Saturday, July 23, 2011

It Should All Be Free

Free medicine! That's what Obamacare has brought you -- or should bring you, at least according to CNN.

The story's opening sentence set the tone: "Contraceptives, sterilization and reproductive education should be covered by health insurance plans with no cost to patients under the health reform law, a new report recommends."

In a tone that can only be called cheerleading, CNN tells its audience that the Institute of Medicine has made these recommendations to the secretary of Health and Human Services. "Historic" is the way HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius described the report, adding that "we will release the Department's recommendations of what additional preventive services for women should be covered without cost sharing very soon."

Now, why, you may wonder, does the secretary of Health and Human Services get to decide whether to adopt the report's recommendations? Well, under Obamacare, health care has been nationalized. Among the roughly 700 references in the law to "the Secretary shall" is one mandating that the secretary shall decide which health care plans are acceptable in America and which are not. If a plan does not comply with HHS mandates, companies and individuals who purchase their products will have to pay a fine. In other words, under Obamacare, the secretary of HHS decides who gets covered for what.

The secretary is now considering whether all health plans in America will have to cover birth control, annual HIV tests, well-woman care visits, annual counseling on sexually transmitted diseases, breastfeeding support and counseling including rental of breast pumps, and screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic abuse. These services should be covered "without any co-pays or deductibles," the report by the Institute of Medicine urges. In other words, these products and services should be "free" for all women, not just for the poor.

CNN quotes the president of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Dr. James Martin Jr., who believes that "unimpeded access to affordable contraceptives for all women is foundational."

But why stop there? The biggest killer of women is heart disease. Shouldn't cholesterol tests, EKGs and stress tests be covered by insurance at no cost to the women themselves? And surely counseling about the risks of a high-fat diet and sedentary lifestyle should be included, too, no? At no cost to the patients, of course. And then there's cancer, the second biggest threat to women's health. So mammograms and annual doctor visits should be free. And certainly counseling about the dangers of smoking, excessive drinking and poor diet should be "fully covered," as well. Come to think of it, gym memberships should definitely be covered at no cost to the women.

But what about men? Men are far less likely than women to seek medical treatment. And men are dropping every year from heart attacks, strokes, accidents and cancer. Surely if their "well-man" annuals were "free," they would be more likely to get the treatment and preventive care they need.

And what about helpless children? Surely only an ogre would want to charge children a fee to get their vaccinations, checkups and medicine. And certainly adolescents should receive counseling about sexuality, date rape, drugs and alcohol. Shall we say monthly? Perhaps weekly?

Sebelius praised the IOM report as "based on science and existing literature." By literature, she perhaps means Cinderella, in which a kindly fairy grandmother waves a magic wand and produces dresses, coaches and jewels "at no cost" to Cinderella. She surely cannot mean the medical literature.

Though the Obama administration never tires of repeating this falsehood, the science does not support the claim that increased spending on preventive care reduces overall costs. The journal Health Affairs has studied the literature and concluded, "Over the four decades since cost-effectiveness analysis was first applied to health and medicine, hundreds of studies have shown that prevention usually adds to medical costs instead of reducing them. Medications for hypertension and elevated cholesterol, diet and exercise to prevent diabetes, and screening and early treatment for cancer all add more to medical costs than they save."

An administration that preens about its "evidence-based" policymaking constantly errs about what medical research has shown. But even more flagrantly, it fails to grasp the very first lesson of economics: Nothing is free. Someone will pay. As the great P.J. O'Rourke put it many years ago, "If you think health care is expensive now, just wait till it's free."

SOURCE

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The Empire Strikes Back

Oliver North

GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. -- "Will your Boykin hunt?" asked the young man, admiring the little red spaniel at my side. "Casey" wagged her tail and sat, patiently waiting for me to check out of the local farmers market with a basket of fresh peaches, corn and tomatoes.

"She's not yet a year old, but she already works well into the wind, can kick up a bird and if I shoot right and retrieves to hand," I replied with no small amount of hubris. The conversation abruptly shifted to international politics -- but not in the direction I expected. "What are you going to do with her once 'The Empire' bans your shotguns?" he asked.

For a moment, I was lost. "The Empire?" "Yeah," he said, "the U.N. -- the global imperial government in New York. 'The Empire' wants to control who can buy or keep a shotgun."

I'm used to strangers approaching me on topics such as hunting, the war, our troops serving in harm's way, the national debt, taxes and the endless list of presidential candidates. But it's unusual for an interlocutor to shift instantly from hunting to the United Nations. So I asked, "Why do you think that could happen while we still have a Second Amendment in our Constitution? The American people wouldn't stand for it."

"Do you really think 'We the People' are paying attention to what the U.N. is doing while we're distracted with everything else that's going on?"

It was a reasonable question -- and I concluded: "No, most people probably aren't engaged on this issue. But some of us are, and there are more than 80 million U.S. gun owners. I'm on the board of the National Rifle Association, and we're paying attention."

"Good," the young man replied with a smile, "because I helped elect you. I'm a life member of the NRA."

After paying for our produce, we spoke for a few more minutes in the parking lot. I again assured him that the NRA and organizations such as Freedom Alliance are doing their best to preserve Americans' individual liberties and protect U.S. sovereignty and security -- even though it often appears to be an uphill fight. I then went home to dig into what the globalists at the U.N. are preparing for us. As usual, it isn't good.

For five years now, various committees of the United Nations purport to have been drafting "an internationally acceptable Arms Trade Treaty" that "will make the world safer." If the U.N.'s "Open-Ended Working Group on an ATT" completes its "work" on time, the treaty will be voted on next year. The Obama administration is on record supporting the measure, claiming, "The United States is committed to actively pursuing a strong and robust treaty that contains the highest possible, legally binding standards for the international transfer of conventional weapons."

Earlier this month, Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA, went to the big blue building in New York to tell the America haters of the "Working Group," in unequivocal terms, why the current draft of the treaty is unacceptable: "The right to keep and bear arms in defense of self, family and country is ultimately self-evident and is part of the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution. Reduced to its core, it is about fundamental individual freedom, human worth and self-destiny." He noted that among the many flaws of the ATT, "a manufacturer of civilian shotguns would have to comply with the same regulatory process as a manufacturer of military attack helicopters."

Freedom Alliance President Tom Kilgannon, who wrote the book on how the U.N. usurps U.S. sovereignty, "Diplomatic Divorce," says we shouldn't be surprised at the international forum's end run on the U.S. Constitution. "The U.N. is a global-leftist organization that uses multilateral treaties like the ATT to enforce their will upon all humankind. It's the ultimate power play. To them, the U.S. Constitution and the sovereign rights of American citizens are irrelevant. If they have their way, they will create a vast new international bureaucracy to document, regulate, track, supervise, inspect and maintain surveillance over every firearm ever made. Such a regime ought to be completely unacceptable to every American."

LaPierre and Kilgannon make clear that including civilian firearms in the ATT is unacceptable to the NRA and Freedom Alliance. Whether that will be sufficient to convince the Obama administration remains to be seen. But there is some good news in all of this.

As we parted ways at the local farmers market, my inquisitor stuck out his hand and said: "You served in the Marines. I was in the Army. We both took an oath to 'support and defend the Constitution of the United States.' I hope that still matters." When he got into his truck, I noticed his license plate: Massachusetts. Home of Paul Revere, John Adams, John Hancock. When an empire struck at Americans in 1775, they knew what to do. Let's hope we still do.

SOURCE

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Could You Survive Another Great Depression?

Paul Kengor

I just read two very interesting articles on the U.S. economy, written from historical perspectives. They compelled me to share my own historical perspective. And what I want to say is more about our changing culture than our economy.

One of the articles, by Julie Crawshaw of MoneyNews.com, notes that the "Misery Index"—the combined unemployment and inflation rates—made infamous under President Jimmy Carter, has hit a 28-year high. It's also 62 percent higher than when President Obama took office.

But that's nothing compared to Mort Zuckerman's article in U.S. News & World Report. Zuckerman measures the current situation against the Great Depression. He writes:

"jobs, wiping out every job gained since the year 2000. From the moment the Obama administration came into office, there have been no net increases in full-time jobs, only in part-time jobs. This is contrary to all previous recessions. Employers are not recalling the workers they laid off.... We now have more idle men and women than at any time since the Great Depression."

Zuckerman is a perceptive writer who looks at economies from a historical perspective. In my comparative politics course at Grove City College, I use his article on the Russian collapse in the 1990s, which Zuckerman showed was worse than our Great Depression.

