Iran tests a nuclear bomb 0

 A weekend 5.0 Richter earthquake in Iran was actually a nuclear bomb test, says an Iranian nuclear scientist claiming to be working on the project.

Read more about it here.

Posted under Uncategorized by Jillian Becker on Friday, October 31, 2008

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American meltdown? 0

 Mona Charen writes:

If Barack Obama is elected president and Democrats control large majorities in the House and Senate, the Obama/Pelosi/Reid triumvirate will move the country decisively in the direction of dying Europe – low productivity, high joblessness, low birth rates, high taxes, and limp foreign policies. The triumvirate will do this at a time when a vibrant America is more necessary than ever – with Iran seeking nuclear weapons, Pakistan teetering, al-Qaida regrouping, China and Russia telegraphing hostility, and Iraq just barely emerging into the sunshine. This election has become about far more than John McCain versus Barack Obama; it has become about whether the United States will remain the champion of freedom – economic and political – or whether we will join the queue of formerly great nations now struggling to pay for all the social welfare "benefits" their aging and lazy populations demand.

We concur.

IS AMERICA ABOUT TO SELL ITS BIRTHRIGHT – FREEDOM – FOR A POTTED MESSAGE – ‘Hope & Change’?

 

Posted under Uncategorized by Jillian Becker on Friday, October 31, 2008

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What price freedom? 0

 Mona Charen writes:

If Barack Obama is elected president and Democrats control large majorities in the House and Senate, the Obama/Pelosi/Reid triumvirate will move the country decisively in the direction of dying Europe – low productivity, high joblessness, low birth rates, high taxes, and limp foreign policies. The triumvirate will do this at a time when a vibrant America is more necessary than ever – with Iran seeking nuclear weapons, Pakistan teetering, al-Qaida regrouping, China and Russia telegraphing hostility, and Iraq just barely emerging into the sunshine. This election has become about far more than John McCain versus Barack Obama; it has become about whether the United States will remain the champion of freedom – economic and political – or whether we will join the queue of formerly great nations now struggling to pay for all the social welfare "benefits" their aging and lazy populations demand.

We concur.

IS AMERICA ABOUT TO SELL ITS BIRTHRIGHT – FREEDOM – FOR A POTTED MESSAGE – ‘Hope & Change’?

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Friday, October 31, 2008

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Felons’ votes wanted, soldiers’ votes not wanted 0

Isn’t it interesting – and telling – that convicted felons are expected to vote Democratic, while those serving in the armed forces are expected to vote Republican? 

 From Stop the ACLU website:


This year’s election mischief is not limited to the fraud perpetrated  by Obama’s old ACORN friends. Swing state Virginia has been finding lame excuses to toss out military ballots, even as it allows nonresident college students to vote thereThe military votes are getting tossed in plush Fairfax County, where supervisor Gerry Connolly is running for Congress as a liberal Democrat. I wonder why he would want to disenfranchise our troops.As if to replace the military voters who will not be allowed a say in the election, bureaucrats have visited Fairfax County jail to encourage criminals to vote.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Thursday, October 30, 2008

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This election could change everything for the worse 0

As a refugee from socialist Europe seeking asylum in up-until-now free America, I find the prospect of America transforming itself into a European-like welfare state – which is what will happen if Obama is elected – dreadful to contemplate.  

The choice in this election is stark;  the stakes could not be higher. It’s a choice between freedom, prosperity, continued greatness OR slow decline into a European-type second-rate power. 

Daniel Henninger confirms what I fear, writing in the Wall Street Journal:

 The real "change" being put to a vote for the American people in 2008 is not simply a break from the economic policies of "the past eight years" but with the American economic philosophy of the past 200 years. This election is about a long-term change in America’s idea of itself.

I don’t agree with the argument that an Obama-Pelosi-Reid government is a one-off, that good old nonideological American pragmatism will temper their ambitions. Not true. With this election, the U.S. is at a philosophical tipping point.

The goal of Sen. Obama and the modern, "progressive" Democratic Party is to move the U.S. in the direction of Western Europe, the so-called German model and its "social market economy." Under this notion, business is highly regulated, as it would be in the next Congress under Democratic House committee chairmen Markey, Frank and Waxman. Business is allowed to create "wealth" so long as its utility is not primarily to create new jobs or economic growth but to support a deep welfare system.

 

The political planets are aligned to make this achievable. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, prominent Democrats, European leaders in France and Germany and more U.S. newspaper articles than one can count have said that the crisis proves the need to permanently tame the American "free-market" model. P.O.W. Alan Greenspan is broadcasting confessions. The question is: Are the American people of a mind to throw in the towel on the system that got them here?

