Saturday, February 20, 2010
MSM denial over IRS bomber's Leftism
Gee, looks like angry people! Must be the Tea Party movement!
Before crashing his plane into an IRS office building, Joe Stack wrote and posted online a diatribe against insurance and drug companies, private health care, George W. Bush, and the Catholic Church. Subtract out the subtle hints at his planned terror act, and a similar rant could have appeared in some form on any of several left-wing message boards.
Despite this, it isn't just willfully blind posters on those same left-wing message boards that are trying to insinuate some connection between the Tea Party movement and this apparent tax-evader and suicide pilot, who railed against Congress for failing to pass health reform. A reader emails in a few examples from the mainstream media, including this gem from New York Magazine, whose author does not seem either to have read the manifesto very closely or to have attended any Tea Party rallies: "In fact, a lot of his rhetoric could have been taken directly from a handwritten sign at a tea party rally.”
Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post shoots from the same hip, and even goes out of his way to omit, without an ellipsis, Stack's attack on capitalism (and nod of approval to communism) at the end of his rant: “But after reading his 34-paragraph screed, I am struck by how his alienation is similar to that we're hearing from the extreme elements of the Tea Party movement.”
Time Magazine settles for placing a reference link to another piece, The making of the Tea Party movement, in the middle of its coverage.
So the next time you see a Tea Party rally, try to spot as many anti-Christian supporters of health insurance reform who hate George W. Bush as you can. Send the photographs and videos to us at The Washington Examiner.
Seriously, though, you'd think educated, intelligent people would see the difference. Unless they don't want to see it.
Beware of "Comprehensive" Anything
Victor Davis Hanson below applies some classic conservative advice to present-day politics
Before envisioning dramatic change, the Roman emperor Augustus is said to have warned, "Make haste slowly." The reformer Augustus was eager for radical social transformation. But he also knew he had to deal with generations of Roman tradition and habit -- and thousands of entrenched special interests. President Obama should heed Augustus' advice before he plans any more doomed top-to-bottom change.
Take his stalled health-care reforms. Rather than trying to turn a largely private system all at once into a huge state-controlled and regulated industry at a time of historic deficits, he would have been better off advocating incremental changes. Tort reform, for example, would reduce frivolous lawsuits that drive up medical expenses. Or health insurers could be allowed to compete across state lines. Tax credits and grants could focus on the uninsured. The costs of such changes would have been marginal, the savings large.
Instead, a 1,000-plus-page health-care bill had so many regulations that not even its congressional authors could explain all the details or predict their effects. And so President Obama's massive overhaul looks like it will meet the same fate as Bill Clinton's doomed 1993 "comprehensive" effort to remake American health care.
Obama also promised a remake of the war on terror -- including changing even its name to "overseas contingency operations." He campaigned on ending military tribunals, renditions and the Guantanamo Bay detention center. The Patriot Act and Predator drones were supposed to be trimmed back. Candidate Obama wanted combat troops to leave Iraq in March 2008 and declared the surge there a failure.
That comprehensive "reset" strategy was also quietly dropped. Obama has instead continued almost all the old Bush anti-terrorism protocols. Despite campaign talk of quickly getting out of Iraq and criticizing our supposed terrorizing of civilians in Afghanistan, Obama follows most Bush policies in Afghanistan and Iraq. Loud promises to close Guantanamo, investigate former CIA interrogators and try terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York so far have not happened -- and probably won't.
Unfazed by his health-care implosion, about-face on terrorism and falling polls, the president has promised Hispanic groups he will seek comprehensive immigration reform, and will probably support the Democratic-sponsored "Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act."
George Bush, of course, failed with massive immigration legislation in 2008. Bush wanted to address all at once every problem from closing the border and guest workers to amnesty and earned citizenship. Instead, far better would be a more modest effort to just close the border -- and worry about the other problems later. That could be done fairy easily through enforcing existing employer sanctions and finishing the border fence.
Once the influx of new arrivals is curtailed, the other contentious issues can be dealt with piecemeal. Without a million new arrivals each year -- while we argue and debate -- the size of the illegal community would shrink due to voluntary repatriation, deportations and greater assimilation (such as through marriage).
