Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sarah Palin can't win!

And neither can most of the rest of these potential Republican candidates.

Electability is all about positions AND likability!

Is the GOP doomed to run just another old political retread?

Can we please get a viable Republican candidate who can appeal to the independent voters while not turning off the GOP base? Is that really too much to ask in a nation of this size?

While I may agree with many of her positions, every time Sarah Palin opens her mouth to speak I cringe. Not because of the words themselves but because of the way that they sound coming out of her mouth.

Is that shallow? I think it is but the likability factor, particularly when running against an incumbent president is huge! It is simply political reality.

Palin and likability

This from a May 4th Quinnipiac poll that showed Palin has 95% name recognition but that 58% of those polled would never vote for her!

Enthusiastic Would consider Would never

Palin: ---------15%------------24%---------------58%

Positions on the issues will matter no doubt. But what matters almost as much is the likability of a candidate. That is just a sad and true fact of politics.

Donald Trump was a perfect case in point. Good on many issues but one of the most unlikable figures on the American scene (his results in the Quinnipiac poll were very close to Sarah Palin).

When someone goes into the voting booth to pull the lever for the candidate of their choice, a variety of factors will go into the mix. For many it is just a straight forward ideological decision.

That was evident when despite the anecdotal evidence that told anyone who bothered to look that Obama was no friend of the Jews or of Israel, the Jews came out in droves to vote for him anyway. Why? That's what liberal Democrats do.

Party-line voting is even more prevalent in the races for lesser positions in state or city government where name recognition is low and all there really is to hang a hat on for those not deeply engaged in the process is political party.

So which voting block matters in 2012?

In the 2012 presidential election in which an incumbent is running, there will be economic factors as well as national security factors that enter the mix. If unemployment stays where it is, the Middle East unrest continues and spreads as it is in Yemen right now and gas prices stay where they are or rise Obama will face severe headwinds.

There may even be ideological factors as some traditional Democrat voting blocks such as Jewish voters may actually come to their senses and realize that the country needs the real change of getting Obama out of the White House.

Independent voters need to be drawn in but will be easy to lose!

The voting block that is absolutely needed to take back the White House are the independents.

The ones who tell me when I ask that who they vote for will depend on who the Republican candidate is.

"Really I say, are you happy with Obama's performance since I assume you voted for him last time?"

"I'm not happy at all!" they say.

If you are unhappy why would you vote for him regardless of the Republican candidate? Just keep your vote in your pocket then!"

That is where the conversation will typically end. No rhyme or reason but simply likability and agreement on some of the issues is what it will take to entice the independents away from making the same mistake that they made the last time.

That being said, can't we come up with someone who is good on the issues and who is likable as well?

That's not to much to ask is it? Is anybody out there?

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday cartoon: Worthless institutions!


Memorial Day and links of interest (Gas, Greece and more)

Memorial Day 2011

While enjoying the day, keep in mind what Memorial Day is actually all about. Honoring those who have fallen while defending our country.

TPC links of interest

These stories from The Economic Spy range from debt crisis to energy crisis to personal budgetary crisis. And it's only Monday!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day: A hero's tale

Memorial Day 2011

Monday is Memorial Day, a holiday that salutes the soldiers who have been killed in the service of their country.

The following story is about a hero who single-handedly defended his position on Guadalcanal in World War II.

May 30, 2011 – A Memorial Day Tribute

A Memorial Day Tribute.

Monday is Memorial Day, and I’ll be putting on my faded Marine Corp fatigues and railroad track bars and leading the town’s veteran’s parade. So I thought it would be a good day to tell you the incredible story of my Uncle Mitch.

Since job prospects for high school graduates in rural Pennsylvania in 1935 were poor, Mitch walked 200 miles to the nearest Marine Corp recruiting station and signed up. After basic training, he spent five years rotating between duty in China and the Philippines. When WWII broke out, he was a seasoned sergeant in charge of a machine gun platoon.

That put him on the beach in August, 1942, when the First Marine Division landed at Guadalcanal. When the Japanese counterattacked, Mitch was put in charge of four Browning 30 caliber water cooled machine guns and 36 men, dug in at trenches on a ridge above Henderson Field. The Japanese launched massive waves of suicide attackers all night long, frequently breaking through the lines and engaging in fierce hand-to-hand combat.

