Saturday, March 12, 2011

Politics is just another beauty contest

By Dr. Oliver Marc Hartwich, a German economist

Those working in politics and the media often assume that elections are lost or won on the big issues that so excite them. In reality, very few voters actually care about the intricate details of the National Broadband Network, Australia’s role in the G20, or the next round of the Doha talks. Sometimes even a politician’s smile is more important than his or her policies.

Voters bias towards more beautiful politicians has long been confirmed in surveys. Where voters are uninformed about politicians’ plans and beliefs, they instinctively go by their appearance. But new research from Scandinavia reveals that good looks are quite unevenly distributed in this beauty contest.

In their discussion paper The Right Look: Conservative Politicians Look Better and Their Voters Reward It, economists Niclas Berggren, Henrik Jordahl, and Panu Poutvaara analysed the attractiveness of more than 1,300 Finnish politicians by asking non-Finns to rate their facial appearance.

Given that most people outside Finland would not recognise the Finnish president, let alone obscure politicians from Jämsänkoski and Lappeenranta, it is safe to assume that there was no political bias involved.

The results were surprising. Right-wingers were on average found to be more attractive and more competent than left-wingers, especially in local government. Perhaps even more interestingly, right-wing voters also cared more about good looks than left-wingers. The ‘beauty premium’ in electoral contests was bigger on the right than on the left.

As the authors of the study suggest, this could lead clever right-wingers to go for a dual strategy. While investing in a new pair of glasses and a stylish haircut, they could be running their campaigns on a more left-wing platform. They could harvest the beauty-conscious right-wing voters while simultaneously reaching deep into left-wing spectrum with their policies. Ironically, right-wing beauty would then generate left-wing outcomes.

The study also speculates whether the increasing role of television in elections tends to favour right-wing candidates. But they may be at an advantage anyway. Left-wing election strategists, unaware of the importance of appearance, still try to woo the electorate with boring policy details when all that voters really care about are lipstick colours and beard fashions.

Without a doubt, the Scandinavian research team has opened a can of worms with their survey. New existential questions in politics urgently need to be answered: Why does conservatism make you more beautiful? Or why are beautiful people more conservative? Why don’t lefties care about looks? And why do people believe that being attractive automatically makes you more competent?

After this seminal piece of research, politics will never look the same again. Quite literally, politics may be more of a beauty contest than political wonks realise.

The above is a press release from the Centre for Independent Studies, dated Mar. 11. Enquiries to cis@cis.org.au. Snail mail: PO Box 92, St Leonards, NSW, Australia 1590.

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Democrat Thuggery in Its Worst Form

After Democratic state senators fled the state to block a fair vote, and after union members took over the capitol building, and after Republican senators received death threats, Wisconsin state Sen. Robert Jauch, D-Poplar, labeled Republican passage of a bill to reduce public employee collective bargaining power "political thuggery in its worst form."

And the left wonders why so much of America doesn't take it seriously.

At 9:18 Wednesday night, an e-mail was sent to Republican state senators in Wisconsin. Its first paragraph reads:
Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your familes [sic] will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks. Please explain to them that this is because if we get rid of you and your families then it will save the rights of 300,000 people and also be able to close the deficit that you have created. I hope you have a good time in hell. Read below for more information on possible scenarios in which you will die.

Republican senators reported receiving harassing and threatening phone calls, being physically bumped around at the state capitol, and having their cars struck by protesters. Yet here is how Sen. Jauch described the protests:
I have deeply respected the mature, responsible and thoughtful manner in which hundreds of thousands of citizens have politely exercised free speech in protesting Governor Walker's proposal to end 52 years of collective bargaining.

Unfortunately for Sen. Jauch, more than three-fourths of Americans have Internet access, and, therefore, the ability to see for themselves whether the protesters and Democratic senators were being mature, responsible and thoughtful.

They can decide whether Jauch was more correct than Republican state Sen. Glenn Grothman, who said: "This has been all about intimidating, be it the death threats, the screaming in the face, the late night phone calls or the recalls, this has been all about trying to intimidate Republican legislators into bowing to the public unions, and it has only steeled our resolve."

Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry said Republicans had denied Wisconsin citizens a "voice." OK, just so we have this straight, fleeing the state to strip the majority of the duly elected Senate of a quorum, shutting down the capitol building, and intimidating the majority with phone and e-mail threats is OK, but passing a bill by majority vote after getting the OK of the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the Legislative Council and the Legislative Reference Bureau is silencing the people?

Speaking of denying the people their voice, former Democratic Congressman David Obey is trying to have Gov. Scott Walker recalled. That's not legal under Wisconsin law. Only politicians in office for at least a year can be recalled, and Walker has been in office for eight weeks. But Obey says he should be recalled anyway, ABC News reports, because he's "abusive."

Obey isn't alone. Wisconsin Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca made an effort to have Speaker Joe Fitzgerald removed from office, yelling on the Assembly floor, "your speaker is impaired."

Wisconsin Democrats are trying to recall every Republican senator who has been in office for at least a year. Republicans are trying to recall eight Democrats who fled the state to avoid voting on the union compensation and bargaining bill. Democrats want to recall the Republicans "because they support Walker's anti-union bill," according to ABC News.

But it's the Republicans who are trying to silence the people? Gov. Scott Walker won election last fall with 52 percent of the vote. The state Senate went from 18-15 Democrat to 19-14 Republican. The Assembly went from 50-45 Democrat (with two independents) to 60-38 Republican (with one independent). Sen. Russ Feingold lost the seat he'd held for 18 years, and the House seat Obey held for 41 years went Republican.

It was a Republican electoral victory of historic proportions. And the Democrats and public-sector labor unions are trying to undo it by shutting down the legislature, intimidating the majority, and removing fairly elected politicians simply because they disagree with them. In Wisconsin, it's not the Republicans who are subverting the will of the people.

SOURCE

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Another Unqualified, Unethical Liberal Appointed to the Court

Apparently she thought that a superior American liberal like her had no need to take seriously a gang of slanty-eyed gooks and that lies would suffice as a response to them

On January 5, 2011 President Obama renominated Susan Carney to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Carney is unqualified to serve as an appeals court judge. She has never tried a case to conclusion, she has rarely examined witnesses, and she has never even argued a case before an appeals court. Even the American Bar Association gave her a lackluster rating of Substantial Majority Qualified, Minority Unqualified. Fn.1.

While serving as Yale’s Deputy General Counsel, Carney was heavily involved in a scandal, which calls her integrity and competence into question. The following is an excerpt from the Yale Daily News about the scandal:
In September 2005, officials at Dongguk [University] sent a letter to Yale requesting confirmation of a letter provided by one of their professors, Shin Jeong-ah, who said she had received her doctorate from Yale’s Graduate School. Pamela Schirmeister, associate dean at the Graduate School, told Dongguk officials that she had signed the letter, failing to check her records or notice that her name had been misspelled, the lawsuit claims.

In 2007, suspicious of Shin’s credentials, Dongguk University President Youngkyo Oh sent a letter to University President Richard Levin asking if Shin had graduated from the University. Yale officials checked their records and found that Shin never did. Still, they denied that Dongguk had sent the original letter asking for verification.

When Oh contacted Levin in July 2007, Yale officials had already been sent a copy of the 2005 letter and a facsimile of Schirmeister’s response. The next day, Yale Deputy General Counsel Susan Carney replied to Oh, saying that the facsimile of her response was not authentic. But, as the Dongguk lawyers found, Yale officials had made this assessment without checking their files.

And despite what she told Oh, Carney described the letters as “troubling” in an e-mail to Nina Glickson, an assistant to Levin, expressing concern that the 2005 letter and her response might be real.

The following August, Dongguk officials again tried to prove that Yale had received and responded to the 2005 letter. They e-mailed Carney, telling her they had a receipt for the letter that said it had been handled in the Yale Central Mailroom by an employee named Michael Moore.

Still, even with the specific information provided by the receipt, the lawsuit claims that no Yale official attempted to search University records to check if the letter had been received.

Dongguk’s lawyers said the internal e-mails show that Yale officials were not taking Dongguk’s request seriously. For example, one Yale official — Edward Barnaby, a graduate school assistant dean ­— joked in an e-mail to Carney that “maybe the letter wound up in the hands of the controversial documentary filmmaker …”

[Yale] officials took action when, at the request of Korean prosecutors, the U.S. Department of Justice subpoenaed Yale on Oct. 17, 2007 for documents related to Shin’s upcoming criminal trial in Korea. The next day, an assistant to Schirmeister searched the dean’s files — and found the September 2005 letter, with its original envelope.

Yale’s actions following the discovery of the letter, Weiner said, went beyond negligence and constituted “dishonorable and disgraceful behavior.” Rather than correcting themselves, the lawsuit claims, Yale officials met over the next week to develop strategy to contain the mistake.

On Oct. 29, they finally told the Department of Justice that they had received and responded to a letter from Dongguk in 2005 that sought to verify Shin’s degree. They told Dongguk the same on Nov. 29. Yale did not release a public statement until Dec. 29, two days after Dongguk held its own a press conference. During this time, the lawyers said, the Korean media continued to condemn Dongguk for the scandal, which it termed “Shingate.”

Dongguk has since alleged that Yale’s actions led to damages equivalent to $50 million.

Weiner said his team plans to take depositions from Carney, Reinstein and Schirmeister in December [2009].

