Saturday, October 30, 2010
From a comment at Neoneocon:
The same commenter follows up again further down thread.
But isn’t it interesting how so many conversion stories are sparked by this particular revelation? I was reading Tammy Bruce in the Guardian the other day, and she had the exact same experience: “I thought we leftists were the open-minded ones; I was wrong” (that’s a paraphrase).
My own conversion experience was hardly as dramatic as hers, because I was never really a hard leftist. I hated politics and considered myself an anarchist, because that’s an easy way to float by in college. You don’t have to think anything through and you get to be cool. I did nonetheless have a soft spot for some of the harsher Marxist critiques of “the system,” but I would never have voted for a Democrat - I never would have voted for anyone.
Lets just say I felt very “at home” with leftists - far, far leftists - culturally and intellectually (I liked French postmodernism and Foucault and crap like that).
But my turning point, when I started to become both politically aware and conservative, was when a friend of mine tried to hold a debate between the three Republicans on campus and about 35 of the 3,000 socialists (my college was extremely leftist).
After the debate - which I sat through in utter disgust, listening to the crowd boo and hoot and hiss and curse every time the Republicans tried to speak - one of the Republicans had the tires on his car slashed and “fascist” carved in his car with a knife. He left the school not long after.
I remember realizing at that point that my options had been whittled down fairly cleanly.
I wasn’t an anarchist, because I had this sense of propriety and good form. Somebody, I thought, should have made the crowd shut-up. I realized then that my respect for human decency was far more essential to me than my disrespect for ALL authority. Tying those two thoughts together - cultivating human decency by having a cultivated sense for genuinely oppressive authority - is essential to conservatism.
I also realized I wasn’t a leftist because no ideas that had to be defended LIKE THAT could be worth defending. So by default I said, “OK, if I’m going to learn about politicsl, then I’m going to start with the people who deplore displays like the one I just saw.”
And then I read Thomas Sowell and David Horowitz. They explained very well what I saw. And that was that.
I had thought these people were just nice hippie communist buddhists. Individually they often were. But when the locusts brushed wings… I’d seen no fury like it.
So inasmuch as I had a “conversion”, it was the same thing - realizing how unbelievably intolerant the very people who claimed to be the world-historical champions of Tolerance, forever and ever, amen, were. It’s sort of like Obama himself - the messianic pretense sets you up for both vicious behavior and a certain blindness to how vicious you can be. The flip side is that it’s much easier for adherents to get disillusioned with such a vision than with the somewhat somber vision of conservatism, which takes fallenness for granted.
And I can’t resist a final observation: Isn’t it intriguing that, while liberalism is such an “optimistic” doctrine, liberals themselves are nonetheless (statistically speaking) angrier and less happy than conservatives, who themselves adhere to a doctrine that, by comparison to the sunny utopian progressivism of the left, seems bleak and cold by comparison?
The same commenter follows up again further down thread.
Friday, October 29, 2010
What makes 2010 different from 2006 (or 2008)? In the two previous elections, the American public sent the Republicans home because they veered away from their core principles. In 2010, however, Democrats are going to be punished for following and implementing their truly fundamental beliefs about economics and the role of government in the lives of ordinary Americans.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Like a cancer; it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity and frugality become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole of society.
-- John Adams
Pelosi: ‘We haven’t really gotten the credit for what we have done’
FROM THE COMMENTS: American Elephant begs to differ with the Speaker:
Yes, they have gotten credit for what they have done. That’s precisely why they are being fired en masse.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
They aren’t. They don’t. The reason is simple. They hate our guts.
They don’t just hate our Republican, conservative, libertarian, strict constructionist, family values guts. They hate everybody’s guts. And they hate everybody who has any. Democrats hate men, women, blacks, whites, Hispanics, gays, straights, the rich, the poor, and the middle class.
