Monday, December 29, 2008

Surviving with Style?

John Ray, a strong friend of the State of Israel, runs the excellent Dissecting Leftism Blog that I requently read. Recently he published a series of articles on the fate of the Jews and the survival of the English...The articles can be found on

Here is my reply - Part I

To John

I am a regular reader of your blog, as mentioned in earlier correspondence, and have much admiration for your way of thinking especially your strict adherence to logic and reason. While I don’t agree with you on some points (usually economics) I find your insight into history refreshing. It’s a shame that you have received some abuse (probably from a few of my co-religionists) with respect to the ‘Success of the Jews’ theme that you have been expanding on but cooler heads are too often a rarity these days.

Nevertheless I wish to add some objections to your core thesis that agues that the English have survived in style for the last millennium and a half.

While on the surface this carries with it an apparent truism it overlooks the fact that English history, despite a popular misconception, has not been in and of itself peaceful. Looking at the period after 1066 (the time when England was last successfully invaded) Albion has witnessed on local soils rebellions by the Saxons against Norman Feudalism, the Baron Wars, Peasant Rebellions, the War of the Roses (which really spanned the era between Richard II and Henry VII), the English Civil War, the Jacobite War and the insurrection of Monmouth. If one adds in the American Revolution (which for all intent of purpose can be looked at as an internal struggle between English speaking people) it is evident that the English have had a long history of warring amongst themselves.

In addition if you add in the numerous English lives (mostly commoners) that have been lost in the pursuit of Empire on a global basis –not to mention those lives foregone in conflicts with Spain, the Netherlands, France, Scotland, Denmark, the United States etc – the idea of surviving with style, at least how it reflects down to the bulk of the populace, is found wanting.

Now I will not deny the fact the English have been very successful in transmitting their culture on a worldwide basis. The dominance of the English language and systems of education and governance attest to this phenomenon but it has come at a price which I believe cannot be swept so easily under the proverbial rug.

The English are a very admirable people (I have been somewhat of an anglophile for most of my life although my enthusiasm has waned as of late as British institutions which I once respected continue to shed ground to the Stealth Jihad) but the accident of geography that has afforded them island status clearly played a large role in their success (yes the Scots and Welsh could harass the English but by shear force of number were unlikely to ever win the upper hand….).

Winston Churchill was correct in arguing that the island situation was an advantage that could not last forever and that Britain would need to work on establishing alliances to ensure survival. This was not a novel idea at the Empire level (regional alliances with the Iroquois, the Basuto, the Sikhs were common) but in the more critical area of European politics it was particular loathsome to the English mindset. After the Napoleonic Wars and the obvious realization that the European Powers (Russia, Prussia and Austria) were intent on turning back the forces of liberalism and nationalism (via the Concert System) Britain retreated into a type of ‘splendid isolation’ where it focused on growing its Empire alone without outside interference. With the possible exception of the Crimean War this attitude characterized British geo-politically thinking up to the Second Anglo Boer War. It was only after the South African conflict, where British resources were stretched to breaking point by the guerilla tactics of well organized militia that the need for global allies would become a necessity. In fact one can pinpoint this change in policy to the signing of the Anglo-Japanese Agreement of 1902, a framework that set the foundation for the Entente Cordiale with France and the Anglo-Russian Entente.

However even in this regard the Brits were slow to the post, for one the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy was already well established. Germany also had cultivated an ally in the Ottoman Turks. One could even argue (with hindsight) that Britain’s decision to enter into a system of alliances and thereby join the trend was ultimately what caused the weakening of the Empire by forcing London to engage in a vortex of events leading to the disastrous Great War (although I suspect that you will argue otherwise using the pretext that the growing influence of German Naval Power made war inevitable).

I believe that the success of the English people resides with a combination of factors. They are a very resourceful people (their pragmatic creativity during the First Industrial Revolution and beyond bears this out) but so does a commitment to the free inquiry. The former has its structural origins in the English Reformation, but was further augmented by the battle against autocracy during the Civil War and the Hanoverian transfer of power during the reign of George I. These changes were not as forthcoming amongst Britain/England’s continental rivals who were forced to delay the coming of modernism to the Enlightenment Period.

However what has most served the English is their ability to adapt – to take the best from the outside and make it somehow English. They did this with the Roman system of laws, Grecian Rationalism, Judeo-Christian Ethics, Stoicism and Iberian naval proficiency. It is this same characteristic that the family branch of the English, the Americans, have utilized with remarkable success today (Another island nation the Japanese are similar to the English in this regard).

It is this adaptation that has created the illusion that the English have resisted invasion. While no army since William the Conqueror have overwhelmed the English on the home front since the 11th century (although the Hungarians humbled the English football team at Wembley in the 1950s) it is equally true that the English monarchy has resided in the hands of foreigners since then. The Normans were of a Franco/Norse stock, the House of Plantagenet, and its spin offs in Lancaster and York were all Gallic, the Tudors were Welsh, The Stuarts - Scottish and Hanover, Saxe-Coburg and Windsor were/are all German. Yes not since the ill-fated Harold Godwinson (aka Harold II) has England had a monarch of English ethnicity and before that power was invested for some time with Danish kings such as Canute and Hardicanute.
What is most remarkable though is that within a short period the English turned these foreigners into extensions of England itself… that their ethnicity is more a matter of historical detail than anything else.

However with each addition and influx of change a point of saturation is neared. Changes are rarely neutral with respect to key factors. The utility of adaptation carries with it a double-edged outcome. At what point in a series of changes is the system or the people no longer English?

British Internationalism, the overriding policy of adaptation, that dominates the nation in 2008 is a consequence of this underlying tendency, however in subjecting itself to the relativism of multiculturalism the Brits seem to have shot the bolt and traded away the base in one foul swoop. Could it be that the English will simply whither away? Over adapted themselves to death? …Maybe there is a grace in this style but I am at a loss to find it.

I am working on the Jewish side of the argument and will send you a reply soon……….

Saturday, December 27, 2008

On Epistemology

I am prepared to admit with a sense of pride that I am a lover of knowledge. However like all those with a similar affection I am mindful of ensuring that what I accept as real knowledge is in fact exactly that. Philosophy has realized this problem from the early days of its Athenian youth
The earlier Milesians had more a rudimentary understanding of epistemology and appeared to be more concerned with the nature of things - in a sense they were the first theoretical physicists.

A sceptic would have one reject all that there is and build upwards from a non-reducible point. For Descartes this was the working of his own mind, for others its the basic axioms of mathematics and logic while a third group puts faith (and indeed it is a faith) on the competency of sense. Many object to the three approaches altogether preferring an external metaphysical explanation that transcends both rationality and experience. However such a line of thought seems anathema to the Western Philosophical tradition that sees an explanations within itself.

In my thinking on this topic I have noticed that many thinkers are much better at destroying structures that have been built than creating sturdier constructs the next time round. In fact our philosophical tradition is inherently critical in a way that screams 'destruction'. Its no wonder that after 2000 plus years of bashing and building we are no further ahead in our overall understanding of some of the big questions in epistemology than we were at the times of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Yes, we have terminology and lots of it but are we much better for that?

