In today’s extremely unsettled financial climate, one can hardly blame Venezuela or its erratic leader, Hugo Chavez, for deciding to bring home the gold. Oil-rich Venezuela also has the world’s 15th largest gold reserves, most of them squirreled away in Bank of England vaults. Now, Chavez has authorized the return of Venezuela’s gold to Venezuelan soil, fearing that, at some juncture, any overseas assets could be frozen and seized by foreign authorities, as has been done with those of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The clownishly villainous Hugo Chavez has long worn the mantle, once borne by Cuba’s Castro, of America’s official enemy south of the border. His country and regime are now embroiled in a series of international litigations for Venezuela’s nationalizing of certain foreign assets — a Canadian gold mine at Las Cristinas and an American mining operation at Las Brisas, for example. Chavez is obviously worried that Venezuelan gold and liquid assets abroad could be seized and held as collateral. Like the clichéd stopped clock that twice a day reads the correct time, Chavez’ militantly socialist regime appears to be doing a prudent thing, albeit for the wrong motives.
Three years after the release of the remake The Day the Earth Stood Still, a team of American researchers has made the film’s theme a scientific theory: They are suggesting that an alien race might destroy man to stop our release of greenhouse-gas emissions and global warming. Writes Fox News: The thought-provoking scenario is one of many envisaged in a joint study by Penn State and the NASA Planetary Science Division, entitled "Would Contact with Extraterrestrials Benefit or Harm Humanity? A Scenario Analysis." It divides projected close encounters into "neutral," those that cause mankind "unintentional harm" and, more worryingly, those in which aliens do us "intentional harm." While the idea of meeting our end at the green hands of anti-CO2 aliens may be more laugh-provoking than thought-provoking, another scenario in the harmful category is only slightly less amusing.
Michele Bachmann Friday defended her campaign promise made earlier in the week that the price of gasoline will drop back down below $2 a gallon when she is in the White House. The Minnesota congresswoman and Republican presidential candidate pledged to utilize the nation's vast, untapped resources to bring down high energy prices and "create millions of high-paying jobs instantly." In an interview on America's Morning News radio program, Bachmann said that President Obama's policies have blocked development of America's energy resources and left the country increasingly dependent on foreign oil "What Barack Obama has done is lock up America's energy reserves," Bachmann said. "We're the No. 1 energy-resource-rich nation in the world. We have more oil in three Western states in the form of shale oil than all the oil in Saudi Arabia. That doesn't include the Bakken oil field in North Dakota or the eastern Gulf region or the Atlantic or the Pacific or ANWAR or the Arctic region."
Ron Paul wants to make it quite clear that he has never accused Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke of treason. He has merely accused him of counterfeiting, which is a different crime altogether. The Texas Congressman and Republican presidential candidate poked fun at the controversial comment his home state rival, Governor Rick Perry, made in Iowa this past week, just a few days after he jumped into the presidential campaign. Paul said Perry “makes me sound like a moderate” by the way the Texas Governor warned Iowans that the Fed chairman might resort to expanding the money supply between now and the 2012 election to help President Obama. "If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I don't know what y'all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas," Perry said. "Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in history is almost treasonous in my opinion."
While unemployment nationwide remains above nine percent in the United States, the State Department continues to bring in foreign exchange students to work for American employers. And at least some of the students aren't happy about it when they get here. More than 100 student workers walked off the job for the second straight day yesterday and gathered in front of the Hershey Story Museum in downtown Hershey, Pennsylvania, for a protest demonstration over pay and working conditions at the candy maker's Eastern Distribution Center III in nearby Palmyra. About 400 exchange students from as far away as China, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Turkey, and Romania are employed for the summer at the plant, at wages ranging from $7.25 to $8.35 an hour. But several of the protestors said lifting heavy boxes in a warehouse all day is not what they expected and that the payroll deductions, including rent for the mandatory company housing, leaves them with barely enough to live on. "I pick up boxes that are 40 pounds — I weigh 95 pounds," Yana Bzengney, a 19-year-old student from Ukraine, told the Patriot-News of Harrisburg. She paid $3,500 for the chance to come to the United States and to see the country and its people and maybe visit New York and Washington, D.C, she said. Instead, she has seen little more than the inside of the warehouse.
With the President’s announcement of higher mileage requirements — to 54.5 mpg on new cars and trucks sold in the United States by the year 2025 — came the usual promises of less dependence upon foreign oil and reduced “greenhouse gas” emissions. Said the White House blog, “Taken together, the standards established under this Administration span Model Years 2011-2015. They will save consumers money, reduce our dependence on oil, and protect the environment.” Thanks to the standards, consumers will save an estimated $1.7 trillion dollars in real fuel costs of the life of their vehicles. By 2025, the standards are projected to save families an estimated $8,200 in fuel savings [sic] over the lifetime of a new vehicle, [compared to] the Model Year 2010. We will need to use less oil. [The standards] will reduce oil consumption by an estimated 2.2 million barrels a day.
Rep. Allen West, (R-Fla.) offered Florida’s branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations a little history lesson in a letter to the group, and officials from CAIR don’t like it. Even worse, they couldn’t figure out what West meant. Responding to a lengthy diatribe against West that demanded he stop associating with anti-jihad writers such as Robert Spencer, who runs the Jihad Watch website, and Pamela Geller, proprietress of the Atlas Shrugs site, West sent a one-word reply. “Nuts.” Nazir Hamze, one of the officers at CAIR to whom West wrote, was clueless. And so were many of the people that CBS4 in Miami talked to about the laconic rejoinder.
This is the seventh and final segment in the series on K-12 education. A front-page August 16 Washington Times’ headline screamed: “Scores show students aren’t ready for college — 75% may need remedial classes.” Seventy-five percent is a number that gets people’s attention. It isn’t the usual trifling stuff the U.S. Department of Education puts out about math or reading scores being up by two percent one year and down by three percent the next. Add to that another finding reported in the same article: “A 2008 report by the education advocacy group Strong American Schools found that 80 percent of college students taking remedial classes had a high school GPA of 3.0 or better.”
Congressional Democrats have brushed off President Obama's personal decree to swear off special-interest campaigning for his reelection bid. According to an Associated Press analysis on campaign fundraising, Democrats aspiring to regain control of the House in 2012 have pocketed more than $15 million from political action committees this year, including donations from labor unions, sugar producers, and defense contractors. Over $1 million alone went to campaign committees of House Minority Leaders Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.). Congressional Democrats condemn Republicans for special-interest campaigning, while pressuring GOP presidential hopefuls to disclose their top campaign donors. "The refusal to accept donations from federal lobbyists and PACs is critical to limiting the influence of special interests in the political process," Wasserman Schultz said in a recent conference call. "Unfortunately, every single Republican candidate for president today happily accepts donations from lobbyists and PACs."
Janet Napolitano, the Homeland Security Secretary, confessed last week that the Obama administration will not deport illegal-alien students who would have fallen under the protection of the failed DREAM Act, the amnesty for illegal aliens that traveled under the name of immigration reform. She made the remarks at a webinar and roundtable on border issues sponsored by NDN, a leftist think tank. The Washington Times reported what she said: “I will say, and can say, that you know what? They are not, that group, if they truly meet all those criteria, and we see very few of them actually in the immigration system, if they truly meet those [criteria], they’re not the priority,” the secretary said at an event sponsored by NDN, a progressive think tank and advocacy group, on the future of the nation’s border policies. “The reason we set priorities is so that the focus could be on those in the country who are also committing other illegal acts,” she said.