Video of the Day: Franklin Graham, Obama Scoffed at Jesus

Video of the Day: Franklin Graham, Obama Scoffed at
Jesus

January 30th, 2011

Not everyone appreciated Barack Obama’s Tuscon shooting
memorial. The Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham and founder of Samaritan’s Purse, told the Christian
students of John Brown University: “There was no call for God to put His loving
arms around those who were hurting. Why did they leave him out? They scoff at
the name of Jesus Christ.” He added, “The spirit of anti-Christ is everywhere.”
Click here to see the whole
sermon
.

Obama and the Ripple Effect

Leo
Rennert

 

One of President Obama’s weaknesses is that, in foreign
policy, he is not a clever chess player, anticipating moves and consequences
several steps down the line.

This failure to visualize all likely ripple effects of his own words and
actions is again evident in his unsteady reactions to the turmoil in Egypt.
Having failed to anticipate massive protests in the Arab world, Obama first kept
his counsel, then tip-toed toward increasingly harsh criticism of Egyptian
President Mubarak.
With Secretary of State Clinton as his main bullhorn, the President now is
hectoring Mubarak to all but step down.  Through his press spokesman, Obama
threatened to cut off U.S. aid to Mubarak and brushed aside his attempts to
steady his regime with appointment of new faces in top positions.  In many ways,
Obama is squeezing Mubarak to the point of leaving him with no option but to
capitulate to the protesting crowds — with the Muslim Brotherhood only too
happy to pick up the pieces.
However, in toughening his anti-Mubarak stance, Obama doesn’t seem to
realize that he is putting himself into the camp or pro-Iranian radical forces
in the Middle East, including Hamas and Hezb’allah, while parting company with
Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas —  two erstwhile
members of the pro-U.S. camp.
Obama’s pummeling of Mubarak nicely fits the agenda of the Hamas regime in
Gaza, which makes no secret that, in the current Mideast state of play, it is in
full solidarity with anti-Mubarak crowds in Egypt.  By the same token, Obama’s
public flogging of Mubarak represents a 180-degree turn away from Abbas, who
sides publicly with Murbarak. The Palestinians are split right down the middle.
No big surprise.  Except that Obama has aligned himself with Hamas and against
Abbas. That is bound to have some consequences for U.S. peace-mediation efforts
down the line, to say the least.
In the meantime, we are left with a head-shaking picture of Obama suddenly
finding himself in the Iranian/Hezb’allah/Hamas orbit, while leaving in the
lurch his own friend, ally and presumed “moderate” peace partner, Mahmoud Abbas,
who’s working tirelessly to stifle anti-Mubarak demonstrations in the West
Bank.
It’s getting curiouser and curiouser about where this leaves George
Mitchell, Obama’s U.S. envoy and peace-negotiator in chief.
When it comes to U.S. policy vis a vis Egypt, especially during this highly
fluid period, it can be argued that Mubarak doesn’t deserve much sympathy after
29 years of iron rule.  But an American president, when wading into such
turbulent and unpredictable waters, ought to know at least all the ramifications
of his own strategy — something Obama doesn’t seem to have thought
through.
Watching Obama, Hamas must be licking its chops, while the Saudis and Abbas
must be wondering how constant, reliable and predictable a Mideast player the
U.S. really is with Obama in the White House.

 

Barack Obama, the Etch-A-Sketch President

Barack Obama, the Etch-A-Sketch President

Nick
Chagouris

 

This past week it was Ronald Reagan.  This could be seen
coming from a mile away.  It really doesn’t take a Nostradamus to predict these
things in our president’s behaviors. It  was obvious after watching Obama’s
preview video
of his BHO-SOTU address where he posted a ‘trailer’
on his web site.  And even the hardest of hearing heard about Obama reading
Reagan on his Christmas vacation flight to Hawai’i.  No one should be surprised,
despite the juxtaposition.

Everyone from the HuffPo to Breitbart found
this topic irresistible.  But of all the many Reagan/Obama media mentions,
Mark Rudd’s warning
words
, “feint right,
turn left,”
are the most ominous, and to this writer’s mind,
accurate.

And so last week, we witnessed a feeding frenzy from the
media and the blogosphere, discussing the change in Mr. Obama’s
attitude and rhetoric. Some made for juicy, thought provoking, reading. Others
were spin. The Big Three Alphabet Media agreed, Obama was “Reaganesque”.
The problem for Mr. Obama is that we are now on to his character, if not yet his
legal identity.  Chameleonesque is a better description for this
president. Therefore, this Reagan thing, won’t work for him.