I can't say we're teetering on that precipice, but Zuckerman's article got me thinking: Imagine if America today experienced an economic catastrophe similar to the 1930s. How would you survive?

I remember asking that question to my grandparents, Joseph and Philomena. How did they survive the Great Depression?

My grandmother, never at a loss for words, direly described how her family avoided starving. Compensation came via barter. Her father, an Italian immigrant, baked bread and cured meats in an oven in the tiny backyard, among other trades he learned in the old country. My grandmother cleaned the house and babysat and bathed the children of a family who owned a grocery store. They paid her with store products. Her family struggled through by creatively employing everyone’s unique skills.

What about my grandfather? When I asked that question as he sat silently, my grandmother raised her loud Italian voice and snapped: "Ah, he didn't suffer! Don’t even ask him!"

My grandfather, also Italian, returned the shout: "Ah, you shut up! You're a damned fool!" Grandma: "No, you're a damned fool!"

After the typical several minutes of sustained insults, my grandfather explained that, indeed, his family didn’t suffer during the depression. They noticed no difference whatsoever, even as America came apart at the seams.

Why not? Because they were farmers. They got everything from the land, from crops and animals they raised and hunted to fish they caught. They raised every animal possible, from cattle to rabbits. They ate everything from the pig, from head to feet. There were eggs from chickens and cheese and milk from goats and cows. There were wild plants.

I was captivated as my grandfather explained his family's method of refrigeration: During the winter, they broke ice from the creek and hauled it into the barn, where it was packed in sawdust for use through the summer. They didn’t over-eat. They preserved food, and there was always enough for the family of 12.

When their clothes ripped, they sewed them. When machines broke, they fixed them. They didn't over-spend. Home repairs weren’t contracted out. Heat came from wood they gathered. And they didn't need 1,000 acres of land to do this.

They were totally self-sufficient—and far from alone. Back then, most Americans farmed, knew how to grow things, or provided for themselves to some significant degree.

That conversation with my grandparents came to mind as I read Zuckerman's piece and considered life under another Great Depression. I realized: The vast majority of Americans today would be incapable of providing for themselves. If you live in the city with no land, you'd be in big trouble. Even most Americans, who have a yard with soil, wouldn’t know what to do.

Isn’t it ironic that with all our scandalously expensive education—far more than our grandparents' schooling—we've learned so little? We can't fix our car let alone shoot, gut, skin, and butcher a deer.

Think about it: If you lacked income for food, or if prices skyrocketed, or your money was valueless, what would you do for yourself and your family?

Americans today are a lifetime from their grandparents and great grandparents. God help us if we ever face a calamity like the one they faced—and survived.

SOURCE

My Twitter.com identity: jonjayray. My Facebook page is also accessible as jonjayray (In full: http://www.facebook.com/jonjayray). For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)

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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)

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Friday, July 22, 2011

More evidence that high IQ is just one aspect of general biological good functioning

Since the studies by Terman & Oden in the 1920s it has been known that, although not all high IQ people are healthy, most are. They have fewer health problems and live longer. And IQ is the main determinant of educational success, so the findings below are as expected. Kids born with indications of poor health have lower IQs so do less well at school

A health test given to babies minutes after they are born could reveal how well they will do in secondary school, it has been claimed. A study of 877,000 Swedish teenagers compared school exam results with their Apgar scores after birth.

The Apgar is a test which rates the newborn's health on a scale of one to ten and how much medical attention the child needs.

Researchers found a link between an Apgar score of below seven and lower intelligence in later life.

Dr. Andrea Stuart, an obstetrician at Central Hospital in Helsingborg, Sweden, told Msnbc: 'It is not the Apgar score in itself that leads to lower cognitive abilities. 'It is the reasons leading to a low Apgar score (including asphyxiation, preterm delivery, maternal drug use, infections) that might have an impact on future brain function.'

The study appears in next month's issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The Apgar test is given between one and five minutes after birth. It evaluates an infant's heart rate, breathing, muscle tone, skin colour and reflex irritability (sneezing or coughing) on a scale of one to ten. Scores of eight and above are considered to be signs of good health. The test was developed by Dr Virginia Apgar in 1952 and has been a simple and effective way of testing a baby's health since.

Researchers also made the point that only one in 44 newborns with a low Apgar score went on to need special education, so mothers of babies who had low scores did not have cause for concern.

Dr Richard Polin, director of neonatology at Columbia University Medical Center and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Fetus and Newborn, said: 'Most babies who have Apgar scores of seven or less do perfectly fine.'

SOURCE

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Is Obama's skin color now all that he's got going for him?

President Obama's job approval score sank to nearly 40 percent this week in the midst of a budget and debt-limit crisis that threatens to further weaken our economy and America's future.

With the nation's capital embroiled in a political standoff over how to deal with a looming $15 trillion debt and a line of trillion-dollar-plus deficits stretching as far as the eye can see, the president's prospects of winning a second term are extremely problematic at best.

The Gallup Poll reported that its daily tracking poll Wednesday showed Obama's job approval numbers have fallen further in the budget battle, with only 42 percent approving of the job he's doing and 48 percent expressing disapproval.

"This is the sixth straight quarter Obama has received less than majority approval. As a result, his average job approval rating has been below 50 percent for more of his presidency than it has not," Gallup said.

As a satisfactory solution to the government's crisis grows more remote with each passing day, Obama's problems are piling up faster than his excuses.

Three-fourths of Americans polled by Gallup this month said the economy was their top concern, including rising unemployment and meager job creation, and the unprecedented deficits and debt that will worsen between now and the 2012 presidential election.

Obama is getting pounded almost daily by an unending string of bad economic news. Major financial credit agencies are preparing to downgrade our country's AAA bond rating, which would drive up the cost of future borrowing, along with other interest rates for home mortgages, credit cards, college and business loans, and just about everything else. Economists said it would be the same as imposing higher taxes on every sector of our economy.

If you think last month's 9.2 percent unemployment rate was bad, brace yourself. The jobless rate will likely climb higher in the months to come, according to new economic data.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that new claims for unemployment benefits shot up more than economic forecasters expected last week. Initial claims rose by more than 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 418,000, showing that declining job creation remains a severe problem in the Obama economy. And it's only going to get worse.

"Over the next decade, the picture is even less rosy, because Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner tells us the economy is likely only to grow at its present slow pace for many years," University of Maryland economist Peter Morici writes in his analysis this week.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that "companies are laying off employees at a level not seen in nearly a year, hobbling the job market and intensifying fears about the pace of the economic recovery. ... The increase in layoffs is a key reason why the U.S. recorded an average of only 21,500 new jobs over the past two months, far below the level needed to bring down unemployment."

As for dealing with the government's burgeoning debts, most if not all of the pending proposals to cut spending and shrink the deficit would postpone the heavy lifting much later in this decade for future Congresses that could reverse course.

Even if the House-passed constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget (which I support) were to be adopted by Congress (though it is presumed dead in the Senate), it would likely take years to win three-fourths of the states needed for ratification.

Obama is changing or abandoning his positions and political strategies almost weekly as he erratically bobs and weaves his way through the crisis without a consistent strategy.

He began the debt battle by demanding that he be sent a clean bill raising the debt ceiling, without any spending curbs. Democrats who ran the last Congress with huge majorities never adopted a budget of their own, and without a bit of complaint from the president. His tax-and-spend budget proposals in February made no serious dent in the deficits.

Then, as Republican leaders escalated their demands for deep spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt limit and weekly polls showed growing voter concern about the deficits and debt, Obama suddenly turned into a born-again budget cutter. He appeared to talk tough at George Washington University in April, but never offered a specific budget proposal.

When there was talk in Congress about a limited debt-limit bill of a few months at most, Obama said he would veto any short-term bill. It was all or nothing, he huffed.

His theatrical threat disappeared into hot air Wednesday when he said he was now open to a short-term deal to give both sides time to work out a comprehensive deal.

A president who lurches one way and then lunges another, tossing out empty political threats and pronouncements, only to retreat from them when he finds himself in a hole, isn't a leader.

He's the artful dodger, trying this and then that in the hope that something will work in the absence of a well-thought-out plan of action.

A new Washington Post-ABC News found that a full 80 percent of Americans now disapprove of the way the government is working. No, make that, the way it ISN'T working.

SOURCE

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Too much of a good thing can be bad

Life has many good things. The problem is that most of these good things can be gotten only by sacrificing other good things. We all recognize this in our daily lives. It is only in politics that this simple, common sense fact is routinely ignored.

In politics, there are not simply good things but some special Good Things – with a capital G and capital T – which are considered always better to have more of.

