Saturday, April 25, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
The self-appointed protectors of our rights who demanded an end to ideological, ethnic, or religious profiling during the Bush years have gone silent
Regarding "conservatives who every good liberal knows are the only real threat to our national security", David A. Keene has the following to say:
I agreed with much of the mostly liberal criticism of the abuses of power that took place in the name of security during the Bush years, but kept telling my liberal friends that I would be interested in how they would react when the shoe was on the other foot … as it is today.
Their reaction thus far has been, as I feared, far from pretty. A liberal president whom they admire has taken office, and his administration is suggesting that government must “keep a closer eye” on the activities of “right-wing extremists” and those who have served in the military because people who believe in such things as the Second Amendment, the right to life and states’ rights constitute a potential threat to our national security. Janet Napolitano, the president’s Homeland Security chief, has served notice that such folks will be monitored by a government with the power and will to keep a close eye on them.
And it has already begun. Although the administration dismissed the recent “tea parties” as paranoid displays by partisan whiners, the FBI was at the same time dispatching surveillance teams to parse organizers’ backgrounds and get pictures of attendees.
Remember when, under different circumstances, but citing a media and political double standard some years ago, Bob Dole demanded to know “Where’s the outrage?” I know where we shouldn’t bother to look: among those self-appointed protectors of our rights who demanded an end to ideological, ethnic or religious profiling during the Bush years, but have gone strangely and hypocritically silent as Obama’s people begin monitoring and demonizing conservatives who every good liberal knows are the only real threat to our national security.
Where are the civil libertarians, the guardians of the Constitution, when the groups with which they are historically aligned are the perpetrators of the sort of government action they say they oppose?
I recently asked my friend's little girl what she wanted to be when she grew up. She said she wanted to be president some day. Both of her parents, liberal Democrats, were standing there, so I asked her, "If you were president, what would be the first thing you would do?"
She replied, "I'd give food and houses to all the homeless people."
Her parents beamed.
"Wow...what a worthy goal." I told her, "But you don't have to wait until you're president to do that. You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and sweep my yard, and I'll pay you $50. Then I'll take you over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $50 to use toward food and a new house."
She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, "Why doesn't the homeless guy go over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?"
I said, "Welcome to the Republican Party."
Her parents still aren't speaking to me.
Jamaica's government put police and the army on alert to prevent violent demonstrations as it prepared to announce tax increases on gasoline, cigarettes and other consumer items on Thursday.Violent demonstrations? Do our Jamaican friends not know the joie qui est paying taxes? How paying as much tax as is humanly possible is the way to inner peace and and strength? How paying stratospheric taxes are the cost of creating and maintaining a civil society?
Police and soldiers were deployed at what the government called "strategic" locations across the Caribbean island to quell any violent protests. Finance and Planning Minister Audley Shaw was expected to announce the tax increases during a budget debate later on Thursday.
Tsk, tsk ..... Richard Murphy must not be widely read on the island, otherwise our Jamaican friends would know just how truly lucky they are to be paying those higher taxes.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Those governments which take 40% or more of GDP in the form of taxes, the average annual rate of total revenue growth to government = 5.18%
Those governments which take less than 40% of GDP in the form of taxes, the average annual rate of total revenue growth to government = 7.21%
Those governments which take 40% or more of an average worker's income in the form of taxes, the average annual rate of revenue growth to government = 4.91%
Those governments which take less than 40% of an average worker's income in the form of taxes, the average annual rate of revenue growth to government = 7.94%
Something about 40% (already penal) could be the fiscal equivalent of the Mendoza Line. Feel free to do your own fiddling with the data here, here and here. Any/all corrections welcome in the comments.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
EU lawmakers voted Wednesday for a new price cap that will cut the cost of sending text messages from abroad by nearly two-thirds.Something tells me there will be some version of the following in the years ahead:
Phone users will pay a maximum of 11 euro cents for sending text messages from another European Union nation starting July 1, down from the current average cost of 28 euro cents.
