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Saturday, December 24, 2011

The World Is Running Out Of Money

The World Is Running Out Of MoneyGovernment is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else. Frederic Bastiat, French economist (1801-1850).

The French socialist IMF chief Christine Lagarde warned Tuesday that the world economy is at a "very dangerous juncture," speaking of the potential impact on poorer nations during her first visit to Africa as head of the fund. Breitbart News reports:

The International Monetary Fund managing director spoke of a crisis of confidence with high unemployment and slowing global growth.

"Currently the world economy stands at a very dangerous juncture," Lagarde told a roundtable on Africa's economic future in the Nigerian city of Lagos.

She said the IMF's revised global growth forecast expected in January looked to be lower than the previous one in September, which was four percent, already down from June's outlook.

"And what's more, there are downside risks on the horizon that are really threatening the recovery process that had started" after the 2008-09 global financial crisis, she said.

The IMF has said Europe's worsening economy and financial market turmoil meant it will revise downwards its predictions for global growth contained in its World Economic Outlook report published three months ago.

Early this month, the UN cut its 2012 world growth forecast to 2.6 percent from 3.6 percent, warning that the global economy is "teetering on the brink of a major downturn".

Lagarde said on Monday during meetings with Nigerian officials that the European debt crisis posed a risk for "all economies of the world".

The Eurozone debt crisis eased slightly Tuesday with an agreement on extra funds for the IMF, strong data from Germany and a good bond sale in Spain which boosted stocks and the euro.

The IMF also said Tuesday that bailed-out Ireland was on track to complete its budget turnaround after the fund completed a fourth review.

But the broader deal on funds for the IMF -- aimed at allowing the crisis lender to come to the aid of European nations caught up in the debt crisis -- fell short of targets, with Britain again out of line with its EU neighbours.

Lagarde did not comment directly on the new pledges of funds from European nations for the IMF, nor did she respond to a question on Britain's stance on the issue.

She said during the roundtable in Lagos that European leaders "have made some very strong decisions" but added later that "it's going to boil down to implementation".

Lagarde spoke of the impact on trade and finance, among other areas, that could cause trouble across the globe, and called on wealthy nations to enact policies that would send clear positive signals to investors and consumers.

"Those problems seem a world away but they are not a world away because what we see very clearly is channels of contagion between those advanced economies and the rest of the world," she told the audience in Nigeria.

She earlier held talks with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan after meeting Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a respected former World Bank managing director who also participated in Tuesday's roundtable.

Nigeria has long been held back by corruption and mismanagement despite its vast oil wealth.

Most of its population lives on less than $2 per day and electricity blackouts occur daily, while the country's mainly Muslim north has been hit by scores of deadly attacks attributed to Islamist group Boko Haram.

The government is seeking to enact reforms, including a deeply controversial measure which would lead to an increase in petrol prices, to allow the country to invest more in its badly neglected infrastructure.”

For years the IMF and other international financial organizations such as the World Bank and International Development Bank have been pouring trillions of other people money into failed or corrupt economies with no positive results. The majority of this money ends up in the pockets of corrupt leaders or is used for debt restructuring.

After the end of the Second World War the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD – commonly known as the World Bank) was formed. After the 1944 Bretton Woods conference the IBRD was created to provide loans for the reconstruction of worn-torn Europe. The purpose of this bank was to provide loans (mainly from the United States) to rebuild the infrastructure of Europe. The operative word here is “loans” as the money was expected to be paid back by the recipient nations over a period of time as their economies got back on track.

The IBRD provides loans to governments, and public enterprises, always with a government (or "sovereign") guarantee of repayment subject to general conditions. The funds for this lending come primarily from the issuing of World Bank bonds on the global capital markets—typically $12–15 billion per year. These bonds are rated AAA (the highest possible) because they are backed by member states' share capital, as well as by borrowers' sovereign guarantees. Because of the IBRD's credit rating, it is able to borrow at relatively low interest rates. As most developing countries have considerably lower credit ratings, the IBRD can lend to countries at interest rates that are usually quite attractive to them, even after adding a small margin (about 1%) to cover administrative overheads.

This is still the stated mission of the IBRD as it loans for infrastructure such as roads, bridges, water treatment plants and power generation plants in the developing nations and third world. As an example the loan is for a bridge. This loan will be paid back from an increase in the taxes imposed on drivers and tolls on the bridge. They system has worked well in the past.

Another part of the World Bank is the International Development Association (IDA). The IDA was created in 1960 and is responsible for providing long-term, interest-free loans to the world's 80 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. IDA provides grants and credits with repayment periods of 35 to 40 years. Since its inception, IDA credits and grants have totaled $161 billion, averaging $7–$9 billion a year in recent years and directing the largest share, about 50%, to Africa. While the IBRD raises most of its funds on the world's financial markets, IDA is funded largely by contributions from the governments of the richer member countries. Additional funds come from IBRD income and repayment of IDA credits.

IDA loans address primary education, basic health services, clean water supply and sanitation, environmental safeguards, business-climate improvements, infrastructure and institutional reforms. These projects are intended to pave the way toward economic growth, job creation, higher incomes and better living conditions. IDA’s goal is to reduce inequalities both across and within countries by allowing more people to participate in the mainstream economy, reducing poverty and promoting more equal access to the opportunities created by economic growth. IDA also provides grants to countries at risk of debt distress.

The bulk of these IDA grants are given for social issues and infrastructure and institutional reforms. An institutional reform is actually buttressing a state run economy that has run out of money to pay its government work force and social programs. This is what is happening in Greece where the EU is pumping money into a failed socialist economy that is totally broke.

The IDA is just one of several taxpayer funded institutions. Keep in mind that the contributions by the member states come ultimately from the taxpayers of that state. You have the Asian Bank, African Bank, International Development Bank (which focus on Latin America), and the IMF. These organizations have poured trillions into the coffers of nations run by corrupt leaders who have engaged either in reckless spending or lining their pockets.

These organizations have accomplished very little, if anything, with their social focused give away programs. They are all run by high paid bureaucrats who are dedicated to Keynesian economics. They believe using money from wealthier nations can be used to make poor nations rich. Over 60 years of this policy has brought nothing to these third world nations except more poverty, a dependence on wealthy nations to support them, and in many cases civil strife as the politicians and generals vie for the control of the money.

I have spent time in a third world county, Sri Lanka, working with on a World Bank IDA project. This $30 million dollar project was an environmental project to clean up Colombo. While cleaning up Colombo is a noble idea it does not help the people of Sri Lanka improve their lives. Victoria Secret has done more for the people of Sri Lanka by moving most of their clothing manufacturing business there and providing jobs.

As the world’s economy grinds down we are running out of money for these failed give away programs. It’s time we rethink how to help third world and developing nations grow their economies under a sustainable free market capitalistic system and the secure ownership of private property.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Most Generous Nation In The World

"Laws made by common consent must not be trampled on by individuals." — George Washington

Americans: the most generous people in the world. In this season of giving, that’s no idle gloat.

According to a new study, the United States tops a massive global charity survey, rising from fifth place in 2010.

A recent article in the Washington Post points out that according to the British based Charities Aid Foundation the United States ranks at the top of the list when it comes to charitable giving:

“The “World Giving Index,” based on 150,000 interviews with citizens of 153 nations, ranks the U.S. highest on a scale that weighed monetary donations, volunteer work, and willingness to help out a stranger.

“In spite of economic hardships and uncertainty in the future, the American spirit is caring and strong, as these survey findings clearly show,” said David Venne, interim CEO of CAFAmerica, the Virginia-based charities consultant that released the results of the index.

Ireland placed second, followed by Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Canada, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Laos.

At the bottom of the list: China, Russia and India.

The survey relied on data from the Gallup polling organization, and asked whether people had donated money (two-thirds of Americans), volunteered their time (43 percent) or helped a stranger in the preceding month (73 percent).

The survey’s authors noted that charitable behavior is not correlated with wealth. Of the 20 countries that the World Bank ranks richest by gross domestic product, only five made it into the top 20 of the index.”

It’s amazing that Sri Lanka, a country I have spent some time in, ranks above China, Russia and India in charitable giving. Sri Lanka is a poor country, yet the people of that beleaguered nation still can find it their hearts to give to others while the big dog in Asia, China, ranks last.

George Will writes in Political that in 2006, Arthur C. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University, published "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism." The surprise is that liberals are markedly less charitable than conservatives.

