Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Dangerous Pap of Multiculturalism

Ahh, multiculturalism, that wholesome concept popularized in the 1960's by righteous academics, has at last embedded its pureness into all aspects of American life as we live and breath here in 2009. Without a doubt the world is a friendlier, more harmonious place because of it.

Yet it was the fear of retribution by the agents of multiculturalism and its cousin political correctness that is thought to be the reason no one dared "connect the dots" that should have flagged Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan as a potential terrorist. Long before the Fort Hood massacre all the warning signs were there - and actually the dots were connected by multiple agencies, but fear prevented any action. Fear of the politically correct multiculturalist and their allies in the media and the justice system.

Presented as an alternative to the prosaic “melting pot” contrivance, multiculturalism replaced what was really just a code word European whites used as a license to rule American culture. The melting pot was criticized by minorities who felt that it gave whites the power to expect conformity from all others. Multiculturalism requires the opposite, it demands that that various ethnic and racial cultures exist distinctly but equally within a single society. Essentially multiculturalism regards our diversity as a concept rather than a fact. It just sounds better to declare proudly that we celebrate diversity rather than celebrating a fact. In practice it becomes a call to celebrate our differences instead of our similarities.

Here's news to you - there was nothing wrong with the concept of the melting pot except that it was uniquely American, and we will have none of that now will we?

The real problem with multiculturalism is not that it seeks to lift diverse racial and cultural entities to an equal stature with the prevailing majority, but that is seeks to depreciate the dominant culture as virtue-less. While it encourages people to respect cultural equality it also encourages people to feel separate from others on a basis of color or creed. In some academic circles this is known as Balkanization - which is not generally viewed as a positive. How is this superior to the American melting pot construct?

Multiculturalism reinforces the idea that people who look or act a certain way are inherently different. This separation inevitably leads to ignorance and suspicion. In the end the good that is supposed to be the result of widespread recognition of disparate cultures is lost. Multiculturalism was supposed to encourage the sharing of diverse cultural facets whilst allowing for cultural autonomy, oddly this is exactly what the melting pot had largely achieved. Forced multiculturalism darkens the lines between ethnic groups making them harder and harder to erase.

The real problems arise when governments, both national and local, start making laws to enforce multiculturalism instead of the slow but natural process of cultural congealing like a simmering pot of booyah.

Multicultural policies can include:

--forced support for newspapers, television, and radio in minority languages

--forced support for minority festivals, holidays, and celebrations

--forced acceptance of traditional and religious dress in schools, the military, and society in general

--forced support for arts from cultures around the world

--programs to force minority representation in politics, education, and the work force

By and large none of these things are necessarily bad goals, except when the force of government is haphazardly applied through the court system. In the Fort Hood case fear of government retribution froze out any action that might have saved 13 lives and more than 30 injuries. So now we've experienced the inevitable result of the dangerous pap of multiculturalism.

Multiculturalist policies by design oppose cultural assimilation which is the very essence of the "melting pot". We are no longer Americans, but rather, hyphenated Americans. Sadly, new immigrant groups are not even encouraged to participate in the larger society, learn the majority language, nor are they "encouraged" to legally enter the labor force. When social integration and cultural assimilation is held back it can lead to economic disparities and an exclusion of minority groups from the benefits of becoming mainstream. In the end this helps no one. It has been speculated that as practiced multiculturalism is just apartheid by another name.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Brit's to NHS: "Heal our Hospitals!!!"

Last week (the hospital) Basildon was condemned by inspectors who found “blood-spattered” walls and filthy conditions...
The Sunday Telegraph

When my friends who support (for all intents and purposes) a nationalized health care system in America via a single payer system they repeatedly cite the "better outcomes" in countries who have already so wisely adopted such a system. Well not so fast.

We have all heard anecdotal horror stories about Canadian and British patients, whose countries that have gone whole hog into socialized medicine, but we also hear how happy most Brits and Canadians are with their health system. Rich Canadians have the advantage of a pay for service system just south of the border. Rich Brits have Germany nearby. The average Brit however is stuck with very low standards and by all accounts they are getting lower.

