What The National Pamphleteers Don’t Report:

A former veep contender on Romney’s ‘veepstakes’

 Former Sen. John Danforth: Voters lack clear choice in campaign so far Stories

by Robert Schroeder,

MarketWatch.com

July 18, 2012

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Few people know more about what it’s like to be in the “veepstakes” than former Sen. John Danforth of Missouri.  With speculation over who Mitt Romney will name as his running mate reaching a fever pitch, MarketWatch asked Danforth, who was on former President George W. Bush’s short list of running mates, for his thoughts on what makes an effective vice-presidential candidate; how much gender and geography matter; and if there’s an advantage to announcing a choice long in advance of the Republican convention.

    Former U.S. Senator and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Danforth. Now a partner at the law firm of Bryan Cave, the 75-year-old Danforth in 1994 opted not to run for a fourth Senate term. Since then, the Republican has led a probe into the federal raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, and served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush.  The most important thing a running mate can do, Danforth told MarketWatch, is help a presidential candidate present the big questions to voters — “which there has not been to date” in this campaign.  The following is a condensed and edited interview with the former senator, who spoke to MarketWatch by telephone from his law office in St. Louis, Mo.

MarketWatch : There’s a lot of speculation that Gov. Romney will announce his running mate very soon, maybe as soon as this week — which would be pretty soon, historically speaking. Is there an advantage or disadvantage to an early announcement? The convention is weeks away.

Danforth : I don’t think it matters. There’s talk about news cycles and [….]

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/a-former-veep-contender-on-romneys-veepstakes-2012-07-18?pagenumber=1

 

How Bernanke will cause the next crash before 2014

Rich will lose 50% in massive wealth destruction

by Paul B. Farrell,

MarketWatch.com

July 17, 2012

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — “Massive wealth destruction coming,” warns Hong Kong economist Marc Faber, one of many “Dr. Dooms” we’ve featured over the years. Faber warned in a recent interview on CNBC: The Super-Rich “may lose up to 50 percent of their total wealth.”

How? “Somewhere down the line we will have a massive wealth destruction. That usually happens either through very high inflation or through social unrest or through war or credit-market collapse.” And as if to punctuate his message, in Barron’s recent “Midyear Roundup,” Faber was asked, “Will things get worse before they get better?”

Answer: “Yes, possibly much worse,” adding “most markets peaked in May 2011.” He expects “further weakness in the second half of the year. Corporate profits will disappoint … stock markets are oversold. The U.S. government-bond market is overbought. The U.S. dollar is overbought, and gold is oversold near term.” Worse, he’s “very negative about the outlook longer term.”

    In spite of his doom and gloom about America and the world economy, when pressed Faber did recommend some China REITs. And waffled a bit on America: “It is safest to buy U.S. Treasurys because the U.S. can print money” and “pay the interest. But you are earning only 1.6%, and the cost of living is increasing by about 5% a year around the world. You are getting a negative real return.”   Not very promising in today’s uncertain world, where the American elections are unlikely to solve the economy’s core jobs problem, no matter who wins in November.

    So when comes the change? “Down the line.” “The breaking point could be three, four, five years away. The world is heading toward a major crisis.”  OK, he hedges his bet on timing. But he’s very clear on how and why: The collapse will [….]

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-bernanke-will-cause-the-next-crash-before-2014-2012-07-17?link=MW_story_popular

 

 

Jonah Falcon, Man With World’s Largest Penis, Frisked By TSA At California Airport

by Andy Campbell,

Huffingtonpost.com
July 17, 2012

Turns out it’s legal to have a weapon of mass conception at the airport.

    Jonah Falcon was stopped and frisked by the TSA at the San Francisco International Airport on July 9 because of a bulging package hidden in his pants. But the 41-year-old New Yorker wasn’t packing a dirty bomb, drugs or a Costco-sized tube of toothpaste. The New Yorker has the world’s largest recorded penis.  In an exclusive interview with The Huffington Post, Falcon described his hard times with security guards after his extra carry-on became suspect.

