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Under the Fedora: Here comes the Hangover

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I’m typing this on New Years Eve and while I’m not a drinker I’m thinking it’s is the perfect day to think of Obama’s Second Term.

New Year’s Eve generally is a binge that ends with big headache and on occasion the company of someone you regret the next morning.  That is going to be America circa 2013 all over.

We asked for it, we’re going to get it.

The fiscal cliff deal is coming (UPDATE it has come) and Zachary Goldfard at the Post pointed out a change in one part of the argument that is being ignored.

R. Glenn Hubbard, dean of the Columbia Business School and an architect of the Bush tax cuts, said it is “deeply ironic” for Democrats to favor extending most of them, given what he called their “visceral” opposition a decade ago.

Personally I think they still oppose them, By the time you read this we will know if a deal is struck.  I figure the re-imposition of those tax increases in such a way that Republicans can be blamed is a two-fer for democrats and their media allies, but if there is a deal and those tax rates are made permanent somewhere in Texas George Bush will be smiling.

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John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman have penned a piece (do people say “penned” anymore?) arguing for our involvement in Syria.

The United States must rally our allies to channel assistance to the newly established Syrian opposition council for distribution in the rebel-held areas. We must provide weapons and other lethal assistance to the opposition military command. And we must impose a no-fly zone in some areas of Syria, to include using the U.S. Patriot missile batteries en route to Turkey, to protect people in northern Syria from Assad’s aerial attacks.

If we remain on the current course, future historians are likely to record the slaughter of innocent Syrians, and the resulting harm done to America’s national interests and moral standing, as a shameful failure of U.S. leadership and one of the darker chapters in our history. That should unsettle us all as we pray for peace and goodwill this holiday season.

I understand the moral argument and it’s a fair point, but on the other end there is the question of aiding an opposition that is highly influenced by Al Qaeda and Islamists.  They are likely to bring in a crew as bad or worse as the last bunch.

In for a penny, in for a pound if America goes in it has to be willing to commit the blood and treasure to keep this from happening.   Like the fiscal mess with the GOP no matter what America does the Islamists and the left will blame us, so we should do what is in our best interests and, despite the crisis, I think our best interests to not intervene in Syria.

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Slightly related I found this absolutely hilarious:

Essam al-Erian, deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, called on Egyptian Jews to leave Israel to the Palestinians and return to their own homeland…

..”Egyptian Jews should refuse to live under a brutal, bloody and racist occupation stained with war crimes against humanity,” Erian said.

I think Egyptian Jews totally agree, that’s why they are living in Israel instead of Egypt.

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I find one aspect of the entire Gun debate pretty odd:

Given as stipulated [for the sake of argument] the vast majority of the right is one step away from the cliff of slaughter, might saying: “Next year we’ve coming for your guns” less than two weeks after Andrew Cuomo said “Confiscation could be an option“, be the push to send a bunch of heavily armed Chick-Fil-A eating psychopaths over the edge?

It’s gasoline on a fire ready to engulf the country in flames with only the police, the army and power of the presidency to hold back the impending holocaust of good and decent Obama voters.

Liberals, be afraid, be VERY afraid…

If the gun owners were as dangerous and as scary as our liberal friends tell us, those same liberals would  not risk provoking them this way.

Strangely enough those same liberals have no problem keeping silent about Islamists who oppress women and slaughter gays.

As Rush Limbaugh said, the left will always tell you who they fear…

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Meanwhile speaking of the left

The privileged daughter of a prominent city doctor, and her boyfriend — a Harvard grad and Occupy Wall Street activist — have been busted for allegedly having a cache of weapons and a bombmaking explosive in their Greenwich Village apartment.

Morgan Gliedman — who is nine-months pregnant — and her baby daddy, Aaron Greene, 31, also had instructions on making bombs, including a stack of papers with a cover sheet titled, “The Terrorist Encyclopedia,’’ sources told The Post yesterday.

I suspect this will get very little play doesn’t fit the template.  Maybe in twenty years they will serve in congress as reps from NY, after all in case you haven’t noticed from the Black Panthers to the mentors of Obama Ayers and Dorn the left always seems to embrace their terrorists.

