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Views on the News

Views on the News*

January 24, 2015

 

Zealous and fanatical anti-racism is doing more than almost anything else to contribute to racism in the United States.  To put that in very basic terms, one of the biggest contributors to racism today may very well be anti-racism policies and statements.  Many anti-racists feel the need to justify their existence and legitimacy by becoming more and more pure (i.e. extreme).  As a consequence, they will also need to find new targets, more evil racists, to reprimand or even punish.  A minority of Leftist activists (though often highly-influential people in the law, councils, academia, etc.) are attempting to create a “revolutionary situation” by deliberately making anti-racism policies and actions more extreme.  These Leftists are alienating people who aren't otherwise racist.  Such Leftists think that the violence, turmoil or even civil conflict that their words and policies create may be utilized to benefit their own primary cause: revolutionary socialism or the “progressive future”.   Thus they see what they're doing as tapping into anti-racism's revolutionary/radical potential.  The fight against racism is but a means to a revolutionary or radical end.  These professional and political anti-racists know that the silencing of the American people about Islam and immigration will eventually help destabilize society.  Such a destabilized society will be easier to create a revolutionary situation out of which, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, a new Leftist / progressive state and society can be created.  From such chaos and inter-communal conflict, the Left's “fairer and better society” will somehow be formed.  Large parts of the Left think that the large-scale criminalizing of free speech will somehow stop or end racism, but it will only make it worse!  The permanent revolution that is the fight against racism has often become fanatical, extreme, and puritanical.  Anti-racism, it seems, takes no prisoners and permits no compromise, and neither does it follow the principles of fairness and justice.  Actions cause counter-reactions and relentless anti-racist zealotry, day after day, is bound to cause at least some equally zealous counter-reactions and basically many anti-racism policies and statements do cause racism.

(“The Subdivided States of America” by Derek Hunter dated January 18, 2015 published by Town Hall at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/01/antiracism_causes_racism.html )

There once was an American culture that assimilated the best parts of all cultures people brought with them to this country, and in turn those immigrants assimilated to the larger American culture, but that day is done.  The pot of “out of many, one” is now a series of chafing dishes, and each of those chafing dishes is being conditioned to boil over on command.  We’re now a nation of the 1% against the 99%, this race being victimized by that race, men against women, old against the young, and so on.  Ivan Pavlov showed the world the power of conditioning, how any creature with a brain can be trained to react how someone wants them to with minimal effort.  There was a time when the college campus was a place of discovery and experimentation; the place people went to expand their minds and expose themselves to all manner of ideas.  It was where people “found themselves” and figured out what they wanted to do with their lives. Now college is a place where young minds are conditioned to “identify” with various groups and learn to be victims.  Facebook now offers more than 50 “gender” options for people to “identify” themselves, dozens of ways for people to segregate themselves from others, which presents countless opportunities for victimhood.  The problem with telling everyone they’re a victim is even the people who don’t buy into it become numb to the charge.  If everyone is a victim, no one is a victim.  The real charges of racism, sexism, etc., etc., are reaching a level of meaninglessness because they’re becoming as common as “hello.”  The idea of punishing speech arbitrarily deemed inappropriate is something that is not only the antithesis of one of this country’s founding principles; it was something colleges were supposed to be safe from.  Encroachment on something as sacred as freedom of speech would have has sent students to the street just a generation ago; but now they march to demand censorship.  Pushback is the last line of defense against those chafing dishes becoming all there is; they’re the last vestiges of the melting pot.  It’s not all doom and gloom because the problem with progressive self-segregation and victim status so readily available to anyone is eventually those chickens come home to roost.  If there is to be a death of this new birth of fascism then it must come from within.  Victimology can’t support its own weight after a while; the only question is when it happens and the sooner the better, the sooner the less damage there is.

