Rarely, if ever, has a sitting president displayed so many examples of so many qualities so unbecoming as were flagrantly displayed at his June 29 press conference.

Bully pres in his bully pulpit

By Henry Lamb

Rarely, if ever, has a sitting president displayed so many examples of so many qualities so unbecoming as were flagrantly displayed at his June 29 press conference.

The purpose of the event was to chide Republicans into voting to raise the debt-ceiling before the August 2nd deadline. Obama said:

“The fact that we’re here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign — is a sign of leadership failure. Leadership means the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

Ooooops! That’s what Obama said in 2006.

On June 29th,2011, it was a different story. According to the new, revised, version, Obama now says that if Republicans won’t vote to raise the debt ceiling, soldiers won’t get paid. Social security checks won’t be mailed, babies will have no milk. The markets will fall, the global economy will collapse, and the world will go to hell in a hand-basket – and it will all be the fault of the nasty Republicans.

What a load of crap, delivered on national television no less.

Congressional Republicans must do this immediately: introduce legislation to set spending priorities from existing revenues in lieu of raising the debt ceiling. The legislation should instruct the President to pay from current revenues the following items in the listed priority:

1. Interest payments on the national debt.

2. Payroll of U.S. Service men and women

3. Social security payments

4. Essential federal employees

5. Medicare payments

All other federal payments – subject to availability of current revenue. No more borrowing!

Of course, the President would never sign such a bill, even if the Senate were to pass it. But wouldn’t it be fun listening to Harry Reid and Obama try to explain why they are unwilling to do with the federal government what every family has to do when it runs out of money?

Obama’s silly rhetoric at the press conference was embarrassingly offensive: chiding Congress for loafing while he was on the job working hard to kill bin Laden, liberate Libya, attend two-dozen fund-raisers, perform regular inspections of prestigious golf courses, bounce around the globe on Air Force One, and make campaign ads in the White House promising to have dinner with the lucky winner of a campaign raffle. If this were not enough to make a black man blush, he also made a few factually incorrect statements of sufficient magnitude that even the Bachman/Palin media hounds should be distracted. He said:

“If you are a wealthy CEO or a health – hedge fund manager in America right now, your taxes are lower than they have ever been.”

This statement is factually incorrect, of course. The highest tax rate has been lower than the current rate twice in recent years, as much as seven percent lower than the current rate. Watch the Bachman/Palin media hounds jump on this one.

When asked if hostilities in Libya is a violation of the War Powers act, Obama refused to answer. Instead, he went off on a tirade about how the wicked Muammar Qaddafi murdered Americans, and how he was acting under a U.N. mandate, and what a glorious thing it was he was doing that was not really a war, but simply providing humanitarian protection.

Then, in a feeble attempt to ridicule Republicans, he says of the War Powers Act question: “And this suddenly becomes the cause célèbre for some folks in Congress? Come on.”

Attention Barack: President or not, you cannot bully, ridicule, misstate, teleprompt, or perform your way around your obvious disdain for the U.S. Constitution, free markets, and the idea of limited government. You fooled the electorate once. Never again. You have displayed your true colors unmistakably. You may count on the people who share your socialist philosophy to vote for you again. You can rely on big labor, GE, NBC, MSNBC, Time, the New York Times, and other admirers of Marxist thinking. But you can no longer deceive the vast majority of Americans, who have now seen through your snake-oiled rhetoric.

Your ineptitude, inexperience, lack of judgment, and apparent allegiance to Alinski’s “Rules for Radicals,” all of which combined to produce the national disaster that now shrouds the nation, is so abundantly clear that even the blind will find a better candidate to receive their vote in the next election.

The bully pulpit is no place for a bully president. America has now suffered through nearly three years of both. Surely, there is hope on the horizon. It’s almost certain that a change of any sort in the presidency would be an improvement, and a definite step up from the current level of incompetency.

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/worldview-times/article.php?articleid=7296
Distributed by http://www.worldviewweekend.com

Barack Obama is a Bad Man

June 21, 2011

By Jay Clarke

When he first entered the national political arena, I thought Barack Obama was a sincere man, mistaken in his political beliefs, but an honest advocate of them. Today, like millions of Americans, my evaluation of Barack Obama would be quite different.

Without attempting to go over every policy, speech, and embarrassment to explain what is wrong with the man, I might just sum it up the way that many parents do when teaching their sons and daughters about right and wrong. “Obama,” I would say, “is a bad man.”

What people do matters. But, who they are determines their behavior. Who they are will express itself in what they do on a consistent, regular basis.

As human beings we all make mistakes. We sin. But, people who are bad make a lifelong, regular habit out of it and have very little, if any, sense of remorse. Actually, they rather enjoy it. There’s a sense of autonomy, self-determination, and blazing one’s own path that seems to thrive in a person who recognizes no rules but his/her own and no authority other than the desires of his/her own heart.

In his book, People of the Lie, M. Scott Peck tackles a problem that most psychiatrists and therapists avoid. The problem is bad people, or as Peck describes the issue, “evil.” Peck concludes that evil people are outside the norm of healthy, human behavior, but they’re not crazy or delusional. They’re quite sane, which makes them all the more terrifying. They are dysfunctional members of society. In a nutshell, bad people lack two critical human characteristics that the rest of us share and admire.

#1. They lack Honesty. They lie.

Most people lie to prevent embarrassment or to cover an error. It’s not a way of life. Bad people lie all the time and about almost everything. It’s purposeful and automatic. It’s part of who they are. It’s how they live, it’s how they function, and it’s how they manipulate, gain advantage, and achieve success. They lie with reckless abandon and they are really good at it. Mix a little truth into a lie, add some well-contrived sincerity, and it’s instantly believable.

