President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 30th, 2014

Politics 101

Democrats offered Enthusiastic Applause for Unsound Policy Proposals that have no Basis in Reality

President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address was a little longer than an hour.  But if you didn’t look at a clock it felt a lot longer.  For it was the same tripe you hear all the time from this administration.  And the political left.  It was full of misleading statements.  Inaccurate facts and figures.  And some lies.  The usual stuff you expect from the liberal left.  But what was really disturbing was the enthusiastic applause for some really unsound policy proposals that have no basis in reality.  Showing either how clueless these enthusiastic Democrats are about economics, business, national security, etc.  Or how amoral they are in their quest for power.  As they judge and implement policy not by how it will improve the lives of Americans.  But how it will improve their lives in government.

Some Big Reasons why Businesses export Jobs are Taxes, Regulations and Labor Costs

If there was ever an example of what people not to have in power this state of the union theater was it.  Following are excerpts from President Obama’s speech (see FULL TRANSCRIPT: Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address posted 1/28/2014 on The Washington Post).  Comments and analysis follow each excerpt.

And here are the results of your efforts: the lowest unemployment rate in over five years; a rebounding housing market — (applause) — a manufacturing sector that’s adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s — (applause) — more oil produced — more oil produced at home than we buy from the rest of the world, the first time that’s happened in nearly twenty years — (applause) — our deficits cut by more than half; and for the first time — (applause) — for the first time in over a decade, business leaders around the world have declared that China is no longer the world’s number one place to invest; America is.

The total number of people who left the civilian labor force since President Obama took office is 11,301,000 (see The BLS Employment Situation Summary for December 2013 posted 1/13/2014 on PITHOCRATES).  Which means the unemployment rate is meaningless.  The only reason why it’s falling is that the BLS doesn’t count unemployed people who gave up looking for jobs that just aren’t there.  Oil production on private land may be up.  While overall oil consumption is down because of the Great Recession that just won’t end.  Which is helping to keep gas prices down.  Unemployed people just don’t have the money to buy gas.  So they don’t.  Greatly reducing the demand for gas.  Thus reducing gas prices and oil imports.  George W. Bush’s last deficit was $498.37 billion.  President Obama’s first deficit was $1,539.22 billion.  And it was over $1 trillion in 2010, 2011 and 2012.  It fell to $680 billion in 2013 thanks to the sequester.  But the deficit is larger now than when President Obama assumed office.  The only reduction in the deficit is a reduction in the amount he increased it.

Now, as president, I’m committed to making Washington work better, and rebuilding the trust of the people who sent us here.

Really?  You’re committed to rebuilding the trust of the people?  Mr. “If you like your health insurance you can keep your health insurance.  Period.”  Otherwise known as the lie of the year.  You’re going to rebuild the trust of the people?  Good luck with that.  What with your pants on fire and all.

Today, after four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better. But average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled. The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by; let alone to get ahead. And too many still aren’t working at all.

Well, finally something Republicans can agree with the president about.  Yes, his economic policies have benefitted Wall Street.  While hurting Main Street.  Finally some bipartisan agreement.

So let’s make that decision easier for more companies. Both Democrats and Republicans have argued that our tax code is riddled with wasteful, complicated loopholes that punish businesses investing here, and reward companies that keep profits abroad. Let’s flip that equation. Let’s work together to close those loopholes, end those incentives to ship jobs overseas, and lower tax rates for businesses that create jobs right here at home. (Cheers, applause.)

There are only a few reasons why businesses export jobs.  And the big three are taxes, regulations and labor costs.  The Obama administration wants to raise taxes.  They’ve increased regulatory costs.  And they support costly union labor.  So everything they stand for encourages businesses to export jobs.

But — but I’ll act on my own to slash bureaucracy and streamline the permitting process for key projects, so we can get more construction workers on the job as fast as possible. (Applause.)

So how’s that approval for the Keystone XL pipeline coming along?  That thing you’ve been studying since 2010?  Which by the laws of arithmetic is approximately 4 years ago.  Is this slashing bureaucracy and streamlining the permitting process?  At this rate it would probably be quicker to elect a Republican president in 2016.  You know, someone who, when it comes to economic activity, walks it while the Democrats only talk it.

We also have the chance, right now, to beat other countries in the race for the next wave of high-tech manufacturing jobs. And my administration’s launched two hubs for high-tech manufacturing in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Youngstown, Ohio, where we’ve connected businesses to research universities that can help America lead the world in advanced technologies.

Universities are in the grant business.  They want as many grants as they can get to help bring money into the university.  And to do so they will study anything the government wants them to.  No matter how wasteful it is.  While some of the biggest high-tech companies started in garages.  Apple, Google, Hewlett Packard and Microsoft.  To name a few.  Yes, there is a lot of university-driven research.  But the big innovation is more entrepreneurial.  Created by people thinking up new stuff no one thought of yet.  Which is the last thing you want government involved in.  That same government that can’t build a website using 1990s technology.

Let’s do more to help the entrepreneurs and small business owners who create most new jobs in America. Over the past five years, my administration has made more loans to small business owners than any other. And when 98 percent of our exporters are small businesses, new trade partnerships with Europe and the Asia-Pacific will help them create even more jobs. We need to work together on tools like bipartisan trade promotion authority to protect our workers, protect our environment and open new markets to new goods stamped “Made in the USA.” (Applause.)

You want to help entrepreneurs and small business?  Get rid of Obamacare.  And slash tax rates.  This will provide incentive.  And allow them to reinvest more of their earnings to grow their business.  Allowing them to create those jobs.

Now, one of the biggest factors in bringing more jobs back is our commitment to American energy. The “all the above” energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working, and today America is closer to energy independence than we have been in decades. (Applause.)

‘All of the above’ as long as it isn’t coal, oil or nuclear.  But if it’s solar power and wind power they are committed to giving more tax dollars to their friends and bundlers in the green energy industry.

Meanwhile, my administration will keep working with the industry to sustain production and jobs growth while strengthening protection of our air, our water, our communities. And while we’re at it, I’ll use my authority to protect more of our pristine federal lands for future generations. (Applause.)

You can’t sustain production and jobs growth by strengthening protection of our air, water and pristine federal lands.  That’s just more regulatory costs.  And raising energy costs by not allowing any oil or natural gas production on those pristine federal lands.  Raising energy costs by restricting supply.  Which raises business costs.  In addition to those new regulatory costs.

Every four minutes another American home or business goes solar, every panel pounded into place by a worker whose job can’t be outsourced. Let’s continue that progress with a smarter tax policy that stops giving $4 billion a year to fossil fuel industries that don’t need it so we can invest more in fuels of the future that do. (Cheers, applause.)

That says it all.  Fossil fuels don’t need subsidies because their costs are affordable.  While solar (and wind power) are so costly that they are unaffordable.  Unless government heavily subsidizes them.

But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact. (Applause.) And when our children’s children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say yes, we did. (Cheers, applause.)

There is no such thing as settled science.  Only science that has yet to be disproved.  Besides, once upon a time glaciers stretched down from the poles to near the equator.  And then receded back to where they are now.  All without any manmade carbon in the atmosphere to warm the planet.  As we were still simple hunter and gatherers then.  So if the glaciers moved more before there was manmade global warming they’ll move again regardless of what man is doing to warm the planet.

