"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Caroline Glick on Pending Syrian Strikes



"Let us all prepare for Operation: Oops! I Said Red Line!" (h/t to Iowahawk)

You may have noticed that I haven't posted anything about the Obama's declaration of attacking Syria. Well, every once in a while a political story comes up that just makes me too angry to write about. and this latest Obama idiocy is one of them. I just end up wanting to write a lines and lines of swearing, so I just remain mum on the topic at this blog. I mean the idea that we will help bomb for and assist Al Qaeda in further destabilizing the Middle East at Obama's say-so is incredible.

But fortunately the reliable Caroline Glick has written an excellent analysis for The Jerusalem Post. As much as I want to, I can't just copy & paste her editorial, so I strongly suggest you got the link below and read the whole piece.


From Caroline Glick's essay "Obama's bread and circuses":

The questions that ought to have been answered before any statements were made by the likes of Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel have barely been raised in the public arena. The most important of those questions are: What US interests are at stake in Syria? How should the US go about advancing them? What does Syria's use of chemical weapons means for the US's position in the region? How would the planned US military action in Syria impact US deterrent strength, national interests and credibility regionally and worldwide? Syria is not an easy case. Thirty months into the war there, it is clear that the good guys, such as they are, are not in a position to win.

Syria is controlled by Iran and its war is being directed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and by Hezbollah. And arrayed against them are rebel forces dominated by al-Qaida.

As US Sen. Ted Cruz explained this week, "Of nine rebel groups [fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad], seven of them may well have some significant ties to al-Qaida." 
With no good horse to bet on, the US and its allies have three core interests relating to the war. First, they have an interest in preventing Syria's chemical, biological and ballistic missile arsenals from being used against them either directly by the regime, through its terror proxies or by a successor regime.

Second, the US and its allies have an interest in containing the war as much as possible to Syria itself.
 
Finally, the US and its allies share an interest in preventing Iran, Moscow or al-Qaida from winning the war or making any strategic gains from their involvement in the war.

For the past two-and-a-half years, Israel has been doing an exemplary job of securing the first interest. According to media reports, the IDF has conducted numerous strikes inside Syria to prevent the transfer of advanced weaponry, including missiles from Syria to Hezbollah.

Rather than assist Israel in its efforts that are also vital to US strategic interests, the US has been endangering these Israeli operations. US officials have repeatedly leaked details of Israel's operations to the media. These leaks have provoked several senior Israeli officials to express acute concern that in providing the media with information regarding these Israeli strikes, the Obama administration is behaving as if it is interested in provoking a war between Israel and Syria. The concerns are rooted in a profound distrust of US intentions, unprecedented in the 50-year history of US-Israeli strategic relations.  
[...]  
It is important to note that despite the moral depravity of the regime's use of chemical weapons, none of America's vital interests is impacted by their use within Syria. Obama's pledge last year to view the use of chemical weapons as a tripwire that would automatically cause the US to intervene militarily in the war in Syria was made without relation to any specific US interest.

But once Obama made his pledge, other US interests became inextricably linked to US retaliation for such a strike. The interests now on the line are America's deterrent power and strategic credibility. If Obama responds in a credible way to Syria's use of chemical weapons, those interests will be advanced. If he does not, US deterrent power will become a laughing stock and US credibility will be destroyed.
[...]
Iran achieved a strategic achievement by exposing the US as a paper tiger in Syria. With this accomplishment in hand, the Iranians will feel free to call Obama's bluff on their nuclear weapons project. Obama's "shot across the bow" response to Syria's use of chemical weapons in a mass casualty attack signaled the Iranians that the US will not stop them from developing and deploying a nuclear arsenal.

Policy-makers and commentators who have insisted that we can trust Obama to keep his pledge to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons have based their view on an argument that now lies in tatters. They insisted that by pledging to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, Obama staked his reputation on acting competently to prevent Iran from getting the bomb. To avoid losing face, they said, Obama will keep his pledge.

Obama's behavior on Syria has rendered this position indefensible. Obama is perfectly content with shooting a couple of pot shots at empty government installations. As far as he is concerned, the conduct of air strikes in Syria is not about Syria, or Iran. They are not the target audience of the strikes. The target audience for US air strikes in Syria is the disengaged, uninformed American public.
 
Obama believes he can prove his moral and strategic bonafides to the public by declaring his outrage at Syrian barbarism and then launching a few cruise missiles from an aircraft carrier. The computer graphics on the television news will complete the task for him.

The New York Times claimed on Thursday that the administration's case for striking Syria would not be the "political theater" that characterized the Bush administration's case for waging war in Iraq. But at least the Bush administration's political theater ended with the invasion. In Obama's case, the case for war and the war itself are all political theater.
 
While for a few days the bread and circuses of the planned strategically useless raid will increase newspaper circulation and raise viewer ratings of network news, it will cause grievous harm to US national interests. As far as US enemies are concerned, the US is an empty suit.

Any idiotic strike in Syria is not designed by Obama as a warning to any foreign power (including Syria)-- it's designed to appease Obama's public image to Americans. And it's a loser idea-- as any poll asking about support for American intervention in Syria clearly shows.

We're going to become Al Qaeda allies and place our Middle Eastern allies at terrible risk for a failed PR attempt.

This is amateur hour politics at it's worst.

Obama's a petulant, unqualified, community organizer. Own it.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

North Korea Arrests and then Summarily Machine Guns Down Musical Star



Hyon-Song-wol


She was also the rumored former lover of Kim Junh Un.

From The Telegraph (warning annoying auto-play video at link):

The performer [Hyon Song-wol], who was rumoured to be a former lover of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, is reported to have been arrested on Aug 17 for violating laws against pornography. Her musical group, the Unhasu Orchestra, and other entertainers from the Wangjaesan Light Music Band were also arrested.  
The group was executed in public three days later.  
“They were executed with machine guns while the key members of the Unhasu Orchestra, Wangjaesan Light Band and Moranbong Band as well as the families of the victims looked on,” said a Chinese source reported in the Chosun Ilbo newspaper. 
Kim met Hyon about a decade ago, before either of them were married but was later ordered to break off their relationship by his father Kim Jong-il. She then married a soldier but there have been rumours that the two continued their love affair.

