Saturday, April 02, 2011

Dinah Washington & Brook Benton * Baby (You've Got What It Takes)

Donald Fagen / Walk Between the Raindrops

Rag-Tag Rebels

(CNN) — During “In the Arena,” Jon Lee Anderson, staff writer for The New Yorker reporting from Benghazi, Libya, tells Eliot Spitzer that the number of opposition fighters on the front lines are fewer than anyone would think and that they are poorly armed and badly trained. Anderson says, “Effective number of fighting men, well under 1,000. Actual soldiers, who are now in the fight, possibly in the very low hundreds on the opposition side.”

Thomas Sowell - Measuring Force

"You don't just walk up to the local bully and slap him across the face. If you are determined to confront him, then you try to knock the living daylights out of him. Otherwise, you are better off to leave him alone.

"Anyone who grew up in my old neighborhood in Harlem could have told you that. But Barack Obama didn't grow up in my old neighborhood. He had a much more genteel upbringing, including a fancy private school, in Hawaii.

"Maybe that is why he thinks he can launch military operations against Moammar Qaddafi, while promising not to kill him and promising that no American ground troops will be used.

"It is the old liberal illusion that you can measure out force with a teaspoon, not only in military operations micro-managed by civilians in Washington, like the Vietnam war, but also in domestic confrontations when the police are trying to control a rioting mob, and are being restrained by politicians, while the mob is restrained by nobody.

"We went that route in the 1960s, and the results were not inspiring, either domestically or internationally.

"The old saying, "When you strike at a king, you must kill him," is especially apt when it comes to attacking a widely recognized sponsor of international terrorism like Colonel Qaddafi. To attack him without destroying his regime is just asking for increased terrorism against Americans and America's allies. So is replacing him with insurgents who include other sponsors of terrorism.

"President Obama's Monday night speech was long on rhetoric and short on logic. He said: "I believe that this movement of change cannot be turned back, and that we must stand alongside those who believe in the same core principles that have guided us."

"Just what would lead him to conclude that this includes the largely unknown forces who are trying to seize power in Libya?

"Too often in the past, going all the way back to the days of Woodrow Wilson, we have operated on the assumption that a bad government becomes better after the magic of "change." President Wilson said that we were fighting the First World War to make the way "safe for democracy." But what actually followed was the replacement of autocratic monarchies by totalitarian dictatorships that made previous despots pale by comparison.

"The most charitable explanation for President Obama's incoherent policy in Libya-- if incoherence can be called a policy -- is that he suffers from the long-standing blind spot of the left when it comes to the use of force.

"A less charitable and more likely explanation is that Obama is treating the war in Libya as he treats all sorts of other things, as actions designed above all to serve his own political interests and ideological visions. Whether it does even that depends on what the situation is like in Libya when the 2012 elections roll around.

"As for the national interests of the United States of America, Barack Obama has never shown any great concern about that.

"President Obama started alienating our staunchest allies, Britain and Israel, from his earliest days in office, while cozying up to our adversaries such as Russia and China, not to mention the Palestinians, who cheered when they saw on television the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9/11.[...]" (Read all here) - Thomas Sowell

Friday, April 01, 2011

Shrinking Packages

Government's Stealth Takeover of Food

by Roger Hedgecock

"Food packages, cans, and bottles have been downsized.

"The "new" jar of peanut butter is still the same size (and price) as the old 9-ounce jar, but a new concave bottom means the jar only holds 7 ounces. A tortilla package that reads "Now New With 10 in a Package!" is the same price as the old 12-pack.

"A box of baby wipes that used to contain 80 wipes now has 72. Sugar comes in 4-pound bags, not 5-pound. Sixteen-ounce cans of vegetables now come in as little as 11 ounces—for the same price.

"The New York Times reported the story of Lisa Stauber of Houston, who used to feed her nine children with three boxes of pasta. When the three boxes came up short one night, she checked the box to find that the old 16 ounce-sized box of pasta now contained only 13.25 ounces, but she was still charged the price for 16 ounces.

