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. Nor that I disagree with them, of course.
Happy Labor Day, when we take a day off from Labor to celebrate Labor.
Important: Marching Off the Cliff
Excerpt: Now, the president’s attempt to invoke a patriotic sense of national community is well within the boundaries of American political discourse. But it’s also a pretty lousy way to understand the economy. Fighting a recession is not the same thing as fighting a war. The U.S. military is a hierarchical organization in which orders are dispersed through a top-down command structure. Every soldier has an assignment, with every assignment comes orders, and if a soldier does not follow his orders, he’s in a lot of trouble. The economy is different. It is not a closed system like an armored cavalry regiment, where everything (and everyone) has a place. The economy is open and dynamic, the agglomeration of billions of individual consumers and producers and investors. An army belongs to a particular nation, but today’s economy is global: The high price of Japanese money lowers the cost of German exports, which depresses American manufacturing, which increases demand for Chinese imports, and so on. An army has officers who process and analyze the available information, then plot strategy accordingly. It is impossible to do this in an economy. There is too much information for a single mind, or a group of minds, to comprehend. (...) The equivalence between recession and war is what’s gotten Obama and the Democrats into so much trouble. Liberals like the president and the congressional leadership honestly believe that they can command the economy to recover. By pushing and pulling the correct monetary and fiscal policy levers, the Democrats say, government can manipulate aggregate demand and bring back jobs. By redistributing wealth and regulating the insurance market, the Democrats promise, Americans can achieve universal health care while reducing health spending. By delegating authority to unelected bodies and issuing hundreds of new rules, the Democrats believe, regulators can eliminate credit bubbles and financial crises.
Christian Ethics Do Not Support Illegal Immigration
Excerpt: Recently CNN and other news agencies reported that a “growing chorus of conservative evangelical leaders have broken with their traditional political allies on the right … and are attempting to … push for federal immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.” These evangelicals are planning to lobby Republican Senators in Washington for “comprehensive reform.” I know many of these leaders, and respect all of them. We agree on many biblical essentials, including fervent opposition to racism and racial profiling and the importance of recognizing the dignity of every person and treating all people with respect and compassion. I also believe it is critical that American Latinos understand that opposition to illegal immigration should have nothing to do with race, and that we welcome them with open arms to the conservative movement, with our shared cultural values and commitment to rewarding entrepreneurialism and hard work. But the policy proposals set forth by some evangelical leaders are the same unworkable ideas already rejected by Congress and the American people. More significantly from my perspective as an evangelical – they are largely in conflict with biblical notions of Christian ethics, justice and God’s purposes for government. In 2006 I won the Republican nomination for Governor of Arizona, and during that primary campaign it became clear that, unlike any previous election, illegal immigration was the only issue most Arizona voters wanted to discuss.
US Departments of Labor and Treasury Schedule Hearing on Confiscation of Private Retirement
I hope this is unfounded alarmism. But so many alarming things have happened in two years, it’s easy to believe every alarm. And there is no question that the folks in control of our government believe their judgment is far superior to us common folks, and they should be making the economic decisions for us. ~Bob. Excerpt: On August 26, the US Department of Labor issued a news release (http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/2010/ebsa082610.html). It lists the agenda for the joint hearings being held with the Department of Treasury September 14-15, 2010 on what is euphemistically called “lifetime income options for retirement plans.” The hearings are being conducted by the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration. I don’t like speaking in tabloid-style terms, but the unstated agenda of these hearings, as I understand it, is to push for the US government to eventually nationalize (confiscate) all assets in private Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and 401K plans! The US government is desperate to get its hands on private assets to help cover soaring budget deficits and debts, and this is simply the largest and easiest piggy bank that could be seized. The Investment Company Institute estimates that at the end of 2008 that there were $3.613 trillion of assets in IRAs and $2.350 trillion of assets in 401K plans. For more than the past ten years, I have warned readers that the US government was eventually going to go after private retirement accounts. I considered that as the most important reason to avoid establishing precious metals IRAs. Very few other writers (Ron Holland being one) have picked up on this issue as early as I did. In fact, the mainstream media pretty much ignored the subject even after a House Committee held hearings on the issue in October 2008
U.S. troops have left $324 million in back pay unclaimed
Excerpt: Uncle Sam wants to give free, no-strings-attached money to about 145,000 troops who were involuntarily kept on duty after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, but is having trouble persuading them that it's not a gimmick. Last October, Congress approved retroactive bonus pay for military personnel who were forced to remain on duty beyond their original discharge date, a controversial policy known as "stop-loss." Lawmakers approved back pay of $500 for each month of involuntary service; the average lump-sum due is between $3,500 and $3,800. To get the cash, an application must be submitted by Oct. 21; only about a third of those eligible have handed in paperwork. With just six weeks remaining before the deadline, the Department of Defense is scrambling to track down about 90,000 veterans, as well as some active-duty troops, to ask them to apply for their back pay. (If you know anyone who was involuntarily extended in service after 9/11, this may be valuable to them. I also BCCed a bunch of vets and other people "just in case they knew someone who qualified." Only a few weeks left to file. Story from Washington Post, 4 Sep 2010. Ron P.)