“I had my ‘stuff’ strapped to the left. I wasn’t erect at the time,” said Falcon, whose penis is 9 inches flaccid, 13.5 inches erect. “One of the guards asked if my pockets were empty and I said, ‘Yes.'”

Falcon said he knew that his interview was about to get a lot more personal when he was led through one of the X-ray body scanners and passed a metal detector.

“Another guard stopped me and asked me if I had some sort of growth,” Falcon said, laughing.

Indeed he did have a growth.

By the age of 18, Falcon knew he had something special when his manhood reached a whopping 12 inches. His family jewel was hailed as [….]

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/16/jonah-falcon-largest-penis-frisked-by-tsa_n_1675767.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular#slide=1228178

 

M.A.S.H. Star Partners with Castro’s Spy Agency

by Humberto Fontova,

canadafreepress.com

July 16, 2012

    Though a consistently good show, few conservatives mistook M.A.S.H for anything but pinko propaganda. Last week long-time M.A.S.H star Mike Farrell (Capt. B.J. Hunnicut) took the last few baby-steps and started spouting outright Communist propaganda.

In a letter to President Obama, Farrell officially partners with Castro’s KGB-trained DGI urging the release of five of their agents and officers who were convicted in 2001 of conspiracy to commit espionage against the U.S. and conspiracy to murder Americans. The Supreme Court has twice upheld the convictions of these Communist terrorists and accessories to murder.

    In 1933 Stalin’s propaganda chief Willi Munzenberg re-monikered the Soviet Comintern as the “International Aid Committee for the Victims of Fascism.” The Soviet’s Cuban satraps and their celebrity propaganda auxiliaries have one-upped even Munzenberg. These convicted Castroite terrorists—we’re now given to understand by the former M.A.S.H star—are actually peace-loving anti-terrorists, flower-children of sorts. Here’s the heart of Farrell’s letter:

Dear President Obama,

“Release them because they came here only to monitor the activities of violent Cuban exiles who, operating from bases in Miami of which our government is well aware, were planning violent actions against innocent people in Cuba. Release them because they were trying to prevent more brutal acts against their country and save innocent lives.”

But according to the FBI’s affidavit, the convicted Castro-agents who Farrell champions were engaged in, among other acts:

1.  Gathering intelligence against the Boca Chica Air Naval Station in Key West, the McDill Air Force Base in Tampa and the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command in Homestead, Fla.

2.  Compiling the names, home addresses and medical files of the U.S. Southern Command’s top officers, along with those of hundreds of officers stationed at Boca Chica.

3.  Infiltrating the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command.

4.  Sending letter bombs to Cuban-Americans.

5.  Spying on McDill Air Force Base, the U.S. armed forces’ worldwide headquarters for fighting “low-intensity” conflicts.

6.  Locating entry points into Florida for smuggling explosives.

Farrell’s poster-boys also [….]

http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/48083

 

National Disgrace: Illegal Aliens in Good American Jobs!

 

by John Lillpop,

canadafreepress.com

July 15, 2012

    Contrary to a popular stereotype, not all illegal aliens are uneducated, unskilled blokes suitable only for menial labor like picking fruit, serving food in fast food restaurants, cleaning rooms, or operating leaf- blowers.  Indeed, some illegals are properly trained and educated to work in high-technology, construction labor, and other high-paying jobs with benefits.  Without exception, all such people are in jobs that should be filled by American citizens of which there are 23 million whom are presently unemployed, or under employed.  The notion that all illegals are in jobs that Americans simply will not do is self-serving rubbish, promulgated by reckless Democrats and RINOs who could care less about the suffering of citizens, and whom look to imported illegals as a resource for growing the Democrat voter base.  Illegal aliens who are [….]

http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/national-disgrace-illegal-aliens-in-good-american-jobs

 

Tax-debt relief firms pay the price

 

Three tax companies fail — and it may be good news for taxpayers

by Andrea Coombs,

marketwatch.com

April 3, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Who wouldn’t want to pay “pennies on the dollar” to settle their tax debt?  That appealing prospect has long been touted in late-night television ads and on billboards, with the smiling faces of self-professed tax experts hawking their tax-resolution services. But in the past 12 months, three well-known firms — TaxMasters, JK Harris and Roni L. Deutch — shut down. In civil lawsuits filed against the firms, authorities said some customers were promised help with their tax debt but after forking over thousands of dollars, those customers found no relief.

