Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
By David Limbaugh
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Something is missing in all the intramural debates among different stripes of Republicans this primary season. Bigger-government Republicans don't seem fully to appreciate the extent to which the differences between conservative Republicans and liberals are about more than policy.
Conservatives and liberals differ not merely over the level of taxation, protection of the unborn, immigration, the war and other issues -- though the importance of these disputes cannot easily be overstated.
Admittedly, conservatives view these policy differences as matters of great urgency. The power to tax is the power to destroy. Abortion kills human beings. Illegal, unregulated immigration jeopardizes our national security, undermines the rule of law, could bankrupt our government and, because of the negligence concerning proper assimilation, would likely radically change the culture. Successful prosecution of the war on terror, in Iraq and elsewhere, is essential to our national security.
But at an even more fundamental level, conservatives, being sentimental saps, believe -- apparently unlike Michelle Obama -- that the United States is not only the greatest nation in the world but also that it owes its greatness largely to its Constitution.
Even if liberals were to concede this point, they would probably have different reasons for believing it is so. They tout their fondness for the Bill of Rights and little else in the document, but even here, close inspection reveals their affinity is selective.
They're definitely all about the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures -- to such an extreme that they would extend it to non-citizen enemy combatants. They also surely fashion themselves as Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Amendment enthusiasts, with their due process, witness confrontation, jury trial, double jeopardy, self-incrimination and cruel-and-unusual punishment provisions.
But their support gets murkier when it comes to the First, Second, Ninth and 10th Amendments. They revere the Establishment Clause but are less enamored of the Free Exercise Clause. They consider themselves free-speech watchdogs but love campus speech codes, the Fairness Doctrine, campaign-finance reform laws and classroom indoctrination. And I've never heard a liberal wax proudly about federalism or the erosion of states' rights that has accompanied its dilution.
Conservatives, by contrast, not only champion the Bill of Rights -- the complete package -- but also believe Americans owe our unique liberties to the scheme of governmental power established in the body of the Constitution.
We believe, as did the framers, that the structural limitations on government, like the separation of powers and federalism, are what make possible individual liberties. The pitting against each other of competing levels and branches of government run by imperfect men was designed to deter government from its natural tendency toward absolutism.
That's why conservatives get so exercised about appellate judges who refuse to honor the Constitution as written and insist on rewriting its provisions from the bench. When they do so, "legislating" certain abhorrent policies from the bench isn't their only sin. They are also tampering with the delicate balance of governmental power that guarantees our freedom.
For example, conservatives couldn't be more passionate about the appointment of judges who would reverse Roe vs. Wade because that would hopefully reduce abortions. But they are also passionate about judges honoring the Constitution's original intent -- not because they are mired-in-the-mud fuddy-duddies but because only by honoring that intent will we be able to restrain the government and maximize our liberties.
Conservatives also see quite clearly the interrelationship between economic and political liberty. Whether or not they've studied Friedrich Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom," they understand that expansive government and socialism -- no matter how well meaning, in some cases -- are ultimately incompatible with individual liberties.
Big government Republicans, however, evidently don't have the same distrust of governmental power, believing it is an unstoppable force that can't be beaten and so must be joined and harnessed to "conservative" ends.
No matter how smart these intellectuals are, they just don't get it. If they did, they wouldn't be happily surrendering to anti-constitutionalist liberals and willingly playing the game on their turf.
Conservatives realize that politics (and the preservation of our liberties) ain't beanbag. They don't invest their future in the platitudes of "hope," "bipartisanship," or "kumbaya." In the end, these are just recklessly naive expressions of confidence in the power of government to deliver us from all hardship.
Instead, conservatives believe that government is a necessary evil to establish order and promote the common defense and the like but otherwise must be restrained in order to unleash the power and freedom of the individual.
Conservatives should not be underestimated as mere players in a cynical chessboard game of party politics. They believe in the power of ideas and will continue to promote their ideas irrespective of the eventual identity of the respective presidential nominees and regardless of how much they are pressured to be silent about first principles.
David Limbaugh, brother of radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, is an expert in law and politics and author of Bankrupt: The Intellectual and Moral Bankruptcy of Today's Democratic Party.
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Copyright © 2006 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
A British citizen of Iraqi descent, Mr. Auchi, 70, is a billionaire, the 279th richest man in the world, according to a Forbes magazine survey last year.
A great deal of Mr. Auchi's money was made doing business with the regime of Saddam Hussein, much of it under the table. In 1987, Mr. Auchi helped French and Italian firms win a huge oil pipeline contract in Iraq, chiefly by paying off Iraqi officials, according to testimony given by an Italian banker to prosecutors in Milan.
Mr. Auchi is also a business partner of Syrian-born businessman Antoin "Tony" Rezko, who has supported Mr. Obama financially since his first run for the Illinois state senate in 1996.
Join and read the rest!
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.
Unless Al Gore has caused you to disavow truth, read it here
Saturday, February 23, 2008
January 16, 2008
In 1991 a young Muslim Harvard Law College graduate named Barack Hussein Obama (who has denied his Islamic past and Muslim roots for as long as he has been a public figure) became a civil rights community activist working out of the Trinity United Church of Christ. Obama worked as a community organizer for Trinity in poor black neighborhoods. Trinity's senior pastor Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr, a black racist, who preached radical Afrocentric theology and didn't mind delivering profanity-spiked sermons found a congregation-builder in Obama. Because of what Wright called Obama's multiple-faith background and his Harvard education, he was a natural community-builder.
When Obama broke onto the national political scene in 2004, not only did he attempt to erase all traces his Islamic childhood, but he also tried to erase the nature of his relationship with Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr, the pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ. (When your country is at war with Islamic extremists being a Muslim is not the shortest route to the White House.) Obama has told the media his reason for shielding his pastor was because "...he respected Mr. Wright's work for the poor and his fight against injustice." In reality Dr. Wright's work was to denounce the United States as a white racist nation. That's not good press for an African American candidate who needs to win a majority of the white vote to win the office of President.
It would have been not only natural, but expected, for Barack Obama—when he decided to run for the presidency—to make the announcement from the pulpit of the 8,500 member Trinity United Church of Christ. Obama would later state he did not in order to shield his pastor from the spotlight of the media. Dr. Wright has never shunned positive publicity. It was obvious to the media—in particular the New York Times which noted in an April 20, 2007 article that Obama was very deliberately distancing himself from Jeremiah Wright. Instead, Obama announced his candidacy on the steps of the old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois—where Abraham Lincoln announced his candidacy—on Feb. 10, 2007. Obama sees himself as an archtype of Lincoln who will "free his people from the tyranny of the oppressor." What people are those? The inner city people of color whom Dr. Wright believes are part of the Black Value System? Or does he see himself as the man who will free the Muslim world from the Great Satan since his first action, he says, as President of the United States will be to pull all Americans troops out of the Middle East? The voters need to figure out exactly who Barack Obama's constituents really are because when I add 2 + 2 + Obama, it doesn't come out four.
When Obama's early history and his Islamic upbringing was first reported, Obama's website posted a statement dated Nov. 12, 2007 with the headline: "Barack Obama is Not and Has Never Been a Muslim." The statement reiterated that Obama was not a Muslim, was not raised as a Muslim, and is a committed Christian.
On Dec. 22 at the Smoky Row Coffee Shop in Oskaloosa, Iowa, the locals asked Obama about his Muslim roots. He said: "My father was from Kenya. A lot of people in his village were Muslim. He didn't practice Islam. Truth is, he wasn't very religious."That was a lie. Obama's father and stepfather were devout Islamics. Both faithfully practiced their religion. His stepfather, who had a much greater impact on Obama's upbringing, was a radical Wahabbi Muslim.
"My mother was a Christian from Kansas." That was also a lie. Obama's mother, his material grandmother and grandfather were all atheists. "They married and then divorced. I was raised by my mother. So, I've always been a Christian. The only connection I've had to Islam is that my grandfather on my father's side came from that country. But I've never practiced Islam...For a while I lived in Indonesia because my mother was teaching there. And that's a Muslim country. And I went to school—but I didn't practice Islam." Another lie. Obama's mother married Lolo Soetoro, a Wahabbi extremist who lived in Indonesia. When Obama's mother moved to Indonesia—before she married her second Muslim husband—she enrolled her son inFrancis Assisis Catholic School. He was enrolled as a Muslim because he was a Muslim. The enrollment form required each student to choose one of five state-sanctioned religions when enrolling: Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu, Muslim, or Protestant. Had he been a lifelong Christian, or even a recent convert, he—or his mother—would have circled Protestant.
When confronted with this information, Obama said he couldn't understand how such an error could have happened. Los Angeles Times reporter Paul Watson, who dug into Obama's allegation of error, said "...his former Roman Catholic and Muslim teachers, along with two people who were identified by Obama's grade school teacher as childhood friends, says Obama was registered by his family as a Muslim at both schools he attended. The registration meant that during the third and fourth grades, Obama learned about Islam for two hours each week in religion classes. The childhood friends say Obama sometimes went to Friday prayers at the local mosque." (Something else Obama claims he never did.) "...Obama's younger sister, Maya Soetoro, said in a statement released by the campaign that the family attended the mosque only 'for big communal events' not every Friday." Obama, who belongs to a church that teaches that the Muslims of the world were wronged by both Israel and the United States, cannot afford to be labeled as a "Muslim" by voters who expect the United States to win the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan where their sons and daughters are being killed by Muslims.
