Saturday, June 26, 2010

Jewish self-delusion

Sigmund Freud was Jewish and so were many of his patients. And Freud documented lots of ways in which people deceived themselves. His book "The Psychopathology of Everyday Life" is still a great read.

It seems that Jews have not changed much since Freud's day, because the delusions in the article reproduced below are quite florid. They appear, in fact to have been even too florid for the Jewish publication (Cleveland Jewish News) in which they appeared, as they have now been taken down.

The author is right in one way. The great majority of Jews are frantic Leftists and so is Obama. So if Jewish values are what most Jews currently believe, the author is right.

The idea that Obama is a friend of Israel, however, is the delusion. It requires very selective memory in view of Obama's ill-mannered snubbing of Netanyahu and his constant pressure on Israel for endless concessions to the Arabs

President a friend of Israel, reflects Jewish values


Published: Thursday, June 17, 2010 12:06 PM EDT

President Barack Obama is "good for the Jews" not only because he counts individual Jews among his closest advisers (including David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel), but also because he is an unprecedented standard-bearer for values that we hold most dear.

President Obama's Supreme Court nominations lead us further toward the ideal of an open, mobile, and inclusive society. For the current opening, he could have calculated that having two Jewish members of the Court (Clinton appointees Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer) is more than enough or that two women (Ginsburg and Obama appointee Sonia Sotomayor) are plenty. Instead, he selected Elena Kagan, an eminently qualified, pragmatically progressive consensus builder.

Moreover, his domestic priorities give voice to Jewish values. This president has been intensely supportive of scientific integrity and research. His efforts will extend healthcare to millions. We support women's equality, and the first bill he signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

We are fortunate that our country's steadfast commitment to Israel's security does not depend on which party holds the White House. While it is commendable that the CJN solicits a variety of views, support for Israel should not be cast as Democrat against Republican. We are all in this together.

President Obama is a proven friend of Israel. He stood in Cairo and announced forcefully that the bond between the United States and Israel is "unbreakable." Following the Gaza flotilla incident, the Obama administration alone refused to buy the propaganda that a pro-Hamas group intent on violent confrontation had somehow become the spiritual descendants of Gandhi. Instead, the administration successfully used diplomatic engagement to protect Israel's interests.

As The Jerusalem Post reported, following the incident Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren "praised the Obama administration for being sympathetic to Israel's situation." The American Jewish Committee wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in "admiration for the U.S. diplomatic effort, under your direction, to restrain those governments that have sought punitive actions against Israel" and thanked her "once again for the Administration's commitment to the . U.S.-Israel alliance."

At home, Barack Obama is one of the greatest champions against intolerance and exclusion that this country has ever seen. Abroad, he stands with Israel - even when he stands alone. He embodies and shares Jewish values and aspirations, and we are right to support him.

Harris Senturia of Shaker Heights is a member of the Cleveland Chapter of the National Jewish Democratic Council. This column reflects his own opinions and not necessarily those of any organizations


Some of the things that Mr Senturia screens out

In a letter to President Obama this week, 87 Senators urged the president to support Israel's right to self-defense against the threats of terrorism from Hamas and Hezbollah and a nuclear-bound Iran that has repeatedly pledged to wipe Israel off the map. In another time, such counsel would be redundant. For most of Israel's 60-year existence, the Jewish state has been able to count on the stalwart support of its American ally against the many enemies arrayed against it. As Arab states launched wars with exterminationist intent, and as the international community undermined Israel through the agency of the United Nations, America alone stood in Israel's corner.

Under President Obama, however, such support for an embattled friend is no longer automatic. As Iran races virtually unimpeded toward a nuclear weapon, the Obama administration scolds Israel for daring to build new houses in its capital of Jerusalem. While Hamas, aided by Turkish jihadists, arms for a new war against Israel, the White House demands that Israel exercise a suicidal restraint.

As Israel becomes ever more isolated, the Obama administration continues to reach out to its enemies in the Arab and Muslim world. In their new pamphlet, David Horowitz and Jacob Laksin trace the deterioration of the U.S.-Israeli relationship under President Obama, now at its lowest point in three decades. And they show that by emboldening Israel's enemies, the administration is sowing the seeds of a new conflict, one will that could make it complicit in a new and devastating war against Israel. As a result of President Obama's wrongheaded policies, Israel's security - and America's - is increasingly imperiled.



McCarthyism nonsense

The McCarthyism nonsense constantly spouted by the Left has always been amusing. It's colossal historical revisionism along the same lines as their claim that the socialist Hitler was a Rightist. They blame Senator Joe McCarthy for the Hollywood blacklist, the prosecution of Alger Hiss etc. Yet none of that had anything to do with McCarthy. It did all happen but it was the work of HUAC -- the House Un-American Activities Committee, which was headed by a DEMOCRAT, Edward J. Hart.

Have you ever before heard of Edward J. Hart? Even I had to look up his name. You haven't heard of him or his embarrassing political identity because his deeds are routinely blamed on the Senator. Moreover, what Joe McCarthy suspected and investigated was PERFECTLY CORRECT. See below:

Liberals have been embarrassing themselves for decades with this McCarthy business. Point out an unsavory association, and they squeal like stuck pigs about the scourge of McCarthyism. In the mind of the liberal, Senator McCarthy was a deranged conservative finding imaginary communists under every rock and creating the fiction of the Red Menace. Note: they have the same attitude today about radical Islam.

Beck has been a favorite target of ignorant liberals who spit "McCarthyism" the same way they do "racism". Beck's fact-based exposes on communists in the Obama administration drives the left to use what they consider among the most vile of invectives.

Appallingly, too many conservative commentators share the left's abysmal dumbness about the truth regarding the late Senator.

Liberals, evidently, have not yet been brought up to speed on the Venona project and other new information. Obama refers to McCarthyism as "cowardice" in Dreams. McCarthy didn't vote "present" on matters of national security.

In 1995 the CIA released decoded Soviet communiqu‚s known as the Venona cables which turned out to be most revealing. After decades of liberals savaging the reputation of Senator Joseph McCarthy, almost no one other than authors Ann Coulter and M. Stanton Evans are talking about the Venona discoveries which vindicate McCarthy.

Following the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, enormous amounts of data became available, including the Venona papers: coded messages from the KGB and other communist intelligence agencies about communist agents in the United States (Evans, M. Stanton. Blacklisted By History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies).

We also know now that CPUSA was a faithful creature of the Soviet Union. "Far from being mere indigenous radicals working for peace and social justice, as sometimes argued, the party and its members were subservient tools of Moscow-and those who weren't subversive didn't stay very long as members." (Evans, Pg. 20):
From a composite of all these data, it's evident the Soviet/Communist operation in the United States, as elsewhere, was vast, sophisticated, and effective, nowhere more so than in seeking positions of official influence. The Red networks reached into virtually every important aspect of the US government, up to very high levels, the State Department notably included. All of which was obviously congruent with the warnings of McCarthy and others who sounded the alarm about such matters in the late 1940s and early '50s. There was in fact an immense conspiracy afoot, there were secret Communists burrowing in the woodwork, and these Communists were, in case after case, devoted agents of the Soviet Union. (Evans, Pg. 21).

That would be the CPUSA of Frank Marshall Davis. And the same CPUSA that was openly enthusiastic about Barack Obama. On January 31, 2009, Sam Webb of CPUSA gave a speech extolling the blessings of the Obama presidency and denouncing capitalism, which according to Webb, exists to oppress blacks. Liberals and communists have no sense of irony. Webb also called upon his fellow travelers to support the Obama administration and called for a New New Deal which looked remarkably like Obama's current agenda. Candidate Obama met with and was subsequently endorsed by the Chicago New Party and the Democratic Socialists of America.

Liberals to this day don't understand that McCarthy's sole mission was to uncover Soviet operatives working in government positions, not put insipid movie actors out of work. In fact, being blacklisted in Hollywood became a badge of honor. For all of their bleating about "McCarthyism", the left never has understood that McCarthy was a senator and their jeremiad should be directed toward the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).

As is the nature of liberals, the introduction of facts changes nothing. They are entirely shame-proof. Conservatives who are offering up faux indignance about McCarthy's moral courage are the ones who ought to be shamefaced.



