Friday, January 30, 2009

Obama et Pelosi

The problem with this country is we spent all of our time and resources creating money out of thin air using leverage and smoke and mirrors or serving each other lattes. America needs to produce actual stuff in order to get back on our feet. The government can spend money wisely to steer us down that path...or it can continue to piss away the tax revenue of future generations on short term Band-Aids that don't solve our problems. _MotleyFool
The US is poised on the brink of a disastrous monetary and budgetary policy that will destroy the surviving financial infrastructure of the country, along with any reasonable prospects for an early recovery. We are being given a gargantuan "recovery bill" that is all about political retrenchment for democratic party supporters. Not a recovery bill at all, but rather a wealth transfer bill from producers to political hacks, financial vultures, and non-producers.

If you have worked hard, followed the rules, paid your bills and taxes -- too bad. Unless you are politically well-placed to benefit under the Obama / Pelosi reich, you are only the main course. By the time this financial wrecking ball has done its demolition, your hard-earned assets will be worth a fraction of their current value, unless you make timely preparations.
It is thus almost a dead certainty that the combination of wasteful Keynesian spending (if you will ignore the tautology) and supply-side effects would produce a sharp spike in inflation that is designed to buttress the ability of borrowers to repay their obligations while rendering the value of their payments almost moot for lenders.

Asians [ed: and others] have saved a lot since the end of the Asian financial crisis, but will find an acceleration of wealth diminution upon them in months to come. Their only defense against this course of action that the G-7 countries have embarked on would be to boycott all debt issuances from the US and Europe over the near-term until yields rise fast and far enough to compensate for inflationary risks. Unless this can be pushed through, the only safe assets would be those that can hold a degree of their purchasing power,namely physical commodities and, of course, precious metals such as gold. _AsiaTimes
Inflation makes it easier for debtors to repay their debts. Since the US government is the big daddy of debtors, it makes sense for Obama and Pelosi to flush the dollar's value down the toilet. They can run the printing presses all night long. When will they start printing a $1 Billion bank note? Give them time.
During the stock panic, central banks around the world panicked. They fear deflation too, so they started cranking up the printing presses at phenomenal rates. The epic deluge of money they unleashed is going to filter into the real economy and drive up general price levels.

You can see this above in MZM growth. The US economy is shrinking thanks to the panic, there are less goods and services on which to spend money. Yet simultaneously the Fed is recklessly ramping broad money at double-digit rates. Sooner or later relatively more money will be bidding for relatively less goods and services, which will drive up prices. You simply can’t have 10%+ MZM growth without seeing big inflation eventually. _SeekingAlpha
Economists and bankers have leveraged themselves up into the stratosphere. Without hyper-leverage buoying them up, they get a strong sinking feeling in their stomachs. The world economy lost a lot of leverage when the commodities boom busted,and home price drops triggering the sub-prime bubble burst. A lot of big-money shops had to close their doors or get bought out. Nowhere to run, hide, shelter, or hedge. The ivy league whizzards [sic-pun] on Wall Street ran out of government sanctioned magic wands.

The direct result was the election of Obama-Messiah, Saviour to the world. Everything the Obama / Pelosi reich is doing now is for short term advantage. Empower the get out the vote for 2010 by giving billions to ACORN. Firm up the DP alliance with the public employees unions, trial lawyers, news media, and low income voters. First assure the retention of power. Then if anything is left over, perhaps you should try to help the economy.

Unfortunately, by the time the reich gets around to constructive purposes, the foundations will have been undermined -- perhaps beyond repair. Take care of your own future, the O / P reich only looks out for its own.

Cross posted at Al Fin

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

California Canary in Coal Chute: US Follows

California is the state to watch for near-future trends. Recently, California government spending and regulation has gone wild. President Obama has just given California the green light to take its anti-business regulation and taxation to the limit. Buckle up, California, and soon the US! More from ChicagoBoyz:
California has ~2.3 million unionized government workers and ~18.6 million civilians. With so many people organized with a laser-like focus on increasing taxes and spending, the private working citizens of California find it nearly impossible to prevent government workers from voting their own paychecks.

