Watching the Democratic Party Implode

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By Alan Caruba

It’s déjà vu for me as I think back to the last two years of Jimmy Carter as his “progressive” program of “sacrifice” and his impotence in the face of the Iranian hostage taking of U.S. diplomats left him looking weak and overwhelmed by events.

George W. Bush did not appear to be anything more than a garden variety Republican President until September 11, 2001. It transformed his presidency from peace to war and Bush had the right instincts for war, but wars in the post-WWII era all seem to stall and stalemate.

No one was in much of a mood to listen to George W. in the final years of his second term. The voters served up a Democrat-controlled Congress in 2006. If this reminds you of the November 2010 elections that transferred power to the Republicans, you’re right

The leviathan of independent voters has moved restlessly back and forth between Democrats and Republicans looking for either party to address the nation’s problems.

While the House changed hands in 2010, the margin in the Senate fell sufficiently for the Republican Minority Leader to have some clout there. Harry Reid has begun to bend to the new reality.

Most effected, however, is President Obama. Politics, events in far-off places, and unpopular domestic decisions have gelled into a general public discontent.

Symbolically in recent weeks Robert Gibbs, his original press secretary, left and was replaced by Jay Carney. While Gibbs was facile, Carney is uncertain, hesitant, and weak at the podium. Then came news that the new social secretary at the White House was an openly gay man, a high profile job historically held by a woman. Two surprising and I predict bad choices.

People talk about turning points in history and I would suggest that, so far as the White House is concerned, those new faces will be regarded in retrospect as a turning point.

The timing was especially bad for the White House as the Democratic Party was once again revealed to be the hostage of the union movement and what people saw on their television screens was ugly and thuggish. Cowardly Democrat Wisconsin senators ran away.

In times when millions of Americans are out of work, union members left their jobs to descend on the state house in Madison, Wisconsin and to hold rallies in Trenton, New Jersey demanding they retain their privileged status. It looked bad. It smelt bad.

Beyond our shores events mercilessly erupted as nations in the Middle East and Africa were caught up in a contagion of anger against a rogue’s gallery of despots and monarchs. The White House issued statements that literally conflicted, one with the other, on a day to day basis. If there was a coherent foreign policy it was barely detectable.

Unprepared, incompetent, the façade surrounding the Obama presidency continued to crumble.

It is an implosion. It is the failure of “progressive” ideas that have not changed and have not worked for a century dating back to the days of Teddy Roosevelt.

It revealed the contempt this President and the Democrats have for the Constitution; ballooning the government with schemes like Obamacare to grow an already too large government larger and more intrusive.

Every new piece of legislation added more people to the government payrolls while ordinary Americans watched the cost of everything rise. So-called stimulus plans did little more than retain government workers or put a bandage on Medicaid behind the façade of short-term construction projects.

We are living in ugly times and Obama’s lies are falling on deaf ears.

The Democrats can no longer convince people that acres of wind farms or solar panels can even begin to provide the electricity the nation needs.

The Democrats cannot make a case for $40,000 electric cars when the nation’s entire transportation structure is based on gasoline and diesel.

The Democrats can no longer justify refusing to let American companies drill for American oil, particularly when it always cheaper than imported oil.

The Democrats forced legislation on voters who showed up, a million strong, in Washington to demonstrate their opposition.

The Democrats ran away from state legislatures rather than debate and vote.

The Democrats favor the unions over the vast majority of non-union workers.

The Democrats will not defend the sanctity of marriage or of life.

Throw the bums out.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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The gift that keeps on giving

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I'm talking about Bob Crow the union leader of the RMT and his lack of understanding how things actually work.

The General Secretary of the militant Rail, Maritime and Transport union was booed as he outlined his idea for a 1p tax on each email during an appearance on a late night comedy show.
He said that rather than cutting public services, the Government should tax email traffic and scrap the replacement for the Trident nuclear defence system.
Asked for his strategy for protecting jobs while tackling the deficit, Mr Crow told Channel 4’s 10 O’clock Live Show: “If groups of workers are under attack, we believe we should coordinate and stand firm - propose a tax of 1p per email, and get rid of Trident.”

Now whilst there are a lot of emails sent in this country, (2.8 million per second) a hell of a lot of those are spam and I can't imagine an easy way to tax them other than going by your ISP and getting them to spy on you. Even then that wouldn't work too well against the millions who use an online service such as Hotmail or Gmail and a variety of computers (and mobile phones) to access them, or even providers who are based abroad and aren't subject to UK taxes. I can imagine that he might be able to get at UK companies using outlook, but I also suspect that they'd either pass the costs on or find ways not to use UK based email services as well.
I get the feeling that Bob Crow is somewhat divorced from reality (well any union leader would be) in that he leads a sheltered existence from real life only to emerge every now and again to call on his members to lose money by going on industrial action and then wondering why the public don't particularly like him. Mind you as he arranged himself a 12% pay rise last year from the pockets of his membership whilst they only (generally) got less than 5% which is a damned sight more than a lot of us in the private sector got.
Now in the past, the unions served a useful purpose in moderating the excesses of the private sector and forcing health and safety legislation through parliament by protests, even today they represent their members well when it comes to representing them with management and defending them from abuse. However those at the top of the unions seem to have lost touch with reality, they are now part of the political classes who think that we should do as we're told and ignore what they get up too. Bob Crow is a prime example of a guy who although he started off looking after his members interests, now seems to be doing all right looking after himself. He thinks he's looking after their interests by taxing all of us to keep the system going, all he'll end up doing is delaying the inevitable fall or forcing more people into penury. If it costs money to send emails, people wont send them, if it costs too much to use trains, people wont use them, it's part of the law of diminishing returns and shows up quite well in laffer curve statistics on taxation. Bob Crow doesn't get it, we're sick of paying out for reduced services, we want value for money, something the public services have avoided for years, we don't want to pay out more to keep things the way they are.
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From Hiroshima to Iran

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By Alan Caruba

These days it is fashionable to decry the use of not one, but the two atomic bombs that were used to convince the emperor of Japan and his warlords that the United States would destroy its cities if forced to invade. Within days World War Two was over.

America, since December 7, 1941, when it was the victim of a Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, had been fighting in the Pacific theatre as well as in the European one. There was no doubt that, just as Germany had been reduced to rubble to achieve victory, so too would Japan if needed. Expectations of American casualties if an invasion was required were huge.

Long before September 11, 2001, war had been declared on America by Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of al Qaeda. The destruction of the Twin Towers shocked Americans. A decade later, however, they were debating whether Muslims have “a right” to build a mosque within a short walk of Ground Zero. That’s blindingly stupid.

Short memories can lead to big defeats. It is worth reminding Americans that our troops did not lose in Iraq. We went there to depose a psychopathic despot who killed his own people with impunity. We went there to see whether democracy could take root in a region where it never had. (Only a secular Turkey was the exception; its military kept the Islamists at bay, but that too is changing.)

In the midst of the turmoil that has taken much of the Middle East and northern Africa, along with the rest of the world, by surprise, it is worth noting that the only thing keeping Israel from being attacked and utterly destroyed and that is its nuclear arsenal.

A people who lost six million of their families, their brethren, whose motto became “Never again”, will not to fail to use them to defeat what has been grandly called “an existential threat.” There’s nothing existential about it.

The U.S. has developed a sophisticated arsenal of weapons in the years since 1945 and has become the world’s policeman, fighting a Cold War with occasional hot outbreaks in Korea, Vietnam, and elsewhere. We have tolerated a Communist Cuba just off the border of Florida. We have watched Venezuela go Communist.

We have not used our nuclear arsenal and we presently have a President who wants desperately to reduce it in order to appease the Russians who are not our friends.

