Monday, May 23, 2011

The Left wages war on the poor

Professor Walter E. Williams’ writings are required reading for anyone interested in preserving individual liberty and a free economy. Prof. Williams has long promoted both doctrines with a no-holds-barred approach, rendering big government proponents defenseless. In his pursuit, he recently targeted the nefariousness of the minimum wage.

Williams derides the minimum wage for its inherent discrimination. Minimum wage laws establish pay scales above the productivity levels of youthful and inexperienced workers. Therefore unskilled workers are denied the experiences necessary to climb the employment ladder. Williams believes a minimum wage discriminates against the poor, especially young black men.

Prof. Williams summarized his position thusly:

The best way to sabotage chances for upward mobility of a youngster from a single-parent household, who resides in a violent slum and has attended poor-quality schools, is to make it unprofitable for any employer to hire him. The way to accomplish that is to mandate an employer to pay such a person a wage that exceeds his skill level.

Minimum wage laws have massive political support, including that of black politicians. That means that many young black males will remain a part of America's permanent underclass with crime, drugs and prison as their future.

The minimum wage’s deleterious consequences for those it purportedly serves are disastrous even if unintentional. If purposeful, wage manipulation is downright sinister. And the results are intentional, for the minimum wage isn’t the only area in which progressive policies have suppressed the poor.

Who stands to profit when the poor -- whom the Left constantly references but never bothers to define -- are priced out of the labor market? If you answered, "Politicians, big government activists, and social engineers," take a gold star. Advocates for an expansive welfare state find their perfect pawn in the poor. The perpetually impoverished have an equally perpetual need to blame someone for their status. Leftist leaders manipulate the needy to enhance their own political and social positions.

The Left utilizes poverty and leverages "the deserving poor" against "the greedy rich" to create an electoral advantage. Leftist politicians preach grand solutions to the impoverished voter. Such voters can attain quality schools, crime-free neighborhoods, affordable and adequate housing, and an equal piece of the wealth. All the poor need do is elect Leftist politicians and each desirable outcome is theirs for the taking. But where are the results?

Once the votes are tabulated and the poverty-fighting politicians take office the poor are no better off than they were beforehand. Programs will be initiated and money will be spent. Yet, the poor will realize no distinguishable improvement in their condition. Scholastic achievement doesn’t increase, housing remains substandard, the destitute often resort to crime, and wealth continues to flow to more productive individuals.

Left-wing policies, sold under the misnomer of compassion, have created a disastrous scenario and declared a de facto war on the poor. Conservatism, free markets, and right-wing ideologues, aren't responsible, despite the Left’s demagoguery. The poor suffer as a direct result of Leftist populism, which brings destruction on the very people wealth redistribution policies pretend to benefit. The poor receive nothing in terms of upward mobility. Instead, indigence warrants only enough benefit to ensure continued dependence on government.

The impoverished aren’t merely victims of inadequate central planning; they are prisoners of war. The Left has convinced the poor that government programs and policies are the antidote to poverty. In reality the opposite is true and the poor are relieved of nothing but their liberty and self-esteem.

If the intent behind government anti-poverty initiatives is to alleviate poverty the programs are miserable failures. However, entitlements are an unrivaled success in weakening the individual and empowering the Left. Leftists have generated a
growing and perpetual voting bloc inextricably bound to big government. To genuinely solve the poverty issues on which progressives campaign would equal political suicide.

While robbing a population of their initiative, confidence, and motivation is a cowardly and dastardly strategy, the effectiveness is inarguable. For instance, the
poverty rate declined steadily following World War II until Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society declared war on the poor. Poverty’s decline came to an abrupt halt and the rate has since remained constant, as has the impoverished voter’s allegiance to the Democrat Party.

No matter the topic -- education, housing, healthcare, or wages -- you can bank on government’s lofty assurances never producing the promised results. Anti-poverty programs are designed to malfunction. Accepting the Left’s anti-poverty rhetoric is as sensible as accepting a train ticket from Heinrich Himmler. In supporting the Left's initiatives, the impoverished are purchasing the shackles for their own restraint.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Washington and the media spawned the “deathers”

More than a week ago Navy SEALs ushered Osama bin Laden to his everlasting calling. A rush of boots, the pop of small arms fire, and he was gone. Word has it that Osama remains dead. Or does he?

