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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lies Washington Budget Style

Have you seen the latest on the proposed budget deal to be signed tomorrow? Not only is it not a cut of $38B of which $12B had already been included in previous deals but now the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has come out with a report that the savings will only be 352 million, 1% of the initial "sales job."

Do they think we are so dumb that we could not figure this out? Folks, I have lost it.  Not only did the Democrats lie to us (that should be assumed) but our Republican members of Congress are going down that same path.  What is in the water in Washington?  That can be the only reason for it.  Lies, Lies and more lies. 

I hope that I am not the only American out there that thinks this is a travesty. Both parties have lied to us. They made us think they had made this grand deal while at the same time knowing the whole thing was a smoke screen. If we do not throw a nationwide "hissy fit", we will have indeed lost the country to the "ruling class".  If this passes, you might as well send all your money, your deed to your house, your IRAs, and all of your investments to Washington now because it will not be long before they confiscate them to feed their spending habit.

I think it is time to "throw all the bums out!"  What do you think?

Here is the article posted on the National Journal's web page on Wednesday:

Congressional Budget Office analysis of the fiscal 2011 spending deal that Congress will vote on Thursday concludes that it would cut spending this year by less than one-tenth of what both Republicans or Democrats have claimed.

A comparison prepared by the CBO shows that the omnibus spending bill, advertised as containing some $38.5 billion in cuts, will only reduce federal outlays by $352 million below 2010 spending rates. The nonpartisan budget agency also projects that total outlays are actually some $3.3 billion more than in 2010, if emergency spending is included in the total.

The astonishing result, according to CBO, is the result of several factors: increases in spending, especially at the Defense Department; decisions to draw over half of the savings from recissions; and cuts to reserve funds and and money for mandatory-spending programs that might never have been spent.

National Journal previously reported that after removing rescissions, cuts to reserve funds, and reductions in mandatory-spending programs, discretionary spending would be reduced only by $14.7 billion. CBO’s analysis, which takes into account the likelihood that certain authorized funding will never be spent, suggests that the actual cuts will be even smaller.

With some conservatives already opposing the deal for not going far enough to meet the GOP campaign pledges to cut $100 billion, the news could complicate House Republicans' efforts to pass the bill. The minimal effect on current government spending, however, could improve macroeconomic forecasts that predicted lower economic growth if government spending was drastically reduced.

The CBO did confirm that spending would remain nearly $80 billion below what President Obama requested in his fiscal 2011 budget request, and Republicans can point to long-term savings as a result of lowering the government’s spending baseline.

“It is kind of crazy to have come to the brink of shutting down the government over a $350 million difference,” said Scott Lilly, a former staff director at the Appropriations Committee under Chairman David Obey, D-Wisc.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Site Recommendation

I want to make a recommendation of a new site written by my classmate and friend, Roger West.  His site is

In his latest posting he factually analyzes Social Security and makes some very logical suggestions on how to solve the problem facing the "retirement plan."

Roger puts a lot of thought into each of his articles and backs it up with facts.  He also is no shrinking violet. You definitely will know from where he comes!

Let me know what you think.

Islam's Failure

The following redacted  book review by Robert R. Reilly on a more detailed one  by David Aikman of the Weekly Standard, succinctly nails the reasons for the scientific and cultural desert that Islam has created over the past seven centuries.  It is worth the read.

The Closing of the Muslim Mind

BY Robert R. Reilly

Redacted from a much more detailed book review


Weekly Standard April 11, 2011

What happened to Islamic culture?

Why did a civilization that may have produced more books in Muslim Spain alone in the ninth century than existed in the entirety of the rest of Europe subside into a civilizational torpor that is the wonder even of the U.N.? Why do countries of the Arab world always come close to the bottom of a global list that measures things like literacy or schooling for women? Why, in Freedom House’s annual compilation of countries that are “free,” is there not a single Arab country listed?

Why, in 2006 to take a recent example, were there more foreign books translated in one European country, Spain, than were translated in the entire foregoing millennium in the entire Muslim world?

These are hard questions, and they call out for a rational, unemotional answer. Robert R. Reilly comes closer to providing a persuasive explanation than any other account I have seen. As Reilly succinctly shows, Islamic civilization, not just in the Arab world but later in Anatolia, in the Indian subcontinent, and then throughout Southeast Asia, threw out of the intellectual window the principles of rational inquiry that the Greeks had first introduced to the West half a millennium before Christ.

The collective Muslim ulema—theological leaders—decided that it would be too “dangerous” to allow free inquiry—not just of the Koran itself but of the daily reality before our eyes.

The reason, as Reilly makes clear, was a theological controversy within Islam. Formalized Islamic doctrine holds that the Koran existed from all eternity with Allah, and that it was only when the Angel Gabriel revealed its contents to Muhammad that the world was able to hear, through the Koran, what Allah was saying.

The Asharites (an early Muslim think tank) would have constituted a serious blockage to Islam’s philosophical development, but even they were topped by a Muslim theologian who nailed down the hatch on the use of reason even more tightly than the Asharites. He was Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (1058-1111), one of Islam’s most influential thinkers. Al-Ghazali vehemently rejected Plato and Aristotle in The Incoherence of the Philosophers and insisted that, in nature, there was no such thing as cause and effect. To question this, subsequent Islamic jurists averred, was to commit blasphemy by implying that there were limits on Allah’s power and authority.

One tragic consequence of this mode of thinking was the complete withering on the vine within Islam of the spirit of scientific inquiry. Reilly quotes a prominent Pakistani scientist, Pervez Hoodbhoy, on this subject:

Science in the Islamic world essentially collapsed. No major invention or discovery has emerged from the Muslim world for over seven centuries now. That arrested scientific development is one important element—although by no means the only one—that contributes to the present marginalization of Muslims and a growing sense of injustice and victimhood.

The absence within Islam of any ontological basis for belief in the equality of human beings is what led to the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, signed in the Egyptian capital by 45 members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in 1990. The U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that such rights apply to the entire human race, without exception. The Cairo declaration added the chilling stipulation that all rights mentioned in the Universal Declaration were subject to Islamic sharia: In other words, they were null and void.

Islamism, or the transformation of the Islamic faith into a political ideology, is the end result of the refusal to apply reason to either scientific or political problems.

David Aikman is the author, most recently, of The Mirage of Peace: Understanding the Never-Ending Conflict in the Middle East.