Thursday, August 06, 2009
Google censorship again
This time they have blocked the popular humour blog Wicked Thoughts. All is not lost, however, as the Mirror site is still updating regularly. I have no idea what the blocking is all about or if it will be permanent so do publicize the link to the mirror site.
The Leaderless Revolution
I think the article below is a bit optimistic but there may be something in it. The block vote they get from blacks and Hispanics means that the Donks don't have to persuade many others to remain in power
A revolution is taking place in America. It's as intangible as the whispering wind. Yet as ineluctable as mounting gale. To the politicians, it's still but a passing breeze rustling the hair at the nape of the neck. To the grassroots masses, it's rushing torrent destined to sweep the elite from the Halls of Power.
America is at the very incipience of a Leaderless Revolution. One could see it at the hometown Tea Parties disclaimed by politicians as ragtag assemblies and disdained by Barack Obama who speciously claimed not to have even known they even occurred. One can sense it in the polls, as one after another shows plunging support for this president and his policies.
And one can hear it loud and clear in the angry outpourings at "Town Hall" meetings where sputtering politicians are driven from the podiums and forced to seek shelter behind a phalanx of guards.
In New Hampshire, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter tried to defend the snails’ pace of socialized medicine with the absurd claim, “Many of my constituents would love to stand in line.” Maryland’s Sen. Ben Cardin, when pressed by his constituents on why they should be forced to turn over their health care to government bureaucrats, yammered that Americans simply can’t be trusted. (And he has now made his town meetings “by invitation only.”)
In Syracuse, NY, Rep. Dan Maffei had to call in the police to restore order at his health care town hall after angry protestors shouted him down. And Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY1), experiencing his own problems with outraged attendees decided just to cancel town hall meetings altogether.
Ellen Sauerbrey – the courageous lady who many feel won the governorship of Maryland in 1994, only to have it snatched away by a post-election recount – recently wrote: “I have never seen people so upset and scared. The rebellion today is a true grassroots uprising of citizens that don’t believe either party in Washington represents them, hears them or cares what they think. More and more I hear, ‘A plague on both their houses. Throw all the bums out’.”
What the politicians need to learn is that insulting their constituents’ intelligence, denouncing them as slackers, having them arrested, or trying to act as if they simply don’t exist is not going to solve the problem of a grassroots rebellion on the ascent. Nor will trying to single out some contrived opponent to belittle and besmirch, as Barack Obama did Rush Limbaugh.
The real problem the politicians face is that there is no opposition leader. In fact, there are no leaders at all. The hallmark of the grassroots uprising now befuddling and deflating the Washington political elite (and their mainstream media factotums) is that they are flying in the face of a Leaderless Revolution soundlessly inundating the very air they breathe.
It is amorphous. It is dauntless. It is unyielding. And it needs no person or party to state its case or fight its cause.
Carried in a purse, a brief case, or a backpack; wielded in the palm of the purveyor’s hand; as easy as aps; and summed up in 140 characters or less; this is the Leaderless Revolution that Bill Gates predicted was coming at the “Speed of Thought” on the wireless wings of the wind.
Unfortunately for the Washington establishment, in America today – just as in Iran, Honduras, and Moldavia -- the thought has now become an action. The words have become deeds. They have begun to sow the wind. And the tone-deaf political elitists are about to reap the whirlwind.
How Obama will tax the middle class
By making everything they buy more expensive
Few of President Obama’s 2008 campaign pledges were more definitive than his vow that anyone making less than $250,000 a year “will not see their taxes increase by a single dime” if he was elected. And he was right, very strictly speaking: It’s going to be many, many, many billions of dimes.
Asked about raising taxes on the middle class on Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” White House economist Larry Summers wouldn’t repeat Mr. Obama’s pre-election promise. “It is never a good idea to absolutely rule things out no matter what,” Mr. Summers said—except, apparently, when his boss is running for office. Meanwhile, on ABC’s “This Week,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner also slid around Mr. Obama’s vow and said, “We have to bring these deficits down very dramatically. And that’s going to require some very hard choices.”
These aren’t even nondenial denials. The Obama advisers are laying the groundwork for taxing the middle class while claiming the deficit made them do it.
The liberal establishment is even further along in finally admitting that Mr. Obama wasn’t, er, telling the truth. A piece in the New York Times over the weekend declared in a headline that “the Rich Can’t Pay for Everything, Analysts Say.” And it quoted Leonard Burman, a veteran of the Clinton Treasury who now runs the Brookings Tax Policy Center, as saying that “This idea that everything new that government provides ought to be paid for by the top 5%, that’s a basically unstable way of governing.” They’re right, but where were they during the campaign?
In an editorial on February 26, “The 2% Illusion,” we wrote that the feds could take 100% of the taxable income of everyone in America earning more than $500,000 and still have raised only $1.3 trillion even in the boom year of 2006. The rich are fewer and less rich now, while the Obama budget is nearly $4 trillion.
Democrats already plan to repeal the Bush tax cuts, but that won’t raise enough money. So they’re proposing an income tax surcharge on “the wealthy,” but that won’t raise enough either. Democrats have no choice but to soak the middle class because only they have enough money to finance the liberal dream of yoking the middle class to cradle-to-grave government entitlements.
