The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Archive for February 15th, 2011

Far-Left Brands O’Reilly’s Obama Interview Racist

Posted by iusbvision on February 15, 2011

So typical. This is why so many people pay no mind to the elite media any longer.

This one is taken right out of the liberal play-book.

 

Posted in 2012, Leftist Hate in Action | Leave a Comment »

Justice Scalia on “Originalism”

Posted by iusbvision on February 15, 2011

Great stuff!

California Lawyer:

Last October marked the 24th anniversary of Justice Antonin Scalia’s appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. Well known for his sharp wit as well as his originalist approach to the Constitution, Justice Scalia consistently asks more questions during oral arguments and makes more comments than any other Supreme Court justice. And according to one study, he also gets the most laughs from those who come to watch these arguments. In September Justice Scalia spoke with UC Hastings law professor Calvin Massey.

 

Q. How would you characterize the role of the Supreme Court in American society, now that you’ve been a part of it for 24 years?
I think it’s a highly respected institution. It was when I came, and I don’t think I’ve destroyed it. I’ve been impressed that even when we come out with opinions that are highly unpopular or even highly—what should I say—emotion raising, the people accept them, as they should. The one that comes most to mind is the election case of Bush v. Gore. Nobody on the Court liked to wade into that controversy. But there was certainly no way that we could turn down the petition for certiorari. What are you going to say? The case isn’t important enough? And I think that the public ultimately realized that we had to take the case. … I was very, very proud of the way the Court’s reputation survived that, even though there are a lot of people who are probably still mad about it.

 

You believe in an enduring constitution rather than an evolving constitution. What does that mean to you?
In its most important aspects, the Constitution tells the current society that it cannot do [whatever] it wants to do. It is a decision that the society has made that in order to take certain actions, you need the extraordinary effort that it takes to amend the Constitution. Now if you give to those many provisions of the Constitution that are necessarily broad—such as due process of law, cruel and unusual punishments, equal protection of the laws—if you give them an evolving meaning so that they have whatever meaning the current society thinks they ought to have, they are no limitation on the current society at all. If the cruel and unusual punishments clause simply means that today’s society should not do anything that it considers cruel and unusual, it means nothing except, “To thine own self be true.”

 

In 1868, when the 39th Congress was debating and ultimately proposing the 14th Amendment, I don’t think anybody would have thought that equal protection applied to sex discrimination, or certainly not to sexual orientation. So does that mean that we’ve gone off in error by applying the 14th Amendment to both?
Yes, yes. Sorry, to tell you that. … But, you know, if indeed the current society has come to different views, that’s fine. You do not need the Constitution to reflect the wishes of the current society. Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t. Nobody ever thought that that’s what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that. If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, hey we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws. You don’t need a constitution to keep things up-to-date. All you need is a legislature and a ballot box. You don’t like the death penalty anymore, that’s fine. You want a right to abortion? There’s nothing in the Constitution about that. But that doesn’t mean you cannot prohibit it. Persuade your fellow citizens it’s a good idea and pass a law. That’s what democracy is all about. It’s not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society.

 

What do you do when the original meaning of a constitutional provision is either in doubt or is unknown?
I do not pretend that originalism is perfect. There are some questions you have no easy answer to, and you have to take your best shot. … We don’t have the answer to everything, but by God we have an answer to a lot of stuff … especially the most controversial: whether the death penalty is unconstitutional, whether there’s a constitutional right to abortion, to suicide, and I could go on. All the most controversial stuff. … I don’t even have to read the briefs, for Pete’s sake.

 

Should we ever pay attention to lawyers’ work product when it comes to constitutional decisions in foreign countries?
[Laughs.] Well, it depends. If you’re an originalist, of course not. What can France’s modern attitude toward the French constitution have to say about what the framers of the American Constitution meant? [But] if you’re an evolutionist, the world is your oyster.

 

You’ve sometimes expressed thoughts about the culture in which we live. For example, in Lee v. Weismanyou wrote that we indeed live in a vulgar age. What do you think accounts for our present civic vulgarity?
Gee, I don’t know. I occasionally watch movies or television shows in which the f-word is used constantly, not by the criminal class but by supposedly elegant, well-educated, well-to-do people. The society I move in doesn’t behave that way. Who imagines this? Maybe here in California. I don’t know, you guys really talk this way?