Jim Wallis, a Christian antipoverty community activist and a friend of Obama's said Obama comes from a very secular, skeptical family. His faith is a personal and adult choice. His material grandparents—who were professing atheists—had previously been Baptist and Methodist. His mother's tutelage leaned towards Islam only because her new husband was an ardent Muslim—and he demanded it
She was not, however, the docile Muslim housewife most Muslim men expected. Obama's half-sister Maya admitted that her "...whole family was Muslim, and most of the people I knew were Muslim." Because religion of any type rubbed his mother the wrong way, when he was 10, Obama's mother sent her son back to Hawaii to live with her parents.
In 2005 Obama met his paternal step-grandmoher (whom he calls his grandmother). Sarah Hussein Obama, 85, who lives in Kenya. She told the New York Times that she is "...a strong believer of Islamic faith," adding that she still rises at 5 a.m. to pray for an hour before tending to her crops and the three orphans she has taken in.
A camera which caught Obama on the political stage during a fund raiser for Sen. Tom Harkin in Iowa with presidential candidates Bill Richardson and Hillary Clinton shows his lack of respect to this nation during the singing of the National Anthem. Angered that the photo was released (and because the reporter erroneously stated the photo was taken during the Pledge of Allegiance rather than the singing of the national anthem, Obama said: "This is the classic dirty trick. This was not the Pledge of Allegiance. The woman was singing the Star Spangled Banner."
As a sign of respect to their nation, many Americans place their hand over their heart when the National Anthem is played as well as when they recite the Pledge. In his case, Obama said "...I was taught by my grandfather that you put your hands over your heart during the Pledge of Allegiance. The Star Spangled Banner, you sing." Only, when you look at the photo, its very clear that neither Obama nor the others on stage are singing. It was, however, the singing of the national anthem.
All the time he was around either his father or stepfather, Obama was either in Hawaii or Indonesia. Thus, neither his paternal grandfather nor the father of his stepfather would have tutored him on placing his hand over his heart during the US Pledge of Allegiance, nor the singing the American Star Spangled Banner. Rest assured that Indonesian homes don't recite the Pledge or sing the US national anthem. And while Hawaii had been a State for three years before Obama was born, logic suggests its not likely an atheist mother and an Islamic father would teach him to recite the Pledge of Allegiance or sing the Star Spangled Banner.
In his teen years Obama moved back to Honolulu where he lived with his maternal grandparents. In his rebuttal, you will recall, Obama claimed his grandfather had taught him to place his hand over his heart during the Pledge, and to sing the national anthem. History has a problem with that on both sides of the family. Like his mother who was an atheist, so were her parents. Obama's grandmother, he said in interviews, "...was too rational and too stubborn to accept anything she couldn't see, feel, touch or count." His maternal grandfather was also an atheist who "...had an innate rebelliousness and a complete inability to discipline his appetites...who...experimented with marijuana and cocaine." An atheist is not going to teach his grandson to respect the Pledge of Allegiance which pays homage to God.
In August, 2006 US Senator Barack Obama [D-IL] made a special trip to visit a special man in Kenya. The man's name was Raila Amolo Odinga. He is the head of the National Muslim Leaders Forum [NAMLEF] in Kenya. The political party he heads is called the Orange Democratic Movement [ODM]—although there is definitely nothing democratic about his political party of NAMLEF. The ODM is dedicated to overthrowing the legitimate democratic government of Kenya. Odinga is not really concerned how he achieves his objective. It matters little to him if he assumes power through a free election—or by revolution. But, by hook or crook, he is determined to become the president of Kenya. If he succeeds, he will be president for life and Kenya will become another Afghanistan.
When the US Senator visited Kenya to meet with Odinga in Nairobi, the Kenyan government officially denounced the visit. And, most specifically, they denounced Obama. According to a Kenyan government spokesman, Obama's bias for his friend was so blatant that the government found it necessary to complain that Obama appeared to be Odinga's stooge. Not only did Obama campaign for his Islamic friend, he convinced former Clinton adviser Dick Morris to become Odinga's campaign adviser.
Odinga bothers the US State Department for a couple of reasons. First, after losing the democratic election on December 27, Raila Odinga cut a deal for support from Vladimir Putin and the former Soviet Union. Odinga knows he has to overthrow the government to gain power. When he lost the election, he protested that the vote was rigged to keep him from claiming an election he won. He incited his tribal followers to go on a murderous rampage in towns that were primarily Christian. Throughout Kenya, hundreds of people were murdered. What shocked the west is that the Kenyan media—and the political power brokers within the country—out of fear of Odinga, appear to be suggesting that perhaps the election should be held over to stop the violence and the potential for long term Muslim terrorism.
In a wave of violence aimed at protesting what they call the illegal election of newly-elected Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, a group of Christian women and children—some entire families—barricaded themselves in a church. Muslims, inflamed by Odinga's men, torched the church and burned to death everyone inside. This is the man Obama campaigned for in Kenya, and sang the praises of. This is also the man who claims that Barack Obama is a close, personal friend. Christianity would be outlawed.
There would be a complete ban on the public consumption of alcoholic beverages and a ban on western-style dress for women since this type of garb is considered immoral and an offense to the Muslim faith. Raila Obinga, it seems, would impose the same type of Shariah law that was imposed on Afghanistan by the Taliban. Odinga would degree that no Muslim living in Kenya—whether a citizen, visitor or relative of a citizen of Kenya (such as Obama, whose grandmother is a citizen of Kenya)‚shall be subject to any legal process involving the laws of a foreign country and in particular any Muslim arrested for, or suspected of, terrorism, or of any other international crimes shall only be tried inside the borders of Kenya and shall be granted a competent lawyer of his or her choice at the expense of the government.
The American people need to be asking Barack Obama a whole different list of questions when they attend his political rallies on his quest to become the leader of the free world. They need to ask the man who he really is because, up to this point on the campaign trail, he has lied to them. The American people need to find an honest candidate. Barack Obama is not that man.
© 2008 Jon C. Ryter - All Rights Reserved
August 1942. Piotrkow, Poland. The sky was gloomy that morning as we waited anxiously.
All the men, women and children of Piotrkow's Jewish ghetto had been herded into a square. Word had gotten around that we were being moved. My father had only recently died from typhus, which had run rampant through the crowded ghetto. My greatest fear was that our family would be separated. 'Whatever you do,' Isidore, my eldest brother, whispered to me,'don't tell them your age. Say you're sixteen'.
I was tall for a boy of 11, so I could pull it off.That way I might be deemed valuable as a worker. An SS man approached me, boots clicking against the cobblestones. He looked me up and down,then asked my age.'Sixteen,' I said. He directed me to the left, where my three brothers and other healthy young men already stood.
My mother was motioned to the right with the other women, children, sick and elderly people.
I whispered to Isidore, 'Why?' He didn't answer. I ran to Mama's side and said I wanted to stay with her. 'No,' she said sternly. 'Get away. Don't be a nuisance. Go with your brothers. She had never spoken so harshly before. But I understood: She was protecting me. She loved me so much that, just this once, she pretended not to. It was the last I ever saw of her.
My brothers and I were transported in a cattle car to Germany. We arrived at the Buchenwald concentration camp one night weeks later and were led into a crowded barrack. The next day, we were issued uniforms and identification numbers. 'Don't call me Herman anymore.' I said to my brothers. 'Call me 94983.'
I was put to work in the camp's crematorium, loading the dead into a hand-cranked elevator.
I, too, felt dead. Hardened, I had become a number. Soon, my brothers and I were sent to Schlieben, one of Buchenwald's sub-camps near Berlin. One morning I thought I heard my mother's voice. Son, she said softly but clearly, I am sending you an angel. Then I woke up. Just a dream. A beautiful dream. But in this place there could be no angels. There was only work. And hunger. And fear.
A couple of days later, I was walking around the camp, around the barracks, near the barbed-wire fence where the guards could not easily see. I was alone. On the other side of the fence, I spotted someone: a young girl with light, almost luminous curls. She was half-hidden behind a birch tree. I glanced around to make sure no one saw me. I called to her softly in German.
'Do you have something eat?' She didn't understand. I inched closer to the fence and repeated the question in Polish. She stepped forward. I was thin and gaunt, with rags wrapped around my feet, but the girl looked unafraid. In her eyes, I saw life. She pulled an apple from her woolen jacket and threw it over the fence. I grabbed the fruit and, as I started to run away, I heard her say faintly, 'I'll see you tomorrow.'
I returned to the same spot by the fence at the same time every day. She was always there with something for me to eat - a hunk of bread or, better yet, an apple. We didn't dare speak or linger. To be caught would mean death for us both. I didn't know anything about her just a kind farm girl except that she understood Polish. What was her name? Why was she risking her life for me? Hope was in such short supply, and this girl on the other side of the fence gave me some, as nourishing in its way as the bread and apples.
