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What Me Worry?!

December 28, 2011 Leave a comment
[Warning Reprint. Original Here]

His mother was an unabashed hippie from 1960s central casting. His father was an openly avowed Communist from Kenya. While his father wasn’t around much, his devoutly progressive grandparents arranged for him to be mentored during his adolescent years by a dues paying member of the U.S. Communist Party, Frank Marshall Davis.

When he went to college, he was attracted to the Marxist professors and student activists, according to his own published memoirs. When he graduated, he moved to Chicago and became an instructor for the left-wing extremist organization ACORN in the social manipulation methods of radical Marxist agitator Saul Alinsky. He attended for close to two decades the Trinity United Church of Christ, which practiced neo-Marxist Black Liberation Theology. That church was headed during those years by the openly socialist Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who declared that the 9/11 terrorist attack on America was “America’s chickens coming home to roost.” He also famously preached from his pulpit, “Not God bless America, God damn America….”

He launched his political career in the living room of the home of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, co-founders and former leaders of the openly Communist domestic terrorist organization, the Weather Underground. That organization conducted several bombings in America and engaged in other violence that resulted in several injuries and even deaths.

All of this is documented in the public record. This is the man the Democrat party took off the streets of Chicago, then pursuing a career as a Marxist street agitator, and launched into the White House, favoring him over Hillary Clinton because she was too moderate for the party. They did that because he best reflects the heart and soul of today’s radical-left, Che Guevara Democratic Party. It is in this context that we should understand and analyze Obama’s Hugo Chavez speech given last week at Osawatomie High School in Kansas.

Obama’s Hugo Chavez Coming Out

In that speech, he drew a picture of America as a struggling third world nation, saying at stake today “is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, and secure a retirement.” In fact, he said, “there are millions of working families in this country who are now forced to take their children to food banks for a decent meal.”

This sounds more like Indonesia, or Venezuela, or Nicaragua. But it is not America “long before the recession hit.”

He explained the roots of the problem as:

Over the last few decades, huge advances in technology have allowed businesses to do more with less, and made it easier for them to set up shop and hire workers anywhere in the world…. Steel mills that needed 1,000 employees are now able to do the same work with 100, so that layoffs were too often permanent, not just a temporary part of the business cycle…. If you were a bank teller or a phone operator or a travel agent, you saw many in your profession replaced by ATMs or the Internet.

This Luddite analysis fundamentally misconceives the role of technology in a modern economy. Such advancing technology increases worker productivity, and, therefore, wages and standard of living. Technological progress over the decades is why the average American worker in 2000 enjoyed 7 times the standard of living of the average American worker in 1900.

He then tries to pin the blame for his failures on others, saying, “Now, in the midst of this debate, there are some who seem to be suffering from a kind of collective amnesia. After all that’s happened, after the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, they want to return to the same practices that got us into this mess.”

The policies that got us into this mess included primarily the so-called “affordable housing policies” Obama himself and other Democrats long advocated, with the government forcing the banks by overregulation to drop their traditional lending standards to provide loans and mortgages to low and moderate income applicants who could not qualify under those traditional standards. (See the full documentation and discussion in Paul Sperry’s The Great American Bank Robbery: The Unauthorized Report About What Really Caused the Financial Crisisand Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner’s,Reckless Endangerment:How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon.

The other major factor was the Fed’s loose monetary policy starting under Bush in the 2000s, which funded the housing bubble. Both policies were departures from the fundamental planks of Reaganomics. As I discuss in detail in my own book, America’s Ticking Bankruptcy Bomb, the four planks of Reaganomics had been effectively abandoned by 2008, and that was the cause of the financial crisis, which ended the 25-year economic boom from 1982 to 2007 that Reaganomics had created.

Obama tries to continue his historical revisionism, saying, “Remember that in those years, in 2001 and 2003, Congress passed two of the most expensive tax cuts in history, and what did they get us? The slowest job growth in half a century. Massive deficits that have made it much harder to pay for the investments that built this country.”