If the position fell, the flank would have been broken, leading to a loss of the airfield, and possibly the entire island. After the first hour, all of Mitch’s men were either dead or severely wounded. So Mitch fired one gun until it was empty, then scurried over to the next, and then the next. In between waves, he ran back and reloaded all the guns.

When the Japanese launched their final assault, and then retreated, he picked up a 40 pound gun and ran down the hill after them, firing all the way, and burning all the skin off his left forearm where he cradled it. Mitch’s commanding officer, Col. Herman H. Hanneken, heard the guns firing all night from the field. He was shocked when he visited the position the next morning, finding Mitch alone in front of a twisted sea of 1,000 Japanese bodies. A photo of that grisly scene is below.

Mitch was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in Australia a few months later. After the war, Mitch, now a colonel was handed the plum of all Marine Corp jobs, acting as the liaison officer with Hollywood. He provided the planes, ships, and beaches needed to make the great classic war films, and got to know stars like John Wayne, Lee Marvin, and yes, even Elvis Presley. The iconic fictional hero in Sands of Iwo Jima, Sergeant John M. Striker, was said to be modeled after him.

Tradition dictated that all military officers saluted Mitch, even five star generals, and he was given a seat to attend every presidential inauguration from FDR on. Pacific countries issued stamps with his image, and Mattel sold a special GI Joe in his likeness.

When Mitch got older and infirm, I accompanied him on diplomatic missions overseas to attend important events, like the D-Day 40th anniversary in Normandy. Whenever Mitch was in town, he would join me for lunch with some of my clients with a history bent, and a more humble and self-effacing guy you never met. Sixty years later, those scars were still plainly visible. I once reflected to a guest “It makes what you and I do look pretty feeble, doesn’t it.”

Mitch passed away in 2003 while he was working as a technical consultant to the just released HBO series, The Pacific. The funeral was marked by an eagle which continuously circled overhead, which according to the Apache indian shaman present, only occurred at the services for great warriors.

When I get back from my parade, I’ll take out the samurai sword Mitch captured on that fateful day, a 1692 Muneshige, the hilt still scarred with 30 caliber slugs, and give it a ritual polishing with sesame oil and powdered deer horn, as samurai have done for a millennia, and remember.


Memorial Day is about more than just a day off!

From The Economic Spy

Friday, May 27, 2011

A leader who leads (Cartoon)

And a leader who doesn't

If we had our druthers ...

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Is Pakistan slip sliding away from our grasp? or...

Is it impossible to lose what you never had?

Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination the more you slip sliding away (Paul Simon, 1988) or

If you dance with the devil you have to pay the piper (Unknown)


Through the years it has been painfully apparent to anyone that bothered to look that Pakistan was an AINO, or an ally in name only.

More than happy to take our aid in return for its cooperation in waging the global war on terror, the United States has all along faced the entrenched nature of terrorists and terrorist groups who move in and around the Pakistani government.

Additionally we have faced the constant double-dealing of the nuclear armed Pakistan government leaders themselves. And with it all we received limited amounts of help on any level.

The event that has moved the partnership between our two countries quickly south is of course when we needed to keep the Pakistani government in the dark about our operation to go in and take out Osama bin Laden.

Our meager relations have not been the same since.

Two interesting stories of note, neither one particularly reassuring:

Yankee go home!

"We don't need unnecessary people here. They cause problems for us instead of being helpful," said a Pakistani security official who declined to be identified. He said the withdrawal might start by early June.

Another Pakistani security official said the decision was made because of concerns over the Americans' security and because "resentment all around was very high." (Reuters)

Pakistan finds a new best friend

During Gilani's visit, China gave indications of how it is willing to underwrite Pakistan's sovereignty and stability. According to a May 19, 2011, Pakistani daily report, "China... warned in unequivocal terms that any attack on Pakistan would be construed as an attack on China..."[5] The report, citing highly placed diplomatic sources in Beijing, noted: "Beijing has advised Washington to respect Pakistan's sovereignty... and this was formally conveyed to the United States at last week's China-U.S. strategic dialogue and economic talks."[6] (MEMRI)

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nuclear triggers: Is anyone home at the White House?

