Monday, May 31, 2010

Obama to Israel: Drop Dead!

Once again the Obama administration is pursuing a policy that disregards public opinion, and slaps the face of the American Jewish community which voted for him in numbers second only to blacks.  The US in an unprecedented move backed a UN resolution for a nuclear-free Middle East that singles out Israel. This has has both angered and deeply worried the Jewish state although officials are cagey about openly criticising their biggest ally.

What is ironic is that the resolution which calls on Israel to to join the Non Proliferation Treaty and open its facilities for inspection, does not mention Iran.

This is a triumph for the Arabists in the state department and the administration. 

I am not accusing Obama of antisemitism, but of criminal naivete.  The type of naivete that leads to World Wars. 

545 days to go till the next presidential election. 

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Exposing the Builder of the Ground Zero Mosque

The debate that is taking place over the building of the Cordoba House, which will include a mosque a few under feet from Ground Zero, has led to many discussions between proponent and opponents of this project. However, in all the reading I did on the topic, none went in great detail into an explanation of why Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has used the name Cordoba House for his project and Cordoba Initiative for his organization.

Let us suppose that a German group called Blitzkrieg Initiative or The Lebensraum Initiative wanted to build a cultural center near the ruins of a concentration camp. Would we be asking why the organization chose the name it did?

Why are we not doing the same with respect to the Cordoba Initiative? Why Cordoba and what is the significance of this name in Muslim History?

Cordoba is a city in Andalusia, Spain that the Moors conquered in the year 711 from the Visigoths, and which five years later was declared an emirate under the rule of the Damascus Caliphate. By 785 the Moors began the construction of the now famous Mezquita mosque on the ruins of a Christian Visigoth Church. As the Muslims have done throughout all the places that they had conquered, their important mosques are built on top or near the great houses of worship or symbols of the conquered civilizations.

Cordoba and Andalusia, are both a symbol of Islam’s expansion and the collapse of Islam in Spain after the Reconquista. In the writings and speeches of Osama bin Laden, he frequently refers to Andalusia and the goal of the reestablishment of the caliphate.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is not interested in establishing a cultural center for the sake of interaction and the promotion of tolerance. This center is designed, just like the great mosque in London that will be located near the Olympic stadium, as an Islamic symbol of the first step taken by radical Muslims to ensure the establishment of Sharia law in the West and the United States.

We cannot continue celebrating the words of tolerance that we hear from Islamic organizations and their leaders without listening and reading the translation of the speeches that the same leaders give in Arabic throughout the Muslim world.

Here is a video presented by PJTV with translations and explanations of statements made by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf in the Middle East that sound quite different from the words we hear when he or his wife are interviewed by the mainstream media.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Depends on what the meaning of a "Job Offer" is.

The crisis that has developed into "Sestakgate", has forced us once again, to listen to a barrage of excuses that boil down to variations of “everybody does it,” and “it is no big deal.” Dozens of times I heard pundits and reporters paraphrase Claude Reims in Casablanca, ” I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!” when describing the insignificance of offering Rep. Sestak a job to protect Senator Specter.

Well, I agree. Offering someone a job in exchange for political favors is not the worst crime that politicians in Washington are committing. Who would have thought of enacting laws that criminalize political favors and bribery in the first place? How will the United States manage to become a banana republic if we forbid politicians from offering or receiving favors or bribes? How is a politician to repay his intern or secretary for oral sex? How do we get a candidate to withdraw from a race without bribing him or her?

Therefore, the time has arrived to sit down and eliminate all those laws that when violated, will make us ponder why were they enacted in first place. But let the democrats and mainstream media not be hypocrites by clamoring for impeachment or resignations when a Republican commits the violation, and claim that it is no big deal when the violator is Obama.

And yes, Obama has broken the law. Do politicians think that we are so stupid as to believe that a report issued on a Friday afternoon, on the eve of Memorial Day Weekend when everybody is getting ready for the first days of summer is believable?

We find out that former president Clinton was used as a conduit to offer Sestak, a congressman and possible senator, a menial job in exchange for his withdrawal for a race. What was the response to Sestak’s question: “who authorized you to make this offer?” After all, former presidents can’t appoint to presidential commissions. If this was truly the job offered.

Clinton had lunch with Obama prior to the announcement being made. Could this have been to coordinate a response?

Sestak’s brother was called too. Why?

Let us change the scenario. Imagine a president McCain or Palin using former president George W. Bush to offer a job to Rubio in exchange for his withdrawal from the race against Charlie Crist. Can you see the commentators on MSNBC, or CNN or the New York Times dismissing this as no big deal?

The next time you are stopped by a trooper doing 65 in a 55 mph zone, try and get out of getting a ticket by saying “everybody is driving above the speed limit.” Good Luck!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Not the Brightest Lightbulb in PBS's Chandelier

Here is a video of Ayaan Hirsi Ali being interviewed by Tavis Smiley on PBS.  Ms. Ali, who was born a Muslim, and who has studied Islam and has been a victim of Islam, was explaining the role of Islam in Islamism and terrorism, when Smiley went on to argue that there are more examples in the United States of Christian than Muslim violence.  Of course, he is too ignorant to differentiate between random acts of violence where innocent people die, and targeted terror by Muslim Jihadists.

