We Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet If you think things have been rough so far, hang on.

We Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet
If you think things have been rough so far, hang on.

By Victor Davis Hanson

When it comes to the problems facing this country, an old slogan comes to mind: “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.”

High unemployment, the recession, and a terrorist resurgence in Afghanistan are bad enough. But there are a number of problems on the horizon that could dwarf President Obama’s first-year trials.

Why the pessimism? In short, we are doing nothing to prepare for the crises to come.

A global recession has led to low oil prices. Yet in this window of opportunity, America has not decreased its foreign-oil dependence. We are not encouraging domestic exploration. And we are still ambivalent on nuclear power.

But as the world economy recovers, oil will probably surge back over $100 a barrel, increasing our oil-import tab by 25 percent or more. The Obama administration, though, mostly is obsessed with subsidizing relatively small amounts of wind and solar power. It likely won’t be long before angry motorists at the pump are demanding to know why we have not pushed for more development at home of still-plentiful natural-gas and oil fields.

Meanwhile, other economic bad news may be just around the corner. Today, interest rates on short-term Treasury bills still are less than 1 percent. But they, too, will climb as business picks up and worries over American inflation spread.

If we have to pay foreign lenders 5 percent to 7 percent interest on our debt, as in the past, the increased costs will gobble up additional billions from our annual budget. Yet sadly again, we are missing this rare opportunity of low interest to pay off cheaply the trillions that we already owe. Instead, we are borrowing even more!

The War on Terror is also heating up again. Fairly or not, the Fort Hood massacre sent the message that the United States is more worried about appearing politically correct in matters of diversity than about hunting down radical Islamists on its home soil. Those who seek to copy what happened at Fort Hood will be encouraged. And those charged with stopping them will be discouraged and confused.

Such uncertainty was reinforced by the attorney general’s decision to try the architects of 9/11 in federal courts in New York City. At best, the confessed mass-murderer Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will lecture the United States. At worst, one sympathetic juror could find the monster only 99 percent guilty, and therefore the court might fail to convict him of planning the murders of 3,000 innocent people.

After announcing a new strategy of counterinsurgency in March, and appointing Gen. Stanley McChrystal the new supreme commander in Afghanistan, it looks like Obama only now will commit more troops to Afghanistan. That will be a wise decision — but one coming three months after the generals’ request.

We were given an unexpected reprieve through the defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq. We can now build on that victory by routing the Taliban in the way the Iraq surge stabilized democracy there.

Finally, there is an array of taxes on the horizon — increased federal income-tax rates; promised hikes in health-care surcharge taxes; and even rumors of value-added federal sales taxes. These increases are said to be aimed at the proverbial wealthy. But that could change — given that the top 5 percent of households already provide 60 percent of the nation’s income-tax revenue. And many are already paying 50 percent to 60 percent of their incomes in combined local, state, federal, and payroll taxes.

Just consider. The price of gas will soon likely increase. The cost of servicing our profligate borrowing will, too. One more terrorist attack like at Fort Hood, or nightly sermons from a grandstanding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, or a new Taliban offensive, and the momentum could shift to radical Islam in its decades-long war against the United States. Next year’s tax hikes will be real and large — and no longer just this year’s idle talk.

As these storm clouds gather, Congress bickers on Saturday nights about borrowing even more money for health-care reform, yet another federal entitlement.

If you think things have been rough so far, hang on, ’cause you ain’t seen nothing yet.

 

Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. © 2009 Tribune Media Services, Inc.


National Review Online – http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NTM2ZGFjNTFlMDc2YzRjOWUyOTJmMjNlMTY5YWI4ZGQ=

The True Reason for Thanksgiving

The True Reason for ThanksgivingN

ovember 26th, 2009

By Mary Beth Brown, Expose Obama

Over time, myths and distortions have arisen, twisting the reason for Thanksgiving Day. For starters, the Pilgrims did not hold their harvest festival to thank the local Indians. Unfortunately, this myth is often perpetuated in schools and textbooks. Many children and adults now believe we celebrate the help given to the Pilgrims by Native Americans. If the Pilgrims were to visit this Thanksgiving, they would be shocked.

