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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Obama's Economic Armageddon

By On February 28, 2009
In a little over a month, Barack Hussein Obama has accomplished more than any American President has in four years.

That accomplishment was to run up a bigger deficit in a month, than any American President has in four years. Now arrogantly rolling out a 10 year spending plan, 2 years more than his legal term, Obama proposes saddling Americans with over 20 Trillion dollars in debt.

No depression or recession could be nearly as damaging or last as long as the damage Obama plans to do to the economy. Having already run up a deficit of 1.75 Trillion dollars in a little over a month, the Prince of Chicago is obviously only getting started. Despite the Orwellian media coverage busy repackaging Obama's plans to triple the deficit, as a plan to "cut the deficit" based purely on White House talking points, what we're really looking at is the "Selling of America" to pay for massive spending favoring the Democratic power base.

With tax hikes targeting industry in general, and oil and gas in particular, we can expect higher oil prices to go with the spiraling stock market. Since the price of oil in turn impacts the cost of shipping for goods and services, that means the price of products will also continue going up. When combined with an emphasis on a strong dollar, we can expect imports to take a beating too.

What it all adds up to is that the average American will have less money to spend, and can expect that money to go much less further.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is down 6.2 percent. Meanwhile Federal spending is actually up 6.7 percent. That is an excellent demonstration of the entire fallacy behind using government spending to reboot the economy. Like a vacuum cleaner, Federal spending is sucking up more and more of an already shrinking economy, and shrinking it further by taking steps toward nationalization and tax increases.

While state spending has actually gone down 1.4 percent in response to budget crunches, demonstrating some belated fiscal management, Federal spending continues to rise. Under Obama's spending plan, we're headed straight into deficit spending that will more than double the previous legal limit.

Obama's plan is to put every single American, living and unborn, for at least a generation deep into debt in order to finance an economic recovery, that most economics agree would happen anyway far sooner than that. And the economic recovery plan in fact does next to nothing to aid the economy. Instead we're going to see tax cuts weighed toward small businesses in an income range that tend not to have any employees anyway. We're going to see mortgage bailouts for people who should never had gotten mortgages in the first place. And we're going to see bad behavior by individuals and financial institutions shored up at taxpayer expense.

There's a reason that every time Obama gives a speech on the economy, the stock market falls further. The market has gone steadily down since Obama was elected by over 2000 points. His election saw the worst post-election loss in the market ever. And we're just getting started.

With the government set to take a nearly 40 percent stake in Citigroup, we're already on the road to nationalization. The very rumors of nationalization and the government taking a larger stake in Citigroup naturally caused further setbacks for Citigroup, which turned it into a self-fulfilling prophecy. And that is no coincidence at all. The sorts of tactics usually associated with hostile takeovers by one corporation against another, are being deployed by Obama's people against the United States economy.

Now we're set to spend tens of billions of dollars, perhaps more, to salvage Citigroup, whose largest shareholders, prior to our stake in it, were the Royal families of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In essence American taxpayers have been dunned to bail out a bank whose largest shareholder is Saudi Prince Alaweed Bin Talal.

After 9/11 Giuliani made headlines by telling Alaweed Bin Talal to take his 10 million dollar check and go to hell. Now after Bin Talal and Robert Rubin forced the ouster of Citigroup CEO Chuck Prince, replacing him with Vikram Pandit, the American taxpayer is covering Bin Talal's bank losses with a blank check well into the billions.

The press lately has been full of articles deconstructing the fallacies that were behind the economic collapse. Their common denominator behind them all is arrogance and a refusal to accept a reality check on the consequences of their conduct. That phenomenon however is far from limited to Wall Street. It reigns triumphant in Washington D.C. under the motto of "Hope and Change".

It took a culture of arrogance and fraud to peddle worthless mortgages as securities. It takes an even bigger culture of arrogance and fraud to peddle Federal pork barrel spending as economic recovery. Both are the actions of people with no understanding of consequences who have come to believe their own press. Behind the collapse of Wall Street was a press that refused to ask the tough questions. Behind the collapse of America is a press that refuses to ask Obama the tough questions.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Afternoon Roundup - an Orwellian Deficit, the Racist Ball and the Border That Isn't There

By On February 27, 2009

White Houses Announces Plan to Cut Deficit, by using Deficit Spending to Triple the National Debt.

Does that make any sense to you? Because it sure doesn't make any sense to me.

In George Orwell's Animal Farm, the 7 rules that the animals lived by continued to change by Napoleon's fiat, even as none of the other animals could remember what they used to be. So "Two Legs Bad, Four Legs Good" became "Four Legs Good, Two Legs Better."

The press under Obama has switched to enthusiastically braying, "Deficit Reduction Good, Deficit Spending Better."

For anyone who wondered how to tell when the Orwellian age was here, it would be when the press describes a politician's plan to triple the national debt using deficit spending, as a plan to cut the deficit. All the better because the politician's first wave of campaigning involved a commercial secretly done by one of his own employees and planted as a "viral video" that exploited Orwell in order to criticize his opponent as manipulative and totalitarian.

Obama's spending plan has all the economic wisdom of a teenager shopping for electronics and paying for it with one credit, while paying the credit card bill with another credit card. That kind of inability to understand the consequences of spending money you don't actually have, helped get us into this mess in the first place.

Meanwhile however taxpayers will be dunned billions for the "virtual nationalization" of Citigroup, a bank whose largest shareholders are Saudi Prince Alaweed Bin Talal and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Can Sharia finance be far behind?

Mississippi Democratic Congressman Gene Taylor has wisely pointed out that, "deficit spending is not change."

Mississippi Democratic Rep. Gene Taylor blasted the budget outline President Obama submitted to Capitol Hill today, saying “I don’t like it…change is not running up even bigger deficits that George Bush did.”
“That’s what George Bush did very well. Apparently that’s what President Obama is doing.”
As a member of the Armed Service Committee, Taylor noted the budget only gives the Defense Department a “small increase,” which he said would barely cover the cost of living adjustments for the military.

Taylor pointed to President Obama’s inaugural address that called for Americans to make sacrifices, saying “It’s certainly not reflected in his budget.”
But it's asking too much to expect the press to ask the tough questions. Not when they can instead report on such vital breaking stories as which dog Obama picked, and how to get toned arms like Michelle Obama. Who has the time to contemplate the impact of 20+ Trillion dollar deficit on our children, when we can instead look at new photos of Sasha or read about some lunatic who sent supposed AIDS tainted blood to Obama.

Four legs good, two legs better.

Of course that situation is hardly limited to the United States. Melanie Philips points out that the cost of a conventional political system ignoring a real crisis is the rise of something explosive.

While the media minutely scrutinise Harriet Harman’s ambition, Jacqui Smith’s expenses and David Cameron’s taste in clothes, a lower form of political pond life altogether is expanding like duck-weed.
Last week, the British National Party won a council seat in Sevenoaks, Kent. The reason for its increasing success is obvious. Like all populist, neo-fascist parties, the BNP is opportunistically exploiting the failure by the political establishment to address issues of pressing and legitimate concern to the public.
At a more profound and altogether more explosive level, however, is the fact that all three parties not only refuse to address the issues that concern the public most deeply and emotionally, but also demonise those who express such anxieties as racists or fascists.

In particular, they have colluded in a refusal to acknowledge that nationalism — or attachment to one’s own country and its values — is a perfectly respectable, even admirable, sentiment.
Instead, anyone who maintains that British culture and identity are rooted in the history, language, literature, religion and laws of this country — and must be defended as such against erosion, undermining or outright attack — is vilified as a racist or xenophobe. This effectively presents such people with a choice — between being demonised as racists and standing silently by as their culture evaporates.

For Britain is changing before our very eyes. As a result of the current rate of immigration, within half a century the projected steep increase in the UK’s population will be entirely made up of people not born in Britain — most of whom will have come from the Third World.

Meanwhile, the fanatically imposed doctrine of multiculturalism has brought about the erosion or denigration of Britain’s history, religion and identity, leaving generations of children — both indigenous and immigrant — appallingly ignorant of the common culture they need to share.
It is entirely reasonable to want one’s country to express its own culture through its institutions, laws and practices. Yet those who defend this principle are called ‘racist’.

Britain is witnessing an alarming growth of separate Muslim enclaves ruled by a parallel Islamic Sharia law. It is entirely reasonable to want one system of law for all. Yet those who say so are called ‘Islamophobic’.

And that of course is inevitable. When the powerful combination of the press and the political establishment marginalize and denounce a mainstream and widespread idea in order to create an enforced "moderation", there will always be those who hop on board and cultivate them.