“I’ve represented clients who paid large sums of money to each of those companies and were disgruntled with the services they received,” said Robert McKenzie, a partner in the Chicago-based law firm Arnstein & Lehr.  He said that in some cases the firms charged initial fees of $4,000 and higher. “If you get very little service from that payment, it’s not a good deal.”

    In March, a Texas jury ordered TaxMasters and its founder and chief executive Patrick Cox to pay [….]

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tax-debt-relief-firms-pay-the-price-2012-04-03

 

The Paradox of China’s Naval Strategy

 

by Rodger Baker and Zhixing Zhang,

STRATfor.com

July 17, 2012    Over the past decade, the South China Sea has become one of the most volatile flashpoints in East Asia. China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan each assert sovereignty over part or all of the sea, and these overlapping claims have led to diplomatic and even military standoffs in recent years. Because the sea hosts numerous island chains, is rich in mineral and energy resources and has nearly a third of the world’s maritime shipping pass through its waters, its strategic value to these countries is obvious. For China, however, control over the South China Sea is more than just a practical matter and goes to the center of Beijing’s foreign policy dilemma: how to assert its historical maritime claims while maintaining the nonconfrontational foreign policy established by former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1980.

    China staked its modern claim to control of the sea in the waning days of the Chinese Civil War. Since most of the other claimant countries were occupied with their own independence movements in the ensuing decades, China had to do little to secure this claim. However, with other countries building up their maritime forces, pursuing new relationships and taking a more active stance in exploring and patrolling the waters, and with the Chinese public hostile to any real or perceived territorial concessions on Beijing’s part, Deng’s quiet approach is no longer an option.

Evolution of China’s Maritime Logic

China is a vast continental power, but it also controls a long coastline, stretching at one time from the Sea of Japan in the northeast to the Gulf of Tonkin in the south. Despite this extensive coastline, China’s focus has nearly always turned inward, with only sporadic efforts put toward seafaring and even then only during times of relative security on land.

    Traditionally, the biggest threats to China were not from sea, except for occasional piracy, but rather from internal competition and nomadic forces to the north and west. China’s geographic challenges encouraged a family-based, insular, agricultural economy, one with a strong hierarchal power structure designed in part to mitigate the constant challenges from warlords and regional divisions. Much of China’s trade with the world was undertaken via land routes or carried out by Arabs and other foreign merchants at select coastal locations. In general, the Chinese chose to concentrate on the stability of the population and land borders over potential opportunities from maritime trade or exploration, particularly since sustained foreign contact could bring as much trouble as benefit.

    Two factors contributed to China’s experiments with naval development: a shift in warfare from northern to southern China and periods of relative [….]

http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/paradox-chinas-naval-strategy?utm_source=freelist-f&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20120717&utm_term=gweekly&utm_content=readmore&elq=f02b1184ed6f4c2faf722417fe6545bb

 

The recipe for reform in China

 

Short-term solutions must be eschewed for far-sighted measures

by Caixin Online

July 18, 2012

BEIJING ( Caixin Online ) — China’s gross domestic product growth slowed to 7.6% in the second quarter, economic data announced on July 13 shows, after 8.1 % growth in the first quarter. For the first time in three years, China’s economic growth has fallen below the 8% mark. Although that still surpasses the official target of 7.5% this year, and despite occasional spurts of recovery, no one is optimistic. As the economy slows and chances of a ”hard landing” increase, authorities have been looking for ways to achieve steady growth.

    Policy-makers have made promoting reasonable growth in investments their key course of action. In May, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) began speeding up the approval process for investment projects. There have also been calls on local authorities to grasp opportunities and pursue economic growth. Since the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and the current global financial crisis that began in 2008, authorities implemented large infrastructure projects to stimulate economic growth, and the effects were immediate.

