Thursday, December 22, 2011

Newt Helped Formulate Christmas

by Ann Coulter - December 21st, 2011 - Human Events

Every few years, heinous Democratic policies -- abortion, gay marriage, affirmative action, Hillarycare, Obamacare, to name a few -- compel previously uninvolved Americans to leap into politics.

This is great, except for two things: (1) We have to get heinous Democratic policies first; and (2) newcomers have short memories, sometimes no memories at all.

The second point is the only possible explanation for why some conservatives seem to view Newt Gingrich​ as the anti-Establishment outsider who will shake up Washington.

Newly active right-wingers would do well to spend a little more time quietly reading up on Newt's political career, and a little less time shaking their fists at some imaginary "Establishment" -- which now apparently includes Michael Savage, Mark Steyn​, Christine O'Donnell, Ramesh Ponnuru, Glenn Beck​ and me, all of whom oppose Newt's candidacy. (By the way, guys, are we car-pooling to the next Trilateral Commission meeting? I have a thing at the World Bank​ that same day.)

Only then will they realize that Gingrich would be a disaster for everything they believe in.

I love Ann. I don't always agree with her. Certainly, her candidate for President, Mitt Romney has some flaws that could be exploited to write an equally eviscerating article filled with humorous sarcasm. However this article is a great summation of the reasons I can't make Newt my first choice in this primary contest. I do though have a problem with Ann's excessive vitriol. If Newt wins the primary how is she going to backpedal and support him in the general election?

Or will she be happy to accept 4 more years of Barack Obama?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Are America's Best Days Behind Us?

by Janice Shaw Crouse - December 17th, 2011 - American Thinker

It takes more grit to be optimistic about the future, with all its uncertainties, than to be pessimistic. The greatest sin of today's liberals or progressives is that they refuse to learn from the multiple failures of historic, indeed tragic, attempts to achieve Utopia through big government, whether through Nazism, fascism, communism, or European socialism. On a smaller scale, ask anyone involved in trying to start up a new business, and you'll hear how hard it is and about the slim odds of succeeding. There is more than enough ammunition to be a naysayer about America's future.

After this opening paragraph, depressing enough in its own right, the author proceeds to enumerate a litany of troubles afflicting our nation. She then ends by listing positive indicators which she believes are evidence we can overcome the troubles she sees. From my perspective she is ignoring the nagging doubts that we can overcome our current problems.

Lets examine each of her 3 positives.

#1 - "America is still the world's best success story."

She may believe that. However 40 years of socialist dogma preached to our children in a school system that is under the control of unionized socialists has left few in our youngest generation who believe that. People who believe that are now in the minority. It is irrelevant whether the statement is true. The reality is colored by a famous quote, "perception is reality." Her perception is losing out among a majority of our citizens. At the same time we have a government that is actively working to sabotage small business and free enterprise. That is where we should be focused.

The party that should be resisting this, Republicans, are not for a simple reason. The corrupt crony capitalists of Wall Street control the beltway elites who are the power in the Republican Party. Together with Wall Street they are more focused on creating business monopolies who partner with government than in permitting capitalism to survive. The competition that comes with small business is being destroyed by government regulation to protect big corporations. Both major political parties are thus dedicated to this idiocy. How is this good news?

#2 - "The current crises have captured the attention of Middle America."

It is true that middle America has woken up from its indifference to the economic and culture war being won by the liberals, however it is not yet clear it is not too late. This Middle America is as brain washed by the left wing dogma as the rest of the nation.

As a perfect example of the susceptibility to this "perception", a great number of the Tea Party movement were convinced that we had to support Herman Cain to get blacks on our side. With nearly half of the people on TV commercials black, with a huge majority of sports figures also being black, with a constant parade of entertainment figures being black, I could not find one in twenty among my Tea Party friends who could accurately identify the actual percentage of blacks in America.

