Tuesday, July 30, 2013

On Henry Ford's 150th Birthday, a Look Inside His Failed Utopia

Gizmodo ^ | 7/30/13

The murky legacy of Henry Ford—who would’ve been 150 today—centers around a few familiar ideas like the assembly line and the $5 workday. Less familiar is Ford’s biggest failure: Fordlandia, a city in the rainforest that was abandoned as quickly as it was built. Ford was a farm boy who went on to establish 20th century consumerism as we know it, but he had plenty of missteps, too, ranging from his virulent anti-semitism to his attempts to engineer whole communities around his ideas about labor practices—including the one he built on the edge of the Brazilian rainforest.
So, whence Fordlandia? The community was spurred by a problem caused by the incredible success of Ford’s empire. By the early 1900s, America was gobbling up more than 70 percent of the world’s rubber, most of it going to Detroit. These were the days when rubber still came from plants—meaning that most of it had to be shipped from Southeast Asia. Ford, a dude who was pretty into efficiency, was hesitant to keep buying his company’s supply from Asia, where British rubber plantations were churning out most of the global supply. So he set out to establish his own rubber farm. In a fit of creativity, he named it Fordlandia. In 1928, Ford sent an envoy of supplies and Ford workers to a 6,000-square-mile plot of land on the Amazon. The charter's mission was to embed American suburbia in the heart of the rainforest. Within a relatively short period of time, they’d set up homes, running water, electricity—plus all kinds of other extras (like swimming pools) that played to Ford’s belief that leisure was an essential part of the economy. Local workers were expected to adopt a suburban Michigan lifestyle, too—along with a healthy dose of Ford’s own morals, which meant that both booze and ladies were outlawed within the town. According to a terrific podcast from How Things Work, the transplant town even hosted mandatory square dancing. Hamburgers and other American fare featured in the cafeteria. A Harper’s reporter writing about the town had the following to say about the fare, in 1941: A workman’s mess hall was set up, but native workers did not like the wholesome Detroit style cooking and complained bitterly of indigestion. North American fare in the jungle no more pleases the customers than a quick change to Amazon fare would please you or me. This kind of blatant cultural whitewashing might’ve flown, had the rubber production itself taken off. But it turned out that rubber plants were being cultivated in Southeast Asia instead for a very good reason: There were no natural floral predators there, as there were in Brazil. Production was sluggish, and the Michigan managers had zero botany know-how. What’s more, native workers began to rebel (surprise!) against the strict rules about lifestyle. Soon, a so-called “Island of Innocence” was established in the middle of the Rio Tapajós, where workers could go to kick back with a drink and a female companion. Riots broke out a few years later. In 1933, Ford hired a professional to find out why his plants weren’t growing (poor soil quality). He tried again and again, relocating Fordlandia to a better patch of land downstream. The town was still underperforming. Fordlandia's final death knell rang a few years later, when the invention of synthetic rubber made the town irrelevant. Soon, Ford had sold the land back to Brazil at a loss of around $20 million (or $200 million today), leaving Fordlandia's little suburbia to decay. Today, the town is a decaying hobble of ruined buildings. It's a fascinating story of arrogant cultural transplantation gone awry, but there's also something strangely sad about photos of Fordlandia today (like those of photog Dan Dubowitz), especially in light of the other aging towns Ford built here in America. In his book about the failed community, Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City, author Greg Grandin writes: There is in fact an uncanny resemblance between Fordlandia's rusting water tower, broken-glasses sawmill, and empty power plant, and the husks of the same structures in Iron Mountain, a depressed industrial city in Michigan's Upper Peninsula that also used to be a Ford town. They didn't fail for the same reasons—but in a way, Ford's ideas about consumer spending contributed to the decay of both. Check out Grandin's excellent history for more, if you're interested.

