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John Kelly: Emotional White House Press Briefing
Friday, January 6, 2012
To the surviving residents of Berlin, it must have seemed that Götterdämmerung — which was what Hitler had predicted if the German people failed him and the Nazi cause — had indeed arrived. Ten years previously, or even five years previously, it would have been unimaginable that the great and glorious Third Reich would ever come to this.
Western Civilization is rapidly approaching the point when it will have to awaken from its own dream. But the analogy with the end of Nazi Germany is not particularly apt, since the Third Reich existed for a mere twelve years. And the crucial period of modern history, in which Europe was all but destroyed, lasted for only thirty-one years: from June 28, 1914 until the summer of 1945.
The origins of the Dream of the West may be traced to various dates, depending on the ideological lens through which the past is scrutinized. Did our current Weltanschauung begin with the American Revolution in 1776? The French Revolution in 1789? Or should we move further back, to the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648?
Americans may want to assign the birth of our current behemoth to the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913. Europeans might trace their modern system to the Congress of Vienna in 1815, or to the novel nationalist-democratic arrangements that emerged after the Revolutions of 1848.
In any case, the order which is now coming to an end is at least a century old, and probably much older. Its history encompasses the codification of the sovereign nation-state, the emergence of nationalism, the (often reluctant) transition to modern democracy, the creation of the socialist welfare state, and finally the invention of the “fiat money” system to pay for the rest of it.
Our venerated cultural order will breathe its last within a generation. Whether it departs the scene with a bang or a whimper, it must needs give way to something else, a different way of ordering society. Its collapse is mathematically inevitable, for it is a house built upon the sand.
"These days, it's hard to tell which is getting devalued faster--the cash or the Constitution." - Marko Kloos (Editor of the The Munchkin Wrangler blog)
There’s hardly a more prominent financial product in America today than the almighty credit card. Nearly everybody has at least one — almost 80% of consumers in 2008, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston — and many use it on a daily basis. Without a doubt, there are also those consumers who know their credit card numbers by heart (makes online shopping and booking travel so much easier, if anything). But how many of you know what those numbers really mean? Contrary to what you may think, they aren’t random. Those 16 digits are there for a reason and, knowing a few simple rules, you could actually learn a lot about a credit card just from its number. This infographic shows you how to crack that code.
- Forty-three percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
- Eighty percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, in 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
- Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.
- The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
- Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 31 percent own two or more cars.
- Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
- Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
- Eighty-nine percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and more than a third have an automatic dishwasher.
Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"
Southern Opposition to the Constitution:
“It is a little strange, but the textbooks in general American history and political science used in American colleges and universities do not say that ratification of the Constitution was opposed in the South on sectional as well as other grounds. This even though the historians of Virginia have pointed out time and time again that fears for Southern interests played a most important role in the convention of 1788 of that State.
Perhaps the narrators of the nation’s history, being often Northerners, are not acquainted with the chronicles of the Old Dominion. Perhaps they are not so familiar even with their Jefferson as they would have us believe, for Jefferson declared that the struggle over ratification was sharper in the South than elsewhere – because of the fact that Southerners believed the Constitution did not offer sufficient protection against Northern domination.
Perhaps they have relied too much upon the Federalist Papers, which refer only briefly, although pointedly, to Southern sectionalism, saying that failure to put the Constitution into effect would probably lead to the formation of a Southern confederacy.
George Mason, sending to Northern Anti-federalists arguments against the Constitution, carefully omitted his Southern dissatisfactions, which would hardly have given strength to the enemies above the Mason-Dixon line. In Virginia he was ardent, and in Virginia the great decision regarding the Constitution was made. The issue was long doubtful in the Old Dominion; and had Virginia said nay, North Carolina would have persisted in her negative vote.
It is hardly necessary to say that an American union without the two States could hardly have been formed, could hardly have endured.”
(The First South, John Richard Alden, LSU Press, 1961, pp. 99-100)
Southern Opposition to the Constitution
One way to gauge where someone stands is to see who is opposed to them. Ron Paul is a lightning rod to the mainstream media, to the corporate power bosses, and to both the Democratic and Republican party bosses. That, in itself, is reason enough to stand up and take notice. Like anyone else, I can’t agree with Dr. Paul on every single issue; however, I am an ardent supporter of the Ron Paul campaign. Who else but Ron Paul would stand up for the right of secession?
There is a new jobs report out, with the usual caveats that the work force is shrinking, but the nominal unemployment rate is down to 8.5%. That’s the number which counts politically.
The rate would be 10.9% if the same number of people were in the workforce as when Obama took office.
How about the employment rate -- the most-important number in there, since it controls the taxing capacity of the government.
That's not good -- it's down a touch and has flat-lined now for basically two years.
Here's the problem with this report -- the non-institutional working-age population went from 240.441 million to 240.584, a gain of 143,000 people of working age. But the number of employed people went down from 141.070 million to 140.681 -- a loss of 389,000. Adding the two, which is the correct way to look at it, the economy on a population-adjusted basis lost 532,000 jobs.
It won't surprise anyone that as of December, the real implied unemployment rate was 11.4% (final chart) - basically where it has been ever since 2009 - and at 2.9% delta to reported, represents the widest divergence to reported data since the early 1980s. And because we know this will be the next question, extending this lunacy, America will officially have no unemployed, when the Labor Force Participation rate hits 58.5%, which should be just before the presidential election.
