical, and the overwhelming majority of voters – left, right, middle – have abandoned him.

What neither Carter or Obama grasp is that the American public does not score them based on percentage of agenda enacted but by the beneficial or destructive outcome of what they enact.

More HERE

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One Terrorist Attack That America Could not Absorb

Typical Obama ignorance: “We can absorb a terrorist attack"

Not so for commercial fossil facilities [coal-fired electricity generators]. They are not hardened and not well guarded. The most vulnerable structure, system or component for large scale coal plants is the main step up transformer – that component that handles electricity at 230 or 500 kV. They are one of a kind components, and no two are exactly alike. They are so huge and so heavy that they must be transported to the site via special designed rail cars intended only for them, and only about three of these exist in the U.S.

They are no longer fabricated in the U.S., much the same as other large scale steel fabrication. It’s manufacture has primarily gone overseas. These step up transformers must be ordered years in advance of their installation. Some utilities are part of a consortium to keep one of these transformers available for multiple coal units, hoping that more will not be needed at any one time. In industrial engineering terms, the warehouse min-max for these components is a fine line.

On any given day with the right timing, several well trained, dedicated, well armed fighters would be able to force their way on to utility property, fire missiles or lay explosives at the transformer, destroy it, and perhaps even go to the next given the security for coal plants. Next in line along the transmission system are other important transformers, not as important as the main step up transformers, but still important, that would also be vulnerable to attack. With the transmission system in chaos and completely isolated due to protective relaying, and with the coal units that supply the majority of the electricity to the nation incapable of providing that power for years due to the wait for step up transformers, whole cites, heavy industry, and homes and businesses would be left in the dark for a protracted period of time, all over the nation.

The economy would collapse, regardless of how much good will and positive hope there was among the ruling elite. The hard facts of life – America in the dark – would soon become apparent to everyone, and the economy wouldn’t be able to absorb it.

That’s only one of the many possibilities, and in order to avoid the charge of divulging too much detail to terrorists, I will stop here. But suffice it to say that if you give me weapons, ordnance, time and 300 or 400 dedicated fighters with a calendar and a watch, I could collapse the economy of America.

Where would these fighters come from? Recall that we have previously discussed two very good papers on Hezbollah and their activities in the Americas. They’re around, lying in wait for orders, and it’s best not to have them on our soil. It’s best to confront them away from the infrastructure that is proving itself to be so vulnerable to their malicious aims.

More HERE

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Karl Marx Wrote the Democrat Platform

Karl Marx had a 10-point program for transitioning from wealth and freedom to hand-to-mouth totalitarian hell:

1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants [those who try to escape the country] and rebels.
5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8. Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c, &c.

Today's liberal is nothing more nor less than an incremental communist who operates by stealth.

If there are any of these you don't find easy to connect with what's going on under Obama, refer to Doug Ross for help.

SOURCE

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Big penalty for criticizing Islam

Molly Norris is not as well known as Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf or Pastor Terry Jones. But you should know who she is -- even though she is no more. It will take just a moment for me to explain.

In response to threats from militant Islamists, such custodians of Western culture as Comedy Central, Yale University Press and the Deutsche Oper have resorted to self-censorship. Ms. Norris, a cartoonist for the Seattle Weekly, was troubled by what she saw -- correctly, I think -- as the slow-motion surrender of freedom of expression, a fundamental right.

So she came up with an idea: “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day.” This may not have been a great idea -- few ideas are -- but the point she wanted to make was simple enough: Freedom implies the right to criticize and caricature. This freedom is now in jeopardy because a minority of Muslims believes the majority of non-Muslims can be easily intimidated. If we all stand up for freedom, Molly Norris thought, surely freedom’s enemies will back down.

What happened next: Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born cleric -- once touted by The New York Times as a moderate but in fact an al-Qaeda commander who is currently hiding out in Yemen -- issued a fatwa calling for Ms. Norris to be murdered by any Muslim willing and able. She quickly retracted her proposal for a day of mass Mohammad-sketching but it was too late. As the Seattle Weekly cheerily informed its readers:
You may have noticed that Molly Norris’ comic is not in the paper this week. That's because there is no more Molly.

The gifted artist is alive and well, thankfully. But on the insistence of top security specialists at the FBI, she is, as they put it, "going ghost": moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity. She will no longer be publishing cartoons in our paper or in City Arts magazine, where she has been a regular contributor. She is, in effect, being put into a witness-protection program -- except, as she notes, without the government picking up the tab. …

Norris views the situation with her customary sense of the world's complexity, and absurdity. When FBI agents, on a recent visit, instructed her to always keep watch for anyone following her, she joked, "Well, at least it'll keep me from being so self-involved!" … [W]e wish her the best.

In response: Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who plans to build an Islamic center at the edge of Ground Zero, issued his own fatwa condemning al-Awlaki. “I am asking every Muslim in America to show solidarity with Molly!” he declared. President Obama, who championed the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom for Rauf, told reporters: “Freedom of speech also is guaranteed by the First Amendment and my administration intends to do whatever it takes to defend it.” Joe Klein at Time and Peter Beinart at the Daily Beast quickly launched a “Molly Norris Defense Fund,” collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars from artists, journalists, novelists and Hollywood stars. The ACLU, Human Rights Watch and the U.N. swung into action.

The paragraph above is, of course, pure fantasy. The truth: The saga of Molly Norris has elicited hardly any notice from political leaders, elite journalists and celebrities. Nor has it stirred to action those who claim to represent America’s Islamic community. Nor have I seen anything from Human Rights Watch. The ACLU is actually defending al-Awlaki. At the UN, Muslim-majority countries are pushing to ban criticism of Islam under international law.

Where does this leave us? Significantly less free than we used to be. One may satirize, criticize and even demonize Christians and Jews. Such speech remains protected by America’s Constitution. But when it comes to Islam and the sensibilities of overly sensitive Muslims, Constitutional protections are no longer to be taken seriously. To even discuss these matters, as I am now doing, risks -- nay, ensures -- being castigated as an Islamophobe.

But the alternative is to watch Molly Norris “go ghost” and pretend that no historic changes are occurring. It is not just Molly but America and the West that are moving, changing, “essentially wiping away” our identity. Are we still the “home of the free and the brave”?

Like Molly, our political, media and cultural elites, along with self-proclaimed defenders of our rights and self-appointed leaders of America’s Muslim community, view the situation with their “customary sense of the world's complexity, and absurdity.” And, no doubt, they wish us well.

More HERE

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Home Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention: Another Boondoggle

Call it a paradox. The U.S. economy officially has been out of recession for 15 months. The stock market enjoyed a record-high September; durable goods orders are up; and consumer spending is growing. Yet homeowners continue to lose their properties at a frequency not seen since the Great Depression. And this is despite – and possibly to some extent, because of – an emergency federal program in place for the past year and a half designed to stave off foreclosures. Call it a consumer bailout. And don’t expect it to end soon.

This irony of this meltdown is that it’s been happening in the face of massive federal action to stave it off. Back in March 2009, the U.S. Treasury Department, at the strong urging of President Obama, FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair and other federal officials, unveiled a new $75 billion program called Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP. Two-thirds of the money would be drawn from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) authorization enacted by Congress the previous fall; the other third would come from collapsed secondary mortgage lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, each by that time a ward of the federal government. The White House envisioned helping as many as 3 to 4 million homeowners.

Despite its promise, the results have inspired little confidence. Since its launch in April 2009, HAMP’s touted win-win arrangement hasn’t produced too many winners this side of fast-buck artists. A progress report issued this August by the Treasury Department indicated that of the 1.3 million trial modifications approved, 616,000 had been cancelled. In other words, close to half of all participating homeowners had been unable – or unwilling – to make three consecutive timely payments even on highly favorable terms.

Despite aggressive homeownership promotion by Washington, the housing market remains in recession. Mortgage applications have reached their lowest point in more than a dozen years despite fixed-rate, 30-year mortgage interest rates now having dropped below 4.5 percent.

Housing, like the larger economy, goes through an inevitable boom-and-bust cycle. It’s now in bust mode. Artificial stimulants like the Home Affordable Modification Program merely ensure the next downturn will be more severe. Even if HAMP were succeeding on its own terms – that is, if it kept all participants in their homes and avoided defaults – it still would constitute a major wealth transfer. The program rests on the assumption that homeowners behind on their mortgage payments are entitled to a subsidy from homeowners either current on their payments or titleholders free and clear.

The ongoing mortgage industry rescue, whether focused on the supply or the demand side, reflects a lack of understanding of moral hazard. This is the idea that eliminating the consequences of risky behavior unwittingly encourages more of such behavior. The Home Affordable Modification Program is a prime example of why the never-ending quest for market “stability” is destabilizing over the long run. Minimizing business risk can be risky for a nation.