This does not mean that all avenues of human intellectual pursuit have been so convoluted. Scientific progress is real as have been advances in other areas of philosophy (particularly ethics and politics) but I am still not convinced that epistemology itself has even progressed forward.

Perhaps it can be argued that epistemology is one of those subject areas that abhors an absolutist system of measurement. In fact it can be further articulated that its strength lies in cementing relationships between other disciplines, a process that indeed defies analysis based on looking at the field of study as a stand alone entity. This is indeed a possibility which I will investigate further.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Nazism a Far Left Ideology

I was challenged by somebody on the left with the following question in a response to left vs right ideology

Where do you fit in the mass confiscation of First Nations land and property here in the Western Hemisphere? Were the monarchies of england, portugal, spain et al leftists?

My reply is in Red:

No but neither were they rightist.
Left and Right are two sides of a political force that emerged during the enlightenment but solidified more clearly as independent dynamics during the American and French Revolutions. Both opposed Absolutism and Feudalism. Rightists believed that the system had to be changed in a way that was more inclusive (especially with respect to human and economic freedoms) but also that those foundations and traditions that had proven to be workable should be maintained (such as private ownership of property). Hence the association of rightism with conservatism...
Leftists wanted a complete overhaul of the system and its remodeling along new lines. Hence its association with Radicalism and Utopias.
Rightists looked to thinkers such as Edmund Burke, Mirabeau, Montesquieu and John Adams. Leftists favored Thomas Paine, Rousseau, Voltaire and Robespierre.

Initially both sides worked together especially in France but the Jacobin driven Reign of Terror (an early example of an all-too common leftist inspired genocide) bought about the final schism.
The American Revolution was a Rightist triumph, the French Revolution was driven by both sides initially (the progressive parts such as the Declaration of the Rights of Man) but eventually descended into leftist driven chaos that resulted in untold suffering and the dictatorship and wars of Napoleon (I have read some interesting arguments that Napoleon was perhaps the first leftwing strongman…eat your heart out Hugo Chavez).The parallels with Russia after the Bolshevik takeover and the emergence of Stalin are very clear.

He later continued with this line

The amount of influence that corporations wield in the US government is enormous. And colloquially speaking I've heard the Bush admin described as a right-wing government

My reply is in Red Once again

Yes another misconception….Bush has increased the size of big government, and spent money hand over first in a way that would make Jack Layton (leader of the Canadian NDP) blush….He also has been overly accommodating to Islamofascists in the US, done very little to stop the flow of illegal immigration from Mexico and championed economic handouts of tax payer money to failed financial institutions (flogging a dead horse is more a leftist way of thinking) an idea that runs in the face of free market capitalism (as mentioned earlier) He is at best only a social conservative……

More on the Bulletin Board

Here is another posting dealing with my history on this board (the board is associated with the York University Education Department)....

To All

I have posted on this bulletin board for well over two years now introducing articles for all to peruse, offering support for some lines of thought and challenging the assertions of others. While I have found agreement with many on here I have probably clashed heads with more than my fair share of individuals. At times I admit that my style has been biting but I believe that this is a reflection of my passion for debate and well constructed argument in general.

A plethora of topics have been addressed that include the more mainstream issues of NAFTA, Mid-East Conflicts, Canadian Politics, Obama v McCain (to death I believe….) and economic methodologies to the more esoteric subjects of the Venezuelan economy, the origins of the Korean War, Ward Churchill and at one time…believe it or not…. gay rights in Somalia.
Consensus has been reached on some issues but for the most part we have agreed to disagree and left it at that……..I have no issue with this nor do I believe have most on this board.

In short I have enjoyed the exchanges although I am under no illusions that there are some who would be happy to see my back against the wall when the revolution finally comes. I have tried to take this in all in stride

I don’t believe that there were many low points over the two years although *******'s use of the phrase ‘feeding the troll’ in reference to myself is a worthy candidate in this regard. Not so much that it is personally insulting (which it is.. I have a thick skin though...although I use cream everyday) but because it has inadvertently (I am sure it wasn’t his intention) acted to discourage the sort of challenges and counter-arguments that should emerge on this bulletin board. This however is a topic for another thread.

There have been times when I have considered not posting on this board…especially when one receives personal e-mails describing oneself as jerk and so forth…..but to do so would be to cave in to the uniformity of thought so craved by some.

I am aware of the fact that I fail the litmus test required by a certain subset of educators who believe that no teacher should ever support the Conservative Party (the best of a rather bad bunch on the Canadian front in my opinion) but this does not bother me in the least and unlike many other conservatives teachers I choose not to remain in the political closet with respect to my beliefs. Perhaps it will cost me in the future especially in an environment that is becoming increasingly attuned to a monoculture of belief. I am proud of my stance as a Classic Liberal (I use classic liberal and conservative interchangeably as they are the same ideology in the contemporary sense) and see it as the best mechanism of winning and maintaining the freedoms inherent in the success of Western Civilization (a point I have reiterated on several occasions).

In short I will continue to post and challenge (I am a bit stubborn) as I am rather fond of this board (including several of my consistent adversaries) and the intellectual exchange it does offer.

Keep Well and Happy Holidays


On Leftisms

I plan to follow this up with additional submissions but this is what I posted to a Bulletin Board that I am active in (I am the resident classical liberal/conservative).

I went into some depth several posts ago where I made a strong case for why I believe National Socialism(the Fascism of Hitler and Mussolini) to be a Far Left Ideology. This flew in the face of some who had always believed that the Nazis and co. were a product of the Far Right. I stand by my position here as I have yet to see a good argument to the contrary. However I do not wish my disdain for the radical leftism to be taken as an indictment of all types of viewpoints that originated from the left.

There is much that is positive that can be taken from philosophies of the left especially when it opens itself up to pragmatism. I call this aspect of leftist philosophy – the good left. It was the good left that rallied against Anti-Semitism in the Dreyfuss case (bravo to Emile Zola), convinced the conservative German chancellor Bismarck to implement a pension system and backed the Shaftesbury child labor reforms in England and elsewhere. It was also the good left that recognized the dangers of totalitarianism in both Fascism and Communism and took a strong stance in forging the pro-active anti-isolationist stances of both FDR and Truman. This was a left that I would have been a part of had I been alive at the time. A left that was proud of the fact that it was advancing a platform that valued human rights while at the same time maintaining the high standards and gains of western historical development.

However the good left has been in decline in North America since the late 1960's (it died long before that in Western Europe…probably around the 1930s). Taking its place is the vengeful left that has wedded together the anti-establishment forces of the 60's, with the discredited (but reinvented) Marxist-Leninists of earlier time. It is a left that detests the West (especially the US), and wants nothing less than destruction of the old order both economically and socially. It is the vengeful left that seeks to clog the wheels of business with endless regulation, drown out quality study with post-modern gibberish and weaken the foundations of society with excessive law suits based on relativistic posturing. In short its aim when taken to a logical conclusion is to demolish and rebuild a new world in its own image . The vengeful left is ultimately utopic but chooses to advance its agenda by control of a central all-powerful state (which its most idealistic believe will ultimately whither away in accordance with Marxist prophecy).

