Tuesday, July 29, 2008

China

Reader SharkGirl responded to this post with this question:

Is it true our IRS rebates came from money borrowed from China?
The answer is yes and no.

It is true that the government had to borrow the money for the economic stimulus payments that were sent out earlier this year. And it is also true that China is a major holder of US debt. The last time I looked they were holding over three quarters of a trillion dollars of US government debt.

However the government did not go to China with its hat in its hand and ask for a loan to finance the stimulus package. They simply wrote the checks and issued securities to cover the cost and let anyone who wished to purchase them.

Other holders of US debt are insurance companies, mutual funds and various pension plans. Individual investors also purchase US government debt because it is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States of America it is considered a good investment.

Different people look at the vast amount of US debt being held by the Chinese in different ways. Liberal Democrats view the matter differently depending upon who is in the White House. If the president is a Democrat their attitude is:

"China's decision to invest in the US economy is based upon the confidence they have in the wise and visionary leadership of [insert the name of the Democrat president]. This does not represent a problem but rather is a strategic partnership which will bind our two nations closer in ties of friendship and economic cooperation"

If the president is a Republican their attitude will more than likely be:

"Our children's future is being sold to a foreign power by the incompetent policies of [insert the name of the Republican president and append the word "Hitler" to it for good measure]. This catastrophe only proves the need for massive tax increases and a radical diminution of the American citizenry's liberty"

The attitude of Libertarians is going to be:

All US dollars spent overseas will eventually come back to the United States, even those used to purchase oil (which is traded in dollars) will eventually find their way back to the US because that is where things are sold for dollars. We are sending large amounts of dollars to China in order to purchase their low price consumer goods and they need something to do with those dollars (other than making the oil purchases which are fueling their economy) so of course they are sending those dollars back to America.

In addition to buying up US debt they are also buying some American products, for example American SUV's are all the rage in China. The Chinese believe that America will honor its debts and so they see US debt as a good investment.

No American should worry about this because this massive investment means that China has a very large stake in the United State's economic health. After all they don't want to lose that 3/4 trillion dollars - do they? This makes it much less likely that China will do anything to damage the US and certainly they will not risk actual hostilities with the US. Libertarians have always believed that borders which are crossed by trade with never be crossed by soldiers so we should keep doing exactly what we have been doing with regard to China."


Conservatives see thing this way:

Our current relationship with China has undoubtedly brought benefits to both nations. American money has allowed China to expand its economy and bring a level of prosperity to its citizens which they have never known is all the history of the world. Along with that new economic freedom has come some measure of additional personal liberty and as long as China continues on its present course that trend is likely to continue.

America has benefited by the cheap Chinese products in that its lower economic classes are able to have a higher standard of living than they would otherwise enjoy. The Chinese practice of buying up US debt has allowed the US government to do things like fight the war in the Middle East and mail everyone an economic stimulus check without raising taxes and that has also benefited the American people, at least in the short term.

However there is also a great deal to worry about here. China thinks of America as its primary adversary upon the world stage. Their short and medium term plans call for the creation of what Japan once termed the "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere" - with China rather than Imperial Japan in the driver's seat. The Chinese clearly intend to exert hegemony over all of Asia, including Japan, and they clearly intend to turn the South Pacific into an Chinese lake.

The American government sees Chinese attempts to penetrate our electronic security coming with increasing frequency and Chinese espionage against the US is approaching the levels previously seen from the KGB before the downfall of the USSR.

The Chinese are actively attempting to steal every political, military and industrial secret they can from the US and they are developing the ability to launch a cyber attack on the US which would take down our power grid, crash our banking and financial systems, take our land line and cell phone networks off line, crash the Internet, take down the air traffic control network, make the routing of trains impossible and disrupt military communications.

The Chinese are building a blue water navy to challenge the US Navy and deny the US any ability to support Taiwan in the event that the Chinese government decides to retake the island by force. They also intend to be able to place enough force on the table to deter the US from aiding the Philippines when China annexes the Spratley Islands - and their oil and gas reserves.

The Chinese are also building an ICBM force which can deliver a nuclear payload to any point in US territory (thank you Bill Clinton).

While the Chinese do regard US debt as a good investment they also see it as a potent weapon. Should the Chinese desire to do so they could inflict serious damage to the American economy by dumping that debt onto the world's financial markets. This would cause a major devaluation of that debt and of the US dollar. It would trigger a major loss of confidence in the US economy and lead to other nations pulling their investments out of the US. Oil would begin to be traded in Euros rather than dollars which would lead to further devaluations of the dollar.

This could very well send the US economy into a depression like the one we suffered through in the 1930's. Of course the Chinese would lose their 750 plus billion dollars, but might they not consider that price to win a world war to be well worth paying?

Clearly China represents a difficult problem for the US. America must get its fiscal house in order and the first step in that process is balancing the budget. Along with that we must once again tie our currency to gold so that it can not be inflated to anything like the degree we see now. America must pay down its debt so that it cannot be used as a weapon against us. We must improve our electronic security so that our critical systems are no longer vulnerable to hostile hackers and we must step up our counterespionage efforts in order to protect our secrets.

We must also evaluate the Chinese military, especially naval, buildup and maintain not just superior but overwhelmingly superior forces. The Chinese must not be tempted to think, even for one second, that they can move against the Spratleys, Japan or Taiwan without triggering an utterly crushing response from the United States.

A good idea

The Dowager Viscountess had this to say about the post about Muslim offense against the Scottish police advertisement featuring a photograph of a puppy:

Hmmm, so one could consider having a doggy around or even having pics of dogs the same as hanging garlic about to ward off vampires? This tidbit might come in handy in the future!
This started me to thinking. Do you remember that story by Robert Heinlein called "The Man Who Sold The Moon"? Heinlein wrote this is 1949 when the idea of even launching satellites into earth orbit was new. The story involves a businessman who develops the first rockets which can reach the moon, but he needs funding to develop his idea. So he goes to "Moka-Cola" wearing a button depicting the full moon with a giant "6+" logo (their chief competitor) on it and then to someone from the US government with a full moon button with a giant hammer and sickle plastered across its face.

He explains that it would be possible to place an image on the face of the moon by firing rockets with payloads of powdered coal programed to impact in the right pattern on the lunar surface.

He then explains that for a fee he could be persuaded not to do such a thing. Coke and Uncle Sam pony up the cash and thus begins the colonization of the moon.

As I said this started me thinking. The idea of using powdered coal to create a pattern on the lunar surface is absolutely sound from a technological point of view. What if we placed a large image of a dog standing next to a pig on the moon so that every time Muslims looked up into the night sky they were forced to view those hateful images? What if they knew that even when they couldn't see the moon that it was still there the dog and pig looking down upon them, mocking their faith and their prophet?

You know, we could even add that picture of Mohamed with the bomb in his head rag that gets them so riled up!

What would happen? Would they kill each other off in a mass wave of rioting?

It's worth thinking about.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The latest sin against Islam


From The Daily Mail:

A postcard featuring a cute puppy sitting in a policeman's hat advertising a Scottish police force's new telephone number has sparked outrage from Muslims.

Tayside Police's new non-emergency phone number has prompted complaints from members of the Islamic community.