Many of the things advocated by environmental extremists, for example, are things that most of us might think of as good things. But, in politics, they become Good Things whose repercussions and costs are brushed aside as unworthy considerations.

Nobody wants to breathe dirty air or drink dirty water. But, if either becomes 98 percent pure, 99 percent pure or 99.9 percent pure, there is some point beyond which the costs skyrocket and the benefits become meager or non-existent.

If the slightest trace of any impurity were fatal, the human race would have become extinct thousands of years ago.

Not only does the body have defenses to neutralize small amounts of some impurities, some things that are dangerous, or even fatal, in substantial amounts can become harmless or even beneficial in extremely minute amounts, arsenic being one example. As an old adage put it: "It is the dose that makes the poison."

In other words, removing arsenic from our drinking water should obviously be a very high priority – but not after we have gotten it down to some extremely minute trace. There is never going to be 100 percent clean water or air and, the closer we get to that, the more costly it is to remove extremely minute traces of anything. But none of this matters to those who see ever higher standards of "clean water" or "clean air" as a Good Thing.

One of the things that have ruined our economy is the notion that both Democrats and Republicans in Washington pushed for years, that a higher rate of home ownership is a Good Thing.

There is no question that there are benefits to home ownership. And there should be no question that there are costs as well. But costs get lost in the shuffle.

Among the things that Washington politicians of both parties did for years was come up with more and more laws, rules and pressures on private lenders to lower the qualifications standards required for people to get a mortgage to buy a home.

It was a full-court press from Congressional legislation to regulations and policies created by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Reserve, not to mention the buying of the resulting risky mortgages by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from the original lenders – and even threats of prosecution by the Department of Justice if the racial mixture of people who were approved for mortgages didn't match their expectations.

The media chimed in with expressions of outrage when data showed that black applicants for mortgage loans were turned down more often than white applicants. Seldom was it even mentioned that white applicants were turned down more often than Asian American applicants.

Nor was it mentioned that white applicants averaged higher credit ratings than black applicants, and Asian American applicants averaged higher credit ratings than white applicants – or that black applicants were turned down at least as often by black-owned banks as by white-owned banks.

Such distracting details would have spoiled the story that racial discrimination was the reason why some people did not get the Good Thing of home ownership as often as others.

Even after the risky mortgages that were made under government pressure led to huge bankruptcies and bailouts, as well as disasters for home owners in general and black home owners in particular, home ownership remains a Good Thing. The Justice Department is again threatening lenders who don't lower their standards to let more minority applicants get mortgage loans.

Higher miles per gallon for cars is a Good Thing in politics, even if it leads to cars too lightly built to protect occupants when there is a crash. More students going to college is another Good Thing, even if lowering standards to get them admitted results in lower educational quality for others.

Too much of a Good Thing is bad.

SOURCE

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ELSEWHERE

US loses $1.3 billion in exiting Chrysler: "U.S. taxpayers likely lost $1.3 billion in the government bailout of Chrysler, the Treasury Department announced Thursday. The government recently sold its remaining 6% stake in the company to Italian automaker Fiat. It wrapped up the 2009 bailout that was part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program six years early."

Marine to get Medal of Honor for Afghanistan actions: "A Marine who braved enemy fire alone to retrieve the bodies of his fallen comrades will be awarded the Medal of Honor, Marine Corps Times reports. Dakota Meyer, who now lives in Austin, Texas, will be the first living Marine to receive the nation's highest military honor since the Vietnam War. Two living Army soldiers, Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry and Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, have received the medal in the past year."

Democrats deny obvious successes of privatization: "To be a Democrat means to live in denial. Consider all of the things you must ignore or explain away: PIGS. Not the chauvinist pigs whose transgressions preoccupied 1970s feminists, but PIGS as in Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain -- nations facing sovereign debt crises because they pursued exactly the sort of policies Democrats favor for this country."

The EU’s CAP on prosperity: "European farmers are assured of their livelihood by the generous subsidies that the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) provides. This causes major inefficiencies, but that isn't the only problem. The attempt to unsustainably keep European farming alive prevents poorer farmers from selling profitably in the EU, which contributes to squalor in the poorest nations in the world. Despite efforts to gradually reduce these lethal subsidies, the direct consequences will be apparent for many years to come."

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, July 21, 2011

Media Mogul Charged With First Degree Murdoch

Ann Coulter

In December 1996, a Florida couple, John and Alice Martin, who sounded suspiciously like union goons, claimed to have inadvertently tapped into a phone conversation between then House Speaker Newt Gingrich and House Republican leadership.

According to these Democratic and union activists, they were just driving around with a police scanner in their car, picked up a random phone conversation and said to themselves, "Wait a minute! I could swear that's Dick Armey's voice!"

Luckily, they also had a tape recorder and cassette in their car, so they proceeded to illegally record the intercepted conversation and then turned the tape over to Democratic Rep. James McDermott -- the top Democrat on the Ethics Committee that was at that very moment investigating Gingrich.

Although they swore they had no idea that what they were doing was a crime, in their cover letter to McDermott, they requested immunity -- just as you probably do whenever you write somebody a letter. (They later pleaded guilty to a crime under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.)

McDermott promptly turned the tape over to The New York Times and other newspapers. The Times' headline on the story, "Gingrich Is Heard Urging Tactics in Ethics Case," might as well have been titled: "Tape Shows Gingrich Conspiring to Act Within the Law."

John Boehner, one of the participants in the Gingrich call, sued McDermott for violating his First Amendment rights, which resulted in a court ordering McDermott to pay Boehner more than $1 million.

And yet, more than a dozen news organizations, many of the same ones demanding the death penalty for Rupert Murdoch right now, filed amicus briefs defending McDermott's distribution of the pirated tape.

Needless to say, the Times ferociously defended its own publication of the hacked phone call, arguing that it would be unconstitutional to punish the publication of information, no matter how obtained.

So it's strange to see these defenders of the press's right to publish absolutely anything get on their high horses about British tabloid reporters, operating under a different culture and legal system, hacking into cell phones.

Not only that, but they are demanding that the CEO of the vast, multinational corporation that owned the tabloids be severely punished. This is because the CEO is Rupert Murdoch and Murdoch owns Fox News.

The entire mainstream media are fixated on Murdoch's imagined role in the Fleet Street phone-hacking story -- the only topic more boring than the debt ceiling -- solely in order to pursue their petty vendetta against Fox News, which liberals hate with the hot, hot heat of a thousand suns.

Every guest on MSNBC is asked the same question: Is it possible to believe that Murdoch was unaware of what some reporters at News of the World were doing? How can a network that employs Chris Matthews be unfamiliar with the concept of a "rogue employee"?

In fact, it's quite easy to believe Murdoch was unaware of what News of the World reporters were doing -- particularly considering the striking absence of any evidence to the contrary.

Murdoch is an American who owns television networks, satellite operations and newspapers all over the world. As he said in his testimony this week, News Corp. has 53,000 employees and, until its recent demise, News of the World amounted to a grand total of 1 percent of News Corp.'s operations.

Why wasn't Les Moonves responsible for CBS anchor Dan Rather trying to throw the 2004 presidential election with phony National Guard documents one month before the election? Moonves was president, CEO and director of CBS, a company with half as many employees as News Corp. And his rogue employee constituted a much bigger part of CBS' business than News of the World did of the Murdoch empire.

And yet no one asked if Moonves was aware that his network was about to accuse a sitting president of shirking his National Guard duty. Moonves wasn't dragged before multiple congressional panels. Nor was MSNBC tracking his every bowel movement on live TV. No one remembers the biggest media scandal of the last 30 years as "The Les Moonves Scandal."

What about all the illegally obtained information regularly printed in the Times? Was Pinch Sulzberger unaware his newspaper was publishing classified government documents illegally obtained by Julian Assange?

Did he know that in 2006 the Times published illegally leaked classified documents concerning a government program following terrorists' financial transactions; that in 2005 it revealed illegally obtained information about a top-secret government program tracking phone calls connected to numbers found in Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's cell phone; and, that, in 1997, the paper published an illegally obtained phone call between Newt Gingrich and Republican leaders?

If only Murdoch's minions had hacked into the phones of George Bush, Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld, liberals would be submitting his name to the pope for sainthood.

But now the rest of us have to watch while the mainstream media pursue their personal grudge against Rupert Murdoch for allowing Fox News to exist. They demand his head for owning a British tabloid where some reporters used illegally obtained information, something The New York Times does defiantly on a regular basis.

SOURCE

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An Obama-led Jihad?

