Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Obama date

A report from an Air Force officer

First, let me say that I've moved three presidents up to now and I've seen incredible waste. But, the "new" guy really takes the cake. I don't have an issue with the President promising his wife dinner and a show or that he even takes his wife out. But, when I saw the news say that the date cost $24,000, here's what you DON'T know.

Three days before "dinner" a C-17 flew Marines and the helicopter maintenance equipment to JFK Airport . The day before "dinner" I flew the USSS and the motorcade to JFK Airport. Our crew of 5 spent two days and nights at the Hilton in Times Square. My hotel bill: $621.66 plus $64 a day in per diem. The USSS guys were at a different Hilton in NYC, so figure that cost another $14,000 (or so) plus per diem. The Marines had to have cost as much and were there four days, so figure another $55,000 plus per diem (for 44 Marines).

We were supposed to fly the motorcade back and go home, but the Air Force was so short C-17's that we were re-tasked to take the motorcade back, return to JFK and take the helicopter back to Quantico. When we got back to JFK, while the pilot was turning the plane around to park, he noticed a rotor blade sticking out of the hangar where the helicopter was parked and informed me that either it wasn't ready to transport or it was flying home.

After shutting down I walked over to the hangar and to my surprise I find FIVE helicopters, not ONE. We're obviously not transporting five big helicopters. I went and talked to the Marines guarding the "fleet" and found that they were flying all five helicopters home and we were only transporting the Marines and the maintenance equipment.

After talking to the Marine(s) in charge, I was told that the White House requested FIVE helicopters. The Marines told me that they spent all morning trying to figure out how much it cost them to come and said they figured it cost them $140,000 to stay there (I don't know where they came up with that)and the trip's total had to be about $1,000,000.

We heard that the President didn't use Air Force One (the 747) so I asked if he came in on one of the 757's. I was told that he came in on THREE Air Force Lear jets.

So, date night consisted of: 2 C-17's flying three missions, 3 Lear jets, 5 Helicopters, Presidential Motorcade, 44 Marines, more than 20 USSS personnel on our plane. Who knows what it cost the NYPD and NY Port Authority (at the airport) in overtime.

These are the same people that chastised the automobile CEO's for using their aircraft. It further proves that the media only use the facts that make the President look good and hide any facts that will detract from his persona. Is this the 'change' we expected?

Received via email


Nothing has been learnt

Obama wants more of what has already failed

The Obama administration is considering an overhaul of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that would strip the mortgage finance giants of hundreds of billions of dollars in troubled loans and create a new structure to support the home-loan market, government officials said.

The bad debts the firms own would be placed in new government-backed financial institutions -- so-called bad banks -- that would take responsibility for collecting as much of the outstanding balance as possible. What would be left would be two healthy financial companies with a clean slate.

The moves would represent one of the most dramatic reorderings of the badly shattered housing finance system since District-based Fannie Mae was created by Congress to support mortgage lending during the Great Depression. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, based in McLean, have government charters to buy home loans from banks, which they then repackage and sell to investors. The banks can then use the proceeds to offer more loans to home buyers.

The leviathans became emblematic of the financial crisis when they were effectively nationalized in September amid a market meltdown that revealed much of their holdings to be troubled. The government has since pledged more than $1.5 trillion, including $85 billion in direct aid, to keep the mortgage market working through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.




The DNC, liberal blogs, MSNBC and the Obama administration are attacking anyone that challenges them on their government-run health care scheme. Obama is asking his supporters to “flag” comments that don’t comply with his dogma on health care reform. Liberal blog “Think Progress”, which seems to be a misnomer, published an outright lie about FreedomWorks that was picked up by other leftist blogs and even mainstream media sources like Politico and broadcast news stations.

What explains the lockstep, attack-mode liberal campaign against FreedomWorks and Tea Party Patriots? Well, we have them on the ropes. We are using Saul Alinsky against them and out organizing them. They can’t stand the fact that real Americans are showing up at townhall meetings and demanding that elected officials listen to them for once. When you move the country toward socialism at such a rate, and bail out failed companies, raise taxes, explode the deficits and demonize millions of Americans, what do you expect their response to be?

I am not a fan of shouting anyone down or using the tactics that ACORN and the thuggish unions use. But I am a fan of local activists who are organizing their neighbors and friends to get them to meetings so that they can speak up, speak out and put their elected officials on the spot. Its funny that the community organizer in chief is now afraid of the very thing that got him elected: individuals that convince their friends and family to get involved in the political process. David Axelrod, Rahm Emmanuel and Barack Obama are afraid of what they are seeing in the town hall meetings, and inside district offices across the country. They have awakened a sleeping giant made up of hundreds of thousands of Americans who have been pushed too far by the federal government.

The activism out there is real, organic, passionate, inspiring and as American as it gets. While FreedomWorks has played a role in organizing its members to participate in the protests, we have not faked anything, nor tried to control the movement. We offer the protest movement on the right some guidance, some leadership and some lateral coordination, but the heart and soul of the movement is the grassroots. It’s made up of folks like Diana Reimer in Philadelphia, Mark Meckler in Sacramento, Billie Tucker in Jacksonville, Debbie Dooley in Atlanta and Kellen Giuda in New York City. These are the people that are leading this movement from the ground up, and taking on the political elites like no one else has before. The left can criticize, mock, brush off or hate these people all they want, but they will not stop organizing. They will not stop protesting, calling their congressmen, showing up at townhall meetings and coming to DC on their own dime to meet with their legislators. These folks are new to politics, and they are sick and tired of both parties. These are the people that will kill cap and trade, fight government-run healthcare tooth and nail and hold politicians accountable in the 2010 election.

We are under attack by the left because they fear us. We are on offense. We have pushed back and now we are the radicals and they are the establishment. We are taking on big government and big business, both of which are supporting Obamacare. I have watched this movement develop from the beginning, and I can say that it has the potential to be a historic movement that rivals many others in American history. If we stay focused, keep organizing, keep recruiting and keep up the pressure, we can and will defend liberty and prevent this country from walking blindly down the road to serfdom.

SOURCE. Another comment on this on TONGUE-TIED today. See also here and here and here for the sheer impossibility of what Obama is proposing.



House provides $200 million for government VIP jets: “The House is ordering up three Gulfstream jets to fly Pentagon and other top government officials — including members of Congress — around the globe in conditions far cushier than coach class. The almost $200 million appropriation to buy three C-37 jets, the military version of the Gulfstream 550, is buried in a $636 billion Pentagon budget passed by the House last week. It’s not as fancy as the version sold to private customers, but still is a very nice ride.”

Poll: Obama drops to 50 percent: “President Obama’s approval rating has dropped to 50 percent, according to a poll released Thursday, a new low for the president as he tries to shepherd healthcare reform legislation through Congress in the next few months. A new Quinnipiac University poll shows 50 percent of Americans approve of the job Obama is doing compared to 42 percent who don’t. That’s the lowest number since Obama took office, and down from a 57 percent approval rating at the beginning of July. A FOX News poll released July 23 showed his job performance at 54 percent. The new Quinnipiac numbers suggest the public is losing confidence in the president’s ability to guide domestic policy issues, yet retaining confidence in his ability to guide foreign policy.”

Obama backtracks on pledge to whistleblowers: "Despite its pledge to better protect federal employees who expose wrongdoing, the Obama administration privately sought to weaken protections for national security whistleblowers under legislation making its way through Congress, according to correspondence obtained by The Washington Times. E-mails that documented the White House's intervention show the White House counsel's office provided its own drafts of the proposed legislation in late June and mid-July. While strengthening protections for some whistleblowers, the drafts weakened protections for FBI employees and reduced access to jury trials for those national security workers who sue for protection from retaliation after blowing the whistle."

Somalia is Obama’s new “Afghanistan”: "The Horn of Africa is a hotbed of pirates, Islamic radicals, warlords, refugees, and, lately, foreign armies trying to influence this killing field. The epicenter is Somalia, a Muslim land largely in chaos since 1991 and — this is the big worry — a possible nesting ground for Al Qaeda or its allies. President Obama has taken on this trouble spot directly, as he has Afghanistan. He’s beefing up US military aid and training for Somalia’s besieged government, which can barely hold onto the capital, Mogadishu. And on Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton held a high-profile meeting with the country’s elected president, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed.”