We’ve all met people like this. Something about them sets off alarms in our intuitive brain. We don’t know why, but we know they’re lying and we’re being deceived. If asked to repeat what the lie was, it would be tough to nail down. Bad people are really, really good liars. If challenged, they will back-pedal and change their story until they can find solid ground to stand on which cannot be questioned or refuted. Victory. Trained therapists have a difficult time divining truth from fiction when faced with such a person whose very identity is rooted in half-truths. A common way of referring to these bad people is that they are “like nailing jello to the wall.” It’s almost impossible to pin them down.

#2. They lack Empathy.

Empathy is the ability to put one’s self in the shoes of another, even if only for a moment. To be a good person, empathy is required. It is the essential ingredient in humanity and is deeply embedded in our culture. Americans care. We care because we have empathy. It’s in our national DNA. It’s in our religious texts. We teach it to our children every day and we gladly help others when we’re able because it’s the right thing to do.

Bad people view empathy as a weakness to be exploited. But, they do care about themselves. A lot. Passionately. They are the “Me Generation” on steroids. Spouses, children, and friends don’t matter. Not really. They’re valued only to the extent that they can provide support, praise, honor, and adulation. Bad people live for that. If they cannot garner praise and adoration from their reluctant relatives, it’s just as satisfying to intimidate, control, and manipulate them. The ability to instill fear in others is a powerful narcotic to their warped sensitivities. Bad people use and abuse others. They feed off of the insecurities of others and exploit their vulnerabilities. If the targets of their exploitation refuse to show fear or admiration they will be abandoned, family and friends included, with a shocking coldness. The unfortunate souls who find themselves living with these monsters will often develop significant mental, emotional, and physical symptoms. It is a horrific nightmare.

Bad people come to us as sweetness and light, charming, intelligent, confident, and often successful. But, they are chameleons who will say whatever is necessary in order to get what they want and do what they may. No truth. No empathy. No soul. Shape-shifting through life they reinvent themselves to suit their audience so as to be everything to everyone. Inside, they are soulless. Alone. Scared. Afraid of being found out and exposed as a fraud. Their fragile self-image hides behind a facade of confidence, humor, and “I’m above it all.” Hence, they appear arrogant, haughty, and cannot bear scorn or reproach.

Barack Obama is one of these bad people. He’s dishonest, narcissistic, and pinning him down can be like nailing jello to the wall. He’s all things to all people, but he is no one — an empty vessel. He uses people and then disposes of them when it’s expedient. His grandmother, his spiritual mentor, anyone who becomes an inconvenience is thrown under the now infamous bus. He is adept at mockery and ridicule. His arrogance is legendary. His skin is decidedly thin and he cannot bear to be contradicted or challenged. He works, not for the American People but, for himself.

Obama’s presidency is a lot like Obama. It’s all about him. His needs. His wants. The nation’s crises can’t compete with his love of golf, parties, or globe-trotting vacations. After all, in his mind, he deserves these creature comforts. Despite his appearance of confidence, Obama’s is an empty soul in search of fulfillment. The salve for his wounded heart is the acquisition of raw power. Power that is unimpeded, unopposed, and subject only to the capricious whims of a self-conscious, adolescent boy housed in a middle-aged man’s body. Nothing less will do.

Fortunately for us, there’s an election in 2012. Unfortunately, there are still Americans willing to reelect this alien that inhabits the White House. They need to know who he really is. Someone needs to tell them just like their mom and dad used to. Someone needs to help them understand.

To all Obama supporters:

America is depending on you, the electorate, to do the right thing. When you vote on November 6th, 2012, please do so carefully. Consider your country. Resist the temptation to vote the party line. America is in trouble and needs a president who believes in America and values Americans. Remember this as you choose your candidate:

Barack Obama is a bad man. A very bad man indeed.

Jay Clarke is a businessman and life-long Conservative from Southern California. Like many people, he has held a number of careers during his life time including 9 years as an EMT/Paramedic, 4 years as a music pastor and 19 years as a small business owner. He’s a proud husband, father and grandfather.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2011/06/barack_obama_is_a_bad_man.html at June 27, 2011 – 03:30:13 PM CDT

The Insolvency Index

June 20, 2011

By Steve McCann

In the early 1970’s economist Arthur Okun developed the Misery Index. This was intended to measure or put in some context the real-world suffering of the individual during an economic downturn. It was also simple in its nature, as the index was a combination of the inflation rate and the unemployment rate; as such it was easy to understand and relate to.

Today the issue is not just the suffering of individual citizens in countries throughout the world (and the United States) but the financial survival of these nations. Never before in history have so many countries, particularly in the West, faced such dire economic prospects.

A snapshot of the present-day health of any nation can be ascertained by reviewing two factors: annual government budget deficits as a per cent of Gross Domestic Product and the unemployment rate. The accelerated level of deficit spending, except in times of a major war (such as World War II), is indicative of a lack of fiscal discipline and tax revenues sufficient to finance those expenditures. These revenues can only come about from a growing economy and near full employment. When high deficits are coupled with a dramatic increase in unemployment for more than two or three years in a row, that country has embarked on a dangerous road that will lead to insolvency if not addressed quickly.

Total national debt as a percent of GDP, while important and meaningful, becomes critical only when a country cannot meet its current debt obligations as a result of declining revenues, which are a byproduct of high unemployment as well as continued over-spending. Some governments, for ideological reasons, and some who do not wish to confront reality choose to begin running extremely large annual deficits, which accelerates the growth of the national debt and also results in dramatically slower growth of the GDP. This is the start of a never-ending death spiral unless spending is dramatically curtailed and the GDP grows, creating more jobs and thus tax revenues.

