Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Post-American American President
Obama Will Disappoint Europeans As Post-American World Emerges By MARK STEYN Half a decade or so back, I wrote:"It's a good basic axiom that if you take a quart of ice cream and a quart of dog feces and mix 'em together the result will taste more like the latter than the former. That's the problem with the U.N."
...(It's a tossup as to who was more unreal, Obama with his fantasy mush or the lunatic Gadhafi with his 90+minutes of raving.)...Col. Gadhafi peddled his thoughts on the laboratory origins of swine flu and the Zionist plot behind the Kennedy assassination.... President Obama said: "No nation can or should try to dominate another nation." Pardon me? Did a professional speechwriter write that? Or did you outsource it to a starry-eyed runner-up in the Miss America pageant? Whether any nation "should try" to dominate another, they certainly "can," and do so with effortless ease, all over the planet and throughout human history...."I have been in office for just nine months — though some days it seems a lot longer. I am well aware of the expectations that accompany my presidency around the world. These expectations are not about me. Rather, they are rooted, I believe, in a discontent with a status quo that has allowed us to be increasingly defined by our differences ... ."...That's just his usual narcissistic "But enough about me, let's talk about what the world thinks of me" shtick. But the second is dangerous in its cowardly evasiveness: For better or worse, we are defined by our differences — and, if Barack Obama doesn't understand this when he's at the podium addressing a room filled with representatives of Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Venezuela and other unlovely polities, the TV audience certainly did when Col. Gadhafi took to the podium immediately afterward....when the next tsunami hits, try calling Libya instead of the U.S. and see where it gets you. ****a prescient comment given the tsunami-from-Samoa.**** ...The global reach that enables America and a handful of others to get to a devastated backwater on the other side of the planet and save lives ... isn't a happy accident but something that derives explicitly from our political systems, economic liberty, traditions of scientific and cultural innovation, and a general understanding that societies advance when their people are able to fulfill their potential in freedom. In other words, America and Libya are defined by their differences....when you pretend those differences don't exist... you end up with the distinctively flavored ice cream I mentioned at the beginning....The day after the U.S. president addressed the U.N., the prime minister of Israel took to the podium and held up a copy of the minutes of the Wannsee Conference at which German officials planned the "Final Solution" to their Jewish problem. This is the pathetic state to which the U.N. has been reduced after six decades: The Jew-hatred of Ahmadinejad and others is so routine that a sane man has to stand up and attempt to demonstrate to lunatics that the Holocaust actually happened....Ahmadinejad & Co. aren't Holocaust deniers because of the dearth of historical documentation. They do so because they can, and because it suits their own interests to do so, and because in the regimes they represent, the state lies to its people as a matter of course and to such a degree that there is no longer an objective reality, only a self-constructed one. In Libya and Syria and far too many "nations," truth is simply what the thug in the presidential palace declares it to be. ****When is a tax not a tax? When the gentleman-in-the-pp declares it that way.**** But don't worry, Obama assures them, we're not "defined by our differences." Hey, that's great, isn't it? Yet if you can no longer distinguish between the truth and a lie, why be surprised that the lie metastasizes and becomes, if not yet quite respectable, at least semi-respectable and acceptable in polite society?
..."It is disappointing that Mr. Ahmadinejad has once again chosen to espouse hateful, offensive and anti-Semitic rhetoric," huffed U.S. spokesman Mark Kornblau. Oh, come off it, you ludicrous poseur. President Obama's position is that he's anxious to hold talks "without preconditions" with his Iranian colleague. How can you do that if you're going to flounce out like a big drama queen at the first itsy-bitsy pro forma Judenhass? Although he affects a president-of-the-world manner, I don't think Barack Obama cares much about foreign affairs one way or the other. He has a huge transformative domestic agenda designed to leave this country looking much closer to the average Continental social democracy....Obama has attitudes rather than policies. If you're on the receiving end — like Israel, Poland, Honduras — it's not pleasant, and it's going to get worse. It was striking to hear Gadhafi and Chavez profess their admiration for Obama, call him "our son." and declare their fond hope that he remain president for life.
The Chinese and Russians ...laughing their heads off in private. As for the saner members of the U.N., many Europeans still think they've got the American president they've always wanted: ...agree with John Bolton's indictment — that this was a post-American speech by a post-American president — but mean it as high praise. As the contours of the post-American world emerge, they will have plenty of time to reconsider their enthusiasm.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Who cares about Western Civilization? Surviving the Age of Obama.

Israel as Point Man for Joint Western – Arab Interests By Yisrael Ne'eman
Israel 's long term strategic importance is being downgraded as the Islamic world gains greater significance in American foreign policy. The "special relationship" Israel enjoyed with the US for close to a forty year period may be coming to an end. Sheer weight of numbers in the Moslem world (1.3 billion) coupled with land size and economy will force Israel into an uncomfortable corner internationally and regionally.
Historically Jewish nationalism preferred an alliance with the western powers, first Britain in the pre-state period, then France prior to 1967 (and its failure during the "waiting period" crisis) and lastly the State of Israel built a strategic relationship with the United States lasting some 40 years. The Soviet Bloc alternative was never a serious possibility and today does not exist. But in 1919 – 1920 Zionism's leading diplomat Chaim Weizmann was investigating possible alliances with the Arab world, in particular with Feisal who became king of Syria for four months and was run out of town by the French. The British, for fear of being outmaneuvered forced Weizmann to halt his initiatives towards the Arab world. They wanted both Arab and Jewish nationalism to deal directly with them.
Ninety years later and sixty years after independence we may have gone full circle with Zionism and the Israeli State being sought after by segments of the Arab world and the West in the joint effort to curtail a militaristic Islamic fundamentalism, beginning with Iran and continuing into the Sunni Moslem Brotherhood and its offshoots. The "special relationship" with the US is often seen as sentimental and value oriented in the popular sense when speaking of a "shared heritage" and "Judeo-Christian ethic" but in real political terms it has its foundations in Israel 's ability to prove itself as an asset to the Americans and the West.
Never has Israel been put to the true and complete test of total sacrifice in the name of Western interests. But with the Obama administration in power and its foreign policy realignment between the West and the Moslem world beginning with the more conservative/moderate Arab states, Israel will find itself a much smaller and less independent player than before. Among the secular and conservative elements in the Arab world Israel is begrudgingly considered a "fact" and therefore a player and not necessarily an adversary in the western Asian sphere.
Israel wants full acceptance and legitimacy as the nation state of the Jewish People. Historically the West has been in favor as seen from the Partition Plan of Nov. 1947 as based on the Balfour Declaration and the Palestine Mandate approved by the League of Nations . Even the moderate Arab world, as represented by the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, refuses to accept Jewish national legitimacy in the Land of Israel as an historic fact but rather views Israel as a modern nation state with whom they have negotiated conflict resolution.
Israel 's ticket to further acceptance, but not historical and religious legitimacy in the Middle East will be a result of proving itself an asset to the conservative and secular regimes in the Arab world including Egypt , Jordan , Tunisia , Morocco and the Gulf States led by the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates. Even include Fatah in this line-up. ****A rather slender reed, indeed.****
The conservative and secular regimes cannot be expected to put down Islamist uprisings of either the Sunni (Moslem Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda) or Shiite type (Iranian inspired Khomeinism and Hezbollah) without bringing about a backlash in their own societies. They certainly cannot field armies against such threats. Calling upon an outside player is the only option and the West is not only tiring but views itself as having the option of non-engagement. Even the Americans are beginning to doubt Obama's policies in the "good" war in Afghanistan. North America, Europe and the conservative secular Arab regimes realize Israel is the only true ally, not out of any mutual love but because of its own dire needs for security and acceptance of its "right" to exist. Hence the confluence of interests in confronting the Jihadists.
Israel 's "right" to exist will rest on its ability to defend Western and moderate Arab world interests. To ensure its own security Israel did battle against the Hezbollah in 2006 and Hamas in 2008-09 and in both cases any Israeli successes were beneficial to the West and the secular and conservative Arab regimes as their Islamist enemies were weakened. The right of the Jewish State to survive will be conditional on its successes against the Jihadists with the evolving alliance of convenience.
The major test can be expected with Iran . If necessary Israel will be expected to act as the defender of Western interests and their conservative Arab allies even should it mean direct conflict with Tehran and the resulting damages inflicted by Hamas/Hezbollah/Iranian rocket fire and terror attacks. Jewish nationalism will continue to earn its place in the Middle East by becoming a strategic asset to the conservative Arab states and not by "right" as a given.
Israel has no choice but to accept its new role as "point man" especially in light of the redirection of American foreign policy towards the Moslem/Arab world where the Jewish State will only be a pawn in a continually expanding game. Two questions arise: What price will the Jewish State pay for acceptance? And even should victory be assured for the West and its Arab allies, would existential Israeli interests be sacrificed by the US in a post war scenario bringing erstwhile radical states such as Iran into a Pax Americana of world peace?
****An unfortunate confluence of events over three decades: Carter creating the jihadist menace in Iran, a passive Clinton and W Bush and an antiWestern Obama having combined to create an existential danger for Israel and, indeed, for Western Civilization. It may remain to Israel to defend the latter; the question is whether it can itself survive a possible apocalypse.Only Sarkozy's France holds out any possibility of European help. Turkey if it reasserts its secular nature could be an ally. The clearest alignment of interests would seem to be with India with the hope to survive the Age of Obama.****