Obama and the economy: "Now, I’m not saying that Reagan was laissez-faire or that the economic recovery didn’t owe something to a newly fashioned form of military Keynesianism. Rather, my focus here is on the spin: the press hated him, and exaggerated the failings of the economic structure in order to destroy policies it hated. The contrast with the Obama administration can’t be more stark. No one in these ranks said that malinvestments have to be washed out of the system and bankruptcies and unemployment must be tolerated for a time in order to get back on a growth. Nay, nay, they pulled out the old bag of tricks and claim that they only needed to loot the public of hundreds of billions and spend it on building up government, and then, wow, like magic, the entire economy would come back to life. But it hasn’t.”

There Is a Military Option on Iran: "In a policy address at the Council on Foreign Relations last month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said of Iran, “We cannot be afraid or unwilling to engage.” But the Iranian government has yet to accept President Obama’s outstretched hand. Even if Tehran suddenly acceded to talks, U.S. policy makers must prepare for the eventuality that diplomacy fails. While there has been much discussion of economic sanctions, we cannot neglect the military’s role in a Plan B. The military can play an important role in solving this complex problem without firing a single shot. Publicly signaling serious preparation for a military strike might obviate the need for one if deployments force Tehran to recognize the costs of its nuclear defiance. Mr. Obama might consider, for example, the deployment of additional carrier battle groups and minesweepers to the waters off Iran, and the conduct of military exercises with allies. If such pressure fails to impress Iranian leadership, the U.S. Navy could move to blockade Iranian ports. A blockade—which is an act of war—would effectively cut off Iran’s gasoline imports, which constitute about one-third of its consumption. Especially in the aftermath of post-election protests, the Iranian leadership must worry about the economic dislocations and political impact of such action. Should these measures not compel Tehran to reverse course on its nuclear program, and only after all other diplomatic avenues and economic pressures have been exhausted, the U.S. military is capable of launching a devastating attack on Iranian nuclear and military facilities."

I have put a fair bit up on my Paralipomena blog recently, for those who take an interest in my assorted postings there.


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, August 07, 2009

Health Reform and Obama's Tax Pledge

Excerpt from Karl Rove

Public support for his plans shrank when Americans saw the trillion-dollar-plus price tag, recoiled from the intrusive expansion of government into patient-doctor decisions, and came to understand the plan was financed in part by huge cuts in Medicare and large tax increases.

So, after running into heavy opposition among Congressional Democrats and growing public hostility to his plan, Mr. Obama has now recast the debate as an attack on insurance companies, with the president serving as savager-in-chief. This would be more credible if he hadn’t surrounded himself with insurance CEOs and lobbyists when he kicked off his effort in March.

The corrosive effect of basing policy decisions on polls also could be seen in White House handling of the refusals on Sunday of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and National Economic Council Director Larry Summers to rule out middle-class tax increases. They got disciplined Monday by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, who said they’d “allowed themselves to get into a little bit of hypothetical back and forth.”

This dispute pits the economic team against the campaign team. The economic team awakens each day worried about reconciling two irreconcilable realities: The administration’s budget calls for huge, sustained new government spending, which threatens giant budget deficits. Being liberals, the economic team is inclined to raise taxes, not cut spending.

The campaign team is intent upon protecting a pledge driven by its 2008 campaign polls: Mr. Obama promised never to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year to avoid being labeled a tax-and-spend liberal.

Even so, Mr. Obama has already broken his no-new-taxes pledge. On Feb. 4, Mr. Obama signed a $33 billion cigarette tax increase, which fell disproportionately on lower- and middle-income individuals. And the “cap and trade” energy bill, approved by the House on June 26, is a tax on anyone who owns a light switch, uses a car key, or has bought anything manufactured, shipped or sold in the U.S.

The House version of Mr. Obama’s health-care—excuse me, “health-insurance”—reform already has four taxes that will largely be paid by people making less than $250,000 a year. There’s $8.2 billion in taxes for using health savings accounts and other tax-free medical savings vehicles to purchase over-the-counter drugs. There’s an 8% tax on employers who don’t offer insurance: The Congressional Budget Office says workers in those businesses would pay the $163 billion cost via lost wages.

There’s a 2.5% “Tax on Individuals Without Acceptable Health Care Coverage” in the House bill that applies to people who either don’t have insurance or whose policies the government deems inadequate. Finally, there’s a $2 billion “Comparative Effectiveness Research Tax” on all private and “public option” insurance policies.

If some version of ObamaCare is passed, the president will break his tax pledge several more times while adding trillions to the deficit, dismantling the best elements of our health-care system and slashing Medicare by hundreds of billions of dollars.

There are no polling data or focus groups on earth that can help Mr. Obama out of this jam. He has set in motion events he appears unable to control and commitments he cannot keep. Great communicators succeed when the ideas they are communicating are sound. Tax-and-spend liberalism doesn’t work, no matter how pretty its package.

More here


"Clunker" folly

Here's an idea: Let's give $50,000 to anyone looking to upgrade to a brand-spanking-new, environmentally friendly home. All we ask in return is that you burn your previous residence into a heap of smoldering cinder. That's the concept behind the bizarre "cash for clunkers" program so many people are deeming a success. It's so successful, in fact, that Congress will increase funding for it by 200 percent.

Then again, in Washington, a place where elected officials are astonished -- astonished! -- when a program doling out free cash is popular, success often translates into higher costs and fewer results.

Now, some of you radicals may have an ideological dilemma with a government handing out thousands of dollars to citizens making an average of $57,000 a year so they can upgrade their perfectly serviceable vehicles. Turns out, though, that by nearly any criterion, including the ones offered up by President Barack Obama, this populist experiment is an unmitigated fiasco.

To begin with, building a new car consumes energy. It is estimated that 6.7 tons of carbon are emitted in the process. So a driver who participates in the "cash for clunkers" program would need to make up for that wickedness. There are about 250 million registered vehicles in the United States. Only a micro-slither of those cars will be traded in -- and a slither of that number could be deemed "clunkers" outside the Beltway.

A survey of car dealerships found a relatively small differential in fuel efficiency between cars traded in and those replacing them. A Reuters analysis concluded -- even with the extended program in place -- "cash for clunkers" would trim U.S. oil consumption by only a quarter of 1 percent.

As an economic stimulus, the plan is equally impotent. As James Pethokoukis, a columnist at Reuters, succinctly explained, "The program gets much of its juice via stealing car sales from the near future rather than generating additional demand."



Obama hires another crook

Today, the Free Enterprise Project calls on President Obama to dismiss General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt from the president's Economic Recovery Advisory Board because of the findings revealed in a settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and GE. The SEC said, "GE bent the accounting rules beyond the breaking point" and "GE misapplied the accounting rules to cast its financial results in a better light." The SEC complaint cited four separate accounting violations one of which "allowed GE to avoid missing analysts' final consensus EPS expectations." Importantly, all the accounting irregularities occurred while Jeff Immelt served as CEO.

"It's outrageous for President Obama to keep Immelt as an advisor when the SEC charged that GE engaged in a series of efforts to manipulate earnings to mislead investors. The pattern of corruption raised by the SEC is deeply concerning and during a time of economic crisis, the last thing America needs is a Bernie Madoff type CEO giving advice to the president," said Tom Borelli PhD, Director of the Free Enterprise Project.

GE agreed to pay $ 50 million to settle the fraudulent accounting charges without admitting or denying any wrongdoing.

"The deliberate manipulation of financial data to mislead shareholders about earnings, if true, is fraud and Immelt must be held accountable. Not only should Obama dismiss Immelt from his advisory capacity but GE's board of directors should immediately seek his resignation from the company," added Borelli.

"Given the nature of the SEC charges, Obama should question the motivation and truthfulness of everything Immelt says including the company's support of cap-and-trade legislation. Immelt's support of cap-and-trade has nothing to do with a concern for the planet but everything to do with setting government mandates to purchase renewable energy products such as GE wind turbines."

"If Immelt misled shareholders about earnings he could easily mislead the president on everything from climate change to health care."



