Saturday, December 6, 2008

Liberalism And The Certificate

The founders of the United States did not believe that democracy or majority rule was a sacred process or even that it was of preeminent importance, but rather that democracy was a safeguard against incursions on liberty. Much of the Federalist Papers, written by Hamilton, Madison and Jay, was devoted to explaining why the availability of a frontier and the checks and balances inherent in a republican form of government could counteract faction and tendency toward tyranny inherent in democracy. Until the time of the founding, democracies and republics had been short lived and had inevitably devolved into tyranny. These included the Athenian democracy and the Roman republic.

By 1900 the American democracy had lived longer than the Athenian democracy and by a number of measures had been more successful. The claim that the frontier would provide an overflow space to which persecuted minorities could escape hearkened back to the days of Roger Williams, who had founded Rhode Island after being kicked out of Massachusetts for religious heresy. But by 1900 the physical frontier had been filled and the "Progressives" of that day began to call for a reassertion of democratic (as opposed to republican) principles based on European and Rousseauean arguments that there is a "popular" or "general" will that can be expressed through democracy and that the republican safeguards of liberty that the founders had established were unnecessary because American democracy had matured. This was an explicit rejection of the concept of natural rights and freedom on which American republican had previously been based. It was not, as the historian Louis Hartz argued, a liberal argument. It was a rejection of liberalism in favor of statism and authoritarianism.

The chief Progressives, Herbert Croly and Walter Weyl, made the Progressive arguments in slightly different ways. Croly saw Progressivism as the fulfillment of democracy and he saw democracy as an end in itself. Weyl saw Progressivism as a stepping stone to socialism, and in this he was closer to the New Deal Democrats who in many ways fulfilled the aims of the earlier Progressive politicians, especially Theodore Roosevelt.

One far reaching aspect of Progressivism was its claim that there is no such thing as rights. Institutionalist economists such as John R. Commons, who based their doctrines on the German historical school of economics, argued that natural rights were mystical or illegtimiate constructs. Rather, the popular will ought to be ascendant. Of course, this argument can be made about any moral value, including democracy, popular will, social justice and the like. However, the Progressives had a one-sided skepticism that smashed the individual as it mystically exalted the collective.

The claim that democratic processes lead to benign decision making is itself a mystical belief. This is so because the belief in "social good" is an emotional, artificial construct that is vacuous of meaning. As well, and more concretely, the political processes that democracy opens up counteract democracy. More means less. That is, on a practical level the reduction of republican safeguards results in less, not more, democracy.

This latter observation has been made by economists like Mancur Olson and George Stigler who have studied the behavior of special interest groups. The economics of public choice inhibit intelligent decision making by population masses because the economics of obtaining information inhibits most people from learning the facts. Conversely, narrow special interests, which include economic interests like banks, the auto industry, public employee unions and environmental and other do-good lobbies, tend to be more effective at lobbying than the general public. The reason is that economic incentives favor narrow interest groups that enjoy high levels of economic benefits. Two classic examples are the role of Wall Street and the banking industry in lobbying the Federal Reserve Bank and the health industry in securing licensure and favorable regulation. Of course, there are countless lobbies that get their way, from hair dressers to insurance agents to school teachers. The one thing you can be sure of is that Joe the Plumber cannot tell you the ramifications of an oil depletion allowance or the details of a regulation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. However, lobbyists can tell you, and often write the law.

America was not founded on the doctrine of popular will but rather of protection of liberty. The election of president increased in importance because of Progessivism, and Herbert Croly explicitly argued that the election of President ought to reflect the newfound popular will.

The question has recently arisen as to Barack Obama's citizenship. It is probable that there is nothing wrong with his elibilibity to be president, but the question is a Constitutional one. Article II of the Constitution requires that the president be a natural born citizen, and there is little reason to change this requirement. The question of divided loyalty is important enought to take seriously.

The quickness with which today's Progressives, ill-educated in elite universities that indoctrinate as to the values of Progressivism as opposed to Lockean liberalism, would ignore or amend the Constitution to reflect Mr. Obama's election is indicative of a long standing trend toward authoritarianism cloaked in democratic garb. The Constitution serves as a safeguard against incursions on liberty, and its erosion implies the expansion of state power, the reduction of individual freedom and, therefore, the erosion of the freedom on which American success rests.