Most thought it approached half the nation, or would shortly. That it has instead fallen from 14% of our population to 12.6% of our population was rejected by more than two thirds of the Tea Party supporters. Rejected. They simply would not believe it. Let's assume that you could persuade some portion of the 95% of blacks who are dedicated to the socialism of the Democrats to switch sides. At best we are talking about a huge effort to change the minds of 1% or 2% of the total population. Personally, I doubt even that big a swing is possible. The reality is that more blacks are turned off by what they see as a traitor to their socialist cause, when we support a black conservative, and are thus less amenable to listening to the causes for their economic failure than they might otherwise be.

How do we change this blind acceptance of a lie by our own side?

#3 - "Conservatives are winning on numerous cultural fronts where decline is threatening the nation's well-being."

Rather grandiose statement of victory. Yet not a single example proving this true is provided. That is called an unproved assumption. It is followed by the argument that "pro-marriage, pro-family, and pro-life" values provide "opportunity for everyone willing to work." First, pro-life has little to do with jobs and anyway, their argument is losing. Pro-marriage and pro-family are really the same thing, and again the direct relation to jobs is at best long term, more likely non-existent. The number of illegitimate children continues to climb even as Planned Parenthood has successfully resisted any attempt to stop government promotion of abortion.

America's long term success may be related to the social issues, however the immediate crisis is economic in nature and whether abortion is reduced this year will make no difference in the crushing debt we are building. Yet pro-life adherents are determined that their battle must be won right now. They demand action which sucks political resources during this crisis. Even though I agree with them on their issues (though not on their solutions), I have become disgusted by the social conservative movement's blind refusal to prioritize. The author Crouse obviously has rejected my frustration (and a lot of other Tea Party supporters as well) as meaningless just as so many other social conservatives have. At this time of a clear need to reduce government telling us what to do with our lives, they want to empower government to a bigger nanny state for what they see as moral reasons. As a result, we have reached a point where I see social conservatives as my enemy as much as I see socialists as my enemy. What value do social conservatives accomplish making their allies their enemies?

Democracy is evil. Its slow corrosion of national focus from freedom to selfish self interest is insidious. Yet Crouse has ignored this problem and focused on issues that make no difference to national survival during this crisis.

Her positive outlook is not going to help. Making sure that "America's Best Days Are Not Behind Us" needs to start with some honest self appraisal that she has avoided. Unfortunately, a large part of the conservative movement is as self delusional as Crouse.

What Iraq changed

Editorial - December 16th, 2011 - New York Post

The flags came down in Baghdad yesterday as President Obama declared an end to an eight-year campaign in Iraq that removed a genocidal tyrant from power, defined new modes of battle — and shaped a generation of American warriors.

It also set into motion a chain of events that could transform the Middle East.

More than 1 million Americans served under arms in Iraq, facing battle conditions that challenged, tested and ennobled them.

The cost was heavy: Some 4,500 died there; more than 32,000 were injured.

The Iraq War was controversial from its inception, and — as always — history will deliver the final verdict as to its efficacy.

What is bizarre to me is that one of the most important consequences of this war is totally ignored in this article. Lybia and it's dictator Muammar Quaddafi decided to surrender its nuclear program to America. Though it was surprising, it is not unreasonable that Quaddafi would lose his nerve. He had barely survived death during the earlier attacks by President Ronald Reagan. Quaddafi was clearly influenced by the reality that American Presidents have a lot of military power at their disposal. With President Bush successfully invading Saddam Hussein's Iraq, how likely was it that he would not at some point discover the huge number of Iraqi scientists and engineers who were working on the Lybian nuclear program?

I still remember the articles about the surprises when we took over the program. Our "experts" could not believe how close Quaddafi was to success. We could not believe how many Iraqi and Syrian personnel were involved. If they had built their bomb, it would have meant that three rogue nations, Lybia, Iraq and Syria would all have attained nuclear bomb capability at the same time.

