Saturday, January 31, 2009

The path to recovery: appoint tax cheats

A sense of hopelessness seems to have taken root in Washington, where a pathway out of the recession has opened and no one seems to have noticed.

The first clue was economist Timothy Geithner's payment of taxes he had failed to pay on a timely basis because his confirmation as U.S. treasury secretary required it. After all, he was about to take charge of the Internal Revenue Service.

Then Tom Daschle, a former senator from South Dakota and subsequent lobbyist, stepped up to pay his back taxes to gain confirmation as secretary of Health and Human Services. Who wants a tax cheat in charge of the system that oversees treatment of Americans made sick and suicidal by the IRS?

Taken together, these contributions are small potatos. President Obama should now go after bigger game.

Sen. John Kerry, D-MA, is extremely rich, having married an heiress to the Heinz ketchup fortune. Appoint him ambassador to France, where he would be comfortable. He may have been as careless with his tax returns as he was with his military record in Vietnam. Moreover, his seat would be safe since Massachusetts does not allow Republicans to live there.

How about George Soros? He already owns and runs the Democrat Party, and is so rich that no computer can count his assets. Assign the entire Internal Revenue Service to check his filings and fly-speck his dealings. He undoubtedly owes a few hundred billion dollars because of an oversight or two.

Appoint Soros to anything he wants, but require Senate confirmation so he has to pay up to get it.

Al Gore has grown rich by inspiring hysteria about global warming. Put him in charge of the world thermometer, but require confirmation.

Other potential targets, er prospects:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, America's premier advocate of nanny government. Empower him to regulate hairlines, permissable foods and fingernail clippers, but only if he pays up.

Rep. Barney Frank, aka The Banking Queen. Empower him to reset the interest rate of every mortgage in America, but only if he rats out other Democrats who enriched themsleves while pretending to work for Fannie Mae and Freddi Mac.

Ambition built this country. If we harness ambition to the demands of recovery, we can tax our way back to prosperity. It's the Democrat Party's way.

Ben Stein: stimulus is payoff to labor unions

"I LOVE this. The new kind of politics of hope. Eight hours of debate in the House of Representatives to pass a bill spending $820 billion - or roughly $102 billion per hour of debate.

Only 10 percent of the "stimulus" to be spent on 2009.

Close to half goes to entities that sponsor or employ (or both) members of the Service Employees International Union, federal, state, and municipal employee unions or other Democrat-controlled unions.

This bill is sent to Congress after President Obama has been in office for seven days. It is 680 pages long. According to my calculations, not one member of Congress read the entire bill before this vote. Obviously, it would have been impossible, given his schedule, for the president to have read the whole thing.

For the amount spent, we could have given every unemployed person in the United States roughly $75,000.

We could give every person who had lost a job and is now passing through long-term unemployment of six months or longer roughly $300,000."

Friday, January 30, 2009

James Q. Wilson on the power of genes

"Children differ, as any parent of two or more knows. Some babies sleep through the night, others are always awake; some are calm, others are fussy; some walk at an early age, others after a long wait. Scientists have proved that genes are responsible for these early differences. But people assume that as children get older and spend more time under their parents’ influence, the effect of genes declines. They are wrong.

For a century or more, we have understood that intelligence is largely inherited, though even today some mistakenly rail against the idea and say that nurture, not nature, is all. Now we know that much of our personality, too, is inherited and that many social attitudes have some degree of genetic basis, including our involvement in crime and some psychiatric illnesses. Some things do result entirely from environmental influences, such as whether you follow the Red Sox or the Yankees (though I suspect that Yankee fans have a genetic defect). But beyond routine tastes, almost everything has some genetic basis. And that includes politics."

An Iowa citizen strives for alien status

The Honorable Tom Harkin
731 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC , 20510
Phone (202) 224 3254

Dear Senator Harkin,

As a native Iowan and excellent customer of the Internal Revenue Service, I am writing to ask for your assistance. I have contacted the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to determine the process for becoming an illegal alien and they referred me to you.

