Friday, October 31, 2008

Top Ten Reasons You Can Tell Obama's Not a Muslim

First and foremost I want to make clear: Barack Obama is not a Muslim and never has been. Just to clarify. These are meant to be "humorous" or "satire."

# 10. He didn't kneel down to pray during the debate.
# 9. He is not having the White House pointed at Mecca.
#8. He doesn't use the word Insha'allah instead of hope.
He has never referred to taxes as zakat.
#6. The pillars behind him during the convention speech weren't the Five Pillars.
#5. He has denied being the 12th Imam.
#4. He is not Albanian (which pretty much disqualifies him)
#3. He did not shout "Allahu Akbar" after winning the Iowa caucus.
#2. During one of the town hall meetings he noisily ate three plates of pork chops covered in bacon and smothered in pork gravy. Afterward he shouted, "It's good to be a kaffir!"
#1. He's not a Muslim, people! When are people going to realize that?

A bonus 11th one: He hasn't put a jihad on poverty.

I Want McCain to Win for the Sheer Fun of the Left's Response

Of course I want him to win cause I like him and think he'd make a good President. However, an increasingly larger part of me wants to see him win just to see everyone on the Left lose their minds.

If you look at any comments on websites or YouTube or anything like that you can see that many folks just comment to be heard. Often, when you're dealing with the 13-25 demographic, you're dealing with idiots who also desire to have attention.... In other words, just about the worst combination.

Still, I want to see what happens on Tuesday night or Wednesday as people go insane. The 2004 election elicited some crazy writing, but not much crazy action. I want to see people make good on their promise to move to Canada (probably Iran would be better). I want to see people renounce their citizenship. I want to see people realize that America still believes in John McCain.

Now, I don't expect McCain to win, which would make this even better. Still, I guess we'll find out.

Best of luck, everyone.

Cuba expects Obama to Lift Embargo

As if we didn't need more evidence of who the rogue dictatorships of the world are rooting for, there was this report. Apparently the Castro brothers believe that soon-to-be President Obama will announce that all is forgiven, and the United States will become a willing market.

If and when we normalize relations with Cuba, we will be their biggest market by far. If the current regime is in place, then we will be enriching them far beyond their current impoverished state. Cuba has things and will have things that we want from them (sugar cane-- hello, ethanol?, and oil--soon). We may accidentally just bolster the Castros if we go and jump into a relationship with that.

Well, I mean, Obama may destroy the future for the Cuban people, but at least if we open up trade, we'll be privy to a whole lot of good food. Is that worth years of oppression?

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If Obama Wins, I am Not Moving

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why Republicans Should Support Gay Marriage

One of the problems with the modern Republican Party (the party I belong to) is a stubborn refusal to back gay marriage. The few Republicans that do (Rudy Giuliani) are spoken of as hippy liberals.

The Republican Party has framed itself as a party that supports individual decision-making. Well, gay marriage falls under that. The Republican Party frames itself as traditional. Well, it seems like homosexuality has been around forever and has been practiced in every society, so how much more traditional can you get?

I know that a lot of people frame this in a religious context. Now, injecting religion into politics is very dicey for me. However, there is nothing in the New Testament that bans homosexual relationships. The Libertarian wing of the party supports individual freedoms, but many of these same people feel that gay marriage will damage 'traditional marriage.' Divorce rates are over 50%. Can gay folks do worse than straight folks on this? If gay people are able to build stable families with kids and be homeowners, isn't that good for America? Besides, married people with kids that own houses tend to be overwhelmingly Republican anyway.

The Republican Party in the last eight years has stood up for the little guy abroad. Why not do the same at home?

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If Obama Loses, Cities Will Burn

I was looking for some news and saw this article. It is well written but it underlies one of the problems of the new Left. If McCain wins, he wins. People just cannot accept that a Republican may actually be elected legitimately. Even in 2004, when Bush won a convincing victory, there were still accusations of stealing the election.

Unfortunately it appears that the new Left is still unable to accept simple facts. WMDs existed. Saddam supported terrorism. Be stronger than relying on conspiracy theories or the lies of Michael Moore. Grow up.

Anyone on the Right shouldn't fall for wacko theories either.

I'm enthusiastically voting for McCain on Tuesday, but I think Obama's going to win, and if he does he will be my President. Unless there's a large amount of voter fraud, then he will be the legitimate victor to me. I won't burn a car or mail annoying flyers out. I may disagree with him, but I won't whine for the next four years. It's this whining that prevented the Democrats from gaining traction for a long time. It's this whining and the sense of entitlement that has McCain still polling in the 40s%.

So those who are supporting McCain: if Obama wins, be polite. Don't scream that he's not your President. Be stronger than that.

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Things Are Getting Serious--Even France is Increasing Military Spending

With all of the talk of American imperialism floating around (especially in Europe) even France is bulking up on military spending.

Not many people know this, but France has the most overseas colonies of any nation on earth. France is also involved in a lot of other nations. With Obama taking over in January, why is France modernizing its military? I thought there was going to be 1,000 years of peace?

Or is it that Nicolas Sarkozy believes that France will have to share more of the international burden with an American President hesitant to defend democracy and battle rogue regimes?