If a nation wishes to maintain its solvency and continue to expand its economy, it should not experience deficits higher than 3% of its GDP and, in today’s quasi-welfare societies, unemployment rate above 6 to 7%. On an aggregate basis a combination of these factors should always remain below 10. The higher the index above 10, the greater the problems that country is experiencing and viable solutions to solve these dilemmas will be increasingly difficult to enact.

When viewed on this basis an “insolvency index” (a combination of the current budget deficit as a per cent of GDP and the current unemployment rate) of various nations throughout the world would be as follows over the past three years (http://www.indexmundi.com):

Among those nations presently facing insolvency, which have required or soon will require bailouts:

        2009  Index          2010 Index           2011 Index
Greece               24.8                20.2                 24.3
Ireland               24.4                45.7                 24.6
Spain               26.1                29.7                 28.0
Portugal               19.8                20.2                 21.7

On the other hand there are some countries that have weathered the financial crisis of 2008 very well by controlling their spending and adopting fiscal policies geared to expand their economies.  Among them are:

      2009  Index        2010  Index        2011  Index
Australia              10.5                9.8                8.5
Canada              13.2               11.2              10.4
Germany              12.5               11.1                9.7

Where does the United States stand by comparison (the Obama Years):

         2009  Index           2010  Index        2011 Index Est.  2012  Index
               19.1                 18.5               20.7               18.0

Other notable U.S. historical Index highlights:

1983 (the peak of the last major recession and highest index since 1947) 15.5

2002 (after the 9/11 terrorist attacks): 6.58

2008 (financial market collapse): 9.0

The Bush Years (2001-2008): 7.4

The Obama Years (2009-2012): 19.1

Sources: Deficit as percent of GDP (http://usgovernmentspending.com/index.php)

Unemployment rate (http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0104719.html)

From 1947 through 2008, the U.S. experienced only three years with an index above 12.2. The average index of the 61 years prior to 2009 was 6.9 it was during this period that America experienced the greatest era of wealth creation in the history of mankind.

Barack Obama has nearly succeeded in remaking the country into the worst of European socialist states. With deficits in the trillions of dollars coupled with high unemployment over such a prolonged period, the United States, unless it makes massive cuts in spending, is facing insolvency — a word that is being more frequently bandied about in various financial circles. Particularly as the Obama administration and the Democrats show no inclination in promoting policies to stimulate economic growth as a means of job creation and deficit reduction, and are obstinate in their refusal to initiate significant spending reductions.

Recently the President of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, Richard Fisher said: “If we continue down the path on which the fiscal authorities put us, we will become insolvent, the question is when.” Bill Gross, President of the largest bond fund in the world, Pimco, has been outspoken in his belief that the U. S. is already insolvent as he divested Pimco of all their U.S. Treasuries. The International Monetary Fund on the 17th of June:

… cut its forecast for U.S. economic growth and warned Washington and debt-ridden European countries that they are “playing with fire” unless they take immediate steps to reduce their budget deficits.

The United States must reverse the current “insolvency index.” If it does not, then America will follow the path of Greece, Ireland, and others into insolvency and bankruptcy. The images on television of the riots and civil unrest in Greece — due to the need to make drastic changes to the spending habits of the government and expectations of the people — will be repeated on American streets.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2011/06/new_key_number_the_solvency_index.html at June 27, 2011 – 03:29:09 PM CDT

Leftist versus Conservative Morality

June 18, 2011

The Honor of Leftists and Conservatives

By Bruce Walker

The political news is filled with three personal scandal stories: Anthony Weiner is resigning because of his lying; John Edwards has been indicted, basically for lying; and the jury is still out (literally) in the trial of Rod Blagojevich for lying. Can anyone connect the dots of the broader political story? Here are some more hints: name the American president who — see the video — looked angrily into the camera and said: “I want you to listen to me. I’m not going to say this again. I did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anyone to lie, not a single time, never.” Another president — see the video — says his father served in the Second World War (although he was a seven-year-old boy in Kenya at the time).

A certain vice president invents a story about his wife being killed by a drunk driver, as Thomas Lifson has pointed out here and claims as his own brilliant rhetoric a speech written by British politician Neil Kinnock. Another vice president speaks of lullabies of “Look for the Union Label,” a song written when he was twenty-seven, and he claims to have severed ties with tobacco companies after his sister died in 1984, when he continued to receive speaking fees and voting on behalf of tobacco, in fact bragging about that to tobacco growers in 1988. Another vice presidential candidate — of the same political party! — lies to his wife dying of cancer, induces an aide to lie about fathering his child, and puts together a string of lies which Darrell West of the Brookings Institute calls “one of the worst strings of candidate deception in recent memory.”

A certain presidential candidate tells America that he recalls being in Cambodia over Christmas 1968, when Richard Nixon was president. This matters because his service in Vietnam was the centerpiece of his credentials for higher office and because, as he puts it, this episode was “seared into my memory.” Then it turns out that his boat mates, including his friends, all say that he was never in Cambodia and historians point out that Nixon was not president in 1968.

A Speaker of the House insists that the CIA had not briefed her on enhanced interrogation techniques, until sheepish members of her own party point out that is a, well, lie. A New York governor who wages relentless war against anyone he suspects or accuses of lying, lies himself as he also engages in sex with a young prostitute as well.

All Democrats — all leftist Democrats too. But the personal ethics extend beyond even lying. Spitzer frequented prostitutes. Blagojevich tried, blatantly, to sell a Senate seat. Clinton did not just have affairs; he is credibly accused of molesting many women and, perhaps, violently raping Juanita Broadrick. John Edwards was having a sleazy affair while his wife battled breast cancer, something contemptible almost beyond words.

