Friday, December 26, 2008

AMERICA ON THE BRINK

PREDICTIONS

Political Correctness and Freedom of Speech

The first thing that Socialists do when they gain power is try to silence free speech. Conservative Talk radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glen Beck, Laura Ingram, Lou Dobbs, etc. are already being criticized by “Progressives” in Congress. There is a serious effort underway right now to bring back a failed law, the oxymoronic "Fairness Doctrine," in a bold, open attempt to silence opposing political views. Internet news sites such as WorldNetDaily.com, NewsWithViews.com, DrudgeReport.com, InfoWars.com and many others will be silenced along with talk radio. In order for darkness (lies) to prevail, light (truth) has to be snuffed out.

Public scrutiny and criticism of elected officials will be forbidden. Any person exposing political corruption will be labeled anti-government. If they persist in attempting to correct that political corruption, they will be called a terrorist! All police departments around the country will be required to have terrorist units.

[In a communist country of my birth I remember that one could criticize any capitalist country one wishes as long as it wasn't yours or another communist country. Criticism of any official brought police in black uniform to your door usually at night when everyone was asleep.]

By Paul Walter
December 22, 2008
NewsWithViews.com

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Muslims deny him, too.

As Christmas Approaches, Muslims Erect ‘Allah Has No Son’ Banner in Nazareth
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
By Julie Stahl


A banner proclaiming a verse from the Koran that denies God has a son hangs in front of the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth (Photo: Julie Stahl)
Nazareth, Israel (CNSNews.com) – As Nazareth’s Christians prepare to celebrate Christmas, they are playing down the appearance of a confrontational Islamic banner that challenges an elemental Christian belief.

Journalists visiting the city saw two large banners--one in English, one in Arabic--hanging in the plaza in front of the Basilica of the Annunciation, with a verse from the Koran (112:1-4) contradicting the New Testament proclamation that Jesus is the “only begotten” of God.

“In the name of Allah, the most beneficent, the most merciful, Say (O Muhammad): He is Allah, (the) One and Only. Allah, the Eternal, the Absolute. He begetteth not, nor was begotten, and there is none like unto him,” the banner reads.

Nazareth Mayor Ramiz Jaraisy played down concerns that a banner effectively denying Jesus’ deity was provocative to Christians, although he did question its position, in front of Nazareth’s most prominent landmark.

“I don’t think that it’s provocative against anyone,” he said. “My point of view [is] that it’s not the right place to put it and it’s not the right way to do that.”

But Jaraisy said he would not remove the banner because some Islamic fundamentalist groups were looking to provoke a confrontation in order to promote their cause. He did not want to provide them with that opportunity.

Situated in northern Israel, Nazareth is the largest Arab city in Israel. It also has one of the highest concentrations of Christians here.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The sheer genius of our handlers.

Shares of Citibank, the current firm of Bill Clinton's treasury secretary Robert Rubin, last week traded at less than a tenth of their year-earlier market price and may require yet another federal bailout. [Citigroup will have more than $300 billion of troubled mortgage and other assets guaranteed by the US government under a federal plan to stabilize the lender after its stock fell 60% last week, Bloomberg reported today, November 24. Citigroup also will get a $20 billion cash infusion from the Treasury Department, adding to the $25 billion the bank received last month under the Troubled Asset Relief Program. In return for the cash and guarantees, the government will get $27 billion of preferred shares paying an 8% dividend.]

Rubin, a transition advisor to president-elect Barack Obama, was mentor to Treasury secretary designate Timothy Geithner. Even Goldman Sachs, the thoroughbred trading machine that gave us Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson as well as Rubin, is trading at a fifth of its peak value.

These facts came to mind while reading David Brooks' November 21 New York Times panegyric to Obama's prospective cabinet, which gushes, "Its members are twice as smart as the poor reporters who have to cover them, three times if you include the columnists." Brooks added, "... as much as I want to resent these overeducated Achievatrons ... I find myself tremendously impressed by the Obama transition."