If you denounce legitimate criticism of Islam or the cost of immigration as racist or fascist, you wind up with the issue in the domain of real racists and fascists. Whether it's the BNP in the UK or Le Pen in France or Avigdor Lieberman in Israel, when mainstream parties are timid, they put the ball in the court of parties and politicians who are not afraid of being denounced as racists or fascists. Often because that's exactly what they are.

The same phenomenon has not quite happened in America yet, mainly because the far right still hates Jews more than it worries about Muslims, but it has already ably exploited America's huge problem with debt and the expanding Federal government, as Ron Paul's candidacy demonstrates. Immigration in the US, as in the UK, is a populist area that Republicans too often shun, leaving it in the hands of the far right.

As McCain and now Jindal are aptly demonstrating, the Republicans cannot win by being a tame moderation party that eschews anything but some imaginary center. Cameron has demonstrated that in the UK. As the Likud has in Israel. You can't win by giving up your principles. At best you can win a battle and lose the war.
Fortunately there are plenty of Republicans who continue to hold strong positions on these issues. And Obama's Reign of Economic Terror is making questioning the size of the Federal government and the national debt, more mainstream than ever in the Republican party. Now that just needs to be translated into party strategy.

Melanie Philips' column, the rise of the BNP or Yisrael Beiteinu however should be fair warning to the Republican party that if it insists on being a RINO party, it will see its own equivalent of the BNP rising to steal its thunder. Ron Paul was only an opening shot. If the GOP doesn't embrace its priniciples now when it has the chance, it will be far more difficult to do so when it's losing former red states to a third party.

Speaking of Israel meanwhile, the coalition talks continue to drag on endlessly, with every site playing its usual hand, with the predictable and inevitable outcome. Kadima ironically enough, wants to be in the Opposition, though it has no actual principles or ideas. Labor's Barak, who actually has some ideas if not principles, wanted to be in a coalition, but was forbidden by his own party.

That drags everything back into a drawn out struggle over Lieberman and the religious parties. Just the sort of thing to make the Israeli public disgusted with everyone involved. That being the usual outcome in Israeli politics.

Lieberman's article supporting the creation of a Palestinian Arab state naturally should have surprised no one, as in the Huckabee mold, his nationalistic bark has always been louder than his liberal bite. But it's part of Lieberman's strategy to sell himself to a wider audience, bringing closer his ambition to become Prime Minister. Lieberman has repeatedly told people over the years that he wants to be PM, and playing the nationalist, is only one strategy of many he's used to bring himself closer to that stage. The genuinely depressing part is that he may make it yet.

Looking over the blogsphere,

Maggie's Notebook blogs on the developing crisis on the Mexican border, with Texas Governor Perry asking for troops.

The escalating border violence has prompted Texas Governor Rick Perry to ask for troops to guard the border. This week Juárez Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz moved his family to El Paso for safety.

According to Tuesday's El Paso Times, El Paso police are investigating the possibility that elements of the Juárez drug cartel may cross the border into the United States to come after Juárez Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz and his family.
With Pheonix already as the kidnapping capital of the US, the situation will only get worse. Ferriz moving his family across the border is no solution, because the truth is that there is no border anymore.

The Mexican border is a formality, because Mexico exists on both sides of the Rio Grande. The Mexican flags waved at immigration rallies, the rising presence of the cartels and cartel related violence on this side of the border, and the formal use of Spanish, are all statements that Mexico exists in the US as well. Mexico's second greatest source of revenue remains money sent from the US to back home.

The only difference is that Mexico does not have actual sovereignity on the US side of the border, but it's up in the air whether Mexico will have any sovereignity on their side of the border, or whether we'll have sovereignity on our side of the border either.

Neo Con Express meanwhile has the Obama budget deficit graph, displayed above.

Via Dragon Dirt, an essay asking Where's the Outrage About Saudi Arabia
Whew, what a relief to no longer have a president so intimately tied to the Saudi royal family. Thanks to a whole cottage industry of New York Times bestsellers like Craig Unger’s House of Bush, House of Saud and hit movies like Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, the nefarious relationship between “the world’s two most powerful dynasties” was exposed. Surely, now that we’re empowered to recognize a Saudi-controlled White House, people like Craig Unger and Michael Moore will have no problem rallying their fans, through more books and films, to reject President Obama’s suspicious obsequiousness toward the Saudis: Obama gave his first official interview as president to the partially Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya network. During that interview, he singled out Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah for his “great courage.” Obama has since selected as head of the National Intelligence Council a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia named Chas Freeman. Freeman has acknowledged the “generosity of Crown Prince Abdullah” in helping him in such endeavors as peddling a Saudi textbook full of nasty lies about Israel.
It will be interesting to see intrepid journalists and media mavens hot on the case of the Obama-Saudi connection.
Speaking of Freeman, Melanie Philips continues her coverage of him, and cites this blog as well

Chas W Freeman has now been confirmed as Obama’s pick for the chairmanship of America’s National Intelligence Council. This appointment, to a post which oversees production of America’s National Intelligence Estimates and shapes America’s understanding of the threat posed by the world’s rogue regimes and terror organisations, has caused even Obama supporters to choke into their cappuccinos. For Freeman is not simply, as I wrote here, in the pocket of Saudi Arabia, with ties to the bin Laden family after 9/11. Seven months after 9/11, he told the Washington Institute:
I accept that al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden almost certainly perpetrated the September 11 attacks.
Note the "Almost Certainly" part of this.

Via NavyVet48, in the comments, the local CBS affiliate's Marcia Kramer has a hard hitting story on the Jewish reaction to Hillary Clinton's transformation on Israel.

"I'm a very strong supporter of Israel," Clinton said back in February 2000.

On Thursday, as Secretary of State she had yet another about face in the form of angry messages demanding Israel speed up aid to Gaza. Jewish leaders are furious.

"I am very surprised, frankly, at this statement from the United States government and from the secretary of state," said Mortimer Zuckerman, publisher of the New York Daily News and member of the NYC Jewish Community Relations Council.

"I liked her a lot more as a senator from New York," Assemblyman Dov Hikind, D-Brooklyn, said. "Now, I wonder as I used to wonder who the real Hillary Clinton is."

The answer of course, like most politicians, is she is who she needs to be at a given moment.

Elder of Ziyon has more insight into that transformation in The Water in the State Department.

Islamic Danger to Americans has the text from an Imaginary Speech by Obama

Yes, you can see a day where every Saudi, every Egyptian, Syrian, Iranian, and Pakistani has the same opportunity. But that needs real change, real education, real human rights. It is time for the Muslim world and its nations to honor the rights and opportunities of every one of its citizens who happen to come from outside the tribes in control.

Every human being living in Saudi Arabia should have the right to build a house of worship, not only Muslims. Theocrats have enabled a shar'ia based legal system which is an anathema to liberty and basic human rights –all in the name of the religion of Islam.

Of course as the appointment of a Saudi lobbyist demonstrates, it will always be an imaginary speech.

Meanwhile Atlas Shrugs features Part Two of How Muslim Theory Suppresses Women

Long before the U.S. declared itself a nation, however, America gave women at large great respect. The Uxbridge, Mass. town fathers in 1756 granted the young widow Lydia Taft the right to vote in local matters, for example. America again showed its respect for women in 1789 when the states ratified the U.S. Constitution, inferring rights to women amongst "We the people of the United States," when early 19th century suffragette Abby Kelley Foster first sought votes for women, and in 1869 when Susan B. Anthony's formed the National Woman Suffrage Association.

Voting rights would never have accrued to American women, moreover, without their basic and universal right to free speech and their right "peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances," as guaranteed in the First Amendment, drafted and ratified in 1791.

Nowhere in the world, by contrast, does Islam grant such rights to women, either political or religious. Far from it. Current Islamic teaching more or less parallels that of the 7th century original. In October 2006, for example, former Australian Mufti Sheikh Taj Aldin al-Hilali described women as "uncovered meat" in a sermon at Sydney's Lakemba mosque. Similarly, Muslim Brotherhood spiritual chief Yusuf Qaradawi, widely recognized as Islam's "greatest" living scholar, in the Status of Women in Islam derides any woman having "free rein to assert herself, promote her personality, enjoy her life and her femininity... mix with men freely, experience them closely where they would be together and alone, travel with them, go to cinemas or dance till midnight together."


he global Muslim war on free speech is best exemplified by verbal and legal attacks on Dutch freedom fighter and Member of Parliament Geert Wilders, who has for years required non-stop personal security protection, now faces trial at home for his truthful statements quoting the Qur'an, and was recently barred entry to the U.K. This is all the work of advocates for global shari'a rule.