Democrats hate Democrats most of all. Witness the policies that Democrats have inflicted on their core constituencies, resulting in vile schools, lawless slums, economic stagnation, and social immobility. Democrats will do anything to make sure that Democratic voters stay helpless and hopeless enough to vote for Democrats.
Whence all this hate? Is it the usual story of love gone wrong? Do Democrats have a mad infatuation with the political system, an unhealthy obsession with an idealized body politic? Do they dream of capturing and ravishing representational democracy? Are they crazed stalkers of our constitutional republic?
No. It’s worse than that. Democrats aren’t just dateless dweebs clambering upon the Statue of Liberty carrying a wilted bouquet and trying to cop a feel. Theirs is a different kind of love story. Power, not politics, is what the Democrats love. Politics is merely a way to power’s heart. When politics is the technique of seduction, good looks are unnecessary, good morals are unneeded, and good sense is a positive liability. Thus Democrats are the perfect Lotharios. And politics comes with that reliable boost for pathetic egos, a weapon: legal monopoly on force. If persuasion fails to win the day, coercion is always an option.
Armed with the panoply of lawmaking, these moonstruck fools for power go about in a jealous rage. They fear power’s charms may be lavished elsewhere, even for a moment.
Democrats hate success. Success could supply the funds for a power elopement. Fire up the Learjet. Flight plan: Grand Cayman. Democrats hate failure too. The true American loser laughs at legal monopoly on force. He’s got his own gun.
Democrats hate productivity, lest production be outsourced to someplace their beloved power can’t go. And Democrats also hate us none-too-productive drones in our cubicles or behind the counters of our service economy jobs. Tax us as hard as they will, we modest earners don’t generate enough government revenue to dress and adorn the power that Democrats worship.
Democrats hate stay-at-home spouses, no matter what gender or gender preference. Democratic advocacy for feminism, gay marriage, children’s rights, and “reproductive choice” is simply a way to invade -power’s little realm of domestic private life and bring it under the domination of Democrats.
Democrats hate immigrants. Immigrants can’t stay illegal because illegality puts immigrants outside the legal monopoly on force. But immigrants can’t become legal either. They’d prosper and vote Republican.
Democrats hate America being a world power because world power gives power to the nation instead of to Democrats.
And Democrats hate the military, of course. Soldiers set a bad example. Here are men and women who possess what, if they chose, could be complete control over power. Yet they treat power with honor and respect. Members of the armed forces fight not to seize power for themselves but to ensure that power can bestow its favors upon all Americans.
This is not an election on November 2. This is a restraining order...
Friday, October 22, 2010
Reading between the lines of Juan’s statement and those of NPR officials, it’s apparent that NPR was moved to fire Juan because he irritates so many people in its audience. An interesting contrast: while many NPR listeners apparently could not stomach that Williams also appeared on Fox News. But it doesn’t seem that any perceptible number of Fox News viewers had any complaints that Williams also worked for NPR. The Fox audience seems to be more tolerant of diversity than the NPR audience.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Great post. Here'e a good excerpt:
This is the end result of the welfare-state. The Europeans (and Democrats here at home) want a utopia where all needs are met, all the hungry are fed, all the children warm and safe, all the sick made whole, all the evil punished and the innocent made free, a land where all is peace and all live in harmony. Instead, the welfare-state is waste and weakness and impoverishment and upheaval and ennui. It is generational warfare, class warfare, enormous debts, squalor, meanness, shortages, selfishness. It is, at base, the end of civil society. Communist economies fall faster because they take the poison pure; it takes the merely socialist ones more time to sicken and die.
But paying the bills for leftism? Not so much.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
From this Kyle-Anne Shiver piece:
On the intelligence claims, no proof has ever surfaced that any of the Obama brainiac hoopla was anything other than gratuitous accolades granted via affirmative action and white-liberal racial guilt. No transcripts. No professional articles. Nothing. Nada. From kindergarten through law school, not a single shred of evidence has ever surfaced to show that Barack Obama was ever even a good student, much less the brainy wizard of his advertisers’ imaginations. Since the candidate openly admitted to lots of high-school and college drug use, plenty of hoops-shooting, but nary a blip of organized sports rigor, it’s entirely within the realm of probability that those transcripts have been buried with the same malevolent intent as tobacco companies who deep-sixed their own negative research.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Honestly, I don’t even know what to say about this.
Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa is threatening 401(k) plans — insisting Democrats can use the lame duck, post-defeat session of Congress to ram through a measure that would seize your personal 401(k) plans and use them to prop up the union pension plans that are imploding.
Are these people really this crazy?
For the last few months, we’ve been hearing talk of Democrats insisting they have “nothing to lose” once they are defeated in November, and that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid would use the last few months of power they hold to cram as much statist legislation through in the dead of night as possible…with the Left realizing it would not have this much power for another several decades at least.
I’ve never bought into this just because of the permanent damage that lame duck session would do to the Democrat brand.
Yes, the individuals who’ve been defeated in 2010 won’t technically have anything to lose by voting for insanity…and they could leave office giving their constituents a giant F-U. But what happens to them then?
But if Democrats really and truly tried to take people’s 401(k) funds away from them and redistribute those to the unions…or tried to ram through Cap & Tax or other madness during that lame duck session…it’s impossible to imagine the blowback the Democrat Party would suffer.
This would, in fact, permanently equate Democrats with Communists in the minds of Americans.
I don’t know how the party remains viable after that…and I don’t know what happens to the American media once the Democrat Party is revealed as a Communist entity, since the media is so tied to the party.
The world as we know it would suddenly pop…and the rage that would fill the streets over the 401(k)s would be something unprecedented.
It really boggles the mind to even think about this…that’s why I still can’t imagine Democrats really doing anything like this.
There would be a march on Washington over those retirement accounts, and there aren’t enough bullets in the Capitol’s armory to shoot down all the Americans who would march upon that building and tear it down brick by brick if Democrats really and truly tried to take those 401(k)s.
This would also be a disaster for the unions…a tipping point where Americans would finally be forced to see these parasites for what they are…and in the aftermath of this power grab Americans would come after the unions right after they finished taking down Congress.
Can anyone think of a historical example where a government did something so insane, so against the will of its people, that the public saw this as a tipping point and rose up against it?
This gets into 1789 France territory.
As stupid as they are, I just don’t see Democrats being foolish enough to go there.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Sharron Angle raised the astonishing sum of $14 million during the third quarter. Chris Cillizza describes Angle's $14 million as "a stunning number that far eclipses the cash-collection totals of other prominent candidates seeking Senate seats next month."
Ninety-four percent came in donations of $100 or less. The Harry Reid campaign tried to put the best spin on Angle's smashing success:
"Sharron Angle's fundraising number is meaningless without disclosing how much they spent to raise it," said Reid spokesman Kelly Steele.I suppose Harry Reid has to spend money to raise money, but people actually donate to campaigns like Sharron Angle's voluntarily, out of conviction. I'd guess that she spent very little to raise the $14 million.
We have reached, perhaps, the last stage in the establishment's view of the Tea Party movement. First ignored or snickered at, then demonized as the racist creature of shadowy billionaires, and most recently a movement which some Democratic candidates try to co-opt, the Tea Party has finally done the one thing that will cause it to be viewed with unalloyed respect by the powers of the status quo: it has raised an ungodly amount of money.
A commenter at Telic Thoughts explicates the rules:
But the requirement for so much tuning, for the coming-to-pass of numerous and so-unlikely events, will simply be spun as evidence *against* design. Why, it all just shows how ridiculously unlikely all this is, how much our very presence depends not on intention and design but outlandish chance. Wouldn't a designer's handiwork be made evident not by tuning or chance, but inevitability?
