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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Saturday, September 17, 2005

"Much of the Constitution is remarkably simple and straightforward—certainly as compared to the convoluted reasoning of judges and law professors discussing what is called 'Constitutional law,' much of which has no basis in that document... The real question [for judicial nominees] is whether that nominee will follow the law or succumb to the lure of 'a living constitution,' 'evolving standards' and other lofty words meaning judicial power to reshape the law to suit their own personal preferences."

---Thomas Sowell

"I have no platform. Judges are not politicians who can promise to do certain things in exchange for votes. Judges are like umpires. They don't make rules, they apply them... The primary check on the courts has always been judicial self-restraint."

---Judge John Roberts before the Senate Judiciary Committee

"One single object... [will merit] the endless gratitude of the society: that of restraining the judges from usurping legislation."

---Thomas Jefferson

Friday, September 16, 2005

The Reality of Markets

"Thomas Sowell likes to say that 'reality is not optional.' But we oh so want it to be. We want to change outcomes without consequences with the ease of adjusting the thermostat on the wall of our house. We want to dial incomes upward and gasoline prices downward. We want to blame Wal-Mart for the fact that its employees earn below the national average. We want to blame China (or Mexico or Japan or India) for our trade deficit. We want to blame or honor the occupant of the White House for whether new jobs are high-paying or low-paying. This worldview that flies in the face of reality and that ignores the inherent complexity of the real world is the bread-and-butter of journalism and the breeding ground for unintended consequences."

"Friedrich A. Hayek, in The Fatal Conceit, wrote that 'The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.' Unfortunately, when politicians try to dial down prices to preserve order, they only worsen the problem. We would do well to remember the emergent nature of prices, especially in times of crisis."

(Emphasis mine - HH)

Excerpts from The Reality of Markets, by Russell Roberts, professor of economics at George Mason University and the Features Editor at the Library of Economics and Liberty.

Reflections from Latin America

Some excerpts from an instructive article, The Curse of the Petro-State:The Example of Venezuela, By Ibsen Martinez.

What makes oil a poisoned chalice?" Why do so many people lead such poor lives while sitting on King Midas' throne, especially during an oil boom? That is a question millions of Nigerians, Algerians, Indonesians, Iranians, Mexicans and Venezuelans have been asking themselves for decades without getting a convincing explanation.

More often than not, oil booms plague certain oil-rich countries with all sorts of calamities and the calamity of extreme poverty can be the most demoralizing for an oil-rich Third World country's population.


What exactly is a petro-state? It could be described as a mining country with weak institutions and a malfunctioning public sector. Its most important feature are laws that grant subsoil rights to the government, from which spring the extraordinary size and duration of the "petro-rent" which is much, much greater than the profits which can be made in the private sector.


As Karl points out in chapter three of her book, "(b)ecause oil revenues poured into the state and not into the private enterprise, each new discovery or price increase enhanced the role of the public sector". So it is only natural that new agencies and jurisdictions are born. And since it is the state, not the private sector, which has first access to the petro-rent, rent-seeking becomes the name of the game for everyone, including of course the small private sector. Deadly fights over who controls the country's oil revenues become the only important issue in domestic political life. These "wars" over petro-rents annihilate already weakened institutions, favor the concentration of power, promote the bending of the law, and, last but not least, increase corruption which is already all-pervasive.


Petro-states apparently cannot cope with oil booms without running into almost unrepayable debt and without undermining democracy in the end. Such seems to be the curse of the petro-state: "you shall never attain economic diversification and your people will grow poorer and angrier at you with each passing day." Since the Arab oil embargo in the 1970s, the number of Venezuela's poor has climbed to almost 65% of a population of 22 million. Today, most Venezuelans agree that it was the harvest of inequality, frustration and political unrest, generated by the oil booms of the mid-1970s and 80s that made possible Lt. Col Chávez's ascent to power in 1998.

Complete article.

Japanese to mull giving its military expanded freedom

MANDATE:With its confidence high after its recent electoral triumph, Koizumi's government will consider amending its 1947 Constitution.

Empowered by a landslide election victory, Japan's ruling coalition will form a special committee next week to discuss constitutional changes that would give the military more freedom to act overseas, an official said yesterday.


Taiwan a model for Asia says Chen

DEMOCRATIC BEACON: The president said that the nation will struggle on to consolidate its gains so it can continue to inspire political reforms elsewhere.

Taiwan will step up its efforts to consolidate its political system as a tool to drive democratization in Asia, because the stability of the region has been jeopardized by several countries -- including China -- which are resisting democracy, President Chen Shui-bian said yesterday.


Chuseok, women and the silent revolution

As society changes, women in younger generations call for recognition and equality.

The Chuseok holiday, Sept. 17-19, is a precious time of year for sharing and giving thanks to ancestors for the year's harvest although for many married Korean women, it has traditionally been a time of domestic suffering.

Chuseok, like other traditional holidays, has long been a source of pain to married women, since they have to spend the entire holiday preparing Charye-sang, a feast set to honor ancestors, while their husbands spend the day idling, leaving all the work to their wives.

But society is slowly changing. Young Korean wives mostly in their late 20s and early 30s who are not as submissive as previous generations of married women are pursuing a "silent revolution" in their families. [Full Story]

Korea's jobless rate falls in August

Korea's jobless rate in August declined for the first time in five months amid budding signs of an economic recovery, government data showed yesterday.

Last month's jobless rate was reported at 3.6 percent, down from 3.7 percent in July, the National Statistical Office said in a report. [Full Details]

Pres. Roh Moo-hyun warns against 'great power politics'

Roh to return home tomorrow after 10 day tour

NEW YORK - President Roh Moo-hyun yesterday stressed the world must eradicate the legacies of imperialism and avoid "great power politics" in international affairs during his speech before the U.N. World Summit in New York. He called for the multinational body to undergo reform underscoring the importance of it regaining moral authority. "The world must completely divest itself of mindsets and vestiges reminiscent of imperialistic tendencies that appear to linger in various forms... [Full Details]


Options narrow for an isolated monarch

Kathmandu - Pressure is mounting on Nepal's King Gyanendra to restore democracy after he seized power earlier this year, but there is no sign yet of the monarch relenting despite his increasing isolation, analysts say. The king's traditional supporters are beginning to abandon him, while the country's main political parties are stepping up public protests and talking openly about establishing a republic.


Govt to seek US help on bird flu

Thailand will seek US assistance in developing its capacity to combat bird flu, a senior official of the Livestock Development Department said yesterday. Nirundorn Aungtragoolsuk, head of the disease control and veterinary services bureau, said the US would be asked to help the department develop its laboratory work and capacity-building for epidemiologists, considered to be key elements in combating avian influenza.

US world's dictator: Cuba

CUBAN National Assembly speaker Ricardo Alarcon has accused the United States of trying to turn the United Nations into "an instrument of its global dictatorship".

Speaking on behalf of Cuba at the closing session of the three-day world summit here, Alarcon echoed criticism expressed on Thursday by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez of conditions in which the UN reform package was approved by the UN General Assembly.