As we've previously noted at Right Side News, several large North American Muslim organizations also advocate global imposition of Islamic law, which prohibits "defamation" of Islam and Mohammed. For Muslims who leave the faith or "blaspheme" against Islam or Mohammed, the punishment is death, a statute on the books in several Muslim states, and widely enforced by mob rule in others. Non-Muslims may not criticize Islam or Mohammed, either. Pakistan's hudud code enforces shari'a laws on everyone, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Iran, Saudi Arabia and Sudan also enforce hudud laws. According to Islamic scholars, these statutes apply to all of mankind.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Obama's 900 Million Dollar Payout to Hamas

By On February 25, 2009
The United States plans to offer more than $900 million to help rebuild Gaza after Israel's invasion and to strengthen the Western-backed Palestinian Authority, U.S. officials said on Monday. The money, which needs U.S. congressional approval, will be distributed through U.N. and other bodies and not via the militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza, said one official.
There are two obvious problems with this scenario. The Palestinian Authority does not rule Gaza. Any rebuilding of Gaza will only strengthen Hamas. Secondly, any foreign organizations operating in Gaza either answer to Hamas or are Hamas run outright.

Take the UNRWA, the refugee arm of the UN which despite multiple refugee crises worldwide, focuses on working for the Palestinian Arabs. While there is a great deal of focus on foreign aid to Israel, the taxpayer money that goes to the UNRWA goes unnoticed. In 2006 alone the US contributed 135 million dollars to the UNRWA, out of an over half a billion dollar budget.

The UNRWA also, in their own words, employs "99 per cent locally-recruited Palestinians". The UNRWA is actually the second biggest employer in the territories, after the Palestinian Authority itself. (Both funded by the US and other foreign donors.) That means the structure of the UNRWA in Gaza is composed of Gazans under Hamas control.

By 2006 the UNRWA had only 25 "internationals" or non-Palestinian Arabs left in Gaza. After Hamas' takeover and the latest war, that number is likely to be smaller. Which means that the UNRWA is effectively under Hamas control, which Hamas demonstrated when they seized UNRWA aid and drove it away in their trucks.

While UNRWA "internationals" such as Karen Koning AbuZayd or Fillippo Grandi issue press releases from their comfortable offices in Amman, the real UNRWA is run on the ground, and despite the denials from Amman, it has routinely employed terrorist affiliated personnel.

All this has been extensively documented;
This past September, Democratic Rep. Steve Rothman, with a bipartisan group of five co-sponsors, submitted a concurrent resolution noting that "UNRWA has employed staffers affiliated with terrorism."
The resolution cited specific examples of UNRWA ambulance and schools having been used to abet terrorism and mentioned a number of figures, including Awad al-Qiq, headmaster of an UNRWA school in Gaza, "who also led Islamic Jihad's engineering unit that built bombs and Qassam rockets."

However humane the intent of UNRWA officials, they have become de facto enablers of Hamas' terrorist fiefdom in Gaza.

over and over again. Time and time again.

Since many UNRWA teachers are alumni of the UNRWA school system, they often perpetuate the vitriolic curriculum they were taught, vilifying Israel and the West. For example, Suheil al-Hindi, an UNRWA teachers' representative, openly applauded suicide bombings at a school in the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza in 2003. Instead of a condemnation, al-Hindi received a promotion and was subsequently elected to UNRWA's clerks union.

UNRWA teachers who publicly identify with radical groups have created a teachers' bloc that ensures the election of Hamas members and other individuals committed to Islamist ideologies. After using their classrooms as a place to refine their radical messages, these teachers gravitate to politics. As such, UNRWA's education system has become a springboard for Hamas leaders. For example, Said Sayyam, the Hamas minister of interior and civil affairs, was a teacher in UNRWA schools in Gaza from 1980 to 2003. He went on to become a member of UNRWA's Arab Employees Union, and headed the teachers sector committee.

Notable graduates of the UNRWA school system include former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, and Abd al-Aziz Rantisi, the former Hamas chief who attended UNRWA secondary school in Khan Younis and graduated top of his class.

UNWRA has produced graduates like Ibrahim Maqadama, who "helped create the military structure of Hamas." Gold notes that, "at least 46 terrorist operatives were students in the UNRWA schools."

There have also been widespread reports of terrorism from UNRWA-supervised facilities, including sniper attacks from UNRWA-run schools, bomb and arms factories in UNRWA camps, the transport of terrorists to their target zones in UNRWA ambulances, and even UNRWA employees directly tied to terrorist attacks against civilians.

Nidal Abd al-Fattah Abdallah Nazzal, an ambulance driver for UNRWA from Kalqiliya in the West Bank, was arrested by Israeli security services in August 2002. Nidal admitted that he was a Hamas activist and that he had transported weapons and explosives to terrorists in his ambulance, taking advantage of the freedom of movement afforded to UNRWA vehicles by the Israelis.

Nahd Rashid Ahmad Atallah, a senior official of UNRWA in the Gaza Strip, was also arrested by Israeli security in August 2002. In his capacity as an UNRWA official, he provided support to families of wanted Fatah and PFLP terrorists. He used his UNRWA car to transport armed members of the "Popular Resistance Committees," a militant faction of the Fatah movement, to carry out attacks against Israeli troops at the Karni Crossing.

UNRWA also appears to be in the business of cultivating new terrorists. The New York Times exposed in 2000 that UNRWA allowed terrorist groups to use their schools as "summer camps" so that 25,000 Palestinian children could receive paramilitary training, including instructions on how to prepare Molotov cocktails and roadside bombs.
The UNRWA is less of an aid agency that a blank check to the tune of half a billion dollars a year that's poured into the domain of whoever is already in control on the ground. In Gaza that's Hamas, and the situation isn't much different for many of the other agencies that will be the recipient of the nearly billion dollar payout from Hamas.

The UNRWA has already taken the lead in promoting contact between Hamas and Obama. The proposed 900 billion package will rebuild Gaza's infrastructure for Hamas' benefit, and open the door to a Hamas overthrow of the PA in the West Bank, followed by US recognition of Hamas.

The policy will be camouflaged by claims that the UN will prevent the aid from going to Hamas, which as demonstrated above is an absurd claim, because there is no wall of separation between the UN and Hamas whatsoever.

Piggybacking a pro-Hamas policy on NGO's comes naturally to the core Obama team. Unlike the more mainstream Clinton dems running the above ground foreign policy, their more radical politics and international agendas link them to the NGO's, allowing them to undermine Hillary Clinton and her envoys. While the State Department may hold press conferences, the real decisions will be made in the White House and the NSC, current power base for Samantha Power.

At a time when the US economy is in bad shape and the US national debt is rising to an all time high, sending nearly a billion dollars to Hamas is nothing short of sheer madness or treason. Yet it's the opening stages of a policy that will empower and reward Islamists across the Middle East.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Chas Freeman: "Help the Shiites win fast, consolidate their damn dictatorship and get the hell out"

By On February 24, 2009
Chas Freeman's proposed appointment to head the National Intelligence Council  is already getting lots of scrutiny. A former Saudi lobbyist who did business with the Bin Laden group, Chas Freeman has naturally spewed more than his share of bile toward Israel, and toadying toward the Saudi kingdom.

After 9/11, Chas Freeman sought to do business with the Bin Laden group and responded to critics by saying that Bin Laden was still “a very honored name in the kingdom [of Saudi Arabia]". He's called Hezbollah a legitimate outgrowth of Lebanese nationalism and denied that it was an Iranian puppet. He bragged about his million dollar donation from the Saudi King to fund his organization, which he used to publish Walt and Mearsheimer's article attacking the "Jewish lobby". These days he's pushing for a "One State Solution" in Israel, code for the destruction of Israel.

Much of this has already been effectively laid out by such as Melanie Philips. There is however a lot more I have learned.

Chas Freeman is co-chair of the US China Policy Foundation and the American Iranian Council, with offices in Iran, holder of the Order of Abd Al-Azziz, 1st Class. He is also board chairman of Projects International Inc, a company that facilitates all sorts of projects, particularly in Saudi Arabia.

And even more significantly, Chas Freeman is on the International Advisory Board of China National Offshore Oil Co. CNOOC is a State owned enterprise , controlled by the Chinese government. As such Chas Freeman has openly worked for both Saudi Arabia and the People's Republic of China.

CNOOC did business pretty much the way you expect a Chinese state owned company to do business, with large scale pollution, intimidation and evictions. And CNOOC has designs on snapping up American oil companies, so it can do business in the US. This closeness between Chas Freeman and the People's Republic of China has translated into Freeman ruthlessly doing their propaganda for them.

