Race game helps those keeping pot stirred

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If, as attorney general Eric Holder said recently, the US is “a nation of cowards” when it comes to race relations, it’s because attempts at rational and logical discussion regarding the issue have been drowned out beneath the organized hysteria of race hustlers and others with something to gain by keeping the racial pot stirred.

No one in their right mind believes we don’t still have residual problems related to race that need to be addressed. But the belief that the US is still two countries segregated by skin color, even if unofficially, is ridiculous.

Walter Williams has an outstanding column here that looks at the fact that “just because some activity is not racially integrated does not mean that it is racially segregated.”

Williams adds: “The bottom line is that the civil rights struggle is over and it is won. At one time black Americans didn’t share the constitutional guarantees shared by whites; today we do.”

One often gets the impression that many liberal whites, black politicians and assorted race activists would gladly forsake the freedom of association aspect of our Constitution if it helped them achieve their political goals and, of course, put a few more dollars in their pockets.

Is there anything Obama can’t do?

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Apparently, this past January 20 was a bigger day than many of us realized. Not only was a new president inaugurated, but the second coming of the Messiah occurred, as well.

Consider these subheads on The Drudge Report from Tuesday, which ran one on top of the other:

  • Obama says USA will rebuild and emerge stronger
  • Obama vows to increase number of soldiers …
  • Obama vows to seek cure for cancer ‘in our time’ …
  • Obama says bank bailout may cost more than expected …
  • Obama promises universal EDUCATION THROUGH COLLEGE …
  • Obama promises universal health care … 

The only thing missing? “Obama’s tears cure cancer,” or maybe he’s simply saving that for later in the week.

One gets the impression that, given the staggering scope of his promises, the president has already begun campaigning for 2012. That’s possible thanks to the complicity of much of the Mainstream Media, who seem reluctant to actually ask him how the US could possibly pay for even a portion of what he’s proposed to date.

Yes, we all know it’s the job of politicians to shovel as much BS as possible, but it’s the media’s job to wade through it all and call them on what’s realistic and what’s demagoguery.

Here’s a news flash for the Fourth Estate – you’re falling down on the job.

President Obama should know better, as well. At present, a significant number of sizeable financial institutions are struggling to stay solvent which has helped precipitate a painful recession and considerable concern among a large portion of the populace.

The responsible thing to do at a time like this would be to get the country’s house in order before we begin embarking on Utopian dreams such as universal health care and universal education through college.

Lincolnville, SC: 150 years and going strong

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The State newspaper has a fascinating feature on Linconville, SC, the only SC town founded by freed slaves that still exists.

The Charleston County community was founded in 1867 and was named for Abraham Lincoln.

Interestingly, the town doesn’t have a historical marker or its own entry in Walter Edgar’s recently completed Encyclopedia of South Carolina, according to The State.

However, a 185-page book, “The History of Lincolnville, South Carolina,” was published last year by two Lincolnville sisters, Christine Hampton, 63, and Rosalee Washington, 73, the paper reported.

Copies of the book can be found on Amazon.com for as little as $23.76.

Bank failure bug will likely bite SC

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Bank regulators are notorious for keeping mum on which institutions they plan to seize until after the deed is done, and for good reason.

They seek to avoid panicking bank customers, which might provoke a run on the institution, in which confidence falters and individuals may try to withdraw their money, which would precipitate an all-out collapse.

That’s why nearly all bank seizures take place on Fridays, so regulators can use the entire weekend to make the transition from the old failed institution to the succeeding one, nearly always a bank that has been lined up ahead of time to assume deposits and non-troubled assets. An excellent article on what happens when a bank fails can be found here.

In most cases, except for the change in the name of the institution, the average customer won’t even know their bank was closed if an announcement wasn’t made by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., according to FDIC spokesman David Barr. 

While there have been a number of bank failures throughout the US over the past six months, including a half dozen in nearby Georgia, it’s been somewhat surprising that none as yet have taken place in South Carolina.

In fact, the last failure to occur in the Palmetto State happened in 1999, when the old Victory State Bank was seized by regulators.

