September 21, 2011 (Wednesday)

Deacon Christopher Herman News (DCHN) Presentations:'s note, opinion and commentary: 

We thank Deacon Christopher Herman, the son of our former spiritual father, Vladyka Michael Peter Herman of reposed memory for providing us the articles and their various links.

We believe that what is presented is a step in the right direction to bring our Orthodox Faith alive to all and a means to cure some of the ills that separate our Roman faithful from the root, ground and base of all things Christian: being Orthodox Catholic Christianity that began in the A.D. 800's and culminated in the official schism of the Roman Jurisdiction of the Catholic Church from Orthodoxy in 1054 A.D. 

By presenting these articles and informational pages and subsequent, hoped for, weekly presentations, this endeavor will reach a wider audience and provide a means for dialogue.  For it is in and through the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, our Savior, that love, compassion and understanding may come about.  In saying this truth, it also means that we make another attempt to fulfill the ideal of why we are called "Christian" ...

Orthodoxy is not a religion.  It is CHRISTIANITY itself! To a true Christian, the events taking place through out the world and locally in the USA today is important because of how it may (and in some instances has) affected our religious rights and freedoms here in the U.S.A and in some other Western World Countries already.

Initially we had begun by "Subject" but found that by "DATE" is a better format.  Thus, the former entitled "Concerning" below are a form of archival resources while the remainder is by dating. 

As Thou, Father, art in me and I in Thee; that they also may be one in Us. (John 17:21)

Christopher Herman 7:41am Sep 21
Paganism, from the Beast to Buffy - Telegraph

Sacred mysteries: Aleister Crowley, witchcraft and modern pagan cults.

Christopher Herman 7:36am Sep 21
Poll: 70% of Israelis say Israel should accept UN decision

Joint Jlem-Ramallah survey questions Israelis, Palestinians on what should happen after UN bid; 80%

Christopher Herman 7:35am Sep 21
"The USA National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is a crafty federal program to relieve the vaccine industry from liability for extreme vaccine injuries. Most claims have been rejected. But enough claims have been awarded to indicate the government's secret awareness of the link between a vaccine and autism while publicly denying it."
Federal government has paid out vaccine autism compensation awards to 83 families

Federal government has paid out vaccine autism compensation awards to 83 families

Christopher Herman 7:34am Sep 21
Prescription drugs responsible for more deaths than traffic accidents, study finds

Prescription drugs responsible for more deaths than traffic accidents, study finds

Christopher Herman 7:33am Sep 21
"With the exception of one woman, scholars long have maintained that it was uncommon for women and girls to be educated during the rabbinic period. The exception who proved that rule was Bruriah. Some scholars say that women learned from their mothers only the rules they needed to fulfill their domestic duties.
Many passages in the Talmud support these views. To give two examples: In Bavli, Kiddushin 29b, we read: “‘And you shall teach them [the words of Torah] to your sons’ (Deuteronomy 11:19) but not to your daughters,” and in Mishnah Sotah 3:4 Eliezer says, “Whoever teaches his daughter Torah, it is as if he is teaching her lewdness.” Not allowing women to study Torah is consistent with a patriarchal society, which rabbinic society certainly was.
Under scrutiny, however, the claim that women did not study Torah collapses. Until now, scholars have drawn inferences from prescriptive statements, like the ones above. But descriptive passages, such as the short anecdotes that appear in the gemara, give a more accurate picture of social reality, leading to the conclusion that women in rabbinic families did learn both Bible and rabbinic teachings. And they learned it from men. At the very least, these passages suggest that the editors of the two Talmuds chose to portray a significant number of women as Torah-knowledgeable.
Recent research on the bet midrash, or study house, has changed our understanding of how and where Torah was studied in the ancient world. We now know that rabbinic study groups took the form of disciple circles with a rabbi at the center. These groups studied in many different locations – a rented room, a courtyard, under a tree, in a rabbi’s home, at a rabbi’s table.
The significance of the floating bet midrash for women is enormous. It means that they did not have to go to the study house. It came to them. Women in rabbinic families could overhear Torah discussions taking place in their own homes and occasionally even participate in them. I am not suggesting that women were full-fledged students, but that they were able to catch some Torah on the fly. This is still Torah study, even if it is less sustained, less systematic, and of course less extensive.
But this is not all. The anecdotes portray conversations between husbands and wives and fathers and daughters in which the man tells the woman about the new laws emerging from the study house. These exchanges also are a form of Torah study. Since we know so little about the lives of women in this period, any information we can glean from the texts is precious. "
A New Look at Women and Torah Study : The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ)

Christopher Herman 7:31am Sep 21
"Paradoxically, it was Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip during the June 1967 war that laid the groundwork for Palestinian civil society. Not only did it bring the issue of Palestinian independence to the forefront of the international agenda, but it also produced dramatic improvements in the Palestinians’ quality of life. During the occupation, the territories became the fourth fastest-growing economy in the world—ahead of Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, and substantially ahead of Israel itself. From 1967 to 2000, life expectancy rose from 48 to 72, while infant mortality fell from 60 per 1,000 live births in 1968 to 15 per 1,000 births in 2000. And while there was not a single university that existed in the West Bank or Gaza before Israeli rule, by the mid-1990s, there were seven such institutions, boasting more than 16,000 students."
There Is No Palestinian State

