Jobs? Obama? You're Kidding!

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By Alan Caruba

America is dying a death by a thousand cuts in the form of hidden and explicit taxation, the insane generation of new regulations, and the resulting massive unemployment. Obama just selected a new economic advisor who is known to favor a value-added tax that would drive up the cost of everything you purchase.

It’s not like solutions to our economic disaster are not known. They are and the Obama administration will not implement them. They do know what they are doing and it is deliberate.

On September 7, in the guise of a jobs speech Obama will offer massive new spending programs. The money for them would have to be borrowed. The interest on that borrowing would sink the nation further into debt.

In the August 31 edition of The Wall Street Journal, an editorial revealed that, when Speaker John Boehner asked the White House to disclose any “major” federal rules in the works with estimated economic costs of $1 billion or more, he was informed that the Obama regulatory agenda for 2011 contains 219 proposed such new regulatory initiatives.

In 2010 the administration had 191 proposed regulatory initiatives in the works which combined with those proposed in 2011 add up to a total of 410. By contrast the first two years of the Bush administration rulemaking accounted for only 103 new, major regulations.

Of seven pending major rules estimated to cost more than $1 billion one includes the Environmental Protection Agency’s ozone regulations, estimated to cost $90 billion if Congress does not step in and put a stop to it. The EPA is trying to eliminate one tenth of all the utilities that provide the electricity the nation needs to function.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s experts on regulation have concluded that the present cost of federal regulation to businesses that must comply with them is $1.75 trillion annually.

If you visit USA Action News.com, you will find an issues section devoted to the Cloward-Piven strategy named after two socialist academics who spelled out just what it would take to economically destroy the nation. It is being implemented by the Obama administration.

Why would anyone at this point think that President Obama knows how to create jobs?

Isn’t this the first President in the nation’s history to be in office when its historic AAA credit rating was downgraded?

Isn’t this the President whose original “stimulus” plan is universally regarded as a costly failure?

Isn’t this the President who added more than $4 trillion to the national debt in just two and a half years?

At TheEconomicCollapseblog.com, you will find an article, “Wake Up America! 10 Very Obvious Reasons Why the Devastating U.S. Jobs Famine is Going to Suck the Hope Right Out of America.”

If you lack the time to delve into it, here are some of its highlights:

Citing a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, it turns out that there are more unemployed Americans than the combined populations of Wyoming, Vermont, North Dakota, Alaska, South Dakota, Delaware, Montana, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Idaho, and the District of Columbia.

The number of unemployed Americans is larger than the entire population of Greece!

The number of Americans on food stamps has increased 74% since 2007.

Among the reasons cited or suggested by the article were that politicians in Washington, D.C. really don’t care that the nation is bleeding jobs and, to make matters worse, the Obama administration has instituted a “backdoor amnesty” that would make deporting illegal aliens that hold jobs virtually impossible.

As some U.S. States and local governments face the equivalent of bankruptcy, they are shedding jobs “at an unprecedented rate.” The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that more than half a million such jobs have been lost since 2008. It forecasts that nearly a half million more will be gone by the end of 2012.

U.S. corporations exist to generate profits and dividends for their investors. As such they must compete in a global marketplace where other nations like China pay pennies in salaries while they must undertake mandated costs over and above any salary they have to pay new U.S. employees. So jobs are exported. Unfair trade practices tip the scale of exports to nations like China that, in turn, do not import a comparable amount of U.S. goods.

As for taxes, businesses of all size in America are “being taxed into oblivion” with U.S. corporate taxes being the highest in the world. Between state and other taxes, Americans give up some 42% of their income before they can put their paycheck in the bank.

This is deliberate.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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Checks and balances

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Before governments became so obsessed by what we think and do and all the unnecessary checks that the busybodies put into the systemwhen women who'd had a baby wanted to go back into the jobs market they could usually find a minder, often enough a family member, but occasionally a neighbour, essentially someone they trusted. Sometimes it cost them a few quid, but the whole point of doing it was so that yes they could work, but yes at the end of the day they had something to show for working. Even the registered childminders for all they weren't cheap, were still affordable, at least until health and safety regulations, followed by the now mandatory CRB checks came into force. The end result has of course been inevitable...
Express.
THE soaring cost of childcare forced 32,000 working mothers to quit their jobs in the past year, a study revealed yesterday.
Women working part-time and earning on average £8,557 are £98 worse off at the end of the month if they have to pay nursery charges.
Research by insurers Aviva found that 32,000 mothers left work to look after their children while their husbands become the sole earners.
The study also found that those in full-time work, earning an average of £17,513, have just £120 left over after paying for childcare, which can cost around £385 per month.
For children under two this soars to £729 a month.
Yep, if you can't find family or friends, you're buggered as the price you pay now goes way above what you earn if you're in the low paid sector/minimum wage area of the market. It means even if you want to work you're better off on benefits looking after your kids. Of course if you work you lose other housing and income support benefits too such is the system that has been foisted upon us.
The governments insistence on Criminal Record Bureau checks on anyone who comes into contact with kids has pushed the costs up as this cost is now factored into any payments working mums shell out, plus if you have a high turnover of staff, each new member needs a check, whether they were approved at their old place of work or not.

What the end result of this will be I do not know, it may be that more stay at home mums means better educated and behaved kids, it might even lead to the regeneration of our society back into a self help one. I doubt that was the original intention of the government though, it was all purely another attempt to dip their hands into our pockets. But as ever in these things, they've pushed it too far and some unintended circumstances has kicked in. They're losing workers in the jobs market, but kids are seeing more of their mums.
Might be a light at the end of the tunnel after all, only time will tell.
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Democrats and Liberals Keep Calling the Kettle Black

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By Alan Caruba

Maybe it’s “just politics” or maybe it’s the fancier psychological term, “projection”—saying that others possess the same traits as oneself—but it is impossible to ignore the way liberals in general and Democrats in particular are quick to label any Republican president or presidential candidate as “dumb.”

In a very real way, it is a form of validation. Michelle Bachmann, when she showed strength in Iowa in its recent straw vote was accused of being a ditz and the great liberal bugaboo, religious. When Texas Governor Rick Perry announced he was in the running, he caught flack for participating in a prayer gathering and actually praying! Predictably, as Perry’s popularity has soared, Politico posted an August 29 article, “Is Rick Perry Dumb?”

Anyone who has given Gov. Perry’s resume even a glancing look knows that he’s not only bright enough to have risen from humble beginnings, but he has never lost an election. And the man is from Texas, just like two previous Bush Presidents and the unlamented Lyndon B. Johnson who managed to not only mire the nation in a war in Vietnam, but to lose it.

In the Bush-Kerry match-up, their college scores were released and it turned out that Bush43 did better than his opponent. Last time I heard, securing a bachelor’s degree from Yale and a master’s from Harvard Business School is no walk in the park

By contrast, two and a half years into his term as President, no one knows what grades Barack Hussein Obama received at either Columbia University or Harvard. Indeed, as far as a “paper trail” is concerned there are still gaps wide enough through which to drive a tank regarding what is actually known about Obama such as, for instance, where did he get his Social Security number? What nation’s passport did he travel on when he visited Pakistan in his youth?

And the biggest question of all, why is he President, given that the Constitution states, “No person except a natural born citizen (that is to say, both parents being American citizens)…shall be eligible to the office of President…” This is not rocket science. A commentary from CanadaFreePress.com cited the following, “As his father was not a U.S. citizen, but rather a citizen of Kenya, Obama inherited by birthright, natural law, his fathers name and citizenship. He is NOT a “natural born citizen” of the US, no matter where he was born.”

So far, he has produced several “birth certificates” that were so bogus that they were instantly revealed as such by experts who meticulously detailed why. Just as with the 2008 campaign, the mainstream media has run interference for this usurper, largely by ignoring the issue.

When it comes to comparing smart versus dumb, how smart is Obama when the record shows that he ignored the problem of the national debt, handing it off to a commission whose findings he ignored until Standard & Poor’s downgraded the nation’s credit rating for the first time ever!

