December 9th, 2010
By Barry Secrest
November 2010 was a month to remember here at CR. Our webtraffic hit an all-time high --vaulting the website into the top 28,000 of all sites in the US and the top 145,000 in the world. In fact, when we first started tracking our impact, back in January, the rankings were 372,473 world and 43,000 in the US, meaning we have seen a steady surge in readership effectively doubling our reach in a scant 11 months--1 being the best and 50 million being the worst. In addition, The World News Network now posts our condensed opinion columns, which appear in the National Examiner all over the world.
In fact, our recent report, concerning the seeming duplicity between China and North Korea, actually appeared in the North Korean Star...which prompted us to be amazed--who even knew they were allowed to read over there in Communist hell?
Regardless, we also now contribute, on a regular basis, to FreeRepublic.com, which is an excellent forum to both learn from and interact with a diverse group of Constitutional Conservatives in addition to our ongoing interaction with a large number of friends on Facebook. We have also established a healthy web relationship with both the sharing and promoting of various articles with our good friend and journalist, Jane Jamison, who operates a popular Conservative westcoast website called Uncoverage.net.
Recently, we also began working on a slightly different format called an E-zine which is under construction but is currently operating. The site is called TrueConservative101.com and it will offer us new avenues and even greater HTML flexibility while serving as a weekly magazine highlighting some of the most popular news stories and articles on CR for the prior week.
Below are a list of the columns, even omitting a few, which appeared in November, which prompts me to note that its no wonder I feel unusually worn out upon entering into this month of December, the writing being in addition to my other career.
Thanks, as always, for visiting and please remember to let us hear from you from time to time--don't be a stranger.
Revisiting A Glorious Cause: Rebuttal To Frank Rich's "The Grand Old Plot Against The Tea Party"
And Don't forget our book, which we have been so busy, we have not promoted it near as much as we should. We are offering a signed copy from the below link if you would like to contribute to the site while getting something beyond digital information in return. The book is well done and quite striking in its quality (our well received opinion).
December 9th, 2010
Computer hackers have sent two of the world’s biggest credit card companies into meltdown in revenge for cutting off payments to the WikiLeaks website.
The attack was launched by a shadowy international group called ‘Anonymous’ which said MasterCard and Visa had been targeted for freezing the account of the whistleblowing site.
The devastating blow to the credit card giants came on one of the busiest online shopping days of the year.
Hackers also targeted online payment system PayPal, Amazon and a Swiss bank over the WikiLeaks row.
The Swedish government's website was also brought down this morning after a fresh wave of cyber attacks together with former US vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin.
December 9th, 2010
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Can't sell your home for a decent price? You're not alone.
American homes are expected to be worth $1.7 trillion less in 2010 than they were worth last year, according to a report released Thursday by real estate website Zillow.
This year's drop in home values is 63% bigger than the $1 trillion dip in 2009, and brings the total value lost since the housing market's peak in 2006 to a whopping $9 trillion.
While the homebuyer tax credit helped prop up the housing market in the second half of 2009 and the first half of 2010, home values continued their slide in the second half of the year. Almost $700 billion in value was lost in the first half of
"It's a testament to the nearly irresistible force of the overall market correction that government incentives can only temporarily hold back the tide, and that the market will ultimately find its natural equilibrium of supply and demand," said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries.
And it may not get much better.
"Unfortunately, with foreclosures near an all-time high in late 2010 and high rates of negative equity persisting, it does not appear that the first part of 2011 will bring much relief," Humphries said.
Only 24% of the 129 markets Zillow tracked increased in total home value this year. Home values increased $10.8 billion in the Boston metropolitan statistical area (MSA), and $10.2 billion in San Diego MSA.
The areas suffering the biggest drops in home prices include New York City, which lost $103.7 billion in value and Los Angeles, where home values fell $38.6 billion.
The steep declines in home values are pushing Americans further under water every year. In the third quarter of 2010, 23.2% of single family homeowners with mortgages owed more on their mortgage than their home was worth -- up from 21.8% in 2009.
the year, compared to Zillow's estimates of $1 trillion in the second half of 2010.
