July 29, 2011
The Gray Lady’s Sexual Agenda Revealed
By Tara Servatius
Giddy after the recent legalization of gay marriage in New York, the editors at the New York Times are laying out the left’s post-gay marriage agenda in the paper’s pages for all to see.
What they clearly want is a country that is sexually unrecognizable from the one we live in today, one where marital infidelity is accepted as a lifestyle choice and actually celebrated, and traditional marriage is legally marginalized and removed from the public square.
Times op-ed columnist Ross Douthat essentially laid out the cultural side of the left’s and the Times’ post-gay marriage agenda in a July column.
Gay marriage supporters called liberationists “hope that gay marriage will help knock marriage off its cultural pedestal altogether,” Douthat explained.
To liberationists, if traditional marriage becomes the “gold standard” for relationships both gay and straight, the gay marriage movement will have “failed in its deeper mission,” which he describes as introducing a “greater freedom than can be found in the one-size-fits-all rules of marriage.”
The apparent hope is that legalized gay marriages will be more openly sexually promiscuous than straight marriage, providing an example that would then influence heterosexual couples to adopt the same open-marriage lifestyle.
In a June article called “Married, With Infidelities,” the Times used gay activist and columnist Dan Savage’s open marriage as the new model for straight marriages that should take root culturally from the legalization of gay marriage.
In the article the Times praised Savage for arguing against the American obsession with strict fidelity. “In its place he proposes a sensibility that we might call American Gay Male, after that community’s tolerance for pornography, fetishes and a variety of partnered arrangements, from strict monogamy to wide openness,” the Times article reads.
“A more flexible attitude within marriage may be just what the straight community needs,” the article continues. “Treating monogamy, rather than honesty or joy or humor, as the main indicator of a successful marriage gives people unrealistic expectations of themselves and their partners.”
While straight marriage has its share of infidelity, studies show that gay male marriages are often very different from traditional straight marriages. Gay partnerships are far more culturally accepting of infidelity before the fact, and in many it is even expected. According to the book Sex in America: A Definitive Survey, 100 percent of male gay couples in the study experienced infidelity in their relationships in the first five years and those who stayed together past the 10-year mark did so only by accepting the painful reality of infidelity in their relationships. Some 85 percent of the couples reported that their greatest relationship problems centered on issues related to outside relationships.
That’s the cultural side of the left’s new battle to take down marriage. In court, the new, post-gay marriage goal of the left will apparently be to attempt to remove marriage, and any special legal significance that comes with it, from the public square in much the same way they’ve sought to strip out God.
Before the new gay marriage law even hit the books in New York, Columbia University Law Professor Katherine M. Franke, a gay marriage supporter, was championing the next step.
“While many in our community have worked hard to secure the right of same-sex couples to marry, others of us have been working equally hard to develop alternatives to marriage,” Franke explained in the Times:
Winning the right to marry is one thing; being forced to marry is quite another. How’s that? If the rollout of marriage equality in other states, like Massachusetts, is any guide, lesbian and gay people who have obtained health and other benefits for their domestic partners will be required by both public and private employers to marry their partners in order to keep those rights. In other words, “winning” the right to marry may mean “losing” the rights we have now as domestic partners, as we’ll be folded into the all-or-nothing world of marriage … This moment provides an opportunity to reconsider whether we ought to force people to marry — whether they be gay or straight — to have their committed relationships recognized and valued.
You can see where they’re going with this.
As gay marriage becomes more firmly established, the next set of lawsuits will be discrimination claims by domestic partners against any institution that legally recognizes marriage in a bid to put domestic partnership on an equal legal footing with marriage. Franke and others like her want the rest of the country to operate like New York City, where same-sex and opposite-sex couples can by law register as domestic partners and are entitled to the same benefits as married couples.
The acceptance of infidelity theme has been subtly pushed at the Times for over a year now. The paper caused major controversy in December when it fawningly profiled the marriage of a homewrecking couple, who met at the school their children both attended while married to other spouses, in the “Vows” section of its bridal guide.
But married couples aren’t the only targets for the Times’ sexual revolution. The paper just printed a piece suggesting that parents follow the Dutch model and allow their teenaged kids to bring their partners home for sex so they don’t have to sneak around. So far, the Times hasn’t been clear on whether mom and dad should go out to meet their own extramarital partners for sex, or whether they should bring them home, too, for one big family sleepover.
Tara Servatius is a radio talk show host. Follow her @TaraServatius and on Facebook.
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2011/07/the_gray_ladys_sexual_agenda_revealed.html at July 30, 2011 – 08:11:41 PM CDT
July 25, 2011
By Randall Hoven
The false narrative is that the Tea Party is a bunch of stubborn nuts, if not outright racists. In truth, the Tea Party has been right about everything, while almost everyone else has been nuts, especially the “experts.”
Minimum wage. One of the first things Democrats did after taking back Congress in 2007 was raise the federal minimum wage 41% from 2007 to 2009. Result? The unemployment rate went from 4.4% in May 2007 to 10.1% in 2009. It is 9.2% even today — four years later.
As for teens, the unemployment rate went from 14.9% to 27.1%, the highest ever recorded, meaning since 1948. Today it is still a high 24.5%. And for blacks: from a low of 7.9% in 2007 to 16.5% in 2010. It is still a high 16.2%.
The Democrat Congress also decided to apply the same minimum wages to American Samoa. Results? Near-decimation of its economy, one that had been based largely on low-cost tuna canning and textile work.
