Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Obama: Assad Must Go - Same For You!

I have been writing about China's expanding naval ability for years. Most of the articles I either post or site are drawn from various Naval War College Quartiles which I read religiously.

I have also called attention to the fact that when a nation expands its commercial interests it, of necessity, is only a matter of time before the military begin to seek expanded funding. The rationale is the military needs a presence in order to track and protect that nation's world wide economic interests. (See 1 below.)
Jim DeMint comments on the Wisconsin vote results.

Perhaps this vote accords with what Rep. Price said yesterday - 'the mood is swinging back to Conservatism as reality drives thinking.'I hope so.

If that be the case and Republicans can take over government and do what needs to be done the markets could soar. I believe it is very premature to begin buying but I do believe eventually buying will prove quite rewarding - albeit, from what I suspect will be much lower levels.

This nation still retains the ability to run circles once government unshackles and permits American ingenuity to shine. (See 2 below.)

Obama's far left agenda, his lack of experience, his incompetence and arrogance have proven to be what I have been writing for well over 3 years - he has proven an unmitigated disaster from which our nation may have an extremely difficult time recovering even if Republicans regain control and even can do what needs doing.

It is evident, Obama does not have a clue what to do but he is consistent. He still wants to raise taxes. You would think his big ears would eventually allow him to hear the mood out there but Obama is so ideologically committed to Keynesian Economics and radically failed social experimentation he is lost in his own dreamy world of self-denial. (See 2a, 2b and 2c below.)

Meanwhile Carter Worth, the excellent technician at my former firm, has finally capitulated and agrees the market has now broken down and where it settles is anyone's guess. The key point Carter makes is that any recovery will meet overhead resistance. Prior to today, Carter has been correct in urging investors to stay invested but his chart work now shows the trend is decidedly down and the market has retraced virtually all the QE2 fantasy stimulation.

Whitney also worked for my former firm before she left to form her own firm.(See 3 below.)
The Obama Administration said today Syria would be better off without Assad. DUH!!! America would be better without Obama.

Is Obama going to do anything about this like an action follow up to his flaccid words? If Libya is a reference point I would not bet on it because NATO remains exhausted and toothless and Obama never had any fangs.

Every time Obama or his State Department talks we simply become more of a laughing stock.

This op ed writer sees a growing likelihood of increasing global wars. I predicate my view of future conflict when I observe a rise in anti-Semitism? Why? Because it generally is associated with rising angst related to economic vacuums which generally become filled by outbreaks of hate followed by military conflicts.

Are the riots in London the tip of an ice berg and will Obama's war against rich private airplane greedy capitalists bring about the same anti-authority behaviour in our country? I would not bet against that happening.

Also, will Assad overplay his hand? (See 4 and 4a below.)
1) China launches first aircraft carrier on maiden sea trial
By Chris Buck

Color China Photo - In this photo taken on Aug. 6, 2011, a Chinese aircraft carrier, which had been under refurbishment, is docked at Dalian port in in northeast Liaoning province. China's first aircraft carrier started sea trials Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011, a step that will likely boost concerns about the country's naval ambitions amid sea territorial disputes.

BEIJING (Reuters) - China launched its first aircraft carrier for a maiden run on Wednesday, a step likely to boost patriotic pride at home and jitters abroad about Beijing's naval ambitions.

The long-awaited debut of the vessel, a refitted former Soviet craft, marked a step forward in China 's long-term plan to build a carrier force that can project power into the Asian region, where seas are spanned by busy shipping lanes and thorny territorial disputes.

"Its symbolic significance outweighs its practical significance," said Ni Lexiong, an expert on Chinese maritime policy at the Shanghai University of Political Science and Law.

"We're already a maritime power, and so we need an appropriate force, whether that's aircraft carriers or battleships, just like the United States or the British empire did," he said in a telephone interview.

The carrier "left its shipyard in Dalian Port in northeast Liaoning province on Wednesday morning to start its first sea trial," said the official Xinhua news agency, describing the trip as a tentative test run for the unfinished ship.

The aircraft carrier, which is about 300 meters (984 feet) long, plowed through fog and sounded its horn three times as it left the dock, Xinhua said on its military news microblog.

Xinhua said that "building a strong navy that is commensurate with China 's rising status is a necessary step and an inevitable choice for the country to safeguard its increasingly globalised national interests."

Chinese citizens said the carrier launch showed their country deserved more respect from the rest of the world, despite problems it faces at home.

A high-speed train crash last month left many Chinese people bemoaning what they called officials' reckless hunger for passing technological milestones.

"An aircraft carrier is the mark of major powers," Pan Chunli, a 29-year-old IT technician in Beijing told Reuters.

" China has grown dramatically. The whole world should take a fresh look at China , viewing it as a rising power that it has the ability to defend its rights and territory."

Retired Chinese navy Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo told state-run television that his country intended to build an air carrier group, but the task would be long and difficult.

"As for forming a carrier group, I think that will take at least ten years," he told a Chinese television broadcast on the carrier launch.


Last month, China confirmed that it was refitting the old, unfinished Soviet carrier hull bought from Ukraine 's government, and sources told Reuters it was also building two of its own carriers.