The European Parliament also approved new, lower caps for "roaming" calls that set a ceiling of 43 euro cent per minute for making a call and 19 euro cents for receiving one.
Mobile Internet users could also see cheaper fees as the Parliament fixed a one-euro limit per megabyte on how much operators could charge each other to use their networks.
"Today's vote marks the definite end of the roaming rip-off in Europe," said EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding, who had pushed hard for the lower charges.
"Just in time for the summer holidays, European citizens will now be able to see the single market without borders on their phone bills," she said.
- Higher costs on domestic usage
- Less mobile coverage
- Higher sign-up fees
- Longer contract lengths
- Higher fees for breaking carrier contracts
- Less innovation in terms of new entrants in the market allowing consumer choice to lower prices
- (Insert some version of the consumer making up the lost costs)
But of course, no need to worry about that today. Today everything is FREE!
Richard North, on his new and improved blog-thingy shows us a case of the global network of “betters”, or as others have put it “pearls before swine”:
Irena Sendler was arrested and badly tortured by the Gestapo though her organization managed to save her from being executed. Subsequently, she lived in hiding but is said to have gone on helping Jewish children. After the war she tried to reunite some of the children with their families most of whom had been exterminated. But, like everything promoted by those trying to construct a political movement to love them for their mere opinions, someone who really saved lives matters less than a theoretical object of their lionization.
Needless to say she was then persecuted by the Polish Communist government for being close to the Home Army, whose members were put on show trial, and to the "bourgeois" Polish government in exile that had been betrayed by the Western allies.
When that gasbag and failed politician Al Gore received his Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for a documentary that even he admitted was based on false premises (ah but you have to shock people!) one of the other candidates was Irena Sendler, a Polish Roman Catholic nurse who had saved around 2,500 Jewish children and infants, placing them with Catholic families. The latter then courageously brought them up as their own.Like the subtle media expansion of the religious holiday Earth Day into Earth Week as close as possible to Holy Week, we find what appears to be falling on the lines to an attempt of the dispossession of faith with an unrelated object of worship.
To all of you extremists who are now attempting a conversion of de facto desire to turn civilization into a peasantry living by the whims of agriculture into a de jure underclass, I recommend you try taking a cab as far as the hack will take you away from your bubble and try dry camping.
Try your environmentalism on your own, not the standard kind that is expressed as engaging in some symbolism yourself, but forcing others to take the kinds of actions that suit the ideas that salve your empty souls. This is the sort of thing I’m talking about, and it’s a minor feature of the constellation of green Eichmanns “something for nothing”: a private organization called USGBC, or Unites States Green Building Council.
They aren’t elected or appointed, USGBC review and gatekeeping is slowly becoming a legally mandatory requirement for the design and construction of commercial and civil property, and soon also dwellings, and they’re gaining the right of refusal over what people can do with their property. To boot they require payment for review in a process that has no appeal structure outside of the same organization.
I lived for 4 years in East Germany under totalitarian Marxism. The only excuse the DDR ever used was that the force and coercion was necessary for the good of man. The East Germans even called things people had to go and do (like harvesting crops outside of your job) coercively and forcibly in it’s early days as “voluntary”. To me this complex of having extra-legal requirements sounds like a version of the same thing in its’ early days.
If it really mattered, the measures you have to take under a LEED, the USGBC metrication method by which they can grade if you’ve pleased them, would simply be building code requirements. Not only that, they may deny the efforts you make to a point in certification for no cause, and there is no authority to appeal to, even though there are cities that have made their process a requirement under the law.
They are the greenie-movement equivalent of a paramilitary death squad with some roundabout protection of their powers under the law. Look closely and you’ll find much of the environmental movement having these powers over the population.
The forcable kind, but without the blood on their hands – the kind of power they like, the kind that says that you, not they, have to sacrifice your well being for the good of man. In this case, it comes at the cost of your money and effort when you try to put a roof over your head. For them, as most of the LEED cadre are in the compliance consulting business, they materially benefit from your pain, and don’t have to live with the shame of anyone even suggesting that there is a conflict of interest in that. Probably because those being made to comply are tacitly cast as the wealthy, venal, enemy in need of taking, and they’re the patricians forcing them to do things for the good of man
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Any resemblance they have to a €10 whore is purely accidental.
