April 16, 2014
Monday night my father-in-law, John E. Dunsford, passed away. He died peacefully in his bed, and now joins his wife in Heaven.
It was not unexpected; the man had been on a feeding tube for the better part of a year and a half, and stuck in a wheel chair. He was a shut-in, living in his home with the help of some private duty nurses (who were wonderful) and my wife, who spent afternoons at his house (until her recent illness put a stop to that.) His life revolved around commercial television at the end. He did still enjoy the occasional televised baseball or football game, but could no longer concentrate well enough to read. That was tough; he had been a brilliant man, a law professor and labor arbitrator with a razor sharp mind. But age and sickness caught up with him, and he reached the point where he just couldn't do those things he had done.
I suspect he was more than ready to go.
He was a good man, a devout Catholic and a solidly orthodox Conservative. He loved his family, and was very good to Cathy and me over the years. He was always solicitous of me when she visited him, worrying more about us than about himself. He was a true father in so many regards, taking care to provide for all of his children - even those by marriage. I loved the man.
And he knew his own mind. In his last days he was watching Dr. Phil and the good doctor gave away gifts to his audience. Jack shook his head and declared that, since he was not included in the giveaway, he was not going to watch anymore. He never did! Turned old Phil right off. It may have been a small gesture, a rather endearing act, but it illustrated the man's committment to what he thought right. (Plus he probably decided Dr. Phil wasn't worth watching.) He was a man of that type of character; strong willed and steady in his course.
And he had a hearty sense of humor, enjoying teasing his wife and kidding his grandchildren, who called him Duke because he loved the old John Wayne movies.
Jack had had an interesting life, too; he served in the Navy but was just short of time and then was drafted into the Army, where he served honorably in Korea. Like most combat veterans he rarely mentioned his service; the memory was too painful. He went on to become a lawyer and taught labor law for many years at the law school at St. Louis University. He was a most distinguished legal scholar. He was a Chester A. Myers Professor of Law Emeritus.
Here is an excerpt from the SLU Law School website:
"John Dunsford is one of the nation's foremost arbitrators and labor law scholars. For more than four decades, labor unions and companies have entrusted him to settle their differences."
"Professor Dunsford has held several leadership positions with the prestigious National Academy of Arbitrators, including serving as president in 1984-1985. In 2000, he was named a fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. From 1987-1994, he directed the School's Wefel Center for Employment Law and remains a senior consultant. He was the McDonnell Professor of Justice in American Society from 1982-1987.
Except for a two-year break in the late 1970s when he practiced arbitration full time, Professor Dunsford has been teaching labor law at the School of Law since the early 1960s. In addition to a book, individuals and Unions, he has written numerous articles and chapters on labor law, arbitration, and the U.S. Constitution and personal freedom. Currently, his research interest is in the area of church-state relations, specifically tuition vouchers that allow parents the option of using state money to send their children to the schools of their choice."
I will sorely miss Jack. He was very kind to me, and encouraged me very much. He was always proud and excited when I had an article published, and he would brag about me to anyone who would listen. Not many fathers-in-law would be so encouraging. And he was always willing to help when the need arose. Losing Jack is like losing the cornerstone of a building.
Godspeed Duke! We'll all miss you here!
Your Action is Needed: "Dear Colleague's" are being circulated on the Common Core State Standards
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) are circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter in their respective chambers to the leaders of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education in the Senate/House Appropriations Committee.
This letter emphasizes the need to include language in the next Fiscal Year 2015 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bills to ensure parents are able to keep accountable those who are making decisions for their child's education. Language is also needed to ensure that those decisions are made at the state and local level, not the federal level or by the U.S. Department of Education.
The letter also clarifies that funds appropriated will not be used to develop or implement the Common Core State Standards developed under the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
For more information on Common Core, click here. http://cl.publicaster.com/ClickThru.aspx?pubids=7218%7c60240%7c692637%7c42636&digest=oHHO9jQaNfDwwIplnNEBuA&sysid=1
To find your senators, click http://cl.publicaster.com/ClickThru.aspx?pubids=7218%7c60241%7c692637%7c42636&digest=rxraaHEh%2bPDVJu%2b7ArGtFw&sysid=1
To find your representative, click here.
Weinstein complained to Air Force Academy Superintendent Michelle Johnson, the Bible verse was erased from the leader's whiteboard ... and an American soldier's religious liberty was blatantly denied.
1. Call your senators and ask them to sign on to Sen. Grassley's Dear Colleague:
* Sample Phone Script for Senate: Hello I am a constituent of Senator _________. I'd like to request that he/she sign onto Sen. Grassley's Dear Colleague regarding the Common Core. Please get in contact with Sen. Grassley's staffer, James Rice, for further details. Thank you.
2. Call your representative and ask him/her to sign on to Rep. King's Dear Colleague:
* Sample Phone Script for House: Hello, I am a constituent of Representative _________. I'd like to request that he/she sign onto Rep. King's Dear Colleague regarding the Common Core. Please get in contact with Rep. King's staffer, Alex Curry, for further details.
Chief Executive Officer and President
Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee
April 15, 2014
April 15, 2014
Kansas Jewish Center Gunman didn't just Appear out of Nowhere
He’s not "unknown”, and he didn’t just pop up on the horizon.
The alleged killer of three at the Overland Park (Kansas) Jewish Community Center and a nearby Jewish retirement home didn’t just "appear out of nowhere”; he’s a man who has been in the public eye before, right here in the Kansas City area and elsewhere, along with his foaming-at-the-mouth anti-Jewish and white supremacist views.
The suspect, identified as Frazier Glenn Cross of Aurora, Missouri, is also known as Frazier Glenn Miller or simply Glenn Miller.
As Glenn Miller, he ran for the U.S. Senate from Missouri in 2010. His radio ads caused quite a stir in the Kansas City area; you can watch local news coverage of his candidacy and his ads here:
And, if you search YouTube under "Glenn Miller” (and winnow out all the videos dealing with Glenn Miller the big band musician, composer, arranger and orchestra leader of the swing era) you’ll find quite a few videos of Glenn Miller the white supremacist, including numerous interviews; he was even interviewed extensively by Howard Stern!
Frazier Glenn Cross/Glenn Miller ran as a Democrat for Governor of North Carolina in 1984. He also served three years in Federal prison on convictions for weapons charges and white supremacist militia activities.
In addition to his avowed anti-Semitic and white supremacist views, Miller is on record as being vehemently opposed to homosexuality and to immigration from the Third World.
Now, do I really need to point out how this reprehensible individual, and his (alleged) cowardly and murderous acts on Sunday, will be exploited and spun by the Obama regime?
The masters of propaganda in the Obama regime will make Glenn Miller the poster boy for everyone who dares to oppose or criticize it. We’ve already seen anyone who dares to criticize Barack Obama or Eric Holder labeled a "racist”; Glenn Miller will be paraded as "proof” of that.
Further, Glenn Miller will be used to support the government’s already all-but-successful vilification of militias (Surprise! Our Founders intended for Americans to be organized into militias – "…Being necessary to the security of a free State…” – and despite what the propagandists would have you believe, militias are not automatically or presumptively racist).
Miller’s alleged crimes have successfully bumped from the news the story of militias successfully (and peaceably) convincing Federal regulatory agency snipers and SWAT teams to back down from their heavy-handed overreach against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.
Soon, Miller will be presented as the "face” of the Tea Parties, which the regime has, since the Tea Parties’ inception, tried to paint as "racist”. I have no doubt that Miller will also become the "face” of anyone who dares to oppose unrestricted immigration or the homosexual agenda.We’ve already seen such folks branded as "haters”.
For a regime more and more at odds with its own citizens (and one which seems to be actively, and more and more brazenly, seeking to undermine the very notion of "citizenship”), a person like Glenn Miller plays right into its own nefarious designs. As if his cowardly acts weren’t tragic enough, they will now be cynically exploited by those who "never let a crisis go to waste”.
Stu Tarlowe lives in the Kansas City area. He has written over 65 pieces for AT. Among his heroes and role models are Barry Farber, Jean Shepherd, Long John Nebel, Aristide Bruant, Col. Jeff Cooper, Rabbi Meir Kahane and G. Gordon Liddy.
