Author Topic: Fascism, liberal and tech fascism, progressivism, socialism, crony capitalism  (Read 259541 times)


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George Will: Gag U.
« Reply #400 on: December 02, 2012, 06:09:34 PM »
 :x :x :x

Gag u
Posted: 9:59 PM, December 1, 2012

In 2007, Keith John Sampson, a middle-aged student working his way through Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis as a janitor, was declared guilty of racial harassment. Without granting Sampson a hearing, the university administration — acting as prosecutor, judge and jury — convicted him of “openly reading [a] book related to a historically and racially abhorrent subject.”

“Openly.” “Related to.” Good grief.

The book, “Notre Dame vs. the Klan,” celebrated the 1924 defeat of the Ku Klux Klan in a fight with Notre Dame students. But some of Sampson’s co-workers disliked the book’s cover, which featured a black-and-white photograph of a Klan rally. Someone was offended, therefore someone else must be guilty of harassment.
This non sequitur reflects the right never to be annoyed, a new campus entitlement. Legions of administrators, who now outnumber full-time faculty, are kept busy making students mind their manners, with good manners understood as conformity to liberal politics.

Liberals are most concentrated and untrammeled on campuses, so look there for evidence of what, given the opportunity, they would do to America. Ample evidence is in “Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate” by Greg Lukianoff, 38, a graduate of Stanford Law School who describes himself as a liberal, pro-choice, pro-gay rights, lifelong Democrat who belongs to “the notoriously politically correct Park Slope Food Co-Op in Brooklyn” and has never voted for a Republican “nor do I plan to.”

But as president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) he knows that the most common justifications for liberal censorship are “sensitivity” about “diversity” and “multiculturalism,” as academic liberals understand those things.

In recent years, a University of Oklahoma vice president has declared that no university resources, including e-mail, could be used for “the forwarding of political humor/commentary.” The College at Brockport in New York banned using the Internet to “annoy or otherwise inconvenience” anyone. Rhode Island College prohibited, among many other things, certain “attitudes.”

Texas Southern University’s comprehensive proscriptions included “verbal harm” from damaging “assumptions” or “implications.” Texas A&M promised “freedom from indignity of any type.” Davidson banned “patronizing remarks.” Drexel University forbade “inappropriately directed laughter.”

Western Michigan University banned “sexism,” including “the perception” of a person “not as an individual, but as a member of a category based on sex.” Banning “perceptions” must provide full employment for the burgeoning ranks of academic administrators.

Many campuses congratulate themselves on their broad-mindedness when they establish small “free speech zones” where political advocacy can be scheduled. At one point, Texas Tech’s 28,000 students had a “free speech gazebo” that was 20 feet wide. And you thought the First Amendment made America a free speech zone.

At Tufts, a conservative newspaper committed “harassment” by printing accurate quotations from the Koran and a verified fact about the status of women in Saudi Arabia. Lukianoff says Tufts may have been the first American institution “to find someone guilty of harassment for stating verifiable facts directed at no one in particular.”

He documents how “orientation” programs for freshmen become propaganda to (in the words of one orthodoxy enforcer) “leave a mental footprint on their consciousness.” Faculty, too, can face mandatory consciousness-raising.

In 2007, Donald Hindley, a politics professor at Brandeis, was found guilty of harassment because when teaching Latin American politics he explained the origin of the word “wetbacks,” which refers to immigrants crossing the Rio Grande. Without a hearing, the university provost sent Hindley a letter stating that the university “will not tolerate inappropriate, racial and discriminatory conduct.”

The assistant provost was assigned to monitor Hindley’s classes “to ensure that you do not engage in further violations of the nondiscrimination and harassment policy.” Hindley was required to attend “anti-discrimination training.”

Such coercion is a natural augmentation of censorship. Next comes mob rule. Last year, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the vice provost for diversity and climate — really; you can’t make this stuff up — encouraged students to disrupt a news conference by a speaker opposed to racial preferences. They did, which the vice provost called “awesome.” This is the climate on an especially liberal campus that celebrates “diversity” in everything but thought.

“What happens on campus,” Lukianoff says, “doesn’t stay on campus” because censorship has “downstream effects.” He quotes a sociologist whose data he says demonstrate that “those with the highest levels of education have the lowest exposure to people with conflicting points of view.” This encourages “the human tendency to live within our own echo chambers.”

Parents’ tuition dollars and student indebtedness are paying for this. Good grief.
NEW YORK POST is a registered trademark of NYP Holdings, Inc.


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Obama Pushing Federal Control of Public Schools...
« Reply #401 on: December 10, 2012, 09:03:28 AM »
Obama Pushing Federal Control of Public Schools

Posted By Arnold Ahlert On December 10, 2012 -

The effort to turn public school classrooms into laboratories for government propaganda has reached a new milestone. Common Core State Standards in English is a program already adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia. It calls for an increase in the reading of “informational text” instead of fictional literature. When the new standards are fully implemented in 2014, nonfiction texts will comprise 50 percent of reading assignments in elementary schools, with a required increase to 70 percent by grade 12. Thus, timeless literature such as Of Mice and Men, or Catcher in the Rye will be replaced by recommended nonfiction works such as “Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management,” or “Recommended Levels of Insulation by the the US Environmental Protection Agency.”

Proponents of Common Core, including the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, claim U.S. students have grown used to easy reading assignments that leave them unprepared to comprehend complex nonfiction. This leaves too many students unprepared for the rigors of college and the demands of the workplace, experts say. And while some of the recommended texts are legitimate, such as Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America,” those mentioned in the first paragraph, or a New Yorker essay titled “The Cost Conundrum,” which would give students the impression that the Affordable Healthcare Act is good policy, are little more than thinly-veiled efforts to promote a progressive agenda masquerading as education.

Jamie Highfill, an eighth-grade English teacher at Woodland Junior High School in Fayetteville, AK reveals some of the “unintended consequences” of the rollout. “I’m struggling with this, and my students are struggling,” said the Arkansas 2011 middle school teacher of the year. “With informational text, there isn’t that human connection that you get with literature. And the kids are shutting down. They’re getting bored. I’m seeing more behavior problems in my classroom than I’ve ever seen,” she added.

David Coleman, the chief architect of the Common Core, who led the effort to write the standards with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said educators are overreacting as the standards move from concept to classroom. “There’s a disproportionate amount of anxiety,” he contended.

There ought to be, but not just for the concerns expressed by teachers such as Ms. Highfill. As National Review’s Stanley Kurtz explains, there is a good reason why control over public schools was kept out of federal hands by the Founding Fathers. They realized that one political party or ideology shaping the curriculum in public schools was a direct route to tyranny. What the Obama administration has done has conditioned Department of Education funding and regulatory waivers on state acceptance of Common Core. That such a move is constitutionally suspect at best, and another naked power grab at worst, should infuriate Americans who still believe an education is about teaching children how to think, not what to think. (Furthermore, considering the reality that this is being sold as an alternative to “easy reading assignments,” they should ask themselves how and why the public school curriculum was dumbed-down in the first place).

Accuracy in Media’s (AIM) Mary Grabar reveals how 48 state governors were lured into entering a contest called “Race to the Top” for a portion of $4.35 billion of funds made available by the stimulus package. “It was one of the many ‘crises’ exploited by the Obama administration,” she writes. “While the public was focused on a series of radical moves coming in rapid-fire succession, like the health care bill and proposed trials and imprisonment of 9/11 terrorists on domestic soil, governors, worried about keeping school doors open, signed on.”

Far more importantly, she reveals the players involved. The educational component of Common Core is controlled by Linda Darling-Hammond, a radical left-wing educator and close colleague of William Ayers, former member of the domestic terrorist group the Weather Underground, who became a professor of education — and a friend of Barack Obama’s. Both Darling-Hammond and Ayers have advocated ending funding disparities between urban and suburban schools, ending standardized testing, and attacking “white privilege.” The big picture here is to eliminate objective measurement of knowledge and skills, and replace them with teachers offering up subjective appraisals of students’ attitudes and behavior.

In a 2009 article for the Harvard Educational Review, Darling-Hammond extolled these initiatives as the Obama administration’s “opportunity to transform our nation’s schools.” Grabar reveals what such “transformation” is intended to achieve. ”When these dangerous initiatives are implemented, there will be no escaping bad schools and a radical curriculum by moving to a good suburb, or by home schooling, or by enrolling your children in private schools,” she warns.

Some state governors have wised up. Virginia opted out when Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell was elected. Georgia, Indiana, Utah, South Carolina, and others have also begun, or completed, the effort to do the same. Last February, Republican South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley explained her rationale for doing so. “Just as we should not relinquish control of education to the Federal government,” she wrote in a letter to a state lawmaker, “neither should we cede it to the consensus of other states.” U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan characterized Haley’s fear of losing control as “a conspiracy theory in search of a conspiracy.” Yet when Utah dumped the program, Duncan was far more conciliatory. “States have the sole right to set learning standards” he wrote in a letter.

Legally they do, but the federal Race to the Top (RTTT) application says exactly the opposite, noting that any applicant is required to adopt “a set of content standards…that are substantially identical across all States in a consortium.” In other words, any states that wish to compete for RTTT school funding must embrace Common Core. Thus, a portion of federal funding for schools is nothing less than an effort to coerce the states into adopting a de facto national educational system. In many instances, such coercion is hardly necessary: the public school system is dominated by progressive-supporting unions who contribute virtually all of their campaign dollars to Democrats. Thus, the progressive agenda is already welcomed in many public schools. The Common Core curriculum is nothing less than an effort to coordinate that agenda on a national level.

In 2009, Bill Ayers was one of three keynote speakers at a conference sponsored by the Renaissance Group. The other two speakers were Secretary of Education Duncan and U.S. Under Secretary of Education, Martha Kanter. The Renaissance Group is purportedly interested in finding ways to educate the “New American Student,” part of which deals with the alleged inability of white teachers to deal with the issues of poverty, diversity and multiculturalism that affect their students. While some Americans might contend that the emphasis on such obvious progressive talking points is overblown, they should still ask themselves why those in charge of overseeing the federal government’s education programs would associate with a terrorist thug whose contempt for American culture, tradition and history is well-documented.

Just before he was elected in 2008 President Obama told his followers, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” It would appear that he and his progressive minions intend to make good on that promise, state by state, school by school–and child by child.
"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.


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Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism:
« Reply #402 on: December 10, 2012, 12:07:42 PM »
Fcuk :x

Please post this in the Education thread on the SCH forum as well Obj.


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Ed Asner's Insanity...
« Reply #403 on: December 11, 2012, 05:55:02 AM »
Ed Asner’s ‘Occupy’ Attack on the Rich

Posted By Mark Tapson On December 11, 2012 -

Like other notable entertainment biz hypocrites such as race-baiter Russell Simmons, rapper Kanye (“Bush doesn’t care about black people”) West, and documentary propagandist Michael Moore, actor/activist Ed Asner threw in his lot with the anarchic Occupy Wall Street movement, supplying the narration for a cartoon condemning wealthy Americans for not paying their “fair share” of taxes.

Asner, 83, former gruff-but-lovable TV star of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Lou Grant, and now gruff-and-hateful self-admitted socialist, narrated a nearly eight-minute video created and posted online last week by the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) called Tax the Rich: An Animated Fairy Tale. The site’s brief description of the plot includes the ludicrous claim that “Things go downhill in a happy and prosperous land after the rich decide they don’t want to pay taxes anymore.”

You have to see this outrageous and amateurishly animated video to believe just how blatant and exaggerated is its class warfare propaganda. It’s shot through with the Occupy movement’s language about the decent 99 percent versus the insanely greedy 1 percent. It asserts that the heartless rich (all white men, of course, as opposed to the diverse commoners) became wealthy through tax loopholes, tax cuts and tax evasion; they are blamed for causing the decline of public services and crashing the economy, for buying politicians and suppressing votes, and for controlling the media which then hypnotizes the people into believing there is no alternative to capitalism. The rich are then depicted blaming the poor, public servants and teachers for the economic collapse of society.

As the video hit the internet, conservatives denounced its hypocrisy and its caricature of the wealthy. warned that the video “could be playing in your child’s classroom as we speak” and noted that “it was written by CFT staffer Fred Glass (2011 compensation: $139,800) and narrated by proud leftist actor (and 1 percenter) Ed Asner.” Fox News’ Sean Hannity played clips from the video on his show for his guests. Conservative Tucker Carlson said, “There’s really no overstating how dumb this is. The idea that there are any California teachers currently in classrooms in charge of children who agree with that, is horrifying.” Hannity’s Democrat guest Kirsten Powers acknowledged, “It was pretty bad. I have to say, even I found it offensive. It was too much demonizing for my taste.”

As long as Asner is demonizing rich white men, let’s look at this rich white man’s own résumé in leftist political activism, which began when he led a 1980 strike by the Screen Actors’ Guild, an organization he would later head twice as President. He was a vocal critic of the Reagan administration, condemning our involvement in Central America and participating in a fundraiser to aid guerrillas fighting against the Reagan-backed government in El Salvador. He also lent his name to a rebel-supporting direct-mail piece.

For his efforts on behalf of the progressive agenda, he has received the ACLU‘s Worker’s Rights Committee Award, the Anne Frank Human Rights Award, the Eugene Debs Award, the Organized Labor Publications Humanitarian Award, and the National Emergency Civil Liberties Award.

Asner and his wife have contributed financially to a number of Democratic political campaigns and progressive organizations, including As a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) he has said: “Socialist means a thing that will curb the excesses of capitalism: the increasing wealth of the rich and decreasing wealth of the poor… For me, solidarity, civil liberty, and social justice can all be summed up with three simple letters – DSA.”

Predictably an advocate of gun control and opponent of the death penalty, Asner testified as a character witness for accused cop killer Kenneth Gay and has spoken out publicly on numerous occasions protesting the death sentence of the celebrity set’s favorite cop-killer, Mumia Abu Jamal. Asner was also a member of the International Committee to Free Geronimo Pratt of the vile Black Panther Party, arrested in 1970 for murdering a Los Angeles schoolteacher.

In addition to lending his support to murderers, the actor avidly cheers the celebrity set’s favorite murdering dictator Fidel Castro and cluelessly blames the U.S. for pushing him into the sphere of Soviet influence. He claimed that Castro has been forced into “excesses” because of Cuba being “constantly embargoed by the United States.” Poor misunderstood Castro.

An unsurprising critic of the Bush administration, the Iraq War, the Patriot Act, and American foreign policy in general, Asner has advocated for the 9-11 Visibility Project, which promotes the idea that our government knew the terrorist attacks were coming and did nothing to stop them, and he has stated that “9-11 has been used to justify ‘endless war’ and a continual rollback in civil liberties that seems to have no end in sight.” He has said that George Bush “is making us an imperialist government.” Parroting the irrational, fact-free, race-obsessed mindset of his progressive brethren, Asner added, “that there is a strong streak of racism whenever we engage in foreign adventures. Our whole history in regime change has been of people of different color.” Perhaps he thinks we should be deposing the dangerous dictators of Norway or Canada instead.

Speaking of regime change, Asner was a signatory to the 2002 Not In Our Name petition organized by the Revolutionary Communist Party, which calls for the overthrow of the U.S. government and its replacement with a Communist dictatorship.

