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28 July 2012

Just One Minute: A Moment of Silence Is Too Much To Ask, But Segregation Is Not?






"My husband’s hands were tied, not yours.”

- Ankie Spitzer, the widow of Israeli fencing coach Andre Spitzer



By Benjamin Weinthal


The International Olympic Committee (IOC) flatly rejected a minute of silence at today’s opening ceremony in London to mark the 40th anniversary of the murder of eleven Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Games.

Why exactly is the IOC opposed to a rather modest attempt to commemorate the victims of terror? According to Ankie Spitzer, the widow of Israeli fencing coach Andre Spitzer, who was murdered by the Palestinian Black September group in 1972, IOC president Jacques Rogge capitulated to the 46-member bloc of Arab and Muslim countries because of the threat of Arab countries to boycott participation in the Games.

Spitzer, who jumpstarted an international campaign to garner a minute of silence at the London games, reported that Rogge told her that “his hands were tied” by the influence of the 46-member group.

Her rejoinder to Rogge: “No, my husband’s hands were tied, not yours.”

Spitzer claims that the IOC balked because 21 Arab delegations are prepared to leave the Games if a public commemoration event took place. Her response to the IOC: “Let them leave if they can’t understand what the Olympics are all about — a connection between people through sport.”

Predictably and unsurprisingly, Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestinian Football Federation, praised Rogge’s decision in a letter, writing “Sports is a bridge for love, connection and relaying peace between peoples. It should not be a factor for separation and spreading racism between peoples.”

Meanwhile, in a case of real ICO-sponsored racism and anti-Semitism, the IOC permitted Lebanon’s Judo team to boycott training alongside the Israeli team. According to the London-based Jewish Chronicle, “Olympic officials were forced to erect a special screen at the Excel venue following a complaint from a member of the Lebanese delegation.”

What is unfolding in London is a mirror-image of the conduct of the United Nations and its organizations seeking to not hurt the” feelings” of Muslim-majority countries. In short, mass cowardice prevails over basic human rights and confronting terrorism.

Moreover, the Obama administration’s ongoing refusal to invite Israel to participate in the U.S.-sponsored Global Counterterrorism Forum is part and parcel of the soggy indifference toward Israel’s security interests, this time at the expense of placating Turkey.

In one of the most insightful commentaries on the failure of left-liberals to tackle pressing human-rights issues, the Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger neatly captured in his May article a new phenomenon. He wrote that “the Liberals and Democrats who work on human-rights issues won’t like to hear this, but with the Obama presidency, human rights has completed its passage away from the political left, across the center and into its home mainly on the right — among neoconservatives and evangelical Christian activists.”

All of this helps to explain why conservatives have played a key role in the call to remember the murdered Israeli athletes and have consistently urged the Obama administration to include Israel in its Global Counterterrorism Forum.


— Benjamin Weinthal is a Berlin-based Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.



Sophie:  



How outrageous, anti-semitic, sad and cowardly of the IOC!  Not only the refusal to permit a moment of silence to remember the Israeli athletes killed 40 years ago at the Munich Games, but the capitulation to the Lebanese team's demand to segregate training facilities.  




Apartheid Wall? Lebanese Judo Team Forces Olympic Organizers to Erect Barrier to Block View of Israelis


"They came and they saw us – they didn’t like it and they went to the organisers. They put up some kind of wall between us. Everyone went on and there was no interaction between us."



Would the American team have stayed if whites and blacks were segregated?  




Jesse Owens defies Adolf Hitler, Berlin, 1936



Will there emerge an Israeli Jesse Owens, who will stand over the course of history as a symbol of shame to be branded on the IOC, the UK Olympics organisation and each country that remains in the games for as long as this discrimination, despicable demonstration of unsportsmanlike behaviour, appeasement, and surrender are allowed to stand?  



 Courage:


 

 An African-American, Jesse Owens, man stands up to Hitler in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin


 A white German, Luz Long, befriends and advises Jesse Owens in front of Hitler and the world.  Luz Long was drafted into the army and killed in Sicily during World War II, but his courage during the 1936 Games earned him admirers around the world...and still does.





  • In the 1936 Olympics, Luz Long and Jessie Owens directly competed against one another in the long jump competition held in the were direct competitors in the long jump at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin in the Olympiastadion.
  • Since he had "home field advantage," Long gave Owens some advice.  Owens won gold.  Long won silver.
  • Before the entire stadium, including Adolf Hitler, Luz Long embraced Jessie Owens in congratulations on his victory and world record.

  • Both men became friends and maintained a correspondence for years until the outbreak of hostilities between Germany and the United States made that impossible.  Owens continued a relationship with the Long family long after Luz's death in the War.


