Monday, September 12, 2011

Social Security: A High Speed Train to Extinction


There are precious few politicians who want to tell the truth about Social Security. Those who try to are demonized for attacking the elderly and poor. You know, old people will have to choose between eating and filling their drug prescriptions. It is the stuff of political theater.


I believe Social Security on not the third rail in politics, rather it is a high speed train to extinction.


Rick Perry has written a book titled, "Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington". In his book he calls Social Security a Ponze scheme.

Is Governor Perry right and if so what should we do about it?

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) defines a Ponzi scheme as follows:
A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors. Ponzi scheme organizers often solicit new investors by promising to invest funds in opportunities claimed to generate high returns with little or no risk. In many Ponzi schemes, the fraudsters focus on attracting new money to make promised payments to earlier-stage investors and to use for personal expenses, instead of engaging in any legitimate investment activity.

Why do Ponzi schemes collapse?

According to the SEC, "With little or no legitimate earnings, the schemes require a consistent flow of money from new investors to continue. Ponzi schemes tend to collapse when it becomes difficult to recruit new investors or when a large number of investors ask to cash out."

The Wall Street Journal September 12th op-ed titled, "Perry, Romney and Social Security", points out, "[T]he Urban Institute estimate[s] that a two-earner couple both earning an average wage who retire in 2010 will get $906,000 in benefits having paid $588,000 in payroll taxes. The same couple who retires in 2030 will get $1.23 million (in constant dollars) while having paid $796,000."

Sounds like the definition of a government run Ponzi scheme, doesn't it?

The WSJ op-ed goes on to state, "Even a pyramid system such as this could be solvent if it took advantage of compound interest. But the overriding problem is that not a dime of the payroll contributions the government collects over a lifetime is saved and invested for a worker's retirement. Social Security's pay-as-you-go financing model means that 12.4% of all wages are transferred to current beneficiaries, the surplus dollars are spent by Congress on other things, and Social Security gets an IOU from the Treasury." [My emphasis]

Sounds like the reason Ponzi schemes collapse, doesn't it?

So what are the solutions? There are four potential solutions: 1) raise payroll taxes; 2) reduce benefits; 3) privatize the system; 4) some combination of 1,2 and 3.

As Florida Senator Marco Rubio points out, "There was no thought given into how this was going to be sustained. When Social Security first started, there was sixteen workers for every retiree. Today there are only three for every retiree and soon there will only be two for every retiree.” Additionally, when Social Security was established the retirement age far exceeded life expectency. That has changed dramatically with seniors living longer and healthier lives, a very good thing. However, this speeds up the Social Security train towards extinction.

Time to put the Social Security train on the right track. To do that politicians need to get off the third rail and get on board or be left behind. Estimates are that Social Security and its sub-programs of Medicare and Medicaid have unfunded liabilities in excess of $200 trillion.

A looming train wreck is inevitable unless and until the train has a new conductor. It appears that conductor is Rick Perry. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Damn Lies and Misquoting Marco Rubio

There are lies, damn lies and then there is the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. I just love it when my local paper gets it wrong. In an article by Zac Anderson titled, "Rubio remarks on entitlements: 'weakened us as a people'” is where the big lie is told.

If you read past the lie in the title you will see this is not what Senator Rubio said nor meant.

What Senator actually said was, "Both Republicans and Democrats established a role for government in America that said, yes, we’ll have a free economy, but we will also have a strong government, who through regulations and taxes will control the free economy and through a series of government programs, will take care of those in our society who are falling behind. That was a vision crafted in the twentieth century by our leaders and though it was well intentioned, it was doomed to fail from the start. It was doomed to fail from the start first and foremost because it forgot that the strength of our nation begins with its people and that these programs actually weakened us as a people." [My emphasis]

It is government that has weakened us as a people!


The federal government created programs "for those who are falling behind" and it is that which has "weakened us as a people". For you see government under both parties defined what it is to fall behind and then created programs to help those who fell behind. Do you see what Senator Rubio is saying? Social Security and Medicare are not programs designed for people who are “falling behind.” Simply said:

I (government) define falling behind and then I (government) help those falling behind by bankrupting those I do not define as falling behind via taxes and regulation.


That is Senator Rubio's message.


When Senator Rubio refers to Social Security he is concerned about its funding. This is known as "unfunded mandates". Social Security and Medicaid benefits are mandated by government but the cost of fulfilling these mandates (promises) are unsustainable.Senator Rubio acknowledges what everyone in America knows, "The other thing is that we built a government and its programs without any account whatsoever for how we were going to pay for it," states Senator Rubio.

Senator Rubio goes on to point out, "There was no thought given into how this was going to be sustained. When Social Security first started, there was sixteen workers for every retiree. Today there are only three for every retiree and soon there will only be two for every retiree."

Additionally, when Social Security was enacted the life expectancy of Americans was lower than the age returns on the investment were to be paid out. The Social Security trust fund was used as a piggy bank for government to borrow from to fund - government programs.

The unfunded liabilities for social Social Security, Medicare and Medicade are best represented by the chart below, which appeared in Businessweek:


What Senator Rubio is talking about is the $210 trillion dollar "fiscal gap" shown on the right. What the SH-T is talking about is the $10 trillion of current debt (which has since risen to over $14 trillion).
Dear SH-T: Its the fiscal gap stupid! 
There is simply not enough money coming in to pay the dividends for Social Security and cover the growing costs of Medicare. Not dealing with this cash flow problem now is to doom both programs to extinction. As baby boom seniors enter Social Security at the rate of 10,000 per day the cash flow issue will loom larger and larger. There are simply not enough paying into the system compared to those taking out of the system.

Time to stop lying and tell the truth. Using seniors as a political tool is bad enough but ignoring the long term impact of government weakening us as a people is naive at the least and dangerous at the most.

