Goodbye, America! It was fun while it lasted
By Ann Coulter
All Americans who work for a living, or who plan to work for a living sometime in the next century, are about to be stuck with a trillion-dollar bill to fund yet more oppressive government bureaucracies. Or as I call it, a trillion dollars and change. The stimulus bill isn't as bad as we had expected - it's much worse. Instead of merely creating useless, make-work jobs digging ditches - or "shovel-ready," in the Democrats' felicitous phrase - the "stimulus" bill will create an endless army of government bureaucrats aggressively intervening in our lives. Instead of digging ditches, American taxpayers will be digging our own graves. There are hundreds of examples in the 800-page "stimulus" bill, but here are just two.
First, the welfare bureaucrats are coming back. For half a century, the welfare establishment had the bright idea to pay women to have children out of wedlock. Following the iron laws of economics - subsidize something, you get more of it; tax it, you get less of it - the number of children being born out of wedlock skyrocketed. The 1996 Welfare Reform bill marked the first time any government entitlement had ever been rolled back. Despite liberal howling and foot-stomping, not subsidizing illegitimacy led, like night into day, to less illegitimacy. Welfare recipients got jobs, as the hard-core unemployables were coaxed away from their TV sets and into the workforce. For the first time in decades, the ever-increasing illegitimacy rate stopped spiraling upward. As proof that that welfare reform was a smashing success, a few years later, Bill Clinton started claiming full credit for the bill.
Well, that's over. The stimulus bill goes a long way toward repealing the work requirement of the 1996 Republican Welfare Reform bill and rewards states that increase their welfare caseloads by paying unwed mothers to sit home doing nothing.
Second, bureaucrats at Health and Human Services will electronically collect every citizen's complete medical records and determine appropriate medical care. Judging by the care the State Department took with private visa records last year, that the Ohio government took with Joe the Plumber's government records, that the Pentagon took with Linda Tripp's employment records in 1998, and that the FBI took with thousands of top secret "raw" background files in President Clinton's first term, the bright side is: We'll finally be able to find out if Bill Clinton has syphilis - all thanks to the stimulus bill!
HHS bureaucrats will soon be empowered to overrule your doctor. Doctors who don't comply with the government's treatment protocols will be fined. That's right: Instead of your treatment being determined by your doctor, it will be settled on by some narcoleptic half-wit in Washington who couldn't get a job in the private sector. And a brand-new set of bureaucrats in the newly created office of "National Coordinator of Health Information Technology" will be empowered to cut off treatments that merely prolong life. Sorry, Mom and Pop, Big Brother said it's time to go.
At every other workplace in the nation - even Wal-Mart! - workers are being laid off. But no one at any of the bloated government bureaucracies ever need fear receiving a pink slip. All 64,750 employees at the department of Health and Human Services are apparently absolutely crucial to the smooth functioning of the department. With the stimulus bill, liberals plan to move unfirable government workers into every activity in America, where they will superintend all aspects of our lives.
Also, thanks to the stimulus bill, the private sector will gradually shrivel and die. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the cost of servicing the bill's nearly trillion-dollar debt will shrink the economy within a decade. Robert Kennedy famously said: "There are those who look at things the way they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?'" The new liberal version is: There are those who look at things and ask, "Why on earth should the government be paying for that?" I dream of things that never were funded by the government and ask, "Why not?"
A useless bill
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid touts a whopping 58 percent of the bill as job-creating. No doubt that number is inflated. Even so, what's the argument for the other 42 percent? For instance, why is an emergency spending bill weighted down with an authorization for $198 million in payments to Filipino World War II veterans, many of whom live in the Philippines? We owe them the money, but how does sending millions to Manila fend off the American "catastrophe" that Obama says is the price of inaction?
Principled liberals defend the bill while conceding that roughly half the discretionary "emergency" spending won't even start until two years from now. (Funny coincidence: That's right around the time Obama's re-election campaign will kick off.) Good social policy is good social policy, no matter how you get it enacted, they say.
Putting aside the question of whether the ornaments dangling from every branch of this legislative Christmas tree amount to good policy, there's still the matter of why Democrats are afraid of the normal process. Sneaking into the package hundreds of millions for, say, sex education, the National Endowment for the Arts and sod for the National Mall doesn't suggest a lot of confidence that Americans support such liberal priorities. But that's OK. As the president is so fond of pointing out, the Democrats won. They're in the driver's seat. To govern is to choose, and these are the choices they've made.
The Democrats have shown no desire to craft real bipartisan legislation, which is their right, even if it contradicts Obama's campaign promises. And the vast majority of Republicans have shown little desire to back legislation that violates their principles simply for the sake of "doing something." The moderate mooncalves, who expect Republicans to sign on essentially for signing-on's sake, really want Republicans to stop being Republicans. "I am supporting the economic stimulus package for one simple reason," Specter wrote in the Post. "The country cannot afford not to take action." Such thinking is the purest nonsense. Sure, if your house is burning down, you can't afford not to take action. That doesn't mean any action is better than no action. Grabbing a fire hose is good. Grabbing a jerrycan of gasoline and dancing the Macarena, not so much.