Brooks, an Independent, demonstrates a correlation between charitable behavior and "the values that lie beneath" liberal and conservative labels. Two influences on charitable behavior are religion and attitudes about the proper role of government. He states:

“If many conservatives are liberals who have been mugged by reality, Brooks, a registered independent, is, as a reviewer of his book said, a social scientist who has been mugged by data. They include these findings:

  • · Although liberal families' incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).
  • · Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.
  • · Residents of the states that voted for John Kerry in 2004 gave smaller percentages of their incomes to charity than did residents of states that voted for George Bush.
  • · Bush carried 24 of the 25 states where charitable giving was above average.
  • · In the 10 reddest states, in which Bush got more than 60 percent majorities, the average percentage of personal income donated to charity was 3.5. Residents of the bluest states, which gave Bush less than 40 percent, donated just 1.9 percent.
  • · People who reject the idea that "government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality" give an average of four times more than people who accept that proposition.”

A recent example of this is what happened in the Central Valley of California when some loon stole all of the toys the night before they were to be distributed to the children of Sanger, California.

It happened after a real life Grinch stole dozens of collection boxes filled with Christmas gifts donated to needy children.

The toy drive went on as planned after an outpouring of support from the Valley community, including hundreds of dollars from just one donor.

Around 2,000 toys were handed out to kids Saturday at the Sanger Community Center.

Pastor Paul Zavala of Destiny Church in Sanger said, “About 4 or 5 o’clock, everything broke loose. People started coming in, they started donating toys, little kids started breaking their piggy banks in front of me and donating money. They were bringing zip lock bags of money. People bring toys from under their tree, taking the wrapping off and bringing the toys. I could not fathom… you can’t imagine the lines would be so long.”

The Marines, Sanger’s mayor and even Wal-Mart got involved as well with the community effort.

The families receiving the gifts also got a hot meal and a bag of groceries to take home along with the toys.

This effort was started by conservative radio talker Inga Barks extended her three hour afternoon show to promote an emergency effort to replace the stolen toys. Within hours people began showing up at the toy distribution center in response to Barks’ pleas. The manager of the local Wal-Mart announced on Bark’s show he would extend the employee discount to anyone buying toys for the drive and he bought up the store’s entire stock of children’s bicycles for the drive.

Kern County is area of California that is a very conservative part of a very blue state. The people are farmers, ranchers, and oil workers. Their annual income pales when compared to Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Orange County yet they are willing to give to those they believe to be less fortunate than themselves. This is just another example of how Christian conservatives respond to the needs of their community while the rich and spoiled libs, like the OWS crowd, protest and demand someone else pay for the good works that will make them feel good.

Don’t forget to drop a sawbuck into that red kettle the next time you pass one in front of a store that allows them.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Why I Never Vote For An Educator In A School Board Election

"The truth is that the want of common education with us is not from our poverty, but from the want of an orderly system. More money is now paid for the education of a part than would be paid for that of the whole if systematically arranged." — Thomas Jefferson

Getting involved with your local board of education doesn't have to mean running your own campaign for a seat or taking detailed notes at every single meeting. The first simple step--one that every registered voter should take very seriously — is voting in the election of school board members.

School board members make up the largest body of elected officials in the United States. We entrust them to set the policies of our most treasured institutions: our public elementary, middle and high schools. Every district has a board of education, and boards generally meet every month in meetings that are open to the public.

These gatherings range from tame rubber-stamping sessions to intense, provocative discussions with the community where controversial issues are debated and landmark decisions are made.

School boards are nonpartisan. In most districts, members serve four-year terms, and terms are staggered so seats don't become open all at once. In general, to run for school board, you have to be at least 18 years old, a citizen of the state, a resident of the district, a registered voter and eligible under the state constitution to be elected to public office. You do not have to have a background in education, business, or politics.

In most cases, a school district employee can't be a board member in that district. This means no teacher, principal, librarian, custodian or anyone else that works in a school in the district can serve on the school board, unless they resign from the employed position.

School districts are complex corporations; they’re often the largest employers in a community and the decisions they make reach far, affecting jobs, resources and most importantly, the education of all children. They are also responsible for managing millions, and some cases billions, of taxpayers dollars.

Somewhere in between the agendas, public comment sessions and resolutions, school boards make a number of important decisions. School boards establish a vision for the community's schools. They have to set up and maintain an effective, efficient organizational structure for the district that lets the superintendent and administrators manage the schools, teachers teach and students learn.

They are responsible for hiring and evaluating a superintendent, evaluating and adopting policies that affect all schools in the district, serving as a judicial and appeals body when conflicts go unresolved, monitoring and adjusting district finances, and managing the collective bargaining process in the district. It is this latter function that has become a pint of national controversy due to the influence of the militancy of the various teachers unions.

A school board has a symbolic role as well. The behavior it shows off in the meeting room, the rapport among school board members and the relationships that members have with teachers and administrators in the district all add up to the climate of public education in a community. Whether healthy or dysfunctional, a school board has a heavy influence on the spirit that characterizes a community's impression of its school system.

A report has come out of Hamilton County, Tennessee and is reported in the

“The leader of Hamilton County's teachers union wants only those who have worked in the education field to serve on state and local school boards.

That's among several ideas pitched by Sandy Hughes, president of the Hamilton County Education Association, for the upcoming state legislative session. She's also hoping the Tennessee General Assembly will put the brakes on some of last year's education reform measures.

When it comes to the qualifications to serve on school boards,03914_Sandy_Hughes_t240 Hughes said she's most concerned about state school board members -- who are appointed -- because they set so much of the state's educational rules and regulations. But local school boards -- whose members are picked by voters -- could toughen their qualifications, too, she said.

"I really believe both local and state school board members should have some experience in education besides having just gone to school sometime in the past because education is so complex."

She proposes that to qualify for a school board post a candidate must have been a teacher, administrator or school employee.

The idea wasn't immediately popular.

Though he's heard similar proposals before, Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, said he doesn't think the idea will get much support in the statehouse.

"The school board is a local entity and should be made up of citizens of diverse backgrounds," he said. "It should not be limited to only those in education."

Hamilton County Board of Education member Rhonda Thurman said the voters get to decide what kind of background they want from school board members.

"You elect who the people want," she said. "If they're educators, fine. If they're not, fine."

Thurman, who's a hair stylist, said the board's diverse makeup is an asset in decision making.

Joe Galloway, a retired teacher and administrator with 35 years of experience, said he finds institutional knowledge to be helpful in doing board business.

"I would tend to think that it would be valuable to be in education to be on the school board," Galloway said, "but I don't know that it should be a requirement."

This is nothing but a push by the teachers union to stack the board with advocates for the union. The Timesfreepress continues:

“On the state level, the Tennessee Education Association, the state's largest teachers union, has drafted a list containing dozens of legislative proposals. It asks for higher teacher salaries, programs to eliminate school violence, daily teacher planning time, enhancing teacher retirement benefits and full funding of the state's higher education formula, among other items. HCEA is a local affiliate of the TEA.

Locally, Hughes said she'd like to see the legislature be more careful in opening the door for charter and virtual schools, both of which recently were expanded under Tennessee law. She also hopes to see the legislature repeal the Collaborative Conferencing Act, which stripped unions of negotiating powers.”

What Ms. Hughes is proposing is classic "regulatory capture" That is the process whereby the people that need to be regulated because they are a monopoly or have unusual power-both of which apply here — choose their regulators. Imagine if state public utility commissions were staffed by lawyers looking for high paying jobs with utilities. Imagine if congress regulated the very businesses that can write million dollar checks to their campaigns. This is tantamount to the fox guarding the hen house. This is the kind of idea that only an arrogant monopoly could love.

We have seen riots in Wisconsin over this very issue of collective bargaining for school teachers, something I am dead set against. We have teachers unions that collect dues from their members and then use those dues to finance political campaigns (in most cases Democrats) who will then pass legislation favorable to the teachers unions. All of this is done with money that emanates from the home owning taxpayers.

I never vote for anyone with an education or political background in a school board election. They are too close to the teachers and academia to suit me. I look for people with business backgrounds. If there are not enough of them I then move to someone with a technical background such as an engineer. Also a parent would get my vote as long as they were not part of the academic cabal. I would vote for the person owning the local dry cleaning shop than someone with a PhD in education or school administration. I want people who have a vested interest in how the money is spent rather than those who’s interest is in getting more money and benefits.