If France is preparing to fight, we might be in trouble.

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McCain: Finance Reform, Obama: Give Me Money

Before he ran for President in 2000, John McCain was known for pushing campaign finance reform which culminated in the McCain-Feingold Act of 2002. McCain has not only pushed for reform, but has lived it. In 2008 he has used public financing and is willing to follow his word.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, had promised to go along with public financing. For all of the talk of corruption and special interests, Obama broke his promise and abandoned public financing. It appears that the lure of cold, hard cash and the Presidency were more than enough to flip-flop.

And now this: Obama is getting untracable donations. He could be receiving money from anyone, anyone, whether it be some of the dead folks that are voting for him or whether it be John McCain. Something feels fishy. I support capitalism (and even some socialism--beware!) but one thing that should not be bought, especially with dirty money, is the White House.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Forgotten Nations: Albania, Georgia, and Kosovo

Over the last several administrations, relations with small, often little-known countries have grown substantially. It makes me proud to see that smaller nations of the world look up to the United States. In Albania, we are seen as a great benevolent nation. In Georgia we are seen as a big brother and the epitome of Democracy. In Kosovo we are seen as a defender of innocent civilians and a saviour of the weak.

It makes me proud. President Clinton and President Bush greatly improved relations with Albania and, although it didn't declare independence until 2008, Kosovo. Last year, for the first time ever, the reigning American President visited Albania. Their streets flooded to meet President Bush, civilians wore giant Uncle Sam hats, and people openly wept for the President of the country they look up to. In Georgia, President Bush has fostered strong relations to a small, but great Democracy.

But what will happen under an Obama Presidency? He will forget. As is well known, Albania, Kosovo, and, until recently, Georgia are not often in the world's spotlight. Obama will forget them. He would focus, rather, on larger nations, ones he deems perhaps more important. But he will forget the small nations. To me, I would much rather have Albania, Kosovo, and Georgia like us than, let's say, France. But Obama does not know.

It is clear to see that Senator Obama does not fully understand foreign relations. One needs look no further than the outbreak of hostilities between Georgia and Russia. With the Russian invasion of Russian territory, Obama had these very vague words for the international community, "The United States, Europe, and all other concerned countries must stand united, stemming this aggression and staking a peaceful solution to the crisis...We should continue to push for a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an immediate end to the violence." Aggression by who? At the time it seemed as though Obama didn't know. McCain called on Russia to pull back its troops and cited the historical significance of Georgia, Russia, and the former Soviet Union.

Obama eventually released a stronger statement, but it was clear to see his loose grip on smaller countries in places not known to the average American. He will not remember Georgia, he will not remember Albania, and he will not remember Kosovo if he becomes President (barring something that brings them to the world stage). The forgetting of these staunch U.S. supporters is a sad reality should Obama be elected, and McCain defeated.


Something That Made My Skin Crawl

I was surfing for news and saw this linked to Drudge.

Didn't all of those European folks call on behalf of John Kerry in 2004 and how did that work out. But still, there must be a reason that Palestinians and the Iranian government are backing Obama. This is not one of those posts that say that Obama's a foreigner Muslim--he's not. He's an Evangelical Christian American.

These entities are supporting him because his prior positions have given them hope. His talk against the war before it even began and his associations with people like Khalidi must give them hope. His original position while running in the primaries was an unconditional pullout from Iraq, which would bolster groups like Hamas and Hezbollah and nations like Iran and Syria.

Obama represents the anti-Bush to them. Bush represented someone who would take on regimes and terrorist groups and attempt to build democracy. Obama attempts to rationalize their repression or murder.

Obama himself is not a bad guy but there's something wrong with some of the folks that like him so much.

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The REAL Voter Repression

With all we've heard about the evil Republican machine suppressing voting, there hasn't been a lot made of actual acts of voter repression this election.
Not evil, malignant voter repression, but rather attempting to keep entire demographics home by presenting a self-fulfilling prophecy: Obama's election.

Polls are polls, but there are other items that seem to show that there are firm attempts to both sway opinion or keep McCain supporters home.

For example: How McCain is 'being trounced' in early voting. Needless to say this is from the Huffington Post, but still, if I was a little more apathetic, I might not even bother to go vote at all. To see Obama with a 20% lead among these "early voters," lazier commentators might as well call it now. Still, I don't believe the results: In 2004, exit polls showed Kerry with a substantial win. It turned out that Kerry supporters were egotistical enough to hunt down exit pollers and give them their two or four or eight cents worth.

If we dig a little deeper, early voting is not proceeding as much as anticipated. Perhaps the Huffington Post jumped the gun after all.

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Predictions Of October 29, 2008

Well, the election season is just about done and it looks like the electorate is about where it will be on November 4th.
First, some disclosure: I am a McCain supporter, so my predictions may be skewed. Keep it in mind.
These predictions take into account current variables and do not reflect any major changes happening between now and next Tuesday.

I don't see any major momentum shifts left for either side. Obama's been hurt slightly by the socialism flap, but it has not transformed the race. With McCain in Pennsylvania and having Obama follow him, McCain may pick up a few more votes in states like New Mexico and Iowa, but probably not enough to make a difference.