Here is what really happened. Those Bush tax cuts quickly ended the 2001 recession, despite the contractionary economic impacts of 9/11, and the economy continued to grow for another 73 months. After the rate cuts were all fully implemented in 2003, the economy created 7.8 million new jobs and the unemployment rate fell from over 6% to 4.4%. Real economic growth over the next 3 years doubled from the average for the prior 3 years, to 3.5%.

In response to the rate cuts, business investment spending, which had declined for 9 straight quarters, reversed and increased 6.7% per quarter. That is where the jobs came from. Manufacturing output soared to its highest level in 20 years. The stock market revived, creating almost $7 trillion in new shareholder wealth. From 2003 to 2007, the S&P 500 almost doubled. Capital gains tax revenues had doubled by 2005, despite Bush’s 25% cut in the capital gains rate.

The deficit in the last budget adopted by Republican Congressional majorities was $161 billion for fiscal 2007. Today that deficit is nearly 10 times as much. Total federal revenues under Bush soared by nearly 30%, from $1.991 trillion in 2001 to $2.568 trillion in 2007. The day the Democrat Congressional majorities took office, January 3, 2007, the unemployment rate was 4.6%. George Bush’s economic policies, “the failed policies of the past” in Obama’s rhetoric, had set a record of 52 straight months of job creation.

What has continued to fail us now is that Obama’s own policies, the exact opposite of Reaganomics in every detail, have failed to produce any timely real recovery from the last recession. Before this last recession, since the Great Depression recessions in America have lasted an average of 10 months, with the longest previously at 16 months. But here we are today 48 months after the last recession started and there is still no real recovery. Instead, we have record poverty, and record extended unemployment.

They can’t say that is because the recession was so bad, because the historical record in America is that the deeper the recession the stronger the recovery. Based on the historical record, we should be ending the second year of a booming economy right now. The failure to achieve that is the responsibility of Barack Obama.

Obama himself was counting on precisely this history making him look like a hero. That is why he so confidently told the Today Show on Feb. 2, 2009, “a year from now I think people are gonna see that we’re starting to make some progress…if I don’t have this done in three years, then this is going to be a one-term proposition.”

Before Barack Obama as President, the rest of the world looked to America as the example for the economic model that works to achieve prosperity. But today Obama tells America “It doesn’t work. It’s never worked. It didn’t work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. It’s not what led to the incredible postwar boom of the 50s and 60s. And it didn’t work when we tried it during the last decade.”

But it’s President Obama, who fundamentally doesn’t understand his own country, that doesn’t work.

Obama’s Tax and Spending Fantasies

In his Kansas speech, Obama offered as his solution increased government spending as the foundation for rising prosperity. He says:

Today, manufacturers and other companies are setting up shop in places with the best infrastructure to ship their products, move their workers, and communicate with the rest of the world. That’s why the over one million construction workers who lost their jobs when the housing market collapsed shouldn’t be sitting at home with nothing to do. They should be rebuilding our roads and bridges; laying down faster railroads and broadband; modernizing our schools — all the things other countries are doing to attract good jobs and businesses to their shores.

Instead of the American capitalist model maximized by Reaganomics, Obama tells us to look at the basic infrastructure spending of other countries as the model that works. But American economic growth is not suffering because of a lack of basic infrastructure like a third world country. It is suffering because Obama is so doggedly pursuing the opposite of every policy that would free the economy to produce and boom. Under such Obamanomics, soon enough America will be suffering from the lack of a reliable energy grid like a third world country.

Obama whines that Bush’s massive deficits (if his deficits were massive what are Obama’s?), supposedly caused by his tax cuts (not–revenue again rose during the Bush years), “have made it much harder to pay for the investments that built this country and provided the basic security that helped millions of Americans reach and stay in the middle class — things like education and infrastructure; science and technology; Medicare and Social Security.”