Has Brooks checked the markets? The cleverest people in the United States, the Ivy-pedigreed investment bankers, have fouled their own nests as well as their own net worth, and persuaded the taxpayers to bail them out. If these are the best and the brightest of 2008, America is in very deep trouble.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Amazing time!

Obama’s “Natural Born” Problem
Posted by Hans Gruen on Dec 13th, 2008 • 682 Clicks • 4 Comments

By now you are probably aware that there have been a multitude of lawsuits filed in regards to the question of whether or not President-elect Barack Obama is in fact eligible under the “natural born” provision of the Constitution of the United States of America to be the President of the United States (POTUS).

The Constitutional provisions are very specific when it comes to the minimal qualifications for President. One is to be over thirty-five. He is. Two, is being in the country fourteen years. He has been. Three, is to be a natural-born citizen. The latter remains unproven, a matter of contention, and appears to be increasingly unlikely to be true.

There are several variations on this theme, but the general and most often made argument is relatively simple and straightforward.

The Plaintiff in one of the filed suits put it this way.

“If in fact Obama was born in Kenya, the laws on the books in the United States at the time of his birth stated if a child is born abroad and one parent was a U.S. Citizen, which would have been his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, Obama’s mother would have had to live ten (10) years in the United States, five (5) of which were after the age of fourteen (14). At the time of Obama’s birth, his mother was only eighteen (18) and therefore did not meet the residency requirements under the law to give her son (Obama) U.S. Citizenship much less the status of ‘natural born.’ ”

It also was a complication that Obama’s mother divorced his father, married and moved to Indonesia for several years and Obama attended school there at a time when only Indonesian citizens were allowed in schools. Records that are available from Indonesia revealed Obama was registered in school as Barry Soetoro, and his religion was listed as Islam.

When Obama later returned to Hawaii, within the United States, there should have been a government document affirming his citizenship, but that also cannot be found.”

The Obama campaign had insisted from the very beginning that Barack Obama was in fact born in the state of Hawaii which would automatically make him eligible for the highest office of the land. All US citizens are issued a birth certificate within a short time after birth. It would be very simple, and take about five minutes, for the Obama organization to put this rumor to rest and prove once and for all that this is just some wild conspiracy from the Internet rumor mill that should be mocked and ignored as simply “sour grapes” by a die hard few.

Except that Obama has steadfastly refused to release his birth certificate and has shown the willingness to spend a large amount of money on legal fees while enduring increasingly bad publicity by refusing to release it or any hospital records associated with a birth in the state of Hawaii.

One of the cases filed with the Supreme Court also raised the circumstances of Obama’s time during his youth in Indonesia, where he was listed as having Indonesian citizenship. Indonesia did not allow dual citizenship at that time, raising the possibility of Obama’s mother having given up his U.S. citizenship. Any subsequent U.S. citizenship then, the case claims, would be “naturalized,” not “natural-born”.

There have also been suspicions that Obama’s college records may indicate he received aid as a foreigner, and that could be the reason why those records were never released.

The questions of his birth certificate and constitutional eligibility for POTUS have been ongoing for months. Unlike the convoluted conspiracies and “innovative” conjectures that have been leveled against various presidents including Bill Clinton and the current holder of the office, this particular allegation of constitutional ineligibility would be extremely easy to refute and the entire mess could be over in just a matter of minutes. The logical conclusion is that there has to be some sort of reason that this document (if it exists) has not been released. There is obviously something to hide here and I am not alone in my interest in what that may be.

Months ago the Obama campaign, in an attempt to “answer” this question, posted a copy of what was said to Obama’s “Certification of Live Birth” on the official Obama website. The Main Stream Media and the Progressive blogosphere quickly and proudly pointed to it and proclaimed the case closed. Unfortunately, the posting of that document actually raised as many or more questions than it had supposedly answered. The computer-generated “Certification of Live Birth” is used by the state of Hawaii in lieu of the “Certificate of Live Birth,” or if originally filed, a “Delayed Certificate of Birth,” or even a “Certificate of Hawaiian Birth.” For verification purposes, however, the “Certification of Live Birth” does not indicate which birth record “root document(s)” that the Certification is based upon.

