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DougMacG
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« Reply #500 on: January 28, 2014, 11:43:41 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.

None of us have any way of knowing if he is innocent or guilty.  After years of him fighting back, maybe we will discover he is innocent (and that the bundling Ambassador of Norway is guilty of that same charge).  The accusation (by Spencer) is enforcement targeting based on D’Souza's exercise of free speech.  If true, that offense is far worse, treason IMO, and not directly related to the merits of the D’Souza case.

Targeting of tea party organizations was worse because citizens were prevented from participating in the political process without being accused of doing anything wrong.

At some point, smoking guns will emerge on such widespread targeting abuse, along with the non-enforcement of everything on the other side.  The only person breaking this law happen to produce an anti-Obama documentary?

(Unfortunately, the unconstitutionality of the law being enforced on D'Souza is irrelevant.)

Meanwhile, illegal immigration is against federal law.  The sale and use of marijuana in Colo and Wash state is a violation of federal law.  Black Panther voter intimidation is a violation of federal law.  Fast and furious gun running was a violation of federal law.  IRS targeting is a violation of federal law.  Where is the enforcement? DOMA, as written, was a federal law?  The meaning of "the law of the land" depends on your political and/or governmental connection with those in power.

When do the indicted-innocent get back their good name?  Ask Tom DeLay.
Resigned 2006: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/03/AR2006040301787.html
(The money laundering indictment of course was a key part of Republicans losing control of congress.)
Convicted 2010: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/24/tom-delay-guilty-money-laundering_n_788325.html
Overturned: 2011
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/09/19/224070833/tom-delays-conviction-overturned-on-appeal
Tom DeLay's Conviction Overturned On Appeal
The state's Third District Court of Appeals concluded: "the evidence presented does not support a conclusion that DeLay committed the crimes that were charged".
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:27:09 PM by DougMacG » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #501 on: January 28, 2014, 12:34:02 PM »

I get all that.  My point though is that the article needed to address the point and its failure to do so, diminishes its persuasive power and leaves readers susceptible to feeling that it attempted to dupe them when they read about the basis for the charge.
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ccp
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« Reply #502 on: February 02, 2014, 11:18:22 AM »

From a poster on a yahoo board.  Has anyone here read rules for radicals?  Is this actually what is in it?

Saul David Alinsky (January 30, 1909 – June 12, 1972) was an American community organizer and writer. He is generally considered to be the founder of modern community organizing. He is often noted for his book Rules for Radicals.
 There are 8 levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a social state.
 The first is the most important.
 1) Healthcare – Control healthcare and you control the people
 2) Poverty – Increase the Poverty
 level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight
 back if you are providing everything for them to live.
 3) Debt – Increase the debt to an
 unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will
 produce more poverty.
 4) Gun Control – Remove the ability
 to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a
 police state.
 5) Welfare – Take control of every
 aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and
 Income)
 6) Education – Take control of what
 people read and listen to – take control of what children learn in
 school.
 7) Religion – Remove the belief in
 the God from the Government and
 schools
 Cool Class Warfare – Divide the people
 into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be
 easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the
 poor.
 Does any of this sound familiar???
« Last Edit: February 02, 2014, 11:28:47 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
objectivist1
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« Reply #503 on: February 06, 2014, 10:37:49 AM »

Yes, I have read the book, and no - that post is a cobbled-together list of socialist/Marxist principles.

Alinsky dedicated "Rules for Radicals" to Satan - seriously.  Take a look at the book for yourself - it's not a difficult or a long read.

Also - for an excellent analysis of just how Barack Obama is following Alinsky's blueprint to the letter - see this pamphlet written by David Horowitz:

www.amazon.com/Barack-Obamas-Rules-Revolution-Alinsky-ebook/dp/B009KSFK8U/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1391704347&sr=8-3&keywords=obama%27s+rules

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"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
ccp
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« Reply #504 on: February 06, 2014, 11:28:32 AM »

Thank you for the reply.

I haven't seen David Horowitz around much the last few years.  He used to write columns and appear on cable broadcasts.

Have you seen him?

Should I read both?  I hesitate to spend a dime for some scumbag's book - Alinsky.
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objectivist1
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« Reply #505 on: February 06, 2014, 12:23:26 PM »

Horowitz is still very active.  He continues to write extensively.  Go to www.frontpagemag.com to see what his organization puts out - including much which is authored by him.

With regard to Alinsky - it would benefit you to know exactly what he teaches in his book - but Horowitz's pamphlet provides a good summary and applies it to specific Obama policies.  Hillary Clinton also did her master's thesis on Alinsky.

Like "Mein Kampf" - it behooves you to know what the person behind the movement believed.  "Rules for Radicals" should be available very cheaply - it's a very short book.
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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 #506 on: February 14, 2014, 03:15:00 PM »

http://www.glennbeck.com/2014/02/14/awful-lib-reporter-goes-after-6th-grade-honor-roll-student/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #507 on: February 21, 2014, 08:18:15 PM »

The Goldberg File
By Jonah Goldberg
February 21, 2014

Fascism, Again

Timothy Snyder has written the best piece I've seen on what's going on in Kiev. It's worth reading just as a primer. But it's also interesting in other ways. I had not read a lot about the "Eurasian Union," a proposed counterweight to the European Union, in much the same way the Legion of Doom is a counterweight to the Justice League. Putin and a band of avowed "National Bolshevik" intellectuals are in effect trying to put the band back together. Snyder writers:

The Eurasian Union is the enemy of the European Union, not just in strategy but in ideology. The European Union is based on a historical lesson: that the wars of the twentieth century were based on false and dangerous ideas, National Socialism and Stalinism, which must be rejected and indeed overcome in a system guaranteeing free markets, free movement of people, and the welfare state. Eurasianism, by contrast, is presented by its advocates as the opposite of liberal democracy.

The Eurasian ideology draws an entirely different lesson from the twentieth century. Founded around 2001 by the Russian political scientist Aleksandr Dugin, it proposes the realization of National Bolshevism. Rather than rejecting totalitarian ideologies, Eurasianism calls upon politicians of the twenty-first century to draw what is useful from both fascism and Stalinism. Dugin's major work, The Foundations of Geopolitics, published in 1997, follows closely the ideas of Carl Schmitt, the leading Nazi political theorist. Eurasianism is not only the ideological source of the Eurasian Union, it is also the creed of a number of people in the Putin administration, and the moving force of a rather active far-right Russian youth movement. For years Dugin has openly supported the division and colonization of Ukraine.

The point man for Eurasian and Ukrainian policy in the Kremlin is Sergei Glazyev, an economist who like Dugin tends to combine radical nationalism with nostalgia for Bolshevism. He was a member of the Communist Party and a Communist deputy in the Russian parliament before cofounding a far-right party called Rodina, or Motherland. In 2005 some of its deputies signed a petition to the Russian prosecutor general asking that all Jewish organizations be banned from Russia.

Some of this was news to me. I was familiar with the National Bolshevism of the early Nazi years. Thinkers like the Ukrainian Bolshevik Karl Radek and the Nazi Otto Strasser dabbled with the idea of merging Bolshevik and Nazi ideology. After all, if you're already a National Socialist it's not that long a trip to being a National Bolshevik, now is it? Some left-wing members of the Nazi military described themselves as National Bolsheviks as well. But ultimately, National Bolshevism as an intellectual movement died in the crib. Or so I thought.

What I did not know is that National Bolshevism is making such a comeback. And while, it's evil and a national-security threat and all that, I can't help but smile.

The Opposite of Opposites

National Bolshevism must strike some on the left as quite perplexing. After all, Bolshevism and Nazism — like fascism and socialism — are opposites, right?

If you read my book, you'd know I consider this the greatest myth and/or lie of the 20th century (coming in a distant second: the idea that there is a difference between good flan and bad flan).

Funny enough, the Eurasianists are counting on this myth for their propaganda campaign. They insist that the protesters in Kiev are trying to stage a "brown revolution" or fascist coup. In other words the de facto fascists are calling the anti-fascists "fascists." And apparently lots of folks are falling for it. Snyder again:

Why exactly do people with such views think they can call other people fascists? And why does anyone on the Western left take them seriously? One line of reasoning seems to run like this: the Russians won World War II, and therefore can be trusted to spot Nazis. Much is wrong with this. . . .
The other source of purported Eurasian moral legitimacy seems to be this: since the representatives of the Putin regime only very selectively distanced themselves from Stalinism, they are therefore reliable inheritors of Soviet history, and should be seen as the automatic opposite of Nazis, and therefore to be trusted to oppose the far right.

Again, much is wrong about this. . . .

Snyder's rebuttals are good (I've trimmed them mostly for space). But they don't cut to the heart of it.

First, let's clear some underbrush. The idea that Communism and Nazism are opposites is more of a utilitarian idea than a core conviction for the Left. It is a rationalization that allows the Left to cut around the historical tumor of Nazism and fascism and say, That has nothing to do with us.
But the simple fact is that the hard Left has always endorsed or at least sympathized with national-socialist countries. What do you think Cuba is? It's nationalistic and it's socialistic. Venezuela under Chávez and now Maduro is nationalist and socialist. Nicaragua in the 1980s, etc., etc. Read a speech by any socialist dictator and swap out the word "socialize" for "nationalize": The meaning of the sentences doesn't change one iota. Nationalized health care is socialized medicine. Even Obama's weak-tea socialistic rhetoric is usually dolled up in the rhetoric of nationalism, even militaristic nationalism. Let's all be like SEAL Team Six! Let's make this a " Sputnik Moment."

Most of the Left in the U.S. didn't really hate the German national-socialists until Stalin told them to. That the useful idiots thought Stalin's command to turn on his one-time Nazi ally was rooted in deep ideological conviction just proves the depths of their idiocy.

After all, it's not like the Left suddenly turned on Stalin when he embraced nationalism wholeheartedly and talked of fighting the Nazis as part of the "Great Patriotic War for Mother Russia." But, hey, maybe I'm missing the deep Marxist themes in the phrase "Great Patriotic War for Mother Russia."

North Korea by Another Name

If you think this is all semantic faculty-lounge argy-bargy, consider the fact that North Korea is in many ways as "Nazi" as the Nazis were. It's a nationalist country that subscribes to eugenic theories that it uses to justify the industrial torture and slaughter of its own citizens. In fact, North Korea's eugenics is crazier than Nazi Germany's was. I'm not trying to minimize the evil of the Holocaust, but "Jew" is a real category of human being and eugenics generally weren't discredited in the 1930s. Eighty years later, North Korea believes that the political views of people are genetically heritable for generations. So you can get sent to a death camp if your great uncle said something nice about America or if your second cousin lives in South Korea.