I have no doubt that Israel will use its nuclear weapons and I can think of no reason why they should not.

It is the barbaric leadership of Iran that is the enemy, not its people. Israel understands that. Thus, attacks would likely target Iran's nuclear and military facilities, not its cities.

Throughout its sixty-two years, Israel been repeatedly attacked by Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. Despite a cold peace with Egypt and Jordan, both nations find themselves challenged by a largely Islamist movement. Israel watches and waits.

As the first Iranian warships recently passed through the Suez Canal the Iranian puppets, Hamas, celebrated by firing two long-range Iranian-made Grad missiles rockets at Beersheba and Netivot from Gaza . It is a signal of what is to come

Israel, a democracy whose population includes over a million Arabs, has thrived. All around Israel the threat to its existence has continued. In this decade, it has required Israeli military operations against Lebanon’s  Hezbollah and, in Gaza, against Hamas. Absolutely nothing Israel has done to secure peace has been successful and yet it is constantly importuned to do more.

Only the fact that it has nuclear weapons and a trained, dedicated defense force has kept its enemies at bay. However, as the Iranians creep toward nuclear parity, it will demand a Hiroshima to thwart another Holocaust.

The Second World War was one of unimaginable carnage, but the allies were able to rebuild and even our former enemy, Germany, was converted to an integral power in Europe. The American occupation of Japan left it a truly democratic nation and an ally. A South Korea under the protection of America is an economic dynamo. We have embassies in Vietnam.

There are the lessons of history that entire new generations of Americans need to learn and need to understand.

The war to protect, restore, and project Western values was worth fighting. A war against an Iran that has declared itself an enemy is one that Israel will have to fight. Just as in 1945, nuclear weapons will restore clarity and peace.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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Losing touch?

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There's a poll out today by Searchlight (the "Far Left" anti fascist magazine*) which finds that there would be huge support for "Far Right" parties if they'd give up violence.

The "Far Left" Guardian.
Huge numbers of Britons would support an anti-immigration English nationalist party if it was not associated with violence and fascist imagery, according to the largest survey into identity and extremism conducted in the UK.
A Populus poll found that 48% of the population would consider supporting a new anti-immigration party committed to challenging Islamist extremism, and would support policies to make it statutory for all public buildings to fly the flag of St George or the union flag.
Anti-racism campaigners said the findings suggested Britain's mainstream parties were losing touch with public opinion on issues of identity and race.
The poll suggests that the level of backing for a far-right party could equal or even outstrip that in countries such as France, the Netherlands and Austria. France's National Front party hopes to secure 20% in the first round of the presidential vote next year. The Dutch anti-Islam party led by Geert Wilders attracted 15.5% of the vote in last year's parliamentary elections.
Anti-fascist groups said the poll's findings challenged the belief that Britons were more tolerant than other Europeans. "This is not because British people are more moderate, but simply because their views have not found a political articulation," said a report by the Searchlight Educational Trust, the anti-fascist charity that commissioned the poll.
They also have a picture up of members of the English defence league which is a bit misleading as they aren't a political party, nor are they "Far Right" but as far as the Left are concerned anyone who opposes their world view has to be "Far Right"

The "Far Right" Mail.
In one of the most revealing questions, pollsters Populus asked people if they would back a party that
‘wants to defend the English,
create an English parliament,
control immigration and
challenge Islamic extremism’.

A total of 48 per cent said they would either ‘definitely support’ or ‘consider supporting’ a party with such an agenda, if it shunned violence and fascist imagery.
The results will alarm both PM David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband, who are worried about the rise of right-wing extremists.
Again a picture of the English Defence League plus a mention of violence despite the fact that at their last few marches there were few incidents, mostly down to those who opposed them and they have been praised by the police for following instructions.

 Now the points in bold are interesting because none of those desires strikes me as being particularly "Right Wing" Nor oddly enough have those parties who are misleadingly called "Right Wing" got much of a record of violence, that tends to be the province of the Left as witness the student riots, plus the majority of arrests made at the so called "Right Wing" EDL marches have been from their opponents though you may have struggled to find that out due to the spin that the MSM put on such events.
The political compass shows that the one party really perceived to be far right (the BNP) are actually to the left of the mainstream parties, at least economically.

The truth is that on issues like health, transport, housing, protectionism and globalisation, their economics are left of Labour, let alone the Conservatives. It's in areas like police power, military power, school discipline, law and order, race and nationalism that the BNP's real extremism - as authoritarians - is clear. It's easy to see how the term national socialism came into being. The uncomfortable reality is that much of their support comes from former Labour voters, not Tory ones. I doubt though that the BNP will ever amount to more than a fringe party, they are clearly tainted goods with Griffin having run it as his own private feifdom for several years, the endemic corruption in the upper ranks means that they need a total makeover and probably several years to recover assuming they even can. Tainted also are the Lib/Lab/Con party of government, they allowed the conditions to arise whereby the peoples desires and needs were thwarted by their political correctness and multiculturalism which alienated much of the native population. UKIP I suppose could fill the void here, though they really need to get past their image problem of being a single issue party over the EU (I know they aren't) and start tapping into the national mood.
Still the first party to actually tap into the national mood might be onto a winner in England at least, though I doubt that the "Far Left" will be silent over the perceived betrayal. No doubt the first mainstream party to try it will be dubbed "Far Right" it's what the leftists do to try and stifle debate, point and scream.

The full report will be available Monday 9am, here.

*Two can play at the "Far" game
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America's Gay White House

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By Alan Caruba

A news item by Agence Press France flew under the radar of many American news media. On February 25th it reported that “The White House on Friday named Jeremy Bernard to serve as social secretary to President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama, the first male and first openly gay person to hold the position.”

Barack Obama, married and father of two girls, may be straight, but he has proven to be the most active President when it comes to efforts that would establish homosexuality as a “normal” lifestyle in America. He is not alone in this; it is the goal of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender movement (GLBT) in America.

While I fully expect to evoke howls from the GLBT movement in saying this, the fact remains that no where in nature is homosexuality the norm. It is always an aberration because heterosexuality ensures the propagation of any and all species. It is abnormal for members of the same sex to prefer one another. The recognition of this fact reaches back to the origins of humanity.

I am not advocating that homosexuals be stoned, hanged, or denied their civil rights. Gays (I will use the term to describe homosexuals of both genders and all those who are confused about their gender) are protected by the 14th Amendment, passed in 1886 after the Civil War to ensure that Afro-American’s civil rights were not abridged or denied.

I have always thought that “gay” was an odd choice of words to describe homosexuals because those whom I have known rarely evinced much happiness about being regarded by the rest of society as aberrations. They may have made their personal peace with it, but the notion that a society based on heterosexuality should regard them as “normal” defies logic.

Granting homosexuals the right to marry is an act of societal suicide. I will cite some examples below.

In late February, the White House and its Department of Justice announced that it would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman. It is a warning of moral decay that America has reached a point where it requires a law to assert this definition, recognized from the dawn of civilization, of mankind itself.

Attorney General Eric Holder noted that federal agencies would continue to abide by the act, but made it clear that he and the President consider it unconstitutional. No where in the U.S. Constitution is there any reference to homosexuality, nor a suggestion that it is normal. It is being challenged by homosexuals in a number of court cases including Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts.

Robin McGehee, director of GetEQUAL, which describes itself as a national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, said, “For 15 years DOMA has been a thorn in the side of the LGBT community, preventing loving couples from being fully equal under the law.” They are fully equal. They just can’t get married because marriage is the keystone of society. Weakening the definition of marriage can only serve to weaken society.

When Massachusetts’ Supreme Court, on November 18, 2003, announced its Goodridge opinion, ruling that it was unconstitutional to not allow same-sex “marriage” it opened the floodgates to events that have appalled much of that state’s heterosexual population.

