Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Mosque and Gitmo

The first reaction anyone has to the idea of building a mosque at ground zero is, "What? You must be kidding. Why would Muslims want to draw so much negative attention to themselves?" It's a good question. Why? Even if one looks past Imam Rauf’s remarks that the US was complicit with the 911 attacks, or want to give him the benefit of the doubt that the ground zero mosque is the Islamic equivalent of an extended hand of friendship, there are overwhelming reasons why the ground zero mosque should not be built. If one believes that Guantanamo Bay is being used to recruit Islamic terrorism, what do you think the result would be if the largest mosque in America was built on ground zero of the worst terrorists’ attack on US soil. Dr Zuhdi Jasser MD the founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy says “Make no mistake, this Islamic center is not a spiritual statement but a global one in the name of Islam…It will be used by Islamic leadership around the world to say, ‘despite the violence that al-Qaeda perpetrated on the American population, political Islam will always be victorious and from it’s ashes has risen the largest religious Muslim structure in the United States.’”

Islam is a very compartmentalized religion, local Imams or religious leaders like a pastor, determines the form of Islam he will present to his followers. It is not unusual to ask Muslims about aspects of Islam which they will have no concept of, as their Imam does not delve into that part of Islam; they will always direct you to find a cleric that imparts and interprets that area of the Koran. But just because political jihad and sharia law are not generally taught to American Muslims, that does not mean there is not pressure to do so. Much of this pressure comes from the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood The Muslim Brotherhood and the Ground Zero Mosque, of which Amam Rauf is a member, who are considered moderate, not because they do not believe in political Islam, but because they do not purport the use of violence for proselytizing political Islam . Jasser warns us against ignoring “Islamist" or "Ilamism,” his words for political Islam that is bent on world domination, “As the (Obama) administration continues to move backwards, (outlawing) the use of specific religious Islamic terms like jihad, Islamism, and salafism, the Islamists continued to make unopposed headway in the contest of ideas. We are losing the war of ideas.”

The glaring difference of course between Gitmo and the planned ground zero mosque, is Gitmo is a Marine base and the mosque will be built on private property that would normally be protected by the Constitution’s freedom of religion. I say normally because the First Amendment right is not absolute; one would not be allowed to practice the Aztec religious rite of human sacrifice, nor was Utah allowed to become a state until the Mormons stopped their religious practice of polygamy. Any religion in the United States must still not violate the rule of law. The very existence of sharia in Islam and its use by the Muslim Brotherhood as a method of proselytizing political Islam, combined with the Amam Rauf repeated remarks regarding the need for sharia Law in the United States, show the purpose for the mosque, at least in part, is to challenge our Constitution and the rule of law. Jasser believes that Aman Rauf also continues to fan the flame of what he calls the “narrative”, or the false paradigm spread by Islamic Extremists that America is at war with and wants to extinguish Islam. The belief in this narrative is so strong, that many Muslims are taught and believe that the United States is using its full military might to destroy Islam and only Allah stops it from happening. “Until anti-Islamist Muslims wage the intellectual battle against Islamism with the Muslim consciousness, we will make no headway against the narrative.” When a religion comes with its own form of political tyranny, and the leaders and followers refuse to separate themselves from that tyranny, then it is no longer protected by our Constitution. America is not at war with Islam, but we will resist political Islam or any other tyranny no matter what it looks like or purports itself to be.

It Wasn't All Bush

Obama is the first President in memory that has refused to take ownership of the economy he inherited. Because of this, our current President has presided over a US economy were the American people continue to be unsure who is responsible and what is being done. Once they took power, FDR did not blame Hoover, nor did Reagan blame Carter; both took ownership and responsibility for economy from their inauguration forward. This inspires confidence and allows the President to define the present economy and his strategy for creating growth. Obama has done neither, except to blame the previous administration. We therefore are left up in the air wondering what it is exactly that we are supposed to "Blame Bush" for and what strategy Obama is using, besides increasing public dept and expanding entitlements. So lets take a moment to review exactly what we are "Blaming Bush" for and what Obama could be doing if he were to finally take ownership of the economy.

Most have heard something about the repeal of Glass-Steagall, a post Great Depression law that was passed in hopes of preventing another depression, and in many ways what also lead to our current problems. The repeal started as a Republican bill during the Clinton Administration in 1999. The proponents of the bill were Sen. Phil Gram(R-TX) and Rep. Jim Leach(R-IO), but by the time it emerged from it's conference committee it was very bi-partisan bill and Clinton signed it into law.

What really started the ball rolling on the mortgage bubble was Clinton's ex-Director of Management and Budget Franklin Raines. Raines took control of Fannie Mae in 1999 and instituted the American Dream Commitment program which started the pilot program of increasing sub-prime loans to get previously un-qualified and more minorities home loans. By 2004 Raines was raking in the dough but the numbers were not adding up. After Raines resigned in Dec 2004, it was determined he mis-stated over $6 billion in profits adding about $90 million to his bonuses. His penalty was to return about $7 million, but the sub-prime program started by Raines exploded after he left and the rest is history. Raines is now involved in an carbon trading Investment Company waiting for cap and trade to be voted in. Neither the Republicans or Democrats did much to stop the coming melt-down, but it was Democrats such as Barney Frank and Chris Dodd that were the most vocal defenders.

Our crisis however was one of credit. The basis of the credit crunch can be traced in my opinion to Ronald Reagan. The result of Carter Stagflation (a recession with high interest rates; not believed possible till then) caused lower debt and higher savings in the private sector. As interest rates fell and the economy boomed, but the effect was misapplied supply side economics. Now this was not President Reagan's intention. Reagan cut taxes across the board, but also raised the employer tax (ie Social Security) so the Social Security fund would be solvent in the future. When there was a significant budget deficit, Reagan made a deal with the Democrts that he would raise some taxes and they would reduce spending; Reagan did his part, but the Demicrats did not.  The effect on the national psyche, was actually Keynesian in nature, that with cheap money (low interest rates) the private sector could borrow their way to prosperity. This reduction in savings and excessive private debt help fuel the economy through the Bush 41 , Clinton and Bush 43 years. Much has been said of the Clinton budget surpluses, which right or wrong are mainly attributed to a lack of major military conflict during his presidency and a markedly reduced GDP, probably a result of increased taxes. The end result was an economy based on credit.

A simplistic definition of Keynesian theory: Keynes explanations of slumps ran something like this: in a normal economy, there is a high level of employment, and everyone is spending their earnings as usual. This means there is a circular flow of money in the economy, as my spending becomes part of your earnings, and your spending becomes part of my earnings. But suppose something happens to shake consumer confidence in the economy. Worried consumers may then try to weather the coming economic hardship by saving their money. But because my spending is part of your earnings, my decision to hoard money makes things worse for you. And you, responding to your own difficult times, will start hoarding money too, making things even worse for me. So there's a vicious circle at work here: people hoard money in difficult times, but times become more difficult when people hoard money. The cure for this, Keynes said, was for the central bank to expand the money supply. By putting more bills in people's hands, consumer confidence would return, people would spend, and the circular flow of money would be reestablished. ( You will notice not once was there a mention of reducing unemployment, that's because Keynesian economics does not key into unemployment, only increasing the money flow. But no time in the history of economics has a private economy been so indebted. The Keynesians have no plan to stop people from paying off debt, rather than re-circulating money.

Another inherent flaw in Keynesian theory is the belief in cheap money; that it doesn't matter if you can't repay a loan as long as you can afford the interest payments. Sound familiar? When Keynesians say "expanding the money supply", they mean low interest loans and subsidizing private industry usually with large construction projects. The problem is there is no mechanism in Keynesian theory to ever actually pay back the loans and when the construction jobs ends, so does the temporary employment. As long as the Federal reserve keeps interest rates low, there will also be no incentive to save money. This reliance on borrowing cheap money has led to our current situation where business must borrow to stay in business. It is like you needing to borrow rent money, knowing you will have the money next month. You pay the rent with the borrowed money but when the next month's rent comes due, you must use what ever money has come in to pay off last months loan and then take out another loan for this month; you can never get ahead and if the bank stops loaning you're dead in the water. Government on the other hand, just keeps taking out interest only loans.