It is not exactly news that the Obama presidency is determined to go to unprecedented lengths to mollify, appease and otherwise pander to what it calls the "Muslim world." But the question has begun to occur: At what point do these efforts cross the line from a misbegotten policy to one that is downright anti-American – hostile to our values, incompatible with our vital interests and at odds with our Constitution?

The evidence is rapidly accumulating that we have reached that point. Our representatives in Congress must have the courage to re-discover a lost vocabulary, one that is conscious of the fact that subversion of our counter-terror institutions—[and, indeed, our very understanding of the threat we face]—is a goal of our enemy in the War on Terror. The danger entailed cries out for congressional oversight, and corrective action.

What is needed is a new select committee modeled after the much-vilified, but ultimately vindicated, House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). (This vindication is comprehensively documented in Yale University Press' groundbreaking Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America by John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, and expanded in M. Stanton Evans' 2009 Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies. Members of Congress and their staff can only benefit from reading these studies to have a better understanding of the history of their own institution.) Such a panel needs a mandate to investigate in particular the extent to which the Obama administration’s anti-American activities reflect the success of the toxic Muslim Brotherhood (MB or Ikhwan) in penetrating and subverting both U.S. government agencies and civil institutions.

Consider a few examples of what appear to be such successes:

On June 30, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that the Obama administration will "welcome...dialogue with those Muslim Brotherhood members who wish to talk with us."

As former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy has observed, Eric Holder's Justice Department appears to have basically stopped prosecuting alleged material support for terrorism. That was certainly the practical effect when it blocked prosecutors from bringing charges against Muslim Brotherhood fronts listed as unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation money-laundering case.

Such dereliction of duty would seem to be the practical upshot of President Obama's much-ballyhooed "Muslim outreach" speech in Cairo in the Spring of 2009 when he pledged to eliminate impediments to zakat. Mr. McCarthy has noted that the only impediment to such Islamic tithing is the prohibition against the sort of material support to terror that is commanded by the Islamic political-military-legal doctrine known as shariah – which requires 1/8th of zakat to underwrite jihad.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported on 8 July that prosecutors in the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia have asked a federal judge to reduce the twenty-three-year sentence of convicted terrorist and al Qaeda financier Abdurahman Alamoudi. Before he was arrested for plotting with Libyan dictator the assassination of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Alamoudi was one of America's top Muslim Brotherhood operatives.

In that capacity, this self-professed "supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah" helped found and operate dozens of MB front organizations. One of these, dubbed the Islamic Free Market Institute, had the mission of influencing and suborning the conservative movement. During the Clinton administration, Alamoudi was given the responsibility for selecting, training and credentialing chaplains for the U.S. military and prison system. (Not to worry about the obvious peril associated with such an arrangement: After his arrest, Alamoudi’s responsibilities were transferred to the nation’s largest Muslim Brotherhood front, the Islamic Society of North America.)

It is not clear at this writing what the justification for reducing this al Qaeda financier's sentence might be, or to what extent his prison time will be reduced. We should all be concerned though that such an individual might be turned loose in our country. Even more worrisome are reports that the Muslim Brotherhood is making a concerted effort to get the rest of their operatives and allies out of U.S. prisons, as well.

Then, there is Hillary Clinton's announcement in Istanbul last week that the United States would find common ground with the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on a resolution that the OIC has been pushing for years aimed at curbing free speech that "offends" Muslims. The United States has already co-sponsored one somewhat watered-down version of this initiative at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The Islamists who see the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference as a kind of new caliphate uniting and advancing the interests of all Muslims (the ummah) will not be satisfied, however, with anything less than the realization of their ultimate objective: an international directive to all United Nations member states to prohibit and criminalize expression that is deemed offensive by the MB, OIC or other shariah-adherent parties.

To "bridge" the gap between the OIC agenda and our constitutional freedoms, the OIC is pressuring Secretary Clinton to agree that we join Europe in considering the "test of consequences," not just the content of speech. That way lies censorship and submission.

The Pentagon recently gave conscientious objector status to a Muslim soldier who claimed that, according to shariah, it was impermissible for him to kill his co-religionists in places like Afghanistan. No one has explained how the Pentagon proposes to square its acquiescence to that stance with the oath every serviceman and woman takes to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

For that matter, it is hard to see how Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Holder and, indeed, their boss, President Obama, can deem actions like the foregoing as consistent with their oaths of office. At best, they are acquiescing to far-reaching concessions to the Muslim Brotherhood and its ilk. At worse, they are enabling the MB’s efforts to destroy the West from within.

So pervasive now is the MB's "civilization jihad" within the U.S. government and civil institutions that a serious, sustained and rigorous investigation of the phenomenon by the legislative branch is in order. To that end, we need to establish a new and improved counterpart to the Cold War-era's HUAC and charge it with examining and rooting out anti-American – and anti-constitutional – activities that constitute an even more insidious peril than those pursued by communist Fifth Columnists fifty years ago. Critics of a new select committee with such a mandate have an obligation to propose another approach to address this manifestly growing problem.

SOURCE

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James O’Keefe Exposes Apparent Widespread Fraud and Corruption in Ohio Medicaid Offices

No one should be surprised at the apparent widespread fraud and corruption modern-day muckraker James O’Keefe and his team at Project Veritas found behind the doors of Medicaid offices in Ohio.



In the video above, O’Keefe and partner Spencer Meads pose as wealthy Russian drug smugglers who visit Medicaid offices in several Ohio counties. They’re told by government officials that: (1) they should not put their exotic sports cars on the Medicaid application; (2) they should classify their drug business as “babysitting”; and (3) They should go to Planned Parenthood to get free abortions for their underage sisters who perform sex in exchange for drugs.

Watch it and weep — then wait for more episodes of this left-wing bureaucratic tragedy to play out. Heads should roll.

SOURCE

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ELSEWHERE

The last shuttle launch: "We used to have presidents who liked to send Americans places ​— ​Iraq, Afghanistan, the Moon, or Mars. But George W. Bush’s NASA Constellation program has been canceled. Its gigantic Ares V rocket is off the drawing board. The Constellation’s Orion flight capsule has been renamed, in a telling translation into GovSpeak, MPCV​ — 'Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle.' What the multiple purposes are supposed to be is anyone’s guess. At the moment the only way NASA can get a person into space is by paying Vladmir Putin for a ride on the creaky old Soyuz. Looks like the Russians won the space race after all."

Low-hanging fruit: Farm subsidies: "Toing and froing over the debt ceiling has delayed an extension of the federal Farm Bill, set to expire in 2012. Of all the wasteful federal programs, agricultural subsidies may be the most painless to eliminate, so bring on their expiration. The Farm Bill is actually an aggregation of 15 bills, and it includes a host of far from essential or constitutional items that have nothing to do with agriculture."

McCelery: "Question: if corporations can so easily 'manipulate customers needs and demands with advertising and marketing,' why doesn’t McDonald’s simply serve raw celery? Celery being much less costly for McDonald’s to buy than ground beef and chicken patties, a raw-celery-only menu at McDonald’s would slash that company’s costs."

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, July 20, 2011

The 'BBC Left' is using Murdoch hacking to get revenge

Left-wing politicians and broadcasters do not want to debate ideas but they do want to remove their opponents

By Janet Daley (An American-born journalist writing from Britain)

It was a broadcasters' event some years ago. I had been invited to speak on a favourite subject: the BBC hegemony in broadcast news and the risk that its own package of tendentious assumptions – that Euroscepticism was a lunatic fringe irrelevance, that anyone who expressed concern about immigration was a bigot, etc, etc – was going unchallenged in the mass media. After I had said my piece, a BBC producer in the audience asked whether, since I was so concerned about the dangers of large media organisations, I did not have the same objection to the existence of the "Murdoch empire".

"No-o-o," I replied patiently, I did not have the same objection. If I did not wish to support Mr Murdoch's enterprises I could refrain from buying his newspapers or subscribing to his television service – and no one could threaten me with arrest and imprisonment for so doing. This was, I suggested, a rather significant difference between the two media corporations.

In the startled silence of his response, I assumed that it had never occurred to him (as I say, this was some years ago) that anyone could question the justification for the legally enforced licence fee since it was clearly, for him, rooted in the inherent moral goodness of the BBC – and by implication of the ethical standards which it purveyed. The BBC may be trying to inculcate a bit more self-critical awareness among its personnel now but that smug righteousness of the Left-liberal media class has not gone away. It is, as you may have noticed, in something of a triumphal frenzy at the moment.

