sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Democratic Party's Position

(h/t Barco Sin Vella II)

This lays it out the argument in about three minutes. I know you've heard it before so feel free to indulge yourself in rhetoric. Racist, homophobic, Tea Party Republicans may be offended.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Drug War in Mexico (Redux)

If the US stopped importing illegal drugs from Mexico...

This is the way it always begins.

Ok, let's examine what would happen:

(1) Addicts are addicted, which means that they'll find drugs or addicting substances somewhere else, legal or illegal. History proves that this is the case time and time again. So replacing Mexican importation routes with new sources and routes outside Mexico would only have a modest and temporary impact on the American drug problem.

(2) Various experts have different opinions but many who are familiar with the problem speculate that 25% of the Domestic Mexican Economy is derived directly or indirectly from the drug trade. Knock one leg from a chair and what happens?

(3) Prevention and treatment of addicts has had very limited success by anyone's measure.

(4) Enforcement nabs roughly 15% of the narcotics that enter the United States - maybe less. Over the past thirty years the US has sent five times as many people to prison for trafficking narcotics as they did before and the price of cocaine has dropped by about 80% during that time period. Supply and demand tell you what incarceration has done to solve the problem.

(5) Legalization is a dismal hope. Alcohol is the only addictive intoxicant made available on a commercial basis. There are about four times as many alcoholics as there are people who are addicted to illegal drugs. About one half of all Americans behind bars are there because of drunken violence (including domestic violence).  Full availability of narcotics would expand this problem significantly. Libertarian sentiments aside, it won't work in the real world.

(6) Legalizing marijuana/cannabis would decrease imports from Mexico by 1/5th according to a Rand study. Mexicans in the drug business would simply shift to opium or would expand the already insanely high laboratory production of methamphetamine products.

(7) The Drug War in Mexico between rival traffickers and the Mexican Government results in somewhere between 1,000 deaths (official Mexican statistics) and 3,000 deaths (studies by those outside government in Mexico) per month. Nothing that the US is doing or could do is likely to have much impact on those numbers.

If you read down this far hoping that I had some sort of innovative solution that nobody else has thought of, you're wrong. There is a HOPE program that has been successful in Hawaii and elsewhere in which addicts are not treated, they're tested. A positive test sends you back into custody.

The Mexican solution to their problem with violence is to return to the old system under the PRI Party where the Army manages the drug distribution network through Mexico with one large cartel (the Sinaloa Federation being the Mexican Government's cartel of choice at the moment) handling most of the business. It won't work, but it's the solution that you hear tossed about in Mexican government circles (soto voce). The drugs will still pass through Mexico, but 'managed' by the government.

We will not see a drug free world or a world free of drugs because people want them and are willing to pay a great deal for them. The drug genie was never in a bottle so the concept of "putting it back in" is foolish.

Hardening the US Border will have a greater impact on illegal imports from Mexico than anything else we can do. Remember, I work on the Mexican Drug Problem for a living and talk with traffickers all of the time. This thing they fear above others. I'm not saying that it will do much more than drive the street price up and force traffickers to find other routes or other drugs.

In Southern California the use/addiction to heroin is on the increase. WHY (I hear you asking that question even if you didn't)? Because it's relatively easy to ship a pound of heroin (not a kilo = 2.2 lbs) across the US/Mexico border and a pound of heroin has a street price of $60,000.00. Easier to ship, more profit - makes sense. Thus this is the trend. And it's becoming more fashionable to put a spike into your arm these days among young people.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

I Believe that Obama is the Problem

The most concerning problem with the economic disaster we're stuck in courtesy of run-away Congressional spending paired with the Obama Administration's Keynesian economic model is that we don't seem to have found a bottom yet. You can't pull out of it until you bottom out. Yes, Vice President Joe (Slow Joe) Biden has said that we're climbing out for the past three years as the numbers get worse. Ignore him.

