The Most Popular Postings on this Site
Saturday, May 07th, 2016 | Author:

These are some of the most visited and popular postings on this dzsokol.com web site:

Is Greece the “Canary” for Economic Decline?

Aircraft Bone Yard in Tucson

What is Chanukah?

Gardening Experiment with Cucumbers

How to Know if You’re a 21st Century Liberal

Cracked Bicycle Rims

Category: General  | Leave a Comment
Republicans Without Principles
Sunday, May 29th, 2016 | Author:

Just last week, 43 Republican members of Congress joined the Democrats to vote for Obama’s transgender agenda. Congress was voting to elevate sexual orientation and gender identity as a protected class garnering special legal privileges… Here is a list of the 43 Republicans who voted for the amendment:

Justin Amash, Mich.
Susan Brooks, Ind.
Mike Coffman, Colo.
Ryan Costello, Pa.
Carlos Curbelo, Fla.
Rodney Davis, Ill.
Jeff Denham, Calif.
Charlie Dent, Pa.
Mario Diaz-Balart, Fla.
Bob Dold, Ill.
Daniel Donovan, N.Y.
Tom Emmer, Minn.
Michael Fitzpatrick, Pa.
Rodney Frelinghuysen, N.J.
Chris Gibson, N.Y.
Joe Heck, Nev.
Will Hurd, Texas
Darrell Issa, Calif.
David Jolly, Fla.
John Katko, N.Y.
Adam Kinzinger, Ill.
Leonard Lance, N.J.
Frank LoBiondo, N.J.
Tom MacArthur, N.J.
Martha McSally, Ariz.
Pat Meehan, Pa.
Luke Messer, Ind.
Erik Paulsen, Minn.
Bruce Poliquin, Maine
Tom Reed, N.Y.
David Reichert, Wash.
Jim Renacci, Ohio
Tom Rooney, Fla.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Fla.
John Shimkus, Ill.
Elise Stefanik, N.Y.
Fred Upton, Mich.
David Valadao, Calif.
Greg Walden, Ore.
Mimi Walters, Calif.
David Young, Iowa
Todd Young, Ind.
Lee Zeldin, N.Y.

Source: Republicans Who Voted for Obama’s Transgender Agenda Spin Vote

Category: Politics  | Leave a Comment
Junior Blue Jackets in the AHL Finals
Friday, May 27th, 2016 | Author:

You may have missed this story about the Lake Erie (Cleveland) Monsters making it to the finals of the American Hockey League. The Monsters are the AAA farm club for the Columbus Blue Jackets.  According to my buddy, Scott, at least 1/3 of the Monster’s roster are future NHL players.

 

 

Category: Sports  | Leave a Comment
Obama Has Sullied the USA
Thursday, May 26th, 2016 | Author:

The Manchurian Marxist Moslem has forever tainted the United States with his “cheapening” of the office of the President.  Of course, this has lowered the bar for the future President Trump… This commentary from Victor Davis Hanson sums it up rather well:

Last week, in sober and judicious tones Obama all but warned Americans that they cannot seriously support Trump, who, he implied, is little more than a reality-TV conman. But such admonitions come from a president whose chief foreign policy advisor, a failed fiction writer and D.C. insider, just bragged how he deceived the media and Washington’s insider world by feeding amateurish journalists misleading talking points. Is it serious or in the spirit of reality TV for a president to invite to the White House a rapper whose court-ordered ankle monitor goes off in a presidential ceremony, or to give an exclusive interview with YouTube personality GloZell, noted for her selfies of eating breakfast cereal floating about her in a bathtub? Obama has lectured the media that they have to vent Trump, this from a candidate who never released his medical or college records, whose speech in praise of Rashid Khalidi was suppressed by the media, and whose entire memoir was only belatedly found out to be impressionistic fiction. Obama lowered the bar and Trump skipped over it.

