Saturday, April 03, 2010

The Leftist hate never stops

Forgive the obscene photo of "Politically Incorrect" show host Bill Maher, but it serves as a stark visual testimonial to the Left's true nature. Every day, the Left shows us with their own actions that they are exactly what they accuse conservatives and tea partiers of being.

It is astonishing that they have the gall to accuse anyone of anything. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. But then we remember that the smear and the lie are all they have. As a post at Powerline relates, "It is liberals, not conservatives, who rely on ad hominem attacks, outrageous allegations and violent imagery." The accusations of racism and threats of violence put forth by congressional Democrats since Saturday are straight out of the Alinsky playbook. They probably made the calls themselves.

Thank God for talk radio and the internet. Thanks to the New Media, Democrats can no longer do these things with impunity. As Andrew Breitbart says, "The emperor has no clothes." The Left is being exposed for the empty fraud of a movement it is, and as that happens, they are getting increasingly desperate. Yes, we do have to worry about violence. From them. But this is nothing new, either.

Powerline describes the 2008 Republican convention in Minneapolis, where Leftist protesters "... threw bricks through the windows of buses, sending elderly convention delegates to the hospital. They dropped bags of sand off highway overpasses onto vehicles below. Fortunately, no one was killed."

As Noel Sheppard relates, the media were AWOL.

Here is a list of representative Leftist misbehavior:

* Air America exhorts listeners to assassinate Bush.

* Five campaign workers for Kerry arrested for slashing tires on 25 cars rented by GOP campaign workers. One of the five was the Milwaukee Mayor's son, the other the son of a Democrat U.S. congresswoman.

* Republican combat wounded Vietnam vet's house spray-painted with the words BUSHNAZIS, American flags shredded, truck keyed.

* Leftist lawyer caught keying Marine Iraq War vet's BMW just prior to his second deployment. (This one is priceless. You should read the outcome.)

* Senator Mary Landrieu threatens to punch President Bush (a felony). Where was the press on that one?

* Astroturfers threaten Andrew Breitbart and throw eggs at patriot rally buses.

* Alan Grayson says that we need to "get rid of Republicans entirely."

* Many cases of conservative newspaper production runs stolen or vandalized.

* On "Conan O'Brien Show," unglued Alec Baldwin screams that Rep. Henry Hyde and family, including children, should be stoned to death.

Mere days ago, a Leftist Astroturf group of union activists threw eggs at a tea party bus entering Searchlight, Nevada -- hometown of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. They also cornered Andrew Breitbart, physically threatened him, and then called police, accusing Breitbart of throwing the eggs. He related the event to two San Francisco Chronicle reporters who hitched a ride with him. Here's the video.

Recall the SEIU thug who beat up a black reporter at a town hall rally in Missouri last summer. Recall that he was called "nigger," and that the thug was arrested. Somehow the AP missed all that.

Recall the Arizona town hall meeting where MS-NBC reported that some white racist was carrying an "assault weapon," except that that white racist happened to be black. Somehow they missed that, too.

Following is a rundown of anti-GOP incidents from the 2004 presidential election. We gratefully acknowledge the late Clifton T. Sharp of for compiling the list. It came from a post titled "Identifying the Good Guys, Notes for Election Fence-Sitters." I will preface the list with Cliff's insightful counsel:
More often than not, if you see a pattern of violence from one side, they're the bad guys. They're the ones who can't make their side rise above the other through merit, so they try to make the other side fall by violence and intimidation. It is nearly always true that the side that resorts to violence has no other method for achieving its goal. They cannot make good things happen for their side, so they make bad things happen to the other side.

Whenever there is a difference of beliefs, reasonable men can agree to reasonably disagree. It follows that those who resort to violence in an attempt to force their beliefs on others, or to stop others from expressing their beliefs, are not reasonable men. They do not believe in free speech; they want you to know that they will hurt you to stop you from exercising your rights to free speech.

When there are a few incidents among a very large group, such as a political party, it's hard to blame the entire group. But when violence is frequent and widespread, it becomes a policy rather than an aberration. It becomes an indication that the violent side believes it cannot reasonably persuade others to their beliefs, but instead must use force and intimidation to deter others from exercising their rights as citizens of the United States of America.

Thousands of years ago, ancient philosophers taught that one can distinguish the good guys from the bad guys by their actions. That advice still holds true. The bad guys are running organized attempts to disrupt and to harm their opponents, to frighten people like you so that you won't vote for the good guys. When you make your choice, try not to give them what they want.



Paul Ryan on Progressivism

Earlier this week, Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) traveled to the Sooner State to address the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. Much of his speech focused on progressivism:
The Democratic leaders of Congress and in the White House hold a view they call “Progressivism.” Progressivism began in Wisconsin, where I come from. It came into our schools from European universities under the spell of intellectuals such as Hegel and Weber, and the German leader Bismarck. The best known Wisconsin Progressive was actually a Republican, Robert LaFollette.

Progressivism was a powerful strain in both political parties for many years. Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican, and Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, both brought the Progressive movement to Washington.

Early Progressives wanted to empower and engage the people. They fought for populist reforms like initiative and referendum, recalls, judicial elections, the breakup of monopoly corporations, and the elimination of vote buying and urban patronage. But Progressivism turned away from popular control toward central government planning. It lost most Americans and consumed itself in paternalism, arrogance, and snobbish condescension. “Fighting Bob” LaFollette, Teddy Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson would have scorned the self-proclaimed “Progressives” of our day for handing out bailout checks to giant corporations, corrupting the Congress to purchase votes for government controlled health care, and funneling billions in Jobs Stimulus money to local politicians to pay for make-work patronage. That’s not “Progressivism,” that’s what real Progressives fought against!

Since America began, the timid have feared the Founding Fathers’ ideas of individual freedom, so they yearn for Old World class models. Our Progressivists are the latest iteration of that same fear of the people. In unprecedented numbers, Americans are speaking out against the intolerable Health Care bill and irresponsible debt-ridden spending.

Does anyone recall Norman Rockwell’s famous “Freedom of Speech” painting of an average working Joe standing and speaking his mind at a town hall meeting? Today’s Progressivists ridicule average Americans speaking out at tea parties across the nation and denounce their criticisms as “un-American.” Millions of average Americans reject their big government solutions, and that scares them.

Last January President Obama said: “There are simply philosophical differences that will always cause us to part ways. These disagreements, about the role of government in our lives, about our national priorities and our national security, have been taking place for over two hundred years.”

He was right. So let’s examine these “philosophical differences” of government. Progressivists say there are no enduring ideas of right or wrong. Everything is “relative” to history, so our ideas need to change. Progressivists say the Founders’ Constitution including its amendments, with its principles of equal natural rights, limited government, and popular consent is outdated. We should have a “living constitution” that keeps up with the times. Progressivists invent new rights and enforce them with a more powerful central government and more federal agencies to direct society through the changes of history. And don’t worry, they say. Bureaucrats can be controlled by Congressional oversight.

Ryan continues:
The Progressivist ideology embraced by today’s leaders is very different from everything rank-and-file Democrats, independents, and Republicans stand for. America stands for nothing if not for the fixed truth that unalienable rights were granted to every human being not by government but by “nature and nature’s God.” The truths of the American founding can’t become obsolete because they are not timebound. They are eternal. The practical consequence of these truths is free market democracy, the American idea of free labor and free enterprise under government by popular consent. The deepest case for free market democracy is moral, rooted in human equality and the natural right to be free.

A government that expands beyond its high but limited mission of securing our natural rights is not progressive, it’s regressive. It privileges the powerful at the expense of the people. It establishes the rule of class over class. The American Revolution and the Constitution replaced class rule with a better idea: equal opportunity for all. The promise of keeping the earnings of your work is central to justice, freedom, and the hope to improve your life.

