Makers and Takers: Why conservatives work harder, feel happier, have closer families, take fewer drugs, give more generously, value honesty more, are less materialistic …

Content below from: http://www.amazon.com/Makers-Takers-conservatives-generously-materialistic/dp/038551350X

“From Publishers Weekly
Schweizer (Do as I Say [Not as I Do]) expands his critique of modern American liberals to contend that liberalism not only leads to social decay, but can also lead to personal decay. Drawing upon polls and psychological studies, the author argues that conservatives work harder, feel happier, have closer families, take fewer drugs, give more generously, value honesty more, are less materialistic and envious, whine less… and even hug their children more than liberals. Schweizer is noticeably silent on current affairs; instead, he focuses on the culture wars of the 1990s, demonstrating how Clinton lied… and did so in a fine fashion, that Al Gore has also told lies and that the Clinton administration was notable for its tolerant attitude toward drugs. Schweizer refrains from making substantive commentary on the upcoming election; he spends more time attacking Garrison Keillor, for whom he reserves a special distaste. The readable prose and vigorous defense of Republican voters ensure that this book—despite its dated material and lack of analysis of the current campaign—will rally and rouse conservatives. (June 3)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Description

In Makers and Takers you will discover why:

* Seventy-one percent of conservatives say you have an obligation to care for a seriously injured spouse or parent versus less than half (46 percent) of liberals.

* Conservatives have a better work ethic and are much less likely to call in sick than their liberal counterparts.

* Liberals are 2½ times more likely to be resentful of others’ success and 50 percent more likely to be jealous of other people’s good luck.

* Liberals are 2 times more likely to say it is okay to cheat the government out of welfare money you don’t deserve.

* Conservatives are more likely than liberals to hug their children and “significantly more likely” to display positive nurturing emotions.

* Liberals are less trusting of family members and much less likely to stay in touch with their parents.

* Do you get satisfaction from putting someone else’s happiness ahead of your own? Fifty-five percent of conservatives said yes versus only 20 percent of liberals.

* Rush Limbaugh, Ronald Reagan, Bill O’Reilly and Dick Cheney have given large sums of money to people in need, while Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, Michael Moore, and Al Gore have not.

* Those who are “very liberal” are 3 times more likely than conservatives to throw things when they get angry.

The American left prides itself on being superior to conservatives: more generous, less materialistic, more tolerant, more intellectual, and more selfless. For years scholars have constructed—and the media has pushed—elaborate theories designed to demonstrate that conservatives suffer from a host of personality defects and character flaws. According to these supposedly unbiased studies, conservatives are mean-spirited, greedy, selfish malcontents with authoritarian tendencies. Far from the belief of a few cranks, prominent liberals from John Kenneth Galbraith to Hillary Clinton have succumbed to these prejudices. But what do the facts show?

Peter Schweizer has dug deep—through tax documents, scholarly data, primary opinion research surveys, and private records—and has discovered that these claims are a myth. Indeed, he shows that many of these claims actually apply more to liberals than conservatives. Much as he did in his bestseller Do as I Say (Not as I Do), he brings to light never-before-revealed facts that will upset conventional wisdom.

Conservatives such as Ronald Reagan and Robert Bork have long argued that liberal policies promote social decay. Schweizer, using the latest data and research, exposes how, in general:

* Liberals are more self-centered than conservatives.
* Conservatives are more generous and charitable than liberals.
* Liberals are more envious and less hardworking than conservatives.
* Conservatives value truth more than liberals, and are less prone to cheating and lying.
* Liberals are more angry than conservatives.
* Conservatives are actually more knowledgeable than liberals.
* Liberals are more dissatisfied and unhappy than conservatives.

Schweizer argues that the failure lies in modern liberal ideas, which foster a self-centered, “if it feels good do it” attitude that leads liberals to outsource their responsibilities to the government and focus instead on themselves and their own desires.”

The Bubble of Obama Supremacy

From http://www.americanthinker.com/printpage/?url=http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/07/the_bubble_of_obama_supremacy.html

July 24, 2008

By Kyle-Anne Shiver
‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.  Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities.’
 –The Gospel of Matthew 25:23 (New American Bible) Parable of the Talents

America is a unique country.  We are the new world, not the old.  We elect leaders in a reasonable step-by-step fashion, honoring lifetimes of experience and wisdom, proven abilities to do the job, much in keeping with Jesus’ parable of the talents.  Once a person proves capable at the small job, we give him a whack at a bigger one. 