Well, we the taxpayers will continue to pay the salary of this most incompetent member of the mainstream media who owes his position to affirmative action.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Road to Becoming Greece

In a recipe for economic disaster, private sector pay shrank to historic lows, while government benefits rose.

One does not have to be an economic genius to realize that this type of economic shift is unsustainable; unless the government prints money, which they are already.  See Germany post WW I, Argentina in the 70's, and Zimbabwe in the last decade to realize the what happens when the printing presses work overtime.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mark Steyn: Obama's lazy tribute to Daniel Pearl

The more I read Mark Steyn, the more I am in awe of the clarity of thought with which he presents his ideas.  In this article Steyn analyzes the speech given by Obama while signing the Daniel Pearl Freedom Press Act, and the intellectual laziness or neglect with which Obama chose his words of "tribute" to Daniel Pearl's memory.  Actually, I think that Obama is incapable of saying anything critical that might be misconstrued as critical of Islam.  At this point I wonder if this is the result of his new strategy of dealing with Islam, or is it the direct result of his sympathies.  If I had to bet, I would say that it is the latter.

Click here to read the article in The Orange County Register.  I am also placing the article in this entry, so that if the readers are too lazy to click, they can read it in the this blog.

Mark Steyn: Obama's lazy tribute to Daniel Pearl

Barack Obama's remarkable powers of oratory are well known: In support of Chicago's Olympic bid, he flew into Copenhagen to give a heartwarming speech about himself, and they gave the games to Rio. He flew into Boston to support Martha Coakley's bid for the U.S. Senate, and Massachusetts voters gave Ted Kennedy's seat to a Republican. In the first year of his presidency, he gave a gazillion speeches on health care "reform" and drove support for his proposals to basement level, leaving Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to ram it down the throats of the American people through sheer parliamentary muscle.

Like a lot of guys who've been told they're brilliant one time too often, President Obama gets a little lazy, and doesn't always choose his words with care. And so it was that he came to say a few words about Daniel Pearl, upon signing the "Daniel Pearl Press Freedom Act." Pearl was decapitated on video by jihadist Muslims in Karachi on Feb. 1, 2002. That's how I'd put it. This is what the president of the United States said:

"Obviously, the loss of Daniel Pearl was one of those moments that captured the world's imagination because it reminded us of how valuable a free press is."

Now Obama's off the prompter, when his silver-tongued rhetoric invariably turns to sludge. But he's talking about a dead man here, a guy murdered in public for all the world to see. Furthermore, the deceased's family is standing all around him. And, even for a busy president, it's the work of moments to come up with a sentence that would be respectful, moving and true. Indeed, for Obama, it's the work of seconds, because he has a taxpayer-funded staff sitting around all day with nothing to do but provide him with that sentence.

Instead, he delivered the one above, which in its clumsiness and insipidness is most revealing. First of all, note the passivity: "The loss of Daniel Pearl." He wasn't "lost." He was kidnapped and beheaded. He was murdered on a snuff video. He was specifically targeted, seized as a trophy, a high-value scalp. And the circumstances of his "loss" merit some vigor in the prose. Yet Obama can muster none.

Even if Americans don't get the message, the rest of the world does. This week's pictures of the leaders of Brazil and Turkey clasping hands with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are also monuments to American passivity.

But what did the "loss" of Daniel Pearl mean? Well, says the president, it was "one of those moments that captured the world's imagination." Really? Evidently it never captured Obama's imagination because, if it had, he could never have uttered anything so fatuous. He seems literally unable to imagine Pearl's fate, and so, cruising on autopilot, he reaches for the all-purpose bromides of therapeutic sedation: "one of those moments" – you know, like Princess Di's wedding, Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction, whatever – "that captured the world's imagination."

Notice how reflexively Obama lapses into sentimental one-worldism: Despite our many zip codes, we are one people, with a single imagination. In fact, the murder of Daniel Pearl teaches just the opposite – that we are many worlds, and worlds within worlds. Some of them don't even need an "imagination." Across the planet, the video of an American getting his head sawed off did brisk business in the bazaars and madrassahs and Internet downloads. Excited young men e-mailed it to friends, from cell phone to cell phone, from Karachi to Jakarta to Khartoum to London to Toronto to Falls Church, Virginia. In the old days, you needed an "imagination" to conjure the juicy bits of a distant victory over the Great Satan. But in an age of high-tech barbarism the sight of Pearl's severed head is a mere click away.

And the rest of "the world"? Most gave a shrug of indifference. And far too many found the reality of Pearl's death too uncomfortable, and chose to take refuge in the same kind of delusional pap as Obama. The president is only the latest Western liberal to try to hammer Daniel Pearl's box into a round hole. Before him, it was Michael Winterbottom in his film "A Mighty Heart": As Pearl's longtime colleague Asra Nomani wrote, "Danny himself had been cut from his own story." Or as Paramount's promotional department put it, "Nominate the most inspiring ordinary hero. Win a trip to the Bahamas!" Where you're highly unlikely to be kidnapped and beheaded! (Although, in the event that you are, please check the liability-waiver box at the foot of the entry form.)

