Senators Who Love the Government But Hate America
Within days after my article on due process and presumption of innocence, the U.S. Senate voted to empower the U.S. military to apprehend and detain indefinitely anyone in America, based on the whim of the soldier or military commander, and it will probably eventually include any armed agent of government including local police. As Jacob Hornberger noted, this new provision will codify the U.S. as just another one of many dictatorships throughout world history.
But, even though al Qaeda is virtually non-existent, the Washington imbeciles want to expand and extend the "War on Terror" anyway and include the entire U.S. territory as a "battlefield." How can we explain this? As Justin Raimondo speculated, the real reason for this new dictatorial power may be because these senators know that America is headed for economic collapse and civil unrest. But as I pointed out in my article on martial law, whether there are terrorists or not, or whether there is a prosperous or collapsing economy, all human beings have inalienable rights, among them the right to presumption of innocence and due process. Any government violations of those rights are crimes against the people, pure and simple.
Sen. Lindsey Graham commented that, "If you’re an American citizen and you betray your country, you’re not going to be given a lawyer," in his un-American opposition to due process and his approval of apprehending and detaining innocent civilians indefinitely. But, as I asked in my earlier article: Who will determine whether or not one has "betrayed one’s country"? Graham and the other pro-dictatorship government bureaucrats do not seem able to distinguish between someone who actually has acted (or been found guilty of acting) against one’s fellow Americans and someone who is accused of doing so.
Graham wants to empower all military personnel (and probably any armed government official) to detain indefinitely those who are merely accused of doing something, without evidence brought forward, without having a lawyer, without access to their families, no due process whatsoever. This is a banana republic dictatorship, and it is thoroughly un-American, thoroughly anti-liberty.
Additionally, Graham hinted at curtailing political expression as protected by the First Amendment, and thus, given past examples of government censorship since 9/11, Americans who criticize the U.S. government’s "war on terror" could be declared as "enemy combatants," and apprehended and detained without charges or trial. If these senators have their way, merely questioning the government’s actions and questioning the legitimacy of these wars would be considered "terrorism."
The senators are now turning the military against the American people. That is treasonous, according to the U.S. Constitution, as turning the military against the people would be the federal government’s "levying war" against the "United States," that is, the various states of the union, and thus against the people of the states. I have noted before that such treasonous acts have already occurred in America.
Poverty Doesn't Make Thieves -- Liberalism Does
This week, the Los Angeles Times reported a wave of theft plaguing area high schools. The objects at stake? Tubas. According to South Gate High School music teacher Ruben Gonzalez Jr., thieves broke into the band room and stole nothing but tubas. A few weeks before, thieves took eight sousaphones from a Compton high school. Either the original cast of "The Music Man" is criminally eager for a revival, or these thieves are selling the horns on the black market.
Now the left loves to claim that crime waves like this are caused by poverty. If you're poor, the logic goes, you'll have to steal a loaf of bread -- or a trombone -- to feed your child. Criminality thus becomes a moral act.
There's only one problem with this logic: It's absolutely wrong.
During the Great Depression, levels of crime actually dropped. During the 1920s, when life was free and easy, so was crime. During the 1930s, when the entire American economy fell into a government-owned alligator moat, crime was nearly non-existent. During the 1950s and 1960s, when the economy was excellent, crime rose again.
In Britain, where the social safety net is more like a social swaddling cloth, crime rates other than murder are significantly higher than in the United States. Actually, the highest rate of car theft in the world is in peaceful, socialist, unicorn-riding Switzerland. Next comes New Zealand. Then Britain, Sweden, Australia, Denmark, Scotland, Italy, Canada and Norway. That's right -- the U.S. isn't even in the top ten.
Why is that? It's not that these other countries are impoverished -- far from it. It's not that their poor are Dickensian urchins following the advice of newfangled Fagins. It's that these countries have bred generations of people who think they are entitled to the property of others.
That mentality predominates in poor areas more than rich ones. There's a reason for that: Those who succeed economically in a free market system do so based on the notion that they don't deserve anyone else's property unless they work for it. They don't sit back waiting for someone to take care of them. They don't wait for welfare checks. They go out into the world and earn their way forward.