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, 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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Friday, October 01, 2010



Some rambling comments on social networking sites and the great firewall of China

Way back in the distant days of about 5 years ago, the premier social networking site was MySpace. Since then Facebook has taken over and, rather oddly, MySpace has become the preserve of blacks. Market segmentation, they call it in the trade (I think). As a legacy of those ancient days I do have a small presence on Myspace so I get marriage proposals from African ladies about one a month.

I suspect that Africans like MySpace because it is simpler. I sympathize with that as Facebook is still something of a mystery to me. I have a presence on Facebook but I am not even sure whether I have two sites there or one. I seem to find different things there according to what email program I am using when I log on. But I only look at it when somebody asks to be my "friend", which happens about once a day on average. But I still don't really know what it is all about. If I want to see friends and family I put on a dinner for them. And they put on dinners for me too. My personal blog records such occasions. I have been using computers since 1967 but have obviously not kept abreast of all developments.

Anyway, when MySpace was king, Bill Gates decided to put up his own alternative to it -- called Spaces Live. I managed to make some sense of it so I established a presence there too. In particular, I used its blogging facility to put up a backup site for my personal blog.

And Spaces.live was such a pathetic thing that China didn't even bother blocking it. That suited me as I have a couple of friends in China who could use it to check out my personal blog once in a while.

Inevitably, however, Bill Gates has now pulled the plug on Spaces.live and migrated all its blogs to Wordpress. So the backup site for my personal blog is now here. Wordpress blogs are however blocked in China so I have also put up a special China-evading version of the blog here

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The knowall party

The more ignorant you are, the more likely you are to think that you know it all

The bookish, twice-unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson once sighed that if most thinking people supported him, it still wouldn't be enough in America because, "I need a majority."

For some reason, Democrats have chosen to follow the disastrous model of Stevenson and not that of feisty man-of-the-people Missourian Harry Truman -- though the former nearly wrecked the party and the latter got elected.

Former President Jimmy Carter likewise seems to feel that he's still too smart for us. Carter, who turns 86 on Friday, is hitting the news shows to explain why he remains America's "superior" ex-president -- and why more than 30 years ago he was so successful yet so underappreciated as our chief executive.

Most Americans instead remember a very different President Carter who finished his single term with 18 percent inflation, 18 percent interest rates, 11 percent unemployment, long gas lines, and a world in chaos from hostage-taking in Teheran and Soviet communist aggression in Afghanistan and Central America.

Now, John Kerry -- who failed to win the presidency in 2004 and recently tried to avoid state sales taxes on his new $7 million yacht -- is voicing similar frustrations about Americans' inability to fathom what their betters are trying to do for them. He is furious that an unsophisticated electorate might not return congressional Democratic majorities in 2010. Kerry laments that, "We have an electorate that doesn't always pay that much attention to what's going on." Instead it falls for "a simple slogan rather than the facts or the truth or what's happening."

In 2006, Kerry warned students that if they did poorly in school, they could "get stuck in Iraq." He apparently had forgotten that soldiers volunteer for military service, and are overwhelmingly high school graduates.

In the 2008 campaign, Michelle Obama at one point said of her husband's burden, "Barack is one of the smartest people you will ever encounter who will deign to enter this messy thing called politics."

That sense of intellectual superiority was channeled by Barack Obama himself when he later tried to explain why his message was not resonating with less astute rural Pennsylvanians: "And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

During the recent Ground Zero mosque controversy, Obama returned to that Carter-Kerry-Obama sort of condescension. When asked about the overwhelming opposition to the mosque, the president felt again that the unthinking hoi polloi had given into their unfounded fears: "I think that at a time when the country is anxious generally and going through a tough time, then fears can surface, suspicions, divisions can surface in a society."

The president often clears his throat with "Let me be perfectly clear" and "Make no mistake about it" -- as if we, his schoolchildren, have to be warned to pay attention to the all-knowing teacher at the front of the class.

Disappointed progressive pundits also resonate this angst over having to deal with childlike Americans. Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson recently psychoanalyzed the falling support for the president by claiming that "The American people are acting like a bunch of spoiled brats."

Thomas Frank's best-selling 2004 book "What's the Matter With Kansas?" lamented that uninformed voters were easily tricked into voting against their "real" economic interests.

When America votes for a liberal candidate, it is redeemed by the left as intelligent -- and derided as dense when it does not. We were told not to worry that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner did not pay all his income taxes since we were lucky to have someone so well educated and experienced in high finance.

Note that few Democratic candidates are running on the health-care bill they passed, promising at the time that it would be appreciated by a suspicious American public. More federal borrowing and amnesty are still pushed under the euphemisms "stimulus" and "comprehensive immigration reform." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed that the Tea Party was merely a synthetic Astroturf movement.

Professors and preachers may like such sermonizing, but for politicians it's a lousy way to get elected. Again, compare the relative fates of the patronizing Adlai Stevenson and the plain-speaking Harry Truman.

For many of today's liberals, the fact that the president has to deal with so many Neanderthal know-nothings explains why he can't, as promised, close Guantanamo, end "don't ask, don't tell," or do away with Bush-era renditions, tribunals wiretaps, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But current polls suggest that these clueless and unappreciative Americans apparently believe that an elite education does not ensure their officials can balance a budget, pay their own taxes or speak candidly. What an outrageous "How dare they!" thought.

SOURCE

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Why Dems Are Going Down in November

Arnold Ahlert

Unless something totally unforeseen occurs, Democrats are poised to take a real beating in November. Their response to the impending disaster has run the gamut. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is in denial: "One thing I know for sure is that Democrats will retain their majority in the House of Representatives." Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is condescending: "We have an electorate that doesn't always pay that much attention to what's going on, so people are influenced by a simple slogan rather than the facts or the truth or what's happening." President Obama is angry: "It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in this midterm election." Why is the electorate ready to kick Democrats to the curb? Here's why:

* An "unstimulated" economy. The original Mother of All Stimulus packages, $787 billion dollars, quickly grew to an astounding $865 billion. It wasn't enough. Congress pumped out another $26 billion in "supplemental" stimulus in August. The results? Unemployment in the private sector remains well above the eight percent Democrats promised, even as public sector workers who support Democrats were rewarded; our Democratically-controlled Congress has amassed more debt in the last four years than nearly the previous two hundred and thirty combined; the Keynesian economic model Democrats stand by is a colossal failure; the Summer of Recovery was a propaganda fiasco.

* The health care bill. The absolute epitome of ideological, public-be-damned arrogance. A horrendous compendium of bribes, exploding bureaucracy, runaway costs, written in secret and unread by those who passed it. It includes a mandate, likely un-Constitutional, forcing people to buy health insurance or pay a fine. The same administration which originally claimed the commerce clause of the Constitution made such a fine possible is now saying that the federal governments's "power to tax" justifies it. Irrelevant. 60% of Americans want this monstrosity repealed, ASAP.

* The federal lawsuit against the state of Arizona. Again, it's the arrogance, stupid. Despite all the hectoring from Democrats and the Obama administration about racist this, and xenophobic that, fair-minded Americans recognized four things: people have a right to protect their life and property, and if the federal government can't or won't do it, they have a right to do it themselves; the idea that anyone opposing the "rights" of illegal aliens is a bigot is nonsense on stilts; the ruling class in Washington, D.C. is holding genuine border control hostage to "comprehensive reform;" the glaring double-standard of suing Arizona for violating federal immigration statues, even as the feds turn a blind eye to hundreds of "sanctuary cities" with illegal protection directives unquestionably in conflict with federal law.

* The demonization of the Tea Party movement. Take your pick: teabaggers, racists, angry white men, fringe elements, bigots, Astro-turfers, etc. etc. Democrats and the media have tried every one, and every one has been a miserable failure for one overwhelmingly simple reason: decent Americans know they're decent, and getting insulted by Democrats running the country into the ground has only stiffened their resolve. Progressives want to demonize people who believe in smaller government, fiscal responsibility and a desire to return to Constitutional principles? Why not attack people who believe in guns, and religion too? Oh wait. The president already did that as well.

* A hopelessly compromised media. Air America tanked, CNN is tanking, and ABC, NBC and CBS news programs have been shedding viewers at historically unprecedented rates—even as Fox and the Wall Street Journal prosper. Americans don't mind people in the media expressing their opinions, as long as they're characterized as opinions, but they seethe when such opinions are portrayed as "hard news." They get even angrier when certain stories are "omitted" by those same organizations, especially when Americans recognize such omissions are calculated to protect the progressive agenda. I wonder if it occurs to either Democrats or their media water-carriers that a majority Americans may savor whacking both groups in November. Depressed looks on the faces of Nancy Pelosi and Katie Couric? In theater circles, that's known as a "two-fer."