Nearly seven months later, my brothers and I were crammed into a coal car and shipped to Theresienstadt camp in Czechoslovakia. 'Don't return,' I told the girl that day. 'We're leaving.' I turned toward the barracks and didn't look back, didn't even say good-bye to the girl whose name I'd never learned, the girl with the apples.
We were in Theresienstadt for three months. The war was winding down and Allied forces were closing in, yet my fate seemed sealed. On May 10, 1945, I was scheduled to die in the gas chamber at 10:00 A.M. In the quiet of dawn, I tried to prepare myself. So many times death seemed ready to claim me, but somehow I'd survived. Now, it was over. I thought of my parents. At least, I thought, we will be reunited.
At 8 A.M. there was a commotion. I heard shouts, and saw people running every which way through camp. I caught up with my brothers. Russian troops had liberated the camp! The gates swung open. Everyone was running, so I did too.
Amazingly, all of my brothers had survived; I'm not sure how. But I knew that the girl with the apples had been the key to my survival. In a place where evil seemed triumphant, one person's goodness had saved my life, had given me hope in a place where there was none. My mother had promised to send me an angel, and the angel had come.
Eventually I made my way to England where I was sponsored by a Jewish charity, put up in a hostel with other boys who had survived the Holocaust and trained in electronics. Then I came to America, where my brother Sam had already moved.
I served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and returned to New York City after two years. By August 1957 I'd opened my own electronics repair shop. I was starting to settle in.
One day, my friend Sid who I knew from England called me. 'I've got a date. She's got a Polish friend. Let's double date.'
A blind date? Nah, that wasn't for me. But Sid kept pestering me, and a few days later we headed up to the Bronx to pick up his date and her friend Roma. I had to admit, for a blind date this wasn't so bad. Roma was a nurse at a Bronx hospital. She was kind and smart. Beautiful, too, with swirling brown curls and green, almond-shaped eyes that sparkled with life.
The four of us drove out to Coney Island. Roma was easy to talk to, easy to be with. Turned out she was wary of blind dates too! We were both just doing our friends a favor. We took a stroll on the boardwalk, enjoying the salty Atlantic breeze, and then had dinner by the shore. I couldn't remember having a better time.
We piled back into Sid's car, Roma and I sharing the backseat. As European Jews who had survived the war, we were aware that much had been left unsaid between us. She broached the subject, 'Where were you,' she asked softly, 'during the war?'
'The camps,' I said, the terrible memories still vivid, the irreparable loss. I had tried to forget. But you can never forget. She nodded. 'My family was hiding on a farm in Germany, not far from Berlin,' she told me. 'My father knew a priest, and he got us Aryan papers.' I imagined how she must have suffered too, fear, a constant companion. And yet here we were, both survivors, in a new world.
'There was a camp next to the farm.' Roma continued. 'I saw a boy there and I would throw him apples every day.'
What an amazing coincidence that she had helped some other boy. 'What did he look like? I asked. He was tall. Skinny. Hungry. I must have seen him every day for six months.'
My heart was racing. I couldn't believe it. This couldn't be. 'Did he tell you one day not to come back because he was leaving Schlieben?' Roma looked at me in amazement.
'Yes,' That was me!'
I was ready to burst with joy and awe, flooded with emotions. I couldn't believe it. My angel.
'I'm not letting you go.' I said to Roma. And in the back of the car on that blind date, I proposed to her. I didn't want to wait. 'You're crazy!' she said. But she invited me to meet her parents for Shabbat dinner the following week. There was so much I looked forward to learning about Roma, but the most important things I always knew: her steadfastness, her goodness. For many months, in the worst of circumstances, she had come to the fence and given me hope. Now that I'd found her again, I could never let her go. That day, she said yes. And I kept my word. After nearly 50 years of marriage, two children and three grandchildren I have never let her go.
This is a true story and you can find out more by Googling Herman Rosenblat as he was bar mitzvahed at age 75. This story is being made into a movie called The Fence.
Friday, February 22, 2008
The Real Barack Obama
Thursday, February 21, 2008 10:06 AM
By: Ronald Kessler
Michelle Obama’s comment that, for the first time in her adult life, she feels proud of America helps crystallize who Barack Obama is.
To be sure, the wife of a candidate is perfectly free to have views that are distinct from her husband’s. But on a matter that is so fundamental to one’s being as love of country, it is difficult to imagine that Michelle Obama would publicly twice make such a statement suggesting disdain for America unless she felt it comported with her husband’s views.
Equally important, her statement aligns perfectly with the hate-America views of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s minister, friend, and sounding board for more than two decades. On the Sunday following 9/11, Wright characterized the terrorist attacks as a consequence of violent American policies. Four years later, Wright suggested that the attacks were retribution for America’s racism.
“In the 21st century, white America got a wake-up call after 9/11/01,” Wright wrote in his church magazine Trumpet. “White America and the Western world came to realize that people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just ‘disappeared’ as the Great White West kept on its merry way of ignoring black concerns.”
Wright has been a key supporter of Louis Farrakhan, and in December, honored the Nation of Islam leader for lifetime achievement, saying he “truly epitomize[s] greatness.”
Farrakhan has repeatedly made hate-filled statements targeting Jews, whites, America, and homosexuals.
Those who think two of the closest people to Obama could publicly make anti-America statements unless Obama himself felt that way, are fooling themselves. To date, Obama has proven himself to be nothing more than a great orator, rendering the statements of those around him even more important in illuminating his true character and agenda. During his Senate career, he skipped 17 percent of the votes and sponsored only one bill that became law. That bill was to promote “relief, security, and democracy in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
Bereft of official accomplishments, Obama has distinguished himself mainly by being against measures that protect American security, such as finishing the mission in Iraq. If we were to leave Iraq quickly, as Obama vows he would do, it would become a launch pad for al-Qaida attacks on the U.S.
Obama avoided voting on extending the Protect America Act, thus putting America at risk when immediate interception of terrorist communications is required. Last August, Obama voted against a measure that would have allowed the U.S. to continue to monitor overseas conversations of terrorists like Osama bin Laden without first obtaining a warrant.
If his radical vote had prevailed, bin Laden would have been given the same rights as Americans.
To this day, Obama has not distanced himself from most of Rev. Wright’s comments. In a statement supposedly issued to address the matter, Obama ignored the point that his minister and friend had spoken adoringly of Farrakhan and that Wright’s church was behind the award to the Nation of Islam leader. Instead, as outlined in a Jan. 17 Newsmax article, he disingenuously claimed he thought the magazine bestowed the award on Farrakhan for his efforts to rehabilitate ex-prisoners.
Neither Wright’s encomiums about Farrakhan nor the Trumpet article mentions ex-prisoners.
Similarly, after John McCain’s wife Cindy responded to Michelle Obama’s remarks by telling a Wisconsin rally, “I have, and always will be, proud of my country,” Barack Obama told a radio interviewer that his wife did not say what people think she said. He then proceeded to rewrite her comments, claiming that she had meant she was encouraged by the “large numbers of people” who have gotten involved in the political process. Michelle Obama then made a similar revision of her remarks.
In her speech in Milwaukee, Michelle Obama said flatly, “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.”
And what has been wrong with America up to now? That it gave Michelle the opportunity to attend Princeton and Harvard Law School? That it gave Barack Obama the chance to attend Columbia University and Harvard Law School and become a U.S. senator making more than $1 million a year from book royalties?
Was it that America stopped Nazi Germany from continuing to murder millions of Jews? That America has provided Africa and other countries with $15 billion to combat the spread of AIDS/HIV and that another $30 billion is on the way? That 46 percent of all Americans classified by the Census Bureau as poor own their own homes, 76 percent of them have air conditioning, and 75 percent of them have at least one car? Or that America allows us to express our views freely without fear of being put in jail, as is the case in Russia?
A lawyer, Michelle Obama is perfectly capable of expressing herself precisely. In fact, she spoke from a written speech.
Those who do not want to believe she meant what she said — and that Barack Obama could not be so close to Rev. Wright if he did not himself believe in much of what he has said — are in denial.
The real Barack Obama is starting to emerge, and for those of us who are grateful to America for everything it represents, it is not a pretty sight.
Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via e-mail. Go here now.
© 2008 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Perhaps in response to criticisms that have been building in recent days, Mr. Obama pivoted Tuesday from his usual incantations. He dropped the pretense of being a candidate of inspiring but undescribed "post-partisan" change. Until now, Mr. Obama has been making appeals to the center, saying, for example, that we are not red or blue states, but the United States. But in his Houston speech, he used the opportunity of 45 (long) minutes on national TV to advocate a distinctly non-centrist, even proudly left-wing, agenda. By doing so, he opened himself to new and damaging contrasts and lines of criticism.
And, most importantly:
In recent days, courtesy of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Mr. Obama has invoked the Declaration of Independence, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Franklin Roosevelt to show the power of words. But there is a critical difference between Mr. Obama's rhetoric and that of Jefferson, King and FDR. In each instance, their words were used to advance large, specific purposes -- establishing a new nation based on inalienable rights; achieving equal rights and a color-blind society; giving people confidence to endure a Great Depression. For Mr. Obama, words are merely a means to hide a left-leaning agenda behind the cloak of centrist rhetoric. That garment has now been torn. As voters see what his agenda is, his opponents can now far more effectively question his authenticity, credibility, record and fitness to be leader of the free world.
