Friday, December 10, 2010
Today for my first time I saw the current federal tax rates referred to as the “Bush Tax Rates, not the “Bush Tax Cuts.“ Strange why the main stream media and the liberal Democrats continually refer to them as “Tax Cuts.” Neither of them chose for years to call the marginal rates increased by President Clinton, as a result of VP Al Gore’s tie breaking vote, as the “Clinton Tax Hikes.” Not exactly “fair and balanced” in my opinion, just another example of D.C. double-speak..
We have proposed legislation in the pipelines now to re-institute the Estate Tax and at a high rate. My estate wouldn’t qualify, I’m far too poor… but for those that do it amounts to this; an individual works lifelong and accumulates moderate wealth, all on the leftover dollars that the feds, state and local governments did not collect. If an Estate Tax, or "Death Tax" is implemented, the feds will line up following that individual’s death with outstretched hands demanding a large portion of what ever the individual chose to bequeath to his heirs. In many cases in the past, the heris are forced to sell the property or business in order to pay the taxes.
The Estate tax opponents shout, “Double taxation! The individual paid taxes on his income when alive. His bequest is what was left over...”
The proponents scream, “The individual isn’t paying anything; he’s dead.” Pretty lame, but that's how our liberal friends choose to think.
Then there was the silly argument that if the ”Rich” are allowed to keep the current marginal rates it will increase the federal deficit. Now Obama's White House is calling an extension of all the rates a "Stimulus." Good grief, that's a 180-degree turn-around. To me, both expressions are a clever but stupid play on words. Unfortunately a lot of good folks, even some politicians, are buying into the clap-trap.
As far as increasing the federal deficit, for what it's worth, the deficit can only increase when the government spends more than it takes in during a given fiscal period. It’s exactly like overdrawing your personal checking account; writing checks without sufficient funds but only the spend-happy D.C. politicians can get away with it. Keeping more of your own after tax income does not add to any deficit.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
The following is from an email I sent to a friend who shared lunch with me yesterday. We started a chat regarding the current state of the nation. Obviously time didn't allow for either of us to say all that we wanted so I sent this email today, to "flesh out" some of my points. It goes as follows:
We discussed some of this for a time yesterday. Maybe your friend would be interested in it. It may not set well with either of you but it's a definite reality and one too many Americans don't have the time to explore. We're too busy being intentionally distracted to see what the "other hand" is doing.
THE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT
The Progressive Movement began late in the 19th Century. Its Central Tenets are Statism, Income Redistribution, Unionism, Government Management of the Economy, womb to tomb provision for its citizens, eugenics, and a Libertine Social Policy. To accomplish these aims, The Progressive Movement believes in State Ownership of Businesses—instead of Entrepreneurial Free Enterprise; Central Planning by the Government of the supply of goods and services, including fixing prices of wages, and of goods and services—instead of Free Market Capitalism; That all Citizens should have equal wealth except for the Elite Rulers; And that Sovereignty does not belong to Individual Citizens—but that the People only exist (as a collective) for the benefit of the National State. Various large parts of this Ideology are identical to Socialism and Fascism, including the ideas that the use of courts, bureaucracies—even the police and military—should be used to accomplish goals that would never be approved by a Democracy or a Republic (such as The United States of America under its current Constitution).
Recent history shows us that this system didn't work out too well in the USSR... nor is it really working in today's Russia, but no matter, the Progressives, with their arrogance and belief that they alone know what's best for you and me, keep forging ahead.
H. G. WELLS
THE FATHER OF THE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT
The Father of The Progressive Movement was H.G. Wells, the noted science fiction author. Wells was a devotee of Darwinism and part of his mission was to reassign human beings from the spiritual to the natural world. The best way to get to know the Father of the Progressive Movement is to read his own quotes:
"People of quality must be ascendant not democracy"
"Base and servile types are little more than a leaping, glittering confusion of shoaling mackerel on a sunlit afternoon."
"The State that most resolutely picks over, educates, sterilizes or poisons its People of the Abyss will be most successful."
"Death would merely end the bitterness of their failure."
"It should be their lot to die out and disappear . . . since they are born of unrestrained lusts ... and multiplying through sheer incontinence and stupidity."
"Idiots, drunkards, criminals, lunatics, invalids, and the diseased would spoil the world for others."
He (like another well known Progressive: George Bernard Shaw) believed we should prevent people below a certain intelligence and income from reproducing. At the least they should isolated for their failures on a island. "Remove the unfit so we have no need for jails or prisons." Abolish democracy because the "common uneducated man is a violent fool in social and political affairs." What was required was a "great central organization that would dictate what would be done here, there and everywhere . . . imposing its will upon a recalcitrant race." He called his own political philosophy "Liberal Fascism." Wells said of Joseph Stalin "I have never met a man more candid, fair and honest." Wells was a big booster of eugenics, which is based solidly on Darwinism, of course—that unfortunately found its full flower in Nazi Germany with mass extermination.
John Dewey was the most influential reformer of the public education system in the United States in the 20th Century. As a major player in The Progressive Movement, he completely rejected belief in God. If you ever wonder why high school graduates can't read, can't make change, and do not believe in objective truth, look no further.
Progressives are Moral Relativists, meaning, that concrete right and wrong do not exist; that nothing substantive can be said about morality. This can lead to obvious problems since Hitler, Stalin, Mao and PolPot, to name a few, all thought the rampant murder of millions of people was perfectly moral—providing it served the interests of the National State.
