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ccp
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« Reply #450 on: July 13, 2013, 09:11:25 PM »

 Doug writes,

"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."

Excellent point.  I hadn't thought of that.   As for Hillary fatigue I sure hope you are right.   No sooner did I post my comments above when I get this weeks Economist with this article in it. 

*****The Economist
World politics

Sexual politics

More than half the electorate

Will the “war on women” rhetoric help Democrats?
 Jul 13th 2013  | WASHINGTON, DC  |From the print edition

The battleground

IT HAS been a busy few weeks for Republican foes of abortion. The House of Representatives has passed a bill banning it after 20 weeks of pregnancy; a similar one is expected to be introduced in the Senate soon. A bill imposing a 20-week limit on the District of Columbia is pending in the Senate, backed by 34 Republicans.

There is action in the states, too. Republican-led legislatures in Texas and North Carolina are considering various restrictions; the one in Wisconsin recently approved some, only to have them suspended by a court. All told, the first half of the

Democrats like to describe these measures as part of a Republican “war on women”. As further evidence, they point to foot-dragging from Republicans in Congress over measures aimed at promoting equal pay for women and preventing domestic violence, along with the outlandish comments about sex made by Republican politicians every now and again. Trent Franks, the congressman who sponsored the 20-week limit in the House, argued against an exemption for victims of rape, claiming that the number of rapes that led to pregnancy was “very low”. A colleague, Michael Burgess, suggested that fetuses are already masturbating by 20 weeks—although only male ones.

Similar comments probably cost Republicans two Senate seats in last year’s election, and seem to have lost the party votes more broadly, argues Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report. Although Barack Obama’s support among men dropped by four percentage points compared with 2008, to 45%, it fell by only one point among women. His lead there, of 11 points, was much bigger than his deficit among men, of seven points. In fact, the “gender gap” favoured the Democrats even more, since women cast 53% of votes. Democratic charges of Republican sexism seem to have boosted turnout among young, single women (a strongly left-leaning group). They have also given married suburban women with misgivings about Mr Obama’s economic stewardship reason to hesitate before voting Republican.

Yet Republicans are unfazed, continuing to push abortion curbs that have little or no chance of becoming law. The Senate, for example, is sure to squelch the House’s 20-week limit on abortions. Even if it did not, Mr Obama would veto it. Legislatures in North Dakota and Arkansas have approved laws banning abortions from six and 12 weeks respectively. The Supreme Court is unlikely to let either law stand.

Jonathan Collegio of American Crossroads, a conservative campaign outfit, argues that this persistence simply reflects the priorities of the party’s supporters: “Christian voters are still a major part of the Republican coalition, often the most intense and likely to vote, and it’s foolish to pretend they don’t exist.”

Republicans scoff at the idea that they are waging war on women. They favour equal pay, they say, but not rules that make it too easy to sue employers. The Democrats’ rhetoric will backfire, they add, if they use it to oppose policies many women support, including certain curbs on abortion. Polls show that most favour keeping abortion legal, but support drops off dramatically the later in a pregnancy it occurs. A narrow majority seems to support a 20-week limit; a large one opposes late-term abortions. Similarly, argues Stu Rothenberg, an election analyst, laws that impose stricter medical standards on abortion clinics mark an attempt by Republicans to placate their base without offending the majority of voters.

Relatively few voters, however, base their votes on abortion or other “social issues”. Just 4% of respondents to the latest Economist/YouGov poll rated abortion as “the most important issue”; 31% chose the economy. Linda DiVall, a Republican pollster, argues that Democrats keep banging on about the war on women purely as a distraction from the disappointing state of the economy. If Republicans were to find a more compelling way to talk about that, she believes, it would render the Democratic attacks moot.*****
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #451 on: July 13, 2013, 09:18:12 PM »

My understanding is that we already have equal pay and that the measures being pushed now under the guess of equal pay are actually "comparable worth".  Do I have this right?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #452 on: July 14, 2013, 11:58:33 AM »

My understanding is that we already have equal pay and that the measures being pushed now under the guess of equal pay are actually "comparable worth".  Do I have this right?

Correct.  You of course cannot pay males and females at different rates for performing the same job under current law.  The push for more legislation is about setting up government panels, instead of markets, to determine private sector compensation for different jobs, creating the artificial standard of 'comparable worth'.  They can do studies on things like what percentage of your time do you spend on the phone and what percentage talking to clients in person and determine that the receptionist and the CEO are performing comparable tasks and deserving the same pay.  The fact is that these jobs are no longer gender stereotyped.  Secretaries are obsolete, men are nurses, and women are rising to the highest levels.  Women in their late 30s to early 40s in equal circumstance are now making 108 cents on a man's dollar. http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=490.msg73090#msg73090  (Where else have you read that?) Nothing in the Republican or conservative movement supports gender discrimination or holding back the earnings of women.  The facts are exactly the opposite.

A 20 week limit on late term abortions is not a war against women or even against so-called reproductive choice.  There is no Republican or conservative movement to prohibit abortion for rape victims; we just keep finding morons who provide a new quote to perpetuate that myth.

The biggest war against women in the world today is the reality of gender selection abortion, in the hundreds of millions, of which American liberals obsessed with convenience abortion rights do not condemn.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #453 on: July 15, 2013, 01:31:20 PM »

"The point of a government that obeys the law is that it helps keep the opposition from crawling over broken glass to get to the polling booth at the next election and change its ruling class for another one. That is the central problem of 'czars' in the White House, of EPA closing down coal-fired electric generation, or Obamacare waivers, or Obamacare voided deadlines. It feeds the natural suspicion of any non-liberal American that their federal government is up to no good, and will make it difficult or impossible for the ordinary citizen to get a fair shake. ... Liberals in the Obama administration and elsewhere are so convinced of the truth of their issues, from health care to climate change that any means to advance their progressive agenda seems justified to them. The fact that they are forced to change a few deadlines, or push climate change through the EPA rather than Congress doesn't seem like anything to get worked up about. Liberals are wrong about this, as about so many things on which they refuse to listen to other voices. ... A ruling class that that doesn't faithfully execute the law is provoking the opposition into raising a head of rebellion." --columnist Christopher Chantrill
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #454 on: July 19, 2013, 02:32:41 PM »

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/03/19/bloomberg-strikes-again-nyc-bans-food-donations-to-the-homeless/
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« Reply #455 on: August 01, 2013, 08:55:33 AM »

Daniel Henninger: Obama's Creeping Authoritarianism
Imposed law replaces checks and balances.
By DANIEL HENNINGER
   

If we learned anything about Barack Obama in his first term it is that when he starts repeating the same idea over and over, what's on his mind is something else.

The first term's over-and-over subject was "the wealthiest 1%." Past some point, people wondered why he kept beating these half-dead horses. After the election, we knew. It was to propagandize the targeted voting base that would provide his 4% popular-vote margin of victory—very young voters and minorities. They believed. He won.

The second-term over-and-over, elevated in his summer speech tour, is the shafting of the middle class. But the real purpose here isn't the speeches' parboiled proposals. It is what he says the shafting of the middle class is forcing him to do. It is forcing him to "act"—to undertake an unprecedented exercise of presidential power in domestic policy-making. ObamaCare was legislated. In the second term, new law will come from him.


Please don't complain later that you didn't see it coming. As always, Mr. Obama states publicly what his intentions are. He is doing that now. Toward the end of his speech last week in Jacksonville, Fla., he said: "So where I can act on my own, I'm going to act on my own. I won't wait for Congress." (Applause.)

The July 24 speech at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., has at least four references to his intent to act on his own authority, as he interprets it: "That means whatever executive authority I have to help the middle class, I'll use it." (Applause.) And: "We're going to do everything we can, wherever we can, with or without Congress."

Every president since George Washington has felt frustration with the American system's impediments to change. This president is done with Congress.

The political left, historically inclined by ideological belief to public policy that is imposed rather than legislated, will support Mr. Obama's expansion of authority. The rest of us should not.

The U.S. has a system of checks and balances. Mr. Obama is rebalancing the system toward a national-leader model that is alien to the American tradition.

To create public support for so much unilateral authority, Mr. Obama needs to lessen support for the other two branches of government—Congress and the judiciary. He is doing that.

Mr. Obama and his supporters in the punditocracy are defending this escalation by arguing that Congress is "gridlocked." But don't overstate that low congressional approval rating. This is the one branch that represents the views of all Americans. It's gridlocked because voters are.

Take a closer look at the Galesburg and Jacksonville speeches. Mr. Obama doesn't merely criticize Congress. He mocks it repeatedly. Washington "ignored" problems. It "made things worse." It "manufactures" crises and "phony scandals." He is persuading his audiences to set Congress aside and let him act.

So too the judiciary. During his 2010 State of the Union speech, Mr. Obama denounced the Supreme Court Justices in front of him. The National Labor Relations Board has continued to issue orders despite two federal court rulings forbidding it to do so. Attorney General Eric Holder says he will use a different section of the Voting Rights Act to impose requirements on Southern states that the Supreme Court ruled illegal. Mr. Obama's repeated flouting of the judiciary and its decisions are undermining its institutional authority, as intended.

The three administration nominees enabled by the Senate's filibuster deal—Richard Cordray at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Thomas Perez at the Labor Department and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy—open a vast swath of American life to executive authority on steroids. There won't be enough hours in the day for Mr. Obama to "act on my own."

In a recent Journal op-ed, "Obama Suspends the Law," former federal judge Michael McConnell noted there are few means to stop a president who decides he is not obligated to execute laws as passed by Congress. So there's little reason to doubt we'll see more Obamaesque dismissals of established law, as with ObamaCare's employer mandate. Mr. Obama is pushing in a direction that has the potential for a political crisis.

A principled opposition would speak out. Barack Obama is right that he isn't running again. But the Democratic Party is. Their Republican opponents should force the party's incumbents to defend the president's creeping authoritarianism.

If Democratic Senate incumbents or candidates from Louisiana, Alaska, Missouri, Arkansas, North Carolina, Montana and Iowa think voters should accede to a new American system in which a president forces laws into place as his prerogative rather than first passing them through Congress, they should be made to say so.

And to be sure, the other purpose of the shafted middle-class tour is to demolish the GOP's standing with independent voters and take back the House in 2014. If that happens—and absent a more public, aggressive Republican voice it may—an unchecked, unbalanced presidential system will finally arrive.

A final quotation on America's system of government: "To ensure that no person or group would amass too much power, the founders established a government in which the powers to create, implement, and adjudicate laws were separated. Each branch of government is balanced by powers in the other two coequal branches." Source: The White House website of President Barack Obama.

Write to henninger@wsj.com
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #456 on: August 02, 2013, 10:26:47 AM »

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/congress-to-get-obamacare-exemption-report-2013-08-02?dist=tcountdown
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #457 on: August 02, 2013, 04:26:35 PM »

Think Government Is Intrusive Now? Wait Until E-Verify Kicks In
There's a monster lurking in proposed immigration reform, one that bureaucrats will find irresistible.
By JOHN H. COCHRANE
WSJ

Massive border security and E-Verify are central provisions of the Senate immigration bill, and they are supported by many in the House. Both provisions signal how wrong-headed much of the immigration-reform effort has become.

E-Verify is the real monster. If this part of the bill passes, all employers will be forced to use the government-run, Web-based system that checks potential employees' immigration status. That means, every American will have to obtain the federal government's prior approval in order to earn a living.

E-Verify might seem harmless now, but missions always creep and bureaucracies expand. Suppose that someone convicted of viewing child pornography is found teaching. There's a media hoopla. The government has this pre-employment check system. Surely we should link E-Verify to the criminal records of pedophiles? And why not all criminal records? We don't want alcoholic airline pilots, disbarred doctors, fraudster bankers and so on sneaking through.

Next, E-Verify will be attractive as a way to enforce hundreds of other employment laws and regulations. In the age of big data, the government can easily E-Verify age, union membership, education, employment history, and whether you've paid income taxes and signed up for health insurance.

The members of licensed occupations will love such low-cost enforcement of their cartels: We can't let unlicensed manicurists prey on unsuspecting customers, can we? E-Verify them! And while the government screens employee applications, they can also check on employers' compliance with all sorts of regulations by looking at the job applications they submit for verification.


E-Verify proponents imagine some world in which a super-accurate government database tracks each person's legal status, and automatically enforces straightforward rules. Maybe on Mars. In our world, immigration and employment law is a complex mess, and our government's website-building capacity (see under: "health-insurance exchanges") can't possibly handle millions of people who are trying to evade the law. Permission to work inevitably will rely at least in part on the judgment calls of an army of bureaucrats.