So, as I see it now (and I'll probably add a couple of more in the coming days:

NATIONAL: Obama 49.6%, McCain 47.1%, Barr 1.0%, Nader 0.9%, McKinney .9%, other .6%
New Hampshire: Obama 50.2%, McCain 49.1%
Pennsylvania: Obama 51.3%, McCain 47.9
Iowa: Obama 53%, McCain 45.9% (flip)
New Mexico: Obama 50.4%, McCain 48.4% (flip)
Ohio: McCain 49.6%, Obama 49.3%
North Carolina: McCain 54.3%, Obama 45.5%
Florida: McCain 50.5%, Obama 48.4%
Virginia: McCain 50.1%, Obama 48.9%
Colorado: Obama 52.5%, McCain 46.5% (flip)
Indiana: McCain 54.3%, Obama 45.4

I guess we'll see if these pan out, but it appears that Obama will win by a smidgen if all of the other states stay the same.
Still, if you support McCain and want to avoid this, VOTE!

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A Reasoned Plea from a McCain Supporter

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

POLITICO Writer Qualifies McCain Getting Hosed in the Media

Jim VandeHei, a writer for POLITICO, wrote today, "OK, let’s just get this over with: Yes, in the closing weeks of this election, John McCain and Sarah Palin are getting hosed in the press, and at Politico."

You may consider this a step forward in self-reflection and honesty, yet the VandeHei qualifies the hosing of McCain as the right thing to do. As he says, "So what." The writer goes on to say that McCain should be shown in a bad light because that is the way that the election is going. Hopefully, as I did, you just said "What?" to yourself. How does doing poorly in a campaign cycle have anything to do with bias against moderately sexist attacks against Sarah Palin? How does the election qualify age discrimination against McCain?

VandeHei does not try to specifically qualify the attacks about age discrimintion or sexism, but these cannot be simply swept under the rug by saying it's okay to attack people because thier party, or their campaign, is doing poorly. If Sen. Obama were losing, it would not be okay to attack him personally because of his race or his sex. It would be an insult to Obama, and the nation's morality, to impune Obama for the attributes he was born with, winning or losing.

So I ask you, why should it ever be okay to portray others in a negative light concerning their age, thier race, their sex? Winning or losing is nothing. It shouldn't even enter the conversation. It is an insult to any intelligent person, liberal, conservative, moderate, Democrat, Republican, or Independent, that someone should say winning or losing opens the door to attacks.

Why McCain is Pushing So Hard in Pennsylvania

A lot has been made about McCain's campaign constantly campaigning in Pennsylvania, despite the fact that many polls have Obama up by ten. There are a couple of factors to look at:

* Despite a lot of pro-Kerry polling in 2004, Bush only lost Pennsylvania by 2%.
* Since then, the Democrats have signed up a lot more voters than Republicans.
* Hillary trounced Obama in the primaries.
* Pennsylvania is one of the oldest states in the Union.

SO... why is McCain spending so much time in PA?

He doesn't expect to win, but his strategy is to pull Obama away from closer states such as Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina. By doing this, McCain is hoping that Obama will distract resources and McCain will be able to hold onto these Bush 2004 states.
Also, with all of the campaigning in Pennsylvania, then Obama's comments about blue-collar workers will be brought up repeatedly, hurting Obama in the Rust Belt. Anyone who holds guns or religion dear will probably be re-offended.
Election Prediction: Pennsylvania: Obama 52% McCain 46%

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How Obama Wins North Carolina

Monday, October 27, 2008

My endorsements

The Onion: Truly America's Most Reliable News Source

Obama Steadily Outpolling McCain Among Recently Deceased

Sunday, October 26, 2008

John McCain Looks Into Future, Declares Victory

Dem Envisages 25% Drop in Defense Spending

Wal-Mart and Halloween

Saturday, October 25, 2008

We're All Dead--Obama's Cabinet

I was reading on Foreign Policy about picks for Obama's Cabinet. These picks come from Katrina Vanden Heuvel, a near-anarchist for The Nation.

If these are true, we are in deep trouble:

Bill Bradley
Secretary of State
The former New Jersey senator and Knicks star is a slam dunk: He opposes NATO expansion and has a keen understanding of the importance of statecraft, multilateral diplomacy, and international economics.

In other words, Bradley (who I liked for the Democratic nomination in 2000, opposes multilateral cooperation (by opposing the expansion of NATO) as Obama and the left has stated that they so strongly support. He supports "multilateral diplomacy" which means that the U.S. will no longer have the leading voice in international affairs. Opposing the expansion of NATO may also cut off nations like Albania, which is unacceptable.

Lawrence Korb
Secretary of Defense
An assistant defense secretary under Ronald Reagan and now at the Center for American Progress, Korb has done groundbreaking strategic thinking on issues including a speedy and orderly exit from Iraq, support for troops and veterans, and cutting billions in wasteful Pentagon spending.

In other words, Korb, who has been a paleo-conservative rightist, supported al Qaeda winning in Iraq and is looking to downsize new programs to fight tomorrow's wars. But still, if Obama is elected, there will be no more wars, right?