And his parting thought:
A political realignment is on the way. Democratic leaders are staking their party’s future on their ideological agenda. Financial Services Committee Chairman Frank candidly admits that his party “are trying on every front to increase the role of government.” Former President Clinton told a Netroots convention last year that “We have entered a new era of progressive politics, which if we do it right could last 30 or 40 years.”

The question is, do we realign with the vision of a European-style social welfare state, or do we realign with the American idea?

My party challenges the whole basis of the Progressivist vision of this country’s future. We challenge their attack on American exceptionalism. We challenge their claim that bureaucratic centralization is the only way the US can meet the economic and social challenges of our time.

Those leaders have underestimated the good sense of the American people. They broke faith with independents, Republicans, and their own rank-and-file. They walked away from the foundational truths that made America the wonder and the envy of the world. The price of their infidelity will be high.

Read it all



Obama opens up to drilling, or does he?

President Obama this week offered the "Drill, Baby, Drill" crowd an olive twig when he announced that he would "consider potential areas for development [of oil and gas resources] in the mid-Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico." Confine yourself to one cheer. Large swathes of potentially productive lands remain off-limits.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., doesn't want any drilling off the West Coast, and the environmentalists are adamant that large parts of Alaska remain the preserve of caribou. So oil and gas companies will have to be content with access to the Atlantic coastline from New Jersey south, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska.

Since there has been very little exploration in these areas, no one really knows how much oil and gas they might contain. Actual drilling will not take place for four years, some of the areas cannot be opened without congressional approval, and we won't know which areas will be offered for lease until the 2012-2017 lease plan, still a work in progress, is announced....

It is no smooth path from presidential reconsideration to drilling. Outraged environmental groups will fight the issuance of drilling permits in Congress, in the rule-making proceedings, and in the courthouses. These groups have developed a can't-lose strategy when opposing the permitting of new coal plants: Their legal teams delay decisions for so long that companies, which have to get on with planning their capital expenditures, simply give up, and walk away from their projects.

No matter that they might eventually have won in the courts; time is money, and delay too costly. Unless the president is as willing to cajole, threaten and bribe these groups as he was the Democratic congressman who were reluctant to support his health care bill, there won't be much new offshore drilling.....

But let's not be churlish. The president has moved a bit in the direction of nuclear power and offshore drilling. Give thanks for small favors.

More here



New mileage rules will deliver eggshell cars: "Drivers will have to pay more for cars and trucks, but they’ll save at the pump under tough new federal rules aimed at boosting mileage, cutting emissions and hastening the next generation of fuel-stingy hybrids and electric cars. The new standards, announced Thursday, call for a 35.5 miles-per-gallon average within six years, up nearly 10 mpg from now.” [The new goals can only be achieved by making smaller, lighter and flimsier cars]]

State debt woes grow too big to camouflage: "California, New York and other states are showing many of the same signs of debt overload that recently took Greece to the brink — budgets that will not balance, accounting that masks debt, the use of derivatives to plug holes, and armies of retired public workers who are counting on benefits that are proving harder and harder to pay. And states are responding in sometimes desperate ways, raising concerns that they, too, could face a debt crisis. … Some economists fear the states have a potentially bigger problem than their recession-induced budget woes. If investors become reluctant to buy the states’ debt, the result could be a credit squeeze, not entirely different from the financial strains in Europe, where markets were reluctant to refinance billions in Greek debt.”

Tea partiers embrace liberty, not big government: "The conservative rebellions of the late 1970s and middle 1990s were focused on taxes. The tea partiers are focusing on the expansion of government — and its threat to the independence of citizens. … Progressives have always assumed that people need safety nets and welcome dependence on government. The public’s clear rejection of the Democratic health-care bills has shown that this assumption is unwarranted. Americans today prefer independence to dependence on government, just as they did 200 years ago.”

NOTE: Reduced postings on some of my blogs today as I am ill with the 'flu


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone 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)


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


How Should Conservatives Deal with the Left’s Disrespect and Lack of Empathy?

Helen Smith makes some generally reasonable points below but fails to see that hate is what motivates the Left -- so their behaviour is entirely to be explained by that. They hate people who find anything worthwhile in the status quo -- and you don't expect respect or empathy from haters. Revolution is what the Left basically wants but if they cannot have that, they will at least do their best to white-ant the society they live in and which they hate -- all under the cloak of good intentions, of course.

Branding the Left as the haters they are is the only thing that might slow them down. They know that, which is why they do their best to get in first and find something in conservatives that they can brand as hate

I often feel bad for those on the right such as Jeff Goldstein who try to make sense of someone on the left who treats them with disdain and disgust. Goldstein received an email from an old creative writing professor recently saying that he was disturbed by Goldstein’s writings and wanted Goldstein to remove his name from his “about page.” When Goldstein called Brian Kiteley, the professor, up on the phone for clarification, Kiteley called him names:

So I dialed him up and he answered. When I told him who was calling, he let out a forced “laugh” — I presume to show his bemused exasperation with my gall at having contacted him — and, when pressed, he called me a “jerk”.

Initially, Goldstein says he was hurt by his professor’s intolerant attitude, but then, his hurt rightly turned to anger. This professor tolerated free speech only for liberal ideas. But shouldn’t we all have the right to free speech? Apparently, only if it’s left-leaning. And one would think a creative writing professor might be above this. But the problem is, he may have a blind spot when it comes to those on the right.

Jonathan Haidt, a professor at the University of Virginia and author of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, found that conservatives could more readily put themselves in the shoes of liberals and understand morally where they were coming from. The reverse was not true of liberals. They have little understanding of those with opposing views to their own. As Haidt states:

“I think of liberals as colorblind,” he says in a hushed tone that conveys the quiet intensity of a low-key crusader. “We have finely tuned sensors for harm and injustice but are blind to other moral dimensions. Look at the way the word ‘wall’ is used in liberal discourse. It’s almost always related to the idea that we have to knock them down.”

Why are liberals unable to sympathize with conservatives? I offer three possibilities. First, I often wonder if this “blind spot” for conservatives is similar to the psychopath who cannot comprehend the morality of those who are “normal.” At the present time, there is no known cure for treating the psychopath. Trying to get someone on the left to see where a conservative is coming from may be as difficult as trying to change the mind of a psychopath. Perhaps that will happen one day.

I am not saying here that liberals are psychopaths, for this would be incorrect for the most part. What I am saying is that their inability to understand the morality of conservatives makes them unable to understand their point of view, just as a psychopath does not understand the morality of normal people.

So just remember that next time a liberal treats you poorly, it may not be his or her fault. Like the psychopath who has no empathy for his fellow human being, liberals may have a blind spot when it comes to having any empathy or understanding for their conservative brethren. It often makes a psychopath worse to show empathy for him, as he will take advantage of it.

The second possibility is that liberals do have the capacity to empathize with conservatives, but they do not have to do so because of the liberal bubble they mostly live in. Schools, the media, and many of the cities they live in lean left. This means that there is no incentive to understand other ideas and there are no consequences for showing disgust and ugly feelings towards conservatives. Thus, Goldstein’s ex-professor feels free to vent at him — knowing that few will care.

For example, if a Republican vents at a Democrat, he or she will be seen as a “hate-monger.” For an example of this, notice how Eric Cantor can have his office shot at and it is played down with all kinds of excuses, while if the tea partiers are said to have shouted at Democrats without any proof, it is taken as the gospel truth, with no video needed. The left are just “innocent victims.”

So what is the prescription here for those of us who are conservative or libertarian? There may be no way to get the “other side” to understand our views, for they may not have the capacity to do so. Until the lack of empathy for conservatives miraculously changes, we might do better to grow our own ranks, getting more of us involved, rather than trying to rationalize our own views to the other side. Giving in only wastes valuable time that could be put to better use and makes liberals more likely to treat us poorly.

