The United States is facing some very serious problems—catastrophic debt, destructive spending, nearly non-existent economic growth, high unemployment, super-high gas prices, a stalemate despite our military engagement in Libya, the Middle East in flames, complete with tyrant-directed slaughters and the rise of the Islamists, Iran’s continued march toward nuclear weapons, the growing assertiveness of China—-all of which I discuss here, on television, and on my radio program.
The U.S. economy is moving sideways. While there are some signs of life, the most important indicators are very weak. Economic growth slowed to a 1.8% annual rate in the first quarter of this year, down from 3.1% of last year’s 4th quarter. If you exclude inventories (which picked up), the economy actually only grew by an anemic .8%.
The “freedom revolution” in Egypt has taken yet another ominous turn as “tens of thousands of Egyptians led by hard-line Islamists escalated their protests Friday over the appointment of a Coptic Christian governor in southern Egypt,” Association Press reported.
For years, the Left loved it when protesters got in the faces of President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and others in the Bush administration. They relished the idea of Cindy Sheehan perpetually reclining on her lawn chair near the Bush ranch. They ate it up when Code Pink stormed Secretary Rice at a Congressional hearing. They guffawed when Bush got called a “war criminal,” “Hitler,” and “evil” while being hung in effigy.
For those of us who didn’t realize it before, the 21,000 Chasidim in the community of Kiryas Joel are a serious threat to our economy, at least by the standards of the New York Times which featured a front page article, accompanied by a color photo of their children on April 21rst. These rascals in training are the main reason that the community qualifies for government assistance: the birth rate averages six children to a family which means that even families which earn more than the poverty cutoff may be entitled to food stamps and other benefits. Sam Roberts, the reporter, notes that there are plenty of cars and bikes and carriages in the community and nobody looks bedraggled, so without actually stating that these people are cheating the public, he wink-winks his readers as to what’s really going on. We all know that those guys with yarmulkes are genetically gifted at extracting money in dubious ways - just look at the swarm of little boys with their little right hands in grab-ready position. Just look at the infants in their bassinets on page 22 - you can almost see the legal tender floating through their tender little dreams.
Five months after most U.S. voters sided with Tea Party philosophy by rejecting big government and big spending at the polls, Democrats are still charging that their losses were not based on policy but on racism.
Now, we are for low taxes but not for no-taxes or gimmicky-taxes. Taxes must be paid, and the founders made provision for that in the Constitution. If you want the services, you’ve got to pay the bill. But no service should be immune to public examination. Where are the funds going? How much value are we getting? It’s pretty clear, especially at the state level, that there are many savings to be had. And…we can’t have everything we want from government. This country got along quite well without many of the “services” available today.
Civil War documentarian Ken Burns has famously observed that, before the war when the country was divided, people would say, “The United States are. . . ” After the war when the country became as one, they said, “The United States is. . . ” I wonder how long it will be before Americans say, “The United States was. . . ”
It should not be a surprise that Americans are losing their faith in Capitalism as they mistakenly identify it with the recent highway robbery of tax payers practiced by so called Capitalist states. For the socialization of private loss and the bout of Fed money printing is nothing less. Unfortunately, the only place tax payers were in a position to prevent their government from such action is in Iceland and they said no. FT editors are right. Other countries should follow Iceland’s example.
The Syrian uprising is roiling Tehran. Syria is the country’s major ally. That is the reason that after cheering demonstrators in Tunisia, Egypt,Yemen, Bahrain and Libya, Iran blames Jordan and Saudi Arabia for Assad’s troubles. An Arab uprising in the oil producing Iranian region is always a threat. The recent Explosions in three oil pipes in Qum could be harbinger of things to come.
I was a little surprised to see the Associated Press story this week actually lead with the fact that a missile fired from Gaza hit an Israeli school bus instead of with the results of Israel’s inevitable response.
Does it make sense to make airport security ever tighter and more intrusive while our shorelines are almost totally unsecured? Until recently, I kept my mouth shut when I was patted down more times than most because I have a pacemaker and cannot go through the screening gates. But then I stumbled upon a great gap in our security. I first learned about it when a friend hitched a ride on a sailboat that left Isla Mujeres in Mexico and docked at the owner’s home in St. Petersburg, Florida. As the passengers came ashore and unloaded the boat, they did not clear any customs or show their passports. My friend remembers someone muttering that they ought to check in with the local police, but no one bothered. I then checked with the Coast Guard and learned that our shorelines—some 95,000 miles, more than ten times longer than the land-based borders with Mexico and Canada combined—are wide open.
