Hate is a powerful motivator
And it drives Leftists on continually
They just don't know when to quit. Consumed with the singular task of re-electing Barack Obama, progressives across the country will use the holiday season to propagandize their conservative relatives and friends. White House elves are directing the re-education Christmas camp efforts.
On Tuesday, the Obama 2012 campaign released an instructional video titled "Home for the Holidays: Share Why You're Working to Re-elect President Obama." Instead of relaxing with loved ones, the president's monomaniacal campaign staff and volunteers provide "pointers" and "strategies" for converting their "stubborn" families.
Not coincidentally, the operatives at MoveOn.org -- funded by Obama donor George Soros -- spearheaded a similar holiday re-programming effort at Thanksgiving. Headlined, "Your Conservative Uncle," the group urged supporters (and e-mailed public school teachers across the country whether they approved of the message or not) to "correct" family members who watch Fox News or listen to Rush Limbaugh.
Hark, hear the talking points.
The slickly produced Obama video spotlights testimonials from exasperated young people speaking condescendingly of their Republican-voting fathers and grandmothers. Obama, says one, is the "politician of my generation." He's a "people's man," preaches another. Those who disagree are ignorant, "stuck in their ways" and "works in progress," the campaign drones complain.
"If the conversation at the dinner table turns to politics over the holidays," they advise, "don't just quickly change the subject. As you head home this weekend, think about how you'll steer the discussion to the progress we've made over the past three years -- from health care to ending the war in Iraq -- and why the people you're passing the mashed potatoes to should support President Obama in 2012."
If those people happen to be medical device makers hit by hidden Obamacare taxes or small business-owners still wondering why Big Labor cronies got regulatory waivers while they didn't, the mashed potatoes might rightly end up somewhere other than on guests' plates.
Team Obama and their acolytes mock conservative family members who won't sing from their hymnbook, but fail to address the commander in chief's own Boy in the Bubble syndrome. The video also whitewashes away mounting left-flank gripes -- like those of former White House cheerleader and Hollywood liberal activist Matt Damon, who this week challenged the president's, er, manhood.
"I've talked to a lot of people who worked for Obama at the grass-roots level," Damon told Elle Magazine. "One of them said to me: 'Never again. I will never be fooled again by a politician.' ... You know, a one-term president with some balls who actually got stuff done would have been, in the long run of the country, much better."
Just like their dear leader, the Obama pep-and-prep squad is convinced that the problem is their communication of White House policies instead of the costly, failed, corrupted policies themselves. If only Grandma would watch Obama's Osawatomie speech on YouTube one more time. If only Uncle George would just be quiet and absorb one more indignant lecture from his Occupy Wall Street-championing niece or nephew.
The left's single-minded holiday soldiers remind me of journalist Ambrose Bierce's famous diagnosis: "A bore is a person who talks when you wish him to listen." There's a time for political proselytizing. There's a place for ideological battles. And there's a moment when you should give it all a rest.
It's ridiculous to squander precious time with family and friends on partisan squabbles. Shouting over turkey about the payroll tax holiday? Turning the New Year's Eve Party into a Democratic evangelical service? Severing lifelong relationships over Kabuki Beltway brawls? My Christmas wish is for a collective deep breath and a dose of perspective before America hurtles into the 2012 presidential primaries and caucuses.
This is the time to celebrate the gift of life. I'll be counting my blessings, enjoying the company of loved ones regardless of their voting records and engaging in prayerful reflection. And when a liberal family member passes the mashed potatoes, I'll have only one thing to say: Would you mind passing the gravy, too? Thanks.
The Government Grinches That Stole Christmas
‘Tis the season for every media outlet, blog, or writer to put out a “Top List” of the year. Instead of the usual top hits or highlights of the year, it’s worth remembering why this was one of the roughest years for small business owners at the hands of our own government. Herein our own list of the Grinches that tried to replace holiday cheer with a goody bag of ill-considered, overly onerous rules and regulations and other assorted job killers this year.
NLRB Speedy Election Rule: Just in time for Christmas, the National Labor Relations Board this week published its final version of a rule that will intentionally speed up elections for employees deciding whether they want to join a union—so that employers don’t actually have time to comply with all the agency’s arcane laws and talk to their employees. The result will inevitably more people in a union who have no idea what it’s going to mean for their work lives, retirement security, and ability to advance based on their own merit.
