Is Congress Waking Up?

From Newsbusters:

House Republicans introduced a bill last week with hopes of forcing major changes on the United Nations. The bill would require the United Nations to allow member countries to fund the UN agencies of their choosing rather than according to a formula, end funding for Palestinian refugees, limit U.S. funding to be used only for purposes specifically outlined by Congress, and end contributions to peacekeeping programs until changes in management take place.

With the United States contributing 22% of the UN’s operating budget, the GOP believes there is enough leverage to force these changes in the UN. Led by the Republican chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the changes are designed to end corruption and inefficiency in the global organization. How involved do you think the U.S. should be in the UN? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Further from Bloomberg:

The U.S. pays 22 percent of the UN’s regular operations budget and is assessed 27 percent of the peacekeeping budget. The U.S. payments totaled $3.35 billion in 2010, of which $2.67 billion was dedicated to the 16 peacekeeping operations worldwide, from South Sudan to Haiti. […]

Ros-Lehtinen’s aim in shifting the UN budget to a voluntary system is to encourage competition for funds and therefore elicit more effective performance from UN agencies, said a House aide familiar with the legislation. He wasn’t authorized to speak on the record.

The bill’s timing runs counter to the emergence of the administration’s “Obama Doctrine” of working with others to address international issues, particularly those that don’t pose an immediate security threat to the U.S., said Jeffrey Laurenti, a UN analyst at the Century Foundation, a New York-based economic, political and social research foundation.

Call Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen at (202) 225-3931 & thank her for her initiative & leadership.

Woods to Play the Frys

Tiger Woods has signed on to play in the Frys.com Open in October. So why this tournament? It’s not exactly a first tier event. Was it just on a whim? Not at all.

A lot of the credit has gone to Duke Butler, president of the event, but Woods’ decision to play at the Frys.com Open is not solely the doing of Butler. John Fry’s commitment to the tournaments excellence played a major role. Butler has, however had a decent relationship with Tiger’s agent Mark Steinberg since 2007.

In 2010, the day before the U.S. at Pebble Beach, Butler picked up Steinberg & drove him up to San Martin him a tour of CordeValle, home of the Frys. Steinberg was introduced to John Fry. He was impressed.

It appears the event is sold out. Bet that’s never happened before.

I guess Tiger’s still has the Mojo to draw a serious crowd.

0 Jobs??

Hey Hey Ho Ho, we don’t need no jobs no mo! Everybody chant!

Yes the monthly jobs report was released today. We added 0 jobs. Awesome! It’s the end of another recovery summer.

And, oh by the way, the change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised down again (the way it always is) from +46,000 to +20,000, and the change for July was revised from +117,000 to +85,000. I’m sure the experts were surprised.

The economy expanded at an annual pace of only 0.7 percent in the first six months of the year. That was the slowest six months of growth since the recession officially ended in June 2009. Oh, it ended? Most economists forecast that growth may improve to about a 2 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter. But that’s not fast enough to generate many jobs. Are these the same economists that predict the jobs number every month? They’ve yet to get close. Back to jobs, or no jobs.
Hiring fell across many different sectors. Manufacturers cut 3,000 jobs. Construction companies, retailers, and transportation firms also cut workers.
Yet the unemployment rate is still at 9.1%, which we all know is a lie. There are accounting gimmicks at play here. Shocking, I know.
Very simply the government accountants magically shrink the workforce. One gimmick is the Employment-Population Ratio. It is a statistic that takes the ratio of the total working age of the labor force currently employed to the total working age population of a region, municipality or country. The employment ratio is subject to manipulation and may be skewed in order to give the perception that an economy, based on this metric, is performing better then it really is.
The other is the workforce Participation Rate. It’s a measure of the active portion of an economy’s labor force. The participation rate refers to the number of people who are either employed or are actively looking for work. The number of people who are no longer actively searching for work would not be included in the participation rate. In a poor economy many people get discouraged and stop looking for employment, as a result, the participation rate decreases.

By merely eliminating people from these formulas it keeps the unemployment rate down. Just like magic. I feel better, but then, I have a job.

They Came for Me

Most everyone recalls Martin Niemoller’s original saying regarding the Nazi takeover.

