Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Here is an example of how this works.
Goldman Sachs (home of many Obama appointees) wants to buy a million dollars of mortgages from a bank for $420,000; Goldman puts up $30,000 and Treasury puts up $30,000 but then the FDIC guarantees a loan for $360,000. Goldman gets 93% of the profits while taxpayers (suckers like us) are on the hook for 93% of the risk.
Tens of thousands of defaulted mortgages on tens of thousands of homes are bought giving favored bankers like Goldman Sachs ownership of them by putting up just 7 cents on the dollar. The sub-prime mortgages total more than $2 trillion so this amounts to another huge give-away to politically well-connected bankers.
Looking at the scheme all together: $80 billion goes to make JPMorgan Chase whole on its bad trades; $319 billion goes to Citibank; $300 billion goes to bailouts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; $185 billion to bonus-giving AIG; $29 billion to Bear Stearns; $25 billion to General Motors Finance; $700 billion in currency swaps to other governments and trillions for the TARP, TALF; and other programs that will make bankers who have shown their greed and incompetence wealthy while Obama and Geithner make the rest of poorer.
Although Geithner and Obama are able to fool Americans with the aid of the Democrat news media house organs, the rest of the world is not so gullible.
Recently China's central bank governor joined three other economic giants (Russia, Brazil and India) in calling for the world to abandon the dollar as the world's reserve currency; then the International Monetary Fund said the same thing. As the G-20 meet the US dollar as the international reserve currency is on the agenda there.
As the dollar trends lower against other countries’ currencies, people like George Soros make billions. Soros has already said “This has been a good crisis for me,” and why not? Soros was able to get 158% profits in just 24 days by buying options that stood to gain when the Euro rose against the dollar. The Euro rose less than a dime but Soros and others like him wound up with huge gains. Add another 74% profits in two weeks with options on the British pound and more profit on just a change of 9 cents – a 77% profit when the pound increased 10.3 cents against the dollar. Now with the size the bailouts and the huge multi-trillion dollar deficits, the US dollar will likely fall even more. The profit potential for the likes of George Soros who gains and adds to his fortune by currency speculation will now, from currency options on stronger currencies, be enormous.
Those with 401 Ks who lost large sums in the market meltdown can attest that no matter how well diversified you are, there are times when the whole stock market goes pretty much straight down, and the same for bonds and real estate. But that doesn’t happen with currency investments because it's mathematically impossible for the US dollar to go down without other currencies like the Euro, Chinese Yuan, or the Canadian dollar going up in equal measure.
Soros knows that in any kind of financial climate, including today's recession/depression currencies can always be found that go up in value. That’s not true with almost any other kind of investment.
Geithner is perpetrating a huge lie that will wreck the dollar and is the biggest scam in our history - all for the benefit of wealthy bankers who will be beholden to Obama and the Democrat Party. Even the president of the European Union called these bailouts and other lunatic American policies "the road to Hell." But in this case the road to hell is paved with gold for the fortunate few.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Some of President Obama’s critics say he wants to turn America toward European-style socialism but Arnold has been trying to do that for years. California, once had robust capitalism, economic growth and a sunny optimism to match the weather, but it has become a pitiful giant state with a population and budget greater than a lot of countries – it is being destroyed by the same kind of big government that Obama envisions for the country.
In the real world California, like the country, is moving toward bankruptcy after years of out-of-control state government spending. It is no surprise that California leads the country in spending on government employees and is relying on a federal bailout to "reduce" its deficit. Its extreme "green" environmentalism and continual flirting with universal health care (including free health care for illegal immigrants) poses the question: "who will get to socialized medicine first, California or the United States?"
As the national unemployment rate rises, California leads with the country’s fourth highest unemployment rate (10.2%) and ranks 48 out of 50 states in K-12 education despite spending twice the national average on education. A tolerant attitude toward illegal immigration, which Obama would emulate, overwhelms its social services and welfare system.
As Fortune magazine points out:
[In California] "In the past year more people have lost jobs . . . than in any other state. More homes have gone into foreclosure. More banks have failed . . . businesses are moving out at an alarming rate, most often citing excessive regulation and intolerable taxes. For top earners, California’s taxes are the highest in the U.S. And to what end? California’s credit rating is the lowest in the nation."
"California here we come" has become "California here we go." (In 2008 144,000 more people left California than entered it; that’s the worst out-migration in the nation).
The reasons are clear:
- According to The Milken Institute, "California is the costliest place in America to do business
- It has the second highest tax rates in the country
- It is a trial lawyer’s paradise where there may be more nuisance suits than bathing suits."
"For public employee unions, California is truly the Golden State. Its teachers and prison guards are the highest paid in the nation."
According to Investor’s Business Daily, California long ago "granted recognition to unions on a card-check basis, without a requirement for secret-ballot elections. Not surprisingly, California’s public-sector work force is now much more unionized than the nation as a whole."
Democrats control California government and the RINO governor - Arnold Schwarzenegger – allows the state government to expand and go steadily to the left while the California government balloons into an "intrusive bully on steroids, kicking sand in the faces of taxpayers."
In short, California is over-taxing, over-spending, over-regulating and over-suing its citizens to challenge propositions approved by the voters. It continues unsustainable debt, soaring deficit, Democratic Party domination and dependency on big government – Obama is surely proud of the example set by California for his socialist agenda.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
The Baltic Dry Index is an index that tracks the average cost of carrying dry cargo such as iron ore, grains, finished steel and coal. This can be a good indicator of the activity in the global economy because it allows one to measure the demand for raw goods, which is further indicative of future industrial activity. As countries resume creating products for eventual export, they'll need the raw materials. After those products are finished, they'll once again ship them to where they're needed.
Economist Susan Lee gives the following reasons why the Index is important:
- The index captures activity at the beginning of the production process
- It looks at ocean shipping, which focuses on international trade, the critical driver of global growth
- The shipping business is highly dependent on credit, so the Index indicates if the credit markets are tight or loose
Since The Baltic Dry Index is a daily average of prices to ship raw materials, it represents the cost paid by an end customer to have a shipping company transport raw materials across seas on the Baltic Exchange which is the global marketplace for brokering shipping contracts. The prices are determined by the buyers and sellers.
The Baltic Exchange is similar to the New York Mercantile in that it is a medium for buyers and sellers of contracts and forward agreements (futures) for delivery of dry bulk cargo. The Baltic is owned and operated by the member buyers and sellers. The exchange maintains prices on several routes for different cargoes and then publishes its own index, the BDI, as a summary of the entire dry bulk shipping market. This index can be used as an overall economic indicator because it shows where end prices are heading for items that use the raw materials that are shipped in dry bulk.
The BDI is one of the purest leading indicators of economic since it measures the demand to move raw materials and precursors to production, as well as the supply of ships available to move this cargo. Consumer spending and other economic indicators are backward looking in that they examine what has already occurred. The BDI offers a real time glimpse at global raw material and infrastructure demand. Unlike stock and commodities markets, the Baltic Dry Index is totally devoid of speculative players. The trading is limited only to the member companies, and the only relevant parties securing contracts are those who have actual cargo to move and those who have the ships to move it.As the BDI increases, so does the cost of raw materials. Because this is the cost of buying and transporting materials used in production of goods, the cost must be passed along the value chain by producers and refiners. Eventually consumers will pay higher costs in the higher prices they pay for goods produced from these raw materials. For example, when a coffee company like Maxwell House pays an extra $10/ton to import coffee beans, they will pass along this increased procurement cost to consumers to maintain margins.
