This judgment of doom from a Brit may well be true
American politics is now run by minorities and those who pander to them. Without huge minority support, the Democrat drift to the Left would have fizzled out
I was in Washington DC the night of the election. America's beautiful capital has a sad secret. It is perhaps the most racially divided city in the world, with 15th Street - which runs due north from the White House - the unofficial frontier between black and white. But, like so much of America, it also now has a new division, and one which is in many ways much more important. I had attended an election-night party in a smart and liberal white area, but was staying the night less than a mile away on the edge of a suburb where Spanish is spoken as much as English, plus a smattering of tongues from such places as Ethiopia, Somalia and Afghanistan.
As I walked, I crossed another of Washington's secret frontiers. There had been a few white people blowing car horns and shouting, as the result became clear. But among the Mexicans, Salvadorans and the other Third World nationalities, there was something like ecstasy.
They grasped the real significance of this moment. They knew it meant that America had finally switched sides in a global cultural war. Forget the Cold War, or even the Iraq War. The United States, having for the most part a deeply conservative people, had until now just about stood out against many of the mistakes which have ruined so much of the rest of the world.
Suspicious of welfare addiction, feeble justice and high taxes, totally committed to preserving its own national sovereignty, unabashedly Christian in a world part secular and part Muslim, suspicious of the Great Global Warming panic, it was unique.
These strengths had been fading for some time, mainly due to poorly controlled mass immigration and to the march of political correctness. They had also been weakened by the failure of America's conservative party - the Republicans - to fight on the cultural and moral fronts.
They preferred to posture on the world stage. Scared of confronting Left-wing teachers and sexual revolutionaries at home, they could order soldiers to be brave on their behalf in far-off deserts. And now the US, like Britain before it, has begun the long slow descent into the Third World. How sad. Where now is our last best hope on Earth?
Weakling Americans are now all too common
And the Leftist nanny-state has made them that way
In an interview in the January issue of Esquire, super tough guy and Cleveland Brown of all Cleveland Browns, Jim Brown said: "A liberal is arrogant enough to think he can do you a half-***ed favor. He is superior enough to think he can give you something that you don't deserve. A liberal will cut off your leg so he can hand you a crutch."
The statements will be no surprise to roughly 50 percent of this country. We know them to be true. It's why we fear liberals. They are arrogant, thinking they can re-arrange people and institutions and money, forcibly re-distribute wealth and manufacture economic justice by punishing success.
But the source of these comments would surprise a lot of people, especially liberals and liberal pundits. For one thing, Jim Brown is black. He is 72 years old, so he came up when being black in America was no stroll through the park. When he switched from football to movies, he broke the color barrier, with a steamy sex scene with the white sex symbol Raquel Welch - creating a firestorm. Another thing: he's an activist. He has spent decades on the streets in L.A. fighting gang violence, working at getting kids to look beyond the ghetto, to look at someone other than drug dealers and pimps as role models. It would be natural to presume him liberal-leaning. He knows better. And he has always been willing to speak the truth.
Jim Brown never missed a game in his nine record-breaking seasons with the Browns. He also rarely stepped out of bounds to avoid a high speed hit or bruising tackle. Instead he lowered a shoulder and knocked everyone else on their ***es. In the interview he says that the biggest crutch is thinking you're a victim. I imagine if a liberal handed Jim a crutch, he'd beat him over the head with it. Even if he had to hop on one good leg while doing it.
In an interview recently on Letterman, the equally aged and, it seems, equally tough Clint Eastwood wondered aloud when we became `a p***y society.' I wonder the same thing. I wonder where the shame is, in lining up for crutches, hand-outs and bail-outs. When I was a kid, my family was very briefly on food stamps, and my father was horribly, terribly ashamed at going to get them, at accepting them, at using them.
Today none of those in the ever-growing line for food stamp equivalents shows shame - not the governors of grossly mismanaged states, nor the executives of criminally mismanaged companies, nor the irresponsible, foolishly leveraged home buyers.
When did it become so ordinary, so acceptable to be a p***y? To be so helpless and inept and pathetic? And why don't we - and our elected officials and our media - look all these embarrassing people in the face and tell them to go make their own crutches or lie by the side of the road and rot as they choose? When will we refuse to enable this ever-expanding victimhood and shameful begging and thievery?
It's not the flying in on the private jet to beg Congress for billions of dollars of food stamps that bothers me. It's the fact that these executives aren't so ashamed as to be physically ill, vomiting, ashen faced, apologetic.