As a force it is most influential in academia, labour unions, and the ranks of societies most marginalized groups where its message resonates most strongly. Initially on the outside of mainstream politics (during the Eugene Debs era) it has maneuvered its way to the inside via its influence on a host of politicians: Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Jesse Jackson and of course Barack Obama. The danger of the vengeful left, and a fact overlooked by its enablers on the small ‘l’ side of liberalism, is that its philosophy is undepinned by an intense hatred for the status quo….a hatred that is built on abolishing the system in true Jacobin-like fashion. That there are consequences to such radicalism is of no concern to the vengeful leftist as was the case with its earlier progenitors in Nazi Germany, Stalinist Soviet Union, Khymer Rouge Cambodia and Maoist China.

It is this left that I most take issue with.


Monday, December 22, 2008

A few updates

School has ended so I am enjoying my first leisure day of the December break. Since there are no leisure weekends when you have young kids as I do, a leisure day, which comes once in every three months or so is most welcome. Tomorrow I will be back to the grind battling some challenge that has reared its ugly fret though its all good...I am very grateful to be in the overall life situation that I am.

I have been tutoring externally a bit this semester mainly in Mathematics and Physics but also in Chemistry. While the added income is most welcome what I have found most useful about these sessions is that it allows me to keep sharp in material that I am not teaching per se in my regular class. As a teacher who loves the subject matter of these disciplines this is vital to me. I am always on a quest to expand my knowledge base while consolidating the fundamentals at the same time. In a sense I am old fashioned in that I believe students are best served by teachers who show high levels of competency in their subject matter. Just as I like to challenge my students intellectually I welcome the reciprocal...My regret at the moment is that in my current teaching position I have received too little of the latter. Although I suspect that the potential for such outcomes may emerge soon.....

At one time I swore I would never join Facebook but like so many others I have been drawn into this universe of friends and updates. Nobody is to blame, the ultimate choice was mine, and the decision to set up shop has been fruitful. I have made numerous connections with forgotten names and contact from a wonderful childhood in South Africa....a walk down the hall of nostalgia that has served as a worthwhile distraction during these snowy months.

Liverpool are leading the English Premier League (as of this time of writing) but the key word that I forgot here is barely. The Reds are drawing too many games to make life easy for themselves and my fear, like so many fans of the game's-greatest-team (no bias there), is that this will haunt them in the future. I don't have a good feeling as the season carries on. For some reason as well I have been less enthused by the league race this year. Maybe its a realization of the futility of it all...perhaps its a reaction to Man U's successes in 2007/2008 I don't know. It could also be the onset of my maturity (it took me forty years but better late than never) and the fact that my mind has been more focused on issues of philosophy and spirituality.

My personal philosophical concerns have centered on several issues:
  • an analysis of what is meant by the political right and left (the grand ideologies of rightism and leftism) and a study of how these terms have evolved over time from their original manifestations;
  • a composite theory of knowledge that links together both scientific and extra-scientific knowledge (if the latter is indeed relevant) and
  • a meaningful reformulation of the purpose of life within my own framework of theistic and rational inquiry.

Not easy topics but certainly ones that reach out to me to wrestle with.....

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Quick Worldview

I debate and argue about politics on a university bulletin board...Recently, I was asked to outline my overall worldview ...This is what I wrote

These issues are complicated so if I have to give a straight yay or nay I would risk oversimplifying the subject matter.

In short I am a theist (a conservative Jew) and believe in a universe with purpose. I also place much credence in science, reason and logic. Having said that I am mindful of the limitations of human philosophy both in the naturalistic as well as the metaphysical sense.

I believe in the unfiltered exchange of ideas, oppose censorship and champion freedom of speech. It is for this reason that I am not in favour of Hate Laws, Speech Codes and Politically Correct mindrot.

On economic issues I favour a free market system with a lesser role for big government. I am not a libertarian – as I reject the radicalism of limited government favoured by Mises, Rothard, Nozick etc.

I am a strong champion of Western Civilization and the Representative Democracy. If I were alive at the time of the French Revolution I would probably agree with the thinking of Mirabeau as opposed to the Jacobins. I believe that Judeo-Christian ethics is central to the success of this model but by the same token argue for manageable and thoughtful progress within the context of the working framework (this is what Conservatism is all about…and I take heart from this ideal…For more on such thinking read Edmund Burke).

I have at times categorized myself as a Classic Liberal as I believe that Classic Liberalism (as it evolved in the 18th and 19th centuries) is truly what modern conservatism is. I reject the paleo-conservatism and isolationism of Buchanan and co. Contemporary Small ‘l’ liberalism is more like social democracy an ideology which sits in antithesis to my thinking.

Roller Skate Park

I wrote this article for a Science Teacher's Publication

The internet abounds with some great (and not-so-great) java applet simulations available for physics teachers. My favorite locale is the widely acclaimed Colorado Physics site[1]. In my pedagogy I have made use of about half the simulations available at Colorado but perhaps none with more success and gusto than Energy Skate Park (ESP).

ESP is specifically designed to demonstrate the key idea of Conservation of Energy (a central theme in both the Grade 11 and Grade 12 Physics courses – university and college) and in this regards it doesn’t disappoint. When entering the simulation one is presented with a parabolic roller coaster track. This track can be manipulated by the user to take on a somewhat diabolical appearance by the addition of extra tack or by the gerrymandering of the standing track into a variety of shapes….(loops, figures eights are all possibilities). Students love this.

A moving body, to be studied, can be selected from a number of alternatives (I am partial to the dog myself although many of the students liked the bug). The body is then released from a pre-determined height and bar and/or pie charts showing the transformation of potential energy into kinetic energy (and of course vice versa) with respect to time and position can be generated. For a more detailed analysis of motion the view of the system can be superimposed with a grid and the pause button can be utilized to better understand entity values at instantaneous points.

As an adjunct it is also possible to change the acceleration of gravity to mimic conditions on Jupiter, Earth and Space. The teacher can then ask the students to predict how the motion may vary in each of these cases and then test their hypothesis with the simulation. For an additional challenge one can vary the zero potential line as well to see how the relationships adjust.

Like all simulation lesson plans ESP works best with a worksheet that scaffolds the student through the learning process before allowing them to draw general conclusions about their observations. The worksheet is paramount and should have as its focus the elimination of key misconceptions. One such false belief is that if friction is added to the roller skate park then energy is not conserved. The ESP simulation allows one to model both the friction and non-friction case to show how thermal energy buildup is enhanced as the coefficient of friction is increased. The teacher could then use such feedback to make a distinction between the total energy available in the isolated system and that of the universe at large. Path length movement can also be related to thermal energy ‘loss’.

A further feature of this simulation is that it has a path locator feature that acts like a ticker tape attached to the skater. In working with college level students, in particular, I have found that this can act to supplement the students understanding of the influence of uniform acceleration on the displacement of an object.

Above all making use of ESP is a fun education positive exercise. I can vouch for that. My students thoroughly enjoyed it and I could see from evaluation feedbacks later on in the course that many of them had cemented the central idea of Conservation of Energy. This is a definite four star program that is well worth the effort of the lesson plan.

[1] See

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Canadian Political Crisis summed up

Someone sent this to me via e-mail. Source is unknown. It is hilarious nevertheless

Toronto Maple Leafs Win Stanley Cup!!!

