Monthly Archives: March 2012

First stop Greece, next stop Spain

The austerity express may have already left the station in Greece but the pain train bringing massive fiscal cutbacks arrived in even greater force in Spain this past week. Unsurprisingly, austerity is just about as popular in Spain as it was in Greece – inciting violence, riots and general strikes in Barcelona and other major Spanish cities last Thursday. Protests erupted just before the announcement in Madrid of the biggest public sector cutbacks since Franco, Spain’s erstwhile right wing caudillo.

The Spanish government introduced a mix of spending cuts and new taxes amounting to roughly 27 billion euros in public sector cuts. The Spanish government plans to raise corporate tax rates, which will augment higher income and capital gains tax rates already implemented in December. Civil servants will see pay increases stop and consumers will pay higher fees to use electricity and gas. To be sure these are tough pills to swallow, especially in a weak Spanish economy suffering unemployment levels above 20% – the highest in the eurozone.

Tensions flared Thursday between the estimated 800 thousand protesters and riot police, causing injuries, detentions, and burned trash containers. Despite these disruptions Spanish officials have remained steadfast in their commitment to austerity.

Economy Minister Luis de Guindos, commenting from Copenhagen, said “Spain is going to stop being a problem, especially for the Spanish people but also for the European Union.” The new conservative government, less than 100 days old, has put concerns over the debt at the top of their priority list.

De Guindos and his government’s main concern is averting a financial disaster. The danger of rising interest rates on government bonds threatens total economic collapse. The bond yield on ten year Spanish bonds was at 5.4% last week though it was only 4.96% just a month ago (the US is about 2.2%). If investor confidence is shaky borrowing costs soar, something already witnessed in Greece where rates on government bonds exploded. When borrowing costs go up financing becomes very difficult if not impossible, particularly in times of sluggish economic growth and falling revenues.

But Spain’s situation, like that of Greece, is soon to be repeated throughout the Eurozone. Like it or not the austerity express is scheduled for trips to Italy, Portugal, Ireland, and even France and Germany. Even said, the eurocrats continue to discuss still more bailout funds with plans to combine ESFS (European Financial Stability Facility) and ESM (European Stability Mechanism) funds while others are pushing for greater IMF lending capacity all in the hopes of strengthening the euro “firewall.”

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic conservative lawmakers in Washington continue to fail to make any headway with major budget reform. House Republicans like Representative Paul Ryan and Congressman Jim Jordan of the Republican Study Committee have put forth viable proposals that could prevent a financial crisis in America, but none of them have any chance of passing.

Plus, as long as prominent Keynesian economists like Paul Krugman and Larry Summers continue to demote budget problems as “long term,” many Americans will remain convinced that Washington’s fiscal problems are remote from what is happening in Europe – an utter fallacy.

Ironically, instability in the Eurozone has been a source of strength for America’s bond markets thus far, making them a safe haven for investors fleeing Europe. However, that blessing won’t last long. What very few people in the Eurozone and in the US realize is that the game is over, the markets have already decided. As such the developed countries of the world face a very difficult choice: painful austerity now or financial catastrophe later.

Cameron Macgregor is a USNA grad and former Naval officer. He is writing his first book America Resurrected.

Biden’s “gaffe” really a revelation?

Vice President Joe Biden’s habit of speaking without thinking may have been more of a revelation this time than his typical gaffe.

At a campaign event in Iowa last week, Biden said, “…we want to create what’s called a global minimum tax…”

As Justen Charters points out in the latest edition of Dear Citizen TV, Biden isn’t the only member of the Obama administration that is floating that idea around.

Gene Sperling has a rather extensive D.C. employment history. Appointed by President Obama in January 2011, Sperling is currently the Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant tot he President for Economic Policy. He assumed that post following the departure of Larry Summers.

Sperling has also been counselor and lead policy advisor to the Secretary of the Department of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, was the Director of the National Economic Council under the Clinton administration, has been on staff at the Council on Foreign Relations and was a consultant for Goldmann Sachs in 2008.

Gene Sperling is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, which is largely credited for authoring the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Board Members and Fellows at CAP include George Soros, who wrote a book entitled Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism, former “Green Jobs Czar” Van Jones and former Economic Advisor to the President Larry Summers.

What’s the advice that economics ‘genius’ Gene Sperling provides? We can turn to his book Pro-Growth Progressive: An Economic Strategy for Shared Prosperity.

Sperling talks a great deal about open global trade and reducing poverty throughout the world. One strategy he states is to “go beyond the UN Millenium Development Goal… the world needs a new global compact.”

As you heard in the video, the UN Millenium Declaration was practically identical to the Global Poverty Act which was authored by then Senator Obama. To quote the UNMD, “Global challenges must be managed in a way that distributes the costs and burdens fairly in accordance with the basic principles of equity and social justice. Those who suffer or who benefit least deserve help from those who benefit most.”

If it had passed, the GPA would have given the President of the United States unmitigated authority to distribute wealth.

“A bill to require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.”

