Saturday, 19 May 2007

Goodness: It comes from God

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Barbara Kay of the National Post corrects Windbag-Energy winner, John Moore!


She writes,"In his Friday op-ed, "Goodness without Godliness," John Moore strikes a characteristically feisty pose in defence of atheism. Being an atheist, however, John is a little rusty on his biblical history, so I begin by correcting a factual error in his argument. He says, "The golden rule was understood in even the most rudimentary of societies long before it was enunciated by Jesus."

The golden rule as enunciated by Jesus, was "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." But he was by no means the first to articulate it. The "Old Testament," as Christians call the Bible, proposed the golden rule in its original, and what I consider to be its superior manifestation, "Do not do unto others that which you would not have done unto you." This was around 1,200 years before Jesus.

As for John's eye-popping contention that the most rudimentary societies understood this rule -- whoa, just not true. The most rudimentary societies of the day were performing child sacrifice to appease their "gods," and recognized no rules of what we would call "morality," but took their marching orders from tribal leaders. The golden rule and in fact most of the morality- based laws in the Bible were revolutionary and of course history- altering, to say the least.

John quite rightly affirms that one needn't believe in God to be a humanitarian or a lover of culture. Of course not, in exactly the same way that the greatgrandchild of a multi-millionaire who has set up a wonderful trust fund has no need to worry about paying his rent. It was the original capital that provided the revenues. Atheists committed to morality and social justice are simply people who chose not to grow the equity, but to live off the returns of the beliefs of their forebears.

The greatest aesthetic achievements of Western civilization -- music, art, architecture, writing -- not to mention our entire legal system, sprang from feelings of awe at the miracle of life, a belief that man was made in the image of God. It would be very difficult to find any humanitarian of achievement -- and in fact the one John cites, June Callwood is a prime example -- who did not grow up in a household that was itself inhabited by the rubrics and ideals of a religion.

I know many atheists who are passionate advocates for social justice. In every case they grew up in homes drenched in the morality and ideals of Judaism or Christianity."

Write to Barbara Kay at Bkay@videotron.ca

Moscow's Mid-East Gamble

Saturday, May 19, 2007
Robert Fulford writes in the National Post, " In the spring of 1967, the Arab nations, led by Egypt under president Gamal Abdel Nasser, were preparing for war with Israel. The Soviet Union was their backer but at one point Moscow's support appeared to be weakening. So, on May 23, 40 years ago this week, Nasser summoned the Soviet ambassador in Cairo and set him straight: "I want you to tell your bosses in Moscow that the USSR is the main factor influencing everything that is happening now." It was all up to them.

That quote, appearing in Michael Oren's classic account, Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East (2002), belongs to a distant, utterly different world. During the Cold War, the key element in every struggle was the competition between the West and the U.S.S.R. Much of the world was divided into Soviet and American dependencies.

The Arabs were Soviet clients but in 1967 Moscow passed on to them a piece of disinformation about Israel preparing to invade Syria. That was a lie, as everyone now agrees. Why was it told? The motives have always remained vague.

For several years two Israeli journalists, Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez, have studied the Soviet role in the Middle East. Their revisionist account, Foxbats over Dimona: The Soviets' Nuclear Gamble in the Six-Day War (Yale University Press), will appear in early June, on the war's 40th anniversary.

At the time Moscow was believed to be playing a cautious and conservative role in the region, even acting as a peacemaker when hostilities were winding down. Now Ginor and Remez claim that the Soviets engineered the war as a way to strengthen and extend their power in the Middle East and destroy Israel's nuclear capability.

They planned to draw Israel into a conflict, then arrive in the role of international policeman punishing an aggressor. They were prepared even to land their troops on Israel's beaches. Above all, they would demolish the nuclear reactor at Dimona. (The title of the book also refers to the MiG-25 Foxbat, the most advanced Soviet fighter plane of the time.)

Foxbats over Dimona is based on the authors' conversations with Soviet officers and politicians. They never uncovered a document that would prove their case but found some credible witnesses. They speculate that there may have been no documents to find; "the accounts of numerous Soviet participants refer to orders that were transmitted only orally down the chain of command."

In any case, the Soviet plan was frustrated. The Israelis, rightly convinced they were about to be attacked, struck first. On June 4, Field Marshal Abdel Hakim Amer, Nasser's military chief, predicted that soon the Arabs would "rid ourselves of Israel once and for all." But the next morning, a surprise attack by Israel found many Egyptian aircraft still on the ground. During about 100 minutes the Israelis destroyed 286 of the 420 planes the Soviet Union had given Egypt, wrecking 13 airfields and all Egyptian radar installations. At 10:35 that morning, Motti Hod, the Israeli air force commander, turned to Yitzhak Rabin, the chief of staff, and said, "The Egyptian air force has ceased to exist."

Five days later the war was over. For the Soviets it was as serious a defeat as the Cuban missile crisis five years earlier, but it was not humiliating in the same way. They simply never acknowledged it.

It was also the most remarkable military victory in the modern history of the Middle East and on June 5 the Israelis will commemorate it as a major achievement in their national history. Of course, it failed to create the stability they sought. It brought a tragic burden in the form of hostile territory and embittered Palestinians, and it led to the Yom Kippur War, the Munich massacre, two Intifadas and much else, including last summer's war. It also damaged Israel's reputation among the simple-minded everywhere. Till 1967, Israel was an underdog commanding the world's sympathy -- a popular favourite. Victory changed its image. Now it appeared more like a military power.

Still, it was a victory that had to be won. When war was approaching, A.A. Grechko, the Soviet minister of defence, declared: "The 50th year of the Great October Socialist Revolution will be the last year of the existence of the State of Israel." That possibility, chillingly real in 1967, was avoided by the audacity of Israel's leaders and the bravery of its soldiers and pilots. However mixed the results, the Six-Day War remains worth celebrating."

Write to Robert Fulford at Robert.fulford@utoronto.ca

HAMAS WANTS WAR!

Saturday, May 19, 2007


David Frum writes in the National Post that..... "Will Israel be provoked into another war this summer? Hamas in Gaza is desperately trying to start a fight. In mid- April, Hamas ended a six-month pause and resumed firing rockets into southern Israel. Three thousand rockets have landed in the past month; 80 in just the past three days.

So far, damage from the rockets has been relatively light: 18 Israelis wounded, property damaged. But twice, Hamas nearly got lucky: on Thursday, a rocket exploded in a high school classroom; another hit a day-care centre on May 7. Both facilities happened to be empty at the time. What if they had been in use?

Israel hit back with five air strikes on Thursday and Friday. But few imagine that these strikes will stop the rockets.

Israel desperately wants not to invade Gaza. Over the past year, Hamas has fortified the region: building bunkers, digging ditches, planting mines. Israelis can recognize a military trap when they see one.

Israelis can also recognize a political trap. For months, Gaza's political factions have waged war on each other. Some 45 Palestinians have died in the fighting in just the past week. Hamas hopes that an Israeli invasion would unite the Gazans against Israel--and under Hamas.

In hope of avoiding the trap, Israel has relied on indirect tactics.

This week, for example, Israel allowed 500 U.S.- trained Palestinian militiamen to enter Gaza from Egypt, to reinforce Fatah against Hamas. Israeli intelligence may also have helped foil a Hamas assassination plot against Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, although details on that story remain murky and not entirely convincing.

But will these indirect methods succeed? There seems little reason for optimism. 1 The U.S. has trained Fatah troops before, without much improving their ability to defeat Hamas's more highly motivated forces. 2 It's not clear that "Fatah" still exists as a political organization. Yasser Arafat's old terror gang has collapsed into factionalism and warlordism. The troops and arms shipped into Gaza today -- for whom are they really working? 3 Even if the new Fatah forces do take orders from Abbas, will he really command them to shed blood

to stop Hamas's rocketing of Israel? Fatah and Hamas are competing politically as well as militarily. Would Hamas not score a huge propaganda triumph if it could accuse Fatah of fighting for Israel? 4 Even if Fatah fights well and loyally, even if it sincerely seeks to shut down Hamas's rockets, will Fatah fight fast? The rocket that finally reaches an Israeli day-care centre may be fired tomorrow. Or the next day. And then it will be very difficult for any Israeli government to restrain itself.

The whole world shares an interest in avoiding a summer war in Gaza.

Which means the whole world shares an interest in suppressing Hamas rockets. But if aiding Fatah will not do the job, what will? Here's one suggestion.