Yes, how much better off Americans would be if we did away with rich businessmen (but only the white males, not the Oprahs or the Russell Simmonses) and embraced the likes of angry socialist Ed Asner, Fidel Castro, 9/11 truthers, the Black Panthers, the Revolutionary Communist Party, and the Occupy movement. What a fairy-tale ending that would be for America.
"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.


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WSJ: The Salazar Wilderness
« Reply #404 on: December 11, 2012, 09:29:33 AM »
Welcome to the Salazar Wilderness
Shame on the Interior Department for trying to drum a family-owned enterprise out of business..

After a seaside area has been designated as wilderness, when is it considered pristine enough by Washington's standards? Is it after airplanes have been banned from flying over it? After electricity pylons and telephone cables have been removed, cars and bikers prohibited, the roads torn up? When hikers are forbidden access to trails, and kayakers, sailors and snorkelers banished from the water? When eucalyptus trees and other foreign species are eradicated? Or only after Miwok Indians' arrowheads have been excavated and placed in a museum?

Apparently it is none of the above, at least according to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. Instead, he seems to think that turning a tiny portion of the lovely coastline of California's Marin County (part of the National Seashore) into the first marine wilderness in the continental United States also requires destroying a family-run oyster operation that has conducted business in the same spot for eight decades.

So Mr. Salazar recently ordered the business to close within 90 days—a decision that will spell ruin for the Lunny family, owners of Drake's Bay Oyster Farm, which supplies 40% of California's oysters.

The Lunny family, which has made major improvements to the farm operation it took over in 2004, has been hounded for years by a National Park Service with a vendetta so chilling that any rancher on federal lands should be alarmed. Goaded by a clutch of environmental groups, the Park Service has resorted to tactics that might have come straight from Nixon's dirty-tricks department. For instance, the Park Service alleged that the farm's oyster boats disturbed the quiet of the area, but the measurements used were revealed to have been taken in New Jersey—and involved jet skis.

For years, Park Service officials have colluded with the California Coastal Commission to hammer the small oyster company with allegations about purported abuses and violations of some of the many overlapping, confusing and contradictory permits with which it is supposed to comply.

Enlarge Image

An employee farms oysters at Drakes Bay Oyster Company, in Inverness, California.
.California Sen. Dianne Feinstein has for years been sounding the alarm about the behavior of the Park Service. In a May letter to the California Fish and Game Commission, she outlined her worries—including a mention of the jet-ski episode—and said: "I became concerned about this issue when I found that the science regarding the impacts of the oyster farm had been manipulated, and that the oyster farm operator had been treated in a biased and unfair manner. The Park Service has repeatedly misrepresented the scientific record since 2006 to portray the farm as environmentally harmful, and it is my belief that the Park Service is doing everything it can to justify ending the oyster farm's operations."

Unable to use its doctored studies to close the farm, the Park Service changed tack and resorted to even more dubious arguments. It claimed that a lease signed 40 years ago wasn't renewable. There are only two snags with this argument.

First, the lease doesn't say that it isn't renewable. Second, the congressmen who helped form the Point Reyes National Seashore have firmly stated that their intention was to ensure the continued operation of the small farms that were occupying the land. Yet the Interior Department has ignored the statements of former California Reps. Pete McCloskey (no staunch right-winger, by the way, but a pro-choice advocate and backer of stem-cell research and assisted suicide) and John Burton (a former California Democratic Party chairman).

The Park Service ignored another inconvenient fact: It doesn't control fishing rights in the disputed area. Those are controlled by the State of California. So last week the Lunnys sued Mr. Salazar, the Department of the Interior, the National Park Service and its director. Now a U.S. judge gets to decide whether the federal government can bully this small business out of existence.

Mr. Moritz is chairman of Sequoia Capital.


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Feds out of AIG
« Reply #405 on: December 11, 2012, 09:43:24 AM »


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Kwanzaa: The Invented (in 1966) Holiday...
« Reply #407 on: December 27, 2012, 06:07:47 AM »
Kwanzaa: Holiday Brought to You by the FBI

Posted By Ann Coulter On December 27, 2012 @

Is it just me, or does Kwanzaa seem to come earlier and earlier each year? And let’s face it, Kwanzaa’s gotten way too commercialized.

A few years ago, I suspended my annual Kwanzaa column because my triumph over this fake holiday seemed complete. The only people still celebrating Kwanzaa were presidential-statement writers and white female public school teachers.

But it seems to be creeping back. A few weeks ago, House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., complained about having to stick around Washington for fiscal cliff negotiations by accusing Republicans of not caring about “families” coming together to bond during Kwanzaa. The private schools have picked up this PC nonsense from the public schools. (Soon, no one will know anything.)

It is a fact that Kwanzaa was invented in 1966 by a black radical FBI stooge, Ron Karenga — aka Dr. Maulana Karenga — founder of United Slaves, a violent nationalist rival to the Black Panthers. He was also a dupe of the FBI.

In what was ultimately a foolish gamble, during the madness of the ’60s, the FBI encouraged the most extreme black nationalist organizations in order to discredit and split the left. The more preposterous the group, the better.

By that criterion, Karenga’s United Slaves was perfect. In the annals of the American ’60s, Karenga was the Father Gapon, stooge of the czarist police.

Despite modern perceptions that blend all the black activists of the ’60s, the Black Panthers did not hate whites. They did not seek armed revolution (although some of their most high-profile leaders were drug dealers and murderers). Those were the precepts of Karenga’s United Slaves.

United Slaves were proto-fascists, walking around in dashikis, gunning down Black Panthers and adopting invented “African” names. (That was a big help to the black community: How many boys named “Jamal” are currently in prison?)

It’s as if David Duke invented a holiday called “Anglika,” which he based on the philosophy of “Mein Kampf” — and clueless public school teachers began celebrating the made-up, racist holiday.

Whether Karenga was a willing dupe, or just a dupe, remains unclear.

Curiously, in a 1995 interview with Ethnic NewsWatch, Karenga matter-of-factly explained that the forces out to get O.J. Simpson for the “framed” murder of two whites included: “the FBI, the CIA, the State Department, Interpol, the Chicago Police Department” and so on. Karenga should know about FBI infiltration. (He further noted that the evidence against O.J. “was not strong enough to prohibit or eliminate unreasonable doubt” — an interesting standard of proof.)

In the category of the-gentleman-doth-protest-too-much, back in the ’70s, Karenga was quick to criticize rumors that black radicals were government-supported. When Nigerian newspapers claimed that some American black radicals were CIA operatives, Karenga publicly denounced the idea, saying, “Africans must stop generalizing about the loyalties and motives of Afro-Americans, including the widespread suspicion of black Americans being CIA agents.”

Now we know that the FBI fueled the bloody rivalry between the Panthers and United Slaves. In one barbarous outburst, Karenga’s United Slaves shot to death two Black Panthers on the UCLA campus: Al “Bunchy” Carter and John Huggins. Karenga himself served time, a useful stepping-stone for his current position as a black studies professor at California State University at Long Beach.

Karenga’s invented holiday is a nutty blend of schmaltzy ’60s rhetoric, black racism and Marxism. The seven principles of Kwanzaa are the very same seven principles of the Symbionese Liberation Army, another charming legacy of the Worst Generation.

In 1974, Patricia Hearst, kidnap victim-cum-SLA revolutionary, posed next to the banner of her alleged captors, a seven-headed cobra. Each snake head stood for one of the SLA’s revolutionary principles: Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba and Imani — the exact same seven “principles” of Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa praises collectivism in every possible area of life — economics, work, personality, even litter removal. (“Kuumba: Everyone should strive to improve the community and make it more beautiful.”) It takes a village to raise a police snitch.

When Karenga was asked to distinguish Kawaida, the philosophy underlying Kwanzaa, from “classical Marxism,” he essentially said that, under Kawaida, we also hate whites. (Kawaida, Kwanzaa and Kuumba are also the only three Kardashian sisters not to have their own shows on the E! network.)

While taking the “best of early Chinese and Cuban socialism” — excluding, one hopes, the forced abortions, imprisonment of homosexuals and forced labor — Karenga said Kawaida practitioners believe one’s racial identity “determines life conditions, life chances and self-understanding.” There’s an inclusive philosophy for you.

Kwanzaa was the result of a ’60s psychosis grafted onto the black community. Liberals have become so mesmerized by multicultural nonsense that they have forgotten the real history of Kwanzaa and Karenga’s United Slaves — the violence, the Marxism, the insanity.

Most absurdly, for leftists anyway, they have forgotten the FBI’s tacit encouragement of this murderous black nationalist cult founded by the father of Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa emerged not from Africa, but from the FBI’s COINTELPRO. It is a holiday celebrated exclusively by idiot white liberals. Black people celebrate Christmas. (Merry Christmas, fellow Christians!)

Sing to “Jingle Bells”:

Kwanzaa bells, dashikis sell
Whitey has to pay;
Burning, shooting, oh what fun
On this made-up holiday!
"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.


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The Media & Democrats Flexible Definition of “The Rich”
« Reply #408 on: January 03, 2013, 03:13:43 PM »

The Media & Democrats Flexible Definition of “The Rich”
by Datechguy | January 3rd, 2013
It all depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is

Remember the media meme that tax increases were necessary to be sure the rich pay their fair share? Well apparently to democrats, the party of the little guy and the media “The Rich” doesn’t include General Electric, Citigroup, Diageo (makers of Puerto Rician Rum) Citi, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, American Wind Energy Association and The Motion Picture Association of America.

Apparently they wanted a big batch of tax credits and favors and paid millions to lobbyists to achieve them, they put these credits into a Senate bill called the Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012.

Now as the GOP didn’t support this massive tax giveaway and a House of Representatives with a strong Tea Party presence wasn’t about to pass it. In fact according to the site…

Introduced Aug 28, 2012
Reported by Committee Aug 28, 2012
Passed Senate (not yet occurred)
Passed House (not yet occurred)
Signed by the President (not yet occurred)
The committees assigned to this bill sent it to the House or Senate as a whole for consideration on August 28, 2012.
Prognosis: 19% chance of being enacted.

Or at least that would have been the odds but according to Tim Carney of the Washington Times:

A Republican Senate aide familiar with the cliff negotiations tells me the White House wanted permanent extensions of a whole slew of corporate tax credits. When Senate Republicans said no, “the White House insisted that the exact language” of the Baucus bill be included in the fiscal cliff deal. “They were absolutely insistent,” another aide tells me. (The White House did not return requests for comment.)

Sure enough, Title II of the fiscal cliff legislation is nearly a word-for-word replication of the Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012.

So the Democrats,the protectors of the little guy, the people who were going to make sure that the rich paid their fair share and President Obama their champion managed to do what corporate lobbyists couldn’t add this unpassable bill into the fiscal cliff legislation, passed it in the senate and sent to the house where democrats voted for it en masse and enough establishment Republicans could make sure their corporate friends had their reward.

There was a time when media would have screamed foul, there was a time when such a bill once read and known to the public would not have been possible, but the media has already defined the villain as the GOP and the heroes as the Democrats in general and this President in particular and no amount of truth could change it.

We get the government we deserve, I really thought we deserved better.

Update: The Wall Street Journal adds to the list:

In praising Congress’s huge new tax increase, President Obama said Tuesday that “millionaires and billionaires” will finally “pay their fair share.” That is, unless you are a Nascar track owner, a wind-energy company or the owners of StarKist Tuna, among many others who managed to get their taxes reduced in Congress’s New Year celebration.

and they have a solution for the GOP

Republicans who are looking for a new populist message have one waiting here, and they could start by repudiating the corporate welfare in this New Year disgrace.

and even better they can ask where the MSM were when this happened?


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Progressive Fascism under Obama
« Reply #410 on: January 23, 2013, 09:33:41 AM »

John Mackey, the feisty CEO of Whole Foods, says Obamacare is “fascist economics” and he regrets having said it, even though he insists — correctly — that it’s a textbook case of Mussolini-style corporate statism.  Private property continues to exist, but the state controls all business.  That’s why the fascists called their totalitarian system a “third way” between unbridled capitalism and Soviet-style Communism.
Back in the twenties and early thirties, before German National Socialism became the archetypal “fascist” doctrine, Mussolini’s call for a new kind of national economy intrigued many serious thinkers and leaders, including Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Mr. Mackey was also right to regret using the term “fascist,” because it invokes so many passions and stereotypes that it hinders, rather than advances, understanding. But “fascism” was a very successful mass movement in Western Europe for an entire generation, and it flourishes in many countries today.  It behooves us to understand why it was so popular, and how most of our politics differ from it.  We have fascist economics, but certainly not fascist politics or foreign policy in America today, even though there are echoes of  it every so often.
There are many varieties of fascism, but the principal elements are:
 •A single party dictatorship, headed by a charismatic leader.
 •A politics of enthusiasm, involving the masses in ritual public celebration, and direct exchanges between the leader and his followers en masse.
 •Hypernationalism, or, in the Nazi case, racism, based on the claim that the nation or race is unique, superior, and entitled to play a major role in world affairs.
 •The aforementioned “corporate state” in which private property is legitimate, but the state dictates its proper use.
Fascism was created by the generation that fought, and died in historically unprecedented numbers, in the First World War.  It was very much a war ideology:  the post-war world, they insisted, must not be governed by the effete and corrupt ruling classes of the past, but by those who had demonstrated courage and virtue in the trenches.  The elevation of war heroes to national  leadership was seen as a guarantee that future generations would be shaped by the best the nation (or, in the case of the Third Reich, the race) could offer, and they vowed to fight, and destroy, those who had opposed the war, and sapped the nation’s virility thereafter.
As they extended their control over their countries, the fascists bragged of having created a new polity, a totalitarian state that controlled everything and everybody.  Fascists’ heroic virtues were incarnated in a charismatic leader.  Mussolini’s mass appeal was remarkable — you can see it in the monster crowds that gathered under his balcony in Piazza Venezia — as was Hitler’s, and that of others, from Romania to Spain (the charismatic leader there was not Franco, but Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, the founder of the Falange).  It was common to speak of such leaders as “men of destiny,” world-historical individuals who had imposed their will on history and would reshape the world.


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Effort to abolish local sheriffs a stealth fed power grab?
« Reply #411 on: January 24, 2013, 01:45:04 PM »
Reliability unknown

A news report has been quietly making its way around the alternative media, under the radar screen, concerning a Delaware legal decision to strip county sheriffs of their arrest powers in the state.
The mainstream media has not reported the story, but the son of Vice President Joe Biden, who serves as Attorney General for the state of Delaware, has issued a mandate to county commissioners informing them that sheriffs in the state's three counties no longer have arrest powers.
When the information reached this reporter late yesterday evening, further investigation revealed that there is a nationwide effort to strip local sheriffs of most of their enumerated powers that are mandated in the state constitutions of the various states. Such a move would have the net effect of abolishing local sheriffs departments and strengthening the power of federal law enforcement agencies.

And this is not the first time such an effort has been launched.