This would be a historic shift, one post-Vietnam Democrats have been trying to achieve since their failed fight with Ronald Reagan’s "Cowboy Capitalism."

Of course Cowboy Capitalism built the country. More than any previous nation in history, the United States made its way forward on a 200-year wave of upwardly mobile, profit-seeking merchants, tradesmen, craftsmen and workers. They blew out of New England and New York, rolled across the wildernesses of the Central States, pushed across a tough Western frontier and banged into San Francisco and Los Angeles, leaving in their path city after city of vast wealth.

The U.S. emerged a superpower, and the tool of that ascent was simple – the pursuit of economic growth. Now China, India and Brazil, embracing high-growth Cowboy Capitalism, are doing what we did, only their cities are bigger.

Now comes Barack Obama, standing at the head of a progressive Democratic Party, his right hand rising to say, "Mothers, don’t let your babies grow up to be for-profit cowboys. It’s time to spread the wealth around."

What this implies, undeniably, is that the United States would move away from running with the high GDP, high-growth nations rising today as economic and political powers and move over to retire with the low-growth economies we displaced – old Europe.

As noted in a 2006 World Bank report, spending in Europe on social-protection programs averages 19% of GDP (85% of it on social insurance programs), compared to 9% of GDP in the U.S. The Obama proposals send the U.S. inexorably and permanently toward European levels of social protection. This isn’t an "agenda." It’s a final temptation.

In partial detail:

Obama’s federalized medical insurance system starts the transition away from private medical care and toward Obama’s endlessly promised "universal health care." This has always been the sine qua non of planting a true, managed-market economy in the U.S.

Obama’s refundable tax credits are direct cash transfers from the federal government. This would place some 48% of Americans, nearly half, out of the income tax system. More than a tax proposal, this is a deep philosophical shift, an American version of being "on the dole."

His stated intent to renegotiate free-trade agreements such as Nafta is a philosophical shift. It abandons the tradition of a hyper-competitive America dating back to the Industrial Revolution, toward a protected, domestic workforce, as in Western Europe. The Democratic proposal to eliminate private union votes – "card check" – ensures the spread of a static, Euro-style workforce.

Eliminating the ceiling on payroll taxes changes Social Security from an insurance to a welfare program. Obama’s tax credits requires performing government-identified activities, the essence of a "directed economy."

All this would transform the animating American idea – away from creation and toward protection.

Many voters – progressive Democrats, the asset-safe rich, academics and college students – regard this as where America should go. They explicitly want America’s great natural energies transferred away from unwieldy economic competition and toward social construction. They want the U.S. to reduce its "footprint" in the world. Monies saved by stepping down from superpower status can be reprogrammed into "investments" (a favorite Obama word) in a vast Euro-style hammock of social protection programs.

One wishes John McCain had been better able to make clear what the truly "historic" meaning of Tuesday’s vote is. Once it’s done, it’s done

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Thursday, October 30, 2008

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Who’s really funding Obama? 0

 It seems more than probable that Obama has one or more foreign sources of funding which have been contributing hundreds of millions by fraudulent means, disguising the contributions as small donations from millions of apparently individual sources. This is how it’s done.


It’s pretty easy — all you need is a credit card (foreign card is OK), a phony name, phony US address, phony telephone number, and just keep each contribution less than $200 so your illegal contribution never needs to be reported.  As a foreigner you can even give more than Americans are allowed to legally contribute, by just using a different phony name each time you contribute, so that your contributions are never tallied, thus never exceed the limit.

And of course American supporters of Obama can also contribute more than the legal limit by following the same procedure.

Not to mention the fact that you can easily steal someone else’s credit card number and contribute through it, not needing the correct name etc. (yes it has happened), and just hope the victim doesn’t notice it. 

Last Friday I read on various web sites (e.g. NRO) that the Obama campaign was facilitating illegal credit card contributions by disabling standard security verification procedures. Normally, a credit card payment is rejected if the name you give does not match the name on the card. Duh. Not so the Obama campaign. I said to myself, "If Americans can do this, I wonder if foreigners could too?" I’m a US citizen, but I have lived in South Africa for the last ten years and have a foreign credit card, from a South African bank. So I googled the Obama campaign web site and used my foreign credit card to contribute $5 (the minimum accepted) to his campaign. Sure enough, my account was charged $5 (54 Rand) on Monday. I assume that if I could do it, all those French who want Obama to be president could do it too.

Money translates into votes, because propaganda is effective, including obvious lies which are endlessly repeated.

Here, then, are the step by step instructions for fraudulently contributing to the Obama campaign, and participating in the mother of all campaign swindles …

‘All those French’?  What about Colonel Qaddafi of Libya, who has admitted contributing to Obama’s campaign? And what about other sources in the oil-rich Middle East? Obama boasts that he’ll owe nothing to ‘lobbyists’, having raised his funds from millions of small donors, but what will he owe to Qaddafi and co?    