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Speaking of the left and terrorists here is some news out of Saudi Arabia

Saudi religious police stormed a house in the Saudi Arabian province of al-Jouf, detaining more than 41 guests for “plotting to celebrate Christmas,” a statement from the police branch released Wednesday night said.

The raid is the latest in a string of religious crackdowns against residents perceived to threaten the country’s strict religious code.

Why do I get the feeling an awful lot of folks on the left would love to do the same here?

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Some sports?  The Washington Redskins (5 -11 last year) took the NFC East with a win over the Dallas Cowboys last weekend. The Indianapolis Colts (2-14 last year) won 11 games and picked up the #5 seed in the AFC North.

On twitter somebody sent out the list of predictions for this year from ESPN’s experts.  While the Eagles, Cowboys and Giants were all picked by people to win the division (in fact two “experts” picked the Dallas and Philly respectively to win the Superbowl, not a single person had either Indy or Washington going this far.

The Jets weren’t on any playoff lists but because of the acquisition of Tim Tebow they were all over the media.  When Jeff Sanchez tanked NY rather than start Tebow went with 3rd stringer Greg McElroy.  When he went down with an injury before the final game they pleased Tebow haters everywhere by putting Sanchez behind center one last time for one last loss.

One might wonder what harm It would have done for Tebow to start the final game, the answer is simple:  What would they say if  he won?  That 10th loss is a small price to pay to avoid the embarrassment of Tim Tebow succeeding even slightly.

Just a reminder, Tim Tebow got the Broncos to the 2nd round of the playoffs last year, as of right now that’s the same place where Peyton Manning has them.

Of course compared to the entire NHL the Jets are a bunch of geniuses.  At least they had the brains to play the season and get everyone paid.  In an era of 24/7 entertainment and sports you don’t want to remind people they can do without you.

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Finally the Doctor Who Christmas special was excellent, the plot interesting, the setup for the next season really worked and the new credits reminded me of a combination of the credits for Jon Pertwee (3rd Doctor) & Tom Baker (4th).

My one issue?  I’m getting sick of the constant “Gay Marriage” messages.  It’s become obligatory to the point where it’s odd if there isn’t a married lesbian lizard lady in Victorian London, or a Horse in the old west renamed “Susan” from Joshua whose life choices we needed to respect, or  “thin/fat gay married Anglican marines. It’s almost as bad as the constant time paradoxes lately but in fairness those only became ubiquitous when Moffat became head writer.

Let give everyone a quick history lesson from 1989:

“The idea of bringing politics into Doctor Who was deliberate, but we had to do it very quietly and certainly didn’t shout about it,” said McCoy….Sophie Aldred, who played Ace, the Doctor’s feminist companion, said a shared contempt for right-wing ideology had inspired “a real bonding process” for cast and crew.

I’m not the first to notice, but let me say this:  When the writing goes bad and there were some signs of that in series 6, expect them to go all social issues all the time because when the ideas run out there is always the agenda.

It killed off Dr. Who once, let’s hope it doesn’t happen again.

Happy New Year all.

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Wealth is not Created at the Top: It is Only Devoured There

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The UK has left the EU and we can argue about the minutiae of Wealth until we’re blue in the face. But the overriding factors are apparent and in one of the richest countries in the world it is shocking that so many people can’t even be sure if they are going to be able to eat enough today or provide for their loved ones.

These days, politicians from the left to the right assume that most wealth is created at the top. By the visionaries, by the job creators, and by the people who have “made it”. By the go-getters oozing talent and entrepreneurial-ism that are helping to advance the whole world – Opinion by 

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… across the spectrum virtually all agree that wealth is created primarily at the top and so entrenched is this assumption that it’s even embedded in our language. When economists talk about “productivity”, what they really mean is the size of your paycheck. And when we use terms like “welfare state”, “redistribution” and “solidarity”, we’re implicitly subscribing to the view that there are two strata: the makers and the takers, the producers and the couch potatoes, the hardworking citizens – and everybody else.

