.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}
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

Thursday, December 25, 2008

"The most dangerous myth is the demagoguery that business can be made to pay a larger share, thus relieving the individual. Politicians preaching this are either deliberately dishonest, or economically illiterate, and either one should scare us. Business doesn't pay taxes, and who better than business to make this message known? Only people pay taxes, and people pay as consumers every tax that is assessed against a business. Begin with the food and fiber raised in the farm, to the ore drilled in a mine, to the oil and gas from out of the ground, whatever it may be -- through the processing, through the manufacturing, on out to the retailer's license. If the tax cannot be included in the price of the product, no one along that line can stay in business."

--Ronald Reagan


"Religion and good morals are the only solid foundation of public liberty and happiness."

--Samuel Adams, in a October 16, 1778 letter to John Trumbull--

Hope you all are having a great Christmas. Mine has been great. I spent most of the day at the house of one of my daughters and her boyfriend in Savage, MN, along with Mrs. HH, HH Jr. and his girlfriend, and my other two daughters with their husband and boyfriend. And I cannot forget to mention my 5 year old grandson was there too. What a great time.

Turkey, riced potatoes, stuffing, gravy, corn, various relishes, pumpkin pie, cherry pie, French silk pie, birthday cake, cherry cheese cake, and wine were the menu items of the day.

Wine choices were White Zinfandel, Lambrusco, Riesling, and Pino Grigio.

The HH family wishes everyone a Merry Christmas. A special mention and thanks to all in our military that are unable to be with their family at this special time. God bless you all for your sacrifices.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Burt Prelutsky: The Dumbing Down of Academe
Just when you think the folks on the left can't get any goofier, they go and surpass themselves.

The Jobs-Creation Scam

By Robert Ringer

A recent Time cover displayed a mockup of Barack Obama decked out to look like FDR. And if you caught the special about FDR that The History Channel did about a week ago, you can understand why. BHO, a master at recycling old, tried-and-failed ideas - ideas that have never enhanced either prosperity or freedom anywhere in the world - clearly intends to be the chocolate version of our thirty-second president.

Like FDR, BHO has the arrogance to use your money to "create" a job for someone else. The fact that creating jobs is not a Constitutional function of government doesn't seem to bother BHO anymore than it did FDR. And, just as FDR's intervention in the economy kept the U.S. in a depression seven or eight years longer than was necessary, BHO's shenanigans are virtually certain to have the same effect.

As always, the rationale of socialists sounds compassionate: Government has a duty to help unemployed citizens by "creating jobs." As Barney Frank angrily (and rhetorically) asked in a recent interview on 60 Minutes, "What do you expect people to do, starve?"

Clever way of changing the subject - but the moral and legal fact of life is that the government has no duty or obligation to create any job for anyone.

Please Click Here to read the rest of the Mr. Ringer's article.


"After they had heard [Herod], they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed."

(Matthew 2:9-10)

Conservative Snobs Wrong on Palin - WSJ.com
I know Maggie Thatcher. The two women have a lot in common.
Being listed in fourth place for Time magazine's "Person of the Year," as Sarah Palin was for 2008, sounds a little like being awarded the Order of Purity (Fourth Class). But it testifies to something important.  [Read on]

Obama's Plan to Rejoin the World Community
When Candidate Barack Obama declared himself a "citizen of the world" before thousands of cheering German socialists, and later pledged to "rejoin the World Community," those weren't just his usual platitudes about "change." Those words sounded the trumpet for his specific and far-reaching globalist agenda.

Obama plans to use his presidential power to get the Democratic-majority Senate to ratify a series of treaties that would take us a long way toward global rule over our money, our laws, our military, our courts, our customs, our trade and even our use of energy. Here are the treaties he says he wants.  [Read on]

David Limbaugh : Beware Obama's Middle Class Task Force
When you read reports that President-elect Obama is going to establish a "task force to assist middle-class families" and that incoming VP Joe Biden will be its point man, keep a very sharp eye on what's going on here. It's an appeal to form over substance designed to convince voters he cares so much that even if he fails, he should be lauded and, of course, re-elected.

Modern Democrats have perfected the art of political..........

Thomas Sowell : Another Great Depression?
With both Barack Obama's supporters and the media looking forward to the new administration's policies being similar to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's policies during the 1930s depression, it may be useful to look at just what those policies were and-- more important-- what their consequences were.  [More]

The Economy Needs a Painful Period of Adjustment
By Jack Kelly

Our government now owes more money than all of us in the country put together possess.

