Sunday, May 13, 2012

You can't make this stuff up

President Barack Obama has a new campaign slogan: "Forward."

Obama's re-election team unveiled its new motto in a video released Monday morning. The seven-minute video begins by recalling the grim state of the nation's economy when Obama took office, then ticks through what the campaign says are the president's accomplishments, both on the economy and other issues.

The video tries to make the case for Obama's re-election by saying there is still more work to do going forward.


"Forwards" (Vorwaerts) was of course the song of the Hitler Youth. See here


The Left’s Seven Tragic Terror Lies


If they did not put our troops, our citizens and our country at risk, the Left's fantastic lies about terror and terrorists would be hilarious. The Left's self-righteous nonsense in this sphere has no grounding in empirical or historical reality, but, then, reality has long been a greater threat to the Left than Islamist fanatics (the last thing any Leftie wants to do is to face the vast human wastage generated by the addictive, enervating and morally debilitating hook-the-poor social programs of the last five decades).

So, when it comes to addressing the real and deadly terrorist threat, the American left responds in the best Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Chavista and community-organizer traditions: When the facts aren't palatable, make up new "facts." And political correctness has worked its poisonous tentacles so deeply into the American body politic that not even our generals challenge the ludicrous claims the Left hurls at us in its neo-Bolshevik bullying mode of shouting down every last unwelcome truth.

Of course, the left's lies are countless, but the hard left has mastered the art of reducing the most complex human challenges to bumper-sticker slogans as nonsensical as they are reassuring to the herd (the wildly counter-factual prize probably goes to a leftie favorite, "War never changes anything." On the contrary, war has always changed a great deal, which is why we have wars). These happy-face mantras never rise above intellectual flatulence, but the massed sheep on the Left enjoy the aroma ("Yes, we can!").

The problem, of course, is that many of our national leaders have been brainwashed with the same slogans. The Left has mastered another technique dictators forged long ago: Repeat a lie often enough and it will be taken as truth. And, of course, our media play along.

So let's give the slogan-hucksters a brief time-out and dissect just seven of their favorite lines:

One: Killing terrorists only turns them into martyrs. Nope. Killing terrorists turns them into dead terrorists. Of all the terrorists we've killed since 9/11, how many are celebrated as martyrs in the Muslim world today? Remember the Butcher of Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi? The Left solemnly warned us that killing him would turn him into a martyr and mobilize the Muslim world against us. Didn't happen. Instead, his fellow Arabs spit upon his grave. And what about the big lad, Comrade Osama? We heard no end of grave pronunciamentos from "public intellectuals"and other fellow travelers that killing him would not only make him a martyr, but lead to an explosion of Muslim fury. Well, check it out: Not a single serious demonstration marked the one-year anniversary of his death (by the way, I'm growing confused: Were any SEALs actually in bin Laden's compound, or did President Obama take down Osama alone, with his bare hands? That seems to be the White House position of late).

Killing terrorists doesn't create problems. It eliminates specific problems and reduces others. What creates problems is capturing terrorists. That's when they become martyrs, inspiring kidnappings and other attacks to free them, and leading Leftists to champion them as "prisoners of conscience" and victims of vile American oppression. Witness the recent courtroom circus at Guantanamo, where monstrous terrorists (men who should have been dead at least eight years ago) have been granted a global platform for their cause.

As a former intelligence officer, I sympathize with those who believe we need more interrogations, but I'm still for killing every terrorist we can find right on the spot-until a grown-up president revives serious clandestine operations in which the CIA can capture, strenuously interrogate then execute known terrorists without it ever becoming public knowledge. The only problem with waterboarding is that somebody told.

Two: We can't kill our way out of this. Actually, we've been killing our way out of "this" with great success. In fact, killing terrorists has been the only thing that has worked. And one thing Obama-terrified of a terror attack on his watch-has gotten right has been to increase the number of lethal attacks on terrorists and to favor killing them over capturing them (Obama did learn the real lesson of Guantanamo-kill, don't capture--although he isn't going to inform his base). Had Bush killed as many terrorists with drone strikes and special ops as Obama has, the Left would have cried out for him to be tried as a war criminal. And what do you think Obama's base would have had to say if Bush had authorized killing Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen? (Just to be clear, I'm glad Awlaki's dead.)