There are a number of books predicting gloom and doom (and they sell). People want some sense of certainty in a very uncertain world and they turn to the 'experts'.  Unfortunately the experts are seldom more correct than a broken clock (right twice a day). Because I'm clearly not an expert, I don't fall into that model ;^).

Quite frankly, I think that the only thing that will inspire sufficient confidence to pull out of this mess that we're in will be Obama's departure from public office. The business community (other than Warren Buffet) doesn't trust him and they're not going to go out on a limb and hire people in anticipation of a better business environment with him sitting in the White House. Obama's dismal leadership, his un-American behavior and his anti-business stance are a leading factor in why things are not getting better. Even the labor unions are leaving that sinking ship. (LINK).

Obama almost single handedly created the Tea Party in America. So, yes, he has done something right.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Will History Repeat in 2012?

In 1980, Ronald Reagan won a landslide victory of 44 US States and 489 electoral votes to defeat Jimmy Carter, who was then viewed as the weakest and possibly the worst US President in the 20th Century. In 1984, Ronald Reagan won 49 US States and 525 electoral votes to usher in his second term as President.

1980 Electoral Map (Reagan vs Carter)
1984 Electoral Map (Reagan vs Mondale)

The liberal media sees a potential parallel between 1980 and 2012 as Governor Rick Perry surges ahead of the Republican pack of potential presidential candidates. 

I don't know who the Republican Party will choose to run against Barack Obama, but at the moment, Governor Perry has emerged as the largest threat to two groups: (1) The Democratic Party and by extension, the mainstream media, (2) RINOs, which include the Republican consultant class (including Carl Rove). Because Perry isn't their constituent.

The mainstream media are working long hours to mount campaigns against Governor Perry, who has replaced Mitt Romney as the poster child (and target) for their angst. The parallels between Reagan and Carter are simply unnerving to them.

Perry is a conservative. He's a close personal friend of rock musician Ted Nugent. For any of you who don't know where Nugent stands on firearms ownership and a host of other conservative issues, I wonder where you've been for the last decade at least. 

I'm going to tick off a few boxes on where Perry stands on some key issues:
  • Securing US Borders - Perry favors a Mexico-United States Barrier to keep out illegal aliens. If Governor Perry were to enter the White House, I don't think that Arizona would need to fight that battle (in their state) alone anymore.
  • In the speech kicking off his campaign, Perry said that he wanted to make "the Federal Government as inconsequential in your lives as possible". In other words, he'd reverse the socialist trends that have been the hallmark of the Obama Presidency.
  • He is critical of the Federal Reserve's policies and of the Federal Reserve itself.
  • He is pro-life.
  • He is pro-America, unlike his potential opponent, President Obama.
  • He is pro-Israel
  • He opposes the legal recognition of same-sex marriages.
  • He favors domestic oil drilling and exploration.
To be fair to Romney, I'm not clear where he stands on some of these issues. That's part of the problem. However, I know where Obama falls out on every one of these issues, and there couldn't be a clearer distinction than the one between Obama and Perry.

Forbes came out with an article on Wednesday, August 24, speculating on who Perry might pick for a Vice Presidential running mate. You can read about Forbes' speculation here. Not to be too big of a spoiler, they're suggesting that Governor Chris Christie, Sen. Marco Rubio or Congressman Paul Ryan should be high on the list of potentials.

For Jimmy Carter, there has been some vindication in that it is possible to be a worse president than he was. Some of us who recall 'the Carter Years' never thought that we'd see it in our lifetimes, but we were proven wrong.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Solving the Government Labor Union Problem

I ask those of you who read this blog to support efforts to enact legislation that would prohibit government labor unions from directly or indirectly funding a political campaign where the politician running for office could be expected to vote for the salary rates of the workers that they represent.

