February 27, 2009

America's Cycle

About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh , had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years earlier:

'A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government.'

'A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.'

'From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.'

The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years''During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:

1. from bondage to spiritual faith;

2. from spiritual faith to great courage;

3. from courage to liberty;

4. from liberty to abundance;

5. from abundance to complacency;

6. from complacency to apathy;

7. from apathy to dependence;

8. from dependence back into bondage'

February 26, 2009

Israel & Iran: Nuclear War Preperations Quicken.

The Iran-Israel nuclear endgame is now much closer

4 huge new developments have now led the way for an upcoming showdown in the middle east. Time to get ready.

In recent days, four key developments have clicked in to edge Iran and Israel much closer to a military denouement with profound consequences for American oil that the nation is not prepared to meet.

What has happened?

First, Iran has proven it can successfully launch a satellite into outer space as it did on February 2. Teheran claimed, to the incredulity of Western governments, that the satellite was to monitor earthquakes and enhance communications. Few believe that, especially since America's own space program continuously launches unpublished military satellite missions. Teheran plans three more satellites this year, creating an easily weaponized space net that worries American military planners.

Second, the International Atomic Energy Agency last week admitted that it had underestimated Iran's nuclear stockpile by about one-third. The watchdog group now confirms Iran possesses 2,227 lbs. of nuclear material, sufficient to create at least one nuclear bomb. That stockpile includes 1,010 kilograms of low-enriched uranium hexafluoride, or approximately 700 kilograms containing the vital uranium 235 isotope, the stuff needed to weaponize.

Third, Iran has ramped up its enrichment program with thousands of new homegrown, highly advanced centrifuges. As The Cutting Edge News reported in April 2008, Iran wants 6,000 centrifuges to speed the enrichment of weapons-grade material. The number of working centrifuges now exceeds 5,400, including 164 new ones believed to be the faster and more efficient IR-2 and IR-3 models made in Iran. These new Iranian centrifuges are at least as sophisticated as its recently imported P-2 models.

American policymakers are now convinced that Iran, despite all protests and charades, is in a mad dash to create a deliverable nuclear weapon. The Obama administration has almost openly abandoned the assertions of the CIA's much-questioned 2008 National Intelligence Estimate that concluded Iran was not pursuing nuclear weaponry for the simple reason that its atomic program and military programs were housed in separate buildings.

Fourth, Binyamin Netanyahu has just become prime minister of Israel. He is determined to take action before - not after - Iran achieves its nuclear potential. This creates a volatile, hair-trigger situation that could explode at any moment. Hence, the endgame is now vastly closer than it was in mid-January, when many believed Israel might take action during the lame-duck interregnum.

Israeli countermeasures to date have included a massive international covert program of equipment sabotage, assassination of key nuclear personnel and a vibrant diplomatic offensive. But all these efforts combined amount to nothing more than delaying tactics, as Iran is irrevocably determined to achieve a nuclear weapon as fast as possible. Many believe such a weapon will be used to fulfill its prediction that Israel will soon be wiped off the map.

THE CONSEQUENCES for this confrontation are apocalyptic because Iran's full partner in this enterprise is Russia. The Russian company Atomstroiexport has provided most if not all of the nuclear material for the 1,000 megawatt Bushehr reactor, along with thousands of technicians to service and operate it.

Following its invasion of Georgia, Moscow forged ahead with final delivery plans for the S-300 advanced air defense system which can track scores of IAF airborne intruders simultaneously, whether low-level drones or high-altitude missiles, and shoot them down. But the S-300, the linchpin of Iran's defense against Israel, will not be fully operational for several months, creating a narrow window for Israel to act. Indeed, Russia has just announced a pause in missile deliveries for the system in fear that it will accelerate an Israeli response.

Iran, of course, has repeatedly threatened to counter any such attack by closing the Strait of Hormuz, as well as launching missiles against the Ras Tanura Gulf oil terminal and bombarding the indispensable Saudi oil facility at Abqaiq which is responsible for some 65 percent of Saudi production. Any one of these military options, let alone all three, would immediately shut off 40% of all seaborne oil, 18% of global oil, and some 20% of America's daily consumption.