Do you
wonder which historical, great leader, Obama and his handlers might choose next
for him to impersonate?

Let us reflect upon some of the absurd, failed,
comparisons from the lost and wandering left-bent hopefuls in search of their
Champion, their voice, and their identity, over the first two years of this
unprecedented presidency:

  • During his campaign, (the pre-election one) Obama was to become the
    next John F. Kennedy
    . In the early afterglow days of the Democrats’ victory,
    People, Time, and Newsweek Magazines, did their best to project that Jack
    & Jackie Camelot fantasy
    on to the Barry and Michelle blank screen
    to entice (propagandize) the population (sheep) to fall in
    love with this most exceptionally beautiful, and brilliant, ruling couple.
    (Must have been Jackie’s and Michelle’s remarkably similar tastes in clothing?)
  • He has been the incarnation of Abe Lincoln  (They are both tall and
    lanky.)
  • He has been called “Jeffersonian”.
    (Aside from sharing the same brand of Teleprompter, we’re at a loss.)
  • Michelle
    Obama compared to Marie Antoinette.
    Like Marie, Michelle mysteriously gave
    up her license to practice law, or was disbarred. (same with hubby)
  • Obama, the next Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Probably because of the
    Beer Summit, combined with the work Obama’s DOJ has done, absolving the
    New Black Panther
    Party of that bogus voter intimidation case
    .)
  • Gandhi: Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize for his excellence in reading other
    people’s utopian words from a teleprompter. (One year later, we are in awe
    over the Global Peace this man has singlehandedly created, particularly in the
    Middle East.)
    (Obama
    Bonus Link
    )
  • Here,
    Obama is FDR
  • And of course, everyone’s favorite, Obama
    as Christ
    .
Why does the characterization of Obama’s persona, and therefore his purpose
and direction, as described by his adoring media advocates, change so
frequently?  This is truly unprecedented.  Has any former national leader been
likened to so many former Great figures in world history?  Will the list
continue to increase?  Why would anyone imagine the trend to end here? Why isn’t
the media asking why this president cannot seem stand upon his own
identity?
From Audacity of Hope, credited to author Barack Hussein Obama, he
prophetically writes:
“I am new enough on the national political scene that I serve as a blank
screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own
views. As such, I am bound to disappoint some, if not all, of them.”
Ah, the mystique. And quite a prophetic statement, Mr. Obama. Indeed you
have gone far beyond disappointment, but you are no longer “new enough.” In two
short years, this has gotten really old.
Many would love to see you etch a sketch of your best 1974
Richard Nixon
.
Nick Chagouris is a small business owner and the father of
three beloved children to whom he has bequeathed natural born citizenship status
under the U.S. Constitution.  He can be contacted at
mailto:nchagouris01@comcast.net

 

Obama’s 3 AM Moment

Obama’s 3 AM Moment

By Nancy
Morgan

 

One of the issues raised in the run-up to our last
presidential election was the question “Which candidate is best qualified to
handle a ’3 AM moment’?” America now has a partial answer. It isn’t President
Obama.

Last Friday was Day 4 of the ongoing protests in Egypt, where tens of
thousands Egyptians took to the streets to demand the ouster of President Hosni
Mubarak. As the situation reached a flash point, with a mounting death toll and Egyptian
tanks in the streets of Cairo, President Obama maintained his silence. Well, not
quite. He did Twitter, by proxy.
Around noon Friday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs issued a 22 word statement on Twitter:
“Very concerned about violence in Egypt – government must respect the rights of
the Egyptian people & turn on social networking and internet.” The White
House also informed the media that Obama had received a 40 minute briefing on
the situation. Phew!
After the U.S. markets tanked Friday, a full 4 days after the beginning of
the Egyptian crisis, Obama finally addressed the nation. As usual, our president
first absolved himself of any blame, stating that if only Egypt has instituted
the reforms Obama had been suggesting for the last 2 years, the crisis could
have been averted. He then went on to make a bold statement about human rights,
“…and the US will stand up for them – everywhere.” Period.
By Saturday, the uprising in Egypt had spread to other countries, with waves of Arab protests in
Tunisia, Jordan and Yemen. Saturday night, Obama partied. “The Washington
A-List was
out in force Saturday night at the farewell party
for senior adviser David Axelrod, with a roster of guests featuring Cabinet
secretaries, big shot journos and Obama.”
On Sunday, with the protests turning into a conflagration, the only word
from the White House was that Hillary Clinton, our Secretary of State, was heading to Haiti to “mediate the political crisis.” That’s
right, Haiti.
Meanwhile, the only information available to Americans comes from talking
heads and the few journalists not hung-over from Saturday’s rollicking good time
at the White House. The only “official” information so far from the White House
was Joe Biden’s statement on Day 3 of the protests. Joe said that President
Hosni Mubarak should not step down. He then proceeded to downplay the protests
spreading across the Mid East as generally unconnected.
The world is left wondering what position America, the world’s former
superpower, will take. The only stance our administration has taken to date is a
generic plea for an end to the violence and the oft-repeated call for human
rights. Meanwhile, the world teeters on the brink as a global  crisis with
profound geopolitical implications for the U.S. continues to unfold.
Obama’s 3 am moment has come. And gone. Obama was noticeably AWOL. America
is now officially bereft of leadership, at least until the latest polls come
in.