I read an interesting article by George Will (here) on IBD. He cites the decline of public employee unions in situations where the government stopped acting as a collection agent for union dues.
After Colorado in 2001 required public employees unions to have annual votes reauthorizing collection of dues, membership in the Colorado Association of Public Employees declined 70%. In 2005, Indiana stopped collecting dues from unionized public employees; in 2011, there are 90% fewer dues-paying members. 
In Utah, the end of automatic dues deductions for political activities in 2001 caused teachers' payments to fall 90%. After a similar law passed in 1992 in Washington state, the percentage of teachers making such contributions declined from 82 to 11. 
Democrats furiously oppose Walker because public employees unions are transmission belts, conveying money to the Democratic Party. (emphasis added) Last year, $11.2 million in union dues was withheld from paychecks of Wisconsin's executive branch employees and $2.6 million from paychecks at the university across the lake. 
Having spent improvidently on the recall elections, the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the teachers union, is firing 40% of its staff.
It's fair to ask why the majority of employees who are represented by labor unions in the US work for the government. And it's also very important to note that the government unions influence elections for the politicians who vote for their salaries. Isn't that a monumental conflict of interest? 

It is time that we brought things back into balance and this would be the single most important piece of legislation to reign in corruption in the ranks of unions that represent government workers. 

The inability to offer legal bribes to encourage legislators and government bureaucrats to increase pay and benefits would mean that collective bargaining would return to a balanced process.

Don't look for those sorts of laws to originate from an political body that is composed primarily of Democrats. It would hurt their pocket book.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The American Summer Malaise

The mainstream media is working overtime trying to destroy any political candidate who affiliates with the Tea Party Movement or who has anything bad to say about Obama. Summer is coming to an end in this hemisphere, unemployment has increased in many states (California is officially at 12% - which means with under employment and the small guys who went out of business and are not able to work but don't qualify for unemployment benefits, that number is pushing 25%).

President Obama is off on yet another vacation and while we all know that he could care less about anything but getting re-elected and keeping the scam rolling for another four years, we still expect him to put up somewhat of a show at feeling our pain. (the way that Bill Clinton did) Then again, he is our first post-American President.  So we shouldn't be all that surprised. He's simply being himself.

The challenge ahead of us to pull out of the hole that we find ourselves in is not as easy as simply voting for a Republican candidate, though that's a start. Americans have to be who we were when we became that shining light on the hill. 

The Europeans do not have the answer. Becoming a more immoral and more corrupt nation does not make us a better nation. Embracing socialism will not work. Exercising class envy as a political strategy won't work. Eating bread that we did not earn will not pull us out of this mess. Accepting Sharia Law as an acceptable 'parallel system of jurisprudence' will only sink us faster. Allowing politicians to implement unemployment benefits where the benefits are higher than people could earn if they were working only compounds the economic malaise.

We're in our third 'summer of recovery' and things are worse than they were in the previous two summers of recovery. There is a reason for this. And it has to do with borrowing 40 cents on every dollar the government spends.  Raising that number to 50% as the Democratic Party suggests, will not improve anything. It will only make matters worse.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Liberal Womyn oppose Michele Bachmann

The ideal liberal woman seems to be what man American men would classify as a 'cold hearted bitch'. The really classic liberals have that lesbian theme going full tilt don't they? They seem to feed on forming themselves into a crude, controlling, abusive, disparaging, dismissive model that formed some time in the 1960's as how a progressive woman should be.  They howl and boast at successive abortions and joke that it's like 'flushing a turd' (not my words). 

They embrace Obama as 'their own', even though his ideal is his father, Barack Sr., a philandering, drunken African socialist who dumped woman after woman after they bore his children. It makes no sense, but neither do the 'classic liberal women'. 

Rachel Maddow, American Liberal Womyn

And therefore it shouldn't surprise anyone that they really hate - with a foaming at the mouth style anger and passion - powerful conservative women who have taken the national stage and captured the American imagination.

Women such as Sarah Palin who have children, are married, enjoy an active lifestyle with their families, are educated, believe in God, shoot guns and are MORE POPULAR than their liberal counterparts are viewed with hatred at a level that is hard to really grasp until you see how their mainstream media fellow women treat them. That Fox News embraced Palin and gave her a job, simply makes the liberal womyn want to cut a bigger chunk of flesh from her hide.