* The Ground Zero mosque. Yet another reminder of the contempt progressives and their media enablers have for ordinary Americans who had the "temerity" to allow their feelings to be known. Despite every attempt to characterize these Americans as Islamo-phobic bigots, the public wasn't buying, again for one overwhelmingly simple reason: decent Americans once again demonstrated their decency by separating the legality of the project from the appropriateness of it.

* The complete disconnect between the First Family and ordinary Americans. The golfing, the soirees, and the high-priced vacations have created the perception that we are living through another "let them eat cake" moment in history. On Tuesday, the president called the public schools in Washington, D.C. a "'struggling' system that doesn't measure up to the needs of first daughters, Sasha and Malia." Those would be the same public schools Congressional Democrats tossed 3,300 low-income kids back into when they killed funding for vouchers that had freed those kids from D.C.'s educational ghetto. The First Lady is hectoring Americans to eat healthier. Perhaps more Americans would if they could afford to: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated in their Producer Price Index that the price of food increased 2.4% for March 2010. That's the biggest increase in almost 30 years.

* The war on terror. A politically correct contingency operation against unnamed insurgents with a specific draw-down date? Democrats once again prove that all the talk about Afghanistan being the "good war" was complete rubbish. They want out, and victory—along with the heroic efforts of our men and women in harm's way—be damned. Once again: has America ever fought another war where they knew the exact location of the enemy, had the ability to inflict possibly irreparable damage on them—and decided to split the difference instead? If you answered "Vietnam," another progressively-instigated catastrophe resulting in the deaths of fifty-eight thousand American soldiers and three million innocent Asians, go to the head of the class. And when is that civilian trial of the 9/11 perpetrators scheduled to begin?

* Czars and nationalization. The Obama administration and Congressional Democrats may bristle when Americans call them socialists, but the nationalization of banks, car and insurance companies, student loans and healthcare sure isn't free-market capitalism. Neither is wiping out oil jobs in Louisiana with a government-mandated ban on offshore drilling—after the feds completely bungled their role in cleaning up the spill which engendered it. Unelected czars who answer to no one but the president, along with out-of-control government agencies such as the EPA have made it clear to many Americans that this administration often considers Congress a completely unnecessary component of governance, especially if they don't kowtow to the president's agenda.

* "Unexceptional" America. Progressive contempt for the values and traditions which make this the greatest country on earth can no longer be disguised. An American president who "believe(s) in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism" has made it plain that this is not a great nation which needs tweaking, but a fundamentally flawed one needing a complete progressive make-over. Once one understands this basic premise, everything this administration and Democratically-controlled Congress does makes sense. All of it centers around the ridiculous premise that America owes the world an apology for any number of shortcomings, many of which can only be alleviated by government-mandated "social justice." That would be the same social justice which demanded—and still demands—that Americans manifestly unqualified to own homes be given mortgages, regardless.

Unknown to the majority of Americans, this precise mindset was part of the financial "reform" bill which also requires banks to lend a certain percentage of capital to minority-owned businesses, even if it means lowering their lending standards. Apparently progressives won't be satisfied with their odious social-engineering schemes until every sector of the American economy bears a striking resemblance to the housing sector. So far, Americans support financial reform because it's been framed as "Main Street versus "Wall Street." It's not. Like every other initiative undertaken by this Congress and this administration, it's the elevation of irresponsible and dishonest Americans over those willing to accept the consequences of their own behavior.

There you have it. Democratic control for four years in Congress, and two in the White House has been exactly what many predicted: an ideologically-driven disaster of epic proportions. For years, progressives obfuscated their true intentions, because even they knew most Americans couldn't stomach them. The elections of 2006 and 2008 changed everything. Progressives bought into their own hype, believing they had pulled off a multi-generational transformation of the American mindset. As a result, they showed Americans their true colors: unbridled arrogance, utter contempt for the average citizen's intellect, and a ham-fisted, never let a crisis go to waste determination to bend the electorate to their will, using government as a club.

That's why they're going down in November. And the most satisfying aspect of the whole scenario is this: despite every attempt they've made to blame anyone and everyone else for their problems, they brought it on themselves.

SOURCE

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)

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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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Thursday, September 30, 2010



A criminal Justice Dept.

While commentators have sought to downplay the scandal over DOJ’s dismissal of the New Black Panther party voter-intimidation case, even the liberal media is becoming too embarrassed not to take notice of this injustice. That owes to last week’s explosive testimony by Christopher Coates, a decorated veteran lawyer and supervisor in DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. Defying attorney general Eric Holder — and thus at great professional risk to himself — Coates testified before the Civil Rights Commission last week. It is now abundantly clear why Holder and his minions have been so keen on blocking Coates’s compliance with the commission’s lawful subpoenas.

In hair-raising testimony that named names, Coates described the Obama-Holder Justice Department’s policy of racially biased civil-rights enforcement. In so doing, he corroborated the prior account of his fellow whistleblower, J. Christian Adams , who resigned from the department in order to comply with a commission subpoena. (Holder’s subordinates stopped him from cooperating with the investigation while he was under their thumb.) Both Coates and Adams assert that they came forward because the Obama administration’s policy flagrantly violates civil-rights law and the Constitution. Both also said that public statements and testimony by high-ranking DOJ officials about the Panthers and DOJ policy case have been false.

The department dismissed the Panthers case despite the fact that the government had already won it, due to the defendants’ contemptuous default. The dismissal occurred despite the fact that career prosecutors judged the case to be exceedingly strong. Nevertheless, Holder’s top staffers have maintained for months that the rationale for the dismissal was a good-faith disagreement between low-ranking civil servants (i.e., career prosecutors) about the correct construction of the Voting Rights Act.

To the contrary, it is now clear from the testimony of Coates and Adams, as well as from documents DOJ was compelled to disclose in a lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch, that Obama political appointees were heavily involved in ordering the dismissal and that they were being lobbied by left-wing activist groups. Indeed, Obama political appointee Steven Rosenbaum, the deputy assistant attorney general who is nominally responsible for the decision to dismiss the case, is said to have admitted to Coates that he never even read the case team’s memorandum about the legal and factual support for taking legal action against the Panthers.

A chain of communications finally pried from DOJ by Judicial Watch links Rosenbaum with even higher ranking political appointees. These include deputy associate attorney general Sam Hirsch (a former Obama campaign operative who has pushed for the race-based Balkanization of Hawaii); Hirsch’s boss, Thomas Perez, the associate attorney general (DOJ’s No. 3 official); and David Ogden, who was deputy attorney general (the No. 2 post at Justice) when the front office, contrary to its repeated claims, was deliberating over the Panthers case. Also almost certainly in the loop is Holder himself. Besides the fact that the Panthers controversy inside his department was something he’d naturally have been interested in and briefed on, the Judicial Watch disclosures indicate that talking points about the Panthers dismissal were prepared for the attorney general at some unspecified point.

The dismissal of the Panthers case and the dissembling over it are damning, but they pale in importance when compared with evidence that DOJ hews to a policy of racially discriminatory enforcement of the civil-rights laws. In short, the policy holds that if the victims are white and the offenders are from minority groups, the department refuses to bring cases.

This is beyond outrageous. If there were evidence that a Republican-controlled Justice Department were engaged in the kind of abuses that appear to be going on here, the media would long ago have demanded a full accounting from the White House that proclaims itself “the most transparent administration in history.” Democrats would already be preparing impeachment hearings.

The Constitution guarantees all Americans equal protection under the law. The civil-rights laws, moreover, make it a crime for government officials to deprive “any person” — not any black or minority person, but any person, period — of “any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.” It is a grave violation of law for the Justice Department to practice racial discrimination in deciding which cases it will bring, to determine that Americans of one race or class are not entitled to the same protection as all Americans.

That’s not just politicization of the Justice Department. It is criminalization of the Justice Department. Under the Constitution, it is Congress’s obligation to stop it. The current Congress obviously won’t do its duty. Americans will strongly support congressional candidates who pledge to right that wrong.

More HERE

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A Warning to America from the Future

Sometimes it takes an outsider to put everything clearly into perspective. Daniel Hannan, a British member of the European Parliament, has a warning for America. Appearing on FOX News, Hannan asked Sean Hannity if he was familiar with the work of H.G. Wells’ Time Machine. Channeling the classic, Hannan said, “There’s a moment where a guy comes from the future, and he comes running out and he says, ‘Don’t do it! You’re making a terrible mistake. Don’t follow me!’ Well, think of me as that man.”

Hannan continued, warning all Americans, “I’ve been 11 years in the European Parliament, so I’ve seen it firsthand the kind of model towards which your current administration is taking you: European health care, European day care, European social security, European welfare, European unemployment, and believe me, you’re not going to like it.”