The SH-T needs to stand for the truth, for it will set them free from their ideology. Americans need to heed Senator Rubio's warnings.
As Albert Einstein said, "Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Cold Sun, Calories and Feeding the World

John Casey, President of the Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC), is visiting Tampa today to launch his seminal book on climate change titled "Cold Sun". Additionally, Mr. Casey is holding a press conference to announce opposition to Florida's policies on controlling green house gases and CO2. The SSRC is the leading predictor of climate change, seismic activity and volcanic eruptions using its RC Theory.
In an SSRC letter to Governor Rick Scott Mr. Casey states, "This letter is sent to request that your office take immediate action to terminate any and all initiatives by the State of Florida, including rescission of all past legislation that was based upon the impact on the Earth’s climate by greenhouse gasses caused by human industrial exhaust and other human related activities."
Why would Mr. Casey make such a bold demand?
He does so because policies implemented in Florida, the United States and globally are simply wrong based upon the scientific fact that our Sun is the primary cause of climate change. What makes matters worse is the Sun is going into a scientifically and historically predictable 206 year cyclical "solar hibernation" or what is known as a Dalton Minimum.
What does this have to do with calories and feeding the world? Please bear with me as I explain.
The world's growing population depends on food. Brian M. Carney in his article for theWall Street Journal asks, "Can The World Still Feed Itself?". Mr. Carney interviews Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of Nestle' the world's largest food-production company. According to Mr. Brabeck-Letmathe, "Politicians do not understand that between the food market and the energy market, there is a close link." That link is the calorie.
Brian reports, "The energy stored in a bushel of corn can fuel a car or feed a person. And increasingly, thanks to ethanol mandates and subsidies in the U.S. and biofuel incentives in Europe, crops formerly grown for food or livestock feed are being grown for fuel. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's most recent estimate predicts that this year, for the first time, American farmers will harvest more corn for ethanol than for feed. In Europe some 50% of the rapeseed crop is going into biofuel production, according to Mr. Brabeck-Letmathe, while "world-wide about 18% of sugar is being used for biofuel today." [My emphasis]
What does this all mean?
If John Casey is correct in his predictions, and SSRC always is, then cold weather brings with it a shorter growing season and increased demand for fuel to keep people warm. Therefore, we must have policies that increase calories, not decrease the food supply.
This is a serious problem.
Brian in his article points out, "Today, with nearly seven billion mouths to feed, we produce so much food that we think nothing of burning tons of it for fuel. Or at least we think nothing of it in the West. If the price of our breakfast cereal goes up because we're diverting agricultural production to ethanol or bio-diesel, it's an annoyance. But if the price of corn or flour doubles or triples in the Third World, where according to Mr. Brabeck-Letmathe people "are spending 80% of [their] disposable income on food," hundreds of millions of people go hungry. Sometimes, as in the Middle East earlier this year, they revolt."
Mr. Brabeck-Letmathe points out, "What we call today the Arab Spring really started as a protest against ever-increasing food prices."
John Casey in his book "Cold Sun" warns, "A historic reduction in the energy output of the Sun has begun. The most likely outcome from this 'solar hibernation' will be widespread global loss of life and social, economic and political disruption. You must begin to prepare for this life-altering event now!"
How prophetic and how accurate.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

McConnell Takes Obama to the Woodshed


By Alan Caruba

On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gave a response, in advance, to President Obama’s Thursday speech regarding the state of the economy.

“We’ve tried the President’s approach. It’s failed.”

I doubt that Sen. McConnell’s speech received much notice by the mainstream media, but it was as succinct an analysis of why everything the President has done regarding the economy has failed. Reportedly, Obama wants to throw more billions at “recovery.”

Much like the man caught in bed by his wife with someone else, Obama’s approach is “Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?”

Obama has a very big problem now. Even those who voted for him have removed their rose-colored glasses and concluded that they have mortgaged the present and their future to someone who has no idea how to fix that future. He will do what he has always done. He will blame someone or something else. The Bush administration. A Japanese earthquake. Hurricanes. Bad luck. And this time around, Congress.

Sen. McConnell is no silver-tongued orator. He’s not flashy or charismatic. He is, however, the quintessential conservative politician. In his address on the Senate floor he said, “I don’t think any one of us is under any illusion that the American people were particularly eager to see us come back.” That is refreshing candor.

“After two and a half years of being told that Washington had the answer to everything from the high costs of health care to high unemployment, people have every reason to be skeptical.” If Americans are skeptical of a sharply divided, highly partisan Congress, they are even more skeptical of the President.

“For more than two and a half years, under this administration, Americans have been hearing about the wonders that government spending would do for our economy, and about the dangerous consequences of failing to apply ‘bold’ solutions to big problems.”

Sen. McConnell paused and asked, “And what’s it gotten them?”

One thing Americans know about the Obama “Stimulus” is that there are 1.7 million fewer jobs in America since he signed it. “That’s not the kind of change people voted for three years ago,” said Sen. McConnell.

What, indeed, did people think they were voting for three years ago? Change? Hope? Those aren’t policies, they’re slogans.

What Americans don’t know about the Stimulus, Sen. McConnell noted, was that it is “the one of the single most expensive pieces of legislation Congress has ever approved. The interest payments alone are projected to cost an average of $100 million a day.”

“And here’s what the President told us...the Stimulus would save or create 3.5 million jobs.” As we now know, Obama’s answer to everything is more government. When his programs are criticized his answer is that it’s just politics. No, it is the failure of those programs that is obvious to anyone and everyone.

Sen. McConnell noted the ways, rather than admit failure, Obama has taken, such as agreeing to keep taxes from going up last December, but then he identified the source of our present problems. “The President is forever eager to embrace big proposals whenever government’s at the helm, but when it comes to doing the kind of things job creators really want, he’s suddenly timid. He’ll agree to a tax cut as long as it’s temporary.”

