Anti-Israeli Administration

Obama came out and proclaimed to Israel, “I have Israel’s back”. The following film is evidence that couldn’t be further from the truth. Also, although it’s just a small point, isn’t it interesting he said, “I have” and not “We” or “America has your back”.

Joke of the Day

A 4-year-old, Sammy was asked to give thanks before Sunday dinner? The family members bowed their heads in expectation, and he began his prayer:

“Thank you God for all my friends: Joey, an’ Susan, an’ Billy, an’ Tommy,” and on and on he went, naming each friend one by one.

Next he thanked God for Mommy, Daddy, brother, sister, Grandma, Grandpa, and all his aunts and uncles.

Finally he got to the food.

“Thank you God for the turkey, an’ the dressing, an’ the fruit salad, an’ the pies, an’ the Cool Whip…”

And then he paused.

The pause was quite long and all eyes were focused on young Sammy with his head still bowed in prayer.

Finally as his Father was about to interject an “Amen”, Sammy looked up at his mother and asked, “If I thank God for the brussel sprouts, won’t he know that I’m lying?”

Look Out Below!

David Stockman was the brash former whiz kid Budget Director of the Reagan Administration & one of the architects of the Reagan Revolution. 

He’s older & grayer now. He has become a scared investor who doesn’t own a single stock for fear of another financial crisis.

The following is a question and answer session he did with the Associated Press  [emphases added]:

Q: Why are you so down on the U.S. economy?

A: It’s become super-saturated with debt.

Typically, the private and public sectors would borrow $1.50 or $1.60 each year for every $1 of GDP growth. That was the golden constant. It had been at that ratio for 100 years save for some minor squiggles during the bottom of the Depression. By the time we got to the mid-’90s, we were borrowing $3 for every $1 of GDP growth. And by the time we got to the peak in 2006 or 2007, we were actually taking on $6 of new debt to grind out $1 of new GDP.

People were taking $25,000, $50,000 out of their home for the fourth refinancing. That’s what was keeping the economy going, creating jobs in restaurants, creating jobs in retail, creating jobs as gardeners, creating jobs as Pilates instructors that were not supportable with organic earnings and income.

It wasn’t sustainable. It wasn’t real consumption or real income. It was bubble economics.

So even the 1.6 percent (annual GDP growth in the past decade) is overstating what’s really going on in our economy.

Q: How fast can the U.S. economy grow?

A: People would say the standard is 3, 3.5 percent. I don’t even know if we could grow at 1 or 2 percent. When you have to stop borrowing at these tremendous rates, the rate of GDP expansion stops as well.

Q: But the unemployment rate is falling and companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 are making more money than ever.

A: That’s very short-term. Look at the data that really counts. The 131.7 million (jobs in November) was first achieved in February 2000. That number has gone nowhere for 12 years.

Another measure is the rate of investment in new plant and equipment. There is no sustained net investment in our economy. The rate of growth since 2000 (in what the Commerce Department calls non-residential fixed investment) has been 0.8 percent — hardly measurable.

(Non-residential fixed investment is the money put into office buildings, factories, software and other equipment.)

We’re stalled, stuck.

Q: What will 10-year Treasurys yield in a year or five years?

A: I have no guess, but I do know where it is now (a yield of about 2 percent) is totally artificial. It’s the result of massive purchases by not only the Fed but all of the other central banks of the world.

Q: What’s wrong with that?

A: It doesn’t come out of savings. It’s made up money. It’s printing press money. When the Fed buys $5 billion worth of bonds this morning, which it’s doing periodically, it simply deposits $5 billion in the bank accounts of the eight dealers they buy the bonds from.

Q: And what are the consequences of that?

A: The consequences are horrendous. If you could make the world rich by having all the central banks print unlimited money, then we have been making a mistake for the last several thousand years of human history.

Q: How does it end?

A: At some point confidence is lost, and people don’t want to own the (Treasury) paper. I mean why in the world, when the inflation rate has been 2.5 percent for the last 15 years, would you want to own a five-year note today at 80 basis points (0.8 percent)?

If the central banks ever stop buying, or actually begin to reduce their totally bloated, abnormal, freakishly large balance sheets, all of these speculators are going to sell their bonds in a heartbeat.

That’s what happened in Greece.

Here’s the heart of the matter. The Fed is a patsy. It is a pathetic dependent of the big Wall Street banks, traders and hedge funds. Everything (it does) is designed to keep this rickety structure from unwinding. If you had a (former Fed Chairman) Paul Volcker running the Fed today 7/8— utterly fearless and independent and willing to scare the hell out of the market any day of the week — you wouldn’t have half, you wouldn’t have 95 percent, of the speculative positions today.

