Wednesday, December 25, 2013
A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL WHO COME BY HERE!
And if you are going to church, I hope the sermon is a good one. The sermons can get pretty boring in some of the old-line churches these days. With a bit of luck the minister might even talk about Redemption, which is what Christmas is all about. But talking about Redemption involves talking about SIN! So I doubt that you will hear much about Redemption in a lot of churches.
I am not so far planning to attend a service this year but we will see. I went to a rather good Christmas carol service at Wynnum Presbyterian church on Sunday.
I am not posting on all my blogs today. Just this one plus POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. I may not post at all tomorrow but again we will see. It is hard to keep a good blogger down.
A liberal case for drastic shrinkage of the Federal government
Let the States spend most of the money
The great divide in American politics is between Blue and Red ways of thinking. Blue America looks to European successes for inspiration. Sweden, Denmark, France and Germany offer examples of ways to manage society for the betterment of the many rather than just the few wealthy and elites.
Red America looks backwards, to a past America when men were men and women women, pioneers rough and independent, building wilderness homes with only the aid of a few trusted neighbors and family.
Whichever is right or wrong, these two visions of society can never reconcile. In a democracy we divide into opposing parties, each trying to impose our vision, our will, on our 'enemies'. I believe there is a way out. Not perfect, but better than the cat-fighting we have now.
It is clear that Blue, liberal America is rich America. Red America is poor. Of the top ten richest states, eight are Blue, only two Red. Of the bottom ten, only one is Blue. What do you conclude from that?
But, in spite of Blue State success at home, liberal ideas never really succeed at the national level. There are always enough Republicans running around, elected from poor Red States, to prevent or delay or derail correct implementation of liberal ideas on a national scale. Look at the disaster that all attempts at national health care have led to. Bill Clinton nearly destroyed his presidency on health care, and President Obama...
People have advanced crazy ideas for resolving this split personality we have in the US. Some suggest divorce, splitting the country into two, and others mass reeducation camps for the unwilling. Some people are just nuts.
Blue America already pays the bulk of the taxes collected at the federal level. Any attempt to remake all of America to match the Blue vision would require Blue State citizens to shoulder an ever greater part of the burden. Taxes come from where the money is, and the rich corporations and rich people are in the Blue States. (There are exceptions, like Texas.)
This already pisses liberals off to no end. Perhaps that is just, perhaps not, but it is true. Liberals are getting tired of having to fight conservative resistance to get anything at all accomplished. They are getting tired of paying and paying for programs that support mainly people who at least claim they don't want the programs in the first place, but seem willing enough to take the money.
I have a suggestion: No one can stop you from enacting liberal programs in Blue States. In my own home state, Illinois, Republicans can sometimes get it together to elect a governor, but have not controlled the legislature in a generation. (Hint. The legislature makes the laws.)
This is basically true in all Blue States. New York may elect a Mayor Giuliani, but liberals control the state. Liberals can enact any sort of program they want in Blue states. But here's the rub. Blue States are broke because too much of their money goes to Washington. And Republicans are essentially equal in strength there. The loot gets split, and Red State politicians make sure they get their share.
It does NOT have to be this way! Look at California. It is seriously in the red (sorry, bad pun). This year they are looking at spending 16 billion more than they take in, hurting everyone from teachers to retirees. That is one big hunk of deficit change, added on top of their existing debt.
Or, is it? How much money LEFT California in taxes paid to the federal government? $313,998,874,000. Three Hundred Thirteen Billion and change. Excuse me? California has a piddly little budget deficit of sixteen billion, and they are sending three hundred plus billions off to Washington, to be spent by Republicans? 16 billion is almost a rounding error compared to that.
All Blue States look the same. All send billions and billions to Washington, while local programs starve.
Blue States should stop sending so much of their money to Washington and they should keep it at home, where people appreciate liberal programs! Conservatives have been naming Washington as their enemy for at least three generations. They have it backwards. The true victims of Washington politics are liberals and liberal states. DC is a vampire sucking your blood, and sending it to people who DO NOT WANT IT!
That money flooding into Red States doesn't really help the average citizen there much anyway. It goes to big business and corporate farms (there is a deliberate policy of Washington to eliminate small farmers in favor of big company farms, going back at least to the early 1970s). A few dimes trickle down to the true poor, in food stamps and the like. Projects of national worth, interstate highways, military bases would continue to be funded regardless. But other spending should be cut to the bone.
If there are natural, economic reasons for businesses to locate in Red States, they will. If not, not. We should not be paying big corporate farmers to produce. Republicans like to talk about the free market. If the farms are more economical big, they will get big under a free market, without the feds punishing small farmers. If business is more efficient in Red States, it will move there, without incentives from DC.
Liberals have despised the words 'States Rights'. They should embrace them. America will never test liberal policies in action as long as conservatives are fighting them nationally.
Conservatives want to be left alone to go to hell in their own way. And why should liberals WANT to impose policies on people who repeatedly reject them? Shouldn't we let people go their own way, test other values and ways of life? If the Red States fail disastrously, they will learn. Their best and brightest will move to Blue States, strengthening them.
A New Progressive Party
America needs a new progressive movement. States Rights Progressives! Step back from national civil war. Surprise the Right with political judo, and turn their own moves against them. Embrace their slogans, States Rights, Free Enterprise, Low Taxes. Liberals should take their ball and go play at home, with their friends. The kids down the block don't play nice.
