Friday, April 30, 2010
One would think that this would be the year to be GOP. History shows us quite clearly that the first election after a new president traditionally means losses for the part occupying the White House. While I still think there will be some losses, the GOP is basically fucked and this whole Crist thing shows us why.
The Cult is basically running the GOP now with any moderate Republicans cowering in fear of losing any power they have. Let's recall rule #1 of the Cult.
1. Quickly withdraw into the group and distrust the outside world.
You can always tell if someone is in the Cult or not when they start to turn on their own. Crist is not to be trusted, they say, because he isn't pure. He makes decisions based on what he thinks is best or the right thing to do. According to the Cult, any decision that does not strictly adhere to their belief system is completely wrong and said person making the decision is a heretic.
Remember this other characteristic of the Cult?
3. Have their own vocabulary
Anytime you hear someone say something like "Crist is RINO (Republican in Name Only)" or "He doesn't pass the purity test" then you know that they are in the Cult and they have their own vocabulary.
So, I'm still wondering how the GOP can win MORE votes if they continue to drive people who are more moderate away from the party. It makes no sense to me but neither does their overall ideology which, in addition to being borderline psychotic, has no practical application in the world today.
Again, I must ask, if the GOP does not see significant gains this fall, what does that mean?
Thursday, April 29, 2010
That's basically what happened to British PM Gordon Brown. In a campaign stop, he listened to a woman complain about Eastern Europeans coming in and taking over. Still mic'd, he called her a bigot. The world press is now saying he made a gaffe and he has been falling over himself to apologize. In fact, they have made this woman out to be a victim and now she has her own PR person.
Am I missing something here? The woman was a bigot and he called her on it. Who the fuck cares? And why is any of it his fault?
The same bullshit is happening here. Call someone a racist and you are immediately worse than them. Better still, they are now completely innocent! All is forgiven. The ass hat machine of the Cult will be up your ass with a tweezers and before you know it, the bigots are the victims. Trot out Al Sharpton and then the party really gets started with hate, anger and rage crowd.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
To the left is a photograph of my bald head. As we can all clearly see, I am folically challenged. Now, I want you all to imagine me walking up to a man with a full head of hair and shouting, "Hey!! Baldy!!! Nice chrome dome...can I brush my teeth in that gleaming reflection that is your giant melon?!!!?"
What would his first reaction be? What would yours be if you witnessed me doing this? At the very least, he and you would be flabbergasted. I'm obviously the one who is bald, not the Fabio dude with a full head of hair. It makes no sense whatsoever.
And that's just what debating a Cult member is like. They attack you with what is, in fact, their greatest weakness. They scream about the Constitution yet actively deny rights to a large percentage of our population. They decry government intervention, accusing President Obama of being a fascist, and yet support the AZ immigration law, extreme intervention in the name of national security as well as cheering jingoistic nationalism. They accuse President Obama of being a racist and preaching hate speech when they do it on a daily fucking basis.
In short, they are completely full of shit.
Even here in comments, we see it played out. I don't "talk about the issues" or "examine key points of legislation" even though I do all the time. All I do is call the right "Nazi homophobes" even though I just recently wrote about being completely wrong about Reagan. I am "unbending" and "refuse to see the facts" yet I have recently concluded that my ideas regarding good capitalism are woefully outdated thanks to Jim Manzi.
Look closely at the people who lean right here who post in comments. Have they changed their mind about ANYTHING? Will they ever admit that they are wrong about something? One would hope so, given the facts, but I'm not holding my breath.
The Rove essentially betrays a complete lack of knowledge on a particular issue combined with an eight year old stubbornness. It is an easy way to deflect serious thought on an issue and propel it into a realm devoid of facts, logic, and reasoning. To be fair, I think many of them don't even know that they are doing this. They are trained to say these things and really know no other way.
But there are those who do know and now that I have finally figured out this little tactic, I have noticed that my frustration level is at an all time low if even present at all.