Leftists (see Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, etc.) don't really object to war and violence. They just want to be in charge of it. For the left, it's rarely about what's done, but about who's doing it: The left's moral compass realigns on command.

We have 2,000 years of documented history of insurgencies led by religious fanatics (in every religion, by the way). In those two millennia, there is not a single example of a faith-fueled rebellion or terrorist movement that did not require extensive bloodshed to defeat it. Not one example in 2,000 years. And, indeed, resolute powers proved very, very good at killing their way out of it.



Obama now in the forefront of the Culture War

It took Joe Biden's public embrace of same-sex marriage to smoke him out.

But after Joe told David Gregory of "Meet the Press" he was "absolutely comfortable" with homosexuals marrying, Barack Obama could not maintain his credibility with the cultural elite if he stuck with the biblical view that God ordained marriage as solely between a man and woman. The biblical view had to go.

Obama had to move, or look like a malingerer in secularism's next great moral advance into post-Christian America.

Consider. Obama had an appearance coming up on "The View," where Whoopi Goldberg would have demanded to know why he lacked the courage of Biden's convictions. He has a $40,000-a-plate fundraiser at George Clooney's, where the Hollywood crowd would want to know why he does not end discrimination against homosexuals.

He has appearances lined up before gay activists raising millions for his campaign. Monday, his press secretary was pilloried for his feeble defense of Obama's now-abandoned position.

His hand was forced. Yet the stand Obama took could cost him his presidency. Same-sex marriage may yet be a bridge too far, even for a dying Christian America.

On the plus side for Obama, his decision is producing hosannas from the elites and an infusion of cash from those who see same-sex marriage as the great moral and civil rights issue of our time.

But Obama may also have just solved Mitt Romney's big problem: How does Mitt get all those evangelical Christians and cultural conservatives not only to vote for him but to work for him?

Obama, by declaring that homosexual marriages should be on the same legal and moral plane as traditional marriage, just took command of the forces of anti-Christian secularism in America's Kulturkampf. And Nov. 6, 2012, is shaping up as the Antietam of the culture war.

Obama's second problem is that he may soon be seen as America's champion of same-sex marriage, but an ineffectual advocate. For Obama can do nothing, as of now, to impose homosexual marriage on the American people.

Thirty-one states have voted to outlaw it. A constitutional amendment supporting same-sex marriage could not win a majority of either house of Congress, let alone the necessary two-thirds of both.

Hence, Obama is going to spend six months winning cheers by calling for same-sex marriage. But the price of those cheers will be the rallying of millions of opponents of homosexual marriage, who will fight this battle where they are winning it, at the state level.

Only six states have approved homosexual marriage, while 30 have imposed a constitutional ban. In North Carolina, a ban not only on same-sex marriage but also civil unions, though opposed by Obama and Bill Clinton, carried on Tuesday with 61 percent of the vote.

Republican turnout in North Carolina's primary was up half a million, the highest in history. And this is a state Obama carried in 2008, a state whose largest city, Charlotte, will host Obama's convention.

Even in liberal California in 2008, while John McCain was getting a smaller share of the vote than Barry Goldwater in 1964, Proposition 8, restricting marriage to men and women, won.

How does Obama propose to win this battle? He has one path to victory -- the Supreme Court.

The New York Times, declaring that homosexuals' right to marry is "too precious and too fragile to be left up to the whim of states and the tearing winds of modern partisan politics," is looking to the court as the last, best hope to impose same-sex marriage on the nation.

Can't trust voters, can't trust elected legislators, can't trust Congress. Homosexual marriage, says the Times, is too important to be left to democratic decision. The republic must be commanded to accept it by unelected judges who serve for life and against whom the people have no political recourse.



Obama's New Nomenklatura

(The Nomenklatura were the secretive elite of the old Soviet system}

Socialism is a rich man's game. Oh, sure, random overheated (sometimes impoverished) Occupiers agitate for their version of economic equality, possibly gumming up the works at the Lincoln Tunnel, but the real financial justice action comes from the wealthy — or so it would seem.