Read the whole thing!
By Joseph Farah
"The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism, but under the name of liberalism they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened."
– Norman Thomas, American socialist
I've been thinking deeply about those famously prophetic words spoken by America's premier socialist thinker and leader.
They didn't resonate in the 1940s when Franklin Roosevelt, in the name of ending the Depression, exceeded all constitutional authority by approving new federal assistance programs.
They seemed a bit far-fetched to most of us in the 1960s when Lyndon Johnson vastly expanded the welfare state in his failed bid to end poverty in America.
They still didn't connect in the 1970s when Richard Nixon, in a bid to ingratiate himself with Democrats in Congress and stave off an impeachment, greatly increased spending on wealth-redistribution schemes.
And by the 1980s, with Ronald Reagan in power, it seemed this 40-year trend had finally been reversed.
But with the initiatives being proposed by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential campaign, it appears Norman Thomas was right all along. Americans will, indeed, embrace every fragment of the socialist program in the name of liberalism.
Both of the leading Democrats call for nationalized health care – for a power grab by Washington in which the federal government will seize full control of another one-seventh of the U.S. economy.
This would, of course, be the most dramatic and irreversible step toward U.S. socialism in the nation's history.
Even today, however, the architects of these plans conceal from the public the centralized, command-and-control nature of the new system they devise.
They are not asked by the press to show the American people even one successful program government has run. Yet the American people seem ready to put the lives of their children and grandchildren in the hands of Washington bureaucrats.
Now comes an even grander proposal by Barack Obama. It's called the Global Poverty Act, that would, in the next decade, transfer at least $845 billion of U.S. taxpayer money overseas. Think of Johnson's failed war on poverty going international – directed not by Americans but by the United Nations.
How we could even be debating ideas like this in the 21st century, after all of the climactic failures of socialism around the world, is amazing to me. But we're not really debating them. It seems we're not even capable as a people of debating them, reasoning over them, using our brains to consider them.
Americans may simply be too far gone spiritually, morally and intellectually to reject the temptations of socialism.
Socialism is antithetical to human nature, yet it has great appeal to the human mind.
It's one of the great lies of all time – similar to the one told by the deceiver in the Garden of Eden. You can be like God! You can have it all right here on Earth. You can live in utopia, and you don't have to obey the laws of the universe to achieve it.
That's the essence of socialism. And it is finally seducing America as it has seduced much of the rest of the world over the last century.
Unfortunately, Americans don't even have a party representing clear, unequivocal opposition to socialism. The Republicans dare not even speak its name. John McCain admits publicly he doesn't know much or care much about economics.
And so, Americans don't even have a reason or a mechanism to say no to the socialism that is coming to their country under the guise of liberalism – just the way Norman Thomas predicted it would come.
*************************************Creeping Socialism Can Be Stopped Now
Dick McDonald www.riseupamerica.us
The article below tells us that socialism is growing in America - growing under the cover of "liberalism" but socialism just the same. If there is a core disease that could be cured to stop the spread of socialism - it would be dismantling the entitlement bureaucracy -60% of our national budget. As the Rise Up America plan calls for repealing Social Security and Medicare while increasing retirement benefits and generating the biggest tax cut in human history it would appear that 2008 is a moment in history to bury socialism in the dustbin of history and it would be a shame to miss this opportunity for real CHANGE.
Everything is stacking up perfectly for Republicans and they must seize this opportunity to win in 2008 and to destroy socialism in the process. The blueprint to accomplish this trifecta can be read in my book "Make the Poor Rich and America Wealthier" available free on-line at www.riseupamerica.com. Barack Obama came out tonight with a straight liberal agenda after winning in Wisconsin. Not only a liberal agenda but a far left agenda - in other words SOCIALISM.
Obama's wife calls her husband's socialism a reason for the first time in her life to be proud of America. Wow folks, Madame Mao could not have said it better. If you are new to Rise Up watch a "long" 9-minute "boring" video that proves the mathematics of the Plan here.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Mr. Geldof praised Mr. Bush for his work in delivering billions to fight disease and poverty in Africa, and blasted the U.S. press for ignoring the achievement.Read the whole thing
Monday, February 18, 2008
Obama’s International Socialist Connections
AIM Column | By Cliff Kincaid | February 14, 2008
The socialist connections of Obama and the Democratic Party have certainly not been featured in the Washington Post columns of Harold Meyerson, who happens not only to be a member but a vice-chair of the DSA.
Campaign workers for Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama are under fire for displaying a flag featuring communist hero Che Guevara. But Obama has his own controversial socialist connections. He is, in fact, an associate of a Chicago-based Marxist group with access to millions of labor union dollars and connections to expert political consultants, including a convicted swindler.
Obama's socialist backing goes back at least to 1996, when he received the endorsement of the Chicago branch of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) for an Illinois state senate seat. Later, the Chicago DSA newsletter reported that Obama, as a state senator, showed up to eulogize Saul Mendelson, one of the "champions" of "Chicago's democratic left" and a long-time socialist activist. Obama's stint as a "community organizer" in Chicago has gotten some attention, but his relationship with the DSA socialists, who groomed and backed him, has been generally ignored.
Blogger Steve Bartin, who has been following Obama's career and involvement with the Chicago socialists, has uncovered a fascinating video showing Obama campaigning for openly socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Interestingly, Sanders, who won his seat in 2006, called Obama "one of the great leaders of the United States Senate," even though Obama had only been in the body for about two years. In 2007, the National Journal said that Obama had established himself as "the most liberal Senator." More liberal than Sanders? That is quite a feat. Does this make Obama a socialist, too?
DSA describes itself as the largest socialist organization in the United States and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International. The Socialist International (SI) has what is called "consultative status" with the United Nations. In other words, it works hand-in-glove with the world body.
The international connection is important and significant because an Obama bill, "The Global Poverty Act," has just been rushed through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, with the assistance of Democratic Senator Joe Biden, the chairman, and Republican Senator Richard Lugar. The legislation (S.2433) commits the U.S. to spending hundreds of billions of dollars more in foreign aid on the rest of the world, in order to comply with the "Millennium Goals" established by the United Nations. Conservative members of the committee were largely caught off-guard by the move to pass the Obama bill but are putting a "hold" on it, in order to try to prevent the legislation, which also quickly passed the House, from being quickly brought up for a full Senate vote. But observers think that Senate Democrats may try to pass it quickly anyway, in order to give Obama a precious legislative "victory" that he could run on.
Another group associated with the SI is the Party of European Socialists (PES), which heard from Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, back in 2006. Dean's speech is posted on the official Democratic Party website, although the European socialist parties are referred to as "progressive." Democrats, Dean said, want to be "good citizens of the world community." He spoke at a session on "Global Challenges for Progressive Politics."
Following up, in April 2007, PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen reported that European socialists held a meeting "in the Democrats HQ in Washington," met with officials of the party and Democratic members of Congress, and agreed that "PES activist groups" in various U.S. cities would start working together. The photos of the trip show Rasmussen meeting with such figures as Senator Ben Cardin, Senator Bernie Sanders, officials of the Brookings Institution, Howard Dean, and AFL-CIO President John W. Sweeney, a member of the DSA. The Brookings Institution is headed by former Clinton State Department official Strobe Talbott, a proponent of world government who was recently identified in the book Comrade J as having been a pawn of the Russian intelligence service.
The socialist connections of Obama and the Democratic Party have certainly not been featured in the Washington Post columns of Harold Meyerson, who happens not only to be a member but a vice-chair of the DSA. Meyerson, the subject of our 2005 column, "A Socialist at the Washington Post," has praised convicted inside-trader George Soros for manipulating campaign finance laws to benefit the far-left elements of the Democratic Party. Obama's success in the Democratic presidential primaries and caucuses is further evidence of Soros's success. Indeed, Soros has financially contributed to the Obama campaign.
It is not surprising that the Chicago Democrat, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, has endorsed Obama. Schakowsky, who endorsed Howard Dean for president in 2004, was honored in 2000 at a dinner sponsored by the Chicago chapter of the DSA. Her husband, Robert Creamer, emerged from federal prison in November 2006 after serving five months for financial crimes. He pleaded guilty to ripping off financial institutions while running a non-profit group. Before he was convicted but under indictment, Creamer was hired by the Soros-funded Open Society Policy Center to sabotage John Bolton's nomination as Ambassador to the U.N.
After his release from prison, Creamer released a book, Listen to Your Mother: Stand up Straight: How Progressives Can Win, described by one blogger as the book that was "penned in the pen." A blurb for the book declares, "Some people think that in order to win, Democrats need to move to the political center by adopting conservative values and splitting the difference between progressive and conservative positions. History shows they are wrong. To win the next election and to win in the long term, we need to redefine the political center."
In addition to writing the book, Creamer is back in business, running his firm, Strategic Consulting Group, and advertising himself as "a consultant to the campaigns to end the war in Iraq, pass universal health care, change America's budget priorities and enact comprehensive immigration reform." His clients have included the AFL-CIO and MoveOn.org. In fact, his client list is a virtual who's who of the Democratic Party, organized labor, and Democratic Party constituency groups.