The latest appropriation that his "loss" "reminded us of how valuable a free press is." It was nothing to do with "freedom of the press." By the standards of the Muslim world, Pakistan has a free-ish and very lively press. The problem is that some 80 percent of its people wish to live under the most extreme form of Sharia, and many of its youth are exported around the world in advance of that aim. The man convicted of Pearl's murder was Omar Sheikh, a British subject, a London School of Economics student, and, like many jihadists from Osama to the Pantybomber, a monument to the peculiar burdens of a non-deprived childhood in the Muslim world. The man who actually did the deed was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who confessed in March 2007: "I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi." But Obama's not the kind to take "guilty" for an answer, so he's arranging a hugely expensive trial for KSM amid the bright lights of Broadway.

Listen to his killer's words: "The American Jew Daniel Pearl." We hit the jackpot! And then we cut his head off. Before the body was found, The Independent's Robert Fisk offered a familiar argument to Pearl's kidnappers: Killing him would be "a major blunder... the best way of ensuring that the suffering" – of Kashmiris, Afghans, Palestinians – "goes unrecorded." Other journalists peddled a similar line: if you release Danny, he'll be able to tell your story, get your message out, "bridge the misconceptions." But the story did get out; the severed head is the message; the only misconception is that that's a misconception.

Daniel Pearl was the prototype for a new kind of terror. In his wake came other victims from Kenneth Bigley, whose last words were that "Tony Blair has not done enough for me," to Fabrizzio Quattrocchi, who yanked off his hood, yelled "I will show you how an Italian dies!" and ruined the movie for his jihadist videographers. By that time, both men understood what it meant to be in a windowless room with a camera and a man holding a scimitar. But Daniel Pearl was the first, and in his calm, coherent final words understood why he was there:

"My name is Daniel Pearl. I am a Jewish American from Encino, California, USA ..."

He didn't have a prompter. But he spoke the truth. That's all President Obama owed him – to do the same.

I mentioned last week the attorney general's peculiar insistence that "radical Islam" was nothing to do with the Times Square bomber, the Pantybomber, the Fort Hood killer. Just a lot of moments "capturing the world's imagination." For now, the jihadists seem to have ceased cutting our heads off. Listening to Obama and Eric Holder, perhaps they've figured out there's nothing much up there anyway.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Must Read

If you are scratching your head wondering what all the fuss is about the current crisis in Greece, you must read Mark Steyn's article in Maclean's, the Canadian weekly.  He has a great way of putting complex issues into perspective, and he does so here. 

Read Article

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I Have a Plan to Destroy America

As the visiting President of Mexico stood in the White House and used a visit to our country to lecture the United States on how to conduct its domestic and immigration policies; and as the feckless president of the United States stood passively and in agreement with his guest; and as America is slowly moving in the direction of self-destruction, the words of former Colorado governor, Dick Lamm have began to resonate again.  At a population conference in Washington DC in 2004 he gave the following speech:

I Have a Plan to Destroy America

I have a secret plan to destroy America. If you believe, as many do, that America is too smug, too white bread, too self-satisfied, too rich, lets destroy America. It is not that hard to do. History shows that nations are more fragile than their citizens think. No nation in history has survived the ravages of time. Arnold Toynbee observed that all great civilizations rise and they all fall, and that "an autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide." here is my plan:

1.We must first make America a bilingual-bicultural country. History shows, in my opinion, that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism of two competing languages and cultures. It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; it is a curse for a society to be bilingual. One scholar, Seymour Martin Lipset, put it this way: The histories of bilingual and bicultural societies that do not assimilate are histories of turmoil, tension, and tragedy. Canada, Belgium, Malaysia, Lebanon ---- all face crises of national existence in which minorities press for autonomy, if not independence. Pakistan and Cyprus have divided. Nigeria suppressed an ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with its Basques, Bretons, and Corsicans.

2.I would then invent "multiculturalism" and encourage immigrants to maintain their own culture. I would make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal: that there are no cultural differences that are important. I would declare it an article of faith that the black and hispanic dropout rate is only due to prejudice and discrimination by the majority. Every other explanation is out-of-bounds.

3.We can make the United States a "hispanic Quebec" without much effort. The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity. As Benjamin Schwarz said in the Atlantic Monthly recently:

... the apparent success of our own multiethnic and multicultural experiment might have been achieved not by tolerance but by hegemony. Without the dominance that once dictated ethnocentrically, and what it meant to be an American, we are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together.

I would encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture. I would replace the melting pot metaphor with a salad bowl metaphor. It is important to insure that we have various cultural sub-groups living in America reinforcing their differences rather than Americans, emphasizing their similarities.
4.Having done all this, I would make our fastest growing demographic group the least educated - I would add a second underclass, un-assimilated, undereducated, and antagonistic to our population. I would have this second underclass have a 50% drop out rate from school.

5.I would then get the big foundations and big business to give these efforts lots of money. I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of Victimology. I would get all minorities to think their lack of success was all the fault of the majority - I would start a grievance industry blaming all minority failure on the majority population.

