by Mark Steyn - March 23rd, 2010 - National Review
Permanence is an illusion — and you would be surprised at how fast mighty nations can be entirely transformed. But, more important, national decline is psychological — and therefore what matters is accepting the psychology of decline. Within two generations, for example, the German people became just as obnoxiously pacifist as they once were obnoxiously militarist, and as avowedly “European” as they once were menacingly nationalist. Well, who can blame ’em? You’d hardly be receptive to pitches for national greatness after half a century of Kaiser Bill, Weimar, the Third Reich, and the Holocaust.Nations are not great. People are great. However only so long as they think of themselves as great and work to live up to that greatness.
But what are we to make of the British? They were on the right side of all the great conflicts of the last century; and they have been, in the scales of history, a force for good in the world. Even as their colonies advanced to independence, they retained the English language and English legal system, not to mention cricket and all kinds of other cultural ties. And even in imperial retreat, there is no rational basis for late-20th-century Britain’s conclusion that it had no future other than as an outlying province of a centralized Euro nanny state dominated by nations whose political, legal, and cultural traditions are entirely alien to its own. The embrace of such a fate is a psychological condition, not an economic one.
Is America set for decline? It’s been a grand run.
Nations are not free. People are free. Only so long as they think of themselves as free and demand that they be allowed to live free.
In both cases it is not required that everyone in a nation agree. Only that the majority agree. That is the problem. When the majority of a people no longer think of themselves as great and free, the nation ceases to be great and free.
For two generations the America hating progressives of the Democrat Party have been denouncing our country for what they see as the arrogance of living up to our ideals. They have criticized and denigrated this once great and once free nation until we are close to losing the majority who believe in those ideals. Even as we approach that tipping point, they are working to subvert the democratic ideal that the majority decides who we are as a people and a nation.
The health care debate that just finished was not won by the majority. It was won by a corrupt minority that hates what America has been and demands that their dream of a socialist utopia replace the freedom of our great people.
Our liberty lies in tatters if they succeed. We may still have a chance to avoid that fate, but it is becoming slimmer by every minute that passes. The question this article poses is an intersting one. Assuming we allow ourselves to drift into the corruption of abandoning our place on the world stage and settle for "bread and circus", what happens?
A quote from the article strikes me as far more likely than many are prepared to believe. "...if America were as centrally governed as France, it would break up. That theory is now being tested by the Obamacare Democrats, and, as we see with the wretched Ben Nelson’s cornhusker kickback or the blank check given to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, when American-style Big Government starts “buying off ethnic and regional factions,” the sky’s the limit. To attempt to impose European-style centralized government on a third of a billion people from Maine to Hawaii is to invite failure on a scale unknown to history."
As more and more people start to dream that their own greatness and freedom depends upon NOT being Amiercan, the willingness to dissolve this nation becomes not just possible, but probable. If for no other reason because it makes the smaller entity less inviting as a target to the coming nuclear club of little bitty but very bitter small nations with huge chips on the shoulders of their leaders.
Two horrible choices. The suicide of failure from without, by nuclear devastation. Or the suicide of failure from within as parts of this nation simply opt out. Unless a majority of our nation once again chooses to be great and chooses to be free, and are willing to fight to be both, it can happen here.
A Point Of No Return?
by Thomas Sowell - March 23rd, 2010 - Townhall.com
The last opportunity that current American citizens may have to determine who will control Congress may well be the election in November of this year. Off-year elections don't usually bring out as many voters as Presidential election years. But the 2010 election may be the last chance to halt the dismantling of America. It can be the point of no return.I have failed in my life's dreams... and now my country is failing to retain its freedom. There is a famous quote from Thomas Jefferson, "The tree of Liberty must be watered from time to time with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants." However there are too few patriots left in our land who will risk their blood to be free. There is nothing more depressing than to live in these times.
The Reality Of Obamacare
by Jonah Goldberg - March 23rd, 2010 - Los Angeles Times
The Obama administration has turned the insurance industry into the Blackwater of socialized medicine.The most important aspect is that what you pay will not be decided by you. It will be decided by big brother, the government goon who will be "protecting" you from a failure to get health care by forcing you to pay. Unless of course they consider the health care you need to be too expensive for the taxpayer to cover. At that point, what you paid will not matter. You will be denied health care by a different goon from the one who was "giving" it to you before.