In the Washington Post last week E.J. Dionne penned an Op-Ed piece noting the "changing” historical image of former President Lyndon Johnson and feted this development by labeling it as "…a thoroughly justified revival of Lyndon B. Johnson’s standing.” This work is not, however, a simple nostalgic tribute to the 1960s. Dionne argues that this supposed LBJ revival shows that America is experiencing what he calls a "leftward tilt” and he hopes that our current President will, like Johnson, strike while the iron is hot to force irrevocable liberal change on the USA.
In his piece Dionne sings the praises of President Johnson, the Lone Star Machiavelli. He views LBJ and his legacy through the lens of a celebration last week at the Jonson Presidential Library, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Mr. Dionne uses this introduction as a means of discussing Johnson’s great legislative achievements, and, of course, his revived historical standing, as exemplified in a 2008 historical work entitled "The Liberal Hour” by Professors G. Calvin Mackenzie and Robert Weisbrot. This particular volume, for which Dionne wrote an effusive dust jacket blurb, presents the political history of the Great Society era in a highly positive light. It also suggests the possibility, as Dionne passionately hopes that the country might be able and ready to engineer a similar left-liberal reform today.
Mr. Dionne waxes rhapsodic over the Johnson Administration reforms and claims that the LBJ revival "brings with it a new appreciation of the durability of the reforms enacted on his watch. It turns out that these were irreversible social reforms…that future generations came to take for granted and refused to wipe off the books.” He goes on to suggest that the American public is growing ever more liberal, and that this generation will cement the Affordable Care Act as the new normal, the way that the 60s generation gave us the Civil Rights Act, HUD, VISTA, and federal aid to education, among other things.
An alternate reading of the triumphalist history of the 1960s that Dionne sketches out reveals a more complex picture. First of all, Dionne is on very shaky ground when he cites a minor historical work and credits the tome for spurring this supposed Johnson revival and concurrent liberal revival. The publication of this particular work, and the enthusiasm with which it was received, does not prove that the American people are now liberals; it simply proves that most of the academic historians are still liberals. Furthermore, many of the "achievements” of the Great Society were marginal, at best. The vaunted War on Poverty cost trillions of dollars, but failed to end, or even noticeably reduce poverty. It did, however, place a permanent and ever-growing strain on the federal budget, was financed by massive deficits, and is forcing a complete breakdown of the government’s fiscal house in the near future. The Great Society also set in motion welfare dependency, and the corresponding collapse of the black family structure. This unfortunate phenomenon is now spreading to all of the races, in nearly equal proportion.
Finally, by 1968, Johnson’s last full year in office, the Treasury Department declared that, in the wake of the Great Society and the conflict in Vietnam, the nation (the richest in world history) was bumping up against the limits of her financial resources. The government began replacing silver coins with ones made of base metals, setting the stage for the inflation of the 1970s. Government efforts to help the poor, well-intentioned though they were, had the effect of wrecking the economy and throwing the country into a decade of economic distress. Yet, E.J. Dionne looks back fondly on this era.
Dionne ends his praiseful ode by stating that "…the deeper LBJ legacy is of a consensual period when a large and confident majority believed that national action could expand opportunities and alleviate needless suffering. The earthily practical Johnson showed that these were not empty dreams.” In fact, Johnson won his 1964 landslide by invoking the memory of his martyred predecessor. When Johnson moved sharply to the Left, his support dropped exponentially. In the 1966 mid-term elections the Republican won 47 House seats and a startling 12 Senate seats, as well. The electorate pronounced their final judgment on Johnsonian liberalism in 1968 when GOP candidate Richard M. Nixon, running somewhat deceptively as a conservative, won the Presidency, defeating Jonson’s Vice-President Hubert Humphrey, who was proud to be known as an unabashed liberal.
The Op-Ed piece that Dionne wrote is not, of course, primarily a historical review. E.J. Dionne is not a historian; he is a commentator and editorial writer for the Washington Post. He segues into the real purpose of his piece when he remarks "There is …a devout wish that President Obama had the inclination to match LBJ as the Harry Potter of legislative wizardry.” Here Dionne drops the History Professor pose entirely and reverts to form as an Obama cheerleader. He does compare Obama unfavorably with LBJ by saying that Obama, aloof and condescending, will not play the game of "schmoozing legislators” as Johnson did very well. It is unknown whether Obama has blackmailed legislators, which is something else that Johnson did well, but that is another story.
Dionne then launches into his favorite refrain, namely the idea that mindless Republican obstructionism is the one thing poisoning the political waters today. As Dionne states "The problem is that Obama could spend hours sharing beer and bourbon with our elected representatives and still not overcome the sharp ideological turn in contemporary conservatism that has moved Republicans behind resolute opposition to everything he does.” Our favorite commentator then goes on to contrast this state of affairs with the 60s, when some Republicans worked with LBJ to help implement his agenda after the Great Society bills were signed into law.
Here we see E. J. Dionne’s true lament. He longs for the good old days when the Democrats ran the entire show in Washington. They controlled the Presidency, both chambers of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the permanent government, the bureaucracy by name. Most importantly, the prestige media framed all debate in terms favorable to the Democratic Party, and worked to advance their agenda. Dionne, of course, believes that there is a role for the Republicans to play in the two-party system, but this role should be to slow the Democrats down, without stopping them. He would take the country back to those thrilling days of yesteryear when sensible and "moderate” Republicans like Charles Halleck, Jerry Ford, Everett Dirksen, and Bob Dole questioned program costs, recommended spending a little less money, but usually split the difference, thereby giving the Democrats 75-80% of what they wanted. This "80% Solution” is what constitutes good government to E.J. Dionne and the rest of the gang at the Washington Post, all of whom conveniently forget that Obama and his Party had complete control of the government in 2009-2011, and promptly lost credibility.
E.J. Dionne continues to insist that he sees a liberal groundswell building in the country, and he hopes that soon we’re going to party like its 1969. Mr. Dionne is making a mistake by expressing a wish as a scientific certainty. 2014 is shaping up for Obama the way 1966 shaped up for Lyndon Baines Johnson. The losers will be the Democrats, specifically the liberals. The winners will be the American people.
Former NASA Scientist: Global Warming Is 'Nonsense'
A prominent scientist and former NASA researcher has added his voice to those who challenge the "scientific fact" that manmade carbon emissions are causing global warming.
Dr. Leslie Woodcock is a professor emeritus of chemical thermodynamics at the University of Manchester in England, with a Ph.D. from the University of London, and served as a senior research consultant at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Laboratory in Ohio.
In an interview with Britain's Yorkshire Evening Post, Woodcock declared: "The theory of 'manmade climate change' is an unsubstantiated hypothesis.
"The theory is that CO2 emitted by burning fossil fuel causes 'global warming.' In fact, water is a much more powerful greenhouse gas and there is 20 times more of it in our atmosphere [than carbon dioxide].
"Carbon dioxide has been made out to be some kind of toxic gas but the truth is it's the gas of life. We breathe it out, plants breathe it in. The green lobby has created a do-good industry and it becomes a way of life, like a religion. I understand why people defend it when they have spent so long believing in it."
Woodcock is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a founding editor of the journal Molecular Simulation, a recipient of a Max Planck Society Visiting Fellowship, and a former guest scientist at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology.
He went on to say: "If you talk to real scientists who have no political interest, they will tell you there is nothing in global warming. It's an industry which creates vast amounts of money for some people.
"The temperature of the earth has been going up and down for millions of years. If there are extremes, it's nothing to do with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it's not permanent and it's not caused by us. Global warming is nonsense.
"It's become almost an industry, as a consequence of this professional misconduct by government advisers around the world."
But he added: "You can't blame ordinary people with little or no science education for wanting to be seen to be good citizens who care about their grandchildren's future and the environment."
Republican 'Red States' Are the Most Free
A new report assesses the freedom enjoyed by Americans in each state — and reveals that Democratic "blue states" are the least free.
The latest edition of "Freedom in the 50 States" has been released by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. It presents an updated ranking of American states based on how their policies promote freedom in the fiscal, regulatory, and personal realms.
