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Statism & Intelligence

Those favoring an ever-increasing role for the state in our society never cease to remind us how much smarter they are those of us preferring freedom and smaller government.  They note how a supermajority of university professors favor their ideology and that how voters with postgraduate degrees overwhelmingly went for Obama last fall.

If they’re so smart, why can’t they learn from history?

I mean, here are these very smart people are, with lots and lots of college degrees (so very much education) among them, yet they insist bigger government will help solve our economic woes.  Problem is they can’t come up with many examples of that working.

Socialism failed overwhelmingly in Europe where nations with welfare-state economies having unemployment rates that makes our number seem tiny in comparison.

And those very smart people who actually do study the results of statist policies, find, for example, that New Deal, a program of massive state intervention in the American economy, “thwarted economic recovery for seven long years.

Another one of those smart people who trust to empirical observation rather than trendy theories, Anna Schwartz, an economist at National Bureau of Economic Research wonders at the

mystical belief in . . . fiscal stimulus as the solution to the current recession. . . . Fiscal stimulus did not end the great contraction from ’29 to ’33 and it didn’t end the slump in Japan.  If you make this kind of comment to a true believer you get an anti-intellectual kind of response.

. . . . [the Japanese] paid lavishly for the fiscal stimulus projects that they promoted, and as a result Japan had the biggest fiscal deficit of any advanced country during that period.  And the answer to the program for fiscal stimulus that is lacking is an economic explanation of why fiscal stimulus would work, and we do not have such an explanation.

(H/t:  Wall Street Journal’s Political Diary–available by subscription.)

An explanation we may not have, but Democratic rhetoric we do.

Note Dr. Schwartz’s observation about pointing out the failure of various government stimuli to stimulate economic growth.  Those true believers, many of them with a multitude of college degrees offer an anti-intellectual response.  Interesting how intellectuals often respond in such a manner to critics who challenge their conclusions with facts.

Seems like instead of engaging us, they’re just telling us to shut up.  Why, I wonder do some very smart people peddle ideas which can be easily discredited and respond to their intellectual adversaries not with counterarguments, but instead with angry rebuttals or pleas for silence?

Obama’s Cowboy Domestic Policy

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:18 pm - March 31, 2009.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Media Bias,Obama Watch

Remember when, not so long ago, right-thinking people in the media and think tanks faulted then-President George W. Bush for his go-it-alone “Cowboy Diplomacy.”  Well, now that good man’s successor has adopted a similar strategy for addressing certain domestic crises.

Turns out the president didn’t even consult lawmakers from his own party, including those representing the state where the auto companies have their headquarters, before delivering his “ultimatum to U.S. auto manufacturers:”

Michigan’s senior Democratic senator, Carl Levin, said Obama didn’t ask for advice when he told lawmakers of the move in a Sunday call from the Oval Office to force GM CEO Rick Wagoner to resign, which caught Washington and Detroit by surprise. “He didn’t ask us about it, he informed us,” Levin said.

I’m sure the MSM will be quick to condemn the president for acting without congressional input, just as they were during the previous Administration.

Barney Wants Government to Set Executive Salaries

Just when I thought I had said all I needed to say about Barney Frank, that unhappy bully comes up with another idea certain to slow the economy.  Didn’t he do enough when he thwart reforms of the Government-supported Enterprises (GSE), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Now, we learn that the mean-spirited Mr. Frank is acting on his long-expressed intentions to restrict executive compensation at all US corporations, “not just TARP recipients.“  Byron York reports:

But now, in a little-noticed move, the House Financial Services Committee, led by chairman Barney Frank, has approved a measure that would, in some key ways, go beyond the most draconian features of the original AIG bill. The new legislation, the “Pay for Performance Act of 2009,” would impose government controls on the pay of all employees — not just top executives — of companies that have received a capital investment from the U.S. government. It would, like the tax measure, be retroactive, changing the terms of compensation agreements already in place. And it would give Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner extraordinary power to determine the pay of thousands of employees of American companies.