The choice of image on the Tayside Police cards - a black dog sitting in a police officer's hat - has now been raised with Chief Constable John Vine.

The advert has upset Muslims because dogs are considered ritually unclean and has sparked such anger that some shopkeepers in Dundee have refused to display the advert.

Dundee councillor Mohammed Asif said: 'My concern was that it's not welcomed by all communities, with the dog on the cards.

'It was probably a waste of resources going to these communities.

'They (the police) should have understood. Since then, the police have explained that it was an oversight on their part, and that if they'd seen it was going to cause upset they wouldn't have done it.'

Councillor Asif, who is a member of the Tayside Joint Police Board, said that the force had a diversity adviser and was generally very aware of such issues.

He raised the matter with Mr Vine at a meeting of the board.

The chief constable said he was unaware of the concerns and that the force had not sought to cause any upset but added he would look into the matter.

Councillor Asif said: 'People who have shops just won't put up the postcard. But the police have said to me that it was simply an oversight and they did not seek to offend or upset.'

Cards featuring police dog-in-training Rebel have been distributed to communities throughout the area to advertise the single number point of contact for non-emergency calls to the police.

Rebel has proved a popular recruit for Tayside Police after coming through the very first Lothian and Borders Police dog-breeding programme in February.

One of seven German Shepherd pups born in early December, he has now completed his course of inoculations, and is free to venture out onto the streets of Tayside.

A spokesman for Tayside Police said: 'Trainee police dog Rebel has proved extremely popular with children and adults since being introduced to the public, aged six weeks old, as Tayside Police's newest canine recruit.

'His incredible world-wide popularity - he has attracted record visitor numbers to our website - led us to believe Rebel could play a starring role in the promotion of our non-emergency number.

'We did not seek advice from the force's diversity adviser prior to publishing and distributing the postcards. That was an oversight and we apologise for any offence caused.'

Good lord but the British Empire has surely fallen hard and far. Why in heaven's name would anyone have thought to consult the "diversity adviser" before using a picture of a puppy in an advertisement?

Why in heaven's name do they even have a "diversity adviser"?

Of course Muslims are offended. Muslims are offended by anything which does not conform exactly to the standards of their filthy Dark Ages religious code. If the UK wishes to have a nation full of offense free Muslims they must get busy conforming their entire society to the standards of sharia.

Oh, wait a minute. They already are busy conforming their entire society to the demands of sharia.

Never mind.

In a sane West these seventh century savages would be told to either learn to live in a civilized nation or go crawl back under whatever Middle Eastern rock they slithered out from under in the first place.

But the West is no longer sane.

Paging Fox Mulder

And he says extra-terrestrials have visited Earth on several occasions - but the alien contact has been repeatedly covered up by governments for six decades.

Dr Mitchell, 77, said during a radio interview that sources at the space agency who had had contact with aliens described the beings as 'little people who look strange to us.'

He said supposedly real-life ET's were similar to the traditional image of a small frame, large eyes and head.

Chillingly, he claimed our technology is "not nearly as sophisticated" as theirs and "had they been hostile", he warned "we would be been gone by now".

Dr Mitchell, along with with Apollo 14 commander Alan Shepard, holds the record for the longest ever moon walk, at nine hours and 17 minutes following their 1971 mission.

"I happen to have been privileged enough to be in on the fact that we've been visited on this planet and the UFO phenomena is real," Dr Mitchell said.

"It's been well covered up by all our governments for the last 60 years or so, but slowly it's leaked out and some of us have been privileged to have been briefed on some of it.

"I've been in military and intelligence circles, who know that beneath the surface of what has been public knowledge, yes - we have been visited. Reading the papers recently, it's been happening quite a bit."


Dr Mitchell, who has a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering and a Doctor of Science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics claimed Roswell was real and similar alien visits continue to be investigated.

He told the astonished Kerrang! radio host Nick Margerrison: "This is really starting to open up. I think we're headed for real disclosure and some serious organisations are moving in that direction."

Mr Margerrison said: "I thought I'd stumbled on some sort of astronaut humour but he was absolutely serious that aliens are definitely out there and there's no debating it."

Officials from NASA, however, were quick to play the comments down.

In a statement, a spokesman said: "NASA does not track UFOs. NASA is not involved in any sort of cover up about alien life on this planet or anywhere in the universe.

'Dr Mitchell is a great American, but we do not share his opinions on this issue.'

Mitchell isn't the first person to have formerly held a responsible position with the government to come out with a pronouncement like this. Remember Air Force officer Jesse Marcel who made a great many ridiculous statements about the so-called Roswell incident late in his life? He was a man who served honorably in Air Force intelligence yet saw fit to throw his reputation away by feeding the alien visitation mythology.

As for Mitchell none of this is new for him. He has been saying for years that the government has been covering up alien encounters and that scientists are studying the bodies of aliens which were recovered from crashed UFO's. Even while he was in the space program he had an interest in paranormal phenomena and conducted ESP experiments while in space (trying to make psychic contact with friends on earth). Mitchell claims that the was healed of kidney cancer by a psychic healer.

What motivates men like Edgar Mitchell and Jesse Marcel? Perhaps in Marcel's case it was a desire to cash in financially so that he would have something to leave his family. And Mitchell? Frankly he just comes across as a crank. Yes he was an astronaut and he has a very good education in the hard sciences but that's no protection against having a screw loose.

The bubble begins to burst

From Financial Times:


Oil prices continued their correction this week as the debate about the influence of speculators in energy markets reached a new pitch.

The US Senate yesterday failed to agree on proposals to limit excessive speculation in energy markets and, with oil prices becoming a huge political issue in a presidential election year, attention turns to the House of Representatives, which will debate the issue next week.

But with US lawmakers about to break for summer holidays, any change to regulations governing oil trading appears unlikely before September at the earliest.

Nymex September West Texas Intermediate sank $2.99 to a session low of $122.50 a barrel on Friday, down 5 per cent this week.

ICE September Brent lost $3.05 to a session low of $123.39 a barrel on Friday, off 5.9 per cent this week. Hurricane Dolly caused minimal disruption to production in the Gulf of Mexico and the ending of that threat contributed to selling pressure this week.

The correction for oil prices has lasted two weeks with Brent down 16.3 per cent since hitting a record $147.50 on July 11 while WTI has sunk 16.8 per cent since reaching an all-time high of $147.27 on the same day.

[. . .]

The correction in oil prices has weighed heavily across agricultural commodities, base metals and gold. Renewed fears about the health of the global financial system and the outlook for economic growth has prompted many hedge funds and short-term momentum players to cut back on their commodities exposures.

First the tech bubble then the housing bubble and now the oil bubble. These kinds of things have always happened (remember the tulip craze in the 1600's?) but why are they hitting us one after another like waves upon a beach?

Of course there are sound market reasons for a downward correction in the price of oil. One is that the momentum has shifted in favor of drilling in the US and the second is our success in Iraq. Now that it no longer looks like the region is going to dissolve into chaos with the jihadists emerging in control there is much less uncertainty about future supply.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Miss Ann is Talking

That means that YOU are listening!

Back before the Republican Party was saddled with John McCain as its nominee, The New York Times called him "the only Republican who promises to end the George Bush style of governing from and on behalf of a small, angry fringe." The paper praised him for "working across the aisle to develop sound bipartisan legislation" and predicted that he would appeal to "a broader range of Americans than the rest of the Republican field."