The Left's New Enemy: "Empire"

by Daniel Pipes

We know what Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao wanted (state control of everything) and how they achieved this goal (brutal totalitarianism); but what do their successors today want and how do they hope to achieve it? It's a curiously un-examined subject.

Ernest Sternberg of the University at Buffalo offers answers in an eye-opening article in a recent issue of Orbis, "Purifying the World: What the New Radical Ideology Stands For." His begins by sketching out what the contemporary far Left (as opposed to the "decent Left") opposes and what it wants.

What the Left opposes: The prime enemy is something called Empire (no definite article needed), a supposed global monolith that dominates, exploits, and oppresses the world. Sternberg summarizes the Left's all-embracing indictment of Empire:
people live in poverty, food is contaminated, products are artificial, wasteful consumption is compelled, indigenous groups are dispossessed, and nature itself is subverted. Invasive species run rampant, glaciers melt, and seasons are thrown out of kilter, threatening world catastrophe.

Empire achieves this by means of "economic liberalism, militarism, multinational corporations, corporate media, and technologies of surveillance." Because capitalism causes millions of deaths that a non-capitalism system would eliminate, it also is guilty of mass-murder.

The United States, of course, is the Great Satan, accused of hoarding disproportionate resources. Its military oppresses the poor so its corporations can exploit them. Its government promotes the pretend-danger of terrorism to aggress abroad and repress at home.

And Israel is the Little Satan, serving as Empire's sinister ally - or maybe the Jewish state is really the master? From World Social Forum meetings in Brazil to the United Nations anti-racism conference in Durban and from mainline churches to NGOs, Zionism is represented as absolute evil. Why Israel? Beyond not-so-subtle antisemitism, it alone of Western countries lives under a barrage of constant threats, which in turn compel it to engage in constant wars. "Stripped of all context," Sternberg notes, "Israel's actions fit the needed image of aggressor."

To fight Empire's superior resources, the Left needs to ally with anyone else opposing it - notably Islamists. Islamist goals contradict the Left's, but no matter; so long as Islamists help fight Empire, they have a valued place in the coalition.

What the Left seeks: One catchword is authenticity: Empire's artificiality makes indigenous culture analogous to endangered species. Culture should be indigenous, organic, and sheltered from Empire's crass commercialism (e.g., Hollywood), its bogus rationalism, and its false concepts of freedom.

A second catchword is democracy: The Left rejects the distant and formalistic structure of a mature republic and instead celebrates grassroots, non-hegemonic democracy that offers a more direct voice. The democratic process, Sternberg explains, " will proceed through meetings freed from the manipulative reins of law, procedure, precedent, and hierarchy." These high-flying words, however, disguise a recipe for despotism; those laws, procedures, precedents, and hierarchy serve a very real purpose.

A third is sustainability. To integrate economies into the earth's ecosystem, the new order "will run on alternative energy, organic farming, local food markets, and closed-loop recyclable industry, if any industry is needed. People will travel on public transit, or ride cars that tread lightly on the earth, or even better, ride bicycles. They will occupy green buildings constructed of local materials and inhabit cities growing organically within bioregions. Life will be liberated from carbon emanations. It will be a permanent, placid way of life."

Socialism definitely forms part of this picture but economics no longer dominates, as once it did. The new leftist goal is more complex than mere anti-capitalism, constituting an entire way of life. Sternberg dubs this movement world purificationism, but I prefer left-fascism.

He then asks the vital question: Will the Left's latest incarnation once again turn totalitarian? He finds it too early to answer definitely but points to several "totalitarian warning signs," including the dehumanizing of enemies and accusations of mass murder. He warns of an inflection point when left-fascists "stand true to their cataclysmic rhetoric and strap on suicide belts or take up arms to become martyrs." In other words, the dangers are real and present.

So much for those fashionable theories of two decades ago, trumpeted as the Berlin Wall fell, about the end of ideology. The Left retrenched after the fall of Leninism and now threatens humanity with a new version of its anti-Western, anti-rational, anti-liberty, anti-individualist ideology.



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


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


The big ego that turned a rooster into a feather duster in less than 3 years

The Federal legislators of the Australian Labor Party (Australia's major Leftist party) have just done something impossible in America: fired the head of the administration. The man fired, Kevin Rudd, was Australia's Obama in more ways than one. Congress can't fire Obama but under Australia's British ("Westminster") system such things are possible. Below are some comments about Rudd by Andrew Bolt, a prominent Australian conservative commentator. It is striking to note how typically Leftist was Rudd's psychology

Blame the early loss of his father, or just his wiring, but Rudd has had a manic need to assert himself, as if to make up for a deep insecurity. He'd do whatever was needed to win authority over others, or just praise. He'd be whatever you wanted him to be.

And so he'd tell me one pleasing thing in private, but another populist thing in public. He'd hold press conferences outside his church to impress conservatives, but visit a strip club to impress an editor. He'd talk primly to voters, but abuse a stewardess.

To win the election, he promised to be a Howard-lite, crying: "This sort of reckless spending must stop." To win applause, he embarked on the greatest spending spree we've seen.

And he had to be The Man. As chief of staff to the Queensland premier, or as prime minister visiting an office, he'd show his place in the pecking order by putting his boots on the desk or table.

None of this need matter. But Rudd gave in to the same deep insecurities in trying to run a team of ministers. He had to decide everything, so delays were endless. Most ministers other than Treasurer Wayne Swan, Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner and Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard were cut out of the loop.

Rudd chose as his most intimate advisers, mostly people barely 30, eminently bully-able, and he ordered his MPs to visit homeless shelters and report back, as if they were children doing homework.

But when he tried his hectoring on the premiers over his health "reforms", he bought a brawl. And when he repeated the dose on our biggest mining chiefs, he bought a war he could not win.

Those insecurities killed him in the end. His fatal confrontation with Gillard was prompted in part by his refusal to believe she was as loyal as she professed. To check she was not plotting, he sent a 31-year-old aide to ring his MPs, and this last insult fuelled a bushfire.

Yet Rudd could have been saved, if voters had now not seen through him. For almost three years he has had stratospheric approval ratings. He was rated highly for trustworthiness and vision, and seemed to have a plan, and to be meticulous in implementing it.

His fall started when his grandiose schemes started to fail - and none more badly that his "free insulation" disaster.

How could this man who seemed so diligent bungle one thing after another? But the public smelled fraud only when Rudd was this year forced to drop one more overblown, oversold plan - the emissions trading scheme that he'd promised to tackle, "the great moral challenge of our time". Now it seemed to many that Rudd had tricked them. He was a fake.

Even yesterday, in his moving farewell speech, Rudd showed how much of his achievements were just cardboard scenery. He listed the targets he'd set for tackling homelessness and Aboriginal poverty - targets he wasn't actually meeting. He cited his apology to the "Stolen Generations" - people no one can find. He praised his signing of the Kyoto Accord - which led to what? He mentioned his health reform - which hasn't even been settled.

But in standing there crying, Rudd showed at last the wounded man he was. He was as humble as it would have suited him to have been from the start.

SOURCE. (For comments on the new Australian Prime Minister see my AUSTRALIAN POLITICS blog)


Why Congress might like to fire Obama -- if it could

Obama's all-round failed policies are much like the all-round failed policies of Kevin Rudd

The Wall Street Journal/NBC Poll out today confirms that the nation that entertained such high hopes for Barack Obama has lost confidence in his capacity to lead. Sixty-two percent of all Americans believe the nation is headed in the wrong direction. For the first time, more Americans disapprove of Obama than approve. Fifty-seven percent would prefer someone else, rather than the member of Congress they now have.

Though green shoots have appeared in the economy, Americans no longer believe it. Only one-third thinks things will get better before they get worse again. Independents are deserting Obama. One in six Democrats now disapproves of the job he is doing.

The Obama economic program -- $800 billion in stimulus money piled on top of the Federal Reserve's doubling the money supply, giving us two straight deficits of 10 percent of gross domestic product -- has failed to ignite a robust recovery. Unemployment still hovers just below 10 percent.

The two-month-old oil spill, where BP's malfeasance was matched by government incompetence in preventing it from destroying the gulf ecology and economy from Louisiana to Florida, has cast a pall over America's spirit as wide and deep as the oil slick itself.