Those in the White House and leading the Democratic Party so obviously regard the American public and, in particular, voters, as stupid that they utter the most stupid things themselves, thinking no one will notice. The new chairwomen of the Democrat National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, said that Republicans are wrong on illegal immigration because they think “that in fact it should be a crime.” Earth to Debbie, it is a crime.

Vice President Joe Biden, who has become an embarrassment to the White House and Democratic Party, speaking of the decision to kill Osama bin Laden, called it “The boldest decision any president has undertaken on a single event in modern history.” What about all the decisions President Bush had to take following 9/11?

Obamacare was such a disaster that the U.S. Department of Health has had to issue 1,400 waivers. Hardly a day goes by without new revelations of the costs it imposes on the economy or the thousands of bureaucrats that would have to be hired to enforce it. The House of Representatives has already voted to repeal it and 26 States brought a court action against it; the most recent decision on the way to the Supreme Court has found it to be unconstitutional.

The same day a Politico’s article, blogger Burt Prelutsky posted a brief hilarious review of Obama’s gaffes that is well worth reading.

The Democrats have given us the dumbest, most dishonest President ever elected to that office and the race card is already being played. Democrat Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina has said, “people don’t like to deal with it, but the fact of the matter is, the president’s problems are in large measure because of the color of his skin.”

So the kettle is calling the pot black. In the case of the Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., his skin color will provide no protection from his appalling record of incompetence and stupidity.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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More Than 900,000 Total Page Views!

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Sometime just before the end of August, "Warning Signs", passed 900,000 total page views since its inception. Based on emails and comments, it is clear that this blog is read by people from around the world and don't ask me how they discovered it, but I am delighted that a blog written essentially for an American audience of readers is read in places where its message also resonates.

Warning Signs is written from an unapologetic "conservative" point of view and in the belief that so much misleading and deliberately false information is disseminated from the Left that it must be debunked and refuted, as it turns out, on a daily basis.

The views expressed are all researched to ensure accuracy. The rest is opinion based on more than seven decades of life on planet Earth, a lifetime of experience and knowledge.

For those who have signed up as "members", my thanks, and an invitation to all others to do so as well.

And, of course, a great big Thank You to those who have donated to this blog, helping with the general costs involved. Those who donate $50.00 or more all receive autographed copies of one of my books.

I anticipate that Warning Signs will pass the one million mark before the end of 2011.

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The gift that keeps on giving

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The UK defence forces face £34 billion in cuts, the state itself is snipping back in various areas (the wrong ones to be sure but still snipping) and yet still the lunatics in charge of the Ministry of Defence manage to give away £1.7 million to Uganda in the way of a gift of helmets and body armour.
Express.
DEFENCE chiefs squandered nearly £1.7million of taxpayers’ cash on helmets and body armour for the Ugandan army last year.

The equipment was handed to the African nation as a “gift”, the Ministry of Defence’s annual accounts showed yesterday.
Rank and file military personnel, many of whom face redundancy as a result of £34billion of defence cuts, will be outraged that equipment is being given away to foreign armies.
It follows complaints that the lives of British service personnel have been put at risk by a failure to deliver body armour, helicopters and other equipment in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
Other financial losses range from £5.4billion for scrapping aircraft to £2.4million for repairs after the nuclear submarine HMS Acute ran aground in a training exercise.
Another £1.7million was lost in a bizarre legal row over supply of furniture.
Yes I know that £1.7 million is just a drop in the ocean, but these days it could be the difference between some squaddie having decent gear without having to buy his own. Personally I think I could have made wholesale cuts to the nations budget, yet actually increased the money going to frontline services. Course that would mean leaving the EU, scrapping the foreign aid budget, placing a cap on council executive salaries, scrapping 90% of quango's. refusing funding for translation services, scrapping the HRA and removing foreign criminals and illegal immigrants, placing all minimum wage jobs for UK residents only and scrapping benefits for any other than mums, sick/disabled and pensioners who refuse to take them.
And that would just be in my first week as I don't believe in pushing too hard, following week I'd be taking a chainsaw to the civil service upper management (probably figuratively)
That's always been the problem with public services, they don't see what they do as being with our money, they don't have to balance budgets as there's always next year and the magic taxpayer money tree.
This needs to change.
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Destroying America's Moral Fiber

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By Alan Caruba

There’s something very wrong when the forthcoming memorial ceremonies of 9/11 at Ground Zero in New York City will not include prayer. Almost by definition, a memorial service includes prayer for the souls of the dead and for renewal in the face of adversity.

No doubt a combination of political correctness and common sense made it clear that having a Muslim imam joining the clergy would be a very bad idea, given that it was Muslims that planned and carried out the attack. That would have been an affont, but denying representatives of the Judeo-Christian faiths on which America is based seems to me a bad idea, too.

Religion, for whatever reason, is being squeezed out of the public square whenever and wherever some athiest complains about it.

Across America we have seen the slow creep of moral decline in public institutions despite a population that is widely understood to have a deep faith in a greater power in their lives, but which I mean God, not government. America overcame its economic problems in the 1980s through the leadership of Ronald Reagan who never hesitated to cite God as the inspiration and source of our fundamental belief in freedom and liberty.

To my mind, it began with the prohibition of school prayer, a part of the educational experience for generations of American children. Since then, schools have been turned into minimum security prisons with a notable rise in bullying. Along with the Pledge of Allegiance, a short prayer was a reminder and reinforcement of the belief that there is a higher power, despite the arrogance of officialdom at all levels.

Though homosexuals represent a very small percent of the population, they have received increasing attention in the nation’s media and have become emboldened to hold parades in cities where they celebrate their sexual deviancy.

Most notably has been the decision by several states to authorize same-sex marriage despite the extension of “civil unions” to provide for gaps in the legal process as they affect homosexuals living in committed relationships. The degradation of the sanctity of marriage, a practice and tradition dating back for millennia, has been nothing less than an attack on moral values in America.

The campaign to reduce former levels of intolerance for homosexuals began when the American Psychiatric Association (APA) concluded in 1973 that homosexuality was not a mental disease or disorder. It voted to support “gay rights.” .

Peddling Pedophilia

A recent conference sponsored by B4U-Act, a pedophilia advocacy group, featured psychiatric professionals who argued to remove pedophilia from the APA’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. If that were to occur, pedophilia would no longer be considered a mental disorder, at least by this professional group.

This is the North American Man-Boy Love Association on steroids.

Should that occur, the doors would be open to consider this abhorrent behavior, condemned throughout our society, as just another behavior that does not merit severe penalties. As if every child in America is not already at risk, this would encourage the media to encourage greater public acceptance and “understanding” of pedophilia.

The B4U-Act conference concluded that pedophilia was “not a choice”, that efforts to treat pedophilia are “similar to methods used on homosexuals 50 years ago and similarly ineffective”, and that ‘minor-attracted persons “do not exhibit narcissism, psychosexual immaturity…psychopathology, neurosis or any personality disorder more than people attracted to adults.”

This is such a blatant effort to suggest that pedophiles are just like everyone else that it renders the profession of psychiatry a thin excuse for every form of deviancy that threatens individuals—in this case children—and society at large with the failure to discourage and punish this abomination.

Those psychiatrists and psychologists have apparently already forgotten the horror that greeted revelations of widespread pedophilia among Catholic priests and others responsible for children in their care.

In early August, former child star, Corey Feldman, courageously declared “The number one problem in Hollywood was and is and always will be pedophilia” saying that the “casting couch” exists for children, too.

This is occurring as America witnesses the most gay-friendly administration in its history. The appointment by President Obama of Kevin Jennings to a position in the Department of Education is an example. Jennings helped introduce Bill 4530 in Congress that would require the normalization of homosexuality, transgenderism, cross-dressing and other behaviors into the curriculums of schools from coast to coast. California has introduced legislation mandating such views in its schools.