The Baltic Exchange has the following interesting example:
"As China transformed from coal exporter to importer, they began buying coal from nations such as Russia, Brazil, and Australia. The coal from the latter two must be shipped using dry bulk carriers. As the rates for the BDI went up in 2007, so did the cost of coal to China. Since coal is used for 70-80% of China's energy generation, overhead costs for factories increased with the price of coal. As the overhead costs increase, so must the price of the end good to maintain the margin of profit. As this end price increased, an American paid more for a t-shirt or toy at Wal-Mart."
When the BDI increases, dry bulk shippers win. The increase in the index directly increases their margins and revenues. When the BDI decreases, every other consumer/producer in the global value chain wins. Since the BDI measures procurement costs, when these costs go down, producers benefit from increased margins, and consumers benefit from lower prices for finished products. However, a lower BDI means that the general economy is trending downward.
Here is how the BDI works.
Every working day, the Baltic Exchange canvasses brokers around the world and asks how much it would cost to book various cargoes of raw materials on various routes (e.g. 100,000 tons of iron ore from San Francisco to Hong Kong, or 1,000,000 metric tons of rice from Bangkok to Tokyo). The index is made up of an average of the Baltic Supramax, Panamax, and Capesize indices. These indices are based on professional assessments made by a panel of international ship broking companies. The BDI factors in the four different sizes of oceangoing dry bulk transport vessels.
For the reasons described, the BDI is considered a leading economic indicator because it predicts future economic activity.
Other leading economic indicators may serve as a basis for important political and economic decisions but they are often massaged to serve narrow interests and are subjected to adjustments or revisions. Payroll or employment numbers are often estimates; consumer confidence appears to measure nothing more than sentiment, often with no link to actual consumer behavior; gross national product figures are consistently revised, and so forth. Unlike stock and bond markets, the BDI "is totally devoid of speculative content," says Howard Simons, an economist and columnist at TheStreet.com. "People don't book freighters unless they have cargo to move."
Changes in the Baltic Index tend to precede movements in global stock markets. But the index also tends to predict higher interest rates. When more stuff is being shipped around the world, it needs to be financed. And that creates a greater demand for credit.
The index can be accessed on a subscription basis directly from the Baltic Exchange as well as from major financial information and news services such as Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg L.P.. Most economists and stock brokers read it because the index measures the demand for shipping capacity versus the supply of dry bulk carriers. The demand for shipping varies with the amount of cargo that is being traded or moved in various markets (supply and demand).
Thursday, March 19, 2009
If you’re a neo-socialist administration and want to remain in power, how do you conduct the census?
Over the years it has become a tradition for “social-minded” people to complain about the census conducted during Republican administrations by claiming it undercounts segments of the population expected to receive government benefits and therefore vote Democrat. These people include the “homeless”, illegal aliens and, in many cases, fictitious people with the “correct” political voting affiliation.
Taking a census of everyone here is a large task so people are hired to make the nose count and visit every “home” (it is not clear if this includes cardboard boxes under overpasses or not). Forms are also sent out for voluntary completion on a random basis to collect data that is used to fudge the numbers in the interests of accuracy in the realization that not all residential noses will be actually counted.
In the real world there is a truism “who controls the purse strings controls the world.” Something similar maybe said about the census – “who controls the census controls the country.”
There is a school of thought that some people are more honest and trustworthy than others. Therefore in some administrations it is more likely than in others that there will be an honest count. A measure of what can be expected as a good faith effort to achieve as accurate a count as possible is to see who is in charge of the census for a given decade. The Commerce Department is generally considered less partisan than other government agencies so their census results are least controversial.
However when you have a neo-socialist government in charge, anything is possible and nothing is too outrageous. For example, an administration intent on skewing census results would move responsibility for the census from the Commerce Department to the White House and placed under an unscrupulous extremely partisan operative. Another tactic that will enable the desired census results to be achieved is to make sure those conducting the nose count and reporting results are chosen from among dependable party supporters and if they are also unscrupulous, so much the better. In this way the administration can be assured the “best” possible census results to control politics for at least ten more years. To determine whether the “right” people will be doing the job, it is important to consider if they have bent the rules in your favor in elections, and best of all, if they are dependable practitioners of voter fraud.
“The Census (Bureau) is a nonpartisan, non-political agency and we’re very dedicated to an accurate account,” bureau spokesman Stephen Buckner told FOXNews.com. “We have a lot of quality controls in place to keep (out) any kind of systemic error or fraudulent behavior to affect the counts.” Buckner also said 140,000 census taker jobs must be filled to complete the first phase of the effort. Each applicant must take a basic skills exam and is also subject to an FBI background check.
However despite the assurances of Mr. Buckner, the facts belie his representation. How else can you explain that ACORN will be assisting in the hiring of census workers around the country?
It is a fact that "ACORN has been accused of voter fraud, embezzlement, and more yet this is a group that the federal government wants helping with the census. Bobby Eberle of GOPUSA asks “how can this group be used to conduct the census?”
ACORN has come to public attention in connection with voting irregularities. For example, in 2007 Washington State filed felony charges against several paid ACORN employees and supervisors for more than 1,700 fraudulent voter registrations. In March 2008, an ACORN worker in Pennsylvania was sentenced for making 29 fraudulent voter registration forms. However ACORN spokesman Scott Levenson told FOXNews.com, “ACORN as an organization has not been charged with any crime and concerns that the organization will unfairly influence the census are unfounded.” Is this indeed a recommendation of ACORN or does it simply mean no law enforcement agency has seen fit to make the necessary investigation to indict the organization who, after all, functions only through its employees and associates?
Here is what Stanley Kurtz had to say about ACORN and President barrack Obama:
“What if Barack Obama's most important radical connection has been hiding in plain sight all along? Obama has had an intimate and long-term association with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (Acorn), the largest radical group in America. If I told you Obama had close ties with MoveOn.org or Code Pink, you'd know what I was talking about. Acorn is at least as radical as these better-known groups arguably more so. Yet because Acorn works locally, in carefully selected urban areas, its national profile is lower. Acorn likes it that way. And so, I'd wager, does Barack Obama.”
“This is a story we've largely missed. While Obama's Acorn connection has not gone entirely unreported, its depth, extent, and significance have been poorly understood. Typically, media background pieces note that, on behalf of Acorn, Obama and a team of Chicago attorneys won a 1995 suit forcing the state of Illinois to implement the federal 'motor-voter' bill. In fact, Obama's Acorn connection is far more extensive. In the few stories where Obama's role as an Acorn 'leadership trainer' is noted, or his seats on the boards of foundations that may have supported Acorn are discussed, there is little follow-up. Even these more extensive reports miss many aspects of Obama's ties to Acorn” (and ACORN to Barack Obama).
