Friday, April 9, 2010

Political Digest April 9, 2010

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.

Must Read: Race and Politics: Part III by Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: The blatant and undeniable fact that different racial, ethnic and other groups have had radically different economic and intellectual achievements for centuries, in countries around the world, has led to widely varying theories and widely varying political and other reactions. A hundred years ago, during the Progressive era in the United States, the dominant explanation was that different genes made different races either more capable or less capable. Similar views prevailed on the other side of the Atlantic, among people on both the left and the right, many of whom urged eugenics, in order to prevent "inferior" groups from reproducing. The problem with this explanation was that it ignored the great changes in the relative positions of races over the centuries. In medieval times, Europeans could not match the achievements of the Chinese, but in later centuries their relative positions reversed-- and there was no evidence of any fundamental change in the genes of either the Chinese or the Europeans. Much was made of the fact that, within Europe, "Nordics" were prospering more so than the peoples of Mediterranean Europe. But, a thousand years earlier, the reverse was true. A 10th century Muslim scholar pointed out that the farther north you go in Europe, the more pale the people become and the "farther they are to the north the more stupid, gross, and brutish they are." However much such words might be dismissed or condemned today, there is no reason to say that these words were untrue as of the time they were said. So many things that have been said about race may have had some basis as of a given time, even if the sweeping conclusion that these are immutable traits does not stand the test of time. (The progressive saint Margaret Sanger was a supporter of “eugenics,” thus the birth control movement. See below.)

Eugenics and euthanasia
Excerpt: Sanger was a proponent of negative eugenics, a social philosophy which claims that human hereditary traits can be improved through social intervention. Sanger's eugenic policies ran to an exclusionary immigration policy, free access to birth control methods and full family-planning autonomy for the able-minded, and compulsory segregation or sterilization for the profoundly retarded. She expressly denounced euthanasia as a eugenics tool. In A Plan for Peace (1932), for example, Sanger proposed a congressional department to: “Keep the doors of immigration closed to the entrance of certain aliens whose condition is known to be detrimental to the stamina of the race, such as feebleminded, idiots, morons, insane, syphilitic, epileptic, criminal, professional prostitutes, and others in this class barred by the immigration laws of 1924.” And, following: “Apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.” Sanger saw birth control as a means to prevent "dysgenic" children from being born into a disadvantaged life

Obama, Medvedev sign treaty to reduce nuclear weapons
Good political PR, little real effect. Excerpt: President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a sweeping new arms reduction pact Thursday that pledges to reduce the stockpile of deployed, strategic nuclear weapons in both countries and commits the old Cold War adversaries to new procedures to verify which weapons each country possesses.

Russia May Exit Accord If U.S. Pursues Missile Plan
If President Wobbly wants the political benefit of signing a treaty, there is a price to pay to Russia. The person who cares less has the power in negotiations. Russia cares less. Obama needs the good PR, and will give up American security to get it. Excerpt: Excerpt: Russia may exit an accord on nuclear arms reduction that it’s due to sign with the U.S. this week if Washington moves ahead with plans to step up its missile defense program, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today. Russia will have the right to exit the accord if “the U.S.’s build-up of its missile defense strategic potential in numbers and quality begins to considerably affect the efficiency of Russian strategic nuclear forces,” Lavrov told reporters in Moscow today. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said later in Washington that Lavrov’s comments were “no surprise.”

Iran ridicules Obama's "cowboy" nuclear strategy
Gee, President Wobbly’s extend-the-hand-of-friendship-without-preconditions strategy doesn’t seem to be creating sweetness and light. Excerpt: Iran's hard-line president on Wednesday ridiculed President Barack Obama's new nuclear strategy, which turns the U.S. focus away from the Cold War threats and instead aims to stop the spread of atomic weapons to rogue states or terrorists.