There is another aspect to our public K-12 education system that is rarely, if ever mentioned. That aspect is buy-in or stake holding. The stakeholders in our K-12 education system are the property owning residents of the district. A large portion of their property takes goes to the local school district whether they have children in the system or not. Property owners who elect to send their children to a private or parochial school are bullied by the taxing authority to pay the same amount towards the school district even though they do not partake in the system. They cannot even use the public school buses to transport their children to school. This is done in the name of “public good.”

On the other hand people with children in the districts K-12 schools who do not own property pay nothing. Take as an example a couple that owns a home in the district with children going to a private school, or a couple with no children in the school district. They will pay thousands of dollars each year to support something they do not use. On the other hand you have a renter or section-8 dweller with two, three, or more children in the K-12 system. They pay nothing for the use of the school system. And you wonder why their involvement in their children’s education is minimal.

I can understand the traditional support of the government school system by the property taxes, even though I do not agree with it in totality. If you have children in the system the user tax imposed for the school system is legitimate.. If they do not a downward adjustment should be made in their property taxes. On the other hand people who do not pay property taxes with children in the public school system should pay for the use of the schools based on the number of children they have in the system. This would do two things. First it would create equality in the tax base, and second it would make those people stakeholders in the system and hopefully increase their involvement in their child’s education.

I realize the progressives and unions would fight this to the death as their main concern is to look for the deepest pockets to finance their government school monopoly and feather their nests.

Perhaps as we witness the continued depredation of the government school system and the increasing power and control of the teachers union we may someday begin to rethink how we pay for this failing system of government schools.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Another Example of Left Wing Obscenity

"Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them." — Thomas Jefferson

Over the years the left has been able to get away with a vast volume of crass, derogatory, demagogic, obscene speech. If you doubt me tune in to cable stations such as MSNBC or left-wing radio talk shows. These hosts, guests and callers go unfettered in their use of inflammatory and obscene language. HBO personalities like Bill Maher have made blistering and obscene attacks on Sarah Palin and her family. Late show hosts David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon have called Sarah Palin’s young daughter a whore and Fallon introduced Michelle Bachmann with a song called “lying ass bitch”, all to the thunderous applause from their zombie audience. They get away with this because their audience is composed of people who hate conservatives and because they do not have the ability to express themselves in civil language. To me they are vulgar people with low tolerance for those who do not buy into their ideology.

The latest victim of these morons is Tim Tebow, the quarterback for theSnapz-Pro-XScreenSnapz120 Denver Broncos. Tebow, who has risen to national stature due to the fourth quarter wins he has engineered with his Bronco team. Numerous quarterbacks in the history of the NFL have directed come-from-behind fourth quarter wins for their teams. What makes Tebow different is that he openly expresses his Christian faith — something that is frowned on by the left.

Last week the failed California politician and CNN host Bill Press fired an obscene shot at Tebow on his radio show with his “S-T-F-U” about Jesus. The leftist commentator used this acronym (which stands for “shut the f**k up”) while speaking on his radio show about his dislike for Tebow’s “in-your face” Christian faith.

“…And you know what I want to say, S.T.F.U. I’m tired of hearing Tim Tebow and all this Jesus Talk,” Press said. ”He better be praying hard this week, because he’s up against a real quarterback on Sunday — against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.”

As if this weren’t rough enough, Press continued, saying, “Everybody wants to make him a hero. I think he’s a disgrace. I think he’s an embarrassment.” Listen to his controversial assessment of Tebow below:

Press was the chair of the California Democratic Party from 1993 to 1996. He has previously served in different appointed positions such as a chief of staff to Republican California State Senator Peter Behr from 1971 to 1973, and as director of the California Office of Planning and Research under Democratic Governor Jerry Brown from 1975 to 1979. He started his broadcasting career in Los Angeles for TV stations KABC-TV and KCOP-TV. He has worked as a political commentator for CNN and MSNBC. He is best known for co-hosting CNN's Spin Room opposite Tucker Carlson, and Crossfire and MSNBC's Buchanan and Press.

Press is the author of a book called TOXIC TALK: How The Radical Right Has Poisoned America’s Airwaves.

Yet in July, he suggested House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) should be struck dead by lightning. The year before, he likened a Glenn Beck rally at the Lincoln Memorial to an Al Qaeda rally at Ground Zero.

Media Matters for America hosted a book-signing party for Bill Press, at which he thanked them for providing the source material for the whole MSNBC/lib talker lineup. No wonder MSNBC’s rhetoric, and their ratings, are so toxic.

Of course, Press wasn’t done there. He later turned to his web site, where he posted even more commentary about his opposition to Tebow. “Jesus said a lot of strong things. But one of the strongest things he ever said was: When you pray, don’t be like those hypocrites who like to stand on a street corner and pray, so everybody can see them,” he wrote. “Somebody ought to tell that to Tim Tebow.” He continued:

”By dragging God into every football game, Tebow makes a mockery of Christianity – and trivializes religion. The truth is, God doesn’t care who wins an election, a bingo game, or a football game. Sorry, Tebow, Jesus is not a Broncos fan.

Now, if you’re one of the silly millions of Americans who loves Tebow’s in-your-face kind of Christianity, consider this. What if he were a devout Muslim, who bowed to Mecca after every touchdown and shouted “Allahu Akbar?”

To some, Press’ disparaging comments about Tebow would amount to “poison.” Others, of course, would disagree. Either way, these are certainly coarse words waged against a young football player who has done little more than speak openly about his Christian beliefs. Perhaps Mr. Press should follow his own advice.

Friday, December 16, 2011

What We Don’t Know About Ron Paul

All initiation of force is a violation of someone else's rights, whether initiated by an individual or the state, for the benefit of an individual or group of individuals, even if it's supposed to be for the benefit of another individual or group of individuals. — Ron Paul

Does Ron Paul have a lot of interesting ideas he puts forward as a presidential candidate?

Yes. From his honestly libertarian views (he was the 1988 Libertarian presidential nominee, so he's been at this a long time) to his willingness to challenge the status quo on economics (questioning the role of everything from sugar subsidies to the Federal Reserve) to his emphasis on the Constitution and the Founding Fathers, Congressman Paul has been fearless in sticking with his principles. And in bringing new ideas — or old ideas — to an American electorate that has been staggered by the far-left reality that is the Obama Administration.

But as complaints surface in the wake of his strong showing in the Iowa Straw Poll, complaints from Paul supporters and candidate Paul himself that he is not receiving the attention that is his due — someone should say the Congressman and his supporters are correct. There should be — must be — more attention paid to the Paul campaign.

I consider myself a conservative with strong opinions on our economy, liberties, culture, and national security. I believe we should follow the Constitution in all matters of governance and that we have drifter way off course in this abidance with the dictates of our founders as we created a welfare state enhanced with tyrannical powers through the use of regulations and coercive taxation. I believe that the primary duties of the chief executive of the United States are to protect and defend our Constitution, insure our sovereignty, and secure our borders. His or her job is not to create jobs, regulate private business, and use the power of government to pick winners and losers in he our free market system. His or her job does not include collusion with private and public sector unions to regulate the right of free men to work where and when they want to work.

I believe in the economic policies of the Austrian School of Economics and the teachings of Hazlitt, Hayek, Bastiat, Williams, Sowell, and Friedman. All of these men have warned us of the tyranny of of a government controlled economy.

Having said this you might think I would be a supporter of Ron Paul. Well, I am not. I find Mr. Paul to be a very dogmatic libertarian with good sound economic principles and a stated support for the Constitution and the principles of our founders. Where I fall off of Paul’s train is his record of associations and his 100% or nothing philosophy.

Paul, like most dogmatic libertarians and left-wing liberals is their adherence to my way or the highway philosophy. This was evident in the Democrats passage of Affordable Health Care Act. Ronald Reagan used to say that if he could get 70 or 80 percent of what he wanted he was a winner. Don’t forget that Reagan, though elected by landslide majorities, still had to work with a Democrat controlled Congress led by Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill, a true left-wing liberal from Massachusetts. I doubt Ron Paul would be able to do this. As a single congressman he has not had to compromise the way a chief executive must he or she wants to be a successful leader. Yes, the leader must promote and support his programs and principles, but on a dictator with supreme powers can get 100% of what they want.

The President of the United States must convince the majority of the citizens that his policies are correct and sound, the way Reagan and FDR did. They cannot rule by fiat the way presidents like Wilson and Obama.

