The British and Argentineans are disputing the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands Again

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 24th, 2011

Week in Review

The British are making cuts in military spending.  Could there be another Falklands War afoot?  Now that some perceive that they don’t have the strength or the reach they once had?  Perhaps (see Britain slams Argentina, vows to protect Falklands by Mohammed Abbas posted 12/23/2011 on Reuters).

Britain has controlled the South Atlantic islands, located about 300 miles off the eastern coast Argentina, since 1833. Its two-month war with Argentina in 1982 resulted in the deaths of 255 British and about 650 Argentine soldiers.

The British government says it will only agree to sovereignty talks if the territory’s 3,000 residents ask it to, and that the islanders want to remain British.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez has rejected the argument as a display of “mediocrity bordering on stupidity” and earlier this year called Britain a “crass colonial power in decline” for refusing to hold talks over the islands, known as Las Malvinas in Spanish.

The residents of the Falkland Islands are British in pretty much every sense of the word.  They speak English.  Visiting British doctors provide their health care.  The Islands were uninhabited when the British first landed on them.  There have been other Europeans there but it’s been mostly British.  The 1982 Falklands War was more a diversion from floundering Argentine economic policies.  The people who live there are for all intents and purposes British.  And want to remain British.  So why are the Argentines so intent on making this British population Argentinean?

Diplomatic tensions over the islands have increased in recent years over offshore oil exploration.

Oh.  That’s why.  The money.  Some things never change.

This isn’t a colonial colony where a foreign power moved in and oppressed the local population.  Something all European nations have been guilty of.  Including Britain.  But these islands had no local population when the British moved in.  Any other people that did live there at one time or another were other colonial powers.  Yes the islands are close to Argentina geographically.  But they are closer to Britain in every other way.  And probably should stay British.  At least, if that’s what the local population wants.

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Gallop Poll says Big Government is the Threat, not Big Business

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 24th, 2011

Week in Review

Apparently the people aren’t buying the lie anymore (see Gallup: Under Obama, Growing Percentage See Big Government as ‘Biggest Threat’ by Terence P. Jeffrey posted 12/18/2011 on cnsnews.com).

While President Barack Obama has focused his rhetoric in recent weeks on depicting a reckless Wall Street and insufficiently taxed “millionaires and billionaires” as threats to the American middle class, a newly released Gallup poll indicates that Americans apparently have been coming to a different conclusion during Obama’s presidency, with fewer people now seeing big business as the “biggest threat” to the country in the future and more seeing big government as the “biggest threat.”

The people see Big Government as the biggest threat.  Because it’s been the Obama policies that have been strangling the economic recovery.  So much so that there is no economic recovery.  Regulatory and tax policy are just so anti-business.  Obamacare being the big one.  Putting a hold on hiring and expansion across the board.  Because businesses just don’t know the full cost of compliance yet.

The Obama administration has made million Americans safe from the oppressive employment policies of businesses, though.  Simply by extending their unemployment.  As nice as that may be to some most of the American people would prefer gainful employment.  They dream of returning to the days when there was gainful employment.  And less government interfering with the economy.  Far less government.

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Kim Jong Il was as bad as Adolf Hitler when it came to Genocide and Famine

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 24th, 2011

Week in Review

Adolf Hitler was a monster.  His Nazi regime was a killing machine.  But he was just one of many monsters (see Revealed: the gas chamber horror of North Korea’s gulag by Antony Barnett, The Observer, posted 1/31/2004 in the Guardian).

In the remote north-eastern corner of North Korea, close to the border of Russia and China, is Haengyong. Hidden away in the mountains, this remote town is home to Camp 22 – North Korea’s largest concentration camp, where thousands of men, women and children accused of political crimes are held.

Now, it is claimed, it is also where thousands die each year and where prison guards stamp on the necks of babies born to prisoners to kill them.

Over the past year harrowing first-hand testimonies from North Korean defectors have detailed execution and torture, and now chilling evidence has emerged that the walls of Camp 22 hide an even more evil secret: gas chambers where horrific chemical experiments are conducted on human beings.

You read that right.  Genocide.  In North Korea.  Not Nazi Germany.  Under the stewardship of Kim Jong Il.  The Dear Leader.  Not the Fuhrer.  Adolf Hitler.  Different men.  But the same contempt for humanity.

Of course, some have a different opinion of him.  After meeting him in person.  And spending time with him.  Like Madeleine Albright in the Clinton administration.  The administration that gave him the technology for intercontinental ballistic missile guidance systems.  She said he wasn’t peculiar.  He was intelligent.  Well-informed.  “I found him very much on top of his brief,” she said.

This about a man who brought North Korea down to her knees (see Kim Jong Il: Road to ruin by Nicholas Eberstadt posted 12/21/2011 on The Los Angeles Times).

He was also the first ruler of an urbanized, literate society to preside over a mass famine in peacetime: The Great North Korean Famine of the 1990s, which erupted shortly after his father’s death, is believed to have killed hundreds of thousands of his subjects, and perhaps more. (Outsiders cannot know the precise toll; that figure remains a state secret.)

Since the very late 1990s, when North Korea’s famine apparently subsided, the food situation in the country has remained desperately precarious: Resumption of famine has been forestalled only by humanitarian food aid, Western economic assistance and Chinese largesse. Thus Kim Jong Il also earned the lifetime achievement award for overseeing the first industrialized economy ever to lose the capacity to feed itself.

