Tuesday, August 31, 2010

DoJ Website Removes Stars & Stripes Header

From

to


If you take a look at the Department of Justice website today, you'll see that it has been redesigned. It used to have a Stars & Stripes banner at the top, so there was no doubt that this was the USA department of justice, dealing with American laws and American sovereignty.

The new design replaces the Stars & Stripes with a black header, and words from a 1930 lawyer who was an advocate of world government.

This was noted in the American Thinkertoday.
http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/08/department_of_justice_ditches.html
And at the top of the page, is a rather interesting quote:

"The common law is the will of mankind, issuing from the life of the people."

Catchy, huh? Just one tiny little (too small to be relevant obviously) point -- the quote is from C. Wilfred Jenks, who in the 1930's was a leading proponent of the "international law" movement, which had as its goal to impose a global common law and which backed ‘global workers' rights.'

Call it Marxism, call it Progressivism, call it Socialism -- under any of those names it definitely makes the DOJ look corrupt in their sleek, new black website with Marxist accessories to match.

See for yourself: http://www.justice.gov/

How very interesting that 'they' couldn't find a nice quote from one of our Founders. People, we have lost our Republic. We need to get it back ASAP.

The Lost Art of Thinking #19: Concede Ignorance when you are ignorant

Dumbth: The Lost Art of Thinking Rule #19: Concede Ignorance when you are ignorant

One of the wisest things we can say is "I do not know."

All of us are ignorant. Some of the world's most serious troubles grow out of the fact that people "know" so much that is simply not so.

Instead of assuming that we know everything, and making more assumptions based on that incorrect knowledge, be open to educating yourself. If you are told a piece of information that does not accord with what you know...check what you know before you dismiss it...perhaps what you know is wrong.

Aug 31, 2010, Tuesday, News headlines

Yahoo headlines, 11.28 am eastern time

Top stories
--Obama to honor troops as Iraq combat mission ends (AP)
AP - As President Barack Obama prepares to officially end the lengthy and divisive U.S. combat operation in Iraq, he'll personally thank some of the soldiers who fought there for their service to a mission he forcefully opposed from the start.
--Iraqis approach end of US combat role with worry (AP)
--Earl threatens US Coast after hitting Caribbean (AP)
--Consumer Confidence inches up in August (AP)
--Abbas seeks active US mediation in Mideast talks (AP)
--AP source: Unlikely 2 men were plotting terror (AP)

Buzz
--Emmys Blog | 0 Votes
--Why Gloom Looms Over Obama's Iraq Address | 0 Votes
--Imam of Ground Zero mosque say opposition is for benefit of elections | 0 Votes
-- Robert Pattinson parties at the Emmy's without Kristen Stewart - SEE VIDEO (IrishCentral) | 0 Votes
--The Next “Oxford English Dictionary” Could Be Online-Only | 0 Votes
--RV dealer challenges 'Twilight' star to push-ups (AP) | 0 Votes

Local (Phoenix, AZ)
--Arizona's DUI fatality rate is cut in half over 15 years (The Arizona Republic)
-- Catholic church ordains woman as priest (The Arizona Republic)
--1 killed, 7, including children, hurt in serious rollover; WB I-10 restricted at Queen Creek (KTVK 3TV Phoenix)
-- Reward offered to help find 3 suspects who shot man at Phoenix home (KTVK 3TV Phoenix)

Entertainment
--AP Exclusive: Secret testimony reveals stars' loss (AP)
AP - Roughly two weeks before a judge would sentence her to jail, Lindsay Lohan sat in a downtown courtroom and recounted to a grand jury how a burglar's black fingerprints on her wall left her so unnerved that she had to move.
--Lohan talks trial, talent, drug use in Vanity Fair (AP)
--Venice film festival focuses on film innovation (AP)
--Rescue Me Goes Out in a Blaze of Glory (omg!)
--JK Rowling donates $15.4 million for MS center (AP)
--Bollywood comes to Holy Land for film about Jesus (AP)

Sports
--Clemens pleads not guilty to lying (AP)
--Federer, Venus, Roddick win at US Open (AP)
--US survives test from Brazil, wins 70-68 (AP
--White Sox acquire Ramirez off waivers (AP)
--Assault charge for Mizzou RB Washington (AP)
--WAC demands $5M from Fresno St., Nevada (AP)

World news
--AP source: Unlikely 2 men were plotting terror (AP)
AP - A U.S. government official says the FBI's investigation of two men detained in Amsterdam is finding that it's unlikely they were on a test run for a future terror attack, even as Dutch authorities continued to hold the pair on suspicion of conspiring to commit a terrorist act.
--Mexico captures reported drug lord 'The Barbie' (AP)
--Denmark alleges Kurdish TV station promoted terror (AP)
--Greenpeace blocks Greenland drilling (AP)
--German bishops expand sex abuse guidelines (AP)
--The Amsterdam Arrests: Would-Be Terror or Badly-Wrapped Gifts? (Time.com

August 31, 2010, Tuesday, Sos Clinton's Schedule

From: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/appt/2010/146463.htm

SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

12:30 p.m. Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)

2:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, at the Department of State.
(CAMERA SPRAY PRECEDING BILATERAL MEETING)
Pre-set time for video cameras: 1:15 p.m. at the 23rd Street Entrance.
Final access time for journalists and still photographers: 1:45 p.m. at the 23rd Street Entrance.

3:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, at the Department of State.
(CAMERA SPRAY PRECEDING BILATERAL MEETING)
Pre-set time for video cameras: 2:15 p.m. at the 23rd Street Entrance.
Final access time for journalists and still photographers: 2:45 p.m. at the 23rd Street Entrance.

4:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with President Jimmy Carter and Dr. John Hardman, CEO of the Carter Center, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

6:15 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Quartet Representative Tony Blair, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

7:45 p.m. Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)


DEPUTY SECRETARY JAMES STEINBERG

9:00 a.m. Deputy Secretary Steinberg attends a meeting at the White House.
(MEDIA TO BE DETERMINED BY WHITE HOUSE)

10:30 a.m. Deputy Secretary Steinberg attends a meeting at the White House.
(MEDIA TO BE DETERMINED BY WHITE HOUSE)

1:00 p.m. Deputy Secretary Steinberg attends a meeting at the White House.
(MEDIA TO BE DETERMINED BY WHITE HOUSE)

3:00 p.m. Deputy Secretary Steinberg attends a meeting at the White House.
(MEDIA TO BE DETERMINED BY WHITE HOUSE)


USAID ADMINISTRATOR RAJIV SHAH

7:15 a.m. Administrator Shah and Counselor Mills meet to discuss Administrator Shah’s recent trip to Pakistan, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)


UNDER SECRETARY FOR ECONOMIC, ENERGY AND AGRICULTURAL AFFAIRS ROBERT HORMATS

9:15 a.m. Under Secretary Hormats addresses a meeting of the Army Strategic Leadership in Falls Church, Virginia.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)


UNDER SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS JUDITH MCHALE

Under Secretary McHale travels to Argentina, Uruguay and Chile through September 2 to participate in Council of the Americas Conferences and to engage in people-to-people outreach activities. For more information, click here.


UNDER SECRETARY FOR DEMOCRACY AND GLOBAL AFFAIRS MARIA OTERO

1:00 p.m. Under Secretary Otero and Assistant Secretary Fernandez meet with Elizabeth Littlefield, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)


SPECIAL ENVOY FOR MIDDLE EAST PEACE SENATOR GEORGE MITCHELL

12:30 p.m. Senator Mitchell joins Secretary Clinton’s bilateral meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)

2:00 p.m. Senator Mitchell joins Secretary Clinton’s bilateral meeting with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, at the Department of State.
(CAMERA SPRAY PRECEDING BILATERAL MEETING)

3:00 p.m. Senator Mitchell joins Secretary Clinton’s bilateral meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, at the Department of State.
(CAMERA SPRAY PRECEDING BILATERAL MEETING)

7:45 p.m. Senator Mitchell joins Secretary Clinton’s bilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)


COUNSELOR AND CHIEF OF STAFF CHERYL MILLS

7:15 a.m. Counselor Mills and Administrator Shah meet to discuss Administrator Shah’s recent trip to Pakistan, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

10:30 a.m. Counselor Mills holds a meeting on Haiti, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)


ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIAN AFFAIRS ROBERT BLAKE

Assistant Secretary Blake travels to Dushanbe, Tajikistan and Moscow, Russia through September 3. For more information, click here.


ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION AFFAIRS ESTHER BRIMMER

Assistant Secretary Brimmer travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina and Santiago, Chile through September 2. For more information, click here.


ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR NEAR EASTERN AFFAIRS JEFFREY FELTMAN

12:30 p.m. Assistant Secretary Feltman joins Secretary Clinton’s bilateral meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)

1:00 p.m. Assistant Secretary Feltman meets with Emirati Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

2:00 p.m. Assistant Secretary Feltman joins Secretary Clinton’s bilateral meeting with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, at the Department of State.
(CAMERA SPRAY PRECEDING BILATERAL MEETING)

3:00 p.m. Assistant Secretary Feltman joins Secretary Clinton’s bilateral meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, at the Department of State.
(CAMERA SPRAY PRECEDING BILATERAL MEETING)

7:45 p.m. Assistant Secretary Feltman joins Secretary Clinton’s bilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)


ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR ECONOMIC, ENERGY AND BUSINESS AFFAIRS JOSE FERNANDEZ

1:00 p.m. Assistant Secretary Fernandez and Under Secretary Otero meet with Elizabeth Littlefield, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)


ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AFFAIRS DAVID JOHNSON

Assistant Secretary Johnson travels to Mexico through September 1 to meet with senior leaders of the Mexican government to demonstrate U.S. support and shared commitment to Mexico’s efforts to counter the drug trade, reduce violence and reestablish a culture of lawfulness. For more information, click here.


ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR OCEANS AND INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL AND SCIENTIFIC AFFAIRS KERRI-ANN JONES

Assistant Secretary Jones attends the 5th Bled Strategic Forum, in Bled, Slovenia and conducts public diplomacy outreach.


ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR POLITICAL-MILITARY AFFAIRS ANDREW SHAPIRO

Assistant Secretary Shapiro participates in negotiations within the framework of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) through September 2, in Geneva, Switzerland.


AMBASSADOR-AT-LARGE FOR GLOBAL WOMEN’S ISSUES MELANNE VERVEER

10:00 a.m. Ambassador Melanne Verveer meets with representatives from the International Media Foundation to discuss galvanizing action around key issues for media women, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

12:30 Ambassador Melanne Verveer participates in a lunch meeting with the Steering Committee of the International Museum of Women in the Arts with UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors Ivonne A-Baki and Esther Coopersmith, Jordanian Ambassador to UNESCO Dina Kawar, Madame Hedva Ser and David Ostroff of the U.S. Mission to UNESCO, at Notti Bianche in Washington, D.C.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)


PRESS BRIEFING SCHEDULE

1:00 p.m. Daily Press Briefing.

August 31, 2010, Tuesday, VP Biden's schedule

From: http://www.whitehouse.gov/schedule/vice-president

No public schedule.

Aug 31, 2010, Tuesday. President Obama's schedule

From: http://www.whitehouse.gov/schedule/president

President flies to Texas, to honor the troops returning from Iraq, then returns to the White House the same day.

8:30 am The President departs the White House en route Andrews Air Force Base
South Lawn
Open Press

8:45 am The President departs Andrews Air Force Base en route El Paso, Texas
Andrews Air Force Base
Travel Pool Coverage

12:30 pm The President arrives in El Paso, Texas
Local Event Time: 10:30 AM MDT
Biggs Army Airfield
Open Press

1:10 pm The President meets with troops
Local Event Time: 11:10 AM MDT
Fort Bliss Army Base
Travel Pool Coverage

2:20 pm The President departs El Paso, Texas en route Andrews Air Force Base
Local Event Time: 12:20 PM MDT
Biggs Army Airfield
Travel Pool Spray

5:55 pm The President arrives at Andrews Air Force Base
Andrews Air Force Base
Travel Pool Coverage

6:10 pm The President arrives at the White House
South Lawn
Open Press

8:00 pm The President addresses the nation
Oval Office
Pooled Press

Monday, August 30, 2010

The American Culture of Incompence: AP IMPACT: US wasted billions in rebuilding Iraq

We were supposed to be building Iraq...and yet we didn't coordinate with them, didn't ask what they needed...as opposed to what we wanted to give them.

Can't blame Obama for the ridiculous wastes of money detailed below.

AP IMPACT: US wasted billions in rebuilding Iraq

KHAN BANI SAAD, Iraq – A $40 million prison sits in the desert north of Baghdad, empty. A $165 million children's hospital goes unused in the south. A $100 million waste water treatment system in Fallujah has cost three times more than projected, yet sewage still runs through the streets

As the U.S. draws down in Iraq, it is leaving behind hundreds of abandoned or incomplete projects. More than $5 billion in American taxpayer funds has been wasted — more than 10 percent of the some $50 billion the U.S. has spent on reconstruction in Iraq, according to audits from a U.S. watchdog agency.

That amount is likely an underestimate, based on an analysis of more than 300 reports by auditors with the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction. And it does not take into account security costs, which have run almost 17 percent for some projects.

There are success stories. Hundreds of police stations, border forts and government buildings have been built, Iraqi security forces have improved after years of training, and a deep water port at the southern oil hub of Umm Qasr has been restored.

Even completed projects for the most part fell far short of original goals, according to an Associated Press review of hundreds of audits and investigations and visits to several sites. And the verdict is still out on whether the program reached its goal of generating Iraqi good will toward the United States instead of the insurgents.

[Related: Iraqis say war 'not ending']

Col. Jon Christensen, who took over as commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region District this summer, said the federal agency has completed more than 4,800 projects and is rushing to finish 233 more. Some 595 projects have been terminated, mostly for security reasons.

Christensen acknowledged that mistakes have been made. But he said steps have been taken to fix them, and the success of the program will depend ultimately on the Iraqis — who have complained that they were not consulted on projects to start with.

"There's only so much we could do," Christensen said. "A lot of it comes down to them taking ownership of it."

The reconstruction program in Iraq has been troubled since its birth shortly after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. The U.S. was forced to scale back many projects even as they spiked in cost, sometimes to more than double or triple initial projections.

As part of the so-called surge strategy, the military in 2007 shifted its focus to protecting Iraqis and winning their trust. American soldiers found themselves hiring contractors to paint schools, refurbish pools and oversee neighborhood water distribution centers. The $3.6 billion Commander's Emergency Response Program provided military units with ready cash for projects, and paid for Sunni fighters who agreed to turn against al-Qaida in Iraq for a monthly salary.

But sometimes civilian and military reconstruction efforts were poorly coordinated and overlapped.

Iraqis can see one of the most egregious examples of waste as they drive north from Baghdad to Khan Bani Saad. A prison rises from the desert, complete with more than two dozen guard towers and surrounded by high concrete walls. But the only signs of life during a recent visit were a guard shack on the entry road and two farmers tending a nearby field.

In March 2004, the Corps of Engineers awarded a $40 million contract to global construction and engineering firm Parsons Corp. to design and build a prison for 3,600 inmates, along with educational and vocational facilities. Work was set to finish in November 2005.

But violence was escalating in the area, home to a volatile mix of Sunni and Shiite extremists. The project started six months late and continued to fall behind schedule, according to a report by the inspector general.

The U.S. government pulled the plug on Parsons in June 2006, citing "continued schedule slips and ... massive cost overruns," but later awarded three more contracts to other companies. Pasadena, Calif.-based Parsons said it did its best under difficult and violent circumstances.

Citing security concerns, the U.S. finally abandoned the project in June 2007 and handed over the unfinished facility to Iraq's Justice Ministry. The ministry refused to "complete, occupy or provide security" for it, according to the report. More than $1.2 million in unused construction material also was abandoned due to fears of violence.

The inspector general recommended another use be found for the partially finished buildings inside the dusty compound. But three years later, piles of bricks and barbed wire lie around, and tumbleweed is growing in the caked sand.

"It will never hold a single Iraqi prisoner," said inspector general Stuart Bowen, who has overseen the reconstruction effort since it started. "Forty million dollars wasted in the desert."

Another problem was coordination with the Iraqis, who have complained they weren't consulted and often ended up paying to complete unfinished facilities they didn't want in the first place.

"Initially when we came in ... we didn't collaborate as much as we should have with the correct people and figure out what their needs were," Christensen said. He stressed that Iraqis are now closely involved in all projects.

[Related: Obama nears pivotal moment in Middle East]

One clinic was handed over to local authorities without a staircase, said Shaymaa Mohammed Amin, the head of the Diyala provincial reconstruction and development committee.

"We were almost forced to take them," she said during an interview at the heavily fortified local government building in the provincial capital of Baqouba. "Generally speaking, they were below our expectations. Huge funds were wasted and they would not have been wasted if plans had been clear from the beginning."

As an example, she cited a date honey factory that was started despite a more pressing need for schools and vital infrastructure. She said some schools were left without paint or chalkboards, and needed renovations.

"We ended up paying twice," she said.

In some cases, Iraqi ministries have refused to take on the responsibility for U.S.-funded programs, forcing the Americans to leave abandoned buildings littering the landscape.

"The area of waste I'm most concerned about in the entire program is the waste that might occur after completed projects are handed over to the Iraqis," Bowen said.

The U.S. military pinned great hopes on a $5.7 million convention center inside the tightly secured Baghdad International Airport compound, as part of a commercial hub aimed at attracting foreign investors. A few events were held at the sprawling complex, including a three-day energy conference that drew oil executives from as far away as Russia and Japan in 2008, which the U.S. military claimed generated $1 million in revenues.

But the contracts awarded for the halls did not include requirements to connect them to the main power supply. The convention center, still requiring significant work, was transferred to the Iraqi government "as is" on Jan. 20, according to an audit by the inspector general's office.

The buildings have since fallen into disrepair, and dozens of boxes of fluorescent lightbulbs and other equipment disappeared from the site. Light poles outside have toppled over and the glass facade is missing from large sections of the abandoned buildings.

Waste also came from trying to run projects while literally under fire.

The Americans committed to rebuilding the former Sunni insurgent stronghold of Fallujah after it was destroyed in major offensives in 2004. The U.S. awarded an initial contract for a new waste water treatment system to FluorAMEC of Greenville, S.C. — just three months after four American private security contractors were savagely attacked. The charred and mutilated remains of two of them were strung from a bridge in the city.

An audit concluded that it was unrealistic for the U.S. "to believe FluorAMEC could even begin construction, let alone complete the project, while fierce fighting occurred daily." The report also pointed out repeated redesigns of the project, and financial and contracting problems.

[Video: Terror acts coming after troop withdrawal?]

The Fallujah waste water treatment system is nearly complete — four years past the deadline, at a cost of more than three times the original $32.5 million estimate. It has been scaled back to serve just a third of the population, and Iraqi officials said it still lacks connections to houses and a pipe to join neighborhood tanks up with the treatment plant.

Desperate residents, meanwhile, have begun dumping their sewage in the tanks, causing foul odors and running the risk of seepage, according to the head of Fallujah's municipal council, Sheik Hameed Ahmed Hashim.

"It isn't appropriate for the Americans to give the city these services without completing these minor details," Hashim said. "We were able to wipe out part of the memories of the Fallujah battles through this and other projects. ... If they leave the project as it is, I think their reputation will be damaged."

