Tuesday, August 11, 2009
"Wicked Thoughts" has moved house
From the Wicked Thoughts mirror site:
OK. I have had enough of Google/blogspot. They have had my blogspot blog blocked for a week now and still have not told me why. So I am transferring operations to Wordpress. Whether they will be any better remains to be seen of course but this is the new site: Wicked Thoughts. Be sure to keep a bookmark to this mirror site, however, in case Wordpress go strange on me too.
One annoyance is that all my archives (past posts) are blocked at the moment too. I have therefore posted the July archive on this site. See below. All of my posts for this month are up on the new site so go there now and have a look.
The postings for July are here. I keep copies of everything I post so I may post archives for previous months in due course too.
Spontaneous opposition to tyranny still lives in America
In the early 1830s, when Alexis de Tocqueville visited Jacksonian America, he was taken aback by much of what he encountered. Nothing impressed him more, however, than the demonstrated capacity of the Americans to form private associations for public purposes.
This phenomenon - illegal in Tocqueville's France and rare on the continent of Europe, even today - amazed him. He was particularly struck by the political consequences of the Americans' confident practice of what he called "the art of association." For, as he discovered, opposition had sprung up to the so-called Tariff of Abominations outside the existing political parties.
This opposition was especially emphatic in the South. But, in a fashion that seemed spontaneous, organizations had been independently formed in every district of the country, and then they had joined together in a great network to bring pressure upon Congress.
Tocqueville did not express an opinion regarding the justice or wisdom of this movement. What interested and excited him was simply its existence. For it proved that, in a great commercial democracy established in an extended territory, civic agency was a genuine possibility. It proved that the residents of the United States of America were citizens, not subjects, and it demonstrated that the condition that he called "soft despotism" was not the only possibility afforded by liberal democracy.
Tocqueville's ruminations deserve attention for one simple reason. We are today witnessing a reawakening of the American spirit that so strongly impressed him.
In earlier posts on Power Line, I have discussed the tyrannical ambitions of the Obama administration (here), the danger a consolidation of government poses for the people of the United States (here), the psychological disposition that makes democratic peoples vulnerable to servile temptation (here), the institutions that once in some measure shielded Americans from these propensities (here), the gradual disappearance of that shield (here), and some of the reasons why I think it now possible for us to recover the liberty that once was ours (here and here).
Here I simply want to add an appreciative word regarding Barack Obama. Our President has told us that he has a gift, and he is undoubtedly right. But he misconceives the nature of his gift. He thinks that his skills in oratory will enable him to fool all of the people all of the time. In his Presidential campaign, he did wonders - hinting at radical intentions while speaking always in a moderate tone. And thanks to the blunders of George W. Bush in office and to the ineptitude of John McCain, who had made a career of betraying his own side, Obama managed to win.
Soon, however, the Democratic Party will be reminded that, in German, "Gift" is a word for poison. For one cannot fool the American people for long, and the real effect of the effort made by Obama and by figures such as Rahm Emanuel will be to unmask the Democratic Party as a conspiracy on the part of a would-be aristocracy of do-gooders hostile to very idea of self-government in the United States.
This we are witnessing now, for everything is now done in secret and behind closed doors. The so-called "stimulus bill" was passed in both the House and the Senate in a manner suggestive of tyranny. It was written in camera with the help of a legion of lobbyists, and it was presented and shoved through before anyone in Congress even had a chance to read it, much less think about it.
The fact that there was no time allowed for public discussion and debate aroused suspicion nationwide; and when it became evident that the bill was a fraud - that its real purpose was to reward favored party constituencies and that the sum spent will grossly inflate the national deficit in the short run and require massive tax increases down the road - Americans in astonishing numbers took to the streets in every corner of the land.
The passage of the cap-and-trade bill in the House - again without adequate public discussion and debate - only reinforced the wariness of the general public, and the same can be said for the efforts of the Obama administration to push through a scheme aimed at putting us on the road to socialized medicine.
Behind closed doors, in secrecy, a deal was done to reward the United Auto Workers and to defraud the bondholders of Chrysler and General Motors. And behind closed doors, without any species of accountability, Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner is reorganizing our financial system.