That's always what Obama had in mind. During the now-legendary healthcare summit, Obama, who loves to talk about "risk pools," "competition," "consumer choice" and the like, let it slip that he actually doesn't believe in insurance as commonly understood. The notion that Americans should buy the healthcare "equivalent of Acme Insurance that I had for my car" seemed preposterous to him. "I'm buying that to protect me from some catastrophic situation," he explained. "Otherwise, I'm just paying out of pocket. I don't go to the doctor. I don't get preventive care. There are a whole bunch of things I just do without. But if I get hit by a truck, maybe I don't go bankrupt." Apparently, people are just too stupid to go to the doctor -- or maintain their homes -- if they have to pay much of anything out of pocket.
The endgame was to get the young and healthy to buy more expensive insurance than they need or want. "Expanding the risk pool" and "spreading out the risk" by mandating -- i.e., forcing -- young people to buy insurance is just market-based spin for socialist ends. A risk pool is an actuarial device where a lot of people pay a small sum to cover themselves against a "rainy day" problem that will affect only a few people. Such "peace of mind" health insurance is gone. What we have now is health assurance. With health assurance, there are no "risk pools" really, only payment plans.
It is most appropriate that the goon who will now decide what you pay is the IRS. That is right. $10 billion dollars will pay for a huge army of IRS agents, 17,000, to collect your health insurance payments. Think this is not a new tax? Even Obama thinks of it as a tax. The choice of who will collect it was made specifically with the known reality that it is mandatory and you will never be able to complain that you are refusing to pay because you are not getting good service. Collection is totally separate from providing the service. That is socialism. Welcome to the totally transformed America of Dictator Barack Obama. 17,000 new IRS agents and not a SINGLE NEW DOCTOR!
If you think this is a better system, you are an idiot. You are also a slave.
Where Were You
When the Republic Died?
by Matt Patterson - March 22nd, 2010 - American Thinker
In November 2008, Americans elected a socialist as their president. In March 2010, they woke up stunned to find themselves living in a socialist country.America is rapidly becoming a fascist state, as dominated by its IRS goons as Nazi Germany was dominated by the national socialist goons of an earlier era.
Health insurers - once private companies - are now organs of the federal government. Every citizen is a ward of the state, which can now compel you to have insurance; punish you if you don't; determine if your insurance is acceptable; punish you if it isn't. Thousands of new federal bureaucrats will soon spill from the D.C. Beltway and flood the country, scrutinizing our finances to verify compliance with this new law.
That this bill is planned to destroy America and turn it into a socialist state is well known. This plan is not something that Republicans are inventing. It has been well documented by progressives who have openly advocated the Cloward-Piven strategy to bring America down. It is a black day for sure.
Talking Points vs. Realty
by Thomas Sowell - March 16th, 2010 - Townhall.com
On paper, you can treat Medicare like the hypothetical rich uncle who is going to leave me enough money to buy a Rolls Royce. But only on paper. In real life, you can't get blood from a turnip, and you can't keep on getting money from a Medicare program that is itself running out of money.Once again Thomas Sowell explains a complex problem in simple terms without getting lost or losing his reader.
The fraud that Barack Obama is trying to foist on the American people can really be summed up in the deceit listed above, along with the gimmick of comparing 6 years of costs to 10 years of taxes to pay for it and pretending that means it saves us money. Understating the true costs and claiming to pay for half of it with money that is being counted twice - that is the fraud currently being marketed by the king of lies. It is no surprise that Barack Obama is the first President publicly proclaimed a liar on the floor of congress. No one has ever equalled his ability to lie with conviction. Period. No President before him has such contempt for the American people that they would try. Obama has been caught in lie after lie. Yet as Thomas Sowell points out, the MSM never notices.
You have to wonder why.
The Real Tea Party Story: Community Builders Vs.
by Kyle-Anne Shiver - March 14, 2010 - American Thinker
In less than a year, the MSM has gone from ignoring Tea Parties to mocking and insulting their participants, to grudging coverage with ridiculing overtones and has finally arrived at giving wide attention to the movement, albeit grudgingly and ungraciously. A once highly esteemed fourth estate, they have become talking-head dilettantes on a mission to save the disgruntled masses from democracy itself.From the earliest days, the surprise of the TEA Party movement has been its aggregation of numerous groups with only limited common interest. Nevertheless these various interest groups have shared the common interest this article describes above. Freedom to provide for your own wants as you see them, versus a redistribution of wealth through the standard abuse of government, the barrel of a gun, aimed at the people by those who have garnered power.
