Saturday, May 30, 2009

Imperialist Newt Gingrich Fabricates Another Ticking Time Bomb Scenario

Beginning in late 2008, the RAND corporation began lobbying for war in an effort to jump-start the moribund American economy. In an apparent effort to provide more fodder for that cannon, globalist extraordinaire Newt Gingrich warned recently that our next ticking time bomb scenario is likely to happen very soon. If we don't attack Iran and North Korea soon, Gingrich warns, the American economy will be utterly destroyed by the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) of enemy nuclear weapons.

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"War is good for the economy." Some of my co-workers agreed with that statement on a recent walk to the local Chevron for a

Unfortunately, the likelihood of Americans being suckered into a frenzy by Newt's latest ticking time bomb scenario is immensely greater than the probability that Newt's apocalypse would ever happen anywhere in the universe.

soda pop.

Rubbish, I said. At best, it only appears to be good for the economy. War, even of a defensive nature, is never good for the economy.War of the kind America has been starting lately is only good for those who have planned in advance how to take advantage of it.

You may not be surprised to hear, then, that a class of snobbish neoconservative elitists have been proposing just such an new war eventuality as a means of getting the United States out of its economic doldrums.
...the RAND Corporation recently presented a shocking proposal to the Pentagon in which it lobbied for a war to be started with a major foreign power in an attempt to stimulate the American economy and prevent a recession.

...RAND suggested that the $700 billion dollars that has been earmarked to bailout Wall Street and failing banks instead be used to finance a new war which would in turn re-invigorate the flagging stock markets.

China’s biggest media outlet, Sohu.com, speculated that the target of the new war would probably be China or Russia, but that it could also be Iran...
The effort to embroil the United States in a

Mr. Gingrich should have been thoroughly discredited by now. What is this man still doing around? Why don't we each just shut him up once and for all with an electromagnetic pulse from our television remote control?

third foreign conflict (perhaps fourth, if Pakistan continues to aim for al Qaeda but bomb itself in the foot) seems to have flagged--until recently. That's where Newt Gingrich has come to the rescue of Establishment neoconservatives.

In the past month, Gingrich spoke apocalyptically in Washington to a group in need of no such suggestions; the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) can foment itself into an apocalyptic lather without Gingrich's help. Yet, here's what Gingrich tantalized them with anyway:
Gingrich heartily recommended a disturbing apocalyptic thriller currently on The New York Times' best-seller list. Written by William Forstchen, One Second After tells the story of what happens to a college town after the lights go out. Not just the lights, actually, but electrical devices of all kinds. Phones go dead, computers fritz, cars won't start. That this is a more than an inconvenience quickly becomes apparent: Patients die in powerless hospitals, and frozen food begins to rot. Word spreads that airliners have simply dropped from sky, including Air Force One. (The president is dead.) Squirrel meat is traded for ammunition as Mexico reclaims Texas, China occupies the West coast, and cannibalistic mobs rampage everywhere else.
Who has such a capability of destroying American

War, even of a defensive nature, is never good for the economy. War of the kind America has been starting lately is only good for those who have figured out in advance a way of taking advantage of it.

electrical devices of all kinds? Well...Iran and North Korea, of course! So we must attack them, Newt bellows. Gingrich's scenario is possible, but like the previous highly unlikely ticking-time-bomb scenarios that Gingrich, Dick Cheney, and Kiefer Sutherland have postulated, this one is also far from realistic. But that doesn't matter--we have an economy to save!

Gingrich is part of, by the way, this same group of Keystone Cops who were completely confident that Saddam Hussein was on the verge of raining down weapons of mass destruction on the American Homeland. Inconveniently, Saddam's "mountains" of nuclear and chemical weapons didn't turn out even to be "molehills", yet Gingrich and his ilk seem hell-bent on--and potentially successful at--sucking America into another phony war. Forget the probability, though. Gingrich hypnosis suggests to our minds that even the remotest of possibility is enough to warrant further expansion of the American empire.
"It's based on fact, it is accurate, and it's horrifying, and we have zero national strategy to respond to it today," Gingrich said. He laid out a vision in which three small nuclear weapons detonated at the right altitude would eliminate all electricity production in the United States. Which is why, he concluded, "I favor taking out Iranian and North Korean missiles on their sites. "
Far too many Americans were stupid enough to believe that the 1994 Newt Republican Contract with America was actually meant for middle-class America. As well,

Gingrich's scenario is possible, but like the previous highly unlikely ticking-time-bomb scenarios that Gingrich, Dick Cheney, and Kiefer Sutherland have postulated, this one is also far from realistic. But that doesn't matter--we have an economy to save!

far too many Americans were suckered by Newt Republicans into believing that we were on Saddam's short list of becoming nuclear, chemical, and biological holocaust victims.

We've already been fooled twice by Newt Gingrich and his Establishment wolf crowd beguilingly beclothed as conservative sheep.

In the past month, Gingrich spoke apocalyptically in Washington to a group in need of no such suggestions; the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) can foment itself into an apocalyptic lather without Gingrich's help.

Could it happen again? Unfortunately, the likelihood that Americans will allow themselves to be worked into a frenzy by Newt's latest ticking time bomb scenario is immensely greater than the probability that Newt's apocalypse would ever happen anywhere in the universe.

He should have been thoroughly discredited by now. What is this man still doing around? Why don't we each just shut him up once and for all with an electromagnetic pulse from our television remote control?

Related Articles:
Gingrich Ignores the Real EMP Threat



Friday, May 29, 2009

Sonia Sotomayor: Just What is an Activist Judge Anyway?

Should judges make law? Do judges make law? Barack Obama's first appointment to the Supreme Court says yes to both. Does that make for an activist judge? It depends on who you ask.

It is good that we illustrate the diversity of America by diversely representing ourselves. I am not against having a Hispanic Supreme Court justice, but if Barack Obama wanted a truly deserving first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, he could have done much better than Sonia Sotomayor.

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If you ask a classical liberal (what we call these days a "conservative"), they will tell you that judicial activism

I'm all for creating "a historic day for the Hispanic community". I just think it would be much more historic if a truly deserving Hispanic became a member of the Supreme Court of the United States.

involves a judge making or changing the law instead of just interpreting and applying it. If you ask a "new" liberal (what we call a "liberal" these days) the same question, they will tell you that an activist judge is merely anyone that a classical liberal disagrees with. It is a less than clever skirting of the argument, and it is a tacit admission by progressives that they know that activism from the bench is wrong.

An activist, by definition, is
an especially active, vigorous advocate of a cause, esp. a political cause.
By her own admission, Judge Sotomayor is a political activist.