Carney’s liberalism is evidenced by her board service and contributions. For example, she has given money to Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), and the National Organization for Women (NOW). She served as a boardmember and officer of Women Organizing Women Political Action Committee (WOWPAC), another pro-abortion group. She also served on the board of Fine by Me, a gay advocacy group.

SOURCE

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Planet Washington

By earth-logic, if you got a raise of 10 percent last year, but this year you're only getting a raise of 8 percent, you're still getting a raise. On Planet Washington, that qualifies as an indefensible slashing.

So when the GOP cut $4 billion from the budget last week, the Democrats acted as if it was an involuntary amputation.

Now the GOP wants to cut $61 billion of discretionary nondefense spending from the total budget of $3.7 trillion, and Democrats are responding as if this will spell the end of Western civilization.

But given their terror of forcing a government shutdown, Democrats were forced to counteroffer with a cut of $10.5 billion, or 0.28 percent of the federal budget.

Imagine you have a budget of $10,000 (about 40 percent of it borrowed on a credit card), then "slash" 28 bucks. That's what it's like to be a frugal Democrat....

Look at it this way. Those heartless Republican bastards would cut 2011 nondefense discretionary spending from 3.6 percent to 3.2 percent of GDP. Under Bill Clinton, such spending averaged 3.1 percent of GDP.

We owe $14 trillion we don't have. Our total liabilities -- i.e., Social Security and other entitlements -- dwarf that. So we can't just cut discretionary spending alone. But if it's this hard to ask cowboy poets to pony up, how are we going to deal with what everyone agrees is the much harder stuff?

More HERE

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Obama regime pushes massive mortgage bailout; would rip off pension funds, bank shareholders

Back before the election, intellectuals with ties to the Obama Administration proposed a trillion-dollar bailout for some (but not all) underwater mortgage borrowers, as a way to increase consumer spending.

Now, the Washington Post reports that bureaucrats at the newly-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) want to do something similar on a smaller scale. Their proposal would require banks to write off part of the mortgages of certain (but not all) mortgage borrowers who owe more on their mortgage than their house is worth. Worse, they would require mortgage servicers to write off loan principal on loans owned by other institutions, like pension funds, violating their property rights.

Virtually all of America’s pension funds own mortgage-backed securities. Pension funds (including the unions) that millions of people rely on for their retirements would lose billions of dollars due to reduced mortgage value. These demands are contained in a 27-page proposed settlement sent to the banks by the CFPB, the Justice Department, and state attorney generals who sued the banks over their recent foreclosure documentation lapses. Such demands flout court rulings like Louisville Joint Stock Land Bank v. Radford (1935), which overturned a federal law that wiped out mortgage value.

Meanwhile, the write-offs would reward the most financially irresponsible borrowers, while punishing responsibility. If you were thrifty, and made a big downpayment, you will not be eligible for a write-off, since your mortgage will still be smaller than your house is worth, even if your house declined in value. But if you saved little money, and took out a no-downpayment loan, your loan may be bigger than the value of your house even if the value of your house didn’t fall much. Even a small fall in value would leave you “underwater” on your loan, and thus eligible for a bailout under the proposed settlement, to reduce the size of your mortgage to less than your home value.

More HERE

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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, March 11, 2011

Australia a true friend, Prime Minister says in speech to Congress

I am not sure how well this was covered in the American media. My guess is a one minute mention on some TV news bulletins. It is however an excellent speech on the whole. It could well have emanated from a conservative Prime Minister. It is however the work of a Prime Minister who hails from the Left faction of Australia's major Leftist party -- and that faction has been in the past rather anti-American. The speech is therefore an indication of how realistic the Australian Left is on the whole. Despite their old anti-American reflexes, they can obviously see clearly the great extent to which Australian and American interests coincide. That even a Leftist Prime Minister has come out with such emphatically pro-American sentiments does therefore confirm that Australia is America's best friend internationally

JULIA Gillard received a four-minute standing ovation after making a historic address to a joint meeting of the US Congress in Washington.

During the half-hour address she hardened Australia's military commitment in Afghanistan, telling the Congress Australia remembered America's help in World War II and would always stand by it as "a true friend Down Under".

Conceding that the transition to local control in Afghanistan will take "some years", Ms Gillard threw herself fully behind President Barack Obama's Afghanistan strategy, saying the two nations were inextricably linked by shared values and common aims.

Ms Gillard also challenged the US to use its capacity for reinvention to join Australia in pressing for new rounds of trade liberalisation and economic reform.

Describing herself as a "true mate", Ms Gillard urged the US to "be worthy to your own best traditions," calling on the nation to turn its creativity to addressing climate change.

And she called for US leadership in the Asia-Pacific to balance the rise of China and India and ensure all nations in the region could enjoy the benefits of prosperity and growth.

Ms Gillard's comments came in an address to a joint sitting of Congress to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of the ANZUS treaty - a military alliance which binds Australia, New Zealand and the US.

Among Australian prime ministers, only Bob Hawke and John Howard have been accorded the same honor, while Robert Menzies addressed the House of Representatives in 1955.

Ms Gillard used her speech to make clear that Americans should expect firm and ongoing support from Australia.

"In both our countries, real mates talk straight," she said. "We mean what we say. You have an ally in Australia. An ally for war and peace. An ally for hardship and prosperity. An ally for the 60 years past. And Australia is an ally for all the years to come."

Ms Gillard said Australia had not forgotten that the US helped defeat the Japanese in World War II. She said the US should expect that Australia would not swerve in its support for the Afghanistan war. "I have told Australia's parliament in Canberra ... what I told General (David) Petraeus in Kabul ... what I told President Obama in the Oval Office this week," she said. "Australia will stand firm with our ally the United States. Our friends understand this. Our enemies understand this too."

Referring to her recent visits to the war zone, she said she was convinced the Afghanistan coalition had the right strategy.

However, as she outlined her solidarity on the war, she threw out challenges to the gathered US politicians on the economy and climate change.

Calling for US support for the economic reform process through the G-20, she also appealed for the reignition of the stalled Doha Round of international trade negotiations under the auspices of the World Trade Organisation.

On climate change, she called for continuing collaboration, insisting that the world must find a way to decouple economic growth from growth in carbon emissions.

Turning to security, Ms Gillard noted that political power was shifting towards China and India, and urged the Americans to call on the same courage that saw them provide leadership during the Cold War and to apply it to the emerging new world order.

She also praised former US President Ronald Reagan, describing him as a great figure of American optimism who had displayed the same values she believed would see the US continue to prosper and provide global leadership.

"I firmly believe you are the same people who amazed me when I was a small girl by landing on the Moon," she said. "On that great day, I believed Americans could do anything. I believe that still. You can do anything today."

SOURCE

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Evil Oregon Democrats attack Republican candidate's children

By Art Robinson

In an effort to do my part in rescuing our country from the out-of-control Obama administration, last year I ran for Congress in Oregon's 4th District against 12-term incumbent, far-left Democrat Peter DeFazio, co-founder of the House Progressive Caucus.

Although I won the nominations of the Republican, Independent and Constitution Parties and the endorsement of the Libertarian Party, a massive media smear campaign by DeFazio, paid for with money raised by MoveOn.org and from special interests favored by DeFazio in Washington, resulted in a 54.5 percent to 43.6 percent victory for DeFazio in a race that was expected to be much closer. Although I had never run for public office before, I immediately announced my candidacy for Congress again in 2012.

However, when you take a stand for what's right, sometimes there is retribution. On Nov. 4, 2010, as soon as the election results were in and they were sure their candidate had won, faculty administrators at Oregon State University gave new meaning to the term "political payback."

They initiated an attack on my three children – Joshua, Bethany and Matthew – for the purpose of throwing them all out of the OSU graduate school, despite their outstanding academic and research accomplishments. OSU is a liberal socialist Democrat stronghold in Oregon that received a reported $27 million in earmark funding from my opponent, Peter DeFazio, and his Democrat colleagues during the last legislative session.

Thus, Democrat activist David Hamby and militant feminist and chairman of the nuclear engineering department Kathryn Higley are expelling four-year Ph.D. student Joshua Robinson from OSU at the end of the current academic quarter and turning over the prompt neutron activation analysis facility Joshua built for his thesis work and all of his work in progress to Higley's husband, Steven Reese. Reese, an instructor in the department, has stated that he will use these things for his own professional gain. Joshua's apparatus, which he built and added to the OSU nuclear reactor with the guidance and ideas of his mentor, Michael Hartman, earned Joshua the award for best Masters of Nuclear Engineering thesis at OSU and has been widely complimented by scientists at prominent U.S. nuclear facilities.

Meanwhile, faculty member Todd Palmer notified four-year Ph.D. student Bethany Robinson (OSU grade point average 3.89) that he was terminating her thesis work and taking all of her work in progress for himself. Some of Bethany's graduate work has already been used, without credit to Bethany, in the thesis of another favored student now recently hired on the department faculty.

Palmer, until recently married to a member of the OSU psychology faculty, is now married to former OSU student Camille Lodwick. They are both faculty members in the nuclear engineering department.

It is also rumored that Higley, a long-time associate of Palmer's and who is adamant that Bethany leave OSU, may dislike Bethany because of criticism Higley received when department students complained of sexual assault at wild drunken parties of OSU nuclear engineering students during taxpayer-financed trips to scientific meetings. These incidents may have been more likely because Higley had failed to report to OSU authorities an earlier instance of milder sexual harassment against Bethany, probably because Bethany – a brilliant but very mild-mannered, conservative, homeschooled Christian young lady – does not share Higley's views.