Under Obama’s leadership, the US has voluntarily ceded its authority
as the world’s super power. After all, according to Obama, all countries and
cultures are equal. America’s voice should be but one of many. This is now
becoming a reality. Egypt continues to burn. And Obama parties and Twitters by
proxy. Welcome to the new world order.

Nancy
Morgan
is a columnist and news editor for
conservative news site
RightBias.comShe
lives in South Carolina.

 

Why We Should Fear the Moslem Brothers

Why We Should Fear the Moslem Brothers

By Karin
McQuillan

As we follow the unfolding story in Egypt, we are torn between hope and
fear, hope that democracy will gain a toehold, fear that the fundamentalist
Moslem Brothers could take control of Egypt.  Perhaps you have heard the Moslem
Brothers are the oldest and largest radical Islamic group, the grandfather of
Hezbollah, Hamas, and al-Qaeda.
What you haven’t been told is this:  the Moslem Brothers were a small,
unpopular group of anti-modern fanatics unable to attract members, until
they were adopted by Adolf Hitler
and the Third Reich beginning in the
1930s.  Under the tutelage of the Third Reich, the Brothers started the
modern jihadi movement
, complete with a genocidal
program against Jews
.  In the words of Matthias
Kuntzel
, “The significance of the Brotherhood to Islamism is comparable to
that of the Bolshevik Party to communism: It was and remains to this day the
ideological reference point and organizational core for all later Islamist
groups, including al-Qaeda and Hamas.”
What is equally ominous for Jews and Israel is that despite Mubarak’s
pragmatic co-existence with Israel for the last 30 years, every Egyptian leader
from Nasser,
through Sadat, to Mubarak, has enshrined Nazi
Jew-hatred in mainstream Egyptian culture
, out of both conviction and
political calculation.   Nasser, trained by Nazis as a youth, spread the
genocidal conspiracy theories of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, making it
a best seller throughout the Arab world.  On the Ramadan following 9/11, Mubarak
presided over a 30-week long TV series dramatizing
the Elders
and its genocidal message.
It is impossible to assess the danger posed by a takeover of Egypt today by
the Moslem Brothers without knowing that Nazism
launched the Brothers and is still at their core
. This response to modernity
and to Jews was not predetermined by Egyptian history or culture.  It was
Germany under Hitler that changed the course of history for Egypt and the Middle
East.
How do we know all this?  We know it because the Third Reich was a
meticulous keeper of records.  We have the memos, the
planning documents, the budgets, even photos and films of the Reich’s
spectacularly success campaign, implemented by the Moslem Brothers, to turn the
Middle East into a hotbed of virulent Jew-hatred.  We have the minutes, the
photo and the memo
of understanding
, when Hitler and the head of the Moslem Brothers in
Palestine, the Mufti of
Jerusalem
, shook hands on a plan for a Final Solution in the Middle
East.