The war in Afghanistan is not going well, casualties are running at a nine-year high, and the country no longer wants to fight it, but to get out and come home.

Three months after Iraqi elections, there is no government in Baghdad. The August deadline for withdrawal of all U.S. combat troops will likely be missed. U.S. relations with Israel have rarely been worse.

Turkey, black-balled by the European Union, a friend and ally of 60 years, is thickening ties to Tehran and Damascus and emerging as first Muslim state of the Middle East and principal patron of the Palestinian cause.

The Russians are pushing Kyrgyzstan to force the United States out of Manas air base, a critical link in the resupply chain to Afghanistan.

Brazil is bitter that America trashed the deal it helped to negotiate to transfer half of Iran's nuclear fuel out of the country.

For the first time since the late 19th century, the United States is about to be surpassed as the world's first manufacturing power -- by China, which in Mao's time was still trying to make steel in backyard furnaces.

America is facing a crisis of confidence in government, with the nation unable to win its wars, balance its budgets, control its borders, stop the bleeding of its manufacturing base or plug a hole in the ocean floor.



Lefty hypocrisy

By hiring General Petraeus, Barack Obama has taken just one more step toward President Bush's approach to fighting the war on terror -- along with okaying the Patriot Act, drone attacks, intercepts, military tribunals, rendition and more.

More than anything, this is turning out to be a moment of truth for the left. Will they continue to stand by Obama, suggesting that their opposition to "Bush's war" was just an unprincipled cover for their hatred for a socially conservative, Republican President? Or are their convictions about (not) fighting terrorism strong enough to compel them to speak out even against a President they once idolized?

It will be interesting to see. The fact that has scrubbed their site of the attack ad they took out on Petraeus back when he was a Bush nominee isn't encouraging for those who believe in the left's purity.




I put up daily on my EYE ON BRITAIN blog examples of how badly Brits are served by their socialized medicine system. The leading posts yesterday and today are however particularly horrible and a terrible warning about what Obamacare has in store for Americans. I love children so both reports brought tears to my eyes.

There is an interesting article here which gives a very cautious introduction to a piece of research on economic illiteracy. You will see the reason for the cautious wording if you open the associated PDF and look at Table 2. You will see there that Conservatives are roughly twice as likely to understand basic economic truths as are liberals. Some of the truths are so basic and obvious to anyone capable of thought that the denial of them by liberals has to be seen as mostly defensivesness and dishonesty.

New Australian PM reassures Obama of Australia's continuing commitment to Afghan campaign: "Australia’s new prime minister said she used her first telephone conversation with President Barack Obama on Friday to assure him the country’s military commitment to Afghanistan would not change under her leadership. Some observers have speculated Prime Minister Julia Gillard may push for an early withdrawal of Australia’s 1,550 troops from Afghanistan as the war loses popularity among Australians and elections loom.”

Bush Was Right About Petraeus: "A brief smile of satisfaction may have crossed George W. Bush's face when President Barack Obama said "Get me Petraeus" to take command of the war in Afghanistan. Bush picked Gen. David Petraeus to implement and successfully carry out the troop surge in Iraq at a time when it seemed all was lost and the former president was under fire from his many critics to pull out -- including Obama who incorrectly predicted his effort would fail. Bush's name was strangely absent from nightly news reports on Obama's decision to turn to the man his predecessor had chosen to tackle an almost impossible assignment".

Rasmussen poll finds a classic Left/Right divide: "Nearly half of American Adults see the government today as a threat to individual rights rather than a protector of those rights. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Adults see the government today as a threat to rights. Thirty-seven percent (37%) hold the opposite view. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided. Most Republicans (74%) and unaffiliateds (51%) consider the government to be a threat to individual rights. Most Democrats (64%) regard the government as a protector of rights. Additionally, most Americans (52%) say it is more important for the government to protect individual rights than to promote economic growth."

There’s no level playing field nor equal opportunity: "Yet another excuse for some people to gain power over others is this idea of the level playing field. It’s a metaphor, of course, but used often to mean starting in a race with no advantages for any of the participants. Another term by which to indicate this is equal opportunity. Even those who see through the ruse of peddling equality for all people tend to cave in to this one, agreeing that at least everyone has the right to an equal opportunity. The opportunity for what is not often spelled out but it may include obtaining a job, entering a school, embarking on travel, winning a contest or whatnot. The image that’s called to mind is that when people start out to achieve some goal, none may be favored or disfavored, none may have special advantages or disadvantages, etc. But the the idea is hopeless. In no actual or even imaginable endeavor do people enjoy the level playing field or an equal opportunity.”

MA: Backers say sales tax cut to be on ballot: "Voters in November will get the chance to slash the state sales tax from 6.25 percent to 3 percent, according to advocates who say they submitted more than enough petition signatures yesterday to force the item onto the ballot. Carla Howell — chairwoman of the Alliance to Roll Back Taxes, based in Wayland — said her group submitted about 19,000 signatures to town and city clerks by yesterday’s deadline, a comfortable margin over the required 11,099 signatures. Her group put similar measures on the ballot in 2002 and 2008, but neither passed. She called the latest campaign a ‘modest start to bringing the state government in line with the level of spending that’s appropriate.’ The proposal, Howell said, would force state officials to cut spending by more than $2 billion.”

Exploited kid: "When the Fayetteville, Ark., Gay Pride Parade steps off on East Street Saturday on its way to the Wal-Mart parking lot, it will be led by a young man who has made a career out of fighting for gay rights. Make that a young boy. Will Phillips, the grand marshal, is 10 years old, and his presence has thrust Fayetteville’s Gay Pride Parade into the national spotlight. Ordinarily, the annual parade is pretty low-key, residents say. The mayor issues a proclamation, the police close a few streets and a few hundred people show up. … But the selection of young Will, who last November refused to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance in school to show his support for gay rights, has changed all that. This year the parade has drawn national attention, and it’s promising to tread the line between farce and confrontation.”

Attacks on the Electoral College gain momentum: "You won’t hear about it in the mainstream media, but the Electoral College is on the verge of being eliminated. One important legislative vote could occur Thursday. Two others could occur in the upcoming days and weeks. A California-based group, National Popular Vote, is lobbying hard for a dangerous piece of anti-Electoral College legislation. … Five states have already approved NPV, but now three additional states are dangerously close to joining them: Delaware, Massachusetts, and New York.”


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


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


Thursday, June 24, 2010


Every now and again I put up a gallery of what I think are the best pictures that have appeared on my blogs. I have finally got around to putting up my selection for the second half of 2009. See here


Personality, happiness and those pesky genetics again

A central tenet of Leftism has long been that people are something of a blank state and can be "educated" into becoming whatever the Leftist wants. So Leftists to this day often reject the idea that what we are is largely genetically inherited. The evidence against the Leftist dogma has been piling up over the years, however, and recent research, below, has confirmed in detail what has long been known in general -- that even how happy you usually are is genetically inherited. It has long been known, for instance, that even quadriplegics -- people who have lost the use of their limbs through spinal injury -- end up roughly as happy after their accident as before.

If anything, the report below understates the role of genetics. It was found that genetics explained only 50% of the variance in happiness. But that does NOT mean that environmental factors explained the rest. The remaining variation in the data is much more likely to be due to errors of measurement. Measuring happiness is hard to do with great exactitude.

Leftist intellectuals in recent times have sometimes used the invariance of happiness to argue that governments should be free to do what they like because people's happiness will be unaffected anyway. That obnoxious argument assumes, however, that what people want is unimportant. Leftists do often seem to believe that

Happiness in life is as much down to having the right genetic mix as it is to personal circumstances according to a recent study.

Psychologists at the University of Edinburgh working with researchers at Queensland Institute for Medical Research in Australia found that happiness is partly determined by personality traits and that both personality and happiness are largely hereditary.

Using a framework which psychologists use to rate personalities, called the Five-Factor Model, the researchers found that people who do not excessively worry, and who are sociable and conscientious tend to be happier.

They suggested that this personality mix can act as a buffer when bad things happen, according to the study published in the March issue of Psychological Science.

The researchers used personality and happiness data on more than 900 twin pairs. They identified evidence for common genes which result in certain personality traits and predispose people to happiness.