This has gone way, way beyond phone hacking. It is now about payback. Gordon Brown's surreal effusion in the House last week may have made it embarrassingly explicit, but the odour of vengeance has been detectable from the start: not just from politicians who have suffered the disfavour of Murdoch's papers, or the trade unions (and their political allies) who have never forgiven him for Wapping, but from that great edifice of self-regarding, mutually affirming soft-Left orthodoxy which determines the limits of acceptable public discourse – of which the BBC is the indispensable spiritual centre. The influence of the BBC as a monitor of what is politically admissible is almost incalculable: the entire Tory modernisation project was effectively made necessary (as its chief architects often admit) by the need to get a fair hearing on its news coverage.

But the power of the BBC – and its historical hatred for the "Murdoch empire" – is just one aspect of a larger battle which has now leapt across the Atlantic, where the target is not newspapers which can be legitimately charged with having committed unconscionable acts, but Fox News. Its offence is to have filled such a huge gap in the market for television news and current affairs that it has swept all before it. Its raucous Right-wing orientation is, in fact, matched by an equally raucous Left-wing equivalent in the cable news channel MSNBC, so why should anyone who believes in open and free debate among news providers object to this?

The problem is that Fox's audience share is enormous, by far the largest of any cable news channel, whereas MSNBC's is tiny, the smallest of any cable news channel. People are voting with their remotes for the kind of opinions they want to hear and the result is infuriating for the Left-liberal axis – and particularly for the Obama White House, which has made no secret of its desire to shut Fox News down.

There is, incidentally – contrary to the conjectures of some excitable commentators – no possibility of the "Murdoch empire" spawning a British version of Fox News. By law, broadcast news in Britain must be impartial. That is why all television news organisations in this country subscribe to pretty much the same soft-Left rendition of neutral reporting (in which Euroscepticism was, until very recently, treated as a lunatic fringe irrelevance, etc). And just the sort of liberal received opinion that now dominates television news because the tight regulation of licensed broadcasters demands it, could prevail in newspapers if the press were regulated (which is to say, licensed to operate) "in the same way that broadcasting is" – a suggestion which is being uttered in precisely those words even by Conservative politicians.

In fact, a similar rule of enforced neutrality applies in the US on network news programming: all news which is transmitted "over the airwaves" must be impartial (which there, too, means Left-liberal). It is only by the technical fluke of their being relayed by cable that the newer news channels such as Fox and MSNBC can show partisanship. Result: network news in the US is haemorrhaging viewers and cable news is hugely influential.

The cable news channels now play roughly the role in American politics that politically aligned newspapers do in Britain. To start regulating (licensing) the press would mean that we would have no frankly, vividly, politically potent news medium to counter whatever conventional wisdom was ordained by the self-appointed "enlightened" class of the day.

It is worth asking in both the British and American contexts why people who regard themselves as believers in free speech and liberal democracy can be so openly eager to close off – silence, kill, extinguish – different political views from their own. This is the question that is at the heart of the matter and which will remain long after every News International executive who may possibly be incriminated in the current scandal has been purged.

There is scarcely any outfit on the Right – be it political party, or media outlet – which demands the outright abolition of a Left-wing voice, as opposed to simply recommending restraint on its dominance (as I am with the BBC). That is because those of us on the Right are inclined to believe that our antagonists on the Left are simply wrong-headed – sometimes well-intentioned, sometimes malevolent but basically just mistaken. Whereas the Left believes that we are evil incarnate. Their demonic view of people who express even mildly Right-of-centre opinions (that lower taxes or less state control might be desirable, for example) would be risible if it were not so pernicious.

The Left does not want a debate or an open market in ideas. It wants to extirpate its opponents – to remove them from the field. It actually seems to believe that it is justified in snuffing out any possibility of our arguments reaching the impressionable masses – and bizarrely, it defends this stance in the name of fairness.

SOURCE

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The Ideologue in the Oval Office

Jonah Goldberg

"I think increasingly the American people are going to say to themselves, 'You know what? If a party or a politician is constantly taking the position my-way-or-the-highway, constantly being locked into ideologically rigid positions, that we're going to remember at the polls,'" President Obama said at his Friday news conference.

I know everyone is sick of hearing about the debt-limit negotiations. Lord knows I am. When I turn on the news these days, I feel like one of the passengers seated next to Robert Hays in the movie "Airplane!" By the time we get to the phrase "in the out years," I'm ready to pour a can of gasoline over my head.

Still, regardless of how things turn out with the negotiations, what we are witnessing is the rollout of the Obama re-election campaign's theme: Obama is the pragmatic voice of reason holding the ideologues at bay.

So it's worth asking, before this branding campaign gels into the conventional wisdom: Who is the real ideologue here?

The president, we are told, is a pragmatist for wanting a "fair and balanced" budget deal. What that means is tax increases must accompany spending cuts. Any significant spending cuts would be way in the future. The tax increases would begin right after Obama is re-elected.

Now keep in mind that tax hikes (or what the administration calls "revenue increases") are Obama's idee fixe. He campaigned on raising taxes for millionaires and billionaires (defined in the small print as people making more than $200,000 a year or couples making $250,000).

During a primary debate, he was asked by ABC's Charles Gibson if he would raise the capital gains tax even if he knew that cutting it would generate more revenue for the government. The non-ideologue responded that raising the tax, even if doing so would lower revenue, might be warranted out of "fairness." As he said to Joe the Plumber, things are better when you "spread the wealth around."

Earlier last week, referring to the fact that he is rich, the president said: "I do not want, and I will not accept, a deal in which I am asked to do nothing. In fact, I'm able to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income that I don't need."

Leaving aside the fact that the man lives in public housing and has a government jet at his disposal -- so his definition of "need" might be a bit out of whack -- what is pragmatic about this position?

Obama says that Republicans are rigid ideologues because they won't put "everything on the table." Specifically, they won't consider tax hikes, even though polls suggest Americans wouldn't mind soaking "the rich," "big oil" and "corporate jet owners."

But Obama hasn't put everything on the table either. He's walled off "ObamaCare" and the rest of his "winning the future" agenda.

If Obama believes the American people are the voice of reason when it comes to tax hikes, why does their opinion count for nothing when it comes to ObamaCare, which has never been popular? (According to a RealClearPolitics average of polls, only 38.6 percent of voters favor the plan.) Why not look for some savings there?

Consider the frustration of the supposedly ideologically locked-in GOP Congress. In 2008, the national debt was 40 percent of GDP. Now it's more than 60 percent, and it is projected to reach 75 percent next year, all thanks to a sour economy the GOP feels Obama made worse with incontinent spending.

Republicans won a historic election last November campaigning against the spending, borrowing, tax hikes and ObamaCare. Yet Obama's position is that the Republicans are deranged dogmatists because they don't want to raise taxes or borrow more money to pay for spending they opposed. And Obama is flexible because he refuses to revisit a program that has never been popular.

Meanwhile, the sole example of Obama's pragmatism -- that he has publicly acknowledged -- is his openness to means-testing Medicare, which may not be a bad idea. But Obama's support for it rests entirely on the fact that it would continue to tax upper-income people for benefits they will no longer receive. So, in addition to taxing the "rich" more, he also wants to give them less. I know why liberals would support that, but for the life of me I can't see how it's non-ideological.

SOURCE

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ELSEWHERE

Time to re-privatize fire departments: "All across America, municipal governments are awakening to the costs of overly-generous public sector compensation. In Orange County, California, the average total pay and benefits package for a firefighter is $175,000 a year. Firefighter unions say that there can be no cuts to fire department budgets without putting the safety of the public at risk. Yet for most of the nation's history, firefighting services were reliably provided by the private sector. Today, one county in Georgia is showing how that can be done again."

A glut of bureaucrats: "'I have never been in banking.' Those words sounded pretty defensive when Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner uttered them two years ago. The financial crisis had left nerves raw, and Damon Silvers, my colleague on the congressional panel watching over the federal bailout, had just referred to Geithner’s supposed banking background. ... It might have been simpler if, from the beginning, Geithner had just shouted out the complete story -- 'I’m a lifetime bureaucrat!' -- and been done with it"

Israeli navy takes over Gaza-bound ship: "Israeli naval commandos on Tuesday seized control of a French ship attempting to break Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip, reporting no resistance during the takeover in international waters. The navy boarded the ship after the pro-Palestinian activists on board ignored calls to change course. The military had warned it would stop any attempt to break the sea blockade of Gaza, which Israel imposed four years ago in what it says is a measure to prevent arms smuggling to Gaza's ruling Hamas militant group. It said the vessel, the Dignity al-Karama, would be taken to a southern Israeli port, Ashdod. The international passengers are likely to face deportation."