Just another day in the murderous and glorious workers' paradise.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

United States' Only Black Senator, Tim Scott, Not Invited to MLK Event


Sen. Tim Scott (R)
Ben Jealous, President of NAACP



It's because Scott doesn't think the right way. And he's with the wrong party. Plus, he's not black enough, unlike current NAACP president Ben Jealous.

From The Washington Examiner:

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., the only black person serving in the United States Senate, wasn’t invited to the event commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s march on Washington, though a host of Democratic luminaries spoke on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. 
“Senator Scott was not invited to speak at the event,” Greg Blair, a spokesman for the South Carolina lawmaker, said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. “The senator believes today is a day to remember the extraordinary accomplishments and sacrifices of Dr. King, Congressman John Lewis, and an entire generation of black leaders. Today’s anniversary should simply serve as an opportunity to reflect upon how their actions moved our country forward in a remarkable way.”

BREAKING: Fort Hood Shooter Nidal Hasan Sentenced to Death



Nidal Hasan

A jury has sentenced Nidal Hasan to death for his shooting rampage in the 2009 Fort Hood massacre.

McWhorter Essay on Civil Rights in The Wall Street Journal


John McWhorter


John McWhorter has an excellent piece in The Wall Street Journal. Check it out (link below).

From McWhorter:

However, in the decades since the March on Washington, black America has been taken on a detour by too many self-described progressive black thinkers and leaders, whose quixotic psycho-social experiment they disguise as a continuation of the civil-rights movement. With segregation illegal and public racism considered a moral outrage, we black Americans are now told that we will not truly overcome until Americans don't even harbor private racist sentiment, until race plays not even a subtle role in America's social fabric. 
In other words, our current battle is no longer against segregation or bigotry but "racism" of the kind that can be revealed only by psychological experiments and statistical studies.

This battle is as futile as seeking a world without germs. "We have come to the nation's capital to cash a check," King said. But the preacher was talking about being freed from "the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination"—not asking whether Americans are aware of skin color or are more likely to associate black faces with negative words in an experiment. 

Along these lines, the term "institutional racism," which the Black Power movement injected into the lexicon in the late 1960s, is more damaging to the black psyche than the n-word or any crude jokes about plantations or food stamps. The term encourages blacks to think of society—in which inequality, while real, is complex and faceless—as actively and reprehensibly racist in the same way that Archie Bunker was. The result is visceral bitterness toward something that can't feel or think. 
Equally distracting is the notion that America needs a "conversation" about race, one in which whites submit to a lesson from blacks about so-called institutional racism. "Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening," King told us in his speech. What we awaken to now is the rudeness of idle talk, of those who blow off steam by demanding a "conversation" that will not bear fruit—look no further than President Clinton's national effort on that front in the late 1990s—and in any case wouldn't provide greater opportunity to any poor person. 
The "conversation" idea is fundamentally passive because it assumes that what black people need most is for white people to think better of them and more about them. So why does it command such allegiance among blacks? Because it channels the idea that our most urgent task is to speak truth to power, rather than to help black people who need it. Too many suppose that the two tasks are still the same as they were in 1963, when the reality is now quite different. [emphasis mine]

McWhorter covers one of the major reasons why people find it so frustrating to speak about race. When most White people talk about racism they're referring to what's been traditionally taught as racism-- racial segregation, judging by the skin color rather than content of character, etc. However. when many Black people speak of racism, especially those in academia, they are referring to the terrible concept of "institutional racism." This concept has to be addressed.

The Black leadership in this country has been fervently pushing the concept "institutional racism," a rather vague concept, thus insuring that racism is forever a problem. The result produces angry people frustrated at an insolvable problem that bears basically no effect on their own lives. It's a vicious circumstance, and one that is exploited by the the Black leadership and Democrats.

Any conversation about race has to begin with an attack upon the concept of "institutional racism" and the devastating effect it has had on the Black community and upon race relations in the last twenty or so years.

Friday, August 23, 2013

American Incomes Dropped Twice as Much During Obama's "Recovery" than During the Recession


"Now look, I know things aren't great, but you all would be driving homemade armored cars and shooting crossbows at each other if it wasn't for me. I'm all that's keeping America from becoming "The Road Warrior!"

Smart diplomacy and smart economics. Uh, right?

Guess what? Governments are not really that effective and redistributing income. This is why the Soviet Union, North Korea, and Maoist China didn't work-- unless you feel that the starving of millions of people is indicative of success. By the way, more people than you might believe think that's true-- just as long as the right people are starving.

From Jeffrey H. Anderson at The Weekly Standard (via Drudge):

President Obama likes to talk about income inequality, but what matters far more is the actual income of the typical American. And how has the typical American household income fared on Obama's watch? Well, the economic "recovery" has now spanned an Olympiad, and during that time the typical American household income has not only dropped—it has dropped more than twice as much as it did during the recession.  
New estimates derived from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey by Sentier Research indicate that the real (inflation-adjusted) median annual household income in America has fallen by 4.4 percent during the "recovery," after having fallen by 1.8 during the recession. During the recession, the median American household income fell by $1,002 (from $55,480 to $54,478). During the recovery—that is, from the officially defined end of the recession (in June 2009) to the most recent month for which figures are available (June 2013)—the median American household income has fallen by $2,380 (from $54,478 to $52,098). So the typical American household is making almost $2,400 less per year (in constant 2013 dollars) than it was four years ago, when the Obama "recovery" began.  
Importantly, these income tallies include government payouts such as unemployment compensation and cash welfare. So Obama's method of funneling ever-more money and power to Washington, and then selectively divvying some of it back out, clearly isn't working for the typical American family.

