Friday, September 30, 2011

Land Without Peace - Charles Krauthammer

> After all, why did Abbas go to the U.N. last week? For nearly half a century, the United States has pursued a Middle East settlement on the basis of the formula of land for peace. Land for peace produced the Israel-Egypt peace of 1979 and the Israel-Jordan peace of 1994. Israel has offered the Palestinians land for peace three times since. And been refused every time.
>> Why? For exactly the same reason Abbas went to the U.N. last week: to get land without peace. Sovereignty with no reciprocal recognition of a Jewish state. Statehood without negotiations. An independent Palestine in a continued state of war with Israel.
>> This is the reason that, regardless of who is governing Israel, there has never been peace. Territorial disputes are solvable; existential conflicts are not.
>> Land for peace, yes. Land without peace is nothing but an invitation to suicide.

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Firefly poster deemed Unacceptable by university


The poster you see above refers to a short-lived show on Fox, Firefly, which has since gone on to become a cult hit. Apparently the poster was deemed offensive by someone(s) at the school. (For the record, I don’t think anybody has a problem with actor Nathan Fillion, who’s gone on to star in the ABC hit Castle.) Evidently, the text was the problem. Specifically the mention of killing, and the implication that weapons (ie: GUNS) would be used in the crime. If you’re having a little problem with your browser reading the text, here’s what you’re missing:

You don’t know me son, so let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you’ll be awake. You’ll be facing me. And you’ll be armed.

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Logging out of Facebook is not enough

Even if you are logged out, Facebook still knows and can track every page you visit. The only solution is to delete every Facebook cookie in your browser, or to use a separate browser for Facebook interactions.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Zurbin: Crushing America's inventors

On Sept. 16, at a ceremony involving some fanfare, President Obamasigned the ironically-styled America Invents Act into law. While posed as an effort to “modernize” U.S. patent law by “harmonizing it with the rest of the world,” the bill actually represents an effort by multinational and foreign corporations to crush America’s vital culture of independent inventors.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Obama’s Solar Scandal - Michael Barone
>> One of the original investors in Solyndra was Oklahoma billionaire George Kaiser, who was also a major contributor to Obama’s 2008 campaign. In early 2011, Kaiser and other investors provided an additional $75 million in financing to Solyndra. They did so on condition, approved by the Energy Department, that they receive priority over previous creditors, including the government.
>> On August 31, while Obama was vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard, Solyndra filed for bankruptcy. On September 8, the day of Obama’s “American Jobs Act” speech to a joint session of Congress, FBI agents conducted searches of Solyndra’s headquarters and the homes of the firm’s CEO and founder. Newspaper accounts speculate that the government may wind up losing the whole $535 million.

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The Great Social Security Debate - Charles Krauthammer

> Social Security is a pay-as-you-go program. A current beneficiary isn’t receiving the money she paid in years ago. That money is gone. It went to her parents’ Social Security check. The money in her check is coming from her son’s FICA tax today — i.e., her “investment” was paid out years ago to earlier entrants in the system and her current benefits are coming from the “investment” of the new entrants into the system. Pay-as-you-go is the definition of a Ponzi scheme.

> Now, the average senior receives in Social Security about a third of what the average worker makes. Applying that ratio retroactively, this means that in 1940, the average worker had to pay only 0.2 percent of his salary to sustain the older folks of his time; in 1950, 2 percent; today, 11 percent; in 20 years, 17 percent. This is a staggering sum, considering that it is apart from all the other taxes he pays to sustain other functions of government, such as Medicare, whose costs are exploding.

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George Will: Our floundering ‘federal family’

> For two years, there has been one constant: As events have refuted the Obama administration’s certitudes, the administration has retained its insufferable knowingness. It knew that the stimulus would hold unemployment below 8 percent. Oops. Unemployment has been at least 9 percent in 26 of the 30 months since the stimulus was passed. Michael Boskin of Stanford says that, even if one charitably accepts the administration’s self-serving estimate of jobs “created or saved” by the stimulus, each job cost $280,000 — five times America’s median pay.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Solyndra Gets More Scandalous

The problem with Solyndra is not George Kaiser. It's the whole concept behind a program that is supposed to enable politically favored technologies, using loan guarantees that look cheap when they're issued, and end up costing us half a billion dollars because we rushed the due diligence to make sure top officials got a good photo op.  As I wrote the other day, "When banks engage in this sort of behavior, we call it a bubble, and try to figure out how to fix things so they won't do it again. When government agencies do this, we call it a weekday."

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Paul Ryan: Restoring the Rule of Law

Freedom is lost by degrees, and the deepest erosions usually take place during times of economic hardship, when those who favor expanding the sphere of government, abuse a crisis to persuade free citizens that they should trade in a little of their liberty for empty promises of greater economic security.

We all remember what Benjamin Franklin said about that trade – that those who would make it deserve neither liberty nor security. But in such cases, when liberty is lost, it is our fault as champions of the Constitution, for failing to mount a sufficiently persuasive and effective defense. 

Read the whole thing

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Strange Facts about America’s ‘Poor’ - By Robert Rector - The Corner - National Review Online

> Here are more surprising facts about Americans defined as “poor” by the Census Bureau, all taken from various government reports and included in my new paper from The Heritage Foundation called “Understanding Poverty in the United States”:
>> ● Eighty percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, in 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
>> ● Fully 92 percent of poor households have a microwave; two-thirds have at least one DVD player and 70 percent have a VCR.
>> ● Nearly 75 percent have a car or truck; 31 percent have two or more cars or trucks.
>> ● Four out of five poor adults assert they were never hungry at any time in the prior year due to lack of money for food.
>> ● Nearly two-thirds have cable or satellite television.
>> ● Half have a personal computer; one in seven have two or more computers.
>> ● More than half of poor families with children have a video game system such as Xbox or PlayStation.
>> ● Just under half — 43 percent — have Internet access.
>> ● A third have a widescreen plasma or LCD TV.
>> ● One in every four has a digital video recorder such as TiVo.>

Read the whole thing.

Link to paper:

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Friday, September 09, 2011

Barone: The unhappy warrior

When Barack Obama says, “This isn’t political grandstanding,” you have a pretty good clue that that is exactly what it is. Lest anyone doubt that, consider this from the third-to-last paragraph. “You should pass it. And I intend to take that message to every corner of the country.”

In other words, this was a campaign speech.

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Saturday, September 03, 2011

Goodbye Ankara - By Daniel Pipes

Although I am disappointed and saddened by the shift taking place in Turkey — as recently as a decade ago, I saw it as a model of modernity and moderation for other Muslims to follow — I am quite content to see the Israeli emissary pack his bags and leave Ankara, for this small drama helps anyone still myopic about 

Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan
 and the AKP to understand just how much they are repositioning Turkey as a state hostile to the West.

I have argued before and repeat here: The time has come to remove, or at least to suspend, the Turkish government from the NATO alliance. 

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