"Chicken of the Sea tuna now comes in a 5-ounce can and often costs more than the old 6-ounce size. Bags of Doritos, Fritos, and Tostitos now contain 20% less than in 2009.

"Food companies are repackaging to mask food inflation

"As reported in the the New York Times, Kraft is introducing "Fresh Stacks" packages for its Nabisco Premium saltines and Honey Maid graham crackers. The new packages have 15% fewer crackers at the same price as the old packages but have the benefit of "portability" and "added freshness," according to a company spokesman.

"Procter & Gamble has "Future Friendly" products it promotes as using 15% less water and energy. Probably because the packages are 15% smaller.

"Many food packages now advertise "fewer calories." The claim is true because there are fewer calories in a package when there is less food.

"Food inflation, like all inflation, is driven by the government printing money beyond the value of the economy. The Federal Reserve is, as we speak, drawing dollars out of thin air to "buy" the debt from the U.S. Treasury, a classic move that will make every dollar in existing circulation (or in your savings account) worth less.

"Food prices have also been driven up by a worldwide increase in the demand for better food. As demand has risen, environmental regulations from the "Green Revolution" have restricted the growth of the food supply. Higher demand but lower supply = higher prices.

"There's another reason supply is tightening and food prices are skyrocketing.[...]" (Continue reading)

"...California says my trucks are killing people"

California's radical enviromentalism or 'The Great Green Garrotte'

Thursday, March 31, 2011

What If We Really Do Soak The Rich?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Government Basketball Hoop Bandits

How many public employees does it take to steal a basketball hoop?

Delaware Department of Transportation crews escorted by state police tore down basketball hoops in two neighborhoods in Claymont amid protests from residents who say the nets aren't harming anyone. (03/25/11)...This particular mugging happened on a cul-de-sac.

I'm betting that there are a few cracks in Delaware's highways that are currently being ignored.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Failure of Multiculturalism

...and How to Turn the Tide

Geert Wilders's speech at the Annual Lecture at the Magna Carta Foundation in Rome on March 25:

"Signore e signori, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends of the Magna Carta Foundation, molte grazie. Thank you for inviting me to Rome. It is great to be here in this beautiful city which for many centuries was the capital and the centre of Europe’s Judeo-Christian culture.

"Together with Jerusalem and Athens, Rome is the cradle of our Western civilization – the most advanced and superior civilization the world has ever known.

"As Westerners, we share the same Judeo-Christian culture. I am from the Netherlands and you are from Italy. Our national cultures are branches of the same tree. We do not belong to multiple cultures, but to different branches of one single culture. This is why when we come to Rome, we all come home in a sense. We belong here, as we also belong in Athens and in Jerusalem.

"It is important that we know where our roots are. If we lose them we become deracinated. We become men and women without a culture.

"I am here today to talk about multiculturalism. This term has a number of different meanings. I use the term to refer to a specific political ideology. It advocates that all cultures are equal. If they are equal it follows that the state is not allowed to promote any specific cultural values as central and dominant. In other words: multiculturalism holds that the state should not promote a leitkultur, which immigrants have to accept if they want to live in our midst.

"It is this ideology of cultural relativism which the German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently referred to when she said that multiculturalism has proved “an absolute failure.”

"My friends, I dare say that we have known this all along. Indeed, the premise of the multiculturalist ideology is wrong. Cultures are not equal. They are different, because their roots are different. That is why the multiculturalists try to destroy our roots.

"Rome is a very appropriate place to address these issues. There is an old saying which people of our Western culture are all familiar with. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” it says. This is an obvious truth: If you move somewhere, you must adapt to the laws and customs of the land.

"The multicultural society has undermined this rule of common sense and decency. The multicultural society tells the newcomers who settle in our cities and villages: You are free to behave contrary to our norms and values. Because your norms and values are just as good, perhaps even better, than ours.