Wanted: Iran’s $1,000 bounty on US heroes
Excerpt: At least five Iranian companies stationed in Afghanistan are covertly funding Taliban militants, paying them salaries of $233 a month with a $1,000 bonus for killing an American soldier, according to the Sunday Times of London. Blowing up a US military vehicle is worth $6,000, making insurgents better paid than any Afghan police officer or soldier. “Iran will never stop funding us, because Americans are dangerous for them as well,” said a Taliban treasurer, who travels from the mountainous Wardak province to an Iranian construction company that operates out of Kabul to pick up the cash. “The money we get is not dirty. It is for jihad,” he said. The treasurer said he has picked up almost $79,000 in the past six months. Afghan intelligence and Taliban sources told the Times that the firms – set up with foreign aid money within the past six months – provide cash for a network of district Taliban treasurers to pay battlefield expenses and bonuses for killing the enemy and destroying their vehicles.
Lt. Col Allen West: “I am a Dangerous Choice for Nancy Pelosi” and “President Barack Hussein
Excerpt: Here is video of retired Lt. Col. Allen West speaking at a GOP Unity Breakfast last week where he responded to critics who say West is a “dangerous choice” for election to Congress in Florida’s 22nd Congressional District. West said: “I am a dangerous choice for Ron Klein (incumbent Democrat opponent); I am a dangerous choice for Nancy Pelosi; I am a dangerous choice for President Barack Hussein Obama, because I stand on the principles and values to keep us unified as a people. I stand on those principles and values that say to career politicians and the ruling class elite that somehow have gotten control of this country – they will come back home. And I am dangerous because Ron Klein will not get his vested, full-pension retirement in five years and become a burden to America’s taxpayers.” West went on to give an inspiring challenge to Republicans to look at these next two months to Election Day as “the fourth quarter,” and it’s time to “leave it all on the field” and march on to victory. West is amazing. He is truly inspiring. We need him – and many more like him – in the United States Congress.
When Will We Have Another Black President?
Excerpt: During the 2008 political campaign, then-Senator Barack Obama called for a national discussion on race. Later, Attorney General Eric Holder called us a nation of cowards for not having such discussions: He said that Americans are afraid to talk about race, adding that “certain subjects are off-limits and that to explore them risks at best embarrassment and at worst the questioning of one’s character.” So let’s try to honor these doubtless well-intended requests. It’s entirely possible that President Obama has poisoned the well for at least a generation. It has nothing to do with the fact that he is black; it is because he is grossly ill-fitted for the job and may well be the worst U.S. president thus far. To enumerate even his most egregious blunders would make for a very long article and I won’t bother. There are not enough good things to fill a short paragraph, aside from the possibility that he has united enough conservatives and frustrated enough leftists to make possible some changes we can believe in. (Interesting thoughts with some nice things said about Allen West. –Ron P.)
Pollak v. Schakowsky
Excerpt: Joel Pollak has two degrees from Harvard, worked as both a freelance journalist and a political speechwriter in his native South Africa, had a brief career as an actor in European movies and TV advertisements, and published two books while still at Harvard Law. This immigrant and Orthodox Jew became a U.S. citizen in 1987. It's an impressive resume for a 33 year old. And now Pollak is running for Congress in his home district in Illinois. Pollak has certainly impressed Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who endorsed his fellow Republican at an event Wednesday in Chicago. "He's a very talented and capable young man," Ryan told THE WEEKLY STANDARD. "We need more people like Joel Pollak."
