January 31, 2010
If you go to the link, you will see a rather startling picture of the damage done to this prison guard's eye. I excerpted it here, but urge you all to read the entire piece.
I was a federal prison guard at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. In 2000, I was with a prisoner, Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, taking him back to his cell. His cellmate was Khalfan Khamis Mohamed. They were accused of bombing two embassies in Africa in 1998. Later they said that they worked with Osama bin Laden and that they helped set up al Qaeda.
Louis Pepe was a federal prison guard at Manhattan's MCC when he was ambushed and blinded by two terrorism suspects, later linked to Osama bin Laden.
We were back at their cell. It's only me and those two guys. No supervisors. Just the three of us. Somehow, they slipped out of their handcuffs.
They sprayed me with some kind of hot sauce. I couldn't see. They pulled me into the cell and hit me — boom, boom. They hit me so much, I swear to God, like a hundred times.
I hit my radio. I thought help would come.
They wanted the keys for the other prisoners, but they couldn't find them. They were in my front pocket. I used to be big, 300 pounds, and I was laying on them. I gave them my car keys.
It's going to happen again — unless the trial gets moved to where it belongs, a military prison.
We don't need Khalid Sheik Mohammed in New York City. President Obama should do the right thing and keep him at Guantanamo Bay.
If you go to www.tvtownhall.com , you can register for free to see Herman Cain respond to Pres. Obama's State of the Union speech with one of his own. Cain's response will be on Tuesday night, 8pm on February 2nd. It is called "The State of the Union, The Voice of the People."
I've seen Herman Cain, a Washington, DC area talk show host, speak in person last October. In fact, you can hear and see him speak on the internet right now at www.tvtownhall.com and read about him at his website www.hermancain.com
Herman Cain is a great speaker and a fine conservative. I urge all of you to check him out.
Contrast the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed trial dragging on with the attempt on President-elect Franklin Roosevelt on Feb. 15, 1933 (inaugurations were held later then, in March, I believe).
From http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1516.html :
On the evening of February 15, 1933, President-elect Franklin Roosevelt delivered a short speech to a crowd at Maimi’s Bayfront Park. Because of his disability, Roosevelt often spoke from the rear seat of an open touring car rather than making the arduous trip to a platform. When he finished his remarks, the crowd surged forward, but was halted abruptly by six pistol shots fired in rapid succession.
Five people were hit. The most seriously injured was Chicago Mayor Anton J. Cermak, who sustained a stomach wound. The crowd quickly restrained the assailant, but was prevented from doing him bodily harm by Roosevelt’s intercession. Cermak was loaded into the car and comforted on the ride to the hospital by the president-elect. Medical staff credited Roosevelt with preventing the mayor from going into shock, thus giving him a better chance at recovery.
Giuseppe Zangara was the attempted assassin. He was born in Italy, came to the United States in the early 1920s, became a citizen and in 1933 was working as a bricklayer in Miami. Zangara subscribed to no political philosophy, but harbored a hatred for wealthy capitalists. He had blamed Hoover, and later Roosevelt, for the plight of the common man. Probably more important than any political view was the fact that Zangara suffered from chronic and debilitating stomach pain that put him at odds with those around him. In his own words: “I don’t like no peoples.”
Zangara was quickly tried and convicted on charges of assault with the intent to kill; he was sentenced to 80 years in prison. However, on March 6, Mayor Cermak died after lingering for three weeks. Zangara was hastily retried and convicted on murder charges; he insisted on pleading guilty despite the belief of some that doctors had misdiagnosed Cermak’s condition and contributed to his death. On March 5, only five weeks after the attempted assassination, Zangara died in the electric chair in the state prison at Railford.
END OF QUOTE
So a US Citizen could be tried and convicted and executed within five weeks of killing the Democrat Mayor of Chicago and attempting to kill the Democrat President-elect back in 1933. I guess KSM got an extended pre-trial period because he didn't yell "GOP (or George Bush) Akbar!"
January 30, 2010
... and wants the world to boycott American products. Well, so much for Bam's desire to double American exports! Gee, that guy just can't catch a break! http://www.urgentagenda.com/PERMALINKS%20V/JANUARY%202010/29.BULLETIN.HTML
Jack Kemp forwards this:
Lady Qaeda case chilling view of circus to come
Last Updated: 10:35 AM, January 29, 2010
Imagine this nightmare courtroom scenario: Un hinged Jew-bashing, open mockery of American soldiers, juror intimidation and coldly calculated exploitation of US constitutional protections by a suspected al Qaeda defendant.
Well, there's no need to wait for the Gitmo terror trial circuses. New York City is already getting a glimpse of the future.
Jihadi scientist Aafia Siddiqui is on trial right now in a Manhattan federal court for the attempted murder and assault of US military personnel in Afghanistan's Ghazni province two years ago.
She's an accomplished Karachi, Pakistan-born scientist who studied microbiology at MIT and did graduate work in neurology at Brandeis University before disappearing in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
Counterterrorism investigators connected Siddiqui and her estranged husband, anesthesiologist Dr. Mohammed Amjad Khan, to Saudi terror funders.
Siddiqui was identified as an al Qaeda operative, financier and fixer by no less than 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed during US interrogations.
Mohammed reportedly enlisted Siddiqui in a Baltimore-based plot to bomb gas stations, fuel tanks and bridges, and to poison water reservoirs in the greater Washington area.
Siddiqui was taken into custody in Ghazni in July 2008 after attempting to shoot US military interrogators and FBI agents.
Now, the savvy "terror mom" of three is pulling out all the stops to win a mistrial. Among her Cirque du Jihad antics:
* Demanding that jurors be genetically tested for a "Zionist or Israeli background" to ensure a fair and impartial jury of her Jew-hating peers.
* Ranting about 9/11 Israel conspiracies during voir dire.
* Screaming out loud during the testimony of US Army Capt. Robert Snyder, who was in the room in Ghazni when Siddiqui allegedly grabbed an M-4 rifle and proclaimed, "I hate Americans! Death to America!"