We have the records of this meeting, in which Hitler and the head of the
Moslem Brothers in Palestine shook hands on a Final Solution for the Middle East
- years before the creation of Israel.
The
Moslem Brothers helped Hitler succeed
in genocide by slamming shut the door
to safety in Palestine. This was a key part of the success of the Final
Solution.  The anti-Jewish riots in Palestine that lead the British to cave to
Arab pressure and shut off Jewish escape are well known — how many of us know
they were funded by Hitler?  Winston Churchill protested the closing of
Palestine to the Jews in the House of Commons, arguing against the appeasement
of Nazi-funded Arab violence :
“So far from being persecuted, the Arabs have crowded into the country and
multiplied till their population has increased more than even all world Jewry
could lift up the Jewish population. …We are now asked to submit, and this is
what rankles most with me, to an agitation which is fed with foreign money and
ceaselessly inflamed by Nazi and by Fascist propaganda.”
Who knows how many Jews would have escaped Hitler if the Jewish National
Home in Palestine had remained open to them?
We do know that without the work of Hitler’s allies, the Moslem Brothers,
many signs indicate that Israel would
have been a welcome neighbor
in the Middle East, but this path was closed
off by Moslem Brotherhood terrorism.  This is not ‘ancient history.’  According
to Prime Minister Netanyahu,
Yasser Arafat (born Mohammed Al-Husseini, in Cairo) adopted the name Yasser to
honor the Moslem Brothers’ terror chief, who threw moderate Palestinians into
pits of scorpions and snakes, eliminated the entire Nashashibi family of
Jerusalem because they welcomed Jews into Palestine, and drove forty thousand
Arabs into exile. The corpses of their victims would be left in the street for
days, a shoe stuck in their mouth, as a lesson for any Arab who believed in
tolerating a Jewish homeland.  Arafat as a member of the Moslem Brothers was
directly trained
by Nazi officers
who were invited
to Egypt after the fall of Hitler
in Europe.
Like the pro-democracy demonstrators out in the streets of Cairo this week,
immediately after World War I, Egypt was filled with hopes for developing a
modern, tolerant society. The Egyptian revolution of 1919 united the country’s
Moslems, Christians and Jews around the slogan, “Liberty, Equality,
Brotherhood.”  The constitution of 1923 was completely secular, establishing a
constitutional monarchy. It took Western democracy as a model and worked for the
equal status of women.  Jews were an accepted part of public life.  There were
Jewish members of parliament.  The Zionist movement was accepted with
“considerable sympathy,” because the government’s priority was to maintain good
relations between the three most important religious groups – Moslems, Jews and
Christian Copts.  Today the Jews are gone and the Copts are viciously
persecuted.  But in 1919, there was even an Egyptian section of the
International Zionist Organization.  Its founder, Leon Castro, a Jew, was also
the spokesman of the largest Egyptian political party, the Wafd, related to the
largest opposition party taking part in this week’s demonstrations.
When in March 1928, the charismatic preacher Hassan al-Banna founded the
Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt, it was a flop.  It promoted world domination by
Islam and the restoration of the Caliphate, focusing on a complete subjugation
of women.  In its first decade, the Moslem Brothers attracted only 800
members.
Then Hitler ascended to power.  A branch of the Nazi party was set up in
Cairo.  The Egyptian government was told that if they did not begin to persecute
their Jews, Germany would boycott Egyptian cotton. When the government caved and
began a press campaign and discriminatory measures against Jews, they were
rewarded by Germany becoming the second largest importer of Egyptian goods.  The
Egyptian public was impressed by the propaganda about Germany’s economic
progress and impressive Nazi mass marches.  The pro-fascist Young Egypt movement
was founded in 1933.  Abdel Nasser, later Egypt’s most famous leader, was a
member and remained loyal to Nazi ideology for the rest of his career. During
the war there was a popular street song in the Middle East, “Allah in
heaven, Hitler on earth
.”
In the 1930′s, the Third Reich poured men, money, weapons and propaganda
training into the Moslem Brotherhood.  It was the Reich that taught the
fundamentalists to focus their anger on the Jews instead of women. By war’s end,
thanks entirely to Hitler’s tutelage and direct support, the brotherhood had
swelled to a million members and Jew-hatred had become central
to mainstream Arab culture.  Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini listened daily
to the Nazi propaganda broadcast from Berlin by Moslem Brother Haj Amin
al-Husseini.  So did every Arab with a radio, throughout the war, as it was the
most popular programming in the Middle East.  Thanks to Hitler, the Moslem
Brothers enshrined antisemitism as the main organizing force of Middle East
politics for the next 80 years.
Egyptian society has lived in Hitler’s world of hate ever since.  According
to leading expert on the Third Reich’s fusion with Islamism in Egypt, Matthias
Kunztel
, “On this point (Jews), the entire Egyptian society has been
Islamized.  In Egypt the ostracism and demonization of Jews is not a matter of
debate, but a basic assumption of everyday discourse.  As if the
Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty had never been signed, Israel and Israelis are
today totally boycotted…be it lawyers, journalists, doctors or artists…all
Egyptian universities, sports associations, theatres and orchestras.”  “If there
is one theme in contemporary Egypt which unites Islamists, Liberals, Nasserites
and Marxists, it is the collective fantasy of the common enemy in the shape of
Israel and the Jews, which almost always correlates with the wish to destroy
Israel.”
In launching the Moslem Brother’s modern jihadi movement, Hitler did far
more than enshrine antisemitism in the Middle East.  As if some kind of divine
punishment, the creation of jihadism also sabotaged the move towards modernity
and representative government, ruining hopes for freedom and prosperity for the
Arab people.  The Brothers were the excuse for Mubarak’s 30 years of emergency
rule.  The Brothers were central to both PLO and Hamas, killing all hope for
peaceful coexistence and prosperity for the Palestinian people.  They had an
early role in founding the Ba’ath
Party
in Syria and Iraq, turning those countries over to kleptocratic
tyrants.  Moslem Brothers taught
Osama bin Laden
, and their philosophy is considered the foundational
doctrine of al-Qaeda.
Will history repeat itself?  Or will the Egyptian people take back their
country, throw off Hitler’s long shadow, and begin again on the hopeful path to
democracy and a decent life that they began at the beginning of the modern
era?