It’s the American way. 

Our Founders were wise to dump European monarchy in favor of government of the people, by the people and for the people.  And because of our Founders’ direct experience with capricious rulers, American tradition has shied away, in every generation, from putting our leaders upon larger-than-life pedestals. 

Hero worship of politicians just reeks of old-world kingdoms, and thus produces visceral disgust among Americans.

As Herbert Spencer so wisely noted, “Hero worship is greatest where there is least regard for freedom.”

And that’s just not us, is it?  We revere freedom too much to indulge in hero worship of our leaders 

As Americans, we honor reasoned discourse, and spurn emotionalism in our elections.

As Americans, we honor accomplishment, not birthright.

As Americans, we listen, consider and carefully elect.

We don’t fawn and follow.  We don’t faint.  And we don’t coronate.

So, how has it come to pass that we now have a mere candidate for the Presidency of our United States of America, who is being received upon foreign shores as though he were not only already our President, but also our king?

Barack Obama is an American anomaly.  An enigma.  An aberration.
  • Never in American history has a man with so pitifully little on his resume received such adoration. 
  • Never in American history has a candidate had the temerity to mimic our Presidential seal the place it upon his podium. 
  • Never in American history has a mere interviewee deigned to write the rules for our interview. 
  • Never in American history has a mere candidate had the gall to travel abroad with a press corps and secret service in tow to give “fake press interviews”  for manipulated “news” coverage.
  • Never in American history has so little respect been given to our electoral process. 
The whole disgusting spectacle just smacks of old-world Europe, those folks so quick to hail a Bonaparte or a Hitler.

And sadly, oh-so-sadly, the comparisons don’t stop with the fawning masses surrounding our audacious whippersnapper, Obama.

Two Dealers in Hope

A leader is a dealer in hope.
 — Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte is not one of my personal favorites, as historical leaders go, and it’s really quite interesting that a guy, who seized power through a military coup d’etat put so much stock in the old diabolical lure of souls, hope, when one might presume that he could have just as easily relied on bully force alone to motivate his people.
And, of course, Napoleon’s purpose was nearly the perfect opposite of Obama’s.  Napoleon wanted to conquer the world for France.  Obama wants to take American sovereignty and submit it to the whims of the global community.  Opposite ends, employing the same old tacky lure.
“What if,” says an Obama ad, “there was hope instead of fear?”  Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope is, not surprisingly, a portrait of utter despair and hopelessness, the kind aspiring rulers usually paint just before they offer themselves as the cure. 
In Obama’s America, as presented in his own written words, our Country is in dire need of a new era, abundant “change” to fix our “broken souls,” to fill up that “hole” in our lives.

What do Americans want, according to our new sage, Barack Obama?

“They want a sense of purpose, a narrative arc to their lives, something that will relieve a chronic loneliness or lift them above the exhausting, relentless toll of daily life.  They need an assurance that somebody out there cares about them, is listening to them — that they are not just destined to travel down a long highway toward nothingness.”

I’m not sure which to reach for here, my hanky or my Pepto Bismol.

Ah, but we should not fear, little ones, for Barack is here.  And he brings on his starlit wings and with his rising sunhope.

And for generations to come, we shall remember Barack’s coronation (or is that inauguration?) as the “moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal…”

Who does this man think he is?

If I were going to put my hope in a mere mortal, I certainly would not invest such a precious commodity in a man who took taxpayer money for a state senator’s job and voted “present” 130 times, any more than I would give the title “valedictorian” to the student with the worst attendance record. 

I would not put my hope in a man who promised his district’s poor better housing and then got in bed with a slumlord, a man who used taxpayer funds to produce rat-infested, uninhabitable dwellings instead. 

I would never, ever put my hope for the whole country, much less for the entire planet, in the hands of a man who could not even change one racist preacher’s mind or convince a single Chicago neighborhood to forego gang warfare for honest work.

Barack Obama is riding within the biggest fantasy bubble this side of Oz.

Another Inconvenient Truth

The cry of “change” has been used by demagogues and revolutionaries throughout history, as they fan discontent. The worst of the lot was a European who brought his political party to power using the same ephemeral change mantra as Obama’s.

Adolf Hitler plastered early 1930s Germany with posters declaring his noble democratic socialist intentions:

            Peace and equal rights.