The Center for American Progress seems to be a common thread among those in the current administration that have a radical global agenda to redistribute wealth, whether it be through tax code, Cap and Trade and the “Green” Agenda, or by simply giving the president unyielding power. Dear Citizen TV promises to expose the truth and call out globalist, communists, greeniacs and the like. Click here for more videos.

Obama’s Marxist 2012 Reelection Campaign

Barack Obama’s 2012 taxpayer-funded reelection campaign contains many elements, including massive doses of class warfare and racially-divisive rhetoric, (think, ” If I had a son he’d look just like Trayvon”) massive misinformation about the viability of taxpayer-funded green energy programs, the always-loved-by-the-far-left-radicals hate-speech directed at anyone in America who is successful (think taxing anyone making over $250k) with that last aspect also including the misinformation-laden Obama 2012 war on big oil companies. Barack Obama’s current 2012 reelection campaign rhetoric shows America a man who must attempt to distract American voters from looking at his dismal record during his historic failure of a first [and only] term as president of the United States of America.

What most Americans do not seem to be able to grasp today is the fact that Obama’s current campaign rhetoric follows very closely with another centuries-old form of using misinformation to nudge public perceptions campaign, that of one Karl Marx, the founder of what has now known worldwide as Marxism.

Marxism, according to Bing Dictionary is defined as: a: the political and economic theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in which class struggle is a central element in the analysis of social change in Western societies, and b:  political ideology based on the theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. (emphasis added)

There it is, Obama2012 defined in one simple sentence: Class struggle being promoted as a main element in a drive to effect social change. This also goes hand in glove with Obama’s Hope and Change campaign of 2008, where he promised to “fundamentally transform America” and where he told Joe the plumber that we must “spread the wealth around.”

 In yet another taxpayer-funded campaign speech last week, Obama continued his call for Karl Marx-inspired wealth redistribution in his continuing war on big oil companies, as Larry Kudlow explains:

“Once again this week, the president was out on the campaign trail bashing and oil and gas companies. And he continued to spread major falsehoods about this industry, which I guess is the polite way to put it.

 Obama is obsessed with oil and gas. He is a prisoner of the left-wing environmental groups. And really, he’s extending his leftist class-warfare attack from rich people to successful oil and gas producers.”
“What seems to have Obama especially steamed is the fact that the conventional-energy companies are profitable. Especially the five largest. So he wants to tax them. He then wants to redistribute their income to his favorite green-energy firms. Sound familiar? I don’t know which is more important to the president — the fact that he hates fossil fuel, or the fact that he hates success. Or that he wants an energy-entitlement state.” (emphasis added)
Enabled by the media-misfits of today, Barack Obama is being given a pass by political operatives posing as reporters on Obama’s obvious implementation of Marxist policies to transform America. Anyone who points out the definition of Marxism, and it’s obvious direct correlation of Barack Obama’s ideology in policy-making being based on the teachings of Karl Marx as a way to fundamentally transform a nation… are immediately labeled  as a right-wing extremist or other nasty Left-wing catch-phrases dug up from third grade name-calling contests.
Karl Marx is quoted from The Communist Manifesto he authored, as stating,  “The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working Men of All Countries, Unite!”  This last sentence  has been used frequently by Obama-Union-Operative Andy Stern, the head of SEIU and President Barack Obama’s most frequent White House guest, as stated during a discussion about his planned globalization of SEIU. In case our readers are not familar with just who Andy Stern truly is, along with his Obama connections and Marxist ideology, read this.
In summary, Barack Obama’s proven Marxist ideology has been evident for anyone actually interesting in vetting this man as a candidate for U.S. President during the 2008 presidential elections. That simply did not happen, by design. The media has steadfastly chosen to ignore these facts and still does today to the detriment of America. In the immortal words of the truth-telling Andrew Breitbart, may God rest his soul, “we fully intend to vet Barack Obama in the 2012 elections.” Barack Obama is a Marxist bent on transforming America by destroying her capitalistic system and free markets, empowering a statist central government over it’s people, while taking from one class of citizens to redistribute it to another to buy votes and power. This is right out in the open for all to see in one aspect or another, in every taxpayer-funded speech Obama gives today. All you have to do is listen for it.
The revolution made progress, not by its immediate tragicomic achievements but by the creation of a powerful, united counter-revolution, an opponent in combat with whom the party of overthrow ripened into a really revolutionary party.”  Karl Marx- 1850 from Class Struggle in France .

 

The Left’s Childlike Mentality: America as the Daycare State

Modern-day liberals have a child-like mentality.  As if living by the book All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, liberals believe in the virtues of sharing and never fighting – values codified as Marxism and pacifism, respectively. But the leftists’ “revolutionary” pre-pubescent point of view goes well beyond cutesy naïveté: it will be the source of economic and military ruin if their temper tantrum is allowed to continue.

Time for the liberals to go to time out.