This was ended by our invasion of Iraq. No matter what others say, this delay in some of the worst of the tyrants in the Middle East getting nuclear bombs was the single best result of the war in Iraq. They may get them some day but we are far better off that they do not have them right now.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rick Perry Rebound In Iowa

Assisted by veterans?

by Liz Marlantes - December 14th, 2011 - The Christian Science Monitor

Lots of news stories today about how the race to win Iowa is still wide open. The New York Times’ Nate Silver takes a whirl through the polling data and says any of five candidates could plausibly win. And Politico’s Maggie Haberman reports that internal poll numbers from the Mitt Romney and Rick Perry camps show Newt Gingrich’s lead in Iowa is indeed slipping.

Interestingly, she also quotes a “veteran GOP caucus-watcher” as saying:

“Watch Rick Perry. He’s going for a top three finish, and that could be to Romney’s expense.”

We’ve found ourselves wondering about Perry, who’s kicking off a 42-city Iowa bus tour today. Notably, two recent Iowa polls have shown a slight uptick in Perry’s support. In particular, an American Research Group (ARG) poll released yesterday (Tuesday) showed him gaining 8 points...

Rick Perry is the most down to earth easy to like candidate running in the Republican Primary. In the rural area where I live, Perry could drop in to any of the morning coffee gatherings in a multitude of restaurants and fit right in.

In fact, his rural background is probably why the beltway elites have never liked his candidacy. He is smart but regular folks. Served in the military like real Americans do. Successful as a farmer and rancher. Understands small business owners and attracts a bunch of them to move to Texas. He doesn't talk with the glib smoothness of the intellectual elites because Perry is not an ivy leaguer. He is a doer, not a talker. If you doubt that check out his record of accomplishments.

Why is that not the kind of President that we want?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Richest 1% Get $10 Billion
A Year From Uncle Sam

by John Merline - December 12th, 2011 - Investor's Business Daily

Each year, the federal government hands approximately $10 billion over to the richest 1% of Americans — mainly to rich retirees — according to an IBD analysis of data on various federal transfer programs. And these payments are growing, adding to the income inequality that politicians like President Obama frequently complain about.

The bulk of the taxpayer money going to the richest 1% came from Social Security and Medicare, which provide benefits to retirees regardless of their income.

Using IRS data, IBD found that the top 1% of income earners claimed approximately $7 billion in Social Security benefits in 2009. That year, the program paid super-rich seniors — those with adjusted gross incomes exceeding $10 million — an average of $33,000 each.

Since it has always been the Democrats who have blocked attempts to "need test" Social Security and Medicare, you have to be incensed at their continued denigration of tax rates for the rich. If they cared about ending this government support for the rich they would acknowledge the reasonableness of "need testing" these two rapidly bankrupting programs.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Obama's Kansas Declaration

"Free enterprise has never worked!"

by J.K. Gregg - December 8th, 2011 - American Thinker

Thomas Jefferson, in drafting the Declaration of Independence, enshrined a particular political philosophy congruent with man's nature; that individuals were, by right of their nature as rational animals, endowed with inalienable rights to the destiny of their own lives. From that axiom grew corollaries like the right to be free of compulsion (liberty), to engage life as one sees fit (happiness), and to keep that which was rightfully earned (property). Thus, "government was instituted among men" for no other reason than to defend man's natural right to his own life from any corner that may wish to infringe upon it. It was with this philosophical understanding that government was inconsequential to all rights-respecting individuals who kept to themselves or made voluntary agreements with their neighbors. Government's role was negative in nature; to stop injustice, so justice itself could remain.

I do not believe anyone has ever summed up the basic concept of American freedom better than J.K. Gregg has done in the paragraph above.