Captain Unaware

Barack Obama, through his spokesman, claimed that he was unaware of the tax day tea parties. Granted, the MSM has done a good job in suppressing any sort of coverage ahead of time (and the little coverage they did provide was derisive at best) but how out of touch is the Community Organizer in Chief, really This much:

* He was unaware that he was attending a church (for 20 years) with a racist pastor who hates America.
* He was unaware that he was family friends with, and started his political career in the living room of, a domestic terrorist.
* He was unaware that he had invested in two speculative companies backed by some of his top donors right after taking office in 2005.
* He was unaware that his own aunt was living in the US illegally.
* He was unaware that his own brother lives on pennies a day in a hut in Kenya.
* He was unaware of the AIG bonuses that he and his administration approved and signed into a bill.
* He was unaware that the man he nominated to be his Secretary of Commerce was under investigation in a bribery scandal.
* He was unaware that the man he nominated to be his Secretary of Health and Human Services was a tax cheat.
* He was unaware that the man he nominated to be his Secretary of the Treasury was a tax cheat.
* He was unaware that the man he nominated to be the U.S. Trade Representative was a tax cheat.
* He was unaware that the woman he nominated to be his Chief Performance Officer was a tax cheat.
* He was unaware that the man he nominated to be #2 at the Environmental Protection Agency was under investigation for mismanaging $25 million in EPA grants.
* He was unaware that his own private plane (Air Force One) flew over New York "very low" just to take pictures along with the Statue of Liberty, which cost the tax payers $328,000.

There are people in comas that are more aware of world affairs than this guy. Who knows what else Chairman Zero is "unaware" of, that his enablers in the media have been making sure we really are unaware of?

SOURCE (See the original for links)



“Cash for Clunkers:” Success redefined? “‘Cash for Clunkers’ is being called a great success. Politicians are scrambling to fund an expansion of this program. Let’s do a little math and see if we can agree. The reports have been rolling in and we have heard repeatedly that showrooms were filled with people looking for new cars because of the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program. The Senate is working hard to fund this program for a whole month. They desperately need to tie themselves to a successful, popular program. My non-scientific drive by of the dealerships near my home last weekend left me a bit suspicious. I saw no unusual activity. They did not even look busy. I saw few customers walking around the lots. So, let’s look at the numbers.”

Obama Threatens Freedom of the Press: "On July 22, 2009, President Obama held one of the most boring news conferences in the history of televised presidential events. For nearly 50 minutes, he blathered on about private and public health care plans, red pills and blue pills, costs and benefits. In the last five minutes of the conference, he made his controversial comments about Henry Louis Gates and the Cambridge, Mass., police department -- but by that time, everyone watching was either drifting into sleep or totally comatose. So why did ABC, NBC, and CBS broadcast this atrocious, narcolepsy-inducing ode to arrogance in the midst of prime time? It turns out that President Obama and his hatchet man, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, are not averse to using their bully tactics on political allies as well as political enemies. Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post reports that when networks began fussing over broadcasting yet another Obama snoozefest, Emanuel called not the programming chiefs, but the heads of parent companies in an effort to pressure networks to greenlight his boss’s show."

Fraudulent claims on taxpayer dollars finally noticed by Medicare : “Fueled by massive fraud, home healthcare providers in Miami-Dade County are raking in more Medicare money than their colleagues in the rest of the country combined — thanks to bogus billings for patients with diabetes, authorities say. Now, Medicare is taking tough steps to stop agencies from filing hundreds of millions of dollars a year in false claims.”

Obama returns to Indiana with $39 million electric cars grant: “President Obama told a grateful audience of recently-re-employed RV builders that the government will give a $39 million grant to build electric batteries and car components here. It’s part of $2.4 billion in grants for electric batteries and other innovative technologies that Obama and his cabinet are announcing in stops around the country today.” [More of that amazing taxpayer generosity]

Obama sends stimulus aid to foreign firms: "Nearly half of the $2.4 billion in federal grant money awarded Wednesday to stimulate the U.S. economy and boost the production of hybrid and electric vehicles went to six companies with ties to places as far away as Russia, China, South Korea and France. President Obama announced the grants during a visit to Indiana and said the funds would create domestic jobs and instigate more "green" manufacturing in the United States. But because so few American companies have the necessary technology, much of the money will initially go toward manufacturing electric vehicle batteries overseas." [What an ill-informed clown the man is!]

"Cold cash" Jefferson convicted: “Former [Louisiana] Democratic Congressman William Jefferson [above] was found guilty of 11 of 16 corruption charges today by a federal jury. The jury of eight women and four men returned a guilty verdict following five days of deliberation. In the 16-count indictment, Jefferson was charged with soliciting bribes and other crimes for a series of schemes in which he helped American businesses broker deals in West African [sic] in exchange for payments or financial considerations to companies controlled by members of his family, including his brother Mose, his wife, Andrea, their five daughters and a son-in-law.”

You must bow to the King in Florida: "A Deerfield Beach city employee’s two-day suspension without pay has been lifted after Mayor Peggy Noland contacted the Acting Director of Parks and Recreation. Cassandra Moye, a five year maintenance worker with the city’s parks department, was suspended for reportedly not saying hello to the mayor when she passed her while working on the beach Monday. Moye admitted that when she passed her supervisor, acting parks director George Edmunds, and Mayor Nolan engaged in a conversation on the sidewalk, she didn’t address them. The 44-year-old, who earns $12.33 an hour keeping the beach area clean including the public restrooms, said less than an hour later she was called to Edmund’s office and reprimanded for her actions. Moye said Edmunds then presented her with an official memo of suspension and said she could face termination.”

The unintended consequences of rent control: “Suppose that you want to destroy a city. Should you bomb it, or would it be sufficient just to impose rent control? It’s a bracing question at first, but some economists have argued that the two are roughly equivalent. When the price of rent is held below the market-clearing level, shortages emerge and the housing stock rapidly deteriorates. Those who advocate price controls often do so on the basis of their views on distributive justice.”

Don’t bank on it, Prime Minister Brown: “The huge bailouts and government guarantees might have acted as a life-support machine to keep some of the UK’s biggest banks technically alive, but they have not been revived. This week’s figures from the state-owned banks confirmed that if something is shooting up in the finance section, it’s not green. … These results from the state-owned banks were widely described as disastrous. An even bigger disaster, however, is the obsession with banking as the be-all and end-all of the UK economy. If it was rash of Brown to claim that he had rescued the banking system, it is ridiculous now to claim that the banks can somehow magically revive British and Western capitalism.”


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, August 06, 2009

Google censorship again

This time they have blocked the popular humour blog Wicked Thoughts. All is not lost, however, as the Mirror site is still updating regularly. I have no idea what the blocking is all about or if it will be permanent so do publicize the link to the mirror site.


The Leaderless Revolution

I think the article below is a bit optimistic but there may be something in it. The block vote they get from blacks and Hispanics means that the Donks don't have to persuade many others to remain in power

A revolution is taking place in America. It's as intangible as the whispering wind. Yet as ineluctable as mounting gale. To the politicians, it's still but a passing breeze rustling the hair at the nape of the neck. To the grassroots masses, it's rushing torrent destined to sweep the elite from the Halls of Power.

America is at the very incipience of a Leaderless Revolution. One could see it at the hometown Tea Parties disclaimed by politicians as ragtag assemblies and disdained by Barack Obama who speciously claimed not to have even known they even occurred. One can sense it in the polls, as one after another shows plunging support for this president and his policies.

And one can hear it loud and clear in the angry outpourings at "Town Hall" meetings where sputtering politicians are driven from the podiums and forced to seek shelter behind a phalanx of guards.

In New Hampshire, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter tried to defend the snails’ pace of socialized medicine with the absurd claim, “Many of my constituents would love to stand in line.” Maryland’s Sen. Ben Cardin, when pressed by his constituents on why they should be forced to turn over their health care to government bureaucrats, yammered that Americans simply can’t be trusted. (And he has now made his town meetings “by invitation only.”)

In Syracuse, NY, Rep. Dan Maffei had to call in the police to restore order at his health care town hall after angry protestors shouted him down. And Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY1), experiencing his own problems with outraged attendees decided just to cancel town hall meetings altogether.