I've conquered a mountain, folks. I'm surprised it's taken me this long but I'm certainly not perfect. Now that I can simply reply with "Ah...the Rove" instead of pulling those few hairs left on the top of my head (see above photo) out, I am free to focus on bigger and brighter pastures:)
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
So, today, I find myself missing my grandfather who passed on April 1, 2008 at the age of 92. I need to review the transcripts that he made awhile back about his experience in the Pacific Theater from 1942-1945. I think he was at Peleliu but I'm not sure. I really want to create a great living history unit ( a la Tomlinson) and center it around this particular phase of the war using his words. He was a combat engineer whose chief mission was to sneak behind enemy lines and map out terrain so the guys could navigate easier.
I also need to make a trip to Target and buy the econo-pack of Kleenex. The last two parts have left me bawling pretty much for the solid hour and I'm not ashamed to admit that I am barely making it through each chapter.
Monday, April 26, 2010
It's essentially a group of 1, 143, 914 people that are praying for Barack Obama to die. Why?
But what they are actually thinking is this Cult Delusion.
I suppose I could try to prove that none of this is going to happen but that won't stop this one million plus group from believing that their lives will be better if President Obama is dead. Check out the comments on the page's wall. Real nice.
I'm trying very hard to compare these people to the Bush haters but it's not even close. The film, Death of a President, was more of a fake documentary in the style of Orson Welles' War of the Worlds. The hate, anger, and fear in these people is at an all time high. I still contend that the GOP is going to reap minimal gains in the fall. Combine this possible outcome with passage of financial reform, immigration reform, and energy legislation (with a dash of Cult leader fervor from Palin, Limbaugh, Bachmann, and Beck) and what's going to happen?
Cletus McYokel and his pals decide it's time to rope them a socialigger.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
The Constitution is very specific about the kind of laws states can make. Take a look at Amendment XIV, Section I
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
It seems pretty clear to me. The following states are in absolute violation of this amendment:
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
In one form or another, they have all banned same sex marriage and, as a result, citizens who are in same sex relationships do not have the same rights that married people do.
So, if you hear people screaming on the news about their Constitutional rights being violated, ask them about this list. See if they can justify what is clearly a violation of their rights.
Of course, many of these people, in addition to thinking we still live in the year 1867, think that the amendments to the Constitution stop at ten:) Oh, wait. That would mean we still live in the year 1794.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
To any of you hypocritical douche bags who are whining about "fascist states" under Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi, I have one question for you: Why are you supporting the creation of one?
And two words for you:
"Fuck" and "Off."
Friday, April 23, 2010
Not supporting our troops in Afghanistan, specifically by not giving them medical aid in the case of Lakin, is now being cheered by the Cult as a show of mental fortitude. Lakin has been making his rounds on the right wing talk show circuit and being lauded by notable felons like G. Gordon Liddy and Oliver North. I say that he should be given a speaking slot at the GOP convention this fall.
I think voters should see that, despite the fact that a birth certificate has been produced several times and that it doesn't matter if he was born in another country (he can still be a US citizen), this is how a "true patriot" is defined by the Cult.
That would be one who stands strong in his beliefs regardless of the facts.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Kenya Throws Down On Tea Partiers: We Got Your 'Real Tea Party' Right Here!
As most people know, many people in the Cult think that President Obama wasn't born in this country and thus has no legal right to be president. Even though the state of Hawaii has confirmed the fact that he has been born here many times and one actually does not have to be born here to be a citizen, they still can't accept it. So, this would be why we see all the "Go back to Kenya" stuff coming from the Cult rallies.
What many people probably don't know (and in yet another hilarious bit of irony), Kenya is the world's #1 tea exporter. So, Kenyans have decided to hold their own Tea rally on Tuesday April 27th in Washington DC. I guess there will be a buffet, tea pairings, and some tea lea readings. The last one is sure to elicit cries of satanic worship from our very own (Christian) version of Al Qaeda. Everyone is welcome. Here's the invitation:) Bring the kids!
In a related story we have this (fake?) story from the Onion.