Finally, if we’re serious about economic growth, it is time to heed the call of business leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders, law enforcement — and fix our broken immigration system. (Cheers, applause.) Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have acted, and I know that members of both parties in the House want to do the same. Independent economists say immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost $1 trillion in the next two decades. And for good reason: When people come here to fulfill their dreams — to study, invent, contribute to our culture — they make our country a more attractive place for businesses to locate and create jobs for everybody. So let’s get immigration reform done this year. (Cheers, applause.) Let’s get it done. It’s time.

Funny how that argument doesn’t apply to birth control and abortion.  The reason we need to “fix our broken immigration system.”  For if we were having babies at the rate when government created the welfare state we could pay for that welfare state today.  But thanks to the Sixties, birth control, abortion and feminism women stopped having babies.  Which is fine if a woman doesn’t want to.  But the progressives designed the welfare state based on them being baby machines.  Creating a greater number of taxpayers with each generation.  So more people pay into the welfare state than collect from it.  The way it must be for a Ponzi scheme to work.

That’s why I’ve been asking CEOs to give more long-term unemployed workers a fair shot at new jobs, a new chance to support their families. And in fact, this week many will come to the White House to make that commitment real.

When you raise the cost of labor (union labor, Obamacare, etc.) businesses tend to look at automating production instead of hiring that costly labor.  They may not be able to do anything about the higher regulatory costs but they can do something about higher labor costs.  Use more machines than people.  If you want CEOs to create new jobs stop making labor so costly.  And you can start with getting rid of Obamacare.

Of course, it’s not enough to train today’s workforce. We also have to prepare tomorrow’s workforce, by guaranteeing every child access to a world-class education. (Applause.)…

Five years ago we set out to change the odds for all our kids. We worked with lenders to reform student loans, and today more young people are earning college degrees than ever before. Race to the Top, with the help of governors from both parties, has helped states raise expectations and performance. Teachers and principals in schools from Tennessee to Washington, D.C., are making big strides in preparing students with the skills for the new economy — problem solving, critical thinking, science, technology, engineering, math.

Yes, more kids are going to college than ever before.  But they’re going there to have fun.  And to facilitate their fun many are getting easy, worthless degrees in the social sciences and humanities.  Costly degrees that universities sold them promising them future riches.  Enriching the university.  While impoverishing their graduates.  For a high-tech company has no use for these degrees.  Which is why a lot of these people end up in jobs they didn’t need that costly degree to do.  And our high-tech companies are using the visa program to get foreigners who have the skills they want.  Problem solving, critical thinking, science, technology, engineering and math.

It requires everything from more challenging curriculums and more demanding parents to better support for teachers and new ways to measure how well our kids think, not how well they can fill in a bubble on a test. But it is worth it — and it is working.

If you want kids to do better we need to champion marriage and family more.  And they should embrace religion a little more.  Instead of encouraging our young women to use birth control and abortion to avoid marriage and family.  And pulling every last vestige of religion from our lives.  Kids growing up in a household with a mother and a father who go to church do far better on average than kids growing up in a single-parent household and don’t go to church (see Strong families steeped in Conservative Values and Traditions do Well in America posted 1/11/2014 on PITHOCRATES).

Research shows that one of the best investments we can make in a child’s life is high-quality early education. (Applause.) Last year, I asked this Congress to help states make high-quality pre-K available to every 4-year-old. And as a parent as well as a president, I repeat that request tonight.

Actually, research doesn’t show that.  Yet they keep saying that.  For it’s like that line in the musical Evita, “Get them while they’re young, Evita.  Get them while they’re young.”  The sooner they can take them away from their parents the sooner they can start turning them into Democrat voters.  Such as teaching them to blame their parents for the manmade global warming that is killing the polar bears as they have no ice to rest on while eating their baby seals.

You know, today, women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.

Women deserve equal pay for equal work. (Cheers, applause.)

Actually, it’s closer to 91 cents (see The White House’s use of data on the gender wage gap by Glenn Kessler posted 6/5/2012 on The Washington Post).  And the small difference is not due to discrimination but personal choice.  When you look at aggregate wages women will make less than men.  Because more women are teachers (with 3 month off without pay) than men are.  Some women work fewer hours at work to spend more time with their children. While men tend to work more overtime.  Men also work the more dangerous and higher paying jobs.  And are more likely to belong to a union.  When you compare childless, single men and women with a college degree some women are actually earning more than men.  Figures don’t lie but liars figure.  And for the contortions the Obama administration did here The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker gave the president one Pinocchio.

Now, women hold a majority of lower-wage jobs, but they’re not the only ones stifled by stagnant wages. Americans understand that some people will earn more money than others, and we don’t resent those who, by virtue of their efforts, achieve incredible success. That’s what America’s all about. But Americans overwhelmingly agree that no one who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty. (Applause.)

In the year since I asked this Congress to raise the minimum wage, five states have passed laws to raise theirs.

You’re not going to have a lot of upward mobility when you pay people more to remain in the jobs they hate.  All the talk about making college more affordable and bringing employers and community colleges together to help give people the skills they need to fill the jobs employers have is all for nothing if they just pay people more for doing an entry-level job.

Let’s do more to help Americans save for retirement. Today most workers don’t have a pension. A Social Security check often isn’t enough on its own. And while the stock market has doubled over the last five years, that doesn’t help folks who don’t have 401(k)s. That’s why tomorrow I will direct the Treasury to create a new way for working Americans to start their own retirement savings: MyRA. It’s a — it’s a new savings bond that encourages folks to build a nest egg.

Once upon a time people opened a savings account at their local bank and they saved to buy a house.  And they saved for their retirement.  That’s how people saved when they didn’t have a pension or a 401(k).  They can’t do that today because of the Federal Reserve destroying the banking industry by keeping interest rates at zero.  If the Fed stopped printing money and let investment capital come from our savings like they did before the Keynesians gave us the Federal Reserve people would be saving like we once did.  And we’d stop having Great Depressions, stagflation and Great Recessions.  Created by their prolonging the growth side of the business cycle.  Which raises prices higher than they normally would go.  Making the contraction side of the business cycle that much more painful.  As those prices have a much longer way to fall than they normally would.  Thanks to the Fed’s meddling with interest rates.

MyRA guarantees a decent return with no risk of losing what you put in. And if this Congress wants to help, work with me to fix an upside-down tax code that gives big tax breaks to help the wealthy save, but does little or nothing for middle-class Americans, offer every American access to an automatic IRA on the job, so they can save at work just like everybody in this chamber can.

You know why they want these MyRAs?  Because they can’t stand people saving money.  They love Social Security.  Because they can borrow from the Social Security Trust Fund.  Which is what they will do with these MyRAs.  They will take this money and spend it.  Filling the MyRA Trust Fund with a bunch of IOUs.  Just like they do with the Social Security Trust Fund.  And then provide a retirement benefit like Social Security.  That is too small to live on.  Whereas if we saved the money ourselves our retirement nest-egg will be much larger.  And it will provide for our retirement.  Unlike Social Security.

And since the most important investment many families make is their home, send me legislation that protects taxpayers from footing the bill for a housing crisis ever again, and keeps the dream of homeownership alive for future generations. (Applause.)