Q: You sound as if we’re facing a financial crisis like the one that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

A: Oh, far worse than Lehman. When the real margin call in the great beyond arrives, the carnage will be unimaginable.

Q: How do investors protect themselves? What about the stock market?

A: I wouldn’t touch the stock market with a 100-foot pole. It’s a dangerous place. It’s not safe for men, women or children.

Q: Do you own any shares?

A: No.

Q: But the stock market is trading cheap by some measures. It’s valued at 12.5 times expected earnings this year. The typical multiple is 15 times

A: The typical multiple is based on a historic period when the economy could grow at a standard rate. The idea that you can capitalize this market at a rate that was safe to capitalize it in 1990 or 1970 or 1955 is a large mistake. It’s a Wall Street sales pitch.

Q: Are you in short-term Treasurys?

A: I’m just in short-term, yeah. Call it cash. I have some gold. I’m not going to take any risk.

Q: Municipal bonds?

A: No.

Q: No munis, no stocks. Wow. You’re not making any money.

A: Capital preservation is what your first, second and third priority ought to be in a system that is so jerry-built, so fragile, so exposed to major breakdown that it’s not worth what you think you might be able to earn over six months or two years or three years if they can keep the baling wire and bubble gum holding the system together, OK? It’s not worth it.

Q: Give me your prescription to fix the economy.

A: We have to eat our broccoli for a good period of time. And that means our taxes are going to go up on everybody, not just the rich. It means that we have to stop subsidizing debt by getting a sane set of people back in charge of the Fed, getting interest rates back to some kind of level that reflects the risk of holding debt over time. I think the federal funds rate ought to be 3 percent or 4 percent. (It is zero to 0.25 percent.) I mean, that’s normal in an economy with inflation at 2 percent or 3 percent.

Q: Social Security?

A: It has to be means-tested. And Medicare needs to be means-tested. If you’re a more affluent retiree, you should have your benefits cut back, pay a higher premium for Medicare.

Q: Taxes?

A: Let the Bush tax cuts expire. Let the capital gains go back to the same rate as ordinary income. (Capital gains are taxed at 15 percent, while ordinary income is taxed at marginal rates up to 35 percent.)

Q: Why?

A: Why not? I mean, is return on capital any more virtuous than some guy who’s driving a bus all day and working hard and trying to support his family? You know, with capital gains, they give you this mythology. You’re going to encourage a bunch of more jobs to appear. No, most of capital gains goes to speculators in real estate and other assets who basically lever up companies, lever up buildings, use the current income to pay the interest and after a holding period then sell the residual, the equity, and get it taxed at 15 percent. What’s so brilliant about that?

You worked for Blackstone, a financial services firm that focuses on leveraged buyouts and whose gains are taxed at 15 percent, then started your own buyout fund. Now you‘re saying there’s too much debt. You were part of that debt explosion, weren’t you?

A: Well, yeah, and maybe you can learn something from what happens over time. I was against the debt explosion in the Reagan era. I tried to fight the deficit, but I couldn’t. When I was in the private sector, I was in the leveraged buyout business. I finally learned a heck of a lot about the dangers of debt.

I’m a libertarian. If someone wants to do leveraged buyouts, more power to them. If they want to have a brothel, let them run a brothel. But it doesn’t mean that public policy ought to be biased dramatically to encourage one kind of business arrangement over another. And right now public policy and taxes and free money from the Fed are encouraging way too much debt, way too much speculation and not enough productive real investment and growth.

Q: Why are you writing a book?

A: I got so outraged by the bailouts of Wall Street in September 2008. I believed that Bush and (former Treasury Secretary Hank) Paulson were totally trashing the Reagan legacy, whatever was left, which did at least begin to resuscitate the idea of free markets and a free economy. And these characters came in and panicked and basically gave capitalism a smelly name and they made it impossible to have fiscal discipline going forward. If you’re going to bail out Wall Street, what aren’t you going to bail out? So that started my re-engagement, let’s say, in the policy debate.

Q: Are you hopeful?

A: No.

Constitution 101 (2)

Lesson 2: The Declaration of Independence

Study Guide

 

Lesson Overview:

The soul of the American founding is located in the universal political principles expressed in the Declaration of Independence. The meaning of equality and liberty in the Declaration is decisively different than the definition given to those principles by modern liberalism.

Liberty is the right to be free from the coercive interference of other people. It is derived from nature itself, and is a natural right—something possessed simply because one is a human being.

Equality means that no one is by nature the ruler of any other person. Each human being is equal in his right to life, liberty, and property, which the Declaration calls “the pursuit of happiness.”

Equality, liberty, and natural rights require a certain form of government: republicanism, based on the consent of the governed. Legitimate government, based on the consent of the governed, must accomplish three things: the establishment of civil laws that protect man’s natural rights; the punishment of those who infringe on others’ natural rights; and the protection of natural rights through a strong national defense.

