Quotations Between October 6-15, 2009
To Accompany the October 15, 2009 edition of Tidbits
Bob Jensen at Trinity University
U.S. Debt/Deficit Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/
Bob Jensen's universal health care messaging --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm
Congratulations to President Obama for following in the steps of great peacemakers like President Carter, Vice President Gore, and Henry Kissinger who also won the Nobel Peace Prize. The world is a much, much safer place because of their creative efforts. I didn't do any research on their lasting contributions toward peace, but I assume they must have been fantastic to win out over the strong competition from other parts of the world for this Nobel honor. Perhaps their greatest contribution was in stifling war mongering and torture-loving Republicans. I don't know! Maybe the world will be a better place without Republicans, who according to Jimmy Carter, are mostly racists if they speak against Obama's initiatives. After all, Nobel Prize winners know what's best for us.
Two videos side by side:
Video 1 showing that Jimmy Carter said Obamacare protesters were racists" and
Video 2 Jimmy Carter denying what he said in video 1
The shocker was that the Nobel Committee snubbed Michael Moore for the Nobel Prize in Economics. He must've been right up there as a finalist.
In 2008 for example, America lost 314 fighting men
and women in Iraq while 509 unfortunate citizens were murdered in Chicago.
George Joyce, "Come See the Blood in the Streets," American Thinker, October 3, 2009 ---
Zero — zilch — nada!
That’s how many teachers Pekin District 108 was able to hire or retain because of federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus money that the state gave to school districts in lieu of the usual state aid payments. The district received $1.9 million in stimulus money as general state aid payments, which is used to pay teacher salaries, pensions, some operations and maintenance costs, and direct instructional expenses, among other things.
Sharon Woods Harris, "Schools: no jobs from stimulus," Pekin Daily Times, October 3, 2009 ---
Why don't we hear about this on MSNBC, the NYT, the WSJ, and other major
For three days now, 2,000 girls, almost all minors, have left for the Middle East, particularly Dubai, to feed the needs of a population starved of entertainment and sex post the rigours of Ramzan. The girls have been told they are being taken to dance in bars, but it is implicit that they will double up as prostitutes for well-paying clients. Another 1,000 will leave by tomorrow. Sources say there has been an approximate 20 per cent rise in the trafficking of minors over the last year. And it's remarkably easy. Chennai and New Delhi were used as gateways instead of Mumbai where checks are more stringent.
J Dey, "Kids go to serve sex in Dubai," Hotklix, September 21, 2009 ---
GAO report: Saudis are top fianciers of Taliban
The United States has determined that Saudi Arabia continues to be the leading source of funding to Al Qaida and is also the top financial backer of Taliban. A report the Government Accountability Office said the Saudi government did not appear to be involved in the funding, but that Saudi funds to both Al Qaida and Taliban has helped finance the war against NATO in Afghanistan. GAO said Saudis were the chief source of funding to Taliban. The report said couriers were transporting cash from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council states to Afghanistan and Pakistan for Taliban.
"GAO report: Saudis are top fianciers of Taliban," World Tribune, October 5, 2009 ---
Community Organizers of Fraud
An internal review by ACORN's board of directors found that $5 million was embezzled from the community organization, far more than a previously reported sum of $1 million, according to documents from the Louisiana attorney general's office.
Michael Kunzelman, "La. prosecutor probes ACORN after embezzlement," Yahoo News, October 6, 2009 ---
UK's Terrorist Catch and Release Program
UP to 30 “high-risk” terrorists — including some of the most dangerous men in Britain — are due to be released from jail in the next year. More are being freed in the wake of a ruling by Britain’s most senior judges that long sentences for terrorist crimes could “inflame” rather than deter extremism. An analysis of appeal court cases shows that of the 26 terrorism cases it has heard, 25 have led to men with terrorism convictions having their sentences reduced. Others are being released because they serve only part of their term. In response, Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, said the Tories were considering longer sentences for terrorists.