I'm sure it's racism or Bush's fault that Americans are struggling under Obama's policies and edicts. Clearly we can't hold Obama accountable for the predictable consequences of his Leftist policies.

And if you think that Americans are feeling the bite, wait until ObamaCare really kicks in. It will not be pretty.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Major Democratic States California, Illinois, New York "Hemorrhaging" Tax Dollars





And reason number 10,001 as to why I fled California...

From Walter Russell Mead's Blog:

Blue states like California and Illinois are struggling meeting obligations for their own public pension funds, so they certainly don’t need this latest bit of news—their tax bases are shrinking drastically. A new study on state-by-state income migration from the Tax Foundation (h/t WSJ), found that New York, California, and Illinois—the largest blue states in the country—led the country in income flight during the last decade. New York was hit particularly hard, losing $46 billion dollars of taxable income to people leaving the state over the past ten years. And these states were not alone: blue stalwarts like Maryland, New Jersey, and Massachusetts were not far behind. 
Red and purple destinations like Florida, Texas, Arizona and North Carolina led the pack of states benefiting from this migration, each gaining over $10 billion in taxable income due to new migrants from other states. Although the red/blue divide breaks down somewhat towards the middle of the group—red states like Louisiana saw some minor losses while blue states like Vermont enjoyed modest gains—the overall pattern is hard to miss.
Okay, so the Democrats' tax and spend strategies don't work. This has been known decades, but still we persist in putting people into government who steadily bankrupt the states. Just make a few promises, throw race into the mix, and make some moral appeal to help the poor by paying outrageous sums to bureaucrats and to politically connected non-profits. Oh, and throw in some major money into government workers pensions which is guaranteed to lose money exponentially. It's asinine.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Obama Presides Over an "Unprecedented" Number of Long-Term Unemployed


Don't worry! This man shall save the day while lowering the levels of the ocean!

But I'm sure Obama's job-killing economic policies aren't to blame...

From The Washington Free Beacon article by Bill McMorris:

The economy has seen an “unprecedented” number of long-term unemployed under the Obama administration, according to a liberal think tank, and economists say plans pursued by Democrats in Washington are unlikely to curb the problem. 
Nearly 5 million workers are classified as long-term unemployed, while 900,000 more have stopped looking for work altogether, according to a new series of reports issued by the Urban Institute. 
Three percent of the labor force has been out of work for more than six months, an improvement of only one percentage point since unemployment spiked in October 2009, according to the study
“That long-term unemployment would rise during a recession is not at all surprising, but the extent of the increase and its persistently high level since the start of the recovery are both troubling and unprecedented,” the report states. “The U.S. economy is now well into its fourth year of recovery, the unemployment rate is below 8 percent [is it below 8% when you count those 900,000 who have stopped looking for work?], yet the long-term share of unemployment is still near 40 percent.” 
The center-left think tank said that those startling figures are unlikely to change unless the United States can achieve dramatic job growth, rather than the middling 2 percent overall economic growth figures the Obama administration has averaged.

Boy, it sounds like Obama had better pump another $1 trillion of "stimulus" into Democratic donors' coffers. Or maybe invest billions more into "green" energy companies like Solyndra.

The Movie "The Butler" Distorts History to Add Racial Tension


Eugene Allen-- a man whose story isn't good enough for Hollywood

Well, I guess the real story of Eugene Allen just didn't show White people and conservatives in a bad enough light for the film makers.

From Richard A. Epstein's article at the Hoover Institute:

One early entrant into this dialogue is The Butler, a new film by Lee Daniels. In the movie, Forest Whitaker plays the fictional butler Cecil Gaines, who worked for seven presidential administrations from Eisenhower to Reagan. The movie was inspired by the life of Eugene Allen, who did in fact serve in the White House between 1952 and 1986 under eight presidents from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan. Days after Barack Obama was elected president, an affectionate account of Allen’s service was written up by Wil Haygood in the Washington Post. But Allen’s story stands in stark contrast to the fictional Cecil Gaines’. 
A Tale of Two Butlers 
 Born in 1919, Eugene Allen grew up in segregated Virginia, and slowly worked his way up the butler profession, largely without incident. Unlike the fictional Cecil Gaines, he did not watch the boss rape his mother on a Georgia farm, only to shoot a bullet through his father’s head as he starts to protest the incident, leading Cecil years later to escape his past for a better future. 
Instead, over a period of years, Allen rose from a “pantry man” to the highest position in White House service, Maître d’hôtel. His life was marked by quiet distinction and personal happiness. He was married to the same woman, Helene, for 65 years. He had one son, Charles, who served in Vietnam. During the Reagan years, Nancy Reagan invited Allen and his wife to a state dinner as guests. When he retired shortly afterwards, “President Reagan wrote him a sweet note. Nancy Reagan hugged him, tight,” according to the story in the Washington Post. During service, he never said a word of criticism about any president. Nor was his resignation an act of political protest.  
The fictional Cecil, however, does not come to the White House under Truman, but arrives in 1957, just in time for one of the defining events of the civil rights movement—namely, President Eisenhower’s reluctant but firm decision to move federal troops into Little Rock, Arkansas, after Orval Faubus quite literally barred the school room door. 
In general, the movie is full of hype. Cecil’s wholly fictional older son Louis gets involved in the civil rights movement from the time of the sit-ins through the rise of the Black Panther movement, and a younger brother, who professes pride in his country pays the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam. Cecil’s wife, Gloria, falls prey to alcoholism and for a time has a shabby affair with the guy next door. 
Gaines’ service is marked by quiet frustration, knowing that black workers suffered a 40 percent wage deficit that lasted under the Reagan years, while being excluded from well-deserved promotions. When the weight of these injustices hit him, Cecil resigns to join his son Louis in a protest movement. When Slate’s, Aisha Harris was asked “How True is The Butler?” her candid answer was “not much.”.
I highly recommend reading all of Epstein's article at the link above. It's an excellent piece of work.