Political abuse is just as inevitable. Consider Catherine Engelbrecht, reportedly harassed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, all for starting a tea-party group. But the E-Verify bureaucrats would never cause her trouble in getting a job or hiring someone, right?

Soon, attending a meeting of a group that is a bit too enthusiastic about the Constitution or gun rights—or being arrested at an Occupy Wall Street rally—could well set off a "check this person" when he applies for a job. If the government can stop you from working, how can you be free to speak out in opposition?

It's the need for prior permission rather than ex-post prosecution that makes E-Verify so dangerous. A simple delay in processing or resolving an "error" in your data is just as effective as outright denial, cheap to do, and easy to cover up.

Every tyranny silences opponents by controlling their ability to earn a living. How is it that so many supposedly freedom-loving, small-government Republicans want to arm our nation's politicized bureaucracy—fresh from the scandals at the IRS and elsewhere—with the power to do just that? Why are we so afraid of immigrants that we would jeopardize this most basic guarantee of our political liberties?

Many opponents of immigration worry that immigrants will overuse expensive social services. The fear is misplaced. The Congressional Budget Office estimates more than $100 billion of net fiscal benefit from the limited expansion of immigration that's allowed by the Senate bill. And this fear does not make any sense of the system's preferences for current citizens' family members—who are less likely to work and more likely to consume services—over workers and entrepreneurs.

Perhaps some Republicans worry that immigrants will vote Democratic. But then limiting entrepreneurs and workers makes even less sense. These Republicans should have confidence that their ideas on freedom will attract ambitious, hard-working migrants.

Others say they want to protect the wages of American workers. Like all protectionism, that is demonstrably ineffective. Migrants come for jobs Americans won't or can't do, and businesses build factories abroad if workers can't come here.

The Senate bill promises higher caps for "guest workers." Ponder what "guest worker" really means. Come to America, pick our vegetables, clean our bathrooms and tend our gardens at the invitation of a powerful employer. Pay taxes. And when your visa runs out, go back where you came from—there is no place for you here. This is how Middle East sheikdoms treat Filipino maids and Palestinian construction workers. Is this America?

In the current vision of immigration reform, millions will still be trying to sneak in, and millions more will remain here working illegally. E-Verify and the border security wall prove it. If people could work legally, there would be no need for a system that endangers everyone's liberty to "verify" them. And there would be no need to build a $45-billion monument to imperial decline— our bid to outdo the walls of Hadrian, China and Berlin—to stop them.

Here is the crucial question for genuine immigration reform: How do we respond when someone says, I have heard of your freedom. I am tired of the corrupt police in my country, the bought-off courts, the oppression of rulers, the tyranny of the religious or ethnic majority. I want to join the one country on earth defined by an idea, not by conquest, religion or ethnic identity. No, I don't have a special skill or a strong back useful to your politically connected employers. I want to come, drive a cab, open a convenience store in a poor neighborhood, work long hours, pay taxes, send my children to school and, eventually, vote.

The answer in the Senate bill and emerging House debate remains: Stay home. America is closed.

Mr. Cochrane is a professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #458 on: August 04, 2013, 10:52:31 AM »

http://worldtruth.tv/collecting-rainwater-now-illegal-in-many-states-as-big-government-claims-ownership-over-our-water/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #459 on: August 09, 2013, 04:54:44 PM »

 An Aug. 8 letter from John A. Allison, president and CEO of the Cato Institute, replying to one of more than 300 letters sent by Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) to companies and other organizations asking about their relationship with the American Legislative Exchange Council:

Dear Senator Durbin:

Your letter of August 6, 2013 is an obvious effort to intimidate those organizations and individuals who may have been involved in any way with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

While Cato is not intimidated because we are a think tank—whose express mission is to speak publicly to influence the climate of ideas—from my experience as a private-sector CEO, I know that business leaders will now hesitate to exercise their constitutional rights for fear of regulatory retribution.

Your letter thus represents a blatant violation of our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. It is a continuation of the trend of the current administration and congressional leaders, such as yourself, to menace those who do not share your political beliefs—as evidenced by the multiple IRS abuses which have recently been exposed.

Your actions are a subtle but powerful form of government coercion.

We would be glad to provide a Cato scholar to testify at your hearing to discuss the unconstitutional abuse of power that your letter symbolizes.

Sincerely,

John A. Allison
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #460 on: August 28, 2013, 02:19:59 PM »

Washington Examiner's Timothy P. Carney: "While Obama won't admit it, federal student-loan subsidies have driven up tuitions and helped create a near-crisis of recent graduates drowning in debt, after getting educations that don't justify the expense. Here's the analogy to the crack dealer: If you lobby for and receive federal subsidies, the money comes at first with no strings, or few strings attached. But over time, politicians and bureaucrats will recognize that you're hooked on the taxpayer dole, and they'll start imposing conditions on you. And they'll be justified: He who pays the piper calls the tune. Colleges shouldn't be surprised by this turn of events, because this is exactly what happened to student lenders. ... Manufacturers, energy companies, drug companies, and all businesses currently seeking federal handouts should take to heart the lesson that student lenders learned in 2009 and colleges are learning today: if you enter into a deal with the devil, you're the junior partner."

Columnist Dennis Prager: "I cannot count the number of times I heard liberal professors and liberal writers quote the phrase: 'When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.' The phrase is brilliant. There is actually no threat to America of fascism coming from the right. The essence of the American right, after all, is less government; and fascism, by definition, demands ever larger government. Therefore, if there is a real fascist threat to America, it comes from the left, whose appetite for state power is essentially unlimited."
« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 02:38:36 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #461 on: September 01, 2013, 12:21:16 AM »

http://news.yahoo.com/perils-homeschooling-german-police-storm-home-seize-four-191829555.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #462 on: September 10, 2013, 09:56:15 AM »

Chick-Fil-A hating Chicago alderman now attacking proposed car dealership
Published by: Herman Cain

Politics over prosperity, always.
Remember last year when Chick-Fil-A wanted to build a new restaurant in Chicago? Chick-Fil-A serves delicious chicken sandwiches and is a good, job-creating corporate citizen, but the proposal did not sit well with Chicago Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno. Because Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy is a Christian who opposes gay marriage - consistent with his Christian faith - Moreno went to war against the proposal and Chick-Fil-A decided it wasn't worth the trouble to build in Chicago.
Today the property where Chick-Fil-A proposed to build sits vacant, weeds growing and a dilapidated chain link fence surrounding it. No one is working there. No one is eating there. But Alderman Moreno succeeded at preventing the opening of a business whose owner does not support the prevailing orthodoxy on homosexuality. There's a victory for politics over prosperity if I've ever seen one.
Well, the people of the 1st Ward in Chicago will be happy to know that Alderman Moreno remains committed to this cause.Crain's Chicago Business reports Moreno is now going after a company that wants to open a Ford dealership in the city. The $57 million proposed development would employ 200 people and would put 17 acres of currently vacant land on the tax rolls. So what's Moreno's problem with that? He is upset because he thinks Chicago needs a Latino-owned car dealership. Fox Motors, which is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is owned by the DeVos family that is associated with Amway Corporation and with Republican politics.
Somewhere in Chicago there are 200 people who could use jobs, and if Moreno has his way they won't find any with Fox Motors. They won't be taking their lunch break at Chick-Fil-A, either. Prosperity suffers another blow, but politics triumphs. The people of the 1st Ward must be proud of their representation on the City Council.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #463 on: September 27, 2013, 09:58:05 AM »

I do not pretend to be particularly informed about the issues here and certainly the WSJ has its blind spots, but its argument here seems worth noting.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324619504579026860113942236.html?mod=opinion_newsreel
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #464 on: September 27, 2013, 10:16:11 AM »

http://hackersnewsbulletin.com/2013/09/apple-admits-iphone-5s-fingerprint-database-shared-nsa.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #465 on: October 01, 2013, 11:03:08 AM »


Crony Capitalism

October 1, 2013 | Author Pater Tenebrarum
A Growing Sense of Awareness – Public Opinion is Catching On   
   
A friend pointed us to two recent Rasmussen Reports polls. These are actually quite interesting: in one poll it was found that “70% Think Government, Big Business Often Work Together Against Consumers, Investors”, with only 13% of respondents voicing disagreement and 17% 'not sure'. In another poll that was worded slightly differently (although it actually asks a very similar question), it was found that “34% Say U.S. Has Crony Capitalist Economic System”, with only a slim majority of 36% still calling it a “system of free market capitalism”.

The first poll employed slightly more general terms and was therefore probably more accessible to a larger percentage of respondents, which may explain the lower share of 'don't knows'. To some extent negative knee-jerk reactions to the term 'corporation' are probably conditioned by leftist views, but no supporter of free market capitalism would deny that the current system is a far cry from a true free market economy.

It is of course well known that large corporations lobby to obtain privileges from the State; however, in a way many also have little choice in the matter, since they may otherwise become the victims of regulations that could severely hamper their business. It is often difficult to tell where a legitimate attempt to ward off statist intrusion ends and crony capitalism begins. It is certainly a fuzzy line that is separating the two. It would also be an error to condemn big business merely on account of it being big. Economies of scale have after all made the mass-market consumer economy possible. It is often difficult for defenders of the market economy to make the difference between crony or State capitalism and a free market clear, especially as the media have depicted the existing system as somehow representing a free market economy. However, it should be clear that if there were no State and State officials that could be petitioned ('bribed' probably is the more accurate description) to grant privileges, there could also be no 'State capitalism'.

The growth of the State and the thicket of costly regulations it issues benefits large corporations by making it difficult or impossible for upstarts on a shoestring budget to compete. It happens relatively rarely that a company grows from a 'garage business' to a huge concern in well-established business lines. Most of the success stories of upstarts are these days in branches where simply very few or no established businesses exist – think e.g. of Google. Who knew in 1990 what a 'search engine' was? Whenever new technologies are invented or become marketable, there has been no time yet to regulate the sector to death. The internet was referred to as the 'intertubes' by a Congressman as recently as two years ago. Make no mistake though: bureaucrats all over the world are certainly dreaming of regulating it to death, and established big businesses are unlikely to stand in their way – this is a well-worn pattern.

Still, it is interesting to see that the public at large is beginning to realize that we have arrived in what one might term 'Fascism light', or a corporatist State. The 2008 crisis and the associated bailouts may have served as an eye-opener in this regard.
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The Mainstream Media Message May Have Fallen on Deaf Ears

These poll results are heartening news, in view of the 'official line' regarding what the current system represents.

Immediately after the 2008 crisis and ever since, the storyline sold to the hoi-polloi by the controlled media (or 'presstitutes' as Paul Craig Roberts and Gerald Celente so colorfully refer to them) was that the crisis was an example of a 'market failure' and that government had to step in to 'save the market economy from itself'. We have previously remarked on what a travesty this narrative represents.

For one thing, without government-directed interventions, there would have been no crisis in the first place (at least not of such magnitude). The media were and are falling over each other singing the praises of our 'saviors', rarely expending a drop of ink on the fact that these allegedly so praiseworthy minions of the State were in essence the same people that were responsible for the mess in the first place. It is deeply ironic that the law that is supposed to make future crashes 'impossible' by drenching one of the most over-regulated sectors of the economy in even more regulations, is named after two of the biggest apologists of the housing bubble related activities of the GSEs; men who regularly denounced critics of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as heartless fear-mongers whose only goal it was to deprive the underprivileged from getting their hands on their fair share of the American dream. For another thing, it is simply erroneous to characterize the present-day system as a 'free market economy'.

In a recent favorable critique of Hunter Lewis' book 'Crony Capitalism', David Gordon writes:

“Those who condemn the free market do so by considering bad features of the present economy, both in the United States and elsewhere in the world. In judging the free market in this way, they rely on an unexamined assumption. They take for granted that the present order of things is the free market in action.

As Lewis explains and documents to the hilt, this assumption is false. What we have today is not the free market but “crony capitalism,” an altogether different matter. Government and business are in a predatory partnership that extracts wealth to its own benefit. The fact that many suffer under the present system should occasion no surprise. Predatory “cronyism” has existed throughout history and has been the main block to economic progress.