Siddiqui's defense team, funded in part by the Pakistani government, asserts that Lady al Qaeda is so mentally ga-ga that she should not have been allowed to take the witness stand.
The Crazy Jihadi tactic is in perfect sync with the al Qaeda training manual advising its operatives to claim victimhood status if on trial.
To make matters worse, the New York Post reported this week that an "unidentified man in a white headdress" mouthed an obscenity at the Siddiqui trial and cocked his finger like a gun at two jurors.
The jurors were let go; it remains unclear whether the thug in white headdress will be charged and what relation, if any, he has to Siddiqui.
Would you answer a jury summons knowing you could end up sitting in front of a jihadi sympathizer on the loose who is mentally painting a target on your forehead?
And would you trust the White House ringmasters and Justice Department terror-coddlers to protect you from harm?
These suspects belong in controlled military tribunals, not federal courtrooms that are being turned into al Qaeda p.r. platforms.
The O.J. Simpson spectacle of a smirking murder suspect, preening defense attorneys, a showboating judge and the judicial process run amok on cable TV 24/7 was bad enough.
The 1993 World Trade Center bombing trial, which gave Osama bin Laden's network a multimillion-dollar legal team, free translation services, race-baiting defense witnesses and access to information that was allegedly used by jihadists to evade surveillance, was even worse.
The specter of 10, 15, 20 Siddiqui-style courtroom carnivals -- at a cost of at least $1 billion to taxpayers -- threatens to throw our civilian court system into complete chaos. America can't afford to clown around with national security.
January 29, 2010
A while back we played music for a "church" that seems pertinent to today. I use quotes around the word "church" because it was First Universalist -- a bunch which I currently refer to as "pagans" and which, especially these days, resembles more closely a congregation of some ancient Gaia cult -- or perhaps a meeting of the DNC. I used to refer to them as the Druids until I decided that that was being disrespectful of the ancient Druids.
We don't play at that place very often anymore -- they now have a parishioner who plays pretty good piano, and she can cover for the music director when he's away, and he's under pressure to use her whenever he can. But we get in there once in awhile. Last time, we took a friend along -- we'd been doing some stuff with her, and she said "I've got a song that might be right up their alley." Boy, was it! It could have been an Obama campaign song -- we laughed about it. The lyrics are:
One day the fields will be greener,
One day the skies will be bluer,
One day the rivers will be
bright silver ribbons running 'round the hills, quiet hills,
You'll see, One day the rains will be softer,
One day the winds will be sweeter, sweeter than springtime,
And the whisper of lilac, apple, pine and pear will fill the air.
And One Day a child full of wonder
Won't fear the dark sound of thunder,
No dreams of danger when a soldier's a stranger from a distant time, distant world!
On the morning you stand with tomorrow safe in your hand,
That will be the day!
If the melody (Michel Legrand) hadn't been so gorgeous, we probably wouldn't have done it, but it's a wonderful melody. I worked up a supporting clarinet part, and we knocked 'em dead. We all think we'll wait about doing it again, though, till Bam-Bam's safely out of office -- and, one hopes, the AGW crowd has been silenced.
On Pajamas Media Television, Alonzo Rachel, shows video of Obama making fun of Scott Brown and his truck, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jepAO74hP5I with the obvious implication that driving a truck is an appeal to hicks and rubes. I have been informed that since PJTV is a paid site, I should not directly link to Alonzo Rachel's story, but the title of the piece is “Truckin' 2010: Has Obama Set Democrats Up For a Long, Strange Trip?”
It turns out that Alonzo Rachel's grandfather was one of the many Black truck drivers of General Patton's fast moving supply truck fleet in World War II, the Red Ball Express, which contributed greatly to Patton's ability to strike and advance with speed. Here is what Publishers’ Weekly had to say about “The Road to Victory: The Untold Story of World War II’s Red Ball Express” by David P. Colley:
After the Normandy invasion, the Red Ball Express--a U.S. Army trucking operation that lasted 81 days--transported critical ammunition, rations, gasoline and other supplies to American troops as they pushed on toward Germany. Three-fourths of the Red Ball drivers were African-Americans who faced continual prejudice and hostility from white soldiers. In this stirring chronicle--an important contribution to WWII history--former Baltimore Evening Sun reporter Colley tells the full story of the Red Ball Express for the first time. Drawing from interviews, army documents and oral histories, Colley leaves no doubt that the heroic efforts of the Red Ball drivers, who braved strafing by Luftwaffe planes, German artillery and friendly fire, contributed significantly to the defeat of the Nazis in France--and he shatters the myth that the Germans were the masters of mechanized warfare. (While the German Army was supplied by horse and wagon, the American army's secret weapon in the ground war-- simple, rugged trucks nicknamed "Jimmies"--made it the world's most flexible and mechanized force.) Colley transforms what might have been a dry tale of military logistics into a rousing, perceptive reappraisal of the Allied invasion of northern Europe. Although the Red Ball's exploits--the subject of a 1952 movie starring Sidney Poitier--are legendary, former Platoon Sergeant John Houston (father of singer/actress Whitney Houston) sums it up: "We never got enough credit for what we did.... The Army would never have won without us."
END OF QUOTE
And it appears that no truck driver who distributes goods or works in America will ever get enough credit from the Obama administration for what they do in America today either. But people with deeper roots in this country will have to remind the elitists in Washington – at both the voting booth, on the web and the Redball Express section of the US Army Transport Museum Newport News, Virginia. http://www.transchool.eustis.army.mil/museum/transportation%20museum/redballintro.htm Since Barack Obama is so fond of traveling, perhaps he can make the trip to the Museum. If not, he can read these personal stories online at http://www.transchool.eustis.army.mil/museum/transportation%20museum/personalstoriesredball.htm
There was a time when intellectual leftists lionized truck driving Okies in John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath.” Steinbeck also drove a truck himself with a camper http://travelswithcharley.net/ when he made his last trip across America in 1961, knowing he was dying. The trip detailed in the book “Travels with Charley.”