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me–
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Few, however, recall that the Nazi Party didn’t come to prominence with goon squads & force. That came later, when there was no one left to speak out. Early on the Nazis & communists worked together against the Bourgeois. The red in the Nazi flag was a tip of the cap, as it were, to communists, as if to say, “Come join us, we’re just like you”. It wasn’t until the Nazi party took over that they started the “join or die” platform. You know – like ISIS.

Well, it’s happening again. The Arab Spring, European unrest, riots, flash mobs. The Union rallies & protests. The rampant expansion of anti-Semitism. Communists are suddenly coming out of the woodwork. Egypt has a Nazi party. Radical Islam is taking over the Middle East and Africa.

Now, granted, there appears to be more factions involved this time vying for supremacy. Not true. It’s the same old same old. If we don’t stand up & speak out, one of these factions, or a conglomeration of several, will become powerful enough to cause real problems.

They are coming for the Rich. They are coming for the corporations. They come for the religious. They come for the Tea Party. They organize the organized (unions). They organize the disorganized (flash mobs). They threaten to shut us down until they get their way.

I predict this will not end well. You, I, everyone, will have to choose sides. Choose the light or choose the dark side. It may not seem like the dark side now, but as it manifests itself, even the blind will be able to see it. I hope I’m wrong about all of this but I fear I’m not.

Star has a Bad Day

I Love this Stuff!

From The Blaze:

Back in March, NASA scientists observed a huge cosmic blast in the the constellation Draco. The events that followed were a mystery to them, until now.

They have now confirmed that X-rays and gamma rays observed by NASA’s Swift satellite were the result of a black hole consuming a nearby star in another galaxy.

According to Space.com, until now scientists had only witnessed the aftermath of stars being consumed by black holes, and that this event is helping them understand ”relativistic jets,” bursts of matter that shoot out at nearly the speed of light. Scientists say these observations could help them identify similar outbursts.

At the time when initial observations were being made, astronomers said the blast was unusual because the gamma ray bursts lasted longer than similar events:

Usually, gamma-ray bursts mark the destruction of a massive star, but flaring emission from these events never lasts more than a few hours.

According to NASA, this is what scientists concluded in the months following:

As a star falls toward a black hole, it is ripped apart by intense tides. The gas is corralled into a disk that swirls around the black hole and becomes rapidly heated to temperatures of millions of degrees.

The innermost gas in the disk spirals toward the black hole, where rapid motion and magnetism creates dual, oppositely directed “funnels” through which some particles may escape. Particle jets driving matter at velocities greater than 80-90 percent the speed of light form along the black hole’s spin axis. In the case of Swift J1644+57, one of these jets happened to point straight at Earth.

Below is a simulation, not the real thing:

Below is another visual:

Attribution: Liz Klimas

Went to visit a Hurricane

Well, not really. It’s been classified as a Tropical Storm by now. I decided to take a run out to the beach to see if there was any action. Big surf, high winds. I didn’t expect much & wasn’t disappointed. It was a lot of fun. Had to be at least 60 MPH sustained winds & it wasn’t raining at all. It ain’t exactly Hawaii, but better surf than we usually get up here in New England. Maybe I’m just a kid at heart but it was a blast having to fight against the wind just to stay upright. All in all a pretty fun experience. My condolences to those south of us that may have taken it on the chin.

Green with envy (for jobs)

President Barack Obama has a problem on his hands when even his stalwart allies at The New York Times have no choice but to admit to a glaring reality: The President’s “green jobs” promise has failed miserably.

On Friday, the Times printed a harsh assessment of the state of the “green” economy—including a conclusion that the President’s promise to create five million green jobs over 10 years has proven to be nothing more than “a pipe dream,” with California’s Bay Area providing a particularly poignant example of how “green” jobs have actually been lost, not gained:

In the Bay Area as in much of the country, the green economy is not proving to be the job-creation engine that many politicians envisioned . . .

A study released in July by the non-partisan Brookings Institution found clean-technology jobs accounted for just 2 percent of employment nationwide and only slightly more — 2.2 percent — in Silicon Valley. Rather than adding jobs, the study found, the sector actually lost 492 positions from 2003 to 2010 in the South Bay, where the unemployment rate in June was 10.5 percent.

