Sep 272010

Sep 272010

Sep 272010

Just in case you missed the news, it’s official: The recession is over. Or so says the Obama administration media machine, according to the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, or NBER. Actually, it’s been over since June 2009. Yes, you read that right: June 2009!

Is it just me, or did anyone else miss the recovery, too?

What President Obama and his administration are expecting us to believe now is that the recession ended in June 2009, only 18 months after it began in December 2007, according to the NBER report. Granted, don’t wince that the NBER committee of eight (which was actually seven last weekend) made that conclusion on a quick conference call the day before the president’s town hall-type CNBC meeting last week, during which he was defending his failing economic plan. What convenient and coincidental timing!

If the recession ended and recovery began in June 2009, the first problem is: What is that saying about the wisdom and effectiveness of most of the Feds’ borrowing, bailouts and stimulus packages around and especially since that time? According to NBER’s own economic timing conclusions, the Feds’ financial rescues were not only unnecessary because we were already “in recovery,” but they were as useful as a drop of oil in an already well-lubed steamboat engine.

And if the recession were over before stimulus monies were dispersed, then they failed twice. First, they were needlessly borrowed from future generations and foreign countries to stop the recession’s plunge into the abyss – since we were not in a commercial chasm. And second, they failed because the stimulus loans were poised as the remedy to stop the rise of unemployment past 8 percent, which is now 9.7 percent. So in both cases, those federal funds failed.

Just last weekend, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, financial scholar and author of the “The Black Swan,” which the Times described as one of the 12 most influential books since World War II, told a live Montreal audience that Obama’s stimulus solutions actually weakened the national economy: “Obama did exactly the opposite of what should have been done. He surrounded himself with people who exacerbated the problem. You have a person who has cancer and instead of removing the cancer, you give him tranquilizers. When you give tranquilizers to a cancer patient, they feel better but the cancer gets worse.”

And what about the 15 months of America’s economic chaos since June 2009? Have we experienced one iota of the recovery that NBER’s website reports: “the committee determined only that the recession ended and a recovery began in that [June 2009] month.” It further explains, “The trough [in June 2009] marks the end of the declining phase and the start of the rising phase of the business cycle.”

That’s the second major and contradictory problem: Instead of the economy rising like a helium balloon ever since June 2009, it has gone faster downhill than an Olympic bobsled. Or are we to believe that no other economic indicator has any bearing upon that so-called recovery except those determined by NBER’s seven economic minds?

Consider, within the past 15 months since that alleged 2009 gutter-ball economic trough, these few other plummeting financial signs:

* The national unemployment rate is now at 9.7 percent, essentially unchanged from a year earlier.

* At this moment, 13 states have a 10 percent or higher unemployment rate – with Nevada leading the way at 14.1 percent, followed by Michigan at 13.1 percent California at 12.4 percent, Rhode Island at 11.8 percent and Florida at 11.7 percent.

* In August, 27 states recorded unemployment rate increases. In July, it increased in only 14 states.

* In August, employers took 1,546 mass layoff actions involving 150,192 workers.

* The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris concludes that the U.S. unemployment rate will not fall to pre-recession levels until at least 2013.

* One in 10 homeowners face foreclosure – with 9.9 percent of homeowners behind at least one mortgage payment.

* The U.S. Commerce Department reported that new home sales fell 12.4 percent in July, the slowest pace on record dating back to 1963.

* The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales from June 2010 dropped a record 27.2 percent to an annual rate of 3.83 million units, the lowest level since May 1995.

* Foreclosures are up 4 percent, with more than 300,000 filings for foreclosure each of the last 17 months – and a record 24.5 percent increase in foreclosures in July alone.

* Of the $1.4 trillion of commercial real-estate debt coming due by the end of 2014, roughly 52 percent is attached to properties that are underwater.

* In 2009, a record number of one in seven people in the U.S. (roughly 45 million) were considered in poverty – the highest single-year increase since the government started calculating poverty figures in 1959.

* Forty-five percent of 401k participants who took a hardship withdrawal in 2009, also took another one in 2010.

* And as I pointed out in Part 1 of my economic series, according to the Bureau of Public Debt, as of Aug. 20, 2010, after just the 19 months of Obama’s four-year term, the public debt has grown to $8.8333 trillion, an increase of $2.5260 trillion.

* And according to the Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, analysis released on Sept. 7, by the end of the current fiscal 2010 year, which ends with the closure of this month, there will be another deficit of at least $1.3 trillion – what the CBO labeled, “the second-largest shortfall in the past 65 years,” second to last year’s deficit of 9.9 percent of GDP.

Sounds and feels like recovery to me, doesn’t it to you, Homer?