Creamer's list of testimonials comes from such figures as Democratic Senators Dick Durbin (Ill.) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Harold Meyerson, MoveOn.org founder Wes Boyd, and David Axelrod, a "Democratic political consultant."
Axelrod, of course, is much more than just a "Democratic political consultant." He helped State Senator Barack Obama win his U.S. Senate seat in 2004 and currently serves as strategist and media advisor to Obama's presidential campaign.
Cliff Kincaid is the Editor of the AIM Report and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
But wait, there's more!
From Michael Medved’s “The Blue-Eyed Rule”:
It turns out that in all of U.S. history, only five presidents had brown eyes – John Quincy Adams, Andrew Johnson, Chester A. Arthur, LBJ and Nixon. …Michael Medved: The Blue-Eyed Rule: Freakish Fact for Presidents' Day
[T]wo of our three presidents who faced serious impeachment proceedings (Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon) were among our brown-eyed minority. The other three brownies (John Quincy Adams, Chester A. Arthur, and Lyndon Johnson) all hoped to win an additional term as president but failed to do, falling victim to bitter political critics and rivals.
The general incidence of blue eyes in the population is about 16% today. In 1950, it was estimated at 30%; in 1900, 50%. …
[O]ur population almost certainly never featured the 89% blue-eyed incidence of all our presidents. …”
[Updated 11/22/10 to correct expired link.]
...Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps commander Muhammad Ali Jafari wrote to Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the FARS news agency reported Monday...Jafari said: "I am convinced that with every passing day Hizbullah's might is increasing and in the near future, we will witness the disappearance of this cancerous growth Israel by means of the Hizbullah fighters' radiation [therapy]." Read the whole thing
Should Israel be worried? Would you be worried? Now, if Obama is elected our President here in the United States, he has said he wants to have meetings with these people. (Hey, he'll probably have tea with them!). So, really, everything will be ok after the meetings, right? I mean, he'll have that sense of Bro'hood with those guys after having been in one of those Madrasahs growing up in Indonesia (even if he does belong to a radical Christian church now). Although, they say that if you ever leave Islam, you must be killed...hmmm. Maybe Obama should be careful?
Sunday, February 17, 2008
In a reference to Bush's domestic problems, Kikwete added: "Different people may have different views about you and your administration and your legacy.
"But we in Tanzania, if we are to speak for ourselves and for Africa, we know for sure that you, Mr. President, and your administration have been good friends of our country and have been good friends of Africa."
Although many Africans, especially Muslims, share negative perceptions of Bush's foreign policy with other parts of the world, there is widespread recognition of his successful humanitarian and health initiatives on the continent.
Read the whole thing
Saturday, February 16, 2008
PSDS or “public sector derangement syndrome” – see introduction here – starts with the financing of government, the “public” sector. America uses two financing methods – “fiscal” and “monetary.” “Fiscal” policies involve taxing the people to underwrite the cost of government. “Monetary” policies involve how much money to print, what interest rates should be, what leverage is allowable in lending and investing and in certain cases “monetary” policies are used to pay bills out of thin air as Representative Ron Paul of Texas likes to point out.
To the average American, uneducated as he is by his liberal indoctrination, “monetary policy” is a mystery until it comes and bites him in the ass. Even then it remains a mystery by omission as the liberal media is not going to smarten up ordinary Americans when they have an opportunity to blame the dreaded capitalists and the opposing political party. That other party is too genteel to ruffle feathers and in some way is just as guilty as the liberals by overplaying the monetary tool of rate reduction in the first place.
It was the “monetary” policy of lowering interest rates from an average peacetime 6% to 1% that has caused the foreclosure debacle America is presently facing. It is not just a one-step linear sound bite that will explain it – one has to think a little. When using “monetary policy” the government doesn’t have to find a source of income to tax to cover the cost of the expenditure – it merely lets the Federal Reserve Bank print more money to cover the cost. That “printing” will dilute the value of the dollar if those dollars are used to pay expenses. Here the expense was bricks and mortar which don’t appreciate they depreciate. Their increase in valuation through inflation and artificial stimulus can’t hide the fact that the infusion of cheap money was just a massive “expense” as the expenditure did not generate real growth.
Here is where PSDS comes into play. If we printed money and gave the ownership of that money to the citizen and forced that citizen to put that money into an account that invested that money in the American economy for his 40-year working life that money would grow into million-dollar nest egg and deliver the American Dream to the rich and poor alike. It would deliver a nest egg that would absolutely explode the wealth of America and its citizens. Why don’t we you ask – PSDS.
You see the dollar we print remains just one dollar. The dollar that is invested in the economy compounds into many dollars. For example you invest a printed dollar a year for 40 years you have printed 40 dollars. However, if that dollar is invested in the economy it compounds after 40 years into 443 dollars at a ten per cent rate of return. There is your proof that we as a people are suffering from PSDS. We have bought into big government but we haven’t a clue how to run it, how it slows down our economic growth, cripples our economy and finally limits our standard of living.
The trouble with liberals and socialists is that they insist on spending money on expenses. As a result they only get $40 of value for $40 spent. The conservative capitalist gets $443 for the $40 spent by investing that money in a long-term investment. The Liberal stays poor and the conservative gets rich. The Liberal suffers from PSDS – the conservative doesn’t.
Sure, you can jawbone all you want about “fiscal policies” and taxing the rich or cutting taxes on the rich but PSDS makes us all players on a stage off-Broadway removed from the “bright lights.” We missed acts one and two and have no understanding of what happened to cause this malaise in act three. Well what happened in acts one and two were socialist policies hidden in the plot as you were directed to by the hero and his foil arguing about taxing or unburdening the rich when the real massive taxation was being imposed on the poor and ordinary citizen.
You see the government only collects about $1 trillion in individual income taxes whereas it collects $1.3 trillion in payroll taxes. Income taxes may be paid by the rich but the big haul – payroll taxes – is imposed disproportionably on the underclass as the rich don’t pay payroll taxes on dividends and capital gains – the source of their great wealth. All these taxes are consumed by government with the small exception of maintaining the infrastructure which as the bridge in Minnesota taught us is in a state of major disrepair. Spending money as fast as you can extract it from the people has led a loose and irresponsible Congress to “fiscally” run up $9 trillion of actual debt and $45 trillion of unfunded debt.
We are NOT going to pay off these debts “fiscally” (fiscal policies) without the enormous pain and suffering of higher taxes or reduced government benefits – we could however immediately liquidate $4 trillion of the national debt and $45 trillion of the unfunded debt by merely changing retirement responsibilities from the government back to the people and finance the whole transition “monetarily” enabling us to guarantee to pay benefits under the old entitlement programs forever as the minimum everyone is entitled to.
To accomplish this would require the people to insist that government abandon and forever deep-six the PSDS syndrome. Take the $1.3 trillion and place that amount into personal investment accounts of the people and let that $40 dollar 40-year investment explode into $443 dollars or $3.2 million for every average household in America.
As compounding will explode each dollar invested into many (40 into 443), financing the transition and guaranteeing old program payments by paying the ever-decreasing amount by printing dollars doesn’t cost us anything because the asset –personal investment accounts – will always be greater than the diminution of the dollar by printing more ($40 dollars will always be just $40 dollars, of course unless inflation makes it $20).
PSDS orthodoxy states that redistribution from the rich to the poor is the acceptable method of delivering the common good. Lost in that philosophy is the reality that the underclass is so massively taxed they have nothing left to tax and the public sector is forced to confiscate from the rich because they have no one else left to tax.
PSD was based on a temporary economic fix by the economist John Maynard Keynes which he devised to cure a temporary economic problem during FDR’s reign. He later decried that liberals and communists in government had adopted his fix as their primary economic demand-side tool to tax everything standing. He knew as every thinking American should know that supply-side economics is king. You can’t consume something until you produce it and production is not what the public sector does – it merely consumes.
Hillary Clinton states “I certainly think the free market has failed. We’re going to take things away from you for the common good.” Her liberal party mouths the same PSDS as she does. Obviously she and they have no earthly idea how to run the country – nor does Obama.
They will continue the PSDS that posits consumption over investment – they will opt to take in $40 and spend $45. They will opt for the pain of reduced benefits or punitive taxation rather than solve the problem monetarily and create the $443 compounding miracle. And where do you stand America – ready to continue PSDS – or use the tools we have to invest in our future and explode our economy with a first-year infusion into the capital markets of $1.3 trillion and increasingly more every year thereafter.
Friday, February 15, 2008
The series of ads entitled "I Used to Be a Democrat" tell the true-life, political journeys of former Jewish Democrats. While the circumstances may vary, one common theme persists among them: Each is now a Jewish Republican.
