More of the same but worthy of reading because it is so true. Does pursuit of truth carry any meaning any more? What is truth and how do you determine it? (See 1 below.)
If an economic recovery ever returns interest rates will rise but if the recovery remains flaccid, as is the most likely bet, interest rates can continue to drop.
What this suggests is something good is the consequence of something far worse. (See 2 below.)
Onward and downward. Just give him another 4 years! (See 3 and 3a below.)
Why should colleges teach students about the underlying principles pertaining to the documents that once were deemed important and constitute the very foundation of our nation? (See 4 below.)
Huntsman offers sound advice regarding how to have a relationship with China. (See 5 below.)
I needed to go to the store this morning in order to prepare for our beach trip at the end of the week and my gas tank was low so I decided to put in some hope and change. Didn't get out of the garage!
Obama's campaign has begun and is running on 2008 fumes because he has nothing substantive to point to after three years except one failed policy after another.
Middle East in turmoil, Europe financially busted and Europeans , after flirting with austerity for a few random months , have decided it is better to spend more of what they do not have. Relations with China are tenuous. Relations with Russia are basically non existent unless we pander to their demands. U.S. employment remains spotty and erratic, home prices have stabilized around the bottom but more foreclosures are in the offing.
Again we are going through what is a prolonged period of de-leveraging. Bad Obama and Fed policies will impact the pace at which it occurs but there is no way around the problems created by decades of excessive spending, government waste and policies that undercut our nation's productivity.
Labor unions have outlived their effectiveness and we have overseas jobs and a terrible education picture as a consequence. Our tax policies are counterproductive, government spending remains out of control and unsustainable but this president has no desire to act responsibly because he is hell bent on being re-elected and that means spreading goodies around with abandon. Every trip he makes involves a buying spree and more and more promises he cannot possibly meet.
Obama has chosen a four track campaign strategy of attack, duck, divide and promise. He has governed that way so I doubt he will change. This is the person the voters chose and perhaps still want because they have become mesmerized by his hype.
But this conservative Hispanic pretty much sees Obama and Romney as Tweedledum and Tweedledee when it comes to their respective campaign styles and in this regard he might be correct.
I long for the day when a presidential candidate speaks to the nation as if we were adults. (See 6 below.)
"Bill feared his wife Angee wasn't hearing as well as she used to and he thought she might need a hearing aid.
Not quite sure how to approach her, he called the family Doctor to discuss the problem.
The Doctor told him there is a simple informal test the husband could perform to give the Doctor a better idea about her hearing loss.
'Here's what you do,' said the Doctor, 'stand about 40 feet away from her, and in a normal conversational speaking tone see if she hears you. If not, go to 30 feet, then 20 feet, and so on until you get a response.'
That evening, the wife is in the kitchen cooking dinner, and he was In the den. He says to himself, 'I'm about 40 feet away, let's see what happens.' Then in a normal tone he asks, 'Honey, what's for dinner?'
So the husband moves closer to the kitchen, about 30 feet from his wife and repeats, ' Angee, what's for dinner?'
Still no response.
Next he moves into the dining room where he is about 20 feet from his wife and asks, 'Honey, what's for dinner?'
Again he gets no response.
So, he walks up to the kitchen door, about 10 feet away. 'Honey, what's for dinner?'
Again there is no response.
So he walks right up behind her. ' Sweetie , what's for dinner?'
'For the FIFTH time, Bill
We’re having CHICKEN!"
1)How Big Government Makes Life Worse
1)How Big Government Makes Life Worse
Another day, another story of government waste, fraud, or abuse.
It would be difficult to overstate the significance of The Federalist for understanding the principles of American government and the challenges that liberal democracies confront early in the second decade of the 21st century. Yet despite the lip service they pay to liberal education, our leading universities can't be bothered to require students to study The Federalist—or, worse, they oppose such requirements on moral, political or pedagogical grounds. Small wonder it took so long for progressives to realize that arguments about the constitutionality of ObamaCare are indeed serious.
The masterpiece of American political thought originated as a series of newspaper articles published under the pseudonym Publius in New York between October 1787 and August 1788 by framers Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison. The aim was to make the case for ratification of the new constitution, which had been agreed to in September 1787 by delegates to the federal convention meeting in Philadelphia over four months of remarkable discussion, debate and deliberation about self-government.
By the end of 1788, a total of 85 essays had been gathered in two volumes under the title The Federalist. Written at a brisk clip and with the crucial vote in New York hanging in the balance, the essays formed a treatise on constitutional self-government for the ages.
The Federalist deals with the reasons for preserving the union, the inefficacy of the existing federal government under the Articles of Confederation, and the conformity of the new constitution to the principles of liberty and consent. It covers war and peace, foreign affairs, commerce, taxation, federalism and the separation of powers. It provides a detailed examination of the chief features of the legislative, executive and judicial branches. It advances its case by restatement and refutation of the leading criticisms of the new constitution. It displays a level of learning, political acumen and public-spiritedness to which contemporary scholars, journalists and politicians can but aspire. And to this day it stands as an unsurpassed source of insight into the Constitution's text, structure and purposes.
