Saturday, March 14, 2009

Obama's strange mortgage plan

President Obama and his big spenders are moving quickly, to the relief of those who are facing foreclosure on their mortgages. But the program they are offering will do nothing for those most in need. In the fine print, Obama's plan provides no relief for any homeowner whose mortgage exceeds the total value of his home. But these folks are the ones who have been conned into taking sub-prime mortgages so loaded with brokerage commissions, interest rate subsidies, bank fees and lawyer and title-company charges that the amount of the mortgage has ballooned. These high mortgage amounts, coupled with declining property values, have turned about 20 percent of American mortgages upside down, so that the debt exceeds the value of the property.

By excluding these homeowners from help, Obama is guilty of a holier-than-thou hypocrisy. Was it not Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that encouraged such over-mortgaged properties? Was it not the Democrats in Congress who passed legislation urging Fannie and Freddie to weaken the standards to allow more low- and lower-middle-income families to buy homes?

How can Obama suddenly pretend to be so shocked - shocked - that about 20 percent of America's home mortgages are now worth more than the property they finance? It was the insistence of liberal Democrats that made it so. When Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros demanded that Fannie and Freddie invest 42 percent of their assets in buying low- and lower-middle-income mortgages, and when his successor Andrew Cuomo raised the quota to 50 percent, what did they think would happen? When they explicitly told Fannie and Freddie not to insist on down payments in the mortgages they purchased, how did they think the purchase would be funded? Obviously, if you don't require the borrower to put money down, the full purchase price must be covered by the mortgage. To now, piously, refuse to come to the rescue of those who fell for your party's seeming generosity and bought homes on the terms it suggested is hypocritical at best.

But it is not only the over-mortgaged whom Obama will ignore, but those who have lost their jobs! If you do not make enough money such that your mortgage payments come to 31 percent of your income, you can't get your mortgage refinanced. If your income has dropped to a point where your monthly payments on your loan consume a greater part of your earnings than 31 percent, you are stuck.

So we have Obama rushing to the aid of those who have been hurt in this bad economy, but exempting from his proposed relief anyone who has lost his job and seen a cut in income or whose property values have dropped below the amount of his mortgage. In other words, he'll help anyone but those most in need.



Trading Places with China?

For years, the Communist Chinese have been the butt of American jokes for their Maoist principles and centralized government planning. They've also received scathing international criticism for their at times brutal suppression of human rights - and deservedly so. But in the years since Tiananmen Square, China has moved steadily towards a market-based economic system while America has racked up increasingly large deficits for centralized, socialist spending - with a growing percentage of our accumulating public debt held by Chinese creditors. Also, China has taken steps to improve its human rights record in recent years, while American liberties have gradually eroded under the weight of an ever-expanding federal government.

Clearly repression and communism are still the laws of the land in China, but it is worth noting how one nation waxes and the other wanes - particularly when crisis comes. Just look at the divergent approaches taken by the American and Chinese governments with respect to their economic "stimulus" plans. Like our country, China is operating under the flawed assumption that investing in additional government will somehow bring about economic revival. But, there are critical differences in these two superpowers' positioning and plans which could make the economic downturn much easier for China to manage.

Supporters of the "American approach" like point to the fact that China is ballooning its deficit from 0.4 percent to 3 percent of its national income to pay for its plan - but that argument ignores the fact that America's deficit currently stands at 12 percent of its national income. We also have an $11 trillion (and climbing) national debt - of which China was holding $681 billion prior to the most recent U.S. bailout. China, meanwhile, entered 2009 with nearly $2 trillion in foreign currency reserves.

There are also huge differences in the "meat" of the two plans. In China, the majority of the stimulus package was actually devoted to bricks and mortar. Huge chunks were also devoted to business tax breaks, and a full quarter of the package was devoted to rebuilding an area of the country devastated by the Sichuan earthquake last May. Has it worked? Few trust China's optimistic estimates of 8 percent growth in 2009, but the country's lending, spending and consumer confidence has largely stabilized.

By contrast, America has poured billions of dollars into the same failed financial institutions and government bureaucracies that conspired to create its current crisis - not surprisingly, to no avail. The first bailout failed miserably to stimulate lending or lift the Dow Jones out of its doldrums, while the second bailout resulted in another massive selloff on Wall Street over fears that it "didn't do enough to stimulate the economy." Talk about the understatement of the millennium.

While China at least pursued its flawed interventionist philosophy (it's still a communist country, remember) with a modicum of common sense, America has plunged herself deeper into big government insanity. For example, billions of dollars intended for small businesses were stripped from the final version of the "stimulus" package, which ended up as a liberal special interest goodie bag routed through the same old inefficient, unaccountable agencies.

Also, China pumped in its "stimulus" money immediately where it would have the maximum effect, whereas the U.S. approach is to engage in a protracted, multi-year federal spend fest on government programs with no immediate economic benefit.



Obama Proposals Put Six Million Jobs at Risk

By Bob McCarty

President Barack Obama will increase U.S. reliance on foreign oil by eliminating the deduction for drilling in the U.S. and put at risk up to 6 million jobs directly and indirectly reliant on the industry. That's the message being delivered to all who will hear it by official and unofficial representatives of the American Petroleum Institute, according to a recent article in Business Week.

More specifically, the magazine reported that the national trade association representing all aspects of America's oil and natural gas industry is battling President Obama's proposals to reduce the industry's tax breaks through presentations to newspaper editorial boards and visits to Washington by top oil company executives and employees, plus drop-ins by ordinary shareholders.

When contacted about the article via e-mail, API spokesperson Jane Van Ryan said editorial board visits and drop-in visits are part of API's ongoing lobbying effort and then went on to discuss the main premise of the Business Week article that deserves attention.

"It implies that various businesses and industries are very concerned about the administration's tax proposals," Van Ryan explained. "That is correct. "The oil and natural gas industry is very concerned because of the possible impact on everyone who lives and works in the U.S.," she continued. "If the administration makes the U.S. an exceedingly expensive place to do business and continues to keep the best energy resources impossible to access, the impact won't be helpful to anyone. "The energy business is global, and the companies must answer to their shareholders. Therefore, if they can get a better return on investment elsewhere, why shouldn't they reduce their investments here and go overseas?"

The result of going overseas, of course, would be that thousands of Americans would lose their jobs, billions of dollars in tax revenues would go away and the United States would become even more dependent on foreign oil and experience more market volatility.

"No one wants that to happen - certainly not the oil companies and the 6 million people who depend on them for direct and indirect jobs," Van Ryan added. "So it's fair to say that the oil companies will not merely accept these huge tax increases. Rather, they and API will try to have meaningful discussions with a variety of people in hopes of explaining what I've just said to you."



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 or here or here


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)


Friday, March 13, 2009

Has free trade harmed the USA?

My old and respected friend Keith Burgess Jackson says that free trade has been a disaster for the U.S. I would like to look briefly at some ways in which that is true and some ways in which it is not true.

What I imagine Keith has in mind is the peaceful and largely self-sufficient existence America had in the 50s. In Australia too the 50s are often remembered as a golden age and it was a time when Australia had extensive tariffs that blocked a lot of foreign trade. One of the attractive aspects of that era was diversity (in the non-Leftist sense, among whom it seems to mean "blacks"). Practically everything was made in the home country so there were a great variety of occupations at work and that offered a wide range of opportunities for job-seekers.

Now whole industries have crossed the ocean to China so the industrial scene is much less variegated than it was and America is heavily dependant on other countries for many important things -- not forgetting oil.

I am actually old enough to have a clear memory of the 50s and I sometimes wish that we could go back there. Life was simpler and everything was more "human". People did things rather than machines doing them. When you rang up a firm you were always answered by a person rather than some infernal answering machine which asks you to press buttons. That must seem like an impossible dream to some young people today.

The other side of the argument is however very simply expressed: lower costs. I bought myself a "3 in one" the other day (printer, scanner and photocopying machine all in one). I remember when such machines first came out that they were selling for around $900. The one I just bought cost me $29 -- and it works brilliantly. It is of course made in China to an American design. And I am mightily pleased at the increased convenience my new machine has given me.

And look at the much-reviled Wal-Mart, China's major American outlet. It has bought all sorts of goods to within the purchasing power of poorer Americans because of the low prices it asks.

So are all those low prices worthwhile? I think they are, despite my happy memories of a different past. Low prices affect us all every day, one way or another.



