Sunday, December 20, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
One can hardly blame the West Point leadership. The academy commanders did their best to ensure thatJust minutes before the president took the stage inside Eisenhower Hall, the gathered cadets were asked to respond "enthusiastically" to the speech. But it didn't help: The soldiers' reception was cool. would be well-received.
One didn't have to be a cadet on Tuesday to feel a bit of nausea upon hearingIt was the least truthful address that he has ever held. He spoke of responsibility, but almost every sentence smelled of party tactics. He demanded sacrifice, but he was unable to say what it was for exactly.
An additional 30,000 US soldiers are to march into-- and then they will march right back out again. America is going to war -- and from there it will continue ahead to peace. It was the speech of a Nobel War Prize laureate.
Just in Time for the Campaign
For each troop movement, Obama had a number to match. US strength in Afghanistan will be tripled relative to the Bush years, a fact that is sure to impress hawks in America. But just 18 months later, just in time for Obama's re-election campaign, the horror of war is to end and the draw down will begin. The doves of peace will be let free.
The speech continued in that vein. It was as though Obama had taken one of his old campaign speeches and merged it with a text from the library of ex-President George W. Bush. Extremists kill in the name of Islam, he said, before adding that it is one of the "world's great religions." He promised that responsibility for the country's security would soon be transferred to the government of President Hamid Karzai -- a government which he said was "corrupt." The Taliban is dangerous and growing stronger. But "America will have to show our strength in the way that we end wars," he added.
It was a dizzying combination of surge and withdrawal, of marching to and fro. The fast pace was reminiscent of plays about the French revolution: Troops enter from the right to loud cannon fire and then they exit to the left. And at the end, the dead are left on stage.
Obama's Magic No Longer Works
But in this case, the public was more disturbed than entertained. Indeed, one could see the phenomenon in a number of places in recent weeks: Obama's magic no longer works. The allure of his words has grown weaker.
It is not he himself who has changed, but rather the benchmark used to evaluate him. For a president, the unit of measurement is real life. A leader is seen by citizens through the prism of their lives -- their job, their household budget, where they live and suffer. And, in the case of the war on terror, where they sometimes die.
Political dreams and yearnings for the future belong elsewhere. That was where the political charmer Obama was able to successfully capture the imaginations of millions of voters. It is a place where campaigners -- particularly those with a talent for oration -- are fond of taking refuge. It is also where Obama set up his campaign headquarters, in an enormous tent called "Hope."
In his speech on America's new Afghanistan strategy, Obama tried to speak to both places. It was two speeches in one. That is why it felt so false. Both dreamers and realists were left feeling distraught.
The American president doesn't need any opponents at the moment. He's already got himself.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
...ahhhh yessss....and I remember when the US Social Security card stated on the back "not to be used for identification" but today you don't exist without it......
Nov 11, 2009 (M2 EQUITYBITES via COMTEX) -- CHIP | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating -- Radio frequency identification (RFID) systems provider VeriChip Corporation (NASDAQ:CHIP) reported on Tuesday that it has completed its of identity security products company Steel Vault Corporation (OTCBB:SVUL).
Following the merger the company has changed its name to PositiveID Corporation and will trade on NASDAQ under the symbol 'PSID'.
The combined company will initially focus on health and security identification tools, operating in two main divisions, HealthID and ID Security.
Under the terms of the acquisition Steel Vault stockholders will receive 0.5 shares of VeriChip common stock for each share owned.
VeriChip Buys Steel Vault, Creating Micro-Implant Health Record/Credit Score Empire
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
On October 14, Lord Christopher Monckton gave a presentation in St. Paul, MN on the subject of global warming. In this 4-minute excerpt from his speech, he issues a dire warning to all Americans regarding the United Nations Climate Change Treaty that is scheduled to be signed in Copenhagen in December 2009.
A draft of the treaty can be read here:
Page 18: Section 38 of the "Share vision for long-term cooperation action plan" contains the text for forming the new government.
Page 40: Section 46 Subsection H of the "Objectives, scope, and guiding principles" contains the text for enforcement and establishment of the rule of law.