The light at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is on, but unfortunately no one with any national security skills is home!

On the same day that the Obama administration leveled new sanctions on Iran for failure to cooperate in the surveillance of its nuclear facilities, the IAEA announced somewhere deep in a report that Iran has, and still is, conducting work on sophisticated triggers that have one use and one use only ... setting off a nuclear device!

At the same time the report indicates that Iran is recovered from the effects of the Stuxnet computer virus that temporarily crippled its uranium enrichment program.

Additionally, that country is hard at work on all other aspects of their nuclear program while sanctions are doing the job that everyone except the President and Democrats knew that they would do which is absolutely nothing!

Presidential strategy

Between alienating our friends and enabling our enemies the President has both sides of the equation covered. Unfortunately for the globe his strategies will work only if the answer someone is looking for is World War III.

So while Iran moves unfettered towards nuclear weapons and President Obama wants Israel to bow at the waste and give up its right to protect itself and its people, remember this phrase that Iran has attached to its Shahab-3 missiles with banners that read:

"Wipe Israel off the map"

With that being the case, what would President Obama do if he stood in Israel's shoes?

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The President plays (ping-pong) and reads (a toast) on his European vacation (Video's)

While it's not golf, the President knows not to let any crisis get in the way of a good time!

Having learned nothing from Netanyau's speech giving skills, the President gives a simple toast for the Queen from cue cards!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Faith and begorrah: Obama embraces his "Irish" roots while burning his Jewish bridges

If it's Monday it must be Ireland, Tuesday tea and crumpets with the Queen and maybe, just maybe next Sunday President Obama will make it to one of the worst tornadic killing fields in U.S. history!

That's only if a better campaigning offer doesn't come up somewhere else in the meantime.

Obama's Irish eyes were smiling

Just how far back in his lineage President Obama had to search in order to find his Irish roots I do not know.

Wherever it was found, this was just the latest example of 2012 presidential election pandering when President Obama tells a crowd in Ireland, "My name is Barack Obama, of the Moneygall Obamas, and I've come home to find the apostrophe we lost somewhere along the way. We feel very much at home." (Yahoo)

Maybe he'll stay there. If not then he'll most likely find a long lost relative of some other nationality so that he can visit and attempt to call that country home.

In that way he can try and attract all of their U.S. relatives of voting age to bolster his sagging approval ratings.

While he celebrated his Irishness over a pint of Guinness in Dublin and enjoyed afternoon tea in England, back in the good old US of A he was being schooled in absentia by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

First he was schooled on how to give a speech from the heart and without a tele-prompter, and then he was schooled on the realities of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

The problem is that in my heart of hearts I don't think Obama really cares about the reality of the conflict.

He seems to only believe in his own reality that it is Israel, not the Palestinians, the Muslim Brotherhood, Iran, Hamas, Syria, nor anyone else, who is the root cause of all of the problems.

The bottom line is that every move he has made in the Middle East says to me that he cares little for the long-term survival of Israel.
  • Ignoring the Iranian nukes crisis;
  • Encouraging the overthrow of Mubarak in Egypt so that now that country is in the position where the Muslim Brotherhood will assume control and negate all treaties and agreements the country has with Israel;
  • For the most part ignoring his failed policies in Libya and Syria where civilian slaughter is taking place but where the leaders have ideologies more to his liking;
  • Bending over backwards towards the Palestinians requesting nothing of substance from them while making outrageous demands of the Israelis.
All of this while his arrogance tells him that while 70%+ of the Jewish vote might not be there for him in 2012, 50%+ most likely will anyway regardless of his positions and policies in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, back at Westminster Abbey, the President signed the guest book with May 24, 2008. Perhaps it was simply a mistake, but imagine for a second what the mainstream media would have said about his intellect if President Bush had done that.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Obama loves what?

For all of the times I have opined about the love our President holds in his heart for the USA, this picture tells the story!

(H/T Notoriously Conservative)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Unscientific poll: Jews still willing to vote for Obama!

Obama, Jews, Israel and 2012: Be careful, be very careful

After listening to the global Muslim outreach speech by President Obama this past week that included his call for Israel to revert back to the pre-war 1967 borders, it brought the same old question back to the fore.

Is President Obama any friend of Israel, Israeli's and of Jews around the world?

