Thursday, April 30, 2009

"Pass the bill now...worry about its effects and implementation later"

Doris Kearns Goodwin wrote a book entitled Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream. In it she wrote, "The need for haste often resulted in a failure to define the precise nature and requirements of social objectives. Legislative solutions were often devised and rushed into law before the problems were understood...Pass the bill now, worry about its effects and implementation later - this was the White House strategy."

Sound familiar?

"Look only to yourself and wind up with ashes. Know it's bigger than you, and wind up a hero."

Peggy Noonan writes in her usual moving prose in the April 11-12 WSJ about how all the big Wall Street firms got together after 9-11 to figure out how to get the New York Stock Exchange open again. They did it, and it opened again the following Monday, September 17, 2001. Noonan's point is someone in those firms needs to step up again and show some leadership to rstore confidence in capitalism.

Noonan quotes a book by Michael Novak entitled The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism. Novak notes that capitalism is the one economic system capable of lifting the greatest number of people out of poverty. He says capitalism "wants to grow and produce, bring more creativity, more opportunity, more ferment and movement - more life."

However, Noonan reminds that there still must be "an underlying moral edifice, a knowledge of right and wrong, a sense of sin." She asks, "When was the last time anyone thought of Wall Street as being noble, constructive, admirable? She answers her own question by giving details of the firms' work the week of 9-11 through 9-17, 2001, and asks if anyone is going to step forward to "look only to yourself and wind up with ashes. Know its bigger than you and wind up a hero."

Saying One Thing, and Doing the Opposite

I was one who was happy to see photos of former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker on Obama's economic team. Volcker was an essential partner with President Reagan in stemming the run-away inflation Jimmy Carter was unable to deal with.

However, an article in the April 11-12 WSJ was discouraging. Volcker has not seen Obama in over a month. I think Obama just used him for photo ops. The presidential advisory board Obama asked him to chair has yet to meet. Obama announced the board on February 6, saying that the board would "meet regularly" with him. Another example of saying one thing and doing the opposite.

The "NAFTA Flu"

We have a local radio talk show host named Peter Boyles. He has been an outspoken opponent of illegal immigration. As such he is very tied in to that movement, and gets lots of information that you don't seen in other media.

Today he was talking about a multi-national company in Virginia which was caught by the EPA dumping pig feces into a Virginia river. After being fined ten million dollars, the multinational company moved its pig operations to guess where? Yep, Mexico. No EPA there!

Peter refers to this swine flu pandemic as the "NAFTA Flu."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Four Views of Last Night's Sunset

I was not even thinking of or expecting to see a sunset last night, but God just kept unfurling one surprise after another, so I just kept clicking.


A "Victory," or "Further Government Intrusion into Our Thoughts?"

To follow up on the excellent comments you folks made here on "hate crimes," here are some quotes from the D.A. whose staff prosecuted the transgender case I wrote about. Ken Buck says he was intitially skeptical about the use of the "bias-motivated crimes statute," but came to realize that the actions of the perpetrators in these crimes, while "imposing violence on an individual," actually intended to target an entire group (or "community") of people. In this case the perpetrator said in a recorded phone call, "all gay things must die." "Bias motivated crimes have a chilling effect" on select groups of people, according to Buck, because they spread terror to all members of the community who identify themselves as members of the group.

By the way, Mr. Buck announced yesterday that he is running for the U.S.Senate as a Republican. Democratic Governor Bill Ritter appointed Michael Bennet to replace Ken Salazar, who joined the Obama cabinet as Secretary of the Interior, but Bennet has to run for election in 2010.

Here is another twist on this subject. Criminal defense attorney Robert Corry Jr. writes in the April 28 Denver Post that "adding 12 years to a life without parole sentence because of thoughts running through a defendant's head cannot be a "victory," as the Denver Post described it in an editorial. Corry writes, "The politically correct categories that politicians have carved out for imprisonment - i.e., "race, color, ancestry, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation" - beg the question as to why crimes motivated by any other irrational category, such as political affiliation, are not similarly deserving of extra cage time. The "hate crime" law does not apply equally, instead criminalizing only politically incorrect thoughts directed against politically incorrect victim categories. Both major political parties are equally culpable in this radical extension of government's intrusion into our thoughts. Law-and-order Republican prosecutors pay lip service to "limited government" when convenient, yet bring thought crimes charges when TV cameras roll. Elected politicians, always questing for higher office, cannot be trusted to sort out which of our thoughts are unacceptable."

Are you listening Mr. Buck? And, what do the rest of you think?

Rationing

Charles Krauthammer, who is a physician, as well as an excellent columnist, writes in the Washington Post that many of us may not be too thrilled once we see what Obama has in mind regarding our health care. Some government bureaucrats are going to decide how to ration various services, like an MRI. So-called "elective" procedures like hip replacements may require a person to be put on hold forever. Person A may be approved for an MRI because she is young, while person B gets turned down because of his age.

Krauthammer prefers a "highly competitive, privatized" health insurance system not tied to employment.

Progress!

So much has been written and said about the danger of Iran's radical Islamists getting their hands on nukes; but what about the Taliban in Pakistan? While American feminists were telling us that Sarah Palin was the biggest threat we had to worry about, the vicious women-beating Taliban were taking over Pakistan with very little resistance from their fellow Muslims in Pakistan's military. Will it be okay with the feminists if the Taliban takes control of Pakistan's arsenal of nuclear weapons?

I tried this post out on an angry leftist (I know, that is redundant) at my place of employment. Sure enough, he told me he hates Sarah Palin! I didn't ask why, but he volunteered something about her shooting wolves from helicopters. I asked if he thought it was okay for the Taliban to murder and maim women and girls. No, he didn't think that was okay. Progress!

This is their reward for protecting us?

Now Condoleeza Rice and top Bush administration lawyers are to be punished for keeping Americans safe? Rice approved waterboarding of al-Qaeda terrorist Abu Zubaydah in 2002 when she was then-national security adviser to President Bush. Bush administration lawyers developed the legal rationale for what could and could not be done by CIA interrogators. The interrogation tactics worked; no further terror plots were successful in America after 9-11-2001. These dedicated public servants should be praised and rewarded, but no, they are being subjected to daily media stories on t.v. news and in the print media. They will have to hire expensive lawyers to defend themselves. The left is relentless and completely without scruples in ruining the lives of the people who dedicated their lives to protecting us.

Former Bush associate Mark Thiessen alleges in the Washington Post that "President Obama's decision to release these documents (on the CIA interrogation program) is one of the most dangerous and irresponsible acts ever by an American president during a time of war - and Americans may die as a result." One specific instance Thiessen points to was a "Second Wave" plot to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked jet airliner into Library Towers, the tallest building on the West Coast of America.

Congressman Pete Hoekstra of Michigan has asked the National Intelligence Director for the names and dates of all members of Congress who attended briefings on the enhanced interrogation techniques. Dick Cheney has also requested that the White House release memos that reveal the successes of the program. Hoekstra wonders if, instead of an investigation into the enhanced interrogation program, what may be needed is an investigation into what the Obama administration may be doing to "endanger the security of this nation."

Two former members of the Bush Justice Department have written in the April 20 WSJ that the CIA interrogation methods have been used for years on thousands of American service members "with the full knowledge of Congress." They were developed and deployed "at a time of supreme peril, after 9-11-2001 as a means of preventing future attacks on innocent civilians both in the U.S. and abroad."

Balanced Emotions

"I hope this book will awaken deep within your soul a righteous indignation against the entrenched political-industrial-bureaucratic food fraternity and a deep love for farmer-healers who love their land, plants, animals, and patrons. Each emotion is necessary for balance." Joel Salatin, from the introduction to his book Everything I Want to Do is Illegal

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Flying Proudly Above the Snow-Covered Plains

After shoveling out the driveway and heading for work, I hit the brakes when I drove past the local fire station, where Old Glory was flying above the fresh-fallen snow. More snow pictures to follow! This moisture is a Godsend, as you can see from the no burn warning posted on the sign at the fire station.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Biased Reporting

This week I wrote about the conviction of a man for killing a transgender person inColorado. Thursday's paper had this gem by Denver Post reporter Monte Whaley: "The speed of conviction stunned many, especially given the conservative makeup of Greeley and the victim's transgender-oriented life." What? Conservatives won't quickly decide to convict a murderer if the victim was transgender? Where are the facts to back up that insinuation? Did the reporter expect or hope to find conservatives backing the murderer because conservatives don't share the values of the victim? Does the reporter think that conservatives believe a transgender person's life is less valuable than any other human life?

Not a great time for a "president in training"

Sam Zell, owner of the Tribune Company, which owns the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Tribune, and L.A. Times, predicts that within five years, delivery of newspapers will be via devices such as Amazon's Kindle Reader. He was quoted in the Denver Post by reporter Margaret Jackson as saying, "It's time for Washington to focus on the economy and stop creating massive programs with unintended consequences." Zell was giving a speech in Boulder,where he also said, "I don't think this is a great time to have a president-in-training." Can I hear an amen?