Jennings was a long-time homosexual activist in Massachusetts and the founder of GLSEN, a homosexual organization that targets children in schools. He has since left the administration to lead an organization in Cambridge, Massachusetts with the same goals.

The nation’s economic problems can be fixed and we can ensure a strong defense, but the moral rot that is occurring with every passing day will destroy America from within more surely than any external enemy could hope for.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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Getting it wrong, twice

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Sectarianism is a problem in parts of Scotland, Rangers and Celtic being the prime example of two competing factions vying through the tribal fan system of football to make their mark over a hated rival. It isn't racism as you'd be very hard put to tell the difference between the supporters without their colours, it isn't religious either, though a difference in religion goes deep within the two communities.
It's not something we're used too in England, the religious aspect anyway, though the tribal rivalries of football fans we're well used too. However what we wouldn't do, is call for a football clubs fans to not fly a flag that represents their country, after all, that would be a bit racist, wouldn't it?
Mail.
For almost 130 years the proud supporters of Berwick Rangers have revelled in the fact that they are a British team playing in the Scottish Football League.
Ok, lets get the sodding obvious bit out of the way first, whilst Berwick Rangers are a British club, so are the rest of the teams playing in the Scottish Football League! Berwick are different only in the fact that they are based in England!
They call themselves The Borderers, and proudly display both the St Andrew's cross and the St George's cross on their scarves and merchandise.
But now the club's supporters have been told that they can't show the St George's cross when attending away games - because it incites sectarian tension.
As sectarian implies religion, I cannot see how flying a flag of St George is being sectarian, what it does imply that this club is English and that it's not sectarianism we're talking about here, but racism. They aren't particularly protestant, they certainly aren't Scottish (much as many Scots would claim)
Personally I think it's rank hypocrisy of Stranraer FC to claim sectarianism, when the plain facts speak for themselves, they are indulging in racism. However by calling it sectarianism they hope to get away with it, save only that the idiots at the Daily Mail decided to do an article on it.
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Someone is channeling me

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I really should stop giving people ideas for free, not so long ago I blogged about my take on workfare in the post Talking up a Storm.I suggested that people should not receive benefits unless they take some form of job and it seems that I'm not the only one thinking along those lines, though it's a bit disturbing when it's a left wing think tank doing it.
Mail.
Workshy should be FORCED to take jobs at minimum wage or lose their benefits: Shock
A leading think-tank has urged the Government to crack down on Britain's workshy - and force them to take jobs at minimum wage.
The hard-hitting Institute for Public Policy Research report recommends people on the dole for more than a year should work or lose their benefits.
It wants a state-run scheme to guarantee a job on the minimum wage after 12 months unemployment.
The Labour-leaning think-tank said the jobs should last a maximum of six months and be no more than 30 hours a week to allow people time to hunt for more permanent jobs.
But if a job-seeker refuses to take it, he or she would lose their welfare entitlements.
Now I disagree with the government providing jobs, as they are useless at that sort of thing, however yes there is enough to do in this country to warrant some form of workfare and not at minimum wage either, could make the workfare jobs at only £1 an hour with the rest topped up in benefits. Certainly it is a way to get men espescially back into work and inculate a work ethic within them. Ladies with children though present a different problem, at least until the kids reach school age. Though call me old fashioned, I do believe that mums should be there for their kids, though balancing the system to prevent certain women having "benefit kids" perhaps setting child benefit for only the first two might get around that.
This scheme also cannot be used against the sick/disabled and pensioners, I suspect that stringent safeguards would need to be put in to prevent it becoming the thin end of the wedge.
Benefit reform has to happen, most people can see it, though everyone has a different idea as to how to go about it. I see my taxes as keeping people comfy on the state and the state unfortunately want to keep taxation high but pay it to themselves. I prefer my method of at least getting something useful out of the unemployed and unemployable, though I place most politicians in the unemployable category.
There are things that need doing, this is a way to get them done, it's definitely worth a try.
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A Weather Newsgasm

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By Alan Caruba

What major weather events and especially earthquakes tell us is that we live on planet Earth on its terms, not ours. Put another way, we don’t “control” the weather or climate and, despite decades of global warming lies, compared to the sun and oceans, we don’t even influence it.

The best definition of the weather is “chaos.” It will do whatever it wants to do.

By Friday on Fox News and other television news outlets, it was non-stop coverage of Hurricane Irene even though it was barely beginning to touch the North Carolina coast. If there is one thing the news media loves it is a really big potential disaster.

By Saturday afternoon as Irene passed over North Carolina, Anthony Watts, a veteran meteorologist and commentator on WattsUpWithThat.com, was reporting, “What we have here at this point appears to be a tropical storm. By the time it reaches New York, it may very well just be a tropical depression on par with a Nor’easter in intensity.” But not a hurricane.

At one point late Saturday, I clicked the remote on every local channel and on every cable news channel. Every single one was reporting on the hurricane. According to my blogger pal, Texas Fred, that’s a “newsgasm”.

By Sunday morning, the drenching rain, but no high winds, was already moving north out of New York City and northern New Jersey where I live.

The incessant “news” coverage reflects the way television (and print) news professionals tend to regard viewers as too stupid to make decisions as basic as preparing for the hurricane or evacuating before its arrival, nor do they just report the news, i.e., the facts. So far as Irene was concerned, they engaged in massive speculation and endless predictions.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) became an acronym for incompetence. Presumably lessons have been learned and the agency will perform more effectively if needed.

Americans have been taught that the federal government will always come to their rescue and it rarely does with any efficiency and usually with a great waste of money and resources. Local first responders are usually the best and most reliable.

In a society that is utterly and completely dependent on electricity to function, it is always a sobering experience for many to discover how useless every single appliance in their home or apartment becomes without it.

I am sure I am boring people to death by repeatedly pointing to the way government at the federal and state level, along with many environmental organizations are deliberately making it difficult, if not impossible, to build coal-burning or nuclear utilities. As for transportation, the same forces are allied against any oil exploration and extraction. There hasn’t been a single new oil refinery built since the 1970s. That’s insane.

Now they are gearing up to deter natural gas extraction using “fracking” even though this technology has been in safe use for fifty years. The discovery of vast new reserves of natural gas should be greeted as welcome news by everyone. Only the luddites want us to return to mythical “simpler” times that never existed. It is still easier and a whole lot faster to take the train from New York to Washington, D.C. than to ride a horse.

If a foreign invader had imposed the same limits on our ability to access and use our own vast national reserves of coal, oil and natural gas, we would be in the streets with metaphorical pitchforks.

Returning to the theme of hurricanes, does anyone remember how Al Gore and other global warming liars were predicting that global warming would cause more hurricanes? Well, the East Coast has been through a period of some five years without one making landfall. Since there never was any dramatic global warming, there never was a connection between the two.

It’s worth remembering the previous decades since the late 1980s that were filled with reports from the full panoply of the print and broadcast media. They assured us that global warming was going to transform all life on earth unless we stopped producing carbon dioxide emissions, i.e., “greenhouse gas” emissions. It was a scam to sell bogus “carbon credits.”

This is the same bull we keep hearing about “renewable” energy, wind and solar power, along with ethanol and biofuels. The latter wastes food—corn—and the former wastes open space along with taxpayer’s and consumer’s hard earned money.

We are constantly assailed with extremely dubious, if not outright lies that involve something “scientific”, but science has been corrupted with too much environmental claptrap, political correctness, and devious chicanery. There are good sources of information, but the government and the media are not among them.