The article below is off the beaten track compared to what I usually put up but I agree with it so thoroughly that I want to share it. I have been to India three times and have often been tempted to go and live there. Instead I have several polite Indian gentlemen living with me here in Australia and I fly the flag of the Republic of India from my flagpole

In my family, dad's the travel guru. Anything you want to know, he'll tell you (or he'll find out - or he'll make something up). Like the song from the annoying ad, he's been everywhere, man. He was born in Australia, grew up in Hong Kong, went to school in Scotland, then joined the merchant navy to work on ships. If a country's got a coastline with some sort of pier attached to it, you can pretty much guarantee my dad's been there. So when one day, somewhere in the middle of a rollicking travel tale, he piped up and announced there was one country on earth that everyone should experience, I listened up.

"It's ridiculous buddy, crazy," he said. "You might love it, you might hate it. But everyone should go ..." ... to India." It probably took about 10 years from then for me to actually make it there. And dad was right.

I loved it. I hated it. I felt sheer joy, and frustrated anger. I saw sublime beauty, and indescribable filth. Everything that's good, bad (and in between) about travelling, I found in India. No one leaves the subcontinent untouched (usually physically as well as metaphorically). No one jumps on the plane out, shrugs their shoulders and goes, "Yeah, it was alright." It's a place that leeches into your bones, for good and bad reasons.

I don't usually write about single destinations, but I've felt moved to pen something about India for some time, especially since the terror attacks in Mumbai, and a little film that's got everyone talking. It seems like those attacks, the sight of all those slums, plus the worsening security situations in neighbouring Pakistan and Bangladesh, will start to turn people off travelling to a country they'd probably be a little hesitant to visit in the first place. But don't give up on India yet.

A trip to India is not really a holiday - not in the traditional "relaxing" sense, anyway. Each day you wake up, dress, then take a moment to steel yourself before flinging open the doors and letting India back into your life. All of a sudden it's all honking horns, wandering cows, rickshaw wallahs, chai wallahs, smog, touts, open sewage, wafts of spices... And that's just the hotel lobby.

India will drive you nuts. Nothing happens the way you've been brought up to expect it should. You soon find out that everything's negotiable, and a little baksheesh will get you a long way. Strangers approach you. Hundreds of strangers. Some genuinely want to talk to you, and find out what the hell you're doing in their town, and how the hell Zaheer Khan can get Ricky Ponting out. Some want to run up and touch you as a dare from their mates. Some, if you happen to be female, will go ahead and touch you anyway. Some want to be in a photo. Some want to know your entire social and financial history within five minutes, with the intention of perhaps offloading an excess daughter. Some genuinely want to rob you, or talk you into a scam, or sell you a carpet. Your rickshaw driver will want to take you to his cousin's marble emporium.

Men urinate in side alleys. Slum-dwellers take their morning dump beside the train tracks. Everyone cleans themselves [after defecation] with a jug of water and a left hand.

The Taj Mahal will bring a tear to your eye. So will the slums. The nouveau riche flout their money with abandon. The poor beg for a piece of it. People laugh, cry, clap and cheer in movie cinemas. The stars dance ridiculously.

There are pristine beaches in Kerala, and corpse-ridden rivers in Varanasi. There are snow-capped Himalayas, and camel-riding-tourist-ridden deserts.

The food is often indescribable - mainly because you have no idea what you're eating. Old men at street carts sell snacks that would rival any Michelin-starred chef's creations. You eat with your right hand. You smear spice-laden gunk over your face as you attempt to wolf down a thali. You sip steaming fresh chai in rickety huts with men who've done so every day of their lives, and will do for the rest of them.

You talk about cricket. You talk about cricket. And you talk about cricket. And it's impossible to get bored. I've spent a month in India, and barely scratched the surface. I met people who'd been there six months and still didn't think they'd properly taken it in. I'll definitely be going back there. Hopefully, with my dad.




US official: Obama won't cut off military aid to Israel: "U.S. President Barack Obama will not cut the billions of dollars in military aid promised to Israel, a senior U.S. administration official said Wednesday. The $30 billion in aid promised to Israel over the next decade will not be harmed by the world financial crisis, the official told Israel Radio. He spoke on condition of anonymity."

Utah, Hawaii, Wyoming top "happiness" poll: "Looking for happiness - it's family-friendly communities for some, tropical paradise or the rugged West for others. A survey of Americans' well-being, conducted by Gallup in partnership with Healthways and America's Health Insurance Plans, gives high marks to Utah, which boasts lots of outdoor recreation for its youthful population. Speaking of outdoor recreation, the islands of Hawaii took second place and Wyoming was third in the poll that rated such variables as mental, physical and economic health."

UK: Web founder's "snooping" warning: "The integrity of the internet is under threat if online 'snooping' goes unchecked, one of the web's most respected figures has told Parliament. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, said browsing habits could now be monitored as if someone had put a `TV camera in one's room.' Laws must be better enforced to ensure such 'sensitive' data was not misused for commercial gain, he added. . Parliamentarians are worried about technology allowing firms to track which websites people visit and to share the information with companies for the purpose of sending what is known as `behavioural advertising.' Google has become the latest firm to launch a system to send advertisements to web users based on their online activities."


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 or here or here


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)


Thursday, March 12, 2009


I wrote the article below for the Philadelphia "Bulletin" and it appeared there on 10th. I think its interest is not confined to Philadelphia, however, so I reprint it below. My many academic papers on authoritarianism can be accessed here

Among psychologists, the word "authoritarian" has a meaning quite different from how that word is used elsewhere. And thereby hangs a tale.

In normal usage, the word is most used to describe people who boss others around -- with government by dictatorship being the extreme case of authoritarianism. But psychologists use it to describe people whom one researcher summed up as "fearful toadies". There is certainly no evidence that they boss anybody around.

How come? It originates from an attempt by a Marxist-led group of psychologists to square the circle. Theodor Wiesengrund (aka Adorno) and his Leftist friends had a big problem immediately after World War II. Everybody was aware at that time that Hitler's doctrines were simply a more aggressively-pursued version of what the American Left of the day (the "Progressives") had been preaching for over half a century. In the first half of the 20th century, the enthusiastic preachers of eugenics and racism were all on the Left and Hitler had generally been in good odor among the prewar Left. He did after all call his movement "National SOCIALISM".

But that had all now become disastrous. Being associated with Hitler was now beyond the pale. So some means had to be found to dissociate the political Left from Hitler. And if you could show that Hitler was in fact a conservative so much the better. And as we all now know, Wiesengrund and his team succeeded. Most people now believe that Hitler was of the Right. So how did they do it?

They said, correctly, that Hitler was an authoritarian and produced evidence to show that conservatives were more authoritarian than the Left. But the "evidence" they produced used their own very peculiar definition of "authoritarian". It consisted of an opinion poll that used statements that were simply popular beliefs of the day -- and if you agreed with lots of such statements you were arbitrarily said to be an "authoritarian". That it would be more reasonable to describe such people simply as "agreeable" was glided over. Wiesengrund put forward Freudian-type theories to argue that even if such people were not likely to boss anyone around personally, they would support others who did. Wiesengrund never proved that but he may have been correct. It is plausible to argue that such people might well put up with ANY government of any character, whether or not they agreed with it.

So what was the point of all that? The point is that people who agreed with a lot of Wiesengrund's collection of opinion statements tended to be politically conservative! That could probably have been interpreted as showing that easy-going guys tended to be conservative but within Wiesengrund's theory it meant that authoritarians were conservative! Which is what he had set out to prove. In his mind, he had shown that the most likely supporters of Hitler and his ilk were conservatives! But note the leap of logic there. Even if we accept Wiesengrund's claim that easy-going people are authoritarian, his findings do not show that conservatives are in general authoritarian. There are disagreeable conservatives too. It is like saying that some dogs are poodles so therefore all dogs are poodles.

But anyway, Left-leaning professors loved it all. It got them off the hook as chief supporters of Hitler. And from then on, they preached it so incessantly that almost everyone now believes that Hitler can be blamed on conservatives. The historical fact that Hitler's most unrelenting enemy was a conservative -- Winston Churchill -- is quietly glided over. Freudian speculation is preferred to historical fact.

So where does Obama fit into that? Clearly, he is not a "fearful toadie", so he is not an authoritarian in Wiesengrund's sense. There are however things about him and his supporters that are interesting from a psychological viewpoint. There are a number of things which are alarming when taken together. Any one of the things that I am going to mention leads to no conclusions by itself. But when those things make a set (or a "syndrome" in medical parlance) conclusions tend to be suggested.

Let's start with the obvious: Obama comes across as a nice guy. So did Hitler. The tremendous "hold" that Hitler had on Germans is generally unexplained in textbooks but the cause of it is in fact simple. He came across to Germans as a father-figure who loved his people.

