Sunday, July 26, 2015
Blame game: stop the moaning and do something yourself
The advice below was intended for Australians but is just as relevant to America. It fits well with a conservative emphasis on the individual
I have an idea. It’s a bold idea. You may not like it but I do. I really like it. I like it a lot. Here’s my idea.
You know how the economy is tanking? And unemployment is rising? And we seem to be losing whole industries to globalisation or digital disruption every week? And you know how the usual response by most people is to look around and see what the government is doing about it? And then to complain vociferously that the government in general and politicians in particular aren’t doing enough about it? You know all this, don’t you?
Well, my bold, out there, completely off-the-wall idea is to suggest that maybe — just maybe — we shouldn’t be sitting around a-moanin’ and a-complainin’ and a-tweetin’ and a-festerin’ among our friends about “how bad our lot is” and “why doesn’t the government do something about it?” Maybe we should try a different tack.
My idea is that we stop blaming the government and that we each take responsibility for our own situation and make things happen for ourselves. In some ways blaming the government or “the way society is rigged” is a convenient way of abrogating responsibility for our situation. I mean, if I can blame someone else for my lot in life then I don’t have to look at my own failings or lack of application or, most confronting, lack of ability, do I? Because if my situation is someone else’s fault I can demand, indignantly, that the government do something.
I know this isn’t what you want to hear but it’s the truth. Oh, I know that governments have their fair share of show-ponies and incompetents but, really, that’s probably a fair representation of the Australian people, right? I mean, to vote in one lot of incompetents is unfortunate; to do so time and time again actually reflects on the competence of the electorate or more likely it reflects the fact this lot probably does represent who we are as a nation.
I am not suggesting there aren’t people in genuine need who shouldn’t be helped. Although I am sure this is precisely how some may restate my bold idea.
The problem is that a culture has emerged whereby pretty well everyone thinks they’re entitled to something, anything, everything, from government. Whatever happened to pride in self-sufficiency? Whatever happened to the ideal of a nation of self-made individuals?
But my outrageous, heretical idea goes further. Look away now if you are a tad precious and have an inflated sense of entitlement because what I am about to say will not go down so well with you.
I think that instead of moaning and complaining and looking at who’s got what we should be building stronger, more resilient and better connected communities.
These are fine words, but here’s the rub: it actually requires a fundamental shift in the way we think as a people and operate as a society.
Here’s what you can do right now. Stop moaning and get on with it. Make the best of your situation. Study hard and work harder. Be positive. Be enterprising. Build good relationships. Don’t do drugs. And stop whingeing about politicians like some cargo cult waiting for someone else to deliver better outcomes for you personally.
I said you wouldn’t like it, but I have to say I do feel better for having said it.
Republicans fight back against HUD rule to redraw your neighborhood
In July 2015, the Obama administration via the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) finalized a rule that will force local communities to build evenly distributed neighborhoods based on income and race.
In 2012, HUD dispersed about $3.8 billion of these grants to almost 1,200 municipalities. To continue receiving those grants, zoning plans will now need federal approval that they met with the government’s racial guidelines.
According to the rule, “This final rule, and Assessment Tools and guidance to be issued, will assist recipients of Federal funding to use that funding and, if necessary, adjust their land use and zoning laws in accordance with their existing legal obligation to affirmatively further fair housing [emphasis added].”
But what about local jurisdiction over zoning matters? HUD is saying forget about that, they know better, and that your community’s zoning plan might be discriminatory because if it has too many nice homes to live in that poor minorities cannot afford.
Yet, this has nothing to do with housing discrimination, which has been illegal since the 1960s. Local rules only determine what can be built where, not who can live in a community.
Not everyone can afford to live in every community due to high demand for housing in certain areas. Home values are determined by market forces, not racism.
That is why House Republicans are fighting back. In June, it passed an amendment by U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) to the Transportation and HUD appropriations bill that would bar the department from using any funds to carry out the rules.
But defunds only last for the duration of the fiscal year. Meaning, a more permanent solution will be needed.
To that end, Gosar is also offering H.R. 1995, the “Local Zoning and Property Rights Protection Act of 2015,” which will block the HUD rule, and any successor rule that substantially similar, from ever being implemented. The legislation already has 22 cosponsors as of July 23.
Now reports from Capitol Hill state that Gosar will be requesting committee hearings be held as soon as possible on the legislation and the rule.
In the meantime, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), is expected to be offering similar legislation on the Senate side.