Writing for the Wall St. Journal, Steven Malanga said of ACORN:
“No one should be surprised, for this organization grew out of some of the most counterproductive ideas of 1960s radicalism. Acorn's roots are in the National Welfare Rights Organization, whose leader, George Wiley, believed he could use poor, unwed mothers to foment a revolution. … When Wiley's welfare strategy reached a dead end he moved on to other ventures, including sending some of his troops to form a new community organization in Arkansas, infused with the same radicalism. It was a brilliant stroke: By the early '70s billions of dollars in federal and state aid was streaming to these local groups, spurred by Republicans in Washington who reasoned that it was better to fund nonprofits than create giant federal bureaucracies to run burgeoning antipoverty programs. Little did the GOP understand that the money would finance a nationwide network of organizations that for decades have mobilized urban residents against the party's candidates and agenda.”
The Community Reinvestment Act, passed in 1977, and expanded by President Bill Clinton, prompted banks to lend money in underserved communities and allowed community groups to file complaints that could hold up or even scuttle bank mergers. To avoid the possibility of a denied or delayed applications, lending institutions had an incentive to make formal agreements with community organizations like ACORN.
Again from Mr. Malanga:
“Acorn became among the most successful at exploiting the law, especially after the Clinton administration set up tough new CRA standards. In 1993 Acorn crafted a $55 million, 11-city lending program administered by it and financed by 14 major banks eager to avoid CRA woes. In 1998 Acorn activists disrupted Federal Reserve hearings on the proposed Citicorp merger with Travelers, waving red umbrellas, a corporate symbol of Travelers, and then later protested Citigroup's acquisition of Associates First Capital Corp. Eventually Citigroup signed an agreement to provide mortgages through Acorn counseling centers, including home loans to undocumented aliens in California. In 2000 a U.S. Senate subcommittee estimated that such CRA deals had directed at least $9.5 billion through nonprofits, making the CRA the second-most important funder of social advocacy groups next to the government itself.”
As another example of their successful action, ACORN persuaded Baltimore to require city government contractors to pay salaries substantially above the federal minimum wage but after the Gingrich “revolution” ACORN was stalled in Washington so Acorn decided instead it would work city by city, starting in the most liberal places, to enact local wage legislation. Some 125 municipalities have since passed living-wage legislation. But how about this; when California regulators sued Acorn for not paying its own workers the minimum wage, ACORN argued that “this would endanger its mission—because it would have to hire fewer workers?” Some of ACORN’s living-wage efforts have gone a motive-revealing step further pressing for laws that specifically exempt unionized companies from adhering to the new wage standards.
ACORN now operates in well over 125 cities and has just been given by Obama billions of dollars to do their work in support of Obama and those of similar beliefs.
Sol Stern's 2003 City Journal article, "ACORN's Nutty Regime for Cities." explains that ACORN “is the key modern successor of the radical 1960's "New Left," with a ‘1960's-bred agenda of anti-capitalism’ to match.” Acorn practices confrontational 1960's-style tactics and prefers to fly under the national radar. They organize locally in liberal urban areas - where, as Stern observes, “local legislators and reporters are often slow to grasp how radical ACORN's positions really are." According to Stern, Acorn's radical agenda sometimes shifts toward "undisguised authoritarian socialism.”
Want more evidence of how ACORN operates, ACORN's tactics are openly "in your face?" Just recall Code Pink's well-known operations (threatening to occupy congressional offices, interrupting the testimony of General David Petraeus) and you'll get the idea. ACORN protesters have disrupted Federal Reserve hearings, but mostly deploy their aggressive tactics locally. ACORN protestors in Baltimore disrupted a bankers' dinner and sent four busloads of profanity-screaming protestors to the mayor's home, terrifying his wife and kids. Even a Baltimore city council member who generally supports Acorn said their intimidation tactics had crossed the line.
Obama’s home town Chicago is one of ACORN’s strongest chapters and Obama was himself an agent of ACORN.
What has Barack Obama got to do with ACORN, plenty? In his pre-law school days Obama worked as a community organizer in Chicago. Not many people know just what a "community organizer" does. A Los Angeles Times article about Obama's early Chicago days tells a touching story of his efforts to build a partnership with Chicago's "Friends of the Parks," so that parents in a blighted neighborhood could have an inviting spot for their kids to play (but when the L. A. Times returned, it found the park he'd helped renovate reclaimed by drug dealers and thugs). This is the image of Obama's organizing we're supposed to accept but it's not the whole story about Obama. As the L. A. Times describes it in an otherwise flattering story, "Obama's task was to help far South Side residents press for “improvement" in their communities by organizing demonstrations, just like radical groups like ACORN do. Madeleine Talbot, who at the time was a leader at Chicago ACORN, was so impressed by Obama's organizing skills that she invited him to help train her own staff.
ACORN continues to allege it is non partisan but a 2006 report by Jonathan Bechtle, "Voter Turnout or Voter Fraud?" includes a discussion of the nexus between Project Vote and Acorn. According to Bechtle, "It's clear that groups that claimed to be nonpartisan wanted a partisan outcome"; there work in the 2008 elections prove their worth as a national political machine for socialist causes and in the election of like-minded people in high places.
ACORN is now a “national partner” with the U.S. Census Bureau. They will provide Obama with 1.4 million workers to canvass for the country’s 2010 census. ACORN “community organizers” will knock on your door for your intimate household data, and they will be paid for it...with your taxpayer money.
What do you suppose will be their objective as they count the folks?
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
There are people in Israel that even during even the recent war openly supported Hamas. When Israel’s Lieberman suggested to outlaw these parties and their political leaders and asked for a pledge of allegiance to the country, just as in the United States, everybody said of him, "You're a racist, you're a fascist." In America the Pledge of Allegiance is a standard practice but for those who would tear down our country it is merely window dressing and hypocritical. Politicians elected to office swear to “preserve, protect and defend” our Constitution; but the reality is that many support policies and practices that are the antithesis of our constitutional mandates. In this regard, cannot it be said that people like Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are guilty of perjury, or perhaps worse, treason?
Israel believes it has little choice but to respect every American administration and president but not all American administrations and presidents support Israel. The truth is America acts more friendly to Saudi Arabia by catering to its “shiekly” whims and ignoring its ghastly record of abuse and intolerance than to Democratic Israel, the only democracy in that part of the world. The problem is hypocrisy.
The United States also respects what we are told are the representatives of Arabs on the West Bank and in deeds if not words the somewhat more radical Hamas in Gaza. Yet we are supposedly seeking peace for Israel so “Israel and Arabs can live side by side peacefully in two states”; what rubbish! Can a lion and a lamb sit peacefully together; sure until the lion gets hungry.
Americans shouldn’t be fooled about the motives and goals of Hamas notwithstanding the grant of $900 million dollars “to rebuild Gaza following the destruction by Israel”, but they are. Among the conditions of Hamas for forming a Palestinian Authority unity government with Fatah is the abrogation of all agreements with Israel. In an interview with a newspaper in the United Arab Emirates, top Hamas terrorist Mahmoud Al-Zahar said that Hamas would not change its policy on refusing to recognize Israel, even if it works out a unity deal with Fatah. He was quoted as saying: "The Zionist entity is a foreign power that has nothing to do with the land of Palestine and this alien body should get out of our lands." Yet the United States still, wearing rose-colored glasses and ear mufflers, will give a huge sum of money in the erroneous and naïve expectation it will go to Gazans and not to Hamas.