The fishermen have blocked the ports of Boulogne, Calais and Dunkirk to protest EU fishing quotas, notably of cod and sole in the English Channel and the North Sea. They say that the quotas are too low and that small-scale fishing is dying while fish stocks are robust.It seems that there is more than one way to exploit the bounty of the waters, and these guys just hit on a way of doing it without getting wet.
The French minister however has refused to touch the quotas, despite the offer of compensation.
After all, who can blame them. Governments that do so much to regulate trades and industries shouldn’t necessarily expect the high regard in which they hold themselves be shared by the subjects over which they rule.
La violence politique est excusée, voire justifiée, dès lors que les assassins peuvent être assimilés à des révolutionnaires ou à des progressistes. Un gangster dénué de pitié et aux mains tachées de sang est considéré comme un justicier solitaire lâchement exécuté par la police. On transforme un criminel avéré, tel un violeur en série ou le meurtrier d'une femme agée, en l'innocente victime d'une prétendue erreur judiciaire. Comment est-ce possible ? Toutes ces aberrations, et bien d'autres encore, j'ai souhaité les passer au crible dans cette "mise en examen" d'une pseudo-justice, dont les dégâts ont été et demeurent considérables dans notre pays. Un dossier noir de la justice médiatique.
Frédéric Valandré est écrivain et docteur en sciences humaines. Il est l’auteur de France Intox, publié par les Editions Underbahn en 2006.
Anti-Americanism Not Cool Abroad Anymore… As Long As Uncle Sam Caves In to Foreigners' Appetites and Resentments
"This president has not only engaged the leaders of the world, he's engaged the people of the world,"quips Top White House adviser David Axelrod (in this Jon Ward story),
arguing that Mr. Obama's approach to foreign policy has restored "a sense of humility" that "was missing" in the past.Bullship! First of all, there is reason to put that statement into doubt (certainly where it matters).
More to the point, what has happened can best be compared to the hypothetical case of another African-American I heard about last year. What would you usually expect from challengers of Tiger Woods? For them to try to play golf as well as or better than the champion, correct? What the whining around the world amounts to is, "Tiger Woods is unfair", and under the policies of Barack Obama's administration, we have a Tiger Woods promising he will no longer play as well as he usually does, but that he will play as badly (relatively speaking) as his competitors.
This is healthy neither for America nor for other nations or the world at large, and yet that is what "a new receptivity" to U.S. interests amounts to. If "anti-Americanism isn't cool anymore," it's because of America's willing joyful caving in to to the worse angels of our (or of foreigners') nature, such as (often state-inspired) jealousy and resentment.
Furthermore, it can hardly be true that talking to a strongman or a dictator is equivalent to talking with the despot's citizens — especially his victims — unless you take for granted that the tyrants' spokesmen and his suave diplomats at the United Nations speak for the masses in his freedom of speech-deficient country; and unless you believe that the government — that any government — is (can only be) ipso facto representative of the people. Then again, that is what the leftists in government, academia, and the mainstream media believe, isn't it?…
Update: David Axelrod was recently interviewed in Le Monde, but it would seem that the daily forgot to put the interview online…
Update 2: Greg's comment brought back to mind Jean-François Revel's book:
The fundamental role of anti-Americanism in Europe in general, and particularly among those on the Left, is to absolve themselves of their own moral failings and intellectual errors by heaping them onto the monster scapegoat, the United States of America. For stupidity and bloodshed to vanish from Europe, the U.S. must be identified as the singular threat to democracy (contrary to every lesson of actual history). Thus, during the Cold War, it was dogma among Europeans from Sweden to Sicily, from Athens to Paris, that the "imperialistic" power was America, even though it was the USSR that annexed Eastern Europe, made satellites out of several African countries, and invaded Afghanistan, even though it was the People's Republic of China that marched into Tibet, attacked South Korea, and subjugated three Indochinese countries. A similar dynamic applies today in the war on terror.