It particularly hit the school systems throughout Massachusetts. There were instances of school assemblies to celebrate same-sex “marriage” and swiftly moved from middle to elementary schools where the teaching of homosexuality became part of the curriculum. Kindergartners were given picture books that depicted homosexual “marriage” as just another kind of family, second graders were exposed to a book, “King and King” about two men who have a romance and marry with a picture of them kissing. School libraries across the state instituted shelves of books presenting homosexual behavior as normal. “Gay days” in schools were considered necessary to fight “intolerance.”

This is giving parents fits, but it was President Obama who installed Kevin Jennings as the White House “safe schools” czar in the Department of Education even though Jennings is a major homosexual activist who has pushed the homosexual agenda in the nation’s schools. Jennings, prior to his appointment, was the founder and executive director of the nationwide Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network.

President Obama nominated Elena Kagan to a lifetime position as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court despite her activism as Dean of the Harvard Law School during which she expelled military recruiters over the Armed Forces’ ban on homosexuals. She called it a “moral injustice of the first order.” She was known for recruiting homosexual activists to the school’s faculty such as the former ACLU lawyer, William Rubenstein, to teach “queer” legal theory and elevated an outspoken lesbian professor, Janet Halley. She encouraged Harvard students to get involved in homosexual activist legal work.

These White House appointments are just one part of what millions of Americans have come to realize as measures taken to undermine the nation’s moral authority, its legal system, its economy, its military strength and defense, and its energy security.

In 2012 Americans will clean house in the White House and the Congress, electing men and women who understand that homosexuality is an unfit condition for marriage, for service in the military, and that its justification in the states and the courts is a stealth attack on the nation.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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So Judge Hawkesworth, what is a paedophile then?

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OK technically the term should be hebephile or ephebophile for the more pedantic amongst you. However what I'm referring to is this... (caution Daily Mail alert)

Daily Mail.
A judge has been criticised for failing to jail a pervert who groomed a 14-year-old girl for sex after ruling he was being 'simply a young man'. 
Turon Ali, 26, groomed the schoolgirl by sending her explicit text messages and then arranged a secret meeting where he planned to abuse her.
He was only prevented from sexually assaulting the girl when her older brother found one of the texts and alerted police. 
But Ali avoided jail at Cambridge Crown Court with a 12-month suspended sentence after a top judge ruled he was 'not a paedophile as such'. 
'You are not a paedophile as such. You are simply a young man who was unable to control his sexual urges.'
Now I could just possibly understand Judge Hawkesworth's decision if the defendant were say 16, though most 16 year old's don't go in for grooming, however he's 26 and really should have known that he was breaking the law as it appears he did know the girls age, so I wonder when the limit comes in, 36? 46? 56? Grooming is still grooming after all and I doubt any of us would take kindly to anyone grooming a 14 year old daughter of ours no matter the age.
However Judge Hawkesworth does have a history of lenience when it comes to sexual offences...
Judge Hawkesworth came under fire in September 2008 when he refused to jail a Cambridge University academic convicted of downloading sick child porn 
Judge Hawkesworth also refused to jail child sex offender Jonathan Jenkins, then 21, after claiming his 'studies would be ruined' if he was put behind bars.  
So is this really someone we want in a position to deal with what most in society believe to be a serious crime involving the abuse of minors? I wonder what the Judge might have done had it been his daughter? I also believe if we had elected judges, Judge Hawkesworth just might be out of a job by now.
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Cartoon Round Up

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How do they get to positions of power?

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I am of course talking about the Health and Safety brigades nestled into various local and national government sectors as well as various fake charities and quango's.

Pen-pushers have slapped the ban on the swimming aides amid "fears" a pair could "snap" onto a child's face too hard, injuring them.
Parents branded the ruling by Oxfordshire County Council's healthy and safety brigade as "nutty" and "extreme."
However, bureaucrats defended its no-goggle policy claiming that it reflected national guidance provided by sports bodies.
Children will now need a medical reason for them to be allowed to wear the protective eye wear in the pool during school lessons.
Teenage swimmer Danni McFadden, aged 13 years, said: "It hurts my eyes if we swim without them and I go in the water."
Her mother Carmel Ryan added: "I remember being a child and I thought it was great swimming underwater.
"It makes swimming more fun.
"The professional swimmers wear goggles.
"It's a bit nutty.
"If they think someone is messing around with them, they should correct it. They do protect the eyes."
I remember myself swimming in my youth and having eventually to get out as my eyes were burning due to the high level of chlorine in the water used as a disinfectant. I also remember that many pools banned the larger scuba goggles too, not sure why, might have been because they contained glass and if broken became a safety hazard. But I do remember getting hold of the first type of modern goggle and enjoyed swimming underwater and being able to see clearly without the water distortion on my eyes. It made swimming a lot more fun and the exercise was good for us.
Oxfordshire is not alone in banning goggles.
Last year, Leicestershire County Council advised schools of the "dangerous" eyewear which it said could snap back in children's faces, or make them bump into one another due to reduced peripheral vision.
Hertfordshire County Council has done the same.
A spokesman for Oxfordshire County Council refused to divulge the specific reason why goggles had been banned from its swimming pools.
 I think it's because they know the reaction they'll get for doing something so stupid. Yes kids bump and bang each other occasionally, yes they do stupid things, usually they'll only do it once as they are quick learners, unlike Health and Safety officers no doubt. But doesn't it strike anyone normal (for a given value of normal) that making something like swimming less enjoyable brings a whole new set of dangers such as drowning into the realms of possibility? If kids don't like going to the pool because the water hurt their eyes, perhaps they'll also not learn to swim.
I can't even find an instance of any kid being blinded by swimming goggles, I got to 5 pages in google and merely turned up a load of stuff about teaching blind kids to swim as well as a load of guff from mumsnet about the same subject of goggles.
Perhaps it's time we let kids be kids again and saved a bit of cash getting rid of the health and safety brigades.
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How Expert Are the Experts?

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By Alan Caruba

We live in a society that apparently has experts on everything stacked ten deep. You cannot turn on the television without being introduced to experts of every description about everything.

That being the case, why is the nation on the brink of insolvency despite the fact that I can order a product, receive email confirmation, and a tracking notice of its shipment without once having to talk to a living person?

That, I submit, is pure genius, whereas creating programs for the wasteful redistribution of wealth, mine and yours, is my definition of really, really stupid.

Why stupid? Because communism and/or socialism, sooner or later always fails. Because banishing the ownership of private property—this is MY stuff, not yours—runs counter to everything we humans strive to achieve and because people don’t want to interact with the government in some fashion every damned day, unless it’s the postman.

As Thomas Paine put it, “that government is best which governs least”, calling it “a necessary evil.”

I got to wondering how many PhDs there are in the United States and, it only took a bit of Googling to conclude there is a huge glut of PhDs, not just here, but worldwide. Considering that it takes from 7.5 to 10 years to nail the diploma to the wall that is a lot of time acquiring something that often does not kick open the door to prosperity, although it does look good on their resumes.

Let us grant that we want our physicians, Doctors of Medicine, to have spent a good stretch of time learning how not to kill us in the process of curing us. Other fields critical to our well being include engineers who design bridges, buildings, and such. We want smart people to ensure that the vast preponderance of dumb people don’t kill us prematurely.

Anyone who has spent any time around PhDs or, in my case, answering their emails, soon concludes that many of them are just nitwits. The greatest drawback of being a PhD is, apparently, concluding that you are smarter than everyone else and then wanting to make that point on an hourly basis, particularly with strangers.

So, forgive me if I have grown old and skeptical listening to or reading PhDs and the views of “experts”, people who are supposed to know what they are talking about.