At the same time, the Times denounced "the real" Rudy Giuliani as "a narrow, obsessively secretive, vindictive man" and Mitt Romney as "shape-shifting," claiming it's "hard to find an issue on which he has not repositioned himself to the right since he was governor of Massachusetts."

Here are a few issues I found that Romney hadn't switched positions on, and it wasn't "hard": tax cuts, health care, same-sex marriage, illegal immigration and the surge in Iraq. The only issue on which Romney had changed his position was abortion, irritating people who would prefer for Republicans to refuse to run in places like Massachusetts and New York City in order to preserve their perfect pro-life credentials.

Times columnist Nicholas Kristof echoed the editorial page in early February with a column titled: "Who Is More Electable?" In the very first sentence, Kristof concluded that McCain is "the Republican most likely to win the November election." Kristof touted McCain's "unusual appeal among swing voters" and cited polls that showed McCain would do "stunningly well" in a general election.

Also in February, CNN produced polls showing McCain doing better than "generic Republican" in a general election, which Jeffrey Toobin said was a tribute to how "well respected" McCain is. Hey, is it too late for us to nominate "generic Republican"?

And on MSNBC's "Hardball," from the way Chris Matthews carried on about McCain, you'd think he had caught a glimpse of Obama's ankle. Matthews said that McCain was "the real straight talker ... a profile in courage ... more seasoned than the current president, a patriot, of course ... honest and respected in the media. He has all the pluses in the world of a sort of a, you know, an Audie Murphy, if you will, a real war hero."

I guess the party's over.

Now the Times won't even publish McCain's op-ed. I wouldn't have published it either -- I've read it twice and I still can't remember what it says -- but I also wouldn't have published McCain's seven op-eds in The New York Times since 1996.

Since McCain has gone from being a Republican "maverick" who attacks Republicans and promotes liberal causes to the Republican nominee for president, he's also gone from being one of the Times' most frequent op-ed guest columnists to being an unpublishable illiterate.

I looked up McCain's oeuvre for the Times, and if you want unpublishable, that's unpublishable. In one column, McCain assailed Republicans for their lack of commitment to the environment, noting that polls -- probably the same ones showing him to be the most "electable" Republican -- indicated that "the environment is the voters' number-one concern about continued Republican leadership of Congress."

McCain concluded with this ringing peroration: "(O)ur nation's continued prosperity hinges on our ability to solve environmental problems and sustain the natural resources on which we all depend." That's good writing -- I mean assuming you're writing hack press releases for an irrelevant environmentalist think tank.

The rest of McCain's op-eds in the Times bravely took on -- I quote -- "unnecessary regulation" and "pork-barrel spending." It's that sort of courage and clear-headedness that tells me we're going to be OK this fall.

In coming out four-square against "unnecessary regulation" and "pork-barrel spending," McCain threw down the gauntlet to those who favor "unnecessary regulation" and "pork-barrel spending." Actually, I think there's a rule that says you're not being brave if there is not a single person in the world who would publicly disagree with you.

While the media are busy telling McCain that "It's not you, it's us," Al Gore, a recent Democratic candidate for president, has become certifiably nuts. Gore's increasingly bizarre public statements are a reminder of the dangers of going off carbs cold turkey.

On "Meet the Press" last weekend, Gore called on America to be carbon dioxide-free within 10 years. In the same spirit of pointlessness and futility, I call on America to be 100 percent oxygen-free within 10 years.

Say, how do "hot lap dances" affect global warming? Last week, a Gore supporter, Louis Posner, enraged over the result of the 2000 presidential election and founder of the Democratic voter organization Voter March, was arrested in New York on charges of prostitution and money laundering.

According to the police, in addition to sponsoring events with Vincent Bugliosi about Bush stealing the 2000 election, Posner ran a prostitution ring out of his club, the Hot Lap Dance Club, where employees say they were required to have sex with Posner in order to work there. No wonder Posner was so testy about the 2000 election -- he wanted to preserve the glory of the Clinton years.

Imagine the important reporting we could have gotten on the Hot Lap Dance Club story if only the entire American media weren't with the Messiah on his "Ich Bin Ein Berlitzer" Tour!

But a two-week vacation in Europe is just what B. Hussein Obama needs to polish up his speech about how all our geopolitical challenges are due to American boorishness and stupidity. That ought to make for a boffo op-ed in The New York Times.

There is only one word in the English Language which sums up John McCain's relationship with the mainstream media prior to his securing the nomination in the Republican primary race and that word is WHORE.

Other words come close. Stooge, tool, useful idiot and dupe all accurately describe a part of McCain's relationship with the MSM however they all lack the important moral component of whore.

McCain was the left-wing media's Republican whore. He would give them a cheap thrill by going on their cable shows or giving interviews to their newspapers or magazines and trashing his fellow Republicans and doing as much harm to the conservative agenda as he could - while aiding the left's agenda in any way he could and in return he would receive his payment.

The coin which McCain received for laying back and spreading for the Democrat Party's Ministry of Propaganda and Enlightenment (otherwise known as the MSM) was face time on the air and praise heaped upon him by various reporters and editorial boards. Just give another look at the NYT's endorsement of McCain to see the kind of coverage McCain became accustomed to during all his years of knifing his fellow Republicans in the back.

This horrible campaign season has held out only two bright spots. One has been seeing Hillary Clinton lose. To see She Who Would Be Queen derailed on the way to her coronation BY HER OWN PARTY has been a pleasure akin to drinking the finest wine. To see not just Hillary but her husband as well rejected and discarded by the Democrat party (much as Bill would toss away a used Kleenex after an encounter with Monica) is a political pleasure which - on a personal level - comes close to seeing Ronald Reagan elected.

Of course the other bright spot in this season is seeing the mainstream media turn on their previous golden boy and savage McCain like the pack of rabid junkyard dogs they truly are.

This has not begun in earnest yet. The MSM has been so in love with Obama that they have poured all their energy into building him up. However now that they see that he is unable to gain any kind of bump in the polls from his securing the nomination or from his world tour and as they see his poll numbers remain very close to McCain during the part of the campaign cycle in which even a losing Democrat like Mondale was far ahead of his Republican rival they will soon begin the work of destroying John McCain.

As I have said before I want to see the look on McCain's face when the media, those whom McCain has accustomed to thinking of as his "true base" begin treating him as they would any other Republican who is standing in the way of their favored liberal Democrat's election.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Who's really to blame for high oil prices


Counting our oil shale we have more petroleum than the Middle East. Counting our coal we have more energy reserves than the entire rest of the world.

There are two people who could announce that they were going to do everything in their power to see that America would develop its own energy resources. That announcement would send the price of oil plummeting.

Who are these two people who could hand us $2.25 per gallon gas overnight if they just were willing?

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

They could lower oil prices with just a press release but they refuse to do so.

Why?

Cartoon from Red Planet.

Blogs for Borders video blogburst

Our weekly podcast -- vlog on illegal immigration and border security. In this weeks edition...

Uncounted beans: cooked crime stats? Is our government covering up Hispanic crime?