 

You more or less grew up in New York. Being a child of Sicilian immigrants, how do you think New York City pizza rates?
I think it is infinitely better than Washington pizza, and infinitely better than Chicago pizza. You know these deep-dish pizzas—it’s not pizza. It’s very good, but … call it tomato pie or something. … I’m a traditionalist, what can I tell you?

 

Posted in Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Trashing the Constitution, True Talking Points | Leave a Comment »

Think Again: American Decline. This time it’s for real.

Posted by iusbvision on February 15, 2011

This article doesn’t have to come true folks, but it can.

Foreign Policy Mag:

“We’ve Heard All This About American Decline Before.”

This time it’s different. It’s certainly true that America has been through cycles of declinism in the past. Campaigning for the presidency in 1960, John F. Kennedy complained, “American strength relative to that of the Soviet Union has been slipping, and communism has been advancing steadily in every area of the world.” Ezra Vogel’s Japan as Number One was published in 1979, heralding a decade of steadily rising paranoia about Japanese manufacturing techniques and trade policies.

In the end, of course, the Soviet and Japanese threats to American supremacy proved chimerical. So Americans can be forgiven if they greet talk of a new challenge from China as just another case of the boy who cried wolf. But a frequently overlooked fact about that fable is that the boy was eventually proved right. The wolf did arrive — and China is the wolf.

The Chinese challenge to the United States is more serious for both economic and demographic reasons. The Soviet Union collapsed because its economic system was highly inefficient, a fatal flaw that was disguised for a long time because the USSR never attempted to compete on world markets. China, by contrast, has proved its economic prowess on the global stage. Its economy has been growing at 9 to 10 percent a year, on average, for roughly three decades. It is now the world’s leading exporter and its biggest manufacturer, and it is sitting on more than $2.5 trillion of foreign reserves. Chinese goods compete all over the world. This is no Soviet-style economic basket case.

Japan, of course, also experienced many years of rapid economic growth and is still an export powerhouse. But it was never a plausible candidate to be No. 1. The Japanese population is less than half that of the United States, which means that the average Japanese person would have to be more than twice as rich as the average American before Japan’s economy surpassed America’s. That was never going to happen. By contrast, China’s population is more than four times that of the United States. The famous projection by Goldman Sachs that China’s economy will be bigger than that of the United States by 2027 was made before the 2008 economic crash. At the current pace, China could be No. 1 well before then.

China’s economic prowess is already allowing Beijing to challenge American influence all over the world. The Chinese are the preferred partners of many African governments and the biggest trading partner of other emerging powers, such as Brazil and South Africa. China is also stepping in to buy the bonds of financially strapped members of the eurozone, such as Greece and Portugal.

And China is only the largest part of a bigger story about the rise of new economic and political players. America’s traditional allies in Europe — Britain, France, Italy, even Germany — are slipping down the economic ranks. New powers are on the rise: India, Brazil, Turkey. They each have their own foreign-policy preferences, which collectively constrain America’s ability to shape the world. Think of how India and Brazil sided with China at the global climate-change talks. Or the votes by Turkey and Brazil against America at the United Nations on sanctions against Iran. That is just a taste of things to come.

“China Will Implode Sooner or Later.”

Don’t count on it. It is certainly true that when Americans are worrying about national decline, they tend to overlook the weaknesses of their scariest-looking rival. The flaws in the Soviet and Japanese systems became obvious only in retrospect. Those who are confident that American hegemony will be extended long into the future point to the potential liabilities of the Chinese system. In a recent interview with the Times of London, former U.S. President George W. Bush suggested that China’s internal problems mean that its economy will be unlikely to rival America’s in the foreseeable future. “Do I still think America will remain the sole superpower?” he asked. “I do.”

But predictions of the imminent demise of the Chinese miracle have been a regular feature of Western analysis ever since it got rolling in the late 1970s. In 1989, the Communist Party seemed to be staggering after the Tiananmen Square massacre. In the 1990s, economy watchers regularly pointed to the parlous state of Chinese banks and state-owned enterprises. Yet the Chinese economy has kept growing, doubling in size roughly every seven years.