The additions to the story of Eugene Allen are telling. Why put in a fictional rape of a Black woman and the fictional murder of Black man by a White man? Why have a son killed in Vietnam? Why have another associated with the Black Panthers?

The film is designed from ground up to create racial tension. It's designed to say the only real, authentically Black man or woman is one that protests according to the will of the Black leadership. Oh yes, and let's not forget the fictional butler's triumph at seeing a half-Kenyan, half-White man elected to president so that he could just hammer the Black community economically--including horrid unemployment numbers.

The Butler is Leftist tripe. It'll win best picture-- as if anybody still cares about that show.

But what's really cloying to me is that the real story of Eugene Allen was decided to just not be good enough for Hollywood's Leftists. Allen's story was special to be certain, yet in many ways it reflects upon the typical stories of Black men living in the times of the segregated South. Allen's story is not wholly unlike the stories of people like my wife's father, her grandfather, and millions of hard-working men who overcame overt and very real racism to provide for their families, to earn a decent living (in both meanings of the word decent) with quiet dignity. Now this is thought of as working for "chump change."

What a betrayal...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fukushima Power Plant Leaking Tons of Highly Radioactive Water


Picture via The Japan Times article linked below

300 tons of radioactive water according to reports.

From The Japan Times article by Reiji Yoshida:

About 300 tons of highly radioactive water had leaked from a tank at the damaged Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant as of Tuesday afternoon, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. 
Tepco claims none of the water, which had been used to cool its stricken reactors and is highly radioactive, has flowed directly into the Pacific, apparently contained by a 30-cm-high waterproof concrete barrier surrounding dozens of tanks, including the leaking No. 5 tank. But some of the water may have been absorbed into the ground, joining with already tainted groundwater. 
Where the leak is occurring in the tank, which is bolted together and has sealed seams, remains elusive, however, even after workers finished pumping water from inside the barrier Tuesday afternoon. 
[...]  
The Nuclear Regulation Authority released a preliminary assessment of a level 1 incident on the eight-notch international severity scale for nuclear accidents. 
The amount of beta rays being emitted by radioactive materials in the leaked water, including strontium, was 80 million becquerels per liter, Tepco said. 

Not the best news coming out of Japan.

China's Communist Party Takes Aim at the Concepts of Human Rights, Media Independence, Civic Participation, Pro-Free Market Viewpoints, and Criticisms of the Party’s Genocidal Past


Xi Jinping

You know, it's good for China to occasionally remind us all that Marxism is built upon genocide, the most intimate and personal government coercions, a ridiculous economic theory, demonizing of politically convenient targets, secrecy, government misinformation, and lots and lots of heavy-handed propaganda. So many of us choose not to read about North Korea and we tend to forget the hundreds of millions of deaths that Marx has caused.

From The New York Times article by Chris Buckley (via Drudge):

Communist Party cadres have filled meeting halls around China to hear a somber, secretive warning issued by senior leaders. Power could escape their grip, they have been told, unless the party eradicates seven subversive currents coursing through Chinese society.  
These seven perils were enumerated in a memo, referred to as Document No. 9, that bears the unmistakable imprimatur of Xi Jinping, China’s new top leader. The first was “Western constitutional democracy”; others included promoting “universal values” of human rights, Western-inspired notions of media independence and civic participation, ardently pro-market “neo-liberalism,” and “nihilist” criticisms of the party’s traumatic past.  
[...]  
“Western forces hostile to China and dissidents within the country are still constantly infiltrating the ideological sphere,” says Document No. 9, the number given to it by the central party office that issued it in April. It has not been openly published, but a version was shown to The New York Times and was verified by four sources close to senior officials, including an editor with a party newspaper.         
Opponents of one-party rule, it says, “have stirred up trouble about disclosing officials’ assets, using the Internet to fight corruption, media controls and other sensitive topics, to provoke discontent with the party and government.”  
[...]  
Mr. Xi’s edicts have been disseminated in a series of compulsory study sessions across the country, like one in the southern province of Hunan that was recounted on a local government Web site.  
“Promotion of Western constitutional democracy is an attempt to negate the party’s leadership,” Cheng Xinping, a deputy head of propaganda for Hengyang, a city in Hunan, told a gathering of mining industry officials. Human rights advocates, he continued, want “ultimately to form a force for political confrontation.”  
[...]  
“Constitutionalism belongs only to capitalism,” said one commentary in the overseas edition of the People’s Daily. Constitutionalism “is a weapon for information and psychological warfare used by the magnates of American monopoly capitalism and their proxies in China to subvert China’s socialist system,” said another commentary in the paper.
Well, I'm sure it's just a phase for Mr Xi, and a little "smart diplomacy" from Obama's State Department will clear this all up. Maybe Obama can send Kerry over to China with a big, candy red reset button.

China's slide back into harder Left socialism is a problem that should not be overlooked. Hard Left socialism tends to eventually lead to either expansionism to pull in foreign resources, or genocidal scales of death to lessen the number of people needing resources. It's a tragic fact, but that's been the case in past for North Korea, China, the Soviet Union, Cuba, Cambodia... It's a sad list.

If China continues down this road, I can see several worst case possibilities that could lead to great instability (read that as possibly a war) in Asia. First, China could continue to contest the China Sea Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands with Japan. There's not a whole lot in the way of resources on the islands, but it could lead to a pretext for the Chinese to envelop more of the China Sea including more resource significant islands. Japan and other powers would not take to that lightly.

Second, it could lead to closer relations with North Korea. And should North Korea's saber rattling get really out of hand, China might become directly involved in a military conflict with South Korea and the United States. The severity of this conflict could range from naval vessels lobbing warning shots at each other to a war. Right now, I don't believe that China would go to the mat for North Korea and this keeps North Korea's provocations with South Korea and Japan slightly in check. If China were to get very chummy with their Marxist brother-in-arms for the glorious revolution and embolden North Korea, well...