We Are Not Greece
A cheerier view than my own. Part of the problem is that we are not Greece, are big enough to kick the debt can down the road to avoid short term political pain to all of us—we are all “special interests.” The problem will become insoluble—it’s very close now—and collapse will follow. ~Bob. Excerpt: As the summer winds down, there is more and more talk of decline in the air. Some of it comes from the left, as a sort of giddy notion that we are now, at best, devolving into what the Greeks called prôtos metaksu isôn, first among equals, enjoying traditional prestige but otherwise nothing much special in comparison to the Europeans, India, and China. In the age of Obama, the notion of not being exceptional or preeminent comes as a relief to millions on the left who pretty much are in sync with the protocols of the United Nations. On the right, there is a sense that Obama is the ultimate expression of downfall; given the wild spending, the iconic efforts abroad at apology, and the rampant entitlements we simply aren’t what we once were. In between, most aren’t quite sure — but sure are worried that we may never climb out of our self-created indebtedness crater, and that the culture’s education, the nation’s borders, and the civilization’s values are eroding. I agree with the latter take, but see decline in history as largely psychological. After all, a Rome that was little more than 4 million and half of Italy almost simultaneously fought both Hannibal and Philip V and ploughed on after losing over 100,000 dead between 219-216 BC to victory, while by AD 450-80 an empire of 70 million, with a million square miles of territory, could not thwart thuggish tribes across the Rhine and Danube. A very poor United States in 1941 defeated imperial Japan and helped to defeat Nazi Germany in less than four years. A few hundred thousand immigrants between 1870 and 1960 took a godforsaken desert in California’s central valley and turned it into an oasis of agriculture, for nearly half a century with no more than muscle and mule power. On the plus side, as I mentioned last time, our economy is almost three times larger than China’s. American agriculture is the most productive in the world. There is simply nothing like the farmland in the Great Plains, or the 400 miles of irrigated expanse between Bakersfield and Red Bluff. For all the damage done by the federal government, we remain the most orderly free society on the planet, where merit still to a large degree determines success — not class, race, or tribal affiliation. While our universities in the humanities are increasingly corrupt, their science, engineering, and computer science departments, as well as professional schools in business and medicine, are the best in the world. It is not that Cal Tech, MIT, Harvard or Yale or Stanford are better than counterparts in Germany or Russia or China, but that an entire array such as UCLA, USC, Texas, Ohio State, Duke, and dozens of others is as well. We have huge reserves of both coal and natural gas, and can quite easily quadruple our nuclear power generation. The U.S. military is not just the most technologically advanced and supplied, but the most experienced in all phases of modern challenges, from air campaigns to counter-insurgency. (And better led at the unit level, with better, more motivated troops than any in the world. ~Bob)…. If we are headed back to the Clinton income tax rates, why will we not then head back to the two years of Clinton surpluses? All that would require is a similar across-the-board freeze on government spending, as we saw in the early 1990s, that in the ensuing two decades has grown exponentially. It is not just that a great deal of the money is often wasted, but is counterproductive in creating a culture of dependence on the lower end, and crony capitalism on the upper. The entire farm bill should be scrapped; Social Security must be radically refashioned; and everything from corporate bailouts to unemployment payouts and food stamps must be drastically reformulated. The solutions do not require a great deal of material sacrifice. No, the problem hinges on how much abuse one can endure to see through the needed reform.
Barack, Can We Talk?
Very funny—This is a great satire site. ~Bob. Excerpt: Barack, can we, uh, talk for a few minutes? Oh, nothing. It's just that it just seems we haven't had a chance to talk for a while. I mean, I know we've both been busy for the past year or so. You with your fundraisers and golfing and stuff, and me with all those appointments at the unemployment office. But you know I think it's important in a relationship like ours to keep the lines of communication open. So anyway, I've been think that... look, this is really hard. God. Do you remember when we met at that big party in Denver back in 08? I mean when I saw you across that crowded convention floor, it was like, Oh My God. I don't think I ever saw anything like you before. I was on the rebound from a bad relationship and you were so tall and articulate and, well hot. And then I couldn't believe that of all the democracies in the room you picked me out! Yeah I know my some of my friends warned me you were trouble, and that it was the alcohol talking. But I knew that if we gave it a chance we could make it work. You and me, together. And after you moved in, I really think we did for a while. I mean, you've really helped me get over my inhibitions and hangups, and I like to think I've really helped you grow and discover yourself. Like last year when I lent you $800 billion to pay for your demo tape and new rims for the Cadillac. No, no. I'm not asking for the money back now, Paul Krugman told me you're good for it. And please don't think I don't appreciate all the constructive criticism. It's important for me to know when I'm not meeting your needs and when I'm holding you back. Look, I know I'm not the prettiest democracy in the hemisphere, and I really can't blame you when your eyes wander to Spain or Venezuela. It's just been kind of hard to pay attention to my appearance since losing my job.
L.A.'s Golden Anchor Babies: $52 Million In Welfare Per MONTH
Excerpt: The payments, made to illegal immigrants for their U.S. citizen children, included $30 million in food stamps and $22 million from the CalWORKS welfare program, according to Los Angeles County figures released Friday by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. The new figure represents an increase of $3.7 million from July 2009 and makes up 23% of all county welfare and food stamp assistance, according to county records.
Working for the man
Excerpt: As this election hit its homestretch, these thoughts come to mind. Democrats are in trouble. With control of the White House and Congress, they personify “the man.”
No one wants to work for the man. Whether it be government man, big corporate man, or labor boss man, Americans yearn to shrug off the yoke. What happened to working for ourselves to build our own dreams? The problem for Democrats isn’t merely the estimated 9.6 percent of Americans unemployed, but the percentage of us who remain working while seeing our future and our country frittered away in corruption and for various utopian schemes. And polls show Americans may dislike Republicans in even greater percentages. So, forget Democrats and Republicans. American society is not nearly as deeply spilt as is often asserted (nor were my wife and my experiences in school). There is more consensus in our political thinking than commonly perceived. The partisan divide is a device to exploit lesser issues to drive emotional wedges between people who generally have the same interests. What better reason to vote Republican than the Democrats? What better reason to vote Democratic than the Republicans? Voters don’t like either party. The choice of bad or worse has gotten old.