My primary reason for wishing to change my status from U.S. Citizen to illegal alien stems from the bill which was recently passed by the Senate and for which you voted. If my understanding of this bill's provisions is accurate, as an illegal alien who has been in the United States for five years, all I need to do to become a citizen is to pay a $2,000 fine and income taxes for three of the last five years. I know a good deal when I see one and I am anxious to get the process started before everyone figures it out.

Simply put, those of us who have been here legally have had to pay taxes every year so I'm excited about the prospect of avoiding two years of taxes in return for paying a $2,000 fine. Is there any way that I can apply to be illegal retroactively? This would yield an excellent result for me and my family because we paid heavy taxes in 2004 and 2005.

Additionally, as an illegal alien I could begin using the local emergency room as my primary health care provider. Once I have stopped paying premiums for medical insurance, my accountant figures I could save almost $10,000 a year.

Another benefit in gaining illegal status is that my daughter would receive preferential treatment relative to her law school applications, as well as 'in-state' tuition rates for many colleges throughout the United States for my son.

Lastly, I understand that illegal status would relieve me the burden of renewing my driver's license and making those burdensome car insurance premiums. This is very important to me given that I still have college age children driving my car.

If you would provide me with an outline of the process to become illegal (retroactively if possible) and copies of the necessary forms, I would be most appreciative.

Thank you for your assistance.

Your Loyal Constituent,
Donald Ruppert
Burlington, IA

Thursday, January 29, 2009

In politics, Impeachment isn't always the end

Now that he has been impeached, ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich may find inspiration in the career track followed by another disgraced official.

Alcee Hastings was a U.S. District Court judge in Florida when he was caught selling a favorable judgment for $150,000. In 1981, he became only the sixth federal judge impeached by the U.S. House and expelled from office by the Senate.

His impeachment was a daunting experience, but only for a decade or so. In 1992, Hastings ran for the House in a district that includes the beach cities of Southeast Florida, and won. He's been in Congress ever since.

Consequences of stupid governance

"Dear Mr. President:

What if government spending can’t turn things around? What if the banks continue hoarding TARP funds, and deny loans to deserving companies and individuals? Now think: what would happen if after years of monstrous fiscal deficits the U.S. is still mired in unemployment and slow growth?

The last time that happened—in the 1930s – the outcome was…. Well, you know how that played out. But even without Smoot-Hawley and beggar–thy-neighbor policy mistakes, the U.S. could face a similar fate today.

Consider this: Two to three percent GDP growth is needed just to absorb new entrants to the labor force.

In times of buoyant demand, this is no problem. In times of collapsing private spending, as now—it is a huge one. Even unbelievably large fiscal deficits — 10 percent of GDP or more – will not stimulate enough growth to prevent unemployment from continuing to rise through the next two years. [Choices made in 2009 will shape the globe’s destiny, By Martin Wolf, Financial Times, January 7, 2009.]

One reason for our predicament: immigration is swelling the U.S. labor force beyond the ability of fiscal policy to generate jobs."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Larry Kudlow sees upturn

"Meanwhile, important forward-looking economic indicators suggest we have seen the bottom — believe it or not.

First and foremost, stocks bottomed in late November and are about 15 percent higher today. Raw commodity indexes have bottomed. 10-year Treasury rates have bottomed and yields today are about 50 basis points higher. Oil prices have bottomed. And the dollar bottomed many months ago. Plus, the Fed’s monetary-base expansion has produced about a $550 billion increase in the M2 money supply, which could start raising the economy as early as this spring.

If the turnover rate of money — that is, velocity — moves back to its 10-year average, then we could all be surprised by a substantial economic rebound starting this spring or summer.

I’m not even gonna mention the goofy stimulus package in Congress, because it’s not gonna stimulate much of anything except a zillion Democratic political-interest groups. This package is completely porked up with massive social spending and other political targets — none of which will create any jobs or growth. It’s just a massive resource transfer."

It's Limbaugh versus The One

The bout is on.

Last Friday, President Barack Obama advised Republicans to stop listening to Rush Limbaugh, whose entertaining radio commentaries earn him $50 million a year.

“You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done,” Obama said to Republican leaders who met with the president to talk about the pending stimulus/pork bill.