All must be different.
However, Adolf Hitler’s notions of peace and equal rights turned out to be quite different than those of the rest of the civilized world.  And his quaint, little slogan, All must be different, certainly produced different results, but they weren’t exactly pleasing to all the Jews, nor to the Christians, who learned sadly after the fact, that for Hitler, different meant replacing Christ with himself.

Of course nobody is accusing Obama of being another Hitler here. But I have always looked askance at those who sell dreams of “change.” So, when Obama emblazons everything within his grasp, including his super jet:

Change you can believe in

he seems to be calling out to those mortal-worshiping Europeans in a voice to which they can certainly relate, but in America those open-ended declarations from power-seekers tend to fall upon deaf ears.  Americans traditionally are extremely skeptical of such messianic claims.

So, what to make of Obama’s appearance this week before fawning European masses at Berlin’s Victory Column, planted where it is by Hitler’s architect Albert Speer as the central focal point of  Imperial Berlin, to be renmed “Germania.”  

Poor planning perhaps. Horrible judgment, certainly, at least in the eyes of most Americans.

Nevertheless, while the Europeans fawn and faint for Obama this week, Americans sit on the other side of the Pond, wondering when someone will have the guts to call attention to the fact that the “Emperor’s clothes” might not be all we’ve been told to believe.

A European Mindset Inflating Obama’s Bubble:  George Soros

After spending 25 million dollars in his “life or death” mission to defeat President Bush in 2004, and coming up with nothing but a souvenir Kerry t-shirt, George Soros is apparently pulling out all the stops this year.  And Barack Obama is his man. 

Soros, a Hungarian-born naturalized American citizen, prides himself in being able to speculate on currencies and reap astronomical profits.  Since the early 90s, he has become increasingly involved in global politics, especially in his adopted country, our U.S. of A.  He bought Obama stock early on, by contributing heftily to Obama’s 2004 Senate campaign, then as a personal presidential backer.

And when Soros talks, Democrats listen.  He has become their number one financier, and his pockets are 7-billion-dollars deep. 

Soros, however, does not seem to believe in the nation-state concept and has been pushing with all his monetary might for a system of global governance, with global taxation powers, in which he and his power-broker comrades could better do their “good deeds,” without the hindrance of those pesky things like borders, national constitutions, and individual defense interests.

Soros also owns more than 250 global publishing outlets, which are fed storylines from his Open Society Institute.  Soros’ political presence is shadowy, but if one looks closely, one cannot miss the emanations and penumbras of his backing of Obama’s campaign.

When the Jeremiah Wright affair was exploding in his candidate’s face, with a reluctant mainstream media finally forced to show the pastor’s racist rants, while YouTube Wright snippets were wracking up hits so fast that it looked as though Obama’s boat might sink, Bill Moyers did a one-on-one interview with Wright to let him explain himself.  Moyers is a former trustee of the Open Society Institute, and one of Soros’ “closest confidants and political collaborators.” (David Horowitz and Richard Poe; Shadow Party; p. 240) 

Moyers is also infamous for his remark on the Charlie Rose show, 2004 election night:  

“I think if Kerry were to win this in a tight race, I think there’d be an effort to mount a coup, quite frankly.” 

When asked by Rose to explain what he meant by “coup,” Moyers replied,

“I mean that the right wing is not going to accept it.” 

Americans get disappointed; Europeans mount coups.

When Wesley Clark, the Democrats’ favorite retired army general, attacked John McCain’s “qualifications” for the Presidency, especially his military credentials, our watchdog mainstream media seems not to have thought it relevant to point out that Wesley Clark currently sits on the board of another of Soros’ groups:  The International Crisis Group.  Soros, in addition to heavily funding the group, also sits on the Board with Clark, as do some other Obama “people,” Samantha Power and Zbigniew Brzezinski.  Richard Armitage, the leaker of Valerie Plame’s name, is also a member, as is Kofi Annan.

Barack Obama may be an upstart with a flimsy resume, but he travels in some very fancy circles, especially among those who adore Europe and truly wish America were much more like her.

Unfortunately, for Soros, his European mindset and his European-style game plan for Obama, his candidate, Americans tend to think of Europe as a nice place to visit, but not many of us really want to live there.

Soros has done all in his power to burst what he calls the “Bubble of American Supremacy,” but so far, our economy has proved too resilient and our people too attached to our way of life, our freedom and our sovereignty. 

Soros is betting on this Obama bubble of inevitability, the inflation of which has been helped so much by Soros’ own machinations. 

I’m betting on America.”