It was a long speech, but Sen. McConnell rounded it out by identifying what can and should be done. He called on the President to send Congress the three trade treaties that have been sitting on his desk for nearly three years. He called for a reform of the budget process and for a balanced budget amendment. He warned against a series of huge and costly regulatory proposals by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“We’ve tried the President’s approach. It’s failed.”

“Millions of Americans are looking for Washington not so much to do more, but for the first time in a long time, to do less—so that they can finally do what it takes to get this economy moving again.”

In the wake of the President’s speech, who are you going to believe? Him? We’ve tried that and it hasn’t worked.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

2012: The Year of Electile Dysfunction

Gerald F. Seib in the Wall Street Journal writes, "As dark as the political picture is for President Barack Obama right now, Republicans aren't exactly basking in a healthy glow either, suggesting that some wild and unpredictable political forces have been unleashed across the land."

A friend of mine named this unpredictable political force: Electile Dysfunction.

Gerald goes on to say Bill McInturff, the Republican pollster who conducts surveys for the The Wall Street Journal/NBC News, "thinks the summer's debt-ceiling wrangling may rank right up there with the Iranian hostage crisis, Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, Hurricane Katrina and the collapse of financial markets as a defining political moment."

What is causing this Electile Dysfunction?

The TEA Party and its affiliated organizations. This is clear from the likes of General President of the Teamsters Union Jimmy Hoffa, who had some profane, fightin' words for TEA Party conservatives at a labor rally in Detroit on Labor Day 2011:
"We got to keep an eye on the battle that we face: The war on workers. And you see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party. And you know, there is only one way to beat and win that war. The one thing about working people is we like a good fight. And you know what? They've got a war, they got a war with us and there's only going to be one winner. It's going to be the workers of Michigan, and America. We're going to win that war... President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let's take these son of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong."
Ericka Johnson, of TownHall.com, reflecting on Hoffa's comments writes, "Get ready, people: I'd wager this is a mere preview of what we're going to see during Obama's much-heralded 'jobs' speech this week. 'I have no real solutions; I'm going to keep proposing more of the same failing Keynesian nonsense because it fits with my academic, progressive ideologies; none of this is my fault; and the GOP is blocking my every move just to spite me.' Just a guess."

On August 7, 2011 a Rasmussen national telephone survey found that just 17% of Likely U.S. Voters think the federal government today has the consent of the governed.  Sixty-nine percent (69%) believe the government does not have that consent. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided.

Gerald ends his WSJ column by stating, "The point is simply that the country is in such a state of economic fear and loathing that the forces being unleashed are spinning off in every direction, with unpredictable consequences."

Gird your loins. This is going to be one heck of a ride to November 2012 the year of Electile Dysfunction.

Monday, September 5, 2011

"Grand Theft Auto" - How Auto Dealers Fought Back and Won


By Alan Caruba

We are all aware that one of the bail-outs that occurred on Obama’s watch was the takeover of two of the three major auto manufacturers, General Motors and Chrysler companies. As both faced bankruptcy, the Obama administration stepped in to become the owner of these companies.

Among the first to discover the arrogance and ignorance of those selected to direct its Automotive Task Force were hundreds of dealerships for both companies. On May 14, 2009, Alan Spitzer was among them. He was informed that his company, begun by his grandfather, expanded by his father, and one he expected to hand on to his own children had been arbitrarily disenfranchised by Chrysler.

The worst aspect of this was that, while franchises are protected by state law, federal law trumps this long established business relationship. Chrysler had been instructed to divest itself of a quarter of its dealer network and General Motors was as well. Some 2,000 dealerships were affected by the regimes demands.

As Spitzer and his daughter, Alison, spell out in their new book, “Grand Theft Auto: How Entrepreneurs Fought for the American Dream” (http://www.newyearpublishing.com/), “Dealers are completely independent business people, not owned by the auto manufacturers as many believe. Dealers are the manufacturer’s only customers. They are the face of their brands. Without them there are no sales.”

One might have thought that the last thing to do would be to decimate a quarter of General Motors and Chrysler’s vast network of dealers, but that is exactly what the Obama task force did “as a condition for securing the federal funding they needed to stay afloat.” While “saving” the companies essentially was a sop to the auto unions, the task force cut loose the dealers who were the lifeblood of the companies, plunging many of them into economic destruction along with their thousands of employees.

Worse yet, “hundreds of franchises were stolen from their rightful owners and re-assigned or ‘gifted’ to other dealers.” Additionally, anyone who owned GM’s and Chrysler’s securities were informed that neither company would honor them under their new management, defrauding them of their investment. Both companies were required to add union representatives to their board of directors.

They had to have been extraordinarily stupid to do this, but the task force did not include a single person with any experience in the auto industry. If they had they would have known that “States earn about 20 percent of their sales tax revenue from auto dealers.” What’s more, “dealerships comprise as much as 7-8 percent of all retail employment.”

Critical to this extraordinarily thuggish decision was the fact that the dealerships did not cost the auto manufacturers one dime. They were given less than a month to close their doors. Contrary to the belief that the decision of who would be closed was not based on their political affiliations. Indeed, there appeared to be no rational reason for who was chosen for destruction.

The takeover was an example of a gangster government intervening in the private sector; making sure to not “let a crisis” go to waste as it pursued its socialist agenda.

For Alan Spitzer, it was apparent that “the only avenue for justice would be for Congress to enact another federal law that, presumably, would leapfrog the bankruptcy statues and overturn the terminations. In my view, these actions represented a threat, not just to the nation’s 18,000 car dealers, but to our entire franchise system that is so fundamental to the way business is conducted in America.”

The most astonishing aspect to Spitzer’s story is that he literally created a grassroots movement to overturn the government’s illegal and outrageous terminations and that he got a bill passed through a bitterly partisan House and Senate!

The grassroots effort “was directly responsible for saving hundreds of dealerships and tens of thousands of jobs,” said Spitzer. In the end, after Obama signed the legislation that was part of a larger bill, Spitzer actually got to meet the President who still did not give any evidence of understanding what his administration had attempted to do.