What could possibly go wrong? Karzai sets up council for peace talks with the Taliban
"War is deceit," of course, and only a fool would blindly assume the Taliban would come to the negotiating table in good faith. But there is another aspect of this story to watch carefully: namely, the likelihood of concessions toward a more robust implementation of Sharia law in Afghanistan. Indeed, Sharia is already enshrined in the Afghan constitution, setting the stage for future conflicts -- the imposition of Islamic law being the fundamental aim of jihad -- and for future human rights abuses that Islamic law upholds as just and sacred. Those include stonings and lashes for adultery, the subjugation of women and unbelievers, and death for apostasy and "blasphemy," the last two of which have been high-profile issues in Afghan courts under Karzai. There is no reason for faith in Karzai to take a stand in the near or distant future, recalling his failure to condemn the practice of stoning, and the disastrous Shi'ite family law, passed under his watch, that legalized marital rape. And the Sharia-for-"peace" push is already well underway. In August, Afghanistan's "largest gathering of clerics," meeting to discuss reconciliation with the Taliban, said "the lack of implementation of sharia hodud (punishment) has cast a negative impact on the peace process." In other words, surrender and submit for the "peace" of tyranny and oppression, if Sharia could even bring peace, because the next stage after accepting Sharia in principle is an indefinite period of infighting over how much Sharia is "enough" in practice. (we are so screwed. ~Bob)
White House can't figure out why jihadis strike during Ramadan
Excerpt: Cluelessness at high levels.
Separation Of Church And State
Excerpt: Secularism cannot be a solution for countries with a Muslim majority or even a sizeable minority, for it requires people to replace their God-given beliefs with an entirely different set of man-made beliefs. Separation of religion and state is not an option for Muslims because is [sic] requires us to abandon Allah's decree for that of a man. (In other words, once they have power, they will force Shari’a Law with all its horrors on us. ~Bob)
After his hand was chopped off, Kerala college sacks lecturer
Excerpt: Well, what did he expect? Freedom of speech doesn’t include the right to question Islam or Mohammad in any way. Excerpt: Adding insult to injury, a Kerala college has sacked its lecturer whose right hand was chopped off by activists of radical outfit PFI for preparing a controversial Malayalam question paper with alleged derogatory references to Prophet Muhammad. The management of the Christian-run New Man College has informed T J Joseph that he had been removed from September 1 on the grounds that he had hurt religious sentiments, college sources said on Saturday.
"In the druidical religion of liberalism, not separating your recyclables is a sin, but abortion is just a medical procedure." -- Ann Coulter
Smartest President in History Botches Oval Office Rug Quote
Excerpt: Woven into the new presidential seal rug adorning the Oval Office is a misattributed quotation, offering us a perfect metaphor for the Obama presidency. Jamie Stiehm reports in the Washington Post: "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." According to media reports, this quote keeping Obama company on his wheat-colored carpet is from King. Except it's not a King quote. The words belong to a long-gone Bostonian champion of social progress. His roots in the republic ran so deep that his grandfather commanded the Minutemen at the Battle of Lexington. For the record, Theodore Parker is your man, President Obama. Unless you're fascinated by antebellum American reformers, you may not know of the lyrically gifted Parker, an abolitionist, Unitarian minister and Transcendentalist thinker who foresaw the end of slavery, though he did not live to see emancipation. He died at age 49 in 1860, on the eve of the Civil War. A century later, during the civil rights movement, King, an admirer of Parker, quoted the Bostonian's lofty prophecy during marches and speeches. (To be fair, King was well known for plagiarism, may not have credited Parker. ~Bob)
The Greening Of Godzilla
Excerpt: The standard rap on the greens is that they failed because they were too environmentalist. Their pure and naive ideals were no match for the evil, ugly forces of real world politics. Beautiful losers, they dared to dream a dream too gossamer winged, too delicate for the harsh light of day. Bambi, meet Godzilla; the butterfly was broken on the wheel. Even in defeat, the greens can’t get it right. The greens didn’t fail because they were too loyal to their ideals; they failed because lost touch with the core impetus and values of the environmental movement. Bambi wasn’t crushed by Godzilla; Bambi turned into Godzilla, and the same kind of public skepticism and populism that once fueled environmentalism have turned against it. The greens have forgotten where they come from. Modern environmentalism was born in the reaction against Big Science, Big Government and Experts. The Army Corps of Engineers built dams that devastated wetlands and ruined ecosystems; environmentalists used to be people who fought the Corps because they understood the limits of science, engineering, and simple big interventions in complex ecosystems. The case environmentalists used to make was that modern science was too crude and too incomplete to take into account the myriad features that could turn a giant hydroelectric dam from a blessing into a curse. Yes, the dam would generate power — for a while. But green critics would note that the dam had side effects: silt would back up in the reservoir, soil downstream would be impoverished, parasites and malaria bearing mosquitoes would flourish in the still waters and so on and so forth. Meanwhile the destruction of wetlands and river bottoms imposed enormous costs to wildlife diversity and the productivity of river systems. Salmon runs would disappear. Often, the development associated with hydroelectric dams led to deforestation, offsetting gains in flood control. Environmentalists were skeptics of the One Big Fix. Science could never capture all the side effects and the unintended consequences. (There was a time when a "conservative" was a "conservationist." Boy Scouts had a merit badge for Conservationism. There was a USPS postage stamp honoring Conservation (3-cents, I think). A conservationist wanted to limit the excesses of the industrial use of land and water, especially wild land and water. They never wanted or expected to paralyze industry because they knew industry was the source of our wealth and way of life; they just wanted to restore the balance with regard for nature. When the more extreme conservationists morphed into environmentalists, all the restraints went out the back door of the bus. The environmentalists were openly hostile to industry, America, and often humanity, itself. Better to save a 3" fish no one had ever heard of than to employee hundreds harvesting lumber to make houses for thousands. It has taken 40 years, but they may have finally over-reached. Perhaps the balance is finally swinging back toward some rational midpoint. I hope so. Ron P.)
