Friday, February 13, 2015

A genuinely funny political advertisement from Israel


Obama is showing his colors

In the latter stages of his tenure and when he cannot be re-elected anyway, Obama has begun revealing his true anti-American, pro-Islamic colours and boy are they revealing.

“Christians did some terrible things, too”, he said at this week’s prayer breakfast. “Just look at the Crusades”, he said, when he again tried to defend Islamic atrocities as mere workplace incidents.

If Christianity can be blamed for the Crusades why shouldn’t Islam be blamed for terrorism?

Of course Christianity was responsible for atrocities equal to Islam’s, but Christianity moved into a modern world centuries ago while Islam still practises and promotes its abhorrent past as though scores still need to be settled.

Forget the conspiracy theories, there is now no doubt where Barack Hussein Obama’s faith allegiance lies: “There is no sweeter sound on Earth than the Muslim call to prayer.” “The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.” “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace.” “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation”, he said.

In childlike denial, both he and Abbott still refuse to identify terrorism with Islam. Charlie Hebdo and the Kosher deli store killings were, according to Obama, “random acts of violence” and “we should not over-react”.

Within six minutes of being notified of James Foley’s graphic beheading, he was back on the golf course. Yet within minutes of being notified of his beloved Saudi King Abdullah’s death he had cut short his Indian visit so he could be present at his wake. (Saudi Wahhabists were the original creators of the Islamic State, Al Queda and the “student” Taliban.)

Obama gave our enemies the dates and times American troops were to be withdrawn. He is now defining for the enemy where exactly American bombing raids will and won’t be carried out.

Among others he has freed five high-value Afghani terrorists in exchange for one American deserter who has converted to Islam and is about to face a Court Martial.

Two million Christians lived in peace under Syria’s Bashar Assad. But Obama sent the CIA to train and arm Sunni Al Qaeda fighters to slaughter those Christians. Obama says he is arming “moderates” but, just like the “moderates” he armed in Benghazi, he knows it is the terrorists who get the arms.

Obama has recently made arrangements to train and equip those same Syrian rebels in Saudi camps on Saudi soil.

Obama’s so-called “moderate” allies shoot and cannibalise captured American soldiers in cold blood, but this doesn’t stop Obama. He refuses to arm and train Kurdish Peshmergers, the only fighting force with the stomach to put boots on the ground to defeat the ISIS.

He has an overt hatred of Israel and is actively providing vast sums of money in an attempt to destabilise Netanyahu in the upcoming elections. He openly supports the Muslim Brotherhood who supports Al Queda.

The timetable for American withdrawal from Afghanistan is the same timetable for the Islamic State to join with the Taliban to further it’s caliphate across the Levant. Just wait and watch.

The Benghazi massacre, was "only a reaction to a silly video” said Obama's Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. The pleas for help from the murdered Americans were ignored as the White House watched a live feed for seven hours while Embassy staff battled for their lives.

The order that stopped all rescue efforts (a stand down order) could only have been given by Obama.

Obama is a Sunni Muslim of the Luo tribe who feigned conversion to electorally palatable Christianity in order fight the good fight from the White House.

In 2011, Malik’s “Barack H. Obama Foundation,” received quick approval as a charitable foundation. It was illegally backdated to 2008 and personally signed by Lois Lerner, the IRS chief who, under questioning, took the 5th (a legal refusal to answer on the basis it may incriminate the accused).

Funds from this “charitable foundation” now support Obama’s brother, Malik's 12 wives in luxury. Malik also owns and manages Sudan’s Islamic "Da’wa Organisation", which finances terrorism throughout northern and central Africa.

According to Judge Tahani al-Gebali of Egypt’s Supreme Court, Malik Obama also oversees the Muslim Brotherhood’s international investments.

Judge Gebali claims Obama, through his Egyptian Embassy, bribed Muslim Brotherhood leaders with over $850,000 per year and it claims that Barack Obama himself is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, the same mob that slaughtered thousands of Coptic Christians and burned their churches... Barack Obama uttered not a word in protest.

Obama’s close relationship with his brother has continued to this day; completely concealed from the American public. He was raised in the Muslim faith by his father and attended a Madrass in Indonesia.

Now, we should be prepared to give this bloke the benefit of the doubt when it comes to such serious charges as treason and sedition but fair dinkum the evidence is stark.

In six short years Barack Hussein Obama has extended America’s debt from $8 trillion to $19 trillion (soon to be $21 trillion) has crippled American exports and has opened America’s borders to all comers with promises of fat welfare cheques and citizenship.





A dubious Pledge

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all".

Many of us will recognize these words as the “Pledge of Allegiance.” As a child in elementary and middle school, I remember saying the Pledge—every single day—mumbling the words, hand over my heart, facing the flag placed at the front of the classroom. As a twelve year old, there was no greater honor than being the student allowed to read the Pledge over the school intercom.

I am not alone in this experience. The Pledge is a hallmark of the American educational system. Every day across the country students state their loyalty and dedication to the flag and the U.S. government. As of 2003, the majority of states actually require the pledge to be said in schools. A few states make the pledge optional, and a few have no laws.

Although the pledge contains the words, “with liberty and justice for all,” the pledge is anything but freedom preserving. For those of us who value individual liberties, the recitation of the Pledge should induce immediate feelings of duress and an uncomfortable tightening in our stomachs.

In fact, the origins of the pledge date back to 1892. The original version was written by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister and fervent socialist. Bellamy published the Pledge in The Youth’s Companion in September of that year. He hoped the Pledge would promote egalitarianism and undermine the “capitalistic greed” of the country. By reciting the words daily, it was hoped that the Pledge would unite school children in loyalty to the state and a collective society.

The Pledge was altered several times from Bellamy’s original words. The words “under God” were added in 1954 in an attempt to emphasize the distinctions between the U.S. and the atheistic Soviet Union.

The Pledge has been the center of controversy over the years. For the most part, those opposed to Pledge have done so on religious grounds. In 1943, the Supreme Court ruled that requiring a person to say the Pledge violates the First and Fourteenth amendments.

Issues of religion aside, the Pledge of Allegiance is disturbing.

Schools are supposed to be a place of learning, a place where students learn to think critically. Schooling is supposed to prepare students to function in society. It is supposed to make them responsible citizens.

The cultivation of devotion to the flag and the U.S. government creates anything but responsible citizens. In fact, the Pledge is a complete slap in the face to the principles it supposedly espouses. It encourages, not a love of liberty and justice, but blind obedience to an “indivisible” government.

If you’re skeptical of this, consider what happens to those who disagree with the Pledge and ask that their children be “opted out.” Not only do they see their children socially ostracized as “that kid,” but they are often viewed as “unpatriotic” or “un-American.” Heaven forbid we question authority!

It’s time to rethink the Pledge of Allegiance. As opposed to teaching our children to blindly follow a piece of cloth and the government behind it, let’s teach them to think critically, value liberty, and truly appreciate the need to protect personal freedoms.


I am rather pleased to reflect that I refused to say the Australian equivalent when I was in High School many years ago.  The pledge is clearly outdated.  Many Southerners must find that the "indivisible" rankles and "justice" is something of a joke in America today.


Michelle Obama's Self-Serving 'Cheese Dust' Disdain

Before the nation's Food Nanny guilt-trips you into ditching boxed dinners on a frazzled night, know this: The first lady profited from cheese dust before she was against it.

In the new issue of Cooking Light magazine, Michelle Obama takes another sanctimonious stand against processed foods. The occasion of this latest hectoring is a month-long celebration of the fifth anniversary of her Let's Move initiative. This time, she spins a slickly crafted tale of how her former personal chef challenged daughter Malia several years ago to turn a block of cheese into powder. "She sat there for 30 minutes trying to pulverize a block of cheese into dust," Mrs. Obama claims.

"She was really focused on it, and it just didn't work, so she had to give up. And from then on, we stopped eating macaroni and cheese out of a box because cheese dust is not food," snob momma Obama pontificated.

Hey, Michelle Antoinette: Shunning convenience foods is easy when you've got a taxpayer-subsidized cooking staff whipping up four-course feasts every night. Those boxed meals you spit upon are affordable and easy to store, and last a long time. For someone who pretends to be sympathetic to working-class and middle-class families, Her Royal Highness sure has a funny way of showing it.

But the faux populist narrative must be spoon-fed to the masses. Cooking Light's editor marveled at how "real" Mrs. Obama is and how genuinely "personal" her government health crusade is. Yahoo News similarly gushed over the nation's enlightened "family meal champion" and touted the five-year anniversary of her "pivotal" Let's Move initiative.

Message from sycophantic foodie and women's magazines: Michelle Obama is just like you and me! She's an ordinary mom who cares! Except she's not.

Before she was wielding the power of public office to dictate school lunches and castigate junk-meal makers, Mrs. Obama profited from the very same processed food industry she now demonizes. What none of the fan-girling mainstream journalists who've covered her Let's Move anniversary campaign has bothered to mention in their glowing profiles is that "cheese dust" was gold dust for the Obamas.

