Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
« May 2012 »
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31
You are not logged in. Log in
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
Decline of the West
Freedom's Guardian
Liberal Fascism
Military History
Must Read
Politics & Elections
Scratchpad
The Box Office
The Media
Verse
Virtual Reality
Culture & the Arts
The New Criterion
Twenty-Six Letters
Tuesday, 1 May 2012
Arise, You Prisoners of...Whatever
Topic: Decline of the West

Happy May Day, everybody! I was thinking of going on strike in solidarity with the malodorous comrades of the Occupy movement, but I can't figure out how one goes on strike against retirement…


Posted by tmg110 at 8:12 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Monday, 30 April 2012
Who's Serving Whom?
Topic: Decline of the West

 

Well, this story begs a question! From the Washington Post:  

 

As the economic recovery has struggled to pick up speed, one of the biggest stumbling blocks has been job losses in state and local governments, which have been on the rise for much of President Obama’s term.

 

Early on, Obama fought for aid that saved hundreds of thousands of these jobs, economists say. Yet a year later, when his economic advisers said another large round of aid was critical for the health of the economy, Obama declined to make it a key part of his agenda. His political advisers said such an effort would be fruitless. Republican opponents on Capitol Hill, including some who were glad to see the public sector shrink, were arguing that these jobs were not vital for the economy.

 

Today, as Obama seeks another term, the heavy job losses at the state and local level remain a significant economic concern. His response at different moments underscores how the president has sometimes fought hard against the political odds for policies he thinks crucial and at other times relented when the chances of success seemed low.

 

Since the beginning of his term, state and local governments have shed 611,000 employees—including 196,000 educators—according to government statistics. Unlike the recovery in private-sector employment that Obama and his reelection campaign often cite—with businesses adding 4 million jobs since hiring hit its low point in 2010—the jobs crisis at the state and local level has continued throughout his term.

 

So here's the question: How is is it, exactly, that the loss of 611,000 public-sector jobs has stymied the economic recovery? The Post story doesn’t say. In 2008 there were roughly 22 million federal, state and local public sector employees (excluding the armed forces). The loss of 611,000 public sector jobs represents about one fortieth of the total—this without taking into account the expansion of public sector employment at the federal level that has occurred under Obama. Moreover, many of these job losses occurred when retiring workers were not replaced, and so did not affect the unemployment rate.

 

In reality, however, the Obama Administration’s real concern has nothing to do with “job losses.” The truth slips out in this paragraph:

 

On Friday, new government data showed that economic growth slowed in the first three months of the year, in part because government at the local, state and federal level has been spending less money—money that could have fueled economic activity.

 

Aha! So federal aid to support public sector employment at the state and local levels is really just stealth stimulus spending. And of course, it benefits greedy public sector unions, which are key Obama allies.

 

The reason that state and local governments are cutting down their work forces is that they overspent and over-promised when times were good. Now they’re feeling the pinch and, unlike the federal government, states and localities have to bring their budgets into balance. The current fight in Wisconsin over Governor Scott Walker’s benefit and collective bargaining reforms exemplifies the crisis. On one side are responsible leaders who realize that the gravy train has run off the rails. On the other side are power-hungry union thugs and public sector employees in denial about economic realities. The latter group is looking to the Obama Administration for…a bailout. Once again, the hard-pressed taxpayers of this country would be forced to pony up in support of public servants' gold-plated wages and benefits. Does that sound like a plan to you?


Posted by tmg110 at 9:09 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 29 April 2012
With Friends Like These...
Topic: Liberal Fascism

 

The odious Bill Maher made such a name for himself as a female-bashing sleazeball that his vulgar little jihad against religion has faded into the background. (Like many progressives, Maher believes that sophomoric insults, the cruder the better, parades his broad-minded enlightenment.) He must be tired of beating up on women, though, because now he’s publically mocking Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith. In Maher’s considered opinion, Mormonism is ‘bullshit” and a “cult.”

 

Let’s stipulate that viewed from the outside, Mormonism does seem weird. But the same could be said for just about any religion. Transubstantiation, anyone? And don’t even talk to me about some of that stuff in the Koran! Let’s also stipulate that everyone—even a creature like Maher—is entitled to his opinion.

 

Somewhere in one of those creepy old religious books that Maher likes to mock it says, “Judge not lest ye be judged.” His judgment of Mormonism thus legitimizes my judgment of him: bigot. And, not incidentally, he’s the religion-bashing bigot who recently donated a cool $1 million to the Obama super PAC. But of course, Maher’s money is just as good as anyone’s—right, Barry?