Ellen Sauerbrey – the courageous lady who many feel won the governorship of Maryland in 1994, only to have it snatched away by a post-election recount – recently wrote: “I have never seen people so upset and scared. The rebellion today is a true grassroots uprising of citizens that don’t believe either party in Washington represents them, hears them or cares what they think. More and more I hear, ‘A plague on both their houses. Throw all the bums out’.”

What the politicians need to learn is that insulting their constituents’ intelligence, denouncing them as slackers, having them arrested, or trying to act as if they simply don’t exist is not going to solve the problem of a grassroots rebellion on the ascent. Nor will trying to single out some contrived opponent to belittle and besmirch, as Barack Obama did Rush Limbaugh.

The real problem the politicians face is that there is no opposition leader. In fact, there are no leaders at all. The hallmark of the grassroots uprising now befuddling and deflating the Washington political elite (and their mainstream media factotums) is that they are flying in the face of a Leaderless Revolution soundlessly inundating the very air they breathe.

It is amorphous. It is dauntless. It is unyielding. And it needs no person or party to state its case or fight its cause.

Carried in a purse, a brief case, or a backpack; wielded in the palm of the purveyor’s hand; as easy as aps; and summed up in 140 characters or less; this is the Leaderless Revolution that Bill Gates predicted was coming at the “Speed of Thought” on the wireless wings of the wind.

Unfortunately for the Washington establishment, in America today – just as in Iran, Honduras, and Moldavia -- the thought has now become an action. The words have become deeds. They have begun to sow the wind. And the tone-deaf political elitists are about to reap the whirlwind.



How Obama will tax the middle class

By making everything they buy more expensive

Few of President Obama’s 2008 campaign pledges were more definitive than his vow that anyone making less than $250,000 a year “will not see their taxes increase by a single dime” if he was elected. And he was right, very strictly speaking: It’s going to be many, many, many billions of dimes.

Asked about raising taxes on the middle class on Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” White House economist Larry Summers wouldn’t repeat Mr. Obama’s pre-election promise. “It is never a good idea to absolutely rule things out no matter what,” Mr. Summers said—except, apparently, when his boss is running for office. Meanwhile, on ABC’s “This Week,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner also slid around Mr. Obama’s vow and said, “We have to bring these deficits down very dramatically. And that’s going to require some very hard choices.”

These aren’t even nondenial denials. The Obama advisers are laying the groundwork for taxing the middle class while claiming the deficit made them do it.

The liberal establishment is even further along in finally admitting that Mr. Obama wasn’t, er, telling the truth. A piece in the New York Times over the weekend declared in a headline that “the Rich Can’t Pay for Everything, Analysts Say.” And it quoted Leonard Burman, a veteran of the Clinton Treasury who now runs the Brookings Tax Policy Center, as saying that “This idea that everything new that government provides ought to be paid for by the top 5%, that’s a basically unstable way of governing.” They’re right, but where were they during the campaign?

In an editorial on February 26, “The 2% Illusion,” we wrote that the feds could take 100% of the taxable income of everyone in America earning more than $500,000 and still have raised only $1.3 trillion even in the boom year of 2006. The rich are fewer and less rich now, while the Obama budget is nearly $4 trillion.

Democrats already plan to repeal the Bush tax cuts, but that won’t raise enough money. So they’re proposing an income tax surcharge on “the wealthy,” but that won’t raise enough either. Democrats have no choice but to soak the middle class because only they have enough money to finance the liberal dream of yoking the middle class to cradle-to-grave government entitlements.

Democrats have already taxed the middle class by raising cigarette taxes to pay for the children’s health-care expansion. They’re also teeing up average earners with their cap-and-tax energy bill. Mr. Obama had hoped that cap-and-tax would raise some $646 billion over a decade, but Democrats in the House had to give most of that away in bribes to business to pass their bill. To finance ObamaCare, they’re also proposing another 10-percentage-point increase in the payroll tax on firms and individuals that don’t purchase health insurance. But this won’t raise enough money either.

So waiting in the wings is the biggest middle-class tax increase of them all: a European-style value added tax, or VAT. This tax would apply to every level of production or service, and it is beloved by politicians in Europe because it raises so much money so easily without voters noticing. Ezekiel Emanuel, a White House aide and brother of Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, has advocated a 10% VAT to finance national health care. Look for a VAT to be one of the prominent options when Mr. Obama’s tax reform commission issues its report later this year.

The undeniable reality is that you can’t run a European-style welfare-entitlement state without European-style levels of taxation on the middle class (and eventually without low European-style growth and high jobless rates). It’s looking more and more like Mr. Obama’s no-middle-class-tax pledge was one of the greatest confidence tricks in American political history.



Clunker Cash and Me

Let’s face it: After 17 years and 232,522 miles of faithful service, my Jeep’s best days were long past. Time for some new wheels — but money’s a bit tight these days, for me as for so many others.

But, as good fortune would have it, not for the federal government: They’re willing to pay me $4,500 — $4,500! — to turn that clunker in for a new car satisfying the combined demands of political correctitude and the auto-dealer lobby. Alas, the rules specify that the big, powerful, safe truck that I want does not qualify.

And so I asked the question on the minds of millions of my fellow concerned citizens: How can I get my snout into this trough? Easy: I buy a small car qualifying for the $4,500, and keep it for a few months until the cash-for-clunkers boondoggle has run its course. At that point, the supply of used cars will have shrunk and their prices driven up; I will sell the almost-new small car for what I paid for it ($12,629 last Saturday) or more, at worst having driven it for free, and then buy the truck I covet.

I am deeply ashamed of myself, having worked the system while the poor get shafted by higher prices for the used cars they demand and by higher prices for the used parts needed to repair them. (Under the rules, the clunker engines have to be destroyed, the real-life Beltway version of the old joke about the fate of dairy farming under socialism: The government takes the milk and shoots the cows.) This is hardly the first time — nor will it be the last — that modern environmentalism has harmed those less fortunate.

As for me, I remain ashamed, but not sufficiently so to have forgone the $4,500. And, to be blunt, I am hardly the only sinner in this congregation. When the federal government starts writing checks so as to implement half-baked ideas in pursuit of yet another cause for do-gooderism, gaming the system is the system, an eternal truth relevant to the ongoing debates over health care, taxes, and much else.




The recession isn’t over: “There is simply no money to rekindle the orgy of consumer spending that kept the US economy afloat for so long.People can’t even borrow if they want to. Banks are not lending, because they know that the happy talk is nonsense, and they don’t want to loan money to people and businesses that are liable to go belly up as the recession continues. That’s why card companies like American Express and many Visa and MasterCard issuers, instead of just charging a late charge when card-holders miss a monthly payment deadline as in the past, are now just jacking up the interest rate they charge — in American Express’s case to 28% or over 2% a month! That’s not the action of a bank that is expecting to get repaid by a valued customer — it’s the extortionate action of a usurer that wants to extract as much money as possible from a borrower that it expects to have go bust. Banks are canceling personal and business credit lines right and left too, making a joke of the Obama administration’s claim that it bailed out the banks so that they would ’start lending again.’” [And the above is from a Leftist site]

Lack-of-progress report: “Thus, once again, below the president’s honeyed, highfalutin ways of speaking, there is revealed a pretension that is becoming insufferable, a sense of moral and class superiority in office, which he has not yet earned. Moreover, when he is on his own, without speechwriters, Obama is surprisingly unimpressive. He is rambling, fairly boring, error-prone, evasive, and not well-informed. In addition, President Obama seems to be unable to admit error, to apologize, or to voice what all can see to be true.”

More British bungling: "Life-saving vehicles built to withstand Taliban roadside bombs have been stranded in Dubai for the past month because the RAF does not have enough planes to fly them into Afghanistan, it can be disclosed. The problem is set to grow with 50 of the 157 ordered Ridgbacks scheduled to arrive in Dubai by November. During the bloodiest month for British soldiers in Helmand province, where 22 died and an estimated 100 were wounded, nine £300,000 Ridgback vehicles were left on the tarmac at Al Minhad airbase outside Dubai, The Daily Telegraph has learned. The Ridgbacks, which offer protection against mines, are a four-wheeled version of the robust six-wheeled Mastiff that has saved numerous lives in Afghanistan. They were ordered principally to replace the vulnerable Snatch Land Rover, in which 37 soldiers have been killed. During the time that the Ridgbacks have been held up in Dubai a number of soldiers have been killed in less-protected vehicles such as the Jackal, Viking and Spartan. The stranded vehicles were left in the Middle East as the RAF committed its C17 Globemaster aircraft to removing British equipment from Iraq. RAF commanders are also furious over a “ridiculous” ruling that the armour and protection fitted to the vehicles was “UK Eyes Only”, which means they are not allowed to go on allied aircraft shuttling out of the airbase."