Obama gained power through a democratic election. So did Hitler. Enough people voted for him for him to win control of the German government.

Obama has support among his followers that verges on the hysterical. So did Hitler.

Obama supporters are predominant in the media. Hitler dominated the media of his day too.

Hitler wanted the government to control most things without entirely abolishing the private sector. Obama is trying to vastly expand the role of government too.

All that is just by way of introduction, however. The most troubling thing about Nazism is that it was psychopathic. It showed no awareness or right and wrong and no respect for truth versus falsehood. And that fits in perfectly with the modern Leftist doctrine that "There is no such thing as right and wrong". And Hitler did not just preach that. He carried it out. It is perhaps early days to see what Obama's ideas of right and wrong (if any) will add up to but we CAN see what his ideas of truth and falsehood are. Like clinical psychopaths, Obama is a fantasizer with no regard for the truth at all. His latest claim (on Feb. 24) that the automobile was invented in America (all schoolboys used to know that it was actually Germany) is a minor example of that but he has been fantasizing often and for a long time. Take this excerpt from 2007:
"Speaking early this month at a church in Selma, Ala., Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said: "I'm in Washington. I see what's going on. I see those powers and principalities have snuck back in there, that they're writing the energy bills and the drug laws." . . .

But not only did Obama vote for the Senate's big energy bill in 2005, he also put out a press release bragging about its provisions, and his Senate Web site carries a news article about the vote headlined, "Senate energy bill contains goodies for Illinois." . . .

On Sunday, the Chicago Tribune reported that an extensive search found no basis for an episode Obama recounts [in his 1995 book, "Dreams From My Father"] about a picture he ran across in Life magazine of a "black man who had tried to peel off his skin" in a failed effort to use chemicals to lighten it. Obama writes that "seeing that article was violent for me, an ambush attack." The Tribune reported: "Yet no such Life issue exists, according to historians at the magazine. No such photos, no such article. When asked about the discrepancy, Obama said in a recent interview, 'It might have been an Ebony or it might have been . . . who knows what it was?' (At the request of the Tribune, archivists at Ebony searched their catalogue of past articles, none of which matched what Obama recalled.)" . . .

As another example, consider Obama's stirring tale for the Selma audience about how he had been conceived by his parents, Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham, because they had been inspired by the fervor following the "Bloody Sunday" voting rights demonstration that was commemorated March 4. "There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma, Ala.," he said, "because some folks are willing to march across a bridge. So they got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born. So don't tell me I don't have a claim on Selma, Ala. Don't tell me I'm not coming home to Selma, Ala."

Obama was born in 1961, and the Selma march occurred four years later, in 1965. The New York Times reported that when the senator was asked about the discrepancy later that day, he clarified: "I meant the whole civil rights movement."

He just makes things up as he goes along with no concern about the truth at all. But the silly thing about such fantasies, and the thing that brands them as psychopathic, is that they sound good only at the time. Subsequently they are easily found out as false and therefore tend to cause distrust of the speaker. The psychopath just floats along on a sea of fantasy until people eventually find him out and cut him off. And I think there are already signs that Obama's proposed solutions to America's problems are fantasies too. The "stimulus" that did not stimulate seems likely not to be the last fantasy that does not work out in reality.

So Obama has a lot in common with the Fascists of history, with his clear psychopathic tendencies being the most worrying. He is in that real-life sense an authoritarian.


Obama's destructive appointments

The Obama Administration currently (03/09/09) has 50 executive nominations pending before the Senate for confirmation. This includes the Timothy Geithner nomination to the International Monetary Fund. What follows is a brief look at seven of them.

Karen Gordon Mills - Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator

Karen Mills is a millionaire dilettante with a reverse Midas touch. An heir to the Tootsie Roll fortune, her experience is for the most part is in ventures that have either failed or brought mediocre results to investors. Like many Obama appointees, Ms. Mills went to Harvard. During the 2008 cycle Ms. Mills made political contributions totaling $47,100, $29,500 of which went to the Obama campaign. Ms. Mills is a member of the venture capital community which is attempting through legislation to divert funds from real small businesses to small firms largely owned by huge venture capital funds. This destroys the entire purpose of the SBA.

Gil Kerlikowske - Drug Czar

Mr. Kerlikowske is currently the Chief of Police in Seattle Washington. He has a "don't ask" policy on illegal immigration, favors stringent restrictions on private firearms ownership, has a very poor record on civil rights and to top it off feels the enforcement of some drug laws (marijuana) have a very low priority. His law enforcement skills were tested during an unnecessary Mardi Gras riot in 2001. Chief Kerlikowske pulled the police back and let them watch as one young man was killed and over 70 were injured. The city of Seattle reached a settlement with the slain man's family. Seattle agreed to pay $1,750,000 to the family and acknowledged that its police strategy had presented a public safety threat. In March of 2001, the Seattle Police Officers' Guild overwhelmingly (88%) voted no confidence in Kerlikowske.

Gary Locke - Secretary of Commerce (Third Choice)

Mr. Locke, the former governor of Washington, is a partner in a Seattle law firm practicing among other things, "corporate diversity counseling." During Locke's tenure as governor questions were raised regarding conflicts of interest stemming from the state's business dealings with his brother-in-law's company. His brother-in-law happened to be living in the executive mansion at the time. Locke also seems to have used the Buddhist temple method of campaign fundraising similar to Al Gore, collecting money from people who later didn't remember making the contributions. Locke's administration also apparently liked to keep secrets such as the details of a $3.2 billion tax break to Boeing Corporation. When his administration wasn't handing out subsidies like this tax break it was promulgating regulations such as the ergonomics standard from the state OSHA, a standard that the business community estimated would cost over $725 million per year.

Dr. Ashton B. Carter - Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics

Dr. Carter of Harvard has made his reputation opposing weapons not acquiring them. His first appearance on the national scene was outspoken opposition to President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative. He is another Clinton retread having served in that administration as Assistant Secretary for International Security Policy. His confirmation to that post was held up for over 6 months because he was clearly exercising the authority of his office before he was confirmed. He is currently a partner Global Technologies Partners a firm founded by former Clinton Defense Secretary William Perry. While the firm claims not to lobby it appears to advise defense contractors how to get contracts. The firm's web site brags that it "Identified a unique, classified U.S. government technology as a critical enabler for an aerospace company's growth strategy, identified a way to acquire that technology, and advised in its acquisition and integration."

Julius Genachowski - Chairman Federal Communications Commission

Little is known of Mr. Genachowski views at this time. What is known can be classified as truly bizarre. Mr. Genachowski sits of the board of an organization name Beliefnet. The organization's web site touts the belief in such things as Wicca, Unicorns, Faeries, Astrology and various other belief systems that are to say the least out of the mainstream.

Roy Kienitz - Undersecretary of Transportation for Policy

A brief analysis of data available to anyone over the internet shows that Americans choose private transportation over public transit at a rate of about 20 to 1. Mr. Roy Kienitz, President Obama's appointee for Transportation policy, has a track record of advocating anti-car policies. From 1996-2001 he worked at the Surface Transportation Policy Project, a non-profit that advocates growth that does not involve cars or infrastructure for cars, in favor of public transit, or what they call "smart growth." Under his direction, the STPP put out a paper claiming that the solution to aggressive driving is to limit how much people drive and how fast they can drive, through "smart growth" policies (including public transit and the engineering of roads to make people drive slower) and another claiming that solution to traffic congestion was not road expansion so that the greater number of people wanting to drive could do so, but public transit, since more roads simply breed more cars. He was a founding member of another organization called "Smart Growth America," that advocates similar policies.

His time in public office shows that he brings these private sector views to public service. As Secretary of Planning for the State of Maryland in 2001 he intervened in three land use proceedings in order to "support transit -oriented development": in one case, he had the state oppose the building of a Wal-mart in Kent County, because it was inconsistent with his "smart growth" policies, and in the other two he had the state government come out in favor of development in Gaithersburg and Annapolis that was centered around public transit and other forms of transportation. As deputy chief of staff to Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, he advocated placing tolls on I-80 through Pennsylvania, as well as the leasing of the PA Turnpike to a foreign company, in order to raise revenue for "roads, bridges and public transportation." It is clear that Mr Kienitz, if confirmed, will advocate public transit over maintaining and expanding the roads that Americans support as a transportation choice over 20 to 1.