This is not a picaynune or partisan claim. The Founders were right to be concerned about what de Tocqueville called tyranny of the majority. As Madison pointed out, faction is an ever present threat to liberty, and constitutional safeguards are necessary to protect liberty. Over time, America has seen an erosion of liberty even as democratic processes have been enhanced. One cannot save much of one's income because it is taken by taxation. One cannot freely start a business because regulation inhibits free enterprise even as the state's favored businesses, banks and automobile companies, receive massive tax transfers. These erosions have been made possible in part because of a lax attitude toward the Constitution.

The question of Mr. Obama's birth certificate is a legal one, and if Mr. Obama is ineligible to be president because he does not meet constitutional requirements, he cannot be allowed to serve. Without a clear constitution, the United States will continue along the path to centralized, authoritarian rule. This is entirely consistent with democracy by a slow witted, easily bamboozled public that is susceptible to media manipulation and has been miseducated to believe in authoritarian, statist solutions.

American Solutions Poll on Auto Bailout

I just received this e-mail from David Ryan of American Solutions. You can vote on the auto bailout here. As of this writing, the poll is 91% against.

Dear Mitchell,

As you may know, the Big Three were back on Capitol Hill today to ask for a $34 billion bailout.

Times are tough right now, and we need the best solutions to get the economy back on the right track. We want to know what the American Solutions community thinks about the auto bailout.

Please take a moment to vote in this online poll and leave us your comments.

Thanks for your support.


Image Blocked
Dave Ryan
American Solutions

FBI Assists Suicide Bomber

Norma Segal just forwarded this link to NRO Online's the Corner. According to Andy McCarthy, Shirwa Ahmed, a suicide bomber who recently killed 29 people in Somalia, was an American whom the FBI helped relocate to Minnesota.

Obama's Corrosive Communitarian 'Service' for Students

Candace de Russy, renowned national media critic, has an excellent article in the December 4 PajamasMedia on President-elect Obama's neo-totalitarian plan for national community service. Mr. Obama has proposed a $4,000 tuition tax credit for students who volunteer. De Russy argues that:

"Obama’s plan would share with socialism and Marxism a communitarian, anti-individualistic outlook and social agenda. This philosophy is inimical to that individualism which is rooted in the Judeo-Christian emphasis on the moral primacy of the person, not the group, and which has been the historic cornerstone of American freedom and prosperity."

Hear, hear. De Russy adds that service learning debases liberal arts education. As well, the plan amounts to an iron fist of ideological brainwashing inside the squishy glove of intellectually vacuous pap. Service learning and community service aim to psychologically indoctrinate our young people and turn them into mindless state-controlled automatons.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Mitchell Langbert's Blog Applies for $100 Million Bailout

Dear Friends: I have been away from blogging for a few days enjoying the Catskill Mountain air and figuring out how to file for a bank bailout. I am converting this blog into a bank holding company and am applying for a $100 million capital injection from the FDIC. Jim Crum just sent me the form, and I urge you to consider doing the same. I figure I must have spent alot of time on this blog and have lost money. In fact, I sold a blog default swap derivative to my friend Larwyn and now am in the red to her for $100 million. So I have set up a bank holding corporation and am asking my Congressman to help get me the $100 million.

America was once a country where you got rich if you were honest, could build a better mousetrap, or outcompete competitors. Today, you get rich if you go to a fancy college, are a good liar, and can convince dim witted Congressmen to steal money for you. If you can make up a whopper of lie about derivatives and credit default swaps then you can steal trillions.

You who are part of the Mitchell Langbert's Blog family deserve the blessings of American capitalism. Therefore, let us make wise use of the Application Guideliness for the TARP Capital Purchase Plan. Let us set up a joint banking corporation and each of us apply for $100 million. Jointly, we should be worth more than Citigroup.

Application Guidelines for TARP Capital Purchase Program

This application is used to request participation in the Treasury Capital Purchase Program (CPP).

Under the CPP, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) may purchase qualifying capital in U.S. banking organizations.

The application must be submitted to the appropriate Federal banking agency (FBA) for the applicant. If the applicant is a bank holding company, the application should be submitted to both the applicant's holding company supervisor and the supervisor of the largest insured depository institution controlled by the applicant. All inquiries regarding preparation of the application should be directed to the appropriate FBA for the applicant. All applications must be submitted no later than 5pm (EST), November 14, 2008.