It is a little-known fact that international aid to the Palestinian territories has actually risen since Palestinians elected a Hamas government in January, 2006. According to International Monetary Fund and UN figures, the Palestinian areas received a total of US$1.2-billion in official aid in 2006, up from US$1-billion in 2005.

America's contribution rose from US$400-million in 2005 to US$468-million in 2006. Aid from the European Union and other international organizations also increased handsomely, and the UN has called for still greater increases in aid in 2007.

Look at the incentives that have been created for the Palestinians: vote for terrorism, get an increase in your foreign aid. The Palestinian areas now receive more than US$300 per person, per year, making them the most aid-dependent population on Earth. (The people of sub-Saharan Africa receive only $44 per person per year.)

These incentives allow Hamas to present itself both as the unyielding enemy of the Jewish state --and also as a provider of generous social welfare benefits to the Palestinian people.

What if those incentives changed? What if Hamas's misconduct produced a loss rather than a profit?

Suppose that each Hamas rocket cost the Palestinian Authority US$1-million in reduced U.S. and EU aid? The 80 rockets fired over recent days would mean US$80-million less in salaries, food, aid, subsidies of all kinds. The next 80 rockets -- another US$80-million gone.

For the first time, Hamas's adventurism would exact a serious and predictable cost. Such a cost would do more than any number of U.S.-trained Fatah gunmen to restrain Hamas.

But if the aid continues --if the world continues a policy of sending money to the Palestinian territories, no matter what the Palestinian government does -- Israel, Gaza and the world stand just one well-aimed rocket away from war."

? David Frum

Write to David Frum at DFrum@aei.org

Hamas Wants War

Hamas wants war

Saturday, May 19, 2007

David Frum writes in the National Post ..... "Will Israel be provoked into another war this summer? Hamas in Gaza is desperately trying to start a fight. In mid- April, Hamas ended a six-month pause and resumed firing rockets into southern Israel. Three thousand rockets have landed in the past month; 80 in just the past three days. (Video of the attacks can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/sderot2007)

So far, damage from the rockets has been relatively light: 18 Israelis wounded, property damaged. But twice, Hamas nearly got lucky: on Thursday, a rocket exploded in a high school classroom; another hit a day-care centre on May 7. Both facilities happened to be empty at the time. What if they had been in use?

Israel hit back with five air strikes on Thursday and Friday. But few imagine that these strikes will stop the rockets.

Israel desperately wants not to invade Gaza. Over the past year, Hamas has fortified the region: building bunkers, digging ditches, planting mines. Israelis can recognize a military trap when they see one.

Israelis can also recognize a political trap. For months, Gaza's political factions have waged war on each other. Some 45 Palestinians have died in the fighting in just the past week. Hamas hopes that an Israeli invasion would unite the Gazans against Israel--and under Hamas.

In hope of avoiding the trap, Israel has relied on indirect tactics.

This week, for example, Israel allowed 500 U.S.- trained Palestinian militiamen to enter Gaza from Egypt, to reinforce Fatah against Hamas. Israeli intelligence may also have helped foil a Hamas assassination plot against Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, although details on that story remain murky and not entirely convincing.

But will these indirect methods succeed? There seems little reason for optimism. 1 The U.S. has trained Fatah troops before, without much improving their ability to defeat Hamas's more highly motivated forces. 2 It's not clear that "Fatah" still exists as a political organization. Yasser Arafat's old terror gang has collapsed into factionalism and warlordism. The troops and arms shipped into Gaza today -- for whom are they really working? 3 Even if the new Fatah forces do take orders from Abbas, will he really command them to shed blood

to stop Hamas's rocketing of Israel? Fatah and Hamas are competing politically as well as militarily. Would Hamas not score a huge propaganda triumph if it could accuse Fatah of fighting for Israel? 4 Even if Fatah fights well and loyally, even if it sincerely seeks to shut down Hamas's rockets, will Fatah fight fast? The rocket that finally reaches an Israeli day-care centre may be fired tomorrow. Or the next day. And then it will be very difficult for any Israeli government to restrain itself.

The whole world shares an interest in avoiding a summer war in Gaza.

Which means the whole world shares an interest in suppressing Hamas rockets. But if aiding Fatah will not do the job, what will? Here's one suggestion.

It is a little-known fact that international aid to the Palestinian territories has actually risen since Palestinians elected a Hamas government in January, 2006. According to International Monetary Fund and UN figures, the Palestinian areas received a total of US$1.2-billion in official aid in 2006, up from US$1-billion in 2005.

America's contribution rose from US$400-million in 2005 to US$468-million in 2006. Aid from the European Union and other international organizations also increased handsomely, and the UN has called for still greater increases in aid in 2007.

Look at the incentives that have been created for the Palestinians: vote for terrorism, get an increase in your foreign aid. The Palestinian areas now receive more than US$300 per person, per year, making them the most aid-dependent population on Earth. (The people of sub-Saharan Africa receive only $44 per person per year.)

These incentives allow Hamas to present itself both as the unyielding enemy of the Jewish state --and also as a provider of generous social welfare benefits to the Palestinian people.

What if those incentives changed? What if Hamas's misconduct produced a loss rather than a profit?

Suppose that each Hamas rocket cost the Palestinian Authority US$1-million in reduced U.S. and EU aid? The 80 rockets fired over recent days would mean US$80-million less in salaries, food, aid, subsidies of all kinds. The next 80 rockets -- another US$80-million gone.

For the first time, Hamas's adventurism would exact a serious and predictable cost. Such a cost would do more than any number of U.S.-trained Fatah gunmen to restrain Hamas.

But if the aid continues --if the world continues a policy of sending money to the Palestinian territories, no matter what the Palestinian government does -- Israel, Gaza and the world stand just one well-aimed rocket away from war."

? David Frum

If you wish to write to David Frum, email to DFrum@aei.org
Saturday » May 19 » 2007
[George Jonas]

Children cramp our style

George Jonas of the National Post writes," The abortion debate is back. The indomitable Ms. Choice is being hectored and picketed by Ms. Right-To-Life. Each side follows a Greek model: it's Hippocrates (do no harm) versus Taigetos (the name of the mountain from which Spartans threw off their unwanted children). The difference between Spartan society and ours is that for Spartans "unwanted" meant "substandard," whereas for us it means "inconvenient." We don't want standard or even superstandard children if they cramp our style.

Style is important to us. We're all set to march to our extinction in style. We've become the only species that diminishes with success: the first in natural history to experience population decline whenever we do well. The wealthier and more secure our post-Darwinian societies become, the more we fail to reproduce.

Living in an epoch that is selfish as well as matriarchal, of all the styles that we shield from being cramped, we put women's style first. We invent euphemisms, such as "choice" for killing, and sophomoric dilemmas, such as pretending not to know when life begins, to ensure that nothing hinders Virginia's quest for Santa Claus. No obstacle must interfere with her goal of self-fulfillment -- least of all an issue (as it were) of her healthy sexual appetite. There's plenty of babies where this one came from, eh, Ginny? And if not, we can always import some from Somalia.

As I've written before, I'm not necessarily opposed to abortion, but then I'm not necessarily opposed to killing. Doing away with children can be a salutary act under a variety of circumstances, as anyone who has had experience with children can attest.

I could even be persuaded that we should let the mother be the arbiter of when to kill a child. King Solomon thought so; in fact, his reputation for wisdom rests upon this belief. True, Solomon also thought that no mother would lightly kill her child. He had the fixed idea that an authentic mother would rather give up her child than kill it, in which the good king might have been a trifle too optimistic.

Giving parents full discretion in the matter rests on venerable historical precedents: see Taigetos, above. Despite the sport offered by tossing babies off a cliff, it's likely that progressive parents would have preferred pre-natal vacuum suction, had the technology been available in Sparta at the time.

Spartan authorities saw no reason to question a parent's own definition of "substandard." It probably meant physically deformed to most Spartans, but it may not be a huge leap to extend it to a fetus that's simply inconvenient. After all, a deformed child is a great inconvenience, so an inconvenient child might as well be deemed deformed.

The Spartan model has had a mixed press. Some people have used the word "brutal" to describe it. I'm not pushing it myself, but then I push nothing except an abstinence from fuzzy thinking. I don't particularly mind abortion on demand; I mind only the arguments used to support it.