The GM and Chrysler takeover was just one more example of how ruthless, ignorant, and incompetent the Obama regime has proven to be with its reckless spending and idiotic “cash for clunkers” programs that achieved nothing more than to get the nation’s historic AAA credit rating reduced and lines around employment fairs that stretch to the horizon.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Dear Mr. President: Focus Your Thursday Speech on Creating Products - Not Jobs

I recently had long conversations with two successful entrepreneurs. One lives in Florida and the other in Missouri. Both are deeply troubled and concerned about the economy. Both had the same message. Its the product, stupid, not the people!



Their point is America needs to be a net producing nation and not a consuming nation. Jobs will not be created unless and until companies, large and small, produce and sell more of their products and related services. To stop the recession business must be set free to manufacture more products to the point that the market demand causes them to hire more people to manufacture more products and related services.


On January 15, 2009 the U.S. Business and Industry Council submitted to President Obama's transition team a report that stated, "America’s economy is in danger because Washington and Wall Street have forgotten the bases for successful capitalism and sustainable prosperity – creating genuine wealth by producing, and thus supporting first-world living standards with earnings. For too long, consuming, borrowing, inflating assets, and reshuffling paper wealth were treated as adequate substitutes." [My emphasis]How prophetic these words are today.

The Business and Industry Council went on to say:


The top priority of any stimulus or economic recovery plan must be refocusing American business on producing the goods and related services that Americans want and that can generate middle-class incomes for the great majority of working families. And if these goods and services are not produced at home, they won’t generate the needed incomes at home.


Achieving this goal requires greatly strengthening domestic manufacturing – which (a) dominates the economy’s genuinely productive segment; and (b) is also the only sector of the economy with a proven record of enabling large numbers of working class Americans to earn middle class wages and benefits."
[My emphasis]


The focus of government on "jobs" is looking at the result rather than the cause of the recession. The less American companies produce the fewer people they need.


Here are just a few of the key points the U.S. Business and Industry Council made:
1. Strategies emphasizing only repairing financial markets and restoring credit flows will simply re-create the house-of-cards, bubble economy that existed prior to the current crisis – in which America and its citizens borrowed and consumed until the bubble burst.
2. There are only three basic ways to create wealth:  manufacturing, resource extraction, and agriculture.
3. “[G]reen manufacturing” does not, as widely assumed, entail that many radically new materials or processes.  It is also susceptible to the same off shoring trends that infect all domestic manufacturing. And many other countries are also pursuing it intensively.
Finally the report warns, "Unless the production and use of domestic goods is maximized in the economy, any federal stimulus programs could primarily reflate the over-borrowing and over-consumption cycle – without repairing the economy."


Simply put Mr. President, It's the product, stupid, not the people." I hope you address ways of making America a net producing nation.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Central Florida Libyans Speak Out For the Rebels, For Shariah Law and Against Israel

As conditions in Libya continue to deteriorate and questions are being raised about who are the rebel leaders a shocking video is posted by Alan Kornman from The United West.

According to the Associated Press (AP) , "Abdel-Hakim Belhaj is an emerging hero of the Libyan uprising, the man who led the Tripoli Brigade that swept into the capital and captured the fortified compound that was Moammar Gadhafi's seat of power. He's also the former leader of an Islamic militant group who says he was tortured by CIA agents at a secret prison."

"He was not always so inclusive. In a 1996 statement he wrote as leader of the now-dissolved Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, Belhaj wrote a statement vowing to fight 'all the deviant groups that call for democracy or fight for the sake of it', reports the AP.

In the column "Libyan Draft Constitution: Sharia is ‘Principal Source of Legislation,’" by Lachlan Markay for The Foundry, August 22:

The dust has not yet settled over the Libyan capital of Tripoli since rebels took control over the weekend. But already, a draft constitutional charter for the transitional state has appeared online (embedded below). It is just a draft, mind you, and gauging its authenticity at this point is difficult. There is also no way to know whether this draft or something similar will emerge as the final governing document for a new Libyan regime.

It is important to note what Americans who are of Libyan descent think. Here is the video done by Alan Kornman from The United West:




This interview is disturbing to say the least. Shariah Islam is alive and well in Orlando, Florida

New York Times: Americans Should Embrace Shariah Law


An op-ed piece titled "Don't Fear Islamic Law in America" appears in the New York Times. The column is written by Eliyahu Stern, Assistant Professor of Modern Jewish Intellectual and Cultural History at Yale University. Professor Stern states, "Today, we need an Abrahamic ethic that welcomes Islam into the religious tapestry of American life."


Professor Stern goes on to say, "The crusade against Shariah undermines American democracy, ignores our country’s successful history of religious tolerance and assimilation, and creates a dangerous divide between America and its fastest-growing religious minority."


The New York Times editorial board, by publishing this column, endorses Professor Stern's premise - shariah law must be embraced by America.


First, I would like to briefly show how Professor Stern misunderstands Jewish law (Halacha) and projects that misunderstanding to support his premise that we should embrace shariah law, which calls for his own death as a Jew.


Second, I would like to present how Professor Stern makes a fatal assumption - that shariah compliant individuals easily and over time fully assimilate into non-Islamic societies.


Rabbi Jonathan Hausman in the New English Review regarding differences between Halacha and Sharia in an article,"Halacha, Sharia and the Religious Acceptance of Constitutional Governance", states:

"Simply stated, there is a basic Rabbinic principle that has operated since roughly the year 226 CE. That principle is known as Dina d’malchuta Dina; the law of the country is binding and, in certain cases, is to be preferred to Jewish law/Halacha.
[…]
Samuel, the leader of the Babylonian Jewish community in 241 CE, specifically imbued his community with the consciousness that one must be reconciled to changed circumstances regarding government, and that civil law is necessary for the functioning of the greater society. The result was an internal recognition of Judaism’s non-supercessionist and non-conversionary character. According to the Prophet Nehemiah, Jews should obey the laws of their rulers (Nehemiah 9:37)."