Having failed to lay the groundwork for a viable homeland, Palestinian leaders are once again leadin

Christopher Herman 7:27am Sep 21
"The major difference between Social Security and Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme is his was illegal. Three Nobel laureate economists have testified that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. Dr. Paul Samuelson called it "the greatest Ponzi game ever contrived." Dr. Milton Friedman said it was "the biggest Ponzi scheme on earth." Dr. Paul Krugman predicted that "the Ponzi game will soon be over.""
Gov. Perry's Right About Social Security by Walter E. Williams

During the recent GOP presidential debate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said that

Christopher Herman 7:25am Sep 21
"During the 1930s, the Rockefellers pushed hard for war against Japan, which they saw as competing with them vigorously for oil and rubber resources in Southeast Asia and as endangering the Rockefellers' cherished dreams of a mass "China market" for petroleum products. On the other hand, the Rockefellers took a noninterventionist position in Europe, where they had close financial ties with German firms such as I.G. Farben and Co., and very few close relations with Britain and France.

The Morgans, in contrast, as usual deeply committed to their financial ties with Britain and France, once again plumped early for war with Germany, while their interest in the Far East had become minimal. Indeed, US ambassador to Japan Joseph C. Grew, former Morgan partner, was one of the few officials in the Roosevelt administration genuinely interested in peace with Japan.

World War II might therefore be considered, from one point of view, as a coalition war: the Morgans got their war in Europe, the Rockefellers theirs in Asia. Such disgruntled Morgan men as Lewis W. Douglas and Dean G. Acheson (a protégé of Henry Stimson), who had left the early Roosevelt administration in disgust at its soft-money policies and economic nationalism, came happily roaring back into government service with the advent of World War II. Nelson A. Rockefeller, for his part, became head of Latin American activities during World War II, and thereby acquired his taste for government service.

After World War II, the united Rockefeller–Morgan–Kuhn, Loeb eastern Establishment was not allowed to enjoy its financial and political supremacy unchallenged for long. "Cowboy" Sun Belt firms, maverick oil men and construction men from Texas, Florida, and southern California began to challenge the eastern Establishment "Yankees" for political power."
Rockefeller, Morgan, and War by Murray N. Rothbard

This article is excerpted from Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreig

Christopher Herman 7:19am Sep 21
"Even New York's Chuck Schumer, of all unlikely partisans, has objections—notably to Mr. Obama's plan to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire on taxpayers earning more than $200,000 (or $250,000 for married couples): "$250,000 makes you really rich in Mississippi, but it doesn't make you rich at all in New York, and there ought to be some kind of scale based on the cost of living on how much you pay."

Mr. Schumer didn't mention that one reason for the cost-of-living differential is the Empire State's own sky-high taxes, but the important political point is that the Democratic Party's chief Wall Street fund-raiser is tacitly acknowledging that raising taxes on the not-so-rich isn't popular."
Do-Nothing Democrats?

The Wall Street Journal says even Chuck Schumer has problems with Obama's tax plan.

Christopher Herman 7:19pm Sep 20
"Watching the early clashes among the Republican presidential field leaves me hungering for a televised debate on the Constitution. America's fundamental law, raised as a flag in this campaign by the tea party, has been eddying in and out of the debates. So why limit it to glancing references?

Why not make at least one of these televised debates about the Constitution itself. Let the candidates really get it on over how they understand the document that whoever wins the presidency will swear to preserve, protect and defend. How would the Constitution guide them should they become president of America?

Take the question of treason. This word is being thrown around in the debates like confetti. Gov. Rick Perry has suggested that using the Federal Reserve for political purposes would be "almost treasonous," and Gov. Jon Huntsman has asserted that Mr. Perry's suggestion that we can't control the southern border was a "treasonous comment."

How do these candidates comprehend the prohibition in the Constitution on defining treason as anything other than levying war against the United States or adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort? Do they really believe that treason is a context in which they want to talk about immigration and money?

And what counsel from the Constitution would the candidates draw on immigration? What kind of responsibility do they feel is imposed on the federal government by the fact that the Constitution parcels the power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization not to the states but to the federal government? Does the word "uniform" lock the states out of making policy on immigration?

How about talking of the Federal Reserve and Ben Bernanke not in terms of treason but in terms of the Constitution? One of the candidates, Ron Paul, reckons the Federal Reserve Act is unconstitutional on its face. Do the other candidates agree? Where do they feel Congress gets the power to delegate monetary authority to the Fed?

When Mr. Bernanke was sworn in as chairman, he spoke of how Congress had created the Fed acting under the grant of power to coin money and regulate its value. But neither the Federal Reserve Act nor the case law that gave the federal government the power to establish a national bank cites the coinage power, which, more than a century before the Fed was created, Congress gave to the United States Mint.