The report "examines state and local government intervention across a wide range of policy categories — from tax burden to court systems, from eminent domain laws to occupational licensing, and from home schooling regulations to drug policy," Mercatus states.
The three basic categories examined are:
· Fiscal policy, including the tax burden, government spending, and government debt.
· Regulatory policy, including freedom from tort abuse, property rights protection, labor market freedom, and cable and telecom freedom.
· Personal freedom, including gun control freedom, alcohol freedom, marriage freedom, gambling freedom, civil liberties, education policy, and campaign finance freedom.
Mercatus also considers dozens of "variables," including freedom from nanny laws, seatbelt enforcement, local rent control, motorcycle helmet laws, fireworks laws, trans-fat bans, and tobacco restrictions.
Taking all these factors into consideration, the report finds that New York is the least free state, ranking at No. 50.
"New York is by far the least free state in the Union," the report discloses. "It is therefore no surprise that New York residents have been heading for the exits: 9 percent of the state's 2000 population, on net, left the state for another state between 2000 and 2011, the highest such figure in the nation.
"New York has, by a wide margin, the highest taxes in the country: 14.0 percent of income."
The second least free state is California, followed in order by New Jersey, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Illinois, and Maryland.
All of these states voted to re-elect President Barack Obama in 2012.
The freest state is North Dakota, according to the Mercatus analysis. "The state scores exceptionally well on regulatory and fiscal policy. Moreover, North Dakota scores slightly above average on personal freedom. It is also the state that improved the most over the last decade," and "has very low taxes and government debt."
North Dakota is followed by South Dakota, Tennessee, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Idaho, and Missouri. All these states except New Hampshire voted for Republican Mitt Romney in the last presidential election.
Among the larger states, red state Texas ranks No. 14 and blue state Florida, 23.
"Measuring freedom is important because freedom is valuable to people," the report states. "At the very least, it is valuable to those whose choices are restricted by public policy."
April 13, 2014
In yet another in a long line of apologist articles, Robin Rohr ignores all the evidence that Pope Francis I suffers from Socialism on the brain. http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/62386
Robin opens with this:
"Those who argue that Pope Francis is advocating socialism focus on the economic section of his apostolic exhortation Evangellii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), which in part states, "In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion…expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.”
Taken at face value, one can see their cause for concern, but perhaps they are reacting to buzzwords like "trickle-down” and "free market” without considering the context referenced by Francis, in effect sacralizing the prevailing system. In the preceding passages he references that people are subject to increasing inequality, violence, and facing a life devoid of dignity. The Pontiff then states, "We are in an age of knowledge and information, which has led to new and often anonymous kinds of power.”
First, the Pope is hardly a stranger to public speaking and even more so to writing. Generally writing necessitates careful planning and word choice, so these "buzzwords" are not acciental, are not slips of the tongue. Il Papa meant to use those exact words. I find it incredible that defenders of the Pope continue to use this argument. Even the most ardent defenders have stopped using the mistranslation argument (and our contributor Daren Jonescu has confirmed the translation from the official Vatican website is accurate.) So now we must assume that the Pope misspoke in a written document, one undoubtedly reviewed by assistants - right.
The Pope never mentions socializing the system; that is simply a projection, a hope.
Robin argues that the Pope is opposing the fascistic economics of our current world system:
"This theme is continued by Francis, "Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.”
How does the author think this is a slap at George Soros or the other international financial titans? It more logically is interpreted as an attack on capitalism.
Occam's Razor; the simplest answer is probably the best. Too many people -including good conservatives - twist around to find an explanation for what the Pontiff is saying. The simplest answer is probably the correct one - and the simplest answer is the Duck Test. Pope Francis certainly quacks like one.
Francis stated in his encyclical:
"earnings of a minority are growing exponentially [but] so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation."
Which makes one wonder what world the good Pontiff inhabits. And it clearly illustrates that Robin is wrong here; the Pope is clearly blaming free markets and not regulated, crony capitalist systems.
Il Papa also states that free market people:
"reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control."
Government does nothing BUT control. The world's economy is nostril deep in regulation, in command and control.
I see our Pope web footing it here.
Thomas Hemphill scoffs at this at Real clear Markets. http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2013/12/31/pope_franciss_economics_hurt_the_poor_he_aims_to_help_100824.html
Robin sees an exaltation in private endeavor by the Pope:
"The dignity of work, whether humble or exalted, supports and engenders the dignity of the person. Francis also reminds us that, "Business is a vocation, and a noble vocation, provided that those engaged in it see themselves challenged by a greater meaning in life; this will enable them truly to serve the common good by striving to increase the goods of this world and to make them more accessible to all.”
But does not the Marxist always speak about the dignity of the worker? Did not they give out "hero of labor" medals? And the existence of private businesses - carefully regulated and run for the goals set by central planners - is the very definition of fascist economics.
"n Evangellii Gaudium Pope Francis is calling for the world to resolve the structural causes of poverty that are weakening the good order of society. He observes, "Welfare projects, which meet certain urgent needs, should be considered merely temporary responses.” He rightly identifies that long-term dependence upon the government to meet basic needs robs the poor of their right to self-determination and states clearly, "The dignity of each human person and the pursuit of the common good are concerns which ought to shape all economic policies.” He is urging us out of our complacency and to embrace the radical teachings of Christ in the Gospel. All life is precious and equal in the sight of God.
Is Pope Francis a socialist? No. He is a Christian."
One cannot be Christian and Marxist? Of course there has always been a Christian strain of Marxism. In fact, it was huge in Latin America, and when Francis was a Bishop in Buenos Aires he was quite friendly with proponents of Liberation Theology, a Christian Marxism. He met with Fr. (sic) Gustavo Gutierez, one of the leading proponents of Liberation Theology AFTER Francis was elected Pope. Liberation Theology was condemned by both John Paul II and Benedict.
While Francis has never officially embraced LT he is certainly cozy with those who have.
Here is a very good essay illustrating the Pope's connection to LT. http://wdtprs.com/blog/2013/09/pope-francis-and-liberation-theology/
Looks like a duck!
I suspect Francis is not a pure Marxist but I instead suspect he's a Peronista in terms of his thinking. Peron was a fascist dictator and the movement he founded was called a "third way" between capitalism and communism. The reality is it was just another version of fascist economics, one that left private corporations in tact but regulated them to the point where there was ownership no longer mattered. I suspect this is what our Pope is doing.
And I say our Pope; I am a good, devout Catholic.
So, why are so many catholics desperate to defend the Pope? Well, some do not understand Papal Infallability. The Pope is only infallible under very rare circumstances. He must speak Ex Cathedra. That happens generally less than one time a century.
The last time it happened was in 1950 when Pope Pius XII declared the Immaculate Conception - the birth of Jesus' mother Mary without sin - to be infallibly correct.
So there is no reason to respect the thinking of the Pope any more than anyone else in this regard.
But, but, but, Catholics believe that God Himself chooses the Pope, which means that God wants to move in this direction!
Well, maybe He does and maybe He doesn't. God looks long term. He also punishes with poor leadership. Perhaps Francis is a punishment to the Church? Perhaps God is trying to turn us away from socialism by giving us someone who will advocate for it?
I do not presume to know the mind of God, but I do know that we as Christians are to fight the good fight, and if that fight means resisting the leadership of the Catholic Church on certain temporal issues then so be it! I would never presume to dismiss the Immaculate Conception, but I have a right, nay, a duty to oppose Liberation Theology, just as I have a duty to oppose pedophilia in the rectory.
This Pope is profoundly wrong. We have to admit this to ourselves, otherwise we are lying to ourselves, and lying is still a sin.
Here are some previous posts addressing many of these issues.
And here are some quotes from Il Papa that bespeak the man's heart:
In his first encyclical Evangelii Gaudium he says;
"Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.”"
Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless."
"Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a "throw away” culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the "exploited” but the outcast, the "leftovers”
"In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule"
"While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born,"
He wrote in his book "On Heaven and Earth";
"a civilization of consumerism, of hedonism, of political arrangements between the powers or political sectors, [and] the reign of money.”
"There is no worse dispossession than not being able to earn one's own bread, than being denied the dignity of work."
