Monday, November 9, 2009

Political Digest November 9, 2009

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with every—or any—opinion in the posted article.

I’m back from my business travels, but swamped with work, so don’t promise long posts or to read all the hundreds of e-mails that have come in.

While I was away, yet more Americans died with the scream of “Allah Akbar” in their ears, murdered by an officer who took an oath before God to defend this country, and whose responsibility was to protect unarmed troops.

“It’s not clear the murders had anything to do with his religion” opines the PC Press. Pretty clear to me. And I think to most Americans, who are getting sick of the Leftstream Media trying to PC spin away every Muslim outrage as having nothing to do with Islam.

You may have heard the bitter joke going around. How can tell a fanatical, Jihadist Muslim from a moderate Muslim? When the jihadist opens fire.

Mean time I talked to an economist from a liberal Ivy League school who said for the first time in his life he is thinking of leaving the country, because we are in a lot worse shape than most people realize. He cites the $38 Trillion the country owes in just promised Medicare benefits, not to mention the current deficit, the attempt to pass a new healthcare entitlement and other programs. He thinks the collapse can’t be far off. Can’t quote him by name, as it was a private conversation, but a nationally-known guy.

Also talked to a very successful professional, retirement age, who aid he is working on converting his US holding to Swiss Franks and thinking about becoming a citizen of Costa Rico. He said only a matter of time until they repeal the Reagan tax custs as well as the Bush cuts and go back to rates during the Carter years, due to the need for cash. My take is that CR isn’t a safe place. If the US falters, the nasty countries below the border will invade their richer neighbors. And shoot every American first.

And I talked to a doctor who was from Russia. He said his grandfather was tortured to death by the Stalinists, (I don’t think he meant “waterboarding”), his father was alive but not allowed to leave as he had been an officer in the Soviet military. He said he risked his life to escape from the tyranny of socialism and the disaster of central planning in 1977, “and now it’s coming here.” He asked where he can escape to this time? I don’t know.

And then I read the below article in the WSJ. Sound like anyplace you know?

The Man Who Predicted the Depression
Ludwig von Mises explained how government-induced credit expansions led to imbalances in the economy.
Excerpt: Ludwig von Mises was snubbed by economists world-wide as he warned of a credit crisis in the 1920s. We ignore the great Austrian at our peril today. Mises's ideas on business cycles were spelled out in his 1912 tome "Theorie des Geldes und der Umlaufsmittel" ("The Theory of Money and Credit"). Not surprisingly few people noticed, as it was published only in German and wasn't exactly a beach read at that. Taking his cue from David Hume and David Ricardo, Mises explained how the banking system was endowed with the singular ability to expand credit and with it the money supply, and how this was magnified by government intervention. Left alone, interest rates would adjust such that only the amount of credit would be used as is voluntarily supplied and demanded. But when credit is force-fed beyond that (call it a credit gavage), grotesque things start to happen. Government-imposed expansion of bank credit distorts our "time preferences," or our desire for saving versus consumption. Government-imposed interest rates artificially below rates demanded by savers leads to increased borrowing and capital investment beyond what savers will provide. This causes temporarily higher employment, wages and consumption. Ordinarily, any random spikes in credit would be quickly absorbed by the system—the pricing errors corrected, the half-baked investments liquidated, like a supple tree yielding to the wind and then returning. But when the government holds rates artificially low in order to feed ever higher capital investment in otherwise unsound, unsustainable businesses, it creates the conditions for a crash. Everyone looks smart for a while, but eventually the whole monstrosity collapses under its own weight through a credit contraction or, worse, a banking collapse. The system is dramatically susceptible to errors, both on the policy side and on the entrepreneurial side. Government expansion of credit takes a system otherwise capable of adjustment and resilience and transforms it into one with tremendous cyclical volatility.

Owens Breaks 4 Campaign Promises in first hour in Congress
Could be a record.

Obama To Recognize Palestinian Statehood
Hard to believe, but so is much that is happening.