"It took a lot of courage for him to befriend me in front of Hitler... You can melt down all the medals and cups I have and they wouldn't be a plating on the twenty-four karat friendship that I felt for Luz Long at that moment."

- Jesse Owens


Will we look back on the Games of 2012 with the same sense of utter disgust and revulsion as humanity does at those that Hitler hosted in Berlin in 1936?

Sorry, my fellow Brits, but the Left can "celebrate" the "joys of socialised medicine" until every square millimetre of turf in Merry Old England is covered with big hospital beds, happy nurses, and trampolining, sick children and the scene occupies every television on the planet, but as long as there is a barrier between the Lebanese and Israeli athletes, I will remember these Olympics as a disgrace...yet, another example where my homeland lacked the moral authority and intestinal fortitude to stand up for truth, justice, and fair play.

Since a moment of silence was, evidently, too much to ask in their memomy, honour Moshe Weinberg, Yossef Romano, Ze'ev Friedman, David Berger, Yakov Springer, Eliezer Halfin, Yossef Gutfreund, Kehat Shorr, Mark Slavin, Andre Spitzer, and Amitzur Shapira this way:


TEAR. DOWN. THAT. WALL!









They Hate Our Guts ... And They’re Drunk On Power



h/t Schadenfreude



They Hate Our Guts


"Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely."

- John Acton, 1st Baron Acton



By P.J. O'Rourke, 1 November 2010

Perhaps you’re having a tiny last minute qualm about voting Republican. Take heart. And take the House and the Senate. Yes, there are a few flakes of dander in the fair tresses of the GOP’s crowning glory—an isolated isolationist or two, a hint of gold buggery, and Christine O’Donnell announcing that she’s not a witch. (I ask you, has Hillary Clinton ever cleared this up?) Fret not over Republican peccadilloes such as the Tea Party finding the single, solitary person in Nevada who couldn’t poll ten to one against Harry Reid. Better to have a few cockeyed mutts running the dog pound than Michael Vick.

I take it back. Using the metaphor of Michael Vick for the Democratic party leadership implies they are people with a capacity for moral redemption who want to call good plays on the legislative gridiron. They aren’t. They don’t. The reason is simple. They hate our guts.

They don’t just hate our Republican, conservative, libertarian, strict constructionist, family values guts. They hate everybody’s guts. And they hate everybody who has any. Democrats hate men, women, blacks, whites, Hispanics, gays, straights, the rich, the poor, and the middle class.

Democrats hate Democrats most of all. Witness the policies that Democrats have inflicted on their core constituencies, resulting in vile schools, lawless slums, economic stagnation, and social immobility. Democrats will do anything to make sure that Democratic voters stay helpless and hopeless enough to vote for Democrats.

Whence all this hate? Is it the usual story of love gone wrong? Do Democrats have a mad infatuation with the political system, an unhealthy obsession with an idealized body politic? Do they dream of capturing and ravishing representational democracy? Are they crazed stalkers of our constitutional republic?

No. It’s worse than that. Democrats aren’t just dateless dweebs clambering upon the Statue of Liberty carrying a wilted bouquet and trying to cop a feel. Theirs is a different kind of love story. Power, not politics, is what the Democrats love. Politics is merely a way to power’s heart. When politics is the technique of seduction, good looks are unnecessary, good morals are unneeded, and good sense is a positive liability. Thus Democrats are the perfect Lotharios. And politics comes with that reliable boost for pathetic egos, a weapon: legal monopoly on force. If persuasion fails to win the day, coercion is always an option.

Armed with the panoply of lawmaking, these moonstruck fools for power go about in a jealous rage. They fear power’s charms may be lavished elsewhere, even for a moment.

Democrats hate success. Success could supply the funds for a power elopement. Fire up the Learjet. Flight plan: Grand Cayman. Democrats hate failure too. The true American loser laughs at legal monopoly on force. He’s got his own gun.

Democrats hate productivity, lest production be outsourced to someplace their beloved power can’t go. And Democrats also hate us none-too-productive drones in our cubicles or behind the counters of our service economy jobs. Tax us as hard as they will, we modest earners don’t generate enough government revenue to dress and adorn the power that Democrats worship.

Democrats hate stay-at-home spouses, no matter what gender or gender preference.

Democratic advocacy for feminism, gay marriage, children’s rights, and “reproductive choice” is simply a way to invade - power’s little realm of domestic private life and bring it under the domination of Democrats.

Democrats hate immigrants. Immigrants can’t stay illegal because illegality puts immigrants outside the legal monopoly on force. But immigrants can’t become legal either. They’d prosper and vote Republican.