Can Trump mislead much more than did Obama, who assured Americans that they would never lose their doctor or health plan but rather save money and have better care, and that pulling peacekeepers from Iraq would ensure a stable and self-reliant country? Obama, remember, also bragged abroad that he had all but closed Guantanamo within a year and would stop the Bush habit of piling up more debt? After Ben Rhodes and Jonathan Gruber, what exactly are the presidential standards on veracity that we must hold Trump to?

Source: Obama’s Gift of Immunity to Trump 

Category: Politics  | Leave a Comment
Is Greece the “Canary” for Economic Decline?
Wednesday, May 25th, 2016 | Author:

The continuing saga of economic decline in western democracies…  Is Greece the “Canary in the Coal Mine” for how these events un-fold?

 

Update

From the Wall Street Journal, there is no end in sight for the economic decline in Greece…

Mr. Tsipras’s statist ideology is as hostile as ever to the supply-side reforms Greece needs, and both the IMF and other creditors seem to be giving up hope that any other Greek politician could enact such reforms. Which means Greece’s crisis will drag on no matter what happens next with Greece’s debts.

 

May 8, 2016

The drama continues as the government of Greece passes additional austerity measures:

Greece’s parliament has passed a package of tax and pension reforms, ahead of a crucial meeting of Eurozone finance ministers… Before the vote, protesters in Athens threw petrol bombs at police, who responded with tear gas.  Trade unions say the country cannot bear another round of austerity… Three days of a general strike paralysed public transport and slowed the public sector and the media.  Speaking before the vote, the leader of the Greek Communist Party, Dimitris Koutsoubas, said the Greek people would “not tolerate nor accept” the measures and would “show their true power” in the event of a yes vote.

 

April 16, 2016

This article in the Daily Mail should give you an idea of the recent economic progress (or lack thereof) in Greece:

The Greek government fears it could be subjected to terror attacks if a taxpayer-funded mosque is not constructed in Athens.  Officials claim it would allow Muslims to practise their religion under the auspices of a centrally-appointed imam that would ensure it does not stray into extremism.

Hmmm… the country is broke, yet it’s using ‘taxpayer’ (in Greece, the word taxpayer should always appear in scary quotes) money to payoff potential terrorists.

 

January 25, 2016

From the analysts at investors.com, the latest status and outlook:

In protracted and bitter negotiations last summer, the country promised to raise the retirement age, cut pensions, liberalize the energy market, open up closed professions, raise taxes and sell government assets.

There have been encouraging signs. In December, the Greek Parliament narrowly passed overhauls needed to get the next $1.1 billion segment of the bailout negotiated over the summer with the IMF, the European Central Bank and European Commission, known as the troika.

Standard & Poor’s raised its long-term sovereign debt rating to B- from CCC+ with stable outlook, citing the country’s compliance with its economic program.

But the country is a long way from recovery. Third-quarter unemployment was 24% and the economy contracted 0.1% from a year earlier.

Analysts with Deutsche Bank said earlier this month that they expect Greece to slip into deep recession later this year.

 

September 21, 2015

The malaise continues… a good analysis from Strategy Page:

We know how Greece got here. Greek productivity could not pay for the lifestyle its citizens desired. The productivity of other Euro-zone nations financed Greek good times and kept Greek politicians in power.

Greece lied to obtain the largesse. When the Euro-zone officially formed in 2001, Greece claimed it had a GDP deficit of 1.5 percent. In 2012, former Greek budget minister Peter Doukas said the real 2001 figure was 8.3 percent. Over the years, Greek governments violated fiscal agreements, borrowed money they could not repay and managed to hide the lies. European Union monitoring systems failed to detect the buildup in Greek debt.

The Greek people, who supported these lying governments, enjoyed “other people’s money.” Now German, French and even Italian workers say no more. Italians complain that Greek government worker pensions are far more lavish than theirs. No la dolce vita on our euros.

As for selective law enforcement: Systemic crookedness stymies economic growth. Greeks know it. A June 2010 poll found that 78 percent of the Greek people “accept the view that many or all in government are corrupt.” That same year, a Greek finance ministry investigation uncovered extensive tax evasion, corruption and bribery in its tax collection offices. Greek tax evaders cost the country an estimated $27 billion to $30 billion a year.