Feckless narcissism excoriated by the French - Vive Le France!
French Atomic Pique Sarkozy unloads on Obama's 'virtual' disarmament reality.
President Obama wants a unified front against Iran, and to that end he stood together with Nicolas Sarkozy and Gordon Brown in Pittsburgh on Friday morning to reveal the news about Tehran's secret facility to build bomb-grade fuel. But now we hear that the French and British leaders were quietly seething on stage, annoyed by America's handling of the announcement. Both countries wanted to confront Iran a day earlier at the United Nations....the timing and venue would be a dramatic way to rally international opinion...Sarkozy in particular pushed hard..."frustrated" for months about Mr. Obama's reluctance to confront Iran...saw an opportunity to change momentum. But the Administration told the French that it didn't want to "spoil the image of success" for Mr. Obama's debut at the U.N. and his homily calling for a world without nuclear weapons,...the French President let his frustration show with undiplomatic gusto in his formal remarks, laying into what he called the "dream" of disarmament...."the present comes before the future, and the present includes two major nuclear crises," i.e., Iran and North Korea. "We live in the real world, not in a virtual one." No prize for guessing into which world the Frenchman puts Mr. Obama.
..."...Obama himself has said that he dreams of a world without nuclear weapons. Before our very eyes, two countries are doing exactly the opposite at this very moment....what have these proposals for dialogue produced for the international community? Nothing but more enriched uranium and more centrifuges. has resulted in a statement by Iranian leaders calling for wiping off the map a Member of the United Nations....We thought we'd never see the day when the President of France shows more resolve than America's Commander in Chief for confronting one of the gravest challenges to global security. But here we are. Another recognizer of narcissism and irresponsibility:
The Neocons Make a Comeback By BRET STEPHENS
...the neocons are back because Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il and Vladimir Putin never went away.... North Korea claims to be in the final stages of building a uranium enrichment facility—its second route to an atomic bomb. Iran, again caught cheating on its Nonproliferation Treaty obligations, has responded by wagging a finger at the U.S. and firing a round of missiles. Syria continues to aid and abet jihadists operating in Iraq. NATO countries have generally refused to send more troops to Afghanistan, and are all the more reluctant to do so now that the administration is itself wavering on the war.As for Russia, its ambassador to the U.N (says)....the U.S. "continues to be a rather difficult negotiating partner"—...after Mr. Obama cancelled the missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic. Thus does the politics of concession meet with the logic of contempt.
All this must, at some level, come as a surprise to an administration so deeply in love with itself. "I am well aware of the expectations that accompany my presidency around the world," Mr. Obama told the U.N.'s General Assembly last week with his usual modesty. He added that those expectations were "rooted in hope—the hope that real change is possible, and the hope that America will be a leader in bringing about such change."...what sounds like "hope" in, say, Toronto or Barcelona tends to come across as fecklessness in Warsaw and Jerusalem. In Moscow and Tehran, it reads like credulity—and an opportunity to exploit the U.S. at a moment of economic weakness and political self-infatuation....Neoconservatives generally take the view that the internal character of a regime usually predicts the nature of its foreign policy. Governments that are answerable to their own people and accountable to a rule of law tend to respect the rights of their neighbors, honor their treaty commitments, and abide by the international rules of the road. By contrast, regimes that prey on their own citizens are likely to prey on their neighbors as well. Their word is the opposite of their bond.... neocons have no faith in any deals or "grand bargains" the U.S. might sign with North Korea or Iran over their nuclear programs: Cheating is in the DNA of both regimes, and the record is there to prove it. Nor do neocons put much stock in the notion that there's a "reset" button with the Kremlin. Russia is the quintessential spoiler state, seeking its advantage in America's troubles at home and abroad. Ditto for Syria, which has perfected the art of taking credit for solving problems of its own creation. ...neocons do put their American power, not just military or economic power but also as an instrument of moral and political suasion. Disarmament? The last dictator to relinquish his nuclear program voluntarily was Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, who did so immediately following Saddam Hussein's capture.****Walter Lippmann commented that Disarmament doesn't work because it is only observed by those interested in disarming.**** Democratization? Contrary to current conventional wisdom, democracy is often imposed,,,,Human rights? Anwar Ibrahim, the beleaguered Malaysian opposition leader, told me last week that "the only country that can stand up" to abusive regimes is the United States...the pendulum has swung to a U.S. foreign policy based on little more than the personal attractions of the president,...a view of the world that understands that American power still furnishes the margin between freedom and tyranny, and between prosperity and chaos, is starting to look better all the time. Even in France.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Why Obama revealed the secret Iran site only in Pittsburgh.

It now turns out that Obama has known about the second, secret nuclear site built UNDERGROUND near Qom since before his inauguration. He did not reveal it because he feared it would compromise his determination to engage in dialogue with the Iranians since there would doubtless be no doubt left about Iran's intentions and most would resist the diplomatic path. Thus, Obama got agreement about a generic world effort to eliminate all nuclear weapons at the UN without specific reference to Iran or North Korea ( but, presumably, --and explicitly according to Susan Rice-- including Israel.) He revealed the evidence for the site because the Iranians, having got wind of the knowledge of Western intelligence rushed to announce the site to the IAEA this week, thus claiming that it was "legal." Even so, comparing the statements of the UK's Brown and France's Sarkozy with Obama's, the latter's was by far the weakest.

Remember Wm. Safire and don't forget Jimmy Carter

****William Safire was a most erudite, insightful and entertaining writer whose columns and books remain worth reading and re-reading.He was so expert in the use of English that he fearlessly wrote columns and criticism of the writing of others and writing in general without being caught out for errors of his own ( there weren't any.)***
...Author Eric Alterman, in his 1999 book "Sound and Fury: The Making of the Punditocracy," called Safire an institution unto himself.
"Few insiders doubt that William Safire is the most influential and respected pundit alive," Alterman wrote.
Safire's scathing columns on the Carter White House budget director Bert Lance's financial affairs won him the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1978; in 1995 Safire was named to the Pulitzer board...//
from Google:
Lance was a close adviser to Jimmy Carter during Carter's successful 1976 campaign. He had developed ties with Carter during the former's time as Governor of Georgia.****Lance's bank made loans to Carter's peanut farm.**** ...After Carter's victory over President Gerald Ford, Lance was named director of the Office of Management and the Budget (OMB). According to former OMB officials, it was well-known in the department that Bert Lance and President Carter prayed together every morning. Within six months, questions were raised by the press and Congress about mismanagement and corruption when Lance was Chairman of the Board of Calhoun National Bank of Calhoun, Georgia. William Safire's article written during this time, Carter's Broken Lance, later earned a Pulitzer Prize. This embarrassment to Carter's administration, particularly as it came in the wake of the Watergate scandal and an election victory over Richard Nixon's pardoner, led to Lance resigning as OMB director on September 21, 1977...In 1988 Lance was a close advisor to Jesse Jackson during Jackson's presidential campaign. ...BCCI scandal: Lance was implicated in the BCCI scandal of the 1980s and early 1990s. He was involved in deals with notable BCCI luminaries Agha Hasan Abedi, Mochtar Riady and Ghaith Pharaon[4] and with BCCI's largest borrower, P. S. Prasad[5], and joined with Arkansas-based power investor Jackson Stephens in facilitating BCCI's takeover of Financial General Bankshares. Lance and Stephens made millions in the wake of BCCI's collapse.[6]//
We Heard . . . THAT according to the Shah of Iran's widow, one American is responsible for many of the nation's problems in recent decades: Jimmy Carter.**** Every objective observer says the same thing.***
Empress Farah Pahlavi told Avenue magazine that if President Carter hadn't let the Sha be overthrown in 1979, "there wouldn't be this problem in Afghanistan, nor would there have been the Iran-Iraq war.
"Iraq would never have dared to even send a plane over our country. The Gulf War wouldn't have happened, nor would any of the problems of the past 30 years, including the exporting of religious fanaticism."

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Arms control treaties always fail in face of cheating
The Disarmament Illusion Obama pursues arms control treaties; Iran builds the bomb.
President Obama appreciates "teachable moments," so let's all discuss this week's lesson in arms control theory and practice.
The President brought his soaring sermon about "a world without [nuclear] weapons" before the U.N. General Assembly. He called for a new arms control treaty and won Security Council support for a vague resolution on proliferation. On cue yesterday, Iran showed the world what determined rogues think about such treaties. On the evidence of his Presidency so far, Mr. Obama will not let that reality interfere with his disarmament dreams... ****Incredibly, Obama didn't mention the Iranian breach of faith while pushing for generic non-proliferation, seemingly as directed against the Israelis and French as against the Iranians and North Koreans. He didn't mention Iran's lying at all while at the UN although he was aware of this since January 2009 at least. Strangely, it was only at the G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh that he brought it up and the statements of the UK's Brown and France's Sarkozy were much stronger.****