But spending on all of those items soared during the Bush years, and they have rocketed up all the faster under Obama. To no avail, because government spending is not the foundation of increased economic growth and prosperity. Increased production, spurred by ever stronger incentives, is.

Of course, essential to all of President Obama’s essential spending is to increase tax rates on the rich, otherwise known in English as the nation’s investors and job creators. As President Obama tutored us in Kansas last week:

But we don’t have unlimited resources. And so we have to set priorities. If we want a strong middle class, then our tax code must reflect our values. We have to make choices…. Do we want to make the investments we need in things like education, and research, and high-tech manufacturing? Or do we want to keep in place the tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans in our country? Because we can’t afford to do both. That’s not politics. That’s just math.

So there you have the Obama formula for economic growth and prosperity. After the greatest runaway spending spree in American history during the Obama Administration, the answer is for government to increase spending even more, financed by increasing tax rates even more on the very investors and job creators that produce the jobs for the middle class and working people in America’s economic system. That is a perfect prescription for another recession, not the long, long overdue recovery America is still waiting for under Obamanomics. Obama tells us, “It is wrong that in the United States of America, a teacher or a nurse or a construction worker who earns $50,000 should pay a higher tax rate than somebody pulling in $50 million.” That would be wrong if it were true. But it is not.

What Obama is peddling to America on tax policy is only the ugliest example of his well-established rhetorical style of calculated deception. It is based on what he thinks the average voter does not know and will not know, and can be manipulated to believe to Obama’s political advantage. For the picture he is painting of the rich getting away without paying their fair share while working people bear most of the tax burden is the opposite of reality.

Even before Obama was elected, under those “failed policies of the past,” the top 1% of income earners in 2007 paid 40% of federal income taxes (up from 17.6% when Reagan entered office), while the CBO just reported that they earned 17% of the income in 2007. Moreover, that 40% of federal income taxes paid by the top 1% was more than paid by the bottom 95% combined, according to official IRS data. While the top 1% paid 40% of federal income taxes, the bottom 40% paid no federal income taxes as a group on net. Today 47% pay no federal income taxes.

Yet, Obama has already enacted under current law further tax increases on the nation’s job creators, investors and small businesses going into effect in 2013, when the tax increases of Obamacare become effective and the Bush tax cuts expire. Consequently, that year the top two income tax rates would rise by close to 20%, the capital gains tax would soar by nearly 60%, the tax on dividends would nearly triple, and the Medicare payroll tax would rocket up by 62% for these disfavored taxpayers. This alone would take us well beyond the Clinton tax rates, despite Obama’s outdated talking point that he is still repeating from 2008.

This is in addition to America suffering with virtually the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world at nearly 40% on average, counting state corporate rates. As I have previously noted, even Communist China imposes only a 25% rate, with the rate in the EU even less on average. Our Canadian neighbors, enjoying a booming economy since Obama was elected in America, will enjoy a 15% rate next year, down from 16.5% this year.

Yet Obama barnstorms America calling for still more tax increases on American business, large and small, and the job creators and investors on which jobs and prosperity for working people depend. The galloping regulatory burdens he is now imposing effectively involve still further tax increases stifling production. It all adds up to a brew for another recession in 2013.

 

 

Happy Birthday Robert!

November 2, 2011 Leave a comment

What do You Mean, No Trick or Treating?!

October 31, 2011 Leave a comment

Categories: Calendar, Funny Papers

Everyone Should Hire Apple’s Lawyers

August 11, 2011 Leave a comment
At one time this brand of tomfoolery would be roundly ridiculed!
It appears that Steve Jobs can get away with these shenanigans, anyone else would be found in contempt and run out of town for Restriction of Trade.

By Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

Summary: Apple gets an injunction against the Galaxy Tab in Europe based on some very generic line drawings.

A German court on Tuesday sided with Apple and granted the company a preliminary injunction which blocks the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the European Union, excluding the Netherlands. But according to Nicole Scott of Netbook News, the patent could essential block ALL tablets, irrespective of operating system or maker.