At the same time, we should consider that it could be a lack of consequences that allows liberals to lack empathy or understanding for their fellow right-leaning citizens. Expanding right-leaning media and exposing liberals to ridicule and consequences (e.g., Andrew Breitbart) might then be the correct path to take, for the ease with which they attack may decrease once they realize that they will not get off scott-free as they once did.

Finally, and my third possibility, is it could be lack of education that allows the left to lack empathy. They are not exposed to right-leaning and libertarian ideas. For example, how many classes at school are teaching about the ideas of Hayek, Friedman, and Rand? If kids grow up without this information, they may turn into adults who lack the ability to understand other points of view.

Perhaps a combination of all three is needed: expanding right-leaning media, getting more people involved, and making sure consequences are dealt out to those liberals who lie and treat conservatives with disrespect. Yes, this means all of us speaking up wherever we are when we hear false, inflammatory, or just plain mean remarks made about conservatives. And finally, clamoring for more diverse educational topics and literature in the schools and media would be helpful.

Conservatives shouldn’t back down on any of this, ever. For it is persistence and consistency that will eventually win the day. The left did it for decades and it clearly works. The left’s advantage has been that the right caves and is so worried about appearing moral that they back down, conceding any power. The right’s advantage is that we understand how the other side thinks, while they do not. Keep this in mind when you think about strategies to keep our liberties and freedoms intact.



Introducing the Progressives' Transformation of the 10 Commandments

President Barack Obama promised during his campaign and inaugural speeches that we would witness a fundamental transformation of America. To be sure, his idea of a transformation is more akin to Karl Marx or Hugo Chavez than to Jesus Christ and the Holy Trinity.

Perhaps we should be grateful that, so far, President Obama and his progressive cabal are fixated on health care, cap & trade, climate change and other big government projects. With so much on his plate, Obama hasn't had time to fundamentally charge the very basis of our legal system -- the 10 Commandments, as given to the prophet Moses by Yahweh on Mount Sinai.

But rest assured, there will be many -- gay activists, atheists, hard-core leftists, etc. -- who will eventually get around to fundamentally transforming God's 10 Commandments.

I. I am your leader, Obama. When I and my minions are around, who needs God?

II. Obama, Pelosi and Reid must be exalted with carved images throughout the nation.

III. Prayer will be banned in public, but praise, song and poetry honoring Obama will be constant.

IV. Remember the Sabbath Day. Don't observe it, simply remember it.

V. Honor thy mother and thy father if they love Obama; otherwise, call child protection services and claim they’ve abused you.

VI. Thou shall not kill or abuse terrorists or criminals, but unborn babies may be killed right up to the moment of their birth.

VII. Thou shall marry anyone or any creature you wish with the full protection of Obama.

VIII. Thou shall steal from those who work and save and give such bounty to those who are slothful, irresponsible and non-productive.

IX. Thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor, unless they refuse to accept Obama as their god and their leader.

X. You shall covet your neighbor's house. When Obama is done transforming America you will have it.



Sick Thinking From 'Mainstream' Leftists

The Obama left, realizing it has really stepped in it with the American people by cramming Obamacare down our throats, has decided to blunt the backlash against it by tarring, yet again, mainstream conservatives as racists, bigots, homophobes and violent. Its tactics are objectively despicable.

You know the drill. We conservatives, who happen to understand ourselves better than liberals do, know that we are largely a civil, respectable, peaceable bunch. Attendees to the Rush Limbaugh-inspired Dan's Bake Sale years ago can attest to the mature, wholesome behavior of Rush fans. Ditto Sean Hannity's Freedom Concert attendees and tea party protest attendees.

The leftists who actually believe the fraudulent bile they are spewing about conservatives as being violent are merely projecting. They know their own side often disrupts and shuts down debate and engages in hate speech and even anarchy. Witness the unruly leftist disruptions of Ann Coulter appearances or the sabotaging of Karl Rove's appearance by Code Pink co-founder Jodie Evans, one of Obama's radical buddies. Look at the tea party violence from the SEIU left.

But the majority of leftists making these bogus claims about conservatives are either deeply warped or outright lying. There are some isolated acts of fringe violence from the right, but they are just that -- isolated and rare. With the many tea parties that have occurred, how much conservative-spawned violence have you heard about -- even with a liberal media champing at the bit to slander the entire movement? Hardly any -- beyond the fabrications.

The left wants to shut us up. Liberals say they want universal voter registration so all voices can be heard. What? They don't even want dissenting voices among already existing voters heard. After the way they cheated and gamed the system to impose socialized medicine on an unwilling public, they've forfeited their credibility about promoting the people's will -- which we always knew was a ruse anyway.

The Obama left has tried to muzzle us through intimidation -- as in its declaration of a false consensus on global warming, its issuing summonses to corporate executives to justify announcements that Obamacare is going to cost them dearly, Obama's telling those of us who "created this mess" that he doesn't want us to "do a lot of talking," his declaring a communications war on Fox News, and on and on. Failing that, the left intends to paint us all as racists who are just a hair trigger away from committing violent acts.

With the groundwork rationale established -- that conservative "hate speech" incites violence -- liberals will be a step closer to using laws and regulations to emasculate or silence conservative talk radio. But their claim is a vicious, destructive, divisive lie -- just like their depiction of conservatives, by virtue of their conservatism, as racists.

A caller to Rush Limbaugh's guest host Mark Davis said conservatives might not consciously be racists, but the results of their policies harm African-Americans, so it's fair to infer they are racists. Well, under that standard, Obama is racist because he recently reversed welfare reform, which everyone agrees reduced black poverty and the black illegitimacy rate. The same thing holds for his liberal education policies that result in trapping minorities in inferior inner-city schools. The list goes on.

Yet I don't believe leftists are racists because the effect of their policies often works to the detriment of blacks; I just think they are misguided and, after all these years of failed policies, have no moral authority to claim otherwise. Good intentions cannot trump decades of bad results.

But the more Obama forces through his unpopular agenda to dismantle America's founding principles the more outraged the public will become and the more protests and blowback we'll see (sans violence). These protests, in turn, will result in Obama leftists' ratcheting up their wild accusations aimed at demonizing their conservative opponents -- ordinary Americans, who at this point can be considered victims.

So we should expect more disgraceful columns from liberals, such as Frank Rich, who wrote that conservatives' "over-the-top rage" over Obama's policy agenda is caused by "the conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House -- topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman" -- not his agenda. Or Chris Matthews, who asked, "What are the tea partiers really angry about, health care reform or the fact that it was an African-American president and a woman speaker of the House who pushed through major change?"

This is just sick stuff, folks, but not uncommon for leftist thinkers. We conservatives simply don't think this way. It doesn't compute. Yet there are scores of examples of other leftist commentators making the same claims.




Health plan may hobble economy recovery: "While President Obama's health insurance mandate on businesses is being slowly phased in to prevent any immediate damage to the economic recovery, it nevertheless poses an obstacle to his overarching goal of creating jobs and could end up adding to spiraling medical costs rather than controlling them. Economists not connected with either political party expect the new law to intensify the boom in health care spending - it already is the only major business sector that managed to grow during the recession - while adding to the reluctance of millions of businesses outside of health care to take on new workers because in the future they must provide costly and comprehensive medical benefits that previously were optional.

Seniors fear hit to Medicare: "Seniors aren't breaking out the champagne for President Obama's health care law, and for good reason. While Democrats hail the overhaul as their greatest health care achievement since Medicare, seniors fear it's a raid on that same giant health care program - a bedrock of retirement security - in order to pay for covering younger, uninsured workers and their families. There's no doubt that broad cuts in projected Medicare payments to insurance plans, hospitals, nursing homes and other service providers will sting."

