11 Oct 2008
Why was their report not headed "Palin acted lawfully and properly", instead of "Palin abused power"?
Blanchflower disagrees with himself in the same report, second finding, quote:
"Governor Palin's firing of Commissioner Monegan was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads."
How can "lawful and proper" suddenly become "abuse"? Is it not Mr. Blanchflower that needs investigating over such contradiction?
The BBC has also chosen not to mention the investigation is not a criminal one, and has been conducted by partisan Alaskan Democrats who appointed Blanhflower and has as much low weight as any other inter party mud-slinging. Instead it will be spun into Watergate Two by the media.
If the BBC had read any of the report, how could they so fail to report the glaring contradiction of the second finding? Perhaps they will read it now.
And why is the BBC calling this item "Troopergate"? That itself is a spin. The trooper Palin wanted dismissed admitted he taser gunned her own 10 year old nephew, which was cruel, dangerous, even potentially fatal and could be prima facie child abuse, admitted he poached wildlife but denied being drunk on patrol or threatening to kill members of the Palin family. Quite a list.
How about "Tasergate", or would that raise questions that would not lead to anti-Palin conclusions?
9 Oct 2008
He remains a cypher , even to the British Ambassador in the US who briefed Gordon Brown. Unless you never grew up from 60's, Obama looks like a weirdly contemporary retro-radical, pushing for Main Street. I wish it were not so, for the guy has true talent aplenty to burn.
As the most left wing US candidate of all time ( not that this does not please some) I cannot see how the massive expansion of government/spending/entitlement his kind always invokes would help the USA, broke as it is, ..but politics goes in cycles and the Dems certainly have the pendulum.
Thatcher/Reagans's idea to deregulate prudently so the deserving and thrifty could better become house owners degenerated 10 years on into cajoling the undeserving, indigent and un-creditworthy into bad loans . Greed on Wall Street? Politicians passing the buck..after all this was not triggered by anything other than the artificial housing boom of the past 15+ years, fed by "politically correct credit" which Fannie and Freddie re-cycled in an act of fiscal criminality, all over the world. It was a scam, a house of cards - nothing more or less.
Is it reasonable that bankers, who depend upon their jobs by not losing money, would give away absurd loans from "greed"? Why were bankers in our father's time not similarly "greedy"? Or were they allowed back then to judge their loans on their merits? Those who swallow the "greed" red herring will get choked by the nasty bones that are the facts. For it is not Lehman Bros etc ( greedy though some in these businesses were) who caused this crisis. It was improvident lending, sanctioned by Congress and encouraged by them since 1977 but paced faster every year.
We are not in a "corporate salary crisis" or a "commodities boom crisis" and the only "greed crisis" exists in the minds of Congress trying to palm off their duplicity on frightened voters - the mother and father of our problem is real estate and "subprime" at that, and so it is named.
Of course, lending to everyone for political reasons ("affirmative lending" would be a good term) put huge pressure on the natural supply and demand chain of housing, forcing up prices even more in the 90's and current decade. In a phrase, it was a pyramid scheme that would collapse ( as was warned by some fiscal conservatives many times).
After a period of anti-American gloating so typical of the superior moral beings that are Europeans, I see the chickens have come home to roost there too.
Again, the problem is not one of deregulation but too much regulation in the critical housing market, replacing the decentralised prudence and decisions of the traditional banker with a command-style regulation from politicians/pressure groups to loan to any and everybody.
This was accompanied ,at least in the USA, by actual fines and penalties, all in the name of egalitarianism and helping social mascot groups ( the unemployed, illegal immigrants, racial minorities regardless of median income, drug addicts, people with bad credit rating, trailer trash etc). Why? It seems charitable on the surface, but in the end it was to buy votes. In the 1990's the process accelerated.
Indeed, by 2005 a full 19% of the massive loans backed by Fannie and Freddie that year were "subprime" ( i.e. loans a banker would not make without threats or cover from politicians, or both). Hence the absurdity of random tele-callers offering loans to every bum in Europe and the USA, to fullfil, like little communist workers, their "quotas" of "non-discriminatory" loans to please Congress and courts. I do not say there were no other factors to the current crisis outside of the sub-prime, and one cannot blame the uncreditworthy for taking the chance for what they saw as a better life. Yet only the sub-prime problem could have triggered the uncontrollable meltdown that started some months ago, as house prices steadily dropped for the first time in over a decade.
It was a huge bonfire of the vanities in which we are all burned. I agree with the 60% of Americans who would, as polled yesterday, not return a single member of Congress to power in Nov if it was their call. But it's not. Congress has rigged their choices as well.
All of this is why I hate Sarah Palin. She was in Alaska, has never spent a minute in Congress and is the only one of the four candidates who has zero blame for this mess. Indeed, while Washington was bankrupting the USA, she put Alaska into the black and got an 85% approval rating from both parties. Bi-partisanship in action, I suppose. She is the only candidate to have never accepted a dime from Fannie and Freddie. Obama grabbed $125 thousand and even McCain took a modest $15 thou. Sarah is the dimwit serial -breeding hick who is not fit to lead America, or so I am told.
16 Sep 2008
Of course the interview was censored by ABC who cut important portions from it. The entire unedited interview is now available here. Listen to what ABC cut out of the interview, and make your own mind up about Palin-The-Warmonger the left and the Democrafts are frantically spinning this week:
PALIN: What I think is that smaller democratic countries that are invaded by a larger power is something for us to be vigilant against. We have got to be cognizant of what the consequences are if a larger power is able to take over smaller democratic countries.
And we have got to be vigilant. We have got to show the support, in this case, for Georgia. The support that we can show is economic sanctions perhaps against Russia, if this is what it leads to.
It doesn’t have to lead to war and it doesn’t have to lead, as I said, to a Cold War, but economic sanctions, diplomatic pressure, again, counting on our allies to help us do that in this mission of keeping our eye on Russia and Putin and some of his desire to control and to control much more than smaller democratic countries.
His mission, if it is to control energy supplies, also, coming from and through Russia, that’s a dangerous position for our world to be in, if we were to allow that to happen.