Obama and the Ripple Effect

Obama and the Ripple Effect

Leo
Rennert

 

One of President Obama’s weaknesses is that, in foreign
policy, he is not a clever chess player, anticipating moves and consequences
several steps down the line.

This failure to visualize all likely ripple effects of his own words and
actions is again evident in his unsteady reactions to the turmoil in Egypt.
Having failed to anticipate massive protests in the Arab world, Obama first kept
his counsel, then tip-toed toward increasingly harsh criticism of Egyptian
President Mubarak.
With Secretary of State Clinton as his main bullhorn, the President now is
hectoring Mubarak to all but step down.  Through his press spokesman, Obama
threatened to cut off U.S. aid to Mubarak and brushed aside his attempts to
steady his regime with appointment of new faces in top positions.  In many ways,
Obama is squeezing Mubarak to the point of leaving him with no option but to
capitulate to the protesting crowds — with the Muslim Brotherhood only too
happy to pick up the pieces.
However, in toughening his anti-Mubarak stance, Obama doesn’t seem to
realize that he is putting himself into the camp or pro-Iranian radical forces
in the Middle East, including Hamas and Hezb’allah, while parting company with
Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas —  two erstwhile
members of the pro-U.S. camp.
Obama’s pummeling of Mubarak nicely fits the agenda of the Hamas regime in
Gaza, which makes no secret that, in the current Mideast state of play, it is in
full solidarity with anti-Mubarak crowds in Egypt.  By the same token, Obama’s
public flogging of Mubarak represents a 180-degree turn away from Abbas, who
sides publicly with Murbarak. The Palestinians are split right down the middle.
No big surprise.  Except that Obama has aligned himself with Hamas and against
Abbas. That is bound to have some consequences for U.S. peace-mediation efforts
down the line, to say the least.
In the meantime, we are left with a head-shaking picture of Obama suddenly
finding himself in the Iranian/Hezb’allah/Hamas orbit, while leaving in the
lurch his own friend, ally and presumed “moderate” peace partner, Mahmoud Abbas,
who’s working tirelessly to stifle anti-Mubarak demonstrations in the West
Bank.
It’s getting curiouser and curiouser about where this leaves George
Mitchell, Obama’s U.S. envoy and peace-negotiator in chief.
When it comes to U.S. policy vis a vis Egypt, especially during this highly
fluid period, it can be argued that Mubarak doesn’t deserve much sympathy after
29 years of iron rule.  But an American president, when wading into such
turbulent and unpredictable waters, ought to know at least all the ramifications
of his own strategy — something Obama doesn’t seem to have thought
through.
Watching Obama, Hamas must be licking its chops, while the Saudis and Abbas
must be wondering how constant, reliable and predictable a Mideast player the
U.S. really is with Obama in the White House.