Lewis states his arresting thesis in this way: “indeed it may be argued that cronyism is as old as recorded human history and has always been the dominant system. This is precisely why the human race has made so little progress in overcoming poverty. For most of human history, there has been no economic growth at all. People born poor died poor. Whenever economic capital began to be accumulated, it was generally stolen by rulers or their friends or allies.”

(emphasis added)

As the free market stood falsely accused in the press shortly after the crisis, George Reisman wrote a heartfelt defense oflaissez faire capitalism, inter alia noting:
“The mentality displayed in these statements is so completely and utterly at odds with the actual meaning oflaissez faire that it would be capable of describing the economic policy of the old Soviet Union as one of laissez faire in its last decades. By its logic, that is how it would have to describe the policy of Brezhnev and his successors of allowing workers on collective farms to cultivate plots of land of up to one acre in size on their own account and sell the produce in farmers' markets in Soviet cities. According to the logic of the media, that too would be "laissez faire" — at least compared to the time of Stalin.”

Reisman's article is well worth reading in its entirety. At the time it was written and published it was clearly a minority opinion. Hatred of free market capitalism was whipped up by the press and politicians alike, as the etatistes decided to go down the well-worn path of blaming the usual suspects: entrepreneurs, speculators, anyone connected with what's left of the market economy, so as to deflect blame from themselves.

The polls discussed above are a sign that the public is no longer prepared to simply swallow the official story hook, line and sinker. Although it is a good bet that a fair amount of confusion remains, a change in thinking has to start somewhere.
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Privileged Über-Cronies

As an aside, the governmental cronies in the banking cartel that was at the center of the crisis never suffered any visible harm, in spite of being the target of well-deserved public scorn. With very few exceptions, CEOs that had to step down for negligence (that occasionally seemed to border on fraud) received generous 'golden handshakes', while all the rest soon began collecting giant bonuses again with nary a pause for effect. This would be nothing worth getting exercised over if their compensation were merely a matter concerning shareholders. However, these rent-seekers profit at the expense of every user of the central bank issued currency, not to mention that they received direct tax payer funded support as well (and probably will receive it again next time). The costs inflicted on the wider economy by the fractionally reserved banking cartel cannot be simply shrugged off as an accident akin to an unexpected earthquake or a similar calamity inflicted by nature: rather, it is a direct result of the extraordinary privilege to create money from thin air.

It is noteworthy in this context that this particular aspect of the system's workings is practically never discussed in the mainstream media. Central banks are never portrayed as institutions that might be less than beneficial for society as a whole. If there is critique, it usually confines itself to the discussion of concrete plans that may or may not be implemented. The legitimacy of such institutions per se is considered beyond the pale of debate. Fractional reserve banking and the credit expansion it makes possible usually don't even rate a mention (it should also be noted that financial journalism on how the system works is often marked by ignorance; to wit, the giant amount of nonsense that has been written in publications like Reuters and Bloomberg about excess reserves that pile up on central bank balance sheets in the course of 'QE', 'LTROs' and similar measures). And yet, as J.H. De Soto argues, rightly in our opinion, the existence of the practice is in conflict with property rights in more ways than one. It conflicts directly with them as the promise to pay deposits  that are not backed by standard money on demand cannot possibly be kept, and indirectly by inflicting losses on society at large by causing the boom-bust cycle.

It is argued by some defenders of the practice that it is a bulwark against 'unexpected increases in the demand for money', as if society-wide sudden increases in the demand for money were falling from the sky unbidden (in reality, they usually only happen when a credit expansion inevitably resolves in a bust), while others argue that if not for the ability to expand money and credit willy-nilly, the 'growing needs of commerce' for currency could not possibly be satisfied (a favorite canard of defenders of inflationism).

However, as Rothbard rightly remarked, society at large has nothing to gain from money supply inflation (Mises already pointed out that any money supply is as good as any other to do all the work that money is expected to do). It is what money can buy that is the decisive point. One thing is however certain: inflation does benefit a small part of the population at the expense of everybody else. It is not a policy indulged in for the sheer heck of it – there are definitely profits to be made from it. In short, there are very tangible reasons for the official state of the debate (i.e, its literal non-existence).
________________________________________
 
________________________________________
Conclusion:

It must be regarded as progress that such a large number of respondents has realized that what we have by no means deserves to be called a free market economy. Crony capitalism is indeed a far more apt description. However, one must be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Historically, economic crises have often led to rather disturbing backlashes against both capitalism and liberty more generally. One has to keep in mind that history often rhymes and guard against an unreflected populism. However, there is nothing that says the mistakes of the past have to be always repeated. Just as free market capitalism (to quote/paraphrase Israel Kirzner) ultimately “does away with the scarcity framework” and thereby both ensures progress and makes it impossible for us to chart its future with certainty, so it is with how society deals with adversity and the realization that the current economic system is far from the ideal one. It all depends on current and future states of knowledge, which it is in everyone’s power to influence in his own environment to some extent.
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Yep
« Reply #466 on: October 01, 2013, 10:25:35 PM »

And with special attention to this:

****The media were and are falling over each other singing the praises of our 'saviors', rarely expending a drop of ink on the fact that these allegedly so praiseworthy minions of the State were in essence the same people that were responsible for the mess in the first place.****

My response is this:

The mass media is made up of large conglomerates that are often public companies.   They are linked to Wall street and DC.

Look at the Press Club dinner.   It was always a bit obnoxious but even that adjective does not describe the disgusting corrupt odor emanating from the place settings anymore.

It is a celebrity event.  It is a big money DC version of MTV, or the CMA awards, or Miss America.

Also look at the revolving door of news people rotating through their favorite government jobs, as employees, advisors, and propagandists.

The so called journalists advance their own careers by sucking up to and getting close to their favorite pols and later add this to their resumes to increase their celebrity status and command higher paid salaries as pundits.

The "journalist-government" ties mirror the Wall Street Goldman Sachs Federal employee revolving door of influence, and insider control.

To date Republicans only speak of the government side of this two sided coin.  They err.  And that is why they are not trusted.    
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 10:32:08 PM by ccp » Logged
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« Reply #467 on: October 03, 2013, 07:42:16 AM »

"[D]emocracy will soon degenerate into an anarchy, such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man's life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure, and every one of these will soon mould itself into a system of subordination of all the moral virtues and intellectual abilities, all the powers of wealth, beauty, wit and science, to the wanton pleasures, the capricious will, and the execrable cruelty of one or a very few."
–John Adams, An Essay on Man's Lust for Power, 1763
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« Reply #468 on: October 06, 2013, 01:07:37 AM »



http://www.ktnv.com/news/local/226557661.html

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/10/05/Feds-Try-to-Close-the-OCEAN-Because-of-Shutdown
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« Reply #469 on: October 07, 2013, 05:07:27 PM »

 "We're from the government, and we're here to help" - not

County Shuts Rustic Preserve; Self-Sufficiency Doesn't Meet Code
VALERIE BAUERLEIN

Eustace Conway has been living in the wilderness for 30 years, growing food and making shelter according to the laws of nature. But lately, he has gotten crosswise with the laws of man. WSJ's Valerie Bauerlein reports from Turtle Island Preserve.

BOONE, N.C.—Eustace Conway says he has stared down a grizzly bear, wrestled a thrashing buck and ridden a horse from coast to coast. But he may have met his match in the Watauga County planning department.

Mr. Conway, 51 years old, is best known as "The Last American Man," the title character of a 2002 biography and National Book Award finalist by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of "Eat, Pray, Love." He has lived in the wilderness since the early 1980s.

He traps, shoots and grows much of his own food, makes pants out of buckskin and stitches his own wounds. He bathes in the cold creek that rolls through his 1,000-acre Turtle Island preserve in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. And he teaches others how to live off the land.  But now, Mr. Conway is devoting most of his time to the type of meetings, red tape and compromises he went to the woods to avoid.

Last fall, a team of health, construction and fire officials showed up for an unannounced inspection of the preserve, acting on an anonymous tip. Escorted by two sheriffs' deputies, they executed what Mr. Conway describes as a "SWAT-team raid"—peering into outhouses, stomping around log cabins, and climbing hand-hewn ladders.
Their findings are compiled in a 78-page report with a bullet-point list of violations. Mr. Conway's sawdust urinal and outhouses? Unpermitted, according to the officials. The wood he used to erect two dozen buildings? Built with lumber that isn't "grade-marked," meaning it doesn't specify the mill where it was produced.

The open-air kitchen, with its crates of potatoes and stacks of pots? "Not protected from insects and animals," according to the report. "It is, in fact, outdoors."
The health department has shut down Turtle Island (which isn't an actual island) to outsiders who flock to Mr. Conway for lessons on how to rough it. He says on his website he teaches people how to "break rocks to make stone tools, bend bark to fashion baskets, and spin sticks to create fire," as well as "wash the dust off by standing in the rain, watching the deer come closer, listening to the wren's call."

Visitors include scouts, school groups and interns who stay for 14 months. Costs range from $65 for a two-hour, horse-drawn carriage tour with Mr. Conway to $1,400 for a two-week camp for teens. Turtle Island operates as a not-for-profit educational organization. Mr. Conway has run programs there for more than 20 years.
The county says Mr. Conway must rebuild or tear down his cabins, barn, kitchen, blacksmith shop and sawmill, and create a septic system before hosting any more classes and camps.

"These buildings aren't fit for public use," says Joseph A. Furman, county planning director.

Mr. Conway says primitive facilities are precisely the point.

"Modern inspectors know how to measure a board, but not how to build a building," he says as he tours one of the structures deemed fit for condemnation. The lumber's not stamped with a grade because he produced it himself at his own sawmill, from trees felled nearby, he says.

He likens his construction techniques—such as interlocking corner notches and cantilevered roofs—to those of frontiersman Daniel Boone, namesake of the county seat.
"Codes don't apply to what we're doing," he says.

Mr. Conway has attracted supporters, including Don Carrington, vice president of the John Locke Foundation, a libertarian-leaning Raleigh, N.C.-based think tank. "Why can't you do what you want on your own land?" he asks. "Shouldn't you be able to have guests come in, and say here's where you go to the bathroom, here's where you eat, and if you don't want to do that, don't come?"

State building officials say they would like to help Mr. Conway and are considering changes. Local officials say their hands are tied because the codes are written by the state. They also say even amending building codes wouldn't address fire and health issues at Turtle Island.

Mr. Furman, the county official, says it is simple. The cabin built and slept in by campers last summer needs a bathroom, fire sprinklers and smoke detectors. "Does anyone sleep there? Then it has to meet the residential code," he says.

Mr. Conway can't sell his $10 Turtle Island T-shirts, either, unless the common area where they are on display has a restroom. As for the old trucks used on the property, parked by a maintenance shed? "That could be considered an automobile garage, but let's not go there," Mr. Furman says.

Watauga County Commissioner Perry Yates said the problem isn't Mr. Conway's primitive methods but rather his less primitive ones, like using an oven range in the outdoor kitchen. "If we are going to teach 1776, let's teach it the way it really was," Mr. Yates says.

"There needs to be give and take on both sides," he says. "We need to respect our ancestors' way of life, but we also need to do it in a sanitary manner."

Last year, Mr. Conway was featured on the History Channel's "Mountain Men," a reality TV show about what it is like to "shed the complications of modern society." He and two other men, in Montana and Alaska, are depicted facing hungry animals, bad weather and contentious assistants. The second season started filming last month at Turtle Island.

Mr. Conway questions why the local government is acting now. "Maybe we were oblivious, but we had no reason to think about it," Mr. Furman says. "We're liable for it now that we know."

Mr. Conway says his property is safe because visitors spend most of their time outdoors. "People say, 'think outside the box,' and I say, 'just think outside,' " he says. "I mean, really, go outside! Think!"

Retired history teacher David Gould took nearly 2,000 ninth-graders over the years on retreats to Turtle Island from Durham Academy, a prep school. "Most of these kids come from privileged backgrounds and have virtually no knowledge of the out-of-doors," he says. They learn how to trek through the woods in the dark, use a hunting knife and make their own meals. "The girls in particular come back way more self-confident and empowered," he says.

More than 11,000 people have signed a petition from the change.org website asking the N.C. Building Code Council to exempt primitive structures like those at Turtle Island. Mr. Conway is answering supporters by email. "I write something on a piece of paper, then I tell it to someone and then they email it," he says. The computer in the camp office is solar powered, as the camp doesn't have electricity.

"I believe our founding fathers would do anything to come back and get in on this one," he said in the email.