My quarrel is with those who would oppose abortion if they thought it amounted to killing. I've no problem with abortion, but they do. They've a whacking big problem. First (as I pointed out nearly 20 years ago) they must pretend not to know when life begins. They must pretend not to realize that life is an autonomous process, a continuum from zygote to old-age pension, a self-elaborating force that begins when it begins and keeps growing unless it's vacuumed out first. They must pretend not to recognize something that a cat recognizes: the difference between things alive and dead, animate and inanimate. They must pretend not to see that if a fetus were not alive, it wouldn't have to be killed.

They must cling to the illusion that a court can actually choose for life to "begin" at some arbitrary point: first trimester, second trimester, whatever. I think legal fiction should adopt the notion that life begins at 40 for the comfort of those who cherish their convenience but have no stomach for killing.

Some put the question in terms of a woman's right to control her own body. That would be valid enough in the realm of smoking, diet, liposuction, or sex -- but abortion? Abortion means controlling someone else's body. (As a man, I have no authority to speak on the matter, I know, but I'm not speaking as a man. I'm speaking as an ex-fetus.)

Finally, there are those who rely on the fetus's dependence on its mother to deny it the status of life, oblivious to the fact that if self-sufficiency were the test, only a tadpole could pass it. Lack of selfsufficiency is common to many life forms, including passengers on a jet plane. Next we'll see a captain abandon ship in mid-flight: "Too bad, dear geese, but you can't really fly on your own, can you? You've no right to life. You're dependent on me, and I'm entitled to control my own body."

Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! Ms. Choice on appeal from King Solomon's judgment. Rather than let some other woman have her baby, she pleads to have it cut in half. The ball is in our honourable court."

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

TRUTH IS TRUTH. Whether or Not we agree with it is Irrelevant!

From National Post re Chris Hitchens, atheistic book "God is not good" "Why religions are poisonous"

It does not matter if you agree Catherine.

Whether we agree or disagree with gravity, we are subjected to it. Real truth does not change at the whim of the individual.

A religion is a belief system whether practised individually or with others. The very root of the word [and I took 4 years of Latin in high school and should know a few things about it] means a system you choose to bind yourelf to.

So who does not have a belief system? I am sure you do Catherine. Chris Hitchens does. Everyone does.

So you say you do not agree with me. About what? Human beings are brutal. Leave out religion. People can change for the better. BUT IT IS A CHOICE! Mass murderers made the wrong choice. We all often make wrong choices. Hopefully we make MORE right ones.

Why stereotype? Religion gets a bad rap because we lump all 'people of religion' together. WE ARE INIDIVIDUALS! Our religion does not control our brains. Our brains are independent.

There are two forces in the world, good and evil. I do not think that anyone but the most ignorant would argue that Hitler was bad and Idi Amin was bad and mass murderers have done bad things. The question is "Why?" Why can an otherwise nice person suddenly in a fit of passion kill the one he loves?

The obvious answer is "evil". We all have a choice between good and evil. Leave out religion. That is a stereotypical label. We are all religious or we have no belief system at all. Would that actually be possible?

We all must choose between good and evil every day. What helps us to make that choice is "our belief system", our "religion", declared or not declared, we all have one.

Whether we agree or disagree, truth is truth, gravity is gravity.

-Pressing4Truth

IMPOSSIBLE TO BE AN ATHEIST

The National Post is publishing extracts from inaccurately-declared atheist, Chris Hitchens, book called "God is not Great" and subtitled "How Religion Poisons Everything"

Here is the comment I wrote as an answer to the extract on Wednesday May 9, 2007

The Post asks the question, "Whose side are you on, Chris Hitchens or God's ....

My response....

While I am on the side of God since I know that Chris Hitchens had no part in making me, I must comment on his subtitle "How Religion Poisons Everything". To see why I agree it is necessary to look at the meaning of the word "religion". The wikipedia, while not perfectly authoritative, says this ""Religion" is sometimes used interchangeably with "faith" or "belief system"." Or from the Latin Re is a prefix meaning "return," and ligare means "to bind;" So religion is a belief system that one chooses to bind him or herself to.
It should now be obvious that Mr.Hitchens cannot be an atheist if he has any beliefs at all because whatever belief system he has chosen to bind himself to makes him "religious". Therefore his subtitle "How Religion Poisons Everything" can be considered accurate because poisonous actions come from a belief system that someone holds. Obviously the misguided murderer at Virginia Tech had poisonous ideas!

Now if one is an optimist, we could also give Chris's book a new subtitle "How Religion Improves Everything"! It was "religion" which started the great universities of Canada and the United States, "religion" which started the idea that all children should be able to attend school and improve their lot in life. "Religion" started hospitals and missionaries such as Mother Theresa's work with the destitute of India. I have only just begun the good things started by religion.

So to assume as Chris Hitchens does that religion poisons is to say to us that he is a pessimist. An optimist would look at all the good that has come out of religion and be more positive and appreciative.

I wish Chris Hitchens well because being a pessimist is a sad way to live life always looking at the glass which is half empty rather than half full!

-Pressing4Truth

Conflict: The Power of Propaganda trailer

If Mr. Carter had stuck to Habitat for Humanity instead of Inaccurate Boloney, we could admire him and I did. He has lost all credibility due to his ignorance of the truth in the Middle East. What a sad legacy to leave! Some have said that he has consumed too many bad peanuts and it has affected his brain making him nuttier in his old age.

Blacks Held Back - Dr. Walter E Williams

THE NEW GAME: POWER CLING !!!

Obama learned his lesson well


"Obama learned his lesson well. I am proud to see that my father's model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the Democratic campaign in 2008. It is a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we approach his 100th birthday." --Letter from L. DAVID ALINSKY, son of Neo-Marxist Saul Alinsky


Hillary, Obama and the Cult of Alinsky: "True revolutionaries do not flaunt their radicalism, Alinsky taught. They cut their hair, put on suits and infiltrate the system from within. Alinsky viewed revolution as a slow, patient process. The trick was to penetrate existing institutions such as churches, unions and political parties....

"One Alinsky benefactor was Wall Street investment banker Eugene Meyer, who served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1930 to 1933. Meyer and his wife Agnes co-owned The Washington Post. They used their newspaper to promote Alinsky....Her series, called 'The Orderly Revolution', made Alinsky famous....

"Alinsky’s crowning achievement was his recruitment of a young high school student named Hillary Rodham. She met Alinsky through a radical church group. Hillary wrote an analysis of Alinsky’s methods for her senior thesis at Wellesley College. ...

"Many leftists view Hillary as a sell-out because she claims to hold moderate views on some issues. However, Hillary is simply following Alinsky’s counsel to do and say whatever it takes to gain power.

"Barack Obama is also an Alinskyite.... Obama spent years teaching workshops on the Alinsky method. In 1985 he began a four-year stint as a community organizer in Chicago, working for an Alinskyite group called the Developing Communities Project.... Camouflage is key to Alinsky-style organizing. While trying to build coalitions of black churches in Chicago, Obama caught flak for not attending church himself. He became an instant churchgoer." [by Richard Poe, 11-27-07] See also Community Oriented Policing


Quote from Saul Alinsky's Book "Rules for Radicals"

In this book we are concerned with how to create mass organizations to seize power and give it to the people; to realize the democratic dream of equality, justice, peace.... "Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.' This means revolution." p.3

"Radicals must be resilient, adaptable to shifting political circumstances, and sensitive enough to the process of action and reaction to avoid being trapped by their own tactics and forced to travel a road not of their choosing." p.6

"A Marxist begins with his prime truth that all evils are caused by the exploitation of the proletariat by the capitalists. From this he logically proceeds to the revolution to end capitalism, then into the third stage of reorganization into a new social order of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and finally the last stage -- the political paradise of communism." p.10

The one thing he did not learn is the passion of FREE people to be free! - Press4TRuth

Saul Alinsky - Mentor of Obama

WorldNetDaily

War on Gaza. Whoops!

What Obama DOES NOT Know Can Hurt Us


The Financial Post today carried the following article by Alex Epstein that pretty well sums up the problem with a president with NO economic or business experience.