Third, China could overstep their provocations against Taiwan. China tends to play provocateur toward Taiwan, both politically and militarily, with depressing frequency. With the United States' rather ambiguous military stance regarding a Chinese attack on Taiwan due to President Carter's annulment of the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, these provocations could increase, both in frequency and intensity, and lead to war. What the U.S.would do, especially with an Obama-like appeasement attitude, is uncertain.

But hey, it could be that China's slide to the hard Left is temporary. That, of course, would be best for everyone, but I honestly wouldn't hold my breath on that hope. And frankly I see the time as ripe for China to expand their military influence in Asia.

I believe that interesting times are ahead.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Oops. CDC Study Obama Ordered Contradicts White House's Anti-gun Narrative


"Now let's not read too much into these statistics. We all know that guns are instruments of pure evil, and that the NRA are crazy, racist terrorists who hate women and eat other people's babies. Clearly, we must all become like Illinois or Washington DC and suffer through the resulting increase in violent crime to make America fair and safe for everyone."

Surely you should have an inkling about the facts before commissioning a study for political use, right? Oh, I forgot... Obama and his amateur hour politics... My bad.

From The New American article by Bob Adelmann (h/t Ace of Spades):

In January, following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, President Obama issued a “Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence,” along with 22 other “initiatives.” That study, subcontracted out to the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, was completed in June and contained some surprises for the president. 
Obama had announced at the beginning of the year his push for three major gun control initiatives — universal background checks, a ban on “assault weapons,” and a ban on “high-capacity” magazines — to prevent future mass shootings, no doubt hoping that the CDC study would oblige him by providing evidence that additional gun control measures were justified to reduce gun violence. On the contrary, that study refuted nearly all the standard anti-gun narrative and instead supported many of the positions taken by gun ownership supporters. 
For example, the majority of gun-related deaths between 2000 and 2010 were due to suicide and not criminal violence: 
Between the years 2000-2010 firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups, annually accounting for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearms related violence in the United States. 
In addition, defensive use of guns “is a common occurrence,” according to the study: 
Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008. 
Accidental deaths due to firearms has continued to fall as well, with “the number of unintentional deaths due to firearm-related incidents account[ing] for less than 1 percent of all unintentional fatalities in 2010.” 
Furthermore, the key finding the president was no doubt seeking — that more laws would result in less crime — was missing. The study said that “interventions,” such as background checks and restrictions on firearms and increased penalties for illegal gun use, showed “mixed” results, while “turn-in” programs “are ineffective” in reducing crime. The study noted that most criminals obtained their guns in the underground economy — from friends, family members, or gang members — well outside any influence from gun controls on legitimate gun owners. 
Also, the report noted that mass shootings such as the one in Newtown, Connecticut, have declined and “account for a very small fraction of all firearm-related deaths.” 
There was one startling conclusion which, taken at face value, seemed to give the president what he was looking for. The study reported that “the U.S. rate of firearm-related homicide is higher than that of any other industrialized country: 19.5 times higher than the rates in other high-income countries.” However, Zara Matheson of the Martin Prosperity Institute, produced a map that compared gun violence rates in the major metropolitan areas of the country to rates of foreign countries. As Graham Noble of Guardian Express noted, “If one were to exclude figures for Illinois, California, New Jersey and Washington, DC, the homicide rate in the United States would be in line with any other country.” These areas, of course, are noted for the most restrictive gun laws in the country, thus negating any opportunity for the president to celebrate the report’s findings.

I can't decide which possibility is most likely: (1) that Obama is so ignorant about the numbers regarding gun violence and gun control that he actually thought the CDC report would back him up, or (2) Obama expected the CDC to fudge the numbers to his favor-- which isn't really possible for the CDC since they don't have control over gathering and analyzing the statistics. I suspect it's a combination of both.

Obama, like most of the modern American Left, are ruled by their "correct" opinion and rarely let facts-- statistical or otherwise-- get in the way of their views or their policies. If they did, we wouldn't be saddled with ObamaCare, nor would we have spent $1 trillion dollars on a "stimulus" that made the unemployment rates worse than doing nothing according to the White House's own numbers.

Dogma beats out reality for these people just about every time.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Obama's HUD Sends $200,000+ to ACORN Spin-Off Despite Federal Ban


"It is my mission to increase poverty and to spread misery and crime over the largest portions possible of these United States. ACORN is an important step in realizing this goal."

You know, I'm beginning to think that Obama doesn't have a whole lot of respect for the law.

From the Judicial Watch (h/t Mara Zebest at Gateway Pundit):

Judicial Watch, announced today that it has obtained documents from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) revealing that on February 12, 2013, HUD Assistant Secretary for Office of Housing Counseling Sarah Gerecke may have violated federal law by requesting that $201,222.07 be transferred from the account of the defunct Affordable Housing Centers of America (AHCOA), an ACORN spin-off, to HUD intermediary Mission for Peace “to specifically pay for the activities of former AHCOA affiliates.” 
According to the documents, obtained pursuant to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed on May 16, 2013, the Gerecke memo requesting the transfer appears to have been in violation of the first continuing resolution of FY 13. That resolution continued funding levels under the FY 2012 appropriations bills, which provided that no HUD funds “made available under this Act may be distributed to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) or its subsidiaries.”  
The Gerecke memo sent to Assistant Secretary for Housing-Federal Housing Commissioner Carol J. Galante, an Obama appointee, through Acting General Deputy Assistant Secretary of Housing Laura M. Marin stated: 
In March 2012, HUD’s Program Support Division (PSD) received notice that Affordable Housing Centers of American (AHCOA) had closed and would no longer participate in the HUD Housing Counseling Program. Upon closing, AHCOA had a balance of $201,222.07 in its account. 
The Office of Housing Counseling (OHC) is requesting to transfer, under the ‘replacement grant” rule, the AHCOA balance of $201,222.07 to MOP to specifically pay for the activities of the former AHCOA affiliates. PSD met with the Office of the General Counsel and the Office of Budget and Field Resources to confirm transfer was allowable. 
According to records obtained by Judicial Watch dated February 19, 2013, the funds were to be transferred to Mission of Peace President and CEO Reverend Elmira Smith-Vincent in Flint, Michigan. A Line of Credit Control System Treasury Detail memo obtained by Judicial Watch confirmed that the transfer had been made on February 25, 2013.  
[...]  
“Barack Obama is truly the president from ACORN – as this illegal funding by his administration of these ACORN fronts shows,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And at the same time we learn that the Obama administration is unleashing a vast new federal program to force ‘low-income’ housing into every single community in America, we find out that HUD is continuing illegally to fund ACORN spin-offs committed to carrying out Obama’s dictums. This is not a coincidence.”
 
