Friday, August 20, 2010
An incompetent President
Pollsters and pundits across the political spectrum are having a field day analyzing the Obama administration's plummeting popularity -- and the likely consequences for the midterm elections less than 80 days away. These "experts" suggest all manner of reasons that the O-Team in particular and Democrats in general are in such serious trouble. The kindest explanations offered by Freedom Concert fans run the gamut from "Obama has the attention span of a fruit fly" to "they are wearing blinders and earplugs."
This shouldn't come as a surprise to members of the president's party. His radical agenda may have been carefully disguised during the 2008 campaign season, but it became amply evident once he was in office. His anti-Israel foreign policy, the never-ending "grand apology tour" of world capitals and commitments to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan alarmed pro-defense Democrats right from the start. Then, aided and abetted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, he whipped members of his party into supporting costly bailouts, government seizure of businesses, so-called "stimulus" spending bills and a dramatic restructuring of American health care that threatens to bankrupt our children.
None of this has helped create new private-sector jobs, and the American people know it. And in case anyone needed a reminder, this week we were treated to a staggering 500,000 new claims for unemployment -- the highest number in nine months. So much for jobs being the Democrats' "No. 1 focus in 2010."
What is astonishing is how inept Obama and his supposedly "self-disciplined" and "thoughtful" administration have proved to be at capitalizing on opportunities. Their incompetent handling of everything, from their plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility to their trying radical Islamic terrorists in Manhattan to their response to the Gulf oil spill, has become part of the opposition mantra. The president's decision to bring a federal lawsuit against the state of Arizona for attempting to secure its border with Mexico and his support for building a mosque in New York City just a few hundred yards from ground zero are but the latest gaffes that will redound to the disadvantage of his party's candidates.
Dismantling America: Part IV
Thomas Sowell says do-gooders and Leftist educators are destroying America
How did we get to the point where many people feel that the America they have known is being replaced by a very different kind of country, with not only different kinds of policies but very different values and ways of governing?
It is not just evil people who would dismantle America. Many people who have no desire to destroy our freedoms simply have their own agendas that are singly or collectively incompatible with the survival of freedom.
Someone once said that a democratic society cannot survive for long after 51 percent of the people decide that they want to live off the other 49 percent. Yet that is the direction in which we are being pushed by those who are promoting envy under its more high-toned alias of "social justice."
Those who construct moral melodramas-- starring themselves on the side of the angels against the forces of evil-- are ready to disregard the Constitution rights of those they demonize, and to overstep the limits put on the powers of the federal government set by the Constitution.
The outcries of protest in the media, in academia and in politics, when the Supreme Court ruled this year that people in corporations have the same free speech rights as other Americans, are a painful reminder of how vulnerable even the most basic rights are to the attacks of ideological zealots. President Barack Obama said that the Court's decision "will open the floodgates for special interests"-- as if all you have to do to take away people's free speech rights is call them a special interest.
It is not just particular segments of the population who are under attack. What is more fundamentally under attack are the very principles and values of American society as a whole. The history of this country is taught in many schools and colleges as the history of grievances and victimhood, often with the mantra of "race, class and gender." Television and the movies often do the same.
When there are not enough current grievances for them, they mine the past for grievances and call it history. Sins and shortcomings common to the human race around the world are spoken of as failures of "our society." But American achievements get far less attention-- and sometimes none at all.
Our "educators," who cannot educate our children to the level of math or science achieved in most other comparable countries, have time to poison their minds against America.
Why? Partly, if not mostly, it is because that is the vogue. It shows you are "with it" when you reject your own country and exalt other countries.
Abraham Lincoln warned of people whose ambitions can only be fulfilled by dismantling the institutions of this country, because no comparable renown is available to them by supporting those institutions. He said this 25 years before the Gettysburg Address, and he was speaking of political leaders with hubris, whom he regarded as a greater danger than enemy nations. But such hubris is far more widespread today than just among political leaders.
Those with such hubris-- in the media and in education, as well as in politics-- have for years eroded both respect for the country and the social cohesion of its people. This erosion is what has set the stage for today's dismantling of America that is now approaching the point of no return.
Both Islam and the Left wish destruction upon us
As demonstrated by the actions of President Barack Obama and a Democratic Congress over the last one and a half years, socialism (with fascist trappings) adheres to its purpose of destroying all existing political, social and economic orders as a prerequisite for any further improvement. This is and continues to be the goal of Obama’s “hope and change.”
As demonstrated by the alleged “extremists” of Islam, and by their “non-violent” brethren, Islam likewise seeks to destroy all existing political, social, economic, and religious orders as a prerequisite for any future improvement, which is a global caliphate in which all men submit to Islam, one way or another, or die..
These two ideologies have, for the moment, set aside their differences to work together until the common enemy, the West, is disabled, conquered, emasculated, and beaten. In the United States, it means to vitiate the Constitution, abandon the republican form of government, and institute some form of “pure” democracy. Under the secular brand, this would mean the manipulated (and bogus) rule of the “poor” and “needy” of all stripes and categories. Under Islam, it would mean ruling a subservient and obedient class of Muslims and a sub-class of conquered non-believers.
Islam is no stranger to socialism. In fact, as Daniel Pipes and other observers have noted, Islam has made common cause with communism and socialism in the past. Islamic scholars and intellectuals have endorsed socialist trends in countries they wished to see Islam triumph. The phenomenon of America’s liberal/left making cause with Islam is just another episode of that on-again and off-again alliance.
