Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Basic US economics


Unemployment, Inflation, CPI, fiat money, Re-Distributions to who? ?
The jobless rate is down. The stock market is up. Inflation is low. The Fed is stimulating the economy through quantitative easing. The recovery is picking up steam.
Such daily feel-good headlines, created by the Obama administration and amplified by the press, glide pleasantly over our minds and reassure us all is well, or soon will be. But what do these headlines actually have to do with reality?
Often very little. The establishment media’s financial reporting is just like their reporting on politics and culture – which is to say, biased, inaccurate and misleading, sometimes intentionally so.
In fact, a great deal of what passes for “objective reporting” on the economy is little more than “laundered” press releases from the government (and other power players like the Federal Reserve) whose credibility depends on continually deceiving the public.
So, what are the government, the Fed and their media cheerleaders hiding?
Let’s begin with the unemployment rate.
A month before Election Day, the government’s official unemployment rate, after close to four years above 8 percent, surprised everyone by magically breaking through the psychological 8 percent floor with a September “jobless rate” of 7.8 percent. This welcome news was hailed by the Obama administration and its media acolytes as proof the president’s controversial spending and regulatory policies were indeed working to heal a troubled economy.
High-profile skepticism was immediate. Jack Welch, former chairman of General Electric,suggested fudged data: “Unbelievable jobs numbers … these Chicago guys will do anything … can’t debate so change numbers,” Welch tweeted.
Real-estate billionaire Donald Trump agreed with Welch: “He’s 100 percent correct, in terms of his statement about jobs. And after the election they’ll do a big correction.”
Added Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone: “I give Jack a lot of credit for being there and standing out. It makes it easier for me because he and I share the same point of view. These numbers don’t square with what’s going on with the economy.”
The White House shot back at the skeptics, with Labor Secretary Hilda Solis protesting, “This is a methodology that’s been used for decades. And it is insulting when you hear people just cavalierly say that somehow we’re manipulating numbers.”
OK, time out. Amid all the bickering over whether the “official” unemployment rate is 8.1 percent or 7.8 percent, it’s easy to forget that all these numbers are just a fairy tale created by the government and promoted by the elite media.
“You know what the unemployment rate really is?” asked Texas Rep. Ron Paul earlier this year. “It’s probably closer to 20 percent.”
As the Washington Post reported, Paul, a popular but long-shot GOP presidential candidate during the primary season, “has long argued that the unemployment figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics are inaccurate and that the country has actually been in a depression for the past decade.”
Said Paul: “If you want to really know why the American people feel badly about the economy, it’s that the unemployment rate is escalating. It’s very high. But if you take … the number of people employed, 132 million people, it’s the same number that was employed in the year 2000. There have been no new jobs produced.”
And how does the government arrive at only 8 percent unemployment? Easy, just leave out lots of unemployed people from the calculations.
Let’s break it down. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “In September, 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force.” Even though these individuals “wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months … they were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.” In case you missed that: The government is openly admitting that 2.5 million unemployed Americans were not counted as officially “unemployed.”
That’s just for starters.
Unemployment continues plus, Inflation, CPI, fiat money, Re-Distributions to who? ?
Seems a bit long winded but does a good background history and leads onto effects and choices.
Overall seems a good summation to the current situation 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Some Social Justice Thoughts