Local paper ahead of Obama’s visit: “Take your jobs plan and shove it” (Chattanooga, Tennessee)

Hotair ^ | 07/30/2013 | Erika Johnsen

As I’m writing this, President Obama is doing his usual economic grandstanding routine in Chattanooga, Tennessee — and considering that Amazon just announced that they’re going on an epic hiring spree, their local Chattanooga warehouse is making a mighty convenient backdrop for the president jobs-oriented speech. The president is going on and on about “the ingredients we need” for good jobs, and all of his latest Keynesian stimulus ideas for economic growth, and talking up America’s need to “invest” in the jobs and infrastructure of the future.
Funnily enough, courtesy of Obama’s first and biggest round of what we were promised would amount to successful stimulus spending, Chattanooga is the home of one of those sorts of supposedly high-tech and cutting-edge projects of which the president seems to want to initiate more. …Thanks, but no thanks, say the editors of the Chattanooga Times Free Press:
President Obama,
Welcome to Chattanooga, one of hundreds of cities throughout this great nation struggling to succeed in spite of your foolish policies that limit job creation, stifle economic growth and suffocate the entrepreneurial spirit. …
That’s because your jobs creation plans so far have included a ridiculous government spending spree and punitive tax increase on job creators that were passed, as well as a minimum wage increase that, thankfully, was not. Economists — and regular folks with a basic understanding of math — understand that these are three of the most damaging policies imaginable when a country is mired in unemployment and starving for job growth. …
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 helped fund the Gig to Nowhere project, a $552 million socialist-style experiment in government-owned Internet, cable and phone services orchestrated by EPB — Chattanooga’s government-owned electric monopoly. …
While the Smart Grid will cost taxpayers and local electric customers well over a half-billion dollars when all is said and done, there has been little improvement in the quality of EPB’s electric service. Worse, despite being heavily subsidized, EPB’s government-owned Internet, cable and telephone outfit that competes head-to-head against private companies like AT&T and Comcast is barely staying afloat, often relying on loans from electric service reserve funds to afford its business expenses.
… As a result, Chattanooga has remained a relative ghost town for technological innovation. Almost no economic development whatsoever has resulted from the gig.
That was downright scathing, and considering that the federal government assured everyone that the grandiose project would create a bunch of awesome new futuristic jobs and “send tech companies and web entrepreneurs stampeding to Chattanooga in droves,” and that “all it did was push America deeper in debt and lure a local government agency into making a terrible financial decision that will weigh on Chattanoogans like a millstone for decades to come…” it’s definitely warranted.

What happened

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RIGHTS

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Another Speech

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The Dog Days

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OUTRAGE!

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Degenerate

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KKK

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Danger

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JUSTICE!

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Control

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Democrat or Republican?

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FOC-US

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It's OK!

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Sexting while driving

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A Bright Future

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Slight delays

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Unregulated rights

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Congressional Black Caucus recommends Sheila Jackson Lee for Homeland Security Secretary !

Houston Chronicle ^ | 07/29/2013 | Hannah Jeffrey

Conservative bloggers went wild Monday when they got wind of the Congressional Black Caucus’ suggestion that President Obama pick Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston for the post of Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
Rich Cooper, avid blogger for Security Debrief, responded to the news of the Jackson Lee recommendation in a post by saying, “Apparently, it is not a joke. For reasons that baffle any sense of reality, it is a serious gesture on the part of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to encourage President Obama to nominate Rep. Jackson Lee as a replacement for outgoing-DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.”
A letter dated July 25 and signed by CBC Chairwoman Rep. Marcia Fudge, an Ohio Democrat, urges President Barack Obama to consider Jackson Lee for the position formerly held by Janet Napolitano, the first woman to hold the position. Napolitano resigned earlier this month to become president of the University of California.
“Representative Jackson Lee would serve as an effective DHS Secretary because she understands the importance of increasing border security and maintaining homeland security,” the nomination letter reads.
Since entering Congress in 1995, Jackson Lee has served on several committees, including Foreign Affairs, Judiciary and Homeland Security, in which she was the Chairwoman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection.
“As Chairwoman, Representative Jackson Lee supported increased airplane cargo inspections and increased security for railroads, issues of great importance to the security of this nation and its citizens,” the letter continues.
Jackson Lee currently holds the post of Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, a position that the CBC says she “stands as a strong and honest ‘voice of reason.’”
(Excerpt) Read more at blog.chron.com ...

5 Ways Liberalism Destroyed Detroit

Townhall.com ^ | July 30, 2013 | John Hawkins



"Does anybody think it's OK to have 40-year-old trees growing through the roofs of dilapidated houses?" -- Detroit's Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr

"A few years ago, the nonpartisan Bay Area Center for Voting Research rated Detroit as the most liberal city in America." --Michael Tanner

Detroit was once one of the world's great cities. It was the 4th largest metropolis in America, jobs were plentiful because of the auto industry, and Motown even kept it on the cutting edge musically.