This puts into perspective the Weekly Standard's revelation that Chas Freeman sent out a message saying that China did not go far enough in the Tiananmen Square Massacre

Such folk, whether they represent a veterans' "Bonus Army" or a "student uprising" on behalf of "the goddess of democracy" should expect to be displaced with despatch from the ground they occupy. I cannot conceive of any American government behaving with the ill-conceived restraint that the Zhao Ziyang administration did in China, allowing students to occupy zones that are the equivalent of the Washington National Mall and Times Square, combined. while shutting down much of the Chinese government's normal operations. I thus share the hope of the majority in China that no Chinese government will repeat the mistakes of Zhao Ziyang's dilatory tactics of appeasement in dealing with domestic protesters in China.

This has been covered, but I present some more of Chas Freeman's Greatest Hits that have yet to be covered. Here's the view that Obama's nominee to head the National Intelligence Council offered to Rolling Stone when asked what to do about the War in Iraq.

A panel of experts convened by Rolling Stone agree that the war in Iraq is lost. The only question now is: How bad will the coming explosion be?

Chas Freeman: The most efficient way to avoid mass killings is to help the Shiites win fast, consolidate their damn dictatorship and get the hell out. The level of anarchy and hatred and emotional disturbance is such that it's very hard to imagine anything except a Saddam-style reign of terror succeeding in pacifying the place.

Clear on that? The man who will be advising the White House on the world situation, favored setting up an Iranian backed dictatorship in Iraq, and then quickly withdrawing.

And we're just getting started.

Chas Freeman became the darling of the left wing by repeatedly attacking the US war in Iraq, including repeatedly ridiculing the claim that Saddam had weapons of Mass Destruction. However before the US invasion, Chas Freeman delivered a speech claiming that if we attacked Saddam, he would use weapons of mass destruction against us... while implying that 9/11 was justified because we had attacked Bin Laden's homeland.

Former U. S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chas Freeman, in a recent speech, warned that the U. S. could expect an eye-for-an-eye response: "One lesson of September 11th that we need to recall more than any other is that if we attack someone else's homeland in this day and age, we can expect that our own homeland will be attacked. We know that if we attack Saddam he will use weapons of mass destruction in whatever way he can. We don't know, however,what preparations he's made."

Of course this was par for the course as Chas Freeman had all but gone into business whoring for the Saudi Kingdom.

I would say that the last two years, as we mark the anniversary of September 11th, have seen a major deterioration in the atmosphere and tone of the U.S.-Saudi relations broadly written, even as the two governments have continued a fairly cordial and cooperative relationship.

The irony is that both Washington and Riyadh have ended up defending the value of the relationship and the quality of the relationship against, frankly, often very ignorant and uninformed, but malicious attacks from their own publics.

Naturally Chas Freeman was also against expecting any reforms in Afghanistan for the rights of women.

Chas Freeman, president of the Middle East Policy Council and a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia:

“We need to recall the reason we went to Afghanistan in the first place. … Our purpose was to deny the use of Afghan territory to terrorists with global reach. That was, and is, an attainable objective. It is a limited objective that can be achieved at reasonable cost. We must return to a ruthless focus on this objective. We cannot afford to pursue goals, however worthy, that it contradicts or undermines it. The reform of Afghan politics, society and mores must wait.”

But lest you think that Chas Freeman's relationship with the Saudis is monogamous, he has a long history of being equally willing to write hosannas to the People's Republic of China. From justifying the Tianamen Square Massacre to constantly attacking Taiwan, Chas Freeman proved all too willing to serve another brutal dictatorship.

Sometimes, for example, in the matters of Taiwan, Tibet or the democracy movement in Hong Kong, Americans are enlisted by lobbyists acting on behalf of separatist or dissident movements in greater China.

Naturally the only "separatist" movements Chas Freeman seems to support are those backed by Iran or Saudi Arabia. Taiwan, which actually is a separate country, need not apply.

April 19, 2000: Chas Freeman argues that Taiwan has provoked a crisis,and that unless it reverses course, China and the US are headed for war.

Mr. Freeman: But you see, Les, I don't agree that those are the issues because I think that there is virtually zero prospect of Taiwan gratuitously provoking Beijing with a declaration of independence. I think the question before Taiwan now that has been put clearly by Beijing is "Are you prepared to reverse course from the declaration of independence, without using that word, that you have already pronounced. And if you are not prepared to reverse course. If you adhere to the view that you are entitled to be treated by the international community and by other Chinese as a separate state then the consequences of that will be the use of force."

... The Chinese are quite capable of negotiating solutions of issues that are very difficult and being patient. And the saddest thing here is that their counterparts in Taiwan have not allowed them to exercise that patience. Just consider the example of the difference between Indian actions in taking Goa by force and Chinese actions in waiting decades to negotiate a peaceful retrocession of Hong Kong. 

In Chas Freeman's twisted worldview, China is to be praised by not invading by force. But what else should one expect from a man who penned the following description of Mao Zedong, China's own Stalin.

Mao Zedong had a force and energy which none but men of equally great spiritual conviction could withstand. His animal appetites, we now know, matched his intellectual vigor. He was an object of adulation to his subjects and of mingled admiration and dread to his subordinates and intimates. While Mao lived, the brilliance of his personality illuminated the farthest corners of his country and inspired many would-be revolutionaries and romantics beyond it.

It is quite clear that Chas Freeman either has no principles that can't be bought, or outright worships and celebrates brutal tyrannies. As Melanie Philips writes, he is indeed the best weapon that Islamists could have in their armory. And not only Islamists. Every dictatorship around the world could not ask for a better friend.

And now Obama will put into place a second Saudi puppet to head a major piece of the national security structure, after James L. Jones. But let's close with one more excerpt from Chas Freeman on Israel.

Tragically, despite all the advantages and opportunities Israel has had over the fifty-nine years of its existence, it has failed to achieve concord and reconciliation with anyone in its region, still less to gain their admiration or affection.

The framework proposed by Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah at Beirut in 2002 offers Israel an opportunity to accomplish both. It has the support of all Arab governments.

Despite the fact that such a peace is so obviously also in Israel's vital and moral interests, history and the Israeli response to date both strongly suggest that without some tough love from Americans, including especially Israel's American coreligionists, Israel will not risk the uncertainties of peace. ... But unless they are changed, the Arab peace plan will exceed its shelf life, and Arabs will revert to their previous views that Israel is an ethnomaniacal society with which it is impossible for others to coexist and that peace can be achieved only by Israel's eventual annihilation, much as the Crusader kingdoms that once occupied Palestine were eventually destroyed.

An unsubtle threat from a Saudi apologist, which quite openly states that Israel has the choice of accepting the plan advanced by Freeman's Saudi masters or Israel will be annihilated.

This is the man Obama has put in place to have charge of the next National Intelligence Estimate. Kim Philby, eat your heart out. A foreign enemy agent has never had the kind of power that Chas Freeman Jr can expect to wield over American foreign policy on behalf of his clients in Saudi Arabia and China.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fear of Power vs Fear of Powerlessness

By On February 23, 2009
For most of human history people have been afraid of being powerless, rather than of having power. Being powerless meant having no rights and no defense. It meant being a slave in name, or all but in name.

Today however millions of people in First World countries worry intensely over having too much power. This mindset causes them to abandon the traditional defensive and offensive mechanisms, and instead argue that the solution lies in giving up power, rather than in increasing power.

Where traditionally people were afraid being powerless, today the citizens of the civilized world are taught to be afraid of having power.

The havoc this has wreaked on the ability of civilized countries to defend themselves can be seen everywhere. Traditionally a country defends itself against internal or external attack. Today however a civilized country is the first to be blamed for an attack, and then blamed for defending itself excessively, and finally is blamed for provoking the attack. The only solution offered is appeasement, which never actually deals with the threat, and empowers the enemy.

The core of the problem lies in the intellectual and cultural dominance of liberalism and the various left wing political strains, which have as their common denominator the idea that the country and its social system are oppressive and must be reformed.

As self-identified reformers, liberals identify attempts to conserve the system which they have identified as oppressive, as inherently oppressive. Therefore they identify conservatism with oppression and personally identify far more with "outsiders", including enemies, than with "insiders" who are their fellow citizens.

The monochromatic progressive worldview causes them to presume that power in the hands of someone equally progressive, or more progressive than them, is never being abused, since it is in the hands of a "reformer". While power in the hands of someone more conservative is naturally being abused, because it is in the hands of a "reactionary" which enables the current oppressive system.

Liberals do not define oppression in terms of prison camps, political repression or mass executions. They define it by how far a country is along the Conservative-Progressive axis. The more progressive a country is, to a liberal it is by definition less oppressive. By contrast a more conservative country is by liberal definitions more oppressive.