In poor areas, the opposite is true. Spend five minutes with many poor inner city kids and the sense of entitlement drips from them. Many of these folks are refugee thugs from "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre": "Work? We ain't got no work. We don't need no work! I don't have to show you no stinkin' work!" And, by the way, they don't need no stinkin' badges, either -- because the people with the badges work for them, teaching them that sense of entitlement, impoverishing hard workers on behalf of those who think they're owed something by the world.
Persistent poverty, in short, is more often than not a moral problem, not an economic one -- stealing springs from that same moral failing. That is why affordable housing, provided for free by the government, is usually covered in graffiti, trashed and burned out. You'll never see a private, single-family home treated like that by its owner.
There's a basic rule in business: If you tell people that a product is free, they treat it like it has no value. We've spent the last 70 years in this country telling our poor that money and property are free. Of course, they don't attribute any value to money or property, then. Of course, they treat others' property as though it's valueless, to be stolen or taken at whim.
The liberalism of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson and President Obama hasn't turned thieves into sudden lovers of big-band swing. It's turned more and more Americans into thieves. Don't blame poverty. Blame morality. And blame a government and a society that have abandoned the notion of responsibility for juvenile delinquency.
Job Creators Fighting Back
Some politicians claim that politicians create jobs. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says, "My job is to create jobs."
What hubris! Government has no money of its own. All it does is take from some people and give to others. That may create some jobs, but only by leaving less money in the private sector for job creation.
Actually, it's worse than that. Since government commandeers scarce resources by force and doesn't have to peddle its so-called services on the market to consenting buyers, there's no feedback mechanism to indicate if those services are worth more to people than what they were forced to go without.
The only people who create real, sustainable jobs are in private businesses -- if they're unsubsidized.
Some CEOs are upset that people don't appreciate what they do. So they formed a group called the Job Creators Alliance.
Brad Anderson, former CEO of Best Buy, joined because he wants to counter the image of businesspeople as evil. When he was young, Anderson himself thought they were evil. But then he "stumbled into a business career" by going to work in a stereo store.
"I watched what happens in building a business. (My store,) The Sound of Music, which became Best Buy, was 11 years (old) before I made a dollar of profit." In 36 years, he turned that store into a $50 billion company.
Tom Stemberg, founder of Staples, got involved with the Job Creators Alliance because he's annoyed that the government makes a tough job much tougher.
He complains that government mostly creates jobs -- that kill jobs. "They're creating $300 million worth of jobs in the new consumer financial protection bureau," Stemberg said, "which I don't think is going to do much for productivity in America. We're creating all kinds of jobs trying to live up to Dodd-Frank ... and those jobs don't create much productivity.
Now, Stemberg runs a venture capital business. "I helped create over 100,000 jobs myself," he said. "Pinkberry and City Sports and J. McLaughlin are growing and adding employment."
To do that, he had to overcome hurdles placed in the way by government. "All that we get is grief and more hoops to jump through and more forms to fill out and more regulations to comply with," complained Stemberg. "Fastest-growing investment segment in venture capitalism: compliance software."
Compliance is the big word in business today. Every business has to have a compliance department. But resources are scarce, so these departments suck away creativity. It's one reason that these successful businesspeople don't think they could do today what they did in the past.
Mike Whalen, CEO of Heart of America Group, said he got started with loans from banks that took a chance on an unknown: "It is not an underwriting standard that can be dictated by Dodd-Frank with 55 pages. It's kind of a gut instinct."
But John Allison, who built BB&T Corp. into the 12th biggest bank in America, says that "gut instinct" is now illegal. "It would be very difficult to do what we did then today. It was semi-venture capital thing. The government regulations (today) are so tight, including setting credit standards, particularly since the so-called financial crisis and since they ... changed the credit standards in the banking industry, making it very hard for the banks to finance small businesses."
These successful businessmen realize that in one way, they profit from the regulatory burden. They can absorb the costs. That gives them an advantage over smaller competitors.
"Somebody who wants to compete with us can't because we can afford to hire the guys that can read this stuff and to keep us in compliance with the law. They can't," Anderson said.