Like Hell I'm Going To Let Some Black President Help Me Pay For Dialysis
Just who does this Afro-American occupant of the highest office in the land think he is, anyway? Look, I've got nothing against black people, but some of them act like the whole world owes them something. For example, important government subsidies on my dialysis.
Obama needs to know that there's still one American willing to watch his body drown in its own deadly internal toxins rather than have long-overdue reform crammed down his throat.
Seriously, when Obama's done drumming up support for legislation that might allow me to see my daughter graduate from college and prevent me from dying before my 50th birthday, what's next on the agenda? Will he try to keep my life's savings from evaporating in a stock market that operates free of serious governmental oversight? Is there any aspect of capitalism run amok that this guy won't tamper with?
And now from the WTF desk...
Democrats Top G.O.P. in Fund-Raising for Midterms
According to party figures, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised nearly $10 million in March compared with $8 million for the National Republican Congressional Committee. House Democrats ended the first quarter with $26 million in the bank compared with $10 million for House Republicans.
In the Senate, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $6 million and had $17 million in the bank, while the National Republican Senatorial Committee took in $5.1 million and had $15 million available to spend.
I was under the impression that I was supposed to be "afraid" of the elections this fall and that the Cult was going to take back both houses of Congress. How can this be when the Democrats have beat them in fundraising? Boy, that sure does have to suck for a group of people that worships money the way they do. And that means that the Democratic base is energized.
What now, Cultists?
Oh, I know. Let's defend the financial institutions that nearly destroyed our country with hair brained schemes, say it was all the government's fault, and call President Obama a Marxist.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
BLK wrote in comments in that post that the Cult has certain code words they use that are similar to the ones the Nazis used in the 1930s and 40s. Here was his comment.
Uses overt or covert racist messages and code words. For example,
- "Real Americans" = "conservative white Americans"
- "welfare queens" = "unwed black mothers"
- "illegal immigrant" = "any Mexican"
- "states rights"="we should be able to segregate blacks into inferior schools, discriminate against anyone we want and not pay federal taxes".
Basically that means that the police can ask for the papers of any non white person in AZ and be within their full legal rights. Any Time. Any Place. Instead of "Show me your papers, Jew" it's "Show me your papers, wetback."
Of course, this doesn't seem to be a problem for the millions of Tea Partiers marching all over the country and protesting the "fascist" takeover of our government by the Marxist Barrack Obama. One would think that they would have a problem with what is clearly the SAME tactic used by the Nazis. But no...
Well, it's a bunch of fucking spics...that's why.
I hope Mexican Americans in Arizona turn out in droves on November 2nd and send John McCain, who is in full support of this bill, to the Shady Acres retirement home.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
"Obama was mentored by Marxist. He is a Marxist and he is going to lead this country down the Marxist collapse agenda and roadmap of Europe," said 41-year-old Geoffrey Bean, who travelled from Sacramento, Calif., for the rally.
"Never in history have Marxists understood anything but the barrel of a gun. Ever. And so we brought the barrels of our guns to show them that they are not going to take away our constitutional rights without a fight."
In what has to be the most hilarious example of fucking irony that I have ever heard, these same protesters are now legally able to openly carry the firearms that they brandished at the rally because of the a bill that President Obama signed into law on May 22, 2009. An amendment to the Credit Card Act of 2009, this law makes it legal to openly carry firearms in National Parks and National Wildlife refuges. It also allows firearms to be carried in luggage on Amtrak trains.
But do the facts matter to the Cult?
"To tell you the honest truth, him signing a law saying that I can stand here (with a loaded gun) doesn't mean anything to me," said Daniel Howley, 53. "The constitution says I can stand here."
Not so much. Many of the protesters there still think that President Obama is going to curtail their gun rights even though all evidence points to the contrary. In fact, several have taken it a step further.
"The enemies to the constitution are not over in Iraq. The enemies to the constitution are not in Afghanistan. The enemies of the constitution are across this river," said Tom Fernandez, 32, founder of Alarm and Muster, a communications network established to reach people in case of constitutional emergencies.