Trust your common sense. It is usually a good guide.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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The Annual Boarding Up of properties Event

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A commenter on my previous post wondered when the police would have the guts to ban the Notting Hill carnival. I suspect we all know why it's the last thing they'd do, although to put it specifically would leave them wide open to accusations of racism, far, far, easier to ban a march by the EDL despite the fact that it costs less to police an EDL event than the potentially riotous Carnival.
In the past, despite having 11,000 officers on the streets during 2008, around 40 troublemakers threw bottles and bricks at officers once the carnival had finished, while there were 330 arrests.
In 2009 the number of arrests fell to 215, including a group of 38 youths who had planned violence during the event. A 15-year-old youth was also stabbed.
In 2010 there were also two stabbings, resulting in minor injuries to the victims and were 230 arrests across the weekend, with most being for drugs offences and public disorder.
Plus the huge number of police compares with the Royal Wedding, which was deemed a terrorist threat.
Mail
Battening down the hatches: Shopkeepers board up windows over riot fears as record police numbers prepare for Notting Hill Carnival
Shopkeepers were today boarding up their windows over fears that the Notting Hill Carnival could descend into the violent scenes that rocked London earlier this month.
Record numbers of police will take to the streets in a desperate bid to deter the rioting and looting that spread across the capital.
There were fears that the carnival could become a focal point for unrest which lead to suggestions that the annual event could be cancelled.
But instead the annual carnival will see the highest number of police officers on duty in the event's 47-year history in the wake of the London riots.
Double the number of officers that policed the Royal Wedding will be on duty at the carnival next weekend, with the Met planning 20,000 shifts split over the two-day event, it is understood.
It is Scotland Yard's biggest public order test since the riots during an unprecedented security operation at the two-day carnival.
Businesses were boarding up their shop fronts earlier today as a precaution in the wake of the widespread violence and looting.
Police received criticism about their handling of the riots and will be keen to ensure there are no repeat disturbances.
More than a million revellers are expected to descend on the capital over the coming days for what is Europe's biggest street festival.
To be honest, unless there was actual rioting going on in London on the days leading up to the event I didn't expect a ban. Though I do expect one of two things, either it will go without a hitch as everyone will be at pains to make sure the event isn't tarnished by the riots (unlikely but possible) Or it will start off quiet and explode as it gets later. (more likely)
 Still, Scotland Yard has staged a series of dawn swoops in a pre-emptive strike to avoid trouble at this year's carnival. A total of 40 suspects have been arrested in raids across the capital which suggests some forethought by the police, but will have done little to ease tensions in the communities involved. Plus I'm quite uneasy about arresting people simply because you think they might be a problem.
I think personally that the Notting Hill Carnival has to be seen as a success by the powers that be who were quite badly shaken by the riots and if that means draconian policing it will be seen as worth it despite our civil liberties being dragged through the gutter again. Problem with overt policing though is that it does have negative consequences too.
It will be interesting to see how this goes, but I predict trouble will erupt at some stage.
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Cartoon Round Up

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GE Stabs the US in the Back

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By Alan Caruba

In 1876 Thomas Alva Edison opened a laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey for the purposes of exploring how to produce and distribute electricity. History records that he invented the incandescent electric light bulb there. By 1890, he had established the Edison General Electric Company, now know simply as GE.

In 2011, Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of GE and the chairman of President Obama’s “Jobs Council” is eliminating jobs for American employees of GE at a furious pace. To add insult to injury, in 2010 GE paid no federal taxes at all despite worldwide profits of $14.2 billion. GE claimed a tax benefit of $2.3 billion.

From an America corporate icon to an American disgrace, GE epitomizes how federal policies, cronyism, and rent seeking is destroying America from within by avoiding taxes and shipping jobs overseas. Keep in mind, none of this is illegal. It is, however, unconscionable.

A recent article at TheEconomicCollapseblog.com took a look at the way GE is “moving jobs and economic infrastructure to China at a blistering pace.” For example, “GE makes more medical-imaging machines than anyone else in the world and now GE has announced that it is ‘moving the headquarters of its 115-year-old X-ray business to Beijing.”

The article notes that, “Under Immelt, GE has shipped tens of thousands of good jobs out of the United States.” Even the liberal learning Huffington Post reported that “As the administration struggles to prod businesses to create jobs at home, GE has been busy sending them abroad. Since Immelt took over in 2001, GE has shed 34,000 jobs in the U.S. according to its most recent annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. But it has added 25,000 jobs overseas.”

“At the end of 2009, GE employed 36,000 more people abroad than it did in the U.S. In 2000, it was nearly the opposite.”

The last GE factory in the U.S. that made light bulbs closed last September. This came on the heels of the federal government’s ban on the 100-watt incandescent light bulb and its push to require Americans to purchase the new CFL light bulbs as part of Obama’s green jobs initiative. The CFL bulbs have been universally denounced as providing less equivalent light, costing more, and using mercury as part of their manufacture.

When John Rice was appointed GE’s head of global operations, responsible for growth in markets that include China, India, the Middle East and Brazil, the Huffington Post revealed that GE planned to spend $500 million on research and development and new customer innovation centers in China, adding more than a thousand jobs there. “More than $1.5 billion is expected to be put toward joint ventures with Chinese state-owned enterprises in high-technology sectors.”

At the same time, Daily Finance.com revealed that GE “is arming China to compete with Boeing—and America.” Peter Cohen that “General Electric plans to sell its aircraft electronics to Chinese companies” noting that China just flight-tested a prototype stealth fighter” as it continues to build up its military. GE is selling technology “it developed for U.S. companies like Boeing to Boeing’s Chinese competitors.”

“America is being de-industrialized at lightning speed and very few of our politicians seem to care,” says TheEconomicCollapseblog while noting that in 1979 there were 19.5 million manufacturing jobs in the United States and today there are 11.6 million.

“The United States has lost a staggering 32% of all its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.”

While President Obama berates the Congress for the lack of free trade agreements, he neglects to say that several such agreements with Latin American nations linger on his desk and none can be acted upon by Congress until he sends them for approval.

While Jeffrey Immelt flies around in his corporate jet and issues vacuous, hypocritical statements about jobs for Americans, he and his close friend in the White House are undermining the economy. Other U.S. corporations are following suit.

The U.S. corporate tax is the highest in the world, but you will not hear any talk of lowering this tax rate, only meaningless class warfare blather about taxing “millionaires and billionaires” more when, in truth, those taxes will fall heaviest on small business owners.

This is the deliberate destruction of the U.S. manufacturing sector.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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Being careful about what you ask for

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The EDL were planning a march in Tower Hamlets which is their democratic right to do, various other groups were planning on opposing the march which is also their right to do. That those who oppose such marches by the EDL tend to be violent thugs and that they have been leafleting Tower Hamlets in attempts to stir up the local populace into a riot is also known. The recent riots and the actions of Islamic extremists in Tower Hamlets has provided the far left who see violence as the only form of legitimate protest with a heady brew in which to promulgate their lies, slander and scare stories. There were calls for a ban on the EDL march from the local council and from other groups and eventually the Home Secretary at the urging of the police stepped in to ban the EDL march, which should have been good news for the idiot socialists and extreme Islamists within and without Tower Hamlets.
Except the Home Secretary went further and banned all marches for a month in Tower Hamlets including those who oppose the EDL, cue immediate hypocritical denouncements by the left who wanted to ban an EDL march yet cannot see why their own marches should be banned as well. A classic case of the biter bit...
Socialist Worker.
We have a right to march against the EDL racists
In an unprecedented step, Scotland Yard has applied to the home secretary to ban all marches in five London boroughs for 30 days starting from 2 September.
This means that the English Defence League march in Tower Hamlets, east London, set for 3 September will be banned. But the blanket ban will also cover the counter-demonstration organised by Unite against Fascism and United East End.
The English Defence League still plan to come to Tower Hamlets to hold a static protest.
Already anti-racist activists in Tower Hamlets have put out calls for the counter-demonstration to go ahead. Socialist Worker backs all those who want to stand up to the racists. We call on everyone to come to Tower Hamlets to show that the racist EDL is not welcome.
Yes, the hypocrites believe that only they have the right to march, but it goes further, their actions have also prevented the lefts 75th anniversary of the "Battle of cable Street" march and all because they were incapable of acting like adults and were calling for violence and protest against another march.
They are only just coming to terms that if you call to take away the democratic rights of one group, it also takes away your democratic rights too.
Epic Fail socialists, Epic Fail.
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Obama Fatigue

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By Alan Caruba

It occurred to me (and probably a lot of others as well) that it’s just over for Obama. It doesn’t matter that he intends to present yet another “plan” to get Americans working again after his Martha’s Vineyard vacation.