All of above are Democrats, of course, but more than that they are leftists as well. Compare the really creepy trio of Weiner, Edwards, and Blagojevich with the six Republicans who just participated in the New Hampshire Debates (forget, please, for the moment politics, and think only of personal honor). Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachmann, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum have never been accused of adultery or perjury or any personal misconduct like that.

All of them have been happily married to the same spouse. Michele Bachmann and her husband have raised many foster children (the contrast with John Edwards denying his own child is telling). Mr. and Mrs. Santorum have such a principled Pro-Life stand that they have had two children with very serious health problems, one of whom, Gabriel, died. Like Sarah Palin and her husband with Trig, these people walk the walk about the sanctity of life. Rick Perry, another who may jump in the race, is an Eagle Scout and retired veteran, married to the same spouse and not connected with any personal scandals at all.

The single Republican with personal problems is Newt, who had an affair while married, and his campaign is going nowhere fast. Comparing the sexual misconduct of Democrats with Republicans is simply stunning: George H.W. Bush, Dan Quayle, Bob Dole, Jack Kemp, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, John McCain, Sarah Palin, and all the six major announced Republican candidates have been free of even the hint of marital infidelity.

Moreover, none of these fourteen Republicans — fifteen, if you want to count Rick Perry — has told the sort of juvenile lies that Clinton did or Kerry did or Gore did or Biden did or Edwards did. Why? Conservatives do not propound the quasi-totalitarian notion that lying can simply be the means to a worthwhile goal. We believe, instead, that how we live our lives is itself the end. Government is a necessary evil and not a noble end. That means sins are very real. Adultery, for example, is not okay unless you get caught nor are babies blessings only when convenient.

A good society is constructed only on a foundation of honorable people obeying a Blessed Creator. This does not mean we do not sin; we know all too well that we sin. Bush had a serious drinking problem, which he licked. McCain called the failure of his marriage the greatest failure of his life. Leftists, however, do not just sin, but lie about sinning and corral others to lie for them. The left believes lying is okay and sin is a “private matter.” That is why Blago, Edwards, and Weiner are all in the news these days and why the six Republicans in New Hampshire recently will never face those problems.

Bruce Walker is the author of a new book: Poor Lenin’s Almanac: Perverse Leftists Proverbs for Modern Life.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2011/06/the_honor_of_leftists_and.html at June 27, 2011 – 03:27:11 PM CDT

More B.O. Than Anyone Can Stand

June 23, 2011

By Ralph Alter

America has gotten a steady whiff of B.O. emanating from the White House and its environs for two and a half years now, and even those notoriously asnomiac leftists closest to our foundering President are holding their noses.

Obama’s devoted followers, mainly the leftist simpletons in the press claque, continue to find imaginative new ways to structure polling questions designed to maintain the illusion that B.O. is not only still popular, but well-nigh unbeatable. While Gallup reports that a generic Republican now beats Obama by 5 points, take into consideration that the polling sample includes twice as many Democrats as constitute the actual voting population and includes only those with primitive land-line telephones who are so bored and out-of-touch with the real world that they are willing to answer their land-line and reveal their politically correct inability to tell the truth about America’s Biggest Loser for fear of being labeled a racist.

The fact of the matter is that if the election were to be held today, Obama would lose by 5 points to your mother-in-law, by 7 points to Muammar Ghaddafy, and possibly by double digits to Gary Busey. David Axelrod might think it’s still cool to like Obama, but who’s taking advice on coolness from a guy with an Hitler comb-over and mustache? Check the photos — they appear to have separated at birth. Maybe the people watching Jersey Shore still think it’s cool to be stupid, but they aren’t very likely to be able to carry the election for Obie Done.

With all the talk about the weakness of the current crop of Republican presidential candidates, did you ever stop to think how the Flower of Affirmative Action got nominated in the first place? The Democrat slate was so weak in 2008 that über-sleazoid John Edwards was a serious contender and actually bamboozled 4.5 delegates to vote for him at the convention, despite the fact that he was battling with National Enquirer reporters in hotel bathrooms to keep his baby-mama under wraps. Other serious contenders included the morally bankrupt Chris Dodd, the charismatically bankrupt New Mexico governor, Bill Richardson, the intellectually bankrupt Joe Biden and the spiritually, philosophically, and morphologically bankrupt queen of spite and smoocher of the Arafats, Hillary Clinton. Did I leave out Dennis Kucinich? Doesn’t every serious person leave out Dennis Kucinich?

Never mind that pre-Tea Party Republicans allowed the media and the cross-over primary voting processes in several states to choose Senator Doofus of Arizona as our candidate, a man who deservedly served as the caboose in his graduating class from the Naval Academy. McCain is such a pitiful excuse for a Republican that he makes the other RINOs look Reaganesque in comparison.

The B.O. Media has already found its 2012 version of McCain and is scavenging to gin up support for Jon Huntsman. He’s pals with B.O. and the Chinese and believes in global warming. I guess you could say that Romney and Huntsman are members of the Latter Day Republicans.

Huntsman, like his aisle-crossing predecessor McCain, may just be the only nominally Republican candidate incapable of thrashing the golfing, basketball playing, ice-cream cone eating, Israel-bashing, United Kingdom-dissing, czar-appointing, bowing and scraping imposter currently spending America’s money like an aircraft carrier full of drunken sailors. Huntsman’s speeches all have that John McCain coda: “I respect the President.”