The first lady may not think it's food now, but powdered edibles provided hefty financial sustenance for her family 10 years ago.
It's just one of the many tasty perks of political influence Mrs. Barack Obama has enjoyed in her adult lifetime.

Let's move? How about let's remember, shall we? In June 2005, a few months after her husband was elected to the U.S. Senate, Mrs. Obama snagged a seat on the corporate board of directors of TreeHouse Foods Inc. Currying favor, the food-processing company put her on its audit and nominating and corporate governance committees despite her complete lack of experience or expertise. For her on-the-job training and the privilege of putting her name and face on their literature, the company forked over $45,000 in 2005 and $51,200 in 2006 to Mrs. Obama — as well as 7,500 TreeHouse stock options worth more than $72,000 for each year.

Mrs. Obama raked in that easy money thanks to the worldwide conglomerate's popular product line of powdered non-dairy creamers and sweeteners, hot and cold cereals, evil macaroni and cheese, skillet dinners, powdered gravy and sauce mixes, powdered drink mixes, powdered soup, and puddings.

She certainly didn't look down her nose at milk dust, cheese dust, juice dust, oatmeal dust or broth dust when it came mixed with a healthy paycheck.

I wouldn't begrudge Mrs. Obama's enterprises, except for the fact that she's using taxpayer money and public office to shove her highbrow tastes and control-freak ideology down our throats. More offensive: Constant posturing from the White House about the need for jobs, while Mrs. Obama now sneers at the food-processing industry that put money in her designer pocket. Kraft Foods alone employs 103,000 people, with manufacturing and processing facilities worldwide, and reported annual net revenues topping $40 billion.

When you look past the phony concerned-mom costumery, Mrs. Obama's healthy living campaigns are all about control and cash flow. While she food-shames the rest of us, her Partnership for a Healthier America charity is a conduit for corporations and lobbyists to buy access. Her Fed Foods racket is pulling in millions of dollars from secret donors and nonprofits.

Mrs. Obama's self-aggrandizing food elitism is hard for ordinary Americans to swallow, no matter how much truffle oil her personal chef drizzles on top.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for 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)


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Who won the Battle of Britain?

The bit of history I want to challenge below may seem to be of no interest to people today but, as we shall see, its central lesson is in fact highly relevant to America's current war on Daesh in Syria.

Finding the truth amid a fog of lies is always hard but if we are to deal with reality constructively, we need to find the truth. One of the great obstacles is propaganda -- and wartime propaganda is surprisingly persistent.  The propaganda of the victor in a war tends to become the history of that war. I don't think anyone now believes the WWI Allied propaganda that it was "The great war for civilization" but that is probably only because so much has happened since then.

One bit of propaganda that always amuses me is the Hollywood portrayal of German troops in WWII as stupid and hopeless bunglers while Allied troops were savvy and clever.  That is of course the exact opposite of the truth.  One only has to reflect on the mere 6 weeks that it took Hitler's troops to overrun France to suspect that portrayal.  It took Germany just 6 weeks to conquer French forces that were more numerous and in some ways better equipped than they were. The Wehrmacht was in fact by far the most militarily efficient force deployed in WWII.

And I am afraid that the British victory in the Battle of Britain is a myth too.  The story is that poorly trained Allied airmen got into their Spitfires and turned back the Luftwaffe.  They didn't.  The Heinkel and Dornier bombers mostly got through and unloaded onto their target areas.  The extensive damage they did to places like Coventry is testimony to that.

So what have we not been told?  The fact is that the trained pilots of the Luftwaffe in their excellent Messerschmitt 109s made mincemeat out of the British fighters.  The German bombers got through because their escorting Messerschmitts shot the Hawker Hurricanes and Supermarine Spitfires down before they could get to the bombers.  The British counted as an air "Ace" a pilot who shot down a dozen or more German planes while Germany had lots of pilots with 100 or more "kills".  Adolf Galland is the best known example of that but other Luftwaffe pilots had even more "kills". There is a list of WWII air aces somewhere and about the first 100 pilots on that list were German.

So how come the Royal Airforce did so poorly?  The British aircraft were pretty good but the Battle of Britain was fought mainly by the older Hawker Hurricanes.  Spitfire production had not ramped up at that stage.  But all British fighters at that time mounted machine guns only, whereas the Messerschmitt had cannon as well. So a hit from a Messerschmitt could be much more deadly.

But some RAF pilots did relatively well so it was not mainly their machines that were wanting. It was their training.  Like the French, the British had simply not trained nearly enough pilots -- whereas Germany had been training pilots since the Spanish civil war.  Britain's large motor vehicle industry was readily converted from making motor cars to making aircraft and it did pour out lots of them.  But where were the pilots to fly them?  Men were sent up to face the Luftwaffe with as little as ten hours of air training.  They were lucky to get their machine pointed in the right direction at that stage and were hence sitting ducks.  Very few allied pilots lasted long.  It was common for them to fly only a few sorties at most before being shot down.

So why did the Luftwaffe eventually go away?  Because the German High Command  learnt at that stage a lesson the Allies also learnt later on when it was their turn to bomb Germany:  Aircraft are expensive and bombing is not very effective at achieving war aims. You need boots on the ground.  America is facing that fact right now in its attempts to suppress Daesh in Syria.  Fortunately, Daesh do not have an air arm

What Germany found was that bombing affected production of war materiel only marginally and that it did not corrode enemy morale to any significant extent.  So the Luftwaffe went away and concentrated on easy targets in Russia instead.

So nobody won the battle of Britain.  The Royal Airforce did not  stop the bombing and the Luftwaffe failed to achieve their basic objectives of stopping British war production and intimidating the British population.


The Left-dominated Israeli Press are keeping silent on a huge story

Kalman Liebeskind, writing from Israel, points to the U.S. financed V15 group as pouring money into Leftist Israeli political parties.  It appears that Obama is attempting to hijack Israel's elections and get rid of conservative PM Netanyahu

If one of the ways to judge if a state is democratic is by whether its press is worthy of the name, the last few weeks have shown that we have nothing in common with a democratic state. That is because what has been done here by a long roster of journalists and media sources, who cannot abide the thought that Binyamin Netanyahu might win the elections again, is a travesty against democracy. Hysteria, frenzy, there is no other way to define what is happening on screen, on the radio waves, on the Facebook and Twitter pages of just about every leading mainstream Israeli journalist.

In their eyes, Netanyahu has become a demon and the ultimate symbol of evil, so that those who intend to grant him those 20 or so Knesset seats are viewed as the ignorant masses. Likud spokesmen are rudely attacked on mainstream media, while senior journalists ignore any facts that don't fit the master plan. There are no rules, no laws, everything we ever learned in the School of Journalism will just have to wait for the day after the elections. Shush, there is a war going on.

But we are in the midst of an election campaign, and the election campaign story is very simple. Here it is in one short sentence: An organization whose goal is switching our Prime Minster has as its organizational, legal and bureaucratic base another organization to which the American Embassy belongs and to which John Kerry channels funds. Read that sentence slowly and aloud and tell me if that doesn't sound insane. Tell me if that story did not have to be the most explosive one of this entire election campaign.

Do you realize what is happening here? The Israeli media is lacing mercilessly into Netanyahu because of the "finger he is poking into America's eye", because the planned speech he intends to give in the US Congress may insult Obama – and absolutely refuses to notice that at the same exact time, an organization funded by Obama is cooperating with the group that has as its goal pushing Netanyahu out of office.

This is the story that should have been splashed all over the news by the Israeli media. The State Department's spokesman should have been forced to explain what is going on. The American ambassador should have been seen perspiring in TV studios. None of this happened, of course, because this story doesn't interest our media in the slightest. We have no press during this period. The Israeli press and its democratic flak jacket are on vacation, on its office door hangs a sign saying "out due to elections" and we are completely vulnerable.

Let's forget that the fact that we journalists didn't discover what V15 was doing is a colossal failure on our part. The problem is that once the Likud did expose the entire scandal, the only thing the media did, instead of taking up a cudgel and forging on by itself, was to try to bury the story. On Army Radio – whose budget should be cut by the amount that really belongs on Herzog and Livni's campaign fund disbursements– I heard, too many times to count, both before the Likud press conference and after it, that the whole V15 story was concocted to deflect the public's attention from the story of Sara Netanyahu's deposit bottles. That the story is only a diversion. The station's political correspondent repeated that statement so many times that he practically lost his voice.

While the media took on the story of the returnable bottles and demanded explanations, responses and a criminal investigation, no less, we were witness to a totally different press when it came to the V15 story.  Here we had a press that has no desire to investigate, a press uninterested in anything, a press that delivers only an unembellished report. The "Likud says", the "Likud claims", the "Likud will hold a press conference" as all they said. The Likud members' most difficult mission this past week was to convince the press that there was a story at all. One after another the party's spokemen were attacked by interviewers, who not only didn't do their jobs, but demanded that the Likud bring them a full dossier of proofs – or they would decide forthwith that there is nothing to the story.