By contrast, the Basra children's hospital — one of the largest projects undertaken by the U.S. in Iraq — looks like a shining success story, with gardeners tending manicured lawns in preparation for its opening. But that opening has been repeatedly delayed, most recently for a lack of electricity.

The construction of a "state of the art" pediatric specialist hospital with a cancer unit was projected to be completed by December 2005 for about $50 million. By last year, the cost had soared above $165 million, including more than $100 million in U.S. funds, and the equipment was dated, according to an auditors' report.

Investigators blamed the delays on unrealistic timeframes, poor soil conditions, multiple partners and funding sources and security problems at the site, including the murder of 24 workers. Bechtel, the project contractor, was removed because of monthslong delays blamed on poor subcontractor performance and limited oversight, the special inspector general's office said. A Bechtel spokeswoman, Michelle Allen, said the company had recommended in 2006 that work on the hospital be put on hold because of the "intolerable security situation."

In an acknowledgment that they weren't getting exactly what they hoped for, Iraqi officials insisted the label "state of the art" be removed from a memorandum of understanding giving them the facility. It was described as a "modern pediatric hospital."

Hospital director Kadhim Fahad said construction has been completed and the electricity issue resolved.

"The opening will take place soon, God willing," he said.

Residents are pleased with the outcome. One, Ghassan Kadhim, said: "It is the duty of the Americans to do such projects because they were the ones who inflicted harm on people."

Cowardly violence against Muslims in Murfeesboro

I don't want to see Islam continue to expand in the US, and we need to keep an eye on Islam immigrants in countries throughout the Western world to see exactly how well they do, or do not, assimilate. We can then take this news and explain the facts to people who dismiss our fears of Islam as Islamophobia. [The news to date in those other countries is not good.]

Having said that, it's ridiculous and only harming their own cause for cowardly bits of humanity to go around committing arson against mosque construction sites, as is happening in Murfeesboro. We, Americans, are supposed to be better than this. Only crooks and vermin commit arson, or crimes of a like nature, under cover of night.

http://www.examiner.com/christian-worldview-in-national/arson-likely-at-tennessee-mosque-site
Arson likely at Tennessee Mosque Site
Bill Belew, Christian Worldview Examiner
"A fire at the future site of a mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is under investigation but 'you can reasonably make the assumption' that it was arson, an FBI spokesman told CNN Sunday.

"'The evidence is being analyzed to see what the origin of the fire was,' Keith Moses, an assistant special agent with the FBI in Nashville, told CNN Sunday. 'We have to follow the facts.?'""

The AP said, "American Muslim leaders say the furor over the building of a mosque near ground zero has emboldened opposition groups to resist new mosques elsewhere.

"Some say they oppose them because of infrastructure and traffic problems. Others have implied that the mosque would be a haven for terrorists.

"The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro's planned expansion has drawn increasingly vehement opposition from the community in recent weeks. The proposed center on 15 acres would serve some 250 families."

Jesus said "your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword." Violence like this is not to be a first resort. Muslims have First Amendment rights just as to Christians. Christians are responsible to present the Gospel to Muslims in a kind and loving manner. Arson is cruel and hateful.

These arsonists need repent and learn the Lord's maxim "Love your neighbor as yourself."

VP Biden in Iraq

The Vice President's schedule, on the official government website, has "No public events" scheduled for today. Yet the newspapers are saying that Biden is now in Iraq.

This is annoying, as frankly the person who does the official web schedules for the VP seems to be doing him a disservice. We should have been alerted, surely, when Biden took off to fly to Iraq? It just makes me wonder how much else Biden is doing on days when his schedule says "No public events." I assumed it meant he wasn't doing anything, except putzing around the Senate, but perhaps he's doing things after all.

Biden in Iraq to Mark End of U.S. Combat Mission

Aug. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Iraq today to participate in a ceremony marking the end of the U.S. combat mission there and to push Iraqi leaders to break their political stalemate, according to a White House statement.

President Barack Obama will give an Oval Office address tomorrow on the U.S. role in Iraq as American forces in the country have dropped below 50,000 from about 144,000 at the beginning of the year. All U.S. troops are scheduled to be withdrawn from the country by the end of next year.

This is Biden’s sixth visit to Iraq as vice president. While there, he will meet with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and other officials “to urge Iraqi leaders to conclude negotiations on the formation of a new government,” the statement said.

Iraqis are facing political uncertainty stemming from a five-month deadlock over the formation of a new government following March 7 parliamentary elections and a renewal in violence as the U.S. completes the pullout of its combat forces.

Sept. 1 marks the official transition of U.S. operations in Iraq from combat to an “advise and assist” role of training Iraqi forces, protecting American interests and conducting counterterrorism operations.

Campaign Promise

Obama campaigned on a promise to end the U.S. combat role in Iraq, which has lasted since the March 2003 invasion to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein and disarm the country of biological and chemical weapons, although no such weapons were found.

The war has cost $750 billion and the lives of more than 4,400 U.S. soldiers. Almost 32,000 U.S. personnel have been wounded.

Biden last visited Iraq in July when he urged Iraqi leaders to resolve their political differences and speed up the formation of a new government.

Obama tomorrow will visit troops at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, the nation’s second-largest military base, before giving the televised address to the nation.

White House spokesman Bill Burton said Obama is commemorating a “milepost” in the conflict as the U.S. mission changes.

With tens of thousands of U.S. troops remaining in the country, Obama has said violence will not stop and many Americans will remain in harm’s way.

“There are still those with bombs and bullets who will try to stop Iraq’s progress,” the president said in Atlanta to Disabled American Veterans on Aug. 2. “The hard truth is we have not seen the end of American sacrifice in Iraq.”

--Editors: Joe Sobczyk, Bill Schmick

Mark Belling guest-host Monday

Rush Limbaugh will be on vacation until after Labor Day.

Mark Belling will be guest host on Monday and Tuesday.

From Wikipedia:

Mark Belling (born July 4, 1956, in Kaukauna, Wisconsin) is a radio talk show host for 1130 WISN in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Belling hosts a three-hour weekday radio program, The Mark Belling Late Afternoon Show, which is regularly rated No. 1 for the afternoon-drive time slot. He is also a weekly columnist for many local newspapers including the Milwaukee Post, Waukesha Freeman, West Bend Daily News and Hometown Publications. Belling occasionally serves as a substitute for national conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh. Belling previously hosted a Sunday-morning television panel, Belling and Company, on WISN-TV (Channel 12) until 2000, when it moved to WDJT (Channel 58). The program was discontinued in 2005 reportedly due to editorial conflicts between Belling and the management of WDJT owner Weigel Broadcasting.

A native of Wisconsin's Fox Valley, Belling is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse. He has been with WISN since March 1989. Before joining WISN he was news and program director of WTDY-AM in Madison, Wisconsin, where he began his talk radio career. Belling also served as a radio news director in Springfield, Illinois; St. Joseph, Michigan; Benton Harbor, Michigan; and Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Radio Program
Belling discusses a wide variety of topics on his program, including Milwaukee area politics, Wisconsin politics, and national issues. Belling tends to lean to the right politically, though he has been known to frequently criticize local and national Republicans for straying from conservative principles. Throughout the 2008 presidential campaign, Belling regularly proclaimed his disdain for Republican candidate John McCain, though eventually he sided with McCain over Democratic candidate Barack Obama.

Belling also regularly discusses sports on his program, including football, baseball, basketball, golf, NASCAR and Formula One racing. Each year Belling makes numerous sports picks, often including the audience and show producer Paul Kronforst. Each week during the football season, Belling, Kronforst, and an audience member make NFL and college football picks. He also discusses his picks for the NCAA college basketball playoffs and horse racing's Triple Crown. In 2006 Belling correctly selected Barbaro as the winner of the Kentucky Derby.

Belling is also a music fan, often discussing it on the show. He has been known to play entire songs on the air, often taking credit for "discovering" them for his audience. His love of country music is especially prevalent, as he previously worked as a disc jockey at a country station. Some of his favorite current recording artists include Alanis Morissette, Black Eyed Peas, The Eagles, Fountains of Wayne, and Bruce Springsteen. The theme song for the Mark Belling Late Afternoon Show is an instrumental version of Lost in the Shadows by Lou Gramm from The Lost Boys (soundtrack).

In 2004 the host was briefly removed from the air following his use of an ethnic slur. He refused to talk further about it and continued to receive high ratings. The station and Clear Channel stuck by him. Faced with no further response from the host or company, the controversy eventually died down.

Other Journalism
In addition to his daily three-hour radio program, Belling is frequently asked to guest-host Rush Limbaugh's prestigious national radio program. When doing so, WISN usually broadcasts this program twice rather than have someone fill in for Mark due to his popularity.

Mark writes a weekly op-ed column for the Waukesha Freeman. It usually covers local politics or scandals but occasionally remarks on national headlines and even sports.

Although Mark claims not to be a journalist, he has broken innumerable stories, usually covering Wisconsin politics. Some headline news broken by Mark includes the announcement the 2017 PGA tour would be at Erin Hills, that Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle was paid money by an attorney days before being hired as the Governor's legal counsel in a pay to play scheme , Milwaukee Police Chief Edward A. Flynn was involved in an affair with a local journalist, that when Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett violated his own city's occupancy laws for years the agency he runs never fined him for the violations.

Mark also maintains a website which includes a podcast of his daily show, his favorite websites for news, and important news articles including those Mark reports on exclusively.

Awards
Mark is a 2001 Marconi award recipient for best medium-market radio personality, a three-time Milwaukee Press Club winner for best radio editorial, has twice won the Radio-Television News Directors Association award for best investigative reporting in the Midwest, and was a 1986 finalist for "Journalist of the Year" in Illinois as awarded by United Press International. Belling also was named one of the Top 100 Heavy Talkers—the most influential talk show hosts in America—by Talkers Magazine, an industry publication
.