Greenpeace Violence Is Escalating: “The Lines Are Drawn”
Excerpt: Greenpeace is known for breaking the law, trespassing, putting other people at risk, and chaining its members to drilling platforms to protest and, more importantly, to reap the capital of publicity. That’s one thing – but it’s quite another to recruit, psychologically manipulate, and exploit a child for the purpose waging psychological war on people who have different opinions. Greenpeace is ratcheting up the level of violence. (...) This new quality of violence by Greenpeace is not an isolated incident. The increasingly disturbing level of violence the once peaceful organization has resorted to is demonstrated by a rash of other violent incidents. The trend could not be more troubling. Gone are the days of a real environmental concern and peaceful protest. Today, Greenpeace purposely goes out and seeks confrontation – not in democratic debate with lawmakers, but in violent and at times bloody collisions with companies or organizations it disagrees with. Not long ago Greenpeace attacked French fishermen, who were minding their own business, working long days to make ends meet. See video here. If you’re against over-fishing, it’s okay. But take the issue up with the responsible lawmakers. That’s the appropriate avenue. Don’t go vandalizing and sabotaging legal businesses and putting families in financial jeopardy. (Like all religious zealots, simple fear of death will not slow them down. Like all religious wars, this could be long, bitter, and ruthless. I've seen a few episodes of "Whale Wars" on Animal Planet Channel and found myself rooting for the whalers against Greenpeace even though I'm not especially in favor of whaling. I think the French got it just right when they blew a ship full of them up back in the late 80s or early 90s. Ron P.)
State Dept. approves $36M in anti-drug funds for Mexico despite human-rights record
Can’t send them too much. Need it to sue Arizona over “human rights.” Future generations will laugh, if there is any history and they aren’t hungry nomads without literacy. ~Bob Excerpt: The State Department has determined that Mexico can receive millions in anti-drug money that was contingent on its human-rights performance, but officials said Friday that they are withholding additional funds in hopes of seeing more progress. The money comes by way of the 2008 Merida Initiative, which has provided more than $1 billion for Mexico's narcotics fight. U.S. law requires 15 percent of certain accounts to be frozen until the State Department affirms Mexico is meeting human-rights standards. The report on Mexico's performance, sent to Congress on Thursday, will allow Mexico to receive $36 million, officials said. "The funds . . . are really critical to moving ahead on certain things with the Mexican government, [such as] equipment and training," said one State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the report is not public. But, the official said, millions from the 2010 supplemental appropriation bill will remain frozen.
G.O.P. Poised to Control 30 Governor Seats
Excerpt: Republicans are on track to control approximately 30 governor seats after the Nov. 2 election, according to the FiveThirtyEight gubernatorial forecasting model. And they are likely to do particularly well in the swing states of the Midwest. Such an outcome would reverse the current state of the nation’s governors’ mansions, which are now held by 26 Democrats, 23 Republicans and 1 independent. Thirty-seven states are holding elections for governor this year; an unusually high number, 24, are open-seat races in which the incumbent was either barred from running again because of term limits, or chose to retire. (One incumbent, Jim Gibbons of Nevada, was defeated in the Republican primary.) Many of these open races, including California, Florida, Oregon and Wisconsin, are too close to call. But in 11 of these contests, including Michigan and Pennsylvania, the Republican candidate has at least an 80 percent chance of victory, according to the model. Conversely, Democrats are clear favorites in only four open-seat races — Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii and New York, where Andrew Cuomo is almost certain to become the next governor. (Isn't 538 considered a "Democrat" polling org? If so, this is REALLY bad news for them (good for us, as long as we keep the pressure on and don't flub the game! –Ron P. The guy who runs it is a leftist, but his polls are pretty straight. ~Bob)
Climate Change Is Not a Forever Problem
Excerpt: If you’re reading this, the chances are better than even that you are a well-educated male who is either working full time or transitioning or in retirement. That’s if respondents to last year’s survey of WUWT visitors told the truth. If it is true, it may surprise you to learn that there is a body of medical and sociological literature written specifically about you. The theme of the literature is how to shepherd you through your fifties and early sixties and get you to your next ‘life-stage’ in good shape. It isn’t aimed directly at you, but at your wives, doctors and nurses, which is why you may never have heard of it. The literature is big on prevention–getting you to finally put down the cigarettes, lose the weight and lay off the hard liquor so you don’t keel over too soon. Whatever man-made climate change turns out to be, it is not a permanent state. This is something that is not often discussed, but is very true. This is a ‘life stage’ the human race is going through–probably not late middle age, but late adolescent–but it is certainly a phase, not a permanent condition. (Fuller (the author) seems to be a lukewarmer, but he certainly nailed me in the first sentence. He has a completely different way of looking at climate change. I don't agree with all of what he says, but think it has merit as a valuable reality check, and he certainly understands the difficulties most skeptics have with warmers. Ron P.)
