My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Signs of The End of America As We Know It 

Several stories from the past week jump out at me tonight.

1. The White House has fired the head of a private U.S. company. Sure, GM was a bit less "private" after taking $16 billion from the federal government back in September, but this is still remarkably dangerous precedent to set. And, in particular, when you consider that both GM AND Chrysler's restructuring plans were rejected, it seems capricious to fire one but not anyone else. And, sure, GM's performance for the last several years has been bad--but so has Ford and Pontiac and everybody else vaguely associated with Detroit. Why Wagoner? why now? But more importantly, since when did the White House arrogate the power to itself to pick and choose who gets to run American corporations?

2. The President of Notre Dame University has invited the single most pro-abortion President in history to give the commencement address and receive an honorary degree. I don't even know if this needs comment. But I'll provide it anyway. It seems to me that at the point where even those charged with sheperding the faithful and teaching Truth start to blur the lines of right and wrong in favor of political favor, then those of us in the flock must acknowledge that our leadership is flawed. The Catholic Church in America has been one of the few institutions that has maintained a strong, principled stance on social issues, even in the face of mounting cultural pressure--that stance seems to be crumbling. Speaking as a former Catholic, I have long thought that the Church heirarchy was basically good, however imperfect; the lesson, it would seem, for those of us who are not Catholic, is that even within institutions that are basically good there are those who are completely wrong. And that lesson extends far out of the realm of religion--it applies to every organization in our lives. We have to become far more critical of our "leaders" and hold them accountable (see Bush, George W./Growth of Government and Hastert, Dennis/Earmark Reform and McCain, John/Immigration Reform, Free Speech, and Gang of Twelve).

3. Natasha Richardson died in part because of poor medical care. It would seem the doctors in Canada were simply following the cost-benefit mandate that they operate under when they did not perform a CT scan immediately upon seeing her in the emergency room. That same cost-benefit mandate is built into the . . . wait for it . . . health care package put forward by President Obama as a way to "reduce costs." yippee! Can't wait for this one to bear fruit here in America.

4. Last year was a record year for births in the U.S.--unfortunately, 40% of those born were born to unwed mothers. The statistics here are irrefutable--children born to single mothers are at vastly greater risk of being brought up in poverty; likewise, children of single parents are vastly more likely to be single parents, themselves. The demographic math is disturbingly predictable: we are beginning to bring into the world whole generations destined for poverty. You want class warfare? You want to destroy the middle class? Destroy the family first.

5. Speaking of demographics, our closest ally has its own problem.

The Muslim population in Britain has grown by more than 500,000 to 2.4 million in just four years, according to official research collated for The Times.

The population multiplied 10 times faster than the rest of society, the research by the Office for National Statistics reveals. In the same period the number of Christians in the country fell by more than 2 million.

What implications does this have for the U.S.? Because Britain was likely to be one of our few allies in a treaty battle that is starting to emerge in the U.N. It seems there is an effort to criminalize the criticism of any religion (read: Islam), which could lead to a tacit acceptance of Sharia law, which would become codified by U.N. treaty, which would supercede U.S. Constitution as the source of law.

Just to keep an eye on the big gameboard.

6. Ever hear of a "Bull Rally?" That's when the stock market takes a breather from a major selloff or crash, as small investors think they've hit the bottom and start buying again. After a certain time the big investors, who have been on the sidelines holding on to rapidly devaluing stocks, decide that the market is as good as it's likely to get, and start dumping . . .er, liquidating. . . their holdings, and the market tanks even further. Over the past several weeks, the market has had a very nice run--until today, when all the major indices were down over 3 %. I'm no prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet, but if I had to guess, I'd say today may have been the beginning of the final dump-off.

Nostradamus, the Mayans, all of them . . . they may be on to something. Or maybe we're just running the rather predictable and mundane course that all the other great civilizations have run in their time.

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