This Rabbinic principle is embedded in Christian principles and attributed to Jesus in the synoptic gospels, which reads, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21).

So both Jewish and Christian principles recognize "civil law is necessary for the functioning of the greater society."

Does shariah law have the same principle of "render unto Caesar"?

According to Rabbi Hausman, who is trained in both Halacha and studied doctrinal Islam as a graduate student in Egypt, the answer is no! Rabbi Hausman points out, "Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the direct word of Allah delivered to the last and greatest prophet Muhammad. Therefore, it is immutable, perfect, unchangeable, static, and unchanging. What can’t be derived from the Qur’an may be gleaned from the Sunna, which relates how Muhammad conducted his life in practice, and is considered by Muslims to be immutable for all time."

Rabbi Hausman finds in shariah Islam: Religion is the State and the State is the Religion. Article VI, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, known as the Supremacy Clause, establishes the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Treaties, and Federal Statutes as "the supreme law of the land." This is compatible with both Jewish and Christian principles. TheSupremacy Clause flies in the face of shariah law.

Therefore Professor Stern's historical comparison of the treatment of Jews and Jewish law in America and shariah law is at best misleading and at worse patently false.

Now for the issue of assimilation.

Historically, have Christians, Jews and Muslims fully and completely assimilated into other societies? The answer is yes for Christians and Jews. We find that while Christians and Jews have been subjected to unspeakable persecution by a variety of societies from the time of Pharaoh, to ancient Rome, to Nazi Germany to Arab countries in the Middle East, they have worked to assimilate.

The opposite is true of those who adhere to shariah Islamic law. As shariah law spreads in non-Islamic societies it demands seperate but equal status. Additionally, in predominately shariah compliant nations Jews, Christians and all other non-believers are categorized as infidels, a term of derision. They are forced to assimilate or are persecuted. But what says this? The Qur'an, specifically the following verses 2:190-193:

[2:190] Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.
[2-191] And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.
[2-192] And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
[2-193] Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknowledged to be] for Allah . But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors.

Fitnah refers to the First Islamic civil war, in 656–661 AD, a prolonged struggle for the caliphate after the 656 assassination of the caliph Uthman ibn Affan. The Second Fitna, or Second Islamic civil war, is usually identified as the 683–685 AD conflict among the Umayyads for control of the caliphate. The third one refers to the taifas in the end of the Caliph of Córdoba's rule.

Professor Stern misses the practical application of shariah Islam in countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, etc. For Americans to embrace shariah law requires embracing Fitnah against America.

Professor Stern is asking Americans to sell the rope to shariah Islamists, that will be used to hang us.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Score Cards Are In: Senator Marco Rubio 93% and Senator Bill Nelson 10%

What are these scores all about? Well, the Heritage Foundation has done an exhaustive review of the voting records of all members of the U.S. Congress. They have created a website where the votes and scores are displayed for each member for every one to see.

According to the Heritage Action Score Card website:


"With each vote cast in Congress, freedom either advances or recedes. Heritage Action’s new legislative scorecard allows Americans to see whether their Members of Congress are fighting for freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society. The scorecard is comprehensive, covering the full spectrum of conservatism, and includes legislative action on issues both large and small.
Heritage Action's legislative scorecard isn't graded on a curve – it is tough and we don't apologize. After all, we are conservatives, not tenured university professors."
[My emphasis]

Simply go to the Heritage Action Score Card website by clicking here.


Just click on your state and the voting record and report card on your members of Congress pops up. Click on the members name to get their detailed voting record.


Here are some the interesting things I noticed about my state of Florida:


Democrat Senator Bill Nelson scores a 10%. Freshman Republican Senator Marco Rubio scores an astounding 93%. Time to send Bill packing and replace him with someone who will score in the 90 percentile - like Adam Hasner.

First Democrats across the board do horribly bad. DNCC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz scores at miserable 4%. Debbie gets an "F- - - -".  Figures that Obama and the Democrat Party would pick her. For Democrats Wasserman-Schultz's score is a badge of honor. Why isn't she at 0%? I am sure President Obama will speak with her about that.

Two of my favorite Democrat Representatives are Alcee Hastings and Frederica Wilson each with a score of 10%. That is twice what Debbie got. She needs to reign in Alcee and Frederica. Are they voting too Republican?

I noticed that some Republican members of Congress from Florida have scores in the 40% to 60% area (Vern Buchanan, John Mica, Ander Crenshaw, David Rivera, Mario Diaz-Belart, Ilena Ros-Lechtinen). These are all C and C minuses. This is not good. If Republicans really mean what they say then they should vote in a way that garners them a high score on the Heritage Action Score Card. Conservatism must take root in the Republican party.

Allen West scored a 74%. I would have expected him to be the top scorer.

Kudos to FL Representatives Connie Mack, Jeff Miller, Steve Southerland and Dennis Ross for scoring in the 80th percentile.

Check out your state and your members of Congress. It is fun if you enjoy all things political.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Global Warming and GOP Politics


By Alan Caruba

Here’s a handy guide to the campaigns to be the Republican candidate in 2012. Any effort to advance the “global warming” hoax, discredited since 2009 when it was revealed that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change computer models were all rigged, should disqualify a candidate from serious consideration.

Texas Governor Rick Perry is already well ahead of his GOP competitors for the nomination and has actually passed President Obama in a recent poll regarding the voter’s choice in 2012. Much of this can be attributed to his attack on Obama’s failure to stimulate job creation, but his position doubting “global warming” is a contributing factor.

Rep. Michelle Bachmann has also voiced doubts about “global warming”, but it is former Gov. Mitt Romney who is likely to be the biggest loser on the topic.