Everyone knows President Barack Obama will veto stand-alone legislation against the bill. But the Republican majorities in the House and Senate should put it on his desk anyway, and force Democrats to sustain his veto. Hold as many votes as possible on the issue, and then make it a campaign issue in 2016.
But the issue is not merely for political fodder.
There is another real fight that can occur in the continuing resolution and/or omnibus fights at the end of the fiscal year. While Obama would certainly veto a stand-alone bill that stops the rule, it is much less likely he would veto the entire budget if it included the Gosar defund to stop it.
And with the fiscal year’s end on Sept. 30 fast approaching, there is little time for members to lose in making certain that defunding the HUD rule is in the discussion that occurs between House and Senate negotiators.
Otherwise, members might have to explain why they provided the funds for the neighborhood rezoning rule to be implemented. Like funding executive amnesty or Obamacare, this will not be an issue members want to get on the wrong side of their constituents on.
Ted Cruz unleashed on illegal immigration
As a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) 100% vaporized the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Sarah Saldana, on the subject of the Obama administration routinely releasing illegal immigrants who are convicted felons rather than deporting them. Via RCP:
CRUZ: In the year 2014, how many criminal illegal aliens did the Obama administration release?
SALDANA: In 2014 it was a little over 30,000.
CRUZ: How many murderers?
SALDANA: Sir, I can’t remember the number right now, but I know we had the statistic that was said earlier… but I can’t provide you the exact number…”
CRUZ: How many rapists?
SALDANA: Umm. I am not sure right now.
CRUZ: How many drunk drivers?
Yesterday, how many murderers with the Obama administration release?
SALDANA: I can’t answer that question. I want the American people to know and understand our job and our mission. We don’t release people willy nilly. …
SEN. TED CRUZ: I want to know that your testimony here, on how many criminals ICE released in 2013, you were off by a factor of three. You said 30,000. The correct answer is 104,000. There were 68,000 criminal illegal aliens that ICE declined to begin deportation proceedings against. Despite the fact, that as Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) observed the federal law that you are holding up there says they “shall” be deported.
The Obama admin refused to deport them. That is 68,000. In addition to that there are 30,000 in deportation proceedings with criminal proceedings that the Obama administration released. I would note that among those were 193 murderers with homicide convictions. 426 people with sexual assault convictions. 16,000 criminal illegal aliens with drunk driving convictions released by this administration because they refuse to follow the law.
SALDANA: Sir, those numbers, I am looking straight at them. You asked me I thought about 2014. That is 30,558. And the good news is, at least it went down from 2013, when it was 36,007.
CRUZ: But you are omitting the 68,000 criminal illegal aliens that ICE did not begin deportation proceedings against at all. You’ve got to add both of those together, it is over 100,000.
SALDANA: Yes, sir, that is absolutely right, all pursuant to the statute that the Congress has outlined…
CRUZ: There are too many politicians in Washington that talk a good game but don’t act. If you want to honor Josh [Wilkerson], if you want to honor Kate Steinle, start enforcing the law and stop releasing murderers, and rapists, and drunk drivers…
Rather than condemning Donald Trump, at least one candidate to be our nominee is talking about issues that really matter.
All I can say there is so much awesome here that I don’t know where to begin.
Britain's dumb Left
Britain's Left is looking for a new leader. The frontrunner so far is Jeremy Corbyn, an angry Marxist who basically knows nothing. All he has is hate
We will admit to being fascinated by the coming car crash that is the Labour leadership competition. While we’re intensely political here, we’re not party political. But we do think that perhaps a slightly closer connection with reality might be in order. Here’s Jeremy Corbyn’s latest policy idea:
“Under these plans Labour 2020 will make large reductions in the £93 billion of corporate tax relief and subsidies.
“These funds can be used to establish a National Investment Bank to head a multi-billion pound programme of infrastructure upgrades and support for high-tech and innovative industries."
That £93 billion comes from a paper discussed here. That £93 billion also has no connection to this universe that we inhabit. But despite a certain amount of to and fro between the report’s author and your current humble scribe it simply was not possible to convince that report’s author that depreciation is not a subsidy to business.
He really is under the impression that capital allowances mean that the government buys stuff for companies to use: rather than just not taxes them on the money they use to buy them -- for the obvious reason that companies are taxed upon their profits. And the cost of buying something to use to make stuff is obviously a cost of business.
Yet only a couple of weeks after the publication of a report of such obvious fatuity we’ve got it as the cornerstone for a national economic policy after the next election.
All most amusing but we might recommend just a slightly closer connection with reality.
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Posted by JR at 12:47 AM