The uniformed goons of the Left
Whether black, white, brown, red, pink, orange, green, or purple, leftists come in all colors… depending on their issue de jour. Watching the turmoil in Wisconsin in recent weeks, and seeing Democrats on the floor of the General Assembly… all decked out in their stylish orange t-shirts… shouting childish epithets at their Republican colleagues, one is reminded of how easily and how quickly liberals, Democrats, socialists, fascists and communists adopt self-identifying uniforms.
What comes to mind are leftist movements of the past two centuries: Mussolini’s Blackshirts; Hitler’s Brownshirts; the white-hooded Knights of the Ku Klux Klan; the black-suited New Black Panthers; the pink-shirted dilettantes of Code Pink; the red-shirted thugs of Obama’s ACORN; the green-shirted radicals of the Association of Federal, State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); and the purple-shirted goons of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Of these, only Hitler’s Brownshirts and Mussolini’s Blackshirts are not known to have been closely associated with the Democratic Party.
Unlike Tea Party activists, who are capable of dressing themselves and thinking for themselves, union members and other self-identified leftists, socialists and fascists are, by their very nature, like children who must have others dress them and do their thinking for them.
Mussolini’s Blackshirts, the Fasci di Combattimenti, were established as a Fascist paramilitary force in 1919. Far from being as brutal as Hitler’s Brownshirts, Mussolini’s Blackshirts favored tactics such as tying an opposition “non-conformist” to a tree, forcing a pint or two of castor oil down his throat, and forcing him to swallow a live toad or frog. While not life-threatening, such punishments were enough to cause most Italians to give the Blackshirts a bit of latitude.
And while submissive adults were important to the Mussolini regime, it was the children, the fascists of the future, who were of greatest interest to Il Duce. Like Democrats of today and like Nazis of yesteryear, a top priority of Italian fascists was control of the state’s public education system… not because of the quality of the education children might receive, but because of the opportunities it provided for filling impressionable young minds with leftist ideology.
While Italian children were taught to sing hymns of praise to Il Duce, American children are taught by unionized teachers to chant, “He said red, yellow, black, or white, all are equal in his sight. Mmm, mmm, mmm! Barack Hussein Obama! Barack Hussein Obama!”
Adolph Hitler’s Brownshirts, the Sturmabteilung (SA), served as the paramilitary arm of the National Socialist German Workers’ (Nazi) Party. It played a major role in Hitler’s rise to power during the 1920s and ’30s until being violently displaced by the Schutzstaffel (SS) in 1934.
The Hitler Youth, who wore the same brown shirts as their elders, were important to the future of the Third Reich because it was their job, not only to inform on their parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors, but to train and recruit future SA members. And just as the Hitler Youth were taught Nazi slogans and Nazi doctrine by adult leaders, Youth for Obama children are taught to sing propaganda themes such as, “We’re gonna’ spread happiness. We’re gonna’ spread freedom. Obama’s gonna’ change it, Obama’s gonna’ lead ‘em, Obama’s gonna’ change it… and rearrange it. We’re gonna’ change the world.”
The Ku Klux Klan, identifiable by their white robes and white conical hats and facemasks, was formed in 1865 as the paramilitary arm of the Democratic Party. The primary role of the Klan was to intimidate the freed slaves, controlling every facet of their daily lives as if they had not been freed from the bonds of slavery. Sworn testimony contained in the Congressional Record tells us that, after Republicans wrote and ratified the 15th Amendment, giving blacks the right to vote, Democrats often stood in the doorways of the polling places handing out Democratic ballots and reminding blacks that, if they failed to vote the Democrat ticket, there was a coffin waiting for them.
With that level of intimidation most blacks voted the Democrat ticket… but some did not. Archives maintained by the Tuskegee Institute contain the names of some 4,730 men and women who refused to be intimidated. Between 1882 and 1951, the white-clad night riders of the Klan lynched some 3,437 blacks and 1,293 whites, essentially all Republicans. Now, in what can only be described as a mind-boggling reversal of roles, we find members of the New Black Panther Party, clad in black military style uniforms and brandishing police-style nightsticks, employing essentially the same tactics as the KKK… intimidating both black and white voters suspected of voting for Republican candidates.
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), whose members and staff are recognizable by their red t-shirts, was born out of the welfare rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s. According to ACORN propaganda, the group’s priorities have included better low-income housing, higher wages for the poor, more community development investment from banks and governments, better public schools, unionization of workers and other “social justice” issues. Putting a bit of “lipstick on a pig,” ACORN claims to have pursued these goals through public demonstrations, negotiations, lobbying and voter participation.