What kindergartners don’t get, in similar fashion as the liberal view of the economy, is that those Smurf figurines didn’t just get there themselves.  They were made in China, apparently by our mommy state who gives us neat toys and what libs think is a hefty allowance. Liberals can’t quite fathom that one day the country needs to give the money back. Bless their hearts, they haven’t quite learned the value of money yet.

If only we could make leftists mow lawns to pay back part of the national debt, they might show a little restraint with the federal credit card.

Liberals do not recognize that human dignity in an adult requires autonomy and personal responsibility. These concepts are alien to the liberal, who views society as an agent for molding and manipulating individuals, like a state-licensed teacher does with children in a kindergarten. Adulthood is therefore a contrived and unnecessary social construction; individuality is a characteristic of a bully or an alienated loner who just needs a hug.

The left constantly approaches the economy like it’s a gigantic daycare. When people need something, “all we need to do is share.” If someone has something another person doesn’t, the solution is to have the “teacher” force him to share. This is how liberals approach the economy. But what is lost in this daycare mentality approach is that individuals need to put effort into creating, producing, and selling goods and services. They do not just exist, like a birthday cake that should be cut up and handed to the rugrats on a plastic plate. And liberals don’t notice that after a few semesters, the teacher is really packing on the pounds.

So where did this juvenile mentality come from? When people are coddled by their depression-surviving parents and sheltered by a post-FDR government the way the baby boomers have been, it’s no surprise that they think the entire country should be run like a daycare. The scary thing is that these kids who never grew out of the Age of Aquarius have almost complete control of our government, and creativity and imagination are their only bounds! Our economy is unsurprisingly becoming one giant circle time, where millions of service workers finger paint in exchange for monopoly money while lawyers and bureaucrats draw elaborate crayon pictures under the color of law and post them on the nation’s refrigerator at the federal register.

It’s almost like these intellectuals have never asked themselves the question: Under socialism, who fixes the toilets? Why, it’s that creepy janitor guy.  You mean if we actually do away with capitalism and have full equality the community might want me to use that…toilet snake? The only kind of snakes I like are on animal planet! Ewww!

The left’s fairy-land reading of economics is even more dangerous when applied to the world arena, where it is combined with the notion of pacifism (exempting Democrat teachers, of course). Liberals conflate the beliefs of their own social circle with those of foreign leaders and rulers, attributing them “good intentions” because they display the same paternalistic impulses they see in themselves.  As unruly as they are emotionally, they have no problem with “strong men” daddy figures.  Lacking “boundaries,” they respond well to discipline.

Their warped view of economy is also shifted over to world affairs, where the source of all social ills is relative deprivation.  If everything is made “fair” and everyone gets the same action figure or Barbie doll, then there will be nothing to fight about.  Obviously, liberals don’t take ideas very seriously, since they blow off Islam as the belief of “misunderstood” Muslim kids. If we just welcome them, maybe include them in some kickball games (no score-keeping, of course), they might just learn to like us.

By extension,”hate crimes” legislation is a way of making sure everyone plays nice and no one says anything to hurt anyone’s feelings.  Equal opportunity is the idea that there should be no “favoritism.”

P.J. O’Rourke once wrote: “Imagine if all of life were determined by majority rule. Every meal would be a pizza.” And if the left had its druthers, everyone would get only one slice.

When a Constitutional Republic devolves into democracy, every election becomes a popularity contest, and public policy is devoid of the concept of scarcity. That is why liberals loathe Ronald Reagan and conservatives deem him untenable to mimic in the current political climate: He was like the parent who said “no” to the child-like voters who demanded more and more goodies. And even Reagan had to cave and dole out a few jelly beans to the left at times.

Although we can look to Obama to solve our problems, much like a child looks to a parent to get us out of a jam, we must look to ourselves. As a nation if we can clean up our room and show a little personal responsibility, that is a great first step towards returning a stable economy. If we can get back that shining entrepreneurial spirit by at least allowing kids to run their own lemonade stands, that would go a heck of a long way towards renewing our prosperity.

Kyle Becker blogs at RogueGovernment, and can be followed on Twitter as @RogueOperator1. He writes freelance for several publications, including American Thinker and Own the Narrative, and is a regular commentator on the late night talk show TB-TV.

Amazing Heroism, Selfless Service is STILL the Brand of the American Military!

SGT Dennis Weichel, photo by US Army

In the frustrating and agonizing wake of the senseless killings of 16 Afghan civilians allegedly committed by an American Soldier, pundits and citizens alike ask the painful questions: is this the brand that we will remember our mission in Afghanistan by, and have we overstayed our welcome?

The news cycle has constantly been bombarding us with this story. Over and over we hear every little detail of the life of times of the alleged perpetrator of these horrible crimes, the defendant Staff Sergeant Robert Bales. Pundits ask the question, is four tours of combat duty too much for anyone? Was it PTSD, a traumatic brain injury, financial and home problems that caused this soldier to go off the edge, or a combination of all of the above?