The treatment of Sarah Palin by the media must stand as the most despicable hit-job undertaken on a Presidential candidate by the mainstream media in recent times. The chances are it will backfire splendidly in their faces - the American people are not fools.
14 Sep 2008
There is no evidence whatsoever that McCain’s campaign has made any derogatory remarks about Obama’s race. Like him or not, McCain is acknowledged even by his enemies as a true American hero, and a veteran maverick politician of considerable personal honour. Are all the voters in Central Province tribalists because they never voted for Mr. Odinga? Are the Germans racist because they have not a single non-white senior cabinet minister and the same for most Western European countries? Are the people of Nyanza ethnicists because they refused to vote for Mr. Kibaki? What nonsense – yet Americans are threatened with being branded “racists” if they do not elect Mr. Obama. This is plain anti-American bigotry, holding Americans to standards that are not even asked of others. Perhaps Mr. Kelley can inform us if Kenyans vote, on the whole, for tribal personalities or for parties?
Mr. Kelly was better served informing Kenyans of various facts of American politics: that the USA historically votes for Republican presidents most of the time, that there are almost equal numbers of Republican and Democrat party members who vote for their party above all, that Obama made a huge blunder in not taking Hilary Clinton as his running mate and that he is, however brilliant, fresh and eloquent , the most inexperienced person to ever run for US President, against a veteran Republican who has cunningly chosen a woman running mate.
If Kenyans do not vote based upon whoever Ugandans or Chinamen might like to see in State House, why should Americans take the least notice of what foreigners want? Obama is not standing for President of the World, which he might win – first he has to convince US voters.
Some 87% of US voters are non-black. Obama could never have got where he is on their paltry votes. True as Mr. Kelley states, only a few black Republicans attended their convention – most vote Democratic since 1945 and they are free to have that choice. President Bush put more blacks into positions of power than any President to date, as see Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice, to name two. The idea the Republicans are against blacks is a smear.
As for Mr. Mathiu gleeful reprinting of McCain’s convention speech as basically being delivered by a senile, out of touch old fool addressing a despicable bunch of cronies ( who only happen to represent about 0% of American voters!) he should keep it up if he wants Obama to lose. Americans reading it might feel so insulted as to vote for McCain.
8 Sep 2008
There is no doubt that the serially biased US mainstream media are determined to bork McCain's VP pick, Sarah Palin. As is well known, the left's fierce devotion to free speech only applies to groupthinkers. Those who exhibit thoughtcrimes outside of the leftist narrative that the MSM obligingly controls and steers will be borked. The last person who suffered this shameful treatment was black Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.
Feminist Florynce Kennedy.....on the importance of defeating the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court, said, "We're going to bork him. We're going to kill him politically. . . . This little creep, where did he come from?"So far all the MSM have to run with is the idea that Palin is at fault for the attempted firing of her former brother-in-law from the Alaska police. What mileage the media hopes to get out of this is severly dented by the well documented facts: Palin's brother in law tastered an 11 year old boy, broke state hunting regulations and was caught driving drunk on duty. He also is on his fourth marriage.
Thus The Guardian runs the "investigation" smear in a recent edition, conveniently failing to note exactly just what sort of character Sarah Palin's former brother-in-law actually is. I doubt Mr and Mrs. Average American will do anything except pat Palin on the back.
More laughable is that the MSM, who play softball with regard to any investigations into their democratic pets (the John Edwards no-story being the most glaring latest example), have gone into a frenzied hits against Palin but simultaneously spread the lie that it is Republicans who are the "attack dog" party and the "smear artists".
So successful are the media in producing newspeak terminology that they have managed to get "swiftboating" into the language as "the false accusation of someone for political purposes". Yet the famous anti-Kerry "Swiftboat" political ads of 2004 were never challenged as to the facts they spoke of. If anything, the word should stand for "accurate accusation."
Will Palin survive the cloud of smears the left has inundated her with? I have my doubts. McCain is too well known as a war-hero and patriot to try that on him, but it's open season on moose hunting mamas and she will be lucky to survive. However the latest Rasmussen poll showing 51% of Americans think she is being picked on also indicate that blow back from a fed up electorate could easily scorch the Democrats.
6 Sep 2008
Blood on the floor and it's Barack and Biden's: more people watched Sarah Palin's speech than St. Barry's. More people watched the RNC convention than Mubarak's styrofoam faux-Nuremburg rally. In fact more people watched John McMelanoma on his final night than ever before in
People turning on the media generally for the cloud of smears and lies they emitted when their anointed Obamus the First suddenly faced the shock-gasp-horror of the Esquimo inbreeding, caribou eating, wilderness trash that is Sarah Palin.................and her genetically challenged family.
Obama will now trot out a lot of chisel faced wimmin and members of the US Female Welders and Hardhats Lesbian Coalition to counter the moose -murdering serial mama from Sticksville.
Media fuming: their breathless declaration that Britol Palin is pregnant actually backfired - they thought it would annoy Republicans and the religious. That's because the mean fire-and-brimstone image they have of such people is entirely the creature of their own liberal 0.5 child-per-couple fantasies. The right on the other hand loves babies (Baracky: an unwanted pregnancy would be "a punishment" any of his daughters should abort if it happened).
They especially love those who don't chuck 'em down the hospital chute - or in Baracky's case, he was the only member of the Illinois legislature to vote to allow born-alive late abortions to die without medical care. Media love, Palin 40.
The Reps have so much red meat between their teeth now that the Barracuda (Palin's nickname) can't digest it all. The next event in about 10 days is Sarah, the pitbull with lipstick vs. bloviating Joe Biden, one of the least accomplished hacks to occupy the Senate for the past 36 years and renowned for his large foot-in-mouth once he gets going. On the other hand as the eternal chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, he knows where
Key moment of that debate? When Biden runs into Sarah with the "experience" line and the Pitbull sweetly points out that The O-nointed One not only has less executive experience than her, but that Biden himself is on public record stating Obama is not qualified by experience to be President over John McCain. Ouch, ow...gasp...........
