Scrooge Was a Liberal
It's the Christmas season, so godless liberals are citing the Bible to demand the redistribution of income by government force. Didn't Jesus say, "Blessed are the Health and Human Services bureaucrats, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven"?
Liberals are always indignantly accusing conservatives of claiming God is on our side. What we actually say is: We're on God's side, particularly when liberals are demanding God's banishment from the public schools, abortion on demand, and taxpayer money being spent on Jesus submerged in a jar of urine and pictures of the Virgin Mary covered with pornographic photos.
But for liberals like Al Franken, it's beyond dispute that Jesus would support extending federal unemployment insurance.
This has absolutely nothing to do with the Bible, but it does nicely illustrate Shakespeare's point that the "devil can cite Scripture for his purpose."
What the Bible says about giving to the poor is: "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." (2 Corinthians (9:7)
Being forced to pay taxes under penalty of prison is not voluntary and rarely done cheerfully. Nor do our taxes go to "the poor." They mostly go to government employees who make more money than you do.
The reason liberals love the government redistributing money is that it allows them to skip the part of charity that involves peeling the starfish off their wallets and forking over their own money. This, as we know from study after study, they cannot bear to do. (Unless they are guaranteed press conferences where they can brag about their generosity.)
Syracuse University professor Arthur Brooks' study of charitable giving in America found that conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than liberals do, despite the fact that liberals have higher incomes than conservatives.
In his book "Who Really Cares?" Brooks compared the charitable donations of religious conservatives, secular liberals, secular conservatives and "religious" liberals.
His surprising conclusion was ... Al Franken gave the most of all!
Ha ha! Just kidding. Religious conservatives, the largest group at about 20 percent of the population, gave the most to charity -- $2,367 per year, compared with $1,347 for the country at large.
Even when it comes to purely secular charities, religious conservatives give more than other Americans, which is surprising because liberals specialize in "charities" that give them a direct benefit, such as the ballet or their children's elite private schools.
Indeed, religious people, Brooks says, "are more charitable in every measurable nonreligious way."
Brooks found that conservatives donate more in time, services and even blood than other Americans, noting that if liberals and moderates gave as much blood as conservatives do, the blood supply would increase by about 45 percent.
They ought to set up blood banks at tea parties.
On average, a person who attends religious services and does not believe in the redistribution of income will give away 100 times more -- and 50 times more to secular charities -- than a person who does not attend religious services and strongly believes in the redistribution of income.
Secular liberals, the second largest group coming in at 10 percent of the population, were the whitest and richest of the four groups. (Some of you may also know them as "insufferable blowhards.") These "bleeding-heart tightwads," as New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof calls them, were the second stingiest, just behind secular conservatives, who are mostly young, poor, cranky white guys.
Despite their wealth and advantages, secular liberals give to charity at a rate of 9 percent, less than all Americans and 19 percent less than religious conservatives. They were also "significantly less likely than the population average to return excess change mistakenly given to them by a cashier." (Count Nancy Pelosi's change carefully!)
Secular liberals are, however, 90 percent more likely to give sanctimonious Senate speeches demanding the forced redistribution of income. (That's up 7 percent from last year!) We'll review specific liberals next week.
Needless to say, "religious liberals" made up the smallest group at just 6.4 percent of the population (for more on this, see my book, "Godless").
Interestingly, religious liberals were also "most confused" of all the groups. Composed mostly of blacks and Unitarians, religious liberals made nearly as many charitable donations as religious conservatives, but presumably, the Unitarians brought down their numbers, making them second in charitable giving.
Brooks wrote that he was shocked by his conclusions because he believed liberals "genuinely cared more about others than conservatives did" -- probably because liberals are always telling us that.
So he re-ran the numbers and gathered more data, but it kept coming out the same. "In the end," he says, "I had no option but to change my views."
Every other study on the subject has produced similar results. Indeed, a Google study of philanthropy found an even greater disparity, with conservatives giving 50 percent more than liberals. The Google study showed that liberals gave more to secular causes overall, but conservatives still gave more as a percentage of their incomes.
The Catalogue for Philanthropy analyzed a decade of state and federal tax returns and found that the red states were far more generous than the blue states, with the highest percentage of tightwads living in the liberal Northeast.
In his book "Intellectuals," Paul Johnson quotes Pablo Picasso scoffing at the idea that he would give to the needy. "I'm afraid you've got it wrong," Picasso explains, "we are socialists. We don't pretend to be Christians."
Merry Christmas to all, skinflint liberals and generous Christians alike!
A new surge of Obamamania from the press
Wednesday's press conference may have starred President Obama fresh off his alleged big win on START and DADT, his losses on the Dream Act and the Omnibus spending bill, and the tie on the tax deal, but the big story was the eagerness of the White House Press Corp to revert to fawning treatment of their once-and-future leader.
"I think while they may be saying Merry Christmas," Mark Steyn told me on yesterday's broadcast, "but actually as far as they’re concerned, it’s Easter, that their messiah has risen from the dead, and now bestrides lame duck Washington like a colossus."
Even the leader of the rump group of real reporters at 1600, ABC's Jake Tapper, succumbed to the mood in the press room and congratulated the president on the passage of the repeal of the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. I don't think it is fair to attribute support for the repeal to Tapper on the basis of the remark, but reporters don't typically cheer the president's agenda anymore than they hiss at it.
