Monday, December 31, 2012
A HAPPY, HEALTHY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR TO ALL THOSE WHO COME BY HERE
Though some gloomy thoughts are realistic too as we look ahead
The economic future
I am afraid she might be right
But this might give us hope
An American teen (in the yellow hazard suit) who built a working fusor (nuclear fusion reactor) in his spare time. A society that produces such a kid and gives him such opportunities has unfathomable potential. And he is not alone. Other hobbyists build fusors.
And even the Soviets allowed this music to thrive
The piano player, Emil Gilels, was a Ukrainian Jew and a Soviet citizen
Generation Obama: Unemployed, Debt-Ridden, and Homeless
It might seem easy to say, “you get what you vote for,” to the millions of young voters who supported President Obama and now can’t find work.
But, with a record number of young Americans becoming homeless, blaming the victim of President Obama’s well-crafted rhetoric doesn’t seem right.
In one of his last campaign speeches, President Obama told a crowd of people at the University of Wisconsin--Madison, “We tried our ideas; they worked. The economy grew. We created jobs.”
This sham President Obama cooked-up is nothing short of immoral for the millions of young Americans that have been living in Obama’s economic hell the last four years.
The Democratic Party renders themselves as the party of compassion, yet under any measurement, young Americans have never been more economically miserable under any other President in recorded history.
And, the misery continues to worsen. A recent article in The New York Times reported that young people are “the new face of a national homeless population, one that poverty experts and case workers say is growing.” And according to Andrea Bailey, the executive director of the Community Food and Outreach Center, it is becoming increasingly more common for young people to seek help from homeless shelters.
The cities of Los Angeles and Boston attempted to count the exact number of young Americans that have been forced to move onto the streets. In 2011, it was estimated that 3,600 young Americans were living on the streets of Los Angeles. The number rises significantly if you count those temporarily sleeping on their friends’ couch.
The amount of young Americans in Boston seeking shelter represented 12 percent of the total homeless population in 2011, up 3 percentage points from the previous year. But they fear that this isn’t anywhere close to the actual number of young Americans occupying their streets. “It’s a significant enough jump to know that it’s also just the tip of the iceberg,” said Jim Greene, director of emergency shelters for the Boston Public Health Commission.
This news is incredibly disheartening, but should we be surprised? No. While President Obama boasted from his ivory towers on the campaign trail that over 4.5 million jobs have been created in the last four years, young Americans have had a drastically different experience.
In the last four years under President Obama, 397,000 youth jobs were destroyed and youth unemployment averaged 17.5 percent--the highest level in recorded history. 53 percent of recent graduates are unemployed or underemployed, and young Americans currently represent 40 percent of the total unemployed population.
While recent numbers suggest youth unemployment is going down, more young people continue to drop out of the work force. In the month of November alone, 153,000 young Americans ages 20-24 completely gave up looking for work and the Labor Force Participation rate dropped from 54.4 percent to 54.1 percent.
I guess they didn’t want anything to do with those 4.5 million private sector jobs that President Obama claimed he created.
Youth unemployment is a serious problem. Homelessness is even more unfathomable. But the real concern lies in the mentality that this type of environment is creating among Millennials.
Anyone forced to live a life on the streets lives a life of survival. Instead of looking for a job, you’re looking for the next meal. Instead of helping businesses grow and create jobs for these young people, President Obama has been satisfied growing the welfare state and providing the next meal. The government food stamp program has grown 50 percent during his term.
The Obama economy is taking the wind out of the sails of these young Americans fresh out of college who truly wanted to start their careers. This President and this economy are breeding a new generation of entitlement and dependency by letting young people believe that it is acceptable to solely rely on the government.
But this won’t get them very far. Young people were sold a bill of goods this election, and they bought it--even after the last four years of economic hell. It’s only downhill from here.
Conservatives have failed to step in and articulate the message that more freedom and less government spending create more jobs and more independence for young people. Until they do so--or until our economy totally fails--young Americans will continue to fall into the Obama entitlement trap.
With no jobs and nowhere to turn but to President Obama, an overwhelming majority of the population will be in favor of a dependency-centered, debt-ridden government. We see it happening in Europe, and look where it’s gotten them. We’d be naive to think it wouldn’t happen here. Conservative leaders have the moral obligation to propose a brighter future for young Americans and our country to ensure it doesn’t.
Tackling Fairness and Justice
The last year has been a tough one for conservatives. The hope that four years of failed policy would be enough to repudiate the liberal/progressive ideology of the Obama administration ended when the majority of the American public voted to maintain their entitlements -- so long as someone else paid for them. And the conservative response to the debacle has been for the various factions within the movement to declare war on each other.
It's time for conservatives to give serious thought to what they believe and how they can make a more persuasive case that conservative principles offer the best path for America. Conservatives have to do more than invoke small government, lower taxes and protection of the family. They have to explain the principles on which such policies are based and why those principles are more likely to fulfill the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness on which the nation was founded.
Liberals always argue for their policies on the basis of fairness and justice. It's only fair, they say, that those who have the most share what they have with those who have less. The whole basis of the progressive tax system rests on this principle -- and it is at the heart of the Obama tax message even now.
Conservatives' arguments that this economic redistribution will harm the economy (it will) or that the taxes raised still won't be enough to pay for ever-expanding entitlements (they won't) never confront the false premise that the principle is just and fair in the first place. Here is where conservatives seem to have lost their footing, almost as if they no longer know why they believe what they do.