If you drive cross country overnight on roads like the Pennsylvania Turnpike, you can see a fleet of trucks making their way to markets. They will signal you back if you blink your headlights to them, keeping both you and them awake and aware of road conditions.
The chances are good that you won’t see any Presidential limos on the highway in “flyover country” these days – just real people. And at least one truck owner (not myself) I know who also writes for the Birdnow website.
introduced by Jack Kemp
Daryl Mongomery sizes up the prospects of one of the biggest self-delusionists advising Obama on how to do things wrong. From the Project Shining City website.
The Twilight of Ben Bernanke
by Daryl Montgomery
Bernanke_jail2_200.jpg Fed Chair Ben Bernanke survived the U.S. Senate vote for his reappointment, but it was touch and go for a while. The vote was 70 to 30 - an unprecedented lack of support for a sitting head of the Federal Open Market Committee. The previous lowest level of support was for Paul Volcker in 1983. His vote was 84 to 16, much better than Bernanke's. Volcker failed to get support for another nomination however. He was out in the next term. Bernanke will be lucky if he lasts even that long.
Opposition to Bernanke first arose in the blogosphere and then spread through the political activist communities on both the Left and the Right. Even with that, the senate might still have engaged in its usual rubber stamp support for the president's nominee for Fed Chair. The surprise upset in the Massachusetts special election for Ted Kennedy's seat indicated how angry the public was about the handling of the economy and that no senator could expect automatic voter support this fall. The one-third of senators up for reelection in November seemed particularly reluctant to support Bernanke. The White House had to get involved to salvage Bernanke's nomination. Without pressure from the president and congressional leadership, he might have gone under.
The government PR machine has been trying to turn Bernanke's first term at the head of the Fed from the fiasco it has been into a great triumph. They came up with the tag line that 'he saved the U.S. from another depression'. Obama and a number of Democratic leaders repeated this outrageous claim over and over again. There is only limited proof that this might be the case. The U.S. economy still faces a depression or at the very least an ongoing recessionary period that could last for years. The White House and the Fed may indeed be oblivious to this idea, since they both seem to believe their own press releases rather than the hard evidence that indicates otherwise. In truth, Bernanke is one of the most incompetent leaders the Fed has ever had. He failed to see the Credit Crisis coming, he failed to react quickly when it did, and when he did he took questionable actions that benefited Wall Street at the expense of Main Street. Bernanke's associates, Tim Geithner and Henry Paulson, the current and former Treasury Secretaries, also claim they did a great job handling the Credit Crisis and that they too saved the U.S. from another depression.
Why Obama submitted Bernanke's name for reappointment is indeed a mystery - at least if you believe his rhetoric about 'change you can believe in'. Bernanke was originally appointed by George Bush and is a Republican. Obama constantly complains about the big mess with the economy that George Bush left him to untangle. Yet, Obama renominates, with obsequious praise, the key architect of the Bush economy. Did he even look for someone else to fill the position? My guess is he didn't. The rap about why senators should support Bernanke has included 'no one else would probably have done a better job handling the Credit Crisis' (an indirect admission that Bernanke didn't perform well) and 'someone else wouldn't be much different as Fed Chair'. While Washington is willing to accept mediocrity and substandard performance in top government positions, the American public seems to finally be getting fed up with Beltway incompetence.
Bernanke's loss of power is not just due to his poor handling of the economy and financial system. He is a complete contrast to the politically savvy Alan Greenspan, who survived for 19 years as Fed Chair, through both Republican and Democratic administrations. Bernanke seems to be politically tone-deaf. The Fed's actions at this month's meeting, which ended on Wednesday, included an announcement that it was closing down a number of its programs that provide liquidity to the system. Stocks gyrated wildly after the announcement and the market could easily have gone into a tailspin. Not exactly a wise move for a Fed Chair ever and particularly not smart the day before a vote for renomination where senators are looking for a reason not to support you.
Bernanke also seems to have confused the idea that the Fed should be independent with the Fed should be above the law. This imperial view does not sit well with the American public. Bernanke's renomination will only further empower the forces that want to audit the Fed and rein it in. From now on, he is Barack Obama's Fed Chair and not George Bush's. Bernanke's reappointment is likely to be one more decision that president Obama will regret having made. And if he doesn't, the voters will probably make sure he does.
January 28, 2010
Some readers may recall an article I wrote at the Birdnow Website in April 2009, Easter vs. Multiculturalism (http://tbirdnow.mee.nu/easter_vs._multiculturalism), where I mentioned the comment some leftist clown made at Amazon.com concerning the book "The War on Christmas" by John Gibson, where he stated how "uncomfortable" his Jewish college roommate must have felt at Christmastime with all the decorations. In other words, he imagined the Jewish roommate never grew beyond his college student level of maturity about the world.
A quote from that piece states:
"Years ago, someone wrote a reader book review at Amazon contending that a current Christmas display would probably, he thought, make his Jewish college roommate uncomfortable because he had complained about feeling left out by Christmas displays. Perhaps he couldn't find his way to the campus Jewish Center or know where he could buy an Old Testament. Anyway, I replied directly to the reviewer that it was strange that someone who probably espoused multiculturalism and learning about things like Kwanza, Ramadan and the Chinese New Year now was writing that learning about another American's cultural heritage was oppressive. I also said that, as a Jew, I didn't need someone to imagine for me how uncomfortable I might feel when learning there are Christians in America (shocking - who knew?) and about ethic Chinese, Hispanics, Blacks or whoever."
END OF QUOTE
My posted a reply that stated that we are all told nowadays to learn about other cultures and tolerate them, so why should this leftist's Jewish roommate from college feel "uncomfortable" because of Christmas signs and decorations?
A few days ago, I retold this story to Jeff Bruzzo of ProjectShiningCity.org and it resulted in me coming up with the politically correct reason why the leftist thought his criticism was valid.
