Saturday, October 11, 2008

Jimmy Carter Redux in the IHT

Today, my letter to the editor was printed, shortened, in the International Herald Tribune. Here is the original version

Interesting words....

....which may come back to bite the French Finance Minister. The topic, those financial markets:

"Don't imagine we'll have a harmonized response that will be the same for everyone because you can't apply the same method to different market situations," said French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde.
This is precisely the logic used by those Europeans against the common currency. Quite a statement coming from the heart of Europe by a truly skilled individual. All indications are firmly in place for the Euro to tank in value, these types of comments may hasten that situation.

A Newly Recycled Bugaboo

Wastewatch, a UK based eco hit-team for hire is engaging in the usual impotent rage because Starbucks leaves water running to prevent their customers from drinking mold resulting from standing water or ingesting traces of rotten milk.

Every Starbucks branch has a cold tap behind the counter providing water for a sink called a "dipper well" used for washing spoons and utensils and the staff are banned from turning the water off under "health and safety rules", an investigation claims.

In a letter to a customer who complained about the waste, a Starbucks executive revealed that a constant flow stops breeding in the taps.

It means that 23.4 million litres of water - enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool every 83 minutes or sustain the population of drought-hit Namibia - is wasted every day.
Funny that. Mine doesn’t. As it was told on the BBC today, the observation about every store on earth was made by someone stepping into one location in London. Sample of 1 means 100% when you need to bellow in rage for the sake of your company, right?

That supposedly staggering figure amounts to using 60 gallons per store per hour or operation, or the equivalent of 18 households. Big f’ing woop. Not worthy of the globally spunked electrons and words to transmit their horror to all of humanity. Otherwise if you happen to have a Starbuck cup in your hand and wonder where all that water went, part of it is in your cup, the rest goes into a sanitary drain to a processing facility where they often have to add water to the sewerage to attain the right density needed to break down waste and coliform, especially now that we have low-volume and low-flow fixtures in wide use.

Let’s play find the drought striken countries on this here Starbucky-licious map

The pretext for their hectoring is because somewhere on earth there’s always a drought. Last I checked, there are no Starbucks stores in the mortally drought-ridden parts of the world, but in spite of that, no-one dare ask Wastewatch how water “wasted” in Seattle, where there is so much of it that it’s practically a pollutant, to drought-ridden areas.

I’ve asked this before, I’ll ask it again, where’s the damned pipe that will let us give the poor waif our water? Does it cross the Mediterranean or Atlantic? Does it cross the Panama Canal on its’ way to the specially designated poor the activist branch of the leisure class likes to pity more than any one else?

Or are we to simple deny ourselves something, not for the good of anyone needing water, but for the “eco-warriors’” joy in chiding people?
Jacob Tompkins, of Water Wise, said that provided the firm was undertaking all the usual cleaning processes, such a step was unnecessary.
No it isn’t. Anyone who has worked a kitchen, (especially ina= franchise who are unusually prone to lawsuits by ‘concerned’ people like Mr. Tompkins to shake them down for donations,) sees this as a common practice, but there is no way a “policy advisor” with a pan-european portfolio of staggering scale including every one of today’s issues that can be fashionably eco-labeled would really feel compelled to find that out.

Continuing adventures in "journalism"

Which one is the journalist and which one is the advocate:

SPIEGEL: "Change" is the slogan of this year’s presidential election. Do you see any chance for an immediate, tangible change in the United States? Or, to use use Obama’s battle cry: Are you "fired up"?

Chomsky: Not in the least. The European reaction to Obama is a European delusion.

SPIEGEL: But he does say things that Europe has long been waiting for. He talks about the trans-Atlantic partnership, the priority of diplomacy and the reconciling of American society.

Chomsky: That is all rhetoric. Who cares about that? This whole election campaign deals with soaring rhetoric, hope, change, all sorts of things, but not with issues.

SPIEGEL: So for you, Republicans and Democrats represent just slight variations of the same political platform?

Chomsky: Of course there are differences, but they are not fundamental. Nobody should have any illusions. The United States has essentially a one-party system and the ruling party is the business party.

SPIEGEL: You exaggerate. In almost all vital questions -- from the taxation of the rich to nuclear energy -- there are different positions. At least on the issues of war and peace, the parties differ considerably. The Republicans want to fight in Iraq until victory, even if that takes a 100 years, according to McCain. The Democrats demand a withdrawal plan.

Good thing they included the labels, it could have been confusing.

The plausible alternative, for some..

Cuba is limiting how much basic fruits and vegetables people can buy at farmers' markets, irritating some customers but ensuring there's enough—barely—to go around.

The lines are long and some foods are scarce, but because the government has maintained and even increased rations in some areas, Cubans who initially worried about getting enough to eat now seem confident they won't go hungry despite the destruction of 30 percent of the island's crops by hurricanes Gustav and Ike last month.

"Of the little there is, there is some for everyone," 65-year-old Mercedes Grimau said as queued up behind more than 50 people to buy lettuce, limited to two pounds per person.