It is comical that former Vice President Al Gore, the face of the “global warming” fraud, chimed in back in June to endorse Romney’s “global warming” position. He praised Romney for not heeding, according to Politico.com, “right-wing calls to reject the science behind climate change.” There is no valid science behind “global warming” and never was. Climate change is something that has been on-going for the last 4.5 billion years of the Earth’s existence.

The great Flip-Flopper, Romney will prove the biggest loser. At an August town hall meeting in New Hampshire he was asked whether he believed that “global warming” was real and he responded by saying he didn’t know. “Do I think the world’s getting hotter,” he asked rhetorically. “Yeah, I don’t know that but I think it is”, adding that “I don’t know if it’s mostly caused by humans.”

He doesn't know much on the subject, does he? Well, Mitt, here's a tip, the Earth has been in a perfectly natural cooling cycle since 1998. Suffice to say, humans have nothing to do with its climate and it should be worrying that Romney doesn’t know this.

Worse yet, Romney said “I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and global warming you’re seeing.” Wrong on all counts!

Jon Huntsman, a former governor of Utah and Obama appointee as ambassador to China, is also in the GOP race, though most Republicans are probably unaware of this. He recently tweated that, “To be clear, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy. Okay, Jon, you’re crazy. To be this massively uninformed and misinformed at this date rules you out of consideration.

I do not know the other fading GOP candidates’ position on “global warming”, but I suspect most of them, if they want any chance to capture the nomination, will flee from suggesting there is a shred of truth to it. At least I hope so.

It should be a factor in the GOP choice because the “global warming” hoax has been the cause of legislative initiatives that have cost Americans billions over the course of many years.

As for President Obama, we know all too well that he has been in the tank for “global warming” along with most environmental claims. For a multiplicity of reasons, he has to GO.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Why is Sarasota County Government Clueless on Agenda 21?


I asked Nora Patterson, Chairwoman of the Sarasota County Commission, the following question: Is Sarasota County a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI)?  If so what do we pay and what do we get in return?


I asked this particular question because ULI is all about UN Agenda 21: Environmental Sustainability. I was interested if county staff is supporting its agenda of sustainable communities/development. The question got the following reply from Thomas C. Polk, Planning Director, Sarasota County Planning Services:


Commissioner Patterson,

Matt Lewis and I are members of the Urban Land institute (ULI).  We pay a full public membership fee of $410, respectively.  The full membership is targeted for senior-level public officials.  The ULI provides us many sources of information and services that include free on line reports on the latest emerging trends related development, public/private partnerships, infrastructure and demographics.  We also receive a monthly overview of 70 economic indicators that is recorded in online Real Estate Business Barometer.  Additionally, free webinars are provided on a multitude of real estate topics.

As stated in an earlier email, the ULI comprises 30,000 national and international members.  The members are “real estate’s most proactive developers, owners, builders, investors, architects and related industry professionals.”  With these resources, Sarasota County has maintained a long relationship with this group.  The ULI assisted us with the 2050 Plan in the initial stages of development (by providing us an expert advisory panel) and has personally supported me with a wealth of information related to public/private partnerships over the years.

If I can provide you any additional details/information, please let me know.

Tom

You will note that Thomas portrays the Urban Land Institute (ULI) as a benign organization. Thomas also notes that ULI provides on line reports on emerging trends, and assisted with the Sarasota County 2050 Plan by "providing an expert advisory panel". ULI has also assisted him with public/private partnerships for years.


So what is the Urban Land Institute?


The Urban Land Institute is a major contributor to the UN International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives - Local Governments for Sustainability's (ICLEI) STAR guidelines. According to the ULI Advisory Group: Climate, Land Use and Energy (CLUE) Final Report:


"ULI–the Urban Land Institute will bring its organizational resources to the complex issues surrounding energy and climate changeacknowledging that the successful global reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions requires substantial investments in local communities. We believe ULI has the ability to foster new policies and solutions to address global climate change that are both feasible and effective at the nexus of land use, real estate, energy and infrastructure." [My emphasis]

As we now know man made global warming is a hoax. Additionally, research by the highly respected scientists of CERN have discovered that it is the Sun that determines the Earth's climate changes, not man. Reduction of GHG and CO2 is a fools mission.


What are the policies, solutions and substantial investments demanded by ULI?


According the the ULI Advisory Group Final Report, "ULI recognizes that effective strategies to combat global climate change will require cooperative effort by all segments of the economy and all segments of society, around the globe. . .By focusing on issues at the core of the ULI mission—the responsible use of land—ULI seeks to make an important contribution within the emerging chorus of collaboration and partnership."


What does the responsible use of land mean and who determines what is responsible use?


This means government, not the land owner, determines what is and is not responsible use. Government at every level must highly regulate how land is developed, restrict the use of existing lands via easements, establish wild lands, support mass transit and purchase land to keep it from being used for commercial or residential purposes. All in the name of reducing CO2 emissions. This is done under something called the "Smart Growth" agenda favored by ULI.


Who established the Smart Growth Network? The Environmental Protection Agency in 1996, of course.


Sarasota County and the state of Florida have led the way in what is called Smart Growth and sustainable development. To understand how this works please go to the below link, which uses a series of short two minute narratives to explain this massive land grab:


http://takingliberty.us/Narrations/southeast/player.html


Currently about 33% of Florida land is owned by government. In Sarasota County this number is about 30%.


What is interesting is this statement from Thomas, "[N]either Matt Lewis or myself have attended any symposiums, conferences, or webinars regarding Agenda 21. It should be noted that both Matt and I are unclear what the term 'Agenda 21' represents. Pardon my lack of knowledge, but it would be useful to know what this term actually is/means."


If Thomas and Matt are clueless then the County Commissioners are as well. Time to educate both the Commissioners and staff.


It is the role of government to protect property rights not determine what is responsible land use. This belief has led to private property being devalued by county ordinance and the 2050 Plan, implementing a Smart Growth Agenda, taking useful land off the tax rolls and reducing the amount of land available for productive uses by private owners.