4 Sep 2008
New York Times, 1984, on Geraldine Ferraro as Vice Presidential nominee
Three front page stories on the pregnant Bristol Palin.
New York Times, 2008
3 Sep 2008
2 Sep 2008
Half--Muslim mixed race child with zero experience knocks out America's biggest political family in primaries. Takes on on "tortured for two thousand days" war hero maverick/serial melanomist, who was written off 2 years ago, in a tight 2008 Presidential race.
After the Obamessiah takes an early lead, maverick John McMelanoma fires back at Democratic identity politics via a secret weapon: unknown 44 year old Alaskan beauty Queen VP pick Sarah Palin who hunts, fishes, flies planes, shoots bears and knows how to prepare a mean mooseburger.
Beauty Queen Sarah at once accused by lefty media of having faked her Down Syndrome 5 month old baby's birth and claims baby shown to media is her daughter's. Press holds breath as is soon revealed actually the Beauty Queen's 17 year old daughter is pregnant, by a schoolmate whose Facebook descrip reads "redneck" who "is not looking forward to having children".
Lefty media start piranha hunt and smell blood until St. Barracky (own mother at time of birth: 18 years) steps in and calls it off.
Meanwhile, Beauty Queen's husband revealed as a world class "snowmobile racer" who votes Democrat! Works in a "World Deadliest Catch"-type fishing boat. Lefty press dig hard and find he has a Driving-Under-Influence arrest 20 years ago. Bloggers point out St. Barracky also admitted in public to using cocaine 20 years ago. Public chuffles.
Obamessiah campaign, reeling from sneak Alaskan attack (McMelanoma was a Navy pilot in Vietnam days) blast Miss Alaska for "lack of experience", producing extreme hilarity as even the most dim witted voter notices that applies to the Obamessiah himself. Only he is running for Prez and she isn't!.
Meanwhile a hurricane bears down on New Orleans and will it be another Katrina? Is it an act of God to strike down the evil Republican Bushitler/McMelanoma cabal once and for all, during their convention? Or an act of the Devil to wipe the media focus from Emperor Obamus' temple gathering just 48 hours before?
Who cares? How much would you have to pay for this stuff in a movie theatre? Who could possibly make it up? How utterly boring the rest of world politics seems.
God I love America!
9 Jul 2008
At least the UK's Times has an article on this pounding of what once looked like an unbeatable terrorist force. Of course the same leftist media who parroted that " one can never win against terrorism by military force" now have nothing to say: their anti-American mascot Bin Laden lives in a cave in Waziristan, two thirds of his cadre of leaders is dead or captured and the branch in Iraq, the standard bearers for what Bin Laden called the most important fight against America, has been totally routed and the leadership killed.
3 Jul 2008
Bok/Black match-ups have an intensity all of their own in world rugby and for nigh on 100 years and this one is no different with the World Champ South Africans desperate to prove their superiority against a New Zealand side that feels bitterly cheated of the same title in 2007. They are focused with X-ray intensity on penetrating and destroying the Boks 12 match unbeaten run. Bragging rights, the inside track to the Tri-Nations '08 trophy and the IRB No 1 ranking are all on the line.
SA's first non-white coach, Pieter de Villiers, has chosen a very good side with many excellent players of colour. The full set of new laws will be on display for the first time too, meaning each side will be stretched to the full limit of their speed and endurance in the machine-gun rapidity of the experimental rule changes. However, scrum advantage plays an enhanced role under the new laws and this is where de Villiers may have erred. The All Blacks have a powerful scrum and a very destructive front row that pulverized England in two recent Tests - yet de Villiers, who paired his best front row with BJ Botha and exciting new black prop Beast Mtwarira against Wales three weeks ago has inexplicably left Botha at home.
Perhaps there is politics at play here, with de Villers having to field, by some rumored unwritten agreement with the SA sports authorities, a high number of "coloured" players - or perhaps he has just made a mistake. You simply must get parity, if not go-forward, at scrum time under the new laws, since the defenders have to stand 5 yrads behind the scrum which gives the attackers a big advantage. I can't see de Villiers possible combinations of Steenkamp/Van Der Linde and young first-timers Mujati/Mtwarira doing this in Dunedin against the best, when they failed to manage the front-foot against lesser opposition in recent weeks.
The Boks best card will be the lineout combination of world class locks Victor Matfield and Bakkies "Pickup Truck" Botha whose work in this department is simply brilliant. Therefore, expect magical All Black no 10 Dan Carter to do everything to avoid lineouts while his classy backline of Nonu, Leon McDonald, Sivivatu and possibly Conrad Black (if chosen) try to run the Springboks ragged with fast play from side to side of the pitch.
With Captain Ritchie McCaw out of action, the Bok backrow should shade the All Blacks led by Rodney So'ialo but de Villiers may opt for Luke Watson instead of his hardest combo of Burger,Juan Smith and a resurgent Big Joe Van Niekerk at no 8. In fact, de Villers has so many quality backrowers he is probably spoiled to get this vital balance perfect. New Zealand may not match up here, giving the Boks a real chance at the vital breakdown ball - and a win.
He would be wise to suit up 5 forwards and only two backs on his bench, since in runners Pienaar and Steyn he has two backs who can cover every backline combination. Since two of his loose forward bench, Spies and Kankowski, are as explosive and fast as backs in their own right, this could give the real edge. But, as I write,one is unsure of who de Villers will actually pick.
Every Kiwi is dangerous, but Maa Nonu especially so at No 12 and with the clever Conrad Black at 13, the Boks likely pairing of John de Villers and Adi Jacobs are going to have their hands very full indeed, let alone with the brilliance of McDonald and Sivivatu. The new coach wants to play an expansive game but will the Bok no 12 and 13 get the space and time to deliver their clever touches? It must be in doubt. Again, the Boks will likely play JJ Pietersen on one wing, yet he is a shadow of his 2007 form when de Villers might have moved incumbent, on-form fullback Conrad Jantjes to the wing and played the always reliable Percy Montgomery at fullback, even given he is 34 years young but still playing near his very best. This mega-Test will come down to how clever each coach is with his final line-up and if amything de Villers has more options than Graham Henry for once - and more chances thus to get it wrong.