I see I was too "stupid" to understand what the leftist at Amazon.com was really getting at. He meant to say that CHRISTIANS should learn about other cultures such as the Hispanic, the Islamic, the Chinese, the Blacks, but leftists and minority groups - such as Jews - can demand that they don't have to be made to feel uncomfortable by being exposed to Christian culture because it would "oppress them" to hear Jingle Bells or see a Christmas sign written in English.
My "stupidness" comes from growing up with parents that spoke 4 languages apiece and learned about cultures other than their own Yiddish one. At various Jewish museums, such as the Simon Weisenthal Center, one often sees displays from other cultures and discrimination against them, showing - de facto - a knowledge and concern of other cultures.
When I heard about "celebrating diversity," I thought they meant I, too, should also learn about other cultures, even though I'm not Christian. I didn't get the FAX from Politically Correct Central, so I was confused and didn't act indignant about learning anything about the major Western culture of Christianity.
Adding further to my confusion was being in Israel in 1970 at Christmastime and the State run television channel, then the only one in the country, playing Christmas carols all day long for the tourists from overseas for which they were (and are) grateful. On the way to visit the holiest Jewish site in Jerusalem, the Western Wall, one sees two major churches along the road. I didn't get the memo that I was supposed to be indignant over seeing a Christian symbol to "oppress" my Jewish sensibilities. Maybe I lost the "you must act indignant" memo when I stayed at the Jerusalem YMCA (the only YMCA that had - and probably still has - an 80 percent Jewish membership). Or I lost the pre-FAX era memo many years earlier when my dad took my up on the rail of the Liberty Ship we sailed to America on so we could see The Statue of Liberty as we entered New York Harbor.
That's why I didn't comprehend the "reasoning" that I was "required" to believe I should feel uncomfortable and oppressed when I see Christmas decorations in America. I'm not as "sophisticated" as Jews whose families fled Russia and Poland one hundred years ago and forgot how much better they have been treated in America and have lost their gratitude for what they have here.
I guess that makes me a simpleminded "zhlub" (a peasant or lout, in Yiddish) - and proud of it.
Science is overtaking the stem-cell debate. This from Lifenews:
"Palo Alto, CA (LifeNews.com) -- Scientists have made a major breakthrough using the process known as direct reprogramming that further renders embryonic stem cell research obsolete. Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have succeeded in transforming mouse skin cells directly into functional nerve cells.
With the application of just three genes, the new cells make the change without first becoming a pluripotent type of stem cell -- such as an embryonic stem cell.
That is a step long thought to be required for cells to acquire new identities.
"We actively and directly induced one cell type to become a completely different cell type," said Marius Wernig, MD, assistant professor of pathology and a member of Stanford's Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine.
"These are fully functional neurons. They can do all the principal things that neurons in the brain do." '
Read the entire piece here http://www.lifenews.com/bio3043.html
Yet the One and his fellows in the Court of Kings will continue to ram fetal stem cell research down the American throat. Why? Because it has never been about research and medicine, and has had everything to do with putting research under the thumb of government, and of advancing the culture of death, which strongly appeals to so many on the Left because it gives them the illusion of Divine authority,
Were this about the science Obama would propose to wait a bit, to see where research like this is heading. After all, James Thompson, the man who developed the first line of pluripotent embryonic stem cells, was deeply disturbed by his own work, and labored to develop a method to convert other cells into embryonic stem cells. Why, if it isn't a morally unjustifiable thing, was Thompson concerned? Essentially, an embryo is cloned and harvested, much like veal is bred, raised and slaughtered for the table. (embryonic stem-cells; the other white meat!) This is a very disturbing thing, and, due to the tendency to become cancerous, fetal stem cells have produced no treatments to date. An Israeli boy was treated experimentally and became riddled with cancer.
Yet the forces of leftism cannot rest, for in the power of life and death they achieve their godhead.
This new development illustrates the hubris of our current crop all the more.
Brian forwards this from Ann Coulter at Human Events:
Ann Coulter gets it right again!
Can't We At Least Get a Toaster?
by Ann Coulter
In the wake of the Massachusetts Miracle last week ("The other Boston Massacre"), President Obama adopted a populist mantle, claiming he was going to "fight" Wall Street. It was either that or win another Nobel Peace Prize.
Now the only question is which Goldman Sachs crony he'll put in charge of this task.
If Obama plans to hold Wall Street accountable for its own bad decisions, it will be a first for the Democrats.
For the past two decades, Democrats have specialized in insulating financial giants from the consequences of their own high-risk bets. Citigroup and Goldman Sachs alone have been rescued from their risky bets by unwitting taxpayers four times in the last 15 years.
Bankers get all the profits, glory and bonuses when their flimflam bets pay off, but the taxpayers foot the bill when Wall Street firms' bets go bad on -- to name just three examples -- Mexican bonds (1995), Thai, Indonesian and South Korean bonds (1997), and Russian bonds (1998).
As Peter Schweizer writes in his magnificent book Architects of Ruin: "Wall Street is a very far cry from the arena of freewheeling capitalism most people recall from their history books." With their reverse-Midas touch, the execrable baby boom generation turned Wall Street into what Schweizer dubs "risk-free Clintonian state capitalism."
Apropos of the Clintonian No-Responsibility Era, Goldman Sachs and Citibank became heavily invested in Mexican bonds after a two-day bender in Tijuana in the early '90s. Any half-wit could see that "investing" in the dog track would be safer than investing in a corrupt Third World government controlled by drug lords.
But precisely because the bonds were so risky, bankers made money hand-over-fist on the scheme -- at least until Mexico defaulted.
With Mexico unable to pay the $25 billion it owed the big financial houses, Clinton's White House decided the banks shouldn't be on the hook for their own bad bets.
