Saturday, June 5, 2010

Malpass for Senate

Raquel Okyay made several damning accusations in her blog yesterday.  Okyay writes that the New York State GOP has nominated a loser, Bruce Blakeman, for US Senate because Alfonse D'Amato is friends with the Democratic candidate, Kirsten Gillibrand and backed Blakeman so Gillibrand could win. "Why is D'Amato standing next to Gillibrand while she announces her candidacy in the above photograph?" Okyay asks.

 Okyay notes that two good candidates, Joe Diaguardi for Senate and Steve Levy for governor, have been "kicked to the curb."  Ed Cox, the colorless state chair, claimed to back Levy, but his motive may have been to give the appearance that he is not part of New York's loser-GOP machine. Levy only won 43% of the vote in a second ballot at the convention but needed 50% to force a primary.  Cox lacked the courage and/or the integrity to  insist that Levy be able to challenge Rick Lazio in a primary. Cox either is incompetent or never backed Levy in the first place, Okyay concludes.  As well, Cox has gone along with   D'Amato's demand for Blakeman for Senate.

The New York Sun blog seems to have been resurrected (Yay!) and they are endorsing David Malpass for Senate. Blakeman edged him out in the convention, but if the state's Republican voters back Blakeman and the ineffectual and corrupt GOP insiders whom he represents then the party is not worth saving.  The Sun writes that the Republican Party "has been waiting for a long time for such a candidate as Mr. Malpass."

Friday, June 4, 2010

Democrats, Progressive Republicans Take Sledge Hammer to Economy

Bloomberg reports that the economy is in a tailspin.  The unemployment rate is now 9.7%, 0.2% lower than last month, but that statistic deceives.  Last month, there were 431,000 new jobs with 411,000 census workers hired. Only 41,000 private sector workers were hired.  Manufacturing jobs increased by 29,000  while service jobs, mostly temporary, increased by 27,000. The retail job number fell.

The labor force fell by over 200,000.  A statistical characteristic of the unemployment rate is that people not in the labor force are not counted in the unemployment rate. So if you give up looking for a job you are not counted.  200,000 left in response to the policies of Obama and the Democrats. They are so great at helping the average American. 

Now if you subtract the 200,000 who left the labor force and the 411,000 temporary census jobs from the 431,000 new jobs, do you really find an improvement in unemployment?

The truth is that the unemployment rate is too low.  The reason is that the government has subsidized badly run businesses that should be terminated and much of government is pure waste.  Rather than subsidize and stimulate waste as the Democrats have, the incompetently run businesses need to close.

Money should have been spent on welfare subsidies to the unemployed, whose lives have been upended by the incompetence of the Progressive/Keynesian economic system. Instead, the economy has been put on life support and the misallocation of investment will cause continued decline until the Democrats and Progressive Republicans are booted out of office.

I feel sorry for my students, who look forward to suffering economically because of the moron whom they voted into office, Barack Obama.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Great Video on the Flotilla

Saul Alinsky pioneered the use of the media to make one's opponent look bad. The flotilla was a classic Alinsky tactic, and the psychopathic left (including the  Times) and its serial killing allies are eager to capitalize on it. Unfortunately the Isralis fell for the bait. But let us not confuse Alinsky tactics with facts.  The Israelis had boarded the boat and were attacked with one thrown overboard first. 

As far as the announcer's comments on the Times's biased coverage, it has long been obvious that the once-great newspaper can be taken less seriously than the Star or the Enquirer.  The Star doesn't have ideological baggage or the economic interests of the Ochs Sulzbergers to color its articles and has been disciplined through law suits so that its coverage is truthful.  The Times has no such discipline because no one will sue them for telling whoppers on behalf of the bailout and the Obama administration.

Hat-tip Merle Levine:

Laughing as You Sink--How Europe Will Not Solve Its Problem

H/t Campaign for Liberty.

Is the Ride to $3,000 Gold Going to Hit Air Pockets?

The graphs above are of the Power Shares DB Commodity Index (DBC) which tracks sweet crude oil, heating oil, RBOB Gasoline, natural gas, brent crude, gold, silver, aluminum, zinc, copper grade A, corn, wheat, soybeans, and sugar; the Power Shares DB Agricultural Index, (DBA) which tracks corn, wheat, soy beans and sugar; and GLD, the SPDR gold trust, which tracks gold.  On May 28 Smart reported that the agricultural index is in a bearish trend.  