Do you expect more from a Chicago machine politician? Do you expect more from a community organizer?


Friday, August 16, 2013

Obama's DOJ and FBI Admit They Lied-- Likely in an Effort to Help Obama's Re-election Campaign



"Look, folks can't hold me responsible for the actions of my political appointees and the actions of the various federal agencies that I'm in charge of! That makes no sense. Besides it was Bush's fault..."


Hey, at least Obama didn't use the IRS to intimidate and stifle political opponents... oops... Well, I guess this all just goes with the territory of having a dishonest community organizer as president. But hey, at least elected him proved alleviated some White guilt or something.

From the Fox News article by Judson Berger:

The Justice Department and FBI have quietly acknowledged they grossly overstated the scope of a mortgage fraud crackdown, which the administration heralded with much fanfare a few weeks before last year's presidential election.  
According to a memo circulated by the FBI and a correction posted online by the Justice Department, the number of defendants, the number of victims and the size of the losses are, in reality, a fraction of what officials claimed last October.  
Attorney General Eric Holder and other law enforcement officials claimed in early October that the initiative charged 530 criminal defendants on behalf of 73,000 victims who suffered over $1 billion in losses. The so-called Distressed Homeowner Initiative, which targeted fraud schemes against distressed homeowners, was highlighted in a press release and press conference at the time.  
Holder, talking to the cameras on Oct. 9, called it "a groundbreaking, year-long mortgage fraud enforcement effort."  
The real numbers, it turns out, were far smaller. The feds now admit that the number of criminal defendants charged was more like 107, not 530. The number of victims was 17,185 -- still a large number, but roughly one fourth the size of the original headcount. And the losses totaled $95 million -- not $1 billion, as originally claimed.  
The DOJ and FBI had long been dogged by claims that their numbers were inflated. Bloomberg has been reporting since October that the cases cited by Holder included charges filed during the George W. Bush administration.

Gee, the losses were overstated by more than ten times the number. I'm sure it was just an honest mistake and not at all to help Obama with his sock-it-to-the-evil-cheating-rich rhetoric. Nope. Just a clerical error by a bunch of people in Cleveland or something.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gallup: Obama's Economic Approval Rating Drops to 35%



CLICK PIC TO ENLARGE


But I thought Obama was going to focus every day (when he's not playing golf) on the economy. I guess he's just sucking at it. And wait and see what the numbers are when ObamaCare gets wheeled out in all of its full and bank-bustingly expensive glory.

From the Gallup article by Lydia Saad (Via Drudge):

Despite President Barack Obama's renewed focus on the nation's economy this summer, crisscrossing the country to talk about job creation, he scores worse with Americans on the economy than he did in June. His approval rating on the issue, now 35%, is down seven percentage points, and his ratings on taxes and the federal budget deficit are each down five points. During the same period, his overall approval rating is down three points.

Honestly I can't believe that the Zimmerman trial didn't drop Obama's race relations numbers, but most people are so misinformed on the topic that it makes me cry. And it seems that pretty much everyone I know believes that race relations are at a 20 year low at least. I guess they don't blame the divider-in-chief like I do. I guess the fault really lies with Missouri rodeo clans.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Capitalism Relieves Poverty-- It's Pretty Obvious Stuff



CLICK TO ENLARGE


Is this a surprise to anyone with half-a-brain and a sense of history? People were starving to death in the capital cities of London and Paris in the early 1800s. Does anyone remember Dickens' work? He wasn't just making stuff up.

From James Pethokoukis at American Enterprise Institute (and the source of the above graphic):

The above chart is from Gapminder and shows China’s per capita income growth since 1800 vs. that of the US and the UK. What happened to China toward the end of the 20th century? Well, it started doing what America and Britain began doing some 200 years earlier. China started embracing what Bono calls entrepreneurial capitalism. Or as economist Deirdre McCloskey puts it:
The Big Economic Story of our times has not been the Great Recession of 2007–2009, unpleasant though it was. … The Big Economic Story of our own times is that the Chinese in 1978 and then the Indians in 1991 adopted liberal ideas in the economy, and came to attribute a dignity and a liberty to the bourgeoisie formerly denied. And then China and India exploded in economic growth. … And contrary to the usual declarations of the economists since Adam Smith or Karl Marx, the Biggest Economic Story was not caused by trade or investment or exploitation. It was caused by ideas. The idea of bourgeois dignity and liberty led to a rise of real income per head in 2010 prices from about $3 a day in 1800 worldwide to over $100 in places that have accepted the Bourgeois Deal and its creative destruction.

Modern Western people have a very hard time wrapping their minds around what real poverty is. Here's a clue, obesity is not a problem for those living below the poverty line for most societies throughout history.

But it's become politically popular, once again, to indulge in class warfare. This means attacks against capitalism and the raising up of the ridiculously failed and murderous Marxist belief systems. Ain't life grand?