Labor’s new strategy: Intimidation for dummies: "In the past decade, unions have become increasingly desperate to obtain new dues-paying members. An example of how desperate can be found in a 70-plus-page intimidation manual from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which only recently came to light in a pending court case. The new union tactic is to use pressure on corporate boardrooms as a means of organizing entire companies nationwide rather than recruiting workers on a site-by-site basis; in short, to organize employers rather than employees."

The scourge of economic nationalism, again: "If saving is good for Americans, the nationality or place of residence of the savers whose saved resources are invested in the American economy is irrelevant. If saving is good for Americans, then given Americans’ saving rate, savings invested in the American economy by non-Americans are a blessing -- a blessing that is bigger the greater is the amount of this foreign savings and investment in the American economy."

Government spending is spending — not investment: "If government spending were actually investments, this country would be awash in surpluses and the common people would be enjoying prosperity beyond their wildest dreams. That's because the result of investment is creation of value, while the result of spending is consumption of value. So when politicians talk about spending as 'investments,' they mean precisely the opposite of what they are saying."

Some federal workers more likely to die than lose jobs: "Death — rather than poor performance, misconduct or layoffs — is the primary threat to job security at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Small Business Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Office of Management and Budget and a dozen other federal operations. The federal government fired 0.55% of its workers in the budget year that ended Sept. 30 — 11,668 employees in its 2.1 million workforce. Research shows that the private sector fires about 3% of workers annually for poor performance, says John Palguta, former research chief at the federal Merit Systems Protection Board, which handles federal firing disputes."

There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.

My Twitter.com identity: jonjayray. My Facebook page is also accessible as jonjayray (In full: http://www.facebook.com/jonjayray). For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)

****************************

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, July 19, 2011

The Long Retreat of Liberalism

Pat Buchanan

Though President Obama has run rings about the Republican Party in the debt-ceiling debate, that party can yet emerge victorious, if it will stick to its guns.

Clearly, the Republican strategy was not thought through, when the party chose the debt ceiling as the legislative terrain on which to fight its fiscal war.

The president had wanted a clean debt-ceiling increase, but he seized the GOP challenge with alacrity. He invited House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor down to the White House and reportedly offered $3 trillion in spending cuts for $1 trillion in fresh revenue, in a historic "big deal" to cut the deficit.

However, the cuts the president offered were, while attractive, gauzy. But the revenues -- closing "loopholes" and ending "tax breaks for the rich" -- were hard and specific. Had Boehner accepted the deal, he would not have survived as speaker. Fully 235 GOP House members signed a pledge in 2010 not to vote for any tax increase.

Thus, every day Boehner and Cantor departed the White House, having refused to accept "the deal of the century," the message that went out to the nation was that Republican intransigence, a refusal to compromise, was blocking historic deficit reduction.

Using the White House bully pulpit, Obama portrayed himself as bending over backward to do a fair deal and being forced, if the GOP continued to balk, to stop mailing out Social Security checks.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke warned of a U.S. default on its debts if there were no deal. Moody's and Standard & Poor's warned that the United States was imperiling its AAA credit rating. The big media painted the GOP as a party led by reasonable men who were hostage to fanatics being pandered to by Cantor.

Why did Boehner refuse the Obama temptation?

Had he accepted the deal, his party in the House would have split asunder. Half would have voted "no." To force its passage, Boehner would have had to collude with Minority Leader Steny Hoyer, against scores in his own caucus, to get Democratic votes.

Though House Republicans have been mussed up in the last two weeks, the White House "negotiations" now appear at an end, and a liberated Republican House is about to pass its own deficit-reduction plan.

"Cut, cap and balance" calls for cuts in federal spending to 20 percent of gross domestic product, a cap on federal programs and the enactment of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, which would crush federal spending to 18 percent of the economy from today's 25.

While this may clear the House, it stands little chance in the Senate. But it puts the party on the offensive. It will eat up the clock. It will put the GOP on record as to where it stands and provide the Tea Party Caucus a chance to vote its convictions.

But if the GOP House plan dies in the Senate, how does the GOP win? Again, by simply standing its ground on taxes, and waiting.

This weekend, Democrats and Republicans, Congress and the White House agreed the debt ceiling will be raised, and Obama accepted the reality that he will not be getting any new revenue.

This means that, at the end of this process, Obama will sign a debt-ceiling increase that involves $2 trillion or $1.5 trillion or $1 trillion in spending cuts, with no new taxes and no new revenues.

And that is a victory for whom, and a defeat for whom?

Republicans may have been beaten up for most of July, but come August, Democrats will be asking Barack Obama what exactly he and they got for agreeing to serious cuts in social spending, while the Republican right compromised on nothing and gave up nothing.

Obama won the public relations battle, but the Republicans, if they hold firm on no revenue enhancement and no new taxes, are fated to win the war. And not just this one.

For, from Greece to Ireland to Portugal to Italy, from California to Wisconsin to New Jersey to New York, the crisis of the West is a crisis of liberalism.

Deficits and debts that threaten to wipe out bondholders and banks, destroy currencies, bring down governments and bankrupt nations are everywhere forcing reductions in government payrolls and rollbacks in government programs.

Across the West, the public sector is under siege.

And parties of the left, be they liberal, socialist or Marxist, depend on the public sector increasing its employees, increasing its beneficiaries, increasing its share of the national wealth.

That is what they do. That is how they grow. And that is how they reach and retain power.

Bottom line. Parties of the left are on this earth to grow the government. But the West has entered a period where its economic survival and the prevention of financial collapse mandate constant and deep cuts in the size and sweep of government.

For the left, this is going to be a long decade.

SOURCE

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America's Financial Restoration vs. Obama's Ideology

There is an overarching reason we can't move toward a balanced budget, which underscores why we face ongoing stalemates over debt ceilings and continuing resolutions: President Obama doesn't want to balance the budget.

I don't say this out of extremism or to be gratuitously controversial or even provocative. It's just that his words and actions lead to the inescapable conclusion that he is unwilling to curb his appetite for big government. In the absence of any such restraint, our alarming budget trajectory cannot be reversed. The debt ceiling may be the last clear chance before the 2012 elections to force meaningful budgetary reforms.

Obama's recalcitrance is rooted in his ideology. He has been working all his adult life toward the moment that he could transform America into a fairer place. He's not about to allow an existential threat to the nation get in the way of his obsession.

Perhaps he wishes he'd acceded to the presidency when our debt picture was less calamitous. Then he might have more leeway to work his despotic magic. Then again, probably not; without the mainly Democratic-caused housing crisis falling into his lap just in the nick of time, he might not have been elected, much less positioned to make the ludicrous demand that we spend nearly $1 trillion more to "stimulate" ourselves out of debt. Alinskyite revolutionaries feed on crises, real and perceived.

Obama fundamentally rejects the American ideals of economic liberty and equality of opportunity. He's determined to use government to redistribute and equalize incomes (and wealth, truth be told), and neither the Constitution nor catastrophic debt consequences will deter him.

He doesn't even appear worried about the debt itself, only the hassle he's getting from Republicans who are getting in the way of his spending and tax hikes. When most Americans are worried sick over our nation's finances, Obama is lecturing us about people who "keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income that (they) don't need," as if the chief executive were the grand arbiter of income distribution. The Heritage Foundation reports that Obama is "creating a new 'poverty' measure that deliberately severs all connection between 'poverty' and actual deprivation." His "goal is to measure income 'inequality,' not poverty -- giving the President public relations ammunition for his 'spread-the-wealth' agenda." Just so ... just so.

There's more. Obama is fond of invoking false consensuses in support of his policies, but there truly is widespread agreement that raising taxes during very tough economic times would impede recovery. Obama himself gave voice to that very axiom in 2009, saying, "The last thing you want to do is to raise taxes in the middle of a recession, because that would just suck up, take more demand out of the economy."

But now, perhaps realizing he might not get another chance to coerce the Congress into hiking taxes (as a matter of "fairness"), he's holding the debt ceiling hostage to his demands.

Worst of all is Obama's resistance to entitlement reforms. At a time when everyone acknowledges that our current entitlement programs are unsustainable, Obama refuses to offer a specific plan to reform them and adamantly opposes credible Republican plans to do so.

Also, Obama rarely speaks with any urgency about spending cuts; his emphasis is always that we can't unduly cut programs for "folks" who rely on them, flagrantly turning on its head the JFK maxim, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

While Republicans are pleading with Obama to join them on Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to cut spending and reform entitlements, Obama is clinging to his demand for the high-speed rail boondoggle. When health care costs are soaring and revised scoring of Obamacare reveals just how prohibitively costly it will be, Obama holds on to it like a life raft and pushes the rest of us off. It will destroy access, quality and cost, but he will not betray his ideology.