George Santayana once wrote that “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Unfortunately, it appears that Europe’s experiment in socialism has escaped the attention of policymakers in Washington. Hannan says that he hopes the Obama Administration “will look at the European model and learn from our mistakes.”

But he’s not hopeful. “The bits of Europe that are most obviously failing — the welfare system, the high spending — are the bits that you’re copying.” He’s right. ObamaCare. “Stimulus.” State bailouts. The centralization of the financial sector. Crippling entitlement obligations. High unemployment.

America is beginning to live through the European experience. And it’s not pretty. That’s why Hannan authored The New Road to Serfdom: A Letter of Warning to America, just released on September 28th. Inspired by F.A. Hayek’s classic, The Road to Serfdom, Hannan is hoping to catch the American people’s attention — before it is too late.

Speaking on Hannity, the author diagnoses the basic problem facing Western civilization: “We are deeply indebted… We have both been pursuing the option of trying to inflate away our debt. And that matters more than almost anything else.”

Hannan is spot on. The nation’s $13.4 trillion debt, coupled with efforts to print money to pay it off, threatens to bury the future prosperity of all Americans. The annual sale of treasuries represents a tremendous misallocation of resources away from other productive sectors of the economy. Instead of investing in new businesses and creating jobs, over $1 trillion is being put into government debt every year.

Making matters worse, the U.S. is on the wrong side of the debt curve. Whereas Keynesian thinkers believe that deficit-spending can help a nation during a time of recession, it appears the U.S. has reached the limits of that principle. A recent study by Carmen M. Reinhart of the University of Maryland and Kenneth S. Rogoff of Harvard University found that “median growth rates for countries with public debt over 90 percent of GDP are roughly one percent lower than otherwise; average (mean) growth rates are several percent lower.”

That’s important because the 90 percent threshold of debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is exactly where the current U.S. national debt is. As noted the House Ways & Means Committee Republicans, “the total debt for Fiscal Year 2010 will reach $13.6 trillion, or 93.1 percent of Gross Domestic Product.” By 2012, the International Monetary Fund reports the U.S. national debt will reach 100 percent of the GDP.

But it’s even worse than that. Not only is public debt crowding out the private sector, it threatens to increase the cost of government in just a few short years. Moody’s has warned that when interest owed reaches 18 to 20 percent of revenue, the nation would be in line for a credit downgrade. We’re pretty much there, and will reach that range by 2018. According to the Congressional Budget Office, interest owed on the debt will rise from $244 billion in 2011 to $755 billion in 2018.

Hannan is concerned about these trends, and worries about its global implications. “The U.S. isn’t just a nation unlike any other, it is the embodiment of an ideal. We’re all involved in the success of America. And if we see the U.S. becoming poorer, less democratic, less free, then that’s everybody’s problem.”

He’s right. Hannan has seen firsthand what too much spending has done to nations like Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Italy, and Spain. The impact has been devastating. And still U.S. politicians have said almost nothing about the same thing happening here, nor have they presented any plan to prevent it from occurring.

What will the implications be for liberty around the world should the U.S. fail to meet its financial obligations? The consequences could be devastating unless action is taken now.

Hopefully, Hannan’s warning will be heard by the American people, who will in turn demand leaders of both political parties to address the unbridled expansion of government into every facet of life — before it’s too late. As Hannan warned all Americans, “Until you get sanity and order back to your public finances, everything else is secondary.”

SOURCE

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Tea-Party Movement Gathers Strength

The tea party has emerged as a potent force in American politics and a center of gravity within the Republican Party, with a large majority of Republicans showing an affinity for the movement that has repeatedly bucked the GOP leadership this year, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has found.

In the survey, 71% of Republicans described themselves as tea-party supporters, saying they had a favorable image of the movement or hoped tea- party candidates would do well in the Nov. 2 elections.

Already, the tea-party movement has helped to oust a number of incumbents and candidates backed by party leaders in this year's GOP primaries amid complaints that they lacked commitment to small-government principles. The poll findings suggest that the rising influence of the movement, with its push to cut spending and oppose the Democratic agenda, will drive the GOP to become more conservative and less willing to seek common ground on policy.

"These are essentially conservative Republicans who are very ticked-off people," said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted the survey with Democratic pollster Peter Hart.

The poll found that tea-party supporters make up one-third of the voters most likely to cast ballots in November's midterm elections. This showed the movement "isn't a small little segment, but it is a huge part of what's driving 2010," Mr. Hart said.

The GOP now holds a three-point edge, 46% to 43%, when likely voters are asked which party they would prefer to control Congress. That is down from a nine-point Republican lead a month ago.

Still, Republicans retain major advantages, including a fired-up base. Two-thirds of GOP voters say they are intensely interested in the election, compared with about half of Democrats, suggesting that Republican voters are more likely to turn out at the polls.

The tea party is a major driver of the so-called enthusiasm gap, with three-quarters of supporters saying they are intensely interested in the election.

President Barack Obama's ratings remain low, with 46% of Americans approving of his job performance. Half of Americans have a negative view of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, compared with 22% taking a positive view.

The findings show how the tea-party movement has grown over the past two years from a loose confederation of activist groups into a marquee brand within the GOP that has upended a number of primaries in recent months.

The survey showed that tea-party supporters are interested in protesting "business as usual" in Washington. The most popular issue motivating them is cutting government spending and debt, followed by reducing the size of government.

More HERE

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ELSEWHERE

Report: Marriage rate at new low: "The recession seems to be socking Americans in the heart as well as the wallet: Marriages have hit an all-time low while pleas for food stamps have reached a record high and the gap between rich and poor has grown to its widest ever. The long recession technically ended in mid-2009, economists say, but US Census data released yesterday show the painful, lingering effects. The annual survey covers all of last year, when unemployment skyrocketed to 10 percent, and the jobless rate is still a stubbornly high 9.6 percent. The figures also show that Americans on average have been spending 36 fewer minutes in the office per week and are stuck in traffic a bit less. But that is hardly good news, either. The reason is largely that people have lost jobs or are scraping by with part-time work.”

GOP pledge beats Democrats’ delays: "The House Republicans’ ‘Pledge to America’ calls for an extension of the Bush tax cuts for all; a rollback of government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels; ’strict budget caps;’ an end to the Troubled Asset Relief Program and the rest of the Obama stimulus package. What’s not to like? Having been asked what they would do differently if they ran the House, the Republicans came up with an answer. Meanwhile, the Democrats run the House, but they are not acting as if they are in charge. They haven’t passed a budget. They’re putting off a vote to extend all or some of the Bush tax cuts until after the Nov. 2 election. They’re acting like lame ducks before they become lame ducks. They can’t seem to get much of anything done, except deflect attention from their fecklessness to gaps in the GOP pledge.”

Viva Colombia!: "When Juan Manuel Santos came into office as Colombia’s president and emphasized economic issues over the fight against terrorist guerrillas, he was suspected of going soft on those he had combated as minister of defense under the previous administration. Little did his critics know that he was planning the ‘coup de grace’ against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The devastating Sept. 22 attack on FARC headquarters in Colombia’s central Meta province all but signifies the end of the five-decade-old conflict.”

Time as a price: "Canadian emergency rooms are infamous for their long wait times. A recent study has shown that in most of them the average wait time exceeds 6 hours and sometimes reaches up to 23 hours. While some call for action in reducing these extremely high figures by increasing the supply of healthcare services, others try to present the situation as, in principle, an unavoidable fact of life. Both of these arguments are missing the target.”

Absurd prosecution in Florida: "A Miami federal prosecutor was arrested Sunday afternoon at a local bar after a young girl and her mother accused him of being indecent when he went swimming in his boxers at the establishment’s pool overlooking the Miami River and downtown. Sean Cronin, 35, was charged with two misdemeanors — lewd and lascivious exhibition and nonviolent obstruction of justice — by a Miami police officer as he tried to leave Finnegan’s River, 401 SW Third Ave., according to an arrest affidavit. Cronin, a Boston native who was watching the New England Patriots game on the big-screen TV at the outdoor bar, decided to go swimming in his boxer shorts. The girl and her mother were at the pool.”

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)

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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, September 29, 2010



Gordon Gekko on Greed: Is it really good?

Oliver Stone has made of sequel of sorts to his 1987 movie Wall Street. In the original the central character, Gordon Gekko, famously says, “Greed … is good.” He seems to have meant that wealth-creation and innovation are founded on “greed,” something that, understood in a certain way, many readers of The Freeman might agree with. But it’s important to realize that he was only partly right.

First, greed or, better, self interest, certainly does in a sense drive material progress and so on, but only if and to the extent that social institutions, the “rules of the game,” are truly consistent with the free market – that is, private property, free exchange, and the rule of law.