Democrats hate America being a world power because world power gives power to the nation instead of to Democrats.

And Democrats hate the military, of course. Soldiers set a bad example. Here are men and women who possess what, if they chose, could be complete control over power. Yet they treat power with honor and respect. Members of the armed forces fight not to seize power for themselves but to ensure that power can bestow its favors upon all Americans.

This is not an election on November 2. This is a restraining order. Power has been trapped, abused and exploited by Democrats. Go to the ballot box and put an end to this abusive relationship. And let’s not hear any nonsense about letting the Democrats off if they promise to get counseling.


P. J. O’Rourke, a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard, is the author of a new book, Don’t Vote: It Just Encourages the Bastards (Atlantic Monthly Press). 





The Collapse of the Liberal Church







By Margaret Wente


Two weeks from now, the United Church of Canada will assemble in Ottawa for its 41st General Council, where it will debate church policy and elect a new moderator. The top item on its agenda is a resolution calling for a boycott of products from Israeli settlements. Fortunately, nobody cares what the United Church thinks about Israeli settlements, or anything else for that matter, because the United Church doesn’t matter any more.

For many years, the United Church was a pillar of Canadian society. Its leaders were respected public figures. It was – and remains – the biggest Protestant denomination in a country that, outside Quebec, has been largely shaped by centuries of Protestant tradition.

But today, the church is literally dying. The average age of its members is 65. They believe in many things, but they do not necessarily believe in God. Some congregations proudly describe themselves as “post-theistic,” which is a good thing because, as one church elder said, it shows the church is not “stuck in the past.” Besides, who needs God when you’ve got Israel to kick around?

The United Church is not alone. All the secular liberal churches are collapsing. The Episcopalians – the American equivalent of the United Church – have lost a quarter of their membership in the past decade. They’re at their lowest point since the 1930s. Not coincidentally, they spent their recent general meeting affirming the right of the transgendered to become priests. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But it doesn’t top most people’s lists of pressing spiritual or even social issues.
Back in the 1960s, the liberal churches bet their future on becoming more open, more inclusive, more egalitarian and more progressive. They figured that was the way to reach out to a new generation of worshippers. It was a colossal flop.

“I’ve spent all my ministry in declining congregations,” says David Ewart, a recently retired United Church minister who lives in British Columbia. He is deeply discouraged about the future of his faith. “In my experience, when you put your primary focus on the world, there is a lessening of the importance of worship and turning to God.”

The United Church’s high-water mark was 1965, when membership reached nearly 1.1 million. Since then it has shrunk nearly 60 per cent. Congregations have shrunk too – but not the church’s infrastructure or the money needed to maintain it. Today, the church has too many buildings and too few people to pay for their upkeep. Yet its leadership seems remarkably unperturbed. “It’s considered wrong to be concerned about the numbers – too crass, materialistic and business-oriented,” says Mr. Ewart. The church’s leaders are like the last of the Marxist-Leninists: still convinced they’re right despite the fact that the rest of the world has moved on.

Clearly, changes in society have had an enormous impact on church attendance. Volunteerism and other civic institutions are also in decline. Busy two-career families have less discretionary time for everything, including church. Sundays are for chores and shopping now. As for Sunday school, parents would rather take the kids to sports.

But something else began changing in the 1960s, too. The liberal churches decided that traditional notions of worship were out of date, even embarrassing. They preferred to emphasize intellect, rationality and understanding. “When I went to seminary, we never talked about prayer,” says Mr. Ewart. “I had an intellectual relationship with Jesus. But love Jesus? Not so much.”

As the United Church found common cause with auto workers, it became widely known as the NDP at prayer. Social justice was its gospel. Spiritual fulfilment would be achieved through boycotts and recycling. Instead of Youth for Christ, it has a group called Youth for Eco-Justice. Mardi Tindal, the current moderator, recently undertook a spiritual outreach tour across Canada to urge “the healing of soul, community and creation” by reducing our carbon footprint. Which raises the obvious question: If you really, really care about the environment, why not just join Greenpeace?

According to opinion polls, people’s overall belief in God hasn’t declined. What’s declined is people’s participation in religion. With so little spiritual nourishment to offer, it’s no wonder the liberal churches have collapsed.

It’s possible that organized religion in the developed world has had its day. After all, even conservative evangelicals like the Southern Baptists are in decline. Yet not all faiths have succumbed to Mammon. Mosques are popping up all over, and in Canada there are probably more kids in Islamic class than Sunday school. In the United States, Mormonism – which requires obligatory missionary service and a hefty tithe – is going strong, despite widespread ridicule from the mainstream press. Thanks to immigrants, the U.S. Roman Catholic Church also remains vibrant. Most Jews I know still belong to synagogues, send their kids to Hebrew school and have them bar mitzvahed.