    However, academics believe such projects are not the best way to boost the flagging economy, given that authorities have to pursue mid- to long-term economic development. They also think that encouraging investment to boost GDP might be counterproductive in the long run. Investment, export and consumption are three forces driving economic growth. Investment is the easiest one for the government to control, but authorities do not understand the workings of some industries and how they can benefit the economy. That leads to more negative effects. According to information released by the NDRC, three years ago [….]

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-recipe-for-reform-in-china-2012-07-18?link=MW_Nav_NV

 

When Governments Elect Another People

 

by Daniel Greenfield,

canadafreepress.com

July 18, 2012

    Elections are won by demographics. No soup company blindly dumps cans of its newest “Turkey Coconut Bouillon with Nutmeg and Omega 3” in Aisle 6 of the supermarket without testing to see what demographics such a hideous concoction might appeal to. Will the product appeal to lesbian single mothers, divorced Asian firefighters or eccentric Latvian millionaires? Politics is no different.

    A political party has its base, definable groups who groove to its message, who eat up the red meat that its candidates toss their way. It has the demographic groups which will always vote for it and those who might swing its way. It knows them by race, gender, age, class, sexuality, home ownership and a thousand other statistical slices of the pie. It has those numbers broken down by states, cities and neighborhoods so that it has a good estimate of its chances in a given place and time based on the demographics of the people who live there. This kind of information is helpful for winning elections—but showing up to play the electoral hand you’re dealt is for suckers. And by suckers, I mean conservative parties.

    Breaking down the demographics is like looking at the cards in your hand. Once you’ve done that, the only remaining variable in a static game are your opponent’s cards. With election demographics, players can see all the cards everyone has. That makes the game static. Hands will inevitably be won or lost… unless you can draw some new cards. The most obvious way to play the demographic game of thrones is with gerrymandered districts. A gerrymandered district is [….]http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/48135

 

Your social-media posts could get you in hot water

 

A simple ‘like’ can be big trouble

by Ruth Mantell,

MarketWatch.com

June 4, 2012

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Workers of America, be careful what you “like” and post on Facebook. A federal court in Virginia recently found that a sheriff’s office employee “liking” a Facebook page wasn’t entitled to free-speech protection. Several former employees claimed they were let go after the sheriff found out about their support for a political rival through a Facebook “like,” among other actions. A simple click of Facebook’s “like” button can also set in motion a surprising—and potentially negative—chain of events, as seen in the case of Peter TerVeer, a former Library of Congress employee. According to his lawyer, TerVeer endured harassment, discrimination and a hostile work environment after his former superior found out that TerVeer “liked” a group that supports gays and lesbians.

    These recent cases highlight [….]

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/a-simple-like-can-be-big-trouble-2012-06-01

 

Answers!

 

by Bob Livingston,

Personal Liberty Digest
July 16, 2012

    We have a great many loyal readers on this site. You have made us the No. 9 Libertarian site on the Web. Some few of our readers have been here from the beginning in fall of 2008. Still others have followed my writings even longer, having come from my monthly printed newsletter, The Bob Livingston Letter™ (subscription required). A great many readers come for a time and then disappear. We always hate it when they leave. But since our subscriber base continues to grow, that means new people are coming on board every day. Some of them join us expecting, it seems, to see content reflecting a “Republican” bias. But after reading [….]

http://personalliberty.com/2012/07/16/answers/?eiid=

 

ABSOLUTE RIGHTS-Where Liberty Is Reborn

(a compendium of conservative news articles)

The Rich Congressmen Get Richer?

 

by Carolyn Kaster/AP

In a very rare moment the other day, Congress worked together… That’s right. They actually passed a bill that was be signed by the President. What bill you ask? The STOCK Act. See, because of their unique positions, members of Congress get all the insider trading tips [….]

The Post Office is Going Under

 

by Paul J. Richards/AFP

Think you’re in trouble financially? The Post Office has it even worse. According to the United States Post Office, unless there is an act of Congress by August 1st, they will default on [….]

