Archive for the ‘News’ category

On Boycotting Arizona

May 18, 2010

I have yet to hear a call for a boycott of Arizona that made an accurate reference to the Arizona law that is at issue. The full text of the law is here. The new Arizona law will require that if someone is stopped by police for other legal reasons, and the person also presents other legal reasons for doubting their citizenship status, that the police must then check citizenship status with the Federal Authorities.

President Obama claimed that under the Arizona law, anyone could be stopped and checked for citizenship if they were no more than going to an ice cream store.  The President is wrong. The Arizona law requires that there first be a “lawful stop, detention or arrest made by a law enforcement official” which means that the person was stopped for some other legal reason, and then after that also have reason to suspect that they are illegal. Federal agents, by contrast, can stop a person to check immigration status without any such constraint, and the liberal Ninth Circuit has upheld the Feds’ constitutional authority to do so.

The Highland Park High School girls’ basketball team has had its trip to an Arizona tournament canceled by a school superintendent because of “safety concerns.” The “safety” issue is that if one of the girls is an illegal immigrant, is stopped for some crime, and then found to, say, be unable to speak English, her citizenship could then be checked. In other words, the danger that is presented is the danger of the laws against illegal immigration being enforced.

Do schools have a general obligation to protect criminal students from law enforcement? If a precocious teen is dealing crack in the high school, is the school obliged to maintain his cover? Must a field trip to a local police station be canceled for fear that a narc might finger him? A civil rights attorney on The O’Reilly Factor claimed that the school might be sued for subjecting a student to potential arrest.

Because the school authorities in Illinois believe this to be unfair, they won’t allow the students to travel to Arizona. They do allow students to travel overseas, even though students must present passports to reenter the States. China, of course, is a model of civil rights compared to Arizona.

Facts have not gotten in the way of celebrating the joys of self-righteousness. San Francisco and Los Angeles are in the forefront of boycotting Arizona, and there is move afoot for state boycott legislation. It is self-righteousness at it’s most joyous because a boycott can hurt Arizona without significantly harming the righteous Californians. Californians can take their vacations and schedule events in other states, no big deal.

California, however, gets one-third of its electricity from Arizona. That’s a consequence of many years of refusing to build ugly dangerous environmentally-unsound power plants in California, while having Arizona do it for them was just fine.

It would be reasonable for Arizona to asked, pointedly, if California would like to extend their boycott to electricity? I suspect that errant self-righteousness would not be so much fun practiced in the dark.

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Obama avoids blaim for new unemployment

October 2, 2009

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment has risen to 9.8%, despite Obama’s entire team “working every single day… to accomplish” lower unemployment.

In a speech today, Obama avoided taking blaim or apologizing for the continuously rising unemployment, simply claiming that he’s still working to find new options and giving a little sentiment for those unemployed. Barack Obama attributes the fact that the unemployment rate has  gotten to only 9.8 because of his Keynesian initiatives.

I’m sure that after over eight months in office, the president with all the Congressional majority he needs should have been infinitely capable of saving the economy from the 10 percent figure, which is double what unemployment was just 9 short months ago. The president  needs to be capable of admitting that he made mistakes and that blame must be assessed.

Obama’s great stimulus, originally glorified as quick and effective recovery, is turning out to not be as such. The Real Gross Domestic Product has fallen and there have been no signs of recovery. The Keynesian belief that saving is inherently a flaw in the free market is crumbling, and it is growing evermore evident that the glorified Keynesian deficit spending cannot effectively be managed by government.

Dignity, honor, and respect are generally good qualities in a president, and not admitting failure shows one’s pride, but to not even apologize for a slow recovery seems heartless. If America is to have an honorable president, he shouldn’t be afraid to say he’s sorry.

The March on Washington

September 12, 2009

It appears that my proposal to the teaparty movement was successful. Tens of thousands of protesters, according to Fox News, marched on Washington to protest government expansion. It is officially the largest fiscally-conservative protest that has ever been brought to Washington DC. If not the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in a long time, it is the most promising. Activism always leaves a mark, and hopefully this time it will be enough.

Unfortunately, and perhaps intentionally, Obama wasn’t in town for the event, according to the LA Times. Barack Obama was rallying support in Minneapolis for his healthcare overhaul and the government health insurance program while the TEA Party’s rally was under way. Humorously enough, more protesters came to Washington than supporters to Minneapolis.

Given this and the fact that polls have been overwhelmingly against the bill, Congress may not have the guts to pass Obama’s healthcare overhaul. Things are brightening up.

Using Ted Kennedy to Pass Healthcare Overhaul

September 6, 2009

Democrats, including Chris Dodd and John Kerry, have been calling for bipartisanship following the death of Ted Kennedy, according to CNN.

Why they expect Congressmen to drop all of their principles and support such a destructive and unread bill, not anyone would dare guess. When Karl Marx, one of the greatest historical advocates of communism, died, not anyone expected us to change our capitalist ways. The question remains: How is this any different?

It is fair to consider Marx intelligent and well-meaning, as we can consider Kennedy. Their both being lifelong advocates of sweeping reform of which most of the population opposes on ideological premises stands as another striking similarity between these cases. Both individuals worked on getting their reform passed, for decades even, and all in vain.

So, while we honor the dedication and contributions of Ted Kennedy, we shall continue to disagree with him posthumously, contrary to the wishes of the Democratic Party.

Recession Update: Economy Worsens

August 7, 2009

CNN made a decieving headline today: “Jobless rate down for first time in a year”. What is perhaps comical is that the only “jobless rate” that was down was the number of jobs being lost (“only” 247,000 jobs were lost in July). What the headline implied was that the unemployment rate had decreased, when in reality,  unemployment is still on the rise. Indeed, we are in the middle of the deflationary spiral. The same CNN article acknowledges that the national unemployment rate will likely increase to the double digits.