Clinton's Treasury Secretary, Robert Rubin, former chairman of Goldman, demanded that the U.S. bail out Mexico to save his friends at Goldman. He said a failure to bail out Mexico would affect "everyone," by which I take it he meant "everyone in my building."
Larry Summers, currently Obama's National Economic Council director, warned that a failure to rescue Mexico would lead to another Great Depression. (Ironically, Summers' current position in the Obama administration is "Great Depression czar.")
Republicans in Congress said "no" to Clinton's Welfare-for-Wall-Street plan.
It's not as if this hadn't happened before: In 1981, Reagan allowed Mexico to default on tens of billions of dollars in debt -- Mexico claimed the money was "in my other pair of pants" -- leaving Wall Street to deal with its own bad bets.
As Larry Summers expected, this led like night into day to the Great Depression we experienced during the Reagan years ... Wait, that never happened.
At congressional hearings on Clinton's proposed Mexico bailout a decade later, Republicans Larry Kudlow, Bill Seidman and Steve Forbes all denounced the plan to save Goldman Sachs via a Mexican bailout.
So the Clinton administration did an end run around the Republicans in Congress and rescued improvident Wall Street bankers by giving Mexico a $20 billion line of credit directly from the Treasury's Exchange Stabilization Fund.
Relieved of any responsibility for their losing bets, Wall Street firms leapt into buying other shaky foreign bonds. Soon the U.S. taxpayer, through the International Monetary Fund, was propping up bonds out of South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, then Russia -- all to save Goldman Sachs.
The IMF could have saved itself a lot of paperwork by just sending taxpayer money directly to Goldman, but I think they're saving that for Obama's second term.
Throughout every bailout, congressional Republicans were screaming from the rooftops that this wasn't capitalism. It was "Government Sachs." As Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) put it, the same rules that apply to welfare mothers "ought to apply to rich Greenwich, Conn., investors who are multimillionaires."
But Wall Street raised a lot of money for the Democrats, so Clinton bailed them out, over and over again.
Before you knew it, once-respectable Wall Street institutions were buying investment products even more ludicrous than Mexican bonds: They were buying the mortgages of Mexican strawberry-pickers.
Why shouldn't Wall Street trust in suicidal loans no sane person would ever imagine could be paid back? Time after time, when their bets paid off, they pocketed huge fees; when their bets failed, they sent the bill to the taxpayers.
With nothing to fear, the big financial houses bought, repackaged and resold investment products that included loans like the one issued by Washington Mutual to non-English-speaking strawberry pickers earning a combined $14,000 a year to purchase a $720,000 house.
But the financial wizards on Wall Street were trading these preposterous loans as if they were bars of gold. They may as well have bet the entire U.S. economy on a dice game in an alley off 44th Street.
Every mortgage-backed security bundle was infected with suicidal, politically correct loans that had been demanded by community organizers such as Barack Obama -- as is thoroughly documented in Schweizer's book.
On the off chance that mammoth mortgages to people who could barely afford food somehow went bad, Wall Street firms could be confident that their Democrat friends would bail them out.
Even the Republicans would have to bail them out this time: They had strapped the dynamite of toxic loans onto the entire economy and were threatening to pull the clip. Wall Street had infected every financial institution in the country, including completely innocent banks.
But now Obama says he's going to "fight" Wall Street, which is as plausible as claiming he'll "fight" the trial lawyers.
As Schweizer demonstrates, whenever the Democrats "regulate" Wall Street, the innocent pay through the nose, while Wall Street swine lower than drug dealers and pornographers end up with multimillion-dollar bonuses so they can run for governor of New Jersey and fund lavish Democratic fundraisers in the Hamptons.
Republicans should respond the way they always have: Support the free market, not looters and welfare recipients on Wall Street, especially the Democrats' friends at Goldman.
No one from Missouri signed this, but Betty McCollum from Minnesota did. Muslim Keith Ellison is the initiator of this letter.
The leading paragraphs of the story, followed by the complete list of Democrats:
Amerabia isn't as far away as we have thought
Hamas’ 54 Democratic Congressmen
By Daniel Greenfield Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Keith Ellison, widely hailed as America’s first Muslim congressman, could more accurately be described as CAIR and Hamas’ man in Congress. Congressman Ellison has been a regular presence atCAIR fundraisers and at pro-Hamas rallies in the United States. As a former member of Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, Ellison has enough anti-semitic and Islamist credentials to satisfy anyone, and had expressed openly anti-semitic beliefs in the past.
Since Ellison got his start with CAIR , his attempt to provide support for Hamas is completely unsurprising. Both Hamas and CAIR are projects of the Muslim Brotherhood, which also helped birth Al Queda. Organizations like CAIR do the same work in America that Hamas does in Israel. The difference is that CAIR does its work on a political level, while Hamas functions on both a political and a military level. Like CAIR, Ellison is careful to cloak his pro-Hamas agenda, which he does by mentioning that all violence is wrong and that Israelis probably shouldn’t be shelled—but the thrust of his agenda is to force Israel to open its border with Hamas.
The entire “Free Gaza” movement is a Hamas propaganda project that allows it to demand that Israel open its borders, without actually using the P word, for peace, since Hamas doesn’t even believe in phony peace negotiations. So Pro-Hamas activists, whether it’s former Saddam supporter, George Galloway’s Viva Palestina or their American flavors talk only about “The People of Gaza”, deemphasize Hamas and emphasize the supposed “suffering” within Gaza.
But the call for Israel to open its borders is nothing more than a way of making it easier for terrorists to strike. Ellison’s letter buries its real agenda in paragraphs of prose about how everyone will be better off, except somehow Hamas, if Israel complies with their demand… that Israel ease the movement of people in and out of Gaza. This of course is a fancy way of saying, “Let my Suicide Bombers go”.
None of this is up till now is shocking. But what Congressman Keith Ellison accomplished was to convince 53 other Democratic congressmen to join him in this venture. It is not particularly surprising to find the House’s most radical anti-Israel voices signing their names onto Ellison’s letter. It would be inconceivable if a letter aiding Hamas did not carry the signatures of Barbara Lee, Jim Moran or Jim McDermott, who helped Ellison spearhead the whole campaign. It is essentially inconceivable that any letter circulated in congress opposing Israel would not get their signature.