"We are witnessing an unforgivable fraud," he said. [Details]



A series of external and internal demands in China’s security environment have resulted in modifications to the country’s Special Forces units. Changes to special forces units in the PLA have been driven by the possibility of Taiwanese independence, the military requirements of increasing power projection capabilities, and the country’s policy of ‘active defense’ that requires a pre-emptive strike capacity. Accordingly, PLA Special Forces have expanded their role from traditional reconnaissance operations to include counter-terrorism, hostage rescue, combat search and rescue, and direct attack missions.

Internally, marked socioeconomic tensions have forced the People’s Armed Police (PAP) to commission special units, known as anti-riot squads, to maintain ‘social stability.’ These special police units confront mounting social grievances and protests that stem from rural-urban migration, the closure of inefficient state enterprises, widening income gaps, and restive minorities in Tibet and Xinjiang. Not least among the duties of these police units will also be the task of ensuring security for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and other cities. [Full Story.]


Following this summer's Andijan refugee crisis, when the Kyrgyz government transferred 440 Uzbek citizens to a third country to satisfy its obligations as a UN member, official Tashkent canceled a bilateral agreement on supplying 350 million cubic meters of natural gas to Kyrgyzstan. Having a protracted crisis in the energy sector, which in past years has brought significant losses due to poor and corrupt management, Kyrgyzstan is facing a financial and logistical stalemate in importing gas and exporting electricity as winter approaches.

After Uzbekistan curbed its gas supply agreement, Kyrgyzstan had to rely on Kazakhstan's KazTransGaz to re-sell the Uzbek gas for higher prices. As one of the conditions, KazTransGaz demanded that Kyrgyzstan repay a three-year debt amounting to $17.5 million. Since the beginning of August, Kyrgyzstan overpaid 20% of the normal gas price with KazTransGaz, sliding further into a budget deficit. [Read More.]

News From the Land of the Free........

From the free country the left loves to love......

Five-year-old penalized because mother tried to leave Cuba

HAVANA, September 12 - Because her mother was caught trying to leave Cuba, Jessica Sánchez Lorenzo, aged 5, has been unable to register for grade one.

Four years ago the political police seized the identity card of Bárbara Lorenzo de Armas. Without this document, Lorenzo de Armas cannot obtain a minor's identify card which the Adolfo del Castillo school requires in order to register her daughter.

Even if the school allowed Jessica to register, her mother couldn't buy the required uniform because this comes from a government store that requires a document to buy there, which was also seized four years ago.

The school advised Lorenzo de Armas that the case has been turned over to the municipal education board. The school is located in the Managua district of Havana.

Source: Cubanet

No Surprise Here

Democrats hit Roberts' ambiguity

Democrats laid the groundwork yesterday to oppose the Supreme Court nomination of Judge John G. Roberts Jr., accusing him of withholding his personal views on political and judicial matters.

Tehran offers nuclear expertise

Iran's president said yesterday that his country is ready to share its nuclear know-how with other Islamic countries, the latest setback to a U.N.-backed effort to halt Tehran's nuclear programs.

Reporting While Wrong

The New York Times peddles more ‘driving while black’ malarkey.

The New York Times’s bad faith regarding the police has reached a new low. On August 24, a front-page article claimed that the Justice Department had tried to suppress damning evidence of racial profiling by the nation’s police forces. In fact, it is the Times that is suppressing evidence.

For years, activists have argued that some drivers face a heightened risk of being stopped by bigoted cops. David Harris, a University of Toledo law professor and ubiquitous police critic, provided a classic statement of the “Driving While Black” conceit in 1999: “Anyone who is African-American is automatically suspect during every drive to work, the store, or a friend’s house.” Owing to this “automatic suspicion,” Harris posited in his 2002 book, Profiles in Injustice, “pretextual stops will be used against African-Americans and Hispanics . . . out of proportion to their numbers in the driving population.”

The “Driving While Black” belief is pervasive, powerful, and false. According to a survey of 80,000 civilians conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (an arm of the Justice Department) in 2002, an identical proportion of white, black, and Hispanic drivers - 9 percent - were stopped by the police in the previous year. And the stop rate for blacks was lower during the day, when officers can more readily determine a driver’s race, than at night. These results demolish the claim that minorities are disproportionately subject to “pretextual stops.”

New Orleans vs. New York?

Even with costly hurricane cleanup, renewing Bush’s tax cuts will help Gotham’s economy—and the nation’s.

Having endured their own catastrophe four years ago, New Yorkers have empathy for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and have already done their share to lend aid. But New Yorkers also need to be wary of a post-Katrina mindset in Washington that will set back Gotham’s own revival.

....... no other single action or event has been as crucial to New York’s revived fiscal prospects as those tax cuts. Allowing them to expire would cast a dark cloud of uncertainty over the city’s fiscal and economic prospects. New York’s mayoral candidates, as well as its congressional representatives (many of whom foolishly voted against the cuts last time), should now be making a strong case in Washington that maintaining a vibrant stock market is key not just to the city’s economic future but to the country’s, and that repealing those tax cuts could undermine Wall Street.
[Read more]

Judicial Tourism

What's wrong with the U.S. Supreme Court citing foreign law.

References to foreign law in Supreme Court opinions have become controversial. Nevertheless, it was startling when Sen. Tom Coburn suggested in the Roberts confirmation hearings that justices who cite foreign authority might deserve impeachment. At first glance, it is hard to see why these side-glances at what other countries do have provoked such alarm. True, the references have increased somewhat, but they remain rare, and no one suggests that the court has directly based any of its interpretations of the Constitution on foreign authority. Read more.

"[T]he present Constitution is the standard to which we are to cling. Under its banners, bona fide must we combat our political foes - rejecting all changes but through the channel itself provides for amendments."

-- Alexander Hamilton

There is no cure for the UN

By Mark Steyn

Kofi Annan is the very embodiment of transnationalism’s polite fictions: a dapper soft-spoken African, he seems the soul of moderation. Even when what he’s actually saying is highly immoderate, and even when he’s standing next to some disgusting dictator as he says it, he’s always a reliably decaffeinated Kofi. Read more. Registration required.


Some suggestions for you in the event of impending natural disasters.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Students get meaning of anthem lyrics


Ben Meyer stood up in his classroom at 9 a.m. yesterday, placed his hand over his heart and sang "The Star-Spangled Banner," without missing a word or a note. "It's cool," he said. "It symbolizes our country."

The 13-year-old eighth-grader at Carl Sandburg Middle School in Fairfax County was one of thousands of students across the country who are learning the significance of the national anthem as part of the National Anthem Project. [Read more.]

The JFK Question

Sens. Specter and Feinstein impose an unconstitutional religious test.

By Manuel Miranda

While questioning John Roberts on Tuesday, Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter asked: "Would you say that your views are the same as those expressed by John Kennedy when he was a candidate, and he spoke to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in September of 1960: 'I do not speak for my church on public matters, and the church does not speak for
me.' "

Hours later, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California made it worse: "In 1960, there was much debate about President John F. Kennedy's faith and what role Catholicism would play in his administration. At that time, he pledged to address the issues of conscience out of a focus on the national interests, not out of adherence to the dictates of one's religion. . . . My question is: Do you?"

