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Thursday, 29 January 2015
And I Hated Her in "The Hours"...
Topic: Liberal Fascism

Breaking News: Julianne Moore doesn’t believe in God—but she does believe in gun control. 

Moore’s positions on these issues are being ballyhooed by the Hollywood Reporter on the theory that since the actress is an Oscar favorite her opinions matter. Maybe so, though I doubt it—but what cannot be doubted is that her opinions are one-hundred-percent predictable. To disbelieve in God is so edgy, don’t you know, and to scorn the bitter clingers is to strike such a fashionable pose. Just by looking at the photos accompanying the article you can tell that Moore supports gay marriage, abortion on demand, free community college for all, Barack Obama and—ugh!—admires the novels of Margaret Atwood.

Whenever I hear or read of some celeb—Ben Stiller, say, or Susan Sarandon—bloviating about God, guns, Islam, etc.—I’m reminded afresh of the burned bridges between Tinseltown and Flyover Country USA. This is why the film industry has such a hard time with certain subject matter. One of the reasons why American Sniper attracted so much attention is that it’s so atypical of the contemporary American war movie. It’s not that Hollywood can’t portray the American warrior as a hero and the armed forces as a noble band of brother and sisters. But that’s not the industry’s default setting, so when it produces something like American Sniper considerable angst ensues.

You will not be surprised to learn that Julianne Moore is on Twitter, where she airs her views on gun control and other issues. She professes to be shocked by the negative feedback she receives on that particular issue: “I get more reactions on Twitter about gun safety than anything else. mI don't understand how we're threatening the Second Amendment because we're talking about gun safety rules.” Well, of course she doesn’t understand why gun-owning Americans would object to the activities of gun grabbers like Everytown for Gun Safety, a group for whom Moore serves as a celebrity spokesperson.

But here’s what I don’t understand: why this person—a mere actress!—thinks that people actually care what she thinks about gun control, climate change, etc. Anything is possible, I guess, but it seems to me unlikely that anyone would ever say, “I saw this tweet from Julianne Moore today and it really changed my views on gun control…”


Posted by tmg110 at 1:57 PM EST
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Wednesday, 28 January 2015
A Simple Truth Denied
Topic: Decline of the West

Writing in the print edition of National Review, Theodore Dalrymple makes a point worth pondering: how can any religion that criminalizes apostasy be characterized as a “religion of peace”?

“Islam is a religion of peace,” we are told—by the President of the United States and his subordinates, by the mainstream media, by progressive intellectuals and even by airhead celebrities. Those who commit acts of terror in the name of Islam are not real Muslims at all but “violent extremists.” Whether the President and Ben Stiller actually believe this nonsense is a good question but it would be unfair to saddle them with the blame for creating the religion-of-peace meme. We heard it from George W. Bush on the morrow of 9/11 and on many subsequent occasions. One can easily understand Bush’s desire to avoid alienating Muslim nations whose cooperation would be necessary in the war just then beginning: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, etc. But we’ve accumulated a good deal of experience since that time, enough to show that it does no good to cling to a claim that simply isn’t so.

To point out this obvious fact is to court charges of “Islamophobia,” so let me be clear about what I am and am not saying. Of course it’s true that the majority of Muslims are decent, peaceful people. But Islam does little to support the better angels of their nature. Take the example cited by Dalrymple: apostasy. As a Roman Catholic I know that I’m free to leave the Church at any time. No one will come after me with a summons to some religious tribunal; no one will pronounce the anathema against me, exhorting the faithful to kill me if they can. The only authority that the Catholic Church asserts over me is moral authority: an accounting to God alone—not to my parish priest, to my bishop or even to the Pope. But if I were a backsliding Muslim I’d have good reason to fear the religious authorities and in some countries even the secular authorities. The Quran, the hadith (Islamic records and traditions outside the Quran) and Sharia (Islamic law based on the Quran and the hadith) all prescribe death for apostasy—and anyone who regards these prescriptions as out of date or metaphoric hasn’t been paying attention to the news.

It’s bad enough that Western leaders like Barack Obama lie to their own people about the true character of Islam. But what is worse, these lies reach the ears of Muslims as well and they know the truth better than anyone. The small cohort of reforming Muslims hears such words with despair. So-called moderate Muslims hear them and are the more prepared to conclude, as the radical Islamists claim, that the West is weak, degenerate and fearful. And Islamists receive them with glee. Islamofascism, as it ought to be called in defiance of political correctness, openly proclaims its hatred of all that is un-Muslim, openly declares war on the West—and the West will not recognize them for what they are. This willful blindness, this moral cowardliness, is dangerous for the West and tragic for Muslims themselves—Muslims being by far the most numerous victims of Islamofascism.