" China has had a longstanding fascination with the national prestige attached to aircraft carriers, and this first sea trial may be seen as a crucial step toward the goal of achieving great naval power status," said Chengxin Pan, an expert on China at Deakin University in Australia .

If Beijing is serious about having a viable carrier strike group, however, it will need three carriers, Ashley Townshend at the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney told Reuters in an interview before the debut of the vessel.

China would also have to develop support ships and aircraft for any carrier group, Townshend said.

In China 's neighborhood, India and Thailand already have aircraft carriers, and Australia has ordered two multi-purpose carriers. The United States operates 11 carriers.

Before the launch, a Pentagon spokesman played down the likelihood of any immediate leaps from China 's carrier program. U.S. experts on the Chinese navy agreed.

"A newly-wed couple wants a 'starter home', a new great power wants a 'starter carrier'," Andrew Erickson of the U.S. Naval War College and Gabriel Collins, a security analyst, wrote in a note about the carrier launch (

" China 's 'starter carrier' is of very limited military utility, and will primarily serve to confer prestige on a rising great power, to help the military master basic procedures, and to project a bit of power," they wrote.


But the carrier is just one part of China 's naval modernization drive, which has forged ahead while other powers tighten their military budgets to cope with debt woes.

"For many neighbors, it may symbolize something different and more unsettling," said Pan, the Deakin University lecturer, referring to China 's carrier.

"It is inevitable that neighboring countries will react with some alarm, especially given recent disputes in the South China Sea as well as the maritime incident between China and Japan last year," he said.

China has been building new submarines, ships and anti-ship ballistic missiles as part of its naval modernization.

The country's growing reach at sea is triggering regional jitters that have fed into long-standing territorial disputes, and could speed up military expansion across Asia .

In the past year, China has had run-ins at sea with Japan , Vietnam and the Philippines . The incidents -- boat crashes and charges of territorial incursions -- have been minor, but the diplomatic fallout often heated.

"They want to assert their dominance in East Asia as well as the Chinese sea and they have very ambitious plans of asserting their claims over some islands," retired Indian Major General Ashok Mehta, a defense analyst in Delhi , said of China .

" India has lot of catching up to do and the history of India 's catching up is not very impressive," he said, noting New Delhi 's plan to have three aircraft carriers by 2015.

Last week, Japan warned that China 's naval forces were likely to increase activities around its waters.

But China did not want to rile its neighbors with the carrier debut, said Ni, the Shanghai professor.

"A single, solitary aircraft carrier floating on the sea, without the accompanying forces, doesn't constitute a battle force," said Ni. "It would be a sitting duck if you tried to send it out."
2) The Wisconsin Lesson

Dear Fellow Conservative:

The union-backed Democrats in Wisconsin failed yesterday to win the three recall elections they needed to retake the state senate. This is a major victory for freedom-loving Americans that should inspire us all to keep fighting for conservative principles.

Here's how David Freddoso at The Washington Examiner described the election results:
"The people" were supposed to be on the side of the unions who protested at the state capitol when Walker's bill passed, limiting the unions' collective bargaining privileges against taxpayers and school districts. But it turns out that "the people" had other ideas. In the end, even a massive infusion of cash and union volunteers was not enough to deliver the three state Senate recall races the unions needed, despite the fact that President Obama carried all six of the seats in question in 2008.

This marks the unions' third huge defeat in Wisconsin this year. The other two were the passage of Walker's bill and the re-election of David Prosser to the state Supreme Court. The grand talk of recalling Walker himself next year seems a bit blustery now, given the great failure of last night.
It's not exactly clear what yesterday's results mean for the 2012 elections. Wisconsin is a swing state and Election Day is still over a year away. President Obama needs a win here to secure his re-election and Democrats will be working hard to elect another Democrat to the open U.S. Senate seat.

If there is a lesson here, it's a lesson for those Republicans who are afraid to fight for conservative principles. Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) has demonstrated that if you lead with the courage of your convictions, you can turn your state around and win elections, too.

Unfortunately, I hear too many Republicans arguing for a "play it safe" strategy that fails to save our country and fails to give voters a reason to vote for them over their opponents.

The recent agreement to raise the debt limit was a perfect example. Conservatives produced the "Cut, Cap, and Balance" plan, a real solution that would have balanced the budget and preserved our AAA bond rating. But too many Republicans were unwilling to fight for it. They gave up on it because it didn't conform to what they thought was possible.

What happened last night in Wisconsin proves anything is possible if we're willing to stand on principle.

This is why I started the Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF). After losing several elections, I concluded that unless Republicans began electing true conservatives, our party would be lost and our country along with it.

If you're not familiar with SCF, it's a political action committee dedicated to electing rock-solid conservative leaders to the United States Senate. SCF is not affiliated with the Republican Party or any of its campaign committees. It's an independent organization that puts principled ahead of party and specializes in helping underdog candidates defeat the Washington establishment.

SCF stood on principle last year and helped elect Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Ron Johnson (R-WI). Now we're looking for more courageous conservatives to support in the 2012 elections, and working to build up our campaign war chest.

I sincerely believe the 2012 elections represent a "now or never" turning point for our country. With your help, I know we can take our country back.


2a)The Sleeping Giant Awakens
By Robin of Berkeley

One of my closest friends, "Gail," lives in a pristine suburb in northern New Jersey. It's one of those leafy bedroom communities where residents drive their Lexus SUVs to the railroad station each morning to catch the train to Manhattan.