6.I would establish dual citizenship and promote divided loyalties. I would "Celebrate diversity." "Diversity" is a wonderfully seductive word. It stresses differences rather than commonalities. Diverse people worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other-that is, when they are not killing each other. A diverse," peaceful, or stable society is against most historical precedent. People undervalue the unity it takes to keep a nation together, and we can take advantage of this myopia. Look at the ancient Greeks. Dorf 's world history tells us:

The Greeks believed that they belonged to the same race; they possessed a common language and literature; and they worshiped the same gods. All Greece took part in the olympic games in honor of Zeus and all Greeks venerated the shrine of Apollo at Delphi. A common enemy Persia threatened their liberty. Yet, all of these bonds together were not strong enough to overcome two factors . . . (local patriotism and geographical conditions that nurtured political divisions . . .)

If we can put the emphasis on the "pluribus," instead of the "unum," we can balkanize America as surely as Kosovo.

7.Then I would place all these subjects off limits - make it taboo to talk about. I would find a word similar to "heretic" in the 16th century - that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like "racist", "xenophobe" that halts argument and conversation. Having made america a bilingual-bicultural country, having established multiculturalism, having the large foundations fund the doctrine of "Victimology", I would next make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws. I would develop a mantra - "that because immigration has been good for America, it must always be good." I would make every individual immigrant sympatric and ignore the cumulative impact.

8.Lastly, I would censor Victor Davis Hanson's book "Mexifornia." This book is dangerous - it exposes my plan to destroy America. So please, please - if you feel that America deserves to be destroyed - please, please - don't buy this book! This guy is on to my plan.

"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the Spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that Spectrum." - Noam Chomsky, American linguist and US Media and Foreign Policy critic.

Elvis Costello and Carlos Santana: Cowards!

Elvis Costello and Carlos Santana have decided to boycott Israel over their treatment of Palestinians and settlement policies.  What a hero! 

But why did they sign contracts to perform in Israel to begin with?  Were they not aware of the Middle East conflict prior to signing the contract?

I have the suspicion that they signed because they couldn't care less about settlements, Palestinians or Gaza.  Once the announcement of their trips took place, they must have gotten the usual threats from the members of the peace loving religion and their ignorant counterparts in the West.  Being as courageous as cheap cameras, they folded as one.

The Arizona Immigration Law

If you belong to the millions of Americans who have voiced their opinions about the immigration law enacted by Arizona, without reading the bill, here is a link to the Arizona legislature which will allow you to see a transcript in PDF.

Disclaimer:  Failure to read the law will greatly increase your chances of becoming U.S. Attorney General, or Secretary of Homeland Security.

Read Arizona's Immigration Law.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Healthcare British and Canadian Style

During the debate over Obamacare, proponents used England and Canada as examples that the United States should emulate. Now that Obamacare is law, I hope we emulate as little as possible.

In a story from Great Britain, The Mail reports that the NHS is scaring patients into signing for the NHS database, which many refuse to do due concern over privacy. In their add the NHS states:

...that those who refuse run the risk of receiving the wrong test results or the wrong drugs.

Dire warnings have been placed on the website of the agency in charge of the new IT system, saying that failure to sign up could lead to lost records and prescribing errors.
This seems to me as an admission that currently patients in England are subjected to a healthcare system that misplaces records and gives the wrong test results. I thought that the by eliminating the greed that fuels American healthcare, the British had created a system vastly superior to the American. I guess I, and Paul Krugman were wrong.

Meanwhile The Edmonton Journal in Canada reports that:

A 2 1/2-year-old Alberta boy born with a severe malformation to the left side of his face is scheduled for surgery in New York on Friday, thanks to people across Canada who have donated money to pay for the expensive procedure.

Maddox Flynn was born with a cystic hygroma, a rare malformation of the lymphatic system that causes fluid-filled lesions to develop, usually in infancy.

When injection treatments failed to shrink Maddox’s cysts, local doctors told his parents there was nothing more they could do to help the little boy.
In the United States this treatment is available because the "greedy" American health care has motivated people to innovate. Perhaps the innovations came as a result of a desire to make more money, and not for altruistic ones.

I don't think little Maddox Flynn and his parents really care.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Vintage Thomas Sowell

Enough Money by Thomas Sowell

One of the many shallow statements that sound good-- if you don't stop and think about it-- is that "at some point, you have made enough money."

The key word in this statement, made by President Barack Obama recently, is "you." There is nothing wrong with my deciding how much money is enough for me or your deciding how much money is enough for you, but when politicians think that they should be deciding how much money is enough for other people, that is starting down a very slippery slope.

Politicians with the power to determine each citizen's income are no longer public servants. They are public masters.

Are we really so eaten up with envy, or so mesmerized by rhetoric, that we are willing to sacrifice our own freedom by giving politicians the power to decide how much money anybody can make or keep? Of course, that will start only with "the rich," but surely history tells us that it will not end there.

The French Revolution began arbitrary executions among the hereditary aristocracy, but ended up arbitrarily executing all sorts of other people, including eventually even leaders of the Revolution itself, such as Robespierre.

Very similar patterns appeared in the Bolshevik Revolution, in the rise of the Nazis and in numerous other times and places, where expanded and arbitrary powers were put into the hands of politicians-- and were used against the population as a whole.

