Thursday, September 27, 2007
The above chart (FROM Captain Capitalism, SEE: http://captaincapitalism.blogspot.com/2007/09/household-debt-as-percent-of-gdp.html) shows household debt as a percentage of GDP.
Back in 1953 it stood at about 25% of GDP, TODAY it stands at 97% because so many people insist on spending more than they earn (net or take-home).
Experience shows that higher income taxes don’t impact (1) the truly wealthy as the "truly wealthy" are those who DON’T depend upon income as the primary source of their wealth, (2) the higher income earners (those earning over $200K/year) can and DO defer MORE of their income as tax rates rise and (3) those who work in the underground (“off-the-books”) economy, but it’s even worse than that!
The debt burden of the average, working American (including home mortgage and property taxes) are so high that any rise in the rate of taxes will significantly raise the level of foreclosures and personal bankruptcies.
As Newt Gingrich has observed, “While critics both Democrat and Republican have assailed the current Republican administration for both over-spending and expanding government, and yet the Democrat’s antidote is even higher taxes and larger, more intrusive government.
What we have right now is a Party of “Big Government” against a Party of “Even Bigger Government!”
Yeah, that’s the problem alright, neither Party represents the will of the majority of working people who want lower taxes and SMALLER, more limited government.
H/T Captain Capitalism
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The following data is from three AP-Ipsos polls conducted in July, August and September. The surveys involved telephone interviews with 3,007 adults and have a combined margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Independent sare people who insisted they favor neither major party after being prodded during the survey to say which party they tend to support.
Independents: 49 percent male, 51 percent female;
Republicans: 53 percent male, 47 percent female;
Democrats: 45 percent male, 55 percent female.
Independents: 68 percent under $50,000 annually, 13 percent $50,000 to $75,000, 19 percent over $75,000;
Republicans: 43 percent under $50,000 annually, 22 percent $50,000 to $75,000, 35 percent over $75,000;
Democrats: 54 percent under $50,000 annually, 20 percent $50,000 to $75,000, 26 percent over $75,000.
Independents: 41 percent high school or less, 33 percent some college, 26 percent college graduate;
Republicans: 27 percent high school or less, 33 percent some college, 40 percent college graduate;
Democrats: 33 percent high school or less, 30 percent some college, 38 percent college graduate.
Independents: 49 percent under age 45, 51 percent age 45 and older;
Republicans: 46 percent under age 45, 54 percent age 45 and older;
Democrats: 44 percent under age 45, 56 percent age 45 and older.
Independents: 34 percent urban, 49 percent suburban, 17 percent rural;
Republicans: 26 percent urban, 53 percent suburban, 21 percent rural;
Democrats: 34 percent urban, 49 percent suburban, 17 percent rural.
Independents: 20 percent liberal, 37 percent moderate, 28 percent conservative, 16 percent don't know;
Republicans: 8 percent liberal, 28 percent moderate, 63 percent conservative, 2 percent don't know;
Democrats: 37 percent liberal, 37 percent moderate, 22 percent conservative, 4 percent don't know.
(*) Evangelical or born again Christians:
Independents: 36 percent;
Republicans: 50 percent;
Democrats: 33 percent.
Independents: 57 percent white, 14 percent black, 21 percent Hispanic;
Republicans: 82 percent white, 4 percent black, 7 percent Hispanic;
Democrats: 62 percent white, 16 percent black, 14 percent Hispanic.
One very interesting thing that can be gleaned from the above survey is that while Liberals make up only 37% of those Democrats polled (59% self-identify as Conservative or Moderate), Conservatives comprise 63% of the GOP and overall, the survey shows that 22% of the respondents self-identified as “Liberal,” almost twice as many, 38% self-identified as “Conservative.”
While there was little difference in the number of College graduates between Democrats (38%) and Republicans (40%), fewer Independents (26%) were college graduates.
Interestingly enough, 36% of Independents identified themselves as Evangelical Christians. Even more interesting is that 33% of Democrats also identified as Evangelical Christians!
Ideologically, 28% of Independents identified themselves as Conservative, while only 20% identified as Liberal and 37% as Moderate.
Even more interesting is that fully 22% of Democrats identified themselves ideologically as Conservatives, which could, in part account for the shift in the kind of Democrats being elected to Congress – with last November’s gains, fully 21% of the Democrats in Congress are now “New (Blue Dog/Conservative) Democrats!
A Harris Poll released on Tuesday, September 18th, had some interesting results as to where Americans stood on the major social issues. For instance;
ONLY 19% of Americans OPPOSE the Death Penalty.
Likewise, ONLY 19% of Americans OPPOSE stem cell research.
Only 19% OPPOSE the Separation of Church and State, meaning that a large plurality of the “Christian Right” SUPPORTS that separation.
A surprising 39% of Americans SUPPORT Physician Assisted suicide.
ONLY 36% (still more than I thought) SUPPORT affirmative action, though many who support “outreach and recruitment DON’T support preferences based on race and gender.
While some 40% of Americans SUPPORT “gay rights,” ONLY 31% SUPPORT same-sex Marriage.
Turns out that I’m WITH the majority of Americans on virtually EVERY issue!
Is THIS a great country or WHAT?!
On Sunday, September 16th, Pope Benedict XVI said that unbridled Capitalism is widening the gap between the world’s rich and poor and threatening the planet’s future.
“The emergencies of famine and the environment demonstrate with growing clarity that the logic of profit, if predominant, increases the disproportion between rich and poor and leads to a ruinous exploitation of the planet.”
The Pontiff went on, “Capitalism should not be considered the only valid model of economic organization.” He then asserted that Catholic Doctrine has always given priority to the fair distribution of resources, claiming it’s not too late to rein in the excesses of Capitalism, “When the logic of sharing and solidarity prevail, it is possible to correct our route and point it towards a fair and sustainable development,” said the Pope.
OK, the Pope can certainly be forgiven, as those in the Church have never run a business. The Church’s personal economy is built on a form of commune-like collectivism, which has proven to be unworkable on a larger scale.
As a matter of fact, Capitalism has not only been the ONLY workable economic model to date, but the only one that can exist within a framework of individual Liberty (self-ownership/personal responsibility) or “human freedom.”
Every collectivist economy to date has required tyranny, brutality and mass murder to enforce, as the propertied class will never relinquish its property peacefully.
In fact, Capitalism brings far more prosperity to far more people than ANY other economic model and we ALREADY HAVE a system of regulated Capitalism in America and Western Europe that regulates business and industry and uses tax revenues to pay for a slew of social services. The Pope's remarks would have us believe that problem we face today is not enough regulation and redistribution, when in fact, our current problem is that we're STILL over-regulated and over-taxed and that Capitalism's prosperity isn't being allowed to reach some people because of all those burdens!
Both Germany and France, only slightly more regulated and redistributionist economic systems than our own, have moved TOWARD the American model, with the elections of Angela Merckel and Nikolas Sarkozy respectively. The over-regulated, over-taxed economy doesn't work well for the vast majority of the people.
So, it’s odd that the head of the Catholic Church would choose, this point in time, to lambaste the greatest economic system in the world.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
At Cynical Nation (CN) of course!
( http://vbsweb.com/cn/ )
Barry has been a great, thought-provoking blogger for years. I actually ran into him inadvertently at another discussion board many moons ago.
We don’t always agree, Barry’s somewhat more Libertarian than I am these days, but Barry’s posts have always been thought-provoking and his verbal style is impeccable, with friend and foe alike.