Obama doesn’t get roots of crisis
Posted: April 07, 2009, 7:04 PM by NP Editor
By Alex Epstein

Barack Obama rightly stresses that we first must understand how today’s problems emerged. It is “only by understanding how we arrived at this moment that we’ll be able to lift ourselves out of this predicament.”
Unfortunately, Obama (along with most of the Washington establishment) has created only misunderstanding. In calling for a massive increase in government control over the economy, he has evaded the mountain of evidence implicating the government. For example, Obama’s core explanation of all the destructive behaviour leading up to today’s crisis is that the market was too free. But the market that led to today’s crisis was systematically manipulated by government.
Fact This decade saw drastic attempts by the government to control the housing and financial markets — via a Federal Reserve that cut interest rates to all-time lows and via a gigantic increase in Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s size and influence.
Fact Through these entities, the government sought to “stimulate the economy” and promote home ownership (sound familiar?) by artificially extending cheap credit to home-buyers.
Fact Most of the (very few) economists who actually predicted the financial crisis blame Fed policy or housing policy for inflating a bubble that was bound to collapse.
How does all this evidence factor into Obama’s understanding of “how we arrived at this moment”? It doesn’t. Not once, during the solemn 52 minutes and 5,902 words of his speech to Congress did he mention the Fed, Fannie or Freddie. Not once did he suggest that government manipulation of markets could have any possible role in the present crisis. He just went full steam ahead and called for more spending, more intervention and more government housing programs as the solution.
A genuine explanation of the financial crisis must take into account all the facts. What role did the Fed play? What about Fannie and Freddie? To be sure, some companies and CEOs seem to have made irrational business decisions. Was the primary cause “greed,” as so many claim — and what does this even mean? Or was the primary cause government intervention — like artificially low interest rates, which distorted economic decision-making and encouraged less competent and more reckless companies and CEOs while marginalizing and paralyzing the more competent ones?
Entertaining such questions would also mean considering the idea that the fundamental solution to our problems is to disentangle the government from the markets to prevent future manipulation. It would mean considering pro-free-market remedies such as letting banks foreclose, letting prices reach market levels, letting bad banks fail, dismantling Fannie and Freddie, ending bailout promises and getting rid of the Fed’s power to manipulate interest rates.
But it is not genuine understanding the administration seeks. For it, the wisdom and necessity of previous government intervention is self-evident; no matter the contrary evidence, the crisis can only have been caused by insufficient government intervention. Besides, the administration is too busy following Obama’s chief of staff’s dictum, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste,” by proposing a virtual takeover of not only financial markets but also the problem-riddled energy and health-care markets — which, they conveniently ignore, are also already among the most government-controlled in the economy.
While Obama has not sought a real explanation of today’s economic problems, the public should. Otherwise, we will simply swallow “solutions” that dogmatically assume the free market got us here — namely, Obama’s plans to swamp this country in an ocean of government debt, government controls and government make-work projects.
Alternative, free-market explanations for the crisis do exist — ones that consider the inconvenient facts Washington ignores — and everyone should seek to understand them. Those who do will likely end up telling our leaders to stop saying “Yes, we can” to each new proposal for expanding government power, and start saying “Yes, you can” to those who seek to exercise their right to produce and trade on a free market.
Financial Post
Alex Epstein is an analyst at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights.

Deciphering Obama in Cairo


Deciphering Obama in Cairo

Center for Security Policy | Jun 05, 2009
By Frank Gaffney, Jr.

By and large, President Obama's address yesterday in Cairo has been well received in both the so-called "Muslim world" and by other audiences. Nobody may be happier with it, though, than the Muslim Brotherhood - the global organization that seeks to impose authoritative Islam's theo-political-legal program known as "Shariah" through stealthy means where violence ones are not practicable. Egyptian Muslim Brothers were prominent among the guests in the audience at Cairo University and Brotherhood-associated organizations in America, like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), have rapturously endorsed the speech.

The Brotherhood has ample reason for its delight. Accordingly, Americans who love freedom - whether or not they recognize the threat Shariah represents to it - have abundant cause for concern about "The Speech," and what it portends for U.S. policy and interests.

Right out of the box, Mr. Obama mischaracterized what is causing a "time of tension between the United States and Muslims around the world." He attributed the problem first and foremost to "violent extremists [who] have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims." The President never mentioned - not even once - a central reality: The minority in question, including the Muslim Brotherhood, subscribes to the authoritative writings, teachings, traditions and institutions of their faith, namely Shariah. It is the fact that their practice is thus grounded that makes them, whatever their numbers (the exact percentage is a matter of considerable debate), to use Mr. Obama euphemistic term, "potent."

Instead, the President's address characterized the problem as a "cycle of suspicion and discord," a turn of phrase redolent of the moral equivalence so evident in the Mideast peace process with it "cycle of violence." There was not one reference to terrorism, let alone Islamic terrorism. Indeed, any connection between the two is treated as evidence of some popular delusion. "The attacks of September 11, 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human rights. This has bred more fear and mistrust."

Then there was this uplifting, but ultimately meaningless, blather: "So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, and who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity."

More often than not, the President portrayed Muslims as the Brotherhood always does: as victims of crimes perpetrated by the West against them - from colonialism to manipulation by Cold War superpowers to the menace of "modernity and globalization that led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam." Again, no mention of the hostility towards the infidel West ingrained in "the traditions of Islam." This fits with the meme of the Shariah-adherent, but not the facts.

Here's the irony: Even as President Obama professed his determination to "speak the truth," he perpetrated a fraud. He falsely portrayed what amounts to authoritative Islam, namely Shariah Islam, as something that is "not exclusive," that "overlaps" and "need not be in competition" with "America. Actually, Shariah is, by its very nature, a program that obliges its adherents to demand submission of all others, Muslims (especially secular and apostate ones) and non-Muslims, alike.

This exclusiveness (read, Islamic supremacism) applies most especially with respect to democratic nations like America, nations founded in the alternative and highly competitive belief that men, not God, should make laws. Ditto nations that stand in the way of the establishment of the Caliphate, the global theocracy that Shariah dictates must impose its medieval agenda worldwide. In practice, Shariah is the very antithesis of Mr. Obama's stated goal of "progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings." Its "justice" can only be considered by civilized societies to be a kind of codified barbarism.

At least as troubling are what amount to instances of presidential dawa, the Arabic term for Islamic proselytization. For example, Mr. Obama referred four times in his speech to "the Holy Koran." It seems unimaginable that he ever would ever use the adjective to describe the Bible or the Book of Mormon.

Then, the man now happy to call himself Barack Hussein Obama (in contrast to his attitude during the campaign) boasts of having "known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed." An interesting choice of words that, "first revealed." Not "established," "founded" or "invented." The President is, after all, a careful writer, so he must have deliberately eschewed verbs that reflect man's role, in favor of the theological version of events promoted by Islam. Thus, Mr. Obama has gone beyond the kind of "respectful language" he has pledged to use towards Islam. He is employing what amounts to code - bespeaking the kind of submissive attitude Islam demands of all, believers and non-believers alike.

Elsewhere in the speech, Mr. Obama actually declared that "I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear." Note that, although he referred in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian-Arab conflict to "vile stereotypes" of Jews, he did not describe it as "part of his responsibility as President" to counter anti-Semitic representations.

Unremarked was the fact that such incitement is daily fare served up by the state media controlled by his host in Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak, by the Palestinian Authority's Mahmoud Abbas and by every other despot in the region with whom Mr. Obama seeks to "engage." Worse yet, no mention was made of the fact that some of those "vile stereotypes" - notably, that Jews are "descendants of apes and pigs" - are to be found in "the Holy Koran," itself.

Perhaps the most stunning bit of dawa of all was a phrase the President employed that, on its face, denies the divinity of Jesus - something surprising from a self-described committed Christian. In connection with his discussion of the "situation between Israelis, Palestinians and Arabs," Mr. Obama said, "...When Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed (peace be upon them) joined in prayer."

Muslims use the term "peace be upon them" to ask for blessings on deceased holy men. In other words, its use construes all three in the way Islam does - as dead prophets - a treatment wholly at odds with the teachings of Christianity which, of course, holds Jesus as the immortal Son of God.

If Mr. Obama were genuinely ignorant about Islam, such a statement might be ascribed to nothing more than a sop to "interfaith dialogue." For a man who now pridefully boasts of his intimate familiarity with Muslims and their faith, it raises troubling questions about his own religious beliefs. At the very least, it conveys a strongly discordant message to "the Muslim world" about a fundamental tenet of the faith he professes.