Robbing Peter to pay Paul's health care: "Obamacare is a socialist law designed to take money from some Americans and use it to benefit others. The health care bill signed into law by President Obama is full of hidden time bombs. One costly provision buried in the lengthy reconciliation bill at the last minute has taxpayers covering long-term at-home care for the elderly. Through the so-called Community Living Assistance Services and Support Act (CLASS Act), Americans will find between $150 and $250 taken out of their paychecks each month to cover this program nobody knew about."

Poll: Vast Majority See No Improvement in Economy: "President Barack Obama and his band of hopey-changers are not going to appreciate the findings of a recent nationwide poll of nearly 800 main household grocery shoppers which reveals, by a very sizeable margin, that American consumers appear to be at odds with recent reports that the economy has improved. Eight out of ten supermarket shoppers see no improvement in the economy, and forty percent actually believe things have gotten worse. As consumers continue to cope, the study affirms, the appeal of store brand products is stronger than ever and may even be intensifying."

Lobbyists get windfall from new health care bill: "Healthcare reform made the public mad, and it made lobbyists rich. Though President Obama promised during the 2008 campaign to curb the influence of special interests, slap a leash on lobbyists and ‘put the interests of Main Street in front of K Street and Wall Street,’ the past year hasn’t exactly live up to that standard. Special interest spending on Capitol Hill broke records in 2009, topping $3.47 billion. And almost half of the president’s recess appointments last weekend were tied to or work for so-called special interests. Finance figures show those interests are giving huge sums to Democrats and Republicans alike.”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone 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)


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Thursday, April 01, 2010

Democrats making up stuff to sow fear among ignorant people...

Charles Johnson over at Little Green Footballs looked at the following picture…

And said… “I am fairly sure this is a Neo-Nazi flag, but haven’t found the exact logo yet”

Now note that yesterday, on another news show, an African American commenter stated that the Gadsden flag was a Timothy McVeigh militia flag…

This is what happens when people learn Zinn's communist history of America (Zinn commented and stated that he was revising history to that view!). And how poorly liberal teachers (because there are almost no conservative ones) have taught the people.

Do any of these flags look like the new Neo-Nazi flag that Johnson saw?

Of course!!! They are the state flag of Tennessee!!!!

I guess those Bible belt middle country bourgeois are all neo nazis -- but just remember that the Left projects onto others what they are themselves

And as to the Gadsden flag… Juan Williams: 'Don't Tread on Me' Flags are 'Timothy McVeigh' imagery

So here he is trying to tie the Gadsden flag to the lunatic McVeigh. This is the sort of thing that the German Nazis and the Russian Communists did in their fight for control of the people.

The Gadsden flag was flown during the American revolution. It has a VERY dignified history, which includes the Marine Corps who have used the flag. So to the Left, American patriots of the revolution and Marine corps Americans are enemies of the people.


Dems play the terror card

Claims of intimidation meant to distract from falling polls

Democrats last week began a well-orchestrated campaign to change the subject from Obamacare by declaring Republicans the newest terrorist threat.

House Majority leader Steny H. Hoyer claimed that Democrats faced threats of violence in their home districts. He demanded that Republicans take a stand against it. "Silence gives consent," added Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, who accused Republicans of "aiding and abetting this kind of terrorism." Democrats promptly exploited their own fear-mongering by rushing out a fundraising letter.

Meanwhile, a shot was fired through the window of Republican House Minority Whip Eric Cantor's Richmond office. Instead of attempting to fill his campaign coffers over the incident, Mr. Cantor denounced Democratic recklessness in creating "media vehicles for political gain."

To hear Mr. Clyburn talk, you'd think the Capitol had been bombed - like President Obama's spiritual mentor Bill Ayers and the Weather Underground did in 1971 or the communist Revolutionary Fighting Group did in 1983. We don't recall Republicans placing the blame on Democrats for those bona fide terror attacks committed by the Democrats' ideological cousins. For the party's leaders to make such insinuations now rings hollow.

The Democrats and their supporters have consistently demeaned and mischaracterized the broad, nationwide, nonviolent grass-roots movement that arose in opposition to their radical agenda. A willing press establishment relays baseless claims that these protesters are violent uncritically and without investigation.

This was demonstrated last weekend, when visibly delighted Rep. Andre Carson, Indiana Democrat, told reporters that anti-health-bill demonstrators had slung racial epithets at members of the Congressional Black Caucus. A Washington Times reporter witnessed other members of the press establishment scurrying back to the press gallery to go live with the charges without bothering to verify them. The story has yet to be substantiated.

Mr. Clyburn now wants to tie any potential future violence directly to the Republican leadership. Demonstrators "get their signals" from the Republicans, he said, leaving the implication that anything that might happen is at best condoned by, and at worst ordered by, the GOP.

But Mr. Clyburn is the one sending the signal, whether he knows it or not. Any leftist thug is now free to toss a brick through a Democratic congressional district office window secure in the knowledge that the act of vandalism will be blamed automatically on Tea Partiers or Republicans.

Such hoaxes are tickets to instant press coverage. In October 2008, Elmhurst College student Safia Jilani claimed to be the victim of anti-Muslim violence, sparking an outpouring of concern on campus. Chicago police later determined that the attack was faked and arrested Ms. Jilani.

In February, a noose was found hanging in the library at the University of California at San Diego, spurring demonstrations, speeches and rallies. A minority female student later confessed to hanging to noose, calling it "a mindless and stupid mistake."

Not all such occurrences are hoaxes or misunderstandings, but the immediate presumption is that any such incident is genuine, and self-righteous blame is doled out much more quickly and in greater quantities than contrition once the hoax is exposed.

This victimization sideshow is meant to hide the fact that Democrats are pursuing policies that the American people oppose, and they are beginning to face a political price. A CBS News poll released Wednesday showed that 62 percent of Americans want Republicans to continue to challenge Obamacare. Other polls show congressional approval ratings at record lows. We suppose the people who were polled are aiding and abetting terrorism too, by Democrats' standards.

We did not see either Mr. Hoyer or Mr. Clyburn hold a press conference last summer when thugs from the Service Employees International Union were beating demonstrators at town meetings or when they used physical intimidation tactics and made threats of violence against demonstrators on the Mall on March 21. Silence gives consent, indeed.



Haters in glass houses

Differences of opinion and ideology, passionately held, drive the opposition against ObamaCare. Yet to shut down the effort to overturn ObamaCare's unpopular assault on freedom and prosperity, the left resorts to a frequently employed tactic. They and their media co-conspirators find whack jobs holding stupid signs -- or saying or doing stupid things -- and say, "See! Right-wing intolerance, hatred and racism fuel this movement."

Idiots, wing nuts and haters exist -- on both sides of the political spectrum -- in a country of 300 million people. Those who threaten and engage in violence should be arrested and prosecuted. Those who use incendiary language should be denounced. But which "hater" said the following, and where was the condemnation?

"The (George W.) Bush administration and the Nazi and Communist regimes all engaged in the politics of fear. ... Indeed, the Bush administration has been able to improve on the techniques used by the Nazi and Communist propaganda machines." Was it a) Miss Piggy, b) Lady Gaga, c) the Dog Whisperer, or d) George Soros, billionaire Democratic supporter?

"(George W. Bush's) executive branch has made it a practice to try and control and intimidate news organizations, from PBS to CBS to Newsweek. ... And every day, they unleash squadrons of digital brownshirts to harass and hector any journalist who is critical of the President." a) Dan Rather, b) Katie Couric, c) Helen Thomas, d) Al Gore, Nobel laureate.