But not everything that looks like a free market is a free market. If the economic system departs from the rules of the free market, self-interest tends not to promote the general welfare at all. For instance, private property is violated every time special interests use government to seek a bailout or protection against competition...

Those who tend to use the phrase “unfettered self-interest” or “unbridled capitalism” seem to have in mind a situation in which there is no locus of restraint whatever, either within the agent or outside the agent. Of course, the complete absence of restraint in this sense would result in the Hobbesian “war of everyone against everyone,” precisely the picture of modern finance that Oliver Stone paints in his movies.

In this rather na├»ve view the agent is free to pursue her self-interest wherever she finds it, even when it means acting opportunistically and dishonestly – so long as she observes or appears to observe the external rules and regulations. Thus the hotshot Wall Street operator takes advantage of any opportunity she chances on, even if it violates the norms of honesty and conventions of fair play, since these don’t really exist in her internal moral world. They believe that “greed is good” even when the rules of the game violate the rule of law, for example, by spreading the cost of risky investments among taxpayers (e.g., Fannie Mae) and concentrating the benefits on a few big players (e.g., Goldman Sachs)....

But the mature view recognizes that honesty, fair play, and trust are all important elements of the free market. Without these, private property, free exchange, and the rule of law may still be observed under the watchful eye of external authorities, but they would not flourish, and neither would material prosperity and wealth-creation take place on the scale and consistency that we’ve seen since the rebirth of the liberal idea in modern times.

Moreover, this view recognizes that when profits and losses, the good and the bad, redound to those responsible for making the decisions that produce them, market participants tend to grow more responsible and make better decisions. That is what the free market does: It makes us more responsible by making us more responsible. As a result, just those kinds of internal restraints against opportunism that grease the wheels of the market process emerge over time: the norms of trust and the conventions of reciprocity and fair play.

SOURCE

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Who are the entrepreneurs?

Without an understanding of the American entrepreneur, there is widespread ignorance of our distinctiveness as a nation, our ingenuity, our liberty, our basic decency, or our prosperity.

By way of example, one of the most commonly-held misperceptions is that entrepreneurs are motivated by greed. That is a myth. Most entrepreneurs are motivated by a passion to solve seemingly intractable human problems, or meet deeply felt human needs. Some of our multinational corporations were started by people who believed that the average person should have soap, shoes, a roof over their heads, affordable food, fruit in the middle of the winter, the ability to communicate with far away loved ones, and more recently computers and other access to information.

Those passions are what drive the entrepreneur, and carry him or her through the risks, setbacks, and outright failures along the way. Entrepreneurs tinker with ideas, and they take the risks associated with pursuing those ideas. If they fail, they lose. If they succeed, we all win – with new or better products and services. And yes, the entrepreneur has the potential for phenomenal financial success. But that success is directly tied not only to the efficacy of the entrepreneur’s solution, but also to the ability to grow the enterprise around that solution -- it is growth that creates the jobs and investment opportunities that enable others to profit from the entrepreneur’s success.

Some weeks ago, I saw this reflected in an episode of The History Channel’s series, “America: The Story of Us.” Entitled “Boom,” this episode traced (among other things) the Hamill brothers’ novel use of a rotary drill in oil derricks, Henry Ford’s inspiration to mass-produce cars that were reliable and affordable for the average American, and William Mulholland’s system of aqueducts and dams that provided water for a newly burgeoning Los Angeles. This is the story of America: ingenuity, engineering, and entrepreneurship in the face of seemingly intractable problems.

More HERE

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A double double standard for blacks

Blacks get all-forgiving treatment but conservative blacks get especially hateful treatment

Walter E. Williams

Christine O'Donnell, U.S. Senate candidate from Delaware, has faced considerable criticism and news media attention about her youthful association with witchcraft. Have we seen similar news media attention given to other politicians who have made bizarre remarks that border on gross stupidity -- possibly lunacy?

During a congressional Armed Services hearing in March, Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., expressed concern that stationing 8,000 Marines and their equipment on Guam, our Pacific territory, could cause the island "to become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize." Such a remark is grossly stupid but the liberal press didn't give it anywhere near the amount of attention and derision that they gave Christine O'Donnell.

On the campaign trail in March 2008, then-presidential candidate Obama told his Beaverton, Ore., audience, "Over the last 15 months, we've traveled to every corner of the United States. I've now been in 57 states? I think one left to go." Whether Obama misspoke or not, that's a grossly stupid remark, but white liberals among the intellectual elite and the liberal news media all but ignored it. Of course, when former Vice President Dan Quayle misspelled "potatoe," they pounced upon it and had a field day.

So what might explain the liberals giving Hank Johnson and Obama a pass whilst playing up the perceived shortcomings of Christine O'Donnell and Dan Quayle? The answer might be as simple as just looking at the colors involved. O'Donnell and Quayle are white and Johnson and Obama are black. That means the white liberal vision comes into play where to openly oppose, criticize and ridicule blacks is racist... The white liberal vision holds one set of standards to which white people are obliged and another that's lower for blacks. I don't believe that white liberals are racists in the sense that Klansmen and neo-Nazis are; however, their paternalistic and demeaning attitudes toward blacks are far more debilitating.

There needs to be a bit of elaboration of the statement that to openly oppose, criticize and ridicule a black is racist. If the black in question is a conservative, possibly Republican, then any sort of criticism and treatment is acceptable. This was seen in the criticism and ridicule of Clarence Thomas, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell. Garry Trudeau's "Doonesbury" cartoon featured President Bush referring to Secretary Rice as "brown sugar." Pat Oliphant showed her as a parrot with big lips and Ted Rall's cartoon had Miss Rice proclaiming herself Bush's "House nigga." Don Wright's cartoon depicted Justice Thomas as Justice Scalia's lawn jockey. These cartoons were carried in major newspapers nationwide. Ask yourself what would happen to a nationally syndicated cartoonist, and the newspaper that carried it, depicting President Obama as a wide-eyed, fat-lipped monkey.

Racial double standards are nothing new. It has been the currency on jobs and college campuses where there is an acceptance of behavior by blacks that would be condemned if done by whites. Often misguided white liberal professors, in the name of making up for injustices of the past, give black students grades they didn't earn. Being 74 years old, I have frequently told people that I'm glad that I received just about all of my education before it became fashionable for white people to like black people. That means I was obliged to live up to higher standards.

More blacks need to be bold and challenge the demeaning attitudes of white liberals. During the early years of the Reagan administration, I had a number of press conferences in response to a book or article that I had written. At several of them, I invited the reporters to treat me like a white person -- just ask hard questions.

SOURCE

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What Is a Narcissist To Do?

With news of President Obama's plan to swarm the heartland this week to re-energize his base, one wonders whether he's finally heard the message that mainstream America is repulsed by his agenda. Is his direct appeal to "the young and minority voters" an admission that he's beyond electoral redemption with the rest?

Well, a new George Washington University Battleground poll indicates that only 38 percent of Americans believe he deserves to be re-elected. His personal approval rating is higher -- mystifyingly -- but that is doubtlessly small comfort to Democratic congressmen, whose political fortunes are on the line in just five weeks.

Unfortunately for Democrats, the midterm elections will be nationalized like never before (including 1994), and the primary issue at play in these so-called "local" elections will be the president's agenda, just as it was with the U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts. The Republicans were smart to introduce their "pledge" notwithstanding its flaws, but even without it, the congressional elections would have been nationalized.

The Washington Post reports that Obama is focusing his efforts on his "surge" voters -- "the roughly 15 million Americans who voted for the first time in 2008" -- because the polls are "showing independent voters swinging toward Republicans in Wisconsin and the nation's other battlegrounds."

But even Obama's 2008 campaign manager, David Plouffe, acknowledges that though many of these voters still strongly approve of the president, "a lot of them aren't showing enough predilection to vote."

Then again, what else can Obama do? He has lost credibility with mainstream Americans, and his record is an unmitigated disaster. He has no persuasive excuses for his policy failures, as the blaming Bush strategy lost its luster months ago. Not that he isn't going to continue trying to persuade adults to ignore their lying eyes, but for now, at least, he's out to recapture the magic with those voters he excited into participatory politics.

But how will he sell them this time? Plouffe says Obama intends to remind students of all the hard work they put into his 2008 campaign and warn them that if they don't stay engaged, all their hard work together could be jeopardized.

But hard work to what end? Has he ever bothered defining what he is trying to accomplish, beyond the platitudinous "hope and change"? Hope and change from what, to what?

Of course, we adults know darn well what he's trying to accomplish: the transformational change of the greatest nation in the history of mankind. That is, uprooting America's founding ideals and replacing them with his Utopian vision, which even he does not understand.