Second Amendment Rights In Action

 

Samuel Williams, a 71-year old man in an Ocala, Florida saved his life and that of others by using his right to carry a hand gun. He and a group of others were working casually in an internet cafe in the area when 2 men [….]

http://www.absoluterights.com/

 

How Easy Is It To Begin Living Off The Grid?

 

by Tim Young,

Personal Liberty Digest
July 16, 2012

    When you become a part- or full-time citizen of another country, you can then obtain a passport.Having been managing editor of Absolute Rights now for more than a few months, I have learned many things about the realities of the world and survival that I had never gotten before in my casual, East Coast existence. I would have to say the most intriguing thing I have had the pleasure of learning is how easy it could be to live off the grid. I had the opportunity to learn from one of the best, Johnny Mueller, the other day when we sat down to discuss his Five Flags program. It shocked me how common living without a true home country had become.

    Did you know that British stars and rockers were the first to really live without a country? That doesn’t sound right, does it? I thought the same thing. But in the 60s, the British government began over-taxing their rich. In bad cases it was more than 100 percent of what they earned; in good cases, it was only 95 percent of what they earned. The stars and rockers didn’t take long to vote with their feet, which means they just walked away from their country — and who could blame them? Why should you be taxed everything that you earn? When I heard about this taxing, I thought to myself that it sounds awfully familiar. Isn’t this the way that the United States is starting to go? It just seems that every single day I hear something about the top 1 percent or whatever they want to label it as and how they should pay so that people who don’t want to work get free handouts.

    As much as you or I would love to get free things, I think more than enough of us believe in earning our living and have worked hard to get to where we are, even if it isn’t in the millions of dollars. I think we also believe that this government could begin to take more things from us at any time — whether it be money or guns or liberty in general. How else will the powers that be [….]

http://personalliberty.com/2012/07/16/how-easy-is-it-to-begin-living-off-the-grid/?eiid=

 

Should-Have-Known File:

Big-Time Obama Fundraiser in Mortgage Seizure Scheme

 

by John Ransom,

townhall.com 

July 17, 2012

     Municipalities in California are considering a scheme whereby they seize home mortgages that are underwater through the process known as eminent domain, pay off investors at reduced rates, and allow new investors to refinance the underlying homes at current value.

“The eminent-domain gambit is being advocated by Steven Gluckstern,” reports the Wall Street Journal, “the chairman of Mortgage Resolution Partners, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm that has been the guiding force behind three California municipalities that are considering the approach.”  And like all schemes weird and wacky in this Occupy Anything country we have become, it’s the brainchild of someone with deep ties to the Obama administration.

    Steven Gluckstern raised $120,900 for the Obama campaign in 2008 as a bundler, according to opensecrets.org, the web site that tracks political donations. A bundler is someone who raises campaign cash from others on behalf of a campaign and then gets special treatment from the president if the candidate wins. Gluckstern was also the founding chairman of the Democracy Alliance, a George Soros-sponsored liberal money machine matrix ;-), that meets secretly in luxury hotel rooms across the country and has dispersed reportedly $150 million in donations to liberal causes since 2005.

    Like all true Obamtrepreneurs, Gluckstern has- gasp and surprise- opened a new company, Mortgage Resolution Partners (MRP) to “partner” with local government in this extra legal scheme to steal from some mortgage companies and give to other mortgage companies with the full sanction of the government.  And the only thing that MRP wants in return is a small “fee”- a “fee is very similar to the fee paid by the government to banks that modify mortgages under federal programs.”

Oh, so: It is only a fee that is very similar to other government-sponsored theft?

How nice of them.

Would any Obama bundler that isn’t trying to bilk the country with some private venture that steals from others please raise your hand now?

Thought so.

Gluckstern joins list of professional fundraisers who have sought to cash in on their ability to raise money for Obama that includes recent scandals such as Solyndra and Lightsquared. Gluckstern has told the Journal that he has “wound down” his [….]

http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/johnransom/2012/07/17/shouldhaveknown_file_bigtime_obama_fundraiser_in_mortgage_seizure_scheme/page/full/

 

Bad Economic Signs 2012

 

by Brandon Smith,

Personal Liberty Digest
July 17, 2012

    This year has been the most startling as far as financial news has been concerned.In January, I wrote “Baltic Dry Index Signals Renewed Market Collapse,” an analysis of the record-breaking low hit by the Baltic Dry Index and its implications for the global economy; namely, that it signaled a steep decline in true demand around the world and that similar declines in the index’s past have almost always prophesied a crisis event in financial markets. The mainstream media attempted to write off the implosion of the index as a fluke tied to the “overproductions of cargo ships” instead of a warning sign of deteriorating demand. The past six months have proven that assertion to be entirely false.