The truth is, in spite of the fact that hundreds of millions of dollars, much of it taxpayer funds, have flowed through the hands of 30 ACORN state chapters and hundreds of local chapters, ACORN activists have little to show for their efforts. Low-income housing has been a national disgrace; few minorities have gained middle-class status via ACORN’s efforts; pressure exerted on banks to make mortgage loans to applicants with little or no ability to repay them, has brought our nation to the brink of financial collapse; the number of high school dropouts, especially in the black community, has steadily increased while education spending has grown exponentially; more than two out of every three black babies are born to unwed mothers; and, with ACORN’s assistance, the number of black babies aborted now borders on genocide.
The only thing ACORN has done successfully is to provide the Democratic Party with many thousands of dead or fictitious voters. Numerous officials have been indicted on fraud charges and on March 22, 2010, ACORN announced it was closing all of its remaining state chapters and disbanding due to falling revenue. Although Democrats will be forced to find a new source of fraudulent voter registrations, they’re almost certain to experience a one-time windfall from the sale of thousands of red ACORN t-shirts.
Until the shameless siege of the Wisconsin state capitol, the purple-shirted goons of the SEIU could be counted on to turn out in force… shouting, screaming, pushing, shoving and brutalizing the opposition. But now, the violence-prone goons of the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, the NEA and the AFT appear to have reclaimed their mantle as party “enforcers.” And while decent people may view with alarm the lawless nature of those who occupied the Wisconsin capitol, threatening and terrorizing Republican members of the House and Senate, it is easy to lose track of just who those people are.
They are not just a bunch of radical Democrats and unionized public employees in someone else’s state capital. No matter where we live, they are our family members, our neighbors; the teachers who teach our children; our fellow Wal-Mart shoppers; and, sadly, in far too many instances, they are the police officers and the firefighters in whose hands we place the safety of our families and our property. They are, like the Wisconsin classroom teachers and other public employees, those who contribute their hard earned dollars to elect Democratic puppets in our city halls, our county courthouses, our state legislatures, and the Congress.
They are the people who refuse to condemn the author of the death threat made to Wisconsin legislators, the cowardly threat that tells Republican legislators, “Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your families will also be killed… We have all planned to assault you by arriving at your house and putting a nice little bullet in your head…” They are the leftist hoodlums who have been taught by their union overlords to chant at Republicans, “You have killed democracy,” when few of them are sufficiently educated to write a single declaratory sentence describing the difference between a democracy and a republic.
They are not the people who have, through their industry, built a great nation; they are the people who would find comfort in the smothering embrace of a European-style socialist state. They are not builders of wealth, creators and leaders; they are the moochers, the parasites and the hangers-on of Ayn Rand’s epic work, “Atlas Shrugged.”
Now that conservatives and Republicans have been successful in attacking the power of public employee unions in Idaho, Ohio, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and elsewhere, the real battle begins. Between now and the 2012 general election, it is up to Republicans to remind voters of why collective bargaining reform is so essential. They must hang all of Wisconsin’s $100,000+ bus drivers, New York City’s 4,000 “rubber room” teachers and Harry Reid’s Northern Nevada Cowboy Poetry Festival tightly around the necks of Democrats. And now that the rainbow coalition of color-coded radicals, representing less than fifteen percent of the U.S. workforce, has been foolish enough to show us their true colors, it’s up to the rest of us to make sure the voters do not forget who they are when they go to the polls in 2012.
No longer the land of the free
As American warplanes strategically attack Libya and American boots win the peace in Afghanistan and Iraq, YouTube sensation Remy sings that it is important to remember that our brave men and women are fighting for our rights to let the TSA take full body scans; place our three-ounce toiletries in plastic baggies; protect 16,000 pages of tax code; and ban energy drinks.
Government's Work Is Never Done: The endless expansion of big government
"When," humorist P.J. O’Rourke has asked, "can we quit passing laws and raising taxes? When can we say of our political system, ‘Stick a fork in it, it’s done’?... The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop."
Alas for O’Rourke and those who sympathize with him, the project of contemporary liberalism is never done. You might look upon the vast expansion of the regulatory state over the past couple of decades and conclude that government could afford to take a breather—maybe even a three-day weekend. Wrong. To the liberal or progressive eye, the remarkable thing is not how much government does—but how much it has yet to do.
Take the recent tragic crash of a tour bus in the Bronx, which killed 15. Nobody knows yet what caused it. No matter. "Lax Rules for Discount Buses Cited After I-95 Crash," ran the New York Times headline over a story which began: "Discount tour buses transport millions of passengers a year"—sounds good so far, but here comes the but—"but the federal government has little control over who gets behind the wheel." Better pass some more rules, stat.