Aug 30, 2010, Monday, Sos Clinton's schedule

From

SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

Secretary Clinton has no public appointments.


DEPUTY SECRETARY JAMES STEINBERG

9:45 a.m. Deputy Secretary Steinberg meets with UK Home Secretary Theresa May, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

1:30 p.m. Deputy Secretary Steinberg attends a meeting at the White House.
(MEDIA TO BE DETERMINED BY WHITE HOUSE)

3:45 p.m. Deputy Secretary Steinberg attends a meeting at the White House.
(MEDIA TO BE DETERMINED BY WHITE HOUSE)


USAID ADMINISTRATOR RAJIV SHAH

9:15 a.m. Administrator Shah meets with the Assistant Secretaries, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)


UNDER SECRETARY FOR ECONOMIC, ENERGY AND AGRICULTURAL AFFAIRS ROBERT HORMATS

7:30 a.m. Under Secretary Hormats addresses a delegation of Chinese leaders from Guangdong Province participating in the Yale School of Management Leadership Program, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

12:30 p.m. Under Secretary Hormats, Under Secretary Otero and Assistant Secretary Fernandez meet with Deputy Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Europe and Eurasia Christopher Smart, in Washington, D.C.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

2:00 p.m. Under Secretary Hormats chairs the Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) Principals’ Selection Committee meeting, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

7:30 p.m. Under Secretary Hormats attends a dinner in honor of French Economic Advisor Lionel Stoleru, at the French Ambassador’s Residence.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)


UNDER SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS JUDITH MCHALE

Under Secretary McHale travels to Argentina, Uruguay and Chile through September 2 to participate in Council of the Americas Conferences and to engage in people-to-people outreach activities. For more information, click here.


UNDER SECRETARY FOR DEMOCRACY AND GLOBAL AFFAIRS MARIA OTERO

9:30 a.m. Under Secretary Otero meets with Elizabeth Littlefield, President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

10:30 a.m. Under Secretary Otero meets with Mort Halperin of the Open Society Institute, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

12:30 p.m. Under Secretary Otero, Under Secretary Hormats and Assistant Secretary Fernandez meet with Deputy Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Europe and Eurasia Christopher Smart, in Washington, D.C.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

3:00 p.m. Under Secretary Maria Otero presides over the swearing-in ceremony for Ambassador to Zambia Mark Storella, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)


ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIAN AFFAIRS ROBERT BLAKE

Assistant Secretary Blake travels to Dushanbe, Tajikistan and Moscow, Russia through September 3. For more information, click here.


ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR ECONOMIC, ENERGY AND BUSINESS AFFAIRS JOSE FERNANDEZ

12:30 p.m. Assistant Secretary Fernandez, Under Secretary Hormats and Under Secretary Otero meet with Deputy Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Europe and Eurasia Christopher Smart, in Washington, D.C.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

4:30 p.m. Assistant Secretary Fernandez meets with Japanese Deputy Director General for Economic Affairs Kenji Hiramatsu, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)


ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR VERIFICATION, COMPLIANCE AND IMPLEMENTATION ROSE GOTTEMOELLER

1:15 p.m. Assistant Secretary Gottemoeller meets with Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Ahmet Uzumcu, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)


ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AFFAIRS DAVID JOHNSON

Assistant Secretary Johnson travels to Mexico through September 1 to meet with senior leaders of the Mexican government to demonstrate U.S. support and shared commitment to Mexico’s efforts to counter the drug trade, reduce violence, and reestablish a culture of lawfulness.


ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR OCEANS AND INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL AND SCIENTIFIC AFFAIRS KERRI-ANN JONES

Assistant Secretary Jones attends the 5th Bled Strategic Forum, in Bled, Slovenia and participates in a Forum panel discussion on “The Water Challenge.”


ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR POLITICAL-MILITARY AFFAIRS ANDREW SHAPIRO

Assistant Secretary Shapiro participates in negotiations within the framework of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) through September 2, in Geneva, Switzerland.


ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS ANN STOCK

3:00 p.m. Assistant Secretary Stock delivers remarks to participants in the first International Visitor Leadership Program for alumni association leaders, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)


AMBASSADOR-AT-LARGE FOR GLOBAL WOMEN’S ISSUES MELANNE VERVEER

9:15 a.m. Ambassador Melanne Verveer meets with UK Home Secretary Theresa May, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)




PRESS BRIEFING SCHEDULE

1:00 p.m. Daniel Feldman, Deputy to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Carol Chan, Deputy Director for USAID’s DCHA (Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance) will brief the press on flood relief efforts in Pakistan. This special briefing is on-the-record, on-camera, and will take place in the U.S. Department of State Press Briefing Room (Room 2209).



The Daily Press Briefing with Assistant Secretary Philip J. Crowley will follow the special briefing.

Aug 30, 2010, Monday. MIchael Savage headlines

The Michael Savage website is a news aggregate website. Sometimes the headlines there are rewritten in a more harsh manner, but the news itself comes from major sources.

Mosque developers are tax deadbeats
(New York Post) Sharif El-Gamal, the leading organizer behind the mosque and community center near Ground Zero, owes $224,270.77 in back property tax on the site, city records show ...

'Undeclared war' in Venezuela
(Associated Press) Opponents of Hugo Chavez marched through Caracas to protest rampant violence that claims thousands of lives each year in Venezuela and has been worsening in the past decade ...

Major fuel buy: Could Israel be preparing for war?
(WorldNetDaily) Increasing speculation it may be preparing for a military assault on Iran or a regional war, Israel has placed its largest order of military fuel with the U.S. on record ...

'May God smite them with the plague,' says elder rabbi
(Jerusalem Post) Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu rushed to distance himself and his government from Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s death wish for PA President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian people ...

Ground Zero mosque agitator has history of arrests
(New York Daily News) Years before his latest real-estate project ignited an uproar, Sharif El-Gamal racked up at least seven run-ins with the law, including a bust for patronizing a prostitute ...

Obama on dollar bill?
(San Francisco Chronicle) When San Francisco graphic artist Rob Duncan redesigned the dollar bill and replaced George Washington with Barack Obama, he got some angry calls ...

White House: No mosque talk at Obama-Bloomberg golf outing
(New York Post) "Bloomberg can really help Obama fend off the crazy Tea Party types. He's an independent, and he's the most well-known mayor in the country" ...

DoD rejects states' military voter plans
(Fox News) Waivers granted to Democrat-leaning Delaware, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Washington ...

German banker says Muslims won't integrate
(Associated Press) Thilo Sarrazin of the German Bundesbank came under fire for saying that "all Jews share the same gene." He also said Muslim immigrants across Europe were not capable of integrating ...

Jeremiah Wright slams those who think Obama is Muslim
(Associated Press) The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, President Barack Obama's controversial former pastor, accused people who wrongly believe Obama is Muslim of catering to political enemies ...

Iraq on highest alert for terror attacks
(Associated Press) Iraq's prime minister put his nation on its highest level of alert for terror attacks, warning of plots to sow fear and chaos as the U.S. combat mission in the country formally ends on Tuesday ...

Gallup: Obama's approval highest among Muslims
(CNSNews.com) 78% rating higher than among any other religious category reported by the poll ...

Gun owners dodge bullet ban
(Washington Times) Leftist attempt to undermine Second Amendment misses the mark ...

Gypsies expelled from France
(Associated Press) French plain clothes police officer checks the papers of a Romanian gypsy woman at squatters' camp in Aix-en- Provence, southern France ...

Cab stab suspect a drunk,
not a bigot, say pals
(New York Daily News) "He's not a monster. He doesn't hate Muslim people. He just blacks out and is completely irrational" ...

Migrants turn to the sea to enter U.S. illegally
(Associated Press) The speedboat is about three miles offshore when a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent cuts the engine to drift on the current in quiet darkness ...

Volcano erupts after 400 years of silence
(Associated Press) A volcano in western Indonesia spewed hot lava and sand high into the sky early in its first eruption in 400 years ...

Media glorify pill-popping, drunk skank as 'tragic'
(New York Daily News) She had the face of an angel - but Nicole John lived the life of a wild child obsessed with booze, pills and partying until she blacked out ...

Nuns host gnarly surfing contest
(New York Post) Surf's up, Sister! Sister James Dolores, 73, gives her best surfer-girl pose in Stone Harbor, NJ, where her Pennsylvania convent owns a beachfront retreat called Villa Maria by the Sea ...

More million-dollar homes falling to foreclosure
(Los Angeles Times) The number of homes in the $1-million-and-up slice of the market that have become bank owned has tripled during the last three years in Los Angeles County ...

104-year-old heiress' sad, secret life
(New York Post) Born in the waning years of the Gilded Age, Huguette Clark has lived like a hermit for more than half a century and has spent much of the past two decades secluded in a hospital ...

What is Keynsian economics, pt 3

From Wikpedia:

Keynes and the Classics
Keynes sought to distinguish his theories from and oppose them to "classical economics," by which he meant the economic theories of David Ricardo and his followers, including John Stuart Mill, Alfred Marshall, Francis Ysidro Edgeworth, and Arthur Cecil Pigou. A central tenet of the classical view, known as Say's law, states that "supply creates its own demand". Say's Law can be interpreted in two ways. First, the claim that the total value of output is equal to the sum of income earned in production is a result of a national income accounting identity, and is therefore indisputable. A second and stronger claim, however, that the "costs of output are always covered in the aggregate by the sale-proceeds resulting from demand" depends on how consumption and saving are linked to production and investment. In particular, Keynes argued that the second, strong form of Say's Law only holds if increases in individual savings exactly match an increase in aggregate investment.

Keynes sought to develop a theory that would explain determinants of saving, consumption, investment and production. In that theory, the interaction of aggregate demand and aggregate supply determines the level of output and employment in the economy.

Because of what he considered the failure of the “Classical Theory” in the 1930s, Keynes firmly objects to its main theory—adjustments in prices would automatically make demand tend to the full employment level.