Whatever plan Obama puts forward will simply repackage his failed “stimulus”, his “tax the rich”, and other idiotic socialist notions of how to “fix” the economy. They didn’t work during the Great Depression and will not work now.

Like a female preying mantis that eats the head of the male who mates with her, just about everyone that has had any contact with Barack Obama suffers as a result. It didn’t matter if it was his white grandparents who took him in when his mother abandoned him---after having gone through two husbands. It didn’t matter if it was his longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, in whose church he learned the fundamentals of black liberation theology. He has a habit of abandoning or denying relationships. His marriage appears to be the exception.

Presidents, though, are judged on their accomplishments and Obama has so few it’s becoming an embarrassment. Like the woman who told him she was “exhausted” from trying to defend him, a lot of die-hard liberals are looking for cover as he hits the campaign trail to secure the nomination for a second term. If there is such a thing as an honest Democratic Party consultant or strategist, they would surely tell you that Obama is going to be overwhelmingly defeated.

A former Louisiana Governor, Edwin Edwards, famously said that the only way he could be defeated was if he was found in bed with a live boy or a dead girl. The only way the Republican candidate will be defeated would involve similar indiscretions. That has not stopped liberal scum from advertising for “dirt” on Gov. Rick Perry.

This is likely to be one of the dirtiest, if not the dirtiest, campaign ever waged against whoever is the Republican choice to run against Obama. That’s the “Chicago way.”

Come September, policy wonks will be looking to see what Obama has to say about the one issue that will surely defeat him, unemployment. Let me save you some time, the ill-famed “stimulus” devoted much of its billions as transfers to states so teachers, police and fireman could be retained and pensions paid, to ill-fated “green” enterprises, and to a few infrastructure projects after Obama discovered there weren’t many that were “shovel ready.”

The other part of his plan was to expand the size of the federal government through the creation of some truly monstrous bureaucracies such as those associated with Obamacare and the passage of the Dodd-Frank oversight of banks and financial firms.

Simply stated, government does not create jobs in the private sector. It just creates government jobs. Even The New York Times took note of a Brookings Institution report that found “clean-technology jobs accounted for just two percent of employment nationwide.”

To which I say, “Duh!” If you want to know where solar panels and wind turbines are manufactured, Google CHINA. In the U.S., they are merely assembled for sale. So-called “green” companies are filing for bankruptcy with predictable frequency, taking taxpayer subsidies and grants with them.

What I confess I find astonishing are the continuing reports of the President’s fund-raising success. Notably Obama has already scheduled far more such events than the last four presidents who preceded him. Hollywood gives gobs of money and so does Wall Street. The latter has always struck me as odd if only because it represents a hotbed of capitalism while, in reality, its denizens tend to be raving liberals.

What worries me more than anything else about President Obama is the fact that he has sixteen months left in which to inflict as much damage on the economy and the nation’s future as possible. I have little doubt that is his intent.

He just issued an Executive Order as an end-run around the illegal alien amnesty issue that Americans have defeated a half dozen times when Congress tried to get it passed. The new fuel economy standards his administration has announced will add an average of $11,000 to the cost of buying a new car.

Another recent executive order tells the heads of departments and agencies to make sure their hiring practices involve “diversity” which is another way of saying pass on qualified whites and hire blacks and Hispanics. His Supreme Court appointee, Sonia Sotomeyer, once ruled that a local fire department had to lower its hiring standards because no blacks passed its application exam. Whatever happened to color blind hiring?

A President is expected to provide leadership and Obama has provided none, domestic or foreign.

Americans cannot begin to fathom how much other nations around the world look to America to set the tone and provide direction in the conduct of their affairs with each other. We have seen what happens when foreign leaders and troublemakers conclude the President of the United States of America can be ignored with impunity.

America is experiencing Obama Fatigue. He has worn out everyone with endless speeches. The man lies. He lies all the time. He lies more than Bill Clinton during the awful Monica Lewinsky scandal or Richard Nixon during Watergate.

His job plan will be another lie, another pathetic liberal concoction in which the government just spends more money it does not have. Or worse, intends to tax people for money they cannot spare.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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God Sends Obama a Message

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God sends Obama a message:

Hurricane Irene

Earthquake in D.C.

Earthquake and tsunami in Japan

Mississippi River flooding

Gulf of Mexico oil leak

Obamacare

Debt ceiling

Standard & Poor’s

The US economy

Democrat Party

Nancy Pelosi

Harry Reid

Joe Biden

And, finally, the Tea Party!










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Money for nothing

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Once again the looters as Richard North of EU Referendum calls them are making off with our hard earned cash without any regrets or shame.
Mail.
Quango chiefs are pocketing payoffs of up to £250,000 each as their discredited agencies are wound up.
Nine bodies set up to boost local economies are to be scrapped next year after being criticised as wasteful and bureaucratic.
Figures obtained by the Daily Mail reveal the generous deals for senior executives at the Regional Development Agencies created and championed by John Prescott.
Advantage West Midlands admitted that one unnamed official received £200,000 to £250,000. The body’s corporate director Tim Gebbels also walked away with £109,512 when he left.
To date, 15 senior quango executives have received payments of more than £100,000.
Seven of the quangos have so far revealed that they have laid off 799 staff at a total cost of £23.4million, equal to almost £30,000 each.
But the top officials are getting much more. Stacy Hall, director of communications and tourism at One North East, received £120,890 when she took voluntary redundancy last September.
Stephen Peacock, enterprise and innovation director at the South West RDA, was handed £113,701 in a taxpayer-funded deal. In many cases, senior staff appear to have been given the equivalent of a year’s salary.
 One thing the Mail fails to mention is that many of these looters then move onto another well paid sinecure at another Quango or local authority and the whole ghastly process of robbing the taxpayer begins again.
What they seem to forget is names are being taken, faces remembered and lengths of hempen rope and/or piano wire being imagined around their necks for the inevitable day our patience breaks and our wrath is forthcoming. Every day brings it closer and the more they rob us the greater it becomes.
All we need is a powercut during the X Factor final and we'll have the bastards...
Well I can dream can't I?
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The Great Renewable Energy Scam Continues

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By Alan Caruba

I recently received a news release from The Council of State Governments headlined “New Report: Renewable Energy Worth Investment for Southern States” that touted “job creation, environment and public health” as benefits. It was filled with lies.

I had never heard of the CSG before, but a visit to its website was notable for its lack of specific information about its funding, its affiliates, and its programs, though it does mention three Governors on its "leadership" page out of only four leaders. They were from Montana, Puerto Rico, and Alaska. Other than its Washington, DC office, it did not specifically identify its regional offices. It does have an extensive staff and it appears to be yet another lobbying organization, one of thousands in the nation’s capitol.

“Atlanta—Renewable energy has the long-term potential to leader to greater energy independence for the United States, but Southern states are looking to that sector for job creation, as well as environmental and public health reasons. Those states also believe renewable fuels have the potential to produce lower utility rates for consumers.” Not one southern governor was cited as supporting renewable energy.

The United States does have the capacity to become more energy independent because it is home to vast reserves of coal, oil and natural gas. The policy of the Obama administration has been to attack existing coal-fired utilities and coal producers despite the fact that it accounts for fifty percent of all electricity generated. As for oil, literally billions of barrels remain untapped and unused because successive administrations have limited or banned access to it.

Renewable energy for the pupose of this discussion will be wind and solar power. They provides less than three percent of the electricity American consumers use daily. In December 2010, an editorial in The Wall Street Journal, “The Wind Subsidy Bubble”, noted that the industry received a $3 billion grant from the Obama administration despite or because the American Wind Energy Association is on record saying that without the extension of the federal 1603 investment credit, the outlook for the wind industry was grim and had the potential for the loss of 20,000 jobs, one quarter of the industry’s total.