Barack Obama's election as US president has failed to lift America's status in the Muslim and Arab world,Ayman al-Zawahiri is quoted as saying (shookhran to Hervé),
and is a victory for Al-Qaeda.Mentioning Vietnam, Ayman al-Zawahiri went on to confirm that he is a subscriber to the New York Times and that every day, he sits down to watch mainstream media broadcasts.
"Obama's victory is nothing more than the recognition by the American people that (former president George W.) Bush's policies had failed, and that the administration was lying when it claimed to have defeated the mujadeen (holy warriors)," al-Zawahiri says.
Now-They-Tell-Us Dept.: How well does Obama's rock star popularity translate with, say, Merkel or Sarkozy?
…how well does [Obama's rock star] popularity translate into power?asks Josef Joffe about the carrot-throwing Apologizer-in-Chief as he quotes Francis I of France.
How far could President Obama push his agenda with, say, German Chancellor Angela Merkel or French President Nicolas Sarkozy? About as far as you can throw a piano.
…Mr. Obama has gone out of his way to schmooze with the Iranian mullahs of "Axis of Evil" infamy. In his speeches, he has flattered and fawned over Tehran. He has followed the Europeans in throwing a huge carrot to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: It's okay to go on enriching uranium while we talk. (George W. Bush always insisted on stopping enrichment as the price of bilateral talks.)
The result was predictable. Earlier this week, a journalist with dual American-Iranian citizenship was put on trial for espionage. This is what totalitarians love to do when facing a suddenly seductive enemy. They respond with deliberate provocation to signal "no deal" or "we want a much higher price."
…This litany will lengthen in months to come, but it's not too early to render a preliminary judgment on Team Obama's foreign policy. The basic lesson, alas, is that nice guys don't do better than meanies like Mr. Bush.
That is not how politics among nations works. … Conflict between states is made from sterner stuff than bad manners or bad vibes, past grievances or imaginary fears. International politics is neither psychiatry nor a set of "see me, feel me" encounter sessions. It is about power and position, about preventing injury and protecting interests. Love and friendship move people, not nations.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Recycling the last years’ “Zombie Company” narrative, a article in the EU Observer unwittingly tells us just how perceptually limited EUtopia’s range of choices are when it comes to understanding the market economy.
An influential Brussels-based think-tank says "zombie" companies – enterprises badly in need of structural reform but kept alive by state subsidies – risk hampering EU growth levels once the economic crisis comes to an end.Further:
"They stifle economic growth, while preventing reallocation of resources to sectors with higher growth potential," say authors Jean Pisani-Ferry and Bruno van Pottelsberghe of Bruegel in a publication released last week.
"There will always be a political temptation to rescue particularly large industrial companies using government funds."
"This is unlikely to deliver the innovation boost that was called for in the EU's Lisbon strategy."One is left to wonder if they get the fact that having a politically driven, government engineered thing like a “Lisbon Strategy” is just that? – a stifling government manipulation of markets. After all, the really scary thing about zombies is that they AREN’T thinking for themselves, and a larger, absolute power made them that way.
Thom: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?Speaking of Zombies, former talent Jeneane Garofalo, like all good little fascists, is forming genetic theories about those she disagrees with. Next step is obviously using calipers to measure crania far and wide, and then forming from that a political philosophy.
Janeane: That’s unanswerable.
Thom: What’s the most annoying thing in the world?
Janeane: That is just too numerous to mention.
Their limbic brain, we’ve discussed this before, the limbic brain inside a right-winger or a Republican or a conservative or your average white power activist, the limbic brain is much larger in their headspace than in a reasonable person and it’s pushing against the frontal lobe.And one may NOT call this bigotry or prejudice of any sort, of course, because a leftist said it.
Senior White House adviser David Axelrod on Sunday suggested the "Tea Party" movement is an "unhealthy" reaction to the tough economic climate facing the country.Based on the above reax, the efficacy is rather obvious.