SUPREME COURT JUSTICE OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES
Another member of The Progressive Movement was Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. It was Judge Holmes who made the Philosophy of Legal Positivism—that there is no connection between the law and ethics or morality; that the truth is whatever gives people satisfaction—popular in the legal profession. This school of thought dominated our courts in the latter 20th Century with the unfortunate effect of leading to a collapse of our once common moral language. Judge Holmes famously said, as he ordered the forced sterilization of a woman, "It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind . . . three generations of imbeciles are enough."
Another prominent Progressive was the Founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger. Here a few of her words from her books or speeches: "The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it." Regarding blacks, immigrants and indigents she said this, "Human weeds, reckless breeders, spawning . . . human beings who never should have been born." Concerning the rights of the handicapped and mentally ill, and racial minorities: "More children from the fit, less from the unfit -- that is the chief aim of birth control."On the extermination of blacks: "We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members." In her "Plan for Peace," Sanger outlined her strategy for eradication of those she deemed "feebleminded." Sanger espoused the thinking of eugenicists -- similar to Darwin's "survival of the fittest" -- but related the concept to human society, saying the genetic makeup of the poor, and minorities, for example, was inferior. One of Sanger's greatest influences, sexologist/eugenicist Dr. Havelock Ellis (with whom she had an affair, leading to her divorce from her first husband), urged mandatory sterilization of the poor as a prerequisite to receiving any public aid.
The goal of eugenicists is "to prevent the multiplication of bad stocks," wrote Dr. Ernst Rudin in the April 1933 Birth Control Review (of which Sanger was editor). Another article exhorted Americans to "restrict the propagation of those physically, mentally and socially inadequate." Regarding adultery, "A woman's physical satisfaction was more important than any marriage vow," Sanger believed.
WALTER DURANTY on JOSEF STALIN
THE ULTIMATE PROGRESSIVE
The Progressive newspaper the New York Times employed—and the Progressive Pulitzer Prize was awarded to—one Walter Duranty. Duranty was posted in Moscow for 15 years to report back to the American people what was going on over there. He was so caught up in The Progressive Movement that he described Joseph Stalin as a "decent and clean-living man and a great leader." Duranty reported that there was no famine in the USSR--- (The truth? Forced Famine in the Ukraine, 1932-1933 causing 7,000,000 Deaths) though it is clear from his notes and letters that he was lying through his teeth, and that he knew full well the scale of the calamity, and even knew the USSR was deliberately starving millions of its own people. He also defended Stalin's notoriously phony show trials that resulted in the execution of millions of innocent people.
SAUL ALINSKY (...a favorite mentor among today's progressives.)
A more recent champion of The Progressive Movement is Saul Alinsky. Alinsky is the father of the modern community organizing movement, of which ACORN is a prominent example. One of his key philosophies is for a community organization to claim non-partisanship, in order to receive grants from the government (of monies confiscated from taxpayers) that are illegal to be given to a partisan group. This is obviously a sham, since none of their stated goals could be remotely described as Conservative, and their members vote for Democrats in elections virtually 100%. In effect, they use the wages of Conservatives to fight against them and everything they believe in.
Here is a quote from Alinsky, "Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history, the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom—Lucifer." Another of his famous quotes is this, "There's another reason for working inside the system. Taking a new step is what people fear most. Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and change the future." (Referred to as "Hope and Change" in the 2008 presidential campaign.) And finally this, "Our rebels have contemptuously rejected the values and the way of life of the middle class."
THE ENEMY OF PROGRESSIVES
Today's Progressives have singled out the Boy Scouts as a target for their wrath, repeatedly filing lawsuits against this organization—that has helped a multitude of boys become fine men—to prevent them from having a building in which to meet. This is understandable since the entire philosophy of the Boy Scouts is sickening to The Progressive Movement. The best evidence of this is that ominous Boy Scout Oath: "On my honor, I will do my best; To do my duty To God and my country; And to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight." Scouts must promise to be honorable, loyal, useful, friendly, dutiful, courteous, thrifty, cheerful, kind to animals, and clean in thought, word and deed. Rather subversive ideas.
BRAVE NEW WORLD
Let me share with you some thoughts of a voice crying in wilderness long ago, warning us of the dangers of The Progressive Movement. In 1932, in his classic book, "Brave New World," Huxley wrote, "All members of society are conditioned in childhood to hold the values that the World State idealizes. Constant consumption is the bedrock of stability Recreational heterosexual sex is an integral part of society. In The World State, sex is a social activity rather than a means of reproduction and is encouraged from early childhood; the few women who can reproduce are conditioned to take birth control. The maxim "everyone belongs to everyone else" is repeated often, and the idea of a "family" is repellent. As a result, sexual competition and emotional, romantic relationships are obsolete. Marriage, natural birth, the notion of being a parent, and pregnancy are considered too obscene to be mentioned in casual conversation."
And I will leave you with forecasts Huxley made in two interviews. In 1949 he said that sometime in the future, "I believe that the world's leaders will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging them and kicking them into obedience." And in 1959 he said, "And it seems to me perfectly in the cards that there will be within the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing ... a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda, brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods."
Here is another good research source:
The Progressive Presidents: Roosevelt, Wilson, Roosevelt, Johnson
authored by John Morton Blum
Contributors: John Morton Blum
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Year: 1980
Subjects: Executive Power--United States,United States--Politics And Government--20th Century
Not to mention that many Republican presidents like Teddy Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover and both Bush's were leaning towards progressivism as well, especially Hoover.
Now, posted below is what is happening today, actually since the mid-1960s... remember those questionable days?