“According to an analysis by Chris Horner, an energy expert at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the stimulus bill’s subsidies for renewable energy cost taxpayers about $475,000 for every job created.”

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., an environmental lawyer and president of the environmental group, Water-keeper Alliance, in a July Wall Street Journal commentary, argued against a huge wind power project, Cape Wind. “The price of Cape Wind power comes in at well over $1 billion above market averages” based on information filed by Cape Wind regarding its contract with National Grid, the utility company that has agreed to buy half its power. “The fact is this project makes no sense for ratepayers and taxpayers. Vastly cheaper forms of energy, and not just wind, are now available.”

It may come as a surprise that environment groups who one might think would favor electricity generation from the wind and sun have rejected specific projects such as Brightsource Energy’s massive Invanpah Solar Generating System in the Mojave Desert that would cover 5.6 square miles of desert to produce 370 megawatts of energy, about the same as a small coal-fired plant. “It would destroy the entire Mojave Desert ecosystem said the southern California group called the Wildlands Conservancy.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, of roughly 300 projects delayed or killed over the last few years, 65 were for renewables. The assault on the “dirty” energy, coal, continues unabated by environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club.

Wind and solar projects are hugely expensive, require massive taxpayer subsidies, while producing few real jobs. They are astonishingly stupid and unreliable way to generate electricity when one considers that wind power, for example, requires a constant backup supply of electricity from traditional generating facilities.

To add insult to injury, virtually all of the components of wind and solar energy production are manufactured in China where U.S. companies have exported the jobs involved, focusing on assembling the parts instead.

The Institute for Energy Research found that electricity prices are almost 40% higher in states with mandates for their use.

In July, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pulled out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a consortium that would have required renewable energy use for the provision of electricity. In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Corbett has been aggressively de-emphasizing renewable energy use and energy conservation. He has shut down the state department of environmental protection’s office of energy and technology development.

Support for “green energy” and “green jobs” by the Obama administration is just one more way to further bankrupt the nation. If its attacks on traditional generating facilities continue, America will become a third-world nation with rolling blackouts and brownouts.

Like everything else with the word “green” attached to it, renewable energy is just another massive scam like the all the lies that kept global warming going until that enormous and costly hoax was finally discredited.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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Better safe than sorry?

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Safety is an odd thing, at work the management of the place where I work have tried by fencing off the conveyors that move pallets around to make things safer for the staff who drive the forklifts by denying them access to the areas. It works after a fashion, at least until the guy who has to come along and fix a problem with the conveyors (that would be me) finds that the area is fenced off and he cannot gain reasonable access to work due to space limitations making the job in some areas quite dangerous for the engineers. Turns out all they needed was a "Do not approach/enter sign" but decided to play safe and put up barriers thus activating the law of unforeseen consequences. It's only a minor instance, but they aren't alone in their zeal to remove risk entirely from peoples lives.
HSE.
Health and safety legislation exists to protect people from real risks at, or connected with, work. But it can be hard to see this from some of the stories that are reported. Below are 10 of the most bizarre health bans or restrictions spotted in media coverage by HSE over the last year.
  1. Wimbledon officials citing health and safety as a reason to close Murray Mount when it was wet
    Example media story: Daily Mail: 'Elf 'n' safety shuts Murray Mount: Fans might slip on the grass, warn officials', 21 June 2011

  2. Stopping dodgem cars from bumping into each other at Butlins in Skegness
    Example media story: BBC News: 'Bosses at Butlins ban bumper cars over health and safety fears', 27 April 2011

  3. Banning Royal wedding street parties
    Example media story: Daily Mail: 'Royal wedding street party? You'll need £5m insurance, love...', 13 April 2011

  4. Removing an unwanted, bulky TV from a pensioner's home for recycling
    Example media story: Daily Mail, 'Pensioner, 85, paid council to remove old TV...and was ordered to drag it outside herself so workmen didn't injure themselves', 7 June 2011

  5. Carnivals with fancy dress parades
    Example media story: http://www.thesouthernreporter.co.uk

  6. Kite flying on a popular tourist beach in east Yorkshire
    Example media story: Hull Daily Mail: 'Outrage at kite-flying ban on East Riding beaches', 10 June 2011

  7. Stopping pupils from using playground monkey bars unsupervised in Oxfordshire
    Example media story: Daily Mail: 'Children banned from their own playground as health and safety officials decide monkey bars are too dangerous', 8 May 2011

  8. Using pins to secure commemorative poppies
    Example media story: http://www.obantimes.co.uk

  9. Schoolyard football games banned - unless the ball is made of sponge
    Example media story: BBC News: 'Huyton school leather football ban safety row', 24 February 2011

  10. Children no longer allowed to take part in a sack race at Sports Day
    Example media story: Metro: 'Three-legged race is given the sack'

Even the Health and Safety Executive recognises that Councils and companies are using health and safety rules as an excuse to make "unpopular decisions" banning low-risk activities often enough to make their lives easier, rather than properly evaluate the risk and train/warn the people involved. After all it's cheaper to ban than it is to buy the equipment or train the staff. Employment minister Chris Grayling said members of the public should "challenge health and safety myths" and over-zealous practices. However that's easier said than done as most people don't exactly know what the regulations are, plus have a tendency to "believe" the officials making their lives a misery. The law as it stands simply requires people to approach risks in a balanced and proportionate manner. Banning something is far often disproportionate yet it seems to be the tool of choice for those in charge, whether this is due to the current compo culture is debatable, but it certainly doesn't help. Most people actually enjoy a bit of risk or adventure in their lives it's why fairground rides are so popular and why some of us climb mountains, often enough without ropes. Perhaps we should return to the old days of "enter at your own risk" and simply seek to reduce a risk, not eliminate it altogether.
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The Hideous MLK Memorial

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By Alan Caruba

I was a young working journalist during the era of the Civil Rights movement and one evening I was covering a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the campus of Drew University in Madison, NJ. I was accompanied by Vivian Braxton, a civil rights activist who said, “Let’s go backstage and meet him” when the speech was finished.

Backstage, Dr. King stood alone while others stood at a respectful distance, afraid to approach him, so overwhelmed by the power of his words and personality. Vivian, however, headed straight for him with myself in tow. My first reaction was that he was shorter than I had thought and my second was a smile that was an embrace.

I introduced myself as a freelance journalist who was there to cover the speech for a local black newspaper and Dr. King found that very amusing. We chatted briefly and I tucked away a great moment in my memory, never anticipating that he would fall victim to an assassin’s bullet or that, years later, a Washington, D.C. memorial would be created in his honor.

Opened to the public on August 19, a statue of Dr. King stands thirty feet tall and in an irony that boggles the mind, was carved in China, the work of a Chinese sculptor, working in an Orwellian, totalitarian society.

It is also one of the most hideous works of “art” imaginable for anyone who recalls the times and the character of a man who said, “I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I am interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.”

The statue depicts a scowling figure, his face fixed with the look of every despot whose statue is intended to instill fear or awe in those who gaze upon it. His arms are crossed over his chest as if protecting himself or preparing to pass a harsh judgment.

It is hideous because it completely obliterates the gentleness of Dr. King, the heart that strove against injustice. The awfulness of the statue reminded me of another of his quotes, “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

I have no idea what the memorial committee had in mind when it sanctioned this statue, but I have little doubt that Dr. King would have been mortified by it. He was a man who, on that long ago evening on the Drew University campus, greeted Vivian and me with a big smile in the midst of a great struggle to secure the rights of blacks in America.

In these times in which Arabs in Syria, Libya, Egypt and Tunisia have put their lives on the line to overthrow their tyrants, Dr. King had anticipated that human aspiration saying, “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

So, now, on a four-acre site on the Tidal Basin between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, a huge intimidating statue stands where a life-size statue would have permitted visitors to marvel at the power of love over hate, morality over oppression, and the struggle for justice that is the birthright of all men and women.