Unless, of course, the argument is that life and humanity were inevitable. In which case, the near certainty that life would arise, that intelligent life would arise, is evidence against a designer too! After all, wouldn't we expect a designer to accomplish something particularly unlikely, to leave a kind of signature in the form of requiring very unlikely events, or laws that required considerable tuning?
It's like the Origin of Life. Is the OoL event very unlikely? Then it's just proof we are a freak accident, a mistake, a one-in-a-billion (or more!) fluke of the universe. Not designed. Is the OoL event likely? Then it's just proof we are ridiculously common, typical, non-special, dime-a-dozen. Not designed.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Greg Mankiw tells us how it really works:
Suppose that some editor offered me $1,000 to write an article. If there were no taxes of any kind, this $1,000 of income would translate into $1,000 in extra saving. If I invested it in the stock of a company that earned, say, 8 percent a year on its capital, then 30 years from now, when I pass on, my children would inherit about $10,000. That is simply the miracle of compounding.
Now let’s put taxes into the calculus. First, assuming that the Bush tax cuts expire, I would pay 39.6 percent in federal income taxes on that extra income. Beyond that, the phaseout of deductions adds 1.2 percentage points to my effective marginal tax rate. I also pay Medicare tax, which the recent health care bill is raising to 3.8 percent, starting in 2013. And in Massachusetts, I pay 5.3 percent in state income taxes, part of which I get back as a federal deduction. Putting all those taxes together, that $1,000 of pretax income becomes only $523 of saving.
And that saving no longer earns 8 percent. First, the corporation in which I have invested pays a 35 percent corporate tax on its earnings. So I get only 5.2 percent in dividends and capital gains. Then, on that income, I pay taxes at the federal and state level. As a result, I earn about 4 percent after taxes, and the $523 in saving grows to $1,700 after 30 years.
Then, when my children inherit the money, the estate tax will kick in. The marginal estate tax rate is scheduled to go as high as 55 percent next year, but Congress may reduce it a bit. Most likely, when that $1,700 enters my estate, my kids will get, at most, $1,000 of it.
HERE’S the bottom line: Without any taxes, accepting that editor’s assignment would have yielded my children an extra $10,000. With taxes, it yields only $1,000. In effect, once the entire tax system is taken into account, my family’s marginal tax rate is about 90 percent. Is it any wonder that I turn down most of the money-making opportunities I am offered?
Now you might not care if I supply less of my services to the marketplace — although, because you are reading this article, you are one of my customers. But I bet there are some high-income taxpayers whose services you enjoy.
Maybe you are looking forward to a particular actor’s next movie or a particular novelist’s next book. Perhaps you wish that your favorite singer would have a concert near where you live. Or, someday, you may need treatment from a highly trained surgeon, or your child may need braces from the local orthodontist. Like me, these individuals respond to incentives. (Indeed, some studies report that high-income taxpayers are particularly responsive to taxes.) As they face higher tax rates, their services will be in shorter supply.
Reasonable people can disagree about whether and how much the government should redistribute income. And, to be sure, the looming budget deficits require hard choices about spending and taxes. But don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that when the government taxes the rich, only the rich bear the burden.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Friday, October 08, 2010
The people who run the New York Times, along with columnists like Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd, are so ill-informed and out of touch that their efforts to tell the rest of us what to think grow more pitiful every day. This is from today's NYT Corrections Section. The paper corrects a news story written by a reporter who has no comprehension of the tax code, but nevertheless tried to make a political point by implying that subchapter S corporations represent some kind of tax dodge:
An article on Wednesday about the business culture at the Tribune Company after its acquisition by Sam Zell referred incorrectly to federal taxes on an S corporation, which Tribune became after the deal. S corporations pay no federal taxes because shareholders are responsible for all taxes; therefore, taxpayers do not become "essentially silent partners in the deal."Pathetic. Nearly every day, the Times's editors and reporters lecture the rest of us on tax policy, but for the most part, they have no idea what they are talking about. If you are looking for ignorance, the New York Times is your newspaper.