"If you trample under your feet the freedoms of this country just as quick as you drink a glass of water, I am not your friend. I am not your friend."
Eric Stinnett, a 39-year-old engineer from Alabama, called the U.S. government an "unjust authority" and likened today's lawmakers in Washington to the Sept. 11 terrorists: "Does our government not act like suicidal hijackers?"Eric, I am begging you...please speak more often and louder. The RINOS and non pure conservatives need to hear your voice! Keep yelling to the highest hills, my friend, from now until November 2nd!!
Take a look at that sign above:
FEAR THEM IN YOUR GOVERNMENT THAT FEAR YOUR GUN.
TYRANNY ONLY COMES WHEN WEARING A FEDERAL BADGE.
Anyone want to give me shit now for the Cult?
For more photos from the various rallies, check out this 25 pic slide show. The Cult is looking good, my dear readers...pretty, pretty good:)
Monday, April 19, 2010
U.S. Army Captain Mark Moretti sits hand in hand with Shamshir Khan, one of the most senior Korengal Valley elders, on the Korengal Outpost in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. Captain Moretti, who has led soldiers on the outpost since 2009, welcomed Khan and other elders to offer an orientation of all the buildings and equipment that The US Army would be leaving behind for the people of the valley. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. David Jackson)
This photo serves as an example on several fronts. First, it shows us that the military shines in more ways than simply armaments. Specialists like Morettti are the unsung heroes of our effort in AfPak. Second, it shows a human face of the people caught up in the conflict. They aren't all psychotics bent on the destruction of the infidel even though my bias tells me they are just that. Third, it shows how generous our country is with goods, services, and infrastructure. This is exactly the kind of photo that needs to be on display with the Afghan people. As we leave the area, the Afghan people in the area are going to have new shelters in this sparse region.
And last, it shows the nationalistic chest thumpers of our own country that this the real way to win a war. The United States military is the greatest force of peace in the world when commanded by a civilian leadership that actually gives a shit about them. Much to the chagrin of Al Qaeda and our own version of it here (see: the Cult), our military can win battles through simple engagement and protection.
And that's just what people like Captain Moretti do every day.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
I think we can all agree that in order to be Hitler, one must first have all or most of the following traits.
- Meglomaniacal view of oneself as savior to the world, leading a Master Race
- Demand central control over all aspects of a society
- Control the flow of information through a Propaganda Ministry
- Abhor all "non Pure" persons to the point of murdering them
- Fervent Nationalism
- Be Emotionally Unbalanced (aka Funny in the Head) given to fits of extreme paranoia
I'm sure there are smaller traits but these are the main ones which are an easy and simple Hitler checklist. Let's run through them, one by one, and see if either Bush or Obama meet the criteria.
In watching W for eight years, it's quite obvious he was not intelligent enough to have a meglomanaical view of himself nor did he view himself as a savior. He did say that God told him to run for president but that's ceding authority to a higher power. In Hitler's mind, there was only one higher power: him. Contrary to the left's rants, George W. Bush is not a racist. The man had Mexican in-laws and was fluent in Spanish. He also had one of the most diverse cabinets in the history of our country so that knocks out number four and any talk of a Master race.
He did, however, stick his toe into the "control of our society" pond but only in the name of national security. (see:wire taps and throwing people in jail without charging them with anything). He jumped completely into the "control information" lake in the form of a propaganda ministry which was essentially run by Karl Rove and Dick Cheney. In fact, this is exactly where the similarity between the Cult and the Reich meet complete with a crowd that would make Leni Riefenstahl proud. Just like Hitler, their chief enemies are the media and educators. Not surprising, considering that these are the two main outlets of information for our country. And they succeeded in creating a very large segment of country's population who will not listen to either of these outlets and ONLY listen to their pre-approved information sources.