According to the US Census Bureau, in 2006 there were 244 million registered cars in the United States of America. According to the American Public Transportation Association in the fourth quarter of 08 there were 2,670,023 trips taken on unlinked transit. Rounding generously and assuming that this was an average quarter that comes to about 11 million transit rides in 2008. While it would seems that car registration has probably gone up since 2006, the rough figure of 244 million registered cars should serve for the purposes of this comparison. Thus, a rough comparison shows us that Americans are choosing cars 22 to 1 over public transit.

Ron Sims - Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Ron Sims has been a disaster as King County Executive. Time and again he has been told of county problems, and time and again he has ignored those warnings. He has tolerated and even praised gross incompetence and mismanagement. He has knowingly violated the law, and he has turned a blind eye as his employees refused to comply with the law. He has catered to the union fat cats and ignored the plight of the hard- working average citizens adversely impacted by his and his employees' actions.

Ron Sims seems to have the view that whatever he does is right. He was perfectly willing to trample the law to get the $1.8 billion Brightwater boondoggle built; and he was remorseless about trampling the rights of rural county residents by arbitrarily and capriciously limiting their ability to use their own land.

Ron Sims also seems to believe that county employees are uniformly doing a very good job. After the numerous problems at the medical examiner's office, the animal shelters, the elections office, and the jail, one wonders what Ron Sims thinks a firing offense looks like. Ron Sims may be a nice man, but he is one of the last who should be given control of a $39 billion budget.



Freeman Withdraws as Head of National Intelligence Council

Charles Freeman, a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia under attack for his Middle Eastern and Chinese ties, withdrew from consideration as chairman of the National Intelligence Council because of what he called "distortions" and "falsehoods" about his record. Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, who named Freeman to the post, yesterday accepted the decision "with regret," according to a statement from his office.

Freeman was in the final stages of getting security clearance to head the council, which helps put together National Intelligence Estimates about potential threats around the world and foreign policy issues for the president and head of intelligence services.

His withdrawal was the culmination of weeks of criticism from Republican and Democratic lawmakers and pro- Israel lobbyists who questioned Freeman's objectivity on issues in the Middle East. Some lawmakers also questioned his views on China.

In a letter to supporters yesterday, Freeman said he withdrew because of a concerted effort by pro-Israel lobbyists to spread "libelous distortions" about his experience. "The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth," Freeman wrote.

Lawmakers who opposed his appointment were unapologetic. "His statements against Israel were way over the top and severely out of step with the administration," Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, said in a statement after the withdrawal was announced.

Republicans said they were concerned that Freeman was president of the Middle East Policy Council, a Washington- based group they said was funded by Saudi Arabia. Freeman also drew fire from critics for having been a member of the International Advisory Board of Cnooc Ltd., China's biggest offshore oil explorer.

Representative Pete Hoekstra of Michigan, the senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said the choice of Freeman was another sign that the vetting process had broken down in President Barack Obama's administration. "It calls into question the essential judgments being made," he said in a statement.



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 or here or here


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)


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Supreme Court Decision Against Racial Gerrymandering Hailed

Project 21 Chairman Mychal Massie today hailed a new U.S. Supreme Court decision prohibiting the use of the Voting Rights Act to supercede other laws to create predominantly black voting districts, saying the decision is a new protection against the abuse of civil rights laws for potential partisan gain.

"It continues to confound me that those whose party is responsible for preventing blacks from voting until 1964 now want to illegally redefine voting districts because it serves their best interest," said Massie. "It should go without saying that creating special black voting districts - for partisan gain or otherwise - is against the spirit of civil rights."

In the case of Bartlett v. Strickland, a 5-4 decision by the Court struck down the redistricting of District 18 in North Carolina. The prevailing concern among lawmakers involved in the redistricting process after the last census was adherence to Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. This requires the political process to be "open equally" to minority voters. In doing so, a state law prohibiting the division of counties to create voting districts was violated to raise the percentage of blacks of voting age in the new District 18 from 35 percent to over 39 percent. One of the affected counties challenged the North Carolina General Assembly's process.

This decision is important because it can prevent the political manipulation of voting district boundaries based on race. In his majority opinion, Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote: "Section 2 does not guarantee minority voters an electoral advantage."

More here


BrookesNews Update

Obama's economic train wreck gathers speed: It's becoming increasingly clear to market players that Obama and his merry band of economic vandals are completely clueless about economics and the role of markets. These people are purely political. For them, economics is simply a matter of tax, spend and regulate. The thought that their economically and socially destructive policies could also rip the electoral ground from under them has yet to materialize
Green fanatics attack economic growth : The two great power cults of the last century were Marxism and Naziism. Between them they probably killed some 150 million people. Another power cult has now emerged and it's called green movement and it has already killed millions of Third World peasants
Obama's economic policy: the same Old New Deal : The reason the New Deal didn't work was not that government didn't do enough, but that it did too much. The economic growth and job creation that this country so sorely needs now must ultimately come from the private sector. Obama doesn't understand this nor does he care to. He a fanatical statist who is determined to massively expand the power of the state regardless of the economic consequences
Israel: Netanyahu, Carpe Diem : Obama has ordered that from now Israel's purchases from the US will be limited to defensive armaments and systems aimed at preserving its "qualitative edge" against its enemies. Can you imagine this happening to our only friend in the Middle East? In the meantime, other so-called world leaders fund terrorists who bomb Israeli schoolchildren. Perhaps they hope Islamic fanatics will finish Hitler's work
Why do Liberals rally for terror and tyranny?: Why do Liberals side with evil, failure and error? Because they have come to believe that rational and moral thought are acts of bigotry and that as "multiculturalists" all cultures are equally right and equally valid, then, in the words of Dinesh D'Souza, the multiculturalist must de facto become an apologist for tyranny
The Arab-Israel Conflict: 25 forgotten facts : As a matter of policy Arab refugees were not absorbed or integrated by the rich Arab oil states that control 99.9 per cent of the Middle East landmass. They are kept as virtual prisoners by the Arab power brokers with misplaced hatred for Jews and Western democracy. Moreover, Pan-Arabism or the doctrine of Muslim Caliphate declares that all land that used to belong to Muslims must be returned to them. Thus, Spain, for example, must eventually be re-conquered



The 10 Biggest Amateur Mistakes By the Obama Administration So Far : "During the 2008 presidential campaign, people speculated whether someone like Barack Obama, who has never really run anything or had any major achievements other than winning political office, could handle a three AM crisis call. Well, as it turns out, Obama has been such a bumbling incompetent that he probably couldn't handle a trip through a Wendy's drive-in window without a teleprompter telling him what to order and whether he wants a Coke or a Mountain Dew. Even though Obama has been in office less than two months, he has already made more boneheaded errors than most Presidents do in an entire term."

Oath keepers: Orders we will not obey: "We are a non-partisan association of currently serving military, reserves, National Guard, peace officers, and veterans who swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic . and meant it. Our oath is to the Constitution, not to the President, and that oath will be kept. We won't `just follow orders.' Below is our declaration of orders we will NOT obey because we will consider them unconstitutional (and thus unlawful) and immoral violations of the natural rights of the people. Such orders would be acts of war against the American people by the government and thus acts of treason. We will not make war against our own people. We will not commit treason. We will defend the Republic."

More charges for Palin hacker : "A University of Tennessee student who was indicted last year for allegedly hacking into the private e-mail account of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, is facing new charges. A federal grand jury added three charges to the one count that 21-year-old David Kernell was previously facing. Kernell was indicted in October on one count of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Now in addition to that charge, Kernell faces one count of identity theft for allegedly impersonating Palin to access her e-mail account; one count of wire fraud related to posting information from and about Palin's account on a web forum; and one count of obstruction of justice for destroying evidence."

Well-run banks to be ripped off: "FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair announced last week that the quasi-public insurance monopoly would become insolvent in the next few months if it is not allowed to implement a one-time, draconian surcharge on all U.S. banks. This charge will, in some cases, wipe out last year's profits. At the same time, the FDIC has requested an additional $500 billion `loan' from Congress. Small, solvent, well-run local and regional banks have objected. They rightly claim that they are not the problem. These banks have a solid and growing deposit base and many of them service their own loans and so did not get caught in the trap of originating bad loans and dumping them on the secondary mortgage market in federally-guaranteed bundles. Whether they know it or not, these banks intuit that, like Social Security, there is no FDIC `fund.'"

