Friday, March 17, 2006

Our Government At Work

That's probably an oxymoron. Kind of like "non-essential government workers" but I digress.

From the link

The Senate voted Thursday to allow the national debt to swell to nearly $9 trillion, preventing a first-ever default on U.S. Treasury notes.

The bill passed by a 52-48 vote. The increase to $9 trillion represents about $30,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States. The bill now goes to President Bush for his signature.

There are several notable observations here.

As for the $781 billion increase in the debt limit, Grassley said: "It is necessary to preserve the full faith and credit of the federal government."

Hah! What faith and credit? The debt is already more than can ever be paid unless the government inflates our currency into oblivion to pay it off with even more worthless dollars. More on this thought in a moment. Maybe that's one reason the rest of the world is looking to alternatives to the U.S. dollar like the Euro.


Before approving the bill, Republicans rejected by a 55-44 vote an amendment by Max Baucus, D-Mont., to mandate a Treasury study on the economic consequences of foreigners holding an increasing portion of the U.S. debt.

These macaroons don't even care what the consequences are of foreign countries holding ever increasing amounts of U.S. debt. What's with that?

And here's a good one...

Treasury Secretary John Snow authorized the government to use the $15 billion available in the exchange stabilization fund on March 3 and issued a ``debt issuance suspension period'' to temporarily stop investments in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund. The Treasury also redeemed some of the fund's current investments.

In other words the government raided the retirement accounts of the government workers and replaced it with IOUs just like they did with Social Security. Those accounts belonged to the employees of the government but they have just been hijacked.

This brings up an interesting thought. The government has demonstrated time and again that it will raid accounts for funds wherever it can find them and replace them with meaningless IOUs. Social Security, and now government employee retirement accounts do not appear to be off limits. I wonder when they will set their sights on IRAs.

There are only two ways any government debt can be paid back. The traditional way is for the GDP of the country to raise creating wealth to meet the obligation. The other way is to monetize the debt simply by printing currency to cover it. I wonder if this has anything to do with the Fed's plan to discontinue reporting M3 later this month.

Given the current state of affairs regarding the U.S. economy the first option isn't likely. The national debt crossed the $1 trillion mark in 1981 under President Ronald Reagan and grew to $3.2 trillion during the presidency of George H.W. Bush. During the administration of Bill Clinton, it hit $5.5 trillion, but government surpluses enabled Congress to pay down some of the debt. Since President George W. Bush has been in office, the figure has climbed from $5.6 trillion to the new $9 trillion mark.

Here's the take home message dear reader. Since 1981 our economy has obviously not grown sufficiently to cover its borrowing. If it had, we wouldn't be looking at a $9 trillion deficit. Why would any thinking person believe the trend is going to change now?

The debt is going parabolic and the only recourse will be to print the fiat dollars to pay it down. The result will be a U.S. dollar that is essentially worthless and given the rate at which the debt is accelerating, it won't be long before this happens.

There's only one way Americans can protect themselves from incompetent government bureaurocrats determined to destroy America...

Got gold?

Claude Allen

Ann Coulter skewers the New York Times for racial gerrymandering -- in the articles it chooses to run on its front page. Although she shines a light on the Times' own racial and ideological quirks, the real point of her piece is to sympathetically highlight the character of Claude Allen:

I guess the only way we'll ever find out how many blacks have worked in the Bush administration is to wait for them to get in trouble someday so we can read the breathless, triumphant stories on the front page of the New York Times about a black Republican scofflaw. It's amazing that anyone has ever heard of Condoleezza Rice -- she's never even been arrested for jaywalking.

Claude Allen, whom I first heard of this week, was a top adviser to President Bush for more than 4 1/2 years. Soon after Bush was elected in 2000, he made Allen the No. 2 official at the Department of Health and Human Services. Allen later became Bush's domestic policy adviser, meeting with the president several times a week.

In 2003, Bush nominated Allen to a federal judgeship on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals -- which nomination was then blocked by the party that wouldn't exist without black votes. Deploying their usual strategy against black Republicans, Democrats raised questions about Allen's "legal credentials": Democrat-ese for "He's black, so he's probably not very smart." Allen went to Duke Law School, where he was remembered fondly by law professor Walter Dellinger, later Clinton's solicitor general.

During the entire time this talented, intelligent, magnificently conservative black man held high positions in the Bush administration, he was mentioned in only 11 articles in The New York Times. (A small part of Times Executive Editor Bill Keller dies every time the paper is forced to mention any black top officials in the Bush administration. It might remind people that the most highly placed black in the Clinton administration was his secretary, Betty Currie.)

It's worth reading the rest of it.

As GM Goes...

so goes America. If GM was a horse it would be shot to put it out of its misery.

From the link:

General Motors Corp. shares sank more than 3 percent Friday after the world's largest automaker increased its previously-reported loss for 2005 by $2 billion to reflect fresh estimates of the costs of bailing out its former parts-making unit and revamping its loss-riddled North American operations.

How in the world can any U.S. company compete when burdened with such buffoonery as this? The answer is simple. It can't and it won't.

The only question I have is why anyone would continue to own shares in a company who's future has no future. And sadly, GM's future is a foreshadowing of America's future.

Wake up America! The term globalization is synonymous with the destruction of America. Our government is not only allowing it to happen, they are making it happen.