The Pilgrims focused on thanking and praising God for His love, for all that He had done for them, and for the freedom they enjoyed in the New World.

A glimpse into the history of Thanksgiving Day gives a greater appreciation of this great American holiday. Even earlier than the Pilgrims, people of faith set aside days for prayer and thanksgiving to God. Many times rather than a feast, they were a time dedicated to prayer.

It may come as a surprise to some that the word holiday is actually from old English compound word combining holy and day. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines holiday as “a day set aside for special religious observance.”

The ancient Hebrews had many days set apart to worship, praise and thank God. Passover and Succoth are holy days of gratitude to God for His loving-kindness and deliverance from Egypt.

Early Americans often held days of thanksgiving in the various states and commonwealths. Washington and Madison each proclaimed a day of thanksgiving while president.

In October 1789, President George Washington signed a proclamation requested by Congress “to recommend to the people of the United States a Day of Public thanksgiving and Prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to form a government for their safety and happiness.”

Washington then assigned the twenty-sixth day of November “to be devoted by the people… to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be;” and to “all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country…”

It was to remember, Washington said, God’s “manifold mercies” and providence, “for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed,” and, “in general, for all the great and various favors” He gave them.

In the dark days of the Civil War in 1863, Lincoln proclaimed, by Act of Congress, an annual National Day of Thanksgiving following a letter campaign promoting the idea by Sarah Hale. As a mother, widowed at the age of 34, Hale was the editor of the first woman’s magazine in America and campaigned for over 40 years to make Thanksgiving a national holiday.

Lincoln’s words are especially timely now with our soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, “I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign land, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November…as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

He recommends that we “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers” from the war and to look at the many blessings we have been given by God including “which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come… Almighty God…”

“…But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagine, by the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessing were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own…”

In conclusion, Lincoln says, “It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people…”

Even amongst the pain, upheaval and difficulties of the Civil War, the nation came together for a day of thanksgiving and praise.

Sadly, someone erroneously wrote in Wikipedia, “Thanksgiving Day is … a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude in general…While perhaps religious in origin, Thanksgiving is now primarily identified as a secular holiday.” Maybe this is true for some Americans, but certainly not for all. And definitely not the way the “Mother of the American Thanksgiving,” Sarah Hale visualized it.

Hale wrote, “Let this day…be the grand Thanksgiving Holiday of our nation, when the noise and tumult of worldliness may be exchanged for the laugh of happy children, the glad greeting of family reunion, and the humble gratitude of the Christian heart.”

And Edward Martin wisely reminds us, “Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.”

Blessed with freedom? Thank a soldier. We now have a Commander in Chief, who in shallow, selfish mode, regards our troops as a “pretty good photo op.”

Blessed with freedom? Thank a soldier.