How insulting. How offensive. How invidiously ignorant to question someone like Judge Roberts with such apparent presumption and disdain for the religion he practices. The JFK question is not just the camel's nose of religious intolerance; it is the whole smelly camel. [Read more.]

Times Uses Skewed Poll to Claim Falling Bush Support

"The Times buries its latest poll on Bush on Page 18, perhaps recognizing the lack of news in the findings. Yet reporters Todd Purdum and Marjorie Connelly try their best in, "Support for Bush Continues to Drop as More Question His Leadership Skills, Poll Shows."

They open: "A summer of bad news from Iraq, high gasoline prices, economic unease and now the devastation of Hurricane Katrina has left President Bush with overall approval ratings for his job performance and handling of Iraq, foreign policy and the economy at or near the lowest levels of his presidency, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll."

The Times admits, contrary to its headline, that "The hurricane, alone, does not appear to have taken any significant toll on Mr. Bush's overall job approval rating, which remains stuck virtually where it has been since early summer. But the findings do suggest that the slow federal response to the hurricane has increased public doubts about the Bush administration's effectiveness. Fifty-six percent of Americans said they were now less confident about the government's ability to respond to a terrorist attack or natural disaster."

But the Times doesn't mention in its story that the public perception of Bush's handling of Katrina has actually improved this week, from a 20-point gap in a CBS poll a week ago (38%-58% approval-disapproval) to a 6-point gap in this latest poll (44%-50%). For that tidbit you have to dig into the poll questions online. (It's Question 8.)

Only in the fine print of a sidebar paragraph does the Times admit its poll is skewed: "Black Americans were sampled at a higher rate than normal to permit the analysis of black attitudes in greater depth." 211 out of 1088 (almost 20%) respondents were black, compared to the 13% share of the population that is black. The story doesn't bother mentioning this, although black voters skew Democrat, which would affect Bush's polling numbers.

And Tom Elia points out the skewed political breakdown of the respondents: Democrats 38%, Republicans 28%, Independents 28%, and "Don't Know" 9%.

The poll questions themselves are often liberally loaded. Check out Question 39: "Would you be willing or not willing to pay more in taxes to provide job training and housing for people affected by Hurricane Katrina?"

Question 26 asks: "How much do you think George W. Bush cares about the needs and problems of blacks?"

Question 53 asked respondents to parcel out blame for post-Katrina conditions, and the public spread it around, with the feds garnering a 10% share, the state of Louisiana 7%, the city of New Orleans 12%, and FEMA 11%, with 12% blaming the residents who didn't evacuate. Bush himself got 8% of the blame. Apparently the public doesn't agree with the Times' emphasis on solely blaming Bush and the federal response for the post-Katrina tragedy.

Question 55 brings up another liberal Times talking point: "Some people say that the fact that some National Guard troops and material are currently in Iraq slowed down the federal government's response to the hurricane and flooding in New Orleans."

Again, the public doesn't agree with the Times' liberal spin: 43% said it was not a factor, while 30% said it was a minor factor and 24% a major one."

From Times Watch.

Blair wins UN backing on terror

The United Nations Security Council has backed Tony Blair's call to outlaw incitement to terrorism.

The UN is meeting in an effort to find consensus on moves to reform the body, as well as tackling poverty. But Mr Blair has also ensured terrorism is on the agenda and said the world must make sure "the future does not belong to fanatics".

Terrorists would not be defeated until "our passion for the democratic way is as great as their passion for tyranny".

Mr Blair said at the UN's 60th anniversary summit: "We should not underestimate what we face. [Read more.]

Lonely Days, Lonely Nights

Red America vs. European blues.
By Jonah Goldberg

Here's a gloomy thought for you: America is going to be lonely for a very long time. After reading the October issue of The American Enterprise, "Red America, Blue Europe," that's the only conclusion one can draw.

There is a grand myth that the world, particularly Europe, loved America before George W. Bush came into office. The reality is that it only dislikes us a bit more than it used to.

Supreme Rhetoric

Remember the Past When Watching the Hearings
By John R. Lott Jr.

It becomes pretty obvious to everyone that the vicious political attacks we hear everyday are simply empty rhetoric. [Read More]

"The reality is that an increasingly dangerous and unruly world needs policing, and there are precious few forces--precious few people--capable of operating effectively to preserve or create order where there is none. For the moment, moreover, the United States is the only country with the will to take on these tough tasks."

---Thomas Donnelly

The Good Fight
By Vance Serchuk

Any mention of the expansion of the UN Security Council will be off the agenda, thanks in no small part to the diplomatic exertions of the Bush administration. [Read More]

The Decline of Old Europe
By David Frum

Many of the most celebrated of France's anti-American intellectuals have known little if anything about the U.S. They may talk about America, but they are thinking of France. [Read More]

Blanco takes blame for state response

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco yesterday took responsibility for failures and missteps in the immediate response to Hurricane Katrina and pledged a united effort to rebuild areas ravaged by the storm.

Roberts backs eminent domain limits

Federal Judge John G. Roberts Jr. told senators yesterday that laws restricting the government's power of eminent domain are legitimate, despite a landmark Supreme Court decision earlier this year that broadly expanded that authority.

Bush hits U.N. corruption

President Bush yesterday implored the United Nations to rid itself of corruption and scolded the global body for squandering the world's respect and making a mockery of human rights.

"Taxes should be continued by annual or biennial reeactments, because a constant hold, by the nation, of the strings of the public purse is a salutary restraint from which an honest government ought not wish, nor a corrupt one to be permitted, to be free."

-- Thomas Jefferson


"Schoolboys can be a rowdy lot at the best of times, but in 1595 in Edinburgh, the lads of the city's High School took matters a bit too far when, during a riot, Bailie (or magistrate) John MacMorran as shot and killed by one William Sinclair. The reason for the riot? A proposal to reduce the school holidays. Bailie MacMorran's house can still be seen in Edinburgh's Lawnmarket area to this day."

UN unable even to define terrorism as 160 slaughtered

THE United Nations yesterday failed to agree a common global standard on terrorism, fuelling western leaders' fears that the world body is not willing to confront one of the defining threats of the age.

Linking Katrina to ‘Global Warming’ Called ‘Shameless’
Washington (CNSNews.com)
– Environmentalists trying to link Hurricane Katrina with human-caused climate change are engaged in “shameless opportunism,” according to a spokesman for the conservative National Center for Policy Analysis...

Russia’s Loose Nukes Said to Pose ‘Catastrophic Threat’ to US
- The threat of Russian nuclear materials falling into the hands of terrorists is the “most catastrophic threat facing America,” national security expert Robert Boorstin warned Wednesday. He is urging the Bush administration to take more aggressive action to secure the Russian nuclear arsenal...

Australia Deports American Peace ‘Hippy’
– An American “peace activist” was kicked out of Australia Thursday after Prime Minister John Howard’s government declared him a threat to national security and revoked his six-month tourist visa. Scott Parkin, a 36-year-old teacher from Texas, is attached to a Houston-based anti-war group campaigning against the multinational company Halliburton...

House Adds Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation to ‘Hate Crimes’ Measure
– The U.S. House of Representatives passed a "hate crimes” measure on Wednesday, something that would expand federal protection to people victimized because of their “actual or perceived sexual orientation,” gender, gender identity and disability...