Kyle-Anne Shiver is an independent journalist and a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  She welcomes your comments at http://www.kyleanneshiver.com/

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/07/the_bubble_of_obama_supremacy.html at July 24, 2008 – 05:39:46 PM EDT

“When I Was a Boy, America Was a Better Place”

By Dennis Prager at http://www.townhall.com/columnists/DennisPrager/2008/06/10/when_i_was_a_boy,_america_was_a_better_place?page=full&comments=true

“The day the O.J. Simpson verdict was announced, I said to my then-teenage son, “David, please forgive me. I am handing over to you a worse America than my father handed over to me.”

Unfortunately, I still feel this way.

With the important exception of racial discrimination — which was already dying a natural death when I was young — it is difficult to come up with an important area in which America is significantly better than when I was a boy. But I can think of many in which its quality of life has deteriorated.

When I was a boy, America was a freer society than it is today. If Americans had been told the extent and number of laws that would govern their speech and behavior within one generation, they would have been certain that they were being told about some dictatorship, not the Land of the Free. Today, people at work, to cite but one example, are far less free to speak naturally. Every word, gesture and look, even one’s illustrated calendar, is now monitored lest a fellow employee feel offended and bring charges of sexual harassment or creating a “hostile work environment” or being racially, religiously or ethnically insensitive, or insensitive to another’s sexual orientation.

Meanwhile, all employers in California are now prohibited by law from firing a man who has decided to cross-dress at work. And needless to say, no fellow worker can say to that man, “Hey, Jack, why not wear the dress at home and men’s clothes to work?” An employer interviewing a prospective employee is not free to ask the most natural human questions: Are you married? Do you have a child? How old are you? Soon “How are you?” will be banned lest one discriminate on the basis of health.

When I was boy, what people did at home was not their employer’s business. Today, companies and city governments refuse to hire, and may fire, workers no matter how competent or healthy, who smoke in their homes. Sarasota, Fla., the latest city to invade people’s private lives, would not hire Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt or John F. Kennedy if they applied for a job.

When I was a 7-year-old boy, I flew alone from New York to my aunt and uncle in Miami and did the same thing coming back to New York. I boarded the plane on my own and got off the plane on my own. No papers for my parents to fill out. No extra fee to pay the airline. I was responsible for myself. Had I run away or been kidnapped, no one would have sued the airline. Today, fear of lawsuits is a dominant fact of American life.

When I was a boy, I ran after girls during recess, played dodgeball, climbed monkey bars and sat on seesaws. Today, more and more schools have no recess; have canceled dodgeball lest someone feel bad about being removed from the game; and call the police in to interrogate, even sometimes arrest, elementary school boys who playfully touch a girl. And monkey bars and seesaws are largely gone, for fear of lawsuits should a child be injured.

When I was boy, I was surrounded by adult men. Today, most American boys (and girls, of course) come into contact with no adult man all day every school day. Their teachers and school principals are all likely to be women. And if, as is often the case, there is no father at home (not solely because of divorce but because “family” courts have allowed many divorced mothers to remove fathers from their children’s lives), boys almost never come into contact with the most important group of people in a boy’s life — adult men. The contemporary absence of men in boys’ lives is not only unprecedented in American history; it is probably unprecedented in recorded history.

When I was a boy, we had in our lives adults who took pride in being adults. To distinguish them from our peers, we called these adults “Mr.,” “Mrs.” and “Miss,” or by their titles, “Doctor,” “Pastor,” “Rabbi,” “Father.” It was good for us, and we liked it. Having adults proud of their adulthood, and not acting like they were still kids, gave us security (as well as something to look forward to in growing up). Today, kids are surrounded by peers twice, three, four times their age.

When I was a boy, the purpose of American history textbooks was to teach American history. Today, the purpose of most American history texts is to make minorities and females feel good about themselves. As a result, American kids today are deprived of the opportunity to feel good about being American (not to mention deprived of historical truth). They are encouraged to feel pride about all identities — African-American, Hispanic, Asian, female, gay — other than American.

When I was a teenage boy, getting to kiss a girl, let alone to touch her thigh or her breast (even over her clothes) was the thrill of a lifetime. Most of us could only dream of a day later on in life when oral sex would take place (a term most of us had never heard of). But of course, we were not raised by educators or parents who believed that “teenagers will have sex no matter what.” Most of us rarely if ever saw a naked female in photos (the “dirty pictures” we got a chance to look at never showed “everything”), let alone in movies or in real life. We were, in short, allowed to be relatively innocent. And even without sex education and condom placement classes, few of us ever got a girl pregnant.