Now, as citizens flock to town meetings all over the country to confront their Senators and Congressmen, we can see the consequences. And the White House and the Democratic Party have responded to the spontaneous organization of opposition to their endeavors in a manner that is reminiscent of the governments in Tocqueville's France - by insulting their fellow citizens, by charging them with conspiracy, by locking citizens out of putatively public meetings, by bringing in union toughs to intimidate the opposition, and by illegally collecting the names and contact information of those who have exercised their First Amendment rights in a manner unfriendly to the proposals advanced by the current administration - apparently with an eye to future retribution.
We should be grateful to Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Rahm Emanuel. For, in their audacity, they have done what their predecessors feared to do; and, in the process, they have made the tyrannical propensities inherent within the progressive impulse visible to anyone who cares to take notice. What Franklin Delano Roosevelt falsely charged in 1936 is visibly true today. "A small group" is intent on concentrating "into their own hands an almost complete control over other people's property, other people's money, other people's labor - other people's lives."
The only question is whether the Republicans have the wit to take full advantage of the opportunity that Barack Obama has handed them.
Conservative community organizing not allowed
by Jeff Jacoby
DEMOCRATS ARE OUTRAGED that conservatives have been showing up at town-hall meetings with members of Congress to noisily protest the health-care "reform" bills pending on Capitol Hill. In a statement last week, the Democratic National Committee spokesman slammed "Republicans and their allied groups," charging them with "inciting angry mobs of . . . rabid right-wing extremists . . . to disrupt thoughtful discussions about the future of health care in America." A new DNC video, meanwhile, blasts "the right wing extremist Republican base" and says that GOP leaders "called out the mob."
Now, there is no excuse for the ugly rhetoric and behavior of a few of these protesters, like the ones in Maryland who hanged Representative Frank Kratovil in effigy, or the Massachusetts voter who compared Representative James McGovern to the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. It was disgusting when left-wingers spewed such venom during the Bush years. It is disgusting when right-wingers do so today.
Barack Obama, 2008: 'I want you to argue with them and get in their face.'
But surely Democrats don't object to energetic grassroots activism, not after they spent so much of 2008 extolling the virtues of "community organizing." And surely they aren't offended by citizens going toe to toe with those they disagree with politically, not after Barack Obama urged his followers last year to remonstrate with friends and neighbors "whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face," Obama said then.
Democrats may differ with their opponents on health care, but they can hardly fault them for taking a page from the Obama political playbook.
SOURCE (See the original for links)
Michigan crowd vents health care fury: "There were no buses, no swastikas, not a piece of Astroturf in sight. But there was name-calling, jeering, red faces and finger-pointing as Michigan residents shot back with fury at a congressional town-hall meeting geared to explaining President Obama's health care plan. Rep. John D. Dingell, a Democrat and a lead author of health care legislation in the House, did his best to remain composed, even as many constituents and other residents argued that the plan is socialized medicine and rained down fury against a smaller group of supporters for the plan. "You're a fraud, you have not read the bill," screamed Mike Sola, who got directly in the lawmaker's face in furious confrontation, wheeling his 36-year-old son, Scott, who has cerebral palsy, directly to the podium before police stepped in and encouraged the Milan, Mich., man to leave. He asserted that the bill would not help his disabled child. "Fascist America," Mr. Sola screamed on his way out. Mr. Dingell, 83, who has championed universal health care reform since 1957, joined the fray with many of his Democratic congressional colleagues, who are caught in an angry backlash as they attempt, during the August recess, to sell the president's health care reform plans in their home districts."
Drooping polls undercut scripted protest claims: "The White House's claim that large and boisterous protests against health care reform over the past week have been scripted performances, underwritten by industry lobbyists and the Republican Party, continues to run into a stubborn reality check: public polling on the matter. For more than two weeks, polls have consistently shown growing resistance to President Obama's reform proposals, largely because of concerns about the nation's deficit and debt. "There are a number of statistically valid public opinion polls that show that there has been a dramatic increase in public concern about escalating deficits and debt levels and our nation's increased reliance on foreign lenders," said David Walker, the nation's former comptroller general. Mr. Walker, who as president of the nonpartisan Peter G. Peterson Foundation since 2008 has spearheaded an effort to raise public awareness about the country's long-term fiscal problems, said that the American people are "ahead of their elected officials" in understanding the need to rein in spending before expanding health care coverage. "They get it," he said. "Costs are out of control, and they threaten the future of this country. And you cannot reduce cost by expanding coverage. That's an oxymoron."