But because of the emotional and political investment in the idea that Nazism has nothing to do with Communism, North Korea is put in a category of lesser evil. If the Kims just described themselves as Nazis — but kept all of the same policies — it would be vastly easier to rally public opinion against their decades of murder. But when you talk about the evil of Communist regimes, a lot of people idiotically roll their eyes. Everyone is a brave anti-Nazi now that they're all gone, but many are afraid to devote a fraction of that passion when it comes to the heirs, imitators, and competitors of Nazism.

Heresies of Heresies

Richard Pipes had the best pithy summation of the difference between Nazism and Bolshevism. They aren't opposites, he argued, they're both "heresies of socialism."

I agree with this entirely, but step back from that a bit. Socialism itself is a heresy — a heresy of tribalism. Socialism is simply an attempt to gussy up ancient tribal tendencies in modern garb. Nazism was tribalism of one race. Communism is tribalism of one class. Italian fascism was tribalism of one nation.

There are of course, better and worse forms of tribalism. And, I would argue that a little tribalism, like a little nationalism, is a healthy thing, insofar as communities aren't held together by reason alone. They're held together by a complex set of sentiments, and a politics that doesn't take account of that will necessarily fail. As Edmund Burke writes, "politics ought to be adjusted not to human reasonings but to human nature, of which the reason is but a part, and by no means the greatest part."
But here is the important point. Looking back on the long history of humanity, tribalism — simple or complex — was the norm for 99 percent of our time on Earth. It wasn't until 200-300 years ago that a different path emerged. (Yes, Christianity was a big leap forward in advancing a universal conception of humanity, in principle. But in practice it was often coopted by tribalism in one form or another. We can talk about that more another time.) The different path emerged largely in England and spread from there. This different path recognized the sovereignty of the individual, the necessity of the rule of law, democratic legitimacy, and private property, and the inherent dignity of bourgeois labor.

As I've written before, what makes America special is that we took England's culture of liberty and broadened it out into a virtual tribe of liberty. I say virtual because we took the ethnic and racial components out of it (and, no, we didn't do it overnight). You can be a progressive or a liberal or a social democrat and still believe in all of the things that define the tribe of liberty. You can also be a nationalist, a patriot, or a traditionalist and believe in all of these things. But go too far in either direction and you can fall off the path. Perhaps path is the wrong word. Bridge might make more sense. After all there's a left side and a right side of the road. But if you fall off a bridge, all you do is fall down.

Seen from this perspective the differences between Bolshevism, Nazism, Maoism, Italian Fascism, North Korean Juche, et al may be interesting or meaningful (the differences between football and rugby are interesting and meaningful, but at the end of the day they're both just games). But seen from the broadest perspective, they're simply different ways to fall off the bridge and back into the wilderness below.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #508 on: February 22, 2014, 05:44:09 PM »

http://www.theblaze.com/blog/2014/02/20/10-quotes-that-shred-progressivism-from-a-best-selling-british-author-who-left-the-left/
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ccp
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« Reply #509 on: February 22, 2014, 08:23:09 PM »

Fox should hire her as a counterpoint to Piers Morgan.

She would trounce him.  Though that is not saying much from what I read about his ratings recently.

Maybe he will be cancelled. 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #510 on: February 26, 2014, 06:14:29 PM »

http://www.glennbeck.com/2014/02/26/its-true-government-agents-are-infiltrating-online-communities/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #511 on: March 18, 2014, 11:44:28 AM »

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2014/03/17/The-Economist-Calls-Out-Crony-Capitalism-But-Misses-the-Point
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ccp
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« Reply #512 on: March 19, 2014, 07:32:04 AM »

"The Economist’s crony-capitalism index also isolates business sectors like casinos, oil and gas, and real estate as crony sectors while ignoring things like high-tech, healthcare, and entertainment."

Wow.  What a huge and preposterous "oversight".   High tech, and entertainment are the biggest backers of the liberals.  Health care seems to be a monster unto itself.

Overall the Economist is to some degree calling out the Bamster some, and recently have started to actually say something good about the right, but overall they are still progressives at heart.   I would still label them maybe just a tad to the right of MSM - but only a tad.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #513 on: March 19, 2014, 09:09:04 AM »

I was first exposed to The Economist when I went back to college, to U. of PA, in 1975.  At the time I was quite impressed with it.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #514 on: March 19, 2014, 08:03:57 PM »



A Lesson in Irony.

The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing this year the greatest amount of free Meals and Food Stamps ever, to 47 million people.

Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us "Please Do Not Feed the Animals." Their stated reason for the policy is because "The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."

Thus ends today's lesson in irony.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #515 on: March 28, 2014, 10:22:13 AM »



http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303325204579463581942405804?mg=reno64-wsj


WONDER LAND
Why Can't the Left Govern?
The Left can win elections. Why can't it run a government?
 
By
DANIEL HENNINGER

March 26, 2014 7:12 p.m. ET
Surveying the fall in support for the governments of Barack Obama, New York City's progressive Mayor Bill de Blasio and France's Socialist President François Hollande, a diagnosis of the current crisis begins to emerge: The political left can win elections but it's unable to govern.
Once in office, the left stumbles from fiasco to fiasco. ObamaCare, enacted without a single vote from the opposition party, is an impossible labyrinth of endless complexity. Bill de Blasio's war on charter schools degenerated into an unseemly attack on poor New York minority children. François Hollande's first act in 2012, like a character in a medieval fable, was to order that more tax revenue be squeezed from the French turnips.
 
Mr. Obama's approval rating is about 43%, Mr. de Blasio's has sunk to 45% after just two months in office, and Mr. Hollande hit the lowest approvals ever recorded in the modern French presidency. The left inevitably says their leaders failed them. The failure looks self-inflicted.

Three European academics asked themselves recently how 19 United Nations summit meetings have been unable to produce a treaty on global warming. Why the cause of climate change has fallen apart is described in "Melting Summits," a paper and cautionary tale just published in the Academy of Management Journal by Elke Schüssler of Germany, Charles Clemens Rüling of France and Bettina Wittneben of the U.K.

No idea in our time has had deeper political support. Al Gore and John Kerry have described disbelievers in global warming as basically idiots—"shoddy scientists" in Mr. Kerry's words. But somehow, an idea with which "no serious scientist disagrees" has gone nowhere as policy. The collapse of the U.N.'s 2009 Copenhagen climate summit was a meltdown for the ages.

In an interview with the Academy of Management about her paper, Bettina Wittneben of Oxford University, who supports a climate-change treaty and has attended 13 climate meetings, summarized the wheel-spinning: "Sometimes I just find myself shaking my head after talking to participants in recent COPs [the U.N.'s climate meetings]. They'll come back from the meetings simply brimming with enthusiasm about the networking they've done, the contacts they've made, the new ideas about their research they had or the new angles to lobbying they thought of. But ask what progress was made in terms of global policy initiatives, and all you get is a shrug."
Put differently, it's not about doing something serious about global warming. It's really all about them (a virus threatening American conservatism as well). The "them" at the U.N. summits included not just the participating nations but a galaxy of well-financed nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs.

They travel under their own acronyms. The environmentalists are ENGOs, the trade unions are TUNGOS, indigenous peoples are IPOs, business and industry are BINGOs and women, gender and youth groups are YOUNGOs.

These are the left's famous change agents. The authors dryly describe what they actually do as "field maintenance." Instead of being "catalysts for change," they write that "more and more actors find COP participation useful for their purposes, but their activity is increasingly disconnected from the issue of mitigating climate change."
And little wonder. The failed efforts to get the global-warming treaty done reflect the issue's departure from anything practical. It's impossible to read this history of global warming's demise without hearing resonances of ObamaCare's problems.

The text of the climate-change treaty at Copenhagen in 2009 included "thousands of 'brackets,' or alternative wordings." A participant described the puzzle palace: "There are more and more parallel processes, and everything must be negotiated at the same time. The number of . . . negotiation issues has increased and many of these issues . . . are discussed in different places at the same time. . . . Very few people understand the whole thing." Maybe they could just pass it to find out what's in it.

One organization specialist calls this phenomenon "social deadlock." ObamaCare is social deadlock. But the American left keeps doing it. This isn't the 1930s, and smart people on the left might come to grips with the fact that the one-grand-scheme-fits-all compulsion is out of sync with the individualization that technology lets people design into their lives today.

Rather than resolve the complexities of public policy in the world we inhabit, the left's default is to simply acquire power, then cram down what they want to do with one-party votes or by fiat, figuring they can muddle through the wreckage later. Thus the ObamaCare mandates. Thus candidate de Blasio's determination, cheered on by the city's left-wing establishment, to jam all its kids through an antique public-school system. The ObamaCare mandates are a mess, and the war on charter schools is an embarrassment.

Making the unworkable work by executive decree or court-ordered obedience is one way to rule, and maybe they like it that way. But it isn't governing.
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G M
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« Reply #516 on: March 28, 2014, 10:29:13 AM »

Socialism is the system of the future. It's never worked in the past, it doesn't work now but they are so sure it'll work the next time.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #517 on: April 09, 2014, 10:00:19 AM »

http://townhall.com/columnists/benshapiro/2014/04/09/the-rise-of-american-totalitarianism-n1820552/page/full
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ccp
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« Reply #518 on: April 19, 2014, 05:08:32 AM »

Thomas Piketty:   A new favorite of Obama and his economic council, Jack Lew Treasury Secretary and the rest of the globalist progressive crowd. 

*********Economist Receives Rock Star Treatment

By JENNIFER SCHUESSLERAPRIL 18, 2014

French economists who boldly question the dominance of capital over labor — and call for a progressive global tax on wealth — visit the American halls of power about as often as French rock stars headline Madison Square Garden.

But those halls of power are where Thomas Piketty, a 42-year-old professor at the Paris School of Economics, has been singing his song of late.

Since touching down in Washington this week to promote his new book, “Capital in the 21st Century,” Mr. Piketty has met with Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, given a talk to President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers and lectured at the International Monetary Fund, before flying to New York for an appearance at the United Nations, a sold-out public discussion with the Nobel laureates Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, and meetings with media outlets ranging from The Harvard Business Review to New York Magazine to The Nation.

The response from  fellow economists, so far mainly from the liberal side of the spectrum, has verged on the rapturous. Mr. Krugman,  a columnist for The New York Times,  predicted  in The New York Review of Books that Mr. Piketty’s book would “change both the way we think about society and the way we do economics.”

   Thomas Piketty at one of his New York talks this week. Credit Karsten Moran for The New York Times 
But through all the accolades, Mr. Piketty seems to be maintaining a most un-rock-star-like modesty, brushing away comparisons to Tocqueville and Marx with an embarrassed grimace and a Gallic puff of the lips.

“It makes very little sense: How can you compare?” he said on Thursday between gulps of yogurt during a break in his packed schedule — before going on to list the 19th-century data sets that Marx neglected to draw on in “Das Kapital,” his 1867 magnum opus.