Another aspect of Ron Paul has been his past associations with Anti-Semites and isolationists. Jeffery Lord writes a detailed account of these associations in The American Spectator in an article titled “Ron Paul and the Neoliberal Reeducation Campaign.” A few of Lord’s comments are as follows:

“Because the Paul campaign is not just a campaign for president. This is a campaign -- a serious campaign -- to re-educate the American people to an alternate universe of reality. A campaign that goes far beyond whatever will happen at the polls in 2012.

And sorry to say, this re-education campaign does not present a pretty picture of itself.

Looming over the interesting and appealing ideas of the Paul campaign is a veritable political tornado of allegations involving anti-Semitism, racism, pacifism, far left-wingism and, at the edges, a tiny flicker of intimidation.

When it comes to foreign policy, Ron Paul and his supporters are not conservatives.

This is important to understand when one realizes that Paul's views are, self-described, "non-interventionist."

The fact that he has been allowed to get away with pretending to conservatism on this score is merely reflective of journalists who, for whatever reason, are simply unfamiliar with American history. Ironically, it is precisely because the Paul campaign has not been thoroughly covered that no one pays attention to the historical paternity of what the candidate is saying.

There is no great sin in Paul's non-interventionist stance (or "isolationist" stance as his critics would have it). There have been American politicians aplenty throughout American history, particularly in the 20th century, who believed precisely as Paul and his enthusiasts do right now. (Paul touts his admiration for the Founding Fathers, but even that is very selective. James Monroe of Monroe Doctrine fame was a considerable interventionist, Washington as a general invaded Canada, and Alexander Hamilton gave rise to Paul's idea of evil spawn -- the Federal Reserve. Interventionists of all types have been with us right from the start.)

The deception -- and it is a considerable deception -- is that almost to a person those prominent pre-Ron Paul non-interventionist "Paulist" politicians of the 20th century were overwhelmingly not conservatives at all. They were men of the left. The far left.

There is no great sin in Paul's non-interventionist stance (or "isolationist" stance as his critics would have it). There have been American politicians aplenty throughout American history, particularly in the 20th century, who believed precisely as Paul and his enthusiasts do right now. (Paul touts his admiration for the Founding Fathers, but even that is very selective. James Monroe of Monroe Doctrine fame was a considerable interventionist, Washington as a general invaded Canada, and Alexander Hamilton gave rise to Paul's idea of evil spawn -- the Federal Reserve. Interventionists of all types have been with us right from the start.)

The deception -- and it is a considerable deception -- is that almost to a person those prominent pre-Ron Paul non-interventionist "Paulist" politicians of the 20th century were overwhelmingly not conservatives at all. They were men of the left. The far left.

From three-time Democratic presidential nominee and Woodrow Wilson Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan to powerful Montana Democratic Senator Burton K. Wheeler to FDR's ex-vice presidential nominee Henry Wallace to the 1968 anti-war presidential candidacy of Minnesota Democratic Senator Eugene McCarthy to 1972 Democratic presidential nominee (and Henry Wallace delegate in 1948) George McGovern, non-interventionists have held prominent positions in the American Left that was and is the Democratic Party.

But of particular interest, and here is where the deception by Paulists is so considerable, the Ron Paul view of foreign policy has been the cornerstone of Republican liberals and progressives. Those who, using current political terminology, would be called the RINOs (Republican In Name Only) of their day.

Specifically this included the following prominent leaders of the non-interventionist/isolationist camp:

• Liberal Republican William Borah, the Senator from Idaho
• Liberal Republican George Norris, the Congressman and Senator from Nebraska
• Liberal Republican Gerald Nye, the Senator from North Dakota
• Liberal Republican Robert LaFollette Sr., the Senator from Wisconsin
• Liberal Republican Robert LaFollette Jr., the Senator from Wisconsin”

Lord’s article continues as he explains the charges of Anti-Semitism in the Paul camp:

Disturbingly, the history of Neoliberalism is replete with charges of anti-Semitism.

While this is a charge in today's political dialogue that has been thrown repeatedly at Paul and his neolib followers (more of which shortly), it has reared its ugly head with earlier neolibs long before Paul was on the political scene. It is a charge that appears to be inevitable when the core premise of non-interventionism is that some dark force somewhere is pushing America into an unconstitutional interventionist war.

All too often that dark force for the Neoliberals turns out to be the scapegoat of hard-leftists everywhere in the world: the Jews.

All too often that dark force for the Neoliberals turns out to be the scapegoat of hard-leftists everywhere in the world: the Jews.

Before Pearl Harbor, as the war in America over going to war in Europe raged, the once fierce opposition by the American people to taking on Hitler and the Nazis began to change as Hitler's relentless march through Europe picked up speed. This opposition also began to change in Hollywood, and soon a small raft of anti-Hitler, anti-Nazi films began to appear. These included Confessions of a Nazi Spy starring Edward G. Robinson (1939), Alfred Hitchcock's 1940 Foreign Correspondent and, hilariously, Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator (1940).

Neolibs were furious.

Senator Gerald Nye, the liberal Republican non-interventionist, took to the radio airwaves in August 1941to accuse Hollywood studios of serving as "gigantic engines of propaganda… to influence public sentiment in the direction of participation by the United States in the present European war." The speech, take note, was mostly written for Nye by one John T. Flynn, a former editor of the progressive New Republic magazine. (We'll come back to Mr. Flynn in moment.)

Nye also did something else in that radio address written by John Flynn. One by one he read out the names of the heads of these Hollywood studios -- names which, as he used particularly scathing or sarcastic tones to pronounce them -- were unmistakably taken by his audience to be Jewish names. Said Nye in the speech written by Flynn:

"….There is Harry and Jack Cohn, of Columbia Pictures. There is Louis B. Mayer, of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer…. There is Barney Balaban and Adolph Zukor, of Paramount…. There is Joseph Schenck and Darryl Zanuck, of Twentieth Century Fox…. There is Murray Silverstone, of United Artists, and the great Sam Goldwyn, of Samuel Goldwyn, Inc. There are the three Warner brothers, Arthur Loew, Nicholas Schenck, Sam Katz, and David Bernstein, of Loew's, Inc…. [Hollywood] swarms with refugees ... [and] British actors [as well as] directors ... from Russia, Hungary, Germany, and the Balkan countries….. susceptible to… national and racial emotions."

Meaning, of course, the men responsible for these films were Jews.

Literally before the day was out Nye had a resolution on the Senate floor demanding an investigation of Hollywood studios. In little over a month -- September 9, 1941 -- the liberal Democrat non-interventionist Senator Wheeler had ginned up that Senate investigation and it was opened for business. Harry Warner, one of the legendary Warner Brothers -- and yes, but of course, a Jew -- was dragged before a United States Senate subcommittee to explain himself. So too was the Jewish Nicholas Schenck of Loew's made to appear. And the great filmmaker Darryl Zanuck, then a vice-president at Twentieth Century Fox -- who was not Jewish. The witnesses against the three? That would include Senator Nye himself -- and John T. Flynn.

It was a headlining investigation that had as its unmistakable context an investigation into the Jewish influence in Hollywood. This, mind you, a full eight years after Hitler opened his first concentration camp at Dachau, the war already underway.

Fortunately, Americans increasingly aware of Hitler's lethal anti-Jewish obsessions, protested the hearing. The Republican New York Herald Tribune thundered at what it called an "inquisition." The Chicago Sentinel, an American Jewish newspaper, fingered the investigation for what it was. Senator Nye, said the angry Sentinel, was using "the tactics of the demagogue -- and the German demagogue at that." In the end, the investigation withered. By December Pearl Harbor had changed everything. (And, notably, Senator Taft never involved himself with this. Taft's friendship and support from the Ohio Jewish community was the stuff of Ohio political legend.)

What does this old history have to do with what might be called the dark side of the Paul campaign?

In his book The Revolution: A Manifesto, Congressman Paul includes at the end a section called "A Reading List for a Free and Prosperous America." And on that recommended reading list? Here's the entry, in full:

Flynn, John T. As We Go Marching. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1944. Flynn, an accomplished journalist, analyzes fascism in Italy and Germany and concludes by considering the state of America in his day.

That's right. Congressman Paul is recommending the writings of a man who, in his day, was seen as a driving force behind the anti-Semitic liberal Republican Senator Nye and the Senate investigation into Jewish influence in Hollywood.”

