Bank Nationalization

This sounds like a good idea (really):

Fed eyes Nordic-style nationalisation of US banks – Telegraph
The Fed has been criticised for its rescue of Bear Stearns, which critics say has degenerated into a taxpayer gift to rich bankers.

A senior official at one of the Scandinavian central banks told The Daily Telegraph that Fed strategists had stepped up contacts to learn how Norway, Sweden and Finland managed their traumatic crisis from 1991 to 1993, which brought the region’s economy to its knees.

It is important that neither the owners nor the upper management of failed banks be bailed out. Capitalism is the processing of risk through profit: allowing failing companies and executives to profit turns the free-market on its head. Currently in the United States, bad companies and executives are able to hold the economy hostage, because if they go down, their companies go down, and so do their lenders and borrowers.

“The law was amended so that we could take 100pc control of any bank where its equity had fallen below zero. Shareholders were left with nothing. It was very controversial,” he said.

Here here for confiscatory nationalization of failing banks and investment houses!

White Folks’ Greed Runs a World in Need

Did you know that Haiti’s problems are run by greedy white folks? You would have if you read Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope!

[T]he pastor described going to a museum and being confronted by a painting title Hope.

“The painting depicts a harpist,” Revernd Wright explained, “a woman who at first glance appears to be sitting atop a great mountaintop. Until you take a closer look and see that the woman is bruised and bloodied, dressed in tattered rags, the harp reduced to a single frayed string. Your eye is then drawn down to the scene below, down to the valley below, where everywhere are the ravages of famine, the drumbeat of war, a world groaning under strife and deprivation.

It is this world, a world where cruise ships throw away more food in a day than most residents of Port-au-Prince see in a year, where white folks’ greed runs a world in need, apartheid in one hemisphere, apathy in another hemisphere … That’s the world! On which hope sits.”

And so it went, a meditation on a fallen world. While the boys next to me doodled on their church bulletin, Reverend Wright spoke of Sharpesville and Hiroshima, the callousness of policy makers in the White House and in the State House. … [E.A.]

But what does that actually mean?

This excerpt is from The Audacity of Hope, and paraphrases the original speech of that title by Obama’s pastor Jeremiah Wright. Because Obama’s publisher apparently has declined to make the contents of Audacity searchable on Amazon.com or Google Book Search I don’t know what comes before or after the excerpt. So is this talk about “white folks greed” in this excerpt

a) used to condemn the speech of Rev. Wright?
b) neutrally support the speech
c) used to agree with the speech of Rev. Wright

The answer appears to be (c). Other statements in the passage are part of general religious political rhetoric, such as references to our “fallen world” and to “the callousness of policy makers.” While clearly the general tone of the statement “white folks’ greed runs a world in need” is an echo of Rev. Wright’s racist rants, Obama seems to mean something quite different, though equally disturbing.

Obama’s speech on race appeared to rephrase the “white folks greed” paragraph as follows:

Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze – a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many. And yet, to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns – this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding.

The “callousness of policy makers” is echoed in “a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests,” while the religious “our fallen world” is secularized into “the middle class squeeze.” The analog of “white folks’ greed runs a world in need appears to be the line: economic policies that favor the few over the many.

So by “white folks greed,” I think Obama means globalization, free trade, and economic connectivity.

Obama appears to view anti-white racism as the leftism of idiots, a fiercely intelligent intuition that the global system is fundamentally unfair combined with shocking ignorance as to the actual mechanisms of control and exploitation.

If this is what he meant when he approvingly cited Rev. Wright’s “white folks greed” line, then Obama would be an unremarkable academic liberal.

It also would make him the worst President in generations.

The COIN Cycle

Courtesy John Robb, this interesting piece:

An Outsider’s Perspective (SWJ Blog)
Ucko wraps up by noting that “it is too early to say with any real certainty whether or not counterinsurgency will become a central priority for the U.S. military.” He finds the evidence “emerging from its initial encounter with counterinsurgency in 2003 presents a mixed picture: on the one hand, a group within the DoD has driven an impressive learning process, featuring rapid integration of counterinsurgency in our doctrine, education and training. On the other hand, the U.S. military has remained structured for conventional war and, more important yet, emerging opportunities to change force structure or budgetary priorities have not been seized.”

Dr. Ucko’s bottom line is that, despite a long war and omens of a generational struggle, “the future of counterinsurgency within the U.S. military thus seems to hang in the balance, dependent on whether the message and cause of the COIN community is accepted and thereby gains momentum or whether it is rejected and pushed off the table.”

One of the reasons to stay in Iraq is completing the COIN cycle. It is important that the US military gains not only the experience in taking a Counter-Insurgency (COIN) campaign from beginning to end, but also that the lessons learned be reflected in promotions. The article correctly points out that the Army will not have fully transformed into a COIN force until top-line spending priorities change. That is to say, the Army won’t be truly ready for SysAdmin work until it hosts a Military-Industrial-COIN-Complex.

To get that to happen, we need to complete the COIN cycle. We need to stay in Iraq.