My children and I attempted to counter all these actions against us as they unfolded, but were initially uncertain as to their ultimate intent. All became clear, however, when OSU faculty administrators abruptly took a further and very serious prejudicial action toward Joshua. At that point, OSU Professor of Nuclear Engineering Jack Higginbotham, who was privy to all of the meetings and actions, warned us and came to our defense.

Professor Higginbotham, who also serves as president of the OSU Faculty Senate and director of the Oregon NASA Space Science Consortium, has been a member of the OSU faculty for 24 years. He has held many responsible positions in the university and has received numerous professional awards. Moreover, he is very widely admired for the many instances in which he has given special help to students at OSU. This is a man who thinks always of his students and never of himself.

Professor Higginbotham warned us that faculty administrators at OSU were working to make certain that Joshua, his sister Bethany and, if possible, his brother Matthew never receive Ph.D. degrees in nuclear engineering from OSU, regardless of their examination, academic and research performance. Professor Higginbotham then reviewed with us the details of the plan to destroy the education of these students and advised me to do anything I could to protect my children.

Since November, a remarkable battle has been raging within OSU. I considered an immediate public exposure of this plot and warned the faculty of this possibility, but instead my family and I decided to try to prevent a scandal at OSU and save the students within the confines of OSU. We fought these unprincipled academics on their own ground and held them off for four months. That effort is, however, now failing, and Joshua and Bethany are both slated for dismissal from the department of nuclear engineering very soon. Also, unless action is taken immediately, Professor Higginbotham's career will be completely destroyed.

Indeed, in retribution for Professor Higginbotham's efforts to protect the Robinson students from these unprincipled attacks, he personally has become the target of a campaign of defamation, vilification, persecution, Star-Chamber humiliation and other career-destroying actions orchestrated by Higley and the other people who are attacking us.

Now nearing success is a disgraceful effort to strip Professor Higginbotham of his faculty position and his research grants. His career now potentially in ruins, he is fighting back in hopes of saving himself and the positions of the students and staff who depend upon him at OSU and who may also lose their careers as collateral damage in these astonishing events.

The attack on Professor Higginbotham, if not stopped, may also destroy the graduate work of his student, Matthew Robinson. Matthew (OSU grade point average 3.91) passed up a $57,000 per year offer from the MIT graduate school so he could join his brother and sister at OSU two years ago.

Demonstrating unanimity with the DeFazio cause, both responsible OSU deans and the president of OSU, Edward Ray, have so far failed to halt these dishonorable and illegal actions. Ray, a supporter of DeFazio on the campus, has refused even to meet with me or my son Joshua concerning these events. Knowledgeable observers have concluded that orders for the attacks on the Robinson students are coming from sources far above Ray in the Democrat political machine.

The department of nuclear engineering attracted the Robinson students to OSU during a better day when it was directed by distinguished nuclear engineer José Reyes, who has now moved to NuScale Power. The department was in the hands of a group of very outstanding nuclear engineers. The ranks of these engineers have unfortunately been thinned by retirements and departure to other universities, including Michael Hartman now at the University of Michigan, but still mentoring Joshua. The engineers no longer control the department.

The department is now controlled by ideologues, most of whom do not have Ph.D.s in nuclear engineering. Nepotistic husband-and-wife combinations and new hires of their own graduate students have brought the department under the control of unprincipled people who have enthusiastically participated in the attacks on the Robinson students and Professor Higginbotham – attacks that have violated numerous OSU academic rules, several laws and the most basic professional ethics.

Professor Higginbotham, Joshua, Bethany and Matthew Robinson can still be rescued – but only by immediate, intense public pressure.

OSU administrators think they can violate ethical academic standards of professional conduct, break formal OSU rules and regulations, and even violate U.S. laws with impunity because, in any resulting litigation, they would be defended by lawyers from the Oregon Department of Justice, assuring that only students with huge sums of money and many years to invest in litigation can oppose them. The Robinsons do not have those huge sums of money, and, moreover, they want to complete their education – not receive money in exchange for the destruction of their education and opportunities.

If these people succeed, a delighted Peter DeFazio will be able to brag to the voters that the Robinson children were thrown out of Oregon State University. Why else but to favor DeFazio would the OSU administration condone seemingly irrational actions that are potentially so damaging to the reputation of the university? OSU dances to the tune of the Democrat machine, and DeFazio controls that machine.

As things stand today, Jack Higginbotham and his students and staff, along with Joshua Robinson are in immediate danger. Bethany Robinson is slated for dismissal soon after and without the Ph.D. that she has nearly completed. The dismissal of Matthew Robinson may not be far behind. And the danger to Professor Higginbotham's other students is likewise very high.

Please don't let this happen!

Please notify OSU of your interest in this matter and urge the university to stop its destructive actions against Joshua, Bethany and Matthew Robinson and against Professor Jack Higginbotham, the remarkable president of the OSU faculty senate who has risked his career to help them!

Contact information for the OSU nuclear engineering department is:

Phone: 541-737-2343
Fax: 541-737-4678
E-mail
Mailing address:
116 Radiation Center,
Corvallis, OR 97331-5902

Please also contact the president of OSU, Edward Ray:

Phone: 541-737-4133
Fax: 541-737-3033
E-mail
Mailing address:
600 Kerr Administration Building
Corvallis, OR 97331-2128

For more information or to take further action, please visit OregonStateOutrage.com.

Please ask these people why the destruction of the academic work and careers of these students and Professor Higginbotham is so important that they are willing to sacrifice the good name of Oregon State University.

Please ask them to stop the attacks on the Robinson students and Professor Higginbotham.

SOURCE. (See the original for email addresses)

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, March 10, 2011

An amazing story from Canada

This is the sort of thing Obama is aiming to fix on Americans

That the Ontario health-care system is under pressure isn't news. But every so often another case comes along that proves, yet again, just how dysfunctional it is.

Jill Anzarut, a 35-year-old mother of two young children, has had the misfortune of becoming the latest Canadian whose story speaks to the system's broader problems. Anzarut detected a lump in her breast and tests determined the lump was indeed a cancerous tumour - an aggressive kind. Worse, Aznarut's genes mean she is at high risk of her cancer reoccurring. There is a drug, already used in other provinces and in some cases in Ontario, that has been shown to reduce the likelihood of the cancer returning. But Aznarut can't get it in Ontario: She had the misfortune of catching her cancer too early to qualify.

Anzarut has fallen afoul of a quirk in Ontario's policies on the use of the drug in question, Herceptin, which can cut in half the odds of cancer returning after a successful treatment. In Ontario, the drug can be prescribed for cases where the tumour is more than one centimetre in diameter. Anzarut, having caught it very early, has a tumour smaller than that.

How can this possibly be justified? How much money has been spent on public health campaigns stressing the importance of women performing self-exams for cancer, following up on any abnormalities and getting regular mammograms as a precaution? After all that effort, a young mother does everything exactly right, immediately seeks medical care and is told . sorry, you're not quite sick enough to get the medicine best able to treat you. Perhaps she should go home and wait while the cancer cells invade her body, then come back later and hope she qualifies. Welcome to Ontario, where we value early warning so long as it's not too early. You really gotta straddle a fine line with these life-threatening diseases, ya know.

For most of us, the absurdities of state-monopoly health-care usually mean inconvenience, delays and sometimes, added pain. For Anzarut, the cold inefficiencies of a ration-based system could cost her far more. But all is not yet lost, there is a review panel that can examine her case and grant an exemption. God knows if there was ever a case warranting an exemption, she's it. If so, that will be good news not only for Anzarut, but the 100 or so women estimated to find themselves in a similar situation every year.

Some Ontario patients have been able to access Herceptin because they're lucky enough to have some coverage under a private insurance plan. If the only way to survive in the public health-care system is to come packing private insurance, is that not a sign that the public system isn't working?

SOURCE

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Maine Gov. Paul LePage

Our new Maine Gov. Paul LePage is making New Jersey 's Chris Christie look like a wimp. He isn't afraid to say what he thinks. And, judging by the comments I hear at the cigar shop and other non-political gathering places, every time he opens his mouth his popularity goes up.

He brought down the house at his inauguration when he shook his fist toward the media box and said, "You're on notice! I've inherited a financially-troubled state to run. Observe...cover...but don't whine if I don't waste time responding to your every whim for your amusement."

During the campaign he was talking to commercial fishermen who are struggling because of federal fisheries rules. They complained that President Obama brought his family to Bar Harbar & Acadia National Park for a long Labor Day holiday, found time to meet with union leaders but wouldn't talk to them. LePage replied, "I'd tell him to go to hell and get out of my state." Media crucified him but he jumped 6 points in the pre-election poll!

The Martin Luther King incident was a political sandbag which got national exposure. Media crucified him but word on the street is very positive.

The NAACP specifically asked him to spend MLK Day visiting black inmates at the Maine State Prison. He replied if he visited the prison he would meet all inmates regardless of race.. NAACP balked. They then put out a news release claiming falsely that he refused to participate in any MLK events. He read it in the paper for the first time next morning while be driven to an event and went ballistic (none of the reporters called him for comment before running the NAACP release).

So he arrived at an event and said on TV camera that "...if they want to play the race card on me they can kiss my butt..." and reminded them that he has an adopted black son from Jamiaca and that he attended the local MLK Breakfast every year he was mayor of Waterville (he started his morning there on MLK Day yesterday.)