Those information sources, like President Bush, have a fervent sense of nationalism. Anyone who does not adhere to their exact definition of nationalism is a traitor. One need only look at what Beck, Limbaugh and Hannity say on a daily basis to see strong evidence for this fact. I can't turn on Fox News for more than 10 seconds without hearing that liberals are "America haters and weak."
But Bush was completely hands off-probably too much-when it came to the regulation of our private industry. Hitler never would've done that. In fact, President Bush was a big proponent, as most conservatives are, of states' rights. So, other than the national security and information, Bush was the exact opposite of Hitler when it came to control of the basic foundations of our society.
The left also gets it wrong when they say that Bush was emotionally unbalanced and/or funny in the head. The Cult certainly is both of these things but Bush never was at all. So, to say that Bush was Hitler is wrong. Certain aspects of his policies bore resemblance to those used by Hitler but such a general statement is simply wrong.
President Obama does not view himself as the savior to the world although some of his followers certainly do. If you actually listen to what he says, he views himself as a man capable of mistakes. He also encourages others to join in and help out. Hitler wanted people helping but more like cattle help farmers make money. In addition, I think it's quite obvious that President Obama does not want a Master race nor does he abhor "non pure" people and murder them. In fact, his critics are quick to point out that he is at fault for many of his views on equality in the sense that he is too sensitive to cultural diversity.
Last time I checked, President Obama has done nothing to stop the Cult from saying whatever they want. Federal troops have not stormed Fox News and Rush Limbaugh has more listeners than the nightly news. The Cult says the "MSM is liberal" yet I see plenty of conservative outlets everywhere and readily available...to take anyone's money. In fact, the left's outlets of information (MSNBC, Air America) don't really do all that well. So, there really is no left version of a propaganda ministry. Making matters worse, President Obama admits when he makes mistakes. Hitler NEVER would have done that.
President Obama's harshest critics say he cow tows too much to the rest of the world so there goes nationalist fervor out the window. They say he's not enough of a patriot so that is definitely not Hitler like...although that means his critics would share that trait with the Fuhrer:) And he's not emotionally unbalanced or paranoid. In fact, I think it would be fair to criticize him as being too sedate at times. So, all this really leaves is the question of state control which is the real reason why the Tea Partiers have painted a small moustache on the current Oval Office occupant.
Setting aside the hilarious comparison (note to Cult: Hitler did not like black people), I would be remiss in my duties if I did not point out that President Obama has, indeed, used his executive authority and bailed out private industry. The thing is, though, Congress voted on it to make it happen. Hitler was the one and only ultimate power. Obama had to go through Congress which is the representative of you and I. Private industry also asked for the money and, contrary to the ravings of Michael Savage, it was not forced upon them. The argument that President Obama is a fascist and like Hitler because "the state has taken over" is extremely paranoid and highly delusional. It simply isn't factual. Just because the federal government is actually regulating things now doesn't mean they are fascist.
The Tea Partiers could make an argument that FDR was similar to Hitler back in the 1930s when he took over much of our private industry and we essentially had a democratic-socialist system. But that was back in a time when the government was not viewed as a satanic entity whose central mission was to take away our guns, enslave us all, and send us to re-education camps. The result of the nationalizing of GM, for example, resulted in the defeat of Hitler himself and the greatest army the world had ever seen. No one complained and our country went on to enjoy the biggest boom in private industry in our history.
And the argument that Obama is coming for our guns has really been shown to be insanely paranoid considering that he has done nothing on gun control. As I have shown previously, it has been the exact opposite. Even Kevin Baker has been happy, enjoying what will soon be conceal and carry without a permit in Arizona.
Despite all the anger and yelling President Obama is not like Hitler either. If one had to choose, I guess one could say that Bush is more like Hitler but that's like saying I'm more like Albert Pujols than my son because I can hit a fly ball to the outfield on a regular basis and my son can't.
Do you know what does remind me a lot of Hitler? Goodwin's Law.