"I'm not afraid that I will be left without food, but it's a pain to think about all the work we are going to have to go through," Grimau added. "Two or three months ago the farmers markets were well-stocked."

Because Hating Normal, Happy People Makes Them Feel Smart, Part III

Decades, and decades, and decades of the same old slanderous European nonsense.

Americans will be forgiven if they can’t recognize the America described by Europeans to Europeans:

"Waves of pleasure flow over me; it feels like sliding down a mountain waterfall," rhapsodises one delighted woman. Another recalls: "It's like having a million tiny pleasure balloons explode inside of me all at once."

These descriptions come not from Cosmopolitan, not from an erotic website, not from a Black Lace novel and certainly not from a porn channel. They are, believe it or not, part of the new philosophy of the Religious Right in America. We've always known that sex sells. Well, now it's being used to sell both God and the Republicans in one extremely suggestive package. And in dressing up the old repressive values in fishnet stockings and flouncy lingerie, the forces of conservatism have beaten the liberals at their own game.

Choose almost any sex-related issue. From pornography and sex education to reproductive rights and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, Americans have allowed a conservative religious movement not only to dictate the terms of conversation but also to change the nation's laws and public health policies. And meanwhile American liberals have remained defensive and tongue-tied.
Decades of howling and catterwalling of the American left on these issues notwithstanding, this idiot concludes that “they’ve been muzzled by the right!” in spite of the fact that in large part, their proponency arguments are so frequently initiated and mature in the Unites States itself, somehow, miraculously, and in spite of the “illegality” of them that Herzog is implying gives Herzog by virtue of sympathy with an idea, the status of victim deserving of your pity and book sales.

This is how these kind of hack arguments about that strange, otherworldly thing called “Americur” work: out of a population of 300+ million people, a stunt writer no different than Dagmar (can I call you Dag?) Herzog will find a small group of people who amuse and horrify them by unselfconsciously and without irony being their natural selves – in other words not trained into his own world view. So long as it gives then a way to sneer at the who of the 300 million people in America that they pluck out the haystack, they make it seem as though the whoever or whatever little discovery of paydirt that their hatred can dwell on, is normal to the whole of society. In other words, we can all be Jeffrey Dahmer, compounded next week with an obvious segue to also being Georges Boosh. On the other hand, the lionization of people they’d like to agree with, become more and more them, receiving honorary citizenship by virtue of frequent presence in print: previously it was Woody Allen, Robert Reich, and Emmanuel Todd, now it’s Joe Stieglitz, Jeffrey Sachs and Barack Obama, or anyone else who will factor into the way people prop up their own world view.

The only analog would be as though we actually placed Sarkozy, Henryk Broder, and other marginal sympathizers to the American right on display in the center of our society. For the sake of honesty and the fitness of the ideas themselves, we don’t. We have never been that needy, fragile, or unsure of the concepts.

How is it that “great social observers” such as these contend with the same sorts in their own culture? Or do they rather assume that the entire society is monolithic in mind, spirit, and every other way? Where does that fit into the theory that we’re somehow all Stepford children, but at the same time evil, unpredictable geniuses of Empiredom?

Like the continent’s gutter press, the inconsistency of the declarations made explaining other cultures away with a single stroke rarely gather notice.

Let’s look at this again – the article appears in something that arrogantly calls itself “The Humanist” (a journal interested in topics surrounding and aversion to religion more than atheism, and generalized dwells on postmodern home-truths) and runs authors who tacitly claim to having some sort of authority in understanding philosophy, humanity, and all the leverage they can use on you that requires nothing of them other than engaging in verbal tonsil-hockey with those that agree with them.
Open a recent evangelical advice book and you will read comments like this one: "Some people have the mistaken notion that God is anti-sex ... in fact, he's outspokenly pro-sex! He invented it. What an incredible thought! Passionate sex was God's idea." Or: "Orgasm is an integral part of God's design for sex." Evangelical writers even coined a catchy new term – "soulgasm" – to describe the almost indescribable joys (physically incredible orgasms plus intimate emotional connection with the husband plus the presence of God) that await the evangelical wife.
The normal and happy will look at the above and find it familiar. Herzog, in a deep-seeded need to justify some previous slander about something he didn’t know anything about to begin with, wants to hear that religions somehow oppose sex. The great intellect can’t seem to understand that the only reason the gooey indifferent secular middle understand the emotional nature of sex, is because religion has long before the world began with his birth, almost universally said that there are emotional and philosophical differences between having sex with someone you love and commit to emotionally, and a complete stranger, someone for whom it will betray a trust with someone else, or otherwise with livestock.

With his ignorance and surprise at this capacity of anyone for whom he’s built his own descriptive image of that we are supposed to be imprinted with and hang around our necks like a millstone while we thank him for his wisdom in defining all of us, we should probably reason as he does - and assume that Dagmar doesn’t himself show any understanding of the distinction between rutting and intimacy. After all it involves human reason, and a “Humanist” surely wouldn’t want anyone stepping on his turf.

Feeling whip-sawed?