My head gives this match to the All Blacks on home soil and by about 7 points but it will be a close run affair and certainly is the most awaited clash for years. My heart goes to the Boks who can certainly win and have the best chance against New Zealand at home for many seasons - but certainly is a word that almost always comes undone against a fired up bunch of All Blacks on home winter soil. Have your smelling salts and blood pressure guage to hand when you switch this one on.
18 Jun 2008
"It is sad to read here people speculating as to why the Bush admin neither wanted the captured terrorists to be treated as Prisoners of War under Geneva Conventions, not executed summarily as the laws of war and Geneva would have allowed. Many seem baffled by this. The answer is surely, that POWS cannot, under Geneva, be interrogated beyond "name,rank,serial number". And if they are summarily executed on or close to the battlefield they would neither be interrogated to give information. They would be dead. If the asymetrical war against international WMD seeking terrorists is not to be conducted by the shadows, the questioners, the isolation of the suspected, by harsh and secret methods, just who will conduct it? The San Francisco circuit of judges? The FBI? How about the UN? Wait, let's call on the ICC in the Hague.
The Bush admin did the world a huge service by trying to act on what waffling bodies like the UN have been paralysed over for decades - the treatment of terrorists and "unlawful combatants" or the new breed of mega-terrorists. It is indeed Bush's brilliance, not his detriment, that he realized the old Geneva Rules were useless in the face of a conspiracy so vast as Al Qaeda. If international terrorism had not been stopped cold by America's aggression post 911, the EU and others would probably be asking George Bush for the Gitmo blueprints long ago.
For those as naive as Obama,who trumpet how civilian courts dealt with the 1993 WT bombings, one has only to ask: just how effective were those civilian trials in stopping attacks on the USA and US citizens? Not at all, if we go by the Africa Embassy bombings, the USS Cole and of course the whole run in to 9/11.
Contrast the Bush approach when, with every fanatic in the world supposedly desperate to attack the American heartland, not a single attack has taken place. rather, the terrorists have been constrained, or sucked into killing fields like Iraq and slaughtered, so that Osama now hides in a Waziristan cave and most of his deputies are dead or in Gitmo. This, we are told ,is a failure. The blind sheik rotting in a New York jail after the 1993 attacks who gave us no information on the holocaust of Americans that was to come, is one learns, a success.
If America's standing in the world is low, it is largely because of the dismal and disloyal role of media, American included, in not explaining what is patently explainable: that WMD seeking mega-terrorists do not fall whatsoever under any of the protected categories of combatants under the Geneva Conventions and Rules and Conventions of War. According to the Geneva Conventions, they are war criminals and subject to summary justice.
With the terrifying possibilities of nuclear and bio-terrorism around us, which our enemies have assured us over and again they will use the minute they can obtain the weapons, to give foreign terrorists superior access to US justice than Nazi Werewolf partisans, foreign spy saboteurs in the Revolutionary War, German saboteurs on US soil in WW2 and a host of other examples including captured Barbary pirates if we go so far back, is an act of unbelievable stupidity and nothing more than a Supreme Court supremely out of touch with reality."
16 Jun 2008
Honda makes first hydrogen cars
The Japanese car manufacturer Honda has begun the first ever commercial production of a hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicle.
The medium-sized four-seater, called the FCX Clarity, runs on hydrogen and electricity, emitting only water vapour.
Honda claims the vehicle offers three times better fuel efficiency than a traditional, gasoline-powered car.
Once more, like so many "green products" this turns out to be a PR gimmick more than something we shall all be driving in 5 years, or perhapos even 50.
13 Jun 2008
This is unheard of in any Common Law jurisprudence and goes against well established earlier Supreme Court cases and precedent concerning aliens making war on the united States. It is a stunning blow against the US military and the safety of Americans, and a ghastly mainstreaming of terrorists , and by extension even foreign armed forces, into the heart of US civilian courts.
There is a far finer take on this terrible decision here at the NRO which makes sobering reading. My jaw dropped and my heart ached as I read this mystical extension of the US Constitution to cover those who have plotted and executed attacks upon us from foreign countries where they were captured. As Justice Scalia said in dissent, the decision, " sets our military commanders the impossible task of proving to a civilian court, under whatever standards this Court devises in the future, that evidence supports the confinement of each and every enemy prisoner."
As has been said, no great power is ever defeated from without, without first defeating itself from within. As for Justice Kennedy, I never thought I would say this about a Supreme Court member, but the only remedy is his impeachment, which sadly will never happen.
12 Jun 2008
Wales vs Springboks, 2nd Test: This should be a no-brainer. The Boks have players with names like "The Beast" (photo above) and "Pickup Truck". The Welsh are all called Jones and after their 43-17 hiding I expect them to be better than last week, for a while and then fade badly in the second half. When they see the Springbok bench they will start looking for their airline tickets - it's awesome. Moderate Bok win.
Oz vs Micks (in Australia): An interesting one, Robbie Dean's first match as Australia coach and he has already, as a good Canterbury Kiwi, been moaning at the soft Aussie forwards. Ireland's are anything but and this could be the best and most even match of the weekend, especially with the super pass of veteran Peter Stringer to serve Ronan O Gara who has got over his bout of RWC "going Irish" ( booze and women) that made him so pathetic in november. Oz to win but close?
All-Blacks v England (in NZ): I don't see the ABs at their best at the moment and they too are grappling with player turnover, but they could put out the coach's grandma and her dog and still beat this depleted and experimental English XV in their sleep. England hope to play an "expansive" game against the All Blacks but the only expansion will be to the Kiwis side of the scoreline. England cannot, by temperament, upbringing, bloodline, genes, training, tradition or ability play an "expansive" game so why don't they give up ttalking and just try to grind the Kiwis down as per ususal? A big score.
A short while after hiring James Johnson as the chief of his Veep vetting panel, suddenly Obama claims today that, he had never actually worked for him. This is in the vein of Pastor Wright and multiple fraudster Tony Rezko, who contrived to get Obama a $250,000 house for about a quarter of the value. In both cases, Saint Baracky claimed these, along with the ranting Rev. Pfhelger, "were not the people he knew" despite he knew one of them for 20 years.