Based on that statement alone, Sonia Sotomayor is not qualified to be a Supreme Court justice.

If we wanted a good first Black President of the United States, we should have voted for the guy who ran in 2000--Alan Keyes--but he was

Justices are perfectly free to give their opinions as to how the law should read, and they should perhaps use their position on the bench as a bully pulpit from time to time. Justices are not legally free, however, to decide what the law should be.

marginalized by the fearful Establishment. His credentials run circles around Barack Obama, who, based on the backtracking trajectory of his first 100 days, will eventually become more or less an embarrassment to his race.

In much the same way, if we want a good first

As we sink into the abyss of the legal confusion, where the law becomes whatever the most powerful want it to be, the last person we need on the Supreme Court is one who thinks that interpretation of existing law is really just a judicial policy game.

Hispanic Supreme Court justice, we shouldn't support Sonia Sotomayor. It has nothing to do with her race, but everything to do with her not understanding her job. Sotomayor's political activism is completely unbecoming of membership in the highest court in the land. Based upon her history of extralegal (read anarchical) judicial decisions, she, too, will eventually become an embarrassment to her race.

Justices are perfectly free to give their opinions as to how the law should read, and they should perhaps use their position on the bench as a bully pulpit from time to time. Justices are not legally free, however, to decide what the law should be.

As we sink into the abyss of the legal confusion, where the law becomes whatever the most powerful want it to be, the last person we need

It has nothing to do with her race, but everything to do with her not understanding her job.

on the Supreme Court is one who thinks that interpretation of existing law is really just a judicial policy game.

I'm all for creating "a historic day for the Hispanic community". I just think it would be much more historic if a truly deserving Hispanic became a member of the Supreme Court of the United States.



Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"Prolonged Detention": Did You Ever Fathom that Obama Terror Inc. Would Be More Ruthless than Bush/Cheney?

In just over 100 days, President Barack Obama, once thought by many to be the man to right the wrongs of the Bush Administration, has now out-bushed Bush and out-cheneyed Cheney. In a speech given last Thursday, President Obama unveiled a brand new approach to the war on terrorism, one that the New York Times says "is at the very boundary of American law". It's referred to as "prolonged detention", and it means that you can be kept prisoner without trial for an indefinite period of time, simply because of the crimes that you might have committed if you had been released from prison.

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Is this where the neocons join hands with Barack Obama? I expected that the Obama Administration would be similar to the Bush Administration, but I am astonished that our new President would go so soon beyond what he regularly and roundly castigated in the 2008 presidential campaign.

In a moment of great and much-appreciated clarity, MSNBC talk-show host Rachel Maddow called it
something that has never been attempted in American history, even by George Bush and Dick Cheney.


One human rights advocate who attended a private briefing on the "prolonged detention" concept prior to its being made public, was greatly dismayed.
We’ve known this is on the horizon for many years, but we were able to hold it off with George Bush. The idea that we might find ourselves fighting with the Obama administration over these powers is really stunning.
In his speech at the National Archives, where he unveiled a strategy of which Henry Kissinger would be proud, Obama said that in many cases we

The idea that we might find ourselves fighting with the Obama administration over these powers is really stunning.

cannot try detainees for past crimes because "the evidence may be tainted"; I suspect he was referring to torture.

If there is no evidence on which to convict someone, he cannot be held indefinitely. If the evidence is tainted in the case of a detainee, rather than detain the individual indefinitely, that person should be released from prison. That is the essence of American law.

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution speaks of a defendant's right to a fair and speedy trial. Since, however, many Americans have come to the conclusion that torture is not "cruel and unusual punishment" (as stated in Amendment 8) and that brown-skinned detainees are not people anyway, they don't probably see my point.

In her commentary on Obama's declaration of prolonged detention,

I expected that the Obama Administration would be similar to the Bush Administration, but I am astonished that our new President would go so soon beyond what he regularly and roundly castigated in the 2008 presidential campaign.

Maddow reminds us of the movie Minority Report that came out during the early part of George W. Bush's first term. In the movie, people were arrested for crimes that they might possibly commit in the future.

If such rules can be applied to detainees of the war on terrorism, whose to say that they same rules could not be applied to American citizens?

Ron Paul reminds us that not only is torture an embarrassing blight on America, but also that torture is
  • Against both American law and the Geneva Conventions
  • The reason why so many foreign fighters have joined the battle against us in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He told Judge Napolitano unequivocally on Fox News

If there is no evidence on which to convict someone, he cannot be held indefinitely. If the evidence is tainted in the case of a detainee, rather than detain the individual indefinitely, that person should be released from prison. That is the essence of American law.

that we should close the Guantanamo Bay prison facility. Funny... Barack Obama used to believe that.

Even the former commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus has "long been an advocate of interrogation techniques that are in line with the Geneva Convention" because any other sort of interrogation hurts our cause.
President Obama has backtracked on a variety of issues, including several that have his erstwhile supporters quite up in arms. Is it possible that he is going against his principles because of that problem with the birth certificate thingy?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What the U.S. Welfare State Can Learn from Japan

Both the U.S. and Japan have gigantic social welfare programs. Japan's program is just about as costly as ours, but it works much better, and Japan's crime rate is much lower than that of the United States. Why has Japan's welfare program has worked so much better than ours? In Japan, the family is considered to be the first line of welfare support.

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The crass individualism

Rather than place welfare requirements upon extended families, the United States government chose to attempt to solve the entire problem--and now we have a mountain of debt and cesspools of social filth to show for it.

spawned by gigantic corporations caused a great deal of grief to a lot of American workers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal social legislation, in trying to solve that admitted problem, created one that was far worse. The New Deal, in trying to rein in the corporation, and the Great Society, in trying to plug the increasingly leaky dike of inequality, have nearly destroyed the American family.

Niall Ferguson, in his new book entitled The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World, points out that Japan is
a much more equal society than any in the West. The welfare superpower was also a miracle of parsimony. In 1975, just 9 percent of national income went on social security...
Which is a lot smaller than the percentage that the U.S. was (and is) investing in our social programs. What's the difference? Ferguson explains:
In Japan, egalitarianism was a prized goal of policy, while...English individualism...inclined people cynically to game the system. In Japan, firms and families continued to play substantial supporting roles in the welfare system. As recently as the 1990's, two thirds of Japanese older than 64 lived with their children. In Britain [and the U.S.], employers did not hesitate to slash payrolls in hard times, while people were much more likely to leave elderly parents to the tender mercies of the [state social welfare system].
FDR's administration identified the social problems, but it claimed that government could solve them all. It couldn't. And it didn't. In the process, the primary role of the American family to support its members was significantly undermined.

