Some justifiable cynicicism from Ray Kraft
Politicians do not want to solve problems. If they solve a problem, they can no longer run against it, they can no longer blame it on anybody else, they can no longer promise to fix it. Problems have fantastic political value. Solved problems have no political value.
That is why Politicians are forever unsolving problems.
They have a vested self interest in unsolved problems. That's what gets them elected. Unsolved problems are infinitely useful. Solved problems are politically useless.
One glaring example: Ted Kennedy. Ted Kennedy kept getting re-elected for decades. Quick, what problem did he ever solve, as a Senator?
Yeah, I couldn't think of any either. Now, insert any other member of Congress for Ted Kennedy.
All the political problems we have today, we have because over the last fifty years all the members of Congress and every President have failed to fix them, a vast left and right wing conspiracy of incompetence.
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A dolphin with sharp teeth
The Israeli Navy's new Dolphin submarine is the ultimate tool of warfare. Forget everything you knew about submarines, most of which is probably from watching war movies. This is something entirely different. We will not list all the measures installed onboard the submarine. This is in part because not all is known to us, and also because parts of it are classified. However, according to foreign publications, the submarine has two systems from which one can deduce about its capabilities.
The first system is an advanced and impervious SATCOM satellite communication system, which gives the military brass the ability to be in direct, secured contact with the submarine's command at all times.
The second is a system of 650mm torpedo tubes. According to foreign publications, these are not ordinary torpedo tubes, but rather sophisticated launchers from which various weapon systems can be launched, including cruise missiles equipped with nuclear warheads.
Foreign sources can tell that the submarine is capable of launching Rafael's advanced Popeye Turbo missile. This is a variant of an air-to-surface missile developed by the company which is no longer used in its original form. According to the same foreign publications, the US Navy monitored a test of such a cruise missile from an Israeli submarine in the Indian Ocean.
Take the following imaginary scenario for example – an Israeli navy submarine is cruising somewhere near Iran. In a moment of religious fervor, the Ayatollah regime decides to launch a nuclear missile at Israel after the world has failed in its efforts to halt Iran's nuclear program.
The IDF's HQ in the Kiriya base understands what is happening and decides to launch a severe counterstrike. A secure satellite communication system enables direct contact with the submarine commander. He is called to enter a state of strike readiness. The launch command, however, is not given via verbal communication - the submarine commander gets that order via special codes which change randomly. The code is sent, along with the preferred target.
The initial target is a large military facility near Tehran. After several seconds, a long object emerges from the ocean, rises to a height of several hundred meters and begins its flight towards the Iranian coast. Iran's radar systems do not detect the missile as it makes its subsonic way towards the target.
Truth Is Major Obstacle to Obama's Re-election
So we need to get that truth out
President Obama formally kicked off his re-election campaign in Richmond, Va., and Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, and his theme was certainly not, shall we say, "it's morning again in America" -- President Ronald Reagan's optimistic re-election slogan in 1984.
Obama's central message was more like: "Hey, I realize things look bad, and I'm not going to pretend you want four more years of this. But just think how much worse it would have been without me and how much worse it's going to get if you get rid of me."
Interestingly, mainstream media journalists Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake were certain enough that Obama wasn't sufficiently forthcoming in his speech that they co-wrote a piece for The Washington Post "parsing" it. Without a whiff of disapproval, they said, "This being politics, Obama said less than what he meant. But, that's where we come in." The two then set out Obama's "most quotable lines" and followed each with their "translation of the message he was trying to send."
The writers are obviously sympathetic to Obama's agenda and, as fellow liberals, share his end-justifies-the-means sleight of hand -- whatever it takes to keep this federal juggernaut barreling along. Let's look at just a few of the quotes they highlighted.
Obama said: "I don't care how many ways you try to explain it: Corporations aren't people. People are people." The writers said Obama was responding to Mitt Romney's earlier remark that "corporations are people," and they said Obama intended to send this message: "Romney is the business candidate. I am the people's candidate."
Well, Romney is right. Most corporations (excepting holding companies and the like) are owned and operated by people. But Obama must depersonalize them because it makes his attacks on business seem less personal, which brings us to another point. Obama has denied he is anti-business, but everything about him screams otherwise, and even many of his liberal defenders, from these two writers to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to Fareed Zakaria, have been hard-pressed to deny that he either is anti-business or sends unmistakable signals that he is.
Notice also how Obama framed the issue, which is revealing both as to his attitude toward business (mildly adversarial to hostile) and as to his general political worldview (us against them). He gratuitously drew a line of demarcation between corporations (read: business) and people. This is a false choice. Why can't we be pro-corporation and pro-people? Shouldn't an American president be bullish on both? The answer is yes, but Obama can't be; his class-conscious ideology forbids it, and electoral imperatives demand that he demonize his political opponents, which is why his hype about all of us coming together as one rings so hollow and disingenuous.
If you still doubt Obama's mindset, you should consider another quote: "We came together because we believe that in America, your success shouldn't be determined by the circumstances of your birth." Is there any way to read this statement apart from the drippingly bellicose class warfare resentment it connotes?
Obama also said, "Osama bin Laden is no longer a threat to this country." Not to dabble in ancient Greek philosophy, but I dare say that the influence of a human being, especially one who has been as pivotally important to al-Qaida's ongoing jihad against the United States and its allies, can live well beyond the grave.