After 9/11, Gail told me that eerily, several vehicles were left abandoned in the parking lot for weeks. Their drivers never returned home that day to retrieve them.

But, in general, not much goes on in her sleepy, idyllic town. The residents rave about shopping sprees to Loehmanns and sprints to Whole Foods for organic strawberries. There is no crime to speak of; the local paper blares news about a recent traffic accident or the opening of a Trader Joe's. So when Gail told me what happened to her son, I was absolutely dumbfounded.

As for Gail, like my former self, she's a staunch supporter of the Democratic Party. This isn't surprising given that she's a born-and-raised East Coast Jew. But, unlike the former me, Gail is a liberal, not a self-proclaimed progressive/leftist.

While many conservatives merge liberalism and leftism, there are huge differences between the two camps. Liberals, like Gail, want a kinder and gentler America. They choose safe, suburban suburbs, with schools that (as of yet) do not radicalize their children. While it's the rare liberal who would display a flag on July 4, he still cares about this country, supports Israel, and is wary of radical Islam.

The progressive/leftists are an entirely different species entirely; they do not love this country or Israel. In fact, the far left would like nothing better than to knock the US and Israel down from their high horses.

Leftists sympathize with the "victims" of the United States, not those Americans who are brutalized by thugs or terrorists. The left practices third-worldism, the belief that the paths of Chavez and Lenin are vastly superior to our own Founding Fathers. Having become smitten by the renegade image of Che Guevara, they fashion themselves as post-modern revolutionaries, who set out, with a missionary zeal, to change the world.

Consequently, leftists turn a blind eye to the savagery of the third world, e.g. the burqua or beheadings. Progressives justify the brutality of gang violence and perhaps engage in mob behavior themselves. While they label conservatives as reactionary, leftists are, in truth, the true reactionaries, reacting against Mommy, Daddy, God, and country.

Like me, my liberal friend, Gail, voted for Hillary Clinton during the primary. Gale was pleased with the prospect of a female president and nostalgia for the "good old days" of husband, Bill. After Hillary lost, Gail was a Good Democrat, and chose Obama instead.

She voted for him, even though I tried and tried in vain to wake her up to the truth. I myself voted for Hillary until the ascent of Obama snapped me out of my lifetime progressive trance.

I saw that something was terribly wrong, that people were acting crazy around him. The multitudes were entranced, hypnotized, in a cult-like way. Even more disturbingly, the more emotionally unstable supporters were behaving violently towards any and all opponents. And Obama, taking in the whole scene, said nothing.

The smearing of the opposition, the misogyny directed at Hillary and Sarah, the cloud of aggression that followed Obama around, like the grime that trailed after the cartoon character Pigpen, felt frightening to me, menacing, and creepy. It finally dawned on me that should Obama be elected, the dark and uncivilized behavior that I see in Berkeley would spread and multiply and envelope the entire country.

I tried my best to explain all of this to Gail; I pleaded with her to reconsider her automatic pilot vote for Obama. I pulled out all of the stops: I explained in painstaking detail what life was like in Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco under the radicals. I told her about walking a gauntlet of paranoid, drug-addled derelicts on Telegraph Avenue, about the frequent attacks on tourists in San Francisco. I reminded her of my own mugging, and informed her that everyone out here has a similar story -- or knows someone who does.

And, I told her, the worst part of it is that no one seems to care -- that citizens have become so programmed in the dogma of white privilege that they offer themselves and their children up as sacrificial lambs. Like the hostages of Stockholm, Berkeley-ites defend their abusers, protecting them rather than guarding themselves.

And finally I explained that Obama was cut from the same radical cloth -- that he surrounds himself with the type of militants who hold Berkeley captive. And, I warned her, should Obama be elected, the antisocial behavior that is tolerated in Berkeley will become the new normal all across the country.

Gail listened politely, though ultimately she voted for Obama. While she listened, she didn't really understand. Of course, she didn't -- how would she?

This wasn't her world. When you live in a safe, sheltered reality, you have no idea what it's like for people in Berkeley or Oakland or Detroit. You can't grasp what it's like to hear story after story of horrendous crime; of what it's like to attend a meeting at work one day and hear gunfire outside, as I did; or how it feels to walk to a restaurant on a cloudless blue-sky day and find yourself lying prostrate minutes later, with nose broken and two black eyes.

I didn't blame Gail; it is human nature to reject what we cannot relate to. It is impossible to fully grasp what another person goes through unless you walk in his shoes. You can't fully understand the horror of that moment when the doctor utters the word "cancer," nor the enormity of being a woman enslaved by a burqua. And you cannot comprehend what it's like to live in a place like Berkeley or, to take an even more extreme example, Zimbabwe, where gang violence is not just tolerated but it is heralded as part of a noble revolution.

You can't understand this, that is, until it happens to you.

Gail told me this week that her only child, Justin, was playing basketball in the well-manicured park down the street with his college-aged friends and his girlfriend. Suddenly they were surrounded by a group of black guys from somewhere else who began taunting them, invoking racist language.