… employment fell 19 percent from 2008 to 2009 … tuna canning employment fell 55 percent from 2009 to 2010… Average inflation-adjusted earnings fell by 5 percent from 2008 to 2009 and by 11 percent from 2006 to 2009.
Of course, some of the increase in unemployment was a result of the Great Recession. But the Employment Policies Institute did a study to separate the effects for the most vulnerable group: males aged 16-24 without high school diploma. EPI’s answer: the minimum wage increase killed over 100,000 jobs (31% of the lost jobs) for that demographic.
TARP. Unless you were a politician or executive of a large bank, you were likely against the Troubled Asset Relief Program. I would guess that most anyone now calling herself a member of the Tea Party was against TARP in 2008. But Senator Barack Obama voted for it, along with most of his Democrat colleagues. Also the top brains of the Stupid Party pushed it: Henry Paulson, George W. Bush, and John McCain.
On October 3, 2008, Congress authorized Treasury Secretary Paulson to use up to $350 billion under TARP to do what was needed to stave off financial disaster. By December, after using $267B, Paulson said he was done, crisis averted. (Of course his successor, Tim Geithner, was not done.)
Here’s the funny thing: while Paulson was lending out less than $0.3 trillion, the Federal Reserve was lending out over $16T to do about the same thing! By my calculations, Paulson’s TARP slush fund was less than 2% the size of the Federal Reserve’s.
Do you think that 2% was critical to staving off financial apocalypse? (FYI, over 3T of the Fed’s emergency loans were to subsidiaries of foreign-owned banks.)
When the dust cleared, the federal government owned two bankrupt car companies and the god-awful home mortgage portfolios of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — entities that had nothing to do with the original purpose of TARP.
Global markets were so enamored with TARP that there was an immediate sell-off of about 20% in global stock markets the moment it went into effect. I also credit TARP, and McCain’s reaction to it, for McCain’s loss to Obama. Ever since, all budget discussions have involved units of trillions instead of mere billions. The world has not been the same since TARP.
Stimulus. Opposition to Obama’s stimulus was the origin of the Tea Party. Now we know the story.
How the stimulus was sold: It would create three million jobs or more. It would keep the unemployment rate under 8%, instead of 9% without a stimulus. It would cost $787B. The jobs were shovel-ready.
What really happened: There are 1.2 million fewer jobs now than when the stimulus was passed. Unemployment went over 10% (vs. prediction of 8%) and is still over 9% (vs. prediction of about 6.8% at this time). It cost $814B or more. Maybe 6% of it went to infrastructure projects. Obama’s reaction? A little joke: “Shovel ready was not as shovel ready as we expected.”
Of course, Obama and his minions simply blame this on their underestimating the size of the mess they inherited from Bush. But that has been studied by economists at the University of Western Ontario and Ohio State University. The verdict: the stimulus itself cost about one million private-sector jobs; the net job loss was about 595,000. We’d have been better off without any “stimulus” at all, just as the Tea Party said.
ObamaCare. ObamaCare was sold as a way to bend the health “cost curve” down. As it turned out, it is bending the cost curve up — health care will be more costly than it would have been without ObamaCare. It’s so great that in its first year about 1,500 companies, states, and unions were granted waivers.
ObamaCare strangled the recovery in the crib. The private sector has been generating only 6,400 jobs per month since it was passed, compared to 67,600 before. We would never return to pre-recession unemployment levels at the current pace. ObamaCare is costing us over 60,000 jobs per month.
Drilling moratorium. According to a new study by IHS Global Insight, merely picking up the pace in granting oil drilling permits would go a long way in producing jobs throughout the US, adding to GDP and reducing dependency on foreign oil sources. In 2012 alone it could mean 230,000 new jobs, $44B more in GDP, 150 million more barrels of oil, and $15B less in imported oil.
Budgets. Now we find ourselves in another budget fight, with the Tea Party getting the blame from much of the media and liberal punditry. The truth is that Democrats have not even written, much less passed, a budget of any kind in over two years; they simply kill everyone else’s.
The Republican-led House passed a budget on schedule in April. Senate Democrats voted it down.
Obama proposed a budget in February. The Congressional Budget Office scored it as having a 10-year cumulative deficit of $9.5 trillion. The Democrat-led Senate voted that down too, 97-0.
The House proposed the only written plan for addressing the debt ceiling — the Cut, Cap and Balance plan. Senate Democrats voted that down, too.
It shouldn’t take a keen insight to see that Senate Democrats are the “Party of No” and the obstacle to resolving budget and debt issues.
Uncertainty and arbitrariness. Just last December Obama said keeping Bush’s tax rates was critical to keeping the recovery going. He and the Democrat Congress at the time extended them for another two years, plus added over $300 B in additional tax cuts and credits. Now, just seven months later, Obama insists that any deal to raise the debt ceiling must include tax increases.
Like ObamaCare, the Dodd-Frank bill to regulate all finance in the country is a thousand-page-plus piece of legislation. As the New York Times understated it just after its passage, “[a] number of the details have been left for regulators to work out.” Got it? Those thousand-plus pages did not include the details.
The EPA now has power to regulate every use of fossil fuels in this country, as well as every breath we take, if they so deem. What will it do with that power? You get to guess. If you think it wouldn’t do anything too stupid, know that the FDA just outlawed common inhalers for asthma sufferers. Their reason was, get this, those inhalers are blamed for contributing to upper-atmosphere ozone loss.