Hawaii Revised Statute 338-178 allows registration of birth in Hawaii for a child that was born outside of Hawaii to parents who, for a year preceding the child’s birth, claimed Hawaii as their place of residence. Obama’s certification of live birth doesn’t list a hospital, attending physician, or any witnesses of the birth that could be tracked down and investigated. The posted document is essentially worthless as any sort of proof that Obama was born in the United States and simply put does not prove natural-born status. Yet that document is the only evidence that Barack Obama has so far produced that he is in fact eligible to be the President of the United States.

My initial hunch was that Obama was in fact not born in Kenya, but that the name on the birth certificate was not “Barack Obama” but some other, possibly “Barry” with perhaps even a different last name (his mother’s?). It is also perhaps an amended birth certificate (not uncommon in cases of adoption by a step parent) listing his now legal name as “Barry Sotoero” and thus somehow a cause of embarrassment or a potential political liability. Obama’s adoption in Indonesia by his stepfather Lolo Sotoero would make that a very plausible scenario.

Such speculation is obviously conjectural. But much of Obama’s youth is shrouded in mystery especially in regards to his Islamic schooling, upbringing in Indonesia, drug use, and later ties to a variety of radical and questionable characters and mentors. With that in mind, perhaps an actual birth in Kenya wouldn’t be all that surprising but merely the icing on the cake when it comes to the strange, twisted and contradictory tale of Barack Obama’s life.

There was some whispering about Senator John McCain’s own natural-born citizenship status and POTUS eligibility early on and to his credit he produced his long form birth certificate in record time putting such questions to rest very quickly. Meanwhile, many months later, we are still sifting through rumors, Supreme Court petitions, multiple lawsuits from all over the country, and articles like this one while the Obama camp continues playing “whack a mole” in regards to questions about Obama’s natural-born status.

Three things have made me take an interest in this sideshow saga and made me at least somewhat increasingly open to the idea that Barack Obama may in fact have been born in Kenya. The first is that the Kenyan ambassador to the United States has openly admitted that Obama was born in Kenya.

Mike In The Morning Calls The Kenyan Embassy (101 WRIF Radio, Detroit, Michigan)

Radio Host:
One more quick question, president elect Obama’s birthplace over in Kenya is that going to be a national spot to go visit where he was born?

Kenyan Ambassador:
It is already an attraction. His paternal grandmother is still alive.

Radio Host:
But his birth place, they will put up a marker there?

Kenyan Ambassador:
It will depend on the government. It is already well known.

The sound clip can be found here.

The second is that soon to be Secretary of Commerce and current New Mexico governor Bill Richardson is on record as stating that Obama is “an immigrant”. An odd thing to say if it were not true, and an outright lie otherwise. You can view the video clip here.

Perhaps the strongest anecdotal evidence is that Obama’s own paternal grandmother has said on multiple occasions that she was there when Barack was born in Kenya. Obama’s Kenyan half brother and half sister have also stated that Obama was born in Kenya. None of this anecdotal evidence is conclusive but combined with Obama’s steadfast refusal to release his long form birth certificate it plants the seeds of suspicion and makes you really want to ask a simple question. What is he hiding? And why?

The real fun to be had with this story is not that Obama for any reason would be somehow decreed ineligible as the next President of the United States (it won’t happen) but that there apparently is no oversight at all to the election process and a candidates eligibility for that office. Wouldn’t it, and shouldn’t it, be common sense and standard practice that some official or semi-official body like the Federal Election Commission or the respective major political parties require that all candidates for President of the United States provide proof that they meet the requirements for the office as stated in the Constitution? Is that really too much to ask?