Legacy

Perhaps the most important decision a president makes, other than national security decisions, is whom to appoint to the Supreme Court. At least in one important respect, the appointment of Justice John Roberts may be one the most positive legacies of President Bush. Roberts has pressed for ending the use of race in government decision-making.

A Lethal Combination?

Glenn Beck, who predicted the banking collapse and recession before anyone else in the media, is now warning us about the impending crash of commercial real estate and another issue related to credit card debt. He is urging his listeners to be frugal. He is worried that "since we don't produce anything anymore," the president will try to get credit card companies to lower their interest rates, so we'll be tempted to use more credit. Consumer spending now accounts for 70% of our Gross National Product. But Glenn sees this, plus the impending disaster in commercial real estate to be a lethal combination that might cause the next banking crisis.

Liam Denning reports in the April 22 WSJ that the good news is that Americans saved $337 billion in the fourth quarter, but the bad news is that household net worth fell $11.2 trillion last year.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Warning To Conservatives

Jonathan Goldberg concluded his book Liberal Fascism with a warning to conservatives not to try to translate our visons into government programs imposed upon others. He also shows how George W. Bush's "compassionate conservatism" assumed that limited government, free markets, and personal initiative were somehow "uncompassionate."

Under Bush Medicare spending increased 52%, education increased by 165%, anti-poverty spending increased 41% and overall spending by the government reached a record $23,289 per household. Total spending (adjusting for inflation) grew to triple the rate under Clinton.

The tempation succumbed to by conservatives is to prove that we "care" about some issue or group. To prove we are good people, we throw in the towel on issues like the environment, campaign finance reform, or racial quotas. "Compassion has become the watchword of American politics," writes Goldberg. Liberals have succeeded in forcing us to argue with their intentions, their motives, their feelings.

"Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda, Whatever."

There was a trial this week in Colorado in which a man was convicted of killing a "transgender" person. He met "Angie" on the internet. When he found out she was "not straight," he bludgeoned her to death with a fire extinguisher, thereby extinguishing any visions he may have been harboring about her being a hottie. The man, obviously a psychopath, told another woman in a taped phone call, "I can't cry over spilled milk. I shoulda done a lot of things different. But shoulda, coulda, woulda, whatever. Aint no going back now. I try not to think about it."

Evil exists in this world, folks. Big time!

Oh, and by the way, the woman to whom he confided the above information to, says she "still loves him," according to Denver Post reporter Monte Whaley.

Stupidity also exist in this world. big time!

Marijuana Menthol?

Thousands of people rallied in Denver and Boulder on 4-20 to show their support for reforming marijuana laws in Colorado, and smoke a little weed. There were similar rallies last year on 4-20 also; I don't know what the significance of 4-20 is with regard to rallies by potheads.

Organizers cited economic arguments for legalizing marijuana. Denver Post reporter George Plaven writes that a Harvard economist calculated that Colorado could collect $17.6 million annually in new tax revenue if the state regulated marijuana sales. Can you imagine the lines at Wal-Mart seeking to buy various brands of marijuana light, marijuana smooth, marijuana in a box, marijuana in a soft pack, marijuana regular, marijuana ultra light, marijuana menthol?

The same Harvard study calculated that Colorado spends about $65 million annually on law enforcement and judicial resources to prohibit marijuana distribution. I wonder how many traffic tickets were written to rally participants on their way home.

A Despicable Cover-Up

This week was the tenth anniversary of the Columbine High School Massacre. A local free-lance writer, Dave Cullen, has written a book about it. Cullen admitted in an NPR interview I heard the other day that he was just one of many "journalists" who fell for the b.s. that the killers were themselves victims of bullies at the high school. Cullen's research clarifies that the truth was that Eric Harris was a stone cold psychopath, while Dylan Klebold was a more typical depressed teen feeling sorry for himself and, therefore, being vulnerable to manipulation by someone like Harris.

The book also revealed that long before the shootings, a Jefferson County Sheriff's employeee had prepared a well reasoned affadavit asking for a warrant to search the Harris home. The affadavit was never presented to a judge, and was found many months after the massacre. What did the Jefferson County Sheriff's department do after they found the affadavit? They covered it up!

Marines Not Allowing Re-Enlistments?

This week I spoke with a Marine who had served in Iraq. He wants to re-enlist, but has been told by the Marines that they are no longer allowing re-enlistments, because funding has been cut. He is having a hard time realizing that although he and his fellow military volunteers were successful in Iraq, that isn't the template the media has used in stories about Iraq. I have not seen anything in the media about Marines having to disallow re-enlistments, have you?

Getting Dissed by Ideological Brothers

Did you read that Fidel Castro called Barack Obama "superficial?" Wow! That must have really hurt. Having people you admire, like Jeremiah Wright and Fidel Castro, diss you must be very discouraging. Oh well, there are always people like Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad out there available for you to cozy up to.

"Backdoor Nationalization"

Have you noticed that when a newspaper prints an editorial that is unsigned, and purports to be that paper's opinion, that fewer words are minced? A case in point is one printed in the April 21 WSJ. In it the WSJ said , "Note to the White House: Sneaky nationalizations are not any more popular with investors than the straightforward kind." It refers to the market's reaction to the "backdoor nationalization" by the government of some of the nation's biggest banks. Treasury is refusing to allow banks to repay their Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) money.

Citibank is now 36% owned by the federal government. Do you think Citibank is likely to oppose anything the government wants to do?

And, what about those of us who are not investors? Do we care about this fascistic takeover of our country?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Inner Beauty Trumps Outer Beauty

The beautiful woman who represented California in the recent Miss USA contest has been vilified by the liberal fascists who wanted her to support gay marriage. Ambitious, wanting that crown, she at first mumbled something about how wonderful it is to live in the USA where we are all free to make choices, when the "judge" asked her a question about same-sex marriage. Then, something happened. She stopped trying to tell him what he wanted to hear, and spoke up for her faith and her own personal belief in marriage being between a man and a woman. She has been vilified on CNN's Larry King farce of an interview program by the "judge," who, it turns out also wanted to be the jury and the executioner. I heard audio of the "judge" saying, in a subsequent interview,"the whole time I was listening to her I was thinking the "B" word and the "C" word." Nice, huh?

This woman, her faith being tested under fire, put her ambition aside and spoke what she honestly believes in response to the question from the liberal fascist. She wants to be a motivational speaker. She has what it takes to be a motivator of young people. The inner beauty, when present, is always more powerful than the outer beauty.

Green No Longer Stands for Dollars

A big business I am familiar with is getting an award today for being "green," not in the sense that they are making money for their stockholders, but in the sense of being politically correct environmentally. Employees are being laid off, the business is losing significant revenue, but the business is earning significant brownie points from the government that regulates them and the media which does the bidding of the liberal fascists currently running the government.

Banning Hand-Held Cell Phones

Legislators in Colorado are debating a bill that would ban talking on hand-held cell phones while driving. The emotional push for this is coming from a woman whose daughter was killed by a woman talking on a cell phone while driving. The big business support comes from Verizon Wireless. Now that wouldn't have anything to do with Verizon's desire to sell non-hand-held devices, would it? This is casebook liberal fascism.

I say prosecute the woman if she was negligent. Do not take away any more freedom from the rest of us who do not use cell phones irresponsibly.

The Ultimate Insult: Being Traded for a Cow!

We parted with four goats and some cash this morning, and it must be the ultimate insult to the goats to know they are being traded for a jersey cow named Ruby! Ruby will be here in a couple of weeks.

An "Impotent Collosus"

Laura Ingraham had a guest, Jeremy Rivkin, today on her radio program who has read all the declassified justice department memos, and he has concluded that we did not torture detainees. Nevertheless, all the lawyers who advised our interrogators will now have to hire lawyers themselves and spend the next several years trying to defend their actions taken to protect us. Rivkin has written about it in the WSJ. In the future our interrogators will not even use the "good cop - bad cop" scenario commonly used by police departments all across America. We cannot say anything that would be considered an insult! We have completely forgotten 9-11.

My boys were playing with play guns last night. I asked them who they were shooting. Greg shot "Osama" and Jon shot "Saddam," and there were also a large number of dead terrorists throughout our property. I congratulated them. Children do not want to be impotent. An "impotent collosus" is the term Rivkin used to describe what has become of our country under Obama.

Obama is grossly underestimating our enemies and greatly overestimating the power of his own personal charm, all to the detriment of our security.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Family: A Threat to Liberal Fascists

(more thoughts inspired from Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism)

Nazism was consonent with today's progressive effort to "invade the family, to breach its walls and shatter its autonomy." "The traditional family is the enemy of all political totalitarianism, because it is a bastion of loyalties separate from and prior to the state, which is why progressives are constantly trying to crack its outer shell."