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, August 05, 2009

Mideast Peace Now!

By Gene Schwimmer

Is it time for those who clamor for a Middle East peace to "declare victory and go home"? Two recent events in the region signal the answer. And that answer, resoundingly, unequivocally, is "yes."

In 2006, Hezb'allah crossed Israel's northern border and kidnapped two soldiers, triggering a massive Israeli retaliation that caused hundreds of deaths, billions of dollars of damage and came close to destroying Hezb'allah, who were literally saved by the bell when the "international community" combined with a hapless left-wing administration on the Israeli home front pressured the Israelis into halting their advance short of complete victory.

And yet, in the aftermath of that war -- a war that reduced parts of Lebanon to rubble; a war in which Hezb'allah failed to invade, let alone conquer, an inch of Israeli territory; a war in which, a Hezb'allah officer confessed to The Jerusalem Post that, had it continued only ten more days, "we all would have surrendered -- Hezb'allah, astonishingly, declared victory. Apparently, in the topsy-turvy milieu of whatever passes for logic in the Arab Middle East, one can do that (and among the Israel-hating Left, get away with it).

So the Israelis pulled out, a UN "peacekeeping force" came in and, as we who opposed ending the war without a clear victory predicted, Hezb'allah returned and not only replenished their rocket arsenal, but increased it fourfold.

But then, something important happened. Hezb'allah won 57 seats (out of 128) in Lebanon's recent parliamentary elections. And on July 5, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a warning to Lebanon (emphasis mine) "that Israel will hold the Lebanese government responsible for any attack launched from within the country's territory, including Hizbullah operations."

Israel-bashers who waited for the usual Hezb'allah bluster and threats were disappointed for none has been forthcoming. One might even go so far as to say that, after Netanyahu's warning, Nasrallah has become all hat and no camel, to the point that:

"[a] week after a group of 15 people carrying Lebanese and Hizbullah flags crossed into the Shaba Farms, the terror organization called on its followers... not to demonstrate in the area under Israeli control."


"top Hizbullah and Amal officials made a commitment to the UN envoy in Lebanon not to organize rallies along the border with Israel and to block any attempt to demonstrate there".

And at the same time, in the West Bank, according to Ethan Bronner of the New York Times: "Seven months after Israel started a fierce three-week military campaign here to stop rockets from being fired on its southern communities, Hamas has suspended its use of rockets and shifted focus to winning support at home and abroad through cultural initiatives and public relations."

Of course, if Israel attacks Iran, all bets are off regarding Hezb'allah. But for now, all is quiet on the northern front. And the eastern front. And the southern front.

What does this sudden quietude along every inch of Israel's border with every one of her neighbors mean?

It means that now, today, amid all the "international community's" caterwauling about a supposed need for Israel to make substantial unilateral, self-endangering concessions "in the interest of Middle East peace, the chances of Israel being attacked by any of her neighbors right now is virtually nil. Which, in most people's definition, but especially in that of those who dwell in the Middle East and are familiar with the region's long and bloody history, means, there is peace.

Unnoticed, unheralded, not even reported, under their very upturned noses, the international community's professed goal of a peaceful Middle East, at least relative to Israel, has been achieved.

Peace, finally, has come to the Middle East, and it came not through Barack Obama's and the international community's (and Neville Chamberlain's) prescription of "negotiation" and appeasement, but through Ronald Reagan's -- and Franklin Roosevelt's; and Harry Truman's and, yes, Tony Blair's -- prescription of peace through strength and the resolve to stand forthright against one's enemies. (Even the only arguable exceptions, Israel's negotiated peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt, came only after Israel's victory in the 1973 war.)



Acting Without the Facts — A Presidential Pattern Emerges

By Michael Reagan

Last week, President Obama was almost finished with his nationally broadcast press conference when he was asked to comment on the arrest, and subsequent release, of renowned Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. by the now-famous Cambridge, Mass. police Sgt., Jim Crowley.

In his response to the question, the president started off with a legitimate point for discussion — his concern over the alleged practice of profiling across our nation. Had he stopped there, the matter would most likely have been put to rest and the president and national media could have re-focused on more pressing matters facing our nation such as the economy, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, or even the debate on health care. However, the president inexplicably decided to expand his response by saying the Cambridge police acted “stupidly” in their handling of the matter — while admitting that he did not yet have all of the facts at his disposal.

While this certainly turned out to be a significant political blunder, thankfully this particular occasion did not directly impact national policy or international standing. However, the unfortunate truth is that a pattern is emerging — one where President Obama decides to speak in advance of the facts on matters of much greater importance than a mistaken arrest.

First, when it came to the economy and the administration’s prediction that unemployment would stabilize at 8 percent or less, Vice President Biden himself admitted they were in error and that “there was a misreading of just how bad an economy we inherited.”

Despite pumping billions of dollars of “stimulus” money into the economy, unemployment — currently at a 26-year high — continues to rise, and we are left to understand that this administration does not have a solid feel for where the economy is heading and, indeed, never did. Talk about boosting consumer confidence.

The litany continues. Just a few days after assuming office, President Obama again jumped the gun by signing three executive orders relating to the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. One order in particular called for the facility’s closure within a year of his signature — by this coming January. Again, after taking full measure of the situation it now appears that this accelerated timeframe is premature and infeasible — causing embarrassment for the administration and casting doubts on our international credibility.

There were plenty of warning and cautions beforehand, but again it seems the president did not take the time to acquire all the facts before making a decision, and now we’re left with prisoners whom no one will accept, and an administration forced — yet again — to admit they’re unsure of how to proceed.

During his campaign, Barack Obama promised all troops would be out of Iraq within 16 months of his assuming office. Barely a month after entering office, the president had already adjusted that plan to end combat missions within 18 months and allow for a complement of 35,000 troops to stay even longer. Yet just this week Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki suggested that the troops may be needed even longer than currently planned.

Most recently, we see the same pattern emerging with his proposed health-care plan, where even Democratic Congressional leaders are trying to rein in President Obama and distance themselves from his timetable, not to mention the details of his plan, as the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office releases report after report regarding the deficit increase and economic danger the President’s plan poses. This, of course, sits on top of the CBO’s analysis that the program is also at least a decade away from any savings and would still leave tens of millions of Americans uninsured. It seems to me like that sort of information would have been helpful to have in advance, and thankfully voters are already seeing through the scheme.

It’s not that we, the American people, don’t appreciate the ability to adjust to the reality of circumstances. Indeed, upholding a foolhardy promise would be reckless insult on top of gross error. But is it too much to ask that next time our president get the full information before he rushes towards judgment?