Her son and his friends yelled at them to go away, but one young male lunged at Justin, punching him in the face. Justin fell and was knocked unconscious. The hoodlums then ran away; luckily, one of the kids got their license plate. I hope and pray that small-town USA takes unprovoked street violence more seriously than places like Berkeley.

Justin became conscious again after a few minutes, but he sustained a deep gash that required several stitches. Any head injury is potentially serious. But perhaps even more worrisome than his physical wounds are the emotional ones sustained by Justin and his friends.

These are good kids, well-raised, polite, and tolerant. They have held no malice towards anyone based on the color of skin.

But will racial hate now be planted in their hearts? Will it corrupt their trusting souls? Of course, everything that is happening right now, whether in New Jersey or Wisconsin, is purposeful.

The radicals want to promote anarchy. But it's more than this: they want the hate that blackens their souls to warp others as well.

My dear friend, Gail, was in tears, shell-shocked, incredulous. She kept repeating over and over again, "How could this happen? How could this happen?" She struggled to find the words for such barbarism; she had not a clue of how it could invade her insular world.

I spoke to Gail tenderly, as though I were calming down a frightened child stirring from a deep sleep.

"I'm so sorry, sweetie. This is horrible. Justin didn't deserve to be treated this way, and his friends didn't need to see such brutality.

"But, Gail, it's not just happening in your small town, but it's happening all over the country, and it's getting worse every day. There have been random mob violence against white people in Iowa, Chicago, Atlanta, in Wisconsin, where dozens of white people were beaten up, even pulled out of their own cars."

"But why?" Gail asked me plaintively. "Why is this happening now?"

"It's Obama," I explained. "It's what I told you a few years ago. This is what happens when you put someone in power like Obama. Something spreads, like a virus. It's subtle; it's almost invisible. But it poisons one person, and then another and another, until soon the whole country is corrupted.

"It's a sickness called hatred, Gail. Most black people are good, law-abiding, moral people. Obama comes from a far-left fringe group of militants who hate America and want to drag us down. Those same people have degraded and exploited poor black kids for years. These radicals use them as their foot soldiers. Obama would never get his own hands dirty.

"I know these militants, Gail; I live among them. They hate America; they want to devolve us back into some primitive brute state. This is why things are getting worse and worse in this country: the economy, the Middle East, and hate crimes against whites."

After I finished, Gail was quiet for several seconds. Then she said, sounding heartbroken, "But he made so many promises. He seemed so nice."

"Yes, that's true, sweetie," I answered. "But people aren't always as they seem."

Three years ago, I sounded the clarion call to my friend Gail to wake up and discern the person behind Obama's carefully crafted mask. I tried to make her see what would happen to this country if the radical left seized power.

Back then, she didn't understand what I was saying; she simply couldn't.

She is starting to understand now.

2b)President Downgrade
By Selwyn Duke

When Barack Obama promised change that would transform America, most never suspected that he would make history by presiding over the nation's first-ever credit downgrade. But, well, yes -- he can.

And he did.

Of course, the blame cannot be laid entirely at Obama's feet. Since Congress controls the purse strings, it allocates the money (the president does have a veto pen, however). And, if in light of this we can still say that a president "spends," for two terms Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, spent like a drunken sailor.

Yet the reality is that Obama has spent like three drunken sailors and a tipsy cabin boy. And this isn't just rhetoric. According to a Weekly Standard piece featured at the very liberal NPR, deficit spending under Obama is three and one half times what it was under Bush, as he has signed budget increases amounting to a whopping one trillion a year more in deficit spending. So the reality is that, in a great measure, the president owns our economic woes.

Yet there is something even more significant here: when Standard & Poor's lowered our credit rating, it wasn't just a fiscal reality.

It was symbolic.

It was symbolic of a man who has downgraded the White House, the Constitution, human life, foreign policy, and race relations -- and America herself.

Welcome to the reign of President Downgrade.

The U.S. is the nation that defeated Nazism, stood down communism, and helped spread democracy and freedom wherever these ethereal blessings could take root. It is the land that has provided 300 million people of all races, creeds, and colors unprecedented wealth and human rights. For these reasons and others, American presidents generally exhibited a healthy patriotism.

But not President Downgrade.

Within months of taking office, he had already apologized for America on foreign soil. In 2009 he said that the U.S. "has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive" toward Europe when speaking to, of all peoples, the French. And he managed to start this downgrade even before taking office. In a 2008 Berlin speech he said, "I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we've struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We've made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions."

To place this statement in perspective, let's apply it not to a mother country, but to a mother. Imagine if a person said, "I know my mother has not perfected herself. At times, she has struggled to keep the promise of fairness for all of her children. She has made her share of mistakes, and there are times when her actions around the town have not lived up to her best intentions." Since it's a given that all people are imperfect, this statement would be gratuitous.

That is, unless the person believed that his mother was unusually flawed.

As President Downgrade believes about America.

He has downgraded our Constitution as well, with his effort to turn us into a top-down, command-control socialist state. He has undermined the rule of law and our system of checks and balances and has further subverted the Natural Economy; he has visited on us blatantly unconstitutional ObamaCare, which was bought but not paid for with bribery and backroom deals; he has in a sense nationalized the banks, the financial arena, and automakers; and he next wants to institute a cap-and-trade scam that would give Big Brother a vice-grip around the private sector's neck, to name just a few of President Downgrade's constitutional trespasses. To him, our Constitution is not a prescription for limited government and America's national contract. It is an impediment.