Recently Present Obama sought to have anti-Israeli Charles Freeman head a national security agency. But lawmakers who led the successful campaign against the selection of Charles "Chas" Freeman said their concerns always had less to do with his criticisms of Israel than his financial ties to Saudi Arabia and a Chinese oil company with business dealings in Iran even though a better reason could have been his undying enmity for Israel. “There was a steady revelation of financial conflicts of interest involving foreign powers that were troubling," said Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.). Nonetheless Freeman lashed out at his critics in a released statement blaming "the Israel Lobby.”
Quite often in order to cover up the promotion of anti-Israel ideas the press portrays Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton as a "friend of Israel.” Hillary’s current conduct and the comments she made when she was the first lady prove the contrary. Isn’t it time for Israeli leaders and American friends of Israel to stop supporting the anti-Israel policies of their enemies? Self-destructive idiocy and 'politically correct' appeasement harm both Israel and the United States.
Hillary Clinton told children in a televised interview on a Palestinian Authority (PA) TV station, that she hopes to "connect up our two countries." Of course to do this “connecting”, it is the state of Israel that must be divided.
Of course this kind of anti-Israeli lunacy is not confined to Americans. British MP George Galloway donated 100 vehicles and thousands of dollars to Hamas. He dared European and British courts to try him for funding a terrorist group. "If you want to take me to court, I promise you there is no jury in all of Britain who will convict me."
Cuba joined a consortium of Arab countries at a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council recently to vent their anger against Israel. (Cuba?). They accused the Jewish State of grossly violating the rights of PA children. (It is interesting that countries with the worst Human Rights record make the accusations.)
Just as in the United States, a liberal press in Israel gives cover to anti-Israeli attitudes and heinous acts. Muslims in the city of Hevron given access to the Tomb of the Patriarchs (Maarat HaMachpelah ) recently in honor of the birthday of Mohammed took advantage of the opportunity to desecrate Jewish holy texts, including prayer books and books of Psalms but there was no outrage or condemnation in the Israeli and world press. This kind of desecration of Jewish and Christian places has been going on 'unnoticed' for a long time and meets with deafening silence.
Other atrocities by Muslims also go largely unreported. For example, in Saudi Arabia, a 75-year-old widow was sentenced to 40 whip lashes and three months in prison for having met with two men who were not close family. The two men were bringing her bread. Did you see this in the newspapers?
Americans should realize that if Israel does not survive the Islam onslaught and is destroyed, the United States will not be far behind. As long as people like Barack Obama are placed in charge of our country, our future is dim; the question is only will we be destroyed by socialism or Islam first?
Sunday, March 15, 2009
In the first less than 100 days of his presidency, Obama has not focused on one, or even a few, items from his socialist agenda but has embarked on wholesale programs under a smokescreen of a “financial crisis” designed to change our society and respected traditional institutions and policies; presented virtually all at the same time. Some sleeping pundits have criticized Obama for “doing too much at one time” but the reality is that he knows he must do all this quickly before Americans wake up to what he is doing and strike while the iron is hot and kept heated by Democrat majorities in the House and senate.
For those who care to keep up of with Obama machinations, there is a short report with an ominous plan for action modestly entitled “A Plan of Action” and with a revealingly immodest subtitle: “A New Era of International Cooperation for a Changed World: 2009, 2010, and Beyond.”
Cleverly, “A Plan for Action” at first seems to be merely a foreign-policy paper but the text is written by three liberal academics—Bruce Jones of NYU, Carlos Pascual of the Brookings Institution, and Stephen John Stedman of Stanford. Its findings and recommendations, they claim, rose from a series of meetings with foreign-policy eminences here and abroad, including the alleged by participation of former Secretaries of State of both parties as well as defense officials from the Clinton and first Bush administrations. This is supposed to give the Plan its bona fides - though the document does not actually reflect the ideas of these officials but is in fact the new mainstay of the liberal vision of the future of American foreign policy. The Plan has become a blueprint for the Obama administration’s effort to construct domestic and foreign policies that take a radical departure from the principles and practices of our constitution-based and self governing Republic form of government that has been at the core of our country since the nation’s founding; in reality it is a devious plan to first chip away and then destroy American sovereignty.
Domestic supporters of the “Plan” have come to the conclusion that “…national security has become interdependent with global security” and they urge “responsible sovereignty” which they define as “the notion that sovereignty entails obligations and duties toward other states as well as to one’s own citizens.” To believers, the Plan should be the basis for a “cooperative international order.” The phrase “responsible sovereignty” is remarkable because in reality it is “irresponsible non sovereignty” and a dramatic change of sovereignty itself.
These Domestic and “Global leaders” assert that alone countries, [the United States included] are unable to protect their interests and their citizens. The United States must therefore commit to “a rule-based international system that rejects unilateralism and looks beyond military might,” or else “resign [our]selves to an ad-hoc international system.” Mere “traditional sovereignty” is insufficient in the new era we have entered, an era in which we must contend with “the realities of a now transnational world.” But clearly this “rule-based international system” will create the conditions for “global governance.”
To advocates of a global government the transition to this new system must begin immediately because of the terrible damage done by the Bush administration as he, in their view, disdained diplomacy, and preferred the use of force, regime change, preemptive attacks, and general independence from different views of other countries in the conduct of foreign affairs. In contrast, the Plan “rejects unilateralism and looks beyond military might”; hence Obama’s avowed intention to meet with our enemies “without precondition.” Obama believes this approach will lead to the successful resolution of all disputes and bring a period of worldwide comity where everyone puts away their slings and arrows and sings cum by yah – but what would one expect from an incompetent leader who has risen well beyond his ability and was mentored by some of the best socialists and communists.
While the term “sovereignty” has acquired many, often inconsistent, definitions, Americans have historically understood it to mean our collective right to govern ourselves within our Constitutional framework. Americans generally don’t believe their government’s actions have to be approved by other governments. But globalists disagree with this long-held American conviction and this is their motivating factor behind "A Plan for Action" which represents an attempt to change this set of American beliefs in the modern world.
To this end, authors of the Plan advocate what they call “responsible sovereignty.” They define it as “the notion that sovereignty entails obligations and duties toward other states as well as to one’s own citizens,” and they believe that its application can form the basis for a “cooperative international order.” At first glance, the phrase “responsible sovereignty” may seem plausible but despite the Plan’s mainstream terminology, its conception is a dramatic change of sovereignty itself.
“Global leaders,” the Plan supporters insists, “increasingly recognizes that countries alone are unable to protect their interests and their citizens—national security has become interdependent with global security.” The United States must therefore commit to “a rule-based international system that rejects unilateralism and looks beyond military might,” or else “resign [our]selves to an ad-hoc international system.” Mere “traditional sovereignty” is insufficient in the new era we have entered, an era in which we must contend with “the realities of a now transnational world.” However, this “rule-based international system” will create the conditions for “global governance” and destroy our treasured sovereignty.
The Plan suggests that the transition to this new system must begin immediately because of the terrible damage done by the Bush administration. As Jon Bolton has said: “In the Plan’s narrative, Bush disdained diplomacy, uniformly preferring the use of force, regime change, preemptive attacks, and general swagger in its conduct of foreign affairs. The Plan, by contrast, “rejects unilateralism and looks beyond military might.” In the view of the Plan’s supporters its implementation will lead to the successful resolution of all disputes dispute and usher in a new and unprecedented period of worldwide comity as we join together to sing cum by ah.