When I was a boy, “I Love Lucy” showed two separate beds in Lucy and Ricky’s bedroom — and they were a married couple. Today, MTV and most TV saturate viewers’ lives with sexual imagery and sexual talk, virtually all of which is loveless and, of course, non-marital.

When I was boy, people dressed up to go to baseball games, visit the doctor and travel on airplanes. Today, people don’t dress up even for church.

When I was a boy, Time and Newsweek were well written and relied little on pictures and illustrations. Today, those magazines often look like adult comic books by comparison. They are filled with large illustrations and photos, and they dumb down the news with features like “Winners and Losers” and “Who’s Up and Who’s Down.” And when I was a boy, it would have been inconceivable for Time to substitute anything, let alone a tree, for the flag planted by the marines on Iwo Jima.

One might argue that these are the same laments that every previous older generation has expressed — “Ah, when I was young” But in America, that has not been the case. In America, the older generations tended to say the opposite — “When I was a kid, things were worse.”

Can we return to the America of my youth? No. Can we return to the best values of that time? Yes. But not if both houses of Congress, the presidency and the Supreme Court move the country even further leftward. If that happens, many of the above noted changes will simply be accelerated: More laws restricting “offensive” speech will be enacted; litigation will increase and trial lawyers will gain more power; the American military will be less valued; trees will gradually replace the flag as our most venerated symbol; schools will teach even less as they concentrate even more on diversity, sexuality and the environment; teenage sex will be increasingly accepted; American identity will continue to be replaced by ethnic, racial, gender or “world citizen” identity; and the power of the state will expand further as the power of the individual inevitably contracts. It’s hard to believe most Americans really want that.”

Patriotism is Repugnant to the Mind of the “Progressive”

“Why I’m Not Patriotic”

By Matthew Rothschild, July 2, 2008

“It’s July 4th again, a day of near-compulsory flag-waving and nation-worshipping. Count me out.

Spare me the puerile parades.

Don’t play that martial music, white boy.

And don’t befoul nature’s sky with your F-16s.

You see, I don’t believe in patriotism.

It’s not that I’m anti-American, but I am anti-patriotic.

Love of country isn’t natural. It’s not something you’re born with. It’s an inculcated kind of love, something that is foisted upon you in the home, in the school, on TV, at church, during the football game.

Yet most people accept it without inspection.

Why?

For when you stop to think about it, patriotism (especially in its malignant morph, nationalism) has done more to stack the corpses millions high in the last 300 years than any other factor, including the prodigious slayer, religion.

The victims of colonialism, from the Congo to the Philippines, fell at nationalism’s bayonet point.

World War I filled the graves with the most foolish nationalism. And Hitler and Mussolini and Imperial Japan brought nationalism to new nadirs. The flags next to the tombstones are but signed confessions—notes left by the killer after the fact.

The millions of victims of Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot have on their death certificates a dual diagnosis: yes communism, but also that other ism, nationalism.

The whole world almost got destroyed because of nationalism during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The bloody battles in Serbia and Bosnia and Croatia in the 1990s fed off the injured pride of competing patriotisms and all their nourished grievances.

In the last five years in Iraq, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians have died because the United States, the patriarch of patriotism, saw fit to impose itself, without just cause, on another country. But the excuse was patriotism, wrapped in Bush’s brand of messianic militarism: that we, the great Americans, have a duty to deliver “God’s gift of freedom” to every corner of the world.

And the Congress swallowed it, and much of the American public swallowed it, because they’ve been fed a steady diet of this swill.

What is patriotism but “the narcissism of petty differences”? That’s Freud’s term, describing the disorder that compels one group to feel superior to another.

Then there’s a little multiplication problem: Can every country be the greatest country in the world?

This belief system magically transforms an accident of birth into some kind of blue ribbon.

“It’s a great country,” said the old Quaker essayist Milton Mayer. “They’re all great countries.”

At times, the appeal to patriotism may be necessary, as when harnessing the group to protect against a larger threat (Hitler) or to overthrow an oppressor (as in the anti-colonial struggles in the Third World).

But it is always a dangerous toxin to play with, and it ought to be shelved with cross and bones on the label except in these most extreme circumstances.

In an article called “Patriot Games” in the current issue of Time magazine (July 7), Peter Beinart, late of The New Republic, inspects his navel for seven pages and then throws the lint all around.