In the 1970s an initiative was launched by county supervisors in California to eliminate the office of sheriff, but one supervisor instead was able to persuade two state legislators to get a question placed on the California ballot as to whether or not the office of the sheriff should be an elected office. The measure passed overwhelmingly, and the mandate for elected sheriffs was placed in the state constitution.
And in 1935 President Franklin D. Roosevelt was set to eliminate all of the 48 states in order to implement nine regional governments that would operate as extensions of the federal government. All local law enforcement would be eliminated. The plan failed, but the fact that it was attempted points to an ever present, insidious stealth plan on the part of some within the federal government to take away the right of the people and the states to elect their own local law enforcement and to vastly strengthen the hand of the numerous federal law enforcement agencies that currently operate throughout America.
Proponents of such unconstitutional measures desire to forge a world government of sorts under the control of the United Nations. Various methods are used to expedite this plan, including the infamous 'Agenda 21' that has raised the alarm among some citizens.
The key to the success of the implementation of such plans is enforcement. How would the federal government insure compliance among the states and their citizens?
Dozens of federal agencies have their own law enforcement divisions, and those divisions are growing quickly under the Obama Administration. Homeland Security is purchasing 450 million rounds of hollow point bullets. The IRS will need roughly 16,500 new employees to implement ObamaCare. The White House has just sent $500 million to the IRS to enforce the new healthcare law. The EPA's recent penchant for using heavy handed tactics outside the authority given to it by Congress has placed businesses under the gun and stymied economic recovery. Citizens complain that the agency regularly violates private property rights.
And then there are such agencies as the FBI, ATF, DEA, ICE, and others that are under suspicion for widespread corruption in the Fast and Furious scandal, a fact that has not hampered Congressional Democrats from calling for massive new funding and expanded powers for these agencies.
The move to weaken and dismantle sheriffs offices around the country is viewed by Constitutional watchdogs as an ominous signal in a broader attempt to usurp the rights of citizens on the local level in lieu of an expanded nationalized police force under the control of a federal bureaucracy.
Notice! My latest entry in what is turning into a regular, ongoing series of musings after midnight at my blog, The Liberty Sphere, is now posted. I present more in depth personal reflections delineating the acute danger America faces at this hour. It is a dire warning to the serious reader who loves freedom and the principles handed down to us by the Framers. Don't miss it.
Visit my ministry site at Martin Christian Ministries.



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Assassination of US citizens in US?
« Reply #412 on: January 24, 2013, 02:59:30 PM »
Crafty, if you haven't seen this give it a glance......The HEAD of the FBI in a hearing of congress.......Answers the question of whether it had been addressed in recent hearings that he's not SURE if it's been addressed whether the government has the authority to assassinate US Citizens INSIDE the US.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 03:07:52 PM by Crafty_Dog »


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Fed court: BO appointments broke recess law
« Reply #413 on: January 25, 2013, 09:25:41 AM »

In a case freighted with major constitutional implications, a federal appeals court on Friday overturned President Obama’s controversial recess appointments from last year, ruling he abused his powers and acted when the Senate was not actually in a recess.
The three-judge panel’s ruling is a major blow to Mr. Obama. The judges ruled that the appointments Mr. Obama made to the National Labor Relations Board are illegal, and the board no longer has a quorum to operate.
But the ruling has even broader constitutional significance, with the judges arguing that the president’s recess appointment powers don’t apply to “intrasession” appointments — those made when Congress has left town for a few days or weeks.
The judges signaled the power only applies after Congress has adjourned sine die, which is a legislative term of art that signals the end to a long work period. In modern times, it means the president could only use his powers when Congress quits business at the end of a year.
“The dearth of intrasession appointments in the years and decades following the ratification of the Constitution speaks far more impressively than the history of recent presidential exercise of a supposed power to make such appointments,” the judges wrote.
“Recent presidents are doing no more than interpreting the Constitution. While we recognize that all branches of government must of necessity exercise their understanding of the Constitution in order to perform their duties faithfully thereto, ultimately it is our role to discern the authoritative meaning of the supreme law.”
The case is likely to end up before the Supreme Court, and it turns on the definition of what the Constitution means when it says “recess.”
Last January Mr. Obama named union lawyer Richard Griffin and Labor Department official Sharon Block, both Democrats, and a Republican, NLRB lawyer Terence Flynn, to the labor board using his recess powers. He also named Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, using those same powers.
Noel Canning, a bottling company, sued the NLRB, arguing that a rule issued by the new board was illegal since the recess appointments were unconstitutional. Senate Republicans, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, joined in the suit.
The appeals court panel, which sits in Washington, D.C., was skeptical of Mr. Obama’s case during oral argument in early December, with Chief Judge David B. Sentelle and Judge Thomas B. Griffith peppering the administration lawyers with questions.
The Constitution gives the president the power to nominate judges and executive branch officials, but the Senate must vote to confirm them before they take office. Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution grants the president powers “to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate.”
Those powers have produced centuries of give-and-take, with senators regularly slow-walking nominees and the White House looking for ways to get its way — including the recess appointment.
Mr. Obama’s move, though, appeared to break new ground by acting at a time when the Senate was meeting every third day, specifically to deny him the chance to make appointments.
The problem is the word “recess” has several meanings in legislative-speak. It can mean a short break during the day, it can mean a break of days or weeks for a holiday, or it can mean the end of a yearly session.
The president argued that even though the Senate was convening every three days, the pro forma sessions didn’t allow any business, and nearly every senator was absent from the chamber, signaling that the Senate wasn’t able to perform its confirmation duties and should be considered essentially in recess.

His opponents had warned that if Mr. Obama’s stance prevailed, then presidents could make appointments when the Senate takes its recess for weekly party caucus lunches.
The judges on Friday ruled that the only clear bright line is when the Senate recesses at the end of the year

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NY Lt. Gov: BO morphs into Newspeak
« Reply #416 on: February 25, 2013, 04:22:34 AM »
Obama's Government By Talking Points Morphs Into Orwell's Newspeak
By Betsy Mccaughey

Posted 02/19/2013 06:26 PM ET

In his famous novel "1984," George Orwell warned that it doesn't take a military
boot against your neck to oppress you.

Government can do it by using talking points — what Orwell called "newspeak" — to
hide truth, distort language, and keep the public in the dark. Orwell cautioned that
this manipulation poses the biggest threat to freedom, whether the government doing
the manipulating is right wing or left wing.

President Obama seems to be taking a page from "1984." The novel's main character is
a young bureaucrat living in a fictional totalitarian country and working in its
Ministry of Truth — a bureaucracy that produces the opposite of truth. It creates
"newspeak" to obscure the true state of things. The Obama administration has a
comparable operation.

Manipulating the truth is precisely what the Obama administration did in the hours
after the attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya. Draft talking
points were shuttled among several intelligence agencies, including the FBI and CIA,
as agency bureaucrats concocted a story blaming the attack on a video.

These talking points were given to Congress and used by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice
on Sunday talk shows to deceive the public.

People on all sides of political issues want the truth. Last Friday, Comedy
Central's Daily Show host Jon Stewart grilled Rice on the talking points. Rice
indignantly dismissed the question: "We've spent all these months trying to figure
out the origin of these talking points, which were cleared at the highest levels of
the intelligence community, and not enough time doing the service that we owe to our
fallen colleagues."

The studio audience erupted with applause, but Stewart wasn't bamboozled.

He zeroed in on how the talking points were "passed up and down the chain of command
to determine what should be said."

Why, asked Stewart, "is there a bureaucratic system in place that is so tenacious
with the explanation, but yet seemingly abdicates responsibility for the initial
situation?" In other words, why did the Obama administration give so much more
attention to deceiving the country than defending it? We need to know.

Orwellian signs of danger also pervaded the president's State of the Union talk on
Feb. 12.

It was crafted to conceal the state of the union and lull the public with
mind-numbing humbug. The address never once mentioned the biggest issue facing the
nation, its $16.5 trillion debt. It could have been Orwell's psycho-manipulator Big
Brother speaking.

The president pledged that in the future, his administration will be "even more
transparent about its counterterrorism efforts."

Orwell warned that government bureaucracies will use words to mean their opposite.
In the novel's oppressive state, war is peace. Freedom is slavery. In the Obama
administration,transparent means secret.

The Obama administration is battling to keep its drone program secret and has
actually gone to court to resist the American Civil Liberties Union's demand for
drone documents.

The president's nominee for CIA director, John Brennan, refused to answer California
Senator Dianne Feinstein's question last week, whether the administration could
conduct drone strikes inside the U.S., saying only that "it did not intend to do
so." No matter what your position on drones, the nation deserves a straight answer,
not these weasel words.

Most of Obama's State of the Union was a catalogue of new spending projects — $50
billion to fix bridges and roads, $15 billion to refurbish vacant city properties,
$1 billion for manufacturing hubs, as well as new solar, wind and geothermal energy
projects without price tags.

Then in a statement that Big Brother could have uttered, Obama announced that
"nothing I am proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime."

Orwell shocked the world with his warnings that government would distort language
and hide truth. But he was not a prophet of doom.

In "1984" he suggested that the destruction of free political discourse would be

And it doesn't have to happen at all if brave people persist in demanding the truth.
That's what we want, Mr. Obama, the truth.

• McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and author of "Beating


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The left getting in touch with their national socialist side
« Reply #417 on: March 01, 2013, 09:04:05 AM »

Liberal Racists Warn of Chaos

Only the left has a problem with an interracial political marriage..


"A Democratic group is under sharp criticism for controversial online messages about Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's wife," reports WFPL-FM, an NPR station in Louisville, Ky. For months Progress Kentucky, a liberal super PAC, has been stalking McConnell, the Bluegrass State's senior senator, holding "demonstrations at his offices and home."

Enlarge Image

Associated Press
The McConnells
But the attack on Mrs. McConnell, who in public goes by her maiden name of Elaine Chao, took place on Twitter. The station quotes a Progress Kentucky tweet dated Feb. 14: "This woman has the ear of (Sen. McConnell)—she's his wife. May explain why your job moved to China!" That was followed by a link to what WFPL describes as "a website run by conspiracy theorist and radio host Jeff Rense, alleging Chao, who was born in Taiwan, discriminated against American workers during her tenure." Chao served as labor secretary from 2001 through 2009.
The station quoted Curtis Morrison, a spokesman for Progress Kentucky: "It's not an official statement. It's a tweet. And we will remove it if it's wrong," he said. "I follow Ashley Judd on Twitter and she removed a Tweet the other day, she tweeted to you Phillip. People make mistakes in Tweets. It happens. Inferring that Elaine Chao is not a U.S. citizen was not our intention." (Ashley Judd is a loopy actress who is supposedly thinking about running against McConnell next year; Phillip Bailey is the WFPL reporter on the story.)
To judge by this quote, Morrison is a very confused man. Not only does he have difficulty distinguishing between implication and inference, but he misses the point of the complaints about his organization's tweet. The issue isn't Chao's citizenship status but the racially invidious nature of Progress Kentucky's attack on her.
Finally Shawn Reilly, Progress Kentucky's executive director, acknowledged the problem, telling Bailey in a follow-up report that the tweet "included an inappropriate comment on [Chao's] ethnicity." He added: "We apologize to the secretary for that unnecessary comment and have deleted the tweets in question. In addition, we have put a review process in place to ensure tweets and other social media communications from Progress Kentucky are reviewed and approved prior to posting." Maybe they should seek preclearance from the Justice Department.
McConnell and Chao have been married since 1993, and in all that time we don't remember a conservative or a Republican making an issue of her race or national origin. Since the wedding, McConnell has won re-election three times, suggesting that neither Republicans nor general-election voters in Kentucky--a state where slavery wasn't abolished until 1865--are bothered that their senator is in an interracial marriage.
Other than conspiracy nuts, the only people who seem bothered by it are the liberals at Progress Kentucky.


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Euro Socialism sets of a Fascist Bomb
« Reply #418 on: March 02, 2013, 05:56:34 PM »
As regulars here know, one of the things we try to do with this forum is organze threads so that this forum serves as a research tool, empowering us in the struggle against Orwellian memory hole techniques of the Pravdas.   Therefore GM's post in the Euro Matters thread seems to me quite important and deserving of duplication here.

In my use of the term fascism for the progressive forces here in the US I always team it up with the adjective "economic" so as to distinguish it from the additional and deeply ugly connotations the word correctly holds in its history in the European context. 

Amongst its several virtues, this article reminds of us this point.

Dangerous Times: How Euro-socialism Set off a Fascist Bomb
By James Lewis and Justine Aristea