OFA Climate Change Rally Flops in a Major Way; ZERO People Show Up



Do NOT defy The Lightbringers' disciples' rallies! Woe in the form of IRS audits shall shower down upon the unbelievers!

Heh. Too bad Obama wasn't there. He might've brought out some of the true believers.

From The Washington Free Beacon:

Not a single person showed up at the Georgetown waterfront Tuesday for a climate change agenda event put on by Organizing for Action, the shadowy nonprofit advocacy group born out of President Obama’s 2012 campaign, the NRCC wrote in its blog.
The event page for the “Climate Change Day of Action Rally” disappeared after rainy weather appeared to drive away whatever people planned to attend. The embarrassing showing follows the news that only one volunteer stayed for an OFA Obamacare event in Centreville, Va., last week to work the phones.

I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that the majority of Americans think that global warming-- uh, I mean man made climate change is total bunk?

Nah. They were probably all at one of those Obama/OFA-Obama-in-your-living-room-tupperware-Coffee-Party events.


UPDATE: I corrected the misspelling of "Peorple" in this post's title. LOL. I'm still having to adjust to typing with a broken finger, and I'll spell-check the titles from now on. Otherwise such misspellings might get be labelled as racist or something.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Dem's Appalling How-to Book on Pushing Gun Control Revealed


"It breaks my heart that every day in our country children wake up worried and just imagine the pain that a mother or father feels when their young child is gunned down and  the real outrage is that we know how to stop it and we're not getting it done when White people kill African American children during a specified hunting season that's an open secret that all White people know but don't talk about. Now give me all your guns-- I mean, I.. er... we all want common sense gun laws that makes it illeagal for you to own or use one."

And it's full of attempting to whip up and to manipulate emotions and light on emphasizing facts, their agendas and stating exactly what laws they want to pass. What a surprise!

From The Wall Street Journal piece by James Taranto:

Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner has uncovered a fascinating document: an 80-page "talking points" monograph titled "Preventing Gun Violence Through Effective Messaging," written by a trio of Democratic political operatives.  
The document, as Bedard writes, instructs politicians and advocates "to hype high-profile gun incidents like the Florida slaying of Trayvon Martin to win support for new gun control laws." Essentially it's a how-to book on inciting a moral panic. 
"The most powerful time to communicate is when concern and emotions are running at their peak," it advises. Antigun advocates are urged to seize opportunistically on horrific crimes: "The debate over gun violence in America is periodically punctuated by high-profile gun violence incidents including Columbine, Virginia Tech, Tucson, the Trayvon Martin killing, Aurora, and Oak Creek. When an incident such as these attracts sustained media attention, it creates a unique climate for our communications efforts." 
The booklet explicitly urges foes of the Second Amendment to abjure rationality in favor of the argumentum ad passiones, or appeal to emotion. "When talking to broader audiences, we want to meet them where they are," the authors advise. "That means emphasizing emotion over policy prescriptions, keeping our facts and our case simple and direct, and avoiding arguments that leave people thinking they don't know enough about the topic to weigh in." 
The do's and don'ts are consistent with this advice. "Examples of power language" include: "It breaks my heart that every day in our country (state or city) children wake up worried and frightened about getting shot." "Just imagine the pain that a mother or father feels when their young child is gunned down." "The real outrage--the thing that makes this violence so unforgivable--is that we know how to stop it and we're not getting it done." 
And here are examples of "some ineffective language to avoid": "There's a clear body of research demonstrating the high social cost of gun violence." "The policy outcomes we're after are the ones that can have the most beneficial impact on the rates of violence among the most affected populations." "Of course, gun violence affects people's lives. But, it also has a devastating economic impact to the tune of over $100 billion a year. That's a number that should get every American taxpayer's attention." 
The monograph was published before the December massacre at Newtown, Conn., and its advice, as Bedard puts it, was "likely followed by top Democratic leaders including President Obama." Whether the post-Newtown campaign was propter hoc or merely post, there's no question that the book describes with great accuracy the approach Obama and his fellow antigun zealots took. The paradigmatic example, as we noted in April, was a New York Times op-ed carrying the name of Gabrielle Giffords, which was a model of unreasoning vehemence.
Huh. The Left's use of "power language" to exploit those killed largely due to "gun free" zones and other laws pushed by the Left?

I have long basically decided that the Left had no shame once I realized the American Left was indeed hijacked by socialists. Marxists such as Mao killed tens of millions, yet Kathleen Sebelius celebrates him as her favorite political philosopher. This how-to guide to exploit tragedies is really beneath contempt, and the fact that Obama and the other Dems zealots followed it so closely only gives further evidence to their contemptible tactics and agendas.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Personal Update: Minor Injury-- Will be Back Blogging Very Soon




I'm sorry for not posting anything for a week, but I'm afraid I broke a finger a little earlier. It's a very simple break, but it makes typing difficult. It's feeling better though and I will, hopefully, be back to posting stuff by Monday.

Thanks,
Yukio Ngaby

Monday, August 5, 2013

Federal Audit Reveals $500 Million Wasted on Training for "Green" Jobs that Don't Exist


"Hey, if that money wasn't spent on green jobs it would've just been wasted on ObamaCare or something else anyway..."



Ah, what's a half billion dollars here and there... But when you threaten to cut the federal budget it's an apocalypse.