Are you going to try to tell me that the Nazis were "pro-life?" "Long before the Final Solution, the Nazis cast the aged, the infirm, and the handicapped onto the proverbial Spartan hillside."

Today's liberal fascists believe that "conventional morality is merely a means by which the ruling classes oppress women, homosexuals, and other sexually non-conforming rebels."

Getting Sucked In

(more thoughts inspired from Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism)

"Wicca, paganism, and New Age spirituality" constitute at least 20 million adherents of the cultural left today, and growing. Feminists in particular have co-opted Wicca as a religion perfectly suited to their politics. Many of the founding members of the Nazi party were members of the occultist Thule Society, named after a supposed lost race of northern peoples hinted at in ancient Greek texts.

A lot of the crap Hollywood is putting out has these pagan and New Age influences. Goldberg describes Hollywood as "the most powerful defacto propaganda agency in human history." The most popular books and movies today feature vampires. Very dark stuff. Goldberg documents Hollywood's "addiction to fascistic aesthetics." Goldberg points out that conservatives are not immune to the allure of fascist themes in movies. When they depict resistance to tyranny or being "true to yourself," we're likely to be sucked in.

Playing with LEGOs

(more thoughts inspired from Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism)

I love to observe the creations my children make with LEGOs. Goldberg writes about a Seattle progressive child-care center that banned LEGOs, because they said "the children were building their assumptions about ownership and the social powere it conveys - assumptions that mirrored those of a capitalist society - a society that we teachers believe to be unjust and oppressive." The teachers instead created a playtime that reflected the morally superior standards of "collectivity." I guarantee you that is not what children naturally do in LEGOs play.

"Regulating the flies"

(more thoughts inspired from JonahGoldberg's Liberal Fascism)

Goldberg shows how liberal fascists use big business to implement their social agenda. The bigger the business the better. "What's easier, strapping five thousand cats to a wagon or a couple of giant oxen?" He also challenges the myth that big businesses are right wing: "there's virtually no major issue in the culture wars - from abortion to gay marriage to affirmative action - where big business has played a major role on the American right, while there are dozens of examples of corporations supporting the liberal side."

John McCain perfectly symbolizes this catch-22 of modern liberalism. He despises the corrupting effect of "big money" in politics, but he is also a major advocate of increased government regulation of business. He has concluded that he should try to regulate political speech, which is like "decrying the size of the garbage dump and deciding the best thing to do is regulate the flies." And, of course, McCain's regulations come in at exactly the moment when people might be influenced, near Election Day. The New York Times and other far left big media conglomerates get to avoid government censorship, because they promote their liberal causes all during the year, not just at election time, when McCain's anti-free speech regulations go into effect.

This is how liberal fascism works; "contrary voices are regulated, barred, banned when possible, mocked and marginalized when not. Progressive voices are encouraged, lionized, amplified - in the name of "diversity" or "liberation" or "unity," and, most of all, "progress." "Just because something is done in the name of diversity doesn't make it un-fascist. It just makes it a nicer form of fascism."

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Who Has the Right-of-Way?

Liberalism Gets Redefined

(more thoughts inspired from Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism)

Did you know that "liberalism" used to refer to political and economic liberty? It used to mean "maximum individual freedom under the benign protection of a minimalist state." The progressives, led by John Dewey, changed the meaning of the term to "the alleviation of material and educational poverty, and liberation from old dogmas and faiths." For progressives liberty no longer meant freedom from tyranny, but freedom from want, "freedom" of living in accord with the state. When the stock market crashed in 1929, they believed their shining moment had come. Same thing last fall?

Crisis, Crisis, Crisis!

(more thoughts inspired from Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism)

The problem liberal fascists have is that they need to have some kind of crisis to get their programs off the ground. "Wilson used war to achieve his social ends. FDR used economic depression and war. JFK used the threat of war and Soviet domination. Johnson's crisis mechanism came in the form of spiritual anguish and alienation after the assassination of JFK." Obama's came with the collapse of the big financial institutions.

The problem is that in peacetime "the American character is not inclined to look to the state for meaning and direction. Liberals have responded to that fact by constantly searching for new crises, new moral equivalents of war."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The First Dictator of the Twentieth Century

(More thoughts inspired from Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism)

Who was the first fascist dictator of the twentieth century? I'll give you a hint: he was not a European. Jonah Goldberg nominates our own Woodrow Wilson! Wilson wrote that giving blacks the right to vote was "the foundation of every evil." "Wilson loved, craved, and glorified power," writes historian Walter McDougall. Wilson claimed to be the "right hand of God, and to stand against him was to thwart divine will. Wilson was all about expanding the power of government, and scoffed at the Constitution's emphasis on individual rights."

Like Mussolini in Italy and Hitler in Germany, Wilson had many other kindred spirits who believed like he did. The mother of the social work profession, progressive social activist Jane Addams declared, "We must demand that the individual shall be willing to lose the sense of of personal achievement, and shall be content to realize his activity only in connection to the activity of the many." The progressives of Wilson's day tried to make Christianity a state religion; the state was "the means by which the whole nation and world would be redeemed."

Wilson and his fellow progressives distrusted families. As president of Princeton, he told an audience, "Our problem is not merely to help the students to adjust themselves to world life...but to make them as unlike their fathers as we can." Wilson wrote an "unintentionally chilling essay" in 1890, Leaders of Men. In it he explained that the "true leader" must use the masses like "tools," speaking to their passions, not their intellects.

In the 1912 election campaign Wilson said, "America is not now and cannot in the future be a place for unrestricted individual enterprise."

"The dawn of the third fascist moment in American life"

(more thoughts inspired from Jonah Goldberg's Liberal fascism)

I remember the Nixon-Kennedy debates prior to the 1960 election. Most people who listened on radio thought Nixon was the clear winner. Most people who watched on t.v. thought Kennedy was the winner. He had style and charm, which Nixon, with his beads of sweat on his nose, did not. I listened on the radio, and gave Tricky Dick my vote. Goldberg calls that election "the dawn of the third fascist moment in American life, which would unfurl throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s, both in the streets and universities, and in the halls of government."

"Like Wilson and FDR before him, Kennedy couched his programs with allegations that we were in one crisis or another. He also made nationalistic appeals to unity, celebrated martial values, blurred the lines between public and private sectors, used the media to glamorize the state and its programs, placed important decisions in the hands of experts, and encouraged a cult of personality for himself as national leader. He promised to transcend ideology in the name of what would be described later as cool pragmatism" (which I believe also describes Obama). JFK shared Robert McNamara's confidence that "every problem could be solved" by technocratic experts. In a May 1962 press conference he asserted that the problems of the nation "deal with questions which are now beyond the comprehension of most men" and should be left to experts to settle without subjecting them to divisive democratic debate," according to Goldberg.

Goldberg alleges that the Kennedy presidency "marked the final evolution of Progressivism into a full-blown religion and a national cult of the state."

Goldberg writes, "Kennedy's assassination was a gift to LBJ, who built the Great Society "upon the rock of Kennedy's memory."

Re-Creating The Camelot Myth

(more thoughts inspired from Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism)

"Today" writes Goldberg, liberalism depends almost entirely on "enlightened" judges who use Wilson's living constitution to defy popular will in the name of progress. All of this is traceable back to the Kennedy assassination, in which a deranged communist martyred a progressive icon. For more than a generation liberal politics in America has been premised on the politics of a ghost. The Jack Kennedy whom liberals remember never existed. Liberals believed that for a "brief, shining moment" that they could bring about their kingdom of heaven, their Camelot." Finally now, with the election of Barack Obama, they believe they have re-created that moment.

In 1983 Gary Hart, whose incredibly squishy hand I shook when he was campaigning in Durango, told Esquire that "If you rounded us (Democratic politicians) all up and asked, "Why did you get into politics, nine out of ten of us would say, John Kennedy." Goldberg writes, "Every Democrat says he wants to be JFK while insisting that he will do more or less what LBJ did. No Democrat would dream of saying he wanted to emulate Lyndon Johnson, because the myth is what matters most" (the myth that Camelot was a moment when liberals could have brought about the kingdom of God on earth).

Orthodoxy

I remember when Nixon advisor Daniel Patrick Moynihan was villified in the media when a memo he had written to President Nixon became public. In it Moynihan had told Nixon in confidence, "We may need a period in which Negro progress continues and racial rhetoric fades." To this end, writes Goldberg, "Moynihan urged the president to avoid confrontations with black extremists and instead invest his energies in an aggressive class-based approach to social poliicy."

Blacks "married their interests to the state and to its righteous representatives, the Democratic Party." Many black "leaders" consider opposition to the Democratic Party to be, quite literally, a form of racism.

Goldberg writes, "There is no issue on which modern liberals consider themselvesw more thoroughly enlightened than that of race. And there is no contentious topic where they are quicker to insist that dissent from liberal orthodoxy is a sign of creeping fascism. White liberals learned this trick from black liberals. Black "civil rights leaders" love playing the Nazi card. Goldberg cites examples from Julian Bond, Harry Belafonete, and Jesse Jackson.