No not by those financial markets, by trying to keep up with the "consistency" of memes from the hard-left, even from the same source?

One day:

First this says the markets are ignoring government interventions: that’s irrational.

Second this chart shows the people undertaking these trades are witless.
The FTSE is massively overvalued: those selling are behaving rationally

Is it too much to ask for the ill-informed and smug patter of the hard-left to be nailed down before being offered up to save the world?

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Joy of Unrequited Love

The dispute between Germans and Americans over Iraq and George W. Bush appears to be a thing of the past. Nearly one in two Americans has a very positive image of the European country. And more than one-third categorize German-American relations as excellent or very good, with only four percent perceiving them as bad. Indeed, Americans view Germany as their country's fourth most important ally -- trailing only Britain, Canada and Japan.

In the debate, Obama echoed Carter's "be kind and understanding to our enemies, be tough on our friends" approach to foreign affairs

How in the world can conservative commentators write with a straight face that this woman should be vice president of the United States?
asks Thomas L. Friedman in the New York Times.
Do these people understand what serious trouble our country is in right now?
It's the same question we conservatives would like to put to liberal commentators like Friedman himself, albeit not about their vice presidential candidate, but about their (much more important) presidential candidate.

Whatever the alleged lack of experience that the Republicans' choice for vice-president may have, it can hardly be greater than that of the Democrats' choice for chief executive — a man with only two years in the national legislature.

During the latest debate, Barack Obama skewered John McCain and/or the Bush administration for not acting friendlier toward Iran or North Korea, all the while, in so many words, issuing threats to Iraq and Pakistan. In the third and last debate, Obama went on to lambaste Columbia (totally misrepresenting — i.e., caricaturing — the situation in the process).

We have seen the this fairy tale-type of foreign policy before (speak to all and all will be well or, at least, all problems will lessen and start getting resolved). If Iran is in the threatening, inimical position it is now, it is largely thanks to Jimmy Carter's similar "be kind and understanding to our enemies, be tough on our friends" approach to foreign affairs.

If the Camp David accords were a success, the 39th president's State Department managed to alienate one faithful (if distasteful) ally after another. And two of them — Nicaragua's Somoza and Iran's Shah — were overthrown during his tenure, both of whom were replaced by régimes arguably far more more repressive and more hostile to Washington if not the Western world itself. While Carter — a man at the time almost as young as Obama — preached Americans to get rid of their alleged outdated anti-communism and to focus on America's own alleged sins and those of its allies, Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Grenada, Mozambique, Ethiopia, South Yemen, and Nicaragua fell into the Kremlin's sphere while Moscow proceeded to invade Afghanistan — leading the idealistic (and naïve) Carter to state how shocked he was to have been lied to.

We are seeing similar echoes in today's Democratic candidate and it is without the least hesitation that I say that I will take Palin over Obama any day.

Update: A shortened version of the above text was printed in the International Herald Tribune.

It also appeared on the website of The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Read also:

32 years ago a Democrat politician with very little experience "transcended" politics as usual and was lifted on waves of good will to the White House

Thirty two years ago a Democrat politician with very little experience "transcended" politics as usual and was lifted on waves of good will to the White House
writes Bruce Walker.
It seems to be happening again. Jimmy Carter is unknown to most young Americans. Most Americans do not remember how Carter magically seemed to appear on the American political scene. Perhaps a history lesson is in order.

Carter promised change and hope. He told us that the mean and cynical government that we had come to expect from Washington was a thing of the past.

Millions of Americans, many of them who had remained uninvolved in American politics, listened. They trusted Carter to be "different." His carefully crafted words led people to believe that Jimmy Carter was something very different from the typical sort of Democrat. Carter would try something new. He was an idealist who was not wedded to failed ideals of the past.

Then Carter won.
Read the rest, especially where Bruce Walker brings back the following memories:
Carter, after the Soviets assassinated our ambassador in Afghanistan and then invaded that nation, was "surprised" that Communism was aggressive and malignant. His response was to try to exert diplomatic pressure on the Soviets as well as trade sanctions. Jimmy Carter, well into the middle of his presidency, seriously seems to have considered that Marxist-Leninist regimes were somehow like another form of socialist democracy, that Moscow was no threat to America, and that the proliferation of virulently anti-American dictators around the globe was in our long term best interest.

All of this sounds very much like Barack Obama. Carter was "magic" because he was the first nominee from the Deep South, the first nominee who talked a great deal about his religion. Obama is "magic" because he is the first black candidate and because he speaks very well. Carter was all smiles and civility, just like Obama is all niceness and calm. Pointedly, neither man speaks about political philosophy much at all.
In his History of the American People, Paul Johnson writes that
Carter actually added to American weakness by well-meaning but ill-thought-through ventures. One of them was his 'human rights' policy, based on the Helsinki Accords

…A human rights lobby grew up within the administration, taking over a whole section of the State Department, which worked actively to enforce the Accords. Thus, it played a major role in the overthrow of the Somoza regime in Nicaragua. … The 'sharp break' took the form, in 1979, of the overthrow of Somoza, a faithful if distasteful ally of America, and his replacement by a Marxist and pro-Soviet regime, whose attitude to human rights was even more contemptuous and which campaigned openly for the overthrow of America's allies in Guatemala, El Salvador, and elsewhere in Central America

…The next year the State Department's Bureau of Human Rights played a significant part in undermining the position of another old ally, the Shah of Iran, whose pro-Western regime was overthrown by orchestrated street-mobs in 1979. It was replaced by a Moslem fundamentalist terror regime, which swiftly accumulated an unprecedented record of gross human rights abuses and characterized the US as the 'Great Satan.'