(“The Subdivided States of America” by Derek Hunter dated January 18, 2015 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/derekhunter/2015/01/18/the-subdivided-states-of-america-n1944554 )

Manmade climate disaster proponents know the Saul Alinsky community agitator playbook by heart. In a fight, almost anything goes. Never admit error; just change your terminology and attack again.  Expand your base, by giving potential allies financial and political reasons to join your cause. Pick “enemy” targets, freeze them, personalize them, polarize them and vilify them.  The “crisis” was global cooling, until Earth stopped cooling around 1976; then it was global warming, until our planet stopped warming around 1995; then the alarmist mantra then became “climate change” or “climate disruption” or “extreme weather;” always manmade.  Alarmists say modern civilization’s “greenhouse gas” emissions are causing profound climate change, by replacing the powerful, interconnected solar and other natural forces that have driven climate and weather patterns and events since Earth and human history began.  They insist that these alleged human-induced changes are already happening and are already disastrous.  However, there is no cataclysm, now or imminent, even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have gone well past the alleged 350 parts-per-million “tipping point and now hover near 400 ppm (0.04%).  There has been no warming since 1995, and recent winters have been among the coldest in centuries in the United Kingdom and continental Europe, despite steadily rising levels of plant-fertilizing CO2.  As of January 12, 2015, it has been 3,365 days (9.2 years!) since a Category 3-5 hurricane hit the US mainland.  This is by far the longest such stretch since record-keeping began in 1900. Sea levels are barely rising, at a mere seven inches per century.  Antarctic sea ice is expanding to new records; Arctic ice has also rebounded. Polar bears are thriving.  Every measure of actual evidence contradicts alarmist claims and computer model predictions.  No matter how fast or sophisticated those models are, feeding them false or unproven assumptions about CO2 and manipulated or homogenized” temperature data still yields garbage output, scenarios and predictions.  That’s why alarmists also intoned the “peak oil” and “resource depletion” mantra – until fracking produced gushers of new supplies. So now they talk about “sustainable development,” which really means “whatever we advocate is sustainable; whatever we despise and oppose is unsustainable.”  USEPA Administrator Gina McCarthy also ignores climate realities.  Her agency is battling coal-fired power plants (and will go after methane and gas-fired generators next), to “stop climate change” and “trigger a range of investments” in innovation and a “clean power future.”  What she really means is: Smart businesses will support our agenda.  As to responding to these inconvenient climate realities, or debating them with the thousands of scientists who reject the “dangerous manmade climate change” tautology, she responds: “The time for arguing about climate change has passed. The vast majority of scientists agree that our climate is changing.”  The climate catastrophe narrative survives only because there has been virtually no debate over its scientific claims.  The public rarely sees the extensive evidence debunking and destroying climate cataclysm assertions, because alarmists insist that “the science is settled,” refuse to acknowledge or debate anyone who says otherwise.  The US government alone spent over $106 billion in taxpayer funds on alarmist climate research between 2003 and 2010.  In return, the researchers refuse to let other scientists, IPCC reviewers or FOIA investigators see their raw data, computer codes or CO2-driven algorithms.  None of these recipients wants to derail this money train, by entertaining doubts about the “climate crisis.”  However, more than 1,000 climate scientists, 31,000 American scientists and 48% of US meteorologists say there is no evidence that we are causing dangerous warming or climate change.  The phony “solutions” to the imaginary “climate crisis” hurt our children and grandchildren, by driving up energy prices, threatening electricity reliability, thwarting job creation, adversely impacting people’s health and welfare, and subsidizing wind turbines that slaughter birds and bats.  They perpetuate poverty, misery, disease and premature death in poor African and Asian countries, by blocking construction of fossil fuel power plants that would bring electricity to 1.3 billion people who still do not have it.  Climate change has nothing to do with real-world warming, cooling, storms or droughts but instead it has everything to do with an ideologically driven hatred of hydrocarbons, capitalism and economic development, and a callous disdain for middle class workers and impoverished Third World families that “progressive” activists, politicians and bureaucrats always claim to care so much about.