“If Marx had looked at them, it would have made him think a bit more,” he said. “When I started collecting data, I had no idea where it would go.”

Mr. Piketty’s dedication to data has long made him a star among economists, who credit his work on income inequality (with Emmanuel Saez and others) for diving deep into seemingly dull tax archives to bring an unprecedented historical perspective to the subject.

But “Capital in the 21st Century,” which analyzes more than two centuries of data on the even murkier topic of accumulated wealth, has elicited a response of an entirely different order. Months before its originally scheduled April publication, it was generating intense discussion on blogs, prompting Harvard University Press to push the release forward to mid-February.

Since then, it has hit the New York Times best-seller list, and sold some 46,000 copies (hardback and e-book) — a stratospheric number for a nearly 700-page scholarly tome dotted with charts and graphs (as well as references to Balzac, Jane Austen and “Titanic”).

And not all those readers are economists. Six years after the financial crisis, “people are looking for a bible of sorts,” said Julia Ott, an assistant professor of the history of capitalism at the New School, who appeared on a panel with Mr. Piketty at New York University on Thursday. “He’s speaking to a real feeling out there that things haven’t been fixed, that we need to take stock, that we need big ideas, big proposals, big global solutions.”
Photo

Mr. Piketty's book on sale after he spoke Wednesday at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. Credit Karsten Moran for The New York Times 
Those big ideas, and the hunger for them, were on ample display at N.Y.U., where the standing-room crowd was treated to Mr. Piketty’s apology for having written such a long book, followed by a breakneck PowerPoint presentation of its main arguments, illustrated with striking charts.

At the book’s center is Mr. Piketty’s contention — contrary to the influential theory developed by Simon Kuznets in the 1950s and ’60s — that mature capitalist economies do not inevitably evolve toward greater economic equality. Instead, Mr. Piketty contends, the data reveals a deeper historical tendency for the rate of return on capital to outstrip the overall rate of economic growth, leading to greater and greater concentrations of wealth at the very top.

Despite this inevitable-seeming drift toward “patrimonial capitalism” that his charts seemed to show, Mr. Piketty rejected any economic determinism. “It all depends on what the political system decides,” he said.

Such statements, along with Mr. Piketty’s proposal for a progressive wealth tax and income tax rates up to 80 percent, have aroused strong interest among those eager to recapture the momentum of the Occupy movement. The Nation ran a nearly 10,000-word cover article  placing his book within a rising tide of neo-Marxist thought, while National Review Online dismissed it as confirmation of the left’s “dearest ‘Das Kapital’ fantasies.”

But Mr. Piketty, who writes in the book that the collapse of Communism in 1989 left him “vaccinated for life” against the “lazy rhetoric of anticapitalism,” is no Marxian revolutionary. “I believe in private property,” he said in the interview. “But capitalism and markets should be the slave of democracy and not the opposite.”

Even if he doesn’t expect his policy proposals to find favor in Washington anytime soon, Mr. Piketty called his meetings there gratifying. Mr. Lew, he said, seemed to have read parts of the book carefully. A member of the Council on Economic Advisers corrected a small error concerning Balzac’s novel “Le Père Goriot,” which includes a discussion of getting ahead through advantageous marriage rather than hard work. “I was impressed,” Mr. Piketty said.

His book, however, ends not with an appeal to policy makers, but with a call for all citizens to “take a serious interest in money, its measurement, the facts surrounding it and its history.”

“It’s too easy for ordinary people to just say, ‘I don’t know anything about economics,’ ” he said, before rushing to his next appearance. “But economics is not just for economists.”
 

A version of this article appears in print on April 19, 2014, on page C1 of the New York edition with the headline: Economist Receives Rock Star Treatment.********
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #519 on: April 19, 2014, 01:53:38 PM »

Please post on the Economics thread on SCH as well.  Thank you.
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« Reply #520 on: April 21, 2014, 10:19:59 AM »

http://dailycaller.com/2014/04/21/obama-admin-wants-to-require-companies-to-give-workers-numbers-addresses-to-unions-before-labor-elections/
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« Reply #521 on: April 23, 2014, 06:31:39 PM »

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/9235
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« Reply #522 on: April 29, 2014, 03:47:44 PM »

By request of Guro Crafty:

http://reason.com/blog/2014/04/28/doj-operation-chokepoint-and-porn-stars

Seemingly not concrete yet, but the hypothetical link is interesting. From the article:

"The very premise is clearly chilling—the DOJ is coercing private businesses in an attempt to centrally engineer the American marketplace based on it's own politically biased moral judgements. Targeted business categories so far have included payday lenders, ammunition sales, dating services, purveyors of drug paraphernalia, and online gambling sites."
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« Reply #523 on: April 29, 2014, 09:32:32 PM »

April 29, 2014
St. Louis County Abrogates Property Rights
By Timothy Birdnow
 
St. Louis County, Mo. is planning to force property owners to purchase a landlord's license to rent out or even allow friends or family to inhabit a privately owned domicile.

Not content with collecting fees for "safety" inspections and occupancy permits, the county government is now intent on imposing a landlord's license and extracting yet another fee. Duplication of current law aside, this new requirement strikes at the heart of a fundamental legal right: the right to ownership of property.

Private property is the most basic principle in American jurisprudence. When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he borrowed from the philosopher John Locke, who asserted three fundamental rights enjoyed by all: life, liberty, and property. Jefferson, at the urging of Benjamin Franklin, changed the last to "pursuit of happiness" because he did not want to give slaveholders any sort of legal justification should abolition finally overtake the "peculiar institution." Still, everyone knew what Jefferson was getting at here, and though the Declaration is not a foundational legal document, it does illustrate the mindset of the Founders, who clearly believed in ownership of property.

As John Adams stated:
The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the law of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.

And so it is; without a sacred view of property, a society inevitably slides into despotism.

The first property right is self-ownership. We have seen the left nibble away at this concept, and the ObamaCare mandate has effectively tipped the scales toward state ownership of American citizens.

With that under their belts, the Progressives can now turn their lustful eyes back toward real estate. Actually, they have been nibbling away at the rights of property owners for decades. Eminent domain, the Fair Housing Act, zoning restrictions, occupancy permits, "safety" inspections (which are more often than not also about cosmetics), property maintenance codes – all circumscribe the rights of owners to have final say on the use of their property. Yes, many of these things were well-intentioned and have contributed to a more pleasant society, but the movement has been ever toward government regulation of private property. While property rights are not absolute, where does ownership end? If government tells the owner how he can use his property, can it be said that we have private ownership at all?
We've seen some huge leaps in recent years: the Kelo decision allowing property to be taken from the lawful owner and given to a developer, for instance, or the declaration of property as environmentally sensitive and so not allowed to be developed. We have the Cliven Bundy affair; Bundy had purchased grazing rights, which are in themselves a contractual interest. We've seen government shut off water to farmers , or allow lands to be flooded, bankrupting farmers and forcing them off their lands.

Now we witness the imposition of licensing requirements for property owners. The issuance of a license presupposes that government holds the rights and that the "owner" is being granted a privilege.

Read the bill here.
The bill is chock-full of "at the discretion of the Administrator." What does that remind us of? That's right: ObamaCare is full of this same discretionary empowerment of bureaucratic officials.

This law is an egregious violation of fundamental property rights. For example, sec. 852.200 bans occupation of a property by anyone but the owner or anyone "Related to the owner of the property within the second degree of consanguinity." But an exemption can be made (much like ObamaCare) at the discretion of the administrator.

In sec. 825.350, we learn that all occupancy permits will be revoked if the owner fails to file for a renewal of his license, thus forcing residents to vacate the property – without compensation for the cost of their move.
Section 825.450 is a doozie. It reads:
825.450 - The Director may suspend or revoke a license issued pursuant to this Code upon the grounds specified in this section. Notice of the suspension or revocation shall be provided in writing and served upon the owner by means reasonably calculated to provide actual notice to the owner. ( i.) A license may be suspended if property is found by the Director to be out of compliance with the Property Maintenance Code and corrections are not made to bring the property back into compliance within thirty (30) days from the date of notice of non-compliance. (ii.) A license may be suspended if an owner makes • material false statements on a license application or declaration for exemption; or fails to report a change of occupancy of any property owned or managed for which a license under this Code has been issued. (iii.) In the exercise of sound discretion by the Director, a license may be suspended or revoked if the owner has been notified by the Director of three (3) or more acts by occupants of licensed residential rental property which constitute a public nuisance. ( iv.) A license may be suspended for conviction of a misdemeanor, felony or ordinance violation by the owner or by occupants occurring on or about licensed residential rental property. (v.) A license may be revoked if the owner has more than two (2) license suspensions in any twelve (12) month timeframe[.]
Get that? The director is free to decide compliance, and the landlord is put in a catch-22. He is unable by law to remove bad tenants except through the very slow legal process, yet he is held responsible for the actions of tenants. And what of the tenants? If their landlord should be convicted of, say, a DWI, they may be tossed off the property.

I ask you, who owns the property? The landlord has duties specified here, but no real rights. The tenants (who purchased the right to inhabit the property) have no rights. It seems that St. Louis County has simply taken away the fundamental rights of a property owner.

If "A property right is the exclusive authority to determine how a resource is used," then how can we allow this usurpation? Government is granting itself this right. The owners are reduced to managers.

Like the proverbial frog in a pot of water, we have suffered the slow increase of heat, allowing our governments to degrade our freedoms incrementally. Property is a fundamental right, and as such is bestowed by God and Natural Law, not by the beneficence of men in government. St. Louis County should be ashamed of itself for this treachery.

Anyone wishing to register their displeasure can contact County Executive Charlie Dooley (D) at http://www.stlouisco.com/YourGovernment/CountyExecutive/DearCharlie, or phone his office at (314) 615-7016 or (314) 615-5889.

Contact the County Council at (314) 615-5432, or obtain the e-mail addresses for councilmen here: http://www.stlouisco.com/YourGovernment/CountyCouncil
Tim is a realtor in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Read more from Tim at The Aviary www.tbirdnow.mee.nu.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/04/st_louis_county_abrogates_property_rights.html
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« Reply #524 on: April 30, 2014, 10:02:24 AM »

I am extremely appreciative of this post. It is unfortunately rare for me to be among people who also think tromping all over our property rights is outrageous. In Minneapolis we already have the landlord licensing they are proposing in St. Louis, and it is all political.  Property isn't even an afterthought for them. Tenants make up a decisive constituency.  Landlords are far fewer in number and often live outside the city.  Homeowners often hate their neighboring landlords due to the behavior of the tenants.  The City only holds the landlord accountable.  A landlord license costs $1000 per property plus annual fees and can be revoked on a whim.  It is all based in "administrative law" so landlords have no real rights in a hearing.  Another employee of the regulatory department sits where the judge ought to be. 

it is a taking; the Supreme Court has ruled that partial takings are takings.  Yet this kind of encroachment on rights keeps expanding.  People think an attack on one group or one right is justified because - it doesn't apply to them.  Just like supporting taxes levied on someone other than you.  They don't see that it erodes their rights too.