However bad the sub-prime meltdown was, and it was bad, was made ten times worse by side bets (or Credit Default Swaps) made by the investment banks like Leman Bros, AIG and of course Goldman Sachs. For every sub-prime mortgage that was loaned out, there were about 40-50 of these made up side bets made. After the meltdown, US Banks had assets, originally valued at about $1 trillion, who's value could not be determined (i.e. toxic), which basically meant they couldn't lend any money and businesses almost came to a stand still. The government first decided to just buy (or insure these toxic assets, because unlike the banks, the Fed can just hold onto them until their value can be established later. This was done during the Saving and Loan crisis of the 1980's and the Federal Government actually made money when the S&L assets were eventually sold. Unfortunately the players in all this, Henry (Hank) Paulson, Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner, all alumni from Goldman Sachs, knew the real danger to the banks was from the outstanding Credit Default Swaps, whose outstanding debt to the banks could be as high as $40 trillion. Therefore the expanded Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) money,  ($1.2 Billion) ended up being distributed via AIG to US (including Goldman Sachs) and European banks to cover some of these outstanding derivatives. So instead of loosing up money to make more loans, the banks just made good with themselves.

The recession we are seeing now is the result of business holding back until they can once again run their business month to month without having to borrow money. This process is pretty much complete, but before they start hiring again, and borrowing to expand, they want to know what the new government programs and taxes are going to cost them. The only offering the Obama economists are offering is to make it easier to borrow money, this is the Keynesians concept of expanding the money supply. But until business knows what is coming down the pike, they are going to wait. Add to this Obama wanting to raise taxes by letting the Bush tax cuts expire and we are so stuck.

As a final caveat, one should look at Bush's spending compared to Obama. It is difficult to understand exactly how much $700 billion or $800 billion really is. The CBO recently released a study, that shows that Obamas stimulus @ $862 billion, cost more than 8 years of the Iraqi war under Bush. Further, although Bush created a new high in deficit spending adding $2.5 billion of debt in eight years. In 2009 Bush submitted a budget with a $487 billion deficit, but Obama added another $700 billion resulting in a $1.2 trillion deficit (the left wing media usually charges Bush with the entire amount).  TARP was a two part process. Bush distributed $267 billion in 2008 and the Obama Administration distributed some $151 billion in 2009. Then, because banks and Wall Street firms repaid a net $110 billion in TARP funds in 2010, Obama claimed credit for cutting spending by that much.The combination of TARP lending in one year and much of that money being paid back in the next makes Obama's spending record for 2010 look $261 billion thriftier than it really was. This also means of the $700 billion TARP loans guarantees that were added to the 2009 Bush deficit, only $418 billion were ever disbursed of which $405 billion was repaid, but because the repaid Bush TARP money was claimed by Obama as cost saving, rather than returned to the Treasury, it continued to be counted as Bush deficit spending. Add the 2010 deficit of an estimated $1.3-1.4 trillion and Obama will have raised the national debt by over $2.5 trillion, matching Bush's 8 year debt in only 2 years. Obama and the left say these deficits are necessary to reverse to damage done by Bush, but if that is so, why don't they actually change the policies as well? 

While Bush claimed to believe in supply side economics (lower taxes and cut spending), with the exception of his tax cuts, he was really a Keynesian with his spending and $152 million stimulus. While Bush was the President of note as the sub-prime bubble became critical, the seeds sewn for this recession and were planted at least as far back as the Clinton Administration. Bush even did try to regulate Fannie Mae and the other mortgage GSEs in 2003 New Agency To Oversee Freddie Mac and Fannie May, which failed. But now we see the new Financial Reform Law, still does nothing to reform the regulations of Fannie and Freddie. As usual the politicians that created the problem tell us they are the only ones that can fix it. There is also the reminder discussed by Thomas Sowell, "No President of the United States can create either a budget deficit or a budget surplus. All spending bills originate in the House of Representatives and all taxes are voted into law by Congress. Democrats controlled both houses of Congress before Barack Obama became president. The deficit he inherited was created by the Congressional Democrats, including Senator Barack Obama, who did absolutely nothing to oppose the runaway spending. He was one of the biggest of the big spenders. The last time the federal government had a budget surplus, Bill Clinton was president, so it was called 'the Clinton surplus.' But Republicans controlled the House of Representatives, where all spending bills originate, for the first time in 40 years. It was also the first budget surplus in more than a quarter of a century."

The direction I believe we need to go is what Germany is doing; read this Op-Ed piece by David Brooks and see if you don't agree The Parent Model . If any of what I have tried to explain in the article runs true, then hopefully you will realize that it's doesn't matter if you blame Bush43 as the President of record when the economy collapsed, as long as we change they way we are doing business and that is not happening.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Germany Proves the Keynesians and Obama Wrong

Keynesian has been one of the predominant economic theories since the end of WWII. The United States is about 10 years behind Europe primarily because of the post WWII economic boom that occurred in the US, countering the Keynesian doom-sayers who predicted high unemployment and slow growth after the war. This delay has allowed economists in the US to look at Europe as kind of a crystal ball into the future. In March/April of this year there was a meeting of the G20 in England. There Obama was rebuffed for his Keynesian ways and was told Europe had had enough of high unemployment and low GDP, and rather than spend themselves into prosperity, they were going to tighten there belts and cut spending toward a path of austerity.

Paul Krugman, one of the loudest voices for Keynesian economics was beside himself. In a now infamous OP-Ed named “That ‘30s Feeling”, Krugman lambasted the Germans. “What’s the economic logic behind the government’s moves? The answer, as far as I can tell, is that there isn’t any. Press German officials to explain why they need to impose austerity on a depressed economy, and you get rationales that don’t add up. Point this out, and they come up with different rationales, which also don’t add up.” The reason Krugman was so adamant against austerity is one of Keynesian’s primary pillars is stimulus or perish; but he saw all this cheap money available to the Germans, “The key point is that while the advocates of austerity pose as hardheaded realists, doing what has to be done, they can’t and won’t justify their stance with actual numbers — because the numbers do not, in fact, support their position. Nor can they claim that markets are demanding austerity. On the contrary, the German government remains able to borrow at rock-bottom interest rates.” Krugman went on to forecast,“There will, of course, be a price for this posturing. Only part of that price will fall on Germany: German austerity will worsen the crisis in the euro area, making it that much harder for Spain and other troubled economies to recover.”

David Brooks wrote in his Op-ed piece “The Parent Model”, the German financial minister countered the Keynesians with, “Governments should not be addicted to borrowing as a quick fix to stimulate demand”. (No wonder Krugman hit the ceiling!). The Germans instead were looking reduce debt, balance budgets and increase confidence. Well it’s been 5 months and what has happened? The US is still mired in a recession with 9% employment and a flat GDP. Germany on the other hand has seen 9% growth in one quarter and unemployment has fallen. Brooks went on to say, “The results do underline one essential truth: Stimulus size is not the key factor in determining how quickly a country emerges from recession. The US tried big, but is emerging slowly, The Germans tried small and are emerging quite nicely." Obviously this is only one quarter and as Brooks mentioned, 9% is not a sustainable level of growth, but I'm sure Obama would rather have seen similar results prior to the upcoming November elections.

Since the Keynesians and Paul Krugman have been tone deaf to current economic trends, economists have been looking in other directions. One Global Investment company that has been gaining a lot of respect is PIMCO and their New Normal. "The result is a prolonged pause, or in some cases, a violent reversal in certain concepts that markets had taken for granted. We referred to it as the demise of the “great age” of private leverage, asset- and credit-based entitlements, self-regulation, policy moderation, and shrinking direct government involvement. Not surprisingly given the extent of the gains that were privatized and the losses that are now being socialized, the demise is occurring in the context of popular anger, confusion and what one of our speakers called “a morality play” in parliaments around the world." PIMCO describes this economic world view as a result of what they termed the Keynesian "end point;" from Bloomberg , “Time, devaluations, and debt restructurings might be the only way out for many nations,” Crescenzi wrote in an e-mailed note titled “Keynesian Endpoint” that referenced the Great Depression era economist John Maynard Keynes. Debt-fueled spending programs aimed at combating the global financial crisis of 2008 are among policy tools now “being seen as a magic elixir that has morphed into poison.”

To be fair to John Maynard Keynes, there is little doubt that we would consider it laughable that Paul Krugman is a self described neo-Keynesian. Keynes was a pragmatist and was continually reconstructing his theories and determining exactly how much control the government need take to steer the economy. He did not believe in any absolutes and was not the political harlequin Paul Krugman has become. Perhaps Krugman should listen to Keynes when he said, "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Ground Zero Mosque and Civics 101

Recently I had an ongoing conversation on a forum for the Santa Cruz Sentinel about the ground zero mosque. I have decided to repeat some of it because it has become obvious the much of the American citizenry don't understand their Constitution and Bill of Rights. The first blog demonstrated the most common mistake, once you get past that the issue is not whether the builders have the right to build the mosque, this lack of understanding takes front stage.