And we wonder why Florida and Sarasota County is in a recession. It is because you and I allowed this to happen over the years. Time to put a stop to it and reverse course.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Was There a Possible CBW Event at Scott AFB in Illinois?

By Jerry Gordon
HAZMAT team at Scott Air Force Base


Shades of the 2001anthrax terror events.  A suspicious’ sulfur spelling package somehow got into the  post office at the  US Transportation Command  located at Scott AFB in Southern Illinois-about 25 miles east of St. Louis across the Mississippi River.  You may recall that those 2001 Amerithrax terror packages sent by mail started a week following 9/11 and shut down  Congressional offices and resulted in the deaths of  5 people and infecting a dozen  individuals.


For a discussion of the 2001 Anthrax attacks and  capabilitie  by  sponsors of Middle East terror groups, see our interview with Dr. Jill Dekker on Syria's Bio-warfare threat in the December, 2007 edition of the NER.  Given the  current threats from al Qaeda and  affiliate Islamic terrorist groups, the FBI had heightened concerns about possible attacks in anticipation of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, next Sunday. Today’s possible CBW event will doubtless increase the ‘fear factor’ and raise both national and homeland security levels, pending forensic examination of the contents of the mail package received at Scott AFB and examination of the persons immediately affected by the exposure.  In the small world of things, Vice Admiral Anne E. Rondeau, now President of the National Defense University was Deputy Commander of the United States Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois from December 2006 to 2009. See our NER article, here.

Here are the current details from a FoxNews report,  “3 Hospitalized After Suspicious Parcel at Air Base.”

Three people were hospitalized Wednesday and a hazmat team responded to a post office at Scott Air Force Base after a suspicious package was discovered.

The three apparently broke out in a rash and were treated at a nearby hospital. Over a dozen others at the mail center were being decontaminated as a precaution at the mail center.

Authorities are directing any base personnel who visited its post office Wednesday and exhibit any abnormal symptoms to report to a Pronto's Pizza, Fox2now.com reported. Loud speakers on the base could be heard warning personnel to avoid the west side of the base, KPLR11.com reported.

The package uncovered Wednesday morning prompted precautionary evacuations of the base's education center, bowling alley and other services near the mail center.

Garland didn't have any information on what made the package suspicious, although local media reported it emitted a sulphur-like smell.

Garland says the hospitalized people showed no symptoms other than the rash. There is no immediate threat to the community, the base said in a statement.

With the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks less than two weeks away, Scott spokesman Thomas Kistler said no extra precautions were in place on the base. He said officials are not treating this as a potential terrorist incident.

"I think they're treating it as a normal suspicious package right now," he said.

The package discovered Wednesday morning prompted precautionary evacuations of the base's education center, bowling alley and other services near the mail center. Kistler said officials were confident there was no reason for anyone else to leave.


"We have evacuated an area around the package but we haven't enlarged the evacuation area," he said. "We don't anticipate there's any danger to the rest of the base or to the community as a whole."

Ferrero said the area had been cordoned off although she did not believe there was any immediate danger. She noted that the base routinely performs exercises for incidents like this and was ready to respond.

"We are reacting on the side of caution," she said.

Master Sgt. Jerome Baysmore said "several" firefighters at the base were overcome by heat and treated by on-base medics. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that four firefighters affected.


Traffic flowed in and out of the base through one of the main gates by late morning.


The air base is near Mascoutah, Ill., about 25 miles east of St. Louis, and serves as a global mobility and transportation hub for the Defense Department. The base is home to the U.S. Transportation Command, Air Mobility Command, the 618th Air and Space Operations Center and Air Force Network Integration Center. It is also one of four bases in the Air Force to house both a Reserve unit -- the 932nd Airlift Wing -- and an Air National Guard unit -- the 126th Air Refueling Wing.

The base's Web site says its population is 45,749.

After 9/11, Denial is Not a Strategy: An Interview with David Beamer

by Jerry Gordon (September 2011)

On this tenth anniversary of the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, we spoke with David Beamer, father of Todd Beamer, one of the heroes of Flight 93. The younger Beamer along with many of the 40 passengers and crew attacked their Jihadi skyjackers, thereby dooming the plane, but sparing countless lives and unknown trauma in our nation’s Capitol, the ultimate target of these Islamic radicals. 


To the cry of “Let’s Roll,” Todd Beamer and his fellow Flight 93 passengers initiated what his father David calls the first counter-attack on 9/11. All within an elapsed time of less than 30 minutes after seizure of the aircraft. The 9/11 episode aboard Flight 93 was memorialized in a Universal Studios production, that David Beamer considers a faithful re-telling of the realities aboard the hijacked plane and the actions of his son Todd and other valiant passengers and crew.  

The elder Beamer was in a business meeting in Palo Alto, California that fateful day, when the events aboard Flight 93 concluded in a struggle forcing the plane with its passengers, crew and Islamic Jihadi attackers to crash in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The crash site is now the last of three memorials to the fallen on 9/11.  The Pentagon Memorial was completed and dedicated in 2008, while the Memorial in Lower Manhattan, at the former site of the World Trade Center, will be dedicated on this tenth anniversary. 


David Beamer did not get definitive word of the fate of his son and the other passengers and crew on Flight 93 until later that week.  Because virtually no air traffic was allowed in the days following 9/11, the elder Beamer and a business partner drove across the US to Todd’s home in New Jersey to prepare for a Memorial service that weekend. The irony was that Todd Beamer and his wife Lisa were not expected back from a trip to Italy until the following week.

In the decade following the events of 9/11 that struck down his son and thousands of others, David Beamer has become an articulate opponent of the Islamic Jihad doctrine, its proponents here in America and the politically correct attitude toward fundamentalist Islam espoused by both the Bush and Obama Administrations in Washington. He has appeared in frequent media interviews, hearings before Congress and public presentations across the US. I chanced to hear and meet him at two such occasions in Florida paired with an American Israeli father, a former IDF special operations officer, Tuly Wultz, who lost his son, Daniel to a Palestinian suicide bomber in 2006 while on a visit to Israel.