What happens in this case is that the weak landlords fail and so-called fixer-uppers disappear.  40% of large rental neighborhoods were lost to foreclosure, many of them torn down.  Like Big Oil and Big Pharma, only strong landlords managing limited supply with high rents survive.  High costs and heavy regulations keep out competition.  Affordable housing becomes a misnomer for programs to pay housing costs that are no longer affordable.  Like the healthcare mess, the fascism is self sustaining and ever-expanding because more and more people need help and fewer and fewer can afford to buy their own home and pay the ever-increasing taxes.
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« Reply #525 on: May 19, 2014, 07:52:55 AM »


How LBJ ruined America:

**********Great Society's decline: The high cost of Lyndon Johnson's grand project

 By George Will 

 JewishWorldReview.com |    Standing on his presidential limousine, Lyndon Johnson, campaigning in Providence, R.I., in September 1964, bellowed through a bullhorn: “We’re in favor of a lot of things and we’re against mighty few.” This was a synopsis of what he had said four months earlier.

Fifty years ago this Thursday, at the University of Michigan, Johnson had proposed legislating into existence a Great Society. It would end poverty and racial injustice, “but that is just the beginning.” It would “rebuild the entire urban United States” while fending off “boredom and restlessness,” slaking “the hunger for community” and enhancing “the meaning of our lives” — all by assembling “the best thought and the broadest knowledge.”

In 1964, 76 percent of Americans trusted government to do the right thing “just about always or most of the time”; today, 19 percent do. The former number is one reason Johnson did so much; the latter is one consequence of his doing so.

Barry Goldwater, Johnson’s 1964 opponent who assumed that Americans would vote to have a third president in 14 months, suffered a landslide defeat. After voters rebuked FDR in 1938 for attempting to “pack” the Supreme Court, Republicans and Southern Democrats prevented any liberal legislating majority in Congress until 1965. That year, however, when 68 senators and 295 representatives were Democrats, Johnson was unfettered.

He remains, regarding government’s role, much the most consequential 20th-century president. Indeed, the American Enterprise Institute’s Nicholas Eberstadt, in his measured new booklet “The Great Society at Fifty: The Triumph and the Tragedy,” says LBJ, more than FDR, “profoundly recast the common understanding of the ends of governance.”

When Johnson became president in 1963, Social Security was America’s only nationwide social program. His programs and those they subsequently legitimated put the nation on the path to the present, in which changed social norms — dependency on government has been destigmatized — have changed America’s national character.

Between 1959 and 1966 — before the War on Poverty was implemented — the percentage of Americans living in poverty plunged by about one-third, from 22.4 to 14.7, slightly lower than in 2012. But, Eberstadt cautions, the poverty rate is “incorrigibly misleading” because government transfer payments have made income levels and consumption levels significantly different. Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, disability payments, heating assistance and other entitlements have, Eberstadt says, made income “a poor predictor of spending power for lower-income groups.” Stark material deprivation is now rare:

“By 2011 . . . average per capita housing space for people in poverty was higher than the U.S. average for 1980. . . . [Many] appliances were more common in officially impoverished homes in 2011 than in the typical American home of 1980. . . . DVD players, personal computers, and home Internet access are now typical in them — amenities not even the richest U.S. households could avail themselves of at the start of the War on Poverty.”

But the institutionalization of anti-poverty policy has been, Eberstadt says carefully, “attended” by the dramatic spread of a “tangle of pathologies.” Daniel Patrick Moynihan coined that phrase in his 1965 report calling attention to family disintegration among African Americans. The tangle, which now ensnares all races and ethnicities, includes welfare dependency and “flight from work.”

Twenty-nine percent of Americans — about 47 percent of blacks and 48 percent of Hispanics — live in households receiving means-tested benefits. And “the proportion of men 20 and older who are employed has dramatically and almost steadily dropped since the start of the War on Poverty, falling from 80.6 percent in January 1964 to 67.6 percent 50 years later.” Because work — independence, self-reliance — is essential to the culture of freedom, ominous developments have coincided with Great Society policies:

For every adult man ages 20 to 64 who is between jobs and looking for work, more than three are neither working nor seeking work, a trend that began with the Great Society. And what Eberstadt calls “the earthquake that shook family structure in the era of expansive anti-poverty policies” has seen out-of-wedlock births increase from 7.7 percent in 1965 to more than 40 percent in 2012, including 72 percent of black babies.

LBJ’s starkly bifurcated legacy includes the triumphant Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 — and the tragic aftermath of much of his other works. Eberstadt asks: Is it “simply a coincidence” that male flight from work and family breakdown have coincided with Great Society policies, and that dependence on government is more widespread and perhaps more habitual than ever? Goldwater’s insistent 1964 question is increasingly pertinent: “What’s happening to this country of ours?”

 

 

 
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« Reply #526 on: May 19, 2014, 12:16:26 PM »

"How LBJ ruined America:  Great Society's decline: The high cost of Lyndon Johnson's grand project  By George Will "
 
George Gilder made this powerful point in "Wealth and Poverty", 1981, that the upside down incentives of the welfare state hurt the recipients even more than the multi-trillion dollar cost of it hurts the taxpayers. 

Thanks for posting this CCP, George Will really nails this.  It should be on the front page, all loaded with facts, and made required reading for anyone who wants to vote responsibly.  People have to dig deeply and find conservative opinion in order to get these basic facts about how these policies are ruining our country:

"For every adult man ages 20 to 64 who is between jobs and looking for work, more than three are neither working nor seeking work, a trend that began with the Great Society."

“the earthquake that shook family structure in the era of expansive anti-poverty policies has seen out-of-wedlock births increase from 7.7 percent in 1965 to more than 40 percent in 2012, including 72 percent of black babies."  !


Can people really not see that these programs undermine family, work and responsibility and are destroying our culture and diminishing the lives of the recipients?!  We pay people to not work,  We pay people to not marry.  We pay them to not take responsibility for their families.  And then we see more and more and more of these bad, behavioral choices.  We have effective marginal tax rate of over 100% at certain levels between dependency and self sufficiency screwing up both the businesses and the potential employees. 

Because pay our poor to not work, we need to import people even poorer to fill that gap.  Then we pay them not to work and on goes the cycle.  We don't count as income everything we pay all these people, nor count what we take in taxation from the remaining productive among us, then we marvel at the falsely measured, increasing gap between rich and poor.  Go figure.  What is it about Economics 1001 that we so blockheadedly refuse to accept?
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G M
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« Reply #527 on: May 19, 2014, 12:43:01 PM »

It's understood. It's an effective way to create and control voting blocs.
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« Reply #528 on: July 18, 2014, 05:13:49 PM »



http://townhall.com/tipsheet/conncarroll/2014/07/18/elizabeth-warren-backs-corporate-welfare-bank-n1863643?utm_source=thdailypm&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl_pm
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« Reply #529 on: August 23, 2014, 07:34:52 AM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCYDElfhAko&feature=youtu.be
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« Reply #530 on: August 29, 2014, 03:23:51 PM »

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/08/29/after-being-fined-and-forced-to-host-gay-weddings-christian-farm-owners-make-drastic-decision-that-will-likely-hurt-their-business/
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« Reply #531 on: September 14, 2014, 01:44:52 PM »

http://www.zombietime.com/zomblog/?p=1953
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« Reply #532 on: October 15, 2014, 11:02:02 AM »



http://www.tpnn.com/2014/10/14/city-of-houston-demands-pastors-turn-over-sermons/
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« Reply #533 on: October 16, 2014, 02:23:15 PM »

Houston Gay Mafia Goes After Pastors
 

In a move eerily similar to that of fascist regimes, the city of Houston demanded that pastors hand over their sermons to the city for a review of teachings that might speak out against homosexuality or transgenderism. After an outcry, the city is partially backing off, but make no mistake: This is a shot across the bow for any who oppose the homosexual agenda.

Last year, Houston voters elected the city’s first openly lesbian mayor, Annise Parker. It wasn’t long before the city passed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), which granted "equal rights" (read: preferred status as those with whom no one may disagree) to individuals with gender disorientation pathology. Under the ordinance, men can use ladies’ restrooms, ladies can use men’s restrooms, and, in short, anything goes -- except orthodox Christianity. Texans don’t take too well to folks messing with their manhood, and it wasn’t long before a petition drive opposing the ordinance drew more than 50,000 signatures -- more than double the number needed to get the issue on the ballot.

Imagine the shock when the mayor and city attorney announced the petition was invalid due to "irregularities." Specifically, City Attorney David Feldman announced, “With respect to the referendum petition filed to repeal the ‘HERO’ ordinance, there are simply too many documents with irregularities and problems to overlook. The petition is simply invalid. There is no other conclusion.” Actually, there is another conclusion -- at least 50,000 Houston residents oppose HERO. Imagine that. But in a suspension of disbelief, the city expects folks to believe that, of 50,000 signatures, more than 32,000 were invalid. Sure, and we have oceanfront property in Dallas to sell them.

In response, opponents of the ordinance filed a lawsuit against the city. Houston now has a coalition of about 400 area churches that oppose the new ordinance, as they actually believe that X and Y chromosomes were designed for a reason. (It's called science, which the Left supposedly champions.) The churches were not party to the lawsuit, but it just so happens that some of the 50,000 signatures were reportedly gathered at churches (which, incidentally, is fully legal).

In retribution, the city claimed the churches' sermons were fair game as a political target because petition signatures were gathered inside a church. Several pastors were delivered a subpoena demanding they yield “all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession” as well as “all communications with members of your congregations” about HERO and the petition drive.

Seems that the tolerant crowd Mayor Parker runs with isn’t so tolerant after all. Unable to abide the idea that Christian pastors may actually be preaching what the Bible says, she tried to intimidate them. Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing the pastors, noted, “The city council and its attorneys are engaging in an inquisition designed to stifle any critique of its actions.”

Now, the city appears to be backing off -- somewhat. "Mayor Parker agrees with those who are concerned about the city legal department’s subpoenas for pastor’s sermons,” according to Janice Evans, chief policy officer for the City of Houston. “The city will move to narrow the scope [of the subpoenas] during an upcoming court hearing." As if that will smooth things over.

Mayor Parker said, "There’s no question the wording was overly broad. But I also think there was some misinterpretation on the other side.” In other words, they're still going after HERO opponents -- after they adjust the wording a bit.