Neo-classical theory supports that the two main costs that shift demand and supply are labor and money. Through the distribution of the monetary policy, demand and supply can be adjusted. If there were more labor than demand for it, wages would fall until hiring began again. If there was too much saving, and not enough consumption, then interest rates would fall until people either cut their savings rate or started borrowing.

Wages and spending
During the Great Depression, the classical theory defined economic collapse as simply a lost incentive to produce, and the mass unemployment as a result of high and rigid real wages.

To Keynes, the determination of wages is more complicated. First, he argued that it is not real but nominal wages that are set in negotiations between employers and workers, as opposed to a barter relationship. Second, nominal wage cuts would be difficult to put into effect because of laws and wage contracts. Even classical economists admitted that these exist; unlike Keynes, they advocated abolishing minimum wages, unions, and long-term contracts, increasing labor-market flexibility. However, to Keynes, people will resist nominal wage reductions, even without unions, until they see other wages falling and a general fall of prices.

He also argued that to boost employment, real wages had to go down: nominal wages would have to fall more than prices. However, doing so would reduce consumer demand, so that the aggregate demand for goods would drop. This would in turn reduce business sales revenues and expected profits. Investment in new plants and equipment—perhaps already discouraged by previous excesses—would then become more risky, less likely. Instead of raising business expectations, wage cuts could make matters much worse.

Further, if wages and prices were falling, people would start to expect them to fall. This could make the economy spiral downward as those who had money would simply wait as falling prices made it more valuable—rather than spending. As Irving Fisher argued in 1933, in his Debt-Deflation Theory of Great Depressions, deflation (falling prices) can make a depression deeper as falling prices and wages made pre-existing nominal debts more valuable in real terms.

Aug 30, 2010, Monday, VP Biden's Schedule

From: http://www.whitehouse.gov/schedule/vice-president

No public schedule.

Aug 30, 2010, Monday, President Obama's schedule

From: http://www.whitehouse.gov/schedule/president

10:30 am The President meets with senior advisors
Oval Office
Closed Press

11:00 am The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
Oval Office
Closed Press

12:05 pm The President receives the Economic Daily Briefing
Oval Office
Pool Spray at the Bottom

1:30 pm Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs
James S. Brady Briefing Room
Open Press

30 Aug, 2010, Monday, Yahoo news headlines

At 9.34 am eastern time

Top stories
--Growing Hurricane Earl threatens north Caribbean (AP)
AP - Hurricane Earl lashed the northeastern Caribbean with heavy rain and strong winds Monday, causing flooding in parts of the low-lying Leeward Islands and emptying the streets and beaches as people waited out the storm.
--Consumer spending rises 0.4 percent in July (AP)
--New video shows emotional trapped Chilean miners (AP)
--War and peace: Obama nears pivotal Mideast moment (AP)
--DOJ's elite Public Integrity unit gets new leader (AP)
--Russian nursing home fire kills 9 people (AP)

Buzz
--Emmys Blog | 0 Votes
--Tiger Woods: "I'm looking forward to next week." | 0 Votes
--2010 Red Carpet Arrivals | 0 Votes
--National Guard to arrive at Arizona-Mexico border | 0 Votes
--Obama says he isn't worried about Muslim rumors (AP) | 0 Votes
--Mexico celebrates its unique street sounds this week | 0 Votes

Local News Phoenix
--Arizona HOAs turn to hardball tactics; critics call system inequitable
HOAs are not accepting a resident's foreclosure as an excuse when it comes to collecting unpaid dues.
--Mexico celebrates sounds of daily life
A nation celebrates the special noises of the street. Full Story »
--Buz Mills raising funds for sheriffs' SB 1070 defense
Former Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate and millionaire businessman Buz Mills is taking on a new challenge. He's chairing the Border Sheriffs, a new non-profit organization set up to raise private funds to cover sheriffs' legal fees in the battle over Senate Bill 1070.
--Valley city websites using online translation programs
Several Valley cities are turning to online translation programs to give their websites a global flavor. But some critics say computer translation, while cheap, is often flawed, providing literal word translations instead of direct meaning.
--Woman sexually assaulted at Phoenix restaurant
Attacker followed her into restroom, police report.

Entertainment
--Split personality for Emmy Awards (AP)
AP - Emmy had a split personality this year. Television's annual awards show honored hot new broadcast comedies "Modern Family" and "Glee," while sticking with more familiar favorites from cable in drama.
--Starry, starry night at post-Emmys Governors Ball (AP)
--An open mic, in 140-characters or less (AP)
--Sorry, Critics: January Jones Thought Emmy Dress Was "Fantastic" (omg!)
--A few top-notch tweets from comedians (AP)
--Movies dominate stage for upcoming Broadway season (AP)

Sports
--Ramirez expected to join White Sox (AP)
--Kuchar wins Barclays, takes FedEx lead (AP)
--Durant, Love give US 2-0 start at worlds (AP)
--Shanahan unsure on McNabb for opener (AP)
--Monty adds Molinari, Harrington, Donald (AP)
--Braves win on walkoff HR after review (AP)

World News
--New video shows emotional trapped Chilean miners (AP)
AP - A new video of 33 men trapped in a mine under Chile's Atacama Desert shows them sending greetings to their families, talking about how they are doing better since receiving food and breaking into tears as they talk about loved ones.
--Chinese state TV confirms visit by NKorea's Kim (AP)
--Gunman kills 6, wounds 14 others in Slovakia (AP)
--Indonesian volcano erupts again, spewing hot ash (AP)
--Putin belittles Russia's political opposition (AP)
--Alleged Cricket Fraud Leaves Pakistan Shocked, Outraged (Time.com)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lost Art of Thinking #18: Develop humility

Dumbth: The Lost Art of Thinking Rule #18: Develop the old fashioned virtue of humility

The virtue of humility has important relevance in the context of any serious attempt to improve our intelligence. The reason for this is that many of the things upon which we most fervently insist involve only probabilities, not certainties. And, of course, regarding some of our opinions and opinions, we are simply mistaken. Therefore, we must be less opinionated, less dogmatic, more willing to "listen to reason" and the dictates of evidence.

William Barnes of Alabama bio



Barnes has no entry at Wikipedia.

From his official website: http://www.williamgbarnes.com/about/

PROFESSIONAL PROFILE
Highly motivated self-starter with extensive quality experience in government, business and law: human resources policies, procedures and practices; personnel and management recruitment, selection, development and evaluation; compensation; employee/employer relations, arbitration management and organization development. Committed to building organizations that value and practices diversity, affirmative action, and equal opportunity, providing innovative leadership and vision, management skill and insight and an adroit ability to manage relationships across a spectrum of institutions and intellectual disciplines.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
1999-Present
William G. Barnes & Associates, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Attorney and Counselor of Law, Birmingham, AL. 35215-3623
Managing attorney engaged in the practice of criminal and civil law within the State of Alabama in State and Federal Courts. Trial lawyer of criminal defendants under prosecution within Alabama and Federal circuits; trial prosecution and defense of civil litigation actions within Alabama and Federal judicial circuits.

Member, United States Supreme Court Bar
Member, 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
Member, Federal Bar Northern District of Alabama
Member, Federal Bar Middle District of Alabama
Member, Alabama State Bar
Member, American Bar Association
Member, Birmingham Bar Association
Member, Greater Birmingham Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
1998-1999
William G. Barnes & Associates, Inc. Birmingham, AL. 35215-4060
Principal Business Consultant
Principal consultant to business entities in organizational development and operations; personnel recruitment, selection, management, employee and management training; compensation, benefits analysis and administration; operations and personnel safety; wage, salary, claims and administration; contract negotiations; legalities, grievance and arbitration management; sales and marketing. Conducted research of organizational structure and operations, identify problems and make recommendations to directors and senior management for organizational development actions.

1990-1998
U.S. Treasury Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Glynco, GA. 31524
Research Analyst and Legal Instructor
(Retired upon completion of 28 years Federal Service)

1994-1998
Brenau University, Gainesville, GA,
Adjunct Professor

Adjunct faculty member teaching academic courses in business administration, human resources management, psychology, organization development and law, for senior and graduate- level college students.

1978-1990
U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Headquarters, Fort Eustis, VA. 23666

Senior Personnel Psychologist
Designed, developed, managed enlisted and officer human resources training and testing for 300,000 army personnel worldwide. Designed and managed development, contracting for publication, printing, distribution, administration, scoring, and reporting of the Army’s skill qualification testing and evaluation program. Transfer to Ft. McClellan, Alabama, 1985 for career enhancement and attend law school.

1981-1984
Embry – Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL

Adjunct Professor
Faculty member conducting academic instruction to senior-level college students in business and human resources management science.

1973-1977
U.S. Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, VA. 23690
Weapons and Munitions Manufacturing and Facilities Engineering and Maintenance

1967-1971
United States Air Force
Reciprocating Engine Aircraft
C-118 and C-7A Caribou Aircraft
Vietnam combat veteran, Cam Ranh Bay AFB, Republic of Vietnam
EDUCATION
LL.M. – Master of Laws; Atlanta Law School, Atlanta, GA. 1991
J.D., – Juris Doctor; Birmingham School of Law, Birmingham, AL. 1985
M.A. – Education/Human Resource Development/Organizational Psychology;
George Washington University, Washington, D.C., 1978
B.S. – Business Administration/Psychology;
George Washington University, Washington, D.C., 1975
A.A. – Liberal Arts
George Washington University, Washington, D.C. 1974

Nov 2, 2010 Senate election bios: Richard Craig Shelby of Alabama


From Wikipedia:

Richard Craig Shelby (born May 6, 1934) is the senior U.S. Senator from Alabama. Originally elected to the Senate as a Democrat, Shelby switched to the Republican Party in 1994 when it gained the majority in Congress.