The findings suggest that those lucky enough to have the right inherited personality mix have an ‘affective reserve’ of happiness which can be called upon in stressful times or in times of recovery.

The researchers say that although happiness has its roots in our genes, around 50 per cent of the differences between people in their life happiness is still down to external factors such as relationships, health and careers.

Dr Alexander Weiss, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, who led the research said: “Together with life and liberty, the pursuit of happiness is a core human desire. Although happiness is subject to a wide range of external influences we have found that there is a heritable component of happiness which can be entirely explained by genetic architecture of personality.”



McChrystal was right

By Barry Rubin

There are two ways of looking at General Stanley McChrystal's interviews with Rolling Stone magazine: one is to focus on whether he should have said such things, the other is to analyze the important truths he unveiled. Here, I'm going to look at the latter and, following my usual practice, I've actually read the article and will base myself on the text.

But first, think about it: the general pointed out the near-disastrous situation with American leadership today. An increasing number of people know that he's correct in his assessment. Isn't that what's really important?

On its cover, Rolling Stone called him, "The Runaway General," saying he is carefully watching "the wimps in the White House." Coming from Rolling Stone, this phrase is presumably intended to mock the general. To anyone who cares about U.S. security, however, it rings true, a warning rather than a whining.

Thus, Michael Hastings has written an article important not for back-biting gossip about who doesn't like who but because it tells a lot about the looming tragedy on the ground in Afghanistan and the loony situation in the government in Washington.

One of the most devastating points in Hastings' article is one whose huge significance the author himself doesn't seem to notice. In passing, he mocks the Afghan war effort as "the exclusive property of the United States" because all of its allies have opted out. Yet doesn't this mean that President Barack Obama's apparent popularity with Europe is meaningless? After all, Obama has made this his war and if he cannot get any ally to support the campaign that is a devastating outcome.

At the other extreme, the most noticed point in the article was Hastings' quote from one of the general's top aides saying that in meeting with the generals, Obama seemed ill-prepared and disengaged. Does this surprise you? Do you doubt that it is true? What, then, is the proper reaction, to feel that McChrystal and his staff have big mouths or to be worried about the tininess of the president's experience, knowledge, interest, focus, and decisiveness?

Much more here


Not for Sale

As the adage goes, if you give a mouse a cookie he's going to want a glass of milk. The same is true when government attempts to exercise power outside its boundaries.

Eminent domain, a process in which a state can take over private property for public use in exchange for market-value compensation, was established by our Founding Fathers as a way for America to better herself for the good of the people. It was primarily meant to be used to build roads and provide public right of ways for a growing nation.

"Eminent domain is for public use, for roads and schools," says Christina Walsh, director of activism and coalitions for the Institute for Justice, a Washington, D.C.-based public interest law firm. "It is not simply to transfer property to someone who has more money and more power."

Throughout the nation are cases where government at all levels is seizing property for private profit - whether it be a new shopping center, condominiums or to expand a current business. State and local governments are exercising powers beyond their limits to fund corporate welfare and for their own economic growth.

A case that received national criticism by property owners was the 2005 Supreme Court decision of Kelo vs. City of New London. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the city of New London, Connecticut, to wipe out an entire neighborhood for hotels and offices to better complement pharmaceutical company Pfizer's new corporate facility.

Lead plaintiff, Susette Kelo's land went to private developers to fund corporate welfare. But that's not all. New London and Connecticut spend about $78 million to clear the land for condos and other specialty components. Four years after that decision, Pfizer decided to move out, leaving the government-seized land barren and empty. Not only was a neighborhood lost for nothing, but millions of dollars was also wasted.

"This was an unconscionable decision made by the Supreme Court," says Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG). "Eminent domain should never be used as a power grab to benefit the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of the people."

As this Supreme Court decision sent shockwaves around the country, many states reformed their eminent domain laws. Walsh says 43 states have taken steps to protect the rights of property owners and about half of those states have made significant reforms.

"In the wake of the Kelo decision, people found out about the abuse of power and communities starting rallying around property owners," Walsh says. "There have been dozens of successes over the years for property owners."

Some states still have done nothing to reform current laws dealing with eminent domain. New York is one of those states and is currently in battles to seize land from many private property owners for its own economic development.

Current New York law considers property in "blight" conditions, a condition of disrepair, to be able to be seized by eminent domain procedures. With a loose definition of what "blight" conditions look like, many corporations and cities have seized on opportunities to takeover properties they justify as "blighted."

In the case of Kaur vs. Urban Development Corporation, there is controversial use of eminent domain by Columbia University, a private school, which wants to build a new 17-acre research campus in the West Harlem neighborhood of Manhattanville.

Manhattanville business owners' lead attorney and former New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Norman Siegel was able to prove that Columbia and Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) conspired together to produce the conditions of "blight" that would then allow the ESDC to seize the property wanted by the university. He also found that many of the "blighted" buildings were already owned by Columbia and it was the university's responsibility to clean them up. Because the university was not keeping the buildings and spaces up to code, many of the businesses in the area were forced to move out.

Last December a state appellate court struck down the ESDC's actions as illegal. The case was then heard by the Court of Appeals on June 1, and a ruling is expected sometime this summer.



Brookes News update

Obama's ideology could wreck America : If for some perverse reason your idea of success is a massive expansion of government at the expense of economic progress then destructive economic policies make sense. It becomes apparent why Obama and his cronies would see absolutely nothing wrong with implementing an energy policy that would cause "electricity prices to rocket", as he admitted, and oil prices to soar. We begin to see why he wouldn't mind being a one-term president if he was able to set America on an irreversible course that would transform it into a country that reflected his statist vision. If that were to happen America would indeed cease to be America
The Australian economy is looking shaky : If the government borrows or taxes then this clearly involves a straightforward transfer of purchasing power. It is absolutely absurd to suggest that this process raises total spending. Yet this is exactly what is being said
KPMG and the stupidity of Rudd's resource rent tax : KPMG's resource rent tax paper is utterly worthless. The fact is that Rudd used taxpayers' money to pay KPGM to give him the result he wanted. We have a word for that kind of behavior. As for the idea of economic rent, it is a dangerous fallacy that will do enormous damage to the economy if it is not thoroughly refuted
Paul Krugman's dishonesty and contemptible behavior : I've no idea what it is about President Bush that drove Krugman nuts, but I strongly urge him to undergo a course of psychiatric treatment because he has long since passed the point where facts or reason - or even reality - matter to him
How are wage rates determined? : Thus no employer can lastingly pay a worker one dollar an hour and sell his product for five dollars an hour. Other employers will be very happy to enter this business and offer the worker more than one dollar per hour. It is the values that consumers place on each particular contribution to total production that determine what businessmen can pay for that particular contribution
Oliver Stone & Jesse Ventura tag-team for Hugo Chavez to smack down America : Self-styled libertarian Jesse "The Body" (not Jesse "The Brain") Ventura praised the sadistic tyrannical Castro and Oliver Stone, Castro and Chavez's favourite Hollywood lickspittle. Ventura thinks these thugs are absolutely super-duper people: Ventura is so dumb he annot distinguish between the subjects of a Stalinist police state and the attendees of an AmWay convention



Israel launches new spy satellite “Ofek 9″: "Israel launched a spy satellite called ‘Ofek 9′ late Tuesday, Israel’s Defense Ministry and officials said, increasing Israel’s capacity to keep an eye on enemies like Iran. The Defense Ministry issued a statement saying the satellite was launched late Tuesday from the Palmachim air force base on Israel’s coast south of Tel Aviv. An hour later, after the satellite completed its first circuit, the ministry said it had achieved its proper orbit, describing it as ‘a surveillance satellite with advanced technological capabilities.’”

Obama having staff problems: "A burst of unsettling news about President Obama's key staff members Tuesday threatened new challenges to his image and agenda, already stained by the BP oil spill and the chance of a shellacking for his party in November. In a span of hours, Peter Orszag said he would quit as director of the Office of Management and Budget in July, Rahm Emanuel fought rumors that he would step down as Obama's chief of staff and, most embarrassing, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, criticized the administration in a Rolling Stone article".


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


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


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Is U.S. Now on a Slippery Slope to Tyranny?