Finally, what are we to make of Mr. Obama statements about America and Islam? Since he took office, the President has engaged repeatedly in the sort of hyping of Muslims and their role in the United States that is standard Muslim Brotherhood fare. In his inaugural address, he described our nation as one of "Christians, Muslims and Jews." Shortly thereafter, he further reversed the demographic ordering of these populations by size in his first broadcast interview (with the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya network), calling America a country of "Muslims, Christians and Jews."

Yesterday in Cairo, the President declared that "Islam has always been a part of America's story." Now, to be sure, Muslims, like peoples of other faiths, have made contributions to U.S. history. But they have generally done so in the same way others have, namely as Americans - not as some separate community, but as part of the "E pluribus unum" (out of many, one) that Mr. Obama properly extolled in The Speech.

Unfortunately, a pattern is being established whereby President Obama routinely exaggerates the Muslim character of America. For example, at Cairo University, he claimed there are nearly seven million Muslims in this country - a falsehood promoted by the Muslim Brotherhood and its friends - when the actual number is well-less than half that. Shortly before The Speech, in an interview with a French network, Mr. Obama said, "If you actually took the number of Muslims Americans, we'd be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world."

Incredible as these statements may seem, even more astounding is their implication for those who adhere to Shariah. The President's remarks about America as a Muslim nation would give rise to its treatment by them as part of dar al-Islam, the world of Islam, as opposed to dar al-harb (i.e., the non-Muslim world).

Were the former to be the case, Shariah requires faithful Muslims to rid the United States of infidel control or occupation. And we know from last year's successful prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation - a so-called "charity" engaged in money-laundering for one of the Muslim Brotherhood's terrorist operations, Hamas - that such an agenda tracks precisely with the Brothers' mission here: "To destroy Western civilization from within America, by its own miserable hand."

This reality makes one of Mr. Obama's promises in Cairo especially chilling. Near the end of his address, the President expressed concern that religious freedom in the United States was being impinged by "rules on charitable giving [that] have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation." He went on to pledge: "That is why I am committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat."

Let us be clear: Muslim charities have run into difficulty with "the rules" because they have been convicted in federal court of using the Muslim obligation to perform zakat (tithing to charity) to funnel money to terrorists. At this writing, it is unclear precisely what Mr. Obama has in mind with respect to this commitment to "ensure [Muslims] can fulfill zakat." But you can bet that the Brotherhood will try to translate it into the release of their imprisoned operatives and new latitude to raise money for their Shariah-promoting, and therefore seditious, activities in America.

I could go on, but you get the point. The Speech contained a number of statements about the laudable qualities of America, the need for freedom in the Muslim world, about women's rights and the desirability of peace. But its preponderant and much more important message was one that could have been crafted by the Muslim Brotherhood: America has a president who is, wittingly or not, advancing the Brotherhood's agenda of masking the true nature of Shariah and encouraging the West's submission to it.

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is President of the Center for Security Policy in Washington. An abbreviated version of this article appeared in Newsmax, June 5, 2009.

OBAMA for CHANGE ??? A Stimulating Thought !!!

[As you will see below, even Jackie Mason doesn't think this is funny!] Rahm Emanuel's statement in November, "Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before."

Well now we have the proof. I said it before Mr. Obama was elected. The ONLY change that Obama expects to bring to Washington is him in the white house!

Now we have the proof. This "STIMULUS" bill is anything BUT stimulating! Apparently hundreds of phone calls against the bill are coming into government offices. But the government of the people, by the people and for the people has now become the government OVER the people, right by the people and FOR the democratic party in government!

Didn't Mr. Obama say that he wanted to CHANGE the way Washington worked? Ha, well now we know how.

So Mr. Obama has brought CHANGE TO AMERICA... yes CHANGE AS TO WHO GETS THE PORK. - His soundbytes about there being NO PORK in the bill are absolute blatant lies.

The letters and calls to the congress were 100:1 AGAINST this package but that did not thwart the courageous congress from paying back all their supporters AGAINST the will of the people!

However it was that unofficial third party in the U.S. called the left-wing socialist media combined with the fairy-tale elite in Hollywood. who actually elected Mr. Obama.

The so-called "stimulus" bill just passed in the U.S. will stimulate that famous employer, the National Association for the Endowment for the Arts, build Milwaukee schools when 15 are empty with declining enrolment and so on.

It is complete PORK. There may be a few million of the billions here and there which might actually do a little but the stock market tells all as they have been in freefall as the "package" made it's way through the congress.

Yes is it payback time as the hog trough package goes out to all the supporters which the Democrats did not have the power to reward previously.

What Mr. Obama came to the Whitehouse to change was ONE THING ... WHO GET'S THE PORK?

The bill is full of nothing but spending to reward those who elected Mr. Obama and his "Democratic" presidential guards and very little to help the average worker at all.

It is a sad time when telling blatant lies and rewarding those who support you are more important than actually helping people cope with this deep recession.

So much for the country of Abraham Lincoln and a country which was "of the people, by the people, for the people". Unless of course those people are Democratic suckies.

If even comedian Jackie Mason sees this, there perhaps is hope for the American people somewhere.

Obama's Plan for Change

Research Suggests That GOVERNMENT STIMULUS SPENDING May Worsen Situation

Terence Corcoran reports in the National Post on Friday, January 16, 2009 that the STIMULUS everyone is yelling for may only work over a short period and may actually MAKE THE ECONOMY WORSE over longer periods.

See original article here.


WHO SAYS A STIMULUS ACTUALLY STIMULATES?

or is it simply temporary VIAGRA for the ECONOMY?

POINTS from article above ...

-"Except for one problem: What if it's not true? What if, as a wide and growing school of economists now suspect, the government spending and stimulus theory is a crock that is shovel-ready to be heaved out into the barnyard of economic waste?

- "What if, as a wide and growing school of economists now suspect, the government spending and stimulus theory is a crock that is shovel-ready to be heaved out into the barnyard of economic waste?"

- Even disciples of Keynes, such as Harvard's Greg Mankiw, recently highlighted economic studies that show government spending binges -- shocks, they are sometimes called -- don't seem to help the economy grow. They might even make it worse.

-One of the studies cited by Mr. Mankiw was by two European economists (Andrew Mountford and Harald Uhlig), titled "What are the Effects of Fiscal Shocks?" It looked at big deficit-financed spending increases and found that they stimulate the economy for the first year, but "only weakly" compared with a deficit financed tax cut. The overriding problem is that the deficits crowd out private investment and, over the long run, may make the economy worse. "The resulting higher debt burdens may have long-term consequences which are far worse than the short-term increase in GDP."

-A paper by two economists, including the current chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, Olivier Blanchard, concluded that increased taxes and "increases in government spending have a strong negative effect on private investment spending."

-Roberto Perotti, an Italian economist with links to Columbia University, in "Estimating the Effects of Fiscal Policy in OECD Countries," found nothing but bad news for Keynesians. Economic growth is little changed after big increases in government spending, but there are signs of weakening private investment.

- What we all might logically intuit to be true -- spend government money, especially borrowed money, and you stimulate growth -- has long been thought to be a fallacy by some economists. That thought is now spreading. British economist William Buiter said the massive Obama fiscal stimulus proposals "are afflicted by the Keynesian fallacy on steroids."

Except for one problem: What if it's not true? What if, as a wide and growing school of economists now suspect, the government spending and stimulus theory is a crock that is shovel-ready to be heaved out into the barnyard of economic waste?

The Prime Minister, in his comments on Friday, seemed to be riding right into the barnyard. He said the government would be simply "borrowing money that is not being used" and "that business is afraid to invest." By borrowing that money, and turning it over to all the groups and interests looking for part of the stimulus spending, he would be jump-starting activity while the private sector got its legs back.

Even disciples of Keynes, such as Harvard's Greg Mankiw, recently highlighted economic studies that show government spending binges -- shocks, they are sometimes called -- don't seem to help the economy grow. They might even make it worse.

One of the studies cited by Mr. Mankiw was by two European economists (Andrew Mountford and Harald Uhlig), titled "What are the Effects of Fiscal Shocks?" It looked at big deficit-financed spending increases and found that they stimulate the economy for the first year, but "only weakly" compared with a deficit financed tax cut. The overriding problem is that the deficits crowd out private investment and, over the long run, may make the economy worse. "The resulting higher debt burdens may have long-term consequences which are far worse than the short-term increase in GDP."