Fourth Union Leaves AFL-CIO for Reform Coalition
- For the fourth time in the past two months, a union has withdrawn from the AFL-CIO in favor of a coalition that seeks to reform the organized labor movement...

Israel's High Court Okays Security Barrier in West Bank
Jerusalem (CNSNews.com)
– Israel’s highest court has ruled that it is legal for Israel to build its controversial security barrier into the West Bank, where necessary. Thursday’s ruling also said the government must knock down a section of the fence and re-route it so five Arab villages will remain outside the boundary...

Economic Issues Weigh Heavy on Palestinians’ Minds
Gaza Strip (CNSNews.com)
– Although Israel has withdrawn its troops and people from the Gaza Strip, Israel is still an occupier because it has not handed over control of air, land and sea passages to the Palestinian Authority, a P.A. minister said...

US, Indian Leaders Launch Fund for Democracy
– A year after President Bush called on the United Nations to create a fund to help promote democracy across the globe, he and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh presided Wednesday over the international launch of the new initiative...

The Parable of the Spoons

A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, "Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like."

The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water.

The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.

The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. The Lord said, "You have seen Hell."

They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one.

There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water.

The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. The holy man said, "I don't understand."

It is simple" said the Lord, "it requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other."

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


"God has made us free men, sovereigns of our own affairs, and sole experts on minding our own business. We are endowed with an individual capacity to improve our understanding, better our circumstances, and laugh at Howard Dean."

---P. J. O'Rourke

"[President] Bush is apparently no longer the citizen-president of a functioning republic, but a 21st Century King Canute expected to go sit by the shore and repel the waters as they attempt to make landfall. Instead, he and Cheney hatched up the whole hurricane thing in the Halliburton research labs to distract attention from their right-wing Supreme Court nominee."

---Mark Steyn

What a Hoot...

This is priceless:
"[Nancy] Pelosi ripped the White House over its hurricane response. She said she wants to work with the President. Of course she does—the same way a six-year-old boy with a magnifying glass wants to work with ants."
---Argus Hamilton


Give the man a gold star!!
"Let's be clear about one thing: Hollywood people are glamorous, but that's about it. They are ill informed about jihad. They are ill informed about Islam. They are ill informed about Israel, the [Palestinian Authority], Iraq, Afghanistan. They are ill informed about U.S. history, the Constitution, etc. The truth is, the movie people I've met are ignorant about most everything—save the weekend grosses of the top ten films."
—Emmy-Award winning screenwriter Robert Avrech

What is the Role of the Court?

Do the Dems see our courts as our despotic rulers? It would seem so, based on this statement to John Roberts coming from Senator (D) Herb Kohl:

"We have an obligation to find out where you will take us before we decide whether we want you to lead us there. And, most importantly, you have an obligation to tell us."

"Artificial [gas] price caps will work no better now than they did in the 1970s. They won't get petroleum refined faster. They won't reduce motorists' demand for gasoline. All they will create is shortages—the one thing price controls always bring in their wake."

---Jeff Jacoby

"What we are witnessing is a well-honed black political public-relations operation geared to obfuscation, stoking hatred and fear, and nurturing helplessness and dependence among black citizens. Such efforts keep black politicians powerful, diversity businesses prosperous and blacks poor."

---Star Parker

"No fall of a sparrow on this planet is not attributed to sin and human perfidy. The three current favorites are: (1) global warming, (2) the war in Iraq and (3) tax cuts. Katrina hits and the unholy trinity is immediately invoked to damn sinner-in-chief George W. Bush."

---Charles Krauthammer

"The worst thing the federal government could do is to increase the size, reach and cost of government. If government failed in its response to the hurricane, the answer is not more inefficient government."

---Cal Thomas

"Ours is a federal system. The President is sworn to uphold and support the Constitution. He is not a dictator. And not to be blamed for failing to act like one. The problem was not the Constitution or the President, but Louisiana's officials."

---Michael Gaynor

"A republican form of government presupposes self-government—the capacity of citizens to govern themselves according to reason—and does not, if it intends to survive, champion them as 'victims' when they don't."

---George Neumayr

"Courage is the first of all the virtues because if you haven't courage, you may not have the opportunity to use any of the others."

---Samuel Johnson

Broken Yardstick

So why did that poverty rate report end up mostly buried deep inside daily papers?

Maybe because many news editors, like policymakers in Washington, know the dirty little secret about the poverty rate: it just isn't any good. Truth be told, the official poverty rate not only fails to calculate trends in impoverishment with any precision, it even gets the direction wrong.

Complete Op-ed.

A Flood of Incomplete Insurance Coverage

Many hurricane victims were uninsured or under-insured. As tragic as that is, the media are adding to the confusion by talking to "experts" who push for soaking the insurance companies and creating benefits that weren't paid in advance. Meanwhile, they're often missing the fact that the government-subsidized flood insurance program – the only source of flood insurance – is likely to have to borrow to cover Katrina's costs.

Source: Free Market Project

HH: Those damn greedy, capitalistic insurance companies only think of making a profit and thereby won't pay for benefits that did not exist.

Lou Dobbs Lobbies for Unions to Bring Home the ‘Bacon’

CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight” is at it again, accusing “big business” of exploiting workers. This time it’s the suspension of the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage law in the hurricane rebuilding zone. Unsurprisingly, Dobbs turned to a union spokesman to explain how workers will be affected and ignored the racist history of the law.

Source: Free Market Project


"There is no robbery so terrible as the robbery committed by those who think they are doing right."

---Mary Catherwood

"Clearly, a civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself."

---Jean Francois Revel

Lawmaker Blasted as ‘Islamophobic’ for Criticizing Memorial Design
– An Islamic advocacy group is blasting a U.S. lawmaker for his “Islamophic” comments on the design of a memorial to the 40 people who died when Flight 93 crashed in a Pennsylvania farm field on Sept. 11, 2001...

US Calls Final UN Summit Document ‘Good First Step’
– Following weeks of negotiations leading up to the World Summit beginning Wednesday, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton called the final outcome document was “a good first step” in the process to reform the institution...

Summit to Sidestep Specifics on Overhauling UN Rights Body
– Decisions on how to overhaul the United Nation’s discredited human rights body – a crucial element of the broad “reform” effort – have been deferred because of a failure to reach agreement ahead of the World Summit that begins on Wednesday...

UN Summit Document Won’t Define Terrorism
– Leaders meeting for the World Summit in New York will be asked to endorse a document that stops short of defining terrorism. “We strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes, as it constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security,” reads the text in the outcome document following months of deliberations...

Roberts Praised for Standing Up to Democrats
– While liberals blasted Judge John Roberts for not stating his position on abortion, pro-family groups applauded the way Roberts handled the barrage of questions regarding the issue during Tuesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearings...

Liberation of West Bank, Jerusalem Next on Palestinian Agenda
Gaza Strip (CNSNews.com)
– Palestinians celebrating Israel’s departure from the Gaza Strip said the Israeli withdrawal is only the beginning of their struggle, which will continue until they have “liberated” the West Bank and Jerusalem...