Last year I commented on the blog of my pastor about how Bond and Belafonte unfairly castigated President Bush. My pastor deleted my comments. Our church is about 25% black, and the pastor is a "jazz theologian." The music at the church is fabulous, and my pastor is a brilliant man committed to many good works. But orthodoxy is orthodoxy, I guess.

"For Good Reasons"

(more thoughts and inspriations from reading Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism)

Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were abandoned by their fathers. I have often wondered about the impact of that fact on their personalities. When FDR was only eight, his father suffered the first of several heart attacks. "Franklin responded by resolving to conceal his sorrow and anxiety from his father," writes Goldberg. This is apparently where FDR first began the practice of masking his real feelings behind a permanently cheery demeanor," writes Goldberg. I have written that Obama, too, seems to very difficult to pin down. Like Obama in Chicago, FDR had a "determination to fit in," when he went to school at Groton, after being homeschooled by Swiss tutors.

FDR married his distant cousin, Eleanor, who was given away in marriage by FDR's cousin, Teddy Roosevelt. Franklin was "smooth and insubstantial," while Eleanor was a person of "conviction, earnestness, steadfastness - and extremely valuable connections."

FDR was picked by Wilson to be assistant secretary of the navy. He proved to be a "very capable and political secretary." After the war he pushed successfully for a peacetime draft. He ran unsuccessfully for president in 1920. He contracted polio in 1921. Like Bill Clinton, "he was a sponge, possessing a certain genius for gauging the political temper of the times." Like Obama, he spoke in "generalities that everyone found agreeable at first and meaningless upon reflection." He was like a "chamelion on plaid," groused Herbert Hoover. Unfortunately, writes Goldberg, "the currents tended to push him in only one direction: statism, for that was the intellectual tide of the times."

A common principle: the state should be allowed to get away with anything, so long as it is for "good reasons." This is the common principle among fascism, Nazism, Progressivism, and what we today call liberalism," writes Goldberg. "It represents the triumph of Pragmatism in politics in that it recognizes no dogmatic boundaries to the scope of governmental power. They all invoke with divine reverence "science." I believe this also applies to our current administration.

The only coherent policy Roosevelt subscribed to was "bold, persistent experimentation." "For the liberals and progressives, Goldberg writes, everything was expendable, from tradition to individualism to "outdated" conceptions of freedom."

Silencing Dissent

(More thoughts inspired from Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism)

"Even as the government was churning out propaganda, it was silencing dissent," writes Goldberg about the Wilson administration. Homeland Security is looking to do the same thing in America today, I fear. Wilson's Sedition Act banned "uttering, printing, writing, or publishing any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the United States Government or military." At least 75 publications were banned. Over 400 publications had been denied mailing privileges by 1918. They are going to have a heck of a time doing that in 2009, with the millions of blogs and other internet publications.

Goldberg writes, "Today's liberals tend to complain about the McCarthy period as if it were the darkest moment in American history after slavery It's true: under McCarthyism a few Hollywood writers who had supported Stalin and then lied about it lost their jobs in the 1950s. Others were unfairly intimidated."

But, under Wilson and his fellow progressives, "any criticism of the government, even in your own home, could earn you a prison sentence. The Justice Department created the American Protective League, or APL, which had branches in nearly six hundred cities and towns. The APL rounded up fifty thousand men in New York City who were accused of avoiding conscription. 175,000 Americans were arrested for failing to demonstrate their patriotism in one way or another.

Marching in Step

(more thoughts inspired by Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism

Like our current administration, the Wilson administration believed that "experts could mold society like clay." Bismarck, whose thinking greatly influenced Hitler, taught "top-down socialism," and his ideas were praised by Woodrow Wilson. Wilson had great faith that "society could be bent to the will of social planners." Like our current administration, science - or what they believed to be science - was the new scripture, and one could only perform science by "experimenting," just as is happening now in the Obama administration. Like our current administration, progressives from American universities dominated the high-level jobs in the Wilson administration.

Unlike Wilson, Obama does not claim to be "the right hand of God." In fact, he denies that we are even a Christian nation. "We are a nation of citizens," he orates. He could have said something like, "Despite the fact that a huge majority of Americans are Christians,it is not a state religion. All faiths, or lack thereof, are tolerated, and individual beliefs are respected, because in our country individual liberty is prized above all else." No, he didn't say that, because he was talking to people who do not value individual liberty. Remember, Obama gauges his message to his audience. When speaking to San Francisco liberals, he bemoans middle Americans' clinging to their religion and guns and prejudices; when talking to the masses, he talks of hope and change. All things to all people.

Goldberg writes, "John Dewey was giddy that World War I might force Americans "to give up much of our economic freedom." "We shall have to lay by our good-natured individualism and march in step." Woodrow Wilson brought American industry "into the loving embrace of the state long before Mussolini or Hitler contemplated their corporatist doctrines." Wilson wrote, "More important than socializing industry was nationalizing the people for the war effort. Woe be to the man or group of men that seeks to stand in our way." For the first time since the Civil War, a military draft was put in place.

Walter Lippman wrote a letter to Wilson urging him to begin a massive proaganda effort, reminding Wilson that most citizens were "mentally children or barbarians," and therefore needed to be directed by experts such as himself. The Committee on Public Information (CPI) was the west's first modern ministry of propaganda. It printed millions of posters, buttons, and pamphlets. In 1917-18 alone, 7,555,190 speeches were delivered in 5200 American communities by nearly a hundred thousand "Four Minute Men." I wonder what Obama has in mind for his civilian army that he plans to endow with as much funding as our military.

Another Wilson appointee was the socialist muckracker Arthur Bullard, who said, "The force of an idea lies in its inspirational value. It matters very little if it's true or false."

Another famous person who stumped for CPI and defended the government's censorship attempts was Clarence Darrow, who ironically today is a hero to the left for his defense of evolution in the Scopes "Monkey Trial."

Herbert Hoovwer, who was the head of the national Food Administration, dispatched over 500,000 door knockers to urge Americans to abstain from various extravagances. Children were asked to sign a pledge card, "A Little American's Promise:"

At table I'll not leave a scrap
of food upon my plate.
And I'll not eat between meals but
for supper time I'll wait.
I make that promise that I'll do
my honest, earnest part
in helping my America
with all my loyal heart."


Children were also given a nursery rhyme to recite:

"Little Boy Blue, come blow your horn!
The cook's using wheat where she ought to use corn.
And terrible famine our country will sweep,
If the cooks and the housewives remain fast asleep!
Go wake them! Go wake them! It's now up to you!
Be a loyal American, Little Boy Blue!"

"Economics when on defense, Culture when on offense"

(More thoughts inspired by Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism)

It was only when the National Socialists (Nazis) had the upper hand that they dropped their economic arguments in favor of opposing a new cultural order. The same thing is happening now in America, albeit not the same agenda: racial quotas, mainstreaming gay culture, scrubbing the public square of Christianity - these are explicit cultural ambitions. When on defense (not yet in power), they emphasize economics, when on offense, they emphasize cultural issues. Liberals are the aggressors in the culture wars. The left is dishonest when it pretends that it is not in the business of imposing its values on others.

Hitler banned religious charity, crippling the churches' role as a counterweight to the state. Clergy were put on government salary, hence subjected to state authority. "The parsons will be made to dig their own graves," Hitler cackled. "They will betray their God to us. They will betray anything for the sake of their miserable little jobs and incomes."

In 1935 mandatory prayer in school was abolished in Germany. The school prayer decisions in the 1960s in America cleared the way for a new political religion with the Supreme Court playing the role as primary engine of social change. Roe v. Wade was another example of the Court ordering that religion and religiously informed morality have no place in public affairs.

Have you head of "Whiteness Studies?" Apparently it is a cutting edge academic discipline sweeping American higher education. "The white male is the Jew of liberal fascism," writes Goldberg.

The "fascist bargain"

Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism is the inspiration for the following post.

Jonah Goldberg says many liberals are correct to bemoan the collusion of government and corporations. What they completely misunderstand is that this is the system they set up! The "fascist bargain:" the state says to the industrialist, "You may stay in business and own your own factories. In the spirit of cooperation and unity, we will even guarantee you profits and a lack of serous competiton. In exchange we expect you to agree with - and help implement - our political agenda." Goldberg argues that big business in America is left-wing and fascistic, because it does not argue for free markets, competition, property rights, or any of the other political values inscribed in the founding documents of our country. What we have now is collusion among the big players, adjusting production to consumption, and the little guy is getting screwed. The larger units have written the codes to their own advantage.

Both Wal-Mart and Microsoft used to brag that they had no interest in Washington politics. Then, when they realized the damage that could be done by competitors and others who wanted government power, they both dove headfirst into the political game. Their competitors lobbied the government to meddle, and government politicians and bureaucrats could not resist meddling. As Goldberg writes, "If Acme can convince the government to pick on Ajax, Ajax has no choice but to pressure the government not to!"