He has downgraded foreign policy by snubbing longtime allies such as Britain and Israel. Perhaps even worse, he has bowed to potentates in reality -- and to the world metaphorically. As to the latter, his tendency to behave as if he is ashamed of his country tells other leaders he is a weak sister who can be had. Moreover, people generally are contemptuous of those who throw their own under the bus; no one respects a traitor. And what do you suppose foreign leaders think about a nation that has elected one?

President Downgrade seeks to downgrade human life with his opposition to the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, his lifting of the ban on overseas abortion funding, and ObamaCare's taxpayer financing of abortion through insurance plans.

He has downgraded the White House by inviting thuggish rappers into its once-hallowed halls and by introducing a new level of informality. But don't be surprised. President Downgrade's judgment and conscience are such that he even downgraded his own daughters. I refer to his 2004 admission that he allowed then-three-year-old Sasha to listen to rap.

And post-racial Mr. Downgrade has downgraded race relations as well. He presides over a Department of Justice that, whistleblowers have informed, will not pursue voting-rights cases in which the victims are white and the victimizers are minorities. This explains why the DOJ wouldn't prosecute the Philadelphia Black Panthers who were caught on videotape wielding nightsticks and trying to intimidate white voters.

And this is most amazing when you consider that doing so would have been a win-win scenario for President Downgrade. He could have made a statement -- as he did when he rashly said that some white Cambridge police officers "acted stupidly" -- and proclaimed that he was the president of all the people and that, regardless of race, creed, or color, whenever Americans' rights are trampled, he'll be there by their side. He would have been hailed as a truly fair, just man and as an authentic racial healer. Instead, he threw away this opportunity, thus casting himself as one who would even go so far as to take political flak to stick it to whites. He has made clear that his heart was downgraded, from innocent to bigoted, long ago.

Having said all this, there is something worse than having a President Downgrade: having a people downgraded to the point at which they would elect him. In 2008, Americans saw a Chicago-machine thug, an urban rube, a radical Alinskyite who owned the Senate's most left-wing voting record (even to the left of that body's only avowed socialist), a man who sat in the "U.S. of KKKA" church for 20 years, and they pulled the lever for him.

Upgrading the White House is relatively easy; that takes only one usual election or unusual impeachment proceeding. But upgrading the culture -- restoring hearts and minds so they deserve freedom and not fetters -- is a different matter entirely.

2c)Sorry, Guys, There Are No More Kings
By David Harsanyi

The romance is gone. But don't worry. It's not him; it's you.

It turns out we are the ones who failed Him. We weren't prepared for a mega-dosage of awesomeness. We were too dimwitted to grasp the decency of central planning. And the insistence of troublemakers to engage in debate and vote, in fact, is the most serious threat to this nation's future.

In a recent New York Times piece, Drew Westen, a professor of psychology and a Democratic strategist, wrote that the American public had been "desperate for a leader who would speak with confidence, and they were ready to follow wherever the president led." Do Americans really have some innate autocratic tendency that makes them desperately seek out a half-term senator "wherever" he may lead?

Charles Fried, a professor at Harvard Law School, recently echoed Westen's authoritarian sentiment in a Daily Beast piece, titled "Obama Is Too Good for Us," wherein he disparaged a system that allows mere simpletons to transfer their free market absurdity to Washington through elections. Similarly, Jacob Weisberg of Slate wrote that because of "intellectual primitives" on the right, "compromise is dead" and "there's no point trying to explain complicated matters to the American people. The president has tried reasonableness and he has failed."

"Reasonableness," you'll remember, is shoving a wholly partisan, Byzantine restructuring of the health care system through Congress in the midst of an economic downturn. But chipping a few billion off a $3.7 trillion budget in exchange for raising the debt ceiling is an act of irrationality that has, apparently, sucked the very soul from the American project.

The sight of a crumbling Cult of Obama -- and with it the end of the progressive presidency -- has many on the left so frustrated that they simply dismiss the very idea of ideological debate. To challenge the morality and rationality of Obamanomics only means you're bought, too stupid to know any better or, most likely, both. A slack-jawed hostage-taking saboteur.

Armed with this unearned intellectual and ethical superiority, it is not surprising to hear someone like John Kerry reprimand the media for even covering conservative viewpoints. It is predictable that the Senate would "investigate" a private entity like Standard & Poor's for giving an opinion on American debt that conflicted with its own. (Remember when not listening to the Dixie Chicks was a "chilling of free speech"?)

Obama himself blamed the volatile stock market on the "prolonged debate over the debt ceiling ... where the threat of default was used as a bargaining chip." So it's not the job-killing policy or another $4 trillion of debt in two years that's problematic; it's the insistence of elected officials to represent their constituents that's really killing America.

Following the lead of the Environmental Protection Agency, Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently used this imagined "dysfunction" as an excuse to try to unilaterally implement comprehensive education "reform" by bypassing law and using a waiver system. Why? "Right now," Duncan explained, "Congress is pretty dysfunctional. They're not getting stuff done."

Hate to break the news to you, Arne; for many Americans, stopping this administration from "getting stuff done" is getting stuff done.

