A Labor Day editorial
Ironically, work is probably the last thing the American people want to think about on Labor Day. They'd much rather devote their time and energy to the backyard barbecue, the last beach trip of 2009, or, perhaps a pickup football game in the local school yard.
As well they should. But now might be the best time to for all of us across the fruited plains to remind ourselves anew of just why "a fair day's pay for a good day's work" is so important for our future and our past—and how it's being undermined at the highest levels of government.
Work, quite simply, is the ability to get up and make a life for yourself. As an American, you have the right to work for yourself and for the ones you love. And no one else has the right to "wring their bread from the sweat of your brow." It was that fierce individualism, the "can-do" pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps attitude that built America out of nothing and catapulted the nation and its citizens to a level of wellbeing never before thought possible.
As American history has proven time and again, to build a prosperous and fruitful life, all one needs is a healthy dose of self-motivation and a free nation in which to exercise that motivation.
The current administration, however, begs to differ. In their eyes, nothing can —or should— happen without government's consent or even ordination. This is, perhaps, most evident when they speak about their ostensible solution or the recession and unemployment. They believe government alone can create jobs out of thin air—like a magician pulling a rabbit out of its hat. But the truth is: government doesn't "create jobs." And it never will. Small business owners create jobs. Large business owners create jobs. Individuals create their own jobs. Government simply "makes work."
Yet, as American's for Limited Government Chairman Howard Rich points out a recent column, there is a shocking disconnect between public sector pay and private sector pay in the United States. As he says:
"According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' recently published study for 2007, in California, which is still trying to climb out of its oppressive $26 billion deficit, average annual income for state employees was $56,777 versus $49,935 for the private sector, a 14 percent gap. In Illinois, a similar story emerges: $53,925 for state workers, and $48,006 for the private sector, an 11 percent split. New Jersey: $57,845 average state salary, $53,590 for private sector workers, at an 8 percent difference…
"Nationally, the story is even worse. Federal workers made on average $64,871 in 2007, with private sector workers making a meager $44,362, so public sector wages in the federal system are 46 percent higher."
Something is amiss when those in government (individuals who produce nothing more than rules, regulation, red tape, and higher taxes) are "rewarded" more than those in private enterprise who truly produce the wealth of the nation. It is a sign of the times —and the leadership.
So on this Labor Day, take a minute to remember what makes America unique —and, yes, exceptional. It is the hard worker, not the bureaucrat. It is the taxpayer, not the tax collector. And it is the people, not the government. It has never been government. It has never been bureaucracy. And it has not been the halls of America's Congress but rather the shelves of America's stores, the fields of America's farms, and the students of America's schools that have made America great.
As summer comes to a close, America's workers —men, women, the old, and young— ought to pat themselves on the back and appreciate the fact that they are the backbone of this strong —and still magnificent— nation. May their numbers multiply.
Generation sloth: "It’s Labor Day, but there’s nothing to celebrate. On July 24 this year, the government raised the minimum wage to $7.25, which is another way of saying that unemployment is mandatory for anyone who is otherwise willing to work for less. You have no freedom to negotiate or lower the price for your service. You are either already valuable at this rate or you are out of the game. Here is how it works.”
Honor Labor Day: End compulsory unionism: "Labor Day is a celebration of the efforts of America’s workers. However, the celebration is hollow for millions of American workers because of compulsory unionism. Throughout the United States, over 12 million workers labor under contracts that require them to be a member of, or financially support, a union as a condition of employment. Additionally, millions of more workers are required by law to accept union bosses’ so-called ‘representation,’ thereby losing the right to negotiate their own employment terms.”
Unions in trouble on Labor Day: "The Gallup findings are unequivocal. Approval of labor unions is down from 59% to 48%. Among Independents, it’s down even more, from 63% to 44%. Do unions mostly help or hurt the companies where they represent workers? Mostly help, 45%; mostly hurt, 46%. How about the U.S. economy in general? Mostly help, 39%; mostly hurt, 51%. Ouch. By more than 2-1 Americans feel unions help union members, but by a similar margin they feel they mostly hurt non-members, who after all are a large majority of American employees these days. Would you like to see unions have more or less influence? More influence, 25%; less influence, 42%. Will they become stronger or weaker? Stronger, 24%; weaker, 48%."