Two other studies point in the same direction. A paper by two economists, including the current chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, Olivier Blanchard, concluded that increased taxes and "increases in government spending have a strong negative effect on private investment spending."

Roberto Perotti, an Italian economist with links to Columbia University, in "Estimating the Effects of Fiscal Policy in OECD Countries," found nothing but bad news for Keynesians. Economic growth is little changed after big increases in government spending, but there are signs of weakening private investment.

What we all might logically intuit to be true -- spend government money, especially borrowed money, and you stimulate growth -- has long been thought to be a fallacy by some economists. That thought is now spreading. British economist William Buiter said the massive Obama fiscal stimulus proposals "are afflicted by the Keynesian fallacy on steroids."

Over at Stimulus Canada, Mr. Harper's plan looks somewhat more modest and Canada is not in the same fiscal fix as the United States. But Ottawa and the provinces are clearly ready to borrow big wads of money from the future to stimulate the economy today. It's money that is supposedly sitting out there in the timid hands of investors who will be repaid with tax dollars later.

But if that stimulus spending does not generate much fresh economic growth, and the borrowing chews up money that private investors could invest in the future, the shovel-ready brigades who get the cash today will produce only short term gains at the expense of the long term health of the economy.

[Doesn't it make you wonder when nobody seems to know what to do but some of the advice of the best researchers suggests that a STIMULUS may actually HARM the economy? Some economic researchers point to FDR and the Great Depression and suggest that FDR actually INCREASED the length of the depression. He was obviously and encourager and inspired hope which is an important factor as we see when the markets fall like bricks. But did his fiscal policy actually make it longer?]

The Stimulus Package

FDR POLICIES Prolonged Depression

FDR's policies prolonged Depression by 7 years, UCLA economists calculate

Two UCLA economists say they have figured out why the Great Depression dragged on for almost 15 years, and they blame a suspect previously thought to be beyond reproach: President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

After scrutinizing Roosevelt's record for four years, Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian conclude in a new study that New Deal policies signed into law 71 years ago thwarted economic recovery for seven long years.

"Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump," said Ohanian, vice chair of UCLA's Department of Economics. "We found that a relapse isn't likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies."

In an article in the August issue of the Journal of Political Economy, Ohanian and Cole blame specific anti-competition and pro-labor measures that Roosevelt promoted and signed into law June 16, 1933.

"President Roosevelt believed that excessive competition was responsible for the Depression by reducing prices and wages, and by extension reducing employment and demand for goods and services," said Cole, also a UCLA professor of economics. "So he came up with a recovery package that would be unimaginable today, allowing businesses in every industry to collude without the threat of antitrust prosecution and workers to demand salaries about 25 percent above where they ought to have been, given market forces. The economy was poised for a beautiful recovery, but that recovery was stalled by these misguided policies."

Using data collected in 1929 by the Conference Board and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Cole and Ohanian were able to establish average wages and prices across a range of industries just prior to the Depression. By adjusting for annual increases in productivity, they were able to use the 1929 benchmark to figure out what prices and wages would have been during every year of the Depression had Roosevelt's policies not gone into effect. They then compared those figures with actual prices and wages as reflected in the Conference Board data.

In the three years following the implementation of Roosevelt's policies, wages in 11 key industries averaged 25 percent higher than they otherwise would have done, the economists calculate. But unemployment was also 25 percent higher than it should have been, given gains in productivity.

Meanwhile, prices across 19 industries averaged 23 percent above where they should have been, given the state of the economy. With goods and services that much harder for consumers to afford, demand stalled and the gross national product floundered at 27 percent below where it otherwise might have been.

"High wages and high prices in an economic slump run contrary to everything we know about market forces in economic downturns," Ohanian said. "As we've seen in the past several years, salaries and prices fall when unemployment is high. By artificially inflating both, the New Deal policies short-circuited the market's self-correcting forces."

The policies were contained in the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), which exempted industries from antitrust prosecution if they agreed to enter into collective bargaining agreements that significantly raised wages. Because protection from antitrust prosecution all but ensured higher prices for goods and services, a wide range of industries took the bait, Cole and Ohanian found. By 1934 more than 500 industries, which accounted for nearly 80 percent of private, non-agricultural employment, had entered into the collective bargaining agreements called for under NIRA.

Cole and Ohanian calculate that NIRA and its aftermath account for 60 percent of the weak recovery. Without the policies, they contend that the Depression would have ended in 1936 instead of the year when they believe the slump actually ended: 1943.

Roosevelt's role in lifting the nation out of the Great Depression has been so revered that Time magazine readers cited it in 1999 when naming him the 20th century's second-most influential figure.

"This is exciting and valuable research," said Robert E. Lucas Jr., the 1995 Nobel Laureate in economics, and the John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. "The prevention and cure of depressions is a central mission of macroeconomics, and if we can't understand what happened in the 1930s, how can we be sure it won't happen again?"

NIRA's role in prolonging the Depression has not been more closely scrutinized because the Supreme Court declared the act unconstitutional within two years of its passage.

"Historians have assumed that the policies didn't have an impact because they were too short-lived, but the proof is in the pudding," Ohanian said. "We show that they really did artificially inflate wages and prices."

Even after being deemed unconstitutional, Roosevelt's anti-competition policies persisted — albeit under a different guise, the scholars found. Ohanian and Cole painstakingly documented the extent to which the Roosevelt administration looked the other way as industries once protected by NIRA continued to engage in price-fixing practices for four more years.

The number of antitrust cases brought by the Department of Justice fell from an average of 12.5 cases per year during the 1920s to an average of 6.5 cases per year from 1935 to 1938, the scholars found. Collusion had become so widespread that one Department of Interior official complained of receiving identical bids from a protected industry (steel) on 257 different occasions between mid-1935 and mid-1936. The bids were not only identical but also 50 percent higher than foreign steel prices. Without competition, wholesale prices remained inflated, averaging 14 percent higher than they would have been without the troublesome practices, the UCLA economists calculate.

NIRA's labor provisions, meanwhile, were strengthened in the National Relations Act, signed into law in 1935. As union membership doubled, so did labor's bargaining power, rising from 14 million strike days in 1936 to about 28 million in 1937. By 1939 wages in protected industries remained 24 percent to 33 percent above where they should have been, based on 1929 figures, Cole and Ohanian calculate. Unemployment persisted. By 1939 the U.S. unemployment rate was 17.2 percent, down somewhat from its 1933 peak of 24.9 percent but still remarkably high. By comparison, in May 2003, the unemployment rate of 6.1 percent was the highest in nine years.

Recovery came only after the Department of Justice dramatically stepped enforcement of antitrust cases nearly four-fold and organized labor suffered a string of setbacks, the economists found.

"The fact that the Depression dragged on for years convinced generations of economists and policy-makers that capitalism could not be trusted to recover from depressions and that significant government intervention was required to achieve good outcomes," Cole said. "Ironically, our work shows that the recovery would have been very rapid had the government not intervened."

-UCLA-

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/FDR-s-Policies-Prolonged-Depression-5409.aspx?RelNum=5409

LSMS368


AIG & Taxes & Free Enterprise

Mr Obama: Please Prove You ARE Non-Partisan

Mr. Obama will now have to prove he is non-partisan.

Editor: If he makes the mistake of believing that he is only the President of the 52% of the population that elected him and of the far-left liberal democrats, and tries to enact laws which the 46% who voted for McCain vehementally oppose, he will create more partisanship than has ever occurred before.

Now is his test. Will he leave failed socialistic policies like the War on Poverty and the Great Society behind, or will he make the same mistakes as his liberal precessors?

So now is the time for Mr. Obama to shine, but shine on the right as well as the left. Shine on the almost half the United States which are part of red states and red counties in blue states. He will become president of both and to be inclusive as an agent of change, he must govern in the best interests of middle America.

This article from the NP reflects some of that concern:

Sharing wealth will drain it

Obamanomics a drag on growth

Jacqueline Thorpe, National Post Published: Thursday, November 06, 2008

As the fervour fades, the world will have to get used to a new word: Obamanomics.

It means tax hikes for the rich, tax cuts for the poor and middle class, a promise to renegotiate NAFTA, greater union power, windfall taxes on oil and gas profits, higher taxes on capital gains and corporate dividends and more comprehensive health care coverage.