In the terrible economic crisis of 1922 Benito Mussolini got 25% of the vote in Italy. Two years later he had more than a majority.
You know the rest.
In the economic crisis of 2013, Beppe Grillo received 24% of the vote (see last week's analysis of Grillo's political beliefs). This week he blocked a government from forming. Grillo now controls the Senate, but he is going for a majority in both houses in the upcoming vote in June.
That's in Italy, but in Greece the Golden Dawn party is following the same path. So is the new Hungarian fascist resurgence. In Germany it's called the "Pirate Party."
 Europe's political class is shocked and panicked. They are pretending Grillo is just a "populist" and a "reformer" -- but he also wants to "process" all the Jews in the world, who are responsible for all the evil. Grillo wants to nationalize the banks and abolish interest rates, "just like the Islamic Development Bank."
To understand the new upsurge of European fascism, you have to imagine what it's like to live in Rome.
Imagine the US government being sunk in red ink. The United Nations suspends the US Constitution and compels us to adopt a new UN currency called the UNO, designed to favor other countries. The United States no longer runs its own currency. Our economy tanks and our deficit keeps getting worse.
Therefore the UN unilaterally appoints a caretaker president for the US named Monti, who imposes radical budget cuts on our dependent welfare state.
1. Social Security is cut by half. People have to live on 700 euros per month.
2. ObamaCare is cut by half. Two hospitals in Rome do not pay their medical staffs for six months.
3. Taxes on income and sales are raised to an average of 50%.
4. Small business taxes are increased -- but big businesses taxes are lowered, "because big business is more efficient." (Meaning it has bigger unions).
5. Politicians and bureaucrats get major pay raises. The figurehead President of the US doubles his salary.
Government at all levels is corrupt. It's the only way people can survive. Everybody is playing double games. People are doing two jobs and running their own businesses out of government offices. Everybody cheats on taxes. The mafia controls half the country. Survival depends on the black market, the black economy. The currency is kept artificially high, so exports crash.
It's happened to Italy under the European Union. Don't think it can't happen here. Obama is a Euro socialist, representing faculty lounge socialism in America, so completely arrogant and cocksure that Paul Krugman just knows how to run the trillion-dollar US economy. Nobody else can figure it out, but Krugman knows that he knows. Our new rulers are control freaks, just as free market economists have said since Adam Smith. They are six year olds steering the family car and thinking they are in control until...
... until it all blows up.
This week Europe blew up. The media haven't caught up yet, because they are what they are. But the markets are catching up fast.
This is a huge event for the United States, because our political elite is bound and determined to turn us into Europe. Hasn't the EU found the answer to war and peace and prosperity forever?
Our Democrats believe it. Europe is their model. Every batty new idea they have is copied from the glorious European Union. Twenty years ago they still celebrated the Soviet Union, until that house of cards crumbled. Now they have shifted their fantasy paradise to Europe.
Over there, fifty years of increasingly centralized control have made it impossible for voters to be heard. The political parties are stuck in GroupThink. Only the fascist "protest" parties agitate for reform. The ruling class doesn't listen. They don't have to -- they don't have to run for election.
So European voters fled to the fascists to express their rage and despair. Imagine one out of four US voters going for Lincoln Rockwell, and you get the idea.
In Italy, Beppe Grillo the Clown just received 24% of the vote, the biggest percentage a single party has received since Benito Mussolini, Il Duce, in 1922, another economic crisis year.
 The Italian vote gives the Clown control of the Senate, and the biggest voice in the lower house. The Grillini now speak for the capital city of Rome. Since fascism is illegal in Italy, the Five Star Party pretends not to be fascist; but scratch the surface and that old grinning ghost stares back at you.)
The EU and US media are still in denial, but Italian party politicians instantly flew to Berlin to talk with Angela Merkel, and came back to build a common front against Grillo the Clown. But the Joker refused to play. He wants another election in June.
Currency markets are signaling panic. Don't believe the media. Believe the markets.
Europe is our future. It's Obama style of Chicago "governance," and as long as the people were inundated by EU propaganda they believed that Europe had discovered the secret of peace and welfare forever. Talk to any European and that's what you hear. They keep wondering why we don't follow them to Never-Neverland. If you tell question them they turn a deaf ear. They're mentally stuck.
As long as America defends Europe, they will keep hating us and pretending they are running the ocean liner, like kids with plastic steering wheels.
 The key to the whole farce is Europe's "democracy deficit," which means that the people can vote for the European Parliament -- but it has no legislative powers at all. The Parliament is a Potemkin front. It has no power to pass binding laws.
On the other hand, the unelected ruling class has centralized more and more power in "Commissions" -- which is what the word "Soviets" used to mean. But the EU has no electoral legitimacy. Nobody votes for the people who really run the place. That means the EU receives no feedback about the impact of its cult-like policy fantasies. When the people wanted a public referendum on the EU, the political class arrogantly told them to go... yes.
 In France, the Grand Corps of the State ("Enarques") run the government. Germany and Britain are similar. Together they appoint the European ruling elite. This is the EU socialist Apparat, the Political Machine that controls everything. And yes, there are capitalists, but they work hand-in-glove with the Apparat. It's Crony Social Capitalism (technically the same as fascism).
As a result normal people feel totally powerless. As long as the Ponzi scheme lasts, the victims loved it. The media churned out neo-imperialist propaganda about how Europe had finally discovered peace and welfare forever, and everybody wanted to believe.
Today, southern and eastern Europe are running into a brick wall, designed by Europe's ruling class in its delusional way. The north blames the south, and vice versa. Nobody can stop the ruling class from its mad rush to destruction, so we are seeing a 'protest vote" in Germany, Poland, eastern Europe, and the PIIGS -- the Mediterranean coastal countries plus Ireland.
The only protest party people can vote for are barely disguised fascists: The Five Star party in Italy, Golden Dawn in Greece, Pirate Party in Germany, and fascist insurgents in Hungary.
Here's how it's done. In Italy Beppe Grillo ran as a sly comedian, spinning off conspiracy theories about 'chemtrails" (jet contrails) that poison the Italian people, the Rockefellers, Rothschilds and Illuminati who run the world to oppress the poor, and all the usual paranoid fantasies. But he also attacked massive corruption (which is true) and self-serving politicians (also true), and the euro currency that killed Italian exports (also true). Grillo voiced criticisms that other politicians avoided. Everybody knows about massive corruption, for example. Grillo said it.
Now the Clown has his own sources of money and ideology, which lead straight to Tehran, as we have pointed out. The Clown hates the Jews, and his website mentions "Jews" 2,500 times, and "Iran" 2,500 times. The Islamic Development Bank doesn't charge interest, the Clown tells us. This is pure Islamic fascist propaganda. Banks that loan free money don't exist in the real world, because they can't survive. But demagogues tell sucker lies, and this is a good one. Beppe tells his followers that he will nationalize the banks (like Il Duce) and give away free loans. It's like Obama phones, straight from Obama's stash. The suckers love it.
The Jews run the world by charging "usury" (this is an old, old story in Europe). In Beppe's Fantasyland money comes free, exactly what Islamist propaganda says. Beppe tells the world that "Everything I know about the Middle East I've learned from my father-in-law" Parvin Tajik, who runs a major construction business in Tehran, and therefore has to be in cahoots with the super-corrupt mullahs.
Guess who plays the scapegoat in this age-old drama? Yup.
People laughed at old Beppe the Clown for fifteen years.
Today the joke's on them.

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Re: Liberal fascism: James Taranto WSJ on Nanny State Advocacy
« Reply #421 on: March 26, 2013, 09:51:50 AM »
First, bringing this post over from Cognitive Dissonance of the Left thread:

Continuing in our get to the know the left series. 

It’s For Your Own Good!
Cass R. Sunstein

Left thinker Sunstein reviews "Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism"
by Sarah Conly which explains with a straight face why a system of "paternalist" government-based decision making is better than individual free choices.  I kid you not.

"Conly convincingly argues that behavioral findings raise significant questions about Mill’s harm principle [coersion can only be to prevent harm to others]. When people are imposing serious risks on themselves, it is not enough to celebrate freedom of choice and ignore the consequences."

Yesterday Sarah Conly argued her points in the New York Times: 
Three Cheers for the Nanny State
Published: March 24, 2013

In today's online WSJ and linked at Real Clear Politics Opinion Journal Editor James Taranto taking her to task, pointing out a little cognitive dissonance in the choices of liberal left nanny state advocates.  In our continuing, content sharing agreement with the WSJ I thank them for generously listing yours truly in the credits at the end of the column.  )

Don't Nudge Me There
If government may dictate soda size, why not sexual behavior?


If you want to get published on the op-ed page of a major newspaper, a good way to go about it is to make a reasonable, or at least reasonable-sounding, case for an unpopular and outlandish position. It's important that the issue be trivial, so that readers will get riled up but no one will really feel offended or threatened.

Philosopher Sarah Conly, author of a new book called "Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism," has discovered the formula. In a New York Times op-ed titled "Three Cheers for the Nanny State," she defends Mayor Michael Bloomberg's almost universally ridiculed (and judicially enjoined) ban on large sodas and other sugary beverages.

Conly's argument doesn't seem unreasonable, though it is incoherent in places. In a parenthetical aside, for example, she mocks opponents for objecting over such a trivial matter: "Large cups of soda as symbols of human dignity? Really?" (Note to the editors: That "Really?" is lazy writing. Why not let a rhetorical question stand on its own? See what we mean?) But of course she wants us to take her defense of this silly policy as a serious philosophical argument.

Then there's this priceless passage: "Do we care so much about our health that we want to be forced to go to aerobics every day and give up all meat, sugar and salt? No. But in this case, it's some extra soda. Banning a law on the grounds that it might lead to worse laws would mean we could have no laws whatsoever."

Oddly, Conly bases her reductio ad absurdum on false empirical premises. The benefits and risks of exercise, and of particular forms of exercise, vary from individual to individual. And giving up all meat and salt, unlike sugar, is likely to harm your health.

The best part is that conclusion. Essentially she's saying that if you accept one slippery-slope argument, you have to accept all slippery-slope arguments. Therefore, slippery-slope arguments are unsound.

We police the front seat. Why not the back seat?

But wait, that's a slippery-slope argument! You've heard of the liar's paradox? Its simplest form is the statement "This statement is false." Conly's greatest contribution to philosophy may be the slippery-slope argument against slippery-slope arguments. Call it the slipper's paradox.

We're less impressed with Conly's argument in favor of the soda ban and measures like it. She rebuts John Stuart Mill, the 19th-century liberal philosopher who established the "harm principle"--the idea that coercion is generally justified only to prevent individuals from harming others. Mill also allowed that there were unusual cases in which government would be justified in restricting an individual's behavior for his own good--"when we are acting out of ignorance and doing something we'll pretty definitely regret." Since it's common knowledge that large quantities of refined sugar are bad for you, that wouldn't justify the soda ban.

Conly thinks Mill didn't go far enough in justifying coercion. Science has shown "that we often don't think very clearly when it comes to choosing the best means to attain our ends," she writes. "We make errors. . . . We are all prone to identifiable and predictable miscalculations." Thus we should surrender a measure of autonomy and yield to rules promulgated by experts, who presumably know what's good for us: "Giving up a little liberty is something we agree to when we agree to live in a democratic society that is governed by laws."

Again she brings up the slippery slope: "What people fear is that this is just the beginning: today it's soda, tomorrow it's the guy standing behind you making you eat your broccoli, floss your teeth, and watch 'PBS NewsHour' every day."

Crazy, right? Maybe not. Conly's op-ed never mentions smoking, but in a sympathetic review in the New York Review of Books, Cass Sunstein reports that in "Against Autonomy" she argues "that because the health risks of smoking are so serious, the government should ban it." (Sunstein, a legal scholar and former Obama administration official, is coauthor of the 2008 book "Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness," which makes an argument similar to Conly's.)

What's interesting about the smoking-ban proposal is that while it is culturally radical, it is not philosophically radical. Is there any doubt that if cigarettes were a new invention, lawmakers would quickly ban them? Libertarians would object, on the same ground that they argue for the legalization of other drugs. But their point of view would command little public support, at least unless and until illicit cigarette smoking became as widespread as illicit marijuana use is today.

That is to say that a moderate form of Conly's philosophy has long prevailed, even in as freedom-loving a country as America. While we may bridle at being told we can't do something we are used to doing or didn't realize we weren't supposed to do, generally we don't do so as a matter of principle. (Libertarians, you're off the hook on that observation.) Generally speaking, Americans accept a wide variety of regulations on their personal behavior that are designed to be in their own good.

So what does Conly have to say that is original? Well, her book is called "Against Autonomy" and subtitled "Justifying Coercive Paternalism." That makes it sound as if she is advocating aggressive and thoroughgoing government intrusion into individual decision-making. Her positions on the soda ban and tobacco prohibition seem to bolster that. But those take her only slightly beyond the views that today prevail among the left-liberal elite.

Similarly, according to Sunstein, she endorses Bloomberg's ban on trans fats as well as "regulations designed to reduce portion sizes"--presumably of solid food as well as dissolved sugar. But in areas in which her philosophy would seem to conflict with prevailing left-liberal views, she's less adventurous than Bloomberg:

    She is far more ambivalent about Mayor Bloomberg's effort to convince the US Department of Agriculture to authorize a ban on the use of food stamps to buy soda. She is not convinced that the health benefits would be significant, and she emphasizes that people really do enjoy drinking soda.

You'd think the logic of "coercive paternalism"--of government-imposed restrictions designed to promote individual welfare--would apply more strongly when individuals are dependent on government for financial support of their welfare. To put it another way, someone who is financially autonomous has a stronger argument that he ought to be personally autonomous. We're not sure what Conly thinks of that argument--the $95 cover price (0% off at Amazon) has nudged us away from acquiring her book--but we suspect she adheres less strongly to "coercive paternalism" than to the orthodoxies of contemporary left-liberalism.

An even better example is this observation from Sunstein's review: "Because hers is a paternalism of means rather than ends, she would not authorize government to stamp out sin (as, for example, by forbidding certain forms of sexual behavior)."

What a staggering cop-out. The past 50 years or so have seen a massive deregulation of personal behavior in the sexual sphere, a revolution of law, technology, custom and economics, all in the name of personal autonomy. Never mind "sin"--this has had bad consequences for public health (AIDS and other new sexually transmitted diseases), for children (far more of whom are born out of wedlock and reared without fathers), and even for the future of the welfare state (since declining fertility makes old-age entitlements unsustainable).

It may be that the sexual revolution is irreversible and the concomitant problems are intractable. If Conly lacks the imagination to come up with policy solutions, so do we. But if she dismisses this enormous question as a matter of "sin" and focuses instead on trivia like soda-size regulations, why should we take her philosophy seriously?


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Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism:
« Reply #422 on: March 26, 2013, 03:53:06 PM »
One correction "sin"-- this has had bad consequences for public health (Aids ...)

Whoa!  I didn't know sexual "deregulation" [gays] transmitted AIDS - I thought Ronald Reagan did.


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Of course: Former Weather Underground radical convicted of felony murder now an adjunct professor at Columbia

posted at 6:01 pm on April 2, 2013 by Allahpundit

I have little sympathy for Ward Churchill but it does feel strange that his sins are grounds for banishment from academia when Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, and now Kathy Boudin graduated from the Weathermen — and, in Boudin’s case, prison — to jobs in the ivory tower. Is Churchill’s real problem that he wasn’t militant enough? He talked a good game about how the U.S. had 9/11 coming but he never tried to blow anyone up to make the point. The same could be said of virtually any two-bit campus radical. Why hire him when you could hire someone made famous by their links to a group known for its willingness to kill for the cause?
Remember all of this the next time Chris Matthews or whoever airs a special tut-tutting Republicans for welcoming tea-party “radicals” into the fold.

Former Weather Underground radical Kathy Boudin — who spent 22 years in prison for an armored-car robbery that killed two cops and a Brinks guard — now holds a prestigious adjunct professorship at Columbia University’s School of Social Work, The Post has learned…
Boudin’s status of perp-turned-prof outraged the widow of one of her victims, Brinks guard and dad of three Peter Paige, who was gunned down by her accomplices from the Black Liberation Army on Oct. 20, 1981, in Rockland County.
Boudin acted as a getaway driver in the heist.
“She doesn’t deserve a job at all,” said Josephine Paige, 74, when told of Boudin’s posts. “She doesn’t deserve anything, nothing at all. I think she should be back in an institution.”…
Of the hundreds of students Boudin has taught, Yoshioka said, just three have expressed qualms about her criminal background, and only one “switched out” of a class because of those concerns.

I was just reading the part of Ayers’s Wikipedia bio that describes how he became a radical. Quote: “To stand still was to choose indifference. Indifference was the opposite of moral.” That’s a nice counterpoint to Columbia students shrugging off Boudin’s history. Incidentally, there’s another reason why the Weathermen honor roll may have gotten a little more leeway from liberal intellectuals than, say, Ward Churchill has: To varying degrees, they’re all children of privilege. Ayers’s father went on to become the head of one of Illinois’s biggest utilities; his friendship with the head of a major Chicago law firm later helped Dohrn land a job during her post-Weathermen phase. Boudin grew up in Manhattan, went to Bryn Mawr, and then wrangled a lighter sentence for herself then her accomplices in the Brinks job got thanks to help from one of her father’s law partners. These connections were their conduit back into polite liberal society (polite enough for Ayers to make the acquaintance of a future president) and made them “respectable” enough to employ at places like Columbia. Class warriors that they are, I wonder how much they enjoy the irony.