In fact, very few presidents succeed in "comprehensive" reform. President Bush -- pointing to his mandate after the 2004 victory over John Kerry -- vowed to change public Social Security into a semi-private enterprise. It was a radical Obama-like plan in reverse, in which younger workers could open their own private investment accounts. But just like Obama's effort to remake health care, the more Bush campaigned across the country for comprehensive Social Security reform, the more the public seemed to be opposed. Far easier would have been raising the retirement age by a year or two.
Why do such comprehensive efforts usually fail? Often existing policies are not all bad. Remaking them from the ground up has as much to do with politics and bragging rights about achieving "big change" as real need. Comprehensive reform also often involves new laws, more money and additional bureaucrats. Yet almost every problem facing America arises from too much federal spending and borrowing -- not too little government.
Finally, offering "comprehensive" reform usually means years of arguing and horse-trading among pressure groups to get anything done. By the time all the special interests are appeased or bought off, the resulting elephantine legislation typically looks nothing like what was intended.
In short, big-government medicine usually doesn't work on big-government sickness. If President Obama wants "comprehensive" change, it would be better simply not to spend any more money we don't have -- another lesson from Augustus, who put financial reform and budgetary sanity above everything else.
The Greek Lesson
By Victor Davis Hanson
No, I don’t mean the classical Greeks, but their present-day counterparts. Economists have given us all the usual diagnoses of what went wrong in a now bankrupt Greece — high taxes, tax cheating, too generous retirements, unsustainable entitlements, government corruption, and anemic demography.
Add to such socialism the natural foreign policy and collective expressions that always follow statism in the modern Western world — increased pacifism, utopian pretension, moral equivalence, cheap anti-Americanism — and we have the foreign policy expression of Greece (and much of the EU) of the last 30 years. (A citizen who believes by birthright that he is to be taken care of by the state always hates the state that can never do enough, in the fashion that the country who is taken care of militarily always hates its protector.)
In other words, Greece is the canary in the mine of the impending crack-up of the modern welfare state. It is a great gift to us all, this example. A year ago, the socialists, even as they were juggling and falsifying their books, were bragging that the Wall Street meltdown was a referendum — and capitalism was doomed. Now, the entire socialist dream is exposed and even the most ardent statist knows that there is no longer enough “others” to pay the tab.
The poor EU learned that the Greek siesta, the 10PM Athenian dinners, the state power company vans at the beaches in the workday afternoons, the kafenions full of 50-year-old men at 11AM, the angry students perpetually in the streets at each hinted reform, and the moonlighting telephone employees all came at the expense of far harder-working Scandinavian and German socialists, who apparently now realize a nice two weeks each year on Santorini or Crete aren’t worth billions of their own Euros in rescue bailouts.
Here in California we see the symptoms of the same Greek malady as we go from one budget shortfall to the next — dream-like borrowing, raising taxes, and furloughing, in lieu of the tough medicine of cutting government payrolls, changing pension payouts, and freezing the pay of state-workers until their compensation mirror images those in the private sector.
Postmodern Western society will soon witness a real showdown, analogous to the teenager who rebels and either accepts that he is still dependent on his parents and therefore subject to the rules of the house, or runs away and implodes in a sea of drugs and street-life.
In short, how will an entitled society react when the money runs out and it learns that it must change or wither away — and all the whining rhetoric about “social justice” and “a green future” and “spread the wealth” and “redistributive change” won’t bring another barrel of oil or bushel of wheat or Douglas fir 2” x 4”?
On the one hand, the money is vanishing. Income, state and federal, as well as payroll, taxes here in California may soon top 60% on top incomes (10% state, 15% plus payroll on most of one’s self-employed income, 39% federal). Add in property and sales taxes and we’ve reached the point where the lemon can no longer be squeezed without either more than the current 3,500 a week leaving the state, or going the Greek route of endemic cheating.
Where did all the wealth go? Modern Western society is in some sense becoming drone-like, its entitled sensitive citizens assuming ceremonial roles and attitudes about the very landscape they inherited from their industrious predecessors.
Here in California we idle farmland, though we have the water, expertise, and soil to produce far more food than we do. We put vast swaths of both land and sea off limits to gas and oil production, though we could produce far more petroleum and natural gas than we do. We snub nuclear power, though our population steadily increases and its desire for electronic appurtenance grows, not shrinks. We like “wilderness areas” (who doesn’t?) where we build no roads, harvest no timber, and build no dams. We strangle Silicon Valley with all sorts of labor and business regulations until it fabricates and outsources abroad. In other words, we are creating no real new sources of concrete wealth as we nuance the shrinking capital we inherited.