Mr. Perry is coming under attack for suggesting that not only is Social Security a Ponzi scheme but it is unconstitutional. Why might it be unconstitutional? There are several Supreme Court cases saying that it is constitutional, but one of them was decided by a vote of five to four. It would be illuminating to hear where in the dissents Mr. Perry might find his standing."
Seth Lipsky: Let's Have a Televised Debate on the Constitution

In The Wall Street Journal, Seth Lipsky asks: What guidance do the Republican presidential candidate

Christopher Herman 5:06pm Sep 20
"Arizona created quite a national furor a year ago by enacting a law to crack down on illegal immigrants, but the ease with which non-English-speaking people can obtain driver’s licenses there has attracted refugees now living in Massachusetts. The Bay State has suspended the driver's licenses of 124 Massachusetts residents who obtained licenses from Arizona, which they then converted into Massachusetts licenses, the Boston Globe reported Monday. State Police are investigating hundreds of other cases in which Massachusetts residents may have gained driving privileges through Arizona's more flexible policy."
Mass. Suspends Driver's Licenses Transferred from Ariz.

Massachusetts has suspended driver's licenses of Bay State residents who got their licenses from Ari

Christopher Herman 3:35pm Sep 20
Tax the Rich? Depends On How You Define Rich

The median household making $25,000-$49,999 a year believes that “wealthy” is defined as $200,000 ye

hristopher Herman 3:32pm Sep 20

"Congress should not consider the U.S.-Panama trade agreement until Panama implements labor law and tax reforms and the Obama administration lays out a comprehensive, principled trade strategy for the United States.

The AFL-CIO has called on Panama to bring its labor laws into compliance with the International Labor Organization’s (ILO’s) minimum standards. For example, Panama’s laws effectively prohibit the forming of a union in most workplaces and seriously limit the right to strike. A growing problem in Panama are the laws that allow employers to circumvent unions by repeatedly hiring the same workers on a temporary basis, rather than hiring them as full-time workers, Lee said.

Even when the laws meet international standards, the Panamanian government does not effectively enforce them. Lee pointed out that child labor is a concern in Panama because the age limits for workers are not enforced.

The Panama agreement does not reach the standards that Barack Obama set for trade deals during the 2008 presidential campaign, Lee said. In the Democratic Party platform, Obama emphasized the need for trade policy to “be an integral part of an overall national economic strategy that delivers on the promise of good jobs at home and shared prosperity abroad.” Now, instead of laying out a new trade policy, the administration is pushing a “patchwork policy” left over from the Bush administration, Lee said.

The nation’s global competitiveness should not be determined based on the profitability of U.S. multinational corporations operating abroad, but rather on the ability of U.S.-based producers to compete and thrive on American soil in a dynamic global economy, Lee told the panel. By this standard, she said, our trade policy needs deep reform.

Current U.S. trade policy has failed to deliver good jobs at home; equitable, democratic, and sustainable development abroad; or a stable global economy. We need to review and reform our trade policy with respect to the overall framework of rules; our chronic and large trade imbalances; and the impact of our trade and investment policies on U.S. manufacturers, farmers, service providers, consumers, workers, and the environment.

This review is especially urgent in light of the current economic crisis and the weakness of the U.S. labor market, Lee said.

As long as we continue to run trade deficits on the order of 5 percent of GDP [Gross Domestic Product], the arguments that we need more trade liberalization to succeed in the global economy ring hollow—especially to our members, who have seen too many jobs go offshore while their wages and benefits stagnate.

At the same time, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), among others, has raised serious questions about Panama’s self-advertised role as a tax haven for multinationals. This is a serious problem, especially since the Obama administration has signaled its interest in closing egregious tax shelters.

In addition to the Panama agreement, the AFL-CIO opposes Bush-negotiated trade pacts now on the table with Colombia and South Korea, Lee told the committee.

Colombia continues to be the most dangerous country for trade union members with more than 2,700 trade unionists murdered since 1986, including more than 500 since President Álvaro Uribe took office in 2002. Forty-nine trade unionists were killed in 2008—a 25 percent increase over the previous year. Seventeen trade unionists have been murdered this year as of May 15.

The Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, as negotiated, would decimate our auto sector and increase pressure on other key industrial sectors, potentially costing tens of thousands of good U.S. jobs, said Lee. South Korean labor unions also have concerns about the agreement, as their government and employers have recently cracked down on union activities and exploited loopholes in Korean labor law."
Tell Congress to Stop Colombia, Korea, Panama Trade Deals

Christopher Herman 3:26pm Sep 20
How Your Cellphone Lets the Government Track You

Government agencies often ask for geolocation data about individual cellphones from cellular carrier

Christopher Herman 3:12pm Sep 20
""Class warfare" is too strong. It's also too simple. The deal at the heart of the president's proposal is higher taxes for the rich with no serious changes to Social Security and health care services. The rich aren't being asked to pay for an expansion of the welfare state. They're being asked to pay for the preservation of the entitlement state. "
Obama's 'Class Warfare': It's Not About Class, It's About Age

The White House isn't trying to tax the rich to pay for an extension of a classic welfare system. It

Christopher Herman 11:22am Sep 20
Resenting Greece: Slovakia Threatens Euro Rescue Package - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Having suffered painful, self-imposed economic reforms, Slovakia doesn't see why it should help bail


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European News and Politics

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Christopher Herman 11:18am Sep 20
Which Israeli leader said this? "We view the permanent solution in the framework of a State of Israel which will include most of the area of the Land of Israel as it was under the British Mandate, and alongside it a Palestinian entity in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority."
"Mr. Chairman, Members of Knesset..."
"In the framework of the permanent solution, we aspire to reach, first and foremost, the State of Is

Christopher Herman 9:55am Sep 20
""They [the US and Europe] intend to weaken gold's function as an international reserve currency. They don’t want to see other countries turning to gold reserves instead of the US dollar or Euro," stated the 2009 cable, quoting Chinese Radio International. "China's increased gold reserves will thus act as a model and lead other countries towards reserving more gold."