"(Republicans are) coming for our children. They're coming for the poor. They're coming for the sick, the elderly and the disabled." a) Mother Teresa, b) the Grim Reaper, c) Jack Bauer, d) Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.

The contest between Democrats and Republicans is "a struggle of good and evil. And we're the good." a) Wolverine, b) Spider-Man, c) RoboCop, d) Howard Dean, then-Democratic national chairman.

When asked whether the number and prominence of blacks in the Bush administration suggested a lack of racism, he said, "Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich." a) Adolf Eichmann, b) Joseph Goebbels, c) Heinrich Himmler, d) Harry Belafonte, entertainer and liberal activist.

He called President Bush's perceived lack of help for Katrina victims "ethnic cleansing by inaction" and called it a "calculated ... policy." He added, "So by simply not doing anything to alleviate this ... crisis that was so greatly exaggerated by Katrina, they let the hurricane do the ethnic cleansing, and their hands are clean." a) David Duke, b) Jack the Ripper, c) Jeffrey Dahmer, d) Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.

"When you look at the way the (then-Republican-controlled) House of Representatives has been run, it has been run like a plantation. And you know what I'm talking about." a) Kunta Kinte, b) Harriet Tubman, c) Booker T. Washington, d) then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, former first lady and current secretary of State.

"George Bush let people die on rooftops in New Orleans because they were poor and because they were black." a) Ming the Merciless, b) Ivan the Terrible, c) Vlad the Impaler, d) Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.

"It's not 'spic' or 'nigger' anymore. (Instead, Republicans) say, 'Let's cut taxes.'" a) Bernie Madoff, b) Bonnie and Clyde, c) Bennie and the Jets, d) Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y.

"You're damn right; Dick Cheney's heart's a political football. We ought to rip it out and kick it around and stuff it back in him." a) Dr. Seuss, b) Dr. Oz, c) Dr. J, d) Ed Schultz, MSNBC and radio host.

"We are in danger. The extreme right wing has seized the government. Tonight (John) Ashcroft and the CIA and the FBI and Homeland Security and the IRS can work together. So look out, because without a definition of who is a terrorist, anyone can be. ... Martin Luther King could have been. ... The right-wing media, the FBI -- they are targeting our leadership." a) Mr. T, b) Flavor Flav, c) Gary Coleman, d) the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

"And what we are dealing with right now in this country is whether we are having a kind of bloodless, silent coup or not. ... (George W. Bush) is trying to bring to himself all the power to become an emperor -- to create Empire America," a) Darth Vader, b) Satan, c) the Rev. Pat Robertson, d) Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash.

Lanny Davis, former special counsel to President Bill Clinton, campaigned for Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. Lieberman, despite his reliably left-wing voting record, infuriated the left for supporting the Iraq War. Davis found himself on the receiving end of "hate and vitriol of bloggers on the liberal side of the aisle" and "their extremism, bigotry and intolerance." A friend and fellow Lieberman supporter, said Davis, became "fearful for his physical safety."

"I held on to the view," Davis admitted, "that the left was inherently more tolerant and less hateful than the right. ... I have reluctantly concluded that I was wrong. The far right does not have a monopoly on bigotry and hatred and sanctimony."

The majority of Americans oppose ObamaCare. Their opposition is not racist, fascist or intolerant. Let us work to prevail.




Obama is talking about lifting a nonexistent ban: "President Obama announces today that he will "allow" oil drilling off the coast of Virginia. AFP Vice President for Policy Phil Kerpen issued the following statement: "Obama is talking about lifting a nonexistent ban! Bush lifted the executive ban in July 2008, and Congress lifted the legislative ban in October 2008. There is no legal impediment to drilling now, except that the Obama administration refuses to offer leases. I'll believe they are really allowing drilling when they actually offer leases. Also, the 50-mile restriction means he is actually ADDING a NEW moratorium on waters inside of 50 miles."

Waiting for Sananda: "On Dec. 20, 20 or so people crowded into Dorothy’s home to await Sananda. The clock struck midnight. No visitor. One Seeker noticed a second clock showed only 11:55 p.m. The Seekers reached a consensus that it was not yet midnight. When even the slow clock showed 12:10 a.m., one guy put on his hat and went home. Perhaps he thought he could get his job and wife back. The rest stayed, in stunned silence. A little after 4 a.m., Dorothy got another message. The disaster had been called off. The little group, sitting all night long, had spread so much light that God saved the world from destruction. The next afternoon, the group called newspapers, friends, anybody who will listen, to spread their message. Their single, most important prediction had proven blindingly obviously false, but their reaction was renewed vigor and belief. Sound familiar?”

Land of the free?: "During the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key wrote a song about a star-spangled banner waving over the land of the free. Is this land still free? Are you free to earn a living as you see fit? More and more jobs now require a license to practice. The licensing board, made up of your would-be competitors, can block your entry because they're better connected politically than you are.”

More on the new paternalism: "The basic idea is of course exactly like school. Then it was yes, Double Maths isn’t fun now but we’re adults and you’re children and yes, we know that it will do you good in the future. The new paternalism is making the same logical argument, just applying it to smoking, drinking, pensions savings and whatever else the self-proclaimed adults insist we children should be doing. As Glen points out though, there’s a horrible logical problem at the heart of such thinking. Those paternalists know what we should be doing by their standards: that’s not the new part of it all. The new is that they claim to know what we should be doing by our standards. That is, that their prescriptions help us to achieve our goals by imposing methods which we’re simply too dim to think up for ourselves.”

Obamacare is just the beginning of a downhill run: "This increase in the size of government will only serve to hasten the destruction of our currency. It will only serve to help establish a one world government as the entire planet sinks deeper into depression. It will put more people out of work. It will force more small businesses into bankruptcy. It will make more people dependent on a cold hearted, faceless government that cares nothing about humanity. It will serve up the economy to the few corporations that will be left after the slaughter. Those companies will then pay off the corrupt politicians to make sure they maintain control.”

The perverse incentives of Obamacare: "In normal insurance markets your incentive is to buy insurance before you are ill because pre-existing conditions are not covered. You pay $X per month for protection against conditions that may develop in the future. There is a very strong incentive to purchase insurance prior to such a condition developing. Obama ends that incentive. Insurance companies will no longer be allowed to exclude pre-existing conditions. So why buy insurance? Obamacare puts in penalties if you don’t have insurance. But the penalties will be lower than the cost of the insurance itself. The money you will save on insurance will not be eaten by the penalties so you win. And, if you do get sick, no insurance company can turn you down for a policy and you’re covered again.”

The mass transit delusion: "There is no truth to the belief that light rail improves traffic congestion. A look at the failure of light rail in Portland, Oregon and elsewhere shows how wise Denver-area voters were to reject light rail in a landslide.”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone 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)


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Enemies of the state: Administration smears some opponents, arrests others

During President George W. Bush's two terms, you couldn't drive far without seeing a particular bumper sticker: "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism." Now that Democrats control the White House and Congress, the left treats dissent as the lowest form of treason. When the left agitates over government policies, it's considered righteous anger. When the right - and much of the center - agitate, it's painted as the rantings of the criminally and violently insane.

With Obamacare signed into law, Democrats have stopped congratulating themselves long enough to notice that the American people aren't cheering on the sidelines. According to a CNN poll released last week, 58 percent oppose President Obama's handling of Obamacare, while Gallup shows him this week with a 46 percent job approval, his lowest yet. A CBS poll released after the House of Representatives passed Obamacare showed Speaker Nancy Pelosi's favorable rating at 11 percent and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's at 8 percent, higher only than Beelzebub's.

Aware that their "reform" is rejected by most of the American people and that they will face serious consequences in November, the Democrats have decided that the best defense is a good offense: Attack those who oppose Obamacare. It doesn't seem to bother most Democrats that that pernicious strategy puts them in the weird and politically untenable position of attacking most of the American people.