Jamil Anderlini reports : “In a national survey published by the party’s own mouthpiece media group in December, 73.5 per cent of respondents identified themselves as belonging to the vulnerable portion of society. More notably, nearly half of all government officials also count themselves among the same group, despite their enormous power in China’s one-party system.In a similar vein, many of the most ardent patriots and angry nationalists hold foreign passports, and send their children abroad for a western education and an offshore haven if things turn ugly at home.”
The featured obituaries in the NYTimes of April 7th review the lives of three Jewish men, ages 85, 86 and 90 who all were born and raised in Brooklyn and all went on to great achievement in their respective fields. Baruch Blumberg (85), became a Nobel laureate in the field of biochemistry but was also a medical anthropologist. He discovered the virus that causes hepatitis B and helped to develop the vaccine against it. He was a graduate of Far Rockaway High School which has the distinction of schooling two other Jewish Nobel prize-winning alumni - Richard Feynman and Burton Richter. W.H. Prusoff (Bill, 90) was a pharmacologist at the Yale School of Medicine who, along with a partner, developed the first anti- AIDS drug. Prior to that, he synthesized a drug to treat infant keratitis, a major cause of blindness. For his work on these and other drugs, Dr. Prusoff is referred to as the father of anti-viral chemotherapy. His parents were immigrants who ran a small grocery store so Bill undoubtedly went through the Brooklyn public school system until he went to college. Stanley Bleifeld (86), a sculptor whose works are found in American museums as well as the Navy Memorial in Washington, was similarly a product of the Brooklyn school system. He grew up to be a man who sculpted military men and the great baseball players who are immortalized in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Last month a Croatian war criminal named Azra Basic was arrested in Kentucky for torturing and murdering Serbian civilians taken prisoner by her army brigade in Bosnia, where she was some sort of commander.
Egyptian Israeli peace treaty is much more popular in Egypt than we were led to believe. 63% of the Egyptians polled support it while only 14% oppose it. So, the Egyptian “street” is much less belligerent than MSM or the Egyptian intellectual elite would have you believe. I can hardly imagine better news. Egyptian elections are upon us and I hope against hope that this poll would diminish the candidates’ appetite to base their campaign on Israel bashing or threats to stop honoring the treaty as the wily El Baradei did recently.
Today’s New York Daily News headline says it all: “President Barack Obama Back to New York to Speak at Rev. Al Sharpton National Action Network Bash.” Welcome to the 125th Street-Wall Street Alliance and the Sharpton-Soros Axis.
One of the many blessings of running my own accounting firm are the relationships that I build with people I would have never met otherwise. After running in the Republican primary for my congressional district last spring, I had yet another group of incredible new friends and partners. Through some of those new friends, I was put in touch with an American businessman living in Japan who had an absolutely incredible story of how the recent tsunami had affected his life and the lives of those closest to him.
The website of the Cageprisoners human rights organization beloved by Amnesty International and supported by Quaker charities, is by proud definition, an apologist and advocate for terror. Today, as the UK’s leftwing anti-terror site Harry’s Place points out, Cageprisoner’s researcher Ayesha Kazmi deplores the King hearings, the anti-Islam “witch-hunt” going on at the King hearings, and other cliches.
Infamous Goldstone has admitted that there was a difference between Israel and Hamas. Israel did not intentionally target civilians in the Gaza war as the UN report carrying his name alleged while Hamas did.
As the Libyan “kinetic military action” grinds on, it becomes increasingly likely that we will get one of two outcomes. It’s possible that we might get a great outcome: that Qaddafi steps aside without too much more bloodshed, that true democratic reformers take control, and that al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood are effectively sidelined. While that result is possible, it’s not likely. So let’s examine the two most likely scenarios.
Interesting, isn’t it, that Tunisia’s government is all bent out of shape because the Israeli government is offering about $9,000 extra to Jews hoping to leave the protest-torn North African country and immigrate to Israel, JTA reported.