The Founding Fathers rightly feared that the purer the democracy the more susceptible voters would be to the emotion of the moment and the demagogues who take advantage of it. Needless to say, we are democratic enough to get the politicians we deserve.

But debate is not dysfunction. Feel free to bemoan the fact that the American people are not automatons, but "getting stuff done" is not the charge of the Constitution. Neither is having a king, though sometimes you get the feeling that a lot of folks who believe in power as the wellspring of morality are really annoyed by that fact.
3) Whitney: Big Banks are ‘Zombie’ Institutions

Big banks in the U.S. are too big to adjust quickly enough to the changing nature of the financial landscape and will plod along like zombies for the next 10 years, says Wall Street analyst Meredith Whitney.

In the banking world, so-called zombies have little net worth but are backed by the government and continue to meet their obligations.

"The large banks, which dominate most of the lending in the United States, are effective effectively zombie banks. Number one, they still have sledgy assets on their balance sheets that they're working off over time and number two they are capital constrained because they are required to hold more capital so they have to de-lever," Whitney tells CNBC.

"The U.S. consumer is de-levering therefore the banks have to de-lever because they are not serving as many consumers, and you've got an expense structure that just doesn't match the revenue structure."

About 80 percent of the revenue flowing into Wall Street banks comes from Europe and the United States, two economies that in structural decline.

"So the business is going to change and the banks are going to have to change with them. The problem is the biggest banks are just too difficult to move quickly," says Whitney, head of Meredith Whitey Advisory Group.

"They're too big right now. So you are going to see the big banks look very different over the next 10 years."

Whitney accurately called the financial crisis a few years ago when she predicted Citigroup to write down billions of dollars in toxic assets.

Today, however, markets look different.

"It actually reminds me more of the '70s than 2008. I think the market's actually harder now than it was in 2008 because it's a constant beat down," she says, adding "there are structural economic problems that we face...huge swings in the face of uncertainty."

"The certainty is we have real structural problems in this economy that have to be dealt with on a real long-term pragmatic basis, not on a quick-fix solution basis. It's not necessary for the White House to come out and fix everything. Let's have a long-term plan around things."

Just a few years after the government pumped hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars into the banking sector, many large banks continue to struggle with the fallout of the housing bust, the Washington Post reports.

"They have some fundamental issues that some are improving, but as an industry they’re still weak and haven’t fully healed from 2008," says Matthew McCormick, a banking analyst at Cincinnati-based Bahl & Gaynor, the Post reports.

"I fear it’s going to be several years before they get out of the woods."

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4)Will There Be War?
By Adam Yoshida

An American credit downgrade. Europe in turmoil. Israel menaced by an Iran with nuclear ambitions. Mexican drug cartels run amok. Chinese ghost cities. With each passing day the news gets worse. To my amateur historian's eye, we seem to be drowning under the greatest flood of crisis, both international and domestic, since the 1930s. We all know how that ended. Will it be possible, in terrible 2010s, to resolve the world's problems without war? I'm not so certain.

About a decade ago, The National Review's John Derbyshire wrote that the odds of us, or our children, dying in a "genuine mass-mobilization-type, carriers-going-down-with-all-hands-type, flattened-cities-type war" were higher than most people believed. At the time, even after September 11th, it didn't seem likely to come to pass -- at least in the short term.

Yet, even a decade ago, it was clear to some that we were headed towards some sort of cataclysm. Nations all over the world have made promises that, because they have been undermined by demographic change, cannot possibly be kept. It was always clear that, eventually, the laws of fixed numbers would catch up with us and that there would be a day of judgement. It's just that, until very recently, it had always appeared that it would be in a further future and that maybe -- just maybe -- the white heat of technological advance would propel us faster than the danger. It had always been my belief that the crisis would come, but that it would arrive much later -- perhaps in the third or fourth decade of the century when I would be, God willing, in a position to influence events directly. Alas, it increasingly appears that that will not be so. The world's problems are so entrenched and so far-reaching that it seems doubtful that they will be resolved without the resort by some to the expedient of war. Worse, it now seems possible that a cascade of conflict will wash over the entire world as it did some seven decades ago.

Let's consider just a few of the wars that seem possible to occur before this decade is out:

A Second Mexican War

I believe that a war involving the United States in the affairs of Mexico is all but inevitable. The existence of what appears to be becoming a failed state on the borders of the United States will compel some sort of military intervention. This is the tragic product of policies in both nations that have drained Mexico of much of its best human resources and allowed the growth of Mexican criminal organizations of vast strength.

Those who praise the work ethic of many of the millions of illegal aliens of Mexican origin in the United States come near to but fail to identify one of the true tragedies of the disastrous immigration policies of the United States: the sort of people who are now working at menial jobs on the margins of American society are just the sort people who might sustain and rebuild Mexican civil society. The absence of individuals of such character is one of the major factors that has allowed the drug cartels to gain such incredible power in Mexico.

Ultimately, I believe that this war will take one of two forms. In the first, the violence of the drug cartels will grow so extreme and the Mexican government so helpless in the face of it that they will ask for, and eventually receive, the intervention of the American armed forces. In the second, the cartels will capture the Mexican government which will eventual result in such a government being deposed by the United States.

