Argentina to nationalize pension funds (Tip of the lid: Powerline.)
The United States is not Argentina. We have no history (yet) of dictatorship, nor even under Chicago Rules have we reached Argentine levels of corruption. That should not breed complacency, however. For all its problems, Argentina is, or was, a middle-class country with mostly European ancestry. During its indebtedness and hyperinflation crisis of the late '90s, citizens were unable to remove any significant money from their own bank accounts. Last November, they woke up to find that their private pension funds had been nationalized.
"The United States must soon raise taxes or cut government spending to curb its debt, and failure to act will risk a crippling dollar crisis as investor confidence ebbs, a panel of experts said on Wednesday," the China Post reports. China seems to be starting to dislike the taste of U.S. Treasuries, our main public debt instrument. In November, it cut back on its Treasury holdings by $34 billion. That still leaves the Chinese with $755 billion in U.S. debt holdings, not to mention Japan's $769 billion, hanging like a sword of Damocles over the land of the free.
Raise taxes? As if. Reduce spending? Congress is a menagerie of creatures who have long since discovered that the surest way to be re-elected is to buy votes. As de Toqueville said, a republic can last only until its office holders discover that the public can be bribed with its own money.
But wait! Think of the billions upon billions of dollars in 401(k), 403(b), and other retirement accounts. No need to freeze the accounts. Just pass a law requiring their holdings to be exchanged for Treasurys and a government annuity. Your savings become Ameribonds! When it's time to collect your payments, the government will see that you get exactly the same amount as everyone else. Equality, now and forever!
Lightbulb bill aimed at asserting state rights
States to Congress: 'Don't tread on me ... '
The 10th amendment ("The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people") may be rising from the dead like Lazarus.
For more than half a century, the federal government has extended its grip over issues that have nothing to do with national defense, income taxes, or interstate commerce: sometimes by acts of Congress, sometimes by the rule of "activist" federal judges and the Supreme Court. This judiciary, all its members appointed for life, is the sole possessor of the nuclear option, the supposed right to declare local and federal laws unconstitutional, a right found nowhere in the Constitution. Since it is not part of the checks and balances originally devised to limit the power of any branch of the government, there is no constitutional process for overriding it. If by some divine intervention Congress and the states passed a Constitutional amendment restricting the Supremes' absolute power, could the justices rule that placing limits on their authority is unconstitutional, null and void?
Frank Miele, author of an excellent weekly column for a Montana paper, writes: " … the whole idea of the federal system was to limit the power of central government, by ensuring that states and their people would maintain sovereignty over themselves. If the courts determine now that states cannot protect their own citizens from an unconstitutional encroachment by the federal government, then we need more than a tea party; we really do need a revolution."
Muslims turning to home schooling in increasing numbers
Martinez and her six children, ages 2 to 12, are part of a growing number of Muslims who home-school. In the Washington area, Martinez says, she has seen the number of home-schoolers explode in the past five years.One trusts that "explode" refers to the numbers, not jihadist home schoolers.
"My children are extremely aware that they are Muslim, and they are extremely aware that other people aren't," said Abdullah, whose wife, a Malaysian immigrant, started to home-school their son last fall. Two of the couple's younger children, ages 10 and 6, remain in public school; their fourth child is 3. "There is a mainstream culture, and my kids aren't a part of that mainstream culture . . . and to hear, 'We don't do this, we don't do that,' how are they feeling when they're sitting in that chair? Home schooling really takes the pressure off."Can anyone, even a Washington Post true believer, read this and actually maintain the party line that Muslims are no different from previous immigrant groups, needing only a little encouragement to "assimilate"? (Yes, being Washington Post retards, they can.)
Am I suggesting Muslims should not be allowed home schooling? Even though it is a thoroughly divisive element that is almost sure to turn out some jihadists? No. We allow Christian parents the right to home school, how can we deny Muslims the same right? That would simply be trying to resolve the problem at the wrong level. As I've written many times before, once you enforce multi-culturalism and allow, even encourage, Muslim immigration, you cannot draw any lines against the expression of their own culture and value system. After all, we've welcomed them to come and colonize us. The only logical and effective line to draw is before that.
Transsexual cabaret performer vomits on Susan Sarandon
Performance art reaches new heights.
“Apparently [Sarandon] got a big kick out of it. She squealed with surprise and loved it when several handsome gentlemen wiped it off of her. She had a ball! I saw her assistant downstairs afterward, and he was moved by it! She was in great spirits,” Wood told the New York Press.If the National Endowment for the Arts hasn't yet given this performer an outreach grant, it's past time. Acts like hers should not be limited to the elite like Susan Sarandon. The underserved populations, victims of racism/sexism/xenophobia/uncoolness deserve equal vomit reception time.
Wood explains that vomiting on people is fitting is this establishment. “[It was a] fitting time for an outrageous act: the third anniversary of The Box [the New York lower east side club]. Everybody wants to offer safe and ordinary, not The Box!"
And it's not the first time the transsexual performer has engaged in this kind of thing.
“I threw up on someone several weeks ago. They went to the manager and said, ‘That tranny just threw up on me.’ The manager said, ‘How cool is that!’ He said if that happened to me, I'd call my friends and we'd all be there tomorrow!'"