Should anybody miss the church? Yes, says Mr. Ewart. The church gave families a way to participate together in a community larger than themselves, for a purpose greater than themselves. Most of us don’t have a way to do that any more. Our kids won’t even have it in their memory bank.

In the past few years, Mr. Ewart has spent time hanging out with evangelicals – people who actually talk about loving Jesus. He admires their personal, emotional connection to God. Lately, he has even started praying. Perhaps he could pray for the church in which he spent his life to stop its self-immolation. But it’s probably too late.



Will The Real Paul Krugman Please Stand Up???







Minimum Wage and Unemployment


"...the belief that lower wages would raise overall employment rests on a fallacy of composition. In reality, reducing wages would at best do nothing for employment; more likely it would actually be contractionary."

Would cutting the minimum wage raise employment? - New York Times, 16 December 2009


"Stanford University economist Paul Krugman, however, said raising the minimum wage and lowering barriers to union organization would carry a trade-off --- increased unemployment."

- Training touted to close widening wage gap - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, page 8A - 6 February 1996



Institutional Finance: Bad Banks


"Close the weak banks and impose serious capital requirements on the strong ones...You see, it may sound hard-hearted, but you cannot keep unsound financial institutions operating simply because they provide jobs. There can be a huge amount of damage a bad bank can create. There is a cruelty to our market system, but that cruelty cannot be eliminated. The alternative is fraught with danger, that of carrying on with the weak banks."

- 1998 interview of Krugman - Business Standard (India)


"Letting Lehman fail-letting the market work, as some people said-basically brought the entire world capital market down.
"

- Depression Economics [Paul Krugman interview] - Newsweek, 3 December 2008


Bailouts


"Many on Wall Street are clamoring for a bailout -- for Fannie Mae or the Federal Reserve or someone to step in and buy mortgage-backed securities from troubled hedge funds. But that would be like having the taxpayers bail out Enron or WorldCom when they went bust -- it would be saving bad actors from the consequences of their misdeeds... Say no to bailouts - but let's help borrowers work things out." 

- Workouts, Not Bailouts - New York Times, 17 August 2007


"The just-announced federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the giant mortgage lenders, was certainly the right thing to do - and it was done fairly well, too... So Fannie and Freddie had to be rescued..." 

- Is saving our Fannie enough? - Seattle Times, 9 September 2008 



Deficits and Interest Rates

"It turns out that there's a strong correlation between budget deficits and interest rates - namely, when deficits are high, interest rates are low ... On reflection, it's obvious why..." 

- Deficits and interest rates - New York Times, 14 August 2009


"But we're looking at a fiscal crisis that will drive interest rates sky-high. A leading economist recently summed up one reason why: ''When the government reduces saving by running a budget deficit, the interest rate rises.'' 

- A fiscal train wreck - New York Times, 11 March 2003



National Debt


"It's a very good deal for those close to retirement who will never see the taxes that will have to be levied to pay it (the national debt), but it's a very bad deal for people early in their careers. A 30-year old, if she understood it, should be pretty upset, because when she hits peak earnings at age 50, she will be paying for spending now through higher taxes then." 

-- Paul Krugman, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, commenting on the national debt climbing to the $2 trillion mark, Quote Without Comment - Lakeland Register, 18 October 1985


"And tarnished credibility, along with a much-increased debt, is a problem that Mr. Bush will pass along to other Congresses, other presidents and other generations."
- In 2003, Krugman held the same view that debts would affect future generations when he wrote in his article titled Passing it Along in New York Times on 18 July 2003


"How, then, did America pay down its debt? Actually, it didn't... But the economy grew, so the ratio of debt to GDP fell, and everything worked out fiscally... Which brings me to a question a number of people have raised: maybe we can pay the interest, but what about repaying the principal? ...But why would we have to do that? Again, the lesson of the 1950s - or, if you like, the lesson of Belgium and Italy, which brought their debt-GDP ratios down from early 90s levels - is that you need to stabilize debt, not pay it off; economic growth will do the rest." 

- The burden of debt - New York Times, 28 August 2009


Debt to GDP Ratio

"Dear Alan Greenspan:  ...Moreover, since you advocate accrual accounting, you obviously realize that the ratio of debt to G.D.P. is a highly misleading number."

- On the Second Day, Atlas Waffled - New York Times, 14 February 2003


"I think they're missing the point - if even Italy can handle debt/GDP ratios of 100 percent, we should be able to do it too." 