A War of Chinese Distraction

I find it incredibly difficult to believe that more do not see that China's economic "miracle" is every bit as much a bubble as tech stocks in 1999 or real estate in 2006. China's export-driven growth has been financed by billions -- perhaps trillions -- in bad loans that have temporarily sustained enterprises that are, at best, marginally profitable. The house of cards built by the Chinese state will blow away and expose China as an unimaginably unequal nation where hundreds of millions still live in horrible subsistence-level conditions alongside a middle and upper class who enjoy a level of wealth and security beyond the imagination of an ordinary Chinese.

When the bubble pops -- and it will -- what choices will be available to the rulers of China? A misstep at that particular point will be fatal for them, living as they do in a nation of a billion and a half people with a history of fantastically bloody and brutal internal convulsions. Faced with bad debts on an unimaginable scale, falling demand for labor in the face of advances in robotics, and -- thanks to the one-child policy and selective abortions -- a massive surplus in young men, there will be one terrible temptation for China's leaders: war. Indeed, it is difficult to see how the present Chinese government -- and perhaps even the state itself -- can be sustained without resorting to external aggression. Democracy, given China's internal contradictions, would almost inevitably lead to economic collapse and civil war. Repression of internal dissent with force will trigger revolution. The party needs to open a release valve -- and the pressure will have nowhere to be released but over China's neighbors.

A Middle Eastern War

This one is obvious and well-known to all, even if current events have turned our attention away for the moment. Iran continues its quest for nuclear weapons. The pressure against Israel continues to intensify on all fronts. Unless Israel or the United States acts soon to prevent the advent of a nuclear-armed Iran, the best long-term result for the Middle East will be an atomic balance-of-terror with terrorist-sponsoring, murderous lunatics on one side. The worst-case scenario ends with a hundred million people dead.

A European War

I am surprised that few have commented on the potential for the economic situation within Europe to devolve into military confrontation. On the basis of historical precedent, it certainly seems possible to me. The members of the European Union, lacking the common bonds and sentiments that have allowed other federations to be successful in forming a common state, will not hesitate to betray each other if there is a real advantage to be gained by it. While most of Europe's current leaders do not appear to be the sort inclined to resolve matters through the use of force, is not impossible that the deepening of the crisis will result in the arrival of leaders who will.

This situation is complex and unpredictable, but let's just consider one scenario for how we might see a European conflict arise out of the present conditions. Imagine that the bailouts continue for several more years, dragging Germany and other solvent nations deeper and deeper into the morass of the south. Economic conditions in, for example, Greece continue to worsen. Eventually the Greek government is replaced -- through either legal or extra-legal means -- by a government intent on repudiating the debts of the nation. Such an act would likely trigger similar moves elsewhere and would, by such a point, totally ruin Germany. It is not hard to imagine Germans under such conditions -- threatened with being impoverished by spendthrift Southern Europeans -- advocating that an army be dispatched to Athens to ensure that payments were forthcoming. Who knows where that would end but, at that point, what would be the choice?

A Second Civil War

Finally, watching events unfold in the United States, it becomes impossible to rule out what was recently unthinkable: that the economic and political crisis will spin entirely out of control and eventually lead to some form of organized political violence. No one on either side desires it and practically everyone, at present, would argue that there is no plausible scenario leading to it. Yet the astute observer of history will recall that, as late as 1860, Senator Jefferson Davis of Mississippi was sitting in his office and reviewing plans for the construction of the Capitol Dome.

The unknown factor here is how far some are willing to go in defending a plainly nonviable welfare state. Perhaps some future president, stymied by the Congress, will attempt to resort to extra-constitutional means in order to continue funding benefits. Or maybe some future government, distorted by some political pressure or another, will impose taxes or regulations that some states consider to be intolerable. Though, I should say here, I consider it more likely that such a conflict would resemble the English Civil War and its conflict between the Crown and Parliament than it would the first American Civil War with its struggle among the states.

None of the possibilities I have outlined needs to become reality. But all of them could. The worst-case scenarios all share a common root cause: the failure of our politicians to recognize that, in the words of the late Enoch Powell, "the supreme function of statesmanship is to provide against preventable evils." There must be a genuine recognition, both on the part of the state and of the people, that our problems are a result of an excessive reliance upon government and our foolish faith in the ability of legislation to resolve flaws in the human character. Governments have not only spent too much already, but they have set expectations for the future that will not be met. The question is not how we can distort math to make the impossible continue to seem possible; it is whether our obligations shall be unwound in an orderly or disorderly fashion. As the old economic maxim goes, "those things that can't continue won't." To that allow me to add that the impossible does not become possible through hope and wishes. Our leaders must act now. Either we will shake them, or worse days endure.

4a)Syria goads Turkey by attacking towns along their border

Less than 24 hours after Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu handed Bashar Assad in Damascus "a final warning," to stop the bloodshed or else, Assad demonstrated coolly that he is not scared by the prospect of military intervention or deterred by Ankara's caution that he risks the same fate as Muammar Qaddafi – i.e. NATO attack. The day after his Turkish guest departed, Wednesday, Aug. 10, he launched military assaults on three towns in the Turkish border region.

Tanks, armored vehicles and motorized infantry units pushed into Taftanaz and Sermin in Idlib province, less than 30 kilometers from the border, while troops entered Binnish, a town squarely on the border.