Obama crawls to the labor unions: "President Obama declared Monday that modern benefits such as paid leave, the minimum wage and Social Security "all bear the union label," as he appealed to organized labor to help him win the health care fight in Congress. "It was labor that helped build the largest middle class in history. So, even if you're not a union member, every American owes something to America's labor movement," said Mr. Obama, whose run for the presidency was energized in no small part by unions".
A crucial week for Obama's teleprompter: "This is a big week for the president's teleprompter. He's first taking it across the Potomac for a speech urging schoolchildren to wash their hands, study hard and stay in school. Good advice for everyone, no doubt, and maybe the advice will stimulate the sale of soap to people who really need it. Politicians particularly should take to heart a presidential admonition to keep their hands clean. Who can argue with that? The reception Wednesday night on Capitol Hill, for the president's speech to an unusual joint session of Congress, will be a little different. There will be no one to throw a soft tomato or a rotten egg; this audience will be a wrack of frightened rabbits begging the president for a lifeline (or at least a carrot). Congress is back in town after a month on the Western front, and still befuddled and a little shellshocked from taking fire from angry constituents. Nobody wants what the president is selling, insofar as anybody can figure out exactly what he's selling. The magic elixir may be the president himself, and lately nobody's buying that, either."
Excerpt from Obama's school speech: "I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work — that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things. But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try. That’s OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, ‘I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.’ These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you — you have to let them teach you.” [He can certainly talk the talk but that seems to be his only talent]
Why Obama’s address to schoolchildren is objectionable: “The President is a political leader. He is not in office to be an educator. His duties are clearly laid out, and they do not include educating children. By the same token, the President is not the parent of all these children. He is not their teacher. He is not their religious leader. The reason for these boundaries is so that political figures do not use their power and influence to dominate our social lives. It is a special danger to liberty and society when national powers are developed. These are powers in which the national leadership directly controls or influences individual citizens, while bypassing or circumventing other local sources of governance and influence such as parents, families, churches, schools, and local governments. An Obama address to schoolchildren is an instance of the further development of national power and influence.”
When Bush spoke to students, Democrats investigated, held hearings: "The controversy over President Obama's speech to the nation's schoolchildren will likely be over shortly after Obama speaks today at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. But when President George H.W. Bush delivered a similar speech on October 1, 1991, from Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington DC, the controversy was just beginning. Democrats, then the majority party in Congress, not only denounced Bush's speech -- they also ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate its production and later summoned top Bush administration officials to Capitol Hill for an extensive hearing on the issue. The day after Bush spoke, the Washington Post published a front-page story suggesting the speech was carefully staged for the president's political benefit. "The White House turned a Northwest Washington junior high classroom into a television studio and its students into props," the Post reported. With the Post article in hand, Democrats pounced. "The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students," said Richard Gephardt"
Rubbery standards over lobbyists: "President Obama's nominee at the Department of Homeland Security overseeing bioterrorism defense has served as a key adviser for a lobbying group funded by the pharmaceutical industry that has asked the government to spend more money for anthrax vaccines and biodefense research. But Dr. Tara O'Toole, whose confirmation as undersecretary of science and technology is pending, never reported her involvement with the lobbying group called the Alliance for Biosecurity in a recent government ethics filing. The alliance has spent more than $500,000 lobbying Congress and federal agencies -- including Homeland Security -- since 2005, congressional records show. However, Homeland Security officials said Dr. O'Toole need not disclose her ties to the group on her government ethics form because the alliance is not incorporated" [What??]
China's stimulus powers world economies: "While politicians in Washington debate whether President Obama's stimulus program is helping to pull the U.S. economy out of a recession, economists have already declared the winner in the stimulus race, and it's China. The Asian giant's massive $586 billion stimulus package -- implemented with speed in November just as the world economy was crashing -- is credited with helping to stabilize world markets and contribute to a budding recovery in Asia, Europe and the United States, where the stimulus package came too late to prevent the worst recession in modern times."
Democrats brace for midterm losses: "Few issues in American politics are as supercharged as health care, and when presidents choose to touch the subject, a surge of high voltage often scorches not only the chief executive, but his party in Congress. In 1966, after President Johnson had pushed Medicare through Congress the year before, the Democrats lost 47 seats in the House and four in the Senate. In 1994, after first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton failed to overhaul the nation's health care system, Democrats lost 54 seats in the House and seven in the Senate as Republicans swept in with the "Contract With America."