It would be irresponsible to speculate on which SC banks might be candidates to go under, and likely frowned upon by federal authorities, but the odds are that at some point before too long, a South Carolina bank is going to join the list of failed institutions, as well.

It’s not voluntary if they make it mandatory

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Here’s a copy of a letter George Mason University Economics Department Chairman Donald Boudreaux sent CBS Radio regarding a story about a Department of Agriculture proposal to have meat processors put country-of-origin labels on their products.

Boudreaux, of Cafe Hayek, points out in the CBS report that “Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack said that the program is voluntary, but could become mandatory if meat processors don’t comply.”

To which Boudreaux adds: “It’s clear that if Mr. Vilsack were an armed robber he’d assure persons looking down the barrel of his gun that he seeks only voluntary compliance with his requests that they had over their money and jewels – but also that he’ll shoot those persons who reject his requests.”

Indeed, isn’t this the type of volunteerism that made Soviet Russia such a hotbed of happiness and freedom for seven decades?

Remembering a great man: George Washington

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One of the unfortunate things about the way history is taught in public schools today is that while Abraham Lincoln is deified, George Washington seems all but forgotten.

Many Southerners, and some historians, still hold a grudge against Lincoln, but that’s a matter for another day. What’s particularly troubling is the degree to which George Washington has been pushed aside.

Just the idea that we as a nation would go from celebrating Washington’s Birthday (and Lincoln’s) separately to lumping all the presidents into a single day is troubling enough. Does a man of Washington’s stature really deserve to included with the likes of Ulysses S. Grant and Warren G. Harding, afterall?

But if you ask many Americans today about Washington’s contributions to this country, their responses rarely go beyond the fact that he was the first president and a general during the Revolutionary War? And, of course, plenty of schoolkids will also include tidbits like he chopped down a cherry tree and owned slaves.

The fact is, Washington is the greatest American ever, bar none. Consider:

  • During the Revolutionary War, he held together a rag-tag army and a fragile nation for seven years amid threats of disintegration and collapse, all while battling the most powerful country in the world.
  • After the war, he retired to private life at Mount Vernon, instead of assuming control of the new-found nation. That move caused King George III to utter: “If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.”
  • He presided over the convention that drafted the Constitution in 1787.
  • He was the nation’s first president, but avoided joining a political party.
  • When his second term ended, he retired to Mount Vernon and the life of a gentleman farmer.

Washington, of course, lived more than 200 years ago and many today have a difficult time understanding the challenges he faced in getting our fledgling nation on the right track. 

But instead of the news media holding Lincoln and FDR out as role models for President Obama, it would be nice if some publication somewhere looked back at the man who did more than anyone else to put this country on the path to success.

US Cotton production expected to fall in 2009

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US producers plan to plant 8.11 million acres of cotton this spring, a 14 decrease from last year and a continuation of a trend that began in 2007, according to Southeast Farm Press.

The figures comes from a National Cotton Council survey mailed to producers in mid-December. The Council held its 71st Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, earlier this week.

Based on survey results, all four US regions show intended upland cotton planting area decreases compared with last season, according to the National Cotton Council. 

The West and Mid-South show the largest percentage drops of 31 and 23 percent, respectively. Smaller reduction of 18 and 9 percent are expected in the Southeast and Southwest, respectively.

Most Southeastern states, the National Cotton Council reported, expect to see significant declines in cotton acreage in 2009:

  • South Carolina plans a cutback of 18 percent as growers shift primarily to soybeans.
  • Alabama reports a projected reduction of 33 percent;
  • Virginia anticipates a 23 percent decline;
  • Georgia expects cotton production to be off 17 percent;
  • North Carolina plan a cutback of 12 percent;
  • Florida was the only Southeastern state to indicate an upland expansion, with an increase of 3 percent expected for 2009.

Globally, world cotton production is projected to fall 4.3 million bales to 105.5 million bales – the smallest crop since 2003, according to National Cotton Council Economist Dr. Gary Adams.