But when he approaches his fellow idealists this time, he will be on different footing. He can no longer credibly portray himself as an outsider looking to change the status quo. He is largely responsible for the status quo, which, by the way, is anything but static. The "quo" is dynamic and is heading straight into the gutter, with our federal government 1 1/2 steps through the bankruptcy door, nationalized medicine merely a heartbeat away, our national security going south and a chief executive and commander in chief determined to continue on the same perilous path.

What specifics will he tell young people and minorities to motivate them to stay engaged? Reportedly, he will "tout his administration's record on issues important to young people." Does that mean he will tell the young that if they continue to support his agenda by electing his shameless enablers in Congress, they can expect America to stay in a severe recession for another decade because "it took us 10 years to get into this mess"? He might as well say, "Stay the course and be guaranteed you won't have a job when you graduate, but at least you'll be thwarting those evil Republicans."

Will he tell minorities he has personally enhanced race relations in this nation, when he has clearly fanned the flames of racial tension? That he has improved their plight, when he has, for example, single-handedly reversed welfare reform, which had measurably reduced, among other things, black child poverty and illegitimacy?

Don't forget that a major part of his appeal to the young and minorities was his promise of a new era, a new type of politics, a different atmosphere in America. But he has given us the most partisan and divisive administration in recent memory. How can going back to the well with yet more empty rhetoric help him when he has completed a two-year record directly contradicting his promises?

Say what you will, but Obama has no other play in his playbook than to make these elections about himself and his agenda, when that is the exact opposite of what his party needs. But what is a lonely narcissist to do?

SOURCE

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ELSEWHERE

Big Labor, Not Tea Party, Is Workers' Worst Enemy: "SEIU Local 1199's Upstate Pension Fund has plunged from 115 percent funded in 1999 to 75 percent funded, and its Greater New York Pension Fund was funded at only 58 percent of its future obligations as of 2007, according to Hudson Institute analyst Diana Furchtgott-Roth. The union fat cats blame Wall Street. But while the pensions of SEIU workers nationwide are in "endangered status," the pensions of SEIU top brass have been protected and remain fully funded."

Study: Car accidents rose after states banned texting: "Laws banning texting while driving actually may prompt a slight increase in road crashes, research suggests. The findings, to be unveiled today at a national meeting of traffic-safety professionals, come amid a heightened national debate over distracted driving. ‘Texting bans haven’t reduced crashes at all,’ says Adrian Lund, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, whose research arm studied the effectiveness of the laws. Thirty states and the District of Columbia ban texting while driving. Arizona does not have a ban, though Phoenix does. The assertion that those efforts are futile will be a major issue at this week’s annual meeting of the Governors Highway Safety Association.” [Maybe texting made people drive more slowly]

Canadian court strikes down prostitution laws: "An Ontario court tossed out key provisions of Canada’s anti-prostitution laws on Tuesday, saying they did more harm than good, following a constitutional challenge by three sex-trade workers. Prostitution is not itself illegal in Canada, but nearly every activity associated with it is, such as communicating for the purposes of prostitution, living off its avails or operating a common bawdy house.”

Using government to weed out competitors: "In states throughout the country, beverage distributors are stepping into the political ring and in every case the opponent is the same: competition. Since prohibition, distributors have had the U.S. government in their corner, forcing beverage producers to go through them in order to get their products onto shelves. It almost makes sense then that distributors’ response to the threat of new competitors entering the market is not to offer better services, but to lobby the government to try and keep them out.”

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)

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010



A small anecdote and some reflections on race and culture

I originally wrote this post for my personal blog but it seemed to fit here too

A few days ago I went in to a private hospital to get my hearing tested and a hearing-aid prescribed. I've already got one plastic eye lens so a computerized ear comes next! That's aging for you.

Greenslopes private hospital does however have one of those murderous automated car-parks. You have to deal with a machine to get in and out. And it is not easy. I got so frazzled trying to get the machine to let me out that I left all the documentation from the audiologist on top of the machine concerned and ended up driving home without it.

It was only when I got home that I realized that I did not have my receipt etc. So what did I do? One thing I was NOT going to do was negotiate that accursed car-park machine again. So I just thought to myself that some kind person would find my documentation and take it to the audiologists -- who would return it to me. And that is exactly what happened. I received it in the mail today.

Now isn't that nice to live in a largeish city and still get treated with village courtesy? But it is no coincidence. I find that my fellow Anglo/European-Australians are generally like that: Good kind people.

And that largely happens because the Australian population is still overwhelmingly white. You would have to go to Eastern Europe to find a whiter country. The most recent figures I can find show that Australians are 70% Anglo-Celtic, 18% European and 5% East Asian, with most of the latter being Han Chinese racially. The balance are mainly Indians Pakistanis and Arabs, with Africans less than 1%.

Now it does of course sound racially bigoted to attribute Australia's friendly civility to race but it is in fact mainstream sociology. Robert Putnam in particular is known for his studies of racial homogeneity. Sociologists are almost universally Left-leaning and Putnam is too -- but he was man enough to publish his findings (after some hesitation) even though they did not suit him ideologically.

What he found was that people who live in racially mixed neighbourhoods (he is American so that means neighbourhoods with a lot of blacks or Hispanics in addition to whites) were much more likely to keep to themselves. They stayed home at night a lot more, for instance. Racial admixture killed community feeling, to put it bluntly.

Fortunately Australia has largely escaped that. Until recently our population had ancestry that was almost exclusively from Europe or the British Isles. And regardless of whether your origins were Lithuanian, Irish, Italian, German or English, we all saw one another as simply Australian. Ancestry made no difference in most cases.

In more recent years, however, Australia HAS acquired one largeish "minority": East Asians, mostly Han Chinese -- now about 5% of our population. But the Han are admirable people. They are in general quiet, peaceful, patient, intelligent, hard-working people who strive to get on well with everybody. So they fit in very well and do nothing to cause anyone to stay home at night. So even though they have disrupted Australia's racial homogeneity, they have, if anything, enhanced its social harmony.

So it was no accident that some kind person returned my papers. It is what happens in a society where people are in general kind to one another because they can identify with one another and sympathize with one another.

But all silver linings have a dark cloud and Australia has recently acquired one of those too. Australia has in recent years accepted a considerable number of African "refugees" and they already figure prominently in crime . Sad that they may destroy the remarkable and valuable harmony that Australia still has.

Mind you, Australia's native blacks -- Aborigines -- are not bad people. They often live in appalling squalor but they mostly keep to themselves and are undoubtedly one of the most polite populations on earth. They also have an excellent sense of humour and some perceptual abilities that are quite eerie at times. But alcohol is their great downfall. The lady in my life -- Anne -- knows them particularly well and has great affection for them -- something that I understand.

They are actually extraordinarily sociable people -- which is why it is so effective when they "sing" transgressors among them. The transgressor dies of grief.

Much to learn of human diversity. And shrieks of "racism" when it is discussed come only from fools or the ill-intentioned.

Update

With my permission, David at Majority Rights has posted there an "amped-up" version of this post in which he says more about the social science involved.

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A remarkable book (Free download)

A 19th century Orwell

This book is a remarkable discovery, as fresh today as when it was first translated in 1893. It is a novel of life under socialism by Eugene Richter, a German liberal of the 19th century.

Prophetic is not quite the word for this book. Richter saw with chilling clarity what would happen under socialistic control. The economy would be smashed. Families would be destroyed. The population would grow poorer by the day. The state would be unleashed to crush political dissent and lock everyone into a national prison. None of the ideals would be achieved.

The novel's narrative voice, however, is blinded by ideological loyalty to the cause. As he describes the calamity, he justifies it all in the name of progress, equality, and fairness to all. The reader, then, experiences the horrors of the events and then also the horrors of the intellectual twists and turns that some people will undertake to keep the disaster happening as long as possible.

To remember that this was written before any country actually experienced the total state is astonishing, page by page. The tone of the narrative is chillingly light and detached. Meanwhile, the events taking place make the blood run cold. The novel not only fulfills Mises's own predictions of life under socialism; it anticipates them long before any country embraced socialism as a system.

SOURCE

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Why Obama and the Democrats hate gold

Thomas Sowell

One of the many slick tricks of the Obama administration was to insert a provision in the massive Obamacare legislation regulating people who sell gold. This had nothing to do with medical care but everything to do with sneaking in an extension of the government's power over gold, in a bill too big for most people to read.

Gold has long been a source of frustration for politicians who want to extend their power over the economy. First of all, the gold standard cramped their style because there is only so much money you can print when every dollar bill can be turned in to the government, to be exchanged for the equivalent amount of gold.

When the amount of money the government can print is limited by how much gold the government has, politicians cannot pay off a massive national debt by just printing more money and repaying the owners of government bonds with dollars that are cheaper than the dollars with which the bonds were bought. In other words, politicians cannot cheat people as easily.