James K. Galbraith
Secretary of the Treasury
Like his father, Galbraith understands that finance must serve the real economy. He recognizes the ruinous economic effects of our hypermilitarized foreign policy, thinks that world prosperity depends upon rising wages and public investment, and has the wisdom to guide us through the remaking of our global financial architecture.

Are you kidding? Galbraith? This guy has been a joke. A hypermilitarized foreign policy? This is the end to American exceptionalism.

James Bamford
Director of National Intelligence
An investigative journalist whose 1982 book about the NSA, The Puzzle Palace, has been used as a textbook at the National Defense Intelligence College, Bamford values wisdom and history above intelligence factoids. He will challenge convention and abuses and draw the line on covert action. A man of integrity, he’ll always refuse to bend intelligence for political purposes.

"Refuse to bend intelligence for political purposes..." in other words, is unwilling to apply intelligence to meet foreign policy objectives. That's like refusing to use Halabja as proof of Saddam's use or fondness of chemical weapons.

In short, if these picks or anyone similar are picked, we're in deep deep problems. I'm just glad I'm learning Farsi and collecting dinars because I need to be able to speak with and spend money on behalf of our new masters.

My New Writing Experience

I recently was chosen to begin writing for, a geopolitical analysis site. I've been reading the site for a while and hope that folks can see what I've been writing about.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hey, all

Hey, just introducing myself. I'm Joe C and I'm the new co-writer for this blog. Apparently, he gave me free reign on what too say (except for endorsing Obama, Achmedinijad, any other anti-American dictator). Just warning you ahead of time.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Dream I Had

Hey anybody,
hit me up if you can find any meaning to this:

About two months ago I had a dream of the Kaaba in Mecca and was told that the rulers or owners or whatever of the Grand Mosque were the al-Baal family. Of course Baal is an ancient god which rivaled Judaism and is where we get the name Beelzebub. So I don't know.

Hopefully you do.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Barack Obama -- The Third Term of George W. Bush

Normally this would sound like a good thing to me, but in this case the behavior of Senator Obama reminds me a lot of the caricature of President Bush.

Actual similarities:
1. Obama and Bush are deeply religious Christians.
2. Obama and Bush both saw themselves as outsiders who would "fix Washington" and unite the country after eight years of the opposite party's rule.
Bush promised to do this by working with Democrats, who from late 2001-3 had control of the Senate. During his tenure, the Bush Administration has either adopted or adapted Democratic platforms in the cases of No Child Left Behind, the Senior Drug Plan, Immigration Reform, and the economic stimulus plan. Considering the Republicans had 55 Senators from 2005-7, this is a fairly decent record of moderation.
Obama will come into office with as many as 60 Democratic Senators. The Senate's main bipartisan is John McCain, who will be returning there soon. What incentive will Obama have to reach across the aisle?
3. Both had struggles with drugs in their younger years.
4. Both ran on America 'pulling back' from expanded roles in the world.
The foreign policy of Bush in 2000 (who I didn't vote for) and his foreign policy in 2004 (who I did vote for) are vastly different.
However, Bush 2000 and Obama's 2008 plans are similar: no new nationbuilding, pull back from the latest wars, (Kosovo 1999, Iraq 2003) build up the military for a U.S.-first deployment. Both said that the U.S. had become too expanded and arrogant.
5. Both believe in the federal government giving tax credits to promote students attending private and parochial schools.

Similarities between Bush the caricature and Obama the candidate:

1. Bush has been declared as super-arrogant, and unable to understand the word no. Obama has been described by folks who like him as cutthroat when it comes to gaining increased standing and has even described his future presidency as the time when the world will heal itself and the oceans will recede. Obama has far more of a swagger than Bush ever wished he had.
2. Bush has been described as a fundamentalist wacko when in fact his religion has been -- Methodism. Wow-- mainstream Protestantism: we're all lucky to be alive. Bush never received word from God to invade Iraq or choke on a pretzel.
However, Obama belonged to a radical black Nationalist church for twenty years. This is a group that is sympathetic to Louis Farrakhan. His religiousity seems to be almost as deep as Bush the caricature with describing Obama:

"What we have here, though, is a politician seeking the highest elected office in America who is trying to promote a secular political issue as also being a religious issue. Who does Barack Obama think he is? He's not a pastor or minister, nor is he running for the office of "Highest American Priest." He has no business promoting anything as being "genuinely religious" or not; indeed, this is something which Christians should arguably be more annoyed with."

3. Bush's chief political advisor Karl Rove has been accused of dividing people by insinuating that they are "less patriotic." However, Rove or Bush have never used such words (at least in public). However, Obama's campaign has made it clear that if someone crosses a line in criticizing Obama, like referencing hippy terrorist Bill Ayers is racist.
In addition, Obama himself has stated that global warming is a religious issue. While I may agree with some of what must be done about it, I find it disconcerting that if I did disagree, not only would I disagree with him, but would risk running afoul of the deity of my choice.