Even if you think CFCs contribute to ozone loss, how much do you think the CFCs released by asthma inhalers have to do with it? And how much is the indirect and ambiguous loss of ozone worth compared to the direct and known suffering of asthma patients? Such is the wisdom of government regulators.
The list is endless. If you were thinking of starting a business or making an investment that might not pay off for five or ten years, would you feel like you know the rules and could depend on them? No, you’d hunker down, which is exactly what everyone with any money left is doing right now.
This jobless recovery is not some mystery. It is very clearly the result of decisions — decisions made by Obama and the Democrats. At every opportunity they grew government, shrank the private sector, and viewed budding enterprises as little more than beasts of burden — something to whip while healthy and carve up and eat when not.
As Robert Mugabe viewed white-owned farms, Obama views corporations not yet in Chapter 11.
Nothing Democrats did helped; everything they did hurt. Everything. Min wage. TARP. Stimulus. ObamaCare. The Gulf oil spill. Every budget they ever proposed, written or not. Every little czar they put in place to spend other people’s money and to bully the only productive people still toiling away at the thankless tasks of making stuff and providing jobs.
At every point, the Tea Party and its sympathizers tried to stop these idiocies, only to be called ignorant racists. You might want to ask yourself why so many people talk of the “Tea Party,” whatever that is, the way Lenin and Stalin talked of kulaks and saboteurs, whoever they were.
Do “taxed enough already,” “stop spending,” and “obey the Constitution” sound that crazy to you? If so, you might want to think about why you think so.
Randall Hoven can be followed on Twitter. His bio and previous writings can be found at randallhoven.com.
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2011/07/the_tea_party_right_about_everything.html at July 30, 2011 – 08:10:17 PM CDT
A Fling with the Welfare State
From the best of intentions to bankruptcy and recriminations
Ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt linked “freedom from want” to “freedom of speech” and “freedom of worship,” the left has been talking of everything that it thinks would be nice to have in terms of an utter and absolute right: a right to a job and a right to an income, a right to retire in comfort in Florida, a right to the most advanced health care without paying much for it, and a right to have your children taken care of while you work all day at your job. The problem is that these are all goods and services, though of varying importance, and goods and rights are not the same things. People tend to concur upon rights (except for the speech rights of those who oppose them), and they do not depend upon others to supply and pay for their rights. With goods, there is always a political argument: about the value of the good, who is to get it and who is to pay. And all this comes down to the question of “fairness,” about which there is no end of disputation and grief.
And on nothing does the rights/goods division loom larger than on the issue of health care. Rights come from nature, and cost no one money, but good health in nature is rare. It is only thanks to human ingenuity over centuries and billions of dollars of effort that we have been able to conquer illnesses not long ago fatal, rebuild bodies broken in war or by accidents, postpone or ameliorate the problems of aging, and bring people back from the dead. The roll call of miracles that surrounds us today—the vaccines and the pills that have vanquished infections, the devices that let amputees run marathons, the organ transplants and the open heart surgeries, the techniques that replace hips, knees, and heart valves, not to mention the treatments that make so many public men cancer survivors, that saved Bob Dole years ago, are saving Dick Cheney, and once kept John Kennedy able to function—all of these are the result of the time, sweat, and strain of doctors and nurses, technicians and scientists, inventors and makers of drugs and devices, administrators of hospitals and large corporations, whose time is expensive, and who need to be paid.
Paid by whom, one may ask? Not by the patient alone, as the cost of a serious illness or accident overwhelms the resources of all but a few. They are paid by the state, or a private insurer, which in turn are funded by citizens, through taxes, or premiums paid.
But when costly new drugs and treatments appear on the scene (and are demanded by patients) they are paid for by hikes in the taxes and premiums, which reduce the money people have to spend elsewhere. This is true for governments, too. They either end up rationing care, cutting back other programs, or simply printing money. The people who insisted that goods had to be treated as rights, (which is to say, as universal and limitless), refused to seek cuts, and went on printing money. Even as the whole western world seemed to run out of money, the Obama administration decided it was high time for a massive expansion of government benefits. Then, in early May 2010, just after the American left passed its huge and hugely unpopular health care reform bill, the republic of Greece hit a wall.
From that day on, the world and the country would be given a series of lessons in the dangers inherent in treating a good as a right. The European Union extended a bailout to Greece in exchange for a series of deep cuts. The country was to reduce its deficit from 13.6 percent of its gross national product to less than 1 percent in 2015, by way of “reduced wage costs in the public sector . . . and lower defense and health care spending.” Other countries in Europe began preemptive measures to deal with their own budget problems. In Britain, David Cameron planned cuts of $130 billion over a five-year period, cutting welfare and causing riots by raising fees in universities. In France, Nicolas Sarkozy raised the retirement age from 60 to 62, and limited pensions. In Spain, Socialist José Luis Zapatero did much the same thing. “An elaborate cocoon of benefits faces disassembly,” the Washington Postreported on May 15, 2010. “We can’t finance our social model any more,” the European Council president said. “Workers have been forced to accept salary freezes, decreased hours, postponed retirements and health care reductions,” Edward Cody wrote in the Post on April 25, 2011. “From blanket health insurance to long vacations and early retirement, the cozy social benefits that have been a way of life [in Europe] appear be luxuries the continent can no longer afford.”