Of course the other question has been and will remain how Jews rushed to support, campaign for, vote for and express support for the President in the first place.

We are well aware of the fact that he is a friend and protege of Reverend Jeremiah Wright (until the political heat got too hot) who in turn is a friend and admirer of Louis Farrakhan!

That much we know for sure (see "Obama, Jews and the transitive property"), so logically speaking can Obama be a friend to the Jews and Israel when his mentors are anything but? Guilt by association? That and more.

Why my concern about Obama and Israel now!

With the 2012 presidential election fast approaching it is my hope that liberals, independents and Jews in particular would not be fooled a second time around by the charade and rhetoric of the "Hope and Change" President.

My concern is driven however by my informal and unscientific polling of some liberal Jews that I know who have all said pretty much the same thing: "Who will the Republican alternative be?"

I have answered that question with another question of "what difference does it make?"

If you don't like the Republican alternatives then keep your vote in your pocket I say.

Or if you believe that the two alternatives are bad, use past performance as a guide and vote for the least worst. Using that metric Obama would not stand a chance.

But don't, based on force of habit just throw your very precious votes behind Obama because you don't like the Republican nominee. Put another way, what do you like about Obama?

Liberals and independents voting Obama would in my mind be choosing a president based on omission rather than commission which is no way to a decision. Just doing the same thing they always did before

They need to ask themselves instead "what do I like about Obama and the last four years?"

The man has one thing to hang his hat on, which he will incessantly do, which is the killing of Osama bin Laden.

I give him credit for making the decision although the ability to have had that decision to make came from the prior administration.

What accomplishments does he have to show for his years in office and what failures does he have? Is the country in a better place today because we have Obama in the Oval Office?

  • Are we a safer country?
  • Are we a more secure country (see safer)?
  • Has he been the uniter he claimed he would be or a divider?
  • Has he been a man of his word or simply a politically expedient speaker of meaningless rhetoric?
  • Has he handled the crisis in the Middle East well allowing Egypt to fall and yet sitting by as innocent civilians are being slaughtered in Libya and Syria?
  • Is it mere coincidence that the government of Egypt was moderate and pro-United States and of the other two radical and purely anti-United States? And that by insisting that Mubarak step down the Muslim Brotherhood will no doubt push to sever the treaty with Israel, cut the natural gas supplies and open up its borders while becoming much less our friend?
  • Are we in better economic shape?
  • Are jobs available or is the actual unemployment rate close to 20%?
  • What will happen if the Obamacare bomb is allowed to drop after the 2012 elections? Do you believe it needs to be dismantled?
  • Are we more or less respected around the world? Feared?
  • Do you really and truly have faith in the man?
  • Do you believe that he has the best interests of all Americans in his heart?
  • Do you believe that America is first in his heart?
  • For all of the Jews of voting age, do you believe that President Obama has your best interests at heart?
  • Consider that if Obama spent the country to the edge of the economic precipice with a 2nd term still possible, what would he do in a 2nd term?
  • And the list goes on... fill yours in here!
Americans need to think long and hard when they enter the voting booth in 2012. They need to not vote their ideology but their belief that the man or woman they are putting in the White House is the best person for the future of our country.

This is one of those times when past performance is most likely a good predictor of future results!

Today at The Economic Spy:

May 21st doomsday prophecy or how not to make a financial plan!

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Greece default, a college education and selling that damn loser

While we need to know what's going on in the land of global issues and domestic politics, we also need to know what's going on with our money!

Whether it is the potential for Greece to default on its sovereign debt, predictions for a more active than normal hurricane season, paying for college or deciding whether to buy or sell stocks it all goes hand in hand.

At The Economic Spy you will find the stories that matter today and many that always seem to matter. Here is a look back at some of the stories from this past week:

Friday, May 20, 2011

Obama and Israel: There is never a good time to get thrown under a bus...

... but of course some times are worse than others!

By this time few are not aware of the Obama call for Israel to pull back to the pre-war 1967 borders. It would be, in his words, the end of Israel's "permanent occupation" and the best hope for peace in the MIddle East.

With friends like Obama Israel doesn't need enemies, but of course there are no shortage of those in the region and around the world.