Obama's weak snort at pork : "Earmarks buried in a $410 billion spending bill now before Congress aren't all `pork' - spending of dubious value. And they total less than 2 percent of the bill's cost. So why would their passage be such a rite of passage for President Obama? Many Americans seem ready for Mr. Obama to veto this bill as proof he will exercise the fiscal discipline he so often promised in his campaign and continues to advocate. They already have doubts about his $787 billion stimulus bill that received scant review in Congress before being passed and is likely laced with poorly thought-out mandates to spend. These earmarks add insult to injury. When will the president stand up and say thus far and no farther to such dubious spending?"

Remember the war on drugs? : "In times of economic and political unrest, reforms that stood little chance of passage sometimes get a second look. One idea that deserves careful consideration is ending the war on drugs. Even a prosperous nation cannot afford the hundreds of billions of dollars spent each year in law enforcement outlays and losses to drug-related crime in our fruitless quest to ban recreational drugs. It's an especially foolish waste of resources in times of economic distress and high national security anxiety."


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 or here or here


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)


Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Today is the festival of Purim. Purim must be particularly significant for Jews this year. It commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people of the ancient Persian Empire from Haman's plot to annihilate them, as recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther.

This year another Persian empire is now posing a dire threat to Israel. The mad Mullahs of Iran now have enough fissile material to make a nuclear device and they have of course vowed to wipe Israel off the map. If I were a Jew I would go easy on the celebrations this year and do a lot of praying. Come to think of it, Purim might be a good day for an Israeli raid on the Iranian nuclear installations. Maybe I shouldn't have said that.


Obama is not trying to solve the economic crisis. He is using the crisis to socialize America.

"Not letting a good crisis go to waste." This idea popped up multiple times in the past seven days as multiple members of Obama's administration seemed to be in total agreement. Their conclusion: by not quickly solving the crisis of the American economy, we can create drastic social and structural change. Not surprisingly, this is the path even President Obama alluded to in his Saturday address to the nation.

On Saturday the President challenged his country to see its hard times as a chance to "discover great opportunity in the midst of great crisis." "That is what we can do and must do today. And I am absolutely confident that is what we will do," Obama said in his address. But is that what "we the people" hired him to do? To use "great opportunities" to change the face and fabric of the nation?

"We the People" were promised swift and effective action towards getting the markets repaired by President Obama, but they have dropped about 1400 points each week since he's taken power. "We the People" were promised greater fiscal responsibility by candidate Obama, yet his own proposals throw us down a black hole of debt, the likes of which we've never seen in a single year of an administration, much less in the first sixty days of one. "We the People" were promised the greatest commitment ever to oversight of the federal use of the money we send the government. What we've been handed is a series of embarrassing nominations of people who are willing to use the force of a gun to make you pay your taxes, but did not think twice about not paying theirs. "We the People" were told that his push for a stimulus would get people working again, yet barely 3% of it goes to actual job creation and projects that can even be initiated in the next 24 months. "We the People" were promised greater employment fulfillment and more vibrant business and economic outlooks when Obama's administration finally put together their plan to save the lending institutions. What we are dealing with is a greater spike in the unemployment numbers in Obama's first sixty days than was experienced under President Bush in his first seven years. "We the People" were promised an earmark free, pork free, bare bones budget, but as of last count Obama's omnibus bill contained 9200 earmarks.

So I don't find it surprising that recently even Obama supporters are now openly questioning his plan to revive the economy. As of last month, we know that more than 55% of the American people wanted help for the economy to come primarily through the reduction of taxes. The same poll found that only a little over 20% think more government spending was the answer.

Whoopi Goldberg surprised even herself on The View this week, unintentionally criticizing President Obama's plan to tax the American people into better economic conditions. She doesn't believe that she should have to turn around and write a check to Washington DC for nearly 40% of what she earns. Who could blame her?

Yet it is important to point out that there are now far more economists on record that have advised the President against larger government and pushed him towards tax relief, than those who supported the increased centralized control of a soft socialism that President Obama seems destined to aim for. And "We the People" should be asking ourselves why? If it makes no sense to the free market economists that populate the best economics programs across the nation, if it weakens the ability for the average family to make ends meet, and if it does not increase the number of people actually working, why is President Obama so stubbornly continuing to pursue his economically diabolical plan of destruction?

Because it's part of the master plan to "not let a good crisis go to waste." ... And in refusing to allow a "good crisis" to go to waste, the strategic move to remake Amerika anew has begun.

More here


One government that gets it

These days, you have to travel far to find a national leader who is talking about market-based approaches to the global recession. All the way to the other side of the world. "We don't tell New Zealanders we can stop the global recession, because we can't," says Prime Minister John Key, leaning forward in his armchair at his office in the Beehive, the executive wing of New Zealand's parliament. "What we do tell them is we can use this time to transform the economy to make us stronger so that when the world starts growing again we can be running faster than other countries we compete with."

That idea -- growing a nation out of recession by improving productivity -- puts Mr. Key and his conservative National Party at odds with Washington, Tokyo and Canberra. Those capitals are rolling out billions of dollars in stimulus packages -- with taxpayers' money -- to try to prop up growth. That's "risky," Mr. Key says. "You've saddled future generations with an enormous amount of debt that then they have to repay," he explains. "There is actually a limit to what governments can do."....

Mr. Key's coalition government, which includes parties to the right and left of the Nationals, has moved fast to implement a program of tax cuts, regulatory reform and government retooling. He won't label it supply-side economics and smiles when I ask if he's a Milton Friedman or Friedrich Hayek acolyte. "I'm not deeply ideologically driven," he says. "I believe in good center right politics."

Mr. Key is returning the country to a formula for prosperity that's worked in the past. As in Britain, the U.S. and Australia in the 1980s, New Zealand's government implemented a wide-ranging program of economic liberalization, including deep reductions in tariffs and subsidies, and privatization of state-run industries. The plan, nicknamed "Rogernomics" after then-Finance Minister (now Sir) Roger Douglas, was akin to Reaganomics, and the island nation grew smartly.....

Mr. Key's program focuses first on personal income tax cuts, which -- given that the new top rate, as of April 1, will be 38% -- are still high, especially when compared to Hong Kong and Singapore. "We just think it's good tax policy to lower and flatten your tax curve," he says. "People will move in labor markets and they look at their after-tax incomes."

For now, the prime minister is focusing on chipping away entrenched regulations that drive away foreign capital -- a contrast to the U.S. and Australia, which are reregulating their markets in the wake of the financial crisis. "Good regulatory reform can be an important catalyst toward driving economic growth and coming out of the recession faster," Mr. Key says. His government is revising legislation meant to protect New Zealand's pristine environment from private-sector development but misused by greens to stymie all stripes of business plans.

More here


Yes, We Did Plan for Mumbai-Style Attacks in the U.S.

Why the latest assault on Bush antiterror strategy could make us less safe

After 9/11, we had a responsibility to consider all possible threats. In the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, strikes on New York City and Washington, D.C., these were hypotheticals no more. They became real scenarios for which responsible civilian and military leaders had to plan. The possibility of such attacks raised difficult, fundamental questions of constitutional law, because they might require domestic military operations against an enemy for the first time since the Civil War. Could our armed forces monitor traffic in a city where terrorists were preparing to strike, search for cells using surveillance technology, or use force against a hijacked vessel or building?

In these extraordinary circumstances, while our military put al Qaeda on the run, it was the duty of the government to plan for worst-case scenarios -- even if, thankfully, those circumstances never materialized. This was not reckless. It was prudent and responsible. While government officials worked tirelessly to prevent the next attack, lawyers, of which I was one, provided advice on unprecedented questions under the most severe time pressures.

Judging from the media coverage of Justice Department memos from those days -- released this week by the Obama administration -- this careful contingency planning amounted to a secret plot to overthrow the Constitution and strip Americans of their rights. As the New York Times has it, Bush lawyers "rush into sweeping away this country's most cherished rights." "Irresponsible," harrumphed former Clinton administration Justice Department officials.....

Imposing Fourth Amendment standards on military action would have made the Civil War unwinnable -- combat occurred wholly on U.S. territory and enemy soldiers were American citizens. The military does not have the time to obtain warrants before soldiers fire upon enemy targets and personnel; the battlefield does not provide the luxury to collect evidence needed to meet probable cause standards in civilian courts. Even if the Fourth Amendment applied, we believed that courts would judge military action under a standard of "reasonableness" -- as they might review a police officer who fires in self-defense -- rather than demand a warrant to use military force to stop a terror attack.

In releasing these memos, the Obama administration may be attempting to appease its antiwar base -- which won't bother to read the memos in full -- or trying to look good for the chattering classes. But if the administration chooses to seriously pursue those officials who were charged with preparing for the unthinkable, today's intelligence and military officials will no doubt hesitate to fully prepare for those contingencies in the future. President Obama has said he wants to "look forward" rather than "backwards." If so, he should not restore risk aversion as the guiding principle of our counterterrorism strategy.