Scott Ott, a conservative commentator for PTJV, ruefully remarked on a March 13 episode of Trifecta that this unfortunate incident may be the “Brand” that the American military may be remembered for in their mission to Afghanistan. That would be sad indeed he says since the US military has done countless acts of bravery and compassion in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last ten years that will never be shown on the mainstream media.

PJTV Trifecta host Steve Green commented that Afghanistan is “just a place on the map where other nations aren’t.” Building a nation there may be pointless exercise and it might now, in the wake of this tragedy, be time to bring the troops home, Green said.

As the main stream media beats us up about the head and shoulders with this story of woe, taking a break from it all to bring us another tragedy in the form of Treyvon Martin killing, a story that embodies the real brand of the US military cropped up in the headlines for a day and then disappeared. I think it is worth revisiting.

On Thursday, CBS News reported the story of a brave and compassionate warrior from the Rhode Island National Guard who without any thought for himself saved the life of an Afghan girl when he pulled her out of the way of an oncoming military convoy. The girl was saved but sadly, Sergeant Dennis Weichel, 29, was crushed and later died of his injuries. Rhode Island National Guard spokesperson Lt. Col. Denis Riel poignantly stated that Weichel represented values that cannot be taught anywhere.

“I have heard nothing but incredible stuff about this kid, selfless beyond our core values that we live up to,” Riel said.  “As I hear more from family and others, he was the living embodiment of the Army’s core values: courageous, selfless and loyal.  All values we expect from our soldiers.  We mourn all combat deaths, but this one is a significant loss.”

Indeed, Colonel Riel! Well said! First Sergeant Nicky Peppe, who had served a tour of duty with Weichel in Iraq, had further praise for our deceased hero.

“He was a big kid at heart,” Peppe said. “He always had a smile on his face and he made everyone laugh. But as much as Weichel was funny, he was also a professional! When it was time to go outside the wire for a combat patrol, he was all business!”

Wow. That’s the kind of soldier you want to deploy with, if you have to.

Weichel is survived by his fiancé, his three children and his parents. When his body is returned to his family on Saturday, they will be told the tale of his heroics. They will be told how when children picking up brass in the road were threatened by a passing convoy, the convoy stopped and Weichel and his fellow soldiers dismounted their vehicles to clear the road. Afghans often live in poverty and recycled brass is a lucrative commodity. When one girl darted back into the road to get one more shiny article of brass, Weichel quickly followed and got her out of the way. With all that armor on his vehicle, the driver didn’t see, and meant no harm. Knowing this, Weichel was unwilling to watch another tragedy unfold before his eyes. He sacrificed himself for a girl he didn’t know. He received a posthumous promotion and was awarded a bronze star, an honor too low in my view for his selfless act.

Jesus Christ famously said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that he give up his life for a friend!” This is the value that Weichel embodies, and is not all that uncommon amongst out troops serving overseas, who are more often than not, the best of us. Sometimes there is a bad apple, who does something stupid and horrible and it embarrasses and shames us all. But more often, a quite professional does his job, unseen, behind the scenes and is heard from no more. I want the Americans who read this article and who love our troops to understand this and to spread this message. Our troops are inherently good, doing a tough job under very difficult circumstances. They need us to defend them and to pray for them and their families while they defend our interests and our freedoms overseas.

I don’t know if there is still a valid mission in Afghanistan. Maybe not! Maybe it is time for the troops to come home. But I know this. Weichel and many of our unsung heroes like him are the Real Brand of the American Soldier, and they need to be remembered for it, not the other.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/03/hero-u-s-soldier-gives-life-to-save-afghan-girl/

http://www.pjtv.com/s/HA2DOOA

Obama to Speed up Reviews of Great Lakes Wind Power Projects.. That Do Not Exist

The campaigner-in-chief has really stepped in it this time. Barack Obama, facing the fact that due to a miserable economy and extremely high gas prices crushing middle class Americans, he will assuredly be a one and done President in November…  so now he wants the American people to believe he is really ramping up U.S. energy production … as in windmills. From Fox News comes this enlightening announcement:

The Obama administration announced an agreement with Great Lakes states on off-shore wind projects….and has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the  governors of Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania to  streamline reviews of potential off-shore wind projects. (emphasis added)

 

 As in the Solyndra green energy scam that saw half a billion tax dollars funneled to Obama campaign bundlers and big donors, one can only guess which of Obama’s Democrat-crony-capitalists are standing in the windmill line to scam the taxpayers out of a few billion more tax dollars in exchange for big campaign donations. So far it’s pretty hush-hush, as can be seen by the fact that as of right now, these so-called soon to be expedited wind mill projects that Obama is bragging about…..do not currently exist!

However, when asked how much faster permits could get approved, White  House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy  Sutley said, “There currently aren’t any projects seeking approval…”

This is a sign of a president who knows he can not run on his miserable failure of a record during his first term in office, so he turns to making announcements about speeding up reviews that do not exist. Of course there will be plenty of Obama donors lining up to rake in the cash while defrauding the American people through these green energy scams.. eventually. Meanwhile, American oil and gas production and permitting has been stopped dead in it’s tracks under Obama’s regime, including blocking the Keystone XL pipeline that would deliver hundreds of thousands of oil to U.S refineries the minute it was allowed to go online.