…During the 1970s the Cold War spread to virtually every part of the globe and was marked by two developments: the contraction of US naval power, and the expansion of Soviet naval power.

…While the Carter administration was adept at damaging friends and allies, it failed to develop any coherent response to this extension of the Cold War


Join the Tygrrrr Express

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Leftist Intellectualism at its’ Sharpest

Another one of those typical bumper stickers from that species we call the Domestic Loon. Do please explain this kind of thing to the man you’re now voting for, will you Lefty?

More to the point, may we do this sort of thing to McCain’s opponent as well? Of course not. THAT, unlike this image would be slander.

You Can’t Eat Symbolism

IBD Editorial: EU's Do-Nothings - European leaders have been so busy gloating over the U.S. money mess, they've failed to notice that their own overregulated banking system is in even worse shape. They need to get their act together.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy called an emergency meeting of European leaders last Saturday to address their fast-melting financial system. And what did they come up with? Nothing. No deal could be reached on how to address the Continent's ills — just a vague promise of "unity."

But even that lame rhetoric was tested a day later, when Germany's Angela Merkel unilaterally decided to guarantee $1.3 trillion in bank deposits — a move that caught other countries unawares and forced many to do the same thing or face a run on their banks.

How things have changed in just a couple of weeks. Just a month ago, EU officials were giddily ridiculing the "U.S. model." Said Sarkozy then, in an obvious reference to the U.S.: "A certain idea of globalization is drawing to a close with the end of a financial capitalism that imposed its logic on the whole economy."

Now, the panjandrums of the European Union are panicked, blaming the U.S., banks and greedy American homeowners — everyone but themselves — for their financial troubles. But the EU also had a housing boom, and they too gorged on debt, encouraged by their governments, and created a regulatory straitjacket that their banks can't escape.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The more Carter talked, the worse it got for the U.S.

…history tells us that showing weakness or appeasement by negotiating with tyrants is both gullible and dangerous
writes Investor's Business Daily.
When a young JFK after the Bay of Pigs failure met with Khrushchev, the Soviets immediately moved to build the Berlin Wall. It stayed in place for 28 years. Next, the Soviets installed nuclear missiles in Cuba, threatening to turn the Cold War into WWIII.

When a one-term governor from Plains, Ga., became president, he visited our strongest military ally in the Mideast and stopped selling our fighter aircraft to them. And why? Because Jimmy Carter didn't like the Shah of Iran's treatment of Soviet spies who had been undermining Iran.

Carter preferred the exiled Ayatollah Khomeini as a leader because he was religious. So we stood by as the Shah, an ally, was overthrown. Today, Iran is the world's biggest sponsor of terror and is on track to have nukes in five years — all thanks to Carter's naivete.

We'll have to have an older, wiser, far more experienced president to deal with this dangerous threat. We can't have another Carter or another Chamberlain. Incidentally, after Carter lost Iran in what amounted to total incompetence, he visited Leonid Brezhnev.

Brezhnev afterward promptly invaded Afghanistan and Carter said, "I can't believe he lied to me." While Carter was in office, the Soviets took over a number of countries, including Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Grenada, Mozambique, Ethiopia, South Yemen and Nicaragua.

The more Carter talked, the worse it got for the U.S.

…So who do you think history tells us may be the most experienced person we can trust to be commander-in-chief and deal with Iranian terrorists with nukes; Putin's resurgent Russia that backs Iran and wants to give nuclear capability to Venezuela, re-arm Cuba and Nicaragua; an al-Qaida that wants to strike America again; and, let's not forget, up-and-coming China?

Covering up the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Scam that caused our Economic Crisis

Even George McGovern Thinks Obama's Position Is Too Radical?!

Hat tip to Gateway (via Instapundit)

“Sure” “Whatever Sounds Nice”

EU Observer publishes an implausible opinion-oriented news item stating that and Obama-led US would protect eastern Europe, without explaining how in any way, the emotional isolationist that back Obama will do that.

They do cite one source in the interview as an authority: one of Obama’s fundraisers. So there you have it. There is the formation of a Euro-thought™, Euro-pinion®, and Euro-wisdom©. End of story.

Of course the reader need not know that the man is tied to Obama’s campaign. That’s only something the uninformed would care about.