In effect, government workers have hijacked democracy. Instead of state employees working for the people, the people now work for the state employees. As far as the state government is concerned, people in the private sector work merely so that they can be taxed for the benefit of the tax consumers. They’ve entered a condition not unlike like that of pre-industrial serfs.

...No one should be able to vote their own paycheck. Government-employee unions should be legally restricted from engaging in any kind of political activity. If not, it is only a matter of time before civil servants become civil masters. _ChicagoBoyz
If you do not live in California, where do you come into this lovely picture? You are the chump whose money is being used for a federal bailout to California. Not only is the state government enslaving California citizens, they are enslaving the rest of us via the Obama / Pelosi penchant for never meeting a bailout bill they didn't like.

We are returning to the good old days of feudalism. The lords and ladies in their castles and keeps, and the serfs (that's you) in the fields. Under Dear Leader, you may as well get used to it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Disaster in the Making: Obama's Grand Empire

The US was not supposed to be like Soviet Russia or North Korea, but that is exactly what it is becoming.
To foreigners, this concentration of power might seem the quintessence of normalcy. As the sociologist E. Digby Baltzell wrote in 1964, elites have dominated and shaped the world's great cosmopolitan centers – from Athens to Rome to Baghdad – throughout history. In modern times, capital cities such as London, Paris, Moscow, Berlin and Tokyo have not only ruled their countries but have also largely defined them. In all these countries (with the exception of Germany, which was divided during the Cold War), publishing, media, the arts and corporate and political power are all concentrated in the same place. Paris is the undisputed global face of France just as London is of Great Britain or Tokyo is of Japan.

Although each had their merchant classes, these cities were strongly hierarchical, governed by those closest by blood or affiliation to the ruling family and populated largely by their servants. In contrast, Baltzell observed, U.S. cities such as New York have been "heterogeneous from top to bottom." Their power came not from the government or the church but from trade, the production of goods and scientific innovations, as well as the peddling of ideas and culture.

But Washington has always occupied a unique and somewhat incongruous niche among U.S. cities. It came into being not because of the economic logic of its location, but because it was a convenient compromise between North and South. It never developed into a center of commerce or manufacturing. Nor was it meant to be a fortress. Instead, it was designed for one specific purpose: to house the business of governance. _NewGeography
Obama's mind was shaped by the third world: a father from Africa, an anthropologist mother who idealized third world primitivism, a formative part of his childhood in Indonesia soaking up the third world realism of his step-father . . . And so on. Obama's early life was a head-long flight from modernism, aided by his mother, a resentful family friend "Frank", and anyone he could find who exuded rebellion, resentment, and revolution. In his later life that group included a black revolutionary pastor and mentor, a white terrorist bomber cum professor of education, and various other revolutionaries and vengeance-minded persons including his wife.

No wonder Obama wants to take America back to the age of primitive Empire, with himself as the third world Emperor controlling centralised powers previously unknown in the history of the entire world.

How will it all work out? Hyper-centralised empires tend not to work out well in the long run. The entire concept is somewhat new for America, and most new power plays of this type do not succeed.

Obama finds his audacity in his naivete and ignorance of how the real world works. He was buoyed to power by tens of millions of similarly ignorant and naive supporters. But they all understand power, at least vaguely. They know that to wield maximum power, you must first take power away from anyone else who may conceivably wield their power against you.

If the next change of power occurs without violence, we will all be very fortunate.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Netherlands Government Committing Suicide

Why would Dutchmen, who once led the world in science and world exploration, make the decision to destroy their own culture? What form of madness has entered the brains of government leaders in the Netherlands? They are putting Geert Wilders on trial for offending Islam. It is Islam that should be put on trial. Now the country is doomed unless the Dutch find a backbone and stand up for themselves, sending their weakling government to the junkheap.
The appalling decision to try Wilders, the Freedom Party’s head and the Dutch Parliament’s only internationally famous member, for “incitement to hatred and discrimination” against Islam is indeed an assault on free speech. But no one who has followed events in the Netherlands over the last decade can have been terribly surprised by it. Far from coming out of the blue, this is the predictable next step in a long, shameful process of accommodating Islam—and of increasingly aggressive attempts to silence Islam’s critics—on the part of the Dutch establishment.

