Despite its less-than-stellar record of picking winning solar energy companies — subsidizing, for instance, Solyndra of California and Evergreen Solar of Massachusetts — the Obama administration is determined to continue the practice of unconstitutionally financing these boondoggles. This time, however, it is doing so in a more roundabout way via the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank), which is making $575 million in taxpayer-guaranteed loans to companies in India to purchase solar modules from U.S. firms.
According to CNSNews.com, the Ex-Im Bank has already loaned $75 million for four solar projects in India this year, and the bank says it “has about $500 million of India solar projects in the pipeline that will generate an estimated 315 [megawatts] of solar power.” Among the projects already receiving loans are two five-megawatt solar photovoltaic plants in Rajasthan, for which the Ex-Im Bank is providing a total of $25.2 million in financing to purchase thin-film solar modules from First Solar, Inc., of Tempe, Arizona, and Abound Solar, Inc., of Loveland, Colorado.
The orgies of violent attacks against strangers on the streets — in both England and the United States — are not necessarily just passing episodes. They should be wake-up calls, warning of the continuing degeneration of Western society.
As British doctor and author Theodore Dalrymple said, long before these riots broke out, "the good are afraid of the bad and the bad are afraid of nothing."
Not only the trends over the years leading up to these riots but also the squeamish responses to them by officials — on both sides of the Atlantic — reveal the moral dry rot that has spread deep into Western societies.
Even when black youth gangs target white strangers on the streets and spew out racial hatred as they batter them and rob them, mayors, police chiefs and the media tiptoe around their racism and many in the media either don't cover these stories or leave out the race and racism involved.
Do you remember the mess our economy was in when Ronald Reagan took office 30 years ago? Five years earlier, during the 1976 campaign, Jimmy Carter had hammered away at the so-called Misery Index, the combination of unemployment and the inflation rate. In the summer of 1976, it reached 13.57 percent; and worried voters handed the keys to the White House to the peanut farmer.
Unfortunately, Jimmy did nothing to make things better. By 1980, when he was running for re-election against Ronald Reagan, the Misery Index had climbed to an all-time high of 21.9 percent — more than 61 percent higher. Ouch! As a result, the voters booted him out and decided to give the former Governor of California a chance.
But all Reagan did for the next four years was blame Jimmy Carter for the mess he inherited, while things in the country got worse and worse.
Wafa Sultan is an Arab-American woman who was born in Syria, raised in the Islamic faith of her ancestors, rebelled against it, and emigrated to the U.S. She could not abide a faith that denigrates women and treats them worse than slaves. She’s written an extraordinary book, A God Who Hates, which for the non-Islamic reader explains why the so-called Arab Spring may well turn into another Arab Winter.
For me, the most compelling statement in her book sums up why the Western world has had such a difficult time understanding the Muslim mind. It sums up why it is virtually impossible to be optimistic about the future of the Arab world:
“When we were young, our elders drummed a saying into us: ‘We love death as much as our enemy loves life.’ A man imbued with a culture of death cannot be a human being, because a person’s humanity is not complete unless he respects human life and takes action to protect it.”
It is strangely apt that the stock market this week has been experiencing turbulence, in the wake of Standard & Poor’s downgrade of U.S credit and fears of a double-dip recession. After all, this week marks the 40th anniversary of Nixon’s removal of the United States from the last vestiges of the gold standard, an action that ushered in 40 years of fiat monetary instability. For four decades we’ve been in a state of almost constant financial crisis, from the stagflationary ‘70s through the savings and loan debacle and stock market crash of the ‘80s to the more recent dot-com and real estate bubbles and their messy aftermaths.
And now this. After 40 years of a “new normal,” the nations of the West are exhausted and bankrupt. Debt in Europe and the United States is spiraling out of control while economies stagnate, and all central bankers can think of is what they’ve been doing since the Nixon years (and, in truth, a lot longer than that): print more money.
Tarek Fatah — a self-described devout Muslim Marxist — has issued a strong warning that there is a Muslim Brotherhood influence at the White House. Fatah, a Canadian, delivered this caution back in June at Canada’s annual “Premier Meeting of the Minds” function; however, his announcement was all but ignored.
At the conference, Fatah expressed his own viewpoints on mainstream and radical Islam, including the Muslim Brotherhood. He asserted, “The religion of Islam is being used as a tool by a fascist force.”
He then moved on to discuss what he views as the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood at the highest level of the federal government. “Instead of bringing victory over the fascist forces of the Muslim Brotherhood, we now recognize that their infiltration is right up to the American White House, but we can’t say that,” he said.
A new report from a pair of organizations dedicated to strengthening the institution of marriage shows that an alarming number of U.S. couples are deciding to have children without being married — a decision that places those children at risk for physical, emotional, financial, and other social problems.
The study, released by the National Marriage Project and the Institute for American Values, found that while, toward the end of the 20th century, “divorce posed the biggest threat to marriage in the United States,” in today’s world “the rise of cohabiting households with children is the largest unrecognized threat to the quality and stability of children’s family lives.”
The report noted that “because of the growing prevalence of cohabitation, which has risen fourteen-fold since 1970, today’s children are much more likely to spend time in a cohabiting household than they are to see their parents divorce”
This past weekend, as the victors of the Ames Straw Poll were being determined in Iowa, Texas governor Rick Perry declared his candidacy for the presidency. The talking heads of “conservative” talk radio and elsewhere were giddy with excitement. For more than one reason, I, for one, do not share their enthusiasm.
Already, comparisons between Perry and former President George W. Bush are being drawn in venues that are friendly to both our national parties. Admittedly, some commentators have noted the differences between the two, but these are largely stylistic and tangential. Their likenesses, though, are too obvious to be glossed over: both claim to be “conservative”; both are Texans; and both have served as governors of the Lone Star State.
These similarities alone are sufficient to engender no inconsiderable degree of concern in numerous voters. George W. Bush’s approval rating was abysmal when he left office, and it hasn’t risen appreciably since.
I don’t want to sound like Lansberry, the legendary Pittsburgher who walked around town for decades with a protest sign saying that the government was withholding his mail, but I’m missing about 300 pieces of mail.
My problem started in June when I went to my local post office and filled out a mail forwarding card, as I do every year in June, stating that our mail should be re-routed temporarily to our house in Sea Isle, New Jersey, for five weeks.
We probably get an average of 10 pieces of mail a day, not counting the junk mail, so in five weeks that’s about 300 pieces of mail.
It worked every year, except this year. Each week, we’d get no mail for four or five days and then one piece would arrive.
I checked Sea Isle’s post office and they had no idea of why so little mail was arriving.