This is a man ( Barack Hussein Obama) who the people now see saying one thing in fluffy campaign speeches.. while doing just the opposite behind their backs.  Barack Obama just does not understand that when Americans can’t go on vacation because of $4.00 a gallon gasoline this summer, and seeing him stop U.S oil production while giving away billions of dollars to his campaign donors for failed green energy scams… they will say enough is enough and give him the boot in the November elections. He is in for a very harsh lesson in reality this November.

Election 2012 MSM Bias




There’s a new problem in the 2012 election cycle. Story headlines will/have become more powerful than ever, because more people are getting their “news” from headline feeds sent to computers, smart phones, and tablets. Even news junkies with busy lives won’t look at what’s behind most of the headlines they see on these devices. When they do, especially given the limited real estate on their screens, they will rarely read past the opening paragraph or two.

For example, headlines and opening teases work effectively to portray Obama favorably or to denigrate his potential electoral opponents. Thus this headline editing has given the editors extraordinary power to influence the political and cultural narrative, and they have learned how to abuse it.

Here is an example that illustrates how the MSM can influence what headline-only readers see about the same story.

From Yahoo News: Senate rejects Obama call to end Big Oil tax breaks

From CNN: Senate Republicans reject Obama call to end ‘big oil’ tax breaks

Here are some more examples of headline editing and how it can influence/distort article content:

  • From the Washington Post, Ryan introduces GOP budget plan, slashing social programs and tax rates. That headline alone is bad enough, but those who bother to click through will see the following opening sentence: “House Republicans renewed their commitment Tuesday to the politically risky strategy of targeting Medicare and other popular social programs to tame the national debt, unveiling a $3.5 trillion spending plan that would also slash the top tax rate paid by corporations and the wealthy.” But the actual Ryan Budget Plan shows Medicare increasing by no less than 4.7% in any year between 2013 and 2021, and by 70% during the nine-year time period.
  • From the New York Times, Killings Could Stall Election’s Nationalist Turn This headline mentions nothing about who was killed or where the killing took place. It turns out that the accompanying story was about an Islamist killing seven, including three children, at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France.
  • From the Associated Press, via Newser, Obama defends handling of Keystone as he puts another key oil pipeline on the fast track This is a perfect example of how a headline can be quite misleading. “Another?” When has Obama ever “fast-tracked” anything not involving “green energy?”

  • AP’s Will Weissert, via Newsbuters, Santorum: Might As Well Have Obama Over Romney Again, a very misleading headline. Clicking through to the first sentence of Weissert’s article, readers will see: “Presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Thursday said Republicans should give President Barack Obama another term if Santorum isn’t the GOP nominee and for a second day compared rival Mitt Romney to an Etch A Sketch toy.” Weissert and the AP’s headline writer disgracefully used the their headline and Santorum statements to stuff words into Rick Santorum’s mouth that he never said, before getting to what he actually said in the fourth paragraph. Santorum never said anything remotely resembling “Republicans should give President Barack Obama another term if I’m not the nominee,” and Weissert and his employer know it.

So, where are we and what do we do? Being aware of what the MSM is doing and how they are doing it is half the battle. Spreading the word about the MSM tactics is the other half of the battle. All we can do is spread the word, continue to support Internet sites like Conservative Daily News, and keep our personal guards up.

But that’s just my opinion.

More "Green Energy" Boondoggles




What do we taxpayers get for “only” $249 million? A battery company that has to replace the batteries that it has already delivered. A123 Systems of Waltham, MA, received $249 million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) to build the plant, located in Livonia , MI, as part of a strategy to bring battery manufacturing to the U.S.

The grant A123 received is part of a $2.4 billion DOE program, which will be matched by $2.4 billion in private investment, and will go to battery and component suppliers as well as the big US automakers, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. The “Big 3″ received over $400 million for manufacturing and to test the performance of electric vehicles, such as the Chevy Volt. Let’s see… Chrysler went bankrupt, killing its electric car and costing us $70 million, and we all know how successful the Chevy Volt is. Can DOE pick ‘em, or what?

A123 Systems will spend $55 million replacing defective batteries it manufactured. The announcement was the latest setback for A123 that reported earlier this month that it lost $85 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, largely because Fisker Automotive had ordered fewer battery packs than previously expected. Fisker is one of A123 Systems’ largest customers. Yes, that is the same Fisker that received a $529 million loan from DOE, only to have it pulled after Fisker has already spent $190 million. And, yes, the cause of a $107,000 Fisker Karma shutting down in Consumer Reports tests is associated with A123’s defective batteries.