So with the inferior position that Obama placed or tried to place Israel in yesterday, what other bonfires are on the horizon for that country? Here are a couple of pressing ones:

Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

First we have the Muslim Brotherhood. The organization that the Obama administration sees as secular in nature that is of course nothing of the kind. As this group grows in power and influence in Egyptian government so grows the danger level for Israel.

The Muslim Brotherhood near-term goal: "... The chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has called on the country's next parliament to review the 1978 Camp David Peace Accords with Israel, which led to the 1979 peace treaty between the two countries and the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1980.

In addressing the issue of Palestinians who launched demonstrations on the "al-Naqba," or catastrophe, which they call the creation of Israel, Mohamed Badie urged the Egyptian parliament to review the accords, end diplomatic recognition between the two countries and cancel the natural gas agreement Egypt has with Israel.

In addition, Badie intends to work for the permanent opening of the Rafah crossing point with the Gaza Strip from Egypt in an effort to end the issue of securing the borders of the "Zionists..." (G2 Bulletin)

Turkey flotilla to Gaza

On May 31st the Turkey government is allowing a flotilla of ships to once again try to break the Israeli blockade of the Palestinians. It is a clear provocation similar to the one last May 31st in which some participants were killed.

Israel had offered to inspect the cargo on the ships and then deliver the humanitarian aid. The fear was that the blockade was a front for terrorist groups and that the "humanitarian aid" was weapons and ammunition.

The Israeli offer was turned down and relations between Turkey and Israel have deteriorated badly.

"... Sources say that Israeli ambassador to Turkey, Gaby Levy, told the Turkish diplomats that the upcoming flotilla is "also organized for provocative purposes and if a similar situation emerged again, there will not be violent actions as in the Mavi Marmara, but be assured that all that is necessary will be undertaken."

This last comment was interpreted as a veiled threat at the Turkish foreign ministry. Sources say that Levy was informed by Turkish diplomats that Turkey officially cannot stop the convoy.

Sources added that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Levy actually was summoned to the foreign ministry to "send serious warnings" to Israel and to convey Ankara's expectation that last year's "bitter experience" not be repeated..."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Obama, Jews, Israel and the transitive property

Obama Muslim outreach speech at the State Department just the latest red flag from a President who is no friend of Israel or of the Jewish people

I live in an enclave of liberal and far-left people of the Jewish faith, and I am understanding enough to give them a pass on their vote for Obama the first time around. I didn't get it but I give them a pass.

I would hope, however, particularly after his speech on the Middle East today, that they do not make that same mistake a second time.

At some point a liberal ideology needs to give way to common sense!

Obama State Department speech

Today President Obama, in an outreach to the Muslim people, told Israel that in the name of Middle East peace they need to pull-back to the pre-1967 war borders and give up its "permanent occupation" of the territory.

It is through this move by Israel said the President, that the peace process with Hamas, Fatah, the Palestinians and even the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt can begin to take place in earnest. After all, this giveback is a key demand of the Palestinians.

The concessions the Palestinians need to make was made much less clear by the President.

Never mind that a pullback to the pre-war 1967 borders would make Israel vulnerable (more vulnerable) to attack and risk its very existence. President Obama doesn't really seem to care.

The Obama Israel hypothesis in the form of a mathematical equation known as the transitive property

It went like this in case you are drawing a blank.

Transitive property: If a=b and b=c, then a=c. These are the variables:

A= Reverend Jeremiah Wright presenting the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award to a man who "truly epitomized greatness," one Louis Farrakhan.

B= Louis Farrakhan who is the leader of the Nation of Islam and who has made many anti-Jewish and anti-Israel statements throughout the years including:

“These people have no legitimate connection to that land. They didn’t come into existence in the Holy Land."

“Now that nation called Israel, never has had any peace in forty years and she will never have any peace because there can never be any peace structured on injustice, thievery, lying and deceit and using the name of God to shield your dirty religion under His holy and righteous name.”

“The Jews don’t like Farrakhan, so they call me Hitler. Well, that’s a good name. Hitler was a very great man.”

C= President Obama whose spiritual advisor and mentor for more than 20 years is the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Only when the heat finally got to hot during the presidential campaign did Obama cut and run (i.e. the mainstream media had no choice but to acknowledge there was a problem here).