There are many good, decent people in Europe and America who suppose that if they speak softly, voicing no harsh truths, Islam will eventually reform itself. Surely the vast majority of Muslims are also good, decent people who sooner or later will come to see that the ideology of Islamofascism is a perversion of their peaceful religion. History teaches otherwise. The vast majority of Germans living between 1933 and 1945 were good, decent people. But this did not prevent Adolph Hitler and his National Socialists from seizing control of Germany, then plunging it and the world into the cauldron of total war. Today the Führer is remembered as a madman and a monster, and we’ve mostly forgotten that much of what he said seemed plausible at the time. So it is with the Islamofascists. Those monsters can plausibly cite Islam—the Quran, the hadith, Sharia—in support of their totalitarian ideology. Pretending that it just isn’t so, that Islamofascism is “violent extremism” that has nothing to do with the “religion of peace,” amounts to a futile and pusillanimous flight from reality.

 


Posted by tmg110 at 11:16 AM EST
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Tuesday, 27 January 2015
From Junk Food to Junk Science
Topic: Liberal Fascism

Don't you love it when progressives turn Pringles into a political issue? From the Washington Post“The growth of Wal-Mart may have made America’s obesity epidemic worse”

How so? Well, according to researchers from a number of universities who co-authored a paper on the subject: “Greater availability of these stores reduces travel time to obtain food, presumably increasing weight.” Oh, well, that settles that!

Or does it? Note the sly inclusion of the adverb presumably in the sentence quoted above. What this means is the researchers have no direct evidence of a connection between the spread of big-box stores and America’s obesity epidemic. But if you trail a string of post-nominal initials lack of evidence doesn’t really matter. “We live in an environment with increasingly cheap and readily available junk food,” said Professor Charles Courtemanche of Georgia State University, one of the coauthors of the paper. “We buy in bulk. We tend to have more food around. It takes more and more discipline and self-control to not let that influence your weight.”

Now as it happens Courtemanche is not a research biologist, a physician or a dietician but an assistant professor of economics. So a reasonable response to his statement would be along the lines of “How do you know?” But that was not a question that WaPo journalist Danielle Paquette, who wrote the article, would ever think of asking. A “study” by “researchers” that comes clothed in the shimmering robes of scientific respectability and slams that hated and reviled foe of all that is fine and good—Wal-Mart—is sure to enjoy a rapturous reception in progressive circles!

So on the one hand, progressives emote about hunger in America—nowadays referred as “food insecurity.” But on the other hand, they have their knickers in a twist about the wide availability of cheap food. There are dots here that the self-described reality-based community and its media minions seems unable to connect. But of course, to connect them would be to deprive themselves of an issue—either hunger or obesity, it’s hard to say.


Posted by tmg110 at 11:04 AM EST
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The House That Frank Built
Topic: The Box Office

Hollywood doesn’t do politics very well at all.

The above statement isn’t a criticism of Tinseltown political activism—which has a certain amount of entertainment value if you like low comedy. No, I mean depictions of politics on the silver screen and the boob tube. Even when they’re entertaining, they’re wildly unrepresentative of real-world politics. Case in point: House of Cards.

I started watching this much-praised Netflix last week and admittedly it’s good fun. Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood, a ruthless sociopathic congressman with his eye on America’s top political prize, is a memorable character in the vein of Macbeth and Richard III. One recalls the latter when Underwood pauses for one of his frequent cynical asides to the audience. And his wife Claire, played by Robin Wright, gives Lady Macbeth a run for her money. As for the rest of the cast of characters, a less appealing collection of soulless, venal strivers would be difficult to assemble. Particularly repugnant is Zoe Barnes (played by Kate Mara) an ambitious young journalist with the morals of a sewer rat who’ll use anyone—and allow herself to be used by anyone—to get ahead.

I’ve reached the point in House of Cards where Underwood, having intrigued, connived, betrayed and finally murdered his way up the greasy pole, is on the verge of being appointed vice president. Quite a thrill ride!

