Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Change" is Coming - Socialism

By Dick McDonald of Rise up America

You don't have to guess that the "perfect storm" is coming - Democrats of all stripes are telling you that McCain has no plan to make America better whereas Obama is going to lower taxes on 95% of the people and build up our roads, bridges and infrastructure. Now to the uninformed the Democrats are selling the taxpayers of America down the river.

They are proposing the same failed policies of FDR. He too tried but failed to solve the Great Depression with massive government work projects like building roads, bridges and infrastructure. It didn't work then and it won't work now. Democrats want to build government at the expense of the people (the private sector) and small business.

This time around they are using the words "green jobs". Democrats are going to create "green jobs". You see they and their allies in the media have sold Americans on the fallacy of "global warming" and the since disproved "hole in the atmosphere". They just ignore the warnings of NOA and NASA that we are entering an era of global cooling. They promise that government will lead the way ($$$$$) and finance "green jobs".

Now you don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand that massive government projects and the creation of a "green jobs" industry will cost money and that Democrats, once elected, will not cut taxes but increase them to pay for these immense new government costs. Outside of John Kennedy no Democrat in the last century has kept his word to lower taxes. Obama's web site has more ways to tax the voter than any candidate for president has ever proposed in the history of the Republic.

There is a real possibility that this community organizer through organizations like ACORN and radicals in the Democrat Party set out to destroy America's capitalist system by legislating NINJA loans they knew would bankrupt the financial sector. That has been a success and Obama is now trading on that success to move the country toward more socialism. Unfortunately for all socialists the people will eventually catch wind of his "perfect storm" and restore freedom and reject the unachievable utopian equality he is peddling.

Is America on the Albanian path?

Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler

Tirana, Albania. I had a private dinner with an extraordinary man last night (10/09) - just the two of us with one of his key advisors. Albania is very fortunate to have Dr. Sali Berisha (he's a physician with a specialty in heart surgery) as its Prime Minister. He's a man of immense erudition and learning who is street wise in the ways of the world, having dealt with every major leader on the planet for years. The country he admires above all others is America. In this, he speaks for the great majority of Albanians. Albania is probably the most pro-American country on earth today.

Yet it was a strange and scary experience to hear him relate the recent history of Albania - for at one point he seemed to be describing that of America's instead. What I really hoped he wasn't describing was the history of America's immediate future.

This rugged land of mountains north of Greece and along the Adriatic Sea (Italy is only 45 sea miles away) has been inhabited by Illyrians (ancestors of today's Albanians) for thousands of years. In all that time it has fought for its independence, against Alexander, the Romans, the Byzantines, and the Ottoman Turks.

Its national hero is Skanderbeg (1405-1468), who fought off the Ottomans, rejected their religion of Islam, and befriended the Popes of Rome, who named him Athleta Christi (Champion of Christ) for his protection of Christians.

After his death, the Ottomans finally overwhelmed Albania, forced its people to convert to Islam, and ruled it with Moslem tyranny for over 400 years. With the breakup of the Ottoman Empire during World War I, Albania declared independence - which lasted until Mussolini invaded and took it over in 1939.

After the Fascists were kicked out at the end of World War II, the Communists took over, led by a devotee of Stalin, Enver Hoxha. Pathologically paranoid, Hoxha turned Albania into Europe's North Korea, a hermitized hell-hole of medieval poverty and despotism sealed off from the world. Hoxha finally died in 1985, the Soviet Union dying six years later, and free Albania had its first-ever democratic elections in 1992. Sali Berisha was elected president.

Berisha took over a country a quarter-inch off the ground whose utterly poverty-stricken people had no familiarity whatever with private property or capitalism in any form. He instituted free market reforms and privatized both land and state-owned businesses. There were few banks, however, so informal lending companies arose to provide credit and loans.

Some of them began investing on their own account rather than making loans. (Did the term "investment banker" just occur to you?). They began offering higher and higher returns, escalating to 30% a year. ("Flipping houses," anyone?) They were, of course, paying such interest to previous investors with principal from newer investors - the classic Ponzi scheme.

It grew completely out of hand so fast because almost no Albanians had any familiarity with markets or investing. Two thirds of the entire population invested their life savings in the schemes. By early 1996, companies were paying out 8% a month or over 100% a year; two of the biggest, Xhafferi and Populli, had two million depositors between them - out of a total population of 3.5 million.

By the fall of 1996, Populli was offering 30% a month, and Xhafferi promising to triple depositor's money in three months. People sold their homes, farmers sold their livestock. The Ponzi companies' liabilities were equal to half of the country's GDP, $1.2 billion. They began going bankrupt in January of 1997. The economy collapsed in total chaos.