100% Preventable! Americans continue to pay the bloody price for open borders, when will the madness end?

Importing extinct crimes? Along with funky restaurants and 'vibrant' neighborhoods illegal immigrants also revive dead crimes.




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Why are they hiring fundamentalist Muslims in the first place?

From The BBC:

The Metropolitan Police Force is to drop the crown and cross from its insignia for non-Christian officers because of objections from a Muslim recruit.

A Muslim traffic warden resigned because he complained he was unable to wear the symbol from any other faith.

The Sunday Times reports that the force has come under pressure from a threatened employment tribunal resulting from the case.

Currently all officers in Britain's 51 police areas wear the badge which incorporates the St Edward's crown, topped with a Christian cross.

Now the Met is proposing to develop an alternative badge for people who do not want to sport the traditional one.

In a statement, the Met said it had long "cherished" its association with the Crown.

However, its future depended on its "ability to attract and maintain the most talented people and cater for their individual needs and requirements".

It proposes that all employees will still be issued with the traditional badges "as a matter of course" but if they object - with supportable reasons - they will be offered a badge without the crown.

The initiative could be adopted nationwide after the Met's deputy commissioner Ian Blair discusses the issue with the Association of Chief Police Officers.

Traditionalists have rejected the idea.

Inspector Glenn Smyth, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, told the Sunday Times: "Uniform should be exactly what the word means - it should apply to everyone.

"We swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen. The crown is the symbol of that oath and this move attacks its meaning."

Tony Arbour, a Conservative member of the Greater London Authority, said it was political correctness "going mad".

Un friggin' believable. No, its Europe so it it all too believable.

At least there are some people left over there with the sanity to object. Not enough of them, but at least the great mass of Eurosheep won't be able to claim that they weren't warned.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Can America "get it back"?

More true wisdom from our old friend Victor Davis Hanson:

In the last 20 years, we were lectured constantly about "post-industrial" America. Experts proclaimed that the United States had evolved into an "information society" of "high-tech jobs." The traditional sources of American strength - manufacturing, the production of food and fuel, and the assembling of cars and trucks - were apparently passe. Instead, others less fortunate abroad were to do those more grubby tasks, while Americans, with their BlackBerrys and laptops, funded, organized, lectured and critiqued them.

Illegal aliens might cook our meals or change our children's diapers to free us up for far more important tasks of litigation, finance and environmental review. The Chinese would make everything from our shoes to our phones. The Japanese would supply us with quality high-end goods like cars and cameras. The Africans, Arabs, Iranians, Russians and Venezuelans would drill oil in nasty, dirty places so we wouldn't have to.

Even our food - which would be always in season - would increasingly be shipped in from Mexico and South America.

Refined Americans became more concerned over questions of gender, race and class justice in our universities and courtrooms, as if the chief problem were only dividing the American pie equitably, rather than expanding it.

The real source of American wealth apparently was the mere fact that we were Americans. Therefore, the rest of the world should naturally loan us money to sustain our envied lifestyle. Our homes got bigger, and we bought and sold them more as investments than as places to raise our families.

As an aside, there are plenty of Americans, including some on the right who think exactly this way. The way Rush Limbaugh uses the term "American exceptionalism" it seems that he thinks it means "we're Americans, we have a right to . . . just because!".

Our top graduates opted for Wall Street, insurance, law, journalism and academia. Why not, when laws made it more conducive to invest and trade, but harder and less lucrative to build, drill, farm and manufacture?

American universities bragged that they were teaching the world how to design and engineer - as our own kids gravitated to law and management schools. We relied on a paternalistic government to regulate what we shouldn't do rather than turn to our best and brightest private citizens to show us what we could.

Alas, no successful civilization in history - Greece, Rome, England, France, the list goes on - ever found prosperity through its bureaucrats and lawyers.

The result of all this growing American laxity and condescension so far is mixed.

The good news, aside from the fact that Americans have never had it so good, is that millions in China are no longer starving. Japan talks of marketing hybrid cars, not re-establishing its old "Co-Prosperity Sphere." The Persian Gulf looks more like Las Vegas than the badlands of Waziristan. Billions in the new globalized world are now emulating the American middle class, which, for all the caricatures, still represents freedom and affluence for so many.

The downside, of course, is a growing collective panic here at home, over whether such undeniable progress is sustainable when America is up to its neck in debt, dependent on foreign energy and plagued by self-doubt and inaction.

Our 21st-century paralysis is surprising. The United States is not materially exhausted. We sit atop trillions of dollars worth of untapped oil, gas, coal, shale and tar sands.

America could mine more uranium, and reprocess fuels to build hundreds of nuclear plants. American agriculture is blessed with the world's best soils, most developed irrigation systems, and most productive and astute farmers.

There is as much sun and wind in the western United States as anywhere in the world. We have plenty of natural resources and the know-how to make all the wood, steel and cement products we need.

A new, hungrier generation of Americans will have to want to reclaim our pre-eminence and change the national attitude. It must be ready to pay off generations of debt rather than borrow, build rather than sue, and drill rather than whine.

It's time to honor rather than avoid and outsource physical labor. Our children are healthy enough to cut our own lawns and pick our fruit. Let's also hope they want to hear a lot more about Gen. David Petraeus' success, and a lot less of Madonna's latest psychodramas.

But just as importantly, what Americans need now is leadership to get moving again - rather than more platitudes about hope, squabbling about race and gender, and endless rhetoric about who is really a maverick or a true conservative or the most liberal. What we need to know from our two presidential candidates are specifics about how to jumpstart America.

So, how many more barrels of oil, refineries and megawatts will America produce - and when and how? How much debt will the next administration retire - and when and how? How and when will our schools return to knowledge-based rather than the present (and failing) therapeutic curriculum?

Americans, in short, should be tired of hearing that we are a post-industrial, postmodern, post-anything society. Instead, we want to be known again as a can-do producer nation that sweats as much as it thinks. And the confident presidential candidate who can best assure us of that will surely win this election.

I agree with everything Hanson says here. Unfortunately neither Obama nor McCain is going to tell Americans that they can once again become a nation of "can-do" producers. As a left-liberal heavily influenced by the doctrines of Marxism Obama is afraid that America might recapture its old spirit. After all an America concerned with the things Hanson is talking about would have a great deal less time to obsess about race and gender and the other grievance issues which catapult men like Barack Obama into power.

As for McCain he might be able to pull something like this off - if he weren't so obsessed with running along after the left shouting "me too, me too".

All it will take is a couple of New York Times editorials about how America will ruin the planet if it tries to become a productive society once again and McCain will don his dungarees and go out to personally dismantle what are left of America's steel mills.

If America is to be saved it will be by the little children of today. If they grow up with a desire to make their nation great once again they can do it. But the adult generation of today is a spent force. The very fact that gasoline is over $4.00 per gallon and the majority political party is still dead set against developing our own oil resources tells us that they are beyond hope.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Watchers Council

As some of you may have already been made aware The Watcher, the leader of the great and powerful Watchers Council, has retired due to health issues. I suspect foul play. Anyone who listens to talk radio or watches the cable news shows knows of the part that the Watchers Council played in the downfall of Hillary Clinton and we all have seen the video of her insane profane ravings to ever smaller audiences where she swears her vengeance upon her enemies.