But hardly an accurate depiction of American politics. I caught myself thinking more than once that we could use a Frank Underwood in Washington DC—at least he knows how to get things done. No doubt if they’d put Frank in charge of it, the Obamacare website would have purred like a Mercedes Benz. But that’s precisely my point. People like Frank Underwood either don’t exist in politics or, if they do, the system stymies them. DC isn’t eleventh-century Scotland or fifteenth-century England. Guys like Macbeth and Crookback Richard could murder their way to the top but in our degenerate age, the successful political striver is not a man but a marketing concept: a media persona spat upon and spit-shined to a high sheen of inoffensive nothingness. Like you-know-who…

There was Richard Nixon, of course: a capable man of vast ambition and many resentments. I though of Nixon more than once while watching Spacey do his thing. But Nixon was no Underwood—or perhaps I should phrase it the other way around. For all his sinister charm, Frank Underwood just isn’t interesting as a person. He has his ambition and that’s that. He’s fun to watch. But he’s a cartoon.

Now it may be that as the series goes on Frank’s character will begin to exhibit some depth—I can only comment on what I’ve seen so far. And another feature of House of Cards that struck me is it’s Etch-a-Sketch depiction of the political process, e.g. how bills are written. Apparently all you have to do to pass an education bill is lock a bunch of staffers and teacher-union functionaries in a conference room for the weekend and presto! There’s your bill. This is about as far from the real-world legislative process as it’s possible to imagine. Recall the long, drawn-out agony of Obamacare’s progress from Jonathan Gruber brainchild to law of the land! Oh, well, if it took the time to show how things actually work, House of Cards would be an unendurable snoozefest. Instead it’s a slick, addictive TV soap opera—not on the Shakespearian level of Breaking Bad, mind you, but highly entertaining. Just don’t believe what you see. In its amalgam of naiveté  and cynicism House of Cards has nothing much to tell us about real politics in the real world.


Posted by tmg110 at 10:09 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 27 January 2015 10:22 AM EST
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Monday, 26 January 2015
The Winter of Their Discontent
Topic: Politics & Elections

Remember that emerging Democratic majority? Well, what a difference a couple of election cycles make!

Not so very long ago, the Democratic Party and the progressive movement were buzzing with happy talk about the inevitability of a permanent Democratic/progressive majority. Demography was said to be destiny: As the population profile of America evolved, becoming less white, less married more secular, etc., voters would automatically gravitate toward the Dems. Having successfully played mascot-group politics of many decades, they convinced themselves that the game would go on forever, tending more and more in their favor.

It all sounded very plausible but somehow, somewhere, a gap opened up between theory and practice. Sure, in 2008 the election of Barack Obama and the solidification of the Democrats’ hold on both houses of Congress seemed to signal the advent of that permanent majority. But then something inexplicable happened. In 2010 the Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives. But for some marginal GOP candidates the Senate might have flipped that year as well. Obama was reelected in 2012 but his coattails were short. Though the Dems picked up eight House seats that still left them far short of a majority. The two Senate seats they picked up fell into their laps when a couple of Republican candidates self-destructed by making idiotic comments about rape and abortion. Then came the 2014 midterm election and that one was a blowout. Not only did the GOP expand its majority in the House—picked up nine seats to gain control of the Senate as well.

Democrats were stunned. They knew that a midterm election in a president’s second term seldom goes well for the president’s party. But this wasn’t a setback. It was a disaster. And now, as related in this storyby Lauren French and Anna Palmer for Politico, House Democrats are fretting that they may have been consigned to permanent minority status.

More than a few congressional Democrats are pointing an accusatory finger at Barack Obama who, to be sure, has done little to advance the interests of his own party. Progressive who cheer the President’s willingness to go it alone overlook the fact that such unilateralism cuts not only congressional Republicans but congressional Democrats out of the process. The idea that their function over the next two years will be to sustain Obama’s vetoes is not very appealing. And they still haven’t figured out how they can possibly get back on course toward a new Democratic majority.

Ever helpful, President Obama laid out a strategy for his fellow Democrats in his recent State of the Union address: building a “middle-class economy.” Sounds good! But in reality Obama merely offered more of the same: higher taxes on the “rich,” more free stuff for the proles. True, here and there he offered a decent idea. But (not really) free community college for all, a minimum wage hike, an increase in the capital gains tax, etc., etc. will do little to help the embattled middle class—and they know it. While a middle-class tax cut would be nice it doesn’t address fundamental economic problems: wage stagnation, anemic job creation, mediocre economic growth.