- A couple of notes on the 40s and 50s - New York Times, 30 August 2009


Impact of Governments on Recessions

"The fact is, all these promises are silly: Administrations don't cause recession and recoveries--if anyone is in charge of the business cycle, it's the nonpartisan technocrats at the Federal Reserve."

- Two Cheers For The Welfare State.  Sure, It's Got Problems, But Despite What They Want, The Vast Majority of Americans Would Be Sorry To See It Go, Fortune, 1 May 1995


"Mr. Obama could have done the same - with, I'd argue, considerably more justice. He could have pointed out, repeatedly, that the continuing troubles of America's economy are the result of a financial crisis that developed under the Bush administration, and was at least in part the result of the Bush administration's refusal to regulate the banks."

What didn't happen - New York Times, 17 January 2010


Sustainability of Social Security


"So by all means, let's have a vigorous national debate about reforming Social Security; it can't be sustained in its present form."

- Two Cheers For The Welfare State.  Sure, It's Got Problems, But Despite What They Want, The Vast Majority of Americans Would Be Sorry To See It Go, Fortune, 1 May 1995


"But the privatizers won't take yes for an answer when it comes to the sustainability of Social Security... Social Security, with its own dedicated tax, has been run responsibly; the rest of the government has not. So why are we talking about a Social Security crisis?" 

- About the Social Security trust fund - New York Times, 28 March 2008



Investment of Social Security Funds


"The outlines of a plan that would sustain Social Security without destroying it are clear: Allow the system to invest some of its surplus in private assets, and close the system's modest long-run financial shortfall by making minor adjustments to benefits and rescinding part of the recent tax cut." 

- Fabricating a Crisis - New York Times, 21 August 2001

 "A few weeks ago I tried to explain the logic of Bush-style Social Security privatization... you should borrow a lot of money, buy stocks and hope for capital gains... So people are expected to take a loan from the government and use it to buy stocks, and if that turns out to have been a mistake -- well, too bad...Do you believe that we should replace America's most successful government program with a system in which workers engage in speculation that no financial adviser would recommend? Do you believe that we should do this even though it will do nothing to improve the program's finances?" 

- Gambling with your Retirement - New York Times, 4 February 2005


Privatisation of Social Security


"None of this says that privatizing Social Security is necessarily a bad idea."

Notes on Social Security from Personal website of Paul Krugman


"Privatizing Social Security - replacing the current system, in whole or in part, with personal investment accounts - won't do anything to strengthen the system's finances. If anything, it will make things worse." 

- Inventing a crisis - New York Times, 7 December 2004



Labour Unions


"The actions of labor unions can have effects similar to those of minimum wages, leading to structural unemployment."

- Macroeconomics, 2nd ed., by Paul Krugman and Robin Wells, Worth Publishers, 2009, p 210


"Once upon a time, back when America had a strong middle class, it also had a strong union movement. These two facts were connected." 

- State of the Unions - New York Times, 24 December 2007



Globalisation

Lecture: Paul Krugman rankles many when he refuses to blame this nation's woes on the global economy.

"Yes, thousands of Americans have lost jobs in some industrial sectors, Krugman says. But global competition isn't to blame... "A lot of what people say about these issues is just dead wrong and silly." 
- Maverick Economist debunks theories - Eugene Register-Guard, 18 April 1996


"The accelerated pace of globalization means more losers as well as more winners; workers' fears that they will lose their jobs to Chinese factories and Indian call centers aren't irrational."

- The Trade Tightrope - New York Times, 27 February 2004


Healthcare


"That means that, while I believe in free trade and have no sympathy with the sort of liberalism that wants to centralize economic decision-making in Washington (cases in point: Jimmy Carter's energy planners and Bill Clinton's health planners)..." 

 - Two Cheers For The Welfare State.  Sure, It's Got Problems, But Despite What They Want, The Vast Majority of Americans Would Be Sorry To See It Go, Fortune, 1 May 1995


"True "socialized medicine" would undoubtedly cost less, and a straightforward extension of Medicare-type coverage to all Americans would probably be cheaper than a Swiss-style system. That's why I and others believe that a true public option competing with private insurers is extremely important: otherwise, rising costs could all too easily undermine the whole effort."

- The Swiss Menace - New York Times, 16 August 2009



Role of the Government in the Economy

 ''Nothing Government has done -- for good or evil -- seems to have mattered it's like using a water pistol to shoot an elephant.''

- Benefit of Dole Tax Plan is Hotly Debated - New York Times, 24 August 1996

 "What saved us? The answer, basically, is big government."

Saved by Big Government - Guardian, 10 August 2009



 "Huge" Economic Stimulus of $600 Billion


"All indications are that the new administration will offer a major stimulus package. My own back-of-the-envelope calculations say that the package should be huge, on the order of $600 billion."