Once you buy the argument that some segment of the citizenry should lose their rights, just because they are envied or resented, you are putting your own rights in jeopardy-- quite aside from undermining any moral basis for respecting anybody's rights. You are opening the floodgates to arbitrary power. And once you open the floodgates, you can't tell the water where to go.

The moral bankruptcy of the notion that third parties can decide when somebody else has "enough" money is matched by its economic illiteracy. The rest of the country is not poorer by the amount of Bill Gates' fortune today and was not poorer by the amount of John D. Rockefeller's fortune a century ago.

Both men were selling a product that others were also selling, but more people chose to buy theirs. Those people would not have voluntarily continued to pay their hard-earned money for Rockefeller's oil or Gates' software if what they received was not worth more to them than what they paid.

The fortunes that the sellers amassed were not a deduction from the buyers' wealth. Buyers and sellers both gained from these transactions or the transactions wouldn't have continued.

Ida Tarbell's famous muckraking book, "History of the Standard Oil Company," said that Rockefeller "should have been satisfied" with the money he had acquired by 1870, implying greed in his continued efforts to increase the size and profitability of Standard Oil. But would the public have been better off or worse off if Rockefeller had retired in 1870?

One of the crucial facts left out of Ida Tarbell's book was that Rockefeller's improvements in the oil industry brought down the price of oil to a fraction of what it had been before.

As just one example, oil was first shipped in barrels, which is why we still measure oil in terms of the number of barrels today, even though oil is seldom-- if ever-- actually shipped in barrels any more. John D. Rockefeller shipped his oil in railroad tank cars, reducing transportation costs, among other costs that he found ways of reducing.

Would the public have been better off if older and more costly methods of producing, processing and shipping oil had continued to be used, leading to prices far higher than necessary?

Apparently Rockefeller himself decided at some point that he had enough money, and then donated enough of it to create a world-class university from day one-- the University of Chicago-- as well as donating to innumerable other philanthropic projects.

But that is wholly different from having politicians make such decisions for other people. Politicians who take on that role stifle economic progress and drain away other people's money, in order to hand out goodies that will help get themselves re-elected. Some people call that "social justice," even when it is anti-social politics.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Comedy Central's Anti-Semitic Game

Comedy Central, which folded like a cheap camera, and censored an episode of South Park depicting Mohammed, has returned to its "heroic" stand as a staunch supporter of freedom of speech by placing a game on its website that is basically an incitement to anti-Semitism.  As Honest Reporting states:

The premise of this game has nothing to do with Israel and, as such, is nothing more than an insidious attempt at association. The game's introduction begins with a character who states:

You lied to me, Jew Producer
referring to a character who has failed to carry out a mission to destroy other child-like cartoon characters. If this piece of anti-Semitism isn't bad enough, a robot - the Intelligent Smart Robot Animation Eraser Lady - is sent to do the job that the Jew Producer failed to achieve.

The character openly calls the robot by its acronym - ISRAEL - and the association created by those behind this game is unmistakable - Israel the child killer.

The game then involves the robot destroying everything and everyone in its path, including children and animals.
Since 2005, local versions of Comedy Central have been launched in Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Hungary, Ireland and New Zealand. Most of these countries have had a history of virulent anti-Semitism in the past, and some even in the present. Comedy Central will encourage more.

Sumner Redstone, a Jew, controls 80% of the voting block in Viacom.

If you are a shareholder in Viacom, voice your concern for this outrageous behavior.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

In the news...

It was fascinating to watch the video of Attorney General Holder trying to avoid using the term radical Islam in his testimony in Congress.

Doesn't the PC crowd realize that Muslims around the world can recognize weakness and fear, and that Muslims despise weakness and fear? Also, I had no idea that there are so many experts on Islam in the West. Whenever I hear comments such as Holder's that Islam has been hijacked by a tiny fraction, I would like also to also hear where did they get the evidence for this claim. Is this factual? If so show me the facts. Is it empirical? How about showing us the demonstrations in the Muslim world condemning terrorism? How about quoting the headlines in Arab and Muslim newspapers condemning Islamists. I am waiting to see any.

Now let us assume that it is a tiny minority that supports Islamism. When pushed the PC crowd likes to use the 10% claim. Only about ten percent of Muslims support Islamism. Wow. I feel better now. Only 125 million Muslims want to obliterate us.

Mark Steyn has written a wonderful article on the subject. Read it.

Read Article

Here is another article on Islamism.'

Read Article

On another front, I have spent last week watching and listening to the mainstream media and politicians condemning Arizona for the law just enacted concerning illegal immigration. Here Eric Holder was a lot less concerned about generalizations and condemnations. Well, it turns out that he didn't read the new law. Well, why should he? After all he is only the Attorney General.  He is busy enough with the law, you cannot expect it to also read the law. 

Congressmen that voted on Obamacare without reading the bill must have been shocked about Holder's admission.

Meanwhile, to ensure that "Latinos", whatever this might mean, are not integrated into American society, Tucson Unified School District has instituted an ethnic studies course designed to create our next homegrown liberation and revolutionary movement. I guess Holder would claim that Latinos have been hijacked by a tiny minority.

Read Article about Tucson

Should everyone go to college? You answer this question. In the meantime, read this report on the topic from AP.

