Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Over the last few years I have been following with fascination the development of Dubai, and listened to "experts" discuss the economic miracle that the enlightened sheiks in this medieval kingdom were performing. They were diversifying, they were modernizing, they were developing, and they were loosening their reliance on income from oil.
Read Times report.
I have interviewed hundreds of teachers who gave me myriads of cliches, but could not answer basic questions on the subjects they were supposed to teach. English teachers stammered when asked the title of the last book they read; social studies teachers couldn't explain the causes of World War I; math teachers had difficulties explaining how to solve a quadratic equation and lacked the knowledge to teach an advanced course in mathematics.
In the meantime the University of Minnesota has introduced the following ideological requirements for graduation. All similarities to the Cultural Revolution or Stalinist purges are NOT coincidental:
The task group is part of the Teacher Education Redesign Initiative, a
multiyear project to change the way future teachers are trained at the U’s
flagship campus. The initiative is premised, in part, on the conviction that
Minnesota teachers’ lack of “cultural competence” contributes to the poor
academic performance of the state’s minority students. Last spring, it charged
the task group with coming up with recommendations to change this. In
January,planners will review the recommendations and decide how to
The report advocates making race, class and gender politics the“overarching
framework” for all teaching courses at the U. It calls for evaluating future
teachers in both coursework and practice teaching based on their willingness to
fall into ideological lockstep.
The first step toward “cultural competence,” says the task group, is for
future teachers to recognize — and confess — their own bigotry. Anyone familiar
with the reeducation camps of China’s Cultural Revolution will recognize the
The task group recommends, for example, that prospective teachers be
required to prepare an “autoethnography” report. They must describe their own
prejudices and stereotypes, question their “cultural” motives for wishing to
become teachers, and take a “cultural intelligence” assessment designed to
ferret out their latent racism, classism and other “isms.” They “earn points”for
“demonstrating the ability to be self-critical.”
The goal of these exercises, in the task group’s words, is to ensure
that“future teachers will be able to discuss their own histories and current
thinking drawing on notions of white privilege, hegemonic masculinity,
heteronormative, and internalized oppression.”
Future teachers must also recognize and denounce the fundamental injustices
at the heart of American society, says the task group. From a historical
perspective, they must “understand that … many groups are typically not
included” within America’s “celebrated cultural identity,” and that “such
exclusion is frequently a result of dissimilarities in power and influence.” In
particular, aspiring teachers must be able “to explain how institutional racism
works in schools.”
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Rasmussen Reports that telephone a survey of voters in the state finds Rudy Giuliani, the former Republican mayor of New York City, leading senator Gillibrand by 13 points – 53% to 40%. Four percent (4%) like some other candidate, and just two percent (2%) are undecided.
Good news for Rudy, who has been seen a lot on television since the announcement of the decision to try KSM and partners in Manhattan.
My contribution to Rudy's campaign will be sent the moment he announces his candidacy.
Click here for a complete Rasmussen Report.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I never donated a penny because the bums asking for money looked healthy enough to work. Furthermore, there was always a Dickensian feel to the whole enterprise of using bums to collect money.
Well, those of us who are suspicious by nature and believers in self-reliance for survival have been justified in our skepticism when attorney general Andrew Cuomo filed a suit claiming that that the the whole UHO was a scam run by con artists who pocketed the money collected. UHO founder Stephen Riley and director Myra Walker took a big cut of the money to fund personal shopping sprees at Gamestop, Home Shopping Network, Bed, Bath & Beyond, P. C. Richard, as well as their monthly cable bills, legal papers charge.
This is ACORN revisited. A group of con artists taking the public for a ride, but the outcry seems to come in the form of some minor reports by local news outlets and Glenn Beck in his radio show.
I must add a personal experience that took place last year in Boca Raton. I had just eaten breakfast at Panera Bread where I noticed a big "Now Hiring" sign outside the store. As I drove away, I stopped at a red light in the intersection of Glades and 441, where a young, healthy and relatively good looking female was holding a sign asking for money. As she approached my car, I opened the window and told her about the sign in Panera. She looked at me for a few seconds, said "fuck you" and walked to the next car where she probable got some money from a resident of the Polo Club. Yes, the ones who earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans.
America...what a country!