Sadly, since July 23rd, there’ve been only ten posts on CN...and Barry’s email link apparently isn’t working, as I’ve tried contacting him and gotten my emails back as undeliverable.
I hope it’s just a temporary hiatus, because Barry’s one of the best!
I consider myself fortunate to have run across him. He’s never failed to make me think twice...and his comments section has provided me hours of (at times testy) enjoyment.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
I must stand corrected on some points after reading an article by Jared Taylor, which tells the story of Jena-6 in far greater detail than the mainstream media (MSM) has to date.
According to Taylor; "On August 30, 2006, there was a back-to-school assembly for boys only at Jena High School. An assistant principal covered rules, dress codes, etc, and called for questions. One black student asked a question that was clearly a joke: Could blacks sit with whites under a particular shade tree in the school’s courtyard. Everyone in the room laughed. The assistant principal answered that, of course, anyone could sit wherever he liked. There were a number of other questions — some funny, some serious—and the assembly broke up in good spirits.
"National commentators have assumed whites had been keeping blacks away from the tree, but no one in Jena says this. There are places where whites often sit and places where blacks often sit, but there are no rigidly enforced boundaries. The question would not have gotten a big laugh if there had been tension about who could sit under the tree."
I and the MSM are apparently also wrong about the school treating the nooses lightly. Again, according to Taylor's account, "It should be underlined that the local police and the FBI also interviewed the boys and found no racial motive. The local US Attorney, Donald Washington, who is black, later looked into the nooses incident, and he, too, and found no grounds for action...
"...The high school principal nevertheless recommended expulsion, but the LaSalle Parish School Board overruled him and the three were suspended. For several weeks they attended a special school for expelled students, and were only later let back into Jena High. Meanwhile, blacks held meetings to complain about the nooses, in which they refused to see anything but racial hatred, and were angry that the white students were not expelled."
Even the fights that occurred have apparently been misreported.
"On Dec. 1, there was a private party at the Fair Barn, a big metal building used for social events. The crowd was mostly whites with a few blacks. At about 11:00 p.m. five black Jena High students tried to crash the party, but a woman told them they could not come in. The boys insisted, and a white man - not a student — stepped in front of the woman to prevent them. There was a fight, which continued outside. A number of other whites—not students—got involved, the police were called, and one of the whites was arrested and pleaded guilty to battery. At least two of the black students were later among the “Jena 6.”
As to the second "fight," - "December 4 was the first day of school after the fire. There was considerable chaos, with students meeting in makeshift classes. After lunch, black football star Mychal Bell walked up to a white student named Justin Barker and punched him to the ground from behind. Some eight to ten boys — all black — then started kicking him. Witness statements taken later used phrases like “stomped him badly,” “stepped on his face,” “knocked out cold on the ground,” and “slammed his head on the concrete beam.” According to court documents, Mr. Barker was probably unconscious before he hit the ground, where his attackers stomped his “lifeless” body. The Jena Times calls it “one of the most violent attacks in Jena High School’s history.”
"When Assistant Principal Gawan Burgess got to the scene, he thought the boy was dead. He was bleeding from ears and nose and showed no sign of life. An ambulance took Mr. Barker to LaSalle General Hospital, where he was in the emergency room for about 2-1/2 hours and racked up a bill of $5,467. A brain scan showed no anomalies, and he was released."
Perhaps there wasn't a "double standard of justice" after all. As it turns out that a white assailant was arrested and pled guilty to criminal battery in the first altercation, which appears to have been provoked by some of the Jena football players (a number of them members of the "Jena-6") when they attempted to crash that party.
The two assaults were of completely different magnitudes, as Robert Bailey refused medical treatment after the first altercation, while Justin Barker, who was not involved in any of the incidents leading up to December 4th, was hit from behind and then stomped and kicked while unconscious on the ground.
That is a cowardly act that definitely COULD'VE resulted in paralysis or death and it certainly warrants a severe penalty.
Not attempted 2nd degree murder, BUT even Reed Walters withdrew that charge the day before the trial.
Mr. Bell and others probably SHOULD'VE been charged as adults for what amounts to an adult crime.
Taylor's full article What Really Happened at Jena can be found at; http://www.amren.com/mtnews/archives/2007/09/jena.php
Hat Tip: Patrick McCarvil
Hat Tip: Rachel
Friday, September 21, 2007
“South Africa has about 4.5-million “whites” of whom 3-million are Afrikaners.
“Rapport newspaper published an extensive survey this week of the current living conditions of the country’s Afrikaner community — and has found that they have now returned to identical destitution as they had been plunged into shortly after the Anglo-Boer war in 1902 right up to the Great Depression of the 1930s. During those years, the ‘poor white’ problem in South Africa was even highlighted by an international Red Cross report at that time—and international aid funding was made available to try and alleviate the destitution of poor Afrikaners in those years...
“380,000 are men, and 610,000 are women—who are not only unemployed, but permanently unemployable due to the ANC-regime’s blacks-only hiring laws for the entire labour market.”
Since we’ve already invited virtually every unskilled migrant worker (along with a few child-rapists and drug dealers) into our midst, why NOT invite THESE folks who actually have some of the skills we WANT – a high level of education, multi-lingual people with a strong work-ethic.
We’re supposed to be in the midst of overhauling our immigration codes, ostensibly to allow in more people with skills we can use, while denying access to those without skills, while allowing some room for refugees from brutal regimes, like Castro’s Cuba, etc.
Well, in this case, the Afrikaners fit the bill in two ways; (1) they are “multilingual people with a high standard Western education and a protestant work ethnic and (2) subjects of the brutal, tyrannical ANC regime.
We divested in South Africa over the Boer’s ugly “whites only” Apartheid program, so consistency dictates that we take the same stance AGAINST the ANC’s equally despicable “blacks only” policy.
Taking in these refugees would bring us an educated populace, many of them multi-lingual, with a strong work-ethic.
It’s a veritable WIN-WIN!!! We'd get immigrants with actual SKILL-SETS we need and South Africa gets rid of a group they apparently don’t want!
"Using data from the 2000 U.S. Census, we document and explore three alternative explanations for the sexual orientation wage gap: occupational sorting, human capital differences, and discrimination.
"We find lesbian women earn more than their heterosexual counterparts irrespective of marital status while gay men earn less than their married heterosexual counterparts but more than their cohabitating heterosexual counterparts. Using an Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition we find that differences in human capital accumulation (particularly education) are the main reason behind the observed wage advantages, while discrimination and occupational sorting play a minimal role at best."
He said 30 years in the Champlain Valley Exposition's maintenance department was enough.But when the 2007 fair opened 10 days ago, Jenkins was at his post - a feat that will win him a national award in October as the oldest worker in the country.Jenkins doesn't much appreciate all the fanfare.
He told Matt Ryan of the Free Press, "I think they could have found someone else."
In a related story, the life expectancy for Americans is now nearly 78 years, the longest in U.S. history, according to new government figures from 2005 released Thursday.
We should all be blessed with that kind of longevity and health, AND the will to keep on going and keep on working!
Well, OK, Limbaugh wasn’t right that the NFL gave McNabb a race-based preference, he was/is a talented quarterback, but Terrell Owens (TO) was certainly more accurate when he said that McNabb just “wasn’t a winner.”
Unfortunately for him and for Eagles fans, he’s not a First Tier QB...not even close.
And so, he’s been criticized.