So while demographics can’t be disregarded, recent events seem to show that they’re not as reliably progressive as Democrats fondly imagined—policies and personalities count for more in the long run. The disaster that is Obamacare and the disappointment that is the Obama presidency symbolize the Democratic Party’s failure in both categories. Only when a new generation of leaders emerge can the party be expected come in from the cold.


Posted by tmg110 at 11:17 AM EST
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Thursday, 22 January 2015
Big Lies and Higher Truths
Topic: Liberal Fascism

You will—or should not be—surprised to learn that the Department of Justice has cleared former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson of civil rights violations in connection with last summer’s shooting of black teenager Michael Brown. No doubt the hopes of cop-bashing lefties and race baiters have thereby been dashed but it was easy to see this decision coming. In such a case, charging the officer under federal civil rights statutes is a heavy lift for the prosecution. The standard of proof demands clear and compelling evidence of racial bias, i.e. that the cop acted out of bigotry or race hatred. Obviously no such evidence would have been forthcoming in the Ferguson case. So Darren Wilson has now been exonerated of both murder and racism. But of course the Left will not be satisfied.

Though it’s based on an entirely false narrative—or to use plain language, a lie—the Left’s “hands up, don’t shoot” mantra seems too compelling a piece of agitprop to be abandoned. Who cares if it isn’t true? When a police officer shoots a black person that’s racism—period. Never mind the facts. Somehow, in some way that can’t quite be defined, “hands up, don’t shoot” is claimed to expresses a higher truth. It’s the same mind-set that leads campus feminists to explain away a false rape charge with the argument that, after all, the lie does highlight a real problem.

What I find remarkable about this is the Left’s inability to see that an embrace of the lie in the face of the facts harms their own cause. Notwithstanding the outrage and hysteria over Ferguson, it turns out that the police were in the right. Even the argument that the cops overreacted immediately after the shooting by putting on a paramilitary show of force was undermined by the violent rioting that followed the grand jury’s decision not to indict Wilson. So maybe the Ferguson Police Department knew what it was doing. When the Obama/Holder light footprint method was tried, Ferguson burned.

Ditto the Eric Garner case in New York. On the face of things this was a clear-cut example of police brutality leading to the death of an unarmed black man. As the Left tells it, Garner was choked to death by a racist cop. But in fact Eric Garner was not subjected to a chokehold: The autopsy of his body disclosed no damage to his windpipe or neck bones. Moreover, experts who studied the video record concluded that the officer was applying a submission hold, which is intended to deprive the brain of oxygen by stopping blood flow through the arteries. Unlike the chokehold, this technique is not prohibited by the NYPD. Bottom line: Eric Garner did not die of asphyxiation. He died of complications triggered by the submission hold, said complications deriving from preexisting medical conditions: acute and chronic bronchial asthma, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. These facts explain why the grand jury declined to indict the police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, on murder charges. So while there are many troubling things about the Garner case, racist cop violence isn’t one of them.

It goes without saying that the Left isn’t interested in the facts of either case. On the contrary, the leftie blogosphere is still pushing various conspiracy theories, e.g. that the Ferguson grand jury was lied to in some way. Perhaps the Justice Department’s decision to leave Darren Wilson in peace will steal some of the wind from the sails of this ideological Flying Dutchman. I doubt it though. Like Dr. Goebbels, progressive activists have considerable faith in the power of the Big Lie.


Posted by tmg110 at 9:41 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 26 January 2015 11:21 AM EST
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Tuesday, 20 January 2015
Big Box Office, Bitter Lefties
Topic: Liberal Fascism

Self-parody has been a characteristic of the Left since the Sixties at least and possibly earlier. In retrospect what could be funnier—and more revealing of their parking lot-puddle shallowness, than the rhetoric of Sixties radicals like the Weather Underground? That it was accompanied by a destructive nihilism only slightly mitigates the humor of the New Left’s rhetorical bleat, which may be sampled in the books and periodicals of the period.

And the more things change, the more they stay the same. So you really have to swing for the fences if you want to serve up a parody of contemporary progressivism. And it’s getting harder every day. Consider for example the Left’s reaction to the new Clint Eastwood film American Sniper, a biopic based on the life and death of legendary Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. It seems actually to have driven them insane. Michael Moore took to Twitter to denounce Kyle as a “coward.” Other comrades lambasted him as a psychopath, a racist, a serial killer—insults they would never think of hurling at an Islamofascist terrorist, by the way. There was much hand-wringing over the “simplistic” patriotism that inspired the bitter clingers and Tea Party fascists to admire Chris Kyle. And so on and so forth.