Shamed: the top hospitals with the worst death rates

(recent) disclosures have cast further doubt on Labour’s flagship foundation hospitals’ policy, which has been under attack since appalling standards of care at Mid Staffordshire Hospital were exposed in March.

Last night patients’ groups demanded that ministers carry out a “total overhaul” of the system, which they said was “failing” patients. Investigations by this paper have found:

- Eight foundation hospitals are failing so badly that they have breached the terms of their licence to operate and are being placed under close supervision by the NHS watchdog, Monitor.

- The leading children’s hospital Alder Hey has been issued with a “warning notice” for breaching basic infection standards and putting vulnerable young patients at risk of killer infections – just two weeks after the trust declared itself “the best in the country”.

- Three ambulance services have also been issued with the same notices after failing to properly decontaminate equipment, or provide clean services for the most high-risk patients.

- Bosses of foundation trusts with high death rates have awarded themselves bumper pay rises. Chief executives at the eight foundation trusts with the highest death rates in 2007-08 had average salary rises of 15 per cent when their institutions took on the coveted status.

It is not a scare tactic to declare that this is what is in store for America if we allow the health care system to become nationalized over the next few years. We have heard similar stories as this in regards to our own Veterans hospitals. I think the most appalling aspect of these revelations out of Britain is the rewards the administrators are bestowing on themselves as their hospitals fall apart.

I fully acknowledge that America has a serious problem with the health care delivery system as it is currently instituted. I absolutely worry about my children who will soon be entering a world without good job prospects and therefore very poor health insurance options. But a wholesale conversion to a government take over (this is what President Obama and the core Democrats really desire) will destroy the parts of the system that are unparalleled and replace them with something like what is described above.

This is one issue where tinkering around the edges is justified - following the Hippocratic Oath of first do no harm. There are other solutions out there. Right now the powers that be will not give any of them a fair hearing simply because the 60 year obsession to nationalize our health care is so very, very close to reality for the Democrats. It seems that a majority of Americans know instinctively to oppose a top down one-size fits all solution. The question now is will Congress be listening?


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What Secret?

Saw this online ad the other day and had to laugh...

Secret war? What secret? The administration isn't fooling anyone. There are valid arguments for and against a strong or weak dollar policy. Washington pays lip service to a strong dollar policy because it appeals to the masses and because it benefits consumers - you know, the regular folks. Wall Street isn't at all shy about supporting a weak dollar. This policy, like all things, needs to find a balance. Presently balance is not being sought by the current regime in Washington. It wasn't being sought by the former regime either - but possibly for different reasons. I'll let you guess which reason suits Obama and which suited Bush.

Strong Dollar

Lower prices on foreign goods & services for consumers
Helps keep inflation low
Cheaper for US citizens travel abroad
US investors can purchase foreign investments cheaper
US companies' goods/services expensive to foreigners
Foreign tourists face higher price in US
Foreign investors find US investments expensive
More difficult for foreign investors to provide capital to U.S. in time of heavy U.S. borrowing

Weak Dollar

US companies' goods/services cheaper to foreigners
Foreign travelers find US more affordable
US assets more attractive to foreign investors
Higher prices for consumers on goods/services from outside US
Higher prices on foreign goods translates into higher inflation
Expensive for US residents to travel abroad
US investors find foreign investments expensive

Here's the question: Who is the real loser with a weaker dollar _________?

The answer can be found in the list.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

You Can't Handle the Truth: CAGW is a fraud

Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming IS a Fraud

We mostly abhor them. We wish they'd put their talent to good use instead of creating mischief or worse, committing crimes. I'm talking about computer hackers. But once in a while something good comes out of it - intentional or not. Sometimes they expose a vulnerability that really needs to be addressed. Sometimes they expose fraud.

It seems Russian hackers obtained a folder containing documents, data and, e-mails from Britain's Climate Research Unit (known as CRU) that appears to be proof of a conspiracy to conjure up the existence of and the cause (Western Civilization, of course) and the ultimate threat of global warming.