Of course, it would be absurd to pretend that China does not face major challenges. In the short term, there is plenty of evidence that a property bubble is building in big cities like Shanghai, and inflation is on the rise. Over the long term, China has alarming political and economic transitions to navigate. The Communist Party is unlikely to be able to maintain its monopoly on political power forever. And the country’s traditional dependence on exports and an undervalued currency are coming under increasing criticism from the United States and other international actors demanding a “rebalancing” of China’s export-driven economy. The country also faces major demographic and environmental challenges: The population is aging rapidly as a result of the one-child policy, and China is threatened by water shortages and pollution.

Yet even if you factor in considerable future economic and political turbulence, it would be a big mistake to assume that the Chinese challenge to U.S. power will simply disappear. Once countries get the hang of economic growth, it takes a great deal to throw them off course. The analogy to the rise of Germany from the mid-19th century onward is instructive. Germany went through two catastrophic military defeats, hyperinflation, the Great Depression, the collapse of democracy, and the destruction of its major cities and infrastructure by Allied bombs. And yet by the end of the 1950s, West Germany was once again one of the world’s leading economies, albeit shorn of its imperial ambitions.

In a nuclear age, China is unlikely to get sucked into a world war, so it will not face turbulence and disorder on remotely the scale Germany did in the 20th century. And whatever economic and political difficulties it does experience will not be enough to stop the country’s rise to great-power status. Sheer size and economic momentum mean that the Chinese juggernaut will keep rolling forward, no matter what obstacles lie in its path.

“America Still Leads Across the Board.”

For now. As things stand, America has the world’s largest economy, the world’s leading universities, and many of its biggest companies. The U.S. military is also incomparably more powerful than any rival. The United States spends almost as much on its military as the rest of the world put together. And let’s also add in America’s intangible assets. The country’s combination of entrepreneurial flair and technological prowess has allowed it to lead the technological revolution. Talented immigrants still flock to U.S. shores. And now that Barack Obama is in the White House, the country’s soft power has received a big boost. For all his troubles, polls show Obama is still the most charismatic leader in the world; Hu Jintao doesn’t even come close. America also boasts the global allure of its creative industries (Hollywood and all that), its values, the increasing universality of the English language, and the attractiveness of the American Dream.

All true — but all more vulnerable than you might think. American universities remain a formidable asset. But if the U.S. economy is not generating jobs, then those bright Asian graduate students who fill up the engineering and computer-science departments at Stanford University and MIT will return home in larger numbers. Fortune‘s latest ranking of the world’s largest companies has only two American firms in the top 10 — Walmart at No. 1 and ExxonMobil at No. 3. There are already three Chinese firms in the top 10: Sinopec, State Grid, and China National Petroleum. America’s appeal might also diminish if the country is no longer so closely associated with opportunity, prosperity, and success. And though many foreigners are deeply attracted to the American Dream, there is also a deep well of anti-American sentiment in the world that al Qaeda and others have skillfully exploited, Obama or no Obama.

As for the U.S. military, the lesson of the Iraq and Afghan wars is that America’s martial prowess is less useful than former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and others imagined. U.S. troops, planes, and missiles can overthrow a government on the other side of the world in weeks, but pacifying and stabilizing a conquered country is another matter. Years after apparent victory, America is still bogged down by an apparently endless insurgency in Afghanistan.

Not only are Americans losing their appetite for foreign adventures, but the U.S. military budget is clearly going to come under pressure in this new age of austerity. The present paralysis in Washington offers little hope that the United States will deal with its budgetary problems swiftly or efficiently. The U.S. government’s continuing reliance on foreign lending makes the country vulnerable, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s humbling 2009 request to the Chinese to keep buying U.S. Treasury bills revealed. America is funding its military supremacy through deficit spending, meaning the war in Afghanistan is effectively being paid for with a Chinese credit card. Little wonder that Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has identified the burgeoning national debt as the single largest threat to U.S. national security.

Meanwhile, China’s spending on its military continues to grow rapidly. The country will soon announce the construction of its first aircraft carrier and is aiming to build five or six in total. Perhaps more seriously, China’s development of new missile and anti-satellite technology threatens the command of the sea and skies on which the United States bases its Pacific supremacy. In a nuclear age, the U.S. and Chinese militaries are unlikely to clash. A common Chinese view is that the United States will instead eventually find it can no longer afford its military position in the Pacific. U.S. allies in the region — Japan, South Korea, and increasingly India — may partner more with Washington to try to counter rising Chinese power. But if the United States has to scale back its presence in the Pacific for budgetary reasons, its allies will start to accommodate themselves to a rising China. Beijing’s influence will expand, and the Asia-Pacific region — the emerging center of the global economy — will become China’s backyard.