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Weatherman murderer Kathy Boudin now Columbia prof
« Reply #425 on: April 04, 2013, 06:24:26 AM »
Yet another shameful episode from my alma mater:


Where Is the Former Weather Underground Radical Who Spent 22 Years in Prison for Robbery That Left 2 Cops Dead? The Answer May or May Not Surprise You
Former Weather Underground radical Kathy Boudin (New York Post)
Following in the footsteps of Weather Underground founder Bill Ayers, a domestic terrorist-turned respected academic thinker, former Weather Underground radical Kathy Boudin — who spent 22 years in prison for her involvement in an armored car robbery that left two cops and a Brinks guard dead — currently holds a prestigious adjunct professorship at Columbia University, the New York Post reports.
In addition to her new professorship at Columbia’s School of Social Work, Boudin, 69, also earned another academic achievement this year, being named the Sheinberg Scholar-in-Residence at NYU Law School. She reportedly gave a lecture on “the politics of parole and re-entry” at the university last month.
As the New York Post reports in a story headlined “Outrage 101: Radical jailed in slay now Columbia prof,” Boudin was paroled in 2003 after acting as the getaway driver in the deadly $1.6 million heist. Less than 10 years later she found herself mingling among the nation’s academic elite at Columbia University.
“Boudin’s status of perp-turned-prof outraged the widow of one of her victims, Brinks guard and dad of three Peter Paige, who was gunned down by her accomplices from the Black Liberation Army on Oct. 20, 1981, in Rockland County,” the New York Post reports.
“She doesn’t deserve a job at all,” Josephine Paige, 74, told the Post. “She doesn’t deserve anything, nothing at all. I think she should be back in an institution.”
The New York Post has the exclusive on this story:


John Hanchar, the nephew of another victim of the robbery, Nyack Police Officer Edward O’Grady, said that while Boudin “has a right to do whatever she wants . . . I just hope the people that she’s lecturing are smart enough to question why [she felt] like killing people is an acceptable choice to forward their goals.”
“It’s easy to forget that violence is never the answer. Nine children grew up without their dads because of her actions,” said Hanchar, whose uncle O’Grady was shot with automatic weapons
Boudin did not respond to a request for comment.
One Friday, a criminal-justice conference at the school will feature keynote address by Angela Davis, another infamous radical, and later this month Boudin is scheduled to speak at Columbia Law School’s conference on child and family advocacy.
Boudin reportedly teaches students about the issues facing convicts and their families when a criminal is released from prison — a topic she is well versed in.

This is the front page of a Chicago Police Department Daily Bulletin issued April 9, 1970, showing eight members of the Weathermen faction of the SDS who are being sought on warrants charging aggravated battery on police officers. All except Cathy Wilkerson, upper left, and Robert Roth, lower left, have been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on charges of crossing state lines to incite riots in connection with demonstrations in Chicago last fall. (AP Photo/Chicago Police Dept.)

Weather Underground member Katherine Boudin is led from Rockland County Courthouse in New City, New York, by sheriff’s officers in this Nov. 21, 1981 file photo. Boudin learned her son, Chesa, had been named a Rhodes Scholar in a phone call to prison, where she has spent all but 14 months of his life. Chesa Boudin, a 22-year-old Yale senior and activist who speaks widely on the problems of children with incarcerated parents, was among the 32 American college students selected Sunday, Dec. 8,2002, for Rhodes scholarships. (AP Photo/Handschuh)

Kathy Boudin, left, waves as she leaves the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility escorted by a corrections officer, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2003 in Bedford Hills, N.Y.  (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Marianne Yoshioka, associate dean for academic affairs and associate professor of professional practice in social work at Columbia University, told the NY Post that only three student have expressed concerns with Boudin’s criminal history and just one student switched classes because of her radical past. Boudin was reportedly hired by Yoshioka in 2008.
Yoshioka said Boudin has been “an excellent teacher who gets incredible evaluations from her students each year.”
Robert Van Cura, Rockland County’s undersheriff, said he was glad that Boudin was trying to do something positive with her life following her sketchy history, however, he added that “I believe there’s probably other people that are available to provide education beyond someone who is on parole for murder.”
“Boudin’s bounce-back into respectability after her 2003 parole comes to light a week before the release of Robert Redford’s movie ‘The Company You Keep,’ loosely based on the $1.6 million heist,” the Post notes.
Bill Ayers was recently named the 2013 College of Education and Human Services “visiting scholar” by Minnesota State University. He also speaks at various schools across the country.


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J. Goldberg: Your children belong to us
« Reply #426 on: April 12, 2013, 10:32:53 AM »
The Goldberg File
By Jonah Goldberg
April 12, 2013

Dear Reader (including those of you still languishing behind the veil of ignorance),

So earlier this week MSNBC released one of its "Lean Forward" ads, this time with a woman named Melissa Harris-Perry.

Before we get to all that, a word about the ad campaign itself. In one sense these ads are like the question, "You want extra?" from the masseuse at a shady Vietnamese massage parlor -- proof that all pretense at propriety is exactly that, pretense. This is supposed to be a news network. Moreover, it is supposed to be a news network that constantly boasts of its professional and philosophical superiority to Fox News (and it's true; except for ratings, influence, quality, and profit MSNBC kicks Fox's butt). And yet, they run testimonials to state power with a frequency that rivals North Korean TV.

But in another sense these ads are the "extra" itself -- a rather sad and perfunctory attempt to satisfy urges that barely rise above the masturbatory. The self-love oozes from the screen as the hosts' inner-15-year-olds realize this is their chance to prove they're as great as their favorite social-studies teacher told them they were!

Thanks to the magic of Hollywood, they preen for the cameras with an almost post-coital glow as they deliver their little sermonettes that amount to pointless verbal onanism. Hey, look. There's no-necked Ed Schultz at a diner, looking like he's having one last cup of coffee before he has to work up a sweat burying the corpse of a dissident union official still moldering in the trunk of his ten-year-old Coupe de Ville. And there's Rachel Maddow (looking a bit like that aforementioned dead union official) trying to give her Stakhanovite commitment to infrastructure projects a romantic hue.

All Your Children Belong to Us

And now there's Melissa Harris-Perry. By now you've heard of or seen the ad, but just in case here it is. In short, she thinks the idea that your kids are, well, yours is outdated and counterproductive.

Rich Lowry, praise be upon him, offers a fine summary of what Harris-Perry is getting at here. Actually, no disrespect to the guy who signs my paycheck (who is not only a powerful man, but a handsome one) but Harris-Perry herself was more than clear enough about what she's after. The thing is only 30 seconds long, very highly produced, and straight to the point.

This is important because Harris-Perry is now simultaneously insisting she won't apologize and insisting that she didn't say what she so obviously said. In the ad she's talking about the role of government, government investments, and ridiculing the idea of "private" ownership of kids. "We have to break through," she urged, "our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families." Now she claims she was talking about civil society and voluntarism?

As the guy who took Obama to his first stable said when the president was about to step in some equine feces, "Oh, that's horses***."

The Wayback Machine

Like Sisyphus said on day 12,092 of his sentence, "forgive me for getting a little frustrated here."

The whole point of her commercial was to explain, in the condescending tones we usually expect from baristas with two graduate degrees, This Is How The Smart People See Things. And, on that level, I am utterly unsurprised she was surprised by the controversy. The notion that we need to solve the "problem" of private ownership of children is an ancient idea among progressives. The whole reason the ad made it on air is that Harris-Perry doesn't know anyone who thought it was controversial.

Lots of folks have been citing Hillary Clinton's It Takes a Village, (which I've actually read for reasons that have to do with original sin and the tragic nature of the universe) but the more relevant text is actually Clinton's address to the United Methodist General Conference in 1996. "As adults we have to start thinking and believing that there isn't really any such thing as someone else's child . . . For that reason, we cannot permit discussions of children and families to be subverted by political or ideological debate."

This quote can be found in Liberal Fascism -- along with many, many, pages on this eternal progressive dream of grabbing the kids. For instance, from page 326:

Since Plato's Republic, politicians, intellectuals, and priests have been fascinated with the idea of "capturing" children for social-engineering purposes. This is why Robespierre advocated that children be raised by the state. Hitler, who understood as well as any the importance of winning the hearts and minds of youth—once remarked, "When an opponent says 'I will not come over to your side,' I calmly say, 'Your child belongs to us already . . . You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing but this new community.'" Woodrow Wilson candidly observed that the primary mission of the educator was to make children as unlike their parents as possible. Charlotte Perkins Gilman stated it more starkly. "There is no more brilliant hope on earth to-day," the feminist icon proclaimed, "than this new thought about the child . . . the recognition of 'the child,' children as a class, children as citizens with rights to be guaranteed only by the state; instead of our previous attitude toward them of absolute personal [that is, parental] ownership—the unchecked tyranny . . . of the private home."

But, as that aforementioned Vietnamese masseuse likes to say, wait, there's more. Clinton's line actually gets closer to the point I make in The Tyranny of Clichés, out in paperback at the end of the month. ("We knew that was coming" -- The Couch). In Tyranny, one of my main arguments is that liberals are -- what's the right word? Oh, that's right, lying when they say they aren't ideological. Well, here's Hillary Clinton blithely telling the world that we need to get beyond the antiquated idea that you have more claim on your kid than anyone else and, then, in the same breath insisting that anyone who disagrees is being subversively "ideological" or "political." Think about that. It's like saying, "We as a country must move beyond the idea that the avant-garde of the proletariat as represented by the Politburo doesn't have the uncontestable right to invoke prima nocta and steal the virtue of your maiden daughters," and then claiming, without missing a beat, that any objections to this eminently reasonable and pragmatic point of view amounts to nothing more than political or ideological subversion. (Am I going to get any credit for that Leninist-Braveheart mash-up?).

Seriously, according to Clinton, you are a subversive if you think your kid is yours. And let's be clear: The collective ownership of the "village," that Clinton, Harris-Perry, et al. have in mind, is ownership by the state, guidance by the state. Mussolini's definition of fascism was the idea that everything is within the state, nothing outside the state. For Clinton & Co. everything is within the village; nothing is outside of it.

Anyway, I don't want to go all Red Dawn here ("Wolverines!" -- The Couch), but I'm pretty sure we have a Second Amendment precisely to recognize the fact that my kids are mine.

Moreover, it really needs to be pointed out that as a matter of policy and pragmatism, the idea that collective ownership of kids is smarter, better, or more enlightened than private ownership of kids (i.e. traditional parenting) is incandescently stoopid. Of course, the government has an obligation to step in when there's criminal abuse or gross irresponsibility. But there's no way, bureaucrats can do a better job of caring for kids than actual parents can. As I say in pretty much every speech I give: The government cannot love you. And, by extension, it sure as Hell can't love your children, never mind love them more than you do.

Lowry, in his philosopher-king wisdom, beat me to one of my favorite stories about Phil Gramm. He once told a woman, "My educational policies are based on the fact that I care more about my children than you do."

The woman, in full Melissa Harris-Perry mode, responded, "No, you don't."

Gramm shot back, "Okay, what are their names?"


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Strassel: Terry McAuliffe's crony capitalism
« Reply #427 on: April 12, 2013, 11:06:12 AM »
second post of the morning

Strassel: Terry McAuliffe's Solyndra Running for governor of Virginia, the Democrat's main business credential is fast turning into a crony-capitalist embarrassment.
Turn over any green-energy rock, and wiggling underneath will be the usual creepy mix of political favoritism and taxpayer-funded handouts. Add to this the Clintons, Mississippi and a murky visa program, and you've got a particularly ripe political embarrassment for Terry McAuliffe.

Everyone remember The Macker? Best Friend of Bill. Chairman of Hillary's 2008 presidential campaign. Famed money-tree shaker. Former Democratic Party chief. Failed 2009 contender for the Virginia governorship but now back as the party's nominee for that position in this fall's election. Oh—and in Mr. McAuliffe's words—"a Virginia businessman" intent on "creating jobs."

Or at least that was the image Mr. McAuliffe sought to portray in 2009, when he became chairman of a car company called GreenTech Automotive, with plans to produce golf-cart sized electric vehicles. The former DNC chief is no stranger to moneymaking, having once used a friendly union pension fund to spin a $100 investment in a Florida land deal into $2.45 million. GreenTech, however, was designed to shed the moneyman image and to reposition Mr. McAuliffe as a (clean) job creator the way Mark Warner and Bob McDonnell used their pro-business credentials to win office in Virginia.

To this end, Mr. McAuliffe got out the political Rolodex and went on the money hunt. By October 2009, GreenTech announced it would build a plant in Tunica, Miss., after the state (under Republican then-Gov. Haley Barbour) promised at least $5 million in public loans and grants to aid the company moving in.

GreenTech bragged that in its first phase alone it would invest $1 billion, employ 1,500 and produce 150,000 cars annually. Mr. McAuliffe grandly unveiled his signature MyCar last July at a rock-star event attended by Messrs. Clinton and Barbour. Business creds in hand, he then announced his run for governor—and the problems began.

Among the first questions he was asked was why, as a proud "Virginia" businessman, he'd located his business in Mississippi. Scrambling, Mr. McAuliffe stated that he had wanted to bring his jobs home but the Virginia Economic Development Partnership "didn't want to bid on" GreenTech—whereas Mississippi had offered incentives. He went so far as to criticize the state for not going after manufacturing jobs like his, suggesting he'd change that.

After an investigation, media outlets discovered that Virginia never received enough information from GreenTech to proceed. The Associated Press reported that the state agency worried that "GreenTech lacked brand recognition; had not demonstrated vehicle performance; had no federal safety and fuel-economy certification; no emissions approval . . . no distribution network" and (ouch) "no demonstrated automotive industry experience within the executive management team." Rather than respond to these concerns, GreenTech moved on with Mississippi (which perhaps wasn't asking annoying questions).

Virginia was particularly alarmed by GreenTech's use of an opaque visa program, called EB-5, to fund itself. Part of a 1990 immigration law, EB-5 lets foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in a U.S. company receive green cards. A federal immigration agency approves "regional centers" that administer the program.

While these centers can be run by local government, GreenTech proposed running a Virginia center itself. One official at the Virginia development agency wrote to colleagues that she couldn't view Greentech's EB-5 program as "anything other than a visa-for-sale scheme with potential national security implications."

GreenTech is today using its own investment vehicle to run a regional center in Mississippi. The president and CEO of Gulf Coast Funds Management is Anthony Rodham, the youngest brother of Hillary Clinton. Its board is composed of Democratic Party insiders, from former Clinton IRS Commissioner Margaret Richardson to former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco. Neither the immigration agency, nor GreenTech or Gulf Coast, has divulged how much money the company has raised via EB-5, or how many visas it has issued.

This is of particular interest, since GreenTech looks to be a lemon. Despite promising production in 2011, there is no evidence the company is manufacturing any cars in volume. It is operating out of a temporary site and has yet to begin building its flagship factory in Tunica. GreenTech is the latest proof (after Solyndra, Fisker, A123 and others) that the political class is adept at hooking up cronies and investors with taxpayer dollars. But creating jobs? No can do.

This may explain the latest news bomblet. Mr. McAuliffe continued flogging his GreenTech credentials this year, appearing in January at a trade show under the title "chairman of GreenTech Automotive." Recent media reports have also used that title—with no protest from the candidate. But as the heat mounted, his campaign last week released a letter that claims Mr. McAuliffe had resigned from GreenTech by Dec. 1, 2012. The company, Mr. McAuliffe would now like everyone to know, has nothing to do with him.

The Democratic pol may not shake the story so easily, given the degree to which he made the firm central to his gubernatorial run. Green crony capitalism is proving to be one of the more politically toxic stories of our time. And in this case, just in time for an election.

Write to


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There is no alternative
« Reply #428 on: April 25, 2013, 08:53:25 AM »
A Euro socialist struggles with the implications of fascism , , ,

There is no alternative
Governments now answer to business, not voters. Mainstream parties grow ever harder to distinguish. Is democracy dead?
by Henry Farrell

Last September, Il Partito Democratico, the Italian Democratic Party, asked me to talk about politics and the internet at its summer school in Cortona. Political summer schools are usually pleasant — Cortona is a medieval Tuscan hill town with excellent restaurants — and unexciting. Academics and public intellectuals give talks organised loosely around a theme; in this case, the challenges of ‘communication and democracy’. Young party activists politely listen to our speeches while they wait to do the real business of politics, between sessions and at the evening meals.