Berisha took the blame and his government resigned. An impoverished and enraged people elected the old Communist Party - now renamed the Socialist Party - in his place. The country descended into crime and corruption, into a loss of freedom and economic hope that lasted eight years.

Does this saga ring any bells? Do any headlines in our own newspapers over the last weeks come to mind? At least the Albanians have some excuse, coming out of Communism illiterate, uneducated, and ignorant. We're supposed to be a little more sophisticated, aren't we, the smartest guys in the world's room? Evidently not.

Everybody wants to blame somebody else - Bush, greedy Wall Street, crooks like Franklin Raines, corrupt Dems like Chris Dodd and Barney Frank (and yes, I loved it when Bill O'Reilly unloaded on Frank and called him a "coward" on national television).

But the bottom line is that in a country as free as ours, people get not only the government they deserve, they get the economy they deserve. Too many Americans went nuts with trying to make easy money, flipping homes, et al. Too many Americans elected politicians who encouraged or allowed it. And now we have Albania in America.

The real question at this moment is will Americans be stupid and suicidal enough to lash out in frustration and place a Marxist Messiah in the White House? It certainly was what the Albanians did. The Communist-Socialists demonized Berisha and made him the fall guy. And he'll be the first to admit he was on too steep a learning curve to handle the situation. It took him eight years to regain the voters' trust and for the voters to accept what they did to themselves.

Berisha was elected Prime Minister in 2005. The economy was still in ruins. You wouldn't recognize it today. There are explosions of new prosperity everywhere - and this time the economy has a solid foundation. Albania now has a 10% flat tax on personal and corporate income, a 15% payroll tax (down from 30% with the goal being 10%), and 11% GDP growth, by far the best in all of Europe.

Foreign investment is pouring in, the rule of law becoming firmly dependable, public safety vastly improved with crime rates plummeting. It's a country of breathtaking beauty with spectacular mountains and beaches. The tourist potential alone is vast, as are so many other business opportunities.

Should the Marxist Messiah win 25 days from now, 26 days from now money is going to start pouring out of the US in search of safe offshore havens. One of those havens will be here in Albania. For Albania - Albania! - will be more pro-freedom, more pro-capitalist, and more pro-America than Obama's America.

I must confess I'm glad I'm here, watching a gorgeous Adriatic sunset and enjoying a sip of raki Albanian firewater in this fascinating place than amidst the insanity enveloping my country. But I also must confess that I can't make myself believe the insanity is real, that my countrymen will actually ruin themselves on November 4.

I can tell you that all of Eastern Europe is holding its breath and praying for a McCain victory. This part of the world has a nightmarish familiarity with Marxist tyranny and recognizes it when it's on the horizon. People here see it in Hussein Obama and desperately want him to lose. They want America to leapfrog over a return to Marxism like Albania experienced after a terrible economic collapse to the political and economic freedom Albania has now. That's the kind of Albania they want in America.

It sure is what Sali Berisha wants. He has met John McCain many times and has a very high regard for him. "I am looking forward to congratulating Mr. McCain on his victory, and inviting him to come to Albania" he told me. "I am a low-tax guy, and I want to show him what low taxes have done for Albanians. I want to tell him that low taxes can do the same for Americans." He raised his glass of raki. "God bless America, Dr. Wheeler," he toasted. "America is the hope of the world. May it always be."


After Two Weeks of 40 Days for Life - 114 Babies Saved from Abortion

Excitement continues to rise among pro-lifers across North America -- and distress among Planned Parenthood advocates -- as the number of rescued babies rises to a total of 114 throughout the 170 communities participating in the 40 Days for Life. David Bereit, national campaign director for the 40 DFL, writes that peaceful protesters with California's San Fernando Valley chapter of the 40 DFL had some "very encouraging news" to relate. An absent abortionist, unusually low numbers of scheduled abortions, and 40 DFL pilgrims from far and wide were mere preliminaries to the day's excitement, during which at least one woman "changed [her] mind" and left the abortuary smiling. "When one woman changes her mind about abortion, it creates a ripple [effect]. Heartbreak is replaced by joy -- many times over," says Bereit.

Similar stories are starting to emerge in Canada, where two cities, Ottawa and Halifax, are participating in the 40 DFL. Suzanne Atkinson, a peaceful protester outside the Morgantaler abortion center, records that on Wednesday October 8 she "looked up to see [a] young girl going into 65 Bank St." Reliving the moments intensely, Atkinson says, "My heart sank. I prayed that the Lord would move in her heart... that the guardian angels of her and her unborn baby would intervene." Some time passing before the young woman emerged, Atkinson "assumed that she had had an abortion," but in a brief conversation with the protesters, the young woman admitted to having "changed her mind." She looked "quite happy," said Atkinson.