White House Press Secretary Gibbs recently said that the economy hasn’t been stronger in the past two years than it is now. He couldn’t be more dead wrong. The unemployment rate in 2008 was 6.1 percent – it’s now 9.7 percent. The median home price was $237,000 in 2008 – it’s now $204K. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 11,500 in 2008 – it’s now 10,700. The $700 billion TARP program, the $862 billion stimulus, the health-care takeover and various spending by the feds under the guise of financial reform haven’t “saved or created” 3.8 million jobs – but they have placed $3 trillion more debt upon the heads of your children and children’s children!

Of course, the NBER committee gave itself an out just in case its economic forecasting was incorrect, by concluding with these remarks: “The committee decided that any future downturn of the economy would be a new recession and not a continuation of the recession that began in December 2007.”

So I guess if one considers all the above economic bullets, according to NBER, we’re already in a double-dip, second economic recession! Looks like Obama’s problems have just been compounded.

Have no fear: The double-dip recession is here! If all of us missed the end of the recession and the beginning of the recovery in June 2009, is it possible we’ve also missed the beginning of the double-dip recession?

That is exactly why I believe Obama’s “next plan” to bailout our economy will put the U.S. in a double-dip double jeopardy, because it is just more of the same. He said it himself in that CNBC town hall-type meeting a week ago: “The only thing that we’ve said is that we’ve got to make sure that we’re not doing some of the same things that we were doing in the past that got into this mess in the first place.”

The problem is: That is exactly what the Obama administration has done and continues to do.

In two major speeches and a press conference a couple weeks ago, Obama proposed to jumpstart the economy (again) if Republicans would wake up and pass his $30 billion small-business lending bill stalled in the Senate and back his $50 billion additional second-round spending for infrastructure (added to the nearly $230 billion already allocated in the original trillion-dollar stimulus law for infrastructure), etc. Borrow-bail-borrow-bail-borrow-bail! Doesn’t this administration know any other economic way?

The fact is, Obama entered office with no executive experience, and his business plan to get our economy out of hock has been a miserable failure. Failure is his greatest accomplishment.

And the greatest of those failures has been steeping our country desperately further into a “trough” as NBER defines it – i.e. debt and dependency upon other countries like China. Since Obama has taken office, our national debt level has raised 26 percent – roughly $3 trillion. By any corporate standard, this administration is helplessly incompetent.

The economy is gasping for air, and Obama and his administration are covering their mouths.

The question is: Will the American public continue to buy Obama’s economic “hope and change” (which is more like “horror and pocket change”)? Fifty-six percent and climbing are saying they no longer want the hopeless change the White House is dishing out. Only 42 percent of Americans now approve of Obama’s overall job performance as president.

Case in point: Back at that town hall-type CNBC meeting last week, it must have been one of the longest hours of Obama’s political career as he defended his economic policies while being hammered by citizens from every stratum of our economic society. They included a Home Depot executive, a hedge-fund manager and former Obama classmate, a law-school graduate, the unemployed and many others. It was not a pretty evening for presidential ratings or replies.

The coup de grace came when the chief financial officer of AmVets, a veterans organization, who was also respectively an African-American woman, Mrs. Velma Hart, stood to her feet to address the president. By the time she was done, you could hear a pin drop – and, I should add, I’m sure the president only wished he were the size of a pin and could disappear from site.

Her words were wise and timely: “I’m one of your middle-class Americans, and quite frankly I’m exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for. I’m deeply disappointed with where we are right now. I have been told that I voted for a man who said he was going to change things in a meaningful way for the middle class. I’m one of those people. And I’m waiting sir, I’m waiting. I – I don’t feel it yet. … I’m a mother. I’m a wife. I’m an American veteran, and I’m one of your middle-class Americans. … My husband and I have joked for years that we thought we were well beyond the hot dogs-and-beans era of our lives. But, quite frankly, it is starting to knock on our door and ring true that that might be where we are headed again.”

Needless to say, when Mrs. Hart was done speaking, the president was schooled, humbled and struggled to find words to rebut, let alone encourage.

She even silenced pro-Obama comedian news commentator Jon Stewart on his “Comedy Central” show a few days later. Having shown the clip of Mrs. Hart’s diatribe, Stewart labeled her “Obama’s kryptonite” and the “perfect Obama zapping machine.” Lacking for pro-Obama comic material, Stewart gave evidence to her words by playing a video string of broken promises from the very mouth of Obama over the past couple years.

He then likened Mrs. Hart’s representative disappointment of Obama to the purchase and disenchanting reception of an overly exaggerated infomercial product.

Most telling, however, was what sounded like Stewart’s own concluding contrite and sincere confession of displeasure with Obama: “I guess what I’m saying, Mr. President is, I don’t know who’s to blame: You, for making this s–t look so good, or us for believing it.”

I couldn’t have said it better.