Barack Obama's economic plan may deliver the greater income equality Americans have apparently been craving, but also slower growth. Despite the vast tax hikes, it will cost a vast sum and U. S. federal finances, already ravaged by bailouts and recession, will slide deeper into the red.

The plan is not market-friendly but that does not mean the markets will not like an Obama presidency. If he can give the U. S. back its confidence, restore its reputation and sense of optimism, markets will take the bait as they have done with Democratic presidents so often in the past.

If he can become a Clintonstyle pragmatist, resist caving to every whim of a deeply left Congress, and not meddle with the bailouts that seem to be gingerly gaining traction, markets might even run with his presidency. The year from hell for investors could then be nearing an end.

Obamanomics is essentially about taking more money from the rich and giving it to the poor, plain old-fashioned "neighbourliness" as Mr. Obama has described it.

-

Or, as others have remarked, taking money from those who earn it and giving it to those who don't.

Under his income tax plan, Mr. Obama says he will provide tax cuts for 95% of Americans. He will do this by repealing Bush tax cuts -- set to expire in 2010 -- and bumping the top rates back to 36% from 33% and to 39.6% from 35%. Individuals earning over US$200,000 and families over US$250,000 will see sizable tax increases. This includes sole proprietors of businesses such as lawyers, accountants or plumbers called Joe.

Since 38% of Americans currently do not pay federal income taxes, Mr. Obama will provide them with refundable tax credits. Under his plan, 48% of Americans will pay no income tax.

"For the people that don't pay taxes, he is simply going to write them a cheque," says Andy Busch, global foreign exchange strategist at BMO Capital Markets. "That is income redistribution at its worst and produces very little value."

Other plans include raising taxes on capital gains and dividends to 20% from 15% for families earning more than US$250,000. He plans to leave the corporate tax rate at 35%, which in a world of rapidly falling rates, looks positively anti-business. He will introduce windfall taxes on oil and gas companies but offer US$4-billion in credits to U. S. auto-makers to retool to greener cars.

Much has been made of Mr. Obama's plan to renegotiate NAFTA to make it more labour-friendly, though no one seems to believe he will actually make it more protectionist.

The bottom line is this: Obama's economic plan is likely to be a drag on growth and it will cost money. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates Obama's program would add US$3.5-trillion to U. S. debt over the next 10 years, including interest. His plans for health care-- which may be delayed by financial necessity -- would tack on another US$1.6-trillion.

Read more here.

Obama - Who Are You?

Obama Sued by Democrat to Produce Birth Certificate Obama's Birth Certificate MUST SEE VIDEO Philip Berg, a DEMOCRAT is the man who is suing Barack Obama to hand over his Birth Certificate. The video below gives his Credentials and the Mr. Berg lays out his case in Berg v. Obama, and explains why it is important for the case to be resolved quickly. In his argumentation, Mr. Berg points out that Senator Obama could settle the lawsuit immediately by producing the proper documents to prove Obama is a natural-born citizen as required by our constitution. It is A MUST SEE..MUST PASS AROUND VIDEO!

NOW LA PRESIDENT SUPPORTS SARAH PALIN

Veteran Accuses Senator Obama of Being Wrong

OBAMA'S ECONOMIC PLAN

WHY IT IS WRONG TO CALL IRAQ A MISTAKE

OBAMA Comment by AltMuslim.com

This is an interesting comment by the website AltMuslim.com.
[Editor:Just because his middle name is Hussain does NOT mean he's a Muslim. Just because his church gave Lewis Farakhan last year a Lifetime Achievement award does

NOT mean he is a Muslim. Just because he wore traditional Muslim dress when visiting in Sudan does NOT mean he is a Muslim. So what does it mean? Read what they say for yourself.]
=================================

Friday, April 18, 2008

Obama's Problem with the Truth [David Freddoso]

First the "hundred years" controversy, and now this. Is the man a liar, or are his speechwriters and advisors just that willing to leave him vulnerable to attack?

Obama's Problem
February 07, 2008 01:00 PM EST

The Peculiar Theology of Black Liberation

Spengler, Asia Times (Hong Kong), March 18, 2008

Senator Barack Obama is not a Muslim, contrary to invidious rumors. But he belongs to a Christian church whose doctrine casts Jesus Christ as a “black messiah” and blacks as “the chosen people”. At best, this is a radically different kind of Christianity than most Americans acknowledge; at worst it is an ethnocentric heresy.

What played out last week on America’s television screens was a clash of two irreconcilable cultures, the posture of “black liberation theology” and the mainstream American understanding of Christianity. Obama, who presented himself as a unifying figure, now seems rather the living embodiment of the clash.

One of the strangest dialogues in American political history ensued on March 15 when Fox News interviewed Obama’s pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, of Chicago’s Trinity Church. Wright asserted the authority of the “black liberation” theologians James Cone and Dwight Hopkins:

Wright: How many of Cone’s books have you read? How many of Cone’s book have you read?

Sean Hannity: Reverend, Reverend?

(crosstalk)

Wright: How many books of Cone’s have you head?

Hannity: I’m going to ask you this question . . .

Wright: How many books of Dwight Hopkins have you read?

Hannity: You’re very angry and defensive. I’m just trying to ask a question here.

Wright: You haven’t answered—you haven’t answered my question.

Hopkins is a full professor at the University of Chicago’s Divinity School; Cone is now distinguished professor at New York’s Union Theological Seminary. They promote a “black power” reading of Christianity, to which liberal academic establishment condescends.

Obama referred to this when he asserted in a March 14 statement, “I knew Reverend Wright as someone who served this nation with honor as a United States Marine, as a respected biblical scholar, and as someone who taught or lectured at seminaries across the country, from Union Theological Seminary to the University of Chicago.” But the fact the liberal academy condescends to sponsor black liberation theology does not make it less peculiar to mainstream American Christians. Obama wants to talk about what Wright is, rather than what he says. But that way lies apolitical quicksand.

Since Christianity taught the concept of divine election to the Gentiles, every recalcitrant tribe in Christendom has rebelled against Christian universalism, insisting that it is the “Chosen People” of God—French, English, Russian, Germans and even (through the peculiar doctrine of Mormonism) certain Americans. America remains the only really Christian country in the industrial world, precisely because it transcends ethnicity. One finds ethnocentricity only in odd corners of its religious life; one of these is African-American.

During the black-power heyday of the late 1960s, after the murder of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr, the mentors of Wright decided that blacks were the Chosen People. James Cone, the most prominent theologian in the “black liberation” school, teaches that Jesus Christ himself is black. As he explains:

Christ is black therefore not because of some cultural or psychological need of black people, but because and only because Christ really enters into our world where the poor were despised and the black are, disclosing that he is with them enduring humiliation and pain and transforming oppressed slaves into liberating servants.

Theologically, Cone’s argument is as silly as the “Aryan Christianity” popular in Nazi Germany, which claimed that Jesus was not a Jew at all but an Aryan Galilean, and that the Aryan race was the “chosen people”. Cone, Hopkins and Wright do not propose, of course, to put non-blacks in concentration camps or to conquer the world, but racially-based theology nonetheless is a greased chute to the nether regions.

Biblical theology teaches that even the most terrible events to befall Israel, such as the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE, embody the workings of divine justice, even if humankind cannot see God’s purpose. James Cone sees the matter very differently. Either God must do what we want him to do, or we must reject him, Cone maintains:

Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community. . . . Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love. [1]

In the black liberation theology taught by Wright, Cone and Hopkins, Jesus Christ is not for all men, but only for the oppressed:

In the New Testament, Jesus is not for all, but for the oppressed, the poor and unwanted of society, and against oppressors. . . . Either God is for black people in their fight for liberation and against the white oppressors, or he is not [Cone].

In this respect black liberation theology is identical in content to all the ethnocentric heresies that preceded it. Christianity has no use for the nations, a “drop of the bucket” and “dust on the scales”, in the words of Isaiah. It requires that individuals turn their back on their ethnicity to be reborn into Israel in the spirit. That is much easier for Americans than for the citizens of other nations, for Americans have no ethnicity. But the tribes of the world do not want to abandon their Gentile nature and as individuals join the New Israel. Instead they demand eternal life in their own Gentile flesh, that is, to be the “Chosen People”.

That is the “biblical scholarship” to which Obama referred in his March 14 defense of Wright and his academic prominence. In his response to Hannity, Wright genuinely seemed to believe that the authority of Cone and Hopkins, who now hold important posts at liberal theological seminaries, was sufficient to make the issue go away. His faith in the white establishment is touching; he honestly cannot understand why the white reporters at Fox News are bothering him when the University of Chicago and the Union Theological Seminary have put their stamp of approval on black liberation theology.