In the United States, the states patterned most on the Old Europe model—those with high taxes, high spending, and strong public unions—suffered the same plight as Europe, while those with free-market models did not. “The eight states with no state income tax grew 18 percent in the past decade,” Michael Barone tells us. “The other states grew just 8 percent.” The 22 states with right-to-work laws grew 15 percent in the past decade, the 28 others grew 6 percent. The 16 states that don’t require collective bargaining with state employees grew 15 percent, the others grew 7 percent. The most rapid growth—21 percent—was in the Rocky Mountain states and Texas, which have low taxes, weak unions, and light regulation.
Among the states with high taxes, strong unions, and heavy public employee pension burdens are those in the Rust Belt around the Great Lakes. As Matt Continetti writes in the Washington Post, “Five of the eight states that border the Great Lakes now have Republican governors working to limit union power,” while one Democrat, New York’s Andrew Cuomo, son of a much revered liberal icon, has been praised by New Jersey’s Chris Christie as his cost-cutting twin. And to everyone’s shock, the Democratic legislature in Massachusetts has voted to rein in unions, too.
“For decades, the Great Lakes states have subscribed to a high-tax, high-spend, closed-shop political model,” explains Continetti. “That hasn’t worked out.” That didn’t work out in Europe (whose welfare states the American left has always looked up to); that didn’t work out in American states such as California and Michigan; that didn’t work out in Detroit, which is becoming a wasteland in spite of massive infusions of government money, and that didn’t work out for General Motors, which turned in time into a retirement plan with a car company attached to it, which priced itself out of the general market while foreign car companies built factories in right-to-work states in the South, employed hundreds of thousands of people, and took its share of the market away. It probably won’t work out in Illinois, either, where the Democratic governor passed a massive tax increase, and the Republican governors of neighboring states invited Illinois businessmen to relocate there.
Was it wrong for the liberals to try to create an entitlement paradise when World War II ended? No, the war’s end seemed a good time to start over; the link between the rights that they fought for and the “right” to a middle-class standard of living seemed rather more plausible then, and they had no way of knowing it might one day prove too expensive. When Roosevelt signed Social Security into law, it was meant to start coverage at age 65 at a time when 58 was the average life span of male Americans. (Roosevelt himself died at 63 ten years later.) When President Johnson signed Medicare, life spans were still well below today’s standards, and most major medical breakthroughs were still in the future. (Johnson also would die in his 60s.) Neither imagined a world in which people routinely lived into their 80s and 90s, with knee replacements and heart transplants and home dialysis machines. Roosevelt opposed public employee unions, whose pension demands and early retirements are now driving some of our states and cities into bankruptcy. It’s easier to think of goods as rights when the costs are low, and they therefore take little from others. It’s when the costs rise—as in medical treatments—that the political trade-offs rise, too.
And of course, their intentions were laudable. But so are those of most people, within the bounds of what they think is realistic, is feasible, and is likely to work out in real life. Two times in recent memory Americans have tried to “fix” health care, and each time the script is the same. They start out, according to pollsters, by trying to think it’s a right. They think it unfair that income can alter the access to treatments. They bleed for poor people whose children are sick. They know they are one diagnosis or car crash away from financial as well as from medical challenges. They want everyone to be covered, no one turned down due to pre-existing conditions, want no limits on payments for medical treatments. Encouraged, Democrats draw up their bills, proudly present them, and wait for the thanks of the rapturous public. Then the fine print is revealed, and people are shocked at the expense and conditions. It’s then that their attitudes change.
What the fine print reveals beyond disputation is that health care is a good, not a right; that goods involve trade-offs, and that the trade-offs are high: higher costs and less choice for those covered already, rationing inflicted by government bureaucrats, interference by bureaucrats in medical doings, doctors threatening to leave the profession, less incentive (and money) to develop new treatments and drugs. They still want what they wanted before, but not at the cost of the harm it will wreak on the system in general. They vote their concerns, and 1994 and 2010 turned out very badly for Democrats. Stunned, Democrats fall back on their noble intentions, and say their opponents are mean.
They aren’t mean, of course, merely weighing their options, and finding that the costs to be paid by all of the people outweigh the gains made by the few. It would be mean indeed if standards declined, hospitals closed, cancer patients had to wait months for surgery, or if life-saving treatments stopped being developed. It would be mean indeed if the burdens of welfare brought down the economy. And nothing would be meaner than if Medicare remained unreformed and ran out of money, or if Social Security also ran out of money, because trimming benefits, raising the age of retirement, or imposing a means test is “mean.”
It was not wrong to have a fling with the welfare state sixty-five years ago, when it was a noble experiment that had not yet been attempted. It is wrong to ignore the evidence that in some ways it is failing, that the model set up has become unsustainable, and that renovations are needed if its critical functions are to survive. Goods are not rights. Pensions and access to health care remain social goods that a decent society will try to provide to its -people. But goods are not rights, and the old model, which claimed that they are, is broken. We need a new one, which provides sustainable ways to convey social goods to those who most need them. Good intentions are fine, but without means they are useless. They are the things with which the road to Gehenna is paved.
Noemie Emery is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and a columnist for the Washington Examiner.
July 20, 2011
By Robin of Berkeley
One of my friends voluntarily attended an event recently, one that I wouldn’t go to for a million bucks (well, maybe a million bucks). It was called Erasing White Privilege.
My friend, whom I’ll call Andrea, sat in a room with other whites on one side, and people of color on the other. Then the whites sheepishly confessed any real or imagined offenses perpetuated against a person of color.