California isn’t the only place, though, where the green dream is falling short of reality. Last year, Seattle won a $20 million federal grant to invest in weatherization programs. The money was to be spent on insulating crawl spaces, serving to create jobs while helping the environment by reducing the energy needed to heat homes. The program, which was announced at the White House on the eve of Earth Day, has proven to be a total flop. Seattlepi.com reports:

[M]ore than a year later, Seattle’s numbers are lackluster. As of last week, only three homes had been retrofitted and just 14 new jobs have emerged from the program. Many of the jobs are administrative, and not the entry-level pathways once dreamed of for low-income workers. Some people wonder if the original goals are now achievable.

Those failures aren’t just hitting the West coast, either. In Oak Park, Michigan, a state-government-funded hybrid bus company sits dormant, out of business just two years after it drew acclaim for being part of Michigan’s green future, despite millions in state taxpayer funding and a contract to sell buses to be purchased with federal taxpayer dollars. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports that the company failed to meet two performance “milestones” as part of its $2.6 million total loan agreement with the state—and without government funding, the company couldn’t survive.

Despite these green failures—and reports that 80 percent of the $2 billion set aside in the “stimulus” package for green jobs is going overseas, mostly to China–President Obama is continuing to make the pitch that a federally funded green future is central to his plan for rescuing the economy, going so far as to pledge an additional $2.4 billion for green jobs, especially to make batteries for electric cars. The Heritage Foundation’s Ernest Istook explains why the President’s plan will fail, just like it has in the past:

Green jobs are about government subsidies, cronyism, and job cannibalism. They aren’t self-sustaining because they rely on giveaways of taxpayer money and they cannibalize existing jobs…

The green agenda soaks taxpayers. But it also packs a double wallop because taxpayers are first hit to pay for the subsidies, then everyone is hit by higher energy prices caused by energy taxes and regulations.

As President Obama stays the course, pursuing a well-worn path toward government-subsidized green jobs failures, it’s important to point out that there is another way toward real job growth that doesn’t require taxpayer subsidies. As Heritage lays out in its “Saving the American Dream” plan, by reversing the growth of the federal government, eliminating unnecessary regulations, and repealing Obamacare, Congress can set America on a better course. It’s one that preserves the reality of the American dream, rather than chasing the fiction of a green pipe dream.

Attribution: The Heritage Foundation, The NY Times, The Brookings Institution, Seattlepi.com, CAPCON, ABC News

Hurricane’s a Comin!

Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Statistics
Pay attention: Hurricanes are known as ‘typhoons’ in the western Pacific, ‘cyclones’ in the Indian Ocean, ‘baguios’ in the Philippines and willy-willies in Australia.
Highest Storm Surge (sea waves swell): Bathurst Bay Hurricane, Australia, 1899. It was 13 meters (42 feet)!
Deadliest: Bangladesh Cyclone of 1970. It killed 300,000 people.
The deadliest hurricane in the United States struck Galveston, Texas, in 1900. A storm surge almost two stories high broke over the city, causing 20-foot (6.1-meter) floods and more than 8,000 deaths
Largest Rainfalls: Tropical Cyclone Denise, January 1966, 12 hours, 1144 millimeters – La Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa.
Costliest Hurricane: Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The damage was estimated at $25 billion in parts of Florida, Louisiana, and Georgia.
Longest Lasting Tropical Cyclone: Typhoon John, August-September, 1994, lasted 31 days. Traveled both the Northeast and Northwest Pacific basins.
Largest Tropical Cyclone: Typhoon Tip Northwest Pacific, October, 1979, gale radius 1100 km..
Fastest Intensification: Typhoon Forrest – deepened 100 millibars (976 to 876) in under 24 hours. In one day winds increased from 120 kph to 277 kph.

I Stand with Israel

After watching Glenn Beck in Israel speak of standing with the Jews, I asked myself why they are so hated? Honestly, I don’t know. How can a people be so despised throughout history just for being who they are? It’s like being hated & wished extermination for having the last name Smith. It makes no sense.