There is also the case of the once fired Austan Goolsbee who "never really" worked for Obama either when he was caught lying about NAFTA briefings he had with Canadian officials, who has now just been re-instated to Obama's team as a top economic policy adviser. The MSM has adroitly dodged Obama's very friendly links to domestic left-wing terrorists Bill Ayers and the charming Bernadette Dorn, once on the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted list.
Obama "never knew them very well" either, despite being neighbours and having cozy political parties with Bill, last seen in public a few years ago dancing on an American flag and stating his complete non repentance for attempting to bomb the Pentagon.
Obama has railed against the corporate greed of slippery sub-prime mortgage bankers. It seems then odd that on his Democratic fund raising staff he has people directly linked to banks like Continental Finance and many others of the worst type of subprime sharks.
Surely the real reason James Johnson, who never worked for Obama despite being appointed by him, suddenly resigned is the Wall Street Journal expose of how Johnson did not disclose the friendly loans he got from Countrywide ( another sub-prime shark) to Fannie Mae, of which Johnson was CEO. At the same time, Fannie Mae was buying Countrywide’s rotten sub-prime loans.
Presumably Obama would say, "This is not the story I read".
31 May 2008
"World population growth, increased food consumption in emerging economies such as China, climate change and increased land being given over for biofuel production are all having an impact on the price of food." says Aunty Beeb.Of course,there is little evidence that "climate change" a.k.a. "weather" is responsible. The excellent page on Wikipedia here does note "climate change" as one of the debatable reasons for food shortages, but assigns it last on the list and in the follow up data, provides almost no evidence for the assertion, even in the exhaustive footnotes and quoted scientific papers.
The Beeb of course has it has as number 3 in their list, that also includes the beloved leftist Malthusianism , "world population growth" is the primary cause. Translation? Abort the little brown buggers and we will be fine.
What the Beeb does not have in their list are factors like: the effect of the anti-free market OPEC cartel on oil and fertilizer prices, the frantic resistance to GMO foods displayed by the grossly overweight European Union populations and their blackmail of developing countries that want to employ GMO crops, the anti-capitalist subsidizing of food prices in especially the EU but also the USA, the role of anti-democratic misgovernment in Asia ( North Korea) and Africa (Kenya included) in producing artificial famines and other factors.
Wikipedia notes quite correctly that "Systemic causes for the world-wide food price increase continue to be the subject of debate." but not amongst the leftists at the BBC, where the matter is cut and dried. Wikipedia experts say:
"Initial causes of the late 2006 price spikes included unseasonable droughts in grain producing nations and rising oil prices. Oil prices further heightened the costs of fertilizers, food transport, and industrial agriculture. Other causes may be the increasing use of biofuels in developed countries (see also Food vs fuel), and an increasing demand for a more varied diet (especially meat) across the expanding middle-class populations of Asia. These factors, coupled with falling world food stockpiles have all contributed to the dramatic world-wide rise in food prices. Longterm causes remain a topic of debate. These may include structural changes in trade and agricultural production, agricultural price supports and subsidies in developed nations, diversions of food commodities to high input foods and fuel, commodity market speculation, and climate change."
One factor for sure is the lunatic insistence of the climate dogmatists on bio-fuel production. Whereas the production of bio-diesel in arid climates using the jojoba plant would, for example, be of enormous benefit to poor countries in Africa, instead we have the world's rain forests being cut down ( with a huge loss of bio-diversity) to plant palm oil or large food areas being put over to corn based ethanol, as just one example of the unintended effects of the climate control freaks agitprop.
A conservative perspective starts with the idea that perfect human socio-political or economic institutions are impossible, and that something like "global warming" will always involve trade-offs and systemic solutions, many of which will be imperfect and flawed, and always subject to continuous review and adjustment based on human priorities and freedoms. This is absolutly not what the Beeb wants to hear or broadcast.
21 May 2008
Yet yesterdays decisions by the UK parliament to allow human-animal hybrid embryos, to allow the breeding of "saviour siblings" simply to provide donor matches, to do away with any "right to a father" by those who use insemination or fertility clinics and to stick with killing 6 month old babies in late abortions has made me deeply ashamed of my citizenship in that country.
The founder of the left, Rousseau, was the first to demand the destruction of the family - he even gave away his only child for adoption for "political reasons" and broke his wife's heart for life. He was a monster. The left has continued openly, quietly or even surreptitiously to believe in the next 250 years that we can only have "new humans" when the family, as we know it, is pulverised and remade in a political image.
We truly enter a brave new world of Frankenstein creations with Britain's new legislation.
Anyone who has worked with fatherless children would see that encouraging society to raise the same is utterly irresponsible and costly. Indeed it is the left's own social studies that show those with two stable parents do better in every measure than those from single parent families - social policy cannot guarantee that, but it should aim for it. Breakthroughs last year mean that any human cells can now be used for creating stem-cells and the need for using human embryos no longer exists. The idea of breeding simply to provide spare parts for another human needs no comment. Finally, advances in medicine mean premature children born at 6 months are quite viable and many thousands are today growing into healthy adults, making abortion at 6 months nothing less than infanticide, unless one wishes to argue a 6 month old is just a "fetus" which to me seems utterly unsupported by science or evidence.
Countries like Britain wonder why their core is rapidly being overwhelmed by brown immigrants with a strong sense of family life and spiritual belief and who detest the "values" of their hosts on many levels. Hurry up, is all one can say.
19 May 2008
I’ve never been an Obama supporter. I’ve known him since the very beginning of his political career, which was his campaign for the seat in my state senate district in Chicago. He struck me then as a vacuous opportunist, a good performer with an ear for how to make white liberals like him. I argued at the time that his fundamental political center of gravity, beneath an empty rhetoric of hope and change and new directions, is neoliberal.Read the whole thing.
15 May 2008
"I don’t want to see asparagus on in the middle of December. I don’t want to see strawberries from Kenya in the middle of March. I want to see it home grown."Perhaps in a few hundred square miles worth of ecologically friendly heated winter greenhouses?