Canada was stunned Monday when it was announced that The Stanley Cup will be awarded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, possibly as early as December 6th. The cup will be stripped from 2008 playoff champions the Detroit Red Wings and awarded to the Leafs who didn't even make the playoffs.How is this possible, Canadians ask? Well, the Leafs formed a coalition with eastern conference semifinalists the Montreal Canadians, and conference quarter finalists the Ottawa Senators, now outnumbering the Red Wings. According to current Leaf coach Ron Wilson "the Red Wings have lost the confidence of the league and should hand the cup over immediately to our coalition".NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is cutting short a European trip to try to resolve the unprecedented hockey crisis that could force a second playoff series, or see an opposing team coalition take the cup.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


One of the most difficult facets about being a teacher is keeping your motivation level up. I suppose this is true of any profession but in teaching it seems to hit you squarely between the eyes. I left engineering in 2002 and entered the teaching profession soon afterward. My motivation was to share my love of learning with others and help my students grow in both ability and knowledge. It still is a central theme of my philosophy and I have several students that I believe that I have helped in such regards. But overall I am unsettled.....I don't feel as though I have done enough. Too often my efforts have been in vain and ultimately fruitless. A a colleague of mine said 'teachers often want more success for their students than students want for themselves.' This appears to be a truism but it is one that eats at the heart of my motivation. Negativity abounds and one has to dig deep to find the inspiration to continue the fight and not abdicate to the futility.

My strong belief in G-d and a life of purpose is what drives me from my deeper soul (I see faith and reason as being complementary paths not mutually exclusive phenomena) but in the world of the material where life plays out I struggle with the realization of such a drive. If I was a Christian I could argue that it is the cross I must carry. However I don't see it in that light. I hate spinning wheels and too often it just seems that that is what I am doing.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Some of what I have learnt as a teacher.......

1. There is such a thing as a stupid question. Plenty of them.
2. Never underestimate the lack of effort that some students believe is still worthy of a passing grade.
3. Only 20% of all students in an academic class are generally capable of critical thinking.
4. There is no substitute for proficiency in your subject matter.
5. Textbooks make mistakes - lots of them - too many cooks ruining a broth.
6. If a question can be wrongly interpreted it will be wrongly interpreted.
7. Students are easily duped by mutiple choice testing.
8. Reasoning is a lost art.
9. In a group of three or four students only two will actually work.
10. Acquired knowledge from Math is somehow lost by students when applying the same concepts in physics.
11. Take home assignments are not a good measure of understanding.
12. Only the brightest students get the puns.
13. Be alert during labs multiply that alertness factor by ten.
14. Lab Reports are extremely boring to mark.
15. Organization is key to a succesful lab.
16. Always have at least three different methods to explain a key concept...Use all three as well.
17. Students can never have enough problems to solve.
18. Be consistent...consistency = fairness.
19. There is no silver bullet to classroom management...students should understand that a classroom is not a democracy but a benevolent dictatorship.
20. Its never as bad as it seems.
21. No matter how many times it is explained to them some students will never understand why plagarism is wrong.
22. School Administrators understanding of how a classroom functions is inversely proportional to the square of the time that has elapsed since they taught in one.
23. Fire alarms always occur at inapropriate times.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Useful Autopsy of Election 2008

Taken From Front Page Magazine - This is not good news for Republicans.

The Emerging Majority

Small changes can have dramatic consequences. The electorate shifted about 4 points toward the Democrats in between the 2004 and 2008 elections--from 48.3 percent of the popular vote four years ago to 52.5 percent today. But those 4 points gave Obama the largest share of the vote since 1988, the best showing by a Democrat since 1964, the first black president, the first non-southern Democratic president since John F. Kennedy, and likely larger Democratic majorities in Congress than when President Clinton took office in 1993. In a closely divided America, a swing of four votes in a hundred can mean a decisive victory.

Obama's achievement can be explained with a few numbers. The first is 27 percent--President Bush's approval rating in the national exit poll. Pretty dismal. The poll found that voters were split on whether John McCain would continue Bush's policies. But those who thought McCain would be another Bush broke overwhelmingly for Obama, 91 percent to 8. That's a huge, damning margin.

The second number is 93 percent. That's the percentage of voters who gave the economy a negative rating in the exit poll. They supported Obama. And they were right to give the economy a negative rating. The financial crisis is spilling over into the real economy of goods and services. Unemployment is rising and consumption is falling. The week before the election, the Commerce Department announced that consumer spending had dropped 3.1 percent. Consumer spending hadn't fallen since 1991, and this year's decline was the largest since 1980.

The day before the election, the auto companies announced that they had had their worst month in a quarter-century. When economic conditions are as bad as this, of course the party out of power is favored to win an election.

Considering those numbers, the 2008 electoral map isn't all that surprising. Bush, the economy, and Obama's personal and political appeal have pushed the nation toward the blue end of the political spectrum. But, for the most part, the shift is gradual and on the margins. Obama will be president because he took states that Bush won in tight races four years ago. Bush won Ohio by 2 points in 2004. This year Obama won it by 4. Bush won Florida by 5 points in 2004. This year Obama won it by 2.5 points.

Obama's victories in the West were impressive. Bush won Colorado by 5 points in 2004. Obama won it by 7. Bush won New Mexico by 1 point in 2004. Obama won it by a substantial margin--about 15 points. Bush won Nevada by 2 points in 2004. Obama won it by about 13 points.
Virginia has been trending blue since 2001, when Mark Warner was elected governor. In 2004, John Kerry won the Washington suburbs of Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax, but still lost the state to Bush, 45 to 54 percent. The next year, another Democrat, Tim Kaine, succeeded Warner. And the year after that, voters replaced incumbent Republican senator George Allen with Democrat Jim Webb in a contest decided by just a few thousand votes. In 2008 Virginia went totally blue. It handed the Democrats as many as three more House seats, replaced retiring Republican senator John Warner with Mark Warner (no relation) by a vote of two-to-one, and swung for Obama by a margin of 5.5 points. Virginia's electoral votes went for a Democrat for the first time since 1964.

The two major surprises on our new map are North Carolina and Indiana. Bush won North Carolina by 12 points in 2004. This year Obama erased that margin and won by a couple tenths of a point. It's the first time since 1976 that North Carolina has voted for a Democratic president. In Indiana the swing toward Obama was even more pronounced. Bush won there by a huge margin of 22 points in 2004. Obama made up all of that ground, eking out a victory of about a point. No Democrat had won Indiana since 1964.

If I were Obama strategist David Axelrod, I'd--well, I'd probably be exhausted right now. But I'd also make sure that President-elect Obama spends the next four years visiting North Carolina, Indiana, Virginia, Ohio, and Florida. He needs to deepen his support in all five states. And I'd also make sure Obama visits Missouri, where at this writing it appears he barely lost; Montana, where he lost by 2.5 points; and Georgia, where he lost by 5.5 points. If Obama holds all the states he won this year and adds those three to his column in 2012, he'll be reelected in a landslide. That's a big "if," of course. The key is a successful first term.