This explains why liberals can claim that Castro's Cuba is an oasis of freedom, while Bush's America was a brutal tyranny. Liberal definitions of tyranny have nothing to do with freedom of speech or not being put in front of a firing squad for criticizing the government. The only honest liberal barometer of tyranny is how conservative is the government.

Liberals then do not fear power, they fear power in someone else's hands. While liberals preach the gospel of non-violence, and warn against the use of power, they rarely ever mean it. Liberals willingly accept the use and abuse of power by a leader equally or more progressive than themselves.

Democrats did not have a problem with Clinton bombing the hell out of Serbia. The press which went stark raving mad at the Abu Ghaib detainees wearing women's underwear on their heads, had nothing to say when a commuter train and the Chinese Embassy were bombed.

Liberals protested any US action against Nazi Germany, up until the USSR went to war with Nazi Germany. Then the protests turned into denunciations of the US for not joining the fight. Trotskyist labor unions that attempted to go on strike during the war were suppressed in the US by Liberals and Communists.

Of course if it was this simple, then Western countries with liberal governments could defend themselves against Islamic terrorism. But there are complications.

First of all, the left has a virtually infinite amount of gradations, and military action taken by a moderate liberal will still be viciously denounced and campaigned against by those further on the left. Only an extreme left wing tyrant, the likes of Stalin or Castro can enjoy the unqualified support of most liberals and leftists.

Secondly, liberal cultural and intellectual influence throughout the 20th century has traditionally been disproportionate to the actual political power they hold. That tension between a conservative society and a more left wing academic and artistic elite in the West has made their preaching of the ideology of "Fear of Power" into something routine, in turn indoctrinating generation after generation with those same ideas.

While the West has moved to the left, it has never moved far enough and quickly enough to suit them. While the left originally foresaw the rise of worker's and peasant's states in the West, instead socialism has spawned well fed and entitled workers living the good life-- not ideal ingredients for revolutionary outrage. Instead the left under the guidance of the USSR turned to the Third World and came to view the West as "decadent" its prosperity, while the Third World had the potential for revolution.

While one dogmatic Trotskyite did have a habit of beginning his speeches in New York City with the address, "Workers and Peasants", the left has come to view the class struggle geographically, rather than demographically. Their new "Workers and Peasants" are more likely to be Mexicans, Africans, or particularly Muslims, who make up a large number of Europe's imported laborer and engage in such "revolutionary activities" as holding violent protest rallies and blowing up buses.

The effect of this shift is that liberals have gone from fomenting domestic class warfare, to fomenting international class warfare. Liberals still conduct a war against national political, social and economic institutions-- but they no longer do so in the name of their fellow "poor and oppressed" citizens, so much as they do it in the name of foreign criminals and terrorists.

This has made liberal governments, particularly socialist ones, incapable of fighting against Islamic terrorism.

Thirdly, liberals have spent so long preaching "Fear of Power" that it has become a part of their mindset. While these fears tend to fall away with an appropriately progressive leader, such leaders are more becoming difficult to find, and the ideology nevertheless persists, tainting the idea of any kind of national self-defense.

Fourthly, liberals today distrust the military as a conservative institution. Transforming the military into a liberal institution would require taking it apart and putting it back together in ways that would make it mostly ineffective. This has made liberals far less capable of employing military power, and increased the cycle of mistrust of power. Instead liberals prefer to rely on more traditionally liberal institutions of power, such as the diplomatic corps, which thanks to its academic background, allows them to far more effectively leverage intellectual control over it.

These factors have seriously undermined the ability of liberal leaders to oppose Islamic terrorism, while also promoting the liberal support for Islamic terrorism. As the current cycle comes to a close, liberals must choose between maintaining a non-revolutionary liberal society, or allowing Islamic fascism to destroy their liberal societies in the name of a theocratic revolution. And all too few liberals seem to even understand the choice, let alone demonstrate any ability to make it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Land of Opportunity or Land of Entitlement?

By On February 22, 2009
For centuries America has attracted immigrants as "The Land of Opportunity", not because we had a giant government bureaucracy overseeing every aspect of daily life, but because good jobs and social mobility were available.

These two factors combined together represented the American ideal of a place without limitations where anyone could become anything they wanted to be. Unfortunately America has been slowly changing from a Land of Opportunity to a Land of Entitlement, overseen by a monolithic bureaucracy and subsidized by workers.

That is why the constant cry of "Soak the Rich" that we've been hearing lately is so obnoxious. It isn't Robin Hood and the Merry Men raiding the Sheriff of Nottingham loot in Washington D.C. on behalf of the oppressed and the downtrodden. It's the Sheriff of Nottingham, a massive government bureaucracy looking for new sources of revenue to gorge itself on.

The free market has its flaws, and plenty of them. On the other hand building up a massive bureaucracy that consumes most of what the free market creates has one huge gaping flaw. The same one that affixing a giant blood sucking leech to your leg does, while wondering why you can't get any blood pumping to your head anymore.

The reason why so many saw America as a "Land of Opportunity" is because it placed no limits on how high they could go. You might start out working on the factory floor, only to own your own factory in a few years. The peddler could go on to open his own store, and then his own chain of stores. That used to be the American story, and a not uncommon one either. It become much less common, because as taxes have increased to subsidize a growing government bureaucracy that regulates everything, social mobility has also become that much more difficult.

Soaking the Rich places a glass ceiling over the Land of Opportunity, turning it into the Land of Entitlement. It marks an end to ambition based on hard work and accomplishment.

Everyone who hails Barack Obama's success story has been missing the real point. He's the son of a diplomat who became a legislator. Most of Obama's working life, he has either been drawing a government salary, or a salary contributed to by government funding. There's no particular achievement in lining your pockets with taxpayer money. There is one in actually working hard, earning a living, and building something of your own that didn't come from government money.

That's the difference between a Land of Opportunity and a Land of Entitlement. And Obama's story is a particularly poor example, because he represents the Entitlement side of the coin.

The Land of Opportunity side allows people to make their own destiny. The Land of Entitlement side gives them a small salad bar of options for using government bureaucracy to find a place of their own, from distributing the dole, to being on the dole, to delivering the dole, to passing new dole funding regulations. That's the gist of it.

The free market empowers people to make choice. Government bureaucracies disempower people. Social mobility in the Land of Entitlement is not defined by hard work, but by the chameleon-like ability to blend into the bureaucracy and exploit it for your benefit. Obama is a paragon of that virtue, but no other. When Obama insured that his wife got a six figure raise, backed by taxpayer money, he was demonstrating how the game was played in the Land of Entitlement. And he was also demonstrating why the Land of Entitlement is such a dead end. A sucker's game played by liars and con artists with someone else's chips.

What once drew immigrants to the Land of Opportunity was the vision of its boundless frontiers, an open land where anything was possible. Today that land has become replaced by rigid high walls, by the concrete rules and regulations of government authority, rising ever higher and tunneling deeper and deeper. The Land of Opportunity represented freedom. The Land of Entitlement represents a permanent desk job for the bureaucrat, a permanent waiting list and a wallet sinkhole for everyone else.

The economy can't be fixed by "soaking the rich" and siphoning the proceeds into more government spending. The rich are the top half of an economic pyramid that actually produces money and passes it along to the rest of the system, and gives everyone who's actually interested in earning a living something to shoot for. The more you soak the rich, the less money there is for everyone. And for all their faults, the rich actually put more money into the economy, than your average politician does.

The economy can be fixed by adding a new clause right besides the Separation of Church and State. The Separation of Business and State.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cry Islamophobia and Let Loose the Dogs of War

By On February 21, 2009
The Muslim oversensitivity to any perceived insult is in directly inverse proportion to how much hate Muslims themselves are willing to display for others.

If you go by Muslim standards, removing a man wearing a t-shirt with Arabic words off a plane is an unacceptable display of Islamophobia, but banning an Israeli tennis player from Dubai is completely legitimate.

Drawing cartoons of Mohammed as a terrorist is not acceptable, but calling for the deaths of the cartoonists is. Writing a book parodying Islam is unacceptable, but murdering the book's translators around the world is reasonable.

Israeli checkpoints on the Gaza border are unacceptable examples of apartheid, but Saudi Arabia barring all non-Muslims from entering the city of Mecca or from holding Saudi citizenship-- is their right.

A protest against Hamas and Al Queda that desecrates their flags, which have verses from the Koran on them, is unacceptable offensive to Muslims-- but Muslim student associations waving those same flags is something that no one may question.