Now Donovan McNabb seems to assert that he believes that much of the criticism is leveled at him simply because he’s black.
The most criticized QB in the NFL over the last two years has been Chicago Quarterback, Rex Grossman, who hasn’t lived up to the expectations his talents placed on him.
Hmmmmmm, in fact Grossman and McNabb have suffered pretty much the same problem – both were projected to have First Tier talents, but that just haven’t come through on the field.
Grossman is younger and hasn’t been as injured as McNabb, but both have suffered the same problem and yet, over the last two years, no QB has faced as much wrath as Rex Grossman.
I feel for McNabb. I’d defended him when Limbaugh basically called him a “quota quarterback,” though I couldn’t really disagree with TO’sview that Philly would’ve “won with a quarterback like Brett Farvre.
The problem is that McNabb sees himself as a first tier QB, just as the fans expect him to be. Hey! You NEED an ego like that to survive in professional sports.
Problem is, McNabb’s just NOT, at this point in time, a first tier QB, like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, or Brett Farvre. McNabb’s a second tier quarterback, like Chad Pennington, Jeff Garcia and Ray Bolger. They’re all good quality QBs, just NOT first tier ones.
McNabb told interviewer James Brown that “black quarterbacks had to do more then their white counterparts,” but when asked to give a single example, he couldn’t.
This is a pandemic plague. So many of us can’t seem to accept that everything that goes wrong isn’t someone else’s fault. It isn’t always “racism,” “sexism,” or "ageism,” sometimes things just don’t work out, or we just don’t measure up. Sometimes, we're just dealt a bad hand, or we run into people with even more talent and ambition than we have.
Donovan, you’re NOT a first tier QB who’s over-criticized, you’re a second-tier QB who has frustrated the hell out of Eagles fans!
“Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney - who once commented on illegal immigrants, "I don't believe in rounding up 11 million people and forcing them at gunpoint from our country" -- attacks Rudy Giuliani for not rounding up enough illegal immigrants when he was mayor of New York. Giuliani -- who once said, "If you come here and you work hard and you happen to be in an undocumented status, you're one of the people who we want in this city" -- criticizes Romney for tolerating "sanctuary cities" in Massachusetts.
“One gets the impression of decent men, intimidated by the vocal anger of elements of their own party.
“That anger is pushing Republicans into some powerful symbols of indifference to Hispanic voters...
“...It is a strange spectacle. Conservatives are intent on building a more appealing, post-Bush Republican Party. But their most obvious change so far is to reverse remarkable Republican gains among one of the fastest-growing groups of American voters. The renovators seem more like the wrecking crew.
“From the beginning of his political career, George W. Bush refused to support amnesty for illegal immigrants. He did, however, take a principled, middle-ground position that also appealed to Latinos -- a proposal that would give legal status to those who want to work in America and return home, while also providing a realistic (but not easy) path to citizenship for those who want to stay.
“The political effects were immediate. Bob Dole got about 21 percent of Hispanic votes in 1996. Bush won about 35 percent in 2000. In 2004, Bush ran in the Latino media on the slogan "Nos conocemos," or "We know one another" -- and both he and Republicans in Congress averaged over 40 percent of the Hispanic vote.
“The political effects of conservative opposition to immigration reform have been swift as well. Latino support for GOP candidates dropped back to 30 percent in 2006. According to one poll, Latinos under age 30 now prefer a generic Democrat over a Republican for president by 42 points. A harsh, Tancredo-like image of Republicans has solidified in the mainstream Hispanic media. And all of this regression will be even more obvious in the next few months, because more than half of the Hispanic voters in America live in states that are part of the new lineup of early primaries.
“I have never seen an issue where the short-term interests of Republican presidential candidates in the primaries were more starkly at odds with the long-term interests of the party itself. At least five swing states that Bush carried in 2004 are rich in Hispanic voters -- Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado and Florida. Bush won Nevada by just over 20,000 votes. A substantial shift of Hispanic voters toward the Democrats in these states could make the national political map unwinnable for Republicans.
“There is a moral hazard as well. Surfing on a wave of voter resentment is easier than rowing on the calmer waters of inclusion and charity. But the heroes of America are generally heroes of reconciliation, not division.
“In politics, some acts are so emblematic and potent that they cannot be undone for decades -- as when Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Goldwater was no racist; his constitutional objections were sincere. Members of the Republican Party actually voted for the Civil Rights Act in higher percentages than Democrats. But all of this was overwhelmed by the symbolism of the moment. In his autobiography, Colin Powell says that after the Goldwater vote, he went to his car and affixed a Lyndon Johnson bumper sticker, as did many other African Americans. Now Republicans seem to be repeating history with Hispanic Americans.
“Some in the party seem pleased.
“They should be terrified.”
THIS, as much as anything, shows why the Country Club Republicans or the “GOP Moderates” STILL, just don’t get it.
What follows is an open letter to Michael Gerson and all those who think like he does;
No offense sir, but my God, what a pathetic plea!
The Republican Party does not and will not ever be a Party that gains the respect of Hispanics, certainly NOT if it takes the tack that illegal immigration is good for America and illegal immigration is part of the “immigration problem,” rather than the “crime problem.”
Hispanics, aren’t DUMB, they know as well as any working person that the Republicans don’t favor “Americanization” for the Illegal Aliens here,” they favor the status quo and CHEAP LABOR. And those Hispanics who’ve come here legally deeply resent Hispanic illegal immigrants, as much as they resent ALL illegal immigrants.
The Democrats will now and forever garner the bulk of poor and working Hispanic support because poor Hispanics can easily see the “cheap labor” taint of the Republican’s support. While poor Hispanics may respect and accept the Democrat’s reason for supporting veritable “Open Borders” for “diversity’s sake,” they don’t respect the GOP’s “respect” for cheap labor.
American immigration law has been established.
If the Republican Party felt it was flawed, they COULD HAVE, SHOULD HAVE and I can only presume WOULD HAVE changed it, not merely ignored it. By merely ignoring it, the GOP has said VERY LOUDLY that they desire CHEAP migrant labor, but support restrictions on immigration.
The Democrats have, to their credit, been the ONLY Party that has actually stood on principle and CHANGED U.S. immigration law. They eradicated the GOP supported “Europeans only” standards, and passed the Kennedy Bill that restricted European immigration and opened immigration up to other parts of the world.
The GOP cannot simply agree with that now, claiming that “in hindsight that was a wise move.”
It was NOT.
Certainly Asian immigrants have been a boon to this nation. Recently the Washington Post (WaPo) published a study that noted, “The Asian-born register far higher than the Latin American-born on every socioeconomic scale. Fifty-eight percent of the area’s Asian-born residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with 19 percent of the Latin American-born. Fifty-five percent of the Asian-born work in managerial or professional jobs, compared with 20 percent of the Latin American-born.”
But the fact remains that stalwart Republican, Patrick Buchanan was and remains right in his assertion that, “It would be far easier for Virginia to assimilate 1,000 Englishmen than 1,000 Zulus,” or Malaysians, for that matter!
For better or for worse, the Republican Party is dominated by its workingclass conservative roots. Roots that it cultivated since the mid-1960s, with their vaunted “Southern Strategy” and their wooing working people with the “crime issue” and their stance AGAINST race/gender preferences, etc.
So now, Mr. Gerson, you want to grow a conscience?
Well, maybe not a real conscience, right?
I mean your plea isn’t really based on any principle other than the Country Club Republican’s demand for ever more CHEAP LABOR.