Conspiracies are popping up like lost relatives at a lottery winner’s doorstep, as are the attempts to discredit anyone asking questions about bin Laden’s demise. The situation is similar, in nature if not degree, to the "birther" movement. Osama conspiracists even have a nickname, "deathers."

Generally speaking, conspiracy theories combine overactive imaginations with the need to explain the unexplainable. However, the White House’s delay in producing Obama’s actual birth certificate prompted skepticism concerning his birthplace and his qualification for office. Thus "birthers" were born. Likewise for the White House account of bin Laden’s death. Just as a lack of White House transparency fueled the birthers it now fuels the "deathers," who can posit some interesting questions.

Why did finding bin Laden take so long? U.S. military and intelligence agencies possess satellite surveillance technology capable of determining the coin toss at next year’s Super Bowl, assuming there is one. Why couldn’t we find the world’s most infamous terrorist? Osama bin Laden’s prompt burial at sea did little to squelch the conspiracists, either. We saw
photos of the dead Uday and Qusay Hussein, and of Saddam himself. Why not bin Laden?

Conspiracists can legitimately argue a captured bin Laden is more valuable than a dead bin Laden. A live al-Qaeda leader would be a wealth of intelligence information, ripe for the interrogating. The federal government could easily fake bin Laden’s death. Then he could be spirited to some remote corner of the globe for unencumbered questioning.

Would releasing photos of a deceased Osama bin Laden quell the conspiracies and satisfy the "deathers?" Probably not. Conspiracists will claim the pictures are forged products of the Photoshop age. Some may allege the bin Laden in the photos is a double, not the genuine article. Besides, releasing photos is of small benefit when the White House can’t so much as get its story

We were told how bin Laden died during a fierce firefight while using his wife as a human shield. In one account bin Laden’s wife was wounded, in the next she wasn’t. Then she was shot, but only in the leg. Was she a human shield? Or did she charge SEAL Team Six? Osama bin Laden was armed; then he wasn’t. Was he reaching for his AK-47 when he was killed? Or, was he captured and summarily executed, which he richly deserved?

Considering the conflicting reports emanating from Washington, and dutifully parroted in the media, who can say with certainty what occurred in Abbottabad? Too much contradiction, too much swirl. No evidence, regardless its strength, will mollify the skeptics now. Photos and DNA tests can be
faked while making each seem credible. Also, reports of Osama bin Laden’s death aren’t new; they began circulating within months of 9/11.

I believe bin Laden is dead. Does my opinion relegate the conspiracists to the far corners of Crackpotistan? Not entirely. When conspiracy theories become commonplace, the government and media are condemned more than the conspiracists. Contradictions and lies on the part of the federal government combined with a compliant media, over time, have fostered a public mistrust toward both parties. Frankly, neither entity is more credible than the tinfoil hat brigade.

Spin, swirl, and bias are par for the federal government and most media outlets. Phraseologies, like "quantitative easing" and "integrative complexity," breed distrust. Such phrasing is intended not to enlighten the public but to conceal an agenda the public would oppose, or worse, ridicule. Small wonder mainstream news reports and the federal government’s official statements create suspicion.

Whether people believe bin Laden died last week at the hands of Navy SEALs or ten years ago of natural causes is of little consequence. Good riddance to bad rubbish. And if he’s alive and under interrogation at a black ops center? Happy waterboarding! What’s truly shameful is how once-revered institutions have instilled such distrust in the population that every government action and media report spawns a conspiracy theory.

Are the "deathers" piloting black helicopters? Maybe so. But Washington and the "mainstream" media needn't point fingers. They birthed the "deather" movement.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Obama's "gutsy" no-brainer

President Obama made the correct decision in sending Navy SEALs into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden. But was it the "gutsy call" the media, and the administration itself, has led us to believe? Logically and politically the President had no alternative.

Little courage is required to condemn a man directly responsible for the worst attack on U.S. soil since Pearl Harbor. No man in recent history has deserved U.S. retribution more than Osama bin Laden. Once the al-Qaeda leader's whereabouts were confirmed there was no decision to make. Any post-9/11 President who held bin Laden in his crosshairs and failed to fire would instantly become the greatest failure in presidential history. Obama received an approval ratings bounce, as would be expected. But the decision that precipitated that bounce was a no-brainer. As more Americans examine the situation, especially in light of the conflicting accounts emanating from the White House, they will realize that Obama had no option aside from the course he chose.