David Leppard, "Thirty 'high-risk' terrorists to be released early," London Times, October 4, 2009 ---
Today, nearly 13 TRILLION in taxpayer dollars in bailouts and loans has been
agreed to by Congress, the Bush and Obama Treasury Departments, and the out of
control Fed. So is it really any wonder more and more folks are starting to
realize the Washington, D.C. establishment is hurtling us toward complete
October 5, 2009 email message from John F. Tate, President, Townhall [townhallmessage@TownHallmail.com]
White House interim communications director Anita
Dunn assumed the role of lead Fox News Channel-basher this weekend. The attack
was a dud. The left-leaning Nation magazine ridiculed President Obama's press
shop for turning him into the "whiner-in-chief." AOL media columnist Jeff
Bercovici called the war on Fox a "loser's strategy" that "signals weakness."
And that's the friendly fire . . . Debates about the blurred lines between
opinion and journalism are all well and good. But don't the talking-points
crafters in the Oval Office have something better to do than carp about the
talking points they don't like hearing on the one cable network that hasn't been
completely overrun by Obama sycophants?
Michelle Malkin, "Who's Behind the White House War on Fox News?" Townhall, October 15, 2009 ---
Michael Awkward, a black professor of English, says it's too easy to label
the shock jock as a "misogynistic racist,"
"Don Imus Is Not the Problem, a Scholar Argues in a New Book," by Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 7, 2009 --- Click Here
What do a white shock jock and a black feminist critic have in common? Not much, on the surface of things. But a new book by one such critic, Burying Don Imus: Anatomy of a Scapegoat, just out from the University of Minnesota Press, does not try to bury Mr. Imus at all. In fact, the author, Michael Awkward, is a longtime fan of Mr. Imus's show.
Don Imus, of course, is the lightning-rod radio-and-TV personality who was dumped by MSNBC in 2007 after referring (on air) to the Rutgers University women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos." This month, after two years of penance and good works—helping cancer-stricken kids, for instance—he returned to television when the Fox Business Network picked up the simulcast of his radio show.
Mr. Awkward is not exactly Mr. Imus's target demographic. Unabashedly feminist, he is a professor of English and of Afro-American and African studies at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. His previous books include Negotiating Difference: Race, Gender, and the Politics of Positionality (University of Chicago Press).
As he relates in the new book, Mr. Awkward stumbled on Imus in the Morning in 2000, long before the Rutgers debacle. The all-white, all-male nature of the show was not lost on him, but it didn't offend him much. "To be honest, I found its male exclusivity strangely comforting," he writes in Burying Don Imus. (He also liked the serious interviews Mr. Imus did with political movers and shakers.)
Despite Mr. Awkward's admiration for the black American artists he analyzed in his scholarly work, he had begun to find that participating in "contentious" scholarly debates about the influence of gender and race on black art and identity was "personally dispiriting, often extremely stressful, and always deeply discomforting."
Being a feminist critic sometimes worked against him in those debates. He was tired of being treated as "either a treacherous outsider or a singular black male exception," he writes. Against that backdrop, Mr. Imus and his show came off as refreshing.
Mr. Awkward may share some of Don Imus's willingness to say things that take people aback, but he is no apologist. What Mr. Imus said about the Rutgers team "was horrible—it was offensive in many ways," the professor told me. As a cultural critic, though, he was also troubled by the public cries for blood that followed. Much of it was "inappropriate and in some ways intellectually indefensible," he said. The public flagellation reduced Mr. Imus, as Mr. Awkward writes in the book, to an easy stereotype: "old, mean, played-out, misogynistic racist."
Humor as Hate Speech Burying Don Imus came out of Mr. Awkward's frustration with "the simplicity of the models we have to think about" this kind of controversy, he said. He wanted "to see if it was possible to provide some clarity about how we could do something more than merely say he's a racist."