He then said there's a right way and a wrong way to meet with the governor and he put all special interests on notice that press releases, media leaks and demonstrations are the wrong way. He said any other group which acts like the NAACP can expect to be on the bottom of the governor's priority list!

Then he did this which broke yesterday and, judging from local radio talk show callers, increased his popularity even more:

The state employees union complained because he waited until 3 p.m. before closing state offices and facilities and sending non-emergency personnel home during the last blizzard. The prior governor would often close offices for the day with just a forecast before the first flakes. (Each time the state closes for snow, it costs the taxpayers about $1-million in wages for no work in return.)

LePage was CEO of the Marden's chain of discount family bargain retail stores before election as governor. He noted that state employees getting off work early could still find lots of retail stores open to shop. So, he put the state employees on notice by announcing: "If Marden's is open, Maine is open!"

He told state employees: "We live in Maine in the winter, for heaven's sake, and should know how to drive in it. Otherwise, apply for a state job in Florida !"

Refreshing politician!

SOURCE

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At last: unscripted honesty

THE CURRENT standoff in Wisconsin has put tough-talking Governor Scott Walker in the headlines, but for sheer candor, no one holds a candle to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. For the past year in town hall meetings, interviews, and speeches, Christie has been cheerfully, relentlessly, and brutally honest. People appear to love it. His approval/disapproval rating now stands at 52/37 in a state where Democrats outnumber Christie's fellow Republicans by 700,000. Yet imitators remain few and far between.

During Christie's campaign in 2009, CNN reporters tried to create an awkward moment by asking him about his weight. He earnestly replied, "I've had a weight problem for 30 years, so what?'' When they pushed him to criticize President Obama's visit to New Jersey, he simply noted that, "it's always an honor to be visited by the president of the United States.'' Clearly, the sincerity of these responses confused the pundits at CNN.

At a town hall meeting when a public school teacher suggested that she was worth up to $80,000 per year, Christie made two observations: first, New Jersey, unlike the federal government, cannot print money; and second, she didn't have to teach if she didn't want to. There was no pandering rhetoric about our children, our future, or our values - just simple, honest truth.

About Social Security, Christie says, "We're going to have to raise the retirement age.'' He refers to high-speed rail, electric cars, and universal broadband access as "the candy of American politics,'' which we simply cannot afford until we deal with our budget crisis. And when confronted with a possible government shutdown in New Jersey, he announced that if it happens, "I'm going to order a pizza and watch the Mets.''

This type of candor is exceedingly rare. No one, least of all a politician, enjoys telling someone "no we can't.'' Instead, most people instinctively respond to questions in the most positive way possible, and running for office only makes the problem worse. Beyond this desire to appease lies the fact that confrontation also takes more work. Refuting someone else's argument or point of view requires facts, reasoning, and analysis. By contrast, nodding in sympathetic agreement saves time and energy, and eliminates the need to think.

Last week's release of a Government Accountability Office report on duplication and overlap in government shows what happens when you try to please all of the people all of the time. We end up with 56 financial literacy programs spread over 20 federal agencies, 80 economic development programs in four departments, and 82 programs for teacher quality - as much as $100 billion spent without any way of measuring the outcome or benefits. The only real antidote to such out-of-control bureaucracy is toughness, oversight, and attention to detail - and the ability to say "no.''

Christie says he's not running for president, and given the consistency of his first year in office, you would be a fool not to take him at his word. But with the federal budget awash in red ink, the timing looks right for a national leader cut from the same cloth. Speaking with CBS's Bob Schieffer last week, Christie again denied national aspirations while offering advice for would-be candidates: "You have to have unscripted moments. [Americans] want unguarded moments - that's when they can really judge your character.'' It was a valuable suggestion from the man who has had more unscripted moments than any other American politician during the past year.

In fact, the history of the New Hampshire primary favors the blunt. Ronald Reagan and John McCain thrived on the retail politics of the Granite State, where a candidate can be asked any question, by any voter, at any moment. In the same vein, both Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were viewed as plainspoken outsiders when they made a name for themselves in New Hampshire on the way to the White House. All of these candidates were comfortable in the unpredictable, unscripted moments of the campaign, and earned a reputation for candor. They were willing to give voters an unvarnished look at themselves, and reveal their character in the process.

Do Americans really want brutal honesty in a president today? Perhaps Reagan best carried the "tough love'' approach into office. He fired the air traffic controllers, cut domestic spending, reformed the tax code, and, in 1983, signed the last major overhaul of Social Security. Last month, a Pew poll identified Reagan as the most respected president of the 20th century. It may be difficult to emulate, but it appears to be a recipe for success.

Meanwhile back in Washington, Harry Reid refuses to even discuss Social Security as part of budget negotiations. On the national scene, Republican presidential contenders are spending an awful lot of time selling books and producing TV shows. We've seen a lot of tough talk during the past few weeks, but frankly, most of it feels scripted. Even more to the point, the idea of ordering pizza and watching the Mets during a government shutdown seems to be the last thing on anyone's mind.

SOURCE

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ELSEWHERE

Leftist hypocrites felled by a camera. First ACORN, now NPR: "NPR's CEO and president, Vivian Schiller, has resigned, the radio broadcaster announced Wednesday, following an undercover sting in which an executive was videotaped describing Tea Party members as 'racist.' On Tuesday, Schiller condemned the comments by Ron Schiller (no relation), which were caught on camera by political activist James O'Keefe of 'Project Veritas.' But a statement by the chairman of NPR's board of directors, Dave Edwards, said the board had accepted Vivian Schiller's resignation 'with deep regret.'" [Leftism is one big fraud that can't stand the light of day]

TN: Healthcare opt-out bill goes to governor: "A proposal that would allow Tennesseans to opt out of the federal health-care law is headed to the governor for his consideration after passing the Republican-controlled House 70-27 Monday on a party-line vote. The companion to the 'Health Freedom Act' also passed the Senate 21-10 on a party-line vote last month. Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is expected to review the proposal when it reaches his desk. Republican House sponsor Terri Lynn Weaver of Lancaster said the legislation doesn't argue for or against the federal law, but just gives Tennesseans a choice."

How times have changed! A Chinese frigate in the Mediterranean: "Late last week, the geostrategic implications of the still-unfolding crisis in the Middle East began to reveal themselves, as China positioned the advanced missile frigate Xuzhou off the eastern coast of Libya - the country's first deployment in the Mediterranean. The ship, and the special forces personnel it carried, were there to make sure that the estimated 30,000 Chinese workers in Libya were safely evacuated, in the face of a rash of attacks on Beijing-owned oil facilities."

Anti-democratic Democrats trumped: "The leader of Democrats in the Wisconsin Senate says his caucus will return to the state, but he won't say when. Senate Democrats fled the state nearly three weeks ago to block a vote on Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plan to strip most public workers of their collective bargaining rights. But Senate Republicans used a procedural move on Wednesday to pass the proposal without the Democrats present. The floor session lasted just minutes, and the state Assembly is scheduled to take up the measure on Thursday morning. That's the last step before it can go to Walker for his signature.

ID: Bill limits teachers' bargaining powers: "A far-reaching bill that removes most of Idaho teachers' existing collective bargaining rights passed the Idaho House on Tuesday, sending the measure to the governor's desk and marking a big win for state schools Superintendent Tom Luna, who proposed the plan. Luna hailed the move, calling it 'a great step forward,' while Idaho's teachers union, the Idaho Education Association, declared a 'Day of Action' with after-school rallies across the state today to protest."

Why we need an asteroid strike: "See, societies are like people in that they get old, clot, lose flexibility, and then croak. They can't get better. Like most things, they just get worse. A rule of thermodynamics says that rivers don't flow backwards, plaque does not voluntarily leave arteries, and governments do not become more reasonable, efficient, or interested in the well-being of their populations."

A little understanding goes a long way: "As the world confronts one of the most critical periods of economic upheaval that it has ever seen, it is clear that our most influential economic stewards have absolutely no idea what they are doing. But, like kids with a new chemistry set, they are nevertheless unwilling to let that stand in the way of their experimental fun. As they pour an ever-growing number of volatile ingredients into their test tubes, we can either hope that they magically stumble on the secret formula to cure the world's ills, or more pragmatically, we can try to prepare for the explosion that is likely to result."

Why ObamaCare mandate penalty can't be a tax: "Within a year or two, the Supreme Court probably will decide whether the new federal mandate to purchase a particular type of health insurance is authorized by Congress' constitutional power to 'regulate Commerce ... among the several States.' If the Obama administration cannot convince the court that the commerce clause allows Congress to force people to engage in commerce, the administration has a backup argument: The mandate is separately authorized by Congress' constitutional power to tax. If this argument succeeds, the constitutional system of a federal government of limited, enumerated powers will, for all practical purposes, come to an end."

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, March 09, 2011

Crony capitalism is a burden on us all

America now has a largely Fascist economy, with all the costs and inefficiencies implied by that

The awarding of a $36 billion tanker contract to Boeing illustrated the well-known difficulties caused by crony capitalism in the awarding of government contracts. However what is less well appreciated is the damaging effect that crony capitalism has in a number of other ways, making the economy less efficient and providing rent-seeking opportunities that are both morally and economically repugnant.

Let’s begin with a definition of crony capitalism. In a truly free market, government is small, so gives out few contracts. It also passes few laws that affect business, so for even large corporations there is no point in hiring lobbyists. This was the position in Calvin Coolidge’s America. It still appeared sufficiently true even in the 1990s that Microsoft spent no management attention on Washington lobbying “virtually ignoring the Washington power game” according to the New York Times – and was surprised in 1998 by a massive antitrust suit.

