Saturday, February 21, 2009

Some Interesting Links

I probably spend too much time on the computer. I have to visit my favorite websites every day. Sometimes there are links. Sometimes there are interesting links. This leads to more time on the computer. Sometimes people send me things. Most of the time, they're the usual junk. Sometimes they're worth passing on. But all of this takes time. But since I'm sharing today, here are three of the good ones.

The first one is the one I stumbled upon today. (I wish I could remember which site I linked from.) It fits nicely into my "Reasons not to Vote for Obama" series." Not that it matters anymore since 52 percent of the voters did vote for him. It's from The American Spectator and it's called, Obama's Enemy List.
After the Democratic convention, Obama campaign lawyer Robert Bauer warned TV stations against airing a TV ad that was embarrassing to Barack Obama. The commercial focused on the longtime relationship between Obama and Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers. Bauer sent letters to the Justice Department imploring the agency to pursue criminal action against those behind the ads. It was not lost on anyone at that time that Bauer was considered a candidate to be the next U.S. Attorney-General.

A team of Obama campaign operatives, joined by major news outlets, descended on Wasilla, Alaska immediately after Governor Sarah Palin was introduced as Senator John McCain's running mate. This was immediately followed by patently false reports claiming Palin imposed book bans, joined a fringe political party, charged rape victims for emergency room treatment and cut funding for special needs children.

In late August, the Obama campaign emailed an "Obama Action Wire" to thousands of supporters and liberal activists exhorting them to harass the offices of Chicago's WGN radio by flooding the station with angry phone calls and emails. Activists screamed insults to call-in screeners. The radio station's offense was that a long-time, respected radio host had the temerity to interview Ethics and Public Policy Center watchdog Stanley Kurtz. Kurtz had uncovered university records that documented a much closer relationship between Obama and Ayers than the presidential candidate had previously disclosed.

A few weeks later . . .
This is only the beginning.

This next link, "Ending the West's Proxy War Against Israel", from the Wall Street Journal, goes back about a month. Somebody emailed it to me, and I've been saving it. As blogging has to take a back seat to real life, these delays are to be expected.
In such "youth bulge" countries, young men tend to eliminate each other or get killed in aggressive wars until a balance is reached between their ambitions and the number of acceptable positions available in their society. In Arab nations such as Lebanon (150,000 dead in the civil war between 1975 and 1990) or Algeria (200,000 dead in the Islamists' war against their own people between 1999 and 2006), the slaughter abated only when the fertility rates in these countries fell from seven children per woman to fewer than two. The warring stopped because no more warriors were being born.

In Gaza, however, there has been no demographic disarmament. The average woman still bears six babies. For every 1,000 men aged 40-44, there are 4,300 boys aged 0-4 years. In the U.S. the latter figure is 1,000, and in the U.K. it's only 670.
The reason for Gaza's endless youth bulge is that a large majority of its population does not have to provide for its offspring. Most babies are fed, clothed, vaccinated and educated by UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. Unlike the U.N. High Commission for Refugees, which deals with the rest of the world's refugees and aims to settle them in their respective host countries, UNRWA perpetuates the Palestinian problem by classifying as refugees not only those who originally fled their homes, but all of their descendents as well.

UNRWA is benevolently funded by the U.S. (31%) and the European Union (nearly 50%) -- only 7% of the funds come from Muslim sources. Thanks to the West's largesse, nearly the entire population of Gaza lives in a kind of lowly but regularly paid dependence. One result of this unlimited welfare is an endless population boom. Between 1950 and 2008, Gaza's population has grown from 240,000 to 1.5 million. The West basically created a new Near Eastern people in Gaza that at current trends will reach three million in 2040. Within that period, Gazans may alter the justifications and directions of their aggression but are unlikely to stop the aggression itself.
Will The Obama do anything about this? I mean besides trying to revive the insanity known as the Middle East process? And allowing the United States to participate in upcoming anti-Israel hatefest known as Durban II?

This third one goes back even further, but has stuck with me. It's by the writer for Asia Times Online who calls himself Spengler, "Benedict XVI is Magnificently Right".
"President Roosevelt is magnificently right," John Maynard Keynes wrote of president Franklin Delano Roosevelt's decision to devalue the American dollar in 1933. If any economic policy stance deserves such praise today, it is that of Pope Benedict XVI, whose views on ethics and economics occasioned a flurry of comment last month. Italy's Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti observed, "The prediction that an undisciplined economy would collapse by its own rules can be found" in a 1985 paper (see Market Economy and Ethics, Acton Institute) by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, which Tremonti called "prophetic". I don't know whether it was prophetic, but the future pope was right, and magnificently so.

An unethical economy, he argued, will destroy itself, and economics cannot determine whether any activity is ethical or not. Internet stock valuations, the market delusion of a decade ago, presumed that pornography, gaming, music downloads and shopping would be the driving forces of the future economy. It is easy to ridicule this Alice-in-Wonderland accounting after the fact, just as it is easy to laugh at television advertisements that even today urge Americans to buy homes because their prices double every 10 years (for example this commercial by the National Association of Realtors posted on YouTube). But what should we say of an economy based on consuming as much as one can without troubling to bring children into the world?

Here is what then Cardinal Ratzinger said about it more than 20 years ago:

It is becoming an increasingly obvious fact of economic history that the development of economic systems which concentrate on the common good depends on a determinate ethical system, which in turn can be born and sustained only by strong religious convictions. Conversely, it has also become obvious that the decline of such discipline can actually cause the laws of the market to collapse. An economic policy that is ordered not only to the good of the group - indeed, not only to the common good of a determinate state - but to the common good of the family of man demands a maximum of ethical discipline and thus a maximum of religious strength.

What caused the laws of the market to collapse in 2008? In another location (see The monster and the sausages, Asia Times Online, May 20, 2008), I argued that the bulge of workers in the US and Europe approaching retirement age is the ultimate cause of the financial crisis. Too much capital chased too few investment opportunities, and the financial industry met the demand by selling sow's ears with the credit rating of silk purses.
I should warn you that Spengler talks about things like morals and ethic, you know, subjects that undoubtedly keep him from being the life of the party, but this is something worth discussing. Has Western civilization become so wrapped up in self-actualization, that we've forgotten to create the next generation? When advertisers insist that we can have it all, does that include a family? Or do children require too much attention that could better be spent following that dream?

Read on!

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At 5:22 PM, Blogger KPOni said...

Hey dad, this has nothing to do with your posts, but I'm curious as to how one tracks the people who check one's blog.

At 9:09 AM, Blogger Jungle Mom said...

Harry, That last link is amazing! thanks for sharing it and especially the quote by Cardinal Ratzinger.

At 8:55 PM, Blogger Harry said...

I use Statcounter.
I'm not sure how accurate they are though. I never see anyone connected from Chicago. It could be because you use a laptop, but you still link from a Chicago network.

Jungle Mom,
Glad you liked it. It gives another piece of the picture that I hadn't considered until it was put in front of my face.


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