For starters, Mr. Awkward considers the context in which Mr. Imus went astray. The Rutgers bit was part of a skit in which his "tone of voice, the intonations he took, suggest he was impersonating somebody other than himself," Mr. Awkward said. "People either didn't know his show well enough or didn't care enough to figure out what the differences were."
In a chapter called "Humor as Hate Speech," Mr. Awkward looks at how Mr. Imus's "comic pursuit of the impolitic" ran afoul of collective judgments about who is allowed to make jokes about people from other cultural groups. In a chapter on "Racial Violence and Collective Trauma," he examines how "the deep, festering fissures in the souls of black American folk have led us to react compulsively when we feel our humanity challenged by events and language we perceive of as indistinguishable from our experience of racism." The second half of the book breaks down Mr. Imus's Rutgers skit line by line, sorting through the cultural history—for example, "the hip-hop lexicon" and "the politics of hair"— behind the phrases that set off the uproar.
Looking at the Imus debacle as part of a pattern of too-simple responses to complex situations, Mr. Awkward invokes other examples: the furor in 1995 over remarks by Rutgers's president at the time, Francis L. Lawrence, about black people and test scores, for instance, and a controversy in Brooklyn over a white schoolteacher's decision to assign a book titled Nappy Hair to her mostly black and Latino class. The assignment led some parents who hadn't read the book to make "knee-jerk assumptions" about white racism, Mr. Awkward told me. Making the Don Imuses of the world do the walk of shame doesn't salve the historical wounds beneath such reactions.
Meanwhile, the conditioned cultural scripts play out. Having experienced a sort of re-education by fire, Mr. Imus has added African-Americans to his regular lineup, frequently including Debra Dickerson, a writer who in a widely read 2007 essay questioned how "black" Barack Obama really was. She comes in for criticism in Mr. Awkward's book but blurred it anyway: "Without the deeply contextualized knowledge the author both possessed and went looking for, America would never have known how knee-jerk its condemnation of Don Imus was—Dickerson included—and how existentially misguided its reaction was to the 'Rutgers' incident," she wrote.
So far Don Imus has kept his distance from the book. He insisted that banner ads for it be pulled from his Web site, according to the Minnesota Press, although radio spots were allowed to run during his show. (I was not able to reach anyone in the Imus camp for a comment.) Mr. Awkward reported that on the air, the star referred to Burying Don Imus as "that book" by "that guy" when Ms. Dickerson raised the subject.
Mr. Awkward doesn't mind. "He's in a really complicated situation here," he said of Mr. Imus. Besides, being called "that guy" on the air is "almost as good publicity as anything he could put on his Web site," Mr. Awkward said, "so I'm not going to sweat this."
"As Obama Advocates Longer School Year, Teachers' Unions Push for Shorter Weeks," by Kristen Thorne, Fox News, October 6, 2009 --- Click Here
Last fall, when the American Federation of Teachers endorsed him for president, Barack Obama spoke to a crowd of 3,000 union members and promised that "we will change education in this country; and we will bring about a better future for our children..."
One way to build that better future, Obama has said, is to increase the number of hours children spend in school, both by lengthening the days themselves and by shortening vacations to extend the school year.
But now, as President Obama pushes for more hours in school, some of his staunchest supporters are moving in the other direction, seeking to adopt four-day school weeks as a way to avoid pay cuts and firings in the face of crumbling state budgets.
Continued in article
Are economists worse than the Keystone Cops?
"The Financial Crisis and the Systemic Failure of Academic Economics," 2008
Dahlem Report on the Economic Crisis --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/Dahlem_Report_EconCrisis021809.pdf
The economics profession appears to have been unaware of the long build-up to the current worldwide financial crisis and to have significantly underestimated its dimensions once it started to unfold. In our view, this lack of understanding is due to a misallocation of research efforts in economics. We trace the deeper roots of this failure to the profession’s insistence on constructing models that, by design, disregard the key elements driving outcomes in real-world markets. The economics profession has failed in communicating the limitations, weaknesses, and even dangers of its preferred models to the public. This state of affairs makes clear the need for a major reorientation of focus in the research economists undertake, as well as for the establishment of an ethical code that would ask economists to understand and communicate the limitations and potential misuses of their models.