The media, having chewed on Palin for the past three years, has found new animus in Michele Bachmann, a candidate for President of the United States.

Michele Bachmann (R-MN) - Presidential Candidate

Let's count down the reasons that liberal women hate Michele Bachmann:
  1. She's educated. In the progressive mindset, only liberals should be educated. They view conservatives as a barefoot and pregnant underclass that they're trying to liberate so that these cretins can be free (the way they are). Bachmann has a Juris Doctorate from Oral Roberts University. She also holds an LL. M. from the William and Mary School of Law.
  2. She's a Christian. In the lexicon of liberals, that would mean that she's deluded because all people of faith are. Liberals (and particularly femyle liberals) can only be self actualized once they've shucked off the chains of philosophies that hold human life (which includes the lives of the unborn) as sacred.
  3. She's a mother. There are liberal womyn who have born children - usually 1. Bachmann has 5 children and raised 23 foster children. Any woman with that sort of maternal and nurturing instinct is a woman to be shunned in polite liberal society. Being pro-life is bad enough from an 'enlightened liberal' perspective, but raising 23 foster children who by all rights should have been killed in-utero borders on the liberal notion of sin.
  4. She is a wife. While some liberal womyn are married, Bachmann is by all accounts a 'traditional Christian wife'. That means that she works with her husband and includes him in key decision making. She listens to his opinions and factors them into political and personal moves that she makes. By all accounts her husband reciprocates since they are both involved in Bachmann and Associates, a Christian counseling practice.
  5. She is a politician. Having started out in the Minnesota State Senate, she moved on the the US House of Representatives. From a liberal perspective, all women who are in the political world should be liberals. They view the women's vote in all races to be theirs and theirs alone. Allowing a bright, articulate, educated, mother of the likes of Bachmann and Palin onto the national stage sets a dangerous precedent. What if others of their type took heart of those women and considered them role models?
  6. She's conservative. Having a 'token conservative woman' in the US House is bad enough. Having one like Bachmann who rejects every liberal pet program: ObamaCare, fluorescent light bulbs, opposes federal funding of education, feels as if global warming is a scam, advocates domestic oil exploration and production, opposes a global currency, opposes auto manufacturer bail-outs, and feels that their champion, Barack Hussein Obama is a dangerous and possibly un-American (fool) person -- well, Bachmann has to go. What other conclusion could any liberal draw from this?
I don't think that Michele Bachmann will be President in 2012, but she's a great lady and stands with Sarah Palin as one of those people who are willing to say NO to big government and the disastrous status quo in Washington, DC.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Ames Straw Poll - more commentary that doesn't matter

Ames Straw Poll 
(snark and bias included)  (link to LA Times results)
Pawlenty - hung out in Iowa for a month kissing babies and promising the moon, and spending most of the money in his warchest for third place. He came off as weak and whining in the debates and I think he's lucky to get 2,300 votes (rounded up). Maybe it means that people will continue to send him money -- maybe not. I know that he wants to be the next POTUS and that he thinks that he's cool, but he's not. Maybe he could be the Mouse that Roared if elected, but he won't be elected and that's that.

Paul - is accused of bussing people in to vote for him. If he did, good for him. The 4,700 votes (rounded up) mean that Libertarians will continue to send him money for another few months until he's throttled in the first series of genuine primary elections (beyond the straw poll at the Iowa State Fair). I am not anti-Libertarian per se. Their (and Ron Paul's) limited (and naive) view of foreign policy in a world where we are in the very center of a global economy, mystifies me. Though I am generally anti-war (Maj. Gen. Smedley Darlington Butler, USMC said 'War is a Racket' and he was right), there is such a thing as trade. Trade becomes 'war by other means' all too often. Ron Paul doesn't pack the gear to be leader of the free world. He's lucky to keep getting elected to Congress where he almost always votes the way I'd vote if I was in Congress. Maybe I should run for Congress?