The Cloward-Piven Strategy to implement socialist revolution
Source: http://www.discoverthenetwork.com/group ... grpid=6967
Cloward-Piven is a strategy for forcing political change through orchestrated crisis. ("Never let a good crisis to go to waste." Rahm Emanuel- Obama WH Chief of Staff)
The strategy was first proposed in 1966 by Columbia University political scientists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven as a plan to bankrupt the welfare system and produce radical change. Sometimes known as the "crisis strategy" or the the "flood-the-rolls, bankrupt-the-cities strategy," the Cloward-Piven approach called for swamping the welfare rolls with new applicants - more than the system could bear. It was hoped that the resulting economic collapse would lead to political turmoil and ultimately socialism. (i.e., Today's massive unemployment numbers, fueled by this unending recession putting states into near bankruptcy with added joblessness due to businesses not hiring because of the uncertainty of what ObamaCare and future federal tax increases will cost them.)
The National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO), founded by African-American militant George Alvin Wiley, put the Cloward-Piven strategy to work in the streets. Its activities led directly to the welfare crisis that bankrupted New York City in 1975.
Veterans of NWRO went on to found the Living Wage Movement and the Voting Rights Movement, both of which rely on the Cloward-Piven strategy and both of which are spear-headed by the radical cult ACORN.
Both the Living Wage and Voting Rights movements depend heavily on financial support from George Soros's Open Society Institute.
On August 11, 1965, the black district of Watts in Los Angeles exploded into violence, after police used batons to subdue a man suspected of drunk driving. Riots raged for six days, spilling over into other parts of the city, and leaving 34 dead. Two Columbia University sociologists, Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven were inspired by the riots to develop a new strategy for social change. In November 1965 - barely three months after the fires of Watts had subsided - Cloward and Piven began privately circulating copies of an article they had written called "Mobilizing the Poor: How it Could Be Done." Six months later (on May 2, 1966), it was published in The Nation, under the title, "The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty."
(This may have inspired the progressives in LBJ's administration to invoke the so-called War On Poverty, which to date, nearly fifty years later, has received trillions of taxpayer dollars to no avail: the poverty rate does not change.)
The article electrified the Left. Following its May 2, 1966 publication, The Nation sold an unprecedented 30,000 reprints. Activists were abuzz over the so-called "crisis strategy" or "Cloward-Piven strategy," as it came to be called. Many were eager to put it into effect.
Richard A. Cloward was then a professor of social work at Columbia University. He died in 2001. His co-author Frances Fox Piven was a research associate at Columbia's School of Social Work. She now holds a Distinguished Professorship of Political Science and Sociology at the City University of New York.
In their 1966 article, Cloward and Piven charged that the ruling classes used welfare to weaken the poor. By providing a social safety net, the rich doused the fires of rebellion. Cloward and Piven wanted to fan those flames. Poor people can advance only when "the rest of society is afraid of them," Cloward told The New York Times on September 27, 1970. Rather than placating the poor with government hand-outs, activists should work to sabotage and destroy the welfare system. The collapse of the welfare state would ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation. Poor people would rise in revolt. Only then would "the rest of society" accept their demands. So wrote Cloward and Piven in 1966.
The key to sparking this rebellion would be to expose the inadequacy of the welfare state. This Cloward and Piven proposed to do, in classic Alinsky fashion, by forcing welfare bureaucrats to live up to their own book of rules.
The authors noted that the number of Americans subsisting on welfare - about 8 million, at the time - probably represented less than half the number who were technically eligible for full benefits. They proposed a "massive drive to recruit the poor onto the welfare rolls." (Or into new homes with huge unpayable mortgages that they could never afford.) Cloward and Piven calculated that persuading even a fraction of potential welfare recipients to demand their entitlements would bankrupt the system. The result, they predicted, would be "a profound financial and political crisis" that would unleash "powerful forces… for major economic reform at the national level." (We just watched Congress pass an economic "reform" bill last week.)
Their article called for "cadres of aggressive organizers" to use "demonstrations to create a climate of militancy." (ACORN?) Intimidated by black violence, politicians would appeal to the federal government for help. Carefully orchestrated media campaigns, carried out by friendly, leftwing journalists, would float the idea of a "a federal program of income redistribution," in the form of a guaranteed living income for all; working and non-working people alike. Local officials would clutch at this idea like drowning men to a lifeline. They would apply pressure on Washington to implement it. With every major city erupting into chaos, Washington would have to act.
The Cloward-Piven strategy never achieved its goal of system breakdown and a Marxist utopia. But it provided a blueprint for some of the Left's most destructive campaigns of the next three decades. It will likely haunt America for years to come since George Soros' Shadow Party has now adopted the strategy, honing it into a far more efficient weapon than any of its Sixties-era promoters could have foreseen.
Cloward and Piven recruited a militant black organizer named George Wiley to lead their new movement. For more information on Wiley and his welfare rights movement. In the summer of 1967, Wiley founded the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO), with headquarters in Washington, DC. Wiley's tactics closely followed the recommendations set out in Cloward and Piven's article. His followers invaded welfare offices across the nation - often violently - bullying social workers and loudly demanding every penny to which the law "entitled" them. By 1969, NWRO claimed a dues-paying membership of 22,500 families, with 523 chapters across the nation.
Regarding Wiley's tactics, The New York Times commented on September 27, 1970, "There have been sit-ins in legislative chambers, including a United States Senate committee hearing, mass demonstrations of several thousand welfare recipients, school boycotts, picket lines, mounted police, tear gas, arrests - and, on occasion, rock-throwing, smashed glass doors, overturned desks, scattered papers and ripped-out phones."
These methods proved effective. "The flooding succeeded beyond Wiley's wildest dreams," writes Sol Stern in the Manhattan Institute's City Journal. "From 1965 to 1974, the number of single-parent households on welfare soared from 4.3 million to 10.8 million, despite mostly flush economic times. By the early 1970s, one person was on the welfare rolls in New York City for every two working in the city's private economy."