And just to throw in its own version of gift wrapping, the same NLRB is attempting to push through a rule forcing 6 million workplaces to post “notices” that are little more than glossy advertisements for joining a union. Think Normal Rockwell shills for Teamsters.
EPA: Led by Administrator Lisa Jackson, the EPA has been on an aggressive regulation push this year with rewriting air quality codes and using sustainability as argument to leverage control over business. In Texas alone new EPA rules have cost the state thousands of jobs and have halted in some cases energy production which increases the cost of gasoline. Nationwide the cost of compliance with the new EPA regulations to businesses will be in the hundreds of billions.
The Dark Angel atop the tree—ObamaCare: While not enacted in this calendar year, the costs and hidden surprises of this job killing monstrosity continue to spring forth. Once fully functional there will be a sharp increase in layoffs for employers who cannot afford to keep up with the increased costs. The repeal of this legislation is at the top of many small business owners wish list.
Gibson Guitars Raided: The Little Drummer Boy had to be thankful that he did not meet the same fate as his buddies in the guitar business. The iconic American instrument company was raided by Feds who accused the company of selling “illegal wood” that it had legally obtained. The final sour note: the government basically acknowledged the company would have an easier time manufacturing its products overseas.
Uncertainty: As business owners, we have to be planners. Profits, losses, expenses, payroll, etc all need to be mapped out and predictable so that determinations can be made about whether to expand, to hire, or to sometimes even downsize.
One of the most harmful things this Administration has done for business and jobs is to create a environment of absolute uncertainty. What new costly regulations might add to our overhead? What new taxes or mandated benefits might make the new employees unaffordable? We just don’t know, and that’s a big problem. It’s a lot having to wonder every time you make a business decision whether you’ll shoot your eye out with that brand-new Red Ryder carbine-action, two hundred shot Range Model air rifle with a compass and this thing which tells time built right in to the stock.
If our elected representatives wanted to ring in the new year with a serious resolution for enabling economic growth led by job creation, checking this list twice—and then undoing it—would be a great gift to all those looking for a happier holiday next year.
'Dysfunctional' government is a feature, not a bug
by Jeff Jacoby
YOU DON'T NEED ME to tell you that the chattering class is appalled by the partisan gridlock and political bickering that keeps Washington from dealing efficiently with the nation's problems. Last week Gallup measured Congress's job approval at 11 percent, a new low. Heading into Christmas week, you could hardly open a paper or turn on the radio without encountering a wave of dudgeon over the latest legislative squabble -- a standoff over extending a payroll tax cut that expires on Dec. 31. "Just when you thought the mess in Washington couldn't get any messier" was the way an exasperated Washington Post editorial began, while a columnist in The Examiner pronounced the wrangling on Capitol Hill "almost a parody of Washington dysfunction."
So what else is new? Last month it was the failure of the so-called Supercommittee to agree on a package of budget cuts that was said to epitomize the federal establishment's fecklessness. In the spring and summer it was the protracted fight over the federal debt ceiling and Standard & Poor's downgrade of US Treasury bonds. Before that there were the polarizing confrontations over stimulus spending, financial-industry regulation, and Barack Obama's massive health-care overhaul.
Two years ago Newsweek was lamenting that partisan politics had turned this nation into "America the Ungovernable." The liberal newsweekly was in a lather over the political forces conspiring "to prevent President Obama from running the country effectively," and was upset in particular because Massachusetts had just elected a Republican, Scott Brown, to the US Senate. That meant another vote for the GOP's "agenda of pure nihilism," Newsweek fumed, and more of the "political impotency that has come to define the United States in the 21st century."
These days liberals think rather better of Brown, who has positioned himself as the Senate's least conservative Republican and who issues statements condemning "gridlock and partisanship" as "disgusting." When Brown broke with House Republicans over the payroll-tax extension last week, Doris Kearns Goodwin sang his praises on MSNBC: "If there were more Scott Browns … then perhaps this partisanship would not be as dysfunctional as it is because he's able to cross party lines."
Of course "this partisanship" would also be less "dysfunctional" if more Democrats decided to cross party lines. It takes two political parties to bring Congress to a standstill, after all. Either one can always speed up the legislative process by yielding to the other.
But our democratic republic wasn't designed for speed or legislative efficiency. Alexander Hamilton: Impediments to legislative efficiency were built in to the constitutional system "to increase the chances . . . against the passing of bad laws through haste, inadvertence, or design."