"He says it would cut carbon emissions as less food would be imported and also lead to improved standards of cooking. "Yes, the Brits can't wait to go back to a traditional winter dish of pureed parsnips with a slice of deep fried blood pudding. These people are simply hilarious.
I get to ride vile Tuk-Tuks that keep breaking down ( it took a relay to get me back to the bridge later on). Am interviwed by a Uni student on his "English Languarge" (as the check sheet says) practise assignment - complete amazement from this hardened travel warrior that there is no come-on or rip-off. His Task? " Interwiev One Forgneir in One Day".
Usual and expected Communist poverty - spot a Merc 230 SL obviously driven by the relative of a Politburo member. Who else could possibly afford one in Laos?
Stop in at the East-West Restaurant for lunch to discover Sri Lankan lady owner and her quasi-European partner ( all the white folks in this part of the world are so utterly wasted by Indo-China you can't tell their ages or nationalities - suffice to say they are always florid, perspiring, unkempt and more than a little mad) going through the wringer with a People's Workers Party of Laos grande dame. For a Lao she is enormous, well over 5 ft 8, with a beehive hairdo, pancake make-up and an assortment of Party insignia. Am not quite sure what a Sri Lankan is doing running a resto this far up the Mekong, but through the interpreter I can here her pleading ,
" But this man my husband he is not allowed to verking here", as she unfolds endless permits and documents.
The Laoettes are so utterly sweet. I fall in love every time I talk to one. I simply have not met any women like this in 20 years. They seem not from another planet but an entirely different galaxy.
Back to Nong Khai in the late afternoon of my final day. I attend the "Western Cowboy Club" where acres of Thaiboppers jump up and down to the bizarre strains of a Thai rock band, whilst waiters with bowties dump huge ice-cubes into your beer.
To Brendan's Place for the mandatory drunken local Irish publican's visit. I bump into Teak Pete, the pony-tailed ex Vietnam vet who has lived here since 1970. We have a great chat and afterwards I end up across the road (I should point out Nong Khai is a very conservative city with zero of Bangkok's glittering nightlife) at "Nongs Place." In this tiny pub I fall into animated conversation with a public school educated Burmese lad and Mark, a raving drunk who spent 6 years in the 4th Batallion, Kings African Rifles based in Jinja, Uganda.
Meanwhile Dao, a singularly worn out ladyboy, attaches herself to me with the subtltey of a giant squid in feeding mode. After a full discussion of the Greek influence on Afghan architecture, the U.S. Marine and Japanese army casualty rates on Saipan and if Speke the Nile explorer was undone by spending a month in the Queen Mother of Buganda's school for sex slaves, Dao unwinds herself to retire rebuffed and the rest of us stagger off to our hotels.
It's taken two weeks. This is why I came here, this is why I return. I honestly wonder if I should be leaving tomorrow and feel vaguely sad.
12 May 2008
Mr.Leeden is immediatly accused of heing brutally unfair, a hegemon and more. Furious reaction from Asiaphiles are all noted in the responses, but here is my own reaction to their mostly angry comments.
"This hurt response is mostly by people who think that "fascism" is a general insult and not a political situation with certain clear features.
These include hypernationalism (with or without various filters of racial purity), private enterprise rigidly controlled by the state (privatized socialism) and severe abscence of, and hostility to, democracy. One might also add the worship of a mythical and deeply "wronged" past which, if allowed to bloom anew, would prove the superiority that has always been inherent in the genius of the people in question. Looks like China, sounds like China, tastes like China, though of course I may be wrong.
Miss Nguyen needs to be asked, if China possessed democratic insitutions, would the Chinese people allow the forms of abuse they are hidden from at present in Tibet, in the Chinese non-response to the Burma cyclone, Dafur and other events where even the humanitarian instinct is masked in the obsessive need to make primary the national interest, as seen by the ruling clique?
If the answer is yes, they would allow these abuses, then we surely do not understand "Asians" ( whoever those are in that broad canvas) as Ms. Nguyen means them and I am not sure that, on those terms, one would want to.
However I believe that is not the case and giants like China, when they have broad access to denocratic rights, will be forced by their masses to act differently to the loud drum of their current nationalist frenzy."
Let’s talk a little media bias here. The media, I think, wants Kerry to win… They’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being young and dynamic and optimistic and there’s going to be this glow about them… that’s going to be worth maybe 15 points.The attempts to polish the absurd flawed rhinestone that was John Kerry famously failed, but the media is wetting itself at the prospect of helping Obama win the 2008 Presidential race. McCain, once their hero when he seemed to be the anti-Bush in the 2000 primaries, is already being recast as an old, out-of-touch warmonger who is clueless on the economy. Every point McCain tries to make will be relentlessly skewered whilst St.Barry is given a completely free pass. If Kerry and the lizard-like Edwards were given a "glow" in 2004, expect Obama to receive the 1 gigawatt halo effect.
The hidden subtext is already emerging: criticism of Obama is...whisper whisper....racism! Personally, I would have given a black candidate my vote all other things being equal. For their history, they need an extra shake of the dice and had Colin Powell run in 1992, he would have had mine, and everyone else's.
If Obama were a green man from the galaxy, he would never get my vote for many good reasons: he would be the most inexperienced US President in 100 years and is Jimmy Carter re-born, a quasi-religious figure who promises to talk to our enemies and ignore our friends. His international trade policies could set the world economy back "decades", and that is New Labour's Peter Mandelson talking over in Europe, no less. He firmly believes that judges should be left-wing and pre-empt democracy by making new laws from the bench, not interpreting the ones the people we elect actually draft and thinks anything that a citizen can do, government should tax you more to do it better themselves.
He has consorted with homegrown terrorists like Ayers and Dorn, the crackpot Rev Wright and the convicted racketeer Tony Rezko, for all his talk of "new politics" and his wife is an moaner who whines about how hard life is on $500,000 a year and thinks that "they" have always been out to get her and Obama. Who are "they"? Presumably the same typical Americans who arranged for her to get affirmed placements in Americaa's top universities as a black women from a modest background - the shamelessness of "them".