Unfortunately, from 1962 until the present day, the mayor of Detroit has been a Democrat.

The result?

Detroit's population has dropped from 1.8 million to just over 700,000, the unemployment rate is over 50% if you count the people who've given up on finding jobs, property values have dropped so much you can buy homes in the crime-ridden city for $500, and Detroit has gone bankrupt.

How did Democrats kill one of the most prosperous cities in America? With the same sort of unfettered liberalism that Democrats like Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi want to foist on the rest of the nation.

1) Unions crippled the auto industry: The Big 3 automakers could afford unions when they practically had a monopoly on auto production in the United States. However, once they started facing real competition from overseas, the unions made them less and less competitive. The unions forced the companies to pay out more than market value for their workers, put stifling work rules in place that made flexibility and innovation difficult, and created generous pension plans that are proving to be unsustainable. This wouldn't have been possible without a symbiotic relationship between the unions and the Democrats in government who tied the hands of the Big 3 automakers and simply wouldn't allow them to get rid of the unions that were slowly strangling them to death. Eventually because of the unions, the Big 3 automakers had to deal with significantly larger costs per car than their overseas competitors and they took it out of the only place they could: the cars. As the quality of their products dropped, their competitors took an ever larger share of their market, and there were fewer jobs to go around. If you want to know why the "Motor City" is up on cinder blocks in Michigan's front yard, this is where it started.

2) White citizens were demonized until they left: Detroit was a heavily segregated city and in 1967, there were black riots. After that, white flight to the suburbs began. This was dramatically exacerbated when Coleman Young became Detroit's first black mayor in 1972. Young was cut from the same cloth as men like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, but unlike the two of them, he actually had power. Young systematically drove white government employees out of their jobs so they could be replaced by blacks, was hostile to the white suburbs, and was generally perceived as anti-white. Naturally, a lot of white people just left, which reduced the population and significantly cut into the tax base. Today, Detroit is a 7.9% white city, and if he were alive and kicking, that would probably suit Coleman Young just fine.

3) Out-of-control crime helped drive much of the black middle class out of the city: Ever heard of "Devil's Night?" It's the night before Halloween and in Detroit, fires are set all over the city. Combine the sort of criminal mentality that produces an unofficial "holiday" like that with a sky high unemployment rate and Draconian laws designed to make it difficult for law abiding citizens to arm themselves, and it's not a surprise that crime is a problem in Detroit. However, the issue goes much deeper than that. In case you haven't noticed, in a conflict between a cop and a criminal, the hearts of liberals almost always seem to bleed for the thug. Combine that with the liberal tendency, when money gets tight, to cut essential programs instead of their perks and the goodies they hand out to their supporters, and you end up with a police department that is both dramatically underfunded and completely incompetent.

How bad has it gotten?

"The size of the police force in Detroit has been cut by about 40 percent over the past decade," "it takes (the police) an average of 58 minutes to respond" to a call and the "police solve less than 10 percent of the crimes that are committed in Detroit."

4) Reckless government spending bankrupted the city: Detroit's tax base has been plunging like an anvil dropped into the Marianas Trench and so, in true liberal fashion, liberals have raised taxes to make up for it instead of cutting spending. "The city's per-capita tax burden is the highest in Michigan. Detroit has the country's highest property taxes on homes, the top commercial property tax and the second-highest industrial property tax." Unfortunately for Detroit, you can't get blood from a stone. As jobs and wealth fled the city, there was simply less cash available for big government programs, pensions, and the incredibly generous, but almost completely unfunded union health care program. It's fantastic that the city paid "80 percent to 100 percent of retirees' medical costs," but 99.6% of those costs were unfunded. As Obamacare supporters should have learned by now, it's a lot easier for politicians to make big promises about what they’re going to give you than it is to back them up in the real world.

5) The government is completely incompetent: Ever notice that the bigger government seems to get, the less it does anything well? Citizens of Detroit could tell you all about that. The school system is horrible, which explains why a staggering 47% of the population is illiterate. In addition, 40% of the street lights don't work, only about 1/3 of the ambulances are running, and 2/3 of the parks have been closed since 2008. Just to give you an idea of its priorities, an independent report in 2012 suggested the city fire 80% of the Water and Sewage Department including a horseshoer" that it has on staff even though it has NO HORSES.. How did the union respond to that report? "They don’t have enough people as it is right now. They are just dreaming to think they can operate that plant with less."Detroit may not have enough police, ambulances, or competent teachers, but if you ever need a horseshoe in the Motor City, they've got you covered.