The formula in action

President Obama's (C) speech calling for the end of "permanent occupation" by the Israeli's.

Louis Farrakhan (B) through his own statements is no friend of the Jews or of Israel.

Reverend Jeremiah Wright (A) believes in Louis Farrakhan, his thoughts, opinions and what it is he stands for.

Wright believes in Farrakhan
Obama believes in Wright
Therefore Obama believes in Farrakhan?
You make the call!

If A=B and B=C then A=C!

I believe this makes the Obama administration position a little easier to understand.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Are you fracking kidding me?

The environmentalists will tell you that fracking endangers our drinking water, but is that really the case?

Fracking is a method through which natural gas is extracted from deep below the surface of the ground.

The environmentalists say that the process uses poisonous chemicals endangering the drinking water of millions of people.

They say that fracking has caused drinking water to catch on fire, and in fact number one on the American Rivers list of the most endangered rivers is the Susquehanna River due to the risks they see presented from the fracking process (see complete list of rivers below).

Anyone who believes the have right on their side would be will to debate, correct?

On a recent episode of Stossel environmental groups were invited to present their arguments against the fracking process, but they declined. Here is a clip from the show (if it does not load it can be seen here).

Do I know for sure whether or not fracking poses any danger or is 100% safe? No I don't although I do know this.

When one side of an argument refuses to debate the issue with the other side of the argument, then maybe they don't have the real facts on their side, and instead depend on swaying public opinion with their version of the facts !

Susquehanna River (NY, PA, MD)
Threat: Natural gas extraction

Bristol Bay (AK)
Threat: Massive copper and gold mine

Roanoke River (VA, NC)
Threat: Uranium mining

Chicago River (IL)
Threat: Sewage pollution

Yuba River (CA)
Threat: Hydropower dams

Green River (WA)
Threat: Exploratory drilling and mine development

Hoback River (WY)
Threat: Natural gas extraction

Black Warrior River (AL)
Threat: Coal mining

St. Croix River (MN, WI)
Threat: Rollback of longstanding protections

Ozark National Scenic Riverways (MO)
Threat: Overuse and poor management

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Belgium: 50% of Muslim immigrant children are anti-semitic

Anti-semitic update from the Cannes Film Festival courtesy of Lars von Trier, May 19, 2011:

“For a long time I thought I was a Jew and I was happy to be a Jew,” he began, “then I met (Danish and Jewish director) Susanne Bier and I wasn’t so happy. But then I found out I was actually a Nazi. My family were German. And that also gave me some pleasure. What can I say? I understand Hitler…I sympathize with him a bit.”

Von Trier qualified that “I don’t mean I’m in favor of World War II and I’m not against Jews, not even Susanne Bier” before digging himself deeper. “In fact I’m very much in favor of them. All Jews. Well, Israel is a pain in the ass but…” (The Hollywood Reporter)

Only 50% anti-semitic? I would have thought the number was higher!

Out of curiosity I wonder what the percentage is of Muslim immigrant children who are anti-west, anti-American and basically anti-anything that is not Muslim?

My guess is that while that number might not challenge the 50% number, on the other hand it very well might. That, however, is for another study.

The study that yielded this result was conducted in Brussels high schools and the professor who ran it was somewhat surprised at the high number.

This number you see is about 5X the number of natural born Belgium citizens who are typically anti-Jewish in their own right.

The point is made below that while it is somewhat fashionable today to take up the fight against Islamophobia, the greater problem in Europe may very well be the anti-Jewish sentiment.

From the article at Pajamas Media written by Barry Rubin called "Belgium: Half of All Muslim Immigrant Children Are Antisemitic," the author makes the following assumptions regarding the study:

"–These students don’t learn anything in school that is going to change their minds. Note that these are overwhelmingly people born in Europe and are native-speakers of the local language.

–Regarding the local media, given the hostility to Israel it is probable that antisemitic stereotypes and feelings will be reinforced rather than diminished.

–It seems reasonable to assume that this statistic basically applies to other European countries.

–Hostility to Jews is likely to climb as this sector of the population grows. It is estimated that about six percent of Belgians today are Muslims, climbing to ten percent in 2030. However, the fact that these people are disproportionately living in big cities increases their influence on the society.