Mr Craig said that senator Obama would also stick to plans to build parts of the US global missile shield in Poland and the Czech republic, despite fierce Russian criticism. The new Democratic president would "not turn his back on that agreement" as it is a "solemn commitment" signed by Washington, Prague and Warsaw.
Which is an amusing reversal of one of the bigger pieces of the Obama plank was the ending of weapons testing, and not meeting any challenge if Russia and China weaponize space (as if missiles didn’t count.)

Somehow, the Euro-reader™ with Euro-wisdom™ is supposed to believe this temporary run to the center right before election day. But getting EU-rah-rah writer types to put on their knee pads for you is actually quite easy. All you have to do is pander to their inability to understand why an election could result in one of two outcomes, and not just their preferred option.

Of the Irish decision with respect to their future form of government and the permanent disposal of their sovereignty, Craig had this:
"It seems to me that the European Union has some problems with its public relations, not just in Ireland, but also elsewhere where the [EU] constitution has been defeated. That should not, in my view, deter the Europeans from continuing on the course of consolidating its institutions, the rule of law, economic trading agreements and greater co-operation. This has been the policy of many, many US presidents and it will be the policy of president Obama to support that."
Never mind the issues at hand, it’s all about PR and image – where that kind of short-term and small-minded reasoning is adequate... How EU can you get?

What McCain Must Say in the Coming Weeks

…notably during the final two debates.
  • You speak of the "splendid" and the "heroic" work performed by American troops overseas, Senator Obama — suggesting, incidentally, that the party you belong to feels likewise. Why then, did the Democrats in Congress vote down the recent bipartisan motion to do little more than express the nation's thanks to those same troops? And why did you refuse to condemn MoveOn's abusive ad — and its puerile rhyme — in the New York Times, stating that General Petraeus would betray us? Why did you refuse to condemn the ad that claimed that this splendid member of America's heroic armed forces was worthy of nothing short of scorn?
  • You object to the Republicans' making an issue of your associations, your friends, and your allies. The problem, as I see it, is the number of radicals you are surrounded with whose basic message is (or is akin to) "God damn America"; and whose tenet that has been for the past two decades or more.. The Reverend Jeremiah Wright says "God damn America" — and it is hard to believe he hasn't been preaching as much during the past 20 years. The Weatherman terrorist from whose residence you launched your Illinois senate campaign, Bill Ayers, spouts — and continues to this day to spout — words to the effect of "God damn America." During his lifetime, the Communist Party USA member Frank Marshall Davis, whom your campaign has admitted was the "Frank" mentioned in your autobiography, used to shout (in so many words) "God damn America." The basic message of Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, is "God damn America."
  • How about organizations such as ACORN and MoveOn? Is it unfair to say that the basic essence of the message in such damn-civilized-debate,-damn-the-voter-process groups is God damn the American Way? How about Tony Rezko — what does his travails say about his respect for America's rules and laws? And how about Michelle Obama? Being proud of her country for the first time if and only if her husband wins the presidency is akin to saying what, pray tell… The Middle Easterner Ahmed Yousef who spoke out in your favor, is a senior leader of the Hamas terrorist movement whose members regularly march through the streets, chanting God damn America. And what, pray tell, does Mahmoud Ahmadinejad say? Should Iran's president wish to meet with an American president (in order to be told that his country should not build nuclear weapons, a request which he can then ignore, as we know since George W Bush has been saying the same thing for years, as have the governments of France, Germany, and Britain), then you are his man. That's a lot of friends and allies in your inner circle who dance to the tune of "God damn America!" That's a lot of admirers in the world, as well as same-minded activists, whose basic message is (or is akin to) "God (or Allah) damn America!"
  • You keep boasting of having denounced the Iraq war from the very beginning. But how many times did you actually visit Iraq during that time? How many times did you actually ask for the opinion of any soldier or marine — officer or enlisted man — about his opinions about the conflict? Why did you only heed the views of the mainstream media and the East Coast establishment — most of whom have no more visited the Iraqi frontlines than you have and know no more about military matters — strategy and tactics — than you do?
  • You suggest I am not ready to handle the economy, Senator Obama? Polls say many Americans trust my opponent more than me? What does one say about a party whose very basic philosophy — victimitis and martyr-building and government intervention — brought about this mess? What do you say about a candidate whose philosophy in South Chicago involved going around to various private institutions and bullying them into donating money — all the while taking payoffs from those financial institutions in the process; all the while having Fannie and Freddie hand out houses to their constitutents; and all the while fighting regulations to cover up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's illegal bookkeeping? How do you qualify a politician who was among the top five beneficiaries from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? These are things that every American citizen should ponder before voting on November 4th.
  • Call you what it is, deregulation is not the appropriate word. It is one more Big Government-run program.
  • It has been said that capitalism is about inequality while socialism is about equality. Indeed. Capitalism brings about the inequality of riches, while socialism brings about equality in poverty — as can be seen in the roots of the financial crisis. The administrations of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton wanted to do something for the poor. What they did is have members of the government, along with civil servants, tell business leaders and institutions how to manage their money — not the government's money or the individuals government members' money but the money of the institutions in question and the money the business leaders were responsible for — in other words, money that wasn't the government's to begin with. If the banks did not perform according to the government, there would be stiff penalties.
  • In the wake of the scandal, the poor lost their homes, and the middle class and the rich lost extensive parts of their savings. Everybody lost out: the poor, the middle class, and the rich. Everybody! And all because of the (admittedly) good intentions of the government, members who had little knowledge of how market and market forces work, which induced socialism, i.e., equality in poverty.
  • In this perspective, you, Senator Obama, want to bring about a European-type system of health insurance. At the same time, you have also told us over the years that Bush administration is not to be trusted. In fact, we have been told by the Democrats for the past eight or so years not to trust the Bush administration. Which is fine. But then they go ahead — then you go ahead — and trust the Canadian, the German, the French, and the British governments when they say that their (government-run) health systems are first-rate and with nary a glitch in their operations. Through the years, liberals have also, incidentally, trusted the Cuban government when it says it provides excellent education to its schoolchildren or the Russian government (during the Soviet era or later) when it claims that it has nothing but good intentions. Apparently, all governments are to be trusted but the American government. Is it any wonder that people treat leftists as being part of the "blame America first" crowd?
  • As Amanda Carpenter states: "If [you are] so outraged at [my] involvement in the Keating Five scandal, why is John Glenn, another Keating Five member, doing surrogate work for [you]?"
  • In conclusion, I would like to return to the origins and birth of the Republican Party: During the Cooper Union speech of 1860, that followed the 1858 debates between the Republican candidate and the Democrat candidate for the Senatorial election in Illinois, Abraham Lincoln had this message to address to the inhabitants of the South, a section that was dominated by the Democratic Party: "when you speak of us Republicans, you do so only to denounce us a reptiles, or, at the best, as no better than outlaws. You will grant a hearing to pirates or murderers, but nothing like it to … 'Republicans.' In all your contentions with one another, each of you deems an unconditional condemnation of … 'Republicanism' as the first thing to be attended to. Indeed, such condemnation of us seems to be an indispensable prerequisite — license, so to speak — among you to be admitted or permitted to speak at all."
  • We are forced to ask ourselves: how much has changed in 150 years? Even taking into consideration the differences between that era and modern times, the answer is: very little, it seems. Democrats, leftists, liberals, grassroots activists, and government interventionists the world over are ready to put Che Guevara on their election headquarters walls. They are ready to head to Tehran to go talk to the Holocaust-denying (and to the Holocaust-promising!) leader of the Mullahs' Iran. They are ready to take the governments and civil servants of Canada, France, Germany, and the UK at their word when they brag about their social security and their health insurance systems. But God forbid that they speak to, or speak about, a Republican or a conservative without foaming at the mouth. God forbid that they would "speak of [America's] Republicans" unless it were "to denounce [them] a reptiles, or, at the best, as no better than outlaws."