And then she had the temerity to complain about being "vilified coast to coast."

Pastor Dave Welch, one of the subpoenaed pastors, said, "What they did by issuing these subpoenas was to punish any pastor in the city of Houston who participated in gathering signatures against the HERO ordinance." He added that even the revised subpoenas are clearly “an effort to both punish and intimidate those who dared to step-up and oppose this city council.”

It’s no secret that across the nation, efforts are multiplying to silence Christians, censor pastors and eliminate discourse in opposition to the homosexual agenda. The Houston Council’s actions are not the first attempt but are among the most brazen. The Council, however, has no idea what -- or whom -- it’s up against. Religious Liberty is the bedrock of our Republic, and government review of sermons has no place in the Land of the Free. Parker and her cohorts may think they messed only with a few Texas pastors, but when it comes to defending our God-given and constitutionally protected rights, she messed with all of us.
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« Reply #534 on: October 17, 2014, 12:52:14 PM »

And here is a follow up to the preceding:

Texas AG to Houston: Stop Assaulting Religious Liberty
The city of Houston recently subpoenaed five pastors for all sermons and correspondence dealing with gender disorientation pathology, or mentioning Houston Mayor Annise Parker, a lesbian. The city was effectively targeting any religious objection to its recent Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO). The city poked the bear, however, provoking a groundswell of opposition to this constitutional abuse. That now includes a harshly worded letter from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is running for governor. “Whether you intend it to be so or not, your action is a direct assault on the religious liberty guaranteed by the First Amendment,” Abbott wrote to Houston City Attorney David Feldman. “You should immediately instruct your lawyers to withdraw the city’s subpoenas." Mayor Parker implied the city would back off, but it has yet to do so
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« Reply #535 on: October 19, 2014, 08:36:40 PM »

What is so romantic about sitting in a van for 16 hours from your Ivy League College to protest a police officer who was assaulted by a young oversized bully and had to fight for his own life. 

I was naïve at that age but this stupid?

****
In Ferguson, activists in search of a revolution

10/19/14 04:57 PM—Updated 10/19/14 05:54 PM
 
By Amanda Sakuma

FERGUSON, Missouri — It took seven University of Pennsylvania students piled into a rental van nearly 16 hours to drive to St. Louis. They had raised $600 in three days from a Go Fund Me account that was supposed to last them through the weekend. They slept wherever they could crash for free — the basement of a St. Louis couple’s home, or packed on the floor of a church at night.

But once in Ferguson, it was nothing like the war zone they had seen splashed on their television screens exactly two months earlier.

Instead of armored vehicles blocking suburban intersections and stoking chaos in the streets, police squad cars were escorting peaceful marches that were careful organized and tailored during the day. Instead of training assault rifles on the faces of protesters, officers were standing idly by, at times even joking around with anyone within earshot.

“It was awesome to go and be there in solidarity — we went to the events, we went to the protests — but it still feels a little like it was not ours.”Laura Krasovitzky, age 22
“I guess we are feeding off of what we saw in August,” 22-year-old Laura Krasovitzky said one night in Ferguson, looking around disappointedly as the crowds outside the police department began to disperse at an early hour.

“We all came because we saw the footage on TV of what happened,” she added. “I think people were shocked because this was happening in the U.S.”

Without the heavily militarized law enforcement response to what started as local outrage over the killing of a young black teen by a white police officer, young people like Krasovitzky may never have joined in demonstrations held months later. But as calls for the officer’s arrest grow more desperate, the movement takes on a greater meaning for supporters hundreds of miles away who seek an end to police violence.

Krasovitzky and her crew of classmates were there to join the “Weekend of Resistance” — what they saw as their generation’s own civil rights revolution over the death of Michael Brown, who was unarmed when he was shot by a Ferguson police officer. That officer, Darren Wilson, remains free while a St. Louis grand jury investigates whether he should be charged with a crime.

Related: Ferguson protesters brace for possible no indictment in Michael Brown case

National groups had stepped in to plan the four-day event, organizing rallies and marches to keep the movement alive. They set up a website offering a forum for local residents to offer couches or beds for visitors, and connected people from across the country who needed a ride to the Midwest.

Hundreds of people poured into the city – far short of the thousands organizers had projected – representing a diverse coalition of trade unions, student associations, religious groups and concerned citizens. Still, the disconnect between the die-hard protesters who had camped out for nearly 60 days and the activists who were now joining months later was difficult to overcome.

“As students from Penn., the main question we all have is what was our role there. A lot of us felt like spectators,” Krasovitzky said. “It was awesome to go and be there in solidarity — we went to the events, we went to the protests — but it still feels a little like it was not ours.”

That divide between the local activists and those joining events just for the weekend was on full display last Sunday night when audience members at an interfaith event heckled black leaders who came to St. Louis to urge for peaceful demonstrations in the face of police crackdowns.

“The brother with the suit and tie on isn’t the guy who’s protecting me,” local rapper Tef Poe said to the crowd after he had been called onstage to speak. “It’s the dude with tattoos on his face that look like Chief Keef.”

That same division was on display during the protests last weekend. By the time the group of University of Pennsylvania students arrived in Clayton, where the first organized march was to take place, police officers had already blocked off the streets with barricades to neatly contain the protests. Volunteers wearing neon vests walked along the center of the street, acting as a human boundary between the oncoming traffic and the crowd of barely a few hundred participants who marched the predetermined eight-block route. Though pockets of protesters continued to brave the brutal rain while chanting at the phalanx of police guarding the county prosecutor’s office, the demonstration wrapped up in less than two hours.


“Wait for tonight. The social injustice is what brought us here. Just wait for tonight.”Student activist
The students were running on little sleep, having arrived in town in the dead of night just hours before the first scheduled march. A St. Louis couple had posted online offering a place for the group to sleep in their basement. They pasted signs around the house leading the students to the door, and left a note reminding the young people “Don’t forget to lock up when you leave.”

Undeterred by the rain, the students were buzzing for more action. “Wait for tonight,” one said, pacing excitedly around the group of protesters still milling about. “The social injustice is what brought us here. Just wait for tonight.”

Krasovitzky said they were frustrated by how controlled the atmosphere was during the day.

“If protesters aren’t willing to get out of their comfort zones, it’s actually a joke to authorities,” she said. “They’re more effective when it gets more radicalized or more intense.”****
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« Reply #536 on: October 27, 2014, 02:47:06 PM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/390677/ron-klain-and-solyndra-andrew-c-mccarthy
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« Reply #537 on: October 27, 2014, 02:53:45 PM »

second post

If you came of age in the ‘60s or ‘70s, you might recall your parents complaining about the growing welfare state, and griping that America was turning into “communist China!” Well, they’d be happy to know that 40 years on, we’re nothing like China. That’s because as we get more socialist, they’re getting more capitalist. Joe Hoft at TheGatewayPundit.com points out that in 2011, China spent $287 billion on social welfare programs. The US, which has one-fourth the population of China, spent around $2 trillion. That means we now spend 30 times more per person on redistributing wealth than communist China does. Oh, and one more sign that China may be turning more capitalist than we are: a lot of that wealth we redistribute, we borrow from China.
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« Reply #538 on: October 27, 2014, 03:06:52 PM »

second post

If you came of age in the ‘60s or ‘70s, you might recall your parents complaining about the growing welfare state, and griping that America was turning into “communist China!” Well, they’d be happy to know that 40 years on, we’re nothing like China. That’s because as we get more socialist, they’re getting more capitalist. Joe Hoft at TheGatewayPundit.com points out that in 2011, China spent $287 billion on social welfare programs. The US, which has one-fourth the population of China, spent around $2 trillion. That means we now spend 30 times more per person on redistributing wealth than communist China does. Oh, and one more sign that China may be turning more capitalist than we are: a lot of that wealth we redistribute, we borrow from China.

The advantage is that the Chinese know communism doesn't work.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #539 on: October 28, 2014, 10:17:59 AM »

US spends 30 times more per person on redistributing wealth than does the next largest economy in the world.


And every candidate here who supports so much as a slowing of the growth of spending on social programs is vilified!
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« Reply #540 on: November 18, 2014, 06:17:52 PM »

http://thewilderness.me/real-genius/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #541 on: November 20, 2014, 01:59:55 PM »


http://online.wsj.com/articles/john-h-cochrane-what-the-inequality-warriors-really-want-1416442460
What the Inequality Warriors Really Want
By
John H. Cochrane
Updated Nov. 20, 2014 8:42 a.m. ET
 
 
Progressives decry inequality as the world’s most pressing economic problem. In its name, they urge much greater income and wealth taxation, especially of the reviled top 1% of earners, along with more government spending and controls—higher minimum wages, “living” wages, comparable worth directives, CEO pay caps, etc.

Inequality may be a symptom of economic problems. But why is inequality itself an economic problem? If some get rich and others get richer, who cares? If we all become poor equally, is that not a problem? Why not fix policies and problems that make it harder to earn more?

Yes, the reported taxable income and wealth earned by the top 1% may have grown faster than for the rest. This could be good inequality—entrepreneurs start companies, develop new products and services, and get rich from a tiny fraction of the social benefit. Or it could be bad inequality—crony capitalists who get rich by exploiting favors from government. Most U.S. billionaires are entrepreneurs from modest backgrounds, operating in competitive new industries, suggesting the former.

But there are many other kinds and sources of inequality. The returns to skill have increased. People who can use or program computers, do math or run organizations have enjoyed relative wage increases. But why don’t others observe these returns, get skills and compete away the skill premium? A big reason: awful public schools dominated by teachers unions, which leave kids unprepared even to enter college. Limits on high-skill immigration also raise the skill premium.

Americans stuck in a cycle of terrible early-child experiences, substance abuse, broken families, unemployment and criminality represent a different source of inequality. Their problems have proven immune to floods of government money. And government programs and drug laws are arguably part of the problem.

These problems, and many like them, have nothing to do with a rise in top 1% incomes and wealth.

Recognizing, I think, this logic, inequality warriors go on to argue that inequality is a problem because it causes other social or economic ills. A recent Standard & Poor’s report sums up some of these assertions: “As income inequality increased before the [2008 financial] crisis, less affluent households took on more and more debt to keep up—or, in this case, catch up—with the Joneses. ” In a 2011 Vanity Fair article, Columbia University economist Joe Stiglitz wrote that inequality causes a “lifestyle effect . . . people outside the top 1 percent increasingly live beyond their means.’’ He called it “trickle-down behaviorism.”

I see. A fry cook in Fresno hears that more hedge-fund managers are flying in private jets. So he buys a pickup he can’t afford. They are saying that we must tax away wealth to encourage thrift in the lower classes.

Here’s another claim: Inequality is a problem because rich people save too much. So, by transferring money from rich to poor, we can increase overall consumption and escape “secular stagnation.”