EDITOR'S COLUMN: Everything, literally, depends on this election
Excerpt: EIGHT weeks from now, we will be voting in an election unique in American history. We will be choosing whether to stand up and fight for the America of liberty and law conceived by our founders, or to stand down and allow our “shining city upon a hill” to be demolished. We will decide whether to preserve and strengthen the American Dream for our children and grandchildren or to abandon our descendants to unexceptional lives in a gray socialist welfare state. We will decide whether to take back Congress for those who believe in the rule of law, or to hand it over to those who would allow laws and liberty to be overridden by the whims of the men in power. Those are the choices on Nov. 2, Election Day, when voting for U.S. House and Senate. As a candidate, Barack Obama promised to “transform America” and too few voters questioned the precise nature of that transformation. Today, many Americans see that Obama and his Congressional enablers are pushing our nation down a disastrous path in both domestic and foreign matters. Election Day will be time to push back hard and stop them. (Editor of small Midwestern newspaper sees what the MSM has completely missed. Worth passing on. --Thanks, CB.)
Obama to propose new incentives to spur employment
Excerpt: Pressure on President Obama to do something about the weakening economy intensified Friday with new government data showing that hiring remains lackluster, nudging the nation's unemployment rate up to 9.6%. With congressional elections less than eight weeks away, Obama appeared in the Rose Garden to say that he would soon propose a new package of tax cuts and other incentives to spur employment. "We are confident that we are moving in the right direction, but we want to keep this recovery moving stronger and accelerate the job growth that's needed so desperately," the president said. (...) The president is expected to use a speech in Cleveland on Wednesday to outline a series of measures to kick-start the economy, which could include extending research and development tax credits for business, increasing spending on highways and other public works projects, and retaining the middle-class portion of the Bush administration tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of the year. Many analysts believe that those measures will have only a modest effect, especially in the short time remaining before the midterm elections. But with Republicans lined up solidly against the Democratic administration on economic policy, more far-reaching proposals are considered out of the question. (What's that saying about days and dollars? This (and more of the same!) should've been done in February of 2009. Ron P. Want to ramp up the economy? Cut spending, make all the Bush tax cuts permanent, cut capital gains as JFK did, stop bailouts and let the market work, abandon Cap & Trade, repeal Obamacare, and reduce the bureaucracy and regulations. Dow would hit 15,000 by this time next year. ~Bob)
Proposals for an Educational Renaissance
Excerpt: Not every student is going to become an academic or have a liberal-arts-based career. To correct this glaring deficiency in our educational priorities, I propose that all public schools introduce a new type of required course in which students are briefly exposed to a wide variety of realistic careers and skills to help them decide what they may want to do upon graduating from high school or college. These skills-survey classes should always be not graded but instead be given on a simple pass/not-pass basis — students pass just for showing up and participating. No tests, no quizzes, no assessment — just observation. The purpose of the class is exposure — to let students sample real-world careers, and get a taste of skills unknown to them. Even if a student doesn’t ever get a job in any of the fields covered by the course, he or she will learn how the world works. Each section can last anywhere from ten minutes, to an hour, or a week, or any level in between — just enough time to explain and demonstrate the basics. Examples of skills or careers covered by the course can include (but are not limited to): (This is part 5 of 5. There are some excellent ideas here that will win the author no friends from within the teaching profession at any level. It's easy to see why the author chose to use a nom de guerre; the teaching profession (of which the author seems to be a member) will have a large bounty on his/her bodiless head. Ron P.)
A bourgeois revolt---Can the GOP stay sober?