More detailed information, including submission instructions, can be found at the applicable FBA’s website:

1. For the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation:
2. For the Federal Reserve:
3. For the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency:
4. For the Office of Thrift Supervision:
The terms of the CPP are described generally in this application. However, this description is not binding on the Treasury and is intended to provide general information only. The actual terms and conditions of the CPP are contained in documentation that will be available from the Treasury Department on its web site at

Eligible Institutions

The CPP is available to bank holding companies, financial holding companies, insured
depository institutions and savings and loan holding companies that engage solely or
predominately in activities that are permissible for financial holding companies under relevant law. To qualify, the applicant must be established and operating in the United States and may not be controlled by a foreign bank or company.

Institutions must consult with their appropriate FBA prior to submitting this application.

Certain Conditions for Participation in the CPP

To be eligible for the CPP, the applicant must receive the approval of the Treasury. In addition, the applicant must agree to certain terms and conditions and make certain representations and warranties described in various agreements prepared by the Treasury and available on Treasury’s website. A summary term sheet is currently available on Treasury’s website and a detailed investment agreement and associated documentation will be posted soon. Each applicant must obtain and review a copy of these agreements and agree to all of the terms and conditions, including representations and warranties, contained in these agreements. In the event the
applicant files an application with the appropriate FBA prior to the availability of the investment agreement, the applicant must file an amended application which includes updated responses to any items in the application that required prior review of the investment agreement.

In the event that an applicant cannot, by November 14, 2008, take action to be in compliance with all of the terms and conditions, including the representations and warranties, contained in the Treasury agreements, the applicant must provide an explanation of the condition or conditions that cannot be met and the reasons the condition or conditions cannot be met. This explanation must be attached to the application. Failure to agree to all terms and conditions may result in disqualification from the CPP.

If the applicant receives preliminary approval to participate in the CPP from the Treasury, the applicant will have 30 days from the date of notification to submit the investment agreements and related documentation.

Among the conditions to participation in the CPP is the requirement that, for so long as the Treasury owns shares or warrants in the applicant, certain senior officers of the applicant meet standards established by the Treasury for executive compensation in certain circumstances.

These standards are explained on the Treasury web site at:
For the first three years that the Treasury owns shares or warrants in the applicant, the applicant may not increase its dividend payments on common shares without the permission of the Treasury. In addition, the applicant may not repurchase or redeem any junior preferred shares, preferred shares ranking pari passu with the Senior Preferred, trust preferred, or common shares (other than in connection with certain employee benefit programs) during the first three years of
the investment without the permission of the Treasury.

Form of Capital Qualifying for Purchase

All capital purchases will occur at the highest-tier holding company in cases in which the banking organization has a bank holding company or a savings and loan holding company. In these cases, the capital eligible for purchase by the Treasury under the CPP is cumulative perpetual preferred stock of the highest tier holding company. The shares must be pari passu with the most senior preferred shares available by the applicant.

In the case of an insured depository institution that is not controlled by a company, the capital eligible for purchase by the Treasury under the CPP is non-cumulative perpetual preferred stock of the insured depository institution. The shares must be pari passu with the most senior preferred shares available by the applicant.

The maximum amount of capital eligible for purchase by the Treasury under the CPP is the lesser of (i) an amount equal to 3 percent of the Total Risk-Weighted Assets of the applicant or

(ii) $25 billion. The minimum amount eligible for purchase under the CPP is the amount equal to 1 percent of the Total Risk-Weighted Assets of the applicant. All measurements will be based on the information contained in the latest quarterly supervisory report filed by the applicant with its appropriate FBA, updated to reflect events materially affecting the financial condition of the applicant occurring since the filing of such report. The shares purchased by the Treasury will have a dividend rate of 5 percent per year until the fifth anniversary of the date of the investment and a dividend rate of 9 percent per year thereafter. Dividends not paid must cumulate over the life of the investment in the case of shares
purchased from a holding company for an insured depository institution. Shares may be redeemed by the applicant during the first three years following the investment only from the proceeds of a qualifying stock issuance by the applicant.

In all cases, the Treasury also must obtain warrants for common stock of the applicant. The terms of the warrants are explained in the Treasury agreements available on the Treasury web site. In general, the warrants must be convertible into an amount of common stock of the applicant equivalent in value to 15 percent of the amount of the capital purchased by the Treasury from the applicant under the CPP, calculated based on the average of closing prices of the common stock on the 20 trading days ending on and including the last trading day prior to the date of execution of the Purchase Agreement.