The question of who put these hackers up to it - some are speculating it was funded by the Russian government - seems to be beside the point. The list of CAGW conspirators implicated in this fraud includes a who's who of the world's leading climate alarmists. The best part is the hacked data and e-mail correspondences appears to have been confirmed as legitimate. CRU director Phillip Jones confirmed that CRU servers had been hacked leading one to consider that the incriminating documents now circling the cyber world are in fact genuine.

This small group of scientists associated with the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia have consciously withheld and worse, disposed of actual data that proves their own claims false. They are using false data to pressure governments and international organizations to restrict global progress on the development of third world economies and thus putting peoples lives and livelihoods at risk. The honorable Lord Moncton calls it a global fraud. It most surely is, but its more than that, it raises the question about accountability? Who are these climate propagandists and their cohorts in government accountable to? The truth or their anti human progress agenda? This deception is simply unacceptable. While their ‘science’ sets out to prove current world temperatures are the highest ever and human CO2 was the cause the actual truth (that we don't know what we don't know) is ignored and ridiculed. The e-mails exposed in this hacked data seemingly betray an organized apparatus of deception.

Those of us who are labeled "global warming deniers" always suspected fraud from the climate change "industry" - especially since its been proven on several occasions even before these revealtions, but hopefully this will cause enough shame that these people will slink off quietly into the night. Somehow I doubt that's going to happen.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Obama's Hypnotic Allure

I remarked recently to a friend that I now understood all those people who had a visceral dislike (hate) for George W. Bush. They literally couldn't stand the sight of him and particularly couldn't stomach hearing him speak. Me, I feel the same way about Obama. I can't click the clicker fast enough when he flashes up on my TV.

Even during the campaign in 2008 I found myself annoyed by his speeches and speaking style. Perhaps, subliminally, I didn't want to hear what he had to say because I didn't want to be "roped in". Well, maybe I was reacting negatively to a deliberate attempt by Obama to hypnotize me. Before you go off cracking wise about my sanity consider for yourself what many professional speakers and many politicians and all cult leaders do. All of them practice a form of mass hypnosis. Don't kid yourself, most of them are doing it intentionally.

President Obama is quite masterful at it. The techniques he uses are tried and true and are particularly effective on the young, and oddly enough, on the highly educated. Using pacing and leading techniques described in "Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques" by Milton H. Erickson, M.D. Obama short circuits the rational mind of the listeners leaving them ripe for a state of hyper-suggestibility.

We are all subject to trance like states on a daily basis. It happens when we listen to music, drive in heavy traffic, or ride in a packed elevator. We are captive to our subconscious mind when we are engaged in group activity. We find ourselves missing our exit on the freeway or getting off the elevator on the wrong floor because we followed the crowd. Who hasn't lost track of time listening to music and literally spaced out on something we needed to do?. The same can happen when we listen to a great speaker. The difference is, a great speaker can implant hypnotic suggestions binding you to them emotionally- literally bypassing your rational brain.

Candidate Obama was universally praised for his soaring speeches as if good speeches were enough to qualify a man to occupy the most powerful position in the world. It was his halting, slow and deliberate pacing that I picked up on right away. Coupled with meaningless slogans or obvious truisms that were always, I mean always, redirected back to himself that eventually turned me off. Millions of others were inspired - some to the point of fainting at the sound of his voice.

We need to ask:
Does it really matter that Obama had no real world accomplishments other than getting elected, That he never takes hard positions on anything. That he has had long term connections to extremists, racists, and other shady people. The logic of this disturbing information about who Obama really is resides on the conscious level, this truth can't override the subconscious mind or change how people feel inside. Plenty of people are actually bothered by it logically, but it hasn’t changed how they feel about him. His hypnosis targets emotion - the opposite of rational thought.

Have you heard Obama speak off the cuff? He is quite frankly painful to listen to. Honestly, he's every bit as annoying to listen to as George W. Bush ever was. Without his prepared, teleprompted speeches he comes off as a dullard. He is so so careful with his word selection that he utters the words uhh, umm and ahh more often than he uses the word "I", and that's saying something!

I have no doubt that Obama intentionally practices mass hypnosis on Americans.

Hypnotizing someone without their knowledge is the height of immorality. It's also illegal.
(source material for this post ---- Click here---- )


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Will China Go Boom?