Obama would be the most left-wing President ever elected, a template of the radical "victimolgy" concept of modern identity politics. For all that he remains a supremely gifted and talented young man and perhaps the most perfect politician of the last 50 years - if oratory, sharpness and style over substance is everything, and maybe in 2008, it is.
He will probably win, for not only does he have the media breathlessly behind him (Oh, the new stories, the spins, the angles, the Big Narrative! How their sales will soar.) but Americans have come to believe that their economy is in a severe recession ( it isn't yet), everyone hates them ( they do, and that won't change unless the USA is prepared to give away the store and the keys to the safe) and that unconditional talks with our enemies will make everything fine again. In this, Obama resembles Chamberlain more than Churchill, Carter more than Reagan and blind wishful thinking over reality. Roll on 2012.
8 May 2008
22 Apr 2008
"Al-Qaeda's deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has blamed Iran for spreading the theory that Israel was behind the 11 September 2001 attacks.
In an audio tape posted on the internet, Zawahiri insisted al-Qaeda had carried out the attacks on the US. He accused Iran, and its Hezbollah allies, of trying to discredit Osama Bin Laden's network."
Come on Ayman, even though you planned 9/11, get with the programme, dammit. Everyone knows it was Booooooosh and the Joooooos.
21 Apr 2008
No two Muslims seem to agree what the Koran and Hadiths actually say. Another problem is, we simply don't know what language Muslim prophet Mohammed actually spoke. Archaic Arabic is almost impossible to recover, even by scholars.
Attitudinal change towards Muslim conversion, led by Imams or Mullahs, will have to take precedence over Muslim text, in that case. It will be a very long, slow process since the finality of "the word" in Islam is taken to an extreme not seen in most of Christianity for centuries. Islam also lacks a central authority and indeed since Mohammed's death has interminably warred within itself, something Christians avoided for almost 1500 years.
Indeed, only a decoupling of Islam from Sharia, as has happened in Turkey, will reform Islam enough to permit freedom of conversion, and as this story illustrates, even that is on shaky ground. Some Turks who convert are threatened with death or indeed murdered and this is after 80 years of a decoupled secular state in Turkey.
"Whilst your analysis of the Mungiki situation (SN 20th April) was superb, your dissection of the Obama nomination in the USA was crippled by a narrow perspective.
Contrary to popular fantasy, Americans are open to a non-white President though admittedly a minority are not. Colin Powell would have waltzed to victory in 1992 had he accepted the Republican nomination, but for personal reasons he refused.
Perhaps the overwhelming ethnicity of Kenya politics makes it hard for some to see that objections to an Obama candidacy or Presidency stem not primarily from his race, but from his electability. He is fervent left-winger in a country that is centrist or right of centre politically.
By contrast McCain is a moderate Republican, even a maverick, with a strong populist streak endearing to independant voters. It is these who decide Presidential elections and not the strident minority of Democratic or Republican activists in primaries.
I agree Obama will probably win the Democratic nomination. The Democrats are utterly unelectable in the USA without their usual 90% black support - despite up till the 19040's Blacks solidly voted for the Republicans, the party of Lincoln. That turn-around is another story. You are right that Democratic Party bigwigs will commit suicide politically to deny Obama the nomination, but their objections again have nothing to do with their "whiteness" - but Obama's ideology and thus electability.
To beat McCain, Obama will be scrutinised like never before and his inexperience and extreme left-wing ( in American terms) Senate record could well cost him the final prize - but not first and foremost, as you imagine. his race. Democrats, Republicans, PNO, ODM, New Labour or what-have-you possess one characteristic - a desire to win regardless of candidate."
27 Mar 2008
This has been the black American tradition since around 1940. Previously blacks, most especially those in the South, voted Republican. Most people would be surprised to know that Martin Luther King was one. That's because most people, and almost no Kenyans, have any idea that the Democratic Party in the USA was the party of the slave owners and fought for segregation after the US Civil War right up until the late 1960's. Kenyans are amazed to hear that the Democratic Party supported the Klu Klux Klan and denied blacks all voting rights for 100 years after the end of slavery. They would almost fall over if they learned all the southern state Governors in the time of the great 60's civil rights crusade were Democrats. Yet African-Americans now vote against the Republicans, the party of Abraham Lincoln?
The explanation is the Democratic Party was split between southern and northern in the USA with the south following a racist brand and the north a non-racial type of Democratic Party politics. Most blacks lived prior to 1940 in the south but the Great Depression forced millions to migrate to northern cities in the 1930's where the northern Democratic Party was in control gave them welfare and other forms of assistance they had never seen in their lives under the southern Democrats. Thus black Americans switched allegiance from the Republicans to the Democrats and have kept that allegiance, besides a rare 10% Republicans like King, ever since.
Voting for the Democratic Party has not helped black Americans so much as destroyed large parts of their former independence, thrift, marriage rates and hard work ethic. From the hard bigotry of the southern Democrat , black Americans ran into the soft bigotry of the northern variety. This "kindness" allows for very low expectations of black Americans. They were the subject of endless handouts in welfare, socially ruinous policies that paid them more for having illegitimate children than for marrying, and affirmative action that allowed blacks to have high placement for lower achievement than others academically and professionally.
All of these Democratic Party practises seem to be "progressive" but have a message: "You are not to be held to high expectations because of the past". This is not very far from a hidden message of, "You are not to be held to high expectations because you can't reach them" - hence the soft bigotry.
Politically the Democrats have used every trick in the book to block welfare reform, to prevent the faith based help of the older African-American society, to offer school choices to inner-city parents and replace affirmative discrimination with helping raise the educational standards of black Americans so they can be independent of welfare.
What has this got to do with Kenya Airways? Here is a black run company with under 0.05% expatriates in the work force that was privatised a decade ago when it was a shoddy Government run corporation. Consistently it beats the profit records and service standards of other African airlines, including South African Airlines which has a very high percentage of "white" employees. It is voted often as the best airline in Africa and as a preferred carrier to European ones like British Airways or Air France.