Here’s are images from the Community Design patent (#000181607) filed by Apple:

Here’s what Scott has to say:

Take a look at the above design and tell me that doesn’t look like EVERY TABLET on the market. Apple has just chosen the most competitive Android tablet on the market and taken it down. This Community Design patent by Apple has only been around since 2010 so clearly Apple didn’t invent the tablet, Bert Keely, in 2000 at Comdex in Las Vegas the showed off Microsoft’s vision for the Tablet PC. Look familiar? Kind of looks like the images above, how can Apple patent an entire product category? At any moment Apple could decide that any tablet is too much competition and file a suit!

I’m used to seeing pretty generic designs submitted in patent documents, but you’ve got to admit that those line drawings are very, very generic. But remember that it is on the basis of this that Samsung can no longer sell the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Europe.

But if Apple can get an injunction against the Galaxy Tab, what’s to stop it getting similar injunctions against other Android tablets from other maker? Heck, what’s to stop it going after Windows 8 tablets once they are available?

Apple seems to have a deadly weapon against tablets in the European Union, and it’s not afraid to use it.

[Reprinted from ZdNet, August 10, 2011]

 

June 28 2011

June 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint you can on it.
       – Danny Kaye

 

The Draw of Doomsday: Why People Look Forward to the End

May 18, 2011 Leave a comment
[CREDIT: © Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience]
Doomsdayers have many ideas about when and how the world will end.
CREDIT: © Marijus Auruskevicius | Dreamstime.com

Most people go through their daily lives assuming that tomorrow will be a lot like today. No pits of fire will open up, society won’t collapse, and the world, most likely, won’t end.

But for others, doom has a certain appeal.

The most famous example these days is Harold Camping, a California-based Christian radio broadcaster who believes that May 21, 2011, will mark Judgment Day, ushering in five months of torment for the unsaved until the universe finally ends on Oct. 21.  Camping has bought billboards and dispatched caravans of believers around the country, warning the world of its fate. [Infographic: A Brief History of Doomsday] Camping has made this prediction before, in 1994 — it didn’t pan out — but the thousands of failed doomsday predictions throughout history are no match for what Lorenzo DiTommaso, a professor of religion at Concordia University in Montreal, calls the “apocalyptic world view.”

“It’s a very persistent and potent way of understanding the world,” DiTommaso told LiveScience.

Problem-solving through doomsday

According to DiTommaso, the apocalyptic worldview isn’t uncommon. At the extreme end are people like Camping or Aum Shinrikyo, a Japanese doomsday cult that carried out sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway in 1995. But doomsday appeals to the secular and well-adjusted as well, through books such as Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” (Knopf, 2006) and movies like “The Terminator” (1984). Meanwhile, economic hard times and crises likeJapan’s earthquake and tsunami have spiked interested in survivalism and “prepping,” or stashing food and supplies in preparation for a coming collapse.

Apocalpytic beliefs have been on rise for the past 40 to 50 years, said DiTommaso, who has been researching doomsday believers for an upcoming book, “The Architecture of Apocalypticism.” What ties these disparate groups together is a sense that the world’s problems are too big to solve, DiTommaso said.

“Problems have become so big, with no solutions in sight, that we no longer see ourselves able as human beings to solve these problems,” DiTommaso said. “From a biblical point of view, God is going to solve them. From other points of view, there has to be some sort of catastrophe.”

The apocalyptic worldview springs from a desire to reconcile two conflicting beliefs.

“The first is that there is something dreadfully wrong with the world of human existence today,” he said. “On the other hand, there is a sense that there is a higher good or some purpose for existence, a hope for a better future.”

Viewing the world as a flawed place headed toward some sort of cosmic correction reconciles these two beliefs, DiTommaso said.

And because believers are certain that their sacred text can never be wrong, failed doomsday predictions only convince them that their own interpretations were flawed, opening the door to new predictions. Historically, those who have predicted doomsday, including the early Christians, have been persecuted and oppressed, so the prospect of a final judgment is comforting, DiTomasso said.

