Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Castro to Obama: "How Do You Like Me Now?"

Fidel Castro has finally come out and admitted that his revolution was a failure. And his brother Raul follows up on that admission by announcing the downsizing of the top-heavy communist government of Cuba by 500,000 government jobs! It is a sad day for Latin communism, and for the heroic revolution that failed.
Consider this comment from a knowledgeable Cuban critic who was asked if the country's brand of socialism, created by Fidel Castro after his 1959 revolution, could be of use in other countries: "The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore." That remark would have gotten him in trouble with authorities, if his name were not Fidel Castro.

There may yet be admirers of Cuban communism in certain precincts of Berkeley or Cambridge, but it's hard to find them in Havana. The 84-year-old Fidel (who later said he didn't mean to say that) has turned control over to brother Raul, whose faith in the shining power of Marxism-Leninism has also dried up.

This week, the regime said it will dismiss 500,000 people from government jobs, which account for 84 percent of the work force. Reflecting ruefully on the perils of sheltered bureaucracy, Raul Castro declared recently, "We have to erase forever the notion that Cuba is the only country in the world where one can live without working."

...Roger Noriega, a researcher at the conservative American Enterprise Institute in Washington, notes that before communism arrived, Cuba "was one of the most prosperous and egalitarian societies of the Americas." His colleague Nicholas Eberstadt has documented that pre-Castro Cuba had a high rate of literacy and a life expectancy surpassing that in Spain, Greece, and Portugal.

Instead of accelerating development, Castro has hindered it. In 1980, living standards in Chile were double those in Cuba. Thanks to bold free-market reforms implemented in Chile but not Cuba, the average Chilean's income now appears to be four times higher than the average Cuban's.

...But even economic failures and political tyranny have been not enough to deprive Castro of Western admirers. On a 2000 visit to Havana, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan asserted, "Castro's regime has set an example we can all learn from." His lieutenant Che Guevara has been endlessly romanticized. Movie director Oliver Stone once marveled of Fidel, "I'm totally awed by his ability to survive and maintain a strong moral presence."

Cubans may differ. About 1.5 million of them have fled since Castro arrived, many in rickety boats that put their lives in peril. And the government, for some reason, doesn't let ordinary citizens decide if it remains in power.

That's the grisly fate of modern Cubans. Communism is dead, and they're shackled to the corpse. _ReasonMag
Norteamericanos may feel the same way about Obama. His brain is dead, but they are shackled to his corpse.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Don't Cry for Me, Obamanistas!

An Argentinian Photo Album
When the leader of the world's superpower consciously embarks on a mission to destroy the integrity of his nation's economic and political infrastructure, one should understand the perversely tragic aspects of the situation. Mr. Obama's dreams of conquest over the evils of the colonial western world are near their climax. It is unfortunate that he lacks the insight into his own motivations, and that he fails to see the parallels between his own suicidally quixotic quest, and the many similar futile quests of leftist justice over the past century and more.

20 years after the collapse of Soviet Eastern Europe, and as Chavez' Venezuela falters and Castro is acknowledging the failure of his own revolution, Mr. Obama has just begun to institute his own revolution of destruction against the Great Satan of the Islamists, and the bane of leftists around the world.

Although it is still the world's superpower military hegemon and the economic anchor of the world's economy, the steep upward trajectory of the US government's debt was already a cause of concern even before Mr. Obama was elected. But Obama has increased the acceleration of economic doom by an order of magnitude -- and in so many ways that it is impossible not to suspect that it is an intentional agenda of destruction. The Obama Pelosi regime has made sure that there is no political way out of the quagmire, despite the worst the Tea Party may try to achieve to restore constitutional government.

Obama's plan does amount to an elaborate revolution and bloodless coup against the constitutional political and economic protections put in place over 2 centuries ago. The energy starvation aspects of the Obama Pelosi regime alone are enough to destroy the private sector eventually, but the hidden malignant aspects of Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank act -- among many other new regulations, provisions, and laws -- will accelerate the destruction beyond the comprehension of those who think in simple political and economic terms. And so it goes without end -- an ambitious coup against the "negative aspects" of the US Constitution. Because Mr. Obama's genius cannot be constrained by such an ancient document of restraint.

And so it comes down to insurrection. But a bloodless coup does not require a bloody insurrection to counter it. In fact, Americans should not even want the America that existed before Obama's election -- although Obama Pelosi has made many Americans look back with nostalgia to pre-OP times.

What kind of insurrection will it take to bring about a constitutional government with equal protections under the law and abundant opportunities for expanding the economy?

A comment on a previous article -- which mentioned voluntary alteration of tax compliance by citizens -- contains the beginning of an idea which needs to be expanded and transformed. But governments cannot go on indefinitely spending more than they receive. The government printing press contains the ink of its own destruction, as the Perons of Argentina and other tyrannical populists throughout history have learned to their regret.

More on the peaceful insurrection later.

Previously published at Al Fin

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tea Party in St. Louis

The US Tea Party movement is a coalition of citizen's groups from across the nation. The main common thread running through the different organisations is the desire to see a smaller, less grasping, less dictatorial government -- running on a much smaller budget.

Not coincidentally, that is the type of government that the founding fathers attempted to set up in the beginning of the nation.

Leftist political groups can see the deep groundswell of support behind these movements, and working through the national media cartel have attempted to distort and caricature the image of the Tea Party groups.

