A growing socialist mentality among Americans is the big threat
We could be seeing a paradigm shift in the way people view their social compact with government. More and more people believe that government exists not just to perform essential services as delimited in the Constitution, but as a grand equalizer of economic outcomes.
It's one thing to argue that those who earn more should pay a higher percentage of their earnings in income tax. But it's a completely different idea to suggest that the government should use the tax code and other legislative schemes not just to ensure sufficient revenues to operate the government, but to more equitably distribute people's remaining income -- or, possibly, assets.
This is not just a matter of semantics. In this new paradigm, some contend that irrespective of the government's operating needs, it has a moral right -- and a duty -- to proactively intervene to redistribute income.
I observe this latter attitude with increasing frequency. It's not just President Obama indicting corporations and "obscene profits" by saying that the wealthy should spread the wealth around and that at some point, people have made enough money.
It's liberals I encounter who are constantly complaining about the "largest wealth gap in our history" and blaming it on George W. Bush and the evils of capitalism.
In their disappointingly simplistic view (articulated in an email I received), the Bush tax structure created this "gap" by "transferring money from the middle class to the rich ... and transferring our debts to our grandchildren."
But wait. Under the Bush tax rates, higher-income earners paid a higher percentage of their income in taxes. Any transfer of wealth was from higher-income earners to lower-income earners. Plus, almost half the people don't pay income taxes at all, and some 60 percent take more from the government than they pay in.
I told the emailer he was factually wrong and also misguided to believe it is government's function to proactively redistribute wealth. (We're talking more than safety nets here, by the way.)
He replied, "Yeah, the CEO of Disney 'earned' $50 million last year without the help of government through the invisible hand of the market."
Note the palpable contempt. He and others convince themselves that government is greasing the skids for high-income earners, but what they're really angry about are the inherent disparities of outcomes under a free economic system. Whether or not they realize it, they don't much like capitalism, which is why they're always pushing us toward socialism.
These same people also seem to object to disparities of income between Americans and the rest of the world. They apparently believe it is morally wrong that we are more prosperous than other nations and consume more of the world's resources.
It only follows that we would detect a disturbing correlation between their anti-capitalist mindset and their attitude toward economic prosperity and even debt tolerance. Those who have a chip on their shoulder about capitalism and America's wealth don't seem to be nearly so anxious about the nation's growing debt crisis. They either naively assume it's not that bad or figure that even if it is, there's nothing wrong with America's getting its comeuppance. Maybe an economic meltdown would put us in our place -- and in the meantime, it might cause us to draw down our evil "military-industrial complex" and our warmongering arsenal.
I am not suggesting that leftists of this particular stripe wish economic harm on the nation, but I am saying they look admiringly at European socialism, with its perennial unemployment of 15 percent. I am saying that they believe the government should proactively redistribute wealth -- to a much greater extent than it is doing now. I am saying that they are wholly unbothered by the obvious unfairness that almost 50 percent of the people pay no income taxes. And I am saying that most of them either don't understand that their prescriptions to equalize outcomes rather than opportunity inevitably result in less for everyone or don't care because they believe it's preferable for everyone to have much less than it is for some to have a great deal more than others under a free system.
This kind of thinking is dangerous to a free and prosperous society, and as 2012 approaches, conservatives have to address it and start remaking their moral case for capitalism and liberty. Under this ever-softer society, that's quite a tall order.
They think the RC church should bend to them! They should all become Episcopalians. They would be welcome there and the "bells and smells" are the same. And you can wear GORGEOUS vestments!
By Jeff Jacoby
From Boston's South End, home to the Catholic parish of St. Cecilia, comes a different tale of misplaced outrage.
St. Cecilia's worshipers include a considerable number of gays and lesbians, many of whom are active in the church's Rainbow Ministry. According to its mission statement, the Rainbow Ministry works to "welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Catholics to worship God and . . . to embrace Jesus' call to unconditional love." Its goal is to "help LGBT Catholics seek reconciliation with the Church to enrich a spirit-filled life."
St. Cecilia and its pastor, Rev. John J. Unni, are obviously sensitive to the difficulties faced by gays and lesbians who are Catholic, and want them to feel fully appreciated as members of the congregation. That is admirable as a matter of basic decency. It's also in keeping with church doctrine: The catechism of the Catholic Church expressly teaches that gays "must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity" and that "every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided."
But even as it enjoins goodwill toward homosexuals, the church firmly opposes homosexuality itself. The same section of the catechism describes "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" as "objectively disordered," and says that gay sex can "under no circumstances ... be approved."
So St. Cecilia plainly crossed a red line when it announced last month that it was planning a "Liturgy To Commemorate Boston Pride 2011," and invited "friends and supporters of the LGBT community to a Mass in celebration of Boston's Pride Month." After all, there is no way to square the church's condemnation of homosexual activity with a mass "in celebration" of Gay Pride Month. The Archdiocese of Boston ordered the parish to cancel the service -- and the result, predictably, has been angry indignation.
"I think that's horrible, just horrible, that they would cancel. What an abuse of authority," fumed Marianne Duddy-Burke, a gay Catholic activist. Charles Martel, co-founder of Catholics for Marriage Equality, went so far as to accuse the archdiocese of yielding to "a hatred for gay people."
Their anger may be sincerely felt. But denouncing a Catholic archdiocese for upholding Catholic standards isn't rational. The Catholic Church, like any great religion, is open to all who seek to be guided by its teachings. It can hardly be expected to discard those teachings for the sake of popularity or political correctness -- or to quell the outrage of parishioners who prefer a church more concerned with their self-esteem than with their spiritual well-being.