The $55 million battery replacement has had an effect on the A123 stock price, trading at $1.27 per share as of March 27, 2012, a new 52 week low. It was trading at over $25 per share as recently as 2009. A123 lost a net $172 million over the first three quarters of 2011 and has yet to see a profit. A Deutsche Bank analyst wrote: “We no longer have enough confidence that (A123) can raise sufficient capital (without massive equity dilution) and/or continue to augment their book to future business. Recent quality issues may lead to concerns over (A123’s) ability to manufacture with quality at high volumes, potentially leading to customer defections or at least difficulty in procuring new contracts.”

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) once said A123 was a federal stimulus “success story.” Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) visited A123 headquarters and hailed it as a “great example of how Recovery Act funding is helping American companies.”

Meanwhile, A123’s Compensation Committee approved a $30,000 raise (from $350,000 to $380,000) for CFO David Prystash just days after Fisker Automotive announced that DOE cut off what was left of its $528.7 million loan it had previously received. Further, Jason Forcier, vice president of the automotive solutions group, was raised from $331,250 to $350,000.

BTW, A123 Systems President and CEO David Vieau has contributed at least $14,900 to Democrat candidates and groups since 2007. And it has spent at least $730,000 lobbying Congress on federal issues pertaining to the batteries they produce.

Again, I have to say: “Can DOE pick ‘em, or what?”

But that’s just my opinion.

U.S. and Pakistan – We Need Them, but Do They Need Us?

While everyone has been running about talking about the Trayvon Martin case, SCOTUS on Obamacare, and the various endorsements for the Romney campaign, our leaders have been trying to haggle out a deal with Pakistan. Given a few problems last year – killing Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil, and the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers from a fire-fight with U.S. soldiers for two – the chances that the U.S. will get what it wants from Pakistan are not looking very good.
AFPAK
In order to understand this situation clearly, it is wise to consider the history of Pakistan. Since gaining independence in 1947, Pakistan has been tossed from quasi-democratic governments to military regimes and back again no less than seven times. In all of that time, only one leader managed to remain in power for an entire term. Stability is not in this country’s vocabulary, when it comes to leadership. While the current government has been relatively better than previous ones in some respects, it is currently coming under fire in part because of its relationship with the U.S. When the natives get restless in Pakistan, that generally leads to a regime change, so their leaders would be wise to seriously consider the ramifications of playing nice with the U.S.

Pakistan closed a needed route for supplies into Afghanistan, and is currently requesting public apologies for the deaths of the 24 Pakistani soldiers last November. The U.S. is standing by its investigation of the incident, that claims the guilt lies on both sides, so it is unlikely an apology is forthcoming. Additionally, the U.S. wants the ability to continue launching drone attacks over Pakistani soil – the Pakistanis not only want them to stop, but also contend that they are causing “mental trauma” to their civilians.

Beyond Pakistan’s problems with the U.S. lie its problems with India. While the U.S. may be the country that is most likely to be able to cause the most damage on Pakistani soil if provoked, India is the country Pakistan seems to fear more. Unlike the U.S., China is the most likely candidate on the world stage to provide Pakistan with the protection it desires from India. And even better in Pakistani eyes, is the fact that such an alliance would not have strings attached.

So what does this all mean for the Obama administration and NATO? While leaders from both the U.S. and Pakistan are publicly stating that they are working hard to mend their differences, the reality is that the U.S. needs Pakistan more than Pakistan needs the U.S. Anti-American sentiment is growing on the streets of Pakistan, and the current government is under scrutiny for corruption. There is building pressure calling for early elections, and based on the history of that nation, that is the herald of regime change. The “war on terror” is becoming increasingly unpopular, not only here, but over there as well. And the U.S. is increasingly being perceived as a destabilizing force in the region by the Pakistanis.

But don’t worry. If there was anything going really wrong in the AFPAK theatre, Obama would come out and tell us right away. He certainly wouldn’t let such news get buried under headlines about a shooting in Florida, or any other problems he might be having, with say his landmark legislation coming under scrutiny by SCOTUS, right?

The Best Week for Conservatives Ever?

In the first time since the 2010 elections, a conservative awakens to the electronic newspaper on his porch, and all of a sudden the sunshine is a little shinier, the crispy bacon is a little baconier, and the orange juice is a little juicier.

Obamacare is being railed against in the Supreme Court. The president is being condemned for his embarrassing “flexible” comment to the outgoing Russian president. It looks increasingly likely that the left’s politicizing of the Trayvon Martin tragedy is going to backfire — big-time. The 2012 election picture is very enticing. And just recently, the Obama “budget” was smoked in Congress. At first blush, it seems that conservatives are having one of their very best weeks ever.

But conservatives are well-conditioned during the Obama regime’s onslaught to shun resting easy until the stench of Chicago corruption is Febrezed out of the Oval Office carpets. Even if we air out the White House, we would still have daunting House cleaning to do, like bleaching the malodorous miscreants out of our nominal opposition party. It could also require running off the lobby of stray cats congregated at the capitol and a little Norwegian elbow steam, but there’s no point breaking out the bulldozers yet.