Just as his party abrogated its duty to propose a congressional budget for 800 days, Obama refuses to provide specifics for cutting spending and just tells us what he won't do. You can read the transcripts from his most recent two pressers and find no specifics.

As recently as 2010, Obama's budget more than doubled the national debt and pushed the fiscal year 2011 deficit to a record high of $1.6 trillion with record spending, which exceeded $3.8 trillion. His FY 2012 budget again called for doubling the national debt in five years and tripling it in 10 years -- again without even addressing entitlements.

It's simple, really. We have to have structural entitlement reform, major spending cuts and no tax increase-retardants on economic growth to reverse our current course toward national bankruptcy, but Obama steadfastly remains on the wrong side of all these solutions.

SOURCE

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Don't Forget Welfare Reform

With everyone in Washington consumed by whether and how to increase our nation’s debt ceiling, the necessity for welfare reform seems oddly absent from the negotiations.

Although the historic welfare reforms of 1996 succeeded in moving people from welfare to work, it most certainly did not “end welfare as we know. it” Amazingly, these reforms – which liberals stridently opposed – only restructured one of the more than 70 federal means-tested welfare programs run by our federal government.

That’s right, there are more than 70 separate welfare programs scattered across 13 government agencies. The Heritage Foundation ran the numbers and found these programs cost taxpayers nearly $900 billion per year. Even in this debate, that is some serious spending.

And, of course, Washington’s problem is spending. Instead of raising revenue through gimmicky fees, higher tax rates and targeted tax hikes, lawmakers should focus on growing our economy and job creation. Reforming the entire welfare system by helping to move people from welfare to work is one way to do that.

If our economy were doing better, and people were more able to find good, well-paying jobs and achieve the American dream, then they would be entering into a tax bracket and paying taxes. The recent decline in revenue is not a result of tax rates, but rather a result of anemic economic growth and a lack of job creation.

Currently, the bottom 50% of income earners pay just 3% of total income tax revenues. If we enacted policies and reforms that helped the lowest income bracket gain wealth, then our tax revenues will increase. As Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) said “we don’t need new taxes, we need new taxpayers.”

Unfortunately, thanks to over 70 different federal welfare programs, the number of people on welfare (be it food stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid, etc.) has been steadily growing, and has ballooned under President Obama. According to the Heritage Foundation:

For every $10 President Bush spent on welfare in 2008, President Obama expects to spend about $13. Far from encouraging self-reliance, the welfare state’s unrestrained growth spurt will force millions more into dependency on government.

Briefly, let’s jump back to 1996 and how these reforms actually worked. What actually happened in ’96 was the replacement of Aid to Families with Dependent Children with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Instead of sending blank checks to welfare beneficiaries, for the first time ever, welfare checks were linked to work.

No longer were recipients simply depending on the government to support them. Suddenly they had to go out and find work or at least prove that they were devoting 20 to 30 hours a week towards preparing for a job.

Just 12 years later, 2.8 million Americans, about 60% of the overall caseload, left welfare and found jobs. Imagine that!

Unfortunately, only one of the more than 70 welfare programs was reformed. Today, the success of TANF has halted. Much of it was the recession, but much of it was the massive expansion of the welfare state. Today, one in seven Americans are on food stamps, and while some are new recipients who had never applied for the program before, more than half of those on food stamps have received aid for eight and a half years or longer.

Where is the incentive to leave the program?

As with most government programs which don’t show results, Congress’s answer was to throw more money at the problem, instead of reforming the programs so that they work better. If we apply the 1996 TANF reforms to the other 70 or so welfare programs, then we could achieve real reform and help the 40 million people who currently receive government aid.

Fortunately, some solid conservatives recognize the need and are laying out a way forward.

Congressmen Jim Jordan (R-OH), Tim Scott (R–SC), and Scott Garrett (R–NJ) have introduced the Welfare Reform Act of 2011, H.R.1167. The bill expands on the success of TANF by applying the same work-oriented policy to the other federal welfare programs. A growing coalition of Senate Republicans are preparing to introduce companion legislation.

If Congress wants to do something really meaningful for the country, especially for those who are most in need, then restructuring welfare is the way to go. Not only will shifting welfare recipients from government dependents to self-sufficient taxpayers bring in new revenue and decrease the need for wasteful government spending, it will also empower them to achieve the American dream.

SOURCE

My Twitter.com identity: jonjayray. My Facebook page is also accessible as jonjayray (In full: http://www.facebook.com/jonjayray). For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)

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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)

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Monday, July 18, 2011

It's About Jobs, Stupid!

America has a growth deficit. As the latest job report shows unemployment reached 9.2%-- the highest rate of 2011-- investors and employers continue to react negatively to this bad news.

During the three years of the Obama administration, in this dismal economy millions of Americans have been forced to take jobs which they are overqualified for or they have simply given up looking for work entirely. If you include those workers, the real unemployment rate is higher than 16.2% by conservative estimates.

These numbers are far worse depending on geography, with the most glaring examples of misguided economic policies being in poor urban communities.

Capital always follows the path of least resistance and greatest opportunity. But not only has President Obama’s continuation of endless deficit spending not resulted in so-called Keynesian “pump priming” and economic growth, it has discouraged private investment as money continues to flow into safe havens like Treasurys.

As the debt-ceiling debate rages on and some in the Senate Republican leadership seem ready to negotiate with big-government Democrats, the proverbial 4.2 trillion dollar gorilla in the room continues to grow while trampling over our economy and the formation of small businesses. To be clear, there are two distinct paths:

We can go the route which President Obama favors, which includes an ever-increasing debt ceiling which will continue to crush economic activity.

Or, we can force government to “eat their peas” and use the force of law to handcuff legislators to policies which spur economic growth and job creation.

And the time to choose a path is today, before August 2, when the Federal government will officially run out of money to pay outstanding obligations.

According to Michael Tanner of CATO, the Treasury Department will collect roughly $203 billion in taxes during August, but have liabilities totaling more than $307 billion. You certainly could not run your family budget with this type of recklessness. And as America runs at lightning speed toward a Greek-like financial catastrophe, as our debt is on the verge of consuming our nation’s entire output.

Throughout American history, we have never failed to increase the debt ceiling. And as irresponsible politicians grow government for their own political gain, they have left us with a financial cancer which is metastasizing rapidly.

Therefore, conservatives must act boldly and proactively. Not only must we sit at the bargaining table and demand cuts, but there must be cuts in all levels of government which amount to an immediate reduction in the deficit. Anything less is unacceptable.

The second step is to use tough statuary caps which will tie the hands of future politicians from spending beyond the historical, pre-Bush average of 18% of the Gross Domestic Product. Politicians in both parties have proven themselves untrustworthy to reduce spending, so breaking that limitation would mandate simultaneous spending reductions.

And finally, we must have Congress approve the Hatch-Lee Balanced Budget Amendment Balanced Budget Amendment, and send it to the states for ratification. Not only would it mirror most states which have their own requirements for expenditures equally revenue, but it additionally requires a 2/3rds supermajority to approve tax increases. And once the amendment is official, it would be quite impossible in the modern era to ever repeal it.

These proposals would have been impossible in any previous congress, including the 1994 Gingrich Revolution. But things have changed now that every man, woman, and child in the United States owes $46,000, and with our debt on a path to double within 10 years.

Thanks to Tea Party activists providing the necessary backlash to an ever-expanding federal government, the proposals put forth in the Cut, Cap, and Balance pledge are not only entirely possible, a majority of Americans understand they are necessary to put America on a path to new jobs and prosperity.

SOURCE

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Skyscraper "Loophole" Creates Jobs

When Michael Moore looks at a skyscraper, he sees a bloated monument to rich investors. He becomes nauseous and his lunch floats back up into his throat as he imagines the tenants who can afford Class A rent: Tenants like a semi-retired banker and his entrepreneurial son who watch the sun rise from their 92nd floor office suite while their assistant pours cold, crystal-clear water into tall glasses holding cucumber slices.

“Hmmm, how can I knock that tower down and humble those richies?” Moore wonders to himself. “I certainly can’t push it over. I’d have to give up my breakfast of chocolate covered bacon and hit the gym every morning. Way too much work for a big boy like me. … I’ve got it! I’ll ask the President to push for eliminating the carried interest tax break!”

Moore detests buildings that stand as public monuments to capitalism. In fact, he wrapped the New York Stock Exchange building in crime-scene tape for his movie, Capitalism: A Love Story.