The same people who demonized Fortuyn have done their best to stifle Wilders. In April 2007, intelligence and security officials called him in and demanded that he tone down his rhetoric on Islam. Last February, the Minister of Justice subjected him to what he described as another “hour of intimidation.” The announcement that he was making a film about Islam only led his enemies to turn up the heat. Even before Fitna was released early last year, Doekle Terpstra, a leading member of the Dutch establishment, called for mass rallies to protest the movie. Terpstra organized a coalition of political, business, academic, and religious leaders, the sole purpose of which was to try to freeze Wilders out of public debate. Dutch cities are riddled with terrorist cells and crowded with fundamentalist Muslims who cheered 9/11 and idolize Osama bin Laden, but for Terpstra and his political allies, the real problem was the one Member of Parliament who wouldn’t shut up. “Geert Wilders is evil,” pronounced Terpstra, “and evil has to be stopped.” Fortuyn, van Gogh, and Hirsi Ali had been stopped; now it was Wilders’s turn.

But Wilders—who for years now has lived under 24-hour armed guard—would not be gagged. Thus the disgraceful decision to put him on trial. In Dutch Muslim schools and mosques, incendiary rhetoric about the Netherlands, America, Jews, gays, democracy, and sexual equality is routine; a generation of Dutch Muslims are being brought up with toxic attitudes toward the society in which they live. And no one is ever prosecuted for any of this. Instead, a court in the Netherlands—a nation once famous for being an oasis of free speech—has now decided to prosecute a member of the national legislature for speaking his mind. By doing so, it proves exactly what Wilders has argued all along: that fear and “sensitivity” to a religion of submission are destroying Dutch freedom. _CityJournal
We have seen a similar movement to censor all criticism of Islam in Belgium, Austria, the UK, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Spain. Europe has not done well for itself in terms of pride of culture and self-preservation. Without any survival spirit to speak of, and with dwindling birth rates of indigenous Europeans, I wonder if anyone will notice when western Europe is gone? Eastern Europe is a different story, and while the Eastern part of the continent has not had the time to grow as decadent as the west, the time spent under communist control left deep scars on the human landscape. I am hoping that Eastern Europe, at least, has time to recover its strength, will, and fertility.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Obama Zombies Elect a Socialist King

Once, America was populated by stubborn, independent thinking people who just wanted government to provide the services of protection from foreign intervention, and basic law enforcement and contract enforcement through the courts at home. Government was small, and reasonably inexpensive. That was then, this is now.

Now, most people in the US are dependent upon one type of government handout or another. Governments are the largest employers and the largest expense. And it is about to get a whole lot worse, thanks to Obama zombies at the polls.
Obama will move to change permanently the partisan balance in America. He will move quickly to legalize all those who have been in America for five years, albeit illegally, and to smooth their paths to citizenship and voting. He will weaken border controls in an attempt to hike the Latino vote as high as he can in order to make red states like Texas into blue states like California. By the time he is finished, Latinos and African-Americans will cast a combined 30 percent of the vote. If they go by top-heavy margins for the Democrats, as they did in 2008, it will assure Democratic domination (until they move up the economic ladder and become good Republicans).

And he will enact the check-off card system for determining labor union representation, repealing the secret ballot in union elections. The result will be to raise the proportion of the labor force in unions up to the high teens from the current level of about 12 percent.

Finally, he will use the expansive powers of the Federal Communications Commission to impose “local” control and ownership of radio stations and to impose the “fairness doctrine” on talk radio. The effect will be to drive talk radio to the Internet, fundamentally change its economics, and retard its growth for years hence.

But none of these changes will cure the depression. It will end when the private sector works through the high debt levels that triggered the collapse in the first place. And, then, the large stimulus package deficits will likely lead to rapid inflation, probably necessitating a second recession to cure it. _TheHill
Just as the 16th amendment -- the income tax -- was irreversible, and most of the 1930s New Deal and 1960s Great Society government programs became irreversible, so will Obama's socialist agenda for the 2000s and 2010s become irreversible and a permanent drag on the economy. Dependency on government handouts is getting worse, and not likely to ever get better until the current government defaults and is replaced by something better.