As a direct result of its reckless welfare spending, New York City - the financial capital of the world - was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1975. The entire state of New York nearly went down with it. Leftist agitators swooned in triumph. The Cloward-Piven strategy had proved its effectiveness.
The Cloward-Piven strategy depended on surprise. Once society recovered from the initial shock, the backlash began. New York's welfare crisis horrified the nation, giving rise to a reform movement which culminated in "the end of welfare as we know it" -- the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which imposed time limits on federal welfare, along with strict eligibility and work requirements. Both Cloward and Piven attended the White House signing of the bill as guests of President Clinton.
Most Americans to this day have never heard of Cloward and Piven. But Mayor Rudolph Giuliani attempted to expose them in the late 1990's. As his drive for welfare reform heated up, Giuliani accused the militant scholars by name, citing their 1966 manifesto as evidence that they had engaged in deliberate economic sabotage. "This wasn't an accident," Giuliani charged in a 1997 speech. "It wasn't an atmospheric thing, it wasn't supernatural. This is the result of policies and programs designed to have the maximum number of people get on welfare."
Cloward and Piven never again revealed their intentions as candidly as they had in their 1966 article. They learned to cover their tracks. Even so, their activism in subsequent years continued to rely on the tactic of overloading the system. When the public caught on to their welfare scheme, Cloward and Piven simply moved on, applying pressure to other sectors of the bureaucracy, wherever they detected weakness.
The Cloward-Piven strategy - first proposed in 1966 - seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse. Application of this strategy contributed greatly to the turmoil of the late Sixties. Cloward-Piven failed to usher in socialism, but it succeeded in generating an economic crisis and in escalating the level of political violence in America - two cherished goals of hard-Left strategists.
Radical organizers today continue tinkering with variations on the Cloward-Piven theme, in the perennial hope of reproducing '60s-style chaos. The thuggish behavior of leftwing unions such as SEIU and of certain elements of George Soros' Shadow Party can be traced, in a direct line of descent, from the early practitioners of Cloward-Piven.
Cloward-Piven's early promoters cited radical organizer Saul Alinsky as their inspiration. "Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules," Alinsky wrote in his "1989" book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every jot and tittle of every law and statute; every Judaeo-Christian moral tenet; and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system's failure to "live up" to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist "rule book" with a socialist one.
In its earliest form, the Cloward-Piven strategy applied Alinsky's principle to the specific area of welfare entitlements. It counseled activists to create what might be called Trojan Horse movements - mass movements whose outward purpose seemed to be providing material help to the downtrodden, but whose real purpose was to draft poor people into service as revolutionary foot soldiers.
The specific function of these Trojan Horse movements was to mobilize poor people en masse to overwhelm government agencies with a flood of demands beyond the capacity of those agencies to meet. (Today they have added the racial element, and it seems to be doing what they expected.) The flood of demands was calculated to break the budget, jam the bureaucratic gears into gridlock, and bring the system crashing down. Fear, turmoil, violence and economic collapse would accompany such a breakdown - providing perfect conditions for fostering radical change. That, at least, was the theory behind the Cloward-Piven strategy.
In 1982, partisans of the Cloward-Piven strategy founded a new "voting rights movement," which purported to take up the unfinished work of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Like ACORN, the organization that spear-headed this campaign, the new "voting rights" movement was led by veterans of George Wiley's welfare rights crusade. Its flagship organizations were Project Vote and Human SERVE, both founded in 1982. Project Vote is an ACORN front group, launched by former NWRO organizer and ACORN co-founder Zach Polett. Human SERVE was founded by Richard A. Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, along with a former NWRO organizer named Hulbert James.
All three of these organizations - ACORN, Project Vote and Human SERVE - set to work lobbying energetically for the so-called Motor-Voter law, which Bill Clinton ultimately signed in 1993. The Motor-Voter bill is widely blamed today for swamping the voter rolls with "dead wood" - invalid registrations signed in the name of deceased, ineligible or non-existent people - thus opening the door to the unprecedented levels of voter fraud and "voter disenfranchisement" claims that followed in subsequent elections.
The new "voting rights" coalition combines mass voter registration drives - typically featuring high levels of fraud - with systematic intimidation of election officials in the form of frivolous lawsuits, bogus charges of "racism" and "disenfranchisement" and "direct action" (street protests, violent or otherwise). Just as they swamped America's welfare offices in the 1960s, the Cloward-Piven team now seeks to overwhelm the nation's understaffed and poorly policed electoral system. Their antics set the stage for the Florida recount crisis of 2000, and have introduced a level of fear, tension and foreboding to U.S. elections heretofore encountered mainly in Third World countries. For more information on the Voting Rights Movement, see the entry for "Project Vote."
Both the Living Wage and Voting Rights movements depend heavily on financial support from George Soros's Open Society Institute. It is largely thanks to money from Soros that the Cloward-Piven strategy continues even now to eat away at America's political and economic infrastructure.
The Progressives big ally is the national media, consisting of probably a higher majority of "believers" than even in our government, especially in our civil servant protected federal bureaucracies. It's difficult to really say where the real power lies... in the media or the government? Together, they are an evil force intent on destroying what we used to call America. Possibly our salvation lies within the newly generated Tea Party movement and it's principles that mirror those the Founders originally laid out. Time will tell.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
While driving home from downtown recently I caught a snippet of a conservative radio talk show hosted by Roger Hedgecock, a popular San Diego based personality. He was talking to a caller who suggested that we (the federal government) need to reduce spending and suggested a method of starting out with a stated percentage each year across the board. To the untrained political analyst that may have sounded like a great idea… (It would be if one could get past the federal bureaucracy heads and make it work.)