David Brooks, token toy conservative at the NYT, wrote his explanation for the Tea Parties without ever mentioning them by name, even. He wrote a whole diatribe on the meaning of it all. It's a knee-jerk reaction by us commoners, you see, against the "educated class." It has nothing to do with real issues, don't you know. This whole wave of discontent is simply a revolt by the common man against his intellectual betters.
What a bunch of myopic poppycock.
The real Tea Party story is quite simple and an eloquent tribute to democracy, a genuine movement of ordinary people rising to the demands of their all-American principles. It represents a fundamental difference between those who seek to provide for themselves, opposing those who see government as provider of all material goods.
The comparison of the attitude towards America of De Tocqueville as compared to the attitude towards America of Saul Alinsky is a brilliant juxtaposition. Volunteerism in the improvement of a society versus volunteerism in the destruction of a society. The key difference is that the second requires a level of deceit that is antithetical to American greatness. It is not surprising that two different groups of people currently in the news, the TEA Party groups versus ACORN, are almost exactly aligned in this improve versus destroy dichotomy.
Five Lies About
The American Economy
by Tim Cavanaugh - March 11th, 2010 (April Publication Date) - Reason.com
The ongoing recession has raised a troubling question for otherwise resurgent Keynesian economists: How can the American economy keep getting worse under the intensive care of an interventionist economic team almost universally praised for its brilliance? The answer may be that the Obama administration is dealing with a fictional economy, one that bears little resemblance to the economy the rest of us inhabit. And when the difference between fact and fiction becomes too apparent, they just make stuff up. Herewith, five big lies the administration loves to tell and the mainstream media (with some notable exceptions) love to repeat:The details are in the article, but here are the FIVE LIES in summary.
1. Bold government action staved off a Depression
2. “No one wants banks making the kinds of risky loans that got us into this situation..."
3. The economic crisis is a “subprime crisis.”
4. Ben Bernanke is a heroic leader.
5. The worst is behind us.
None of this is true.
What is true?
So-called "bold action" has aggravated the recession just as it did in the depression in the 30s, postponing the recovery and saving failed institutions while taking money of those who did not make mistakes to pay for the errors of the failures. Government continues to foster the stupid loans that generated the real estate bubble that burst once and is building to a second catastrophe. The real causes of the bubble are hidden under cliche excuses that are not true. The person who led the failures is being protected along with all who followed his lead. And finally, the worst is yet to come, as another bubble in real estate failures continues to grow on a daily basis.
Obama is failing economically, failing in diplomacy around the world and failing politically with health care. Just for good measure he is burdening our nation with a level of debt that is unsustainable. Cloward-Piven is a progressive strategy to destroy America with exactly these acts. Yet if you argue that Obama is doing these things intentionally, you get smeared by the American press. How convenient that the people who denounce the idea these actions are intentional come from the political wing of the Democrat Party that proposed the strategy to start with. Does that suggest an ulterior motive that would denigrate their defense?
Radicalizing Civil Rights
by Hans A. von Spakovsky - March 8th, 2010 - National Review Online
In his State of the Union address, President Obama mentioned the protections enshrined in the Constitution and said, “No matter who you are or what you look like, if you abide by the law, you should be protected by it.” Obama followed this lofty rhetoric with a claim that his Justice Department “has a Civil Rights Division that is once again prosecuting civil-rights violations and employment discrimination.”Barack Obama has not been the great uniter. He has instead become the great hate-monger, dedicated to showing his contempt for anyone who does not fit into his preconceived notion of who is downtrodden.
As anyone familiar with the Division’s workings can tell you, this assertion is patently false. Obama’s Civil Rights Division will prosecute cases only depending on “what you look like.” If you are white and you are discriminated against in your job, at the polls, or in seeking equal access to federally funded institutions, the Division won’t lift a finger to make sure you’re “protected.”
GOP’s Job #1?