Mark Steyn has another vintage column where in his caustic tone he manages to show the ridiculousness and insanity of the left. This time in the United Kingdom. I was going to put the link, but I realized that this article merits to be placed in its entirety. Read and enjoy...or weep.
Steyn on Britain and Europe
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
HAPPY WARRIORfrom National Review
The thought has occurred to several governments over the years, and I don’t mean the dictatorships. Andrew Neather, a former speechwriter for Tony Blair, wrote a piece for the London Evening Standard the other day and, considering he’s one of those quintessentially slippery New Labour spinmeisters, it was disarmingly insouciant in its straightforwardness. When Labour came to power in 1997, the number of work permits issued each year quadrupled and immigration exploded. Mr Neather revealed that there was “a driving political purpose” behind this: “Mass immigration was the way that the UK Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural.” From Labour’s point of view, it would have the additional benefit of helping put the Conservatives out of sync with the times: As Mr Neather writes, “The policy was intended – even if this wasn’t its main purpose – to rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date.” If the justification for US immigration is that we need foreigners to do “the jobs that Americans won’t do”, in the United Kingdom they need them to do the jobs that no-one in their right mind would hire a working-class Brit for: The imported workers would be engaged in fields that “certainly wouldn’t be taken by unemployed BNP voters from Barking or Burnley,” sneers Mr Neather. “Fascist au pair, anyone?”
The BNP is the British National Party, and yes, it is, broadly, fascist. But it barely existed until New Labour’s plan to “make the UK truly multicultural” got under way, and it certainly never had such a purchase on England’s white working class that the one major European power that never succumbed to ‘tween-wars fascism this year elected two BNP members to the European Parliament.
That’s the problem with dissolving the people and electing another: You’d have to be a genius to pull off such a transformation without any unintended consequences. If Blair’s game was to import cool new Labour voters and make the dead white males of the Tory Party look even more squaresville, he also wound up imposing huge and potentially fatal stresses on Britain’s fraying societal structure.
Take the recent observations of Anjem Choudary, Principal Lecturer of the London School of Shariah: “There is a spark that has ignited and its flame has become unstoppable,” he declared. “We find ourselves in the year 2009, waiting for Rome to fall, waiting for the White House to fall and indeed waiting for Buckingham Palace to fall.” Mr Choudary is a subject of the Crown but does not think of himself as such. His organization has demanded the Queen convert to Islam, wear a burka, and “stop playing God”. His website, Islam4UK, has many detailed illustrations of British landmarks after the introduction of Sharia: Buckingham Palace would be renamed “Buckingham Masjid” (or mosque) and have a dome fitted on top with speakers to call the faithful to prayer. It would be used as an Islamic court to issue punishments under Sharia, and also as a detention center for “prisoners of war”.
As it happens, Anjem Choudary is not an immigrant: He is British born and bred. But he is a testament to the “true multiculturalism” that New Labour prized so highly. For all but a few guilt-ridden middle-class liberals, “multiculturalism” is a nullity and those within its vapid bounds will seek their identity elsewhere. In a Britain with high Muslim immigration, high Muslim birth rates and high Muslim conversion rates, that means the host community winds up assimilating with the newcomers. In Surrey, the town of Sutton has just introduced female-only swimming sessions in the municipal pool for Muslim women. They’ll put blinds on the windows so no infidel men can see in, and the male lifeguards will be reassigned to other shifts. Might fall afoul of church-state separation in the US, but hey, what’s the big deal?
But why stop there? Azad Ali, the new advisor to the Crown Prosecution Service (the equivalent, more or less, of the US Attorneys), is a supporter of Abdullah Azzam, a key influence on Osama bin Laden, and a man who quotes approvingly such observations as “If I saw an American or British man wearing a soldier’s uniform inside Iraq I would kill him because that is my obligation.” Mr Ali’s appointment is part of the curious British strategy of “defusing” Islamic radicals by putting them all on the government payroll.
Even if one takes the view that arresting fellows for treason is awfully vulgar and a touch heavy-handed, it’s hard to see quite what benefit such chaps are to the United Kingdom. You can’t even say they contribute to “diversity” since such views are becoming distressingly ubiquitous. At a certain level, the idea of the muezzin issuing his call from Buckingham Palace is risible. But, after the Fall of Constantinople, it happened to what was then the largest Christian cathedral in the world. Is it really so fanciful to imagine the same thing happening in a country undergoing artificially induced, unprecedented demographic transformation?
