Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Peter Hitchens responds to episcopal pronouncements on poverty and the Leftist solutions the bishops put forward

"Here's what we should really be worrying about: the dismal conditions of the British 'poor' are often the result of their moral and educational deprivation, and of the collapse of order - not lack of money. Teenage single mothers, with no real experience of child rearing or housekeeping, struggle to provide for their children because they do not know how, not because they do not have enough money. Their lives are often made worse by the moral squalor resulting from the collapse of stable family life.

The moral conditions on the worst housing estates, conditions which lead to women being battered and children being abused, also create a tyranny of crime and drugs. These circumstances make it incredibly hard to raise a happy and well-behaved next generation. Appalling schools, where illiteracy is normal and chaos tolerated, reinforce the dismal message. Some of the worst-placed are old people, who have worked hard all their lives, who hate debt, and now find that their tiny pensions barely stretch to pay for food and heating - and who have been abandoned by their families to a chilly solitude.

So, if you were a Bishop, what would you be worried about? Would you get involved in an essentially political argument about income gaps and taxation? Would you make headline-catching criticisms of vulgar wealth? Would you put your name to yet another dreary politically correct tract, to join all the other standard-issue, half-baked leftist whingeing that has got us more or less where we are?

Or would you address the moral collapse of our society which is so very much more important, and which is actually so much more your business?"

More here



The task at hand: "Americans see the Republican Party's leadership as untrustworthy, which is a reputation it has earned. The challenge for conservatives is to convince American voters that Republican and conservative are not synonyms. Conservatives have to remind the country that the principles Republicans claimed to uphold but abandoned once in office still offer the best approach to governing the country. Conservatives need an aggressive campaign to hold Republicans accountable for their apostasy and remind America that conservatism's Jeffersonian [sic] principles remain an untried and viable alternative to the programs the two main parties are offering."

Tax cuts as government curb: "Sitting in a pleasant cafe on a sunny spring day, my Italian friend arrives and says, 'Richard we have had a wonderful month here in Italy because we have had no government.' He referred to the fact that between the defeat of the last government at the polls and formation of the new government, no new initiative to tax, misspend the taxpayers' money or new major regulation had been possible. People intuitively know that when governments are capable of activity, most often the citizens' pocketbooks and liberties are at risk."

Model hypocrites: "You can bet that almost anytime a politician attempts to raise your taxes or pushes for a big, new government spending program, the justification is at least partially based on the results of some mathematical model. Al Gore, and many others endorsing the global warming rage, tell us the climate models show government must do something about global warming before we are all cooked (or at least lightly tanned). Having spent three decades around model builders and reading their studies, I have concluded it is infinitely easier to obtain government funding to build a mathematical model likely to show the need for more government activity and spending rather than less."

The Swedish "success": "Almost a quarter of the population of working age does not have a job to go to in the morning, and polls show a dramatic lack of trust in the welfare system and its rules.... Our ancestors worked even when they were sick. Today, we are "off sick" even when we feel fine"

Windfall profits tax on oil companies a loser for citizens and the economy: "Congress may prove unable to resist passing a windfall profits tax before voters go to the polls this fall. If so, we'll experience the full meaning of H.L. Mencken's adage that democracy is that form of government in which the people get exactly what they want, good and hard. What they won't get, however, is nearly as much money out of such a tax as they probably think. A windfall profits tax targeted at earnings far beyond the U.S. industrial average would return zero revenue to the Treasury because windfall profits in the oil sector are figments of the imagination. While the raw earnings figures sound big, they are unexceptional when we take into account the size of those companies. Divide profits by sales, for instance, and you'll find that in the fourth quarter of 2005 (the last quarter for which data are available), profit margins were 6.8 percent at British Petroleum, 7 percent at ConocoPhilips, 7.1 percent at Shell, 7.7 percent at Chevron, and 10.7 percent at ExxonMobil. The 20 largest investor-owned oil companies earned a collective 8.8 cents on every dollar of sales for that quarter."

The annual foreign aid rip-off: "This week, Congress will vote to send more than 20 billion of your hard-earned dollars overseas, when it passes the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill for 2007. Our annual foreign aid bill is one of the most egregious abuses of the taxpayer I can imagine. Not only is it an unconstitutional burden on America's working families, but this yearly attempt to buy friends and influence foreign governments is counterproductive and actually results in less goodwill toward the United States overseas. Why is foreign aid so bad? Isn't it our obligation to help those less fortunate? What is not mentioned by proponents of foreign aid is that it very seldom gets to those who need it most. Foreign aid is the transfer of US dollars from the treasury of the United States to the governments of foreign countries. It is money that goes to help foreign elites, who in turn spend much of it on contracts with US corporations. This means US tax dollars ultimately go to well-connected US corporations operating overseas.

There is an amusing cartoon video here in the form of a "Mexican Tourism" advertisement.



"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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