Bankers, pharmaceutical giants, Google, Facebook … a new breed of  rentiers are at the very top of the pyramid and they’re sucking the rest of us dry

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In reality, it is precisely the other way around. In reality, it is the waste collectors, the nurses, and the cleaners whose shoulders are supporting the apex of the pyramid. They are the true mechanism of social solidarity. Meanwhile, a growing share of those we hail as “successful” and “innovative” are earning their wealth at the expense of others. The people getting the biggest handouts are not down around the bottom, but at the very top. Yet their perilous dependence on others goes unseen. Almost no one talks about it. Even for politicians on the left, it’s a non-issue.

To understand why, we need to recognise that there are two ways of making money. The first is what most of us do: work. That means tapping into our knowledge and know-how (our “human capital” in economic terms) to create something new, whether that’s a takeout app, a wedding cake, a stylish updo, or a perfectly poured pint. To work is to create. Ergo, to work is to create new wealth.

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But there is also a second way to make money. That’s the rentier way: by leveraging control over something that already exists, such as land, knowledge, or money, to increase your wealth. You produce nothing, yet profit nonetheless. By definition, the rentier makes his living at others’ expense, using his power to claim economic benefit.

But here comes the rub. Most rentiers are not as easily identified as the greedy banker or manager. Many are disguised. On the face of it, they look like industrious folks, because for part of the time they really are doing something worthwhile. Precisely that makes us overlook their massive rent-seeking…

CONTINUE READING HERE:

The problems we face are that the politicians are firmly in the hands (pockets) of the uber wealthy. We live in a corporate plutocracy and those holding all the wealth and therefore power have no intention of changing the status quo, even if it isn’t sustainable. They remind me of bacteria (or cancer) devouring the host body more and more even though eventually it will kill them too.

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Donald Trump Forgets Important Lesson From Grandad:

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Harper’s Magazine reprints an interesting letter from US President Donald J. Trump’s own grandfather that may get you thinking. Here is it then:

The Emigrants – By Friedrich Trump – From a letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Trump had been ordered to leave Bavaria for failing to complete mandatory military service and to register his initial emigration to the United States twenty years earlier.

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Prince Luitpold rejected Trump’s request for repatriation; the family later settled in New York. Translated from the German by Austen Hinkley.

Most Serene, Most Powerful Prince Regent! Most Gracious Regent and Lord!

I was born in Kallstadt on March 14, 1869. My parents were honest, plain, pious vineyard workers. They strictly held me to everything good — to diligence and piety, to regular attendance in school and church, to absolute obedience toward the high authority.

After my confirmation, in 1882, I apprenticed to become a barber. I emigrated in 1885, in my sixteenth year. In America I carried on my business with diligence, discretion, and prudence. God’s blessing was with me, and I became rich. I obtained American citizenship in 1892. In 1902 I met my current wife. Sadly, she could not tolerate the climate in New York, and I went with my dear family back to Kallstadt.

The town was glad to have received a capable and productive citizen. My old mother was happy to see her son, her dear daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter around her; she knows now that I will take care of her in her old age.

But we were confronted all at once, as if by a lightning strike from fair skies, with the news that the High Royal State Ministry had decided that we must leave our residence in the Kingdom of Bavaria. We were paralyzed with fright; our happy family life was tarnished. My wife has been overcome by anxiety, and my lovely child has become sick.

Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family. What will our fellow citizens think if honest subjects are faced with such a decree — not to mention the great material losses it would incur. I would like to become a Bavarian citizen again.

In this urgent situation I have no other recourse than to turn to our adored, noble, wise, and just sovereign lord, our exalted ruler His Royal Highness, highest of all, who has already dried so many tears, who has ruled so beneficially and justly and wisely and softly and is warmly and deeply loved, with the most humble request that the highest of all will himself in mercy deign to allow the applicant to stay in the most gracious Kingdom of Bavaria.

Your most humble and obedient,

Friedrich Trump

… Well then. Long ago, yes.. Still applies? You tell me.

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