“Globalization Is Bending the World the Way of the West.”

Not really. One reason why the United States was relaxed about China’s rise in the years after the end of the Cold War was the deeply ingrained belief that globalization was spreading Western values. Some even thought that globalization and Americanization were virtually synonymous.

Pundit Fareed Zakaria was prescient when he wrote that the “rise of the rest” (i.e., non-American powers) would be one of the major features of a “post-American world.” But even Zakaria argued that this trend was essentially beneficial to the United States: “The power shift … is good for America, if approached properly. The world is going America’s way. Countries are becoming more open, market-friendly, and democratic.”

Both George W. Bush and Bill Clinton took a similar view that globalization and free trade would serve as a vehicle for the export of American values. In 1999, two years before China’s accession to the World Trade Organization, Bush argued, “Economic freedom creates habits of liberty. And habits of liberty create expectations of democracy.… Trade freely with China, and time is on our side.”

There were two important misunderstandings buried in this theorizing. The first was that economic growth would inevitably — and fairly swiftly — lead to democratization. The second was that new democracies would inevitably be more friendly and helpful toward the United States. Neither assumption is working out.

In 1989, after the Tiananmen Square massacre, few Western analysts would have believed that 20 years later China would still be a one-party state — and that its economy would also still be growing at phenomenal rates. The common (and comforting) Western assumption was that China would have to choose between political liberalization and economic failure. Surely a tightly controlled one-party state could not succeed in the era of cell phones and the World Wide Web? As Clinton put it during a visit to China in 1998, “In this global information age, when economic success is built on ideas, personal freedom is … essential to the greatness of any modern nation.”

In fact, China managed to combine censorship and one-party rule with continuing economic success over the following decade. The confrontation between the Chinese government and Google in 2010 was instructive. Google, that icon of the digital era, threatened to withdraw from China in protest at censorship, but it eventually backed down in return for token concessions. It is now entirely conceivable that when China becomes the world’s largest economy — let us say in 2027 — it will still be a one-party state run by the Communist Party.

And even if China does democratize, there is absolutely no guarantee that this will make life easier for the United States, let alone prolong America’s global hegemony. The idea that democracies are liable to agree on the big global issues is now being undermined on a regular basis. India does not agree with the United States on climate change or the Doha round of trade talks. Brazil does not agree with the United States on how to handle Venezuela or Iran. A more democratic Turkey is today also a more Islamist Turkey, which is now refusing to take the American line on either Israel or Iran. In a similar vein, a more democratic China might also be a more prickly China, if the popularity of nationalist books and Internet sites in the Middle Kingdom is any guide.

“Globalization Is Not a Zero-Sum Game.”

Don’t be too sure. Successive U.S. presidents, from the first Bush to Obama, have explicitly welcomed China’s rise. Just before his first visit to China, Obama summarized the traditional approach when he said, “Power does not need to be a zero-sum game, and nations need not fear the success of another.… We welcome China’s efforts to play a greater role on the world stage.”

But whatever they say in formal speeches, America’s leaders are clearly beginning to have their doubts, and rightly so. It is a central tenet of modern economics that trade is mutually beneficial for both partners, a win-win rather than a zero-sum. But that implies the rules of the game aren’t rigged. Speaking before the 2010 World Economic Forum, Larry Summers, then Obama’s chief economic advisor, remarked pointedly that the normal rules about the mutual benefits of trade do not necessarily apply when one trading partner is practicing mercantilist or protectionist policies. The U.S. government clearly thinks that China’s undervaluation of its currency is a form of protectionism that has led to global economic imbalances and job losses in the United States. Leading economists, such as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and the Peterson Institute’s C. Fred Bergsten, have taken a similar line, arguing that tariffs or other retaliatory measures would be a legitimate response. So much for the win-win world.

And when it comes to the broader geopolitical picture, the world of the future looks even more like a zero-sum game, despite the gauzy rhetoric of globalization that comforted the last generation of American politicians. For the United States has been acting as if the mutual interests created by globalization have repealed one of the oldest laws of international politics: the notion that rising players eventually clash with established powers.