There will likely be decades of miserable mediocrity and stagnation between now and that "something better." If you voted for Obama, you are probably too stupid to ever understand your folly. Otherwise, you know that you need to prepare for massive government over-reach and predation.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Waiting for Godot, er, Obama

Apart from ambition, there is no "there" there. There are as many Obamas as there are interlocutors. He is a hollow man, I concluded, a Third World anthropologist studying us with engaged curiosity but complete emotional detachment. In this respect he is unpredictable. _Spengler
Some people simply never truly arrive. They project an image to make others believe they are there, but each believer is merely seeing an illusion conjured up by his own mind.
From the day Obama was elected to 9:30am Tokyo time on Monday morning, the S&P 500 index has lost 17% of its value, after absorbing Obama's proposed cabinet and hearing the gist of his economic stimulus plan. That can't be blamed on Bush. It counts as the "Obama crash". With the unprecedented power of his office, Obama inherits a commensurately high level of accountability. Unless he offers something radically different, the boomerang of expectations could flatten him faster and more thoroughly than the swift ascent of his star. People in power get blamed; people with absolute power get blamed absolutely. As the economy continues to deteriorate, there will be no one left standing to blame but Obama.
Ah, but Spengler, anything and everything can and will be blamed on Bush. The habit for doing so is too deeply engrained within what passes for brains, in the skulls of American media. Still, the credibility of the media has been in even steeper freefall than the value of the real estate in California.
He will make resonant speeches, hold frequent press conferences, consult friend and foe alike, and tread water while America's economy and strategic position continue to deteriorate. His entourage of one-trick wizards, as I called them in a recent commentary, will pick over the broken American economy for trophies to put into private equity funds... Without casting aspersions on anyone involved, the opportunity for self-dealing in a multi-trillion-dollar bailout-cum-recapitalization of the financial system exceeds the grandest dreams of Third World kleptocrats.

At a certain point he will have to take a decisive stand on something. And then we will learn who Obama is, and what he wants
Decisive? Obama? My dear Spengler, you really must be thinking of someone else who goes by that name. The reason Obama is unpredictable, as you say, is because frankly there is no Obama. The person inside the shell who was supposed to have developed, never coalesced. America has elected a shell as its leader.

Perhaps the shell popularly known as Obama, believed that being elected president would provide enough external energy of affirmation to conjure a self -- like Pinocchio becoming a "real boy", the android Mr. Data becoming a human, or Sally Field becoming a "real actress" because "you really like me!" No such luck.

So America is left waiting for Obama. Will he ever arrive? I hope you brought enough sandwiches to share, and perhaps a little wine. Make yourself comfortable.

Previously published on Al Fin

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hyper Inflation From the Bubble President

Obama himself is incredibly insubstantial in terms of knowledge, experience, and competence. He can best be viewed as a potent symbol and flashpoint for multiple dynamic and powerful social, political, ideological, cultural, and economic forces on the national and international levels. As a figurehead and facade, therefore, Obama is quite effective. It is only when wise and competent action is called for, that figureheads begin to show their core inadequacy.

Most members of the general and voting public have a caricatured view of how the world works and what is involved in administering a gigantic national phenomenon like the 21st century US. For many younger and less intelligent voters, a symbolic figurehead may seem the appropriate type of person to serve as head of state. But in the absence of decisive and informed decision-making from the top of the hierarchy, a multitude of competing bureaucratic kingpins will create an unholy cacophony of governmental destruction.

The current credit crunch and deflationary cycle we are experiencing can be written off to a number of factors, many of which were described by Kondratieff and others (via Dennis Mangan). But whether a timely recovery from this long-expected deflation will occur depends largely on economic decisions that will be made by the incoming Obama reich.

Here are a few of the shoes yet to drop:
1) Commercial Real Estate is going to face the same challenges that the residential housing market went through and continues to go through - except it will be worse. This shoe has implications for banks and insurance companies as well as the commercial real estate developers, both public and private.