Mr. Gerson, one of the problems the “Moderate-wing the Country Club wing) of the GOP has in wooing more blacks and more Hispanics is its conservative base, people very much like myself.
When the GOP courted the likes of me and my white, ethnic workingclass cohorts, you spat in the face of blacks who felt that racial preferences were a “means to equalizing opportunities that were earlier denied,” and because the “Moderate Republicans” caved in on that issue and others, they will never be able to woo those black supremacist type voters back to the Republican Party...short of jettisoning the bulk of your own conservative base.
It’s the same thing with Latino-supremacists, those who support ANYTHING that will result in more Hispanics entering America. They KNOW that “the GOP ONLY wants them for CHEAP LABOR,” while the Democrats seem to embrace ethnic and racial “diversity.”
The fact is that working people, like myself, simply DON’T believe “America needs the cheap labor and dynamism of the illegal immigrants here right now.” We simply DON’T.
We do KNOW that illegal migrant labor puts a persistent downward pressure on the U.S. wage-floor and ultimately on ALL wage rates in America.
We DON’T much like that, and we’re prepared to fight...by either NOT voting and letting the Democrats have all the seats now peopled by our Moderate Republicans, OR perhaps even voting Democratic in some instances.
At least the Democrats can claim (almost with a straight face) that THEY support a more open immigration system for “diversity’s sake.” At least their Liberal-wing has consistently espoused that.NO Republican is going to get away with claiming support for the current Amnesty Bill for any other reason than for their affection for CHEAP migrant LABOR, which is akin to pronouncing one’s antipathy for American labor, and America’s working people.
Think twice before you advance such a travesty Mr. Gerson, think twice.
Back in September of 2006, a black student, named Kenneth Purvis sought school permission to sit under the so-called “White Tree,” a gathering place for white students at Jena High School. Like most schools in America, the students at Jena self-segregated.
The school administration responded, “You can sit wherever you like.”
The day after Purvis and a few friends sat under the white tree, three nooses were found hanging from the tree – two black and one gold, which were Jena High’s school colors. THAT was the first bad judgment.
Three white students were charged with hanging those nooses and were suspended from school for three days. The school administration dismissed the nooses as a “childish prank,” without further comment. That was the second bad judgment in this situation.
The following day, black students staged a spontaneous protest rally under the tree where the nooses had been discovered lead in this protest. Several black male athletes took the same students who were eventually accused of attacking Justin Barker. This was yet a third bad judgment in this event.
Shortly after that incident, District Attorney Reed Walters addressed an emergency school assembly called in response to the spontaneous student protest. With a dozen fully uniformed (and I’m assuming, armed) police officers in the auditorium, Walters warned protest organizers with the admonition, "I can make your lives disappear with a stroke of my pen."
Walters has admitted under oath that he made this remark. His words were not aimed at the entire student body, nor at black students in general, he was speaking to the student athletes we now call the Jena 6. This was the fourth bad judgment in this case and appears to be an almost Nifongesque abuse of authority.
In several signed statements, numerous white and black students mentioned a series of verbal altercations during the lunch hour preceding the attack on Justin Barker. That was yet another bad judgment on the part of those students involved.
Three days before the lunchroom taunting, a black student named Robert Bailey and a few of his friends were invited to an all-white student party by some of their white friends. When Robert entered the building, he was punched in the face by a 22 year-old white male. In seconds, Robert was assaulted with beer bottles, punches and kicks in a virtual mirror image of the altercation that would occur at the high school three days later, with the major difference being that Robert Bailey remained conscious after the initial blow and was thus able to minimize the impact of the attack. He was neither hospitalized nor required medical treatment.
Despite the fact that the attacker in the assault on Robert Bailey was known, no charges were filed in that criminal offense. Both the assault and even worse, the failure to press charges on the part of Reed Walters, the Jena D.A. were critically bad judgments, making two such poor judgments for Mr. Walters, the Jena D.A.
On December 4th, 2006 a white Jena High School student Justin Barker, 17, is beaten during a fight with black students. Barker was initially knocked unconscious and numerous black students than punched and kicked Barker while he was unconscious. He was treated and later released at a local hospital.
In this case, six black students -- 17-year-old Robert Bailey Jr., 17-year-old Theo Shaw, 18-year-old Carwin Jones, 17-year-old Bryant Purvis, 16-year-old Mychal Bell, and a 14-year-old boy -- are arrested in connection with the assault. All but the 14-year-old are charged as adults with attempted second-degree murder. All six are expelled from school.
On June 26th, 2007, the very morning of Bell's trial, the district attorney reduces the charges against him to aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy. Bell is tried and convicted by an all-white jury. He faces up to 22 years in prison.
On September 4th, 2007, a Louisiana District Court judge dismisses the conspiracy charge against Bell but lets the battery conviction stand, although he said Bell should have been tried as a juvenile. Charges against Jones and Shaw are reduced to aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy. On September 10th, 2007 the Charges against Bailey Jr. are reduced to aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy. On September 14th, 2007 the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeals reverses Bell's aggravated second-degree battery conviction, ruling that he had been tried improperly as an adult. The local district attorney may appeal to the Louisiana Supreme Court or refile the case in juvenile court.
All of those show more poor judgment by Reed Walters, the Jena D.A.
The Jena case has some similarities to the Duke Lacrosse scandal, in that a sitting District Attorney misused his powers – failing to charge the attacker of Robert Bailey and then over-charging the assailants of Justin Barker.
Certainly, there is no question that the assault against Barker was more severe and as such, worthy of stronger punishment, but both crimes should’ve been vigorously prosecuted.
And in both cases, the students (the Duke-3 and the Jena-6) have wrongly been lionized by the misguided. In the Duke case, while the Duke Lax players were WRONGLY accused (not so in the Jena-6), they weren’t “great guys!” I’ve had numerous exchanges with those who lionized them and the fact is, they were engaged in under-age drinking and other “conduct unbecoming” students at Duke (including the hiring of a stripper). Durham D.A. Mike Nifong was the PRIMARY villain in that case, Crystal Gail Mangum was the willing dupe and the Duke LAX were all, in fact, wrongly accused.
In the Jena-6 case, there aren’t any WRONGLY accused, as all 6 of those black students assaulted Justin Barker. In THAT case, the Jena D.A. is guilty of (1) over-charging those students, with attempted second-degree murder charges, which he dropped just prior to trial and (2) failing to charge the white assailants of Robert Bailey, which was indeed a miscarriage of justice.
It's important to note that that’s where the comparison ends, while BOTH District Attorney’s made some egregious judgments, the Duke-3 were, in fact, wrongly accused, the Jena-6 appear to have all been directly involved in the assault on Justin Barker.
In fact, while the Duke-3 were the ONLY real “victims” of Mike Nifong, the abuses of Reed Walters have overshadowed the real victim in the Jena incident – Justin Barker. He was indeed the victim of a criminal assault.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
The Washington Post carries an interesting analysis of new Census Bureau data comparing Asian immigrants to Latin American immigrants. The numbers are starting.
Locally and nationally, the Asian-born register far higher than the Latin American-born on every socioeconomic scale. Fifty-eight percent of the area’s Asian-born residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with 19 percent of the Latin American-born. Fifty-five percent of the Asian-born work in managerial or professional jobs, compared with 20 percent of the Latin American-born.
According to that WaPo study, then, we should be encouraging MORE Asian immigration and far LESS Latino immigration.