Of course the problem is that fundamental differences are resistant to diplomatic efforts, like resolution of the Israel-Arab conflict because of Arab vow to destroy the Jewish state. If diplomacy does not and cannot work, continual reliance on this approach merely serves to provide Israel’s enemies with time to improve their military might as they prepare for their version of “the final solution.” In the case of Muslims acting on the dictates of the Koran, the time gained by a diplomatic process obscures their objectives, enables them to conduct their successful public relations campaign, build alliances, prepare for future wars and complete their efforts to build weapons of mass destruction and the ballistic missiles to carry them. Failure to recognize the inevitable has dire consequences for the safety of the United States and the survival of Israel.
The unvarnished truth of history is that there is no peace until one side wins and one side loses; we must not forget that – you can’t make peace with anyone whose goal is to destroy you.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
The United States has the world's most generous illegal immigration agenda. For immigrants, California is their primary destination. And keeping our border with Mexico open allows an unlimited number of illegal aliens access to education and medical care. Partially because of illegal immigration, California has an astronomical $42-44 billion deficit. As a consequence, many school districts are laying off teachers and other school personnel.
Stated another way, the failure to pay attention to the obvious affect illegal immigration has on California's social services means that some of your children's teachers in California will soon be unemployed.
In 2004 the Center for Immigration Studies released a report The High Cost of Cheap Labor: Illegal Immigration and the Federal Budget. The full report is available on their website at http://www.cis.org. Here is an excerpt from the report:
“It must be remembered that, for the most part, illegal households using programs like free school lunch or Medicaid are receiving these benefits on behalf of U.S.-born children, who under current law are awarded citizenship at birth. Of course, the costs of providing services to these children are very real for taxpayers and result from illegals having been allowed to enter and stay in the country. And having the federal government feed or provide medical care to their children is an enormous benefit to illegal aliens. Thus, in considering the consequences for public coffers, counting the costs of these programs is necessary; otherwise one would gain a very false sense of illegal immigration's present costs.”
Since many politicians consider illegal immigration and effect on education to be still another "third rail" in politics; the unwillingness of politicians at the federal, state, and local levels to effectively deal with the social, financial, and political ramifications of a shadow population estimated at 12-20 million people, many of whom have entered the United States illegally, and others who overstayed their visas, is a major contribution to the budget shortfalls of many states.
California is facing a $42-44 billion budget shortfall and The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that 44 states are facing budget shortfalls in 2009.
Governor Schwarzenegger and the Democrat state legislature have raised California taxes despite Californians being already burdened by the third highest tax rates in the country, only Connecticut and New York have higher tax burdens. The state legislature's out-of-control “spend and tax” culture has lead to a 40% increase in state spending during Schwarzenegger's term.
The really sad thing is that despite California’s huge outlay for education it has one of the worse public education systems and results in the country.
Facts are terrible things to those that prefer to think in political correct terms.
English as a second language, massive class sizes and increased costs of educating illegal aliens surely have had a huge impact on these rankings. For those of you who just love "these people just looking for a job" justification to ignore illegal immigration; this just shows the devastating impact they are having on the educational system.
Is it worth destroying a whole generation of our citizen children’s educational years simply to have lower cost produce or cheap gardeners?
California ranks next to last in states where the adult population has at least a high school education, according to a report released by the California Faculty Association at Cal State Los Angeles.
Ranking 49th out of 50 states is an indication of the state’s deteriorating educational status in recent decades, according to “California at the Edge of a Cliff,” by Thomas G. Mortenson, a senior scholar at the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education and publisher of the Postsecondary Education Opportunity newsletter. He believes California is arrogantly riding on its past; spending a lot of money and getting unsatisfactory results.
Mortenson has just released a report on higher education, prepared for the California Faculty Association (see www.calfac.org/calattheedge.html). He said he was "stunned to see how far and how fast California has fallen." In the share of adults with a bachelor's degree, California was No. 1 or No. 2 from 1977 to 1987. Today the state is No. 14. As of 2007, California ranked 14th in the nation in terms of college educated members of the workforce over 25 years of age “a big drop, a drop from 1987. According to the report, Mortenson said:
“Other states have made greater gains in building a college educated workforce and moved past California. California is slipping toward educational and economic mediocrity among states on this critical measure of state competitiveness, prosperity and success.”
The really bad news, however, is in the share of adults who are high school graduates. In one generation, California has dropped from the top to the bottom. The state was No.1 or No. 2 in this category from 1977 to 1987; today California is No. 49.
These poor results don’t faze the California teacher’s unions and other representatives. Despite the drop in education standing, California Faculty Association members used the report’s findings to criticize any proposed funding cuts to education.
“It is hypocritical for the governor to utter the words ‘we need job creation’ out of one side of his mouth while he cuts higher education funding from the other side of his mouth because you can’t create jobs when you are cutting the very institution that educates people to do those jobs,” said Lillian Taiz, president of the faculty association.
We are in a technology age and our education system must prepare high school graduates to enter the technology workforce. California schools rank 49th for technology. They are doing very poorly at integrating technology – especially online offerings – into the curriculum, lagging behind nearly every state in the nation at 49th place, according to an annual report on U.S. economic indicators. The 2008 State New Economy Index, prepared by the Washington, D.C.-based Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, found that California public schools fell behind every state except Utah in the number of students per high-speed Internet-connected computer and in how effectively they've integrated computer technology into the classroom; yet we spend almost $8,000 per pupil for education; enough to put California in the top half of all state’s expenditures on education. Where does that money go; not for technology?
A recent study ranks California 34th among all U.S. states in it's "students' potential for success." The state's poor ranking is due to disadvantages in early childhood. The study, conducted by the nonprofit group Editorial Projects in Education, evaluates state education systems based on 13 different categories from early childhood education to average annual income. According to the study's results, California's students' "chance for success" is lowest during early childhood due to socioeconomic disadvantages such as low family income and a lack of linguistic integration - factors that often prevent children from early education. The presence of large numbers of children of illegal immigrants in California schools is the major reason for such a low ranking in student’s potential.
Because non-English-speakers are so common in California - only 62.3 percent of California's children have parents who are fluent in English, compared to the national average of 84.3 percent, it is difficult to raise the averages for student potential for all students, including children of US citizens.
A “Smartest State” designation is awarded based on 21 factors chosen from Morgan Quitno's annual reference book, Education State Rankings, 2006-2007. To calculate the Smartest State rankings, there are 21 factors divided into two groups: those that are "negative" for which a high ranking would be considered bad for a state, and those that are "positive" for which a high ranking would be considered good. States are assessed based on how they stack up against the national average. The end result is that the farther below the national average a state's education ranking is, the lower (and less smart) it ranks. The farther above the national average, the higher (and smarter) a state ranks. This same methodology is used for our annual Healthiest State, Safest and Most Dangerous State and Safest/Dangerous City Awards.
Where does California stand in these rankings – 47 out of 50 states? (Mississippi is 48th.)
The yearly rankings of state education standings shows that states that allow in massive numbers of illegal aliens feel the effect directly in their education system. The 2005-2006 findings reported in a survey by Morgan Quitno Press, which looked at hundreds of public school systems in all 50 states shows that out of the bottom five states, 4 of them have massive numbers of illegal aliens.