When Adolf Hitler was building up the Nazi movement in the 1920s, leading up to his taking power in the 1930s, he deliberately sought to activate people who did not normally pay much attention to politics.

Such people were a valuable addition to his political base, since they were particularly susceptible to Hitler's rhetoric and had far less basis for questioning his assumptions or his conclusions.

"Useful idiots" was the term supposedly coined by V.I. Lenin to describe similarly unthinking supporters of his dictatorship in the Soviet Union.

Put differently, a democracy needs informed citizens if it is to thrive, or ultimately even survive.

In our times, American democracy is being dismantled, piece by piece, before our very eyes by the current administration in Washington, and few people seem to be concerned about it.

The president's poll numbers are going down because increasing numbers of people disagree with particular policies of his, but the damage being done to the fundamental structure of this nation goes far beyond particular counterproductive policies.

Just where in the Constitution of the United States does it say that a president has the authority to extract vast sums of money from a private enterprise and distribute it as he sees fit to whomever he deems worthy of compensation? Nowhere.

And yet that is precisely what is happening with a $20 billion fund to be provided by BP to compensate people harmed by their oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Many among the public and in the media may think that the issue is simply whether BP's oil spill has damaged many people, who ought to be compensated.

But our government is supposed to be "a government of laws and not of men."

If our laws and our institutions determine that BP ought to pay $20 billion — or $50 billion or $100 billion — then so be it.

But the Constitution says that private property is not to be confiscated by the government without "due process of law."

Technically, it has not been confiscated by Barack Obama, but that is a distinction without a difference.

With vastly expanded powers of government available at the discretion of politicians and bureaucrats, private individuals and organizations can be forced into accepting the imposition of powers that were never granted to the government by the Constitution.

If you believe that the end justifies the means, then you don't believe in constitutional government.

And, without constitutional government, freedom cannot endure. There will always be a "crisis" — which, as the president's chief of staff has said, cannot be allowed to "go to waste" as an opportunity to expand the government's power.

That power will of course not be confined to BP or to the particular period of crisis that gave rise to the use of that power, much less to the particular issues.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt arbitrarily took the United States off the gold standard, he cited a law passed during the First World War to prevent trading with the country's wartime enemies. But there was no war when FDR ended the gold standard's restrictions on the printing of money.

At about the same time, during the worldwide Great Depression, the German Reichstag passed a law "for the relief of the German people."

That law gave Hitler dictatorial powers that were used for things going far beyond the relief of the German people — indeed, powers that ultimately brought a rain of destruction down on the German people and on others.

If the agreement with BP was an isolated event, perhaps we might hope that it would not be a precedent. But there is nothing isolated about it.

The man appointed by President Obama to dispense BP's money as the administration sees fit, to whomever it sees fit, is only the latest in a long line of presidentially appointed "czars" controlling different parts of the economy, without even having to be confirmed by the Senate, as Cabinet members are.

Those who cannot see beyond the immediate events to the issues of arbitrary power — vs. the rule of law and the preservation of freedom — are the "useful idiots" of our time. But useful to whom?



Confessions of a Tea Party Consultant‏

I am not sure how much of the article excerpted below is fact and how much is fantasy but I rate the fantasy component as fairly high, possibly 100%. The article does come from a fantasy source -- JR

Everything I know about being a good consultant comes from Fight Club. Discretion is everything. Rule number one is you don’t talk about consulting for the Tea Party. Rule number two is you don’t talk about consulting for the Tea Party. The story about the wild characters who are shaping this campaign cycle is worth telling, but please excuse my anonymity.

I hold as many meetings as possible over Tanqueray and tonics at the St. Regis hotel on K Street in Washington, D.C. The bar is dark and private, with comfortable couches. Even the gin tastes better there. On weekday afternoons the only people in the bar are foreigners and political consultants long past caring about who actually wins.

"You’re going to see something spectacular," an old friend who has a knack for black-bag operations said as he proudly downed his vodka. "About a month from now you’ll see ACORN explode from within." Right on schedule a video was released that showed undercover conservative activists James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles getting advice from employees at the Baltimore office of the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now on how to smuggle underage El Salvadoran girls into a fictitious brothel.

That’s when I realized this isn’t an average fringe movement. This one is credible, legit and—for the first time in a decade—scaring the crap out of the left. In my years as a campaign hack and then as a consultant, I’ve created more than my share of fake grassroots organizations. Some were downright evil but effective beyond expectations. Did you get an automated call from the sister of a 9/11 victim asking you to reelect President Bush in 2004? That was me. Did you get a piece of mail with the phrase supports abortion on demand as a means of birth control? That may have been me too.

Conservatives had been trying to take down ACORN for three decades. Where they failed, and my friends succeeded. In one magnificent explosion, a loose group of troublemakers, libertarians and Republicans took its first scalp. Sonja Merchant-Jones, former co-chair of ACORN’s Maryland chapter, told The New York Times in March, "That 20-minute video ruined 40 years of good work."

The ACORN blood tasted good. Shortly after, a core group of about 30 of us convened for the first time. It was the kind of conference call during which no one, except the handful with nothing to lose, offered last names. But it didn’t matter. I’d been around long enough to know many of the people by voice. Most of our talk was devoted to rants about the K Street lobbyists who are ruining the GOP. There I sat, in the quiet corner of a coffee shop on K Street, listening to a conference call beating the shit out of the people who keep me in business.

The cynical among us think it’s a group of peasants with pitchforks controlled by an underground cabal of Glenn Beck, wealthy donors and the guys who killed JFK. But the worst thing I can say about the Tea Party I work for is that it can make lots of noise but can’t win without professional help. I love the irony of helping run this organization from the St. Regis Bar.

This cause is worthier and more real than anything I’ve done in the past. I’m all in. When I met the colorful characters behind the organization, I was really all in. None of them were prom king, none went to college east of the Appalachians (even the Jews), and a lot of them smoke a pack a day just because they’re not supposed to. Unlike most of the tired, airbrushed conservatives living in D.C., the homegrown activists I work with are the real deal. They may not read much, but they all know their Ayn Rand. Backcountry rubes they are not. They have tattoos, even tramp stamps. My favorite is on Katie O’Malley, the executive director of Ensuring Liberty Corporation: Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1911–2004.

I get out of Washington whenever possible, especially during tourist season. In late spring I visited a Tea Party rally in suburban St. Louis. It was what you would imagine: angst-ridden Caucasians sitting in lawn chairs with signs such as My daughter is nine and already $41,000 in debt. It was not an angry crowd, and in all candor I never heard a racist word uttered.

The speeches went on for hours. The sun was shining. It was the kind of day when you could take a nap under a tree. The organizer had personally delivered about a thousand activists. It was her big day. Two hours into the speeches she sat down on the warm grass next to me at the back of the rally and said, "This is the perfect day. Now all I need is a joint." That tells you everything you need to know about my friends.

We are tremendously plugged in to and its stable of writers. Our news cycle is measured in minutes, not days. Combine the DNA of a flash mob, a news addict and a con­servative who feels betrayed by the spending excesses of George W. Bush, sprinkle in some anxiety and you’ve got my people.

The campaign plan for one of the organizations I help uses the phrase black arts when talking about how we’ll win in the fall. It’s not a document filled with dirty tricks but a plan to create a nonprofit organization called Ensuring Liberty Corporation. It uses unconventional methods to get our message out and support grassroots conservatives: "Ensuring Liberty’s relationships run deep into the new media and use of cloud computing and innovation along with the black arts of campaign management.

That is not to say that [we] will undertake actions that contravene any legal or ethical principles; however, the use of surprise, investigative journalism and other key experience will allow for rapid deployment of strategies that many candidates simply do not understand or take advantage of during their actual election campaign."

Of course, the Tea Party is not as cohesive as anyone thinks. It’s not a party or even an organization. You have to understand the state of the Republican Party to understand how there can still be oxygen in the room for the Tea Party. Bush mangled the GOP brand into a grotesque form that conservatives haven’t recognized in five years.

Conservatives now live in the political-party equivalent of Mad Max. Law and order inside the Republican Party has deteriorated, leaving regional warlords to scavenge over what’s left. The trouble is that some of the regional warlords are nuts or crooks. Among the better-known scavengers is Eric Odom’s Tea Party-related PAC, Liberty First, which I believe will be able to raise and spend millions this fall.