It was Bill Clinton that set the stage for the subprime mortgage crisis with his Policy Statement on Discrimination in Lending (see Bill Clinton created the subprime mortgage crisis with his Policy Statement on Discrimination in Lending posted 11/6/2011 on PITHOCRATES).  Using the heavy hand of government to get lenders to qualify the unqualified.  Then the Fed’s artificially low interest rates were the bait for the trap.  Enticing people to borrow huge sums of money because those interest rates were just too good to pass up.  Even if they weren’t planning to buy a house to begin with. The subprime mortgage crisis and the resulting Great Recession were government made.  If we want to prevent the taxpayers from footing the bill for another housing crisis we need to get the Keynesians out of government.

Already, because of the Affordable Care Act, more than 3 million Americans under age 26 have gained coverage under their parents’ plans. (Applause.)

More than 9 million Americans have signed up for private health insurance or Medicaid coverage — 9 million. (Applause.)

The Washington Post gave this lie three Pinocchios (see Warning: Ignore claims that 3.9 million people signed up for Medicaid because of Obamacare by Glenn Kessler posted 1/16/2014 on The Washington Post).  For they’re counting some 3.9 million who would have signed up anyway for Medicaid regardless of the Affordable Care Act.  Also, the government was counting people who put a health care plan into their shopping cart as if they signed up for it.  Which many couldn’t.  As they haven’t programmed the back end of the health care website yet to actually accept payment or to pass that information on to the insurers.

And here’s another number: zero. Because of this law, no American, none, zero, can ever again be dropped or denied coverage for a pre-existing condition like asthma or back pain or cancer. (Cheers, applause.) No woman can ever be charged more just because she’s a woman. (Cheers, applause.) And we did all this while adding years to Medicare’s finances, keeping Medicare premiums flat and lowering prescription costs for millions of seniors.

That’s right.  Women with reproductive systems that men don’t have won’t pay more for their health insurance than men pay for theirs.  How can they do that?  Simple.  They just are charging men more.  To cover the cost of a reproductive system they don’t have.

Citizenship means standing up for the lives that gun violence steals from us each day. I have seen the courage of parents, students, pastors, and police officers all over this country who say “we are not afraid,” and I intend to keep trying, with or without Congress, to help stop more tragedies from visiting innocent Americans in our movie theaters and our shopping malls, or schools like Sandy Hook. (Applause.)

If you take away guns from law-abiding gun owners that won’t keep dangerous people with mental health issues that want to harm people out of our movie theaters, our shopping malls or schools like Sandy Hook.  For there are other ways to harm people.  Just look at the Boston Marathon bombers.  The people he’s talking about not only had mental health issues but they were also smart.  Many were even college students.  Who probably could think of other ways to hurt people.  And you just can’t take away everything they might use to harm people.  But you can place these people somewhere where they can’t harm anyone.

You see, in a world of complex threats, our security, our leadership depends on all elements of our power — including strong and principled diplomacy. American diplomacy has rallied more than 50 countries to prevent nuclear materials from falling into the wrong hands, and allowed us to reduce our own reliance on Cold War stockpiles.

Since President Obama assumed office he did nothing to support the Green Revolution in Iran.  Which kept the hard-line Islamists in power there.  He gave Egypt to the Muslim Brotherhood by telling Hosni Mubarak that he had to go.  Removing the stable anchor of the Middle East.  And moved Egypt closer to Iran.  (The Egyptian people eventually rose up to overthrow the oppressive Muslim Brotherhood).  He went to war in Libya and helped to overthrow Colonel Muammar Qaddafi.  Who at the time was a quasi ally in the War on Terror.  After the Iraq invasion frightened him into believing he may be next.  President Obama was thanked for his Libyan war by al Qaeda with 4 dead Americans in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11.  He waited too long to act in the Syrian civil war.  Which only brought al Qaeda into the conflict.  He failed to attain a status of forces agreement in Iraq.  So he pulled all U.S. forces out of Iraq which has only invited al Qaeda in.  And it looks like this will be repeated in Afghanistan.  He blamed George W. Bush’s wars as recruitment tools for al Qaeda.  While his extensive drone use is doing the same thing.  Especially in Yemen.  The hotbed of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.  All that his diplomacy and leadership has done was to make the world a more dangerous place.

American diplomacy, backed by the threat of force, is why Syria’s chemical weapons are being eliminated. (Applause.) And we will continue to work with the international community to usher in the future the Syrian people deserve — a future free of dictatorship, terror and fear.

His diplomacy with Bashar al-Assad in Syria only gave his oppressive regime legitimacy in the civil war he was raging against his people.  Making it easier for Assad to kill Syrians with conventional arms while he gives up a token amount of his chemical weapons.  While also making Russia who brokered the deal the dominate player in the region.

And it is American diplomacy, backed by pressure, that has halted the progress of Iran’s nuclear program — and rolled back parts of that program — for the very first time in a decade. As we gather here tonight, Iran has begun to eliminate its stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranium.

It’s not installing advanced centrifuges. Unprecedented inspections help the world verify every day that Iran is not building a bomb. And with our allies and partners, we’re engaged in negotiations to see if we can peacefully achieve a goal we all share: preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. (Applause.)

All Iran is doing is pausing their program.  And chemically altering some of their enriched uranium to meet the requirements of this diplomatic deal.  But this chemical process is reversible.  And they will reverse it once they get what they want.  This deal makes the world no safer.  If anything it makes it more dangerous.  For it does not diminish the Iranian nuclear program in the least.  But gives them more time to work on it as they prop up their regime with much needed supplies thanks to a relaxation of the sanctions against them.

These negotiations will be difficult; they may not succeed. We are clear-eyed about Iran’s support for terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, which threaten our allies; and we’re clear about the mistrust between our nations, mistrust that cannot be wished away. But these negotiations don’t rely on trust; any long-term deal we agree to must be based on verifiable action that convinces us and the international community that Iran is not building a nuclear bomb. If John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan could negotiate with the Soviet Union, then surely a strong and confident America can negotiate with less powerful adversaries today. (Applause.)

The sanctions that we put in place helped make this opportunity possible. But let me be clear: if this Congress sends me a new sanctions bill now that threatens to derail these talks, I will veto it. (Applause.) For the sake of our national security, we must give diplomacy a chance to succeed.

The Soviet Union never attacked U.S. soil.  And there was a reason they didn’t.  They were rational.  And knew they would lose a great deal in a war with America.  Especially a nuclear one.  Which is why they never used their nuclear weapons.  But Iran giving a nuclear weapon to a shadowy group that is not a state?  With little to lose in using a nuclear weapon?  If it’s not a nuclear missile there will be no way in knowing where the nuclear bomb came from.  We can have our suspicions that Iran made it and gave it to someone.  But do we nuke Iran over that?  What if there are more nukes in the hands of al Qaeda, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, etc.?  You could nuke Iran back to the Stone Age but it won’t stop those others being used.  The president insists this will not happen as Iran signed an agreement.  The only problem with that is the Iranians are liars.  And they call the United States the Great Satan.   These two facts suggest that replacing those sanctions with a promise not to build nuclear bombs was probably not a wise trade.

But for more than two hundred years, we have put those things aside and placed our collective shoulder to the wheel of progress: to create and build and expand the possibilities of individual achievement; to free other nations from tyranny and fear; to promote justice and fairness and equality under the law, so that the words set to paper by our founders are made real for every citizen.