Write to Valerie Bauerlein at valerie.bauerlein@wsj.com
http://online.wsj.com/...
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« Reply #470 on: October 07, 2013, 06:23:04 PM »


I miss the National Park Service. Not so fond of the National Socialist Park Service. Fundamental transformation of America and all that.
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« Reply #471 on: October 08, 2013, 07:12:51 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2013/10/08/report-armed-rangers-forced-senior-citizen-tourists-to-stay-inside-their-hotel-during-yellowstone-visit-because-of-shutdown/comment-page-1/#comments

Report: Armed rangers forced senior-citizen tourists to stay inside their hotel during Yellowstone visit because of shutdown


posted at 2:41 pm on October 8, 2013 by Allahpundit






Via Breitbart and Ace, who’s demanding that the National Park Service pay some sort of price for serving as “the shock troops of the punitive bureaucracy” through all of this. I’ve written similar things over the past week, and right now I can’t understand why either of us would bother. They’re not going to pay any price. We all know it. Issa will haul the director and his deputies before the Oversight Committee and they’ll mouth the requisite perfunctory regret and warnings not to judge the whole department by the behavior of a few “overzealous” rangers. Maybe someone will receive a few weeks or months of “administrative leave,” i.e. paid vacation, a la Lois Lerner, but then he’ll be quietly reinstated when no one’s paying attention anymore. News outlets and bloggers will get a few days of content out of it when the hearings are being held and then that’ll be that. Nothing will change. No lessons will be learned. No scalps will be taken. That’s how it goes now. If anything, the White House will be more reluctant to fire someone over this than they were over the IRS scandal because ranger-enforced shutdown theater helps them spread the liberal message that closing the government is an unconscionable hardship.
 
No one’s going to pay for this. Even if it involves a ranger with a gun warning your grandma to get back in her hotel and away from the scenery.
 

The bus stopped along a road when a large herd of bison passed nearby, and seniors filed out to take photos. Almost immediately, an armed ranger came by and ordered them to get back in, saying they couldn’t “recreate.” The tour guide, who had paid a $300 fee the day before to bring the group into the park, argued that the seniors weren’t “recreating,” just taking photos.
 
“She responded and said, ‘Sir, you are recreating,’ and her tone became very aggressive,” Vaillancourt said.
 
The seniors quickly filed back onboard and the bus went to the Old Faithful Inn, the park’s premier lodge located adjacent to the park’s most famous site, Old Faithful geyser. That was as close as they could get to the famous site — barricades were erected around Old Faithful, and the seniors were locked inside the hotel, where armed rangers stayed at the door.
 
“They looked like Hulk Hogans, armed. They told us you can’t go outside,” she said. “Some of the Asians who were on the tour said, ‘Oh my God, are we under arrest?’ They felt like they were criminals.”
 
Supposedly, on their way out of the park, the tour guide wanted to pull over at a dude ranch inside the perimeter so that the seniors onboard could use the restrooms there — but couldn’t, because the park rangers told the dude ranch that its license would be revoked if they permitted it. So unbelievable is all this, even by the standards of NPS behavior over the past week, that I doubted whether it was true. But there’s corroborating evidence for at least some of it: The tour guide was interviewed by a different newspaper a few days ago and accused the Park Service of — wait for it — “Gestapo tactics.”
 

Hodgson said in a phone interview Monday that a ranger pulled up behind the bus and told him he would have to get everyone back on the bus — recreation in Yellowstone was not allowed.

“She told me you need to return to your hotel and stay there,” Hodgson said. “This is just Gestapo tactics. We paid a lot to get in. All these people wanted to do was take some pictures.”

Hodgson said the ranger told him he could be convicted of trespassing if he disobeyed.

“The national parks belong to the people,” he said. “This isn’t right.”

He didn’t mention armed rangers outside the hotel, but he was told that “his group would not be allowed to walk on any of the boardwalks located just outside their hotel, or visit any other geyser basins in the area.” All they could do, per Hodgson, was eat dinner in the dining room, which squares with the claim that rangers wouldn’t let guests inside leave until they were ready to leave the park altogether. “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can,” said an anonymous ranger to Wesley Pruden last week. Mission accomplished.

The only redress here, I think, is for tourists to sue. They’d probably lose, but it’ll be useful to know as a matter of law that national parks belong to the National Park Service and not to the public. I’m curious as can be to see a judge explain how trespassing laws don’t apply to park visitors who are engaged in “First Amendment activities” but do apply to tourist photography, which, as a somewhat artistic endeavor, would seem to fall pretty squarely within the First Amendment. At the very least, the bad press from the suit would do some much-deserved damage to the agency’s reputation. Which, it seems, they’re increasingly worried about:
 


Good news. Keep blogging the ugly stuff and maybe there’ll be more.
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« Reply #472 on: October 08, 2013, 11:29:52 PM »

Yeah.  Were a nation of laws. angry
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« Reply #473 on: October 10, 2013, 05:53:01 PM »

There may be other threads where this could fit, but I put it here.  IF this is true (and I have no idea as to this site's reliability) then I find myself with serious doubts about a military response to a peaceful protest.

http://www.redflagnews.com/headlines/just-in-obama-to-use-national-guard-to-close-beltway-to-thwart-3-day-trucker-protest
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« Reply #474 on: October 14, 2013, 10:58:06 AM »

http://www.ijreview.com/2013/10/86527-msnbc-host-constitution-flawed-obama-democrats-need-absolute-power/
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« Reply #475 on: October 19, 2013, 04:27:40 PM »



http://www.forbes.com/sites/billflax/2011/09/01/obama-hitler-and-exploding-the-biggest-lie-in-history/

The line between fascism and Fabian socialism is very thin. Fabian socialism is the dream. Fascism is Fabian socialism plus the inevitable dictator.” John T. Flynn

Numerous commentators have raised alarming comparisons between America’s recent economic foibles and Argentina’s fall “from breadbasket to basket case.” The U.S. pursues a similar path with her economy increasingly ensnared under the growing nexus of government control. Resources are redistributed for vote-buying welfare schemes, patronage style earmarks, and graft by unelected bureaucrats, quid pro quo with unions, issue groups and legions of lobbyists.

In Argentina, everyone acknowledges that fascism, state capitalism, corporatism – whatever – reflects very leftwing ideology. Eva Peron remains a liberal icon. President Obama’s Fabian policies (Keynesian economics) promise similar ends. His proposed infrastructure bank is just the latest gyration of corporatism. Why then are fascists consistently portrayed as conservatives?

In the Thirties, intellectuals smitten by progressivism considered limited, constitutional governance anachronistic. The Great Depression had apparently proven capitalism defunct. The remaining choice had narrowed between communism and fascism. Hitler was about an inch to the right of Stalin. Western intellectuals infatuated with Marxism thus associated fascism with the Right.

Later, Marxists from the Frankfurt School popularized this prevailing sentiment. Theodor Adorno in The Authoritarian Personality devised the “F” scale to demean conservatives as latent fascists. The label “fascist” has subsequently meant anyone liberals seek to ostracize or discredit.

Fascism is an amorphous ideology mobilizing an entire nation (Mussolini, Franco and Peron) or race (Hitler) for a common purpose. Leaders of industry, science, education, the arts and politics combine to shepherd society in an all encompassing quest. Hitler’s premise was a pure Aryan Germany capable of dominating Europe.

While he feinted right, Hitler and Stalin were natural bedfellows. Hitler mimicked Lenin’s path to totalitarian tyranny, parlaying crises into power. Nazis despised Marxists not over ideology, but because they had betrayed Germany in World War I and Nazis found it unconscionable that German communists yielded fealty to Slavs in Moscow.

The National Socialist German Workers Party staged elaborate marches with uniformed workers calling one another “comrade” while toting tools the way soldiers shoulder rifles. The bright red Nazi flag symbolized socialism in a “classless, casteless” Germany (white represents Aryanism). Fascist central planning was not egalitarian, but it divvied up economic rewards very similarly to communism: party membership and partnering with the state.

Where communists generally focused on class, Nazis fixated on race. Communists view life through the prism of a perpetual workers’ revolution. National Socialists used race as a metaphor to justify their nation’s engagement in an existential struggle

=================================



Page 2 of 4

As many have observed, substituting “Jews” for “capitalists” exposes strikingly similar thinking. But communists frequently hated Jews too and Hitler also abhorred capitalists, or “plutocrats” in Nazi speak. From afar, Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany each reeked of plutocratic oligarchy. Both were false utilitarian Utopias that in practice merely empowered dictators.

The National Socialist German Workers Party is only Right if you are hopelessly Left. Or, ascribe to Marxist eschatology perceiving that history marches relentlessly towards the final implementation of socialist Utopia. Marx predicted state capitalism as the last desperate redoubt against the inevitable rise of the proletariat. The Soviets thus saw Nazis as segues to communism.

Interestingly, almost everywhere Marxism triumphed: Russia, China, Cuba, Vietnam, etc., all skipped the capitalist phase Marx thought pivotal. Instead, they slid straight from pre-industrial feudal conditions into communism; which essentially entailed reversion back to feudalism supplanting the traditional aristocracy with party cronyism – before dissolving into corrupted variants of state capitalism economically similar to fascism.

As usual, Marx got it backwards.

It’s also ironic that even as orthodox Marxism collapsed due to economic paralysis, cultural Marxism predicated on race, sex and identity politics thrives in “Capitalist” America. The multiculturalists substituted race where the Soviets and Maoists saw only class. America’s civic crusade has become political correctness, aka cultural Marxism, preoccupied with race. Socialism wheels around again.

While political correctness as manifest in the West is very anti-Nazi and those opposing multiculturalism primarily populate the Right, it’s false to confuse fascism with conservatism. Coupling negatives is not necessarily positive. Because the Nazis would likely detest something that conservatives also dislike indicates little harmony. Ohio State hates Michigan. Notre Dame does too, but Irish fans rarely root for the Buckeyes.

America’s most fascistic elements are ultra leftwing organizations like La Raza or the Congressional Black Caucus. These racial nationalists seek gain not through merit, but through the attainment of government privileges. What’s the difference between segregation and affirmative action? They are identical phenomena harnessing state auspices to impose racialist dogma.

The Nation of Islam and other Afrocentric movements, like the Nazis, even celebrate their own perverse racist mythology. Are Louis Farrakhan and Jeremiah Wright conservatives? Is Obama?

Racism does not exclusively plague the Right. Many American bigots manned the Left: ex-Klansman Hugo Black had an extremely left wing Supreme Court record, George Wallace was a New Deal style liberal – he just wanted welfare and social programs controlled by states. Communists always persecute minorities whenever in power.

The Nazis’ anti-Semitism derived indirectly from Karl Marx, who despite Jewish ancestry was deeply anti-Semitic. Bankers and other capitalists were disproportionately Jewish. Elsewhere, Jews played prominent roles. Before falling under Hitler’s sway, Mussolini’s inner circle was overly Jewish. Peron was the first leader to let Jews hold public office in Argentina. Franco, a Marana, welcomed Jews back into Spain for the first time since 1492 and famously thwarted Hitler by harboring Jewish refugees.

Very little of Hitler’s domestic activity was even remotely right wing. Europe views Left and Right differently, but here, free markets, limited constitutional government, family, church and tradition are the bedrocks of conservatism. The Nazis had a planned economy; eradicated federalism in favor of centralized government; considered church and family as competitors; and disavowed tradition wishing to restore Germany’s pre-Christian roots.

Despite Democrats’ pretensions every election, patriotism is clearly a conservative trait so Nazi foreign policy could be vaguely right wing, but how did Hitler’s aggression differ from Stalin’s? The peace movement evidenced liberals being duped as “useful idiots” more than pacifistic purity. Note the Left’s insistence on neutrality during the Hitler/Stalin pact and their urgent switch to militarism once Germany attacked.

====================================

After assuming power, Nazis strongly advocated “law and order.” Previously, they were antagonistic thugs, which mirrored the communists’ ascension. The Nazis outlawed unions perceiving them as competitors for labor’s loyalties, i.e. for precisely the same reason workers’ paradises like Communist China and Soviet Russia disallowed unions. To Nazis, the state sustained workers’ needs.

Even issues revealing similarity to American conservatism could also describe Stalin, Mao and many communists. This is not to suggest liberals and fascists are indistinguishable, but a fair assessment clearly shows if any similarities appear with American politics they reside more on the Left than Right.

On many issues the Nazis align quite agreeably with liberals. The Nazis enforced strict gun control, which made their agenda possible and highlights the necessity of an armed populace.