Yes, before we have the actor, the writer, the professor, the insurer, the investor, the regulator, and the politicians, we need the elemental among us to find or create material wealth. We, the sloganeering class, forgot that, and so subsidize our high living either on borrowed money or the prior productive investment of those now in the grave yards.
And the tab is coming due faster than we ever dreamed. All the soaring, teleprompted rhetoric, the Ivy-League credentials, and the social justice boilerplate will no more create wealth than ceremonial fifth-century AD consuls and robed bishops could fabricate the glory of Rome.
Why am I not too optimistic right now? Our President, who submitted the largest deficits in recent memory, and who is on track to nearly double the national debt in record time, continues to blame Bush — not just for Bush’s lamentable deficits, but for Obama’s own new unsustainable ones. I think his weird logic is: “Bush’s bad deficits made me trump them by a factor of four.” When the Commander-in-Chief expects the populace to believe that, or drops real unemployment figures and talks instead of theoretical jobs saved, or flip-flops on everything from evil Wall Street bankers now suddenly good, or bad nuclear power now vital, then we have about as much hope as we would have under Jimmy Carter.
A good letter
On 23 August 2009, the Jackson, Mississippi Clarion Ledger published a letter to the editor from Dr. Roger Starner Jones, a physician who specializes in emergency medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Dr. Jones' letter was published under the title "Why Pay for the Care of the Careless?" and read as follows:
During my last shift in the ER, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient with a shiny new gold tooth, multiple elaborate tatoos and a new cellular telephone equipped with her favorite R&B tune for a ring tone.
Glancing over the chart, one could not help noticing her payer status: Medicaid.
She smokes a costly pack of cigarettes every day and, somehow, still has money to buy beer.
And our president expects me to pay for this woman's health care? Our nation's health care crisis is not a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. It is a crisis of culture -- a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on vices while refusing to take care of one's self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance.
Life is really not that hard. Most of us reap what we sow.
Obama banned from Las Vegas: "The list of people banned from Las Vegas is a litany of dishonour. But among the swindlers, fixers and mobsters — many of their mugshots displayed on the Nevada Gaming Commission’s website under the heading Excluded, Wanted & Denied — is a new and rather unlikely name: that of Barack H. Obama, of Washington. “I want to assure you that when he comes [here], I’ll do everything I can to give him the boot,” growled Oscar Goodman, the Mayor of Las Vegas, before Air Force One swooped down over Sin City’s infamous “Strip” for a presidential visit that was expected to last less than 24 hours. Mr Goodman was not there to greet Mr Obama when he stepped on to the tarmac of McCarran International, having turned down an invitation from the White House. Nor was he expected to attend any of the President’s events — an astonishing rebuff by a lowly city mayor to a US leader. With Obama’s visit intended in large part to help the re-election chances of the deeply unpopular Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — a man who opined with excruciating candour that the President’s victory in 2008 was a result of him being a “light-skinned African-American, with no Negro dialect” — the mayor’s snub was threatening to turn an already awkward situation into a full-blown political debacle... the 70-year-old mayor is livid about what he regards as Mr Obama’s repeated attacks on his beloved city, which has been hurt badly by the recession."
Obama finds a useful RINO: "The same day President Obama called for another $50 billion to $100 billion stimulus plan (and concomitant increase in the deficit), he also appointed the chairmen of his Deficit Reduction Commission. It says a lot about Washington that almost no one got the irony of those paired announcements. The two cochairmen will be Democrat Erskine Bowles, President Bill Clinton's former White House chief of staff, and Republican Alan Simpson, the former Wyoming Senator. Mr. Simpson was best known for being a thorn in the side of conservatives and supply-siders when he was in the Senate. "He is a tax increaser and he's anti-immigrant," says Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. Larry Kudlow of CNBC's Kudlow Report is even more critical. "Simpson's to the left of Erskine Bowles," Mr. Kudlow scoffs. "This thing [the bipartisan deficit panel] needs to be blown up. It's an excuse to raise taxes -- when we need to be cutting tax rates."
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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 8:06 PM