Democrat Party Keeping Its Focus on Karl Rove
– John Roberts’ confirmation hearings and hurricane relief efforts may be dominating the headlines, but the Democratic National Committee is not deterred: It continues to issue daily reminders about the Karl Rove controversy, in an effort to keep the issue alive...

"There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism."

-- Alexander Hamilton

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Globally - Are We Starving, or are We Fat ?

My son came home from school today (he is in 8th grade - my only son - and the last of four children) and asked Mrs. HeavyHanded if she was aware that George Bush was causing obesity?

"WHAT?" Mrs. H.H. yelped. (Son starts to cackle, and smirks devilishly.) Mrs. H.H. demands to know more. Son, knowing he is getting the results he anticipated, says "yep - that's what my homework handout says."

When HeavyHanded intersects with Mrs. HH and Little HeavyHanded, they show me the printed article/homework. It was taken from some website unfamiliar to me called NewsTarget.com.

For anyone interested in seeing that particular article on "Obesity", this is the link. To think this is being passed off as something being worthy, educational material, is quite astonishing. Comments anyone?

There is but one person who is responsible for me, and that is me

"We are now reaping the benefits of a welfare state. For more years than most can remember, we have been told by those holding office that they will take care of us. We have provided food, clothing and shelter to the extent that the recipients became entirely dependent on government resources to live. They have reached the point that no longer do they have the knowledge to take care of themselves. They will sit there and drown or go hungry, and curse the fact that the government has not gotten them out of this mess. When it is all said and done, there is but one person who is responsible for me, and that is me. The responsibility falls to me to take care of my family, not the government. Society, not government, has an obligation to provide care and sustenance to those who, because of age or physical impairment cannot take care of themselves, but able-bodied people who stand around and complain that no one is doing anything for them deserve whatever the fates cast in their direction. Life is hard, and you either get tougher or you get washed away—it is as simple as that. Politicians will never, ever take care of you—they only want one thing from you, and that is to stay in power as long as they can. In a situation like Katrina, they will stand in front of the cameras and microphones and denigrate everyone above them in government to take the eye off of their pathetic efforts. This is a situation that they have created, and now the good citizens of the area will have to step in and clean up the mess that has been created by the politicians. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen—there are too many good people who live in that area for it not to happen. I love the people of New Orleans and the surrounding parishes, but I despise the politicians... I just hope that when the area is rebuilt, they stay away from the massive welfare system they had before—absolutely no good comes from welfare. It depletes available resources, making it ever more difficult for what passes as government to respond to the true needs of the community."
---Captain Robert Johnson, retired, New Orleans Police Department

Bravo, Mr. Johnson, bravo! Being that you are retired from the NOPD, maybe you should run for political office in Louisianna. Ousting Senator Landrieu would be a good start in getting things cleaned up.

I know it's hard to believe, this comes from the MSM, but sometimes they get it right, and we must acknowledge it when they do:

"The fact remains that this was a cataclysmic, epic natural disaster and great suffering was unavoidable. The time to figure out what went wrong and perhaps assign blame is not now. It will come soon enough and then it won't end. Those who are pushing agendas of accusation now are mostly doing so from self-interest or sanctimony. America has developed a bad habit of insisting that when bad things happen to people, someone must pay, someone must be to blame. It's the spirit of litigation and too many of our politicians, like ambulance chasers, are preying on it. It's embarrassing. Most people thought 9/11 would bring the country together and ease the so-called culture wars. It may have for some, but certainly not for the politically engaged. And so it will be with Katrina"—Dick Meyer, editorial director of CBSNews.com

Boxing In the “Ultraconservatives”

Monday’s Times features a stark case of political slant in its capsule profiles of the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will hold hearings on John Roberts’ Supreme Court nomination starting today.

Pro-abortion Republican Sen. Arlen Specter is described as a “maverick” who is “reviled by the right.” Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas is a “darling of conservatives.” Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is “ultraconservative.” Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona is a “pro-business conservative.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts is not a liberal but merely a “Democratic elder statesman” ( business as usual at the Times). Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York isn’t liberal either, and neither is leftist Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.

Chavez land seizures slammed

State governors and the rural poor are moving quickly to implement President Hugo Chavez's vision of a social revolution, carving up and redistributing large landholdings and threatening to take over the premises of internationally owned companies.

The Western Front

By Brendan Miniter
Opinion Journal

Long before Katrina, the welfare state failed New Orleans's poor.

Time Running Out on UN Summit Document
– With time running out before the United Nations’ World Summit, diplomats were battling down to the wire late Monday to overcome significant differences over a key document on reforming the institution and tackling poverty...

France Presses for Global Air Passenger Tax to Aid Poor Nations
Paris (CNSNews.com)
– French President Jacques Chirac hopes to find support at the United Nations summit in New York this week for a controversial plan to fund aid to developing countries through a global tax on airline travel...

Public Blaming Locals More Than Bush -- But NYT Ignores Finding

Following the resignation of Michael Brown as the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Richard Stevenson files "After Days of Criticism, Emergency Director Resigns."

"Mr. Brown had become a political liability to the White House, even in his constrained new role. Democrats in Congress had been questioning how the administration could retain him in such an important job as director of FEMA after his performance in responding to the hurricane. A poll taken over the weekend by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, a nonpartisan research organization, found that more than 6 in 10 respondents judged the federal government's response to be fair or poor. A variety of polls in recent days have found Mr. Bush's approval ratings at or near their lows, with his support eroding even among Republicans."

That's a selective view. Stevenson ignores a finding that Pew itself points out in its poll summary: That the public has become more critical of the local government response to Hurricane Katrina.

"Two weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, the public has become significantly more critical of the response by state and local governments in Mississippi and Louisiana. Currently, just 34% give state and local governments an excellent or good rating on their handling of the disaster, down from 41% last week. Public evaluations of the federal government's response to the disaster are largely unchanged from last week 37% positive, 61% negative."

Monday, September 12, 2005

More Global Warming Clucking

According to the past president of the American Association of State Climatologists, Dr. Patrick Michaels, the increase in hurricane activity is not caused by global warming, but rather the law of averages. On the August 30 “Special Report with Brit Hume,” Michaels used science to make his point. “Well, again, the problem is, when you do science, and you make hypotheses, you've got to test global temperatures against global hurricanes, not against Atlantic hurricanes,” Michaels said. “Yes, Atlantic hurricane frequency has increased since the late 1990s. But the fact of the matter is, it was quite low for several decades, ending about 1995, 1998, or so.” He added: “We were below the long-term mean for several decades. We've now come up to run above the long-term mean. And when you add several years of below and several years of above, you know what you get, Brit? Average!”

"Hurricane strength varies from storm to storm and year to year. The formation of a hurricane needs various components to come together. In USA Today on September 6, Elizabeth Weise included both viewpoints. She talked with Gary Yohe, an economics professor at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, ........

[H.H.- Yes, yes. Let's go to arguably one of the most liberal/leftist universities in America and get an economics professor (sorry, no offense meant to Professor King Banion) to talk as an expert on global warming.]

...............who “says rising temperatures — one degree in the past 50 years — are causing the hurricanes that do form to be stronger and longer-lasting, and therefore cause more damage.”