The Nazis separated church and state to marginalize religion’s influence. Hitler despised biblical morality and bourgeois (middle class) values. Crosses were ripped from the public square in favor of swastikas. Prayer in school was abolished and worship confined to churches. Church youth groups were forcibly absorbed into the Hitler Youth.

Hitler extolled public education, even banning private schools and instituting “a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program” controlled by Berlin. Similar to liberals’ cradle to career ideal, the Nazis established state administered early childhood development programs; “The comprehension of the concept of the State must be striven for by the school as early as the beginning of understanding.”

Foreshadowing Michelle Obama, “The State is to care for elevating national health.” Nanny State intrusions reflect that persons are not sovereign, but belong to the state. Hitler even sought to outlaw meat after the war; blaming Germany’s health problems on the capitalist (i.e. Jewish) food industry. The Nazis idealized public service and smothered private charity with public programs.

Hitler’s election platform included “an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.” Nazi propaganda proclaimed, “No one shall go hungry! No one shall be cold!” Germany had universal healthcare and demanded that “the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood.” Obama would relish such a “jobs” program.

Nazi Germany was the fullest culmination of Margaret Sanger’s eugenic vision. She was the founder of Planned Parenthood, which changed its name from the American Birth Control Society after the holocaust surfaced. Although Nazi eugenics clearly differed from liberals’ abortion arguments today, that wasn’t necessarily true for their progressive forbears.

Germany was first to enact environmentalist economic policies promoting sustainable development and regulating pollution. The Nazis bought into Rousseau’s romanticized primitive man fantasies. Living “authentically” in environs unspoiled by capitalist industry was almost as cherished as pure Aryan lineage.

National Socialist economics were socialist, obviously, imposing top-down economic planning and social engineering. It was predicated on volkisch populism combining a Malthusian struggle for existence with a fetish for the “organic.” Like most socialists, wealth was thought static and “the common good supersede[d] the private good” in a Darwinist search for “applied biology” to boost greater Germany.

The Nazis distrusted markets and abused property rights, even advocating “confiscation of war profits” and “nationalization of associated industries.” Their platform demanded, “Communalization of the great warehouses” (department stores) and presaging modern set aside quotas on account of race or politics, “utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State.”

Nazi Germany progressively dominated her economy. Although many businesses were nominally private, the state determined what was produced in what quantities and at what prices. First, they unleashed massive inflation to finance their prolific spending on public works, welfare and military rearmament. They then enforced price and wage controls to mask currency debasement’s harmful impact. This spawned shortages as it must, so Berlin imposed rationing. When that failed, Albert Speer assumed complete power over production schedules, distribution channels and allowable profits.

=====================================

age 4 of 4

Working for personal ends instead of the collective was as criminal in Nazi Germany as Soviet Russia. Norman Thomas, quadrennial Socialist Party presidential candidate, saw the correlation clearly, “both the communist and fascist revolutions definitely abolished laissez-faire capitalism in favor of one or another kind and degree of state capitalism. . . In no way was Hitler the tool of big business. He was its lenient master. So was Mussolini except that he was weaker.”

Mussolini recognized, “Fascism entirely agrees with Mr. Maynard Keynes, despite the latter’s prominent position as a Liberal. In fact, Mr. Keynes’ excellent little book, The End of Laissez-Faire (l926) might, so far as it goes, serve as a useful introduction to fascist economics.” Keynes saw the similarities too, admitting his theories, “can be much easier adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state than . . . a large degree of laissez-faire.” Hitler built the autobahn, FDR the TVA. Propaganda notwithstanding, neither rejuvenated their economies.

FDR admired Mussolini because “the trains ran on time” and Stalin’s five year plans, but was jealous of Hitler whose economic tinkering appeared more successful than the New Deal. America wasn’t ready for FDR’s blatantly fascist Blue Eagle business model and the Supreme Court overturned several other socialist designs. The greatest dissimilarity between FDR and fascists was he enjoyed less success transforming society because the Constitution obstructed him.

Even using Republicans as proxies, there was little remotely conservative about fascism. Hitler and Mussolini were probably to the right of our left-leaning media and education establishments, but labeling Tea Partiers as fascists doesn’t indict the Right. It indicts those declaring so as radically Left.

 


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« Reply #476 on: October 28, 2013, 10:33:45 PM »

the rest is in line with this thread  cheesy

http://jakeshannon.tumblr.com/post/65349969597/is-american-football-fascist-i-am-afraid-so
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« Reply #477 on: October 30, 2013, 09:58:50 AM »

http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/told-racist-college-kid-rejects-diversity-training/#at_pco=smlwn-1.0&at_tot=1&at_ab=per-2&at_pos=0
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« Reply #478 on: November 01, 2013, 05:58:54 PM »

http://www.examiner.com/article/report-obamacare-provision-will-allow-forced-home-inspections-by-gov-t-agents
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« Reply #479 on: November 04, 2013, 11:03:01 AM »

Atlanta Hawkers
The mayor defies court orders letting street vendors earn a living.
Nov. 3, 2013 6:54 p.m. ET

For overbearing city government, Northeasterners claim a special expertise. But for sheer hostility to small business, it's hard to compete with Kasim Reed.

The Atlanta mayor won't even permit commerce that's entirely legal. Even after a judge ordered him to allow vendors to return to city streets—and then clarified her order in response to his defiance—Mr. Reed still won't allow these sellers to seek willing buyers. On Monday he faces a contempt hearing in Georgia's Fulton County Superior Court.

The problem began in 2008 when the city passed an ordinance to allow a single contract for sales in all public areas. In 2009 the contract was awarded to Chicago-based General Growth Properties, GGP -0.77% which could then force vendors to pay up to $20,000 a year to rent one of the company's new kiosks—or else be barred from selling in public spaces.

(Demonstrators pile signs by the door to City Hall before entering the Council Chambers to protest the city's policy on selling items on public property, Monday, July 1, 2013, in Atlanta. Associated Press)

Since we're talking about public property, some might wonder why a city doesn't have the authority to set the terms for commercial use. The answer is that Georgia's state constitution bars a city government from creating this type of monopoly, unless it is specifically authorized in the city's charter. In Atlanta it is not. So in 2012 Fulton County Superior Court Judge Shawn LaGrua voided the ordinance and the contract, restoring the previous law that allowed Atlantans to hawk.

General Growth accepted the court's decision, but Mayor Reed still insists on preventing longtime street vendors from making a living. Earlier this year, the city gave new meaning to the term "March Madness" when it launched a crackdown—complete with threats of fines and arrests—before Atlanta hosted the NCAA men's basketball championship. Preventing small vendors from doing business outside the Final Four was like telling mall owners that Christmas has been cancelled.

Last summer Judge LaGrua clarified her ruling and emphasized that the vendors should be allowed back to work. The mayor chose not to follow that ruling either. Vendors have now missed an entire Braves baseball season in the public areas outside Turner Field. Many vendors have struggled to pick up odd jobs to feed their families, but they haven't accepted the mayor's denial of their rights.

Aided by attorneys from the Institute for Justice, vendors Stanley Hambrick and Larry Miller have continued to challenge the mayor in court. Earlier this month the judge issued a writ of mandamus ordering the mayor to obey the law. Since he hasn't followed that judgment either, the mayor's lawyers will have to appear in court to explain why he should not be held in contempt.

Mayor Reed has also taken to denouncing our former colleague Kyle Wingfield, now a columnist at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, for daring to report on this bizarre campaign to keep vendors out of work. Way to go, Kyle. Politicians aren't above the law, at least not yet, and Mr. Reed's persistent disregard for court orders suggests that sanctions are overdue.
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« Reply #480 on: November 07, 2013, 11:49:02 PM »

http://nationalreport.net/maryland-middle-school-requires-children-cross-dress-lgbtq-appreciation-day/
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« Reply #481 on: November 08, 2013, 08:04:07 AM »


Funny, Charles Manson and several serial killers I can think of were humiliated by being forced to cross dress at school as children.
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« Reply #482 on: November 27, 2013, 01:31:39 PM »



Thank You, Hobby Lobby
By Michelle Malkin - November 27, 2013

Comments Religious liberty is front and center on the nation's Thanksgiving table. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. The family-owned craft store company is intrepidly challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare's abortion coverage mandate. Hobby Lobby's faithful owners deserve our thanks and praise as they defend freedom of conscience for all Americans.

The privately held retail chain's story is the quintessential American Dream. Founder David Green started out making mini picture frames in his Oklahoma garage in 1970. He recruited his two sons, Mart and Steve, to pitch in at an early age. The family's first establishment took up a tiny 300 square feet of retail space. Hobby Lobby now runs nearly 600 stores across the country, employs 13,000 people and topped $2 billion in sales in 2009.

The Greens' Christian faith is at the heart of how they do business. They are dedicated to integrity and service for their customers and their employees. The debt-free company commits to "honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles," as well as "serving our employees and their families by establishing a work environment and company policies that build character, strengthen individuals and nurture families."

The company donates more than 10 percent of its income every year to charity. All stores are closed on Sundays to allow employees more family and worship time. It's the company's dedication to biblical principles that led Hobby Lobby in April to raise full-time employees' starting minimum wage to $14 an hour at a time when many other firms have been forced to slash both wages and benefits.

"We believe that it is by God's grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees," CEO David Green pointed out. "We've not only added jobs in a weak economy; we've raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80 percent above minimum wage."

Many of Hobby Lobby's employees are single moms working two jobs. Green doesn't need federal mandates to tell him how to treat and retain good employees. He does it because it is the "right thing to do." While countless businesses have been forced to drop health insurance for their shrinking workforces during the Age of Obama, Hobby Lobby headquarters opened an onsite comprehensive health care and wellness clinic in 2010 with no co-pays.

Hobby Lobby employees are covered under the company's self-insured health plan, which brings us back to the company's legal case. Last September, Hobby Lobby sued the feds over Obamacare's "preventive services" mandate, which forces the Christian-owned-and-operated business to provide, without co-pay, abortion-inducing drugs including the "morning after pill" and "week after pill" in their health insurance plan. The company risked fines up to $1.3 million per day for defying the government's coercive abridgement of their First Amendment rights.

As Lori Windham, senior counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing Hobby Lobby in its court battles, said at the time: "Washington politicians cannot force families to abandon their faith just to earn a living. Every American, including family business owners like the Greens, should be free to live and do business according to their religious beliefs." Amen.

This summer, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals exempted Hobby Lobby from the abortion mandate and allowed the business to avoid those crippling fines while pursuing its case. Now, the Supreme Court will decide whether Democratic Party pandering trumps bedrock constitutional principles.

Planned Parenthood femme-a-gogues, Senate Democratic leaders, Christian-bashing celebs and atheist bullies immediately attacked Hobby Lobby for "denying women access to birth control." The lies and religious persecution, especially on the eve of America's national holiday commemorating the pilgrims' escape thereof, are unconscionable. Hobby Lobby's company health insurance plan covers 16 of the 20 FDA-approved contraceptives required under the Obamacare mandate -- at no additional costs to employees. What Hobby Lobby refuses to do is to be forced to cover abortifacients that violate the owners' faith and conscience.

Every employee is aware of the founders' history, devout work ethic and faith. No one is forced to work at Hobby Lobby. If workers want birth control, they can pay for it themselves. (And unlike so many other service workers, they have more take-home pay to spend on the "preventive services" of their choice.)

The intolerant control freaks at the White House took to Twitter right after the Supreme Court announcement to pile on the pander to the Sandra Fluke/Lena Dunham wing of the Democratic Party. "Birth control should be a woman's decision, not her boss's," Team Obama tweeted. That's precisely the argument against federally mandated health care benefits enforced by government in violation of religious liberty and subsidized by employers and taxpayers against their will. Let's pray the Supreme Court sees the light.

Copyright 2013, Creators Syndicate Inc.
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« Reply #483 on: December 02, 2013, 11:06:25 AM »

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304384104579143622939183810?mod=WSJ_hps_LEFTTopStories

Worth noting is how the term 'fascism' is used here and how if differs from the way we use it when we speak of liberal fascism. 

Speaking of liberal fascism, UCLA (a CA state university) appears to be turning it's English Lit department into an organ of propaganda: 

http://capoliticalnews.com/2013/12/01/ucla-junks-english-literature-for-english-majors-becomes-second-class-department-promotes-the-politics-of-sex-and-race/

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« Reply #484 on: December 07, 2013, 12:44:31 PM »

My thanks to the college Republicans at Fordham University, where I spoke this week on Liberal Fascism. I was a bit rusty, but it went well and the kids were very impressive.