On the morning of October 13, 2009 while writing this tidbit I'm looking out at the earliest snow fall that I can recall --- with about three inches on the ground already. It's not good for the many trees that have not yet shed their leaves even though they are very pretty when laden with white frosting.
What's surprising to me is that the
progressive press (e.g., the NYT and BBC) are beginning to question their own
politically-charged warnings of global warming and are, thankfully, beginning to
hint at global cooling. Of course, MSNBC awaits permission from President
Obama before hinting of possible error in doomsday predictions of a boiling
"What Happened to Global Warming? by Debra J. Saunders, Townhall, October 13, 2009 --- http://townhall.com/columnists/DebraJSaunders/2009/10/13/what_happened_to_global_warming
"What happened to global warming?" read the headline -- on BBC News on Oct. 9, no less. Consider it a cataclysmic event: Mainstream news organizations have begun reporting on scientific research that suggests that global warming may not be caused by man and may not be as dire and eminent as alarmists suggest.
Indeed, as the BBC's climate correspondent Paul Hudson reported, the warmest year recorded globally "was not in 2008 or 2007, but 1998." It's true, he continued, "For the last 11 years, we have not observed any increase in global temperatures."
At a London conference later this month, Hudson reported, solar scientist Piers Corbyn will present evidence that solar-charged particles have a big impact on global temperatures.
Western Washington University geologist Don J. Easterbrook presented research last year that suggests that the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) caused warmer temperatures in the 1980s and 1990s. With Pacific sea surface temperatures cooling, Easterbrook expects 30 years of global cooling.
EPA analyst Alan Carlin -- an MIT-trained economist with a degree in physics -- referred to "solar variability" and Easterbrook's work in a document that warned that politics had prompted the EPA and other countries to pay "too little attention to the science of global warming" as partisans ignored the lack of global warming over the last 10 years. At first, the EPA buried the paper, then it permitted Carlin to post it on his personal Web site.
In May, Fortune reported on the testimony of University of Alabama-Huntsville Earth System Science Center Director John Christy's before the House Ways and Means Committee. Christy is a 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report signatory who believes human effects have a warming influence, but rejects the disaster scenarios.
As Christy told the committee, climate models rely on land temperature data that are distorted and exaggerated by surface development -- that is, asphalt and buildings. In a nice bit of research, Christy, who is also the Alabama state climatologist, debunked the temperature-increase predictions made by NASA scientist James Hansen in 1988. "The real atmosphere," Christy testified, "has many ways to respond to the changes that the extra CO2 is forcing upon it."
Add Christy, Easterbrook and Corbyn to the long list of scientists who see climate as a complex issue rather than an opportunity to sermonize and lecture the general public.
Over the years, global warming alarmists have sought to stifle debate by arguing that there was no debate. They bullied dissenters and ex-communicated non-believers from their panels. In the name of science, disciples made it a virtue to not recognize the existence of scientists such as MIT's Richard Lindzen and Colorado State University's William Gray.
For a long time, that approach worked. But after 11 years without record temperatures that had the seas spilling over the Statue of Liberty's toes, they are going to have to change tactics.
They're going to have to rely on real data, not failed models, scare stories and the Big Lie that everyone who counts agrees with them.
"Arctic Ice Thickens: NYT Environment Writer Commits Global Warming 'Heresy' Again," by P.J. Gladnick, Newsbusters, October 7, 2009 --- Click Here
Remember the artificial panic pervading the CBS "Early Show" just a little over a year ago that, for the first time in history, the North Pole may not be covered with ice sometime during the summer of 2008? Well, not only did it not happen but evidence now shows that Arctic ice has been thickening substantially this year.