Use our collective shoulder to expand individual achievement?  The president believes in the former more than the latter.  He didn’t help the Iranians get free from tyranny when he had the chance.  And he turned the Egyptian people over to tyranny.  The Muslim Brotherhood.  Who were oppressing women and Christians.  Fairness and equality under the law?  Ask those Tea Party groups who were targeted by the IRS about fairness and equality under the law.  The Constitution?  That document of negative rights?  The left hates it.  And insists it’s a living document that can evolve over time to suit the needs of an expanding government.  So they can do exactly what the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution to prevent from happening.

The Left endorses Unsound Policy Proposals with no Basis in Reality to improve their Chances of Winning Elections

The country is more conservative than liberal (see Liberal Self-Identification Edges Up to New High in 2013 by Jeffrey M. Jones posted 1/10/2014 on Gallup).  Which is why liberals want state-funded pre-K to start indoctrinating our children as soon as possible.  To get them away from their parents so they can begin the process of turning them into Democrat voters.  It’s why kids are getting worthless social science and humanities degrees.  To further indoctrinate them.  Because their views are minority views.  So they need to play loose with the facts.  And lie.  Which is easier to do with indoctrinated kids than educated adults.  You’ll even hear Democrats talk about lowering the voting age.  To get a few more years of voting out of these kids before they grow old and wise.  And begin voting conservative.  So they do what they can to dumb down education.  Lie.  Cheat.  And buy as many votes as they can by giving away free stuff.  And the thing they really want to give away is citizenship for illegal aliens.  Who they are sure will be forever grateful.  And show it by voting Democrat.

This explains the enthusiastic applause for unsound policy proposals that have no basis in reality.  For the left is not interested in improving the lives of Americans.  They just want to improve their chances of winning elections.

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Solving the Illegal Immigration Problem with Machines

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 29th, 2013

Week in Review

We have an illegal immigration problem because of California’s agriculture industry.  Illegals come to pick our crops because we won’t do it for what they will do it for.  Now we’re talking about a pathway to citizenship.  Because we won’t pick our own crops.  Of course once they are legal citizens they probably won’t pick our crops for what they once did.  Because they will no longer have to hide and endure low wages lest they fear deportation.  So what then?  Well, probably something like this (see Japanese Agriculture Firm Develops Strawberry Picking Robot posted 9/28/2013 on Science, Space & Robots).

A strawberry picking robot has been developed by Shibuya Seiki Co., a developer of agriculture machinery. The Japan Times reports that new robot was on display this past week at the Auto-ID and Communication Expo, which is held at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center.

The robot is 2-meters tall. It can identify fresh strawberries and pick them from plants. The robot uses digital cameras to determine the color of the strawberry and an algorithm to decide whether or not it is ripe enough to pick. Cameras are also used to help the robot get in the proper position to pick the strawberry. Picked strawberries are slowly placed in a tray after being picked.

Here’s our answer to illegal immigration.  Use machines to do what Americans refuse to do.  Thereby eliminating the need for migrant labor. Which would really change the political discourse.  And cause a big problem for liberals who want a pathway to citizenship to create new Democrat voters.  That big problem?  Machines don’t vote.

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New Zealand Immigration does not allow Fat People into their Country because of Health Care Costs

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 27th, 2013

Week in Review

As Obamacare moves closer to full implementation the mass of personal data the government will collect on us is concerning many.  Our medical files will have everything from our Social Security numbers to comments that we may drink too much.  But what harm can come from government having a wealth of private information about us?  It’s not like anyone has ever hacked into a government computer (the Chinese).  Or a branch of government ever violated our Constitutional rights (the IRS).  So really, now, how could a government-run health care system tracking our personal data harm us (see Chef told he’s too fat to live in New Zealand posted 7/27/2013 on CBC News)?

A South African chef has been told by authorities in New Zealand that’s he’s too fat to be permitted to live in the country…

…immigration officials told him he did not have “an acceptable standard of health” and his work visa would not be renewed, Fairfax NZ News reported.

At 5’8″ tall, Albert Buitenhuis has a body mass index of more than 40, which lands him in the medically obese territory.

An immigration spokesman said all applicants with a body mass index of more than 35 are investigated.

The spokesman said the chef had been rejected because his obesity put him at “significant risk” of health complications such as heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and hypertension.

He added that the department’s medical assessors have to consider to “what extent there might be indications of future high-cost and high-need demand for health services…”

New Zealand has the third highest obesity rate among developed countries, behind the United States and Mexico, according to a 2012 report released by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Interesting.  Obamacare may track our weight to determine how much to charge us for our Obamacare premium.  But they are doing nothing to secure our border.  Allowing God knows how many obese Mexicans into the country.  Who are as obese as we are.  And are at risk of heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and hypertension.  Requiring more costly Obamacare resources.  So they will punish us for our obesity.  But not the Mexicans entering the country illegally.  For they are sacrosanct.  We can’t even ask them for an ID when they try to vote.  But you know that you and I will have to pay an obesity tax under Obamacare.

New Zealand has a mixed health care system.  It was once a national system.  But they have since mixed in a few private sector elements.  To control the out-of-control costs of national health care.  And because the government is footing a portion of the health care bill the government can do pretty much whatever they want when it comes to any health care issue.  In this case immigration is a health care issue.  Because immigrants are people.  And people eventually require health care.

This is the frightening part about Obamacare.  Because it lets the government punish our behavior if they choose.  Or our thoughts.  Overweight?  That’ll cost you.  Especially if you’re an enemy of the state.  Like those Tea Party groups harassed by the IRS.  Something that couldn’t happen if we kept our health care in the private sector.

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Japan’s Low Replacement Birthrate gives them an Aging Population and Soaring Debt

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 7th, 2013

Week in Review

The United States debt as a percentage of GDP is approaching 100%.  Meaning that we owe as much as we produce in goods and services each year.  A frightening prospect.  For imagine if you earn $50,000 a year and were $50,000 in debt.  How easy do you think it would be to repay your debt?  Chances are that you will never be able to repay your debt.  But here we are.  Our government borrowing more than ever.  Without any concern of that rising debt.  They say it isn’t that bad.  Just look at Japan.  Their debt is about 200% of their GDP.  And they seem to be doing just fine (see Elderly shoplifters outstrip teenagers in Tokyo by AFP posted 7/8/2013 on France 24).

The number of elderly people caught shoplifting in Japan’s capital city has outstripped that of teenagers for the first time since records began, a report said.

A quarter of the people arrested on suspicion of the crime in Tokyo last year were at least 65 years old, figures showed, amid warnings of increasing isolation in the age group…

Around a quarter of Japan’s 128 million population is aged 65 or older, and the country has a far-below replacement birthrate of an average 1.39 children for every woman.

There are regular reports of bodies lying unfound for weeks or even months after a single, elderly person has died alone. Commentators say the phenomenon is a result of the fraying of familial ties as Japan has modernised.

When you have a replacement birth rate of 1.39 you have an aging population.  One that is growing so old that the rate of people leaving the workforce will soar while the rate of those entering the workforce will plummet.  So just as these elderly people start consuming their pensions and health care benefits the tax base that pays for them will be disappearing.  Perhaps explaining why these people are shoplifting.  As the burden to care for an aging population eventually becomes too great for a government to sustain.  So they cut back.  And leave the elderly to fend for themselves.

When people are having only 1.39 kids on average that means couples are not just having one child.  But a lot of them are having no children.  This is what birth control and abortion have given advanced nations.  The ability to wipe themselves off the map.  Either by a negative population growth rate.  Or by throwing open your borders to try and offset the population decline with new immigration.  Transforming the nation from the native population to the immigrant population.  Replacing the native culture and traditions with the immigrant culture and traditions.  Just like when the Americans moved west and replaced the culture and traditions of the Native Americans.