Anyway, speaking of Liberal Fascism, folks on Twitter have been tweeting around a passage from my book on the minimum wage that might be of interest:
Consider the debate over the minimum wage. The controversy centered on what to do about what Sidney Webb called the "unemployable class." It was Webb's belief, shared by many of the progressive economists affiliated with the American Economic Association, that establishing a minimum wage above the value of the unemployables' worth would lock them out of the market, accelerating their elimination as a class. This is essentially the modern conservative argument against the minimum wage, and even today, when conservatives make it, they are accused of — you guessed it — social Darwinism. But for the progressives at the dawn of the fascist moment, this was an argument for it. "Of all ways of dealing with these unfortunate parasites," Webb observed, "the most ruinous to the community is to allow them unrestrainedly to compete as wage earners."

Ross put it succinctly: "The Coolie cannot outdo the American, but he can underlive him." Since the inferior races were content to live closer to a filthy state of nature than the Nordic man, the savages did not require a civilized wage. Hence if you raised minimum wages to a civilized level, employers wouldn't hire such miscreants in preference to "fitter" specimens, making them less likely to reproduce and, if necessary, easier targets for forced sterilization. Royal Meeker, a Princeton economist and adviser to Woodrow Wilson, explained: "Better that the state should support the inefficient wholly and prevent the multiplication of the breed than subsidize incompetence and unthrift, enabling them to bring forth more of their kind." Arguments like these turn modern liberal rationales for welfare state wage supports completely on their head.
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« Reply #485 on: December 07, 2013, 02:56:39 PM »

second post

nature.com
Better fathers have smaller testicles
Study finds evolutionary trade-off between mating prowess and parenting involvement.
•   Sarah Zhang
09 September 2013
 
Men with larger testes were rated lower in surveys of their parenting involvement, and brain scans showed they had lower activity in an area that is part of the brain's reward system.
Sam Edwards/Alamy
Fathers with smaller testes are more involved in child care, and their brains are also more responsive when looking at photos of their own children, according to research published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1.
Evolutionary biologists have long observed a trade-off in male primates between mating efforts to produce more offspring and the time males spend caring for their progeny. For instance, male chimpanzees, which are especially promiscuous, sport testes that are twice as big as those of humans, make a lot of sperm and generally do not provide paternal care. By contrast, male gorillas have relatively small testes and protect their young. The latest study suggests that humans, whose paternal care varies widely, show evidence of both approaches.
The analysis1 incorporates measures of testicular volume, brain activity and paternal behaviour, notes Peter Gray, an anthropologist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who was not involved in the study. “We’ve got something that pulls those strands together, and it does so in a really interesting way.”
The research team — led by James Rilling, an anthropologist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia — set out to investigate why some fathers are more involved in child care than others. The researchers recruited 70 fathers of children aged between one and two years, and scanned the men’s brains and testes in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine. The fathers and the children's mothers also filled out surveys rating the fathers' commitment to child care.
When men were shown photos of their own children, those rated as better fathers by their female partners had more activity in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the brain, part of its reward system. Men with larger testes were rated lower in surveys of their parenting involvement and had less activity in the VTA. Because testes size is correlated with sperm count, Rilling and his team took the size as a measure of mating effort.
The researchers also analysed the men’s testosterone levels, confirming a previous finding that fathers involved in caring for their children have lower levels of the hormone2.
“It’s a very provocative and important step,” says Sarah Hrdy, an emeritus anthropologist at the University of California, Davis. She adds that more research is needed to establish whether certain men are predisposed by biology to be more nurturing. The study’s authors say that even if men are predisposed to a certain style of parenting, nurturing dads can be made as well as born. That levels of testosterone changed as a father spent more time with his child suggest flexibility in a man's inclination toward fatherhood.
Charles Snowdon, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, points out that the paper’s own statistics show testes size explains only a fraction of the variation in paternal care. “There are lots of other variables that affect fatherhood,” he says, citing as examples social environment and prior experience looking after younger siblings when the men were children themselves.
Rilling and his team plan to test how testicular size is affected by factors such as genetics or the man having an absent father. They were surprised to find little research on how testes size changes in response to life events. “Testicular imaging is sort of a unique niche right now,” says Rilling.
Journal name:
Nature
DOI:
doi:10.1038/nature.2013.13701
References
1.   Mascaro, J. S., Hackett P. D. & Rilling, J. K. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1305579110 (2013).
Show context
2.   Gettler, L. T., McDade, T. W., Feranil, A. B. & Kuzawa, C. W. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 108, 16194–16199 (2011).
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« Reply #486 on: December 09, 2013, 12:37:52 PM »

Income Redistribution: A Litany of Section 1705 Failure
 

An obscure portion of Department of Energy loan guarantees in Section 1705 of the overall American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- better known as the "stimulus" -- was supposed to jumpstart the renewable energy industry, but the law has proven to be a cesspool of failure and cronyism. A Reason Foundation study released last week details the program's lack of tangible results with the only successes apparently being those of enriching politically connected investors.

Among the more spectacular and well-documented failures such as Solyndra and Abound Solar, most of the other 24 companies that benefited from Section 1705 loans were already mired in junk-bond status prior to receiving the infusion of taxpayer cash, according to the Reason study. Study authors Victor Nava and Julian Morris also blasted the federal government for a lack of diversity in selecting recipients, noting that 83% of the project funding went to solar projects, with most of the rest supporting wind-based energy.

Rather than investing in new ideas for improving existing technology, such as improvements in electrical transmission infrastructure or in hydropower, which were allowed in the authorizing legislation, those who selected Section 1705 recipients seemed to lean on the all-important criteria of political connection. The study notes that larger loan recipients tended to spend more on lobbying, but those who spent nothing on lobbying had something even more important: a senator to back their project. Maine "Independent" Sen. Angus King founded Independence Wind, a company that received $102 million in loan guarantees for the Record Hill Wind project; meanwhile, all three Nevada-based projects (of 26 eventually selected) had backers who collectively funneled over $58,000 in campaign cash to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Instead of a system riddled with questionable investments and cronyism, the authors suggest a different approach: a prize system based on the ongoing X Prize project in which competitors come up with solutions based on a set of specific criteria. One example given in the study is a competition to remove oil from the surface of seawater, with seven of the 10 finalists exceeding the given criteria and the winner besting the existing industry standard fourfold.

The only standard the government seems to exceed under the current system is largess for the well-connected, and that's not a direction we need to take.
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« Reply #487 on: December 09, 2013, 05:45:54 PM »

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303497804579239970456967130?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop
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« Reply #488 on: December 12, 2013, 12:22:54 PM »

Art of the BIG Lie
'Distorting the Truth Infamously'
By Mark Alexander • December 12, 2013
"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." --Article II, Section 1, Constitution of the United States (1787)


No president since Franklin Roosevelt has mastered the art of the "Big Lie" as effectively as Barack Hussein Obama.

In my last Memo to Demos, I outlined Obama's litany of lies to win passage of ObamaCare, or as an increasing number of Democrats now prefer to call it, the "Affordable Care Act." Having supported this catastrophic behemoth, they now hope that their refusal to utter the word "ObamaCare" will provide them a measure of political protection. The truth, however, is that they are now irrevocably linked to Obama's repeated bald-faced lies.

I concur with the assessment of political analyst Jonah Goldberg that Obama's lies are "the biggest lies about domestic policy ever uttered by a U.S. president."

As politically vulnerable Demos in the Senate are scurrying away from the ObamaCare train wreck, their intrepid leader, Sen. Harry Reid, yet again repeated Obama's Big Lie: "What he said was true. If you want to keep the insurance you have you can keep it. The problem is, we did not put the bill into effect that way."

In other words, you can keep your insurance and doctor, except "we did not put the bill into effect that way." This must be why he exempted some of his staff from ObamaCare.

I was as stupefied by Reid's reiteration of this now-infamous lie as was the reporter who asked him about it. Is Reid suffering from acute dementia? Has he been imprisoned in some sensory deprivation tank for the last two months? Or is he, like Obama, thoroughly accomplished in the art of the Big Lie? Recall that this audacious technique is a staple of the biggest deceptions propagated by Leftist cadres since the rise of Marxism and its murderous manifestations in successive regimes, most notably the National Socialist German Workers' Party from the 1930s through the end of World War II.

Some reading this will question: Really Alexander? Obama and Hitler? Is this another histrionic example of Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1"?

If you're among those who'd rather dismiss such associations because they seem too strident -- or because you want to help maintain Obama's deception -- then your answer is yes. But the fact is, Obama's lies fit neatly into the Big Lie framework defined by another pathological narcissist, Adolf Hitler.

Reid's repetition of Obama's lie invokes the need to review the origin of Big Lie theory, as well as the proliferation of Big Lie propaganda today.
Adolf Hitler defined the Big Lie in his 1925 autobiography, Mein Kampf, writing that it must be so "colossal" that the public would be confident that no national leaders "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously."

"In the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying."

Hitler's Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels, affirmed that "the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. ... It is the absolute right of the state to supervise the formation of public opinion."

If you still have trouble making the Big Lie connection, perhaps you can make the Socialist connection.

In Mein Kampf, Hitler also wrote of his Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers' Party, or NAZI), "The party ... must not become a servant of the masses, but their master." With respect to the socialist state and individual Liberty, he wrote, "The unity of a nation's spirit and will are worth far more than the freedom of the spirit and will of an individual; and that the higher interests involved in the life of the whole must here set the limits and lay down the duties of the interests of the individual."

Hitler's regime was founded on his premise, "We are Socialists, we are enemies of the capitalistic economic system ... and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions."

"To be a socialist," Goebbels affirmed, "is to submit the I to the thou; socialism is sacrificing the individual to the whole."

For those who still find the Big Lie comparison too strident, I refer you to Jacob Hornberger's paraphrase of the esteemed classical liberal economist Friedrich von Hayek: "There is no difference in principle, between the economic philosophy of Nazism, socialism, communism, and fascism and that of the American welfare state and regulated economy."

British historian Dr. John Joseph Ray followed, "The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism."
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« Reply #489 on: December 13, 2013, 04:12:54 PM »

Back Off Man, We're Scientists
Rich Lowry (praise be upon him), has a good column on liberalism's "reality problem." He writes about how liberals sold Obamacare as if it were simply the product of Cartesian logic, science, and math. The wonky architects of the Affordable Care Act were like vulcans or Mentats -- devoid of ideological, emotional, or idealistic delusions -- who had simply deduced an irrefutably superior way to organize health care in this country that would expand access, reduce costs, and create nothing but winners as far as the eye can see. Lowry writes:
The erstwhile reality-based community is having a tough time of it lately, though. Most infamously, Obamacare is foundering on the flagrant deceptions used to sell it, exposed every day by the workings of the law in reality.
Many liberals still don't want to acknowledge the rather straightforward fact that if you mandate more insurance benefits in the so-called Affordable Care Act, insurance will cost more. QED. You might be able to cushion the cost increase for some people with subsidies, but not for everyone, and the underlying insurance is still more—not less—expensive.
Now, I find this all interesting not just because angels learn to write by trying to emulate Lowry's columns ("Ah, I get it now. It's Christmas-bonus season at National Review!" -- The Couch), but also because I happened to write two books that dealt with liberalism's pose as nothing more than the "best practices" as deduced by "the experts."
In the Tyranny of Clichés I argued at some length that liberals use the language of empiricism (and common sense and pragmatism) in order to sell a deeply ideological agenda. Using the language of "pragmatism" they logic chop any open/opposing ideological commitments as if they were utterly irrational while camouflaging liberal ideological commitments in seemingly empirical language. As I wrote: "liberals and other progressives hold it as a bedrock article of ideological faith that they are not ideological. In short: Pragmatism is the disguise progressive and other ideologues don when they want to demonize competing ideologies." Of course, I've made this same point about 7 trillion times in this "news"letter and elsewhere, in part because this point is always relevant when you have a deeply ideological president going around insisting he's not a very ideological person.