A true BUREAUCRATIC shame of American healthcare

****Some years ago,in the early 1990s, Yoda learned of a device called a CardioPump used in emergency CPR and opportunistically had a student import one into Thailand from the manufacturer in Denmark and thence smuggled into the U.S. since the USFDA, in fact, had banned imports. Although the total cost in that one-off situation was close to $1K, the device seemed beyond reproach and was in use outside the U.S. The FDA hadn't approved it at the time and it STILL hasn't approved it.****
"FEEL A HEART ATTACK COMING? GO TO FRANCE" by Alexander Volokh, Competitive Enterprise Institute,August 2, 1994, Wall Street Journal:
...In April 1993, the FDA blocked testing of the cardiopump, a new cardiopulmonary resuscitation device for heart-attack victims. As a result of FDA policy, thousands of people with heart disease are literally being protected to death.
The cardiopump, manufactured by Ambu International of Denmark, is a modest device. It weighs a mere pound and a half and looks like a modified toilet plunger, with a pliable cup that fits onto the heart-attack victim's chest and a combination hand- grip/pressure gauge instead of the wooden handle. Manual CPR exerts downward pressure on the chest, but the chest has to re- expand naturally. The cardiopump can apply pressure in both directions. Says Dr. Jeffrey Shultz of the University of Minnesota: "It turns the chest into a bellows. It allows you to pull blood back into the heart and air back into the lungs."
Just how effective is the cardiopump? In St. Paul, Minn., where tests were carried out, 54% more patients survived long enough to be admitted to intensive care if they were given cardiopump-assisted CPR, and 35% more survived to be discharged from the hospital. (Because of small sample size, the hospital discharge statistics aren't statistically significant.)
U.S. tests for the cardiopump began in 1992 and continued until April 1993, when FDA barred further use of the pumps. According to FDA spokeswoman Sharon Snider, "This product is considered to be a 'significant risk device,' and informed consent is required for any trials of significant risk devices."...****Someone in cardiac arrest is most unlikely to give informed consent and so the situation languishes into the second decade of its possible use in the U.S.**** ... Keith Lurie, a professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota who helped develop the cardiopump, estimates that the device will increase one's chances of survival by about 10-50%. That kind of improvement "has not been reported since the first description of manual CPR more than three decades ago." Since 20,000 CPR patients a year survive to leave the hospital, even a 10% increase would mean 2,000 extra lives saved. In the St. Paul trial, the increase was 35%, which extrapolates nationally to 7,000 lives, or roughly 20 a day....strange as the FDA's actions might seem from a medical standpoint, they are perfectly understandable politically. If the FDA mistakenly approves a device that has adverse side effects, this would result in highly undesirable publicity. On the other hand, if the FDA delays in approving a life-saving device, the people who die are politically invisible. For a regulator, it's easy to err on the side of overcaution, even when the results are deadly....(now)charging device manufacturers "user fees" of up to $50,000 per new-product application...backlog isn't the problem. No amount of staff and funding increases can erase the bureaucratic incentive to impose restrictions as illogical as informed consent from patients with no pulse.
COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE, 1001 Connecticut Ave. NW #1250, Washington, DC 20036, 202-331-1010, fax 202-331-0640. It may be even more important than was realized.
Vigorous CPR Is Best for Cardiac Arrest Study Shows Survival Rates Rise When More Chest Compressions Are Done By Bill Hendrick WebMD Health News
Sept. 16, 2009 -- Vigorous cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with more chest compressions on people with sudden cardiac arrest can improve the survival rate, a new study shows.
"Chest compressions move blood with oxygen to the heart and the brain to save the brain and prepare the heart to start up its own rhythm when a shock is delivered with a defibrillator,"..."We found that even short pauses in chest compressions were quite detrimental."...In sudden cardiac arrest, the heart suddenly stops pumping blood effectively to the brain and body, causing a person to collapse....When sudden cardiac arrest occurs, death comes within a few minutes unless the victims' heart muscles are successfully jolted back into a normal rhythm with an electrical shock.
CPR traditionally involves providing chest compressions to help circulate blood around the body and breathing support, such as mouth-to-mouth ventilation. Interruptions to chest compressions are common during CPR, with rescuers typically spending only 50% of their time giving chest compressions...In the new study, published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers analyzed determine the effect of chest compressions on patient outcome. They specifically looked at something called the "chest compression fraction" (CCF), which refers to the percentage of time spent performing chest compressions relative to the entire time that CPR is performed....a "return to spontaneous circulation" was achieved 58% of the time when the CCF was 0% to 20%, but rose to 79% when CCF was 81% to 100%. Return to spontaneous circulation means that the heart began to beat effectively again on its own. Survival to hospital discharge occurred in 12% of patients with a CCF between 0% and 20%. Survival more than doubled to 29% when CCF increased to 61% to 81%, the researchers say. Survival rates fell slightly to 25% with CCF ratios greater than 81%.
"There was roughly a 10% increase in the chance of survival for every 10% increase in the chest compression fraction,'' Christenson says.

Reading before voting would seem to be non-partisan

****Giving Congress and voters a chance to read final bills before votes are taken would seem to be unexceptionable...except for Democrats. Trompe l'oeil and sleight-of-hand are at stake.****
Congress Needs a 72-Hour Waiting Period Voters want enough time to debate bills. Nancy Pelosi doesn't. By JOHN FUND
...survey conducted last month found 95% agreeing that members of Congress shouldn't vote on any bill they haven't read in full....the "72-hour resolution," which would require all non-emergency legislation to be posted online, in final form, for at least 72 hours prior to a floor vote...Although Barack Obama campaigned last year for transparency and openness in government,...But the notion of a 72-hour waiting period is anathema to Democrats who fear that they are running out of time to pass a sweeping health-care bill...Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee voted 12 to 11 to reject a proposal to require a 72-hour waiting period and a full scoring of the bill by the Congressional Budget Office before the committee casts any final care is one of many issues that's simply too important to be rushed through....Haste can make for more than waste and lead to populist outrage that often takes on a life of its own. ...Sen. Kent Conrad, (D., N.D.) who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, claims that go-slow proposals wouldn't make any difference because only 5% of Americans will be able to understand the legalese in bills...."One of the reasons voters are so upset today is that they get the sense they aren't being trusted to make their own judgment about what goes on in Washington."

American healthcare IS best; more on the canard that it's not

"Deviations from truth-telling" despite POTUS "good intentions"

And this is from an Obama fan:
Health Reform And Truth-Telling Despite President Obama's good intentions, his deviations from truth-telling compromise his credibility by Stuart Taylor Jr. Natonal Journal would be unrealistic to expect complete candor from any president about the costs and risks of extending health insurance to 30 million more Americans. If Obama can meet the truthfulness test applied by Huckleberry Finn to his creator Mark Twain -- "There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth" -- that would be good enough for me...Despite Obama's good intentions, I can't help thinking that the deviations from truth-telling identified by various critics go to the heart of his plan, compromise his credibility, and could accelerate health-cost inflation with ruinous consequences for the economy. Examples:
* "The problem of rising costs."...his plan would quite clearly increase costs dramatically, which is why he is proposing so many new taxes, "fees," and other levies....they are surely costs...not sustainable in the long run unless they are offset by savings far more serious than Congress is likely to adopt on Medicare or anything else...Nor has the president made more than a token effort (by proposing to tax "Cadillac" insurance policies) to give consumers a stake in holding down costs. ...Because of a decades-old tax subsidy, employer-provided insurance covers not only the necessary, unexpectedly large costs that consumers cannot afford -- the traditional reason for buying insurance -- but also many not-so-necessary tests, procedures, and drugs. The bill proposed by Baucus...would diminish consumers' already weak incentives to hold down costs by requiring insurers to reduce co-payments and deductibles.
* Slashing Medicare's waste and fraud. ...This is a fantasy discredited by the countless broken promises of other politicians over the decades to do the same and by Obama's own failure to offer credible specifics...
* Preventive care saves money? Obama has suggested that requiring insurance companies "to cover, with no extra charge, routine checkups and preventive care" will cut costs. The opposite is probably true...
* "Absolutely not a tax increase." ..Obama's response when asked by ABC News about what Baucus calls the "excise tax" of as much as $3,800 a 2016, the original Baucus bill would require an individual earning $32,400 a year to pay $4,100 in premiums before getting any subsidy, plus an average $1,500 in deductibles and co-payments...So much for Obama's campaign pledge that "no family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase."'s deceptive to pretend that this is not a tax....****"When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."****
* Deficits won't increase? Obama vowed in his September 9 speech, "I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits -- either now or in the future." ...The bad news that Obama added an escape hatch....when they don't, the "required" cuts probably won't materialize...nothing can force Congress to deliver any future savings that it "requires" now. Not to mention the fact that the tax revenues mentioned above would be available to reduce the government's alarmingly gargantuan non-health-care deficits if they weren't spent on Obama's health care plan.
* "Nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have."...The excise tax and other costs imposed on employer-provided insurance would certainly spur many employers to reduce the coverage they pay for.
* Bashing insurance companies. Obama has been borderline deceptive...even in the worst two examples that Obama could find, he garbled the facts of one case and glossed over the other patient's possible concealment of relevant information in applying for coverage,...In the spirit of Huck Finn, we may excuse the last two of the seven Obama lines of argument cited above as mere stretches. But the first five seem both deceptive and dangerous to the nation's economic future.****Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how'd you like the play?***

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Dark Side is triumphing. It's hard to deal with all the bad news of this week.

Iran was today revealed to have a hidden, second nuclear program, being the third instance of clear lying by the mullahs.
Obama, despite announcing it today in Pittsburgh ( and, amazingly, not at the U.N. the day before !), knew about this program back in January, before he was pushing his "extended hand" and emphasis on diplomacy with respect to Iran.

Obama gave up an anti-missile system directed against Iran and evidently got nothing much from Russia in return for stabbing the Poles and Czechs in the back. The 2007 flawed intelligence report indicating Iran had no intention of making nuclear weapons was...defended today.

Obama excoriated Israel at the UN for "illegitimate occupation" of lands beyond the 1949 armistice lines.

Gadhafi holds Obama as Muslim and "his son" and speaks for 90+ minutes of incoherent raving at the U.N. Obama wants to give $200K to a Libyan charity run by Gadhafi's son and another $200K to one run by Gadhafi's daughter.The subject of their foundations is "democracy in government". It is being opposed by Rep. Mark Kirk of Illinois.

The only high point of the week was Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to the U.N. calling 180 members shameful and cowardly for listening to Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial and threats against a sovereign member of the U.N. ( in explicit violation of the UN Charter, it should be added.)

Zbig Brzezinski wants the U.S. to shoot down Israeli planes on their way to attack Iran's nuclear sites. Other crazies are identified among Obama's "Czars" and advisors.

Obama's "cult of personality" was revealed to have been invoked in indoctrinating kindergartners at a NJ school. One only wonders how many other instances of this merely escaped notice.

ACORN was revealed not only to have been supportive of prostitution and child sex slavery but also diverted millions from charitable purupoes to partisan political ends. It is clearly a criminal enterprise and one with long-term ties to the President (despite his insincere and totally uncredible denial of knowledge.)