Limbaugh returned the blow, saying he doesn't want to get things done; he wants Obama to be stopped. “If I wanted Obama to succeed, I’d be happy the Republicans have laid down," he said. "I don’t want this to work. So I’m thinking of replying to this guy, say ‘okay, I’ll send you a response, but I don’t need 400 words, I need four: 'I hope he fails.’”

Now, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has launched an online petition encouraging readers to express their outrage at Limbaugh.

The Democrats could easily pass the stimulus bill wihtout any Republican votes in the House, and also could pass it without Republican votes in the Senate unless the Republicans filibuster. To overcome a filibuster, the Democrats would have to pick up two Republican votes.

The Democrats may be reluctant, however, to ramrod the stimulus without any Republican support. If the measure fails to produce the intended results, as is likely, even a little Republican support would give them cover.

The back story, however, reaches beyond the stimulus legislation. While Limbaugh and a number of other conservative hosts have prospered, liberal talk shows have failed repeatedly and dismally. As a result, Democrats have threatened to restore the "fairness doctrine," which would require radio stations to balance conservative programming with liberal slants.

It is widely believed that this would destroy conservative talk radio, since stations would scuttle talk radio rather than add unpopular, money-losing liberal talkers.

Given the feeble state of the Republican Party, this would allow the Democrats free rein to purge America of the last vestiges of Reagan conservatism and make America a vast playground for Chicago thugs and Hollywood liberals.

The Democrat campaign against Limbaugh serves as a reminder that Obama got his foothold in politics by systematically eliminating all of the other candidates for the Illinois Senate from his Chicago district, leaving him alone on the ballot on election day.

If you're the only one still standing, you win.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Insight from Obama's mentor

"A wise prince will seek means by which his subjects will always and in every possible condition of things have need of his government, and then they will always be faithful to him."

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527)

Earmarks are flying under the radar

"President Barack Obama's ban on earmarks in the $825 billion economic stimulus bill doesn't mean interest groups, lobbyists and lawmakers won't be able to funnel money to pet projects.

They're just working around it — and perhaps inadvertently making the process more secretive.

The projects run the gamut: a Metrolink station that needs building in Placentia, Calif.; a stretch of beach in Sandy Hook, N.J., that could really use some more sand; a water park in Miami.

There are thousands of projects like those that once would have been gotten money upfront but now are left to scramble for dollars at the back end of the process as "ready to go" jobs eligible for the stimulus plan.

The result, as The Associated Press learned in interviews with more than a dozen lawmakers, lobbyists and state and local officials, is a shadowy lobbying effort that may make it difficult to discern how hundreds of billions in federal money will be parceled out."

Delayed stimulation: another Democrat breakthrough

"The stimulus bill currently steaming through Congress looks like a legislative freight train, but given last week's analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, it is more accurate to think of it as a time machine. That may be the only way to explain how spending on public works in 2011 and beyond will help the economy today.

According to Congressional Budget Office estimates, a mere $26 billion of the House stimulus bill's $355 billion in new spending would actually be spent in the current fiscal year, and just $110 billion would be spent by the end of 2010. This is highly embarrassing given that Congress's justification for passing this bill so urgently is to help the economy right now, if not sooner.

And the red Congressional faces must be very red indeed, because CBO's analysis has since vanished into thin air after having been posted early last week on the Appropriations Committee Web site. Officially, the committee says this is because the estimates have been superseded as the legislation has moved through committee. No doubt."

My take: Will somebody please make this government disappear?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's Obama vs. Limbaugh: let the bout begin

Winston Churchill might have dismissed President Obama's administration as cavalierly as he once dismissed a bowl of pudding: "It has no theme."

What would Obama say in his own defense? George Bush's war on terrorism is now Obama's war. Bush's panicky response to the financial collapse is now Obama's panicky approach, replete with pork thinly disguised as bailout.

The only 180-degree shifts so far are Obama's order that the terrorist group home at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, be closed in a year and that the United States will resume contributions to foreign organizations that promote abortion.

The Guantanamo maneuver is a symbolic gesture that may never have a real-world result.

As for the reversal of the Bush ban on subsidizing pro-abortion groups, the important question would seem to be: why is the U.S. government contributing taxpayers' money to any organization, whether pro or con, whose purpose it is to influence public opinion on abortion?

