Friday, January 29, 2010

Was Barack Obama Abducted by Aliens?

The famous blog impressario Larwyn (see my Larwyn's Linx icon on the right) just sent me an e-mail inquiring about this photo of a large scar on the side of President Obama's head:

The Power Hour has noted:

"Without medical records, we can only guess the cause of a 6 – 8 inch scar that begins by his right ear and ends somewhere on top of his head. Why didn’t he talk about that head injury and resulting scar in his book, yet he talked about the one on his arm? Why would he have an internist as his primary physician?"

The WTPOTUS site adds:

"None of Obama’s Medical Records were ever seen or subjected to media scrutiny like John McCain’s were. Like all Obama records, they are sealed."

Fortuitously, I live near Woodstock, NY, where there are several alien probe experts. All of them are Democrats, so theirs are not partisan opinions. I just consulted with Woodstock's best probe expert who told me that this scar is the exact same kind of scar that has appeared on alien abductees around the country, beginning with several cases in Roswell, New Mexico in the late 1940s.

Dollar Gains, Gold Falls--Can a Chimera Last Forever?

A couple of weeks ago I blogged that my coin flip test confirmed that the dollar was in a strengthening trend and gold in a weakening trend, and it seems that the coin (it was a 1982 penny) was right. Kitco's Jon Nadler notes (gold closed at $1,080 per ounce today):

"The final session of the final January trading day in New York opened with a $1.50 loss in the yellow metal, which was quoted at $1083.90 per ounce. Gold traded in a band of from $1078 to $1088 overnight, as few additional physical buyers (other than pre-Chinese New Year buyers) emerged to take advantage of yesterday’s further significant dip. Today’s GDP numbers may yet aim gold back towards yesterday’s lows."

Nadler adduces a chart that shows that gold supply exceeds demand this year by the largest amount in three years. He quotes bearish sentiment on gold at and adds:

"George Soros said yesterday that despite the current headline-making woes that Greece is experiencing, he expects the country to get its act together and not collapse in terms of debt. He referenced a six-month turnaround by Hungary some time ago as an example of how a comeback can be achieved. That said, Mr. Soros also mentioned the fact that Germany is in no mood to pump money into the direction of what it sees as ‘profligate spenders in the southern parts of Europe.”

He also notes that Soros has said that he believes that there is a risk of a gold bubble because of low interest rates. But of course, monetary expansion causes both low interest rates and gold speculation. No great insight there. Nadler mentions $1,030 as a possible low-end targeting. As well, he quotes Bloomberg:

"Commodities headed for the biggest monthly drop in 13 months on concern that demand may wane as governments seek to control economic growth."

In the short run, traders like Soros and, more generally, Wall Street hedge funds, are likely to support the dollar. This will also be true if there is any kind of bad economic news.

But what are we seeing in Washington? Ever increasing deficits and insanity. If someone tells you they're a Democrat, send them to a psychiatrist.

This is hard to take. Short term, the dollar looks buoyant. Long term, there could be a breakdown in the dollar that could happen quickly. Prices of gold and stocks go up with monetary expansion. The world's monetary system is unstable unless everyone inflates along with the US, which has already expanded its potential money supply three-fold. So no currency seems safe, including the dollar.

So far, the international financial system has supported the dollar. But how long can a chimera last?

Obama on Obama

Cuffy of the Perfunction blog (h/t Larwyn) has posted this video of Obama commenting on his state of the union address. Actually, it's his comments on President Bush's state of the union address, but the comments fit what most people think of Obama's speech very well.

Democrats are Just Plain Fickle

Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit (h/t Larwyn) notes that:

"After tripling the national deficit in one year, last night Democratic President Barack Obama promised he would not leave Americans with a mountain of debt...Today ALL 60 democrats in the US Senate voted for the largest increase in debt in US history."

Explanation of the State of the Union Address

The above is the cover of this week's Globe Magazine. According to the Globe's website:

"President Barack Obama has blown $10 million on drunken White House parties, Washington insiders tell GLOBE. This week's Special Report rips the lid off the Commander-in-chief's outrageous antics, including boozy conga lines and dinners featuring $150-a-pound Japanese beef! It's must reading for every American."

Roots of American Political Parties -- and What to Do about Them

Town of Olive Conservative Party chair Chris Johansen sent me this link by Ryan Burgett of the Classical Liberal site. Burgett gives a fine thumbnail sketch of the origins of the Republican Party. The Republicans were traditionally the big government party and the Democrats were motivated by the populism of William Jennings Bryan to adopt the Republican perspective from the working man's point of view. Of course, that would be squaring the circle. The Democrats have been as much the party of the rich as have been the big government Republicans. The chief avenues of subsidy to the rich are the Federal Reerve Bank, which is responsible for the super-sized advances in the stock market since the 1940s and government regulation that serves to protect large industry, which has lower per unit compliance costs, from smaller competitors.