“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking,” warned Dr. King. “There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”

Dr, King’s life was devoted to making all Americans think about the kind of society, the kind of nation, in which they wanted to live.

“A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.”

The memorial will be dedicated on August 28 by President Barack Obama, a man who was elected more for the color of his skin, than the content of his character. The date marks the 48th anniversary of Dr. King’s speech, “I have a dream”, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Dr. King surely would be appalled that young blacks would be rioting in the streets of American cities, looting, attacking people, nearly a half century after the achievement of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts for which he gave his life.

I think he would have been appalled by a thirty-foot-tall statue that resembles those of tyrants like Mao tse Tung, Stalin, or Saddam Hussein.

For my part, the King Memorial completely misses his message of humility combined with tenacity, of spirituality linked to non-violent struggle, of faith that great wrongs can be put right by people of faith and of courage.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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Leave us alone!

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Just been scanning the various news sites I haunt looking for stuff that interests me enough to put fingers too the keyboard, it's not all I do by a long shot, I sometimes play Baldurs Gate as well.
One of the things you tend to notice after a while is the number of health and safety scare stories out there, either designed to outrage us by over sensationalising the story, or ones that show the "health experts" don't appear to live in the same world as the rest of us.
Outrage in the Telegraph.
For 15 years, a set of disused milk crates had been providing children at an Oxfordshire school with old-fashioned fun. But that was before the health and safety zealots caught sight of them.
Now the 25 crates, which have been used as props for countless games involving ships, cars, dens and castles, have been taken away over fears that pupils could be injured on them.
"In all the time we have had the crates, we have not had a single child hurt themselves," said Anne Bardsley, a teacher at Wychwood Primary school, who described the decision to remove them as "outrageous".
The crates, once donated by a friendly milkman, were seized by Dairy Crest during a routine delivery.
Lyndsey Anderson, from the company, apologised for any distress. "Whilst we understand their disappointment at losing something they had come to view as playground equipment, it remains a fact that milk crates are not toys and current health and safety guidelines require that they should not be used as such," she said.
Mrs Bardsley explained that the pupils were always supervised while playing with the crates and that they helped creative learning. "The children absolutely loved them," she added.
No-one had ever been injured, no harm was being done, they were simply useful props. Now I'm sure the company (Dairy Crest) were simply covering themselves from some sort of claim, but after 15 years? It does seem a tad ridiculous, it's probably also cost the school some money in getting a replacement. Whatever happened to the disclaimer "you do this at your own risk"?
Idiocy in the BBC.
Experts say the health hazards of obesity may have been grossly underestimated because we are not measuring the condition adequately.
Risk calculations have focused on severity of weight gain alone and not how long it persists.
Latest research suggests every additional decade of being obese more than doubles death risk.
The researchers told the International Journal of Epidemiology a new measure is needed - the "obese-year".
Similar to the "pack-year" used for smoking, it gives a further quantification that can be used to help estimate the associated health risks.
Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, agreed: "Obesity is starting to become a problem at supremely young ages. We could see people dying before their parents because of obesity."
He said the findings could be a much needed wake up call for some.
"If the GP can say 'You have got to do something about your weight otherwise you will die at 65 rather than 75' that could be a useful scare tactic."
Yep, apparently we can't be trusted to live our lives the way we want too, someone always knows best and so they'll come up with ways to try and live longer (and more miserable) lives giving up all that can be fun in life, our own personal little pleasures simply to add a few extra years on our lives.
We pay our taxes, we fund our health service, they should simply advise us and leave it at that, not attempt to make us live healthy lives. If we want to smoke, drink or eat our way into an early grave then that is our problem, they should simply tell us the risks not try and implement policies to prevent us doing it anyway.
Most people just want to be left alone to enjoy their lives, is this so hard for the "experts" to understand?

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Obama Attacks Nutrition

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By Alan Caruba

While watching a television commercial for some prescription medication, have you ever wondered why something it states may kill you or cause serious side effects ever was permitted to be marketed to the public?

For decades I have taken a full range of vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements every morning. I don’t get head colds or any unwanted side affects. In my seventh decade, I enjoy exceptional good health. An annual physical check up is always the same. I am fine.

Millions of Americans benefit from a daily regimen of vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements. Athletes use whey protein powders. Body builders take amino acids. Others augment food products that lack sufficient nutritional value. Their health and wellness is now threatened by the Obama administration’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Banning Health!

On the Friday before the Fourth of July weekend, the FDA published a 47-page document that would ban all nutritional and supplemental ingredients by requiring them to file documentation involving multi-million-dollar testing and the regulations would be retroactive to 1994!

This will destroy the manufacturers of these products because most are small companies that could not afford such costs. It’s not like there is a vast body of information that demonstrates any threat to health from vitamins and minerals. Quite the contrary. There is ample information on their benefits. There are libraries filled with books devoted to this.

Who would benefit from such regulation of the natural supplement industry? Big Pharma. The same pharmaceutical companies that have a long record of putting forth FDA-approved medications that later prove to be lethal are looking to use the regulatory powers of FDA to literally increase levels of illness.

In the same way Obamacare has been demonstrated to not only be unconstitutional, but also a threat to the health of millions—especially senior citizens—this callous administration now threatens to remove from the shelves of stores that sell nutritional supplements, from pharmacies, and from supermarkets and other outlets, the vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements on which millions depend for wellness.

This constitutes a criminal conspiracy and Congress, which has ceded its law-making authority to the FDA, must hear from everyone in order to stop this assault on everyone’s health.

Frank Murray, the former editor of Better Nutrition, Great Life, and Let’s Live, is the author and co-author of fifty books on health and nutrition. They include Natural Supplements for Diabetes, Health Benefits Derived from Sweet Orange, and 100 Super Supplements for a Longer Life. He is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences.

One of Murray’s books, Sunshine and Vitamin D, notes that “With the hundreds of clinical trials published on Vitamin D in recent years—I read one study with 132 references—it is obvious that the ‘sunshine vitamin’ no longer has to play second fiddle to the other vitamins.” The same can be said for vitamins A, B, C, and E. All have amply demonstrated their value. Add to them, zink, potassium, selenium, and other mineral supplements. All those prostate advertisements are about herbal supplements!

The Obama administration that has made obesity its pet project is also famous for photos of the President eating every kind of fast food. It is rank hypocrisy, but the proposed FDA ban is literally life threatening.

Write, email, and fax your Representative and Senator to ensure that Congress intervenes with the FDA in the same fashion it is struggling to protect us against an out-of-control Environmental Protection Agency. In particular, contact the members of  the House Oversight and Government Reform committee.

Your life and the lives of your loved ones literally depend on stopping this attack on real nutrition.

Americans are losing the freedom they take for granted as Big Government intrudes on every personal choice they make. The Obama administration has demonstrated its total indifference to America’s senior citizens' access to affordable medical care and now all Americans' ability to access nutritional supplements.

You are being “protected” into an early grave!

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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Sounds good in theory

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Lot of things sound good in theory, but in practice are either very complex or don't work the way they were originally intended, like the UK benefits system, which was originally supposed to be a safety net for people between jobs, but eventually has turned into a comfort zone for some who see no point in working.
This idea also seems good in theory...
BBC.
Proposals to charge utility companies for digging up roads during busy times in England are being put forward by the government in a national consultation.
Ministers propose that companies carrying out roadworks at peak times pay councils to rent the road space.
They would be able to avoid the charges by carrying out works during quieter periods or, if appropriate, at night.
As the 12-week consultation begins, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said such disruption was "expensive".
I'm thinking that this is a case of no one in the government using joined up thinking. Utility companies wont be bothered about renting the road space, guess where they'll pass any costs on too?
I suspect the next excuse for a rise in energy bills will be blamed on "road rental" The utility companies have no incentive whatsoever to stop digging up roads at peak periods with this plan, because they will be able to recoup their costs by passing them on via their billing system to consumers.
Or perhaps the government do know this and are just allowing the utility companies to screw us over again, like they have with wind farms and solar energy.
The easiest way around it would be to give local authorities the power to enforce 24 hour working on any work that needs doing or to prevent any disruption during peak periods. Though again, how do they cope with emergency repairs...
As I said it sounds good in theory, but in practice?
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Iran Attacks Israel Using Palestinian Proxies

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By Alan Caruba

If you think that the attack by Palestinians on Israelis along Egypt’s Sinai border is just another in the long history of attacks from Gaza, you’re not paying attention.