 

Obama Erases Christianity from the American Founding

Obama Erases Christianity from the American
Founding

January 28th, 2011

Ben Johnson, FloydReports.com

In the State of the Union Address, Obama said: “We are the first nation to be
founded for the sake of an idea – the idea that each of us deserves the chance
to shape our own destiny. That is why centuries of pioneers and immigrants have
risked everything to come here.” In Obama’s telling, this is the reason “why our
students don’t just memorize equations, but answer questions like ‘What do you
think of that idea? What would you change about the world? What do you want to
be when you grow up?’”
That is perhaps the most underwhelming description of freedom ever uttered by
a president.
It is rendered less impressive by the fact that later in his speech, Obama
called on more Americans to study equations and stop
telling him what they think of his ideas
. This lack of vision manifested
throughout the SOTU is one of the reasons so many Americans considered this
address drab and uninspiring.
The president’s presentation of America’s founding lacks its most important
cause: Christianity….
Read
more
.

Digital Dark Age Ahead?

Digital Dark Age Ahead?

By Matt
Patterson

 

The Analogue Counter-Revolution, Part 5
Part 1: Step Away from the
Computer

Part 2: iPad,
Therefore I Am

Part 3: Life between the Cracks
Part
4: The Tyranny of
Google

Scholars from the Great Library of Alexandria in Egypt once
roamed the world to locate, copy, and catalogue the literary masterpieces of
antiquity — works of poetry, science, history, and religion — so that the
accumulated wisdom of the ancients would pass safely to future
generations.

It was not to be.  The Great Library, founded in the
3rd century B.C. by the Greek-speaking Ptolemaic dynasty, did not
survive the convulsions of history, nor did the bulk of its treasures.  No one
is really sure how or why — Julius Caesar’s army, accidental fire, and the
hordes of Muhammad have all been variously proposed.

We may never know
how exactly the library vanished, but we can be certain of the consequences — a
shocking dearth of the great intellectual and artistic works of deep antiquity
has come down to us.  Those works that have survived are known largely because
farsighted monks in the Dark Ages labored in the far corners of the West to
hand-copy those authors they knew and loved (see Thomas Cahill’s book How
the Irish Saved Civilization
for a thrilling account of this process).
Still, their efforts, while valiant, were insufficient to save the vast
majority of classical works from disappearing forever.

You may think that
digital technology will preclude such a catastrophic loss of culture ever
happening again.  In fact, our dependence on digitally stored information has
all but guaranteed a new informational Dark Age.

Digital information is
merely a collection of ones and zeros that requires software to be translated
for us.  As computer scientist Jeff Rothenberg has noted, “[m]ost people haven’t
recognized that digital stuff is encoded in some format that requires software
to render it in a form that humans can perceive. … Software that knows how to
render those bits becomes obsolete.  And it runs on computers that become
obsolete.”

Indeed, the vast abundance of digital information showcases
its terrifyingly evanescent nature.  Computer software, essentially a
digital-to-human translation system, is updated on the average every year and a
half, and hardware more often than that.  New systems read only some of what was
encoded in older systems, and then often only in the most recent iterations.
Very quickly, the gulf between what is stored and what can be accessed becomes
unbridgeable.  Try slipping a floppy disk into your iPad to work on that novel
you started in college.

The danger is that as more and more of our lives
is committed to digital, only some portions of that data will be transferred to
new media, and the losses will compound with each successive generation.
Eventually you are left with a gaping hole in history, a vast ocean of
unrecoverable information rotting away in obsolete machines.

Of course,
if, instead of saving your college novel on a floppy disk, you had typed it out
on paper and stuck it in a drawer, you could easily pull it out again and start
working on it twenty years later — no translation software required.  It just
goes to show that the printed page, bound or rolled in traditional ways, is an
astonishingly durable medium.  Under the right conditions, it can last centuries
– or longer.

The correspondence of John and Abigail Adams, for example,
is now over two hundred years old.  It has become a testament to one of the
world’s great and enduring loves.  The letters themselves were saved and passed
on, and they are now housed in various private and scholarly collections.  The
paper and ink carried their love, then kept it safe, for them to read and
treasure — and now for us to read and treasure.

Now people write
e-mails, entirely disposable ephemera conveying utterly disposable thoughts.
Perhaps, unlike when the intellectual achievements of the Great Library of
Alexandria went up in smoke, when the Digital Dark Age arrives, we will not have
lost much that was worth keeping anyway.