As you can see in the charts above, the DBC and DBA peaked in 2008 and have stayed off their peaks, while GLD, the third graph, has risen consistently.

Personally, I have no more faith in the word of the US Congress than I do in the word of a three card Monty dealer on 42nd Street.  Given the massive increases in deficits under President Obama and the even more massive increase in the monetary base in 2008 (and consistent increases in the US money supply ) there is no reason to think that gold and commodities will do anything but increase over many years. Ultimately, speculation and replacement of the dollar with gold by frenzied Americans trying to escape the government's legal tender law will push up the gold price further. 

But gold has increased almost five-fold since 2001, while other commodities have not kept place and have significantly fallen since 2008.  A general rule is to buy low and sell high.  It is possible that the gold market is more rational than other commodities because industrial demand is greater for oil, food and other metals than for gold. But it is just as possible that it is less rational because gold is subject to romance and speculation. The other commodities tell a story different from gold.

Gold is going up because of speculation in anticipation of inflation, and if there is inflation then the other commodities will go up as well.  Also, hyper-inflation might mean a two-fold increase in prices, but gold has already gone up five-fold.

I do not doubt that gold will continue to go up.  But if there were shortages in gold due to insufficient production in the 1990s, there ought to have been shortages in other commodities as well.  Hence, in the long run I wager that there will be continued speculation in gold and that when inflation takes off there will be a gold bubble. But I would think that other commodities where there is less speculation, romance and publicity are more reliable investments at this time.  When inflation starts, many will flock to gold, but the ride can be bumpy because there is speculation in the gold market. 

Let's say the Fed decides to increase interest rates.  There will likely be declines in the stock market, but gold could be even harder hit.  Over time the price will come back, but I find it hard to believe that without a concomitant increase in other commodities' prices the gold price will continue a secular increase. The reasoning for buying gold is that gold is a hedge against inflation, but so are the DBC and the DBA, and they haven't increased for two years. So if I were buying commodities now I would buy those and hold off on the gold.

According to the dollar ought to be worth .7734 ounces of silver.  Today silver sells for $17.95 and gold sells for $1,207 per ounce.  Thus, the dollar is worth .0557 ounces of silver, 0.3% of the level at which the Coinage Act of 1792 defined it. If you think the decline in value was directed into the hands of the middle class, which William Greider claims in his book Secrets of the Temple, you're on drugs.  The money is created by banks who collect interest and they lend it to speculators, hedge funds, corporations and most of all, Wall Street. As well, it boosts stock prices because low interest rates increase the present value of future earnings.  Left wingers like Greider, who advocate Keynsianism, like to avoid discussing how their ideas support Wall Street and the banking lobby.

The additional money causes inflation, raising prices for everyone. Hence, it harms those who do not own stocks and real estate and are not bankers and helps those whose entire livelihood comes from stocks and real estate.  The middle class gets something back through increasing house prices, but those who save and work hard are penalized in favor of those who borrow.  Hence, it makes everyone poorer as the public learns that invention, innovation, hard work and creativity are for suckers, and borrowing to buy a condo is how to make a living.

The inflationary economy and the triumph of the left in terms of three card Monty government means that America's prospects are much worse than they've been.  A collapse of the financial and monetary system would seem to be a possibility. Hence, gold and silver are good bets. But I'm going to buy when they fall.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Will Obama Be the Least Popular President in History?

In October 2008 George W. Bush's approval rating according to the Gallup Poll sank to 25%.  Yesterday, according to the Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll only 27% of Americans "strongly approve" of Obama's performance but 46% say that they at least somewhat approve.  Thus, the majority is now against Obama.

Obama can break Bush's low.  I can taste it.