Other Information

The applicant must identify and describe any mergers, acquisitions, or other capital raisings that are currently pending or are under negotiation and the expected consummation date.


Any applicant desiring confidential treatment of specific portions of the application must submit a request in writing with the application. The request must discuss the justification for the requested treatment. The applicant's reasons for requesting confidentiality should specifically demonstrate the harm (for example, loss of competitive position, invasion of privacy) that would result from public release of information (5 U.S.C. 552). Information for which confidential
treatment is requested should be: (1) specifically identified in the public portion of the application (by reference to the confidential section); (2) separately bound; and (3) labeled "Confidential." The applicant should follow the same procedure when requesting confidential treatment for the subsequent filing of supplemental information to the application.

The applicant should contact the appropriate regulatory agency for specific instructions regarding requests for confidential treatment. The appropriate regulatory agency will determine

whether the information will be treated as confidential and will advise the applicant of any decision to make available to the public information labeled as "Confidential."

Application for TARP Capital Purchase Program (CPP)

Please complete the following information and follow the submission instructions as described on your Federal banking agency’s website. In addition to completing the information on this form, please provide a description of any mergers, acquisitions, or other capital raisings that are currently pending or are under negotiation and the expected consummation date (no longer than 1 page).

In the event the applicant files an application with the appropriate Federal banking agency prior to the availability of the investment agreement, the applicant must file an amended application which includes updated responses to any items in the application that required prior review of the investment agreement.

Institution Name:
Address of Institution:
Primary Contact Name:
Primary Contact Phone Number:
Primary Contact Fax Number:
Primary Contact Email Address:
Secondary Contact Name:
Secondary Contact Phone Number:
Secondary Contact Fax Number:
Secondary Contact Email Address:

RSSD, Holding Company Docket
Number and / or FDIC Certificate
Number, As Relevant:

Amount of Preferred Shares
Amount Of Institution’s Authorized
But Unissued Preferred Stock
Available For Purchase:
Amount Of Institution’s Authorized
But Unissued Common Stock:
Amount Of Total Risk-Weighted
Assets As Reported On The
Holding Company’s Or Applicable
Institution’s Most Recent FR-Y9,
Call Report, Or TFR, As Relevant:

Institution Has Reviewed The
Investment Agreements And
Related Documentation On
Treasury’s Website (Yes/No):

Describe Any Condition, Including
A Representation Or Warranty,
Contained In The Investment
Agreements And Related
Documentation, The Institution
Believes it Cannot Comply With By
November 14, 2008 And Provide A
Timeline For Reaching

Type of Company2:

Signature of Chief Executive
Officer (or Authorized Designee):

Date of Signature:

1 May be provided as an attachment, no longer than 1 page
2 Publicly Traded Stock Company; Stock Company Without Publicly Traded Shares; Other (please specify)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

End Fractional Reserve Banking--Send Bankers to the Hoosegow

Everyone blames the current economic volatility on credit default swaps and similar kinds of derivatives. Sub-prime loans were "stripped", securitized and sold. Rights to payment in the event of default were purchased. The buyers and sellers weren't able to value the risk. The profits from the sales were recorded as profit...

Wait a minute! Let me understand this. Banks were registering profits on derivative instruments whose risks they did not understand? If that is so, then the profits they recognized during the years when they were buying and selling the derivatives were fraudulent, and criminally so. What the banks did was the equivalent of a fire insurance company's telling investors that insurance premium money needed to cover payments for losses due to fires was profit. If that occurred, the firms and the executives were engaging in outright fraud, no different from what Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling did at Enron. If Andy Fastow rightly ended up in jail, the heads of the money center banks that engaged in derivatives-related fraud belong there as well.

Oddly, though, both the Bush and Obama administrations view the bank presidents' fraud not as a matter of criminal enforcement, but as an activity that warrants subsidization. The pissant propagandists at Fox, CNN and the Times all agree. Henry Paulson, friend of the perpetrators, has succeeded in effecting a near trillion dollar bailout. Ben Bernanke, whose job includes stopping reckless banking practices, has tripled the monetary base in order to subsidize the fraud. Like a horde of drooling morons, the progagandists applaud.