Over the past week, a parade of Democrats have accused members of the Tea Party movement and other opponents of Obamacare of threatening them. There may be an infinitesimal number of looney tunes who have engaged in that kind of unacceptable behavior out of hundreds of millions of Americans. But the Democrats have dishonestly extrapolated from a few claimed incidents to taint all those who reject Obamacare as wild-eyed wackos.

If this sounds familiar, it's because the Democrats have shown a disturbing pattern of demonizing those who disagree with them. A year ago, Mr. Obama's Department of Homeland Security issued a report for law enforcement called "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment." It suggested that anyone who opposed abortion, illegal immigration and oppressive taxes, supported gun rights or served in Iraq and Afghanistan should be singled out for special attention. Why? Because such people might burst into a spasm of violence at any time. There was no mention of being on the lookout for potential violence committed by Islamic jihadists, even after actual acts of violence committed by an Islamic jihadist in Little Rock. (The Fort Hood shooting happened later.)

In other words, if you go to church, believe in protecting innocent life, own a gun or defend your country, the Democrats consider you a potential enemy of the state. It was no coincidence that the Homeland Security report was issued just as the Tea Party movement was gaining real national traction.

Not surprisingly, then, once they had passed their widely unpopular health care bill, the Democrats moved quickly to delegitimize opposition to it. Their defiant move in the face of overwhelming popular resistance gave them another excuse to equate big-government progressives with good patriots and small government advocates with potentially violent nutcases who must be watched.

As if on cue, this week, Homeland Security, the FBI and the Department of Justice's Joint Terrorism Task Force carried out raids against a purported "Christian militia group" in the Midwest. According to reports, nine people have been charged with plotting to kill police officers with "weapons of mass destruction." The indictment describes the group as an "anti-government extremist organization" and the FBI special agent in charge, Andrew Arena, cast it as "radical and fringe." That may be, but the description has a conveniently familiar ring to it.

Interestingly, the head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Dawud Walid, rushed to announce the raids at a CAIR banquet at about the same time the story became public. "We salute the FBI for breaking up a militia that was seeking to harm American Muslims," he said. It's curious that he would know that at a time when the FBI still had the investigation under seal. (We're still waiting to hear why Homeland Security and the FBI chose to use the descriptive word "Christian" when they seem unable to use the word "Muslim" in connection with Islamic extremism.)

It's mind-blowingly coincidental that these raids on a supposedly "Christian" militia group would come at the exact moment that Democrats were trying to change public opinion on Obamacare by claiming persecution by their opponents. They have cast Tea Partiers, conservatives, independents, Christians and militia members as all cut from the same unstable, volatile cloth. How can anyone take their opposition to the Democrats' agenda seriously when they're toting guns and being raided by Homeland Security and the FBI? They're all nuts, don't you know?

The Democrats handle dissent by isolating it, smearing it and delegitimizing it in order to crush it. The warning should be clear: If you have small-government, traditional values, you may be considered by your own leadership to be an enemy of the state.



United States of Argentina

When White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel last year advised "never waste a good crisis," he likely was thinking ahead to President Obama's economic stimulus program and health care plan. After swelling the federal deficit by passing the stimulus at a cost of nearly $1 trillion, Democrats in Congress signed off on Obamacare, with a price tag, according to Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., of $2.3 trillion in its first decade alone. With federal spending exploding at such a rate, it's no wonder that Moody's Investor Service recently warned that it would downgrade the U.S. government's credit rating if it concludes "the government was unable and/or unwilling to quickly reverse the deterioration it has incurred."

What the United States government will do in the future may be in question, but we need not look far to find past examples of countries unwilling to get their finances in order. Consider Argentina. In 1914, it was one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and its living standard exceeded that of Western Europe until the late 1950s. Then President Juan Peron squandered his nation's prosperity by introducing a host of redistributionist economic and regulatory policies, nationalizing utilities and foreign investments, and pumping up the national debt. What followed was three decades of political instability, growing dependency, and economic stagnation.

There was a brief period of privatization and booming foreign investment in what the American Enterprise Institute's Mark Falcoff called Argentina's "go go" 1990s. But that was negated by the return of political leaders espousing Peronist principles who created a downward economic spiral by breaking contracts with foreign utility companies that had invested heavily in Argentina. Today, the country has lost its international credit standing and an estimated 10 percent of the population has moved abroad to escape the stifling taxes, regulation and inefficiency. To make matters worse, President Cristina Kirchner recently attracted attention for firing the president of the country's central bank. His sin was refusing to go along with her inflationary spending policies (Argentina's inflation is 17 percent) and challenging her demand that he hand over $6.6 billion in bank reserves.

Besides sending federal spending skyrocketing, Obama has, like so many of the politicians who ruined Argentina, dramatically increased government regulation of business, nationalized major sectors of the economy, and imposed a lengthy list of tax increases. America today is no more exempt from economic reality than Argentina was in years past. Make no mistake, these actions will eventually drain the life from this nation's economic vitality, just as they did in Argentina.



The welfare system penalizes efforts to get ahead

Until you earn about $40,000 a year, you’re pretty much stuck in poverty, an economist’s numbers show. In fact, until you get past $40,000 a year, any raise or higher paying job you get might actually sink you deeper into poverty. Take a look at this story from economist Jeff Liebman, who now works in the Obama Administration:

The poverty trap is still very much a reality in the U.S.

A woman called me out of the blue last week and told me her self-sufficiency counselor had suggested she get in touch with me. She had moved from a $25,000 a year job to a $35,000 a year job, and suddenly she couldn’t make ends meet any more. I told her I didn’t know what I could do for her, but agreed to meet with her. She showed me all her pay stubs, etc. She really did come out behind by several hundred dollars a month. She lost free health insurance and instead had to pay $230 a month for her employer-provided health insurance. Her rent associated with her section 8 voucher went up by 30% of the income gain (which is the rule). She lost the ($280 a month) subsidized child care voucher she had for after-school care for her child. She lost around $1600 a year of the EITC. She paid payroll tax on the additional income. Finally, the new job was in Boston, and she lived in a suburb. So now she has $300 a month of additional gas and parking charges. She asked me if she should go back to earning $25,000.

Take a look at this chart by economist Clifford Thies, via Greg Mankiw’s blog.

From the green dot, you can see that earned income rises… for a while. Then there’s this screwy wavy line. That’s the mother making a little more, but earning a little less.

$40,000 a year is about $19 an hour. Over 40 percent of Chicagoans don’t earn that much.

There aren’t that many jobs out there that make $19 an hour. Bank Teller? $13.33 an hour. Office clerk? $15.60. Retail salesperson? $11.80. Security guard? $16.14. (Statistics via Chicago Rehab network).

Our tax incentives work… initially. Then they only serve to hurt people. They say the poor don’t work hard enough, but that single mother sounds like a pretty hard working person to me. The story goes on to say that she got a weekend job, to try to make ends meet. Except after childcare and gas, it didn’t help at all.

So if working harder means people might actually earn less, how is it that we expect people to work harder?