48. New Mexico
Do you still want to be “politically correct” about illegal immigration and the effect it has on public schools, or do you want to do something about it?
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
"I owe those unions... When their leaders call, I do my best to call them back right away. I don't mind feeling obligated."
Of course Obama’s obligation is not to the rank and file union members, it is to the big time union bosses; they are the ones that call the shots and devote huge amounts of money to Obama’s ambitions. Indeed, many union members do not subscribe to the Obama socialist program and did not vote for Obama. But the way unions are structured members have little to say about how their leadership does things and who or how union bosses spend their dues money on politics.
Obama won the election but he was in no way given a mandate to grant union bosses carte blanche on all matters related to union–management relations or to grant unrestricted rights to unions not only over their membership but also the employers who pay their wages.
He was not in any way elected as Human Events says to push through policies that will:
“1) Deny workers the right to a secret ballot when voting on whether or not they want to be part of a union (this is at top of the agenda for Big Labor, because it would enable union organizers to forcibly unionize millions more workers into dues-paying union ranks);
2) Ban companies in effect from running their companies during a strike -- a right they have held for roughly 70 years;
3) Attack 22 State Right to Work laws, which make union membership and union dues voluntary;
4) Appoint hundreds of labor cronies on the federal courts, throughout the Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, and other federal agencies;
5) Expand the definition of "employee" and narrow the definition of management, thereby placing more employees under union boss control; and
6) Force state and local governments under the monopoly control of union bosses as the monopoly bargaining agents for police, firefighters, and other first responders. Each of these steps will dramatically increase the political influence, money, and power of the far left big time labor bosses.”
If Obama gets his way and fulfills his promise to “call them back right away” when labor leaders call by enacting legislation dictated by union bosses, not only will unions be in a better position to help Obama politically, but working with Democrat majorities in the House and Senate he can achieve an anti-business and anti-free enterprise system that will impose forced unionism on United States workers.
There are efforts underway to thwart Obama’s big labor grab. The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTWLDF) and The National Right to Work Foundation are fighting to prevent Obama from achieving his labor boss agenda. Their attorneys have gone up against union lawyers at the U.S. Supreme Court 14 times and in many other cases. For example, the National Right to Work Foundation won a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of CWA Union v. Beck, forbidding union bosses from spending workers' forced dues on politics and lobbying. Of course, the big time union bosses have all but ignored that ruling and state courts have let them get away with this. Nonetheless, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation continues to file lawsuits to remind unions that the Beck decision is real and unions must follow the law.
But the unfortunate truth is that with Obama in the White House and Democrat majorities in the House and Senate, and with Democrat leaders like Pelosi and Reid, the union bosses' agenda for "change" in the workplace has a great chance of success unless the people of America make their voices heard in Washington. If the American people act together, we can prevent Barack Obama from turning over control of workplaces to big time labor bosses which would destroy free enterprise and prevent us from surviving the present financial crisis.
Look how the unions destroyed the auto industry; the same thing will happen across the board if Obama and union bosses are successful in rewriting America’s labor laws.
It is vital that the voting public understand what is at stake here. Obama should not be allowed to enact a crippling unionism agenda on America.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Recently on Hanity there was a report of the violence at the Mexican border with the United States and it looks like it has, or soon, will be spilling over into our country. But heading off violence at the border is only one small part of the reason to legalize drugs.
The legalization of drugs would prevent our civil liberties from being threatened any further, it would reduce crime rates, reverse the potency problem, improve the quality of life in the inner cities, prevent the spread of disease, save taxpayer money, and generally benefit both individuals and the community as a whole. These conclusions are based on a basic appreciation of the benefits provided by voluntary exchange and the role markets play in coordinating human activities. Legalizing drugs would eliminate many inconsistencies and guarantee freedoms. The present war on drugs has not and will not produce a decisive victory. I advocate a new approach to this important social problem.
If you think this is inconsistent with conservative principles, you are wrong. Conservatives believe in the principle that individuals should make decisions about their lives, not the government and personal responsibility. People should take responsibility for their own actions. If drugs are freely available in the market place, like alcohol for example, there will be those that act irresponsibly but dealing with that problem pales in comparison to the problems keeping drugs illegal, even hard drugs, causes.
When drugs are legalized, drug dealers will be a thing of the past. Violent crimes and theft will be greatly reduced. Youths and adults once involved in drug crime rings will be forced to seek legitimate work. Deaths due to infected intravenous needles and poisonous street drugs will be eliminated. Taxpayers will no longer have to pay billions of dollars to fund drug-related law enforcement. The estimated $80,000,000,000 claimed to be earned by organized crime and drug rings will also be a thing of the past and drug lords will not have huge amounts of money to infect countries and law enforcement personnel.
Sure there will always be people who will be offended by legalizing drugs on moral or ethical grounds. However there is hardly anything that does not offend at least one person in this politically correct world. Many people object to the sale of alcohol, cigarettes, birth control or animal products, but their feelings or beliefs do not stop these items from being sold. There is obviously no pleasing everyone when it comes to the free market. Under a free enterprise system anyone who participates in the free market will benefit from it. In a free market economy, everybody has opportunity to participate in the market and, therefore, equal opportunity to gain in a positive sum transaction. Not only would the legalization of drugs protect basic freedoms through free trade, but it would also bring enormous benefits to society as a whole. One of the most important societal benefits is a reduction in crime.
First, the price of narcotics will drop enormously and the proceeds can be taxed. When drugs are legal, crimes associated with the high price of drugs will decrease or be eliminated entirely. The supply will increase and the price of narcotics will fall. Addicts who were formerly forced to steal, murder, and engage in other illegal activities to get enough money for their habits will be able to afford the lower prices. Therefore, these types of drug-related crimes will decrease.
Second, drug-related disputes such as gang wars and street violence will be reduced.
Third, the drug business creates great profits for cartels. Cartels are often international organizations, many of which support terrorism and add to violent crime in America. If the narcotics market were open, cartel drug revenues would be replaced by free-market forces, and there would be less of a chance of drug money supporting terrorist organizations, crime rings, and cartel activity.
In 2000, Americans spent an estimated $36 billion on cocaine, $11 billion on marijuana, $10 billion on heroin, $5.4 billion on methamphetamine, and $2.4 billion on other illegal substances. Projected estimates indicate that approximately 260 metric tons of cocaine and 13.3 metric tons of heroin were consumed by U.S. drug users during 2000. In 1992, the overall cost of drug abuse to society was approximately $102 billion. The projected overall cost reached $160.7 billion in 2000. (Drug Policy Information Clearinghouse) Imagine what these numbers are today.
Finally, and most obviously, with transport, sale, and possession legalized, formerly illegal activities will now become society-approved business transactions. Crime that leads to societal instability will be greatly reduced through the legalization of the inevitable activity of drug transactions.
Lastly, the burden on the prison system will be diminished and it will be no longer necessary to release criminals who are greater threats to society than drug users or sellers, as is being done today.
The prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s is a good case in point. The high crime rate during prohibition was due to the existence of the black market, spawned from the government-enforced illegalization of alcohol. The black market led to the formation of major crime rings. The underground market for alcohol grew and led many profit-hungry entrepreneurs into crime. Many were jailed due to transport, sale, and possession of alcohol much like is happening today with illegal drugs.