After the whites tried to atone for their guilt, the people of color got involved: yelling at them, preaching, and discharging much rage. Andrea’s rendition of the events reminded me of those angerfests that were popular in the ’70s.
Back then, people would pay to be in encounter groups, where they’d holler and smack each other with foam bats. The idea was that by releasing anger, everyone would feel better.
But guess what the research eventually found? By raging at another person (whether he deserves it or not), our anger doesn’t dissipate; it grows. And the deleterious effects are not just emotional. Blood pressure rises and muscle tension increases, promoting hypertension and musculoskeletal pain.
But the studies don’t matter; these days it’s all about white guilt and minority rage. And the endgame isn’t reconciliation and racial healing. We’re living in a creepy age where revenge is the order of the day, where the left wants to seize power under the lofty guise of justice.
Personally, I have never had a moment of white guilt in my life. Now this is a significant statement given that I am Jewish and from New York. I feel guilty about pretty much everything!
But I feel guilty about what I do — or don’t do. If I inadvertently hurt a friend’s feelings, if I am ill-mannered to a clerk, if I disappoint my husband, I can find myself drowning in a sea of guilt and shame.
But guilt because of the color of my skin? Guilt because some white person in 1960s Selma, Alabama refused to allow a black person into his restaurant? Guilt because while my relatives were being raped and pillaged in Russia, a small minority of white people owned slaves (as did, by the way, some free slaves)? I might as well feel guilty about the train wreck that is Casey Anthony simply because she and I share the same race, gender, and sexual orientation.
The idea of collective guilt is not just absurd; it’s evil. It’s saying that all Jews were bad because some may have committed some injustice in Germany, circa l940. It’s saying that all Israelis are responsible if someone injures a Palestinian. Or that all whites are culpable for the actions of others 50 or 150 years ago. Collective guilt is a notion that is so laser-focused on race, it is actually racist.
It’s also anti-God because no legitimate religion preaches culpability based on race or gender. According to Hinduism and Buddhism, we each reap what we sow karmically. Christians and Jews believe in individual accountability for sins on Judgment Day.
Of course, many religions have twisted things around, with liberal churches and synagogues promoting the notion of white guilt. There’s a reason for this: it’s safer to hide behind the behavior of an entire race than stand naked before God. I sure wouldn’t want to be Bill Ayers or Bernadine Dohrn the day they arrive at the Pearly Gates (if they make it there at all).
It’s so much easier to merge with the crowd, to assume that God will be placated by über-recycling. How sobering to realize that we will one day be judged by our character and our faith — not whether we voted for Obama.
But if this age is all about guilt and confession, I have a burning question. Why isn’t everyone required to confess their political sins? If I’m supposed to sit in a room, and tearfully confess, Oprah-style, about every judgmental thought I’ve ever had, why aren’t people of color required to do the same?
Frankly, I wouldn’t mind an apology from the black kids in middle school who taunted and threatened me because of the color of my skin. I’d like a big “I’m sorry” from the gangs of black girls in high school who, enraged by forced busing, mowed me down in the hallway. And for when I went to the Arab Market in Israel as a teenager and seven different Arab men, in seven separate incidents, grabbed my private parts, I’m more than ready to hear an apology.
And I’m also waiting with bated breath for apologies from the following: the black dude in pre-Giuliani Manhattan who fondled me in a similar way; the black man in Berkeley who mugged me, leaving me with a black eye and broken nose to die (I didn’t) in the middle of the street; and the countless black men in Berkeley who have called me a “f___g white b___” when I didn’t give them spare change.
But I don’t want an apology because of white privilege or black privilege, or any such nonsense — but because it is wrong to molest, mug, or otherwise violate another human being — no exceptions! This has nothing to do with race but everything to do with about human decency and consideration.
But in Obama’s America, there’s little human decency to be found. The rules have changed, and they consist of the new three Rs: rage, revenge, and reparations. And this malignant game of Blaming Whitey will go on and on until we call it what it is (hate), walk away from the table, and refuse to play.
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2011/07/black_privilege.html at July 20, 2011 – 07:29:47 PM CDT
Progressives can’t allow anyone not to view homosexuality as unhealthy or to even stand up against them.
July 11, 2011
By Jay Clarke
Barack Obama has many names. He’s been called Savior, Messiah, and The Anointed One. He’s the first biracial and, some say, first post-racial president. He is charged as the leader of the free world, defender of democracy, and America’s head of state. He’s an accomplished organizer, spellbinding orator, and historically significant occupant of the Oval Office. And, he is a tyrant.
Americans hate tyrants. Tyrants are ruthless villains, hostile to the basic freedoms granted to humanity by God. Enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have spoken hope to Americans and to freedom-loving people around the world for 235 years. But, these basic, God-given rights are under assault. Not by international forces, but from within. From within America. From within the U.S. government itself and directly from the Office of the President.
Writing in the New England Journal of Political Science, Kris Aaron Beck and Prathibha V. Joshi discuss tyranny and tyrants in exhaustive detail in their work “On Tyranny: The Political and Economic Characteristics of the Authoritarian Regime.” According to Beck and Joshi, tyrants and tyrannies differ depending upon the political systems that they seek to dominate. Yet, there are characteristics common to all tyrants:
#1. Consolidation of Power (page 65).
Tyrants move quickly to centralize and consolidate power by “investing into one entity the authority to make political decisions previously found within multiple institutions.”