Goodwin's Law states "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1." This law is evoked constantly on blogs and discussion boards acting as a perfect deterrent even to ideas and action that are quite Hitler-like. Essentially, no one can mention Hitler anymore with Goodwin's Law being brought up. As soon as it is, regardless of the evidence, the person that brought up Hitler is vilified, disgraced, and dispatched with lighting like efficiency...all of which reminds me of....
Saturday, April 17, 2010
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
Not only does Stewart rip the MSM for its baiting of Tea Party members but he absolutely hammers Fox News in the montage at the end regarding their generalizations of liberals.
Well played sir.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Do you regard the income tax that you paid this year as fair, or not.
52 percent said fair
42 percent said not fair
5 percent don't know
So, the movement that is rallying against taxes thinks that their taxes are fair?
This one also has me scratching my head.
Overall, do you think Social Security and Medicare are worth the cost to taxpayers?
62 percent said worth it
33 percent said not worth it
6 percent said don't know
Okay...um....WHAT???! These answers make no sense to me and so I ask my dear readers to enlighten me.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Deanna Boss, co-founder of the Twin Cities Tea Party, was quite frustrated to find out that Michelle Bachmann (R-MN-06) used nearly $14,000 dollars of taxpayer money to finance her "House Call on Washington" rally last November. Apparently the money was used for the stage and sound system for the anti health care bill event.
Boss said she would have preferred that private donors had financed the event, given her and other activists' criticism of excessive government spending. "I mean, we're broke," she said, referring to the national debt. "Every penny counts here."
I agree. It's one thing if the Democrats do it. I mean, everyone expects them to spend money. But having a rally whose central theme is vilifying excessive government spending and paying for it with....excessive government spending strikes me as total bullshit.
It's sort of like a movement of people being anti-tax and knowing nothing about taxes:)
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
If you would've asked me two months ago, I probably would've said quite a few with the distinct possibility of taking over either the House or Senate. But now, not so much. GOP leaders see very clearly that the Tea Party movement is splintering their party. And this would be why they are moving further to the right on most issues. They are trying desperately to maintain cohesion.
Extremes don't win elections. Getting the vote in the middle does. So, how does the GOP expect to win back a substantial number of seats if substantial numbers are moving further to the right? As I have said many times, the word "compromise" isn't in their vocabulary. More importantly, if they only win back a few or none, this will be the third election in a row in which they have not done well. Honestly, anything less than 5 seats in the Senate and 20 in the House will be considered failure.
Combine this possible failure with the total losses of 2006 and 2008 and one has to seriously wonder if the GOP might need to admit, for the sake of its survival, that, while we live in a center right country, we don't live in the far right utopia in which there is only one way of living...THEIR WAY.
Over the next few months, it's going to be interesting to watch the GOP struggle with itself. Do they want to win which would entail compromise? Or will they stick to their rigidity and lose an excellent chance of taking back more seats in Congress?
Friday, April 09, 2010
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|The Big Bang Treaty|
"We are at the point now where the by far #1 ranked news network in this country no longer feels the need to report what a policy document says in black and white."
In all honesty, I'm beginning to wonder what sort of gains, if any, the GOP are going to get this fall. No doubt, presidents have historically lost in the mid terms but can conservatives of this country expect to win back a substantial amount of seats with the Cult running the show?
It's going to be a fun summer and fall:)
Thursday, April 08, 2010
Well, now we have this:
MSNBC talk show host Chris Matthews proclaimed himself "dazzled" by Bachmann's and Palin's speeches Wednesday, suggesting they may be "the new star power of the right."
Hmmm...could it be that the media is simply fascinated with bright shiny objects? And that they are really only interested in ratings and money?
Nah, can't be...
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Meanwhile, for the first time in the history of our country, the "weak" Barack Obama has authorized a targeted killing of an American citizen.
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
At a recent town hall meeting, a woman stood up and asked Senator Coburn if she was going to jail if she didn't have health care. He responded to her by saying that was not true and people shouldn't believe everything the myths they hear on Fox News. Later in the meeting, Nancy Pelosi's name came up and there was a chorus of boos, to which Senator Coburn replied
"Come on now... how many of you all have met her? She's a nice person. Just because somebody disagrees with you, doesn't mean they're not a good person. Don't catch yourself being biased by Fox News that somebody's no good."