Rather than become the problem solver of first resort, government should take as its responsibility to remind its citizens of the importance of their

The New Deal, in trying to rein in the corporation, and the Great Society, in trying to plug the increasingly leaky dike of inequality, have nearly destroyed the American family.

being a first line of social defense and support. The Japanese government performed this task admirably. Rather than place welfare requirements upon extended families, however, the United States government chose to attempt to solve the entire problem--and now we have a mountain of debt and cesspools of social filth to show for it.

Japan's welfare system is designed for everyone to contribute at the appropriate level. America's welfare system is designed to encourage everyone to get the most bang for the buck.

Japan's rate of crime is much lower than in the United States. I would not be surprised to find out that this is also because of Japan's family-centered approach to welfare.

Japan's welfare state is now having a come-to-Jesus meeting with itself, as it is starting to buckle under the weight of its debt. However, due to the family

FDR's administration identified the social problems, but it claimed that government could solve them all. It couldn't. And it didn't. In the process, the primary role of the American family to support its members was significantly undermined.

ethic that exists in Japan, the strain on the Japanese will likely be much less than we will experience in the United States when we get to the sign on our welfare road that says "no outlet".

Regardless, the United States' welfare system needs a gargantuan overhaul. Looking to Japan--and recognizing and fostering the family as the fundamental unit of society--can help us solve many of our social welfare problems.



Saturday, May 23, 2009

Prop 8: Will CA Supreme Court Cave to Taunting of Homosexual Lobby?

The California Supreme court is scheduled to decide on Tuesday whether the recently approved Proposition 8 was done legally or not. In the run-up to the decision, Prop 8 taunting is in high gear--most of it vilely and hatefully against the new law. In March the California justices intimated that the case against Proposition 8 doesn't have much merit. I hope they don't bow to the pressure of the well-organized taunters from the homosexual lobby.

Update 5/26/2009 - Court Upholds Proposition 8

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In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Nephi speaks of a "great and spacious" building that would be filled with people who revel in mocking those who disagree with them.
26 And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth.
27 And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit [of the gospel of Jesus Christ].

Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, 1 Nephi 8
I wasn't empirically sure what Nephi was talking about until Proposition 8, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, was placed on the California ballot. Since then, and especially since Prop 8's passage, the pro-homosexual lobby has proven itself to be a large slice of the proprietorship of the building in Nephi's dream.

The taunters, out en mass, may have a deleterious effect on the decision of the California Supreme court's pending decision on Proposition 8. The Court
will rule Tuesday on the validity of a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, a decision that will end months of speculation over whether gay couples can resume marrying in the state.

The high court announced the pending opinion on its Web site Friday morning.
What happens if the court upholds Proposition 8? Possible mayhem.
Gay rights advocates have scheduled marches throughout California and in several other states for Tuesday evening. Organizers say the gatherings will be celebratory if the court rules in their favor and angry if Proposition 8 is upheld.

Several religious groups that support same-sex marriage also have encouraged their members to block the streets outside the court's San Francisco headquarters and to participate in other acts of civil disobedience if the decision is disappointing.
The challenge to Proposition 8's legality is based on the flimsiest of pretexts. Interestingly, the Court has intimated that it agrees that the challenge is weak.
[Protesters] argued that the initiative revised the state constitution's equal protection clause to such a dramatic degree that its sponsors needed the Legislature's approval to submit it to voters.

Several justices gave that argument a skeptical reception during a March 5 hearing, and court observers have doubted the Supreme Court would abrogate California's vigorous citizen initiative process by invalidating the ban.
I'm still nervous, though, that the law won't be upheld--for two reasons. First, just about a year ago, the California Supreme Court, in a bizarrely anarchist move, found a "right" to homosexual marriage seated deep within the bowels of its extra-legal wrangling. Far more troubling, however, is the vitriol with which the homosexual lobby seems to be pressuring Californians to change their minds and the justices to overturn the law.

Yesterday a tweet storm erupted on Twitter on the subject of "Prop 8". The storm came from those against Proposition 8. A great deal of it was along the lines of those who "LMAO" every time they watch this decidedly unfunny screed that targets supporters of traditional marriage.

Dallin H Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke in the April 2009 General Conference of the Church that
...some who know better seem to be straining to win the praise of those who mock and scoff from "the great and spacious building" identified in [Nephi's] vision as the pride of the world.
In large part because of their fear of those who can yell really loud, there seem to be fewer and fewer people in the world who will stand up for things that really matter.

Traditional marriage is one of those issues that people seem tired of defending. The loosening of morals beginning in the 1960's, the weakening of the family through divorce, and the desecration of children through encouragement of easy abortion have wreaked enough havoc on families. Our social situation is dire enough already without the California court making two incorrect decisions in a row about homosexual marriage.

I hold out some hope that the California Court won't ruin society further; I hope they have enough integrity to admit that a law is a law. Being one to look for silver linings, however: if the justices decide in the negative, the decision could make California's economic crisis a thing of the past for hundreds of thousands more residents of that state--when they move to other states wherein society still has a much greater chance of flourishing under the aegis of traditional marriage.

Update 5/26/2009 - Court Upholds Proposition 8. Let the violent civil disobedience begin.



Thursday, May 21, 2009

California is a Microcosm of the Abject Failure of Socialism

Socialism doesn't work, no matter by whom it is tried. Life would be so much simpler if the rest of the architects of social doom would get this into their thick heads. California is the latest unfortunate example of social experimentation gone awry. It looks, perhaps though, that a majority of Californians are waking up from the social nightmare, and the bellwether state might just be turning a corner. If we can learn from the smaller failure of Californian socialism, then there is still time to turn the American ship of state away from crashing hard upon the rocky shoals of its much larger social venture.

Share/Save/BookmarkArnold Schwarzenegger is royally ticked off at the citizens of California, because they aren't going to put up with his Republican socialist crap anymore. They should go

It would be nice if government could solve all of our problems, but it simply can't. In most cases it merely pushes the problems into the future, where instead of dealing with mosquitoes now, we become tormented by pterodactyls.

one step further and vote him out of town and back to Hollywood on a rail. Ronald Reagan was a very good actor and a magnificent statesman. Schwarzenegger, on the other hand, is miserable actor and an even worse politician.