"It is, indeed, appropriate to discuss these matters here in Rome, because the history of Rome also serves as a warning. [...] "(read entire speech here)

Weiner Wants Out

Loudest Obamacare cheerleader wants out...
Becoming the most hypocritical politician in America is not an easy goal to achieve, but New York’s Rep. Anthony Weiner, a Democrat, is up to the task.

Earlier this year, the Obama administration began rewarding its union friends and others with an escape from the clutches of Obamacare. Now one of the most outspoken Obamacare supporters - the man who actually said, “I wrote the bill … the bill and I are one” wants his own “get out of jail free” card from this abominable law.

Moments of unmistakable clarity may not always find their way to the president’s teleprompter, but occasionally, the curtains are pulled back on “the most open and transparent [administration] in history” to reveal what its footsoldiers think of their own law. This conflict between politicians’ words and deeds is nothing new, of course, nor is the selective enforcement of bad laws.

In 2007, the Association for Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), the defunct leftist group with close ties to President Obama, was a vigorous proponent of the “living wage,” a euphemism for increasing the minimum wage. Long before the organization collapsed in the wake of group leaders exposing themselves as eager enablers of child prostitution and reorganized under a new name, ACORN sought an exemption - its own waiver - from the minimum-wage laws it professed to love.

Ironically, the community organizers had their own moment of clarity about the destructive nature of minimum-wage laws: “The more that ACORN must pay each individual outreach worker - whether because of minimum wage or overtime requirements - the fewer outreach workers it will be able to hire.” Finally grasping the inescapable reality that minimum-wage laws increase unemployment, these big-government types refused to abandon their pursuit of the destructive laws and instead simply wanted an exemption from them, an uneven playing field, instead of better laws that would benefit all Americans.

Fast-forward four years, and the community organizer in the White House evidently has had his own moment of clarity about the unholy health care law that bears his name. Obamacare is already leaving a trail of destruction. Despite promises to the contrary, Mr. Obama’s own Medicare chief actuary estimates that up to 20 million Americans may lose their current health insurance. Despite promises to the contrary, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates Obamacare will destroy 800,000 jobs. Despite promises to the contrary, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently admitted cooking the books by double-counting $500 billion toward both Medicare savings and Obamacare implementation funds and admitted that a major program within Obamacare, the CLASS Act, is - in her words - “totally unsustainable.” As a direct result of this government takeover, many insurance companies already have been forced to raise their premiums or drop out of the Medicare Advantage program, while others no longer offer policies for children, and still others have simply closed their doors.

So how does the White House respond to this unraveling? With more waivers. HHS acknowledges issuing 1,040 “get out of jail free” cards to unions and other friends. Five states have been graced with their very own Obamacare waivers, including Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee and, newest pampered friend, Maine. Why Maine? According to the administration, Obamacare “has a reasonable likelihood of destabilizing the Maine individual health insurance market.”

If you happen to live in one of the other 45 states, don’t worry. The same administration that predicted its $787 billion so-called “stimulus” spending spree would keep unemployment below 8 percent predicts that you’ll be just fine.

Sweetheart deals for friends is nothing new when it comes to Obamacare. Just ask Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson or Louisiana Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, both Democrats, who struck their respective Cornhusker Kickback and Louisiana Purchase backroom deals. Or ask AARP. The interest organization for persons age 50 and older endorsed Obamacare - despite $500 billion in Medicare cuts - and was rewarded with a tax exemption on its highly lucrative Medigap policies. Or ask the American Medical Association. The AMA may represent just 17 percent of American doctors, but it endorsed Obamacare despite the fact that the majority of doctors oppose it, and the AMA will keep the government as a customer in its lucrative ICD-9 diagnosis-coding business.

Now Mr. Weiner wants in on the action. Why? He thinks escaping Obamacare would mean that New York City “can save money and have more control over its own destiny.” Regular Americans need not apply.
(read all here)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

B.O./Biden Double Standard?