Wednesday, February 05, 2014
Your racist family may just be feeling left out (?)
They draw that conclusion from the attitudes of 50 German students to the building of a mosque. Attitudes to mosque building indicate racism? I would have thought that they indicated attitudes to a vile religion. This study is hardly even an attempt at social science
YOU know that grandmother you have that seems to just be racist for no reason? Well, a new study out of Germany has revealed it's most likely because she feels left out.
The new research suggests that a narrow-mindset or racism can be triggered when someone feels ostracised or excluded.
The report reads that feeling excluded from a desirable social group threatens a person's "sense of personal control". This then leaves the person to reassert their control by putting down or making derogatory comments towards that group or minority.
The research was conducted around 50 students who were asked a series of questions about their approval on building a mosque, with 75% of those who felt excluded consistently opposing the idea.
"When threatened by uncertainty, people identify more strongly with extremist or ethnocentric groups," the researchers write. "Engaging in radicalism may reduce feelings of uncertainty by restoring a sense of predictability and controllability in one's social world."
Danielle Steel’s Amazing Ex-Husband
Thomas James Perkins is a stud. If he weren’t an octogenarian, I’d ask for his hand in marriage because he courageously and eloquently defends free market capitalism.
Perkins is the founder of the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). He is also the ex-husband of the world’s reigning best-selling author alive: American novelist and San Francisco resident Danielle Steel.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal published a three-paragraph op-ed by Perkins in which he defended free market economics. The liberal media, especially the Silicon Valley tech blogs, went up in arms. HOW could he have the audacity to defend capitalism?!
Perkins basically expressed disappointment in “a rising tide of hatred of the successful,” including his ex-wife Steel. Despite the fact that she had donated millions of dollars to the San Francisco community, Perkins bemoaned that the San Francisco Chronicle continued to libel Steel as a ‘snob.’ He compared the attack against the successful one percent in America to fascist Nazi Germany’s attack on the Jews.
Valley Wag, a Gawker Media gossip blog about Silicon Valley celebrities, called Perkins’s op-ed: “one of the most disgustingly tone deaf statements on class tensions we've ever seen.” Media Bistro was appalled WSJ had the gall to “allow” Perkins to voice his opinion. Salon used imagery to compare Perkins to a villain in the movies. And on and on.
It’s interesting how quick these bloggers were to attack a capitalist. After all, most of them probably idolize one of the biggest free market entrepreneurs of all time: Steve Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple. If they took the time to read Walter Isaacson’s terrific biography of Jobs, they would learn that Jobs was a capitalist, not a socialist.
Perkins has a point. Progressives are looking for a fight; an unreasonable and puerile war against self-made success. Remember how on the 2012 campaign trail, Obama said: “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.” And remember how he said the same thing but in a different way last week during his 2014 State of the Union address?
Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled. The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by; let alone to get ahead. And too many still aren't working at all. So our job is to reverse these trends.
Since he can’t blame Bush any longer, Obama is now trying to blame his historically slow recovery on the greed of the rich who cling to their profits, while offering a “solution” of more government intervention. In fact, Obama has had five years to reverse the trends of rising poverty and unemployment.
His “new” ideas sound exactly the same as those he peddled back in 2008. For example, during the 2014 SOTU, Obama said: “one of the biggest factors in bringing more jobs back is our commitment to American energy.” Oh, really? Well then why hasn’t he approved the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline? Keystone XL could mean thousands of jobs and it would help the U.S. move away from dependence on Middle Eastern oil.
The U.S. State Department has thrice indicated that the XL pipeline is environmentally safe, but apparently that is not good enough for Obama. He’d rather tell the American public during his SOTU that “solar” holds the future for American energy. (He conveniently forgot to name all of the solar companies that went bankrupt after receiving taxpayer dollars.)
Why do you think it’s possible for Obama to receive cheers and applause when he says: “Let's continue that progress with a smarter tax policy that stops giving $4 billion a year to fossil fuel industries that don't need it so we can invest more in fuels of the future that do.” After all, we all rely on and need energy in some way. If it weren’t for companies like ExxonMobil and Chevron, we would not enjoy the same high quality of life.
Obama can get away with attacking big oil because he is not interested in telling the truth. With a complete straight face, he exaggerates the potential of solar. Without a twinge of guilt, he encourages Americans to envy the rich instead encouraging them to work harder and aspire toward their own self-made success.
We need more men and women like Tom Perkins who are willing to speak up and defend the truth about economic freedom. Remember: sticks and stones can break your bones but the words of a progressive can never hurt you.
Another Example Of Obama’s ‘Affordable’ Healthcare
In another example of just how affordable Obamacare is making health insurance for average Americans, Simonetta’s Collision Repair Center, a small business in Pennsylvania, shared its story of huge premium and deductible increases for its employees’ health insurance plans with a local news station.
According to WTAE-PA, the small business’s employee premiums have jumped from a 6 percent increase last year to a whopping 32 percent increase for this year and co-pays have doubled from $20 to $40. In addition, employees with children had their deductibles doubled from $2000 to $4000 thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
“They call it the ‘Affordable Health Plan’. There’s nothing affordable about it. I can’t afford it,” one employee said.
Business owner Gary Simonetta told the station that his healthcare premium now costs him an additional $500 per month, an increase of 63 percent.
Another Simonetta employee, whose premium jumped from $900 to over $1300 per month, said of Obamacare, “I don’t know how President Obama thinks that he’s helping us. We can’t afford this. We can’t afford to pay these co-pays, or these deductibles, on what we’re making.”