We will know in November how well they succeeded, or how badly they have failed.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Motorcycle Plus Guns? Taliban as Young Man's Fantasy

If you join the Taliban you can ride motorcycles, shoot guns, and if you get killed you go straight to paradise to be served in every way by 72 pure virgins of your Koran-fevered dreams. If you are a young man growing up in dirt-poor, war-ravaged Afghanistan, looking for adventure -- what are you going to do? The Taliban effort is well funded by outside Islamic funding agencies. Iran is an important provider of resources.
KABUL -- At least five Iranian companies in Afghanistan's capital are using their offices covertly to finance Taliban militants in provinces near Kabul, according to a Sunday Times investigation.

Afghan intelligence and Taliban sources have told the newspaper that the firms, set up in the past six months, provide cash for a network of district Taliban treasurers to pay battlefield expenses and bonuses for killing the enemy and destroying their vehicles.

The Iranian companies win contracts to supply materials and logistics to Afghans involved in reconstruction. The money often comes in the form of aid from foreign donors.

Profits are transferred through poorly regulated Afghan banks — including Kabul Bank, which is partly owned by President Hamid Karzai’s brother Mahmood — to Tehran and Dubai.

From these countries, the money returns to Afghanistan through the informal Islamic banking system known as hawala to be dispersed to the Taliban. _Source

The huge "youth bulge" seen in the population pyramid of Afghanistan -- and several other dirt-poor Islamic and third world countries -- suggests that the Islamic wars of Asia and Africa will be "forever wars", at least through most of this century. Demography is destiny in many ways.

Friday, September 03, 2010

What Will It Take to Get the US Economy Going Again?

We are deep in the death-throes of a dead cat economy. It will bounce when dropped hard, but gravity always wins. Here are 10 reasons why this "dead cat" recovery of sorts is not sustainable:
1. Although the jobs report beat expectations, job growth is nowhere near the level we need to maintain employment; let alone fuel real job growth.
2. Furthermore, the U6 unemployment is 16.7%; the highest since April. In addition, the direction of job growth is down. July had private sector jobs added was 107,000; August had only 67,000 jobs added.
3. The direction of GDP is also down from over 5% in Q42009 to 3.7% in Q12010 to 1.6% in Q42010
4. The projected job growth in 2011 keeps coming down as well. Latest consensus is 1.8% from 2.3%
5. Health care premiums charged to workers are going up as result of Obamacare, and will start to be deducted out of worker’s paychecks. This is hardly a good thing for consumer spending or confidence
6. The capital of Pennsylvania just missed a bond payment and is considering bankruptcy. The last thing the economy needs is turmoil in the municipal bond market
7. The Mariner rig fire will likely prevent any quick end to the administration’s job killing drilling moratorium in the Gulf. Having highly paid oil workers sit idle is hardly what the Gulf economy needs right now
8. Retailers continue to have to resort to discounting to move merchandise according to the recent retail sales report. This is not good for margins, and a poor indicator of consumer confidence
9. The peak of Federal stimulus spending has now passed and its contribution to anemic GDP growth will lessen in the quarters ahead
10. Potential crises overseas continue to roil just below the surface
a. The overheated property sector bubble in China could very well pop by the end of the year
b. Ireland is a disaster and could be next European country to need help from the ECB
c. The financial system in Afghanistan is on verge of collapse due to a massive fraud and a run on its third largest bank. _SeekingAlpha

Wealth comes from healthy trade and growth within the private sector. If your government is intent to murder the private sector, it is also murdering the future wealth of your nation. That is where the US stands, 19 months after electing the Obama Pelosi regime.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Distilled Demographics: Birth Rate


This video will explain why the nurseries, kindergartens, and schools of the affluent world are becoming a bit under-populated.

In Europe you may find most nursery cribs occupied by children of third world immigrants. This wave of immigrant children will pass through the schools, and into the prison population almost before you know it. So even though crime rates in Europe are bound to soar -- relatively speaking -- the social welfare programs and skilled occupations will suffer for the lack of highly intelligent and well trained workers in the workforce.

In the US these low-performing, high crime rate immigrants are coming largely from Mexico and Central America. Canada is experiencing somewhat less of an effect due to the buffer of the US between Canada and Latin America. Even so, Canada is becoming far more diverse over time, demographically, due to immigration from East and South Asia, as well as the third world -- and Europe. But a higher proportion of Canada's immigrants are well-educated and well into their middle adult years, and less prolific at child-bearing.

The US was the beneficiary of immigration from high-IQ countries in Europe and East Asia during its 19th and early 20th century expansion. But since the radicalisation of US immigration policy -- encouraging immigration from low IQ countries -- the US is beginning to experience the negative side of immigration.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Distilled Demographics: The Population Pyramid


The populations of some countries are shrinking at the same time that the populations of others are shooting into the stratosphere.

Watch the video for some elementary concepts in population change. You should begin to get an idea of why Japan and Europe are shrinking so quickly, while much of the third world is exploding out of all containment.

The shrinking countries are becoming a burgeoning crisis, mainly because the countries which are shrinking the most quickly are some of the most affluent and generous -- in terms of foreign aid and international peacekeeping.

Very few will miss the belligerence of Russia when the Russians are gone, of course, but Europeans have been an important part of the glue that has held the world community together. Without Europe, much of the third world could easily explode into perpetual violence.