"Like most emotional subjects, mosque controversy is producing more heat than light. When the anger and fear are stripped away, this is a simple question: Do the owners of this property have the right to build a community center that will contain a Muslim mosque? The answer clearly is yes. The arguments raised by the opponents are irrational and fear-based. Our Constitution specifically protects this freedom and prohibits its infringement. I am saddened by the entire controversy. It is not a proud day for our country."
"You can't say you believe in the 1st Amendment, then turn around and say, "But they should build somewhere else."

The red herring being thrown out by the progressive left about the ground zero mosque is this is all about the First Amendment and religious freedom; this could not be further from the truth. The reason is the Bill of Rights protects the citizenry from government, but does not restrain the citizenry. If we all agree that government has no say so about building the mosque, then whatever the citizens say or demonstrate about has no attachment to the Constitution's protection against government intrusion. The citizenry is therefore protected by the First Amendment to protest the mosque; you can't claim one right to the exclusion of another. The fact that citizens want to uphold the mosque's Constitutional right to be built and can still say the disagree where it is being built should be applauded as it demonstrates the Constitutions protection of free speech. Thomas Jefferson said, as long as you don't pick my pocket or kick me in the leg, I don't care what else you do.

The Constitution also protects the minority from being trampled over by the majority. You aren't allowed to lynch Muslims simply because some sick majority has gotten their fever up and thinks they have a right ... simply because they are the majority. And I use the term "majority" lightly. Just because a group makes the most noise, it doesn't mean they are the majority.

Your are right as far as you go. The Constitution does protects the minority from the tyranny of the majority, but only if the trampling (or tyranny) is done through or by GOVERNMENT. If a majority of the citizenry attempts tyranny over a minority or individual (which does not rise to the level of criminal action), then the minority's redress is in Civil Court, where there are civil penalties, not criminal penalties. Lynching is primarily a violation of the criminal codes of kidnapping and murder, not a federal constitutional violation. There have been exceptions, but mostly when the federal governments believes the state GOVERNMENT violated the victim's rights. There are also are also so called “hate crimes” which are generally described as a person violating the “civil (or Constitutional rights) of another. However, these civil rights violations are actually enhancements to state statute law violation and not federal Constitutional rights, and do not come into play unless a criminal violation has first occurred. Further, most hate crimes enhancements are a violation state constitutional rights, not federal constitutional rights. In the mind of many, it is the State overreaching, wanting a perpetrator to be punished not just for his crime, not for his intentions, but the thought process behind his intentions; in essence it' s a thought crime. It's a shame that our citizenry is not taught basic civics in school. The only penalty a citizen can pay for tyranny (short of a criminal violation) is that which can be calculated monetarily. That's why there are so many damn lawyers..

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

There is Something Fishy About the Ground Zero Mosque

There is something wrong going on in New York. What I mean the Ground Zero mosque just doesn’t past the smell test. Imagine you are a member of the Muslim Brother hood and your agenda for the United States “is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” with all the word means. The Ikhwan (aka the Muslim Brotherhood) must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their [own] hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is no escape from that destiny except for those who chose to slack. But, would the slackers and the Mujahedeen be equal.” The Muslim Brotherhood and the Ground Zero Mosque.

This was written in 1991; 10 years later came 911, but thanks to President Bush, there was little retaliation against the Muslims in the US. In the 10 years since 911, the US has been at war with Muslims extremists in Afghanistan and whileAmericans have seen the continued atrocities of these Muslim extremists that are aligned with those that brought down the twin towers and murdered 3000 civilians in New York, we continue to welcome American Muslims into our culture. The majority of Americans holds our freedoms sacred, and will always give those the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their religious beliefs, even when a segment of that religion are cowardly terrorists that annihilated our brothers and sisters. If it is the intent of the Muslim Brotherhood, and I firmly believe that it to “eliminate and destroy” the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their [own] hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions, would you then plant the flag of victory for the terrorist at the site of the 911 attack?

In no other country would we be even having this discussion. There is no other country in the world that is so forgiving as the American people. This is a country where most the racism that exists is that baited by the progressives (if one take a moment to review history you will see that like all those who judge others, the progressives mostly judge what they see in others for what they most hate in themselves). The most often cited reason for distrust of Muslims has nothing to do with religious rights at all, at least in the traditional sense. It is well known that Islam carries with it it’s own criminal justice system called Sharia (or Shariah). The primary tactic used for proselytizing Sharia Law, aka Dawa (or Dawah), is interjecting Sharia law into a nation, trying create a two tier justice system. Imam Fiesal Abdual Raouf, the front man for the Ground Zero mosque, has attempted to make some headway in the United states by saying the Constitution is Sharia compliant, however Americans had stood fast in opposition to any to attempt to honor any aspect of Sharia law as Americans still hold the Constitution and Rule of Law sacred.

So what is going on here? Why would the Muslim Brotherhood seemingly shot themselves in the foot and create so much anti-Muslim sentiment? This is not Islamphobia as the progressive media is so willing to judge, as the American people have had every right to mistrust Muslims, but have generally offered our hand in friendship instead. This is something else. If I had to venture a guess, I would think we are looking at the moral equivalent of two opposing Christian armies meeting in no-man’s land during a Christmas cease fire. The generals could not allow the soldiers humanizing each other so they were fired upon to separate them. What I believe is the Muslim Brotherhood is losing control. Like any religion that comes to America, they are soon “corrupted” by the ways of liberty and freedom. They actually start believing the Imam Fiesal Abdual Raoul rhetoric that the Constitution is Sharia compliant; so it is starting to be viewed as a replacement? American Muslims see a country where other religions are truly accepted and encouraged (I have always been wary of the acceptance by Islam of other religions, when history shows them tearing down the churches and synagogues of conquered cities to build mosques in their place; I’m guessing they were accepting in a more historical sense). Imam Fiesal Abdual Raoul wanted to ease Sharia law into the United States, but what he is seeing is American Muslims that have no need for such an antiqued justice system and without Sharia law, Islam as it is known would not exist. An excellent on point article is A Patriotic Muslim's Warning On Ground Zero Mosque.

Without Sharia law, Islam simply becomes another respected religion in America. The Muslim Brotherhood through Imam Fiesal Adual Raoul had to throw up a wall between the American people and the America Muslims, and create the impression Muslims are being discriminated against so they will continue to seek out Sharia law. What we are seeing is not Islamphopia, the fear is coming from the other side. The American Muslims are simply becoming Americans, not part of the plan for an Islamic world revolution contained in the constraints of Sharia law.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Muslim Brotherhood and the Ground Zero Mosque

The world organization that has dedicated itself to world wide Sharia law is the Muslim Brotherhood; a religious and political organization that had it's start in Egypt in 1928. The primary goal is "the upbringing of an Islamic generation" through the restructuring of society and religious education. The Muslim Brotherhood has been active in the United states since 1960 with it's stated purpose as Dawa (proselytizing Sharia Law; see Where is the Outcry from Mainstream Muslims). The Muslim Brotherhood is considered moderate for it's belief in non-violent jihad as the method for converting the world to Islam; they have close ties to Hamas, are vehemently anti-Zionist and are the organizers of the recent flotilla demonstrations trying to run the blockade of Gaza. However in May of 1991, a inflammable memorandum called the “Understanding the role of the Muslim Brother in North America,” was distributed by Mohamed Akram, Dr. Mohamed Akram Adlouni (or Adluni) to high ranking members in the United States. At the time of writing, Adlouni was one of the key players within the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. He was a member of the Shura Council and five departments within the apparatus including, the Planning department; the Special Committee and the Secretary of the Palestine Committee The Muslim Brotherhood in the United States,. Article 4 of his memorandum states, “The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” with all the word means. The Ikhwan (aka the Muslim Brotherhood) must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their [own] hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is no escape from that destiny except for those who chose to slack. But, would the slackers and the Mujahedeen be equal.” The Muslim Brotherhood is the largest collective of Muslim organizations in the world. Imam Fiesal Abdual Raouf, the front man for the NY ground zero mosque, is a high ranking member of this organization from Malaysia, currently operating in the United States. His father, Mohammed Abdul Rauf, is a close contemporary of the Muslin Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The End of Truth in Politics; Nancy Pelosi and Relativism

Morale relativism is the prescriptive or normative position that, as there is no universal moral standard by which to judge others, we ought to tolerate the behavior of others even when it runs counter to our personal or cultural moral standards. In other words it is cafeteria morality, where one picks and chooses moral values as they see fit, ignoring the real purpose of religious doctrine, that values and truth are best left to god, not man. If one had to look at the personification of progressive morale relativism, one need not look any farther than Nancy Pelosi. Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) denounced a "dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one's own ego and ... desires." One might be able to excuse another persons misrepresentation of Catholic doctrine, but Nancy Pelosi is an “ardent, practicing Catholic”. Below is a interview with Nancy Pelosi by Tom Brokaw about abortion.