This exercise was also Assad's reply to the Obama administration's leaked report of Tuesday night that within the coming hours Washington would for the first time explicitly call on Bashar Assad to step down, like the marching orders the US gave the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi.

This strategy is so far in the red, with only one down (Mubarak) and two (Qaddafi and Yemeni President Abdullah Ali Saleh) still to go. Assad expects to join the latter group after outdoing them all in brutal repression.

He not only brushed aside the Davutoglu's demand on behalf of Turkey as a NATO member to cut down on his military operations against civilians, he expanded them Wednesday in the most provocative manner.

The five-month conflict between the Syrian army and rebels is now in its bloodiest week, raging on three fronts: In the north from Wednesday on the Turkish border, in the east, where Syrian tanks and artillery forces are knocking over the towns of Deir al-Zour and Abu Kamal near the Iraqi border and in two protests centers in the Damascus suburbs of Duma and Kharasta.

Assad was cheered on by the apparent weakness he noticed in the Turkish foreign minister when they conversed Tuesday. The Syrian ruler gained the impression that Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is still wavering over whether to order his army to cross the border into Syria and he therefore decided to strike while the iron was hot.

By concentrating units so close to the Turkish border, Assad also gained an advantage in the event of Erdogan deciding to invade.

Assad found another sign of weakness in Erdogan's report that his foreign minister had obtained in Damascus a promise of political reforms and seen for himself that Syrian tanks had pulled out of Hama. There was no mention of the number of civilians killed before that or the public executions in the city's main square. The Turkish prime minister seemed to have forgotten that all Assad's past promises of reforms had proved hollow.

Apparently, the Syrian president received new Iranian guarantees Tuesday night of a missile shield in the event of an attack by Turkey or NATO forces. This is tantamount to a promise that Iranian missiles would target Middle East air bases from which the assault planes took off and send troops to the aid of the Syrian army.

Assad therefore feels safe in discounting the new sanctions the US slapped down Wednesday night, Aug. 10 on Syria's biggest commercial bank, the Commercial Bank of Syria, and its Lebanon-based subsidiary, under a presidential executive order that targets proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their supporters. A separate order designated Syriatel, the country's largest mobile phone operator, for supporting human rights abuses in Syria.

He was not bothered by his increasing isolation in the Arab world after Saudi Arabia led the Gulf States in recalling their ambassadors from Damascus in protest against the unbridled blood-letting - any more than he moved by a possible NATO strike.

He views NATO as having failed in its six-month air Libyan campaign either to dislodge Qaddafi or destroy his army. It had the reverse effect of strengthening his regime. As for Western aid to Syrian rebels, government forces have managed to seize most of the weapons and logistical aid shipments they shipped into Syria.

4b)MEMRI: Hizbullah MP, Retired Brig.-Gen. Walid Sakariya: Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Hizbullah will Wipe Out Israel, Even at the Cost of Hundreds of Thousands of Casualties, Following U.S. Withdrawal from Iraq

MEMRI: Special Dispatch4069August 10, 2011

Hizbullah MP, Retired Brig.-Gen. Walid Sakariya: Syria, Iraq, Iran, and
Hizbullah will Wipe Out Israel, Even at the Cost of Hundreds of Thousands of
Casualties, Following U.S. Withdrawal from Iraq

Following are excerpts from an interview with Hizbullah MP Brig.-Gen. (ret.)
Walid Sakariya, which aired on ANB TV on August 7, 2011.

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit

Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Walid Sakariya: "Iran is the country most hostile to
Israel, but Iraq serves as a buffer between Iran and the Palestine front –
from the days of Saddam Hussein and until the U.S. military presence in
Iraq. Iran supports the forces of confrontation: Hamas, Hizbullah, and

"If, following the U.S. withdrawal, Iraq becomes a bridge linking Iran to
Syria, the Iranian forces could cross Iraq and arrive in Syria, in order to
participate in a direct war on the Golan front.

"In that case, Israel would not be fighting Hizbullah alone. It would be
fighting Hizbullah, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. This is the so-called 'Shiite
Crescent' that they fear. Since Iran dominates this [axis], the Arab
countries refer to it as the 'Shiite Crescent.'

"If Hizbullah has 5,000 missiles and can destroy some targets in Israel, the
equation will completely change when Syria and Iran join the war. You will
have the strategic superiority and a force large enough to pulverize Israel,
even if this war costs you hundreds of thousands of martyrs – not just 1,000
or 2,000. You will enter this war with a population mass exceeding 100
million. [...]

"If Syria, as a confrontation country, fails, America and the Zionist
enterprise will be victorious."

Interviewer: "Syria is that important..."

Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Walid Sakariya: "Of course. But if Syria is victorious as
a confrontation country, Israel will come to an end. There are military
balances. Hizbullah can defeat Israel, but it cannot abolish it. If Syria
enters a war with Israel, it may be able to regain the Golan, but it will
not be able to liberate Haifa and Tel Aviv.

"However, Hizbullah, Syria, Iraq, and Iran will constitute a force that is
militarily superior to Israel and will destroy it. They will wage a war and
might even suffer hundreds of thousands of martyrs – because Israel might
use the nuclear weapon in order to survive – but nevertheless, this war will
put an end to Israel." [...]

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