The new round of rocket attacks were planned and orchestrated out of Tehran, Iran using missiles smuggled into Gaza through a Sinai that is barely under the control of the Egyptians.

The Arab Spring is being manipulated by the Iranian ayatollahs whose goal of destroying Israel has been central to their actions since 1979. They have created proxy armies, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, but there are reports that even Hamas was taken by surprise when the Iranian controlled group, Jihad Islami, perpetrated the attacks.

Palestinians have been famous for seizing defeat whenever even the possibility of peace could be achieved or statehood gained. Middle East analysts now believe that statehood is irrelevant to the Iranians for whom the Palestinians have always been their pawns. This has been true as well of the region’s Arab nations.

The Palestinians have a history of greeting Israeli efforts for peace with renewed violence. A perfect example is Gaza, a strip of land from which Israel withdrew in 2005, forcing out Jewish residents, along with those in four settlements in the northern West Bank. In return, Gaza became a launching area for 12,000 rockets directed at Israel and, after three years of extraordinary restraint, Israel responded in late December 2008 with Operation Cast Lead, a military action, to discourage further attacks. They began again last week.

As always, Israel is denounced as the aggressor, the perpetrator of violence against the Palestinians who initiated the attack. Moreover, the Palestinians are divided among themselves. In order to seize control of Gaza, Hamas forced representatives of the Palestinian Authority to retreat to Rahmallah in the West Bank.

The victims of the latest attack included an Israeli commuter bus, civilian cars, and soldiers on patrol; eight Israelis died. The Israelis retaliated, dealing out punishment against the terrorists who planned the attack and were engaged in rocketing. Caught in the fog of battle, several Egyptian soldiers were killed.

There are reports from inside Gaza that the Palestinian Authority has been talking about the need to escalate “popular protests” against Israel and, while Mahmoud Abbas, the PA leader, has said he is opposed to armed struggle, he has also “repeatedly voiced his full support for a ‘popular intifada’ in the West Bank.”

For Americans and other westerners, it is necessary to understand that when the PA and other Palestinian spokespersons say one thing, it usually means the opposite. Palestinians and those who must deal with them do not trust one another and it is pure folly for others to do so. The role of Iran only adds a new layer of deceit.

The UN has never objected to China’s occupation of Tibet, but tiny Israel has been under constant attack by the UN as the “occupier” of lands secured in the wake of the 1967 war that was initiated as Egypt made plans to attack. Joined by Jordan and Syria, both nations lost territory that included, for Jordan, the so-called West Bank. It is composed of ancient Israel's provinces of Judea and Samaria.

To achieve peace with Egypt, Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula. Until the recent overthrow of the Mubarack regime there was peace. Now the Egyptian military has aligned itself with the Muslim Brotherhood and, thus, the prospect for war has escalated.

The bid for Palestinian statehood, as one longtime observer puts it, “is being sold as a test of legitimacy.” What legitimacy can it have when Palestinians have ceaselessly attacked Israel before and since Yasser Arafat formed the Palestinian Liberation Authority? What legitimacy can it have when Hamas and Lebanon's Hezbollah are sworn to the destruction of Israel?

Put simply, there never was a nation of Palestine. The areas claimed and fought over by the PA and Hamas barely function as a nation. They were Israel's. They are Israel's.

The so-called Palestinians are the oldest “refugee” group in modern history. They have been sustained by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for over six decades. It is the same UN that has organized and held several hate fests against Jews, dubbed Durban conferences. Among the speakers at the next one to be held September 22 will be Holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran.

The Middle East has been in turmoil since the Tunisians overthrew their longtime dictator, followed by the Egyptian removal of Mubarack, the current effort to remove Libya’s Gadhafi, and the Syrian people’s efforts to drive out Basher Assad. The Iranians have sought to turn all these events to their own advantage and agenda.

In sum, an entire region in transition and its people seek real freedom and real justice. They won’t have it if the Iranians continue to manipulate events, the latest of which has been to provoke a war with Israel.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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We're paying for this?

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I'd never heard of the Government Art Collection (GAC) before, but apparently in the past they'ver managed to buy up (with our money) 13,000 works of art by British artists in a variety of media including paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, photographs, textiles and video works, from the sixteenth century to the present day.
Artists represented in the collection include John Constable, William Hogarth, Lucian Freud, Paul Nash, Barbara Hepworth, Michael Landy, Bridget Riley, Emma Kay and Zarina Bhimji. And I suppose that because some of those have stood the test of time well and increased in value it could be considered a valuable resource, other than the fact that the government is unlikely ever to sell these things.
Telegraph.
If the art works hanging on a wall reflect the frame of mind of the residents, the current mood within Downing Street appears to be a mixture of gloom and dry humour.
Among the new works recently hung in the Prime Minister's official residence is Grim's Ditch, a dark, some might say depressing painting depicting a muddy, waterlogged ditch.
The enamel and oil on aluminium work by the contemporary artist Clare Woods, was bought for £11,985 by the Government Art Collection (GAC), which supplies art for ministerial offices.
At first glance, two other works resemble a pair old newspapers – Financial Times: Billboard Wednesday, September 17 1986 and The Wall Street Journal: Billboard Saturday, July 15, 1985 – by Conrad Atkinson. But on closer inspection, they appear to hint at a sense of humour within Downing Street.
The lithographs, which cost £4,500 for the pair, are spoof versions of the newspapers, with headlines that include: "Premier Thatcher declares new campaign to send intellectuals into the countryside for re-education", "Sir Geoffrey Howe introduces Foucault texts on the nature of power & culture to a packed house," and "Kinnock and Raphael in bust-up about the meaning of beauty."
Another work recently purchased for the GAC includes the abstract work Fireeye Elevator by the artist Michael Stubbs.
The picture features a series of swirls and streaked lines, and came with a £9,500 price tag. It is made from household paint and tinted floor varnish.
Amid a stalling economy, public spending cuts and the threat of another recession, the Government might be expected to tighten its belt when decorating the walls of Whitehall.
But figures obtained by The Sunday Telegraph reveal that the GAC has cost more than half a million pounds in the last year.
George Osborne, the Chancellor, has decorated his office with an etching by Grayson Perry, the cross-dressing artist, aptly titled Print for a Politician.
It depicts a battle scene with warring tribes carrying labels such as "provincials", "agnostics" and "homosexuals".
The office of Ed Vaizey, the Culture Minister, is decorated with a cartoon entitled The Mystery of British Culture by Adam Dant, and two prints by Tracey Emin, Margate 1 Sand and Still Love You Margate.
The Government spent £541,000 on the GAC in the last year, and has faced criticism for continuing to purchase art, despite the economic downturn.
Most places of work don't spend their profits on art, only the public sector seem to have this self aggrandisement going on with raids on the public purse to decorate their offices and buildings with (so called) art work that frequently costs thousands of pounds and all coming from the taxpayer. In a time of austerity for all (supposedly) the government should not be wasting money on buying up cheap tat called art only because it has a thousand pound bill attached.
This is an area where savings could be made, in fact there are lots of areas where savings could be made, but yes, this is one of the more obvious ones. No, this isn't a tilt at modern art either, like with a lot of things, I know what I like and most modern art, particularly that which seeks to make some sort of political point leaves me cold, but there are some pieces I like too. That said, I wouldn't waste my money on any of them nor do I see any reason for the government to waste my money on them either.
Museums and art galleries often have "spare" stuff in storage, the government could request some of that to be displayed in government buildings if they want some new decor.
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