As the size and scope of government have grown, so have the number of businesses petitioning the government. In 1956 the Encyclopedia of Associations listed 4,900 groups. Today it lists over 23,000. Since 1996 the number of registered lobbyists has tripled to over 35,000 in Washington. It has doubled in the last five years.

"Underlying Contempt for the Credulity of the Masses"

(More thoughts inspired from reading Jonah Goldberg's book Liberal Fascism

FDR and Hitler both came to power in 1933. Max Lerner observed in 1934, "The most damning blow that the dictatorships have struck at democracy has been the compliment they have paid us in taking over (and perfecting) our most prized devices of persuasion and our underlying contempt for the credulity of the masses." Today, with the exception of Fox News, the television media and majority of the print media is clearly an organ of persuasion for the left. The "underlying contempt for the credulity of the masses" was on full display in the coverage of the tea parties that took place across America this week.

Both FDR and Hitler appealed to resentment against "fat cats," a tactic that also proved effective for Obama last October and November. Hitler restored German confidence, ending unemployment faster than FDR. Hitler was a great admirer of Henry Ford (and visa versa). The official newspaper of the Nazi Party praised FDR in 1934 for adopting "National Socialist strains of thought in his economic and social policies." Both Hitler and Mussolini thought of FDR as "one of us." Likewise, FDR was an admirer of Mussolini, saying that he was "deeply impressed by what he has accomplished."

All three glorified war. The chief appeal of war to them was mobilization. Goldberg explains, "Free societies are disorganized. People do their own thing, more or less, and that can be downright inconvenient if you're trying to plan the entire economy from a boardroom somewhere. War brings conformity and unity of purpose. In more recent times the left has looked to environmentalism as a war equivalent to cajole the public into expert-driven unity."

Nevertheless, "Hitler at first cultivated an image as peacemaker (an image many Western pacifists were willing to indulge in good faith)."

With the election of FDR, the progressives who had sought to remake America through war socialism were back in power. Almost every program of the early New Deal was rooted in the politics of war, the economics of war, or the aesthetics of war emerging from World War I. FDR mobilized 2.5 million men into paramilitary training in the Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC. Hitler did the same in Germany. "The chief motive among social planners was to get young men out of the mainstream workforce."

All American companies were required to hang from their door a "blue eagle," which was the patriotic symbol of compliance with New Deal programs. It was a "stylized Indian eagle clutching a band of lightning bolts in one claw and an industrial cogwheel in the other." On NRA DAy, Sept. 13, 1933 (not National Rifle Association) the National Recovery Administration organized the biggest parade in New York history. Nearly a quarter-million men and women marched for ten hours past an audience of well over a million people, with 49 military planes flying overhead. The leader of the NRA was General Hugh "Iron Pants" Johnson, "the most unrelentingly fascistic and Pro-Fasict member of the Roosevelt administration."

Stopping Tyranny, Fighting Fascism

(thoughts inspired from reading Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism

I was glad to read Goldberg paying some compliments to Saul Alinsky, who trained countless community organizers (and whose trainees trained Barack Obama in Chicago). His most famous trainee was Cesar Chavez.

Goldberg shows that many aspects of our country are already fascistic. It takes people like Alinsky to wake people up and change things. Alinsky called the Great Society "a prize piece of political pornography." Alinsky had contempt for both the statism of elite liberals and the radically chic New Leftists, who went around spouting quotes from Mao, Castro, and Che Guevera.

Although I don't remember any of the conversation, I did meet Mr Alinsky once in Kansas City. After spending several hours with him, I gave him a ride back to his hotel. I shared his contempt for LBJ and the radically chic New Leftists. Although I was young, I was also completely unimpressed with the people who mobilized young people to protest against the war in Viet Nam.

I had been in the ROTC program in college. Unbeknownst to me my mother contacted our pediatrician and asked him to write a letter to the draft board just before I graduated, telling them of the allergies I suffered as a child (and still do). The draft board reclassified me as 4F. I was disappointed. It was my mom's last effort to protect (and control) me, even though I was hundreds of miles away at college.

Americans are now beginning to express their outrage at the flagrant violations of the principles of limited government upon which our country was founded. The leftists have now taken over the powerful, cash-flush Department of Homeland Security, and, instead of fighting terrorists, they will probably try to focus its work on quelling the attempts to organize people against the tyranny of the smiley-faced fascists who are running things in America.

A Wet Spring Snowstorm

You want to see photos of a big, heavy snow? I took this first one after my 90 minute drive home last night. It snowed all day yesterday and all night last night. The moisture will be so wonderful for the farms and yards. Just one more reason to give thanks to God!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Comparing goat's milk and cow's milk

Comparing goat's milk to cow's milk: goat's milk has 15% more calcium, is easier to digest, is a complex protein with essential amino acids, contains fatty acids, has more vitamin A, D, potassium, copper and manganese. It is not treated with growth hormones. On the other hand, it has less folic acid and vitamin B 12 and a little less zinc. Oh, and it tastes fabulous! Soon, though, we will have an opportunity to compare directly, as Colleen has already made arrangements for Rosy the Jersey cow to join the family in June, two weeks after she gives birth to her first calf.

Kinesthetic Learning

What recent holiday do you think the children were reenacting in these photos?


Fiery blooms

Want a long-lasting blooming plant? Try bromeliads!

A recent sunset

Not today, though. We are getting more global warming in the form of snow today. It will be a couple of days before we see another great sunset.

"I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."

(more thoughts inspired by Jonah Goldberg's book Liberal Fascism)

Hillary Clinton brought a new element to liberal fascism: her belief that "the family holds children back, the state sets them free." Goldberg writes, "The one institution in America that is probably most resistant to political indoctrination is the nuclear family."

Goldberg asserts that "if there is ever a fascist takeover in America, it will come not in the form of storm troopers kicking down doors but with lawyers and social workers, saying, "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."

Hillary Clinton's book It Takes a Village updated the German fascist motto "everything in the State, nothing outside the State" to "everything in the village, nothing outside the village." "Again and again, Clinton beams sunshine wherever the lines between corporations, universities, churches, and government are already thin, hoping that the illumination of her gaze will cause even the shadows dividing them to disappear." However, recall Hillary's response when it was pointed out to her that her healthcare plan would destroy countless small businesses: "I can't save every undercapitalized entreprenuer in America" (which Goldberg translates as: "If they can't be part of the solution, who cares if they have problems?"

"A nicer form of tyranny"

(more thoughts inspired from Jonah Goldberg's book Liberal Fascism)

Goldberg writes, "A brief perusal of the last hundred years of economic journalism from the left would have you believe that the most prosperous century in human history was one long, extended economic crisis." Why? Because liberals have manufactured one "crisis" after another in their quest to mobilize people. They are constantly looking for a mobilizing moral equivalent of war (even though they are anything but supportive of our military.)

Hillary Clinton's shrewd choice of crisis: "the children." The children become "an entire category of human beings for whom all violations of the principles of limited government may be justified." Government used child poverty to crush individualism and pride among inner-city blacks. Suddenly to criticize welfare policy made you "anti-black." Today black children are less likely to be raised by two parents than they were during the era of slavery!

Children are cast as a class in perpetual crises. With all of our talk these days about the nanny state, we still do not have the vocabulary to fight off nice totalitarianism, liberal fascism. The authority and autonomy of parents is discouraged, while the children's attachment to the "community" is encouraged. Remember when Hillary promised, "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good?" Goldberg summarizes, "The village may have replaced "the state," and it in turn may have replaced the fist with the hug, but an unwanted embrace from which you cannot escape is just a nicer form of tyranny."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Some 1960s Memories

(more thoughts and memories inspired from reading Goldberg's Liberal Fascism

Crime soared after LBJ's Great Society was implemented. In particular, black-on-black crime soared. Riots exploded across America on LBJ's watch. Out-of-wedlock births among blacks skyrocketed. In the two decades beforethe Great Society the biggest drop in black poverty took place. Thomas Sewell has shown that the trend stopped almost entirely in the 1970s "when the impact of the Great Society programs was fully realized." Nevertheless, Shelby Steele has noted that liberals have convinced themselves that support for such programs is proof of their own moral worth.

Shelby Steele understands the racism inherent in liberals' thinking. "We'll throw you a bone like affirmative action if you'll just let us reduce you to your race so we can take moral authority for "helping" you. Steele writes, "When they called you a nigger back in the days of segregation, at least they didn't ask you to be grateful."

Though I had the required amount of liberal guilt as a young man, especially about racism, I could not stand Lyndon Johnson, who I thought reaked of phonyness. In the 1968 election, I voted for comedian Dick Gregory. The civil rights movement, which had captured the public's sympathies through Martin Luther King's message of equality and colorblindness, quickly degenerated.