I see. Now we need to forcibly transfer wealth to solve our deep problem of national thriftiness.

You can see in these examples that the arguments are made up to justify a pre-existing answer. If these were really the problems to be solved, each has much more natural solutions.

Is eliminating the rich, to eliminate envy of their lifestyle, really the best way to stimulate savings? Might not, say, fixing the large taxation of savings in means-tested social programs make some sense? If lifestyle envy really is the mechanism, would it not be more effective to ban “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”?

If we redistribute because lack of Keynesian “spending” causes “secular stagnation”—a big if—then we should transfer money from all the thrifty, even poor, to all the big spenders, especially the McMansion owners with new Teslas and maxed-out credit cards. Is that an offensive policy? Yes. Well, maybe this wasn’t about “spending” after all.
There is a lot of fashionable talk about “redistribution” that’s not really the agenda. Even sky-high income and wealth taxes would not raise much revenue for very long, and any revenue is likely to fund government programs, not checks to the needy. Most inequality warriors, including President Obama, forthrightly advocate taxation to level incomes in the name of “fairness,” even if those taxes raise little or no revenue.

When you get past this kind of balderdash, most inequality warriors get down to the real problem they see: money and politics. They think money is corrupting politics, and they want to take away the money to purify the politics. As Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez wrote for his 2013 Arrow lecture at Stanford University: “top income shares matter” because the “surge in top incomes gives top earners more ability to influence [the] political process.”

A critique of rent-seeking and political cronyism is well taken, and echoes from the left to libertarians. But if abuse of government power is the problem, increasing government power is a most unlikely solution.

If we increase the top federal income-tax rate to 90%, will that not just dramatically increase the demand for lawyers, lobbyists, loopholes, connections, favors and special deals? Inequality warriors think not. Mr. Stiglitz, for example, writes that “wealth is a main determinant of power.” If the state grabs the wealth, even if fairly earned, then the state can benevolently exercise its power on behalf of the common person.

No. Cronyism results when power determines wealth. Government power inevitably invites the trade of regulatory favors for political support. We limit rent-seeking by limiting the government’s ability to hand out goodies.

So when all is said and done, the inequality warriors want the government to confiscate wealth and control incomes so that wealthy individuals cannot influence politics in directions they don’t like. Koch brothers, no. Public-employee unions, yes. This goal, at least, makes perfect logical sense. And it is truly scary.

Prosperity should be our goal. And the secrets of prosperity are simple and old-fashioned: property rights, rule of law, economic and political freedom. A limited government providing competent institutions. Confiscatory taxation and extensive government control of incomes are not on the list.

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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« Reply #542 on: November 21, 2014, 11:07:21 AM »

This is a great piece!  I wish more people would think the phony, inequality question all the way through.  You are not harmed by the success of others - except when the system of big government is set up to grant favorable treatment to the powerful.  Treat all people equally under the law.   Then the more your neighbor succeeds, the more likely they are hire you or your kid, or to buy your product or service, and to not be a burden on our resources and the safety net.  Jack Kemp said, the problem with the rich is that we need more of them.

"A critique of rent-seeking and political cronyism is well taken, and echoes from the left to libertarians. But if abuse of government power is the problem, increasing government power is a most unlikely solution."

(In economics, rent-seeking is spending wealth on political lobbying to increase one's share of existing wealth - without creating wealth.) 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rent-seeking   https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2001/wp0115.pdf

"Cronyism results when power determines wealth. Government power inevitably invites the trade of regulatory favors for political support. We limit rent-seeking by limiting the government’s ability to hand out goodies."

"Prosperity should be our goal. And the secrets of prosperity are simple and old-fashioned: property rights, rule of law, economic and political freedom. "
----------------------------------------

Note that when the inequality attackers won and took over all branches of government, inequality increased!

Illegitimate power and unequal treatment under the law, these are issues and crimes against the republic.  Inequality is a fact, not an issue. It is the existence of rungs on the economic ladder.  A perfect fight against inequality would leave everyone on the bottom rung, with no steps going up.
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« Reply #543 on: December 31, 2014, 03:34:45 PM »

"I can prophesize that your grandchildren in America will live under socialism," he said, wagging a finger.    - Nikita Khrushchev on "Face the Nation", June 2, 1957.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nikita-khrushchev-and-face-the-nations-biggest-scoop/

Who knew we would win the cold war and then adopt their system anyway?
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« Reply #544 on: January 15, 2015, 10:20:50 AM »

As we all know, sometimes those of our persuasion are asked about the example of the Scandanvian countries "See, it works there!" etc.

Here two articles making some contrary points:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/27/scandinavian-miracle-brutal-truth-denmark-norway-sweden

http://nypost.com/2015/01/11/sorry-liberals-scandinavian-countries-arent-utopias/http://nypost.com/2015/01/11/sorry-liberals-scandinavian-countries-arent-utopias/
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« Reply #545 on: March 11, 2015, 11:13:23 AM »

A contrary POV no doubt, but the man has resume and I found it interesting to read his take on the book that got me started with the term "Liberal Fascism"


http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/122231
The Scholarly Flaws of "Liberal Fascism"


by Robert Paxton
Robert Paxton is emeritus professor of history at Columbia University. His latest book is Anatomy of Fascism (Vintage, 2005).

Jonah Goldberg tells us he wrote this book to get even.  The liberals started it by “insist[ing] that conservatism has connections with fascism” (p.  22).  Conservatives “sit dumbfounded by the nastiness of the slander” (p.  1).   “The left wields the term fascism like a cudgel” (p.  3).   So Jonah Goldberg has decided it is time to turn the tables and show that “the liberal closet has its own skeletons” (p.  22).   After years of being “called a fascist and a Nazi by smug, liberal know-nothings” he decides that “responding to this slander is a point of personal privilege” (p.  392).

Feeling oneself a victim is wonderfully liberating.  Anything goes.  So Jonah Goldberg pulls out all the stops to show that fascism “is not a phenomenon of the right at all.  It is, and always has been, a phenomenon of the left” (p.  7).  The reader perceives at once that Goldberg likes to put things into rigid boxes: right and left, conservative and liberal, fascist and non-fascist.  He doesn’t leave room for such complexities as convergences, middle grounds, or evolution over time.  Thus Father Coughlin was always a man of the left, and so was Mussolini (Giacomo Matteotti or the Rosselli brothers, leaders of the Italian left whom Mussolini had assassinated, would have been scandalized by this view).  The very mention of a “Third Way” puts one instantly into the fascist box.

That’s too bad, because there really is a subject here.  Fascism – a political latecomer that adapted anti-socialism to a mass electorate, using means that often owed nothing to conservatism – drew on both right and left, and tried to transcend that bitter division in a purified, invigorated, expansionist national community.  A sensitive analysis of what fascism drew from all quarters of the political spectrum would be a valuable project.  It is not Jonah Goldberg’s project.

The bottom line is that Goldberg wants to attach a defaming epithet to liberals and the left, to “put the brown shirt on [your] opponents,” as he accuses the liberals of doing (p.  392).  He goes about this task with a massive apparatus of scholarly citations and quotations.  But Goldberg’s scholarship is not an even-handed search for understanding, following the best evidence fully and open-mindedly wherever it might lead.  He chooses his scholarly data selectively and sometimes misleadingly in the service of his demonstration.

Jonah Goldberg knows that making the Progressives, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt and FDR the creators of an American fascism – indeed the only American fascism, for George Lincoln Rockwell and other overt American fascist or Nazi sympathizers are totally absent from this book – is a stretch, so he has created a new box: Liberal Fascism.  The Progressives and their heirs who wanted to use government to rectify social and economic ills, and who, in Goldberg’s view, thereby created an American Fascism, acted with good intentions, rarely used violence, and had nothing to do with Auschwitz.  Even so, they share an intellectual heredity and a set of common goals with the European fascists.  So they go into the “Liberal Fascist” box.

Liberal Fascism is an oxymoron, of course.  A fascism that means no harm is a contradiction in terms.  Authentic fascists intend to harm those whom they define as the nation’s internal and external enemies.  Someone who doesn’t intend to harm his or her enemies, and who doesn’t relish doing it violently, isn’t really fascist.

But the problems go much deeper.  Pushing Liberalism and Fascism together requires distorting both terms.  It doesn’t help that these are two of the most problematical words in the political lexicon.  To his credit, Goldberg is aware that the term “liberal” has been corrupted in contemporary American usage.  It ought to mean (and still means in the rest of the world) a principled opposition to state interference in the economy, from Adam Smith to Ronald Reagan.  Goldberg sometimes refers to “classical liberalism” in this sense, and with approval.  Unfortunately he has capitulated to the sloppy current American usage by which “liberal” means, usually pejoratively nowadays, any and all of the various components of the Left, from anarchists and Marxists to moderate Democrats.

Goldberg stereotypes liberals to make them abstract, uniform, robotic.   The telltale phrase is “liberals say” or “liberals think” (mostly without anyone quoted or footnoted).   For example, “Liberals .  .  .  claim” that free-market economics is fascist (p.  22).  Could we please have a few examples of “liberals” who say this? It is a straw man, as is the vast, ghostly “liberal mind” that sounds like a physical reality: “fascism, shorn of the word, endures in the liberal mind” (p.  161).  Does this liberal mind have a telephone number, as Henry Kissinger said famously of the European Union?

This “liberal mind” is a very big tent.  Goldberg believes that moderate reformists are essentially involved in the same project as radical activists.  Bernardine Dohrn, Mark Rudd, Al Gore, Hilary Clinton are all devoted in one way or another to the allegedly fascist project of taking action to make a better world.   

Goldberg makes sure we understand that force and violence are integral to this “liberal” project of state action to improve society.  Robespierre’s terror begins “liberalism” in this sense, and Goldberg attributes  to it a fanciful fifty thousand deaths (the scholarly consensus is 12,000, which is bad enough).  Later he spends a lot of time on the worst excesses of 1960s radicalism, as if the Weathermen and Hilary Clinton belong together as seekers of a new community.

Fascism is given an equally broad definition:  it is any use of state power to make the world better and to create a community.  This is not only too vague to mean much, it is simply wrong.  Authentic fascists have never wanted to make the whole world better.  As uncompromising nationalists, they want to make their own group stronger, purer, and more unified, and establish its domination over inferior groups, by force if necessary.  Goldberg’s real target is state activism, and matters would be much clearer if he had just left it at that.

Having headlined the violent history of “liberalism,” Goldberg soft-pedals that of fascists, especially Mussolini.  There are the ritual references to Auschwitz, but he denies that racial extermination is integral to Nazism by noting how many Progressive reformers fell for Eugenics in the early twentieth century.  His Mussolini – that lifelong “man of the left – is seen largely through the eyes of his many foolish American admirers.  Che Guevara killed more people than Mussolini, he asserts (p.  194).  This is possible only if one leaves out of the picture the murder of over a thousand Italian citizens by the squadristi who brought Mussolini to the brink of power in 1922, or of the Italians’ use of poison gas, forced displacement into camps, and aerial strafing against the populations of Libya and Ethiopia.