As Microsoft found to its cost (though it survived the antitrust suit and has made up for it since with massive lobbying activities) that is not the America – or world – in which we now live. Crony capitalist companies seek through campaign contributions and strategic placement of their alumni to produce legislation favoring their business, to get access to lucrative government contacts, to rewrite the tax laws in their favor and to create rent-seeking mechanisms whereby their profits (and management bonuses) can be enlarged at public expense.

The costs of crony capitalism became apparent in the 2008 financial crash and bailout. Two episodes stand out in particular. In the rescue of AIG, $62.1 billion of credit default swaps were paid out to counterparties such as Goldman Sachs, who also profited from their holdings of CDS against the credit of AIG itself. Goldman Sachs alumnus Hank Paulson was Treasury Secretary at the time, and appears to have given no significant thought to the possibility of killing the pernicious CDS market by allowing the $62.1 billion in losses to be levied on its major participants.

Second, the banking industry as a whole was energetic in encouraging Fed chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues to lower interest rates to zero and to buy over $2 trillion of Treasury and agency securities – decisions which ran directly against Walter Bagehot’s advice for a financial crisis, to lend freely, but at penally HIGH rates. We have not yet seen the full cost of this decision, which has reduced job creation in the recovery to a painfully slow rate (through making labor-saving capital investment artificially cheap) while very probably leading to a major inflationary collapse – and tangentially to the current Middle East turmoil, through the mechanism of excessively inflated commodity prices. Wall Street wanted low interest rates, to bail it out of the mess it had created, so that’s what it got, without regard to the needs of the rest of the economy, the losses to America’s beleaguered savers or the disruption it imposed on the world as a whole. Wall Street alumni being scattered liberally throughout the decision making process in both the Bush and Obama administrations, it was a classic case of crony capitalism. Again, no proper consideration was given to the Bagehotian alternative.

The longest-standing and most entrenched area of U.S. crony capitalism is agriculture. Farm subsidies were introduced in the 1930s and have remained important ever since, with a modest attempt to reduce them in 1996 being reversed by the Bush administration in 2002. In recent years an additional gigantic farm subsidy has been introduced, the corn-based ethanol fuel program. This subsidizes an especially inefficient method of fuel production, which offers no net benefit in terms of carbon emissions – it is a pure handout to the farm lobby, strengthened by the political salience of the Iowa presidential caucuses. Today much of U.S. agriculture is dependent on crony-capitalism controls and subsidies, at enormous cost to the food consumer and the world economy.

The global warming hysteria, as it played out, gave massive opportunities to crony capitalists (whether or not some modest measure of global warming is in fact occurring.) Global warming, once it emerged from the academy, was a project of extreme socialist environmentalists to increase government control of the economy. (The academicians themselves became “useful idiots” rewarded with tenure and massive grants in return for proclaiming the global warming religion, adjusting the facts where necessary to justify the theory.) However the movement would not have got far, at least in the United States, without the assistance of crony capitalists.

GE saw the opportunity to close high-labor-cost US light bulb manufacturing plants, relocating production to China, and to reap rewards from manufacturing higher-cost fluorescent light bulbs. Hence it worked with allies in Congress to institute in December 2007 an outright ban on incandescent light bulbs, effective 2012-2014. This measure was costly economically and damaging environmentally, since it failed to solve the disposal problem of the toxic CFL bulbs, which contain mercury.

Crony capitalism also reared its head in the abortive Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade environmental legislation of 2009. Cap-and-trade as a mechanism for controlling carbon emissions is highly subject to capture by crony capitalists, because it inserts the government into an entirely new area of economic activity, and allows it to give out emission permits to favored interest groups. The Waxman-Markey legislation was particularly unattractive in this respect; it imposed a huge new cost on the economy and then managed to lose over 80% of the revenue that should have been received by government through giving handouts to crony capitalists.

Immigration is another area in which crony capitalism is rife; in this case the crony capitalists seek to block proper enforcement of US immigration laws in order to ensure themselves a labor supply at below-market costs. As with the “cap-and-trade” scheme the crony capitalists are here seeking to distort the legal system and the market mechanism to achieve self-enrichment through government manipulation. The current dispute in Georgia is a case in point; Governor Nathan Deal, elected on a platform of enforcing the e-verify employment verification program, appears to have bowed to crony capitalists among his campaign donors and is now seeking to block the appropriate state legislation.

Crony capitalism is rife in the taxation system, as businesses seek special exemptions from taxes that apply to the remainder of their countrymen. The subsidies to GE and Whirlpool for making energy efficient washing machines, which appear to have wiped out a decade or so of the latter company’s tax liability, are a case in point. Another example is the “carried interest” taxation of private equity funds, whereby the tax code deems their bonus remuneration to be a capital gain, even though no capital has been invested.

Of all areas in the U.S. economy, crony capitalism is most rife in the health system, which is why healthcare costs 50% more in the United States than elsewhere in the world. Hospitals are encouraged to load their non-insured customer with additional costs arising from their enforced mandate of providing free care in emergency rooms. An entire industry of medical care trial lawyers exists solely to leech off the medical system, using their political connections to ensure that their protection rackets are preserved unharmed. The pharmaceutical companies load their drug development costs onto U.S. consumers, protected by legislation prohibiting drug purchases from abroad. The examples are innumerable; the costs loaded onto the healthcare dollar are becoming unsustainable. Needless to say, President Obama’s healthcare legislation, heavily supported by many producer interests in the healthcare sector, made none of the cost reductions that had been promised, simply adding a new layer of bureaucracy, cost and controls to an already overloaded system.

The above examples should indicate that crony capitalism has become a major burden on the U.S. economy. Through it, government meddling is proliferated, spurious costs are added and politically connected producer interests are given windfall profits. The problem has steadily worsened since the abandonment of small-government free enterprise in the Great Depression, and the proliferation of new excuses for regulation in the last few decades has provided endless new opportunities for crony capitalists, greatly increasing their burden on the economy.

The solution is not merely smaller government but less intrusive government. To the extent that laws are simple, comprehensible and properly enforced, the opportunities for crony capitalism are limited. Environmental controls need to be cut back to those that truly produce a net economic benefit, after taking into account the health and other costs of pollution. Immigration laws need to be simplified, with fewer loopholes such as H1B visas and the lottery program, and enforced strongly and equitably. The financial system needs to control excessive speculative activity, through a modest “Tobin tax” on fast trading and a bank regulatory system that enforces proper risk management as well as simply capital standards. Frivolous lawsuits, cross-subsidization and excessive regulation need to be removed from the healthcare system, so that the free market can operate in medical services, while the poorest are protected through handouts. Loopholes must be removed from the tax system, not only in corporate tax but also in individual tax – the “sacred cows” of the mortgage interest deduction and the charitable contributions deduction must be abolished.

The necessary changes will provoke immense squawking from the interests concerned. But in economic legislation there is a universal aphorism: the loudest squawks come from those whose unjustified privileges are to be abolished.

SOURCE

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Evil in the White House

In good Fascist style, the White House treated non-union employees much worse than unionized ones during GM bailout

Republican Reps. Mike Turner of Ohio and Dan Burton of Indiana are asking House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, California Republican, to dig into the Obama administration’s decision to cut more than 20,000 private-sector workers’ pensions and eliminate their health and life insurance plans during the General Motors (GM) bailout in 2009.

A spokesman for Issa’s committee told The Daily Caller the committee “remains interested” and is “looking forward” to findings from an ongoing Government Accountability Office investigation, which is expected to come out within the next couple of months. What Turner and Burton are saying happened during the GM bailout is that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner decided to cut pensions for salaried non-union employees at Delphi, a GM spinoff, to expedite GM’s emergence from bankruptcy. The problem with that, according to the congressmen, is that Geithner decided to fully fund the pensions of union workers involved in the process – including workers associated with United Auto Workers, Steelworkers and the IUE-CWA.

“This is a terrible injustice. This is a political decision, not a legal or financial decision,” Turner said in a phone interview with TheDC. “There were people who were penalized and people were chosen as winners and losers. The White House, the administration and the Auto Task Force (ATF) decided who were going to receive their pensions and who were not.”

Bruce Gump, one of the workers who lost most of his pension and his health and life insurance plans, said what really disappoints him is how Geithner justified his decision. “Mr. Geithner justified that by saying in the press that there was no commercial necessity to do anything for those people,” Gump told TheDC. “So, to him, we were just ‘those people’ and he thought that commercial necessity was a justification to out certain groups.”

According to a time-line provided by the Delphi Salaried Retiree Association (DSRA), a group several of the disgruntled employees formed to try to get their benefits back, it was the U.S. government’s involvement in bailing out GM that caused them to lose their benefits. Also, the DSRA points out that UAW workers’ “pensions were topped off in unprecedented action under direction of ATF without any union contractual obligation.”

More HERE

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NPR executives caught on tape bashing conservatives and Tea Party, touting liberals

A man who appears to be a National Public Radio senior executive, Ron Schiller, has been captured on camera savaging conservatives and the Tea Party movement.

“The current Republican Party, particularly the Tea Party, is fanatically involved in people’s personal lives and very fundamental Christian – I wouldn’t even call it Christian. It’s this weird evangelical kind of move,” declared Schiller, the head of NPR’s nonprofit foundation, who last week announced his departure for the Aspen Institute.