If socialism wins, Islam is no worse off. It can exist in a socialist political/economic environment and bide its time, unless totalitarian measures are taken by the state to eradicate Islam as a rival ideology. The Soviet Union for decades suppressed both Christianity and Islam and all manner of other religions. Under socialism, everyone, including Muslims, would need to acknowledge the state or some personification of it (e.g., “Big Brother”) or some other prominent person and advocate of collectivism as the “true” God or “savior, and Karl Marx or Mao or Lenin as the “prophet.” Opposition to or digression from such deference and worship in any form would be deemed heresy, or blasphemy, and be punished with repression, imprisonment, or death.
If the West is sundered and vanquished, the two species of totalitarianism will fight savagely over the carcass, just as Hitler and Stalin fought over the carcass of Eastern Europe. That, of course, would be the beginning of a new Dark Age. Let us not forget the hundreds of thousands of “illegal” Catholic Mexicans pouring into this country. Will they convert to Islam or put up a fight? The totality of Islamic totalitarianism means just that: everyone and everything. Let us not forget America’s “native Americans,“ or the Indians, and Catholic South America, and Australia and New Zealand, and the whole of the African continent. Islam is committed to a global caliphate. That means everyone and everything coming under its rule. If the West collapses, it will be a bloody and horrendous Dark Age.
What are the commonalities of secular statism (or socialism) and Islam? What premises do they share? What are their shared ends? Are those ends similar or dissimilar or radically divergent?
The chief commonality between socialism and Islam is the deep-seated hatred -- and I would say is the fundamental motive of both socialism and Islam, its desiderative essence -- of the West, specifically of capitalism, of individual rights, and of freedom of speech. And particularly of America.
What is it about those three hallmarks of Western culture that arouses the shared animosity? They are the requirements of an independent, unobstructed, free-to-act, selfish, value-driven, and life-affirming man. They are the descriptive attributes that cannot be permitted in a totalitarian society. They are diametrically opposite of what secular statism and Islam require to function. They are the unified, integrated nemesis of collectivism. They do not describe the “ideal” man in either ideology. Such a man must be eradicated, destroyed. And once destroyed, such a man in either system cannot be permitted to come into existence.
Saving Jobs Means Saving Us from Prosperity
A most pernicious fallacy
One of the most pernicious fallacies in popular economic discussions is that we should adopt policies designed to save jobs. What was once just language used by those with a special interest in particular jobs (such as unions calling for import quotas as foreign cars became more popular) is now part of the Obama administration’s defense of its counterproductive “stimulus” program. “Jobs created or saved” has become the standard of an economic program’s success. There is so much wrong here, it’s hard to know where to start.
Let’s make the obvious point first: Creating jobs is easy, but it’s nothing to be proud of. In fact, destroying jobs is the real path to wealth.
To use an example I’ve used before: One way to create jobs on a big construction project is to take away the machines that dig out the foundation, and limit the workers to shovels. Or better yet, spoons. That will create lots of jobs. But that is not progress. Using more labor than needed to get the job done costs wealth. Better to use the machinery and free up all the shovel- and spoon-toting workers to produce output in addition to the foundation. By the same logic, we could create lots of jobs by destroying all the farm machinery. Surely, though, we would not be richer for doing so.
The rhetoric of saving jobs is as misguided as the rhetoric of creating jobs. We want jobs to disappear – that’s how we define progress! Think of all the jobs that weren’t saved over during the twentieth century. Agriculture employed about 40 percent of Americans in 1900. Today it’s less than 2 percent. Are we really worse off for not having saved those jobs?
Saving jobs means slaving away in manure-laden fields under the hot sun and brutal cold for 12 or 14 hours per day to feed your own family, with a little left over to buy a few necessities — rather than jobs with far better working conditions and far better pay and hours, jobs that afford most Americans the ability to pay other people to cook and serve their meals several times a week.
Saving jobs means putting the engine of human creativity in neutral if not reverse. The healthiest economies are those that consistently destroy jobs by inventing new and better ways to satisfy existing human wants with less and less labor, while freeing other labor to satisfy new and not-yet-dreamed-of wants.
Whenever you hear politicians talk about the jobs they’ve saved, just think of your ancestors scraping out a living on the land, and then think about how much better off we are because no one bothered to save those jobs.
Mosquerade: "Perhaps for the first time since Grover Cleveland, a Democratic president is championing private property rights, states’ rights and a limited federal government. Barack Obama endorsed the right of Muslims ‘to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan in accordance with local laws and regulation.’ Has Obama, of all people, flipped through the Constitution and achieved a clearer understanding of the first, ninth and tenth amendments? No, it is merely a mask.”
Happy public union news from New Jersey: "Here’s a change of pace from the usual doom-and-gloom news on municipal-worker relations: a number of towns in New Jersey have been reaching agreements with their local police unions that cut costs while avoiding layoffs. Last week, the Newark Star-Ledger reported on at least six towns where unions agreed to give-backs in exchange for a no-layoff promise. This is a good trend, but state lawmakers — and those elsewhere in the country — can do more to expand it.”
Government subsidies for bloggers?: "I almost choked when I read Lee Bollinger’s op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal advocating public financial support of the mainstream media. This is the Lee Bollinger who is the president of Columbia University and was recently named deputy chair of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. The article says more about the writer and the mainstream media than it does its subject matter. It is unbelievable and irresponsible that anyone in his position should seriously advocate subsidies for the press.”
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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 11:20 PM