That was just one of the ways that the gold standard cramped politicians' style-- and just one of the reasons they got rid of it. One of Franklin D. Roosevelt's first acts as president was to take the United States off the gold standard in 1933.

But, even with the gold standard gone, the ability of private individuals to buy gold reduces the ability of the government to steal the value of their money by printing more money.

Inflation is a quiet but effective way for the government to transfer resources from the people to itself, without raising taxes. A hundred dollar bill would buy less in 1998 than a $20 bill would buy in the 1960s. This means that anyone who kept his money in a safe over those years would have lost 80 percent of its value, because no safe can keep your money safe from politicians who control the printing presses.

That is why some people buy gold when they lose confidence in the government's managing of its money. Usually that is when inflation is either under way or looming on the horizon. When many people start transferring their wealth from dollars into gold, that restricts the ability of politicians to steal from them through inflation.

Even though there is currently very little inflation, purchases of gold have nevertheless skyrocketed. Ordinarily, most gold is bought for producing jewelry or for various industrial purposes, more so than as an investment. But, at times within the past two years, most gold has been bought by investors.

What that suggests is that increasing numbers of people don't trust this administration's economic policies, especially their huge and growing deficits, which add up to a record-breaking national debt.

When a national debt reaches an unsustainable amount, there is always a temptation to pay it off with inflated dollars. There is the same temptation when the Social Security system starts paying out more money to baby boom retirees than it is taking in from current workers.

Whether gold is a good investment for individuals, and whether the gold standard is the right system for a country, are much more complicated questions than can be answered here. But what is clear is that the Obama administration sees people's freedom to buy and sell gold as something that can limit what the government can do.

Indeed, freedom in general cramps the government's style. Those on the left may not be against freedom in general. But, at every turn, they find the freedoms granted by the Constitution of the United States hampering the left's agenda of imposing their superior wisdom and virtue on the rest of us.

The desire to restrain or control the buying and selling of gold is just one of the many signs of the inherent conflict between the freedom of the individual and the left's attempts to control our lives.

Sneaking a provision on gold purchases and sales into massive legislation that is supposedly about medical care is just one of the many cynical tricks used to circumvent the public's right to know how they are being governed. The Constitution begins, "We the people" but, to the left, both the people and the Constitution are just things to circumvent in order to carry out their agenda.

SOURCE

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American liberalism as a religion

Dennis Prager

For many non-leftist Democrats, it is emotionally impossible to vote Republican. I can illustrate this best with a personal example that I often use in speeches to Jewish audiences.

I was raised both as an Orthodox Jew and a liberal Democrat. In my early 20s, not wanting to practice religious laws solely out of habit or fear, I experimented with religious non-observance.

I remember well the one time this yeshiva graduate ate ham. It was emotionally difficult. I also well remember the first time this lifelong Democrat voted Republican. And it, too, was difficult. In fact, it was actually more emotionally difficult to vote Republican than to eat the ham.

Now, how could that be? How could it possibly have been more emotionally trying for a lifelong Democrat to vote Republican than for a lifelong observant Jew to eat ham? Isn't religion a far deeper conviction than politics?

The question implies the answer. Liberalism and leftism are religions. While I felt I would be sinning against God when I tasted ham, I was certain I was sinning against both God and man were I to vote Republican.

That is how liberals, not to mention leftists, think: It is a grievous sin to vote Republican (unless the Republican is a liberal). One is abandoning their faith, values, community and very identity.

But it is more than that. What keeps most non-leftists voting Democrat (and calling themselves liberal) has been the spectacularly effective saturation of virtually all media and all educational institutions with the message that the right is mean spirited and dangerous.

One of the first books I ever owned -- in high school -- was titled "Danger on the Right." Throughout the world, people are fed the message "Danger on the Right" -- and virtually never "Danger on the Left," despite the left's far bloodier and more totalitarian record.

The majority of people who vote Democratic do not have left-wing values. Only 20 percent of Americans even consider themselves liberal. But vast numbers of people with views that are not leftist have been effectively brainwashed (one cannot come up with a more accurate word) into fearing the right when the threats to their liberty, as well as to America's standing in the world, its exceptionalism and its economic future all emanate from the left.

That is why nearly all Democratic and leftist reactions to conservatives and Republicans are to avoid argument (remember, on the issues the left has few supporters) and smear them as SIXHIRB, my acronym for "Sexist, Intolerant, Xenophobic, Homophobic, Islamophobic, Racist, Bigoted." It is almost impossible to come up with the name of a leading conservative whom the dominant media have not dismissed as one or more of SIXHIRB -- and usually as a buffoon as well.

This obviously serves the left and the Democratic Party in many ways. But the most important is to keep non-leftists in fear of anyone who opposes the left. In effect, the left says, and has been saying for a hundred years, "You may not agree with us, but our opponents are evil."

The Democratic appeal to black voters provides an excellent example. In nearly half a century, the left has done nothing for black America. Leftists have ruined the cities they govern and most of the public schools they control. But they have mastered one thing -- the ability to paint their opponents as racist opponents of blacks. So, blacks, many of whom have conservative values -- from opposing same-sex marriage to supporting school vouchers -- vote almost universally for the left.

The same holds true of most American Jews. Most live profoundly conservative lives but vote left. Why? Overwhelmingly because they believe there is "Danger on the Right." It doesn't matter how anti-Israel the left is and how pro-Israel the right is, or that liberal Time magazine has a mendacious cover story on "Why Israel Doesn't Care about Peace," while every major conservative periodical is passionately protective of Israel. For most Jews, voting Republican is a far greater sin, emotionally, morally and socially than eating ham.

That is why virtually every liberal columnist at The New York Times has described political opposition to Barack Obama as racist. The left cannot win on arguments. It must demonize its opponents. From Stalin calling Trotsky a Fascist to Frank Rich labeling the tea parties as mimicking the Nazis' Kristallnacht, this has been the favored leftist method of achieving power. And that is why it remains so hard for most Democrats to vote what they believe and vote Republican -- a lifetime of demonization has worked.

SOURCE

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ELSEWHERE

IDF kills two attempting to fire rockets at Israel: "Two Palestinian terrorists were killed in an IDF attack on the Gaza Strip on Monday night according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit and Hamas-run television. In a joint Shin Bet (Israel Security Service) and IDF operation, an IDF drone located the two Palestinians preparing to fire rockets into Israel territory from a location in the central Gaza Strip.”

Sick economy: "If you create anything of value in the United States, you’ll be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The government will tax your business, and you, and the people you engage to work for you.”

Empty promises: "Let us suppose that Congress did something really silly. Say it passed a law promising everyone a free annual trip to visit the moon. Surely even the densest reporter would have the presence of mind to ask, ‘How are you going to get 300 million people to the moon and back?’ Yet Congress did something almost that silly last spring. It promised almost everyone in the country access to a whole slew of preventive services with no copay or deductible.”

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)

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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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Monday, September 27, 2010



But Obama IS a Socialist

Liberals supporters of Barack Obama become really upset when people call him a socialist. They say that such an accusation is so outrageous that it falls within the category of “extreme” or “fringe.”

Let’s see. Consider the following four countries: Cuba, China, North Korea, and Vietnam. Wouldn’t everyone concede that all four of those countries have socialist systems?

Let’s list some of the key programs and policies that are common to all four of those socialist countries:

1. Government provided retirement pay to senior citizens (i.e., Social Security).
2. Government provided health care (i.e., Medicare and Medicaid).
3. Government-provided, mandatory education to people’s children (i.e., public schooling).
4. Government-provided unemployment compensation.
5. Government-provided welfare payments.
6. Government central planning of monetary affairs (i.e., a Federal Reserve).
7. Government management of the economy.
8. Government-issued licenses for occupations and professions.
9. Government central planning over immigration affairs.
10. Government control over trade.
11. Government equalization of wealth among the citizenry.
12. Government-mandated wage rates.
13. Government control over prices.
14. Government-provided subsidies.

Now, which of those key programs and policies in those four socialist countries does Barack Obama disagree with?

Answer: None. He supports them all. If a person embraces the key programs and policies of socialist countries, why doesn’t that make him a socialist?

SOURCE

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Spiritual con-men

“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?" (Matthew 7:9). No father would but some "pastors" do.

During the 1990s, “seeker-friendly” churches began popping up everywhere. Most were non-denominational churches looking to reach those who fell between the cracks and divides that separate many of our traditional denominations. These seeker-friendly churches did well for a time. The fact that many are now struggling to pay the bills has less to do with the changing economy than it does with the changing culture.

It’s no surprise that these churches did well in the 1990s. The economy was strong and people gave charitably. The same can be said of the first seven years of the Bush administration. Many seeker-friendly churches were able to break ground with new buildings, which seated thousands of congregants. They were able to fill these big buildings with scoreboard-sized video monitors and all the latest video and computer technology. They even served gourmet coffee.