Read Article

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010

In the news

For the first time a Russian leader slams the totalitarianism of the USSR regime. Russian President Medvedev, in an interview with Izvestia, admitted to the horrendous crimes committed by Joseph Stalin. He also discussed the price paid by Russian for the policies of this period. I wonder what my leftist friends, who were always apologetic of Stalinism as a necessary evil to bring Russia out of its feudal past, will say now.

Read Article

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Unpaid Interns Are Exploited? by John Stossel

Do you employ unpaid student interns -- college students who work in exchange for on-the-job training?

If so, President Obama's Labor Department says that you're an exploiter. The government says an internship is OK only if it meets six criteria, among them that the employer must get "no immediate advantage" from the intern's activities. In fact, the employer's work "may be impeded."

Impeded? No immediate advantage?

I'm in trouble, then. I have an intern at Fox Business News, and I'm getting immediate advantages from her work all the time. I've had interns my whole career and gotten lots of immediate advantage from them. Occasionally, I've been impeded -- but the better interns did the research that made my work possible. I'd asked my TV bosses to pay for research help, but they said, "You think we're made of money?"

So I asked colleges if students wanted internships. Many did, and from then on I got much of my best help from unpaid college students.

Did I exploit them? Obama's Labor Department says it's hired 250 new investigators to catch exploiters like me. I tried to get the department to answer my questions on tomorrow's FBN show, but it declined.

So I invited Village Voice writer Anya Kamenetz, who wrote a column titled "Take This Internship and Shove It" in The New York Times. (

"We have minimum wage laws in this country for a very good reason," she replied. "We had them to avoid exploitation like child labor.

But what's wrong with a free internship if a student learns something about the career he wants to pursue?

I was a little stunned by Kamenetz's answer: "Employers could say we cannot afford to pay anybody, so why should we be forced to pay the guy who cleans the floors?"

Because they wouldn't get people to clean floors if they didn't pay. But I guess I shouldn't expect a New York writer to understand markets.

"Interns are people that come in and work for below minimum wage," she said. "They pull the bottom out of the labor market, and it's less fair for everybody."

So it should be banned?

"There are a lot of ways to fill in the need for interns and the need for college students to get experience. One way is for colleges to pay stipends."

But they won't.

"They will if the law is enforced. Another way is for companies to hire students that are eligible for federal work-study."

Oh, I see. The taxpayers should pay for my interns.

"Nobody is saying that these interns should go away," Kamenetz added. "What they're saying is a company should put money in their budgets to pay people the minimum wage to work for them, and that is just the basic issue of fairness. If you start working for free, where's it going to end?"

Give me a break. It would end when the interns have the skills to earn market salaries. Minimum-wage law and union rules already killed off apprentice jobs on construction sites. Contractors say: If I must pay high union wages, I'll hire experienced workers. I'd lose money if I hired a kid and helped him learn on the job.

My interns often told me that working -- unpaid -- at WCBS or ABC was the best learning experience of their lives: "I learned more from you than at college, and I didn't have to pay tuition!" It was good for them and good for me.

Kamenetz said, "Studies show that when companies pay their interns, they design the internships better."

Please. A few years ago, my old employer, ABC, started paying our interns. That was good for well-connected students who got internships, but bad for those who were turned down. ABC cut the number of interns by more than half. There's no free lunch.

What's happened to the rights of contract and free association? If student and employer come to an agreement, both expect to benefit or it wouldn't happen. The student is no indentured servant. If the employer "exploits" the student, the student can quit. The contract ought to be nobody's business but theirs.

Butt out, federal bullies. Grown-ups can take care of ourselves.

Monday, May 3, 2010

2% Inflation in March

Since the readers of this blog have not spent time in Zimbabwe or Argentina, let me explain what this means in plain words. If at the beginning of March you had $100,000 CD in the bank, at the end of March the CD was worth $98,000 in purchasing power.

The government took away these $2,000 simply by printing paper, and you cannot even deduct it from your taxes.

But you can still celebrate that you made 1.70% on your CD. This means that during the month of March you made 0.1416666666666666666666666666667% and the government will tax you for this incredible growth in your wealth.

If this information makes you sick, don’t worry. Medical care will soon be "free".

Pictures of the Argentine peso.  I remember visiting Buenos Aires, and paying 6,000,000 pesos for a cab ride. 
They didn't have Obama there, but they had his typre of policies.

A Short Money Treatise for D.C. Dummies by Steve Forbes

A devastating trade war with China has once again been averted, thanks to some last-minute diplomacy. But the destructive idea behind this ongoing crisis is still there, which means the dispute will undoubtedly flare up again. Uncle Sam believes Beijing manipulates its currency, the yuan, to give China an unfair trade advantage. Washington claims that since China's economy has long been strong and growing rapidly the yuan should go up against the greenback as if it were a common stock experiencing a surge in earnings. This theory is preposterous, but it has a stranglehold on Washington policymakers in both the legislative and executive branches.

It's time to get back to basic economics. Money--both the paper and electronic varieties--is, in and of itself, worth nothing; it has no intrinsic value. It is a means--and a profoundly important one--of enabling people to more easily conduct transactions without having to go through the clumsy and utterly inefficient barter process.