Government can solve a very limited set of social problems. These include national defense and providing defense and local law enforcement. When it experiments very far beyond these boundaries, it inevitably creates larger problems than the

Far too many government wizards have waved their defective magic socialist wands in the air for us to ever think that such a magic wand exists that would work.

ones it was intended to solve. Rather than bleeding the taxpayer nearly dry in order to provide a plethora of faux solutions to our problems, government leaders could save us all a mountain of grief and money by simply encouraging Americans to be moral and religious. The golden rule is worth far more than its weight in gold. Socialism is, has been, and will always be a lead balloon.

If there is not some sense of equality among us, which there is not,

When government steps beyond its bounds "it secures the [bonds of debt] to ourselves and our posterity." America went through one too many episodes of slavery already.

we have serious problems. But it's important for Arnold Schwarzenegger and others of his ilk to finally admit that the only part of those problems that government can solve are related to the prosecution of fraud and tort.

Government is incapable of solving the rest of our social problems. Only we are capable of doing that for ourselves--by being good neighbors. It would be nice if government could solve all of our problems, but it simply can't. In most cases it merely pushes the problems into the future, where instead of dealing with mosquitoes now, we become tormented by future pterodactyls.

When government steps beyond its bounds "it secures the [bonds of debt]

Government can solve a very limited set of social problems. These include national defense and local law enforcement. When it experiments very far beyond these boundaries, it inevitably creates larger problems than the ones it was intended to solve.

to ourselves and our posterity." America went through one too many episodes of slavery already.

Far too many government wizards have waved their defective magic socialist wands in the air for us to ever think that such a magic wand exists that would work. California has shown us that:
  • Government cannot solve the health care crisis by providing health care or insurance.
  • Government cannot solve the environmental crisis with CAFE Standards and Cap and Trade.
  • Government cannot solve economic inequality by setting minimum wage laws and forcing individuals to bow to their union overlords.
  • Government cannot solve our immigration, retirement, or unemployment problems with the current set of laws that fail to secure any of us socially.
  • California has shown us in a masterful manner that it is time for us to call off the Dobermans of government and strike up a conversation with our annoying neighbor instead.
Thank you, California. You've finally been good for something besides an occasional trip to Disneyland.




Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Are The Bilderbergers Planning to Eat You For Lunch?

There is at least one worldwide organization which, although many of its members are also members of the mass media, prohibits discussion in public of anything that goes on inside its closed-door meetings. It meets annually. You've probably never heard of it, but it's important that you know about it. It's called the Bilderberg Group, and its members met last weekend in Greece ostensibly to determine what additional economic and political mayhem they can wreak on the world.

The Book of Mormon speaks of a world-wide conspiracy in our day whose plan it is to destroy liberty
when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this asecret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.

For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the afreedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people...

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Ether 8:24-25
Does the Bilderberg Group, one of the most secretive organizations in the world, fit this description? Based on information uncovered by an investigative

If you think that all is well, you will be eaten for lunch in the upcoming economic collapse--whether by the Bilderbergers' machinations or the inexorable laws of economics, it makes no difference.

reporter by the name of Daniel Estulin, I think so. If Estulin's information is correct, in past annual meetings, the Bilderbergers have schemed on how to inflate the world's credit markets in a (so-far successful) attempt to play upon the greed of ordinary consumers, convincing them with the extra money in circulation that they can afford to take on excess debt. And then their plan was to pull the rug out from under us. I think it worked.

PrisonPlanet reports that
...Daniel Estulin has uncovered shocking details of what the elitists plan to do with the economy over the course of the next year.

Estulin, who supposedly has inside sources at Bilderberg, has noted with great accuracy what Bilderberg's plans have been.

Estulin’s previous economic forecasts, which were based on leaks from the same sources, have proven deadly accurate. Estulin correctly predicted the housing crash and the 2008 financial meltdown as a result of what his sources inside Bilderberg told him the elite were planning based on what was said at their 2006 meeting in Canada and the 2007 conference in Turkey.
If Estulin's current predictions are accurate, the Great Financial Meltdown is about to enter phase two.
Estulin warns that Bilderberg [is] fostering a false picture of economic recovery, suckering investors into ploughing their money back into the stock market again only to later unleash another massive downturn which will create “massive losses and searing financial pain in the months ahead"...
The media have seemingly bought into the "all is well with the economy" scenario. One of their favorite economic terms of late is "green shoots," which is now used with regularity. It is a metaphor that is intended to give you warm and fuzzy feelings, but in reality it should creep you out. For example, Reuters reports
By just about any measure, the first quarter of this year was disastrous for the world's major economies.

But economists are growing increasingly confident that this will be as bad as it gets for the current recession.

Torsten Slok, a senior economist at Deutsche Bank ( DB - news - people ) in New York, said

"Very little of that has been paid out so far and still we are seeing green shoots" of economic recovery, he said. "If you are seeing green shoots, and on top of that you come with a humongous amount of fertilizer, that must imply that we will see some blossoming in the economy."
Such a metaphor is just as beautiful--and dangerous--as the Venus

One of the media's favorite terms of late is "green shoots," which is now being used with regularity. It is a metaphor that is intended to give you warm and fuzzy feelings, but in reality it should creep you out.

flytrap is to the fly. Now is not the time to be investing in the stock market. Now is the time to get yourself out of debt and make sure you have enough food, clothing, and shelter for your future.

I'm putting my money on the likelihood that Daniel Estulin's information about the Bliderberg group is accurate. But even if it isn't, the writing is on the wall. If you think that all is well, you will be eaten for lunch in the upcoming economic collapse--whether by the Bilderbergers' machinations or the inexorable laws of economics, it makes no difference.

In his book, This Nation Shall Endure, Ezra Taft Benson warned
Wants always exceed needs and are never satisfied unless disciplined. (p 83) Paying our debts, or living within our means, was always one of the sterling characteristics of Americans. ...no government in the history of mankind has ever created any wealth. People who work create wealth. In every case of forced charity through government bureaucracies has resulted in the long run in creating more misery, more poverty, and certainly less freedom than when government first stepped in.
In the same book, Benson quotes from The Mainspring of Human Progress by Henry Grady Weaver:
Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom... The harm done by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by professional do-gooders...
I am sick to death of professional do-gooders. It should be starting to become obvious to you that their dogoodism never results in anything worthwhile. All they ultimately do is enrich themselves at the expense of you and me. The Bilderberg Group is one such professional do-gooder club. They just met in Greece a couple of days. Your money is not safe.

You cannot afford to get into any more debt than you are already in, and you should be making earnest attempts to consistently reduce the debt that you currently have. If you don't, you will be part of the Bilderbergers' main course when phase two of the Great Financial Meltdown hits.