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Thursday, October 30, 2008

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Is KIM JONG IL? 0

 Fox News reports:

 Kim, 66, reportedly suffered a stroke and underwent brain surgery in August. North Korea, however, denies he is ill.

Speculation about the reclusive leader’s health grew when he missed a September military parade marking North Korea’s 60th anniversary. He then disappeared from public sight for two months.

North Korea has sought in recent weeks to tamp down rumors about Kim’s health with news reports and footage portraying the leader as active and able, attending a soccer game and inspecting a military unit. The reports, photos and video are undated.

My guess – like yours? –  is that he is very ill, possibly dead, and a power struggle is going on, so only the announcement of  Kim’s successor will allow a simultaneous announcement of his incapacity or death to be made. Fear that the enemies of the country might take advantage of a power gap would plausibly motivate his henchmen to claim he’s still firmly in charge of the state and his own faculties.  

Don’t expect anyone better to take his place. You’d be inviting disappointment. 

PS. Of course, this is the time those enemies – which is to say we – ought to strike against that cruel and internationally dangerous nuclear-armed tyranny. But I’ve got a feeling that we won’t. 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, October 29, 2008

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If only greed were enough to make us rich 0

 I’ve never been persuaded that there is such a thing as a sin of greed. What cannot be denied is the sin of envy. I think leftism is the politics of envy. More than likely, those among the enviable rich who embrace lefty politics do so for fear of that evil green eye .

So I enjoyed this paragraph from an article by the admirable Walter Williams, writing about something he calls ‘wackonomics’ – the idea that there is a fixed amount of wealth and that it ought to be doled out (by an all powerful government) in strictly equal shares:

Speaking of CEOs, there’s the "unconscionable," "obscene" salaries they receive, in some cases over $10 million a year. Wackonomics has an easy answer for these high salaries: it’s greed. However, CEOs don’t have the corner on greed. There are other greedy people we don’t scorn but hold in high esteem. According to Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list, Oprah Winfrey receives $275 million, Steven Spielberg gets $130 million, Tiger Woods $115 million, Jay Leno $32 million and Dr. Phil $40 million. I need to talk to these people and learn their strategy. I’ve been making every effort to get that kind of money. I go to bed greedy, dream greedy dreams, awaken greedy and proceed through the day greedy. Despite my heroic efforts, it’s all been for naught; I earn a pittance by comparison.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, October 29, 2008

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For whom the bell tolls 0

Taxing ‘the rich’ means impoverishing everyone, as Thomas Sowell explains with characteristic clarity:

The idea that you can single out one segment of society to be taxed or mandated, for the benefit of the rest of society, is reminiscent of a San Francisco automobile dealer’s sign: "We cheat the other guy and pass the savings on to you." The economy is not a zero-sum game where someone gains what others lose. The whole economy can lose when ill-considered policies gain political popularity and stifle economic growth. People who do not own a single share of corporate stock can still lose big time when capital gains taxes are raised– not only because jobs can follow capital out of the country, but also because millions of working people’s pension plans own corporate stock, and those people’s retirement incomes will depend on the value of those stocks, which is reduced by capital gains taxes. One of the biggest taxes is one that is not even called a tax – inflation. When the government spends money that it creates, it is transferring part of the value of your money to themselves. It is quiet taxation but often heavy taxation, falling on everyone, no matter how low their incomes might be. By the end of the 20th century, a $100 bill would not buy as much as a $20 bill would buy in the middle of that century. For people who saved cash, inflation amounted to an 80 percent tax. For others, it was an 80 percent tax minus whatever cumulative interest or dividends they received on the money they invested. Given the staggering cost of the government’s financial bailouts, there is no way that Barack Obama’s grandiose spending plans can be carried out without inflation.

When politicians start talking about taxing "the rich," remember the old saying [from the poem by John Donne]: "Send not to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee." 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, October 29, 2008

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Some of the lasting harm Obama would do 0

 Thomas Sowell writes on the damage that the sort of judges Obama would appoint can do; damage that would last for generations. Here’s a taste of the article, but the whole thing is worth reading for the specific examples of ‘liberal’ injustice he gives.

We can vote a president out of office at the next election if we don’t like him. But we can never vote out the federal judges he appoints in courts across the country, including justices of the Supreme Court.

The kind of judges that Barack Obama wants to appoint can still be siding with criminals or terrorists during the lifetime of your children and grandchildren.

The Constitution of the United States will not mean much if judges carry out Obama’s vision of the Constitution as "a living document"– that is, something that judges should feel free to change by "interpretation" to favor particular individuals, groups or causes.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, October 28, 2008

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