Two Muslim terrorist plots were uncovered this week with one of them possibly being a direct Al Qaeda-directed operation. At least this one involved identifiably Muslim Radical Islamists. One, Michael Finton, was converted to Islam and radicalized while in prison and attempted to blow up an Illinois Congressman.

Thousands of Muslims demonstrate in Washington DC for Muslim Unity and not one publicly opposes terrorism.

Joe Biden extols the success of the stimulus package despite clear evidence to the contrary."In my wildest dreams I never thought the stimulus would work this well."

Obama and Hillary are supporting the wrong side in Honduras while stiffing the President of Colombia on a trade deal.

The healthcare plan is just another example of the combination of being delusional and lying that characterizes the White House and Congress.

A weak Obama is best for America, her allies and the world.

****There comes a point when the head of a state is so wrongheaded that the best one can hope for is his ineffectiveness so that he doesn't do irreversible damage before he can be got rid of. Rush Limbaugh was prescient in his expressed wish for "failure" in that early everything the current President turns to is polluted by his ideologies and those of the people around him. There is always a buggy, lunatic fringe and they seem to have come out of the woodwork in this administration. Not since Carter has there been such a plethora of bad ideas combined with execrable management ( sometimes a good thing since partially self-cancelling.)The whole problem of Iran was created out of whole cloth by Carter and his Igor, Zbig Brzezinski. The carryover is extraordinary: it just proves that some malefactors have to be buried at a crossroad with a silver stake in his heart.
An enfeebled Obama Caroline Glick
If Zbigniew Brzezinski had his way, the US would go to war against Israel to defend Iran's nuclear installations....the man who served as former US president Jimmy Carter's national security adviser said, "They [IAF fighter jets] have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch? We have to be serious about denying them that right. If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not." Brzezinski has long distinguished himself as one of the most outspoken Israel-haters in polite circles in Washington. Under normal circumstances, his remarks could be laughed off as the ravings of a garden variety anti-Semite. But...Brzezinski served as a senior foreign policy adviser to Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign, and his views are not terribly out of place among Obama's senior advisers in the White House. In an interview in 2002, Samantha Powers, who serves as a senior member of Obama's national security council, effectively called for the US to invade Israel in support of the Palestinians....Brzezinski's view is in line with the general disposition of Obama's foreign policy....Obama has struck a hard-line position against Israel while adopting a soft, even apologetic line toward Iran and its allies....Obama conditioned the resumption of negotiations toward peace between Israel and the Palestinians on such a prohibition of Jewish building and so encouraged Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas to further radicalize his positions toward Israel....Obama made no equivalent demands of the Palestinians. He did not precondition talks on freezing illegal Arab construction in Jerusalem, or on dismantling the Aksa Martyrs Brigades terrorist group, or even simply on setting aside the Palestinian demand that Israel release convicted terrorists from its prisons. ...he has energetically supported the establishment of a Palestinian unity government between Fatah and Hamas - ...designated as a foreign terrorist organization to which US citizens, including the US president, are required by law to give no quarter....any residual doubt that Obama is willing to live in a world in which Iran is armed with nuclear weaponry dissipated completely....Obama made clear that, in the words of former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton, he has "put Israel on the chopping block." He referred to Israeli communities located beyond the 1949 armistice lines as "illegitimate."...
Obama explained that Israel can no longer expect US support for its security if it doesn't bow to his demand that it surrender all of the land it has controlled since matters not to Obama that were Israel to fulfill his demand, the prospect of an Arab war against Israel would rise steeply. The fact that Obama made these deeply antagonistic statements about Israel at the UN in itself exposes his hostility...Obama's foreign policy as a whole makes it fairly easy to imagine him ordering the US military to open hostilities against a US ally to defend a US adversary - even as that adversary goes out of its way to humiliate Obama personally and the US in general....he has been abandoning one US ally after another while seeking to curry favor with one US adversary after another. At every turn, America's allies - from Israel to Honduras, to Columbia, South Korea and Japan, to Poland and the Czech Republic - have reacted with disbelief and horror to his treachery. And at every turn, America's adversaries - from Iran to Venezuela to North Korea and Russia - have responded with derision and contempt to his seemingly obsessive attempts to appease them....As many Western Europeans have begun to openly acknowledge, the man they once likened to the messiah is nothing but a politician - and a weak, bungling one at that. Even Britain's Economist is laughing at him....he is moving full speed ahead in his plans to subordinate US foreign policy to the UN...his feckless foreign policy in the face of its already apparent colossal failure is of a piece with his unswerving commitment to his domestic agenda in spite of its apparent colossal failure....Obama has insistently pushed for further governmental control over the US economy - most notably in his drive to transform the US health care industry...if he succeeds in passing such a law, his success will be a Pyrrhic victory because Obama has promised that his plan will do the impossible, and therefore it will... fail...
Obama's failures in both foreign and domestic policy have weakened him politically. His response to this newfound weakness has been to put himself into the public eye seemingly around the clock....whether we are better off with a politically strong Obama or a politically weak Obama. Given that the general thrust of his foreign policy is detrimental to our interests, America's allies are best served by a weak Obama....During a television interview this week, Sen. John McCain was asked for his opinion of Brzezinski's recommendation that the US shoot down IAF jets en route to Iran in a hypothetical Israeli air strike against Iran's nuclear installations. He responded with derisive laughter. And indeed, the notion that the US would go to war against Israel to protect Iran's nuclear installations is laughably absurd....It is true that a weakened Obama will seek to win cheap points by putting the squeeze on Israel. But it is also true that the weaker Obama becomes, the less capable he will be of carrying through on his bullying threats against Israel and against fellow democracies around the world.

The wrong way: in Iraq, in the Holy Land, and in Afghanistan

****The "new" general subscribes to the myth of nation-building and targeting "hearts and minds" of a country that never advanced beyond warlordism and whose people both change with the breeze (or bribe) but are fundamentally Islamic and jihadist. Failure to recognize these simple facts allows the U.S. to aspire to make even more mistakes in Afghanistan than the Brits did 150 years ago.
In recent years, American administrations ( Obama's but also Bush's) have repeatedly lost sight of primary goals and substituted secondary ones, often irrelevant to the first. There is the myth of elections where we ASSUME ( invariably wrongly) that the winner will be competent, honest and aligned with us. Elections gave us
"OPEC-participating, Israel-boycotting, Hezbollah-supporting Iraq. Does it count as a "hearts and minds" victory? The "ungrateful volcano," as Churchill called it, never let us fill up a humvee for free, and even after everything we've put into the country doesn't grant us staging rights for an attack on Iran (or anywhere else)." Elections in Afghanistan gave us a questionable victory by a Karzai regime noted for corruption and incompetence and unconcerned to advance OUR interests.
We went into Afghanistan to deny Al Qaeda a safe haven. We went into Iraq to destroy WMDs and get rid of Saddam. We certainly didn't wish to destroy an army designed to thwart Iran. In both cases, we substituted the fantasy of nation-building in places where successful democracy had never been demonstrated.
The elusive search for peace in the Holy Land has morphed into a quest for a Palestinian state, as if that chimera, available but disdained in 1947 and not even demanded when Gaza was governed by Egypt and the West Bank by Jordan, has anything POSITIVE to do with peace between Israel and her neighbors. Bush's initiative in calling for such a state is on the level of his lauding "Brownie" as doing a great job with Katrina.Mo Abbas is hailed as a paragon although flawed "elections" were won by (strangely?)...Hamas. His record as a terrorist ( albeit a more "moderate" one) is beyond question.Gaza could have been a model for the desired state; instead it is a counterexample.
Where did Colin Powell get the idea that the Pottery Barn had a policy: if you break it, you own it? Even they do not and assuming it applied to Iraq was insane. It used to be that "The Mouse That Roared" was a parody and farce; it is actually quite accurate as a description of American folly but now it's not just innocents who make us suckers, but the truly malevolent.*****
Ready, Aim, Fire McChrystal Diana West
There are many reasons to fire Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, and all of them are contained within his 66-page "assessment" of the war in Afghanistan...a strategy to combat Taliban jihad in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan without once mentioning Islam, and forget about jihad (fireable offense No. 1) simple as what a member of the Afghan parliament recently told the Economist: "The Taliban tell them the Koran says they have to fight the Crusaders and they believe them."...the general blames us -- our troops -- for the Afghan people not liking us....(fireable offense No. 2)...not as a battle in the war on global jihad (fireable offense No. 3), but rather as "the struggle to gain the support of the (Afghan) people," (fireable offense No. 4), he writes that we must "connect with the people" -- the same "people," he acknowledges, who "can often change sides and provide tacit or real support to the insurgents" (fireable offense No. 5)...have to take off their armor (fireable offense No. 6). "Pre-occupied with protection of our own forces," McChrystal writes,...McChrystal is "pre-occupied" with what he calls "population protection" in a manner that "distances" him -- psychologically and emotionally -- from the men and women under his command (fireable offense No. 7) is akin to the familiar Marxist notion...that denies that identity, religion and culture matter...."Hearts and minds" is not only the flawed rationale behind "nation-building," it also inspires the restrictive rules of engagement...must be junked as a fraud if our military is ever to be used effectively and appropriately....