For example, when we sell a subscription to Forbes we don't receive in return an endless variety of products (loaves of bread, goat cheese, hot dogs, shoes, blouses and neckties, etc.) or services (two hours of lawn mowing, etc.). We are paid in cash and can then determine for ourselves what products or services--such as a writer's salary--we pay for with that subscription fee. If policymakers could grasp that elemental concept, they'd save themselves and the world considerable grief and could then get down to the business of removing trade barriers between those who wish to do business with one another.

Money is a facilitator. It should be a fixed standard of measure, as are the minutes in an hour, inches in a foot and pints in a quart.

Coins, mainly gold and silver, were the first money that facilitated trade beyond an immediate village or compact community, whose members would previously have used seashells or some other indigenous items. Coins had intrinsic value, which is why they were accepted beyond their community of origin. It was the pioneering use of coins, for example, that enabled Athens to become the commercial and cultural center of ancient Greece.

Coins are bulky and therefore can do only so much to ease and encourage commerce, hence the need for paper currency, financial instruments and today's electronic versions. This brings us to the chronic problem of how to ensure that money is not manufactured beyond the needs of a free marketplace, which is why the gold standard was established.

Alas, the notion arose in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that if wise men could have "flexibility" in issuing money without the constraints of its being tied to the supply of gold, or even silver, they could rid us of financial panics, the business cycle and other human ailments! John Maynard Keynes and others thought that if the economy looked to be slowing you should just churn out more money, like putting more logs on a flickering fire, and do the opposite if things looked to be overheating. But manipulating the amount of money or the cost of it, à la the Fed's fixing interest rates, gets in the way of prosperity. It does not facilitate prosperity but retards it. There is no way a handful of people--wise or unwise--in government and central banks can second-guess what markets made up of billions of people might need. We are living through a disaster that is the result of the latest Greenspan/Bernanke attempts to guide our economic destiny through central bank operations.

Imagine if the government decided to increase the number of minutes in an hour from 60 to 70. You can hear policymakers congratulating themselves: "People will work longer at the same pay. This will be a boon to productivity!" Or if Washington increased the number of inches in a foot from 12 to 15: "Home buyers will thus get more house for the same price and that will stimulate home buying!" Preposterous? It's no more foolish than what we and other countries routinely do with our currencies.

But back to China. A decade and a half ago China fixed the yuan to the dollar. If there had been any mistake in the exchange rate it would have been flushed out in trade patterns fairly quickly. Again, to simplify: If you sell a bottle of wine for four loaves of bread but suddenly notice you're getting only two loaves, you'll adjust your price pretty quickly to ensure you'll get those four loaves again.

By fixing the yuan to the dollar Beijing outsourced its monetary policy to the Federal Reserve. And for this "manipulation" Washington politicians and policymakers are in a lather of outrage. This fixing of a measure of value has enormously facilitated commerce--and thus prosperity. During the last 15 years U.S. exports to China have increased 650%, China's exports to the U.S. almost 670%.

Adjusting a currency does not ultimately improve a trade balance. Look at Japan: The dollar has depreciated 70% against the yen since the 1970s, when we pressured Tokyo--as we are now pressuring China--to appreciate the yen in order to reduce our trade deficit with Japan. Result: Japan's exports have grown markedly, and our trade deficit is far greater today than it was 30 years ago. Make no mistake: Arbitrarily changing a currency's value is a form of protectionism. Instead of raising taxes on imports the same effect is achieved by changing prices through currency devaluation. In 1984 one dollar bought 250 yen. Say that a widget cost 250 yen (or $1). If what the dollar could buy dropped from 250 yen to 165 yen, then the price of the widget went up to $1.50. That's as good as a 50% tariff.

The notion that a trade deficit or surplus indicates anything about an economy's health is also mistaken. The U.S. has had a trade deficit with the rest of the world for some 350 years out of the 400-plus since Jamestown was settled in 1607. Focusing on deficits and surpluses ignores equally important flows of capital, as well as the phenomenon of supply chains and the intracompany trade that crosses borders.

Pressuring Beijing about its currency is a destructively futile exercise that could have ugly political ramifications and escalate into a trade war. The Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1929--30 set off a global trade war that sank us all into the Great Depression. If not for that economic catastrophe, Hitler would never have come to power in Germany. If cheap money were the way to wealth, Zimbabwe and Argentina would own the world today.

We should instead focus on substantive issues, including various Chinese trade barriers to U.S. imports and getting China to open up its capital markets.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

For Movie Lovers

Today I came across where they posted a few remakes of movies and Seinfeld episodes, remade as movie trailers. Some of them are brilliant.

I am embedding them here for your enjoyment

First we have Seinfeld as a trailer for an horror movie:

Next is the trailer for The Shining, with a happy ending:

How about Sleepless in Seattle, the horror version?

Mark Steyn: Arizona faces tougher sanctions than Iran

As I write, I have my papers on me – and not just because I'm in Arizona. I'm an immigrant, and it is a condition of my admission to this great land that I carry documentary proof of my residency status with me at all times and be prepared to produce it to law enforcement officials, whether on a business trip to Tucson or taking a stroll in the woods back at my pad in New Hampshire.