Asia's Jewish myths
A Chinese bestseller titled "The Currency War" describes how Jews are planning to rule the world by manipulating the international financial system. The book is reportedly read in the highest government circles. If so, this does not bode well for the international financial system, which relies on well-informed Chinese to help it recover from the present crisis.
Such conspiracy theories are not rare in Asia. Japanese readers have shown a healthy appetite over the years for books such as To Watch Jews is to See the World Clearly, The Next Ten Years: How to Get an Inside View of the Jewish Protocols and I'd Like to Apologise to the Japanese - A Jewish Elder's Confession (written by a Japanese author, of course, under the made-up name of Mordecai Mose). All these books are variations of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the Russian forgery first published in 1903, which the Japanese came across after defeating the tsar's army in 1905.
The Chinese picked up many modern Western ideas from the Japanese. Perhaps this is how Jewish conspiracy theories were passed on as well. But Southeast Asians are not immune to this kind of nonsense either. Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamed has said that "the Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them." And a recent article in a leading business magazine in The Philippines explained how Jews had always controlled the countries they lived in, including the US today.
So what explains the remarkable appeal of Jewish conspiracy theories in Asia? The answer must be partly political. Conspiracy theories thrive in relatively closed societies, where free access to news is limited and freedom of inquiry curtailed. Japan is no longer such a closed society, yet even people with a short history of democracy are prone to believe that they are victims of unseen forces. Precisely because Jews are relatively unknown, therefore mysterious, and in some way associated with the West, they become an obvious fixture of anti-Western paranoia.
Such paranoia is widespread in Asia, where almost every country was at the mercy of Western powers for several hundred years. Japan was never formally colonised, but it too felt the West's dominance, at least since the 1850s, when American ships laden with heavy guns forced the country to open its borders on Western terms.
The common conflation of the US with Jews goes back to the late 19th century, when European reactionaries loathed America for being a rootless society based only on financial greed. This perfectly matched the stereotype of the rootless cosmopolitan Jewish moneygrubber. Hence the idea that Jews run America.
Galluping Past Bad Polls: "Some of President Obama's policies are not faring well in public opinion, but will anyone be told? On Feb. 2, a Gallup poll found that Obama's executive order "allowing U.S. funding for overseas family planning organizations that provide abortion" was decidedly unpopular: Only 35 percent approved, while 58 percent disapproved. You didn't know this? You're not alone: A Nexis survey finds none of the television networks, cable or broadcast, noticed these results, either.
Why Obama's new handout will fail to rescue the banks: "The new plan seems to make sense if and only if the principal problem is illiquidity. Offering guarantees and buying some portion of the toxic assets, while limiting new capital injections to less than the $350bn left in the Tarp, cannot deal with the insolvency problem identified by informed observers. Indeed, any toxic asset purchase or guarantee programme must be an ineffective, inefficient and inequitable way to rescue inadequately capitalised financial institutions: ineffective, because the government must buy vast amounts of doubtful assets at excessive prices or provide over-generous guarantees, to render insolvent banks solvent; inefficient, because big capital injections or conversion of debt into equity are better ways to recapitalise banks; and inequitable, because big subsidies would go to failed institutions and private buyers of bad assets.... The correct advice remains the one the US gave the Japanese and others during the 1990s: admit reality, restructure banks and, above all, slay zombie institutions at once."
How Europe's companies are feeding Iran's bomb: "While the U.S. has ratcheted up its efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear arms, the Islamic Republic is reaping a windfall from European companies. These firms' deals aid a regime that is bent on developing nuclear weapons and which financially supports the terror organizations Hamas and Hezbollah... Yet because of the sheer volume of its trade with Iran, Germany, the economic engine of Europe, is uniquely positioned to pressure Tehran. Still, the obvious danger of a nuclear-armed Iran has not stopped Germany from rewarding the country with a roughly 4 billion trade relationship in 2008, thereby remaining Iran's most important European trade partner. In the period of January to November 2008, German exports to Iran grew by 10.5% over the same period in 2007. That booming trade last year included 39 "dual-use" contracts with Iran, according to Germany's export-control office. Dual-use equipment and technology can be used for both military and civilian purposes. One example of Germany's dysfunctional Iran policy is the energy and engineering giant Siemens. The company acknowledged last week at its annual stockholder meeting in Munich, which I attended, that it conducted 438 million euros in trade with Iran in 2008, and that its 290 Iran-based employees will remain active in the gas, oil, infrastructure and communications sectors.
The Messiah is with us: "President Obama is back in messianic campaign mode. It is unbecoming. When he's not snarling at conservative opponents of his endless spending programs, he's pandering to supporters as the nation's community organizer-in-chief. At a stimulus rally in Ft. Myers, Florida on Tuesday, a woman named Henrietta Hughes stood up to decry the mortgage crisis and ask Obama for his personal help. Choking back tears, she implored: "I have an urgent need.We need a home, our own kitchen, our own bathroom." If she had more time, she probably would have remembered to ask Obama to fill up her gas tank, too. The soul-fixer dutifully asked her name, gave her a hug, and ordered his staff to meet with her. Supporters cried "Amen!" and "Yes!" A young McDonald's worker named Julio bolted out of his seat and exclaimed: "It is such a blessing to see you. Oh! Gracious God, thank you so much! Ungh!"
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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" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)