REP. PELOSI: I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition. And Senator–St. Augustine said at three months. We don’t know. The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose. Roe v. Wade talks about very clear definitions of when the child–first trimester, certain considerations; second trimester; not so third trimester. There’s very clear distinctions. This isn’t about abortion on demand, it’s about a careful, careful consideration of all factors and–to–that a woman has to make with her doctor and her god. And so I don’t think anybody can tell you when life begins, human life begins. As I say, the Catholic Church for centuries has been discussing this, and there are those who’ve decided…
MR. BROKAW: The Catholic Church at the moment feels very strongly that it…
REP. PELOSI: I understand that.
MR. BROKAW: …begins at the point of conception.
REP. PELOSI: I understand. And this is like maybe 50 years or something like that. So again, over the history of the church, this is an issue of controversy. But it is, it is also true that God has given us, each of us, a free will and a responsibility to answer for our actions. And we want abortions to be safe, rare, and reduce the number of abortions. That’s why we have this fight in Congress over contraception.

The reality of course is since 70AD, the Catholic Church has said that life begins with conception and abortion for any reason is murder or at the very least, the taking of a human life. The only “controversy" is the progressive relativism of Nancy Pelosi. So in this case, Pelosi appears to place her progressive political beliefs over the deepest beliefs of her church, as the Pope said for her “own ego”.

Next we go to her pronouncement that the Cap and Trade Bill passed in the House was about, “Jobs, jobs. jobs”. The test case for green jobs has been in Spain, where each green job resulted in two regular jobs being lost. So at a time of 10% unemployment, Nancy Pelosi’s progressive agenda was to increase unemployment by 50% for every green job; this being an ends and means tactic based on a relativism scale of economic planning vs human misery. Speaking of unemployment, Nancy Pelosi would tell us that money given to the unemployed creates jobs.

Or that the Healthcare reform Bill is a job bill.

While Nancy Pelosi may seem comical at times, one should not let their guard down, because these propagandized descriptions, that government will cause the sun to in the morning and it will be a job creator, has a purpose of making the truth relative, which produces a climate of cynicism that intellectual inquiry is even possible. Of course, the Healthcare reform bill will have to become law before we even know what’s in it.

Since that time we have learned that every promise made by the President and Nancy Pelosi are off the table; healthcare will not lower the deficit, you will not be able to keep your insurance if you want to, you will not pay less than you are paying now, you will not be able to keep your doctor, there will be panels run by Nancy Sebelius, who will make decisions on patient care.

Then there is the “Word”

Here is a transcript.
They ask me all the time, ‘What is your favorite this? What is your favorite that? What is your favorite that?’ And one time, ‘What is your favorite word?’ And I said, ‘My favorite word? That is really easy. My favorite word is the Word, is the Word. And that is everything. It says it all for us. And you know the biblical reference, you know the Gospel reference of the Word.

And that Word is, we have to give voice to what that means in terms of public policy that would be in keeping with the values of the Word. The Word. Isn’t it a beautiful word when you think of it? It just covers everything. The Word.

Fill it in with anything you want. But, of course, we know it means: ‘The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us.’ And that’s the great mystery of our faith. He will come again. He will come again. So, we have to make sure we’re prepared to answer in this life, or otherwise, as to how we have measured up.

Apparently it’s been a long time since Nancy Pelosi has been in Catechism, as her understanding of scripture at the beginning of the book of John deluded at best. In the book of John, the “Word” means “Jesus”; the two are interchangeable in the book of John. In Hebrew Scripture, “the Word” was “the source of God’s message to his people” or “god” himself. Nancy Pelosi seems to think that “the Word” can mean anything and everything. She goes on the say that public policy has to reflect Christian values and no one called her on it, because her message was so convoluted is was viewed as laughable.

Progressives do not believe that liberal* (*meaning Constitutional) politicians act in good faith; they are truly astonished that the citizenry would chose a liberal* government and believe it can only be accomplished through fear mongering, misrepresentation and evil intent. Progressives;Still Lost in the 20's. Two examples of this are Nancy Pelosi’s Astroturf statement, where her deep cynicism makes her unable to believe that any grassroots political movement is possible. The reason, most likely is all the so-called grassroots demonstrations she been involved with, were the result of political financing and planning. Every liberal progressive rally in the last 20 years seems to have included bus transportation by SEIU or Acorn.

Nancy Pelosi later makes similar statements about New Yorkers opposed to a mosque near ground zero of 911. This may be Nancy Pelosi most arrogant public moment. While 911 was an attack against the entire citizenry of the United States, and ground zero is hallowed ground to all Americans, the lasting emotional damage was with the people that experienced the horror first hand. This makes the ground zero mosque an emotional and local issue.

Again you see Nancy Pelosi’s inability to comprehend that the collective consists of spontaneous individuals. I’m sure Nancy Pelosi believes that the French Revolution was the result of some bankers paying the citizenship to show up for a demonstration and planned March to the kings chateau (Versailles). Even more remarkable is Pelosi’s inability to truly separate the political from the emotional. While the mosque issue had been picking up some political steam, it was not until President Obama made two statements about the mosque. The first was the obvious statement that building the mosque was legal under the second amendment, then he re-stated his opinion in an obvious attempt to muddle his message.

It has become obvious that Nancy Pelosi believes that she is the planner of a Socialistic government that took over when President Obama was elected. As with all socialistic states, the truth “becomes something to be laid down by authority, something which has to be believed in the interest of unity of the organized effort and which may have to be altered as the exigencies of this organized effort require it”. (The Road to Serfdom) Using her "the Word" analogy, Nancy Pelosi has accumulated so much personal power, she believes she can create reality by the power of her spoken word; that truth and reality are relative to the a world view she is creating in her own image. And when she finally falls from power, it can only be the result of an evil cabal, as the collective has not the insight to see beyond the Word that she sees as herself.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Taking the wonderingmind42 Challenge

Recently I was sent a link to an old YouTube video, “The Most terrifying video you’ll ever see”. Narrated by wonderingmind42, who apparently a math teacher. The video is about 3 years old, but I have not seen it, but apparently 7 million viewers have.

wonderingmind42 has a common sense way about him where he presents his view of Global Warming. He shows a grid with his presumed 4 possible results of either paying to reduce global warming or not;

1)We pay to reduce global warming and it does no occur = (the) “Cost $” (resulting in a) Global Depression
2)We do nothing and global warming does not occur = (smiley face)(we save the money and no Global Depression)
3)We pay to reduce global warming and it does occur= (smiley face)(the) “Cost $”
4) We do nothing and global warming does occur= Catastrophes (including); social, economical, political, environmental (and) health

wonderingmind42’s conclusion: Considering the possible extreme results of global warming, there is no choice but to reduce our carbon footprint and pay the price. And then he asks for feedback as to where he has errored. Well wonderingmind42, Ill take you up on that.

Without going any father than your chart, in #3 the result of paying to reduce global warming, whether it happens or not, will still result in the same depression as with #1. Now we also have to look at what the United States by itself could do to slow global warming. According to Joel Rodgers founder of the Apollo Alliance, a liberal think tank and Green policy adviser to President Obama, the United States would have completely de-industrialize and it would still have minimal impact on Global warming.

Okay, forget that, lets consider the practicality of de-industrializing enough to actually reduce global warming. We would first need world government, as China (the worst offender), India and most emerging third world countries will not jump on the global warming bandwagon, so we are looking at the cost of a world war, which will have the same effect as #4. Okay lets forget that, lets look at the current effect of going green in the world. The current policies of the IMF, which have forced struggling countries to switch from food crops to alternate energy crops, which has led to, according to the United Nations themselves, the unintended consequence of being the direct cause over 1 million people starving to death per year. Ouch! This is the reason we found a thriving business in Haiti selling mud biscuits.

Based on these unintended consequences, there is now evidence that the amount of C02 that we produce is related to the population we can support. The ratio seems to be close to 1 to 1. In other words with our present technology, if we reduce C02 production by 10%, there would be a reduction in the ability to support 10% of the population. If your not understanding this, it means reducing Co2 will lead to the death, usually by starvation, of large percentages of the world. President Obama wants reduce US green house gases by 28% and the US produces about 29% of the worlds green house gases; this should result in the death of 8.12% of world's population.