December 9th, 2010
BEIJING (Reuters) – It was meant to be China's answer to the Nobel Peace Prize, a timely riposte to the honoring of jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo. But the winner of the first "Confucius Peace Prize" didn't even bother to show up.
Instead, it was left to a scared-looking girl, whom organizers did not properly identify, to collect a stack of bills for the $15,000 cash prize meant for former Taiwan vice-president Lien Chan.
Lien had won the prize for his efforts to improve relations between China and Taiwan, the self-ruled island Beijing claims as its own, beating out five other nominees, including past Nobel Peace Prize winners Mahmoud Abbas and Nelson Mandela.
[Related: Top Chinese official meets with Kim Jong-Il]
"We believe that Mr. Lien Chan, with his knowledge, dignity, and political wisdom, would not refuse peace, and he would not refuse this prize," Confucius Prize organizer Tan Changliu gamely told a packed news conference in Beijing.
Lien, now honorary chairman of Taiwan's ruling Nationalist or KMT party, has not commented publicly on the prize.
Lai Shin-yuan, chairwoman of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, told Taiwan lawmakers that the island's government found the prize "amusing."
"As far as we know it is an unofficial prize. We don't plan to make any comment on it," she said. "But we do find it amusing."
Lien travelled to China in 2005 in his then capacity as chairman of the KMT in the first such trip since the Communists won control of the mainland in 1949 after forcing the KMT to flee into exile in Taiwan.
He has since visited China numerous times and had several meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao.
The prize, offered before more than 100 journalists in a cramped windowless conference room in a Beijing office block, was first suggested in an opinion piece in the popular Chinese tabloid the Global Times three weeks ago.
Its timing is no coincidence, coming the day before the Nobel is formally awarded to Liu in Oslo, an event that has prompted a slew of invective from the Chinese government for honoring a man it calls a subversive and a criminal.
Tan said China's prize had nothing to do with the government, though an invite to the ceremony had suggested involvement of a department under the Chinese Culture Ministry. Ministry officials said they had never heard of the prize.
[Related: China's anti-Nobel stance not popular]
"This prize is from the people of China, who love and support peace. It has no relation to the Chinese government, the Ministry of Culture or Beijing Normal University," said Tan, referring to the university where his resume says he got his doctorate.
When pressed by journalists on claims in a press release that the prize had been chosen by "democratic voting by Internet users," Tan admitted that no Internet voting had occurred, swiftly adding next year's prize would incorporate voting.
Mainstream Chinese media have not reported on the prize, and Tan refused to answer questions on the merits of pro-democracy activist Liu Xiaobo's Nobel award.
But the awarding of the prize bore at least one resemblance to what will transpire at Friday's Nobel ceremony -- its recipient was not in attendance.
The Chinese government, furious after Liu won the Nobel Peace Prize in October, has not allowed Liu or his wife to go to the Nobel gala in Oslo. Liu's wife and numerous Chinese activists have been put under house arrest ahead of the Nobel ceremony.
(Additional reporting by Maxim Duncan in Beijing and Lin Miaojung in Taipei; Editing by Miral Fahmy)
December 8th, 2010
As the TSA executes their mission of harassment and molestation at American airports, while concurrently ferreting out X-rayed IUD's, the economic news continues to be "not so good" overall. Unemployment rates have ratcheted upwards, yet again, to 9.8% while even certain members of the liberal news media report that the stock market could crash by December the 15th. The reason? Capital gains rate on stock sells will clang back up from 15% to 20%. Now, a majority of the liberal twits within the drive-by media report this as being a 5% increase; however, the real increase will actually be a 25% overall smackdown in taxation from the current rate.
This will, invariably, incite many stockholders, who both want and need as much money as possible in our fecklessly managed economy, to get it now rather than waiting until next year when the Government will actually take 25% more. Think about it--what would you do? Are your stocks anticipated to rise by a greater than 25% margin next year? How about the next two years? If not, and your desire is to realize a hefty yield after taxes, then...(Read More)