Did the Likud claimed that one of Obama's past campaign managers is helping V15? Army Radio rushed to announce a "scoop" – they, too, have an advisor for New Media who once worked with the Republicans. Did the Likud claim that OneVoice  is interfering in a sovereign nations' elections? Army Radio responded by attacking Likud MK Yuval Steinitz for once appearing before OneVoice, as if one speech neutralizes the fact that the organization is now working to defeat Netanyahu.

The media kept grinding away at the idiotic story of Sara Netanyahu's returnable bottles and exactly when she gave the blasted 4000 IS she received for them to the state's coffers – but the connection between the US State Department and an organization working to defeat Netanyahu didn't interest a soul among them.

Let's take a look at Yoel Hasson, a member of the (self-titled) "Zionist Camp" of Herzog and Livni. After Ar'el Segal revealed that the honorable Hasson himself is on the board of governors of OneVoice, Hasson rushed to deny it and claim that "I was never a member of the board there". A short time later – when the Hebrew language Rotternet site revealed that not only his name, but also his photograph and bio appears on the list of board members on OneVoice's site - an unusual coincidence occurred and they were removed. Hasson explained that he had no idea who had put his name there. Of course, we know about that – which of us hasn't had some organization choose to post his name and photo as a member of their board by mistake?

Seriously, doesn't this merit some discussion? Doesn't this seem a bit suspicious? Wouldn't a fair press force the "Zionist Camp" to deal with the issue and furnish explanations for it?

If we go back 15 years, we will soon see that this is a repeat of the same corrupt press of 1999. That was when the Likud found out about Herzog and Barak's illegal NPO's. Then, like now, only the then fledgling and small "Makor Chadash" Hebrew newspaper featured the issue.  No one else showed any interest in their story. Then, as well, the Likud party's leaders (Livni was one of them then) were forced to call a press conference to publicize what they had discovered. Then, as now, by the next morning the entire story had been buried, because there were almost no journalists who found it worth taking up.

Almost, but not quite. There was one rare, intrepid journalist, Shelly Yehimovich, whose political leanings were with the left, but whose integrity forced her to bring up the story on the radio again and again, even if it didn't serve her side. This week, too, there was one – Keren Neubach – who, I am willing to bet will not vote Likud, just as Shelly Yehimovich didn't – but whose pointed questions and demand for answers facing the V15 representative preserved a small part of the honor of her chosen profession.

The time has come to put a stop to pretensions of objectivity. A month and a half before Election Day, everything is political, everything is tainted, everything has been bought.



Obama To Scrap Warplane The Islamic State Fears

The venerable A-10 Warthog, designed to stop Soviet tanks, and the perfect weapon to "degrade and destroy" the Islamic State, as President Obama promised, faces a budgetary chopping block.

We have noted the irony of how Obama was going to war against the Islamic State with weapons systems he had scrapped, ending the production runs of the F-22 Raptor and Tomahawk cruise missiles. They were dismissed by the administration as relics of the Cold War even as Russia was rearming and trying to reassemble the old Soviet Union.

We've also mentioned the phasing out of the A-10 Thunderbolt, a close-support aircraft that entered service in 1972 and was designed to combat Soviet tank formations on a European battlefield.

Dubbed the "Warthog" because of its decidedly un-sleek profile, the A-10 has been found to be useful in another capacity in Iraq — attacking IS forces that don't want to be on the business end of the Warthog's 30 mm cannon as it flies low and slow over the battlefield.

As Iraqi News reported last week after an A-10 sortie against IS forces near Mosul: "The aircraft sparked panic in the ranks of ISIS and bombing its elements in spaces close to the ground." Such strikes also prove the value of such a low-maintenance aircraft built to take the punishment expected in close air support.

"Elements of the terrorist organization targeted the aircraft with 4 Strella missiles, but that did not cause it any damage, prompting the remaining elements of the organization to leave the bodies of the dead and carry the wounded to escape," according to the Iraqi report.

This is not surprising, since the A-10 can almost hover over a battlefield as it picks out targets for its 20-foot-long, 2.5 ton, seven-barrel Gatling gun that can fire 1,100 of those 30 mm shells. The titanium shell that wraps around the bottom of its cockpit makes it difficult to shoot down.

The U.S. sent the aircraft to the region in late November with the 163rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, a unit with the Indiana Air National Guard. The unit also provided close air support for air operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

On Jan. 15, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James pointed out that the A-10 had conducted 11% of all sorties against IS since August, despite the fact it was not deployed to the battlefield until November.

But it may be shot down soon by the budget-cutters. The Pentagon figures it can save $4.2 billion in operation and maintenance costs over five years by retiring all 283 of the Air Force's A-10s. It also believes the F-35, despite its unit cost and troubled development, can fill the need for close air-support need. Whether it can take the punishment the A-10 can is open to question.



Poetic Social Justice: Minimum Wage Laws Hits San Francisco  business

In this iteration, the Daily Caller notes that a beloved San Francisco bookstore will have to close because minimum wage laws.

Back in November, residents of the city voted to increase the minimum wage gradually to $15 an hour over the course of three years. Though the wage hike was designed to help address income inequality, several businesses have already had to close. …

When it came time to break the news to his six employees, [Borderlands Books owner Alan] Beatts decided it was best to talk with each of them individually. He knew it would be tough because his employees love books, love the written word and to them, it was more than just a job.

“I spoke to each of my employees individually,” Beatts notes. “The typical reaction was shock and sadness.”

Michael Saltsman, the research director at the Employment Policies Institute, fears that more is to come as a result of the wage increase.

“We’re probably just seeing the beginning of this,” Saltsman told TheDCNF. “In a relatively short period of time it’s concerning we have a couple stories like these popup.”

“What we do know is San Francisco is an expensive place to do business,” Saltsman also noted. “It’s pretty clear that if this minimum wage didn’t go up, this business would still be open.”

Advocates of minimum wage laws argue that it is more humanitarian to force wage increases, but how humanitarian is it to cost someone their business or their job?  We should note that Borderlands closure is but one of several in San Francisco since the wage increase law passed.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for 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)


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Gallup: United States ‘More Liberal in Recent Years’

Buried below its rankings of the most conservative and liberal states, Gallup declared that “Americans have become slightly less conservative and more liberal in recent years.”

The polling group did hedge the judgment by also stating that state-by-state, the ideological bends have “generally remained quite stable.”

The declaration of America’s leftward lean has been a consistent theme in Gallup’s annual state-by-state surveys. In 2014, Gallup said the nation’s “Conservative advantage down from last year.”

Their 2013 judgment was nearly identical to this year’s:

“America has become a slightly more liberal and a slightly less conservative nation than it was in 2011 -- based on residents' self-reports of their ideology…”

Beyond the state-by-state trends, this survey seems to indicate that while President Obama might have fallen short of “fundamentally transforming” America, he has tilted the nation leftward, at the very least.

Gallup’s 2015 “State of the States” series revealed the list of the most conservative and liberal states in the country. Mississippi was named the most conservative, while Massachusetts was deemed the most liberal.

Gallup also determined the most “moderate” state in the U.S. was Delaware, due to the state’s high percentage of self-described moderates.

The comprehensive survey polled 177,034 adults in all 50 states and Washington, DC.



Obama's Morally Confused Prayer Breakfast Lecture

By David Limbaugh

I find it very odd that a president notably lacking in humility and frequently riding his own high horse would lecture American Christians about those subjects -- because they presumably condemn acts of barbarism by Islamists.

Talk about a string of disconnects. While we're at it, let's note one more. Obama, at the National Prayer Breakfast, also exhorted us to "uphold the distinction between our faith and our governments — between church and between state." Last time I checked, it was not Christians, unless you believe that Obama is a Christian, who were using government power to restrict religious liberties of others.

Obama, however, has conspicuously infringed on the conscience rights of Christians in supporting mandates that require religious organizations to pay for contraception and abortifacients.

Indeed, Obama was too busy lecturing Christians about "theocracies that restrict people's choice of faith" — though there are no Christian theocracies in the world — to note that many Muslim nations in the world are theocratic and under Shariah.

Is Obama's moral compass so skewed that he is utterly blind to the rampant theocratic oppression that routinely occurs in Muslim nations in the world? This takes moral equivalency to new levels.

But that wasn't even his worst moral distortion of the morning. On the heels of the Islamic State group's burning alive a captured Jordanian pilot, Obama's instinct was not to decry ISIS' depraved murder but to caution us not to judge the religion of Islam. Was anyone doing that, by the way?

As usual, Obama's first impulse to another atrocity committed in the name of Islam was to defend Islam — and attack Christianity and Christians, who Obama apparently believes are holding their noses in the air thinking they don't engage in such behavior in the name of their religion.

Foremost on his mind was to correct the record on Islam, kind of a pre-emptive defense of the religion he holds dear from his childhood, against any attempts to tar it based on thousands of "isolated" incidents. Here's where his moral equivalence reared its ugly head again.