In November, Shelby will face Democratic nominee William Barnes, an attorney and former U.S. Army psychologist.

Four-term Republican Sen. Shelby is expected to win by a large margin in red-state Alabama.

Early life
Shelby was born in Birmingham, Alabama, the son of Alice L. (née Skinner) and Ozie Houston Shelby.[1] He attended the University of Alabama, receiving an undergraduate degree in 1957 and a Juris Doctor in 1963.

Shelby is a member of the American Bar Association and Alabama State Bar, as well as the American Judicature Society, Alabama Law Institute, Delta Chi Fraternity, and Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity.

Shelby currently lives in Tuscaloosa with his wife, Annette Nevin Shelby. They have two sons, Richard Jr., and Claude Nevin.

Early career
Shelby was a city prosecutor in Tuscaloosa, Alabama from 1963 to 1971. From 1966 to 1970, he was a U.S. Magistrate for the Northern District of Alabama; from 1969 to 1971, Shelby was a Special Assistant State Attorney General.

Shelby began his legislative career as a member of the Alabama Senate in 1970, serving until 1978, when he was elected to the House of Representatives from the Tuscaloosa-based 7th District. He was reelected three times. He was one of the more conservative Democrats in Congress, and a member of the boll weevils, a group of moderate to conservative leaning Democrats who often worked with Republican President Ronald Reagan on defense issues.

U.S. Senate
Elections

In 1986, Shelby won the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat held by Republican Jeremiah Denton, the first Republican elected to the Senate from Alabama since Reconstruction. He won a very close race as the Democrats regained control of the Senate. He was easily re-elected in 1992 even as Bill Clinton lost Alabama's electoral votes.

On November 9, 1994, Shelby switched his party affiliation to Republican, one day after the Republicans won control of both houses in the midterm elections, giving the Republicans a 53-47 majority in the Senate. He won his first full term as a Republican in 1998 by a large margin, and faced no significant opposition in 2004.

Shelby remains popular in Alabama. A September 2009 poll showed he had a 58% approval rating, with 35% disapproving.

Tenure
1980s

In 1987, Shelby opposed Reagan's nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court; a move attributed to lobbying by Alabama African-American leaders who reminded Shelby that he had relied on support from African-American voters in defeating Denton in 1986.

1990s
Shelby publicly feuded with Bill Clinton during the first half of Clinton's first term. At a meeting with Vice President Al Gore, he turned to 19 Alabama TV cameras and denounced the Clinton program as "high on taxes, low on spending cuts".

Shelby served on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence from 1995 to 2003, stepping down because of a Senate rule limiting committee terms to eight years. Shelby took an adversarial stance towards the intelligence community during both Clinton and Bush administrations. He helped sink Anthony Lake's nomination as CIA director in 1997 and promised to investigate the use of American-made satellites by the Chinese to gather intelligence.

Senator Shelby has supported several gun control measures put forth by Democrats including the 1991 Crime Bill S.1241 (see U.S. Senate Roll Call Vote here) sponsored by then senator Joseph Biden that instituted a national waiting period for handgun purchases as well as a federal ban on semi-automatic firearms.[6] In 1998, Shelby voted for Barbara Boxer's Trigger Lock Amendment 3230 (see U.S. Senate Roll Call Vote here), requiring the purchase of a trigger lock with the sale of each handgun. Firearms dealers who do not comply are guilty of a federal crime and face revocation of their Federal Firearms License and civil fines up to $10,000 for each omission.

2000s
Shelby was also highly critical of CIA Director George Tenet in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. When Tenet resigned in July 2004, Shelby commented "This is not a surprise to me at all. What was a surprise was that he held onto the job as long as he did".[citation needed]

From 2003 until 2007, he chaired the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. He is also a member of the Appropriations Committee (where he chaired its subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science) and Special Committee on Aging. He lost his chairmanships in 2007 when the Democrats regained control of the Senate.

In 2004, a federal investigation concluded that Shelby revealed classified information to the media when he was a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Specifically, Shelby revealed classified information on June 19, 2002 to Carl Cameron, the chief political correspondent on Fox News. The information consisted of two messages intercepted by the National Security Agency on September 10, 2001, but were only translated the day after the attacks — "the match is about to begin" and "tomorrow is zero hour." The Department of Justice declined to file criminal charges against Shelby and transferred the case to the Senate Ethics Committee, which dismissed its probe into the alleged leak.[citation needed]

Shelby, in his role as chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs, opposed proposed legislation that would have permitted additional competition in the title insurance industry.

Shelby is currently co-chair of the Congressional Privacy Caucus and Zero Capital Gains Tax Caucus. He is also the Senate co-chair of the National Security Caucus. In addition, he is a member of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Senate Centrist Coalition.

In the Metroplex of Dallas–Fort Worth, Shelby is known for the Shelby Amendment, a law he sponsored that eased some of the restrictions placed on Dallas' secondary airport by the contentious Wright Amendment.

On February 5, 2010, Shelby placed a hold on over 70 of Obama's nominees to various government posts, in a protest over an Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker contract and the FBI's Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center.

Shelby lifted all but three of the holds on February 8, 2010, releasing a statement that "The purpose of placing numerous holds was to get the White House’s attention on two issues that are critical to our national security – the Air Force’s aerial refueling tanker acquisition and the FBI’s Terrorist Device Analytical Center (TEDAC). With that accomplished, Sen. Shelby has decided to release his holds on all but a few nominees directly related to the Air Force tanker acquisition until the new Request for Proposal is issued."

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs criticized Shelby for "hold[ing] up qualified nominees for positions that are needed because he didn't get two earmarks"; Shelby denied the holds were over earmarks.

Political views
Shelby took a leading role in the resistance to bailing out the banks and other corporations (such as AIG), both under the Bush Administration, in 2008, and the Obama Administration, beginning in 2009.

Shelby says he opposes gun control, but Senator Shelby has supported several key gun control measures put forth by Democrats including the 1991 Crime Bill S.1241 (see U.S. Senate Roll Call Vote here) sponsored by then senator Joseph Biden that instituted a national waiting period for handgun purchases as well as a federal ban on semi-automatic firearms.

In 1998, Shelby voted for Barbara Boxer's Trigger Lock Amendment 3230 (see U.S. Senate Roll Call Vote here), a law requiring the purchase of a trigger lock with the sale of each handgun. Firearms dealers who do not comply with the law are guilty of a federal crime and face revocation of their Federal Firearms License and civil fines up to $10,000 for each omission.

He is against abortion, and supports the Federal Marriage Amendment. He has also been a staunch advocate of a flat tax and of the Bush Administration's tax cuts. He cites disagreements with the Democrats on tax policy as one of the main reasons he became a Republican; he feels the Democrats are too willing to enact tax increases. Among the bills sponsored by Shelby over the years have been bills to make English the sole language of the federal government, to limit federal government spending by statute, and to provide a moratorium on certain forms of immigration.

Shelby is considered to be much more independent-minded than his Senate colleague from Alabama, Jeff Sessions.[citation needed] For instance, shortly after becoming a Republican he voted against two major tort reform bills, the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act and the Common Sense Product Liability and Legal Reform Act. Both bills were vetoed by President Clinton, though the first bill was successfully passed over his veto. In 1999 he was the only Senate Republican to vote against the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Shelby also voted against the North American Free Trade Agreement and opposes most free trade agreements, most recently the Central America Free Trade Agreement. When he was a Democrat, Shelby opposed the confirmation of Robert Bork to the United States Supreme Court in 1987. He supported the confirmation of John Roberts and Samuel Alito almost two decades later.

In 1999, Shelby was one of ten Republican senators to vote for the acquittal of President Bill Clinton on the charge of perjury when Clinton was tried in the Senate in 1999, although he voted for Clinton's conviction on the charge of obstruction of justice.

Shelby opposed the initial bailout proposal to extend billions of dollars in loan money to the Big Three US Auto Manufacturers. He is often seen as a front man for the GOP Senate opposition. In late 2008, he opposed a Federal government bridge loan for US-owned auto companies, saying: "We don't need government - governmental subsidies for manufacturing in this country. It's the French model, it's the wrong road. We will pay for it. The average American taxpayer is going to pay dearly for this, if I'm not wrong."

Sen. Richard Shelby voted to block three amendments to regulate banks, including an amendment #3812 to S. 3217,to cap ATM fees at $0.50 per transaction, and also to bar banks who borrowed tax payer money through TARP funds to use those funds for their own benefit.[14] Sen. Shelby also believes that bank oversight violates the right to privacy and is against the Government Office of Financial Research being able to collect any financial data it needs to regulate the bank industry.

Committees
Senator Shelby as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
Senate Committee on Appropriations
Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science (Ranking Member)
Subcommittee on Defense
Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
Subcommittee on Homeland Security
Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education & Related Agencies
Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies

Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs (Ranking Member)
As ranking member of the full committee, Sen. Shelby may sit as an ex officio member of all subcommittees.

Senate Committee on Aging

Beck rally signals election trouble for Dems

Beck rally signals election trouble for Dems

WASHINGTON – If Democrats had doubts about the voter unrest that threatens to rob them of their majority in Congress, they needed only look from the Capitol this weekend to the opposite end of the National Mall.

It's where Ken Ratliff joined tens of thousands of other anti-government activists at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial for conservative commentator Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally.

"There's gotta' be a change, man," said Ratliff, a 55-year-old Marine veteran from Rochester, N.Y.

Neither Democrats nor Republicans can afford to ignore the antiestablishment fervor displayed Saturday during Beck's rally that took on the tone of an evangelical revival.

Billed as a nonpolitical event, it nevertheless was a clarifying moment for those curious as to what clout an anti-Washington sentiment could have on midterm congressional elections in November. The gathering was advertised as an opportunity to honor American troops. But it also illustrated voters' exasperation — and provided additional evidence that Democrats in power — as well as some incumbent Republicans — may pay the price when voters go to the polls.