 

State of the Union: Mammoth Government is the New Normal

State of the Union: Mammoth Government is the New
Normal

January 27th, 2011

Ben Johnson, FloydReports.com

In his 2011
State of the Union Address
, Barack Obama gave himself five more years of
trillion-dollar deficit spending, a $678 billion income tax hike, a Social
Security tax increase, and the permanent extension of ObamaCare – and he gave
Republicans medical malpractice reform and a joke about a salmon.
Since his inauguration, the president has gone on a two-year spending orgy
unrivaled since the days of Lyndon Johnson or FDR. Faced with a national
backlash against towering debt, he has come up with a “compromise”: Americans
should accept the big government expansion he has forced down their throats and
move on. This follows the president’s familiar pattern of forcing through costly
and unpopular measures, then promising “discipline” after the fact.
The most reported aspect of the speech was Obama’s pledge to freeze
discretionary, non-military spending at their current levels – exempting such
major programs as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Homeland
Security.
At the risk of stating the obvious, which perhaps no one has yet stated,
there is no “savings.” As President Obama would say, “Let’s be
clear”: Savings is when you reduce the amount of money you are spending. The
president’s proposal is to spend the same amount of money. The only “savings”
would come from the fact that inflation
unleashed by deficit
spending
and quantitative
easing
will devalue the dollar – but this is hardly a cause for cheer.
History shows that spending freezes rarely freeze anything. The most
ambitious attempt was the 1985 Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act, which attempted to
control deficit spending by future Congresses, but many of the same politicians
who voted for the bill decided they would not abide by its terms the next year.
Deficits continued to mount. To give a more recent example, last year Congress
approved slightly more
than half
of the whopping $11.5 billion in spending cuts Obama requested
last year.
The amount of the budget actually affected is rather modest, indeed. It would
apply to approximately
12 percent of the budget
. Alec Phillips, an analyst with Goldman Sachs,
estimates that if every Congress for the next five years holds to current
levels, it would “save” $200 billion. The New York Times noted its
higher estimate of “$250 billion in savings over 10 years would be less than 3
percent of the roughly $9 trillion in additional deficits the government is
expected to accumulate
over that time.” Obama’s plan would cost
half-a-trillion dollars more
than returning
to 2008 spending levels
, as proposed by the most moderate Republicans. Sen.
Rand Paul has proposed a half-a-trillion
dollar spending cut
this year, which includes cutting food stamps
and eliminating the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National
Endowment for the Arts. Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan and Senator Jim DeMint
introduced a bill to cut
$2.5 trillion
over ten years, eliminating the aforementioned programs as
well as Amtrak and the president’s “high-speed rail” and rolling back spending
to 2006 levels. Obama’s freeze is small beer in its own terms and hypocritical
when paired with his calls for new spending.
The State of the Union made only passing reference to the greatest budgetary
crisis facing us: out of control entitlements (and most of his “solutions” are
bad ideas; see below). “Mandatory” spending alone exceeds projected federal
revenues – the amount of money the government took in all year. If we eliminated
100 percent of discretionary spending – privatized the Post Office, dismantled
the military, and fired every federal prosecutor and judge – we would still run a
deficit
.
Nonetheless, the president instructed us, “The final step to winning the
future is to make sure we aren’t buried under a mountain of debt.” As though we
are not already buried under a mountain of debt. As though this were not a
mountain of his own making. As though it were not one he wished to greatly
enlarge
.
What Obama intends to freeze is big government. His proposal to hold-the-line
comes after he jacked
up federal spending by 84 percent
. After inflating the federal government
beyond the free market’s carrying capacity, he now wishes to maintain the status
quo.
As usual Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-AL, had the best analysis of Obama’s spending
freeze, calling it “a plan for deficit preservation.” The day
after the State of the Union speech, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
predicted the deficit for 2011 will be….
Read
more
.

The Rest of the World and Obama

The Rest of the World and Obama

By Steve
McCann

 