In a new video released Tuesday morning by conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe, Schiller and Betsy Liley, NPR’s director of institutional giving, are seen meeting with two men who, unbeknownst to the NPR executives, are posing as members of a Muslim Brotherhood front group. The men, who identified themselves as Ibrahim Kasaam and Amir Malik from the fictitious Muslim Education Action Center (MEAC) Trust, met with Schiller and Liley at Café Milano, a well-known Georgetown restaurant, and explained their desire to give up to $5 million to NPR because, “the Zionist coverage is quite substantial elsewhere.”

On the tapes, Schiller wastes little time before attacking conservatives. The Republican Party, Schiller says, has been “hijacked by this group.” The man posing as Malik finishes the sentence by adding, “the radical, racist, Islamaphobic, Tea Party people.” Schiller agrees and intensifies the criticism, saying that the Tea Party people aren’t “just Islamaphobic, but really xenophobic, I mean basically they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it’s scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people.”

Schiller goes on to describe liberals as more intelligent and informed than conservatives. “In my personal opinion, liberals today might be more educated, fair and balanced than conservatives,” he said.

O’Keefe’s organization set up a fake website for MEAC to lend credibility to the fictitious group. On the site, MEAC states that its mission is combating “intolerance to spread acceptance of Sharia across the world.” At their lunch, the man posing as Kasaam told Schiller that MEAC contributes to a number of Muslim schools across the U.S. “Our organization was originally founded by a few members of the Muslim Brotherhood in America actually,” he says.

Schiller doesn’t blink. Instead, he assumes the role of fan. “I think what we all believe is if we don’t have Muslim voices in our schools, on the air,” Schiller says, “it’s the same thing we faced as a nation when we didn’t have female voices.”

When O’Keefe’s two associates pressed him into the topic, Schiller decried U.S. media coverage of Egypt’s uprising against former dictator Hosni Mubarak, especially talk of the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence on the protests and future of Egypt. Schiller said that is what he is “most disappointed by in this country, which is that the educated, so-called elite in this country is too small a percentage of the population, so that you have this very large un-educated part of the population that carries these ideas.”

When the man pretending to be Kasaam suggests to Schiller that “Jews do kind of control the media or, I mean, certainly the Zionists and the people who have the interests in swaying media coverage toward a favorable direction of Israel,” Schiller does not rebut him or stop eating. He just nods his head slightly.

More HERE (See the original for video)

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ELSEWHERE

MA: Unions offer concessions on healthcare: "Public employee unions in Massachusetts, startled by the raging national debate over benefits for government workers, yesterday offered concessions that they said would deliver significant savings to cash-strapped cities and towns while preserving collective bargaining rights. The union officials, gathered at a State House press conference, said their members are under assault as governors from Wisconsin to New Jersey have directed public attention and anger on public employee benefits. They said their plan shows they are willing to work with Governor Deval Patrick and the Legislature to address rising costs."

The real lesson from Wisconsin: "There is an abiding delusion that frustrates efforts to limit the size and scope of government: The government, unlike the private sector, shields people from economic risk. Government jobs are regarded as safer and government bonds securer. But the battle that public unions are fighting in Wisconsin shows that the government can no more offer guarantees in life than the tooth fairy. On the contrary, it shows that a government powerful enough to give you everything you want is also powerful enough to take away everything you’ve got."

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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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Reality triumphant: Cuban/Jewish/Americans

There is a long but very good-humored article by Stephen Steinlight about attitudes to immigration among American Jews which is well worth reading in full. But I particularly liked the excerpt below. The article overall is primarily about retired Jews in Florida. Steinlight finds them much less Leftist than the official Jewish leadership:

The differences between it and the typical Florida Jewish retirement community are substantial. These include such significant factors as: a very different recent history as well as a different one going back hundreds of years; the use of a different primary language at home and when they go out to dine or party; a personal style, even body language that is marvelously vital in contrast to the staid one of the more typical retirees; a far more conservative politics and a long-time involvement in the Republican Party; a tremendously powerful and thoroughly unashamed patriotism; and great pride as Jews, Americans, and Hispanics.

I'm speaking of course about Florida's large Cuban-Jewish-American community. Though in some respects its history and culture are sui generis, as previously noted, some of the elements that make it special are also equally true of members of my audiences in many other parts of America, and those commonalities strongly influence how people, Jewish or Christian, place themselves within the immigration debate. Their commonalities make them powerful allies of the immigration philosophy espoused by CIS: they came to America as refugees from tyranny; are profoundly patriotic; know American Exceptionalism is real; despise post-American attitudes; believe passionately in the rule of law; strongly oppose illegal immigration and amnesty; maintain a high level of civic engagement; feel strongly protective of America; and fear that massive immigration will change the character of America for the worse, both economically and socially.

Like most Americans who are Jews, some of the Cubans have roots in East/Central Europe, but the majority trace their pre-Cuban history to Spain, especially Catalonia, Portugal and France. Forced out by the Inquisition and Expulsion of 1492 into the Sephardic diaspora that included many of the lands that once belonged to the Ottoman Empire – the families of congregants lived for centuries throughout Turkey, Greece (mostly Thessalonica), the Middle East, the Balkans, the Maghreb – many returned to Spain and France only to escape to Cuba during the rise of fascism and Nazism – when no Western power, including the United States, would admit Jewish refugees. Those who survived the Holocaust that wiped out most of their families and communities joined relatives and friends in Cuba. Arriving destitute, thoroughly traumatized, and in deep mourning, the community prospered there until Castro came to power when almost all fled to America with nothing, starting over once again from scratch, a familiar pattern.

Many now in the learned professions or successful businesspeople remember their early years in Miami, knocking on doors asking for work hauling trash, cleaning garages, repairing cars, doing whatever they could do to support their families. Over time the community again prospered, and its descendants form one of America's model minorities: groups who began in poverty but arrived not only with a strong work ethic but also with deep respect for learning that provided the engine of rapid upward social and economic mobility. With little help from the wealthy Florida Jewish community, they achieved their success with their own hands, a source of great pride (and some resentment). What they dreamed of America provided in full measure: a tolerant free society, a level playing field (they were white, after all, and the hindrances associated with being Jews caused minor irritants compared to what they had experienced elsewhere), opportunities for higher education, and plenty of scope for their exceptional entrepreneurial abilities.

Like many other immigrants, their strong traditional values and powerful sense of religious and cultural roots enabled rather than impeded the desire to become full members of their new country. A result of growing up under communist tyranny and having a strong entrepreneurial spirit it is hardly surprising that their politics were and are predominantly conservative and their attraction to the Republican Party was and is natural. Sometime, as happens occasionally with Eastern European refugees from communism, there is a tendency to project fears of communism onto garden variety American liberalism, but if that prior life experience can sometimes be a source of hasty over-determined political judgment, it has been and remains a source of strong dedication to individual liberty, belief in the reality of upward social mobility, the defense of private property, and their suspicion of the danger represented by the power of the government, even when it appears to be wielded in the interest of the common good.

Some of the mainstays of American leftwing politics and culture are simply intolerable and inexplicable to them, a result of growing up in the worker's paradise. Having lived under tyranny and now living in freedom, they cannot understand post-Americanism, which they see as blind ingratitude or treason. Having suffered under and escaped societies and systems – whether Nazi or communist – whose power in large measure was enabled and then justified by the extinction of constitutional and statutory law and its replacement by prerogative law – that is to say, the "law" being whatever the Party or political class finds politically convenient – they are appalled at the wholesale violation of the rule of law in the context of immigration, and stunned that the federal, state, and municipal governments and law enforcement wink at it.

More HERE

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Islamists and Leftists co-operate because both idealize collectivism

The history of Islam and the modern Left is one of cooperation when there is some obstacle to their divergent concepts of “social justice” and the perfect society. These are always marriages of convenience, enduring no longer than the enemy that drives them into each other’s arms. But, reliably, it is they — the Islamists and the leftists — who come together when there is a third party in the mix. Rarely will one collude with a common enemy against the other. Today, the common enemy of Islamists and leftists is individual liberty, especially the social, economic, and political freedom guaranteed by the American Constitution, as conceived by the Framers. Conceived, that is, by men who saw government as a necessary evil to be rigorously limited lest it devour true freedom — not as an essential good to be empowered for the very purpose of enforcing servitude.

Collaborations between Islamists and leftists — past examples and those happening right before our eyes — are numerous, so much so that I admit to being dumbfounded by the frequency of the question of whether they really happen. That there is collusion is undeniable.

That collusion is a major theme of my book, The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America — “grand jihad” and “sabotage” being the Islamists’ own terms for what they describe as their plan to “destroy Western civilization.” By the time the book was published last spring, the Center for Constitutional Rights, a New Left flagship created by radical lawyer William Kunstler in the 1960s, had spent nearly a decade spearheading the representation of jihadists captured making war against the United States.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) — whose founders were ardent admirers of Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood, and whose current executive director said, right after the 9/11 attacks, that “we should put the State of Israel on the suspect list” — was at the forefront of Islamist organizations then campaigning for the enactment of Obamacare, when MPAC wasn’t otherwise occupied by the numerous executive-branch agencies that regularly seek its input on any number of issues.