Where does this leave the Republicans? In deep trouble. The GOP is increasingly confined to Appalachia, the South, and the Great Plains. When the next Congress convenes in 2009, there won't be a single House Republican from New England. The GOP is doing only a little better in the mid-Atlantic. There will be only three Republican congressmen in New York's 29-member delegation in the next Congress. Only a third of Pennsylvania's delegation will be Republican--about the same proportion as in New Jersey. There will be a single Republican in Maryland's eight-man delegation. The Rust Belt is hostile territory, too. So are the Mountain West and the Pacific Coast. The GOP is like the central character in Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone." It's on its own, no direction home.

The Republicans are in demographic trouble. When you look at the ethnic composition of Obama's coalition, you see that it's kind of a mini-America. About two-thirds of Obama's supporters are white and a third minorities. The Republican coalition, by contrast, is white, male, and old. There's the first problem. Overall, Obama may have lost the white vote (while still doing better than Kerry did), but in 2008 whites (not counting Hispanics, per Census convention) made up the smallest proportion of the electorate since the start of exit polling. Obama scored tremendous victories among minorities. He won more than 90 percent of the black vote. He won the Hispanic vote by a two-to-one margin. He won the Asian vote by a similar margin.

Then there are the young. Voters under 30 turned out in only slightly higher numbers than they did in 2004, but they overwhelmingly backed Obama, 68 percent to 30. A successful Obama presidency could lock these voters into the Democratic column for a long, long time.

For the rest go to the Source: Front Page Magazine article by Matthew Continetti

Another sign of Global Madness

The bigoted kingdom of Saudi Arabia is to host a conference on racial tolerance...
yeah right

Taken from

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 11 -- Saudi Arabia, the oil-rich Islamic kingdom that forbids the public practice of other religious faiths, will preside Wednesday over a two-day U.N. conference on religious tolerance that will draw more than a dozen world leaders, including President Bush, Israeli President Shimon Peres and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
The event is part of a personal initiative by Saudi King Abdullah to promote an interfaith dialogue among the world's major religions. The Saudi leader agreed for the first time to dine in the same room with the Israeli president at a private, pre-conference banquet Tuesday hosted by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. But Ban hinted that the two leaders -- whose governments do not have diplomatic relations -- were not seated at the same table.
"Normally, in the past, they have not been sitting in the same place like this. That is very important and encouraging," Ban said. "I wholeheartedly support the convening of the interfaith meeting that will be held here at headquarters tomorrow. The values it aims to promote are common to all the world's religions and can help us fight extremism, prejudice and hatred."
The Saudi initiative emerged in the summer during a meeting of religious leaders in Mecca. The Saudi leader subsequently drew a range of religious groups -- including Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Taoists and others -- together in Madrid in July, where they signed a declaration calling for greater cooperation among religions.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice planned to attend the conference to hear the Saudi King's opening address. Bush is scheduled to deliver an address Thursday. The White House said last month that it welcomed the Saudi initiative and supports "the right to practice one's religion" and other principles of religious freedom enshrined in the U.N. charter.
But Saudi Arabia's sponsorship of the event drew criticism from human rights advocates, who said that a country that oppresses its religious minorities lacks the moral authority to lead such a gathering.

"Saudi Arabia is not qualified to be a leader in this dialogue at the United Nations," said Ali Al-Ahmed, a Saudi national who serves as director of the Washington-based Institute for Gulf Affairs. "It is the world headquarters of religious oppression and xenophobia."

For the rest go to the Source

Monday, November 10, 2008

Rabbi Akiva Tatz

I have been somewhat in a philosophical mood as of late....contemplating the ideas of purpose, action and universal identity. In my search I have stumbled on the lectures of Rabbi Tatz. While I don't agree with some of his details the overall message with respect to Free Will and Individuality are spot on.

I am posting the URL for the videos of two lectures.

Lecture A - Free Will

Lecture B - Individuality

Friday, November 07, 2008

20 reasons why John McCain came up short in 2008

1. The public perception that the economic woes are the fault of Republican policy. Of course the issue is clearly more complicated than this (with many parties to blame including the Democrat controlled Congress) but the MSM framed it in such a context and the public seemed to have bought into this bias.

2. The Democrats successfully and unfairly linked McCain to the unpopular Bush administration - this appeared to have stuck.

3. Money - The Dems far outspent McCain and co. with campaign superdollars. Money often,(ut not always, buys results and this seemed to be the case here.

4. Sarah Palin - her inexperience on the key issues showed - the MSM buried her in this department and tagged McCain with the smear.

5. Obama proved to be the master of the sound bite. He could sell sand in Dubai...

6. McCain had a poor environmental policy...Obama offered an increasingly green electorate a more forward thinking approach in this department

7. Obama's marketing team were brilliant in remaking Obama from a left wing senator into a centrist politician...I personally don't believe that much of this transformation is genuine but the electorate seems to have okayed the change.

8. High turnouts brought out more Democrat voters than would otherwise be the case.

9. International support was clearly behind Obama. In an increasingly global world such sentiment probably trickled across to influence the US Electorate.

10. The success of the surge - a key McCain driving point - was played down by the MSM so that it became a non-issue in November.

11. McCain looked tired and old during certain phases of the campaign compared to
the youthful Obama. This certainly did not help him.

12. Minority groups make up a larger percent of the US population. Hispanics in particular helped solidify Democrat positions in California and New Mexico. Republicans need to be more vigilant in the future with respect to winning the minority vote.

13. The GOP political machine proved to be inefficient in registering voters in key swing states such as Colorado and Florida.

14. Possible voter fraud connected to such pro-Obama groups as ACORN may have influenced results in Ohio. I would love to see an investigation of such irregularities.

15. There have been an influx of Democrat voters into Virginia and North Carolina. This turned these former Bush states into Obama territory.

16. Some prominent Conservatives (Obamacons) jumped ship from the GOP in the closing days of the election. This may have had the broader effect of shifting some Conservative voters towards the Illinois senator.

17. The Republicans failed to make significant inroads with the university educated sector of the US population. The GOP's apparent platform focus appeared to be more geared toward the 'redneck' element of the electorate.

18. Some conservatives stayed at home on election day as they felt that neither candidate was Conservative enough to warrant their support.

19. The Republican brand seemed fatigued. The Democrat cry for change played on this.

20. Michael Moore kept his mouth shut this time around.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Saying it as it is

Charles Krauthammer is one of my favourite political writers. I don't agree with his pro-offshore drilling stance but on issues of Islamofascism and its threat to Western Civilization he is normally bang on.

The following is a reprint from a column published at

By Charles KrauthammerLast week I made the open-and-shut case for John McCain: In a dangerous world entering an era of uncontrolled nuclear proliferation, the choice between the most prepared foreign policy candidate in memory vs. a novice with zero experience and the wobbliest one-world instincts is not a close call. But it's all about economics and kitchen-table issues, we are told. OK. Start with economics.

Neither candidate has particularly deep economic knowledge or finely honed economic instincts. Neither has any clear idea exactly what to do in the current financial meltdown. Hell, neither does anyone else, including the best economic minds in the world, from Henry Paulson to the head of the European Central Bank. Yet they have muddled through with some success.