In fact, rivalry between a rising China and a weakened America is now apparent across a whole range of issues, from territorial disputes in Asia to human rights. It is mercifully unlikely that the United States and China would ever actually go to war, but that is because both sides have nuclear weapons, not because globalization has magically dissolved their differences.

At the G-20 summit in November, the U.S. drive to deal with “global economic imbalances” was essentially thwarted by China’s obdurate refusal to change its currency policy. The 2009 climate-change talks in Copenhagen ended in disarray after another U.S.-China standoff. Growing Chinese economic and military clout clearly poses a long-term threat to American hegemony in the Pacific. The Chinese reluctantly agreed to a new package of U.N. sanctions on Iran, but the cost of securing Chinese agreement was a weak deal that is unlikely to derail the Iranian nuclear program. Both sides have taken part in the talks with North Korea, but a barely submerged rivalry prevents truly effective Sino-American cooperation. China does not like Kim Jong Il’s regime, but it is also very wary of a reunified Korea on its borders, particularly if the new Korea still played host to U.S. troops. China is also competing fiercely for access to resources, in particular oil, which is driving up global prices.

American leaders are right to reject zero-sum logic in public. To do anything else would needlessly antagonize the Chinese. But that shouldn’t obscure this unavoidable fact: As economic and political power moves from West to East, new international rivalries are inevitably emerging.

The United States still has formidable strengths. Its economy will eventually recover. Its military has a global presence and a technological edge that no other country can yet match. But America will never again experience the global dominance it enjoyed in the 17 years between the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991 and the financial crisis of 2008. Those days are over.

Posted in 2012, China, Chuck Norton, Culture War, Economics 101, True Talking Points | Leave a Comment »

Egypt and U.S. Economy: Why should the Commonwealth care?

Posted by iusbvision on February 15, 2011

By Lisa Marie Cashman:

From Tahrir Square (know as “Liberation Square”) in modern Cairo, Egypt to Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts – the epicenter for important Middle East foreign policy at Harvard University, recent geopolitical events in the Middle East have weighed heavily on the minds of politicians, scholars and human rights activists.  Uprisings from a young, educated and social media savvy generation helped fuel the transition from a dictatorship led by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to a transition government backed by the Egyptian military to hopefully usher in a viable democratic election and due rule of law process.  One would hope.  So, why is the state of affairs for Egypt important to folks in Massachusetts as well as across the nation?  In the day-to-day activities or our lives, including trudging through the highest unemployment rates in nearly 20 years and the instability of foreign oil dependency, why should we be concerned with what happens in the land of King Tut?

According to leading environmental economist at Cardno ENTRIX, John M. Urbankchuk, globalization of economics sits at the core of our nation’s discussions and decision-making process with respect to U.S. exports. “Egypt is important for a number of reasons not the least of which is the Suez Canal,” says Urbanchuk.  In as much as it is unclear whether the current new administration in Egypt will flourish or flounder, a potential shift toward a fundamental Islamic government would more than likely alter the relations and create tensions between the U.S. and Egypt and our most critical ally, Israel.  Urbanchuk notes with this potential geopolitical change, factors affecting access to trade through the Suez Canal would increase time of delivery of goods and cost for the EU and the U.S. should cargo need to transit around the Horn of Africa.

Since 1869, the Suez Canal –owned and operated by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) of the Arab Republic of Egypt–has made off-shore trading extremely manageable and profitable for all involved.  International treaty has long afforded the passage to be used by all to create a direct route from the Middle East to Asia and has been used for both war and peaceful purposes. The commodities “food chain” feeds directly through this short cut to allow U.S. exports to flow expeditiously from the Arabian Sea through the Red Sea to the Eastern Mediterranean.

The United States and Egypt have long been tied to the hip economically as well as politically. Good foreign relations between the two has been the mainstay which has kept the flow of oil production steady and the protection of one of our greatest allies, Israel. Urbanchuk further emphasizes the important inter-relationship pointing out in FY 2010 alone, Egypt ranked as our 12th largest market at nearly $1.6 billion. “They are our 4th largest market for corn, 6th largest for wheat, and 7th for soybeans,” calculates Urbanchuk. The question one needs to ask is what would happen if suddenly our trade were hampered by the escalation of extreme resistance by fundamentalist groups seeking to drive Western political influence and oil interests out of the Middle East?