Taxing the Wealthy is Bad News for Everyone
Excerpt: The new health care law will substantially increase the tax burden of high-income workers and small businesses over the next few years. The tax hikes will reduce the capital stock and discourage small business job creation -- the opposite of what is needed to grow the economy, says Pamela Villarreal, a senior policy analyst with the National Center for Policy Analysis. (The problem is vast majority of voters are economically ignorant and unable to think beyond what Dr. Sowell calls stage one. They figure “taxing the rich” doesn’t hurt them. They can’t think well enough to wonder what the “rich” would have done with that money if not taxes. They would have spent it on goods and services, helping the average guy who produces those goods and services. Or they would have invested it in companies, who would have used it to expand and hire more average people. Or they would have put it in the bank, where the bank would have lent it to average people wanting to buy homes, or small businesses wanting to expand and hire average people. According to the IRS website, under Bush and a Republican Congress who were always “helping the rich,” the top 5% of wage earners paid 60% of the taxes, while the bottom 50% of wage earners paid only 3%. Once the bottom 50% pays nothing, they will vote for politicians who will spend more, until the country and the rich are broke—and things collapse.)

Media Bias a 'Bigger Problem' Than Large Campaign Contributions
Excerpt: “Fifty-five percent (55%) of U.S. voters continue to think that media bias is a bigger problem in politics today than big campaign contributions, identical to the finding in August 2008,” Rasmussen Reports found in a survey of 1,000 “likely voters” released on Tuesday. Suggesting that perception of bias is of liberal bias, Rasmussen determined “sixty-eight percent (68%) of Republicans and 62% of unaffiliated voters say media bias is the bigger problem in politics, a view shared by just 37% of Democrats. The plurality (46%) of Democrats says campaign contributions are a bigger problem.”

Tea Party Express makes Green Bay stop
Two of the folks interviewed, Chuck and Gloria, are friends of ours from here in the Chicago area.

The Left's Ludicrous Accusations against Tea Partiers
Excerpt: Forgive the obscene photo of "Politically Incorrect" show host Bill Maher, but it serves as a stark visual testimonial to the Left's true nature. Every day, the Left shows us with their own actions that they are exactly what they accuse conservatives and tea partiers of being. It is astonishing that they have the gall to accuse anyone of anything. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. But then we remember that the smear and the lie are all they have. As a post at Powerline relates, "It is liberals, not conservatives, who rely on ad hominem attacks, outrageous allegations and violent imagery." The accusations of racism and threats of violence put forth by congressional Democrats since Saturday are straight out of the Alinsky playbook. They probably made the calls themselves.

Mexico: The Struggle for Balance
Excerpt: This week’s Geopolitical Intelligence Report provided a high-level assessment of the economic forces that affect how the Mexican people and the Mexican government view the flow of narcotics through that country. Certainly at that macro level, there is a lot of money flowing into Mexico and a lot of people, from bankers and businessmen to political parties and politicians, are benefiting from the massive influx of cash. The lure of this lucre shapes how many Mexicans (particularly many of the Mexican elite) view narcotics trafficking. It is, frankly, a good time to be a banker, a real estate developer or a Rolex dealer in Mexico. However, at the tactical level, there are a number of issues also shaping the opinions of many Mexicans regarding narcotics trafficking, including violence, corruption and rapidly rising domestic narcotics consumption. At this level, people are being terrorized by running gunbattles, mass beheadings and rampant kidnappings — the types of events that STRATFOR covers in our Mexico Security Memos. Mexican elites have the money to buy armored cars and hire private security guards. But rampant corruption in the security forces means the common people seemingly have nowhere to turn for help at the local level (not an uncommon occurrence in the developing world). The violence is also having a heavy impact on Mexico’s tourist sector and on the willingness of foreign companies to invest in Mexico’s manufacturing sector. Many smaller business owners are being hit from two sides — they receive extortion demands from criminals while facing a decrease in revenue due to a drop in tourism because of the crime and violence. These citizens and businessmen are demanding help from Mexico City.