Is Planned Parenthood just another crooked "charity" that exists mainly for the benefit of those who run it?

A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on federal tax money funneled into Planned Parenthood and similar organizations raises more questions than it answers about the nation's largest abortion chain.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America's (PPFA) audits show the organization spent just $657.1 million between 2002 and 2008 from federal government grants and programs, but the abortion behemoth's own annual reports show that it took in $2.3 billion from government grants and programs during the same time period.

That's not pocket change. Why the discrepancy?

The report (the first of its kind since 2002) was released in response to a request from 31 U.S. senators and representatives and in an atmosphere increasingly hostile to abortion. Not surprisingly. then, its findings are fueling an escalating outcry to defund Planned Parenthood.

Since 2009, at least five nationwide polls have confirmed that a majority of Americans consider themselves pro-life.

Someone, then, needs to explain to all those people why $2.3 billion in tax dollars have been doled out to an organization that admits to systematically having killed more than 1.8 million pre-born babies between 2002 and 2008 and then reports it only spent $657.1 million in federal dollars.

More here



Democrats afraid to face a financial reckoning: "House Democrats will not pass a budget blueprint in 2010, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) will confirm in a speech on Tuesday. But Hoyer will vow to crack down on government spending, saying Democrats will enforce spending limits that are lower than what President Barack Obama has called for. In the scheduled address to the progressive think tank The Third Way, Hoyer will acknowledge that the lower chamber will do things differently this election year. The House has never failed to pass an annual budget resolution since the current budget rules were put into place in 1974."

On how to really solve Britain's economic problems: "I think we’re all aware of what we really need to do to get out from under our current economics woes, yes? We need to cut spending, but not so much that we crater the economy while doing so. We also need to grow the economy so that the debt burden is a percentage of a larger economy: and thus easier to bear/pay off. I don’t think there’s anyone at all who would disagree with that little thumbnail sketch, from the most dedicated Keynesian to the most ferociously Austrian of my colleagues. There will be disagreement about what ‘too much’ means in reference to cutting spending of course, but the two basic points aren’t, I think, argued about by anyone. So, I argue that we leave the EU and adopt unilateral free trade as a solution.”


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


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


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chatigny: A judge who is an ethical cesspit

How did he get such a sick mind? One can only conclude that he has evil sexual impulses himself so is indulgent to evil impulses in others

This week, the Senate may take up the controversial nomination of Robert Chatigny for the 2nd Circuit Court of Appleals, after being reported from the Judiciary Committee on June 10th. Chatigny currently serves for the U.S. District Court of Connecticut, where he made his claim to fame by ordering a stay of execution in 2005 for convicted serial rapist and murderer Michael Ross.

In a last-minute hearing before Ross' scheduled execution, Chatigny infamously opined that Ross, who had confessed to raping and killing eight young women aged between 14 to 25, "never should have been convicted". In that hearing, Chatigny chastised Ross' attorney, T.R. Paulding, and threatened to have his law license pulled for not more vigorously pursuing Ross' defense.

Although the hearing was supposed to be examining Ross' competence to waive his right to appeal, Chatigny saw a wider context for presiding authority. He said, "looking at the record in a light most favorable to Mr. Ross, he never should have been convicted. Or if convicted, he never should have been sentenced to death because his sexual sadism, which was found by every single person who looked at him, is clearly a mitigating factor."

Of course, having confessed to the rape-murders, coupled with overwhelming evidence, Ross most certainly should have been convicted. Nobody would dispute the sadistic nature of the crimes involved, either. Clearly Ross took pleasure in what he did. But by no means was Ross' motive a "mitigating factor." Instead, it recommended a death sentence.

Chatigny thought otherwise. The irony is that the judge was not even presiding over a sentencing hearing. The question before Chatigny concerned Ross' competence to waive his right to appeal. But instead, Chatigny used the hearing as a means to coerce Ross' attorney to continue appealing — against his client's wishes. Paulding gave in, and pursued another hearing in state court on Ross' competency. Ross was deemed competent, and finally convicted, against Chatigny's wishes.

Chatigny's conduct in this case alone should be enough to disqualify him. The bias he exhibited calls into question whether he can remain impartial. The rest of his record, however, calls into question whether he can remain impartial in any case involving sex offenders. As reported by the Washington Times, "[i]n 12 child-pornography cases, Judge Chatigny imposed a sentence either at or more lenient than the recommended minimum — with most downward departures involving sentences less than half as long."

But that's not all. In 2000, Chatigny overturned Connecticut's sex offender registry law. As noted by Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, "Even more disturbing than this result, however, is the way he reached it. The only way that Judge Chatigny could reach this result was to fundamentally mischaracterize the statute. The statute he struck down was, in effect, one of his own making, not the one that the Connecticut legislature had passed."

Hatch continued, "The real statute required all sex offenders to register for one simple reason, that they are sex offenders. The Department of Public Safety website said that there had been no assessment of the risk of re-offense or the dangerousness of individual offenders. There was no such assessment because the registry did not exist for that purpose or to convey such information. Judge Chatigny struck it down anyway, saying that the Constitution required a hearing to distinguish between violent and non-violent offenders. By inventing this requirement out of thin air, he insisted that the statute do something the legislature had not designed it to do."

Chatigny was ultimately reversed in Public Safety v. Doe, but in so doing, Chatigny revealed once again that his bias and personal preferences — in favor of sexual offenders, and against victims of sexual crimes. In case after case, they trumped his actual reading of the law. This should be disturbing, not just to Senator Hatch, but to every senator who is being asked to confirm Chatigny on the basis of his highly controversial rulings.



Some gossip that sounds possible

Over the years, I have invested so much time wildcatting in the oil patch that I will never be wanting for great steaks at Nick & Sam's in Dallas, skyboxes at Cowboys games, and personally signed 8 X 10 glossy photographs of George W. Bush. So to get the skinny on the BP mess, I spent the weekend catching up with old friends who live with a permanent oil stain under their fingernails.

Some of the chatter that came back was amazing. BP has discovered the largest and most powerful well in history, and control of it may be outside existing technology. The previous record gusher was Union Oil Co.'s Lakeview well in Maricopa, California, which spewed out a staggering 100,000 barrels a day at its peak in 1910, and created an enormous oil lake in the central part of the state. Estimates for the BP well now range up to 50% more than that. The pressures at 18,000 feet are so enormous, that drilling two more relief wells might only result in creating two more oil spills.

If Obama doesn't want to take the nuclear option, (click here for my piece), then there will be no other alternative but for the spill to continue until the field exhausts itself or becomes capable, possibly some time next year. This is not the end of the world. Less than 1% of the spilled oil is ending up on the beaches. Watch TV, and that is not 150,000 barrels on the beach in Pensacola, Florida. Most of the crude is being moved parallel to the coast by the current and will eventually end up in the mid-Atlantic, where it will break down or dissipate. Using the high end estimates, and assuming that it takes a year to run out, possibly 36 million barrels will end up in the sea (pressure is declining).

This is the same amount of oil that was dumped into the Atlantic during WWII, when 452 tankers were sunk by German U-boats, mostly along the US east coast, and when tar on the beach was a daily occurrence. This is on top of the 1.5 million barrels a year that leak into the Gulf through natural seepage, which no one ever notices. One way or the other, this will end, and Western civilization will survive. And by the way, the crude price rise brought by the spill also marked up the value of BP's reserves, easily allowing it to cover the cost of the clean up, no matter how big it is. This is how profitable this company is, and why they were so generous with a $20 billion contingency fund.



The ACORN hydra has grown many new heads

Despite its recent setbacks, the renamed ACORN network remains well positioned to receive support from left-leaning foundations, corporations, unions and the federal government, according to a whistleblower group comprised of former board members. Moreover, the existing financial apparatus that made it possible to transfer public money away from their stated purpose and into partisan political efforts remains intact.

The American Institute of Social Justice (AISJ), one of four national affiliates that remain intact, deserves greater scrutiny and attention in this area. Over $53 million was transferred between ACORN and AISJ from 2000-2004, according to a report from the House Oversight Committee.