After the assassination of MLK, riots erupted across America. I remember attending a conference in a small hotel in the ghetto of Washington D.C. shortly after the riots there. I walked the streets during the daylight hours, and there was complete devastation everywhere. For some reason that I don't recall I had occasion, along with some other conference attendees, to go into the first floor room where MlK's former right hand man, Ralph Abernathy was staying. All I remember is that I had never seen so much liquor in one room.

I began to realize that being involved in a "movement" that encouraged people to see themselves as oppressed victims did them and their families a severe disservice. I realized that the true promise of America was individual initiative, and that promise was open to everyone, regardless of race.

I took a job in Colorado, training caseworkers around this beautiful state. I fell in love with one area of the state in particular, and three years later became the director of two social service departments in counties that served the towns of Durango and Silverton in southwest Colorado, where the movie Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid was filmed. Four years at the helm of a bureaucracy was enough, though, and I was bitten by the entreprenuer bug. I owned a store called the Greenery for thirteen years. It became hard to eat the scenery, though, so I returned to the Denver area to work again as a child protection worker and county director.

As a director of social services, I was still an activist, but became more and more conservative. I filed grievances against the local nursing home, when I realized that social service dollars were being used to perpetuate inhumane conditions for the elderly residents. I tangled with powerful lawyers and politicians who sat on a board that administered a program whereby developmentally disabled adults were paid 10 cents an hour (plus their welfare checks) to assemble fish hooks. I felt these adults could be paid much better wages and do much more significant work in the community. I organized "Club Esfuerzo" to provide a way for elderly residents in the community to come together to perform volunteer work. I hosted a radio program called Senior Saturday, which featured colorful old timers telling stories of their lives. I exposed fraud in the food stamp program.

Race and Abortion

(more thoughts inspired from reading Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism)

Margaret Sanger, an extreme racist, was the founder of the American birth control movement. Sanger admitted to neglecting one of her own children, who died of pneumonia at age four. She admitted she was not a "fit person for love or home or children or anything which needs attention or consideration." In 1939 Sanger created the "Negro Project," which aimed to get blacks to adopt birth control.

Sanger was actually very much anti-abortion, which, of course now is one of the three planks of the Democratic party domestically, along with identity politics and the welfare state. What are the results of the Democrats' abortion policies among blacks? "Abortion ends more black lives than heart disease, cancer, accidents, AIDS, and violent crime combined! African Americans constitute twelve percent of our population, but have more than 37% of abortions. In Mississippi black women receive 72% of all abortions. Nationwide 512 out of every 1000 black pregnancies end in abortions. There is a reason that 80% of Planned Parenthood's abortion centers are in or near minority communities.

More on the Fascist Roots of Liberalism

(more thoughts inspired by Jonah Goldberg's book Liberal Fascism

Have you noticed how Obama is discouraging donations to charity? His idea seems to be that the government should be the entity that has a monopoly on charity. The Nazis coopted independent religions and other charities during their rise to power. When they took over, they replaced the churches with a Nazi monopoly on charity. However, in the Nazi formulation, anyone who wasn't a "national comrade" was excluded from government aid to the needy and unfortunate. "Everything for the race, and nothing outside of it" was the central ethos of Nazism's mission and appeal.

In America the medical profession "got drafted into the ranks of social planners, because of World War I and the great influenza epidemic." Public health, "for doctors promoted to the rank of physicians to the body politic," caused the Hippocratic oath to lose influence. The Germans called that sort of thinking, "the common good supercedes the private good."

American progressives celebrated the election of Hitler, a famous teetotaler. In Germany the concern was more that alcohol and the more despised cigarette would lead to the degeneration of Aryan purity. Tobacco was credited with every evil imaginable, including fostering homosexuality. "Prohibition was the premier illustration of how closely American progressives linked moral and physical health, and many Nazis looked favorably on the American effort"

Eugenics

(more thoughts inspired from Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism)

Goldberg has a whole chapter on eugenics, which he shows to be a significant feature of the history of liberal fascism. It is painful to read. I can see why liberals would want to deny this part of their history. What follows is a compendium of quotes from that chapter.

Goldberg defines eugenics as
"using state power to improve the racial, genetic, or biological health of the community." Under eugenics, "All the ills of modern mass society - urban crowding, a rising population among lower classes, poor public hygiene, even the dumbing down of mainstream bourgeois culture - now seemed curable through conscientious application of biological principles. Intellectuals feared that modern technology had removed the natural constraints on population growth among the "unfit," raising the possibility that the "higher elements" would be "swamped" by the black and brown hordes below. Many of the outstanding progressive projects in America, from Prohibition to the birth control movement, were grounded in this quest to tame the demographic beast. In 1934 when the National Socialist government in Germany had sterilized over fifty thousand "unfit" Germans, a frustrated American eugenicist exclaimed, "The Germans are beating us at our own game." German race science stood on American shoulders.

Cosnservative religious and political dogma - under relentless attack from the left - may be the single greatest bulwark against eugenic schemes. Who rejects cloning most forcefully? Who is troubled by euthanasia, abortion, and playing God in the laboratory?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Activism

(Thoughts and memories inspired from Jonah Goldberg's Liberal fascism)

Goldberg explains that in the 1960s many "mainline" churches were seduced by radical politics. "The Methodist youth magazine motive - a major influence on the young Hillary Clinton - featured a birthday card to Ho Chi Minh in one issue and advice on how to dodge the draft in others."

I knew one of those Methodist activists in 1968, and he figured prominently in one of the most bizare experiences of my life. I was director of a counseling center in the Kansas City Kansas ghetto (officed in a Lutheran church). It was the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King. I was driving my car with my wife in Kansas City, Missouri, where we had gone for dinner. A police car pulled me over. After taking what seemed like an eternity, the officer finally approached my window. He told me he was taking me to jail for "booking." He said it was about unpaid parking tickets. I rarely came across the Missouri River to Kansas City, Mo., and had no tickets of any kind.

When I got to the jail and my possessions were taken from me, I was booked into a holding pen in the jail. I learned that the parking tickets had been accrued by a teen, whose mother was on welfare, and for whom I had co-signed on an automobile a year or so previously, so he could get a job!

During that time in the bullpen, I witnessed severe police brutality, which I had heard was a problem at that time in K.C. Mo. A very drunk black man was brought in by a policeman, who wound up and slugged the man as hard as he could in the man's stomach.

I used my one phone call to call (at 2 or 3 a.m.) the Methodist minister activist friend, who I knew was counseling Chief Kelly, the Chief of Police in KC, MO. I was released; the cop was fired. The Methodist minister was one of the key clergy involved in Saul Alinsky's community organizing in KC, MO. There was, I believed, a definite need for the community to tackle issues like police brutality.

Remarkably, today in the United States a "movement" is blossoming from the other side of the political spectrum. Although encouraged by t.v. and talk radio show hosts, the movement has no paid organizers, like the left has in its billions of dollars of funding to the ACORN organizers. It will be really interesting to see the Tea Parties which are taking place in thousands of cities across America today.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bailouts, Ho Ho Ho!


(Lifted from The Cook Shack)

Magnificent Heroes


How about the heroism of Captain Richard Phillips! How fitting that on Easter Sunday the Navy Seals brought him back to us!
(photo borrowed from Theo Spark)
P.S. Barack, it appears that you did the right thing!

Creating Fables

(More thoughts from Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism)

In 1930s Germany one of the Jews' greatest offenses was that they were patriotic Germans! They believed in classical liberalism, which allowed for debate and discussion of issues in depth. The Nazis wanted to destroy everything and create a new fascist state.

In the 1960s in America the left convinced itself that there was something fascistic about patriotism and something perversely patriotic about running down America. "One kind of fascism sees the state as the replacement of God - another kind sees the state as God's agent or vehicle. In both cases, however, the State is the ultimate authority, the source and maintainer of values, and the guarantor of the new order."

LBJ represented the continuation of the liberal quest begun by Woodrow Wilson and his fellow progressives - the quest to create an all-caring, all-powerful, all-encompassing state, a state that assumes responsibility for every desirable outcome and takes the blame for every setback on the road to utopia, a state that finally replaces God."

JFK was killed by a deranged Marxist, Lee Harvey Oswald. JFK was very much an anti-communist. But the left "created the fable that Kennedy died battling the "hate" of the political right. Never mind that Oswald had already tried to murder the former Army major general and prominent right-wing spokesman Edwin Walker or that, as the Warren Commission would later report, Oswald had an extreme dislike of the right-wing."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

For Whom is His Blood Shed?

This sunset was very unusual in that it was purple, and had red in the center.

"Without the Hindrance of Debate"

(More thoughts inspired by Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism)

"The elevation of unity as the highest social value is a core tenet of fascism and all leftist ideologies. For fascists and other leftists, meaning and authenticity are found in collective enterprises - of class, nation, or race - and the state is there to enforce that meaning on everyone without the hindrance of debate." Obama and his fellow Democrats have passed trillions of dollars of new programs with little or new debate, or even with any legislator having time to read the bills! Why? Because they could! Because they say we have a crisis!