National security must be Job #1
by Frank Gaffney Jr. - March 8th, 2010 - Canada Free Press
One of the most influential conservatives in America this weekend gave a sneak peek at a soon-to-be-published book he has written calling for a "New Republican Party." (The ground rules of the meeting were off the record; the book will be out soon, though, so stay tuned for much more about it.) The author underscored that for the sort of improved GOP we need, "national security must be Job #1."The scary part is that "the job Americans don't want to do anymore" is protect our nation from our enemies. The group included in Americans is BOTH Republicans and Democrats.
Unfortunately, as noted in this space two weeks ago, it seems that for a some prominent Republican/conservatives, to paraphrase the "Open Borders" crowd, national security is a job Americans don’t want to do anymore.
Does freedom matter?
by David Warren - March 7th, 2010 - The Ottawa Citizen
The short answer to that question, when I have asked various acquaintances of what I would call a "mildly liberal," or middle-of-the-road disposition, is: "Yes, but ..."The whole idea of freedom has fascinated me for some time. My own position is what I am trying to work through as I write my book, which I have titled "Freedom Warriors". It is, I think, exactly what the TEA Party movement is all about. Suddenly, a huge number of Americans have woken up to the reality that we are throwing our freedom away. They have become afraid of what life will be like if they have to live under the rules they are perfectly willing to make others live under. The illusion has become that we can be free ourselves and deny freedom to others. As we wake up to the fact that it is an illusion, we start to understand the consequences of our actions.
This "but" may correspond to any of many suggested qualifications, and that is the first instructive thing. At best it is freedom versus order, or freedom versus equality, or freedom versus social security.
Seldom has the position been thought through. Nor is the need for thought acknowledged.
Under cross-examination, most appear to be seeking some kind of balance between freedom and the tyranny of the state. On the moral level, a balance between good and evil; on the [aesthetic], between beauty and ugliness; on the philosophical, between truth and the socially and legally enforced big lies of political correctness.
"Yes, freedom is important, but it has its place," said one of the more thoughtful victims of my inquisition, which has been going on for some years now. (For I like to play at Socrates sometimes, the greatest of all Inquisitors, and try to establish what people really believe.)
Or to put it the other way round: "Yes, we should be herded like sheep, but within the limits of common sense."
Does freedom matter? Yes, but... Yes, but...
I think the pause... and then the rejection of the "but" starts just as soon as "the people" start to realize the "but" is empowering government to go after "them", not some nebulous "other".
Who’s Behind The Financial Crisis?
by Cliff Kincaid - March 4th, 2010 - Accuracy In Media
The New York Times is quoting a spokesman for George Soros as saying that the well-known hedge fund operator is guilty of no wrong-doing in connection with the financial upheaval currently affecting Greece and Europe as a whole. But Zubi Diamond, author of the powerful new book, Wizards of Wall Street, says the agenda of Soros and other short sellers is clear.I keep on arguing to Republicans that Wall Street is our enemy. It is not free enterprise. It has evolved so that it is the exact opposite of free enterprise. The current goal of Wall Street is crony capitalism, mergers and acquistions, the establishment of a monopoly of companies in concert with big government. It is not the promulgation of competitive free enterprise.
He says the Managed Funds Association, the lobbying arm of the hedge fund short sellers, is crafty and deceitful. "When they tell you that short selling contributes liquidity to the market, that is a lie," he says. "Short selling destroys capital and takes away liquidity from the market. When they tell you that they are taking steps to remove manipulation from the stock market, that is a lie. They are taking steps to introduce manipulation to the stock market, and prime the stock market for manipulation and looting. When they tell you that the uptick rule is outdated, because of decimalization, that is a lie. They lie to deceive, to bring forth a big payday from short selling, hence the looting of America and America's wealthiest corporations and their shareholders, sanctioned by their Washington D.C. lapdogs."
"The most influential members of Managed Funds Association, the hedge fund short sellers, have an anti-capitalism agenda, an anti-industrialized nation agenda, and a far left liberal, Marxist radical agenda," Diamond says." Hedge Fund short sellers are not capitalist. They are anti-capitalist and they are not investors; they are anti-investors." He says they "loot" companies and countries.
The problem we have is that so few Republicans really understand free enterprise. As a result they still have a knee jerk reaction to Wall Street based on out dated ideas. They grew up thinking Wall Street was capitalism and they will not look at what is really happening in the world today. They are thus supporting the very people who are trying to destroy our freedom and our nation.