Santorum - can't get elected to anything in his own state. But he'd like to be President and seems to be willing to hold his finger to the breeze, decide which way the wind is blowing and to say things intended to please the Iowa State Fair attendees (and us). But he didn't do well despite spending a month in Iowa and most of his money. How much did he spend for 1,657 votes broken down in dollars per vote? Just curious.

Bachmann - won and lost. She lost because Gov. Rick Perry announced that he's running on the same day that she won, which means the end of most of the cash for Bachmann. I think that she worked for her 4823 votes. She's a solid conservative but in my (not so) humble opinion, it would be nice to see her actually run something. Being a tax attorney and in Congress isn't enough to qualify you to be President. She may be in it to win it - but I'm curious to see how she'll do in the first primary vote next year. 

Cain - ended up with 8% of the votes (1456 votes). I think that's more or less where he is in the pack. I would love to have Herman Cain over to my house for dinner. I think he's a delightful guy and that his heart is in the right place. I simply don't believe that he has the staying power this time around. I don't believe that the money will follow his candidacy.

Romney - showed up, gave his speech and pulled in 567 votes. Rick Perry didn't show up, didn't speak, wasn't on the ballot and edged him with 718 votes. One could say that Iowa voters were underwhelmed with front-runner Mitt. They liked him in 2008 and he came in first in the Ames, Iowa Straw Poll - not so much this time. However I don't think that he mingled much or kissed many babies (or asses) in Iowa.

Gingrich - is not my choice for President, but his experience and polish shown through in the debate. He convinced 385 State Fair attendees to cast their ballot for him. A win (imho) in the debate and a loss in the polling. The Party won't back him. The Tea Party considers him a RINO and he'd be a poor President. He's hanging out for the sake of ego. I think he needs to write another historical novel or something. His name will get him a juicy publishing contract. But it won't get him elected President.

Huntsman - in his first time at the podium on the Presidential trail, he sounded halting, unsure and weak. He got 69 votes. I'm surprised that he did that well, but he may have flown in relatives from Utah to puff his numbers. That's just speculation on my part. I don't know for sure. Obama likes him. That puts me off him.

McCotter - scraped 35 votes together. He's running for President, though I don't think there are any more than 35 people in the entire country who know it. He spent $18,000 for campaign space (plus expenses) and it means that he's out roughly $600 per vote. If he simply handed out six, hundred-dollar bills to each voter who would cast one for him, he would have done better.

Palin? - is leaving her options open. I personally doubt that she'll run for President (ego not withstanding). She's simply trying to keep a chip in the big game. I get it, I don't blame her. She wants to be a power broker at the convention - and beyond. Fox has not canceled her contract, which means that she told them that she's not running. But when you put a camera on her during her bus tour, she loves to play mind games with the press.

Perry - managed more votes than Romney even though he had not announced for President at the time and didn't show up to the Fox News Debate. Because he beat Romney, Gingrich, Huntsman, and McCotter, I have to mention him here. My sense is that the big campaign money is his to loose. Romney has been running for President for over a year now, doing the rubber chicken circuit, etc. Perry has been busy running Texas and by all accounts, he's done a good job. Texas is one of the few states in the nation that are doing well.  Perry-Ryan or Perry-Rubio would be difficult tickets to beat. Obama is up late at night worrying about Romney, but I think that he has more to worry about with Rick Perry.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Are American Riots Likely?

How weak are the American people? How corrupt is our character? We seem unphased by the millions of murdered/aborted children every year. We elected Obama, a pathological narcissist (therefore a chronic liar) to be president. Harry Reid is the Senate Majority Leader - so maybe the answer is obvious. (h/t Dale for the graphic - right)


I've been poor and I've been comfortable -- and comfortable is more...comfortable. However the lifethat my grandparents lived wasn't horrible, but there were things they didn't do that I'm able to do. I know that's our American dream, isn't it? I want my children and grandchildren to be better off in all respects than I have been.

However, a lot of that has been stolen by socialists, not the least of whom is Pres. Barack Hussein Obama. But he's not the only one. Politicians pay for votes by using taxpayer money. It's the oldest game in the book. Julius Caesar did much the same thing (adjusted for his time in history).