WoW! May-December Romances May Extend the Human Lifespan...AND a Welcome Surprise in Fertility Rates
In less developed, traditional societies, males are about 5 to 15 years older than their female partners. In the United States and Europe, guys are an average of two years senior to their partners.
More interesting, according to Jeanna Bryner of LiveScinece.com, when old men father children, their genes seem to increase the lifespan of both sexes over evolutionary time.
Even more encouraging has been the latest trend in Western fertility rates.
According to a recent NPR report, “The newest status symbol for the nation’s most affluent families is fast becoming a big brood of kids.”
According the always interesting George J. Borjas, “Historically, the country-club set has had the smallest number of kids. But in the past 10 years, the number of high-end earners who are having three or more kids has shot up nearly 30 percent.”
Some say the trend is driven by a generation of over-achieving career women who have quit work and transferred all of their competitive energy to baby making.
They call it “competitive birthing.”
I don’t know if the rise in the number of children among more affluent families is due to “competitive birthing” or not. But the data, and many anecdotal observations, clearly suggest that there’s something going on.
Monday, September 17, 2007
As the NY Post notes, “Hitting the shelves Oct. 2, the book is a Freudian frolic down memory lane that lays bare O'Donnell's man-hating and mummy-hungry adult ways, while revealing clues to a secret trauma from her troubled Long Island childhood, two shrinks say.”
According to Butterworth, “O'Donnell has insight into her neuroses - but is unable to control them, or change her behavior.” Dr. Robert Butterworth is a Los Angeles clinical psychologist who has done extensive work in the area of childhood trauma.
So, Rosie’s crazy?!
So are most far-Left people! Where’s the news in that?
Throughout our entire recorded history mankind has struggled against scarcity, lack and limitation in terms of land and resources. Man has been at war with the earth and with other tribes of men for all of recorded history.
That much is undeniable.
In fact, up until the late 18th Century, the fate of most men had been one of slavery and involuntary servitude to various nobles and government functionaries.
A collection of well-bred, well-educated geniuses changed that when they started the “American experiment” in 1776.
That experiment proved that a people free from government coercion and intrusion produce the most prosperity for the most people and the American experiment went merrily along through the first third of the 20th Century, when a modern era has tried to tinker with increasing the amount of government involvement.
Those who believe in socialism – that people have a right to expect that government take care of at least their most basic needs, are generally severe neurotics who have little understanding of the history of man and the nature of power and the natural inclination of those who wield it to abuse.
OK, so Rosie’s crazy! So is virtually every far-Left loon!
That’s why they call them “Loons!”
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Back in 2005, when they began giving out credit cards to people without social security cards (poor credit risks), you knew that they’d have to protect themselves from those losses, just as large banks like Citi and Chase use usurious credit card interest here at home to partly offset poor Third World debt.
This week BOA raised its ATM fees to $3 and if you don’t think that has something to do with recouping some of the money lost from all those credit cards doled out to all those “undocumented customers,” THINK AGAIN!
Apparently BOA’s “business plan” is rooted in a misguided form of humanism, that goes, “We at Bank of America believe that illegal immigrants are Americans too. Most of them work hard and at often thankless, tedious, dangerous jobs and usually for very low pay. We feel we owe them something more, so we’re going to offer them credit cards even though their credit is generally poor, what without steady work and all, and we’re going to pay for that by socking our more responsible, more credit-worthy and “documented American” customers with higher fees to offset the losses we’ll incur in helping our illegal alien laborers enjoy at least a little bit of the American dream.”
Seriously, that seems to be BOA’s “business plan,” such as it is, right now.
What’s my problem with that?Well, aside from the fact that the sentiments above should be nauseating and revolting every rational American, their “business plan” is a prescription for long-term disaster. I don't believe that more disciplined, more prosperous and more well-off customers should be gouged to pay for a poorly run bank's losses they took on in giving loans to poor credit risks (a/k/a poor people and illegal aliens). That's NOT Capitalism!
If your’re a current customer of BOA, I feel bad for you and suggest you get your accounts out of that bank post haste, and if you’re an investor, I’d either bail or short BOA – it’s a disaster waiting to happen.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
It turns out that the NY Times paid for the bulk of MoveOn’s “General Betray-us” ad!
MoveOn only paid $65,000 for the full page ad that usually runs (according to the NY Time’s own rate book) some $167,157!
That means the NY Times picked up almost two-thirds of the ad price for MoveOn’s slanderous ad.
Moreover, it places the NY Times squarely in the radical camp, along with other notorious anti-American netroot organizations from MoveON to the D-Kos.
I guess we can’t say the NY Times has “a Liberal bias” any more. It’s more like a radical, anti-American one.
H/T Mick Brady (http://dancingintongues.blogspot.com/)
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Is it possible?
Can it be?
Is there a reason to believe that perhaps government managed health care or “socialized medicine” DOES work better, at least in some instances, than America’s current market-based one?
And if it indeed does, wouldn’t that prove that all of the arguments against the command economy are hollow – that socialism, or the State-run/“Command Economy” can work and actually be superior to the market-based one?
Well, if government-run health care COULD be shown to be more effective than America’s market-based system that would certainly seem to be a HUGE argument in favor of the Command Economy and against the market-based one.
So how would we best measure how one form of healthcare outperforms the other?
Well, how about bottom-line results? That would seem to be the easiest, most clear basis on which to compare the various healthcare delivery systems.
A “better system” should always offer better results for its consumers, in this case patients.
Let’s take survival rates for one of the persistent scourges of the modern age- cancer.
Well, it turns out that the overall five-year survival rate for all types of cancer for men in America is 66.3 percent, and 62.9 percent for women, the BEST outcome in the world.
Hmmm, well I’m still not convinced. What about survival rates for specific kinds of cancer?
Despite the fact, that due to better early screening than in the rest of the world, American men are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than their counterparts in other countries, they are less likely to die from the disease. Fewer than 20 percent of American men with prostate cancer will die from it, against 57 percent of British men and nearly half of French and German men. Even in Canada, prostate cancer kills a quarter of men diagnosed with the disease.
And the reason Canada’s death rate is so much less than that of Europeans can probably be found in this fact; seven out of 10 Canadian provinces report sending prostate-cancer patients to the United States for radiation treatment.
The results for other kinds of cancer aren’t much different. Only 30 percent of U.S. citizens diagnosed with colon cancer die from that disease, compared to fully 74 percent in Britain, 62 percent in New Zealand, 58 percent in France, 57 percent in Germany, 53 percent in Australia and 36 percent in Canada.
And less than 25 percent of U.S. women die from breast cancer. In Britain, it's 46 percent; France, 35 percent; Germany, 31 percent; Canada, 28 per- cent; Australia, 28 percent, and New Zealand, 46 percent.
The reason for this, at least according to Michael Tanner (Director of Health & Welfare Studies at the Cato Institute) is that “the one common characteristic of all national health-care systems is that they ration care.
“Sometimes they ration it explicitly, denying certain types of treatment altogether. More often, they ration more indirectly - imposing global budgets or other cost constraints that limit the availability of high-tech medical equipment or imposing long waits on patients seeking treatment.
“In the United States, there are no such government-set limits, meaning that the most advanced treatment options are far more available. This translates directly into saved lives.”
But Tanner sees the advantages of America’s market-based healthcare system going far beyond merely the absence of rationed care. As he notes, “With no price controls, (market-based) U.S. medicine provides the incentives that lead to innovative breakthroughs in new drugs and other medical technologies. U.S. companies have developed half of all the major new medicines introduced worldwide over the last 20 years.