Parting Company
Excerpt: I believe we are nearing a point where there are enough irreconcilable differences between those Americans who want to control other Americans and those Americans who want to be left alone that separation is the only peaceable alternative. Just as in a marriage, where vows are broken, our human rights protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution have been grossly violated by a government instituted to protect them. The Democrat-controlled Washington is simply an escalation of a process that has been in full stride for at least two decades. There is no evidence that Americans who are responsible for and support constitutional abrogation have any intention of mending their ways. You say, “Williams, what do you mean by constitutional abrogation?” Let’s look at just some of the magnitude of the violations. Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution lists the activities for which Congress is authorized to tax and spend. Nowhere on that list is authority for Congress to tax and spend for: prescription drugs, Social Security, public education, farm subsidies, bank and business bailouts, food stamps and other activities that represent roughly two-thirds of the federal budget. Neither is there authority for congressional mandates to the states and people about how they may use their land, the speed at which they can drive, whether a library has wheelchair ramps and the gallons of water used per toilet flush. The list of congressional violations of both the letter and spirit of the Constitution is virtually without end. Our derelict Supreme Court has given Congress sanction to do anything upon which they can muster a majority vote. James Madison, the acknowledged father of the Constitution, explained in Federalist Paper No. 45: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce. … The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State.”

CRS: Health Law May Allow Viagra Coverage for Sex Offenders
Your tax dollars at work. Excerpt: The Congressional Research Service confirmed in a memo Wednesday that rapists and sex offenders may get federally subsidized Viagra and other sexual performance enhancing drugs under the recently passed health care reform law — information that Republicans charge will haunt Democrats in upcoming elections.

'Leaky Leahy' seeks sensitive info – again
Excerpt: On numerous occasions, leaks about U.S. intelligence operations, particularly those against al Qaeda, have damaged our ability to safeguard our nation. They also have endangered the lives of intelligence operatives and informants. So it's hard not to be alarmed by a letter to Congress the Justice Department recently released - a letter indicating that Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, is seeking covert intelligence information. On March 22, Ronald Weich, assistant attorney general of the Office of Legislative Affairs at Justice, sent Mr. Leahy responses to follow-up questions posed to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. following Mr. Holder's Nov. 18 appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee. That committee, which Mr. Leahy chairs, normally doesn't deal with classified intelligence information. That's good, because Mr. Leahy's penchant for leaking classified national security information to try to sabotage American foreign policy decisions with which he disagrees has truly made him dangerous to U.S. national security. In a follow-up question to Mr. Holder after the November hearing, Mr. Leahy complained that he and his House counterpart, Rep. John Conyers, Michigan Democrat, weren't being briefed adequately on the intelligence activities of the FBI. Mr. Leahy insisted that such matters fall within the oversight responsibilities of the House and Senate Judiciary committees. He was willing to "share" oversight with the Intelligence Committees, he said, but the congressional Judiciary committees "should not be shut out" by Justice. This naked power grab is rather remarkable given Mr. Leahy's demonstrated inability (or unwillingness) to maintain the confidentiality of critical national security information. Mr. Leahy, after all, is the same man who leaked like a sieve during his previous tenure on the Senate Intelligence Committee. The San Diego Tribune, for example, reported that in a 1985 television interview, Mr. Leahy, then vice chairman of the committee, disclosed a top-secret communications intercept of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's telephone conversations. The intercept had facilitated the capture of the Arab terrorists who had hijacked the cruise ship Achille Lauro and murdered American citizens. Mr. Leahy's callous disregard for maintaining the secrecy of American intelligence activities ended up costing the life of an Egyptian operative involved in the operation.

Florida says challenge to healthcare reform widens
Excerpt: Five more states are joining a Florida-led group of states in a lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama's overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system, Florida's attorney general said on Wednesday.

Injunction sought to halt Obamacare
Excerpt: A legal team of experts on civil liberties and human rights is asking a federal court in Michigan to grant a preliminary injunction preventing the implementation of the "individual mandate" in "Obamacare," warning that if imposed, it effectively will destroy the nation. "The term 'nanny state' does not even begin to describe what we will have wrought," argues the brief filed by the Thomas More Law Center. The organization previously filed a lawsuit on behalf of four Michigan residents who object to the government's plan to force them to buy health-care insurance and pay for abortions – or be penalized.

AP: 'Nearly half' of Americans pay no federal income tax
Excerpt: Tax Day is a dreaded deadline for millions, but for nearly half of U.S. households it's simply somebody else's problem. About 47 percent will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009. Either their incomes were too low, or they qualified for enough credits, deductions and exemptions to eliminate their liability. That's according to projections by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research organization. Most people still are required to file returns by the April 15 deadline. The penalty for skipping it is limited to the amount of taxes owed, but it's still almost always better to file: That's the only way to get a refund of all the income taxes withheld by employers. (If you pay no taxes, why would you be against a politician who promises to tax everyone else heavily and spend more on programs you like? They don’t realize the country will collapse.)