In other words I think that the Watcher's doctors need to check for rician.

However life must go on and this week's Watchers Council vote is being hosted by Joshuapundit.

Here are the nominations:

Council

1.JoshuaPundit: Will Israel Attack Iran?

2.Soccer Dad:The Army's Top 10 inventions And The Legacy Of Harry Diamond

3.The Glittering Eye: Sen. Obama Re-States His Plan for Iraq

4.Cheat Seeking Missiles: Laundry Guilt

5.BookWorm Room:It's official: Obama doesn't flip-flop, he just does nuanced "rephrases"

6.Rhymes With Right: Ny Times Sides With Border Jumping Immigration Criminals

7.Wolf Howling: Critiquing The Obama Manifesto On Iraq

8.The Razor:What Can We Do To Reduce Oil Consumption?

9.Done With Mirrors: Poetry Matters

10The Colossus Of Rhodey:The Latest - Global Warming Causes Kidney Stones!

11.Hillbilly White Trash:What To Do About The Dollar

12.The Education Wonk: Texas Teacher Shortage?


Non-Council



1.Shrinkwrapped:Making People Better

2.Doug Ross & Journal: Let Me Put It In Pictures For Our Progressive Friends

3.Dan Drezner:"We are seriously concerned about this most serious outbreak of seriousness"

4.Power Line: Obama's Dishonest Op-Ed

5.Power Line:Setting the Record Straight

6.Harris County Criminal Justice System: A Good Man

7.EU Referendum:The Great Bio Fuels Con

8.Israel Matzav: Lebanon plans 'state ceremony' to welcome Kuntar

9.Melanie Phillips: Sleepwalking Into Islamization

10.7.62 Justice: Troop Drawdown

11.Seraphic Secrets: Comrade Obama Purges Website

12.Vox Popoli: Home and Garden hater

I apologise to my fellow council members because I was unaware that the vote was going on this week and so did not either submit any writings for consideration (one of my essays was picked for me - and it is the one I would have submitted) and I did not even see that a vote was being held until it was already too late to vote.

I will bring you the results tomorrow as usual and in future weeks I will hold up my end.

For now and in all seriousness let's all say a prayer for the Watcher's health. He is a good man and an asset to the blogosphere. May he have a speedy and complete recovery and be back among us ASAP.

Blogs 4 Borders video blogburst

Our weekly vlog -- podcast on illegal immigration and border security. In this weeks edition...
Asking the hard questions: are illegal aliens the only problem?

100% Preventable! Innocent Americans continue to pay the bloody price for open borders! When will the madness end?

The Deportation Joke? Open borders + deportation =?





Download for your ipod here.

Our friend John Monti is facing yet another bogus legal challenge (learn more here) and he could use our support. Make sure to join his Facebook group and hit the tip jar!

Click on image

If you'd like to sponsor a show contact us here.

This has been the Blogs For Borders Video Blogburst. The Blogs For Borders Blogroll is dedicated to American sovereignty, border security and a sane immigration policy. If you’d like to join find out how right here.


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Miss Ann is talking

That means that YOU are listening!

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, or as she is called on the Big Dogs blog, "the worst speaker in the history of Congress," explained the cause of high oil prices back in 2006: "We have two oilmen in the White House. The logical follow-up from that is $3-a-gallon gasoline. It is no accident. It is a cause and effect. A cause and effect."

Yes, that would explain why the price of oral sex, cigars and Hustler magazine skyrocketed during the Clinton years. Also, I note that Speaker Pelosi is a hotelier ... and the price of a hotel room in New York is $1,000 a night! I think she might be onto something.

Is that why a barrel of oil costs mere pennies in all those other countries in the world that are not run by "oilmen"? Wait -- it doesn't cost pennies to them? That's weird.

In response to the 2003 blackout throughout the Northeast U.S. and parts of Canada, Pelosi blamed: "President Bush and Rep. Tom DeLay's oil-company interests." The blackout was a failure of humans operating electric power; it had nothing to do with oil. And I'm not even "an oilman."

But yes -- good point: What a disaster having people in government who haven't spent their entire lives in politics! That explains everything. A government official with relevant experience or knowledge about an issue is obviously a crisis of gargantuan proportions.

This must be why the Democrats are nominating B. Hussein Obama, who finished middle school three days ago and has less experience than a person one might choose at random from the audience of "American Idol."

Announcing the Democrats' bold new "plan" on energy last week, Pelosi said breaking into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve "is one alternative." That's not an energy plan. It's using what we already have -- much like "conservation," which is also part of the Democrats' plan.

Conservation, efficiency and using oil we hold in reserve for emergencies does not get us more energy. It's as if we were running out of food and the Democrats were telling us: "Just eat a little less every day." Great! We'll die a little more slowly. That's not what we call a "plan." We need more energy, not a plan for a slower death.

But there's more! Pelosi announced that the Democrats also plan to push for "an historic investment in biofuels, efficiency, conservation and the rest." The "rest" is apparently what she called our "important and essential" investment in alternative energy.

That certainly would be historic: We would make history by throwing our money away on unproven energy boondoggles that have eaten up untold billions since the 1960s without producing a single net kilowatt of power while we all starve to death.

The proposal to use energy sources that don't yet produce any energy is like the old New Yorker cartoon with Obama in Muslim garb -- no wait, that was a different cartoon. The cartoon is: A scientist has written out his extremely complicated theory on a blackboard and is showing it to another scientist. The theory consists of numbers and characters and takes up the entire blackboard. About two-thirds of the way across, reading left to right, appear the words, "then a miracle happens," followed by more numbers and characters.

That's the Democrats' plan to run cars on biofuels, solar and wind power: Then a miracle happens. The current Democratic mantra on energy is: "We can't drill our way out of this problem." Apparently their plan is to talk our way out of this problem.

Democrats are also alleging that the oil companies are sitting on millions of acres of oil but are refusing to drill -- presumably because oil company executives hate the American people and perversely don't want to make money. Manifestly, those acres are being explored for oil or have already come up dry.

If the Democrats really wanted oil companies to find more oil, they'd allow oil companies to drill offshore and to drill in ANWR, which we happen to know is bursting with oil.

But they don't. They don't want drilling. They don't want more oil. They want humans to ride bicycles and then to die. We deserve it: We were mean to the polar bears.

It's good to know that in the middle of a crisis, the Democrats are still liars. As long as we're fantasizing about "alternative" energy sources, what we really need is a car that runs on Democrats' lies.

Let me back Mis Ann up by saying this. Conservation is not even a part of the solution. Conservation, also called economizing, is a fine thing for people wishing to save money to do, but it does not produce one drop of new oil or one watt of new electric power. Conservation does not move a truck or car one foot down the highway and it does not provide one ounce of the petrochemicals which are so important to our modern economy.

Wind power is not even a part of the solution. Yes there are some places where the wind blows hard enough with enough consistency (that is 24/7/365) to make wind turbines not completely useless, but those areas are not common enough to provide more than a trickle of power to the national grid. And even where there is enough wind and wind farms have been built they are not able to produce power at a competitive price. Wherever you see windmills you see taxpayers being robbed in order to fund a boondoggle. The business reason for erecting windmills is not to generate power. It is to gain tax breaks and government subsidies, and that is not going to change.