In the 2007, a final report to the Secretary of Energy, entitled, “Hard Truths: Facing the Hard Truths About Energy,” the National Petroleum Council’s special advisory committee to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) outlines the importance of everyday life factors that depend on the Middle Eastern and other offshore production of energy. By 2030, the Council projects energy demands will be up by 50-60 percent due to a growing population and desire for improved living. Not only is the United States the largest player in the global energy game, but one of the largest importers of gas and coal and the third largest consumer of oil.  Equally interdependent is our foreign relations with the Middle East and other emerging world governments including India, Russia and China.  As the global market demands expand, the U.S. must not only continue to lead engagement in timely foreign policy to keep open markets, free trade and rule of law embedded in negotiations, but lead by example.

Currently, the Obama Administration seems to have a policy disconnect. On the one hand, in his S.O.T.U. speech, Obama calls for sweeping reforms for energy efficiency and research to end dependency on fossil fuels…which is optimistic at best according to experts in the field.  Experts believe the approach toward less foreign dependency of energy in a stepped manner, will not upset the delicate global inter-dependency energy plays. However, at the current status, much is at stake in the geopolitical landscape including the need to tie-in decision making among Cabinet and U.S. government departments interdependent on intelligence that will strengthen energy security and viability.  In addition, how the new nascent democracies tie into the concept of free trade will be a debate worth watching as more countries join the World Trade Organization (WTO) to formulate and further shape global trade policy.  Acceptance or non-acceptance of free market enterprise may ultimately lead to driving costs of access and production upwards.

To the average U.S. consumer concentrating on getting the kids off to school and putting food on the table, this may seem daunting.  All one has to do is just remember the oil crisis during the Carter Administration and the lines at the gas stations across the country and it all makes sense.  Fueled by the ousting of the Shah and the assumption of a new fundamentalist government lead by a cleric and former prisoner, Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, America experienced unstable oil prices, high unemployment and a V-8 moment when it came to increasing dependency on foreign oil sources. Should the recent chain of events in Egypt parallel that of Iran whereby this new democratic transition government is eventually squeezed out by cleric intervention after one year in office, a déjà vu in the theatre of Middle Eastern oil production could come into play.

There is much to do domestically with a crushing recession still gripping our nation, yet the United States still must keep its big toe in the cursory depths of the canals and straits which keep us interdependent to a global energy market.

In seeking ways to diversify our energy supply, America still must play the “honest broker” role in the world to help new leaders understand the importance of open trade and free markets. As more suppliers enter the market and use these commodities for political gain, our purse strings will surely incur repeated fluctuations. Will we decide the cost of freedom from foreign oil dependency overtime far outweighs the U.S. becoming isolationist and no longer number one in the world market as the Obama Administration would like us to believe? America must lead by example, or our economy will undoubtedly fall prey to an international trade rollercoaster.

Lisa-Marie is the principal for The Cashman Group specializing in Crisis, Strategic and Political Communications. She is an elected member of her Republican Town Committee since 1999 and political strategist to several congressional and state campaigns.

Posted in Chuck Norton, Egypt | Leave a Comment »

CBS News reporter Lara Logan endured ‘brutal and sustained sex assault’ by mob in Egypt

Posted by iusbvision on February 15, 2011

Hey multiculturalists, all cultures are not equal and ours is superior. Other cultures brutalize women and the weak. Our Western cultural ideals have moved beyond such barbarism.

Unlike many elite media journalists, Lara Logan is a true pro and I have appreciated the reporting of hers I have seen. We offer our prayers and well wishes for her speedy recovery.

NY Post:

CBS News war correspondent Lara Logan endured a “brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating” while covering the jubilation in Egypt last week following the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, the network said today.

In a statement, CBS said Logan was on assignment for “60 Minutes” while covering the festive atmosphere last Friday in Cairo’s Tahrir Square when “her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration. It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into frenzy.”

During the chaos, Logan, 39, became “separated from her crew” and “suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers.”

The network said Logan returned to the US on the first flight the following day.

“She is currently in the hospital recovering,” CBS said, without elaborating. “There will be no further comment from CBS News and Correspondent Logan and her family respectfully request privacy at this time.”

Logan is one of nearly 140 news correspondents who have been injured or killed since Jan. 30 while covering the political unrest in Egypt, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Logan, a native of South Africa, has been CBS’s chief foreign correspondent since 2006. She has regularly filed reports from war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan for “60 MInutes” and the “CBS Evening News.”

