Monday, July 13, 2015
America's Destiny in the Balance
In 1856 Harper's Magazine published a quote first attributed to Jose Correia de Serra, a Portuguese Abbot, scientist and close friend of Thomas Jefferson: "It has been said that a `special Providence watches over children, drunkards and the United States'." The presidency of Barack Obama is the latest example of the accuracy of this observation, since the American people have been granted a last chance, before it is too late, to reverse course as a window has been forced open for the citizenry to view what future will bring if the nation remains on its present course.
Beginning in the 1930's, under the aegis of Franklin Roosevelt, the nation began a drift to the left as a reaction to the Great Depression. However, those truly committed to socialist/Marxist philosophy and tactics remained in the shadows until the 1960's. The Viet Nam war protests unleashed far more than just a demand for an end to the war. Those that blamed America for all manner of alleged sins in the past and determined to transform the United States into a socialist/Marxist nirvana were able to step out from behind the shadows and enter the mainstream of national legitimacy. This swarm of locusts soon enveloped the higher levels of academia spawning countless clones to further infiltrate all strata of society -- most notably the mainstream media, the entertainment complex and the ultimate target: the Democratic Party. These vital segments of the culture are now instruments of indoctrination, propaganda and political power.
The curriculum throughout all levels of schooling and the scripts of movies and television shows were gradually but inexorably altered to reflect the American left's mindset, not only about governing, but their determination to undermine basic societal moral and religious underpinning as a necessary step in assuring that an eventual ill-educated and dependent populace would look to a government controlled by a single political party as their savior and provider.
Over the past fifty years, as the foundation of the United States was being stealthily eroded, the vast majority of the American people slumbered content in unprecedented peace and prosperity. Regardless of who was in the White House or in control of Congress, no one has been able or willing, as by-product of this public apathy, to curtail the incessant spread of so-called Progressivism in the nation's institutions as well as the exponential growth of government with its tentacles increasingly intertwined in the day-to-day lives of all Americans.
Nonetheless in 2008 this was still a right of center country, as less than 20% of the populace identified themselves as liberal or in favor of an all-powerful central government and over 80% self identified as religious. It was clear that it would take at least 15 to 20 years of public and political indifference and another fully indoctrinated generation before the tenets of socialism/Marxism would completely envelop the nation and its social and political institutions, thus being impossible to ever reverse.
It was at this point that Barack Obama was thrust upon the scene. No nominee in the history of the United States was less qualified to be president, as he had no accomplishments or executive experience except to be steeped in socialist/Marxist ideology and tactics. Nonetheless due to a extraordinary confluence of circumstances -- the self-inflicted and near universal unpopularity of George W. Bush, a catastrophic financial meltdown six weeks before the presidential election, uninspiring and feckless opposition in the primaries and the general election and, most importantly, the unique factor of skin color -- he was elected President.
With the ascendancy of Barack Obama to the White House the acolytes of the American Left, in their giddiness over the election of a fellow traveler, abandoned all pretext of moderation. Their adherence to the scorched earth tactics of Saul Alinski, open and unabashed advocacy of socialist/Marxist tenets, the depths to which they had infiltrated American society and the Democratic Party quickly began to come into focus.
After nearly six and half years of the Obama administration and the ongoing rampage of the Left, it is clear for all to see what future lies in store for the United States under the long term reign of this cabal:
The Supreme Court is one justice away from being dominated by politically motivated leftists, four of whom are already in place, bent on relegating the Constitution to the dustbin of history and replacing it with the Left's agenda.
In due course, freedom of speech, religion and the press will be what the central government and courts, controlled by one party, allow it to be.
All macro-economic activity will be determined by Washington D.C., and in order to continue to operate major corporations, their managements will have to be subservient to the central government per the basic tenets of fascism. Small business formation will be severely curtailed as the federal regulatory state determines who and what business can be formed.
The power and independence of the individual states will be vastly eroded as the courts and the power of the purse emanating from Washington will force them into compliance with the whims of the Democratic Party.
The Republican Party will cease to effectively exist except as a token opposition party, as fund raising laws, a media controlled by the government, regulations and court decisions will render it ineffective.
There will be a permanent massive underclass encompassing over 50% of the population as a result of central planning, massive open door immigration, the near non-existence of new business formation and the inability of the country to weather the next global financial crisis. They and the remnant of the middle class that remains will be increasingly dependent on government largess as the national debt approaches 200% of a declining Gross Domestic Product and the nation lives under a constant threat of hyper-inflation.
The United States will, in due course, become a hollow military power unable to play a role on the world stage as other government expenditures and a declining standard of living render defense spending moot. As a result the country will find itself under increasing level of domestic attacks by terrorists spawned in the Middle East and acting as agents of America's enemies. China will take over the status as the world's super power as the United States voluntarily casts itself into a subservient role.
Eventually this nation as we know it will cease to exist as a violent reaction to all the above will eventuate in a revolution and split the country into three or four independent nations.
Notwithstanding the above, a plurality of the American people have begun to wake up to this potential reality as revealed by the outcome of the 2014 mid-term elections wherein the Democratic Party suffered massive defeats at all levels of government. However, far too many are still living in their self-induced stupor unable or unwilling to understand where this nation is headed and why. Coupled with the urgency of the populace and the opposition party to vigorously push back against the onslaught of the American Left for the next 18 months the election of 2016 will be the most critical in the nation's history if the nation is to survive in peace and prosperity.
I am an immigrant to this country and a displaced survivor of a war that destroyed a continent. A war fomented by men, beginning the 1920's, who also adhered to the same basic tenets espoused by Barack Obama and his fellow travelers. I have seen and experienced the end product of their narcissism and megalomania.