Read or submit your own story here!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
2. Making America wealthier
3. Cutting the national budget in half – eliminating the entitlement bureaucracy
4. Enacting the biggest tax cut in history
5. Immediately extinguishing $45 trillion in unfunded entitlement debt
6. Flooring old age benefits at their present levels – forever guaranteed
7. Taking the national savings rate from -1 ½ % to positive 15%
8. Annually infusing over $1.3 trillion of new capital into the economy
9. Eliminating the need for business to cover retirement costs for workers
10. Immediately reducing the national debt from $9 trillion to $5 trillion.
11. Reducing the need for millions of public and private retirement plans
12. Stabilizing and increasing the value of the dollar internationally
13. Reducing crime and incarceration caused by financial hardship
14. Economically emancipating women
15. Reduce labor-management conflicts and costs
16. Eliminate the need for state and local government retirement plans
17. Ending endemic poverty
18. Giving hope to the powerless
19. Getting a pool of capital for everyone to participate in the economy
20. Eliminating the socialism of the government’s entitlement bureaucracy
21. Return power to the people
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: February 12, 2008
A harsh reality, not seen right now, will emerge if a Democrat is elected president...all you mindless Dems out there should read this right now!
Monday, February 11, 2008
Plaintiff states that he personally engaged in sexual activity and personally used illegal drugs in November 1999 with U.S. Senator Barack Obama on two separate occasions. Plaintiff states that he attempted to contact defendant Obama in the fall of 2007 to advise defendant Obama to make his 1999 use of illegal drugs public himself and that if he did not do so then plaintiff would have no choice but to come forward as defendants’ actions were relevant to his running for President of the United States.
A CAO'S BLOG exclusive
“You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot build character and courage by taking away men’s initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.” —William J. H. Boetcker
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
William J. H. Boetcker (1873 – 1962) was an American religious leader and influential public speaker.
Born in Hamburg, Germany, he was ordained a Presbyterian minister soon after his arrival in the United States as a young adult. He quickly gained attention as an eloquent motivational speaker, and is often regarded today as the forerunner of such contemporary "success coaches" as Anthony Robbins.
An outspoken political conservative, Rev. Boetcker is perhaps best remembered for his authorship of a pamphlet entitled The Ten Cannots; originally published in 1916, it is often misattributed to Abraham Lincoln.
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Friday, February 08, 2008
This whole "recession" thing everyone's blathering about was merely fabricated by the media (you know, the people we trust to deliver the "news" to us) so they'll have more to, uh, g-r-i-p-e about while they assault us with election propaganda.Continue rant here
Did you know that ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN have predicted 40 out of the last 2 recessions?
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Guideposts Magazine, February 2005
At 24, on a whim, I became the owner of a Netherlands Dwarf bunny named Angus. He was about the size of a baseball. In terms of personality, however, he soon established himself as a giant. I moved around a lot in those days, and wherever I went, Angus went with me. Whether I was waiting tables in Massachusetts or working as an office temp in New York, Angus was always there when I got home, ready to cheer me up with his odd little repertoire of habits. When he was feeling feisty, he'd charge back and forth and thump his back feet on the floor. In a more relaxed frame of mind, he'd stretch himself out like a cat. I'd sometimes wake up from a nap with him perched alertly on my head.
Then, the unthinkable. I came home to find a cloth draped over his cage. A note from my roommate lay on top. "I'm sorry," it read. "When I got home, Angus was no longer alive." I lifted the cloth, and there was my little ball of personality, stock-still. In all the time I'd had him, I'd never seen Angus asleep. Even at rest, he was partly on the alert. Now for the first time ever, I saw him with his eyes shut.
Angus's death was something I should have been prepared for. Dwarf bunnies don't have a long life expectancy. All the same, I was inconsolable. Just a rabbit? Forget about it. Angus's passing hurt. I found myself thumbing through my books on religion and mythology for references to animals and the afterlife. This is silly, I thought. But silly or not, I wanted to know what people over the centuries had to say on the matter.
Plenty. Animals played a large role in most ancient peoples' visions of the spiritual world. The mythologies of several ancient cultures claimed that when people passed on, their dogs were waiting to guide them to the land of the blessed. The Egyptians--cat people, as everyone knows--were especially emphatic in their belief that cats and other animals played a key part in the afterlife. One Native American legend states that when God set about to create the world, he brought his dog along with him.
What did the Bible have to say? On the surface at least, the Bible seems to say very little about the place of animals in the afterlife. Look up "dog" in a concordance, and you won't find any evidence that the people of biblical times valued the role dogs play in day-to-day life. When the writer of Psalm 22, for example, says, "For dogs have compassed me," he is not describing a pleasant situation It doesn't get much better when one looks to traditional Christian authors beyond the Bible either. Eminent churchmen like St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas have left a number of very discouraging passsages about the place of pets, or any animals, in the world that waits beyond the borders of earthly life.
Though I didn't know it then, this experinence of losing a pet and coming up short on biblical consolation is one that many people have gone through. It's also one that many have tried to convince themselves they must simply accept. As Steve Wohlberg, author of the recent book Will My Pet Go to Heaven?, told himself when he lost his dog: "The central focus of the Bible is God, the people, and human salvation, not dogs and cats, right?"
Not so fast. Steve and a number of other writers argue that the question "Will I see my pet again?" isn't silly, and it isn't a question without an answer either. To discover as much, all one need do is take a closer look at the Bible.
Okay, the question of whether there are pets in heaven is never answered straight-up in the Bible. But as M. Jean Holmes, author of Do Dogs Go to Heaven?, writes, "The pieces have to be patiently gathered, carefully laid side-by-side, then prayerfully interpreted." The Bible does indeed have an answer about whether we will see out furry loved ones again.
Consider the story in Genesis of the very first covenant established between God and his people, made with Noah right after the flood. The clouds part and the world's first rainbow appears. God tells Noah that he is creating a covenant "with you, and with your descendants after you; and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you; of all that comes out of the ark, even every beast of the earth." God goes on to say that his covenant with "all flesh" shall never be "cut-off"--a strong suggestion that animals will not be excluded from his dealings with the world. (This passage was an inspiration for "Rainbow Bridge," an anonymous poem that has become very popular on the internet. It describes how when people arrive at the gates of heaven, the first thing they will encounter is their deceased pets.)
Then there's Luke 3: "All flesh shall see the salvation of God." Or Mark 16:15--a passage well-loved by that great friend of animals Saint Francis of Assisi. The risen Jesus tells the Apostles to go into the world and "preach the Gospel to every creature." Jesus filled his teachings with references to animals. His promise in Matthew and Luke that not ieven a sparrow falls to earth without God's knowing it subtly but powerfully suggests what every grieving pet owner feels: God refuses to forget a single one of his creatures, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.
What about the argument that runs: "Animals can't go to heaven because the Bible says they don't have souls"? Norm Phelps points out in his book The Dominion of Love that the Hebrew term repeatedly used to describe animals in the Old Testament is nephesh chayah. Chayah means "living," while nephesh is the Hebrew term for the force that animates the body--what Phelps describes as "the whatever-it-is that makes a person or an animal a conscious, sentient individual."
A funny thing happened when this term was translated into English. In most English versions of the Bible, different words are used to translate nephesh chayah depending on whether animals or people are being discussed. In Genesis 1:21 and 24, for example, Phelps points ou that nephesh chayah is translated as "living creature." But in Genesis 2:7, where the term refers to people, not animals, it's translated as "living soul." The use of two different terms in the English translation completely blurs the factt that in the original Hebrew, no such distinction exists.
Why did the Bible's English translators take such pains to use different terms for the souls of animals and people, when the Hebrew of the Old Testament repeatedly uses just one? Probably because they were concerned not to contradict Genesis' teaching that humans alone are created in God's image. But to acknowledge that animals have souls isn't to usurp the unique place of humans in God's creation--as the original Hebrew makes clear enough.
Of all the biblical passages that I ultimately discovered I could turn to for consolation, the most moving and compelling is the Old Testament's single greatest passage prefiguring the Christian heaven--Isaiah's vision of the Peaceable Kingdom:
"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them."
Why, when Isaiah wanted to paint the ultimate picture of heavenly fulfillment, did he choose to make such rich use of animals? Because he knew what every pet owner knows: A world without animals is a barren one. And clearly, a heaven without our pets would be less heavenly.
Monday, February 04, 2008
“The fact that the market is not doing what we wish it would do is no reason to automatically assume that the government would do better. There are too many examples of government interventions that made things worse, the Great Depression of the 1930s being the most tragic. Those on the left love to believe that the stock market crash of 1929 showed the failure of the free market and that the New Deal interventions in the 1930s saved the day. But the stock market crash of 1987 was just as big and Ronald Reagan resisted loud calls for him to intervene. The result was not another Great Depression but the beginning of a decades-long period of prosperity. Before Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt came along, there was no expectation that the federal government would intervene when the stock market crashed or when there was a downturn in the economy. Previous stock market crashes and previous downturns in the economy worked themselves out faster and less painfully than the Great Depression of the 1930s, just as the 1987 crisis did. The track record of government intervention is far less impressive than its rhetoric.”—Thomas Sowell
Saturday, February 02, 2008
Thursday, 31 January 2008
The number of fellow Senators who think John McCain is psychologically unstable is large. Some will admit it publicly, like Thad Cochran who says, "The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine."