People power: “Congress returns this week, and here’s hoping that its members, Democrats in particular, learned a little something from this summer’s town hall meetings. The lesson to be drawn from these occasionally raucous events is that America is on the verge of — or already knee-deep in — one of those moments that periodically roil the country and rearrange our preconceived notions about public life. And not a moment too soon. Popular outbursts serve as a check on, and corrective to, our elites’ behavior. The people know things the elites forget or don’t want to remember. The political class is supposed to serve the people, not the other way around.”
NYT embarrassed to admit that their reporter has been kidnapped: "According to reports from Afghanistan, New York Times reporter Stephen Farrell and his driver/interpreter have been kidnapped while attempting to cover the story of the NATO airstrike on the two Taliban-hijacked tankers in Kunduz, Afghanistan. The local Afgha n press is reporting that a reporter has been kidnapped, although Farrell was not directly named; however, the international press and the wires services have been silent on this issue. Multiple sources in Afghanistan tell me that The New York Times is attempting to suppress the reporting on Farrell's kidnapping. The New York Times did the same thing when journalist David Rohde was kidnapped in eastern Afghanistan late last year. Rohde escaped from a Haqqani Network compound in North Waziristan earlier this year. While Rohde's kidnapping was not publicized, his escape was the subject of abundant reporting. The media has not afforded the US military the courtesy of a news blackout when US troops have been captured in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Passionate Leftist "principles" suddenly vanish: "As General Stan McChrystal plans his march on Washington to demand more troops in Afghanistan the antiwar movement lies on the sidewalk, as inert and forlorn as a homeless person in the rain at a street corner, too dejected even to hold up a sign. This is at a time that as Mark Ames has just pointed out, ‘Obama is doubling down in Afghanistan with more troops deployed now than the Soviets ever had.’ Yes, add up US troops and contractors and you get a US invasion of Afghanistan bigger than the Soviet force at its peak. Is there any sign of life in a movement that marshaled hundreds of thousands to march in protest against war in Iraq? Ah, but those were the Bush years. Now we have a Democrat in the White House.”
Ilana Mercer's accent not welcome in the USA?: "The other day, at my local branch of the United States Postal Service, a devoted USPS customer told me in high decibels to go back whence I came. Although I speak and write English at a level this yahoo could not aspire to, I do the former sans an American accent. In the chauvinistic, provincial mind of my post-office foe, my accent condemned me. Even more of a liability was my apparently un-American, unpatriotic audacity. I stood up to a USPS bureaucrat, who has, for the past seven years, faithfully fulfilled her role as a bully. Incidentally, the Asian service clerk in question had not managed to master Pidgin English, but somehow I doubt that the brassy American postal patriot would have dared to order her out of the country.” [I presume her accent is South African. I find the story a little puzzling. I speak with an Australian accent but when I am in America I am often congratulated on my "British" accent. No problems at all. I suspect that Mercer was behaving arrogantly. Her writings on the net do seem to exhibit a wide-ranging hostility]
Britain: Queen is ‘unhappy over equipment shortages’: "The Queen has spoken to Gordon Brown personally to express her anger over equipment shortages suffered by troops in Afghanistan, it was reported last night. According to Andrew Roberts, a leading historian with close links to the Royal Family, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales have also contacted the Prime Minister about the lack of armoured vehicles, helicopters and other vital equipment needed by British forces. “The Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles are all furious with Gordon Brown over sub-standard equipment in Helmand, principally the underarmoured armoured cars and the lack of helicopters, and have been making their views known to him in no uncertain terms,” he said. The historian claimed to have been told of the Queen’s anger by three sources — a minor royal, a serving general and a recent former Cabinet minister. “I have it from the horse’s mouth. They take their responsibilities as acting colonels-in-chief of various regiments very seriously,” he said."
British sailors and airmen outnumbered by defence bureaucrats: "The Ministry of Defence is so stuffed with civil servants that they outnumber the combined manpower of the Royal Navy and the RAF. The statistic, produced by the Conservatives yesterday to attack the Government’s record on defence manpower, followed condemnation by General Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank, a former Chief of Defence Staff, over imbalances between uniform and non-uniformed personnel. Liam Fox, the Shadow Defence Secretary, said that 16 per cent of the Civil Service resided in the MoD, and that the number of civilian officials (86,620), was about 12,000 more than the Royal Navy (34,830) and RAF (39,260) put together. “There is one civilian for every two Armed Forces personnel in the MoD. It is time for the MoD to get its house in order,” Dr Fox said, at the launch of Jane’s 2009 Defence Systems and Equipment International exhibition in London."
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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)