More here



McCain gets it: "President Barack Obama should let failing car giants go bust rather than prop them up with public money, his former White House rival John McCain said. Mr McCain led a Republican attack on the Obama administration's bailout for motor manufacturers, saying that bankruptcy was the best option for the firms. He accused Obama of failing to make the "tough choice" and said General Motors should go into Chapter 11 bankruptcy and come out better than before. "I think the best thing to let happen for GM, in my view, is to go into Chapter 11, reorganise contracts, come out of it stronger, leaner," he told Fox News Sunday."

Leftist taxes slowly destroying Britain's most profitable industry: "Brit Insurance, the patriotically named insurer best known for sponsoring the Oval cricket ground, is expected to confirm today a plan to move its headquarters out of the UK for tax reasons. The company's decision comes after months of deliberation and is based on what many see as an unfavourable corporate tax regime. It is understood that Dane Douetil, Brit's chief executive and a leading figure on the Lloyd's of London market, favours a move that keeps the company within the European Union. Brit confirmed last summer that it was looking at relocating its tax headquarters, hiring a number of advisers including Ernst & Young to examine its options, which will also take into account where it holds its capital. A number of companies have re-domiciled, or signalled such an intent, including Shire, the pharmaceuticals group, United Business Media, the business publisher, and WPP, the advertising group".

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


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 or here or here


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)


Monday, March 09, 2009

The lesson from Canada's Israel Apartheid Week: Anti-Semitism is now a creature of the left

The writer below is perfectly correct. All he misses is that the Left (including the socialist Hitler) has been the principal home of antisemitism at least since the days of the furiously antisemitic Karl Marx. See here. There was a brief let-up in Leftist antisemitism after WWII but the dog has now returned to its vomit (Proverbs 26:11)

People speak of anti-Semitism as if it were a monolithic evil. But it's not. There are two distinct strains of Jew hatred. Unfortunately, our society is still fixated on fighting the one that went out of style four decades ago. The difference between the two begins with the way Jews are depicted. Look at the images on this page. The one on the left, a poster published in German-occupied Poland in 1941, exemplifies the Jew-hatred spouted by the Nazis. (The caption reads: "Jews and Lice: They cause typhus.") The image on the right, a poster circulated on Canadian campuses this week to mark "Israel Apartheid Week," typifies the more recent variant.

Aside from the obvious - the language and style of illustration - what crucial difference do you notice? In the Nazi poster, the Jew is a piece of filth - a rogue pathogen within gentile society. The image perfectly captures Hitler's view of Jews as a "bacillus infecting the life of peoples." Now look at the image on the right. Aside from retaining the general sense that the Jew (or, to give the fig leaf its due, "the Jewish state") is a scourge upon the world, everything has changed. The Jew is no longer diseased and wretched. Just the opposite: He is an omnipotent, teched up superman, murdering a defenseless Palestinian child from above.

In this latter detail - the use of a child victim to communicate the extent of the Jew's evil - the anti-Israeli propaganda of today is similar to the posters and textbooks of the Nazi era, which often showed shadowy Hebrews menacing German children. But the Nazis usually took care to personalize the Jew as a craggy, hook-nosed ghoul - an image meant to further the idea that Jews were so genetically inferior as to be literally inhuman. Aside from editorial cartoonists in the Arab world (many of whom faithfully copy Nazi-era stereotypes to this day), anti-Semitic propagandists of our own age typically omit the Jew's features altogether in favour of a faceless, Star-of-Zion-emblazoned tank or helicopter. As in the Nazi era, the Jew isn't fully human - but now he's an all-powerful Nazgul instead of a pitiful Gollum. What explains this radical transition in the presentation of anti-Semitic propaganda? Three factors.

The first is ideology: When the Nazis went down to defeat, they took with them the intellectual basis of "germ-theory" anti-Semitism - the toxic notion that certain races or groups are genetically inferior or parasitical. In our era, to compare Jews to leeches is to announce oneself as a bigoted creature from society's discredited fringe.

The second reason is tied up with the history of Israel itself: After the Jews established their own state in 1948, it became impossible to typecast them as mere parasites contaminating foreign hosts. This was especially true after the Six-Day War of 1967, in which Israel scored a crushing military victory against Egypt, Jordan and Syria - not the sort of maneuver you'd expect from typhus-stricken old men.

The third reason is political: The leaders who find anti-Semitism useful today aren't extreme nationalists such as Hitler, Stalin or Mussolini (though Hugo Chavez admittedly has been wandering into that territory). Instead, they are radical Muslims - and their allies in Western activist groups, who speak the tropes of anti-colonialism, anti-imperialism, anti-Americanism, anti-racism and all the other fashionable antis. In this left-wing intellectual climate, disparaging any race or religion per se is off limits. The preferred tactic is to disparage the allegedly colonial, imperialist, racist etc. nature of their actions.

In keeping with our society's obsession with victimhood, the propaganda strategy against Israel now is entirely passive aggressive. While the Nazis loved to dwell on the virility and superhuman indomitability of Aryans, the Jews' enemies now are represented in propaganda by 5-year-olds carrying teddy bears. (For more in this vein, watch the 60-second promotional movie on the Israel Apartheid Week web site, in which you will see a cartoon mock-up of Gaza's population that contains no men of military age - just a bunch of sorrowful kids, mommies and granddads.) The moral dimension of the conflict - terrorism versus counter-terrorism, a society seeking peace versus one that seems addicted to war - has been replaced by a sentimental Marxist-inspired tale of the virtuous oppressed rising up against an evil oppressor.

Broadly speaking, in other words, the locus of anti-Semitism has moved from the right side of the political spectrum to the left. Here in Canada, you still do see a few isolated anti-Semites of the Nazi persuasion here and there - David Ahenakew is one rare example. But for the most part, the neo-Nazi movement is confined to a few self-parodic Internet chat rooms (many of whose members, we've learned in recent years, are actually bored human-rights bureaucrats looking to stir up hate-speech charges). These days, the hatemongers targeting Jews' right to live peacefully spout the mantras of "social justice" and "peace studies," not racial purity. Their movement is dominated by the sort of leftists and minority activists whom the Nazis (neo or otherwise) would have up against the wall in a heartbeat if they had the chance. (Running down through the published list of 11 speakers at the University of Toronto's Israel Apartheid Week, for instance, you will find no fewer than three Canadian aboriginal activists. Who knew these people were such experts on the Middle East?)

It also must be admitted that the anti-Semitism of today is a lot more subtle than the old-fashioned variety: Except in clear cases of blood libel such as the IAH poster, it's often hard to tell where legitimate criticism of Israel ends and Jew-hatred begins. As a result, Jews themselves - middle-aged university professors and career feminists, most typically - are often drawn into radicalized campaigns against Israel, and sometimes even can be seen marching gullibly arm-in-arm with Kafiyeh-clad protestors chanting for Jewish blood in Arabic.

It's a disgusting spectacle, especially when you hear their maudlin rhetoric - "massacre," "crime against humanity," "genocide," "holocaust," etc. If these words may be applied to the unintentional killing of several hundred Gazans during a counterterrorist operation, how does one describe the wholesale slaughter of tens or hundreds of thousands in places such as Chechnya and Darfur? ("Mega-massacre"? "Giga-genocide"?) You don't have to be anti-Semitic to pervert language or logic in this way, but it certainly helps. And I can see why many of my correspondents want universities to ban Israel Apartheid Week, or at least the most vicious IAW propaganda.

Though I personally don't care much for censorship, one might even think that this is the sort of issue in which our country's human rights commissions (last seen defending a Muslim woman's right to appear masked in court) might take an interest. But you'd be wrong. Our entire human-rights establishment was built in the 1960s and 1970s on the assumption that anti-Semitism would always be a creature of the extreme right. And to this day, the dinosaurs who run the nation's HRCs - along with their allies in the identity-politics industry - persist in the ridiculous notion that the main threat to Jews emanates from drunken old fossils like Ahenakew, or the eight unemployed hamburger-flippers who get together in Calgary every year to exchange badly rehearsed Hitler salutes.

They treasure this conceit for an obvious self-serving reason: Vilifying Nazis is easy. Taking on politically correct Muslims and campus lefties on parade is hard. Anti-Semitism thrives when lazy people look the other way. That much, at least, hasn't changed.