The solution to this is not just what Burgett concludes, vote your conscience. Rather, it is to get involved with the nomination process and demand that any and every candidate whom you support reveal their true beliefs.

Two litmus tests:

1. "Where do you stand on the 2008-9 bailout of Wall Street? Would you in similar circumstances have liquidated the investment banks or paid them trillions via TARP, the bailout monies and the hidden subsidies from the Federal Reserve Bank that have been much larger?"

2. "Outline specific steps that you will take to cut government waste."

If a candidate cannot answer these two questions clearly, he or she is not a good candidate.

The Worst State of the Union Address in Modern Times

Calling last night's state of the union address the worst in modern times, Jim Crum just sent me this link to Politics Daily, which offers a useful analysis of the spectacle:

"What made the speech a bit bizarre, and somewhat alarming, is how detached from reality the president is. After having spent much of his time blaming his predecessor for his own failures, he said he was "not interested in re-litigating the past." Barack Obama lamented waging a "perpetual campaign" – even though that is what the president, David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel, Robert Gibbs and others in his employ do on a daily basis. He said, "Washington may think that saying anything about the other side, no matter how false, is just part of the game" – yet his White House has played that very game with zest and delight."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ann Coulter Is a Right-On Woman

Don't worry, I'm not drawing any analogies to Sappho. Rather, I am referring to Coulter's outstanding post on World Net Daily yesterday about the Democrats' cozy relationship with Wall Street. Obama's recent pretense of criticizing Wall Street amounts to crocodile tears. Some sources put the dollar value of the Bush-Obama welfare subsidies to the Street at $14 trillion, an order of magnitude greater than any other corrupt subsidy in the history of the world.

Coulter quotes a book that I am putting on my to-be-read list: Peter Schweizer's "Architects of Ruin". Coulter notes that the Dems bailed out Wall Street with respect to Mexico's debt defaults:

"Clinton's treasury secretary, Robert Rubin, former chairman of Goldman, demanded that the U.S. bail out Mexico to save his friends at Goldman. He said a failure to bail out Mexico would affect 'everyone,' by which I take it he meant 'everyone in my building.'"

On the other hand:

"At congressional hearings on Clinton's proposed Mexico bailout a decade later, Republicans Larry Kudlow, Bill Seidman and Steve Forbes all denounced the plan to save Goldman Sachs via a Mexican bailout."

But let us not get overly partisan. Recall that it was George W. Bush who proposed last year's and 2008's massive bailout, the biggest in history. And it was Richard M. Nixon who was responsible more than anyone else for the inflationary late 1970s.

But Coulter is showing considerably more anti-Fed spunk than I've seen from any mainstream commentator since my days with Andrew Jackson's Democratic Party (just kidding, my students think I'm that old).

Let us hope that Fox News, which applauded the bailout in 2008 when it mattered, will take a fresh look at its policies on money and the Fed.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Four Degrees of Separation: More on Wall Street and Obama

World Net Daily reports that an advertisement on Craig's List offers to pay anti "tea bagger" activists $24,000 per year to work for a group called Grassroots Campaigns. It would be interesting to learn who funds Grassroots Campaigns.

The real grassroots campaign is the Tea Party. The people who work for the Tea Party don't receive salaries from George Soros or similar kinds of Wall Street-linked sources. Calling a group "grassroots" and then offering salaries from unspecified sources is something of a contradiction. I would like to know where the money funding grassroots campaign comes from, and how many transactions separate it from the Fed. I would guess no more than four.

The WND article states:

>"Help-wanted ads are appearing on Craigslist that offer to pay citizens $24,000 a year, plus health insurance, to "counter the hysteria and lies of Glenn Beck and other talking heads" and "stop the tea-baggers!"

"The ads are being posted by Grassroots Campaigns, a canvassing group that has performed services for the Democratic National Committee and Its postings can be found among Craiglist listings in Chicago, Ill.; San Francisco, Calif.; Boston, Mass.; Philadelphia, Penn. and Austin, Texas."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

More on Reappointment of Bernanke

I received the e-mail below from the Campaign for Liberty. As I previously blogged, although I have been concerned about the Fed for many years (blogging on this issue as long as six years ago) I am not convinced that the Democrats are able to produce a responsible chairman. I may be wrong. It is true that it was Carter (not Reagan, as many people mistakenly think) who appointed Paul Volcker. The shift to conservative monetarist Fed policy was under Carter, not Reagan. I remember very this clearly. I was an MBA student at UCLA then and I had somehow gotten an informal position at the UCLA Business Forecasting Project. I think I was the TA of one of the economics professors. Larry Kimball ran the project and a guy named David Shulman who later became the chief equity strategist at Salomon Brothers from 1992 to 1997 and is now director of the UCLA forecasting project was an advisor. I recall very clearly Shulman's exclaiming that the St. Louis Fed was breaking out champaigne because of the shift in monetary policy in 1979, which was my first semester there.