A Muslim "refugee" who is arrested for illegally entering a European country is being imprisoned solely out of "Islamophobia", as are the terrorists held in Guantanamo Bay-- but Westerners who enter a Muslim country lose all rights and may be imprisoned, tortured and flogged on the flimsiest of allegations from a Muslim.

Western countries expecting that a Muslim woman remove her Hijab for an ID photo is Islamophobia. However Muslim countries have the right to demand that even the House Speaker and First Lady cover up their hair when visiting a Muslim country.

When a Muslim man has woman's underwear put on his head, while detaining for trying to kill American soldiers, that is the vilest crime against humanity. However when Muslim men hang and flog women for adultery... that is their culture and we have no right to judge. Not unless we're Islamophobes, that is.

Muslim paranoid fears of Western culture can legitimately express themselves in banning magazines, Valentine's day celebrations and movies. However any Western resistance to the Koran or Arabic is a clear sign of Islamophobia.

A Koran in a toilet is a hate crime. However burning the contents of the Library of Alexandria because "if it's not in the Koran, it's superfluous", is a legitimate expression of Muslim views on non-Muslim literature.

Prejudice against Muslims is unacceptable. But Muslim prejudices against women, Jews, Christians, gays, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Atheists, and just about everyone else-- are part of their culture. And who are we to judge if they feel they have a right to hate and kill anyone who isn't a Muslim male.

The problem with all of these examples is that Muslims want to have it both ways. On the one hand they want a blank check that allows them to treat any negative feedback as Islamophobia. On the other hand they want to be able to express any degree and form of hatred for others and support for terrorism in public forums without any repercussions.

What Muslims really want is Political Correctness for us, and none for them. They want a chain around our necks with the leash in their hand, while the other hand waves a Hizbollah flag. And that can't work.

If Danish cartoonist can't draw Mohammed, then Muslim protesters should at the very least be unable to call for the murder of their political opponents. If Christian pastors are to be censored for denouncing Islam, then the Finsbury Park Mosque rabble should be too.

Neither hate nor tolerance can be a one way street, yet Muslims have exploited charges of Islamophobia to do just that. Saudi backed organizations such as CAIR or the MSU routinely spread hate, and then are outraged when anyone calls them to account for it.

Canada's largest group, the Canadian Arab Federation, had no problem being part of rallies featuring Hamas and Hezbollah flags. They did have a problem when Canada's Immigration Minister Jason Kenney criticized them for it, so naturally the President of the CAF called him a "professional whore". Kenney in turn responded by saying, “We should not be rewarding those who express views that are contrary to Canada’s best liberal values of tolerance and mutual respect” and announced plans to pull the CAF's funding. Naturally the CAF's response was to cry Islamophobia.

The Canadian Arab Federation decided to host pro-Hamas articles on its site, to push for airing Al Jazeera in Canada, to participate in openly terrorist rallies and then respond to criticism by insulting the Immigration Minister. But naturally the consequences of all that only came due because of Islamophobia.

Muslims have gotten too comfortable sweeping a lot under the rug by crying Islamophobia. But that implies that they actually wish to be part of a tolerant multicultural society, where everyone's rights are respected. By their actions and agendas however, that is not the society they wish to be a part of. Neither in Riyadh, Tehran, Gaza, Karachi or London, Paris and Detroit.

It is up to Muslims themselves to decide what role they wish to play abroad and in the global culture. They can be intolerant fanatics who stay at home and expect everyone else to stay at home too. Or they can be open and tolerant enough to live side by side with others. But they can't be intolerant fanatics who expect us to be tolerant and open toward their fanatical intolerance. Not on our dime.

That is the problem, and it is a Gordian Knot that Muslims can either try to untie themselves, or someone will wind up cutting through it for them.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Republicans and Democrats and the Economic Survival of America

By On February 20, 2009
As usual we see Democrats and Republicans both casting themselves as defenders of the ordinary man. Debates will be conducted over health care, minimum wage increases and tax breaks. And the hypocrisy will flow like wine.

The simple reality is that both sides like to cast themselves as working to make life better for the average American, some may even believe it. In practice what occurs is a tug of war between two extremes.

Democrats propose to address the inequities of a capitalist system by replacing it with a totalitarian one, Big Brother with a bureaucratic face by using government programs to fill those gaps.

Government programs can certainly help people but government agencies and bureaucracies represent their own motive force. Programs that sound good in theory quickly create a massive spiraling bureaucracy full of fraud and abuse. The people they are meant to help quickly become divided into beneficiaries of the aid who wind up perpetually on the dole and those who increasingly have to pay for the programs themselves. And if they can't afford it, the programs are open to them too as soon as their income drops enough.

(It's why Democrats bitterly oppose tax cuts but support minimum wage hikes. The tax cuts some off their end. The minimum wage hikes aren't a problem because they get a percentage off the top.)

The more the war on poverty is fought, the worse it gets because the money that might have gone into allowing people to have a better life, is being sucked up into taxes to fund those programs, both at the income level and at the business level. And the degradation of basic humanity and loss of rights that grows as a free society gives way to a regulatory bureaucracy insures a populace unwilling and unable to raise itself up anymore.

Socialism creates serf states, sometimes with populations taxed worse than serfs were, where people are earning a little but making very little. Two income families become the norm. Women marry later and have less children. The birthrate drops, which worsens the problem of finding a tax base for the growing bureaucracy, which pushes taxes higher.

Immigrant populations are brought in to replace the worker shortages which further strain and expand the government bureaucracies. The government programs have by now come to resemble a Ponzi scheme and the whole thing teeters on an imminent collapse. Take a look at just about any country in Europe if you want to see a living example of once great nations facing extinction by becoming devoured by their own bureaucracies.

And then there's the Republican side of the coin. There's usually a lot of talk about small business and the American worker. But the real policy is to let big business do anything it likes. That means outsourcing of workers. It means legalizing massive amounts of illegal aliens. It means supporting terrorists who come here on H1-B visas to fill the tech industry's appetite for skilled workers with low pay expectations. It means shipping American industry and jobs to Mexico and China.

At home it means letting big corporations monopolize and crush small businesses and workers out of existence and subsidizing those companies with tens of billions of dollars, even as they continue their disastrous business practices while their CEO's walk away with 170 million dollar golden parachutes. The complete hopelessness of subsidizing failing businesses never seems to make any impact on them.

This is of course hardly limited to Republicans, most Democratic politicians are just as bad. But it's a philosophical defect of Republicans to believe that deregulating business is a universal good, when it was Theodore Roosevelt, the second greatest Republican President, who fought corruption and reined in monopolies and abuse business practices that the Democrats had winked at. The corruption fallout in the previous Republican Congress came about because the party chose the legacy of Ulysses S. Grant over that of Theodore Roosevelt.

Uncontrolled deregulation simply leaves the workers, consumers and small businessmen naked against a never ending list of abuses. Nor is what's good for GM, good for America. What's good for GM is outsourcing labor and government subsidies. None of that is good for America. It pumps America and Americans dry while the multinational corporations move on to greener pastures in Mexico or China.

Without controlling taxes and spending, both Democrats and Republicans continue the same destructive course. The Bush Administration has plenty of economic successes to claim but it's competing against the moribund socialist states of Europe, who actually thought the falling value of the Dollar was a national triumph for them, instead of a national disaster.

The real struggle should be the struggle of Abraham Lincoln, the greatest Republican President, who fought for Free Power over Slave Power. Slave Power does not merely mean the enslavement of a particular race. It means an economy based on slave labor. Slave labor can come in the form of slaves of an overwhelming bureaucracy or slaves to an uncontrolled corporate system.

Free Power encourages the rise of the individual over conglomerates, corporations and bureaucracies. Democrats and Republicans both talk that talk, but few are really willing to put the regulations where their mouths are. The best hope for America's survival is to return to the values of Free Power, of small business and commerce, of significantly lowered taxation and deregulation, without deregulating so far as to give big businesses a free hand to abuse their power.

Free Power means recognizing that the strength and economic survival of America is and has always been in the individual. We cannot compete against the slave power of China or Mexico, states with low incomes and not particularly democratic governments. America will stand or fall on the individual.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Obama's Trickle Down Economics, and why Bernie Madoff has nothing on Barack Obama

By On February 18, 2009
Trickle Down Economics isn't simply a conservative theory, it's also a liberal one. The difference is that the liberal version of Trickle Down Economics involves taxing the public to death, and having Congress trickle down some of the money back to the public, in between massive doses of pork and waste. Obama's Stimulus Plan is a perfect example of Liberal Trickle Down Economics.

And what is Obama's deficit spending spree motivated by? By the liberal theory of Trickle Down Economics which claims that rolling out hundreds of billions for every congressman's pork project, including protecting endangered mice, encouraging energy efficiency and giving millions in NEA grants will somehow trickle down to the average American and stimulate the economy.