Saturday, May 16, 2009

Why You Probably Won't Get Many More Credit Card Offers in the Mail

It's been quite a while (a few years, probably) since we have gotten any "tantalizing" credit card offers in the mail. I thought it was just because we had ignored them all, but a friend of mine ignores them all, too, and his family still gets a bunch of them. Do you still get bombarded with credit card offers? Why don't I?

If, over the years, my wife and I had "taken advantage" of all the credit card offers we had encountered at our Post Office box, we'd have a credit line approaching a million dollars. Early in our marriage, though, we just got in the habit of tearing them up. In the last few years our supply of credit card toilet paper has dried up, though. I'm not sure what gives.

A couple of months ago our LDS Sunday School class talked

The credit card industry is a scam that needs to be reigned in. But too many of us have played the all-to-willing part of the victim.

about financial health. One of the ingredients discussed was to avoid by-mail credit card offers like the plague. "How many do you get, one or two a month?" someone said. At least one member of our LDS ward must have noticed my wife and I look at each other in "we don't get any" surprise. He asked me about it a few days ago. Maybe it's because we've never taken the bait? They haven't either, but they still are targeted by the mass mailings.
Maybe it's because we're essentially debt free? They aren't.

Maybe it's because we're getting older? They're 10-15 years younger.

At any rate, if you still get a lot of those offers, chances are you won't be getting many more. The New American reports that
Next up for ailing mega-banks: a credit card meltdown. No surprise here, really; Americans have overused credit cards for years, trusting always in unending economic expansion and plentiful employment to guarantee their ability to service consumer debt.

All that, of course, has changed dramatically over the last year and a half, with millions of Americans suddenly out of work and trying to service huge, high-interest credit card debts with no income and no savings. Credit card defaults are soaring, and much worse is to come, according to the government’s recently disclosed bank stress tests. By the end of 2010, says the government, America’s 19 largest banks can expect to lose as much as $82.4 billion in credit card defaults.
The New American makes a good point, however. Despite the fine print, people ultimately aren't forced to use credit cards.
Old habits die hard. A generation of Americans used to running up credit card debt far in excess of personal savings to finance purchases of wants is unlikely to change its ways overnight. For now, some of these na├»ve souls are expecting government to step in and keep the credit card party going by legislative fiat. But the only thing credit card legislation will accomplish is more losses in an already reeling sector — losses that will doubtless prompt cries for more bailouts in the coming months.
The credit card industry is a scam that needs to be reigned in. But too many of us have played the all-to-willing part of the victim.

Hopefully you haven't been living from credit card offer to credit card offer, paying off the debt from one with the introduction of another into your repertoire. If so, and if life hasn't already gotten economically very treacherous for you, it's about to.

By the way, does anyone know why my wife and I don't get credit card offers anymore?




Thursday, May 14, 2009

Stress Tests, Hurricanes, and Food Storage: Can You Hear that Hyperinflation Coming? Wait for it... Waaait for it...

The recent stress tests conducted on America's largest banks is a brazen attempt to convince us that our economic situation is not nearly as bad as it really is. Of particular note is the fact that the Federal Reserve has not accounted for nine trillion extra dollars that it has created and disbursed in the past eight months. That much funny money added to the system means that hyperinflation is coming. Increases in your salary will not keep pace with the dramatic increase in the cost of just about everything. If you don't have a significant reserve of food on hand, now would be an excellent time to correct that oversight.

Yesterday, U.S. Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner tried to instill consumer confidence by claiming that consumer confidence is up. At the same time Geithner was hoisting his pom-poms, the Dow Jones fell nearly 200

You are living through the most extravagant economic scam in the history of the world. Hopefully you've noticed that the fraud has spanned both a Republican and a Democrat presidential administration.

points. Geithner should know better. Geithner is a bald-faced liar. Geithner helped create the crisis that we are in.

You are living through the most extravagant economic scam in the history of the world. Hopefully you've noticed that the fraud has spanned both a Republican and a Democrat presidential administration.

In the past eight months, the Federal Reserve has infused nine trillion extra dollars into the world economy. That portends

After a hurricane, the unusually high prices of things gradually return to normal. After hyperinflation, the same thing will eventually occur. To be avoided in the midst of either, however, is the panic caused by a lack of preparation.

world economic disaster. The inspector general at the Federal Reserve has no idea where all of this funny money went. But if you wait long enough, those chickens will start coming home to roost in the form of much higher prices of most goods and services. The prices of luxury goods will likely lag the prices of everything else, because demand for luxuries will be off sharply while people are paying for next week's groceries.

The following YouTube video catches the Fed's inspector general and her cortege in a very embarrassing situation--that of not knowing where nine trillion dollars went. That's about as easy as not being able to see a full-grown elephant in a 10' x 10' room.



When Representative Alan Grayson asked the IG where the money went, her first response was to deny having read the report that indicated that the nine trillion dollars is missing. I'm not sure if the IG intended to look grossly inept with that answer, but that was definitely the effect. When Rep. Grayson asked her the question again, she claimed that they were only doing a high-level audit at this point in time. Don't you think it's conceivable, though, that a high-level audit would notice that nine trillion dollars is unaccounted for?

A good way to understand inflation is to imagine the economic aftermath of a hurricane. What happens? The price of everything goes up. Why?


A good way to understand inflation is to imagine the economic aftermath of a hurricane. What happens? The price of everything goes up. Why? Because suddenly products and services are in much greater demand than they can be produced. Extra money creates extra demand.

Because suddenly products and services are in much greater demand than they can be produced. Extra money creates extra demand. If, suddenly, everyone has a whole bunch more money, the initial effect will be that store shelves will be much more bare than normal. The eventual reaction, though, will be that prices increase in order that the shelves can remain reasonably filled.

The Federal Reserve's brashly irresponsible fiat money creation compounds the already-existing problem of lower productivity brought on largely by the housing crisis.

After a hurricane, the unusually high prices of things gradually return to normal. After hyperinflation, the same thing will eventually occur. To be avoided in the midst of either a hurricane or the storm of hyperinflation, however, is the panic caused by a lack of preparation.

Your government is intentionally ruining your economy. Just as it is not possible that Obama's burgeoning budgets are going to help the United States economy, the latest shenanigans at the Federal Reserve portend monumental global economic failure.

If you haven't started yet, prepare yourself by getting the foodstuffs you need to weather the coming storm of hyperinflation. If you prepare yourself for the spike, it will not be nearly as scary. If you prepare yourself for the spike, you just might come out on the other side unscathed.