Goldberg simply omits those parts of fascist history that fit badly with his demonstration.  His method is to examine fascist rhetoric, but to ignore how fascist movements functioned in practice.  Since the Nazis recruited their first mass following among the economic and social losers of Weimar Germany, they could sound anti-capitalist at the beginning.  Goldberg makes a big thing of the early programs of the Nazi and Italian Fascist Parties, and publishes the Nazi Twenty-five Points as an appendix.  A closer look would show that the Nazis’ anti-capitalism was a selective affair, opposed to international capital and finance capital, department stores and Jewish businesses, but nowhere opposed to private property per se or favorable to a transfer of all the means of production to public ownership.

A still closer look at how the fascist parties obtained power and then exercised power would show how little these early programs corresponded to fascist practice.  Mussolini acquired powerful backing by hiring his black-shirted squadristi out to property owners for the destruction of socialist and Communist unions and parties.  They destroyed the farm workers’ organizations in the Po Valley in 1921-1922 by violent nightly raids that made them the de facto government of northeastern Italy.  Hitler’s brownshirts fought Communists for control of the streets of Berlin, and claimed to be Germany’s best bulwark against the revolutionary threat that still appeared to be growing in 1932.  Goldberg prefers the abstractions of rhetoric to all this history, noting only that fascism and Communism were “rivals.” So his readers will not learn anything about how the Nazis and Italian Fascists got into power or exercised it.

The two fascist chiefs obtained power not by election nor by coup but by invitation from German President Hindenberg and his advisors, and Italian King Victor Emanuel III and his advisors (not a leftist among them).  The two heads of state wanted to harness the fascists’ numbers and energy to their own project of blocking the Marxists, if possible with broad popular support.  This does not mean that fascism and conservatism are identical (they are not), but they have historically found essential interests in common.

Once in power, the two fascist chieftains worked out a fruitful if sometimes contentious relationship with business.  German business had been, as Goldberg correctly notes, distrustful of the early Hitler’s populist rhetoric.  Hitler was certainly not their first choice as head of state, and many of them preferred a trading economy to an autarkic one.  Given their real-life options in 1933, however, the Nazi regulated economy seemed a lesser evil than the economic depression and worker intransigence they had known under Weimar.  They were delighted with Hitler’s abolition of independent labor unions and the right to strike (unmentioned by Goldberg), and profited greatly from his rearmament drive.  All of them would have found ludicrous the notion that the Nazis, once in power, were on the left.  So would the socialist and communist leaders who were the first inhabitants of the Nazi concentration camps (unmentioned by Goldberg).

In the Italian case, Goldberg somehow imagines that Mussolini’s much-vaunted corporatism was a device to subject businessmen to total state control.  Scholars who have looked at the way corporatism actually worked have generally concluded that Italian businessmen simply ran the economy through the corporatist agencies that they easily dominated.  Corporatism – the management of an economy by joint committees of businessmen, labor representatives and government officials who organize the economy sector by sector, to emphasize common interests over class differences – functions quite differently, of course, under different regimes.  In the Italian Fascist case, quite unlike the New Deal, labor representatives were, in the end, excluded from any meaningful role.

Having set up distorted stereotypes of “liberalism” and “fascism” Goldberg finds them united by a host of similar projects such as campaigns against smoking (it was Nazi doctors who first established the link between smoking and cancer, and Hitler was a fanatical anti-smoker).  These similarities concern peripheral matters.  The foundational qualities that separate liberalism from fascism simply vanish from the analysis: political pluralism vs. single party; universal values vs. the supremacy of a master race; elections vs. charismatic leadership; fascism’s exaltation of feelings over reason.

Goldberg has indeed unearthed plenty of skeletons in the liberal closet, such as the Eugenics fad.  Some liberal violations of human rights were temporary, as in war government.  Others were the work of radicals of the left who made war on liberals, hated them, and have no place in an analysis of liberalism properly understood.   

This book is stuffed with references to scholarly work that make it look authoritative.  But when something really surprising comes along, we look in vain for a footnote.  Did Hitler really write a fan letter to that Jew-loving plutocrat FDR in 1935? No footnote.  How do we know that the New Dealer Hugh Johnson read Fascist tracts, and for what purpose (p.  156)?  And that FDR put a hundred thousand American citizens into camps (p.  160)?  Does he mean that C.C.C.? In what sense was “deconstruction” a Nazi coinage (p.  173)?  Goldberg probably means Heidegger, but he wants us to think Goebbels.  Just which proponents of affirmative action claimed that their opponents were on a slippery slope to Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, and in what words (p.  243)?  Exactly where and when did Al Gore say that global warming is the equivalent of the Holocaust, and what were his actual words (p.  314)?  The list of bombshell remarks smuggled into this text without any reference to a credible source could go on and on.

Goldberg hijacks scholarly work and applies it in misleading ways for his own purposes.  Henry Ashby Turner, Jr., showed conclusively that German businessmen were often skeptical of Hitler in the early days.  Since they gave money to all non-Socialist parties, the small amounts they gave the Nazis prove nothing.  But Turner’s book stops in January 1933.  Goldberg extends Turner’s conclusions misleadingly into the later period, ignoring the way German businessmen adjusted to the new situation.  David Schoenbaum meant his title Hitler’s Social Revolution ironically: Hitler recruited all the losers in Germany’s 1920s crises, and then betrayed them by following policies favorable to big business and big agriculture after January 1933.  Goldberg appropriates this book’s first half misleadingly to support his fantastical conclusion that Hitler was always “a man of the left.”

Jonah Goldberg sometimes sounds sweetly reasonable.  Liberals mean well, they aren’t taking us toward Auschwitz.  The filiation is intellectual, not a matter of exact identity.  Fascism takes a different form in each national setting (very true), and it takes a “softer form” (p.  391) in the United States.   Then he drops the mask and goes on a rant.  In the chapter headings and subheadings – the parts that casual readers will remember -- liberals are fascists pure and simple.   For example: “Franklin Roosevelt’s Fascist New Deal” (p.  121);  “The Great Society: LBJ’s Fascist Utopia” (p.  329), and so on.

While Goldberg is reasonably careful of names, dates, and quotations, his more general judgments often go badly awry.  It is not true that “the hard left had almost nothing to say about Italian Fascism for most of its first decade” (p.  30).  The Third International diagnosed it right away, clumsily, as an agent of capitalism.  The Italian elections of 1924 were not “reasonably fair” (p.  50), for according to the Acerbo Election Law passed at Fascist insistence just beforehand, the leading party would automatically receive two thirds of the parliamentary seats.  It is untrue that Germany spent relatively little on armaments in the first years; they spent as much as they were allowed under the Versailles Treaty, and then arranged secretly for further training and arms development in the Soviet Union (p.  151), a point that ought to suit Goldberg quite well.  Hitler never ever campaigned from the back of an old pickup truck (p.  289).

Jonah Goldberg does not tell us much about his own beliefs, except that he loves America.  But it is clear that he inhabits a world where the sole serious danger to individual and national wellbeing is the state.  No rogue corporations, no drunk drivers, no polluting factories, no well-funded lobbies threaten us, only the state.  Anything that enhances the power and reach of the state is bad, even George W.  Bush’s “compassionate conservatism.”

If you are looking for brickbats to throw at Democrats, reformers, environmentalists and other do-gooders, you will enjoy this book.  If you are looking for some reasoned arguments about the politics of our time, you will find both liberalism and fascism grossly distorted in this tract.

 

HNN Special: A Symposium on Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism
- See more at: http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/122231#sthash.LKaTJt8y.dpuf
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« Reply #546 on: May 30, 2015, 12:17:31 PM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRVK3RL2gFo&feature=youtu.be
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« Reply #547 on: June 02, 2015, 11:32:51 AM »

http://www.capoliticalreview.com/capoliticalnewsandviews/
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« Reply #548 on: June 09, 2015, 08:36:59 AM »

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100286702/the-greatest-cultural-victory-of-the-left-was-to-disregard-the-nazi-soviet-pact/
The greatest cultural victory of the Left has been to disregard the Nazi-Soviet Pact

By Daniel Hannan Politics Last updated: September 17th, 2014

1084 Comments Comment on this article

Seventy-five years ago today, Red Army troops smashed into Poland. Masters of deception and propaganda, they encouraged locals to believe that they were coming to join the battle against Hitler, who had invaded two weeks’ earlier. But, within a day, the true nature of the Nazi-Soviet collaboration was exposed.

The two armies met at the town of Brest, where the 1918 peace treaty between the Kaiser’s government and Lenin’s revolutionary state had been signed. Soldiers fraternised, exchanging food and tobacco – pre-rolled German cigarettes contrasting favourably against rough Russian papirosi. A joint military parade was staged, the Wehrmacht’s field grey uniforms alongside the olive green of the shoddier Soviets. The two generals, Guderian and Krivoshein, had a slap-up lunch and, as they bade each other farewell, the Soviet commander invited German reporters to visit him in Moscow “after the victory over capitalist Albion”.

These events are keenly remembered in the nations that were victims of the Molotov-Ribbentrop treaty: Romania, Finland and, most of all, Poland and the Baltic States. But they don’t occupy anything like the place in our collective memory of the war that they deserve.

Almost everyone in Britain knows that the Second World War started when Hitler sent his panzers into Poland. Stalin’s mirror invasion 16 days later, while not exactly forgotten, is not nearly so central in our narrative.

Which is, if you think about it, very odd. The Nazi-Soviet Pact lasted for 22 months – a third of the duration of the entire conflict. We remember, with pride, that we stood alone against Hitler. But in reality, our fathers’ isolation – and commensurate heroism – was even greater than this suggests. I can think of no braver moment in the war than when, having already declared war on Hitler, we prepared to open a new front against Stalin, too. British commandos were on the verge of being deployed to defend Finland, while the Cabinet toyed with various schemes to seize the USSR’s oil supplies in the Caucasus.

In the event, such plans were overtaken by developments. Still, for sheer, bloody-minded gallantry, it was an unbeatable moment, beautifully captured in the reaction of Evelyn Waugh’s fictional hero, Guy Crouchback: “The enemy at last was plain in view, huge and hateful, all disguise cast off. It was the Modern Age in arms.”