I'm reminded of an episode of Parks and Recreation -- back when it was reliably funny -- in which we learn the town of Pawnee, Indiana, is not only "The First in Friendship and Fourth in Obesity," but also the home of a bizarre cult that worships an alien-beast God known as Zorp. In the 1970s the cult briefly controlled the city, but these days the aging cultists in their Dockers and flannel shirts aren't much of a threat. Every now and then they gather in the city's main park to await the arrival of Zorp, who they are sure will -- this time! -- destroy the planet and leave it a slag heap. (At these gatherings, Ron Swanson (who is awesome) sells the cultists handcrafted flutes at wildly exorbitant prices. The cultists think it's hilarious and that Swanson is a sucker because he accepts checks. After all, Zorp is coming and he's going to melt the whole planet tonight.)

Anyway, I'm reminded of it because the cultists had one brilliant insight. They called themselves the "Reasonablists." Their thinking was that this would immunize them from criticism, because nobody wants to seem unreasonable or against reason.
Hail Sciency-ness

In Liberal Fascism, I wrote at some length about a guy named Georges Sorel, a largely forgotten intellectual who has been credited with being the intellectual godfather of both Leninism and Italian fascism, largely through his work on syndicalism (which we won't be discussing today, save in the opening sentence below). I write:
Syndicalism informed corporatist theory by arguing that society could be divided by professional sectors of the economy, an idea that deeply influenced the New Deals of both FDR and Hitler. But Sorel's greatest contribution to the left—and Mussolini in particular—lay elsewhere: in his concept of "myths," which he defined as "artificial combinations invented to give the appearance of reality to hopes that inspire men in their present activity." For Sorel, the Second Coming of Christ was a quintessential myth because its underlying message—Jesus is coming, look busy—was crucial for organizing men in desirable ways. . . .

Even more impressive was Sorel's application of the idea of myth to Marxism itself. Again, Sorel held that Marxist prophecy didn't need to be true. People just needed to think it was true. Even at the turn of the last century it was becoming obvious that Marxism as social science didn't make a whole lot of sense. Taken literally, Marx's Das Kapital, according to Sorel, had little merit. But, Sorel asked, what if Marx's nonsensicalness was actually intended? If you looked at "this apocalyptic text . . . as a product of the spirit, as an image created for the purpose of molding consciousness, it . . . is a good illustration of the principle on which Marx believed he should base the rules of the socialist action of the proletariat." In other words, Marx should be read as a prophet, not as a policy wonk. That way the masses would absorb Marxism unquestioningly as a religious dogma.

"Scientific" Marxism simply asserted that it was scientific and lots of educated fools bought it, at least for a while. But Sorel recognized that "scientific" Marxism was no more scientific than the time machine I invented out of a refrigerator box when I was seven years old. The Marxists insisted that dialectical materialism was an objective fact, confirmed by science; I insisted that the tinfoil-wrapped salad tongs harnessed cosmic rays to bend the space-time continuum. Sorel's genius was to recognize that in the post-Enlightenment world, science had taken the place of magic, miracles, and superstition. The important thing was to create the myth that science was on the side of revolution, actually proving it rationally was an afterthought. During the Dark Ages, alchemists grew in power so long as the king believed in the myth of transmogrification, and in the 19th and 20th centuries left-wing revolutionaries grew in power so long as the masses believed in the myth of dialectical materialism.
   
This is a hard thing for some to hear, but science operates as magic for most of us. Most of us don't really know how things like electricity, copy machines, computers, medicine, and rising-crust pizza actually work. We're just told that scientists worked it out and we believe it because that stuff works. I open up my laptop and it lights up (I'm talking about my portable computer, sickos). But Arthur C. Clarke's Third Law still holds true: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Since the Enlightenment, lots of people have been ensorcelled by science-sounding abracadabra words, believing they've actually been reasoned with. See, for instance, Scientology or the aforementioned Reasonablists. Or consider what longtime readers know to be my favorite line from Voegelin: For the Marxist, "Christ the Redeemer is replaced by the steam engine as the promise of the realm to come."
The Utopian-Based Community

So it is with liberalism. I'm not saying it's a crazy space-cult. John Podesta isn't a Zorp-worshipper. The Atari Democrats didn't take Space Invaders literally. Still, inherent in mainstream wonky liberalism is a utopian, quasi-religious idea masquerading as an empirical conviction.

So as Aristotle famously said, "We need to get back to Rich Lowry to really understand this." In his infinite wisdom, hired me writes:
Every side in a political argument tends to gild the lily, but the acknowledgment of any downside is particularly devastating to liberal presumptions. Liberals are inherently activists on domestic policy, and to make the strongest possible case for action, you need certainty not nuance, cost-free benefits not painful trade-offs, blissful promises not unintended consequences.
Consider the minimum wage. Rarely do liberals truly grapple with the possibility—supported by some, but not all research—that it suppresses employment. If they did, they would be more cautious about advocating a higher minimum wage in a soft job market and less scornful of opponents.
I agree that everybody tends to "gild the lily" in favor of their preferred policies. But inherent to conservatism is the understanding that nothing in this life is all upside. To govern is to choose. Every policy is a trade-off. Every gain comes at a loss -- somewhere. This core understanding explains why conservatism is more empirical than liberalism, more "reality based." That's because at the heart of mainstream liberalism is the belief that, with the right application of intellect and data, experts (i.e. liberals) can create perfect policies that are good for everyone and everything, not just as a matter of "social justice" but of objective analysis. In the 1990s Bill Clinton used to insist that any suggestion of a trade-off was a "false choice." X never has to come at the expense of Y. Al Gore used to talk about his climate proposals as if there was no downside to them at all. It was broken-window fallacies for as far as the eye could see.
It was magic talk masquerading as science talk. The belief that with the right experts -- or sorcerers -- in charge All Good Things will go together is no less utopian than the cults of Marxism, Reasonableism, or Thusla Doomism. Sure, liberalism's agenda is more reasonable and laudatory. But at its core is the same faulty assumption that this life can be made perfect. And I should say, in and of itself, belief in the perfectability of this life isn't all that dangerous. The problem is that such impulses often come in a bundle. That's why liberals tend to assume that conservatives have evil motives. Our refusal to get with the program, liberals assume, stems from a conscious desire to deny others the happiness and access to the perfect world available to us with optimal policies. In other words, it's not just that liberals want to immanentize the eschaton; liberals think it's the collective task of conservatives to keep the eschaton from being immanentized (see this excellent piece by Jim Pethokoukis on how income inequality is becoming the new climate change, where dissenting heretics must be silenced, not merely argued with).
Obama, the famous "non-ideologue," at least occasionally reveals the political religion lurking beneath the surface, as when he insists that we can create a kingdom of heaven on Earth. But ultimately, he has the same liberal blinders on.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #490 on: December 14, 2013, 11:12:04 AM »

“The welfare state is the oldest con game in the world. First you take people’s money away quietly, and then you give some of it back to them flamboyantly.”  - Thomas Sowell
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #491 on: December 30, 2013, 07:04:28 PM »

WND is not my idea of a reputable site-- but lets keep an eye out for sightings of this elsewhere:


http://www.westernjournalism.com/now-obama-wants-your-401k/
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G M
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« Reply #492 on: December 30, 2013, 11:16:05 PM »

WND is not my idea of a reputable site-- but lets keep an eye out for sightings of this elsewhere:


http://www.westernjournalism.com/now-obama-wants-your-401k/

The idea has been percolating in lefty circles for a while now.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #493 on: January 01, 2014, 01:13:51 PM »

http://clashdaily.com/2014/01/obama-americans-dont-deserve-free/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #494 on: January 03, 2014, 09:37:16 AM »

As has been often noted, the terms "left", "right", and "fascist" are frequently used quite inconsistently.  Certainly my use of Jonah Goldberg's definition of "fascism" is a minority use.  The following article, badly reasoned as it may be in great part, does serve to remind us of how others use these terms, as well as to flag an issue of interest that could just have well gone in the European Matters thread.

=======================

Op-Ed Contributor
Europeans United, in Hating Europe
By ANDREA MAMMONE
Published: January 1, 2014

LONDON — It may seem bizarre that two far-right, nationalist politicians — Marine Le Pen of France and Geert Wilders of the Netherlands — have reached across borders to form a Pan-European group dedicated to weakening the European Union. Their aim is a transnational political alliance that would compete in the May elections for the European Parliament; once in power, they would cooperate to try to rein in the power of Brussels.

Are these politicians, who share an opposition to immigration and a skepticism about the free flow of labor and capital across the Continent, simply hypocritical opportunists, as many Europeans of the left believe? Perhaps.

But in fact, since the early 20th century, Europe’s far-right nationalists have often united in search of an “other” to oppose, exclude, resist, restrict or oppress — historically, minorities like Jews, homosexuals, the disabled, Roma, Marxists and, more recently, Arabs, Africans and Asians. What emerged after World War I was a philosophy that could be called Euro-fascist. The most extreme proponents, of course, were the Nazis: Notwithstanding their doctrine of racial supremacy, even they formed alliances with Mussolini’s Italy and the militarists of Japan and found keen fascist collaborators in nations they invaded.

This vision did not die with the end of World War II. Transnational links among right-wing parties, based on common fears of minorities and immigrants, endured. The right-wingers, while speaking different languages, borrowed ideals, strategies, slogans and theorists from one another. The National Front in France, founded in 1972 by Ms. Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, imitated the symbol and political tactics of the original neo-Fascist party, the Italian Social Movement, which was formed in 1946 by admirers of Mussolini and, in 1979, coordinated with like-minded French and Spanish parties to compete (with little success) in the first popular elections for the European Parliament.

So when observers marvel about the “new” nationalist parties of Europe, they are capturing only part of the truth. These right-wingers mistrust or even detest the Continent’s core institutions — the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the European Parliament — but they are perfectly happy to join up with extremists in other countries to weaken those institutions.

Which raises a question: What makes the European Union so appealing as a target?

The answer may (and should) shock complacent left-leaning and center-right Europeans alike. “Europe,” as an idea and a community, has weakened. The European Union’s byzantine governance makes it seem unaccountable. Its leaders — notably José Manuel Barroso of Portugal, the president of the European Commission, the union’s executive body; Herman van Rompuy of Belgium, the president of the European Council, which comprises the 28 heads of government; and Catherine Ashton, the union’s top diplomat — are little known outside of elite circles.

Soaring youth unemployment, stringent fiscal policies, German-led monetary clout and the presence of Muslim immigrants have created a perfect target for the likes of Mr. Wilders and Ms. Le Pen, who blame outside forces like the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Union for their nations’ woes. Conveniently, they overlook structural problems like the costs of social welfare and pension programs, declining birthrates, aging populations, stagnant labor productivity and intensifying competition from the economies of Asia and Latin America.

Surveys show that the anti-European Union forces may win more than 90 of the 751 seats to be contested in the May elections for the European Parliament. That might be enough to form an official parliamentary group — and to make them eligible, like the transnational alliances of socialists and center-right Christian democrats, for European Union financing and full political recognition. Even as a tiny, noisy voice within the European Parliament, this alliance could create a lot of trouble. Just think of the successes that Tea Party Republicans have had in impeding decision making in the United States.

The perception that bureaucrats in Brussels, bankers in Frankfurt and European lawmakers in Strasbourg, France, are haughty and indifferent has made it possible for demagogues to pose as populists who are alone in understanding “the people.”

For example, in November, Lorenzo Fontana, an Italian member of the European Parliament from the right-wing Northern League, boasted — ahead of a gathering with leaders of the National Front and similarly oriented Swedish, Austrian and Flemish parties — that they spoke in the name of a “shared ideal of Europe, a Europe of people.” The League’s newspaper, La Padania, on Nov. 14, put it this way: “It will be up to the voters, but this time the troops, willing but disorganized, have the opportunity to unite in a single ‘army’ behind an able leader.”

How would these right-wingers reshape Europe? They say they would give power back to nations by dismantling the technocratic decision-making power amassed in Brussels and returning powers back to individual member states. They would pause, if not quite reverse, six decades of growing integration.

Tragically, in the face of this assault, calls for European solidarity are few. This is a sign of how far Europe has come from the dream that helped lift it from the ashes of war. It is a sign of the fading of the vision — common markets, democratic institutions and societal integration — promoted by the postwar founders of European integration: thinkers and statesmen like Konrad Adenauer, Winston Churchill, Jean Monnet, Robert Schuman and Altiero Spinelli.

The European Union must reclaim its reputation as a champion of the people. Its leaders should abandon their embrace of technocratic solutions, their support for the banking sector and their stoic austerity. Unless they deliver more jobs, and more of a sense that citizens are in charge, the far right will only keep growing.