According to Lord here is what Paul supporters think of some of the most popular conservative politicians, commentators, and writers. Lord has done considerable research on those who support Paul and are close to him.

Ronald Reagan: Here the late Paulist Murray Rothbard labels the conservative presidential icon as a "cretin," Reagan's two-terms in office described as "eight dreary, miserable, mind-numbing years."

William F. Buckley, Jr.: The man who became the very gold standard of the American conservative movement is viewed as a "defacto totalitarian" here, again in another Rothbard selection from ex-Paul chief of staff Lew Rockwell's site, a site for which Paul himself has written.

Antonin Scalia: Justice Scalia is not only no conservative in Paulville, he is -- sitting down? -- "a reliable supporter of presidential dictatorship, the police state, the torture-warfare state, and the empire." This gem was penned by ex-Paul chief of staff Rockwell himself.

Sarah Palin: That's right. This business of Sarah Palin being a conservative, according to Rockwell, is just a ruse. In fact, Governor Palin is really a "double agent" for the "regime." From the same article as above. Oh yes… don't forget Governor Palin is quite possibly a "puppet" (as seen here by Jack Hunter, now the Paul campaign's "official blogger"). Oh, and Mr. Mulshine, the Paulist columnist? To him Palin is "just another whiny liberal claiming victimization."

Edwin Meese: The former Reagan Attorney General beloved of conservative activists is described in Paulville as the "mouthpiece" for fascists

The Koch Brothers: The fascists for whom Ed Meese is the fascist mouthpiece? That would be the libertarian Koch brothers who, apparently, aren't libertarian at all in the eyes of Paulville. In Paulville, libertarian conservatives David and Charles Koch are said to be supporters of a "fascist regime." Same post as above. It is surely no coincidence that the Koch brothers were targeted earlier this year by the far-left hacking group Anonymous. As seen in this Politico story. Once again, the right/left neoliberal profile surfaces.

Clarence Thomas: Dubbed part of a fascist "tag team" by Paul supporters. Why? Because Justice Thomas, along with fellow Justice Scalia, spoke at that gathering sponsored by those fascist Koch brothers. Where Ed Meese was covering as the mouthpiece for the fascists.

Rush Limbaugh: Rush? Rush Limbaugh? That Rush Limbaugh isn't a conservative? Nope. Not in Paulville. In the eyes of Paulvillians the Rush Limbaugh so many millions of conservatives thought they knew and loved turns out to be a man with "Stalinist tendencies" -- aka a commie. Read all about it here.

Sean Hannity: So OK, understanding that Sarah Palin is a double agent and a puppet and Rush is pulsing with Stalinist tendencies, surely Sean Hannity -- conservative talk show and TV host extraordinaire, author of the bestselling Conservative Victory -- surely Sean is a real conservative? Naaaaaaaaah. Not in Paulville. There our friend Sean is -- no kidding -- "evil" That's right. You read that right. Hannity is, quite seriously in the minds (?) of Paulville's neolibs, part of the "pantheon of warmongers that make up the true axis of evil." Once that is understood, this video of Ron Paul supporters literally chasing Hannity through the streets of New Hampshire in 2008 can be seen for the leftist intimidation it was intended to be. The fact that the video of Paul supporters chasing Hannity so closely matches this video of Wisconsin leftists chasing and trapping a Wisconsin Republican legislator is a chilling reminder of the commonality of the protestors involved.

Mark Levin: Come on. So he wrote the bestselling conservative manifesto Liberty and Tyranny.

So Michele Bachmann has called Levin an inspiration to the Tea Party. So Tea Party members were waving the book in the air at their rallies. So what? Levin's no conservative in Paulville. Levin's… you know… wink wink… one of them.

I suggest you read Lord’s complete article to get a better picture of who Ron Paul really is and what he represents.

Most of this stuff has gone pretty much unreported as Paul was a minor candidate. With his rise in the polls in Iowa the media will begin bringing all of these comments from Paul and his supporters to the forefront and if he were to get the nomination the Obama media will savage him.

As I have written before 37 percent of the electorate claim to be independents or “moderates.” It is these folks that will decide the next presidential election.

While the race for the GOP presidential nomination heats up, there has been a great deal of debate about what sort of candidate can win. Much of the conversation centers on the oft-discussed “independent vote.” While I agree that winning over independent voters is critical, the way the term “independent voter” is used is incorrect, and thus, strategies targeting this group often miss the mark.

Just because someone claims to be an “independent” does mean he or she is in the middle of the road. Some independents lean towards libertarian while other lean to government intervention and the left. They just do not want to be associated with a political party or ideology.

By and large, I think the largest share of independent voters is looking for someone they can trust. Confidence in politics—especially Washington politics—is at record lows. When Americans lost confidence in the GOP during Bush’s second term, they flowed over to the Democrats. Now they are losing confi­dence in Democrats, and are starting to flow back to the Republicans. None of these shifts have represented any significant change in ideology, but rather, a loss of confidence.

For what it’s worth, to win a large share of the independent vote, the GOP needs to nominate someone who the non-ideologically-driven independent voters believe they can trust. Preferably it would be someone with a non-establishment reputation, as Obama was able to convince voters in 2008. After all, a large percentage of independent voters are disgusted with the two major parties, regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum.

If my reading is correct, the strategy of nominating a “safe” candidate to court independent voters under the belief that they are predominately moderates is a poor one. This strategy confuses political independence with ideological centrism, and fails to address the central concern of a large percent­age of these voters, namely, that politics-as-usual is simply awful.

I believe the American electorate is looking for a problem solver not a dogmatic ideologue of either stripe. These so called independents have had enough of the Obama administration and want a president that can inspire confidence without taking an axe to many of the programs they hold dear. Whoever this person is they will have to tread carefully as they begin to turn this ship of state back to course towards fiscal sanity, secure borders, and constitutional government. I do not believe Ron Paul is that person.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Class Warfare, Dickens, and the Democrats

“A person who can't pay gets another person who can't pay to guarantee that he can pay. Like a person with two wooden legs getting another person with two wooden legs to guarantee that he has got two natural legs. It don't make either of them able to do a walking-match.” — Charles Dickens

It is not good for our country when a president of the United States singles out one group and tries to get the public to blame that group for the terrible problems facing us. Democrats and Republicans don't agree on much politically. These days, we can't even agree on the basic proposition that scapegoating is destructive. Scapegoating tears a country apart. History tells us it distracts us with false solutions when we are facing an economic emergency and have no time to waste. And it raises the specter of violence — actual physical violence, with businesses destroyed and people hurt and killed. Just remember how Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin came to power — they all had scapegoats to blame for their nation’s problems. Yet Democrats applaud President Obama's scapegoating rhetoric.

I read one blogger who stated:

“On a recent visit to the East Coast, I was told by dear friends and relatives who know I'm a Tea Party Republican that Republicans are selfish (three times), moronic (four times), crazy (once), and racist (twice). I witnessed friends and family scared about lost jobs, failing businesses, losing their homes, their retirement money, friends with college grads who can't get a job and are living at home. Every day of my visit, I witnessed these people who are so dear to me rant on and on, faces contorted with angry enthusiasm, against "The Rich."

This blogger caught me interest because I have heard this myself. This is what the Occupy Wall Street crowd is all about. What if instead of "The Rich," we called them the Jews, or the lawyers, or the bourgeoisie? Why is it so comfortable to blame one group of citizens for our enormous and complex problems when we call them The Rich? Scapegoating is evil, whatever the group targeted. This is a form of hate-mongering Republicans can't stop — Democrats have to speak out and stop it. I doubt if they will, however, as this form of politics is what keeps them in power. It is only thing Obama can run on.

It is not politics as usual. It has never existed in our lifetimes in America. Why are Democrats cheering the president on instead of saying, no, this is not okay, even if it plays well in the polls? We are not going to scapegoat a class of people for the country's problems. We don't target anger on groups of fellow citizens in America.

Here is another reason why Democrats should care. A leader scapegoats for one purpose: to deflect public attention away from how the public is being screwed by said leader. Our federal government is spending at a rate the country cannot afford. Obama wants his followers to think we can afford it, if only the top 1% of earners would give a little bit more. This is a lie. It may be a comfortable lie for Democrats, but it is one that none of us can afford to believe.

I have heard liberals on the radio and TV tell us that they can't stand hearing any more about our debt-to-GDP ratio. None of us can stand hearing about it. It is terrifying. The Congressional Budget Office projects that the federal debt will rise to 101% of GDP in ten years. That's Greece territory.