Two things that just don’t go together are an expanding welfare state and a declining replacement birthrate.  As you have a shrinking tax base paying for that expanding welfare state.  If you want an expansive welfare state you have to have more babies.  Plain and simple.  You have to stop using birth control.  And stop having abortions.  So you can grow the population.  To always have more people in the base of the pyramid than you do at the top.  Like any good Ponzi scheme should.  It’s either that or you have to reduce the size of the welfare state.  So you can live within your means.  That is, what your tax base can afford to pay.

Or you can keep borrowing and printing money like Japan.  And wonder when the deflation and recession of the Lost Decade of the Nineties will ever end.

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FT175: “Illegal US immigration tells us that the people of the world want more American imperialism.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 21st, 2013

Fundamental Truth

The Communists built the Berlin Wall to keep her People from Fleeing their Communist Utopia

The West is the best.  Based on history.  The Cold War was East versus West.  The Soviet Union and communist Eastern Europe faced off with NATO forces on the other side of the Iron Curtain.  And all during the Cold War people tried to escape from behind the Iron Curtain into the West.  Where there was no secret police.  And a life of plenty.  Instead of the life of poverty and perpetual want of the most basic of necessities behind the Iron Curtain.  Which is why these people wanted to escape to the West.

Of course, that posed a problem for countries behind the Iron Curtain.  If too many of their best and brightest escaped to the West the resulting brain drain would hurt their economies.  Reduce the quality of their health care systems.  Retard their scientific research.  Diminish innovation.  Leaving these countries frozen in time.  While the West went on to create the modern world.  If you visited East Germany in 1950 and again in 1960 and again in 1970 you would not have noticed great change.  At least not anything near the kind of change you saw in West Germany.

This was a problem in Berlin.  For although Berlin was wholly within East Germany the city itself was divided between East and West.  And life was so much better across the street in West Berlin than it was in East Berlin.  There were blue jeans.  Transistor radios.  Televisions.  People just had to walk across the street and claim asylum.  Board an airplane and fly away from the soul-sucking life of East Germany.  And they, too, could have all of those wonderful things.  As well as a full tummy.  For the West could feed their people far better than they could behind the Iron Curtain.  Which is why the communists built the Berlin Wall.  Not to keep people out of their communist utopia.  But to keep their people from fleeing it.

If Teddy Roosevelt didn’t give Cuba back to the Cubans there would have been no ‘Boat People’

The Soviet Union and their satellite countries behind the Iron Curtain are no more.  For the East lost the Cold War.  Thanks to Ronald Reagan.  And Margaret Thatcher.  Who decided to no longer accommodate the East’s belligerence.  Instead of detente they chose to win the Cold War.  For they saw what communism was.  An economic system on life support.  The Soviet Union could not even feed her people without U.S. grain.  Despite having Europe’s breadbasket on their side of the Iron Curtain.  The Ukraine.  So they pushed.  Hard.  Spent more money on defense that the Soviet economy simply couldn’t match.  Ultimately breaking the back of the Soviet economy.

That’s right.  The West won the Cold War by living well.  The economies of the West, in particular of the United States, were so strong that it could build the Strategic Defense Initiative (i.e., Star Wars) and still provide a life of plenty for their people.  Which is why whenever someone living behind the Iron Curtain had a chance to defect to the West they did.  It’s the dream of oppressed people everywhere to escape to the West.  Especially to the United States.  For when it comes to freedom and a high quality of life this is the ultimate destination.  The United States.

When Fidel Castro turned Cuba communist people made ramshackle rafts to escape Cuba.  Hoping to get to the United States.  Where life was so much better.  These ‘boat people’ no doubt wished the United States had kept Cuba when Spain ceded Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam to the U.S.  For a large sum of money after losing the Spanish-American War.  Spain left Cuba to the Americans, too, at the same time.  But Teddy Roosevelt gave Cuba back to the Cubans.  Which ultimately brought Fidel Castro to power.  Creating those ‘boat people’ trying to escape his rule.  Whereas had the United States kept Cuba it could be more like Puerto Rico or Guam today.  Western.  Where people wouldn’t board ramshackle rafts to get to the West.  Because they would have already been living in the West.

The Ideas of the Enlightenment took Root in America and Flourished better than in all other Countries

Prior to the Spanish-American War there was the Mexican-American War.  Where the Americans fought the Mexicans who had just recently won their independence from Spain.  What started out as a war over Texas ended with a treaty (and a cash payment to Mexico as well as assumption of some of her debt) giving the United States not only Texas but California and what is approximately today the southeast United States.  Moving the southern border of the U.S. south.  But apparently not far enough south.  At least, based on the illegal immigration from Mexico into the United States.

Life across the border in the United States is better than it is in Mexico.  Based on those who leave Mexico and cross into the United States illegally.  Who wouldn’t be doing this if life was better in Mexico than in the United States.  Suggesting that these immigrants would have been happier had the United States pushed their southern border all the way to Mexico’s southern border at the conclusion of the Mexican-American War.  So that Mexico would have been part of the U.S.  Allowing them to enjoy living in the United States.  Without being in the country illegally.

So while people speak out against American imperialism what this immigration tells us is that there was not enough American imperialism.  For if the United States had made most of the world a part of the United States then these people would not have to immigrate here.  For they would already be here.  For whatever reason the ideas of the Enlightenment took root here in America and flourished.  Better than in all other countries.  Making her the leader of the Western World.  And the ultimate destination of oppressed and impoverished people everywhere.

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Unemployed Immigrants plunge Progressive and Socialist Sweden in Riots

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 25th, 2013

Week in Review

According to the American left all of America’s problems come from a disparity in incomes.  Which a progressive government tries to fix with a progressive tax code to redistribute wealth.   To make up for that income disparity.  So unskilled people have nice things just like highly skilled workers who can demand a high income.  But the Republicans are mean.  And try to stop the left from making the country a better place.  Something a little more like, say, Sweden (see Swedish police try to restore order in Stockholm after week of rioting by Anthony Lane in Stockholm and agencies posted 5/24/2013 on the guardian).

The riots have served as a sharp reminder that despite regular praise for its ‘Nordic model’ of progressive politics, relatively low unemployment and a generous social safety net, Sweden is not immune to the tension that festers in deprived communities…

Although the smashed windows of shops, two schools and the local library had yet to be replaced, locals of the 12,000-strong neighbourhood, which has an 80% immigrant population, said there had been no problems since 20 members of the local Islamic centre went around Husby to talk to the youths involved in the original disturbances.

“They told them that it had to stop and that they were scaring people,” said Abdul, a nurse in the local hospital after Friday prayers at the mosque.

“At the moment it’s very hard to get jobs – not just here but for everyone in Sweden,” said the Moroccan immigrant who had lived in Husby for 11 years. Having registered growth of 6.1% and 3.9% in 2010 and 2011 respectively, the Swedish economy slowed to just 0.8% last year, largely as a result of faltering exports to the eurozone. Residents born outside Sweden represent 15% of the country’s 9.5 million population, but account for 35% of those registered as unemployed…

Sweden’s relaxed immigration policy and generous asylum system has resulted in exceptionally high immigration levels over the last decade. In 2012, 82,000 non-Swedes migrated to the country – 44,000 of them were asylum-seekers. The country’s migration board expects to receive 54,000 asylum seekers in 2013, including around 20,000 Somalis.