Permit me to cite just a few examples.

“So here is the Great Society. It’s the time—and it’s going to be soon—when nobody in this country is poor.” – Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965.

“You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.” Jim Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry, firing Elvis Presley after one performance on September 25, 1954.

“Get your feet off my desk, get out of here, you stink, and we’re not going to buy your product.” – Joe Keenan, president of Atari, responding to Steve Job’s offer to sell him rights to the new personal computer he and Steve Wozniak had developed, 1976.

“There is not the slightest indication that (nuclear) energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.” – Dr. Albert Einstein, 1932. (PS. He changed his mind).

Let me close this observation on expertise or the lack of it, by noting that all politicians lie. The best and most noble of them lie on occasion and the rest of them lie all the time. Our current President has managed to lie ceaselessly, with or without the aid of a TelePrompter. Other than the hardcore 25% of Liberals, most Americans have concluded that he is not to be trusted.

Likewise, far too many scientists have taken to lying a great deal as well and this has been particularly obvious as regards all those telling us that global warming is real, carbon dioxide is a lethal pollutant, and just about anything involving the use of a chemical is suicide.

In Proverbs it says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Let me amend that by suggesting that wisdom includes regarding all those experts on the television, radio and print media with a degree of skepticism. This is another way of saying take the time to do your own research. A republic such as ours requires people to seek the best answers to present problems.

The views of Liberals defy history, science, economics, and logic. They are wrong. Their experts are wrong. That is why we are struggling to put right, to eliminate, all their governmental “answers” to our present crisis.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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The Rise of the States

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By Alan Caruba

I am pretty sure that future historians will look back on our present times and declare that it marked the rise of state power after years of being under the federal thumb.

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”
--Tenth Amendment

Contrary to what a bunch of spoiled brats calling themselves “progressives” may believe, the U.S. Constitution actually means what it says. The genius of the Framers was that they knowingly and deliberately created a system of government that slows down the process of passing laws and permits any one of the three branches to put a stop to bad laws.

This is the kind of civics lesson that used to be taught in our nation’s schools until they were utterly subverted by the largest union in the nation, the National Education Association, which is, of course, not an "association" (even its name is deceptive!) It shares ownership of the Democrat Party, along with the other huge union, Service Employees International Union, composed of government workers at the state and federal level.

For decades everything went along merrily as these unions negotiated salaries above what everyone else in the private sector was receiving, along with health benefits and pensions that drove up the liabilities of states to a point where most are literally bankrupt.

There is nothing like bankruptcy to get people to focus on questions like why the kids keep graduating from school with poor reading, writing, and just plain old thinking skills? Why do we pay more and more into local school systems and get such a shoddy product? Why do I have to pay more for gasoline that has ethanol that decreases its mileage? Why can’t I buy a damned incandescent light bulb if I want?

Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

While government grew larger, property taxes increased, and—surprise—the mortgage market collapsed because of—you guessed it—government sponsored entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that utterly corrupted the nation's banking system and other mortgage lenders. While all this was going on, politicians—Democrats—kept telling Americans that everything was fine. They lied. It was not fine. It was a house of cards.

Enter the new governors, Republicans, who got elected by explaining why the education and government unions were bankrupting their states and what they intended to do about it. Americans embraced New Jersey’s Chris Christie who set the tone. He began an effort to crush the strangle-hold the state teachers union had on the legislature.

These days, Wisconsin’s Gov. Scott Walker has stood his ground against the unions and, not surprisingly, the Democrat children in his state’s legislature ran away to Illinois to avoid have to actually debate and vote on the steps needed to put its house in order. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is also looking at Illinois to find the Democrat members of his legislature who ran there as well.

The Democrat Party, including the President, has set itself up to be slaughtered in the 2012 elections because this is the kind of behavior voters remember for a long time.

We applauded when Arizona’s Governor Janice Kay “Jan” Brewer, a Republican, went nose to nose with President Obama over the immigration issue. Arizona is still in court seeking the authority for a state to enforce immigration laws the federal government will not.

In a similar fashion, 26 states took Obamacare to court and stomped all over it. Many governors are instructing their staff to take no action to enforce it, knowing perhaps that by the time it gets to the Supreme Court it will be DOA.

Anyone who does not think the States are asserting the power “reserved” for them is not paying attention. It will transform how the U.S. is governed for decades to come.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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Fine? They're on benefits, what good's a fine going to be?

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The scum who burned poppies and chanted hate during the Remembrance Parade in London were on trial today under Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986, sadly this only allows a fine, unlike Section 4 which allows up to 2 years jail time. The judge even told them they didn't have to turn up for sentencing. The accused even left the building at one stage to go and scream abuse at members of the EDL who were protesting outside about the leniency of the charges.

TWO Muslims hardliners accused of burning poppies during a Remembrance Day parade were told last night they will not be jailed.
Mohammed Haque and Emdadur Choudhury were said to have set fire to the plastic effigies after the two-minute silence was observed.
Haque, 30, and Choudhury, 26, left onlookers outraged at the gesture, made as members of the armed forces marched by. They were part of an Islamic ­protest group who shouted abusive slogans such as “British soldiers – burn in hell”.
During the lunch break in the trial at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court, south London, yesterday, Choudhury and Haque joined supporters from the Islamic group Muslims Against Crusades. Choudhury was photographed screaming abuse and pointing during heated exchanges with rival protesters from the English Defence League. But as their trial was adjourned yesterday, they were told they would escape being jailed, even if found guilty. Judge Howard Riddle said: “If convicted, the maximum penalty will be a fine and there is the possibility of costs.”
Now as these scum are claiming benefits and are unemployed (and probably unemployable) all that the judge is going to do is rob Peter to pay Paul, yes they'll be a little worse off, but the money itself will just be transferred from one government account to another. Doesn't strike me as being particularly fair, but it's the same for any case with a person on benefits who gets fined. Strikes me that we're doing something wrong there, wonder if bringing back the stocks might work...
Oh and as these people cannot cope with ridicule, here courtesy of the EDL is a photoshopped picture just to make you smile (or not if you're Mohammed Haque and Emdadur Choudhury)

May they burn in hell.
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Killing the U.S. Oil Industry Since 1980

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By Alan Caruba

As President Obama’s term drags into its second half, it is increasingly being compared to the failed presidency of Jimmy Carter. Having increasingly thwarted the ability of the U.S. to access its own vast reserves of oil, successive administrations now burden Americans with billions more in costs at the gas pump.

My “go-to guy” for information about the U.S. oil industry is Seldon B. Graham, Jr., the author of “Why Your Gasoline Prices are High”, a man with more than fifty years experience in the oil industry, first as a petroleum reservoir engineer and later as an oil and gas attorney.

The turmoil in Libya, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the oil cartel, is causing the price of a barrel of oil to rise due to the usual speculation that occurs on Wall Street and around the world by those seeking to cash in on the prospect of reduced oil production and supplies.

What it most demonstrates, however, is the inane and unnecessary dependence on foreign oil that America has imposed on itself  thirty years after former President Jimmy Carter’s energy policies began this insanity.

As Graham notes, “As to the actual price of oil, last week (Feb 13-19) the average OPEC oil was $97.20 a barrel while the average U.S. oil price was $90.13 a barrel. Let’s stop for a minute and savor the fact that U.S. oil was $7.16 cheaper than OPEC oil.”

“U.S. oil is always cheaper than OPEC oil. Most Americans don’t know that.”

There’s a lot that Americans don’t know about their domestic oil industry and for that we can thank a succession of U.S. presidents since Carter who have misled Americans on the subject. We have arrived at the latest President who, like Carter, is doing everything he can to kill the U.S. oil industry when not bowing low to the King of Saudi Arabia.