Solar power may one day be part of the solution, but is it cannot be today. The best photovoltaic cells we have today only convert a tiny percentage of sunlight to electricity. If a much more efficient solar cell could be developed it could literally solve all of earth's energy needs in that the energy of the sunlight which strikes the earth is 6000 time the amount of energy which all human activity now consumes.

However the development of that new photovoltaic technology is something which we cannot predict and may in fact prove to be impossible. Betting our energy future on a technology which we have no idea how to develop is like planning your retirement around buying Power Ball tickets. Yeah it might pay off, but do you really want to take the chance?

We understand petroleum and we have large supplies of it right now. And we need energy right now. The oil extraction technology we have available right now is environmentally safe. The offshore oil rigs are located so far out to sea that they cannot even be seen from shore so they pose no threat to the coastal tourist or fishing economies of any state in the Union.

The fear of what an oil spill might do to the pristine beaches of Florida or California is based on a small number of incidents the most recent of which is decades old and involved technology which has long been superseded.

The oil operations in Alaska prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that they are no danger to any wildlife or plant life and in fact have proven beneficial to the local caribou population.

There is no sane reason not to develop America's domestic energy reserves right now.

Hussein sticks a sock in Michelle

But how long will it stay there?

Mat Drudge is reporting the following:

Michelle Obama IS NOT going on Obama's trips to Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, and Europe.

Nor would she have a policy role in the Obama administration; she would be raising their daughters.

But SHE WILL have a primetime speaking role at the Democratic National Convention.

NEW YORK TIMES reporter Patrick 'The Biographer' Healy will be first out with the full details in the coming days, newsroom sources tell DRUDGE.

Developing...


We are led to wonder how long all this will last if Obama is actually elected president. The simmering anger which occasionally breaks free and shows itself in Michelle's unguarded moments is unlikely to remain buried and the massive, if not bottomless, sense of entitlement which Michelle absorbed from growing up as a minority in the sewer of the Democrat party will most likely compel her to attempt to grab off a piece of the presidential power. At this point I wouldn't even bet that she would be more subtle than Hillary.

After all what's the fun of sticking it to the white people if they don't know that they've been stuck to?

Let the bullying begin

Irish politicians reacted angrily Wednesday after French President Nicolas Sarkozy suggested Ireland should hold a second referendum on the EU's new treaty, after rejecting it last month.

Irish voters dealt a blow to the European Union last month by rejecting the Lisbon Treaty in the only popular vote on the text anywhere in the 27-nation bloc.

According to deputies who attended a meeting with Sarkozy Tuesday, he said that the Irish would "have to re-vote", despite 53 percent opposition.

A key adviser to the French president said later on Wednesday that Sarkozy could ask Ireland to hold a second referendum on the document, but with some minor changes.

"One of the solutions would be indeed to eventually ask the Irish to re-vote, but probably not on a text that would be exactly the same," said Henri Guaino in an interview to French television.

"We'll see," he added.

Guaino stressed that Sarkozy's remarks, widely reported in the press, were "not an official statement from the president."

Sarkozy's comments were described as "deeply insulting" by Sinn Fein's Aengus O Snodaigh, who speaks for the party on international affairs. Sinn Fein was the only major political party in Ireland to oppose the Lisbon Treaty.

"In the month since the Irish people voted overwhelmingly to reject the Lisbon Treaty, we have listened to a succession of EU leaders lining up to try and bully and coerce us into doing what they want," O Snodaigh said.

"The fact is that the people have spoken and the Lisbon Treaty is dead."

Not if the Euro-Elite has anything to say about it.

This is how it was supposed to work. Each nation in the EU would have to ratify the new EU constitution and if any failed to do so then the document would be dead. The nations could make their decision any way they wanted to. Anything from a decree by an imperial legislature to a free vote of the people.

All the nations of Europe other than Ireland chose the imperial decree route. The reason is that the new EU government's structure has more in common with fascism than it does with any other political system that man has ever devised and most Europeans are still aware of what happened when Europe last tried to go fascist.

Now the Elites are going to do what leftists do every time a vote or court decision goes against them - demand a re-vote. Of course when the decision goes their way they consider the matter completely and eternally closed, but the topic of the left's hypocrisy is one of those "water is wet" things that most of us are tired of hearing about so we won't dwell on it.

Over the next few months we will hear European politicians attempt to shame the Irish into capitulation by reminding them of how much Ireland owes the Union. They will claim that development aid from the Union is the only reason that Ireland is enjoying it's current prosperity (Ireland has one of the most dynamic and healthy economies in Europe).

This is a lie. Ireland's prosperity is due to two factors. One is the collapse of the Soviet Union. This led to the chain reaction implosion of all of Europe's Soviet led/funded/inspired terrorist/revolutionaly movements like the Red Brigades and the IRA and all its offshoots.

The second factor in Ireland's renaissance is the decision by the Irish people, acting through their elected representatives, to turn Ireland into a low-tax haven for business. This has pulled large amounts of money into the Irish economy from other parts of Europe, as well as North America and Asia.

And thus we come to the real reason that the Euro-Elites want to take Ireland into their suffocating embrace. Ireland shows the rest of Europe what can be accomplished by a people who act to remove the dead hand of government from their economic lives. Totalitarian governments fear this knowledge as vampires fear crosses and wooden stakes. That is why they must bring Ireland into the European fold and snuff out its prosperity. Otherwise other European peoples might begin to wonder why they can't have the same freedom and prosperity.

The Irish people should be glad that the EU nations have cut back their military spending so drastically in the past decade. Otherwise they might find themselves facing what Hitler and Napoleon (the EU's precursors) could only dream of, a massive cross-channel invasion of the British Isles (at least a part of them).

So let's all begin the weekend by hoisting a glass of stout to our Irish brothers and sisters and say a prayer that their courage and resolve will hold in the face of all that the EU can do to bully them into signing away their sovereignty.

And today I'm wearing green.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What to do about the dollar

July 15 (Bloomberg) -- The dollar declined to a record low against the euro on speculation Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will say credit- market losses are hurting U.S. economic growth.

The currency also weakened to the lowest level in more than a month against the Japanese yen and to a 25-year low versus the Australian dollar on concern confidence in the debt of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will diminish even after the U.S. government pledged support for the two-largest buyers of home loans. The pound surpassed $2 for the first time since July 1 after U.K. inflation quickened to the fastest pace in at least 11 years.

Put simply the reason that the dollar is dropping like a stone is that the US dollar is not tied to any commodity - like gold, for example - and so it is backed only by confidence in the US economy. Add to this the fact that the US has spent the past few decades printing money as fast as it can, thus devaluing the currency, and you can see why each dollar is worth less and less. But there's more.

Confidence in the US economy is being seriously damaged now by several factors. One is the credit crunch and all of its consequences. Another is the extreme reluctance of the US to exploit its own energy resources (drilling, oil shale, coal and nuclear). This means that the US will remain dependent upon foreign nations (many of them hostile to us) for it's economy's most important commodity.