Call this horror by its name: Islamist terror
Excerpt: On Thursday afternoon, a radicalized Muslim US Army officer shouting, "Allahu akbar!" ("God is great!") committed the worst act of terror on American soil since 9/11. And no one wants to call it an act of terror or associate it with Islam. What cowards we are. Political correctness killed those patriotic Americans at Fort Hood as surely as the Islamist gunman did. And the media treat it like a case of nondenominational shoplifting. This was a terrorist act. When an extremist plans and executes a murderous plot against our unarmed soldiers to protest our efforts to counter Islamist fanatics, it's an act of terror. Period. When the terrorist posts anti-American hate speech on the Web; apparently praises suicide bombers and uses his own name; loudly criticizes US policies; argues (as a psychiatrist, no less) with his military patients over the worth of their sacrifices; refuses, in the name of Islam, to be photographed with female colleagues; lists his nationality as "Palestinian" in a Muslim spouse-matching program and parades around central Texas in a fundamentalist playsuit -- well, it only seems fair to call this terrorist an "Islamist terrorist." But the president won't. Despite his promise to get to all the facts. Because there's no such thing as "Islamist terrorism" in ObamaWorld. And the Army won't. Because its senior leaders are so sick with political correctness that pandering to America haters is safer than calling terrorism "terrorism." And the media won't. Because they have more interest in the shooter than in our troops -- despite their crocodile tears. (Now we know how President Wobbly ended the “War on Terror.” He surrendered.)

Islamic Terror Attacks on American Soil
Interesting list: (3,308 killed by Muslims in America in 65 terror attacks)

Muslims say soldiers at Ft. Hood were “Military Target.”
Nothing to do with Islam, though.

The victims

George W. Bush Secretly Visits Fort Hood Victims

Fort Hood shooter taught Koran when he was supposed to be giving a medical lecture
Excerpt: Here is yet another indication that the Fort Hood massacre was a jihad carried out by Nidal Hasan. Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, was supposed to give a "grand round" -- a medical lecture. Instead, he treated medical personnel to a dawah session, trying to frighten them into Islam with threats of hell. Another Muslim stood up and challenged him about his characterization of the Koran -- a fact that is making the rounds today as evidence of Hasan's "extremism." He was twisting and hijacking the Koran, you see, and it was the same sort of misunderstanding of Islam that led him to massacre so many infidels at Fort Hood, you see. Well, that would be just great if he were, because it would indicate that the vast majority of peaceful Muslims don't agree with Nidal Hasan's apparent understanding of Islam. So let's look at the Koran and see what it actually says, as compared to what Hasan said it says.

Top GOP recruit says Ft. Hood shooting shows 'enemy is infiltrating our military'
Excerpt: Allen West (R-Fla.), a retired military colonel who served as a commander at the Texas base, said in a release that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan's attack may indicate a broader effort by Islamic extremists to recruit downtrodden members of the military.

Somalia: Adulterer stoned to death; pregnant girlfriend faces execution after she gives birth
Excerpt: Islamists in southern Somalia have stoned a man to death for adultery but spared his pregnant girlfriend until she gives birth. Abas Hussein Abdirahman, 33, was killed in front of a crowd of some 300 people in the port town of Merka. An official from the al-Shabab group said the woman would be killed after she has had her baby.

The "Costs" of Medical Care: Part III
Excerpt: First of all, what we can afford has absolutely nothing to do with the cost of producing anything. We will either pay those costs or not get the benefits. Moreover, if we cannot afford the quantity and quality of medical care that we want now, the government has no miraculous way of enabling us to afford it in the future. If you think the government can lower medical costs by eliminating "waste, fraud and abuse," as some Washington politicians claim, the logical question is: Why haven't they done that already? Over the years, scandal after scandal has shown waste, fraud and abuse to be rampant in Medicare and Medicaid. Why would anyone imagine that a new government medical program will do what existing government medical programs have clearly failed to do? If we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical drugs now, how can we afford to pay for doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical drugs, in addition to a new federal bureaucracy to administer a government-run medical system?