Both GOP and Democrats Have Party Problems

Townhall.com ^ | July 30, 2013 | Michael Barone

Since last November's election, there has been a lot of punditry about the fissures and schisms in the Republican Party. The divisions are real, and some of the commentary has been revealing.
There has been less of a look at fissures and schisms in the Democratic Party. They're real, as well. Most House Democrats voted against the Obama administration on NSA surveillance last week.
This shouldn't be surprising. America's two political parties need to get 50 percent of the votes, or nearly that, to win elections. That's difficult in a diverse country with significant cultural and economic differences.
The Democratic Party has managed to do that in two consecutive presidential elections, for the first time in three-quarters of a century. But holding that majority together has been harder.
But Democrats have failed to win majorities in the House of Representatives in the last two congressional elections, and in eight of 10 elections over the last two decades.
In the years of the Obama presidency, the president and congressional Democratic leaders have made a series of choices on legislation and policy that have alienated some of the party's major constituencies.
The first was to vastly expand the size and scope of government by passing the $787 billion stimulus package in February 2009 and passing Obamacare in March 2010.
That choice was not inevitable. Democrats didn't take a similar course during most of the Clinton presidency.
But Democrats in 2009 had a large House majority and a determined and effective leader in Speaker Nancy Pelosi. And in the Senate they had a supermajority of 60 votes during critical months in 2009 and 2010.
That was the result of some lucky (or unlucky) political accidents -- the prosecution by the Bush administration Justice Department of Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, a prosecution overturned after Stevens was defeated by 1 percentage point by Democrat Mark Begich; the party switch of Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter; the superior lawyering that gave Democrat Al Franken a victory in a very close contest in Minnesota.
Oscar Wilde said that he could resist everything but temptation. Democratic leaders could not resist the temptation provided by that 60-vote supermajority. Even after Scott Brown's special election victory in Massachusetts deprived them of the 60th vote, Pelosi squeezed out just enough votes to push Obamacare through.
Some of those votes came from Blue Dog Democrats elected from relatively conservative districts. Without such moderates, Democrats would not have maintained their majorities in the House during most of the years from 1958 to 1994.
The unpopularity of the stimulus package and Obamacare resulted in the defeat or retirement of most of the Blue Dogs. Their numbers fell from 54 in 2009 to 26 after 2010 to only 14 in 2012. A historic Democratic constituency largely disappeared, and so did Democrats' majority in the House.
Democratic numbers were further reduced by Pelosi's decision to pass cap-and-trade environmental legislation in June 2009. That decision favored the Democrats' urban green constituency over its historic constituencies in coal and oil country.
It was particularly surprising, since cap-and-trade's prospects in the Senate were never good. So coal and oil country Democrats were sacrificed for nothing. West Virginia, once safely Democratic, voted 62 percent for the not-culturally-Appalachian Mitt Romney.
This year Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid made a similar choice when he threatened to eliminate the requirement of 60 votes to overcome a filibuster unless Republicans agreed to allow confirmation of members of the National Labor Relations Board.
This favored the party's labor union constituency, which feared the Supreme Court would affirm an appeals court decision declaring Obama's recess appointments to the NLRB invalid.
The unions want favorable NLRB rulings over the next three years. Reid acted at their behest even though there's a good chance Republicans will regain a Senate majority in 2014, in which case changing the filibuster rule would hurt Democrats.
But he wasn't willing to change the filibuster rule on judgeship nominations -- something the party's feminist constituency would love. Reid favored the unions and shoved the feminists under the bus.
Campaigning is about assembling majority coalitions. But to govern, as John Kennedy said, is to choose. In particular, governing requires choosing to favor one constituency over another. That can result in the disassembling of a majority coalition.
Democrats aren't necessarily doomed in 2014 or 2016. But they are weaker because of the choices their leaders have made.

Obama: Pay gap ‘morally wrong’!