In Texas GOP Primary
by Kelley Shannon and Jay Root - March 3rd, 2010 - Associated Press
Texas Gov. Rick Perry tapped into a rising wave of anti-Washington ire and rode it to an easy Republican primary win over Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, once seen as the candidate who could block his march toward four more years in the state's highest office.I met Governor Perry when he supported Fred Smith for Governor here in NC and spent most of a day riding around with him and talking politics (see picture at top). I was impressed. He is one of the very few politicians I have met who understand economics and free enterprise. I am not surprised that he has taken actions that some conservatives don't like. He is similar to Ronald Reagan in being more of a libertarian than a pure conservative. As a result he supports small business, the engine of commerce. I am glad he won.
Perry emerged from the rancorous battle with Texas' senior senator and a third candidate backed by some in the tea party movement to face a Democrat in many ways his polar opposite. Former Houston Mayor Bill White, a calm consensus-builder, easily defeated six opponents to win his party's nomination.
Clearly, the two writers of this article are not. It only took until the second paragraph of the article for them to take a dig at Perry as not being a "consensus-builder", but then what do you expect from the progressive-socialists of the Associated Press?
An FDR Lesson Obama Missed
by Wesley Pruden - March 2nd, 2010 - Washington Times
Barack Obama is trying to be the new FDR before the concrete settles around his image as the new Jimmy Carter. History will ultimately decide, but last week's celebrated health care summit made him look more like Mr. Jimmy than FDR.How much contempt for his opponents does Obama have to feel to continue to think it necessary to remind them he is the President? It is not insecurity. Nothing indicates Obama is insecure. Quite the contrary, he is secure and confident in the face of continuing examples of his own inadequacies. This was on display at the recent health care summit when he tried to make a point about how insurance companies treated their customers unfairly using an example from his own youth.
The president was full of self-righteous talk, mostly about himself, and he twice felt it necessary to remind everyone that he's the president, recalling Richard Nixon's bizarre reassurance that he was not a crook. Some things are self-evident, and if they're not, such things are usually not true. We can stipulate that, like it or not, he's the president.
All the example proved was that he did not understand the difference between liability insurance, collision insurance and uninsured motorist insurance. He tried to make a claim against his insurance company for a rear end accident that would only have been covered under one of the last two policies when it was clear he had only purchased the first. The embarrassment is that he still does not understand the difference. This naive amateur was making a point that would have embarrassed anyone else in the room. Yet he thought it brilliant as you could tell from his smug attitude while relating the story.
Except for a few blogs, the media continues to ignore his constant gaffes that would have sunk anyone else ever elected to the office he holds. Clearly this coddling by the media has only reinforced Obama's detachment from reality. He will not shut up no matter how often he embarrasses himself.
A knife in Obama's back?
by Jonah Goldberg - March 2nd, 2010 - Los Angeles Times
The president is surrounded by acolytes of the Cult of Obama. They consider him to be a "transformational figure" who need not sully himself with the usual rules of politics. The president himself subscribes to this point of view, rejecting suggestions that he recalibrate his Olympian ambitions.We have never had a more narcissistic President than Barack Husein Obama, the Magic Marxist Messiah. Without leadership from America, leadership that Obama is incapable of providing, vastly expanded war is rapidly becoming more likely in the Middle East. War is even becoming more likely in Central and South America. Simultaneously Barack Obama is gutting our nuclear capability in a unilateral disarmament race that has our military leadership flabbergasted, and has implemented new rules of engagement that have left our soldiers more exposed to death, empowering the enemy to kill and maime our own troops. These are the actions of an inexperienced and arrogant amateur.
On domestic affairs, Obama charges ahead against all public opinion to pass unpopular health care and cap-and-tax legislation that can only be the first steps in implementing a socialist control of our economy - the accustation of which he blithely dismisses as paranoia on the part of his political opposition. Yet no one has ever seen such indifference to public opinion as Obama displays in charging forward with his Cloward-Pliven strategy.
This article notes that at least one Democrat faction, including Obama's own chief of staff, is starting to separate themselves from his actions and goals. The warning is that Democrats must return to reality. Obama is headed down a road of self righteous indifference to public opinion that will either gut his Presidency or lead to a major Constitutional crisis - or both.