Normally, if Bush and Obama were so similar on issues such as foreign policy, it would go a long way towards my vote. However, it seems like Obama is simply the amalgam of many of Bush's caricature's "worst" traits, which in their haste to gain the White House, the farther left has no problem supporting.

Well, How About That?

It seems that just one week after I wrote about how the world will challenge the next President, the Democratic VP nominee clearly stated:

“Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”
“He’s gonna have to make some really tough - I don’t know what the decision’s gonna be, but I promise you it will occur. As a student of history and having served with seven presidents, I guarantee you it’s gonna happen.”

Well, I'm glad to see someone agree with me, but I don't like guarantees of crises from the supporters of a candidate if their candidate wins. Still, it's disconcerting.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Bad Observation

Well, it comes down to something I realized a little while ago and it's a little disconcerting to me.

America is facing a big election and there's a whole lot of uncertainty and panic regarding the markets. These are fertile grounds for America's enemies.
The last several challenges to the United States have come in times either of recession or near one. For example:
September 11th 2001 Atrocities: middle of 2000-2002 Recession
Invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, August 2, 1990: beginning of 1990-1993 Recession
World Trade Center Bombing, February 26, 1993: end of 1990-1993 Recession
U.S. Embassy Crisis in Tehran, 1979: recession

Each one of these was meant to directly challenge a U.S. response. In each case, it must be determined that the perpetrators thought that the U.S. lacked the fiscal ability to (and of course will to) respond. In each one of these cases, a new (Clinton and W.) or increasingly unpopular President (Carter and G.H. Bush) was challenged.

1. Entering next year we will be facing not only a recession, but a severe shortage of liquidity. If money is poured out of the markets due to an attack and into commodities, a recession could plunge into a depression.
2. We will have a new President. Most likely this will be President Obama, whose statements regarding the U.S. role in the wider world most likely does not strike fear into those who would do us harm. However, even if he were a hawk, a new and untested President is still the type that America's opponents would like to challenge.
3. There has been some disturbing intel regarding the al Qaeda branch in Pakistan's plans. This may be true and despite our best efforts they may have already launched their operatives.
4. Al Qaeda has gotten beaten pretty badly in the last two years. In addition, their plans have been set back in Iraq, Somalia (though they are on the rise again), and India. Al Qaeda's last major attack against the West were the 7/7 Bombings in 2005. Being flustered for so long, al Qaeda must feel as though it needs to build up its credibility.
5. In addition to the overall economic problems, a concurrent assault on oil facilities could launch oil over $100 again and perhaps to $150. Uncertainty is great for oil spikes.
6. The great addition of federal spending to such an attack to the U.S. would be huge. Cleanup, first responders to start. Next bailouts for industries involved. Next new homeland security spending. Next and military response. Overall we are looking at over $200 billion if recent events are any indication. With our deficit looming at perhaps $1,000,000,000,000 next year, we may be in for a lot of trouble.
7. Iran will likely get the bomb in the next two years, tying American hands further. Looks like it's time to learn Farsi.

Hopefully I'm wrong. However, things are the way they are.

Quote of the Day-- October 13, 2008

"George Bush may subjectively be a Christian, but he—and the U.S. armed forces—have objectively done more for secularism than the whole of the American agnostic community combined and doubled."

-- Christopher Hitchens, November 9, 2004

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Great Retreat

President Obama's First Term Foreign Policy

Note: I'm not trying to be too partisan, but I see certain trends. Not supposed to be tongue-in-cheek.

OVERALL we will hear plenty of rhetoric. Some partisan: 'the last eight years are
xyz.' However, much of it will be something all Americans can and should agree with: 'America will be the shining light and hope for the world...'

But looking at Senator Obama's statements and ideologies and synthesizing them with current trends, the following are possible:

WESTERN EUROPE: Obama will be very well welcomed in London, Paris, Madrid, and Berlin. Obama will state how America has a new face now ('one that will respect its alliances...') and will get new agreements on issues. Most likely there will be a small one involving Afghanistan.

EASTERN EUROPE: For the most part, "New Europe" will be slightly (but not too much at first) unsettled about the changes in policy. Bush made it very clear that Eastern Europe represented the future and vowed to integrate these states into NATO and the EU. Obama will likely state support for this, but in no uncertain terms will not push as hard. Particularly unnerved will be the Ukraine, Moldova, and the Baltic States. The states, feeling Russia breathing down their collective neck would want a U.S. President who wants to develop a missile shield and will rush these states into closer alliance with America. Obama has already derided the missile shield pushed and developed over the last eight years. President Bush has developed a deep friendship with states such as Albania, Poland, Romania, and Georgia. Expect these states to not be as enthusiastic for Obama's plan of less military aid and less diplomatic backing.

RUSSIA: Obama's rhetoric regarding Moscow is not as harsh as John McCain's. This could be seen as extending a friendlier hand to Russia. However, considering this is on the heels of a Russian military buildup, invasion of Georgia, and threatening moves towards the Ukraine and Poland, this move could easily backfire. Russia will find a U.S. President willing to back down on a missile shield, Georgia, and the expansion of NATO. Putin plays to win, Obama plays to make everyone happy.