With such a Promethean task set before us, how could a conservative dare to celebrate? Or better yet to ask, why start sniffing cigars? If there is anything we unhinged right-wingers know, it is that the GOP has a talent for botching a sure thing. Our party is the geeky kid in high school who couldn’t get a prom date if he was sexually outnumbered by the gals two-to-one. And forget second base even if he does.

What is pathetic about the state of our country is that we are tempted to celebrate victories that are no more than the losses of our ideological opponents. Such Schadenfreude is par for the course in demented left-wing circles, where the progressive cultists shoot politics and economy through the prism of “you lose, we win.” What makes us depraved right-wingers is we have that ignoble and inhumane spirit that if we work together in a free society, we all win.

And so the left is imposing its zero-sum perspective onto our politics, and no surprise it is leading to volatility and animosity. We conservatives are tempted to celebrate Obamacare going down in flames, or a revelation about the president’s treachery, or a left-wing stratagem gone awry, or the obliteration of an absurd bill as victories. And they are, of a temporary sort.

We conservatives are so starved for hope that we are not able to see as vividly the path towards national rejuvenation as we do the immense obstacles looming before us. These obstacles have become concretized in the form of personal enemies, rather than remaining abstract impediments in the way of propelling our country towards shared stability and prosperity. This is a dangerous development indeed.

It is not that conservatives should bear the brunt of the blame here. After all, we mostly just want to be left alone. It’s not that we don’t care about others, it is that we want to care about them ourselves. Progressives want to care about everyone through the aegis of government and wind up harming many and hating those who don’t share their point of view. In effect, lefties impose their “caring” on people whether they want it or not.

And thus, if you reject the left’s “caring,” then you don’t care about everyone, and thus you are hateful and bigoted. There is no way to cut this Gordian knot with leftists. They are always going to hate us and will never leave us alone, so long as we believe our lives, our minds, and our agency belong to us personally as individuals.

Thus, there are really very few moments when we conservatives can celebrate. One of them is after we beat back the hordes in a crushing election, as in 1994 and 2010. These victories buy us a moment’s respite from the left’s insane totalitarian scheming. Another is when an outrageous proposition from the left that threatens our freedom and way of life gets shot down in flames. The actual defeat of Obamacare would provide us with such a breather.

But simply watching the left self-conflagrate is not enough to make conservatives truly happy. What makes us happy is when we as a country win together. Sounds cliche, but it’s true. And this is not accomplished by bullying others through government, but by willingly tending to one another’s needs and wants.

It seems lost on some people that this is what the free market is based on: voluntarily serving one another through the facilitation of capital. So there is some opportunity for inroads there. What some on the right seem to lose sight of is that capitalism is the system precisely under siege, because it is a barrier on the left and the state’s totalitarian designs.

Regardless, leftists and statists will not relent until they forcibly collectivize us into a system where they call all the shots. Therefore, being a “conservative” means always being willing to resist tyranny. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

Yet there comes a time when a movement devolves into a rear-guard struggle instead of the advancement of a visionary agenda.We must remember with Lord Acton that “Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.” It is too easy to frame liberty as the mere negative of the statist agenda, instead of the empowering and ennobling value that it is.

If we want to win the hearts and minds of more of the American people, we must never forget that there is a danger in backsliding. Simply pointing to The Constitution is fine, but it does not by itself advance the vision of a free nation. That is because The Constitution is widely and erroneously perceived as a limiting document and not an empowering one.

The prerequisite for anyone to speak politically on conservatives’ behalf must thus be that he openly and ardently advances the causes of liberty, individual rights, and free market enterprise, whether campaigning or while in office.  We must fix that firmly in mind as the lead-up to our potential victory in the upcoming elections unfolds. We are here to promote the cause of liberty, and not merely to tell the left what it can’t or shouldn’t do.

Kyle Becker blogs at RogueGovernment, and can be followed on Twitter as @RogueOperator1. He writes freelance for several publications, including American Thinker and Own the Narrative, and is a regular commentator on the late night talk show TB-TV.

BryTupper Calls Into The Mitchell And Ray Show (As Ai Hosts)

Thursday was a bit of a confusing day in Internet Radio Land, as both Mitchell AND Ray couldn’t make it to host their weekly show, but the always (semi) capable Ai Politics stepped in and took control.

As a bit of a thought experiment, Ai logged into the radio show first, and THEN sent out a tweet asking if anyone would like to host/cohost a show right there on the spot.  Several (two) people responded, and Twitter’s @BryTupper ended up with the spot.

Bryan and Ai talked about many topics, but the least train wreck(y) ones happened to involve: The Trayvon Martin case, Barack Obama’s flexibility with Vladimir Putin, and how the media abuses our trust in order to release “breaking news” “first”.

Please enjoy Bryan and Ai’s attempt to take over the Mitchell and Ray Show.

Click Here for the iPad or iPhone version

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Slavery

Historically slavery has always been around long before America was discovered. Europe held out to be one of the greatest places for owning slaves and the concept was not shortly lived. For black people to continually play the race card and hold American’s hostage indefinitely, for ideals that have literally nothing to do with modern America is ludicrous. In addition, for anyone to presume they are the product of some master plan, which promotes the oppression of the black man on the basis of color is equally insane, we all have options.