Trouble is, fewer and fewer do. Conservatives believe he is a socialist and redistributionist. Liberals think he’s taken on too many of George Bush’s policies. Moderates don’t really believe much of anything anyway, but you can bet they concur with the libs and conservatives that B.O. is a liar. It’s gotten so bad that when B.O. tried to suggest to his own Democratic National Committee that his administration had created over 2.1 million jobs in the past 15 months, the closed caption script suggested laughter. Of course he has since gotten the Huffington Post and his WH staff to switch the description from “Laughter” to “Applause,” but the Caesar from Indonesia is no longer fooling anybody.

If it weren’t for the torrential rains across the Midwest and the unusual tornado activity there, people in Idaho would be able to smell this administration, whose policies decidedly stink on ice. His foreign policies are Carteresque, his economic policies are Hooveresque, and his administration’s ethics are Clintonesque. B.O.’s approach to the Presidency is so abhorrent, that he may actually be able to accomplish something that even Jimmy Carter couldn’t do: he might actually lose the votes of liberal Jewish Americans.

It must have been hard for the crossover voters like Christopher Buckley and Peggy Noonan in 2008 to pull the lever in the voting booth while holding their noses. It should be even harder in 2012 with the other hand held over their eyes. You can bet B.O. will find some new ACORN style assistants to help out in the voting booth, but even that won’t be enough.

B.O. is Hawaiian toast. The latest polls show that merely 30% of voters intend to vote for Obama in 2012. Support for B.O. is falling like the Roadrunner with an anvil racing off a cliff. He will be lucky to carry Hawaii and Bernie Sanders. B.O.unbeatable? B.S.

Ralph Alter is a regular contributor to American Thinker. He blogs at http://www.rightot.blogspot.com

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2011/06/more_bo_than_anyone_can_stand.html at June 23, 2011 – 08:12:07 AM CDT

If you’re not both angry and scared at the world’s current situation, you’re not paying attention.

June 20, 2011

Twenty-Nine Reasons to Be Angry And/Or Scared

By Monty Pelerin

If you’re not both angry and scared at the world’s current situation, you’re not paying attention.

Rained out from a planned and anticipated golf game is not a good thing.  As a result, I find myself confined to the house and computer in a less than jovial mood and decided to list a few problems in the world today.  The list grew beyond my intentions.

In no particular order, and hardly complete, is the following enumerated list:

  1. The Eurozone is imploding and likely will be unable to hold in its present constitution, if at all.
  2. Fiat currencies are being debased rapidly in a “beggar thy neighbor” attempt to juice domestic economies.  Competitive devaluations provide no advantage when other countries match the debauchery.
  3. More money/debt/federal spending is not economic policy if you view same as being able to fix or improve something.  Such action is merely political, a form of political propaganda to convince the masses that the economy is improving.  Temporarily propping up reported GDP may provide better headlines, but does not create jobs.
  4. The purpose of so-called quantitative easing is to shore up bankrupt governments.  The action itself is a form of default, albeit in slow motion.  Pretending to honor commitments while inflating their value away is a criminal offense, but for government it passes for economic policy.
  5. Inflation has broken out around the world, regardless of what government statistics say.  Food and commodity prices are soaring, and these hit the least well-off the hardest.  Rising prices of necessities serves to make them poorer and more desperate.
  6. Citizen unrest around the world does not reflect some idealistic demand for Democracy as claimed by our political class and media.  This unrest results from increasing hunger, loss of hope, and desperation by people of the world.  Food prices are being driven beyond their ability to pay.  They want something to eat, not some philosophy called Democracy.
  7. Unrest will grow worse as food, energy and other necessities become more expensive.  The unrest started in poorer countries but, as prices continue to rise, will spread to more affluent nations.  Can “Democratic movements” occur in supposedly already democratic societies?
  8. The “outs” in oppressive societies want to overthrow the “ins” in order to gain the right to plunder rather than be plundered.  Retribution also plays a role.  In a very real sense, these movements are little more than large-scale “gang wars” where one gang attempts to gain “turf” at the expense of another.  Each battles for the right to own and exploit the “neighborhood.”
  9. Western social welfare states are broke and unable to honor their commitments.  Sovereign defaults and austerity measures are inevitable.
  10. Citizens of social welfare states, conditioned to believe they have the right to be supported by productive members of society, will not accept austerity measures willingly.  Rioting and bloodshed will be most severe in the more pampered societies.
  11. Political fear will prevent meaningful corrective action.  Governments will continue the charade of solvency via continued printing of money.  They know it will not improve the economy, but it will enable them to continue to send out checks.
  12. Inflation will ratchet up higher as a result of money-printing.  That will only exacerbate civil unrest as the poor will be squeezed even more.
  13. Developed economies are no longer growing.  Most have not had true economic growth for decades.  Excessive debt and easy credit were used to hide this reality in the US.  It enabled living standards not supportable by incomes.  Now debt is unsustainable and cannot be serviced.
  14. A massive liquidation of debt is coming.  Some of it will be via contractual paydown.  Some of it may be inflated away, but most will be via default, producing numerous bankruptcies.
  15. Job creation is a problem in all Western developed countries.  In the advanced social welfare states of Europe it has been a chronic problem for decades.  The US economy now suffers from the sclerotic disease that characterizes Socialism.
  16. Decades of increasing regulation on business, employment, and incomes have finally taken their toll.  These interventions have resulted in an economic climate where obtaining a reasonable return on investment is no longer perceived to be worth the increased risk associated with it.
  17. Entrepreneurs and businesses withhold capital and refuse to hire in uncertain times.
  18. Many businesses have voted with their feet, moving jobs and capital offshore to escape onerous regulations and taxes.
  19. The continuously increasing redistribution of income means more has to be extracted from fewer producers to support the growing dependency class.  Anticipation of higher taxes reduces the incentives to take risk, work hard, or employ more people.  Economies do not grow or recover under such circumstances.
  20. GDP numbers are inflated by wasteful government spending.  But this spending is merely window-dressing.  It creates no new wealth, products, or productive jobs.  It is another form of redistribution that moves societies closer to bankruptcy.  Despite a reported increased in GDP, nothing has improved.  That is one reason why GDP can increase without employment increasing.
  21. Central banks and their banking systems are insolvent.  The amount of insolvency is difficult to estimate but is well into the trillions!  Citizens have been looted to cover up this insolvency and bail out Washington’s friends in the financial community.  Sadly, all of this has been for naught, as a collapse of fractional-reserve banking is inevitable.
  22. China is in an inflationary bubble with massive misallocation of resources.  Underreported riots are breaking out in China where political unrest is a national sport.
  23. China is the future economic world power, but that future has not yet arrived.  Its current economic condition is likely not sustainable as a result of the distortions of central planning.  It is a house of cards, awaiting a collapse.
  24. Political strife in China will become severe when the economy implodes.  How this turmoil is reconciled will determine how quickly China recovers and rises to become a world economic power.  The political leaders and their apparatchiks will try to retain control with tougher restrictions on citizens.  Ultimately they will fail, but it will prevent the true potential of China from being realized until free markets are embraced.  That could be several generations away.
  25. The US and other Western democracies have solved nothing regarding their economic problems.  These countries, including the US, are heading for currency and societal collapses.
  26. The massive debt problems of Western economies are mathematically impossible to solve.  Massive defaults will have to occur eventually.
  27. Real economic recovery cannot occur until the debt excesses are eliminated.  Kicking the can down the road might be considered good political strategy, but it is terribly harmful economically.
  28. The outlook for peace and tranquility in the world is not good.  Governments in danger of failing and falling everywhere are not above using diversions to distract angry citizens.  Some countries will probably be treated to “wag the dog” endeavors.  Desperate scoundrels will stop at nothing to extend their reign in office.
  29. I missed my golf game.