Obama Administration Trying to Revive Bush Counterterrorism Program
Excerpt: Even as the administration struggles at home to remain vigilant against terrorism while separating its policies from the Bush White House's hard line, U.S. officials are committed to maintaining the data-sharing program abroad. Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Treasury Department officials were to meet with European officials Thursday in Madrid to discuss the effort. "Each day we go without it, we run the very real risk that information crucial to preventing an attack ... is not available to U.S. and EU authorities," said David Cohen, assistant treasury secretary for terrorist financing.

U.S. now focused on getting rid of Taliban instead of opium crops in Afghanistan
Excerpt: Thousands of Afghan migrant workers expected here in the next few weeks for the spring opium harvest will find at least as much work as last year. A multimillion-dollar U.S. program that was started last fall to persuade farmers to plant wheat instead of opium poppies did not make a dent in the amount of cultivation in Helmand province, the heart of Afghanistan's poppy region, according to a recent U.N. survey. U.S. Marines, who arrived here in force seven weeks ago to wrest control of the province from the Taliban, are under orders to win over the population and leave their poppy fields alone.

WoFat Rides Again
Excerpt: God forbid we should call Islamic extremists by that name, or any other but the most worshipful and friendly label. We should not play upon the murders of thousands of Americans in such a shameful manner. After all, it might anger and/or embarrass them.

Qaeda Group Threatens to Attack World Cup
Didn’t get the “Islam is a religion of peace” memo. Excerpt: The North African terror group al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has threatened to attack this summer's World Cup games in South Africa. "How amazing could the match United States vs. Britain be when broadcasted live on air at a stadium packed with spectators when the sound of an explosion rumbles through the stands, the whole stadium is turned upside down and the number of dead bodies are in their dozens and hundreds, Allah willing," reads a statement the group published in a recent issue of the Jihadi online magazine Mushtaqun Lel Jannah (Longing to Paradise).

Iraq police nab 10-year-old suicide bomber§ion=middleeast
The “religion of peace” loves kids. Excerpt: A 10-year-old Iraqi boy allegedly recruited by Al Qaeda was about to blow himself in a suicide attack on Wednesday just east of Fallujah when police spotted and arrested him, a senior officer said.

Obama Befriends Pakistani Jihadists
Excerpt: Barack Obama’s unrelenting pressure on Israel and appeasement of the Palestinian jihadists is not unique: There are signs this week that he is about to start behaving the same way toward Pakistan and India. The Wall Street Journal revealed Monday that Obama penned a secret directive last December, stating that India had to work harder to resolve its issues with Pakistan . Meanwhile, Pakistan is growing more demanding that the United States intervene in its disputes with India, and both American and Indian officials have acknowledged that the Pentagon wants the U.S. to put more pressure upon India.

Muslim woman strangled by her burkha in freak go-kart accident
Excerpt: A Muslim woman has died after her burkha became caught in a go-kart she was driving A young Muslim woman had died after her burkha became snagged in a go-kart. The 24-year-old woman, who has not yet been named, died a terrifying death today when a fluttering part of her burkha became caught in the wheels of a go-kart she was driving near the town of Port Stephens, north of Sydney. The Muslim clothing the woman was wearing flew back as she sped around the track and part of it became entangled in the go-kart's wheels. She was strangled in a second and crashed the vehicle. Despite the efforts of paramedics who rushed to her aid, the neck and throat injuries she suffered were so severe that doctors were unable to revive her when she arrived at the John Hunter Hospital in the New South Wales city of Newcastle. (Have to let them ride though—be “Islamophobic” to turn them away for safety reasons.)

The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it. – George Orwell

1 comment:

  1. Ya know... I am routinely called a racist redneck Southern cracker. My hatred of Obongo is usually pointed to as "proof". But I would vote for Thomas Sowell IN A HEARTBEAT for any office he might choose to run for!