BrookesNews Update

Obama's road to economic ruin : Obama's monstrous health bill needs to seen as part of a comprehensive attack on the US economy. Therefore the markets are also examining Obama's tax policies, regulatory proposals, insane views on energy production and pricing plus his borrowing and spending programs. But it is not just the financial side that is considered, there are also the political aspects. And they ain't pretty
Paul Krugman's Keynesian views: more snake oil : According to Krugman saving is 'a bad thing'. In fact, the more Americans save the worse the economy will be. But if Krugman were right then those countries with very high savings ratios would be permanently depressed while countries with no savings would be booming. Yet statistics show that it was those countries with the highest savings rates that had the highest growth rates
U.S. government, on its way to bankruptcy, part 2 : The U.S. government is out of control, a government that has committed to obligations so big, that unless policies change, it will literally bankrupt the United States and create mass poverty
The Democrats' anti-tax lunacy : The Democrats' opposition to tax cuts borders on the hysterical. Apart from their insincerity (the only kinds of tax increases they support are those their fabulously super rich supporters can easily avoid) there is the utter bankruptcy of their so-called economic arguments
Obamacare: the other tax shoes begin to drop : Obama's brilliant healthcare legislation is a job killer that will cause taxes and costs to leap. It will stunt economic growth and worsen the economic downturn by making too costly to hire people while simultaneously providing financial incentives to sack a number of employees. Well done, Obama!
Banned in Britain for "Hate Speech" - Unless You're the Daughter Of a Mass Murderer : Britain's Labour Government recently celebrated 50 years Castro's dictatorship, including mass torture, murder, slave camps, drug running and terrorism. To stress its support for the sadistic Castro it invited Che Guevara's daughter to the celebrations. She in turn praised her father's vicious crimes and his sadism
Sabotaging the US-Israel relationship : The leftwing mainstream media is lying again about Israel. These politically motivated liars mislead viewers and readers by failing to provide the full historical context and demographic projections for Israel's capital and the so-called settlements



Medical society files lawsuit to block ObamaCare: "With the president’s ink barely dry on the health care overhaul’s final fixes, a group of nearly 5,000 American physicians is filing suit to stop the mammoth new law dead in its tracks. ‘I think this bill that passed threatens not only to destroy our freedom in medicine but to bankrupt the country,’ said Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. The Arizona-based medical coalition filed suit on March 26, arguing that congressional reforms illegally coerce individuals into buying insurance from private companies.”

Obama regime to permit oil exploration off Virginia coast: "President Barack Obama is to announce on Wednesday a plan to permit exploration for oil and natural gas off the coast of Virginia as a way to create jobs and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Obama, who wants Congress to move a stalled climate change bill, has sought to reach out to Republicans by signaling he is open to allowing offshore drilling, providing coastlines are protected.”

The rich can’t pay for ObamaCare: "President Barack Obama’s new health-care legislation aims to raise $210 billion over 10 years to pay for the extensive new entitlements. How? By slapping a 3.8% ‘Medicare tax’ on interest and rental income, dividends and capital gains of couples earning more than $250,000, or singles with more than $200,000. The president also hopes to raise $364 billion over 10 years from the same taxpayers by raising the top two tax rates to 36%-39.6% from 33%-35%, plus another $105 billion by raising the tax on dividends and capital gains to 20% from 15%, and another $500 billion by capping and phasing out exemptions and deductions. Add it up and the government is counting on squeezing an extra $1.2 trillion over 10 years from a tiny sliver of taxpayers who already pay more than half of all individual taxes. It won’t work. It never works.”

A new economics?: "You probably missed it. But a new school of economics was unveiled last week shortly after health care reform passed the House of Representatives. Speaker Nancy Pelosi stepped to the podium in the House chamber and said the legislation will ‘unleash tremendous entrepreneurial power’ and create millions of jobs. ‘Our economy needs something new, a jolt,’ she said. And she and her Democratic colleagues had just delivered it.”

Obamacare starts squeezing the private sector: "The news on healthcare reform this week is that right off the bat, the major corporations are discovering they will be losing stunning amounts to taxes as a result of Obamacare. Caterpillar, the first to speak out, reported it will take a one-time write-down of $100 million in order to account for the elimination of a federal tax refund it has been receiving for providing drug benefits to its retired employees. In the following days, AT&T, Verizon, 3M, Deer & Co., and AK Steel Holdings announced they would take similar write downs. AT&T’s new tax bill will come to over $1 billion. The news is a body blow to major companies hoping to recover profitability and add jobs. If all this sounds familiar, it should. It is exactly what Republicans predicted would happen if Obamacare became law.”

CIA says ACLU-backed plan endangered Gitmo officers: "A team of CIA counterintelligence officials recently visited the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and concluded that CIA interrogators face the risk of exposure to al Qaeda through inmates' contacts with defense attorneys, according to U.S. officials. The agency's "tiger team" of security specialists was dispatched as part of an ongoing investigation conducted jointly with the Justice Department into a program backed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The program, called the John Adams Project, has photographed covert CIA interrogators and shown the pictures to some of the five senior al Qaeda terrorists held there in an effort to identify them further."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone 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)


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Germany's "Democratic Party" in the 1930s

In my various writings I am much indebted to readers who send me interesting links and, occasionally, interesting books. One regular and generous correspondent has just sent me a copy of a recent book: Living with Hitler: Liberal Democrats in the Third Reich.

To understand what the book is about, you need to know that the German electoral system both then and now is/was run on proportional representation lines. There was nothing like the "First past the post" voting system that prevails in most Anglo-Saxon countries. In other words, the number of seats in the legislature that a party gets reflects roughly the proportion of votes cast that the party got in the most recent election. This invariably leads to a parliament in which MANY parties are represented, unlike the two-party system of the USA. It is very rare for any one party to get a majority of the seats available and governments are therefore usually formed by alliances between different parties. Israel and most of Europe has such a system to this day.

And in interwar Germany, politics were dominated by various flavours of Leftism. There was very little support for much in the way of conservatism. And the parties could be ranked in their degree of Leftism -- from Communist, to Nazi, to Social Democrats to Liberal Democrats. The Social Democrats were equivalent to the Labor parties that one finds in the Anglosphere, strongly allied with the Labor unions, and the Liberal Democrats saw themselves as "progressives", quite similar to the Democrats in the USA today. And it is that latter group that the book concerns.

So how did the German "Democrats" go in Hitler's Germany? Did they furiously resist Nazism, as the rhetoric of modern-day Democrats would suggest? No way! Like the FDR Democrats in the America of the 1930s, they got along with Hitler to various degrees. There were a small number of highly principled ones who fled Germany but most did little more than mutter and got by quite well under Hitler. Some even made distinguished careers under Hitler. Most thought that Hitler was too rough and too extreme but they appreciated his basic Leftism and went along with him willingly.

Conventional history since the war has focused on the small number of German "Democrats" who fled Germany but this latest book shows that they were highly atypical. If you want the details, you will have to read the book. It is a large and comprehensive work so you will be left in no doubt at the end of it about how easily "Democrats" can drift into Fascism. With the passage of Obamacare, many American conservatives would say the the drift concerned is now well underway in the USA.


Shunning the party of whiners

We're not yet a nation wholly of whiners, but some of our congresspersons are working on it. Democrats who should have been taking a victory lap spent a week cowering in fear of the contents of a tea cup. No wonder real men — mostly but, by no means all, white — are shunning the Democrats.

The polling gurus are finding that millions of the white men who helped put Barack Obama in the White House are leaving the Democrats in great numbers, and this could lead to really bad news in November. Gallup finds that white male support for a Democratic Congress has fallen 8 percentage points since last summer, while the support of women has remained remarkably steady. White women who voted for Mr. Obama continue to support him, but only 38 percent of white men support him now. Unless the president and his party find a way to reverse this trend they must prepare for an epic bath nine months hence.

Accomplishing such a turnaround would require first of all for Democrats to pipe down about what a tough life they have. Life is real, often hard, and, as Damon Runyon famously said to a whiner at the poker table, "three out of three people die, so shut up and deal." Democrats in Congress who got their way in the health care "reform" debate are frightened now that the people they abused are angry and determined to do something about it. With the help of the compliant "mainstream" media, they have created the specter of a tsunami of hate, bigotry, racism, slander, rock-throwing, spitting, irritable bowel syndrome and seven-year itch. Sarah Palin has got the Democrats particularly spooked.