This year was different. The Italian Democratic Party, which dominates the country’s left-of-centre politics, knew that it was in trouble. A flamboyant blogger and former comedian named Beppe Grillo had turned his celebrity into an online political force, Il Movimento 5 Stelle (the Five Star Movement), which promised to do well in the national elections. The new party didn’t have any coherent plan beyond sweeping out Old Corruption, but that was enough to bring out the crowds. The Five Star Movement was particularly good at attracting young idealists, the kind of voters who might have been Democrats a decade before.

Worries about this threat spilt over into the summer school. The relationship between communication and democracy suddenly had urgent political implications. The Democratic Party had spent two decades suffering under the former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s stranglehold on traditional media. Now it found itself challenged on the left too, by internet-fuelled populists who seemed to be sucking attention and energy away from it.

The keynote speaker at the summer school, the Democratic Party leader and prospective prime minister Pier Luigi Bersani, was in a particularly awkward position. Matteo Renzi, the ‘reformist’ mayor of Florence, had recently challenged Bersani’s leadership, promising the kind of dynamism that would appeal to younger voters. If Bersani wanted to stay on as party leader, he had to win an open primary. The summer school gave him a chance to speak to the activists in training, and try to show that he was still relevant.

I was one of two speakers warming up the crowd for Bersani. The party members and reporters endured us patiently enough as they waited for the real event. However, when Bersani started talking, he gave a speech that came strikingly close to a counsel of despair. He told his audience that representative democracy, European representative democracy in particular, was in crisis. Once, it had offered the world a model for reconciling economy and society. Now it could no longer provide the concrete benefits — jobs, rights, and environmental protection — that people wanted. In Italy, Berlusconi and his allies had systematically delegitimized government and undermined public life. The relationship between politics and society was broken.

Bersani knew what he didn’t want — radical political change. Any reforms would have to be rooted in traditional solidarities. But he didn’t know what he did want either, or if he did, he wasn’t able to describe it. His speech was an attack, swathed in the usual billowing abstractions of Italian political rhetoric, on the purported radicalism of both his internal party opponent and the Five Star Movement. He didn’t really have a programme of his own. He could promise his party nothing except hard challenges and uncertain outcomes.

Why do social democrats such as Bersani find it so hard to figure out what to do? It isn’t just the Italians who are in trouble. Social democrats in other countries are also in retreat. In France, Francoise Hollande’s government has offered many things: a slight softening of austerity (France’s deficit this year will be somewhat higher than the European Commission would like); occasional outbursts of anti-business rhetoric (usually swiftly contradicted by follow-up statements); higher taxes on the very rich (to be rolled back as soon as possible). What it has not offered is anything approaching a coherent programme for change.

Germany’s Social Democrats are suffering, too. The Christian Democrat-led government can get away with austerity measures as long as it convinces voters that it will do a better job of keeping their money safe from the Spaniards, Italians and Greeks. And the Social Democratic Party’s candidate for Chancellor, Peer Steinbrück, is not well placed to object. In 2009 he helped introduce a constitutional measure to limit government spending, hoping that this would make his party look more responsible. He now appears like a weaker, less resolute version of his opponent, Chancellor Angela Merkel, and has 32 per cent job approval.

Greece’s mainstream socialist party, Pasok, won only 12.3 per cent of the vote in the election in June last year. Spain’s social democrats are perhaps in even greater disarray than the conservative government. Ireland’s Labour Party, a junior party in the current government, saw its vote collapse from 21 per cent to 4.6 per cent in a by-election in March.

Where they are in opposition, European social democrats don’t know what to offer voters. Where they are in power, they don’t know how to use it. Even in the United States, which has never had a social democratic party with national appeal, the Democrats have gradually changed from a party that belonged ambiguously to the left to one that spans the limited gamut between the ever-so-slightly-left-of-centre and the centre-right. It, too, has had enormous difficulty in spelling out a new agenda, because of internal divisions as well as entrenched hostility from the Republican Party.

This isn’t what was supposed to happen. In the 1990s and the 2000s, right-wing parties were the enthusiasts of the market, pushing for the deregulation of banks, the privatisation of core state functions and the whittling away of social protections. All of these now look to have been very bad ideas. The economic crisis should really have discredited the right, not the left. So why is it the left that is paralysed?

Colin Crouch’s disquieting little book, Post-Democracy (2005), provides one plausible answer. Crouch is a British academic who spent several years teaching at the European University Institute in Florence, where he was my academic supervisor. His book has been well read in the UK, but in continental Europe its impact has been much more remarkable. Though he was not at the Cortona summer school in person, his ideas were omnipresent. Speaker after speaker grappled with the challenge that his book threw down. The fear that he was right, that there was no palatable exit from our situation, hung over the conference like a dusty pall.

Crouch sees the history of democracy as an arc. In the beginning, ordinary people were excluded from decision-making. During the 20th century, they became increasingly able to determine their collective fate through the electoral process, building mass parties that could represent their interests in government. Prosperity and the contentment of working people went hand in hand. Business recognised limits to its power and answered to democratically legitimated government. Markets were subordinate to politics, not the other way around.

At some point shortly after the end of the Second World War, democracy reached its apex in countries such as Britain and the US. According to Crouch, it has been declining ever since. Places such as Italy had more ambiguous histories of rise and decline, while others still, including Spain, Portugal and Greece, began the ascent much later, having only emerged from dictatorship in the 1970s. Nevertheless, all of these countries have reached the downward slope of the arc. The formal structures of democracy remain intact. People still vote. Political parties vie with each other in elections, and circulate in and out of government. Yet these acts of apparent choice have had their meaning hollowed out. The real decisions are taken elsewhere. We have become squatters in the ruins of the great democratic societies of the past.

Crouch lays some blame for this at the feet of the usual suspects. As markets globalise, businesses grow more powerful (they can relocate their activities, or threaten to relocate) and governments are weakened. Yet the real lessons of his book are about more particular forms of disconnection.

Neo-liberalism, which was supposed to replace grubby politics with efficient, market-based competition, has led not to the triumph of the free market but to the birth of new and horrid chimeras. The traditional firm, based on stable relations between employer, workers and customers, has spun itself out into a complicated and ever-shifting network of supply relationships and contractual forms. The owners remain the same but their relationship to their employees and customers is very different. For one thing, they cannot easily be held to account. As the American labour lawyer Thomas Geoghegan and others have shown, US firms have systematically divested themselves of inconvenient pension obligations to their employees, by farming them out to subsidiaries and spin-offs. Walmart has used hands-off subcontracting relationships to take advantage of unsafe working conditions in the developing world, while actively blocking efforts to improve industry safety standards until 112 garment workers died in a Bangladesh factory fire in November last year. Amazon uses subcontractors to employ warehouse employees in what can be unsafe and miserable working conditions, while minimising damage to its own brand.

Instead of clamping down on such abuses, the state has actually tried to ape these more flexible and apparently more efficient arrangements, either by putting many of its core activities out to private tender through complex contracting arrangements or by requiring its internal units to behave as if they were competing firms. As one looks from business to state and from state to business again, it is increasingly difficult to say which is which. The result is a complex web of relationships that are subject neither to market discipline nor democratic control. Businesses become entangled with the state as both customer and as regulator. States grow increasingly reliant on business, to the point where they no longer know what to do without its advice. Responsibility and accountability evanesce into an endlessly proliferating maze of contracts and subcontracts. As Crouch describes it, government is no more responsible for the delivery of services than Nike is for making the shoes that it brands. The realm of real democracy — political choices that are responsive to voters’ needs — shrinks ever further.

Politicians, meanwhile, have floated away, drifting beyond the reach of the parties that nominally chose them and the voters who elected them. They simply don’t need us as much as they used to. These days, it is far easier to ask business for money and expertise in exchange for political favours than to figure out the needs of a voting public that is increasingly fragmented and difficult to understand anyway. Both the traditional right, which always had strong connections to business, and the new left, which has woven new ties in a hurry, now rely on the private sector more than on voters or party activists. As left and right grow ever more disconnected from the public and ever closer to one another, elections become exercises in branding rather than substantive choice.

Crouch was writing Post-Democracy 10 years ago, when most people thought that things were going quite well. As long as the economy kept delivering jobs and growth, voters didn’t seem to mind about the hollowing out of democracy. Left-of-centre parties weren’t worried either: they responded to the new incentives by trying to articulate a ‘Third Way’ of market-like initiatives that could deliver broad social benefits. Crouch's lessons have only really come home in the wake of the economic crisis.

The problem that the centre-left now faces is not that it wants to make difficult or unpopular choices. It is that no real choices remain. It is lost in the maze, able neither to reach out to its traditional bases of support (which are largely dying or alienated from it anyway) nor to propose any grand new initiatives, the state no longer having the tools to implement them. When the important decisions are all made outside of democratic politics, the centre-left can only keep going through the ritualistic motions of democracy, all the while praying for intercession.

Most left-wing parties face some version of these dilemmas. Cronyism is less a problem than an institution in the US, where decision-makers relentlessly circulate between Wall Street, K Street, and the Senate and Congress. Yet Europe has some particular bugbears of its own. Even if national political systems were by some miracle to regain their old responsiveness, the power of decision has moved to the European Union, which is dominated by a toxic combination of economic realpolitik and bureaucratic self-interest. Rich northern states are unwilling to help their southern neighbours more than is absolutely necessary; instead they press for greater austerity. The European Central Bank, which was deliberately designed to be free of democratic oversight, is becoming ever more important, and ever more political. Social democrats once looked to the EU as a bulwark against globalisation — perhaps even a model for how the international economy might be subjected to democratic control. Instead, it is turning out to be a vector of corrosion, demanding that weaker member states implement drastic economic reforms without even a pretence of consultation.

Let’s return to Italy, the laboratory of post-democracy’s most grotesque manifestations. Forza Italia, Silvio Berlusconi’s elaborate simulacrum of a political party, is a perfect exemplar of Crouch’s thesis: a thin shell of branding and mass mobilisation, with a dense core of business and political elites floating free in the vacuum within.

After the Cortona summer school, Bersani won his fight with Renzi in November last year and led his party into the general election. His coalition lost 3.5 million votes but still won the lower house in February, because the Italian electoral system gives a massive bonus to the biggest winner. It fell far short of a majority in the upper house and is doing its hapless best to form a government. Grillo’s Five Star Movement, on the other hand, did far better than anyone expected, winning a quarter of the votes. Grillo has made it clear that his party will not support the Democratic Party. Renzi has tried to advance himself again as a compromise leader who might be more acceptable to Grillo, so far without success. In all likelihood there will be a second general election in a few months.

‘We die if a movement becomes a party. Our problem is to remain a movement in parliament, which is a structure for parties. We have to keep a foot outside’

The Italian Democratic Party is caught on one tine of the post-democratic dilemma. It is trying to work within the system as it is, in the implausible hope that it can produce real change within a framework that almost seems designed to prevent such a thing. As the party has courted Grillo, it has started making noises about refusing to accept austerity politics and introducing major institutional reforms. It is unclear whether senior Democratic figures believe their new rhetoric; certainly no one else does. If the party does somehow come to power, the most it will do is tinker with the system.

The Five Star Movement has impaled itself on the other tine, as have the Indignados in Spain, Occupy in the US and UK, and the tent movement in Israel. All have gained mass support because of the problems of post-democracy. The divide between ordinary people and politicians has grown ever wider, and Italian politicians are often corrupt as well as remote. The Five Star Movement wants to reform Italy’s institutions to make them truly democratic. Yet it, too, is trapped by the system. As Grillo told the Financial Times in October: ‘We die if a movement becomes a party. Our problem is to remain a movement in parliament, which is a structure for parties. We have to keep a foot outside.’

The truth is, if the Five Star Movement wants to get its proposals for radical change through the complex Italian political system, it will need to compromise, just as other parties do. Grillo’s unwillingness even to entertain discussions with other parties that share his agenda is creating fissures within his movement. Grillo is holding out for a more radical transformation, in which Italian politics would be replaced by new forms of internet-based ‘collective intelligence’, allowing people to come together to solve problems without ugly partisan bargaining. In order to save democracy, the Five Star Movement would like to leave politics behind. It won’t work.

The problems of the Italian left are mirrored in other countries. The British Labour Party finds itself in difficulty, wavering between a Blairite Third Wayism that offers no clear alternative to the present government, and a more full-blooded social democracy that it cannot readily define. The French left has mired itself in scandal and confusion. The Greek left is divided between a social democratic party that is more profoundly compromised than its Italian equivalent and a loose coalition of radicals that wants to do anything and everything except find itself in power and be forced to take decisions.

All are embroiled, in different ways, in the perplexities of post-democracy. None has any very good way out. Ever since France’s president François Mitterrand tried to pursue an expansive social democratic agenda in the early 1980s and was brutally punished by international markets, it has been clear that social democracy will require either a partial withdrawal from the international economy, with all the costs that this entails, or a radical transformation of how the international economy works.

It is striking that the right is not hampered to nearly the same extent. Many mainstream conservatives are committed to democracy for pragmatic rather than idealistic reasons. They are quite content to see it watered down so long as markets work and social stability is maintained. Those on the further reaches of the right, such as Greece’s Golden Dawn, find it much easier than the Five Star Movement or Syriza, the Greek radical-left coalition, to think about alternatives. After all, they aren’t particularly interested in reforming moribund democratic institutions to make them better and more responsive; they just want to replace them with some version of militaristic fascism. Even if these factions are unlikely to succeed, they can still pull their countries in less democratic directions, by excluding weaker groups from political protection. The next 10 years are unlikely to be comfortable for immigrants in southern Europe.

Post-democracy is strangling the old parties of the left. They have run out of options. Perhaps all that traditional social democracy can do, to adapt a grim joke made by Crouch in a different context, is to serve as a pall-bearer at its own funeral. In contrast, a new group of actors — the Five Star Movement and other confederations of the angry, young and dispossessed — have seized a chance to win mass support. The problem is, they seem unable to turn mass frustration into the power to change things, to create a path for escape.

Perhaps, over time, they will figure out how to engage with the mundane task of slow drilling through hard boards that is everyday politics. Perhaps, too, the systems of unrule governing the world economy, gravely weakened as they are, will fail and collapse of their own accord, opening the space for a new and very different dispensation. Great changes seem unlikely until they happen; only in retrospect do they look inevitable. Yet if some reversal in the order of things is waiting to unfold, it is not apparent to us now. Post-democracy has trapped the left between two worlds, one dead, the other powerless to be born. We may be here for some time.

Henry Farrell is an associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University. His latest book is The Political Economy of Trust (2009).


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Orwell called it: New GDP measurement coming
« Reply #429 on: May 01, 2013, 11:20:51 AM »

The art of measuring the size of the economy just got a new box of crayons.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis announced last week it would be changing the guidelines with which it calculates Gross Domestic Product, more familiarly known as the GDP, the standard by which the size and growth of the economy is measured.
The change comes after more than five years of economic stagnation that, despite frequent claims of a strengthening recovery, have seen high unemployment and extremely slight growth in the size of the economy.

GDP is calculated by adding up the total amount of private consumption, investment, government spending, and net exports. The new changes, which will include definitional changes to expand what is counted in GDP, are expected to add 3 percent to the GDP report, while not changing the actual output of the economy.
The agency claims the changes in calculation “more accurately portray the evolving U.S. economy and to provide for consistent comparisons with data for the economies of other nations.”
Outspoken investment broker and financial commentator Peter Schiff describes the change as “propaganda” in his radio show.
“That’s what the government does. Whenever they don’t like the results, they change the methodology for calculating those results,” Schiff says in a new SchiffRadio report.
“Now it doesn’t mean that the economy is actually any bigger, but it means they can pretend it’s bigger,” he added.