Some comments on Social Justice
Post 74
Wow to some of the comments. First of all, there is no such thing as social justice. There can only be justice and there are only individuals. Society is a fictional imaginary thing. As for a social contract, there is none. I don't remember ever signing one. Do you?
It is the taxation itself that is the problem. Taxes destroy what they touch. If taxes were lower overall, then there would be more help for the poor because there would be more business and employment opportunities available.
Taxes just don't pay welfare; they also pay for the roads etc., so we all pay one way or another for the benefits of infrastructure that allows us to have a decent job and life to begin with, but we do not owe underprivileged non taxpayers a part of our paycheck for that.
They didn't build these roads, or train and hire police fire etc. That was by the producers -- the workers, innovators, etc. who did that, not the poor. Yes, we can help them. No doubt, someday we might be the homeless one, but it must be voluntary, not at the barrel of an air gun. --rose
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Post 73
Excuse me? Quit creating misconceptions about Islam. I
would appreciate that immensely.
Post 69
Question to the students of Social Justice: Could you first define Social Injustice? Yes it does exist but the answer I usually get is "If you don't know it now you will never know!"
Then they walk away. Kind of tells the story.
Post 68
To all students who think "social justice" does indeed require government involvement on all levels in order to take money from those who presumably have it, to give it to those who presumably need it via various taxation or mandated "fees", read well the Karl Marx quote: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."
Then, after you have moved on from your studies and entered the real world of income earners, heads of households and possibly property owners of any kind (home, land, automobile), remember that quote and ask yourself: exactly how many things that you have worked so hard to gain are you willing give up, so that someone else who hasn't worked as hard (out of choice sometimes) can live like you?
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Post 65
Does social justice means that everyone should have equal rights, from richest to poorest? If it's like that, does that mean that the rich and the poor should have equal obligations too? Social justice is a term that i think is unattainable. You can't have equal rights and privileges for everybody, because everybody is different.
Post 63
The civil rights movement was wonderful, in that it worked to free people from oppression and guarantee them equal rights. The suffrage movement was like that as well. The right to be treated equally under the law.
Yet the progressive income tax and various income redistribution schemes treat people unequally under the law, based on needs of individuals. This is a whole different thing, and is not social justice at all. The fact that all attempts at socialism and communism have failed, does not deter the "social justice" liberals from trying it again. It has always failed because people require incentives to work.
If a man receives the same for not working as the man who works, he is encouraged to become a parasite on the worker.
"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." Karl Marx.
Post 62
Social justice plain and simple, is government taking from one citizen to give to another to equalize their positions in life. The question has always been who decides? Which is why social justice is man playing God; unlike equal justice which treats every person equally under law with all people born with equal rights.
Social justice sees people as having only the rights that government distributes. The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is said to be a social justice document, is a totalitarian document because Article 29 Section 3 states that all rights are subject to UN goals. As with our Bill of Rights, every person is born with equal rights, which are not subject to any government goals; government is subject to protecting the equal rights that existed before government.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Genuine Concern for Middle East People

