theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Thomas Sowell Seductive Beliefs ......5/31/2011

One of the painfully revealing episodes in Barack Obama's book "Dreams From My Father" describes his early experience listening to a sermon by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Among the things said in that sermon was that "white folks' greed runs a world in need." Obama was literally moved to tears by that sermon.

This sermon may have been like a revelation to Barack Obama but its explanation of economic and other differences was among the oldest-- and most factually discredited-- explanations of such difference among all sorts of peoples in all sorts of places. Yet it is an explanation that has long been politically seductive, in countries around the world.

What could be more emotionally satisfying than seeing others who have done better in the world as the villains responsible for your not having done as well? It is the ideal political explanation, from the standpoint of mass appeal, whether or not it makes any sense otherwise.

That has been the politically preferred explanation for economic differences between the Malay majority and the more prosperous Chinese minority in Malaysia, or between the Gentile majority and the Jewish minority in various countries in Europe between the two World Wars.

At various other times and places, it has been the preferred explanation for the economic differences between the Sinhalese and the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka, the Africans and the Lebanese in Sierra Leone, the Czechs and the Germans in Bohemia and numerous other groups in countries around the world.

The idea that the rich have gotten rich by making the poor poor has been an ideological theme that has played well in Third World countries, to explain why they lag so far behind the West.

None of this was original with Jeremiah Wright. All he added was his own colorful gutter style of expressing it, which so captivated the man who is now President of the United States.

There is obviously something there with very deep emotional appeal. Moreover, because nothing is easier to find than sins among human beings, there will never be a lack of evil deeds to make that explanation seem plausible.

Because the Western culture has been ascendant in the world in recent centuries, the image of rich white people and poor non-white people has made a deep impression, whether in theories of racial superiority-- which were big among "progressives" in the early 20th century-- or in theories of exploitation among "progressives" later on.

In a wider view of history, however, it becomes clear that, for centuries before the European ascendancy, Europe lagged far behind China in many achievements. Since neither of them changed much genetically between those times and the later rise of Europe, it is hard to reconcile this role reversal with racial theories.

More important, the Chinese were not to blame for Europe's problems-- which would not be solved until the Europeans themselves finally got their own act together, instead of blaming others. If they had listened to people like Jeremiah Wright, Europe might still be in the Dark Ages.

It is hard to reconcile "exploitation" theories with the facts. While there have been conquered peoples made poorer by their conquerors, especially by Spanish conquerors in the Western Hemisphere, in general most poor countries were poor for reasons that existed before the conquerors arrived. Some Third World countries are poorer today than they were when they were ruled by Western countries, generations ago.

False theories are not just an intellectual problem to be discussed around a seminar table in some ivy-covered building. When millions of people believe those theories, including people in high places, with the fate of nations in their hands, that is a serious and potentially disastrous fact of life.

Despite a carefully choreographed image of affability and cool, Barack Obama's decisions and appointments as President betray an alienation from the values and the people of this country that are too disturbing to be answered by showing his birth certificate.

Too many of his appointees exhibit a similar alienation, including Attorney General Eric Holder, under whom the Dept. of Justice could more accurately be described as the Dept. of Payback.
Is there sufficient reason to believe we are a sum of all the information we have been exposed to throughtout our lives. If so, who is Barack Obama?

theodore miraldi 5/31/2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Laughing at the UN -

Last Updated: 3:23 AM, May 27, 2011
Posted: 10:29 PM, May 26, 2011

Benny Avni

Here's your multilateralism at work: Susan Rice, our UN ambassador and other members of the United Nations Security Council went to Africa to celebrate the coming peaceful independence of southern Sudan.

Oops. Just as the ambassadors arrived, Gen. Omar al-Bashir decided to invade Abyei -- an oil-rich, disputed city on the north-south border. The invasion may renew the war and turn into yet another Sudanese genocide.
Did Bashir -- the president who reluctantly let the south secede -- deliberately time the invasion to coincide with the visit?

"There's no cause and effect," a Western European diplomat on the Security Council told me.
Huh? The most prominent international institution didn't even enter Bashir's calculations as he planned this land grab?
Then again, maybe Bashir calculated his move specifically to thumb his nose at the Security Council.
After all, why should he fear the vaunted "international community"? So far, the only significant Security Council punishment for his genocidal deeds has been to refer his case to the ineffective International Criminal Court -- which has issued a warrant for his arrest that nobody will ever act on.
Here's a recap of how we got here, with the Security Council trapped like a deer in Bashir's headlights:
For decades, troops under the command of the northern, Islamic Sudanese government fought southern, mainly non-Arab, Christians and animists seeking independence from Khartoum. The war ended in January 2005, after the Bush administration hashed out a peace agreement.
That accord dictated a referendum in the south, which duly took place last winter. As expected, southerners voted in droves to break away from the north. Their state is scheduled to become independent in July.

The Security Council and the Obama administration declared it all a huge success for multilateralism as Bashir, under much pressure, said he'd let the south go.
But international diplomacy left one detail unresolved: Who gets Abyei? For centuries, local southern farmers have battled northern nomadic herders in that area, so the sides couldn't agree on who resides there and thus could vote on independence. So Abyei's separate referendum got delayed, and the area remains disputed.

Now add oil to the mix. As it becomes independent, South Sudan stands to control 75 percent of Sudan's petroleum production of nearly half a million barrels a day. And the Abyei area is home to several more lucrative fields.