Transferring ever more power to the government.  That seems to be the Democrats’ game plan.  Before they continue their game, they should study those nations which have done just that, taking a close look at their economic record.  They didn’t see the kind of growth and innovation that has, by and large, defined the American economy,  for the last sixty years.

What is Barney’s animus to capitalism, to private enterprise?  He bends over backwards to prevent increased federal regulation of agencies backed up by the federal government, yet is ever eager to control institutions which have helped spur perhaps the great amount of wealth creation in human history.  Institutions, I might add, upon whose success, the federal government depends for its revenue.

Looks like a few people need to read Mark Levin’s book.

Confronting the Leftist Idea of “Equality”

Mark Levin’s new book, Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto, arrived just in time.  Last week, I wondered how “equality” had become the watchword for the gay movement and engaged in a spirited discussion in the comments section on the values on the founders’ notion of the concept.

I had always believed the founders’ focus was on liberty, freedom, with a concern for equal rights.  Their concern for equal rights was a response to the privileges of class, then inherent in the British system.  Levin understands how today’s left has twisted the notion of equality to serve their statist ends.  And given the political make-up of the gay groups, it’s pretty clear they have borrowed that idea of equality.

In short, Levin gets it:

The primary principle around which the Statist organizes can be summed up in a single word–equality.

Equality, as understood by the Founders, is the natural right of every individual to live freely under self-government, to acquire and retain the property he creates through his own labor, and to be treated impartially before a just law.  Moreover, equality should not be confused with perfection, for man is also imperfect, making his application of equality, even in the most just society, imperfect.  Otherwise, inequality is the natural state of man in the sense that each individual is born unique in all his human characteristics.  Therefore, equality and inequality, properly comprehended, are both engines of liberty.

The Statist, however, misuses equality to pursue uniform economic and social outcomes.  He must continuously enhance his power at the expense of self-government and violate the individual’s property rights at the expense of individual liberty, for he believes that through persuasion, deception, and coercion he can tame man’s natural state and man’s perfection can, therefore, be achieved in Utopia.  The Statist must claim the power to make that which is unequal equal an that which is imperfect perfect.  That is the hope the Statist offers, if only the individual surrenders himself to the all-powerful state.  Only then can the impossible be made possible.

Levin helps summarize why I fear then notion of “equality” when on the lips of gay activists.  Most of them have a background in left-wing political movements and show a commitment to the Democratic party and its leftist ideology.  They readily turn to the state to seek solutions to problems, real and imagined, which confront our community.

I’ve only read 18 pages, barely 10% of Levin’s book and I’m already hungry for more.  this new book may well be a manifesto for the coming conservative resurgence.

Ann Althouse Takes Andrew Sullivan to the Woodshed

There was a time when Andrew Sullivan could make a serious argument for state recognition of same-sex marriages. Now when he talks about the subject, he can’t seem to see beyond the “legal rights” issue, as if without state sanction, his marriage wouldn’t mean anything.

And now, he sees a straight blogress’s upcoming marriage as an object of ridicule. Yesterday, he linked a left-wing blog mocking Ann Althouse’s impending nuptials to someone who comments to her blog. In so doing, he showed his confusion about what marriage is, something he once understood pretty well. After that diva called him on his “disrespectful” post, he fired back, ignoring her criticism and focusing on his own views, “I’m all in favor of the right of straight bloggers to marry their straight commenters. It’s a civil right.

Is that all it is, Andrew, a civil right? Interesting that that’s how he would choose to address the controversy, reducing it to a right.

Althouse never one to mince words (hence her diva status) called Andrew on missing the point:

This isn’t about legal rights. This is about how individuals treat each other, and I want to know why you disrespected me. Explain why you linked to Pandagon’s scurrilous OMFG, which, as you know, means “Oh, my fucking God.” Is that the way you mean to speak to me? Is that the way you talk about God?

In Andrew’s eagerness to link a left-wing blogger to attack a more moderate one (who happened to have endorsed the same presidential candidate he did), he shows once again that he has long since left the conservative fold, even as he calls himself conservative.

What conservative would link a left-wing blogger to mock the impending nuptials of a centrist blogress?