"Yet Robert Sheets, director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami from 1987 to 1995, disagreed. He “doesn’t believe there's any solid evidence that Katrina was strengthened by global warming” and said that “anything we've seen so far is not outside of what has occurred in the past.” (All emphasis mine- H.H)

Let's see. Where should I put my betting money? On two 'science experts'? One who was past president of the American Association of State Climatologists; and the other who was director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami from 1987 to 1995?

Or, on the other 'global warming expert' from the school of economics from Wesleyan University?

What next from USA Today? A report on sun spot activity and what causes it with the expert opinion of an herbalist from the Mayo Clinic?


Gun Show Owner, Patrons May File Civil Rights Suit
– The owner of a gun show targeted by federal undercover surveillance operations may join with some of his customers in filing a federal class action civil rights lawsuit against the agencies that participated in the operations...

Bush Team Conspired Against Blacks, Activists Charge
- Several black civil rights leaders are accusing the federal government of conspiring against poor African-Americans in the aftermath of the flooding in New Orleans. But one of those hurling the charges, comedian and political activist Dick Gregory, on Friday refused to say what, if anything, he personally has contributed to the relief effort...

Russia-US Ties Strained Ahead of Leaders’ Summit
Moscow (CNSNews.com)
– Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to hold talks with President Bush in Washington this week, at a time relations have been affected by differences over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, terrorism and other matters...

India Wants Closer Ties With US – But Also With Iran
– As Indian leaders head into this week’s U.N. summit and associated meetings, their country’s significantly improved ties with Washington are somewhat overshadowed by India’s ambivalent stance towards Iran...

Of Course, Dude.

I'm positive this must be Bush's fault too.

Feinstein the "Historian"

During her opening remarks today at the hearings of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts, Senator Dianne Feinstein said she was going to question the Supreme Court nominee on '‘the constitutional provision of providing for the separation of church and state.' She then went on to cite, as an example of religious persecution, the Jews who lost their lives in Budapest during the Holocaust, calling it a tragedy that '‘occurred in the name of religion.'
"There are three issues at work here. Number one, Feinstein shows an appalling ignorance of the Holocaust. Two, she blames Catholics - —the very ones who came to the rescue of Jews in Budapest - —not Nazis. Three, she fails to understand that had the First Amendment provision on religious liberty been operative in Nazi Germany, Hitler would not have been able to use the power of the state to club Christianity."
Senator Feinstein then ran out of the proceedings immediately after her remarks to meet up with a CNN crew to do an interview. (How pathetic is this?) Presumably, she went out to CNN to continue her history lessons with them, and undoubtedly they came away impressed with her knowledge of world history.

Mary Landrieu: School Bus Failure Bush's Fault

It was the Bush administration's fault that hundreds of city school buses weren't dispatched to evacuate the hurricane-battered residents of New Orleans two weeks ago before floods swamped the city, Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu said Sunday.

The sordid details can be read here.

Coleman: Bolton 'Right Guy, Right Place, Right Time'

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton is "the right guy in the right place at the right time,” declared Sen. Norm Coleman.

Coleman (R-Minn.), the leader of the Senate’s investigation into the U.N.’s scandal-ridden oil-for-food program, rebutted critics who said Bolton was unsuitable for the job. Full story.

Iran Watching Katrina Relief Effort

Tehran, Iran, Sep. 11 – Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have been following closely the way the United States government has been handling Hurricane Katrina, and drawing strategic conclusions from it.

In remarks that appeared on Ansar-e Hezbollah website on Sunday, a top official of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said the devastating hurricane had exposed America’s vulnerabilities.

“The mismanagement and the mishandling of the acute psychological problems brought about by Hurricane Katrina clearly showed that others can, at any given time, create a devastated war-zone in any part of the U.S.”, Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri, the official spokesman of the IRGC, said. Full details.

John Kerry's Katrina Aid Arrives Late

"Billionaire Democratic Sen. John Kerry has finally sent his own aid package to hurricane-ravaged New Orleans more than two weeks after the storm hit - and a week after most of the city had been successfully evacuated by the Bush administration."

His own aid? Oh, well, ahhh......maybe not.


By Neal Asbury

"Over this past week everything I do feels unimportant and meaningless compared to the wrath of Katrina and the suffering of our countrymen on the Gulf Coast. It has shown how vulnerable we truly are. These horrific scenes are being compared to something out of Indonesia, Somalia or Sri Lanka. People from around the world are stunned that these images could be coming from the United States.

I am incredibly saddened by the thought that New Orleans may never fully recover. I have so many fond memories of my time in the Big Easy. I have participated in numerous trade shows at the Convention Center where I introduced American-made products to eager customers from all over the world.

I have partied hard on Bourbon Street and tossed beads from the balconies. I have thrown passes and kicked field goals at the Superdome. The endless pictures of despair and chaos coming from these magical places are too much to bear.

There will be many lessons learned from Katrina and her indiscriminate destruction. The biggest lesson should be our vulnerability. Even with all the facts and warnings staring us in the face, we failed to act. We have another Katrina pounding our shores. Many in our country fail to realize, we are fully engaged in a World War of Trade. This has been ramping up the past two decades and today is raging all around us. America is losing.

There are cracks in our levee and the American middle class is at huge risk. Just like Katrina, nothing is being done about it. We have now seen how quickly we can look like a Third World country. This is our wake up call.

It amazes me that many believe through the process of globalization, it is inevitable that high paying American jobs must relocate to China and India. In a recent roundtable sponsored by BusinessWeek entitled Expert Advice for the U.S., all thirteen of the “smartest people BusinessWeek could find” has essentially written off the American worker.

According to them, America to survive needs to just keep inventing things and forget about making them. These people have obviously never tried selling the countless products Americans design and make efficiently and competitively. It is not the American worker that can not compete; it is the system they are competing in.

As I travel around the world, it is striking to note how many different meanings of globalization are out there. It is one of the most over used and misunderstood words of the past decade. Before we can correct our shameful trade imbalance (which can be done rather quickly), we first need to understand the world is playing by entirely different rules and definitions. This sounds so basic but it is at the heart of our global trade crisis.

In our naiveté, we have opened up our markets to the world (with the exception of agricultural subsidies which we will discuss later), expecting the world would willingly do the same for our manufacturers. To have believed in this myth wholeheartedly shows complete ignorance of history and foreign cultures."
A general definition of globalization, as understood in the United States, is the economic integration and interdependence of countries. It involves the increasing world-wide integration of markets for manufacturered goods, services, labor and capital. It is the belief fierce competition and access to lower cost imported products raises the living standard of all citizens.

It is often over simplified and referred to as “free trade” which is complete fiction and does not exist anywhere.

It describes the idea that time and space have shrunk as a result of modern telecommunications and travel which allows instantaneous communications between people almost anywhere on the planet at a fraction of what it cost just a few years ago. (As an example, we spent on telecommunications $40,000 per month in the mid ‘90’s. Today we pay under $5,000 per month for dramatically better service).

The concept of globalization also applies to values like spirituality, protecting the environment and belief in human rights to cultural products such as food, fashion, movies and music.

Among developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, the term globalization can quickly get emotional and often refers to the domination of world economic affairs and resources by the United States.