The Man Who Would Be King
Obama was elected to administer the law, not make it
Other than his fundamental dishonesty about certain conditions in America, what he stands for, his record, his failure to accept responsibility for his actions, his demonization, his divisive rhetoric, his arrogant promise to double down on his unconstitutional unilateral executive actions, his calls for yet more government instead of less, his foreign policy distortions and his diminution of the presidential office, President Obama's State of the Union address was pretty good.
President Obama remains on his high horse about minimum wage, but he conveniently ignores that only 1 percent of the people in the U.S. labor force earn minimum wage, that the largest group among them is teenagers, that most are younger than 25, that most work less than 30 hours a week and that there are more than six times more minimum wage workers now than there were in 2007, shortly before he took office. More importantly, he doesn't admit that increases to minimum wage invariably lead to increased unemployment.
He continued his phony GOP war on women meme with his distortion of the employment pay disparity between men and women. He has to know that it is outright misleading to imply that women who are in the same jobs as men are paid only 77 cents for every dollar the men are paid. Studies show that women who are doing the same work as men receive less, but it's closer to 91 cents for every dollar.
He boasted that "more than 9 million Americans have signed up for private health insurance or Medicaid coverage." He failed to mention that because of Obamacare, more than 5 million Americans have been forced out of their private plans and that many are losing access to their doctors. He didn't say that his law robs $700 billion from Medicare to finance unnecessary new health care spending under Obamacare. He omitted Obamacare's deliberate assault on religious freedom. Nor did he discuss his lawless edicts exempting entities from the law's mandates.
Obama says he has cut the deficit in half. That's only close to true if you use as a base line Bush's last (partial) fiscal year, which was an extraordinary year because of the financial crisis. He's probably the biggest spender in the history of the universe. His current deficit is about twice Bush's average deficit, and if it weren't for Republicans forcing spending cuts, it would be much higher. Obama blocks reform of entitlements, which will bankrupt the nation unless restructured, and if he had his way, he'd further increase spending, with more "stimulus" and infrastructure schemes.
Obama says we have "the lowest unemployment rate in over five years," conveniently ignoring that we have the lowest labor participation rate in decades and that some 50 million people are on food stamps! His spending, taxing and regulations are killing the job market.
Obama touted the American people's "profound belief in opportunity for all." "Opportunity," he said, "is who we are." No one believes that "he" is part of that "we." If he truly cared about opportunity, he would loosen his stranglehold on the private sector and promote jobs. He would quit opposing work requirements in welfare reform and stop sabotaging the labor market with his minimum wage and unemployment extension agenda.
Obama dovetailed this counterfeit fealty to opportunity with his demagoguery about income inequality. But his own policies are exacerbating income inequality, and he has no solutions to alleviate it -- other than to use government to confiscate the assets of some Americans and give them to others. He can't talk about upward mobility on the one hand and then do everything in his power to discourage people from helping themselves on the other.
In a staggering display of dishonesty, he took credit for increased American production of oil and natural gas and claimed he supports energy independence. In the meantime, he impedes both industries -- and the coal industry -- and implements oppressive fuel omission standards. Any increases in energy production, other than his failed green projects, are in spite of him, not because of him. He's pushed for cap and trade, imposed energy taxes and demanded more onerous regulations on oil, gas and coal. And though global warming, er, climate change is a "fact" and "settled," we're freezing our buns off in the Midwest.
Obama impugns the "wealthy" at every opportunity, implying that most have acquired their money unfairly or through inheritance, which is demonstrably, statistically false. He vilifies Republicans while saying he wants us to all work together.
He says Republicans are only against things and not "for" anything. In fact, they've proposed countless reform plans, on health care, energy, taxes, spending, entitlements, defense and job creation. He knows better, but he has but one mode of operation: division, polarization and demonization.
If all this weren't bad enough, he promises even more unlawful unilateral action, as if he were king and not the head of one of three coequal branches of government. If he had his way, he would be.
More Obama-led destruction
President Obama introduced in this year’s State of the Union address his proposal to create new retirement accounts for, in the words of the White House, “the millions of low and middle-income households earning up to $191,000.” What they are calling “MyRAs.”
How could enhancing retirement savings not be a good idea? And, even better, it is a free lunch. Again in the words of the White House, “the account balance will never go down in value” and will be totally secure because it will be “backed by the U.S. government.”
President Obama is creating these accounts with the greatest of ease, without even a new law from Congress, by doing what he has done better than any president in American history. Drive the U.S. government into debt.
These wonderful new retirement accounts will receive bonds from the U.S. Government. And who guarantees them?
Please, dear reader, if you are a U.S. taxpayer, look in the mirror and say “me.”
If the State of the Union was really about the president informing Congress and the nation, he would have reported the following from the recent 2013 Long-Term Budget Outlook report of the Congressional Budget Office:
“Federal debt held by the public is now about 73 percent of the economy’s annual output…higher than at any point in U.S. history, except a brief period around World War II, and it is twice the percentage at the end of 2007.”
“CBO projects,” the report continues, “that federal debt held by the public would reach 100 percent of GDP by 2038….even without accounting for the harmful effects that growing debt would have on the economy.”
Meanwhile, as President Obama uses U.S. government bonds to create magical new risk-free retirement savings accounts, there was not a word in the State of the Union of the broken state of affairs of the government’s oldest retirement plan – Social Security.
According to Social Security’s latest trustees report, the revenue shortfall, in today’s dollars, of projected requirements of Social Security to meet its long-term obligations is $9.6 trillion. Beginning in 2033, when those now in their late forties start retiring, there will be only funds “sufficient to pay 77 percent of scheduled benefits.”
If the president really wants to enhance retirement savings of low and middle income Americans, and create real savings and investment while addressing the fiscal disaster of Social Security, let these folks opt out of the Social Security black hole and use those funds to open a real retirement account.
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Posted by JR at 1:48 AM