ACORN was also on the receiving end of a $4,952,288 grant from AISJ, according to the Institute’s 990 tax form for 2006. This is instructive because AISJ itself received almost $4 million from ACORN Housing Corp. (AHC) between 2000 and 2006, tax documents show.

“The money flowing to AISJ from ACORN Housing should be a huge red flag for investigators because almost all the federal money that the ACORN network receives goes into its housing affiliate,” Matthew Vadum, a senior editor with the Capital Research Center (CRC) observes. “So it’s entirely possible that when money was being transferred to the national ACORN organization from AISJ, taxpayer money designated for nonpartisan purposes might have been used for blatantly partisan purposes. These transfers are extremely suspicious. This is the type of financial activity that we see with organized crime and it should be investigated.”

On April 1, ACORN’s leadership announced it was dissolving its national network, but in reality the national affiliates and their many state level counterparts are simply remarketing and rebranding themselves, former insiders have warned.

ACORN Housing Corp., for example, the national affiliate at the epicenter of last year’s videotape scandal, has renamed itself Affordable Housing Centers of America. Several state entities have also followed suit reorganizing under generic sounding names that avoid the ACORN label.

ACORN 8, the whistleblower group named for the eight board members blocked from investigating an embezzlement scandal, cautions against media reports that suggest the national organization known in full as the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) has been permanently set back.

“Always note the date, April 1.” Marcel Reid, the ACORN 8 chairwoman, said in an interview. “ACORN is not dissolving, it may be morphing, but it is still is in business and it is still in a position to receive funding, although it may be done under different names.”

In fact, it may become easier over the long run for donors to reactive their support for “community organizers” who are no longer burdened by the tarnished ACORN name, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has observed.

“ACORN’s cover has been blown and its true identity has been revealed but it remains a viable entity beneath different names with the same patrons and same funding sources,” she explained in an interview. “I don’t see a tremendous change in the structure that called itself ACORN.”

Bachmann lead the charge against continued public funding for ACORN throughout 2009 but she does not anticipate that the current congress will move permanently cut off support. Only four Democrats joined with Bachmann to vote against an amendment attached to a mortgage bill last year that would prevent organizations with a criminal history from receiving taxpayer support.

Ron Sykes, a former treasurer with the Washington D.C. branch, and an ACORN 8 activist, has identified the Citizens Consulting Inc. (CCI) affiliate as a major conduit for the comingling and misappropriation of funds. Tax documents do show links between CCI and other affiliates.

“ACORN did not want its local people to have any control over the finances,” he has previously explained. “There were many accounts but CCI had control over all of it.”

Reid, the ACORN 8 chair, recalls how the funding schemes worked to the disadvantage of rank and file members who sought support for community initiatives.

“You could make a tax-deductible donation to ACORN if you were a foundation,” she explained. “You made it through AISJ, then the money was funneled through CSI (Citizens Consulting Inc.) and then the money was kicked back to ACORN – that’s the loop.”

Now that CCI has reportedly been shut down, AISJ appears to be the main vehicle through which financial contributions can be diverted away from their stated purpose. The national affiliate has attracted little press attention and deserves greater attention and scrutiny as ACORN activists gear up for the 2010 elections.




Doctors limit new Medicare patients: "The number of doctors refusing new Medicare patients because of low government payment rates is setting a new high, just six months before millions of Baby Boomers begin enrolling in the government health care program. Recent surveys by national and state medical societies have found more doctors limiting Medicare patients, partly because Congress has failed to stop an automatic 21% cut in payments that doctors already regard as too low. The cut went into effect Friday, even as the Senate approved a six-month reprieve. The House has approved a different bill."

Running on empty: "The Obama presidency is nearly out of gas. So are the Democratic majorities in the Senate and House. Yet the White House and congressional Democrats aren’t surrendering. They’re still intoxicated with their ‘historic majorities’ and bent on enacting more landmark liberal legislation this year, including cap and trade, a value-added tax (VAT), and who knows what else. Are they fantasizing? Not entirely. The odds — and the political climate — are against them. But their ideological ambitions are undiminished and they have a sense of urgency. They know their majorities will be crippled (if not eliminated) in the midterm elections on November 2, which means they must enact the remaining parts of the agenda in 2010 or put them back in the cupboard of liberal dreams, maybe for decades. So it’s now or never.”

BP, the White House and Congress are all dirty: "Amidst all the political jockeying over the BP catastrophe, the main players are missing what is really uppermost on America’s mind: It’s the spill rate, stupid. It’s jobs, stupid. It’s the economy, stupid. And none of it is happening. All eyes in Washington, Wall Street, and Main Street were turned this week to the congressional show trial featuring beleaguered BP CEO Tony Hayward. Hayward was a disaster. He played dumb. He stonewalled. And he never got honest about the colossal failure of human judgment at BP that caused this catastrophe. But folks, seriously, what did you expect?”

Portugal liberalizes drugs, world doesn’t end: "[T]he apocalypse that drug alarmists predicted never happened; Portugal did not become a ‘haven for drugs tourism’ and drug abuse and drug crime actually fell. And even with its flaws it’s monumentally better than the continuing drug thugocracy in the United States. America’s Drug Warriors will never willingly back off. It would mean that drug enforcers would have to give up their government careers, paychecks, benefits, pensions and self-righteousness. It would mean that the media would have to give up its sensationalistic headlines and ass-kicking SWAT footage on News At Eleven.”


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


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


Monday, June 21, 2010

America's own emptyheaded "Gran Lider"

Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez are each referred to as a "Gran Lider" (Big Leader) but have led their countries to economic and human disasters

A Dog in the Manger Presidency

Obama transparently fails as a leader in several remarkable ways. First, he lacks leadership ability by any traditional criteria. Second, the leadership that he has imparted has roundly failed by objective consensus. Third, he attacks the genuine acts of leadership by others as if they were a krypton stake ready to be plunged into his abdomen. Obama has the crafty and evasive character of a natural-born fraud. The fake is always the enemy of the real, and will battle to destroy the actual—regardless of the costs to others.

Attacks Upon True Leadership:

An instance of Dog in the Manger assault occurred when the US Coast Guard stopped Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal from running barges with water vacuums sucking up oil. This was another in a list of shutdowns Obama threw at Jindal. He also stopped him from erecting barrier islands to sop up the oil, which supposedly must be vetted for “environmental impact.” (analogy: testing a hangman’s noose to make sure it doesn’t cause excessive rope-burn). Here is a classic example of Barack “Manger Dog” Obama stymieing a real leader from doing something proactive, clever and effective to help his state.

Other examples include Barack refusing aid from thirteen European nations within days after the Gulf oil leak. For instance, the Dutch offered four skimmers that could have taken 20,000 gallons of oil out of the water a day. And the British offered chemical oil dispersant, which Obama refused on the spot. The UK Times reported on this: “Top officials in the British Cabinet offered assistance to help clean up the oil spill a few days after the explosion. The Obama Administration turned them down because they did not have the correct paperwork.” These types of reports sicken the spirit and make clear that Obama not only refused to lead, but even blockaded the help from others.

Obama has an inability to accept any help that would make him look weak, derivative, or not the source of all earthly good. What possible reason could Barack have for refusing assistance other than personal vanity or the aggrandizement of power?

In fact, Foreign Policy magazine had this to say about the foreign offers to help the US:

"Late Wednesday evening, the State Department emailed reporters identifying the 13 entities that had offered the U.S. oil spill assistance. They were the governments of Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations.

“These offers include experts in various aspects of oil spill impacts, research and technical expertise, booms, chemical oil dispersants, oil pumps, skimmers, and wildlife treatment,” the email read.

“While there is no need right now that the U.S. cannot meet, the U.S. Coast Guard is assessing these offers of assistance to see if there will be something which we will need in the near future.”

Failed Leadership Instances

There are several different species of failed leadership. One type is to direct followers into an undertaking that is ill-advised or doomed. The second type is leadership that seems to bring the followers into a successful course but which later collapses. An obvious example is when Obama smugly gave fellow Democrat candidates his blessing and campaigned for them, only to watch them fail in their races, as happened to Jon Corzine, Creigh Deeds, and Martha Coakley.