Both McCain and Barack Obama have assembled fine economic teams that may differ on the details of their plans but have reasonable approaches to managing the crisis. So forget the hype. Neither candidate has an advantage on this issue.

On other domestic issues, McCain is just the kind of moderate conservative that the Washington/media establishment once loved -- the champion of myriad conservative heresies that made him a burr in the side of congressional Republicans and George W. Bush. But now that he is standing in the way of an audacity-of-hope Democratic restoration, erstwhile friends recoil from McCain on the pretense that he has suddenly become right wing.

Self-serving rubbish. McCain is who he always was. Generally speaking, he sees government as a Rooseveltian counterweight (Teddy with a touch of Franklin) to the various malefactors of wealth and power. He wants government to tackle large looming liabilities such as Social Security and Medicare. He wants to free up health insurance by beginning to sever its debilitating connection to employment -- a ruinous accident of history (arising from World War II wage and price controls) that increases the terror of job loss, inhibits labor mobility and saddles American industry with costs that are driving it (see: Detroit) into insolvency. And he supports lower corporate and marginal tax rates to encourage entrepreneurship and job creation. An eclectic, moderate, generally centrist agenda in a guy almost congenitally given to bipartisanship.

Obama, on the other hand, talks less and less about bipartisanship, his calling card during his earlier messianic stage. He does not need to. If he wins, he will have large Democratic majorities in both houses. And unlike 1992, Obama is no Clinton centrist. What will you get?

(1) Card check, meaning the abolition of the secret ballot in the certification of unions in the workplace. Large men will come to your house at night and ask you to sign a card supporting a union. You will sign.

(2) The so-called Fairness Doctrine -- a project of Nancy Pelosi and leading Democratic senators -- a Hugo Chavez-style travesty designed to abolish conservative talk radio.

(3) Judges who go beyond even the constitutional creativity we expect from Democratic appointees. Judges chosen according to Obama's publicly declared criterion: "empathy" for the "poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old" -- in a legal system historically predicated on the idea of justice entirely blind to one's station in life.

(4) An unprecedented expansion of government power. Yes, I know. It has already happened. A conservative government has already partially nationalized the mortgage industry, the insurance industry and nine of the largest U.S. banks.

This is all generally swallowed because everyone understands that the current crisis demands extraordinary measures. The difference is that conservatives are instinctively inclined to make such measures temporary. Whereas an Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Barney Frank administration will find irresistible the temptation to use the tools inherited -- $700 billion of largely uncontrolled spending -- as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to radically remake the American economy and social compact.

This is not socialism. This is not the end of the world. It would, however, be a decidedly leftward move on the order of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. The alternative is a McCain administration with a moderate conservative presiding over a divided government and generally inclined to resist a European social-democratic model of economic and social regulation featuring, for example, wealth-distributing growth-killing marginal tax rates.

The national security choice in this election is no contest. The domestic policy choice is more equivocal because it is ideological. McCain is the quintessential center-right candidate. Yet the quintessential center-right country is poised to reject him. The hunger for anti-Republican catharsis and the blinding promise of Obamian hope are simply too strong. The reckoning comes in the morning.

Monday, October 27, 2008

In the News L

ANC in the decline in South Africa??? Perhaps....

I reckon that when Mandela passes away away the party will soon cleave into its various fragments: the split between the Mbeki and Zuma groups is already self evident.

Livni leads Netanyahu in the Polls

This is not good news. Israel cannot afford another Kadima government. The damage done to the state by the defeatists in the Olmert regime has already been substantial. I am hoping that Israeli voters will shift to the right as this article in US News seems to suggest.

Israelis prefer McCain over Obama: 46% to 34%.

This is ultimately a meaningless poll but it does seem to indicate the concern Israelis feel over Obama's ability to deal with Iran.

Russia is afraid of Economic Isolation

The West can use this fear to pressure Russia with respect to halting its belligerency in Georgia and its meddling in Iran.

Gender Equality in Iran- the struggle continues

The Western feminist elites rarely speak of this but I am posting this article as a show of support for Women's rights in this reactionary regime.

McCain is looking for a comeback but I wouldn't bet on it...

Nevertheless I am still backing the old warhorse but the chances of him derailing the Obama machine are becoming slimmer each day....

This is how the key battleground states look:

Colorado - Obama ahead by 12 points.........ouch
Florida - Neck and Neck...McCain may pull this one out the hat
Indiana - This is normally solid Republican territory but B.O. might pick it up...spillover from Illinois
Missouri - Anyone's game...however if you believe the MSM fanfare and the crowd pictures (which I don't) than Obama should win it. If St. Barack does win this then based on historical precdedent McCain can bid goodbye to the Oval Office,
New Hampshire - Only New England State where GOP normally has a chance but not this year.
New Mexico - Hispanic vote will sink McCain despite the Maverick's pro-immigration standpoint.
Nevada - Flip a coin...
North Carolina - Surely McCain can't lose this...can he?
Ohio - I am calling this one for McCain but not by much.
Pennsylvania - Has of late almost become a safe Democrat State. Bad News for the GOP.
Virginia - The Polls are backing Obama and I believe that he will win here....Pity
Wisconsin - More Obama territory ...yawn

613 Jewish Commandments

I am always motivated to improve my understanding of my personal faith - Judaism. While I differ from all four of the major denominations on some of the issues and practices my core belief is consistent with the basic tenents of Judaism. Intellectualy I would describe myself as existing in a space most closely defined by the Masorti/Reform overlap. However I have used my rationalism to define a pathway of my own making.

The following is where I stand with respect to the first 51 commandments....I will get to the next 562 in due course.