Difficult to understand since counterrational and now a reductio ad absurdum
Why Are Jews Liberals? I'm hoping buyer's remorse on Obama will finally cause a Jewish shift to the right.By NORMAN PODHORETZ

Thursday, September 24, 2009

UN Report on Gaza War a travesty; UN a travesty.
UN report a victory for terror

Waste, Fraud and Abuse - the unavailable font. Also "cost" vs "price", who knows the difference?
Everyone promises to eliminate WF&A and to pay for all kinds of things with the savings. Why not do the eliminating first and come back for the new spending afterwards? Are we to believe that Obama will NOT eliminate WF&A if Obamacare isn't passed?
Price is discretionary; cost is more fundamental and difficult to change. Changing the former does nothing to change the latter. Changing costs means you have more control over pricing. Changing prices without changing associated costs inevitably entails undesirable consequences that the witless will ignore (and might even deny to be causally related after the fact.)Occasionally, lowering prices will so expand the market as to produce economies of scale that will, as a consequence, lower the costs but this is not guaranteed in general.

With all the non-apology "apologies" being offered these days, it's good to reflect on what one really is.
The Art of Forgivenessbn By Amy H. Lederman
Have you ever wondered why it's so hard to forgive someone who has hurt your feelings? Do you hesitate to say you're sorry...The act of forgiveness is a reciprocal process because it involves two people: the one who has done the injury and the one who has been injured....the cycle of learning that when we hurt others, we must apologize for our mistakes and that when we are hurt, we should accept apologies is not easy to forgive others, perhaps because we have difficulty in forgiving ourselves. All too often, both parties feel that they are the injured person and that it is the other person who should apologize. ...the Biblical model of Divine forgiveness,...about the sins we commit against G-d. Simply stated, man sins and G-d forgives. For G-d to forgive us, we must first take three corrective steps: acknowledge our wrongdoing, cease from doing it again and take action to do better in the future.... But what about the wrongs we commit against one another? For those, we must seek forgiveness, not from G-d, but directly from the person we have hurt. Jewish law mandates that if someone has hurt you and sincerely asks for your forgiveness, you must forgive him with a complete heart and a willing spirit....there is a special reward for one who freely forgives. The Talmud tells us: "For the person who overcomes his natural tendencies and instead forgives, all of his sins are forgiven." There are times however, when we are too angry or too hurt to forgive, even when we are approached by the wrongdoer. In that case, we are counseled to tell the person seeking forgiveness the truth: that we aren't ready yet but that he should come back, in a week or a month, and ask again....After three sincere requests, if we continue to refuse to forgive, then the wrongdoer is regarded as forgiven and we are now treated as the wrongdoer! one can forgive a crime which is committed against another person except the victim himself. Accordingly, murder, by definition, is an unforgivable act. In cases of slander..., where the damage is deemed irrevocable, forgiveness is not mandated although we are still encouraged to do so.****N.B. "If I've offended anyone, I apologize..." doesn't cut it nor does the whole list of non-apology apologies.**** In American tort law, hurting another person or their property results in the payment of compensatory damages to "make them whole." Jewish law also requires compensation for wrongdoing but goes a step further. Atonement is meant to make us whole in spirit because when we engage in the act of forgiveness, either as the person asking for it or the one granting it, we better understand the nature of being human and what it means to live with compassion.//
There's also a hypersensitivity abroad where anyone making the merest jest, however peripheral to anyone's concern, has to be noted and apologized for:

Gadhafi loves Obama

He called Obama "our son", "a Muslim" and said that he would be happy if Obama "were always" the American President.
It's been suggested that Gadhafi was designed to make Ahmadinejad look "moderate."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Narcissistic speech at U.N. unpresidential and "put Israel on the chopping block"
Bolton: Obama Speech Puts Israel on 'Chopping Block'By: Jim Meyers
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said President Barack Obama's address to the U.N. was "unprecedented" and "unpresidential"...
Bolton thinks this the most anti-Israel speech ever made by an American President. Obama has prejudged the outcome of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations by calling for a "contiguous Palestinian state" :(1) Gaza and the West Bank were never contiguous; (2) A simple look at the map shows that a contiguous Palestinian state means a non-contiguous Israel. The Palestinians have to concede nothing since Obama will negotiate for them. For the first time, an American President called for the restoration of "occupied lands, occupied since 1967." This is out of the Jimmy Carter playbook where JC explicitly changed the wording of Resolution 242 claiming that it said "THE territories..." whereas it explicitly, after much discussion and negotiation, called only for "...territories..." without the definite article. Obama also explicitly said the U.S. doesn't recognize "continuing Israeli settlements" rather than "new" Israeli settlements.

from WSJ Best of the Web: Hey Mr. President, There's No 'I' In 'USA' "For those who question the character and cause of my nation, I ask you to look at the concrete actions we have taken in just nine months."--President Obama at the U.N., Sept. 23

No sense of unseemliness in Massachusetts
What the Kennedys want, the Kennedys get...en Mass.

Hey, Charlie Gibson: What's the Obama Doctrine?

Two descriptions of the Obama Doctrine have appeared:
Gaffney's: Undermining our friends, emboldening our enemies and diminishing our country.
Stephens': Beggar thy neighbor, bankrupt thy country, appease thy foe
'Reset' Translates as 'Capitulation' Frank Gaffney...during a visit to Moscow, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was made to look foolish when she presented her host, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, with a box festooned with a button marked "Reset" in English. The idea was to have a photo-op designed to symbolize President Obama's ambition to put U.S. relations with the Kremlin on a new, more positive footing after the bilateral strains of the George W. Bush years.Unfortunately for the Secretary, her crack State Department team mistranslated the term and the word on the box in Russian meant "overcharge" not "reset." Based on the President's decision announced to scrap the planned deployment of a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, however, we now know, that Team Obama's version of resetting would best be translated as "capitulation."...the reflexive hostility of many partisan Democrats to the idea of anti-missile protection for the United States...horrified to see President Bush abandon in December 2001 with the formal abrogation of the ABM Treaty and the subsequent installation of interceptors and radars at two sites, one in Alaska and the other in California...Bush proposed a so-called "Third Site" in Eastern Europe. The Polish and Czech governments saw this ...their own security and that of their NATO allies ...against Iranian missiles...also saw it as a tangible expression of the U.S. commitment to their security in the face of ...Russian efforts to reassert a sphere of influence...the Russians assiduously opposed the deployment of the Third Site...absurdly claimed the ten interceptors in Poland would threaten the deterrent power of the many hundreds of nuclear warheads they could rain down on Europe. Vladimir Putin even threatened thermonuclear attacks on the Poles and Czechs if they did not abandon the NATO-agreed plan....Today, however, President Obama pulled the plug on the Bush Third one should be under any illusion: With his capitulation to Russia, Barack Obama has just affirmed what I call the Obama Doctrine: Undermining our friends, emboldening our enemies and diminishing our country.
The claim made by the President and Bob Gates, preposterous...given the intelligence community's past, politicized and erroneous judgments about Iranian weapons programs...The idea that we would eliminate now our capability to deal with them down the road is transparently a political decision, not a national security-minded one....the damage that the Obama administration has done to our own security and to our relations with key allies worldwide by resetting" relations with Russia in a manner that amounts to rank capitulation.
Summits of Folly By BRET STEPHENS
Beggar thy neighbor, bankrupt thy country, appease thy foe...pretty much sums up President Obama's global agenda—and that's just for the month of September. In 1943, Walter Lippmann observed that the disarmament movement had been "tragically successful in disarming the nations that believed in disarmament." ...the first American president to chair a session of the U.N. Security Council, choose to make the centerpiece of the Council's agenda? What else but nonproliferation and shifts the onus from the countries that can't be trusted with nuclear weapons to those that can. Is Nicolas Sarkozy, with his force de frappe, about to start World War III?... Should Mr. Obama join hands with Iran and the Arab world in pushing for Israel's nuclear disarmament, on the view that if only the Jewish state would set the right example its enemies would no longer want to wipe it off the map? If that's what the president believes, he should say so publicly, especially since he's offering the same general prescription for America's nuclear deterrent....Chinese tire makers,...last week were slapped with a 35% tariff because Mr. Obama owed political favors to his friends in Big Labor. Quite something for a president who last year sounded off on the dangers of "trade policy [being] dictated by special interests."...the G-20,...meets Thursday and Friday in Pittsburgh...agenda will be given over to such brainstorms as capping bankers' bonuses—...Now there's a way to attract the best and the brightest to the world's dullest profession. The G-20 also has no plans to put the brakes on further infusions of stimulus spending,...historical is the explosion in the debt-to-GDP ratios of the G-20 countries, which the IMF predicts will rise to 81.6% next year from 65.9% in 2008. For the U.S. the jump is especially pronounced—to 97.5% next year from 70.5% last. Only Japan and Italy will be deeper in the red; even Argentina looks good by comparison...What happens to countries with these kinds of fiscal burdens? They decline. ...Obama is earning kudos from the Russian government for his decision to pull missile defense from central Europe, even as Poland marked the 70th anniversary of its invasion by the Soviet Union...
Liberium ad Absurdum Do Zbigniew Brzezinski and Jimmy Carter help or hurt Obama when they say lunatic things?By JAMES TARANTO
Zbigniew Brzezinski,...who advised Jimmy Carter on national security, offers some informal advice to President Obama in an interview with the Daily Beast, an oddly named Web site:.."we have to be serious about denying them that right. That means a denial where you aren't just saying it. If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a Liberty in reverse."
This is insane on several levels. The USS Liberty was a U.S. ship that the Israelis accidentally attacked during the Six Day War in 1967--although conspiracy-minded anti-Semites suggest the attack was deliberate. Is Brzezinski a conspiracy minded anti-Semite, or is he suggesting that he would like to see the U.S. shoot down Israeli planes accidentally?...Brzezinski seems to be making a serious policy suggestion--one that represents a reductio ad absurdum of the Obama administration's foreign policy. The administration has bent over backwards to be conciliatory toward enemies and adversaries (Iran, North Korea, Russia) while taking a tough line with America's allies (Israel, the Czech Republic, Poland, Honduras, possibly Afghanistan). But even the Obama administration hasn't militarily attacked an ally to protect an enemy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More chutzpah than King Canute; Obama can change the definition in a dictionary at will.
It Depends On What Your Definition Of “Tax” Is
...Barack Obama promised the American people: “If you’re a family that’s making $250,000 a year or less, you will see no increase in your taxes.” ...Obama reiterated that pledge, promising the American people in his September 9th health care press conference: “The middle-class will realize greater security, not higher taxes.” But as ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos pointed out to the President this weekend, Obama will break his promise to the American people if he signs a health care bill that includes an individual or employer mandate.
In an exchange that can only be described as “Clintonesque” Stephanopoulos was forced to read the definition of “tax” straight from Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, but even then Obama refused to acknowledge reality: “George, the fact that you looked up Merriam’s Dictionary, the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now. … Nobody considers that a tax increase.” Really? Nobody?...
Of all Obama's interviewers this past Sunday, only George Stephanopoulos came close to asking a semi-hard question when he queried the President if the mandated fine of $3K for those who don't sign on for health insurance wasn't a tax. Obama insisted it wasn't although Stefa dragged out his Merriam-Webster to prove that it was. Obama dismissed the dictionary as he must have done when he spoke of things being "wee-wee'd up". Not only is Obama charismatic, he is neologismatic. It's worse than Clintonesque. It's out of Alice in Wonderland when the Queen of Hearts insists her words mean whatever she wants them to mean, no more and no loess.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The quant results are in for Cash for Clunkers