For a fan of great old movies, every day is a good day to look back at the artists that made it as good as if was. Here’s one of my favorites – the fabulous and funny Jean Arthur. She had a good a sense of comic timing as she had a tremendous personal reserve.
Later called “the star that nobody knew,” she seemed to detest publicity.
Arthur "retired" when her contract with Columbia Pictures expired in 1944. She reportedly ran through the studio's streets, shouting "I'm free, I'm free!"If that isn’t great comic timing, I don’t know what is. She later went on to appear in Alan Ladd’s Shane as well as Billy Wilder’s “A Foreign Affair”.
Lost in Translation: Susan Roesgen's — and the Mainstream Media's — (Entirely Self-Serving) Messages Spelled Out
Still — if need be — I feel the need to spell out exactly what her message (or the underlying one, rather) — and the mainstream media's — was/is during her confrontation with a none-too-happy tea-bagger, the same way I try to expose anti-American "viewpoints" (foreign as well as domestic) in my group Americans Anonymous. And I do this if only to get our liberal friends to take a closer look at the MSM's attitude, the one that makes people like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter — justifiably (!) — angry…
Take a look at her self-satisfied, faux-tolerant view trying hard to hide an offensive smirk (memories of AL Gore during the 2000 presidential debate) while she "interacts" with a protester…
What if somebody said to you, well, your elected officials voted for this stimulus package? (3:02)TRANSLATION: When liberal policies are being implemented, opponents should get on board or shut up. They were voted for, and there is no second-guessing the elected officials' decisions (or lack thereof) — this being in total contradiction to, say, the decisions of rightist politicians whose majority election victories are attributed to, say, the voters' fear or lack of knowledge. Alternatively (with regard to opposition to liberal policies), in the next-best scenario, opponents must — they must — state that conservatives and/or Republicans are just as bad or worse:
"So it's everybody", Susan Roesgen says (at 3:08) — she confirms, really — with a tone of voice and a smirk as well as a gesture indicating, "ah, there we go, the truth is out, story over… See? I was right all along!
A few seconds earlier, Susan Roesgen had asked — prompted the tea protestor, really, with — a question that, offhand, had been obvious from the beginning. That is, until you look at the underlying message…
Why don't you tell me why you are here (2:41)TRANSLATION: Why don't you admit that the real reason you are here has nothing to do with your convictions, real or otherwise (real convictions can only be associated with the progressive policies of the left, after all), but everything to do with the fact that you were summoned here (paid?! bribed?!) by capitalist groups in whose minds lurks little else but greed and treachery (which leads us to the next question, but another version of this one…)
What was the group that brought you out here? (3:30)TRANSLATION: Tell me the name of the group that forced/enticed/spellbound/bribed you (to come) here, so I can confirm that it is (that they are) — that it (they) can only be — a treacherous, racist, palm-rubbing, sneering right-wing group (or groups) full of money to bribe, if not you personally, Ma'am, then certainly the vast majority of the people who are present at your side (and aren't you naïve not to know that!). Because individuals against a liberal policy can only be acting due to misinformation and trickery and deviltry. This leads us to yet another version of the same question, or rather, of what really is a statement (disguised as a question)…
No, I mean, how did you find out about it, then? (3:35)TRANSLATION: C'm'on, now: out with it! Why don't you admit that you didn't really find out about the meeting — you were summoned (paid, bribed) to come here by your right-wing masters. Because — when you think about it — there was no way of knowing (!) of the (non-)event otherwise. After all, do not forget: we perceptive (and entirely independent and even saintly) members of the mainstream media (knowing (!) a story like this to be unnewsworthy) decided — as best as possible — to ignore the happenings — meaning you can only have learned of the event by those in the pay of the greedy capitalist pigs…
You know, you really don't need to be so antagonistic… (3:48)TRANSLATION: Any criticism of the mainstream media (and its entirely perceptive, independent, and saintly members) is based on unfair and unjust psychological partisanship. And what I was doing during my report beforehand (you ask)? Oh (chuckle) that — caricaturing events leaning towards conservative viewpoints — that was nothing more than the altogether objective reporting of the news events by entirely objective and entirely innocently sincere reporters like myself, see…
And (needless to say), Susan Roesgen learns little to nothing from the interction, coming back at the end saying, effectively "so, you know, you guys [you clueless guys], in the final analysis, you were/are silly to put the mainstream media's reportage (this and all the others) into doubt", while the video ends with something close to an "Oh, God" type of eye roll…
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Instapundit During 2008 Campaign: "I can think of no better reason to vote against Obama than the fact than any criticism will be depicted as racism"
This is about hating a black man — in the White House.