The cable is titled "China increases its gold reserves in order to kill two birds with one stone". Taken together with recent policy announcements from Chinese banking officials, it may signal moves by China to eventually replace the US dollar as the world's reserve currency.

Last week, European business officials announced that China plans to make its currency, the yuan, fully convertible for trading on international markets by 2015. Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of China's central bank, said the offshore market for the yuan is "developing faster than we had imagined" but there is no definitive timetable for making the currency fully convertible. Presently, the yuan cannot be easily converted into other currencies, because of government restrictions.

China's gold holdings are small compared to other major economies. It has 1,054 tonnes, the sixth-largest reserves in the world, according to data from the World Gold Council. "
China buys gold, challenges US dollar

WikiLeaks cables allege that China is buying gold to weaken the US dollar's supremacy as the world's

Christopher Herman 9:48am Sep 20
The American Conservative » Whose Country Is It, Anyway?

For the third straight year, the median income of the typical American family fell in 2010. Adjusted

Christopher Herman 9:44am Sep 20
"A profound and hidden mystery is the fall of man. It is quite impossible for a person to understand it by his own powers. This is because among the consequences of the fall is mental blindness, which prevents the mind from seeing the depths and darkness of the fall. Our fallen state appears to be a state of triumph, and the land of exile seems to be an exceptional field of progress and enjoyment. ....What a different picture, brethren, and how terrible is the sight that meets our gaze when the mystery is disclosed to us!"

St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

Christopher Herman 9:43am Sep 20
Canadian Study Confirms Advantages of Homeschooling

A Canadian study confirms that home-schoolers perform better than public school students in the cruc

Christopher Herman 9:43am Sep 20
"After spending hundreds of billions to bail them out, the federal government is now turning on the big banks it once protected. Earlier this month, the Federal Housing Finance Agency launched a broad legal assault on 17 major banks, claiming the banks misled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in misrepresenting the quality of mortgage-backed securities. The FHFA’s lawsuit is a new attempt on the part of the federal government to recoup from big banks some of the taxpayer money lost during the financial crisis. Banks named in the action include Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and Deutsche Bank."
Federal Government Turns on the Banks It Bailed Out

After spending hundreds of billions to bail them out, the government sues 17 major banks for misrepr


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International Finance and Economics

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Christopher Herman 7:41am Sep 21
Paganism, from the Beast to Buffy - Telegraph

Sacred mysteries: Aleister Crowley, witchcraft and modern pagan cults.


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The Terrorist Network

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Defending Israel and the War Against Islam(ism)

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Christopher Herman 9:39am Sep 20
Pharma-backed legislation to allow secret vaccinations of children without parental consent about to

Pharma-backed legislation to allow secret vaccinations of children without parental consent about to

Christopher Herman 9:36am Sep 20
from Russia with love: A Guide to Russian Sects and Fringe Beliefs - Part One, The Schism and the Sk

To be born Russian, to remain Russian And save this happiness, When and wherever to wander– Such as


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Freemasonry and other Secret Societies

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Christopher Herman 9:32am Sep 20
"The entire Buffett Rule premise is false, as the nearby table shows. In 2008, the last year for which such data are available, the IRS reports that those who made more than $1 million in adjusted gross income paid an average income tax rate of 23.3%.

That's slightly lower than the 24.1% rate paid by those making between $500,000 and $1 million, probably because the richest are like Mr. Buffett and earn more from capital gains and dividends. The rate for a relative handful of the rich—400 people—fell to 18%, the modern equivalent of Barr's Gang of 21. But nearly all millionaires still paid a rate that is more than twice the 8.9% average rate paid by those earning between $50,000 and $100,000, and more than three times the 7.2% average rate paid by those earning less than $50,000. The larger point is that the claim that CEOs are routinely paying lower tax rates than their secretaries is Omaha hokum."
The Buffett Alternative Tax

The Wall Street Journal notes that the rich don't pay lower average tax rates.

Christopher Herman 9:30am Sep 20
MYSTAGOGY: Ancient Greek Philosophers In An Orthodox Monastery

One of the best ways to interpret the Orthodox position on a matter is to see how it is depicted in

hristopher Herman 9:28am Sep 20
"Unfortunately, we make a split between the grace-bearers, between monks and missionaries. Some think that the monks by their praying do not achieve any work in society, and others undervalue the missionary effort which other Christians make.

However, things are not so simple. Many are the gifts which the Holy Spirit gives for the building up of the Body of Christ. We must value and accept the gifts which are given by the Holy Spirit. To undervalue one gift is blasphemy, according to St. Symeon the New Theologian.

At another point in his teaching St. Symeon the New Theologian says that many people regarded the desert life as blessed, some the coenobitic life, and for others blessedness was to govern the people, to legislate, teach and establish Churches: "But I would not wish to give preference to any of these states or exalt one type of life and discredit another. In all walks of life, whatever our work and activities, blessed is the life lived for God and according to God".