And who is making that "heretical" claim? Why Andrew Revkin, the New York Times environment writer. On the heels of his recent "heresy" of quoting noted climatologist Mojib Latif's finding that the world will probably be in for a cooling trend for the next decade or two, Revkin's latest report will probably not sit well with the global warming alarmists:
The National Snow and Ice Data Center released its summary of summer sea-ice conditions in the Arctic on Tuesday, noting a substantial expansion of the extent of “second-year ice” — floes thick enough to have persisted through two summers of melting. The result could be a reprieve, at least for a while, from the recent stretch of remarkable summer meltdowns.
Stanford University and Al Gore do not want you to see this video
Al Gore’s global warming research backing came mostly from Stanford. Stanford only applauds when Michael Moore plays loose with facts.
Mr. McAleer, whose film premiers this weekend, says
he's more disappointed in the environmental journalists who give Mr. Gore cover
than in the former vice president. Mr. Gore is simply doing what any
propagandist with a weak case would do -- avoiding serious debate or exchange.
To quote the late William F. Buckley, "There is a reason that baloney rejects
John Fund, "Al Gore's First (and Probably Last) Q&A A Nobel Prize winner takes a few questions," The Wall Street Journal, October 12, 2009 --- Click Here
Of course none of this means that climate on earth will return to the good years of the 1950s and that glaciers will all return to the good old days at the poles and mountain ranges in between. Climate is ever-changing in ways that science obviously does not yet understand. Even if the earth is really cooling down, we may have continued droughts in the south west and other abnormal weather patterns all around the globe. Texas may still burn while we're shivering up here in the mountains --- in July. Hell may freeze over before Shultz, Matthews, and Olbermann get clearance, and when they do global cooling will the fault of Fox News.
White House science czar worries more about population control and global
cooling rather than warming
White House science czar John Holdren has predicted 1 billion people will die in "carbon-dioxide induced famines" in a coming new ice age by 2020. As WND previously reported, Holdren predicted in a 1971 textbook co-authored with Malthusian population alarmist Paul Ehrlich that global over-population was heading the Earth to a new ice age unless the government mandated urgent measures to control population, including the possibility of involuntary birth control measures such as forced sterilization. Holdren's prediction that 1 billion people would die from a global cooling "eco-disaster" was announced in Ehrlich's 1986 book "The Machinery of Nature."
Jerome R. Corsi, "Holdren: Ice age will kill 1 billion: Obama's science chief blames man-made carbon emissions," World Net Daily, October 9, 2009 --- http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=112317
ACORN Throws Out Republican Voter Registrations
ACORN wants people to register to vote – as long as they’re Democrats. Republican registrations go into the trash. Here is a first-hand account of how it happens. In February 2008, Fathiyyah Muhammad of Jacksonville, Florida, heard that ACORN was paying people three dollars for each voter they could register. ACORN paid her three dollars for each voter she registered, but Fatiyyah Muhammad says that the group threw out her votes and fired her when she brought them registrations of Republican voters. Fathiyyah Muhammad voted for Obama.
Pamela Geller, Big Government, October 7, 2009 ---
Also see http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2356575/posts
Analysts assert that the smallest member of the big
three no longer has enough market share to cover its cost base. Furthermore,
Ford -- the only non-nationalized auto company -- is picking up market share at
the expense of both Chrysler and GM. Taxpayers are likely to lose most of the
$81 billion that Congress and the administration sunk into the two companies,
according to the Congressional Oversight Panel. Chrysler is expected to lose all
$14.3 billion of the taxpayers' money.
"Chrysler is going out of business. The company just hasn’t made it official" ---
"Fannie's Next Big Adventure," The Wall Street Journal, October
, 2009 ---
Step right up, taxpayer, because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have a new deal for you. And don't worry—it will make housing more affordable and won't cost a dime. (Pardon us if you've heard this one before.)