Hmmm trying to stop this global warming thing is not looking good. But look you added another video, “How it all ends”.

The first thing I noticed is you removed any downside to #3 leaving only a smiley face. Apparently just stopping global warming will eliminate the massive effects of the cost and likely global depression. You also added scientific organizations like NAS and AAAS and energy and chemical companies that back global warming. First lets discuss the scientific evidence and reputations. For one thing you did not mention the IPCC, the United Nations Climate Organization that is responsible for supply the NAS and AAAS with 75% of their data. Turns out the IPCC was so concerned about their reputations, that the ignored contrary data, fudged computer models and attempted to discredit the life work of any scientists with contrary conclusions. Oh, I’m sorry, this occurred 2 years after you made these videos. Let me also add this from my blog, Progressives; Lost in the 20's It is no coincidence that progressive thought and science are both produced in academia. The idea that science cannot be influenced and comes to its conclusions independently is historically absurd. The truth is science has always been used to protect and prove the status quo, while independent inquiry is usually done in darkened rooms with notes written in code. Most scientists are employed by large corporations and are not paid to do independent research.

And then there are all the energy and chemical companies like BP, Shell, GE Dow, Dupont, PGE, Siemens..etc, are all pushing for green energy. Well, not really, what they are pushing for is carbon credits. You see they are in the unique position of having control of the carbon credits market and the derivatives that will result in a cap and trade system. By all accounts, cap and trade will do little to reduce green house gases as industry will simply pass down to the consumer the added cost of carbon credits ; that’s why it is referred to as pay to pollute, as these companies will reap billions in the carbon credit market. The company that first invested in the concept of carbon credits was Enron, with BP, Shell and Phillips not far behind. The company that first invested in the concept of carbon credits was Enron (remember them?), with BP, Shell and Phillips not far behind.

wonderingmind42, I’m guessing many of these issues have already been brought up, but there is something about 7 million people watching this kind of propaganda that kept me up for about 20 minutes last night. One more thing, returning to Joel Rodgers for a minute, if your wondering why one of the biggest supporters and promoters, has pretty much written off ever reducing or stabilizing of Global Warming, the answer is simple. Like all progressives, Rodgers is a redistributionist. When all is said and done, all global warming will end up being, is a scheme for redistribution of wealth through carbon credits. By the way, good Alton Brown imitation.

Progressives; Still Lost in the 1920s

The divide between progressives and conservatives (liberals*) has reached its pinnacle with the progressive Obama Administration. The progressive movement started in the 1838 with Charles Darwin and a new scientific paradigm. It is no coincidence that Eugenics theory was extrapolated by Darwin’s cousin from “Origin of the Species”, which was supported by the British “fabien socialists” John Maynard Keynes of Keynesian economic theory and many of the British Conservatives* of the time. Next we have the Communist Manifesto by Marx in 1848, which even today is the most influential theory that drives progressives and the left. You also have the theories of Sigmund Freud, which emerged as he published his books in the early 1900’s. During WWI, (1914-1920) the concept of Fascism was developed by Italian socialists and rose to power in Italy and Germany, Romania during the Depression following the war. It is this time period, primarily between the end of WWI and the Depression, which resulted in the birth of progressive idealism, that human nature could be understood, defined and controlled by science.

*Since England has no constitution, the governing philosophy of the conservatives varies from American conservatives. In Europe, American conservatism espousing individual rights were referred to as a liberal, as believing in liberty for the individual.

The starting point for progressive political thought is the oppression by free market capitalism; that all wealth is created by exploiting the workers, which or course is a basic tenet of Marxism. Progressives have the belief that the majority of workers live a life of quiet desperation and it is the job of government to redistribute wealth to relieve this misery. They also have an irrefutable belief that all their views and policies are the result of in-depth study and the scientific method and they belong to an intelligentsia class that are intellectually superior. One should not forget that Marx was praised for a scientific grasp of the inevitable direction of societal evolution. British writer C.H. Waddington wrote an article in Nature magazine (1941), titled “The Scientific Attitude”. Waddington writes that the “profound scientific philosophy” of Marxism is “almost, if not quite, identical with those underlying the scientific approach to nature.” The progressives of the time, Marx, Engel, Darwin, Freud and Julian Huxley were the intelligentsia that developed humanistic sciences like Eugenics, which along other schools of thought bolstered their belief in a division between the superior intelligentsia and the need to control the collective. This new scientific paradigm was Newtonian in nature; that the human condition could be reduced to data, plugged into a mathematical equation and reproduced. This entire process of basing the political on science is but a deception. It is no coincidence that progressive thought and science are both produced in academia. The idea that science cannot be influenced and comes to its conclusions independently is historically absurd. The truth is science has always been used to protect and prove the status quo, while independent inquiry is usually done in darkened rooms with notes written in code. Most scientists are employed by large corporations and are not paid to do independent research.

Because progressives believe they exist on a higher intellectual plain, they are particularly disturbed by the constraints of the rule of law and view the US Constitution as a constraining document; Senator Obama, “it (the US Constitution) doesn’t say what the Federal government or the state government must do on your behalf.” This is of course unless the rule of law can be used to forward their agenda, then once again the rule of law becomes sacred; it is the progressive tenet of relativism. If a progressive cannot discredit a liberal* who is obviously as educated as they are, the liberal* is personally attacked and judged as obviously evil. There is absolutely no room in the progressive mind for intellectual independent inquiry. The idea that someone may spread a false, anti-progressive message, which would water down or alter progressive propaganda, is often met with demonstrations and physical restraint or violence. Progressives truly believe that their scrupulous study, high standards and intelligence are the only true salvation of human kind and they are the guardians of the true (new) freedom, which is a collective, free from economic hardship and choice. In “The Road to Serfdom”, F.A. Hayek describes how the progressives of the day, “have attacked the “metaphysical” idea of individual rights and insisted that in a rationally ordered world, there will be no individual rights but only individual duties.”

Progressives will continue to use government to re-distribute wealth and energy as they get their power by offering security at the price of weakening the free market. Since the security offered by a free market society is variety and mobility, a planned, non-competitive society eventually removes any security offered by the free market. The problems that naturally occur as the government intervenes more and more into the economy, creating quasi-government organizations, can only lead to economic collapse. The progressive will then blame a lack of oversight over the organizations they themselves created and will offer themselves up as the only persons that can fix the problem. Progressives will continue to promise more than they can ever deliver, continually moving toward government control and a planned economy. The idea that a market should exist, uncontrolled and with it’s own rules is their definition of true evil. Progressives do not believe that liberal* politicians act in good faith; they are truly astonished that the citizenry would chose a liberal* government and believe it can only be accomplished through fear mongering, misrepresentation and evil intent. Harry Reid’s recent statement, “I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican” is definitive of this astonishment. This makes any discussion with a progressive impossible, as the end result will be the non-progressives argument is not based on intelligent thought, but allegiance to the unscrupulous or irrational emotion; hence the common rebuffs that liberals* are racists or in the pocket of “big business”.

As England fell into WWII, Lord John Maynard Keynesian was tasked with constructing a wartime British economy. As the war wound down, he was impressed by the production and stability of his planned wartime economy. He pondered that if the same wartime economy was maintained during peacetime, the British economy would continue to enjoy the prosperity of government steering and planning. The absurdity of the idea was Keynes being oblivious to human nature. While Keynes planning of England’s wartime economy certainly led to it’s stability, it was the sacrifice of the British workers that made it successful. This is the common mistake made by all progressives, that workers will continue to sacrifice solely for the good of the state. When progressives realize that workers will strive for human dignity, even to the exclusion of security, they blame the worker without doubting their science; the historic result of this has been catastrophic.

In the final analysis the commonality with progressive thought is their failure to move beyond this historical scientific paradigm to more contemporary views. Newtonian science has been supplemented with Chaos Theory; Freudian analysis has been replaced with “client centered” psychology. And history shows us that socialism is an unworkable economic theory and there is nothing less scientific then to continually run the same experiment and expect a different result (Albert Einstein said this the definition of insanity). It is as if the progressive movement suffers from a collective form of Borderline Personality Disorder, which presents as a compulsive need to control their environment and every one around them with perceived specificity rules known only to them and where the lessons of history is irrelevant. As F.A. Hayek ended his book, “The Road to Serfdom, “If they (our grandfathers) had not yet fully learned what is necessary to create the world they wanted, the experience we have gained ought of have equipped us better for the task. If in the first attempt to create the world of free men we have failed, we must try again.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The End of Truth in Politics; The Road to Serfdom

This article uses excerpts from FA Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom". The book is the definitive work on the human effect on economic theory by demonstrating time and time again there can be no freedom without economic freedom and vice versa. Further, he explains the causal failure of all collective or planned economies, which is the human condition; that freedom and free market capitalism is the only economic theory that recognizes and rewards truth, hard work and the dignity of man.