The transparent ambition of an Anjem Choudary is less deluded than the blithe arrogance of an Andrew Neather. Combine them and toss in the likes of the British National Party, and you have the certainty of profound social convulsions in the years ahead. There'll always be an England? Ninety years ago, Bernard Shaw set his play Heartbreak House on the eve of the Great War among a British ruling class too smug and self-absorbed to see what was coming. “Do you think,” he wrote, “the laws of God will be suspended in favour of England because you were born in it?”from National Review
Monday, November 23, 2009
Oh, really? In Saudi Arabia 15 girls burned to death in their school because the religious police "mutaween" would not allow them to be rescued from a burning school where they were not wearing the traditional garb of oppressed women.
My question for the designer of this doll: "Was she circumcised?" We know that under Islam many women are subjected to this process so that they can be whatever they want to be; just without an orgasm.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Read article about "Climategate"
Another article on the same subject
So you thought that now that now that we have elected a black president the race pimps would fade into oblivion. Well think again. Jesse Jackson is back with his old tricks again.
Click here to read the article
For those of us who remember Jimmy Carter announcing 1n 1977 tht the world would run out of oil in the 1980's, here is an aricle by George Will.
Click here to Read George Will
Friday, November 20, 2009
In a related story, the Obama administration, as well as the European Union, was critical of Israel's decision to build 900 housing units in Gilo, a neighborhood of Jerusalem. The Palestinians, as can be expected, welcomed the criticism of Israel. In the meantime PM Nethanyahu resumed his invitation for Palestinians to resume peace talks. I wont hold my breath waiting.
In another idiotic report based on unsubstantiated data by the United Nations Food Population Fund (UNFPA), a claim is made that in The Philippines global warming is forcing women into prostitution. This is the result of lower income because of floods in coastal areas and a decline in fishing. What the study fails to clarify is how come despite the lower income and a raise in poverty, men will have enough money to patronize prostitutes. I am sure that with a contribution of a billion dollars to the UNFPA, they would be able to solve this crisis. All they need is some more luxurious buildings in New York, Paris and Zurich, some new furniture, and another one thousand bureaucrats. Actually, they could bring the Filipino prostitutes to work for the UN. After all, it is the largest bordello around.
Are you one of those who voted for Obama to put an end to racial politics? Did you think that Jackson and Sharpton would stop their blackmailing? If so, here is a quote from yesterday's Politico:
The Rev. Jesse Jackson on Wednesday night criticized Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.) for voting against the Democrats’ signature healthcare bill. “We even have blacks voting against the healthcare bill from Alabama,” Jackson said at a reception Wednesday night. “You can’t vote against healthcare and call yourself a black man.”
I agree with Jackson, those who voted against the healthcare bill can only call themselves "Americans."
The ratings war, as reported by Drudge November 18, 2009
FOXNEWS HANNITY/PALIN 4,200,000
FOXNEWS O'REILLY 3,868,000
FOXNEWS BECK 2,512,000
FOXNEWS GRETA 2,383,000
FOXNEWS BAIER 2,235,000
FOXNEWS SHEP 1,980,000
MSNBC OLBERMANN 1,041,000
CNNHN GRACE 1,036,000
MSNBC MADDOW 957,000
CNN KING 835,000
MSNBC HARDBALL 625,000
CNN COOPER 611,000
By the way, studies have shown that the audiences attracted to FOX News are better educated and more politically independent than the audiences of the rest of the cable news channels. MSNBC and CNN, keep the current lineups. The Republicans thank you.
UCLA students protested proposed increases in tuition. I have such mixed emotions on this topic. On one hand I understand that California is bankrupt. On the other hand, I know the contributions to society of having another million college graduates with degrees in Chicano Studies, Psychology, Political Science, Queer Studies, Women Studies, Theater, Black Studies, Judaic Studies, Puerto Rican Studies, just to name a few of majors that have provided California with some of the most talented waiters and limo drivers in the nation.
In pursuit of an Eagle Scout badge, Kevin Anderson, 17, has toiled for more than 200 hours hours over several weeks to clear a walking path
in an east Allentown park.
Little did the do-gooder know that his altruistic act would put him in the cross hairs of the city's largest municipal union.