It is not a matter of the work we do in the Church, but of whether we do it by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, whether we perform it in the fear of God and whether we are aiming at the glory of God. Then, whatever this work is, it is blessed and will have eternal results. Otherwise our work will be burned (1 Cor. 3:12-15)."
MYSTAGOGY: The Relationship Between Monastics and Missionaries

Christopher Herman 9:26am Sep 20
"The Clergy are ordained to serve and minister to the people. It is a gift from God for someone to shepherd, and it is a gift to be shepherded towards one's salvation. Moreover, the basis of the sacramental priesthood is what is called spiritual priesthood, which laymen too can have. Everyone can have spiritual priesthood, because it is connected with the whole spiritual life, which is experienced through both the Sacraments and asceticism. According to the Fathers, the person has spiritual priesthood who has developed his noetic energy, and of course, who prays for the whole world. And we know that this spiritual priesthood will make a man worthy of enjoying the Kingdom of God."
MYSTAGOGY: The Relationship Between Clergy and Laypeople

Christopher Herman 9:19am Sep 20
"In a congressional district with 40 percent Jewish voters and the most concentrated Orthodox community in the country, Democrats turned to an observant Jewish candidate and the scion of a local political dynasty. State Assemblyman David Weprin’s father served in the assembly for 24 years and rose to the position of speaker, while his brother transitioned from the ancestral seat in the legislature to a position on the city council. Running against a conservative Roman Catholic, Weprin never expected problems with his fellow Orthodox Jews.

Nevertheless, on election day his “I’m one of you” appeals failed miserably. In Brooklyn’s heavily religious and Jewish Flatbush neighborhood, Weprin lost by a 2-to-1 margin to his non-Jewish rival, Bob Turner. An election eve poll showed more than 70 percent of voters who listed Israel as a top concern expressed a preference for Turner, despite Weprin’s longstanding support for the Jewish state and his eight trips to Jerusalem.

Of course Weprin suffered from association with President Obama, who is widely perceived as indifferent or downright hostile to Israel. And Weprin damaged his position in the religious Jewish community with his outspoken support for gay marriage. (His speech in the legislature emphasized his background as an Orthodox Jew while supporting a redefinition of matrimony that Orthodox rabbinic leadership unanimously rejects.)

Certainly, his co-religionists had plenty of reason to turn away from Weprin in last week’s special election to replace Anthony Weiner, but their doing so in such decisive numbers indicates that even for one of the more insular faith communities in the country, issues trump religious identity. A last-minute attempt to smear Turner as disrespectful toward authentic Judaism also failed: The Washington Times reported that thousands of voters received election day phone calls purporting to represent “Jews for Jesus for Turner,” perceived as an obvious Democratic stunt intended to portray Turner’s support within the Jewish community as the work of obnoxious apostates."
New York’s Lesson for Rick Perry

As the governor tries to lock up evangelical votes, there are clear warnings in a Jewish candidate’s

Christopher Herman 9:15am Sep 20
"Do we have a revenue problem or a spending problem?

In 2008, tax revenues were at an all-time high of $2.5 trillion yet the federal government spent $2.98 trillion. In 2009, tax revenues were reduced to $2.1 trillion, but the government spent $3.5 trillion. In 2010, tax revenues were $2.16 trillion, but the government spent $3.46 trillion. In those three years, the government added over $3 trillion to the national debt. We'd call that a spending problem. "
1947-2011: Federal Government Tax Revenues and Spending, Indexed to Population | Intellectual Takeou

The graph above from the Federal Reserve Bank tracks the Federal Government's tax revenues (in green

Christopher Herman 11:31am Sep 21
Drug cartels throw parties for US officials

Related: Texas whistle-blowers allege corruption by RT Two American men that used to work undercover

Christopher Herman 8:57am Sep 20
"Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was pressed at a White House briefing on the number of millionaires who pay taxes at a lower rate than middle-income families. He demurred, saying that people who make most of their money in wages pay taxes at a higher rate, while those who get most of their income from investments pay at lower rates.

"So it really depends on what is your profession, where's the source of your income, what's the specific circumstances you face, and the averages won't really capture that," Geithner said."
Obama Buffett Rule Comments: Are Rich Actually Taxed At Higher Rate Than Middle Class?

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama makes it sound as if there are millionaires all over America pa

Christopher Herman 8:53am Sep 20
The Myth of the Middle Class - By Charles Kenny

Is there any evidence to support the argument that the middle class is so vital to prospects for sta

Christopher Herman 8:49am Sep 20
Media Myth Debunked: Millionaires Don't Pay Less Tax as Percentage of AGI Than Lower Income Earners.