Barack Obama has held elected office on the federal level, won his parties nomination for President, and then was elected President of the United States, all without providing proof that he is in compliance with the provisions laid down very plainly in the Constitution. One should be able to declare such a scenario as inconceivable, yet it appears to be all too true.

And for those of you who have studied history in any detail, the truth is far more often stranger than fiction. Obama may fall, and in many ways he already does, into that category. Who would have thought that (Obama) an “I vote present” product of the incredibly corrupt Chicago political machine with a Leftist ideology, a Muslim stepfather, a socialistic economic policy, a radical spiritual mentor, and who is beholden to a domestic terrorist for the launching of his political career could so easily be elected to the Presidency of the United States of America? If I had pitched that scenario to you two years ago you would have called me crazy yet that is exactly the situation we find ourselves in.

I do believe this will probably not be little more than an interesting political sideshow that will end up as just another bizarre footnote in annals of history. It is somewhat disturbing though that we are apparently willing to just wave constitutional requirements for the highest office of the land whenever we see fit. One has to believe that altering and tampering with basic constitutional provisions is probably not very wise and not healthy for our form of government.

The glaring disgrace here is that Obama should have been forced to prove his eligibility for office (they all should) before the first primary election or caucus was held and that the Democratic Party failed miserably in its duty to make sure that they were offering up a legitimate and eligible candidate as their presidential nominee.

If indeed Barack Obama is constitutionally ineligible for the highest office in the land, and could theoretically be an unconstitutional president, it is not the child who dared mention that “The Emperor has no clothes!” who is being “embarrassing and destructive” by bringing this up, but the Democratic party and the electoral system as a whole which allowed an unqualified candidate with unproven, dubious credentials to be allowed to appear on the ballot in a national election.

In the worse case scenario we will have taken just another baby step towards losing our Republic and the rule of law when that dusty and irritating Constitution becomes something to just be ignored or set aside whenever it might be inconvenient, or upset some people, or just be impractical for this particular “situation”.

Maybe we have reached the point where we just set aside parts of the Constitution if they are inconvenient and that might potentially be a problem for He Who Will Slow the Rising of the Seas and the fainting, ecstatic, potentially angry mob who propelled him to power. We have already journeyed a ways down the road once traveled by ancient Rome where the elites began to worry about the mood and reactions of the masses who openly threatened disorder and mayhem if they were unhappy, while those who held the reigns of power increasingly ignored the once revered rules that had held their political system together.

At the time of the publication of this article, Barack Obama still had not proved his eligibility to serve as President of the United States as defined by Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution of the United States of America. And he probably remains unable to do so.

Author: David M. Huntwork

Originally published at WesternFront America

Friday, December 12, 2008

Obama's New Deal

Obama’s Political Pork-Barrel Infrastructure

by Thomas J. DiLorenzo


"In 1929 [President Herbert] Hoover devoted . . . 13 percent of the total budget to public works spending [and] pressured state and local governments to increase their own public works spending."

~ How Capitalism Saved America, p. 168

One of the most enduring and menacing myths about the New Deal is that the billions of dollars that FDR spent on "infrastructure spending" and "public works" reduced unemployment. It is a menacing myth because it ignores the famous broken window fallacy in economics and essentially claims that the law of opportunity cost has been "repealed." Government spending on anything – bridge repair, bridges to nowhere, museums that no one visits (such as the "Public Works Museum" in Baltimore), etc. – can only at best divert resources from the private sector to the political sphere. The taxes, government debt, and inflationary central bank money creation that is used to finance all such schemes creates unemployment in the private sector so that politicians can buy votes with taxpayer dollars by doling out government make-work jobs. What is seen are the government make-work jobs; what is unseen by the average citizen is all the private-sector jobs that are destroyed or which never materialize because they’ve been crowded out by government.