Logan is now married to Joseph Burkett, a US government defense contractor from Texas whom she met while working in Iraq. The couple had a son in 2009.

Logan had been accused of stealing Burkett away from his wife in 2008 — a charge she vehemently denied at the time, saying she only hooked up with him after his marriage ended.

At the time of her relationship with Burkett, Logan had just broken up with her then-boyfriend, CNN war reporter Michael Ware.

Before joining CBS News in 2002, Logan had 14 years of journalism experience, including 10 years in the international broadcast news. She served as a correspondent for GMTV, the morning news program of Great Britain’s ITV. She had also worked as a freelancer for CBS Radio and CNN.

Logan also received an Emmy Award, an Overseas Press Club Award and a Murrow Award for “Ramadi: On the Front Line,” a 2006 report on US soldiers who came under fire in Ramadi, Iraq.

Posted in Chuck Norton, Culture War | 1 Comment »

Euro Nations Seizing Private Pensions

Posted by iusbvision on February 15, 2011

This is one of the ideas that have been floated inside the Obama Administration.

Christian Science Monitor:

People’s retirement savings are a convenient source of revenue for governments that don’t want to reduce spending or make privatizations. As most pension schemes in Europe are organised by the state, European ministers of finance have a facilitated access to the savings accumulated there, and it is only logical that they try to get a hold of this money for their own ends. In recent weeks I have noted five such attempts: Three situations concern private personal savings; two others refer to national funds.

The most striking example is Hungary, where last month the government made the citizens an offer they could not refuse. They could either remit their individual retirement savings to the state, or lose the right to the basic state pension (but still have an obligation to pay contributions for it). In this extortionate way, the government wants to gain control over $14bn of individual retirement savings.

The Bulgarian government has come up with a similar idea. $300m of private early retirement savings was supposed to be transferred to the state pension scheme. The government gave way after trade unions protested and finally only about 20% of the original plans were implemented.

A slightly less drastic situation is developing in Poland. The government wants to transfer of 1/3 of future contributions from individual retirement accounts to the state-run social security system. Since this system does not back its liabilities with stocks or even bonds, the money taken away from the savers will go directly to the state treasury and savers will lose about $2.3bn a year. The Polish government is more generous than the Hungarian one, but only because it wants to seize just 1/3 of the future savings and also allows the citizens to keep the money accumulated so far.

The fourth example is Ireland. In 2001, the National Pension Reserve Fund was brought into existence for the purpose of supporting pensions of the Irish people in the years 2025-2050. The scheme was also supposed to provide for the pensions of some public sector employees (mainly university staff). However, in March 2009, the Irish government earmarked €4bn from this fund for rescuing banks. In November 2010, the remaining savings of €2.5bn was seized to support the bailout of the rest of the country.

The final example is France. In November, the French parliament decided to earmark €33bn from the national reserve pension fund FRR to reduce the short-term pension scheme deficit. In this way, the retirement savings intended for the years 2020-2040 will be used earlier, that is in the years 2011-2024, and the government will spend the saved up resources on other purposes.

It looks like although the governments are able to enforce general participation in pension schemes, they do not seem to be the best guardians of the money accumulated there.

The table below is a summary of the discussed fiscal-retirement situations (source):

*These figures do not include the costs of higher taxes, price inflation and low interest rates, which additionally devaluate retirement savings.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Government Gone Wild, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration, True Talking Points | Leave a Comment »

Global Warming Conference Delegates Sign Petitions to Ban Water and “Destabilize U.S. Economy”

Posted by iusbvision on February 15, 2011

Via The Blaze:

I’ve got to hand it to the folks at the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow. They‘ve come up with a creative new way to expose the scientific ignorance of many of today’s climate change fanatics.

In a Penn & Teller-style prank, CFACT asked attendees of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Cancun, Mexico, to sign two different petitions. The first asked participants to support the purposeful destabilization of the United States economy:

The first project, entitled “Petition to Set a Global Standard” sought to isolate and punish the United States of America for defying the international community, by refusing to bite, hook, line and sinker on the bait that is the Kyoto Protocol. The petition went so far as to encourage the United Nations to impose tariffs and trade restrictions on the U.S. in a scheme to destabilize the nation’s economy. Specifically, the scheme seeks to lower the U.S. GDP by 6% over a ten year period, unless the U.S. signs a U.N. treaty on global warming.