Arab Spring and the Israeli enemy

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Saturday 6 October 2012
Last Update 6 October 2012 2:53 am
Thirty-nine years ago, on Oct. 6, 1973, the third major war between the Arabs and Israel broke out. The war lasted only 20 days. The two sides were engaged in two other major wars, in 1948 and 1967. 
The 1967 War lasted only six days. But, these three wars were not the only Arab-Israel confrontations. From the period of 1948 and to this day many confrontations have taken place. Some of them were small clashes and many of them were full-scale battles, but there were no major wars apart from the ones mentioned above. The Arab-Israeli conflict is the most complicated conflict the world ever experienced. On the anniversary of the 1973 War between the Arab and the Israelis, many people in the Arab world are beginning to ask many questions about the past, present and the future with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The questions now are: What was the real cost of these wars to the Arab world and its people. And the harder question that no Arab national wants to ask is: What was the real cost for not recognizing Israel in 1948 and why didn’t the Arab states spend their assets on education, health care and the infrastructures instead of wars? But, the hardest question that no Arab national wants to hear is whether Israel is the real enemy of the Arab world and the Arab people.
I decided to write this article after I saw photos and reports about a starving child in Yemen, a burned ancient Aleppo souk in Syria, the under developed Sinai in Egypt, car bombs in Iraq and the destroyed buildings in Libya. The photos and the reports were shown on the Al-Arabiya network, which is the most watched and respected news outlet in the Middle East. 
The common thing among all what I saw is that the destruction and the atrocities are not done by an outside enemy. The starvation, the killings and the destruction in these Arab countries are done by the same hands that are supposed to protect and build the unity of these countries and safeguard the people of these countries. So, the question now is that who is the real enemy of the Arab world?
The Arab world wasted hundreds of billions of dollars and lost tens of thousands of innocent lives fighting Israel, which they considered is their sworn enemy, an enemy whose existence they never recognized. The Arab world has many enemies and Israel should have been at the bottom of the list. The real enemies of the Arab world are corruption, lack of good education, lack of good health care, lack of freedom, lack of respect for the human lives and finally, the Arab world had many dictators who used the Arab-Israeli conflict to suppress their own people. 
These dictators’ atrocities against their own people are far worse than all the full-scale Arab-Israeli wars. 
In the past, we have talked about why some Israeli soldiers attack and mistreat Palestinians. Also, we saw Israeli planes and tanks attack various Arab countries. But, do these attacks match the current atrocities being committed by some Arab states against their own people. 
In Syria, the atrocities are beyond anybody’s imaginations? And, isn’t the Iraqis are the ones who are destroying their own country? Wasn’t it Tunisia’s dictator who was able to steal 13 billion dollars from the poor Tunisians? And how can a child starve in Yemen if their land is the most fertile land in the world? Why would Iraqi brains leave Iraq in a country that makes 110 billion dollars from oil export? Why do the Lebanese fail to govern one of the tiniest countries in the world? And what made the Arab states start sinking into chaos?
On May 14, 1948 the state of Israel was declared. And just one day after that, on May 15, 1948 the Arabs declared war on Israel to get back Palestine. The war ended on March 10, 1949. It lasted for nine months, three weeks and two days. The Arabs lost the war and called this war Nakbah (catastrophic war). The Arabs gained nothing and thousands of Palestinians became refugees.
And on 1967, the Arabs led by Egypt under the rule of Gamal Abdul Nasser, went in war with Israel and lost more Palestinian land and made more Palestinian refugees who are now on the mercy of the countries that host them. The Arabs called this war Naksah (upset). The Arabs never admitted defeat in both wars and the Palestinian cause got more complicated. And now, with the never ending Arab Spring, the Arab world has no time for the Palestinians refugees or Palestinian cause, because many Arabs are refugees themselves and under constant attacks from their own forces. Syrians are leaving their own country, not because of the Israeli planes dropping bombs on them. It is the Syrian Air Force which is dropping the bombs. And now, Iraqi Arab Muslims, most intelligent brains, are leaving Iraq for the est. In Yemen, the world’s saddest human tragedy play is being written by the Yemenis. In Egypt, the people in Sinai are forgotten. 
Finally, if many of the Arab states are in such disarray, then what happened to the Arabs’ sworn enemy (Israel)? Israel now has the most advanced research facilities, top universities and advanced infrastructure. Many Arabs don’t know that the life expectancy of the Palestinians living in Israel is far longer than many Arab states and they enjoy far better political and social freedom than many of their Arab brothers. Even the Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip enjoy more political and social rights than some places in the Arab World. Wasn’t one of the judges who sent a former Israeli president to jail is an Israeli-Palestinian? 
The Arab Spring showed the world that the Palestinians are happier and in better situation than their Arab brothers who fought to liberate them from the Israelis. Now, it is time to stop the hatred and wars and start to create better living conditions for the future Arab generations.

— This article is exclusive to Arab News.
Also interesting to peruse the comment section too, to gain the different perspectives

Thursday, November 22, 2012

NewsBusters Interview: Jason Mattera, Author of 'Obama Zombies'
By Lachlan Markay | March 30, 2010 | 18:04
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Are young people completely in the tank for Barack Obama and the left? They voted for Obama over John McCain by a greater than 2-1 margin. Obama was young, cool, good looking, and well-spoken -- all the characteristics for a winning candidate in the eyes of the nation's youth.

But it was more than just Obama's charisma that handed him the youth vote in 2008. He was abetted by lapdogs in the press, reliably liberal pop-culture icons, and ultra-leftists in academia. Combined, they created a bloc of "Obama Zombies," writes Jason Mattera, author of a new book by that name.