Isn't that a question that individual Americans should decide?

Nothing better exemplifies the mindless, runaway arrogance and intrusiveness of government in America in 2009. The president is going to use tax revenue to promote abortion in other countries even though some of the taxpayers are dead-set against abortion.

If a legitimate conservative party existed in America, this anti-American assininity would stop.

One other manifestation of "hope" and "change" is Obama's recognition that Rush Limbaugh, not the Republican Party, is his opposition. Because of that insight, Obama's first term promises to be entertaining, if not constructive.

In one corner we have a narcisist schooled in ACORN thuggery and Marxist black liberation theolocrap who presented himself as a black messiah at a moment when America was ready to purge itself of its wrongs against blacks.

In the other corner we have a fearless and funny self-made, self-taught commentator and entertainer who earns $50 million a year but remains deeply devoted to the values of the founders.

Let the bout begin.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Stimulation: the unintended consequences

House GOP Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio):

"You know, I'm concerned about the size of the package. And I'm concerned about some of the spending that's in there... how you can spend hundreds of millions on contraceptives.

How does that stimulate the economy?"

The banking queen keeps on giving

"Troubled OneUnited Bank in Boston didn't look much like a candidate for aid from the Treasury Department's bank bailout fund last fall.

The Treasury had said it would give money only to healthy banks, to jump-start lending. But OneUnited had seen most of its capital evaporate. Moreover, it was under attack from its regulators for allegations of poor lending practices and executive-pay abuses, including owning a Porsche for its executives' use.

Nonetheless, in December OneUnited got a $12 million injection from the Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. One apparent factor: the intercession of Rep. Barney Frank, the powerful head of the House Financial Services Committee.

Mr. Frank, by his own account, wrote into the TARP bill a provision specifically aimed at helping this particular home-state bank. And later, he acknowledges, he spoke to regulators urging that OneUnited be considered for a cash injection."

A call for a Bush incompetence meter

By NICK GILLESPIE (editor of Reason)

"Now that George W. Bush has finally left office, here's a challenge to a nation famous for its proud tradition of invention: Can somebody invent a machine capable of fully measuring the disaster that was the Bush presidency?"

FBI raids client of U.S. Rep. John Murtha

"Federal agents on Thursday raided the offices of a Pennsylvania government contractor with close ties to Rep. John P. Murtha, chairman of the powerful Defense panel on the House Appropriations Committee.

Agents from the FBI, IRS and Defense Criminal Investigative Service searched the offices of Kuchera Industries and Kuchera Defense Systems in three different locations in Pennsylvania.

Over the last several years, Murtha, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, has helped steer more than $100 million in contracts to Kuchera, a government contractor founded in 1985 by Bill Kuchera. The company and its employees have donated more than $65,000 dollars to Murtha’s reelection campaign and leadership political action committee, according to Federal Election Commission records."

Friday, January 23, 2009

Firms that lobby got bailouts

"Many of the large American companies that received billions of taxpayer bailout dollars by pleading that they didn't have enough money to lend to customers were, at the same time, spending millions of dollars dispatching lobbyists to influence the federal government.

A Washington Times review of lobbying disclosure reports found that 18 of the top 20 recipients of federal bailout money spent a combined $12.2 million lobbying the White House, the Treasury Department, Congress and federal agencies during the last quarter of 2008.

For instance, the government bought $3.4 billion in American Express Co. stock on Jan. 9 as part of an aid package. In the last quarter of 2008, the company spent more than $1 million on federal lobbying.

American Express spokeswoman Joanna Lambert said the company did not lobby for the bailout funds. At the same time, disclosure forms say, the company was lobbying the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and Congress, all active players in dispensing the multibillion-dollar rescue financing."

The terrorists would look pretty in pink

The panicky pols are again in a lather, this time over where to put a few hundred suicidal maniacs once their current group home, at Guantanamo Bay, is closed for violating President Obama's terrorism etiquette.

Besides a swarthy, Arabic complexion, these men have one common denominator: they are willing to die if they can only take some us along for the ride. Needless to say, their hatred of America arouses sympathy among liberals.