As President Obama trots out his new "Buffett Rule" to raise taxes on millionaires, the media are pr

Christopher Herman 9:37pm Sep 19
"... what was not mentioned in the S&P press release was the fact that the rating agency’s parent company, McGraw-Hill Cos., has a major, and growing, presence in the Chinese market, according to its latest 10K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. As a result, it would appear to be among the US companies that stands to benefit from a sharp rise in the value of Chinese currency, which seems to create at least the perception of a conflict of interest for the rating agency."
US Debt Downgrade May Have Chinese Connection | the narcosphere

Standard & Poor’s recent downgrading of the US credit rating is being billed in the media as a major

Christopher Herman 1:42pm Sep 19
"With the U.S. spending more on its military than the rest of the world combined, does anyone really believe that if we stop protecting Germany from a Russian invasion, cancel weapon systems that don't work, or reduce the number of generals and admirals populating the Pentagon, that al-Qaeda will come swarming across our border?" - Michael Tanner
Cut Defense before Raising Taxes | Michael D. Tanner | Cato Institute: Commentary

Author: Michael D. Tanner, Published: 2011-09-14, Type: Commentary

Christopher Herman 1:15pm Sep 19
"Americans will regret that Bush II did not read his father's memoirs, A World Transformed. Written five years ago, George Bush Senior explained why he didn't go after Saddam Hussein at the end of the Gulf War:

"Trying to eliminate Saddam ... would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. ... We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. ... [T]here was no viable 'exit strategy' we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land.""
Wisdom Of The Father, Folly Of The Son

Most of President Bush's top officials in the State Department and Defense Department are identified

Christopher Herman 1:02pm Sep 19
“But as he stood on the stage in Grant Park, a shudder went through Barack Obama. He would now have to command Washington, tame New York, and rescue the economy in the first real management job of his life.”

Ron Suskind in Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President,

“Barack Obama came to Washington just six years ago, having spent his professional life as a part-time lawyer, part-time law professor, and part-time state legislator in Illinois. … But there was no mistaking the lightness of his résumé. Just a year before coming to Washington, State Senator Obama was investigating the dangers of a toy known as the Yo-Yo Water Ball. (He tried, unsuccessfully, to have it banned.)”

Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker,May 2, 2011

How did we wind up with another lightweight in the Oval Office?

Ron Suskind’s upcoming book, Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President, is perhaps the first full-scale work of real investigatory journalism to subject the Obama Administration to non-fawning attention. It documents how:

“The Citibank incident [in which Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner ignored a Presidential order], and others like it, reflected a more pernicious and personal dilemma emerging from inside the administration: that the young president’s authority was being systematically undermined or hedged by his seasoned advisers.”

One of those Washington insiders who pushed Obama around, his chief economic advisor Larry Summers, complained repeatedly to a rival Administration economist, Peter Orszag:

“’You know, Peter, we're really home alone.' Over the past few months, Summers had said this, in a stage whisper, to Orszag and others as they left the morning economic briefings in the Oval Office. ... 'I mean it,' Summers stressed. 'We're home alone. There's no adult in charge. Clinton would never have made these mistakes.’”

Of course, Larry Summers, like Timothy Geithner, was one of those insiders who helped get the country into the financial mess that it’s in. But how was Obama—a man of so little financial acumen that he didn’t start putting his own retirement savings into a tax-sheltered SEP account until 2007, the head of a family that had kept going deeper into debt despite a $200,000 income—supposed to out-argue the famous economist?

Suskind’s phrase “the young President” is literally true of Obama: Only four Presidents were younger when they entered the White House: Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ulysses S. Grant.

And “young” is also a euphemism for “inexperienced,” “untested,” and “callow.” Obama’s uneventful life and lackluster career provided him with far less executive experience than even Kennedy, much less General Grant.

Until recently, Obama has benefited from press coverage so masturbatory that the Main Stream Media was shocked last week to learn from Suskind’s book that Obama doesn’t take white feminists seriously:

“‘The president has a real woman problem’ was the assessment of another high-ranking female official. ‘The idea of the boys’ club being just Larry and Rahm [Emanuel] isn’t fair. He [Obama] was just as responsible himself.’ … ‘[L]ooking back,’ recalled Anita Dunn, when asked about it nearly two years later, ‘this place would be in court for a hostile workplace … Because it actually fit all of the classic legal requirements for a genuinely hostile workplace to women.’”

[Book: Women in Obama White House felt excluded and ignored, By Nia-Malika Henderson and Peter Wallsten, Washington Post, September 16, 2011]

But why should this be news? Obama hired Larry Summers, who, as you’ll recall, is a bête noire of feminists for telling some unwelcome truths at a feminist kvetch conference. Telling truths of this sort is exactly the kind of thing that feminists would normally complain about. But as with most things interesting about Obama, the MSM just never brought up the issue.

Although Obama has made millions of dollars off his 1995 memoir Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, few have read it closely. (Except, of course, for me, researching my book America’s Half Blood Prince: Barack Obama’s “Story of Race and Inheritance”). One thing that stood out is Obama’s lack of interest in feminism. My recollection is that he devotes clauses in a couple of sentences in his 150,000-word book to boilerplate tributes to feminism, which isn’t much for a modern politician.

In general, Obama gives the impression that he viewed feminists as horning in on all the sympathy due the real victims: black men (such as, to pick a random example, Barack Obama).

Obama deeply resented his mother dumping him on his grandparents in Hawaii while she pursued her career, such as it was, in Indonesia writing her 1,067-page dissertation on peasant blacksmithing.

Intellectually, he could acknowledge that his grandmother, a pioneering female bank executive, worked a lot harder than his beloved Willy Lomanish grandfather. But his appreciation for her is distinctly limited.

In the notorious Throw Grandma Under the Bus anecdote recounted in both Dreams and in his celebrated 2008 race speech in which he compared his still-living grandmother to Rev. Wright, Obama treated his grandmother’s fear of violence from a male thug who accosted her at the bus stop as a racist insult.