From Fox News (h/t Gateway Pundit):

A federal audit shows that nearly a half-billion dollars in government funds was spent on training workers for so-called “green jobs.” The only problem is that not enough positions in the growing industry exist. 
The findings -- released in a June report by the Government Accountability Office -- showed that only 55 percent of those trained were able to place in a new job, many of which were not technically green jobs. The $501 million in funding came from the 2009 stimulus law. The report also uncovered that the Department of Labor created a framework that led grantees to broadly interpret the program’s definition to include any job “that could be linked, directly or indirectly, to a beneficial outcome” which led to the gap between training programs and available green industry jobs.  
[...]  
The findings are the latest set of problems for a sector being heavily pushed by the current presidential administration. 
Last April, California-based startup Fisker Automotive was brought to the verge of bankruptcy after receiving nearly $200 million in taxpayer dollars. 
The company, which was touted by the Obama administration as an innovator of plug-in electric cars, had to fire 75 percent of its workforce to stay afloat after only selling 2,000 of the 2,700 cars they manufactured. 
The LG Chem battery plant had production laid up for a year as workers were paid to sit around. The production halt was due to a lack of sales of the Chevy Volt but that didn’t stop them from receiving $150 million in federal funds and another $175 million in tax breaks. Production finally began last month, and the factory is expected to increase production by late 2015 -- it was ordered by the Department of Energy to pay back over $800,000 in grant money that was spent on idle worker salaries. 
Most notable was the case of Solyndra, a solar panel manufacturer start-up founded in 2005 that received nearly $530 million from the Energy Department before having to file for bankruptcy in August 2011. The company was shut down completely a month later amid an FBI investigation into whether the firm and its board members cooked the books and misrepresented its finances while seeking a government handout. 
“The GAO report is just more evidence that the administration has no clue what drives a successful economy and job growth,” said Paul Chesser, an associate fellow at the National Legal and Policy Center. "President Obama tried to build this economic sector, but the buyers didn’t come. And now after the initial flurry, the ‘green jobs’ are evaporating.”
 More waste, more money thrown away. *yawn* Another day another $20,000,000.

Is there any point in even suggesting that there be oversight to this nonsense?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Thanks ObamaCare! 87% of Jobs "Created" in 2013 are Part-time Jobs


CLICK TO ENLARGE-- Image from Zero Hedge



But the good news is that record numbers of people are on food stamps. Is it just me or is this country following the same path as Detroit?

From Zero Hedge:

When the payroll report was released last month, the world finally noticed what we had been saying for nearly three years: that the US was slowly being converted to a part-time worker society. This slow conversion accelerated drastically in the last few months, and especially in June, when part time jobs exploded higher by 360K while full time jobs dropped by 240K. In July we are sad to report that America's conversation to a part-time worker society is not "tapering": according to the Household Survey, of the 266K jobs created (note this number differs from the establishment survey), only 35% of jobs, or 92K, were full time. The rest were... not  
[...]  
But what really shows what is going on in America at least in 2013, is the following summary: of the 953K jobs "created" so far in 2013, only 23%, or 222K, were full-time. Part-time jobs? 731K or 953K of total.

I'm sure ObamaCare will fix this discrepancy, or maybe just some tinkering in the law by the geniuses that passed ObamaCare in the first place. Oh well, more government dependency to make ends meet means less taxable income. I see no problem here. Move on. Move on.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

"Phony" IRS Scandal Still Going Strong


"Folks are just using PHONY scandals to diminish my sterling economic recovery!"

From an IBD editorial:

IRS-Gate: From stonewalling Congress to Federal Election Commission collusion to harassment of already-tax-exempt conservative groups, the IRS scandal metastasizes. Someone high-up was clearly giving orders. 
'Phony scandals," to use President Obama's term, should not generate near-daily news coverage from a media that would like nothing better than to see its dream president let off the hook. Yet everywhere you look comes another bolt of lightning keeping this Frankenstein monster "alive!": 
• In addition to conservative organizations being ultra-scrutinized in applying for tax-exempt status, existing conservative groups like Morton Blackwell's Leadership Institute, around since 1979, and the Claire Booth Luce Policy Institute, founded in 1993, were slammed with costly audits by Obama's IRS in the months before the 2012 election. 
• With the IRS providing just a fraction of the documents requested, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., on Tuesday accused acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel of systematically attempting "to delay, frustrate, impede and obstruct" the panel's probe. 
• National Review reports that on-leave IRS tax-exempt division head Lois Lerner was in e-mail contact with at least one attorney at the Federal Election Commission — where she used to work — to whom she apparently gave tax status information of a conservative group, the American Future Fund, before the FEC lawyer recommended "that the commission prosecute it for violations of campaign-finance law." The FEC also asked about the conservative American Issues Project. 
• A House Ways and Means Committee analysis found conservative groups were asked three times as many questions by the IRS and had longer delays than left-wing groups seeking tax-exempt status. 
• A June 26 letter made public last Thursday from the IRS inspector general to House Ways and Means Ranking Democrat Sander Levin of Michigan "makes it clear the inspector general believes Tea Party groups did have it worse than progressives," the left-leaning National Public Radio conceded. 
• While President Obama claimed when the IRS scandal came to light in May that "It's inexcusable ... and I'm angry about it," Politico reports this week that tax-exempt organizations commissioner Sarah Hall Ingram received "bonuses of $26,550 to $35,400 in fiscal years 2010, 2011, and 2012 ... 15 to 20% of her annual salary," while Lerner from 2006 to 2012 "was paid a combined total of $110,035 in bonuses." And senior IRS official Faris Fink, better known as Mr. Spock in the IRS' taxpayer-funded "Star Trek" parody, got "$149,506 in bonuses between 2007 and 2012." Clearly, someone above them was pleased. 
• Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Treasury Secretary and ex-White House chief of staff Jack Lew didn't sound like someone sure that the IRS probes would find nothing: "I'm not saying it's done. We will cooperate with all of the ongoing investigations." 
• At his "phony scandals" press briefing a week ago Tuesday, White House crisis manager Jay Carney was so intent on distracting reporters from IRS-gate and the other Obama scandals, he uttered the term "middle class" no fewer than 17 times — astonishing, considering that median household income is down 5%, almost $3,000, from the year Obama took office.
Weird how Leftist politics tend to lead to bureaucratic corruption and economic turmoil. It's almost as if there's something basically wrong with Marxist creed. Strange...