So, in true liberal fashion, President Obama has ordered that Guantanamo be closed within one year, without having first determined what to do with the killers-in-waiting.

The answer is hiding in plain sight.

Turn the prisoners over to Sheriff Joseph Arpaio of Maricopa County, AZ, where they could get in touch with their softer side by wearing pink clothing and answering to female guards.

It's easy to see that Arpaio, 76, is on the right track: he has been denounced by Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Arizona Ecumenical Council, the American Jewish Committee, and the Arizona chapter of the Anti-Defamation League.

An Army veteran, Arpaio was first elected shriff in 1992, and has won reelection four times. He resurrected chain gangs, serves inmates surplus food and prohibits sexually eplicit material. His jailhouse radio station serves up classical music, opera, Frank Sinatra hits, patriotic music and educational programming.

For years, Arpaio has operated a tent city to house some inmates. When they complained about the heat, Arpaio replied, "It's 120 degrees in Iraq and the soldiers are living in tents and they didn't commit any crimes, so shut your mouths."

But he, too, has a softer side. He allowed the inmates to strip down to their pink underwear.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Effectiveness can be a slippery standard

There were some things to like about President Obama's even-handed inaugural speech. He paid homage to the founders. He tipped his hat to the importance of markets in the American scheme. He passed up the chance to build oratorical monuments to the momentousness of the moment.

But then, as I was feeling a sense of relief, President Obama let loose this stunning invitation to head-banging:

"The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end."

If effectiveness is the standard, the 30-year social engineering project to destroy market mechanisms that determined who could get a mortgage, and who couldn't, was effective beyond the dreams of its authors. In recent years, people without incomes and people with bad credit histories got mortgages.

Even politicians, especially those who maintained and promoted the system, got mortgages, at unusually favorable interest rates.

Yes, the system was corrupt, but it was, without doubt, effective in its social engineering purpose, which was to destroy the role of markets in the mortgage industry.

It worked, for a while, but does anybody still believe that it was a good idea? The unintended consequences, bundled mortgages sold as securities all over the world, turned out to be time bombs that blew up when the layoffs and defaults began.

The proper test of a government policy is not whether it works. Instead, Congress and the White House should ask:
Does the government have any business interfering in a particular market?
What's the down side to government interference?
Assuming the worst of the unintended consequences happens, what does the government do then?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Republicans face a daunting blue wall

Pat Buchanan assesses Republican prospects, and finds them grim.

"Put succinctly, the red pool of voters is aging, shrinking and dying, while the blue pool, fed by high immigration and a high birth rate among immigrants, is steadily expanding.

Philosophically, too, the country is turning away from the GOP creed of small government and low taxes. Why?

Nearly 90 percent of immigrants, legal and illegal, are Third World poor or working-class and believe in and rely on government for help with health and housing, education and welfare. Second, tax cuts have dropped nearly 40 percent of wage earners from the tax rolls.

If one pays no federal income tax but reaps a cornucopia of benefits, it makes no sense to vote for the party of less government.

The GOP is overrepresented among the taxpaying class, while the Democratic Party is overrepresented among tax consumers. And the latter are growing at a faster rate than the former."

Monday, January 19, 2009

Does Porta Potty boom signal a bottom?

America's political elite, having elevated the presidential election to the realm of national orgasm, is now on the verge of making Tuesday's inauguration an epochal day for Porta Potties.

They're setting a standard in Washington for the number of Porta Potties deployed. An estimated 5,000 units will be on the Mall and along the parade route.

Organizers of future inaugurations will measure their performance, in part, by comparing their own deployment to the number of Porta Potties available for action on Jan. 20, 2009.

Is the Porta Pottie boom a leading indicator that America's misfortunes are approaching a bottom?

That's not the way to bet.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Public sector is booming

From Connecticut's Reublican American

How bad is it out there? Even World Wrestling Entertainment is laying off people, and workers at the Mohegan Sun casino are taking pay and benefits cuts to preserve their jobs.