If conservative Trickle Down Economics was challenged as delusional and an excuse to stuff the pockets of fatcats, liberal Trickle Down Economics is even worse. If giving business a break improves the odds that the economy will get a boost, expanding government projects only takes more money out of the economy to fund the endless spendathon of Washington D.C. politicians.

Corruption just doesn't get any more corrupt, and derilicition of duty doesn't get any more criminal, than a government faced with a recession, indulging its worst appetite for pork and graft, and trying to pass the whole thing off as a way to save the economy. Bernie Madoff has nothing on Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi. At least Madoff had a working pyramid scheme going, the Obama government is destroying the one working pyramid scheme the government has, Social Security, carrying out a massive generational theft in order to give kickbacks to every scumbag who put Barry Hussein and the Congress of Corruption into office.

It's a bitter irony that the same twenty-somethings who frantically cheered Obama and worked to stick him into office, can kiss any chance of seeing a penny from social security goodbye. By the time the 4 years of Obama are done, we'll be lucky if there's enough left to cover a few anacin.
It's always a source of wonder to me how anyone in their right mind can seriously argue that the government is better at anything than the free market. Not only is government control synonymous with an embedded bureaucracy and a culture of failure the world over-- but it's even synonymous with that in the United States.

The same government which advocates of Nationalization are counting on to curb the excesses of the Free Market is trillions of dollars in debt. As bad as any of the banks were, the Federal Government is far worse because it is deeper in debt and has far less to trade on. The government's primary source of revenue is taxation. The government itself does not produce revenue, it consumes it. And all that revenue still isn't enough. Obama has already ushered in a 1.2 Trillion dollar budget deficit for this year alone, and that may not be the worst of it yet.

Bernie Madoff convinced investors to climb on board with his pyramid scheme. The Federal government convinced China to buy US Treasury Bonds, even while the national debt has hit an all time high. Both parties are busy trading blame, when all politicians who view public tax dollars as being theirs to do with as they please, are to blame. But where Madoff was one man, Congress consists of hundreds of men and women, backed by hundreds of thousands of aides, lobbyists, activists and bureaucrats all pushing for more and more spending.

If a corporation that was already 11 trillion in the hole, and then rolled out more deficit spending, there would be calls for an investigation and shareholder demands that the board be held accountable. But that is exactly what's happening at the Federal level. Pork in the public interest is bad enough. Pork in the public interest when you can't pay the bills compounds fraud with incomprehensible negligence.

Pile more talk of nationalizing banks on top of that, and the picture gets genuinely ugly. While Obama's apointees talk about controlling banks, controlling car manufacturers, controlling other countries and national health care, they can't even control their own spending. The Cabinet of Fraud, whose nominees can't even seem to pay their own taxes, are spending the public's taxes even when they don't exist.

Forget national health care. Forget nationalizing the banks. Maybe the Federal government should demonstrate that it can control its own spending, before it tries to seize control of anything else. It's time for some common sense and some basic economizing. You can't spend money you don't have, and you can't put money back in the economy, by seizing most of it, and trickling down some of what's left to the public. And doing all that while spending yourself into a deficit.

Obama's Trickle Down Economics is bankrupt before it started. With only a few weeks in office, Obama has stuck America into a 1.2 Trillion dollar deficit in this year alone. An achievement the press is hailing as if it was up there with hitting a home run, instead of committing fraud on a grand scale. No Bernie Madoff doesn't have anything on Obama after all.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Israel's Political Malaise Reaches the Terminal Stage

By On February 17, 2009
It's been a week since Israel went to the polls, and there still is no government. Instead there are a motley collection of parties, alliances and leaders-- all jockeying for their place in line in a hypothetical government that may be formed.

First in line we have Livni, clueless and inexperienced, whose only asset was that she was and wasn't actually the Prime Minister, allowing her to maintain plausible deniability for the corruption and incompetence of her government.

Kadima, her party, had been formed by Sharon as a way to destroy Israel's two governing parties, Labor and Likud, replacing them with a one man state. When Sharon's aging body finally gave out, his closest sidekick Ehud Olmert, replaced him and kept the kleptocracy going. When Olmert seemed set to finally begin paying for his crimes, his own sidekick, Livni took his place for the electorate's sake. And somehow in the process dragged Kadima to a legislative victory.

Considering that Kadima was little more than a crime ring composed of former Likud and Labor Knesset members which illegally seized the Prime Minister's chair, with the collusion of the attorney general. Considering that Kadima's Prime Minister was under indictment, and his predecessor only escaped that same fate by way of a coma. Considering that Kadima's major triumph, the forcibly ethnic cleansing of the Jewish residents of Gaza paved the way for the creation of a Hamas state and the shelling of Ashkelon. Considering that Kadima had presided over three failed military campaigns, two against Hamas, one against Hezbollah without actually rescuing a single Israeli POW...

...Kadima's victory was proof of one of three things. Divine intervention. Massive voter fraud. Or the willingness of the average Israeli to be convinced that voting for a "Centrist" party was the right thing to do because the media told him so. The overall results however suggested a fourth course. While many in the conservative camp were rejoicing over the loss of seats by left wing parties, it's safe to say that what the likes of Meretz lost, Kadima gained, because Kadima has demonstrated that it can actually fulfill the goals that Meretz MK's can only impotently rant about. When Livni announced that Israel would have to give up half its land, she made it quite clear that the old left had made way for a more practical left.

Livni, like much of Kadima's Ex-Likudniks including Olmert himself, ably demonstrated the fallacy of nepotism within the ranks of the Likud. Among that second generation of the sons and daughters of Herut stalwarts, Netanyahu is the best of a bad lot. And that isn't saying a lot.

It is an ironic piece of Israeli history that Sharon, once a member of a thuggish left wing movement that beat Jewish Zionist youth, managed to worm his way high up into the Likud, and proceeded to destroy Begin's Prime Ministership, while handing Israel its first true military disaster in Lebanon-- resurrected his political career to do it a second time by delivering a near fatal blow to the Likud, and surrendering Gaza to Hamas.

With Kadima, Sharon's hubris gave way to boundless corruption. Now Kadima isn't quite dead, but despite winning a victory, its hopes of actually being a ruling party are low. Livni faces the choice between a unity government with Netanyahu, playing second fiddle to him, or trying to hold a place in the opposition, despite not having any real ideology, besides cowardly expediency.

Second in line, we have Bibi Netanyahu and the Likud. It's still up in the air whether Netantyahu really won or lost the election. There are few people inside Israel who are particularly enthusiastic about Netanyahu, and while much of that is the work of a media hate campaign, plenty of it can be laid at Netanyahu's own door. In the election people didn't so much vote Likud, as vote not-Kadima and not-Labor. Netanyahu has some credibility as an economic reformer, but it's a bad time for a free marketer to run for office, and on defense, Netanyahu doesn't walk the walk, or even talk the talk.

Post-election Netanyahu has worked hard to remind people of why they had to grit their teeth to vote for him in the first place. The election results left the Likud in the best position to form a new government, an advantage Netanyahu has worked hard to squander in the seven days since then. Time and time again, Netanyahu has managed to project the opposite of decisive, and is currently playing the same political games that undermined the Likud in the first place.

With Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu emerging as the decisive player in any likely coalition, Netanyahu has instead been edging toward a unity government with Kadima. It is unclear if this is a maneuver to bargain Lieberman down to a more reasonable set of demands, or whether Netanyahu really is prepared to get in bed with Kadima. Considering that Kadima was created by robbing the Likud ranks blind, and that any financial reforms are impossible with Kadima in a unity government, the whole thing becomes an absurd charade.

Meanwhile the religious parties offer a supercoalition of religious parties as a third alternative. Of course this coalition is likely to last almost as long as an Israeli cabbie's patience. When even the Haredi parties couldn't work together long enough to win the Jerusalem Mayorality, the idea of such an alliance lasting past the first budget debate is equally absurd. The only advantage is that the Haredi parties are far simpler to deal with than Lieberman. They just want money. Lieberman wants money and power.

The choices aren't easy, and Netanyahu has a poor history of being able to make them. Netanyahu must cobble together a coalition that will survive through some turbulent times and tough decisions. Keeping your enemies close is one dictum of Israeli politics, and between Lieberman and Livni, he has a lot of enemies to choose from.

Time and time again Netanyahu has demonstrated that he can win Likud primaries. He's had a much poorer track record at winning national elections. Even if Netanyahu winds up become Prime Minister, he's made a weak start that reinforces all the negative stereotypes Israelis already hold about him. 

But that's just the beginning.

