Trading Bad For Bad!

“As I expected when I first heard about the Arab Spring, only simpletons can ever be overjoyed at the notion of a tyrant being overthrown in that part of the world. King Farouk was bad, Gamal Nasser was worse. The Shah of Iran was bad, the Ayatollah Khomeini was worse. Hosni Mubarak was bad, the generals are worse. Muammar Kaddafi was bad, his assassins will be worse. I understand that the Muslim Brotherhood has already sent roses and a box of candy to NATO. When I say that Arab and Muslim coups and revolutions inevitably end badly, I mean for America. For those who live in those countries, it’s merely a matter of trading one set of sadists for another. Because we are the people who benefitted from the efforts of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Franklin, we tend to have a soft spot in our hearts for those who rise up against despots. But, as the results of such uprisings bring the likes of Robespierre, Napoleon, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and Castro, to power, I’d say that the optimism over such bloody events merely proves that we have an even larger soft spot in our heads.” –columnist Burt Prelutsky

Return on Investment is Not Government’s Goal

“When you invest your own money, your biggest concern is that you’ll lose the investment. To relieve you of that, you research a company before lending it your money or buying its stock. You make your decision on the likelihood and the amount of money you will earn from the investment, and whether or not you can afford the loss of your investment. This is your natural right to choose to do with your money as you wish. But when the government invests money for you, its decision-making is not grounded in free choice or in sound business judgment. Its decision is grounded in power and politics. The power is its ability to extract tax dollars from you even if you profoundly disagree with the way it will spend what it has extracted. The power is the government’s ability to borrow cash in your name, even if you disagree with the borrowing. Since the government isn’t risking its own money, but yours, it needn’t worry about affording a loss. Stated differently, the government doesn’t care if it loses your money. It only cares if it loses your votes and thus loses power. Its goal is not a return on investment; its goal is staying in power.” –columnist Judge Andrew Napolitano

Thous Shalt Not….

“Economic envy may cloak itself in rhetoric about ‘inequality’ or ‘egalitarianism’ or ‘redistribution of wealth,’ but its oldest name is covetousness. That is the sin enjoined by the last of the Ten Commandments: ‘Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is thy neighbor’s.’ At first blush it may seem odd that God would ban a mere desire. After all, the other nine commandments concern behavior: idolatry, theft, perjury, and so on. But as a matter of moral and social hygiene, the Tenth Commandment is indispensable. Covetousness — particularly when it takes the form of class hatred — is the root of innumerable other evils. From the belief that you don’t have enough because others have too much, it isn’t that great a stretch to the belief that those who have too much should be forced to make do with less. It shouldn’t be surprising when a movement obsessed with what rich capitalists earn rather than with what they produce starts treating other people’s property and persons with contempt. Occupy Wall Street preaches that the ‘1 percent’ got rich by exploiting the ’99 percent.’ The Tea Party believes that with greater freedom and less government, we could all be more prosperous and productive. One is rooted in envy, the other in self-respect. What distinguishes them, you might say, is the culture of the Tenth Commandment. That distinction is showing up in many ways, not least in the latest police reports.” –columnist Jeff Jacoby

Affirmative Action Gone Wild

The Washington Post
August 18, 2011 Obama: The Affirmative Action President by Matt Patterson (columnist – Washington Post, New York Post, San Francisco Examiner)

Years from now, historians may regard the 2008 election of Barack Obama as an inscrutable and disturbing phenomenon, a baffling breed of mass hysteria akin perhaps to the witch craze of the Middle Ages. How, they will wonder, did a man so devoid of professional accomplishment beguile so many into thinking he could manage the world’s largest economy, direct the world’s most powerful military, execute the world’s most consequential job?

Imagine a future historian examining Obama’s pre-presidential life: ushered into and through the Ivy League despite unremarkable grades and test scores along the way; a cushy non-job as a “community organizer”; a brief career as a state legislator devoid of legislative achievement (and in fact nearly devoid of his attention, so often did he vote “present”) ; and finally an unaccomplished single term in the United States Senate, the entirety of which was devoted to his presidential ambitions. He left no academic legacy in academia, authored no signature legislation as a legislator.

And then there is the matter of his troubling associations: the white-hating, America-loathing preacher who for decades served as Obama’s “spiritual mentor”; a real-life, actual terrorist who served as Obama’s colleague and political sponsor. It is easy to imagine a future historian looking at it all and asking: how on Earth was such a man elected president?