Abuse is always the Leftist fallback: "Stepping up the rhetoric from mockery to pure hatred, and absent any evidence, Mr. Olbermann has called the president's public protesters "worse than racists." Political activist and comedian Janeane Garofalo colored them "racist rednecks who hate blacks." And at the somewhat higher end of the food chain, liberal economist Paul Krugman in the New York Times wrote last week that they were motivated by "cultural and racial fear." ... Tea Party attendees and health care town-hall protesters share the common belief that the extravagant spending of President Obama and the Democratic Party -- absent any checks and balances -- will eventually lead more people into government dependency, higher taxes and, perhaps, our country's financial ruin. These are legitimate fears felt by millions of Americans. That's why the media and the Democratic Party are scared and are throwing outrageous and hateful accusations at everyday Americans -- hoping that people stay home out of fear.
Democracy, when I like the outcome: “Many moons ago California had a referendum, as only California can have them, promoted by the Democratic operative Bill Press, urging huge taxes on oil company incomes and profits, just about when the massive oil spill occurred in the Santa Barbara Channel. (I think it was immediately following the spill that Press imagined he could get the voters to lay in on Big Oil!) Alas, the voters went against Press’s people and for Big Oil, but, of course, Mr. Press & Co., immediately cried foul. Clearly democracy was only a valid method for reaching public policy decisions when it favored what Mr. Press & Co., the Democrats, in other words, wanted. Anything else had to be corrupt, not bona fide democracy. We are these days witnessing the same thing across the country.”
Democratic Jews Break with Obama on Israel: "Jews who identify themselves as Democrats strongly agree with the Israeli position and disagree with President Obama's on issues such as a Palestinian state, settlement construction, and trading land for peace. A telephone survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center of 500 American Jews who say they are Democrats found broad disagreement with the Obama Middle East foreign policy."
America's unconstitutional census: "Next year’s census will determine the apportionment of House members and Electoral College votes for each state. To accomplish these vital constitutional purposes, the enumeration should count only citizens and persons who are legal, permanent residents. But it won’t. Instead, the U.S. Census Bureau is set to count all persons physically present in the country—including large numbers who are here illegally. The result will unconstitutionally increase the number of representatives in some states and deprive some other states of their rightful political representation. Citizens of “loser” states should be outraged. Yet few are even aware of what’s going on".
Privatized policing in Britain: "“Residents in a leafy suburb of Southampton have clubbed together to purchase security from a private firm. The ‘local’ police force have failed to protect the community and left people feeling unsafe. Thus, with an opening in the market place a private company is now giving the residents peace of mind by protecting them from crime. Atraks offers a ‘first response’ to crime and is independent of the police and local councils, and is cheap at just £3.15 per week. This country has reached the point where the police force has become a centralized, uniformed arm of the state, directed by government not for the people’s benefit but for their own.”
New fears over the rising tide of jobless in Britain: “In a week when ministers are bracing themselves for another steep rise in unemployment and possible downgrades in the Bank of England’s growth forecasts, senior analysts at two organisations warn today that a huge ’second wave’ of public-sector redundancies threatens to extinguish any near-term economic recovery.In their latest Labour Market Outlook, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and accountants KPMG say that the pace of deterioration in UK job prospects is starting to slow this summer, as private-sector demand for staff begins to stabilise following the surge of redundancies that took effect earlier in the year.”
Another faulty Airbus: "A Vietnam Airlines (VNA) Airbus 320 burst two tyres upon landing in southern Vietnam on Friday, the company said, adding all 164 passengers and crew members were safe. Crew discovered abnormal signs in the craft's hydraulic system, forcing the pilot to use the emergency brake on landing at Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat international airport, bursting two rear tyres, VNA said in a statement. The national flag carrier said it was working with relevant agencies to investigate what caused the problem on the flight from coastal Nha Trang city.
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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 12:35 AM