Others relate times when McCain screamed four-letter obscenities right in their faces in the Senate cloak room, like Dick Shelby, Rick Santorum, or Jim Inhofe. "The man is unhinged," one Senator told me. "He is frighteningly unfit to be Commander-in-Chief."
That John McCain is clinically nuts is scary enough. What worries a small group of GOP Senators and Congressmen even more is a deep and dark skeletal secret in McCain's glorified past to which they are privy, and which the Clintons will use to blackmail him.
They have been having discussions with a Russian whom we'll call "T" for Translator. T's father was the Soviet military intelligence officer who ran the "Hanoi Hilton" prison holding captured Americans during the Vietnam War. One of those prisoners was John McCain.
Join and read the rest
Economic Facts and Fallacies
By Thomas Sowell
Perseus Publishing, December 2007
In his discussion of income, Sowell cites a currently popular political lament: the impending "demise" of the American middle class. This widely-accepted assertion, he writes, is simply a function of statistical voodoo: defining a "middle class" income bracket (say, $35,000 to $50,000), claiming it is shrinking, and then ignoring the fact that the bracket is shrinking because average incomes are moving up, not down, the curve.Read the whole thing
Friday, February 01, 2008
Is Canada’s Economy a Model for America?
I WAS A bit stunned to be asked to speak on the Canadian economy. “What happened?” I wondered. “Did the guy who was going to talk about the Belgian economy cancel?” It is a Saturday night, and the Oak Ridge Boys are playing the Hillsdale County Fair. Being from Canada myself, I am, as the President likes to say, one of those immigrants doing the jobs Americans won’t do. And if giving a talk on the Canadian economy on a Saturday night when the Oak Ridge Boys are in town isn’t one of the jobs Americans won’t do, I don’t know what is.
Unlike America, Canada is a resource economy: The U.S. imports resources, whereas Canada exports them. It has the second largest oil reserves in the world. People don’t think of Canada like that. The Premier of Alberta has never been photographed in Crawford, Texas, holding hands with the President and strolling through the rose bower as King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was. But Canada is nonetheless an oil economy—a resource economy. Traditionally, in America, when the price of oil goes up, Wall Street goes down. But in Canada, when the price of oil goes up, the Toronto stock exchange goes up, too. So we are relatively compatible neighbors whose interests diverge on one of the key global indicators.
As we know from 9/11, the Wahabbis in Saudi Arabia use their oil wealth to spread their destructive ideology to every corner of the world. And so do the Canadians. Consider that in the last 40 years, fundamental American ideas have made no headway whatsoever in Canada, whereas fundamental Canadian ideas have made huge advances in America and the rest of the Western world. To take two big examples, multiculturalism and socialized health care—both pioneered in Canada—have made huge strides down here in the U.S., whereas American concepts—such as non-confiscatory taxation—remain as foreign as ever.
My colleague at National Review, John O’Sullivan, once observed that post-war Canadian history is summed up by the old Monty Python song that goes, “I’m a Lumberjack and I’m OK.” If you recall that song, it begins as a robust paean to the manly virtues of a rugged life in the north woods. But it ends with the lumberjack having gradually morphed into a kind of transvestite pickup who likes to wear high heels and dress in women’s clothing while hanging around in bars. Of course, John O’Sullivan isn’t saying that Canadian men are literally cross-dressers—certainly no more than 35-40 percent of us — but rather that a once manly nation has undergone a remarkable psychological makeover. If you go back to 1945, the Royal Canadian Navy had the world’s third largest surface fleet, the Royal Canadian Air Force was one of the world’s most effective air forces, and Canadian troops got the toughest beach on D-Day. But in the space of two generations, a bunch of tough hombres were transformed into a thoroughly feminized culture that prioritizes all the secondary impulses of society—welfare entitlements from cradle to grave—over all the primary ones. And in that, Canada is obviously not alone. If the O’Sullivan thesis is flawed, it’s only because the lumberjack song could stand as the post-war history of almost the entire developed world.
Today, the political platforms of at least one party in the United States and pretty much every party in the rest of the Western world are nearly exclusively about those secondary impulses—government health care, government day care, government this, government that. And if you have government health care, you not only annex a huge chunk of the economy, you also destroy a huge chunk of individual liberty. You fundamentally change the relationship between the citizen and the state into something closer to that of junkie and pusher, and you make it very difficult ever to change back. Americans don’t always appreciate how far gone down this path the rest of the developed world is. In Canadian and Continental cabinets, the defense ministry is now a place where an ambitious politician passes through on his way up to important jobs like running the health department. And if you listen to recent Democratic presidential debates, it is clear that American attitudes toward economic liberty are being Canadianized.
To some extent, these differences between the two countries were present at their creations. America’s Founders wrote of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The equivalent phrase at Canada’s founding was “peace, order and good government” —which words are not only drier and desiccated and stir the blood less, but they also presume a degree of statist torpor. Ronald Reagan famously said, “We are a nation that has a government, not the other way around.” In Canada it too often seems the other way around.
All that being said, if you remove health care from the equation, the differences between our two economies become relatively marginal. The Fraser Institute’s “Economic Freedom of the World 2007 Annual Report” ranks the U.S. and Canada together, tied in fifth place along with Britain. And here’s an interesting point: The top ten most free economies in this report are Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Estonia, Ireland, and Australia. With the exception of Switzerland and Estonia, these systems are all British-derived. They’re what Jacques Chirac dismissively calls les anglo-saxon. And he and many other Continentals make it very clear that they regard free market capitalism as some sort of kinky Anglo-Saxon fetish. On the other hand, Andrew Roberts, the author of A History of the English-Speaking Peoples since 1900, points out that the two most corrupt jurisdictions in North America are Louisiana and Quebec—both French-derived. Quebec has a civil service that employs the same number of people as California’s, even though California has a population nearly five times the size.
In the province of Quebec, it’s taken more or less for granted by all political parties that collective rights outweigh individual rights. For example, if you own a store in Montreal, the French language signs inside the store are required by law to be at least twice the size of the English signs. And the government has a fairly large bureaucratic agency whose job it is to go around measuring signs and prosecuting offenders. There was even a famous case a few years ago of a pet store owner who was targeted by the Office De La Langue Française for selling English-speaking parrots. The language commissar had gone into the store and heard a bird saying, “Who’s a pretty boy, then?” and decided to take action. I keep trying to find out what happened to the parrot. Presumably it was sent to a re-education camp and emerged years later with a glassy stare saying in a monotone voice, “Qui est un joli garcon, hein?”
The point to remember about this is that it is consonant with the broader Canadian disposition. A couple of years ago it emerged that a few Quebec hospitals in the eastern townships along the Vermont border were, as a courtesy to their English-speaking patients, putting up handwritten pieces of paper in the corridor saying “Emergency Room This Way” or “Obstetrics Department Second on the Left.” But in Quebec, you’re only permitted to offer health care services in English if the English population in your town reaches a certain percentage. So these signs were deemed illegal and had to be taken down. I got a lot of mail from Canadians who were upset about this, and I responded that if you accept that the government has a right to make itself the monopoly provider of health care, it surely has the right to decide the language in which it’s prepared to provide that care. So my point isn’t just about Quebec separatism. It’s about a fundamentally different way of looking at the role of the state.
The Two Economies
So, granted the caveat that the economically freest countries in the world are the English-speaking democracies, within that family there are some interesting differences, and I would say between America and Canada there are five main ones.
First, the Canadian economy is more unionized. According to the Fraser Institute report, since the beginning of this century, the unionized proportion of the U.S. work force has averaged 13.9 percent. In Canada it has averaged 32 percent. That is a huge difference. The least unionized state in America is North Carolina, at 3.9 percent, whereas the least unionized province in Canada is Alberta, with 24.2 percent—a higher percentage than any American state except Hawaii, Alaska, and New York. In Quebec, it’s 40.4 percent. If you regard unionization as a major obstacle to productivity, investment, and employment growth, this is a critical difference.
I drive a lot between Quebec and New Hampshire, and you don’t really need a border post to tell you when you’ve crossed from one country into another. On one side the hourly update on the radio news lets you know that Canada’s postal workers are thinking about their traditional pre-Christmas strike—the Canadians have gotten used to getting their Christmas cards around Good Friday, and it’s part of the holiday tradition now—or that employees of the government liquor store are on strike, nurses are on strike, police are on strike, etc. Whereas you could listen for years to a New Hampshire radio station and never hear the word “strike” except for baseball play-by-play.
In a news item from last year, an Ottawa panhandler said that he may have to abandon his prime panhandling real estate on a downtown street corner because he is being shaken down by officials from the panhandlers union. Think about that. There’s a panhandlers union which exists to protect workers’ rights or—in this case—non-workers’ rights. If the union-negotiated non-work contracts aren’t honored, the unionized panhandlers will presumably walk off the job and stand around on the sidewalk. No, wait...they’ll walk off the sidewalk! Anyway, that’s Canada: Without a Thatcher or a Reagan, it remains over-unionized and with a bloated public sector.
