Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The tyranny of cliches

I have just received my copy of The tyranny of cliches by Jonah Goldberg  and I cannot praise it highly enough.  Jonah combines an immense amount of knowlege with relentlessly logical thinking and yet presents the result with a lightness of touch that leaves us with at least a smile, if not a chuckle, on almost every page.

Jonah basically sets out to explode typical Leftist pronouncements as the empty and ill-thought-out hokum that they are.  He just does not accept any of their customary statements.  Leftists who discuss politics with him must find him very disconcerting.  They would come out with something that they think is obviously true and inarguable only to find that Jonah concedes none  of it and in fact asks some sarcastic questions about it that reveal its hollowness and inanity.  Any Leftist to whom facts and logic mattered would be severely shaken by an argument with Jonah

He is particularly strong in his immense knowledge of history.  I have written a lot on history in fields that Jonah covers and, like him, have found lots of things that Leftists would hope that no-one  ever hears about (like the KKK being Democrats, as a simple example).  So I think I know my history pretty well.  But Jonah still had a lot to teach me.  I was aware, for instance, that in the dispute between Galileo and the church, the Pope and Galileo were and remained good friends.  But it took Jonah to enlighten me about what the earth being at the center of things meant to the thinkers of the day.  It's a huge surprise.

So most readers of this book will learn something new on every page and will be extremely well-armed to punch holes in stupid  Leftist arguments.  At the risk of sounding cliche myself, I would say that this book is essential reading for all conservatives.  It's $18.45 on Amazon and likely the best $18.45 you ever spent.

Disclaimer:  I don't know Jonah personally and nobody paid me to review the book,  not even "Big Oil", "Big Pharma" or any of the usual Leftist boogeymen


The dumbing down of America

Engineered by a Leftist educational establishment

Jay Leno showcases popular ignorance with his "Jaywalking" series, stopping people on the sidewalk and asking questions like: "In what country is the Panama Canal?" and they don't know. He asks "What countries border the United States?" and people guess: "Australia?" On and on it goes.

Schools issue diplomas, degrees and certificates to people who have completed a prescribed course of study. I can't tell you how many small business people complained to me as a local teacher that young people who have graduated from local high schools could not fill out simple job applications or read a ruler on a job site. They paid a big portion of our property taxes which funded our schools and they were angry.

Colleges are no better. Admission standards are so weak that a big percentage of freshmen must take remedial English and math courses for no credit. As long as applicants have high school diplomas and qualify for federal grants and subsidized loans, they're in. Many enroll in watered-down, pointless majors such as "Gender Studies"; Queer Studies; "Fashion Design"; and courses like "Cyberfeminism" (Cornell) and "The Science of Superheroes: (UC Irvine) that cost thousands. When I saw signs and interviews of people at "Occupy" demonstrations last fall complaining about their student loan debt, I wondered what it was they had studied. If they majored in Women's Studies and couldn't find a job, whose fault is that?

Our economy still reels from the housing bubble, but next on the horizon is the student-loan bubble. With average debt over $25,000, there's more than a trillion dollars of shaky loan debt out there. The biggest default danger, however, is the United States itself. As a republic, our leaders are elected by the people. Stupid people elect stupid leaders. Beginning with the New Deal, accelerating during the Great Society, and culminating with Hope and Change, those leaders made promises they couldn't keep. Voters believed them, which brings us to the biggest indicator of collective American stupidity: our steady march to bankruptcy.

Most people stop believing in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy by about third grade. By the end of fourth grade, Americans used to know basic arithmetic until the federal government began "fixing" public education. We cannot depend on that being true anymore, but I think we can still say that a majority know it by the end of eighth grade. Why then does a majority of Americans continue to elect and reelect leaders in Washington who borrow or print 40 cents of every dollar they spend?

Knowing that basic arithmetic, how can a majority of Americans continue to believe the federal government can borrow and print money for decades into the future to pay unfunded mandates in Social Security and Medicare approaching $100 trillion? It defies logic.

Remember the learning process around Santa Claus? We liked the myth of a kindly old man who could give us anything we want, magically. As long as we behaved, he would grant our requests. We started to have doubts about him in first or second grade when we questioned the likelihood of an old man with flying reindeer and a flying sleigh delivering all those toys around the world in one night. We still wanted to believe it though, so we pushed the doubts away. Our parents wanted us to believe it too so they reinforced the myth with ever more elaborate explanations of how it really was possible and we should keep on believing it.