Nick Balzano, president of the local Service Employees International
Union, told Allentown City Council Tuesday that the union is considering filing a grievance against the city for allowing Anderson to clear a 1,000-foot walking and biking path at Kimmets Lock Park.
"We'll be looking into the Cub Scout or Boy Scout who did the trails," Balzano told the council. Balzano said Saturday he isn't targeting Boy Scouts. But given the city's decision in July to lay off 39 SEIU members, Balzano said "there's to be no volunteers." No one except union members may pick up a hoe or shovel, plant a flower or clear a walking path.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Interestingly, the attacks have included some conservatives, such as Charles Murray and Ramesh Ponnuru. Of course, the conservatives like the message but blame the messenger for Beck's style. For example, Charles Murray states that he TIVOed Beck’s program for several weeks and although he agrees with Beck 95% of the time, he didn’t like inaccuracies that Beck placed on his chalkboard. As his only example he lists Beck’s attribution to Jefferson of the following: “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” "Jefferson never said this," claims Murray. Hours of recorded programs and this is all he could come with? He instructs anyone interested to Google the quote and check it out. Well, I did so. And there are enough sources attributing this to Jefferson as to make it attributable. If not, let’s complain about all the made up and inaccurate quotes that one hears constantly from experts on TV.
This includes misquoting Palin with quotes from SNL to misquoting or making up quotes about the environment.On the other hand the left and the MSM have labeled Beck a fear monger for seeing the Progressive agenda as a threat to democracy. They claim that he uses snippets of speeches or videos out of context.
Can these claimants be a little more explicit? In what context did Anita Dunn refer to Mao as her favorite political philosopher? What is missing from Van Jones’s statement that environmentalists and business conglomerates are complicit in poisoning black neighborhoods? Where is the out of context of Rev. Wright or Bill Ayers statements?
As for his being a fear monger, this is claimed by people and organizations that do not hesitate to claim that unless we destroy our free market economy, life on earth is about to end. Or politicians who claim that millions will die in America unless we pass a health care bill. Or President Obama's claim that the economy would never recover without a porkstimulus bill is passed.
And Beck is the fear monger?
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Read article about health care in the Wall Street Journal
Roger Simon from PJM has some nice words to say about Senator Lieberman whom he considers the most important person in government.
What is going on in NY Congressional District 23? The victory of Bill Owens (D) was hailed by Pelosi and the White House as a victory the day after the last elections. Now this democrat's victory is in jeopardy as the victory margin has narrowed from 5000 to 3000 and 10,000 absentee ballots are about to be counted. Almost as good as a Hitchcock movie.
Read about NY-23 congressional race
Sunday, November 15, 2009
What are your thoughts on imminent domain? Since Kelo v. City of New London, I have had mixed emotions about this tool of the government to seize property. I understand the need of confiscatory power to improve the infrastructure of cities. But at what point does improvement of quality ends and greed begins? This article deals with the seizure of property for the construction of a sport arena.
The usual cowards in academia find excuses for Islamism and Major Hasan.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
It would be easy to assume that Prime Minister Netanyahu's visit to Washington last week was overshadowed by Ft. Hood and the many other events that took place last week. However, this is not so. The visit was a slap in the face of the only reliable ally the US has in the Middle East. Barack Hussein Obama seems to talk about equal partnerships, equality and tolerance with every nation and despotic ruler, except with Israel.
Friday, November 13, 2009
By the way, where is the mainstream media that demanded Karl Rove's head for the firing of the US Attorneys by the Bush Administration?
I am placing here a link to a letter sent by the Chief Human Capital Officers Council (CHCOC) of the US Office of Personnel Management. Although the word Republican does not appear, the repetition of "higher standard" and "one that honors and supports the President’s strong commitment to a Government that is transparent and open" is enough for me to see a purge of the civil service.
For those of you who would remind me of the appointment of token republicans to the cabinet, let me remind you that those appointees can be easily fired after their political usefulness is over. Civil servants are placed there for a very long time, and I don't want characters like Van Jones and Anita Dunn established in positions where they can carry on the revolution from within the system.
Click here to read the CHCOC letter
Thursday, November 12, 2009
A black Columbia University professor has been arretsted after punching a colleague in a bar during a discussion on "white privilege." The reverse would have resulted in a "hate crime."
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
So who's nuttier?
The guy who gives a lecture to other military doctors in which he says non-Muslims should be beheaded and have boiling oil poured down their throats?