Mattera was kind enough to give NewsBusters an interview. He described some of the themes of his book, including the incessantly liberal mainstream press -- "pre-pubescent little girls at a Jonas Brothers concert" is how he described the Obamaniacs in the press corps. NB's Steve Gutowski noted the book's tremendous assessment of media bias in his review yesterday.

"Obama Zombies" is the perfect primer for all conservatives worried about the movement's past troubles and hopefully brighter future with newly minted voters. Read the transcript of the interview below, or listen to the audio file here.

NEWSBUSTERS: I just wanted to start out asking you about something that Mediaite's Tommy Christopher said today. I think you've heard it, I thought I saw something on your Twitter feed. But just for our readers' sake, he said, "Aside from [Mattera's] ardent fans, I think most people will find his attack on funding for playgrounds pretty hollow, and his attack on breastfeeding just bizarre," obviously referring to your interview with Al Franken. He goes on to say, to compare you to ACORN scourge James O'Keefe, and says "Rather than search for the truth, both Mattera and O’Keefe seek to create truth. As entertainment, their value is open for debate. As journalism? Not so much." So I just thought I'd give you a chance to respond to that.

MATTERA: Tommy Christopher's a joke. Nobody reads him. It's probably him and his two moms. That's about it.

NB: Okay. Great. Moving on, that's kind of a perfect segue into your style of interviewing, and you've had some great bits recently with Steny Hoyer, asking him about having tax cheats write and enforce the ObamaCare bill, a good one with Bob Gibbs. So does that sort of style of interviewing, was that something that -- because I know you were very active with the college Republicans when you were in school -- was that something that started early in your career as a journalist?

MATTERA: You know, actively, or aggressively beating down liberal ideas and advancing conservative ideas did start on the college campus when I was in school. And that's just because political correctness is so sick, as any conservative will tell you. You have a liberal idea that you're just bombarded with. Conservative ideas are only given a forum when it's the students that take the initiative. So yeah, you've got to be aggressive in promoting it. So, the videography was just a natural fit.

For instance, we know it's nothing new, we have lapdogs in the mainstream media, who would rather cozy up to the cool campaign. They act like they are pre-pubescent little girls at a Jonas Brothers concert every time they're in a room with Obama or one of his minions. So therefore it's up to people like people, to people like you, the great sites that are out there, including NewsBusters, to keep the media accountable.

If Robert Gibbs is not going to be -- if Robert Gibbs is going to dodge question after question, or the media's just going to give him a pass. Same thing with Charlie Rangel. I mean, my goodness. Charlie Rangel. The fact that he is still a member of congress and has not resigned is a scandal of itself. Here's a man who has -- it seems every month there is a new ethics probe against him. And nothing. I mean, we know, if we just have a thought experiment, if there was an R next to his name, we'd see story after story.

Now, this translates into Obama Zombies in the fact that young people just are not up to speed about the activist nature of the media. So that's why people like me, people like you, will have to confront members of the media and expose their own corruption, their own fawning coverage, and in the process, expose political corruption. And hopefully young people not be -- will get rid of the zombie target that is on their foreheads, and realize that there is no such thing as objectivity any more. The mainstream media has declared war on conservatism, and is going to provide a base of support for liberal candidates.

NB: Well that has certainly become evident. You've also taken a more active approach to exposing the "Zombie" nature of so many young Obama supporters, well even before Obama. Before they were "Obama Zombies" they were still, I don't know, liberal zombies maybe. And I thought you could say a few words about the "Whites Only Scholarship."

MATTERA: Sure. It was a parody of racial preferences on the college campus, and liberals -- what's interesting is my university used to have an all student-wide email saying they have compiled a list of scholarships for students of color only, and I was on the email list because I'm Puerto Rican. I showed it to one of my buddies who was not on the list, he was Irish. He was just fuming mad, because he thought the university -- it was accurate -- the university was balkanizing people on the basis of their race, and he worked hard for his grades and why can't he have the same assistance?