So the bees are in the butter and we can't shoo them away? Is that where we are in time and history?

Rasmussen Reports presents a dismal survey:
Nearly one-out-of-two Americans (48%) think that cuts in government spending are at least somewhat likely to lead to violence in the United States, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. But that includes just 13% who feel it’s Very Likely.

Nearly as many Adults (44%), however, believe violence as the result of spending cuts is unlikely, but only 12% say it’s Not At All Likely.

Americans under 50 raise the possibility of violence more than their elders. Most adults not affiliated with either party (58%) think spending cuts are likely to trigger violence, compared to 46% of Republicans and 42% of Democrats.

Tax hikes and a crashing stock market are seen as less incendiary in the minds of most Americans. Thirty-seven percent (37%) think increased taxes are at least somewhat likely to lead to violence, but 59% view that as unlikely. This includes 14% who say such violence is Very Likely and 20% who believe it’s Not At All Likely.

The poll showed that 48% of Americans feel that there will be civil disorder if the US stops borrowing 40% of each dollar it spends. Are the American people THAT dense? Pulling the lolly pop out of the mouth of the mouth of the spoiled child will cause it to riot. Well, maybe we are as pathetic as the British are in their riots - because the government is reducing their welfare payments.

Weakness can also be measured in terms of appeasement. The Obama Administration has recast the nature of Islamic Terrorism. I wonder if it's Saudi money (bribes) that spurs the government in this sad and ineffective approach.

Appeasement of Islamic Terrorists (LINK)
(Commenterama) Quintan Wiktorowicz is the main inspiration for the policy paper. Would you like to hazard a guess as to where he is coming from? Well, after 9/11, he authored several treatises on how al-Qaeda (my preferred spelling) must be distinguished from moderate Muslim organizations such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. He also distinguishes between good Salafists and bad Salafists (a very violent offshoot of the Brotherhood). That's a bit like distinguishing between the SS and the Gestapo. His arguments haven't changed with time, and now the President of one of the largest Muslim nations on earth has singled him out to plot American strategy to bring Islam into mainstream America and deflect violent extremism.  
The underlying philosophy of Barack Obama, as evidenced by this paper and his choice of the authors, is that if the fox keeps killing your chickens, put the fox in charge of the henhouse. The paper actually suggests that the most devout Muslims are the ones who are best for combating radicalism. "Very religious Muslims are the most resistant to radicalization while those most likely to be radicalized lack a good grounding in Islam." Very religious Muslims like bin-Laden, al-Awlaki, and Adam Gadahn ("Azzam the American")? 

The American people need to decide what is and what is not in their best interests. Appeasing Islam is not a good idea. Presidential Candidate Ron Paul said in the Iowa debate last night that we should completely ignore it. 

You know, if we try to crack down on terrorists - they might riot too!  Then where would we be? Islamic radicals rioting? People rioting because their food stamp allotment has been cut may join with them.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Looking Forward to 2012

I'm not sure who I'll tout for the Republican Party Presidential Ticket in 2012. Though Michelle Bachmann is in the lead at the moment, I'm almost certain that we'll see that star fade as the money goes to former Governor Mitt Romney (MA) and Governor Rick Perry (TX). At the moment, I'm edging toward Perry though the jury is not yet in on him. Romney is a RINO. Yes, he's an order of magnitude better than Obama, but his conservative credentials are tarnished.

The Obama Campaign has vowed to destroy Romney through the press, etc. (Politico) I'm sure that the mainstream media will be willing Obama pawns once again.

"Barack Obama’s aides and advisers are preparing to center the president’s reelection campaign on a ferocious personal assault on Mitt Romney’s character and business background, a strategy grounded in the early-stage expectation that the former Massachusetts governor is the likely GOP nominee."
We all know that Obama can't run on his record, so he'll go ugly early in the hopes of the press (backed by Obama campaign money) doing to Romney what they did three years ago to Sarah Palin.