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Two ordinary Americans whose only crime was to play by the rules … You are both in our thoughts

(Thanks to Greerwyn and Fausta…)

Update: How to see the pulled video (and/or check out the Full transcript and screenshots of SNL’s Soros/Sandler bailout satire or simply go to Yahoo videos)…

What Is It That Our Country Deserves?

Even in Michigan

Flaming Twisted Wreckage

Europe and the EU, those glorious amalgams of good intentions which were supposed to prove through a million gestures, ceremonies, and reams of paper, were supposed to be the mutual social scheme society to end all social protection schemes, has left each of it’s member-states to fend to itself.

The European banks have always been overleveraged compared to their deposits, nearly twice as much as their US counterparts. Having stopped to catch their breath while lecturing the rest of humanity, they now notice that they’re toast.

The dozen largest European banks have now on average an overall leverage ratio (shareholder equity to total assets) of 35, compared to less than 20 for the largest US banks. But at the same time most large European banks also report regulatory leverage ratios of close to 10. Part of the difference is explained by the fact that the massive in-house investment banking operations of European banks are not subject to any regulatory capital requirement. Another part of the explanation must the regulatory arbitrage, for example though the credit insurance offered for example by AIG.
Not only that, the Euro which was long known to need a soft landing has bonked. Now they have to renegotiate loans in other currencies with those less-valued, formerly magical €s and borrow again.

Good luck with all that. We will remember the past months’ of sniping and “rubbing America’s nose in it” warmly.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Nobel Prize in Medicine Goes to Two Frenchmen (Plus One German)

The French are ecstatic as, for the first time in 28 years, a Frenchman — nay, two Frenchmen (actually, one Frenchman and one Frenchwoman) — win the Nobel prize in medicine… (As a number of Le Monde readers point out, though, the French state forced Luc Montagnier out of office, due to his retirement age, and the AIDS researcher turned up at… an American university.)

Where “Statesmanship” Means Influence Peddling and Arms Trafficking

Behold, some more of that “we are the world” stuff that Europeans are so well known for promoting.