These are just two of the more recent casualties of the Chris Dodd Bear Market, which has idled 2.7 million Americans and added 1.3 million more to the ranks of the long-term unemployed (27 weeks or more), the Labor Department reports. The unemployment rate, 7.2 percent, is at a 15-year high; economists say it could be 10 percent by next Christmas. But the feds can't paint the full picture because they don't keep data on pay and benefit freezes and reductions now common throughout the private sector. But Sen. Dodd still has a job, and his recent $4,100 raise will make it easier to afford those sweetheart mortgages he got from Countrywide Financial.

While the private sector was shedding millions of jobs in 2008 and government budgets were collapsing under the weight of waste, fraud and carved-in-stone personnel costs, the public sector had another banner year. Governments at all levels hired 164,100 new employees and were largely responsible for the addition of a further 96,600 jobs in education and 371,600 in health care. Now President-elect Obama wants to add 600,000 to the bloated federal payroll. Untold thousands more local, county and state employees will be needed to fill all the new and bigger public facilities built with stimulus cash. As it is, nearly 15 percent of the civilian work force draws government paychecks.

Lip service by public officials about fiscal austerity notwithstanding, governments and their public-employee unions seem to be approaching 2009 as if the recession is none of their concern. For example, recent negotiations produced teachers contracts that gave raises of 4.4 percent in Cheshire, 4 percent in Region 6, 3.75 percent in Region 14, 3 percent in Plymouth and 2.5 percent for Torrington. In Waterbury, the school board bestowed upon its administrators raises of nearly 10 percent over three years for the expressed purpose of beginning to undo everything the state oversight board did to rescue taxpayers from decades of governmental malfeasance and binding-arbitration abuse. Concessions will soften the impact of these raises some, but prevailing economic conditions minimally demand pay freezes and staff reductions.

In good times, employment ballooned beyond what could be sustained. The public sector is retracing its steps in search of equilibrium. Whither the public sector?

Coping with the bastards

Things look bleak. A self-styled "compassionate conservative," whose selective compassion favored illegal Mexicans at the expense of struggling American workers, is about to relinquish the presidency to a successor who, for 20 years, soaked up Marxist black liberation theology and palled around with an admitted terrorist bomber.

The stock market has digested the known facts and delivered a verdict: sell.

Trouble is, we can't sell the bozos who made the current economic mess, the social engineers in Washington, D.C., who decided that the market be damned, everybody should have a house, whether or not they could afford one.

Still, all hope is not lost.

A new edition of "The Freedom Outlaw's Handbook: 179 Things To Do 'Til The Revolution" is out. This is a clear example of progress; in the previous edition author Claire Wolfe had only 101 things to do. She also is the author of "Don't Shoot the Bastards Yet." As of this writing it's not known whether she has sharpened her thinking on that front.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Why President Bush has been a relentless Hispanderer

"A psychological analysis of his upbringing may explain part of it. Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, Bush was familiar with two kinds of Mexicans: (1) the high rolling rich Mexican elitists who were his social equals, and (2) the servant class. Bush seem quite attached to both groups, displaying warmer feelings toward both of them than toward middle class Americans."

Monday, January 12, 2009

George Bush's stealthy Christmas present

"While you were quietly getting ready for Christmas, the Department of Homeland Security pulled a fast one.

On December 22nd, in what could be the most idiotic thing the Bush administration has done, DHS approved Malta as a Visa Waiver Program country.

Each year, Malta—an archipelago of seven islands—gets tens of thousands of people from Africa on rafts. The island is being overwhelmed.

These people arrive on Maltese soil, which is European Union territory, and they immediately try to get admitted to the EU.

When the word is out about the Visa Waiver, more boat people will come and try to get legal status in Malta so they can ultimately get into the U.S. without a visa.

Once here, they will, of course, stay forever.

The decision to allow Malta to participate in the VWP should be looked into before all of its 400,000 residents are in our backyards."

Why Gaza is bonkers

The "Youth Bulge" explains Gaza [Andy McCarthy]

"Mark Steyn will love this one. Gunnar Heinsohn, a German expert academic who does genocide research, writes an op-ed in the WSJ Europe, arguing that the endless rounds of Gazan violence against Israel are caused by Western funding which is responsible for an imbalance in the number of young men being born. He explains:

In ... "youth bulge" countries, young men tend to eliminate each other or get killed in aggressive wars until a balance is reached between their ambitions and the number of acceptable positions available in their society. In Arab nations such as Lebanon (150,000 dead in the civil war between 1975 and 1990) or Algeria (200,000 dead in the Islamists' war against their own people between 1999 and 2006), the slaughter abated only when the fertility rates in these countries fell from seven children per woman to fewer than two. The warring stopped because no more warriors were being born.