Many things that the liberal academy has adopted, though, will horrify most Americans, and not only “black liberation theology” (Queer Studies comes to mind, among other things). It cannot be in Obama’s best interests to appeal to the authority of Cone, whose unapologetic racism must be repugnant to the great majority of Americans, including the majority of black Americans, who for the most part belong to Christian churches that preach mainstream Christian doctrine. Christianity teaches unconditional love for a God whose love for humankind is absolute; it does not teach the repudiation of a God who does not destroy our enemies on the spot.

Whether Obama takes seriously the doctrines that Wright preaches is another matter. It is possible that Obama does not believe a word of what Wright, Cone and Hopkins teach. Perhaps he merely used the Trinity United Church of Christ as a political stepping-stone. African-American political life is centered around churches, and his election to the Illinois State Senate with the support of Chicago’s black political machine required church membership. Trinity United happens to be Chicago’s largest and most politically active black church.

Obama views Wright rather at arm’s length: as the New York Times reported on April 30, 2007:

Reverend Wright is a child of the 60s, and he often expresses himself in that language of concern with institutional racism and the struggles the African-American community has gone through,” Mr Obama said. “He analyzes public events in the context of race. I tend to look at them through the context of social justice and inequality.

Obama holds his own views close. But it seems unlikely that he would identify with the ideological fits of the black-power movement of the 1960s. Obama does not come to the matter with the perspective of an American black, but of the child of a left-wing anthropologist raised in the Third World, as I wrote elsewhere (Obama’s women reveal his secret , Asia Times Online, February 26, 2008). It is possible that because of the Wright affair Obama will suffer for what he pretended to be, rather than for what he really is.

Note

1. See William R Jones, “Divine Racism: The Unacknowledged Threshold Issue for Black Theology”, in African-American Religious Thought: An Anthology, ed Cornel West and Eddie Glaube (Westminster John Knox Press).

Original article

(Posted on March 17, 2008)


Comments

I have mixed feelings about the whole Jeremiah Wright ordeal. On one hand, I understand his feelings. As a white man, I choose to stand with my race just as he chooses to stand with his. Thus, I can’t fault him for his views. On the other hand, I also recognize that Rev. Wright would never attempt to understand my feelings or concerns so why should I try to understand his? The fact is, people like Wright are not intellectually consistent with their beliefs; they preach ethno-centrism and border-line hatred of other races yet would accuse a white man of being “racist” for the slightest perceived insult.

Posted by Conrad R. at 6:03 PM on March 17


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Jeremiah Wright, Obama's Former Pastor - Christian in Name but what???

March 26, 2008

How the Leftist Churches Set a Time Bomb for the Democrats

By James Lewis
Until the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Senator Obama's spiritual mentor in Black Liberation Theology, popped out of the woodwork, I didn't even know about BLT -- Black Liberation Theology. But the doctrines of Black Liberation have been preached since 1966 in black churches, with the enthusiastic support of white churches of the Left, notably the United Church of Christ. The Rev. Wright runs an official UCC church.

Though I am not a professional theologian, I daresay that Jesus would not, repeat not, approve of BLT. Because Black Liberation Theology seems to go straight against every single word in the Sermon on the Mount. Odd that the UCC has never noticed that over the last fifty years.

In fact, the liberal churches have bestowed great influence and prestige on the inventor of Black Liberation Theology, a Dr. James Hal Cone. Writes Dr. Cone, among other things,


* "Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him."

* "All white men are responsible for white oppression."

* "While it is true that blacks do hate whites, black hatred is not racism."

* "Theologically, Malcolm X was not far wrong when he called the white man "the devil.""

* "The black theologian must reject any conception of God which stifles black self-determination by picturing God as a God of all peoples."

* "We have had too much of white love, the love that tells blacks to turn the other cheek and go the second mile. What we need is the divine love as expressed in black power, which is the power of blacks to destroy their oppressors, here and now, by any means at their disposal."

Apparently liberal religious authorities like those at the United Church of Christ love this preaching so much that they have made Dr. Cone a professor at the Union Theological Seminary, the "Charles Augustus Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology." It is a stamp of official approval for a peddler of race hatred.

What would Jesus say? Well, we may never know that, but in a month we'll know what Pennsylvania Democrats will say. And if they turn thumbs down on that grandchild of Black Liberation Theology, Senator Barack Obama, the Democrats will have no one to blame but themselves. Including the Churches of the Left, which have reveled in rage-mongering radical chic since the Sixties.

If you've ever wondered why black people in America have had such a hard time rising in society, even after slavery ended in 1865, even after the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s, even after affirmative action tilted the playing field in their favor, the answer has to be found in the doctrines that have been preached to blacks by their most powerful leaders. If Black Liberation Theology is to be believed, blacks can never make it on their own. They have to rely on a separatist, rage-filled ideology, supported whole-heartedly by white Leftist churches.

The Left has a long, long habit of shafting the very people is purports to love. Instead, the Left only empowers Leftist elites. Look at the history of the Soviet Union, of Maoist China, of Fidel Castro. Who profited from those regimes except the elites, dining on caviar while ordinary people starved? Today Hugo Chavez is squandering Venezuela's oil wealth on his personal ego trips. It is the poor who suffer from Chavez' caudillismo.

What the Church of the Left have done to poor blacks is just like that. Instead of supporting messages of hope and strength, they celebrated the rage demagogues who keep people in thrall. "Black Liberation" is an enslavement of the mind. If you keep black people popping with anger at whites, half a century after the end of Jim Crow, you are not helping them. You are hurting them.

For the Democrats, who have knowingly supported this corruption of the poor for decades, the churches of Left have set a time bomb. Next month we'll see if it explodes.

Maybe it's Divine justice.

James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/03/how_the_leftist_churches_set_a.html at March 30, 2008 - 11:06:16 PM EDT

Why is Obama Ducking the Questions? Only One Possible Reason!

[excerpted from http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=11541]

March 21, 2008
Dems 2008: McClatchy discovers Black Liberation Theology [Karl]

Given the chain’s general leftward slant, it is all the more notable that McClatchy is perhaps the first establishment media outlet to report some of the specifics of the Black Liberation Theology that is the vision of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Barack Obama’s church — and to note (as already noted here) that Obama dodged the larger issue:

Obama’s speech Tuesday on race in America was hailed as a masterful handling of the controversy over divisive sermons by the longtime pastor of Trinity United, the recently retired Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.

But in repudiating and putting in context Wright’s inflammatory lines about whites and U.S. foreign policy, the Democratic presidential front-runner didn’t address other potentially controversial facts about his church and its ties.

McClatchy’s Margaret Talev went so far as to interview Dr. James H. Cone, who first presented Black Liberation Theology as a system of thought in the late 1960s. Dr. Cone reaffirmed his prior view that Trinity most embodies his message and opined that he thought the Rev. Wright’s successor, the Rev. Otis Moss III, would continue the tradition. (It does seem likely so far.)

Unfortunately, the piece quotes only Dr. Cone and Dwight Hopkins, a Trinity member and liberation theology professor at the University of Chicago’s divinity school. Apparently, McClatchy could not be bothered to contact neutral theologians or critics of Black Liberation Theology. As a result, Cone and Hopkins get away with softening the harder edges of their theology.

Nevertheless, McClatchy has now done more than most of the establishment media (and certainly more than TIME magazine’s new puff piece or the ignorant and inane ramblings of E.J. Dionne, Jr.) on the underlying issue, even as it hypothesizes Obama’s church membership is one of political convenience rather than reading Obama’s writings on the subject, which are consistent with the theology.

Most important, McClatchy sought answers from the Obama campaign on the issue:

It isn’t clear where Obama’s beliefs and the church’s diverge. Through aides, Obama declined requests for an interview or to respond to written questions about his thoughts on Jesus, Cone or liberation theology.

That is the standard response of the Obama campaign to any controversy, as anyone trying to report on Obama’s relationship with Tony Rezko will tell you. Obama will not answer press inquiries until the establishment media turns up the heat to the point where he feels compelled to do so. That pattern should trouble people far beyond those concerned about the degree to which Obama susbscribes to Black Liberation Theology.

(h/t Gateway Pundit.)

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