"Someone who operates a business in a country and then takes that money to keep it outside of the country is sinning because he is not honoring with that money the country to which he owes his wealth, or the people that worked to generate it."
And he complained about poor wages paid to Third World workers:
"Not paying a just [wage], not providing work, focusing exclusively on the balance books, on financial statements, only looking at making personal profit. That goes against God. People are less important than the things that give profit to those who have political, social, economic power."
I suppose he'd rather they not have these jobs available at all? People are filling them for a reason, FAther; it's better than what they have available to them from your socialist friends.
He also has stated that unemployment;
"very often caused by a purely economic view of society, which seeks self-centered profit, outside the bounds of social justice"
Again, who is it that holds the purely economic view? Socialists, that's who. Socialist countries certainly do have full employment - but nobody works, nobody makes anything, nobody has any material goods, and the people starve. Is that better?
(Quotes courtesy of the National Catholic Reporter http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/mind-francis-capitalism-jobs-globalization)
Oh, by the way, Cardinal Bergoglio has also called abortion a "scientific issue divorced "from any religious concept"! http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/mar/15/pope-francis-book-radical-progressive
He is also alleged to have complained about Catholic opposition to condoms.
And he bemoaned the fact that some socialists leave the Church:
"Generally it is because they have conflicts with the church structure, with the way of life of some believers who, instead of being a bridge, become a wall."
Perhaps Pope Francis should read what his predecessors have had to say on the matter.
The Invisible Hand, Adam Smith called it. A free market, one truly free, presupposes no judgment upon the collective actions of the participants, since that market will necessarily discipline those who overstep their moral boundaries. Smith understood that the Market is actually an expression of Natural Law, and as such comes from God, and is not merely a construct of Man. The construct of Man is the regulated, guided, command market. Socialism is the final expression of an artificial economic construct.
A truly conservative approach to economics does not wield judgment on the participants. Liberals do that.
Judgment is rather reserved for those who warp the economy with unnatural interference; government bureaucrats, judges, international agencies, money manipulators like the Federal Reserve. We judge Congress. We judge the President. We judge the IMF. But traditionally we shy away from judging either consumers or providers in our economy (except where those same participants use these corrupt institutions to unfair advantage.) It is axiomatic that the customer is always right for a reason - he is the engine of the whole economic system and ultimately his choices are what drive all economic activity
Sadly, when it comes to health care, many good conservatives have fallen into the trap of blaming the customer for the problems that are evident in the industry.
Here is an example of a very sharp conservative falling into this particular trap. Derrick Wilburn, writing at American Thinker, argues that the problem with our healthcare system is a function of an over demanding consumer class. http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/04/the_real_problem_with_health_insurance.html
"Want to know the real problem with healthcare "insurance" in this nation? It’s not federal overbearance; not liberty-robbing purchase mandates; not unscrupulous doctors nor pill-pushing pharmaceutical companies. The fact is the real issue is your, mine and everybody's attitude towards health insurance. Or, put more accurately, our misconception of what healthcare insurance is truly supposed to be. The issue is one of mental conditioning. You and I have been conditioned to believe that healthcare insurance is something that it is not. Or at least that it was not intended to nor should it be. We have become conditioned to not be self-reliant but rather to depend upon the system to "take care of us."
While I would agree to a degree, I think this idea is overblown and the author fails to make the case. For instance:
"You smack your car into another and the repair bill comes in at $3,300. You file an insurance claim. You have a policy for the express reason of accidental, catastrophic loss. No one buys an auto insurance policy and then expects the insurance company to cover windshield wiper changes, tire rotation, air and oil filters. You pay for those things out of your own pocket. You are self-reliant for the more trivial, mundane expenses; are insured for the larger, non-routine unexpected ones.
Healthcare insurance, however, is the opposite. As is the case in so many other areas of our society, we’ve been conditioned to an entitlement mentality toward healthcare insurance; to believe that we are entitled to something at little or no cost to ourselves. Insurance should be a safety net. Something that’s there in the event the worst should happen; i.e. to cover catastrophic event(s). But instead of being the safety net it was intended to and should be, it has now become a sidewalk.
When the mechanic tells you it’s time for brakes and we may as well service your tranny while it's in, what's the first question you ask? When you go to the doctor and she says she'd like to send you to the lab or a clinic to draw some blood and have you pee in a cup so they can run a battery of tests you don't ask the doctor, "How much is that going to cost?" Why don't you ask? Because you don't care. Someone else is paying for it. You're just going to show up at the clinic, present an insurance card at the counter, pay your $20 co-pay and the balance -- how every many hundreds or thousands of dollars that is -- you don't have to worry about. Someone else is paying that."
Here he is demonstrably wrong. Go into any Walgreens and see the aisles upon aisles of over-the-counter healthcare products, the equivalent of an Autozone for your health. What are these other than the medical equivalent of wiper blades and tires? Americans self medicate on a regular basis; doctors and hospitals are for things that one cannot do for oneself or for medications restricted BY LAW. I cannot obtain insulin, for instance, without seeing a doctor no matter how cost conscious I am.
As to thinking we are entitled to something at little or no cost, think again. I pay a huge amount for my healthcare coverage. Not just what I pay but what my employer pays (which I then do not receive.) This is not a matter of expecting something for nothing but of expecting my money to be well spent. Under Wilburn’s line of reasoning you would pay your mechanic every month just in case you needed auto repairs but then not have anything done. Nobody is going to do that. This is not the fault of the consumer.
It should be pointed out, too, that people try to throw all manner of extras in when they DO make claims to their auto insurance. A friend who is an auto appraiser complains to me fairly regularly about people trying to toss in things that were obviously not caused by their accidents. Health care is no different.
As for people not asking the cost of body maintenance, he misses the point; people do not generally expect to keep their cars for 90 years, but they have to keep their bodies. Neglect of car maintenance at worst leads to replacement of some part, but it means death or terrible health if you neglect your body maintenance. And again, the basic maintenance is frequently done at home. If your transmission is grinding you will take the car in, and at worst buy a new one - something that cannot be done with your body.
The author continues:
"Right now the healthcare services consumer in American pays only about twelve cents per dollar spent on healthcare services. The other eighty-eight cents is paid by someone else. We see it as being paid ‘by insurance’ but of course the insurance company isn't just coughing that money up, they're paying for it via premiums charged our friends, family and neighbors – "someone else.”'
But that 12 cents on the dollar is probably much closer to what the cost of treatment would be anyway, as the hospitals and everyone else in the business jack up prices to cover the uninsured and the rest of the mandates government imposes, as well as malpractice insurance. The consumer is actually paying the cost of his own care to a large degree. Any time an uninsured person receives treatment his final bill is usually around what the insured person ends up paying out of pocket. And that extra cost is not paid by someone else; you have been paying into the system all along. . It is not free - a fundamental assumption the author is making here.
As a society we have to learn to say no, to tell those who choose not to insure themselves that they will not be treated - as we USED to do. Now the government requires hospitals to treat anyone, and the result is jammed ER's full of freeloaders. We have to start telling them tough luck. Nobody thinks it unfair that they have to pay for food, or for clothes, or for electricity. Why is health care different?
(Here’s an idea; let’s have hospitals run by charitable organizations for the poor! Oh wait…
The current system is monumentally idiotic, and it is a result of terrible government intervention over decades, as well as restraint of free trade by professional organizations and licensing bodies. For example, a friend of mine has been an RN for decades, and was recently required to go back to school because his undergraduate degree was not in nursing, although he received his RN and has been practicing for literally decades. This is done to enrich the schools and to empower professional organizations, which can keep some people out. But this drives up costs and offers no discernible benefit to anyone.
How long was chiropractic care not covered? To drive down costs we need to increase supply and shrink demand. Alternatives to the licensed medical profession should have been encouraged but it was not because it stepped on the professional licensing toes. The numbers of doctors and other care providers was purposely restricted to keep prices high.
Malpractice too leads to unnecessary testing which drives up cost. I was in the hospital for eye surgery and the doctor on staff ordered up heart tests for me - although I had just had a battery of them a few months prior. He wasn't going to risk accepting someone else's word about my condition for fear I would sue.