The stupidity rational people are up against

Below is an email recently received from an antisemite, complete with strange grammar, spelling etc. I think it is just schizophrenic thought-disorder but Muslim comments about Jews mostly have a poor grip on reality too

Euthenasia law signed by Hitler Was never put into use because the rest of germany would not vote for it, plus, the intended targets of euthenasia were gone during the war - you know, they died from starvation and cold.

Your site is misrepresenting a lot of facts. It looks to me like you are on the jews side.

What are you going to do next, create a retirement community and leave the old people out to die like the jews did? I have family pictures of old people whose families were milked for a lot of money, as they were well off, and thought their old people would be well taken care of, who in fact had their old people left out to die, starved to death, their houses left cold, and the jews put on this big ruse with the family like they were still alive and kept taking their money. Plus, those hideours jews would go back to look all the time at the bodies, and would go to other towns to find more victims and bring them back. In addition, they spent the money they earned paying for hits on local law enforcement until they could take over a whole village and move more of their relatives in.

Also, the jews killed their own kind. They were killing the polish jews to the best of their ability by sucking them into the villages they ended up owning, and getting them sick as experiments and watching them suffer and die, in order to know more about "medicine". They were all worse than any dr. mendela. Dr. Mendela is mostly blame victim, and reason for the Germans themselves to end world war II - You know, they put him up there in order to get the allies to blame just one man instead of the whole german population for stuff the jews had been doing themselves. Because the germans got blamed for what the jews were doing in their country, you know, it's like "why did you germans let those jews get so out of hand?" Better cover up for your countries weakness by taking the blame, HUH? DUH? Because you've probably studied all this to a T and know it anyway. You are most likely evil people who want to continue to perpertuate blame on an innocent german country forever, because it's fun to see all the germans ever born on earth suffer, like they are all responsible for the nazi movement, which by the way was only the sociopathic germans, not the normal ones. I was born into a neonazi family, and the neonazis were responsible when they ran WW I and WW II, they never got out of hand like Hitler did. And by the way, during WW II, the brightest and best generals were in their 70's, so germany had plenty of espionage experience to draw from

Lisa Hawthorne []

Note: I make no claim that the "Lisa Hawthorne" who wrote the above email is in any way connected with the various Lisas Hawthorne to be found by a Google search. I simply have no information on that


The appallingly incompetent way in which Lisa has expressed herself led me to suspect schizophrenic thought-disorder, a symptom of psychosis. A reader however has what is in a way an even more depressing suggestion. He says that her words are typical of a postmodernist young adult's attempt at writing English.



The issue of whether Obama is qualified to be U.S. President has not gone away. The huge resistance he has put up to demands that he produce an American birth certificate seems clear proof that he is not American-born. But the fight to nail him goes on. Latest episode here

By any criterion except ideology, Ashkenazi Jews are a highly intelligent group -- so it has long been a puzzle that Israelis do not score highly on IQ tests. Tests conducted on Israeli army intakes show an average IQ of 100, which is dead average for European countries. This post however gives a better explanation for the anomaly than my facetious one (that smart Jews stay in New York). It points out that a majority of Israelis are of Middle-Eastern (Sephardi and Mizrahi) origin rather than European (Ashkenazi) origin and that the large gap between Sephardi and Ashkenazi IQ is well-known. So an average of 100 for all of Israel still implies a quite high average IQ for Ashkenazi Israelis. Nice to have that puzzle solved.

More reason to fear government involvement in business: "In December 2003, Mayor Michael Bloomberg thought he had a slam dunk. He along with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and developer Bruce Ratner struck a deal for a $4.3 billion development project that was to remake downtown Brooklyn by building expansive residential and retail space, and a gleaming new $950 million arena that would bring the New Jersey Nets to the borough. Now, more than five years later, what's been brought to Brooklyn is a very large hole in the ground and a project that is coming to symbolize why large government projects can be riskier than allowing local residents to fix up their own communities. What we see in Brooklyn is the beginnings of the failure of a massive government plan to revive the economy of a neighborhood."

Zoo Director to Head Obama's Office of Personnel Management: "President Obama has announced his intention to nominate John Berry to serve as the next director of the Office of Personnel Management. A veteran of the Treasury and Interior departments and current director of the National Zoo, Berry also once served as legislative assistant to Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)..... At the Interior Department, he served as director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, working with then-inspector general Earl Devaney to address several financial and management issues. Appointed director of the National Zoo, Berry implemented a strategic plan, a management reorganization, a 20 year capital master plan and secured funding for infrastructural improvements. Under his watch, the Northwest Washington zoo has also renovated the popular elephant house and seal and Sea Lion exhibits".

Antisemite running America's intelligence: "Charles Freeman is now officially ensconced as the head of the U.S. National Intelligence Council, and will produce the National Intelligence Estimate. It's a done deal it seems. All USA intelligence (and a lot of stupidity) will flow through this one man and be edited by him. He will produce America's official picture of the Middle East and the world. Freeman's qualifications for the job include being President of an Arab lobby organization, MEPC, that accepted a million dollar donation from Saudi Arabia and published the full length version of "The Israel Lobby." Freeman is, or at was, also on the board of directors of another Middle East Lobby - The American Iranian Council. Freeman's views about Israel and its enemies can be summed up in this one quote: "I'm a very practical man, and my concern is simply this: that there are movements, like Hamas, like Hezbollah, that in recent decades have not done anything against the United States or Americans, even though the United States supports their enemy, Israel. By openly stating and taking action to make them-to declare that we are their enemy, we invite them to extend their operations in the United States or against Americans abroad." Just because the Hezbollah blew up a few marines in Lebanon is no reason to hold a grudge, right? And just because Hamas insists that it wants to wipe out every Jew on the planet, that's no reason to slight them either, correct? And the demonstrations with huge crowds chanting "Death to America" are no reason to hurt these wonderful Islamic gentleman either, are they?"


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 or here or here


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)


Sunday, March 08, 2009

Media Malpractice: Propaganda Replaces News

A new documentary movie by courageous filmmaker John Ziegler entitled "Media Malpractice" made its theatrical d,but last night in Seattle, Wash. The movie systematically proves how corrupt and dishonest the American media were during the campaign of 2008.

The film was revealing, coming just days after a similar well-orchestrated effort by the Obama administration, Democratic Party officials, and liberal advocacy groups in league with the mainstream news media against Rush Limbaugh and Gov. Bobby Jindal as their primary targets. Even the president played his part in the bizarre, staged play by telling congressional Republicans, "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done."

Ironically, the plan to attack Limbaugh was already being hatched while the unfair attacks on Gov. Sarah Palin, documented by Ziegler, were reaching a crescendo last fall.

The manipulation can only be called propaganda. Old-fashioned, unbiased journalism has died. The Limbaugh attacks in the news, we now know, were cooked up by Democratic strategists James Carville and Stanley Greenberg last fall. Internet-based Politico reveals the White House involvement in the conspiracy when it reported, "A senior White House aide has been tasked with helping to guide the Limbaugh strategy."

Members of the media are performing their part of the script. Three speeches and the media's response to them serve as concise illustrations of the media role in the propaganda machine. They acted in unison, attacking and vilifying Limbaugh and mocking Jindal. Conversely, they are a choir of praises for the "tone of his speech" when reporting about Obama's address to Congress.

Limbaugh delivered his terrific speech at the CPAC conference and it was broadcast nationwide. He detailed the differences between ultra- liberal Barack Obama's big government agenda and the ideal of smaller government. He explained why conservatives care about the individual. Limbaugh's speech inspired the crowd, reminding them of the founding principles of America. He showed how starkly Obama's philosophy differed from traditional American ideas, while explaining what exactly is at stake in this present debate.

However, you wouldn't know this by listening to the mainstream media. Bill Schneider on CNN said "Well, it was an angry tone... this was a very angry speech. They didn't do so well last year but they're still angry. The tone of this speech was mocking, bullying, it was full of contempt, and I thought it was a very harsh speech." David Letterman and Katie Couric joined the fun mocking Limbaugh's clothing and his delivery, this, given the fact that none of the late night comedians have poked any fun at Obama while they viciously mocked Bush. Chris Matthews lambasted Limbaugh while needling his guests to disown him.

Now, compare the reception of Limbaugh's speech with the media's reaction to Obama. They criticized Limbaugh's tone, ignoring the content. For Obama, instead, they focused on the rhetoric he uses to mask his agenda, overlooking his leftist content. While universally praising Obama's rhetorical flair, most commentators ignored what Obama actually said in his address. They omitted talk of the huge deficits, tax hikes for all through carbon taxes, and the return to class warfare.