Why do we downplay that memory? Largely because it doesn’t fit with what happened later. When Hitler attacked the USSR – to the utter astonishment of Stalin, who initially ordered his soldiers not to shoot back – it was in everyone’s interest to forget the earlier phase of the war. Western Communists, who had performed extraordinary acrobatics to justify their entente with fascism, now carried out another somersault and claimed that the Nazi-Soviet Pact had only ever been a tactical pause, a moment when Stalin brilliantly stalled while building up his military capacity. Even today, the historiographical imprint of that propaganda lingers.

To the modern reader, George Orwell’s depiction of how enmity alternates between Eurasia and Eastasia seems far-fetched; but when he published his great novel in 1948, such things were a recent memory. It suited Western Leftists, during and after the War, to argue that Hitler had been uniquely evil, certainly wickeder than Stalin. It was thus necessary to forget the enthusiasm with which the two tyrants had collaborated.

The full extent of their conspiracy is exposed in The Devils’ Alliance, a brilliant new history by Roger Moorhouse. Moorhouse is a sober and serious historian, writing with no obvious political agenda. Calmly, he tells the story of the Pact: its genesis, its operation and the reasons for its violent end. When recounting such a monstrous tale, it is proper to be calm: great events need no embroidery. What he reveals is a diabolical compact which, if it stopped just short of being an alliance, can in no way be thought of as a hiccup or anomaly.

The two totalitarian systems traded in all the necessary commodities of war: not just oil and vital chemicals, but arms and ships. They exhibited each other’s cultural achievements, performed each other’s music and films, stressed their joint hostility to Western capitalism.

The idea that there was an unbridgeable gap between Soviet Communism and National Socialism, which is nowadays so widespread, would have seemed curious at the time. To be sure, there were some in Moscow, and a few more in Berlin, who believed that there must eventually come a reckoning with their “real” enemy. But theirs were minority voices. Many more gladly went along with the idea that the two socialist systems were joined in battle against “decadent Anglo-Saxon liberalism”.

The coincidence in doctrine between the Nazis and the Soviets was obvious to the “decadent” Anglo-Saxons, too. The day after the Soviet invasion of Poland, a Times editorial observed that “Only those can be disappointed who clung to the ingenuous belief that Russia was to be distinguished from her Nazi neighbour, despite the identity of their institutions and political idiom, by her foreign policy”.

Nor was it only the “decadent liberals” in the Anglo-Saxon world who took this view. The first Briton to be tried for espionage was a Newcastle communist named George Armstrong, who had supplied German agents in Boston with information on the Atlantic convoys. He had been motivated by Molotov’s appeal to Leftists serving in Allied navies to desert as soon as they reached a neutral port.

Why, then, have we, if not exactly denied the episode, crammed it into a corner of our minds? In his Sword of Honour trilogy, Evelyn Waugh, largely through gentle subtext, told the story of how Soviet sympathisers in the West used the alliance with the USSR to rehabilitate its doctrines. Hayek, writing in 1944, devoted the greater part of his Road to Serfdom to refuting the idea that Nazism and Communism were opposed ideologies, well aware of how fervently this idea was being promoted.

He was right; but he made little impact. If you want to see how successful the propagandists of the time were, look at the reaction you get today when – as I did recently – you recite a few unadorned facts that point to the socialist nature of fascism.

Why did the Molotov-Ribbentrop carve-up come to an end? Not, as you might think, because of any doctrinal incompatibility between the two participants but, as Moorhouse demonstrates beyond doubt, for strategic reasons. Hitler had hoped that Stalin could be encouraged to turn his energies southward, falling on India “to co-operate with us in the great liquidation of the British Empire”. But Russia, then as now, was focused on her western rather than her southern neighbours. It was Stalin’s hunger for Bulgaria that Hitler found intolerable and that led to Operation Barbarossa.

Does any of this still matter? Yes, it matters immensely. First, and most obviously, it matters to the countries that were the victims of the carve-up. It was protests on the 50th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact that led to the ultimate independence of the Baltic States. It is important, too, to understand the shameful consequences of the pretence that Stalin was somehow not in the same league as Hitler. As late as the 1970s, at the height of the Cold War, governments around the world, including in the West, were using a mealy-mouthed formula to regret the deaths of the Polish officers murdered at Katyn without directly blaming the Soviets.

Even today, we are so fixated on Hitler that we miss what was happening elsewhere at the time. How many journalists have lazily compared Putin’s annexations in Georgia and Ukraine to those of the Nazi leader? Putin is attacking neighbouring states, this is bad, so he must be like Hitler, right?

Except that there is a far, far better parallel. When Hitler seized his half of Poland, he didn’t pretend to be other than a conqueror. Part of his zone was incorporated into the Reich, the rest placed under military occupation. But Stalin? Here the story becomes eerily apt to our present age. Stalin claimed to be acting to protect the Ukrainian and Byelorussian minorities in Eastern Poland. Having seized his portion of land, he organised rigged elections, which produced new parliaments, which promptly petitioned to be allowed to join the USSR. Sound familiar?

It’s this lop-sidedness in our folk memory that we need to address. While Nazism is well understood as the monstrosity it was, there is often a lingering sense that Communism was well-intentioned, even though it went wrong. The merest connection with fascism bars a politician from office; yet those who actively supported the USSR are allowed to become ministers and European Commissioners. Wearing a Che Guevara tee-shirt is not regarded in the same light as wearing an Adolf Hitler tee-shirt; but it should be.

Don’t get me wrong. Every atrocity is unique in its own terrible way. The Nazi Holocaust haunts us for good reasons. Years after I saw it, I still find this image rising, unbidden, in my mind. Happily, though, no one, beyond a deranged fringe, denies the nature of Nazism. The same is not true of the Soviet tyranny.

Even now, Russia refuses to accept that its annexation of the Baltics was an “invasion”. Forty-seven per cent of Russians have “a positive view of Stalin” (just imagine how we would react if 47 per cent of Germans had “a positive view of Hitler”). To deny the magnitude of the Nazi genocide is, in several countries, a criminal offence; but to signal, with your idiotic Che tee-shirt, that you are all for breaking a few eggs to make an omelette, is radical chic. Germany has come to terms with its past and become a valued ally. But Russia?

Tags: Hitler, Milotov-Ribbentrop pact, Roger Moorhouse, socialist roots of fascism, Stalin, The Devils' Alliance
 
      

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #549 on: June 16, 2015, 06:30:39 PM »

Obama Wants to Pick the Clintons’ Neighbors
The administration is forcing low-income housing into wealthy enclaves, whether or not anyone wants it.

By
Jason L. Riley
June 16, 2015 6:44 p.m. ET
0 COMMENTS

Bill and Hillary Clinton are popular with black voters, but that doesn’t mean the couple wants to live around them. And vice versa. This reality troubles President Obama, though his remedy is what’s really troubling.

When the Clintons went house-hunting in 1999, neighborhood diversity wasn’t much of a priority. The family settled on a five-bedroom Colonial in Chappaqua, N.Y., a lush suburb north of New York City where the population is more than 90% white, less than 1% black and multimillion-dollar homes abound. No one has produced evidence of racial discrimination against buyers who can afford homes in Chappaqua and other wealthy enclaves of Westchester County, where the town is located. But monochrome residential housing patterns upset the sensibilities of officials in Mr. Obama’s Department of Housing and Urban Development.

For the past six years, HUD has been hounding Westchester about building more low-income housing in places like Chappaqua. Federal officials have vowed to “hold people’s feet to the fire” and make an example of the county. “We’re clearly messaging other jurisdictions across the country that there has been a significant change in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and we’re going to ask them to pursue similar goals as well,” said a deputy secretary at HUD in 2009.
Opinion Journal Video
Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Jason Riley on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s plan to dictate where minorities live. Photo credit: Getty Images.

The comment followed the announcement of a settlement in a false-claims suit brought against the county by housing activists who accused Westchester of applying for a HUD grant without doing enough minority outreach to satisfy the federal agency’s “fair housing” goals. Westchester admitted no wrongdoing in the case, but the county executive at the time, a Democrat, cut a deal with HUD that required the county to build 750 subsidized-housing units over the next seven years and “affirmatively market affordable housing within the county and in geographic areas with significant non-white populations outside, but not contiguous with or within close proximity to, the county.” Got that?

In effect, the federal government is forcing wealthy Westchester municipalities to import low-income minorities. By extension, HUD is also compelling low-income minorities to live in overwhelmingly white communities, even though research has shown for decades that large majorities of blacks have no desire to live in all-white or even mostly white neighborhoods and strongly prefer to live where at least half of the other residents are black.

To his credit, Westchester’s current county executive, Republican Rob Astorino, has been pushing back against the terms of the settlement, which is still being litigated. The outcome is likely to have national ramifications. What is at stake is the loss of locally controlled residential zoning, and more such federal relocation edicts are almost certainly on the way.

Last week HUD announced that it was moving forward with new regulations that essentially will force about 1,250 communities nationwide to construct cheap housing units in wealthy, predominantly white neighborhoods and then actively recruit poor minorities to move in. Local governments that don’t play ball will jeopardize federal grant money. What happened in Westchester is a taste of what may be coming to upscale parts of Houston, Dallas, Marin County, Calif., and other places that aren’t racially and economically diverse enough for this White House.

The Obama administration may find color-adjusted communities aesthetically pleasing, but people don’t sort themselves by neighborhood randomly, and government invites trouble with efforts to move poor people—of any color—into areas where they otherwise can’t afford to live. Twenty years ago, HUD nixed a national program that gave public-housing residents in places like Baltimore, Chicago and Los Angeles vouchers that enabled them to move into better neighborhoods that were predominantly white.

“The theory was elegant, the outcome anything but,” reported the New York Times. “The idea was that by scattering one or two poor families in large middle-income areas, they would disappear like salt crystals in a glass of water, quietly integrating themselves into communities where they would find more jobs, better schools and safer streets.” Instead, the effort “unleashed a firestorm of protest” over race and class “before any of these families were moved,” said the paper. Financing for the year-old program was canceled.

Seemingly incapable of learning from its blunders, HUD continues to try to engineer residential integration—even though public attitudes have evolved and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 made housing discrimination illegal and Americans have shown themselves happy to decide where they’d like to live.

Since 1970, segregation has fallen significantly in every decade. In a 2012 paper for the Manhattan Institute, economists Edward Glaeser of Harvard and Jacob Vigdor of Duke wrote that “all-white neighborhoods are effectively extinct” and that the dominant trend in black neighborhoods is population loss. “Particularly in the formerly hyper-segregated cities of the Northeast and Midwest, ghetto neighborhoods have witnessed profound population declines, as former residents decamp for the suburbs or for the rapidly growing cities of the Sun Belt—where segregation is generally very low.”

The Obama administration is acting less out of a need to address a problem and more out of a desire to expand the role of the federal government in yet another area of our lives.

Mr. Riley, a Manhattan Institute senior fellow and Journal contributor, is the author of “Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed” (Encounter Books, 2014).
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