If America could drill for its own, domestic oil and replace dependence on the Middle East and other foreign sources, “it would save American gasoline consumers an estimated $28 billion annually,” says Graham, “as well as put millions of Americans to work.”

On April 2, 1980, Carter signed the Domestic Crude Oil Windfall Profits Tax, a direct attack on U.S. oil companies. “The result,” says Graham, “was that half a million oil workers lost their jobs. In January 1980, U.S. oil production was 8.7 million barrels a day. Foreign oil imports went from 2.9 million barrels of oil per day in February 1983 to the current 9 million barrels of oil per day.”

You don’t have to be a mathematical genius to understand these numbers. From 8.7 million barrels of oil a day in 1980, U.S. oil production has fallen to 5.6 million barrels of oil a day today. That’s a lot of oil that remains untapped domestically and offshore of America.

Like Carter, President Obama keeps blathering away about “alternative” or “green” energy sources such as ethanol, an additive to every gallon of gasoline that insanely burns a major food source, corn, as fuel. His administration has thrown billions at solar and wind energy producers despite the fact that coal represents half of all the electricity we use daily and despite the fact that both of these "alternative" energy sources have failed miserably in European nations that turned to them.

How crazed are Obama’s oil policies? Steve Maley, an operations manager for a shallow-water Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production company located in Lafayette, LA, noted in a Human commentary on February 18 that “Obama’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget proposes to increase the tax liability of energy companies to the tune of $46 billion over the next ten years.”

Maley compared “recent quarter (2Q 2010) oil and gas industry profit (net income) to a sales ratio of 7.1%, versus 8.7% for all manufacturing companies. In terms of return-on-investment, oil and gas usually lag in the S&P 500.” The myth of huge oil and gas profits simply does not stand up to Obama’s State of the Union claim of “huge profits.”

Then factor in the Obama administration’s moratorium on both deep-water and shallow-water oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Under the administration’s new Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Michael Economedes, an internationally respected expert on the oil industry, notes that “offshore permitting has come to a virtual standstill”, adding that “thousands of companies in the energy sector are nearing the point of collapse after almost a year of inactivity.”

U.S. courts have twice demanded that the Obama administration end its moratorium and continued to be ignored.

The U.S. was an oil and gas producing giant before successive White House administrations declared war on this vital sector of our economy. The industry, representing the potential of millions of jobs and millions of barrels of oil and cubic feet of natural gas, has been stalled by appallingly stupid energy policies since the 1980s.

U.S. dependence on foreign oil producers, mostly state-owned in places like Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and elsewhere, makes us vulnerable to events in far-off places when we could be producing our own oil and natural gas more cheaply right here in places like the Gulf of Mexico, in Alaska’s ANWR, and off-shore of our coasts where estimates are in the billions of barrels and cubic feet of our own untapped energy reserves.

We can thank the environmental organizations whose war on America’s energy sector has been going on now since the 1970s. It is their anti-coal, anti-oil, and anti-nuclear campaigns that will literally leave America at a standstill and in the dark if they are not reversed.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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It's amazing the things that get peoples backs up and the excuses they make to justify their calls for a ban or removal of what they consider to be an eyesore, even if it's perfectly legal...

Residents in a quiet village are embroiled in an extraordinary neighbourhood row after a military enthusiast bought a £10,000 tank and parked it outside his home.
The huge green tanklike crane, designed to carry out battlefield repairs, has been sitting in a lay-by since new owner Nicholas Kravchenko drove it there last week.
Residents living in the normally tranquil area of Wolvercote, near Oxford, Oxon, have branded the machine an ''eyesore''.
Police have now been called in to settle the "neighbourhood dispute" amid claims the £10,000 tank was intimidating locals.
Ok it's not the sort of thing you expect to find parked outside a semi in Wolvercote, but it is perfectly legal and as for intimidating, pull the other one, it's not like it's bristling with arms and takes the occasional pot shot at VW Polo's.
Even fits in the parking bay.
Council chiefs have already admitted that the vehicle is roadworthy and taxed. So quite frankly the residents don't have a leg to stand on, doesn't stop them having a moan though.
Paul Harvey, who lives three doors away from Mr Kravchenko, said: ''The whole situation is unbelievable.
''There's a limited number of spaces on the street and this tank is taking up a number of them.
''It's so incredibly anti-social.''
Wonder what he'd make of anyone parking a twin cab or delivery truck there?
Another neighbour Debbie Tyson, who lives opposite the tank, added: ''I have to look at that thing every morning.
And? It's a vehicle, there's a lot worse looking things on the road I can assure you, my neighbours sons customised escort for one.
Another woman, who did not want to be named, feared her neighbour would leave it there permanently.
''It's an eyesore and is upsetting and scares the little kids," she said.
"One toddler asked her mum if we were in a war. It's not right."
The kid was curious, I doubt she'll be scarred for life assuming she was traumatised at all.
War veteran David Bedford, 85, added: ''It's heartbreaking living where I do.
'I have to look at his cars every time I leave my house and it's really getting me down.
''I don't know what to do any more.''
Move? Yes that's a bit heartless of me, but quite frankly although it's an unusual thing to find in a parking bay it's not illegal, it's not particularly an eyesore and it isn't harming anyone. There's a guy I know in Plumstead has an ex American Army personnel carrier, it's parked on the street, nobody complains and he's not particularly worried about anyone not driving a truck backing into it either. What it is, is that these residents don't like Mr Kravchenko's hobby and are using this vehicle as an excuse to try and get him to conform or go away.
So long as he's not breaking the law they don't have a leg to stand on, so they go national looking for sympathy, well they aren't getting it here. I wouldn't like my neighbour to have one, but, I wouldn't go whinging to the press if he did.
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Auto Insurance Quotes FAQ

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Anchor General Auto Insurance Skimping on the Bill.?
I live in California. I was surrounded by an accident over a year ago and had my vehicle fixed at Anchor Generals PPO shop. After over 2 months of not have a car I got it backbone and a horrible job was done. I'm a full time student and I work full time....

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cheap prices please try this help! Well I use Geico, personal ad they are cheap and hassle-fee. Whenever I have gotten into an accident, they be there. Also: State Farm Progressive Esurance 21st Allstate Plymouth Rock- MASSACHUSETS Commonwealth-MASSACHUSETS The comparison sites are the easiest way to get quotes...

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I have been on my bosses policy for years, immediately want my own is this a problem? Pick a company that has local representatives that can help you determine how much coverages you really involve. Source(s): i love the caveman

Any opinion on Rutherford Thomas Incorporated within Roanoke, VA?Do they supply consumer auto insurance.?
I had an uninsured accident on 07-03-2006, I am trying to contact the victoms insurance company to switch on payment arrangements to fix their car. They are an elder couple and I feel really bad something like the situation; but all they could tell me be that...

Any option w/ insurance co if auto repairs are extraordinarily long?
Nov 2008 bad guys broke into my home at 4am and stole my 09 cayenne. I had the vehicle a week. Police figured they followed me from the dealership. Any way the sports car was located under an hour subsequent (Boomerang). Being unable to find the transmitter the b*stards...

Any question more or less auto insurance?
Huh ? In the state of Texas,Do you have to have auto insurance? If you are contained by a car wreck which the other person is at reprimand,Can you still file a cliam on their insurance company and have phisical psychoanalysis paid and can paid for the ruin for the car and get salaried...

Any suggestion for an auto insurance?
I'm currently under geico but I realized that they charge me too much.Do you know any auto insurance to be exact cheaper? Avoid The Hartford similar to the plague. Do you want cheap insurance, or a company that won't try to screw you if you have a claim? Go with Nationwide, USAA,...