Since Mr. Hedgecock is not an untrained political analyst he explained why it never works. For example, Congress floats a trial balloon stating that they are going make across the board cuts by say 5%… not huge. Then the various federal departments and agencies that are going to “suffer” those cuts go public. Hedgecock suggested that the Department of Defense for example, instead of weeding out redundant departments and unnecessary programs and ridding itself of non-essential employees would instead advertise that they would not proceed with the building of another super carrier… which in Hedgecock’s estimation would have Congressmen and constituents alike including a workforce that might benefit from the construction of that carrier, all lining up to protest. Ergo the Defense budget remains the same or increases.
The Defense Department was just one example Hedgecock recited. He added that every federal agency or department, all run by federally appointed bureaucratic heads and civil service employees, would utilize the same public relations campaign, all in an effort to save their annual budgets and remain “in business.” Change? Forget it.
Again, Roger Hedgecock, a conservative talk radio host suggested how less than ethical elected government heads and bureaucrats use scare tactics to avoid slimming down their various departments budgets, saving scarce taxpayers dollars.
Here’s one flaming example that popped up recently: On Jul 16, 2010, “PHILADELPHIA- Rolling Closures A Possibility For Fire Department” was the headline posted by Walt Hunter of CBS 3.com. His post went on to say: “New cuts may be coming to the Philadelphia Fire Department and they could include rolling closures of firehouses.”
Bill Gault, President of Local 22 firefighters' union said, "He's (Philadelphia’s Democrat Mayor Michael Nutter) rolling the dice and he's playing Russian roulette with people's lives."
On top of reducing the capability to protect taxpayer’s property from potential fires, Mayor Nutter, is also proposing a cut in police hours on the street. (a $6.3-million reduction in police overtime and two Police Academy classes scheduled for the coming year were canceled.)
None of this would probably affect anyone reading this unless you reside in Cleveland, but it does give pause to wonder, with all of the various departments within a municipal government, why would a Mayor chose to cut funding of police and fire departments? Unless it’s a ruse to later suggest another hike in municipal taxes?
Certainly this ruse has been used before, as talk show host Hedgecock has suggested, so instead of looking carefully through each and every department’s annual budgets in a line by line search for waste and redundant expenses, let’s just threaten to cut the basic but necessary potentially life saving departments instead. This could happen anywhere, and does too often.
Although line item vetoes never get implemented, it’s high time for some government entities to at least pretend to take a good look at where honest cuts can be made.
Several years ago author James Brovard wrote several books describing a “shadow government” consisting of the various federal bureaucracies. Many Americans fail to realize their power; that they cause most of the problems we face in this ever-expanding government.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
From the Washington Times.com, June 7, 2010: "The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking ways to 'reinvent' journalism, and that's a cause for concern. According to a May 24 draft proposal, the agency thinks government should be at the center of a media overhaul. The bureaucracy sees it as a problem that the Internet has introduced a wealth of information options to consumers, forcing media companies to adapt and experiment to meet changing market needs. FTC's policy staff fears this new reality.
"There are reasons for concern that experimentation may not produce a robust and sustainable business model for commercial journalism," the report states. With no faith that the market will work things out for the better, government thinks it must come to the rescue.
Former President Ronad W. Reagan might say, “There they go again.” This government is again attempting to dally in the business of micro-managing private businesses. They can barely govern and yet they see fit to inject themselves into places where the public sector can and does function more efficiently. This latest proposal is about attempting to salvage struggling newspint publications (referred by some to as “dead tree” media) that, in the eyes of the bureaucrats and politicians, “are too big to fail.” Based on recent results, such actions always come at a price with political strings attached (remember GM, Chrysler and the major banks?). How could any newsprint company perform objectively after receiving public taxpayer dollars and NOT seem to be under the thumb of the government? Not that many aren’t biased already.
Again, the camel sneaks it’s nose under the proverbial tent. Allow government an inch, you know the rest. The Times adds: “Fostering a robust public-policy debate, not saving a particular business model, should be the goal of journalism in the first place.”
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Representative Tom Price, Republican-Georgia wrote in part recently: Democrats in Congress are gearing up to vote on new legislation that blatantly undermines the First Amendment. Known as the DISCLOSE Act (HR 5175), responding to the recent Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
The Court found that the federal government could not restrict the free speech rights of individuals or other entities wishing to participate in the political dialogue; a right under the Constitution’s First Amendment, and which the Supreme Court upheld.
This White House and their allies on Capitol Hill now see honest criticism as a threat to their big government, liberal agenda. It wasn't always that way. Remember back in 2003 when Senator Hillary Clinton, D- NY, screeched "I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration somehow you're not patriotic. We should stand up and say we are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration." (Uhh... except this particular administration? They're exempt somehow?)
Under this proposed DISCLOSE Act, certain incorporated entities would be restricted in how they can exercise their free speech rights, but there is an exemption for some in the media sphere like newspapers, TV news, etc. However, there is one driving force in today’s public debate that is NOT exempt; Internet bloggers (of which I’m one).
Representative Price adds, “…many bloggers, in order to exercise their free speech rights, would have to jump through the same onerous new hoops…” and he calls it an overreach by one party in power.
Representative Price ends his article with this: “Democrats should not be allowed to give themselves carte blanche to shut down the ability of those in the blogosphere or elsewhere to participate in our nation’s collective dialogue. That flies in the face of our most sacred rights as American citizens.”
ShopFloor.org on May 25 had this to say:
House Could Vote on Bill to Limit Political Speech This Week.
The House leadership hopes to push the pace of floor consideration this week in order to get a vote in on H.R. 5175, the bill to limit political speech in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC. Supporters want to have the new, certainly unconstitutional law, in place in time to chill political speech before the November elections.