Politicians do that too. They insist that people can retire at 65 with full benefits and free medical care for twenty-five years until death at 90 or so. President Obama and congressional Democrats assert the only thing that might derail the gravy train is tax cuts for greedy rich people.

When Congressman Paul Ryan pokes holes in the myth of Social Security's and Medicare's sustainability, when he says we cannot believe the Santa Claus-Democrats we sense that he's right, but we don't want to give up the myth. We know it's stupid, but we really, really want to believe it - so we do. Will a stupid majority re-elect stupid leaders - from either party - in November? Time will tell.  As Forrest Gump put it: "Stupid is as stupid does



Obama Administration's Repeated Abuses Are Extension of Extreme Liberalism

Every day, we get a new kick in the gut from the Obama administration. Most recently, Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz was caught on video articulating his view of the agency's role in enforcing its regulations.

Armendariz said: "It was kind of like how the Romans used to, you know, conquer villages in the Mediterranean. They'd go into a little Turkish town somewhere; they'd find the first five guys they saw, and they'd crucify them. Then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years. ... It's a deterrent factor."

Indeed, we've seen this attitude by the administration in countless examples, from Obama's handling of the Obamacare legislation and restructuring of the GM loans to the administration's New Black Panther voter intimidation case to Solyndra to Fast and Furious to -- oh, never mind; I have to keep this to less than 20,000 words.

None of this should surprise us. Obama is the quintessential liberal, and his administration's recurring abuses are simply the logical extension of liberal hubris born of a self-righteous certainty of the superiority of leftist ideas. This inevitably leads to dictatorial usurpations and lawlessness from the liberal ruling class.

These liberals are sure not only that their ideas and policies are more effective but also that they are morally imperative -- and that conservative ideas and policies are not just ineffective but also woefully immoral.

Though conservatives are just as convinced of the superiority of their ideas and policies, they do not subscribe to the maxim that the end justifies the means. Their first allegiance, in terms of politics and statecraft, is to the Constitution and the rule of law. They don't believe they have the right to thwart or circumvent the Constitution or rewrite it judicially to advance their ideas and policies, no matter how important they are.

This is not merely because they are adherents of the rule of law but also because of the high value they place on the Constitution. Their reverence for the Constitution is not a matter of idolatry or some romantic abstraction; it flows from their conviction that it is the indispensable foundation of our political and economic liberties, such that safeguarding its integrity is paramount.

Leftists -- not fully appreciating the essential link between our Constitution and our liberties or maybe just not valuing either to the extent conservatives do -- are much more willing to subordinate and undermine the Constitution when it serves their ends, all the while paying lip service to their undying allegiance to it. Further, the left, not comprehending conservatives' commitment to these principles, tends to believe, through projection, that conservatives operate the same way -- that we, too, would casually throw the Constitution under the bus to achieve our ends.

But it simply isn't true. We don't advocate using the courts to make policies that are the constitutional prerogative of the legislative and executive branches. Nor do we condone abuses of executive authority by the president himself, his unaccountable czars or his rogue administrative agencies to achieve our political ends. We understand that for a court to judicially legislate conservative policy is just as dangerous to the Constitution -- and thus, ultimately, to our liberties -- as it is for it to legislate liberalism. We realize that for a conservative administration to do end runs around the legislative branch or the Constitution is as damaging to our liberties as similar abuses by a liberal administration.

So please understand that when liberals abuse their power in these ways, it won't do for them to throw out cynical claims of moral equivalence, as in "conservatives are every bit as guilty of these abuses as we are." That might fool their fellow cynics and the uninformed, but it's fantasy. This is not because we are morally superior but because a vital component of our commitment to the bilateral social contract is that we protect and defend the Constitution.

So every time the Obama administration abuses its power in furtherance of its political ends, we conservatives are not just upset that the destructive liberal agenda is being advanced. We aren't just outraged at its lawlessness. More importantly, we are horrified that it is thereby removing more and more bricks from our nation's constitutional foundation, our republic and our liberties.



A strange Leftist fantasy

A typical Leftist loss of reality contact below

In the wake of the “War on Women” controversy, a number of individuals have seemingly gotten it into their minds that Republicans, particularly Republican men, ought to be punished for their callousness.