Who would impose such an outrageous Nazi fascist discriminatory law?

Er, well, that would be Franklin Roosevelt.

But don't let the fine print of the New Deal prevent you from going into full-scale meltdown. "Boycott Arizona-stan!" urges MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, surely a trifle Islamophobically: What has some blameless Central Asian basket case done to deserve being compared with a hellhole like Phoenix?

Boycott Arizona Iced Tea, jests Travis Nichols of Chicago. It is "the drink of fascists." Just as regular tea is the drink of racists, according to Newsweek's in-depth and apparently nonsatirical poll analysis of anti-Obama protests. At San Francisco's City Hall, where bottled water is banned as the drink of climate denialists, Mayor Gavin Newsom is boycotting for real: All official visits to Arizona have been canceled indefinitely. You couldn't get sanctions like these imposed at the U.N. Security Council, but then, unlike Arizona, Iran is not a universally reviled pariah.

Will a full-scale economic embargo devastate the Copper State? Who knows? It's not clear to me what San Francisco imports from Arizona. Chaps? But, like the bottled water ban, it sends a strong signal that this kind of hate will not be tolerated.

The same day that Mayor Newsom took his bold stand, I saw a phalanx of police officers doing the full Robocop – black body armor, helmets and visors – as they marched down the street. Naturally I assumed they were Arizona State Troopers performing a routine traffic stop. In fact, they were the police department of Quincy, Ill, facing down a group of genial Tea Party grandmas in sun hats and American-flag T-shirts.

If I were a member of the Quincy PD I'd wear a full-face visor, too, because I wouldn't be able to look myself in the mirror.

And yet the coastal frothers denouncing Arizona as the Third Reich or, at best, apartheid South Africa, seem entirely relaxed about the ludicrous and embarrassing sight of peaceful protesters being menaced by camp storm troopers from either a dinner-theatre space-opera or uniforms night at Mayor Newsom's re-election campaign.

Meanwhile, in Britain, the flailing Prime Minister Gordon Brown was on the stump and met an actual voter, one Gillian Duffy. Alas, she made the mistake of expressing very mild misgivings about immigration. And not the black, brown and yellow kind, but only the faintly swarthy Balkan blokes from Eastern Europe. And, actually, all she said about immigrants was that "you can't say anything about the immigrants." The Prime Minister got back in his limo, forgetting that he was still miked. "That was a disaster," he sighed. "Should never have put me with that woman. Whose idea was that? She's just this sort of bigoted woman."

After the broadcast of his "gaffe" and the sight of Brown slumped with his head in his hands as a radio interviewer replayed the remarks to him, most of the initial commentary focused on what the incident revealed about Gordon Brown's character. But the larger point is what it says about the governing elites and their own voters. Mrs. Duffy is a lifelong supporter of Mr. Brown's Labor Party, but she represents the old working class the party no longer has much time for.

Gillian Duffy lives in the world Gordon Brown has created. He, on the other hand, gets into his chauffeured limo and is whisked far away from it.

That's Arizona. To the coastal commentariat, "undocumented immigrants" are the people who mow your lawn while you're at work and clean your office while you're at home. (That, for the benefit of Linda Greenhouse, is the real apartheid: the acceptance of a permanent "undocumented" servant class by far too many "documented" Americans who assuage their guilt by pathetic sentimentalization of immigration.) But in border states illegal immigration is life and death. I spoke to a lady this week who has a camp of illegals on the edge of her land: She lies awake at night, fearful for her children and alert to strange noises in the yard.

President Obama, shooting from his lip, attacked the new law as an offense against "fairness." Where's the fairness for this woman's family? Because her home is in Arizona rather than Hyde Park, Chicago, she's just supposed to get used to living under siege? Like Gillian Duffy in northern England, this lady has to live there, while the political class that created this situation climbs back into the limo and gets driven far away.

Almost every claim made for the benefits of mass immigration is false. Europeans were told that they needed immigrants to help prop up their otherwise unaffordable social entitlements: In reality, Turks in Germany have three times the rate of welfare dependency as ethnic Germans, and their average retirement age is 50. Two-thirds of French imams are on the dole.

But wait: what about the broader economic benefits? The World Bank calculated that if rich countries increased their workforce by a mere 3 percent through admitting an extra 14 million people from developing countries, it would benefit the populations of those rich countries by $139 billion. Wow!

As Christopher Caldwell points out in his book "Reflections On The Revolution In Europe": "The aggregate gross domestic product of the advanced economies for the year 2008 is estimated by the International Monetary Fund at close to $40 trillion." So an extra $139 billion works out to a spectacular 0.0035 percent. "Sacrificing 0.0035 of your economy would be a pittance to pay for starting to get your country back." A dependence on mass immigration is not a goldmine nor an opportunity to flaunt your multicultural bona fides, but a structural weakness, and should be addressed as such.

The majority of Arizona's schoolchildren are already Hispanic. So, even if you sealed the border today, the state's future is as an Hispanic society: That's a given. Maybe it'll all work out swell. The citizenry never voted for it, but they got it anyway. Because all the smart guys in the limos bemoaning the bigots knew what was best for them.