Or the guys who say "Hey, let's have this fellow counsel our traumatized veterans and then promote him to major and put him on a Homeland Security panel?
Or the Army Chief of Staff who thinks the priority should be to celebrate diversity, even unto death?
Or the Secretary of Homeland Security who warns that the principal threat we face now is an outbreak of Islamophobia?
Or the president who says we cannot "fully know" why Major Hasan did what he did, so why trouble ourselves any further?
Or the columnist who, when a man hands out copies of the Koran before gunning down his victims while yelling "Allahu akbar," says you're racist if you bring up his religion?
Or his media colleagues who put Americans in the same position as East Germans twenty years ago of having to get hold of a foreign newspaper to find out what's going on?
General Casey has a point: An army that lets you check either the "home team" or "enemy" box according to taste is certainly diverse. But the logic in the remarks of Secretary Napolitano and others is that the real problem is that most Americans are knuckledragging bigots just waiting to go bananas. As Melanie Phillips wrote in her book Londonistan:
To the injury of November 5, we add the insults of American officialdom and their poodle media. In a nutshell:
Minority-rights doctrine has produced a moral inversion, in which those doing
wrong are excused if they belong to a 'victim' group, while those at the
receiving end of their behaviour are blamed simply because they belong to the
The real enemy — in the sense of the most important enemy — isn’t a bunch of flea-bitten jihadis sitting in a cave somewhere. It’s Western civilization’s craziness. We are setting our hair on fire and putting it out with a hammer.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Steve Rosen, writing for Foreign Policy, asks the Obama administration not to take Netanyahu to the woodshed. It is incredible how low US-Israel relations have sunk, and how little is US Jewry aware of it.
Dorothy Rabinowitz writes about the Ft. Hood massacre. Her thesis is that Hasan's motives are known to everyone but the army brass and media. Must read.
For the twntieth annycversay of the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, Fuad Ajami asks whether Muslims will tear down theis own walls.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
But eventually we found out that Hasan was indeed born and raised a Muslim. When this was reported, the media had no choice but to go into spin and victimology mode. We were told that Hasan was a troubled man, afraid of being deployed to Afghanistan. He didn’t want to treat killers of Muslims; he was discriminated against by the military. He was given a poor evaluation report; he was against the war. At no point did our enlightened reporters use the dreaded ”T’” word. Terrorist. Let’s not jump to conclusions.
The fact is that Hasan is a terrorist who committed an act of terror, and did so in the name of Islam, a religion that he was born into, practiced and proselytized. The last words out of his mouth before squeezing the triggers in his guns were Allah u-akhbar, the battle cry of Islamists and suicide bombers.
The insanity defense is not valid. Only insane people carry on Islamic and suicide terrorism. Does anyone really believe that those who got into airplanes on September 11, 2001 were normal people? Palestinians have long sought people with psychological problems to strap on dynamite belts and blow themselves up. The fanaticism of Islamism and the concept of Jihad are a manifestation of a mental disorder. Whether the insanity is genetic or inflicted makes no difference. Islamism is insanity.
As for the fearful Muslim community in America, you can demonstrate you loyalty to this country not just by condemning the acts of terror, which you always do with the qualifier “however,” but by massively demonstrating against terror. We are aware that you are a community capable of mobilizing. We saw this in France and Denmark. We see it in the West Bank and Gaza. In Islamabad, Berlin and London. But always to demonstrate against the homelands that gave you the freedom and financial security that you never had in your native lands.
It’s about time that the Muslim community in the West realizes that you cannot live in the 21st century economically and in the 10th century culturally.
Major Hasan was not forced into the military, he volunteered. Muslims around the world were not forced to move to the West, and they are not forced to remain here.
However, Muslims shouldn’t worry. Whatever atrocity they commit, it will be explained and excused by the spineless media.
And yes, I jumped to this conclusion.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
I have just received this email from Naomi Ragen:
Friday, November 6, 2009
If you said President Bush, you were wrong. This is President Obama discussing education.
Teleprompter. Never leave home without it.
Read Article in The New York Times
Ironic that the most intrusive census questionnaire ever, will not ask about citizenship. Way to go Democrats. Continue with your shenanigans, and we will have a Republican President and a Republican Congress in 2012.
Here is another great article by the intellectual voice of the Republican Party. Enjoy!