Angola was on Monday seeking to halt a French trial into a vast arms trafficking scandal involving the son of late president Francois Mitterrand and other members of the French elite.
Funny that, I thought the left always sold itself to us as a transparent anti-elite that wanted to be a hermaphrodite version of both your mother and father. They are, in addition to anything else they can prove themselves to be, the global essence of the “Peace Camp”.

The son of the late French President and lefty demi-god, Jean-Christophe Mitterrand proves very nicely what “reaching across the aisle” amounts to in Europastan. Along with the UMP’s Charles Pasqua and his co-constiprator Jean-Charles Marchiani, they took bribes to assist in a politically pointless arms trafficking operation that makes the Iran-Contra affair look like a high school bake sale.
Jean-Christophe Mitterrand, a former adviser on African affairs at the Elysee presidential palace, is accused of "complicity in illegal trade and embezzlement" and taking bribes worth 2.6 million dollars.

Former interior minister Charles Pasqua and his right-hand man Jean-Charles Marchiani also risk 10 years for influence peddling on behalf of the Angolan authorities.

Pasqua on Monday again denied any wrongdoing and suggested the charges were politically-motivated.

"Everything has been done to implicate me in an affair that I had nothing to do with," Pasqua told Europe 1 radio.

The Angolagate case long poisoned relations between Paris and Luanda and the trial comes at an awkward time for France which is keen to strengthen ties with one of Africa's leading oil producers.
Oh, and no war for oil!!! Only les ricains do that sort of thing!

The difference here is that since Jean-Christophe is the son of a man that the lift thinks a monarch, that there won’t be any screaming or public humiliation. Expect shortly a broad interpretation that the arms were sorely needed, and were the right and humane thing to do:
Prosecutors allege that tanks, shells, landmines, helicopters and even six warships were shipped to Angola over five years, allowing Dos Santos to build up his forces in the war against US-backed Savimbi.
Angola's payments were channelled through firms in Paris, Geneva and Tel Aviv to shell companies in Jersey, the Virgin Islands or Monaco, with suitcases of cash used to pay off middlemen, prosecutors say.
Other high-profile defendants include the French thriller writer Paul-Loup Sulitzer and Mitterrand's one-time advisor Jacques Attali, who risk five years for selling Angola access to their political and media contacts.
Although no Angolans are charged in the French case, prosecutors allege that 30 officials including Dos Santos received tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks.
These are the people screwing up humanity by fueling wars in underdeveloped parts of the world. THEY are why the US has had to deploy the expeditionary forces that have to rectify the imbalances caused by these European-government dwelling and selling pirates from the near east to the Balkans to their former human holdings in Africa.

This of course should never get in the way of a tirade about the dirty-trick, underhanded reactionary manipulatiuon, or warmongering of the CIA. Noooooo way. That’s different... That doesn’t require facts or anything based in reality.

This is why the likes of the BBC limit their description of this affair to calling it an “arms scandal” without any sort of ideological attribution. The UNITA rebels that the weapons supplied in this scandal were pointed at, were opposing a regime that was turning into a Soviet satellite propped up by the direct foreign intervention of Cuban soldiers. These weapons were for the local compatriots of those Cubans and Russians for the purpose of forcing a revolution that they hoped would spread violently – one fueled in that direction by Mitterand, Pasqua, and their cohorts – only to have that revolution ended by the diplomatic maneuvers of some rotten peace-hater called George Bush.

Kim Jong Il Would Feel Right at Home

The American Left has resorted to political re-education camps, exploiting children, and using cheese-doodle addicted adolescents to engage in creepy idol worship for their spiritual channeling purposes.

Further to the idea of an election day “Obama Boot Camp”, George Romero warned you...

The “Why you’re here” story of self, brought for your repetition through the use of cult formation techniques.

Just Keep Repeating to Yourself: It’s Only a Movie, It’s Only a Movie...

Observing Hermann Observes:

“The European Central Bank – which raised rates into the teeth of the crisis in July – has played a shockingly destructive role in this enveloping slump. Its growth predictions this year have been, and still are, delusional. Neglecting its global role, it has vastly complicated the fire-fighting efforts of Washington.

It could have offered cover to the US Federal Reserve this spring when Ben Bernanke was forced by events to slash rates to 2pc. It could at least have signaled an end to monetary tightening. That is how an ally ought to behave.

Instead, it stuck maniacally to its Gothic script, with equally unhappy consequences for both sides of the Atlantic, as well as for China, Japan, and India… Far from offering reassurance, the weekend mini-summit of EU leaders served only to highlight that nobody is in charge of this runaway train. There is still no lender of last resort in euroland...
But in spite of all of that data and discoveries of just how Hypo getting a government hypo only looks like the beginning, one of his commenters resorts to the ignorant European fallback position of being clueless about the entire subject, and calling anyone making the observation “ideological”.
in spite of the fact that his predictions never materialise... That really disappoints me. From reading your blog I thought youd have the rigor to at least look behind that most blatant propaganda and dont use it to reaffirm yourself in that knee jerk manner of a hopeless ideologist.
Even if the repetitive crap is true...