He said, "We ... see faith being twisted and distorted, used as a wedge or, worse, sometimes used as a weapon." That was his predicate for chronicling the recent despicable actions of ISIS — an acronym, by the way, that, in his moral bewilderment, he refuses to utter — and then glibly transitioning into certain regrettable actions committed by or with the support of Christians in history.

Of course, he was compelled to invoke the Crusades, which in his view were unprovoked acts of aggression by Christians against Muslims but which in reality were far more complex than that. And of course, he had to mention the Inquisition, as if that is somehow relevant, even microscopically, to what's going on today.

But no blanket condemnation would be complete without Obama's obligatory and habitual denunciation of slavery and Jim Crow, only this time he cited them as examples not of America's evil past but of evils committed in the name of Christianity.

As long as we're talking about "wedges" and "weapons," it sure seems to me as if that's precisely how Obama continues to use slavery and Jim Crow. He just will not let these go. It obviously never occurs to him that Christianity was one of the main driving forces in eradicating slavery in this country. But we can hardly expect him to give us a fair reading of Christianity's role when he is on a mission to demonize it.

Obama is the one who needs to demonstrate a little humility and dismount his own elevated steed. He needs to put aside the pride that contributes to clouding his judgment about acts of terror committed by Islamists. He needs to recognize that it is nothing short of an act of moral cowardice to suggest that the multitudinous atrocities committed in the name of Islam today, whether or not they are representative of the true religion of Islam, bear any comparison to acts of Christians — today or in the past.

He needs to reset his own bias-riddled perception and open his willfully closed eyes to the fact that we have real enemies today who are killing us in the name of their religion and that, regardless of how representative they are of the faith that fuels their war cry, they see themselves as faith-driven and they are not going to be deterred or pacified by craven denunciations of Christianity or fervent defenses of Islam proper.

This is not about the Islamists' grievances over poverty or injustice or any of the other pet causes with which Obama can identify but about conquering the world for a global caliphate and subjugating or killing everyone who will not submit. There is no appeasing this mindset.

Americans are in greater danger now than we have been in decades because we have a leader who simply will not recognize that our allies and we are under attack around the world by untold numbers of people acting under the banner of Islam. No matter how many peaceful Muslims there are in the world, it doesn't change the fact that we're threatened by many who aren't.

If Obama spent one-tenth of the time focusing on these radical enemies as he does apologizing for the religion they claim to represent, Americans would be much safer.



Lessons From an Unenduring Majority

A 2002 book, “The Emerging Democratic Majority,” posited, as the title suggests, an “enduring Democratic majority” in the wake of “permanent changes” to America’s demography. Co-authored by John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira, the book’s central idea – the heart of the Emerging Democratic Majority (“EDM”) theory – was that the Democrat Party had amassed such a solid coalition of voters over the decades that the party could endure occasional bad election cycles and still retain control of the levers of government over the long haul. Recently revisiting his book, Judis noted it is, well, wrong. How times change.

Sadly for EDM – and every other Democrat-ideology theory forced into sustained contact with reality – the theory was flawed. It turns out – to paraphrase Mark Twain – news of the Republican Party’s death was greatly exaggerated. What hasn’t been exaggerated is the magnitude of just how far the authors' theory missed the mark. The theory wasn’t just wrong: It was exactly wrong – a feat extremely difficult even for Democrats to pull off. As Noah Rothman notes at Hot Air, the fatal flaw in EDM is, “Voters expected results from the party in which they had vested new authority.” After the better part of a decade getting none – or should we say the wrong results – voters learned to vote with their feet, walking out on Democrats at the polls.

The results of that reality check have been telling. Americans do not believe Democrats can provide economic security, let alone national security. The Democrat Party has become the party of racial, social and economic division, promoting class warfare as a primary means to gain political power, at the expense of all. It has accelerated national spending to a point of unfathomable debt, reincarnated the permanent welfare state, and turned public education into a 12-year babysitting service in which children simply bide time until they are turned out onto the streets of reality, lacking critical skills to become productive members of society.

In broad brushstrokes, in the wake of the contentious Barack Obama Era, Democrats have lost both the House and the Senate, lost control of 69 of 99 state-level legislative chambers, and lost countless officeholder seats. In short, the Democrat Party is in its worst position in 90 years. Americans no longer believe Democrats can deliver on any of their Pollyanna visions of the future.

Lest Republicans succumb to the same ruinous party-in-majority arrogance that (at least for the time being) wiped out the Democrats, we should warn that there’s a lesson here for every politician. The lesson is this: Ignoring or mistaking the will of the people can be hazardous to one’s political health.

Surveying the Democrat debris in the wake of the 2014 midterm Republican wave, the Chosen One commented, “To everyone that voted, I want you to know that I heard you.” The problem is that in his arrogance he didn’t hear. Immediately following his seemingly conciliatory statement, he punchlined, “To two-thirds of voters that chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too.” Sure, Barry: It wasn’t popular will, it was just all those eeevil Republicans holding “the people” back from the polls. Any wonder why Democrats went 0-for-2 in Obama’s midterm cycles?

Summarizing the myriad lessons-learned littering the landscape of Democrats' political destruction, we offer the same advice to Democrats as we do to Republicans: Take time to do the hard thinking to connect the dots between our nation’s core founding principles and today’s voters. The notion that a party can have an enduring majority without understanding the fundamental principles upon which America was founded is mistaken. The same is true for a party that ignores or misunderstands the will of America’s voters. Listen to the Founders. Then listen to the voters. That’s how to create an “enduring majority.” Anything else is just another political theory on the ash heap of history.



There Is a Simple Formula for Unleashing Economic Prosperity

The age old question in economics is this: how does a nation or state create economic growth and rising living standards for its citizens? Once upon a time superstitious economists believed that growth was a function of the constellation of the stars.

That kind of belief in astrology as a predictor of growth was no more misguided than many of the fad economic theories that are peddled today by charlatan economists who preach more government interventionism.

President Obama takes a victory lap for the economic recovery of the last five years despite in being the slowest since the Great Depression. Median household incomes have collapsed by $1,500 in real terms during the Obama recovery. That’s some rebound. Obama’s stimulus plans have created fewer jobs than would have been created by doing nothing – and that is according to his own analysis.

In sum, confusion reigns on how to regenerate growth.

But there is a simple and time-tested formula for unleashing economic prosperity – here at home and abroad. This formula is not complicated. The Heritage Foundation’s 2015 Index of Economic Freedom – which ranks 186 nations – shows conclusively that growth is a byproduct of free enterprise policies and limited government interference.

Adjusted for purchasing power, gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is more than 6 times higher in “free” vs. “repressed” economies. So for example, the per capita income is over $50,000 in a free nation like the United States. It is $11,610 in a repressed nation like Cuba. Israel has a per capita income of $34,770 versus $14,845 in Lebanon. Israel is far more economically free than Lebanon.

Take two nations that start at the same place economically. After two decades, the citizens in the nations with economic freedom will enjoy a standard of living one third greater than their counterparts in the less free zone. Poverty rates will also fall in the free nations much faster than the command and control economies. Health, education and environmental improvement are also closely tied to economic freedom. Free markets are the path to fairness. That’s a lesson even Pope Francis, a recent critic of capitalism, needs to learn.

Economic freedom isn’t hard to achieve: it means low taxes, free trade, limited government spending, a sound currency, the rule of law, and a light hand of regulation. Cronyism, which is too often regarded as a partner of capitalism, is exposed as a deterrent to growth. Russia is a nation not of free market capitalists, but of cronyism – and its economy has floundered. In other words, countries that grow reward citizens for how hard they work and what they know, not who they know.

The United States is ranked by Heritage as only the 12th economically freest nation in the world today, behind places like Hong Kong, Switzerland and even Canada. Only a decade ago, the U.S. consistently ranked in the top ten or higher of most free nations – but that all predated stimulus plans, bailouts, tax hikes on the rich, and Obamacare.

While many nations in the rest of the world tragically flirt with proven failed big government strategies and cheap money, the U.S. has an opportunity to win the global competition for jobs, businesses and capital investment. The low hanging fruit in Washington is to chop our highest in the world corporate income tax, reform our welfare system to reward work over handouts, approve free trade deals and drill for our domestic energy resources. That would be a good start to raising worker incomes and it may even move America, the Land of the Free, back into the economic freedom top 10 – where we belong.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for 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)


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Do the Jordanian strikes on Daesh (ISIS) prove that Daesh are "Bad" Muslims?

Mr Obama says so  but that is pretty good evidence that the truth lies elsewhere.  And the truth is in fact the exact opposite. The Middle East is very tribal and  Muslims are always fighting with one another:  Nation against nation (Iran/Iraq); Sect against sect (Sunni/Shia) and tribe against tribe (Libya).  And the big Jordanian attacks on Daesh are very tribal -- motivated by revenge, nothing else. Jordanian Major General Mansour al-Jabour has said as much.

Muslims are like Catholics.  Most Catholics don't do what the Pope tells them (contraception, divorce).  They are "bad" Catholics.  Likewise most Muslims don't do what the Koran tells them (Jihad).  They are "bad" Muslims. It is Daesh who are the "good" Muslims.  They are in fact engaged in Jihad, as the Koran commends.