Excerpt: The much-analyzed speeches at the Glenn Beck Lincoln Memorial rally weren't as notable as what the estimated 300,000 attendees did: follow instructions, listen quietly to hours of speeches and throw out their trash. As stunning as the tableaux of the throngs lining the reflecting pool were the images of the spotless grounds afterward. If someone had told attendees they were expected to mow the grass before they left, surely some of them would have hitched flatbed trailers to their vehicles for the trip to Washington and gladly brought mowers along with them. This was the revolt of the bourgeois, of the responsible, of the orderly, of people profoundly at peace with the traditional mores of American society. The spark that lit the Tea-Party movement was the rant by CNBC commentator Rick Santelli, who inveighed in early 2009 against an Obama-administration program to subsidize "the losers' mortgages." He was speaking for people who hadn't borrowed beyond their means or tried to get rich quick by flipping houses, for the people who, in their thrift and enterprise, "carry the water instead of drink the water." The Tea Party's detractors want to paint it as radical, when at bottom it represents the self-reliant, industrious heart of American life. New York Times columnist David Brooks compares the Tea Partiers to the New Left. But there weren't any orgiastic displays at the Beck rally, nor any attempts to levitate the Lincoln Memorial -- just speeches on God and country. It was as radical as a Lee Greenwood song. A New York Times survey earlier this year occasioned shock when it found that "Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more well-educated than the general public, and are no more or less afraid of falling into a lower socioeconomic class." We're so accustomed to the notion of a revolt of the dispossessed that a revolt of the possessed strikes us as a strange offense against the nature of things. But it's threatening to wash away Democrats' congressional majorities in a historic wipeout.
Worth Reading: Why 'Islam' is not the Problem.
Excerpt: We have to get past the simplistic 'blame Islam' mindset, because as I will explain below, Islam is not the problem. First of all there is no 'one Islam'. Islam is a combination of various sects that are about as fond of each other as Loyalist Ulster Christian Protestants are fond of Catholic Christian Irish Republicans. Though these many sects are all Islamic, they have historically slaughtered more of each other than non-muslims have slaughtered muslims. The Islamists in each sect of Islam hate each other more than they hate the Kuffar. Therefore to see Islam as a cohesive monolithic entity is wrong, in fact and effect. Today more muslims are being killed by their fellow muslims around the world than any non-muslims.
I Know The History; I Lived It!
Excerpt: There is a lot of chatter on the news, the web, and in the papers, concerning the history of the past sixty years of our nation, and most of it is biased towards Progressive ideals, but the truth is the truth, I was there; I lived through the years of the “hippie generation”, of the Carter Presidency, and of the Kennedy assassination, and I know what really happened. I also know the lies of the people who led the Anti-War movement; the “flower child” image they want the youth of today to see, and the truth of their hatred for their own country, their need for name recognition, and power hunger! I was a strong Democrat until I went to DC, to work for Veteran’s Rights and the POW movement, and it was my personal interaction with the Members of Congress, and the Senate, where I learned the truth about their total lack of concern for the citizens of this country, their endless thirst for greed and power, that made me cross the line to become a Conservative Independent! When I hear people say they “know” their Congressman, or Senator, I know that they have no real idea of what that person is truly like, as they only see the image that they are supposed to see! But I lived the “life”, on the Hill, for two and a half years, every single day, with an average of 4 hours of sleep a night, and every waking hour being concerned about the issues I fought for, and I saw the real side of almost every Member of Congress when they were away from the cameras and they had no reason to hide anything from anyone. Look at it this way; when you were a kid, you saw the way your parents acted when they were out with other people, and you saw your real parents when they were at home, alone, with you; in public, they acted as they were expected to act. At home; they let their hair down and acted like themselves! Every politician has something to hide, something to keep hidden from the public, and you will never see that unless you work in one of their offices! And they have a “public” side; the smiling face, the concerned heart, the “deep-seated” loyalty to the citizens who live in their districts! Then you have the real side of a politician; the part of them that will bend over backwards for the Special Interest groups that put money in their pockets, the part that wakes up every morning looking for some way to build their importance, their power, their need for the press to place their faces on TV!
Israeli US envoy: Hizbullah has 15,000 rockets on border
Guess they didn’t get the memo. Excerpt: "In 2006, many of their missiles were basically out in the open, in silos and the Israeli air force was able to neutralize a great number of them...Today those same missiles have been placed under hospitals, and homes and schools because Hizbullah knows full well if we try to defend ourselves against them, we will be branded once again as war criminals."