Warning about too little regulation is a house specialty at the Times, which over the past couple of years has run a "Toxic Waters" series about "the worsening pollution in American waters and regulators’ response"; a "Radiation Boom" series about advanced medical techniques ("As Technology Surges, Radiation Safeguards Lag"); and a "Drilling Down" series on natural-gas fracking ("Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers").
But it’s not just The Times. The default position for most major media outlets is that more regulation is good—and whenever a new problem arises, the obvious and necessary answer is a firmer government hand.
Or even when a new problem does not arise. A few days ago The Washington Post ran a lengthy story on car booster seats for children who weigh more than 65 pounds, which "are not held to any government safety requirements." Missing from the story: Any evidence that this has increased carnage on the roadways. To the contrary, the article quotes a car-seat specialist for the Safe Kids advocacy group, who confirms that "we’re not seeing large numbers of kids affected by shoddy products." Nevertheless, the article lamented the fact that "parents are confronted with a barrage of safety seat choices"—why can’t the government mandate just one?!—and "many parents say they find little information about seats beyond what they cull from private testing organizations, such as Consumer Reports magazine and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety." Oh, is that all?
"Just when you thought it was safe to pull up to a table to eat," warned NPR’s Joanne Silberner not long ago, "infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm of the University of Minnesota says think again." Even though a new food safety measure recently has been signed into law, even though the number of people sickened from eating tainted food has actually declined, not all is well, because—ready for it?—Republicans in Congress have been "expressing great reluctance" about meeting the FDA’s $326 million request for new food safety activities, Silberner reported.
Note what her story did not say: that Congress had refused the request. Or that the new activities could not possibly be performed for less than the sum requested. Or, more pertinent, that the regulatory activities would actually produce commensurate gains in food safety. Or any gains at all, for that matter. Those gains were simply assumed.
But not all regulations are created equal. A 1980 ban on unvented space heaters cost around $100,000 per life saved (in 1995 dollars), according to an article in the Fall 2002 issue of Regulation magazine. By contrast, a 1991 rule governing the chemical 1,2-Dichloropropane in drinking water cost $1.9 billion per life saved.
Since money is finite, it makes sense to spend regulatory dollars where they will do the most good. The platitudinous statement that "if it saves one life, it’s worth it" is not only wrong, but tragically wrong if the resources used to save that one life could have saved 500 others. And sometimes, regulations actually have the opposite effect of that intended. There is even a term for the phenomenon—the Peltzman Effect, named after Sam Peltzman, a University of Chicago economist who found that seat-belt laws and other safety measures often encourage more reckless driving. (This has been demonstrated in, among other places, Drachten, Holland, where the frequency of accidents at a particular intersection declined after lights and traffic signals were removed.)
Considerations such as these seem to carry little weight with fans of the regulatory state such as The Washington Post’s Harold Meyerson—who noted, in the wake of the once-in-a-millennium tsunami that has devastated Japan, that "we haven’t defeated risk." Once we have—presumably after the Rapture comes—then maybe the expansion of the regulatory state can throttle down. Until then, this much is clear: If O’Rourke wants to stick a fork in anything, he better have a permit.
GE, Obama and cozy government business: "In America today, the biggest recipients of handouts are not poor people. They're corporations. ... Businesses love to have government as their partner. There's safety in it. Why take chances in a marketplace full of fickle consumers and investors, when you can get secure money and favors from the taxpayers? It's an old story, and free-market advocates as far back as Adam Smith warned against it. Unfortunately, too many people think 'free market' means pro-business. It doesn't. Free market means laissez faire: prohibit force and fraud, but otherwise leave the marketplace alone. No subsidies, no privileges, no arbitrary regulations. Competition is the most effective regulator."
Sleeping Reagan Air Traffic Controller Shows FAA's Failures: "The incident at Reagan National Airport in which two airliners landed after midnight without any assistance from the control tower illustrates a long-standing flaw with the Federal Aviation Administration. That agency combines two incompatible roles in a single body: aviation safety regulator and operator of the air traffic control system. Every other aspect of the aviation system is regulated at arm’s-length by the FAA: airports, airlines, air taxis, business jets, pilots, mechanics, and the producers of planes and engines. Only the air traffic control system is operated by the safety regulator itself, rather than being regulated by it. Every developed country in Europe, as well as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many others, has separated its air traffic control system from its aviation safety regulatory agency"
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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)