Do you know about "deconstructionism?" It is a term coined by Nazi ideologues, which holds "that there is no single meaning to any text." In other words, we can be liberated from the "weight of history and accumulated knowledge." Pragmatism was one of the features in common with Woodrow Wilson, Mussolini, FDR, and now Barack Obama. "Men of action can solve society's problems through bold experimentation and the unfettered power of the state."

The Nazis took over German universities in the 1930s, and American universities imploded in the 1960s. "Action" became more important than ideas, traditional values or morals. Hitler used the phrase "the Movement" over two hundred times in Mein Kampf. "Destroy what exists. Tear it down. Eradicate "das System." "Burn, baby, burn!"

Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayres, Obama's (former?) friends, and their colleagues in the Weather Underground, were very proud of their violence. Whereas communism had a "playbook," "fascism had a hurry up offense, calling its plays on the field," writes Goldberg. Mussolini defined both socialism and fascism as "movement, struggle, and action." "For millions of Germans the Nazis seemed to offer hope for community and meaning and authenticity."

Have you ever felt that a unified group that was in power thought of themselves as better than you? How do you assert yourself against oppression without yourself descending into violence?

"The Brownshirts beat up storekeepers, shook down businessmen, and vandalized property, rationalizing all of it in the name of the "movement." Left-wing activists still refer to the L.A. riots as an "uprising" or "rebellion." Mark Rudd joined the Weather Underground. He had been the leader of the so-called action faction of the SDS, Students for Democratic Society. His preferred rallying cry was, "Up against the wall, motherfucker." He explained, "this slogan shows the extent to which we had broken with their norms, how far we had sunk to brutality, hatred, and obscenity." From September 1969 to May 1970 Rudd and his co-revolutionaries in the Weather Underground committed 250 attacks.

"Black Power, with its clenched fists, Afro-pagan mythology, celebration of violence, emphasis on racial pride, and disdain for liberalism, was arguably America's most authentic indigenous fascism."

Friday, April 10, 2009

Kindred Spirits

(More thoughts inspired by Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism)

The overarching principle of the Nazi Party was that "the common good must come before self interest." Its 1920 platform, written by Hitler and Anton Drexler, made a "concerted appeal to socialist and populist economics." Other tenets of the platform: "universal education, guaranteed employment, increased entitlements for the aged, the expropriation of land without compensation, the nationalization of industry, the abolition of market-based lending, the expansion of health services, and the abolition of child labor. The Nazis campaigned as socialists, but they were also nationalists. Later, Stalin ruled as a nationalist, invoking "Mother Russia."

Goldberg writes, "The Nazis borrowed whole sections from the communist playbook. Party members were referred to as comrades. The Nazis and the communists were "two dogs fighting for the same bone" in Germany. Millions of communists "changed sides" to follow Hitler. Photographs, posters, slogans, and emblems were everywhere." Sound familiar?

After Hitler seized power, he became more receptive to pleas from businessmen: "the demands of his war machine required no less, but party propaganda still aimed relentlessly at workers. "People's cars" were promised to every worker. Eventually they became the Volkswagons we know today. Nazis were brilliant at arguing for a one-nation politics in which a farmer and a businessman were valued equally."

To the Marxist (Obama?) socialism was tied up with internationalism. Hitler was all about Germany. Moreover, he came to believe that there was a Jewish conspiracy to destroy Germany. Some communists and socialists had Jewish-sounding names, and that was all old Adolph needed to know; they could not be trusted.

Goldberg points out, though, that communism and Nazism are kindred spirits. "Both ideologies are reactionary in the sense that they try to recreate tribal impulses. Communists champion class, Nazis race, and fascists the nation." I don't see our current leaders in Washington standing up for our nation or the ideas upon which our nation was built. Obama, for example, seems to be much more of an internationalist than a nationalist.

However, have you noticed how the lefties delegitimize anyone who is not one of them? Obama's henchmen have really been going after Rush Limbaugh. Did you see the You Tube video of David Letterman saying that he hopes the Republicans will make Rush Limbaugh their leader? Letterman thinks that would be great, because Rush is "fat," and "had his housekeeper illegally buy drugs for him."

Salesmen

(More thoughts inspired by Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism)

Hitler's German exceptionalism was similar to Jeremiah Wright's Afrocentrism, which Wright preached for twenty years to the listening and admiring ears of Barack and Michelle Obama. Racial preferences and affirmative action for Germans were ideas Hitler could really get behind. Marxism "both fascinated and repulsed" Hitler, who became "utterly convinced that Marx was the architect of a Jewish plot. World War I led to the enthronement of Lenin in Russia, Mussolini in Italy, and Hitler in Germany." Fighting honorably for a German victory, Hitler was really pissed when "German Reds" demanded peace with Soviet communism. Hitler was in the hospital, recovering from a bout with temporary blindness, "when news of the armistice was announced." Goldberg writes that it was a "transformative event for Hitler," increasing his hatred for the democratic government of Germany, which surrendered. He felt German honor had been betrayed, and he developed a pathological anti-Semitism. His political career was launched."

Hitler resented German elites and particularly Jews, and he came to realize that many others in Germany and central Europe ("particularly Czechoslavakia") thought as he did. What he admired about Mussolini was his "salesmanship." (We have just witnessed Barack Obama doing a masterful job of selling Barack Obama in the election of 2008). Hitler realized he had a chance to become "National socialism's greatest salesman."

Building a "New State"

(More thoughts inspired by Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascisim)

The next "man of the left" in Europe to embrace fascism was Adolf Hitler. "What Hitler got from Italian Fascism was the importance of having an idea that would arouse the masses." ("Hope and Change?") Hitler was willing to say or do anything to achieve and hold onto power. He loved to orate to "massive, exquisitiely staged rallies>" Sound familiar? "Without the loudspeaker, Hitler once observed, we would never have conquered Germany." Without the teleprompter, Obama never would have conquered America.

Hitler had four significant ideas: "power concentrated in himself, hatred - and fear - of Jews, faith in the racial superiority of the German Volk, and, ultimately, war, to demonstrate and secure the other three."

"Nazism and fascism were both popular movements with support from every stratum of society. Corporations in Germany, like their counterparts today, tended to be opportunistic, not ideological."

Goldberg notes that Hitler was "first and foremost a revolutionary." That made him a man of the left. "For conservatives, revolutions are almost always bad - unless as in the case of the United States, you are trying to conserve the victories and legacy of a previous revolution."

Hitler was all about building a "new state." In Mein Kampf he wrote, "Either the German youth will one day create a new state founded on the racial idea, or they will be the last witnesses of the complete breakdown and death of the bourgeois world."

American conservatives, writes Goldberg, "seek to preserve both traditional values and the classical liberal creed enshrined in the Constitution. American conservativism straddles these two distinct but overlapping libertarian and traditionalist strains, whereas Hitler despised both of them."

Hitler was into "identity politics," hating Jews and glorifying blue-eyed blonde Germans. He also suffered from an enormous intellectual inferiority complex. More important, he resented his father for any number of perceived offenses. Women, in his mind, were little more than terrifying syphilis carriers."

A Basketball Player, Not a Brawler

(More thoughts inspired by Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism)

Terror became an official government policy in the French Revolution. World War I gave birth to Fascism. Mussolini quit the Socialist Party to become a leader in the pro-war movement. American interventionists such as Woodrow Wilson, John Dewey, and Walter Lippman, like Mussolini, came from leftist perspectives.

Mussolini's thinking had undergone a subtle change. Socialism was predicated on the Marxist view that "workers" as a class were more bound by common interests than nationality. But Mussolini was more interested in creating a national socialism. After being defeated by the Socialist Party in a November election, he moved fascism from socialist to populist. "Direct Democracy and nationalization of industry and banking were two of the main planks of the Fascist agenda. The populists sought to expand the scope of government in order to help the little guy." Sound familiar?

Like Obama, Mussolini was a pragmatist, "constantly willing to throw off dogma, theory, and alliances whenever convenient." (Rev. Wright, Bill Ayres, Tony Rezko: I hardly knew ye!) Like Obama, Mussolini's main governing themes were expediency and opportunism.

So far, though, we have not seen nationalism or thuggish force emphasized by Obama. Mussolini turned to thuggish nationalism with enthusiastic violence. Obama is a basketball player, not a brawler. He seems to enjoy apologizing to the world about America. Mussolini promised to restore pride and order. Obama promises "hope and Change."

After he became prime minister of Italy, Mussolini "never conceded the absolute authority of the state to dictate the course of the economy. He nationalized industry, or "regulated it to the point where the distinction was hardly a difference." This is what Rush Limbaugh so brilliantly has been warning us to watch out for about Obama.

