Thursday, August 23, 2018

Explaining the Left: Part II

Dennis Prager correctly highlights the Leftist hate of America below -- JR
The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, did Americans a favor last week. He provided that which is most indispensable to understanding anything: clarity.

“America … was never that great,” he announced.

In one sentence, the governor revealed the left’s true view of America. This is rare — because leftists are masters at hiding what they really believe.

For example, the left’s low regard for nonwhites is well-hidden under a mountain of “anti-racist” rhetoric. But people who consistently advocate lowering standards for blacks obviously do not think highly of blacks, and people who believe in separate black dorms and separate black graduation ceremonies obviously believe in a pillar of racism: racial segregation.

Another generally denied — if not hidden — left-wing belief is contempt for America. On a daily basis, the left describes America as xenophobic, misogynistic, imperialist, greedy and homophobic. And that’s on a slow day at The New York Times, MSNBC or your local university. Just last week, a New York Times column added “barbaric” to the left’s view of America.

But for some reason, the average American does not see all this as proof of the left’s contempt for America.

So, we have to rely on the occasional unguarded and unambiguous statement to know what the left really thinks.

Michelle Obama provided such a statement when, as her husband began racking up victories in early-voting states in the 2008 primary season, she proclaimed, “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country.”

Hillary Clinton provided her example during the 2016 election when she described half of her fellow Americans as “deplorables.”

Then-President Barack Obama provided his example in 2015 when he spoke about racism being “part of our DNA.” Now, you might argue that he was merely stating a truth, not expressing contempt. But that argument fails for three reasons:

First, America has developed into the least-racist multiracial, multi-ethnic country in history. Those who deny this have contempt for truth as well as for America. So much for DNA.

Second, can Barack Obama or anyone else on the left name a country or group in history that interacted with other races and was free of racism? Of course not. So, singling out America as having racist DNA is an expression of contempt for America specifically.

Third, how would Barack Obama or anyone else on the left react to someone saying, “Islamic civilization has racism in its DNA”? They would not only emphatically deny it; they would charge whoever said it with being Islamophobic. In other words, if one tells the truth about centuries of horrific treatment of blacks under Islamic rule, one is bigoted against Islam. But if one says America has racism in its very essence, racism that is still being passed unconsciously from one generation to the next, one is not an Ameriphobe?

And now, Cuomo tells an audience that “America … was never that great.”

Cuomo said publicly what virtually every leftist believes. No one — left, right or center — thinks the comment was idiosyncratic. If Cuomo had said, “America was never a sports-loving nation,” everyone would have assumed this was just an odd comment representing no one but him. The reason this comment hit such a powerful chord in American life is that just about everyone suspects he was saying what all his fellow leftists believe.

After all, we all know what young people are taught from elementary school through graduate school by their left-wing teachers: America is a racist country founded by racists; Americans committed genocide against the American Indians; whites have unique privileges because of America’s “systemic” racism; in the words of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, “the hard truth about our criminal justice system: It’s racist … front to back”; police are racist — both white and black cops shoot blacks because of racism; and “American civilization” and “Western civilization” are no more than euphemisms for white supremacy.

Now, why would anyone think the left has contempt for America?

Contempt for America is so central to leftism that there would be no leftism without it. Yet there remains an even more important question: Why? Why does the left — not liberals, who traditionally revered America — have such disdain for America? I will address this question in a future installment of this series explaining the left. America and the West cannot be saved unless those who cherish them understand what motivates those who wish to see them end.



Immigration Problem? Put Some ICE on It

President Donald Trump hosted an event at the White House Monday honoring the men and women of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Customs and Border Protection agencies.

"You are the patriots and you are the heroes," Trump told the assembled agents and agency personnel. "You keep us safe and you keep us free. I am honored every single day to serve as your commander-in-chief. I will never leave your side; I will never leave the fight."

It's a good thing, too. Both agencies are increasingly under fire by the Left and the media as the debate simmers over illegal immigration and how the government is supposed to handle it. According to leftists, the government shouldn't do anything at all about illegal immigration. In fact, they are calling for the outright abolition of ICE.

Don't underestimate the power behind that challenge. The proposal to dismantle ICE may have started as an offhand remark by Bernie Sanders's socialist padawan Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but it is now a mainstream Democrat plank. Likely 2020 presidential candidates such as Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris have all joined the call. And three House Democrats introduced legislation to follow through.

Leftists claim that U.S. border policies are harsh and inhumane, and their media lackeys dutifully go along, bending stories any way they can to fit that narrative. Take, for instance, the widely reported story of the illegal immigrant picked up by ICE while taking his pregnant wife to the hospital to have her baby. Conveniently left out of the reporting by virtually every major news outlet — at least the headlines or flashing TV alerts that most people see — was that the man was ducking an outstanding warrant issued for his arrest in Mexico on homicide charges.

Stories like this are meant to cast ICE as the villain, which then leads to further attacks against the agency. What many don't understand, however, is that ICE is the backbone of America's immigration enforcement. There would be (even more) chaos without it.

ICE is the principal agency for enforcing immigration laws inside the U.S., including the apprehension of illegal immigrants who have slipped past the Border Patrol; combatting the smuggling of weapons, drugs, and people into the country; and investigating immigration fraud schemes. ICE also protects immigrant communities by cracking down on criminal activity that takes place there. Gangs and other bad guys generally commit crimes in the communities in which they reside, making legal immigrants the victims.

There are other agencies that also handle some of these tasks, but they are already stretched beyond their limits. The sheer volume of cases is more than any single law enforcement agency can bear. Consider that last year over 700,000 people overstayed their visas. That is 300,000 more people than the number apprehended while trying to illegally cross the U.S. border with Mexico during that same period.

Take ICE out of the picture, and the whole immigration system would quickly unravel — which is exactly what the Left wants.