There is another item I could have added to this list, but it is too complex and much bigger and scarier than those above. It deals with the notion that most of the above problems do not result from this particular economic crisis. To be sure, most were exposed as a result of the current crisis, but that merely determined the timing of their revelation. Something else, much bigger and more permanent seems to be at play.

An economic crisis implies something of a relatively short duration with an eventual return to whatever represents a “normal” state.  Recessions are cyclical.  But so too was the Great Depression. While it lasted longer and was more severe than a recession, conditions returned to normal within a reasonable period of time.

What we are in, it appears to me, is the beginning of a massive secular change that will alter the way we view countries, economies and institutions.  It is much bigger than an economic cycle and likely will represent an epic movement in terms of history.  The history books a hundred or more years from now will recognize what happened more clearly than contemporary participants will be able to do.  The changes will be massive and glacier-like in movement.  No generation alive today will see the end of this massive secular change.

To be continued on the next rainy day.

 

Monty Pelerin blogs at www.economicnoise.com.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2011/06/twenty-nine_reasons_to_be_angry_andor_scared.html at June 20, 2011 – 09:46:04 PM

Republican Congressmens’ Courage to fight the ban on incandescent bulbs is dimming

June 20, 2011

Republicans Flicker On Light Bulb Ban Repeal

By Geoffrey P. Hunt

The Republican House is flinching on passing the simplest and most symbolic piece of legislation this term: repeal of the incandescent light bulb phase out. Amidst great fanfare and promises to restore limited government, the new majority is proving it isn’t much different than the old majority.

The incandescent phase out required under the so-called Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 starts with banning regular 100 watt light bulbs on Jan 1, 2012. 75 watters will be banned a year later. 60 watters fade in 2014.

Some of us still cling to a quaint notion that federal legislation ought to pass constitutional muster while fixing a problem serious enough to fix and do so while providing more benefits than the costs to implement. The light bulb ban fails to achieve all three:

1) it is unconstitutional (see my previous screed on this aspect);

2) is a solution without a problem; and

3) bears costs far in excess of any benefits.

The light bulb ban was inspired by environmental and energy conservation zealots spooked by the global warming lobby. And those economic rent-seeking players in the lighting industry who could benefit from legislated self-interest, were happy to join as co-conspirators. Those companies who were less enthused about the light bulb ban found resisting futile, in the end happy enough to delay the effective dates to allow for more orderly close down of factories and job eliminations.

So, what have learned since 2007? For starters, the global warming agenda has collapsed, polluted with data manipulation scandals. And where the data haven’t been tainted by hyper-partisans, independent measurements are proving that global warming predictions are as useful as pre-season college football polls.

We have also learned that coal fired power plants, the leading villain in the light bulb ban morality play, haven’t been affected one whit by energy conservation mandates for households. In fact not a single coal fired power plant has been taken off-line as a result of the steady conversion from household incandescents to CFLs in the past 5 years, and none ever will be. Those hyper-partisans from the likes of the Natural Resources Defense Council predicting that 30 coal fired plants would be eliminated due to the light bulb ban have never been challenged to name one. Name one, just one. Coal fired plants may get the axe from draconian EPA regs, but not from household light bulbs.

Defenders of the light bulb ban have failed to provide a single rationale why the government should meddle with consumer light bulbs. Do they present a safety hazard? No, certainly unlike the most prevalent replacement, the CFL laden with mercury. Do they present a performance or quality scam? Of course not, light output and reliability from incandescent light bulbs for household use has been the gold standard perfected over 75 years. And compared with any other light source that contains no hazardous components, incandescent light bulbs are still the cheapest product on the shelf.