Any suggestions why does auto insurance increase?
can someone tell me if their is anything i can do my auto insurance is through state farm have been every even when i was sixteen years antediluvian when you leave home and move they told me my auto can go up sixty dollars or so i can just afford it now. does anyone...

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I was in an happenstance, where the other driver was clearly at quirk. He was driving his girlfriends vehicle, and the cars insurance also belonged to her. He was markedly elusive from the start. He gave me fixed information to work with, and lied and told me he...

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I have Progressive and I'm really happy beside them but Geico is much less expensive. What I like roughly speaking Progressive is that they are easy to deal next to and I can access all my information and pay my bill online. Has anybody have any experience with Geico? How have they be if you had...

Anybody know any insurance company who provides auto insurance short signing one year contract ?
does anybody know any insurance company who provides auto insurance without asking for one year term contract? i in recent times needed for one month or so? sounds like it is becoming a communistic rather than a capitalistic state if you can't enjoy insurance without...

Anybody know of any saloon insurance co's that will supply auto insurance policies to 17 year olds??
I have a 17 yr old that have already gotten 2 tickets so I want him off my policy - as he is making it too expensive for me to afford - I told him he needs to receive his own insurance. I...

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Anybody used any internet lead for auto, home, enthusiasm, or disability insurance?
Hello everyone... I am trying to organize everything to open my small insurance agency to submission auto, home, life, disability, healthy insurance services... I do enjoy a marketing strategies but I also want to buy leads so I can supplement my marketing. My question would be what is a...

Anybody used any internet lead for auto, home, go, or disability insurance?
Hello everyone... I am trying to organize everything to open my small insurance agency to proffer auto, home, life, disability, healthy insurance services... I do own a marketing strategies but I also want to buy leads so I can supplement my marketing. My question would be what is a...

Anyone work or ever worked auto insurance claims?
I just graduated college and it looks resembling I'm gonna get a job tender to work auto insurance claims for Allstate Insurance. Does anyone know anything about this kind of work? Is it boring? Basically I newly wanna know what its like cause it doesn't straight away seem like something I would...
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FHA mortgage, FHA Loans for buying a Florida home

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FHA Mortgage Loans for Buying a Florida Home or FHA Mortgage Refinances are Fast and Easy with FHA home loans allow first time Florida home buyers and current Florida home owners buy a home with less than 3.5% down or FHA home mortgage refinance up to 96.5% of the homes value.

Research FHA home loan programs to help you qualify to buy a Florida home with little money down, learn about FHA home loan qualifications, or get a free FHA home loan prequalification.

FHA home loans have so many advantages and qualifying is easier and less expensive with regulated closing costs of FHA loans protect you.

Other FHA loan Advantages Include:

Minimal Down Payment and Closing Costs.

  • Down payment less than 3.5% of Sales Price
  • Gift for down payment and closing costs allowed.
  • No reserves or required.
  • FHA regulated closing costs.
  • Seller can credit up to 6% of sales price towards buyers costs.

Easier Credit Qualifying Guidelines such as:

  • Minimum FICO credit score of 540.
  • FHA will allow a home purchase 2 years after a Bankruptcy.
  • FHA will allow a home purchase 3 years after a Foreclosure.

Easier Debt Ratio & Job Requirement Guidelines such as:

  • Higher Debt Ratio's than other home loan programs.
  • Less than two years on the job is allowed.
  • Self-Employed individuals o.k.


At one point and time many years ago, the FHA loan was the only alternative to local bank financing for home buyers. In the fashion world, there is a saying: Wait long enough, and everything comes back into style. That rule applies just as well to Florida FHA mortgage program. Long-overlooked, the FHA mortgage is becoming popular again with Florida Home Buyers for its low rates and the real security it provides borrowers.

For Florida banks and other mortgage lenders, FHA mortgage loan financing offers the security of a government insured Mortgage. Win/Win! To learn more, call today at 1-800-570-0448 or just use our fast and easy quick application!

For first time home buyers and other borrowers, the FHA home loans can have key advantages:
Easy Qualification - The FHA loan insures lenders against loss for loans made to properly qualified FHA home loan borrowers. So you're likely to find FHA mortgage loans with terms that make it easier for you to qualify.

Minimal Downpayment Requirements - FHA mortgages can work with as little as 3% down and those funds can come from a family member, charity, or your employer. Although the FHA loan does not have a zero down mortgage option yet, you will find that your 1st Continental Mortgage loan officer can point you to many Downpayment assistance programs that work well with Florida FHA home loans.

Less than A-1 Credit is Okay - The Florida FHA home loan program exists to expand the pool of home buyers. Even borrowers with prior bankruptcies or mortgage lates get approved every day for FHA mortgages to buy or Refinance homes in Hillsborough County or any of the other Florida counties we serve. The FHA loan program uses credit quality, not credit score!

Lower Cost Over the Life of the Loan - The Florida FHA home loan rates are extraordinarily competitive. FHA's lower risk to the lender means a better rate for the borrower.

Safeguards for Borrowers Who Get Behind - The Florida FHA loan mortgages also allow the lender more options in helping borrowers who fall behind keep their homes are get current again: special forbearance, workouts, even free mortgage counseling. Further, HUD can allow the lender to take past due payments and move them to the end of the loan and in some instance will actually pay your past due payments for you. Options to save your home you'll never get from a conventional loan! In an uncertain world, this is another excellent reason for you to get an FHA mortgage.

Options for Manufactured Housing - Under certain conditions, you can even finance a Mobile Home or manufactured home using a Florida FHA mortgage loan. Call 1-800-570-0448 to get pre-approved for a Florida FHA loan for manufactured housing or just use our quick application to learn more!

FHA Loans Are Fully Assumable - When you are ready to sell your home, you can offer buyers FHA financing! All FHA loans can be assumed by qualified buyers.

These are just seven of the many good reasons to apply for an FHA mortgage. Call 1-800-570-0448 to speak with a friendly Florida FHA loan specialist now!

The FHA program has evolved since it started in 1934 and now has options for HUD insured loans that fit a variety of different borrowers and situations.

FHA Home Loans for Purchasing a Florida Home
Although Florida FHA home loans require additional paperwork, the reality is that applying for an FHA mortgage loan in Florida is not much different from applying for conventional financing. In fact, for many borrowers the small amount of extra time turns out to be an exceptional mortgage bargain because they save thousands of dollars over the life of their Florida Mortgage.

At 1st Continental Mortgage, we have been working with the FHA program for many years. We're experts at assembling the proper paperwork and presenting your loan application to FHA approved lenders diligently and professionally. It's one of the ways that we have earned our reputation for closing FHA home loans in Florida on-time.

You may be surprised at how flexible sellers are in the current market and how many programs there are that provide Downpayment assistance to applicants for FHA financing to purchase Florida homes, condos, and townhouses. The fact is, seller can pay up to 6% towards your closing costs. This means, no closing costs for you when negotiated during the purchase contract!

The FHA program offers excellent fixed rate options and never a prepayment penalty. If other mortgage lenders are quoting you subprime rates, you owe it to yourself to make the call to 1st Continental Mortgage to compare the costs of getting an FHA home loan for your home purchase. Call 1-800-570-0448 to speak with an FHA mortgage expert before accepting any conventional mortgage quote as the best you can do!