Tapper's lapse may have been reflecting the loneliness of the holdout serious journalist when it comes to Obama. Yesterday's presser was a perfect example. The night before the press conference the president's Director of National Intelligence --James Clapper-- was stumped by Diane Sawyer's reference to Monday evening's arrests of a dozen terror suspects in Great Britain. Clapper blinked incomprehension when Sawyer asked him if the threat over there had any connections to the threat over here. An astonished Sawyer later returned to the subject and pressed Clapper, who admitted that he simply hadn't heard of the arrests, which had played nonstop on cable all day Tuesday and which I had discussed at length with New York Times London Bureau Chief on my Monday night show, --proving only that it wasn't exactly hard to get up to speed on the arrests even though they occurred across the Atlantic.
Imagine the press conference George W. Bush would have faced if either of his DNIs --John D. Negroponte or Michael Hayden-- had blanked on a major story with a network anchor the night before the questions rolled out. If either Bush appointee had been shown to be clueless about the smashing of a major terror ring in England on the week of Christmas, the tape would have rolled endlessly and the press would fairly have screamed questions about resignation demands at W.
Not this press corps and not this president. What conservatives saw yesterday was the first act in MSM's campaign to re-elect Barack Obama. The script isn't difficult to anticipate.
First, every Obama defeat --like the massive repudiation of the president's first two years in office and especially of Obamcare-- must be air brushed off the front page as quickly as possible.
Second, legislative defeats, like the ban on moving Gitmo detainees to the U.S. for trial which passed Wednesday, must not be mentioned unless, like the Dream Act, the MSM perceives political advantage in spinning the defeat in the president's direction.
Third, pratfalls by key members of Team Obama like James Clapper must vanish quickly and not be allowed to feed the public's obvious dismay with the competence of this Administration.
Next, prepare to present the GOP House as a band of rogue inquisitors eager to cobble together some sort of Whitewater II. Ignore the demands of Congress that out-of-control agencies like the FCC abandon unnecessary and ideological extreme initiatives like "net neutrality," and bury the baseline deficit from fiscal year 2007 --the last GOP budget-- of $160 billion versus the trillions spent in red ink since then.
Finally, keep all eyes off of the president's incredible record of weakness aboard, his hostility to Israel, and his inability to do anything about the rogue regimes of North Korea and Iran despite his many promises of engagement and a new start. The president's child-like approach to foreign affairs has left our friends with their heads shaking and our enemies with their hands clasping. The White House press corps, even with the Korean peninsula on the brink of all out war, must not press the president on the subject or on his manifest inability to bring any pressure to bear on the North Koreans or to do anything to stop the runaway nuclear proliferation of the gangster regime.
Wednesday's press conference featured the return of the media we saw throughout campaign 2008 --a blocking front for a hard-left president they approve of over drinks and to whose re-election they are resoundingly, and obviously, committed.
Actually, Huck, It's Palin Who Gets It
Two names frequently bandied about as potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates engaged in a minor but revealing squabble this week. During what I assume was an action-packed episode of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" on TLC, the former vice presidential candidate poked some gentle fun at first lady Michelle Obama's ubiquitous children's health crusade.
And this wasn't the first time Palin had disparaged the campaign and the school nutrition food bill that comes attached to it.
As you would expect, duty beckoned enlightened Americans everywhere to run to their keyboards and ridicule Palin. The few rational Republicans left in the country were called to action and gently explained to this crazy woman that children are the future -- which, evolutionarily speaking, is indisputable.
"With all due respect to my colleague and friend Sarah Palin, I think she's misunderstood what Michelle Obama is trying to do," retorted the once generously proportioned Mike Huckabee on a New York radio show. Obama, explained the former Arkansas governor, is "not trying to tell people what to eat or not trying to force the government's desires on people. She's stating the obvious, that we do have an obesity problem in this country."
(More like overstating the obvious, but that's another story.)
In this case, Huckabee is either confused or, judging from his prior work, the kind of guy who dismisses the distinction between convincing someone and coercing someone. Especially in those historical moments when "something needs to be done," which, as you know, can be often.
Now, if you believe, as the Obamas and countless others do, that local control and parental choice are disposable when the common good is threatened, then empowering Washington to dictate which foods are appropriate in bake sales, PTA functions and local school cafeterias probably sounds like a fantastic idea.
But the recently passed nutrition bill (the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, in Washingtonese), a key component to Mrs. Obama's plan to "end childhood obesity," is in fact both "telling people" what they should eat and "trying to force the government's desires on people."
So when Palin claims that the Obamas do not trust people "to make decisions for their own children," she is not unleashing some Bircher hyperbole; she is summing up the driving idea of two years of public policy and paraphrasing the first lady, who recently explained that when it comes to eating, "we can't just leave it up to the parents."
Mrs. Obama might be stating the obvious, but instead of placing the blame on parental incompetence or neglect or genes or whatever the reason is that kids are stuffing their little gullets with junk, she is feeding and creating myths to rationalize "action" -- whether we're talking about the lack of access to food (never have we had more access to food) or prohibitive prices (never has food -- including healthy fare -- been cheaper) or the plague of school lunches.
As for Huckabee, his history of intrusive legislation and alarmism over the crumbling salubriousness of the nation is obviously driven by his own experiences. And if you want to nag us or explain the ramifications of obesity, feel free. Certainly, potential presidents should have the ability to compromise, avoid ideological rigidity and be cognizant of national problems like obesity.
But foundational beliefs like an aversion to federal overreach into local decisions cannot be disposed of because kids happen to be part of the equation. And if Huckabee believes there's nothing wrong with the federal government controlling local school lunches and instituting national smoking bans, how many issues will he believe are more important than federalism?
Now, Sarah Palin may not always be the most sophisticated spokesperson for conservative ideology, but she is right on the money here. In fact, with all the sneering about her comments, she may want to turn to one of her favorite authors, C.S. Lewis, who also understood that "moral busybodies" who "torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
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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)