By Kyle-Anne Shiver

It goes without saying, of course, that all good things come from God.  It is to Him, above all, that we owe our lives, our liberties and our individual pursuits of happiness on this earth. 
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Let it ring in glorious chorus from all over the land this Thanksgiving.
We ourselves, though, are God’s hands on earth, His workers, His vintners, His harvesters of these our many good gifts.  As all wise men and women know, God helps those who help themselves. 
So, I say, if we and our families are blessed with freedom this year, then we must thank a soldier.  Freedom, as the sentient saying goes, was never free.  And it never will be. 
Without those Americans ready to shoulder the burdens of our defenses — most of us city-dwelling, computer-whizzing, armchair-quarterbacking, cocktail-partying, tennis-playing, lunch-doing, mall-shopping, celebrity-ogling, book-reading, podium-pontificating Americans – would be up the creek in dangerous waters without so much as a twig for a paddle.
And this year, more than most, the American citizen’s burden of gratitude is far greater than average. 
We now have a Commander in Chief, who in shallow, selfish mode, regards our troops as a “pretty good photo op.”  A Commander in Chief, who plays golf, vacations at the Vineyard, takes his wife on fancy dates in New York City and goes apology-tour globetrotting at every possible opportunity — but dithers and dithers and dithers over the very real decisions concerning our national security.  American troops are dying in Afghanistan, ome for necessity, others shamefully for want of adequate numbers to get the job done.  Without a responsible Commander in Chief this year, our troops need to hear from us more than ever. 
We have just suffered the first terrorist attack on our own soil since 9/11.  Now, let those safely-ensconced, bubble-headed media elites go on and on all they want with their armchair psychobabble.  Anyone with better than a pea-sized brain and an ounce of common sense understands exactly what happened at Ft. Hood.
It was solitary jihad.  It was solitary jihad.  It was solitary jihad. 
Yet, our Ditherer in Chief would apparently like to wait until more Americans are similarly gunned down before “drawing conclusions.”  Our army’s own top officer, General George Casey, thinks more Ft.-Hood-type attacks would actually be better than if our troops’ “diversity” were to suffer:
“Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.”
As a mother, I have to wonder whether these dimwits would be singing the same tune if the people killed were little American school children and the shooter was their bus driver, hired by a diversity chief.  Perhaps in these leaders’ addled minds, soldiers are expendable pawns, not flesh-and-blood sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives.  
But there you have it, dear readers.  President Obama and General Casey would seem to prefer the innocent shedding of real human blood to profiling against even the self-sworn, very vocal enemies within our midst.
With friends like these…
So, this Thanksgiving, more than in any year since 9/11, I’m writing the biggest check I possibly can to my favorite troop-support group.  Operation Gratitude says it all.  It’s not political; it’s just plain thankfulness.  Thankful for each and every man and woman, willing to lay down his or her life for the safety of all Americans.  Without them, there would be no more Thanksgiving Days. 
Operation Gratitude is the only troop-support organization in which every single penny donated actually goes to pay postage for care packages sent to our troops.  Not one penny goes for any other expense; none goes for salaries or advertising.  Thousands of pure volunteers – receiving not a penny for their time and effort – work tirelessly throughout the year to gather the donated items, which fill each package, addressed to an individual soldier or Marine in harm’s way. 
Thousands more volunteers lovingly assemble each package in Van Nuys, California and fill it to the brim with snacks, DVDs, phone cards, toiletries and anything else America’s companies, civic groups and individuals donate to the cause.  Handwritten letters and cards from real Americans go into each and every package. 
But, sadly, in this age of profligate government spending, rampant with waste and fraud and political payoffs, postage for packages going to soldiers and Marines in harm’s way is an expense our congress simply cannot abide. 
They’ll spend our money to frank their own political mail from their offices.  They’ll spend our money to build bridges to nowhere and airports with no passengers.  They’ll spend thousands of dollars each year for fresh flowers to adorn the Speaker’s offices.  They’ll spend our money on every frivolous absurdity the mind can imagine, but they won’t spend it to get packages to our troops in the war zones.
In this age of utter moral confusion, we can thank the Good Lord every minute of the day that some people remain on the straight and narrow and do the good that must be done.  One such group of well-grounded folks is Operation Gratitude.  The holiday drive is underway.  It costs $11 this year to send a single package to the middle east, where most are headed.
Yes, this whole column is a thoroughly shameless, unapologetically transparent plea for money.  There are scores of groups asking for it and most are worthy of every penny.  But Operation Gratitude is my favorite.  It was started by a mom in her own living room with not an ounce of support from any fat-cat or bigwig.  In only 6 years, it has grown to a veritable homefront army, sending not only good cheer and morale-boosting goodies to our beloved troops in harm’s way, but enriching a grateful nation – one person at a time – in the process.  So, if you possibly can, please donate to the holiday drive this year.  More than ever, our troops need to know we love them and appreciate them and honor them — with all our hearts and souls and wallets. 
Happy Thanksgiving Day 2009!  We’re still free, hallelujah!  God-granting and soldiers willing to serve, we always will be.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/11/blessed_with_freedom_thank_a_s.html at November 26, 2009 – 11:53:01 AM EST