2) There will be at least one automobile manufacturer (GM) bankruptcy by early spring. If this shoe drops, a second automobile bankruptcy (Chrysler) should follow shortly thereafter. And, a European automobile manufacturer could also go into Administration as well.

3) Corporate pension plans will show a big problem. Specifically, most, if not all, corporate pension funds are significantly underfunded and will require companies to shore up those pensions using up vitally needed cash.

4) Private Equity will suffer severely as funding continues to be very difficult and operations of the businesses will be impacted by the recession and will require capital. In addition, the IPO market will provide no relief for P/E to monetize investments and exit businesses.

5) Hedge Funds will continue to face redemptions and underwhelming performance. This will continue to pressure the markets and reduce liquidity. It will also impact the brokerage industry.

6) Municipalities all across the country will face huge budget deficits and will be forced to cut services and raise taxes. A major municipal default will occur before year end.

7) More small and mid-sized bank failures will occur...these will be the flip flops of the shoe storm.

8) The housing depression will continue as prices continue to fall and demand for homes does not materialize even with all the government programs being put forth. Housing inventory will rise to historic levels. at least one major homebuilder will go bankrupt.

9) There will be at least one, more likely many, major retail bankrupcty and at least one major commercial retail landlord, REIT, will go bankrupt.

10) Warren Buffets Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) will face the slings and arrows of the ongoing economic weakness and financial crisis. The stock will be cut down to size - maybe $50,000/share or so. Having just won the CEO of the Year award for 2008, which he probably deserved many years ago, it would only be fit for the company to show its vulnerabilities, which believe it or not it has, and succumb to the forces that have impacted every company in every business that Berkshire Hathaway owns or operates. _SeekingAlpha
I don't know about Buffet's company being re-valued, but I wouldn't be surprised. I don't really care. There are worse problems on the backburner. Bubbles within bubbles, threatening to burst.

The Obama phenomenon is clearly a hyper-inflated bubble, aided by Oprah and the national and international news and entertainment media. But the Obama bubble is riding on a much more ominous bubble, the bubble of the US Treasury. The deflationary risk posed by the impending bursting of the latter bubble puts all of the plans of the Obama / Pelosi monetary hyper-inflationary plans at risk. There is no simple formula for balancing catastrophic deflationary processes with deranged hyper-inflationary budgetary policies.

Obama and Pelosi appear to favour the hyper-inflationary approach of recovering from a recession, credit crunch, and de-leveraging of the financial system. They are in the company of a large number of academic, governmental, media and think tank economists in promoting a huge injection of liquidity into the the monetary system. It is an opportunity to spend into the trillions, that they have been waiting for all their lives. They simply cannot bring themselves to walk away. They believe they have Keynes on their side.

For Al Fin readers who want to have some sort of wealth at the end of this government-amplified and prolonged destructive process, think outside of normal investments. Some businesses will do very well if they are not nationalised or otherwise confiscated, hamstrung by regulations, or taxed to death by increasingly desperate governments at the local, state, and national levels. More on those businesses later.

Think about the various systems of barter and off the books trade that may be available. Think about precious metals in various forms. Think about necessities for you, for your neighbors, for society at large. Consider the cascading dynamics of failure as they will play out in your community. Remember, we are a few generations away from the tough people who survived the 1930's Keynes/Roosevelt-prolonged depression. People are much softer now, less competent in basic skills, and far more dependent on governments for even simple things, and soon to become even more dependent on governments under Obama / Pelosi.
But America in 2008 was not the America of 1930. There was never any danger of mass runs on the banks. The vast majority of Americans are of the opinion, rightly in my view, that the fed would not allow the banking system to collapse, an opinion that Bernanke's monetary policy has strongly reinforced. The danger is that by flooding the system with money, Bernanke will trigger a wave of inflation. Considering his unwavering devotion to the Keynesian faith, I think this is a highly likely outcome. To top it off, the crisis was the outcome of Keynesian policies that have given Obama the excuse to massively increase government spending. I think the results are going to be pretty ugly. _SeekingAlpha
This is not climate catastrophe, although if the world cools as recent data suggests it might, climate will make things worse. This is not peak oil, although under Obama / Pelosi, "political peak oil" is highly likely. This is not some obscure Mayan prophecy or other hocus pocus. It is the combination of incompetent people ( who happen to possess the hubris of deities) in places of power, with influence over a cyclic economic process that requires a deft yet delicate hand at the wheel.