This is racism, straight up.
Instapundit said it last year (paraphrased): "I can think of no better reason to vote against Obama [or against any black candidate?] than the fact than any criticism against him will be depicted as racism."
Barack Obama … feels like he has been successful in ensuring other world leaders that "there are no senior or junior partners — we are simply partners."Note to the apologizer-in-chief: no, all nations are not equal; a republic is not on the same level as a dictatorship!
Not least — Not least (!) in the minds of the strongman's victims, whether they be the intimidated and/or silenced dissidents; the jailed opposition members; the murdered opponents; or simply the citizens who are prevented from finding (and taking) a job of their liking, or their kids a school of their choice…
Never let things such as Obamania allow the Apologizer-to-Chief to pretend otherwise…
As he did on a recent trip to Europe, Obama stressed in Latin America that the United States is a willing partner, "inclined to listen and not just talk," in trying to advance national interests."We recognize that other countries have good ideas, too, and we want to hear them," he said, adding that the fact that an idea comes "from a small country, like Costa Rica," should not diminish its potential benefit.
Regarding Obama's contention that "It's hard to believe we are endangering the strategic interests of the United States" by talking with Chavez since Venezuela has a defense budget about one-six hundredth the size of the United States', and owns Citgo, the oil company: and how does Caracas's offense (sorry, defense) budget compare with that of neighboring Columbia's?! And is Russia's placing navy vessels and long-range bombers in Venezuela to be ignored in estimating Columbia's defense budget?! This type of context-less quote is nothing more than a pass to always go and apologize, to always go and bow down, to always surrender your principles (gracias para Larwyn)…
As Peter Schweizer reported after Reagan's evil empire speech:
While pundits denounced the "evil empire" speech, political prisoners in Russia spread the word in their dark, damp cells. They tapped on walls and quietly talked through toilets to share what Reagan had said. Natan Scharansky remembers feeling energized and emboldened; Reagan had given them hope.To quote Natan Scharansky himself:
the great brilliant moment [was] when we learned that Ronald Reagan had proclaimed the Soviet Union an Evil Empire before the entire world. There was a long list of all the Western leaders who had lined up to condemn the evil Reagan for daring to call the great Soviet Union an evil empire right next to the front-page story about this dangerous, terrible man who wanted to take the world back to the dark days of the Cold War. This was the moment. It was the brightest, most glorious day. Finally a spade had been called a spade. Finally, Orwell's Newspeak was dead. President Reagan had from that moment made it impossible for anyone in the West to continue closing their eyes to the real nature of the Soviet Union.Then again, it is true that such a strongman attitude is precisely what more than a few have charged Obama with wanting to do to his opposition (cf the Rush Limbaugh controversy, etc)…
The liberals' viewpoint on the world — the place where everybody can be nice to each other and where everybody could live together and where everybody is friends and where there are no enemies… Except… EXCEPT for those pesky Republicans! EXCEPT for America's pesky conservatives!!
That is why defense budgets must fall during a Democrat administration, in favor of social policies! Because there are no real enemies — not abroad, at least (and so there is no real bowing, kowtowing, and "surrendering of principles").
The only real enemies are American conservatives, and they are the ones that must be fought, tooth and nail, and fought against with a federal budget that batters defense expenses while inflating all kinds of social spending!