Interesting.  Sweden was the perfect model of a progressive utopia.  Now the place is burning in riots.  What happened?  What changed?  Well, the biggest change appears to be “exceptionally high immigration levels over the last decade.”  Who although they make up only 15% of the country account for 35% of the unemployed.  Interesting.

If this was America the go-to response would be it’s because of racist employers who don’t want to hire immigrants.  Preferring to hire those illegally in the country so they can overwork and underpay them.  But this is Sweden.  So you can’t use the go-to response.  Because Sweden isn’t full of bigoted homophobes.  America has those.  And they’re called conservatives.  According to those on the left.  So what’s going on in Sweden?

It would appear a large percentage of those immigrants aren’t doctors, engineers, chemists, etc.  Instead they are largely uneducated young people with few appreciable job skills.  And can only perform menial labor.  Which doesn’t exactly thrill them.  And a lot of them have come from primarily Muslim countries.  Which tend to be male-centric.  Further angering them that they may only qualify for a job they feel someone beneath them should be doing.  Making them less eager to assimilate.  Preferring the company and the traditions of the country they fled.  And when they can’t even get those menial jobs you get mobs of angry young unemployed men roaming the streets.  Which rarely ends well.

The Americans should study closely what’s happening in Sweden before throwing open their borders.  Because it can happen here.  And already has.  The Boston Marathon bombers, for example, got to the U.S. as asylum seekers.  And let’s not forget how France burned in 2005.  Which was pretty much the same thing that just happened in Sweden.  The root of both of these riots was excessive immigration of low-skilled workers who suffered high unemployment in a jobless economy.  And a lack of assimilation.  Put these together and you get what happened in France in 2005.  And what happened in Sweden in 2013.  And what will happen in countries wherever they have large populations of low-skilled immigrants who feel alienated and don’t wish to assimilate.  Or can’t because they can’t find a job in a jobless economy.

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Expressing Conservatism Poorly loses the 2012 Election for Republicans

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 8th, 2012

Politics 101

Few Liberal Women would want their Daughter appearing in Playboy after all they did to Empower Women

After the massive Republican gains in the 2010 midterm elections Peggy Noonan wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Americans voted for maturity.  That is, the grownups voted and got their way.  While in 2012 it would appear the children voted and got their way.  More free stuff.  Regardless of the consequences of more massive deficit spending.

Children want their parents to buy them everything they desire.  And the parents have to say no.  Because most parents just don’t have the money to buy their children everything they want.  They have to make difficult spending decisions because of their limited income.  Children don’t understand this.  They just want their stuff.  It takes time for children to grow up and understand they can’t have everything.  This usually sets in when they start working and raising a family.  Until they do, though, they still want things without regard to their costs.  Which is why the Democrats go after the youth vote.  Before they start voting for maturity.

Young people often make errors in judgment.  Because they’re young.  Krysten Ritter who plays Chloe in Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 did a modeling job when she was 15 that she felt later was inappropriate for someone her age.  In a Playboy interview she said, “At the time I didn’t think about it, because kids don’t. They say your brain doesn’t develop fully until you’re 25. When kids do crazy stuff, it’s because they really are crazy. I just wasn’t aware; I had no fear. But I have not one single regret or feeling of resentment, because of where I am now. I have a good head on my shoulders. I learned all my lessons on my own.”  Kind of an odd thing to publish in a Playboy interview considering that a lot of the women appearing in Playboy are under 25 years old.  Who do crazy stuff.  Like objectifying themselves for money.  And voting Democrat.  For most women appearing in Playboy probably vote Democrat.  Even though few liberal women would want their daughter appearing in Playboy after all they did to empower women so they could build a career.  So they didn’t have to use their sexuality to earn a living.  Or to find a husband.  But when these kids grow up and get a good head on their shoulders they can learn their lessons.  And go on to great success.

Young Single Women were Voting Against their Future Married/Mature Selves

The Obama campaign successfully turned young single women away from Mitt Romney.  By saying that Romney would take away their birth control.  And their access to abortion.  Something they believed.  And it wasn’t just their birth control and access to abortion they were worried about.  Some liberals took to Twitter after President Obama won the election saying that they were relieved as they didn’t have to hoard tampons with the Romney defeat.  As well as birth control pills.  Don’t know how many or how serious they were.  But some were saying that.  For they believed a Republican administration would take women back to Victorian times.  Denying them everything except having babies, cooking and cleaning.

Meanwhile married women favored Romney.  Not by as large a margin as single women favored President Obama.  But a majority.  The difference being that maturity.  Married women raising children care more about how high taxes increase their cost of living.  How the growing federal debt will affect their children’s future.  How the high cost of gasoline is consuming more of the family budget.  And raising the cost of food.  That is, they are thinking like a grownup.  And as a grownup birth control pills, abortion and tampons are not high on their list of concerns.  For they were there since the Sixties.  When women empowered themselves.  And there have been a few Republican administrations since then.  Other things are more important to them.  Like making the mortgage payment.  Paying for braces for their children.  And taking care of an elderly parent.  Things few women think about until after the age of 25.  So basically young single women were voting against their future married/mature selves.

This is something that the younger generation doesn’t understand.  The generation they are voting/rebelling against?  It’s not a fixed constant throughout time.  The older people today were once the younger generation of a previous time.  And a lot of them voted/rebelled against the older generation then like the younger generation is today.  Just as many in the younger generation will become the very people they bitterly oppose today.  This doesn’t change.  The rift between the grownups and the children.  Just the people in these generations change.  And as they mature and grow wiser more responsibility and less having fun fills their days.  And they vote accordingly.

Hispanic Families are little different from the 1950s American Nuclear Family

President Obama got 71% of the Hispanic vote.  He did similarly well with Asians.  A common conclusion is that the Republicans lost these voters because of Romney’s more ‘extreme’ position on immigration than Governor Perry during the primary election.  And for using insensitive language like ‘illegals’ and ‘amnesty’.  Which may have turned Hispanics and Asians away from Romney.  While others say that a lot of these immigrants are here only for the free ride.  And will vote for the party that offers the most free stuff.  The Democrat Party.  And, yes, there may be some truth to that.  But those who are here for the free stuff are probably a small percentage of the total.  For most of these immigrants have strong conservative values.  Who don’t seek handouts.

The Hispanics breaking the law to come here are doing it to find work.  So they can provide for their families.   And will take some of the hardest and lowest paying jobs to provide for their families.  Working long hours in some of the most grueling conditions.  So their kids can have a better life.  Their labors and sacrifices for their family sustained by a deep religious faith.  A strong Catholic faith.  That respects life.  And opposes abortion.  Making Hispanic families little different from the 1950s American nuclear family.  And the Asian family is as strong as the Hispanic family.  Who work as hard so their kids can have a better life.  And their kids work hard and sacrifice, too.  Graduating college at the top of their class.  And this while taking the hard program degrees.  Not film.  Or gender studies.