In Gaza, however, there has been no demographic disarmament. The average woman still bears six babies. For every 1,000 men aged 40-44, there are 4,300 boys aged 0-4 years. In the U.S. the latter figure is 1,000, and in the U.K. it's only 670. And so the killing continues.

Here's why he thinks this happens:

The reason for Gaza's endless youth bulge is that a large majority of its population does not have to provide for its offspring. Most babies are fed, clothed, vaccinated and educated by UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. Unlike the U.N. High Commission for Refugees, which deals with the rest of the world's refugees and aims to settle them in their respective host countries, UNRWA perpetuates the Palestinian problem by classifying as refugees not only those who originally fled their homes, but all of their descendents as well.

UNRWA is benevolently funded by the U.S. (31%) and the European Union (nearly 50%) — only 7% of the funds come from Muslim sources. Thanks to the West's largesse, nearly the entire population of Gaza lives in a kind of lowly but regularly paid dependence. One result of this unlimited welfare is an endless population boom. Between 1950 and 2008, Gaza's population has grown from 240,000 to 1.5 million. The West basically created a new Near Eastern people in Gaza that at current trends will reach three million in 2040.... The current situation can only get worse. Israel is being pushed into a corner. Gazan teenagers have no future other than war. One rocket master killed is immediately replaced by three young men for whom a martyr's death is no less honorable than victory. Some 230,000 Gazan males, aged 15 to 29, who are available for the battlefield now, will be succeeded by 360,000 boys under 15 (45% of all Gazan males) who could be taking up arms within the coming 15 years.

As long as we continue to subsidize Gaza's extreme demographic armament, young Palestinians will likely continue killing their brothers or neighbors. And yet, despite claiming that it wants to bring peace to the region, the West continues to make the population explosion in Gaza worse every year. By generously supporting UNRWA's budget, the West assists a rate of population increase that is 10 times higher than in their own countries."

Sunday, January 11, 2009

This will make Al Gore hot under the collar

Earth on the Brink of an Ice Age

The earth is now on the brink of entering another Ice Age, according to a large and compelling body of evidence from within the field of climate science. Many sources of data which provide our knowledge base of long-term climate change indicate that the warm, twelve thousand year-long Holocene period will rather soon be coming to an end, and then the earth will return to Ice Age conditions for the next 100,000 years.

Ice cores, ocean sediment cores, the geologic record, and studies of ancient plant and animal populations all demonstrate a regular cyclic pattern of Ice Age glacial maximums which each last about 100,000 years, separated by intervening warm interglacials, each lasting about 12,000 years.

My take: After the coming ice age, will Al Gore still be prattling about global warming?
This is going to take a toll on the Liars Club. My favorite global warming lie was a photograph taken by a photographer who was impressed by the beauty and intricacy of wave action that had carved a beautiful ice sculpture in the arctic. In the hands of the fanatics, the natural sculpture became an example of the the ravages of global warming.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Government of, by and for the governors

George Bush entered the White House as a bleeding-heart conservative bent on making conservatism synonymous with compassion. Eight years later, he is about to leave the White House, having made conservatism synonymous with big-government liberalism.

He blundered into a turf war in Iraq against hit-and-run proxy armies that had not attacked the United States and cared little about turf. Unable to defeat those armies militarily, he persuaded the tribal leaders who commanded them to switch sides, putting them on the American payroll.

If they ask for a raise, and don't get one, what will happen in Iraq is anybody's guess. Religeous disputes growing out of events in the 7th Century still animate Iraq's politics.

Having failed to persuade most Americans that the war in Iraq was justified, Bush has recently offered a new explanation: he wanted to liberate the 50 million people of Afghanistan and Iraq.