CHINA: Much of Obama's and McCain's policy towards China will be similar. Despite his 'populist' rhetoric towards the outsourcing of jobs, Obama will push for closer relations with China. Good news, is he'll probably get a cooperation agreement on space technology. Bad news is that he will likely forget Taiwan in the process, which McCain wouldn't.

AFRICA: The Obama-Biden Administration will take a step forward by establishing a no-fly zone in Darfur and perhaps South Sudan. This is good but almost useless (just like no-fly zones didn't prevent the crushing of the 1991 intifada in Shi'a Iraq and the concurrent rebellion in Kurdistan.) However, Obama will not push for U.S. troops ('we cannot allow politics to interfere'). In Somalia, Obama will forget about the progress made by the Bush Administration in concert with Ethiopia to fight al Qaeda. While the Islamic Courts have launched a major counterattack, an abandonment or "forgetting" will be a major setback.
Somalia will be the 'next' center for al Qaeda barring a major NATO or Ethiopian intervention.


SYRIA: Obama will most likely accomplish a major diplomatic coup in his first year. This is (if Iran doesn't have the bomb by then) the 'flipping' of Syria. Syria has been making overtures to the U.S. and has even sat down in indirect peace talks with Israel. This will be lauded as (and will be) a large accomplishment. However, much, if not most of the groundwork will have been done by Condeleeza Rice and the Bush Administration. Syria will also offer to sell it's (very) small amount of oil production to the U.S.

LIBYA: Libya has been moving closer to the U.S. since President Bush forced Kadhafy's hand in 2003 and Libya renounced and gave up its WMD. Libya has even announced moves towards 'democracy.' Expect within the first two years of the Obama presidency that Libya is selling the U.S. oil. A big coup (again done by the Bush Administration but Obama will get credit.)

IRAN: Iran will get the bomb within the first term of the Obama administration. What will happen after that I have no idea. (Probably bad)

IRAQ: Iraq will move closer to full democracy. Elections are scheduled for early 2009. The Iraqi Army is growing. Obama will take credit for 'pushing the Iraqis to take responsibility' but of course he will have almost no responsibility for this.
However, there is a real possibility for a severe civil war. If Obama listens to VP Biden and attempts to split Iraq into three mini-states, there will be sheer hell. The biggest fight will be between the current allied Shi'ite Arabs and Kurds. This will be a disaster beyond the height of Zarqawi's reign of terror. The potential abandonment of Kurdistan would be biggest scar on American hypocrisy since the Anfal Campaign.

ISRAEL: John McCain would be a great, great, and stalwart (and great) supporter of Israel. Obama will most likely not be. However, Joe Biden believes in a strong Israel.
But this will all come down to Iran's bomb. Let's hope they have a plan.


AFGHANISTAN: Expect about 10,000 more U.S. and 8,000 new Allied troops. This will be a major shot in the arm and will help ISAF greatly. General David Petraeus will institute a counter-insurgency strategy and will see progress in Obama's first term.

PAKISTAN: Constant missile and troop incursions by Obama's Administration have the possibility of destroying the little 'goodwill' that is left towards the U.S. in Pakistan. This has the possibility to tear Pakistan into deeper morass. However, there could be an Awakening in Waziristan. Bin Laden will be heavily targeted.

Overall, buy silver, dinars and learn Farsi. (check, check, check)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

War Profiteering

Here's a reasonable facsimile of a flyer I made up a couple of years ago when David C. Panzironi IV and I sold Iraqi Dinars. Since then the Dinar has appreciated from 1460 per dollar to 1176 today.
Iraqi Dinar Exchange Rate

Any questions should be directed at me before the Dinar goes one per dollar.

Want to Make Money?

A Practically Guaranteed Investment in the Future!
Iraqi Dinars

The New Iraqi Dinars are dirt cheap right now, and will rise.
--Why, you ask?
Iraq is currently receiving over $200,000,000,000 in U.S. and Allied countries in rebuilding projects.
Iraq has the world’s second largest oil reserves, and oil is at an all-time high!
Iraq has the most educated population in the Arab Middle East.

In 1990, before the first Gulf War, Iraqi dinars were worth $3.30!
Now, it’s over 1000 dinars per dollar!
Dinars have risen 25% since last year alone, and after elections in January, and with more countries joining the Allies, Iraq is on the right track to become a key ally of America and an even bigger oil supplier.
The Timely Investors Organization—
See us at the Tigers’ Den for more information

A Little Bit

An article I found a couple of years ago. Remember, with the financial trouble, put your money in the rock of world currency and commodities: the Iraqi Dinar. Remember, there's a 40% chance your money won't go to terrorism. But then again, that's better odds than if you buy gas.

Guess Who's Coming to Dinar

September 14, 2005; Page A20

In the Tehran moneychangers' bazaar on Manuchehri Street, traders are always on the lookout for the new sogoli. The word, which means "top flower," is used to describe anyone or anything that is popular at any given time -- a thoroughbred steed, a beauty in the harem and, on "Foreign Exchange Street," the dozens of currencies traded each day. These days the moneychangers' sogoli is a surprise newcomer: the Iraqi dinar.