The White House and the powers that be seem to have the belief they can sell the American people state guaranteed economic security (the new freedom) and without loosing political freedom, even though historically the two have always been mutually exclusive. In order to do so they must refine "truth" as expediency. The word “truth” itself ceases to have its old meaning. It describes no longer something to be found, with the individual conscience as the sole arbiter of whether in particular instance the evidence (or standing of those proclaiming it) warrants a belief; it becomes something to be laid down by authority, something which has to be believed in the interest of unity of the organized effort and which may have to be altered as the exigencies of this organized effort require it. (The Road to Serfdom)

Since the first victim of this new freedom is the truth, it is important to remember that a tenet of this form of economic freedom is to promise more than can ever be delivered. Since they know the American people are politically astute, and that they will eventually be legislating against the will of the people, they will therefore create a state of exigency, touting every new governmental program or authority being necessary for the very existence of the state. Since the American people are also wisely suspicious of "socialism," euphemisms will be crafted for what they know would be unpopular policy; socialized medicine becomes “Affordable and Quality Healthcare” or "The Public Option"", Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants becomes "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" and The Cap and Trade or redistribution of energy tax, becomes "Jobs! Jobs! Jobs" or the “Green Jobs Bill”. In a society used to freedom it is unlikely that many people would be ready deliberately to purchase security at this price (socialism). But the policies which are now followed everywhere, which hand out the privilege of security, now to this group and now to that, are nonetheless rapidly creating conditions in which striving for security tends to be stronger than the love of freedom. The reason for this is that with every grant of complete security to one group the insecurity of the rests necessarily increases… the essential element of security which the competitive systems offers, the great variety of opportunities, is more and more reduced. (The Road to Serfdom)

The only tool that the Obama Administration and Democratic Congress has to create the illusion economic security is the re-distribution of wealth, i.e. social justice. In order to make this work, much has been said if the community organizer tactic from Saul Alinksy’s "Rules for Radicals". "Whenever we think of social change; the question of means and ends arises. The man of action views the issues of means and ends in pragmatic and strategic terms." However, when means and ends are viewed from a collectivist government, they take on an even greater importance. “The principle that the ends justify the means, is in individualist regarded as the denial of all morals. In the collectivist ethics, it becomes necessarily the supreme rule; there is literally nothing which the collectivist must not be prepared to do if it serves “the good of the whole,” because the “good of the whole” is to him the only criterion of what ought to be done. The "raison d’etat*", in which collectivist ethics has found its most explicit formulation, knows no other limit than that set by expediency.” (The Road to Serfdom)
*raison d’etat- the justification of overriding state power for nation interests or security.

When the Healthcare Bill was being presented, President Obama was indignant that it was being called a tax.

However Rep Debbie Wassermann Schultz, trying to circumvent the Obamacare's mandatory purchasing of private health insurance, tells the patronizing lie (as if she is so much smarter the American Citizen) that it is nothing more than a Federal Income tax status, like Married or Single;

When this finally ended up in a State court challenge, Obamacare was defined as a tax.

President Obama and Rep Debbie Wassermann Schultz also colluded in the big lie that Obamacare would not add to the deficit by "one dime". This video contains information that will be corroborated in the next video by Rep Paul Ryan.

Again you have Rep Debbie Wassermann Schultz parroting the CBO numbers promising ObamaCare will reduce the deficit. But the congressional leaders, Schultz, Reid and Pelosi purposely left out federal obligations, the CBO's cost analysis was purposely was manipulated to lie to the American people.

When Obama was a candidate for President he ran on hope and change. After President Bush, the American people wanted two things, transparency and honesty.

Almost from the beginning the pundits have commented on the "disconnect" that exsists between the President Obama and the American people. It's as if the White House and Democrat leaders have taken on the behavior of sociopaths.This has been explained as Obama's unemotional nature. The real disconnect however is between what the President says and what he does. While the President has said he was going to concentrate (like a laser beam) on American joblessness, he has practically ignored unemployment for an entire year to pass his terribly flawed and unpopular heathcare reform bill. His response? "I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are" America Knows It's Core Values, as if values are to be directed by the state.

When confronted with this obvious lack of transparency, the President expects the American people to respect the "new truth", previously explained in "The Road to Serfdom", it becomes something to be laid down by authority, something which has to be believed in the interest of unity of the organized effort and which may have to be altered as the exigencies of this organized effort require it.

The "new truth" is the end of truth.

All I have discussed in this article is known to the President. He has studied Marxism, Socialism and Saul Alinsky, but somehow missed the individual liberty that is the life blood of every American; something he really doesn't seem to understand. These lies have purpose; they are designed to make us feel powerless and lead us the collective nightmare in which "no avenue to wealth or honor would subsist save through government*." But Americans are not yet ready to turn away from truth. Not yet..

*Benjamin Disraeli

The End of Truth in Politics; Barney Frank

This is the first installment on the Washington culture of lies.

These videos have been around for a while, but they are worth showing again. The key to remember about progressives and socialists is there disregard for the truth. This is how FA Hayek described "The End of Truth". The general intellectual climate which this produces, the spirit of complete cynicism as regards to the truth which engenders, the loss of the sense of even the meaning of the truth, the disappearance of the spirit of independent inquiry and of the belief in the power of rational conviction, the way in which differences of opinion in every branch of knowledge become political issues to be decided by authority, are all things which one must personally experience- no short description can convey their extent. Perhaps the most alarming fact is the contempt for intellectual liberty is not a thing which arises only once the totalitarian system is established but one which can be found everywhere among intellectuals who have embraced a collectivist faith and who are acclaimed as intellectual leaders even in countries still under a liberal regime* (The Road to Serfdom).

*Hayek is using the European meaning of liberal, meaning a belief in individual liberty; the Declaration of Independence is considered the definitive example.

Here in 2005 we have Rep Frank saying the Democrats plans for Freddie and Fannie are solely for the purposes of home ownership with no possibility of a bubble.

Then 3 years later after the bottom fell out of Fannie and Freddie, Rep Frank blames the Republicans for backing a plan for excessive home ownership, while he was in favor of only rental property being purchased.

If you have a brain, even if you reside on another planet, it is obvious Barney Frank is a lair.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Where is the Outrage From Mainstream Muslims?

The question has been asked continually; where is the outrage? Recently 10 workers from a US aid group were killed by the Taliban. One reason they were killed is because they represented the love of an outside Christian world. Christians have been bringing medical care throughout the world without proselytizing for decades. The Bible says you will know Christians by the way they love and that is why they are so feared by Islamic Extremists. The politically correct explanation is the Taliban and other Islamic Extremists, have corrupted Islam and do not represent mainstream Muslims. However, the actions of these extremist have never been to a corruption of Islam, instead they interpretations by respected clerics of fiery edicts in the Koran. To understand this, one must understand more about Islam, it’s history and how it compares to the history of Christianity. My comparison to Christianity is not based on any perceived superiority to Islam, but because it is the religion always referenced when the subject of the extremists corruption of Islam is discussed. The history of Christianity shifted from a faith group to a faith movement that was co-opted by a government and political organization that eventually fractured and divided and is currently devolving back into a faith group. That is not to say that the faith groups ever disappeared from Christianity, but the scope and influence has evolved and devolved over time.

The history of Islam starts with it's founder, the prophet Mohamed, who brought together the Nordic Arab tribes in modern day Saudi Arabia, under a single religion. Unlike Christianity, Islam fundamentally brought these tribes together not only as a religion and code of behavior, but a conquering force. Islam is a comprehensive political, social, and economic system with its own authoritarian legal framework, "sharia", which aspires to govern all aspects of life. (www.discoverthe Islam’s rise and fall ranged from it’s birth in 600 AD through the 9th century where Islam dominated half the known world. It was after that time that Islam began to fracture into different autonomous empires. During the 18 and 19th centuries Islam began to take a backseat to non-Islamic governmental powers. By the 20th century the Ottoman Empire was the last standing regime under Islamic control. The area was divided up by Britain into the Middle Eastern countries of today. Recently there has been a resurgence in Islam, whose past and present message of equality among all the people irrespective of race, color, caste, and creed and a devotion to God and family is again attracting millions of followers. The dark side of Islam is referred to as Islamic Extremists, terrorists or Islamo-fascist. Their belief is the entire world should live under the strict rule of Islamic Fundamentalism.