Despite employing over 10 million people in various government make-work jobs from 1933 to 1940, the unemployment rate remained at 14.6 percent that year, almost five times higher than the rate of unemployment in 1929, the year of the stock market crash. The biggest beneficiary of this Mother of All Rube Goldberg Machines was FDR himself, for New Deal spending was used masterfully as a means of buying votes where he needed them the most – in states where he had the smallest electoral margins in 1932. It had nothing to do with "stimulating" the economy and everything to do with consolidating the political power base of FDR and the Democratic Party. This is also what President-elect Obama’s promised "stimulus package" is designed to accomplish.

The FDR "Public Works" Myth

In The Roosevelt Myth John T. Flynn cited a 1938 Official Report of the U.S. Senate on Campaign Expenditures that documented how, in a number of states, Works Progress Administration (WPA) employees were told that they could only keep their government jobs if they re-registered to vote as Democrats; scores of them were fired for not re-registering as Democrats; they were required to take a pledge to vote for congressional Democrats as a condition of employment; and were instructed to donate 2 percent of their salaries to the Roosevelt re-election campaign if they wanted to keep their government jobs. Government employment increased tremendously right before the 1936 election; and in some states government employees were instructed to canvass for Democratic votes just prior to the 1936 election.

In a February 1974 article in the Review of Economics and Statistics entitled "The Political Economy of New Deal Spending: An Econometric Analysis," economist Gavin Wright showed that "WPA employment reached peaks in the fall of election years, and the pattern is most pronounced when employment is measured relative to indices of need." More recently, Jim Couch and William Shughart showed in their book, The Political Economy of the New Deal, that the lion’s share of New Deal spending did not go to the most economically-depressed states, such as the lower South, but in California and other Western states where the depression was less severe but FDR’s 1932 electoral victory margins were slimmest (or where key Democratic members of Congress were facing tough competition). Among the conclusions that Couch and Shughart reached after an exhaustive econometric study of New Deal spending are:

* States with healthier economies received proportionately more federal aid in the form of [New Deal] grants they were not expected to repay while repayable loans were directed in slightly greater amounts to their harder-hit sister states.
* New Dealers allocated significantly more funds to states where the nation’s most valuable farms were located; little money went to poor sharecroppers.
* States where blacks accounted for larger percentages of the farm population received fewer New Deal dollars, contrary to the assertions of the court historians.
* The states that gave Franklin Roosevelt larger percentages of the popular vote in 1932 were also rewarded with significantly more federal "aid" than less-supportive constituencies.

Couch and Shughart also concluded that "the distribution of the billions of dollars appropriated by Congress to prime the economic pump was guided less by considerations of economic need than by the forces of ordinary politics." What a shocker: politics determined the allocation of money by politicians.

The "New Deal failed as a matter of economic policy," wrote Couch and Shughart, but was "successful in building a winning political coalition: FDR was reelected overwhelmingly in 1936 and again in 1940 in part due to the support of the big-city machines, organized labor, and other constituencies which benefited disproportionately from New Deal largesse."

This is exactly how President-elect Obama’s proposed "stimulus package" should be viewed: It is part payoff to the urban political machines, labor unions, and other special interests that helped get him elected, and part vote-buying (with federal tax dollars) scheme as the first step in his 2012 re-election campaign. It will no more "stimulate" the economy than Herbert Hoover’s 1929 "stimulus package" did, despite the fact that it accounted for 13 percent of the entire federal budget. Hoover continued to increase "public works" spending by massive amounts, accompanied by massive tax increases to pay for it all. FDR did the same, increasing the amount of spending and taxes by orders of magnitude. All of it had no positive effect whatsoever on the overall economy; the primary economic effect was to balloon the size of federal, state, and local governments at the expense of shrinking the private sector – and to create more private-sector unemployment.

December 12, 2008

Thomas J. DiLorenzo is professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and the author of The Real Lincoln; Lincoln Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed To Know about Dishonest Abe and How Capitalism Saved America. His latest book is Hamilton’s Curse: How Jefferson’s Archenemy Betrayed the American Revolution – And What It Means for America Today.