Faith That Moves Mountains

(More thoughts inspired by reading Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism)

As Mussolini said in an interview in 1932, "It is faith that moves mountains, not reason. Reason is a tool, but it can never be the motive force of the crowd." ("Hope and Change, Hope and Change!") William James wrote that all one needs is "the will to believe." In America in the 2008 election, Barack Obama successfully married James's will to believe with Nietzsche's will to power. Faith moving mountains? I think there was another Man who first taught His disciples about that!

Actually, I believe strongly in encouraging people to stand up to oppressive government rulers. I believe in reminding people of the power of the ballot, and urging them not to forget to vote, when they have a chance to put a stop to oppression.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

A Powerful and Much Admired Fascist Dictator

(More thoughts and ideas from Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism.)

The Italian Fascist movement was founded in 1919. Jews were actually overrepresented in that movement until they were kicked out in 1938. The father of fascism was Benito Mussolini. Mussolini, at first, had many admirers around the world: Churchill, Einstein, Freud, Will Rogers, the American Legion, Toscanini, Columbia University, and Lowell Thomas are mentioned by Goldberg. But Mussolini's fascism had its critics: Ernest Hemingway and Henry Miller were two.

Mussolini's father, a blacksmith, was an "ardent socialist with an anarchist bent." Benito, at age ten, "led a demonstration against his school for serving bad food." At the age of eighteen he began his career as a "left-wing journalist." His father hated the Catholic Church. Benito did his father proud, when he referred to Jesus as an "ignorant Jew," and he tried to purge Christians from the ranks of Italian Socialism. He "demanded that party members renounce religious marriage, baptism, and all other Christian rituals."

Boasting "169 mistresses over the course of his career, Mussolini was also, by contempory standards, something of a rapist." Goldberg believes that Mussolini, being a sex symbol, "paved the way for the sexual deification of Che Guevara." He also "cultivated an impression of being married to all Italian women." When Italy faced sanctions for its invasion of Ethiopia, Mussolini asked Italians to donate their gold to the state. Millions sent in their wedding rings; 250,000 women in Rome alone!

Mussolini and Lenin were mutual admirers. At one point Mussolini considered "moving to the leftist haven of Vermont, (which fills much the same function today)." He was "astoundingly well read and fluent in socialist theory." He carried a Karl Marx medallion in his pocket.

"A Religion of the State"

Jonah Goldberg alleges in his book Liberal Fascism that "American liberalism is a totalitarian political religion." There is no realm of our lives that is beyond "political significance" to liberals. Goldberg coins the term "totalitarian temptation," by which liberals believe that with "just the right amount of tinkering we can realize the utopian dream of "creating a better world."

Because in America "hostility to big government is central to our national character, our fascism must be nice and for your own good." There has been "an explosion of leftist crusades" in recent years from the war on smoking, obsession with animal rights, to the sanctification of organic foods. "What is fascist is that the individual has no right not to be healthy, and that the state therefore has the obligation to force us to be healthy for our own good."

And, what about environmentalism? "Environmentalism gives license to moral bullying and intrusion." Free speech, too, is under "relentless assault where it matters most - around elections - and it it's being sanctified where it matters least, around strippers' poles and on terrorist web sites. As often is the case with liberal fascism, the effort is very careful to be humane and decent, but it will still result in a kind of benign tyranny where some people get to impose their ideas of goodness and happiness on those who may not share them." The essence of liberal fascism, in Goldberg's thesis, is that it is "a religion of the state."

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Opposites Attract

I have been immensely enjoying reading Jonah Goldberg's important 2007 book entitled, Liberal Fascism. Like I did with Ann Coulter's Guilty and Michael Soussan's Backstabbing for Beginners, I am looking at Goldberg's fascinating insights, and trying to see how they may apply to my own experiences and thoughts. I will be picking out bits and pieces of his book to write about here to try to assess how it applies to what is happening in America today.

Goldberg writes that "one of the great ironies of history is that the more similar two groups are, the greater the potential for them to hate each other." In this regard he cites the Israelies and Palestinians, Greeks and Turks, Indians and Pakistanis, Nazis and Soviet Communists: these pairs understand (or understood) each other very well, "but often hate each other." I guess it's the opposite of the coin that "opposites attract," which I believe is true.

Colleen and I are opposites in many ways, but I think she is happily surprised to realize that I also love all the animals here on the farm. It has been her life-long dream to raise her family on a farm with lots of animals. I was always a city boy, even though I grew up in Sioux City, Iowa.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

"Be your own person. Think for yourself. And if you see something rotten, don't be afraid to speak out."

I finally finished Michael Soussan's book about his years working in the Oil for Food program at the UN. The book, Backstabbing for Beginners has a surprise ending, which I will not reveal, but there are lots of other points in his last chapters that I want to highlight.

Soussan writes that it was a mistake for the United States to present the war against Saddam as one waged for "disarmament." The UN charter only authorizes intervention if one nation is attacking another. Soussan's example:
"If the UN Charter were applied domestically - say to a village - then every head of household in that village would have the right to beat his wife (assuming a male dominates the household) and starve the children, and the society would not have the right to intervene. Only if a person attacked another family's house could he be restrained, and even then he might be left in charge - as was the case in 1991, when Saddam was left as the ruler of Iraq."


Thus, the U.S. and its allies had to "invade Iraq to prove why it was necessary to invade Iraq." The chief weapons inspector for the UN added, "It is somewhat fascinating to me that you can have 100 percent certainty about the weapons of mass destruction (being in Iraq) and zero percent certainty about where they are."

The truth, of course, was that President Bush wanted to topple the dictator, Saddam Hussein, and end his 24-year reign of brutal suppression of the Iraqi people. He wanted to create a democracy in the Middle East, and make it possible for the people of Iraq to live in freedom.

Back to the Oil for Food program. On January 25, 2004 an article was published in Al-Mada, an independent newspaper in Baghdad, which contained a secret list of 270 bribe-takers from all over the world. Saddam's secret contracts with these 270 bribe-takers enabled him to develop "the biggest operation in modern history for buying loyalty and influence around the world."

Right there on the list was "The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Syria-based terrorist organization that had claimed responsibility for suicide bombings in Israel." Of course, Saddam himself had been paying $30,000 to $50,000 to families of suicide bombers. Even though this was an American election year, Bush did not make much of an issue about it, and Soussan suspects that some of the players were closely related to the Bush team.

I was saddened to read that although Russia and France were the favored nations receiving Saddam's bribes, American and British oil companies tried to get in on the action, by dealing with Saddam through their offices in France. Chevron, who had a board member named Condoleeza Rice, was one of the U.S. companies buying Iraq's oil, and "allowed kickbacks of more than $20 million dollars to find their way back into Saddam's pocket." Chevron was fined in a U.S. court, after it admitted "it should have known" in 2000 that kickbacks could be going to Saddam. Soussan corrects that statement, writing, "Chevron knew, and the woman who would soon be named secretary of state after serving on the board's policy committee was probably aware of the dirty business as well." The policy committee oversaw areas of potential political concern for the company.

Dick Cheney had been the CEO of Haliburton. Haliburton was not on the list of companies that took bribes, but "Haliburton held stakes in two firms that signed contracts for more than $73 million to provide Iraq with oil industry spare parts. The question is, had the contracts with Saddam included the usual kickbacks?

Now that the Oil for Food program was being looked into by investigators and journalists worldwide, Michael Soussan was glad he had made the decision to leave the UN a year or so earlier. "I was glad I was no longer working for an organization that valued its employees more dearly for their ability to hide their eyes, cover their ears, and shut their mouths in the face of gross incompetence and corruption." He wrote an oped piece which was published March 8, 2004 in the Wall Street Journal. He soon received a phone call from a highly placed secretary at the UN, warning him that "they're going to attack you, Michael. They are asking for your personnel file."

Soussan concludes his book by saying that he still believes in efforts to make the UN more transparent. Now, in his teaching job at NYU's Center for Global Affairs, he encourages his students to "Be your own person. Think for yourself. And if you see something rotten, don't be afraid to speak out."

Friday, April 03, 2009

Happy Birthday to Jon!

Our first-born son is nine-years-old today. We are very proud of him. He should have lots of fun riding this mountain bike around the property, and he and his brother love building Lego together. This is a Lego package he has been wanting for a long time.

Anger At the Greedy Capitalists

In Dover, New Hampshire, on 9-12-08, Barack Obama said this:

"I can make a firm pledge: Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes. You will not see any of your taxes increase one single dime."


Now that he is president, here is what he is doing: he signed a law raising the tax on tobacco nearly 62 cents per pack of cigarettes! When the federal tax on cigarettes was introduced in 1951, it was 8 cents a pack. Now it is $1.01. This tax, of course, hits hardest Americans with lower than average incomes.

Barack Obama: master of the art of saying one thing, and doing another!

But, who are smokers angry at? Not Barack. No, they vent their anger at the stores who raise the prices on cigarettes to implement the new tax. It's the greedy capitalists, not our beloved president. Tricky Dick had nothing on this guy!