As of Sep. 30, federal financial statements showed approximately $56.4 trillion in debts, liabilities, and unfunded promises for Medicare and Social Security, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation reported. The Federal Reserve estimated total household net worth at that time at $56.5 trillion.

Since then the stock market has crashed, tens of billions of dollars of personal wealth have evaporated, and the government has committed $700 million to bail out financial institutions.

A government which long has been morally and intellectually bankrupt is now financially bankrupt too.  [Read on]

Wall Streeter Who Allegedly Ran $50-Billion Ponzi Scheme Was Major Democratic Donor

CNSNews.com -
Investment fund manager Bernard Madoff, who allegedly ran a criminal scheme in which investors reportedly lost up to $50 billion, was a major donor to political campaigns and causes over the last 16 years, according to data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics and .....

A Good Move Even if it is Just Temporary

Washington Times - EXCLUSIVE: Obama wants Bush war team to stay
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is asking many of the Bush administration's 250 Pentagon political appointees to remain on the job until the incoming Obama administration finds replacements -- a move designed to prevent a leadership vacuum with U.S. troops engaged in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The unusual request by Mr. Gates, whom President-elect Barack Obama has asked to continue in his Cabinet post, ensures that key policy positions will not be left to "acting" subordinates as typically occurs when political appointees are directed to resign during a presidential transition.

More by Bill Gertz.

States set to impose bevy of new taxes

Likely to prolong recession, critics say
By Donald Lambro
Washington Times

Governors want to levy higher taxes next year on clothes, soft drinks, gasoline, auto licenses and other items that likely will hit low- and middle-income families struggling to make ends meet in a deepening recession the hardest.

Officials say they are required by law to ......

Europe may take Guantanamo detainees to aid Obama

Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
European nations have begun intensive discussions both within and among their governments on whether to resettle detainees from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as a significant overture to the incoming Obama administration, according to senior European officials and U.S. diplomats.

The willingness to consider accepting prisoners who cannot be returned to their home countries, because of fears they may be tortured there, represents a major change in attitude on the part of European governments. Repeated requests from the Bush administration that European allies accept some.....

Sounds like my kind of Prez.........

Czech Republic Not Ideal to Lead E.U., Some Say
As the Czech Republic prepares to assume the E.U.’s rotating presidency for the first time, alarm bells are ringing in Brussels as well as in “Old European” capitals such as Paris and Berlin.

The central European country, which joined the E.U. in 2004, is led by a prime minister (Topolanek) who is a firm supporter of the U.S. missile defense system and a critic of what he recently called “Russian imperialism,” a stance that causes unease in some Western European governments.

Moreover, the Czech Republic has a president (Klaus) who rejects theories widely embraced in Europe about human-induced “global warming” – and is deeply skeptical about the E.U. itself, concerned about its potential to harm national sovereignty.  [More]

Monday, December 22, 2008

To Curb Abuse In Civil Court, Loser Must Pay


Even as the financial crisis has businesses, consumers and governments pinching pennies, litigation costs in America continue to swell. The direct...

Read Full Article

Bailing Out Bonuses


Bailouts: Amid coast-to-coast cutbacks and layoffs by the thousands, bankers at the center of the financial crisis pay themselves $1.6 billion in taxpayer-funded bonuses. This is a major symptom of what's wrong.

Read Full Article

Revision Run Amok


Media Bias: The paper of record blames the "mortgage bonfire" on President Bush and his "laissez-faire" housing policies. But to get there, the Times completely ignored history prior to 2002.

Read Full Article

Ohio Watchdog Faults Ex-Attorney General

Former Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann ran a vulgar and unprofessional office and misused campaign funds, the state's government watchdog said.

Official Says California Could Be Broke in Two Months


California's comptroller is warning that the state will run out of money in about two months unless a budget deal is struck.

Read Full Article


California Scheming: What One-Party Rule Is Doing To Once-Golden State


State Government: As the financial crisis in California gets worse, it's pretty clear the real problem isn't the budget at all, but a political system that has resulted in a dysfunctional one-party state.

Oil-Shale Waste 'Non Hazardous,' EPA Says

WASHINGTON -- The Environmental Protection Agency issued an 11th-hour clarification on spent oil shale, declaring the byproduct of the development process not to be a hazardous waste.

The ruling could limit production costs if U.S. developers move ahead with oil shale development, but the next administration .......

U.S. to Fund Afghan Militias

The U.S. will fund an effort to recruit armed local militias in the battle against the Taliban, exporting the tactic to Afghanistan from Iraq.

The Bailout Disease is Spreading

U.S. Developers Seek Their Own Bailout

Big property developers are asking to be included in a new $200 billion loan program as a surge in commercial mortgages comes due.