Related Articles:

Inflation: Niall Ferguson Hits Back
Paul Krugman Says Not to Worry about Inflation




Tuesday, May 12, 2009

TRICARE for Life: Is Obama Trying to Sucker Punch U.S. Veterans?

President Barack Obama's first budget proposal is a travesty. His first deficit is projected to be $1.8 trillion. The numbers could be worse except for potential nickel-and-diming of American servicemen and women. "Option 96" in the current Health Care budget proposal would reduce the cost to government of providing the Tricare for Life (TFL) program, but such a cost reduction would be a sucker punch to American veterans--especially those on fixed incomes.

The Constitution of the United States lists only 18 things that the federal government can do. At last count, they were doing about 18 million things, but of the

Thousands upon thousands of servicemen and women have answered the call of their country. A significant number of them have answered the call with their lives. You'd think their government would take care of them.

original 18 federal responsibilities, several of them refer to defending our country. Such things as
  • declaring war
  • raising and supporting Armies
  • providing and maintaining a Navy
  • calling forth, organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia.
are included in the list of 18 responsibilities. Which means that those who perform such duties ought to be justly compensated for their selfless service.

Regardless of how any of us felt about the political situations that have accompanied the various wars the U.S. has been involved in, thousands upon thousands of servicemen and women have answered the call of their country. A significant number of them have answered the call with their lives. You'd think their government would take care of them.

I served in the Utah Army National Guard for nearly 25 years. When I left my civilian job twice for service in Iraq, I took a significant cut in pay. Everyone knows that the military does not pay very well. The least the government could do is make it up to me when I reach retirement age.

The latest budget proposal from the Congressional Budget Office (see page 175) seems to be trying to save a relative few pennies at the expense of military veterans. TRICARE for Life (TFL) is a program that was created in 2002 that supplements Medicare for military retirees and their families. "Option 96" on page 175 of the Health Care version of the latest budget proposal would make a significant modification to TFL.
This option would help reduce the costs of TFL, as well as costs for Medicare, by introducing minimum out-of pocket requirements for beneficiaries. Under this option, TFL would not cover any of the first $525 of an enrollee’s cost-sharing liabilities for calendar year 2011 and would limit coverage to 50 percent of the next $4,725 in Medicare cost sharing that the beneficiary incurred. (Because all further cost sharing would be covered by TFL, enrollees could not pay more than $2,888 in cost sharing in that year.)
I have about 15 years to worry about how I'm going to deal with a $3,000-per-year increase in medical premiums (probably $6,000 by then); for me it may not be a big deal, because I have a 401k and a pension from my civilian job. But for someone who is at or approaching retirement--especially someone who retired after a full-time career in the military, Option 96 is potentially devastating.

How would increasing costs for veterans save money for the government? Option 96 lists 3 ways:
  1. To reduce demand for tricare medical services.
  2. To reduce beneficiaries’ incentive to switch to Military Treatment Facilities to avoid the out-of-pocket costs of comparative civilian health plans.
  3. To increase Tricare For Life beneficiaries’ awareness of the cost of health care and promote a corresponding restraint in their use of medical services.
I know what the verbiage of the budget trying to say, but that sounds to me like at least two slaps in the face for aging veterans.

It is true that when people pay for at least part of a service they receive--including medical care--they will use more discretion when using the service. But to sock something like this to someone who lived in just expectation of being covered is a grave disservice to the defenders of American liberty.

In previous years, the Bush Administration has considered advocating similar cost increases for veterans. Due to advocates of the military in Congress, the costs were not increased. It appears that, for the same reason, "Option 96" will not be enacted this year.
Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) today applauded President Obama's 2010 budget that prevented increases in enrollment fees, premiums and pharmacy co-payments for TRICARE -- the military community's health plan.

"We owe our troops and their families the best quality healthcare at affordable prices," said Sen. Lautenberg. "As our soldiers and sailors remain steadfast in their duty to protect America, it is our duty to provide for them both when they return and when they retire."

For the past three fiscal years, the Bush Administration's Defense Department had proposed increases in the enrollment fees, deductibles and copayments of retired members of the uniformed services who are participants in the TRICARE program. Sen. Lautenberg worked successfully to prohibit such increases in past years...
Regardless of congressional success in past years at preventing such cost increases to veterans, I don't have a warm and fuzzy trust that the government will do the right thing this time just because they have previously.

Your Congressperson and Senators could probably use a phone call from you, your friends, and your family members. Tell them to respect our veterans by giving them the health benefits they deserve.




Thursday, May 07, 2009

My Very Intelligent 17-Year Old is an Isolationist

"Dad, the more I study American history, I can't figure out why America has not been more isolationist," my daughter, exasperated, exclaimed to me yesterday. She cited as examples of baffling U.S. perfidy the Korean and Vietnam wars. I could only say to her that I wish I had been that intelligent at age 17.

The rollout of daily events makes it increasingly more easy to see how America could have dramatically benefited both the world and itself had it been politically and militarily isolationist for the last 100 years. Because we weren't isolationist, much of American patriotism now hinges on the hundreds of thousands of U.S. military servicemen and women who have died for their country. It didn't need to be that way. Real American patriotism should have been the stuff of a shining city on a hill in the attitude of beckoning to all to choose the same liberty that America had come to stand for. Instead, "isolationist" became almost overnight a filthy word in the American vernacular, and, rather than liberty, modern American patriotism has come to mean global empire.

Taken in isolation, a logical reason seems to exist for each war that America has become involved in. Taken in context, however, our participation in very few of these wars makes any sense at all. Over dinner last night, I talked with my daughter about how the U.S. sins committed in Korea and Vietnam had been going on for several decades longer than that.

The only two dogs that the United States ever had in World War I were (1) Woodrow Wilson's desire to be revered by future generations, and (2) the lust for economic and

Taken in isolation, a logical reason seems to exist for each war that America has become involved in. Taken in context, however, our participation in very few of these wars makes any sense at all.

political domination by war profiteers such as Bernard Baruch. WW I led to the premature deaths of tens of thousands of American soldiers. WW I set the stage for world economic malaise, the most acute manifestation of which became the Great Depression. It also provided a fertile breeding ground for a surreptitious form of population control; the Swine Flu epidemic of 1918 would never have been so virulent had the war not brought so many men into such close proximity with each other on the septic battlefield.

The nearly impossible reparations forced upon Germany in the Treaty of Versailles, which brought fighting between Germany and the Allied Powers to an end, led to hyperinflation in Germany. Hyperinflation led to the rise of Adolf Hitler.