Here, it is defined as American capitalism in the form of its huge multinationals backed by our government and media re-colonizing the world. “Coca-Colonization” and “McGlobalization” is seen as the result of cultural homogenization as local traditions are swallowed up by American values.

Is globalization a force for economic growth, prosperity and democracy? Or is it a force to destroy local cultures, exploit defenseless labor and ruin the environment? Is globalization benefiting the American worker? Is globalization a good thing or a bad thing?

It all depends on one’s definition.

Globalization is not new and has been going on for centuries. The expansion of Buddhism in Asia in the First Century eventually laid the foundation of the Silk Road.

The rapid spread of Islam from the Western Mediterranean to India in 650-850 economically linked many diverse lands and cultures.

In 960-1279, the Song Dynasty in China produced the economic output, financial instruments and technologies that were the impetus of a medieval world economy that linked Europe and China by land and sea across Eurasia and the Indian Ocean. When Europeans were literally rolling around in the mud, China was the world’s center of invention, wealth and commerce.

The creation of the Ottoman Empire after the fall of Constantinople in 1453, spanning Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, economically connected many peoples – at the cost of doing business between Europe and China.

This increase was partially responsible for Christopher Columbus making his voyage in 1492 to find a shortcut to China by sailing west. Instead he discovered America which set into motion the globalization of the Western Hemisphere. The enormous and powerful British Empire of the 16th-18th centuries set the global standards in commerce, values and culture.

It is important that we all understand globalization is not an American invention. Currently being the world’s most powerful and wealthy country only puts us at the forefront as were the Greeks, Romans, Chinese and British before us.

It would require several hundred pages to touch on all the nuances of globalization from around the world (this is a book that needs to be written). I will therefore limit my brief discussion of the issues to a few of the foremost players.

East Asia, including China, Japan and Korea is responsible for a whopping 60% of our non-oil trade deficit. India is often linked with China as the biggest threats to U.S. jobs. At a recent summit, the leaders of China and India half joked that “China would be the factory of the world and India the office of the world.”

The Arabian Peninsula has globalized oil and terrorism. Yesterday, when driving home, a SUV in front of me had big bold letters across its back window claiming “SAUDI ARABIA IS NOT OUR FRIEND.” Maybe he doesn’t know what irony is.

France is interesting. They are the self appointed leaders of the anti-globalization movement which is an extension of their fervent anti-America dementia.

Brazil is an important player as the FTAA (Free Trade Agreement of the Americas) hinges on the United States and Brazil coming to terms on American agricultural subsides.

Our non-oil trade deficit in 2004 was $446 billion. Of this $258 billion was with China, Japan and Korea. In solving our trade crisis this is where to start. All three are similar in they have defined and implemented globalization as a process to export their products as much as possible while greatly limiting imports.

There is no shortage of Chinese officials running around the world singing the praise of globalization. However, it is their definition, not ours, to which they are so committed.

They are proud to point out that 200 million people have been lifted out of poverty in the last 20 years while China has become the 5th largest trading country in the world. They cite in the last ten years China has attracted more foreign direct investment (FDI) than any country in the world other than the United States.

They claim lower cost Chinese goods have raised the living standards of all Americans by 5-10 percent (I have no idea how they calculate this) and helped to reduce our inflation.

They talk of the success in China of a few American multinationals such as Coca Cola, McDonald’s and GM. They finally assert America is beholden to China because of their purchase of US Treasury Bonds which has helped to finance the budget deficit with the implicit threat to dump them if we do not play by their rules.

The Chinese Communist leadership has developed their version of globalization to hold on to power and so far it is working. They must continue to create millions of jobs to legitimize their rule. They do this by keeping artificially low the cost of Chinese exports, which in turn brings in more foreign direct investment (FDI) which builds more export capacity that finally employs more people.

However, clearly the Communist leadership is saving their skins at the expense of the American worker. They vigorously protect their market from American exports through the manipulation of its currency, import restrictions and tariffs, unfair competition from State Owned Enterprises (SOE), cheap loans, brazen intellectual property infringements, corruption, cronyism and bureaucratic red tape.

The Chinese government does not talk about raising the standard of living of its own people by importing higher quality and more competitive American products. The US multinationals they showcase as success stories have had to localize content. Coca Cola, McDonald’s and GM have very little US content in their products. Maximizing local content was a condition of establishing their operations in China. Globalization in China is a one way street.

Japan and Korea also have adopted the same single dimension of globalization. Simply put… we make and you buy. It has nothing to do with openness and let the best product win. Sadly, there is nothing on the horizon that is going to change this.

I am fundamentally against managed trade. I also stand first for the fair treatment of the American worker. In China, Japan and Korea it is blindingly obvious American workers are getting shafted everyday as products made with their labor are not allowed to be sold in the same open marketplace which we have granted these three countries.

We should not be surprised. There are historic, cultural and bureaucratic reasons why this occurs. It is time to accept that China-Japan-Korea (C-J-K) have a totally different meaning of globalization than we. If our trade partners refuse to agree to our definition, we must respond accordingly.

One proposal is to determine what American imports would occur if not for C-J-K impediments to trade, then require these countries to make up the shortfall in government purchases.

India fancies itself as the office of the world. Following their success in software engineering and call centers, they have now set their sights on pharmaceuticals and biotech as well as higher-value design segments of classical blue-collar industries such as textiles and auto-components.

In 2005, General Electric will employ more top-end talent at its Bangalore facility than in New York. It is estimated that 70% of American white collar jobs that are being exported overseas are headed for India.

Just like China, there is no shortage of Indian government officials talking about the virtues of globalization. However their definition is also not anything like ours. India fervently protects its market against American imports. India is in effect a closed market with its extreme duties and barriers.

Globalization to India means outsourcing skilled jobs from the United States and Europe to India. It does not mean lifting the lives of their people through better imported products at cheaper prices. Once again the American worker is paying a huge price and getting absolutely nothing in return.

Something needs to be mentioned about globalization on the Arabian Peninsula. The Saudis have globalized the oil industry through the 11 members of OPEC that are located in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia. In 2004, OPEC’s members received $338 billion in revenue from oil exports. That was an increase of nearly 40 percent over the $243 billion they received in 2003. The increase in 2005 will be even more dramatic. In 2004, the United States imported $166 billion of crude oil and petroleum products. This could nearly double in 2005.

Also originating in ultra-conservative Wahhabi Saudi Arabia is the globalization of terrorism stemming from Islamic Fascism. It can now be found in all corners of the world save for Antarctica.

It is ironic to note Al-Qaeda was formed to resist and eliminate Western influences in the Middle East that are the result of the globalization process. Obviously, when a region only survives on a single commodity and has no technological development, creativity or manufacturing of their own, they must import. One globalization begets another.

The French define globalization as an Anglo-Saxon (read American-British) invention that has been designed to trample their “more refined” culture and generally dilute the “greatness” of France. They have vigorously taken the international lead in fighting the spread of globalization.

The French national debate no longer hinges on the traditional openness vs. protectionist dichotomy. Their deeply felt anti-Americanism has put it on a collision course with the 21st century world order as they go back to building walls instead of bridges.

We have seen this clearly when the French recently rejected the EU Constitution. The “non” vote was cast as a protest against further integration. They somehow believe by withdrawing into a cocoon they can protect their runaway socialist system of high paying jobs, short work weeks, long vacations and early retirement.