Chuck Norris for WND

Sep 272010

Islamophobia under the guise of :

8 things churches can do to fight religious intolerance and bigotry

While “Burn a Koran day” was canceled, waves of Islamophobia are building to slowly create a tsunami of hate. Consider American public opinion about Islam and Muslims, which has continued to worsen since the 9/11 terror attacks.

In November 2001, the Pew Research Center found that 59 percent of Americans held positive opinions about Islam and Muslims because they knew that American Muslims had nothing to do with a group of terrorists. By August 2010, this number fell to 30 percent.

After the 9/11 attacks, at the request of churches, Sound Vision issued a guide on how they could help their Muslim neighbors during that difficult time. Since then, we have not felt the need to do that again – until now.

The Park 51 community center controversy has unleashed a fury of Islamophobia. While many of our Christian, Jewish, and other interfaith partners have stood by us, for which we are very grateful, more needs to be done.

Churches, in particular, have been targets for Islamophobes. They have been and continue to be sent free, anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim “information”. These books and films are often sent by “non-profit” hate organizations that profit by sowing seeds of fear, mistrust and prejudice against Islam and Muslims in our nation.

One example is how millions of copies of the hateful film “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” has been distributed to countless churches and synagogues across the United States along with 28 million homes in swing states during the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

The issue is not about free speech or fear of criticism of Islam and Muslims. Sound Vision, for example, has been critical of Muslims on issues ranging from suicide bombing to racism. Since the time of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, countless speeches, books, films, websites, and blogs have been critical of various aspects Islam. But the difference between these and the kind of hate speech and literature I’m talking about is that the former use knowledge of Islam’s texts and history, along with dispassionate discourse, to formulate an argument. The latter, on the other hand, base their critique on the kind bigotry and prejudice that no reasoned American would tolerate about any other group of people, be it African-Americans, Jews or Catholics, for example.


The Third Jihad (Covers Islamberg)

Steve Emerson- Terrorists Among Us: Jihad in America-
Six parts

Sep 272010

“Friday’s testimony to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights came from much-decorated Justice Department veteran Christopher Coates, a hero of the civil rights legal community when he was a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union.

“The election of President Obama,” he said, “brought to positions of influence and power with the Civil Rights Division many of the very people who had demonstrated hostility to the concept of equal enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.”


Illustration: Black Panther justice by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times

Witness cites Obama team’s ‘hostility’ to the law

Sep 272010

Rahm Emanuel hasn’t called Congressman Luis Guiterrez.

The White House chief of staff has been calling would-be mayoral candidates in an apparent bid to test the waters for a mayoral run but Guiterrez, a leading Hispanic voice in the city and potential candidate, hasn’t received a call.

Guiterrez, though, is no fan of Emanuel.

“I don’t believe he has helped immigration reform,” he said after speaking at an event to assist victims of recent flooding.

As to whether he’s running, Guiterrez says he’s “excited about the prospects” but right now he is busy with immigration reform in Congress.

When asked whether the bevy of potential Latino candidates for mayor made for a crowded field, Guiterrez said “it would be a mistake to think there are too many.”


Sep 272010

LONDON —A wealthy British businessman who owns the company that makes the two-wheeled Segway has been found dead in a river in northern England after apparently falling off a cliff on one of the vehicles, police said Monday.

The body of 62-year-old James Heselden and a Segway personal transporter were found in the River Wharfe and he was pronounced dead at the scene, West Yorkshire Police said.

Police said a witness had reported seeing a man fall Sunday over a 30-foot (9-meter) drop into the river near Boston Spa, 140 miles (225 kilometers) north of London.

“The incident is not believed to be suspicious,” police said, indicating that they do not believe anyone else was involved.

Police have not revealed further details about the incident. A dozen members of Heselden’s family asked for privacy Monday after placing flowers at the heavily wooded accident site, which is popular with hikers and nature lovers.

The battery-powered Segway, which is stabilized by gyroscopes, was invented by Dean Kamen, who founded the company in 1999. The unique transporter relies on electricity to recharge its batteries and travels at speeds up to 12.5 mph (20 kph), the company says on its website.

The Segway is far more protective of the environment than other scooters and automobiles, the company says, claiming it is 11 times more efficient than the average American car and also can be used indoors because it has no emissions.

Heselden, who bought control of the New Hampshire-based Segway company in December, made his fortune through his firm Hesco Bastion Ltd., which developed a system to replace the sand bags used to protect troops.

Hesco Bastion is based in Leeds, near the tough Halton Moor area where Heselden grew up. He left school at 15 and first worked as a coal miner before becoming a businessman and later a well known philanthropist.

Hesco Bastion said Heselden recently gave 10 million pounds ($15.9 million) to the Leeds Community Foundation, raising his total charitable giving to 23 million pounds.

“Jimi was an amazing man who, apart from being a wonderful success story for Leeds due to his business acumen, was also remarkably selfless and generous, giving millions to local charities to help people in his home city,” said Tom Riordan, the chief executive of Leeds City Council.