- Depression Era Economics Returns, New York Times, 14 November 2008


 

"Some years down the pike, we’re going to get the real solution, which is going to be a combination of death panels and sales taxes.”

- Paul Krugman, This Week with Christine Amanpour, 15 November 2010

 
“Compare me . . . compare me, uh, with anyone else, and I think you’ll see that my forecasting record is not great.”

- Paul Krugman, "Tim Russert" on CNBC, 7 August 2004

 
"I’m not sure that the current value of the Nasdaq is justified, but I’m not sure that it isn’t.”

- Paul Krugman, The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century, 2004


Send This Chart To Your Bush Hating Friends Who Are Voting For Obama








By Myra Adams


Recently I had a discussion with an old friend who is an ardent George W. Bush hater and, as a result, will be voting for President Obama again, no matter what.

We were discussing the economy and I happened to mention that the average unemployment rate was much lower during Bush’s two terms despite the September 11, 2001 attacks. However, at that moment, I was not sure of the exact figures. So after a quick search, I found this handy chart that you can send to your unemployed or under-unemployed friends or any George W. Bush haters in general and ask them exactly what part of Bush’s unemployment rate history they still hate.

They might discover they actually miss President Bush after they read this chart from the Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec


2001
4.2 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.5 4.6 4.9 5.0 5.3 5.5 5.7
2002
5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 6.0
2003
5.8 5.9 5.9 6.0 6.1 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.1 6.0 5.8 5.7
2004
5.7 5.6 5.8 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.4 5.4
2005
5.3 5.4 5.2 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.9
2006
4.7 4.8 4.7 4.7 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4
2007
4.6 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4 4.6 4.7 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.7 5.0
2008
5.0 4.9 5.1 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.8 6.1 6.1 6.5 6.8 7.3
2009
7.8 8.3 8.7 8.9 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.8 10.0 9.9 9.9
2010
9.7 9.8 9.8 9.9 9.6 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.5 9.5 9.8 9.4
2011
9.1 9.0 8.9 9.0 9.0 9.1 9.1 9.1 9.0 8.9 8.7 8.5
2012
8.3 8.3 8.2 8.1 8.2 8.2








Here are the key findings from this chart to share with your friends.

When President Bush took office in January, 2001 the unemployment rate was 4.2%.  After the jolt of the September 11,2001 attacks, the highest the unemployment rate rose was 6.3% in June, 2003.

This rate seems remarkably low by today’s economic standards.

Then the economy calmed down and actually grew, dropping the unemployment rate to the mid 5% range, where it stayed for the next two years.

In fact, the rate  was 5.4% in November, 2004 when Bush was reelected.

Really good news came in December, 2005 when the unemployment rate dipped to 4.9% and stayed in the 4% range straight through to November, 2007.

Then in December, 2007 it went to 5.0%, rose slowly and really shot up in August, 2008 to 6.1%. When the economy tanked, the rate blew right through the 6% range ending December, 2008 at 7.3%.

Rising still in January, 2009 when President Obama took office, the rate was 7.8%.

It saw a high of 10% in October, 2009 and now in July, 2012 the rate has come down to 8.2% where it seems to be stuck in what I call, “the new normal” for this president.

The takeaway here is the highest unemployment rate during President Bush’s entire eight years in office was his last at 7.8%, compared to President Obama’s low of 8.1%.

It is ironic how Obama still loves to blame the “economy he inherited” from Bush, when at this point in the presidential election campaign, Obama would love to have the 7.8% unemployment rate he did in fact inherit from Bush in January, 2009 or better yet the 6.8% from November, 2008 when he was elected.

As a follow up, I will email this chart to my dear old friend from college and look forward to some of his snarky comments in return. But since he lives in California, his vote for Obama will not affect the election outcome.  It’s my Bush hating friends in Ohio and Virginia I really need to work on. And if you have some as well, please forward them this chart.




By

Steyn: Don’t Cross the Forces of Tolerance




M2RB:  Lady GaGa









My mama told me when I was young
We are all born superstars
She rolled my hair and put my lipstick on
In the glass of her boudoir

"There's nothing wrong with loving who you are"

She said, "'Cause he made you perfect, babe"
"So hold your head up girl and you'll go far,
Listen to me when I say"

I'm beautiful in my way

'Cause God makes no mistakes
I'm on the right track, baby
I was born this way
Don't hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you're set
I'm on the right track, baby
I was born this way









"But, if you're a feminist or a gay or any of the other house pets in the Democratic menagerie, you might want to look at Rahm Emanuel's pirouette, and Menino's coziness with Islamic homophobia. These guys are about power, and right now your cause happens to coincide with their political advantage. But political winds shift. Once upon a time, Massachusetts burned witches. Now it grills chicken-sandwich homophobes. One day it'll be something else. Already in Europe, in previously gay-friendly cities like Amsterdam, demographically surging Muslim populations have muted Leftie politicians' commitment to gay rights, feminism and much else. It's easy to cheer on the thugs when they're thuggish in your name. What happens when Emanuel's political needs change?"