America's oil vulnerability has been back-burnered due to the economic crisis and the plunge in gasoline prices. However, the price of gasoline will not mitigate an interruption of oil flow. The price of oil does not impact its ability to flow through blocked or destroyed facilities. Indeed, an interruption would not restore prices to those of last summer - which Russian and Saudi oil officials say is needed - but probably zoom the pump cost to $20 per gallon.

American oil vulnerability in recent months has escalated precisely because of oil's precipitous drop to $35 to $40 a barrel. At that price, America's number one supplier, Canada, which supplies some 2 million out of 20 million barrels of oil a day, cannot afford to produce. Canadian oil sand petroleum is not viable below $70 a barrel. Much of Canada's supply has already been cancelled or indefinitely postponed. America's strategic petroleum reserve can only keep that country moving for approximately 57 days.

THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, like the Bush administration before it, has developed no plan or contingency legislation for an oil interruption, such as a surge in retrofitting America's 250 million gas guzzling cars and trucks - each with a 10-year life - or a stimulus of the alternate fuel production needed to rapidly get off oil. Ironically, Iran has undertaken such a crash program converting some 20% of its gasoline fleet yearly to compressed natural gas (CNG) as a countermeasure to Western nuclear sanctions against the Teheran regime that could completely block the flow of gasoline to Iran. Iran has no refining capability.

The question of when and how this endgame will play out is not known by anyone. Israeli leaders wish to avoid military preemption at all costs if possible. But many feel the military moment must come; and when that moment does come, it will be swift, highly technologic and in the twinkling of an eye. But as one informed official quipped, "Those who know, don't talk. Those who talk, don't know."

The writer is The New York Times best-selling investigative author of IBM and the Holocaust, Internal Combustion and the just released The Plan: How to Save America When the Oil Stops - or the Day Before (Dialog Press).

February 19, 2009

Economic Armageddon

Beck Explains America's Economic System

Iran & WMD

The war between gog & magog seems to be closing even quicker than one thought possible. News reports now show that Iran has the uranium that many feared. Israel will not tolerate this for long.

Iran holds enough uranium for bomb
Iran has now built up a stockpile of enough enriched uranium for one nuclear bomb, United Nations officials acknowledged on Thursday.

In a development that comes as the Obama administration is drawing up its policy on negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear programme, UN officials said Iran had produced more nuclear material than previously thought.

They said Iran had now accumulated more than one tonne of low enriched uranium hexafluoride at a facility in Natanz. If such a quantity were further enriched it could produce more than 20kg of fissile material – enough for a bomb.

“It appears that Iran has walked right up to the threshold of having enough low enriched uranium to provide enough raw material for a single bomb,” said Peter Zimmerman, a former chief scientist of the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency

The new figures come in a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, released on Thursday.

This revealed that Iran’s production of low enriched uranium had previously been underestimated.

When the agency carried out an annual stocktaking of Natanz in mid-November Iran had produced 839 kg of low enriched uranium hexafluoride – more than 200kg more than previously thought.

Tehran then produced an additional 171 kg by the end of January.

“It’s sure as hell certain that if they didn’t have it [enough] when the IAEA took these measurements, they will have it in a matter of weeks,” Mr Zimmerman said.

Iran’s success in reaching such a “breakout capacity” – a stage which would allow it to produce enough fissile material for a bomb in a matter of months – crosses a “red line” that for years Israel has said it would not accept.

However, UN officials emphasise that in order to produce fissile material Iran would have to reconfigure its Natanz plant to produce high enriched uranium rather than low enriched uranium – a highly visible step that would take months – or to shift its stockpile to another clandestine site.

No such sites have been proved to exist, although for decades Iran hid evidence of its nuclear programme.

A senior UN official added that countries usually waited until they had an enriched uranium stockpile sufficient for several bombs before proceeding to develop fissile material. But he conceded that Iran now had enough enriched uranium for one bomb.

“Do they have enough low enriched uranium to produce a significant quantity [enough high enriched uranium for a bomb]?” he asked. “In theory this is possible, [although] with the present configuration at Natanz it isn’t.”