Andrea Mammone is a lecturer in modern European history at Royal Holloway, the University of London.
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objectivist1
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« Reply #495 on: January 10, 2014, 10:56:14 AM »

The War on Poverty’s Biggest Casualties

Posted By Matthew Vadum On January 10, 2014

Fifty years after liberals launched their sacrosanct “War on Poverty,” Americans, and black Americans in particular, aren’t better off.

But neo-Marxist ideologue that he is, President Obama is determined to double-down on leftist failure, widening the so-called war by calling for the biggest welfare spending increases in American history— amounting to more than $10 trillion over a decade, according to the Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector.


This War on Poverty that Obama wants to escalate came on the heels of the death of President John F. Kennedy.

As the country was reeling in shock just seven weeks after Kennedy was assassinated, his successor, President Lyndon B. Johnson, urged Congress to embark on a new metaphorical war effort against poverty. In that State of the Union address on Jan. 8, 1964, Johnson said, “Let this session of Congress be known … as the session which declared all-out war on human poverty and unemployment in these United States.”

This “unconditional war on poverty in America … will not be a short or easy struggle, no single weapon or strategy will suffice, but we shall not rest until that war is won,” Johnson said. ”The richest nation on earth can afford to win it. We cannot afford to lose it.”

The War on Poverty also gave taxpayers’ money to so-called community groups like ACORN and Saul Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation in order to encourage them to agitate against the status quo. This, in turn, stimulated demand for more government spending as taxpayer dollars became a kind of ever-increasing subsidy for pro-Big Government activism. The federal government still hands out huge grants to left-wing groups to subsidize their efforts to take away our economic freedoms.

A half a century later, federal and state welfare spending, adjusted for inflation, is now 16 times greater. The country has spent $20.7 trillion in 2011 dollars over the past 50 years on welfare programs, far exceeding what the U.S. has spent on every war it has fought.

Already the federal government administers 80 different means-tested welfare programs. Government blew $916 billion on these programs in 2012 alone, and about 100 million Americans accepted aid from at least one of the programs, costing $9,000 per recipient on average, a figure, Heritage’s Rector notes, that doesn’t include Social Security or Medicare benefits.

Yet “victory” in the War on Poverty is nowhere in sight. In 2012, 15 percent of Americans lived below the poverty line, roughly the same percentage as in the mid-1960s. Currently, around 50 million Americans live below the poverty line, which the government defines as a four-member family earning $23,550 a year. And 47 million Americans receive food stamp benefits, 13 million more than when President Obama was first sworn in.

“Liberals argue that we aren’t spending enough money on poverty-fighting programs, but that’s not the problem,” according to Rector. “In reality, we’re losing the war on poverty because we have forgotten the original goal, as LBJ stated it half a century ago: ‘to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities.’”

Despite an orgy of federal spending, blacks and other minorities have suffered the most from big government poverty alleviation efforts. The anti-marriage, anti-family tilt of welfare policies has devastated black communities.

“The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery couldn’t do, what Jim Crow couldn’t do, what the harshest racism couldn’t do, and that is to destroy the black family,” says economics professor Walter E. Williams of George Mason University, a black man who rose from poverty.

As a result of misguided government policies that grew out of the War on Poverty, out-of-wedlock birthrates have mushroomed, David Horowitz and John Perazzo report in “Government vs. the People.”

By 1976, the illegitimacy rate for whites jumped to 10 percent from 3 percent in 1965. Blacks fared far worse, as their illegitimacy rate skyrocketed to 50.3 percent, more than double the percentage in 1965. “In 1987, for the first time in the history of any American racial or ethnic group, the birthrate for unmarried black women surpassed that for married black women,” they wrote.

Currently, whites have an illegitimacy rate of 29 percent, compared to a shocking 73 percent for blacks. Overall, the poverty rate for single parents with children was 35.6 percent in 2008, but for married couples with children it was a much lower 6.4 percent.

The poverty rate for single Hispanic parents with children was 37.5 percent in 2008, but for married Hispanic couples with children it was 12.8 percent. The poverty rate for single black parents with children was 35.3 percent in 2008, but for married black couples with children it was 6.9 percent.

The economic situation of blacks has deteriorated sharply during Barack Obama’s presidency, in particular. Nationally, unemployment stands at 7 percent but among black Americans unemployment has essentially stood still. When Obama was inaugurated in 2009 black unemployment was 12.7 percent. Today it is 12.5 percent.

In 2008 the black poverty rate was 12 percent; now it is 16.1 percent. Median income fell by 3.6 percent in white households to $58,000 in the same time frame, but slid 10.9 percent to $33,500 for black households, according to the Census Bureau.

“The data is [sic] going to indicate sadly that when the Obama administration is over, black people will have lost ground in every single leading economic indicator category,” Tavis Smiley, a black, left-wing radio talk show host said in the fall. “On that regard, the president ought to be held responsible.”

These terrible numbers help to explain the president’s recent attempt to change the subject from the economy to “income inequality,” an abstraction that fails to register with most Americans.

They also help to explain why Obama intends to push for an increase in the federal minimum wage, currently $7.25 an hour, in his State of the Union address on Jan. 28.

Left-wingers have successfully been changing the subject, moving the discussion away from their policy failures for 50 years now.

Why should they change a winning formula now? They know they can continue to count on taxpayer funding for their adventures in leftist activism.
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« Reply #496 on: January 27, 2014, 12:24:25 PM »

« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 12:40:40 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged

Posted on behalf of Crafty Dog
by Spartan Dog
DougMacG
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« Reply #497 on: January 28, 2014, 08:18:23 AM »



Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.  - Benito Mussolini
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/b/benito_mussolini.html#1fPXSdqvMhcD8726.99

Bill Clinton:  We Democrats think the country works better with a strong middle class, real opportunities for poor people to work their way into it and a relentless focus on the future, with business and government working together to promote growth and broadly shared prosperity. We think "we're all in this together" is a better philosophy than "you're on your own."  http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/transcript-bill-clintons-democratic-convention-speech/story?id=17164662
------------------------

This comparison says it better than I ever could.  Run, hide, scream, cringe in fear when you hear about your government wanting to 'partner up' with private businesses.  It sounds so nice until you think about the implications.  Government picks the winners and losers.  In sports, the referee partners up with one of the teams.  This is a good idea?  Hint: it won't be your team they choose - unless you are the largest entrenched player with the biggest budget and behind-the-scenes operation to pay them off.  Business becomes the need to be in bed with the elected officials - or be destroyed.  Innovation, productivity gains and meeting the market needs will no longer matter.

Government has a role in business: to enforce a level playing field fair to the participants, and to capture and protect the public from the externalities - as Crafty has pointed out.  To regulate as necessary, but not to be a participate in he tcommerce, except, again, as absolutely necessary - such as to buy pens and desks for the government offices.  And then only in a fair and completely open and transparent public bidding process.

Remember the uproar over no bid contracts awarded to Haliburton, even when Cheney had no financial ties to their performance, and even though no other American company had the resources to fulfill those contracts.  Now Government Motors is the norm.  Cash for Clunkers in their industry but not yours.  Government managed health insurance companies, Solyndra, Tesla, etc. etc.  The President is out there bragging about private products coming out of public investments.  Beware!  It is such a flagrant violation of equal protection under the law for government to unnecessarily partner up with private participants in the market.  

Run, scream, hide when you hear that the government is stepping in to partner with private business.  It isn't your business they will choose.  And it is the destruction of equal treatment under the law.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 08:31:26 AM by DougMacG » Logged
objectivist1
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« Reply #498 on: January 28, 2014, 08:18:39 AM »

The D’Souza Arrest: Obama Adopts the Stalinist Style

Posted By Robert Spencer On January 27, 2014

I’m no fan of Dinesh D’Souza, but this is ridiculous.

Dinesh and I locked horns a few years back when he attacked me in his book The Enemy At Home, saying that books like mine should not be written. His line was that Islam was a religion of peace, that pious, morally upright Muslims had been driven to lash out against the U.S. because of the immorality of our pop culture, and that American conservatives should ally with what he termed “conservative Muslims” against their common, amoral Leftist foe.

He and I debated this at CPAC in 2007 and on several radio shows, which grew increasingly heated as he charged me with “Islamophobia” (a term used by Muslim Brotherhood entities to stigmatize opposition to jihad terror) and invoked Saudi-funded Islamic apologist John Esposito as an authority.

The ensuing years have only shown more vividly what nonsense Dinesh’s position was, as “conservative Muslims” the world over wage jihad against America, and non-Muslims everywhere, more furiously than ever.

I rehash all this to show the falsehood of the line that has been circulating around in the Leftist media ever since Dinesh D’Souza was indicted: that only people who share D’Souza’s views are concerned about his indictment. As Tal Kopan put it in Politico, “In the wake of the indictment of conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza for alleged fraud, conservatives are crying foul that it is evidence of the Obama administration punishing its critics.”

Liberals should be as concerned about this as conservatives. Foes of jihad should be just as concerned about it as those who share D’Souza’s worries about “Islamophobia.” For the evidence is mounting that D’Souza has indeed been targeted for being a public and high-profile foe of Barack Obama – a development that should disquiet anyone who believes in the value of a stable, functioning republic with a loyal opposition. Pamela Geller notes here that D’Souza is not remotely the only conservative or Obama critic who has been targeted for prosecution, while Obama’s Justice Department has turned a blind eye to illegal campaign contributions from Gaza during Obama’s 2008 campaign. And then there was the Obama Justice Department’s dismissal of the New Black Panthers voter intimidation case.

What’s more, bail for D’Souza was set higher than that given to several people accused of attempted murder, rape, assault, and the like. To whom is Dinesh D’Souza more dangerous than a man who sexually assaulted a teenager, or a man who kept old men captive in a filthy “dungeon”?

This is something new in American politics. When I was six years old, I took notice of the presidential campaign, and asked my father who was the “good guy”: Richard Nixon or Hubert Humphrey. My father answered, “They’re both good men. They both want to do what is right for the country. They just disagree on what some of the right things to do may be.”

That kind of respect for the opposition was commonplace in America back in 1968, but it has all but vanished now. I remember being taken aback in college by the obscene, relentless, vicious hatred that the Left directed toward Ronald Reagan – I was at that time entirely sympathetic with their disdain for him, but the frenzy with which they expressed it, their wild furious contempt, shocked me. And that was nothing compared to what they had in store for George W. Bush. The Democratic Party as a whole, along with the entire Leftist establishment, adopted the Alinskyite tactic of ridiculing, mocking and smearing their foes instead of engaging them on the level of ideas. Leftists now routinely portray their opponents as simultaneously stupid and evil, idiotic but crafty; it’s practically a reflex.

Decades of this have poisoned the well of American politics, and paved the way for Obama to take the demonization to the next level by unleashing the law on them. Arresting prominent members of the opposition is the kind of behavior we have seen from the likes of Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler; it is a hallmark of authoritarianism, not (until now) of politics in the United States. Of course, Stalin and Hitler didn’t stop with arresting their foes; they had them murdered as well, usually after a show trial. Obama is not doing that, but is even one step down this road one that Americans want to take?

Leftist pundits who are waving away concern over the arrest of D’Souza should bear in mind that the worm could turn. They could, for some reason or another, find themselves somewhere down the line opposing the Obama regime or some other presidency that apes Obama’s strategy. Then those who are claiming that only believers in crazy “conspiracy theories” are concerned about the Obama Justice Department’s (to say nothing of the Obama IRS) clear pattern of singling out opponents of the President for prosecution while ignoring more serious crimes among his friends may find themselves on the receiving end of this tactic.

Civility and mutual respect are in dire need of restoration in the American public square, but two have to play at that game, and only one side is even interested in the game at all. With the arrest of Dinesh D’Souza, Barack Obama has adopted a key feature of the Stalinist style of politics. Before he or anyone else gets the idea of adopting anything else from the authoritarians’ playbook, Americans – Left and Right – would be well-advised to stand together to repudiate him and these tactics once and for all, and resoundingly.

But by relentlessly demonizing their opponents, Barack Obama and his cohorts have almost certainly already made that impossible.
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"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #499 on: January 28, 2014, 10:18:49 AM »

A good, well-written, and well-reasoned piece, but as best as I can tell it avoids dealing with the obvious rejoinder.  Apparently the man IS guilty of breaking the campaign finance laws in a stupid and obvious way.  The failure to address this point leaves me hesitant to spread this otherwise good piece forward.
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