The National Association of Manufacturers was one of 86 business and trade associations to send a letter to the Committee on House Administration last week registering strong objections to the legislation.
As I wrote here recently, political dissent today is viewed by many radical leftists as unpatriotic. A few short years ago it was championed by many of the same politicians who are willing now to put “their boot on some necks.” In other words, we should all just sit down and shut up.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
As a rule, I don’t become easily disturbed but that’s beginning to change. When Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano criticize Arizona's illegal alien law then admit publicly that they haven’t read it I tend to become disturbed. (FYI, immigrants normally are foreigners who settle in another country legally.)
Then President Obama invited President Felipe Calderone of Mexico to the White House where the next day he stood in the “people’s house,” our U.S. House of Representatives, and practically parroting Obama, publicly criticized Arizona’s duly elected governor and legislature for passing an anti-alien law, following which the majority of the Democrat legislators and administration officials present stood and applauded.
Later, John Morton, Obama’s head of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said his agency would not necessarily process illegal immigrants referred to him by the state of Arizona. “The best way to reduce illegal immigration is through a comprehensive federal approach, not a patchwork of state laws,” he said.
Echoing previous comments made by President Obama and others in the administration, Morton said that Arizona’s new law targeting illegal immigration is not “good government. I don’t think the Arizona law, or laws like it, are the solution.”
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-AL, said it appeared the Obama administration is "nullifying existing law" and suggested Morton may not be the right person for his post if he fails to enforce federal immigration law.
"If he feels he cannot enforce the law, he shouldn't have the job," Sessions told Fox News. "That makes him, in my view, not fulfilling the responsibilities of his office."
Sessions said the U.S. government has "systematically failed" to enforce federal immigration law and claimed Morton's statement is an indication that federal officials do not plan on working with Arizona authorities regarding its controversial law.
"They're telegraphing to every ICE agency in America that they really don't intend on cooperating with Arizona," Sessions said. "The federal government
should step up and do it. It's their responsibility."
The real irony in what President Obama believes and what AG Eric Holder and Secretary Napolitano and ICE head Morton said is that the Arizona law is redundant in that it mimics the existing but currently not enforced federal statute making it a crime (a misdemeanor) to be in the state illegally and requires law officials to check suspects for immigration paperwork.
Can someone please explain why a federal agency head can refuse to enforce any existing statute and keep his job? Maybe because those amongst us illegally now might later register as Democrats one day?
Sunday, May 16, 2010
As published recently in the Cadillac News, Cadillac, MI
Seton Motley, writing in dallasblog.com says, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan wrote in a 1996 article entitled Private Speech, Public Purpose: The Role of Governmental Motive in First Amendment Doctrine that "redistribution of speech is not itself an illegitimate end" for government. Ms. Kagan also asserts that government can restrict speech if it believes that speech might cause harm, either directly or by inciting others to do harm.
Quoting Peg Kaplen on typepad.com, "Dissent is the Highest Form of Patriotism. So we were told just a few short years ago. When we had a Republican president, those on the left constantly reminded us that speaking out against the government was our right, a higher calling - and that criticism of such was anti-American and wrong."
Remember When Dissent Was Patriotic? When doing it didn't mean you were a zealot or an extremist or a Nazi? Hillary Clinton once thought debate and dissent were patriotic. Or, at least, she did back in 2003 when she said, "I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this (Bush) administration somehow you're not patriotic. We should stand up and say we are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration." I totally agreed with then Senator Clinton. But unless I’m mistaken, anymore it seems like this Freedom of Speech thingy established by the Founders in our Constitution depends wholly on who is speaking, or who is currently occupying the White House, or who controls the legislative branches of our government.
When Supreme Court nominee Kagan is confronted with her own words during the upcoming Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, what do you suppose her answers will reflect today? Will she, like President Obama, lament too that “information becomes a distraction?”
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Principles of social justice:
1. Every citizen willing to work shall receive a just and living annual wage which will enable him to maintain and educate his family
2. Nationalize those public necessities which by their very nature are too important to be held in the control of private individuals
3. Uphold the right of private property yet of controlling it for the public good
4. Believe not only in the right of the laboring man to organize in unions but also in the duty of the Government which that laboring man supports to protect these organizations against the vested interests of wealth and of intellect
5. Believe in the event of a war and for the defense of our nation and its liberties, if there shall be a conscription of men let there be a conscription of wealth
6. Believe in preferring the sanctity of human rights to the sanctity of property rights.
7. Believe that the chief concern of government shall be for the poor, because as is witnessed, the rich have ample means of their own to care for themselves.
So, boys and girls, does any of that sound vaguely familiar?
Q- Who proposed it and when?
Well, as a lot of today's progressive liberal socialist types are suggesting, it wasn't Glenn Beck, who is now being compared to this radical leftist. This was proposed in November of 1934 by then Father Coughlin, a Canadian priest who migrated to American in the early 1930s, became a nationally known voice on the radio with upwards of 25 million listeners.
Originally an avid foe of FDR and his policies because he wasn't liberal enough, he sucked up to him anyway in hopes of becoming Secretary of the Treasury. This from a man who was both anti-capitalism and anti-commerce. Whoa! Sounds a lot like what we are hearing today from some of our "leaders."
Eighty years and more of this crap slowly taking over, seeping like a venomous cancer into our lives and our kids and grandkids lives, is it time to irradicate it? November 2 can't come soon enough.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Robert Montgomery of ESPN Outdoors.com wrote recently that the Obama administration will accept no more public input for a federal strategy that could prohibit U.S. citizens from fishing the nation's oceans, coastal areas, Great Lakes, and even inland waters. He goes on to say, "Now we see NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the Obama administration planning the future of recreational fishing access in America based on a similar agenda of these same groups and other Big Green anti-use organizations, through an Executive Order by the President."