With the world media depicting Iraq as a ship sinking in a sea of blood, and self-styled experts predicting civil war or disintegration, it is hard to imagine why anyone would want to abandon such all-time favorites as the U.S. dollar and the euro, not to mention the oil currencies of the region, in favor of the world's newest money.

One reason, of course, is the sharp rise in the supply of dollars, a result of the dramatic increase in the price of oil. (Iran is earning something like $200 million each day from its oil exports.) Another reason is that hundreds of thousands of Iranians have registered to travel to Iraq to visit Shiite sites in Najaf, Karbala, Samarra and Kazemiah. Under a recent agreement, an average of 1,000 Iranians are allowed to perform the pilgrimage each day. (The number is to rise to 5,000 a day in two years.) To these must be added several hundred non-Iranian Shiites, mostly from the Indian subcontinent and the Persian Gulf, who travel to Iraq via Iran after visiting the Iranian holy city of Mash'had.

Yet another reason for the increased interest in the Iraqi dinar is the dramatic increase in the volume and value of unofficial exports from Iraq to Iran. Ironically, a good part of this trade consists of petroleum products, which are shipped from Iraq to four Iranian border provinces. Thanks to Iraqi government subsidies, petrol is 30 times cheaper in Iraq than in Iran. (There is also much smuggling of petroleum from Iraq to Turkey, where petrol costs 160 times more). Adventurous Iranian businessmen, often working on behalf of well-connected mullahs, are also making a killing by importing foodstuffs, medical supplies and consumer goods from Iraq, especially the Kurdish areas, at prices that defy competition inside Iran.

Iraq is also benefiting from a slow but steady transfer of Shiite religious funds from many foreign countries, notably Iran. The reverse was the case under Saddam Hussein, when the Shiite foundations were anxious to keep as little of their assets in Iraq as possible. In the past year or so, several foundations have started to withdraw their assets from Iran. The trend was accelerated last spring after the Iranian government seized assets worth some $200 million from the Khoi Foundation, named after the late Grand Ayatollah Abol-Qassem Mussavi Khoi. It is suddenly Iraq, and not Iran, that looks like the safe haven for Shiite foundations.

Angered by increasing state intervention in religious affairs, a small but growing number of Shiite mullahs are leaving Iran to settle in Iraq. There is further concern that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's new administration -- dominated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard -- may order a crackdown against the clergy.

Iraq's economic attraction, however, is not solely due to the arcane calculations of mullahs and pilgrims. It is also reflected in the latest report by the International Monetary Fund, published last month. It offers a mixed picture. For example, the report estimates Iraq's annual economic growth rate at just over 4% for 2005, a sharp drop compared to last year, when the economy grew by 52%.

But a closer look shows that the Iraqi economy still performed surprisingly well. The 52% growth rate represented exceptional circumstances in the aftermath of liberation and was unsustainable. Furthermore, the current 4% growth rate is higher than the average rates for the members of the Arab League. It is also a full percentage point higher than the annual average Iran achieved during the eight years of President Muhammad Khatami's administration.

If oil prices hold, Iraq's gross domestic product per head is projected to reach $3,000 next year, making it number 12 in the Arab League; in 2003, it was number 18. The IMF report shows that Iraq absorbed only $4.2 billion in investments in the non-oil sector of the economy compared to the $5.2 billion forecast last year. That figure, however, ignores investments made by small and mid-sized businesses, as well as farmers and individuals. Anecdotal evidence shows that such schemes are acting as the engine of growth in many parts of the country.

The key reason for the strong performance of the Iraqi dinar, however, may be the sevenfold increase in the nation's foreign currency reserves -- from less than a billion dollars to $7.3 billion. And the real figure may be higher because the report, finalized last July, does not reflect the latest rise in oil prices.

Some Americans might think that Iraq owes its robust economic performance to a flood of dollars provided by the U.S. taxpayers. The IMF report shows that this is not the case. Iraq is paying 90% of its own expenditures, including the cost of economic reconstruction. Of the remaining 10%, the U.S. accounts for four-fifths, with the rest coming from other donors. The bulk of the money the U.S. spends in Iraq is allocated to military and security operations, consultancy contracts and administrative costs.

The IMF speculates that within a decade Iraq could emerge as an engine of growth in the Middle East. Theoretically, this looks plausible. Iraq owns the world's second-largest deposits of crude oil and, once it produces its full OPEC quota, could take in up to $250 million a day from exports. It is also the only country in the Middle East that could easily double its agricultural production by introducing new farming techniques and equipment.

Nevertheless, Iraq's economic model suffers from two basic weaknesses. First, it is a rentier economy designed to distribute the oil income via state subsidies. Subsidies now account for 51% of the gross domestic product; the comparable figure in Iran is 22%, and 13% in Turkey. This limits the state's ability to invest in infrastructural projects, economic development programs and social services. It is clear that the current government under Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari lacks the political courage to reduce -- let alone abolish -- the subsidies that prevent the Iraqi economy from fully taking off.

The second weakness is the foreign debt inherited from Saddam Hussein, which amounts to $190 billion, including reparations distributed through the United Nations. (It excludes Iran's claim of over $1 trillion in damages.) Even under the best case scenario, servicing that debt could consume almost half of Iraq's GDP for the next decade. The best way to help Iraq would be for its creditors to write off the debts accumulated by an unrepresentative despot.