–Even though only a small proportion of Muslim immigrants will engage in anti-Jewish violence, the level will increase sharply. So will discrimination plus other activities against Jews grow as these attitudes influence other parts of society or, which amounts to the same thing, non-Muslim institutions try to appease that sector of the population.

–Pretending that this problem doesn’t exist and that only neo-fascist white skinheads exhibit antisemitism is not going to help deal with this issue.

–I’ll bet that antisemitism and not Islamophobia is actually Europe’s number one “hate” problem but very few politicians or leaders are going to say that."

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Obama birth certificate: Timing is everything! or Who are the Nordyke twins?

New anecdotal evidence that, if true, casts serious doubt on the legitimacy of President Obama's birth certificate, and by extension doubt on the legitimacy of...

This story is dedicated to the non-run of Donald Trump

For all of you conspiracy theorists out there (of which I am one, see reference to Manchurian President here) some new information has come to light that may be a smoking gun, or it may not.

For all of you who say the Obama birth certificate was never an issue and that this non-issue has been settled and closed, not so fast.

Personally I have some doubts about the veracity of the whole Obama tale. Born in the United States they say, raised a Christian with Christian beliefs and so on down the line.

There are way to many twists, turns and seemingly half-truths combined with a shady cast of characters that would do an espionage novel proud.

Unfortunately this is not fiction but our reality!

There is far to much reticence on the part of the President to "come clean" with all of the background documentation the normal vetting process would demand.

Basic documentation that a small-town mayoral candidate would have to divulge, and if he did not, the press would effectively have his campaign destroyed.

That of course did not happen in the case of President Obama, mainly because he had the mainstream media in his hip pocket and the Democrat (and many independents) piece of the electorate hypnotized by some vision of a political messiah (an electorate that now has a severe case of buyers remorse).

The Obama birth certificate: Timing is everything!

WND ran an article today that looks at the birth of the twins, Susan and Gretchen Nordyke, the numbers on their birth certificates and the number on President Obama's birth certificate.

The bottom line is that although the President was born a day before the twins and his birth record was filed three days before the twins with the registrar-general, his certificate number is higher than the twins.

This although the birth certificates were issued at the time that the birth record was received.

Coincidence? Just another one of those questions surrounding the President that may never find an answer? Maybe! Or maybe not!

Read the full story of the Obama birth certificate at WND.

Read about foreclosures and the mortgage securitization mess at The Economic Peephole here.

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There is a Santa Clause - Donald Trump is not running for president!

The sideshow known as the potential Donald Trump run for the White House is over!

Was it that reality finally gave way to ego and The Donald came to his senses?

Or was it that some skeleton in his closet was close to being revealed? To run for president these days you had better be squeaky clean, and who know if Trump qualifies.

In any case, it seemed all along that the only one not paying attention to the facts was Trump.

Truth be told he was either going to create a distraction for a real candidate or he was going to take his show on the road to a third party and create havoc.

The one thing he wasn't going to do was to stand a snowballs chance in hell of winning either the Republican nomination or a general election.

Odds at the time of the scratch

The odds at Paddypower.com for Donald Trump to win the nomination of the Republican Party and for winning the White House before he was scratched from the race was 20-1 and 40-1 respectively.

I wouldn't have taken either bet! Now on to the real race!

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Monday, May 16, 2011

What's happening with your money?

Politics and national security go hand in hand with your own personal finances!

In the global society that we live in everything is intertwined in some way. Middle East unrest impacts oil which in turn impacts what you pay at the pump and to heat your house.

The debt crisis in the EU impacts the dollar which in turn can impact the prices we pay for imports and that we get for our exports.

China and the way that it handles the valuation of its currency will play a large role not only in our trade balance but potentially in the decisions made by that country to continue to fund our deficits or not.

You get the idea, but for that reason you need a source for the information that can impact your bottom-line and your financial future, or that maybe just provides some food for thought.

The Economic Peephole

I created The Economic Peephole to provide just that. Here are some recent articles:

Obamacare: Trying to bring a senseless administration to its senses

As Obamacare moves in the direction of implementation there may be hope as legal setbacks, common sense and political courage (or expediency) will hopefully rule the day!

Back in April when the US Supreme Court refused to hear a Virginia request that would have fast-tracked the health-care law, it dealt a blow to the good guys.