America Now Has a Gangster Government

H/t Tom Barton. Quoting Michael Barone, Representative Michelle Bachmann shows how Congressional looters are using the Obama takeover to benefit their favored clients and to destroy competitive enterprise, the source of what's left of our standard of living.  Criminal morons like Barney Frank should move to Cuba, where they belong.  GM is demanding that an enterprising dealer hand over her customer list to help government-supported incompetent competitors.  The dealer should tell GM to stuff it and move to another car company.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

America Awakens: Obama's Support in Decline

The Rasmussen presidential tracking poll reports that 27% of Americans strongly approve of Obama's presidency while 40% strongly disapprove. Moreover, 60% favor repeal of the new health law. Now that Obama has authorized the bailouts, he is no longer of much use to the banker-controlled Democratic Party media. Rasmussen reports that only 41% of media coverage of America's first Kenyan-born president was positive on May 31 while 58% was negative.

I wonder whether Obama will hold on to the Jewish vote after his repeated attacks on Israel.  I thought this concluding paragraph in the Rasmussen article captures my sentiment.  The only things I can't figure out is why the public thought Obama could do a good job and why they keep voting for the two party system:

"Most Americans have 'come to believe that the political system is broken, that most politicians are corrupt, and that neither major political party has the answers,' observes Rasmussen. Just 27% believe Congress knows what it’s doing when it comes to the economy and 41% say that a group of people randomly selected from the phone book would do a better job than the current Congress. In his new book, Scott adds, 'Some of us are ready to give up and some of us are ready to scream a little louder. But all of us believe we can do better.'

Obama's War on Israel

My father just sent me this video, which Youtube attempted to censor. It shows that the passengers on the ship that Israel attacked had repeatedly assaulted Israeli soldiers, and threw one overboard.

The incident follows the Obama administration's support for the UN's recent attack on Israel's nuclear capability. Mark Meed of Frontpagemag notes that  "what is remarkable is the United States supported this resolution."  In other words, under Obama the US now votes with the Third World tyrannies that hate Israel.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Does President Obama Aim to Relocate Terrorists to US?

I just received this link to the Federal Register from Patriot246.  The Federal Register states that President Obama has allocated $20.3 million to relocate Palestinians to the US so that they may live here at American taxpayers' expense.  The Democratic Party's media has not covered this story.  Are these individuals related to terrorist organizations?

The Federal Register states:

Unexpected Urgent Refugee and Migration Needs Related To Gaza
Memorandum for the Secretary of State

By the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including section 2(c)(1) of the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962 (the ``Act''), as amended (22 U.S.C. 2601), I hereby determine, pursuant to section 2(c)(1) of the Act, that it is important to the national interest to furnish assistance under the Act in an amount not to exceed $20.3 million from the United States Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund for the purpose of meeting unexpected and urgent refugee and migration needs, including by contributions to international, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations and payment of administrative expenses of Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State, related to humanitarian needs of Palestinian refugees and conflict victims in Gaza.
You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

Two Billionaires, A Rapper and ACORN Attack, Loot Small Brooklyn Business with Albany's Help

The Institute for Justice has excellent material on their Youtube Channel.  The Reason TV video below describes how a saloon that Esquire has rated as one of the best in America is being stolen by two billionaires, Mikhail Prokhorov and Bruce Ratner,  the rapper Jay-Z and ACORN.  When it comes to attacking small business, Senator Chuck Schumer has a big thumbs up as well.

New York State Leads the Nation in Government Land Theft

Whenever New York State's Albany racketeers wish to steal someone's home, business or other property for a politically connected crony, they do a "cost benefit analysis".  One would think that with all the cost benefit analyses that have shown that the thievery would result in economic benefits New York might lead the nation in economic growth.  But the reverse is true.  New York's economy declines more the more that thugs in Albany steal land.  One of the chief beneficiaries of the ongoing stealing and ludicrous "cost benefit analyses" is the New York Times.  Their new office building across from Port Authority was built on property that the Times, at the behest of Albany's racketeers, stole.

Why doesn't Kevin Cahill, Assemblyman from the 101st Assembly District, fight New York State's criminal land theft?

I just received the following press release from the Institute for Justice and the Castle Coalition.

Do You Own Property in New York State?

You’d Better Pay Attention to Tuesday’s

High Court Argument on Eminent Domain Abuse

Arlington, Va.—If you own a piece of property in New York, you’d better pay close attention to an oral argument taking place on Tuesday, June 1 at 2 p.m. in Albany before New York’s high court.