The morning after the Iowa caucuses—wanting to be useful in some tiny way—I thought of some advice I wanted to give to the Ron Paul campaign. After the obligatory but sincere “Congratulations on RP’s strong showing in Iowa” and “I commend the campaign on how it’s being run,” I suggested:
Push the excellent foreign policy video through the web. Edit it down or put something shorter-but-similar together for TV in NH and SC. This is a real weakness for RP which needs to be addressed. “Soft on defense” is his Achilles heel for millions of otherwise-friendly conservatives. Keep emphasizing active-duty military personnel contributions. Have military veterans campaign with him on the stump and appear in ads. It’s a big problem that has to be addressed more head-on. Go on the offensive. Turn a weakness into a strength. RP’s willingness to call attention to Gingrich’s draft-dodging is a step in the right direction. Call a spade a spade. It’s easy to be a hero with someone else’s life. (Assuming the reported facts surrounding Gingrich’s deferments are correct; you have to make sure you really have the goods before leveling the accusation.)Make the connection between liberty and God explicit. RP is obviously enamored with liberty. But why? How do you connect with moralists, with traditional conservatives, who equate libertarianism with libertinism?
The first, he says, “will be some sort of legal action.” And, he adds, "clearly, clearly this is going to impact other nominations."
Vitter says all four of the president’s four recent recess appointments (three new members were also placed on the National Labor Relations Board) are “illegal and unconstitutional”.
“He’s gone beyond what any president has done and really shredded the constitution in practice with regard to recess appointments.
Vitter, who serves on the Senate Banking Committee, also made it clear that he and his fellow Republicans in the Senate will do what ever they can to halt future presidential appointments.
“It’s going to lead to more fights about nominations,” Vitter says.
Speaking at a rally in Plymouth, N.H., the Republican presidential candidate said cutting money from the agency would be the "correct response" to Obama's move.
"The answer to an imperial president is a Congress which stands on its own rights. And the correct response to what the president just did would be for the Congress to zero out and refuse to fund the National Labor Relations Board," Gingrich said.
When I was last in the Big Bagel (as I call Noo Yawk), a policeman who’d been awarded countless commendations for bravery over 22 years of front-line service was allegedly murdered in cold blood by a black drug dealer. Officer Peter Figoski was 47 and had raised his four daughters on his own. His last act of duty was to respond to a robbery in Brooklyn, where the fleeing black thug reputedly shot him in the face.
The accused, Lamont Pride, was only free at the time of the shooting because he had been let loose for illegally possessing a knife by a black female judge. The ex-con was also wanted in North Carolina for allegedly shooting someone in the foot over the summer.
The day after Figoski’s murder, while people remained in shock at the cold-blooded way the black thug shot an officer who had not drawn his gun, The New York Times ran an editorial praising the state of Pennsylvania for taking another black police killer off the death list. Mumia Abu-Jamal—or some ridiculous name like that—had even more cold-bloodedly killed a police officer lying injured on the ground. The timing was such that the Philadelphia policeman’s widow (since 1981) remarked upon it. It must have amused Jill Abramson, the new Times editor, for a slain cop’s widow to call her unfeeling. Abramson and her type do not much care what working stiffs think of them. To the contrary, they relish the fact that cops, firemen, blue-collar workers, and their ilk do not read or believe the Times.
I do not know Jill Abramson, but rarely have I seen a homelier woman. In a New Yorker hagiography, she was described as coming from a household that ordered and read two copies of the Times—a bit of a waste I would think, but who am I to judge what middle-class Jewish rug salesmen do with their money? All I know is that on her way to the Times building five or so years ago, Abramson was hit by a truck whose front was totally defaced, while she suffered a few broken bones. Now she cheers for a cop killer escaping the lethal injection while ignoring the fact that a black judge let a black thug wanted in another state walk the streets and kill.
The Times is a very nasty piece of work. It aims its hatred at normal white Christian Americans while filling its pages with same-sex marriage announcements, profiles of rap “artists,” and front-page coverage of Catholic priests’ sex abuses.
The Times only prints news that fits its policies. Their latest false outrage is the discovery on Facebook of hostile comments by NYPD officers about the West Indian American Day Parade. Cops used words such as “savages” and “animals” to describe the random shootings of parade watchers, words that had the Times furious with indignation. What words should the fuzz have used? A 56-year-old mother watching the parade is shot dead and the Times is indignant because some cop wrote that the shooter was an animal?
Obviously the Times’ agenda is to undermine the police by depicting them as racist and then collect a couple of prizes for exposing police corruption. Not a single word concerning color was used by the cops—some of whom happened to be black—yet the newspaper played it up in its front page for a couple of days, triggering the usual reaction from opportunistic local politicians calling the incident “disgusting” and “racist.” (The pols avoided mentioning the shootings.)
Blacks are 23 percent of New York City’s population, yet in the first half of 2009 they committed 80 percent of all shootings. Whites, who are 35 percent of the population, committed 1.8 percent of the shootings. So the Times recently ran an extremely long story over two pages about a young black who whined about how the police tend to profile him when he walks around his neighborhood at night. That the cops failed to profile all white people for the tiny minority of whites who commit shootings is deemed an outrage and proof of police racism.
A black man was recently acquitted for carrying an illegal gun by a jury because the arresting officer was a member of the NYPD Facebook group that had called the West Indian troublemakers “animals.” When the Times was quoted in court, the jury was not told—and the Times had not mentioned—the fact that the arresting officer was black.