The Rich don't have enough money to pay for $4,000,000,000,000 (that's trillions) a year in government spending — not even if the government confiscated 100% of their income every year. Yes, that is every penny they earn.

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal:

“A dominant theme of President Obama's budget speech last Wednesday was that our fiscal problems would vanish if only the wealthiest Americans were asked "to pay a little more." Since he's asking, imagine that instead of proposing to raise the top income tax rate well north of 40%, the President decided to go all the way to 100%.

Let's stipulate that this is a thought experiment, because Democrats don't need any more ideas. But it's still a useful experiment because it exposes the fiscal futility of raising rates on the top 2%, or even the top 5% or 10%, of taxpayers to close the deficit. The mathematical reality is that in the absence of entitlement reform on the Paul Ryan model, Washington will need to soak the middle class—because that's where the big money is.”

Democrats could vote to take every penny of the income of families who make $100,000, and it still doesn't pay for our yearly federal budget. Why? They earn only $3.4 trillion in taxable income. Our president has spent $3.6 trillion this year, we are in debt for 15 trillion, and the looming Social Security deficit is over $50 billion this year — and $500 billion in a decade (again via the CBO). And still the Democrats are asking for more. The money isn't there.

Either our government -- that means both parties -- faces reality and makes actual spending cuts, or we are finished as a prosperous nation. If we don't curb our spending, our economy will sink into something that made the Depression look like child's play.

Note that this disaster is completely bipartisan. The ballooning federal government has been created over decades by Republican and Democrat presidents and Congresses. There are big forces of history at play — to name two of the biggest, longer lives and medical miracles are bankrupting Social Security, and China's unfair trade practices have gutted our industrial sector. Democrats and Republicans have failed to cope with these challenges.

The long-term problems aren't Obama's personal creation. But he and his loyal base are responsible for how they choose to meet these challenges. The summer debate on raising the debt ceiling focused the public's attention for the first time on where we stand: right at the edge of the abyss. Everyone is scared. Fear gives rise to anger. Obama's poll numbers plummeted. This is when scapegoating became the policy of choice for Democrats.

Obama's pollsters told him that his chance of being re-elected on his record was zero. But they had good news for him: Obama didn't have to do anything as hard as tackling our economic problems. He didn't have to pivot to the middle and find bipartisan solutions as Bill Clinton did. Obama didn't need to change his budget proposal, which still calls for increased spending. He didn't need to respect the Tea Party's grassroots demand for budget responsibility. All he had to do was make speeches about how the rich are too greedy to pay their fair share.

So that's what we've had since the Martha's Vineyard vacation: three months of nonstop Blame Game. It's gone on and on because Obama's loyal followers like it. They think it's strong leadership.

Obama was advised to scare people about Social Security, make them think Republicans are greedy, evil, moronic, "you're on your own" extremists. The liberal media and pundits are working overtime on the same message. They are thrilled that Obama has changed the topic from the need to lower government spending to the unfairness of income inequality. Of course, Obama promises Democrats that he will raise taxes on only Other People, the undeserving millionaires and billionaires. No one has to do anything hard — the millionaires and billionaires will pay for it all. Nothing has to be cut. Nothing has to change.

We are getting toxic leadership from this White House. Obama doesn't have the power to destroy he friendships of the blogger. But he does have the power to destroy our country. Only Democrats can stop him.

Now with the Christmas Season in full swing politics will take a back seat until the Iowa Caucus when it will heat up to boiling. Class warfare will also take a back seat while Obama vacations in sunny Hawaii for 14 days on our dollar. But, like politics when Congress convenes after the New Year and the main stream media once again takes up Obama’s banner and gears up for the election next November, class warfare will begin again with a vengeance.

We will hear tales of how the poor are being savaged by the rich and how those who believe in the free market are greedy and evil members of society. They will compare conservatives to Ebenezer Scrooge and the populous to Bob Cratchet and Tiny Tim. They warn of a dastardly Scrooge promoted by the Tea Party ruse. But if Barack Obama has his way, we will be stuck with him for another 1,800 days.

To see his dream come true, Obama Claus is working day and night to drive away economic blues. To explain better I borrowed a classic verse, knowing full well you may think my version much worse. (No I did not write this verse, but found it online and thought it good enough to share).

The unemployed were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of government checks danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ’kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

I rubbed my glasses and peered through the lens,
Only to see a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny Dems,
with the tall sprightly driver, so lively and merry,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Barry.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Brown! Now, Cardin! Now, Leahy and Levin!
“On, Mikulski! On, Reid! On, Frank and Pelosi!

“To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
“Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
Propelled by fresh money, the coursers they flew.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little goof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Barry came with a bound.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Only after pumping out money did he turn with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his friends gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Vote for me next fall, and to all a good-night!”

Another Christmas classic was written by Charles Dickens, who was wealthy and renowned when he rushed A Christmas Carol into print in December 1843. The book changed the way the world thought about Christmas. In the 19th century, Christmas was not celebrated to the extent it is today.

The book was immediately popular and it is perhaps the most famous work of literature associated with Christmas. Dickens wrote the story as a condemnation of greed. Through Scrooge, he wanted to convey an optimistic message that individuals could change and show charity to those less fortunate. The key word is “individuals.” A century and a half ago, the government had no role in taking care of people. Of course, popular culture and the growth of Liberal and progressive ideals have changed that.

Take Disney’s animated 3-D incarnation of A Christmas Carol, released during the holidays in 2009.

According to Big Hollywood Blog, Scrooge does not care about the fate of the poor, but he thinks government has a role.

Of course, charity and welfare are different, points out Jonah Goldberg of The National Review. With charity there is freedom of the individual to choose, to weigh the merits of giving and to give to those who will use the help to better themselves.

With welfare there is only government spending taxpayer money indiscriminately, often to the detriment of those who receive funds. Most important is the lack of choice. We all have to pay those who will not pay their own way. It is an entitlement philosophy. Taken to its extreme, it was the dream of another 19th century writer: Karl Marx.

This Christmas more so than on many in the past, we need to be reminded that Hollywood is free to interpret A Christmas Carol or anything else any way that suits its agenda.

Had Marx gotten his way, Hollywood wouldn’t exist and, most likely, Dickens’ great book would be banned. When we consider these truths, do we really want our government to play Santa Claus?

I urge you to have some charity in your heart. I also urge you to oppose the Obama Administration and its plans to spend your money in ways that he and those in his Liberal stable believe are sensible and will help them retain their power.

Can The Government Make You Buy Something?

“The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office.” — H. L. Mencken.

At present there is a pending case before the Supreme Court of the United States regarding the Affordable Health Care Act – ObamaCare. The main point of contention in this case is whether the government can force a citizen to but something they do not wish to buy. The government claims that ObamaCare will not work unless everyone opts in and the plaintiffs (26 State Attorney Generals) claim the federal government has no warrant in the Constitution to force a citizen to buy a product or a service.

For California State Senator Ted Lieu, (D-Torrance) this issue means nothing. He wants legislation to force Lowes Home Improvement Stores to sponsor a TV show that they do not want to sponsor. In essence buy something they do not want to buy — TV advertising.

The show Lieu wants Lowes to sponsor is the TLC network show “All-American Muslim.” Lowe’s Home Improvement, the North Carolina — based retailer, has decided to end its advertising, along with 65 other sponsors, on the reality show. The retailer stated it had received requests from the Florida-based group known as the Florida Family Association to pull their advertising for the show because the group felt the show was “propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.”

According to an article in the Oakland Press State Senator Lieu wants to take legislative action against Lowe’s if they do not apologize to Muslims and reinstate their advertisements on the show. One of the reader’s responses to the Oakland Press article, Jeff Olejniczak feels Lowes is justified in its decision.

“Am I the only one that thinks the outrage on this subject is outrageous?” said Olejniczak. “Lowes can do whatever it wants. Especially if some of their customers complain. If you don’t like them pulling the ads, then don’t shop there.”

What legislation can Sen. Lieu pass in the state of California that can cause Lowes to buy advertising on a show they do not want to sponsor? There is no warrant in the Constitution forcing them to do so. If, on the other hand, Lowes had a contractual agreement to buy a package of advertisement and has reneged on this agreement it is a civil matter for the courts on the terms of the contract, not an issue for statutory law. It is no business of any government, federal or state, to demand a private business or citizen to purchase something they do not want or need.