So we said, let's parody the idea, let's have a scholarship just for white kids. We'll call it a "Students of Non-Color Scholarship," a caucasian scholarship. And it aint going to be big. It was something like 300 bucks. It maybe gets you a textbook on campus. But it was not for monetary reward. We knew

Power at all costs and Deathly Foolishness

China: Worse Than You Ever Imagined

NOVEMBER 22, 2012

Ian Johnson   

     from the New York Review of Books, more and more books to add to my reading list

Why does the end of lines get cut off ??


Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958–1962
by Yang Jisheng, translated from the Chinese by Stacy Mosher and Guo Jian
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 629 pp., $35.00                                                  
The Great Famine in China, 1958–1962: A Documentary History
edited by Zhou Xun
Yale University Press, 204 pp., $45.00                                                  
Mao’s Great Famine: The History of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958–1962
by Frank Dik├Âtter
Walker, 420 pp., $20.00 (paper)                                                  
Mubei: Zhongguo liushi niandai dajihuang jiushi [Tombstone: A True History of the Great Famine in China in the 1960s] 
by Yang Jisheng
Hong Kong: Tiandi tushu youxian gongsi, Volume 1: 636 pp., Volume 2: 1,208 pp., $30.96                                                  
Hungry Ghosts: Mao’s Secret Famine
by Jasper Becker
Holt, 325 pp., $21.99 (paper)                                                  
Chinese refugees returning to China from Hong Kong, May 1962
Last summer I took a trip to Xinyang, a rural area of wheat fields and tea plantations in central China’s Henan province. I met a pastor, a former political prisoner, and together we made a day trip to Rooster Mountain, a onetime summer retreat for Western missionaries and later for Communist officials. From its peak we looked down on China’s Central Plains, which stretch six hundred miles up toward Beijing.
Over the past few decades, the region below us had become one of the centers of Christianity in China, and I asked him why. He said it was a reaction to the lawlessness and rootlessness in local society. “Henan is chaotic,” he said, “and we offer something moral amid so much immorality.”
I thought of the many scandals that have hit Henan province in recent years—the “AIDS villages” populated by locals who sold their blood to companies that reused infected needles, or the charismatic millennial movements that had sprung up. Crime is high and local officials notoriously brutal, running their districts like fiefdoms. But didn’t many other parts of China have such troubles?
“It’s different here,” he said slowly, looking at me carefully, trying to explain something very complex and painful that he wasn’t sure would be comprehensible. “Traditional life was wiped out around the time I was born, fifty years ago. Since then it has been a difficult area, with no foundation to society. Most people in China haven’t heard of this but here in Xinyang, people all know.
“It was called the Xinyang Incident. It destroyed this area like the wrath of God on Judgment Day.”
The Xinyang Incident is the subject of the first chapter of Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958–1962, the Chinese journalist Yang Jisheng’s epic account of the worst famine in history. Yang conservatively estimates that 36 million people died of unnatural causes, mostly due to starvation but also government-instigated torture and murder of those who opposed the Communist Party’s maniacal economic plans that caused the catastrophe. Its epicenter was Xinyang County, where one in eight people died from the famine. The sixty pages Yang spends on Xinyang are a tour de force, a brutal vignette of people dying at the sides of roads, family members eating one another to survive, police blocking refugees from leaving villages, and desperate pleas ignored by Mao Zedong and his spineless courtiers. It is a chapter that describes a society laid so low that the famine’s effects are still felt half a century later.
Originally published in 2008, the Chinese version of Tombstoneis a legendary book in China.1 It is hard to find an intellectual in Beijing who has not read it, even though it remains banned and was only published in Hong Kong. Yang’s great success is using the Communist Party’s own records to document, as he puts it, “a tragedy unprecedented in world history for tens of millions of people to starve to death and to resort to cannibalism during a period of normal climate patterns with no wars or epidemics.”
Tombstone is a landmark in the Chinese people’s own efforts to confront their history, despite the fact that the party responsible for the Great Famine is still in power. This fact is often lost on outsiders who wonder why the Chinese haven’t delved into their history as deeply as the Germans or Russians or Cambodians. In this sense, Yang is like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: someone inside the system trying to uncover its darkest secrets.