All this was a perfect recipe for the Bashir Special. Just as his government did last decade in Darfur, it's now sending nomadic tribes into Abyei -- bent on ethnically cleansing to create facts on the ground that will assure northern control.
And what are we doing? Nothing.

Oh, we did issue tough statements: Khartoum's withdrawal from Abyei "ought to be immediate, unconditional and complete," Rice announced on Twitter yesterday.
The South Sudanese president, Salva Kiir, said the north's latest invasion shouldn't renew war. Instead, he asked international troops to prevent bloodshed in Abyei. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon obliged by proposing to reshuffle the 10,000 peacekeepers now stationed in southern Sudan.
But while UN troops perform heroically at times, they also lack the training, discipline, hardware or even legal mandate to match determined foes like Bashir. And the recruitment of troops from around the world has reached a ceiling.

Let's face it: The UN is unequipped to stop genocide in Africa or anywhere else.
Nor is any Western country prepared to add Sudan to its military to-do list. (Uncle Sam is already quite busy with Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya and whatever crisis the Arab Spring springs on us next.)
So we pretend we're doing something -- that is, we talk up the supposedly miraculous powers of multilateralism. But this week's Security Council fiasco shows how ineffective that is.

And here's a question for those who claim we have a "responsibility to protect" against war atrocities and genocide: Would world powers be more responsive and effective in confronting tyranny if they didn't have institutions like the UN to hide behind?

Of course, with a White House enamored with multilateralism, we're unlikely to find out anytime soon. As Rice proudly tweeted from Africa this week, "New poll: Americans (85 percent) understand sharing burden of global challenges.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gingrich calls Ryan Medicare Reform "Social Engineering"........

In what one popular conservative website described as Gingrich "tacking left," the now-declared presidential candidate dismissed a plan popular among many conservatives as "radical change" that he suggested was dangerous for Republicans to embrace heading into an election year.

The House budget chairman's plan is designed to move to a system where seniors receive vouchers to buy private insurance. It has been endorsed by the majority of House Republicans.

But Gingrich said it was "too big a jump. I think what you want to have is a system where people voluntarily migrate to better outcomes, better solutions, better options."

"I'm against Obamacare, which is imposing radical change, and I would be against a conservative imposing radical change," he continued.

"I don't think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering," Gingrich said. "I don't think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate."

Gingrich has instead called for a system that would preserve the current Medicare program alongside a voluntary, privatized version. But nothing he has said came close to the blast he unleashed on his own party's top priority in Congress.

"There are specific things you can do," Gingrich explained to NBC's David Gregroy. " At the Center for Health Transformation, which I helped found, we published a book called "Stop Paying the Crooks." We thought that was a clear enough, simple enough idea, even for Washington. We--between Medicare and Medicaid, we pay between $70 billion and $120 billion a year to crooks.

And IBM has agreed to help solve it, American Express has agreed to help solve it, Visa's agreed to help solve it. You can't get anybody in this town to look at it. That's, that's almost $1 trillion over a decade. So

there are things you can do to improve Medicare."

Ryan, meanwhile, defended it during an appearance on the CNN program "State of the Union."

"We have got to reform this program for the next generation if we're going to save it for the next generation and that's what we're proposing to do," the Wisconsin Republican said.

Ryan's spokesman Conor Sweeney took issue with Gingrich calling the plan "radical", saying the Ryan budget "remains the only serious proposal put forward on either end on Pennsylvania Avenue that saves Medicare."

"The solutions offered by Chairman Ryan and House Republicans make no changes to Medicare for those in and near retirement, while offering a strengthened, personalized program that future generations can count on when they retire," Sweeney told National Review Online's Robert Costa.

"Far from claims of radicalism, the gradual, common-sense Medicare reforms ensure that no senior will be forced to reorganize their lives because of government's mistakes. The most 'radical' course of action on Medicare is continue to cling to the unsustainable status quo," Sweeney said.

By Tim Collie

© Newsmax. All rights reserved.

The Babble About the Budget.........

It's disturbing listening to Obama's incongruence regarding our Founding

Father's ideals with respect to the evils of government too large to hear the simple

truths so eloquently written within our Constitution. Obama's scattered

understanding of these truths, or his rhetoric does not change the issues this nation

faces, or give the public the knowledge necessary to yet deal with intrusions upon

individual liberties. Double speak, such as his attack on the proposed 2012 budget by

the Republicans as draconian in nature while spending our children's futures in his

updated version of the New Deal is a formidable disconnect with sound economics

or political maturity. It's sad our great nation has sunken so low as not believe in


theodore miraldi

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

death of evil......5/3/2011

For the past ten years there has been a sacred promise made to those who perished on 9/11, that

America a nation born of justice would never desist in its effort to keep the Sword of Damocles affixed

over the head of the world's most hated terrorist, Osama Bin Ladin. And the glory and honor of justice

has prevailed. Like a rat he was holed up in a barbed wired compound his wasted life was lived in terror

every day waiting for his final fate. One must never forget that the 3000 or so lives lost on 9/11 was just a

fraction of the carnage perpetrated by this face of evil, many more American and foreign lives were the price

the world has paid. We must pray for them all and thank the brave men and women who serve that keep our

nation free from evil.

theodore miraldi