China Faces Unrest As Economy Falters

As China's economy stalls, rising public unrest has bubbled up in a series of labor strikes across the country. [Read more.]

Is the Medicine Worse Than the Illness?

"The world ran out of trust in 2008 -- but there is no shortage of money because the Fed is printing like mad. It's the wrong approach, with potentially dire consequences, says James Grant." ---WSJ

Good essay in the Wall St. Journal by James Grant. Here is an excerpt:
In this crisis, the Fed's assets have grown much faster than its capital. The truth is that the Federal Reserve is itself a highly leveraged financial institution. The flagship branch of the 12-bank system, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, shows assets of $1.3 trillion and capital of just $12.2 billion. Its leverage ratio, a mere 0.9%, is less than one-third of that prescribed for banks in the private sector. Such a thin film of protection would present no special risk if the bank managed by Timothy F. Geithner, the Treasury secretary-designate, owned only short-dated Treasurys. However, the mystery meat acquired from Bear Stearns and AIG foots to $66.6 billion. A writedown of just 18.3% in the value of those risky portfolios would erase the New York Fed's capital account. In congressional testimony eight years ago, Laurence Meyer, then a Fed governor, tried to allay any such concerns (which then must have seemed remote, indeed). "Creditors of central banks...are at no risk of a loss because the central bank can always create additional currency to meet any obligation denominated in that currency," he soothingly reminded his listeners.

Yes, today's policy makers allow, there are risks to "creating" a trillion or so of new currency every few months, but that is tomorrow's worry. On today's agenda is a deflationary abyss. Frostbite victims tend not to dwell on the summertime perils of heatstroke.

But the seasons of finance are unpredictable. Prescience is rare enough in the private sector. It is almost unheard of in Washington. The credit troubles took the Fed unawares. So, likely, will the outbreak of the next inflation. Already the stars are aligned for a doozy. Not only the Fed, but also the other leading central banks are frantically ramping up money production. Simultaneously, miners and oil producers are ramping down commodity production -- as is, for instance, is Rio Tinto, the heavily encumbered mining giant, which the other day disclosed 14,000 layoffs and a $5 billion cutback in capital expenditure. Come the economic recovery, resource producers will certainly increase output. But it is far less certain that, once the cycle turns, the central banks will punctually tighten.
Read all of it here.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

On Virtue

"Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics. There must be a positive passion for the public good, the public interest, honour, power and glory, established in the minds of the people, or there can be no republican government, nor any real liberty: and this public passion must be superiour to all private passions."

--John Adams, in a letter, 1776

Learning (and re-learning) from history

"It looks as if we are going to have to relive all of the mistakes of the 20th century one more time -- let's hope it is one last time -- before we relearn the big lesson of that century: the moral and material superiority of capitalism and the disastrous consequences of socialism in all its forms."

--columnist Robert Tracinski--

I hope he was right.....

"We shall return to proven ways -- not because they are old, but because they are true."

--Barry Goldwater--

"Never assume the obvious is true." --William Safire

Charisma, Power, and Health Care

"A charismatic Democratic President takes office promising to extend health insurance to all Americans. His party enjoys majorities in Congress, and the GOP is at sea. The press corps finds policy a bore and instead files stories that draw facile analogies to the heyday of FDR... Any taxpayer commitment this large ought to require a social consensus reflected in large majorities, but Democrats are determined to plow ahead anyway. They know that a health-care entitlement for the middle class will never be removed once it is in place; and that government will then dominate American health-care choices for decades to come. That's all the more reason for the recumbent GOP to get its act together." --The Wall Street Journal

Can Inflation and Deflation Coexist?, Part III

By Robert Ringer

Right now, we're in a deflationary period, which, as I have explained, is a good thing for the economy long term. It cleanses the market of excesses and forces people to be more frugal, more prudent, and more rational in their planning and spending.

As I shared with you in Part I of this article, my friend, Leo the Centimillionaire, believes it will be several years before the government prints its way out of the deflationary hole it has dug for us. He could be right ... or he could be wrong. For all the reasons I've previously stated, it's simply impossible to predict the timing of economic events in an economy that is artificially manipulated.

Still, so long as we're in a downward spiral, certain kinds of businesses will be especially vulnerable, but others will actually do quite well. I don't make predictions. I only make educated guesses. And following are some of my educated guesses about the near-term fates of a sampling of businesses as living standards decline.

Please Click Here to read the rest of Part III.

Can Inflation and Deflation Coexist?, Part II

By Robert Ringer

Could we actually be headed toward a massive deflation - perhaps a deflationary depression? To me, the bottom line is that the political buffoons in D.C. have things so screwed up that no one can predict with certainty exactly how our economic debacle is going to play out.

