Calvin Coolidge and the foundational truths of government
Calvin Coolidge had a penchant for silence but when he spoke, he did so with powerful effect. "The words of a president have an enormous weight and ought not to be used indiscriminately,” he once warned. Underappreciated by historians and often marginalized through story and anecdote, the “throwback” president’s stock is on the rise. While it is true that the 30th president is due for a major reassessment, the ideas he put forward remain timeless because of his focus on foundational truths.
Silent Cal’s words and legacy speak directly to us and our national ills. Often referred to as the last Jeffersonian president, Coolidge praised limiting the state’s powers as he observed and reacted to the progressive era and the looming New Deal centralization. “These socialistic notions of government are not of my day,” he quipped during FDR’s rise.
Instead, Coolidge believed the progressive man bent on centralization was a stale soul. “Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers,” declared Coolidge. He continually harkened back to America’s Founding, believing that there are fundamental truths about man and his relationship to the state.
While early American debates centered on how important it is that federal power be limited, the progressive era saw the rise of breathless boasts about how much good and abundance could flourish out of unlimited federal power.
Seeing into the future, Coolidge warned Americans that if they thought they were speaking of the federal government when they referred to “the government” it would prove costly. A staunch defender of federalism, he believed local government took precedence when federal power is not specifically enumerated by the Constitution.
Seeing himself as civic educator, he explained: “The men and women of this country who toil are the ones who bear the cost of the government. Every dollar that we carelessly waste means that their life will be so much the more meager.” A glance at the federal debt today makes his case.
While Coolidge often spoke in short sentences full of common sense, there was considerable depth to his conservative views. Lampooned in part because of quotes like “The chief business of the American people is business,” Coolidge went on to also say in the same address, “Of course the accumulation of wealth cannot be justified as the chief end of existence.”
Sneered at by intellectual elites for being old fashioned and a defender of free-markets, Coolidge championed capitalism by personalizing it, rooting work within the dignity of man and eschewing materialism and greed. He warned Americans against sinking into a “pagan materialism.”
Coolidge oversaw an era of unyielding prosperity for most and unprecedented technological advances, but he knew the citizens of the republic must be rooted in faith. “If we are too weak to take charge of our own morality, we shall not be strong enough to take charge of our own liberty,” said Coolidge. He declared, “We cannot depend on government to do the work of religion.” He simply proclaimed in his brilliant speech on the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, “The things of the spirit come first.”
Coolidge’s authenticity stands in contrast to most modern politicians and leaders. When his biographer William Allen White expressed frustration with not being able to see the real Coolidge by telling him, “I need to peek at the man behind the mask,” Coolidge amusingly snapped back, “I don’t know if I can help you, maybe there isn’t any.”
After Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, he hung up a portrait of Coolidge in the White House. The Washington press corps snickered at the act. Coolidge however put forward a serious and deep vision for the country. It is a vision that stands in stark contrast with how our government and many of our leaders operate today.
While America experiences crippling debt, moral decay, and decline of purpose, Coolidge’s words and legacy will appeal even more. Fundamental truths are forever new to a society that has lost its way.
The Obama Administration’s Genocide Denial
Suppose that there was a country where Muslims were being massacred every month and mosques and imams were being targeted and destroyed. Could anyone imagine the Obama Administration choosing to remain silent in the face of such atrocities?
A mob attack on Muslims in Burma immediately resulted in a condemnation from the State Department and a call for its government to make more concessions to Muslims. But a car bombing and shooting attack on two churches in Nigeria have not been similarly commented on by the State Department, sending the message that Muslim life is precious, but Christian life is cheap. The Muslim dead of Burma are sacred, but the Christian dead of Nigeria are only more dead infidels.
Boko Haram, the Islamic terrorist organization responsible for both attacks, has yet to be declared a terrorist organization by the State Department, despite having carried out religiously motivated bombings and shootings that have killed over a thousand people in the last few years alone. These numbers begin to approach the level of murders carried out by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The "Boko Haram Terrorist Designation Act of 2012", introduced by Senator Scott Brown, mandates that the State Department produce a detailed report that either designates Boko Haram as a terrorist group or justifies why it should not be listed as a terrorist group. A similar bill was introduced by Congressman Meehan in the House. It is a testament to the obstructionism of the State Department and its whitewashing of Boko Haram that such a bill even had to be introduced. While the State Department has played delaying games, the bodies of murdered Christians have continued piling up.