What's more naive and even dangerous about the statement is that it implies that bin Laden's death justifies the false hope that the enemy is less determined to destroy us than before and that we may now relax our guard. Yes, we get that Obama wants to keep reminding us that he issued the kill order for bin Laden, but let's not give him the further leeway of overblowing the significance of the kill to the war on terror.
This whole issue is a bit spooky when you consider Obama's double-minded approach to the war. On the one hand, he would have us believe it's darn near over; he's replaced our so-called jingoistic rhetoric with such gems as kinetic military actions and overseas contingency operations, and he seems to believe his overt efforts to reach out to the Muslim world, including flowery panegyrics to Muslim culture and the construction of Gitmo basketball courts, have mitigated Islamist hatred toward America and the West. (Polls emphatically say otherwise.) On the other hand, he's operating assassination drones like a repressed schoolboy with new toys and indulging in indefinite detentions of enemy combatants, as if wholly unaware of what the other half of his split personality has been preaching.
I've just scratched the surface, but the inescapable conclusion is that Obama cannot spin his domestic and foreign policy records enough to conceal the truth of his actual record. Indeed, the stubborn truth will be his greatest obstacle in November.
It's only business that is being subjected to austerity
Which has it exactly the wrong way around if jobs are the issue
By mainstream media accounts, the presidential election in France and parliamentary elections in Greece on May 6 were overwhelming verdicts against “austerity” measures being implemented in Europe.
There is only one problem. It is a lie.
First off, austerity was never really tried. Not really. In France for example, according to Eurostat, annual expenditures have actually increased from €1.095 trillion to €1.118 trillion in 2011. In fact spending has increased every single year for the past decade. The debt there increased too from €1.932 trillion €1.987 trillion last year, just as it did every year before.
Real “austere”. The French spent more, and they borrowed more.
The deficit in France did decrease by about €34 billion in 2011, but that was largely because of a €56.6 billion surge in tax revenues. Again, there were no spending cuts. Zero.
Yet incoming socialist president François Hollande claimed after his victory over Nicolas Sarkozy that he would bring an end to this mythical austerity: “We will bring back Europe on a track for jobs, growth and the future… We’re no longer doomed to austerity.”
This is just a willful, purposeful distortion. What the heck is he talking about? Certainly not France.
If not France, then where?
In Italy and Spain, which have been dependent on tens of billions of cash infusions from the European Central Bank (ECB) to refinance their debts, cuts are hardly anywhere to be found either. In Spain, spending was cut by just €11 billion in 2011, a mere 2.3 percent reduction. In Italy, spending actually increased by €4.3 billion.
Both countries borrowed an additional €117 billion last year alone, raising their combined debts to €1.939 trillion. So, no austerity there. Just debt slaves.
Hollande might have been referring to the budgets of debt-strapped Ireland, Greece, and Portugal that have depended on over €290 billion of refinance loans from the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
But even there, the cuts are rather miniscule. In Greece, spending was cut by just €6.3 billion from 2010 levels. In Portugal, just €4.8 billion. Ireland only trimmed €2.2 billion off its 2009 levels, discounting its massive bank recapitalization in 2010 that blew up its budget by €25.7 billion.
The real point is that none of them even came close to balancing their budgets, with over €47 billion of combined deficits for 2011. More debt slaves.
Yet that is not stopping pundits like New York Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman from claiming otherwise, who said recently, “All this austerity is actually self-defeating. We’re seeing countries slash spending and drive their economies into a ditch.”
What austerity? These countries are all debt addicts. They’re not addressing the root of the problem. So, what should they do? Just borrow more?
Where’s the growth? Au contraire. Although all of this government largesse and excessive borrowing is supposed to be economic stimulus by Krugman’s account, these European economies are still stuck in a ditch. We tried the same thing here.
More than $3 trillion in fiscal and monetary stimulus since the financial crisis began — all to no avail. Well, some things did happen. We lost our AAA credit rating. And the debt is now larger than the entire economy.
But leaving that aside, based on analyses like Krugman’s, one might get the idea that the sovereign debt crisis in Europe was caused not by too much borrowing, but by not enough of it.
No, Krugman, Hollande, et al., this really is a debt crisis. The government’s demand for borrowing is so voracious that it far exceeds even the financial system’s capacity to lend. The crisis has reached such critical proportions these countries cannot find a way to grow their way out of it.
Hollande’s idea of “growth” is just more government spending and waste in a new wrapper — more education funding, more pensions, more health care, and other soft socialist programs. Because the illness is being misdiagnosed, the solutions being proposed only threaten to exacerbate the symptoms.
If France and other European countries were truly interested in growth, they’d be cutting taxes on business. Yet, Hollande wants a 75 percent levy on the “rich” and to increase social spending. Socialists like Hollande and their ilk do not wish to save the private sector — they want to soak it. Very well.
But this is a true delusion. There is no painless way to solve the systemic imbalances caused by bloated political promises made to dependent classes of citizens. The rich are not rich enough to pay for the level of government we have.
There is no easier, softer way to stop the bleeding. Spending must be cut, budgets balanced, and debts paid down. Europe is nowhere near that right now. Nobody is.
But that’s not all that must be done. To alleviate the painful transition — and make no mistake it will be painful — real fiscal reform must be accompanied by pro-growth policies.
Here in the U.S., systemic unemployment and slow growth in the private sector could be addressed on the supply side. Capital gains and corporate taxes could be eliminated to encourage investment in U.S. companies. Environmental regulations that increase the cost of energy and of doing business here could be rescinded.
We could let banks fail when they make bad investments, and restore a sound money system to ensure price stability and an end to “too big to fail”.
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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)