END OF QUOTE
The Complete List:
MORE PROOF THAT THE DEMOCRAT PARTY IS THE HOME OF ANTI-ZIONISM: 54 HOUSE DEMS ASK OBAMA TO ACT AGAINST ISRAEL AND IN FAVOR OF HAMAS
This is unprecedented.
Fifty-four House members are defying AIPAC and calling on President Obama to lift the deadly blockade of Gaza.
... In short, the courageous 54 want the blockade lifted.
Please take a look at the list of these legislators who will, no doubt, catch hell from powerful AIPAC types in their districts and, more significanyly, among their donor base.
Also note this. The fact that your favorite liberal is not among the 54 does not mean he or she disagrees with their braver colleagues. It only means that they are not ready to stand up and be counted.
The 54 deserve our thanks as does J Street and Americans for Peace Now which supported the House effort that was led by three Minnesotans: Keith Ellison, James Oberstar, and Betty McCollum.
HUFFPO FAVORS THIS ANTI-ISRAEL / PRO-GAZA/PRO HAMAS VOTE.
THEY BELIEVE IT IS THE TRUE LIBERAL POSITION.
THAT SAYS IT ALL:
LIBERAL DEMOCRATS ARE THE MAJOR PURVEYORS OF ANTI-ZIONISM IN THE USA.
JEWS WHO LOVE ISRAEL SHOULDN'T SUPPORT THE DEMOCRATS
HERE ARE THE ANTI-SEMITES:
Mary Jo Kilroy
January 27, 2010
Daryl Montgomery with an introduction by Jack Kemp
Daryl Mongomery once again sizes up the economy.
I'd like to introduce this with a story about a conversation I had seven months ago at a one of Daryl's New York Investment Meetup Group sessions. This may have been posted here before, but it is worth repeating in light of the current Fall From Grace being experienced by Obama among even Democrats.
The atmosphere at these meetings is friendly and includes people of all political persuasions. At that spring meeting, I found myself sitting behind a an older guy with a pony tail and a baseball cap. At one point, he turned to me and framed a question as if anyone in these meetings not wearing a Confederate flag baseball cap and spitting tobacco must be a "right thinking" New Yorker such as himself.
Mr. Pony Tail asked me, "Are you disappointed in your expectations of Obama?"
I replied, "I had no expectations of Obama."
The look then seen on Mr. Pony Tail's face was priceless, as if someone had just poured a large beer stein full of ice water down the front of his pants. He did understand what I was saying to him and remained silent. He hasn't talked to me since then. I'm not complaining.
Anyway, on to Daryl's latest report, previously posted at www.projectshiningcity.org , a Tea Party affiliated site in New York:
Consumers Lack Confidence, They Also Lack Credit
by Daryl Montgomery
The 'Helicopter Economics Investing Guide' is meant to help educate people on how to make profitable investing choices in the current economic environment. We have coined this term to describe the current monetary and fiscal policies of the U.S. government, which involve unprecedented money printing. This is the official blog of the New York Investing meetup.
Before the Credit Crisis began, consumer spending made up 72% of U.S. GDP. The current economic numbers indicate that there is little chance that this part of the economy will be recovering any time soon. Consumers have neither the desire to spend, nor the availability of funds to make it possible.
The Conference Board's consumer confidence numbers for January came in at 55.9. The historic average is 95 and somewhere around 90 is considered the dividing point between bad and good. While it is true that the current number is better than the depression level all-time low of 25.3 in February 2009, the readings have been range bound between around 50 since last June. The numbers indicate quite clearly that consumers are in no mood to shop. Even if they were, where would they get the money?
The dismal job picture with 10% unemployment (not including discouraged workers and people forced to work part-time, which brings the U.S. unemployment number to the 17% to 20% level) is only one reason that consumers won't spend. The latest figures from November 2009 indicate that consumer credit was falling at an 8.5% annual rate. Revolving credit (much of which is credit card debt) was falling at an 18.5% annual rate. The big banks that took TARP money with the understanding that they would increase lending have increasingly cut consumers off.
The lack of consumer spending would have had more serious impact on U.S. GDP figures if large increases in government spending hadn't taken up the slack. Government subsidies have held up the housing and the auto markets, but this is completely artificial and produces only an illusion of economic recovery, rather than the real thing. Investors should keep in mind that no sustainable U.S. economic recovery is possible without the participation of the consumer. Otherwise, no matter how good the GDP numbers are in any given quarter, the improvement will only be temporary.
January 26, 2010
A confirmed case of virgin birth in nature:
CHICAGO, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- A researcher at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History says he confirmed the first known case of surviving offspring being born to a virgin female shark.
It makes one wonder about another case, oft celebrated and yet as often sneered at:
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)
"the birth of Jesus Christ5 took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed6 to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child wfrom the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling xto put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, yan angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 1:18-20)
Granted, a shark is a simpler creature than a man, but if one can do it, perhaps the other? What, after all, is a miracle other than an unlikely event occuring? That something can occur naturally but rarely does makes it no less a miracle in my mind.
Hat tip: Darwiniana www.darwiniana.com
Some interesting stuff here. Also some very funny stuff, although the people saying it were not intending to be funny. The actual title of this piece is a hoot.
According to San Fran Nan, Americans want green cars. Frankly, I don't see many green cars on the road. The most popular color seems to be silver these days. My minivan is silver, as was my previous sedan. I've owned two green cars in my life -- a forest green Oldsmobile LSS and a two-tone green VW Microbus. Nobody made a big deal over either of them, back then.
What's that you're sayin', Willis? Nancy means a different kind of green these days? I thought green was green.
This reinforces the idea that Bam and Co. are not serious about protecting this country! http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2010/01/025456.php
It will be interesting to see how Bam justifies himself in the State of the Union in a few days.