Here’s the big story. In Greece, we witness another hard example of an old lesson. Economic reality shakes and eventually shatters political fantasy. Fantasy may fade, but denial tends to die hard. All too often, it dies violently.

 

June 28, 2015

The saga continues… The Greeks elected a Communist leader that promised economic miracles for the citizenry (sound familiar?); and everyone has discovered the harsh reality of running out of other people’s money.  It’s now widely reported that the Greek government is shuttering the banks for a week:

Greek leaders planned to shutter their banks on Monday amid last-ditch discussions about their nation’s economic future, as panicked citizens tried to pull their money from their accounts while they still were able.

I still don’t know enough about macroeconomics to predict the eventual end game…  I suppose the other EU countries will be coming to Athens to repossess the Parthenon.

greek-economy

 

January 6, 2015

Well, three years later and we have not yet closed the loop on the outcome…  Today’s BusinessWeek discusses Greece considering its options:

The current Greek situation is particularly troubling since by as early as mid-year it could constitute Europe’s Lehman Brothers moment. Whatever the outcome of the Jan. 25 parliamentary election, it is difficult to see how Greece can avoid a major policy collision with its European partners. Greece is showing every sign of austerity and economic reform fatigue as its economy remains mired in the deepest of depressions.

 

February 3, 2014

Yes, the story continues more than two years later, but the plot and results remain the same… As noted at ZeroHedge, Europe pretends to bail out Greece… and Greece pretends to reform and comply with austerity reforms when it merely continues to spend as before until the money runs out…

At this point, I would be willing to say that Victor Davis Hanson has been the best prognosticator (see earlier posts below)

 

May 9, 2013

The Greek government began its first mass-firing of public-sector workers in more than 100 years this week, part of an effort to lay off 180,000 by 2015 under Europe-imposed austerity.

via Greece starts firing civil servants for first time in a century.

 

August 20, 2012

More bad news about the Greece economy…  They have debt coming due and the country needs to issue more bonds.  The Greek GDP shrank by more than 6% over the last 12 months.

I still have that lingering question:  How does Greece break out of this continuous decline?

 

July 24, 2012

The Prime Minister of Greece declares that his country is in a depression (any surprises here?):

Greek GDP is expected by the end of this year to have shrunk by about a fifth in five consecutive years of recession since 2008…

 

May 11, 2012

You may have missed the Greek elections, but the results are foretelling — the citizens cast quite a few ballots for the Communist and the Nazi parties…  the real takeaway that can be generalized for many western countries is that nobody wants to hear about austerity measures.  Given a choice between a leader who says “you’ll have to tighten your belt and go to work” versus a prospective leader who proclaims “the government should continue to support your lifestyle”, well, the answer is pretty obvious.

The saga about bankrupt western countries continues to unfold…

 

May 2, 2012

It’s not getting any better in Athens…

image

 

April 5, 2012

It appears that the financial markets are not convinced that Greece has overcome its problems.  The Greek 10 year bonds are now hovering around a 20% yield rate (in contrast, US 10 year bonds are approximately 2%).

 

February 13, 2012

A prognostication from Victor Davis Hanson:

There are only three scenarios likely for Greece: (1) In exchange for debt relief, a liberated Greece changes its ways, opens up its economy, redefines labor and capital markets and becomes a sort of Spain (unlikely). (2) It defaults and its drachma-based country reverts to what one remembered in the old days and what one would expect from a top-heavy, unproductive socialist state (somewhat likely). Or (3) it gets some half-relief, but soon reneges on its promised reforms and austerity, and thus like Greek cities in the 2nd Century AD, life goes on as weeds grow among the impressive, but crumbling infrastructure of the past (very likely).