Is CARS a Clunker?Abrams and Parsons, University of Delaware
Burton Abrams and George Parsons of the University of Delaware evaluate the efficiency of the recently introduced 'Cash for Clunkers' program and conclude that the cost exceeds the benefit by approximately $2000 per vehicle.
Recommended Citation
Abrams, Burton A. and Parsons, George R. (2009) "Is CARS a Clunker?," The Economists' Voice: Vol. 6 : Iss. 8, Article 4.
DOI: 10.2202/1553-3832.1638
Available at:

Danish Muslim tolerance - the DM/MD asymmetry
Salute the Danish Flag it’s a Symbol of Western Freedom By Susan MacAllen 1978 – even in Copenhagen, one didn’t see... Muslim immigrants. The Danish population embraced visitors, celebrated the exotic, went out of its way to protect each of its citizens. It was proud of its new brand of socialist liberalism ... a system where no worker had to struggle to survive, where one ultimately could count upon the state as in, perhaps, no other western nation at the time. The rest of Europe saw the Scandinavians as free-thinking, progressive and infinitely generous in their welfare policies. Denmark boasted low crime rates, devotion to the environment, a superior educational system and a history of humanitarianism.
Denmark was also most generous in its immigration policies – it offered the best welcome in Europe to the new immigrant: generous welfare payments from first arrival plus additional perks in transportation, housing and education. It was determined to set a world example for inclusiveness and multiculturalism.
How could it have predicted that one day in 2005 a series of political cartoons in a newspaper would spark violence that would leave dozens dead in the streets – all because its commitment to multiculturalism would come back to bite?
By the 1990’s the growing urban Muslim population was obvious – and its unwillingness to integrate into Danish society was obvious...settled into Muslim-exclusive enclaves...the Muslim leadership became more vocal about what they considered the decadence of Denmark’s liberal way of life,...Many Danes had begun to see Islam as incompatible with their long-standing values: belief in personal liberty and free speech, in equality for women, in tolerance for other ethnic groups, and a deep pride in Danish heritage and 2002 ran an article by Daniel Pipes and Lars Hedegaard,...forecasted accurately that the growing immigrant problem in Denmark would explode. In the article they reported:“Muslim immigrants…constitute 4 percent of the population but consume upwards of 40 percent of the welfare spending.”“Muslims are only 4 percent of Denmark’s 5.4 million people but make up a majority of the country’s convicted rapists, an especially combustible issue given that practically all the female victims are non-Muslim. Similar, if lesser, disproportions are found in other crimes.” “Over time, as Muslim immigrants increase in numbers, they wish less to mix with the indigenous population. A recent survey finds that only 5 percent of young Muslim immigrants would readily marry a Dane.” “Forced marriages – promising a newborn daughter in Denmark to a male cousin in the home country, then compelling her to marry him, sometimes on pain of death – are one problem…
”“Muslim leaders openly declare their goal of introducing Islamic law once Denmark’s Muslim population grows large enough – a not-that-remote prospect....some Muslims in Denmark who opted to leave the Muslim faith have been murdered in the name of Islam, while others hide in fear for their lives. Jews are also threatened and harassed openly by Muslim leaders in Denmark...Today Denmark has the strictest immigration policies in Europe. ( Its effort to protect itself has been met with accusations of “racism” by liberal media across Europe – even as other governments struggle to right the social problems wrought by years of too-lax immigration.) If you wish to become Danish, you must attend three years of language classes. You must pass a test on Denmark’s history, culture, and a Danish language test. You must live in Denmark for 7 years before applying for citizenship. You must demonstrate an intent to work, and have a job waiting. If you wish to bring a spouse into Denmark, you must both be over 24 years of age, and you won’t find it so easy anymore to move your friends and family to Denmark with you. You will not be allowed to build a mosque in Copenhagen. Although your children have a choice of some 30 Arabic culture and language schools in Denmark, they will be strongly encouraged to assimilate to Danish society in ways that past immigrants weren’t.In 2006,...spoke publicly of the burden of Muslim immigrants on the Danish welfare system,...if immigration from Third World countries were blocked, 75 percent of the cuts needed to sustain the huge welfare system in coming decades would be unnecessary.In other words, the welfare system as it existed was being exploited by immigrants to the point of eventually bankrupting the how unsuccessful the integration of immigrants has been up to now,”...Minister of Immigration and Integration, Rikke Hvilshoj...makes no bones about the new policy toward immigration, “The number of foreigners coming to the country makes a difference,” Hvilshøj says,...“In my view, Denmark should be a country with room for different cultures and religions. Some values, however, are more important than others. We refuse to question democracy, equal rights, and freedom of speech.” Hvilshoj has paid a price for her show of backbone....the leading radical imam in Denmark, Ahmed Abdel Rahman Abu Laban, demanded that the government pay blood money to the family of a Muslim who was murdered...When Hvilshoj dismissed his demand,...The Muslim reply came soon after: her house was torched while she, her husband and children slept. All managed to escape unharmed, but she and her family were moved to a secret location and she and other ministers were assigned bodyguards for the first time – in a country where such murderous violence was once so scarce. ...(it is problematic )whether Denmark survives as a bastion of good living, humane thinking and social responsibility, or whether it becomes a nation at civil war with supporters of Sharia law....As we in America look at the enclaves of Muslims amongst us, and see those who enter our shores too easily, dare live on our taxes, yet refuse to embrace our culture, respect our traditions, participate in our legal system, obey our laws, speak our language, appreciate our history . . . we would do well to look to Denmark, and say a prayer for her future and for our own.//\ contributing editor Susan MacAllen writes a political blog,, and has written on an extensive array of subjects for over 20 years. She has lived overseas and been intimately involved in the French culture since the Muslim immigrant population emerged in the south of France.//
Is Obama's Praise of Islam Putting America In Danger? According to President Obama, the Koran promotes peace and tolerance for Muslims and non-Muslims alike...a dangerous misrepresentation of this inherently violent and undemocratic text,...In his new book, The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran, Spencer exposes how Obama's naïve interpretation of the Koran actually encourages terrorism and anti-American sentiment—putting us at greater risk for another terrorist attack....Spencer focuses on the Koran's shocking decrees towards Jews and Christians, what the infidels (read: you) have done wrong, and what the Koran has in store for them—or more accurately, will learn:
* The true meaning of celebrated and seemingly benign verses, such as "Strive in the way of Allah" and "Persecution is worse than slaughter"
* How the Koran sanctions domestic abuse, honor killing, and murder
* How the Koran not only discourages Infidels from reading it, but mandates that they don't even touch it
* Why President Obama is dangerously close to supporting a multiculturalism that could destroy the principles America holds dear.
...essential primer to comprehending one of the most cryptic and misunderstood religious texts. Spencer sheds light on the violence inherent in the Koran and reveals the frightening implications for the War on Terror, the U.S. and the world.

Advice for Obama from Robert Frost et al.

Robert Frost:
A liberal man is too broad-minded to take his own side in a quarrel.

The best way out of a difficulty is through it.

Don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.

Richard Dawkins
By all means let’s be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.

It's a slippery slope when Presidents and their policies become the BUTT of late night jokes.

The Jay Leno Show
● Democratic Sen. Max Baucus has introduced his healthcare plan. It would be mandatory for everyone to get health insurance. They would fine people who didn’t get it, and If you don’t pay the fine, you could go to jail. The good news is, once you’re in jail — free healthcare!
● Today is the 150 anniversary of The New York Times. The sad thing is, I read about it online.
● Recently, they were interviewing Afghanistan farmers who grow poppy seeds. One farmer said that he knows heroin is bad and that it kills people, but if he didn’t grow poppy his family would starve. Hey, here’s an idea — you’re a farmer, try growing some food.
The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien
● This Sunday, President Obama will appear on five different television shows. Even more amazing — in all five shows he plays “the wacky neighbor.”
● Parents’ groups are complaining that TV broadcasts of baseball games are filled with ads for erectile dysfunction drugs. In other words, things are so turned around these days that now we delay baseball by thinking about sex.

The pseudo-intellectuals' intellectual.