Not only does winning in Iraq help us in all the typical ways (building up our correlation of forces, dissuading neutrals from being hostile to us, etc), it also gives us the COIN infrastructure we need for future conflicts.

We need to complete the COIN cycle. We need victory in Iraq.

Watch Fitna the Movie

Fitna is a well made, fifteen-minute long piece of agitation-propaganda. Some of the points of the film are specific to Dutch or European politics, particularly as Europe wrestles both the separate but intertwined issues of large-scale immigration and Islamization.

It would be easier to sneer at Fitna if not for its urgency. Currently, the movie’s website has been suspended by Network Solutions, presumably out of fear of Islamist violence. In the same way that paying a tax to an insurgency is material support of the insurgency, Network Solutions’ suspension of the Fitna site is material support for Islamization. But I digress.

Watch it, because people who kill over cartoons don’t want you to.

Run of the Campus

In spite off battling a cold that burns my threat, a really good day. Woke up early this morning to run this spring’s experiment in cooperationg with Military Sciences. Participants were exposed to high levels of cognitive and affective load while performing tests of problem solving and reasoning, from an intelligence test to moral and ethical dilemmas. (A control group did not experience the heightened load.)

Then later in the day, I had the pleasure of listening to my cousin, a professor of law at an R-1 research university, lecture on the interaction of water law and climate change. The presentation — given without powerpoint or notes — combined cap-and-trade systems, the role of the WTO, the Ogallala Aquifer, desalinization, and a potential Copenhagen Protocol. Q&A and small-group discussion then evolved into the Medellin decision, the comparative power of the Security Council and the World Trade Organization, and technology transfer. Few people can tie such disparate information together to pack such a punch — and I’m related to one of ‘em!

So a good day — the tdaxp clan had the run of the campus.

Now to get feeling better!

The Black Value System

I’ve referenced the “Black Value System” (VBS) of Barack Obama’s church before. As the church has begun to redesign their site to make the embarrassing less notable, I’ll copy the BVS to this website to create a a record of it for me at a site other than Obama’s church’s.

About half of the BVS is boilerplate social conservative. Anti-intellectualism, self-discipline, and care for children are specifically mentioned. Other portions of it are backward looking and grievance based, such as a reference to “our racist competitive society” and a strange line about “Placing them in concentration camps, and/or structuring an economic environment that induces captive youth to fill the jails and prisons.” However, the most alarming parts are the explicitly racist, such as “The highest level of achievement for any Black person must be a contribution of substance to the strength and continuity of the Black Community.,” or cultic, as in “Pledge Allegiance to all Black Leadership Who Espouse and Embrace The Black Value System.”

Many of Barack Obama’s apologists have argued that the statements of his pastor, who married him and from whose speech Baracks’ book got its title, because what was said were extemporaneous thoughts in a broader context. But certainly the core doctrines of the church provide context!

I’ve yet to hear Obama address the Black Value System. My assumption is he is trying to foster strategic ambiguity, allowing his supporters to defend BVS as reasonable (the “highest level of achievement” for a Christian can be loving your enemies, receiving divine grace, or supporting a race-based community: take your pick!) while denying any association between Obama and BVS.

And Obama wonders why so many minorities don’t trust him.

THE BLACK VALUE SYSTEM

The Black Value System

These Black Ethics must be taught and exampled in homes, churches, nurseries and schools, wherever Blacks are gathered. They must reflect the following concepts:

Commitment of God

“The God of our weary years” will give us the strength to give up prayerful passivism and become Black Christian Activist, soldiers for Black freedom and the dignity of all humankind.

Commitment to the Black Community

The highest level of achievement for any Black person must be a contribution of substance to the strength and continuity of the Black Community.

Commitment to the Black Family

The Black family circle must generate strength, stability, and love despite the uncertainty of externals, because these characteristics are required if the developing person is to withstand warping by our racist competitive society.
Those Blacks who are blessed with membership in a strong family unit must reach out and expand that blessing to the less fortunate, especially to the children.

Dedication to the Pursuit of Education

We must forswear anti-intellectualism. Continued survival demands that each Black Person be developed to the utmost of his/her mental potential despite the inadequacies of the formal education process. “Real education” fosters understanding of ourselves as well as every aspect of our environment. Also it develops within us the ability to fashion concepts and tools for better utilization of our resources, and more effective solutions to our problems. Since the majority of Blacks have been denied such learning, Black Education must include elements that provide high school graduates with marketable skills, a trade or qualifications for apprenticeships, or proper preparation for college. Basic education for all Blacks should include Mathematics, Science, Logic, General Semantics, Participative Politics, Economics and Finance, and the Care and Nurture of Black minds.
To the extent that we individually reach for, even strain for excellence, we increase, geometrically, the value and resourcefulness of the Black Community. We must recognize the relativity of one’s best: this year’s best can be bettered next year. Such is the language of growth and development. We must seek to excel in every endeavor.

Adherence to the Black Work Ethic

“It is becoming harder to find qualified people to work in Chicago” Whether this is true or not, it represents one of the many reasons given by businesses and industries for deserting the Chicago area. We must realize that a location with good facilities, adequate transportation and reputation for producing skilled workers will attract industry. We are in competition with other cities, states, and nations for jobs. High productivity must be a goal of the Black workforce.