The only thing we can be certain of is that virtually everything the government does will make things worse. Regardless of whether it's "jobs programs," "rescue packages," or any of a myriad of other anti-free-market measures government loves to impose, its spending must be paid for in one of three ways: printing, borrowing, or taxing - and all three are bad for the economy.

Leo the Centimillionaire is right when he points out that we are in a deflationary period right now. But my guess is that once the Obama "change we can believe in" crowd starts implementing its massive New Deal II programs, a rapid increase in inflation cannot be far behind.

Lately, however, I've begun to ponder an unthinkable scenario ...

Please Click Here to read the rest of Part II.

Can Inflation and Deflation Coexist?, Part I

Federal deficit skyrockets

By Mark Alexander
The Patriot Post

"Federal spending grew 25 percent in 2008 according to a joint White House-Treasury Department report released this week. Taxpayers will end up more than $1 trillion in the hole thanks to this steep rise, which is accounted for mostly by significant growth in veterans' benefits and tax revenues that have remained static due to a yearlong recession. The scary part is that this trillion-dollar red mark comes before Uncle Sam's bailout escapades are taken into account. President-elect Obama's plan for another stimulus package early next year will only increase the federal deficit, which went from $162.8 billion in fiscal 2008 to $454.8 billion just one year later. But never fear, members of Congress are set to receive a pay raise of $4,700 a year beginning in January.

This "damn-the-torpedoes" strategy of not worrying about the deficit during times of economic strain will one day sink the American economy. This year, the federal government will spend $450 billion on just the interest on the national debt. That interest payment ranks fourth in total government outlays, behind Medicare-Medicaid, Social Security and defense. In 30 years, the government's current tax revenue will cover only half of what it owes. We're soon going to be looking for change, all right."

(Bold emphasis mine - HH)


Paul Weyrich (1942-2008) was the founder of both the Free Congress Foundation and the Heritage Foundation, also serving as the Heritage Foundation's first president.

Paul Weyrich's last column:

The Next Conservatism, A Serious Agenda for the Future

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It is the worst of times because millions of Americans are unemployed this Christmas. It is the worst of years because we have mortgaged the future of our children and grandchildren for decades to come. It is the worst of years because many good friends have left us. It is the best of times because we still live in the greatest nation on earth. It is the best of years because we have the freedom to speak our minds. It is the best of years because we can organize as we see fit to support the political candidates of our choice. It is the worst of years because we have to witness the troglodytes from Hell kill innocent people in Mumbai, formerly Bombay. It is the ..... [Continue]

Ponzi scheme benefits Democrats

By Mark Alexander
The Patriot Post

"Speaking of corruption, Bernard Madoff, founder of Manhattan-based Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, was arrested and charged with securities fraud this week in what may be history's largest Ponzi scheme. Investors in Madoff's hedge funds may have lost anywhere from $17 billion to $50 billion. Investment details aside, Madoff was a major player in Washington politics -- for the Democrats. Since 1993, the Madoff clan has donated more than $380,000 to individual politicians and political action committees, including $100,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. In particular, DSCC head Sen. Chuck Schumer (the other senator from New York) received money from Madoff -- $39,000 for his 1998 and 2004 races. One will search in vain for such details in Leftmedia stories about Madoff, however. Apparently, it isn't worth a mention."

Is this what we deserve?

"In the final analysis, we, the people, are responsible for the corruption of our leaders by failing to demand a higher standard of conduct from our politicians. Increasingly, Americans have grown accustomed to a culture characterized by moral relativism and individualism. We have mocked Judeo-Christian values -- humility, virtue, honor -- and in the process, eroded restraints on social conduct. The results have become painfully obvious in the business arena and are becoming increasingly obvious in the political arena. When we do not demand honor, virtue, and accountability from ourselves, can we really expect more from our leaders? Have we merely gotten the leaders we deserve?"

--Ken Connor, Chairman of the Center for a Just Society

Counterfeiting Versus Monetary Policy

By Walter E. Williams

Congress is on a spending binge. With all the calls for bailouts, economic stimulus and other assorted handouts, there is a real risk of inflation in our future. If we do have a rapid inflation, it’s likely that Congress, as they did in the financial meltdown, will blame it on everybody except themselves. Before Congress begins to shirk their responsibility, let’s understand what an inflation is and is not…

UN Passes Islamic ‘Defamation’ Measure, But Critics Hail ‘Backlash’

The 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is spearheading the “defamation of religion” campaign at the U.N.