What is sad is how Democrats have perverted this magnificent concept. As Obama has proved repeatedly with his apology tours around the world - he rejects the idea this concept has led to the greatest nation on earth. From government being limited to protecting us from the aggression of our neighbors, Democrats have embraced the idea that our neighbors do not have to take from us directly. Democrats can vote to have government take our property from us and give it to them just because we meet their criteria of "better off". This presumes a completely different definition of liberty than America was founded on.

This right to steal from us is based on the premise that if we have something, it is only logical to presume that we did not create or earn it ourselves, we must have stolen what we have from others. No test is permitted to determine if what we have was earned fairly by working more productively, using greater intelligence, studying to understand the world better or working longer hours.

None of this is relevant. If we have more than our neighbor, Democrats believe democracy justifies voting to take it from us to satisfy our neighbors envy. The voting process of democracy supersedes any requirement to recognize our natural rights that are the basis of our freedom. In Obama's America, freedom from 'inferiority of results' is the only freedom permitted.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Thomas Sowell: Peerless Nerd

by Kevin D. Williamson - December 2011 (Publication month) - Commentary Magazine

Thomas Sowell​ is that rarest of things among serious academics: plainspoken. This characteristic, a by-product of both his innate temperament and the intellectual courage for which nature does not deserve the credit, surely has been bad for his career. (Intellectual courage tends to impede the career path of an intellectual.) If he were the obfuscating sort, he might have made Harvard don; if he were the cheaply poetical sort, he might have made U.S. president. His plain speaking also makes him dangerous, and that danger is intensified by the fact that Sowell is black. And not just black, but unassailably black: He’s Southern-born, Harlem-raised, brought up poor, and the first of his family to be educated beyond the sixth grade.

My opinion of Thomas Sowell is more positive than this writer, and he is practically effusive. It always annoys me that so much is made of the fact that Thomas Sowell is black. That is not really what is important. He is brilliant. That is what is important. Some of the greatest thoughts of the last hundred years have flowed from the writings this genius has produced.

This article is something of a Book Review, since it mentions Thomas Sowell's newest book, The Thomas Sowell Reader and recommends it.

It is however a great article that sums up some of the brilliance of an American original, Dr. Thomas Sowell. He is an author and philosopher that everyone should read and study for his unparalleled superiority on a broad range of topics. Even better for me, he is a Marine. Semper Fi Dr. Sowell.

Globalisation Has Turned
On Its Western Creators

From the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party movements of the US to the rise of populist politics in Europe, the globalisation backlash is everywhere.

by Jeremy Warner - December 7th, 2011 - London Telegraph

In real terms, Americans are on average no better off than they were 30 years ago; in Britain, the Institute for Fiscal Studies says that our real disposable incomes are in the midst of a 14-year freeze. Vast tracts of gainful employment in textiles, potteries, shoe-making, machine tools and many other industries have disappeared, to be replaced by... well, not very much at all outside the now languishing financial services industry and the housing market.

The West’s competitive advantage, even in hi-tech industries such as pharmaceuticals and aerospace, is being fast whittled away too. The welfare and health entitlements to which we have become accustomed look ever more unaffordable, while the final-salary pensions that workers could once expect as reward for a lifetime of service are now confined to the public sector – and those too will surely be gone within 10 years. It is small wonder that the benefits of free trade are now so widely questioned.

Critics of globalisation, such as Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel laureate in economics, used to focus on the supposed harm that Western-inspired trade liberalisation was inflicting on the developing world. Few would these days think this the correct way of looking at the problem.

The problem has become the reality - the developing world has refused to play fair. It steals our intellectual property, our ideas, our manufacturing capabilities, and then blocks our ability to sell services or products that we produce better at lower costs. Through tariffs, regulations, monetary manipulation and simple self serving greed, American products are denied fair competition and fair entry to foreign markets.

As noted in the article, "It doesn’t seem to have occurred to them [the proponents of globalization] that if you don’t provide Western consumers with jobs, they’ll be priced out of the market and the mother economy will wither and die." [Emphasis added] That is what is happening. The rich in America are not getting rich off the poor in America. They are getting rich off the poor in other countries. However the middle class in America are losing their jobs because the governments in the developing world are aggressively defending their interests against American interests.