The complaint among many of the propagandists is that there needs to be "regulation". In fact, regulation already exists. The Federal Reserve Bank is empowered to oversee commercial banking, and can tell commercial bankers anything it wishes to tell them. Chairmen Greenspan and Bernanke could have hired experts to evaluate the risks and degree of fraud involved in the derivatives trading. But they did not. Nor did Congress even hint that that they should do so in light of Warren Buffett's public statements over the past few years that the derivatives were leading to trouble. That wouldn't have anything to do with all those Goldman Sachs contributions to the Democrats last year, would it?

In 1913 the nation adopted a specific approach to banking that lacked justification. The nineteenth century was a period of increasing real wages among workers, far greater levels of innovation than in the 20th, and increasing immigration as millions around the world aimed to come to America to participate in the real wage growth. There were three groups who suffered during this period: capitalists, landowners and farmers. The reason these groups suffered was that the gold standard era was characterized by deflation because the greenbacks that had been created during the Civil War were retired in the 1870s and innovation created highly intense competition. So prices were declining and stockholders, landowners and farmers were hurting. Innovation came from the free economy, absence of income taxes and increasing real wages, which permitted many new business start ups. Thus, this was a land of opportunity but pressure was on those who speculated in stock and held wealth in land.

Family farmers combine two elements. They are property owners and workers. Richard Hofstadter, in the book Age of Reform, has argued that 19th century American farmers were in large part land speculators. They sold land in New England and pushed into the midwest and then into what we now call the west in part to make gains on land values that were increasing due to increased population. This process was stalled by deflation during the post Civil War gold standard era. Hence, William Greider's claim that the Populist movement, which argued for inflation in the 1880s and 1890s, was a working class movement is mistaken. Although farmers were often workers, in this role they were benefiting from deflation. Real wages were rising across the board. It was as capitalists and landowners who were facing declining asset values and prices that farmers were hurting. Lower food prices are good for workers, but Greider omits this consideration in his discussion of the Populist movement. Deflation is good for workers but bad for capitalists, sellers and landowners. In claiming to be workers' friend, Greider somehow makes an argument that supports real estate speculators and bankers. He does this while saying hard money helps bankers. (Funny how the left manages to say that they help the poor while they are helping the rich, and then turn around and get donations from George Soros!)

Because of the massive gains to workers during the late nineteenth century (due to increasing real wages) the Democrats' attempt to introduce an inflationary economy was voted down in 1896 by popular vote. William Jennings Bryan ran three times altogether and was voted down each time. However, when JP Morgan approached death, bankers realized that in order to maintain fractional reserve banking as a system there would need to be a replacement for Morgan, who frequently arranged loans that provided liquidity to rescue banks. This was accomplished by the establishment of the Fed in 1913, which Wilson, a gold standard advocate, introduced with little fanfare or debate.

There is no evidence that fractional reserve banking was essential to the dynamic economic growth of the nineteenth century. Other countries had fractional reserve banking but did not grow to the same degree that America did. Other countries had more frequent wars and had more inflation, though. Nor is there evidence that the key growth areas of the economy, manufacturing and innovation, received more funding from banks than would have been available without fractional reserve banking. In the case of Standard Oil, which revolutionized the oil industry, Rockefeller and his partners financed the business from their own savings and then profits. Bondholders and investors were brought in and over time a "trust" was formed. Although banks played a role, there is no evidence that fractional reserve banking was necessary to this or any other important business.

The public has accepted the need for a money supply managed and controlled by commercial banks. But is such a system essential? "Progressives" (the very name is laughable) argue staunchly for the 1913 system based on the conservative argument that it's been that way for 95 years. But since 1971 real wages have been declining, not rising. The 20th century has seen some innovation, but much less than the nineteenth. Fractional reserve banking facilitates allocation of credit to incompetent investment schemes, derivatives and crackpot investments such as Enron, the tech bubble and the sub-prime bubble. Redlining, excessive real estate development and the rape of cash savers and Americans on fixed incomes (the lower middle class) in favor of William Greider's* favored elements, millionaire construction firm owners, big banks, Wall Street investors, stockholders and major borrowers like billionaire hedge fund managers have all resulted from fractional reserve banking and from the Fed.