Imagine the political fallout had Obama forsaken the opportunity to take bin Laden. News of such magnitude wouldn't have remained a secret, not even with a compliant media. Had Obama wavered on taking bin Laden his 2012 goose would've been cooked. His indecisiveness and tepidness would be confirmed. Furthermore, inaction would've fueled the Obama-is-a-Muslim theories. Had Obama knowingly allowed Osama bin Laden to escape he would've been lucky to carry the Haight-Ashbury and Greenwich Village precincts in his reelection bid.

Capturing bin Laden wasn't an option either. Obama couldn't send the al-Qaeda captain to Guantanamo, a black ops interrogation center, or subject him to anything other than normal criminal proceedings without expressing profound hypocrisy. Imagine Osama bin Laden on trial near Ground Zero, before a jury of Council on American-Islamic Relations peers, with an ACLU lawyer at his side. No, capture (though preferable in terms of intelligence) wasn't a political option. Osama had to die.

Make no mistake; President Obama issued the appropriate order. His decision to attack bin Laden directly, rather than with missiles or air strikes, would've been correct even if the mission had proved unsuccessful. But in reality, his order to kill Osama bin Laden was an easy call. Who among us wouldn't love to have issued the "Go!" command to SEAL Team Six?

A "gutsy" call? Only if you believe shooting down Admiral Yamamoto's plane during World War II was a difficult choice. "Gutsy" is the media's latest catchphrase, strategically repeated to promote an Obama foreign policy achievement. Frankly, his decision was one every American should expect from any President, regardless their party or ideology.

Recognize Obama for acting presidential. But "gutsy" describes Truman's decision to use the atomic bomb against Japan. "Gutsy" describes the Navy SEALs and pilots who entered Pakistan and made this mission work. They are the heroes worthy of high praise. Gutsiness comes easier when safe at the White House surrounded by the Secret Service.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The case of Lindsay Graham vs. Free Speech

All rise! The Court of Historical Accuracy is now in session, the Honorable First Amendment presiding. The Court will entertain arguments in the case of Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) vs. Free Speech. At issue is the protected status and free application of speech during wartime.

Sen. Graham, hereafter the Prosecution, alleges free speech is invalid when it denigrates a national enemy. The Prosecution reserves belief in free speech, but also claims said speech must be approved in order to be free. In summary, Prosecution
alleges, “free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war. During World War II, you had limits on what you could say if it would inspire the enemy.”

Free Speech, hereafter the Defense, intends to prove that free speech indeed protected derogatory attitudes toward America’s World War II enemies. The Defense calls as its first witness Moe Howard, Curly Howard, and Larry Fine, a.k.a. the Three Stooges, in
You Nazty Spy.

The Three Stooges displayed no fear of inspiring der Fuhrer, his Nazi regime, or the Axis in general. In You Nazty Spy they satirized dictatorships, Hitler’s rise to power, and the gullibility of the entire population of “Moronica,” which represented pre-war Germany.

Your Honor, the Defense contends that Moronica’s Dictator Moe Hailstone (Hitler), Field Marshal Curly Gallstone (Goering), and Propaganda Minister Larry Pebble (Geobbels) could’ve offended and thus inspired Nazi Germany. The Defense will also prove that You Nazty Spy wasn’t an isolated example of uncensored speech during World War II.

The Defense calls as its second witness the same Three Stooges in
I’ll Never Heil Again.

Dictator Hailstone and his henchmen broke treaties and double-crossed allies, just as Hitler did to Chamberlain and Stalin. I’ll Never Heil Again bristles with jabs at the Nazi regime and “der Fuhrer” himself. Hailstone and Moronica’s allies fight over the world, with the Japanese representative taking frequent snapshots during the melee.

