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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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