Conversely, Deadbeat.com says that ESPN's anti-recreational fishing allegation is false; a rumor. I'm not familiar with deadbeat.com but they are linked to an extremely liberal mediamatters.com and that raises some skepticism on my part. AP and several other Internet news sources have published this report so I guess it's up to you the readers to choose what to believe.
In a nutshell however, President Obama, in order to assuage the Green Environmentalist special interest lobby, could with one stroke of a pen with an Executive Order make it illegal for you to take your boat out on Lakes Cadillac or Mitchell here in my northern Michigan neighborhood and attempt to catch a fish for dinner. If that becomes the case, welcome to the new, fundamentally changed, USSA.
Where does the federal government get the authority to decide what takes place on an isolated body of water? When Obama's current Climate Czar Carol Browner headed up the EPA under President Clinton in the 1990s, she implemented what is referred to as the "Glancing Goose Test." Geese being migratory birds fly across state borders. The theory is that if they glance down and see a body of water, no matter it's size, then as migratory border crossing birds, that water falls under the auspices of the interstate commerce clause. Is that a stretch?
This test was thrown out of court once but the Browner EPA ignored the ruling. Apparently the Obama administration may be ignoring it today, or they're not. Time will certainly tell.
Good fishing before all of this comes to pass. I can't begin to imagine the public outcry if indeed it does.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
President Obama met with some Republican Congressional leaders recently and asserted, "I'm not an ideologue. I'm not." Oddly enough that statement took me back to November of 1973 when President Nixon uttered the memorable words, "I'm not a crook." Many of us recall how that ended the following summer.
Whether President Obama is an ideologue or not is up for grabs, it's not for me to decide. I do however look at those with whom one associates as one measure of a person's core beliefs. Take some of his more controversial Czar appointments, high level, executive posts not confirmed by Congress and with little to no Congressional oversight.
Former Green Jobs Czar Van Jones for example, now resigned, an admitted Communist whom presidential aide Valerie Jarret once said, "We've had out eyes on him for a long time." That's comforting.
Then there's the Guantanamo Closure Czar Daniel Fried who believes that the U.S. caused the war on terrorism and that terrorists should be granted legal rights above those of our citizenry.
John Brennan, the Terrorism Czar has had a ton of face time on TV recently in attempting to explain the Christmas Bombing suspect folly. Brennan has no diplomatic or governmental affairs experience, supports open borders and the disbandment of the U.S. Military. Beyond that, he is anti-CIA. Great.
Weapons Czar Aston Carter wants all weapons in the U.S. destroyed and the U.N. gun ban on all firearms put in place.
Obama's WMD Czar Gary Samore seeks to destroy all WMD beginning with the U.S. arsenal first, a unilateral move as a "show of good faith." Did I mention that he is a former Communist too?
Of some thirty or more Czars, these are just a few of the extremist folks appointed in recent months to oversee our nation's future. Ideologues? You decide.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Rhetoric Galore: No Action
by j. wright
In political forums other than Blogspot.com, I have suggested that it‘s more important to watch what President Obama does rather than listening and taking what he says ‘to the bank.’ Much of the time they are at odds, and for one, I find that difficult to accept in anyone. As another writer posted recently, "Platitudes about America and the American people which, when he says them, simply do not ring true. They are words being mouthed but not believed by him."
Borrowing a paragraph from a blog recently submitted here at: Top of the Ticket, by Andrew Malcolm on 1/29/2010: "A startling new poll just out: It shows that fully 9 out of 10 Americans bought that State of the Union gimmick of President Obama's to impose an alleged spending freeze on parts of the federal budget to carve into the nation's deficit that's expanding faster than a billion bellies at Super Bowl snack time."
May I add, this is one person that didn't buy into it, and here's why:
In the past year, President Obama’s budget increased federal spending by somewhere near 20%… an amazing increase compared to former budgets. Now, supposedly switching to a more populist, or man-on-the-street, pro little-guy approach, he’s now proposing a “freeze” on federal spending. To me, this is akin to locking the barn door after the horse has been stolen.
Noted columnist Charles Krauthammer said on FOX Cable News recently: "It is not a hatchet or scalpel, it is a Q-tip, it is a fraud. This is a miniscule amount. It excludes defense, homeland security. It excludes Veterans Affairs. It excludes all the entitlements, which are 60% of the budget. It excludes stimuli past and future. The two-thirds of the new $1 trillion stimulus that has not been spent. All of that is excluded. It excludes the trillion that would end up being spent in health care, if it were passed. What it is, is a $15 billion reduction in a year, 2011, in which the CBO has just announced we’re going to have a deficit of $1.35 trillion. It’s a rounding error. It’s lunch money."
Scratching away the nine zeros in billions and creating a fraction using the $1.35 trillion weighed against the $15 billion in so-called reductions gives one a fraction that looks like 15/1,350, or farther, 1/90 which is equal to 0.011% if you prefer percentages. As Dr. Krauthammer said: "A Q-tip, a fraud." Or as I say, "Same ol' crap, different day."
$15 billion… ($15,000,000,00.00) a big "savings" in Obama's eyes and in the eyes of 9 out of 10 of those polled. Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in discussing one of the Senate Republicans failed health reform amendments, sneered at a “mere” $55 billions in annual savings if real medical tort reform were implemented thereby creating a much needed savings on health providers malpractice insurance premiums. Fancy. I guess it depends on whose billions we are talking about. Actually, all of those billions are either taxpayers dollars or dollars borrowed abroad from foreign interests. The government has no money of its own but our elected lawmakers and President Obama seem to have forgetten that minor detail.