Commitment to Self-Discipline and Self-Respect

To accomplish anything worthwhile requires self-discipline. We must be a community of self-disciplined persons, if we are to actualize and utilize our own human resources instead of perpetually submitting to exploitation by others. Self discipline coupled with a respect for self, will enable each of us to be an instrument of Black Progress, and a model for Black Youth.

Disavowal of the Pursuit of “Middleclassness”

Classic methodology on control of captives teaches that captors must keep the captive ignorant educationally, but trained sufficiently well to serve the system. Also, the captors must be able to identify the “talented tenth” of those subjugated, especially those who show promise of providing the kind of leadership that might threaten the captor’s control.

Those so identified as separated from the rest of the people by:

Killing them off directly, and/or fostering a social system that encourages them to kill off one another.
Placing them in concentration camps, and/or structuring an economic environment that induces captive youth to fill the jails and prisons.
Seducing them into a socioeconomic class system which while training them to earn more dollars, hypnotizes them into believing they are better than others and teaches them to think in terms of “we” and “they” instead of “us”.
So, while it is permissible to chase “middle-incomeness” with all our might, we must avoid the third separation method-the psychological entrapment of Black “middleclassness”: If we avoid the snare, we will also diminish our “voluntary” contributions to methods A and B. And more importantly, Black people no longer will be deprived of their birthright, the leadership, resourcefulness, and example of their own talented persons.

Pledge to Make the Fruits of All Developing and Acquired Skills Available to the Black community

Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting Black Institutions.
Pledge Allegiance to all Black Leadership Who Espouse and Embrace The Black Value System.
Personal Commitment to Embracement of the Black Value System – to Measure the Worth and Validity of All Activity in Terms of Positive Contributions to the General Welfare of the Black Community and the Advancement of Black People towards Freedom.

Who Obama Might Associate With For “Community” and “Identity,” According to His Supporters

One sign that a propaganda effort is in disarray is that the propagandists become internally consistent. This doesn’t mean their objective is necessary wrong, however. Major Combat Operations of the Iraq War had not even begun by the time that the White House was providing competing story lines as to why it was worth it. Still, the idea that Obama may have an Iraq War level public relations debacle on his hands is one worth considering, I think.

Up until this morning, the explanation I had derived from Obama apologists was as follows:

As Barack Obama prepareted for public life, he correctly saw he had no natural consistuency. His family is not wealthy and Kenyan-Kansans nowhere in the United States form a significant minority. Therefore, Obama joined a large “fraternal organization,” Trinity United Church of Christ, to provide political sympathy and organizational manpower early in his political career. Trinity UCC membershp proved invaluable in his political organization and State Legislature Careers, and even helped him in his Senate campaign by allowing him to be somewhat independent of the Chicagi City and Illinois State democratic party machines.

Quite reasonable, and I’ve been operating from this assumption. Obama’s great wrong in associationg with Rev. Wright was that he elevated a paranoid anti-American above the quarantline line of American politics. But it’s not like he actually believed that nonsense.

a517dogg disagrees, however. It turns out that politics played no role in happening upon the largest black church in Chicago! Rather:

Why is Obama close to Wright? Because of factors that have nothing to do with Wright’s controversial political views. Obama joined Wright’s church looking for a sense of community and seeking to identify with the people he represented in office. Hilzoy writes more on the connection between Obama and his church. Bottom line – it’s not about politics, it’s about community and identity.

Of course, no evidence is provided for this explanation. In the comments, Adrian provides an excerpt from one of Obama’s books, in which Obama doesn’t cite political calculation, as proof.

Earlier in the post, Adrian has to stoop to providing “Reverend Wright comes off as a scary black man” as a defense for Obama. This is part of a wider retreat by Obama and his sympathizers, away from the “Race Doesn’t Matter” line he once peddled, to a past-oriented, grievence-oriented, prophetry-oriented line of divisiveness that is bad for his party, his country, and his reputation.

Too bad. Some Democratic candidate needs to be better than Clinton.

Islamists, Network Solutions, and Free Speech

As reported on Slashdot and elsewhere, Network Solutions has yanked Fitna The Movie from the web. “Fitna” is a sort of spiritual sequel to Submission, whose director was killed for the trouble.

Domain temporarily unavailable
This site has been suspended while Network Solutions is investigating whether the site’s content is in violation of the Network Solutions Acceptable Use Policy. Network Solutions has received a number of complaints regarding this site that are under investigation. For more information about Network Solutions Acceptable Use Policy visit the following URL: http://www.networksolutions.com/legal/aup.jsp

What’s disturbing about this is the quasi-governmental aspect of the censorship. Network Solutions domain hosting biz is of course their business, and if they submit to Sharia that’s their business. However, the company is also one of the very few “domain name reigstrars.” Wikipedia reports that the company earns 90% of their income from participation in that quasi-governmental oligopoly, which decides what websiteaddress.com, .net, or .org can be registered.