Barack Obama is currently in the consolidation phase of his tyrannical foray. He violates laws with impunity, forcing Congress and/or the Supreme Court to rein him in. Obama’s response to accusations of illegal activity might best be paraphrased as “You don’t like it? So sue me.”
Long, drawn out legal battles work in Obama’s favor. Legal attempts to rein in such a tyrant can be frustrating and only serve to give the apostate leader additional time and freedom to strengthen his hold.
By definition, tyranny is the “arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power.” Whether it’s Congressional oversight, court orders, or the American People, Obama is well-versed in circumventing any authority that may seek to limit his acquisition of power.
Though unpopular, unwanted, and un-Constitutional, he rammed a $2-trillion healthcare bill down the throats of an unwilling American people and then defied court orders restricting its implementation. He has violated the War Powers Act in Libya and has ignored court orders regarding his moratorium on offshore drilling.
In a move worthy of any would-be tyrant, Obama has proposed illegally requiring businesses competing for government contracts to disclose their political contributions.
Clearly in violation of the 4th Amendment, Obama and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano applaud the TSA’s warrantless groping of men, women, children, the elderly, and the infirm during airport screenings that reek of police state tactics.
The Justice Department has gone rogue too, ceasing defense of The Defense of Marriage Act and prosecution of hate crimes when the victims are white. Attorney General Eric Holder refused to prosecute the New Black Panther Party when members brandished clubs, made ethnic slurs, and threatened white voters attempting to enter the polls.
Obama’s federal power-grab has expanded into suing and threatening states. He sued Arizona for daring to enforce immigration law and joined a lawsuit against Indiana’s defunding of Planned Parenthood. The ATF is pressuring Montana and 7 additional states for passing the Firearms Freedom Act which restricts Federal regulation of firearms made and sold within the states’ borders. Obama even threatened to declare the entire state of Texas a “no fly zone” should the Texas legislature criminalize TSA screening procedures.
As a raw, political tactic Obama has refused to secure the southern border while Americans die on American soil at the hands of criminal illegal aliens. Undaunted, lawless Obama used executive powers to enact immigration policies through the back door, bypassing Congress and the rule of law.
When Obama’s Cap and Trade carbon-taxing scheme failed in Congress, he simply had the EPA declare carbon to be a toxic pollutant and open to regulation.
This is tyranny. And it must be stopped.
#2. Excessive Self-Love (page 45).
The defining characteristic of all tyrants, “…excessive self-love characterizes tyrannies and tyrants above all else[.]”
Tyrants are runaway narcissists. Lovers of self. Mirror-gazers. Free from empathy and empowered by apathy, these individuals are the users and abusers of society. Jailhouses are full of narcissists. As prolific serial liars, they live in a fantasy world of their own grandiose accomplishments, none of which have ever really occurred. A narcissist is a legend in his own mind. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Mugabe, Fidel Castro, Idi Amin, Kim Jong-il, Saddam Hussein, Hugo Chavez, Vladimir Putin — is it even arguable that these and others represent the dark extremes of self-love? Is it not then a concern that America’s current president is world-renowned for his enormous ego, his arrogant behavior and haughty manner, his dismissive attitude and belief that he’s always the smartest guy in the room?
#3. They Hate the Middle Class (page 83).
“…tyrannies loathe the development of a large middle-class even though it can act as an engine of economic growth.”
A thriving middle class is dangerous for any tyrant. With time and income to allow for certain luxuries, middle-class citizens can also become politically active. A strong and vibrant middle class is essential for a healthy economy, but it is also a driving force for the expansion of liberty. Liberty is a tyrant’s Kryptonite. It would stand to reason that the destruction of the middle class by the reduction of middle-class wealth would be an endgame for the tyrant in training.
The 4-year-long mortgage meltdown coupled with real unemployment numbers as high as 22% is decimating the middle class. Middle-class wealth has traditionally been in the equity of their homes and every day, homeowners are stripped of their futures as home values plummet. Many will never recover and never own another home. Formerly proud homeowners are being forced into subservience to a landlord. But which landlord? The Federal Government is now the largest single owner of residential property in the United States. And they are renting. The largest transfer of wealth in American history is happening right now, foreclosure by foreclosure, from the middle class to the Federal Government.
#4. A Vision for the Country (page 70).
“To further their control and justify that initial oppression, tyrants offer a vision for the country that includes where they believe the country should go and how to solve its problems…”
Hitler preached an evil hybrid of German nationalism and racial hatred. Mao’s Cultural Revolution sought to stamp out all cultural influences not in agreement with his socialist agenda. Barack Obama’s vision is social justice. Social justice is an idea tailor-made for tyrants. In his 3-volume work Law, Legislation and Liberty, F.A. Hayek warns of the dangers of social justice. On page 68 of Volume II, The Mirage of Social Justice, he tells us that “[s]o long as the belief in ‘social justice’ governs political action, this process must progressively approach nearer and nearer to a totalitarian system.”
With a smiling face, bold oratory, and lofty-sounding ideals, Barack Obama was able to convince America to trust him with the most powerful office in the world. He was thought to be unique. A healer. A man who would bind up the nation’s wounds and help us to move beyond the national shame of 246 years of slavery and a 100-year struggle for civil rights. He promised to improve America’s standing in the world, strengthen our economy, and promote fairness and equality. In 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his most famous speech, I Have A Dream. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” America wondered if Barack Obama might be the fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream. As it turns out, he was.