This should have been no surprise, for history is littered with Islamist/leftist confederations — e.g., the Muslim Brotherhood’s support of the military coup led by Soviet puppet Gamal Abdel Nasser to overthrow the British-backed Egyptian monarchy; the avowed “Islamic socialism” of the Pakistan People’s Party; the blend of Islamists and leftists that has always composed the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The interesting question is not whether it occurs, but why. To anyone who studies the matter, as the liberty-loving Muslim reformer Zuhdi Jasser has, the Islamist enthusiasm for statist schemes like Obamacare is easy to decode. Islamist organizations are collectivist groups, Dr. Jasser explains. They fall squarely in line with the socialist platform of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is, as Dr. Jasser puts it, to “increase the power of government through entitlement programs, increased taxation, and restricting free markets whenever and wherever possible.”

That platform is the legacy of Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, and of Sayyid Qutb, the Brotherhood’s most formidable theoretician. Decades after their deaths, both these men remain required reading for budding Islamist activists in Brotherhood-inspired redoubts like the Muslim Student Association, the Islamic Society of North America, and the International Institute of Islamic Thought.

An animating goal of these organizations is to have Islamic principles recognized by government and enforced through the state’s coercive power. These principles needn’t be known as “Islamic” any more than leftist pieties are advertised as “leftist.” They need only reflect what Islamists, like leftists, call “social justice.”

This is perhaps most clearly illustrated in Qutb’s tract, Social Justice in Islam. The book teaches that Islam is about the collective, and that those who resist the Muslim ummah must, as Rousseau would have said, be “forced to be free.” According to Qutb, “integrating” humanity in “an essential unity” under sharia is “a prerequisite for true and complete human life, even justifying the use of force against those who deviate from it, so that those who wander from the true path may be brought back to it.”

Islamists and leftists have several significant differences. Qutb saw communism as far preferable to capitalism but too obsessed with an economic determinism that discounted the spiritual. The two camps part company on the equality of women and of non-Muslims, on matters of sexual liberty, and on abortion. If the world were populated only by Islamists and leftists, they could not coexist. Their marriages of convenience can have savagely unhappy endings once the common enemy that has drawn them together has been overcome. In Egypt, the Islamists were brutally persecuted by Nasser; in Iran, the secular leftists were routed by Khomeini.

Nevertheless, for all their differences, what unites Islamists and leftists is stronger than what presently divides them. They both support totalitarian systems. They would both attempt to recreate mankind, intending to perfect us by indenturing us to their utopian schemes. Their general will cannot abide free will. They both abhor individual liberty, unfettered reason, freedom of conscience, equality of opportunity rather than result, and bourgeois values that inculcate a devotion to bedrock Western principles and traditions.

That is why Islamists and leftists work together. It is why they will continue working together as long as there is resistance.

More HERE

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ObamaCare's March Madness

After one year as the law of the land, mayhem abounds

Sports fans relish this time of year for the NCAA Championship Basketball Tournament, aka "March Madness." But this year the tournament has a serious contender for that title. March is also ObamaCare's anniversary month.

Last year, President Obama gave Congress an arbitrary deadline to pass his health-care takeover legislation before the Easter recess at the end of March. This forced lawmakers to hurry their votes on a deeply flawed bill that very few of them had read. Worse, many made false promises to secure final passage.

We're already seeing ObamaCare's madness in its first year of implementation, which is why the American people continue to call for defunding, repealing and replacing it with more sensible reforms. Here are a few examples of the mayhem.

* More than half the states—28 and counting—are challenging the law in court, saying that it violates the constitutional rights of their citizens and the sovereignty of the states. A new study from the Senate Finance and House Energy and Commerce Committees found that as a result of ObamaCare, budget-strapped states face at least $118 billion in unfunded mandates during the first 10 years after the law takes effect.

* Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has handed out nearly 1,000 waivers to allow select companies, unions and states to escape, at least temporarily, some of the burdensome new insurance rules she has created. This is a continuation of the trend of the "Cornhusker Kickback" and the "Louisiana Purchase" that Senate Democrats used to get the law passed in the first place, and that so disgusted the American people.

* Independent experts have shown that the cost of health insurance will rise faster than it would have without the law. The Congressional Budget Office expects the price of a family policy in the individual market to be $2,100 higher by 2016 than it would have been had the law not passed. In at least 20 states, it's now impossible to buy child-only health insurance because of Ms. Sebelius's onerous new rules.

* Seniors are at risk of losing access to physicians and medical care. Medicare actuaries say that the cuts built into the law will force as many as 40% of providers to eventually stop seeing Medicare patients or go bankrupt.

* Many thousands of people are already losing the health insurance they have now as companies are exiting markets for individual, small group and Medicare Advantage coverage.

* The former director of the Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, says that the costs of ObamaCare are set to explode when employers opt to drop coverage and send their workers to the new, federally subsidized health exchanges for coverage. He estimates that this will drive up the cost of the law by $1 trillion or more in the first 10 years.

The list goes on and on. It's time to stop the ObamaCare madness before it becomes another entrenched entitlement program.

To protect taxpayers and our health sector, Congress can begin by defunding ObamaCare at every opportunity. Next we need a president and a Congress that will vote to repeal the law and start over with sensible reforms. The stakes are high for the capacity of patients and doctors to choose and control their medical choices, and for all Americans' freedom and prosperity.

SOURCE

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ELSEWHERE

Obama restarts Guantanamo trials: "President Barack Obama reversed course Monday and ordered a resumption of military trials [sic] for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, making his once ironclad promise to close the isolated prison look even more distant. Guantanamo has been a major political and national security headache for the president since he took office promising to close the prison within a year, a deadline that came and went without him ever setting a new one."

France: Chirac faces corruption trial: "Jacques Chirac today became the first French President since 1958 to go on trial on criminal charges. The 78 year-old former Head of States is accused of embezzlement, breach of trust and conflict of interest, based on allegations linked to his tenure as Paris mayor — before he began his presidency (1995 to 2007). It is however unclear whether the trail will in fact go ahead since one of Mr. Chirac’s co-accused has filed a complaint based on procedural issues and the judge could adjourn the proceedings until further notice. The trial is being held in the same court where Queen Marie Antoinette was tried in the aftermath of the 1789 French Revolution (she was later beheaded at the Place de la Concorde)."

Social Security's "trust fund" was robbed long ago: "In a recent column, I noted that Social Security is often 'middle-class welfare' that bleeds the country. This offended many readers. ... Some argued that Social Security, with a $2.6 trillion trust fund, doesn't affect our budgetary predicament. Wrong. As a rule, I don't use one column to comment on another. But I'm making an exception here because the issue is so important."

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, March 07, 2011

Blaming Wall St.

Liberal Lies, Propaganda and Omissions

Those who seek the truth seldom can find it in history books. Liberals who write those books blame conservatives for every criminal act those very Liberals commit against an uninformed citizenry. They use every trick in the book including lies, propaganda and omission to distort the truth to their own biased agenda.

For example, take the cause of our “Great Recession.” Liberals are blaming Wall Street and the Republicans for what was clearly an economic and societal catastrophe generated out of liberal redistributive policy. Take from the rich give it to the poor and when the poor fail to follow through blame the whole thing on the rich.

Over a billion people were listening in last Sunday when Charles Ferguson accepted the Oscar for “Inside Job” a documentary featuring the likes of George Soros blaming Wall Street for the meltdown of the real estate and mortgage market. He said “that three years after the horrific financial crisis caused by massive fraud not a single financial executive has gone to jail and that’s wrong”.

In that single phrase liberals incorporate not only their lies, but their propaganda and omissions as well. Anyone with a kindergarten education knows that NINJA loans were to blame for the meltdown and that Democrats not only sponsored but covered up the fraud until it was too late to save many financial firms. Senator Dodd and Representative Frank were at the core of the deception and they and they alone caused the Great Recession.

Now you can say Wall Street was complicit. They not only benefited from the fraud when it was taking place but doubly benefitted by betting that that the market would implode and they would profit when they covered their short positions. You bet there was corporate cronyism after the fact. They triply benefited by getting the government (the taxpayers) to bail out their losses by covering their bets on the downside.

But the playing field is not fair. The government is no longer a small institution based on limited government. It has grown into a behemoth. It can only be viewed as the enemy of free enterprise. Therefore since all tactics are allowed in war Wall Street knows how to play that game better than anyone else. Since they have to “make” the market in all securities they can’t be held responsible for seeing that government (their enemy) interference could be profited from on the downside as well as the upside. They have to make the market don’t they?

Those who really profited from betting the downside were Democrat CEO’s of major security houses and George Soros. So this self-made chaos orchestrated by Soros really makes us all a bunch of chumps. It makes the media and our politicians look even worse.

Comment by retired tax accountant Dick McDonald

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"A remorseless demographic arithmetic"

Mark Steyn

According to Bismarck's best-known maxim on Europe's most troublesome region, the Balkans are not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier. Americans could be forgiven for harboring similar sentiments after the murder of two U.S. airmen in Germany by a Kosovar Muslim.

Remember Kosovo? Me neither. But it was big at the time, launched by Bill Clinton in the wake of his Monica difficulties: Make war, not love, as the boomers advise. So Clinton did — and without any pesky U.N. resolutions, or even the pretense of seeking them.

Instead, he and Tony Blair and even Jacques Chirac just cried "Bombs away!" and got on with it. And the left didn't mind at all — because, for a modern western nation, war is only legitimate if you have no conceivable national interest in whatever war you're waging.