Not content to wait for history, the incomparable Norman Podhoretz addressed the question recently in the Wall Street Journal:

To be sure, no white candidate who had close associations with an outspoken hater of America like Jeremiah Wright and an unrepentant terrorist like Bill Ayers, would have lasted a single day. But because Mr. Obama was black, and therefore entitled in the eyes of liberaldom to have hung out with protesters against various American injustices, even if they were a bit extreme, he was given a pass.

Let that sink in: Obama was given a pass — held to a lower standard — because of the color of his skin. Podhoretz continues:

And in any case, what did such ancient history matter when he was also so articulate and elegant and (as he himself had said) “non-threatening,” all of which gave him a fighting chance to become the first black president and thereby to lay the curse of racism to rest?

Podhoretz puts his finger, I think, on the animating pulse of the Obama phenomenon — affirmative action. Not in the legal sense, of course. But certainly in the motivating sentiment behind all affirmative action laws and regulations, which are designed primarily to make white people, and especially white liberals, feel good about themselves.

Unfortunately, minorities often suffer so that whites can pat themselves on the back. Liberals routinely admit minorities to schools for which they are not qualified, yet take no responsibility for the inevitable poor performance and high drop-out rates which follow. Liberals don’t care if these minority students fail; liberals aren’t around to witness the emotional devastation and deflated self esteem resulting from the racist policy that is affirmative action. Yes, racist.

Holding someone to a separate standard merely because of the color of his skin — that’s affirmative action in a nutshell, and if that isn’t racism, then nothing is. And that is what America did to Obama.

True, Obama himself was never troubled by his lack of achievements, but why would he be? As many have noted, Obama was told he was good enough for Columbia despite undistinguished grades at Occidental; he was told he was good enough for the US Senate despite a mediocre record in Illinois; he was told he was good enough to be president despite no record at all in the Senate. All his life, every step of the way, Obama was told he was good enough for the next step, in spite of ample evidence to the contrary. What could this breed if not the sort of empty narcissism on display every time Obama speaks?

In 2008, many who agreed that he lacked executive qualifications nonetheless raved about Obama’s oratory skills, intellect, and cool character. Those people — conservatives included — ought now to be deeply embarrassed. The man thinks and speaks in the hoariest of clichés, and that’s when he has his teleprompter in front of him; when the prompter is absent he can barely think or speak at all. Not one original idea has ever issued from his mouth — it’s all warmed-over Marxism of the kind that has failed over and over again for 100 years

And what about his character? Obama is constantly blaming anything and everything else for his troubles. Bush did it; it was bad luck; I inherited this mess. It is embarrassing to see a president so willing to advertise his own powerlessness, so comfortable with his own incompetence. But really, what were we to expect? The man has never been responsible for anything, so how do we expect him to act responsibly?

In short: our president is a small and small-minded man, with neither the temperament nor the intellect to handle his job. When you understand that, and only when you understand that, will the current erosion of liberty and prosperity make sense. It could not have gone otherwise with such a man in the Oval Office.

Belated Parental Advice

Marybeth Hicks
Columnist
The Washington Times

Call it an occupational hazard, but I can’t look at the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protesters without thinking, “Who parented these people?”

As a culture columnist, I’ve commented on the social and political ramifications of the “movement” – now known as “OWS” – whose fairyland agenda can be summarized by one of their placards: “Everything for everybody.”

Thanks to their pipe-dream platform, it’s clear there are people with serious designs on “transformational” change in America who are using the protesters like bedsprings in a brothel.

Yet it’s not my role as a commentator that prompts my parenting question, but rather the fact that I’m the mother of four teens and young adults. There are some crucial life lessons that the protesters’ moms clearly have not passed along.

Here, then, are five things the OWS protesters’ mothers should have taught their children but obviously didn’t, so I will:

• Life isn’t fair. The concept of justice – that everyone should be treated fairly – is a worthy and worthwhile moral imperative on which our nation was founded. But justice and economic equality are not the same. Or, as Mick Jagger said, “You can’t always get what you want.”

No matter how you try to “level the playing field,” some people have better luck, skills, talents or connections that land them in better places. Some seem to have all the advantages in life but squander them, others play the modest hand they’re dealt and make up the difference in hard work and perseverance, and some find jobs on Wall Street and eventually buy houses in the Hamptons . Is it fair? Stupid question.