And what is the end result of the current politics? Poverty in Blue States! What city is the poorest in the entire country? Detroit. Bluest of Blue. Nary a Republican in sight. What happened to the vast wealth created in the Motor City? Where did it all go?
Blue States have plenty of problems at home. Why go looking for problems where you are not welcome?
Duck Dynasty: I Wish Gays Would Stop Being So Gay About Speech That Offends
The inimitable Doug Giles has his say
Let me see if I have this right. According to the Thought Police, Duck Dynasty’s patriarch Phil Robertson is a bigot because he said what the majority of the planet believes namely, that men prefer a woman’s yoo-hoo instead of a man’s Chattahoochee canal?
I know that’s not exactly what he said during the GQ interview where he dared to tell everyone what he or she and A&E already clearly knew he thought. I merely cleaned that sentence up for the children. And by children, I mean the rabid gay adults who freak out when they read the words “vagina” and “anus” in the same sentence.
Hey, reflexively irate, rage blinded, LGBT community: do you really have to have banned from humanity every word and person that hurts your fragile feelings? Are we really expected to fly a foot off your vocabulary taste wing and never deviate one angstrom? Good Lord, man. Grow a pair. No one wants to live in your catty world of “gay-approved-speech-only.” What will the Muslims do?
The cool thing is that not everyone in the homosexual community has bought into the kneecapping of the naysayers of their penchants. One lesbian of prominent note is the feminist professor and columnist Camille Paglia who said on Laura Ingraham’s radio show this past week during the Duck ruckus the following:
“I speak with authority here because I was openly gay before the 'Stonewall Rebellion,' when it cost you something to be so," she said. "And I personally feel as a libertarian that people have the right to free thought and free speech. In a democratic country, people have the right to be homophobic as they have the right to support homosexuality -- as I one-hundred-percent do. If people are basing their views against gays on the Bible, again they have a right to religious freedom there … to express yourself in a magazine in an interview -– this is the level of punitive PC, utterly fascist, utterly Stalinist, OK, that my liberal colleagues in the Democratic party and on college campuses have supported and promoted over the last several decades. It's the whole legacy of the free speech 1960's that have been lost by my own party."
OMG, eh? Can Camille say that? Does she get a pass because of her sexual proclivities? Is her college and publisher doomed to get a nasty pastel background, caps lock on, extra exclamation points email demanding she be banned from writing and teaching her politically incorrect heresy of … of … uh … um … free thought and free speech?
As far as I’m concerned, Miss Camille slammed GLAAD and their ilk more than old daddy Phil did by comparing you cats to Hitler and Stalin. Cowabunga. Run home and tell mommy, whiners. By the way, Ms. Paglia, if you’re reading this right now I’d like to tell you, and I’m not ashamed of it, that I love you and appreciate your stand for liberty and uncommon common sense.
Another reasoned voice from the homosexual community is Brandon Ambrosino who said in his Time column last week,
"I’m undecided on whether or not I think Phil actually is homophobic, although I certainly think his statement was offensive, and not only to the LGBT community. But I also think that if I were to spend a day calling ducks with Phil, I’d probably end up liking him — even in spite of his position on gay men. It’s quite possible to throw one’s political support behind traditional, heterosexual marriage, and yet not be bigoted. I’m reminded of something Bill Maher said during the height of the Paula Deen controversy: “Do we always have to make people go away?” I think the question applies in this situation too."
Then Brandon put this query to the gay community …
"Why is our go-to political strategy for beating our opponents to silence them? Why do we dismiss, rather than engage them? One of the biggest pop-culture icons of today just took center stage to “educate” us about sexuality. I see this as an opportunity to further the discussion, to challenge his limited understanding of human desire, to engage with him and his rather sizable audience — most of whom, by the way, probably share his views— and to rise above the endless sea of tweet-hate to help move our LGBT conversations to where they need to go. G.K. Chesterton said that bigotry is “an incapacity to conceive seriously the alternative to a proposition.” If he is right — and he usually is — then I wonder if the Duck Dynasty fiasco says more about our bigotry than Phil’s."
As the Duck Dynasty storm was raging last Thursday, I went to my gym in Miami to work out my old crippled ass and while there I asked a buddy of mine who is definitely not a “Bible-thumper” what he thought of the Duck dust-up. Without missing a beat he made it clear that he wasn’t a Christian, doesn’t care about what others do with their naughty bits and that he thinks the radical gay activists should shut their quiche-hole and that Phil has every right and reason to speak his mind.
Taking the experiment further, I quizzed a cute twenty-something waitress at an establishment I frequent when I write my columns on Friday afternoons what she thought about the GQ/DD/LGBT/GLAAD war and without a hiccup she said, “What? It’s now weird that men like vagina more than a man’s anus? That’s crap! No pun intended.”
Interestingly, the place where I’m writing is right next to a massive horse track which reminds me of Mark Twain’s famous quote that, “it’s the difference of opinion that makes horse races.” Frankly, I love It’s the difference of opinion. That’s why I dug, as a Christian, the late Christopher Hitchens who brutalized my beliefs and made me a better man for it.
Look, I prefer a nation where argument and differences and the freedom to vent them in the most passionate manner rules the roost. Without that kind of freedom we have an Iran and I hear that Iran sucks for both Christians and homosexuals.
So, my modest proposal is this: let everyone who believes whatever it is say it and live it out for all to see and let we the people decide for ourselves who we’re going to follow. Amen.
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.
List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)
Posted by JR at 1:43 AM