David Albright, the head of the Institute for Science and International Security, said: ““If Iran did decide to build nuclear weapons, it’s entering an era in which it could do so quickly.”

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009

February 7, 2009

Next Stop: Socialism

There is a part in Braveheart, toward the end of the movie, after William Wallace has already defeated the English at York. King Edward I has returned from France and his huge army is facing off against Wallace's fledgling squad. After the Irish join Wallace and before King Edward orders his archers to shoot-Wallace raises a flag in the middle of the battlefield to signal his calvary to come into the battle-led by one of the nobles who had earlier wanted to compromise with the English. Unfortunately he raises the flag only to see them walk away in betrayal. Victory after Victory--and then just as he sits on the edge on complete victory over England, he is betrayed, the war is lost, and his death is ultimately sealed.

The feeling of betrayal: When your heartbeat slows, a sick feeling rises up within, and a rush of depression sets in.

Outnumbered 58-41, all republicans had to do was hold the line, give the American people enough time to rise up in anger against their politicians and the battle would be won. And just when we needed them most, 3 of them walked to the other side.

FoxNews reports that the approaching 1 TRILLION dollar government spending plan has passed thanks to the help Arlan Specter of Pennsylvania,Susan Collins and Olympia Snow of Maine.
Senators have reached a tentative deal on a version of President Obama's economic spending plan, including about $811 billion in spending and tax cuts, that will win enough Republican votes to move forward.

Sens. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Susan Collins of Maine appeared to be the critical Republicans to sign onto the bill, giving Democrats the 60 votes needed to advance to a final vote. Democrats also voiced confidence that Republican Sen. Olympia Snow of Maine also would vote for the plan.
Just as our hero--Capitalism--was on the verge of victory----Betrayal. Now, the Left's troops are rushing in for the kill:
Ted Ted Kennedy is summoned back
WASHINGTON -- Senator Edward M. Kennedy is returning to Washington to vote on the economic stimulus package, colleagues said this evening.
George Will summed up how the process worked in passing this bill:
Frightened people are receptive to his pleas for large and quick action: Just do it -- we'll count the cost later. As Emerson said, when skating on thin ice, safety lies in speed, and the administration's confidence in what it is doing should be -- this is not its fault -- thin.
The CBO (Congressional Budget Office) recently came out with numbers that say this bill will have a longer term harm on the economy than help. National Review went through the bill to confirm this.
We will count the costs eventually , and they will be many: Lower standards of living, massive inflation, and less geo-political power. An estimated 2.5 Trillion fiscal deficit, another 2 trillion toward fixing our banks, and now a 1 trillion spending spree. All in all, government is attempting the biggest power grab in the history of mankind. We don't have the money to pay for this, but government is doing its best to create wealth by simply printing it. The problem is that government cannot create wealth--rather only re-distribute it. Capitalism is dying, one bill at a time. Next up: Nationalized Health Care.

Russian Bear on the Move.

Russian Bear is on the move today, as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

MOSCOW -- Russia is reasserting its role in Central Asia with a Kremlin push to eject the U.S. from a vital air base and a Moscow-led pact to form an international military force to rival NATO -- two moves that potentially complicate the new U.S. war strategy in Afghanistan.
"Russia would like to reassert itself in the region, and it is using the financial crisis as an opportunity," said Nikolai Zlobin, senior fellow at the World Security Institute, a Washington think tank.

Prophecy: 2,600 years ago, Ezekiel 38 & 39, the prophet predicted a powerful army from the north would ally with a powerful army from the east and unite to attack Israel. While not specially mentioned as 'Russia' and 'China' in Biblical prophecy, many believe that these countries fit the description in Ezekiel's prophecy.

A prominent theologian, John F. Walvoord had this to say about the prophecy:

"Today, to the north of the nation Israel is the armed might of Russia. Never before has it seemed more likely that the prediction will be fulfilled given by Ezekiel (chapter 38-39) of an invasion from the north. To the east is the rising might of Red China, with the growing force of nationalism in India as well as the revival of Japan. Never before has it seemed more likely that there should be a tremendous military host coming from Asia, crossing the Euphrates river, and moving down on the scene of battle in the Middle East as predicted in Revelation 9:16."