The tea party is essentially a loosely organized band of anti-tax, libertarian-leaning political newcomers who are fed up with Washington and take some of their cues from Beck. While the movement drew early skepticism from establishment Republicans, these same GOP powerbrokers now watch it with a wary eye as activists have mounted successful primary campaigns against incumbents.

Click image to see photos of Glenn Beck's 'Restoring Honor' rally


AP/Jacquelyn Martin
The Beck rally further demonstrated the tea party activists' growing political clout.

If the GOP is able to contain and cooperate with the tea party, and recharge its evangelical wing with Beck-style talk of faith, it spells the kind of change Ratliff and others like him are searching for.

The promise of change helped President Barack Obama win the White House in 2008, but could turn against his fellow Democrats this year. Americans' dim view of the economy has grown even more pessimistic this summer as the nation's unemployment rate stubbornly hovered near 10 percent and other troubling economic statistics have emerged on everything from housing to the economy's growth.

That's been a drag on both congressional Democrats and the president. While Obama has shelved his soaring campaign rhetoric on change, Beck has adopted it.

At Saturday's rally, the Fox News Channel personality borrowed Obama's rhetoric of individual empowerment from one of the then-candidate's favorite themes on the 2008 campaign trail.

"One man can change the world," Beck told the crowd. "That man or woman is you. You make the difference."

Or change Washington. And while Beck didn't say so, that means change the party in power.

His followers got the message.

"A lot of people want our country back," said Janice Cantor. She was raised a Massachusetts Democrat and is now a North Carolina tea party activist.

Beck's religion-laden message was a departure from most tea party events, which tend to focus on economic issues.

Beck, who speaks openly about his Christian faith on his radio and cable news shows, relied heavily on religion during his speech, perhaps offering up a playbook for tea party activists and Republicans this November.

Earlier, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin urged the gathering to change the course of the nation, although she said "sometimes our challenges seem insurmountable."

"Look around you," she told the crowd. "You're not alone."

Aug 29, 2010, Sunday, Yahoo news headlines

Yahoo news headlines, 10.40am eastern time

Top stories
--7 US troops killed in latest Afghanistan fighting (AP)
AP - Seven U.S. troops have died in weekend attacks in Afghanistan's embattled southern and eastern regions, while officials found the bodies Sunday of five kidnapped campaign aides working for a female candidate in the western province of Herat.
--W.Va. gov. wins Democratic primary for US Senate (AP)
--Obama visiting New Orleans on Katrina anniversary (AP)
--Norway 'bomb plot' underscores al-Qaida pitfalls (AP)
--19 dead in shootout in Russia's Caucasus (AP)
--Floods inundate large Pakistan town (AP)

Buzz
--Best & Worst Dressed From Years Past | 0 Votes
--Couture makes short work of boxer Toney | 0 Votes
--At Lincoln Memorial, a Call for Religious Rebirth | 0 Votes
--Op-Ed Columnist: The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party | 0 Votes
--New Dissent in Japan Is Loudly Anti-Foreign | 0 Votes
--Arson reported at Tennessee mosque construction site | 0 Votes

Local News (Phoenix, AZ)
--HOA groups in Arizona cutting services, raising fees
The foreclosure crisis has forced Arizona HOAs to cut services, add new fees and take aggressive action against former homeowners.
--Air pollution in Maricopa County may lead to funding cuts
The feds are ready to force Maricopa to clean up.
--UA students research fish in Biosphere
TUCSON - What began as a one-semester project to count fish has become a full-fledged research project for five University of Arizona undergraduates who are trying to figure out why certain species of fish survived years of neglect in the simulated ocean of Biosphere 2.
--Mexico violence claims lives of young boys; soldiers accused of abuses
On a lonely highway, an explosion of violence raises questions about Mexico's anti-drug fight.
--Phoenix bus strike is on hold - for now
Phoenix bus-maintenance workers have negotiated a contract extension with Veolia Transportation to continue talks about pay and benefits for another month, but a bus strike is still possible.
--KTVK 3TV PhoenixWeather to blame for massive I-10 pile-up involving 70 cars
PHOENIX - Mother Nature caused serious car crashes involving dozens of vehicles on Interstate 10 Saturday evening. The wreck shut down the freeway for hours. About 70 cars were involved in the massive pile-up on I-10 and 7th Street. The collisions took place at about 6 p.m. when a huge storm moved through the area, reportedly reducing drivers’ visibility to almost nothing. The pile-up began on ...
--PHOTOS: 2011 VW Jetta rolled out at San Francisco auto event
HERNDON, Va. -- Volkswagen of America, Inc. recently showcased its all-new 2011 Jetta as part of a weeklong international driving presentation held in San Francisco, CA. The all-new 2011 Jetta delivers sophisticated style, precision German engineering and Carefree Maintenance, all at an extremely accessible starting price of around $16,000. First unveiled in New York's Times Square in July ... --National Guard troops deploy on Arizona border Monday
PHOENIX (AP) — The first of 532 National Guard troops are set to begin their mission in the southern Arizona desert on Monday under President Barack Obama's plan to beef up U.S.-Mexico border security, although they won't have any law enforcement authority. Authorities declined to say how many troops would start Monday, but that waves of them will be deploying every Monday until all 532 are ...
--Paris Hilton arrested on cocaine charge in Vegas
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Paris Hilton's attorney is urging people "not to rush to judgment" about his client's latest brush with the law. The 29-year-old celebrity socialite has been arrested in Las Vegas on suspicion of felony cocaine possession. Authorities say she was arrested last night after a police motorcycle officer smelled marijuana smoke coming from a black Cadillac Escalade driven by Hilton's ...
--Teen killed, 4 others injured in Phoenix home invasion
PHOENIX - Gunmen storm a Phoenix home in the early morning hours of Saturday and killed a teenager. Police are still searching for the people responsible in the shooting that left four others injured during a home invasion near 47th Street and Roeser. A call was made to police at about 4:45 a.m. Saturday reporting shots fired. When officers arrived on scene, they discovered four people had been ...

Entertainment
--Newcomers `Glee,' `Modern Family' seek Emmy love (AP)
AP - "Glee" is about to learn if the Emmys care to sing its praises.
--Emmy Countdown: Presenters practice Emmy moments (AP)
--Ono to mark John Lennon's 70th birthday in Iceland (AP)
--'Vapor trail' leads to Paris Hilton's Vegas arrest (omg!)
--Underwood, Paisley to host CMA Awards Nov. 10 (AP)
--Taylor Swift debuts 'Mine' music video in Maine (AP)

Sports
--US routs Croatia 106-78 in worlds opener (AP)
--Sabathia labors to MLB-best 18th victory (AP)
--Triple bogey dooms Woods at Barclays (AP)
--Rays stun BoSox on Johnson's HR in 10th (AP)
--Favre throws for 187 yards, 2 INTs (AP)
--Ravens WR Stallworth breaks foot (AP)

World
--7 US troops killed in latest Afghanistan fighting (AP)
AP - Seven U.S. troops have died in weekend attacks in Afghanistan's embattled southern and eastern regions, while officials found the bodies Sunday of five kidnapped campaign aides working for a female candidate in the western province of Herat.
--Uganda's president announces bid for 4th term (AP)
--Kenya: Sudan presidential visit 'in our interest' (AP)
--Norway 'bomb plot' underscores al-Qaida pitfalls (AP)
--Nigeria: son of former prime minister kidnapped (AP)
--In Chechnya, A Blood Feud Ends--and a Despot Digs In (Time.com)

What is Keynesian economics, pt 2

From Wikipedia

Precursors
Keynes's work was part of a long-running debate within economics over the existence and nature of general gluts. While a number of the policies Keynes advocated (notably government deficit spending) and the theoretical ideas he proposed (effective demand, the multiplier, the paradox of thrift) were advanced by various authors in the 19th and early 20th century, Keynes's unique contribution was to provide a general theory of these, which proved acceptable to the political and economic establishments.

Schools
An intellectual precursor of Keynesian economics was underconsumption theory in classical economics, dating from such 19th century economists as Thomas Malthus, the Birmingham School of Thomas Attwood, and the American economists William Trufant Foster and Waddill Catchings, who were influential in the 1920s and 1930s. Underconsumptionists were, like Keynes after them, concerned with failure of aggregate demand to attain potential output, calling this "underconsumption" (focusing on the demand side), rather than "overproduction" (which would focus on the supply side), and advocating economic interventionism. Keynes specifically discussed underconsumption (which he wrote "under-consumption") in the General Theory, in Chapter 22, Section IV and Chapter 23, Section VII.

Numerous concepts were developed earlier and independently of Keynes by the Stockholm school during the 1930s; these accomplishments were described in a 1937 article, published in response to the 1936 General Theory, sharing the Swedish discoveries.

Concepts
The multiplier dates to work in the 1890s by the Australian economist Alfred De Lissa, the Danish economist Julius Wulff, and the German American economist Nicholas Johannsen, the latter being cited in a footnote of Keynes. Nicholas Johannsen also proposed a theory of effective demand in the 1890s.

The paradox of thrift was stated in 1892 by John M. Robertson in his The Fallacy of Savings, in earlier forms by mercantilist economists since the 16th century, and similar sentiments date to antiquity:

Today these ideas, regardless of provenance, are referred to in academia under the rubric of "Keynesian economics", due to Keynes's role in consolidating, elaborating, and popularizing them.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama

The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama

This is a very interesting article, in the latest online issue of The New Yorker. It's 17 pages in length, I'll only share the first two paragraphs. Bite the bullet and visit the complete article on yor Kindle. (Or go to the New Yorker on the web and search it out.)