Unlike Iraq and all its supposed "blood for oil," in Kosovo no one remembers why we went in, what the hell the point of it was, or which side were the good guys. (Answer: Neither.) The principal rationale advanced by Clinton and Blair was that there was no rationale. This was what they called "liberal interventionism", which boils down to: The fact that we have no reason to get into it justifies our getting into it.

A decade on, Kosovo is a sorta sovereign state, and in Frankfurt a young airport employee is so grateful for what America did for his people that he guns down U.S. servicemen while yelling "Allahu akbar!"

The strange shrunken spectator who serves as President of the United States, offering what he called "a few words about the tragic event that took place," announced that he was "saddened," and expressed his "gratitude for the service of those who were lost" and would "spare no effort" to "work with the German authorities" but it was a "stark reminder" of the "extraordinary sacrifices that our men and women in uniform are making . . ."

The passivity of these remarks is very telling. Men and women "in uniform" (which it's not clear these airmen were even wearing) understand they may be called upon to make "extraordinary sacrifices" in battle. They do not expect to be "lost" on the shuttle bus at the hands of a civilian employee at a passenger air terminal in an allied nation.

But then I don't suppose their comrades expected to be "lost" at the hands of an army major at Fort Hood, to cite the last "tragic event" that "took place" — which seems to be the president's preferred euphemism for a guy opening fire while screaming "Allahu akbar!"

But relax, this fellow in Frankfurt was most likely a "lone wolf" (as Sen. Chuck Schumer described the Times Square Bomber) or an "isolated extremist" (as the president described the Christmas Day Pantybomber).

There are so many of these "lone wolves" and "isolated extremists" you may occasionally wonder whether they've all gotten together and joined Local 473 of the Amalgamated Union of Lone Wolves and Isolated Extremists, but don't worry about it: As any Homeland Security official can tell you, "Allahu akbar" is Arabic for "Nothing to see here."

Bismarck's second best-known maxim on the region is that the Balkans start in the slums of Vienna. The Habsburg imperial capital was a protean "multicultural society" wherein festered the ancient grievances of many diverse peoples.

Today, the Muslim world starts in the suburbs of Frankfurt. Those U.S. airmen were killed by Arid Uka, whose Muslim Albanian parents emigrated from Kosovo decades ago. Young Arid was born and bred in Germany. He is a German citizen who holds a German passport. He is, according to multicultural theory, as German as Fritz and Helmut and Hans. Except he's not. Not when it counts.

Why isn't he a fully functioning citizen of the nation he's spent his entire life in? Well, that's a tricky one.

Okay, why is a Muslim who wants to kill Americans holding down a job at a European airport? That's slightly easier to answer. Almost every problem facing the western world, from self-detonating jihadists to America's own suicide bomb — the multi-trillion dollar debt — has at its root a remorseless demographic arithmetic.

In the U.S., the baby boomers did not have enough children to maintain their mid-20th century social programs. I see that recent polls supposedly show that huge majorities of Americans don't want any modifications to Medicare or Social Security.

So what? It doesn't matter what you "want." The country's broke, and you can vote yourself unsustainable quantities of government lollipops all you like, but all you're doing is ensuring that when, eventually, you're obliged to reacquaint yourself with reality, the shock will be far more devastating and convulsive.

But even with looming bankruptcy America still looks pretty sweet if you're south of the border. Last week, the former director of the U.S. Census Bureau, Steve Murdock, told the Houston Chronicle that in Texas "it's basically over for Anglos." He pointed out that two out of every three children are already "non-Anglo", and that this gap will widen even further in the years ahead. Remember the Alamo? Why bother? America won the war, but Mexico won the peace.

In the Lone Star State, Murdock envisions a future in which millions of people with minimal skills will be competing for ever fewer jobs paying less in actual dollars and cents than they would have earned in the year 2000. That doesn't sound a recipe for social tranquility.

What's south of Europe's border? Why, it's even livelier. In Libya, there are presently one million refugees from sub-Saharan Africa whose ambition is to get in a boat to Italy. There isn't a lot to stop them.

Between now and mid-century, Islam and sub-Saharan Africa will be responsible for almost all the world's population growth — and yet, aside from a few thousand layabout Saudi princes whoring in Mayfair, they will enjoy almost none of the world's wealth.

Niger had 10 million people in 2000, and half-a-million of them were starving children. By 2010, they had 15 million, and more children were starving. By 2100, they're predicted to hit 100 million. But they won't — because it would be unreasonable to expect an extra 90 million people to stay in a country that can't feed a population a tenth that size.

So they will look elsewhere — to countries with great infrastructure, generous welfare, and among the aging natives a kind of civilizational wasting disease so advanced that, as a point of moral virtue, they are incapable of enforcing their borders.

The nations that built the modern world decided to outsource their future. In simple economic terms, the arithmetic is stark: In America, the boomers have condemned their shrunken progeny to the certainty of poorer, meaner lives.

In sociocultural terms, the transformation will be even greater. Bismarck, so shrewd and cynical about the backward Balkans, was also the father of the modern welfare state: When he introduced the old age pension, you had to be 65 to collect and Prussian life expectancy was 45.

Now life expectancy has near doubled, you get your pension a decade earlier, and, in a vain attempt to make that deformed math add up, Bismarck's successors moved the old East/West faultline from the Balkans to the main street of every German city.

SOURCE

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Sap

Speaking of the left’s willingness to provide cover for Islamic imperialism, the hippetty-hop mogul Russell Simmons was in Times Square this weekend to stand in solidarity with the Ground Zero mosque under the slogan “Today I Am A Muslim, Too“:
Some 300 people gathered in Times Square on Sunday to speak out against a planned congressional hearing on Muslim terrorism, criticizing it as xenophobic and saying that singling out Muslims, rather than extremists, is unfair.

Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and the imam who had led an effort to build an Islamic center near the World Trade Center site were among those who addressed the crowd.

“Today I Am A Muslim, Too.” So, like, you can be a Muslim on a Sunday and something else on a Monday? Hey, that’s great! Who knew? Maybe Russell Simmons could pass the good news on to Said Musa? They didn’t get the memo on death row in Kabul, where he was imprisoned for converting to Christianity.

Kim Kardashian was unable to attend the rally but tweeted her support for it. Maybe Kim could jet in to the village of Soul in Egypt’s Helwan Governorate and personally pass on to the locals the exciting news that you can be Muslim just for a photo-op and then move on. I’m sure the girlfriend of Coptic Christian Ashraf Iskander would love to hear that, assuming she’s still alive:
A mob of nearly four thousand Muslims has attacked Coptic homes this evening in the village of Soul, Atfif in Helwan Governorate, 30 kilometers from Cairo, and torched the Church of St. Mina and St. George…

This incident was triggered by a relationship between 40-year-old Copt Ashraf Iskander and a Muslim woman. Yesterday a “reconciliation” meeting was arranged between the relevant Coptic and Muslim families and together with the Muslim elders it was decided that Ashraf Iskander would have to leave the village because Muslims torched his house.

The father of the Muslim woman was killed by his cousin because he did not kill his daughter to preserve the family’s honor, which led the woman’s brother to avenge the death of his father by killing the cousin. The village Muslims blamed the Christians.

The Muslim mob attacked the church, exploding 5-6 gas cylinders inside the church, pulled down the cross and the domes and burnt everything inside…

But that’s just their colorful way of saying today St Mina and St George are Muslims, too! Witnesses said the mob chanted “Allahu Akbar” and vowed to conduct their morning prayers on the church plot after razing it.

“Today I am a Muslim, too”? No need to jump the gun, Russell.

SOURCE. (See the original for links)

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ELSEWHERE

Sikhs mistaken for Taliban?: "Police said Saturday that they don't know why someone gunned down two men -- frail from heart attacks and advancing years -- as they slowly ambled through a quiet Elk Grove neighborhood during their daily afternoon walk. ... Relatives and friends in the tightknit Sikh community to which the two men belong were not as hesitant to call the shooting a hate crime. Singh and Atwal, like many Sikh men, had thick beards and wore turbans -- traditions that have made Sikhs the target of bigotry and violent attacks since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks."

WI: Recall drives could make history: "As improbable as the last three weeks have been in state politics, Wisconsin is about to embark on another wild ride into the political unknown -- a series of legislative recall campaigns on a scale the nation has rarely, if ever, seen. ... Formal recall campaigns have now been launched against 16 state senators -- eight Republicans and eight Democrats. That's everyone in the 33-member Wisconsin Senate who is legally eligible to be recalled this year."

LEAP slams Obama renewed Drug War commitment: "The pro-legalization group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition fretted that President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon were embarking on a counterproductive mission after the two pledged 'renewed cooperation' on the drug war Thursday. 'Legalization is the only way to end the cartel violence, just like ending alcohol prohibition was the only way to make gangsters stop shooting each other over beer and liquor distribution,' Tom Angell, a spokesman for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, told Raw Story in an e-mail."

Taxpayers in revolt: "Jimmy John Liautaud, founder of the Jimmy John's sub chain, just applied to move his residence from Illinois to Florida — and his company's headquarters could soon follow. 'All they do is stick it to us,' he says of the state legislature's move to jack up the personal income tax from 3 percent to 5 percent — and the corporate income tax from 7.3 percent to 9.5 percent."

Washington’s most corrupt list, 2010: "It doesn’t seem to matter how much house cleaning voters do in the legislature; year after year, the corruption gets worse. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has released its report on the 'most corrupt' politicians for 2010."

There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc. He says a fair bit about Libya this time.

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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