At Harvard, at least, all undergraduate political-science majors will receive perfunctory exposure to a few Federalist essays in a mandatory course their sophomore year. But at Yale, Princeton, Stanford and Berkeley, political-science majors can receive their degrees without encountering the single surest analysis of the problems that the Constitution was intended to solve and the manner in which it was intended to operate.
Most astonishing and most revealing is the neglect of The Federalist by graduate schools and law schools. The political science departments at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford and Berkeley—which set the tone for higher education throughout the nation and train many of the next generation's professors—do not require candidates for the Ph.D. to study The Federalist. And these universities' law schools (Princeton has no law school), which produce many of the nation's leading members of the bar and bench, do not require their students to read, let alone master, The Federalist's major ideas and main lines of thought.
Of course, The Federalist is not prohibited reading, so graduates of our leading universities might be reading it on their own. The bigger problem is that the progressive ideology that dominates our universities teaches that The Federalist, like all books written before the day before yesterday, is antiquated and irrelevant.
Particularly in the aftermath of the New Deal, according to the progressive conceit, understanding America's founding and the framing of the Constitution are as useful to dealing with contemporary challenges of government as understanding the horse-and-buggy is to dealing with contemporary challenges of transportation. Instead, meeting today's needs requires recognizing that ours is a living constitution that grows and develops with society's evolving norms and exigencies.
Then there's scientism, or enthrallment to method, which collaborates with progressive ideology to marginalize The Federalist, along with much of the best that has been thought and said in the West. Political science has corrupted a laudable commitment to the systematic study of politics by transforming it into a crusading devotion to the refinement of method for method's sake. In the misguided quest to mold political science to the shape of the natural sciences, many scholars disdainfully dismiss The Federalist—indeed, all works of ideas—as mere journalism or literary studies which, lacking scientific rigor, can't yield genuine knowledge.
And thus so many of our leading opinion formers and policy makers seem to come unhinged when they encounter constitutional arguments apparently foreign to them but well-rooted in constitutional text, structure and history. These include arguments about, say, the unitary executive; or the priority of protecting political speech of all sorts; or the imperative to articulate a principle that keeps the Constitution's commerce clause from becoming the vehicle by which a federal government—whose powers, as Madison put it in Federalist 45, are "few and defined"—is remade into one of limitless unenumerated powers.
By robbing students of the chance to acquire a truly liberal education, our universities also deprive the nation of a citizenry well-acquainted with our Constitution's enduring principles.
Mr. Berkowitz is a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. His latest book is "Israel and the Struggle over the International Laws of War" (Hoover Press, 2012).
5)How to Manage the China Relationship
Despite economic success and growing regional influence, Chinese leaders are profoundly insecure.
By JON HUNTSMAN
The recent drama in Beijing over dissident Chen Guangcheng illuminates two of the most important characteristics of today's China and its political system. First, despite China's economic success and growing regional influence, the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party is profoundly insecure. Second, the Chinese people are increasingly demanding a more transparent and fair society.
The Communist Party's insecurity has been amplified by the 18th Party Congress, an unprecedented leadership transition taking place this fall with a backdrop of domestic political scandal, social unrest, uncertainties about the Chinese growth model, and increased tensions with the United States. The party fears that liberalization would unleash centrifugal forces that would threaten its authority. Yet people such as Mr. Chen, artist and dissident Ai Wei Wei, Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, who is now imprisoned in China, and so many others provide a glimpse of China's potential if it were to unlock the talents of its people.
In crafting an effective approach to the U.S.-China relationship, we need to understand China and all of its complexities—not engage in hyperbole or wishful thinking. Saying that the U.S.-China relationship is among the most important in the world today is not a statement meant to set China above our allies on our priority list, nor does it convey any aspiration for a "G-2" management of global problems. Rather, it is recognition of what is at stake.
There is no other relationship in the world that, if mismanaged, carries greater long-term negative consequences for the U.S., the Asia-Pacific region, and the world. By contrast, wise stewardship of the relationship will make us and our allies safer, wealthier and more confident about global stability in the future.
The best hope for sustained bilateral cooperation will come from strategically identifying shared interests and operating from a position of shared values. Unfortunately, in today's China those values we share are found mostly among people like Mr. Chen, and not in the Communist Party or the government.
America's policy toward China should rest on the following pillars:
The U.S. must deal with China from a position of strength. This means getting our economic house in order by undertaking difficult structural reforms. China will approach all interactions with the U.S. by first sizing up relative strength and leverage. If we remain on our present course of fiscal irresponsibility, innovation-stifling policies and political paralysis, we can anticipate greater Chinese assertiveness and foreign policy adventurism.
Economics and trade must drive our foreign policy and Asia strategy. Chinese leaders have demonstrated that they want trade to be the lifeblood of their ties to the region. Today Beijing is the leading trading partner of most of our regional allies. Given the scale of the Chinese market, we should prudently consider the second-order effects of those relationships changing the regional incentive structure. Washington must get back in the game of robust trade liberalization. Beyond the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, we should be pursuing free trade agreements with Japan, Taiwan and India, and allowing American businesses to enter Burma.