“In fact, Americans played a key role in 80 percent of the most important medical advances of the last 30 years. Eighteen of the last 25 winners of the Nobel Prize in Medicine either are U.S. citizens or work here.”
OK, so “socialized medicine” or government-run healthcare doesn’t work better...it’s still “free,” so you can’t beat the price!
Oh wait a minute! It’s NOT “free.” In fact Wisconsin’s proposed State-run healthcare system shows how incredibly expensive poorer healthcare really is!
As a result, I suspect that it’ll get significantly MORE attention than the even more terrible (because it resulted in two deaths) Knoxville torture-murders.
According to an AP report, “For at least a week, authorities say, a young black woman was held captive in a mobile home (torture-trailer pictured above), forced to eat animal waste, stabbed, choked and repeatedly sexually abused — all while being peppered with a racial slur.
“It wasn't until deputies acting on an anonymous tip drove to a ramshackle trailer deep in West Virginia's rural hills that she was found. Limping toward the door with her arms outstretched, she uttered, "Help me," the Logan County sheriff's office said.
“Six people, all white, including a mother and son and a mother and daughter, have been arrested and could face federal hate crime charges in the suspected attack on 20-year-old Megan Williams, who remained hospitalized Tuesday with injuries that included four stab wounds in the leg, and black and blue eyes. Her right arm was in a cast.”
While no hate crimes charges have yet been filed in the Christian-Newsom torture-murders, it appears authorities are immediately set to level them in this heinous attack.
As I’ve noted, I oppose all “hate crimes” laws because they punish thought not action and do nothing to bring about “more justice” for the victims.
In the Christian-Newsom case, since there are two murder victims and, as a result, murder charges all around, IF all those involved in that event (including the female accomplice) get the death penalty, I’ll be quite pleased.
In this case, I don’t see why “kidnapping for the intent to torture” does not carry a death penalty bounce as well.
Do those involved in this depravity deserve simply “more prison time?”Hardly.
Somehow (and I’m just guessing here) I believe this crime will get far more national attention than the Knoxville torture-murders did, and that’s an injustice as well.
The events of 9/11/01 were acts of UNCONVENTIONAL WARFARE waged by “jihadist soldiers” (enemy combatants) on a civilian population.
Debra Burlingame notes that “There is a disturbing phenomenon creeping into the public debate about all things 9/11. Increasingly, Sept. 11 is compared to hurricanes, bridge collapses and other mechanical disasters or criminal acts that result in loss of life, with "body count" being the primary factor that keeps it in the top spot of "worst in the nation's history."
“Misremembering is as dangerous as forgetting. If we must know one thing, it is that the Sept. 11 attacks were neither a natural disaster, nor the unfortunate result of human error. 9/11 wasn't the catastrophic equivalent of a 3,000-car pileup.
“The attacks were not a random actof violence or insanity. They were a deliberate and brutal act ofwar committed by religious fanatics engaged in Islamic jihad against the United States, all non-Muslim people and any Muslim who wishes to live in a secular society. Worse, the people who perpetrated the attacks have explicitly told us that they are not done.
“Sept. 11 is a date that comes and goes once a year, but "9/11" is with us every day. The body count keeps rising - Bali, Riyadh, Istanbul, Madrid, Beslan, London, Amman.
“We now clearly know that the 1993 World Trade Center bombing was part of the holy war against America. When we previously dismissed this as a random attack by crazy men and declared ourselves lucky that "only six lives were lost," we effectively disarmed ourselves. Eight years later, six became 3,000. While the comparison to other "tragedies" may help us cope with what has befallen us, we must resist being glib and intellectually careless.
“Our fellow human beings were not "lost" in 1993 or on 9/11. They were torn to pieces. We must not give the enemy any quarter. We must confront the reality of their acts.”
“We must refuse to be fooled by their propaganda, which is meant to appeal to our own moral vanity - the belief that we can appease them by responding to their outrageous demands for accommodation, their open threats and their hateful rhetoric with even more forbearance.”
There is neither any WAY, nor any reason to seek to “negotiate our way out” of what appears to be an endless war against Islamic extremism.
As James Fox, then Director of the FBI’s New York Office said, after the 1993 World Trade Center attacks, “The U.S. criminal justice system is inadequate to dealing with the issue of international terrorism.”
That’s something that those who oppose the current military “War on Terrorism” fail to understand.
Monday, September 10, 2007
YOKO ONO will never use an environmentally friendly car - because they are not as comfortable as her Bentley.
Yoko says, "Can someone make Hybrid cars as comfortable as a Bentley, please?"
Internet Scams Abound
There are a fair number of internet scams that have been well advertised on the radio and TV. One, Internet Speedway promises to deliver a “home-based business that virtually runs itself.” What it delivers is something different; “Internet Speedway does not have a good standing with the Better Business Bureau, and is considered by many to be an Internet Scam, specifically a work from home scam. While they are a legitimate business, reports of their business practices from disgruntled former participants certainly make the company seem ethically questionable. Internet Speedway is famous for offering “free” software, but charges $9.99 shipping and handling. Many people have complained about be charged monthly fees of nearly $70.00 long after the cancelled their accounts, a process that seems difficult in and of itself. Critics also claim that the wholesale prices of their items are not competitive with other retail outlets.
"My husband answered an ad for a start your own business kit. It was a kit to help you design your own online business. He paid seven dollars for the kit that was purported to be free. he was only paying 'shipping and handling'.We received the kit in October, with the seven dollars being debited from our bank account through a Mastercard debit card. In December, a charge from Internet Speedway showed up on our debit card again. This time, for $69.99. I called their number to find out where the charge came from and they informed me that we were paying for the kit we received in October. I asked if the kit cost $69.99. She informed me that the cost of the kit totalled $360!!Outraged, I cancelled the debit card to ensure no further charges. The $69.99 is gone, in addition to the overdrafts that this unexpected charge incurred. DO NOT FALL VICTIM!!"
King County, Washington resident Jane Balogh has been prosecuted for registering her Australian Shepherd to vote, claiming she wasn’t trying to commit voter fraud but highlight the laxities of Seattle’s election registrations.
"I wasn't trying to do anything fraudulent. I was trying to prove that our system is flawed. So I got myself in trouble," she says.
Balogh was offered a bargain to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and accept a $250 fine and 10 hours of community service.
As Stefan Sharkansky, over at Sound Politics noted, “In my opinion, this woman performed a noble act of civil disobedience to call attention to ineffectual voter registration standards that allow real fraud to occur. If it weren't for the paw print stunt, which she used to deliberately give herself away, she could have gotten away with casting the dog's ballot. It's impossible to know how many ballots from non-existent people are cast and counted, but we do know there have been hundreds of illegal votes that were counted for which nobody was ever prosecuted (See this memo from the Prosecutor's Office and the discussion of it that I mentioned in the write-up of my interview with John McKay last month) I'd prefer that the PAO prosecute more of the genuine illegal voters and the election
Adam Gadahn May Have Penned Some of Bin Laden’s Recent Speech
Anti-American traitor Adam Gadahn may well have written some of OBL’s recent statement, according to security sources who’ve reviewed the tape.
"This is why I tell you: as you liberated yourselves before from the slavery of monks, kings and feudalism, you should liberate yourselves from the deception, shackles and attrition of the capitalist system," he said.
Several current and former government officials said they believed an American — 28-year-old Adam Gadahn may have written some of that speech.