The resurgence of the Bear has made this prophecy all the more anticipated.

NOTE: The following video has quite poor sound quality-if you find a better video on this subject let me know. This video addresses the question: Who is Gog?

February 4, 2009

America's Cultural Shift

The 20th Century was about innovation and opportunity and the change of a culture. Defined by landmark dates on February 27 1963 and February 10, 1947. Why these dates? Each date symbolized the the culture war that continues today.

February 27, 1963 was the date that Prayer was outlawed in our public schools in Abington Township School District V. Schempp. The precedent was set, now the 1992 Weisman decision against prayer at public announcements and Sante-Fe vs Doe barring student led prayers at public school events have solidified that precedent.

February 10,1947 was the day that the words, "Separation of Church and State" were etched into our Constitution. In Brown V. Board of Education, judge Black ruled, "The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach." With these words, the avalanche against religion in the public square started and has continued to this day.

Now it is against the rules to pray or expostulate doctrine of any sort other than Secular Humanism. Christians have lost their voice slowly over the last few decades, fading one court case at a time.

Strands of Freedom

PRINCIPLES OF A FREE SOCIETY: I thought it about time to touch on some of the most important principles that America was built on.

Limited Government
The rightful functions of government are to guarantee individual liberty, private property, internal order, the provision of national defense, and the administration of justice. When the state exceeds this proper role, it accumulates power and becomes a threat to personal liberty.

Individual Liberty
Individuals posses rights to life, liberty, property, and freedom from the restriction of arbitrary force. They exercise these rights through the use of their natural free will.

The Rule of Law
Laws, not men, rule a free society. The constitution of the United States, with its division of powers, is the best arrangement yet devised for empowering government while preventing the concentration of power.

Personal Responsibility
Personal responsibility is central to the idea of a free society and to the concept of self-government. Because each individual is morally responsible for his acts, citizens in a free society have an obligation to educate themselves to further the common good through the political process; this is the proper and necessary function of self-government.

Free-Market Economy
Allocating resources by the free play of supply and demand is the single economic system compatible with the requirements of a free society, and also the most productive and efficient supplier of human needs.

Moral Norms
The values, customs, conventions, and norms of the Judeo-Christian tradition inform and guide a free society. Without such ordinances, society induces its deay by embracing a relativism that rejects an objective moral order.

CAP & TRADE: A review on a dangerous piece of legislation that may get passed in 2009.

America's Climate Security Act of 2007 (S. 2191), sponsored by Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA), is the latest and fastest-moving "cap and trade" bill introduced in Congress this year. Recently, it made it out of committee hearings and on to the senate floor where it has a very good possibility of passing in the next two or three weeks. Debate starts next week. While scanning the blogs and listening to the media it seems the one thing no one discusses is the merits to a 'cap and trade' bill. Whether or not you believe in global warming-the more important issue is our economy. No-one wants our economy to enter an economic ice age and collapse before our world overheats, yet this is exactly what our congress is trying to do.

What on earth is Cap and Trade?
Cap and Trade is effectively a system that puts a maximum 'cap' on the whole industry for emissions and then allows companies to bid up for their share of the pie and then 'trade' away their permits to others less fortunate.

Here's what I do not understand: Our nation is in an energy debacle. Brazil is energy independent. France runs 70% on nuclear power. China is expected to double their oil demand in 10 years! What are we doing? Are we drilling offshore? Drilling in a small refuge in Alaska? Passing legislation to provide incentives for oil companies to build a refinery--which they haven't done in 30 years? Legislation to provide incentive for natural gas, Cellulosic Ethonal, solar energy, wind energy, etc.?


What are we doing? We are interviewing oil executives and asking them about why the costs of oil is so high (Check this exchange out with Maxine Walters). We are passing legislation for a gas tax holiday and now are providing limits on our energy companies ability to produce pollution.

Here lies the problem. Our nation relies on 60%+ on petroleum and coal to fuel our industry. Guess who produces 60%+ of our pollution? You guessed it, our major energy producers. Coincidence? I don't think so. Carbon dioxide is the unavoidable byproduct of fossil fuel combustion, which currently provides 85 percent of America's energy. What our congress is currently trying to do with this liebrman-warner bill is to restrict our main energy companies for producing--by making them pay a huge tax via permit on their pollution--all the while providing no-NO INCENTIVES-for our nation to become energy independent.