By Mark Steyn



To modify Lord Acton, power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely, but aldermanic power corrupts all der more manically. Proco "Joe" Moreno is Alderman of the First Ward of Chicago, and last week, in a city with an Aurora-size body count every weekend, his priority was to take the municipal tire-iron to the owners of a chain of fast-food restaurants. "Because of this man's ignorance," said Alderman Moreno, "I will now be denying Chick-fil-A's permit to open a restaurant in the First Ward."

"This man's ignorance"? You mean, of the City of Chicago permit process? Zoning regulations? Health and safety ordinances? No, Alderman Moreno means "this man's ignorance" of the approved position on same-sex marriage. "This man" is Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A, and a few days earlier he had remarked that "we are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives" – which last part suggests he is as antipathetic to no-fault divorce and other heterosexual assaults on matrimony as he is to more recent novelties such as gay marriage. But no matter. Alderman Moreno does not allege that Chick-fil-A discriminates in its hiring practices or in its customer service. Nor does he argue that business owners should not be entitled to hold opinions: The Muppets, for example, have reacted to Mr. Cathy's observations by announcing that they're severing all ties with Chick-fil-A. Did you know that the Muppet Corporation has a position on gay marriage? Well, they do. But Miss Piggy and the Swedish Chef would be permitted to open a business in the First Ward of Chicago because their opinion on gay marriage happens to coincide with Alderman Moreno's. It's his ward, you just live in it. When it comes to lunch options, he's the chicken supremo, and don't you forget it.

Chick-fil-A, whose founder distinguished the fast-food chain by closing on Sunday out of religious piety, continues to mix theology with business and finds itself on the front lines of the nation's culture wars after its president, Dan Cathy, confirmed his opposition to gay marriage in June 2012.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The city's mayor, Rahm Emanuel, agrees with the Alderman: Chick-fil-A does not represent "Chicago values" – which is true if by "Chicago values" you mean machine politics, AIDS-conspiracy-peddling pastors and industrial-scale black youth homicide rates. But, before he was mayor, Rahm Emanuel was President Obama's chief of staff. Until the president's recent "evolution," the Obama administration held the same position on gay marriage as Chick-fil-A. Would Alderman Moreno have denied Barack Obama the right to open a chicken restaurant in the First Ward? Did Rahm Emanuel quit the Obama administration on principle? Don't be ridiculous. Mayor Emanuel is a former ballet dancer, and when it's politically necessary he can twirl on a dime.

Meanwhile, fellow mayor Tom Menino announced that Chick-fil-A would not be opening in his burg anytime soon. "If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult," said His Honor. If you've just wandered in in the middle of the column, this guy Menino isn't the mayor of Soviet Novosibirsk or Kampong Cham under the Khmer Rouge, but of Boston, Mass. Nevertheless, he shares the commissars' view that in order to operate even a modest and politically inconsequential business it is necessary to demonstrate that one is in full ideological compliance with party orthodoxy. "There is no place for discrimination on Boston's Freedom Trail," Mayor Menino thundered in his letter to Mr. Cathy, "and no place for your company alongside it." No, sir. On Boston's Freedom Trail, you're free to march in ideological lockstep with the city authorities – or else. Hard as it is to believe, there was a time when Massachusetts was a beacon of liberty: the shot heard round the world, and all that. Now it fires Bureau of Compliance permit-rejection letters round the world.

Mayor Menino subsequently backed down and claimed the severed rooster's head left in Mr. Cathy's bed was all just a misunderstanding. Yet, when it comes to fighting homophobia on Boston's Freedom Trail, His Honor is highly selective. As the Boston Herald's Michael Graham pointed out, Menino is happy to hand out municipal licenses to groups whose most prominent figures call for gays to be put to death. The mayor couldn't have been more accommodating (including giving them $1.8 million of municipal land) of the new mosque of the Islamic Society of Boston, whose IRS returns listed as one of their seven trustees Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Like President Obama, Imam Qaradawi's position on gays is in a state of "evolution": He can't decide whether to burn them or toss 'em off a cliff. "Some say we should throw them from a high place," he told Al-Jazeera. "Some say we should burn them, and so on. There is disagreement ... . The important thing is to treat this act as a crime." Unlike the deplorable Mr. Cathy, Imam Qaradawi is admirably open-minded: There are so many ways to kill homosexuals, why restrict yourself to just one? In Mayor Menino's Boston, if you take the same view of marriage as President Obama did from 2009 to 2012, he'll run your homophobic ass out of town. But, if you want to toss those godless sodomites off the John Hancock Tower, he'll officiate at your ribbon-cutting ceremony.