The Framers of the Constitution never expected Congress to clear the decks for sweeping presidential action. They weren't troubled by fears that America would be rendered "ungovernable" by the ease with which new laws or major policy changes could be delayed or derailed. What the smart set bewails today as "gridlock" or "brinksmanship" or an "agenda of pure nihilism," the architects of the American system regarded as indispensable checks and balances. They knew how flawed human beings can be, and how ardently propelled by their passions and ideals.
That was why they regarded restraint -- not speed, not deference to presidents, not bipartisan cooperation, not administrative expertise, not popular opinion -- as the linchpin of their constitutional plan. "Impressions of the moment may sometimes hurry [Congress] into measures which itself on mature reflection would condemn," Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 73. They may not have envisioned Supercommittees, Gallup polls, or MSNBC. But they knew that presidents and lawmakers would always be under pressure to act too fast, do too much, decide too quickly.
So it was essential, Hamilton said, that hurdles and roadblocks be incorporated into the constitutional structure -- "to increase the chances in favor of the community against the passing of bad laws through haste, inadvertence, or design." True, that might sometimes hold up needed change. But "the injury which may possibly be done by defeating a few good laws will be amply compensated by the advantage of preventing … bad ones."
The system was meant to be frustrating, and frustrating many have found it. Just this year, North Carolina's governor suggested that congressional elections be "suspended" for two years, so lawmakers could act without fear of being rebuked at the polls. It would be "very tempting," President Obama mused in July, "to bypass Congress, and change the laws on my own."
Such frustration is understandable. It is also one of the safeguards of American liberty. Our constitutional republic has thrived for more than two centuries, but it might never have done so without the "gridlock" and "dysfunction" we love to hate.
The legacy of the "Dear Leader"
Kim was a man on his own mission - to enrich himself, maintain power at any price, and to crush anyone who stood in his way. He was, in short, his father's son. It is hard to overstate the level of oppression he exerted on the population of the Hermit Kingdom. The abuses in North Korea under his rule were among the most severe in the world in the last 20 years.
As pro bono counsel to Havel, Elie Wiesel and former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, I worked with the Committee on Human Rights in North Korea and produced two reports on the human rights and humanitarian situation in the country.
We concluded that North Korea was committing crimes against humanity against its own people. During its late 1990s famine, some one million people and perhaps many more died, and the population remains at constant risk of starvation with some 37 per cent of children chronically malnourished.
North Korea also operates a vast gulag system, with some 200,000 people imprisoned for real or imagined offences. These camps impose a brutal regimen on their populations, including forced labour, starvation-level rations, and widespread torture.
It is estimated more than 400,000 people have died in these camps in the past two decades.
SC: DoJ nixes voter ID law: "The Justice Department on Friday rejected South Carolina’s law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls, saying it makes it harder for minorities to cast ballots. It was the first voter ID law to be refused by the federal agency in nearly 20 years. The Obama administration said South Carolina’s law didn’t meet the burden under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which outlawed discriminatory practices preventing blacks from voting."
“Systemic risk” for profit: "It isn’t for poor, laboring Europeans that the continent’s 'public servants' sought to swell the state. Whatever their dishonest fustian about social and economic justice, the ruling class served not to attack Europe’s private sector banks, but to accommodate them. In Europe, economic centralization has witnessed big government grow in tandem with big business, which has goaded the development of a legal and regulatory regime that disqualifies small competitors."
No, Melissa, there isn’t a Santa Claus: "Reliance on bureaucrats is a necessary part of government, but hardly desirable. Bureaucrats are supposed to serve the public. Economic science points to agency problems in public bureaucracies. Bureaucrats, as agents of the public, should serve the public. Since neither elected officials nor ordinary citizens have strong incentives, let alone enough time, to monitor bureaucrats, these functionaries have leeway to pursue their own interests, at the expense of the general public. Bureaucrats have poor reputations for public service, and deservedly so."
Patria, parenti, amici: "There is one obvious difference between nationalism and familial favoritism. Familial favoritism is a deep and ineradicable part of the human psyche, thanks to many millions of years of evolution. Nationalism -- and expansive tribal identities more generally -- pretends to be equally fundamental, but it's largely cheap talk. People happily give tons of free stuff to their children. But you need coercion to make people surrender more than a pittance to their 'fellow citizens"
There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.
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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)