The widespread success of the 40 DFL is proving a threat to abortion providers, who run a multi-billion dollar industry in North America. (The first half of the 40 DFL has seen successes in more than 50 cities. Find their stories here: http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=25.) "Despite the increasingly shrill rhetoric of the abortion industry, the simple truth is that business is off," says Bereit. "Abortion numbers have dropped so significantly that several states are now down to only one or two remaining abortion centers."

Planned Parenthood, which, as the largest supporter and provider of abortion, is a special target for the 40 DFL, is particularly anxious. "Emily X," a Planned Parenthood activist, writes "the things we take for granted - that you can afford to get your birth control each month, or that your doctor will give you all your options when you come to him or her in need - are quietly slipping away. It's an important time. And it's not the time to sit idly by." Emily X attempts to compensate Planned Parenthood for its financial loss throughout the 40 DFL campaign by gaining sponsors for each encounter she has with a 40 DFL protester. Clearly, Planned Parenthood is feeling a pinch.

In anticipation of this autumn's 40 DFL last August 25, Bereit said "We may be on the verge of a turning point in the battle against abortion," and "response to our call for communities to participate in this fall's 40 Days for Life has exceeded our wildest expectations...The growth of this outreach is a reflection of the excitement that people are expressing about the many ways 40 Days for Life impacts a community."



By Jeff Jacoby

What does "Election Day" mean? Once, the answer was obvious: It signified the date -- the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November -- when Americans came together in public to choose their political leaders and reaffirm their common stake in democratic self-government.

But tens of millions of Americans no longer wait until November to vote. In much of the country, voters are permitted to cast their ballots a month or more in advance, either in person at designated early-voting polling places or by mail as "absentees." Over the course of just a few election cycles, one of our oldest political institutions has been all but overturned. In 1980, notes political scientist John Fortier of the American Enterprise Institute, some 4 million ballots were cast before Election Day. In 2004, there were 27 million. That number will go even higher this year; there are estimates that as many as one-third of all votes will be "banked" before November.

Not every state has abandoned the communal tradition of Election Day. Massachusetts does not open polling stations early, and voters requesting an absentee ballot must have an excuse for not going to the polls in person. But the momentum, regrettably, is in the other direction. Oregon has done away with polling places entirely; 100 percent of its elections are conducted by mail. Close behind is Washington state, at more than 70 percent. Ohio jumped on the bandwagon for the first time this year, inviting residents to vote as early as Sept. 30 -- even letting individuals register to vote and cast a ballot in the same visit if they showed up by Oct. 6.

The trend away from a unitary Election Day has long been cheered by those who want voting made more "convenient." Bill Clinton endorsed early voting during his reelection campaign in 1996. "A lot of people are busy," he said, "and it's hard for them to just get there and vote." BeAbsentee.org, a website created this year to encourage voting by mail, offers 10 reasons to embrace absentee ballots. Among them: "You have better things to do on Election Day," "You do not have to stand in line," and "It might rain on Election Day."

For voters truly unable to make it to the polls on Election Day, due to illness or travel, absentee ballots are a reasonable accommodation. But for most of us, getting to a local polling place once a year is far less onerous than getting to work or to school every day, or to the supermarket once a week. Anyone who can manage to take in an occasional ball game, or go to the movies now and then, or periodically go out to dinner can manage to vote in person on Election Day.

Are some citizens so uninterested in political affairs that they won't bother to cast a ballot unless they can do it from their living room couch, or are given a month-and-a-half to get around to it? Yes. But what is gained from encouraging such lazy or apathetic people to vote?

Especially pernicious is another of BeAbsentee.org's reasons to vote early: "You can make your decision and move on. Enough with this election already!"

In an age of instant gratification and "have-it-your-way" convenience, it may seem unreasonable to expect voters to wait until November to help choose a president, senator, or city councilor. Why not encourage them to vote in October or September -- or even in August, for that matter -- if they've made up their minds?

Here's why: Because voters who cast early ballots do so without benefit of all the information, analysis, and discussion that bloom in such profusion during the last weeks of an election campaign -- the debates, the endorsements, the voter guides, the candidates' speeches, the heightened media attention.

What is significant about Election Day isn't so much the date itself; it's the focus that date provides for the process of democratic decision-making. No one thinks jurors should be allowed to render a verdict before seeing the final witnesses and hearing the closing arguments on each side. Theater critics don't skip the play's final act in order to write their review. For the same reason, Americans should vote on the first Tuesday in November, not whenever they're ready to "move on."

What does "Election Day" mean? It used to refer to the pinnacle of our civic religion, the gravely eloquent day when voting in America took place. Now it's just the day when voting comes to an end. Many changes are for the better, but this isn't one of them.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, OBAMA WATCH (2), EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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