The people themselves also play a vital role in protecting their rights. They must be educated in “religion, morality, and knowledge.”

Modern liberalism uses the same language of “liberty” and “equality” as the Declaration of Independence. Yet modern liberals mean something other than what the Founders meant by those words. For the Progressives, “equality” means equal access to resources and wealth, while “liberty” means the ability to utilize a right, rather than the right in itself. Both of these ideas necessitate government programs that help mankind liberate itself from its “natural limitations.”

The Declaration of Independence and modern Progressivism are fundamentally opposed to each other. The modern misunderstanding of “equality” and “liberty” threaten not just the Declaration of Independence, but the whole of the American constitutional and moral order.

 

My Opinion, Sandra Fluke and Contraception

By now, everyone is familiar with this poor poor woman spending $40,000 per year at Georgetown Law & can’t afford her $1000.00 per year contraception bill. It’s not fair she should have to pay for her own birth control out-of-pocket despite the fact that she knew ahead of time that her  health insurance through Georgetown, a Catholic University, would not cover contraception.

This thing regarding the testimony of the Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke is a dodge. It has been a set up from word go.

 Don’t get me wrong. I give credit for the redirect to the Obama handlers, the democrats and the zombies in the mainstream media. (I guess that’s a bit redundant. The media are the Obama handlers).

 It has been established long ago that the media gets their marching orders directly from the White House and it’s surrogates.

We should have seen this coming from the time George Snuffleupagus, asked Mitt Romney if States should be able to outlaw contraception. The question came seemingly from out of nowhere.

But, of course, it didn’t come from out of nowhere, nor was the question fashioned by the moderator or anyone else in the news (stenography) business.

It came directly from someone in the Obama administration, or from one of the many organizations that walk in lock step.

Yes, I know. I, like you, am shocked to learn that a respected journalist (you may chuckle if you’d like) such as Stephanopoulos would agree to posit a question merely to advance the administration’s agenda.

So, what’s the agenda, the dodge, the redirect? It’s twofold. First is to get the media, the candidates and the public to concentrate on something other than the economy. Second is the female vote. Obama has been losing support of women for quite sometime. The abortion issue is not playing the way it used to. Something had to be done to bring women back to the dems and Obama. Just like magic, a new issue appears.

Evidently, they’ve decided that contraception is their battle cry. On behalf of helpless damsels everywhere, they will bring the fight directly to the evil Republicans, those who would deny women the right to  contraception. Huh?

Well, that’s the way it’s been framed, has it not?

Now, anyone who has a thought in their head, would realize, as Mitt Romney stated, no one is going to take away a woman’s contraception, nor is it even a healthcare issue. That matters not to the left. Their only concern is the advancement of the agenda at any cost.

I was going to say that the left are masters at forcing an issue to the fore. At redirecting the conversation away from what is truly important in this country today. I stopped myself due to the realization that they don’t have to be masters. They have every major TV (save Fox), print and Internet outlet to do their bidding. I’ll give them kudos for coming up with idea, but advancing it is easy.

And, as always happens, we conservative dolts play right along.  Let us not discuss domestic energy policy, more bankrupt solar companies, European meltdown or the Middle East blowing up. Surely our heroes getting killed in Afghanistan are not worthy of discussion.

I am only writing of this to show how wearily trivial it is and to demonstrate how easy, with a complicit media, a topic can be advanced. 

Even Rush Limbaugh was sucked into this. For days he belabored the topic of Fluke and her testimony before Pelosi’s committee. What a waste of valuable airtime. It was great for the left. They had every excuse to hammer on the subject, even getting candidates to denounce Limbaugh. Our people naturally oblige them and appear content to play along.

If you are a regular reader of mine, you know I’m no fan of Newt Gingrich. However, one of the things I do appreciate about Gingrich is his eagerness to take the fight to the lefties. He will call them out when he sees their attempt at advancing propaganda .

Like Newt, we need all conservatives to stand up & say, enough. This topic is a Trojan horse, & we will not discuss it anymore. We know what you’re trying to do and we will no longer play along.

Joke of the Day

An Illinois man left the snowfilled streets of Chicago for a vacation in Florida.

His wife was on a business trip and was planning to meet him there the next day. When he reached his hotel, he decided to send his wife a quick e-mail.

Unable to find the scrap of paper on which he had written her new e-mail address, he did his best to type it in from memory.

Unfortunately, he missed one letter, and his note was directed instead to an elderly preacher’s wife whose husband had passed away only the day before.

When the grieving widow checked her e-mail, she took one look at the monitor, let out a piercing scream, and fell to the floor dead.