 

February 5, 2012

The saga continues… Is the situation in Greece a microcosm of the western democracies and economic decline?  A recent issue of the Washington Times discusses how the Greek bailout cycle continues unabated:

The latest examination by international debt inspectors found Greece in such dire straits that it requires another $20 billion cash infusion. This would be on top of the $171 billion promised in October, which was on top of the $145 billion Greece received in 2010…

Greece is not going to escape this repeating cycle of near-collapse and bailout without doing something that sparks sustained economic growth and private-sector job creation. It’s well past time to try something new. The last two years of bailouts and broken promises to cut back on spending have resulted in a shrinking economy and what seem to be daily news of rioting on the streets of Athens. That’s not exactly the best advertisement for Greece’s most significant industry: tourism.

 

January 31, 2012

The German news organization, Spiegel, is sharing its thoughts on the situation in Greece…  They exclaim that European politicians are not facing reality:

Once again, Europe is arguing over a bailout for Greece, and it looks as though the result will be no different that it has been in the past… Europe’s politicians continue to battle reality. Everyone knows that Greece cannot repay its massive pile of debts, now at more than €350 billion ($459 billion). But instead of effectively reducing the financial burden, European politicians intend to approve new loans for the government in Athens and go on fighting debt with new debt.

 

January 29, 2012

The latest discussion is about Greece changing from using the Euro as its currency:

Germany and the rest of the eurozone can’t actually kick a country out of the euro for fear of investor panic and speculation against Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Spain. But if Greece were to leave on its own…

 

January 25, 2012

The situation in Greece has many economists around the world concerned:

The rest of the world needs to sit up and take notice of what is going on in Greece right now. This is what can happen when you allow government debt to spiral out of control. Once it becomes clear that you can’t pay your debts, a financial collapse can happen very suddenly and you start losing your sovereignty to those that you must turn to for financial help.

 

January 15, 2012

I’ve been watching the situation in Greece with great interest.  It possesses all of the leading indicators of great decline associated with a western culture that has embraced Socialism.  These indicators include a very low reproduction rate among the indigenous population; huge amounts of entitlements showered among the citizens; and a government expenditure rate well out of line with the country’s gross domestic product.

When a country gets to this point what happens?  Do they declare bankruptcy and the creditor nations repossess the assets? Do they hyper-inflate their way out of debt by using their own currency?

Over at the Calculated Risk blog, they talk about the fact that everyone knows that the Greeks are not willing to adopt austerity measures.

At this point, it all sounds like a huge game of “kick the can” as a means to delay the inevitable…  of course, I still don’t have a clear picture of the eventual outcome.

 

Category: Business, Politics  | Tags: ,  | 2 Comments
Banning Books in Oregon
Monday, May 23rd, 2016 | Author:

The Manchurian Marxist Moslem and his gang have done a masterful job at introducing a stealthy fascist/communist outlook into the mainstream culture of the United States of America:

The Portland Public Schools board this week voted unanimously to institute a ban on allowing any materials or discussion that express doubts that human activity is causing a catastrophic climate crisis…

This is filled with so many layers of nonsense, ignorance, petty tyranny, and moral preening that it seems a bit much, even for hopelessly lefty Portland. I do wonder, however, if they will host a book-burning ceremony at the football stadium. It’s the logical next step, right? Because, apparently, their text books are infected with terms like “might,” “may,” and “could” in some passages that address climate change. We must make sure those doubts don’t accidentally infect the minds of the children they are charged with indoctrinating.

Source: Portland Public Schools Bans Any Dissent from Climate Dogma

Category: Politics  | Leave a Comment
Obama Is an Abject Failure
Saturday, May 21st, 2016 | Author:

You think?  From Alan Dershowitz:

“If you judge president Obama by his own standards, he is an abject failure when it comes to international relations. Forget about my standard or yours. By his own standard he is an abject failure when it comes to dealing with Iran.”

Source: Dershowitz: Obama Is an Abject Failure—by His Own Standards

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The Internal Beat-Down of the USA
Friday, May 20th, 2016 | Author:

Here’s the key quote from Victor Davis Hanson:

During the showdown over Obamacare, the pro-Obama PAC Organizing for Action put out an ad now known as “Pajama Boy.” It showcased a young fellow in thick retro-rimmed glasses, wearing black-and-red plaid children’s-style pajamas, and sipping from a mug, with a sort of all-knowing expression on his face. The text urged: “Wear pajamas. Drink hot chocolate. Talk about getting health insurance.”