Throughout history man has been witness some deplorable events which have left a mark from one generation to another. Although the idea of slavery in itself is despicable, the reality is that it was very much a part of life and history and not limited to just the black man and his family. This is not meant to be a history lesson, rather it is an attempt to help people realize that the constant use of the race card, as a means of discrimination, is really getting old. For decades now we have become so complacent to the feelings of others that we use the word tolerance over and over again, and in the process we have become more intolerant of Christians, Jews, conservatives, and anyone whose ethical and moral beliefs are not in sink with the norms of the twenty-first century. History brings with it the events of the times, right or wrong, they are what they are, and cannot be changed. But for some groups to claim they are being held captive by the oppressors of yesterday is truly biased and unfair to modern civilization, most of which would agree that they hold a certain level of contempt for the very idea of slavery. Those people who love to stir-up trouble and sensationlize every story, truly need to find a way to move on and find something better to do, something more productive. The very government some of these people support, is the same government responsible for their poverty to begin with. Entitlements make people dependant; they lose hope and desire to change what for them is truly changeable. Slavery by definition is submission to a dominating influence. (Merriam – Webster) The influence in this case is more likely big government — each man becomes a slave to his own beliefs whether real or imaginary, and to believe that big governemnt is not a form of slavery is to be delusional.

Plato was taught by Socrates, Aristotle by Plato. Together they comprise the most influential figures in Western Philosophy. The philosophy of Aristotle (384–322 B.C.E.) is what influenced St. Thomas Aquinas. He was also the teacher for Alexander the Great. In one of his more famous writings, The Politics, Aristotle asserts: “But is there any one thus intended by nature to be a slave, and for whom such a condition is expedient and right, or rather is not all slavery a violation of nature? There is no difficulty in answering this question, on grounds both of reason and of fact. For that some should rule and others be ruled is a thing not only necessary, but expedient; from the hour of their birth, some are marked out for subjection, others for rule.” (1) Aristotle believed that some people were naturally slaves and some were not, those who were not Greek were considered barbarians and therefore more likely, by nature to be slaves. The color of a man’s skin had no bearing on the issue of slavery back then. Aristotle went on to discuss the nature of things which played an important role later on in history. Although the idea or justification of slavery in itself is never justified the importance behind the theories of Aristotle cannot be ignored or replaced.

Another example of slavery existed in Europe who had more African slaves then any other country in the world. England, France and Portugal used slave labor in their colonies while others, such as the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark, were mainly active in the commercial trade and shipping, thus contributing to the trade by carrying slaves from Africa to the Caribbean and Latin America. France was a major player in the slave trade and many of its cities on the West Coast(such as Nantes, Lorient, La Rochelle, and Bordeaux) have built their wealth through the triangular trade. Slaves on French vessels were mainly taken to the French Caribbean colonies such as Saint-Domingue and Martinique. In addition, France is also notorious for introducing the Code Noir (‘black code), a decree written in 1685 providing formal regulations for the treatment of slaves, governing their lives, deaths, freedoms, religion and how they were to be bought and sold. This gruesome document served to de-humanize the enslaved Africans even more by institutionalizing the trade in humans even further. France eventually outlawed the slave trade in 1830 and slavery itself in 1848. (2)

Since slavery was not limited to African’s, I must say that I do not hold anyone responsible, nor do I play the race card, in the event that at one time or another perhaps my ancestor’s might have been held captive as slaves. Likewise, I am not responsible for slavery or events that occured in the past. We need to consider the reality that we all have the free will to determine our own fate. We have the means and the ability to work to achieve our individual goals, follow our dreams, and determine the path we choose to walk. To hold on to the ideals that somehow every white man, women, and child born in the United States is somehow responsible for the oppression of Black people is ridiculous. The race card is so over played and reverse racism has become the norm for some people. In addition, whoever came up with the idea of adding the word American on to an ethnic group e.g. African-American – is equally stupid. Seriously, this idea was derived by someone with to much time on their hands. Clearly, whether you are black, white, pink, or purple, and if you were born in the United States, it is presumed you are an American, there is not need to put the American after your ethnic group.

The lesson to be learned here is that History is important. Without the truth and clear understanding about who we are as a people we can become misguided and lose faith in what is important. The truth of the matter is we are all children of God, whether we believe in him or not, it doesn’t matter, and we are all made in his image. What we need to do is treat everyone the way we would want to be treated, even the annoying person who we try to avoid; maybe that person even more. Hope is what allows us to persevere even in the worst of times — never lose site of that. Naturally, it is essential to realize that if we ignore history we are destined to repeat it.

References:

1 Aristotle’s theory of slavery is found in Book I, Chapters lll through Vll of the Politics and in Book VII of the Nicomachean Ethics.

2 http://www.realhistories.org.uk/uploads/File/Europe_Slavery.pdf