When Prohibition ended, alcohol-related crime ceased. The profit balloon driven by the limited supply of the illegal substance was deflated. The black market disappeared, along with all of the illegal activity associated with it. Crime rings disbanded. How many crime rings exist today for the selling of alcohol? The answer is none. The reason is legalization.
In contrast to alcohol, drug-related crime is skyrocketing. The President's Commission on Organized Crime estimates there are a total of seventy drug market murders yearly in Miami alone. Based on that figure and FBI data, a reasonable nationwide estimate would be at least 750 murders a year. Recent estimates from New York and Washington are even higher. Anyone who questions whether prohibition is responsible for violence should note the relative peace that prevails in the alcohol and legal drug markets.
Fifty years after the repeal of Prohibition, the average per capita consumption of alcohol fell to its lowest level ever. In fact, people began switching to weaker alcohol alternatives, such as wine coolers and nonalcoholic beer. The legalization of alcohol reversed the potency effect. The legalization of drugs will do the same.
The legalization of drugs would eliminate a lot of serious health risks by assuring market-driven high quality substances and the availability of clean needles. Prohibition in the 1920s created a market for cheap versions of alcoholic products, such as bathtub gin. Alcohol was diluted or adulterated in often dangerous ways. Needless deaths occurred because of the poor quality of the product.
If narcotics were legalized, purity could be all but guaranteed. Businesses, held accountable by customers, would deliver safe products. Brand names would bring competition into the market and assure safer, better products. Doctors would be able to openly monitor the drug use of seriously addicted patients. Poor quality would be largely eliminated if standards are observed.
In addition, clean needles would be readily available. Drug vendors and health care organizations would be able to legally provide clean needles for their customers and patients respectively. Today, needles are shared because they are difficult to obtain. About twenty-five percent of AIDS cases are contracted through the sharing of intravenous needles. Legalizing drugs would eliminate this problem. I have read that in Hong Kong, where needles are available in drugstores, as of 1987 there were no cases of AIDS among drug users.
When was the last time you heard of a diabetic contracting AIDS from contaminated needles?
We have laws that prohibit violent acts against other citizens; this is consistent with our moral code. The laws of United States should not prohibit the intake of narcotics that only have an immediate effect on the individual consumer. If someone ingests a drug, he or she is doing possible harm only to him or herself and no one else is harmed. Only a subsequent act of violence on account of an altered state of mind will cause harm to others. It is the subsequent action that is harmful, not the drug taking itself. Since a drug user is responsible for his or her actions, they should be arrested and punished. Alcohol is legal even though people commit rapes, murders, beatings, and other violent crimes when they are drunk. If a person commits these crimes when intoxicated, he or she is held responsible for them. A mere substance should not and does not serve as an excuse for the violent acts. The ingestion of alcohol is not illegal per se. The same standard should be applied to the use of presently illegal drugs.
There are many benefits to legalizing drugs; we should be objective enough to recognize that.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Ashkelon Parents Association voted not to send their children to school on Monday. But why should they have to do that? The cause for the decision to close down schools was a weekend missile direct hit on a high school in Ashkelon that caused massive damage both to the school and to surrounding apartments. IDF inspectors concluded that the Grad missile the Palestinians used in the attack had been locally upgraded. Its warhead was two and a half times bigger than usual.
Ever since the outgoing Olmert government ended Operation Cast Lead in Gaza on January 20, the Palestinians have steadily stepped-up their missile attacks against Israel. Daily Palestinian missile barrages against Israel have returned to pre-Operation Cast Lead levels. The IDF warned that over the past six weeks Hamas has rebuilt its missile arsenals both through imports of Iranian arms from Egypt and through local production. They have also brought in fairly advanced anti-aircraft missiles capable of shooting down Israeli helicopters.
As Ashkelon was recovering from the latest Hamas onslaught, representatives from 80 countries and international organizations convened in Sharm el-Sheikh and pledged billions of dollars in aid to Hamas-controlled Gaza. The US, represented by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, pledged $900 million in assistance. Of course the Obama administration through Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the $900 million was not being given to Hamas but how absurd is this. Every bit of aid and money given supposedly to the people in Gaza has been appropriated by Hamas for their purposes. Why in the world would Obama and Clinton think anything different would happen with the latest gift?
The Jerusalem Post reported that despite all this the US is curtailing its military aid to Israel. Under new Obama’s Pentagon guidelines, the Israeli Ministry of Defense must give a detailed accounting of how it uses every item it purchases with US aid money. As a consequence, the Defense Ministry issued new instructions to the IDF that from now Israel's purchases from the US will be limited to defensive armaments and systems aimed at preserving its "qualitative edge" against its enemies. Can you imagine this happening to our only friend in the Middle East?
The main reason that six weeks after Operation Cast Lead the US has joined the nations of the world in funding Hamas and is curtailing its military assistance to Israel has to do with the new US administration and what happens in Israeli politics.
Israel's leaders during Operation Cast Lead, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, are responsible for Israel's current predicament. Since its founding in November 2005 Kadima’s main objective has been that it never be perceived as failing. For the past three years, with the active collusion of their version of our liberal media, Kadima has managed to control the flow of information to the public and successfully covered up the failures of its strategic policies. Indeed, only because of a sycophant press did Kadima do as well as it did in the last election through its ability to spin and obfuscate information.
This Kadima practice was first implemented in the lead-up to the 2006 elections. The Jerusalem press reported that at the time of the elections the media worked with Kadima to suppress information about the strategic significance of Hamas' electoral victory in the January 2006 Palestinian Authority elections. The Jerusalem Post reported the Israeli liberal press also blocked reportage and public discussion of the massive build-up of Iranian-supplied arms in Gaza following Israel's withdrawal from the area in September 2005, and the transformation of Gaza's disparate terror cells into Hezbollah-trained and styled paramilitary brigades.
As columnists for the paper reported “The need for the cover-up was obvious: An open discussion of post-withdrawal developments in Gaza would have demonstrated to the public that Kadima's signature policy of unconditionally surrendering land to the Palestinians was, to put it mildly, insane.”
Kadima's handling of Operation Cast Lead was another effort to mislead Israelis. It is clear to most observers that the only way to defend southern Israel is to re-conquer Gaza because as long as Hamas controls this territory it will use it to attack Israel. But for Kadima, which owes its existence to its leaders' 2005 pullout from Gaza, acknowledging that Israel has no option other than reasserting control over Gaza was not an option. Moreover, a re-conquest of Gaza would discredit Kadima's plans to give away territory like Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. As elections approached, Kadima declared that deterrence had been achieved and pulled IDF forces from Gaza. They told Israelis and the rest of us that the continued Palestinian missile offensive against the south was nothing more than the last gasps of a defeated foe. And the media in Israel and the US went along with them.
Now that Likud with allies on the right is forming the next government, information about Israel's actual situation is finally being reported. Not only did Israel not deter Hamas, the inconclusive end of the campaign has paved the way for a massive diplomatic onslaught against Israel and a diplomatic campaign to legitimize Hamas. Today Israel is being blamed for Hamas' war against it. Kadima's favorite Palestinian "peace" partner, Fatah, is leading an international campaign to indict IDF commanders as war criminals while last weekend's bombing of another Israeli school was met with international indifference. Instead, international leaders had their photographs taken outside the UNRWA school in Gaza that the IDF bombed in January after Hamas combatants used the building as a missile launching pad against Israeli civilians.