This inconsistency is very telling. The forces of "tolerance" and "diversity" are ever more intolerant of anything less than total ideological homogeneity. Earlier this year, the Susan G. Komen Foundation – the group that gave us those pink "awareness raising" ribbons for breast cancer – decided to end its funding of Planned Parenthood on the grounds that, whatever its other charms, Planned Parenthood has nothing to do with curing breast cancer. Within hours, the Komen Foundation's Nancy Brinker had been jumped by her fellow liberals and was strapped to a chair under a light bulb in the basement with her head clamped between two mammogram plates until she recanted. A few weeks back, Mark Regnerus, a sociology professor who "says he's never voted for a Republican presidential candidate," published a paper in the journal Social Science Research whose findings, alas, did not conform to the party line on gay parenting. Immediately, the party of science set about ending his career, demanding that he be investigated for "scientific misconduct" and calling on mainstream TV and radio networks to ban him from their airwaves.



 



As an exercise in sheer political muscle, it's impressive. But, if you're a feminist or a gay or any of the other house pets in the Democratic menagerie, you might want to look at Rahm Emanuel's pirouette, and Menino's coziness with Islamic homophobia. These guys are about power, and right now your cause happens to coincide with their political advantage. But political winds shift. Once upon a time, Massachusetts burned witches. Now it grills chicken-sandwich homophobes. One day it'll be something else. Already in Europe, in previously gay-friendly cities like Amsterdam, demographically surging Muslim populations have muted Leftie politicians' commitment to gay rights, feminism and much else. It's easy to cheer on the thugs when they're thuggish in your name. What happens when Emanuel's political needs change?

Americans talk more about liberty than citizens of other Western nations, but, underneath the rhetorical swagger, liberty bleeds. When Mayor Menino and Alderman Moreno openly threaten to deny business licenses because of ideological apostasy, they're declaring their unfitness for public office. It's not about marriage, it's not about gays, it's about a basic understanding that a free society requires a decent respect for a wide range of opinion without penalty by the state. In Menino's Boston, the Freedom Trail is heavy on the Trail, way too light on the Freedom.


©MARK STEYN
 
 
 
"Born This Way"

[Intro:]
It doesn't matter if you love him, or capital H-I-M
Just put your paws up
'cause you were born this way, baby

[Verse:]
My mama told me when I was young
We are all born superstars
She rolled my hair and put my lipstick on
In the glass of her boudoir

"There's nothing wrong with loving who you are"
She said, "'Cause he made you perfect, babe"
"So hold your head up girl and you'll go far,
Listen to me when I say"

[Chorus:]
I'm beautiful in my way
'Cause God makes no mistakes
I'm on the right track, baby
I was born this way
Don't hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you're set
I'm on the right track, baby
I was born this way

[Post-chorus:]
Oh there ain't no other way
Baby I was born this way
Baby I was born this way
Oh there ain't no other way
Baby I was born this way
I'm on the right track, baby
I was born this way

Don't be a drag ‒ just be a queen [x3]
Don't be!

[Verse:]
Give yourself prudence
And love your friends
Subway kid, rejoice your truth
In the religion of the insecure
I must be myself, respect my youth

A different lover is not a sin
Believe capital H-I-M (Hey hey hey)
I love my life I love this record and
Mi amore vole fe yah (Love needs faith)

[Repeat chorus + post-chorus]

[Bridge:]
Don't be a drag, just be a queen
Whether you're broke or evergreen
You're black, white, beige, chola descent
You're Lebanese, you're orient
Whether life's disabilities
Left you outcast, bullied, or teased
Rejoice and love yourself today
'cause baby you were born this way

No matter gay, straight, or bi,
Lesbian, transgendered life,
I'm on the right track baby,
I was born to survive.
No matter black, white or beige
Chola or orient made,
I'm on the right track baby,
I was born to be brave.

[Repeat chorus + post-chorus]

[Outro/refrain:]
I was born this way hey!
I was born this way hey!
I'm on the right track baby
I was born this way hey!
I was born this way hey!
I was born this way hey!
I'm on the right track baby
I was born this way hey!

[Fade away:]
Same DNA, but born this way.
Same DNA, but born this way.