The fact that Christianity and Islam are the largest religions in the world, both have been named and are responsible for numerous atrocities. While the Muslims have been described as accepting and open-minded conquerors, the reality is they espouse a from of proselytizing called Dawa, which is designed to co-opt a current government to clear the way for Islam. The same can be said for the Catholic Church, which was an oppressive government from the 6th Century through 16th century. The true judge of mercy and love of come from their holy scriptures; for Christianity it is the New Testament and for Islam it is the Koran. In the New Testament there is simply no justification for the atrocities of the Christianity. While Old Testament espouses the strict behavior of the Jews and littered with intolerance and genocide, Jesus defines a new covenant based on the love for God and your fellow man. The New Testament defines not a religion but a relationship with God. While there is still no lack of causes espousing a Christian identity, many times a corrupted identity, they would be hard pressed to identify a basis in the New Testament, because it would not be there.

Islam is based on it’s five pillars, the first four mainly taken came from the Old Testament and Mohamed's poor knowledge of Christianity. An understanding and study of the Koran is considered the life long obligation for a Muslim. In Fundamentalist Islam, schooling male children consists of memorizing the Koran (there is no schooling of woman who are oppressed and treated as subservient). Since there is no central authority in Islam, interpretation of the Koran is done by autonomous Islamic religious clerics who can eventually attain the level of Ayatollah; Ayatollahs have the authority to issue their own edicts or laws, based on their interpretation of the Koran and other sources of Islamic law. Islamic law does not distinguish between "matters of church" and "matters of state", which has resulted in conflicts with the rule of law in autonomous nations. The previously described "Dawa" often results in a dual system of secular courts and religious courts and is referred to as Sharia compliant. This issue has met it's biggest challenge with the United States, where the Constitution and rule of law define the Republic of the United States.

It is the subject of Jihad, where Islam tends to take a left turn.

Jihad is freely defined as a struggle or battle. In a Christian sense it is man’s continuing battle against sin. But, Jihad can also be defending the nation or community of Islam. The definition of the defense, the nature of the enemy, the nature of the threat and nature of the tactics used is based on a clerics study and interpretation of the Koran. The Koran and other sources of religious law are also rift with contradictions, some of which was purposeful via “scriptural precedence”, or the most recent scripture takes precedence. However once again, it is up to the clerics to decide if it is indeed a contradiction or what scripture will take precedence. What would seem to be a violation of Mohamed's edicts against the killing of none co-habitats, is explained away by some through study of the Koran and the interpretation of Jihad. This is not mainstream Islam and most Muslims will tell you that is not the way of Mohamed, but their condemnation is always respectful. The reason is the clerics that make these interpretations are still men deserving of great respect in Islam. Ask any Muslim about certain aspects of their faith and they will usually mitigate some of the answer to the need to consult with an expert on that aspect of the Koran. The result of this misdirection allows a Muslim to counter almost any argument by quoting numerous clerics who have studied and interpreted those areas of the Koran that espouse the peaceful and loving Islam, but have not studied or interpreted the more violent aspects of Jihad and are therefore moot on the subject (an excellent example of this is the Wikipedia entry on Apostasy). Many Muslims also live under a veil of fear from extremists. Like those living in a gang-infested neighborhood, the authority of extremists is maintained by terrorism, retaliatory murder and mutilation. It is estimated the 1-2 percent of the Muslims in the world are radicalized; with 1.6 billion Muslims, that's 16-32 million terrorists. Compare that to "Christian Extremists"; while the Department of Homeland Security offers no numbers, they are generally described as 200-300 decentralized groups that range from a few members to several hundred. It is like comparing a hand grenade to an atomic bomb.

With no central authority for Islam, it's sense of morality and direction, while maintaining it's core beliefs, tends to mirror the local community. This leads to great disparity throughout the world and runs the gambit from the archaic (Afghanistan) to the post modern (New York and California); that which works in New York will not work in Kabul. While the two may be mutually exclusive with the expectations of behavior required of their followers, they are still both Islam. Mainstream Islam may not approve or agree with extremists, but they still view them as fellow Muslims. Until a break from these violent factions occurs, and the extremists are denounced as evil and apart from Islam, there will be no outrage from the Muslim world for the atrocities of their extremists.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Keynesian; A Tool of the Progressives

No one can show the arrogance of the neo-Keynesian economics embraced by the Obama administration, then it’s loudest mouthpiece, Paul Krugman. This time he attacks Paul Ryan and his plan of reducing spending. Krugman’s main complaint, as always, is without high taxes, government will not be able to pay for it’s obligations, in this case, a $4 trillion short fall over 10 years, compared to the Obama alternate scenario. What Krugman will not acknowledge is the economy will grow if you cut taxes on business, that any attempt to cut taxes always shows up a zero sum gain; more taxes equals more tax revenue, less taxes equals less tax revenue. Never mind that in US economic history, especially in hard times, tax reductions resulted in the money being re-invested, record growth, higher profits and more employment; the taxes on these higher profits, even though it was a lower percentage, often results in higher tax revenues than with the higher tax rates. Further, the Obama is back loading the national debt, so by 2020 the GDP to debt is 87%, 2040- 233% and 2060- 433%!. This compared to Paul Ryan’s plan, which never exceeds 99% over the same time periods. (The Congressional Budget Office). Which scenario would you want? I guess it depends whether you want to start paying for the debt now or pass it on to your grandchildren.

Well the Neo-Keynesians (aka Paul Krugman) are beside themselves because, try as they will, no one will buy their snake oil anymore; we have come a long way since said Time magazine said, “We are all Keynesians now”. It (Keynesian economics) can, he said, achieve calculated prosperity by manipulating three main tools: tax policy, credit policy and budget policy. Their use would have the effect of strengthening private spending, investment and production”. $2 trillion worth of stimulus appear to have had little effect on the economies continuing to slide into a worsening recession. The Keynesians were well known for their dire warning that the GI’s returning from WWII would cause rampant unemployment and a clasped economy if not steered by their theories. The result, without Keynesian steering was the opposite, yet the Keynesians were so entrenched, they gave themselves credit for the prosperity that followed.

The inherit flaw in Keynesian theory is the human element. John Maynard Keynes assisted running the wartime economy during WWII and theorized that if the same type of government planned economy were to exist during peace time, then one could have the idealized government planned economy without sacrificing societal freedoms that occurred in Italy, Germany and the Soviet Union. The problem is, the British were sacrificing because their very existence was at stake. Take away that inducement, and citizens start questioning the extent of their sacrifice just for the good of the State. The welfare state the neo-Keynesians are now suggesting, has had to create a new entitlement that can only be defined as guaranteed employment. The result of their failed policies has resulted in 9.5% of the population actively looking for work and 16-20% unemployed. In order to address these near depression numbers, the federal government has extended the 6 month unemployment compensation to 2 years. In typical demand side idealism, the Keynesians claim with money in their hands, the unemployed with start spending again and the economy will pick-up. Reality of course is something quite different. When one is faced with living on 60% of their previous wages and no real relief in sight, the unemployed are going to cut back and save wherever they can. Further, it ignores one of the basic truths that exist between citizenry and government. If the government subsidizes something, the people will do it, be it home ownership and marriage, or Welfare and now unemployment; instead of unemployment being a cushion as Welfare was supposed to be, it will become a lifestyle.

In reality, Keynesian theory is just an obscure economic theory that was co-opted by the Progressives to justify big government and the welfare state. Keynesian theory, much like the Man Caused Global Warming scheme, is the classic scheme of an emerging totalitarian regime, using cult science to justify tyranny. Progressives are already talking up the imaginary separation between a planned economy and Democratic politics. "Such assurances are usually accompanied by the suggestion that by giving up freedom in the pursuit of higher values. On the ground people who abhor the idea of a political dictatorship, often clamor for a dictator in the economic field." (F.A. Haytek).

In a forum response to the first paragraph
printed in the Santa Cruz Sentential 8.15.2010 under the heading "Thanks for Krugman". The writer complained of failed Republican policies, this was my response.

"Bush 43 raised the debt 2.5 Trillion dollars in 8 years, Obama has exceeded that in 18 month. Bush 43 was a Progressive and a Keynesian, not a conservative, nor was his father. As with Reagan, his tax cuts were not offset with government spending cuts, but this time the economy could not absorb the debt so the economy floundered. With the exception of rhetoric, Obama has not only continued all of Bush 43 policies, he has accelerated them. One can rightfully blame Bush 43 for our economic mess, since he set in motion all of Obama's policies! As I wrote yesterday, to paraphrase the President, "The choice is whether we want to go forward or we want to go backwards to the same policies that got us into this mess in the first place....(Democrats) have not come up with a single, solitary, new idea to address the challenges of the American people. They don’t have a single idea that’s different from failed Keynesian tax and spend ideas -- not one".