The high oil prices themselves are causing damage to the American economy and therefore harming confidence in that economy. Built into ever barrel of oil's price is an "uncertainty premium" of at least 20%. The uncertainty I speak of is over the future of the Middle East. The US attempt to bring some stability to the region is going well but could still be torpedoed by a too-soon withdrawal from Iraq. If this were to happen and the Iraqi government found itself unable to stand on its own (an increasingly less likely prospect, but still a realistic one) the entire region could become a great deal more dangerous. This fear cannot help but to drive up the price of oil.

There is also the fear in financial circles of the prospect of an Obama presidency. B. Hussein Obama has tended to surround himself with the most extreme radicals the left can produce. He had the most anti-capitalist voting record in the Illinois state legislature and in the US Senate his voting record is to the left of Bernie Sanders, the US legislature's only self-identified socialist. There is simply too much prospect that an Obama presidency would turn a recession into a full-blown depression, just as the socialist FDR did in the 1930's.

The particular steps needed to bring back the US economy, and confidence in the US economy, are simple to identify, but difficult to implement.

First George W Bush along with John McCain, Barack Obama and the leadership of both parties from both houses of congress need to hold a joint press conference and issue a joint statement saying the following:

1. The United States is unalterably committed to the cause of stability and democracy in the Middle East and to that end we will keep combat troops in Iraq for as long as it takes to get the job done regardless of the cost.

2. The United States is determined that Iran will not become a nuclear power and absolutely no option is "off the table" in achieving that goal, up to and including nuclear strikes or a full scale invasion.

3. The United States is committed to restoring confidence in the American dollar by once again tying the dollar to precious metal reserves. America should commit to having a fully backed currency by 2050.

4. The government of the United States admits that the current crisis in the lending industry is the fault of the government of the United States. The seeds of the mortgage crisis were planted by congress distorting the market by establishing mechanisms whereby persons unqualified to obtain a mortgage could nevertheless get one.

From this grew Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two giant very poorly run lenders which were "private corporations" that were nevertheless owned by the federal government. They were immune from taxation and regulatory oversight. They spent vast sums of money lobbying congress in order to ensure that they would continue to be able to operate outside of any meaningful kind of accountability. Now the chickens have come home to roost.

The political leaders of this nation must articulate that they have learned the lesson that government must always strive to create as little distortion in the market as possible because everything the government does in or to the market will have unforeseen negative consequences which will, as certainly as the rising and setting of the sun, overwhelm and cancel out any possible positive results of that interference.

5. The United States commits to ending its dependence upon foreign oil through the implementation of proven energy technology. This means that we will drill for every drop of oil on US soil or off the shores of the US. We will commit to replacing every oil or natural gas fired power plant in the nation with a nuclear power plant and will perfect the technology to extract oil from shale and for liquefying coal so that it can be used as a motor fuel.

As I said these steps are easy to identify but they will be difficult to implement because they would mean that the politicians would have to admit their guilt and because the left would have to tell both the environmentalist and the deadbeats whining for more handouts that the gravy train was over.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It doesn't look good for Hussein

From Rasmussen Reports:

The race for the White House is tied. The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Saturday shows Barack Obama and John McCain each attract 43% of the vote. When "leaners" are included, Obama holds a statistically insignificant 47% to 46% advantage. Today is the first time that McCain’s support has moved above 45% since Obama clinched the nomination on June 3. It’s also the first time the candidates have been tied since Obama clinched the Democratic nomination (see recent daily results). Tracking Polls are released at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time each day (see recent demographic highlights).

For most of the past month-and-a-half, Obama has led McCain by approximately five percentage points. It remains to be seen whether this recent tightening of the race reflects real change or is merely statistical noise. Check out our weekly review—What They Told Us—to see what was on voters’ minds this past week.

The reason that this news is bad for Obama is that we are still more than three and a half months out from the election and at this point in every race in post WWII history the Democrat has been far ahead of the Republican.

When Ronald Reagan was running for reelection against Walter Mondale at this point in the election Mondale was something like 18 points ahead of Reagan and Reagan went on to win a 59% to 41%, 49 state landslide.

Even in those races where the Democrat went on to win as with Carter/Ford and Clinton/Bush and Clinton/Dole the race tightened considerably from the early big lead the Democrat originally held.

Obama simply can't afford to give up any voters. If the race "tightens" on him he will be behind.

What is causing this?

In my opinion it is simply a function of the public getting to know Obama. Obama started his presidential campaign after serving a grand total of 143 days in the Senate. Before that he had been an obscure state Senator in Illinois whose only claim to fame was a DNC convention speech.

As the people of the United States have been introduced to Obama they have learned about the insane hate-filled pulpit ravings of the racist preacher of nearly 20 years who Obama called his "mentor". They saw Obama declare that he could no more disown Wright than he could disown the black community or his white grandmother - then they saw him disown Wright - not because Wright shrieked "God damn America" from the pulpit, but because Wright said that Obama was "a politician who was doing what politicians have to do".

We heard Obama say that he would have left his church if Wright hadn't retired, then we saw Obama leave his church even though Wright has retired.

We learned about Anthony Rezko, the corrupt land developer who Obama has called a friend and supporter - and major donor to Obama campaigns. We learned about the highly questionable land deals which the Obamas have entered into with Rezko and we have seen Obama run away from his connection with Rezko.

We learned about Obama's friendship with William Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dohrn, the domestic terrorists who bombed the Pentagon, among other places.

We have seen Obama abandon position after position in the name of political expediency. From his decision not to accept public financing to his flip-flops on abortion and gun control to his hedging on Iraq troop withdrawals we see a man willing to sell out literally anyone or anything to obtain his ambition.

Oh, and let's not forget that we also got to meet Obama's angry and bitter wife, Michelle.

Speaking of Michelle, she had better watch what she says from now on. Obama's pattern in dealing with liabilities is clear.

That wasn't the Anthony Rezko he had known for all these years.

That wasn't the Jeremiah Wright he had known for all these years.

That wasn't the Trinity United Church of Christ he had known for all these years.

Unless she wants to turn on CNN one day and hear her husband talking about how that wasn't the wife he has known for all these years. . .

Tony Snow dead at 53

From Fox News:

Tony Snow, the former White House press secretary and conservative pundit who bedeviled the press corps and charmed millions as a FOX News television and radio host, died Saturday after a long bout with cancer. He was 53.

A syndicated columnist, editor, TV anchor, radio show host and musician, Snow worked in nearly every medium in a career that spanned more than 30 years.

"Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of our dear friend Tony Snow," President Bush said in a written statement. "The Snow family has lost a beloved husband and father. And America has lost a devoted public servant and a man of character."

Snow died at 2 a.m. Saturday at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Snow joined FOX in 1996 as the original anchor of "FOX News Sunday" and hosted "Weekend Live" and a radio program, "The Tony Snow Show," before departing in 2006.

"It's a tremendous loss for us who knew him, but it's also a loss for the country," Roger Ailes, chairman of FOX News, said Saturday morning about Snow, calling him a "renaissance man."

As a TV pundit and commentator for FOX News, Snow often was critical of Bush before he became the president's third press secretary, following Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan. He was an instant study in the job, mastering the position — and the White House press corps — with apparent ease.

"One of the reasons I took this job is not only to work with the president, but, believe it or not, to work with all of you," Snow told reporters when he stepped into the post in 2006. "These are times that are going to be very challenging."