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Of the 39 black Democrats in the House, all but two represent districts where blacks are a majority or plurality. One other black Democratic contender is running in a white majority district. So in this election, Republicans are running more blacks in white majority districts than the Democrats are. Shouldn’t that be taken into consideration when accusations of racism are being hurled about?
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Monday, October 04, 2010
Sunday, October 03, 2010
Why "libertarianism" fails.
Good quotes in the piece. Here's one from Edmund Burke:
Good quotes in the piece. Here's one from Edmund Burke:
Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites ... Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.
In the comments to this American Thinker piece a tired, lame canard answered:
monostor wrote: "I believe that atheism is also a religion"pwned.
I presume then that you believe that not collecting stamps is also a hobby.
"I presume then that you believe that not collecting stamps is also a hobby. "
If not collecting stamps means declaring yourself specifically to be not a stamp collector and setting up organizations and tenets specifically geared towards not stamp collecting, and spend your days telling anyone who will listen about how you do not collect stamps, and complain against the post office for forcing you to accept stamps on the letters sent to your mailbox? Then yeah, not collecting stamps is a hobby. If all you do is simply ignore any stamps you find? Not such a big deal. In my experience, the average atheist has more to say about religion than religious people do. People who truly don't care are more apt to simply say, "I'm not religious."
Imagine the Supreme Court was wiped out in an asteroid strike, or maybe ate some really bad clams. Whatever. With the court temporarily out of the picture, could Congress and the White House ignore the Constitution, locking up Tea Partiers or ACLU members?
"I have been fascinated by [Delaware Senate candidate] Christine O'Donnell's constitutional worldview," Slate magazine's Dahlia Lithwick confessed. O'Donnell had said, "When I go to Washington, DC, the litmus test by which I cast my vote for every piece of legislation that comes across my desk will be whether or not it is constitutional."
To which Lithwick, a widely cited expert on the Supreme Court, responded, "How weird is that, I thought. Isn't it a court's job to determine whether or not something is, in fact, constitutional? And isn't that sort of provided for in, well, the Constitution?"
Newsweek's Ben Adler was aghast at the clause in the GOP's Pledge to America that Republicans will provide a "citation of constitutional authority" for every proposed law. "We have a mechanism for assessing the constitutionality of legislation, which is the independent judiciary," Adler wrote. "An extraconstitutional attempt to limit the powers of Congress is dangerous even as a mere suggestion, and it constitutes an encroachment on the judiciary." And a progressive blogger writes in U.S. News & World Report that such talk of requiring constitutionality is "just plain wacky."
Does anyone, anywhere, think legislators should vote for legislation they think is unconstitutional? Should presidents sign such legislation into law?
According to this creepy logic, there's no reason for congressmen to even consider the supreme law of the land. Re-impose slavery? Sure! Let's see if we can catch the Supreme Court asleep at the switch. Nationalize the TV stations? It ain't unconstitutional until the Supreme Court says so!
Of course, reasonable people understand how absurd all of this is.
Too many politicians -- in both parties -- have abdicated their most solemn duty: to support and defend the US Constitution. George W. Bush signed campaign finance reform even though he thought much of it was unconstitutional. Nancy Pelosi thinks the Constitution has as much relevance as a pet rock. Asked if the health-care bill was constitutional, her eyes grew perceptibly wider as she incredulously asked, "Are you serious?"
The real issue is quite simple. If more politicians were faithful to the Constitution, the government would be restrained. And restraining government is "weird," "wacky" and "dangerous" to so many liberals today.
Saturday, October 02, 2010
ALL TOMORROW’S TEA PARTIES:
I see that former Velvet Underground drummer Moe Tucker was spotted at a Georgia Tea Party protest, telling a local reporter that she is “furious about the way we are being led towards socialism.” Prefix magazine calls this “depressing” news that will “bring you down” before the weekend, because it’s incumbent upon all musicians—especially those in seminal proto-punk bands like VU—to have roughly the same, boring lefty politics.