Now it’s understandable that the Left doesn’t like American Sniper—which, to the Left’s evident dismay, is shaping up to be a huge hit. Chris Kyle’s story is the negation of just about everything they say and believe about the war against Islamofascist terror, the US armed forces and America in general. One has only to recall the recent war movies that the Left does admire to see where these people are coming from: Stop-Loss, Green Zone, etc. (Not incidentally, these films were snoozers that bombed at the box office.) But their reaction to American Sniper…well, it’s beyond parody. Here we have blowhards like Moore and doofus heads like the actor Seth Rogen dumping on the memory of a guy whose jockstrap is several sizes too big for the likes of them. We can take it for granted that not one of American Sniper’s leftie critics would ever think of putting service before self, of laying it on the line for his beliefs, of giving his life that others might live. The brotherhood—nowadays the brotherhood and sisterhood—of arms is cultural territory utterly alien to progressives. It’s one aspect of their estrangement from the main currents of American thought and feeling. For the ordinary Americans who shelled out $105 million to see American Sniper on the weekend of its release do understand such things. They get it—either because they’ve worn the uniform themselves, they know someone who has or simply because they recognize patriotism, honor and courage when they see it. But progressives are no more capable of seeing such things than I am of receiving a radio transmission with bare ears alone.

But personally I can’t be outraged by all this. What could be funnier, after all, than the spectacle of Michael Moore, desecrating the grave of Chris Kyle? He does his little dance, kicks over the headstone—and when it’s all over Chris Kyle memory abides intact while Moore stands exposed as the small, tiny person that he truly is: a petty con artist with a head full of leftie platitudes and the soul of a rat.


Posted by tmg110 at 12:35 PM EST
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Monday, 19 January 2015
Some Like It Hot
Topic: Decline of the West

No doubt you’ve seen reports to the effect that 2014 was “the hottest year in Earth’s recorded history.” Such was the headline in the New York Times last week and it has global warming fanatics crowing.

But wouldn’t you know it? There’s far less to this alarming report than meets the eye. Writing for the Federalist, Robert Tracinski lays out the actual facts: “When you read the phrase “in recorded history,” you think we’re talking about a really long time—the time dating back to the first historical records in Sumeria, circa 3500 BC. (That’s what you’ll find if you look up the phrase “recorded history.”) That’s a time frame of 5,000 to 6,000 years. But in the case of the temperature record, it actually means only 135 years. Accurate, systematic, global thermometer measurements of surface temperatures go back only to 1880.”

As Tracinski goes on to point out, 135 years is an eye blink in terms of long-term climate trends. Moreover scientists know that there have been periods prior to 1880 when the global climate was warmer than it is now. As for the changes that can be documented over the 135-year span since 1880, when fitted into the real long-term picture they appear as minor variations from the norm.

The fact that there have been periods in the past when the planetary climate was much warmer than it is today drives the global warming mob crazy and they’ve made a number of attempts to airbrush it out of the historical record, most notoriously with Michael Mann’s false “hockey stick” temperature graph. But perhaps more damning to their case is the additional fact that Earth’s long-term climate profile exhibits repeated fluctuations between warming and cooling, with cooler periods, i.e. ice ages, predominating. Just now we happen to be living through a warm interglacial period—but going forward, climate change is far more likely to take the form of a new ice age.

Oh, and there’s one more thing. It may be true that 2014 was the hottest year since 1880 but then again maybe not. What most news reports neglected to mention was how much hotter it was than the previous hottest year, 2010. Just so you know, 2014 was two one-hundredths of a degree warmer than 2010—that’s 0.02º Celsius. The margin of error for such measurements is 0.1º Celsius. In other words, there was no measurable increase in warming at all.


Posted by tmg110 at 1:18 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 19 January 2015 1:28 PM EST
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Vermont's Bitter Pill
Topic: Liberal Fascism

So you don’t like Obamacare? No problem! There’s a quick, simple fix: double down to single payer!