Every other hated group is hated for a relatively defined reason. The Jews, however, are despised in paradoxes: Jews are hated for being a lazy and inferior race – but also for dominating the economy and taking over the world. They are hated for stubbornly maintaining their separateness – and, when they do assimilate – for posing a threat to racial purity through intermarriages. They are seen as pacifists and as warmongers; as capitalist exploiters and as revolutionary communists; possessed of a Chosen-People mentality, as well as of an inferiority complex. It seems the Jews just can’t win. I’ve come to the conclusion it is simple blind hatred & pack mentality. There is no logic to wanting to wipe out a whole race of people. I have also concluded that the radical Moslems just need an enemy.

East Jerusalem

I recall Yasser Arafat, then leader of the PLO, rejecting the Jews every overly generous land-for-peace deal. My recollection is that most if not all the talking heads of the day couldn’t understand why Arafat didn’t take the deal. I think it was then I realized the PLO didn’t want peace. They wanted & needed the upheaval. Their leaders must preserve a certain level of contempt toward the Jews to maintain control of their followers.

So what of the poor Palestinians? Where exactly is their home?

In 1948 the United Nations Resolution 181 partitioned a territory from the British Mandate for Palestine into two states – one for Jews and one for Palestinian Arabs. (Remember, in 1948 they were not referred to as “Palestinians”. Newspapers around the world invented this name after 1967). All of the neighboring Arab countries objected to the creation of the Jewish state and fought a war against it. This was Israel’s War of Independence in 1948. Despite their superior numbers, the Arab countries lost the war and the Palestinian state never materialized because of this loss. The Arab countries did not send help for the settlers that are today known as “Palestinians” but rather they sent troops to drive the Jews into the sea. The Arabs failed thus failing the Palestinian Arabs. Once again we see blind hatred trump common sense & compassion for their own people.

In the 1948 war that was waged, the territory allotted to be the Palestinian state by the UN partition resolution was divided between Israel and Jordan. The “Palestinian Arabs” were rejected by every single Arab country, with the exception of the small percentage that ended up in refugee camps in Jordan where they remain to this day.

So you tell me how this is the fault of Israel and why the hatred of the Jews is reasonable.

This is why I stand with Israel!

Freedom’s Breaking out Everywhere

So, let’s see. We have the sudden yearning for freedom & democracy spreading across the Middle East. It started in Tunisia, North Africa. Egypt has fallen, now Libya. Who’s next, maybe Syria or Jordan? Turkey is on a path to the dark side (pro Iran). Do not forget about Saudi Arabia!

But where is the democracy? Theocracy rhymes with democracy. I guess that’s close enough. There is one that is sure not to be toppled. Yep, Iran. Why? Because it was already toppled during the Carter administration. Iran will lead in the ushering in of the New Caliphate.(Click on Map for exploded view)

Now we find Egypt has a Nazi party? How odd. What could they possibly have in common? The Moslems & the Nazis. Hmmmmmmmmm. Couldn’t be the destruction of Israel & the killing of all the Jews, could it? Jerusalem is important to the Caliphate.

The Islamic countries of the Middle East have had strong ties to both fascism & Marxism since before WWII. Egypt’s Nasser even received the honors of “Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin”.

Bruce Walker of the New American writes, ”The affinity of Arab nationalists and radical Muslims to the siblings of Nazism and Bolshevism ought to surprise no one. Hitler deeply admired Islam. The Muslim polymath known as al-Mashriqi met with Hitler in 1926, long before the Nazi Party was powerful or Hitler was particularly well-known. In a letter, al-Mashriqi described this visit: “I was astounded when he [Hitler] told me that he knew about my [book] Tazkirah. The news flabbergasted me … I found him very congenial and piercing. He discussed Islamic Jihad with me in details” and nine years later, in 1935, al-Mashriqi noted “the success of the Nazi movement, simply by following the shining guidance of the Holy Koran.”

Before the Second World War began, the Nazis published a book entitled All-Islam: World Power of Tomorrow.

Arthur Stuart Duncan Jones, The Dean of Chichester, writing in 1938, also describes National Socialism, as, “like Mohammedanism, “adding,” The Nazi religion is a religion of blind obedience. Ultimately National Socialism must be sterile, like Mohammedanism.

None of these current or historic events mean a thing without keeping in mind the big picture. They just add some perspective. The ultimate end-game is the New Caliphate. To achieve this the radicals, led by Iran, still need Jerusalem & Mecca. I said not to forget Saudi. In the end these uprisings & skirmishes are just cogs in the grand Islamic machine.