Friday, June 20, 2014
My hand is healing well from surgery and it is my Sabbath tomorrow so I thought I had better put up a few things today -- JR
The political divide
How the worm turns!
Don Surber comments: "I never bought this Fat Is Evil bullshit either. Carbon dioxide is good for you too"
Barry The Red
by L. Neil Smith
Barack Obama grew up surrounded by old-time, CPA card-carrying communists. His maternal grandfather, Stanley Dunham, who filled most of the father-shaped space in his life, was a well-known communist activist, and Soviet operative, and so was his grandmother, Madelyn. Mommy, Stanley Ann Dunham, was a commie. Frank Marshall Davis, another genuine communist whom the radio host believes was his real father, was certainly Obama's intellectual, philosophical, and ideological father. Weather Underground bomber Bill Ayers is Obama's spiritual uncle.
Barry is what's called a "Red-diaper baby".
Knowing that, and understanding that nothing in what we know of his educational background counteracts his Marxist proclivities, what else do we need to know about the convictions and objectives of a man who has deliberately and systematically (with a little help from the Republicans) obliterated the relative peace, freedom, progress, and prosperity of what was once the greatest nation-state the world ever knew?
Acting out of a deep, poisonous class and race hatred, Obama has destroyed the most powerful and benevolent politico-economic system in history, and somehow made off with something like seventeen trillion dollars. People speculate a lot over what Vladimir Putin must think of Obama, a product of what is almost certainly an old, abandoned Soviet deep-espionage program. My guess is that what he feels, mostly, is astonished envy—and perhaps more than a little worry about future competition.
In the 1940s, due to the idiotic blundering and malign stupidity of at least three generations of leaders, perhaps half a million young Americans were sacrificed in an armed conflict with collectivism, German-style. (This may come as news to those of my readers educated in the public school system: Hitler was a socialist, a man of the left; in German, "NAZI" was short for "National Socialist German Workers' Party".
In the 1950s, tens of thousands more were killed in an undeclared (and therefore illegal) war against Korean, Chinese, and Russian communists. (How I know about the Russians is a story for another time.)
In the 1960s, 58,000 Americans were killed in Vietnam, fighting communism.
And now, the very sort of evil that our fathers and grandfathers fought and bled and died to stop is fully in control of the United States Government. Its minions mean to disarm, impoverish, and imprison every one of us—and kill any who resist—and the few politicians opposing them are too cowardly to say or do anything about it.
I hate it when predictions come unbidden to my mind, but I am a science fiction writer, and it's reflexive. The next decade is going to be truly ugly, perhaps the ugliest in human history. Americans will not be put down as easily as our domestic enemies presently expect.
Some sense from Britain
David Cameron [PM] should abolish corporation tax for small firms so they are better able to compete with large companies, Lord Saatchi has said.
The former Tory chairman said the party should pledge to no longer charge the levy on firms with fewer than 50 employees.
Lord Saatchi, who is chairman of the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), has also called on the Conservatives to stop imposing capital gains tax on investors in small companies.
The recommendations come in a report celebrating the 40th anniversary of the think tank co-founded by Baroness Thatcher.
Lord Saatchi said getting rid of the £8billion annual corporation tax bill for small business would be a ‘call to arms’ for the Conservatives, which would bring a culture shift on the scale of Right to Buy in the 1980s.
He said the policy would show ‘how the awesome power of taxation can be used to the benefit of everyone’ and allow small firms to ‘challenge cartel capitalism’.
Under the policy, millions of people would ‘enjoy the opportunity to say, “I am the captain of my ship”,’ he added.
The report to be published tomorrow will add: ‘By allowing profitable small companies to retain more of their earnings it will become easier for them to self-finance their own expansion.’
Lord Saatchi boasted that the removal of corporation tax for smaller firms would quicken the economic recovery.
He told the Telegraph: ‘It’s worth remembering that the average UK company has five employees. The Policy, as I call it, would therefore abolish corporation tax for 90 per cent of UK companies, reduce the deficit faster than predicted by the Office for Budget Responsibility, expand employment faster than it predicts, increase competition, challenge cartel capitalism and let millions of people grow tall.’
In an article for the newspaper, he said that Mrs Thatcher knew that big companies posed as big a ‘threat to freedom’ as big government and that competition made capitalism work.