Adolf Hitler became the eventual impetus for the entry of the United States into World War II in Europe, and for the United States' bizarre alliance with Communist Russia. During World War II, the United States supplied the Soviets with vast amounts of weaponry under the "Lend-Lease" program, which helped enable the Soviets to later become a large military thorn in America's

the worst of the non-isolationist chickens that came home to roost is the one that plagues us the most today--our continuing involvement in Middle Eastern affairs. This tar pit had its genesis in our enmity with our erstwhile WW II ally, the Soviet Union. And it began in Iran.

side. From this untoward alliance, a rather "convenient" Cold War was born.

Under the shadow of this Cold War, America's Establishment drew its finest men and women into counterproductive "police actions" in Korea and Vietnam.

Because of this Cold War, American presidents of both the Democrat and Republican stripe meddled unnecessarily in Latin American business that should have been their own, which meddling has earned us far more enemies in the Western Hemisphere than we otherwise would have deserved.

But the worst of the non-isolationist chickens that came home to roost is the one that plagues us the most today--our continuing involvement in Middle Eastern affairs. This tar pit had its genesis in our enmity with our erstwhile WW II ally, the Soviet Union. And it began in Iran.

The Shah of Iran was the friend of American bureaucrats because he was a known-- albeit dictatorial--quantity. When freely elected member of Iranian parliament Mohammed Mossadegh became enormously popular, Shah Reza Pahlavi felt compelled to appoint him as prime minister. Mossadegh's continued rise in popularity became a threat to the Shah, who left the country. The United States Central Intelligence Agency became inordinately fearful that Mossadegh would join in league with Iran's Soviet neighbors to the north. Using this flimsy pretext, in a carefully crafted and financed coup, the CIA caused Mossadegh to be deposed and the Shah to be placed back on the throne of his vile dictatorship.

In 1979, the Iranian masses revolted, and the Shah, in fear of his life, left the country. In perhaps the stupidest of his litany of stupid decisions while U.S. President, Jimmy Carter allowed the Shah to enter the United States. A powder keg exploded.

In fear that the United States was concocting yet another coup attempt to return the Shah to power, Iranian students stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking several dozen Americans hostage, most for up to 444 days. The Ayatollah Khomeini was swept through the vacuum of unrest into his own brand of diabolical power.

During this period of unrest and vulnerability, Saddam Hussein developed a hatred of the virulent brand

The true isolationist is at the same time the true American patriot. How my daughter read that between the lines of her public school history text book, I'm not sure. But I'm grateful.

of Iranian Shia Islam, and he sensed an opening and ordered his Iraqi military to attack Iran. An eight-year war ensued. Because of its new-found hatred for the Iranian Ayatollah and hostage takers, the American government put its money, training, tanks, artillery and other means of support behind Saddam Hussein in the Iran/Iraq war.

As a result of United States help and perceived friendship, Saddam Hussein attacked Kuwait, his neighbor to the south in 1990. Using this ironically-sanctioned-behind-the-scenes attack, as well as fabricated stories of Iraqi soldiers bayoneting babies in Kuwaiti hospitals, George H. W. Bush roused the American rabble into a firestorm of demand for justice, and Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm were hatched.

After the Iraq military was ejected from Kuwait, President Bush encouraged the Kurds and Shia to rise up in rebellion against Saddam, with explicit promise of support for their undertakings. When the Kurds and Shia took Bush at his word and rose up in rebellion, Bush required the U.S. military to stand down as an unwilling witness to wholesale slaughter at the hands of Saddam's armies.

Using Saddam's slaughter of his countrymen as a pretext, massive economic sanctions were placed against Iraq by the United States and the world. Throughout the sanctions, Saddam continued to build palaces, but water systems became less and less tenable, exacerbating the spread of disease and squalor. Saddam continued to live large while hospitals could get neither the medicines nor the regular supply of energy that they needed to treat their patients, and tens of thousands suffered and died.

Meanwhile, Osama bin Laden and other fundamentalist Islamic leaders warned us that if the military left behind by the first President Bush were not removed from "the land of the two holy [Muslim] places [Mecca and Medina]" there would be hell to pay.

When George W. Bush came to power, the primary focus from nearly day one of his administration was to finish what his father had not. Iraq became yet again a killing field, under the ostensible but laughably-transparent purpose of bringing democracy. Careful ignorance regarding troves of intelligence allowed the second Bush administration an excuse, in the form of the attacks on 9/11/2001, to attack not only Iraq, but to occupy Afghanistan as well. Because al Qaeda and Taliban fighters cross easily from Afghanistan into neighboring Pakistan, and because Pakistan was, years ago, given enough nuclear secrets that it now possesses a nuclear arsenal, the Barack Obama administration is stepping up air strikes inside Pakistan, with contemplation of doing whatever it takes to stop the terrorists from gaining access to nuclear weapons.

And that brings us to Thursday, May 7, 2009. Now you know, in a nutshell, how we got here.

I suppose, in a way, "isolationist" should be a dirty word. The word can correctly be applied as an epithet to those who look at events in history in their isolation, without any interest in how they became that way. Using this definition, "isolationism" is the height of ignorance and the invitation of great danger.

Using the traditional sense of the term, the true isolationist is at the same time the true American patriot. How my daughter read that between the lines of her public school history text book, I'm not sure. But I'm grateful that she was able to decipher it with relative ease. She is much more intelligent than I was at her age.

Perhaps the rising American generation will save us after all.

Related Articles:

How the U.S. is Brokering a Nuclear Arms Race in the Middle East




Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Pakistani Cauldron is About to Boil Over

The Taliban is moving gradually, but consistently from Afghanistan into Pakistan. President Obama and the U.S. Defense Department are poised to do something about it. Unfortunately, the United States is already to blame for the Taliban surge. U.S. foreign policy has an uncanny way of backfiring; Pervez Musharraf's strange brew of American-backed Pakistani "democracy" is just the latest instance to prove this fact.

With a success equal to that of our achievements in Iraq, the latest installment of Shock and Awe is turning Pakistani hearts and minds against the United States.

Barack Obama's plan of withdrawing most U.S. troops from Iraq is

The feeling of helplessness and revenge is prevalent among a young generation of Pakistani males who have great difficulty determining why they deserve to be struck regularly by the scorpion-like foreign policy of the United States.

on the slow track (284,000 military boots are still on the ground there--142,000 troops). Obama has also had some tough talk of late about Pakistan. Are we going from a two-theater fight to three areas of operation?