The myth of '08, demolished
by Charles Krauthammer
Sure, Election Day 2009 will scare moderate Democrats and make passage of Obamacare more difficult. Sure, it makes it easier for resurgent Republicans to raise money and recruit candidates for 2010. But the most important effect of Tuesday's elections is historical. It demolishes the great realignment myth of 2008.
In the aftermath of last year's Obama sweep, we heard endlessly about its fundamental, revolutionary, transformational nature. How it was ushering in an FDR-like realignment for the 21st century in which new demographics -- most prominently, rising minorities and the young -- would bury the GOP far into the future. One book proclaimed "The Death of Conservatism," while the more modest merely predicted the terminal decline of the Republican Party into a regional party of the Deep South or a rump party of marginalized angry white men.
This was all ridiculous from the beginning. The '08 election was a historical anomaly. A uniquely charismatic candidate was running at a time of deep war weariness, with an intensely unpopular Republican president, against a politically incompetent opponent, amid the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression. And still he won by only seven points.
Exactly a year later comes the empirical validation of that skepticism. Virginia -- presumed harbinger of the new realignment, having gone Democratic in '08 for the first time in 44 years -- went red again. With a vengeance. Barack Obama had carried it by six points. The Republican gubernatorial candidate won by 17 -- a 23-point swing. New Jersey went from plus-15 Democratic in 2008 to minus-four in 2009. A 19-point swing.
What happened? The vaunted Obama realignment vanished. In 2009 in Virginia, the black vote was down by 20 percent; the under-30 vote by 50 percent. And as for independents, the ultimate prize of any realignment, they bolted. In both Virginia and New Jersey they'd gone narrowly for Obama in '08. This year they went Republican by a staggering 33 points in Virginia and by an equally shocking 30 points in New Jersey.
White House apologists will say the Virginia Democrat was weak. If the difference between Bob McDonnell and Creigh Deeds was so great, how come when the same two men ran against each other statewide for attorney general four years ago the race was a virtual dead heat? Which made the '09 McDonnell-Deeds rematch the closest you get in politics to a laboratory experiment for measuring the change in external conditions. Run them against each other again when it's Obamaism in action and see what happens. What happened was a Republican landslide.
The Obama coattails of 2008 are gone. The expansion of the electorate, the excitement of the young, came in uniquely propitious Democratic circumstances and amid unparalleled enthusiasm for electing the first African American president.
November '08 was one shot, one time, never to be replicated. Nor was November '09 a realignment. It was a return to the norm -- and definitive confirmation that 2008 was one of the great flukes in American political history.
The irony of 2009 is that the anti-Democratic tide overshot the norm -- deeply blue New Jersey, for example, elected a Republican governor for the first time in 12 years -- because Democrats so thoroughly misread 2008 and the mandate they assumed it bestowed. Obama saw himself as anointed by a watershed victory to remake American life. Not letting the cup pass from his lips, he declared to Congress only five weeks after his swearing-in his "New Foundation" for America -- from remaking the one-sixth of the American economy that is health care to massive government regulation of the economic lifeblood that is energy.
Moreover, the same conventional wisdom that proclaimed the dawning of a new age last November dismissed the inevitable popular reaction to Obama's hubristic expansion of government, taxation, spending and debt -- the tea party demonstrators, the town hall protesters -- as a raging rabble of resentful reactionaries, AstroTurf-phony and Fox News-deranged.
Some rump. Just last month Gallup found that conservatives outnumber liberals by 2 to 1 (40 percent to 20 percent) and even outnumber moderates (at 36 percent). So on Tuesday, the "rump" rebelled. It's the natural reaction of a center-right country to a governing party seeking to rush through a left-wing agenda using temporary majorities created by the one-shot election of 2008. The misreading of that election -- and of the mandate it allegedly bestowed -- is the fundamental cause of the Democratic debacle of 2009.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Walter E. Williams
Wednesday November 04, 2009
Steve H. Hanke is a Professor of Applied Economics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., and writes frequently for Globe Asia and Forbes magazine. Professor Hanke starts off his "Hu versus Sarkozy" article (Globe Asia, November 2009) with a warning. There is no more reliable rule than the 95 percent rule: 95 percent of what you read about economics and finance is either wrong or irrelevant. The article contrasts the Chinese versus the French responses to the financial crisis but the major focus is on economic myths.