The last remaining defense for the federal light bulb ban coming from NEMA, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the trade group for the light bulb industry, is the pre-emption defense. Because several states, notably California, were poised to enact their own consumer light bulb statutes — all different — the feds had to step in to create harmony. This is the bureaucrat’s defense, devoid of principle, arguing that bad legislation is better than something worse. If individual states want to enact different product standards, let the marketplace decide whether manufacturers will produce such versions and let those states bear the higher costs for their commercial isolationism.

No doubt Congressional Republicans who aided and abetted the 2007 light bulb ban, are now feeling sheepish, unwilling to admit they were bumfuzzled and bamboozled. Rather than admit a mistake having negligible consequences in confessing, they would rather persist in a supporting a law that completely contradicts the Republicans’ new agenda — less government interference, fewer regulations, moratoria on cost burdens passed on to businesses and consumers, and restored liberties to the people.

There is no downside for any Republican, and even many conservative Democrats, to vote yes on the light bulb ban repeal. Who would be harmed by a repeal? Workers facing layoffs or those already unemployed? Consumers facing fewer, more expensive and less effective choices on retail shelves? Retailers faced with ultra-life lightbulb substitutes seeing less traffic in their housewares aisles? Environmentalists and parents of young children who now have to cope with broad spectrum mercury contamination from kitchens and bedrooms to landfills?

What is the upside to vote upholding the light bulb ban? Is there any?

Who else would benefit from the repeal? Anyone in Congress who wants to get re-elected. And in addition to workers, consumers, retailers and environmentalists, the Republicans would benefit from proving their bona fides. The Republicans were swept into power by the force of the limited government agenda. Repealing the light bulb ban would at least be a symbolic victory, perhaps paving the way for more ambitious reversals.

Will the Republicans deliver the simplest legislative win on the path to stopping government interference in our daily lives — a task as easy as naming a post office? If not, there is no hope for repealing ObamaCare, reforming entitlements, reversing the EPA, enacting a balanced budget, or restoring the principles of limited government to this nation.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2011/06/republicans_flicker_on_light_bulb_ban_repeal.html at June 20, 2011 – 09:42:34 AM CDT

The qualities of moral purpose, self-restraint, and faith are not evident in Weiner’s behavior or in the left’s response to it.

June 17, 2011

To Sext, or Not to Sext

By Jeffrey Folks

“Pleasure’s a sin, and sometimes sin’s a pleasure,” or so Lord Byron wrote in Don Juan.

Byron himself was a larger-than-life figure, a romantic hero beside which our present-day Don Juans, from Bill Clinton to Anthony Weiner, are more of an embarrassment than anything else. Byron, who was characterized by one contemporary as “mad, bad, and dangerous to know,” was a true profligate, none of whose affairs were conducted via Facebook or Twitter.

Whether or not Byron was proud of his numerous indiscretions, including a possible dalliance with his half-sister, Augusta Leigh, I cannot say. But his actions fit right into the liberal template of unlimited personal freedom. Byron was an early product of amoral, non-judgmental ethic that has become all too familiar in our time.

William Faulkner once wrote that “no man is ever free, and he couldn’t stand it if he were.” Underlying Faulkner’s cautious observation is an ennobling conception of life that liberals like Anthony Weiner cannot seem to grasp: the idea that human conduct should be governed by moral purpose, self-restraint, and faith in the goodness of life. By its very nature, the purposeful life is necessarily outwardly directed. It would never have occurred to a traditionalist like Faulkner to post lewd photos anywhere, on the internet had it existed at the time or anywhere else. For one thing, it is wrong. For another, there is simply too much constructive work to be done to have time for this sort of mischief.

The qualities of moral purpose, self-restraint, and faith are not evident in Weiner’s behavior or in the left’s response to it. To the extent that the left abandoned Weiner, as Nancy Pelosi seemed to do immediately after his initial press conference, it was based on sheer political calculation. For his liberal colleagues, what Weiner did was not so much wrong as “dumb.”

It was dumb in the same sense that Obama’s dealings with Tony Rezko were “boneheaded,” as the President put it. Not wrong, but boneheaded, because they had the potential to sidetrack his presidential ambitions. The fact is that liberals like Weiner and Obama seem to think that there are no objective norms that apply personal conduct. For the left, freedom to conduct one’s personal life as one wishes, even if that conduct transgresses widely held moral beliefs, is viewed as a fundamental right.

For the left, in fact, not to challenge conventional morality is viewed with suspicion. There is always a concern that some vestige of repressive puritanism might be lurking in the background, and liberals feel compelled to manifest their opposition to it. The revelation that Jimmy Carter, seemingly a devout southern Baptist, read Playboy and “lusted in his heart” did not diminish his standing among American liberals. It may even have enlarged it, signaling that he was actually one of them.

By contrast, the embarrassing performance of George W. Bush on Saturday Night Live — he was said to have “laid an egg,” which indeed he did — was entirely predictable. To the SNL crowd, with their derisive attitude toward any display of morality, George and Laura Bush must have seemed like cultural dinosaurs impossibly loyal to outworn and repressive ideals. The fact that in his personal conduct George Bush was the most deeply moral president in recent history was simply one more reason for the left to hate him.

This is why Anthony Weiner’s behavior, far from being the expression of a “weakness” for which he should be blamed, was actually a faithful manifestation of liberal morality. When Sen. Harry Reid stated that “I know Anthony Weiner and wish that I could defend him,” he revealed more than he knew. All liberals know Anthony Weiner: he is their dark twin, the imp of the perverse constantly at their side. From the perspective of liberalism, intent on erecting an amoral standard of situational ethics in place of fixed values, Weiner’s sexting was a legitimate foray in the long campaign to undo conventional norms of behavior that have governed conduct in the West for thousands of years. For the left Weiner may be an embarrassment but he is hardly a miscreant. After all, isn’t everyone sexting these days?