The Muslim religion is a great problem wherever there are Muslims.  Most Muslims find their religion's commandments at least as difficult as Catholics find the commandments of their religion so they are no problem to anyone much.  But some Muslims DO follow their commandments and they are a  BIG problem.  It is because of that minority that we need to send ALL Muslims back to their ancestral hellholes.  Any Muslim could become "good" and we have no way of telling which.


The Western press is now the PR wing of the Islamic State

In poring over its murder-stunt videos, we give IS exactly what it wants -- says Brendan O’Neill below.  He has a point but I am not sure that it could be otherwise

Here’s a question for the Western media: if you really think the Islamic State is morally bankrupt, monstrous, one of the worst movements of recent times, then why are you doing its PR work for it? Why are you spreading its propaganda, and by extension its brand, and effectively acting as its unofficial press officer? For make no mistake — when Western media outlets splash the Islamic State’s sordid snuff movies across their front pages, complete with tantalising screengrabs of the seconds just before the really bad thing happens, that is what they are doing: conniving, almost, with the terrorists; certainly helping to complete their acts of terrorism through dutifully advertising them to jaw-dropped Western publics.

It takes two to tango — it also takes two to terrorise: the terrorist himself and the interpreter of his act, the media, which can spread far and wide the fear that the terrorist longs to strike into our hearts but is incapable of disseminating on his own.

Yesterday, IS released yet another capital-punishment video, its worst yet. No details of its contents are necessary here, not least because you can turn to any newspaper in Britain, and elsewhere, and see on the front pages gruesome, gory info about what IS did, and even photos of the dead man walking. Some papers show the milliseconds before the true horror occurs, and the effect is like a Victorian freakshow: you find yourself wondering what happened next, how bad it was; did he scream, did he writhe?

The coverage acts as an invitation to Google, to hunt down the reality horror movie online, where of course it’s available. It’s a modern version of the old haunting cry of ‘Roll up, roll up’: ‘See what happens to the man in the cage!’

Some media outlets will defend their eye-watering descriptions of what happens in the video, and their use of copious shots from it, as newsworthy and possibly even a blow for press freedom. Now, spiked is as absolutist about free speech as it’s possible to get, but I just don’t buy this justification.

Of course it is in the public interest to tell us that a Jordanian citizen was executed by IS and that Jordan has promised that its retribution will be ‘swift’ — these are important global matters. But the creative writing-style descriptions of every wound on the prisoner’s face? The Wes Craven-style poring-over of the moment the thing happens? The depressing detail about what the man does as he’s dying? Is that stuff necessary?

It seems to me that the aim of much of the press coverage of IS’s warped snuffism is less to inform than to titillate, to provoke, to provide people with outrage porn they can morally get off on. Many newspapers now feel a bit like those cheap Victorian news-sheets that claimed to be raising awareness about the scourge of child prostitution but conveniently came with loads of lurid detail about what was done to such children: now, as then, dubious claims of newsiness act as a cover for the publication of moral pornography.

The worst thing is that this is exactly what IS wants — for its self-consciously pre-modern, super-violent brand to be broadcast as far and as frequently as possible. It especially wants this PR boost now, after the harsh reality of its defeat in Kobane at the hands of the Kurds and its suffocation in Mosul by the various Iraqi and external forces that have reportedly surrounded and isolated that city. A rattled IS wants to remind the West of its menace, and what better way to do that than by videoing something truly shocking, in the knowledge that a Western media hungry for gorno will lap it up.

Some have asked why IS makes such abhorrent videos. Partly it’s because this group seems to float free of the moral and political universe inhabited by most other political groupings, even violent ones; but it’s also because it knows its videos will get a good response, ‘hits’, be dutifully obsessed over by the Western media. For very little outlay — a couple of cameras, some walk-on jihadists in menacing masks, a few hours in the editing suite — IS knows it can grab the world’s attention and hold our minds hostage courtesy of the media’s response to its murder-stunts. In this sense, it’s possible the Western media provides IS with an incentive to keep executing people on film: maybe it makes these videos because, at some level, some in the West want them.

There’s a real danger that today’s fearful Western societies amplify acts of terrorism by overreacting to them. We saw this over the past 10 years, when Western politicos and media outlets responded to acts of Islamist terrorism in Western cities by doing the things that the usually small groups of terrorists could never achieve on their own: rewriting laws, limiting liberty, overhauling the justice system, and instituting a culture of fear.

The impact of terrorism is very often determined, not by what the isolated, unrepresentative terrorist does, but by how we respond to what he does. The moral resourcefulness, or otherwise, of a target society is ultimately the deciding factor in whether terrorism will just have a temporary bloody impact or a longer-lasting political, legal and moral impact. And too often we have enabled the latter impact to occur. And so it is with the Islamic State today: if Jihadi John and the rest haunt our dreams, it’s because of what the media has made them into, because of how our own societies have made monsters of these pathetic killers.

There are two possible consequences of the Western media’s lapping-up of IS snuff movies. The first is that they will help IS recruit more nihilistic Westerners. As George Packer of the New Yorker said of last week’s execution of the Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, there is ‘an undeniable attraction in this horror for a number of young people around… Europe and America, who want to leave behind the comfort and safety of normal life for the exaltation of the caliphate’.

It’s a sad fact that, for complicated reasons, we live in societies in which fairly significant numbers of young people feel estranged from mainstream politics and morality and drawn towards nihilistic ways of thinking, and these media-spread videos act as an invitation to some of these youngsters to pursue their nihilistic urges with the one global group devoted to such despicable behaviour.

The second consequence of the media’s publicity for IS horrors is that IS will feel encouraged, incited in fact, to up the ante. Its horrendous new video suggests it is learning the lesson of diminishing returns — that the media had tired somewhat of its beheading videos and so IS needed to do something new and spectacular to get back on the front pages. So it did, and it worked. What will it do next? Who knows. But it will have to be extra atrocious if IS wants the Western media to carry on doing it a favour by making a global spectacle of its squalid murders.



Turning Ukraine into a stage for Western preening

Western interventionists are do-gooders who think they have the moral high ground in waging cold war on Russia, but where is the high ground in obstructing the independence struggle of Eastern Ukraine? Mr Putin is assisting cautiously something that everyone should be supporting

Since a ceasefire was agreed in early September between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, little has actually ceased. The rebels continued to push for independence, even staging de facto national elections in November; the government continued to try to quash the rebellion, declaring the rebels’ political moves illegitimate; and the firing and fighting have continued unabated. According to recent United Nations figures, since April the death toll has reached 5,300, with 12,000 more wounded, and 1.2million having fled their homes.

And now it appears the conflict is entering a far more dangerous phase. In recent weeks, the rebels have made significant territorial gains - 500sq kilometres, according to NATO estimates - and the talk now is of them pushing on towards Mariupol so as to connect the rebel-held regions to Crimea, annexed by Russia in March last year. There is talk also of raising mass armies. Rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko has spoken of rallying together 100,000 troops, while Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has promised to draft an army of 200,000.

Much of the Western media focus, though, has not been on the conflict itself, exactly; it has been on Russia’s role in proceedings. Russia has been presented as the shady protagonist in the conflict, the military power behind the scenes, taking advantage of the massive political instability in Ukraine to advance its own territorial and political interests. And no doubt, Russia’s role is significant. Russian weaponry and Russian soldiers do seem to be involved in the conflict, with anecdotes, satellite imagery and corpses dragged out by the Ukrainian government and its allies as evidence.

Russian president Vladimir Putin denies military involvement, claiming that the Russian soldiers killed or captured in eastern Ukraine were there voluntarily, unofficially. But this seems unlikely, not least because Putin seems to be actively profiting from the escalating conflict on Russia’s borders. Fighting back the West’s supplicants in Ukraine plays well to a domestic audience: it bolsters Putin’s authority. Russia’s willingness to back the rebels in eastern Ukraine is not just a territorial exercise, then; it’s a reputation-building one, too. And it is making the situation in Ukraine worse, deepening antagonisms, unsettling a region, and rendering a federal solution to the split even more unlikely.

But, as spiked has argued from the beginning of Ukraine’s descent into civil war, while Russia’s actions are making things worse, the West’s role has been more destructive. At every stage of the recent conflict, from the Maidan Square protests towards the end of 2013, which eventually brought down the democratically elected government of President Yanukovych, to the constant cosying up to his pro-Western successors, too many in Europe and the US have recklessly, cluelessly upped the ante.

In fact, even before the recent conflagration, before the Maidan protests, the West, be it through NATO’s two-decades-long flirtation with Russia’s neighbours or the European Union’s entreaties to Ukraine through its Eastern Partnership scheme, has constantly threatened to pull Russia’s old allies into its orbit, all in the name of promoting ‘democratic’ or ‘Western’ values. Indeed, Western provocation, raising the stakes in Russia’s old Eastern Bloc backyard, has a history that extends back to the end of the Cold War.