Gee, I guess Obama should invite the Iranian Larijani to the White House for a beer.
January 25, 2010
Iranian official uses "N" word to describe Obama
Quote from blog piece:
PBS is reporting (via Jim Hoft ) that a high-level Iranian official who comes from one of the most prominent and powerful families in Iran, used the "N" word to describe our president:
Mohammad Javad Larijani criticized the policies adopted by U.S. President Barack Obama and referred to him using a racial epithet.
"When Barack Obama was sworn into office he talked of verbally engaging Iran," the U.C. Berkeley graduate was quoted as saying. "What has changed is that today this [the equivalent of the N-word in Farsi] talks of regime change in Iran."
In a Saturday meeting at the Islamic Engineers Society, Larijani said, "I am not a racist, but I must respond to this man [Obama] in some way."
Larijani's brother, Ali, is the speaker of Majles (Parliament). Another brother, Sadegh, is head of the judiciary.
END OF QUOTE
An interesting article on world oil.
The World's Biggest Oil Reserves
by Christopher Helman
Monday, January 25, 2010provided by
Chances are your energy needs are going to flow from one of these fields in the future.
This month Iraq will finalize contracts with the likes of ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and BP to develop some of its biggest oil fields. These giants are among the world's last remaining pockets of so-called "easy oil." They don't require ultradeep drilling or innovative production techniques, just the application of Big Oil know-how. No wonder the oil companies agreed to develop Iraq's fields without even getting an ownership stake in the fields and collecting as little as $1.15 per barrel recovered.
Given the size of Iraq's undeveloped giants there are no technical reasons why within 10 years the country can't supplant both Iran and Russia to become the world's No. 2 oil producer after Saudi Arabia. No wonder Iraq holds three of the top 10 fields of the future.
The world gets its daily ration of 85 million barrels of oil from more than 4,000 fields. Most of these are small, less than 20,000 barrels per day. Giants, producing more than 100,000 bpd, account for just 3%. Then there's the megafields that gush out 1 million bpd. These are the most important sources of energy in the world--fields worth fighting over. In figuring the top 10 fields of the future, we're not interested in most of the giants of yesteryear, and not necessarily even the giants of today. Just the giants of tomorrow--those fields that might not even be producing yet, but will likely be doing better than 1 million bpd a decade from now.
The once and future king of the world's oil fields, Ghawar, in Saudi Arabia, ranks first on our list. It is thought to have had more than 100 billion barrels of recoverable oil in place. At 160 miles long and 16 miles wide it confounds even the most experienced geologists. With something on the order of 60 billion produced over the past 60 years, you'd be excused for thinking that Ghawar was sliding into its twilight years. Yet the Saudis insist that Ghawar is still going strong, producing 4.5 million bpd from six main producing areas with the ability to do 5 million bpd if called upon.
The secret to Ghawar's longevity is water injection. Starting in the 1960s Saudi Aramco began injecting water underneath the oil around the outer borders of the field. Today the water flood is up to millions of barrels a day, with the oil floating up to the top of the reservoir on sea of water. In conversations with Forbes in 2008 Aramco executives insisted that by continuing to treat Ghawar with kid gloves they'll be able to coax 4 million bpd out of her for many years to come.
Coming in second is West Qurna, in Iraq, home to an expected 21 billion barrels of oil. This month a joint venture between ExxonMobil (XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) was awarded the contract to develop the 9 billion barrel first phase of the West Qurna oil field. They will aim to raise output from 300,000 bpd to 2.3 million bpd. It's tough to make the case that the two biggest oil companies from the countries that invaded Iraq in 2003 are getting a sweetheart deal. The contract calls for the government of Iraq to retain ownership of the field and the oil. Exxon and Shell, as contractors, are to be paid just $1.90 for each a barrel they produce.
Third is Majnoon, also in Iraq. At 13 billion barrels, these massive reserves are in a relatively small area near the Euphrates River in southern Iraq. The field's abundance was so mind-boggling that it was named Majnoon, Arabic for "crazy." This easy oil hasn't been developed in part because of its location so close to the Iranian border. In the 1980s, during the Iran-Iraq war, managers reportedly buried the wells, concerned that they might be targeted by Iranian forces. The field produces just 50,000 bpd now, but has the potential to do 1.8 million bpd.
The Rumaila field in Iraq, with 17 billion barrels, is the fourth-largest field. In November, British giant BP (BP) and China National Petroleum Corp. won the first oil contract of the post-Saddam era to redevelop Rumaila. Located on the border with Kuwait, the field is already producing 1 million bpd, half of Iraq's total production. The partners intend to spend some $15 billion to treble that to 2.85 million bpd. That output would be enough to put Rumaila in second place worldwide after Saudi Arabia's Ghawar.
So what won't you see on this list? Mexico's Cantarell is nowhere to be seen. It used to be the second-biggest producer in the world, giving more than 2 million bpd; it's now in terminal decline, slipping below 400,000 bpd. Likewise Russia's Samotlor. It was the monster field of the Soviet Union, with production peaking at 3.5 million bpd in the 1970s. Today it's doing more like 350,000 bpd. No respect for China's biggest field Daging either; it still produces roughly 800,000 bpd but is in serious decline.
As for Canada's heralded oil sands region--sure it's a massive resource, but easy oil it ain't. Oil sands require monstrous amounts of water and natural gas to recover and process. A barrel of oil sands oil costs roughly 20 times more to produce than one from Iraq. And environmentalists think it's dirty.
Lots of oil provinces didn't quite make the cut. West Africa could see the biggest growth of all across Nigeria, Angola and Ghana--but so far no individual fields look big enough on their own. Same for Siberia, which has most of Russia's production, but from mature fields.