It is also tragically noteworthy that all eleven sponsors of the "Boko Haram Terrorist Designation Act", in both the Senate and the House, have been Republicans. Not a single Democrat appeared to be willing to stand up for the human rights of Nigerian Christians. If the "Boko Haram Terrorist Designation Act" comes down to a vote, that vote should be seen as nothing less than a test of complicity for individual Democrats in the cover-up of Nigeria's Islamic genocide by the Obama Administration.
Genocide denial pervades not only the Obama Administration and its Congressional allies, but also the media, which continues to promote the destructive myth that Boko Haram is not truly religiously motivated and that it can only be stopped by giving more money and power to the Muslim north.
Had a non-Muslim group carried out numerous attacks on mosques and Muslim worshipers, and then ordered Muslims to leave an area, it is absolutely inconceivable that the Obama Administration and its media allies would deny that these were religiously motivated attacks. It is even more inconceivable that its preferred solution would be to tell the government to stop fighting terrorism. But what is inconceivable when it comes to Muslims is Obama Administration policy for Christians.
At the end of April, Daniel Benjamin, from the State Department's Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, testifying at the House Foreign Affairs Committee, denied that Boko Haram was affiliated with Al-Qaeda, while conceding that its members were probably being trained by Al-Qaeda. Benjamin then stated that the State Department's response to the Islamic genocide of Christians by Jihadists in the Muslim north was "to press for a change to its (Nigeria's) heavy-handed approach to the security threats in the north".
The State Department's approach to the genocide of Christians by Muslims is to press the Nigerian government to scale down its efforts against that genocide. Benjamin's statement is not unique; it is the consistent policy of the State Department, which is the consistent policy of the Obama Administration, to respond to Islamic genocide in Nigeria by pressuring its government to step down its war on terror.Johnnie Carson, the Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of African Affairs, in his remarks on Nigeria, claimed bizarrely, that despite a campaign of violence focused heavily around attacks on churches, "Religion is not driving extremist violence in either Jos or Northern Nigeria" and warned the Nigerian government to "avoid excessive violence".
That same month, Don Yamamoto, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of African Affairs, testifying at the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and reading from the same script, said that, "Religion is not the primary driver of extremist violence in Nigeria", like Carson, claimed that Nigeria's "religious and ethnic diversity is one of its greatest strengths" and demanded that the Nigerian government spend more time teaching its security forces to respect Muslim human rights.
Close to 900,000 Arab Jews were expelled from Arab Muslim countries and countless murdered. Today, Christians are suffering the very same fate with the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Christians in Muslim countries.
* In Egypt, 100,000 Christians have left since the "Arab Spring" began.
* Bethlehem and Ramallah are no longer Christian majority cities.
* In Syria, Muslims have gone door-to-door telling Christian homeowners to leave immediately or be shot. 50,000 men, women and children have been forced to flee empty-handed as Muslims appropriated their property and possessions.
* In Sudan,where shariah is being enforced, 600,000 Christians have been told to leave the country or be treated like foreigners.
* In 2003, Iraq's Christian population stood at 1.4 million. Today, there are only 300,000 Christians remaining......(Janet Levy)
A free market brings down health costs
by Jeff Jacoby
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY to make sure that Americans with chronic medical conditions -- those most likely to need costly or frequent health care -- can afford the insurance they need to meet their bills? The conventional answer, reflected in Mitt Romney's 2006 health-care reform law in Massachusetts and the federal overhaul signed by Barack Obama in 2010, contains these ingredients:
(1) Require everyone to have health insurance, with subsidized plans for low-income citizens. (2) Compel insurers to accept anybody who applies for coverage and to charge roughly the same premium for everyone, regardless of health status. (3) Make all health plans cover a fixed array of medical treatments, providers, and conditions that many customers may not need or want.
The orthodox view, in short, is that to shield people with serious medical needs from undue financial hardship we must suppress the normal workings of a free market -- supply and demand, competition, flexible prices. There's just one problem with this approach: It doesn't work.
Six years after RomneyCare became law, health insurance coverage in Massachusetts is all but universal. Yet a new statewide survey finds that those most in need of medical care are finding it harder than ever to pay for. According to the study, which was directed by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and sponsored by WBUR, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 78 percent of sick adults consider health care costs a serious (50 percent say very serious) problem in Massachusetts. And far from seeing improvement, nearly two-thirds of sick adults say the problem has only gotten worse over the past five years.