Barren Future

Liberalism has no future. This article in USA Today explains why:

Childlessness and small families are increasingly the norm today among progressive secularists. As a consequence, an increasing share of all children born into the world are descended from a share of the population whose conservative values have led them to raise large families.

Today, fertility correlates strongly with a wide range of political, cultural and religious attitudes. In the USA, for example, 47% of people who attend church weekly say their ideal family size is three or more children. By contrast, 27% of those who seldom attend church want that many kids.

In Utah, where more than two-thirds of residents are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 92 children are born each year for every 1,000 women, the highest fertility rate in the nation. By contrast Vermont - the first to embrace gay unions - has the nation's lowest rate, producing 51 children per 1,000 women.

Similarly, in Europe today, the people least likely to have children are those most likely to hold progressive views of the world. For instance, do you distrust the army and other institutions and are you prone to demonstrate against them? Then, according to polling data assembled by demographers Ron Lesthaeghe and Johan Surkyn, you are less likely to be married and have kids or ever to get married and have kids. Do you find soft drugs, homosexuality and euthanasia acceptable? Do you seldom, if ever, attend church? Europeans who answer affirmatively to such questions are far more likely to live alone or be in childless, cohabiting unions than are those who answer negatively.

This correlation between secularism, individualism and low fertility portends a vast change in modern societies. In the USA, for example, nearly 20% of women born in the late 1950s are reaching the end of their reproductive lives without having children. The greatly expanded childless segment of contemporary society, whose members are drawn disproportionately from the feminist and countercultural movements of the 1960s and '70s, will leave no genetic legacy. Nor will their emotional or psychological influence on the next generation compare with that of people who did raise children.

Meanwhile, single-child families are prone to extinction. A single child replaces one of his or her parents, but not both. Consequently, a segment of society in which single-child families are the norm will decline in population by at least 50% per generation and quite quickly disappear. In the USA, the 17.4% of baby boomer women who had one child account for a mere 9.2% of kids produced by their generation. But among children of the baby boom, nearly a quarter descend from the mere 10% of baby boomer women who had four or more kids.

This dynamic helps explain the gradual drift of American culture toward religious fundamentalism and social conservatism. Among states that voted for President Bush in 2004, the average fertility rate is more than 11% higher than the rate of states for Sen. John Kerry.

So, liberal families are no more fecund than liberal ideas. How fitting. There's much more interesting information on the consequences of the lack of fruitfulness among liberals at the link.

World War III

Haim Harari gave a speech in 2004 on the current conflict with Islamism that is one of the best analyses of this struggle I've seen. He states that the battle, contrary to what many people think, is not about Israel:

Yes, there is a 100 year-old Israeli-Arab conflict, but it is not where the main show is.

The millions who died in the Iran-Iraq war had nothing to do with Israel.

The mass murder happening right now in Sudan, where the Arab Moslem regime is massacring its black Christian citizens, has nothing to do with Israel.

The frequent reports from Algeria about the murders of hundreds of civilian in one village or another by other Algerians have nothing to do with Israel.

Saddam Hussein did not invade Kuwait, endangered Saudi Arabia and butcher his own people because of Israel.

Egypt did not use poison gas against Yemen in the 60's because of Israel.

Assad the Father did not kill tens of thousands of his own citizens in one week in El Hamma in Syria because of Israel.

The Taliban control of Afghanistan and the civil war there had nothing to do with Israel.

The Libyan blowing up of the Pan-Am flight had nothing to do with Israel, and I could go on and on and on.

The root of the trouble is that this entire Moslem region is totally dysfunctional, by any standard of the word, and would have been so even if Israel had joined the Arab league and an independent Palestine had existed for 100 years.

Harari goes on to elaborate upon the dysfunctionality of the Arab world:

The 22 member countries of the Arab league, from Mauritania to the Gulf States, have a total population of 300 millions, larger than the US and almost as large as the EU before its expansion.

They have a land area larger than either the US or all of Europe.

These 22 countries, with all their oil and natural resources, have a combined GDP smaller than that of Netherlands plus Belgium and equal to half of the GDP of California alone.

Within this meager GDP, the gaps between rich and poor are beyond belief and too many of the rich made their money not by succeeding in business, but by being corrupt rulers.

The social status of women is far below what it was in the Western World 150 years ago.

Human rights are below any reasonable standard, in spite of the grotesque fact that Libya was elected Chair of the UN Human Rights commission.

According to a report prepared by a committee of Arab intellectuals and published under the auspices of the U.N., the number of books translated by the entire Arab world is much smaller than what little Greece alone translates.

The total number of scientific publications of 300 million Arabs is less than that of 6 million Israelis.

Birth rates in the region are very high, increasing the poverty, the social gaps and the cultural decline.

And all of this is happening in a region, which only 30 years ago, was believed to be the next wealthy part of the world, and in a Moslem area, which developed, at some point in history, one of the most advanced cultures in the world.

It is fair to say that this creates an unprecedented breeding ground for cruel dictators, terror networks, fanaticism, incitement, suicide murders and general decline. It is also a fact that almost everybody in the region blames this situation on the United States, on Israel, on Western Civilization, on Judaism and Christianity, on anyone and anything, except themselves.

Hariri argues that we are in the midst of World War III and that much of the world, especially Europe (and the American left, we might add), seems unaware of the fact.

There are four pillars supporting and sustaining this war against civilization, each of which Hariri explains in considerable and engrossing detail: Suicide murder, lies, money, and utter lawlessness. The article is a little long but well worth the time it takes to read.