Fan and Fred's latest excellent adventure is intended to help independent mortgage lenders that have been hard hit in the wake of the financial panic. These smaller players have seen their costs of capital rise and access to capital shrink. They never benefited like the big boys from bailout cash from Uncle Sam or the implicit backing of a too-big-to-fail guarantee. As a result, the three biggest U.S. mortgage lenders—Wells Fargo, Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase—now make more than half of all new home loans in the country.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve and now government-run Fannie and Freddie have been pushing mortgage rates down in a bid to buoy the housing market. These artificially low rates in turn have lowered the rate at which it's economical for a lender to borrow money to make home loans; this has also increased the squeeze on independent mortgage shops.
Thus the latest Fannie brainstorm: Launch a program to guarantee the short-term debt of these small mortgage lenders, provided they use the money to make mortgages approved by Fan and Fred. Keep in mind that Fan and Fred already guarantee the mortgages themselves. So this new program would pile another taxpayer liability on top of that one by guaranteeing the short-term debt of independent mortgage companies, too.
Now, some might say that in a world in which more than 90% of all mortgages are already taxpayer guaranteed, this is no big deal. If you insure the mortgage product, why not insure the lenders who created it too? Yet by that logic, the taxpayers might as well cut out the middle men and simply nationalize the entire mortgage industry. (On second thought, forget we mentioned that.)
Our point is that piling mortgage guarantee upon guarantee is going in precisely the wrong policy direction. If we are ever going to return to a private mortgage market, the feds need to begin to roll back their guarantees and market share. Yet the more guarantees that are made, the harder it will be to withdraw. This may be precisely what Fannie and Freddie and their Congressional patrons want, since these new guarantees will make it that much harder to reform them and reduce their sway in the housing market.
This also shows how one policy mistake typically begets another. Fannie and Freddie's guarantees and subsidies helped to create the housing disaster, which has led the Fed directly to purchase mortgage-backed securities and mess up the market for small mortgage lenders, which in turn is leading Fan and Fred to guarantee the debt of those small lenders. Market distortion is piled on market distortion until we have a mortgage industry that can't function without taxpayers being on the hook for every transaction.
The Chinese must look at all this and wonder why the crazy Americans think they can give anyone advice about how to run a market economy.
"The Mundell-Laffer Solution," by Larry Kudlow, Townhall,
October 7, 2009 ---
I say, where there’s smoke there’s fire. The dollar-demise story just won’t go away, and it’s clear now that China and others have lost confidence in the greenback. For the U.S., this is mostly a self-inflicted wound. And the Treasury and the Fed are in denial about it. The gold price has jumped all the way to $1,050, while the dollar index has fallen again. Without question, the U.S. is creating too many dollars through the Fed, and fiscal disarray continues to threaten more of the same.
And here’s a real conflict brewing in the financial markets: The Fed is fighting deflation with a near-zero interest-rate target, while gold, the dollar, and commodity markets are signaling that inflation is the real problem. Somebody is going to be very right here, and somebody is going to be very wrong. I’m betting on the markets being right.
And as the White House considers a second stimulus package, here’s another thought: Go for growth. Reduce tax rates to provide growth incentives (something Team Obama has avoided like the plague). Cut the top corporate tax rate from 35 to 25 percent, and accompany that with a small-business tax cut from 35 to 25 percent. And leave the Bush tax cuts alone. Don’t let them expire in 2011. That’s cap-gains, dividends, and the top personal rate.
Yes, this is a supply-side solution: Reducing tax rates will ignite growth incentives.
And by applying it, Team Obama would be borrowing from George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, and John F. Kennedy. (And Calvin Coolidge and Andrew Mellon, too.) Forget about Keynesian spending multipliers, which Harvard’s Robert Barrow writes are less than one. Forget about class warfare. Forget about income redistribution. Go for growth.
Again, I know I’m a supply-side fossil and a relic of the past. But the Mundell-Laffer policy plan -- which has worked historically for Republicans and Democrats -- could truly save the nation and its economy at this critical juncture. Monetary restraint and the incentives of lower tax rates will solve the dollar and unemployment problems.
In our supposedly post-partisan era, why not give it a try, President Obama?
Bob Jensen's universal health care messaging --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm
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