And I'm not just talking about Hollywood, where George Clooney is full steam ahead on a putative record-breaking $10 million fundraiser for Barack Obama, or the laughably meretricious theatrics of the "Buffett Tax" that no one would pay anyway, but across the nation.

According to a book about to be released, "The Rise of the President's Perpetual Campaign" by Brendan J. Doherty, Obama has held more fundraisers than all presidents since Nixon combined.

What does this have to do with socialism? A lot, really, because what Obama promises — especially in his second term — is a socialism of permanent elites, a kind of new, very American, version of the old Soviet-style nomenklatura. And those who are in it will get to stay in it (via government support) as social mobility, aka the American Dream, diminishes or disappears.

This was what socialism ultimately was all about, indeed is all about — the preservation of nomenklaturas, whether of Hollywood, the media, union and bureaucratic leadership or what remains of selected industry. Keep hoi polloi out.

All those fundraisers and bundlers, from Clooney to the considerably more anonymous, know this on one level or another. It's certainly not subtle, and those too clueless to understand were reminded by the quasi-blacklisting of potential Romney supporters. A warning shot was fired. No elite status for them.

Being part of this new nomenklatura is particularly crucial in hard times and even more so in hard times that look to be long-lasting and possibly permanent.

Seemingly disastrous undertakings, like the overweening government support of the feckless solar company Solyndra, therefore can actually have what would appear to be a reverse effect, reassuring elites that they will be protected, even cosseted, in their most irrational enterprises. Just stay on the team, and all will be well.

It's a pessimistic view of life and a cowardly one — and quite conservative in the emotional sense. No wonder we see the left in our country in a sour mood. (Even the professionally cautious Jay Leno admitted recently that Democrats were lacking in humor and unable to mock themselves. Reviews of Obama at the White House Correspondents' dinner were not good.)

But this grim atmosphere does not mean the left will lose. Quite the contrary. Like a determined politburo, they will hang on to their perquisites at all costs. The terms of the battle have just been ratcheted up. Issues like global warming, the war on women, racial contretemps, etc. will be ginned up for the preservation of their power.

I admit that using this Soviet terminology ... nomenklaturas, politburos ... is perhaps excessive. We all know that could not happen here. The gray rigidity of the Soviet lifestyle seems antithetical to sunny American optimism and flare.

But we could have our own way of adopting such things. They could come in through the back door ... or the front pages of a newspaper ... or the way someone sings the national anthem at the Staples Center or how we look at the fireworks display (all made in China) on the Fourth of July. In other words, it could happen here.



Medicare Liabilities Are Worse than They Look

Sixty-three trillion dollars. That’s the sum of unfunded liabilities for both Social Security and Medicare, according to the latest trustees report. In fact, the shortfall is almost twice as large as that. This is because when the Affordable Care Act was signed, more than $50 trillion dollars of future Medicare spending was cut from that entitlement program. But this would result not in a reduction of future spending, but in a shift away from seniors and toward younger people. It’s difficult to believe that Congress would muster the political will to sustain reductions in Medicare spending, according to Independent Institute Research Fellow John C. Goodman.

“In fact, the possibility of ‘Obamacare’ policies cutting Medicare’s unfunded liability in half is so unlikely that Medicare’s chief actuary, Richard Foster, provides an ‘alternative’ report, in addition to the official trustees report, in which he projects much higher levels of Medicare spending,” Goodman writes in his latest op-ed for Politico.

Meaningful reform of Medicare, Goodman argues, would require changing it from a pay-as-you-go system into one in which workers pay their own way. Employees (and employers) would need to save 4 percent of payroll in order to reach a point at which each generation of retirees pays for most of their post-retirement healthcare without an increase in payroll taxes. The boost in private savings would bring significant additional benefits: it would support increases in physical capital and higher wages, as Independent Institute Research Fellow Burt Abrams explains on In contrast, the pay-as-you-go Medicare system (like Social Security) reduces the incentive for people to save for their retirement years, robs young people of their own earnings, and slows the rise of the standard of living.




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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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