“Despite fire, death and destruction, the god of apocalypticism is a god of order, not chaos,” DiTomasso said. “That’s the reassurance.”

TEOTWAWKI, and they feel fine

To be reassured, however, an end-of-world Jane has to expect doomsday to come soon — and has to expect to survive. Religious believers usually expect that they’ll be among those saved from the torments of an ending world. Secular doomsday-fearers, on the other hand, expect to fight for their survival.

“We stress being prepared,” said Jim Rawles, the proprietor of SurvivalBlog.com, an online clearinghouse of advice on survivalism and preparation. Rawles, who gives his location only as “west of the Rockies,” has been involved in disaster preparedness since he was a teenager. In the 1960s, with nuclear attack fears running high, Rawles and his friends talked about preparedness a lot, he told LiveScience.

Rawles started SurvivalBlog in 2006. Since then, he said, his readership has shifted from mostly conservative Christians and Orthodox Jews to “Birkenstock-wearing, liberal greenie-types.” The Japanese earthquake and nuclear meltdown brought him more readers across the political spectrum, he said, and he now gets more than 260,000 unique visitors to his site each week.

Unlike Camping, Rawles and his readers aren’t preparing for the end of the world; they’re preparing for TEOTWAWKI, survivalist shorthand for “the end of the world as we know it.” The end might come in the form of an economic collapse, a giant solar flare, a nuclear attack or climate change, but the end goal is the same: to be ready for anything. [End of the World? Top Doomsday Fears]

“There’s a great deal of satisfaction in saying, ‘Oh boy, I’m ready when the bombs go off/the environment collapses/the Arabs invade/the magnetic poles reverse,'” said Richard Mitchell, an Oregon State University sociologist who spent years getting to know survivalists for his book “Dancing at Armageddon: Survivalism and Chaos in Modern Times” (University of Chicago Press, 2002).

Paranoid or prepared?

Survivalists have gotten a reputation as fringe-dwellers, Mitchell said, but viewing them as crazy is “totally incorrect.” For one thing, they’re everywhere: Mitchell described one man, a suburban engineer whose garage was filled floor-to-ceiling with detergents and hand wipes and toilet tissue. The man’s job specialty, Mitchell said, was water systems engineering, and his concern was a loss of sanitation after a disaster.

“He’s not some redneck, and he’s not violent,” Mitchell told LiveScience. “He wants to help keep everybody clean.”

People who are into survivalism and prepping enjoy telling stories about the world turning upside-down, Mitchell said. Society’s collapse is a challenge, and the reward is coming up with scenarios in which you survive.

“People will tell you five or six stories, totally different apocalyptic tales, and everybody will nod their head and say, ‘Yeah, that sounds right,'” Mitchell said. “Who cares? It’s the storytelling that matters.”

As do the life skills. To Rawles, prepping is a way of reaching back to his family’s pioneer roots, when gardening, canning and putting up food were standard procedures.

“Preparedness can in some ways be a lot of fun, because you’re learning some really interesting skills,” Rawles said. “And the sense of accomplishment where you can walk down to your basement and look at your pantry shelves and say, ‘Yep, I did that,’ you can feel good about that.”

That’s great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane –
Lenny Bruce is not afraid. Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn –
world serves its own needs, regardless of your own needs. Feed it up a knock,
speed, grunt no, strength no. Ladder structure clatter with fear of height,
down height. Wire in a fire, represent the seven games in a government for
hire and a combat site. Left her, wasn’t coming in a hurry with the furies
breathing down your neck. Team by team reporters baffled, trump, tethered
crop. Look at that low plane! Fine then. Uh oh, overflow, population,
common group, but it’ll do. Save yourself, serve yourself. World serves its
own needs, listen to your heart bleed. Tell me with the rapture and the
reverent in the right – right. You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright
light, feeling pretty psyched.
It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.
It’s The End of The World As We Know It, REM