Dubai default threat rattles world stocks

Dubai default threat rattles world stocks
Nov 26 09:14 AM US/Eastern
Global stock markets tumbled Thursday on mounting anxiety over a debt default request by Dubai and tighter lending conditions in China, analysts said.London lost 1.86 percent to 5,264.97 points in late morning trade but was suspended at about 1030 GMT owing to a technical issue.

The London Stock Exchange said it was investigating the “root cause” of the problem and would update investors when it had further information.

Elsewhere, Frankfurt dived 1.80 percent to 5,698.99 points and Paris plunged 1.89 percent to 3,737.06 points at the half-way stage.

In Asia, Beijing nosedived 3.62 percent, Tokyo fell 0.62 percent and Hong Kong closed 1.78 percent lower. Chinese shares were also hit by the prospect of tighter banking rules and worries about monetary policy next year.

New York markets is closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving Day holiday in the United States.

“We have two major factors weighing on equities and other risk markets: Dubai’s call for a moratorium on its debt repayment to May and more stringent capital adequacy requirements for Chinese banks — but Dubai is bigger,” David Morrison, an analyst at financial betting firm GFT, told AFP.

The government of Dubai shocked financial markets on Wednesday when it said it would ask creditors of its Dubai World conglomerate for a debt moratorium of at least six months.

The Dubai government announced that it would revamp the Dubai World group and wanted its lenders to extend its maturing debt until at least May 2010.

Dubai added that it had raised five billion dollars in a new bonds issue aimed at helping meet its debt obligations.

“Dollar weakness … sent Asian markets plunging, which then took European exchanges with them,” said Xavier de Villepion, an analyst with Global Equities in Paris.

In addition, the partial default by Dubai “fed a climate of insecurity and crisis of confidence at a time when fears are mounting about excessive public debt.”

As equities sank heavily, investors sought safety in the bond market and gold, which struck yet another record high point.

“It’s causing a mini flight-to-quality as US, European debt gets bought as a relative safe haven,” noted Morrison.

He added: “If (Dubai) had given the debt markets more warning, then there would be less of a panic now.”

Meanwhile, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s said the development could be considered a default and downgraded a raft of Dubai government entities including Dubai World.

“The rating actions are the result of the announcement on November 25 of the restructuring of the debt obligations of Dubai World and its subsidiary, (construction group) Nakheel,” S & P said in a statement.

“In our view, such a restructuring may be considered a default under our default criteria, and represents the failure of the Dubai government to provide timely financial support to a core government-related entity.”

Barclays Capital analyst Paul Robinson warned that the issue of Dubai could contribute towards a “serious” pullback in global stock markets.

Others warned that it could take more than a decade for investor enthusiasm over Dubai to return, as a result of this week’s development.

“Dubai could not undermine either itself, or global perception any further as a place not to do business in at the moment,” MF Global analyst Manus Cranny told AFP.

“Quite literally, this geographic region is now looking as a mirage in stability terms.”

He added: “It is the much longer term implications on funding, confidence and capital raising that will take a decade or more to re-establish.

“This last-minute moratorium on debt repayments at Dubai World is unacceptable has all the smacking of an Ireland — nay worse, an Iceland — in the making.

“The two regions may be polemic in climate but mirror images in terms of credit and ability to meet their bills.”

Elsewhere on Thursday, gold soared to a record high of 1,195.13 dollars an ounce after a purchase of IMF gold by Sri Lanka’s central bank, traders said.

The precious metal has also won support in recent weeks from inflationary fears, the weak US currency and increasing moves by central banks to diversify assets into gold.

 

 

 

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