Monday, August 2, 2010

Marxism for Christianity; Jim Wallis, Running With the Devil

The first time I heard Wallis was at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress,  this year in Anaheim. It was no surprise to see a non-catholic at Congress, which is not uncommon. I was not even surprised that he spoke of what he believed was a governmental responsibility toward social justice, as most religions are less concerned with liberty and more concerned with government assistance to the poor. It was his propaganda that these concepts exists as directives from the New Testament and Christ that really caught my attention; "he doesn’t think that private faith based efforts to alleviate poverty are effective, that they fail to go far enough. Wallis makes no denial of being a very large supporter of the vision of social justice that is associated with socialism, growing the power of the government, and a wealth transfers through government coercion Diocese, Bishop have ties to social justice group, which of course is the opposite of what Christ taught, but more of that later. Glenn Beck spent some time talking about Jim Wallis.

Following Glenn Becks deconstruction of Jim Wallis, Wallis responded with an open letter; one aspect of the letter dealt with redistribution In his opening sermon at Nazareth, Jesus gave his own mission statement when he declared, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, he has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." So Jim Wallis equates the gospel or Good News, which was that the Son of Man has come to forgive sins and restore man's relationship with god, with a redistributive form of  social justice and forced salvation. Further; It was written into the Torah as legal code and not just left up to individual charity. It was about "social justice" and even "redistribution" -- two of the least popular words on your show. You regularly criticize other people's "versions" of Christianity. How about Jesus' version of Christianity?.... I was encouraged by that because Dr. King was the archetypal social justice Christian and the primary teacher for many of us on the social implications of biblical faith. His personal faith led him to fight for racial and economic justice -- social justice. What Jim Wallis conveniently leaves out is Dr King was a conservative who's fight was for an equal playing field and personal responsibility. Dr King wanted blacks to have all the advantages that white society offers so they could share in the riches of our country through equality, hard work and love of country; this is what he meant by social justice. Jim Wallis social justice is a redistribution of wealth and forced equality ending in a collectivist state, where no one is allowed to succeed over anyone else and consumerism is no more; ie Marxism. An Open Letter to Glenn Beck

Jim Wallis' background finds him emerging for the radical and violent left of the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) in Michigan State University; it is also no coincidence that both Wallis and Bill Ayers emerged from the Michigan State University SDS. For those that don’t know SDS and the off shoot the Weather Underground was a Marxist group of radicals and revolutionaries that espoused violent confrontation. The Weather Undergound aspired to take over the U.S. government and establish re-education camps in the American southwest; the organization estimated that it would be necessary to kill some 25 million people "die-hard capitalist[s]" who could not be reformed. FBI Informant Reveals Weather Underground Advocated. Jim Wallis was vehemently against the Vietnam War, not because of the death and destruction, but because it was a hindrance to the growth of Marxism in Southeast Asia. When the US finally pulled out of South Vietnam, Wallis was an apologist for the brutality of the North Vietnamese. During the ongoing the refugee crisis in Vietnam,1970-1980,  Wallis lashed out at the desperate masses fleeing North Vietnam's communist forces by boat. These refugees, as Wallis saw it, had been "inoculated" by capitalist influences during the war and were absconding "to support their consumer habit in other lands." Wallis then admonished critics against pointing to the boat people to "discredit" the righteousness of Vietnam's newly victorious Communist regime. Profile Jim Wallis He of course did not discuss the 165,000 Vietnamese people that died in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam's re-education camps and the thousands of others that were abused or tortured. Vietnam Boat People When he later started his Sojourners enterprise, his members “participated in various activist campaigns that centered on attacking the U.S. foreign policy, denouncing American ‘imperialism,’ and extolling Marxist revolutionary movements in the Third World.” (FrontPage magazine).

Remember that Marx felt that religion is the “self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again.” and “The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions”. In other words one purpose of Marxism is to replace the illusion of religion with the human fulfillment that can only come from the state. Wallis’ belief in this form of collective redemption is anti-Christian. It is the belief that salvation can only occur by the people following the dictates of the state; god is eliminated. It is the belief that salvation will occur when Cap and Trade is passed or when health insurance reform becomes the law of the land and when wealth is properly re-distributed by the state. But Christ did not tell his followers to feed the poor for the purposes of ending poverty, or even to relieve the suffering of the poor; the feeding of the poor was solely for the salvation of the individual. Christ did not view social status, class or economic status as an issue in need of justice; the concept of social justice is irrelevant to individual salvation, so Wallis has to re-invent Christ as a community organizer. Wallis wants to replace Faith, Hope and Charity with government coercion. When Christ's apostles voiced concern about their material needs, Christ told them man does not live by bread alone. When Judas complained that the scented oil being used on Jesus feet could be sold and used to feed the poor, Jesus told him, “You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me”. Wallis’ belief in redemption through deeds, negates true Christian redemption, which is the acceptance of Christ as ones personal savior. There is little doubt that Wallis views Christianity not as a relationship with Christ, but a vehicle to institute Marxism. F.A. Haytek describes this process as such;

The most effective way of making people accept the validity of the values they are to serve is to persuade them that they are really the same as those which they, or at least the best among them, have always held, but which were not properly understood or recognized before. The people are made to transfer their allegiance from the old gods to the new under the pretense that the new gods really are what their sound instinct has always told them but what before had only been dimly seen. And the most effective technique to this end is to use the old words but change the meaning. Few traits of totalitarian regimes are at the same time so confusing to the superficial observer and yet so characteristic of the whole intellectual climate as the complete perversion of language, the change of meaning of the words by which the ideals of the new regime are expressed.” (Road to Serfdom).

One area that Wallis tried playing both sides is abortion. While waving the pro-life flag, it would be hypocritical in the highest order to claim that one could be aligned with President Obama and pro-life. President Obama is not pro-choice, he is pro-abortion. Like no other politician, President Obama has championed abortion, not as the necessary evil that comes from most pro-choice advocates, but literally something of inestimable value that empowers women and extols the beauty of socialism. The juxtaposition he plays is that abortion is to divisive to allow a law that protects the unborn. It's the classic Nancy Pelosi "cafeteria catholic;" that her Catholicism beliefs don't need to infringe on her public life, so politically she is rightfully pro-choice. In 2004 Wallis championed the lets compromise on abortion  More than 1 million abortions are performed every year in this country. The Democrats should set forth proposals that aim to reduce that number by at least half. Such a campaign could emphasize adoption reform, health care, and child care; combating teenage pregnancy and sexual abuse; improving poor and working women's incomes; and supporting reasonable restrictions on abortion, like parental notification for minors (with necessary legal protections against parental abuse). Such a program could help create some much-needed common ground. The Message Thing In 2009 Wallis reiterated his  pro-choice stance by declaring; "I am encouraged that President Obama’s first action on abortion was to release a statement supporting a common ground approach to reducing abortion, even as he also reiterated his policy of supporting legal choice." ...but Wallis Surprises and Disappoints  Wallis here claims to serve two masters, but his past behaviors shows he is only loyal to one. Wallis is also dedicated to same sex marriage "he thinks the state should sanction gay marriage and that churches should hold ceremonies marrying gay." Diocese, Bishop have ties to social justice group His magazine Sojourners contains ads for pro gay marriage groups .What is fundamentally wrong here is the belief that one can decide what tenets of the church one will follow (and which ones not) as not to be politically insensitive in the secular world. But as Mathew 25 tells us, when Jesus comes and you have not filled you lamp with the word of god, Jesus will say,  Truly I tell you, I don’t know you!

Don’t be fooled by the likes of Jim Wallace and Obama’s other religious mentor, Rev Jeremiah Wright and Black Liberation Theology*. In the final analysts they are defined by the lesser known theme of the dictatorship of the proletariat; to each according to their ability, to each according to their contribution. It is the anthem of Satan.

*According to Black Liberation Theology, the black race was disparaged by the white race who stole their birth right. Collective salvation will occur through social justice when the whites divest themselves of everything they have stolen from the black race. With it's basis in the Emergent Church heretical doctrines, "This new collective spirituality leads people into a socialistic community where rituals, practices, and social justice become a means of salvation, but not the salvation you think of in a personal sense of being born-again through Jesus Christ. This is a collective salvation that includes whole cultures and communities who follow the way of someone referred to as Jesus."(