So a good portion of President Obama’s voters seem to be conservative.  Or will become conservative over time.  Which means Romney didn’t lose the election because the nation is becoming more liberal.  He lost it because he did not articulate conservatism well enough.  Unlike Ronald Reagan.  Who did such a good job of explaining conservative policies (reducing costly regulations, lowering tax rates, keeping inflation from raising gas and food prices, etc.) that even Democrats saw that their lives would improve under these policies.  And they voted Republican.  Becoming Reagan Democrats.  If conservatives articulate these policies well enough they should appeal to the conservative values of Hispanics.  Asians.  Even single women.  Who eventually learn there is more to life than birth control, abortion and tampons.  But only if conservatives communicate this well.  Which Romney didn’t.  As proven by a lower turnout of Republicans than John McCain got in 2008.  In an election that was far easier to win.  As the Obama economy was little different from the Carter economy.  Allowing Ronald Reagan to sweep into office thanks to those Reagan Democrats.  Who understood his conservative message.  And liked it.

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Illegal Immigrants leaving the U.S. in Search of a Better Employment Opportunities

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 28th, 2012

Week in Review

According to the Obama administration the economy has been improving ever since they took office.  There were all those shovel-ready jobs in the Obama Stimulus bill.  There was the Recovery Summer in 2010.  And all those falling unemployment numbers.  With the Obama administration touting the U-3 unemployment rate while the U-6 rate (that counts everyone who can’t find a full-time job including those who’ve quit looking and those who can only find part-time jobs) is still in Great Depression territory.  And even these U-3 numbers are quietly revised upward later. 

But there is an even better barometer on the jobs picture.  Illegal immigration.  Those people who enter the country illegally for a better job than they can find in the country they’re leaving.  If the numbers on illegal immigration reverses then you know the economy is really in the toilet.  And guess what?  They’re reversing (see For first time since Depression, more Mexicans leave U.S. than enter by Tara Bahrampour posted 4/23/2012 on The Washington Post).

A four-decade tidal wave of Mexican immigration to the United States has receded, causing a historic shift in migration patterns as more Mexicans appear to be leaving the United States for Mexico than the other way around, according to a report from the Pew Hispanic Center…

The reversal appears to be a result of tightened border controls, a weak U.S. job and housing construction market, a rise in deportations and a decline in Mexican birthrates, said the study, which used U.S. and Mexican census figures and Mexican government surveys. Arrests of illegal immigrants trying to enter the United States have also dropped precipitously in recent years.

Not every illegal immigrant is coming into America for nefarious reasons.  Most of them are coming in for the jobs so they can better take care of their families.  These are hardworking people.  Many of them Catholic.  For Mexico is Catholic.  So they have some pretty strong religious values.  They take care of their families.  And are good neighbors.  Even help their communities.  Even though they are here illegally it’s hard not to like these good neighbors.  And these are the people who are returning to Mexico.  For the jobs.  So they can better take care of their families.

This is both good news and bad.  The good news is that the Mexican economy is doing well.  Creating better opportunity.  And a stronger middle class.  Which will pick more people up out of poverty.  Without having to leave the country they call home.  Or leave their families.  Great news indeed for our friends south of the border.  The bad news is what this says about the American economy.  That after almost 4 years of the Obama administration and record government spending the economy only has grown worse.  With nothing to show for that exploding federal deficit.

It’s rather ironic.  For the prevailing wisdom on the Right says the Obama administration wants to make it easier for these illegal immigrants to vote.  For the conventional wisdom is that they are coming here for the free government handouts.  So they would vote for the party promising the most free handouts.  The Democrats.  But these immigration numbers blow this conventional wisdom to pieces.  For it would appear they are here for the jobs.  Not the free handouts.  So if we asked these immigrants if things are better for them in America than they were 4 years ago their answer would probably be ‘no’.  And probably vote Republican.  If they could vote.  Like I said, ironic.

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Tragedy in Norway

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 24th, 2011

The Attacks on Oslo and Utoeya Island

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those in Norway.  The Oslo bombing and the shooting rampage on Utoeya island were horrific acts of cruelty.  And no doubt will leave long lasting scars on a great and peaceful people. 

Norway is a beautiful country.  You can hear it in the music of Edvard Grieg.  Who drew inspiration from the rich cultural heritage of his beloved land.  The country.  The people.  The beauty. 

So sad that a lunatic grew up in their midst.  Unbeknownst to them.  This singular aberration from normalcy and sanity.  A merchant of death.  Who preyed on the innocent.   Because of a sick mind.

Something that Spilled out of a Diseased Mind

The man they arrested on Utoeya is Anders Behring Breivik.  And he is insane (see An Interview with a Madman: Breivik Asks and Answers His Own Questions by Beau Friedlander posted 7/24/2011 on Time World).

The 32-year-old gunman — with his blond hair, green eyes and a six-foot build — is a Nordic ideal, and for at least nine years, he meticulously crafted his plan to root out anyone different. Breivik’s rambling writings, grandly titled 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, present him as a right-wing nationalist fueled by a combined hatred of Muslims, Marxists and multiculturalists. His beliefs recall neo-Nazi politics that continue to linger throughout Europe, but freshened with a new, 21st century toxicity.

As part of the manifesto, Breivik interviews himself, offering a highly personal Q&A in which he throws himself admiring questions and answers them with disturbing calm.

You can read an abridged version of this self-interview on Time World

Breivik is insane.  Or very stupid.  Because a sane person does not believe they can change the world by going on a killing spree.  Unless he is so stupid that he believes the people will rise up and join him in his crusade.  Of course, the odds are slim for that happening when you are killing not your enemies (in his case Muslims) but the people you want to join your crusade.

This was not part of an organized movement.  This bloody day was just something that spilled out of a diseased mind. 

Only an Idiot would think Mass Murder would help Advance his Agenda

And what may come as a shock to Breivik, the aftermath of his massacre is not playing out as he no doubt hoped (see Analysis: Brutal attack tests Norwegian society by Wojciech Moskwa posted 7/24/2011 on Reuters).

In a low-crime country where a single murder is front-page news, the shock from the scale of the violence would drown out any message on immigration Breivik was seeking to make, said Matlary. Even politicians who usually espouse anti-immigrant views, will above all seek to distance themselves from Breivik.

“This will surely tone down the debate on immigration ahead of local administration elections in September,” said Frank Aarebrot, political scientist at Bergen University. “In the traditional way, politicians will self-censor themselves.”

What sane person could not see this coming?  Breivik sure didn’t.  Because he’s not sane.  His actions have made the problem (as he saw it) worse.  He wanted more restrictive immigration policies?  Thanks to him, no one will dare speak about any immigration reform lest they be associated with a homicidal maniac.  Only an idiot would think mass murder would help advance his agenda.

The Rush to Judgment to Blame Islamic Terrorism

Of course, now the media is focusing on what’s really important in this massacre.  Not the dead and traumatized.  But the rush to judgment to blame Islamic terrorism (see Media Reacts to News That Norwegian Terror Suspect Isn’t Muslim by Ujala Sehgal posted 7/23/2011 on The Atlantic Wire).

Yesterday’s first reports on the massacre in Norway suggested that there was a link between the horrific attacks, which left 92 dead at latest reports, and Muslim extremists. Only later was the news released that the suspect taken by police, Anders Behring Breivik, was apparently a conservative, right-wing Christian with strong anti-Muslim and anti-immigration beliefs. Many in the media were left reeling over the fact that others were so quick to report and comment that Muslims were involved, before there was clear evidence.

In all fairness, there’s a reason a lot of people jumped to that conclusion.  Such as recent history.  Or they may have read an article in The Atlantic (see On Suspecting al Qaeda in the Norway Attacks by Jeffrey Goldberg).