“Conservatives are right,” he says. “To some degree, patriotism must mean loving your country for the same reason you love your family: simply because it is yours.”

And then he criticizes, incoherently, the conservative love-it-or-leave-it types.

The moral folly of his argument he himself exposes: “If liberals love America purely because it embodies ideals like liberty, justice, and equality, why shouldn’t they love Canada—which from a liberal perspective often goes further toward realizing those principles—even more? And what do liberals do,” he asks, “when those universal ideals collide with America’s self-interest? Giving away the federal budget to Africa would probably increase the net sum of justice and equality on the planet, after all. But it would harm Americans and thus be unpatriotic.”

This is a straw man if I ever I saw one, but if the United States gave a lot more of its budget to eradicating poverty and disease in Africa and other parts of the developing world, it might actually make us all safer.

At bottom, note how readily Beinart disposes of “liberty, justice, and equality.”

He has stripped patriotism to its vacuous essence: Love your country because it’s yours.

If we stopped that arm from reflexively saluting and concerned ourselves more with “universal ideals” than with parochial ones, we’d be a lot better off.

We wouldn’t be in Iraq, we wouldn’t have besmirched ourselves at Guantanamo, we wouldn’t be acting like some Argentinean junta that wages illegal wars and tortures people and disappears them into secret dungeons.

Love of country is a form of idolatry.

Listen, if you would, to the wisdom of Milton Mayer, writing back in 1962 a rebuke to JFK for his much-celebrated line: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

Mayer would have none of it. “When Mr. Kennedy spoke those words at his inaugural, I knew that I was at odds with a society which did not immediately rebel against them,” he wrote. “They are the words of totalitarianism pure; no Jefferson could have spoken them, and no Khrushchev could have spoken them better. Could a man say what Mr. Kennedy said and also say that the difference between us and them is that they believe that man exists for the State and we believe that the State exists for man? He couldn’t, but he did. And in doing so, he read me out of society.”

When Americans retort that this is still the greatest country in the world, I have to ask why.

Are we the greatest country because we have 10,000 nuclear weapons?

No, that just makes us enormously powerful, with the capacity to destroy the Earth itself.

Are we the greatest country because we have soldiers stationed in more than 120 countries?

No, that just makes us an empire, like the empires of old, only more so.

Are we the greatest country because we are one-twentieth of the world’s population but we consume one-quarter of its resources?

No, that just must makes us a greedy and wasteful nation.

Are we the greatest country because the top 1 percent of Americans hoards 34 percent of the nation’s wealth, more than everyone in the bottom 90 percent combined?

No, that just makes us a vastly unequal nation.

Are we the greatest country because corporations are treated as real, live human beings with rights?

No, that just enshrines a plutocracy in this country.

Are we the greatest country because we take the best care of our people’s basic needs?

No, actually we don’t. We’re far down the list on health care and infant mortality and parental leave and sick leave and quality of life.

So what exactly are we talking about here?

To the extent that we’re a great (not the greatest, mind you: that’s a fool’s game) country, we’re less of a great country today.

Because those things that truly made us great—the system of checks and balances, the enshrinement of our individual rights and liberties—have all been systematically assaulted by Bush and Cheney.

From the Patriot Act to the Military Commissions Act to the new FISA Act, and all the signing statements in between, we are less great today.

From Abu Ghraib and Bagram Air Force Base and Guantanamo, we are less great today.

From National Security Presidential Directive 51 (giving the Executive responsibility for ensuring constitutional government in an emergency) to National Security Presidential Directive 59 (expanding the collection of our biometric data), we are less great today.

From the Joint Terrorism Task Forces to InfraGard and the Terrorist Liaison Officers, we are less great today.

Admit it. We don’t have a lot to brag about today.

It is time, it is long past time, to get over the American superiority complex.

It is time, it is long past time, to put patriotism back on the shelf—out of the reach of children and madmen.”

From http://www.progressive.org/mag/wx070208, “Progressive Magazine” (no surprise)

When Patriotism Died in France

Read Thomas Sowell’s article at: http://www.townhall.com/columnists/ThomasSowell/2008/07/02/does_patriotism_matter?page=full&comments=true

“Most Americans today are unaware of how much our schools have followed in the footsteps of the French schools of the 1920s and 1930s, or how much our intellectuals have become citizens of the world instead of American patriots.

Our media are busy verbally transforming American combat troops from heroes into victims, just as the French intelligentsia did– with the added twist of calling this “supporting the troops.” “