His lazy but anti-racist grandfather explained why he refused to drive his evil wife to her high-paying job even this once:

"He turned around and I saw that he was shaking. 'It is a big deal. It's a big deal to me. She's been bothered by men before. You know why she's so scared this time. I'll tell you why. Before you came in, she told me the fella was black.' He whispered the word. 'That's the real reason why she's bothered. And I just don't think that right.'

"The words were like a fist in my stomach, and I wobbled to regain my composure.”

Similarly, after Michelle Obama got off to a rocky start on the campaign trail, Obama started treating his Harvard Law graduate wife the way Ike treated Mamie: as a devoted homebody who could barely bear to be away from her children for minutes.

Of course, that should have raised the question: if Michelle's priorities are so home-centric, how did she “earn” $317,000 in 2005 from the University of Chicago Hospitals? Wasn’t Michelle’s giant raise and bonus therefore mostly just a payoff from private medical interest to a potential President?
How Smart Is Obama, Anyway? About As Smart As Gerald Ford!

Race isn’t the only reason Obama edged out John McCain and Hillary Clinton. But it’s the main reason

Christopher Herman 12:44pm Sep 19
"As’s Ed Rubenstein has repeatedly pointed out, immigration's impact on the poverty level is two-fold: direct—many immigrants are themselves poor, adding to the poverty population.; and indirect—immigrants compete with and displace native-born Americans, driving them into poverty by bidding down their wages and taking their jobs."
Democrat says: WAPO Poverty Rate Story Demonstrates Immigration Overload—But Doesn’t Mention I-Word

After years of writing sob-sister stories about illegal immigrant hardships, the Washington Post’s p

Christopher Herman 12:39pm Sep 19
"As President Obama travels around the USA selling his proposed American Jobs Act, we should respectfully ask him to “Do the Math!”. Audience members to whom he speaks should constantly ask him why we continue to import over 1 million aliens here every year on work visas and fail to enforce the existing laws on illegal aliens.

Be sure also to ask why the making permanent of E-verify was not part of his plan to be sure more Americans can find jobs."
Democrat Applauds The First Latina Governor For Eschewing Ethnic Cronyism
A September 8, 2011 AP story reports that “New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, who has drawn national a

Christopher Herman 12:39pm Sep 19
""When she was governor of Alaska she really did take on the oil industry, and [she also] approved a statewide referendum that resulted in the first state in the Union to regulate cruise lines and their pollution offshore," he says. "So there is a precursor to these remarks.""
War Room: Ralph Nader praises Sarah Palin

"I think she's a lot smarter than most people credit her," says the left-wing crusader

Christopher Herman 12:19pm Sep 19
Interview with Noah Smith: IARPA, US intelligence agency, monitoring social media

Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, or IARPA, is a research agency under the Director

Christopher Herman 9:33am Sep 19
"We should all be deeply concerned about Afghani insurgents attacking and taking over New York City. Why? Because they have shown that, in parts of Afghanistan, they are capable of engaging in successful offensive operations, and — therefore by extension — are capable of engaging in much larger successful offensive operations.
But that sounds absurd, right? It sounds absurd because it is! What I’ve just demonstrated is one of the basic tropes of the cyberwar proponent: you point out that the enemy is capable of one thing, and argue therefore that they are capable of something unimaginably larger. This tactic works because most of the people who it’s used against are either:
in line to make a lot of money helping defend against cyberwar,
high tech illiterate,
propagandized by “fear sell” to the point where they will support radical action against anything that is presented to them as scary."
Cyberwar: A Whole New Quagmire. Part 3: Conflating Threats

by Marcus J. Ranum, Fabius Maximus Summary: When cyberwar proponents talk about our vulnerability t

Christopher Herman 9:30am Sep 19
The Mayor Palin Program: Sarah Palins Golden Opportunity to Change the Country
If Sarah Palin wants to lead, she must follow. Follow what? The rules. Which rules? The ones she has

Christopher Herman 9:25am Sep 19
"Page 6 of Obama’s proposal already shows the stupidity and complexity of U.S. laws as well as the impact of special interest groups on these laws. It announces that any funds under the program that are spent on public work must use iron, steel, and manufactured goods produced in the United States. Loopholes follow immediately. If a federal department head deems that this would be "inconsistent with the public interest", he may buy elsewhere; or if the iron, steel, or goods aren’t manufactured in the U.S., he may buy elsewhere. Or if such purchases will "increase the cost of the overall project by more than 25 percent", then he can buy non-American but if so he must provide "a detailed written justification"."
A Sound Jobs Plan: 'Pull' the Federal Government by Michael S. Rozeff

Obama has sent to Congress a 199-page jobs plan. Experience shows that

Christopher Herman 9:18am Sep 19
"This week, Deutsche Bank came out with a report of its own. It, too, is confident that the “Golden Age” – 1982-2007 – is over. In its place is a “Grey Age.” Instead of the nominal 12.8% gains of the Golden Age, investors have gotten returns of – 2.8% per annum for the last 4 years. Deutsche Bank expects stock market investors to lose about 10% of their money – in real terms – over the next 10 years, while the economy goes through 3 recessions!