My point is that the Democrats can potentially come up with a decent Fed chairman but given the current crop of maniacs in the Senate (witness the recent health care bill) I remain dubious. I sent this note to John Tate:

>Dear John--I'm with you in spirit, but I'm not convinced that the Dems will come up with a better chairman. I can imagine Harry Reid's pick for Fed chairman will not be Paul Volcker. Do you have any evidence on this? I'll be glad to blog it.

>January 25, 2010

Dear Mitchell,

After a full year of rope-a-done and refusing to have his Federal Reserve audited, Ben Bernanke is on the ropes and could be knocked out for re-nomination.

Campaign for Liberty activists are in the lead insisting "No Audit, No Bernanke." Please immediately call Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Senator Chuck Schumer at the numbers below and tell them (again, if you've already called) "No Audit, No Bernanke."

Here's what's going on:

Campaign for Liberty launced a nationwide fight against a bailout for Bernanke last week. Now we are following it up with phones, email and banner ads targeting over a dozen swing-vote senators.

The Senate is boiling over with outrage about the Fed's abuse of the TARP program, bailouts, and money supply, as well as its refusal to submit to a full and complete audit.

Now is the time to deal the knockout blow!

Please call your senators at the numbers below and join in the fight:

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: 202-224-4451
Senator Chuck Schumer: 202-224-6542

Tell them that Ben Bernanke must not be confirmed without an up or down roll call vote for Audit the Fed on the Senate floor.

This fight is really coming to a head, and the decision could will likely come in the next few days. Please call now.

In liberty,

John Tate

P.S. Thanks to the efforts of patriots like you, Ben Bernanke's days of secrecy at the Federal Reserve may be numbered!

That's because his confirmation is being held up until the Senate votes on Audit the Fed. Please call your senators at the numbers above and tell them plain and simple: "No Audit, No Bernanke."

Monday, January 25, 2010

On the Immorality of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee

Democracy Now! quotes Haitian authorities as saying that the death toll due to the earthquake may exceed 300,000. Public service organizations around the world have been donating to the relief effort. Police officers from New York City, the Red Cross and many other organizations have been donating time and money. CNN lists the highest rated American charities that have been helping the Haitians.

The Nobel Peace Prize Committee has failed to contribute to the Haitian relief effort. Much as Wal-Mart failed to contribute to environmental causes, so might the Nobel Peace Prize Committee be considered to have behaved selfishly and with disdain for world peace. Its self-centered commitment to its charter overlooks more important social justice considerations. If Wal-Mart ought to have breached its duty to shareholders, why might the Nobel Foundation be exempt from a parallel moral imperative? As of 2007, the Foundation had over $500 million laying fallow.

The mass deaths in Haiti would seem to outweigh the committee's obsession with fiduciary duty. If one might complain about a business firm's lack of corporate social responsibility, might we say that the morals of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee are tainted? And because they are tainted, the Committee has lost credibility in designating a peace prize, which by its own nature depends on good ethics.

Thierry Meyssan of asserts that the Nobel Peace Prize Committee breached its fiduciary duty in an additional way. Meyssan claims that there was a "despicable relationship between Barack Obama and the Nobel Committee" before the Committee chose to grant the award to him. Meyssan writes:

"in 2006, the European Command (i.e. the regional command of U.S. troops whose authority then covered both Europe and most of Africa) solicited Barack Obama, a Senator of Kenyan origin, to participate in a secret inter-agency (CIA-NED-USAID-NSA)" task force that was meant to destabilize the Kenyan government. The goal was to use his status as a parliamentarian to conduct a tour of Africa that would defend the interests of pharmaceutical companies (against off-patent productions) and to counter Chinese influence in Kenya and Sudan..."

Washington wanted to topple the regime in Kenya, according to Meyssan and recruited Obama to make a much-publicized trip to Kenya, in which he interfered with local politics and indeed helped to destabilize the country and helped his cousin, Odinga. The intervention led to a political crisis, and Madelaine Albright invited the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights to mediate. The Prime Minister of Norway, Thorbjørn Jagland chaired the Center. Jagland went on to become chair of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee. Meyssan seems to be asserting that Obama and Jagland cooperated in the destabilization of Kenya. As a result, there were elements of self dealing and a moral breach in the award to Obama.