Your Honor, the Defense submits Moronica as de facto Nazi Germany and Hailstone’s dictatorship as personifying the Hitler regime. The Defense argues the Three Stooges did willfully and with forethought mock and ridicule both Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, that these entities were enemies of the United States, and that the Three Stooges’ actions could’ve inspired enemy forces. Furthermore, since the Three Stooges’ testimony was filmed, distributed, and viewed during the World War II era and remains available 70 years after the fact, free speech protects similar conduct today. Your Honor, the Defense also charges the Prosecution with intentionally misleading the public about the application of free speech during wartime, past and present.

The Prosecution has maliciously revised history and perpetrated fraud to cause the public to doubt their memories. In summation, the Defense believes the Three Stooges’ testimony verifies the validity of Free Speech and the allegation of prosecutorial misconduct on the part of Sen. Graham. Defense requests that Graham answer perjury charges in the Court of Public Opinion.

The Defense rests.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sen. Lindsay Graham: Fool, liar, or historically ignorant?

During a recent appearance on Face the Nation, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) addressed free speech in relation to the current war effort. Apparently, words and activities that could incite or motivate an enemy are beyond the First Amendment's protection. Government can then silence such speech. Frankly, that is a foolish and utterly un-American idea. But it isn't as foolish as Graham's use of World War II to justify his position. "During World War II," Graham explained, "you had limits on what you could say if it would inspire the enemy."

Such a claim would be news to the World War II generation, who weren't the least bit concerned with whether or not their attitudes inspired their enemies. In fact, they went out of their way to denigrate the Nazis and the Japanese at every opportunity.

Has Sen. Graham never seen a poster from the WW II era? Those posters appeared throughout the United States and they were anything but complimentary toward the Germans and the Japanese.

One WW II poster depicts the Axis powers firing on Jesus Christ as he hangs on the cross. On another poster a Nazi is thrusting his bayonet through the Holy Bible. An anti-Japanese poster displayed the "Tokio Kid" (Misspelled intentionally?) with slanted eyes, big teeth, round eyeglasses, and devilishly pointed ears. A war bonds promotion poster shows an aggressive Japanese soldier holding an all-American girl at knifepoint. The caption reads, "Keep this horror from your home."

Inciting? I think so. Obviously, Sen. Graham hasn't paid much attention to WW II posters. He must not have watched cartoons, either. A wide array of animated characters, from Popeye to Donald Duck, took turns poking the Axis in the eye.

Daffy the Commando, Daffy Duck took on a ranting Nazi officer and his bumbling subordinate, Shultz. In one scene the German commander springs to attention and shouts "Heil Hitler" when a skunk crosses his path. After making a total mockery of the Nazi army Daffy drops in on a Hitler speech and conks der Fuehrer on the head with a mallet.

Popeye the Sailor deployed to the Pacific Theatre in
You’re a Sap, Mr. Jap. He tangles with two stereotypical Japanese sailors, each with a penchant for treachery. The Japanese promise peace, but attack Popeye when he turns his back. A not-so-subtle reference to Pearl Harbor, perhaps? Popeye eventually eats his spinach and gives an entire Japanese battlewagon a thorough whipping. You’re a Sap, Mr. Jap poked fun at everything Japanese from their manufacturing quality to their doctrine of honorable suicide. It ended with the Rising Sun being "flushed" in the ocean.

Her Honor the Mare, Popeye's nephews disguise a horse as a house painter to sneak the nag into the house. The "painter" looks like Hitler -- an obvious insult to Adolf's artistic aspirations -- with the face drawn on the horse's backside. Sen. Graham can draw his own conclusions about inspiring the enemy. But to me, the animators were calling Hitler a horse's ass.

Walt Disney joined the anti-Axis animation parade with
Der Fuehrer's Face, in which Donald Duck dreams about living in the Third Reich. The cartoon begins with an unflattering Nazi marching band and a song that resembles someone breaking wind "right in der Fuehrer's Face." Everything in Donald’s home is a tribute to the Nazi police state and he’s forced, at bayonet point, to read Mein Kampf. Then it's off to work for Donald, where he'll "Heil Hitler" in forced servitude at a Nazi munitions factory. The cartoon ends with Hitler being hit in the face with a tomato.

None of these print and animated insults could’ve provoked the enemy? Senator Graham is either ignorant of this nation's attitude toward our enemies during the Second World War, a complete fool, or a dastardly liar. Choose the lesser of the evils, if there is a lesser between ignorance, foolishness and dishonesty. Whichever you choose, there is one certainty; free speech wasn't limited so as to avoid inspiring the Germans and the Japanese. In fact, the Greatest Generation reveled in insulting their enemies at every opportunity and their war ended just fine.