God help the North Koreans.  For their leaders surely aren’t.

Kim Jong Il is dead.  Now the North Koreans can suffer Kim Jong Un.  Considering what Kim Jong Il did after inheriting power from his dad, Kim Il Sung, their future doesn’t look any better.  For the young sons seem to want to outdo their dads in tyranny and oppression.

Sadly, Camp 22 will likely have a prosperous future under Kim Jong Un.  For all dictators have their camps.  Unless Kim Jong Un is a closet capitalist.  It’s unlikely.  For brutal dictators don’t hand off power to nice people.  But one can always hope.  And that’s about all the North Koreans have these days.  Besides genocide and famine.

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The Government Spends up to $250,000 per Chevy Volt Sale, but we choose GM’s Full-size Pickup Trucks

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 24th, 2011

Week in Review

The Chevy Volt may not be flying out the door but GM’s full-size pickup trucks are (see GM sets 21-week idle at truck plants for factory updates by Craig Trudell, Bloomberg News, posted 12/23/2011 on The Detroit News).

The largest U.S. automaker has said it boosted profit this year by building supply of Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks, two of its most profitable models. GM is idling pickup factories for updates and renovations so that they’re able to assemble the automaker’s next-generation trucks…

GM had 202,720 full-size pickups in inventory at the end of November, 105 days supply on a selling-day basis, the company said Dec. 1. The company has said it’s targeting year-end inventory of about 200,000 full-size pickups, or about 90 days supply.

Note that GM’s most profitable vehicles are two full-size pickup trucks.  And if you do the math that 105 days of inventory equals about 58,000 trucks sold each month.  And that’s with no government incentives or rebates.  Because the government hates these trucks.

Compare that to the car of GM’s future.  The Chevy Volt.  How many are they hoping to sell?  About 10,000.  In one year.  And at a cost to taxpayers of about $250,000 per Chevy Volt.

People want full-size pickup trucks.  They don’t want the Chevy Volt.  Yet our government will pay a quarter of a million dollars per Volt to help make us buy what we don’t want.

What’s wrong with this picture?

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Trump may run as a Third Party Candidate and help Obama win Reelection

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 24th, 2011

Week in Review

Trump is thinking about running as a third party candidate in 2012.  Again (see Trump switches voter registration to ‘independent’ by MAGGIE HABERMAN posted 12/23/2011 on Politico).

Donald Trump, who recently pulled out of moderating a Newsmax-sponsored GOP debate that only Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum would commit to, has switched his voter registration to “independent,” a source confirms…

Trump has not been a lifelong Republican, and in some ways his move mirrors the path that Mike Bloomberg took — Democrat to Republican to independent.

It is not uncommon for someone to be a Democrat in college and change to Republican after starting a career and family.  Responsibilities in life will do that to you.  And it’s not uncommon for a grownup to change either.  Ronald Reagan did.  Who was a Democrat in Hollywood because most actors were.  But experience made him conservative.  And he became a Republican.

But to switch from Democrat to Republican to Independent is a bit strange.  To go from ‘I think the answer to all our problems is more government in our lives’ to ‘government isn’t the answer to our problems; government is the problem’ to ‘I really don’t have an opinion on the size of government’ doesn’t say much for your core philosophical beliefs.  It says instead I’m trying to be who I think people will vote for.

Trump may run as a third party candidate.  For he doesn’t believe the current field of Republicans can defeat Obama.  Of course, splitting the anti-Obama vote won’t help matters.  And if he runs as an Independent that’s exactly what he will do.  Because a vote for a third party candidate is a vote for the opposition.  At least, based on history.

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Write in Hillary Clinton if you want more Economic Destruction

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 24th, 2011

Week in Review

There’s talk about Hillary and Condi on the 2012 ticket.  On opposing parties, of course.  Both have denied any interest to be on the 2012 ticket.  Or any future elected office for that matter.  But no matter.  There’s still hope on their respective sides.  Which isn’t all that interesting.  But what is interesting is what some thing a Hillary Clinton presidency would deliver (see Are Condi and Hillary about to join the 2012 race? Rivals tipped to run for VP (and the top job in 2016) by Meghan Keneally posted 12/19/2011 on the Mail Online).

Politico reports that a group called Run Hillary 2012 arranged automated phone messages to call voters in New York, Florida and North Carolina.

‘America would be better off today if Hillary Clinton was our president. The Wall Street robber barons would be jailed, young people could afford college and find jobs and six million home owners wouldn’t face foreclosure. We need to change our course. Please sign our petition to draft Hillary Clinton for president,’ the message said.

It was her husband, Bill Clinton, who carries a far greater responsibility for the Great Recession than Wall Street robber barons.  His Policy Statement on Discrimination in Lending put pressure on mortgage lenders to qualify the unqualified.  The rest is history.  And the Great Recession.  But that’s old news.

Would Hillary cap university professors’ pay and benefits?  To bring down the high cost of college tuition?  Somehow I don’t think that’s what the ‘draft Hillary’ people mean.  I think they mean to have other people pay for college and mortgages.  Through higher taxes.  As for those jobs?  That’s a head scratcher.  Because you don’t create jobs in the private sector by raising taxes.  So the jobs they’re talking about will probably be more government jobs.  Paid for by more taxes.  Which will, of course, stifle economic growth further.  And hinder job creation in the private sector.

So if you want more economic destruction, write in Hillary Clinton.  I guess.

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