This case—Kaur v. Empire State Development Corporation—may well decide if powerful private interests can team up with the government to take away your home, your small business, your farm or your factory through eminent domain for someone else’s private gain.

It is called eminent domain abuse and it is a plague that has wreaked havoc across the Empire State for decades. Tuesday’s court argument will decide whether Columbia University—a private institution—may direct the government’s power of eminent domain to take property away from its neighbors for the university’s private use and profit. Columbia seeks to take the property of neighbors Nick Sprayregen and Amanjit Kaur to expand its campus. If Columbia were a public university, this would be a public use. But Columbia is a private university and, as such, the takings are for private gain.

Immediately following the 2 p.m. oral argument, which is expected to last for about one hour, property owners, their advocates and supporters will hold a press conference outside of the court to answer questions and explain why property rights must be respected in the state. The press conference will take place at Academy Park, 20 Eagle Street in Albany, directly across the street from the front of the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court.

Dana Berliner, a senior attorney with the Institute for Justice (IJ), said, “This is the kind of abuse of government power on behalf of powerful private interests the Framers of the Constitution sought to prevent when they drafted the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution and required that private property could only be taken for a public use. Taking someone’s land for a private institution like Columbia for its private use and profit is not a public use.” The Institute for Justice, which represented the homeowners in the infamous eminent domain abuse case Kelo v. City of New London, is the nation’s leading advocate against eminent domain for private gain.

In December 2009, a New York appellate court sided with the property owners, ruling there to be “no credible proof of blight in Manhattanville”—the neighborhood Columbia seeks to take. The court found that “the process employed by ESDC [the Empire State Development Corporation] predetermined the unconstitutional outcome, was bereft of facts which established that the neighborhood in question was blighted, and ultimately precluded the petitioners from presenting a full record before either the ESDC or, ultimately, this Court. In short, it is a skein worth unraveling.” The court also found that eminent domain should only be used for public use—not a private, elite organization’s expansion. The ESDC—unhappy with this sharp rebuke—appealed to the state’s highest court.

Just last year, the Court of Appeals refused to stop the use of eminent domain for an arena for the NBA Nets and private development project in Brooklyn. It now has an opportunity to redeem itself in this decision.

In the wake of Kelo, 43 states have passed laws to limit the ability of government officials to abuse eminent domain, and state court after state court has rejected Kelo-style takings. New York stands alone in its abject failure to provide its citizens with any meaningful protection from eminent domain for private gain, and this case represents an opportunity for enough to, finally, be enough.

Robert McNamara, an attorney with the Institute for Justice, said, “New York is the worst abuser of eminent domain in the country. New York’s courts have been looking to the legislature to fix this problem, while the legislature has been looking to the courts. Meanwhile, New Yorkers have been looking at condemnation notices. It is past time for the New York Court of Appeals to give the state’s citizens the property rights protections promised in their state constitution.”

New York laws are hopelessly stacked against property owners. For years, New York’s courts turned a blind eye to the enormous benefits afforded to private developers, outrageous behavior on the part of government officials, and even blatant evidence that the projects would be miserable flops. IJ released its statewide analysis, Building Empires, Destroying Homes: Eminent Domain Abuse in New York, which shows just how badly New York agencies have been abusing their power. The Associated Press reported that IJ documented how New York is “a hotbed of abuse, with 2,226 properties statewide either condemned or threatened with condemnation through eminent domain in the past decade to allow for private development.”

Christina Walsh, director of activism and coalitions for the Institute for Justice, said, “Your right to own your property shouldn’t depend on what state you live in. New York’s courts must put a stop to these land grabs and tell Columbia—a private institution—that government power will no longer be at their disposal. Nick Sprayregen, owner of Tuck-it-Away Self-Storage and the rest of the property owners are heroes who are standing up not only for their rights, but for the property rights of all New Yorkers. Every New Yorker should get behind them and demand that the courts protect their constitutionally enshrined rights. If the Court does not recognize at least some outer limit on government’s eminent domain power, then all property in the state is at risk.”