It has been said that Democrats and the Left care more about illegal immigrants than they do about American citizens. But even that's a stretch because they don't care about illegal immigrants, either. The leftist call for open borders is an attempt to break down American society by overwhelming our communities and our culture with bad people from foreign lands. Leftists discourage assimilation and the learning of English to help further that goal. Democrats see a fresh batch of voters they can hook onto the government dole and keep leftists in office.

But is this a political winner for Democrats? Not necessarily. As W. James Antle III notes, "House Republicans brought a pro-ICE resolution up for a vote to dare Democrats to vote against it — just 34 did, though 133 voted 'present' — while Trump brings it up often on the campaign trail."

People need to look beyond the rhetoric that demonizes ICE and support the agency's work to protect American communities from fraud, crime, and terrorism. Without ICE, American streets will not be safe. And that's why Trump's celebration yesterday was welcome.



Security clearances should terminate with government employment

I have always thought this.  It's usual in the private sector -- JR

The understandable furor ignited by the president’s latest Nixonian vendetta should not distract from a larger question: How is it that former officials retain privileged access to state secrets in the first place? Who benefits from this well-established practice?

The nation itself benefits, we are told. The argument goes like this: Allowing such individuals, now typically employed by universities, think tanks, and lobbying firms, to retain their clearances keeps them in the know should current officials wish to draw on their experience and expertise. Yet this, to appropriate a term that ex-CIA director John Brennan included in a New York Times op-ed penned in response to Trump terminating his own clearance, is “hogwash.”

In the unlikely event that current CIA director Gina Haspel needs Brennan’s advice on a question that her agency’s 21,000 employees can’t answer, all she needs to do is give him a call. Even without a clearance, he still has a phone. In the even more unlikely — make that wildly improbable — event that national security adviser John Bolton wishes to avail himself of the wisdom of Susan Rice, who held his job during Obama’s second term, he need only turn on the television or check newspaper opinion pages. As was the case when Bolton himself was pontificating on Fox News, her views are readily available, free of charge. And they will continue to be available even if, as reported, she is among those in line to have their clearances revoked.

So let’s have done with the pretense that allowing former officials access to classified information enhances national security. In reality, the practice has everything to do with the allocation and perpetuation of privilege.

According to the Declaration of Independence, “all men are created equal.” As a general proposition, that may be true. Yet in policy circles, men and women enjoying access to state secrets are more equal than the rest of us. Clearances confer status, readily convertible into access, influence, and opportunity, monetary and otherwise. The more exotic the clearance — up in the realm beyond Top Secret, for example — the greater the access and influence and the more attractive the opportunities.

To retain a security clearance after leaving government is to display an invisible badge declaring of the bearer: Although now on the outside, I’m still an insider. Whether intended or not, this arrangement divides citizens into two camps. In the one camp are those ostensibly in the know: members of the policy elite. In the other camp are the rest of us, knowing what we read in the papers, otherwise kept in the dark, and expected to comply.

If evidence exists to show that this arrangement yields more effective policy, I have yet to see it. Certainly the record of US policy in recent decades suggests otherwise. I am, however, certain that an arrangement allowing the few to have a say while casting the great majority in the role of spectators is antithetical to democracy.

It doesn’t have to be this way. A hallowed principle supposedly governs access to classified information. It’s called “need to know.” Under the terms of this principle, individuals are allowed access only to information that is essential to the performance of their assigned duties. But former officials have no official duties. Therefore, they have no “need to know.”

Allow me to propose another principle: Clearances should terminate with government employment, plain and simple. Adherence to this principle will deprive Trump (and his successors) of the opportunity to play politics with matters that should be above politics. If only in a small way, it will also contribute to restoring our democracy.



Yet Another Study Finds That Economic Freedom Improves Lives

A new metastudy by Serbian think tank Libek confirms that countries wishing to increase their economic growth—and reap the many rewards that come from doing so—need to focus on advancing the economic freedom of their people.

Libek looked at 92 scholarly research studies that considered the relationship between economic freedom and economic growth. Eighty-six of them (93.5 percent) found a positive relationship.

That is not surprising, considering that economic freedom—the ability to direct one’s own life and make economic decisions for oneself—encourages and empowers people to make a better life for themselves and for their families.

The increased economic activity they produce shows up in measures of economic growth.

Still, the point cannot be made frequently enough, because economic freedom is still repressed in so many parts of the world.

The authors of the Libek metastudy think their findings are particularly relevant to their native Serbia.

The increase in economic-growth rates is very important for the Serbian economy. Serbia is the slowest-growing economy in the Balkans: Average growth rate in the decade after the recession (2008-2016) was only 0.83 percent annually.

At the same time, the unweighted average growth rate for other Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Romania) was nearly double that number, reaching 1.58 percent.

All but two of the other Balkan countries score higher than Serbia in The Heritage Foundation’s 2018 Index of Economic Freedom.

In fact, Heritage’s Index shows that on average, countries with the greatest increase in economic-freedom scores over 5-, 10-, and 20-year periods also have the greatest average annual growth in gross domestic product (GDP) per capita.

The Serbian think tank’s findings are not surprising, and policymakers in Serbia and around the world should take them to heart.

Advancing economic freedom is key to generating economic prosperity for the greatest number of people—in Serbia and everywhere else.



Socialist logic



Manafort guilty of what?

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement responding to the Paul Manafort verdict:

“Paul Manafort may have been guilty of crimes ten years ago, but the one thing he was not found guilty of was conspiring with Russia on the hack of the DNC and Podesta emails during the 2016 election, the only justification for the Special Counsel investigation.

There was no collusion. Now that this trial is over, it is time for Mueller to wrap up his investigation and turn his findings over to the Justice Department.”



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