But what would you expect? Everything droops. For the last 3 or 4 centuries the winning formula for developed economies and their governments has been simple: More energy. More output. More people. More credit. More promises. This formula has been so effective for so long people began to think it was destiny itself. It’s not. Instead, it is slave to destiny not its master.

By 2007, the slave was put in his place. The business cycle turned sour. Native populations in Europe and Japan are falling. Energy use per person in the developed world has leveled off. Private sector credit is shrinking. So is real private sector output.

The feds responded to this challenge as they had to every post-WWII slowdown. They added more – more money, more credit. The government itself spent more money and used more energy. But the economy did not react in the old manner.

An obvious reason: people are no longer as young and sans-soucis as they used to be. A young man’s eye may be drawn to fast German cars or slick Italian suits. But an old man can barely see at all. The baby boomers no longer roll their joints; they rub them. And they are no longer the source of an economic boom; now, they are the proximate cause of the bust.

But there’s more to this new Grey Age than demography. People too are subject to the law of declining marginal utility. They wear out. But so do even the most enduring and impressive economic trends. There were only 450 million people on the planet in 1500. It took 99,000 years to reach that level. Then, over the next 5 centuries – the population soared 10 times. Today, it is hard to find a parking place in any major city. How was such a big jump in population possible? Destiny was demography. With ready, cheap energy at hand, man could grow more food. And then he could ship it all around the world. And he could put his talents to work making more and better machines…which would vastly increase his output and his standard of living.

But the Machine Age ages too. The first tractors appeared more than 100 years ago. They may have increased production 10…20…100 times. Since then, improvements have been incremental, not revolutionary. We have bigger, faster, better tractors – that use more energy than ever.

Meanwhile, energy itself came to be more expensive. When the price of energy rose in the ’70s, the “30 glorious years” that followed WWII were soon over. Hourly wage rates stopped increasing and have not gone up since.

Yes, there is plenty of energy around. But it is net output that you get from energy that counts, not the raw output. If a gallon of gasoline costs $5…it must produce more than $5 in additional output or the economy gets poorer. As the price rises fewer and fewer new energy apps pay off.

Likewise, credit is subject to the law of declining marginal utility too. In 1950, an additional dollar of credit added about 70 cents to GDP. By 2007, the US economy was adding more than $5 of debt to produce a single new dollar’s worth of GDP. Now, the feds’ new credit inputs produce negative real returns."
Destiny Is Demography by Bill Bonner
The San Francisco Federal Reserve bank came out with a gloomy forecast last month.

Christopher Herman 9:16am Sep 19
Libya: Tony Blair and Col Gaddafi's secret meetings - Telegraph

New questions over Tony Blair's ties to Col Muammar Gaddafi and his role in the release of the Lo

Christopher Herman 8:53am Sep 19
"After Paul explained how he was "tired of all the militarism that we are involved in," and his plan on cutting back, he said, "But we're under great threat, because we occupy so many countries…. The purpose of al Qaeda was to attack us, invite us over there, where they can target us…. but we're there occupying their land. And if we think that we can do that and not have retaliation, we're kidding ourselves."

This is, of course, an old and well known narrative.

By questioning Paul, however, Rick Santorum exposed the latter's problematic foreign policy approach:

On your [Paul's] Web site on 9/11, you had a blog post that basically blamed the United States for 9/11. On your Web site, yesterday, you said that it was our actions that brought about the actions of 9/11. Now, Congressman Paul, that is irresponsible. The president of the United States — someone who is running for the president of the United States in the Republican Party should not be parroting what Osama bin Laden said on 9/11. We should have — we are not being attacked and we were not attacked because of our actions. We were attacked, as Newt [Gingrich] talked about, because we have a civilization that is antithetical to the civilization of the jihadists [full transcript here].

After rejecting Santorum's thesis, Paul made his fatal blunder:

Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda have been explicit — they have been explicit, and they wrote and said that we attacked America because you had bases on our holy land in Saudi Arabia, you do not give Palestinians fair treatment, and you have been bombing – [audience booing] I didn't say that. I'm trying to get you to understand what the motive was behind the bombing.

This exchange clearly revealed Paul's lack of knowledge concerning the nature of the enemy. It's one thing for some Americans to believe that the source of all conflict is the United State's presence in some countries, it's quite another for a potential president to think, and speak, this way.

Ironically, Paul even contradicted himself: minutes earlier, when discussing the need to cut back on the military, he complained that we had a military presence in 130 countries — bringing to mind the question: if U.S. military presence is the source of problems, why haven't these countries lashed out?

But what's worse is Paul's naivety — that he would actually swallow and regurgitate verbatim the propaganda al-Qaeda has been dishing for years, to wit, "Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda have been explicit — they have been explicit, and they wrote and said"; and "I'm trying to get you to understand what the motive was behind the bombing."

Did it ever occur to the Congressman that al-Qaeda could be, um, lying? Had he bothered to juxtapose al-Qaeda's propaganda to the West — which indeed does amount to blaming U.S. foreign policy for their terrorism — with the other things "they wrote and said," he would learn their ultimate motives."
Exposed: Ron Paul's Foreign Policy Ignorance and Naivety :: Middle East Forum

Among other qualities, a good presidential candidate must be knowledgeable and able to think outside

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