In mid-March, a women’s organization held a week-long “sex strike” in an awareness campaign for their “reproductive rights” (presumably this means free birth control), and now author and Huffington Post blogger John Blumenthal is encouraging another such strike, but with a much wider reach.

What, exactly, does he propose? No sex until November, and if by then you are not 100% convinced he will vote Democrat, “Make him stay home on election day.”  Blumenthal explains in his article:

"Maybe you haven’t heard the news lately ladies, but for reasons only they comprehend, Republican men are waging war on you. That’s right. Full-scale combat. A veritable crusade. We’re talking no contraception, no abortions, no Planned Parenthood, needless vaginal probing, and they’ve only just gotten started. And what are you doing about it? Not much.

Here’s the scenario: If we elect Mitt Romney, and both houses of Congress end up being dominated by passengers from the clown bus, God only knows how far they’ll go. Will humorless federal agents in black suits, earpieces and reflecting sunglasses be stationed in your bedroom? Will your ovaries become the property of the state? Will women’s suffrage be repealed? Will you be required to wear chastity belts and/or burqas? Will burning witches at the stake return as a reality show?

They’re holding all the cards, ladies, and their self-righteous imaginations are limitless.

Republican imaginations are limitless, critics ask? Burning witches at the stake as a reality show, if Republicans are elected? Federal agents stationed in your bedroom? Is he joking?
But it does not end there:

Here’s the good news: It’s within your power to prevent all this from happening. How? Simple. Deny sex to your men folk if they plan to vote Republican. Of course, you probably like sex too, but sometimes people in a democratic society have to make sacrifices for freedom and equality. [...]

Of course, you first have to determine whether your fella is a Republican, if he hasn’t already told you. This shouldn’t be too hard. Does he own a Glock, which he keeps in case a deer breaks into your house? Does he work for Goldman Sachs? Does he favor the missionary position because it sounds vaguely religious? Does he keep a Confederate flag in his sock drawer? When you go to Macy’s together, does he wander off while you’re in the cosmetics department and secretly fondle sweater vests?

Fast forward a few months:

Okay, so now it‘s November and you haven’t had sex with him since April. Drooling all over himself, he promises he’ll do anything you say. But what if he tries to trick you? Voting is confidential, so no matter how horny he is, he might tell you he’s voting for Obama, but then vote the Republican ticket instead. How do you prevent this from happening? Simple. Make him stay home on Election Day.

Then have sex with him and do what you usually do — fake [it].

For the last “liberal ladies sex strike,” one Facebook commenter posted pictures of Helen Thomas and wrote: “Somehow, I’m OK with this.”

Hundreds of others were inclined to agree, saying things along the lines of “Isn’t using sex as a bargaining tool contradictory with women wanting to be seen as more than just sex objects?“ and ”Combine this with the Roe Effect and liberals will be sexless AND childless.”

But this particular strike hits a different chord– instead of demanding the men vote for Obama, the author urges women to “make” the men stay home.

Why? Is it possible that even after an 8-month sex strike the author thinks they still wouldn’t vote Obama? It must be drastic times to call for such drastic measures.



Israel’s ‘welcome letter’ to flytilla activists

A couple of weeks ago, Pro-Palestinian activists  planned  on arriving in Israel by plane as part of a "flytilla".  Below is the letter they were handed as they arrived

"Dear activist, we appreciate your choosing to make Israel the object of your humanitarian concerns.  We know there were many other worthy choices.You could have chosen to protest the Syrian regime's daily savagery against its own people, which has claimed thousands of lives.

"You could have chosen to protest the Iranian regime's brutal crackdown on dissent and support of terrorism throughout the world. You could have chosen to protest Hamas rule in Gaza, where terror organizations commit a double war crime by firingrockets at civilians and hiding behind civilians.

"But instead you chose to protest against Israel, the Middle East's sole democracy, where women are equal, the press criticizes the government, human rights organizations can operate freely, religious freedom is protected for all and minorities do not live in fear.

The letter concludes: "Therefore we suggest to let you solve first the real problems of the region, and then come back and share with us your experience. Have a nice flight."



My Twitter.com identity: jonjayray. I have deleted my Facebook page as I rarely access it. For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH,  FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC,  AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena

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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)


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