Really, reading this and what the billionaire Koch brothers are doing to further their own agenda, does make you think. Not so much perhaps on whether or not Obama and the Dem's ideas are good ideas, but just how much power wealthy people have in this country to further their own interests....as we saw with the Wall Street bailouts. ; )

I share page 1 of 10 only. Follow the link to read the complete article:

n May 17th, a black-tie audience at the Metropolitan Opera House applauded as a tall, jovial-looking billionaire took the stage. It was the seventieth annual spring gala of American Ballet Theatre, and David H. Koch was being celebrated for his generosity as a member of the board of trustees; he had recently donated $2.5 million toward the company’s upcoming season, and had given many millions before that. Koch received an award while flanked by two of the gala’s co-chairs, Blaine Trump, in a peach-colored gown, and Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, in emerald green. Kennedy’s mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, had been a patron of the ballet and, coincidentally, the previous owner of a Fifth Avenue apartment that Koch had bought, in 1995, and then sold, eleven years later, for thirty-two million dollars, having found it too small.

The gala marked the social ascent of Koch, who, at the age of seventy, has become one of the city’s most prominent philanthropists. In 2008, he donated a hundred million dollars to modernize Lincoln Center’s New York State Theatre building, which now bears his name. He has given twenty million to the American Museum of Natural History, whose dinosaur wing is named for him. This spring, after noticing the decrepit state of the fountains outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Koch pledged at least ten million dollars for their renovation. He is a trustee of the museum, perhaps the most coveted social prize in the city, and serves on the board of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where, after he donated more than forty million dollars, an endowed chair and a research center were named for him.

One dignitary was conspicuously absent from the gala: the event’s third honorary co-chair, Michelle Obama. Her office said that a scheduling conflict had prevented her from attending. Yet had the First Lady shared the stage with Koch it might have created an awkward tableau. In Washington, Koch is best known as part of a family that has repeatedly funded stealth attacks on the federal government, and on the Obama Administration in particular.

With his brother Charles, who is seventy-four, David Koch owns virtually all of Koch Industries, a conglomerate, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, whose annual revenues are estimated to be a hundred billion dollars. The company has grown spectacularly since their father, Fred, died, in 1967, and the brothers took charge. The Kochs operate oil refineries in Alaska, Texas, and Minnesota, and control some four thousand miles of pipeline. Koch Industries owns Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra, among other products. Forbes ranks it as the second-largest private company in the country, after Cargill, and its consistent profitability has made David and Charles Koch—who, years ago, bought out two other brothers—among the richest men in America. Their combined fortune of thirty-five billion dollars is exceeded only by those of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.


•from the issue
•cartoon bank
•e-mail this
The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation. These views dovetail with the brothers’ corporate interests. In a study released this spring, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute named Koch Industries one of the top ten air polluters in the United States. And Greenpeace issued a report identifying the company as a “kingpin of climate science denial.” The report showed that, from 2005 to 2008, the Kochs vastly outdid ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups. Indeed, the brothers have funded opposition campaigns against so many Obama Administration policies—from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus program—that, in political circles, their ideological network is known as the Kochtopus.

In a statement, Koch Industries said that the Greenpeace report “distorts the environmental record of our companies.” And David Koch, in a recent, admiring article about him in New York, protested that the “radical press” had turned his family into “whipping boys,” and had exaggerated its influence on American politics. But Charles Lewis, the founder of the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan watchdog group, said, “The Kochs are on a whole different level. There’s no one else who has spent this much money. The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I’ve been in Washington since Watergate, and I’ve never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times.”

A few weeks after the Lincoln Center gala, the advocacy wing of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation—an organization that David Koch started, in 2004—held a different kind of gathering. Over the July 4th weekend, a summit called Texas Defending the American Dream took place in a chilly hotel ballroom in Austin. Though Koch freely promotes his philanthropic ventures, he did not attend the summit, and his name was not in evidence. And on this occasion the audience was roused not by a dance performance but by a series of speakers denouncing President Barack Obama. Peggy Venable, the organizer of the summit, warned that Administration officials “have a socialist vision for this country.”

Five hundred people attended the summit, which served, in part, as a training session for Tea Party activists in Texas. An advertisement cast the event as a populist uprising against vested corporate power. “Today, the voices of average Americans are being drowned out by lobbyists and special interests,” it said. “But you can do something about it.” The pitch made no mention of its corporate funders. The White House has expressed frustration that such sponsors have largely eluded public notice. David Axelrod, Obama’s senior adviser, said, “What they don’t say is that, in part, this is a grassroots citizens’ movement brought to you by a bunch of oil billionaires.”

The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama

Sunday Blog Manifesto

Since many of my readers subscribe via Kindle and don't see the explanatory text on the website, every Sunday I will post a "Sunday Blog Intro" in which I explain exactly of what this blog consists, so that anyone who comes in "in media res" will be able to figure out what's going on, although hopefully everything is labeled so that it's pretty obvious what my intent is!

There will be several posts each day.

1. A discussion of something Rush Limbaugh says on his program (Mon thru Fri) that I agree or disagree with, and the reasons why.

2. Rush's "Stuff" - headlines from his website that features transcripts of what he talked abut each day, to give a context for what I discuss.

3. News headlines from around the world. It will consist of snapshots of news headlines periodically throughout the day, "News," "International," "Local." I hope these posts can be used as an archive by people interested to know what actually happened on each day, as opposed to what Rush Limbaugh (and Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and others) chose to talk about. Did Rush discuss really important stuff, or did he set that aside to discuss only political matters?

Typically I get these from Yahoo News, but occasionally I'll use Google News.

4. Constitution Sunday: A few articles of the Constitution. If you haven't read the Constitution, read it in readable bites here.

5. President's History Saturday: Cycling through the presidents, once a week. Starting with Washington, ending with Obama, then re-starting.

6. Senate Election November 2, 2011: Bios of the candidates. These will be posted on a daily basis.

7. Publication info - print, internet, etc. Rush mentions a lot of sources on his program, I'll give info on each of them.

There may be more posts each day, talking about something I heard on Hannity, or watched on Beck. Rarely on Michael Savage, as he does tend to go ballistic and I really dislike his vicious nature, for all that he may be in the right on some - some - topics.

The purpose of this blog is to show the American political process in a fair light. I think the Dems and Obama are taking us on the road toward socialism - there's nothing underhanded about it - high handed if anything, but that's what they want and it seems a lot of voters want that too - whether because they don't understand what socialism really means or they don't care.

But is socialism better for America? Are people really too stupid to know what's good for them, such that they have to be spoon fed by the government on how to handle their lives? Sometimes I think that that's actually true..then I wonder if it might not be because they have been educated/indoctrinated to think that through "state run" education.

All sorts of philosophical discussion will take place here. But the over-arcing theme, I will say, is that the principles of Republicans are good, that of the Democrats are misguided, for all that politicians from both parties betray their ideals on a regular basis for a variety of reasons... and still get re-elected to office. Something needs to be done about that, but what can be done?

What is Keynesian economics, pt 1

Rush is always disparaging Keynesian economics , which he says as failed.

Pt 1 of Wikipedia's article on the subject:

Keynesian economics, also called Keynesianism and Keynesian theory) is a macroeconomic theory based on the ideas of 20th century British economist John Maynard Keynes. Keynesian economics argues that private sector decisions sometimes lead to inefficient macroeconomic outcomes and therefore advocates active policy responses by the public sector, including monetary policy actions by the central bank and fiscal policy actions by the government to stabilize output over the business cycle.

The theories forming the basis of Keynesian economics were first presented in The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, published in 1936; the interpretations of Keynes are contentious, and several schools of thought claim his legacy.

Keynesian economics advocates a mixed economy—predominantly private sector, but with a large role of government and public sector—and served as the economic model during the latter part of the Great Depression, World War II, and the post-war economic expansion (1945–1973), though it lost some influence following the stagflation of the 1970s. The advent of the global financial crisis in 2007 has caused a resurgence in Keynesian thought. The former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, President of the United States Barack Obama, and other world leaders have used Keynesian economics through government stimulus programs to attempt to assist the economic state of their countries

Overview
According to Keynesian theory, some microeconomic-level actions – if taken collectively by a large proportion of individuals and firms – can lead to inefficient aggregate macroeconomic outcomes, where the economy operates below its potential output and growth rate. Such a situation had previously been referred to by classical economists as a general glut. There was disagreement among classical economists (some of whom believed in Say's Law – that "supply creates its own demand"), on whether a general glut was possible. Keynes contended that a general glut would occur when aggregate demand for goods were insufficient, leading to an economic downturn with unnecessarily high unemployment and losses of potential output. In such a situation, government policies could be used to increase aggregate demand, thus increasing economic activity and reducing unemployment and deflation.

Keynes argued that the solution to the Great Depression was to stimulate the economy ("inducement to invest") through some combination of two approaches: a reduction in interest rates and government investment in infrastructure. Investment by government injects income, which results in more spending in the general economy, which in turn stimulates more production and investment involving still more income and spending and so forth. The initial stimulation starts a cascade of events, whose total increase in economic activity is a multiple of the original investment.

A central conclusion of Keynesian economics is that, in some situations, no strong automatic mechanism moves output and employment towards full employment levels. This conclusion conflicts with economic approaches that assume a strong general tendency towards equilibrium. In the 'neoclassical synthesis', which combines Keynesian macro concepts with a micro foundation, the conditions of general equilibrium allow for price adjustment to eventually achieve this goal. More broadly, Keynes saw his theory as a general theory, in which utilization of resources could be high or low, whereas previous economics focused on the particular case of full utilization.

The new classical macroeconomics movement, which began in the late 1960s and early 1970s, criticized Keynesian theories, while New Keynesian economics have sought to base Keynes's idea on more rigorous theoretical foundations.

Some interpretations of Keynes have emphasized his stress on the international coordination of Keynesian policies, the need for international economic institutions, and the ways in which economic forces could lead to war or could promote peace.