The good guys referenced above are those with enough common sense to know that the government, least of all the Obama administration, has any business in trying to overhaul the best healthcare system in the world. To date there have been challenges to Obamacare by about 27 states.

Do opponents of the healthcare reform bill have the opportunity to receive impartial hearings in the courts? Not according to Ezra Klein.

The court system is increasingly less of an arbiter of what is or is not constitutional, but as Ezra Klein says “the legal channel here has become little more than politics by another name. Republicans know it and Democrats know it. Everybody knows it.” (National Review)

So why are there glimmers of hope that Obamacare can be either defunded or reversed altogether?

In this case it has something to do with the setting up of entities known by the Obama administration as "accountable care organizations," but known by the ultimate endusers as impossible to implement and impossible for these same users to succeed participating in it. Accountable care organizations would be the way that doctors would treat and care for Medicare patients.

From the AP:

"... But in an unusual rebuke, an umbrella group representing premier organizations such as the Mayo Clinic wrote the administration Wednesday saying that more than 90 percent of its members would not participate, because the rules as written are so onerous it would be nearly impossible for them to succeed.

"It's not just a simple tweak, it's a significant change that needs to be made," said Donald Fisher, president of the American Medical Group Association, which represents nearly 400 large medical groups around the country providing care for roughly 1 in 3 Americans. Its members, including the Cleveland Clinic, Intermountain Healthcare in Utah, and Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania, had been seen as the vanguard for accountable care.

The medical groups say they are worried they will be left holding the bag for losses, that the government has designed things so there is no easy way to tell which patients are part of the program, and that there's no reliable way to adjust for patients who are sicker and require closer follow-up and more expensive treatments..."

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

With about 20% real unemployment, do MLB players know how lucky they are?

The economy is still very weak and 20% of those who would like to work can't find a job, so maybe baseball players should suck it up and play with that little boo boo!

I don't know about you, but when I hear announcers talk about Major League baseball players and the injuries they have that keep them out of games, it always makes me wonder if these guys know the luxury that they have.

To make a living, if an average MLB salary of over $2 million is simply making a living, playing a kids game!

Manager Terry Collins of the New York Mets has an opinion.

Read more about it at The Economic Peephole here.

Osama bin Laden dead does not a safer world make! (Video)

Now that Osama bin Laden is dead and gone, can the world relax in the knowledge that the war on terror is over and all of the bad guys will fade into the background?

The answer is a resounding no, and that in fact the world may actually be be less safe. bin Ladens death could be a trigger that would open the floodgates for sleeper cells around the world. This fact is true despite the celebrations and the back-slapping emanating from the White House.

While the killing of bin Laden may make for some semi-good political fodder, the threat, according to the book "The Terrorist Next Door" for the continued attempt at the Islamization of the United States is very real and very present.

Watch the video below, but I would also recommend reading an interview that was conducted by the National Review with the author of this book, Erick Stakelbeck.

This is a short excerpt and you can read the article in its entirety at the National Review here.

KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: "... Don’t you feel silly having a book with the title The Terrorist Next Door out during the month that the War on Terror (or whatever we call it now) officially ended?

ERICK STAKELBECK: My timing couldn’t have been worse, right? According to some on the Left, the death of Osama bin Laden means we can now move on from our so-called terrorism obsession and concentrate on really important things like . . . climate change. And they’re serious. Yet al-Qaeda is already no doubt seeking to regroup, with scores of eager young recruits and wanna-be jihadists — including in the U.S. — marching to the online drumbeat of Anwar al-Awlaki and clamoring to avenge OBL’s death. Meanwhile, Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism is, at most, two or three years away from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and our own Pentagon says the mullahs could have ICBMs that can reach the East Coast of the United States by 2015. Of course, before that happens, Iran will likely unleash its terrorist proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas, and provoke a regional war with Israel (in which event Hezbollah might very well be unleashed in Europe and the U.S. as well). Oh, and did I mention that the Muslim Brotherhood — the granddaddy of all jihadist groups — will likely emerge as the major power broker in Egypt by the end of the year, as its various front groups throughout the West continue to gain influence? But now that Obama got Osama, we’re told, all is now right with the world. Anyway, terrorism and jihad are so 2004..."

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