This would be an extremely radical move by the United Nations. Even so, radical left-wing environmentalists from around the world scrambled eagerly to sign.

And to prove that some people will sign anything that has the right buzz words — think “global effort,“ ”international community,“ and ”planetary” — COP 16 participants were asked to sign in support of a ban on a dangerous chemical compound: water.

The second project was as successful as the first. It was euphemistically entitled “Petition to Ban the Use of Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO)” (translation water). It was designed to show that if official U.N. delegates could be duped by college students into banning water, that they could essentially fall for anything, including pseudo-scientific studies which claim to show that global warming is man-caused.

Despite the apparently not-so-obvious reference to H2O, almost every delegate that collegian students approached signed their petition to ban that all too dangerous substance, which contributes to the greenhouse effect, is the major substance in acid rain, and is fatal if inhaled.

 

The video experiment helps us draw one of two conclusions: a) these people are absolutely clueless, or b) they really do hate water.  Either way, who really thinks these people should be considered “experts” when it comes to science?

Posted in 2012, Alarmism, Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Leftist Hate in Action, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration, Stuck on Stupid | Leave a Comment »

Powerful Democrats help Chinese energy firm get $450 million in stimulus money

Posted by iusbvision on February 15, 2011

The Democratic Party has been caught several times taking illegal campaign money from the Chinese ( 1, 2). It seems that money has not gone to waste.

Jackie Walorski warned of this happening. It seems that she was correct.

MSNBC:

WASHINGTON — Top Democratic fundraisers and lobbyists with links to the White House are behind a proposed wind farm in Texas that stands to get $450 million in stimulus money, even though a Chinese company would operate the farm and its turbines would be built in China.

The farm’s backers also have close ties with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who, at the height of his hard-fought re-election bid this fall, helped blunt congressional criticism over stimulus dollars possibly going to create jobs in China by endorsing a proposal by the Chinese company to build a factory in his home state. Although his campaign received thousands of dollars in donations from the wind farm’s backers and Reid stood on stage with them at a campaign event they hosted, his office declined to answer any questions about the wind farm’s organizers or their plans for Nevada.

The wind farm, first announced more than a year ago, would consist of 300 2-megawatt wind turbines, each perched atop a 26-story-tall steel tower and spinning three blades — each half the length of a football field. The farm would span three counties and 36,000 acres in West Texas land best known for its oil. Dubbed the Spinning Star wind farm, the project’s 600-megawatt capacity is, theoretically, enough to power 180,000 American homes and would be the sixth-largest wind farm in the country.

It is being planned by an unusual joint partnership between the U.S. Renewable Energy Group, a Dallas investment firm with strong ties to Washington and the Democratic Party, and A-Power Energy Generation Systems, an upstart Chinese supplier of wind turbines. Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicate the Chinese are bringing financing and the turbines.

What the Americans are supplying is the local know-how and political clout in Washington, where decisions on how to distribute billions in loan guarantees, stimulus grants and financial incentives are made.

The clock is ticking for Spinning Star: To claim the stimulus grant it must arrange its financing and begin work on the wind farm by Dec. 31. Besides the $450 million stimulus grant, A-Power’s SEC filings indicate the joint-venture also will pursue a Department of Energy-backed loan guarantee. According to the SEC filings, the project is waiting to hear if it will receive the loan guarantee before financing will follow to build the turbines.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Corporatism, Energy & Taxes, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »

Do you know Ava Aston?

Posted by iusbvision on February 15, 2011

Ava Aston is a singer, writer, blogger, actress, and comedienne who has generated a large following on social media such as Facebook. Her music is lovely and her writing is substantive.

And speaking of lovely. If I told you how lovely she is Mr. Bricks may call me names so I will let this photo do the speaking for me.

To see more of her music or to follow her blog please visit www.avaaston.com.

Posted in Chuck Norton, Culture War | Leave a Comment »

One man’s dream changed the world. Are we ready to reclaim that dream?

Posted by iusbvision on February 15, 2011

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Culture War | 1 Comment »

Leftist Elitism in Action!

Posted by iusbvision on February 15, 2011

Posted in Chuck Norton, Click & Learn, Culture War | Leave a Comment »