Be prepared.
Previously published on Al Fin

Friday, January 16, 2009

Nuclear War in the Middle East? OK With Putin

The Hamas/Hezbollah rockets, based on the Russian Katyusha and Grad, are not delivered via DHL from Allah. It doesn't require the guile of a KGB man like Mr. Putin to imagine a way to accelerate Iran's nuclear program, which has been aided by Russian technology and protected by the Kremlin from meaningful international action.

So the question for Western leaders is whether they doubt Mr. Putin would hesitate to provoke a war in the Middle East. If his regime falls, he and his cronies will face the loss of their immense fortunes and criminal prosecution when their looting is exposed. What are thousands of lives in the Middle East to a Kremlin mob that is openly preparing for the day when they will have to open fire on their own citizens to stay in power? _GarryKasparov
Why would Putin help Iran develop its arsenal of nuclear weapons, and help to stoke tensions in the Middle East to the breaking point? Why would he risk an all-out nuclear war in Southwest Asia -- land of the world's larges petroleum reserves? Why would he want the price of oil to rise, and much of the Persian Gulf oil to become inaccessible? Because he wants to stay in power!
Russia and its fellow petrodictatorships are in dire need of a way to ratchet up global tensions to inflate the sagging price of oil. Petrodictators, after all, need petrodollars to stay in power. The war in Gaza and the otherwise inexplicable skirmish with Ukraine over natural gas have helped the Kremlin in this regard, but $50 a barrel isn't going to be nearly enough. It will have to reach at least $100 and it will have to happen soon.

The effects of the financial crisis are rapidly reaching every level of Russian society. With no avenue for political expression left open to us, Russians are ready to take to the streets. Vladimir Putin has reacted true to form, ramming through new "anti-extremism" laws, building up the interior ministry's paramilitary police forces, and increasing the volume of the xenophobic propaganda in state-controlled media.

The natural place for the Kremlin to find its new crisis is the Middle East. Open hostilities between Iran and Israel would lift the price of oil back to a level that would allow Mr. Putin and his gang to keep funding the crackdown. Israel's anxiety over Iran's nuclear-weapon ambitions is the most vulnerable link in a very weak chain.
_WSJ (Kasparov)_via_LaRussophobe

Friday, January 09, 2009

Abolish the IRS? Good Thinking, Mr. Galt!

Is it true that we are now living in the days of "Atlas Shrugged," Ayn Rand's prescient novel about surviving government regulation and overreach gone mad? Certainly the narcissist-elect appears to be set to place virtually all of his faith (and taxpayer's money) into the hands of an exponentially bloating government bureaucracy.
Many of us who know Rand's work have noticed that with each passing week, and with each successive bailout plan and economic-stimulus scheme out of Washington, our current politicians are committing the very acts of economic lunacy that "Atlas Shrugged" parodied in 1957, when this 1,000-page novel was first published and became an instant hit.

Rand, who had come to America from Soviet Russia with striking insights into totalitarianism and the destructiveness of socialism, was already a celebrity. The left, naturally, hated her. But as recently as 1991, a survey by the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club found that readers rated "Atlas" as the second-most influential book in their lives, behind only the Bible.

For the uninitiated, the moral of the story is simply this: Politicians invariably respond to crises -- that in most cases they themselves created -- by spawning new government programs, laws and regulations. These, in turn, generate more havoc and poverty, which inspires the politicians to create more programs . . . and the downward spiral repeats itself until the productive sectors of the economy collapse under the collective weight of taxes and other burdens imposed in the name of fairness, equality and do-goodism. _WSJ
The narcissist elect has publicly stated that the private sector cannot save the US from the recession. How moronic! The private sector is in fact the only way out of this or any other economic recession. Where does the narcissistic fool think that taxes originate?