Well said, sir!
He then went on to urge his audience to widen their points of view by reading (!) and watching a variety of media outlets...not simply the ones with which they agree.
Mr. Coburn, I have disagreed with you on many things but from this day forward you are a friend to Notes From The Front and if anyone, on either side, disparages you personally, they are going to get a 400 pound verbal weight dropped on the arse.
Let's see if we can start getting everyone to think and act in this manner...including me:)
Monday, April 05, 2010
It took several decades for our country to come around but we finally apologized to those Americans of Japanese descent for seizing their land and putting them in internment camps. I'm sure many of you would argue that it was war time, after all, and there wasn't really any choice. Who could know what spies lurked amongst these "yellow devils?" In all honesty, I would have probably been one of those people supporting FDR's decision to make all of these people instant prisoners of war.
One would think, however, that at the conclusion of the war, Truman might have apologized but he didn't. Nor did Eisenhower nor my favorite president, Jack Kennedy. In fact, it took four more presidents before we finally elected a man who had the balls to admit that we were wrong. That man was Ronald Reagan and, on August 10, 1988, he signed a bill that gave reparations to those Japanese Americans. Here is a photo of him signing the bill into law.
In reflecting upon this image, I have to admit that the last vestiges any thoughts I had that defined Reagan as a "bad" president have effectively been vanquished. Ideologically, there are many of his views and actions with which I will always disagree. And he's still not in my Top Five.
But you can't argue with someone who mans up and says that our country fucked up. Ironic, that Reagan is the hero to a party which is completely incapable of that now and heaps vitriol upon President Obama for doing just that.
I suppose it's not surprising that the same group of people that twist the message of Jesus Christ to suit their needs would create a "Fictional Ronnie" that they can worship with candles and ignorance. What would they say about President Reagan talking (gasp!) to our mortal enemies, the Soviets, and actually engaging in diplomacy? What would they say about a man who ran record deficits and debt to GDP spending? What would they say about a man who admitted that arms for hostages were traded and that is was HIS responsibility alone?
Well, they'd probably call him a Nazi. Or a Communist.
I'm man enough to admit that history has shown me that Reagan was a much better president than he is given credit. Why? Results. Ronald Reagan defeated the Soviet Union. It's just that simple. We hear the Cult these days obsess about Obama's teleprompter and how speeches don't solve anything. Yet it was President Reagan's speech, in which he said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" that has since been shown by author Romesh Ratnesar in his book Tear Down this Wall to be a major turning point in the end of the Soviet Union. This is a fantastic book, btw, which I highly recommend.
And it was Reagan, as Manzi pointed out in his tour de force, that brought the US back to the forefront of the world economy.
Ronald Reagan's solution to the '70s crisis proceeded from two diagnoses. The first was that macroeconomic pump-priming was merely creating inflation, not growth. The second was that America's economy had large untapped potential for growth, but that this potential went unrealized because of the restrictions on markets intended to promote social harmony as part of the post-war economic consensus. These included everything from price controls to government encouragement of private-sector unionization to zealous anti-trust enforcement. Reagan's strategy, therefore, was to promote sound money plus deregulation. He succeeded, and America re-emerged as the acknowledged global economic leader. Economic output per person is now 20 to 25% higher in the U.S. than in Japan and the major European economies, and America's economy dominates the world in size and prestige.
Again, it comes down to the results. Of course, these results did not come without hardship and that is where the left comes in with their complaints about Reagan which I'm certain I will hear in comments. Manzi explains.
The percentage of the U.S. population born abroad — which had reached its historical minimum in 1970 — began to rise rapidly as mass immigration resumed after a multi-decade hiatus. This development increased inequality further by introducing a large low-income group to the population, and by intensifying wage competition among lower-skill workers.