So, Western leaders, cheered on by a braying, Russia-stereotyping commentariat, have not only helped to create the situation in Ukraine - they have also ceaselessly used it to haul themselves on to the moral high ground, issuing condemnations of Russia, and pushing through new rafts of economic sanctions with one hand, while beckoning Ukraine’s government to come ever closer to the European Union with the other.

And now, as Russia responds ever more dangerously, ever more unpredictably, to what it perceives to be a threat on its border, how are Western leaders and an increasingly excited media responding? By upping the ante yet further. Elite opinion, such as it is, is now becoming increasingly, myopically martial. The talk is now of backing the Ukrainian government, not just with Russia-baiting, Putin-demonising rhetoric, and yet another new regime of sanctions, but with actual military assistance.

One Financial Times columnist urges the West to arm the Ukrainians; the Washington Post says the ‘clear answer is direct military support’; a collection of US think tanks and politicians has just released a report urging similar. Western politicians, with the exception of the likes of Republican senator John McCain, may not have been quite so forthright so far; but the prospect of military intervention is now firmly circulating in the policymaking air.

And the most incredible aspect to this slow-motion slippage into something approaching international warfare in Ukraine is that those calling for the West to get stuck in are doing so for the most abstract, most self-aggrandising, and therefore most dangerous reasons. Theirs is not a geopolitical calculation. It is not a matter of realpolitik balancing of power blocs. No, theirs is a vain comic-book calculation. It is a matter of fighting the bad guy, of doing battle with the forces of Russian irrationality and reaction.

Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton likened Russia’s actions to those of Hitler in the 1930s. Others, incredibly, have displayed even less subtlety. One US commentator blamed everything on, variously, ‘Putin the Thug’ and ‘Czar Putin’; one UK commentator said that the West was dealing with ‘classic psychopathic behaviour’; and in the Guardian, columnist, policy adviser and laptop bombardier Timothy Garton Ash decided to invoke his own Kosovo-era version of Hitler: ‘Vladimir Putin is the Slobodan Milošević of the former Soviet Union: as bad, but bigger.’

This is what the conflict in Ukraine has been rendered up as: a battle between the West and Putin the Bad Man. It is a chance, once more, for Western commentators and politicians to act out their liberal interventionist fantasies, to do battle with a psychopath, a thug, a man intent on doing wrong. Those venting their anti-Putin diatribes no doubt feel terribly good about themselves. Those calling for the West to do more no doubt remain convinced that, abstractly, as a moral decision, it is the Right Thing To Do.

And that is the problem. This same unthinking, politically dumb impulse has already wreaked immeasurable damage across the globe, pulling down social arrangements and civic structures from Iraq to Libya, and leaving behind little but massive instability. And yet, because it always looks like the right thing to do, especially when the antagonist is conjured up as a psychopathic wrongdoer, the clueless interventionists continue to call cluelessly for intervention. They up the ante, selfishly, vainly and, ultimately, barbarically.

Russia’s destabilising involvement in Ukraine cannot be ignored. But just as significant is the equally deleterious role of the bumbling, purpose-seeking West and its international institutions. Their culpability in Ukraine’s disintegration has been ignored for far too long.


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


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for 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)


Monday, February 09, 2015

Fascist Scotland

Jealousy has always been the key to understanding Scots. Perhaps because they have always been poor relative to the English, they have a hatred of anybody richer than them. The name of Scotland's largest landowner, the Duke of Buccleuch (pronounced "baklew) is not so much uttered as spat out in most of Scotland. So they have always been very jealous of one another and that has made them very socialist.  It's only by going abroad and escaping envious eyes that Scots can prosper.

But socialism plus nationalism is the recipe for Fascism -- and Scottish nationalism is more than mere patriotism.  It has morphed  into national self-assertiveness and new and improved hatred of their Southern neighbour.  And so a form of Fascism does seem to have emerged.

The recent referendum on Scottish independence seems to have been the flash-point.  It pumped up nationalism to new heights and the failure of the referendum has left nationalists seething with anger.  And anger is of course behind most Leftist policies.  So Scotland is getting some severely Leftist policies.  And the MAJORITY of Scots who voted to stay united with England are simply not respected.  Nationalists are not accepting their defeat graciously. And since they do have control of the Scottish parliament, they can do a lot of damage.  See below.  -- JR

By Allan Massie

The smell of blood is in the Scottish air – and the nationalist daggers are out once again. No matter that they lost the referendum. SNP membership is surging, and so is the spiteful abuse of their opponents, openly branded quislings and collaborators for daring to disagree.

The nationalists are on aggressive form, set to rule not just the Scottish parliament but a majority of Scotland’s 59 Westminster seats. New polling funded by Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft has predicted a 21 per cent swing to the SNP, which would mean Labour losing 35 of their 41 seats.

If that seems like a distant issue from south of the border, then consider this: if the SNP performs as the polls suggest, an overall Labour majority in May will be almost impossible. But a Labour-SNP coalition becomes an increasingly likely scenario – and a worrying one. Because the SNP could influence the whole of the UK with what has become a divisive brand of state socialism.

Just look at what they plan in Scotland, harrying the great estates – and their owners – with taxes and forcible land sales. The nationalists even want to meddle in family life with sinister new measures promising government supervision of all Scottish children.

This might chime well in Left-wing cities such as Glasgow and Dundee, the new nationalist heartland, but many see the proposed land reform as fuelled by class envy and socialist dogma.

The SNP’s claim to a monopoly on Scottish patriotism infuriated many unionists during the referendum campaign, but its Stalinist identification of the party with the state is worrying even more.

For now, the guns have mostly fallen silent, as this is the close season for game birds and stalking, but for landowners and their employees there is a feeling that the guns are being turned on them, and that the traditional social and economic pattern of country life is in danger of being torn up.

Under the bureaucratic slogan of ‘sustainable development’, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has proposed a raft of separate measures that she believes will attract the support of the Scottish Left, and which landowners believe is a class-based attack on the great estates and centuries of tradition.

One is a plan to give rural communities the right of compulsory purchase over the land they farm – even if the landowner, whose family may have been custodians of it for generations, doesn’t want to sell it.

The SNP also want to change the inheritance laws of primogeniture that would fragment the ownership of the great estates within a few generations by ensuring the division of property among all of a landowner’s children. Then there is the removal of the tax breaks that make many estates viable and investment in them possible.

In truth, however, the country sports that the SNP so despises are all that makes many of the estates economically viable.

The party is fond of preaching that the ownership of much of the land is concentrated in comparatively few hands. Some 400 individuals or trusts (family or commercial) are said to own most of Scotland. Yet much of the country is mountain and moorland. A 500-acre chunk of arable land in, say, Berwickshire, is far more profitable than 5,000 or even 15,000 acres in the Highlands.

Jamie Williamson, laird of Alvie and Dalraddy, near Aviemore, tells me wryly that his 13,000 acres are MAMBA – ‘more and more of b***** all’.

‘We farm cows, sheep, trees and tourists,’ he adds. ‘Field sports are more important – we offer grouse-shooting and deer-stalking – because the Highlands are less favourable for agriculture.

‘The poorer the land, the more you need to live off it. Round here, that’s a minimum of 2,000 to 5,000 acres.

‘We’re faced with people who have a politically motivated agenda and don’t realise what they’re doing. It could end up like Ireland, where sub-division means that everyone has a quarter-acre potato patch. The attitude now is, “You’ve got it, we want it.” '

Lack of respect for property rights is characteristic of all socialist regimes, so it is not surprising that the SNP’s land reform will render property insecure.

Actually, Scots already have a Land Reform Act, passed in the first Scottish Parliament with little controversy. It established a statutory right to roam throughout the countryside with a few designated exceptions. That right had always existed, as trespass on private property was not an offence in Scotland unless there was damage or malicious intent.

The Act also gave a community the right to buy an estate if the owner was willing to sell, and provided public funds to make this possible. There have been a handful of buyouts, some apparently successful. In a warning to the SNP, however, others have proved far more problematic.

The 94-strong community on the beautiful Hebridean island of Gigha became the best-known beneficiaries of the legislation when they bought their seven-mile-long island from businessman Derek Holt in 2002 with £4 million of public money in the form of a grant and a loan. The population has since swollen to 160 people, but the island is reported to be £3 million in debt, and looking to the Government for further help.

Highland estates change hands frequently; the land is unproductive, country sports are labour and investment-intensive. They swallow money. It’s why any community that benefits from a buyout – whether voluntary or as part of a socialist land-grab – is likely to be going back to Holyrood soon, holding out the begging-bowl.

This isn’t true of all parts of Scotland, I should add. The fertile estates in the Borders , where I live, rarely change hands, because they are not loss-making. Estates such as those of the Duke of Buccleuch, the Marquess of Lothian and the Duke of Roxburghe make a huge contribution to the social, economic and cultural life of the region. They offer access and provide employment for tens of thousands.

It is estimated that ten per cent of Scottish jobs are in agriculture and activities related to it, such as shooting. They are generally a force for good, and for prosperity, and only a fool would want to break them up. However, that is exactly what the SNP plans.