BrookesNews Update

Obama's big spending fallacy could ruin the US economy: a history lesson : The historical evidence and sound economic reasoning do not support Obama's colossal spending programs — and Americans instinctively no this. Yet he and advisors are hell bent on implementing these programs even though the only result will be a great weakening of the economy, if not something far worse. Only an unreasoning and fanatical belief in the power of state can account for such behavior
Is the US economy close to recovery? : Most experts and commentators are of the view that the worst of the US recession may be over by year's end. However, the so-called recovery is a monetary illusion based on government-constructed economic indicators, nothing more than that
The recession and the right's shoddy economic thinking: It is being argued by luminaries like John Stone that this is 'not a conventional recession, but a much more unusual balance sheet one'. This is complete nonsense. The recession — and the financial crisis — is entirely due to grotesque monetary mismanagement by the central banks
Overvalued currencies and floating exchange rates : For some perverse reason our rightwing economists refuse to accept the indisputable fact that overvalued currencies do exist even though we have floating exchange rates. This refusal to fact facts has degenerated into a personal vendetta
An open letter to the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP on his support for a destructive carbon tax : The despite the evidence that man-made global warming is a myth and that carbon taxes will devastate the economy Malcolm Turnbull arrogantly insists on implementing a thoroughly destructive police
Obama's Kerenskyism, Honduras and the Chavist abyss: Hillary approved the acquittal of the bloody Castro dictatorship. The very secretary of state that, along with president Obama, is open for a dialog with the pro-terrorist Iranian government has opened her arms to the Cuban communists. The same woman who met with smiles with dictator-president Chávez; and who shut the door to the civil Honduran delegation that went to Washington simply to explain their version of the facts. So why are Obama and Clinton supporting Marxist thugs who want to destroy America?
Obama's science czar wants forced abortions and government control of the family: John Holdren is America's new 'science czar'. He is also a dangerous green fanatic who believes in forced sterilizations, forced abortions, that abolition of the right of people to determine the size of their families. He also believes in total state control of the economy. So why did Obama appoint this dangerous fanatic and have the media covered for him? Is because they agree with his fanatical views?
Congress should not rush through something as important as changing our healthcare system: The Obama administration's cost estimates of Obamacare are phony. The real cost will be at least double the estimate. Add the cost of the healthcare program to already-incurred other costs of the no stimulus Stimulus Bill and other spending for the budget deficit, TARP, et al, and you have a total expenditure and deficit which is unimaginable even in modern times
Calibrate this, Mr. President: Why didn't Obama address the fact that the only oppression happening these days is by his buddies Castro, Chavez and all the other third world dictators he seems to think are misunderstood men of good will



Iran’s Stalinist justice further exposes the nature of the regime: "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be sworn in for a second term as Iran’s president tomorrow, following an election described by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as a “vote for the fight against arrogance and brave resistance to the international domination-seekers.” Maybe President Obama will note that his no-meddling stance hasn’t yielded much in the way of humane restraint or political accommodation. All the more reason, then, for Mr. Obama now to denounce the Stalin-style show trial of some 100 leading reformists accused of seeking to overthrow the regime. The detainees were hauled out of prison in their pajamas, brought to court without the aid of defense lawyers, and in some cases forced to deliver publicly televised confessions. “I believe the reformists had prepared for two or three years for this election, in order to limit the power of the Supreme Leader,” confessed former Iranian vice president Mohammad Ali Abtahi. Mr. Abtahi’s wife told the Associated Press her husband had probably been drugged. Lest there be any doubt about the regime’s intentions, its mouthpiece newspaper Kayhan called for the execution of the leading defendants."

White House rejects tax-hike suggestions: "The White House on Monday knocked down the prospect of tax hikes on the middle class to help close the growing federal deficit, walking back comments made by two of President Obama's top economic advisers. "The president's clear commitment is not to raise taxes on those making less than $250,000 a year," said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. "He is not raising taxes on those making less than $250,000 a year." Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and National Economic Council Director Lawrence H. Summers ignited the discussion of middle-class taxes during separate appearances on the Sunday talk shows, venues where administration representatives typically carry disciplined and well-planned messages to the public. By broaching the tax issue, the two men raised inevitable questions about the sanctity of one of Mr. Obama's most potent campaign promises: his vow to protect the middle class from any increase in their tax bill. Mr. Obama has defined the middle class as a family making less than $250,000 or an individual making less than $200,000"

Congressmen hit over healthcare bill: "Senator Arlen Specter and the health and human services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, were heckled and booed in Philadelphia on Sunday. In Austin on Saturday, a throng of protesters enveloped Representative Lloyd Doggett, Democrat of Texas, at a supermarket where he was trying to meet constituents. They carried signs that said “No Socialized Health Care” and chanted “Just say no!” And in Morrisville, Pa., Representative Patrick J. Murphy, a Democrat, expected 25 people at a “Congressman on Your Corner” event on Saturday. Instead he was met by a boisterous crowd of about 150 and a barrage of questions on health care."

The health bill is an Edsel: "Congress is getting an earful about Barack Obama's health care "reform," but before August is out, nobody's ears will be big enough to hold it all. Not even the president's... An aide to one Democratic congressman likens his boss' vacation to a hopeless campaign to "sell the Edsel." The Edsel, as only old-timers recall, was a new car introduced by Ford five decades ago. The car arrived with lots of weirdly shaped sheet metal and expensive bells and whistles, only to become the enduring metaphor for humiliating failure. The Republicans hold advantages as the monthlong congressional recess begins. The Democrats' only pitch is that Obamacare will "save" money - nobody believes that. [See more on this at SOCIALIZED MEDICINE]

Republicans closing gap in polls: "Nine months after Republicans suffered their worst political defeat in decades, President Obama and the Democrats are slipping in the polls and the Republican Party is expected to make gubernatorial and congressional gains in the 2009-10 election cycle, according to pollsters and election analysts. Six months into his presidency, Mr. Obama's approval ratings have fallen from the 70s to the low 50s or less and the Democrats' once-muscular lead in the polls also has shrunk. Republicans are leading in this year's two governorship races, in Virginia and New Jersey, and analysts say they likely will capture several more governor's mansions next year."

Panel blasts Panther case dismissal: "The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is demanding that the Justice Department explain why it recently dismissed a civil complaint against members of the New Black Panther Party who disrupted a Philadelphia polling place during last year's election, saying the department has offered only "weak justifications." Commission Chairman Gerald A. Reynolds, a former deputy associate attorney general under President George W. Bush, said he fears the legal precedent set by the department in its May decision to drop the case might encourage "other hate groups" to act similarly at polling locations in the future. Mr. Reynolds also charged that other groups might not have been treated so leniently. "If you swap out the New Black Panther Party in this case for neo-Nazi groups or the Ku Klux Klan, you likely would have had a different outcome," he told The Washington Times in a telephone interview Monday. "A single law, a single rule should be applied across the board. We are communicating with the department in hopes of gaining a better understanding of just what happened."

An optimum size of government?: "A new study by economists with the Institute for Market Economics (IME) in Sofia, Bulgaria, using the latest OECD data, finds that the government sectors in OECD (developed countries) are too large relative to their private sectors to maximize economic growth. Economists have long known that the government sector can be too small or too large to maximize economic growth, job creation, and the social welfare of its citizens. Governments that do not adequately protect the people and their property and the rule of law may be too small, while governments whose size and inefficiencies cause a misallocation of resources are too large. Over the last several decades, economists have tried to determine and quantify the optimum size of government (recognizing that not all governments and societies are the same). Most studies have shown the optimum size of government is between 12% and 30% of GDP. The new IME study, entitled The Optimum Size of Government, finds (using standard methodology) the government sector should be no larger than 25% (and perhaps considerably smaller) to maximize GDP growth. All major governments, including the U.S., Germany, U.K., France, and Italy greatly exceed that level. The average government sector for the OECD countries now exceeds 41% of GDP."

British helicopters 'not fit for use': "BRITISH military helicopters set to be deployed to Afghanistan were not properly equipped to fly combat missions, a newspaper said today, fuelling a row over adequate resources for troops. The helicopters were not fitted with special armour, leaving them vulnerable to attack by Taliban extremists while transporting troops, the Daily Telegraph newspaper said, citing unnamed Royal Air Force sources. The Ministry of Defence rejected the report, saying the six aircraft set to be deployed by the end of the year were "fit for operational use." "Our Merlin Mk3 helicopters have ballistic protection as standard, and are being fitted with a range of modifications to make them fit for operational use," a spokesman said. The newspaper said pilots wanted the helicopters fitted with Kevlar armour, which would cost about £100,000 ($200,944) for each aircraft, to protect them from bullets and rocket-propelled grenades. Claims of a shortage of helicopters have been at the centre of a political row over adequate equipment for the armed forces amid a surge in the British death toll in Afghanistan."


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, August 04, 2009

On race, 'No, he can't!'

By Andrew Breitbart

Well, that was pathetic. And it wasn't an accident. The fix was in from the beginning. Last week's lackluster "Beer Summit" featuring Sgt. James Crowley, professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. was orchestrated to end a national discussion on race, not begin one. That's why there were no microphones, even though each participant showed himself to be perfectly qualified, astoundingly articulate and camera-ready for an illuminating and much-needed public debate.

The problem for the White House was the more the esteemed professor talked, the more trouble he created for his friend, the president. The clever photo-op sans audio was crafted to yank the director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research off the stage, lest anyone begin to question what is being taught at Harvard these days.