The rest of the Republican pack: Newt Gingrich (I think he's still in but why?), Jon Huntsman (John who? - Obama's friend, oh, that's who), Ron (I believe in flying saucers) Paul, Herman Cain (the Republican black man) and Milk Toast Tim Pawlenty round out the field.  I don't think that any of them will be Romney's or Perry's vice presidential picks. I still default back to Paul Ryan as an extremely good pick for Vice President. He's said that he's not running for President but he's never ruled out the VP job.

Imagine with me, if you will, the Joe (Slow Joe) Biden vs Paul Ryan debate! Ok, it may never happen, but if it does, I'm going to record it.

What to watch for in the Democratic Party's camp:

(1) Obama will dump Biden and will find another Democrat who's not such a screaming idiot. Biden is old and can decide not to run based on health reasons.

(2) The only current challenger to Obama's nomination to the Democratic Party ticket is Randall Terry (don't feel bad if you don't know who he is -Link to DNC). The Democrats are looking for a serious alternative to Obama and I have no idea who they'll be propping up. Most of the Democratic Party's Senators are a lot like Harry Reid and John Kerry - as cold as vipers. But don't rule out Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY). I would be shocked if Hillary Clinton got back in that game.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Obama fails again

Some call Obama clueless. Others think that he's simply obtuse. And it's tough to know whether it's an act or if he can really possibly be as stupid as he pretends to be.

He tried to calm the stock market today and failed miserably because he made it clear that he's completely out of ideas on how to build the economy, grow jobs and get us out of the morass that he and the Democratic Congress planted us in. After his remarks the market fell an additional 5.5% (to 6.9%).

He played the class-envy card suggesting that heavier taxes on the sector that creates jobs would spur more job growth. That certainly inspired the stock market. He wants to spend more on roads in his third "summer of recovery" but we lost 330,000 jobs last year between June and September when his 'recovery' program was in full swing. The shovel-ready jobs never appeared. Obama also wants to extend unemployment benefits from two to three years. Now there's a plan to spur people to find work. Many people find that they make more on unemployment than they'd make working. Does anyone think it would spur the economy to keep the unemployment payments flowing for a third year? He also wants to extend the temporary payroll tax cut that didn't do anything to improve the economy. That's it - and it's why the markets continued to tank.

Yes there are culprits - the evil fifth column, called The Tea Party - those radical people who demand that the government not borrow more than it can afford to repay.  If it wasn't so absurd, I'd think that it was a Saturday Night Live skit.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Weekend Update (musings)

The Obama Administration didn't exactly pop into being, propelled by a brain trust of the best and brightest. I felt that the "summer(s) of recovery were a joke when Obama put poor old senile Joe (Slow Joe) Biden in charge of "jobs", "the recovery" and so forth. It's like putting your your sister's retarded step-child in charge of balancing the company's books because you're too cheap to hire somebody. It doesn't work. It can't work. 

The Democratic controlled legislature didn't even to bother coming up with budgets for the past two years, 'deeming' whatever they spent to be 'the budget'. I find it amazing that there are still Democrats who vote for them. Or are we going to define Democrats in future elections as - unemployed people receiving princely benefits, members of labor unions and those racially attuned to the president? With the number of unemployed, Obama might win the next election given those criteria.

The problem is that the people in charge are socialists. Their view of what the nation needs has nothing to do with what the nation actually needs.
(Reuters) The latest jobless numbers showed just 117,000 jobs were created in July, a number that — like this year's GDP data — probably will be revised downward. Official unemployment, not including job seekers who have just given up, stands at 9.1%. The participation rate, which measures the percentage of people working or searching for jobs, fell to 63.9%, the lowest in 27 years.
This weekend, the president is off to Camp David for more birthday celebrations. I didn't have the opportunity to wish him birthday greetings personally (this blog will have to suffice). 

MEANWHILE, Obama's chief apple-polisher (and future Democratic Party Presidential Hopefull), Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz assures all of us that the economy has turned the corner. Beat that drum hard, Rep. Wasserman. 