The worst thing about the omniPresident is that one can't hide from his continual and unceasing speechifying. Morning, noon or night can't pass without a news program being interrupted to carry ...him and nothing of substance. A great orator is supposed to leave great speeches that read well. Washington's Farewell Address was actually not delivered orally but was widely published. Read any of Obama's speeches and see if they resonate with more than the momentary flash of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright; if there are any memorable phrases to compare with Lincoln's say, or Churchill's. "Yes we can" repeated multiple times doesn't look good in print and "We are the people we've been waiting for" (besides being plagiarized ) appears nonsensical.
Occasionally, however, something comes through all the insubstantial fluff ( and the constant introduction of people I know not and care less about contributes to the BOREDOM )that is revealing. This morning, trying to watch the stock market on CNBC there was an Obama speech at some community college where he noted that one of those he introduced claimed to have "taken calculus in this very room." He proudly went on, "I didn't take calculus." This might resonate among the academic "scholars" of Black Studies, Gender Studies and Mideastern Studies, but to the mass of educated people this is an astonishing admission, let alone boast. It certainly proves what has been obvious to many: he understands no economics or science.
Obama has added a line to the old wisdom:

He who knows, and knows he knows, he is a leader, follow him.
He who knows, but knows not he knows, he is timid, encourage him.
He who knows not and knows he knows not, he is simple, teach him.
But he who knows not, and knows not he knows not, he is a fool, shun him.

Now we can add:
He who knows not, and CARES not that he knows not, he will lead us astray; flush him.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tort reform: a call to action by the pirates of healthcare
Lawsuit Firesale Get yours while the getting is still good.
Here and there across America, good news does happen. Take Oklahoma, where the looming prospect of legal reform is causing a run on lawsuits.Earlier this year the state legislature passed a reform abolishing joint and several liability and imposing a $400,000 cap on noneconomic damages, among other medical malpractice changes. The law will soon take effect, and this month one of Oklahoma's leading plaintiffs firms, Merritt and Associates, sent an all points legal email bulletin to potential clients: "DANGER! TORT REFORM LEGISLATION EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 1ST. FILE YOUR LAWSUITS NOW!"...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Specious reasoning and fraudulent argument

Crap from AARP
How Health Care Reforms Would Affect Medicare
Controlling the rising costs of Medicare doesn’t mean cutting benefits By: Patricia Barry | Source: AARP Bulletin September 18, 2009
There is nothing in this piece that argues anything of the kind indicated by the title which is disconnected from the text. Figuring that most readers will stop at the title and subtitle, the article will be taken by many as "evidence."
The first part is nothing but an appeal to "experts" who "assert" things including such unlikely ideas as that screening procedures will reduce costs. While some do, many do not since most of the people screened do not have substantial likelihood of having the disease in question. (Why not, otherwise, give everyone full-body CT and MRI scans as a prophylactic measure? It might be useful in individual cases but it can usually not be justified en masse.Places where it can be useful, e.g. Liquid Pap screening for cervical cancer, are not even covered for women younger than 25 by the National Health Service in Britain.)The experts assert that seniors are "being lied to". Then the article goes on to the "unacceptable alternative" or "false dichotomy" argument: if nothing is done Medicare will go broke. That Medicare will still go broke, and likely sooner, is not mentioned. Sensible experts are quoted saying sensible things ( e.g. "we need to make some changes...") are quoted without saying whether specific changes will make things better or worse. The admission that $500Billion will be pulled from Medicare over ten years is brushed off by the assertion that the total bill for Medicare is $6.4Trillion over this time. There is the inevitable resort of charlatans to "reducing fraud and waste more aggressively." ( Why not do this NOW? )It is mentioned that much money will come out of Medicare Advantage meaning that the present beneficiaries of these subsidies will suffer. We're told that they'll be "paying doctors more for (good) practices..." and paying other providers "a little less.
Then there's a total confusion between "price" and "cost" including among some who should know better. The reader is swindled by the argument that, as Medicare spending goes down, the individual benefits since her 20% will go down. Not so. Medicare doesn't pay the retail price for health care but your 20% comes out of that although Medicare doesn't pay 4X what you (or your additional insurance ) are supposed to pay. Then it complains about what is "used for plan administration and profits and not direct health care services for beneficiaries." Plan administration is not less as plans get larger and is never paying for "" If the Medicare Advantage program is as wasteful as claimed, why was it not attacked long before this? An "advantage" is eliminating a scheduled pay cut to Medicare physicians although this has been continually waived because it would cause a disastrous loss of physicians to the Medicare program.
On a Saturday morning talk show, some flack named Julian Epstein claimed that "every economist agrees that the stimulus plan worked and that the economy is recovering." Two fallacies for the price of one: 1) One is hard-pressed to find any economist outside of the New York Times' pages who says this; and 2) It's an example of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy: it comes after therefore it's because of what came earlier. One might as well say the economy is recovering because of the money given to ACORN. Europe seems to be recovering faster. Anyway, three internationally renowned economists argue that the stimulus had no positive effect even short-term (and will likely have a very negative effect long-term.)
The Stimulus Didn't Work The data show government transfers and rebates have not increased consumption at all.By JOHN F. COGAN, JOHN B. TAYLOR AND VOLKER WIELAND
Is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 working? ...Administration economists cited Keynesian models that predicted that the $787 billion stimulus package would increase GDP by enough to create 3.6 million jobs. Our own research showed that more modern macroeconomic models predicted only one-sixth of that GDP impact. Estimates by economist Robert Barro of Harvard predicted the impact would not be significantly different from zero.Now, six months after the act's passage, we no longer have to rely solely on the predictions of models. We can look and see what actually happened... Direct evidence of an impact by government spending can be found in 1.8 of the 5.4 percentage-point improvement from the first to second quarter of this year. However, more than half of this contribution was due to defense spending that was not part of the stimulus package....The growth improvement in the second quarter must have been largely due to factors other than the stimulus package. Incoming data will reveal more in coming months, but the data available so far tell us that the government transfers and rebates have not stimulated consumption at all, and that the resilience of the private sector following the fall 2008 panic--not the fiscal stimulus program--deserves the lion's share of the credit for the impressive growth improvement from the first to the second quarter. ...

Lying - let me count the ways.

About illegals getting healthcare:
First, not enforcing ( or allowing enforcement of ) identification of illegals.
Second, converting illegals to legals at the earliest possible time.
About lying in general:
Does He Lie? by Charles Krauthammer
You lie? No. Barack Obama doesn't lie. He's too subtle for that. He ... well, you judge.
Herewith three examples within a single speech -- the now-famous Obama-Wilson "you lie" address to Congress on health care -- of Obama's relationship with truth.
(1) "I will not sign (a plan)," he solemnly pledged, "if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future. Period."
Wonderful. The president seems serious, veto-ready, determined to hold the line.... Obama's very next sentence: "And to prove that I'm serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don't materialize."...apparent strengthening of the pledge brilliantly and deceptively undermines it. What Obama suggests is that his plan will require mandatory spending cuts if the current rosy projections prove false. But there's absolutely nothing automatic about such cuts. Every Congress is sovereign. Nothing enacted today will force a future Congress or a future president to make any cuts in any spending, mandatory or not.
Just look at the supposedly automatic Medicare cuts contained in the Sustainable Growth Rate formula enacted to constrain out-of-control Medicare spending. Every year since 2003, Congress has waived the cuts.
Mankiw puts the Obama bait-and-switch in plain language. "Translation: I promise to fix the problem. And if I do not fix the problem now, I will fix it later, or some future president will, after I am long gone. I promise he will. Absolutely, positively, I am committed to that future president fixing the problem. You can count on it. Would I lie to you?"
(2) And then there's the famous contretemps about health insurance for illegal immigrants. Obama said they would not be insured. Well, all four committee-passed bills in Congress allow illegal immigrants to take part in the proposed Health Insurance Exchange... laws are not self-enforcing. If they were, we'd have no illegal immigrants because, as I understand it, it's illegal to enter the United States illegally. We have laws against burglary, too. But we also provide for cops and jails on the assumption that most burglars don't voluntarily turn themselves in.
When Republicans proposed requiring proof of citizenship, the Democrats twice voted that down in committee. Indeed, after Rep. Joe Wilson's "You lie!" shout-out, the Senate Finance Committee revisited the language of its bill to prevent illegal immigrants from getting any federal benefits. Why would the Finance Committee fix a nonexistent problem?
(3) Obama said he would largely solve the insoluble cost problem of Obamacare by eliminating "hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and fraud" from Medicare.That's not a lie. That's not even deception. That's just an insult to our intelligence. le="font-style:italic;">Waste, fraud and abuse -- Meg Greenfield once called this phrase "the dread big three" -- as the all-purpose piggy bank for budget savings has been a joke since Jimmy Carter first used it in 1977.
Moreover, if half a trillion is waiting to be squeezed painlessly out of Medicare, why wait for health care reform? If, as Obama repeatedly insists, Medicare overspending is breaking the budget, why hasn't he gotten started on the painless billions in "waste and fraud" savings?
Obama doesn't lie. He merely elides, gliding from one dubious assertion to another. This has been the story throughout his whole health care crusade. Its original premise was that our current financial crisis was rooted in neglect of three things -- energy, education and health care. That transparent attempt to exploit Emanuel's Law -- a crisis is a terrible thing to waste -- failed for health care because no one is stupid enough to believe that the 2008 financial collapse was caused by a lack of universal health care.
So on to the next gambit: selling health care reform as a cure for the deficit. When that was exploded by the Congressional Budget Office's demonstration of staggering Obamacare deficits, Obama tried a new tack: selling his plan as revenue-neutral insurance reform -- until the revenue neutrality is exposed as phony future cuts and chimerical waste and fraud.
Obama doesn't lie. He implies, he misdirects, he misleads -- so fluidly and incessantly that he risks transmuting eloquence into mere slickness.
Slickness wasn't fatal to "Slick Willie" Clinton because he possessed a winning, near irresistible charm. Obama's persona is more cool, distant, imperial. The charming scoundrel can get away with endless deception; the righteous redeemer cannot.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Iran makes an attack on it necessary although the Left will make it VERY difficult.
Iranian president raises stakes against IsraelBy Parisa Hafezi and Firouz Sedarat
TEHRAN (Reuters) – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad raised the stakes against Israel on Friday and called the Holocaust a lie, just as world powers try to decide how to deal with the nuclear ambitions of an Iran in political turmoil.
"The pretext (Holocaust) for the creation of the Zionist regime (Israel) is false ... It is a lie based on an unprovable and mythical claim," he told worshippers at Tehran University at the end of an annual anti-Israel "Qods (Jerusalem) Day" rally.
"Confronting the Zionist regime is a national and religious duty." ...Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah which fought a 34-day war with Israel in 2006, defended Ahmadinejad and said he was criticized for supporting "the 'resistance', the people of the region and Palestine.""Our belief and creed ... remain that Israel is an illegal entity, a cancerous tumor, that must cease to exist," he said in a televised address.... a proposal that spoke generally of talks on political, security, international and economic issues but was silent on its nuclear program. Diplomats familiar with the Iranian proposal said it was vague and did not appear to pass "the smell test." ... Next month's major powers talks with Iran offer no clear relief to Israel, ...sees Russia and China blocking any such resolution at the U.N. Security Council.***And Venezuela's Chavez guarantees 20K bbls of refined gasoline per day to Iran.****
How far will the U.S. go to support Iran and hinder Israel? Zbig (Carter's National Security Advisor --almost single-handedly responsible for the Taliban in Afghanistan--and, together with Jimmy, an anti-Semite and anti-Israel zealot) would go to war -- with Israel!
Subject: Brezinski Calls for Obama to Shoot Down Israeli Jets September 20, 2009.
In a little noticed interview with the Daily Beast (presumably little noticed because serious people don't read the Daily Beast), Zbigniew Brzezinski suggests that Barack Obama do more than just refuse to support an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear sites -- the American president must give the order to shoot down Israeli aircraft as they cross Iraqi airspace:
DB: How aggressive can Obama be in insisting to the Israelis that a military strike might be in America’s worst interest?
Brzezinski: We are not exactly impotent little babies. They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch?
DB: What if they fly over anyway?
Brzezinski: Well, we have to be serious about denying them that right. That means a denial where you aren’t just saying it. If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a Liberty in reverse.
Contrary to Brezinski's half-hearted disclaimer that no one wishes for such an outcome, there are plenty on the left who would delight in a pitched battle between the United States and Israel. Democrats in Congress routinely support resolutions affirming Israel's right to take whatever steps it deems necessary to assure its own national defense. And Obama has at least paid lip service to the concept. But hostility to Israel among the rank and file is very real on the left -- and among "realists."
So conjure the image -- the Obama administration sending U.S. aircraft up toprotect Iran's airspace and it's nuclear installations from an attack by a democracy that is one of America's closest allies. Unfortunately, this may not be so hard to imagine in Israel, where the number of people who believe Obama is pro-Israel is at just 4 percent -- and falling. And given Obama's (literally) submissive posture to the Saudis, his indulgence of the Iranians, and his simultaneously hard-line approach to Israel, it seems even some of Obama's supporters can savor the possibility of a "reverse Liberty."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