In a bizarre twist of insanity, our own government is helping with this war against the middle class, as it passes laws to encourage the development of foreign economic interests. At the same time we do nothing to punish developing countries (China is an example) that manipulate their currency to assist in the destruction of our economy and block our products from their nations.

A good question is whether it is too late to turn this around. The only two Republican candidates who understand this dynamic, Sarah Palin and Rick Perry, have both been rendered unelectable by elites in the Repubican Party. The two candidates who are leading, Romney and Gingrich, are both enamored of the globalisation delusion.

The Republican Primary is not over - yet a disastrous future for America has already been assured.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Washington Doesn’t Need
To Regulate Rain

by Jim Petersen - December 6th, 2011 - The Washington Times

If the Supreme Court declines to review it, a recent ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco will put federal courts into the business of managing every acre of privately owned timberland in America. Farmers beware. You could be next. In May, the 9th Circuit determined that rainwater draining from forest roads into local streams, rivers and lakes is “point source pollution.” As such, it must be regulated in the same way effluent from sewage-treatment plants is regulated. To make a long story short, rainwater that accumulates alongside logging roads has become a new target of environmental litigators. Several lawsuits were filed within days of the 9th Circuit’s decision.

The court made this determination despite the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has insisted for 35 years that requiring “point-source” permits is unnecessary to protect the environment and is even harmful.

The irresponsible hunger to regulate other human beings is becoming a virus destroying our freedom. Our despotic courts and our tyrannical regulators have never acknowledged any limit on their need for power over the people of our nation. It has reached an obscene level represented by this new ruling. If rain falls on public or private roads, the runoff is deemed to be toxic and the owner of the road - or conversely the owner of the adjacent land - is presumed to be POLLUTING THE ENVIRONMENT.

The writer expects that if the Supreme Court gets involved in this ruling that it will be struck down. My fear is that they will embrace the totalitarian power it will represent and rule that the control can continue. As noted in the article, it is hard to justify that rain on a road beside forest lands is toxic but not toxic if it rains beside farmland. Therefore it is almost inevitable that the ruling will be expanded to farmers.

At that point, our federal government and its courts will have the power to require any road with ditches to be eliminated anywhere in our nation. No culverts will be allowed without a federal bureaucrat's approval. If any large shower creates a new runoff path the landowner will have to apply for a new permit. If a puddle forms anywhere due to any change in rain patterns, the federal government can require the abandonment of that land, or conversely, at the whim of a regulator, spending money to force the water back into prior paths. This is true even it if simply changes due to growth of vegetation, the most common cause of runoff changes.

Farmers and forestry owners will become paranoid at planting any crop, for fear it will be ruled illegal and they be punished under the premise that they are causing toxic runoff through "point source pollution". Welcome to Utopia as Democrats see it.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Payroll Gains Speed Up
As U.S. Jobless Rate Drops

by Shobhana Chandra of Bloomberg

Job gains in the U.S. picked up last month and the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to the lowest level since March 2009, a decline augmented by the departure of Americans from the labor force.

Jobless claims rise above 400,000

by Staff at Reuters

New claims for unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly last week, popping above 400,000 for the first time in just over a month and reinforcing the view that the battered labor market was healing only slowly.

The reality is that both these articles ignore the only truly important point. The economy is not even creating enough jobs to hire the young people who are entering the labor market. Much less keeping discouraged former workers from leaving the labor market. We continue in a downward spiral that progressive news organizations like Bloomberg and Reuters are trying to hide with their glowing reports of the slight upward ticks that occasionally happen during a depression.

Neither article mentions the reality of government draining massive amounts of the available money in the marketplace to fund the rapidly growing national debt. That money drain is killing recovery in the process.