Among those participating in the post-argument press conference will be: Norman Siegel (attorney for Tuck-it-Away Self-Storage owner Nick Sprayregen), Nick Sprayregen, Amanjit Kaur (property owner and party to this lawsuit), New York State Senator Bill Perkins, Tom DeMott (Coalition to Preserve Community), Nellie Bailey (Harlem Tenants Association), Luis Tejada (Mirabal Sisters), Walter South (Community Board 9), Daniel Goldstein (Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn), Mike Elmendorf (New York director of the National Federation of Independent Business) and Christina Walsh (director of activism and coalitions, Institute for Justice).

Cousin Don on Aunt Ruth

A Tribute to Aunt Ruth

Ruth came into my life when she married my mother’s brother, Sam when I was about 8 years old. My mother died just around the time they married and newlywed Ruth offered to my 65 year old father to take me in and take care of me for an indefinite period of time. My father was too proud to take advantage of this generous offer and turned it down. Ruth and Sam did the best they could though, to offer my father a respite and me a caring place to go on many weekends, first to their apartment in Astoria and then to their new apartment in Queensview.

Aunt Ruth was a force. She was guided by an unwavering belief in the obligations of people to one another and in not just saying but doing the right thing. So not only did she reach out to me but she provided a home for her father-in-law, my grandfather, for many years. On holidays she made her home the gathering place for her family: Sam, Sara and Mitchell and their friends and significant others and for Sam’s limited extended family and a variety of other people who had nowhere else to go. Even after Sam and Ruth divorced she continued to embrace the stray members of Sam’s family as her own. For me, from the start of our relationship almost 60 years ago, until the day she died, Ruth was a rock of support. For my children, Tara and Alexa, Aunt Ruth became the focal point of family. For many years we stayed with her for the Thanksgiving holiday and they too learned much from Ruth’s shining example.

In my 20’s when I was teaching school in New York City, she helped mentor me in the ways of dealing with challenging inner city kids. When I started graduate school in psychology she helped line up kids in the co-op for my testing subjects. When I moved to Michigan to continue graduate work she gave me dishes and silverware to supplement my inadequate supply. When my kids were growing up she opened bank account for them and made regular deposits in the account at the Greenpoint Savings Bank so they would have a little something to help when they grew up. Jannis, my wife of 6 years, had the good fortune of getting to know Ruth on several of our recent Thanksgiving trips to New York and in many phone conversations and Jannis too, in these relatively few years, came to love and appreciate Ruth.

Beyond the family, Ruth lived life according to her principled code. As a social worker and then a teacher, as a union member and a co-op officer she was always a fighter for what she believed was right and, as all who knew her quickly learned, Ruth Langbert was never one to back down from an issue or an argument she believed in. Good –bye Aunt Ruth. I will miss you very much and will never forget you.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Ruth Berkenfeld Langbert, RIP.

Ruth Berkenfeld Langbert died on May 29, 2010. She was born in the Bronx on October 26, 1925. She attended Hunter College. She was concerned about bettering society and was arrested as a participant in one of a series of 1947 demonstrations by the Congress of Racial Equality aiming to integrate the swimming pool at Palisades Amusement Park. Overcoming a disability, she graduated from Hunter College and became a social worker and then a school teacher at PS 7 in Manhattan. She is survived by two children, Mitchell, an associate professor at Brooklyn College, and Sara, a homemaker and former computer executive at Bloomberg LP, and three grandchildren, Emma, Anna and Eric. Services will be held at Parkside Chapel in Forest Hills on Tuesday.

Doris Ventres Supports US Troops

Rick has forwarded Laura Ingle's Fox News article about Doris Ventres who hand writes letters to our troops overseas:

"Mrs. V" as she's known, has been hand writing letters to U.S. soldiers from Ridgefield serving overseas for 42 years. This 82-year old 8th generation Ridgefielder was inspired to start her letter writing campaign one day while walking out of her local church. She explains, "I saw this nice plaque, a beautiful bronze plaque, in memory of two of the boys that had been killed at war. In fact, I went to school with one of them - and I thought - you know, why can't we do something about it before they are gone?"

Ms. Ventres' dedication to her country is admirable. Ms. Ingles notes in the article:

"Doris tells me that she hopes her story will inspire others to pick up a pen and paper and write to our men and women serving overseas."

Why Does President Obama's Social Security Number Belong to Someone Born in 1890?

Sharad Karkhanis sent me the video below. You probably know most of this, but it is worth a look.