As a frequent reader of Al Fin's web pages - as I know all of you are - you've seen numerous articles questioning the conventional wisdom on the future of China and the Chinese economy. Many pundits in business, journalism and economics see China as a rising star that will soon overshadow every other economy as it steps over the United States as the dominant player on the global economic stage. It's hard not to view it that way considering what has happened in the last 20-30 years. Still, the one thing we need to consider when evaluating China's ascendancy is the little fact that they didn't get where they are today all by themselves.

The lure of an endless supply of cheap labor and lax environmental laws was irresistible to the world's 3 largest and most technically advanced entities. The U.S., Japan and Europe have sunk huge amount of capital and resources into China. The hard liners in the upper reaches of the (communist) Chinese government have not let the Americans or the Japanese run all over them and have kept an iron grip on the ultimate control of all these enterprises foreign and domestic. On paper it looks like a brilliant strategy - but it might be the very thing that sinks them in the end.

Well Al Fin has company in his skeptisism. This week Politico the fine political/economics web site has run this article Is China headed toward collapse? that challenges the conventional wisdom on China's economic outlook.

First, they point to the enormous Chinese economic stimulus effort — with the government spending $900 billion to prop up a $4.3 trillion economy. “Yet China’s economy, for all the stimulus it has received in 11 months, is underperforming,” Gordon Chang, author of “The Coming Collapse of China,” wrote in Forbes at the end of October. “More important, it is unlikely that [third-quarter] expansion was anywhere near the claimed 8.9 percent.” Chang argues that inconsistencies in Chinese official statistics — like the surging numbers for car sales but flat statistics for gasoline consumption — indicate that the Chinese are simply cooking their books. He speculates that Chinese state-run companies are buying fleets of cars and simply storing them in giant parking lots in order to generate apparent growth.

Another data point cited by the bears: overcapacity. For example, the Chinese already consume more cement than the rest of the world combined, at 1.4 billion tons per year. But they have dramatically ramped up their ability to produce even more in recent years, leading to an estimated spare capacity of about 340 million tons, which, according to a report prepared earlier this year by Pivot Capital Management, is more than the consumption in the U.S., India and Japan combined.

I have also read that China has built countless condo complexes in their large cities employing thousands of construction workers and involving hundreds of suppliers only to have them sit empty when finished - primarily because Chines citizens can't afford them. Over capacity in housing and manufacturing creates a shaky economic outlook.

With the U.S. consumer joining the Japanese consumer as savers instead of spenders where will all these Chinese-made goods go if the Chinese don't start to become consumers themselves? Personally I don't doubt the American government will make all the wrong moves in regards to throwing it all in with the Chinese - as long it helps the short term view. With all the talk of one big globalized marketplace where everyone dances in concert America would be unwise to trust China or for that matter the Japanese who are in bed snuggling even closer to the communists than anyone else.

The truth is a China crash is not good for anyone really. The China boosters like economist Mike Norman and NYT writer Thomas Freidman can gush about how China is doing everything right while the Americans fiddle, but smart, serious people like Jim Chanos, a billionaire and founder of the investment firm Kynikos Associates, Gordon Chang as well as Al Fin believe otherwise - or are at least highly skeptical of China's "dominant" future.

The question is when will China falter? The compression of growth to dominance to decline is sped up by modern technology. Britain is still in a slow decline from a dominance that ended 60 years ago. The U.S. having been far more dynamic is declining even slower, but if one looks at the Japanese ascent to dominance and decline it has happened in the course of the same 60 years. China could be entering decline after only 30 or 40 years...

I have little faith that the Obama administration, who is in the finishing stages of dismantling the most dynamic economic system the world has ever seen will do anything to arrest the slide toward global economic collapse led by the U.S./Japanese/Chinese decline.


Friday, November 06, 2009

10% and rising

Unemployment figures released today show the official rate at over 10% for the first time in 26 years. The actual rate is probably closer to 20%. It's so telling that the Obama team and the Democrats in Congress have pushed hard for their radical agenda instead of focusing on repairing the fabric of America - the economy. Pushing a complete overhaul of the health care system at a time when millions are out of work to satisfy their decades old obsession to socialize American medicine is self destructive and frankly its selfish.