Democrats have already taxed the middle class by raising cigarette taxes to pay for the children’s health-care expansion. They’re also teeing up average earners with their cap-and-tax energy bill. Mr. Obama had hoped that cap-and-tax would raise some $646 billion over a decade, but Democrats in the House had to give most of that away in bribes to business to pass their bill. To finance ObamaCare, they’re also proposing another 10-percentage-point increase in the payroll tax on firms and individuals that don’t purchase health insurance. But this won’t raise enough money either.
So waiting in the wings is the biggest middle-class tax increase of them all: a European-style value added tax, or VAT. This tax would apply to every level of production or service, and it is beloved by politicians in Europe because it raises so much money so easily without voters noticing. Ezekiel Emanuel, a White House aide and brother of Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, has advocated a 10% VAT to finance national health care. Look for a VAT to be one of the prominent options when Mr. Obama’s tax reform commission issues its report later this year.
The undeniable reality is that you can’t run a European-style welfare-entitlement state without European-style levels of taxation on the middle class (and eventually without low European-style growth and high jobless rates). It’s looking more and more like Mr. Obama’s no-middle-class-tax pledge was one of the greatest confidence tricks in American political history.
Clunker Cash and Me
Let’s face it: After 17 years and 232,522 miles of faithful service, my Jeep’s best days were long past. Time for some new wheels — but money’s a bit tight these days, for me as for so many others.
But, as good fortune would have it, not for the federal government: They’re willing to pay me $4,500 — $4,500! — to turn that clunker in for a new car satisfying the combined demands of political correctitude and the auto-dealer lobby. Alas, the rules specify that the big, powerful, safe truck that I want does not qualify.
And so I asked the question on the minds of millions of my fellow concerned citizens: How can I get my snout into this trough? Easy: I buy a small car qualifying for the $4,500, and keep it for a few months until the cash-for-clunkers boondoggle has run its course. At that point, the supply of used cars will have shrunk and their prices driven up; I will sell the almost-new small car for what I paid for it ($12,629 last Saturday) or more, at worst having driven it for free, and then buy the truck I covet.
I am deeply ashamed of myself, having worked the system while the poor get shafted by higher prices for the used cars they demand and by higher prices for the used parts needed to repair them. (Under the rules, the clunker engines have to be destroyed, the real-life Beltway version of the old joke about the fate of dairy farming under socialism: The government takes the milk and shoots the cows.) This is hardly the first time — nor will it be the last — that modern environmentalism has harmed those less fortunate.
As for me, I remain ashamed, but not sufficiently so to have forgone the $4,500. And, to be blunt, I am hardly the only sinner in this congregation. When the federal government starts writing checks so as to implement half-baked ideas in pursuit of yet another cause for do-gooderism, gaming the system is the system, an eternal truth relevant to the ongoing debates over health care, taxes, and much else.
The recession isn’t over: “There is simply no money to rekindle the orgy of consumer spending that kept the US economy afloat for so long.People can’t even borrow if they want to. Banks are not lending, because they know that the happy talk is nonsense, and they don’t want to loan money to people and businesses that are liable to go belly up as the recession continues. That’s why card companies like American Express and many Visa and MasterCard issuers, instead of just charging a late charge when card-holders miss a monthly payment deadline as in the past, are now just jacking up the interest rate they charge — in American Express’s case to 28% or over 2% a month! That’s not the action of a bank that is expecting to get repaid by a valued customer — it’s the extortionate action of a usurer that wants to extract as much money as possible from a borrower that it expects to have go bust. Banks are canceling personal and business credit lines right and left too, making a joke of the Obama administration’s claim that it bailed out the banks so that they would ’start lending again.’” [And the above is from a Leftist site]
Lack-of-progress report: “Thus, once again, below the president’s honeyed, highfalutin ways of speaking, there is revealed a pretension that is becoming insufferable, a sense of moral and class superiority in office, which he has not yet earned. Moreover, when he is on his own, without speechwriters, Obama is surprisingly unimpressive. He is rambling, fairly boring, error-prone, evasive, and not well-informed. In addition, President Obama seems to be unable to admit error, to apologize, or to voice what all can see to be true.”
More British bungling: "Life-saving vehicles built to withstand Taliban roadside bombs have been stranded in Dubai for the past month because the RAF does not have enough planes to fly them into Afghanistan, it can be disclosed. The problem is set to grow with 50 of the 157 ordered Ridgbacks scheduled to arrive in Dubai by November. During the bloodiest month for British soldiers in Helmand province, where 22 died and an estimated 100 were wounded, nine £300,000 Ridgback vehicles were left on the tarmac at Al Minhad airbase outside Dubai, The Daily Telegraph has learned. The Ridgbacks, which offer protection against mines, are a four-wheeled version of the robust six-wheeled Mastiff that has saved numerous lives in Afghanistan. They were ordered principally to replace the vulnerable Snatch Land Rover, in which 37 soldiers have been killed. During the time that the Ridgbacks have been held up in Dubai a number of soldiers have been killed in less-protected vehicles such as the Jackal, Viking and Spartan. The stranded vehicles were left in the Middle East as the RAF committed its C17 Globemaster aircraft to removing British equipment from Iraq. RAF commanders are also furious over a “ridiculous” ruling that the armour and protection fitted to the vehicles was “UK Eyes Only”, which means they are not allowed to go on allied aircraft shuttling out of the airbase."
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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)
Posted by JR at 12:40 AM