French leaders often seek ways to influence world politics as a “counter balance” to the United States. Being relegated to a second rate power has been too much to swallow. They would not even be this if not for their veto power on the Security Council. Their status on the world stage can no longer justify this.

The French have so far put forth no alternative to globalization which they vehemently oppose. Globalization has been vilified as a clash between the superior French culture against the much lower American culture.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has been portrayed as the Trojan Horse of uniformity around the American way of life, or “low” culture made up of fast food, bad clothing and dumb sitcoms. By contrast, the French model is portrayed as “high” culture made up of worldly philosophers, fine paintings and intellectual movies. Globalization also threatens the revered French language which is at the core of their psyche.

When asked why France is isolated in the fight against globalization, especially within Europe, French politicians do not hesitate to snap back that France is the only one to defend its culture because it has something to defend. A clear sign they are suffering from Delusionary High Culture Syndrome (DHCS).

Many Americans believe we have the world’s most open and free market. This is not true. Agricultural subsidies create big distortions at home and around the world. They are also the rightful target of many developing countries when negotiating trade agreements. It is not fair that we demand to eliminate market barriers for our manufacturers and service providers but at the same time overly protect our market against food imports.

Many developing countries heavily depend on their agricultural sector which is one of the few things they can competitively export. The subsidies of the rich countries drive down the world prices of their crops driving them further into poverty. The US, EU and especially Japan have eliminated food from their definition of globalization except when it comes to exporting.

US farm subsidies are currently about $19 billion per annum. This pales against $67 billion in the EU (France is the main beneficiary) and $33 billion in Japan. Duties on many farm products in the US, EU and Japan exceed 100 percent (the tariff on rice in Japan is 500 percent).

The US farm support in 2003 was 17.6 percent of the total value of agricultural production compared to 36.5 percent in the EU and 60 percent in Japan. Japan’s support of farm land was a hard to believe $4415 per acre that dwarfed the EU at $308 and the US at $54.

American food exporters routinely sell their products below the cost of production. The latest numbers available from 2003 show cotton was exported at an average price of 47 percent below the cost of production. Wheat was exported at an average price of 28 percent below the cost of production. Rice was exported at an average price of 26 percent below the cost of production. Corn and Soy Beans were exported at an average price of 10 percent below the cost of production.

Not only are we running up an unsustainable trade deficit, we are losing big money in the export of our agricultural products that is being heavily subsidized by the US taxpayer.

Americans workers are losing their jobs to Chinese because of unequal access to the China market for the products they competitively produce while at the same time are paying with their tax dollars for food the Chinese are eating.

The definition Brazil attaches to globalization needs to be closely considered. It claims to be seeking a “third way” between the US version of globalization and state-controlled socialism. It rejects the Washington Consensus that is a set of market opening policies believed by many in the United States to be the path for promoting economic prosperity in Latin America. T

hey include the standard reforms the US has been promoting for the past 15 years including trade liberalism, low tariffs, protection of intellectual property rights, privatization of state enterprises, openness to foreign direct investments, moderate interest rates, due process and competitive exchange rates. This is the heart of the American globalization model. Most all Latin countries have implemented the Washington Consensus except Argentina, Brazil, Cuba and Venezuela.

The moderate left wing government of Brazil today sees the “third way” as a global community of developing and poor countries that does not rely on the industrialized West. Meanwhile Brazil remains one of the most closed markets in the world. This community would be focused on ending hunger, poverty and misery. These are certainly noble goals but simply not practical without the technology and financial resources of the United States and European Union. It is time they wake up.

Brazil and the United States are at an impasse in concluding FTAA (Free Trade Agreement of Americas) over US agricultural subsidies and the intellectual property protections laws in Brazil. Brazil being a major exporter of agricultural products insists upon the elimination of subsidies as part of the FTAA negotiations. They have a valid point. A solution needs to be found as FTAA is extremely important to all countries of the hemisphere, but especially Brazil and the US.

There do not have to be losers in the World War of Trade. Our trade partners win in many ways by permitting American products to enter their markets. However, by not responding to the many meanings of globalization we are destroying America’s ability to compete.

Think of the jobs created in places like New Orleans, Biloxi and Gulfport for our countrymen that desperately need them if $200, $300, or even $400 billion worth of manufacturing jobs were here in America because we had the guts to correct the many wrongs we have allowed.

If these trade wrongs are not corrected, in particular with China, Japan, and Korea, and stand up for the American worker, we can all end up suffering an economic Katrina.

Will we heed the warnings this time?"
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'An Islamist threat like the Nazis'

The threat of the radical Islamists taking over Europe is every bit as great to the United States as was the threat of the Nazis taking over Europe in the 1940s.
Full story.


John Fund on the Trail
FDR and Truman cut spending when crises demanded it. Why won't Bush?

Presidential Leadership, By James Taranto
George W. Bush is "average," but far from ordinary.

OPEC is to blame for fuel rises

Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, will this week try to head off the prospect of nationwide fuel protests by blaming international oil producers for the soaring prices that have infuriated British motorists. DETAILS.

Armed extremists 'were shooting to kill'

The skies above Shankill Road are thick with smoke from vehicles set on fire during a weekend of riots in Belfast after an Orange Order parade was diverted.

HUNDREDS of rioters returned to the streets of Belfast last night, hijacking cars, blocking roads and attacking police lines with petrol bombs, bottles and stones.

A blast bomb was thrown at a police station in West Belfast, but nobody was injured in that explosion.

As attacks at the New Barnsley police station grew worse, a car and van were crashed into the gates. Wheelie bins and gas cylinders were also set alight.

Elsewhere, ten people were arrested and police fired baton rounds after being targeted. One officer was injured.

The renewed violence came after the chief constable of Northern Ireland accused Protestant extremists of trying to kill his police officers.

The rioting - the worst to hit the province in a decade - began on Saturday night after a decision to restrict an Orange Order parade. Police said surveillance footage of that violence showed paramilitaries armed with automatic weapons and explosive devices and members of the Orange Order attacking police and orchestrating the violence.

More than 50 live rounds were fired at police and soldiers, who returned fire with plastic bullets. A bomb-making factory and seven firearms were seized in follow-up raids yesterday. Details.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Iraqis aim to cut off insurgent forces
Jacob Silberberg, Washington Times

More than 5,000 Iraqi army and paramilitary troops backed by U.S. soldiers swept into this insurgent stronghold near the Syrian border yesterday, conducting house-to-house searches and battering down stone walls in the narrow, winding streets of the old...

Executive admits failure on NHS

For those who advocate a national health plan in the United States, here is yet another example that it doesn't work.

MINISTERS have admitted for the first time that Scottish NHS hospitals are delivering less to patients while costing taxpayers more.

Scottish Executive health officials bluntly concede in a report to go before MSPs this week that the billions of pounds of extra cash pumped into hospitals has not led to an increase in clinical activity.

Ministers have ploughed an extra £4bn into the NHS since devolution, an unprecedented investment designed to address the service's problems, including waiting lists and dirty hospitals.

Critics contend much of the cash has been spent on extra bureaucracy, increased salaries and on the spiralling cost of drugs.