Copyright © 2008 LewRockwell.com

Monday, December 8, 2008

Capitalism and competition

Simply, business shifting from certain players in the industry to others is called competition. Capitalism and competition are the forces that have made the U.S. the most successful economy for many decades. Granted, it is a harsh reality, but it works, and so far no other system has come even close to creating as much wealth for most of its agents.

Anyone who follows our flagship newsletter, The Casey Report, knows our stance: we hope, most likely in vain, that the new administration will finally come to the realization that no entity is too big to fail. Besides, bankruptcy reorganizations have a much greater chance of success with larger corporations, as they usually have lots of assets to dispose of -- assets that can be sold cheaply to new enterprises, which are then able to build businesses on a much sounder basis. In the process, there is innovation and progress.

The choice is clear: Either the Obama administration can continue on the path of nationalizing entire segments of our economy (so far banking, insurance, auto – next, health, airlines…) and run them into the ground. Or it can let poorly managed companies fail, thereby making it easy for successful businesses and new entrepreneurs to buy the assets of these organizations. Step back and let the markets work their magic instead of blaming the market for ills that were created by special interests and poorly designed regulations.

***

Throughout history, the markets have shown “riptides” – powerful trends that can make or break a market sector and, in their wake, the people invested in that sector. It’s quite obvious that the U.S. auto industry’s day in the sun is over… maybe for good. But just like the tide going out to sea and coming back to shore, for every dying industry, another one emerges.

Global Financial Tsunami coming soon?

If the governments of the great trading nations had really wanted to save the world from a catastrophic collapse of world trade, then they should have opened their mints to gold. Now gold backwardation has caught up with us and shut down the free flow of gold in the system. This will have catastrophic consequences. Few people realize that the shutting down of the gold trade, which is what is happening, means the shutting down of world trade. This is a financial earthquake measuring ten on the Greenspan scale, with epicenter at the Comex in New York, where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center once stood. It is no exaggeration to say that this event will trigger a tsunami wiping out the prosperity of the world.

2008 Antal E. Fekete

Only the Market can heal the Market!

People believe that government can stabilize the system. During the recent election campaign, both presidential candidates said as much. Public opinion expects it. But if investments are failing, if money is being wiped out, and if the economy is shrinking – how can the government succeed? The only constructive course for government is to restrict its own expenditures. But the government is rapidly expanding its expenditures. The negative numbers are getting larger as losses mount, and jobs continue to disappear.

The only way the economy can heal is through the market. However painful the healing process, only the market can bring about full recovery. Government cannot do it. Friedrich Hayek offered a remarkable explanation of this in The Fatal Conceit. He wrote: “The creation of wealth is not simply a physical process and cannot be explained by a chain of cause and effect. It is determined not by objective physical facts known to any one mind but by the separate, differing, information of millions, which is precipitated in prices that serve to guide further decisions.” In other words, wealth is created by the market. Hayek further warned: if you do not trust the market, then you no longer believe in freedom or capitalism. In that event you are a socialist on the road to serfdom.

J. R. Nyquist

Muslim Pilgrims in Mecca chant "Death to America"

Muslim Pilgrims chant “Death to America-Death to Israel” inside Mecca

11:30 pm on December 7, 2008 by Infidelesto

What a fine religious experience. An Iranian Ayatollah lead chants “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”

Daily Mail

The pilgrims will later move under the night sky to Muzdalifa to collect pebbles to stone a set of walls symbolising the devil.

Despite a ban on political activities at haj, a senior Iranian cleric gave a speech at Arafat to a group of pilgrims, who chanted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”, Iran’s state television showed.

Ayatollah Mohammad Mohammadi Reyshahri, head of Iran’s haj mission, told the pilgrims some Muslims had despaired “in the face of Western civilization’s onslaught” but that today there was a “resurgence of Islam”.

Gateway Pundit adds:

Ayatollah Reyshahri is famous for marrying the daughter of Ayatollah Ali Meshkini in 1968, when she was 9.