That these same sorts have for the past 20 years without a shred of data said that “the American dream is die-ing,” apparently, ISN’T ideological of course... No wonder then than we find an American political party with the same ostrich-like reaction to losing their meal-ticket.

After the Sub Prime Crisis already started in 2007 Obama says Sub Prime Mortgages that gave houses to people who couldn't afford them was a good idea.
In fact, just keep repeating to yourself: it’s only a movie, it’s only a movie...

So Long (For Maybe a Week), Schadenfreude

The snickering seems to have stopped for now, as people in the larger European states discover that their own banks are more heavily leveraged than they are in the US, and don't see much hope for a comprehensive commitment by governments to keep them liquid.

I'm sure we'll soon be hearing how Europe tanks with more undefinable élan and panache:

Continental Europe is heading for a deeper recession than the US as it lacks the necessary flexibility to react to the worsening economic situation, according to leading executives and policymakers.
To a degree due to the slow pace of innovation that respective populations are willing to accept, they have grown more flexible over the past decade. But will that be enough? Not likely without abandoning some of the loonier transnational campaigns such as imagining that a miracle will give them a way to largely convert to biofules and renewables, and all manner of social interventions. That easiest ones to back down off of will be the ones that were symbolic to begin with – in fact the contraction may provide a pretext to abandon some of the stranger, less achievable commitments.

After all, these are the conditions where Europeans have in the past gotten very self-protective, and often very ugly – historically, these are the times the labor strikes have become larger in scope and more debilitating, just when they do the most harm to the conditions that would hasten recovery.
Executives and policymakers are worried that Europe did not use the good times of the past few years to push through much-needed reform in areas such as labour flexibility. Companies across Europe from Daimler and Siemens to KPMG and Unicredit are bracing themselves for the slowdown by cutting jobs, production and recruitment. This comes as growth in Europe has plummeted after a strong first quarter to lead many analysts to think several continental economies are already close to recession.
Or IN recession as the Irish, Icelanders, and Greek governments were straightforward enough to readily admit, just as they've been up front about their tides and turns over the past 18 months.
Many European companies had banked on growth from emerging markets such as Russia and China to compensate for weakness in Europe. “I think times are tough no matter how international you are,” said the chief executive of a leading German company. “Nobody really knows what will happen. But if you were a betting man I don’t think you would go for Europe over the US.”
Meanwhile, the predictable blame game, that need to pummel some figure of authority over something the public at large doesn't get, begins.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Because Hating Happy, Normal People Makes Them Feel Smart, part II

Why the spontaneous hatred of Sarah Palin? Why didnt it require any orchestration? Because Palin herself doesn't necessarily matter to those engaged in it, because the dominant trends and arguments in the tacit form of culture promoted to all of us has programmed into the likes of these critics.

Ignoring the very notion of free will and individual liberty, as a mater of defending their own choices they must hate. Blogger Whiskey explains why:

This blindness, and the battle for supremacy over the fertility of socially conservative Whites through the "Janissary Effect" of Liberal Culture is what drives the fury over Palin by those who drive that culture. They see their power slipping away from them, by the existence of an alternate model.
In other words, others' freely made choices are a threat, and they respond by hating happy, normal people. It threatens the cultural monopoly of this well-connected minority within the left, and the mechanisms in the culture and the media (I.e. The obsession with “Faux News” and other silencing memes) by which it seeks self-perpetuation at the cost of other's lives, their familial stability, making fertility a source of angst and tension scheduled to strike at the age of 40, and in many other ways to undermine the basis of happiness in human relationships. All for the sake of propping up the lectures they've repeated to themselves over the years.
This is why the Culture Wars were fought in the first place, starting in the mid to late 1980's when the Baby Boomer generation early cohorts first reached their late thirties and early forties, and positions of cultural power. It's why Murphy Brown had a child on her own, with a father irrelevant. It's why nearly every television show, movie, and pop music artist all push the same social conventions of social liberalism. It is the weapon against fertility — the ability to "capture" young social conservative men and women and "convert" them to social Liberalism, when they move to large Urban Areas, outside the reach of their childhood churches, parents, and friends, and the social networks that shaped their views.
A desperation to reinforce this model gives those who believe in this nothingness a reason to believe anything – any new grievance made instantly fashionable by those with the monopoly, into the arms of anyone who can toy with those dog-whistle tones and symbols, making new-age Gods out of Chicago political hacks, the weather, rebranding as revolutionaries the same political class that created an economic crisis, and so on. The antecedents to this don't just get a argument in favor of the concepts, they get hatred, retaliation, and the like.
This threat is seen most clearly by those who use their Cultural monopoly, in movies, television, and popular music to enforce cultural mores. Hence the spontaneous and rage-filled venom spewed by movie, television, and pop music celebrities. Including Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and now, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mark Morford who dubbed Barack Obama "a Lightworker", presumably after watching one too many episodes of "Charmed" which also featured "White Lighters" with magical powers.
When this political class is let down by their faeries, lesser gods, and magicians that they hoped would flag their moods, to whom or what will they lash out at next?