The self destructive part comes from the pall of uncertainty floating about the business world over this thing. Even if such a monstrosity as this 1990 page Pelosi plan is passed into law the uncertainty of what it will do to businesses big and small will stunt growth and hiring plans for months and even years to come.

Next on the agenda is so-called Cap and Trade legislation which is really nothing more than an energy tax on businesses and individuals who dare to go about their day to day lives just as they have for decades. The pie in the sky promise of alternative energy is not even such a bad thing, but we aren't going to get there if we are economically stunted. Are these Democrats this obtuse or do they actually want China to lead the way since the Chinese have no intention of shackling themselves as they ramp up for the future.

So millions of unemployed Americans and perhaps even millions more will have to wait (and suffer) because the Democrats in power want their Christmas in July. The fact that they haven't just rammed these radical policy objectives through is also telling. They can pretend it's because of the Republicans (and Fox News) but that would be a lie. The own both houses of Congress, they have a veto proof/filibuster proof majority in the Senate. The only thing stopping them is the ire of the American people.

There are tried and true ways to ease unemployment just as there are small and practical incremental steps that can be taken to reform areas of the health care system. I'm here to tell you that the Obama White House and the Pelosi/Reid Congress don't give a damn about 10% unemployment - they want their agenda advanced first.

The truly appalling thing about this is that the actual cause of the dire situation we find ourselves in has not been addressed. If anything the Obama team has doubled down on the mistakes and policy flaws that led us here. With the government acting as a backstop for all manner of poor behavior from Wall Street all way down to Rondo Ave. where the poor folk live why would anyone act responsibly. If the government is going to bailout risky investing and risky behavior at every turn then both the rich and the poor are going to take stupid (dangerous) risks - why wouldn't they?

I can't believe the Democrats are fools. They are doing exactly what they want to do. America's unemployed be damned.


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Something to Believe In

Life is full of disappointments...

They say the only sure things in this life are death and taxes. I would add disappointment to the list. Disappointment is a part of life no matter who you are or how sunny your disposition is. The good thing is that disappointment is rarely fatal. The only time it really hurts is when someone you really believe in falls flat on their face. This happens to everyone eventually.

So we ask the question who or what can we believe in? Everything disappoints...

Now the religious side of me says I can count on Jesus of course. Non believers would say, fine, trust in your imaginary friend, its hard to be disappointed by a fantasy. It's my view that through the Holy Spirit Jesus exists in me, it's personal. Does the Lord let me down or do I let myself down? We must also then consider that humans are of dual nature endowed with the free will to follow the path of evil (the devil, Satan) whom also exist in me. So who exactly is the one doing the disappointing?

Beyond the metaphysical we need to believe in something righteous or risk being cynical and negative about everything. Sadly we can't separate the humanity from human institutions. If humanity straddles the dual nature of light and darkness then so do our institutions. This is what makes it so hard to believe in something enough to give us the comfort and assurance we crave. For those who find it in their mate or partner count yourself lucky. The rest of us have to separate the baby from the bathwater.

Everything we are taught to trust and respect, to believe in - mother/father, apple pie, Chevrolet, the Church, America, our elected officials, our wife(or husband) Coca Cola, well I could go on and on - have let us down, crushed our spirit, appalled us, poisoned us, cheated us, or robbed us blind. On the other hand they have also loved us, consoled us, driven us, enriched us, delighted us... You get the picture.

Do I hate the Church because a few nasty-assed priests are despicable pedophiles? Do I forget the charitable work and the spiritual uplift and truly wonderful things the Church has done? Do I despise my nation because of its shortcomings, do I forget the greatness of our system and its people because some Americans are abusive? Do I junk my Chevy (and all Chevy's evermore) because the transmission went out after 150,000 miles? Do I distrust all politicians because so many of them pull the wool over my eyes (half the time it's transparent wool anyway)? You see the conundrum here. Baby - bathwater.

What can I believe in that won't let me down? Everything disappoints...

Well, I can trust in logic and reason. Gee, that sounds inspiring. Other than the old cliche of believing in ourselves we can't realistically expect to count on anything or anybody all the time.

Everything disappoints.