For an in depth analysis of this legislation see this website.

CAP & TRADE Continued:
For those who do not get the IBD, Investors Business Daily, I read an article about the new Warner-Lieberman (WL) cap and trade plan that explained in rational terms why on earth this bill will have a devastating effect on the United States. This IBD article was commenting on a recent editorial criticism by the Washington Journal.

Here is a section that put this WL plan into perspective.
"The Journal argues that cap and trade policies would impose the most extensive government reorganization of the American economy since the 1930's including a huge tax increase, higher prices across the board and significant losses to economic growth in the decades ahead.
But why do we need a planned economy for energy or anything else? Why not a fully deregulated free market for energy where prices allocate production and consumption?

And why not allow the current $130 a barrel oil price to open the door to a full portfolio of energy resources, including offshore drilling. Alaska, nuclear power, oil shale, conversion of coal and natural gas to liquid fuel, and the development of so called alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, and various cellulosic investments?

A true free-market approach wouldn't pick winners and loosers with heavy subsidies or penalties."

Coal fired power plants provide 50% of our electricity. Do you realize what this bill is presenting us with? Economic suicide in the name of green peace. Can you imagine what would happen should we loose 50% of our supply of electricity? It's back to Jimmy Carter's days and turning down the heat and putting a sweater on. Forget about solving the problems, forget about solutions. Our congress has lost it. Here we sit on the Saudi Arabia of Coal with 27% of the world's coal reserves right here in our land--enough to power our country for 60 years. And our congress is trying to pass legislation to limit---LIMIT--our energy supply?!

I guess this is what America is all about. It's like what Barack Obama said so thoughtfully recently,

"We are the greatest nation on planet earth. And we are tired of the status quo, we need change."

Coal Cap Plan is like the Saudis Capping Wells.

For more information read the following article.

Here's a test for you. Rate yourself on your political preferences.
1. Strongly Agree. 2. Agree 3. Don't Know. 4. Disagree. 5. Strongly Disagree.

1. Partial birth abortion should remain illegal.

2. Private Organizations should be free to set and maintain their own leadership and membership standards without involvement by the government.

3. The courts should not restrict the expression of religious faith.

4. The courts should interpret the Constitution strictly, with careful respect for individuals' rights and freedoms.

5. Public school students' freedom of speech should not be restricted when that speech is "prayer" or a public expression of their religious views.

6. Individuals should not receive special rights and privileges under the law on account of their sexual behavior.

The more points you have, the more like Ted Kennedy you become.

Toleration is not Virtue

A recent Comment by our Supreme Court Chief Justice:

“I mean, you have a Statue of Liberty; do we have to have a statue of despotism? Or do we have to put any president who wants to be on Mount Rushmore?” Chief Justice John Roberts asked, acknowledging his examples might go a bit far.

A bit far, but not by much. Toleration is defined in the classical sense in the dictionary definition as 'putting up with someone'. Rather in today's society, the definition now entails encompassing or promoting the opposing view. A recent court ruling in England gave credence to Sharia Law. Do you believe that we should implement this law in America because we also have a minority of Muslims? Sharia Law would allow men to marry multiple wives and stone those who commit sodomy . George Washington said in his farewell address that religion and morality are the indispensable supports that lead to political prosperity. For a democracy to work we have to have a moral people, a people who takes offense at evil and promotes the general welfare of all. We have to take a stand for morality and decency. However we cannot take a stand to tolerate all views, as to do so risks losing our own.

Victor Davis of National Review had this to say about the issue:
On social issues, there has to be some conservative touchstone, like reverence for uniqueness and beauty of individual life. What unites skepticism about euthanasia, abortion on demand, or embryonic stem-cell research is fear of a sort of soulless Brave New World notion that individuals don’t matter, that ease of lifestyle trumps every other difficult moral consideration, and that such thinking is the beginning — not the end — of something frightening.