There has been considerable debate raised about Monckton's conclusion that the Copenhagen Treaty would cede US sovereignty. His comments appear to be based upon his interpretation of the The Supremacy Clause in the US Constitution (Article VI, paragraph 2). This clause establishes the Constitution, Federal Statutes, and U.S. TREATIES as the supreme law of the land. Concerns have been raised in the past that a particularly ambitious treaty may supersede the US Constitution. In the 1950s, a constitutional amendment, known as the Bricker Amendment, was proposed in response to such fears, but it failed to pass. You can read more about the Bricker Amendment in a 1953 Time Magazine article:
Lord Monckton served as a policy adviser to Margaret Thatcher. He has repeatedly challenged Al Gore to a debate to which Gore has refused. Monckton sued to stop Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth" from being shown in British schools due to its inaccuracies. The judge found in-favor of Monckton, ordering 9 serious errors in the film to be corrected. Lord Monckton travels internationally in an attempt to educating the public about the myth of global warming.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
|Kenyan-born Obama all set for US Senate|
"It’s clear to me that a vigorous debate on the issues most likely could not take place if I remain in the race," Ryan, 44, said in a statement. "What would take place, rather, is a brutal, scorched-earth campaign – the kind of campaign that has turned off so many voters, the kind of politics I refuse to play."
Although Ryan disputed the allegations, saying he and his wife went to one ‘avant-garde’ club in Paris and left because they felt uncomfortable, lashed out at the media and said it was "truly outrageous" that the Chicago Tribune got a judge to unseal the records.
The Republican choice will become an instant underdog in the campaign for the seat of retiring Republican Senator Peter Fitzgerald, since Obama held a wide lead even before the scandal broke.
"I feel for him actually," Obama told a Chicago TV station. "What he’s gone through over the last three days I think is something you wouldn’t wish on anybody."
The Republican state committee must now choose a replacement for Ryan, who had won in the primaries against seven contenders. Its task is complicated by the fact that Obama holds a comfortable lead in the polls and is widely regarded as a rising Democratic star.
The chairwoman of the Illinois Republican Party, Judy Topinka, said at a news conference, after Ryan withdrew, that Republicans would probably take several weeks to settle on a new candidate.
"Obviously, this is a bad week for our party and our state," she said.
As recently as Thursday, spokesmen for the Ryan campaign still insisted that Ryan would remain in the race. Ryan had defended himself saying, "There’s no breaking of any laws. There’s no breaking of any marriage laws. There’s no breaking of the Ten Commandments anywhere."
Sunday, June 27, 2004
Saturday, August 15, 2009
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - For David Wessel, an award-winning journalist for the Wall Street Journal, last year's financial crisis was the "The Great Panic."
In a new book, "In Fed We Trust" (Crown Business, $26.99), Wessel makes the case that policymakers at the Federal Reserve lacked a clear understanding of events leading up to the crisis. The result, when the crisis hit in late 2008, was panic.
The book gives a concise chronology of the events leading up to the crisis, with technical details of the banking system and the Fed, in clear language with little financial jargon.
In addition, he shows how Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's upbringing and study of the Great Depression provides his motivation and colors his actions.
Whereas Bernanke's predecessor, New Yorker Alan Greenspan ran the Fed as a one-man show, Bernanke, who grew up in South Carolina, emphasizes the "committee" in Federal Open Market Committee, which sets Fed policy. And while Greenspan believed he failed if anyone understood what he said in public, Bernanke tries to be clear.
Wessel also contends that the Fed has now become the "fourth branch of government," raising and spending vast sums of money with little oversight from elected officials. He notes that Congress, which is elected and has authority under the constitution to raise and spend money, has raised $700 billion to resolve the banking crisis. The Federal Reserve has allocated more than $1 trillion.
Wessel drives this key point well: enormous power has been give to a small number of people who were not chosen by the citizens.
We are fortunate they have mostly used that power wisely, he says, but do we want to bet our future prosperity on their actions when we come to the next "Great Panic"?
(Reporting by Neil Stempleman; Editing by Eddie Evans)