Posted by CadillaqJaq at 9:40 AM
Health Care Reform? Great for Some; Crappy for Others!
by j. wright
Quoting a CBS News poll in part, “President Obama's approval rating on handling health care is at an all-time low Just 36 percent of Americans approve of Mr. Obama's handling of health care, according to the poll, conducted from Jan. 6 – 10. Fifty-four percent disapprove.”
The Wall Street Journal opined last October ” …it may well be the worst piece of post-New Deal legislation ever introduced.” Since then it has worsened. There is little voter consensus that the reforms under consideration represent the right approach. Only about one in five Americans thinks the reforms strike the right balance when it comes to expanding coverage, controlling costs and regulating insurance companies. Worse, congressional experts say 15 to 25 million Americans will still be left uninsured.
Now the Democrats and some of their special interest supporters are again bickering about a thing labeled “Cadillac Insurance” policies, or blanket coverage that is the very best an individual can possibly enjoy in today’s market. The final bill now being considered would assess a huge tax on the value of those policies. Some special interest groups, financial supporters of Democrat lawmakers, are now discovering that they were not exempted, especially many of the millions of labor union members. They are furious and are making their displeasure known at some of the “Sweetheart” favoritism deals being handed out by Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at the expense of everyone else.
Curious, why should a law grant some Americans special treatment and force others to pay higher costs? Constitutional scholars in opposition cite the 14th amendment guaranteeing “equal protection under the law.” In real reform, wouldn’t all Americans at the least be provided with improved health care coverage including lowered costs? This bill is allowing “better than equal protection” for a few several special interest groups. How constitutional is that?
Republicans May Use USSC to Stop Health Care Reform
by j. wright
Imagine that, the Republicans using one of the liberal Democrats favorite secondary legislative bodies, the Courts, to stop health care reform in it's tracks.
In a recent blog here, I brought up the issue of “standing” as it applies to who can bring, or file a legal suit, with the United States Supreme Court. In order to bring a case before the Justices the plaintiff(s) or ones bringing suit, must have ''standing,'' because apparently the Court is not allowed to open a case on their own even if they suspect that a law, or portion of it, is unconstitutional.
By definition in part, “standing” means, ''...that in the United States, the current doctrine is that a person cannot bring a suit challenging the constitutionality of a law unless the plaintiff can demonstrate that the plaintiff is (or will imminently be) harmed by the law. Additionally, the party suing must have ‘something to lose’ in order to sue unless they have automatic standing by action of law.''
Retired Judge Andrew Napolitano on FOX TV News recently confirmed that definition. Any citizen of the United States that will be harmed by the law, in this case, forced to buy health insurance under threat of financial fine or possible imprisonment, can bring suit because they have “standing.”
Judge Napolitano went on to say that if the pending health care reform legislation that is now being negotiated behind closed doors, not on C-Span as promised by Candidate Obama several times, is passed into law, a private citizen can seek relief and have the law deemed unconstitutional. Napolitano added that such action could also open the doors to looking at various other laws whose constitutionality has been questioned.
At this moment, Senator Orin Hatch, R-Utah, is putting this issue in motion. He can’t bring the suit personally but surely he will find an American citizen willing and able to do so. Time will tell.
Hatch and other Senators are arguing that the bill’s requirement that most people buy insurance or face a penalty violates the Constitution’s ban on taking private property for public purpose without just compensation.
Also, that a provision that could treat some insurance companies in Louisianna, Nebraska and Michigan different from others is a violation of the 14th Amendment's "equal protection'' clause.
The AG from Texas just joined in claiming that Congress can't force citizens to buy anything, including health insurance, by saying it falls under the Interstate Commerce clause.
Now it's getting serious, boy and girls. The AGs are using the "law of the land," our Constitution and the protections it affords the citizenry, to take a hard look at this mess the Democrats call reform.
"Standing..." You Either Have It Or You Don't!
by j. Wright
Every time I see the U.S. Supreme Court mentioned regarding the possible constitutionality of a new bill that Congress in its infinite wisdom has just passed into law, my head wants to explode; reason being, I don't fully understand the legality of the term ''standing.''
Its my understanding that in order to bring a case before the SC Justices the plaintiff(s) or ones bringing suit, must have ''standing,'' because apparently the Court is not allowed to simply open a case on their own because of public sentiment or pressure, or even if they might think in their own minds that a law, or portion of it, is unconstitutional.
If we examined all of the laws Congress has passed in the past decade or longer and examined them for constitutionality, I'd wager many of them wouldn't pass muster, but still they remain on the books. Why, because someone with ''standing'' didn't bother to make a federal case out of it? Or if someone did, a liberal federal judge in a lower court threw the case out before it reached the high court in Washington, D.C.
Or, trial lawyers being what they are and whom they support (Read: the liberal left in our politcal family) are not necessarily apt to take up such mundane matters as constitutionality. But I digress.
Definition of “standing” in part says, ''...that in the United States, the current doctrine is that a person cannot bring a suit challenging the constitutionality of a law unless the plaintiff can demonstrate that the plaintiff is (or will imminently be) harmed by the law. Additionally, the party suing must have something to lose in order to sue unless they have automatic standing by action of law.''
If Congress passes a law next week mandating that all Americans MUST buy health insurance or be fined, and if the individual doesn't pay that fine they will be penalized a much larger amount and jailed, isn't that ''having something to lose?'' Such as one's liberty? Or is our loss of liberty just a foregone conclusion nowadays? Maybe the key word up there is ''imminently.''
Imminently we may find out.