• Nothing is “free.” Protesting with signs that seek “free” college degrees and “free” health care make you look like idiots, because colleges and hospitals don’t operate on rainbows and sunshine. There is no magic money machine to tap for your meandering educational careers and “slow paths” to adulthood, and the 53 percent of taxpaying Americans owe you neither a degree nor an annual physical.

While I’m pointing out this obvious fact, here are a few other things that are not free: overtime for police officers and municipal workers, trash hauling, repairs to fixtures and property, condoms, Band-Aids and the food that inexplicably appears on the tables in your makeshift protest kitchens. Real people with real dollars are underwriting your civic temper tantrum.

• Your word is your bond. When you demonstrate to eliminate student loan debt, you are advocating precisely the lack of integrity you decry in others. Loans are made based on solemn promises to repay them. No one forces you to borrow money; you are free to choose educational pursuits that don’t require loans, or to seek technical or vocational training that allows you to support yourself and your ongoing educational goals. Also, for the record, being a college student is not a state of victimization. It’s a privilege that billions of young people around the globe would die for – literally.

• A protest is not a party. On Saturday in New York , while making a mad dash from my cab to the door of my hotel to avoid you, I saw what isn’t evident in the newsreel footage of your demonstrations: Most of you are doing this only for attention and fun. Serious people in a sober pursuit of social and political change don’t dance jigs down Sixth Avenue like attendees of a Renaissance festival. You look foolish, you smell gross, you are clearly high and you don’t seem to realize that all around you are people who deem you irrelevant.

• There are reasons you haven’t found jobs. The truth? Your tattooed necks, gauged ears, facial piercings and dirty dreadlocks are off-putting. Nonconformity for the sake of nonconformity isn’t a virtue. Occupy reality: Only 4 percent of college graduates are out of work. If you are among that 4 percent, find a mirror and face the problem. It’s not them. It’s you.

Cosby Says it Straight for a Lot of Us

“I’m 76 and I’m Tired”

Except for brief period in the 50’s when I was doing my National
Service, I’ve worked hard since I was 17. Except for some some serious
health challenges, I put in 50-hour weeks, and didn’t call in sick in nearly
40 years. I made a reasonable salary, but I didn’t inherit my job or my
income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, it looks as
though retirement was a bad idea, and I’m tired. Very tired.

I’m tired of being told that I have to “spread the wealth” to people who

don’t have my work ethic. I’m tired of being told the government will take
the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy
to earn it.

I’m tired of being told that Islam is a “Religion of Peace,” when every day I

can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and
daughters for their family “honor”; of Muslims rioting over some slight
offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren’t
“believers”; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning
teenage rape victims to death for “adultery”; of Muslims mutilating the
genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur’an and
shari’a law tells them to.

I’m tired of being told that out of “tolerance for other cultures” we must let

Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries use our oil money to fund mosques
and madrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in Australia , New Zealand ,
UK, America and Canada , while no one from these countries are allowed to
fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia or any other
arab country to teach love and tolerance..

I’m tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global

warming, which no one is allowed to debate.

I’m tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help

support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ
rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses
or stick a needle in their arm while they tried to fight it off?

I’m tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of all

parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful
mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting
caught. I’m tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.

I’m really tired of people who don’t take responsibility for their lives and

actions. I’m tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination
or big-whatever for their problems.

I’m also tired and fed up with seeing young men and women in their teens and

early 20’s be-deck them selves in tattoos and face studs, thereby making
themselves un-employable and claiming money from the Government.

Yes, I’m damn tired. But I’m also glad to be 76.. Because, mostly, I’m not

going to have to see the world these people are making. I’m just sorry for
my granddaughter and her children.   Thank God I’m on the way out and not
on the way in.

Protest or Disturb the Peace?

“Sloppy words and sloppy thinking often go together, both in the mobs and in the media that are covering them. It is common, for example, to hear in the media how some ‘protesters’ were arrested. But anyone who reads this column regularly knows that I protest against all sorts of things — and don’t get arrested. The difference is that I don’t block traffic, join mobs sleeping overnight in parks or urinate in the street. If the media cannot distinguish between protesting and disturbing the peace, then their education may also have wasted a lot of taxpayers’ money.” –economist Thomas Sowell