According to a recent AP report, "Gadahn, who has been charged with treason and supporting terrorism for serving as an al-Qaida propagandist, has appeared in several past al-Qaida-produced videos, lecturing against capitalism and globalization and making insider references to American culture.
"It has Adam Gadahn written all over it," one former senior intelligence official said of bin Laden's tape, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
In the new video, bin Laden derided President Bush, saying events in Iraq have gotten "out of control" and the American leader "is like the one who plows and sows the sea: He harvests nothing but failure."
Bush made the rare move of speaking about an al-Qaida video. The tape is "a reminder about the dangerous world in which we live, he told reporters on the sidelines of a summit of Pacific Rim nations in Sydney, Australia.
"It's important that we show resolve and determination to protect ourselves, deny al-Qaida safe haven and support young democracies," Bush said.
Lee Morrison, 51, interviewed by the AP’s Lisa Cornwell, doesn't seem to mind the incentives, which came in the form of added insurance charges from his employer, Western & Southern Financial Group.
"I knew if I wanted to be healthier and pay less, it was up to me to do something about it," said Morrison, who has lost 54 pounds and lowered his body mass index enough to earn refunds the past two years.
A small number of companies have linked health factors to what employees pay for benefits, but the practice is expected to grow now that some federal rules have been finalized, spelling out what's allowed by law.
Typically, so-called “Employee advocates” worry that other anti-discrimination laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act won't cover the person who is 20 or 30 pounds overweight. They won’t and what’s more those who make irresponsible choices SHOULD pay higher health premiums. It’s really just as simple as that!
The businesses are deducting from employees' paychecks, adding insurance surcharges or offering insurance discounts or rebates only to low-risk workers.
"Employers know they have to do something," said Garry Mathiason, a senior partner at the national employment and labor law firm Littler Mendelson, based in Boston. "I believe that in just the next two years more employers will turn to penalties to change employee behavior."
But somewhere along the line - Fritz and Daniel went off the usual track and became Islamist militants. Top photo above shows suspects being brought into custody in Germany.
Their alleged plan to launch massive bomb attacks on U.S. targets in Germany was foiled by police on Tuesday, September 4th, 2007. They were arrested along with a Turkish man raised in Germany, Adem Yilmaz, and police said they had enough material to make bombs with a force equal to 550 kilograms of TNT.
It‘s been hard for Germans to fathom why anyone raised in their prosperous country might choose to follow the path of Mohammed Atta, a radical Arab student who lived inconspicuously as a student in Hamburg before leading the 9/11 hijacked plane attacks on the United States in 2001.
Bild am Sonntag quoted a former coach as saying, "Daniel was a talented young basketball player, scoring an average of 25 points a game in the league in which he played."
Fritz Gelowicz, a quarterback on a team that played American football, is believed to have converted to Islam as a teenager and began calling himself Abdullah Gelowicz.
Daniel Schneider dropped out of high school a year before graduating because he did not want to be taught by women any more, according to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. He converted to Islam at the age of 19 in 2003.
Likewise, Gelowicz studied industrial engineering at the technical university in Neu-Ulm but also dropped out shortly before finishing in 2004. Newspapers merely note that he’d been a good student.
Adem Yilmaz, 28, was born in Turkey. He moved to Germany as a youth with his parents. He grew up in Langen, a town in Hessen, and after finishing school received state unemployment support. He had worked as a ticket inspector on local buses at one point.
"He was completely normal, a nice boy," said Horst Boenig, head of the KSV Langen sports club where Yilmaz worked out.
At the same time Israeli police Police, Sunday claimed they’d broken up a cell of young Israeli neo-Nazis accused of a string of brutal racist and anti-Semitic attacks, videos of which were played on television to a stunned national audience.
The eight suspects, all immigrants from the former Soviet Union in their late teens or early 20s, are seen in the videos kicking victims on the ground to a bloody pulp, hitting a man over the head with an empty beer bottle and proclaiming their allegiance to Adolf Hitler with a Nazi salute.
While Israel has experienced isolated incidents of anti-Semitism in the past, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the arrests were the first time an organized cell has been discovered.
The eight youths, who immigrated to Israel as children, were arrested over the past two months in connection with at least 15 attacks against religious Jews, foreign workers from Asia, drug addicts, the homeless and gays. A ninth member has fled the country, he said.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
The above map shows the number of agricultural subsidies that go to New York City residents! The larger circles indicate recipients who earn more than $250,000/year in farm subsidies.
As Yuval Levin noted recently in NRO (http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MjA0MzEzZWU3MGM1ZjZmZTAxNjg0ZTQyNTcyMWU4ZjQ=);
“The farm bill passed by House Democrats in July would continue giving millionaires farm subsidies (setting the income threshold for payments at $1 million a year, and keeping loopholes in place that allow some making much more to qualify). The Bush administration has proposed sharply reducing the income threshold to $200,000 a year and ending many of those loopholes. That would reduce the number of subsidy recipients by less than 40,000 (of the current million or so recipients)—though I suppose it might put some rooftop gardens on Park Avenue out of commission.”
Not only was Norm a no-show (AGAIN) at his latest hearing, the State of North Carolina is now investigating a major Democratic Fund Raiser to determine whether the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) violated the state's ban on corporate donations.
At issue: Did the money that the group routed to North Carolina come only from individuals or did it include corporate money, in violation of North Carolina law?
Michael Sargeant, the campaign committee's executive director, said the organization "segregates the funds it raises into different accounts." By doing so, it claims that it makes sure that corporate and individual contributions aren't mixed and that state laws such as North Carolina's — and similar laws in some two dozen states — are followed.
However, Kim Strach, the deputy director of the board, said it wasn't enough for a group to "segregate" donations. The checks must be made out to the state committee, Strach said. Otherwise, the money is considered to have been raised by the DLCC, which accepts prohibited corporate money.
The Clinton’s main fund raiser, Hsu, who pleaded no contest in 1991 to a felony count of grand theft, admitting he'd defrauded investors of $1 million after falsely claiming to have contracts to purchase and sell Latex gloves. He was facing up to three years in prison when he skipped town before his 1992 sentencing date, is a wanted man again after skipping bail on another court hearing yesterday (Wednesday, September 5th, 2007.
As the world lurches Right, it leaves America’s misguided Left behind.
Once hailed as beacons of “how Leftist policies can work,” France and Germany have moved toward more open, Americanist economies with the election of Angela Merckel in Germany and Nikolas Sarkozy in France.
In America, Liberal opposition to increased entitlement spending has been few and far between, such as in 2005, liberal Washington Post columnist Sebastian Mallaby, criticizing the opposition of many Democrats to the possibility of investing in private Social Security accounts by saying that "a party that refuses to acknowledge the urgency of entitlement reform is a party of ostriches."
As a result, America’s Left remains intractable and stuck in a Cold War time warp – “Capitalism is the enemy and the command economy CAN work!”
Meanwhile just as Venezuela earns record proceeds from oil exports, consumers face shortages of meat, flour and cooking oil. Annual inflation has risen to 16 percent, the highest in Latin America, as President Chavez tripled government spending in four years. Exxon Mobil Corp. and Conoco-Phillips are pulling out after Chavez demanded they cede control of joint venture projects.The currency, the Bolivar, has tumbled 30 percent this year to 4,850 per dollar on the black market, the only place it trades freely because of government controls on foreign exchange. That's less than half the official rate of 2,150 set in 2005. Chavez may have to devalue the Bolivar to reduce the gap and increase oil proceeds that make up half the state's revenue.