Not that long ago, I heard a CBC news anchor announce that Canada had “created 56,100 new jobs in the previous month.” It sounded like good news. But looking at the numbers, I found that of those 56,100 new jobs, 4,200 were self-employed, 8,900 were in private businesses, and the remaining 43,000 were on the public payroll. In other words, 77 percent of the new jobs were government jobs paid for by the poor slobs working away in the remaining 23 percent. So it wasn’t good news, it was bad news about the remorseless transfer of human resources from the vital dynamic sector to the state.
The second difference between our economies is that Canada’s is more protected. I was talking once to a guy from the Bay area who ran a gay bookstore, and he swore to me that he’d had it with President Bush and that he was going to move to Vancouver and reopen his bookstore there. I told him that would be illegal in Canada and he got very huffy and said indignantly, “What do you mean it’s illegal? It’s not illegal for a gay man to own a bookstore in Canada.” I said, “No, but it’s illegal for a foreigner to own a bookstore in Canada.” He could move to Canada, yes, but he’d have to get a government job handing out benefit checks. His face dropped, and I thought of pitching one of those soft-focus TV movie-of-the-week ideas to the Lifestyle Channel, telling the heartwarming story of a Berkeley gay couple who flee Bush’s regime to live their dream of running a gay bookstore in Vancouver, only to find that Canada has ways of discriminating against them that the homophobic fascists in the United States haven’t even begun to consider.
The third difference is that Canada’s economy is more subsidized. Almost every activity amounts to taking government money in some form or other. I was at the Summit of the Americas held in Canada in the summer of 2001, with President Bush and the presidents and prime ministers from Latin America and the Caribbean. And, naturally, it attracted the usual anti-globalization anarchists who wandered through town lobbing bricks at any McDonald’s or Nike outlet that hadn’t taken the precaution of boarding up its windows. At one point I was standing inside the perimeter fence sniffing tear gas and enjoying the mob chanting against the government from the other side of the wire, when a riot cop suddenly grabbed me and yanked me backwards, and a nanosecond later a chunk of concrete landed precisely where I had been standing. I bleated the usual “Oh my God, I could have been killed” for a few minutes and then I went to have a café au lait. And while reading the paper over my coffee, I learned that not only had Canadian colleges given their students time off to come to the Summit to riot, but that the Canadian government had given them $300,000 to pay for their travel and expenses. It was a government-funded anti-government riot! At that point I started bleating “Oh my God, I could have been killed at taxpayer expense.” Say what you like about the American trust-fund babies who had swarmed in to demonstrate from Boston and New York, but at least they were there on their own dime. Canada will and does subsidize anything.
Fourth point: The Canadian economy is significantly more dirigiste (i.e., centrally planned). A couple of years ago it was revealed that the government had introduced a fast-track immigration program for exotic dancers (otherwise known as strippers). Now as a general rule, one of the easiest things to leave for the free market to determine is the number of strippers a society needs. But for some reason, the government concluded that the market wasn’t generating the supply required and introduced a special immigration visa. To go back to President Bush’s line, maybe this is one of those jobs that Canadians won’t do, so we need to get some Ukrainians in to do it. Naturally, the exotic dancers are unionized, so it’s only a matter of time before the last viable industry in Quebec grinds to a halt and American tourists in Montreal find themselves stuck in traffic because of huge numbers of striking strippers. What governmental mind would think of an exotic dancer immigration category?
Fifth and obviously, the Canadian economy is more heavily taxed: Total revenue for every level of government in the U.S. is approximately 27 percent of GDP, while in Canada it’s 37 percent. And yes, that 37 percent includes health care—but you would have to be having an awful lot of terminal illnesses each year to be getting your money’s worth from what you’re giving to the treasury for that.
Canadian Dependence on the U.S.
Yet, having criticized Canada’s economy in various features, let me say something good about it: It doesn’t have the insanely wasteful federal agricultural subsidies that America has. In fact, if a Canadian wants to get big-time agriculture subsidies, he’s more likely to get them from the U.S. government. I’m sure most people here know that very few actual farmers—that’s to say, guys in denim overalls and plaid shirts and John Deere caps with straws in the stumps of their teeth—get any benefit from U.S. agricultural subsidies. Almost three-quarters of these subsidies go to 20,000 multi-millionaire play farmers and blue chip corporations. Farm subsidies are supposed to help the farm belt. But there’s a map of where the farm subsidies go that you can find on the Internet. And judging from the beneficiaries, the farm belt runs from Park Avenue down Wall Street, out to the Hamptons, and then by yacht over to Martha’s Vineyard, which they really ought to rename Martha’s Barnyard. Among the farmers piling up the dollar bills under the mattress are Ted Turner, Sam Donaldson, the oil company Chevron, and that dirt-poor, hardscrabble sharecropper David Rockefeller. But what you may not know is that also among their number is Edgar Bronfman, Sr., who isn’t just any old billionaire, he’s the patriarch of Montreal’s wealthiest family, owner of Seagram’s Whiskey, which subsequently bought Universal Pictures. So the U.S. taxpayer, in his boundless generosity, is subsidizing the small family farms of Canadian billionaires. As a Canadian and a broken-down New Hampshire tree farmer myself, I wondered whether I could get in on the U.S. farm program, but as I understand it, it would only pay me for a helicopter pad on top of my barn and a marble bathroom in my grain silo.
Edgar Bronfman’s dependence on U.S. taxpayers is symbolic of more than just the stupidity of federal agriculture subsidies. In the end, there’s no such thing as an independent Canadian economy. It remains a branch plant for the U.S. Over 80 percent of Canadian exports come to America. From time to time, nationalist politicians pledge to change that and start shipping goods elsewhere. But they never do because they don’t have to—they’ve got the world’s greatest market right next door. So when people talk about the Canadian model as something that should be emulated, they forget that it only works because it’s next to the American model. The guy who invented the Blackberry email device is Canadian, but it’s not been a gold mine for him because he’s selling a lot of them in Labrador or Prince Edward Island. It’s been a gold mine because he’s selling a lot of them in New York and California and in between.
Canadian dependence on the United States is particularly true in health care, the most eminent Canadian idea looming in the American context. That is, public health care in Canada depends on private health care in the U.S. A small news story from last month illustrates this:
A Canadian woman has given birth to extremely rare identical quadruplets. The four girls were born at a U.S. hospital because there was no space available at Canadian neonatal intensive care units. Autumn, Brook, Calissa, and Dahlia are in good condition at Benefice Hospital in Great Falls, Montana. Health officials said they checked every other neonatal intensive care unit in Canada, but none had space. The Jepps, a nurse and a respiratory technician were flown 500 kilometers to the Montana hospital, the closest in the U.S., where the quadruplets were born on Sunday.
There you have Canadian health care in a nutshell. After all, you can’t expect a G-7 economy of only 30 million people to be able to offer the same level of neonatal intensive care coverage as a town of 50,000 in remote, rural Montana. And let’s face it, there’s nothing an expectant mom likes more on the day of delivery than 300 miles in a bumpy twin prop over the Rockies. Everyone knows that socialized health care means you wait and wait and wait—six months for an MRI, a year for a hip replacement, and so on. But here is the absolute logical reductio of a government monopoly in health care: the ten month waiting list for the maternity ward.
In conclusion, I’m not optimistic about Canada for various reasons—from the recent Chinese enthusiasm for buying up the country’s resources to the ongoing brain drain—but also for a reason more profound. The biggest difference between Canada and the U.S. is not that you crazy, violent, psycho Yanks have guns and we caring, progressive Canucks have socialized health care, but that America has a healthy fertility rate and we don’t. Americans have 2.1 children per couple, which is enough to maintain a stable population, whereas according to the latest official figures, Canadian couples have only 1.5. This puts us on the brink of steep demographic decline. Consider the math: 10 million parents have 7.5 million children, 5.6 million grandchildren, and 4.2 million great-grandchildren. You can imagine what shape those lavish Canadian social programs will be in under that scenario, and that’s before your average teenage burger-flipper gets tired of supporting entire gated communities and decides he’d rather head south than pay 70 percent tax rates.
So, to produce the children we couldn’t be bothered having ourselves, we use the developing world as our maternity ward. Between 2001 and 2006, Canada’s population increased by 1.6 million. 400,000 came from natural population growth kids, while 1.2 million came from immigration. Thus native Canadians—already only amounting to 25 percent of the country’s population growth—will become an ever smaller minority in the Canada of the future. It’s like a company in which you hold an ever diminishing percentage of the stock. It might still be a great, successful company in the years ahead, but if it is, it won’t have much—if anything—to do with you.
In that most basic sense, American progressives who look to Canada are wrong. Not only is Canada’s path not a model for America, it’s not a viable model for Canada. As Canadians are about to discover, the future belongs to those who show up for it.
Mark Steyn’s column appears in the New York Sun, the Washington Times, Philadelphia’s Evening Bulletin, and the Orange County Register. In addition, he writes for The New Criterion, MacLean’s in Canada, the Jerusalem Post, The Australian, and Hawke’s Bay Today in New Zealand. The author of National Review’s Happy Warrior column, he also blogs on National Review Online and appears weekly on the Hugh Hewitt Radio Show. He is the author of several books, most recently America Alone: The End of The World as We Know It, a New York Times bestseller and a number one bestseller in Canada. A Canadian citizen, Mr. Steyn lives with his family in New Hampshire.