There is no evidence that bankers are or were better at allocating capital than a free market would be. With a trillion dollar bailout whose costs may mount to five trillion, a tripling of the money supply in order to subsidize the mistakes of the commercial banks, and large scale economic dislocation purely because of fraudulent and incompetent investment and profit-recognition practices in which the money center banks have engaged, people who claim that fractional reserve banking creates surplus for the economy have begun to look like delusional cranks.

The declining real wage of the past 36 years is evidence enough that fractional reserve banking has failed. Add the two bubbles of the past ten years to the mix, and the claim that fractional reserve banking contributes to the economy becomes laughable. Now that the banking system aims to absorb trillions of dollars from the productive economy in order to subsidize fraud, the time has come to consider scrapping it--and sending the money center bank CEOs to the hoosegow.

*See William Greider, Secrets of the Temple.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Chump Change

Barack Obama's famous campaign slogan was "change". At the same time, the most important issue to his supporters and cultish followers was the Iraqi War. Today, President-elect Obama announced the re-appointment of Robert Gates, President Bush's Defense Secretary. Secretary Gates has overseen recent Iraqi War policy, including the surge. Thus, his reappointment is a refreshing surprise, because it suggests a victory of practicality over ideology. But the reappointment does not represent change. It represents continuity.

President-elect Obama has played his cards smartly. But his followers and supporters are chumps. They are suckers. Marks. The suckers include both his hordes of brown shirt-like young followers and the propagandists formerly known as the mainstream media.

I have suggested over many months that Obama's young supporters have been chumps. This younger cohort is a generation that does not read books and that considers Bill Maher to be an information source. Their teachers have not read John Locke. They have never heard of him.

One of my students, a gay activist, became upset with me a few weeks ago when I mentioned during a social occasion (I occasionally have a drink with my MBA students after class) that I thought that George Bush and Barack Obama represented the same interests. His anger was palpable. When I questioned this student, a product of elite universities, whether he had read anything about the Iraqi War; the dispute between Shias and Sunnis; or anything else about the Iraqi War, his answer was "no". When I suggested a couple of books to read, he was not interested. However, he became enraged when I suggested that there would be little difference.

America's failed democracy naturally flows from its failed educational system. Like the ignorant hordes that have supported socialism, fascism and communism, Obama's supporters emphasized slogan over substance, and viewed asking questions as to Obama's vital information and true intentions with venomous hostility. One of his supporters, who calls himself "Diogenes", has seen it so important to suppress any questions that he has come onto this blog repeatedly, hurling curse words and insipid invective such as "tin foil hat" any time that I have raised questions about Mr. Obama. He recently used several insults and curse words when I suggested that Americans need to read John Locke.

In early September I argued that Barack Obama would be a George W. Bush clone and in June, I had suggested that:

"Mr. Obama claims to favor change, yet he is allied with specific economic interests, specifically Wall Street. In 2008, Goldman Sachs so far has given $2.7 million to Democrats and less than $1 million to Republicans. Goldman Sachs's contributions to Democrats has exceeded those to Republicans every year since 1990. To assuage public concern about excessive Wall Street influence on Obama, America's off-the-charts-insipid media provide testimonies from 'principled' Wall Street tycoons like George Soros and Warren Buffett that Obama is for 'change'. Of course, Messrs. Soros and Buffett do not discuss how Obama's 'change' will influence their own economic interests."

It remains to be seen how far Mr. Obama's blithe, sociopathic lying goes and whether he carries it into realms that are potentially harmful to the United States. However, for now he seems to have made clear that change with respect to the Iraqi War is not a top priority for him. In this, he has played his millions of young supporters, including the MBA student, for chumps.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Supreme Court to Review Donofrio Case

Bob Robbins just forwarded this link to WorldNet Daily:

"Most Americans don't realize it yet, but this Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court will review whether Barack Obama is indeed constitutionally eligible to become the next president.

The justices will hold a conference on the question and consider the case for formal review.

The case is brought by Leo C. Donofrio against Nina Wells, the New Jersey secretary of state, and questions whether Obama is a "natural-born citizen" as required by Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution."

"If four of the nine justices vote to hear the case in full, oral argument may be..."

Read the whole thing here.

Indian Commandos May Have Killed Some Chabad Hostages

Dan Friedman sent me this tragic Jerusalem Post story.