Posted by tmg110 at 1:22 PM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Saturday, 28 April 2012
Just Wondering...
Topic: Decline of the West

Is anyone else as sick to death as I am of the whole "social justice" troupe? What the hell does it even mean?


Posted by tmg110 at 3:54 PM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 24 April 2012
Hardly a Surprise
Topic: Liberal Fascism

 

Well, it finally has happened. For a long time progressives have been fed up with the stupid Constitution of the United States, an arcane document that sometimes prevents them from remaking America in the image of a New Deal wall mural. So now congressional Democrats, with Nancy Pelosi in the lead, are proposing to eliminate the First Amendment, replacing it with something called the People’s Rights Amendment. Here’s the text:

 

Section 1. We the people who ordain and establish this Constitution intend the rights protected by this Constitution to be the rights of natural persons.

Section 2. People, person, or persons as used in this Constitution does not include corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities established by the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state, and such corporate entities are subject to such regulation as the people, through their elected state and federal representatives, deem reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under this Constitution.

Section 3. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to limit the people's rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free exercise of religion, and such other rights of the people, which rights are inalienable.

 

Another way of putting this would be to say: “The moment you associate with a second person, or with a group of people, for any purpose whatsoever, your constitutional rights become subject to government review.” In effect, Pelosi & Co. are proposing to cancel Americans’ right of freedom of association. Supposedly this is to eliminate that begbear of the Occupy movement, “corporate personhood.” But as National Review points out in this editorial:

 

The so-called People’s Rights Amendment would have some strange consequences: Newspapers, television networks, magazines, and online journalism operations typically are incorporated. So are political parties and campaign committees, to say nothing of nonprofits, business associations, and the like. Under the People’s Rights Amendment, [NYT columnist] Thomas Friedman would still enjoy putative First Amendment protection, but it would not do him much good inasmuch as the New York Times Company, being a corporation, would no longer be protected by the First Amendment. In short, any political speech more complex than standing on a soapbox at an intersection would be subject to the whims of Nancy Pelosi.

 

If I had to pick the person least to be trusted to preserve the freedoms and liberties bequeathed to us by the Founders and Framers, Nancy Pelosi would be on the short list of finalists.


Posted by tmg110 at 4:26 PM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
The Persecution of Comrade Susan
Topic: Liberal Fascism

 

For a left-wing kook, a left-wing kook, no ideological credential is more prized than government surveillance. If the feds have ever tapped your phone, that shows you're a true comrade.

 

So here’s Susan Sarandon, sobbing that “I’ve had my phone tapped.” (She offered no evidence in support of this claim.) Even more troubling, Sarandon was denied a security clearance to visit the White House “and I don’t know why.”

 

Sarandon, of course, is a Tinseltown leftie of the most vibrant hue of pink. Name a progressive cause, from bank bashing to gay marriage, and she’s been out there supporting it. Sarandon’s also a big supporter of the brain-dead Occupy movement. And she has a habit of rhetorical carelessness. Recently she was forced to issue a reluctant apology after calling Pope Benedict XVI a Nazi. So while the actress may be puzzled by her lack of access to the White House, it’s really not hard to figure out why, particularly in an election year, Obama & Co. don't want her hanging around.

 

Now of course Susan Sarandon is entitled to her opinions. Still, someone who supported John Edwards for president, opining that Jesus Himself was anti-corporation and thus would have been “very supportive” of the candidate, is clearly an idiot. I’m sure that Obama would take her money—but he certainly wouldn’t want to be seen in the same room with her.


Posted by tmg110 at 8:04 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Monday, 23 April 2012
Hold the Pessimism
Topic: Decline of the West

 

OK, since last I opined, Mitt Romney has locked up the Republican Party presidential nomination—barring the political equivalent of a comet strike. So what are his chances against President Obama?

 

Glooming away in a corner are the usual conservative pessimists who say that having failed to choose a true-blue conservative candidate, the GOP is doomed to defeat in November. I just don’t buy that. The claim that ideological purity is the key to presidential electability is, in a word, humbug. The upcoming election will be a referendum on the incumbent. Voters will be eyeballing Barack Obama, evaluating his performance, and asking themselves if they want four more years of false hope and chump change. The opposition needs merely to present a plausible alternative.

 

The 2012 election will be about the state of the US economy, which even the New York Times admits is in pretty shaky condition. The President has manifestly failed to deliver on his high-flown promises. His great achievement—Obamacare—is about as popular as a Big Mac at PETA headquarters. Unemployment remains high. Job growth remains anemic. The price of gas is painfully high The threat of new taxes and regulations has the business community on edge.