FHA Mortgage Loan
Streamline Refinance Requirements
When your 1st Continental Mortgage lender helps you get a streamlined FHA refinance on your existing mortgage loan, he or she will make certain that you meet these conditions:

Your current mortgage must be an FHA mortgage.
You must have had your FHA Mortgage for at least 6 months.
You must have paid your mortgage on time for the most current 12 months.
Your FHA Streamline Refinance must lower the principal and interest portion of your mortgage payment by at least $50 or convert the mortgage from an ARM to a fixed rate FHA home loan.
You can't get cash out on the FHA streamline refi.
You must have an FHA appraisal if you are rolling the closing costs into the FHA streamline refinance.
Any existing liens on your Florida home must be subordinate to the new FHA mortgage.
FHA Mortgage Loan Refinance
Programs for Cashing Out Equity
Although a streamline refinance does not allow you to cash out equity, we have a FHA loan refinance program that is specifically designed for borrowers who want to cash out equity to consolidate debts, make home improvements or to access funds for other purposes.

Unlike many conventional loan programs, the FHA mortgage does not adjust the rate based upon loan to value or credit score. You will find the FHA has very reasonable underwriting guidelines for cash out refinancing.

We have helped many clients borrow up to 85% of the appraised value of their homes and use the funds to consolidate debts or to make home improvements and other purposes. Qualified borrowers will have to look hard to find lower rates and better terms than they can get on Florida FHA cash out refinance right now!

Call 1st Continental Mortgage today at 1-800-570-0448 or use our quick application to apply for an FHA refinance on your home in Sumter County or any of the other Florida counties we offer FHA mortgages in.

FHA 203k Mortgages For Florida Homeowners Making Home Improvements

The FHA 203k loan program is nothing more than a specialized FHA home loan designed to help homeowners make home improvements. It is especially popular in neighborhoods with properties in need of rehabilitation.

The FHA 203k loans work in Florida communities in much the same way as Construction loans for home improvement. Eligible borrowers can use the proceeds from these mortgage to renovate and improve their primary residences.

Qualifying for a 203k FHA mortgage uses the same guidelines as a standard FHA mortgage for the purchase of a Florida home.

FHA Home Loans For Mobile Homes with Land
Although some conventional lenders in Florida shy away from making a loan on Mobile Homes or manufactured homes, many FHA mortgage loan lenders do not.

In fact, mobile homeowners fortunate enough to connect with a Florida mortgage lender, who is well schooled in how FHA loans work for mobiles and manufactured homes, can get a better interest rate, better terms, and a lower monthly payment by going FHA in nearly every case.

If you're shopping for financing to buy a mobile or manufactured home on land in Sumter County or any of the other 66 counties in Florida that we serve, call 1-800-570-0448 and let us give you a quote for an FHA mortgage loan to purchase your mobile or manufactured home.

It only takes a few minutes to get an FHA loan mortgage quote on your Florida mobile home. We'll wager that the savings on your monthly mortgage payments will make it some of the highest paid work you've ever done.

Few people realize that the FHA loan uses the same underwriting criteria for single and double wide mobile homes and manufactured housing as it does for traditional site built block or stick homes. In addition, FHA is one of the very few programs that can offer up to 97% financing on mobile homes on land. In addition, did you know that the seller can contribute up 6% toward your closing costs on an FHA mobile home loan and that down payment assistance can be used in Florida? It's true! You could package your mobile home financing to create a real no money down loan with unbelievably low rates.

Call 1-800-570-0448 or use our secure online quick application for a free no obligation quote on financing your manufactured or mobile home using an FHA mortgage loan.

FHA Home Loans Offer the Convenience of Streamlined Refinance
An FHA streamline refinance is one of the easiest home loans for Mortgage Lenders and borrowers. Since HUD approved you for the original FHA loan, the paperwork to refinance is minimal and the process is simple.

So long as you have made your FL FHA loan mortgage payments on time for the previous 12 months, you can lower your monthly payment if interest rates go down with minimal out of pocket expense. Even if you have been late on your FHA mortgage, you might still qualify for an FHA streamline refinance in Florida under very specific conditions.

Less documentation and no appraisal are just two of the reasons a FHA streamline refinance is cheaper and faster for the borrowers who qualify.

FHA Mobile Home Lending Guidelines
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sets forth these guidelines for determining if a mobile or manufactured home qualifies for an FHA mortgage loan in Florida:

The mobile or manufactured home must be constructed in accordance with the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards. A red tag is attached to the rear of each section of homes that comply with the standards.
The home must be taxed as real estate by the local tax assessor's office.
The mobile or manufactured home must have been built after June 15, 1976.
The mortgage must have a term of at least 30 years from when amortization begins.
The mobile home or manufactured home must be on a permanent foundation.
The axles and tongue must be removed from the mobile or manufactured home.
The mobile home or manufactured home must have adequate skirting and insulation, and the crawl space must have adequate ventilation.
If you would like to determine if your mobile or manufactured home meets the guidelines for section 184 financing from FHA, call one of our Florida mortgage pros at 1-800-570-0448. We'll be glad to help you determine if the property that you are interested in can be used as collateral for an FHA mobile home mortgage.

FHA 203K Mortgages for Florida Fixer upper homes

This specialized FHA mortgage is for Floridians who wish to buy a home that needs repairs or renovations. Just as is the case with a conventional construction loan, a single FHA 203k loan covers both purchase of the Florida real estate and renovation. FHA 203K financing can be used to purchase a property on a site and move it to a new foundation on the mortgaged property and rehabilitate it.

In addition, Florida homeowners can also use a 203k FHA mortgage to refinance existing debt when they finance one or more home improvements using the FHA 203k mortgage program.

Many borrowers are finding out what a good deal a Florida FHA home loan really is. Call 1-800-570-0448 today or simply use our quick application to find out more!(
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Using Fear to Ban BPA - The BPA File, Part Two

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By Alan Caruba

Writing for Health News in early February, Michael D. Shaw noted that bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical used to make polycarbonate plastics and an ingredient in the epoxy resin used as a protective coating in metal cans, “is one of the most heavily studied chemicals of all time. Indeed, there are more than 6,000 scientific papers devoted to this compound.”

That’s a remarkable amount of research. What’s more remarkable is that no peer-reviewed research has ever shown any harm to humans from BPA in normal consumer use. After a three-year study published in the Oxford journal Toxicological Sciences, even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that there is no threat from BPA.

Despite decades of studies that show no harm, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration still wants to take what it calls “reasonable steps to reduce human exposure to BPA in the food supply.” Yet it is BPA’s use in lining cans and plastic containers that reduces human exposure to botulism and other deadly food-borne illnesses.

What is “reasonable” about limiting something that protects public health and safeguards the American food supply?

Shaw called BPA the “perhaps the favorite target of fear entrepreneurial and ‘environmental’ fund-raising groups, even though there is not a scintilla of evidence shows harm to humans at any rational level of exposure to this chemical.”

Shaw’s observation is best illustrated by news stories promoting studies showing that BPA has been detected in the urine of more than 90 percent of Americans, but those same stories do not mention that BPA measured in human urine samples amounts to 2.6 micrograms per liter, which is 1,000 times less than the EPA reference dose.

If humans were exposed to massive amounts of BPA every day of their lives, they would still face no harm, but actual “exposure” is so small as to be virtually beyond measure.

If science does not support the many claims against BPA then why are there efforts by legislators to introduce new laws to ban BPA and other beneficial chemicals? Politics and fear are no substitute for science. They are used as fund-raising tools for environmental groups and to give politicians the appearance of acting in the public interest.

Unfortunately, the failure to check the facts has made some news media co-conspirators in this scare campaign, whenever they repeat baseless claims about BPA.

This false BPA narrative is so prevalent that in January, Rep. Edward Markey, (D-MA) introduced a bill to prohibit BPA in food and drink containers. Never mind the innumerable studies showing no harm from BPA, the complete absence of any study showing consumer harm from BPA and the half century of safe BPA use.

Rep. Markey claims his bill “will help keep BPA out of our bodies while also ensuring that all food and beverage containers are free from dangerous chemicals.” The truth is that banning BPA from use in metal or plastic food containers would invite potentially fatal health risks from food poisoning.