During a tenure marked by friendly jousting with journalists, Snow often danced around the press corps, occasionally correcting their grammar and speech even as he responded to their questions.

"Tony did his job with more flair than almost any press secretary before him," said William McGurn, Bush's former chief speechwriter. "He loved the give-and-take. But that was possible only because Tony was a man of substance who had real beliefs and principles that he was more than able to defend."

As he announced Snow as his new press secretary in May 2006, Bush praised him as "a man of courage [and] a man of integrity." Snow presided over some of the toughest fights of Bush's presidency, defending the administration during the Iraq war and the CIA leak investigation.

"I felt comfortable enough to interrupt him when he was BSing, and he kind of knew it, and he'd shut up and move on," Snow said.

His tenure at the White House lasted 17 months and was interrupted by his second bout with cancer.

I first became aware of Tony Snow when he would fill in for Rush Limbaugh. It didn't take me long to realize that the Limbaugh was much more filled with information and was much more fun to listen to when Snow was guest hosting than when Rush was there.

I bought a Sirius satellite radio so that I could listen to Tony's show, only to find out that he was on medical leave to take his cancer treatments (the first time I tried to tune in to the Laura Ingraham show she was also absent due to cancer - has the left found a new weapon in their war against any dissenting idea?) . However he was soon back behind the microphone and I learned to time my morning departure for the work day to coincide with his schedule.

When he announced that he was leaving radio to take a job in the White House I was sorry to see him go, but I (along with many others on the right) realized that the Bush administration desperately needed to improve its communication skills. I don't think that it is too much to say that if Mr. Bush has started his first term with Tony Snow as press secretary, and had retained him until now, that his approval numbers would not be at 31% (not quite twice the Democrat congress' 18% - according to the RCP average).

Mr. Snow's announcement that his cancer had returned told anyone who was familiar with the disease that his remaining time would be short.

America has lost a voice that it desperately needed as it teeters on the brink of a new dark age. The forces of the left have managed to cripple the nation's ability to survive as a free and prosperous nation (can you imagine any other time in American history when we wouldn't have already been drilling in ANWAR or off shore and can you imagine what Teddy Roosevelt would have already done to Iran). We need all the Tony Snows we can get if we hope to do what no nation in the history of the world has ever managed to do before, pull itself out of terminal decline and regain it's past golden age.

He will be missed.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Miss Ann is talking

That means that YOU are listening!

Last Friday, on the Fourth of July, the great patriot Jesse Helms passed away. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson also went to their great reward on Independence Day, so this is further proof of God.

Helms is now the second great American patriot I've always wanted to meet and never will, at least in this lifetime. The only other one is the magnificent Reagan aide Lyn Nofziger. (Wikipedia quote: "I sometimes lie awake at night trying to think of something funny that Richard Nixon said.")

After a week of hundreds of Helms obituaries -- one or two of which were not completely dishonest -- I will mention just a few items that were not addressed or given sufficient attention.

The two most obsessively discussed topics among Senate staffers are: (1) Who is the stupidest senator? (Sen. Barbara Boxer pulled into the lead when Sen. Lincoln Chafee retired), and (2) which senators are beastly and which are wonderful to their staff?

When I worked in the Senate in the '90s, the two senators famous for being absolute princes to work for were Sen. Helms and -- it pains me to tell you this, so you know it has to be true -- Sen. Teddy Kennedy. (He was so nice to his staffers, he frequently offered them rides home in his car after parties.)

I never knew -- and you never knew, unless you read one of the two honest obituaries this past week -- that in 1962 Helms and his wife "Dot" adopted a 9-year-old orphan with cerebral palsy. They already had two daughters and Helms was 41 years old at the time. But it was Christmastime and they read about Charlie in a newspaper. He said all he wanted for Christmas was a mother and father.

In the 1976 North Carolina Republican primary, Helms engineered Ronald Reagan's upset victory over Gerald Ford, the sitting president. That victory carried Reagan to the convention and made him the front-runner in 1980. The night Reagan won the 1980 presidential election, Helms famously uttered the beautiful words: "God has given America one more chance."

In 1984, Helms' re-election campaign was the then-most expensive Senate race in history. His Democratic opponent, Gov. Jim Hunt, received campaign contributions from the usual dotty liberals: Barbra Streisand, Phil Donahue, Marlo Thomas, Paul Newman, Woody Allen -- all, no doubt, steeped in North Carolina politics.

Shockingly, Hunt also received a donation from Arthur Sulzberger, publisher of the nonpartisan, totally objective, straight-down-the-middle New York Times. Which I guess explains the nasty obituary last week.

Meanwhile, Helms received contributions mostly from America's two most dangerous fringe groups: housewives and businessmen. His few celebrity supporters included Gene Autry and Ellin Berlin, wife of composer Irving Berlin, the patriotic Jewish immigrant who wrote "White Christmas" and "God Bless America."

Other Republicans loved to run in years when Helms was up for election because, like a Marine exposing himself to enemy fire to let his comrades escape, all the Hollywood money would be dedicated to defeating Helms.

On election night 1984, a friend of mine was at a Republican victory party in Michigan when suddenly a group of Hasidim broke out in cheering and dancing. Was "Fiddler on the Roof" being made into a major motion picture? He looked up at the mammoth TV screen. It read: "Jesse Helms Wins North Carolina."

Helms was viciously and falsely portrayed as a racist -- including in the totally objective New York Times obituary last week. In January 1963, a decade before Helms would run for office, he editorialized about Harvey Gantt, the first black student to be admitted to Clemson University in South Carolina.

Helms praised Gantt to the skies, saying he had "stoutly resisted the pose of a conquering hero" and had "turned away from the liberal press and television networks which would glorify him." Gantt, Helms said, just wanted to be an architect and "Clemson is the only college in South Carolina that can teach him how to be one."

Funny how that little tidbit didn't make the Times obituary. They must have cut it for "space."

Helms was for integration; he was simply against "movements." He would later hire James Meredith, who was the first black to attend the University of Mississippi -- with the assistance of federal troops. By 1989, Meredith's views had come around to those of Helms, not the other way around.

After years of reading and studying and attending law school at Columbia University, Meredith concluded that blacks had been better off when they worked for themselves and not for white liberals. (Having worked for white liberals myself, I couldn't agree more.) Meredith claimed Helms fired him as domestic policy adviser after a year because he was too right-wing for Helms.

Which reminds me: I'll have to try to meet Meredith before the next Fourth of July.

Liberals discount Helms' hiring of Meredith on the grounds that Meredith had wandered off the reservation. (Blacks are allowed to have only one set of political views.) It just shows you how stupid liberals are: Blacks don't live on reservations; Indians do.

It's pretty much the same thing liberals are accusing B. Hussein Obama of right now. In its July 4 editorial, the Times harangued Obama for his diversions from the liberal line on Iraq, the domestic surveillance bill, capital punishment and guns. I believe the editorial was titled something like, "Get in Line, N-word."

To paraphrase Dan Quayle, to be called a racist by these people is a badge of honor. Rest in peace, Jesse Helms: New York Times stock was recently lowered to a notch above junk bond status.

Jesse was a great man. I remember well how hated he was by the left-wing media here in NC and nationwide (being hated by the media is a sure sign that one is worthy to be called a great man).