And of course insurance is very heavily regulated and there is no portability or across state line competition.
These are all examples of a command system, one that thwarts Adam Smith's invisible hand.
These things all add together to drive up costs, and insurance companies were never really upset with rising medical prices because it forced everyone to buy their products. Doctors and other medical people weren’t crying in their mocha latte's either.
Supply-side economics has always argued that economic problems are caused by imbalance at the supply end of the pipeline. Keynesians blame the consumer (too much consuming’ goin’ on! As Democrat Ernest "Fritz” Hollings once said. ) If we buy into the argument that health care consumption is what is driving prices then we accept the Keynesian belief system. We buy into the tired liberal notion of limits to growth, of "sustainability”, of an economics that believes in scarcity, rationing, in "fairness” as defined by how thinly one can cut the economic pie.
In no other industry do we blame the customers for rising prices, yet it has become fashionable to do so with medicine. Nobody said the housing bubble was the fault of homebuyers. We diagnosed the problem based on what was driving the home buying - government programs, regulations, and lending policy. Yes, there were plenty of people purchasing homes who had no business doing so, but we rightly blamed policy by Fannie and Freddie, not the purchaser, who was simply doing what customers do.
We do not blame drivers for high gasoline prices. We do not blame hipsters for high coffee prices (although it's tempting). The market is what it is and the fault is not in ourselves but in our stars, those luminaries in Washington and the other seats of power who interfere where they should not. Blame is the province of Liberals, who stand in self-righteous moral judgment over everything. Conservatives generally believe in taking reality as it is and working with that. And we believe in Natural Law. The Market has problems because of some imbalance, likely caused by government. It is not the fault of the consumer who is simply seeking to meet his own needs.
As conservatives we should not make the mistake of falling into the judgmental trap. And it is bad politics as well; how are we going to sell this to the voters? We should leave righteous indignation to the Liberals.
By Alan Caruba
I started out a Democrat because my parents were Democrats. When I was old enough to conclude that the Democratic Party was so socialist I could not remain one, I became a Republican. In her nineties, even my Mother registered as a Republican. Times change and people change. Now I am considering registering as an independent. I am waiting for the outcome of the November midterm elections.
My decision will depend on how many Tea Party movement candidates are elected and my hope is that it will be a wave election that rejects so many Democratic candidates that power in the Congress--particularly the Senate--returns to the GOP. Then I will watch to see how much action they take to reverse the damage of Obamacare and other programs in much need of reform, replacement and rejection.
According to Gallup, currently an estimated 42 percent of voters today self-identify as independents http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/self-identified-independents-hit-record-high-self-identified-republicans-hit-record-low/Those who identify themselves as Republicans fell to 25 percent. In 2013 Gallup reported that 41 percent regarded themselves to be conservative or very conservative, but that was the lowest since Obama took office in 2009.
A recent Rasmussen poll found that 59% of GOP voters say that Republicans in Congress are out of touch with the Party’s basehttp://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/april_2014/59_of_gop_voters_say_republicans_in_congress_out_of_touch_with_party_s_base. I suspect that’s because the base is more conservative than its elected representatives. Conversely, Democrats are quite happy with theirs.
The emergence of the Tea Party movement has dramatically demonstrated the unhappiness of voters with the direction the nation has taken since Obama was elected in 2008. At the heart of their displeasure are the dreadful state of the economy and the growing fear of a Big Government that extends more and more control over all aspects of their lives.
The internal debate within the GOP is showing up in commentaries among its pundits. It reflects to some degree the fears of its establishment elites who have managed to serve up John McCain and Mitt Romney, both of whom lost because they waged campaigns devoid of any serious criticism or confrontation with liberalism. The Party has lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections.
They suffered as well from an incessant Democratic Party campaign to define Republicans as indifferent to the poor, aligned with large corporations, and hostile to illegal immigrants, homosexuals and women.
With the help of the mainstream media, these themes are constantly repeated. Meanwhile, cities and states run by Democrats are going bankrupt thanks to their devotion to spending and alliance with public service unions. You could line up the agendas of the Democratic Party and the Communist Party USA side by side and find very little difference.
Unfortunately, there are voices in the GOP that sound more like Democrats than Republicans. The most visible to emerge is Jeb Bush, a former Florida Governor, whose informal recent remarks sound like Democrat-light. He could have better articulated the need for immigration reform, but he did not. This is a common problem among too many Republicans in office or running for one, no matter what the issue may be.
Jeb Bush favors Common Core, a federal program of education standards that represent why education in America is failing and has been for a very long time. Regrettably, his brother, George W. Bush advocated "Leave No Child Behind” with its comparable standards. Parents today are clamoring for charter schools to save their children from the indoctrination imposed by teachers unions since the 1960s. Democrat demands for pre-kindergarten programs are just a further intrusion into their lives.
In a Wall Street Journal commentary, former Florida Governor, William W. Galston, characterizes the war within the GOP as being between "the social conservatives and defense hawks that Ronald Reagan created in the late 1970s” and the current GOP leadership who think those values should be abandoned to entice youth, women, and homosexuals. He expressed the war as a generational one between younger and older Republicans.
"The tea party offers nothing except nostalgia for a demography that is in retreat and a Constitution that never was,” said Galston. "By contrast Mr. Bush wants to run as a conservative unafraid of the future.” His wish for a campaign that avoids mud-slinging betrays a timidity that could cost the GOP another loss if he were to become its presidential candidate. My view is that Republicans, as per the Rasmussen poll, want a candidate and a Party that would more boldly fight Democratic Party and liberal lies.
In a March commentary by Karl Rove, the former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, had nice things to say about the party’s reformers such as Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, and governors such as Bobby Jindal, Rick Snyder, Scott Walker, and John Kasich. He cited their efforts to help the poor, but left unsaid was that they are poor because they are either a permanent class of the poor or the result of Obama’s failure to turn the economy around.
Rove could well have mentioned Tea Party favorites such as Senators Cruz, Lee, and Paul who are reinvigorating Republican principles and giving voice to them.
The GOP is not about the poor. It is about the middle class and too many are sinking into poverty thanks to Democratic programs emphasizing spending, borrowing, and expanding programs such as food stamps, unemployment payments, and an increase in the minimum wage. All of Obama’s blather about income inequality is aimed at those who think such programs will help the economy, but all they do is undermine it.
"Conservative reformers seek to broaden opportunity, increase prosperity for every American, restore the value of work, and strengthen markets, competition and choice,” said Rove. "If successful, their efforts would help the GOP among middle class voters.” That could have been written by a member of the Tea Party movement.
"It is hard to overstate how much the Republican Party is hurt by the persistent belief of many voters that its candidates are out of touch and do not care about people like them,” said Rove. That's the message of the Democratic Party and always has been. It is a message that mainstream media repeats.
The Tea Party movement, however, is overcoming that message and the success of Republican governors and the popularity of its candidates suggests that many Americans see the movement as the salvation of the nation. The Republican Party too often looks pale by comparison and that must change.
© Alan Caruba, 2014
I was discussing the eventual fate of Karl Rove and the other Republican Establishment types, and we were in agreement that they intended to retire together to a lovely little place - Antenora Meadows. I searched the web and found a group portrait from American Crossroads at this particular retirement community. See if you can spot Rove, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Danforth, Kit Bond, and all the rest
April 12, 2014
Now Atty. Gen. Holder wants all gun owners to have to wear a bracelet with a computer chip in order to fire a high tech pistol.
Here's the quote:
Attorney General Eric Holder wants to explore "common sense” gun reforms, like mandating that gun owners would have to wear bracelets before they could activate their firearms.
Holder made his remarks while testifying before a U.S. House of Representatives appropriations committee on Friday. He acknowledged the existence of the Second Amendment, which gives people the unqualified right to own and carry weapons, but nevertheless expressed support for several gun control measures that he described as "common sense reforms,” according to The Washington Free Beacon.
"One of the things we learned when we were trying to pass those common sense reforms last year, Vice President Biden and I had a meeting with a group of technology people and talked about how guns can be made more safe by making them either though fingerprint identification, the gun talks to a bracelet that you might wear, how guns can be used only by the person who is lawfully in possession of the weapon,” said Holder, referring to so-called "smart gun” technology.