Schiff, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, asserts that the underlying reason behind making the GDP looking bigger is so that the debt looks smaller. Economists agree that if public debt continues to exceed GDP past sustainable levels, economic growth will suffer because more and more of the economy is dedicated to paying interest on loans rather than spending on investment or consumption or things that create growth within an economy.
f you have a BS GDP, that’s artificially inflated based on creative accounting, than it means the economy isn’t generating enough income to service all of that debt,” Schiff says.

Read more:


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WSJ: Our Ambition is the Problem
« Reply #430 on: May 08, 2013, 09:13:49 AM »
Graduates, Your Ambition Is the Problem
Obama's commencement speech at Ohio State on Sunday would have perplexed the Founders.

Civic education in America took a hit on Sunday when President Obama, giving the commencement address at The Ohio State University, chose citizenship as his theme. The country's Founders trusted citizens with "awesome authority," he told the assembled graduates. Really?

Actually, the Founders distrusted us, at least in our collective capacity. That's why they wrote a Constitution that set clear limits on what we, as citizens, could do through government.

Mr. Obama seems never to appreciate that essential point about the American political order. As with his countless speeches that lead ultimately to an expression of the president's belief in the unbounded power of government to do good, he began in Columbus with an insight that we can all pretty much embrace, at least in the abstract. Citizenship, Mr. Obama said, is "the idea at the heart of our founding—that as Americans, we are blessed with God-given and inalienable rights, but with those rights come responsibilities—to ourselves, to one another, and to future generations."

Well enough. But then he took that insight to lengths the Founders would never have imagined. Reading "citizenship" as standing for the many ways we can selflessly "serve our country," the president said that "sometimes, we see it as a virtue from another time—one that's slipping from a society that celebrates individual ambition." And "we sometimes forget the larger bonds we share, as one American family."

Not for nothing did he invoke the family, that elemental social unit in which we truly are responsible to one another and to future generations—by law, by custom, and, ideally, in our hearts. But only metaphorically is America a family, its members bound by tendrils of intimacy and affection. Realistically, the country is a community of individuals and private institutions, including the family, with their own interests, bound not by mutual love but by the political principles that are set forth in the Constitution, a document that secures and celebrates the freedom to pursue those interests, varied as they might be.

Alas, that is not Mr. Obama's vision. "The Founders left us the keys to a system of self-government," he went on, "the tool to do big and important things together that we could not possibly do alone." And what "big and important things" cannot be done except through government? On the president's list are railroads, the electrical grid, highways, education, health care, charity and more. One imagines a historical vision reaching as far back as the New Deal. Americans "chose to do these things together," he added, "because we know this country cannot accomplish great things if we pursue nothing greater than our own individual ambition."

Notice that twice now Mr. Obama has invoked "individual ambition," and not as a virtue. For other targets, he next counseled the graduates against the "voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that's the root of all our problems, even as they do their best to gum up the works."

The irony here should not go unnoticed: The opponents that the president disparages are the same folks who tried to save the country from one of the biggest pieces of gum now in the works: Mr. Obama's own health-care insurance program, which today is filling many of its backers with dread as it moves toward full implementation in a matter of months.

None of that darkens Mr. Obama's sunny view of collective effort. What does upset him, still, is the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis: "Too many on Wall Street," he said, "forgot that their obligations don't end with their shareholders." No mention of the Federal Reserve, or Fannie Mae, FNMA +12.20% Freddie Mac, FMCC +12.71% the Community Reinvestment Act, or the many other "big and important things" government undertook before the crisis hit, things that explain the disaster far better than any Wall Street greed. None of that fits in Mr. Obama's morality play. For that matter, neither do the Constitution's checks and balances. When the president laments that "democracy isn't working as well as we know it can," he is not talking about those big, misbegotten public projects but about the Washington gridlock that has frustrated his grander plans.

From George Washington to Calvin Coolidge, presidents sought mostly to administer the laws that enabled citizens to live their own lives, ambitiously or not. It would have been thought impertinent for a president to tell a graduating class that what the country needs is the political will "to harness the ingenuity of your generation, and encourage and inspire the hard work of dedicated citizens . . . to repair the middle class; to give more families a fair shake; to reject a country in which only a lucky few prosper."

A more inspiring message might have urged graduates not to reject their own country, where for two centuries far more than a lucky few have prospered under limited constitutional government—and even more would today if that form of government were restored.

Mr. Pilon is vice president for legal affairs at the Cato Institute and director of Cato's Center for Constitutional Studies.


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The cans have to emphasize this in my opinion
« Reply #431 on: May 08, 2013, 09:41:52 AM »
Interesting piece along with some Fox news displays of leftists arguing we should do away with the concept of marriage altogether.  WE can redefine marriage between two People for now whether homo or hetero before we move to the next step in the progression of arguing against marriage altogether.  We are all wards of a collectivism with rules and regulations dictated by a single worldly government.

So there will be no nuclear family as we know it.  We are like on the Kibbutz.  Children raised in collective gov controlled societies.

Folks this is a science fiction nightmare.  How can we get the average American to see this?  Would even the immigrants from socialistic societies be ok with this?  Are our young this stupid to see what they are giving into?

Why can't the republicans get their message straight?  How do we stop the Axelrod machine from lying about their intentions.   Obama poking fun at those who call him a socialist - as though he is not and they are crazy.


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Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism:
« Reply #432 on: May 08, 2013, 06:13:21 PM »
The State allocating interest rates according to which sector from which someone comes is certainly economic fascism, but one has to admire the political logic of the sales pitch:


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Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism:
« Reply #433 on: May 09, 2013, 07:16:13 AM »
The State allocating interest rates according to which sector from which someone comes is certainly economic fascism, but one has to admire the political logic of the sales pitch:

"one has to admire the political logic of the sales pitch"

The other half of this clever strategy is hinted at on Education thread.  The government injects massive amounts of money into higher education to keep the price high for one constituency, while causing the majority of young adult voters to come out of college deep in debt and dependent on people like Elizabeth Warren instead of on their own negotiating and earning power for solvency.


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« Reply #434 on: May 13, 2013, 09:41:45 AM »
"Legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways; hence, there are an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, bonuses, subsidies, incentives, the progressive income tax, free education, the right to employment, the right to profit, the right to wages, the right to relief, the right to the tools of production, interest free credit, etc., etc. And it the aggregate of all these plans, in respect to what they have in common, legal plunder, that goes under the name of socialism." --French economist Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)


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Making California look good, for now...
« Reply #435 on: June 01, 2013, 12:35:23 PM »
Democrats, doing for America what they did for Detroit!

May 31, 2013

Detroit Heads to the Pawn Shop

Desperation has hit a new low in Detroit.
Last week, Emergency Manager (and bankruptcy lawyer) Kevyn Orr decided to list the holdings of the Detroit Institute of Arts among the city’s assets in preparation for a possible bankruptcy. If the city goes through with it, it could be forced to sell off any of its assets—which now include the museum’s collection.
Museum administrators are outraged, but the choice may be keeping the art or paying for vital public services. According to Orr, the city has “long-term obligations of at least $15 billion, unsustainable cash flow shortages and miserably low credit ratings that make it difficult to borrow.” But as the WSJ reports, the city may not have a choice:

“Kevyn Orr doesn’t want the collection sold,” Mr. Nowling said. “But in bankruptcy, it could be eyed by creditors.” [...]
But legal experts say that in a municipal bankruptcy, it is possible for a city to sell assets, even cultural icons. James Spiotto, a bankruptcy attorney and author on municipal-finance issues based in Chicago, said that “in order to provide essential government services like public safety, roads and education, certain other programs are going to be curtailed or eliminated. So it’s not surprising that the sale of art is on the table.”
The collection, which include treasures by Bruegel, Rodin and van Gogh as well as Diego Rivera’s famous “Detroit Industry” murals, is ostensibly worth billions of dollars, but those measures can’t really capture what such artistic treasures mean to a community.
Unfortunately the city is already struggling to keep the lights on. Local businesses recently had to step in to buy the city police cars and ambulances. Meanwhile, Detroit has closed nearly a quarter of the city’s firehouses, and the department’s equipment is beginning to fall apart. At this point, the city may need the money more than it needs the art.
This is another grim reminder of just how destructive Detroit’s corrupt machine politics have been. At one time, Detroit was the manufacturing capital of America and one of the country’s great cities; today it’s trying to stave off a kind of modern-day bonfire of the vanities.
Every time Detroit seems like it’s about to hit rock bottom, a trap door opens to reveal yet another howling abyss.


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Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism:
« Reply #436 on: June 01, 2013, 05:59:56 PM »
" those measures can’t really capture what such artistic treasures mean to a community."

One suspects that the collected works of Tupac Shakur (pronounced "two pack shaker"?) have more meaning to the present denizens of Detroit.


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Re: Mussolini would be proud , , ,
« Reply #439 on: June 05, 2013, 02:47:45 PM »
second post

An alternative to requiring all people to enlist and work for the government in peace time would be to 'enlist' all young people when they turn 18 to work 52 weeks, 40 hours per week in the private sector and pay taxes before they are eligible to vote, secure student loans, receive government benefits, etc.

BTW, "require to enlist", they will require you to volunteer?  Besides fascist, isn't that a bit Orwellian, and oxymoronic?  Reminds me of when Al Gore accused his opponents of making an explicit implication:


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Rush lead rant on Drudge
« Reply #440 on: June 08, 2013, 06:54:10 AM »

I don't usually post directly off Drudge.  I figure anyone here can simply see it themselves.  But this I feel compelled to post.  No one can say it like Rush.  This is prime example why he is who he is.   I love the comparison of Obama to all these scandals with Hitler and the holocaust.   I totally forgot the fact that there is NO SINGLE DOCUMENT that links Hitler to the holocaust in writing.   There isn't.  No tapes, no signatures.   Yes we have Mein Kampf with his rants about Jews.  But there is nothing about him putting his stamp of approval on the genocide in writing.  Just no proof. 

Rush draws the same parallel to Brock the "terrible".  He is obviously in a huge conspiracy to take over the country by increasing government power.  Yet nothing in writing can be found.  He pretends not to know, to downplay, to blame Bush, to deny.  Yet anyone with a brain can see he is part of this new world order agenda. 

Sad to say our Republican leaders in DC deny it. 

The only part I disagree with is that he does not seem to it if it is private enterprise that is doing this ("Colonel Sanders").  I do.  I don't want Google, Yahoo, Drug companies, pharmacies, or anyone else mining by data without my permission and with no consequences to my privacy.  But back to the Communist takeover of the US.....

******America in the Midst of a Coup d'Etat
June 07, 2013


RUSH: Late yesterday afternoon I was sitting in the library at home, and I was just swamped. It seemed like every 90 seconds somebody needed something, or somebody had a question or somebody had a comment, requiring my response. It was during the period of time that I generally devote to reading my tech blogs, you know, where I abandon all of this and get away from it and start spending time on, quote, unquote, my hobby.

But it was one of those days. I'm sure you have them. They may happen every day, but if I had been watching a TV show I would have hit the pause button every minute to deal with something. It would have taken me two hours yesterday to watch a 40 minute program. So in the midst of all of this, I hear about Prism. Not the NSA sweep of telephone records. In fact, let me start before I heard about Prism. Even before I heard about Prism, I am hearing from the intelligentsia in Washington that there's nothing to be really concerned about here with what we had learned, the NSA demanding and getting every phone record from Verizon. And, by the way, we now know T-Mobile and AT&T have been added to it.

But the intelligent people were saying, "Nothing to see here. The reaction is way overblown." Those of us who think there's something worrisome here are overreacting and we're too oriented in politics. And the mature thinkers that weighed in and sound reason and levelheadedness assured us that there was nothing to fear here because this was just metadata, and in fact this is something we should all be thankful that the government is able to do.

I have to tell you when I'm listening to all the smart people tell me this, my mind is about to explode, and I'm saying, "Do these people not realize what we just learned in the last three weeks?" We got the IRS starting in 2010 taking action to suppress the political involvement and ultimately votes of Tea Party people and conservative Republicans. This regime, this government, on the orders of the highest level. In fact, that investigation is ongoing. We have Fast and Furious. We have Obamacare. The evidence of the totalitarian nature or the authoritarian nature of this administration is on display undeniably every day and yet in the midst of this, "Well, don't go off half cocked on this, Rush. Be very levelheaded. Nothing really to see," as though there's no context here.

It made me once again understand, folks, what you and I are up against here. There are just way too many people -- and I'm talking about on our side -- who do not want to admit what we face, who do not want to engage or admit or whatever what we really face here. It matters. This kind of stuff matters because of who the people doing it happen to be. It's one thing if Colonel Sanders would be collecting all this data, but it's not Colonel Sanders. It's Barack Obama and everybody that works for him, and we know who they are and we know what their goals are. We know what their intentions are.

Folks, here's the thing, I guess, that gets me. I mentioned Herbert Meyer. We interviewed him for the Limbaugh Letter a few short months ago. Herbert Meyer was in the national security apparatus during the Reagan administration. He was a good friend of Ronald Reagan, and was instrumental in establishing Reagan administration policies that brought down the Soviet Union. The big news to him that's really noteworthy, we talked about it, is that he thinks that the world's coming out of poverty. And it is a big story, The Economist in London had a big story on it recently. We mentioned it to you, and it's a great testament to capitalism.

It's not socialism, it's not welfare, it's not compassion and it's not the redistribution of wealth. It's not high taxes that are bringing people out of poverty. It's capitalism, and none other than a leftist publication in London had to admit it. Well, Herb Meyer was the first to sound this notice some months ago. I also mentioned he wrote a piece that currently is in the American Thinker earlier this week, and it had the potential to be controversial because he used Adolf Hitler and Nazism in it, and it was his way of explaining, he made a point in the piece that nowhere, you know, people looking for a smoking gun to nail Obama on all these scandals, Herb says, "Ain't gonna be one."

He said whether you believe it or not, there is not one document linking Adolf Hitler to the holocaust. Adolf Hitler never put it on paper what he intended to do. There is no smoking gun. And yet what happened? We know that the Nazis engaged in the Holocaust. Herb Meyer's point was that the people Hitler hired didn't have to be told. They didn't have to be given instructions. All they had to do was listen to what Hitler was saying. All they had to do was listen to what his objectives were. And he said the same thing's happening here with this administration. He went to great pains to say: I'm not calling this administration a bunch of Nazis. I'm just using this as an illustration. I know people will get my point if I use something this notorious, the Nazi regime.

It's a point that I've made here about the IRS. They say, "Well, you can't link it in to Obama." You don't need to link Obama to it. He hired these people. Lois Lerner and everybody at the IRS who's doing this is doing everything they can to please Obama. There's not gonna be a smoking gun, but you don't need a smoking gun to know where this administration's doing what it's doing.

Obama puts people in positions that mirror him. Eric Holder, you name it, they're doing Obama's bidding. Everybody. Susan Rice and Samantha Power, they are Obama, and there's a context for what's happening. Herbert Meyer, if I may quote him again, asserted that essentially what's taking place in the United States right now is a coup, not a violent coup, and not a million artistic coup, but nevertheless a takeover of a government, and it's being done by the Obama administration.