The Reagan economic revolution exacerbated the problem. Its success resulted, in part, from forcing extremely painful restructuring on industry after industry. One critical consequence of this restructuring was a new compensation paradigm — one that relies on markets rather than on corporate diktats, regulation, or historical norms to set pay. This new regime also accepts a much higher degree of income disparity based on market-denominated performance, and it expects that most people will exploit the resulting demand for talent by moving from company to company many times during a career. Growing inequality was a price we paid for the economic growth needed to recover from the '70s slump and to retain our global position.
I think that Manzi explains this quite well. Growing inequality was the price we had to pay or it would have been worse. Reagan knew this, of course, and did what he to do.
That's not to say that all of his ideas would work in today's economy. I don't think many of them would. I'll be talking over the next few weeks about what Bruce Bartlett's take on the difference between the Reagan economy (in which he was a principle architect) and the Obama economy. In fact, as I have reflecting quite a bit on President Reagan since juris put up that comment, I see more and more similarities between him and our current president than I ever though possible. More, I'm certain, that the Cult would not like to admit.
So, isn't it interesting, as juris posed in the same comment regarding his trip to Manzanar, that Reagan was the one to apologize and FDR, the extremely left leaning statesman, got it all wrong in putting American citizens in camps simply because of their ethnicity? And doing this while fighting a war against an enemy that believed in a "Master Race?"
It is, indeed, very interesting and this would be just the kind of reflection upon the gray that all of us should be doing in our current age of hyper vitriolic "Us VS. Them." As one can plainly see, I have no problem doing this. Those who have created a fictional effigy of Ronald Reagan, at least at this point in time, do not have the word "reflection" in their vocabulary.
Until they do, we aren't going to get anywhere.
Friday, April 02, 2010
Thursday, April 01, 2010
One of the reasons I became a conservative way back when is because conservatives lived in a world where one’s actions are defined by their consequences, not one’s motives. Conservatives also prided themselves on being reality-based and fact-based in their analyses, while liberals often seemed to live in a dream world disconnected from history, institutions and ideology, among other things.
I agree completely. I miss that brand of conservatism. What happened to it?
Today, however, conservatives have largely adopted the liberal operating assumption and now also define themselves by the righteousness of their motives. This fact became very obvious to me this week when I examined the knowledge that tea party demonstrators on Capitol Hill had on the subject of taxation.
Granted, Bartlett's polling isn't a very large sample but the results are interesting nonetheless.
Federal taxes are very considerably lower by every measure since Obama became president. And given the economic circumstances, it's hard to imagine that a tax increase would have been enacted last year. In fact, 40% of Obama's stimulus package involved tax cuts. These include the Making Work Pay Credit, which reduces federal taxes for all taxpayers with incomes below $75,000 by between $400 and $800.
And yet they won't accept these facts. Why? Because they "live in a dream world, disconnected from history, institutions, ideology among other things."
It's hard to explain this divergence between perception and reality.
Actually, it's quite easy, Mr. Bartlett. They are in a fucking Cult. But, please, continue to be polite.
Tea parties just represent unfocused anger at current economic conditions...In this sense, the tea parties are simply the latest manifestation of populism, which has arisen periodically throughout American history...Unfortunately for the tea party populists, there is no evidence in American history that populism has ever had a meaningful effect on policy.
Well, that's a relief that someone thinks so. I'm not so sure, though, with all the new media. I think they are going to be around for awhile.
Whatever the future of the tea party movement in American politics, it's a bad idea for so many participants to operate on the basis of false notions about the burden of federal taxation. It only takes a little bit of time to look at one's tax return to see what one is actually paying the Treasury, calculate the percentage of one's income that goes to taxes, and compare it to what was paid last year and the year before. People may then discover that their anger is misplaced and channel it into areas where it is more likely to bring about positive change.
That's just it. They don't want to take the time. They believe what they believe and they certainly aren't going to let facts about taxes get in the way. In fact, the Tea Partiers that I have talked to seemed more concerned about what other people pay in taxes (howls of unfairness) than what they themselves pay.
I wonder why that is...