We should renew our ties to key allies, focusing on joint endeavors that hedge against some of the more difficult contingencies we could face in the region from an aggressive China and People's Liberation Army. There is vast potential for cooperative problem solving among countries that do share our values, and this "outside-in" approach to Beijing will demonstrate the benefits to being a friend of the United States. We can clearly communicate to our allies through our actions that the U.S. will be able to project power in the region despite Chinese opposition.
Values matter. We have an opportunity to shape outcomes by living up to our ideals and demonstrating we are worthy of the region's admiration and emulation. This approach will not only be consistent with the aspirations of many in China, but it will also leave the door open for a truly strong U.S.-China relationship based on shared values—should leaders in the Communist Party eventually embrace liberal reforms.
While our national leaders must try to bridge the communication gap in the near term, it will ultimately be everyday commercial, cultural and social interactions that will transform bilateral ties. I believe our peoples are more alike than different, and can see a future China where the likes of Chen Guangcheng are celebrated by both the people and the state rather than persecuted. Meanwhile, we should creatively engage constituencies beyond the government in Beijing and allow a multitude of relationships to flourish.
We must work with China on shared interests, while remaining vigilant to the inevitably competitive nature of our relationship for the foreseeable future. I've seen the competition up close, and I believe we can succeed with the right policies and leadership.
Chen Guangcheng has given us an opening that we can either see as a source of conflict or as an opening for expanding our dialogue on issues that increasingly matter to so many in China. The world will be watching.
Mr. Huntsman was U.S. ambassador to China from 2009-2011. A former governor of Utah and candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, he is now chairman of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation.
|Ruben Navarrette Jr.|
|Tweedledum and Tweedledee|
The irony is that the two are actually quite similar. Both are establishment candidates known for playing it safe and catching grief from extreme members of their party. And both are willing to turn themselves inside out to appeal to voters at the other end of the spectrum who typically escape them -- conservatives for Obama, liberals for Romney.
Even their "Hispanic outreach" efforts are alike. Both Obama and Romney are making a big show of the fact that they're pursuing Hispanic voters. And yet, given their awful records on the immigration issue, who do they think they are fooling?
All they bring are empty promises, flip-flops, half-truths and rhetorical sleights of hand.
As for Obama, his latest offering was skimpy, and it smelled like leftovers. In an interview with Spanish-language television network Univision, the president promised that he would pursue immigration reform once re-elected. Yet Obama would only go so far. "I can promise that I will try to do it in the first year of my second term," he said.
Let's remember that in 2008, Obama promised to make immigration reform a priority of his first term.
Whether he does anything or not, the president wants credit from Hispanics for trying.
Sure he does. Obama always treats Hispanics like he's doing us a favor. What other bloc of voters gets talked to this way? In politics, what matters is results; not good intentions. Besides, given that he has deported more than 1.2 million illegal immigrants, we're still not sure what Obama's true intentions are.
Note what the president went on to say: "The challenge we've got on immigration reform is very simple. I've got a majority of Democrats who are prepared to vote for it, and I've got no Republicans who are prepared to vote for it."
Seriously? The last time that Congress debated immigration reform compromise bills, in 2006 and 2007, there were almost two-dozen Republican senators who voted in favor of reform. It wasn't because they loved immigrants. It was because the GOP loves business, and business loves immigrants and their work ethic.
Meanwhile, Romney is just as bad. No sooner had the former Massachusetts governor gained the inside track on the nomination with the withdrawal of Rick Santorum from the primary race than he began to try to mend fences with Hispanics.
But who do you suppose tore down many of those fences? It was Mitt Romney. While on the stump during the primaries, Romney routinely antagonized Hispanics. He pledged to veto the DREAM Act, which would give legal status to illegal immigrants who go to college or join the military, and he called Arizona's immigration law a model for the nation. He also touted the endorsement of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who wrote language for laws such as Arizona's.
The new Romney is attempting to distance himself from Kobach, talking about how Republicans need to reach out to Hispanics, and filling key positions with individuals known to be supporters of comprehensive immigration reform.
Kobach calls himself an "adviser" to the Romney campaign. But recently, the campaign told Politico that the anti-illegal-immigration crusader is merely a "supporter." Kobach insists his role has not changed. Maybe not. Then what he should be worried about is why the Romney campaign wants people -- especially Hispanics -- to think otherwise.
According to NBC News, Romney told supporters at an April 15 fundraiser in Palm Beach, Fla., that "we have to get Hispanic voters to vote for our party" because otherwise it "spells doom for us." He told the crowd that a "Republican DREAM Act" -- which offers legal status but not a direct path to citizenship -- might do the trick.
Romney has also hired Republican strategist Ed Gillespie as a senior adviser to help with "messaging" and "overall strategy." As a moderate and a proponent of Hispanic outreach by the GOP who served as an adviser to George W. Bush when the White House was trumpeting comprehensive immigration reform, Gillespie is one of the good guys.
Obama and Romney. What a pair. All they need for their Hispanic outreach efforts to be successful is for those voters to be long on trust and short on memory.