Complacency has overtaken virtue in our country as we have failed in the simplest processes of vetting a president. We vote on looks and image, not substance. When asked how your candidate stands on issues such as marriage, public prayer, ten commandment displays, and so on can you give a definitive answer?

We must take a stand and regardless of your religious preference, realize that religious displays and actions are just fine in their own right--we don't need to succumb to pressure to display the opposite view. Do Muslims--In Arab countries-- ask permission from the small Catholic and Christian minority to practice their religion? Not even close. We may live in a democracy, but the same principle applies---that those who control the majority control the law. If our nation relies on our Judeo-Christian roots, we should not feel obliged to establish a Mulsim Mosk across the street from every church in America. We are free nation because our founders stood for principles such as the rule of law and moral norms while intolerant of the opposite. For those on the side of free society, Intolerance is not vice, rather virtue.

It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.” Samuel Adams

Socilism's Slippery Slope

"The road toward socialism is paved with social cures of good intention."

Both Mona Charen and Charles Krauthammer beautifully illustrate how the road toward socialism is paved with social cures of good intention and this cure has failed, and failed miserably. We are at a crossroads in our society. Reject big government and return to free markets as a means to spread wealth around OR cradle the crisis as a new moment to address social change and thus utterly destroy wealth and create the USSR II or the United States Socialist Republic

Read Charles Kraughammer's Observation here in the Washington Post.
Read Mona Charen's Observation here in the IBD.

A good summary as well taken from the Prudent Bear Forum:
"As Lincoln Steffans didn't say but should have:
'I have seen the future, and it doesn't work. But we're going to do it anyway.'

Or as Marx himself should have put it, but didn't: 'History repeats itself; first as tragedy then as greater tragedy.'

(Steffans, by the way, penned his famous line in a Swedish railway car, heading for the Soviet border; he hadn't yet arrived in the Utopian Paradise he was "reporting" on.)

I'm increasingly convinced that there will be no place to draw a line in the sand to halt the ongoing piecemeal nationalization of the U.S. economy: any remaining bits of the financial/banking indistry, car makers, airlines, farmers and truckers and whatever else ya got.

And after $8.5T (and counting) of Bush administration money shovelled to its Wall Street constituency, do you think the new Obama people are not going to reward their own Main Street constituency with at least an equal amount?

And once that sort of Nationwide Helicopter Drop is underway, is there any sane reason for denying government so-called "money" (you should excuse the expression) to ANY entity of any sort? What reasonable-sounding rationale for saying no would you devise?

In brief, comrades, start getting your heads around the idea of "Life In the Soviet Paradise, Part II." The taxes (overt ones plus the hidden one of inflation) needed to meet interest payments on the indebitedness of the U.S. will lower standards of living to Soviet levels. And the inevitable inefficiency of government Central Planning, necessary in an economy where the government owns everything of any significance, will further depress GDP growth. (Though only, of course, "temporarilly" -- only for "the duration of the emergency.")

Krauthammer takes the optimistic view that eventually -- perhaps after a quarter-century -- some U.S. Margaret Thatcher might get us out of our coming socialist economic stagnation.

Maybe; maybe not. In the shorter run, as well as the longer, I think we're a lot more likely to see the results urged by Moscow in a 1940's directive to their British comrades that the lower organs of the Party must make even greater efforts to penetrate the backward parts of the proletariat .

Inalienable Rights

December 10, 1948—sixty+ years ago—the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was born. Promulgated as the smoke of the death camps still lingered, the document was a stunned world’s attempt to enshrine human rights and dignity, to ensure that such “contempt for human rights” would never again “outrage the conscience of mankind.”

As Joseph Loconte observes in the Weekly Standard, human rights aren’t what they used to be:

Sixty years ago, when the United Nations was debating the creation of an international statement on human rights, Eleanor Roosevelt, then serving as head of the Human Rights Commission, delivered a caustic speech at the Sorbonne. “We must not be deluded by the efforts of the forces of reaction to prostitute the great words of our free tradition and thereby to confuse the struggle,” she said. “Democracy, freedom, human rights have come to have a definite meaning to the people of the world, which we must not allow to so change that they are made synonymous with suppression and dictatorship.”