This wasn't supposed to happen. Romney was confident his law would ease the pressure of medical costs. "Every uninsured citizen in Massachusetts will soon have affordable health insurance and the costs of health care will be reduced," he optimistically forecast in 2006. Yet today 14 percent of sick adults in Massachusetts report being unable to get medical care they needed at some point over the past 12 months, usually for financial reasons. About half of those who went untreated said they couldn't afford the out-of-pocket costs; another 21 percent said their insurer wouldn't pay for the test or treatment.
To be sure, the survey relies on respondents' own perceptions, which may not always be realistic or consistent. And its definition of "sick" adults is broad: It includes everyone who said they had a serious illness, medical condition, injury, or disability requiring a lot of medical care, as well as anyone who was hospitalized overnight in the past year. By that yardstick, 27 percent of Massachusetts adults are regarded as sick.
But even if that number should be taken with a grain of salt, it is clear that universal health insurance is no panacea for health care's financial pressures -- especially those that affect people with pre-existing or expensive medical conditions.
The way to make medical insurance more affordable and accessible for everyone, above all those whose health problems are greatest, is not by forcing insurers to pretend that the chronically ill or those requiring frequent care don't have above-average costs. If companies that sell homeowners insurance were barred from taking into account the size, location, or age of the houses they wrote policies for, it goes without saying that premiums and deductibles would keep rising and fewer losses would be covered. Making it illegal for health insurers to craft policies and charge premiums that accurately reflect the needs and risks of people with significant medical issues has a similar effect.
Rather than outlawing insurance for pre-existing conditions, health-care economist John C. Goodman argues, we should be encouraging it. In a new book, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis, Goodman offers an abundance of ways in which an unfettered market could address the problems of people with chronic medical needs. One proposal: employers could buy health insurance that was fully portable -- employees would own their policies and could take them from job to job. Another idea: Health Savings Accounts for the chronically ill that would allow disabled patients to manage their own budgets and choose the goods and services that best meet their needs. Still another: "Health status insurance," which would allow individuals to protect themselves against the risk that a pre-existing condition could emerge down the road and cause their insurance premiums to rise.
What America's health-care landscape needs is more freedom and competition, not less. True reform would end the tax-code distortion that links health insurance to employment. It would tear down the barriers to buying health insurance across state lines. It would roll back the mandatory benefits that make everyone's health coverage too expensive. Massive health-care "reforms" that restrict choice, suppress prices, and block innovation aren't reforms at all. In sickness and in health, they generally make things worse.
Oregon: Welcome to the jungle
The racist attacks on whites by groups of blacks continue
Portland Police are investigating two “large-scale” fights that happened in Laurelhurst Park in Southeast Portland earlier this week. According to Sgt. Pete Simpson, both fights involved groups of black teenagers randomly attacking people in the park.
Simpson said the first incident happened on June 13 around 10:30 p.m. That’s when officers responded to reports of 150 drunken teenagers in the park.
Officers arrived and found several groups of teens leaving. As they continued through the park a young woman flagged them down and pointed out a 14-year-old boy who had been beaten up, Simpson said. He was lying on a picnic table.
The boy had been hit in the face and paramedics were called to treat his injuries.
According to Simpson, the victim told officers he was with a friend in the park when he was punched from behind. He said his attackers were 5-10 black teenagers who were randomly attacking white teens in the park. He said they also attacked a homeless man.
The victim said the attackers stole his cell phone, iPod, headphones and hat.
The second attack happened the next night, also around 10:30 p.m. In that case, officers got a report of a fight involving more than 20 people in the park.
They didn’t find the fight when they arrived but did find three men who said they were attacked by a group of 20-30 black teenagers, Simpson said.
The three victims, who are all in their 20s, said they were playing “soccer tennis” at the tennis courts when some of the teens started calling out to them and throwing bottles on the court, according to Simpson.
The victims said they were then attacked by people in the group. Two of the men suffered facial injuries but declined medical treatment.
"As they came onto the court, it became clear it was time to get out of there," one of the victims told KATU. "In hindsight, being in a public park at night is not the safest place to begin with."
Portland Police officers plan on stepping up patrols in the park this weekend. The park will also close at 10 p.m. through the weekend instead of the normal midnight closing time.
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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)