In any case, it is evident that the Nobel Peace Prize Committee has ceased acting as a socially responsible body. The appointment of a political hack like Jagland, who also has been appointed "Secretary General of the Council of Europe following a behind-the-scenes agreement between Washington and Moscow" is consistent with my letter last week that the Committee has become politicized and so no longer retains credibility. In particular, Madeleine Albright is a Democrat and the Committee has awarded two prizes to US Democrats in the past two years.

The public ought to demand that the Nobel Foundation end its self-centered and frivolous fixation on peace prizes and donate the large growth in Alfred Nobel's original endowment to dying Haitians. If Wal-Mart is expected to behave charitably, should we ask less of those who award peace prizes?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Republican Socialism, Obama's Second Term and the Tea Parties

The Obama presidency is so far a failure. Obama's bailout of money center banks and Wall Street coupled with his corrupt stimulus package amount to the largest effluence of waste in world history. This is the pattern that destroyed Athenian democracy and the Roman empire. In the case of Rome, Septimius Severus in the second century gave large benefits to the Roman army. Rome had long before adopted a welfare system that allowed the citizens of Rome free bread and circus. The Roman system was stable and took several centuries to decline. Rome's scale was the cause of both its stability and its decline as Rome was essentially a Ponzi scheme that depended on ongoing conquest. The extraction of wealth by interest groups contributed. In the case of Athens, the second greatest democracy in the history of the world, imperialism, its war with Sparta, and class warfare led to its failure.

Now, America is weakened by socialism of both the Roman and the Athenian varieties. The war on terror is a legitimate challenge, but the Bush administration handled both the Afghan and Iraqi wars incompetently, resulting in excessive cost. Fourth generation warfare, the use of embedded special forces, should have been adopted early on, but Bush preferred to defer to the second generation warfare concepts of Donald Rumsfeld and the Pentagon. In any case, the two wasteful wars were coupled with subsidies to Wall Street, the TARP plan and the bailout of Goldman Sachs, AIG and other money center banks.

In a free economy these institutions would have been put into chapter 11, reorganized, the management replaced and the firms split up into more manageable components. This would have been done by bankruptcy courts. The opposite policy of direct subsidization and federal intervention, i.e., socialism, was pursued at the behest of the Republicans and George W. Bush. The Obama administration added some pirouettes, but the basic socialist policy and a large portion of the socialist spending was directly due to George W. Bush and the national GOP leadership, from Newt Gingrich to Karl Rove.

The recent victory in Massachusetts suggests that Americans are upset but that their views are confused. If Americans are upset about the bailout, why did they not question Scott Brown's position on the bailout? In 2000 America elected George W. Bush expecting a conservative, not a socialist. Now, they vote for Scott Brown without asking whether he too is a socialist.

Now that health care has stalled, my 2008 claim that Obama was chiefly elected to put the bailout into place increasingly looks true. Not that John McCain wouldn't have done it too, which raises significant doubts about the GOP at the national level. What makes the GOP different from the Democrats? In other words, in the end there may have been little difference between Obama and McCain.

Both would have given trillions of public money to banks and Wall Street and done little else. At the state and local level, yes, the GOP is still the smaller government party. Not so at the national level. The national GOP leaders are big government Progressives.

In 2012 Obama will have the advantage of incumbency, and if he now transitions to a more libertarian posture, which is what Clinton did, he is likely to win in 2012.

Perhaps the position of Scott Brown on the bailout seemed unimportant this month in light of the threat of the health plan, which served to galvanize the public, including many non-Republicans. If Obama is smart, he won't allow a repeat of the health care fiasco. He will avoid further drama and focus on reducing cost, winning the two wars and balancing the federal budget.

Had Al Gore pursued the Clinton strategy in the 2000 election he would have won. But he rejected Clinton's approach in favor of New Deal social Democracy. He lost.

Oddly, the GOP took Bush's election to mean that it should return to the Progressivism of Nelson Rockefeller and Theodore Roosevelt. It remains a puzzle why Newt Gingrich and his colleagues adopted a big government mindset, but the GOP only can win if it rejects it. Let me repeat that. If the GOP wants to win, it needs to adopt a small government mindset. The social conservatives coupled with the neo-conservative big business socialists were not enough to win the presidency. They won't be in future.

The rank and file in the GOP need to find new candidates to run. The 2008 leadership was entirely in favor of Wall Street socialism and big government and so is tainted. But in order to find new leadership, the rank and file needs to take action. The Tea Parties are playing this role, but I remain unconvinced, at least at the national level.

The Tea Parties have not demonstrated the ability to focus on key issues and resist the cooptation that the GOP's establishment will attempt. I will be delighted if they do, but so far few national leaders have emerged. While the Tea Parties can play a useful role at the state and local levels, it is at the national level where the GOP has floundered worst, and I have yet to see national level deliberation that reflects the ability to overcome the national GOP establishment and Obama.