Friday, January 30, 2015

" resolving this situation shouldn’t be hard. Although nobody knows it, Greece has actually made great progress in regaining competitiveness; wages and costs have fallen dramatically, so that, at this point, austerity is the main thing holding the economy back. So what’s needed is simple: Let Greece run smaller but still positive surpluses, which would relieve Greek suffering, and let the new government claim success, defusing the anti-democratic forces waiting in the wings. Meanwhile, the cost to creditor-nation taxpayers — who were never going to get the full value of the debt — would be minimal."

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/01/30/opinion/paul-krugman-europes-greek-test.html

Tom Friedman on Islamism

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/01/21/opinion/thomas-friedman-say-it-like-it-is.html?_r=1

Friday, August 08, 2014

Hamas Charter

To understand Hamas you can not avoid its Charter or Covenant, the 1988 document that enough of their spokesmen quote from, though they sometimes deny it or downplay it. IIt is a sweeping statement of political, military and religious ideology that explains its worldview and its strategic goals    Islam guides the whole document, as it cites extensively (and selectively) from the Q'ran and other texts. It wants to establish a theocratic regime.  This vision of Islam is heavy on the Islamist rhetoric of Sayyid Qutb and others who inspired the Muslim Brotherhood and Osama Bin Laden, but unlike that Islamist line which is Universalitst, this is Palestinian-centric.  Appeals to secular Palestinian nationalism are mixed with the reminders of how Holy Jerusalem to Islam, and on the goal "raising the banner of Islam over every inch of Palestine".  The most non-controversial part is its goals of Social Service to the community, which is something it practices for decades, and has been a key to its political success.  Throughout the document you also hear the language of 60's and 70's anti-colonial National Liberation Movements.  That is the  PLO influence with its anti-colonialist and Marxist rhetoric..  Finally, it has some of the ugliest anti-Semitic and anti-Jewish language, incorporating even cites from the Elders of the Protocols of Zion.   Taken as a whole it is a disturbing call to action, dedicated to establishing a theocracy and loaded with hate.  

"The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews." (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).

"With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonize many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption there."
 http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Alek Boyd: Hugo Chavez’s corrupt cronies find GOP friends

Interesting, the Chairman of the American Conservative Union - organizer of CPAC - boutique law firm represents several Chavista Oligarchs.



Alek Boyd: Hugo Chavez’s corrupt cronies find GOP friends: A prominent Washington conservative’s law firm is representing a shady Venezuelan company that has close ties to the Chavez regime, meanwhil...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

What Chile Could Teach The United States About Preventing Government Shutdowns

What Chile Could Teach The United States About Preventing Government Shutdowns

Chile’s urgency provision is rooted in an important insight in constitutional design. It recognizes that legislation sometimes arises that is so important it must become the immediate business of the legislature, and that a forcing mechanism is sometimes necessary to ensure that such legislation receives a timely vote. Were a similar provision inserted into the United States Constitution — one allowing the president to bring a bill to the House floor and force a vote even against the House leadership’s will — that would likely be enough to end our current impasse and prevent leaders like Speaker Boehner from unilaterally vetoing legislation that enjoys majority support in the Congress.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Hugo Chavez is Dead

So what can you say about this?  Tragic, yes, but his legacy casts a shadow over Venezuela and Latin America.

Chavez was very popular with common people and spent a lot of money on projects to help them. But with little transparency, lack of political checks and balances and no accountability, hundreds of billions of dollars were wasted and stolen. First that means many projects were never completed - casting doubt on official poverty-reduction figures. if a clinic or hospital is never completed you can't count those hospital beds; the same goes for tons of containers of food that rotted in warehouses. Also it created a new class of multi-millionaires and further enriching Venezuela's traditional oligarchs. Chavez' State Capitalism enriched a lot of people at the very top.

Remember in a decade of historically high oil prices Chavez presided over a country with the biggest oil reserves in the world. He came into power with a barrel of oil at $10 dollars it climbed to $150 With this unprecedented bounty poverty SHOULD HAVE been reduced. You could hand out cash to poor people. Indeed, in previous governments during oil booms social spending was about the same percentage of GDP. People forget Venezuela had Social-Democratic governments that subsidized housing, education and health, well before Chavez.  Chavez spent a lot of money and poverty did go down, but with the kind of money available and spent you would expect a stronger overall picture, which still is not true, due to waste, corruption and inefficiency. He has plowed through a trillion dollars in oil revenue and somehow left a country with the regions highest inflation, food scarcities, weak currency, indebted, infrastructure collapsing