Recently the US backed an international campaign to force Israel to surrender control over its borders with Gaza to Hamas and Clinton joined her European counterparts in demanding that Israel permit cement, aluminum tubes and other missile components to enter Gaza in order to alleviate the "humanitarian suffering" of the poor Gazans. Furthermore, like Europe, the Obama administration supports the establishment of a Hamas-Fatah government. Rather than attack Hamas and Fatah in international forums and defend Ashkelon's schoolchildren at least diplomatically, Livni devotes herself to attacking Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu for refusing to back Palestinian statehood.
Netanyahu's view is that surrendering control over Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem to the Palestinians will endanger Israel. For as long as that remains the case, it is impossible to support Palestinian statehood. This is also a denunciation of Kadima's governing strategy. So Livni denies the truth to advance her party's interests and condemns Likud for recognizing reality.
Despite media control and Kadima's strategy for "success" by appeasement, the country still gave Netanyahu and the parties to his right a mandate to govern. Netanyahu needs to take the people’s support and consolidate his gains without unnecessary compromise or allowing people in the government who would detract from the need to take all steps to protect Israel. Then, when his government is formed, Netanyahu needs to move quickly on two fronts.
After consolidating his government, Netanyahu must take decisive, "disproportionate" action against Hamas and show the Israeli people (and the world) he is serious about making them secure. People rally around a leader who's willing to take political risks to protect them.
Additionally Netanyahu has to publicly highlight the major differences he has with the Obama administration - and he should never be led around or intimidated by them. Netanyahu needs to break the illusion of dependency by showing Israelis the world doesn't end when it stands up to America on matters of life and death. In fact, he might find that it's Obama and Hillary who are set back on their heels.
Israel is knee-deep in crises spawned by the so-called Oslo Accords and a Sharon-Olmert-Livni government too long in power. Netanyahu should take Rahm Emanuel’s advice – “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” This may be the last time for Israel to survive and protect its future – Netanyahu should not waste it.
World leaders give their money to Gaza while Israeli schoolchildren are forced to stay home from school; they should be ashamed.
$238,000 for Hawaiian canoe trips, research into pig smells, and tattoo removal. The money goes to a sailing club and is backed by Senate Appropriations Committee chairman, Democrat Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii.
New York Democrat Congressman Jerrold Nadler got $4.5 million for new park development in Manhattan.
How about $950,000 to convert a railroad bridge over the Hudson River into a walkway in Poughkeepsie, New York?
$1.7 million for "Swine Odor and Manure Management Research - The swine research center, at Iowa State University in Ames, got funds through the Agricultural Research Service to improve the smell of animals and the lagoons where waste is stored. That's in addition to $1.9 million they received in each of the last two years, or nearly $6 million over the last three years.
There's funding for mosquito trapping in Gainesville, Fla. - requested by Democrat Congressman Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut. The research was funded at $1.2 million in each of the last two years.
Democrat Congressman Howard Berman got $200,000 for a "tattoo-removal violence-outreach program" in Los Angeles. The money would buy a tattoo-removal machine to help gang members remove evidence of their gang membership.
The watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense calculates that there are an astonishing 8,570 earmarks at a cost of $7.7 billion.
Obama has criticized earmarks and insisted they be kept out of stimulus legislation – not surprising, this drew laughs from Republicans at the president's recent address to Congress. For the rest of us laughs turn to tears as we are asked to pay for them.
But this is only the beginning; Obama also unveiled a proposal that sets aside $634 billion over the next 10 years for health-care reform. He plans for us to pay for it, in part, by limiting (actually removing) tax deductions for families that earn more than $250,000 a year.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
The Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, states, "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President."
A California lawsuit seeking documentation from Occidental College that could verify the nationality under which Barack Obama entered the school has been filed by Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation, which has brought a lawsuit on behalf of Ambassador Alan Keyes over Obama's eligibility. Defense lawyers for Obama are trying to quash the request for Occidental records, arguing that any objections to Obama's presidential candidacy and victory should have been raised in Congress at the time of the Electoral College vote. However there was an effort to raise the question with the Electoral College but the court refused to intervene. Lt. Col. Donald Sullivan sought a temporary restraining order to stop the Electoral College vote in North Carolina until Barack Obama's eligibility could be confirmed, alleging doubt about Obama's citizenship but his case was denied.
As part of the suit filed by USJF, a subpoena was served on Occidental College for its records. School officials immediately contacted lawyers for Obama and said the demand would have to be answered unless they intervened. Obama's lawyers then submitted a demand to the court arguing the case was moot because the election was over and the correct place to resolve such concerns was in Congress now and challenges should have been made to the Electoral College who confirmed Obama’s election as president. [But as pointed out previously such an effort was timely made but was rebuffed.]
Papers filed on behalf of USJF also cautioned: "If MR. OBAMA is not constitutionally eligible to serve as President of the United States, then no act that he takes is, arguably, valid, the laws that he signs would not be valid, the protective orders that he signs would be null and void, and every act that he takes would be subject to legal challenge, both in Courts of the United States of America, and in International Courts, and that, therefore, it is important for the voters to know whether he, or any candidate for President in the future, is eligible to serve in that office."
Obama has refused to document his U.S. citizenship and as a result his eligibility to be president under the Constitution's requirement for a "natural born" citizen, have been challenged in court.
"MR. Obama’s actions to block any attempt to inquire into his status as a 'natural born citizen' raises questions which must be answered in order to avoid a situation where, perhaps several years in the future, it is discovered that he was not eligible to serve as President of the United States, and, therefore, all of his acts would be null and void, and that the resulting chaos could lead to a constitutional crisis, immobilizing the United States," the USJF said.
Obama supporters have all along stated that his birth certificate was posted on the internet web site. However the "Certification of Live Birth" which was actually posted doesn’t confirm a birth location. "[Hawaii] statute 138 allows foreign born children of HI residents to get HI [Certificates of Live Birth] and get them based on a statement of one relative only. While Hawaiian officials confirmed a birth certificate exists, they did not exclude the possibility it was "one obtained for a foreign born child." It is also noted that in Obama's immigration to Indonesia at age 5 he was considered an Indonesian citizen.
In addition to the USJF law suit, many other suits have been filed and all are documented in various article posted on the internet, including several described by WorldNet Daily. Some of the lawsuits question whether Obama was actually born in Hawaii, as he insists. Some suits contend that if he was born out of the country and some contend that Obama's American mother was too young at the time of his birth to confer American citizenship to her son under the law at the time.
Other challenges have focused on Obama's citizenship through his father, a Kenyan subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom at the time of his birth. This would make the father a dual citizen. However the framers of the Constitution excluded dual citizens from qualifying as natural born.
Although Obama could settle all questions about his eligibility to be president by simply producing his birth certificate or authorizing others to do so; instead, a series of law firms have been hired on Obama's behalf around the nation to prevent any public access to his birth certificate, passport records, college records and other documents.
Obama has refused to document his U.S. citizenship and, therefore, his eligibility to be president under the Constitution's requirement for a "natural born" citizen.
What do you conclude from this?