Regardless of political persuasion, race, or economic status, most Americans quietly hoped that Barack Obama would succeed as president, grow our economy, and live up to his Oath of Office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Thirty months into his term as president, the evidence is overwhelming and America is horrified. Americans en masse have awakened to a president drunk with the wine of presidential power. Lawless, unaccountable, and unwilling to be restrained, Barack Obama has broken trust with America and he is being judged just as Dr. King had dreamed. Not by the color of his skin, but by the delinquent content of his character.
Barack Obama has many names. A new one is offered here for America to consider.
“Tyrannus Obama Rex.”
Obama, the Tyrant King.
Jay Clarke is a businessman and lifelong conservative from Southern California. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2011/07/tyrannus_obama_rex.html at July 11, 2011 – 07:58:01 PM CDT
July 4, 2011
By Frank Burke
Alzheimer’s is one of the most terrifying diseases because it is the thief of memory. And, without memory, we know neither where we have been nor where we are capable of going. Rather, we exist in a perpetual present, futile because it leaves no trace.
As tragic as this is for an individual, how much more so is it for a nation and a people to lose the recall of their collective identity? There can be no doubt that this is what is happening in the United States.
Although there is an increasing awareness of the pitiful state of our educational system as a whole and the liberal bias and ideology that infects the teaching of history, that is only part of the problem. Another aspect that moves beyond just the historical to include virtually all of the social sciences involves cultural literacy. Though difficult to precisely define because it is forever evolving, cultural literacy includes not only what is formally learned but information acquired through the entire range of human experience. This can include independent reading, entertainment, the oral tradition, and any other experience that informs us with regard to our collective culture. It is important because of its variety and diversity, its scope of thought and action, and its importance to the learning and thinking process as a whole.
Some of the most vital tools of learning include analogy, simile, and metaphor. To say that an individual is as “graceful as Fred Astaire” or as “rich as Rockefeller” is meaningless unless the one to whom we are speaking has seen a Fred Astaire movie or understands who John D. Rockefeller was. Granted, over time terminology changes and some cultural literacy is justifiably lost. Although it remains a delightful song, younger listeners of Cole Porter’s “You’re the Top” — a series of wonderful analogies — can be forgiven for not recognizing the allusions to “a Bendel bonnet,” “Garbo’s salary,” and “cellophane.” Perhaps what is more important is that they understand who Cole Porter was.
In inquiring as to the reason for the decline in both the rational teaching of history and the knowledge of cultural literacy, two particular elements stand out: the emphasis on minority status, and the cult of victimization.
Historically, the United States has followed a model in which some aspects of the immigrant identity have been left behind in favor of a new, and perceived better, ideation. Members of immigrant groups, while retaining some of their favored traditions, foods, etc., sought to become Americans first. They learned, and insisted that their children learn, English and, even under conditions of privation, took pride in their new identity. The motto, “E pluribus unum” (“Out of many, one”), originally descriptive of the thirteen colonies forming a single nation, was extended as a reference to the many nationalities that combined to form one people.
In the process, often despite initial prejudice, a great sharing occurred. We learned to enjoy one another’s foods and music and to appreciate the contributions made by members of other ethnic and religious groups to our society. A great source of our strength was the ability to assimilate multiple contributors.
The movement away from our traditional “melting pot” philosophy resulted initially from the hijacking of a portion of the Civil Rights Movement by the liberal advocates of government growth and intrusion. The dream of equality of legal access and opportunity shared by Dr. King and many of the movement’s pioneers was taken by liberal agitators to be achievable only through a succession of entitlements and programs that required a vast bureaucracy. Members of that bureaucracy in turn realized that their continued employment, and indeed advancement, necessitated a population to serve and so encouraged a cult of victimization that endorsed lifestyles and behaviors that destroyed initiative, incentivized poor choices, and kept those involved in a perpetual state of victimhood. It was not long before certain elements in other groups realized the financial, social, and media advantages that could accrue through isolating members of a defined group and portraying themselves as victims of the larger society. The resultant proliferation of separatist groups and the accordant demonization of American society as a whole would result in a large-scale withdrawal from the collective identity in favor of an alien status.
A key component of the disaffected agenda involves an exaggerated emphasis on the contributions of each particular sector to the country, as well as the wholesale demonization of the social forces working, both past and present, to keep them down. By introducing multiple heavily biased accounts at the expense of an overall historic survey, history was corrupted and an appreciation of American’s great achievement lost for many.
If we are to again recapture our heritage, it will be essential to dismantle at multiple levels the apparatus that perpetuates the culture of separatism and fictitious victimization. By discontinuing to pour taxpayer dollars into organizations that demand preference based on race, gender, nationality, and/or other factors, we will be taking a first step toward the realization of true equality and away from such blights as the multiple congressional caucuses that exist to promote preferential legislation for and treatment of one group above another. Concurrently, civic-minded citizens can, as they have started to in Texas, demanded courses and textbooks based on history and reason, rather than emotion.
I hope that in the long term, we can regard this period as a time of temporary amnesia and, in the future, look forward to regaining our national identity and our proud, and shared, heritage.
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2011/07/american_amnesia.html at July 05, 2011 – 12:38:23 PM CDT
July 5, 2011
By Mark Browning
Travel to the northern end of Interstate 35 today, and you’ll encounter a land where state government has largely closed down. To hear the mainstream media describe the situation, Governor Mark Dayton, a Democrat, peered at a bloated and busted budget on one hand and a Republican-dominated legislature on the other. He took a brave stand and shut down the state government rather than knuckle under and give tax breaks to millionaires.