David Gergen oozed about "a rousing speech, took us up to the mountaintops." The New York Times reported Obama's words, "were often stern, but laced with optimism and humor," and "he framed his argument with fresh urgency." Chris Matthews simply called it "Churchillian." To top it off, CBS host Maggie Rodriguez said, "And Americans loved it.then out comes Bobby Jindal." Rodriquez called Jindal "Debbie Downer, saying 'hated it, it's not going to work'" because he didn't agree with Obama's leftist plan for America.

Talking heads praised Obama before and after his speech. MSNBC introduced the Jindal speech and Matthews unprofessionally audibly muttered, "Oh God," as Jindal approached the camera.

As if muttering "Oh God" weren't enough, Matthews introduced Jindal saying "we're going to hear a fairly right-wing speech tonight." Charlie Gibson echoed those sentiments, "He is a very conservative Republican and you'll hear that reflected, I think, in his remarks tonight." Yet, not one utterance was heard from the media about how liberal Obama and his agenda are. Maybe the most ludicrously biased comments were by Washington Post columnist Amy Argetsinger, who "found his (Jindal's) Manson eyes disturbing." The only exception to the discussion of the content of his speech was to say that Jindal was far-right.

These three different speeches provide clear examples of the media's preferential treatment for liberal ideas. The media shield the public from true debate. Instead they propagandize for Obama and the political left. Unfortunately, media bias didn't end after November 2008.



Britain loots the savings of the elderly to pay for the mistakes of the banks

The implicit message: Spend your money as soon as you get it and depend on the pittance provided by the government in your old age

In a mere 24 hours the size of the pension deficits facing some of Britain’s biggest companies has jumped by around 100 billion pounds to a record 390 billion - the equivalent of over 150,000 for every member of a final salary scheme. The increase is a direct result of the Bank’s announcement this week to create 150 billion and pour it directly into the financial system, experts said.

It sparked further criticism of the authorities for endangering the financial future of Britons’ savers in their efforts to bring the financial crisis to an end. The Government and Bank have already been accused of obliterating the incentive to save by slashing interest rates on savings accounts and visibly attempting to stoke up high inflation in the years to come.

The Bank was accused of hammering the final nail into the coffin for Britain’s final salary pension schemes, which have seen their deficits climb in recent years, partly as a result of Gordon Brown’s decision as Chancellor to levy a 6 billion tax raid on pension funds’ dividends. Some 2.5 million workers are currently signed up for these schemes which provide retirees with a guaranteed annual income when they reach the appropriate age. Having enjoyed a small surplus only a year ago, these funds have also been hit by the fall in the stock market over the past year.

However, the effect of the Bank’s scheme has been to increase the deficit between what is in the funds and what is needed to pay out future pensioners by an almost instant 100 billion. Although some expect the deficits to fall in the years ahead as the economy improves, insiders warned that this could be the final straw that persuades companies to shut down these schemes altogether and turn instead to far less generous defined contribution plans.

However, experts warned that even these more parsimonious schemes, which 8 million workers are subscribed to, will suffer as a direct result of the Bank’s actions. The amount these people receive from their pension depends not only on the size of pot they amass over their working life but on the rate of the so-called annuity which provides them an annual income from the moment of retirement. Over 600,000 people are due to retire onto these schemes over the next year. Should annuity rates fall a further percentage point, it will mean the annual pension of someone with a 100,000 pension pot may drop from around 7,000 to 6,000. Experts said anyone retiring in the coming years may face an instant decrease in what they could hope to expect from their pension.

Tom McPhail of Hargreaves Lansdowne said: “The sad truth is that pensions savings are going to be what pays the price for these efforts to bail out the economy in the short term. The apparent plan is to try to fix today’s problems at the expense of our children - by paying a shedload of money which will have to be paid back tomorrow. "It will hammer the final nail in the coffin of final salary schemes, as well as cutting the annuity rates for anyone with a defined contribution set to retire imminently.”

However, public sector workers, many of whom are on generous final salary schemes, will be unaffected by the increase in deficits, since their pensions are paid by taxpayers rather than cash-pressed companies.




US jobless rate still unstimulated: "The U.S. unemployment rate spiked to 8.1 percent in February, reaching the highest rate in a generation as employers slashed 651,000 jobs. Both figures were worse than analysts expected. Wall Street reacted with a rally right after the opening bell, but as of midmorning the Dow and Nasdaq showed small losses. According to the U.S. Labor Department, the net job loss in February came after even deeper reductions in the prior two months. The economy lost 681,000 jobs in December and 655,000 in January."

MN: High court denies Franken bid for election certificate: "The Minnesota Supreme Court today ruled that Al Franken was not entitled to be certified winner of the U.S. Senate election pending the outcome of a trial challenging his 225-vote recount lead. The court said state law says a certificate of election cannot be issued until the state courts have finally decided an election. The court also said federal law did not require states to certify senators by the time a new term begins in January. Moreover, it said the U.S. Senate could always seat Franken even without a certification. . Coleman's team has argued in court that the recount, which gave Franken a 225-vote lead, was flawed and that hundreds of wrongly rejected absentee ballots should be tallied."

Why I miss Bill Clinton: "If Barack Obama achieves nothing else in his presidency, he may do something that once seemed impossible: give a lot of people who aren't crazy about his party a new respect for Bill Clinton. Clinton, for all his appetites and excesses, was a cautious, centrist sort of Democrat. He had innumerable ideas for things the government could do, but most were small and fairly innocuous. He was willing to go along with Republicans on some of their sound ideas .. He proclaimed - or conceded - that the `era of big government is over.' But Clinton never foresaw Barack Obama. From the sound of his budget speech last week, the new president hopes the era of big government is just beginning."

Beating back Obamanomics : "It's raining, pouring economic fallacies by the hour, followed by a flood of horrible policy that is driving us ever further into economic depression. The regime in charge has really gone nuts, revealing itself as both deeply ignorant and horribly evil. We find ourselves facing the horror of what has always been the Achilles' Heel of the left wing: its abysmal ignorance of economic science. The ideological tendency has gone from Keynesianism to outright socialism in a matter of a few weeks. And the trajectory seems to be accelerated mainly by the logic of the interventionist cycle: bad policy leads to bad results that are addressed through bad policy, and so on, straight down the fast track to serfdom."

British decline: "The last surviving railway restaurant car service is to be scrapped and the space used to cram in more passengers, ending a 130-year tradition of fine dining on trains. Passengers will no longer be able to watch the countryside slip by at 125mph as a waiter serves them a four-course dinner at a neatly laid table. Instead, they will have to bring their own food or buy snacks from trolleys. National Express, the last train company to offer a frequent restaurant service, is closing its dining cars under a secret deal with the Government. Over the past two months it has axed all 22 daily restaurant cars on the Norwich to London Liverpool Street route and 81 on the East Coast Main Line from Edinburgh to London King's Cross. Now the company is considering withdrawing the remaining 15 daily restaurant cars on East Coast routes and converting the kitchens into seating."

In defence of tax havens: "Given that Britain's banking sector is currently lurching from one crisis to the next, and seemingly always on the verge of complete collapse, is the prime minister - who oversaw Britain's finances for 11 years - really in a position to lecture anyone about how their banks are regulated? And how on earth is outlawing 'shadow banking systems' going to protect people's savings? Even for a consummate liar like Gordon Brown, that one's a stinker. There is little doubt that the shadow banking systems Brown is referring to are considerably more secure and stable than those in Britain or the USA. That's why people put their money in them. As for tax havens, well, there Brown is being even more transparently dishonest. His dislike for tax havens has nothing whatsoever to do with the security of people's savings, and everything to do with the fact that high-spending governments like his detest international tax competition."

British government has `blood on its hands over unsafe vehicles': "A former senior SAS officer in Afghanistan has said that the Government has "blood on its hands" over the deaths of four soldiers killed by a roadside bomb. Major Sebastian Morley, who resigned last October from his post as the most senior reservist SAS officer in Afghanistan, said that army commanders and Whitehall officials ignored his warnings that "unsafe" vehicles would lead to the deaths of soldiers. Major Morley, 40, stood down after what he called the "unnecessary deaths" of four soldiers when their Snatch Land Rover hit an anti-tank mine in Helmand province in June last year. Among the dead was Corporal Sarah Bryant, the first servicewoman to be killed in Afghanistan. Major Morley accused Quentin Davies, the Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, of telling an "unacceptable lie" when he said after the deaths that commanders could choose which vehicles they used in combat."


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 or here or here


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)