He referred to it as a coup. I don't know if he used the word "peaceful," but clearly there's a coup d'etat going. You know it and I know it. This is what animates us. This is why the Tea Party exists. This country was founded on certain concepts, principles, beliefs -- and they're under assault. Chief among them under assault is the right to privacy, and that's what all this is about. So in the midst of this coup d'etat... I happen to like that formulation.

In seeking ways to persuade, for example, the low-information voters of what's going on, this happens. These are the people continuing to prop Obama up with high approval numbers. The Limbaugh Theorem. How do we reach 'em? How do we tell them? How do we explain what's going on when they have, perhaps, almost an idolatrous relationship with the president? Well, maybe you tell 'em there's a coup going on.

There are people attempting to take over this country and to make it something that it wasn't founded as; turn it into something that it wasn't intended to be. That is happening. You know it and I know it. It's peaceful, nonviolent. The military isn't involved. But nevertheless it's a coup. So in the context of that and the realization that's happening, in the midst of learning that the National Security Agency is literally "Hoovering," vacuuming every telephone record they can, what do we hear?

"Nothing to see here, Rush. Calm down! Slow down, Rush. This is nothing to get concerned about. There's nothing illegal here. The Fourth Amendment's not being violated or breached. This is nothing whatsoever to get concerned about." How can I...? (sigh) I don't know how people can look at this in context and say that. The people doing this are what make it a big deal. Their motives and their intentions and their clear assault on the whole notion of privacy make it interesting.

I'm sorry for the long detour there, but in the midst of being told that I need to be more levelheaded -- and not just me, but all of us who are a little bit concerned here about this Verizon story. We are all being told, "Back off, back off. Nothing to see here. We're not really, really concerned." It was in the midst of that that I heard about Prism. That was a Washington Post story that posted on their website around five or six o'clock yesterday afternoon.

The basic tenet of this story is that somebody in the intelligence community -- NSA, somewhere -- is so concerned over what he's seeing take place that he went to the Washington Post and took with him a little PowerPoint slide presentation and gave it to the Post and their reporters, and they wrote a story up and put it on their website. The story is that practically every major tech group and company in this country is participating with the government in allowing the government access to their servers.

E-mails, texts, phone calls, photographs. Virtually any communication that's taking place via the Apple servers, the Microsoft servers, the Google servers, the NSA is able to look at in real time. This is the story now. The guy that went to the Washington Post said, "It was so scary. They can watch us as we type." The Washington Post published some of the PowerPoint slides. I'm reading this after being told that the Verizon thing is no big deal. "It's nothing to get concerned about.

"Nothing to see here. Don't get too worried about that. Don't go off half cocked!" Here comes the Prism story, and then shortly after the Prism story hits, all of these tech firms start denying it. Apple says, "I never heard of Prism. We don't know what this is about. We never let anybody have access to our servers without a warrant, without a court order. We never!" Google said the same thing. Microsoft said the same thing. Facebook said the same thing.

They're all out there denying it. So I thought, "Did the Washington Post get set up?" I'm asking myself, "Did they get set up by somebody walking in and telling them something that wasn't true?" But then I saw that Prism reported someplace else by this Glenn Greenwald guy at the UK Guardian. So there were two sources for the Prism story, but the tech firms involved continue to deny it. "Nope, it's not happening." Now we've got audio sound bites.

These guys from the tech firms like Greenwald and some of these others, are blaming Bush for all of this, still. Today! Still today, all of this is the fault of Bush. Bush is the guy that got this ball rolling. So there must be something to it if the left is circling the wagons around Obama and trying to make all of us think that all of this is the fault of George W. Bush. I just gotta tell you something, folks. Richard Nixon never even dreamed of this kind of stuff, and yet most people in this country think that Nixon did 10 times as bad as what's happening now.

The fact is, Nixon never dreamed of this.

Whatever he wanted to cook up, he never even came up with this. So there is clearly -- somewhere, somehow, in some form or another -- a coup taking place, and there is an assault on privacy, and there are assaults on people because of their politics and their ideology. It is taking place; it's undeniable. Yet many of the people we would hope would be pushing back against this and doing their best to join us and warning everybody say, "Nothing to see here! Don't get all crazy about this. We must be level headed."


RUSH: So Obama's in California. Why? Fundraising. He's also got a meeting with the Chinese communist premier, but it's fundraising. That's why they go to California. Anyway, he got out there to speak. There was no prompter, and he didn't have any notes, and he just stood there. He didn't know what to do. Honestly, folks. Forty-eight seconds or something. Nothing happened. He finally shouted, "People!" and somebody on his staff brought him his notes. He was clueless.

Now, a lot of people yesterday who were saying, "Rush, Rush, don't get all upset about this. There's nothing to see here in this NSA business and Verizon. Nothing's going on." Look, one of the accusations was that people are just getting upset because it was Obama and just trusting Obama, and it's not reasonable enough to get concerned about this. My point is, speaking about you and me, we're not all stupid out here.

We're not all stupid about this and this is not simply because we don't trust Obama. I don't want my government doing this. I do not want my government preoccupied with paying this close attention to what every citizen is doing every minute of the day. This government's already too big, it's too damn powerful, and it's too unforgiving -- and this doesn't have anything to do with competent intelligence gathering. Throwing wide nets like this is BS. It's assuming way too much to think that this is not a big deal. Left-wing overreaction, my backside.


RUSH: There was a time when the United States government earned the trust of its people. There was a time when most people believed that the United States government was protecting them. There was a time when most people believed that the United States government was spying on the bad guys, that the United States government was in fact earning the trust of the people. But this current data collection, scanning, whatever you want to call it, unfortunately has to be judged in context: the IRS leaks, the now unquestionable, undeniable, admitted-to-it IRS tactic of suppressing the vote of Tea Party conservatives, denying them their First Amendment rights.

The regime and its tricks with the Associated Press and Fox reporter James Rosen, the Benghazi cover-ups, the Fast and Furious operation, suing the state of Arizona for simply endorsing essentially federal immigration law. You can't just try to be the smartest guy in the room and say, "Well, we must be levelheaded about this and understand that this is just metadata." We cannot take the motives and intelligence guided by experience watching this administration over the last four-and-a-half, five years, and what their express purpose is.

I was reminded this morning, we had a sound bite of Maxine Waters back on February 3rd of this year. She was on a TV show, some network, TV One. It was a show hosted by Roland Martin, who used to be, may still be, a personality at CNN. He was interviewing Maxine Waters, and every time she speaks, you know, we have a good laugh about it because clearly she's insane. And we nevertheless will play the sound bites. Her natural existence is such that she gives away the game. She will give away what the administration's all about. She will give away the fact that they want to nationalize all these companies. And she did it again on this Washington Watch with Roland Martin show back on February 3rd of 2013. He said to her, "The reality is like anything else: You'd better get what you can while he's there, because, look, come 2016, that's it."

WATERS: Well, you know, I don't know, and I think some people are missing something here. The president has put in place an organization that contains the kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life. That's going to be very, very powerful. That database will have information about everything on every individual in ways that it's never been done before.

RUSH: See, she gives it up. Now, I remember playing that sound bite, and we made a big deal about it at the website, Rush 24/7, and we thought, "Well, it's just Maxine being Maxine." But in this case now going back, looking at it in hindsight, what in the world was she talking about? At the time we thought she was talking about all of his high-tech campaign advancements. But maybe she wasn't.

I'll tell you, the New York Times yesterday, this was kind of funny, too, the New York Times decided it was time to get really mad. They wrote an editorial really ripping into Obama over this. They called it: President Obama's Dragnet. The editors at the New York Times were hopping mad, or at least they're pretending to be. And they really got carried away. They had to change their original editorial. They reissued it. The original editorial said: "The administration has now lost all credibility." They changed that in their second issuance to: "The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue." But the point is they were right the first time. I don't know, maybe they don't want shock their readers with so much truth. But they went so far as to say at the New York Times, "Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it."

Now, keep in mind this was written by people who are the loudest proponents of the expansion of government. These are people who don't believe the government can possibly get too big. It's not possible for it to get too big. It's not possible for the government to get too powerful. It's not possible. And yet they are worried at the New York Times about what is happening to it under the guidance of the presidency and Mr. Obama. What everybody knows and nobody wants to really come to grips with is that we are in the midst of a coup taking place.

Now, I know what's gonna happen. The people on the other side of the glass: "Will you dial that coup talk back?" That's all the headlines are gonna be. I don't care. In fact, it's almost on par with: "I hope he fails." How does that sound now, by the way: "I hope he fails"? I'm constantly looking for ways here to persuade people of what I passionately believe, and I'm not in it to lie to anybody. There's nothing to be gained by lying to you about what I really think. There's nothing to be gained here by lying about facts. There's nothing to be gained here by gaining ground under false pretense.

So if the Constitution exists as it is, the country was founded as it was, and an administration comes along and doesn't like that and is doing everything it can to overturn that Constitution without a convention, doing everything it can to change direction of this country, and what's the word, transform it, what's wrong with calling this a coup? "Mr. Limbaugh, a coup is when rebels join forces with the military and start launching military attacks and shooting people." No, no, no. Not always. And that's my point.

When I was a kid, my dad kept saying, "Son, if things don't change, the Soviets are gonna take over this country without firing a shot." What he was talking about was a coup. Anyway, folks, there's a lot here to be concerned about. And you know it as well as I do. I get a little perplexed when people that I think see the world as I do and are, in my opinion, on my side, want to come along for reasons I can't fathom to excuse things that need not be excused. Now, Obama went out there today, he's in Palm Springs, and he addressed this NSA story. He defended the spy programs as legitimate because Congress has been consistently informed about 'em. He didn't get mad, but he sort of complained about all the hype over the phone data gathering, because it's approved by the FISA court. It's approved by the Congress.

He said (paraphrasing), "Nobody's listening to your phone calls. They're looking at megadata," he meant metadata, "and tracking terrorists. Nobody's listening to content. Modest encroachments on privacy are worth doing. We're gonna have to make some choices as a society. You can't have 100% security and have 100% privacy." This is what he said today out in Palm Springs. This is the guy, don't forget, who got elected convincing people that this kind of stuff was never gonna happen anywhere. This is the guy who got elected mischaracterizing the kind of intelligence gathering that was ongoing with the Bush administration.

This is the guy who got elected president by telling us that what is happening now was never going to happen when he was president. This is a guy who got elected telling us in 2007, 2008 that what's going on now was going on then. Bush was doing this, identical stuff, that's what they're trying to tell us, even now. He got elected warning us that what's happening now was happening in 2007, 2008, and promising us, this was not gonna happen. And everything that was happening in 2007 has only grown. There's only more of it. It's more sweeping than it's ever been.


RUSH: Have we already forgotten what this regime has done to the donors to the Mitt Romney campaign, all of the IRS harassment and audits and attention paid them by the EPA, if necessary? This is clearly an administration that wants to identify its enemies and then take action against them somehow, to intimidate them or what have you. You can't take that context out. The Wall Street Journal has a story here about PRISM. You know, PRISM is a code name, too.

So when these companies like Microsoft and Google and Apple say, "Oh, well, we never heard of it." Well, they may not have heard of it. It may be called something else, and they say, "Well, we don't let anybody have access for our servers without court orders." Well, maybe there have been court orders. If there is a program like this going on, a part of it would have to be that the companies involved would have to be able to deny it. They could not talk about it.

Put it this way: They were sworn to secrecy. They could not broadcast their involvement in it because it's taking place under the guise of national security. Do you realize what a vacuum cleaner that is? I mean, they can Hoover up everything they want under the guise of national security. Anyway, the Wall Street Journal: "US Collects Vast Data Trove -- NSA monitoring includes three phone companies as well as online activity," and then there's this:

"The National Security Agency's monitoring of Americans includes customer records from the three major phone networks as well as emails and Web searches, and the agency also has cataloged credit-card transactions, said people familiar with the agency's activities." Now, would anybody who thought maybe the phone company sweep wasn't any big deal, maybe want to say that cataloging credit card transactions might be news?

I'm just asking.



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Any reference to *gender*
« Reply #444 on: June 26, 2013, 03:18:11 PM »
is politically incorrect in Sweden.   

Sweden is on some sort of anti gender kick.  Perhaps all the Nordic countries are close behind.   I don't normally read slate but in searching under gender neutrality and Sweden this came up:

We know what the N word is.  The F word (slang for gay).   Soon there will be the H word (he) and the S word (she).

The L word lying actually has become politically ok.  Remember how I lamented that no one had the courage to call someone else a liar on TV (for fear of a slander suit, I guess).  Now I hear people calling brock and team liars all the time.   Doesn't seem to faze the Democrats at all though.

Weiner in the lead.   Indeed, it seems being a world class liar is an asset to a Democrat.   Something to marvel in.  To relish.   To be proud of.   The rough and tumble of "hardball" politics from a warrior hell bent on doing good in the world.....

I wonder if it is a resume requirement when applying for a job in the Democratic party.


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The coming women's infatada
« Reply #448 on: July 13, 2013, 05:45:35 AM »
With Hillary as their point woman we will be barraged with the feminism infatada, like the gay one we have been subjected to over the next couple of yrs.

CNN, and the rest of the liberal media will be waging propaganda campaigns like we have never seen.   It will be NOW style feminism on steroids.  It will use the gay infatada mass media tactics as a template.   "shame", "bullying", "disgrace", "sexist", "civil rights", will all be part of it.  Every single thing a woman does will be celebrated.  Like the woman UFC fighter.   Like the woman nascar racers.  They are the first this the first that.   All to coincide with the sudden need for the first woman president;  guess who.   There was never a peep when Sarah was a VP candidate.   Why?  Because it could not be a Republican.  It has to be a liberal staunch believer in the Democrat party and the socialist elite taking over the world.   For all our own good, of course.


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Re: The coming women's infatada
« Reply #449 on: July 13, 2013, 08:11:55 AM »
With Hillary as their point woman we will be barraged with the feminism infatada, like the gay one we have been subjected to over the next couple of yrs.

CNN, and the rest of the liberal media will be waging propaganda campaigns like we have never seen.   It will be NOW style feminism on steroids.  It will use the gay infatada mass media tactics as a template.   "shame", "bullying", "disgrace", "sexist", "civil rights", will all be part of it.  Every single thing a woman does will be celebrated.  Like the woman UFC fighter.   Like the woman nascar racers.  They are the first this the first that.   All to coincide with the sudden need for the first woman president;  guess who.   There was never a peep when Sarah was a VP candidate.   Why?  Because it could not be a Republican.  It has to be a liberal staunch believer in the Democrat party and the socialist elite taking over the world.   For all our own good, of course.

ccp,  Yes, and they won't see the hypocrisy that the year of the woman needs to follow the year we ended all gender distinctions, eliminating terms like wife, bride and motherhood.

Hillary fatigue will set in about 3 minutes after she re-takes the stage.  She does not have the magnetism of Bill and Barack.  She is no Maggie Thatcher to be sure.  McCain was (allegedly) too old people to relate to young people and Dems follow the lessons learned with Obama by putting forward one of their old fossils?  My view is don't worry, 2016 will get interesting on both sides and she won't be a nominee.  Frontrunner status will be a curse.  Benghazi is unanswerable.  She has no accomplishments, no plan, can't run against the status quo nor differentiate herself from Obama.   Most important for a very long campaign, she has no charm.