No, I'm not looking for a show of remorse. I'm looking for real, sincere recognition of responsibility and a re-commitment to self-reliance. I'm looking for the auto-maker CEO's and the head of the UAW to say, "We are foregoing our salaries and bonuses in this business we insist is viable, investing all our personal and family wealth, mortgaging our homes and investing that money, and we are going to take no vacations, no weekends off, and work 12 hour days until we fix what we broke." The same from the executives of Citi and AIG, et al. If somebody like Jim Brown had been in charge and made such a mess, I'm pretty sure that's what he would say. It's what small business owners do.
And I'm looking for homeowners to say: "Gee, I should have made sure I understood what I signed. I shouldn't have leveraged myself silly and bought four times the home I could afford then sucked equity out by repeatedly re-financing. I don't want anybody bailing me out. I'll take my lumps, go be a renter for a while, and be more responsible in the future. I certainly don't want to have my government steal money from people who acted responsibly to give me a bail-out I don't deserve.
If somebody like Jim Brown had made such a mess of his personal finances, I'm pretty sure that's what he would say.
Capitalism Should Return to Its Roots
We wouldn't need pay caps if shareholders were given their rights.
By CARL C. ICAHN
President Barack Obama's plan to limit executive pay to $500,000 a year -- plus restricted stock -- for institutions that get government funding is understandable. Still, salary caps are only a stopgap measure that fails to address the root of the problem. The real problem is that many corporate managements operate with impunity -- with little oversight by, or accountability to, shareholders. Instead of operating as aggressive watchdogs over management and corporate assets, many boards act more like lapdogs.
Despite the fact that managements, albeit with some exceptions, have done an extremely poor job, they are often lavishly rewarded regardless of their performance. We must change this dismal state of affairs if we are to rebuild our economy in a sustainable way that restores confidence. If we don't, these problems will keep recurring as investors pile into the next Wall Street innovation or asset bubble, enabled by the kinds of managements that nearly sank Wall Street.
The problem, as I have long maintained, is that boards and managements have been entrenched by years of state laws and court decisions that insulate them from shareholder accountability and allow them to maintain their salary-and-perk-laden sinecures. What we need are fewer government rules at the state level that protect managements. We need to return capitalism -- our great national wealth machine -- to its roots, where owners call the shots to managements, not the other way around. Currently, corporate law is largely the province of state governments, not federal. As a result, most corporations migrate to, and incorporate in, states that offer the most protection for managements.
Management-friendly states have a vested interest in attracting these companies because hosting them generates a substantial portion of state revenues. It's a symbiotic relationship: The state offers management protections and, in return, receives much-needed tax revenue.
However certain states, like North Dakota, offer many more rights and protections to shareholders. Because shareholders own companies, they should have the right to move a company to a state that gives shareholders more protections. What is needed, therefore, is a federal law that allows shareholders to vote by simple majority to move their company's incorporation to another state. That power is currently vested with boards and management.
This move would not be a panacea for all our economic problems. But it would be a step forward, eliminating the stranglehold managements have on shareholder assets. Shouldn't the owners of companies have these rights?
Now some might ask: If this policy proposal is right, why haven't the big institutional shareholders that control the bulk of corporate stock and voting rights in this country risen up and demanded the changes already? This is because many institutions have a vested interest in supporting their managements. It is the management that decides where to allocate their company's pension plans and 401(k) funds. And while there are institutions that do care about shareholder rights, unfortunately there are others that are loath to vote against the very managements that give them valuable mandates to manage billions of dollars.
This is an obvious and insidious conflict of interest that skews voting towards management. It is a problem that has existed for years and should be addressed with new legislation that benefits both stockholders and employees, the beneficiaries of retirement plans.
I am not arguing for a wholesale repudiation of corporate law in this country. But it is in our national interest to restore rights to equity holders who have seen their portfolios crushed at the hands of managements run amok. The suggestions above would do a great deal to change the dynamics of corporate governance in this country. Such a change will make us more productive as an economy, generating more wealth for everyone.
The Wall Street bailout and economic stimulus packages may be unfortunate and necessary steps to revive this flagging economy. But it is important to attack the real problem by demanding more management accountability. I have initiated United Shareholders of America to empower shareholders to institute changes, and I encourage you to join our cause. A majority of the U.S. population owns shares. Their voices need to be heard -- now -- on Capitol Hill and in the boardrooms of corporate America.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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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)