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American International Group, an insurance company that has received about $180 billion in taxpayer funds, last week paid $165 million in bonuses to executives whose bad judgment is largely responsible for the financial mess we're in.  Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, wants the government to take back the bonuses.  This is a change of heart for Mr. Dodd, because it was he who inserted in the "stimulus" bill an amendment which specifically protected from restrictions on executive compensation "contractually obligated bonuses agreed on or before Feb. 11, 2009."  The amendment applied principally to AIG. Why might Sen. Dodd have been so solicitous of the welfare of the AIG execs?  Perhaps because last year he was the single largest recipient of contributions from American International Group's political action committee and its employees:  $103,100, according to, which derived the information from Federal Elections Commission records.  The second largest recipient of AIG largesse?  Barack Obama, $101,332.  Chris Dodd is just another corrupt politician.  The One was supposed to be different.  Now we are discovering he isn't.



 The Marine incident, and its aftermath, at Haditha last November tells us much more about the media than it does about the Marines. And what it tells us ought to outrage us to the core.   

On every radio and television show I appeared on last week (and all I observed) in which this topic came up, without exception at least one of the media people immediately attempted to implicate not just the still-presumed-innocent Marines, but the American military's leadership and methods in general.     

The "Drive By Media" (Rush Limbaugh's scientifically accurate description) has already started to report this story in a manner that is likely do vast damage that may last for several years to the morale (and possibly recruitment) of our military. It will create a propaganda catastrophe of strategic proportions in our mortal struggle with radical Islam and their terrorist spear point.     

And all this is being done by journalists who should be considered enemy propagandists.



Playwright and socialism-advocate George Bernard Shaw famously declared a century ago that “We’re all socialists now” - meaning that socialist ideas had so permeated English society they were advocated however disguised even by their opponents. The current hysteria over the “abuse” of Iraqi prisoners is evidence that American society has become so infected with envy-appeasing liberalism that “We’re all liberals now.”



Americans anxiously watching their 401ks melt away may not have noticed the Obama administration is off to a rocky start in foreign policy, too. We were told often during the campaign that Mr. Obama would repair relationships with foreign governments allegedly damaged by the "cowboy" diplomacy of George W. Bush.  But in his first weeks in office, President Obama gratuitously has offended allies, and has made clumsy overtures -- contemptuously rebuffed -- to adversaries. Most puzzling has been the back of the hand treatment the president has given to our closest ally.  The British were ecstatic when Mr. Obama was elected.  They aren't any longer.



With oil prices reaching record levels, the left is up to its old tricks, blaming the President and calling for lots of expensive big government "solutions". As part of this push, they argue that we're running out of oil.   But clearly, this argument is not new -- and it's dead wrong.   Truth be told, the world's estimated oil reserves grew from 60 billion barrels in 1920 to 600 billion by 1950, 2,000 billion by 1990, and 3,000 billion by the year 2000. And in the next few years, they'll keep rising. Here's why.



Chinese are fond of compressing a social, political, or economic issue into a set of bullet points designated by the number of them. One of the most famous was “The Three Rounds,” encapsulating Chinese material dreams as they began emerging from the horror of Mao Tse Tung. You were wealthy in post-Mao China if you possessed a watch, a bicycle, and a sewing machine -- the three “rounds.” That was a quarter-century ago. Comparing the dream of having The Three Rounds to China’s economy today gives you an idea of how amazingly far China has traveled in that period. China has been speeding along a highway of wealth creation that has few parallels in history - yet now it looks like it is going to drive right off a cliff.What is transforming the Chinese economy from a dream to a nightmare are The Three No’s: No Water, No Wives, and No Banks.



Few did more to reassure Jews it was "safe" to vote for Barack Hussein Obama - which they did by 78% - than Martin Peretz, financier and editor in chief of the New Republic magazine since 1974. "Can Friends of Israel -- and Jews -- Trust Obama?" he asked in an article in January of last year. His answer was yes.  "Obama's points, which he has made many times, should reassure anyone who is concerned about what his presidency would mean for the security of Israel," Mr. Peretz wrote then. But Mr. Obama's appointment of Charles "Chas" Freeman to be director of the National Intelligence Council is causing Mr. Peretz second thoughts.  A lot of Jews are starting to have "buyer's remorse" regarding Mr. Obama.  It's about time.



When I went to college I had my biggest problem with the discipline of history. It may have started when I was a kid in Hungary and first ran up against official "scholars" who rewrote Hungary's history-renamed the streets in Budapest, rewrote all the textbooks, and reshuffled the holidays, and even completely recast Western intellectual history.

Under Marxism there was room for just one account of the development of philosophy, namely, what Karl Marx and his epigones wrote.

At first I thought that in a relatively free society historians could be trusted a lot more than under Marxism. But I am not so sure about this now.

To begin with, the one major institution of American society that's very similar to what it had been under communism is education.



Cortez and his Spanish soldiers who conquered the Aztecs are known to history as “Conquistadors.” That label of “Conquerors” was applied to them by their contemporaries -- but it originated a generation earlier. It was first used to describe the Spaniards who liberated their own country from Islam. Arab invaders had swept across Spain in the early 700s, and it took centuries for the Spanish to kick them out. Cortez was not yet 10 years old when they were finally ejected from their last stronghold in Grenada in 1492. When Cortez first looked upon the pyramid temples of the Aztec gods, he called them mezquitas -- mosques. Cortez saw himself as a liberator -- just as his fathers had liberated Spain from the Islamic yoke, so he would liberate “New Spain” from the Aztec yoke. Yet he had little idea of how deep were the political-religious parallels between the Arabs and the Aztecs. The parallels go beyond the death worship of Aztec warriors and Arab suicide-bombers. One of the latter responsible for the train bombings in Madrid declared in a letter: “You (Christians) love life -- we (Moslems) love death.” Compare this Aztec poem: There is nothing like death in war Nothing like the flowery death So precious to the gods who give us life Far off I see it! My heart yearns for it! The deeper parallel is this: both the Arabs and the Aztecs invented a Religion of Jihad as a rationale to justify their imperialist empires.



Barack Hussein Obama probably wouldn't be president if he hadn't taken a strong stand against the war in Iraq, which gained him the support of the antiwar Left. But he also talked about another war, the war in Afghanistan.  That was the important war, he said.  He'd beef up the U.S. presence there.  Politically, it made a great deal of sense.  The moonbats, thrilled by his opposition to the war in Iraq, overlooked Mr. Obama's hawkish rhetoric about Afghanistan.  And no Republican could accuse him of being weak on national security.  He wasn't against fighting America's enemies; he just wanted to fight them in the right place. But a national security policy designed chiefly for its effects on domestic politics has its drawbacks.  President Obama says little about Iraq these days, since he's essentially following George W. Bush's strategy there. And Afghanistan -- where he has announced he will boost U.S. troop strength by 17,000 -- has become "his" war. That war isn't going well.