Saudi Arabia could have been better represented. Its 750,000 bpd Shaybah field was a runner-up. Iraq too. The government didn't receive any bids to redevelop the 8 billion barrel East Baghdad field because much of it lies under residential neighborhoods. And Kirkuk, in northern Iraq, has something like 8 billion barrels remaining, but it was damaged by overproduction in the latter years of Saddam's rule and won't likely regain its peak of 700,000 bpd. But it could.
In Depth: The Top Oil Fields of the Future
1. Ghawar. Saudi Arabia. 30 Billion Barrels.
The once and future king. Ghawar is thought to have had more than 100 billion barrels of recoverable oil in place. At 160 miles long and 16 miles wide it boggles the mind of even the most experienced geologists. With something on the order of 60 billion produced over the past 60 years, you'd be excused for thinking that Ghawar was sliding into its twilight years. Yet the Saudis insist that Ghawar is still going strong, producing 4.5 million bpd from six main producing areas with the ability to do 5 million bpd if called upon.
2. West Qurna. Iraq. 21 Billion Barrels.
This month a joint venture between ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell were awarded the contract to develop the 9 billion barrel first phase of the West Qurna oil field. They will aim to raise output from 300,000 bpd to 2.3 million bpd. It's tough to make the case that the two biggest oil companies from the countries that invaded Iraq in 2003 are getting a sweetheart deal. The contract calls for the government of Iraq to retain ownership of the field and the oil.
3. Majnoon. Iraq. 13 Billion Barrels.
Massive reserves in a relatively small area near the Euphrates River in southern Iraq, the field's abundance was so mind-boggling that it was named Majnoon, Arabic for "crazy." This easy oil hasn't been developed in part because of its location so close to the Iranian border. In the 1980s, during the Iran-Iraq war, managers reportedly buried the wells, concerned that they might be targeted by Iranian forces. The field produces just 50,000 bpd now but has the potential to do 1.8 million bpd.
4. Rumaila. Iraq. 17 Billion Barrels.
In November, British giant BP and China National Petroleum won the first oil contract of the post-Saddam era to redevelop Rumaila. Located on the border with Kuwait, the field is already producing 1 million bpd, half of Iraq's total production. The partners intend to spend some $15 billion to treble that to 2.85 million bpd. That output would be enough to put Rumaila in second-place worldwide after Saudi Arabia's Ghawar.
5. Khuzestan. Iran. 100 Billion Barrels?
Not just a field, Khuzestan is the province where 90% of Iran's oil is produced. It borders Iraq and is home to the Ahwaz field, thought to produce 300,000 bpd, and the Yadavaran field, which is being developed by China's Sinopec under a $70 billion deal made in 2004. Last year in the province Iran trumpeted the discovery of an 8 billion barrel field called Soussangerd. Iraq's Majnoon field is thought to extend over the border into Khuzestan territory.
January 24, 2010
Here is an article from IBD.
You always have to question the path that leadership wants to take. Obviously, the Thief in Chief is headed in the WRONG path.
The best point in the article is that maybe Oprah should move to Denmark.
Follow Europe's Laggards? No Thanks
Competition: For the past year, Democrats have used the "European model" as their template for change in the U.S. A new report on productivity shows why that might not be such a hot idea.
The Conference Board reports that U.S. productivity rose 2.5% last year, thanks in large part to fewer hours worked during the recession. This year, the respected business research group says, productivity will likely gain 3%. Meanwhile, Europe's productivity dropped 1%, "falling far behind the United States."
Why is this the case? A clue came the same day the Conference Board released its productivity data.
France announced it will impose stiff new taxes on carbon dioxide output, burdening its domestic companies and consumers with billions of dollars of new costs and further eroding the country's competitiveness. All in the name of curbing "global warming," a dubious theory that has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months.
France isn't alone. Indeed, it's part of a shared welfare-state culture that threatens the existence of the European Union. And it didn't start with the Conference Board's report on productivity. It's been going on for a long time.
A study in 2005 by the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry shocked many people in the EU, though it got little attention here in America.
That study found the European Union was roughly 20 years behind the U.S. in terms of economic performance. As far as productivity is concerned, it would take Europe until 2056 to reach U.S. levels of productivity in 2005.
Don't dismiss productivity as an important measure. When it comes to international comparisons, it's the entire game. Rising productivity directly influences a nation's standard of living. No country is made better off by having shrinking or slow-growing productivity.
As for standards of living, the most recent data for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development nations show that the average U.S. citizen consumes 52% more than the average inhabitant of other OECD nations and 47% more than citizens of Western Europe.
The productivity gap becomes even clearer when looking at the separation between U.S. output and European output (see chart), as measured by real gross domestic product per person. Clearly, the U.S. is growing faster than the EU. The average income in the EU is below that of Mississippi — one of America's poorest states.
Yet in any conversation with members of the left, Europe is cited as an example for us to follow. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, for one, has talked up the European model. And the latest book by Steven Hill of the respected New America Foundation carries the bullish-on-Europe title:
"Europe's Promise: Why the European Way is the Best Hope in an Insecure Age."
Really, why would we want to copy Europe? Its failed health care systems? Its cradle-to-grave welfare states? Its lack of innovation and job creation? Its relatively declining standard of living?
Bad as things are for Europe, they're about to get worse. The Lisbon Agreement — which goes far toward creating an unelected European superstate ruled by bureaucrats accountable directly to no one — goes into effect this year. It gives the bureaucrats in Brussels and elsewhere on the Continent unprecedented power over the EU's economy. This will only make its problems worse.
Europe is no model for the U.S. Indeed, its growing lack of cohesion, inability to defend itself and increasing lack of competitiveness make it an object lesson of what not to do in economic policy.
As University of Michigan economist Mark Perry noted recently on the American Enterprise Institute's blog:
"Most European countries have lower per-capita GDP than even many of the poorest U.S. states, suggesting that Europe has a lot more to learn about economic growth, dynamism and success from the U.S. than vice versa."
Roger Pielke Sr. explodes the claim by Science magazine that 2009 is the warmest year on record in the Southern Hemisphere.
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