We were fortunate to interview David Beamer in partial commemoration of 9/11.

Watch this FoxNews YouTube Video interview with David Beamer. 




Fear, Inc.: The Obama Re-election Strategy for Muslim Votes


New English Review

by Jerry Gordon (Sept. 2011)
Daniel Greenfield aka Sultan Knish published a prescient FrontPageMagazine article about the political dynamics of appealing to Muslim American voters in the US, “The Islamic Political Takeover of America.” He noted:

American presidents have traditionally been the governors and the senators of key states. The rise of sizable politically active Muslim populations in those states positions Islamic groups to exert a strong and disproportionate influence on national politics. A governor or senator who seeks out Muslim support to get elected at a state level will form alliances that he will carry forward with him into the White House.
Basic diversity and multiculturalism means that state officials in key states are forming ties with Islamic associations that serve as front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood or other organizations that are equally antithetical to the long term survival of the United States. Through a few meetings, the Brotherhood is gaining a lever that it can use to move presidents.
Like California, Texas and New Jersey—Virginia and Ohio now rank among the top ten Muslim populated states in the country.
[. . .]
Urban representation is another factor. Muslim populations are still negligible even in the top ten states, but they are often clustered in urban areas. Muslims made up 10 percent of the population of Washington D.C. in 2000. The numbers are probably higher today.

There is cause for believing that the Obama Administration is enlisting supporters to implement such a strategy in the upcoming re-election contest. They are accomplishing that by engaging in a deliberate campaign to combat counter-jihadists who oppose recognizing Islamic Sharia law by US Courts. Then there is the Obama Administration’s intervention in local suits over expansion of mega mosques. In the matter brought by local citizens in Chancery Court in Murfreesboro, Tennessee against the county government for authorizing expansion of the Islamic Center without proper public notification, the US Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder filed an amicus brief on behalf of the defendants. This summer, Secretary of State Clinton has furthered this effort by sanctioning outreach to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on declarations of human rights that appear to abet criminalizing criticism of religion, specifically Islam under its blasphemy laws.

In late August two media events occurred, one in Nashville on reporting of culture clashes over mosque developments in the buckle of the bible belt, and the second, the release of a dossier by a Washington, DC think tank accusing counter-jihadists of fomenting ‘Islamophobia’. The think tank has close connections to the Obama White House. These events illustrate the Obama re-election campaign strategy seeking American Muslim votes.

New Jersey Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights: A Very Slippery Slope


Winnie Hu in her New York Times article, "Bullying Law Puts New Jersey Schools on [the] Spot", reports, "Under a new state law in New Jersey, lunch-line bullies in the East Hanover schools can be reported to the police by their classmates this fall through anonymous tips to the Crimestoppers hot line." The law is called the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights. But whose rights does it protect?


According to Winnie, "In Elizabeth, children, including kindergartners, will spend six class periods learning, among other things, the difference between telling and tattling. And at North Hunterdon High School, students will be told that there is no such thing as an innocent bystander when it comes to bullying: if they see it, they have a responsibility to try to stop it."


Winnie goes on to say that this puts an unfunded mandate on New Jersey schools. So more money is needed to investigate those who bully. Another reason to increase public school funding magically appears right before our eyes. She totally misses the big picture.


What Winnie misses is just what concerns many parents, teachers and school based administrators about this onerous law. The Anti-Bulling Bill of Rights infringes upon the first Ten Amendments to our Constitution. The law goes overboard by crminializing something that is normal and common. Children expressing their opinions about other children. It puts into the hands of an "antibullying specialist" the requirement to investigate complaints. Is this a new layer of law enforcement? As Richard G. Bozza, executive director of the New Jersey Association of School Administrators, said. “I think this has gone well overboard. Now we have to police the community 24 hours a day."


New Jersey has now outlawed what exactly - having an opinion?


What is the legal definition of bullying? What if one child passes along a opinion about another child? Who has violated the law? The child who initially stated the opinion or the child (or children) who pass it along? What if a child disagrees with another child about something? Is saying they disagree with their classmate constitute bullying?


Let me give you three examples:
1. A child states that another child in the school is an illegal alien and reports that fact to other students. Congress has passed legislation making illegal immigration a crime. Is the child bullying the illegal alien student?
2. What if a Muslim child says to a gay child that he disagrees with his classmate's life style because of his firm religious beliefs. Is that bullying? Or is that freedom of speech and freedom of religion?
3. Or how about a black child voicing an opinion about how a white child dresses or behaves around other minority students. Is that bullying?


What about the reverse of each of these examples?


This law begs so many questions that delve into the morals and behaviors of individual children without foundation. In public schools many children are too young to understand what they are expressing. Remember that old saying, "Out of the mouths of babes"? Sometimes children will, well, just be children and tell the truth that upsets another child. Is that criminal? What will parents now do if their child is faced with a crime and criminal record at the age of 6 years-old?


On September 1, 2011 any child can now call the Crimestoppers hot line in New Jersey and snitch on another child. What if the snitch is found to be wrong? Will the snitch be then charged with bullying or bearing false witness or lying?


Do you see the dilemma and slippery slope New Jersey has created? When is a snitch a bully and when does a bully become a snitch in order to bully? Who makes that determination and based upon what? Bullying is not a crime unless and until it becomes violent. Then the perpetrator has committed a real crime - assault.


Feel good laws like the New Jersey Anti-Bullying Bill or Rights always have serious unintended consequences. I fear this law will do much more harm than good to our most precious resource - our children.


Let children be children. I see schools under this New Jersey law filled with those who will not express their opinions in the very places where the free exchange of ideas is paramount.


This so-called Bill of Rights is actually a Bill of Oppressive Silence. Shades of the former Soviet Union and its network of informers.