The 613 commandments and their source in scripture, as enumerated by Maimonides:
1. To know there is a God Ex. 20:2 - Agree and follow
2. Not to entertain thoughts of other gods besides Him Ex. 20:3 - Agree and follow
3. To know that He is One Deut. 6:4 - Agree and Follow
4. To love Him Deut. 6:5 - Agree and Follow
5. To fear Him Deut. 10:20 - Not as often as I perhaps should
6. To sanctify His Name Lev. 22:32 - Room for improvement here
7. Not to profane His Name Lev. 22:32 - Ditto
8. Not to destroy objects associated with His Name Deut. 12:4
9. To listen to the prophet speaking in His Name Deut. 18:15 - I fall short here
10. Not to test the prophet unduly Deut. 6:16 - Not very succesful here
11. To emulate His ways Deut. 28:9 - I try to but often fail
12. To cleave to those who know Him Deut. 10:20 - Do poorly here
13. To love other Jews Lev. 19:18 - Love may be too strong a word in my case
14. To love converts Deut. 10:19 - See 13
15. Not to hate fellow Jews Lev. 19:17 - Not even Noam Chomsky? Norman Finkelstein?
16. To reprove a sinner Lev. 19:17 - Easier said than done
17. Not to embarrass others Lev. 19:17 - Not so good when it comes to embarrasing enemies
18. Not to oppress the weak Ex. 22:21 - Agree and follow
19. Not to speak derogatorily of others Lev. 19:16 I have awareness of this fault...ongoing project
20. Not to take revenge Lev. 19:18 - Agree in principle not always in practice
21. Not to bear a grudge Lev. 19:18 - Same as 2o
22. To learn Torah Deut. 6:7 - Working on this
23. To honor those who teach and know Torah Lev. 19:32 - What about Rabbi Dovid Weiss?
24. Not to inquire into idolatry Lev. 19:4 Agree and follow
25. Not to follow the whims of your heart or what your eyes see Num. 15:39 My ongoing daily challenge...not easy at all
26. Not to blaspheme Ex. 22:27 Agree and follow
27. Not to worship idols in the manner they are worshiped Ex. 20:5 Agree and follow
28. Not to worship idols in the four ways we worship God Ex. 20:5 Agree and follow
29. Not to make an idol for yourself Ex. 20:4 Ditto
30. Not to make an idol for others Lev. 19:4 Ditto
31. Not to make human forms even for decorative purposes Ex. 20:20 I can't say I follow this
32. Not to turn a city to idolatry Ex. 23:13 Agree and follow
33.To burn a city that has turned to idol worship Deut. 13:17 Can't say I have done this
34. Not to rebuild it as a city Deut. 13:17 Ditto
35. Not to derive benefit from it Deut. 13:18 Ditto
36. Not to missionize an individual to idol worship Deut. 13:12 Ditto
37. Not to love the idolater Deut. 13:9 Ditto
38. Not to cease hating the idolater Deut. 13:9 If the idolator is a Jew does this contradict #15?
39. Not to save the idolater Deut. 13:9 What about saving the idolator from further idol worshipping?
40. Not to say anything in the idolater's defense Deut. 13:9 What about Freedom of Religion?
41. Not to refrain from incriminating the idolater Deut. 13:9
42. Not to prophesize in the name of idolatry Deut. 13:14 Agree and Follow
43. Not to listen to a false prophet Deut. 13:4 One reason I don't like Barack Obama
44. Not to prophesize falsely in the name of God Deut. 18:20 Fair Enough
45. Not to be afraid of killing the false prophet Deut. 18:22 I won't go that far.
46. Not to swear in the name of an idol Ex. 23:13 Agree and Follow
47. Not to perform ov (medium) Lev. 19:31 Agree and Follow
48. Not to perform yidoni ("magical seer") Lev. 19:31 What about Scientific Illusion?
49. Not to pass your children through the fire to Molech Lev. 18:21 Seems obvious
50. Not to erect a pillar in a public place of worship Deut. 16:22 Not my schtick anyway
51. Not to bow down on smooth stone Lev. 26:1 Agree and Follow

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Liverpool defeat Chelsea - go top of League

Absolutely Fantastic!!!

Liverpool ended Chelsea's 86 unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge defeating the Blues 1-0 (goal courtesy of Xabi Alonso).

For the full game report go to:

As it stands now the top half of the EPL table reads as follows:

Liverpool - 23
Chelsea - 20
Hull - 20 (it won't last)
Arsenal - 19
Aston Villa -17
Man U - 15 (although the Devils have a game in hand)
Portsmouth - 14
Man City - 13 (shoud have more points)
Sunderland - 12
West Ham -12

Liverpool have seven wins in nine games with two draws.
The Reds are also the only unbeaten team in the League.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Canadian Federal Election 2008

Some Observations after the Tory's were returned to power with a minority government (albeit a stronger one than before).

1. The Bloc is really a Block and an immovable one at that - will we ever obtain a majority government of any type with their 50 seats or so blocking the way? They now have added clout to continue blackmailing the Rest of Canada.

2. The Liebrals won over 90% of the seats in the GTA (only Trinity-Spadina and Toronto-Danforth held out with their selection of Mickey and Minnie Mouse) but took less than 25% of the seats nationwide - it just goes to show you how out of step Toronto is with the rest of English Canada (Canada is basically a small c conservative country). For some reason - based on nothing in particular - the Liebrals have duped Toronto's large immigrant population into believing that the Grits best serve their interest...If ever there was a snow job this is it....

3. The Green Party ultimately flopped - they only won 6.5% of the popular vote and came away with no seats (not even Guelph). Elizabeth May predicted that the Greens would win eight about missing the mark.....I can see a possible leadership change here as well...Also did she honestly think that she could defeat the high profile Peter MacKay in his back yard? Do the Greens still deserve a spot in a future National Debate?...I don't believe so anymore...there already was too much dilution this time around - boy were those debates a waste of time.

4. Other than the GTA the Torys emerged as the new power in Ontario - Don't be surprised if Peter Kent develops into an influential figure in the Harper administration over the next few years.

5. The country is still concerned about awarding the Conservatives a majority...but I believe this particular outcome was largely driven by Liebral/NDP/Media hysteria about the economy and Harper's poor performance in articulating a response that allayed such fears.

6. The public thankfully didn't go for Jack Layton's suggestion that he be given Stephen Harper's job...The NDP improved their position in parliament (with a strong showing in the Hamilton region in particular - overall they went from 31 to 37 seats...I see this a type of creep...) but right now all Layton can really claim is that he is the leader of Canada's fourth powerful political party (with less than half seats of a watered down Liebral caucus). The NDP needs to move beyond the dull ideas of 1960's Euro-Socialism if they wish to make meaningful progress nationwide.

7. Loudmouth and turncoat Garth Turner lost his Oakville seat - good riddance - the man makes the likes of Sid Ryan seem bearable (and this is saying a lot)

8. The Tory's picked up the riding of former Tory-turned-Liebral- Belinda Stronach in Aurora - Business as usual...

9. Wajid Khan who crossed the floor from the Grits to the Torys in 2006 was ousted as well..message to all politicians thinking if crossing the floor..Forget it...the same goes for that dude who crossed over to give the Greens their only seat in parliament..start sending out the resume mate.

10. Nobody can even think of bringing down a government for some time now...the public simply has no appetite for another election. This years extremely low turnout is indicative of that.

11. Book you seat at the Next Grit Coronation/Circus ...hopefully for them Gerard Kennedy and his allies (including the anti-semitic fringe of the party) on the loony left side of the party will not sabotage the choice of Bob Rae who seems to be the Party's best choice right now (this of course is not saying much as Rae and his fellow wonks at the Not a Democrat Party virtually bankrupted Ontario when they held power here in the 90s).

12. Stephane I really need to go into this?...he seems like a decent person but what did they say about nice guys?.....message to Liebral Party..choose a leader who can converse in a language that the majority of Canada speak.

13. Justin Trudeau was elected as an MP...its only a matter of time though before he becomes a future Grit leader..for better but most likely for worse (such is the lack of quality politicians in Canada)...He certainly is not the intellectual figure that his over-hyped (and extremely modest) father was.

14. The Torys will have to hold back on eating baby's for some time...In the mean time the other Parties can continue their brainstorming rhetoric about a hidden agenda...

15. Another Message to the Liebrals - Never mention anything about a new tax when an election looms on the horizon...(although I personally believe that the Green Shift Plan made some sense).Yes I know you indicated that income tax reshuffling will be utilized as a method of returning money to the public but this sounds more like added smoke and mirrors from a party that once advocated scrapping the GST and never followed through with it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Fisking of Howard Zinn

I enjoy a good fisking…..Comments in Red

Let's not waste $700bn on a bail-out, but use 'big government' for what it's best - shaping a society that is fair and peaceable In whose image?