I think Atty. Gen. Holder has enough problems these days staying away from the underside of the Obama political bus himself without thinking he has credibility to enact such a rule or attempt to create a formal law.
Where to start with Holder's idea?
First, this would negate the deterrent effects of concealed carry because criminals could look around a store or mall and see who is carrying - or if no one is carrying - a gun.
If such a law was enacted, the most popular item to buy would be a fake gun activation bracelet so that everyone would feel safer at the mall - and the criminals would be confused. Kind of like when the Nazis in WWII Denmark ordered all Danish Jews to wear a Star of David armband, King Christian X of Denmark wore one and told all Christian Danes to also wear one. My analogy to WWII is quite valid, as this high tech bracelet idea is clearly also an attempt to stigmatize gun owners - as the Nazis stigmatized Jews.
The bracelet would supposedly have a microchip in it. Presumably someone would take it off when they took a shower or a bath. What if they left it in another room when an intruder entered their home? Would a ruthless criminal high on drugs decide to cut off the hand of someone with a gun bracelet if they had managed to wound - or even kill - the gun owner? As if the funeral wouldn't be unpleasant enough for the family of the victim.
There were some accounts of Eric Holder, as a college student, possibly having a gun when he and others took over a building at Columbia University. http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/30/as-college-sophomore-eric-holder-participated-in-armed-takeover-of-former-columbia-university-rotc-office/ I guess wearing long sleeves or a long sleeve hoodie would have covered up a gun activation bracelet for Holder or any of the others who took over the university ROTC office.
Of course, Holder might even want to cut to the chase and put a tatoo with an electronically readable ink on the hand of any gun owner, kind of like a certain regime in Middle Europe put on the forearms of concentration camp inmates. I wouldn't put it past him.
The time when one could delude oneself in thinking these leftists were just former rambunctious college kids who liked Eugene McCarthy in 1972 is over. Who they like are Saul Alinsky, Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin.
April 11, 2014
Jack Kemp forwards this:
There are a lot of reasons given. Mitt Romney was a terrible candidate. That is certainly true. Conservatives stayed home. Again, that is true. Romney and his brain trust made no effort to reach out to conservatives or even appear to be a conservative, so conservatives stayed home.
But there may be another reason why Barack Obama, the worst President in American history, managed to squeak out another term.
What is the shocking secret that may explain how Obama got a second term?
A study done in North Carolina showed that 35,750 people who live and voted in North Carolina may have voted in another state in the 2012 Presidential election. The study was based on comparing the first and last names along with date of birth for people who voted in 28 other states. In 765 of those cases, social security numbers matched as well.
This number would have probably been larger but only 28 states participated and the four largest states, California, New York, Texas and Florida did not participate.
If you extrapolate this figure out over the entire population, that could be over one million double votes in 2012.
Liberals shriek that voter fraud never happens. Conservatives don’t engage in voter fraud but liberals do. Only weeks ago, Democrats in Cincinnati celebrated the release from jail of Melowese Richardson. The poll worker and Obama bot confessed to voting for Obama multiple times.
She saw nothing wrong with that as she pledged her allegiance to her Dear Leader. Richardson was prosecuted in Ohio court and was convicted and given a five year sentence. Leftist groups screamed in horror that a Democrat convicted of voter fraud would actually have to serve a prison sentence and pressured the authorities in Ohio to grant her an early release. Illegally voting in a Presidential Election is a federal offense, but Attorney General Eric Holder shows about as much interest in prosecuting Richardson as he does in going after the criminals at the IRS.
The results of this North Carolina study are not just alarming, they could have changed the outcome of the 2012 election.
Mitt Romney lost the popular vote. But a shift of 333,000 votes in four states would have given him an electoral win.
As reported by Breitbart in November 2012:
Romney lost New Hampshire’s 4 electoral college votes by a margin of 40,659. Obama won with 368,529 to Romney’s 327,870.
Romney lost Florida’s 29 electoral college votes by a margin of 73,858. Obama won with 4,236,032 to Romney's 4,162,174.
Romney lost Ohio’s 18 electoral college votes by a margin of 103,481. Obama won with 2,697,260 to Romney’s 2,593,779
Romney lost Virginia’s 13 electoral college votes by a margin of 115,910. Obama won with 1,905,528 to Romney’s 1,789,618.
Add the 64 electoral college votes from this switch of 333,908 votes in these four key states to Romney’s 206, remove them from Obama’s 332, and Romney defeats Obama 270 to 268.
If all fifty states had participated in the North Carolina study, the numbers would be much higher.
It is also worth remembering that Obama did not carry a single state that has voter ID laws.
Democrats are not winning elections. They are taking them the old fashioned way. They are stealing them.
The sebaceous Kathleen Sebelius has is gone from office - perhaps to another office at Harvard - or a small table in a women's prison.
As Erick Erickson of Red State says:
In an agency that performs best when it is largely above the partisan fray, the HHS under Sebelius has become merely another part of the Obama regime’s ruthless politicization of every facet of government. Sebelius was a stridently pro-abortion governor in Kansas. She had close connections to the enthusiastically infanticidal George Tiller...Obamacare, corruptly conceived and executed, was a veritable trough for special interest feeding as exemplified by the crony capitalism that let an unqualified firm act as lead contractor on healthcare.gov.
Kathleen Sebelius’s legacy is secure. She was an incompetent, corrupt, partisan hack who, like her boss, has done incalculable damage to the nation. She will not be missed.END OF QUOTE
Erickson also says in another article that this is a de facto admission by the Obama administration that they will lose the Senate in November. http://www.redstate.com/2014/04/10/breaking-white-house-admits-democrats-will-lose-the-senate/
We should have a brief celebration before fighting the next outrage from the Obama administration.
Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHQLQ1Rc_Js
April 10, 2014
Amer. Thinker just posted a retraction and apology for my Red State story posted at their website at http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/04/firefox_expands_into_censorship.html The apology piece also shows the original message that Red State put on Firefox browser users' screens, a fake warning about Firefox (and parent company Mozilla, which just fired their CEO for donating ten years ago to the California campaign to keep marriage between a man and a woman) nagging readers for connecting to the conservative Red State website. Frankly, in light of recent political events, I can see why Red State thought they should go to this extreme of agitprop. Because a major respected (by conservatives) website did this, it was hard to figure out it was, indeed, a hoax.
Previous to posting that comment, I sent a different email to both the Editor of American Thinker Thomas Lifson and the Submissions Editor Rick Moran which stated:
Thomas, I just sent a reply to Rick Moran (see below) who also told me it was a hoax. It is Red State using community organizer agitprop techniques against the non-hoax of the firing of Mozilla's CEO. As I told Rick, the bombing of civilians in Europe started by a "misunderstanding" of an accidental German bomb drop but the invasions of France and Poland that preceded it were not a "hoax." I'm still gonna look into leaving Firefox next week.
Letter to Rick:
It's not a hoax, Rick. It is a retaliation against some petty dictators that are trying to make the internet the Tass News Agency. Red State has retaliated in order to raise awareness of Americans. The firing of the Firefox (or Mozilla) CEO was not a hoax. This was an attempt to do something about the left. Days ago, the Supreme Ct. refused to contradict the ruling by bureaucrats in New Mexico that forced a fine on a religious Christian photographer who wouldn't work at a gay marriage. As they used to say in the Metropolitan Insurance commercials, "The future is now."
This reminds me of an incident in the 1970s when some little 25 year old federal government pisher (Yiddish for guy who pisses in his pants) came into my parents' baker and asked me whether we needed any help from the government. I thought I was in my parents' last days in Soviet occupied Poland. This faceless punk, who never woke up at 5 am for a job in his life - or baked bread at 2 am, was now trying to become our overseer. I told him Thomas Jefferson said, "That government which governs least, governs best." But now this punk is all grown up and he or someone like him is a big shot in the Obama administration and wants to control our lives.