Lieu, like a good progressive, liberal, Democrat wants government to intervene in our lives to take action to a support a social cause he supports. This is another example in an ongoing chain of examples of how progressive politicians like Lieu are attempting to destroy the fabric of this nation through their legislative efforts. I am sure there are those in Lieu’s senatorial district who will claim that Lowes is showing insensitivity to Muslims by withdrawing their sponsorship. They will claim that we should force Lowes to show respect and tolerance to Muslims and if they won’t then the government will force them in the name of fairness and political correctness. They will not give a thought to the consequences of such government interference.

Suppose there was a reality show depicting the everyday life of a group of Nazis or the Aryan Brotherhood and one of the sponsors was B'nai B'rith. Would they be required to continue their sponsorship after their members complained? Of course not. How about the government forcing stores like Target or Wal-Mart to place Muslim Brotherhood advocates in front of their stores. You would say this was a ridiculous example. But, once you tread down the path of government intervention there is no retreating and you must accept the unintended consequences.

If you believe Loews should resume their sponsorship of a TV show they wish not to have any connection with then don’t shop there.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It’s Tebow Time And About Time

“Anybody can become angry, that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way, that is not within everybody’s power, that is not easy.” — Aristotle

Last night, in the Saint Louis Rams-Seattle Seahawks football game, a Seattle defensive player was penalized for unsportsman conduct when he taunted a Rams player in the end zone after making a good defensive play on a potential touchdown pass. The penalty gave the ball to the Rams with a first and goal on the one-yard line.

This is not an uncommon occurrence professional sports now days. In fact it is all too common. Taunting, helmet-to-helmet hits, stepping on other players, and obscene demonstrations are all too prevalent in professional football today. This is the tone of the game. It’s what the fans and sportscasters expect, and in some cases applaud.

There is a growing phenomenon in the NFL and it’s called Tim Tebow, the quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Some people go so far to call his achievements miraculous.

The word "miracle" has been bandied about lately — particularly when describing Tim Tebow's amazing come-from-behind victories as a Denver Broncos quarterback. Theologians are less apt than sportscasters to ascribe that definition to a football game. Their analysis is far more stringent; however, the more important question is not if an event is a miracle, but rather why is it occurring.

The Merriam-Webster definition of a miracle is "an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs." While atheists pooh-pooh that suggestion because they believe that God does not exist, believers say that miracles happen constantly as God works in the world. If the question is why a miracle, then the simple answer is because we need one now.

Look at the sordid reports on the pedophile coaches at Penn State and Syracuse. Sex abuses on the young and innocent went on for years, in most cases ignored by those who could have put an end to it. hen it comes to American athletes, their sins are largely tolerated and even glorified in our sick and hedonistic culture.

For the past year, Tebow has been vilified for his displays of faith on thegty_tim_tebow_tk_111212_wblog field and in interviews. The demonization began with an ad shown during the 2009 Super Bowl, when his mother revealed that she was advised by doctors to abort Tebow because of drugs given to her while in a coma. It wasn't an overt anti-abortion ad, but rather a profession of faith and respect for life. Pro-choice groups were livid and condemned the two ads, but pro-lifers rallied around Tim Tebow, a Heisman Trophy-winner who was actually home-schooled.

If that ad wasn't enough to rile the secularists, Tebow's interviews compounded their disdain. He admitted that he is a virgin. Wow, that's almost unheard of when a man is as good-looking as the 24-year-old, 6'3", blue-eyed Tebow. Not only that, but he never fails to thank his Lord Jesus Christ and his teammates after every game.

In a recent Townhall column, pundit Doug Giles said it best:

“Let me see if I get this straight: A sex worshipping, multi-tattooed thug with three illegit kids from three different women scores a touchdown and then proceeds to simulate a sex act in the end zone -- in front of our children and the millions watching by television -- and that's okay? Why sure it is. Who are we to judge? Matter of fact, let's give that future inmate a Nike ad and bump his contract up a few mil because he brings spice (and crabs) to the game. Ah ... sweet progress.”

The oddity of Tim Tebow is that he's not a new phenomenon, but rather a throwback to the clean-cut athletes of an earlier time, when athleticism demanded good sportsmanship and humility. They were good role models for the young. After last week's miraculous win in the last two minutes from a 0-10 deficit, Tebow wrote on his website, "Praise the Lord! Couldn't be any prouder of my teammates for believing in each other 'till the very end." Don't expect Tim Tebow to be spiking the ball or dancing in the end zone any time soon.

Players from other teams have mocked his one-knee genuflection after a touchdown and his prayer circle with team members. Now, however, rival teammates are joining the circle in thanksgiving for a game well played. Let's face it: spoiled thugs have inundated the NBA and NFL, and perhaps it will take a miracle to bring some respect back to the games.

Players from other teams have mocked his one-knee genuflection after a touchdown and his prayer circle with team members. Now, however, rival teammates are joining the circle in thanksgiving for a game well played. Let's face it: spoiled thugs have inundated the NBA and NFL, and perhaps it will take a miracle to bring some respect back to the games.

America is watching Tim Tebow and wondering what's happening. Every Bronco win is being splashed on the Drudge Report as a near-supernatural result. Sportscasters who've derided his abilities are starting to revise their opinions, albeit reluctantly. We're intrigued, and even those, like me, a rabid Saint Louis Rams fan is rooting for the Broncos. Fans are in awe and tuning in each week in anticipation of another inexplicable win. Some, of course, are feverishly wishing for an end to Tebow's string of "miraculous" victories. To them, Tebow is dangerous because he represents the power of faith and good, clean living.

Of course Tim Tebow is not the only NFL player to show his religious beliefs. There are many other players with a deep belief in God and who conduct themselves in a manner similar to Tebow. Tebow, however, has skyrocketed to fame because of his influence on the outcome of a game as a quarterback and the current winning streak of the Broncos with him at the helm.

The secular media is now reporting on Tebow as he becomes a story almost as large as the Green Bay Packers unbeaten streak. Many of those in the main stream media though are reporting the Tebow story with their anti-Christian bias. In a recent ABC news report by Diane Sawyer you could hear the mockery in her voice and the follow on piece by her colleague, Dan Harris, began by stating Tebow as a mediocre quarterback. How dare he begin his report with such words? I would bet my home and car that if Tebow were Black no such claim would be made.

I've always believed that life is about our individual relationship with our higher power, and we should include Him in all aspects of our lives. Tim Tebow is doing just that.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The War on Christianity Goes on and on and on

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” — First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Every year we hear or read of examples where atheists or liberals attack Christianity and Christmas. Every year it gets worse and worse. The two latest examples of this attack on religion and the Constitution are in Athens, Texas and Santa Monica, California.

Let’s begin with Santa Monica, or as many people in Southern California call it “the People’s Republic of Santa Monica.

“Another day, another nativity scene drama. Atheists are mounting a full-out war on Christmas in Santa Monica, California” — or so say those who support an annual, Christian-theme display.

According to a report in the LookOut News, a local Santa Monica paper:

“For the first time in nearly six decades, there may be no “The Christmas Story” nativity scene in Santa Monica’s Palisades Park. Each year, a giant two-block long display offers visitors 14 nativity scenes that are presented in life-size form. But atheists, who are likely seeking to replace these images, are on the offensive.

This year, non-believers have reportedly vied for the open display spaces and, as a result, they have taken over much of the space that would be used for the nativity scene. The Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee, which organizes the annual nativity scene, isn’t happy about what its members see as an attempt to co-opt Christmas. They’ve apparently been left with three, small spaces.”

“This has been a city tradition for nearly 60 years,” said Hunter Jameson, the committee’s chair. “These new groups applying for permits aren’t even Santa Monica residents, and they are just derogatory to organized religions.”

Jameson believes that these images come from one group of people and it is being reported that they include images of devils. According to The LookOut, he has prepared a response:

Jameson…is not giving up so easily. He feels that City rules have beennativity-scene-620x465 manipulated to prevent “a month long, time-honored tradition supported by 14 Santa Monica-based organizations representing thousands of local residents.”

He has organized a nonprofit group called Santa Monica Nativity Scenes and formed a campaign drive to “Save Our Nativity Scenes,” urging like-minded residents to petition City Council members and the city manager’s office to allocate adequate space for all 14 Nativity scenes in the park next year.”