This current financial crisis is a major way-station on the way to the collapse of the American empire. I have read similar articles from around the time of the Great Depression, Vietnam War, Watergate etc. - Clearly they were premature just as Zinn is with this alarmist statement – this line is more of an attention grabber than a meaningful statement. The first important sign was 9/11, with the most heavily-armed nation in the world shown to be vulnerable to a handful of hijackers. 911 was a wake up call reflecting the extent that the Jihadists will go to in the struggle against the West – it however only represents a potential milestone in a collapse if we fail to take heed of its importance – which many leftists, liberals and paleo-conservatives have done.

And now, another sign: both major parties rushing to get an agreement to spend $700bn of taxpayers' money to pour down the drain of huge financial institutions which are notable for two characteristics: incompetence and greed. I’ll give him this point at least part of it….both are characteristic of financial institutions…… however this is not the full story….Many financial organizations were also forced to make loans to unsuitable candidates to avoid ‘discrimination’ based litigation. The financial organizations are not the only greedy party here.
There is a much better solution to the current financial crisis.

But it requires discarding what has been conventional "wisdom" for too long: that government intervention in the economy ("big government") must be avoided like the plague more low growth Keynesian economics? , because the "free market" will guide the economy towards growth and justice. It has with economic growth – the jury is still out with respect to Justice…but them again socialist systems have failed on both accounts

Let's face a historical truth: we have never had a "free market", we have always had government intervention in the economy, true – libertarians would argue that the lack of a true free market is the actual problem and indeed that intervention has been welcomed by the captains of finance and industry sometimes but not always….I am not sure that ATT welcomed the break up into the Baby Bells or Microsoft – the anti-competition investigations by the attorney general during the Clinton years They had no quarrel with "big government" when it served their needs. Of course – big business has no shortage of hypocrites – but then so does big labour...

It started way back, when the founding fathers met in Philadelphia in 1787 to draft the constitution. The first big bail-out was the decision of the new government to redeem for full value the almost worthless bonds held by speculators. And this role of big government, supporting the interests of the business classes, continued all through the nation's history. Fair enough – However it also saves Jobs as it did with Chrysler in the 1970s – Isn’t an expansion of big government a bailout in and of itself at least as far as the taxpayer is concerned?

The rationale for taking $700bn from the taxpayers to subsidise huge financial institutions is that somehow that wealth will trickle down to the people who need it. This has never worked. Based on what evidence? The 700 billion is needed to add liquidity to the market and ensure future loans...Zinn is more ignorant of economics than Jack Layton (Canadian Federal NDP leader)...and that is saying much
The alternative is simple and powerful. Take that huge sum of money and give it directly to the people who need it. Let the government declare a moratorium on foreclosures and give aid to homeowners to help them pay off their mortgages. Good Point - but this is easier said than done...Create a federal jobs programme to guarantee work to people who want and need jobs doing what? and for whom "the free market" has not come through.

We have a historic and successful precedent. Roosevelt's New Deal put millions of people to work,rebuilding the nation's infrastructure, and, defying the cries of "socialism", The current thinking is that the New Deal may have also prolonged the depression delaying the recovery – WWII is what finally turned the US economy around
that finally kickstarted the US established social security. That can be carried further, with "health security" - free health care free health care is an illusion…someone still has to pay for it,,,,Zinn is starting to believe his own feel good propaganda - for all.

All that will take more than $700bn. But the money is there. In the $600bn for the military budget, What will happen to all those who are let go from the myriad of Industries AND spin offs operations that benefit from military spending…telecommunications…computers….medicine etc ? I guess Zinn will put them all on social security….great plan…????once we decide we will no longer be a war-making nation. Somebody should maybe tell the enemies of the West this...without the US there is no arsenal for democracy.... And in the swollen bank accounts of the super-rich such as George Soros, JK Rowling and Oprah Winfrey , by taxing vigorously both their income and their wealth. They will just move their money abroad and invest in other markets…The US isn’t the only show in town

When the cry goes up, whether from Republicans or Democrats, that this must not be done because it is "big government", the citizenry should just laugh. Its hard to laugh when you lose your job….not everyone has university tenure like Zinn and his fellow elitists

And then agitate and organise on behalf of what the Declaration of Independence promised: that it is the responsibility of government to ensure the equal right of all to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" Pure dramatics… What does this really mean anyway? …yes it sounds great…but is ultimately a very broad statement and in this context empty…

Only such a bold approach can save the nation Saved from what? - not as an empire, but as a democracy This is language that George Lucas would be proud of...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

In the New XLIX

Liebrals and NDP continue fear mongering in Canadian election run up
- it seems to be paying off
Now Stephane Dion is using it to wriggle out of his agenda - Typical Lieberal - say anything to win election then back-track when the going gets tough.
However as expected the Lieberal plan does not add up.
They also might be their own worst enemies.

Is ACORN vote rigging for the US Election in favour of Obama?
It seems as though this might be the case. Read and again and again.

Front Page Magazine has informative look at the link between certain Black Racists and the Global Jihadist Movement.

Same old same old - another defeatist Kadima-Labour Coalition in Israel?
Say it ain't so....

Hamas has a bomb factory in Hebron (probably more elsewhere)
Hardly a surprise but at least it was identified and reported

Venezuelan oil output under Chavez slips
Apparently it has fallen by a how will the revolution be funded?

ANC and DA oppose removing Springbok Emblem for South African Rugby
Good for them - There is only so much cultural genocide a country can take.

More on South Africa's future Dictator: You heard it here.

Iran seeks foreign investment in oil

The global assortment of greed capitalists will likely go for this but what the country really needs is economic sanctions to destabilize a terror supporting regime.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Searching for Consistency

Yesterday was Yom Kippur - the Jewish Day of Atonement. This is never an easy time for I am sure is the case with many of my co-religionists. This had nothing to do with the physicality of the fast and everything to do with the self-reflection that the day requires. I felt as though I was spinning wheels in my mind...debating issues of good and evil, faith and reason without reaching a conclusion one way or another. I have my core metaphysical beliefs that I express on this site but my challenge... and it still remains how can I meld these in a world where science is so critical. What must give and what can stay? How can I remain consistent? True to G-d but loyal to rationality. Where do my assumptions begin?

Monday, October 06, 2008

On Turning 40

I just turned 40 last month - a key milestone in my life - which I have chosen to celebrate as oppose to 'mourn' over. In all truth I cannot complain - I am blessed and have many gifts that have served to make me who I am. My life has been one so far of opportunities and I believe that, for the most part. I have taken them. Yes there were some bumps along the way...a failed marriage...a job layoff....some silly mistakes here and there...but so what?...the positive has triumphed and at the end I am the better for it.

My lovely wife Dina organized a surprise birthday party for me (and really it was a surprise ...I was totally blindsided) which made me realize once again how fortunate I was to have both the support of friends and family.

However I know that my success so far would not have been possible without my strong belief in G-d...a belief that I have combined with a strong affinity towards science and reason. I do not see them as mutually exclusive but as twin facets shaping my worldview.

I rejoice in all of this and once again. Thank G-d.