Such is the mantra of lefties like Bob Beckel of FNC’s The Five. It’s not that Obamacare went too far. No, no, it didn’t go far enough—though as they often add, it was “a good first step.” But single payer remains the progressive goal: a healthcare system in which the federal government provides all the coverage and pays all the bills. How this would work remains uncertain. Various schemes have been floated. One idea, beguiling in its simplicity, is “Medicare for All”—an extension of this popular program to cover all Americans.

There are some good reasons, however, to think that single payer wouldn’t actually work out in practice. One is that the very people who tout it are the people who created and supported the policy debacle known as Obamacare. Another is the fact that the United States is a very large country with a highly complex healthcare system—a system that it might prove impossible to run along bureaucratic top-down lines. And then there’s the Vermont Model.

If you get your news from the mainstream media recent events in the Granite State may have escaped your attention. Briefly, the Affordable Care Act includes an opt-out clause for states that adopt a single-payer healthcare system. Though several states are mulling this over, so far only Vermont has made a serious effort to go the single payer route. Enabling legislation was passed in 2011 with significant input from an outside consultant: none other than Professor Jonathan Gruber of “stupid American voters” infamy. The system was scheduled to launch in 2017.

Green Mountain Care, as the plan was dubbed, promised to deliver lavish benefits, far superior to Obamacare. Vermonters would have 94% of their total medical expenses covered. Sounds like a great deal, eh? Well it is—or it would have been except for the little matter of financing the program. Once the numbers were crunched, state officials discovered to their consternation that Green Mountain Care would require a 160% increase in state taxes by 2019. Vermont’s top income tax rate would double from 9% to 18%, saddling top earners with a combined federal-state income tax bill of 56%. But the poor and the middle class wouldn’t have been cheering, for even they faced substantial tax hikes. And that was not all. Vermont businesses faced the prospect of a nearly 12% state payroll tax—this in addition to the preexisting federal payroll tax.

But even this tsunami of new taxes would not have been enough to keep Green Mountain Care out of the red, so it was also proposed to slash payments to doctors and hospitals by 16%, with easily predicable effects on access to and quality of Vermont healthcare.

Equally predictable was the reaction of state officials, who decided that they’d prefer not to ask Vermonters to swallow this bitter pill. Last month Governor Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, unceremoniously shoved Green Mountain Care down the memory hole.

Now some may argue that the Granite State's dalliance with single payer signifies nothing in particular. What doesn’t work on a small scale may well prove feasible when scaled up. Perhaps so. But coming as it does from people who (2) ballyhooed Obamacare and (2) cheered plucky little Vermont’s progressive experiment, this argument may not resonate with very many Americans…


Posted by tmg110 at 9:33 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 19 January 2015 12:50 PM EST
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Thursday, 15 January 2015
Barry's Free-for-All
Topic: Liberal Fascism

Critics typically characterize Barack Obama’s retreat from reality in terms of foreign policy: Iraq, Afghanistan, the fight against Islamofascism, Iran, Putinist Russia. But it’s in the field of domestic policy that he’s really out in Left field.

Free community college for all! Or to translate: Let’s take a bad idea—that everyone but everyone should go to college—and make it worse by shoving the costs onto the taxpayer. Yes, I know, I know: The “rich” will be the only ones who pay. But when you add up all the stuff that Obama and his leftie minions expect the rich to finance via taxes…well, not even Amerikka, quasi-fascist epicenter of income inequality, has that many rich people.

Having proposed one truly stupid idea without being struck by lightning, our Community Organizer-in-Chief apparently decided to double down with that hardy perennial of progressive fabulists, “paid sick leave.” Paid by whom, do you ask? Who else? Once more the rich will be asked to dig deep. Because, after all, the rich are bad, greedy people. So screw them! America is exhorted to adopt these policies so as to advance into the ranks of the advanced industrial democracies…like France with its 11% unemployment rate.

There’s a common thread in these proposals from the President and in the mind-set of the Left generally: contempt for the work ethic. Remember Nancy Pelosi, rhapsodizing that Obamacare would enable Americans to quit their dead-end jobs and pursue their “dreams”? The idea that hard work is how you make your dreams come true seems alien to these coddled elitists. Besides which, some dreams are the reverse of worthy or noble. Many people, it seems, dream of doing nothing in particular while other people support them. Thanks to progressivism we have plenty of programs in place to support such dreams already. Barack Obama’s claim that more are needed seems to me dubious—to put it as gently as possible.


Posted by tmg110 at 2:15 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 15 January 2015 2:18 PM EST
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