 

Obama gave himself three years to fix things—a statement that’s going to come back to haunt him as the campaign heats up. He has little to boast about, so of course he’s going to go negative. Mitt Romney can expect to be hit by every dirty trick and scurrilous accusation in the Democratic Party playbook. Mitt the Mormon? Zany cultist and possible secret polygamist!  Mitt the family man? Lazy stay-at-home wife! Mitt the businessman? Out-of-touch rich guy and greedy one-percenter! Mitt the candidate? In the hip pocket of the bloated Wall Street plutocrats!

 

Aside from attacking Romney directly, the Dems will seek to whip up class, racial and resentments by harping on such strings as the Buffet Rule, the Martin/Zimmerman case, birth control, etc. In short, we can expect from Obama & Co. a campaign of sustained negativity and unrelieved nastiness.

 

But it won’t work.

 

Of course Mitt Romney could step all over it and throw away his chances—say, by erratic behavior of the kind that turned off voters to John McCain in 2008. Or he could succumb to the temptation to hit back at the Obama smear machine. That would be a mistake. However, if he runs a broadly positive campaign that concentrates on the failures of President Obama’s policies and presents an alternative vision for America, his chances of beating the incumbent are good.

 

Yes, I know: the thought of that makes some conservatives writhe. It’s so satisfying to hit back at the little man behind the big desk in the Oval Office—who is one of the nastiest and most unpleasant men to have occupied that space. Newt Gingrich owed his moment in the spotlight to his combativeness. But in the long run people don’t like that kind of thing from a presidential candidate. And they like it even less from a president, which is why I say that the Obama strategy won’t work.

 

Obviously some bare-knuckle politics will have to be practiced against a serpent like Barack Obama. For the most part, though, that sort of thing can be left to outside actors: the super PACs & etc. Should they overreach, the Romney campaign can disavow their actions. And given the tactics likely to be employed by the Democrats, Romney can always deploy the tu quoqe defense.

 

So spare me the doom and gloom. Let’s see how the campaign shapes up over the next couple of months. If Mitt Romney turns out to be a dud candidate, there’ll be plenty of time for hand-wringing at the end of June.


Posted by tmg110 at 9:54 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Saturday, 21 April 2012
Reality Intrudes
Topic: Scratchpad

No posts recently—what's up with that? Inquiring minds want to know!

Well, I've been busy with other things over the last few days but will soon be getting my head back into the blogging game.


Posted by tmg110 at 7:12 PM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 17 April 2012
Recall Fever Produces Political Nausea
Topic: Liberal Fascism

 

A few weeks ago, progressives and union thugs were high-fiving one another over what they believed to be a slam-dunk: the effort to remove Wisconsin’s Republican governor, Scott Walker, via a recall election. They were seeking revenge for Walker’s budget 2011 reforms, which were based on the radical notion that public servants such as teachers work for…the public.

 

But the recall campaign is beginning to look like a serious miscalculation. Recent polls show Walker leading all his possible Democratic opponents by five- to ten-point margins. And though public opinion concerning the governor’s reforms remains divided, he currently enjoys a 51% job approval rating. The recall election is scheduled for June 5.

 

If the attempt to remove Walker fails, it would be a huge defeat for Big Labor and its radical allies in such precincts as the Occupy movement. It would also be bad news for President Obama, who needs Wisconsin in his column come November. But Scott Walker’s triumphant survival would definitely nudge the Badger State into the “leans Romney” column. Way to bomb yourselves by mistake, comrades…


Posted by tmg110 at 1:30 PM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink
Monday, 16 April 2012
Rule of Law or Suicide Pact?
Topic: Decline of the West

 

I know that European countries’ treatment of criminals is somewhat lax by American standards, but I must admit that I was startled to learn this (hat tip: Charles C.W. Cooke at NRO):

 

“If Convicted, Anders Breivik Will Be Sentenced to 21 Years in Prison for 77 Murders.”

 

Breivik is the demented right-wing extremist who killed 77 and injured over 200 in the course of a horrific murder spree in Oslo, Norway, last year. If he’s found competent to stand trial, the maximum sentence that can be imposed on him for this slaughter is twenty-one years! Think about that. Just twenty-one years…

 

True, Breivik’s sojourn behind bars can be extended if the court decides that he’s still a threat to society. But even the possibility of this monster’s release is an outrageous insult to the dead, the injured and their families. Or is it? Maybe the people of Norway don’t see it that way. Maybe they’re fine with the possibility that Breivik might one day walk free. Now that’s a frightening thought…


Posted by tmg110 at 4:44 PM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink

Newer | Latest | Older