Kenya Airways works to the high expectations of strict international airline standards, not a low expectation that Africans need extra help or are otherwise incapable of running an airline. Instead of being in confrontation with non-African airlines the way black Americans are in confrontation with the entire range of Republican values (self reliance, non-affirmative, small government, anti-welfare), it partners with a major European airline and shares ideas and expertise.
This story is repeated with black Kenyan hotel management as another example. Our large tourism industry meets international standards, not the local standards of small hotels. Consequently, Kenyan hotel managers can be found in Dubai, Europe, Asia and America running hotels and often 5 star ones of exacting international quality. But what if promotions in our local hotel industry, which is the springboard to an international career, met only Kenyan standards which are lower than international?
It remains a tragedy for black Americans not that they should ever vote Republican en masse, but that the Democrats, while offering to help them have actually added to the low esteem and dependency culture that prevents many of them, racism aside, from prospering. If the split between the parties in the black American community was more 60/40 or 55/54 as in most other communities in the USA it would mean a healthy internal debate and dynamic between the endless dependency of affirmative welfare the Democrats offer and the non-affirmative conservative social and economic values of the Republicans.
That would be good for all of America and especially African-Americans. There seems to be no sign either Democratic candidate in 2008 is willing to shift an inch away from the failed past the way Kenyan Airways did.
She writes, "Muslim women who enroll at Harvard and turn up in hijabs at its gyms reflect a strand of Islam that society ought to encourage". What a breathtaking repudiation of the Enlightenment. Muslim women enrolling without hijabs, and showing they are the same as the rest of students not in nun's habits, 18th century Jewish Orthodox peasant woman's dresses, Hindu temple saris or chastity belts - all outward signs of a primacy of religion over secularism - would be an encouragement.
Just like Obama's glaring error in equating his grandmother's private worries to Pastor Wright's public utterances, she fails to see any difference between what all religious people may think in private (as she says, that their creed is the best or true one) and the preaching of Islam's "superiority" in a public place, Harvard Yard. Marcus cannot see her Orthodox relatives personal refusal to shake her female hand as not the same as a secular gymnasium being publicly out of bounds to males - or a loudspeaker blaring "Allah Akbar" in a public square.
It is Marcus that needs to "get a grip" and not those exercised by creeping religious separatism, since the steady advance of "soft" sharia in the form of seemingly innocent setting aside of sexually segregated gymnasia times, for example, is merely the precursor of the demands of hard sharia to come. This is the precise experience of Europe and having allowed the erosion of their values by giving in to "soft" sharia, they find themselves singularly unable to prevent the advance of the hard version. As the cretinous prelate Dr. Rowen Williams of Canterbury recently showed, they may have no alternative but to advance it.
Her article is one more example of the suicide of the Western intelligensia when, having so long fought for sexual equity (let us imagine the response if Christian men at Harvard had made the same request as the hijab-wearing women), they are quite willing to sacrifice the gains and benefits for a one sided "tolerance" of intolerant religious sexism.
19 Mar 2008
16 Mar 2008
"Women may be at risk of mental health breakdowns if they have abortions, a medical royal college has warned. The Royal College of Psychiatrists says women should not be allowed to have an abortion until they are counselled on the possible risk to their mental health.
This overturns the consensus that has stood for decades that the risk to mental health of continuing with an unwanted pregnancy outweighs the risks of living with the possible regrets of having an abortion....................
The controversy intensified earlier this year when an inquest in Cornwall heard that a talented artist hanged herself because she was overcome with grief after aborting her twins. Emma Beck, 30, left a note saying: “Living is hell for me. I should never have had an abortion. I see now I would have been a good mum. I want to be with my babies; they need me, no one else does.”
3 Mar 2008
Donald Kipkorir’s articles are always entertaining and thought provoking but his “After the grand coalition” (March 1st) makes an uneven case for fragmenting Kenya into tribal enclaves as an act of “positive ethnicity”. Such positivism can only come from that which unites people of all cultures and races, not that which narrowly divides them.
One of his proposed tribal regions is the Kalenjin-Maasai -Turkana , a putative “Nilotic” jimbo.* Yet these tribes have historical enmity. Do Sudanic origins long ago make them suddenly compatible? Why not include the Luo in this “Nilotic” micro-state? Other proposals, like for a coastal “Mji-Kenda” state ignore the complication with numerous WaSwahili and Kenyan Arabs, the former slave owners.
North Easterners do not consider themselves one people, despite joint Cushitic origins and languages. Would “forcing” them into an instant micro-state really be better than prodding them, with all other Kenyans, firmly in the direction of Kenya first, tribe second?
And where can one find a place for the Kisii, Samburu, Taita and other large tribes? If they are not to have their own “micro-states” then they must be thrown in as perpetual minorities among larger groups. Where will all this dividing up start, or end?
The example Mr.Kipkorir gives of Germany is misleading. True Germany is federal, but the German tribes were historically and linguistically one people divided by regional differences or religion. They cannot be compared to the diverse and radically differing Kenyan ethnic groups.
Those who emphasize “ethnic diversity” rarely point out that federations, like the USA and Germany, are expressly designed to unify previously sovereign people by making them free to live, work and open business in any part of the federation. If the Kenya tribal proponents wish this, why bother with the expense and complexity of tribal regions? We already have this freedom in Kenya’s current law.
One would be happy to see a Kenya Federation where any Kenyan can work and live, own property and act in politics as they wish, all enforced by the Army and a Kenya version of the FBI. Try preventing a Californian from opening a business in New York and see how fast George W. Bush sends the Federal Marshals to lock you up. This is not what most “ethnic diversity” advocates have in mind but the opposite, namely perpetual superior empowerment of one group, based on where it was geographically circa 1898.
The unity of Kenya may not be a perfect solution, but excessive regionalization could lead to more negative tribalism. There are few signs enough people understand devolution except as a tribal “winner-takes-all” game, as post-election events have sadly shown. This is a trend Mr. Kipkorir probably deplores but is nonetheless a logical consequence of this ideology.
*jimbo - a region or province