Hanke says that the most repeated statement about the cause of the U.S. Great Depression is that it was caused by the October 1929 stock market crash. How could that be? By April 1930, the stock market had recovered to its pre-crash level. What is not taught in history books is the Great Depression was caused by a massive government failure. The most important part of that failure were the actions by the Federal Reserve Bank that led to the contraction of the money supply by 25 percent. Then, the name of saving jobs, Congress enacted the Smoot-Hawley Act in June 1930, which increased U.S. tariffs by more than 50 percent. Other nations retaliated and world trade collapsed. U.S. unemployment rose from 8 percent in 1930 to 25 percent in 1933. In 1932, the Herbert Hoover administration and a Democratic Congress imposed the largest tax increase in U.S. history, raising the top tax rate on income from 25 percent to 63 percent. The Roosevelt administration followed these destructive policies with New Deal legislation that massively regulated the economy and extended the Great Depression to after World War II.
Have today's politicians and their economic advisers learned anything from yesteryear's policy that turned what would have been a short, sharp downturn in the economy into a 16-year affair? The answer is very little. Professor Hanke argues that the chief enabler of both the Great Depression and our latest economic downturn is the Federal Reserve Bank, who sees itself as America's systemic risk regulator. This is the world upside down, Hanke explains: The Federal Reserve is the systemic risk.
How about a bit of history? Between 1787 and 1930, our nation has seen both mild and severe economic downturns, sometimes called Panics, that have ranged from one to seven years. During that interval, there was no thought that Congress or the president should intervene in the economy to enact stimulus packages, jobs programs or massive corporate handouts. Probably, the reason that no one thought to do so was that there was no constitutional authority to do so. It took the Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt administrations to massively and unconstitutionally intervene in the economy and, with the help of a frightened, derelict U.S. Supreme Court, turn what might have been a two- or three-year sharp downturn into our longest depression.
Professor Hanke says that the lesson to be drawn from business cycle history is that, if left to run their natural course, severe downturns are followed by rapid snapbacks. The 1921 recession is a good example where wholesale prices, industrial production and manufacturing employment fell by 30 percent or more and reached their low in mid-1921. There was little government intervention, at least by today's standards, and the economy recovered naturally; and by early 1922, it had fully recovered and the nation was off to the Roaring Twenties.
The bottom line is that the idea that government bureaucrats have enough knowledge to manage an economy well is the height of conceit -- what Nobel Laureate Friedrich Hayek called the "fatal conceit."
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Twelve month ago, the Republican Party was dead, and the American electorate was ready for European socialism. Democrats decided they could stealthily place one sixth of the economy in the hands of a federal bureaucracy in the form of nationalized healthcare. A reevaluation of the social and moral values of the nation was on the way. At least that’s what the pundits told us.
Last night the electorate in some of the most liberal states in the Union hit the political brakes and sent a message to the ruling elites who are now running the country: “You have misinterpreted last year’s results.”
The fact is that in 08' Americans were in the midst of an economic crisis, disappointed with Bush’s bailout of Wall Street, tired of a two front war, and enthralled by the possibility of a electing a charismatic black and a great communicator. Americans were convinced that he would govern from the right of center. Others voted for Obama expecting to see the disappearance of the racial whores headed by Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.
Last night the pundits and the mainstream media were proven wrong. Americans are far from being the revolutionaries they were portrayed to be. New Jersey and Virginia elected Republicans by tremendous margins. New York reelected Bloomberg, who many seem to have forgotten, is a Republican, although with a small “r”.
Another election result was discussed less but is of major important for the message it sends to social engineers all across the nation. This was the repeal by Maine of a law that would have allowed the marriage of same sex couples. This is a message with tremendous resonance coming from the heart of liberal New England. Civil union, yes, gay marriage, no.
I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the homes and offices of congressmen and senators who have kept repeating that Americans want Obamacare. Yesterday’s results mean fixing healthcare, not revolutionizing or appropriating it.
Democrats are now on damage control mode spinning and giving us the talking points of the White House. They want us to believe that these results were just the result of local problems. What contempt for the American voter.
If Democrats would have won in Virginia and New Jersey, we would be told ad nauseum that it meant an endorsement of the policies of Obama and his cohort in Congress. Since the Democrats lost, the opposite is true.