Iraq is in the process of crafting a more durable government. Economic reform should be a major part of that important effort.

Mr. Taheri is the author of "L'Irak: Le Dessous Des Cartes" (Editions Complexe, 2002).

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Political Endorsements

Well, it's come to that time again.
Not that anyone cares or anyone will read this, but, as an important elected official, I need to state where I stand.
So my 2008 election endorsements:

PRESIDENT: John McCain (R)
STATE SENATE: Jim Seward (R)
COUNTY CORONER: Jade Setias (D) write-in
NYS SUPREME COURT: Panagiota Avitabile (D) write-in

That's all of the ones I can think of. If I can think of more, I'll post them.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

President Obama's First Overseas Trip

Associated Press, WASHINGTON, March 1, 2009 On a widely anticipated trip, U.S. President Barack Obama achieved his objectives of beginning a new dialogue with the rest of the world. "After eight years of leadership in the United States that was unable to listen the the international community and who thought it was better to ask the world to follow it, we have now a profound change." Obama stated during a brief stop in Ottawa, Canada. Obama spoke with Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper about common American-Canadian relations.
Before beginning his trip, Obama met with Iraqi President Jalal Talibani on February 16. "On behalf of the people of the United States, I feel compelled to apologize for what the previous administration has done to Iraq, particularly to your region." Obama said during a televised sit down. Talibani, a Kurd, brought a bouquet of roses to lay at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington. Talibani noted that it was the 21st anniversary of the destruction of the Kurdish city of Halabja by Iraqi chemical weaponry. Obama nodded in agreement, adding, "Thank you for bringing that to my attention."
Obama started the trip in Ottawa before landing in London to talk with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The two enjoy a cordial relationship. Obama's next stop was in Rome to speak with PM Silvio Berlusconi and Spanish PM Jose Zapatero. Zapatero heaped praise on the new President, stating, "We now have a leader that understands that the United States cannot go around doing what it thinks is best." On a different note, Berlusconi endorsed the idea of a 'League of Democracies" which was proposed by presidential candidate John McCain last year. Obama made no direct response, but later said, "By only listening to countries that we deem 'democratic' leaves out the will of millions of others and the governments of nations so often dismissed by the Bush administration."
From Rome, Obama landed in Egypt to speak with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. "Egypt is an icon for Muslim democracy." Obama said during a press conference. The topic of much of the stay in Egypt was the situation in Darfur. Obama stated, "What has happened in Darfur is unacceptable. Under no circumstances can we allow it to continue." Obama notified the press that he had instructed the U.S.'s ambassador to the United Nations, Madeline Albright to bring forward a resolution calling for a U.N. peacekeeping force. Later in the day, after Russia and China had vetoed the resolution, Obama stated, "We must adhere to the will of the world community, no matter the consequences."
In an unexpected change, Obama landed in Pristina, Kosovo, which declared its independence from Serbia last year. Obama met with the newly formed government and stated in a speech attended by up to 800 Kosovars, "The United States has learned that its reckless interventionism over the last ten years has made the world less secure and has cost thousands of innocent lives. By acting separate from the U.N., we have damaged our credibility and lost the respect of the world." To Obama's surprise, the small crowd began intermittent booing. Obama was informed later that Kosovo was bombed in 1999 without U.N. approval to stop the genocide of ethnic Albanians by Serbian forces. In addition, in 2008 Kosovo declared itself an independent democratic nation without U.N. approval. "I did not know that." Obama would tell reporters. "However, it does not make my statements any less true, any less fitting for today."
Obama's second to last stop was in Moscow, Russia. Obama met with Russian President Dimitry Medvedev and Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko. Obama praised Medvedev by stating, "By acting independently and with authority, Russia swiftly defeated an invasion by neighboring Georgia last year. While some actions may have been seen as heavy handed, the question must be asked if this is so much worse than the U.S. invasion of Iraq."
Obama's final stop was in Paris. Obama chose not to meet with President Nicolas Sarkozy, but instead appealed directly to the French people. Obama was greeting by a crowd of almost a half a million, to which he stated, "America has not respected France and its great history. France opposed war in Iraq before it was in vogue and has always worked for a peaceful solution. France is a world leader, and it is about time that America keep her ears open."
Obama landed back in Washington yesterday where he plans to meet with President Bashar al-Asad of Syria. In the past, Obama had praised Syria for its "...commitment to ending the war in Iraq." Obama's approval rating in the U.S. is at 55%, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll. Zogby recently published an index of world opinion, giving Obama a 81% approval rate in Western Europe with 8% disapproving. In Eastern Europe, the numbers were 34%-60% and in the Middle East excepting Iraq and Israel it was 84%-11%. In Israel, the numbers were 21%-70% after Obama agreed to 'limited sales' of plutonium to Iran for 'peaceful purposes.'

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My Life (Sometimes It's Awesome)

My life since about July:

Get me while I'm still hot.

Arrogance has its advantages.
Life is nice sometimes.