The CPS report, entitled The Road FROM Serfdom, reports polls for the think tank that show people have a distrust of big government, which Lord Saatch argues is a ‘sorry outcome for all believers in free-market capitalism’. Lord Saatchi said that socialism became unpopular and now capitalism has also become unpopular.
He said that the tax system has been reduced from being a tool for ‘social engineering’ to being for ‘revenue generation’.
He added: ‘It is on a par, at least, with the NHS or the criminal justice system in its impact on human lives, and its relationship between the government and the people.’
Corporation tax is currently set at 20 per cent of profits for businesses with less than £300,000 profit.
Maurice Saatchi co-founded the advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi with his brother Charles.
The firm was closely associated with Margaret Thatcher’s three successive election victories and famously came up with the ‘Labour Isn’t Working’ poster during the 1979 election campaign.
He was co-chairman of the Conservative Party from 2003 until 2005. He stepped down from the role after the party lost the 2005, for which he was responsible for running its election campaign.
Lord Saatchi was created a life peer in the House of Lords by the party in 1996 and under Iain Duncan Smith served as shadow Treasury spokesman in the upper house.
The coup-free zone
In Tuesday’s post I left readers with a question: Which countries belong to the “coup-free zone”? By this I mean, which countries have passed the last 50 years as independent nations without a single coup d’état, coup attempt or armed revolution?
I define “coup” broadly, to mean any forceful seizure of central government power. A coup is a disorderly, unpredictable transfer of power, accomplished through physical force or intimidation. The term encompasses military coups, violent palace intrigue and street revolutions. The effort to seize power need not succeed; serious but failed attempts still count. Finally, the term “coup” embraces an “executive coup,” whereby a constitutional leader radically and forcefully extends his scope of power or term of service, as in Chancellor Hitler’s 1933 hijacking of Germany with Nazi thugs.
This is how it looked by the end of 2010.
The full list:
1. United States of America
4. Costa Rica
12 United Kingdom
22. New Zealand
23. South Africa
Very "incorrect" for me to notice it but nearly every one is (predominantly) ethnically Northern European. And the Ashkenazi (Western) influence is dominant in Israel too, and was until recently in South Africa. India does not appear on the list because of the "Emergency"
The Economy May Be Improving. Worker Pay Isn’t.
The latest economic data out Tuesday morning was generally good. Home building activity remained above the one million a year rate. Consumer prices rose 0.4 percent in May, such that inflation over the last year is now 2.1 percent, about in line with what the Federal Reserve aims for.
But that inflation news carried with it a depressing side note. Now that the Consumer Price Index for May has been published, it is possible to determine inflation-adjusted hourly earnings for the month. And the number is not good.
Average hourly earnings for private sector American workers rose about 49 cents an hour over the last year, to $24.38 in May. But that wasn’t enough to cover inflation over the year, so in real or inflation-adjusted terms, hourly worker pay fell 0.1 percent over the last 12 months. Weekly pay shows the same story, also falling 0.1 percent in the year ended in May.
Pause for just a second to consider that. Five years after the economic recovery began, American workers have gone the last 12 months without any real increase in what they are paid.
There had been some hints here and there that worker pay was starting to rise in the last few months, including anecdotal reports of employers having to offer raises to recruit or retain workers and a few pieces of data hinting that the trend was taking effect broadly.
By the same measure cited above — average hourly earnings for private sector workers — the year that ended in February showed a strong 2.1 percent gain in pay versus only 1.1 percent inflation, which works out to a 1 percent annual gain in real hourly pay. That was the strongest in five years, and if it had been sustained would have been great news for American workers.
But it was not sustained. The numbers since then suggest two things: The strong gain in hourly pay reported for the 12 months ended in February looks to have been an anomaly. And while inflation has picked up since then, reducing the value of workers’ paychecks, worker pay has only barely kept up with the higher prices.
The latest numbers should give pause to any Federal Reserve officials who see wage pressures as evidence that the economy is overheating. It might have been arguably true earlier in the year. It might prove true later in the year, if workers start successfully demanding wage increases in excess of inflation.
But for right now, the evidence points to more of what we’ve seen for most of the last six years: Employees have little negotiating power to demand higher pay.
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.
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Posted by JR at 11:32 AM