Sidebar: Debbie Wasserman-Schultz always reminded me of a female version of former congressman Anthony Weiner. But since she hasn't texted me with photos of her unappealing nude frame, it remains to be seen whether she delivers the goods the way that Weiner did.

A few friends who read this blog (and you know who you are) called me and asked me where the stock market is heading. I give free advice so they get their money's worth - and I suggested that with rising interest rates a foregone conclusion that housing prices would be going down as people are less able to afford even the cheap homes on the market today. And housing starts (lowest since 1948) are a good economic indicator in America.  The only real question is whether unemployment will be higher than 10% when the elections roll around next year.

However, unless/until the Republican Party finds somebody to run for President that the public has the slightest degree of confidence in, Obama could still possibly be re-elected in 2012.

And to friends vacationing in Chicago this weekend - we need a report on the mood in the streets from Obama's City.


Friday, August 5, 2011

The Modern Arab Mind Set

The Arab world is suffering a crisis of humiliation. Over the past century their armies have routed not only by Americans, the British, French and Turks, but also by tiny, Jewish Israel. 
Arthur Koestler said, "The Arab world has not, in the last 500 years or so, produced much besides rugs, dirty postcards, elaborations on the belly-dance esthetic and, of course, some innovative terrorist practices. They have no science to speak of, no art, hardly any industry save oil (and they hire others to pull it out of the ground for them), very little literature, and portentous music which consists largely of lugubrious songs celebrating the slaughter of Jews."
Now that the Arabs have acquired national consciousness, and they compare their societies to other nations, these deficiencies become painfully evident, particularly to the upper-class Arab kids who attend foreign universities. There they learn about the accomplishments of Christians, Jews, and women. And yet, with the exception of Edward Said, there is scarcely a contemporary Arab name in the bunch. No wonder, then, that major recruitment to al-Qaeda's ranks takes place among Arab university students. And no wonder that suicide bombing becomes their tactic of choice: it is a last-ditch, desperate way of asserting at least one scrap of superiority—a spiritual superiority—over the materialistic, shameful West.

Some assert that the changes set in train by modernization are particularly toxic to the Arabs. No doubt this is true. Besides sharpening their sense of inferiority relative to the West, modernization threatens to bring about the liberation of women (as in Afghanistan and Iraq) threatens their culture because the self-esteem of Arab males is in large part predicated on the inferior position of their women. The Arab nations have for the most part lost their slaves and dhimmis, the subject peoples onto whose persons the stigmata of shame could be downloaded. But anyone who has spent time among them knows that Arab males have not lost their psychological need for social and sexual inferiors. 
"In the absence of slaves and captive peoples, Arab women are elected for the special role of the inferior who, by definition, lacks honor. Arab men eradicate shame and bolster their shaky self-esteem by imposing the shameful qualities of the dhimmi, submission and passivity, upon women. Trailing a humbled woman behind them, Arab men can walk the walk of the true macho man."
The Arab world has stunted the female half of its brain pool, while the men acquire instant self-esteem not by real accomplishment, but by the mere fact of being men, rather than women. No wonder, then, that the Arab nations feel irrationally threatened by the very existence of Israel. Like America, the Jews have brought the reality of the liberated woman into the very heart of the Middle East, into dar al-Islam itself. Big Satan and Little Satan: the champions of Muslim women.

The Arabic culture of fanaticism, bizarre behavior in the name of "honor"; and simultaneously the cultural oppression, subjugation, and humiliation of women and others perceived as "weak" (and therefore "shameful") has become (yet another) hallmark of their failure to achieve anything noteworthy besides living in a place with a sea of oil under the sand.

The sad truth is that if there was no oil under the sand, nobody would care the slightest about the Arabs, what little they can claim in the way of culture and their dubious footprint on history. As it is they've made themselves into a shameful smudge on the pages of history. It can be reversed, but not without admitting that a 180 degree course correction is desirable. And I don't see that coming any time soon.