Israel is now more isolated than ever, and the old American alliance has turned dark and poisonous with Obama's ascension. Iran is accelerating its drive to destroy Israel, arming Hamas and Hizbullah with ever more sophisticated weapons for a proxy war, while racing to build and deploy its own nuclear weapons.

Any Prime Minister will have to resist a great deal of pressure, as well as tackling domestic economic problems. He will also have to deal with the Lebanon and Gaza problems, as well as Iran, and resist pressure to concede the Golan Heights to Syria, and recognize and negotiate with Hamas.

Not since 1948 or 1967 has Israel faced a collection of threats of this magnitude. And never has the leadership quotient been lacking as badly.

The real threat to Israel however comes from the apathy of the general public. The average Israeli remains unconvinced, despite everything, that anything bad will really happen. Going back to 1992 if you made even fairly conservative predictions to the average Israeli about the expansion of terrorism based on policies of concession, he was likely to dismiss it out of hand.

Not much has changed. That same man on the street will concede that the government may be negotiating to hand over Jerusalem, but will dismiss that too with a wave of his hand, saying that it will never happen. In that same way he has dismissed the prospect of Gaza shelling, Arafat's militias going on terrorist rampages, and Israel being cut in half. Call it a coping strategy for the shell shocked, but it is the soul of Israeli politics.

Excluding the committed right and the committed left, the average Israeli is both dissatisfied and complacent. General disgust merges with apathy, sometimes giving way to a brief bout of cheerleading one party or another. This swing vote has made Israeli politics a particularly dizzying and incoherent indoor sport.

The man on the street does not understand or care much for the ideologies of the right and the left. He likes the center because it seems safe, and is always open to the lure of third parties because he doesn't trust the establishment parties. Of course the successful third parties such as Kadima are themselves products of the establishment, but by the time he figures that out, the damage has usually been done.

Meanwhile Israel's party centered, rather than region centered political system, insures that single issue voters will have a field day, and that the political system will have to deal with the fallout. In a system where anyone can start a party, and where parties routinely disintegrate into two or three parties, the potential for chaos, mischief and disillusionment is virtually endless.

But the real legacy of the 2009 election, whatever its outcome may be, is that the same political personalities who have been plaguing Israeli politics all these years, have learned nothing, and are too busy pushing and shoving each other to do anything productive. Everyone from the great to the small, has demonstrated a horrifying willingness to put their own personal ambitions ahead of country and ideals. The disgusting political bickering and maneuvering that preceded the election has given way to the disgusting political bickering and maneuvering on display in the week since the election. And the bottom line is that very little has changed.

The Israeli public may have voted more to the right, but their votes appear to have hardly made a difference. Instead of an election what we got was a circus, complete with betrayals and double dealing worthy of a dozen soap operas, and lists filled with the same smirking politicians we were sick of 15 years ago, augmented by models, celebrities, self-proclaimed activists, and random Russian immigrants that every party running hoped would be enough to sway the Russian vote.

While Kadima and the Likud both celebrate their victories, Hamas' shells burn on Israeli soil, and neither party has any serious plan for dealing with that. And so while the 2009 election may not doom Israel, but it won't save it either. Nothing short of a revolution may do that.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Headchopping Moderate Muslim

By On February 16, 2009
When Muzzammil Hassan founded Bridges TV, he had the perfect story to offer. An employee of major American brand name companies such as Clorox and Proctor and Gamble, with an MBA from Georgetown, founding a Cable network whose mission statement contained lots of liberal buzzwords about fostering diversity, building a dialogue and breaking down cultural barriers.

Bridges TV made every effort to put forward a public multiracial and multicultural face. As did Muzzammil Hassan. Just a good All-American Muslim looking to bridge some gaps and teach the world to sing. Out front Bridges TV put out press releases crediting Hassan's wife with generating the idea of the cable network, and touting programs that would bring Muslims, Christians and Jews together. The reality however was radically different, both in the Hassan marriage and on Bridges TV.

Bridges TV may have issued its press releases and tacked up its mission statements promising to teach everyone to love each other. But the actual cable network's programming featured the same sort of vile ugliness you can see on Al Jazeera and most Muslim networks, redolent of hate for America, Jews and non-Muslim infidels-- and eagerly promoting terrorism.

As Daniel Pipes has extensively documented, Bridges TV like its founder, had a very ugly Islamofascist face behind the smiling multicultural mask.

One religious figure who appeared October 3 said Muslims have a duty to change America and to increase their numbers to 50% of the population from 2%. He recommended that Shariah, or Islamic law, be implemented in American courts. During a roundtable discussion on the Arab-Israeli conflict on October 5, one participant offered a solution: "For the Jews to leave and return to Europe."

Bridges TV aired a speech by the influential Muslim scholar Jamal Badawi on October 4. Mr. Badawi, who teaches Islam throughout North America, gave an interview to the Saudi Gazette on June 24, 2005, in which he raised questions about who was behind the September 11 attacks and suggested that Americans could be behind the car bombings of Iraqi markets.

An anti-Jewish, anti-Christian sermon from October 5 included the call, "May God destroy them!"

The smiling multicultural faces of Bridges TV were in reality a facade, a charade meant to fool Americans. Bridges TV was backed by CAIR and the Muslim American Society, both with extensive terrorist ties. He did his fundraising extensively in Saudi Arabia. Bridges TV was another Islamofascist trojan horse. And like all the others features a smiling face out front in order to relate to ordinary Americans-- and a murderous fanatic's grimace behind it.

That too was the life of Muzzammil Hassan, who finally did what so many Muslim men routinely do to their wives and daughters, when they defy them. Hassan chopped his wife's head when she tried to divorce him. Had he done it in Saudi Arabia or in his native Pakistan, the odds would have been weighed in his favor. Unfortunately for him he did it in a country governed by a legal system based on human equality, rather than the gruesome gender apartheid of Sharia law.

But it is worth noting that a generation from now the outcome of a Muslim man chopping his wife's head may not be nearly that clear cut. For anyone who imagines that this is alarmism, European judges have already dismissed rape cases as cultural misunderstandings. The Sharia premise of two legal systems for one country is already deeply embedded in the legal and political cultures of many European countries. That was Muzzammil Hassan's goal in America. It is a project set to be interrupted by a lengthy prison sentence. But the case of Hassan is a deeply educational one.

Muzzammil Hassan was no Gaza orphan. He was no Basra street thug or Karachi mosque follower. He was smart. He was well educated. He had non-Muslim friends and was quite familiar with the world outside Islam. But beneath it all he was an Islamofascist fanatic. He successfully disguised his true beliefs and personality, just as the 9/11 hijackers did, and just as countless Muslims in America have done. He put a smile on and repeated back the cliches of multiculturalism to gullible Americans. But that was not who Muzzammil Hassan was. That was only the mask he wore.

Hassan is the real face of Islam in the West. One much less obviously threatening than the likes of Rage Boy, but in reality far more dangerous. If America will be defeated it will not be by screaming maniacs in the street, dangerous as they may be in a given incident. It will be by Muslim MBA's in business suits, who know how to talk the talk, who can put the enemy at ease, and keep the long term objective in mind.

In the end Muzzammil Hassan could not maintain his disguise, and showed his true face in a shocking moment of ugliness and brutality that reverted to the real nature of Bridges TV's programming as well. Not merely murder, but beheading. The act that has become the signature crime of Islamofascism in the 21st century, not merely carried out but recorded, and played back over and over again as a way to incite the faithful to mimic the crime.

The mythical moderate Muslim, like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster, haunts the Western imagination. Scholars work hard to search for these 21st century fairies, debating how many moderate Muslims can dance on the head of a grenade pin. But the very idea of a moderate Muslim is a contradiction in terms.

"Allah will instill terror into the hearts of the disbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite their fingertips off them." Qur'an 8:12

or from the Hadith

Volume 5, Book 59, Number 572:

Narrated 'Ali: O ye who believe! Take not my enemies and your enemies as friends, offering them your love even though they have disbelieved in Allah, Muhammad and the Quran which has come to you. And whosoever of you Muslims does that, then indeed he has gone astray from the Straight Path."

That is a moderate Muslim. Anything less than that is not true to Islam and the legacy of Mohammed.

Muzzammil Hassan was no doubt a moderate Muslim. Unfortunately that means something other than most Westerners think it does. It follows from Mohammed's commandment to kill infidels. It treats women as property. That is the real face of Islam. The headchopping moderate Muslim.

Hassan was a good Muslim and a bad man. The two always go together. One can be a good man or a good Muslim. One cannot be both. Muzzammil Hassan was a good Muslim. Now he is in jail where he belongs.


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