But things began to change in 2008. The economy tanked and the churches had to cut back. They hoped the next election would bring change. But hope was not enough. Men cannot always bring about that kind of change. And only God can bring about lasting change.

But the one thing that has started to change in the mega-church is the message. What once was a slightly watered-down seeker-friendly version of the Gospel is now a slightly Gospel-flavored bucket of water. And it’s not enough to quench the thirst of the masses.

As one who has traveled to twenty-two states this year I’ve had an opportunity to hear pastors in several of these mega-churches. And I’ve heard some very interesting things. Some examples follow:

1. “We encourage you to sign up for one of our Bible study classes. We don’t say we have all the answers. We may not have any of the answers that you might have. We just want to start a conversation.” Oddly enough, the church where I heard this little gem doesn’t even call itself emergent. Of course, Don Miller claims he’s not emergent but I’m not buying that jazz.

2. “This church doesn’t focus on doctrine. We focus on hope.” Well, that explains why the pastor rode up to the stage on a motorcycle. By giving a sermon standing in front of a Harley Davidson, instead of a cross, he can avoid that unpleasant doctrinal stuff about sin and redemption. Pass the Starbucks. This is going to be a good one!

3. “If Christianity is to survive in the 21st Century, everything about it must change.” You can’t be serious with this one, can you? Does that mean I should cast the first stone? Can I cast it at the idiot in the pulpit? Wait, there is no pulpit. And no cross. Never mind.

4. “There’s nothing wrong with diversity. Everyone needs diversity.” But what about people who say they don’t need diversity? Are we in danger of excluding them from the conversation?

If today’s mega-churches are anything they are diverse. They typically have large numbers of traditional Christians as well as large numbers of seekers who may not have been raised in any particular faith tradition. But these days, many mega-churches are beginning to show preference for the latter – despite their emphasis on equality and inclusion. And this may prove to be their downfall.

By watering down their message to be even more seeker-friendly, today’s mega-churches are not going to achieve their crass objective: To avoid offending people in order to keep their numbers up (read: Keep the money flowing) and eventually pay their mortgage down.

Instead, their gains with seekers and the easily offended will be offset by their losses among those who are farther along in their walks and, hence, more traditional in their beliefs. This is consequential because the traditionalist, not the liberal Christian or the seeker, is always the first one to open his wallet.

Our cultural is in rapid decline as we enter the Obama/post-Christian phase of American history. People are in search of bold and fearless pastors who will take a stand against evil in blunt and uncompromising - not coded and esoteric - language. In the end, pastors who refuse to mold the Gospel to accommodate the spiritual needs of the seeker or the financial needs of the church will be the last ones standing.

I predict that many of the mega-churches of today will be the shopping malls of tomorrow. When it is time to foreclose and go packing someone is going to have some heavy equipment to move. At least no one will have to pick up their cross.

SOURCE

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Who Are the Realists and Who Are the Ideologues?

The banter continues about the Republican Party being pushed to the right by “ideologues.”

Working Americans interest in politics is motivated by how to make our lives better. They don’t care about how one set of intellectuals or pundits think the world should be against some other set of ideas of ideology. They care about the facts. How the world really is and acting accordingly.

Two principles often labeled as “right wing ideology” are that as a society we are better off with limited government and individual freedom and that as individuals we are better off being married. Is this wishful thinking of ideologues or is this reality?

Two publications just out provide factual substantiation backing up both these principles.

Economic Freedom of the World, now in its 16th edition, is an annual index published co-operatively by 70 think tanks from around the world. This team has developed measures of economic freedom and then correlates these measures with economic performance in every country in the world.

What, according to this publication, is economic freedom? The core principles are “personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete, and security of privately owned property.”

They look at five areas to measure if these conditions exist. Size of government (expenditures, taxes, and government enterprises), legal structure and security of property rights, access to sound money, freedom to trade, and regulation of credit, labor, and business.

The result of the analysis – using the measures of economic freedom and looking at 141 nations around the world to examine the correlation between economic freedom and prosperity - leads to a clear conclusion. More economic freedom correlates with more prosperity and higher quality of life.

Breaking down 141 nations into four quartiles, running from the least free quarter to the most free, shows the following: The highest quartile – the most free - has an average per capita income two and half times higher that than the average of the second quartile, four and half times higher than the third quartile, and nine and a half times higher than the least free quartile.

Average life expectancy in the most economically free nations is seven years higher than the second quartile, eleven years higher than the third, and twenty years higher than in the poorest.

The Index also shows that nations that are more economically free are more likely to be politically free – they have more political rights and civil liberties – than those not economically free. And individuals in the most economically free nations report the highest levels of “life satisfaction.”

How about marriage?

A new paper published by Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation examines data in our own country and shows with clarity that the more likely a household is headed by a married couple the less likely that household will be poor.

Thirty six percent of children living in households headed by a single mother are poor. Six percent of children living in households headed by married parents are poor.

Among black families, 38% of single parent households are poor compared to 13% of households with married parents. Among white households, 22% of single parent household are poor compared to 3% of households with married parents.

As Rector notes, when President Johnson announced the War on Poverty in 1964, 93% of babies born in our country were born to married parents. Today 59% of babies born in the United States have married mothers.

If you accept my definition of ideologue, that it’s someone wedded to a set of ideas, independent of facts, who are the ideologues?

We have overwhelming factual evidence that the more economic freedom individuals have in a country, the more likely that nation will be prosperous, with a high quality of life. We also have overwhelming evidence showing that the more likely a family is headed by a single parent, the more likely that household will be poor.

Looking from the other side, we have overwhelming evidence that government spending does not reduce poverty nor does big government create prosperity. So who are the ideologues and who are the realists?

SOURCE

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ELSEWHERE

An heretical church: "The Archbishop of Canterbury has said that the Anglican Church has "no problem" with homosexuals being bishops but he was not "positive" about them having relationships. While recognising that he was simplifying the Church's position, Dr Williams said in an interview: "There's no problem about a gay person who's a bishop. It's about the fact that there are traditionally, historically, standards that the clergy are expected to observe." Asked what was wrong with a homosexual bishop having a partner, he said: "I think because the scriptural and traditional approach to this doesn't give much ground for being positive about it." He said the issue remained a particularly divisive one: "The Church at the moment doesn't quite know what to make of it."

Pastors defy IRS on “Pulpit Freedom Sunday”: "Nearly 100 pastors across the country took part in Pulpit Freedom Sunday today, an in-your-face challenge to what the government says can and cannot be said in church. The pastors, along with the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based nonprofit Alliance Defense Fund, planned today’s event as a reaction to a law stating that churches are not allowed to support politicians from the pulpit, according to the ADF. The growing trend is a challenge to the IRS from the churches, and may jeopardize their all-important tax-exempt status. But some pastors and church leaders said they are willing to defy the law to defend their right to freedom of speech.”

The tax hazards of a US passport: "I asked her if she was still filing U.S. tax returns. ‘No,’ she replied. ‘I left the United States when I was a child. Why would I have to file tax returns there when I’ve never worked there or even lived there since childhood?’ I patiently explained that the United States requires its citizens to pay tax on their worldwide income, no matter where they live. I also told her that she possibly faced a long prison sentence for not disclosing each year the existence of all bank accounts she held outside the United States with an aggregate value exceeding $10,000. And I mentioned that while she could make an appointment to give up her U.S. passport at a local U.S. consulate, she would continue to be subject to these taxes and criminal sanctions for all past years.”

Boom time in the public sector: "What recession? Government workers are probably wondering what all the fuss is about. The private sector has lost 2.5 million jobs since the Obama administration’s stimulus bill was passed, while the public sector — federal, state, and local government combined — has added 416,000 jobs over the same period. Although 85 percent of Americans work for private employers, the administration’s own Recovery Act database admits that four out of five jobs ‘created or saved’ were in government. Likewise, average pay has risen in the federal, state, and local government, while private sector wages have fallen. More jobs, better security, and rising wages — it’s boom time in the public sector.”

Ayn Rand foresaw Obamacare: "If you doubt the prescience of Ayn Rand, turn to page 744 to read about a doctor who no longer practices his profession. When asked why, he replies “I quit when medicine was placed under State control many years ago. Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation? Do you know the kind of skill it demands, and the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill? That was what I would not place at the disposal of men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected to the privilege of enforcing their wishes at the point of a gun.” If you don’t think vast numbers of doctors feel this way, you have not spoken to any. If ObamaCare goes into effect as passed in 2010, you will soon see droves of doctors living by this creed, and the medical care that most Americans receive will come at the hands of graduates from schools in Indonesia, Mexico, and India because America will not be able to replace the retired doctors quickly enough."

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, 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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