He described Heselden as a quiet, good-natured man who was tremendously proud of being from Leeds. He became wealthy through his business successes but said he and others who had prospered had an obligation to help others.

“There are people out there who are making money and when times are good I honestly believe people have a moral obligation to use their wealth to help others,” he told the Yorkshire Post earlier this year. “Life turned out pretty well for me, but I still work in the same area where I grew up and everyday I see people who for whatever reason are down on their luck.”

The lack of information about the circumstances surrounding Heselden’s death prompted questions about the Segway’s safety record – which one U.S. businessman was quick to defend.

Mobile Entertainment, which has offered Segway tours along the Mississippi River for the past seven years, has had more than 40,000 customers – most of them new to Segway – ride the device without any serious injuries, owner Bill Neuenschwander told The Associated Press.

“Nobody’s gone off a river, nobody,” he said, speaking from Minneapolis, Minnesota. “I can tell you firsthand: I can’t believe how safe this product is.”

He said the Segway was also easy to use off the road – on gravel, grass, hills or other steep inclines.

“People get it right away,” he said. “This product is perfectly safe when people respect its limitations.”



On 20 July 1984, Author of the 1977 best-selling book, The Complete Book of Running, Jim Fixx died at the age of 52 of a fulminant heart attack, after his daily run, on Vermont Route 15 in Hardwick. The autopsy revealed that atherosclerosis had blocked one coronary artery 95%, a second 85%, and a third 70%.[citation needed] Although there were opponents of Fixx’s beliefs who said this was evidence that running was harmful, medical opinion continued to uphold the link between exercise and longevity.[3] In 1986, exercise physiologist Kenneth Cooper published an inventory of the risk factors that might have contributed to Fixx’s death [4]. Granted access to his medical records and autopsy, and after interviewing his friends and family, Cooper concluded that Fixx was genetically predisposed (his father died of a heart attack aged 43 and Fixx himself had a congenitally enlarged heart) and several lifestyle issues (Fixx was a heavy smoker prior to beginning running aged 36, he had a stressful occupation, he had undergone a second divorce, and his weight before he took up running had ballooned to 220lbs).

Sep 272010

My fellow NewsReal blogger Kathy Shaidle, who resides in Canada where protection of free speech is weak to say the least, has unfortunately run right into the George Soros’ legal buzz saw. Threatened with a lawsuit by Soros’ Canadian counsel for referencing and excerpting from an article in the Toronto Sun which claimed that George Soros, as a teenager in his native land of Hungary, had “collaborated with the Nazis,” Kathy revised her post and removed the reference.

Before 2003 George Soros had virtually no interest in Israel. In fact, at that time on his website, there was much ado about “open societies,” women, human rights, law, justice and grants all over the world. Under the Middle East there were some items about Turkey, lraq, oil, Caspian finances, but the words Israel or Palestinian did not come up.

In 1997 his Open Society Institute donated $1.3 million to the Council of Jewish Federations a very large, essentially non -political and respectable group which represents 157 Jewish Federations & 400 independent Jewish communities, and in their own words: “ protects and enhances the well-being of Jews worldwide through the values of tikkun olam (repairing the world), tzedakah (charity and social justice) and Torah (Jewish learning”). Read “progressive and left” into all those putative repairs of the world.

An equal amount was subsequently given to the Jewish Fund For Justice, another charity whose vision is: “to expand the Jewish progressive base and increase its capacity for creating economic justice while partnering with established institutions to engage them on issues of common concern. In the broader American community, JFSJ will strengthen the progressive capacity of low income communities and organizations while being a leader in reestablishing the Jewish community’s role as an anchor and ally to the social change movement. “ Read progressive twice and more left repairs of the world. And, today on their website is a banner stating: “Glenn Beck Attacks! Learn why and how you can respond.”

However, Soros assiduously avoided discussions about Israel, Arabs, the Mid-East “conflict” or Jewish political issues.
One would presume that the subject of Israel and Jews would be a tad difficult for Mr. Soros whose callousness about the Holocaust was on the record.

When the Nazis occupied Budapest in 1944, George Soros’ father, a successful lawyer, provided forged documentation that his fourteen year old son was Christian and bribed a government official to adopt him. When hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews were being deported to death camps, young George accompanied his guardian who was assigned to confiscate Jewish property.

One cannot make any judgments based on those facts in those times, however, his chilling and remorseless responses when questioned about them speak volumes on his character as an adult.

Here is an instructive partial transcript from an interview of Mr. Soros by Steve Kroft for CBS’ 60 Minutes on December 20, 1998:
(The program is interspersed with vintage footage of Jews walking in line; a man dragging a little boy in line, footage of women and men with bags walking, and a growing crowd near a train, boarding the train, doors closing with people in boxcars.)

Sep 272010

~Even in a 23 second soundbite…she shames itself…