The good guys won World War II, in case Senator Graham needs reminding. There were no focus group plans for appeasing our adversaries. Victory didn’t come from seeking common ground with Hirohito or proving to the Nazis how we meant no harm to their Fuehrer and his concentration camps. We won because we put victory above the nonsensical notion that offending our enemy was off-limits.

Sen. Graham isn’t ignorant of America’s attitudes toward the Axis powers. But he’ll promote a historically false perspective and believe Americans are foolish enough to accept his dishonesty.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Arrogance and narcissism reign in King Barack’s Court

Arrogance is defined as an inflated degree of self-importance with a supplementary contempt for others. Narcissism describes a person totally infatuated with their own persona and possessing an overblown sense of ability or worth. Arrogance and narcissism are somewhat synonymous. Yet there is sufficient difference between the terms to apply both to the persona our current Commander-in-Chief embodies.

President Obama is a walking contradiction. Acts he once considered an abuse of authority are but policy recalculations when he exercises them personally. Other presidents have overstepped their authority. Obama, however, is uniquely intelligent and supremely qualified to properly wield powers he once considered abusive and to rule a free people. “Rule” isn’t a word chosen at random; it’s a term Obama himself has used to describe his administration.

Barack Hussein Obama doesn’t see himself as merely the United State’s 44th President; he is her liege, King Barack the First.

Obama’s use of
signing statements confirms his narcissism and arrogance. Obama’s position on signing statements is similar, but in mirror image, to John Kerry’s position on the Iraq War. Remember how Kerry voted for the war prior to voting against it? Obama was against presidential signing statements before he used them.

Before his coronation Obama considered signing statements beyond the president’s constitutional
authority. He pledged not to use such statements to circumvent Congress, a charge he leveled at his predecessor. However, when Obama’s signing statement accompanied the recent budget deal he had to redefine his position.

King Barack has
changed his mind. Signing statements aren’t beyond the president's power after all, as he stated when campaigning in 2008. But such executive statements shouldn’t be abused in the way his predecessor abused them. Note the arrogance and narcissism. Other chief executives have abused the signing statement. Obama, however, possesses the virtue, wisdom, and sound judgment necessary to exercise the signing statement effectively without crossing the line into abuse.

Obama further displayed his royal manner in his refusal to comply with Congress’ ban on White House czars. Worse than his contempt for Congress, a feeling with which most Americans can empathize, is his disregard for the U.S. Constitution.

The President, according to Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution, will appoint various officers of the United States subject to the Senate’s review and consent. The language represents a problem for czar appointees, who aren’t presented for Senate review. The President may also appoint inferior officers, which could be interpreted to include czars, at his discretion. However, such discretionary appointments can be made only if Congress has empowered the presidency to make them. A Congress that can grant discretionary appointment authority to the president via legislation may revoke that authority in like manner, as this Congress did in the budget bill.

Yet the czars remain and Congress’ duly passed law is
ignored. King Barack the Arrogant and Narcissistic simply snubs Congress and the Constitution’s directives on presidential appointments.

Instances abound to confirm His Majesty's elevated sense of worth and authority. Obama also thumbed his nose at a judge’s
decision declaring Obamacare unconstitutional. If you or I ignored such a ruling we would be arrested. But people of superior intellect and insight, like King Barack, can't be bothered with trivialities, such as court rulings, that would apply to those of us in the great unwashed.

Arrogance allows Obama to travel on the publicly-funded Air Force One at $70,000 per flight hour while demonizing corporate CEOs for flying privately-funded aircraft at a fraction of the cost. Narcissism vindicates King Barack the First when he
compensates his supporters with taxpayer provided stimulus cash while praising his administration’s exemplary ethics.

Signing statements aren’t the problem, be they issued by King Barack or a simple president. But a President serves within the office’s authority at the pleasure of the governed. A King serves at his own discretion, believing the contemptible governed are beneath questioning or comprehending their ruler’s decrees. Rulers embody arrogance and narcissism individually and simultaneously, a feat thoroughly possible in the Court of King Barack the First.