At the sound, her family rushed into the room and saw this note on the screen:

Dearest Wife,

Just got checked in. Everything prepared for your arrival tomorrow.

Your Loving Husband.

P.S. Sure is hot down here.

A Toast to Your Health, With Coffee

In the Avionics shop at the Naval Air Station I was assigned to, there was a coffee station. Several pots were going at any given time, morning, noon and night. Up on the wall, over the pots, was a sign that read, “Warning; more than 3 cups of coffee per day may be harmful to your health”. 

Just like everything else that tastes good, coffee was going to be the death of us.

And, like the other food scares throughout history, the coffee-killer myth has been proven to be just that, a myth.

(Reuters) – Coffee drinkers have no more risk of getting illnesses such as heart disease or cancer, and are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, according to a German study involving more than 40,000 people over nearly a decade.

The findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, came in the wake of many previous studies that produced conflicting results, with some tying coffee drinking to an increase in heart disease, cancer, stroke and more.

“Our results suggest that coffee consumption is not harmful for healthy adults in respect of risk of major chronic disease,” said Anna Floegel, lead author of the study and an epidemiologist at the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke.

The researchers collected information at the beginning of the study on coffee drinking habits, diet, exercise and health from more than 42,000 German adults without any chronic conditions.

For the next nine years, the team followed up on the participants every two or three years to see whether they developed any health problems, particularly cardiovascular disease, stroke, heart attack, diabetes and cancer.

They found that coffee drinkers and non-drinkers were similarly likely to develop one of those illnesses.

For instance, 871 out of 8,689 non-drinkers developed a chronic disease, compared to 1,124 out of 12,137 people who drank more than four cups of caffeinated coffee a day — about 10 percent in both groups.

On the other hand, the researchers found that coffee drinkers were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, the form that does not need insulin and is linked with obesity, than those who didn’t drink coffee.

Among those who drank four cups a day, 3.2 percent later reported that they had type 2 diabetes, compared to 3.6 percent of people who drank no coffee.

After taking into account factors that could influence diabetes, such as weight and smoking, the researchers determined that frequent coffee drinkers were 23 percent less likely to develop diabetes, a result that squares with other studies.

That doesn’t mean that coffee is responsible for preventing type 2 diabetes, but experiments in animals have hinted that certain chemicals found within coffee could positively affect metabolism.

“We do not encourage people to start drinking coffee if they do not enjoy this, but the overall evidence on coffee and health suggests that there is no reason for persons without specific health conditions to reduce their coffee consumption in order to reduce their risk of chronic diseases,” said Rob van Damn, a professor at National University of Singapore, who was not involved in the study.

I’m Givin You all She’s Got, Captain!

Star Trek’s ‘warp drive’ is portrayed as a safe, easy way to travel from galaxy to galaxy, barring occasional hiccups with the dilithium crystals.

But scientists warn that the reality of faster than light drives might be rather different, after simulating what a ‘real’ warp drive might do.

“Any people at the destination would be gamma ray and high energy particle-blasted into oblivion,” claims a new paper by University of Sydney physicists.

However ‘boldly’ Captain Kirk might go, he would arrive at a series of dead, sterilized solar systems and the TV series would have made considerably less interesting viewing.

The physicists analyzed how matter might behave around a theoretical ‘warp drive’ known as an Alcubierre drive.

The simulation found that particles would cluster lethally around the bubble in space-time used to ‘jump’ through space.

The real problems start when the Enterprise hits the brakes.

“The region of space in front of a ship decelerating from superluminal velocity to subluminal velocity is blasted with a concentrated beam of extremely high energy particles,” say the physicists.

The Alcubierre (warp) drive is a theoretical, faster-than-light drive, dreamt up by physicist Miguel Alcubierre in 1994, where a bubble of ‘negative energy’ around a craft expands space and time behind it, while compressing space in front of it.

The drive could make faster-than-light travel possible, at least in theory. But it now seems that it would also be very unwise.

“Interestingly, the energy burst released upon arriving at the destination does not have an upper limit,” said the University of Sydney’s Brendan McGonigal.

“You can just keep on traveling for longer and longer distances to increase the energy that will be released as much as you like. It’s one of the odd effects of General Relativity.

 Unfortunately, even for very short journeys the energy released is so large that you would completely obliterate anything in front of you.”

Since Mankind has yet to unlock the secrets of faster-than-light travel, it might seem odd that ‘serious’ physicists might be researching ‘warp drives’ at all, but the research warns of what COULD happen.

No fear though. Creating a bubble of negative energy is also currently impossible, so we won’t be hitting ‘Warp Factor Ten’ for some time anyway, regardless of the possible consequences.

Attribution: Daily Mail