Yes, I understand that Obama intends to spend more than taxes. He intends to crank up the printing presses and borrow trillions of new dollars to spend. His cronies from the Chicago mob look to be first in line for the loot. Stripping the commonwealth to its barest bones, the narcissist plans to bleed the suckers dry.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Governor Palin Speaks Out on Media Treatment During the Recent Presidential Campaign

Governor Palin has more class in one skin cell than the entire news and entertainment media possesses in its entirety. The media is responsible for burdening the US with an incompetent and inexperienced narcissist. The incredible amount of catastrophic damage that the Obama administration is virtually certain to inflict upon America and the world, should be largely laid at the feet of the media.

In other words, actions have consequences. There will be an accounting.


Friday, January 02, 2009

Help Us, Homeschool - Won - Kenobi: You're Our Only Hope

US voters chose "Hope and Change", but unfortunately they are about to receive a level of corruption and power politics unheard of, before the recent exposure of Illinois and Chicago - style mob politics. Obama owes organised labour (and thus organised crime) much of his success. He cannot afford to offend labour unions, including teachers' unions that are responsible for the abysmal failure of US government education. Obama will do nothing to enlarge school choice, not even for the millions of young African Americans who supported him throughout his campaign and election. That leaves homeschooling as one of the few hopes for students who want to avoid the government education cesspool:
But there is a ray of hope for those who favor freedom of choice in education: home schooling. A report just out in Education Next (by Milton Gaither) shows that in the face of the continuing failure of the public school system and the roadblocks to freedom erected by the public school special interest groups, parents are increasingly home schooling their children. From 1999 to 2003, the number of children being home-schooled jumped by 29 percent (from 850,000 to 1.1 million). It is currently estimated that there are nearly 2 million home-schooled children, with some researchers putting the current figure as high as 2.5 million.

Especially striking is the growth of home schooling among African American households. The U.S. Department of Education reported 103,000 black children were being home-schooled in 2003.

...No doubt the public school monopoly will continue to use its force (fueled by millions of dollars in union dues) to keep its stranglehold on American education. We can anticipate major efforts to stop home schooling in its tracks. Here in California, Justice H. Walter Croskey ruled last year that home schooling was illegal unless the parents had teaching credentials (as if that were any indication of teaching competence!) The ruling was reversed, but it is just a matter of time before another move is made. However, the millions of home school parents are getting well organized, and have proven capable of defending their rights. _WashTimes
Obama has chosen mob - politics, the political style of corrupt Illinois and Chicago. He has declared war on independents - thinking parents and small business. Given that some of Obama's best friends are terrorists and mobsters, none of this should come as a surprise.

The take-home message: look out for yourselves and your families, network with like-minded individuals, and make yourselves heard. Do not expect the government under the narcissist-elect to be of any help whatsoever.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Burning Cars Instead of Fireworks New Years' Eve

In France, Muslim immigrants have instituted a new tradition: car-burning to celebrate in the New Year. This year, 1147 cars were burned in positive affirmation of another year in France. The most popular Islamic New Year's resolution? To burn even more cars next year!
The French press reported that the Interior Ministry released a final "verified" count of 1,147 vehicles burned in France over New Year's Eve. The number is up 30.64% from last year's total, 878. _France24
The incoming Obama administration is considering importing the custom to the US, as an indirect form of bailout for US automakers. The more cars you burn, the more cars the automakers must build to replace them. Especially if you pass a law that requires all burned cars to be replaced by US-made cars, regardless of the make or model of the destroyed auto.

Other nations in Europe suffer from the same problems of Muslim immigration, but they are less open in admitting the problems than the French government. Parts of Sweden and Belgium are virtually overrun by violent Islamic youth gangs, raping and rampaging their way across their host countries. Oddly, very little about the problem is reported outside the country involved.

This type of internal rot can destroy a nation almost before its people understand what is happening. Now might be a good time for the governments of Europe to wake up to the danger inside their gates. Tolerance and multiculturalism should probably be put on hold temporarily, until the existential hazard to their very existence is firmly dealt with.