It’s not just oil giants that are abandoning Venezuela, other producers are leaving the country in droves. “It's like our director of marketing, our director of sales, our director of manufacturing is President Chavez,” said Edgar Contreras, who runs international operations at Molinos Nacionales CA, a Caracas-based food manufacturer that employs 1,500 people. “We can't go on like this.”
Contreras called the government-set prices on many products “fantasy prices” that are below production costs. Items including milk, chicken, coffee and flour have disappeared from store shelves in Caracas at times this year because companies refused to sell at a loss.
It appears that Hugo Chavez isn’t going to prove socialist policies can work any more than Stalin, Mao or any of the other previous socialists have.
Meanwhile, here in the U.S. MoveOn is going after Democrats for the sin of honesty.
Washington Congressman Brian Baird has come under fire from MoveOn for daring to tell the simple truth that he recently saw progress on the ground, despite having initially opposed the surge and having opposed the war in the first place. After a recent trip to Iraq, Mr. Baird said: "One of the things that gets very little attention is that virtually every other country I visited says it would be a mistake to pull out now."
Perhaps America’s Left should get used to disappointment.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
These are certainly dark days for the Republican Party.
And the odd thing about that is that the GOP’s crisis is NOT an ideological one. That is, it’s not that liberalism is ascendant, or has even made inroads, it has not.
In fact, in the last election, the one in which the Republicans lost BOTH Houses of Congress, the vast majority of the Democratic gains were made by “New (largely Conservative) Democrats,” from former Reagan official Jim Webb to Evangelical Christian Heath Schuler. Gay Marriage was voted down in EIGHT of the NINE States it was on the Ballot and by wide margins. Americans oppose gay Marriage by better than 2 to 1! Eminent Domain, made an issue by the recent Kelo Decision, in which EVERY Liberal member of the Supreme Court supported Kelo (Ginsburg, Breyer, Stevens, along with swing members, Souter and Kennedy) and EVERY Conservative member (Scalia, Thomas, Rehnquist and O’Connor) opposed the 2005 Decision fared even WORSE – voted down by huge margins in ELEVEN of the TWELVE States it was on the Ballot. Race-based preferences were voted down in very Blue Michigan and despite proponents of preferences outspending opponents by a wide margin.
Polls show Americans are overwhelmingly fiscally Conservative on taxes (they want them low and most Americans feel they are over-taxed) and they’re deeply opposed to the crime of ILLEGAL immigration – polls show that over 70% of Americans want an Enforcement First policy on ILLEGAL immigration.
In fact, it’s that last issue that is really hurting the GOP right now!
While the Bush administration has aligned itself with the likes of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Ted Kennedy on this matter, the Republican base, like most of America is aligned with Tom Tancredo.
The Republican base KNOWS that ILLEGAL immigration is NOT a “cheap labor” issue, it’s a CRIME issue. They also know that the argument, “You can’t just round up 11 million undocumented migrant workers and deport them all,” is a canard, as (1) you don’t HAVE TO, the most effective way of dealing with that aspect of the problem is to go after illicit employers (yes, it’s a crime to hire “undocumented workers” and pay workers “off-the-books”), drying up the jobs that serve as a magnet for migrant workers and (2) you certainly COULD, if you had the will, deport 11 million ILLEGAL migrant workers. We certainly COULD round up and deal with 11 million rapists or murderers!
So it’s easy to see where these days are frightening times for the GOP. Its Conservative base has always had a very uneasy truce with its “Moderate (Country Club) Republican hierarchy, the very same hierarchy that profits off “cheap migrant labor” at the expense of the American people – illegal immigration costs EVERY American some $19,000 over the course of their lives. Most simply pay that bill, others profit off that at everyone else’s expense.
Republicans gained big with Newt Gingrich’s Contract With America, but once Gingrich was ousted Party hacks like Tom DeLay couldn’t wait to line up at the trough, as though they were Democrat pigs at a pork fest.
The “Moderate Republican hierarchy have barely tolerated Conservatives – they haven’t shrunk government, as promised, they’ve merely cut taxes enough to raise revenues to record levels (income tax rate cuts down to about the 22% level raise tax revenues because fewer high income earners defer as much of their incomes when rates are lowered), they couldn’t wait to scuttle the term limits they’d ran and won on, and they couldn’t wait to sell out America for their own profits by supporting ILLEGAL immigration over the protests of their base.
So perhaps the Conservatives affiliation with the GOP is ending. It was a bad union anyway, an abusive relationship with its “Moderate” masters regularly slapping around its long-suffering Conservative voters.
So isn’t that GOOD NEWS for Liberal Democrats?
I don’t know how it could be.
America hasn’t and isn’t getting any more Liberal according to opinion polls, and while a Conservative Diaspora from the GOP might result in some short-term Liberal gains (though they DIDN’T in 2006), those Conservatives are going to go somewhere – the election of 2006 saw Conservative Democrats rise to over 20% of that Party’s presence in Congress!
Am I suggesting that Conservatives may move to and swamp the Democratic Party?
No, not at all, that seems to be, at best, a temporary haven for even the “Conservative Democrats.”
So where do we go, what happens if Conservative bolt the GOP and cede political control to a Party that’s run by people ideologically antithetical to Conservative ideas and ideals for a few years?
Bad, like rampant ILLEGAL immigration, a more intrusive government, and ever more government spending???
We already have most of that!
Sure, our taxes will rise, the rest will continue unabated. The WORST thing that may happen is that the Democrats well may scuttle the current conventional war on terror and in so doing open up America to another, even more devastating attack.
OK, so the Democrat’s domestic and foreign security policies may be as disastrous as their economic ones and yes, in BOTH cases the results would be disastrous, BUT while the results of their economic policies will no doubt be felt across the board, the major terror targets in the U.S. for better or worse are all in heavily Liberal bastions, like New York City, Washington, D.C., etc. That’s merely a fact.
In short, a more devastating terror attack in such a high value target area will impact American Liberals far more than it would Red Staters.
Is that a good thing?
No attack on the U.S. would be a “good thing,” but it’s comforting to know that Liberal policies in this area would put far more Liberals at extreme risk than others.
The last time Liberal/Keynesian economic policies were employed (1964 – 1981, LBJ thru Carter), the end result was STAGFLATION, the worst U.S. economy since the Great Depression and the U.S. had to be saved by the Supply-Side policies instituted ever since.
Another terror attack, especially one in the wake of a Democratic administration dismantling the Patriot Act, the NSA programs and the rest of our domestic security agenda would be something that American Liberalism probably could never recover from.
And most importantly, where would all those Conservative voters go?
Would they sit home?
Perhaps for an election or two, but many have proven that they WILL vote for Conservative Democrats, so long as they are true Conservatives.
Would they vote Libertarian?
Not very likely, since Libertarians tend to support a social agenda that many Conservatives find repulsive.
How about a reconstituted GOP?That certainly IS possible and it would beg the question that the Moderate hierarchy has asked for years, “Where would you (Conservatives) be without our money?”
A good question, and since the agenda of Moderate (Country Club) Republicans so closely mirrors that of Liberal Democrats, it would be well worth finding out.
Could the “Moderate Republicans” and the Liberal Dems forge their overwhelming advantage in support/money into a devastating win at the Ballot Box? In other words, could money alone trump the will of the huge majority of voters?
It may well be time to find out.