The Democratic Need to Demonize

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 9:30 am - March 31, 2009.
Filed under: Liberal Hypocrisy,Mean-spirited leftists

When I read Pamela’s comment to my post on Rush Limbaugh & the Conservative Pantheon, I laughed a rich full-bodied laugh.  As the Emanuel/Carville plan to demonize the outspoken radio talker has backfired,  Democrats are now going after the Alaska Governor:

Multiple Democratic strategists say the party plans to increasingly elevate Palin in the same manner it has employed Rush for weeks, using her high-visibility, her social conservatism, and memories of her harsh attacks on Obama during the campaign to tar the GOP as partisan, obstructionist, and backward-looking.

What is it about these guys, always needing someone to demonize?  Jim Hoft quips that it’s “a bit odd that they are attacking Sarah Palin now since the election ended months ago.

And they accuse our side of divisive politics!

Now that Democrats are in power, this could backfire on them, reminding voters that Obama’s campaign (and recent) rhetoric notwithstanding, his party still engages in the old Washington politics of blame and attack:

A Pew Research poll conducted last fall found that 41 percent of independents said that they thought the press had been too tough on the governor. Now that President Obama’s approval numbers are slipping, especially among independents, that key group could perceive the Democrat’s attacks on Palin the same way they saw the media attacks. If they think the Democrats are unfairly dissing Palin, there’s just no win there for the Dems.

But, the real question that remains is what does it say about today’s current crop of Democrats that they feel they must demonize the opposition to get their message across.  Maybe it’s their form of distraction.  They want people to focus on Republicans’ flaws so as to prevent people from seeing their “message” for what it really is.

Whenever you hear someone talk about mean-spirited Republicans, remind them that Democrats–and their allies in the media–are always looking to vilify their partisan rivals.

And wonder as well about their need to be mean.

Global War On Terror no more

I see from various news reports that Secretary Clinton, and therefore Obama, will no longer use the phrase “War On Terror.”

Too bad no one has told Bin Laden and the Taliban and Iran and Hamas and Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Meanwhile, Americans’ confidence in the “War Against Bad Men Of Unspecified Religious Origin Who Like to Plot The Death of Westerners” effort has plummeted.

We will rue the day we go back to the September 10th-Clintonian mindset.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Obama Administration Has No Clear Path to Repeal DADT

While study after study (after study after study) has shown that allowing gay people to serve in our armed forces would neither compromise unit cohesion nor morale, the Obama Administration is making little progress on repealing the Clinton-era Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT) policy, barring gays from serving openly in the military.

This despite candidate Obama’s commitment to repealing the ban.  Indeed, White House Spokesman Tommy Vietor said recently that the president has consulted Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff] Chairman Mike Mullen to make sure “this change is done in a sensible way that strengthens our armed forces and national security.”

This weekend on FoxNews Sunday, however, Gates said, “That dialog though has really not progressed very far at this point in the administration. I think the president and I feel like we’ve got a lot on our plates right now and let’s push that one down the road a little bit.”

Pushing it down the road a little bit?  Say what?  I do hope the gay organizations are lambasting the Democratic Administration for putting this off yet again.

Here’s a simple solution to push it down the road, but head in the direction of repeal while making it clear that the change strengthens our armed forces and national security:  With great fanfare, the president should announce a blue-ribbon commission, say, headed by former Secretary of State Colin Powell, to study whether we can repeal of the ban and strengthen our armed forces.  Yes, I realize their study would repeat studies already carried out.  But, none of those have had the attention one so publicly commissioned would have.


Olbermann’s O’Reilly Obsession

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:09 am - March 31, 2009.
Filed under: Annoying Celebrities,Mean-spirited leftists

Every time, it seems, I’m in the gym and they play Olbermann, that angry leftist devotes at least one segment of his show to bashing Bill O’Reilly.

Now, I wonder if that FoxNews host, with an audience twice that of his MSNBC counterpart, ever devotes any attention to the obsessed leftist.  While I do watch O’Reilly from time to time, I don’t watch him all that much and don’t recall him ever mentioning Olbermann.

So, those of you who watch him more often than do I, please let me know, does he ever pay mention the man so obsessed with him?