Politicians rarely understand this. One who learned it too late was Sen. George McGovern. After he left office, he started a small bed-and-breakfast and hit the regulatory wall he helped create. Later, he wrote, "I wish during the years I was in public office I had this firsthand experience about the difficulties businesspeople face. ... We are choking off business opportunity."
Wish they learned that before leaving office.
Port Whine: Big Labor's Occu-Punks
Scruffy progressive protesters locked themselves together across railroad tracks, blocked traffic and shouted profanities at police on Tuesday in a coordinated "West Coast Port Shutdown." Truckers lost wages. Shippers lost business. This is what the Occupy Wall Street movement calls "victory."
Aging Big Labor bosses toasted one another from the sidelines as they declared the "rebirth of the labor movement." What's really going on? It's an old-school power grab by a decrepit union wrapped in self-deluded social media do-goodism.
Peace-loving agitators wielding guitars and iPhones may earnestly believe they stood up to corruption and stood up for workers this week. A socialist website promoted the port shutdown as an expression of "solidarity" for the workers' "struggle." One Oakland, Calif., agitator decried "exploitation by capitalism" as the shiftless busily divided their work blockages into what they called -- chortle -- "shifts."
In reality, it's the young Occupiers who are being exploited as human shields for the economy-strangling agenda of the violence-prone International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). These ignorant punks are putting the "front" in "waterfront."
Few remember now that the left's three-month-long "Day of Rage" festivities kicked off in September at the Port of Longview, Wash. -- a far cry from Goldman Sachs and the rest of New York's financial district. Unionized longshoremen stormed the port there and took a half-dozen guards hostage. They damaged railroad cars, dumped grain, smashed windows, cut rail brake lines and blocked a train for hours while the ILWU and AFL-CIO cheered them on.
The violence followed a similar outburst in July, when longshoremen tore down a chain link fence on EGT's private property and blocked railroad tracks to prevent a grain delivery -- a clear violation of the 1946 Hobbs Act, which makes it a crime to employ robbery or extortion to impede interstate commerce.
Despite breaking federal law, violating a judicial restraining order and committing systematically planned sabotage and trespassing, most of the union thugs got away with wrist slaps. The ILWU received a $250,000 fine to cover damages from the vandalism -- a fine that will be paid with rank-and-file workers' hard-earned dues money.
So, what's their beef? No, it's not about the "right" of unions to "organize." It's not about the welfare of the "99 percent." It's about one union losing its seven-decade-old grip on West Coast port operations. It's about six-figure-salaried union suits at the ILWU, established by bloody radical Marxist Harry Bridges, throwing a lawless tantrum against economic efficiency and technological progress.
The ILWU is trying to break the will of EGT Development, a multinational agribusiness that recently built a $200 million grain terminal in Longview. It's a state-of-the-art facility with unprecedented automation features that will speed unloading, increase shipping capacity and bring in tens of millions of dollars in lease and tax payments alone to the region.
EGT needs a nimble 21st-century workforce. The entitled overlords of the ILWU, who have ruled West Coast ports since the 1930s, are demanding a monopoly on the company's master control system, control over the work hour structure, excessive mandatory breaks and extortionist man-hour "premiums" to bail out the union's underfunded pension. "We've worked these elevators since 1934, and we've always been in that master console," local ILWU President Dan Coffman told public radio.
EGT refused and instead brought in an outside contractor with a different union to fill about 50 jobs. But the ILWU water-carriers in the Occupy movement don't care about those workers. Or the American farmers who have been hurt by the port saboteurs. Or the independent non-union truckers who were forced to forgo work in the name of worker empowerment. Trucker Hai Ngo of San Leandro, Calif., told the San Francisco Chronicle: "The Occupy people handed out flyers to us, but never asked what we thought before they planned this. I will lose about $350, and at holiday time that hurts. It's just a waste of our time and money, and won't accomplish anything."
Unfortunately, Ngo and blue-collar workers like him are collateral damage in the ILWU's ruthless battle for Big Labor survival. Coffman, who has stoked violence for months, vowed earlier this year that "we will fight to the end to secure what is rightfully our turf."
And now the gasping longshoremen's union has a whole new set of Occu-tools to do the dirty work for them.
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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)