The "Costs" of Medical Care: Part IV
Excerpt: If the government has some magic way of reducing costs-- rather than shifting them around, including shifting them to the next generation-- they have certainly not revealed that secret. The actual track record of government when it comes to costs-- of anything-- is more alarming than reassuring.

Why this liberal Democrat voted Republican in New Jersey
Excerpt: Elisabeth Kubler-Ross famously described the five stages of grief. Many supporters of Barack Obama, like myself, are going through a similar process to justify voting for a Republican in yesterday's election. The last thing this liberal member of the media elite -- as perceived by many of our readers -- ever expected to do was vote for a Republican like Chris Christie for governor and reject incumbent Jon Corzine (pictured). But in my home state of New Jersey, the Democrats are more often part of the problem rather than the solution. My disgust with the party of my registration is a long time coming. Why should Republicans be the only ones to dislike high taxes, corruption and fiscal mismanagement?

Sharia cab in New York City: Muslim cabbie kicks out gay couple
Gee, which side will the PC folks take?


  1. In case you didn't happen to see Obama's "Fort Hood" news conference live, I did. This is what I saw.
    Until now, I have to admit I was only a little frightened by Obama's leftist leanings and mildly irritated at his dithering over replacing his own "new and improved strategy for Afganistan" as announced last Spring when he replaced the previous theater commander with McChrystal. More worried about Congress, to tell the truth.
    Today, I was watching Fox to keep up with the developing story of the shootings at Fort Hood when the announcer said they were switching to the White House for the President's news briefing on the events. I was surprised he had enough details to make a release in person, but figured he must have info not yet made public.
    Fox switched to the WH press room, continuing the voice-over from a newsreader, then cut in the audio to Obama as he entered. He spoke for about five minutes.
    THE FIRST TWO AND A HALF MINUTES WAS IDLE CHATTER ABOUT A CONFERENCE WITH/ABOUT/ON AMERICAN INDIANS. HE SAID "SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS HAD BEEN MADE." Are we at war with Indians? Did I miss something that basic? There appears to be no critically pressing business here that couldn't have waited until AFTER he had dealt with the emergency that, for all we knew, was still on-going. (Think about it. If we had 12 dead in one day in the Iraqi or Afgan war zones, where causalties might be expected, that would be very different from it happening HERE.)
    Now, honest to God, I have nothing against American Indians. I served with many in the Marines, have had several as employees over the decades, every one of them good people, and go visit the Connecticutt Indian casinos from time to time, and never resent it when they ended up with more of my money than I did. Okay, I admit rooting for John Wayne to beat them in the movies, but I do't think that makes me a bad person.
    But, there was nothing urgent about the meeting. It didn't even seem to finalize any decisions. Yet, it was important enough to our Commander-in-Chief to not only lead with, but to devote two-thirds of this very brief news conference to. When he did finally speak about Ft. Hood, his information was not as up-to-date as what we were already getting from Fox and was less detailed. Other than a few platitudes he tossed off the cuff, it was plain this represented, more than anything else, a trifling inconvenience to his prepared remarks. He thanked the reporters for coming--which is their job, I think--and he left. What the hell?!?!
    I am insulted. Anyone who ever wore the uniform should be insulted. In fact, I'm borderline enraged.
    I can't bring myself to wish him bad luck. The SOB is still the President. But, if he has a flat tire in front of my house, I won't loan him a jack or a tire-iron. (Yes, I cleaned that sentence up.)
    Maybe I'm a racist after all.

    Ronald G. Pittenger

    PS I've waited about four hours now, and I'm still pissed, so I'll send this. RGP
    PPS I don't have the link, but there is a YouTube video of the exact Fox live feed of this, if you can find it. RGP

  2. no position to take I suppose it is his cab-very scary times-for now and the future