The American attack against Afghanistan is easily justified, but historians will search in vain for previous examples of wars waged by America for the singular purpose of liberating a foreign population from a heinous dictator.

The Kennedy administration's botched attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro in Cuba might serve as a cautionary reference.

Yes, Bush did campaign successfully for tax cuts that produced a robust economy. But the new jobs attracted a horde of new illegal immigrants from Mexico. Bush dragged his feet on sealing the border, allowing the illegals to take low-paying jobs that would have been filled by struggling American workers if the Bush administration had simply enforced existing laws. The surplus workers drove down wage rates at the bottom of the scale.

Again, Bush relied on "compassion" to explain his hands-off demeanor. The new immigrants, he said, were just "coming here to work." Grieving parents of children raped and murdered by illegals may view the matter more critically. Taxpayers who are supporting thousands of illegals in California and Texas prisons might also dissent.

Hurricane Katrina also aroused Bush's compassion. The Department of Homeland Security, the bloated behemoth that he set up in response to the 9/11 attacks, bought hundreds of mobile homes for the use of people displaced by the storm. Most were never used. Instead of disposing of the units, the department parked them on lots, where they deteriorated and lost whatever value they had once had.

On Bush's watch, the Securities and Exchange Commission failed to intervene as the mortgage industry morphed into a transnational behemoth that bundled ma and pa mortgages into big-ticket securities that were traded world-wide, attracting capital and inflating home prices, creating the bubble that burst last year.

As a result, Americans are now struggling with a government-made recession as well as even-more-ominous government remedies.

In his final big role as president, Bush has served as the setup man for President-elect Barack Obama, pushing bailouts and stimulus spending that may cost taxpayers trillions of dollars. By pursuing this liberal agenda, Bush has inoculated Obama against criticism for even more lavish stimulus ventures in the future.

Big government is here. Elephantine government is on the way.

The result is predictable. Down the road, inflation will rage and government will slam on the brakes, raising interest rates and throwing workers out of jobs, sending the economy into another tailspin.

There is a word for politicians, or anybody else, who do the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. Albert Einstein was fascinated by the phenomenon. His word for it was "insanity."

Isn't it strange that the only nation designed to function through markets, both political and economic, now is unwilling to even experiment with market remedies for government-created disasters.

Tax cuts would directly inject money into the marketplace, bringing about some degree of recovery. So why aren't tax cuts being considered? Because tax cuts leave spending decisions in the hands of rank and file Americans, as the framers intended.

To the framers, markets were mechanisms that Americans would use to signal what kinds of food, clothing, shelter and entertainment they preferred and how they wanted government to behave. Those signals would guide the economy and government policies.

Unlike tax cuts, stimulus spending puts the money in the hands of politicians, who will direct the spending into ventures that burnish their resumes and grease the wheels for future campaign contributions. Reelection, not sensible government, is what animates Washington politicians.

The last refuge of Bush's defenders is the judgment that he "has kept us safe" by aggressively pursuing Muslim terrorists.

Perhaps. But wouldn't it be more accurate to say that the wall erected by President Clinton's Justice Department between intelligence gathering and law enforcement enabled the 9/11 attacks?

The 9/11 plotters may well have been caught before the event but for government blundering that kept intelligence from informing law enforcement that individuals suspected of involvement in terrorism were on American soil.

Since 9/11, and removal of the wall, local and state law enforcers have done a commendable job of discovering and disrupting a variety of follow-up conspiracies.

Now that the Republican and Democrat parties have become part of the same self-serving, big-government cabal, what is to be done?

Make a list of conservative grass-roots, internet-based, organizations that move quickly and decisively. Numbers USA, for instance, was vital in organizing dissenters and blocking John McCain's misguided amnesty-for-illegal-aliens bill in 2007, and probably will be called into the fray again. There are many others.

It's time to recognize that conservatives no longer have a political party. George Bush and his allies have destroyed it. The government is now a hazard to the health and welfare of the governed.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Advice: rip the Republican Party apart

Here's a powerful appeal from a Samizdata writer that we rip the Republican Party apart as a first step toward a return to sensible government. If ripping catches on, the rippers might consider mounting a conservative challenge to Sen. John McCain in Arizona's 2010 primary election.