America is still appreciated by some natives and immigrants (albeit not in D.C.) says Pat Boone actually wrote this. Good for him!
The president without a country
posted June 06, 2009 © 2009
"We're no longer a Christian nation." – President Barack Obama, June 2007
"America has been arrogant." – President Barack Obama
"After 9/11, America didn't always live up to her ideals." – President Barack Obama
"You might say that America is a Muslim nation." – President Barack Obama, Egypt 2009
Thinking about these and other statements made by the man who wears the title of president … I keep wondering what country he believes he's president of.
In one of my very favorite stories, Edward Everett Hale's "The Man without a Country," a young Army lieutenant named Philip Nolan stands condemned for treason during the Revolutionary War, having come under the influence of Aaron Burr. When the judge asks him if he wishes to say anything before sentence is passed, young Nolan defiantly exclaims, "Damn the United States! I wish I might never hear of the United States again!"
The stunned silence in the courtroom is palpable, pulsing. After a long pause, the judge soberly says to the angry lieutenant: "You have just pronounced your own sentence. You will never hear of the United States again. I sentence you to spend the rest of your life at sea, on one or another of this country's naval vessels – under strict orders that no one will ever speak to you again about the country you have just cursed."
And so it was. Philip Nolan was taken away and spent the next 40 years at sea, never hearing anything but an occasional slip of the tongue about America. The last few pages of the story, recounting Nolan's dying hours in his small stateroom – now turned into a shrine to the country he foreswore – never fail to bring me to tears. And I find my own love for this dream, this miracle called America, refreshed and renewed. I know how blessed and unique we are.
Is Shariah law coming to a court near you? Get "Stealth Jihad" – Robert Spencer's expose about efforts to quietly establish the Muslim system in Amerca
But reading and hearing the audacious, shocking statements of the man who was recently elected our president – a young black man living the impossible dream of millions of young Americans, past and present, black and white – I want to ask him, "Just what country do you think you're president of?"
You surely can't be referring to the United States of America, can you? America is emphatically a Christian nation, and has been from its inception! Seventy percent of her citizens identify themselves as Christian. The Declaration of Independence and our Constitution were framed, written and ratified by Christians. It's because this was, and is, a nation built on and guided by Judeo-Christian biblical principles that you, sir, have had the inestimable privilege of being elected her president.
You studied law at Harvard, didn't you, sir? You taught constitutional law in Chicago? Did you not ever read the statement of John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and an author of the landmark "Federalist Papers": "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers – and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation – to select and prefer Christians for their rulers"?
In your studies, you surely must have read the decision of the Supreme Court in 1892: "Our lives and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian."
Did your professors have you skip over all the high-court decisions right up till the mid 1900s that echoed and reinforced these views and intentions? Did you pick up the history of American jurisprudence only in 1947, when for the first time a phrase coined by Thomas Jefferson about a "wall of separation between church and state" was used to deny some specific religious expression – contrary to Jefferson's intent with that statement?
Or, wait a minute … were your ideas about America's Christianity formed during the 20 years you were a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ under your pastor, Jeremiah Wright? Is that where you got the idea that "America is no longer a Christian nation"? Is this where you, even as you came to call yourself a Christian, formed the belief that "America has been arrogant"?
Even if that's the understandable explanation of your damning of your country and accusing the whole nation (not just a few military officials trying their best to keep more Americans from being murdered by jihadists) of "not always living up to her ideals," how did you come up with the ridiculous, alarming notion that we might be "considered a Muslim nation"?
Is it because there are some 2 million or more Muslims living here, trying to be good Americans? Out of a current population of over 300 million, 70 percent of whom are Christians? Does that make us, by any rational definition, a "Muslim nation"?
Why are we not, then, a "Chinese nation"? A "Korean nation"? Even a "Vietnamese nation"? There are even more of these distinct groups in America than Muslims. And if the distinction you're trying to make is a religious one, why is America not "a Jewish nation"? There's actually a case to be made for the latter, because our Constitution – and the success of our Revolution and founding – owe a deep debt to our Jewish brothers.
Have you stopped to think what an actual Muslim America would be like? Have you ever really spent much time in Iran? Even in Egypt? You, having been instructed in Islam as a kid at a Muslim school in Indonesia and saying you still love the call to evening prayers, can surely picture our nation founded on the Quran, not the Judeo-Christian Bible, and living under Shariah law. Can't you? You do recall Muhammad's directives [Surah 9:5,73] to "break the cross" and "kill the infidel"?
It seems increasingly and painfully obvious that you are more influenced by your upbringing and questionable education than most suspected. If you consider yourself the president of a people who are "no longer Christian," who have "failed to live up to our ideals," who "have been arrogant," and might even be "considered Muslim" – you are president of a country most Americans don't recognize.
Could it be you are a president without a country? The following is an insightful and sincere analysis of what makes America special and collectivism so "Sovietish."
The Perspective Of A Russian Immigrant By SVETLANA KUNIN //In the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, I was taught to believe individual pursuits are selfish and sacrificing for the collective good is noble...
Life in the USSR modeled the socialist ideal. God-based religion was suppressed and replaced with cultlike adoration for political figures. The government-assigned salary of the proletariat (blue-collar worker) was 30%-50% higher then any professional....They — engineers, lawyers, doctors, teachers — earned a government-determined salary that barely covered the necessities, mainly food.****Here, lawyers will be exempted since they are part of the nomenklatura.****...It took four to six adults (parents and grandparents) to support a child....In the USSR, economic equality was achieved by redistributing wealth, ensuring that everyone remained poor, with the exception of those doing the redistributing...Government-controlled health care destroyed human dignity...Those who left Russia found a different set of values in America: freedom of religion, speech, individual pursuits, the right to private property and free enterprise....opportunities let the average immigrant live a better life than many elites in the Soviet Communist Party....descendants of those immigrants are now supporting policies that move America away from the values that gave so many immigrants the chance of a better life. Policies such as nationalized medicine, high tax rates and government intrusion into free enterprise are being sold to us under the socialistic motto of collective salvation. Socialism has bankrupted and failed every society, while capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than any other system....Critics say that greed is the driving force of capitalism. My answer is that envy is the driving force of socialism...The slogans of "fairness and equality" sound better than the slogans of capitalism. But unlike at the beginning of the 20th century, when these slogans and ideas were yet to be tested, we have accumulated history and reality....When I came to America in 1980 and experienced life in this country, I thought it was fortunate that those living in the USSR did not know how unfortunate they were. Now in 2009, I realize how unfortunate it is that many Americans do not understand how fortunate they are. They vote to give government more and more power without understanding the consequences. Svetlana Kunin, Stamford, Conn.