    Manufacturing has tumbled in the United States, the EU and Asia simultaneously as orders drop back to the dismal levels last seen in 2008-2009 after the credit crisis first took hold, as reports Reuters, the Los Angeles Times, The Manufacturer and The Tokyo Times. Despite the astonishing amount of manipulation that goes into our fiscal system by major banks, there are still a few fundamental rules to economics that never change. The bottom line is that demand around the world is derailing. Where demand goes, so goes the economy. Economies of multiple nations move into a widely felt crisis event about eight to 12 months after the index crashes. There is a strange delayed reaction between [….]

http://personalliberty.com/2012/07/17/bad-economic-signs-2012/?eiid=

 

American Vice

 

by Ben Crystal,

Personal Liberty Digest
July 17, 2012

    Who will hit the campaign trail as Mitt Romney’s running mate?In my remarks last week regarding the 3.5-year sideshow that has been the Vice Presidential tenure of Joe Biden, I mentioned that I would soon be subjecting Biden’s aspiring replacements to an examination at least as detailed as one of those fancy five-color pie charts USA Today employs to avoid hiring any qualified reporters. I intended to wait a few weeks, but recent word filtering out of the Mitt Romney camp is that the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee plans an announcement soon; so unto the breach goeth I.

    In The Second Banana, I pointed out the old trope regarding a running mate’s minimally positive effect on a campaign. If the Presidential candidate doesn’t bring the lumber, his running mate isn’t likely to hit any pinch-hit home runs. However, a strong pick is less likely to weigh Romney down like a political millstone. Biden has enjoyed a free ride from the corporate media. Romney’s running mate will receive no such charity.

Among the aspirants: [….]

http://personalliberty.com/2012/07/17/american-vice/?eiid=

 

High-Dividend Capstead Mortgage Corp.’s Strategy May Be Perfect For Current Market Conditions

 

by David White,

seekingalpha.com
July 17, 2012

    In the simplest terms Capstead Mortgage Corp. (CMO) is a mortgage REIT with a good dividend that buys only agency secured mortgage securities. These are considered low risk. The thing that differentiates CMO is that it buys exclusively securities based on ARM loans. These ARM securities reset to more current interest rates within a relatively short amount of time. This allows for the recovery of financing spreads that narrow during periods of rising interest rates; and it means smaller fluctuations in the portfolio values from changes in interest rates compared with fixed rate securities. It also means that there should be no great increase in the prepayment rate if mortgage rates go down. For instance, if the Fed starts buying mortgage securities again as part of QE3, mortgage rates might well go down. For many fixed rate loan holders, this would mean that they would refinance (or increase the constant prepayment rate). For Capstead Mortgage such an [….]

http://seekingalpha.com/article/725861-high-dividend-capstead-mortgage-corp-s-strategy-may-be-perfect-for-current-market-conditions?source=email_investing_income&ifp=0

 

83% Favor Work Requirement for Welfare Recipients

 

Staff Report,

rasmussenreports.com
July 18, 2012

62% Prefer Minimum Wage States Jobs As An Alternative To Welfare

53% Support Automatic Drug Testing For Welfare Applicants

Most Americans Define $50,000-A-Year As Middle Income

69% Oppose Efforts to Increase Those on Food Stamps

Only 20% Think Government Anti-Poverty Programs Really Work

    Most Americans think there are too many people on welfare who should not be getting it and believe overwhelmingly that those who do receive welfare benefits should be required to work. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 83% of American Adults favor a work requirement as a condition for receiving welfare aid. Just seven [….]

