AS THE WORLD TURNS: US government funds mosques abroad / America's dying constitution / US consumers will drag us back into recession / Economic defeatism taking hold
News Weekly, September 18, 2010
U.S. government funding mosques aboard
While much attention has been focused on questions surrounding the Ground Zero mosque ... little attention has been given to the fact that U.S. taxpayer money is funding mosque development around the world.
Just a cursory search of the term "mosque" on the State Department's list of "projects" reveals 26 examples of federal funds going to fund construction, renovation and rehabilitation of various mosques abroad.
The benefiting countries include Bulgaria, Pakistan, Mali, Tunisia, Afghanistan, Benin, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Egypt, Tunisia, the Maldives, Yemen, Turkmenistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Azerbaijan, Sudan, Serbia and Montenegro.
Nicole Thompson, a State Department spokeswoman, told The Daily Caller that the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation is a type of diplomatic effort and outreach, what she says Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls "soft power".
Our Constitution is dying. It is being killed by judges who ignore the actual text of the Constitution but find previously unknown devices in its "penumbras and emanations". When these judges do consider the text they usually redefine or replace it with other words that reconcile with the judge's personal beliefs and feelings. As a result our national compact becomes more and more meaningless.
When judges disregard or redefine the plain words of our Constitution or make up things with absolutely no textual support, they render the document meaningless. Proponents of these judges defend this chicanery by claiming the judges are only breathing life into our "living constitution" but in actuality they are killing it.
The U.S. consumer will drag us back into recession
Influential market commentator Nouriel Roubini believes the US has "run out of bullets" in its efforts to stimulate the economy and expects it to drag the global economy back into recession.
Roubini, who was widely credited with predicting the US sub-prime crisis back in 2005, said US growth was likely to dip below 1 per cent in the second half of the year despite the Federal Reserve having pumped $3 trillion (Â£1.95 trillion) into the financial system.
He is currently a professor of economics at New York University, and chairman of economics firm Roubini Global Economics.
Speaking to an audience of Europe's senior monetary policy experts at the annual Ambrosetti Forum economics conference at Lake Como, Roubini said hopes of a decoupling would be dashed as the slowdown in the US impacted on China, Japan and the eurozone.
He is reported as saying: "In Europe, Germany is strong but the rest of the continent is pretty dismal. The rest of the world cannot cope without the prop of the US consumer."
Roubini also predicted that Chinese growth in the second half of 2010 would fall to 7 per cent.
He warned: "Get used to it. Deleveraging has to continue as governments and consumers deleverage in the developed world."
The US economy has slowed to stall speed: successive quarters of 5pc growth, 2.7pc, and 1.6pc (to be revised down), the worst recovery of the post-war era. Such is the crush of debt.
While last week's data was less bad than feared, it was still awful. Manufacturing orders fell to the lowest in 15 months. Some 54,000 jobs were lost in August and the broad U6 gauge of unemployment rose from 16.5pc to 16.7pc. The US needs to create 150,000 a month just to stay even.
The luminaries are lining up to say there is very little that the [US Federal Reserve] can do after already cutting rates to zero and purchasing $1.7 trillion of bonds. "The heavy artillery has already been fired," said former Fed vice-chair Alan Blinder.
"I really don't think there is a lot the Fed can do," said Harvard's Martin Feldstein.
Get a grip, the lot of you. While there is no easy way out for the US after stealing so much prosperity from the future through debt, there is no excuse for this dead-end defeatism.
The Fed has an arsenal of neutron bombs if it wants to use them, and uses them correctly. It can engage in "monetary policy Ã l'outrance", as Maynard Keynes proposed in his Treatise on Money in 1930, before he lost his way with the General Theory.
Blitz the market with bond purchases, but do so outside the banking system by buying from insurers, pension funds, and the public.