Well, no. The fact is that not everyone is.

But even the argument that “everyone is doing it” misses the point. Regardless of how many people are doing it, sexting violates a fundamental code. Like casual sex, adultery, and pornography, it is an offense against conventional norms of conduct. It proclaims the self’s prerogative to violate moral rules that have existed for thousands of years. It is offensive because it is a blow on the side of moral anarchy and against moral order.

What the left fails to see in all of this is the damage their view of morality causes. In The Conservative Constitution (1990) Russell Kirk wrote that “Great states with good constitutions develop when most people think of their duties and restrain their appetites.” What we are witnessing today is the opposite of this happy condition. The future of the American state depends on whether the electorate and its representatives are thinking of their responsibilities and not of venal self-gratification.

Of course, all human beings are fallible, but this does not mean that our leaders should be leading secret lives posting dozens of sexually explicit email on a daily or weekly basis. Nor should they be conducting clandestine affairs with mistresses, interns, hotel maids, and prostitutes while pretending, as the left constantly does, to be defending the poor and oppressed. More often than not, it is the liberal elite who are the oppressors.

For our nation to continue to function properly, or to function at all, it needs better representatives than those who now represent liberal constituencies. It needs principled individuals who recognize that the left’s nonjudgmental ethos is false and who speak out against corruption when they see it. The case of Anthony Weiner will soon be forgotten, but unless the liberal culture of license is repudiated, scandals like his will become an ever more common occurrence.

Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and articles on American culture.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2011/06/to_sext_or_not_to_sext.html at June 17, 2011 – 06:41:30 AM CDT

SMITH: States rise up against federal overreach Labor board’s attack on Boeing seen as threat to state commerce

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jun/16/statesi-irisei-iupi-iagainsti-ifederali-ioverreach/print/

There was a significant development this week in the ongoing battle over the proper scope of the federal government’s authority. Sixteen states filed a brief opposing the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) effort to block the Boeing Co. from building a new manufacturing facility in South Carolina. The NLRB initiated proceedings against Boeing to prevent the company from building the new facility in South Carolina – a right-to-work state – on the ground that it would adversely impact unionized Boeing employees in Washington state. In doing so, the NLRB called into question plans that involve billions of dollars in new investment and could significantly impact the competitiveness of the U.S. aircraft industry.

The states that filed this brief come from diverse perspectives. Some are right-to-work states, and some are not. Nonetheless, they are united in their opposition to the NLRB’s action, which they firmly believe will harm the ability of states to attract new businesses. According to these states, the NLRB proceeding will not only directly harm states like South Carolina that have adopted right-to-work laws, but also non-right-to-work states, which will lose business as companies fear that creating jobs in these states could prevent them from opening new operations in right-to-work states in the future. Indeed, these states argue that the NLRB’s new policy could encourage companies to locate their operations outside the United States to avoid being subjected to the NLRB’s jurisdiction.

The NLRB’s action is part of a disturbing trend. Increasingly, the federal government is interfering with the interests of the states not through legislation passed by the Congress, which would be undesirable in its own right, but through the decisions of unelected bureaucrats in various federal agencies. While members of Congress ultimately must face the voters and may therefore feel constrained in their ability to intrude in matters that are best left to the states, the federal bureaucracy often feels no such constraints. To the contrary, the motivation of federal bureaucrats is often just the opposite – to continuously increase the centralization of authority in the hands of the federal government and, in turn, dramatically increase their own power.

This general tendency has only been magnified under the Obama administration, which is ideologically disposed to favor increasing centralization and power of the federal government. Its unprecedented actions in expanding the federal government are well documented. From its bailout of the automobile industry to its attempt to nationalize the health care system, the Obama administration has continually sought to expand the federal government’s authority.

The states’ opposition to such actions represents a welcome check on this ever-expanding scope of government power. Whether through legal challenges to Obamacare or in voicing their opposition to bureaucratic actions such as the NLRB’s in the Boeing matter, these efforts increasingly are playing out in the courts. At this crucial juncture, one can only hope the judiciary will remain steadfast in adhering to the traditional restraints on government power.

The division of power among various entities, such as the state and federal governments, ensures that no single entity amasses too much power. It also leads to more effective decision-making, allowing for a range of approaches by different decision-makers. The NLRB’s recent action and its potentially adverse consequences show the wisdom of this system. The states should remain free to make their own policy determinations, without fear that they will be overturned by the federal government, much less by an unelected federal bureaucracy.

Douglas G. Smith is an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

© Copyright 2011 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

What “Brilliant” President spoke this collage of words?

. . . is not so much that they destroy jobs, but that in at least 50 of 57 states you can’t conduct transactions in Austrian, making it difficult to withdraw enough cash to spread the wealth around to Midwesterners, who then become bitter and cling to guns and religion and antipathy toward people who aren’t like your doctor, who you can keep (if you like him) but you probably won’t because for extra cash he unnecessarily performs tonsillectomies and amputates the feet of people from Kansas, where a while back 10,000 were killed by a tornado that also air-raided villages and killed civilians in Afghanistan, from which we need to begin withdrawing troops by July so we can use the funds to save or create jobs for people who don’t use air pressure gauges to keep the tires on their cash-for-clunkers car properly inflated, requiring them to buy more gas than they otherwise would at $3.84 a gallon and thereby reducing their disposable income and causing them not to buy consumer products, resulting in slower GDP growth that can only be jumpstarted by another round of stimulus spending so the economy won’t go into a double-dip recession that would result in layoffs and a higher unemployment rate than we had even after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that everyone knows was George Bush’s fault.