Well, perhaps it was because [Jennifer Rubin] was reading the Atlantic. Shortly after the bombing in Oslo, the Atlantic re-posted on its home page a very interesting piece from last year by Thomas Hegghammer and Dominic Tierney entitled “Why Does al Qaeda Have a Problem With Norway?” You can read it here. In the piece, Hegghammer and Tierney discuss why Norway, against all odds, has become a favored target of al Qaeda. They give several reasons, among them fallout from the Danish cartoon crisis, and Norway’s participation in the war in Afghanistan. And then they bring up a third possibility: The presence in Norway of the aforementioned Mullah Krekar…

So there’s that.  And a history of terrorism by people in the name of Islam.

It is not perverse or absurd for normal people to think of al Qaeda when they hear of acts of mass terrorism. It is logical, in fact, to suspect al Qaeda. The Norway catastrophe does not negate the fact that the majority of large-scale terrorism spectaculars by non-state actors over the past decade have been committed by Muslims. For the Right, Norway should underscore the point that Christians (and Hindus, and also Jews) are just as capable of committing murderous atrocities as Muslims.

Yes, they are.  But more times than not when it is a Christian it’s usually a lone idiot and not part of a bigger international movement.

Helping the People he Hates

When you have a large scale coordinated assault directed against multiple targets, something that is very al-Qaeda-esque, you think al-Qaeda.  And you start worrying about other possible attacks.  Like the Americans did on 9/11.  Like the Spanish did during their multiple train bombings in 2004.  Like the British did during their multiple subway bombings in 2005.

Not only did Breivik make it easier for radical Muslims to get into Norway (by making everyone nervous about being too anti-Muslim), he also gave al-Qaeda a present.  Killing people al-Qaeda would have loved to kill.  Never in their wildest dreams did they think a Christian would kill a bunch of infidels for them while at the same time gaining sympathy for the Muslim people.  They must love this guy.  Helping the people he hates.

You may be able to uncover and stop international plots of terrorism, but you’ll never be able to stop the lone idiots.  A lone idiot is completely inside his head.  All but impossible to find.  Virtually invulnerable before he attacks.  And irrational as hell.  That’s why we keep reading about them in the news.  And why we’ll keep reading about them.

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Does Obama Know Who Kept the Slaves Enslaved?

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 2nd, 2010

Your People Did Not Free the Slaves, Mr. President

From Mark Knoller, White House Correspondent, Radio, CBS News:

Obama says people are impatient but “now’s not the time to quit…it took time to free the slaves…ultimately we’ll make progress.”

We would have freed the slaves a whole lot sooner if it weren’t for people like him.  Democrats.

The Southern States and Slavery – A Packaged Deal

Democrats descend from the southern planter elite.  These slaveholders formed a small minority of the population.  But they held the majority of political power.  There was a north-south divide at the founding over slavery.  Franklin, Adams, Hamilton and Washington were against slavery.  Jefferson and Madison were for it.  Rather, they were for the southern states.  And that meant the planter elite (which they were part of).  Which was for slavery.

Slavery was a taboo subject.  You won’t find it in our founding documents.  The North wanted to abolish slavery.  But any discussion of the taboo subject and the South would walk.  So they tabled the subject.  To get the South to join the Union.  And they didn’t speak about it to keep the South in the Union.  (When I say the ‘South’, think the planter elite, the ruling minority power in the South.  This elite few had the majority of slaves.  Most southerners couldn’t afford slaves and worked their own small farms.  The yeoman farmers Jefferson would wax philosophical about.)

The majority of slaves were in the south.  They also were the majority of the southern population.  This was a sticking point at the Constitutional Convention.  The South wanted to count slaves in determining congressional representation.  But you count citizens to determine your number of representatives.  Not property.  The northerners did not get to count their cattle in determining their number of representatives.  So the South shouldn’t count their slaves.  The South, of course, disagreed.  For if they were to be a part of the Union, not simply a region ruled by the North, it was necessary to count their slaves.  And if they couldn’t?  No union.  So they compromised.  With the Three-Fifths Compromise.  They would count a slave as 3/5 a citizen.  It gave the South a greater representation in Congress than their citizenry allowed.  But it ‘balanced’ the political power between the North and the South.  And brought the southern states into the Union.

When the Democrats Did Not Like Immigration

After winning our independence, we got the Northwest Territories (the land north of the Ohio River) from the British.  The northerners got their way with this northern land.  The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 forbade slavery in this territory.

Then came the Louisiana Purchase.  The North wanted to exclude slavery from all of this land.  The South didn’t.  That would tip the balance of power in favor of the North.  So they compromised.  With the Missouri Compromise of 1820.  There would be some slavery in the new territory.  But not above the bottom border of Missouri (the 36th parallel).  Except in Missouri (a slave-state).  Which they added at the same time with Maine (a free-state).  To maintained the balance of power.

But the population continued to grow in the North.  Those in the South could see the writing on the wall.  The immigration into the northern states would tip the balance of power in the House to the North.  So they focused on controlling the judiciary.  The president (who nominated).  And the Senate (which confirmed).  What they couldn’t win by popular vote they’d simply legislate from the bench.  And dirty, filthy party politics was born.  The party machine.  And the Democratic Party.

It Takes a Republican

Martin Van Buren created it.  And, at the time, he had but one goal.  To keep the issue of slavery from ever being an issue again.  Which the Democrats did until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861.  The North wanted to abolish slavery from the founding.  But the planter elite, then the Democrats, fought them every step of the way.  So they could maintain their power. 

But it was more than just power.  It was that elite status.  That they were superior.  It had gone beyond King Cotton.  The south had manufacturing.  Some of which was even more profitable than cotton.  But manufacturing couldn’t give you what cotton could.  An aristocratic planter elite that was so elite that it could own human life.  This was Old World aristocracy alive and well in the New World.

Anyway, all the legislation and court cases that led up to the Civil War had one thing in common.  All people trying to maintain the institution of slavery were Democrats.  The big ones, the Compromise of 1850, the Kansas-Nebraskan Act of 1854 and the Dred Scott ruling of 1854 were all pushed/won by Democrats.  The new Republican Party finally denied the Democrats.  A Republican president (Abraham Lincoln) made slavery a moral issue in the Civil War with his Emancipation Proclamation (which didn’t free a single slave but it made it politically impossible for France or Great Britain to recognize the Confederacy or enter the war on her behalf).  Four years of war and some 600,000 dead later, the North prevailed and the Union sounded the death knell for slavery in America.  Then the Republican Congress passed and the states ratified the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865.  The Republicans had, finally, abolished slavery.

Ignorance or Arrogance?

The Democrats can talk about Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Well, a little.  More Democrats voted against it than did Republicans.  And a Democrat, segregationist and KKK Exalted Cyclops, Robert Byrd, filibustered for 14 hours during an 83-day Democrat filibuster.  But a lot of Democrats did vote for the Civil Rights Act.  So, yeah, they can talk about that.  But they had absolutely nothing to do with the freeing of the slaves.  They call slavery America’s original sin.  But that’s not fair.  It was only the planter elite and then the Democrat Party that practiced that sin.  And they fought hard to keep their sinful ways.

A Democrat should not invoke the struggle to end slavery to help his cause.  Especially a black Democrat.  For to do so marks the height of ignorance.  Or arrogance.

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