The idea that it is right and just for one group of persons to take from another the fruits of their labor simply because they have more political power would strike most people as unjust. Yet, the debate around raising tax rates on the rich ultimately boils down to that.
At least in the short run, we could raise more revenue to pay for government programs by raising taxes on everyone -- rich and middle class alike (few people argue for making the poor pay taxes) -- than we could by taxing only those who earn $250,000 or more. No politician argues for that because middle class Americans still make up the voting majority in this country and the middle class have no interest in redistributing their own hard-earned wealth. And why should they? Most people believe they're entitled to what they've earned through their own efforts.
But this natural response actually stems from an understanding that it is a basic right for a man to enjoy the rewards of his own labor. If a man works twice as hard as his neighbor or is more skillful, is it really fair or just to say that that individual should be entitled to keep less of what he earns?
That is not to say that conservatives should forget about the poor and needy, but here again, their arguments should rest on principle not politics. There is no right to be taken care of (except among children, the severely disabled or very old). But there is a moral obligation -- for the individual and community -- to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves. So, too, is there a moral obligation on the part of the individual not to take advantage of others' charity to avoid taking care of himself and his family -- if at all possible. Conservatives too often act as if the problem with social welfare programs is that they cost too much, rather than to point out the way in which they breach both moral obligation and responsibility.
It's not too late for conservatives to try to make these arguments -- but first they have to understand them and believe them themselves. Conservatives shouldn't concede the justice or fairness arguments of liberals; they should tackle them head on.
Religious business owners determined to enforce their First Amendment rights
Now that Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has denied Hobby Lobby’s application for an emergency injunction protecting them from Obamacare’s HHS Mandate on abortion and birth control, Hobby Lobby has decided to defy the federal government to remain true to their religious beliefs, at enormous risk and financial cost.
Hobby Lobby is wholly owned and controlled by the Green family, who are evangelical Christians. The Greens are committed to running their business in accordance with their Christian faith, believing that God wants them to conduct their professional business in accordance with the family’s understanding of the Bible. Hobby Lobby’s mission statement includes, “Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company … consistent with Biblical principles.”
The HHS Mandate goes into effect for Hobby Lobby on Jan. 1, 2013. The Greens correctly understand that some of the drugs the HHS Mandate requires them to cover at no cost in their healthcare plans cause abortions.
Today Hobby Lobby announced that they will not comply with this mandate to become complicit in abortion, which the Greens believe ends an innocent human life. Given Hobby Lobby’s size (it has 572 stores employing more than 13,000 people), by violating the HHS Mandate, it will be subject to over $1.3 million in fines per day. That means over $40 million in fines in January alone. If their case takes another ten months to get before the Supreme Court—which would be the earliest it could get there under the normal order of business—the company would incur almost a half-billion dollars in fines. And then of course the Supreme Court would have to write an opinion in what would likely be a split decision with dissenters, which could easily take four or six months and include hundreds of millions of dollars in additional penalties.
This is civil disobedience, consistent with America’s highest traditions when moral issues are at stake. The Greens are a law-abiding family. They have no desire to defy their own government. But as the Founders launched the American Revolution because they believed the British government was violating their rights, the Greens believe that President Barack Obama and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius are commanding the Greens to sin against God, and that no government has the lawful authority to do so.
The Christian tradition of defying government commands to do something wrong goes back to the very birth of Christianity. When the apostles were ordered not to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with anyone, the Book of Acts records: “Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than men! The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree.’”
Eleven of the twelve apostles—including Peter—would lose their lives for the sake of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ; only the apostle John died of old age. They were determined to obey God’s will at all costs.
This issue of civil disobedience is never to be undertaken lightly. The Bible teaches Christians to submit to all legitimate governmental authority (e.g., Romans 13:1), and so a person can only disobey the government when there is no other way to obey God.
But here in America, the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, and in its First Amendment it protects against a government establishment of an official religion and separately protects the free exercise of religion. On top of that, Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) to specifically add an additional layer of protection against government actions that violate a person’s religious beliefs.
The HHS Mandate is a gross violation of the religious beliefs of the Green family. The issue before the courts here is whether the Greens religious-liberty rights include running their secular, for-profit business consistent with their religious beliefs. In other words, is religious liberty just what you do in church on a Sunday morning, or does it include what you do during the week at your job?
The Greens are now putting their fortunes on the line to do what they believe is right. The courts should side with them, affirming a broad scope of religious liberty under the Constitution and RFRA. And the Supreme Court should resolve this matter with dispatch in their favor.
Millions of Christians across the country feel exactly the same way as the Greens. The Obama administration has issued a statist command that is a declaration of war on people of faith who object to abortion, and civil disobedience could break out all over the country unless the courts set this matter right—and quickly.
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena . GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.
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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)
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a war criminal. Both British and American codebreakers had cracked the Japanese naval code so FDR knew what was coming at Pearl Harbor. But for his own political reasons he warned no-one there. So responsibility for the civilian and military deaths at Pearl Harbor lies with FDR as well as with the Japanese. The huge firepower available at Pearl Harbor, both aboard ship and on land, could have largely neutered the attack. Can you imagine 8 battleships and various lesser craft firing all their AA batteries as the Japanese came in? The Japanese naval airforce would have been annihilated and the war would have been over before it began.
Posted by JR at 1:37 AM