It’s easy to see that such measures might have a rabble-rousing appeal for city-dwellers to whom the big estates are bad and the poor, embattled workers are victims.

These are also, of course, people who have no idea of how the rural economy works. It is private spite dressed up as public interest.

The final nail in the coffin of the sporting estates would be the SNP plan to remove the ‘de-rating’ tax-break brought in by the Major Government 20 years ago.

On the face of it this may seem a more justifiable change, as most businesses pay rates, but the consequences might be damaging.

Jamie Williamson is quite clear about that. His estate employs 19 people directly and as many again indirectly, while overheads are huge and the profit on field sports is meagre enough to be tipped into the red if the new taxes are too high. If that happens, many estates will abandon shooting, and with it will go the tourism and hospitality industries that rely on it.  ‘It could,’ he adds, ‘have an impact all the way down the line.’

Williamson is a landowner, a laird, so the response may be ‘he would say that, wouldn’t he?’  But his views are echoed and put even more forcibly by Alex Hogg, who is a gamekeeper, not a landowner. In fact, he’s chairman of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association.

He says: ‘Local businesses are supported by the estates and shooting brings in millions.  ‘Why would you want to drive away that investment?

‘The SNP keeps talking about public interest. But surely the public interest is served by having a thriving community that’s not subsidised. I’m dumbfounded by these proposals. The SNP has gone far-Left, and it scares me.’

Since it came into office, the SNP has weakened local democracy in favour of enforcing its own ideologically driven diktats. It has overridden, for example, local objections to wind farms. It has created a single Scottish police force, free of any local democratic control. Worse still, the SNP state has no regard for the individual.

Another SNP measure hits at the autonomy of the family. This is the Named Persons Act, which provides for the state to appoint a named guardian, usually a social worker or teacher, for every child and adolescent in Scotland.

This is, of course, dressed up as a means of providing protection for vulnerable children and young people. Who, they say, could possibly object to this?

The answer is anyone who believes parents are better judges of their children’s interests than the state or social workers. The SNP claims parents and children have asked for these guardians but, for me, the assumption is clear: parents can’t be trusted and children belong not to their parents but to the state, just as in Mao’s China.

Meanwhile the intrusion of the state into private life gathers pace.

The SNP is planning a new ‘SuperID database’, effectively a computerised Big Brother, that would store a great deal of confidential information including health details, tax payments, even whether someone is a member of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh.

This information can be shared among government bodies – including, bizarrely, Quality Meat Scotland.

Willie Rennie, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, says: ‘This needs to be stopped. They plan to take information on people using the health service and allow access to 120 organisations.’

The East German Stasi would have loved to have a database that linked health, tax and much other private information on its citizens. It could become reality in Scotland.

And yet, despite its contempt for individuals, for families, for property rights and for liberty, the SNP is riding high in the polls. Its dream is that it will hold the balance of power at Westminster where, Sturgeon insists, they would do a deal with Labour, but on no account with the Tories.

This is rank hypocrisy. When the SNP ran a minority government between 2007 and 2011, they happily did deals with the Scottish Conservatives to get budgets through.

Actually the SNP’s intentions in Westminster are absolutely clear. They aim to make a bloody nuisance of themselves.

They hope to exasperate the English to such an extent that eventually they will tell the Scots to clear out – even though 55 per cent of us voted to remain part of the United Kingdom. As Salmond, defeated in September but hoping to return to the Commons as an MP, charmingly put it, he hopes ‘to hold England’s feet to the fire’.

There is talk in Scotland of Labour, the Tories and Liberal Democrats doing a deal to keep Salmond out, or at least encouraging voters to back the candidate most likely to beat the SNP.

If that happens, the Nationalists will surely shriek foul. But considering what they plan for the rest of us, the laugh will be on them.



The Prime Minister of New Zealand gets the hypocrisy of the Left


Perry's Claim to Fame Is Simple: Jobs

Texas is where the jobs are

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is considering another run for the White House in 2016, and his platform is strong in the primary concern of voters. As political strategist James Carville so memorably put it during Bill Clinton’s first campaign, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

In his State of the Union, Barack Obama crowed about the jobs he created since 2010: “America has put more people back to work than Europe, Japan and all advanced economies combined. Our manufacturers have added almost 800,000 new jobs.”

But Obama didn’t give credit where it’s due. Since the start of the Great Recession in 2007, the 1.169 million increase in jobs nationwide up to December 2014 can be attributed entirely to the roaring Texas economy. The other 49 states and Washington, DC, altogether have lost about 275,000 jobs. Texas enjoyed its 51st consecutive month of growth in December, adding more that 2,000 jobs every business day. And while the nationwide headline unemployment rate stands at 5.6%, the rate in Texas dropped to 4.6%. Pretty impressive numbers for a candidate’s résumé.

Of course, Texas owes much of its boom to fracking on privately owned land. Fracking has sparked a recovery in other industries, including construction. From January to November, more building permits for single-family houses were issued in Houston alone than in all of California in the same period.

Unfortunately, some of Texas' job growth came because of crony capitalism – sweetheart tax deals and so forth. That shouldn’t play well with free-market conservatives, but the average voter probably won’t care much about that angle when Perry can say, “Yeah, but Texas under my leadership is responsible for virtually all the job growth in the nation.”

One issue that will tickle conservative heart strings is that leftists are labeling Perry a “tenther.” Like the supposedly pejorative “denier,” the Left now labels anyone who believes in the Tenth Amendment a “tenther”. We’re mighty proud to be in that club.

Interviewed by Heartland magazine, Perry said that he wants to be a strong Tenth Amendment leader, working with other governors who share his passion. “We need to get back to 50 states competing against other … to become a powerful country, a powerful economy again.” He continued, “We need to … make the states … into laboratories of innovation [again to] put America back on the road to recovery.”

A push to restore the federalism our Founders established is long overdue and we hope the next president and governors have the wisdom to restore the Tenth Amendment as we have the Second.

Meanwhile, should Perry emerge as a viable candidate, the Left will simply lie to destroy him. Lies, character assassination, mudslinging. The Left’s stock in trade.

Indeed, this is why he had a run-in last year with Travis County Democrat District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg after she was arrested for drunk driving with three times the legal limit of blood alcohol. During her arrest and booking, she behaved like a bratty eighth grader. Sentenced to 45 days, she served half. Because she heads the Public Integrity Unit of the DA’s office, Perry asked her to resign. Like any good disgraced Democrat, she refused, causing Perry to cut funding to her office until she was replaced.

Smelling blood in the water, special prosecutor Michael McCrum took the matter to a grand jury and got an indictment for two class A misdemeanors: abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant. Got that? Perry allegedly “abused” Lehmberg by demanding her resignation. And he “abused” the power of the veto. That’s rich.

The Leftmedia lost no time headlining: GOVERNOR INDICTED. Unfortunately, the case will drag on for months, keeping Perry’s “sullied” name in the news. He could lose campaign contributors, as ridiculous as that might seem, but Democrats have been at this game for decades, and they know their stuff. Let’s hope the voters show more sense than the media hounds.

In terms of campaigning, two things will work to Perry’s advantage this time: He’s no longer governor and can focus all his energy on the campaign, and he’s not coming off back surgery, which many think put him off his game in 2012. And, again, that job-creation résumé is going to play well in a nation sloughing along under Obamanomics.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for 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)


Sunday, February 08, 2015

Just another Leftist psychopathic liar

Remember Bill Clinton claiming that Hillary was named after Sir Edmund?  Problem:  Edmund Hillary was just a New Zealand sheep farmer at the time she was born. Climbing Everest came years later.  A typical psychopathic lie

Longtime residents of French Quarter say the NBC News anchor’s vivid claims about Katrina since the August 2005 hurricane have been overblown.

Williams’ past reporting has come under new scrutiny after revelations earlier this week that he had peddled a false story about what he described as a near-death experience in which a US army helicopter he was riding in in Iraq in 2003 came under RPG and AK-47 fire. The story was exposed by US soldiers as false. Williams called it a “mistake” and apologized.

Longtime residents of New Orleans’ French Quarter say they believe Williams’ vivid claims about his Katrina reporting in the years since the devastating August 2005 storm have also been overblown. They shake their heads at Williams’ having said that he saw a body floating face-down outside his hotel. They say it is highly unlikely that Williams’ hotel was “overrun with gangs”, as the anchor has said. They say there was no dysentery, a disease Williams has said that he caught while he was in the city reporting, and that bottled water was plentiful in the area – despite Williams’ claims to the contrary.

“I saw one of his tapes last night. He said he was told not to drink bottled water in front of people because people would kill you for it?” said Dr Brobson Lutz, a former director of the New Orleans city health department who is a longtime resident of the French Quarter and who ran an EMS station there after the storm. “That’s absolutely hogwash.”



Fallout hits Hildabeest

There’s an emerging consensus among some political gabbers that Brian Williams’ long-running misrepresentations about his time in Iraq does serious damage to a major national figure.

The twist: The figure being skewered is not the embattled NBC anchorman but Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Why would misstatements by Williams — that a helicopter he rode in a dozen years ago in Iraq came under enemy fire — damage the once and likely future presidential candidate?