. . . Mrs. Roosevelt’s fear about the perversion of human rights is on full display in the international community. More than half of the 47 members of the Human Rights Council, the principal U.N. body charged with promoting human rights, fail to uphold basic democratic freedoms in their own countries. Using the canards of anti-colonialism and anti-Americanism, they block resolutions that might embarrass them on the world stage. Thus, some of the most egregious offenders of human rights—including China, Cuba, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe—typically evade censure. Last week, for example, the Human Rights Council approved a resolution praising the Kinshasa government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, whose military stands accused of mass rape and murder. . . .

Where is Jefferson when you need him? When human rights are no longer considered the gift of nature and nature’s God, human dignity is made more vulnerable to assault. When repressive regimes are rewarded with membership and voting privileges in U.N. bodies, the entire human rights project is debased. The political result is that fundamental rights–the right to life, freedom of speech, freedom of religion–become negotiable. In the end, they become disposable.

Rights are at the very heart of this republic that is based on principles of freedom and justice. Society as we know it will not survive long with those rights being continually suppressed and taken away.

Nancy Pelosi: America's symbolic Leader

Nancy Pelosi: A symbolic figure of America's Leadership Black Hole

February 3, 2009

Econ 101: Don't repeat your mistakes

“You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste; it’s an opportunity to do important things that you would otherwise avoid.”

— Rahm Emanuel

The more I watch our politicians duke it out on capital hill, the more I sense that there is a general misunderstanding of economics 101. Certain basics are simply missing from the corpus callosum (your brains superhighway). It’s not that we haven’t been through this before-just 70 years ago a recession was turned into a decade long depression because of government’s interference in the markets. Here’s 3 things we (should have) learned from that time period.

- Taxes: Don’t Increase them-rather cut them. Give people back more of their money and they will spend it! Ronald Reagan did this in the 80’s and the economic boom lasted a quarter century. The idea that government creates wealth has been one of the biggest misnomer’s ever believed. Productive working people create wealth—NOT the government.

+ Money Supply: It is estimated that close to 40% of the world’s wealth has been wiped out by this crisis. Money is disappearing faster than one can blink. In an extremely deflationary environment, the Fed needs to put as much liquidity into the market as possible.

- Trade Restrictions: In 1929 two senators, Smoot and Hawley, imposed massive tariffs—and many credit this policy to starting the great depression. After American started slapping tariffs on their policies, other countries did the same and the transfer of goods stopped flowing.

America's Demise in the 1930's can be traced back to failed government polices; the most prominent being the Smoot Hawley Tariffs and the National Investment Recovery Act. Here is a paragraph from a prominent UCLA economist on the effect of this policy:

The most damaging policies were those at the heart of the recovery plan, including The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), which tossed aside the nation's antitrust acts and permitted industries to collusively raise prices provided that they shared their newfound monopoly rents with workers by substantially raising wages well above underlying productivity growth. The NIRA covered over 500 industries, ranging from autos and steel, to ladies hosiery and poultry production. Each industry created a code of "fair competition" which spelled out what producers could and could not do, and which were designed to eliminate "excessive competition" that FDR believed to be the source of the Depression.

Will we learn our lesson? History repeats itself often, first 'tragedy, and later as greater tragedy.' One thing we can be certain of during this transition in America's history is that this 'opportunity will not be put to waste.'

The government/quasi-government body most responsible for creating this mess (the Fed), will attempt a big power grab, purportedly to fix whatever problems it creates. The bigger the mess it creates, the more power it will attempt to grab. Over time this leads to dangerously concentrated power into the hands of those who have already proven they do not know what they are doing.

The bigger the mess, the bigger the 'solution' for this current crisis. The problem is that for every government solution implemented---government creates a thousand problems right along with it. Take for example social security:

When the Social Security Act was passed in 1935, the program embodied new ideas on the role of government and engendered significant opposition. Yet one point remained clear: Social Security was not “relief,” what is today termed “welfare.” This new program, explained President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was to be an earned right by American workers, not a handout.

The justification was that it was not supposed to be a handout--rather earned by American workers. Hitler mastered this tactic of rationalization long enough to blind a whole generation of Germans into believing the Jews were not even human. Is America going to take this opportunity implement true reform? We shall see.