One of the primary narratives of the Democrats and the media during the
entire tenure of the George W. Bush’s term was that the United States was held
in historically low regard throughout the rest of the world.  This became, after
“Bush lied,” the second-most frequently repeated talking point.  Whether there
was any basis for this claim was immaterial; it was a handy cudgel for defeating
and humiliating the president.
For the past twenty-five-plus years, I have been involved in the
international marketplace, having dealt in countries as varied as the United
Kingdom, China, and Ghana.  Never in that period of time, from Ronald Reagan to
Barack Obama, have I found it more difficult to defend the polices of the United
States and listen to more overt criticism of any sitting president than I do
today.
Over the years, it has been my experience that at nearly all business
meetings or conversations, domestic politics, either in the United States or any
other country, is rarely discussed unless there has been a major event such as
an election or a natural disaster.  Normally, all focus is on the transaction at
hand.  At times, there has been good-natured banter about the generic American
character, but that is more reflective of the fact the United States has, for
nearly seventy years, overwhelmingly dominated the world scene.  When one is at
the top of the heap, an element of envy mingled with grudging respect is to be
expected.
During the Bush years, while encountering some criticism of the Iraq war
decision and a media-driven reflexive belief in Bush’s “cowboy mentality”
(promoted to some degree by his Texas drawl and demeanor), there was no
noticeable difference in the conversations and attitudes of the many people I
met overseas.
By stark contrast, today, virtually every conversation includes a variation
of the following: “Do you people have any idea of what you are doing?”  The
primary reason for this reaction is the stark reality that the current world
order, which has been historically successful and dominated by the United
States, is beginning to unravel.  That unraveling is primarily because of
American government-induced financial policies that triggered a worldwide
catastrophic collapse in 2008 and the nearly incomprehensible economic policies
pursued since.
Over the past two years and into 2011, the United States has gone on the
most astounding spending and money-printing binge in the history of mankind.
From the end of 2008 through the end of 2011, over $4.3 trillion will
have been added to the national debt.  That is the same as the annual Gross
Domestic Product of the third-largest economy in the world: Japan.
Further, the Federal Reserve has increased the money supply by an equally
astounding $1.5 trillion, engulfing the world in dollars and thereby triggering
inflation, disrupting the normal flow of capital, and promoting additional
apprehension of the future.
Yet there does not appear to be any real effort to change course.  Instead
and despite many underlying factors, such as a stubbornly high unemployment
rate, real estate values still declining, a potential stock market bubble due to
too many dollars looking for a home, and inflation that the government refuses
to recognize, there no indication that Washington D.C. — particularly after the
State of the Union speech — is taking the current state of affairs
seriously.
Despite the obligatory bows to Beijing, the international marketplace does
not want to see China replace the United States as the preeminent economic and
military power in the world.  China is inherently unstable with its population
time bomb, and its government cannot be considered benign based on its human
rights abuses, totalitarian governing philosophy, and overt desire to dominate
the planet.
If the United States collapses under its own weight, the world will be
thrown into chaos, and many in the international marketplace recognize that very
real possibility.
Thus, in my many conversations with those overseas, the subject matter
turns quickly to Barack Obama.  The most frequent adjectives used to describe
our current president are “incompetent,” “amateurish,” “narcissistic,”
“inexperienced,” and “haughty.”  This is often followed by a confession that
accusers too were impressed with Obama during his campaign and fell for his
smooth delivery, rhetoric, and appearance.
They felt, along with many Americans, that no one could possibly do this
much damage in such a short time, considering the sheer size of the United
States and its economy.  Barack Obama has become the butt of many jokes and
satire.  Virtually everyone I talk to wants to discuss his failings.  Recently,
the Swiss Marc
Faber
, an internationally renowned investor and author whom I have met, said
the following on Bloomberg TV’s “Street Smart”: “Obama has done a horrible job.
He’s dishonest … Foreigners laugh at him … He’s like a
prostitute.”
Mr. Faber is not alone in his sentiment; it has become common not only in
the boardrooms, but also the halls of government.  I was told by an acquaintance
that during the recent G-20 Summit in Seoul, South Korea, there was near-open
mocking of Obama behind the scenes.  It is not a coincidence that the number of
Mr. Obama’s trips overseas has been curtailed.
The most telling comment made to me was by a business associate in London
when he said, “When the world needs a firm hand and competent leadership, we are
given a fool whose only interest is himself and his ideology.  His level of
incompetence knows no bounds, yet we all must suffer for it.”
Throughout the world today, strategies and plans are being put in place on
how to survive and prosper without the United States as the major global player
if America does not come to its senses, reverse course, and change leadership.
Never has worldwide esteem for the United States fallen to such a low
point.
As for me, I can only tell those I deal with that I still have faith in the
American people — their determination, their ingenuity, and their ability to
finally wake up to reality and change course.  I firmly believe that they will.
The response when I say those things?  “We hope you are right; the world needs
your country to be strong and resolute.”

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 56 other followers