Conversely, the more Sgt. Crowley weighed in, and his brave black co-workers spoke out, the more obvious it became that a national discussion featuring this cast of characters may not end with the results the professor and the president wanted. The status quo was at risk, and Mr. Obama used his extraordinary powers to protect it.

Any serious discussion would have put multiculturalism on trial, but the pretrial public hearings showed America opposes this false and corrosive idea, an opposition that our chattering classes can only understand as bigotry and prejudice. In the public eye, being a victim of past injustices does not win the right to propagate current and future ones, and that's intolerable to those in charge of the race industry today, whose power relies on maintaining forever a latent rage that can be turned on and off at the will of the nation's elites.

America is Tiger Woods country for a reason, and she elected Barack Obama to punctuate this new reality. The nation's laws, education system and media attitudes now need to catch up, but such catching up is exactly what Mr. Obama doesn't stand for.

My long-held fear is that Mr. Obama is hiding something about his education. During the endless 2008 campaign, Mr. Obama would not release his college grades. Given that President George W. Bush and Sens. Al Gore and John Kerry all had proved mediocre grades were no impediment to a presidential bid, Mr. Obama likely had other concerns.

While I have no desire to see Mr. Obama's birth certificate, I do want to see his college transcripts. My suspicion, one could even call it a conspiracy theory, is that Mr. Obama committed himself to a radical curriculum, aligned himself with the far-left professoriate, and sought to keep this biographical information from his political enemies, especially then-rival Hillary Rodham Clinton, for fear that they would paint the former community organizer and follower of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright as something other than an advocate of racial reconciliation.

Through his acts over the last few weeks, Mr. Obama has reinforced my fears and my admittedly speculative thesis. He has shown he has neither the desire to provide a fresh angle on race, nor wants to draw attention to the bad ideas that dominate higher education and stifle the mainstream media.

Not only were there no fresh ideas about race and living in multiethnic America, but there were hardly even any stale ones. Perhaps this was because Mr. Obama's and Mr. Gates' initial - and thus probably most authentic - reactions in playing the race card had proved so unpopular, and so they just wanted to have their frosted malt beverages and get outta Dodge.

But for whatever reason - this ballyhooed beer summit proved merely to be a semi-private photo-op that just happened to be held at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. There were rote, banal and opaque statements, with no public discussion, no interaction with reporters, or even with voices as identifiably conservative as Mr. Gates is identifiably liberal. For what Mr. Obama had called a "teachable moment," the teachers were pretty much absent and there wasn't even much of a lesson plan.

Isn't the mainstream media that built up the narrative of the black professor versus the white cop the least bit curious why in a tailor-made scene the wondrous orator and America's first multiracial president failed miserably to fulfill his great promise to usher in an era of better race relations?

The Democratic Party - which is now Mr. Obama's party - now depends on the ability to keep blacks in fear: of cops, of Republicans, of conservatives, of "Uncle Toms," and even of Tiger Woods, who proves that America, while still imperfect, is clearly heading in the right direction.

The beer at the White House tavern was served flat last Thursday because the president is less the living embodiment of America's melting pot than he is an adherent of the toxic ideas that - "thanks" to Mr. Gates among many, many other tenured radicals - dominate the modern university, permeate media thinking, saturate public policy and seek to define us in perpetuity by the color of our skin.

It took black and white blue-collar civil servants to expose that the race game is rigged at the highest levels. The majority in the United States wants to enter a better, more egalitarian and diverse, and even racially mixed future. We still need to have this big national discussion. We'll just have to have it without the president of the United States.




Sweden downsizes government to deal with economic crisis: “Think the answer to America’s problems is bigger government? Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg has seen the result up close and says it’s not pretty for the economy or investors. Anders Borg has a message for those who look to government to take over health care, rescue the financial system and run troubled corporations: I have seen the future — and it doesn’t work. As the finance minister of Sweden, Borg is the chief financial officer of a country long known as a walking billboard for a social welfare state …. Left-leaning politicians pushed government spending, excluding investment outlays, from 22% of gross domestic product in 1970 to 30% in 1980. Real growth fell from an average of 4.4% annually in the 1960s to 2.4% in the 1970s and remained low for the next two decades. ‘Like many societies, we went too far in our welfare-state ambitions,’ say[s] Borg.”

Dismissing your thoughts: “When I entered college, after a four year stint in the US Air Force, I discovered that a great many intelligent people commit what is called the genetic fallacy. As the entry in Wikipedia puts it, this fallacy is committed when ‘a conclusion is suggested based solely on something or someone’s origin rather than its current meaning or context. This overlooks any difference to be found in the present situation, typically transferring the positive or negative esteem from the earlier context.’ Whenever I would voice any of my views about politics, economics, child rearing or whatever, these folks explained it away by my origins, my having been born and raised in Budapest, Hungary, then a Soviet (communist) satellite. Everything I thought and said was deemed to have been caused by my background. This approach to understanding what people think and do has one very serious problem: the person’s views who is doing the explaining would then also be subject to such an explanation; indeed, the explanation would have to be considered caused by that person’s background.”

Wanted: A modest Obama : “By all accounts, Barack Obama’s father, the Kenyan student studying in America, was cocksure and impressed with his own talents. The arrogance gene must be dominant. Obama clearly has it. And that, more than any other factor, is driving his summertime swoon. Hubris made him reach for too much, too soon; brazenly overpromise about the effects of his program; overestimate his control of events; think the golden touch of his brilliant team could solve intractable problems; and believe his words could trump reality. The Obama team is fiddling with his health-care talking points. But the verbiage is beside the point. What Obama needs is a little modesty.”

The stimulus lesson : “Let’s stipulate that Congress may yet pass some sort of health insurance overhaul by the end of the year, that the future in politics is never a straight-line projection from the present, that President Obama is a savvy and charismatic guy, that Democrats control both houses of Congress, and — yadda, yadda, yadda — that the climate for ‘reform’ has never been better. Still: One can’t help noticing that the more Obama talks about his health plan, the less the public supports it. Why? Partly because voters have connected the dots between the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and Obamacare. They have seen the meager results and huge deficits that the stimulus produced, and can’t come up with a good reason to embark on yet another government shopping spree. For the public, the stimulus was bad economic medicine. Now Obama wants it to try another, unapproved experimental drug.”

It’s a new bull market: “Let’s call this what it is: A new bull market in stocks has emerged from the ashes of the financial meltdown and the deep recession that followed. And it’s signaling the onset of economic recovery. Free-market capitalism is more durable, resilient, and self-correcting than its detractors would have us believe. This is not just a summer rally — although a 12 percent market rise since July 10 is absolutely splendid. There’s a lot more going on here. Over the last five months, since March 9, the broad-based S&P 500 is up 46 percent. If I’m not mistaken, a 20 percent rally that is not quickly reversed constitutes a bull market. We are more than double that, and there will be no total reversal. Consequently, I want to change the agenda. This is much grander than what most commentators are describing. This is a new bull.”

For women, not resisting attackers can be a lethal strategy : “The following story challenges the belief that resisting your attacker only escalates the violence. Just give them what they want and they’ll leave you alive, right? Seattle residents Teresa Butz and her partner were in bed sleeping when Isaiah. M.K. Kalebu allegedly broke into their home and stabbed both multiple times. The women escaped the house, while Kalebu ran away. A neighbor heard somebody screaming for help and ran outside. Butz died at the scene from her injuries. A neighbor said Butz told him the attacker said that if they did what he asked, he wouldn’t hurt them. Her last words: ‘He lied, he lied.’”


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, August 03, 2009


You really can't make this stuff up, nor even consider it plausible if it had been made up. This homicidal maniac, this archetypal escapee from a hospital for the criminally insane, a man whose cause was to violently destroy EDUCATION, for God's sake, and who caused the deaths of more than 700 humans and mass kidnapping and arson in a few days...His richly-deserved death in custody, which was understandably greeted by the firing squad literally dancing around his stinking corpse in total glee, is treated as a matter of grave concern by HUMAN RIGHTS groups.

Unbelievable. All I can say is: "WELL DONE, LADS!!" to the police and military of Nigeria, and may their robust and focused response provide a cautionary lesson to other Muslim troubemakers in that vast and struggling country.