Eight states, plus Canada and the European Union have already approved limitations on BPA, none of which is based on any evidence that BPA causes harm to human health. The justification has always been the “Precautionary Principle” which requires the banning of something unless it can be proved to be not harmful. Use of the Precautionary Principle in science is akin to malpractice because it is impossible to prove a negative.

The confusion over BPA has so far resulted in sharp divides over whether and how to further regulate it. While the Massachusetts Public Health Council approved new BPA restrictions last year, the California Senate rejected a similar ban in that state in 2010. In Maine, state regulators sought draconian restrictions on BPA only to have Governor Paul LePage offer a regulatory reform program reversing those regulators in favor of having Maine’s standards parallel those of the federal government.

At the federal level, the U.S. Senate last year defeated attempts by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to impose a federal ban on BPA in certain products while the World Health Organization last November recommended against any further regulations to further limit or ban BPA.

Fear tactics, not scientific fact, are the primary drivers being used to deprive Americans of a necessary and safe component in valuable shatterproof plastics and a proven method of protecting food and drink. Only by overcoming a legion of fear-mongers can BPA continue to do so.

Editor's Note: You can read The BPA File - Part One here.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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Waste of money

Diposkan oleh Zainal Arifain

The original census (1801) had very few questions, mostly name, sex, occupation and was simply half of one page. Like most things to do with bureaucracy and statistic gathering it grew and grew until the new one due stands at 11 pages and wants to know the ins and outs of a ducks backside so far as I can tell. Still it is only every 10 years and I guess I could tolerate it even if I planned for that day to move all the beds into one room and lie about my religion and various other items of my life that I think are none of the government business.
This however got my goat (yes the dog will be registered as a goat that day if they happen to ask)


The cost of next month’s national census is expected to reach almost £500 million as 30,000 officials are hired to ensure immigrants who do not speak English take part in the compulsory population count.

Guidance on how to complete the 32-page form has been translated into 56 languages while advertisements are being broadcast on ethnic minority TV channels and leaflets distributed to shops, mosques, churches and temples.
It is a legal requirement for everyone to complete the census, which takes place once every 10 years, with the next national survey due to be conducted on 27 March. The results are used to help plan public services, including school places, hospitals, and transport.
Persistent refusal to complete the form can lead to prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.
But the Office for National Statistics, which organises the survey, admitted that while three million people failed to complete the 2001 census, only 38 were convicted.
Glen Watson, ONS census director, said the cost of the exercise was projected to reach £480 million this year, twice the total for the previous census in 2001.

 Why are we wasting taxpayers money on translations? There should only be language translations for the recognised languages of these Islands. English, Welsh, Scots Gael and possibly Manx assuming it's a separate tongue, oh and Braille too and perhaps a large print edition. You can't read any of those? Tough, you pay for a translator out of your own pocket, not mine or else learn the language yourself!
I'm sick and tired of the continual waste of money the state throws down the drain translating other languages for those too bloody lazy to learn the language of the country they live in! You don't see it happening in France, they make bloody sure you only get everything in French, if you can't cope, it's your problem, not theirs. £500 million in wasted cash that could have been spent on something important like school repairs or even repairing the winter potholes from the global warming spasm we had in December. But no we have to pander to those invited in by New Labour to vote for them and keep the cost of labour down. (3.2 million not counting illegals) But no, we have to keep the immigrants happy so Labour shelled out our cash to translate the census into 56 other languages and then apparently gave some USA military firm (Lockheed Martin)  the contract to to the data capture.

Ye Gods am I getting angry about this!
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Unions: Dupes, Thugs, and Politicians

Diposkan oleh Zainal Arifain

By Alan Caruba

Growing up in New Jersey and having been a journalist here, my memory of news about unions in the Garden and Empire States is that of headlines concerning the indictment and sentencing of various union chiefs and their underlings.

The alignment between unions and the Mafia is so well known it has been the subject of movies such as “On the Waterfront”, “The Godfather”, “Goodfellas” and “Casino.” To this day the rumor persists that Jimmy Hoffa is buried somewhere between the goalposts of Giants stadium in the Meadowlands.

As events unfold in the very progressive capital of Wisconsin, Madison, the public is being treated to the way unions have very nearly always functioned. Intimidation has been their stock in trade with campaign contributions running a close second. We are watching an epic battle between Wisconsin voters and entrenched, self-serving unions.

In his 2006 book, “Solidarity for Sale: How Corruption Destroyed the Labor Movement and Undermined America’s Promise”, Robert Finch, a former labor organizer and later a faculty member at Cornell and New York University, told the story of how and why unions were and are rotten to the core.

Finch’s book reads like a Hollywood movie script, replete with the names of Mafia families like that of New Jersey’s Vito Genevese and a host of others throughout the nation.

“Corruption,” says Finch “had been built into the labor movement from its very inception.” The politicians who benefited from union support have always done their best to ignore “five generations of racketeering, Mafia rule, bribery and extortion, job selling, benefit fund theft, and simple thievery, going back to the days of the early-twentieth-century labor czars.” This dates back as well to the creation of the National Labor Relations Board created by Congress in 1935. It is another legacy of the FDR years that have left the nation on the brink of bankruptcy.

Suffice to say that the National Labor Relations Board is a useless, allegedly “independent” government entity, often looking with favor on the union’s unceasing demands. Among the issues conservatives want to thwart are card check regulations to enhance union power. Reportedly, Republicans have cut $50 million from the NRLB’s budget as a part of the effort to cut the bloated Obama budget.

Finch notes that “In 1986, the President’s Commission on Organized Crime had identified the four most mobbed-up unions; the Teamsters, the Laborers, the Hotel and Restaurant Workers, and the East Coast Longshoremen. The close relationship between labor unions and the Democratic Party is too often obscured by the mainstream media. “According to the Center for Responsible Politics”, Finch noted, “seven of the top ten campaign contributors in the last decade are not Fortune 500 corporations. They’re AFL-CIO unions.”

Little wonder that public service union members are howling for the head of Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker or that several Wisconsin Democrat politicians have fled to Illinois to avoid debating his proposals. His demand that unions forego collective bargaining rights is, in fact, not that unusual. Twenty-two States have curbed union power with “right to work” legislation.

Perhaps the greatest error regarding the union movement came in 1962 when President John F. Kennedy issued an executive order to grant all federal government employees the right to unionize and collectively bargain with departments and agencies. This accounts for the rise in power of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) with its 1.8 million members and the deceptively named National Education Association (NEA), a union, the largest in the nation. It has 3.2 million members and employs more than 550 staff.

It is not an exaggeration to say that the NEA is responsible for the horrid test scores of U.S. students throughout the nation despite their incessant demands for higher wages, along with healthcare and pension programs well in excess of the private sector. Since the 1960s, they have been at the heart of the deteriorating condition of education in America. A four-part series on this topic is posted on the website of The National Anxiety Center which I founded in 1990.

Leading the SEIU is Andy Stern whose many visits to the White House since Obama was elected have become legendary. His rise in the union began with organizing hundreds of thousands of home care and day care workers. Despite unionizing, their pay has never really improved. “The SEIU,” Finch noted, “is now the largest AFL-CIO union.”

During his campaign and since, President Obama has never made any secret of how beholden he is to the SEIU and the union movement that contributed millions toward his election. It should come as no surprise that he has spoken up regarding the Wisconsin riots on the side of the union members. This ignores the fact that a majority of Wisconsin voters put the Governor in office, along with giving political power to Republicans there. They campaigned on the very issues the unions are protesting against.

Wisconsin, like other States that are essentially broke, must win the struggle to reduce the taxpayer burden that government worker and public sector unions represent.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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