– A “defamation” of religion resolution stating that “Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism” passed in the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday – but with fewer votes than in previous years. [continue]

"Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations."

--George Washington, 1796, In his farewell address

Watch Putin

By David Aikman

"The world has watched in dismay as Russian President Vladimir Putin has steadily dismantled Russia?s democratic freedoms since he first became president nearly nine years ago. Last week Russian police violently broke up an opposition protest demonstration. This week Russian Human Rights activists were protesting a new Putin bill to declare treasonous even certain forms of criticism of the government.

We Americans often don't pay much attention to what is going on inside other countries. But one thing is certain, regimes that suppress their own people don't leave their violence at home. Almost invariably, they export their autocracy to their neighbors. We've already seen this in Russia's bullying of Georgia, a former Soviet republic. Watch carefully for Putin's next aggressive move on his neighbors."

The ripples of recession

Desperate adversaries might lash out
By Jack Kelly

The collapse of oil prices is having a devastating impact on our enemies in Iran and Venezuela, and our sometimes enemies in Russia.

The Iranian economy was a mess even when oil prices were high. The mullahs maintain a tenuous hold... [continue]

Swimming in Chicago's cesspool

The Blagojevich saga of corruption and venality has just begun

What does Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich have to trade for a lighter sentence? Pondering this question is, I suspect, keeping many prominent people in Chicago awake nights.

Mr. Blagojevich is accused of conspiring to sell government favors for personal benefit. But his great crime, in the eyes of many politicians, is that he has made "pay to play" all too easy for ordinary people to understand, and too ugly for them to ignore. [Continue]


What a PM Netanyahu faces from Washington
By Caroline B. Glick

The "international community" is eagerly anticipating the incoming Obama administration's policy towards Israel. It is widely assumed that as soon as he comes into office, US president-elect Barack Obama will move quickly to apply massive pressure on the next Israeli government to withdraw from Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights in the interests of advancing a "peace process" with the Palestinians and the Syrians. [Continue]


During the first days of December there was a barrage of rumors that China was going to devalue its currency (the renminbi or RMB), causing an abrupt drop in the US stock market. A drop in the RMB would have been a disaster - a game of chicken that would have plunged both China and the US into the abyss. All heck broke out diplomatically and financially.

It was a harsh message just before Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson came to Beijing for the China-US Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) meeting (12/04-05): Be nice and kowtow or else. As the main Chinese state banker Gao Xiqing says, "Be nice to the people loaning you money."

Who is to blame? [Read more]


By Dr. Jack Wheeler
TO THE POINT: Behind The Lines

"When you hear the word "China," if you're like most people the picture most likely to appear in your mind's eye is vast uncountable hordes of people. I've got a different picture, having bounced along so many thousands of kilometers of bad Chinese roads: no people at all.

China is almost half a million square miles bigger than the continental US (the contiguous 48 states without Alaska/Hawaii) - and it is amazing how much of it is desert or high mountain plateaus where hardly anybody lives. And I mean no one, as in empty. I'd estimate that more than half, upwards of two-thirds of China is virtually uninhabited.

That means cramming 1.3 billion people into an area less than one-third of the continental US. People who have made a deal with their Chicom leaders: you get to keep political control and we get to prosper in a growing economy. The deal breaks down if the economy falters - and it is faltering fast.

The engine of China's economy - her exports that we buy - is in steep decline, foreign direct investment is down 36% for 2008, scores of millions of peasants who had found work in cities are now unemployed and headed back to their bleak villages.

China is in trouble - and when dictatorships get in trouble, history shows the option they most often choose to try and save themselves is war. Will China - or will it opt for the alternative that geopolitics is now providing, to take America's place as protector and peacemaker?"

A Pork-Barrel Stimulus Package

By Michele Bachmann

It’s no secret that when President Obama gets sworn into office, among his top priorities will be to guide Congress through an $850 billion economic stimulus package. As a result, this astronomical number has created a tsunami of activity from special interest groups looking for their piece of the pie. $850 billion is simply an astonishing figure - not only exceeding the hefty $700 billion price tag of the financial sector, but also dwarfing the annual budget for the Pentagon.

What does Obama intend to do with all of your hard-earned money? According to... [continue]

The Blagojevich of the Iceberg

We've had our fun sniping about how corrupt the state of Illinois can be, how Gov. Rod Blagojevich is just the latest from a state noted for its smoke-filled rooms, payola, and double-dealing.

But we risk overlooking the real issue: It's not that Illinois is especially corrupt. It's that power tends to corrupt and every governor faces temptation. Many succumb.

It may be that, in Illinois, the state's reputation encourages a certain bravado. Blagojevich used the .......... [continue]