”Most men in Dayton or Huntsville do not lounge around in the morning in their pajamas, with or without built-in footpads, drinking hot chocolate and scanning health-insurance policies. That our elites either think they do, or think the few that matter do, explains why a nation $20 trillion in debt envisions the battle over transgender restrooms as if it were Pearl Harbor.

Source: Obama’s Pajama Boy Menagerie

Category: Politics  | Leave a Comment
Obamacare Continues to Die
Thursday, May 19th, 2016 | Author:

… but the lamestream media doesn’t want you to know anything about it:

A review of headlines shows that so-called mainstream publications were far less likely to mention the sisters than publications that are not hostile to religious liberty.  But a very special prize goes out to Adam Liptak [Leftist Jew?] of the New York Times. We can call it the Linda Greenhouse Award for Supreme Court Advocacy Presented As Reporting.

Liptak’s 22-paragraph, 1283-word story manages to mention the Little Sisters of the Poor not once. Not in the headline. Not in the lede. Not in any paragraph or sentence. Not in the captions, even though the captions had to work really hard to avoid mentioning them.

If any Republican president went to war against a group called Little Sisters of the Poor, that editorial gift would be unwrapped on every front page of every newspaper in the land. It would lead the nightly broadcast of every television news show. It would be joked about on Saturday Night Live. Comedians and virtue signalers across the land would “destroy” that Republican president every chance they got.

Our media, the hacks who are “dumb, uneducated and eager to deceive” on the existentially important issue of religious liberty, don’t do that in this case. Their silence and covering-up on behalf of the regime is telling.

Source: Media Want To Make Sure You Never Hear About ‘The Little Sisters Of The Poor’

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The Source of Political Correctness
Wednesday, May 18th, 2016 | Author:

It’s interesting that Republicans have succumbed to Political Correctness… by not pointing out that Leftists are the source of Political Correctness.

Our colleges have been ruined, free speech is increasingly suppressed, the economy is stagnant and the debt doubling, young Americans no longer see America as in any way exceptional — all because of the Left. But almost no one dares mention the word. Why?

Source: Free-Speech Suppression — Left’s Fault 

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Jews… for Anything but Jews
Tuesday, May 17th, 2016 | Author:

I came across this headline the other day: “Virginia Congressman backed by 9 Jewish organizations wants to block Trump Muslim ban idea” and I thought to myself “I understand the notion of equality for all, but what could possibly be the rationale for Jewish groups to actively expend energy to advocate for Moslems?  More importantly, are any of these Jewish organizations vigorously addressing anti-semitism fermented by Moslem groups on college campuses?”

Of course, the first thing you discover is that these so-called “Jewish” organizations are the standard Leftist bearers of unicorns, rainbows, and love for all.   It’s like seeing an article about American conservatives where the byline indicates that the source is the New York Times — you’re fairly certain about the tone and nature of the commentary before perusing the content.  In similar fashion, if you see a statement about something pertinent to Jews and one of the signers is ‘J Street’, you can rest assured that it’s some blathering position that is critical of Judaism or supports Jew-haters.

There are many cases of VAJINOs such as Jeremy Ben Ami, Bobby Fisher, Noam Chomsky, or Thomas Friedman who want to show their “legitimacy” to the rest of the world by fabricating and articulating stories about the “heinous nature of the Jews”.  The complementary position is for these self-haters to actively advocate for those parties who have avowed to exterminate your Jewish family.

Rest assured that if you reviewed the financials of your local Jewish Federation, you would find that they are passing on some of your charitable contributions to Jew-bashing organizations such Black Lives Matter (BLM) and the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR).  As a result, it’s very difficult to justify supporting any of the Left-leaning American Jewish organizations.

 

 

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