On a deeper level, one can argue that all of Obama’s completed tasks are failures on a timed-release schedule. For example, his near-trillion-dollar Stimulus bill is already reckoned an utter failure for what it was designed to do—creating quality, longterm jobs. And as these funds go down the toilet with all the interest payments as well, so do many wonderful options which this massive amount of cash could have been spent upon. For a trillion dollars, we could have funded: half the Obamacare costs for a decade; a national high-speed rail; wind farms across America; a slashing of income tax for a year to reboot the economy; a rebuilt NASA; etc etc etc

Obamacare will be an open ulcerated sore on the American economy for all its years until it is (hopefully) repealed. Studies have already come out revealing half US employees will shortly be on Obamacare, that the costs will be much higher than the WH advertised, and that the negative unintended consequences will be massive. Likewise, Obama’s unnerving habit of proposing spending to answer all problems—even the growing deficit, is producing toxic fruit, to say the least.

In foreign policy, Obama’s instinctual and frankly bizarre habit of bowing to alien potentates, apologizing to despots, and giving aid and comfort to enemies while punishing our allies enrages US patriots. In general, the combination of Obama’s trite rhetoric in concert with a toothless response to bad players has opened the floodgates on evil deeds. But imagine how our situation might be different today, for example, if Obama had merely supported the Iranian election uprising, instead of pretending this spontaneous mass demand for real democracy was lawlessness. We might not be trying to sanction Iran for their nuclear weapons program today! Talk about feckless.

An Incipient Failure of Leadership Ability

If one is a socialist or Marxist, who then are your role models? Much like a photo-negative of normally successful people, Marxism dotes upon failures, ne’er-do-wells and hopeless rebels. Such misfits are heroes, and such people collapse when placed upon the greatest pinnacles of success, like a presidency. It should surprise no one the socialist idea of leadership is merely contained to speechifying and making insulting and critical comments about those whom the tyrant despises.

Lenin’s absurd statement: “Any cook should be able to run the country,” shows the utter contempt that Marxists have for the nuances of democracy and capitalism. Does Obama share this absurdly condescending opinion of Western leadership? The shattering lack of real world knowledge, training, or responsibility for the consequences of decisions the “leader” makes is a recurring theme in communist dictators who believed they will recreate humanity itself upon their own image.


In terms of a natural ability to inspire and direct—could Barack Obama even lead Mama Cass to a Burger King? Obama is reminiscent of the lead character in the movie The Ladykillers—the pretentious Prof. Goldthwait Higgins Dorr, PhD., played by Tom Hanks. The Professor assembles a group of criminal misfits to rob a riverboat casino, but fails spectacularly. Here, Obama is the pompous professor full of ridiculous verbosity, while the criminal gang boasts David Axelgrease, Rahm “Beau” Emanuel, and other dishonest buffoons. At least in the movie, each gets the comeuppance he richly deserves.

More here


Debbie Schlussel on Fathers' day

Today, Father’s Day, I visited my late father’s grave. Even though he is no longer here, I am one of the lucky ones. My father was ever present in my life throughout his. And even though he is gone, his influence on me lives on. (Read my eulogy and tribute to him. He was an amazing and unique person.)

My father loved me and my siblings, he cared, and he taught us right and wrong. My father instilled in us the importance of patriotism and love for America. He taught us the courage of our convictions and the importance of being a good dad. Even though he was a medical doctor, he was not wealthy. He sacrificed making a lot of money to be ever involved in our lives. Woven into his great sense of humor and occasional pranks he played on us, my dad taught us to be proud Jews and never take crap from anyone.

I once had a boss who told me, “principle is expensive,” and discouraged me from having any. But it fell on deaf ears. My father taught us that principle was the most valuable commodity, the most worthy treasure we could possess. As kids, he took us to protests he organized–for example, when the Detroit Jewish community invited anti-Semite and Israel-hater James Zogby to the Jewish Book Fair to promote his hateful book. Later on, my Dad helped me spy on Islamic charities and organizations in town and tips he gave to federal law enforcement led to raids, arrests, and shut-downs of funding, including the freezing of bank accounts that funded HAMAS terrorist attacks through the Holy Land Foundation.

My father always told me about how, as an Army doctor in induction centers during Vietnam, he was offered money by various parents to rule their kids ineligible. But he never took these bribes. He was drafted and served and was ready to serve on the front lines. He felt everyone should serve America and do their duty when called. My father made sure we knew the story when his friend, Dr. Isaac Poltinnikov, an eye doctor, was fired from his job by the Soviet Union, for the “crime” of trying to emigrate from Soviet anti-Semitism and persecution to a life in Israel. Since Soviet parasitism laws forbade donations to the doctor, my father made up elaborate problems of the eye and sent them to Dr. Poltinnikov for his fictional consultations, so that Dr. Poltinnikov would survive. But he also showed us the tragedy, when Dr. Poltinnikov finally succeeded in leaving for Israel, without his wife and daughter, who respectively starved to death and committed suicide, because they could no longer take the KGB spying and oppression.

And there are so many such things my father showed me, taught me, instilled in me–many of them outlined in the eulogy and tribute I gave to my father at his funeral and on this site.

But, like I said, I am one of the lucky ones. Sadly, most people will never have a father like my dad. Even sadder, today, at least fifty percent of American kids will grow up without a father at home. Who needs Bin Laden and Islamic terrorism when we are destroying our country from within, creating so many future problems by bringing kids into this world without fathers?

And, then, there are the kids who don’t know their father truly cared. They don’t know because he’s been vilified by mom, or he just isn’t present and they aren’t told the real reason why. Such is the plot of one of my favorite movies, “Departures (Okuribito).” And such was the reality for Ray M. Wong. Wong’s Must-Read “In Death, Assumptions About Dad Melt Away”, from Friday’s USA Today, will bring tears to your eyes. Even though, unlike his, my dad was always in my life, it brought tears to mine...




Congress destroys free checking by blocking overdraft fees: "Banks can afford to offer free checking accounts with no minimum balance, to responsible people, only because they can charge overdraft fees to irresponsible people. But Congress has now prohibited many overdraft fees, which will result in many banks eliminating free checking, and also require responsible people to subsidize irresponsible people. … The elimination of free checking thanks to Congress’s unwise restrictions on overdraft fees will harm low-income people by driving them back to check-cashing stores that charge them money to cash every check.”

Decision to take over Fannie, Freddie getting costly: "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac took over a foreclosed home roughly every 90 seconds during the first three months of the year. They owned 163,828 houses at the end of March, a virtual city with more houses than Seattle. The mortgage finance companies, created by Congress to help Americans buy homes, have become two of the nation’s largest landlords. For all the focus on the historic federal rescue of the banking industry, it is the government’s decision to seize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in September 2008 that is likely to cost taxpayers the most money. So far the tab stands at $145.9 billion. The Congressional Budget Office has predicted that the final bill could reach $389 billion.”

Colombia: Ex-defense chief wins presidential runoff: "A former defense minister from a powerful political clan who oversaw a major weakening of leftist rebels won Colombia’s presidency Sunday, routing an eccentric outsider in a runoff. The victory for Juan Manuel Santos, a 58-year-old economist and three-time government minister, was a ringing endorsement of outgoing conservative President Alvaro Uribe, whose U.S.-backed security policies he helped craft and promised to continue.”

Justice and BP: "It is very probable that BP and its associated firms will be found guilty of malpractice and assessed major fines and punishment. However, this hasn’t yet happened so it’s premature to punish BP at this point. Nor is it the role of the President of the U.S. to act as prosecutor, judge and jury in this case or any other. Where is due process in all of what he and Congress have been doing lately? Or has an anti-British or anti-business attitude wiped out the need for justice? Urging or imploring — even attempting to persuade — BP to set up the $20 billion fund could be a good idea but treating this as demanded by justice is utterly misguided. There should be no compromise of principle even in the heat of anger and the grips of outrage and sorrow. It is imperative to wait until the verdict is in.”

Barack Obama’s square box: "When John F. Kennedy Jr.’s plane crashed into Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, in July 1999 some observers said he had gotten himself into a “square box,” meaning that he had run into the limits of his experience and his imagination. Barack Obama is in a square box, and observers are now beginning to talk about his inevitable crash.”

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 (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)


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