Hollywood elites like Moore and his fans at The New York Times imply that legitimate tax incentives for entrepreneurial risk—like the carried interest tax break—are “loopholes.”

The term “loophole” confuses Americans into thinking that wealthy entrepreneurs are cheaters on par with the 5th grade bully who brazenly steals little Ashley’s sandwich out of her hands and takes his first pilfered bite before her astonished eyes.

Rush Limbaugh explained the carried interest tax break on his July 8 talk show:

“Obama … has made this official in 2009 budget documents he’s presented that he wants to get rid of the carried interest tax break for hedge funds, private equity groups, and commercial real estate people. …essentially carried interest is profits for original investors in hedge funds, private equity firms, (and) commercial real estate that is at present taxed at capital gains levels, and they want to convert this to ordinary income, which would move it up to about 35 (percent) and then eventually 39.6 if Obama gets his tax increase wish, which would shut down commercial real estate investment.”

Limbaugh is right. Unlike other investments, commercial real estate cannot easily move overseas. U.S. developers can’t just start developing in India or China overnight. Commercial real estate investment thrives or dies here in America.

Entrepreneurial ventures such as commercial real estate developments are risky. If we want to create jobs, we must incentivize entrepreneurs to take risks.

Let’s say you want to develop an office, retail or industrial building. Before you can build, you must accept long-term, unforeseeable risks from environmental contamination, lawsuits, debts and construction delays. These liabilities mean your income stream is uncertain. You will want a financial incentive to accept these risks.

The current carried interest tax rate sits at a capital gains rate of 15 percent to incentivize general partners like developers to put their names and fortunes on the line to build projects that create countless jobs.

The commercial real estate industry directly creates white-collar jobs for leasing agents, property managers, mortgage brokers, owners, investors, bankers and asset managers. It also sustains jobs for those who depend on the health of commercial real estate such as architects, lawyers, consultants, insurance brokers, appraisers and marketing professionals. Lastly, a multitude of blue-collar resulting services such as construction and landscaping depend on commercial real estate.

The mainstream media contends that eliminating the carried interest tax break would only hurt hedge fund managers on Wall Street. Yet, the largest commercial real estate development association, NAIOP, reports U.S. Treasury data showing that over 46 percent of all partnerships are real estate partnerships, and carried interest plays a vital role in a large number of them. Furthermore, when the economy is healthy, commercial real estate creates over nine million American jobs and accounts for nearly one-third of U.S. GDP.

Sadly, June’s job report revealed that the U.S. added a meager 18,000 jobs and lost 9,000 in construction. “…with the national economy’s accelerating recession, non-residential building construction outlays fell by 20.4 percent in 2009,” explains Dr. Stephen S. Fuller in his 2010 NAIOP study on the economic contributions of commercial real estate development and construction. So why would the White House want to remove entrepreneurial incentives?

The Washington Times offers a solution: Comprehensive tax reform that improves economic performance, not arbitrary tax hikes on industries like commercial real estate just to cut a budget deal.

In Ayn Rand’s novel The Fountainhead an entrepreneurial developer predicts: “The age of the skyscraper is gone. This is the age of the housing project. Which is always a prelude to the age of the cave.”

Americans prefer working in office towers to bat caves. It’s time for Michael Moore, journalists and politicians to acknowledge that incentives like the carried interest tax break create jobs and fuel our economy.

SOURCE

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UN-economic(s)

Can you name five formerly poor countries that have grown rich through wealth transfers from more economically advanced nations?

No? Okay, then just name one. Still stumped? As you probably suspect, not a single nation has ever grown wealthy by way of financial handouts from other, more well-to-do societies. That's worth remembering when we consider how best to pull people out of poverty.

Last week, the United Nations issued a report on its Millennium Development Goals (or MDGs, for short). One important goal is to "eradicate extreme poverty and hunger," with a chief target being to cut in half the proportion of the world's people whose income is less than $1.25 a day by 2015.

According to an article in the Vancouver Sun, The Millennium Development Goals Report 2011 "grudgingly admits" that "wealth creation and not wealth redistribution is the main driver behind reduced levels of extreme poverty around the world." Seems most of this very welcome decline has occurred in East Asia (mainly China) and in India -- areas benefitting not from foreign aid but from massive economic growth.

The findings released by the UN's Economic and Social Affairs Department show that the percentage of Chinese citizens living on $1.25 a day or less has already been reduced by more than half -- from 60 percent to just 16 percent. The report goes on to state, "The fastest growth and sharpest reductions in poverty continue to be found in Eastern Asia, particularly in China, where the poverty rate is expected to fall to under five per cent by 2015."

India's economic expansion has also had a major impact on alleviating world levels for poverty and hunger. "In that country," the document says, "poverty rates are projected to fall from 51 per cent in 1990 to about 22 per cent in 2015."

On the other hand, sub-Saharan Africa receives the largest amount of the world's overseas development aid, per capita, yet those living there in extreme poverty dropped only modestly between 1990 and 2005, from 58 percent to 51 percent.

But to Ban Ki-moon, the UN's Secretary-General, the success of homegrown economic growth means simply that, "Already, the MDGs have helped lift millions out of poverty." Shazam!

And what to make of the lackluster track record of development aid?

Secretary-General Ban and those running the United Nations continue to push for increased wealth transfers from richer to poorer nations. In 2010, wealthier countries gave $129 billion in aid. The MDG report argues this is far short of the money that should be shifted each year from rich to poor nations.

If those making a lifelong living off redistributing wealth can so cavalierly ignore their own statistics, they'll have little trouble ignoring a lifetime of work by Peter Bauer in development economics. Bauer argued that legitimate investment, rather than foreign aid, would flow in ample amounts to countries with a safe and productive climate for business.

"Development aid is . . . not necessary to rescue poor societies from a vicious circle of poverty," Bauer found. "Indeed it is far more likely to keep them in that state."

Still, another UN report issued last week provides a different rationale for taking money from rich countries to give to poor ones. The World Economic and Social Survey 2011 called for "investment" of $72 trillion over the next four decades, much of it in green technology, with most of it going to developing countries. That's five times the U.S. annual GDP of $14.7 trillion.

Animating this report is the convenient notion that the world's wealthier, industrialized nations owe a "climate debt" to less developed nations. Ottmar Edenhofer, the German co-chair of one of the working groups of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, explained:

"[D]eveloped countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this".

Neither should buyers of coal and oil. Or anyone else, since these two energy sources undergird so much of modern life and progress.

And progress -- material progress -- matters. Poverty is reduced through economic growth, not through redistributing wealth from rich to poor countries.

So of course the United Nations intends to ignore the policies that lead to economic expansion -- stable rule of law, property rights, minimal government interference in normal work and trade -- and concentrate, instead, on dramatically increasing redistribution.

SOURCE

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The SEIU NLRB Serial Job Killer

In just another example of the Obama administration making law by fiat, the National Labor Relations Board head Craig Becker is proposing new rules that would shotgun the formation of new union shops in as quick as ten days.

After the defeat of card check at the legislative ballot box, the former SEIU goon is acting creatively in order to implement portions of card check unilaterally.

What would one expect from a guy appointed to his position despite his nomination being rejected by the Senate?

“He never satisfactorily answered a series of questions that I posed to him – failing to reassure me that his years of service to labor unions would not color his decisions at the NLRB," Senator Orrin Hatch (R.,UT) said in a statement as reported by the Washington Post.

Becker couldn’t answer questions for a number of other Senators either so they scrapped his nomination.

Obama then made a recess appointment of Becker to the NLRB, the presidential equivalent of Enron accounting for political appointees.

Becker is losing no time now in answering the questions and concerns Hatch and his fellow Senators had. The answers are about as bad as they feared.

NLRB and Becker have been in the news lately because they’ve attacked Boeing for opening a plant in South Carolina, a state that is less accommodating to union employment but more accommodating to workers and management with project deadlines to keep.

But the attack on Boeing is nothing compared to the attack that Becker and organized labor are going to launch against the rest of us starting today.

“On July 18, the NLRB is holding a hearing on its proposal to overhaul virtually the entire manner and set of rules by which union-representation elections are conducted in the workplace,” says labor expert Geoffrey Burr in the Washington Times. “To the surprise of no one who can read federal election donation reports, all of the agency’s changes appear to help union bosses at the expense of everyone else.”

First up is making sure union elections happen quickly. The longer it takes for employees to become informed, the less likely they’ll join a union.

More HERE

My Twitter.com identity: jonjayray. My Facebook page is also accessible as jonjayray (In full: http://www.facebook.com/jonjayray). For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)

****************************

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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