Because the former secretary of state and frontrunner-in-waiting for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination had her own Williams-esque flight of war-zone “misspeak.”

Clinton’s error came in the thick of her 2008 run for the presidency, when she claimed in a speech that she and her party once ducked sniper fire on an airport tarmac in Bosnia. It wasn’t true.

The NBC anchor’s career-threatening failure on the Iraq story now has commentators, particularly on the political right, saying Clinton should be in just as much trouble.

At least one seasoned hand in Clintonworld theorizes, though, that Hillary’s 2008 campaign trail plotz will not ultimately be as damaging as Williams’ meltdown. Here’s why: Williams has told the tale of the attack on a U.S. military helicopter many times over the years since he embedded with the Army during the 2003 Iraqi invasion. His problem is that he has expanded and embellished the alleged brush with danger many times.

According to reporting led by the military journal Stars & Stripes, aviators on the scene at the time said the copter carrying Williams was an hour behind another Chinook forced to land, after being hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

In multiple retellings over the years, though, the NBC anchor has gone from saying he was “on the ground” when he learned about the RPG threat to suggesting the copter immediately in front of his took the hit to saying his own chopper was battered by both the RPG and AK-47 fire.

Williams told Stars & Stripes he “misremembered” the incident and that he doesn’t “know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another.” An on-air apology Wednesday night has done little to quell the furor.

Flashing back a couple of campaign seasons, NBC News was among the outlets that hit hardest when Hillary Clinton got her own war story wrong. Though Williams was on the periphery of that reporting, his network reported Clinton’s flub and how it took her a week to correct it.

When first learning of Williams’ own veracity problem this week, one former Clinton aide said he was “chagrined,” thinking, “This will bring back something from that campaign, and those parallels will be drawn as if what she did was exactly like what Brian Williams did.”

Clinton had said during a March 2008 speech that, while visiting Bosnia in 1996 as first lady, she remembered “landing under sniper fire.” A greeting ceremony had to be cancelled, she said, as her party “ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”

Videotape instead showed Clinton, her daughter Chelsea and their entourage simply striding across a tarmac with smiles and greeting a retinue of well-wishers.



The Big Unemployment Lie

The U.S. economy added 257,000 jobs in January, but the headline unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a point to 5.7%. The broader measure, known as the U-6 rate, also climbed from 11.2% to 11.3%. That’s mixed good news, since slight growth in record-low labor participation likely caused the rate spike. Even when we create jobs in the Obama economy, we seem to lose ground.

One of the problems is that each month’s jobs report pushes the same fraudulent narrative embraced by Barack Obama’s administration since before his re-election. To hear Obama tell it, the country’s current unemployment rate is pretty much back to where it was before the Great Recession. Therefore, the economy is on the mend, and we have the Great One’s policies to thank for it.

None of this is true.

The so-called official unemployment rate that is recorded and made public by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is known as the U-3 rate, but it doesn’t provide the full jobs picture for the country. The U-3 number records only those people who are currently out of work, not receiving any employment income and actively seeking new employment.

Yet there is an alarmingly vast swath of people who aren’t counted in these “official” unemployment numbers. Skilled laborers who have been out of work for a sustained period of time who earn at least $20 in a week are not considered unemployed under U-3. Nor are people working part-time but seeking full-time work to support their families.

Jim Clifford, Chairman and CEO of Gallup, wrote this week, “The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.”

In fact, the unemployment rate “goes down” when more people leave the workforce than continue looking for work. So the worse reality gets, the better the headlines can be.

If we want a true sense of the unemployment picture, we should focus on the U-6 rate. This unemployment figure is publicly available, though it never receives the fanfare or public scrutiny that the U-3 number does. Indeed, one has to dig for the U-6 number; the Obama administration would never deliberately bring it up in a press release or a news conference. The U-6 rate is a look at real unemployment – not just those who are out of work, but also those who’ve been out of work so long that they’re no longer counted in the U-3 report.

That’s why we note the U-6 rate every month.

The underemployment picture is even worse. This group, including those mentioned above who are working but not at the level they should be based on skill or economic need, is 15.9%. If you adhere to Gallup’s definition of a good job as 30-plus hours per week with a regular paycheck, then only 44% of the eligible adult population is working full-time. (Stay-at-home moms and certain others aren’t counted in the working population, but 44% is still a shockingly low rate in a supposedly healthy economy.)

Politicians in Washington can’t seem to understand why unemployment is down and people just aren’t “feeling it.” Well, they’re not feeling it because most of them aren’t seeing it. Regardless of the rosy picture that the White House paints with its misleading data, Clifton notes, “Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren’t throwing parties to toast ‘falling’ unemployment.”

If we continue to gloss over this very real jobs problem, we can’t create the conditions that are necessary for a real economic recovery.

Dictators and leftists often embrace the old saw that if a lie is repeated often enough, it becomes reality. Such is the case with our “official” unemployment rate. The White House embraces it for the sake of political expediency. The Leftmedia embrace it because they love to report good news when there’s a Democrat in the White House. Wall Street embraces it because they want investors to keep buying stocks. And so, the rest of the country is led to believe that all is well and getting better.

The time has come to face the facts as they exist, not as the Leftmedia want us to see them.



Obama Wants to Remove Funding for Veterans!

We receive emails on a daily basis calling us racists for opposing Obama. The President’s race and skin color has absolutely NOTHING to do with it. Here’s an example of why we oppose this man’s Presidency:

This past August, Obama signed the Veterans Choice Program into law, allowing military veterans to seek medical assistance outside the VA instead of waiting on endless lines. It set aside $10 Billion to pay for veterans’ medical care outside the VA.

We praised the President and Congress for getting the ball rolling and fixing at least some of the problems plaguing the VA for years.

Well, yesterday Obama sent his proposed budget to Congress for consideration. And guess what… he wants to DEFUND this important program!

As I said, this legislation was signed into law last August. It passed through the GOP-held House of Representatives and then the Democrat-controlled Senate. This was bipartisan legislation the American people DEMANDED.

And now, Obama wants to let the Department of Veterans Affairs to raid this $10 billion fund and allocate this money towards programs that only seem to fail our vets!

I will confess that in the past, I have held off from placing the blame where it was due. I have been desperately trying to convince myself that Obama’s policies were the result of his weakness or stupidity. I think that many of his decisions still are. I didn’t want to believe that the President of the United States was doing these things on purpose.

But this is undeniable. For the President to submit a budget that dismantles an entire program for serving veterans is unacceptable. That wasn’t an accident… Obama and his staffers deliberately chose to dismantle this crucial aid program.

When I find out about treachery like this, it immediately gives me pause. I understand that this makes it easy to become discouraged. All in all, we sent close to 100,000 faxes to Congress demanding that they alleviate the fatal wait times at VA hospitals. And it worked. We helped get legislation signed into law.

But now, just 6 months after this law was passed, the President wants to cannibalize it to fund other failing VA policies. He touted this program as a success in August but now apparently it is too successful for his liking.

If anything, this is just more proof of how Barack H. Obama doesn’t care about our veterans. How else do you explain the President signing this into law and then wanting to defund it a few months later?

We fought so hard to reform the VA and get our veterans the medical care they deserve outside the VA hospital system. Now, Obama wants to throw these veterans back into a failed system so they can die while waiting months to be seen by a doctor!



What French McDonald’s Restaurants Tell Us About the Pros and Cons of a Minimum Wage Hike

President Obama said in a YouTube interview last month that he wanted to focus, during his last two years as president on helping people get ahead.

“In particular, how can I make sure that folks who are working hard…cannot just survive, but how can they thrive? How can they get ahead?” Obama said.

Many think the answer to helping Americans thrive and get ahead is to increase the minimum wage—and Obama has often talked about his support for hiking it. But it’s a mistake to think hiking the minimum wage will help.

In fact, a hiked minimum wage could harm people, not help them thrive.

The Heritage Foundation’s James Sherk says  that raising wages would have a particular impact on the fast food industry, where many low skilled and young workers get their start in a journey to better and higher paying jobs.  Sherk states that by raising worker wages, “many fast-food restaurants would respond by restructuring dramatically in order to use less labor.” In other words, there would be fewer jobs as a result of the mandated higher wages—and fewer opportunities for low-skilled and young-workers to be employed.

The president only has to look at McDonald’s restaurants in France to see the impact a higher minimum wage would have. France’s minimum wage is $10.60 an hour. Not surprisingly, every McDonald’s has resorted to using touch screen ordering rather than workers. It simply doesn’t make sense, when minimum wage starts that high, to employ people when machines can do the job.

This is reality. When faced with high operating costs, corporations such as McDonald’s will find ways to cut costs, whether by substituting technology for labor or forgoing improvements and investments in the company’s future.

Ultimately passing a minimum wage hike would provide fewer, not more, opportunities to Americans. If Obama wants to see all Americans thrive, he should make sure they have as many opportunities to do so as possible—and stop promoting a minimum wage hike.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for 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)