America’s Job Creators Face Uphill Battle
Two-thirds of business owners view the current period as a bad time to expand
President Obama recently commented, “I am concerned about the fact that the recovery that we’re on is not producing jobs as fast as I want it to happen.”
His promise, made in 2009, that if Congress passed the “stimulus” package unemployment would not rise above 8 percent, has yet to be fulfilled. In fact, it has been 28 straight months now that the unemployment rate has been at or above 8 percent. This is bad news for Americans, but also for America’s small businesses.
On top of high unemployment, the housing industry also continues to flounder as prices fall and foreclosures rise. And the No. 1 asset many entrepreneurs need to get their business off the ground is their home equity. “Before the financial mess hit, people would use their home equity to get a small business loan,” says Raymond Keating, chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship (SBE) Council.
Since almost one in four homes is underwater — more is owed on their homes than what it’s worth — the reality of being unable to start a small business has hit a lot of homeowners hard. “The biggest hurdle to getting a small business off the ground is getting capital,” Keating says. “Capital can be hard to get even in good economic times.” But now, he says, it’s especially hard. “If you’re underwater, you’re not approved for a loan so you have to use your own cash.”
The housing crisis has hit some areas harder than others. Alyson Austin, spokeswoman for CoreLogic, a real estate data firm, says that the Northeast part of the country is doing much better because housing didn’t increase as rapidly as in the “sand states such as Nevada, Florida and California.” And she’s right. New CoreLogic data shows that in the first quarter of this year Nevada had the highest negative equity percentage in the nation with 63 percent of all mortgaged properties underwater.
But Keating says the economic impact facing small businesses spreads farther than a homeowner’s inability to acquire a loan. “Lots of small businesses are nervous about what is going on,” he says. “They are holding off.” Holding off on hiring, investing and growing. In a poll conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), almost two-thirds of business owners view the current period as a bad time to expand, and 71 percent of those blamed the weak economy.
“So many things are pointed in the wrong direction right now,” Keating explains, “the cost of energy, the huge questions on the policy front, spending and the nation’s debt and the issues on the regulatory front like ObamaCare. We need to get back to something that gives confidence back to small businesses and entrepreneurs.”
The supposed recovery period is in its second year, yet small businesses have seen no relief and continue to struggle. “President Obama and his team have not given America’s job creators — small businesses — any legs to stand on during this recession,” says Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG). “Every part of this economy is a mess from high inflation and questionable monetary policy to Obama threatening to raise the tax rates. No small business can grow and produce jobs in this uncertain economy.”
America’s small businesses are not in a recovery period at all. And as long as they struggle to survive, the rest of the economy will as well. “Everything feeds off each other,” Keating says. “When you give proper incentives to job creators, you will see a flow of new jobs and then people can better afford houses and prices will once again rise.”
Muslim Rep Keith Ellison Conflates Christians And Jews With Jihadists
During an MSNBC interview, Representative Keith Ellison [who took the oath of office on a Qur'an] tried to draw some equivalency between Islamic jihadists and Christian and Jewish Americans.
Regarding GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain's debate statement, that he would permit Muslims in his cabinet only if they took some form of loyalty oath, Ellison stated, "Well, you got violent Christians and good Christians...You got violent Jews and good Jews. You got people of all...what he said about Muslims is true for every community."
We would expect nothing less than this type of double-talking takiyya from Mr. Ellison. His continued support for two groups, ISNA and CAIR [both unindicted co-conspirators in U.S. vs. Holy Land Foundation, the largest and most successful prosecution of American Hamas funders to date] mark him indelibly as an Islamist.
One measure of this is Ellison's obvious hate for Israel. He apparently doesn't even support the Jewish state's right to self defense, explaining in a video feed at a 2009 ISNA conference why he voted "present," rather than "yea or nay" to a House resolution in support of Israel's inherent right to defend itself against the Islamic jihad it has withstood since the country's inception. See his comical parsing on YouTube, here
In a recent video address to a CAIR conference, he said in part, "I am very very proud, very very honored that the Council on American Islamic Relations [CAIR] is continuing to do the excellent work around civil and human rights that you've been doing for so many years..." See here
We believe that Ellison's very words affirm the wisdom of Mr. Cain's statement, that some Muslim Americans must be kept as far as possible from the seat of government because their loyalty is to Shari'a and not the U.S. Constitution.
Just say no to implementing ObamaCare: "A key battleground is whether states will implement the law by creating government bureaucracies that Obamacare euphemistically calls health insurance 'exchanges.' Starting in 2014, these exchanges would enforce the insurance regulations that will make health care more costly and scarce, and will dole out the subsidies to private insurance companies that will add trillions to the national debt. Supporters have called exchanges 'the most important aspect' of the law. The Obama administration wants exchanges set up yesterday, but since it can create only a few exchanges itself by 2014, it is counting on states to help. States are under no obligation to create these bureaucracies, however, and many have wisely refused."
Another example of Leftist intellectual prowess: "Is glitter the left’s new tool to combat conservative values? Following Newt Gingrich’s recent bedazzling, Tim Pawlenty is the latest Republican to fall victim to being “glittered” by angry protestors. The former Minnesota governor was signing books at the America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) convention (where he also delivered a health care speech) in San Francisco when two gay rights advocates ambushed him. A pair of women dumped pink glitter and confetti on the governor demanding “Tim Pawlenty, where is your courage to stand? Stand for reproductive rights! Stand for gay rights!”
Free-market groups hail measures to reduce credit union red tape: "While politicians are decrying the lack of lending to small businesses, government red tape is preventing credit unions from coming to the rescue, note leaders of two prominent free-market think tanks. The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s John Berlau and the Heartland Institute’s Eli Lehrer applaud the Senate Banking Committee for its hearing today 'on arbitrary restrictions on business lending"
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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)