One man, a Hollywood prop maker named Damon Vix, who applied for a permit last year out of frustration at the “offensive Nativity display,” is displaying an alleged Thomas Jefferson quote this year — “religions are all alike – founded upon fables and mythologies.” Vix was quoted in the LookOut as saying:

“I don’t have a problem with Christmas, if it’s Santa Claus and elves. But there are a lot of people who live in Santa Monica who are not Christians.”

The Santa Monica Daily Press wrote the following about Vix’s 2010 display, which has apparently emboldened other non-believers to join him this year in trying to boot the nativity scene out:

“The Hollywood prop maker is the man behind a display that can be found just south of the nativity scenes that features quotes from the founding fathers about the importance of the separation of church and state. A quote from President Thomas Jefferson is by far the most visible. It reads: “Religions are all alike, founded upon fables and mythologies.” On the back of the display there’s another sign that says: “Happy Solstice,” in recognition of the winter solstice on Dec. 21.

Vix is on a mission. The atheist (who is apparently also an ordained minister) is against promoting religion on public property, so he’s setting out to cause a bit of chaos this year.

“There is a growing secular community in this country that has kept quiet for too long. If they want to display Nativity scenes on church property, that’s fine,” he said. ”I don’t have a problem with Christmas, if it’s Santa Claus and elves, but there are a lot of people who live in Santa Monica who are not Christian.”

This year, more than a dozen permits were submitted for space in the park, so the city has put together a lottery system to allocate them — which means, they were selected at random. This, of course, means that the nativity scene won’t get the space it has traditionally had. With atheists competing for the space, it means that there’s less to be allocated for the massive Christian display.

The city cannot designate space for or against a display based on its content, so a random selection is the only way the city can legally go. ”Though the City can designate particular space… for winter displays and prohibit displays in other park space, it cannot favor one speaker or message over another,” City Attorney Marsha Moutrie explained.

Vix, who doesn’t believe that faith displays belong on public land, thinks that the nativity scene discriminates against non-Christians. In his world, he’s doing a public service. In the eyes’ of others, he’s hampering their right to celebrate the holiday season.

Christian pastors in Henderson County, Texas, are fighting back against atheists who are demanding that a nativity scene located on a courthouse lawn be taken down.

The group behind the complains, the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, frequently targets faith and religion projects that are placed on public lands. The group sent a letter to the county that explains how a local resident, who wishes to remain nameless, is offended by the scene. Here is some of the text from the letter (via the Malakoff News):

“It is our information and understanding that a large nativity scene is on display at the Henderson County Courthouse and that it is the only seasonal display on the grounds (see photo enclosed). It is unlawful for the County to maintain, erect, or host this nativity scene, thus singling out, showing preference for, and endorsing one religion. The Supreme Court has ruled it is impermissible to place a nativity scene as the sole focus of a display on government property. [...]

We request that, as Henderson County Commissioners, you take immediate action to ensure that no religious displays are on city or county property. Please inform us in writing of the steps you are taking to remedy this First Amendment violation so that we may notify our complainant.”

That Christianity was being promoted, endorsed by local government and this made them feel unwelcomed,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, the co-founder of the Freedom from Religion Foundation. “It sends a message of intimidation and exclusion to non-Christians and non-believers this time of year.”

“Anybody walking by that is going to say, ‘Hmmm. This is a Christian government building. I’m not welcome here if I’m not Christian,’” she continued.

But rather than bow down to the atheists’ demands, the pastors are planning to defend their display. “It’s time that Americans stand up and take America back for the faith that we were founded upon,” said Nathan Lorick, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Malakoff, Texas. “We’re going to stand up and fight for this.”

To combat the group’s demands, the pastors are assembling a rally in support of the nativity scene. And it’s not just pastors getting who are on the defense. Henderson County Commissioner Joe Hall calls Gaylor‘s and the FFRF’s attacks “stupid” and he pledges to fight them “until hell freezes over.” According to hall, the nativity has been up for 35 years, without incident.

Tracie Lynda, a local resident, doesn’t see what the big deal is. “What is so offensive about a baby in a manger?,” she asked. “If it does not mean anything to you, why does it offend you?”

First of all I am offended by the signs and proclamations of atheists, pro-abortion advocates, homosexuals, and the occupy Wall Street crowd. I realize they have a right under the First Amendment to display these signs and make their proclamations. I just ignore them. I don’t read the New York Times either.

This BS about freedom from religion is nonsense. The First Amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Just because a pinhead court took the letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists telling them not to worry about the government telling them what religion would be recognized. Jefferson said in his letter:

“I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.” his doctrine, known as the "wall of separation" or "strict separationism," would later become highly influential in 20th century Supreme Court understandings of the relationship between church and state. As a result, the relevance of this letter is a subject of heated debate, with scholars such as Robert Boston emphasizing its importance, and others such as Mark David Hall arguing that the letter was a historical outlier.

During his lifetime, Jefferson could not have predicted that the language in his Danbury Baptist letter would have endured as long as some of his other arresting phrases. The letter was published in a Massachusetts newspaper a month after Jefferson wrote it and then was more or less forgotten for half a century. It was put back into circulation in an edition of Jefferson's writings, published in 1853, and reprinted in 1868 and 1871.

The Supreme Court turned the spotlight on the "wall of separation" phrase in 1878 by declaring in Reynolds v. United States "that it may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the First Amendment."

The high court took the same position in widely publicized decisions in 1947 and 1948, asserting in the latter case, McCollum v. Board of Education, that, "in the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between church and state.'" Since McCollum forbade religious instruction in public schools, it appeared that the court had used Jefferson's "wall" metaphor as a sword to sever religion from public life, a result that was and still is intolerable to many Americans.

Some Supreme Court justices did not like what their colleagues had done. In 1962, Justice Potter Stewart complained that jurisprudence was not "aided by the uncritical invocation of metaphors like the 'wall of separation,' a phrase nowhere to be found in the Constitution." Addressing the issue in 1985, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist lamented that "unfortunately the Establishment Clause has been expressly freighted with Jefferson's misleading metaphor for nearly 40 years." Defenders of the metaphor responded immediately: "despite its detractors and despite its leaks, cracks and its archways, the wall ranks as one of the mightiest monuments of constitutional government in this nation."

Jefferson letters, one published and the other his final draft, have been certified by the FBI and are currently in the Library of Congress.

That Jefferson consulted two New England politicians about his messages indicated that he regarded his reply to the Danbury Baptists as a political letter, not as a dispassionate theoretical pronouncement on the relations between government and religion. His letter, he told Lincoln in his New Year's Day note, was meant to gratify public opinion in Republican strongholds like Virginia, "being seasoned to the Southern taste only."

For years this letter has been used by politicians and courts to promote the so called “Wall of Separation”, something that does not exist in the Constitution. Under the dictum of Stare Decisis these erroneous rulings by the courts have been used over and over again by federal and state courts to take away the rights of Christians (and in some cases Jews) to promote their religious beliefs in the public square and some cases on private property where a Christian symbol such as a cross can be seen from a public highway.

We now have these minimalist special interest groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the ACLU running about county looking for cities to sue over some irate citizen’s complaint that a cross, nativity scene, the Ten Commandments or a Christmas tree or carol offends them. I suggest they go home a take a laxative, they need one.

These anti-religious groups, usually, if not always, based on progressive, liberal ideology, and financed with substantial funds from like-minded fools run in and file their suits. In almost all of these cases the cities or school districts capitulate as they do not have the funds to fight the case and the George Soros funded atheists win. They win not on their Constitutional arguments, but on the force and coercion of the dollar bill. In almost all cases the city manager, mayor, or school superintendent wet their pants when the ACLU or FFRF knocks on the door and ignores the wishes and rights of the vast majority of the community. If the defendants due decide the fight the plaintiffs have already court and judge shopped to pursue their suit.

Jefferson’s “political” letter has gone a long way to take away the rights of Christians in this country. I do believe if her were alive today and saw the damage his letter has done he would withdraw it. The letter has no force in constitutional law, it was just his opinion at the time.

It’s time the people of this country fight back against these anti-religious groups by finding organizations like the Alliance Defense Fund and donate a couple of bucks to help them take on the ACLU and FFRF. We need to turn this nation around in more ways than just the economy. We need to get back in tune with God.

Perhaps Mr. Vix would like to change the name of Santa Monica to just plain Monica. After all Santa Monica translates to Saint Monica, a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. I bet every time he utters the name of the city it ticks him off.