Yesterday another suicide bomber attacked in Peshawar, Pakistan--this time at a police checkpoint. At least seven people were killed. In his book Dying to Win, author Robert A. Pape notes that nearly every suicide bombing incident occurs in a country that is occupied by a far superior military force. Pape says:
...what nearly all suicide attacks have in common is...to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory the terrorists consider to be their homeland.

Dying to Win, page 4
Barack Obama, essentially then, will create more suicide bombers--and more terrorists--with his continuation of a failed policy toward Pakistan. Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto died by suicide attack, and the occurrence of such attacks in Pakistan is mounting.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently stated that
the militants' expanding reach in the northwest of Pakistan posed an "existential threat to the democratic government of Pakistan."
Is that amounts to a Democracy these days? A

Is that amounts to a Democracy these days? A puppet government that is largely in power because of overwhelming economic and military support from the United States? No, that's not a democracy.

puppet government that is largely in power because of overwhelming economic and military support from the United States? That is not a democracy. It is becoming more and more of an occupation--so far only by American materiel and clandestine forays by special forces. Soon, however, if Obama gets his way, it will be a third full-fledged occupation. And you thought Bush's defense budgets were huge.

Some of that American materiel, in the form of missiles, has destroyed much of the Pakistan hinterlands. In the process, American actions have, similar

It is becoming more and more of an occupation--so far only by American materiel and clandestine forays by special forces. Soon, however, if Obama gets his way, it will be a third full-fledged occupation. And you thought Bush's defense budgets were huge.

to what we did in Iraq, bred a whole new generation of al Qaeda and Taliban fighters.

A recent PBS Frontline series visited with some of the new young Pakistani fighters. One young man talks of having several members of his extended family killed by a U.S. missile strike. This is why I have become a member of the Taliban, the young man said. The feeling is prevalent among a young generation of Pakistani males who have great difficulty determining why they deserve to be struck regularly by the scorpion-like foreign policy of the United States.

Barack Obama is far more intelligent than George W. Bush ever seemed to be. Yet he and his daft foreign policy seem to be beholden to the same Establishment puppet masters who seem to be wishing and willing for the Pakistani cauldron to boil over.

Update 5/5/2009: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates talks about U.S. troops on Pakistani soil:

Gates said the U.S. was willing to provide all the training and equipment Pakistan's military needed to help combat the growing threat.

"There has been reluctance on their part up to now. They don't like the idea of a significant American military footprint inside Pakistan. I understand that ... but we are willing to do pretty much whatever we can to help the Pakistanis in this situation," he said in the interview. CNN released the transcript to The Associated Press.

Related Articles:

U.S. Concerns Deepen over Pakistan
Evidence that U.S. has Already Made Incursions into Pakistan and that Obama Supports Such Incursions.
America's Possibly Overwhelming Temptation to Enter Pakistan
What Happens if Pakistan Loses Control of Its Nukes?




Saturday, May 02, 2009

May 2, 2009: My Favorite News Stories from the Week that Was

Gold - Not every automaker needs a bailout. Ford is doing just fine without fascism, thank you.

Silver - Hopefully you're not discouraged that Swine Flu 2009 didn't live up to its hype. But I'm afraid some people are.

Bronze - I am so glad the New York Yankees' new stadium is an albatross. They deserve it.

Ford Does Just Fine Without Fascism.While the United States government controls the fates of GM and Chrysler, and while they will almost assuredly make the problem worse in the process, Ford has increased car sales by actually caring about what Americans want to buy rather than what government wants them to build. Ford moved back into the #2 US car seller, while GM continues its decline and Chrysler moves closer to becoming a has-been.
While its rivals stay afloat with billions in government aid, Ford grabbed a bigger slice of the American car market in April, with record sales of its fuel-efficient Fusion. Those results pushed it past Toyota to retake its post as the nation's No. 2 car seller.

Even though Ford's monthly sales tumbled 32 percent from a year earlier, it captured 16 percent of the total market. Most of those gains came at the expense of General Motors and Chrysler which, unlike Ford, are dependent on federal help.
The Swine Flu Pandemic that Never Really Was! Are we voyeurs when it comes to calamities? Do we want millions of deaths? It seems that some people do.

As opposed to a more localized epidemic, a pandemic crosses international borders. It's almost as though a lot of government leaders and health officials are disappointed that the breakout of Swine Flu is not living up to its billing. But there are sniffles in at least ten countries, so I guess this H1N1 thing of 2009 is a pandemic.

At one point there had been reported nearly 200 deaths and thousands of cases of swine flu at its Mexico City epicenter. I heard a story on the radio in the past couple of days that over 2,000 people in Mexico city were suffering from an unusually virulent strain of pneumonia related to the swine flu. Now, all the numbers have been dramatically "restated". In case you're keeping score, there have now been only about 200 Swine Flu cases in Mexico and about 16 deaths.
Mexico reported no new deaths from swine flu overnight - more reason to be optimistic that the worst is over at the epicenter of the outbreak.

The swine flu outbreak that has alarmed the world for a week now appears less ominous, with the virus showing little staying power in the hardest-hit cities and scientists suggesting it lacks the genetic fortitude of past killer bugs.
Darn. Maybe we would have enjoyed it better if millions had actually died.

Yankees Can't Sell Tickets. Neener, Neener, Neener!!! It's not that I hate the Yankees because they think a limitless supply of money can buy a championship, although I do. It's also not that I despise George Steinbrenner as the Yasser Arafat of Major League Baseball, although I'm passionate about that, too. What really bugs me about the Yankees is that first, they thought they even needed a new stadium, that second, they got boatloads of favors from local governments, and that third, they displaced a lot of homes and businesses to build their new digs. With all of this hatred built up inside me, I can't help but be overjoyed that the Yankees can't sell tickets to their new Albatross Stadium.
The Yankees are the only organization in the history of professional sports that could cut ticket prices in half and you still need to take out a mortgage to afford them.

That 50-percent reduction took them from the outrageous to the merely exorbitant, and though it's a nice gesture to acknowledge that you have made a mistake, it doesn't even begin to correct it.

Besides, they're not doing it because they're nice guys, or as a goodwill gesture to their fans, most of whom they've already priced out of the neighborhood, or because someone took a second look at the rate card and decided, "Geez, these tickets are kind of expensive.''

They're doing it because they have to, in order, fill the ballpark, cover their payroll and make their monthly nut.
I hope the whole organization goes belly up. This crap that sports franchises can receive special favors because they are good for the economy has got to stop. The death of New York Yankees baseball would be a good place to start.

Related Articles:

Five Pandemics that are Far Worse than Swine Flu