Nov. 30, 2008


Col. Yossi Turgeman, IDF attaché to India, said that the two Israelis announced missing by the Foreign Ministry were not among the dead, Army Radio reported on Sunday evening.

Israelis murdered in Mumbai Chabad House to be laid to rest in Israel on Monday

Therefore, Turgeman assessed that the missing Israelis were not killed in the Mumbai terror attacks.

Earlier on Sunday, the Foreign Ministry announced that the number of Israelis unaccounted for in Mumbai had dropped to two, after contact was made with two Israelis thought to be missing.

The Indian commando raid launched to save the lives of Jewish and Israeli hostages at Mumbai's Chabad House may have inadvertently ended the lives of one or more of the hostages, the head of a six-man ZAKA team in the terror-stricken Indian city told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

Speaking by phone from Mumbai, Haim Weingarten, the head of the Mumbai ZAKA team, said, "Based on what I saw, [although] I can't identify the type of bullets in the bodies [of the victims], I don't think the terrorists killed all the hostages, to put it gently."

All six Jewish and Israeli hostages found dead in the Chabad House were killed by either gunshot wounds or shrapnel from grenade blasts, or both, Weingarten said, adding that he didn't know who threw or fired the grenades that wounded the hostages.

Although he lacked forensic tools to determine time of death, Weingarten said his team's observations led him to believe that "some of the hostages were killed on Wednesday [when gunmen first entered the building], some on Thursday, and some on Friday morning [during the start of the commando raid]."

After a prolonged delay, an air force transport plane carrying Israel Police forensics experts and a second ZAKA team took off for Mumbai on Sunday evening. A ZAKA source told the Post the plane would probably return to Israel with the bodies of the hostages on Monday night.

ZAKA officials believe that in a final act of love, the director of the Chabad House, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, wrapped the body of his wife Rivka in a tallit before succumbing to his own wounds during the final hours of the siege.

Read the whole thing here.

Jim Crum's Puzzling Questions

I cannot send any of my children to school without:

1) an official birth certificate
2) a full physical which includes medical history of any past and current conditions and medications prescribed by a physician.

Despite repeated and insistent requests to do so, neither have been furnished by Mr. Obama.

Or do the rules not apply to Mr. Obama?


Sunday, November 30, 2008

America Lacks a Newspaper of Record

I was just on the Fox News website to forward them my recent affirmation of Pamela Geller's Fox News obituary when I noticed a headline on their site that the New York Times has called for the resignation of George W. Bush. The Times's indifference to the importance of Constitutional provisions about the transition of power is characteristic of an unimportant, fringe newsletter. In days gone past the opinion of the Times mattered to some. Today, I, like many others, do not read the Times because of its unreliablity and biased reporting. A corollary is that the newsletter's opinions are unimportant.

A large percentage of people who reside in America are not Americans. They are elite "Progressives" who, although having spent considerable sums on vacuous "education" at expensive colleges, are ignorant of basic American principles of individualism, freedom and virtue. Progressives are to the Americans what Mao Tse Tung's communists are to the French. Sadly, much as barbarians came to dominate the Roman army, Progressives have come to dominate American institutions. Americans need to think about how to reclaim their institutions from Progressive thugs.

The Times has done systematic harm to this country throughout its history. The harm it has done includes Walter Duranty's lying about Stalin's crimes in the 1930s, downplaying the holocaust, supporting Fidel Castro, supporting the overthrow of Diem (which led to American defeat in Vietnam), and consistently supporting inflationary Federal Reserve Bank policies which have led to extraction of wealth from wage earners and dollar savers (the lower middle class) in favor of a booming stock market, the wealthy, the Ochs Sulzbergers and their friends. The New York Times and its sycophants, such as William Greider, have used every lie in the book to enhance profits for money center banks and Wall Street.

The coming inflation, and there is one coming because of the banking system and the Federal Reserve Bank, will be in part the result of the New York Times's recent propaganda campaign about a "crisis" that led to a corrupt "bailout" and tripling of the money supply.

Similarly, the Times supports the inheritance tax, but does not support it for family trusts. The Ochs Sulzbergers, the owners and publishers of the Times, have dodged the inheritance tax for five generations, even as they urge it for younger, more nimble family-owned firms that might pose a threat to them and their family friends.

In short, the New York Times should be viewed as fringe or foreign newsletter. The fact that Republicans of any category continue to pay attention to it is a mistake.