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/jobs_employment/july_2012/83_favor_work_requirement_for_welfare_recipients

 

Blowing Up History

 

by Victor Davis Hanson,

townhall.com

Jul 19, 2012

    In the Arabic media, there are reports that Muslim clerics — energized by the sudden emergence of Egypt’s new president, Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood — are now agitating to demolish the Egyptian pyramids. According to agitated imams, the Pharaohs’ monuments represent “symbols of paganism” from Egypt’s pre-Islamic past and therefore must vanish.

    Don’t dismiss such insanity so easily. Mali Islamists are currently destroying the centuries-old mausoleums of Sufi-Muslim saints in the city of Timbuktu, the historic site of early Islamic scholarship and jurisprudence. But perhaps the most recent regrettable Islamist attack on the past was the Taliban’s 2001 dynamiting and shelling of the huge twin 6th-century A.D. statues of Buddha carved into a cliff at Bamiyan in Afghanistan. “We are destroying the statues,” Taliban spokesmen at the time bragged, “in accordance with Islamic law, and it is purely a religious issue.”

    Ideologically driven and historically ignorant violence is not just an Islamist monopoly. Sometimes postmodern, politically correct Westerners can be [….]

http://townhall.com/columnists/victordavishanson/2012/07/19/blowing_up_history/page/full/

 

Businesses Lose on Sea Treaty to Heritage

 

by Janie Lorber and Humberto Sanchez

Roll Call Staff

July 19, 2012

    Business groups pushing the Law of the Sea Treaty saw their GOP allies sink ratification this week, losing yet another policy battle to conservative activists. Lobbyists from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers had what in any other year would have been the key ingredients for passage — a hefty list of supporters on both sides of the aisle and a cadre of outside players, including odd bedfellows such as the American Petroleum Institute and environmental groups.

     But months of aggressive lobbying — including personal appeals to Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) from chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue — could not counter political imperatives for Republican Sens. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) and Rob Portman (Ohio), two Romney surrogates said to be on his vice presidential shortlist. Earlier this week, the two Senators along with GOP Sens. Mike Johanns (Neb.) and Johnny Isakson (Ga.) added their names to the list of lawmakers publicly opposing the 30-year-old agreement, pushing the total to 34 — the exact number opponents needed to sink the treaty on the Senate floor. Treaties need an affirmative two-thirds majority for ratification.

    Since January, business groups, the oil and gas industry — another traditionally Republican [….]

http://www.rollcall.com/issues/58_8/Businesses-Lose-on-Sea-Treaty-to-Heritage-216258-1.html?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Heritage%2BHotsheet&pos=olobh

 

Unhappy Anniversary:

Dodd–Frank Hits the Terrible Twos

By Diane Katz,

heritage.org

 

July 17, 2012

    This week marks the second anniversary of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. There is nothing to celebrate. With every new rule concocted by one of the 11 federal agencies involved, the flaws of the statute and its injurious costs to consumers have become glaringly, painfully apparent. Congress should devote Year Three of Dodd–Frank to remedies.

    The act is all too characteristic of “crisis” legislation—devoid of reasoned analysis and thoughtful consideration. In ways both big and small, Congress has grossly misdiagnosed the factors responsible for the financial crisis while ignoring primary culprits such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It is urgent that lawmakers reverse the grave mistake that is Dodd–Frank so that a year from now, Americans are celebrating its demise rather than lamenting its anniversary.

Uncertainty Reigns

    Coming in at some 2,300 pages, Dodd–Frank presented a challenge to implement within the statutory deadlines: at least 400 separate rulemakings affecting virtually the entire financial sector. As of July 2, 63 percent of the deadlines have been missed,[1] which has intensified the cloud of uncertainty enveloping the finance sector—and the economy—since passage of the act. Thousands of businesses do not know what the government demands they do differently or when they must do it. With financial firms constrained by undue caution, consumers will experience tight credit, higher fees, and fewer service innovations. Job creation will suffer.

    The proposed and final [….]

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/07/unhappy-anniversary-dodd-frank-hits-the-terrible-twos?utm_source=FreeMarketFocus071812&utm_medium=Email

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