NOTE the nasty weaponry and improvised weapons in this vid...Amazing what a jihadi mob armed with just sledgehammers, machetes and jugs of gasoline can "accomplish" in a small peaceful neighborhood...

SOURCE (See the original for links, graphics)


Gender-Segregated Mourning in Rinkeby, Sweden

The Swedish media were almost totally silent about this affront to their famous feminist principles

A week ago a fire broke out in an apartment building in Rinkeby, a suburb of Stockholm. Rinkeby, like Roseng†rd in Malm”, is almost entirely populated by immigrants, and all seven people who died in the fire were Muslims.

As a matter of interest, Rinkeby has also been in the news during the last few days as a major recruiting center in Sweden for ethnic Somalis who have been returning to their homeland to wage jihad against non-radical Muslims and Christians.

I postponed writing about the Rinkeby fire until the cause of the fire was announced. Was this the usual Enricher arson, already so familiar in the immigrant ghettos of Sweden, but taken to a new level? Or was it a tragic accident?

So far there has been no word on the cause of the fire. However, the funeral for the victims became a national media event, with major politicians making an appearance to mourn with the families of the victims.

As the Axess blog points out, since this was a Muslim funeral there was gender segregation, and the mourning women were directed to stand under the trees at the back.

But none of the media all across feminist Sweden remarked upon this gender segregation. Except for Dagens Nyheter (DN), which at least had a comment that - although remarkably slippery - brought up this circumstance. They indicated that one of the women motivated the whole setup, and explained that the women "understand that they cannot be allowed to be any closer to the coffins, since they are so sensitive and don't want to disturb the ceremony with their crying."

The title of the DN article is "Everybody carries the grief together", where "together" is PC-newspeak for "separated".

The article was written by Ulrika By, a woman. As a woman, she was directed to travel in gender separated buses to the funeral, in a bus full of Somali women. She writes about how two cultures meet, but she couldn't have missed how two sexes didn't meet.

More HERE (See the original for links)



We've written repeatedly about President Obama's politicization of the Department of Justice under Eric Holder. In this week's Weekly Standard, Jennifer Rubin does a fine job of recapitulating the case so far. Given that we are barely six months into Obama's term, the picture is a stark one. Signs of overt partisanship are a symptom of what is going on beneath the surface:
While the Bush administration was investigated for seeking out conservative lawyers and staff, the Obama administration has been given a pass for going to the other extreme and stocking Justice with ultra-left leaning partisans. Overt signs of political activity and support now are on full display throughout the department. While it was unheard of to display campaign literature or paraphernalia during the Bush years, in the Holder Justice Department "Yes we did!" signs are fully evident, as are copies of reverential Obama campaign posters.

The bottom line is a degree of politicization that we have not witnessed in modern times:
Any demarcation between the Obama administration's political agenda and the impartial administration of justice is being eradicated. "Holder is the most political, partisan attorney general I can remember," says Frank Wolf. A former Justice Department official says that "the entire equilibrium of the department is out of whack." Lamar Smith, too, is dismayed. He says he has met with Holder several times. "You hear the words but there is a disconnect with the actions. We keep hoping for better."



They can't run a "cash for clunkers" scheme yet America needs them to run healthcare??

An excerpt about how "cash for clunkers" is going:

The White House and Congress may be giving the "cash for clunkers" program a reprieve, but one can't help wondering how many dealers and customers will have the confidence to go forward at this point. Things sound like a total mess in the showrooms.

"There is absolute frustration across the board," Alex Kurkin, a lawyer based in Miami who represents several car dealerships, tells The Lede today. "As of this morning, they're not really confident about any deals, and no one can give them advice about what they should be telling their customers."

One thing still not clear is how many older cars have actually been sold and scrapped with the original $1 billion, and how many more the new $2 billion will be able to cover. Mr. Kurkin tells us that the government Web site where dealers are supposed to register their deals has been crashing, and the dealers haven't been able to plug in their information....

The program requires that the clunkers be put out of service for good, so dealers must destroy the engines on cars that are traded in. We watched this process yesterday at the DCH Paramus Honda in Paramus, N.J. It is quite laborious and potentially dangerous. And it certainly is final.

Nick Clites, who is in charge of used cars for the dealership, was prepping a 1988 BMW 535IS, with 214,000 miles on the odometer, for its death. He drained the oil, then donned a silky blue protective suit, goggles and gloves and poured a sodium silicate solution into the engine. He revved the car, and within a few seconds, the solution hardened into a glass-like substance, the engine seized up and the car was dead.

So here is one question: With the program now on shaky ground, even with a new infusion of money, what consumer and what dealer will risk rendering an engine irretrievably unusable?

Well, as it turns out, a lot of them are doing so, because unless the dealers can prove to the government that they have killed the engines and scrapped the cars, the government will not reimburse them for the $3,500 or $4,500 discount that they have given the customer on a new, more efficient vehicle.

Barry Magnus, the general manager of DCH Paramus Honda, told us he was owed more than $80,000, and he wondered if he would ever see it. The government has said it would take 10 days to reimburse the dealers, but that was before the program apparently ran out of money and devolved into chaos Thursday night.


The scheme was supposed to cost $1 billion but now has cost $3 billion. What does that tell you about likely healthcare costs?


Divided they fall

We all know how Sunni Muslims hate Shiite Muslims (and vice versa) but there other divisions too. Is there any hope for the West in that? The author below thinks so

When eight Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets in London recently began trials of an all-halal menu, a backlash erupted from an unexpected source. Some Muslims are "boycotting the restaurants because they say the meat has not been killed correctly." Adding to the dissonance, two halal monitoring organizations are engaged in a public dispute over the matter.

Besides illustrating the law of unintended consequences, the above episode underscores a vital truth: in contrast to how they often are depicted, Western Muslims do not think with one brain or speak with one voice. Much of this plurality breaks down along moderate-versus-Islamist lines, as seen in events from the past few months:

* In late May, Islamic extremists marching in Luton, England, were confronted by a group of Muslims shouting, "We don't want you here!" Its leader explained that such protesters have been giving Muslims a bad name and fueling hatred. "The community decided to move them on because the police won't," he said. "We hope they get the message that the law-abiding community is sick and tired of them."

* Somalis took to Minneapolis streets in June to accuse the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of "discouraging local Somalis from cooperating with the FBI," which is investigating the trend of youths returning to Somali to take part in jihad. Days later, a CAIR-friendly crowd gathered to rebut the allegations.

* Recent calls by Nicholas Sarkozy and French legislators to outlaw face-covering veils have highlighted divisions among Muslims. While most Islamic advocacy groups quickly slammed leaders for daring to broach the topic, some prominent imams have denounced the niqab and backed a prohibition. Furthermore, Fadela Amara, a government minister and practicing Muslim, boldly described burqa-like clothing as a "coffin for women's basic liberties" and "proof of the presence of Muslim fundamentalists on our soil."

* When some Muslims in the UK started rejecting alcohol-based cleansing lotions that had been recommended to combat swine flu, even the Islamist-leaning Muslim Council of Britain sounded reasonable in comparison: "We would advise people to follow the medical advice so we would, of course, encourage people to use hand gel. People need to find ways to accommodate their beliefs."

For all concerned about the rise of Islamic radicalism, the most promising approach is clear. Rather than painting adherents of Islam with a broad brush, let us recognize the range of viewpoints exhibited by Western Muslims and stand beside moderates in the struggle against a common Islamist foe.




The hatred that may not be mentioned in modern Britain: "Here is a non-story. There were more than 600 attacks on British Jews in the first six months of the year. This is twice as many as the same period in 2008. Most consisted of verbal abuse – frightening enough for elderly Jews or Jewish schoolchildren – but 77 of the attacks were violent, including an attempt to kill a Jew by running him over. So far, no British paper has reported this increase in antisemitic attacks. Why? There are six to seven times as many Muslims as Jews in Britain. If since January there had been – scaled up proportionately – 2,000 attacks on British Muslims, it would make headlines everywhere. Those whose language and discourse created an atmosphere that denied British Muslims their right to a peaceful life under law would be the object of investigation – journalistic and intellectual – and put under pressure. But, in today's Britain, to be anti-antisemitic is to invite scorn, as if no problem existed.

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)