They say that the bombing of civilians in WW II started by accident when a German bomber released some extra bombs over what they considered a non-target area. It quickly resulted in England aerial bombing civilians in Germany - and vice versa. But the whole thing started with Germany invading Poland and France - not British "intransigence." This Red State incident started with Mozilla/Firefox getting rid of its CEO and many Americans feeling threatened. This is caused by fear of a possible firing of another tech company CEO because he isn't "enlightened" enough for the left's taste.
Wake up and smell the leather jackboots, Rick. Before they step on your neck.
We are no longer even dealing with the McGovern Democrats but rather the Alinsky-Trotsky Democrats. The civility has ended on both sides.
Kirsten Powers, a liberal journalist with a tendency to evenhandedness and general fairness, ripped the crowdfunding company Kickstarter in USA Today for Kickstarter's attempt to censor the funding of Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney's fillm project on convicted abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell.
Powers called the attempted censorship "Liberals' mob rule." That's a fairly accurate description of a company that had previously helped fund Phelim and Ann's "FrackNation" - a pro-fracking film - in 2012 but now has first decided that it would try to dictate to the producers what they should and shouldn't say about Dr. Kermit Gosnell. FULL DISCLOSURE: I invested $20 in Fracknation as a crowdfund member and have upped my participation in the Kermit Gosnell movie to $25 at the Indiegogo website.
Ms. Powers reports in USA Today that:
Even for those of us who support same-sex marriage, the virtual manhunt of Mozilla chief Brendan Eich was scary to watch. His heresy was a private donation in support of an anti-gay marriage initiative six years ago. Mob rule enforcing groupthink is as illiberal as it gets, and yet it was liberals demanding uniformity of thought — or else.
Another incident of muzzling those without the proper worldview received less attention. Kickstarter, the nation's biggest crowd-funding site,refused to accept a film about convicted abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell unless descriptions of his crimes were removed.
After producers Phelim McAleer and his wife, Ann McElhinney, complained publicly, embarrassed Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler claimed on Twitter that the allegation was false. Strickler released an e-mail accepting the Gosnell film, but failed to mention that it was accepted only after the filmmakers withdrew in frustration. The producers released e-mails from Kickstarter demanding that references to stabbing babies and "similar language" be removed. The "acceptance letter" came March 28, the day after the producers withdrew their proposal...
Somehow, making a movie recounting the crimes of a convicted abortion doctor is disrespectful and inconsiderate. Kickstarter would only speak off the record, but its explanations were dissembling and contradictory. That might be because Kickstarter's standards aren't exactly rigorously enforced. An album titled Incest is the Highest Form of Flattery was fine. The movie Die Sluts Die telling "the story of ... sex crazed friends ... murdered in unusual and creative ways," ditto.
END OF QUOTE
A few comments are in order.
So Kickstarter demanded any mention of Gosnell's crimes be removed. As Pamela Geller say, often in relation to sharia-based censorship, "Truth is the new hate speech."
Last August, Powers wrote a scathing article at the Daily Beast http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/08/08/on-abortion-wendy-davis-doesn-t-know-what-she-s-talking-about.html ; attacking Wendy Davis, also known as "Abortion Barbie." for not seeing the similarities to the late term abortions she advocated in the Texas statehouse and the killings done by Dr. Gosnell.
It appears that Ms. Powers is somewhat modifying her view of politics and becoming more centrist. One wonders if she will be pilloried - figuratively speaking - for this "apostate" view of speaking ill of an attempt to censor documentary film artists who dared to speak truth to power (if I may use a favorite liberal phrase) when the subject is a criminal abortion mill run by a man whose only lack of qualifications to have worked alongside Dr. Mengele in WWII is Gosnell's race. To add to that, Powers has received public praise from fellow Alaskan Sarah Palin for writing this article. http://therightscoop.com/sarah-palin-thanks-democrat-kirsten-powers-for-bringing-attention-to-horrible-abortion-story/ Something tells me that Powers will not be the next Maureen Dowd at the New York Times, especially since besides her journalism work, she also currently is a political analyst for Fox News.
Ms. Powers is a decent human being who appears to have been sold liberalism on the best cases scenario of helping and caring for people. But she has found out that there are people on the left who care a whole lot less about people and a whole lot more about their own power. Dictatorial tendencies are not just found among Klansmen (such as the late Sen. Byrd [D-WV]) and fascists (who were actually national socialists) and the "evil" George Bush. I think Powers may want to contact Cheryl Atkinson, formerly of CBS, to compare notes about what it is like to no longer be a favorite of the liberal left media.
To paraphrase James Carville, drag a Bible - or a Call to Conscience - through a television news studio and there's no telling what you'll find.
My friend and fellow writer Paul Pszemanczky sent me this email message:
In the story of Sodom and Gomorrah , Abraham asked the Lord to spare the city if he could find 50 righteous people. God responded to Abraham's plea "If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all ...Genesis 18:16-33
The movie " Corpus Christi " is due to be released this June to August. It is a disgusting film set to appear in America later this year which depicts Jesus and his disciples as homosexuals! As a play, this has already been in theaters for a while. It's called " Corpus Christi " which means "The Body of Christ". It's a revolting mockery of our Lord. But we Christians can make a difference.
That's why I am sending this e-mail to you. If you do send this around, we just might be able to prevent this film from being shown in Canada and America . Let's stand for what we believe and stop the mockery of Jesus Christ our Savior. Where do we stand as Christians? I am forwarding this to all I think will respect and appreciate being informed. Please help us prevent such offenses against our Lord. There is no petition to sign, no time limit, or minimum number of people to send this to…It will take you less than 2 minutes!
Imagine what would happen if this film were depicting Mohammad in the same way...the Islamic world would be in flames!!. Apparently, some regions in Europe have already successfully banned the film. All we need is a lot of e-mails.
JUST GET THE WORD OUT!
April 09, 2014
How does the Republican Party establishment choose its presidential candidate? Typically, constitutionalists accuse their establishment rivals of being moderate, risk-averse, stubborn old fools who lack faith in conservative principles. This is a soothing interpretation, as it begins from the hypothesis that the contest between conservatives and the GOP elite is a family feud.
But there is another hypothesis -- less soothing, but, at least from an outsider's bird's-eye view, more reconcilable with the facts. This hypothesis is that America has reached a stage of progressive soft despotism in which the only important family feud in national politics is between the fundamentally allied factions of the Washington establishment itself.
The great advantage of despotism is its predictability. In nations whose leaders have forsaken the manners and morals of representative government, the future can mean only two things: the present, continued, or the present, escalated.Thus, if my alternative hypothesis is correct, it becomes possible to identify the 2016 Republican presidential nominee "a priori," if you will, with no need for rumors or speculation.
My only proviso is that we keep in mind the central difference between traditional despotism and progressive soft despotism, namely that in traditional despotism, the personal character and whims of the man with the fancy title are paramount, whereas today's is a ruling establishment game, in which major directional decisions are made by committees of mutual back-scratchers who outlast any of the figureheads they prop up to front the organization for a while. Thus, whereas in a monarchy, popular democracy, or old-fashioned tyranny, the particular identity of the leader is everything, in soft despotism the standard-bearer is less significant for who he is than for which interests he advances for his handlers.
By "interests" here I mean only "specific agenda items." Of course the true, fundamental interest of progressive establishmentarians, all German philosophical rationalizations aside, is simply to control and stabilize the masses, i.e., to maximize their usefulness while minimizing their threat. This essential goal is as invariable as the feelings that fuel it, namely fear and greed. Thus to predict the establishment's practical moves is as simple as looking away from the increasing artificiality of electoral politics -- polls, "momentum," "electability," and well-timed scandals -- to observe the broad pattern of outcomes that remains consistent through successive campaigns.
That pattern, in American politics, is as obvious as it is unspeakable in polite society, namely the gradual imposition of a permanent progressive authoritarian state with unlimited executive power, answerable to no imperatives of human nature, and administered by unelected technocrats.
America's national political establishment is factionalized along lines that correspond to what remains of the nation's unofficial "two-party system." But what the competing factions lack in uniformity of emphasis and vocabulary -- "polite society" means different things to different men -- they more than make up for in unanimity of overarching purpose.