What the Democrats actually got were dirty looks, catcalls, and cries of "shame!" They accused their constituents of hurling naughty words, including "the N-word" (which has become more terrible than the A-bomb in modern usage) as well as sticks, stones and occasional bricks. Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan, who betrayed his anti-abortion allies who believed him when he vowed never, ever, to vote for legislation to make taxpayer-funded abortion easier, even insists that his life was threatened by unidentified evildoers.

Exaggeration is the coin of politics, of course, and it turns out that nearly all of the threats of mayhem, dismemberment, death and rudeness cited by frightened Democrats were merely manufactured for effect. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II of Missouri, who said he was spat upon at the Capitol, on drying off changed his story. He told The Washington Post that, umm, well, actually the heckler was, ah, "the man who allowed his saliva to hit my face." Anyone who has sat in the front row at the theater knows that drenching spittle, unpleasant but innocent, often accompanies dramatic speech. An examination of videotape finds no evidence that anyone at a certain Tea Party rally actually shouted the "N-word" at black Democrats, and the coffin that was supposed to have been left on his lawn to threaten another Missouri congressman was actually displayed at a prayer vigil against abortion down the street.

Incivility is the name of the game in modern politics, and the Internet has made the gratuitous insult as American as the banana-cream pie so tempting to smash into the face of someone who deserves it. But anyone who expresses a public opinion must expect dissent, colorfully expressed. Occasionally a threat is real and should be denounced and if need be punished. But the vilification of Barack Obama is no more passionate than the vilification of George W. Bush. Extremes beget extremes. Alec Baldwin promised to leave the country if George W. was re-elected president in 2004, and by 2008 Sean Penn was screaming that Republicans should "die in agony from rectal cancer." (What is this Hollywood obsession with the southern terminus of the alimentary canal?)

What most Democratic whiners don't understand — and what some of their betters understand very well — is that people get mad when they're ignored and punished by consequences imposed on them. Barack Obama understands it, and is contemptuous of the backlash, as anyone knows who saw the curl of his lip and heard the disdain in his voice when he celebrated the signing of Obamacare.

The Democrats know they have shoved an unwanted and despised health care "reform" down the throats of Americans, and they understand that arrogance, like elections, sometimes invites consequences. Once upon a time the liberal establishment — now the terrified whiners — didn't have to worry about consequences, since it had silenced the great unwashed. But the unwashed have found their voice, and they're not giving it up.



Winston Churchill an unlikely adviser for General Stanley A. McChrystal in the Afghan conflict

GENERAL Stanley A. McChrystal, the commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, has found an unlikely adviser in the continuing struggle against the Taliban. This new counsellor is British, a former journalist, soldier, writer, painter and politician. He is also dead, and the last time he was anywhere near Afghanistan was in 1897.

Winston Churchill has come to the aid of the Allies. McChrystal is said to listen to the writings of Churchill on his iPod during his daily eight-mile jog. A recent visitor to Nato headquarters in Kabul found the American general immersed in Churchill's first book, his account of the struggle to pacify the tribes of the North West Frontier at the end of the 19th century.

Next on the general's reading list, it was reported, is Churchill's The River War, describing the reconquest of the Sudan that ended in the battle of Omdurman in 1898.

Barack Obama, fresh from his first presidential visit to Afghanistan, is no admirer of Britain's colonial past, and his own writings echo with anger at the iniquities of imperialism. Yet Britain's last great imperial leader offered an extraordinary insight into the nature of warfare in the region, Islamic fundamentalism and the history and character of Afghan tribal society.

In 1897, at the age of 23, Churchill was attached as a soldier-journalist to the Malakand Field Force, the British expedition under the splendidly named Sir Bindon Blood, dispatched to put down the rebellious Pathan tribesmen of the North West Frontier, on what is now the Afghan-Pakistan border.

Churchill described his impressions of this land "where every man is a soldier" in a series of vivid newspaper reports, which were incorporated into The Story of the Malakand Field Force, published a year later. Churchill's time among the border tribes was also recalled in his autobiography, My Early Life.

The Young Winston was only on the North West Frontier for a few weeks, but like most journalists he swiftly considered himself an expert on the Afghans in general, and the Pathans in particular. His prose is typically rich and colourful, his generalisations lofty and patronising. He shared the peculiar British reverence for the Pathans as a noble warrior race: "the ferocity of the Zulu are added to the craft of the Redskin and the marksmanship of the Boer". He never set foot in Afghanistan itself.

Yet Churchill was a natural historian, and for all their imperial arrogance, his words carry unmistakable relevance to Afghanistan today. "Tribe wars with tribe. Every man's hand is against the other and all are against the stranger... the state of continual tumult has produced a habit of mind which holds life cheap and embarks on war with careless levity."

Churchill was fascinated by the fabulously complex web of feud and counter-feud among the Taleban's ancestors, the conglomeration of tribes and sub-tribes and the total absence of central authority. "Such a disposition, combined with an absolute lack of reverence for all forms of law and authority, is the cause of their frequent quarrels with the British power."

Churchill reserved a special disdain for Talibs, the religious students who would later form the core of the original Taliban. He called them "a host of wandering Talib-ul-ulms [who] live free at the expense of the people".

Yet his attitude towards Islamic fundamentalism was far more nuanced than that of his contemporaries. Later in the Sudan he did not merely dismiss the Dervishes following the Mahdi as lunatics, but sought to understand the "mighty stimulus of fanaticism" that thrived, as it does today, in the "fearful fatalistic apathy" in much of the Muslim world.

Despite deploying the latest military technology, British imperial Forces were at a severe disadvantage when faced by rebels armed with long-handled jezail muskets, able to shoot and kill at a distance, and then disappear. "The weapons of the 19th century," wrote Churchill, "in the hands of the savages of the Stone Age."

The IED, the remote-controlled improvised explosive device planted at roadsides in Afghanistan to such devastating effect, is the modern equivalent of the jezail; the Taliban's "asymmetric tactics" are directly descended from the long-distance sniping of a century ago.

Above all, Churchill realised that pacifying the rebel Pathans was a matter of culture, politics and persuasion, not compulsion. The more an outside army sought to impose order, the more ferocious the Afghan response. For this society to develop and progress, he predicted, any government would have to first tackle "the warlike nature of the people and their hatred of control".

Brute force of arms, he knew, was not only insufficient and probably ineffective, but also likely to foment greater antagonism. After experiencing the wild borderlands firsthand, Churchill laid out the options for dealing with a country like Afghanistan: imposing the rule of law at the barrel of a gun, pulling out and leaving the tribes to their stone age bloodletting or working through and with the tribal system. As General McChrystal recently told Robert Kaplan of The Atlantic magazine, "the third choice - Churchill's choice - is really the only one we have".

One can see Churchill's choice reflected in the allies' changing policy in Afghanistan: in the determination to recruit and train Afghans for the army and police, in the greater willingness to talk to elements within the Taliban and the distribution of hard cash. On his brief visit to Bagram this week, Obama spoke of the progress made in "good governance, rule of law, anti-corruption efforts".

David Miliband, too, has suggested that Britain's past in Afghanistan might usefully be recruited to the present. "Imperial strategists sought and secured a saner and more sustainable objective: a self-governing, self-policing, but heavily subsidised Afghanistan where the tribes balanced each other and the Afghan state posed no threat to the safety of British India."

That sounds like the sort of solution Churchill would have applauded, yet he also knew that any policy reliant on raw force would have its limitations in a land saturated by centuries of violence. As a 23-year-old journalist, Churchill looked on, as Blood's British Forces laid waste to the rebel villages "in punitive devastation", and wondered whether peace would ever be possible here.

"At the end of a fortnight the valley was a desert," he wrote. "Whether it was worth it... I cannot tell."




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