Get a room (but only if it is government-approved)
In 2008 Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia were having difficulty paying the rent for their loft in San Francisco. A large conference was coming to town and the hotels were filled. Recognizing an opportunity to make ends meet, the pair converted their living room into a bed-and-breakfast, offering up to three guests an air mattress and morning meal in exchange for some cash.
"I remember seeing on their websites that all the hotels were sold out. So we got the idea, why don't we make our apartment into a little bed-and-breakfast?" Chesky said.
The pair made $1,000 that weekend -- and paid their rent.
AirBed & Breakfast, or Airbnb, was born.
Along with a third cofounder, Nathan Blecharczyk, the company initially focused on large events in places where hotels were likely to be sold out. They wanted to provide a variety of lodging, booking anything "from a tent to a castle" at any price point.
The idea took off. Airbnb's online lodging platform has allowed people to make money renting their homes and other properties for various periods. According to the company's website, Airbnb has arranged for more than 25 million people to visit more than 34,000 cities in 190 countries. The site boasts over 1 million lodging options worldwide.
Despite this overwhelming success, Airbnb has met significant resistance. In Louisville, Kentucky, for example, property owners renting their homes through Airbnb recently received cease-and-desist orders from the local government claiming they were running illegal hotels. The city could fine the owners up to $500 per day if they don't stop renting their spaces.
Why would the city of Louisville and others want to ban such a popular service?
Some claim it's an issue of safety both for guests and hosts, since Airbnb isn't regulated by the government as hotels are. But Airbnb strives to ensure safety for all concerned. The website requires guests and hosts to verify their identities by connecting their social networks and scanning their official IDs -- that's more than you get from the local motel operator.
Moreover, the system operates on a peer-to-peer review system. Guests and hosts review one another. But unlike with a hotel, for which anyone can submit a review, Airbnb renters and hosts can only review their experiences after a confirmed stay.
This provides future guests and hosts key information, enhancing their safety.
Before we assume that the government crackdown on Airbnb comes from genuine concern about safety, we should consider some other, less benevolent motives.
First, many state and local governments have turned to hotel taxes to pad their budgets. Travelers can pay a tax up to 17 percent of the cost of their hotel room. Airbnb threatens this revenue stream, giving government officials an incentive to shut it down.
Second, and not surprisingly, many hotels staunchly oppose Airbnb. Since the company provides a competitive alternative, hotels have a strong interest in hampering its operation or blocking its growth.
The threat is significant. Last year The Economist magazine stated that Airbnb could reduce hotel revenues as much as 10 percent. Recognizing this threat, hotels are lobbying elected officials for policies to protect their interests.
In fact, the American Hotel & Lodging Association spent over $1 million in lobbying last year, including a variety of attempts to legally disrupt or dismantle Airbnb's business at state and local levels.
The losers from banning or impeding Airbnb and other innovative services, such as ride-booking services Uber and Lyft, are consumers and producers. The 25 million transactions facilitated by Airbnb were undertaken because guests and hosts believed they would be better off.
Politicians deny individuals this choice not because it benefits those individuals, but because it benefits the politicians themselves. Letting the market operate freely would make producers and consumers better off, but it would anger sources of political support and threaten government coffers.
If we choose to visit a city, we don't ask the government what we should see, where we should dine or how we should travel. Likewise, government has no business telling us where we should lay our heads at night.
Let's keep government out of the bedroom, even if we're renting it for only an evening.
Obama Just Keeps Cutting the Military
While the U.S. military is facing a myriad of threats, a smattering of merry little wars, the Obama administration is pushing forward with its plan to cut 40,000 troops from the ranks. According to a pentagon document that USA Today acquired, the administration wants to finish drawing down America’s military capability by Sept. 30, 2018.
In 2013, the Pentagon said a reduction of troops past 450,000 would start to impair the military’s ability to respond to crises around the world. And these cuts would bring military strength right to that edge. The further budget cuts imposed by Obama’s sequestration could push the number lower.
For an example of how this hampers the U.S., look to the fight against the Islamic State. The Obama administration would rather train proxy fighters in Iraq and Syria — but just 60 Syrian fighters have so far been trained. On Monday, Barack Obama said the U.S. is ramping up the training of the Islamic State Iraqi forces. But the Senate Armed Services Committee found those training programs to be “anemic” and it called for reform of the airstrike campaign.
If Obama continues these limp-wristed strategies, his only option will be to debate the Islamic State out of existence.
Miserable old antisemite says ‘I Believe Jesus Would Approve Gay Marriage’
Former President Jimmy Carter in an interview with HuffPost Live on Tuesday said he believes Jesus would approve gay marriage and would encourage any “love affair” that was “honest and sincere and was not damaging to anyone else.”
“I believe Jesus would,” Carter said when asked whether Jesus would approve of gay marriage. “I don’t have any verse in scripture ... I believe that Jesus would approve gay marriage, but that's just my own personal belief. I think Jesus would encourage any love affair if it was honest and sincere and was not damaging to anyone else, and I don't see that gay marriage damages anyone else."
Carter, a born-again Christian and Baptist, said he still teaches Sunday school whenever he attends his home church. He. said he has never ran across “any really serious conflicts” between his political obligations and his religious faith.
When asked about gay marriage, Carter said he has no problem with it and thinks everyone should have the right to get married, “regardless of their sex.”
“The only thing I would draw a line on, I wouldn’t be in favor of the government being able to force a local church congregation to perform gay marriages if they didn’t want to. But those two partners should be able to go to the local courthouse or to a different church and get married,” he said.
There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.
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Posted by JR at 12:35 AM