Let's be clear: we are not talking about lizard-men meeting in a vat of jelly in the White House basement. These are ordinary men with ordinary moral weaknesses who, having in one way or another found themselves within reach of the world's biggest cookie jar, developed an irresistible habit of dipping in -- for financial advantages, regulatory favors, careers, self-importance, and in general for the means to permanent, risk-free status as kings of their various little hills. In other words, they are men who have found, on the "honor among thieves" principle, that they have more in common with one another than with the cookie bakers they are robbing blind, and therefore a greater vested interest in covering for one another than in defending the rights of bakers.
By induction from the major public policy initiatives these men actively or passively promote, we may conclude that, surface frictions aside, the American ruling class seeks: (a) to shrink the range of unregulated human action; (b) to narrow men's moral horizons in order to foster conscienceless resignation to their parasitocracy;(c) to reduce citizenship to compliance and conformity; and (d) to promote "security," variously defined, as a primary social goal that trumps all considerations of self-determination, human dignity, and private property.
These goals are embodied in various forms by the elite, and then either trumpeted as "idealism" (Democrats) or finessed as "realism" (Republicans) via the elite's kabuki theater of competing electoral dummies, dhimmis, and dandies. In short, these men have turned electoral politics into the comforting charade of which Tocqueville wisely forewarned, in which "the people shake off their state of dependence just long enough to select their master, and then relapse into it again." (Democracy in America, Bk. IV Ch. vi.)
As is well known, the Democratic Party takes the lead on the goals cited above, continually shifting the vanguard just a little farther towards the socialist tyranny with which their leading lights always sympathized internationally, and which they now advocate boldly at home. In our quest for the establishment's current mainstream, however, we ought to think conservatively, and look not to the daring vanguard, but to those points of alliance between the establishment's two public faces.
That is, if you want to gauge the long-term trajectory of the ruling class, listen to the Democrat professors and activists who are calling for thecriminalization of non-progressive opinions, the confiscationof all firearms, or the regulation of journalism based on socialist-defined "critical information needs." But if you are seeking a snapshot of today's ruling class status quo, with a view to what they plan to accomplish in 2016, watch the GOP establishment. For they -- and by "they" I mean the party elders, corporate insiders, and pandering "conservative media" fixtures -- show us precisely where the Democrats and Republicans are essentially allied on current objectives.
Therefore, if one gets over the mental habit of imagining presidential politics are what they were when Calvin Coolidge won, or even when Ronald Reagan won -- after a war against the establishment, which learned a lesson from this defeat that it would never forget -- one can fairly certainly identify the next Republican nominee.
The trick to reading the Washington elite is to avoid overemphasizing the differences between Republicans and Democrats, which are minimized when the GOP establishment gets its way. A great egret has a longer neck than a little egret, but we call them both egrets because what unites them is plainly more essential than what distinguishes them. The same goes for great progressives and little progressives.
(The current Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue is often cited as an exception, even by establishment standards. Obama represents the lawless vanguard, to be sure. But if he is so far away from the mainstream establishment, then how do you explain all those cheerful Boehner-Obama photo ops, his signature power-grab being upheld as constitutional by a Republican-appointed Chief Justice, or all the establishment "conservative" pundits fawning over him in 2008 as though he were a combination of Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Cary Grant. My hypothesis, by contrast, explains these seeming incongruities very neatly. Obama is not the establishment mainstream -- yet.)
A thought experiment: try plotting U.S. presidential politics on a Venn diagram. I provide a template below.
Populate the two circles with the major policy positions and of any plausible Democrat and Republican presidential candidates. Policies that fall within the intersection of the two circles represent what the two sides of the ruling class substantially agree upon right now, thereby revealing the heart of today's Washington establishment. The GOP faction of the establishment, therefore, can be counted on to promote the candidate they regard as falling most reliably within that intersection. (Notice that this means the candidate himself need not be a full-fledged member of the establishment; they are merely looking for the man whose positions most closely match their priorities.)
For example, the left circle alone will contain the terms "transgender rights," "federally funded abortion," "gun confiscation," and "tax increases." The right circle alone will contain "religious freedom," "anti-abortion," "gun rights," and "tax cuts."
The intersecting area will contain several items which, whatever else the candidates who embrace them may say, will truly define those candidacies, in the sense of revealing why the ruling elite favor those men as presidential nominees. (For example, Mitt Romney was the only candidate in the 2012 primaries who was hopelessly compromised on ObamaCare; thus, on my hypothesis, he was the obvious choice for an establishment that intended not to challenge that most unpopular lurch towards authoritarianism too vigorously.)
Anything else the establishment candidate may represent, beyond the items in that intersection, will be useful optics for idiosyncratic purposes, and something for conservatives to cling to.This is not negligible, but its role is mainly aesthetic, putting a partisan face on an establishment agenda.
Nevertheless, the surest window to the establishment's "soul" is that middle section of your Venn diagram, where we find the "bipartisan" goals the Republican candidate will most assuredly stand for.
So here he is, the 2016 GOP nominee:
He supports a "path to citizenship" for illegal immigrants.This drops anchor for the progressive captains of the ship of state, eventually inflating the electorate with millions of people lacking education or cultural heritage related to individualism and property rights, while deflating manufacturing costs with low-skill, low-literacy workers.
His position on manmade climate change is "evolving," drifting and shifting somewhere along the continuum from "climate change may be real" (Jeb Bush, 2011) to "when you have over 90 percent of the world’s scientists who have studied this stating that climate change is occurring and that humans play a contributing role it’s time to defer to the experts" (Chris Christie, 2011).
He criticizes ObamaCare as "failed legislation" (who could call it anything else?) but finesses any concrete talk of fundamental reversion. He advocates a watered-down version of the establishment's thin gruel of "Repeal and Replace" -- something along the lines of "Tweak and Touch-up," with "free market solutions" as a euphemism for a heavily regulated pseudo-market analogous to cap-and-trade.
He is insistent that no one should impugn the motives and patriotism of the Democrat candidate -- any Democrat candidate -- and that "we all want what's best for America." When asked during a presidential debate whether his Democratic opponent would make a good president, he says "Yes, but...."
He supports the Common Core agenda for nationalizing education standards, claiming that this is necessary to keep America "competitive," and to ensure that "everyone has a fair chance to learn the skills needed in today's economy." He plays to conservatives by saying the problem with education is the teachers unions and "lack of choice." Improving quality and providing choice are his euphemisms, just as in healthcare, for standardizing methods and outcomes to the point where every American child's fate will henceforth be molded by a centralized spiritual death panel -- this will be called "equal opportunity."
He supports the "vitally important" work being done by the "patriots" at the NSA, while promising "vigorous safeguards" to ensure that none of their top-secret methods of collecting every scrap of electronic communications data and other private information ever overstep the bounds of "legitimate" privacy concerns -- where no concern voiced to date meets the threshold of legitimacy.
He is absolutely silent on the question of whether the federal government has any responsibility to abide by its constitutional (i.e., legal) limits, and indeed rarely mentions the Constitution at all, and never as an essential concern.
There he is, your next GOP presidential candidate -- a man the establishment can live with.
Am I cheating by not providing an exact name? But what's in a name, when that name is attached to a man who is, for all practical purposes, merely a vessel for an agenda devised by self-seeking manipulators behind the scenes? An agenda designed to concentrate more power within the federal government, and ultimately within the executive branch. Not the constitutional agenda for which the president was meantto be a vessel, but a "transformative" agenda designed to protect the social position and wealth of the permanent ruling class America was never supposed to have.
Might events falsify my hypothesis? Unlike the global warmists, I hope so. Failing that, might constitutionalists find a way to slay the monster at last? That doesn't seem likely, to be honest. More realistically, perhaps they can minimize the damage pre-emptively during the 2014 congressional primaries and elsewhere. The establishment, a centralized authority monster, will be weaker in those areas it considers less vital. Their attention and resources cannot anticipate and repel every "minor" challenge -- at least not until they have finished apportioning all practical authority to themselves.
Whatever you do, don't assume that any candidate who espouses a few items on the Republican side of your Venn diagram is satisfactory. That section then becomes the ruling class's shiny distraction. Keep your eye on the intersection of the circles, where the two mildly competitive factions of the progressive elite follow their bliss together -- at their nation's expense.
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