Jul 07 2008

The Apostle’s Creed of Universal Health Coverage

Category: healthcare,Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 4:16 pm

Here it is.
I will, I suppose, be burned at the stake as a heretic for doubting.


Jul 07 2008

Why did the housing meltdown happen NOW?

Category: economy,housing,Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 4:03 pm

The usual suspicion, held by those of us who expect bad results from government meddling in the market, is that the housing/sub-prime meltdown is somehow a result of new factors entering the marketplace by government action. That is, the meltdown happened at this time, not 5 years ago, and the question in these matters is usually, why now? The main player with enough power to distort the market so as to create a fast moving set of bad circumstances is, you guessed it, the government. That is, why were all the sub-prime loans made recently, not ten years ago? In other words, what changed?

Steve Sailer details an important factor not considered by many, and not widely explained, or even mentioned, in the media:

the roots of the disastrous home mortgage bubble that popped last year
will keep economic historians busy for decades. Yet, one factor has so
far been largely overlooked: the bipartisan social engineering crusade
to drive up the rate of homeownership by handing out more mortgages to

More than a negligible amount of the blame for the
mortgage meltdown can be traced back to multiculturalism:
government-mandated affirmative-action lending, demographic change,
illegal immigration, and the mind-numbing effects of political

The chickens have finally come home to roost.

If you find this a provocative thesis, he has made a very convincing argument, that, like it or not, is worth a read.

Jul 07 2008

Man bites dog: A positive report on conditions in Iraq from USA today

Category: Iraq,Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 3:39 pm

Even if McCain is elected, there is considerable optimism about beginning pullouts of some troops from Iraq. Of course, a McCain style pullout, hopefully, will not be a complete withdrawal, but rather a reduction to the necessary level to maintain progress that has been made.

Obama, on the other hand, plans a full-on retreat, as quickly as possible, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Gains in Iraq may lead to pullouts – USATODAY.com

Although U.S. commanders are cautious about predicting further withdrawals,
interviews with military experts and recent official statements
indicate growing optimism about the potential to pull out more forces.

“I believe the momentum we have is not reversible,” said Jack Keane, a
retired Army vice chief of staff who helped develop the Iraq strategy
adopted by President Bush in January 2007.

There will be “significant reductions in 2009 whoever becomes president,” said Keane,
who regularly consults with Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander
in Iraq.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki echoed Keane’s optimism Saturday by declaring that “we defeated” the terrorists in

Iraq. U.S. commanders remain cautious.

Army Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin, the No. 2 commander in Iraq, said recently that “our progress is fragile, and we continue to
work to make this progress irreversible.”

Such encouraging reports could benefit both presidential candidates. Republican John
McCain has been a major supporter of Bush’s escalation of U.S. forces
in Iraq. Democratic candidate Barack Obama said he wants to withdraw
all U.S. troops from Iraq in 16 months, although he said any pullout
would be determined by conditions there.

Of course, when Obama speaks of “conditions” in Iraq, he does not mean using them to determine the timing of a pullout, but merely the manner of it. He has “clarified” that the “conditions” phrase just has to do with how to get troops out of Iraq “safely”, not whether the situation in Iraq will remain relatively stable after the pullout.