Palestinian Researcher: A Legal Victory in Ground Zero Mosque Could Cause the Muslims to Lose the Battle that Counts – The One for Coexistence
Excerpt: "We Keep Increasing Our Religious Demands Vis-a-Vis the West, While Refusing to Meet Even a Few of the Demands Made by Religious Minorities Living among Us"
"We must take stock and do some soul-searching by asking ourselves the opposite question, [namely] how people in a Muslim country would react if the Christians wanted to pray in a mosque on Sunday due to an insufficient number of churches. Or let's ask an even simpler [question]: What is the reaction in most Arab and Muslim countries to the demand of religious minorities – not only Christians but also Hindus and Sikhs – to build their own houses of worship? In practice, our countries exhibit hypocrisy and a double standard. We keep increasing our religious demands vis-à-vis the West, while refusing to meet even a few of the demands made by religious minorities living among us." (Wonder if this will get him killed? ~Bob)
TIME Editor Stengel: "Sad" That Israeli Wall Is "Functioning"
Excerpt: "They [Israel] haven't had a car bombing in two and a half years and the sad truth, really, is that the wall with the West Bank has actually worked. I mean, most Israelis in the course of their lives don't come into contact with any Palestinians at all, the wall is functioning," said Time magazine editor Richard Stengel on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." (Does that translate that he would be "happy" if the wall wasn't preventing more car bombings which would equate to more Jews being killed by terrorists? –MasterGuns. Gee, wonder if we could build a wall that would work? ~Bob)
The sound of Angry Men
Democrat Rep. Patrick Murphy Faces Angry Constituents Asking for a "Real Town Hall Meeting” – Video
Excerpt: Here is raw video of Pennsylvania Democrat Rep. Patrick Murphy this past weekend facing constituents at a meeting he thought was going to be a “one-on-one” series of conferences with people. However, he found out that they wanted a “real town hall meeting” instead of “one-on-one” meetings. Murphy looked shell-shocked as his constituents repeatedly asked if he was going to hold a town hall meeting. Murphy seemed desperate to keep the thing a “one-on-one” format rather than allow it to be a town hall meeting, which the vast majority of the people wanted. Murphy represents the 8th Congressional District.
Civil War at WikiLeaks
More details on the rape charge are bound to leak out. ~Bob. Excerpt: The rape charges are the last straw for some organizers of WikiLeaks, who are demanding that Julian Assange, the website’s controversial point man, step aside. Philip Shenon reports. Julian Assange is facing an insurrection, with WikiLeaks supporters outraged that Assange has insisted on remaining in charge of the whistleblowing website despite the rape allegations he faces in Sweden. A prominent WikiLeaks organizer, Birgitta Jonsdottir, a parliamentarian in Iceland, tells The Daily Beast that she has encouraged Assange to step aside as WikiLeaks’ public spokesman and give up his other management responsibilities, at least until after the criminal investigation is over. She said she did not believe repeated suggestions by Assange, the Australian-born founder and chief editor of WikiLeaks, that the assault allegations made by two Swedish women were part of an American-organized smear campaign.
Our distracted commander in chief
Excerpt: Many have charged that President Obama's decision to begin withdrawing from Afghanistan 10 months from now is hampering our war effort. But now it's official. In a stunning statement last week, Marine Corps Commandant James Conway admitted that the July 2011 date is "probably giving our enemy sustenance." A remarkably bold charge for an active military officer. It stops just short of suggesting aiding and abetting the enemy. Yet the observation is obvious: It is surely harder to prevail in a war that hinges on the allegiance of the locals when they hear the U.S. president talk of beginning a withdrawal that will ultimately leave them to the mercies of the Taliban. How did Obama come to this decision? "Our Afghan policy was focused as much as anything on domestic politics," an Obama adviser told the New York Times' Peter Baker. "He would not risk losing the moderate to centrist Democrats in the middle of health insurance reform and he viewed that legislation as the make-or-break legislation for his administration."
Dems can't blame Bush for ObamaCare
Excerpt: While the trifecta of stimulus/bailouts/ObamaCare is what is mostly touted as the explanation for the waning Democratic political fortunes, ObamaCare is the mother-lode of straws that broke the camel's back and crushed it. Democrats know this, but can't acknowledge it. Why? Because they can't blame ObamaCare on George W. Bush. And that leaves them with nothing, and nowhere to hide. What's surprising to me about this renewed push to blame Bush for the Democrats' election-year problems now is not that they are using it as a desperate Hail Mary pass. It's been obvious for quite some time they pull that out of their back pocket when backed into a corner. No — what's so surprising to me, and also very, very telling, is that they are throwing this Hail Mary pass before Labor Day, rather than in the final three or four weeks of the campaign. This means their internal polling is scarier than what the rest of us are privy to, and they know they have little wiggle room and nowhere to run. They searched every nook and cranny, but can't win new voters or change any minds, so they must try to compete in the Election Day voter-turnout game by getting the Bush-hating far-left wing of the party angry and energized, and blaming Bush is all they have in their arsenal — even when their arguments make no sense at all.
Summer Of Recovery – A Post Script
Excerpt: Dear Joe, I wrote the other day asking for a job. I fear I wasn't terribly specific as to what job. At my age, and with my qualifications (law review, top 10 percent of my class, Firsts at a European university, 20 years of law practice) I can't be picky. Anything that pays well, offers security and doesn't require much initiative would do. Unhappily, all the Cabinet posts are filled, but then in the recent news I found just the ticket: the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change needs an executive director, or so the Boston Herald reported on September 5.
I’m Tired Response
Mr. Hall. I was just sent your piece about being tired. After research, I discovered your history. Our country is honored to have Americans like you. Oh yes. Minor point. I enjoy your work on CSI, but that is fluff compared to the contributions you have made through your entire life
to our country. Thank you, RF. (I hope the actor, Robert D. Hall, sees this! ~Bob)
Six men, eight weeks, running 3,520 miles
Excerpt: Running coast to coast to raise money for charities supporting injured servicemen on both sides of the Atlantic.