While it may be a little early to call Obama’s economic policy a failure (seeing as most of those “shovel-ready” projects will not begin until the end of next year), there certainly has been little to no recovery. In the middle of July, when the markets usually boom due to the spending of savings on family vacations, the only good news was that fewer jobs were lost than the month before and the unemployment rate fell 0.1%.

Obama’s manipulation of the the banking industry doesn’t appear to have done too much help, either. According to Fox Business, due to continued real-estate deflation and instability, banks are continuing to experience significant losses. Of course, Obama’s solution to this problem is another bailout, this time of the real-estate industry. Based off of our experience of past bailouts, the real-estate bailout will likely shift the instability elsewhere, while keeping the real problem in place.

Confidence in Washington Falling Considerably

July 25, 2009

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, thirteen states now have double digit unemployment rates. As a result of the lack of improvement, many Americans are now questioning Washington’s ability to combat this problem. In fact, a new Fox News Poll indicates that a majority of Americans doubt that the Obama Administration has any clear plan for fixing the economy. The poll results also indicate that 73% of Americans doubt that Congress has such a plan either.

As of Healthcare, the poll indicates that most Americans don’t believe that major health care reform can occur without increasing taxes and the budget deficit. In fact, 64% of Americans would rather have their ailments treated by private health insitutions than by the federal government. Further, only 3% of Americans consider thier current healthcare quality poor.

What was perhaps most interesting about this poll was the last question:  “Do you think members of Congress should be required to read and know the details of legislation before they can vote on it — even if the bill is thousands of pages long?” The bipartisan answer was a resounding 92% yes.

So what does this all mean? It means that America has lost confidence in Washington. America has even lost confidence in Obama. Change has failed. Hope has backfired. What do we have left?

Rachel Maddow Exposes Illegal CIA Program, For Sure

July 21, 2009

“The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC is a hot item for fans of the ultra-Left. She was on top of Dick Cheney’s cover-up of a massive secret CIA program to assassinate foreign leaders. In case you missed it, you can see how she cleverly put together the facts from New York Times articles and interviews with a Congresswomen. It’s on YouTube

She followed up with further analysis revealing that in all probability some of the secret assassinations were blundered, so that a cover-up was necessary to protect the Bush Administration. That’s why Vice President Cheney ordered the CIA not to brief Congress on the program. A dozen small clues were fit together under Maddow’s scrutiny to show convincingly that at the very least a Congression investigation was merited, and with almost certainty Cheney should be prosecuted as a criminal.

Maddow received a Ph.D. in Political Science as a Rhodes Scholar to Oxford. She must have the brilliant mind needed to put the pieces together.

As the story unfolded, Maddow didn’t bother to mention a few press reports that others might have found relevant.

1. General Hayden, CIA director under Bush after George Tenet, told the press that he kept congress fully informed of the scope and substance of anti-terrorist activities. He said had never been directed by anyone not to brief Congress.

“A former intelligence official who was familiar with former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden’s tenure at the CIA said Hayden never communicated with the president or vice president about the now-canceled program and was under no restrictions from Cheney about congressional briefings. The official said Hayden was briefed two or three times. … The former intelligence official familiar with Hayden said Congress has a right to contemporaneous information about all CIA activities. But he said there are so many in such early stages that briefing Congress on every one would be too time consuming for both the CIA and the congressional committees.” AP

2. The “massive” program consumed $1 million over eight years. Taking into account the overhead on employees, that translates to about one person working on it for each of the eight years, provided the person didn’t do much traveling. the total budget for national intelligence is around $45 billion. If Congress wishes to be briefed in $1 million increments, that would make 45,000 convenient packages.

3. The program really wasn’t a program. A program is a plan that is put into action. this one never got beyond the study phase. The law requires that Congress be briefed on “anticipated intelligence action.” No intelligence action is anticipated until a plan is ready to be acted upon, and this one never made it to that point. It died in development.

CIA spokesman George Little said Panetta had no regrets about briefing Congress. But he reiterated that the plan never got off the ground. … The program he killed was never fully operational and never took a single terrorist off the battlefield,” Little said. “Those are facts he shared with Congress. We’ve had a string of successes against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, and that program didn’t contribute to any of them.” quoted by Fox News

4. The persons subject to potential assassination were al Queda leaders. It would be a scandal if the CIA was not thinking about how to assassinate al Queda leaders.

In a follow-up report, Maddow interviewed a former State Department official who work for Colin Powell. He knew nothing whatsoever that was relevant, but was willing to opine that Maddow’s analysis was surely correct. When that program appeared, Gen. Hayden had already denied that he had never been ordered to keep the activity from Congress. Maddow didn’t bother to mention that fact. That was the pattern throughout.

As a true-believing ideologue, Maddow might be expected to dismiss contrary evidence as a pack of lies. “Of course Hayden denies it. What would you expect?” “Only $1 million? That’s not what we hear.” It is the stock and trade of conspiracy theorists to dismiss contrary evidence as “obvious lies.” They are pronounced lies because they contradict the theory.

Maddow went beyond that. Maddow’s concealing the contrary evidence entirely crosses the line between errant analysis and outright propaganda. Perhaps new evidence will be revealed that vindicates Maddow’s analysis. That is possible. That would not excuse gross editing of the contrary evidence. Even an ideologically-motivated commentator has an obligation to acknowledge contrary information, even if subsequently dismissing it.

Why might Cheney have instructed the CIA not to brief Congress initially, if the program were not a massive cover up. It’s pure speculation, but perhaps it had something to do with Congress’ spotty record at keeping secrets. When Panetta killed the program, the news of it was publiched within weeks.