Of course, there’s another way to look at the matter. Most on the right would see a tax-and-spend governor ignoring the clear will of the people in order to impose burdensome tax increases rather than make rational cuts to runaway government spending.
While I can guess which of these theories makes more sense to the typical American Thinker reader, their comparative merits are not what I’d like to consider here. Instead, I’d like to consider the motivation of the brave Governor Dayton.
First of all, we should give Dayton and his Minnesota House and Senate Democrat minorities some small credit. In their headlong charge toward a government shutdown, they have allowed state troopers to remain on the job. They didn’t throw open the doors to the prisons or shutter the state’s emergency response agencies. That much seems reasonable regardless of which side of the aisle one occupies. Other items on the open and closed lists, however, are less obvious and betray the real motives behind the Democrat tactics.
First, let’s look at a few items that remain open in Minnesota. In scanning over a list of open agencies, one notices such items as “food safety work” and inspections for health care facilities. On the surface, these exceptions seem like no-brainers. After all, if they were to suspend food safety inspections, they’d have E. coli outbreaks all over the state. And without state inspectors running up and down the halls, hospitals and clinics might start prescribing opium for head colds and euthanizing illegal immigrants. Right?
More realistically, of course, food companies are not going to run amok when the keen eye of the government is absent for a few days. Minnesota dairies, for example, stand to lose everything to lawsuits if they become careless in their safety practices. Similarly, do the shutdown architects really believe that patients around the Gopher State will be dropping dead if the schedule of hospital inspections is delayed by a week or so? Frankly, it seems that public safety could be enhanced more with fewer (and lower-paid) employees by opening the closed restrooms in Minnesota rest areas than by inspecting health care facilities in coming days. What could cause the wise forces of the executive branch to make these precise decisions? Might the reason be more political than financial?
The reason for keeping food and health care inspectors on the job is simple. Granted, most Democrats have never met a regulation or a regulator they didn’t like, but this tendency doesn’t tell the whole story. The governor is also covering himself. In the unlikely event that something bad were to happen with inspectors off the job, the political fallout would be devastating. This decision had far more to do with political damage control than with public safety.
Let’s examine a couple of agencies that have closed: the Minnesota Lottery and the department of motor vehicles. Correct me if I have this wrong, but isn’t the lottery a revenue-positive entity? If the state has a problem of not enough money to pay the bills, then shouldn’t it keep a money-producing organization going? They have kept the state tax collections people on the job, which also makes sense, but this too seems odd. If the state tax collection offices were to close temporarily, the same taxes that were due during the closure could be collected afterward. On the other hand, I hardly think that Minnesotans are saving up their lottery ticket funds to buy extra tickets after the closure. And if collecting taxes were really a high priority, wouldn’t the state keep the DMV open? Apparently they can postpone collection of registration fees and vehicle sales taxes but not income and general sales taxes. How odd. Of course, when the DMV reopens, the citizens will see enormous lines from the people unable to renew licenses or register vehicles. This fact, I would suggest, brings us closer to the true motivation behind Governor Dayton’s open-and-closed strategy.
Far from the governor’s supposed motive of fiscal responsibility, again, a true political motive lurks. The closure of the lottery and DMV, money-producing entities, make no sense for the cash-strapped state. These are, however, actions that will inconvenience a large sector of the population. Not only that, they will inconvenience the lower-income groups. If the normal tax collection offices were closed, then those affected would include corporations and more affluent Minnesotans, the sort of people actually paying taxes.
The governor’s calculation, following these facts, might run something like this: the unwashed masses of Minnesotans, the sort of people whose future has been mortgaged by years of Democrat overspending but who still believe them to be the party of the “working man,” cannot relicense their car. They grumble about the shutdown. On the way home, they cannot buy their lottery tickets. With prompting from media, union, and Democrat voices, they blame those greedy Republicans. When they return to the DMV after the shutdown, they can stand in an even longer line than normal, all the while talking with similarly irritated people, people who have been listening to attacks like this one, subtly titled “Republicans choose millionaires over Minnesotans,” from a public employee union website:
The state of Minnesota has shut down because Republicans refuse to ask the richest 7,700 Minnesotans to pay their fair share. Gov. Dayton worked tirelessly to find middle ground in an attempt to avoid a shutdown.
All of these choices sound like a script to initiate class resentment and conflict, but who can really blame the Democrats for resorting to this tactic? Their vote-buying munificence, funded by massive deficit spending, has pretty obviously played out as demonstrated at the polls. In 2009, Democrats held an 87-to-47 seat advantage over their Republican colleagues in the Minnesota legislature. In 2011, that advantage had shifted in the other direction with 72 Republicans and 62 Democrats. That’s a move from Republicans holding 35% of the seats to 54%. Frankly, regardless of what the media or Governor Dayton suggest, that sounds like a mandate.
For Dayton and the Dems, the choice is between giving the people fiscal responsibility they request or playing this game of resentment and envy. Given their debts to the unions and other elements of the extreme left, the class warfare card is truly the only play available. We can only hope that Minnesotans will be perceptive enough to see this ploy for what it is.
Mark Browning blogs on rural matters at Shamayimhill.com.
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2011/07/governor_dayton_whats_your_motivation.html at July 05, 2011 – 12:36:10 PM CDT