The Hill ^ | - 07/30/13 05:00 AM EDT | By Peter Schroeder

President Obama is changing gears on the economy, highlighting income inequality as a growing problem in advance of pitched fall battles with congressional Republicans over funding the government and raising the debt ceiling. [WATCH VIDEO]
The focus is intended to make it easier for Obama to argue that new taxes on the rich — and not cuts to social spending — should be imposed to lower the deficit.
It also dovetails with Obama’s call for Congress to raise the federal $7.25 minimum wage and to end the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration.
“This growing inequality is not just morally wrong, it’s bad economics,” Obama said in remarks last week in Galesburg, Ill., where he began a new push on the economy.
“The income of the top 1 percent nearly quadrupled from 1979-2007, but the typical family’s incomes barely budged,” he said.
The president reiterated that message in an interview with The New York Times last week.
“If we stand pat, if we don’t do anything … income inequality will continue to rise,” he told the newspaper. “Wages, incomes, savings rates for middle-class families will continue to be relatively flat. And that’s not a future that we should accept.”
Obama is also discussing the matter in private.
During a meeting earlier this month with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) said he pressed Obama to issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to provide higher wages.
“He said it’s something that he would take a close look at,” said Ellison, the co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “He should seriously look at doing that because he might be able to help a whole bunch of workers.”
Opponents of raising the minimum wage, including many Republicans and business groups, argue an increase would hurt small businesses already injured by the recession and slow recovery.
And if those small businesses cannot afford to pay the mandated boost, they will end up laying off workers, opponents contend.
There is evidence that income inequality has grown since the economic recession of 2008-2009.
Economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty found that between 2009 and 2011, 121 percent of income gains went to the richest 1 percent of the population, according to a report in CBS News.
The other 99 percent, the two said, saw their incomes fall by about half a percent over the same period.
When adjusted for inflation, low-wage workers are actually making less now than they did 50 years ago.
According to a June study from the Congressional Research Service, inflation-adjusted wages have declined from a peak in 1968 and now stand roughly 26 percent below that level when adjusted for price growth. Workers would have to make $10.70 now to make an amount equal to the purchasing power of 1968’s $5.65 minimum wage.
Labor statistics indicate that a relatively small portion of the working population brings home the minimum wage. According to the Labor Department, just 4.7 percent of the 75.3 million workers in the U.S. in 2012 received the minimum wage or lower. (Some wait staff earn less than the middle wage because a portion of their income is paid in tips.)
Of that population, roughly half are under the age of 25 — employees aged 16-19 make up one-fifth of all minimum wage workers.
If Obama can’t convince Congress to raise the minimum wage, he’d be the first president since Ronald Reagan to not sign a wage hike into law.
The minimum wage hasn’t been increased since 2009, when the final stage of a three-step increase approved by Congress in 2007 was implemented.
Before last week, Obama had talked little about the minimum wage since calling for it to be increased in his State of the Union address.
Growing income inequality “undermines the very essence of America,” he told the crowd in Galesburg.
The White House is also making a last stand of sorts on the sequester.
It pressed Congress to undo the cuts earlier this year to no avail, and now faces another year of significant budget cuts unless a deal can be reached to replace them.
Republicans have shown little sign that they would accept the elimination of tax breaks, particularly after the fiscal cliff deal at the beginning of the year raised tax rates on households with annual income above $450,000.
House Democrats are pushing to end the sequester and have offered legislation that would boost the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and index it to inflation.
Proponents hope protests from fast-food workers, along with Obama’s calls, will galvanize public support.
Ellison and other liberal Democrats are backing strikes held by workers at McDonald’s and other restaurants demanding a $15 minimum wage, as well as the right to unionize.
“There is a groundswell movement going on,” Ellison said. “They’re pressed so hard to the wall that they don’t have any other choice.”
Ellison, who worked at a McDonald’s between high school and college, said workers in the industry earn every penny they make.
“I know it’s hard work. You come home bathed in grease,” he said.

Punk'd by Obama and that Old Hobbit John McCain

Townhall.com ^ | July 30, 2013 | John Ransom

Steampunk: a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century. - Wikipedia

Punk'd: To be fooled publicly by the use of a videotaped or filmed practical joke.

On a March snow-day in Georgetown, Washington, DC, as America was still getting over the oratory of Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States delivered a landmark speech on the future of energy policy in America.

The US had suffered the severe blow of the financial crises of 2008. Energy prices once again were going up as a result of loose money policies, the war in Libya and the Fukishima nuclear failures. And along with subprime mortgages and derivatives gone astray and securitization gone bad, citizens understood that energy prices that skyrocketed out of control in the summer of '08 played an important part in giving the tottering markets a final push- a push that may have triggered the fall in fact.

“We dodged a recession (at least through most of 2007) despite a dramatic housing downturn,” wrote economist James Hamilton in June of 2008. “The modern American economy could perhaps also continue to grow through the kind of effects we saw from the oil price spike of 1990. But what if we have to deal with both sets of problems at the same time? I'm afraid we're about to find out.”

Yes, find out we did. The combination of the housing crash and an oil spike was really what killed us.

So in March of 2011, the country, especially Obama allies, were hungry to hear the rookie tell us all how the largest, most competitive and ingenious economy in the history of the world was going to secure its energy future and it's economy from future shocks.

For a week, the White House played up the speech, promoting it as a big thing, breathless and broad. And the rest of us waited for the man himself to deliver some audacity- or at least some energy.

So finally at 11:36 AM Eastern Time, the lanky president stepped out before the assembled elite at Georgetown University, cleared his throat, and began to speak.

"I want to start with a difficult subject,” said the president, “The Hoyas had a tough loss, Coach. Coach is here, too, and I love Coach Thompson.  I love his dad and the great tradition that they’ve had. And it turned out VCU was pretty good. I had Georgetown winning that game in my bracket, so we’re all hurting here. But that's what next year is for. "
Ha, ha, ha!

Thus concluded the most meaningful part of Obama's remarks.

The rest of what he said on that occasion does not matter.

It rarely does.

Obama says lots of things. There is never more meat than flax when he talks.

Fortunately, however, the New York Times neatly summed up Obama's speech for the rest of us, so we needn't repeat it here. Like Catholic school beef stew, it was bad enough going down, without having to regurgitate it.

Near the end of the review of the speech, in an editor's correction, the Grey Lady made sure we knew at least this much; in truth, it was about all we really needed to know, regarding the drift of Obama's "new" energy policies:

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: March 30, 2011

A previous version of this article misstated how many of the president's proposals to reduce the country's reliance on imported oil were new in his speech on Wednesday. None of them were, not one of them.

The remarkable thing about the Times' sideswipe at Obama's energy speech wasn't that it went beyond a media ally shaming The One in public. No, the remarkable thing was that these allies expected new ideas from Barack Hussein Obama.

As I mentioned before, Obama says a lot of things. But rarely does he say or promote anything new.

In fact, most of Obama's philosophy is cribbed from a time when steam power was the motive power behind the developing economies of the Western world. That is, most of his ideas are 100 years old or older. The ideas were made for a time before universal education, public works, and public health. The ideas that animate Obama were made for workers who worked in lamplight, could be thrown into debtors prison, lived scarcely past the age of 50 and owned few, if any books.

And what Mr. Obama and his progressive allies are trying to accomplish by Hope and “Change,” is to graft those steam powered ideas to the technology of today and create a steampunk society, as I call it; a society that's not modern, not open and will fail to take advantage of the revolution going on that today is providing people around the world one of the most dynamic periods of prosperity the world has known.

Because, despite the malaise in the world economy in the last few years, the trend is very positive, very encouraging.There is more access to information worldwide, more opportunity, more potential for liberty than any time, ever.
The fight for liberty, indeed, has gone global.  

And this is what threatens elites like Obama, and the UN, and the World Bank and that Old Hobbit, John McCain- who, not incidentally, is also empty of any new ideas.

So they seek to create a world that for all intents and purposes comes out of a Jules Vern novel, or the Wild, Wild West movie of Will Smith and Kevin Kline, with impossibly powered contraptions, wasteful, inefficient and grandiose like the Nautilus in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

They use obsolete ideas painted with a patina of technology and stylized effects.

And because steampunk has a certain style, many are gulled into thinking that these stylized ideas are new.

But not only are they not new, they are so old and ratty that our grandparents rejected them long ago. Indeed, much of the history of the last 100 years was of civilization being saved by the wholesale rejection of this old-fashioned philosophy that was born, literally, when kings ruled the world.

So I guess in regards to royalty, things haven’t changed that much.

But in what Obama offers, knowingly or not, he's steampunk'd not just the United States, but also the world.