(“Merchants of Smear” by Paul Driessen dated January 17, 2015 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/pauldriessen/2015/01/17/merchants-of-smear-n1944329 )

 

America's national character will have to be changed if progressives are going to implement their agenda.  America's welfare state transfers more than 14% of GDP to recipients, with more than a third of Americans taking "need-based" payments.  In our wealthy society, the government officially treats an unprecedented portion of the population as "needy."  Transfers of benefits to individuals through social welfare programs have increased from less than one federal dollar in four (24%) in 1963 to almost three out of five (59%) in 2013.  In the last half-century, entitlement payments were America's "fastest growing source of personal income," growing twice as fast as all other real per capita personal income.  It is likely that this year, a majority of Americans will seek and receive payments.  This is not largely due to Social Security and Medicare transfers to an aging population. The growth is overwhelmingly in means-tested entitlements. More than twice as many households receive "anti-poverty" benefits than Social Security or Medicare.  Between 1983 and 2012, the population increased by almost 83 million, and people accepting means-tested benefits increased by 67 million.  Food stamp recipients rose from 19 million to 51 million.  Poverty programs have become untethered from the official designation of poverty: In 2012, more than half the recipients weren't classified as poor but accepted being treated as needy.  Expanding dependency requires erasing Americans' traditional distinction between the deserving and the undeserving poor.  This distinction was rooted in this nation's exceptional sense that poverty is not the unalterable accident of birth, and is related to traditions of generosity arising from immigrant and settler experiences.  The structure of federal spending has been completely overturned within living memory, resulting in the remolding of daily life for ordinary Americans under the shadow of the entitlement state.  In two generations, the American family budget has been recast: In 1963, entitlement transfers were less than $1 out of every $15; by 2012, they were more than $1 out of every $6.  Causation works both ways between the rapid increase in family disintegration (from 1964 to 2012, the percentage of children born to unmarried women increased from 7 to 41) and the fact that for many women, children and even working-age men, the entitlement state is now the breadwinner of the household.  Since 1970, Americans have become healthier, work has become less physically stressful, the workplace has become safer, and yet there has been an almost six fold increase in claims from Social Security Disability Insurance.  Such claims (including fraud) are gateways to a plethora of other payments.  Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a lifelong New Deal liberal and able social scientist, warned that "the issue of welfare is not what it costs those who provide it, but what it costs those who receive it."

 (“Mushrooming Welfare State Alters America’s Character” by George F. Will dated January 21, 2015 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-on-the-right/012115-735564-welfare-means-america-no-longer-exceptional.htm )

 

A gradually improving economy and plunging gas prices have finally brought President Obama a modest boost in his long-depressed job-approval rating.   However the voters who are least impressed with Obama are the middle-income Americans every politician needs to succeed and the very people whose interests Obama claims to be fighting for.  Obama’s Democrat party lost control of both houses of Congress during the last two midterm elections, and why Obama may be able to accomplish little during his last two years in office.  One of the emerging ironies of the Obama Presidency is the sagging fortunes of the American middle class while those on either end, rich and poor alike, have arguably fared better under Obama.  The poor have been direct beneficiaries of many Obama programs, most notably, ObamaCare, while the rich have benefited from a roaring stock market that has helped restore all the wealth lost during the 2008 financial meltdown, and then some.  Middle earners, however, still face soaring costs for healthcare and education, while incomes have stagnated and many are sliding sideways or drifting backward.  It’s no surprise that Obama is most popular with the lowest earners, with an approval rating of 52% among people earning less than $2,000 per month.  That’s the highest approval rating of four income brackets.  Obama’s lowest marks come from middle earners with incomes between $5,000 and $7,499 per month, who only give Obama a 44% approval rating.  There's obviously nothing wrong with helping the underprivileged, as Obama has.  However since low-income workers are least likely to vote, Obama’s strongest constituency is a group with minimal political power or ability to support the President’s agenda.  Many middle earners, who do vote, meanwhile, feel (legitimately or not) that Obama has shifted resources from the middle to the lower class, in a zero-sum game with one loser for every winner.  Obama will no doubt tout his middle-class agenda during the upcoming State of the Union address. Yet most of his proposals have been mere talking points, with Congressional Republicans blocking many of Obama’s plans.  The things Obama has been able to accomplish tend to benefit lower earners most of all, while those in the middle feel little or no relief.  Here is why Obama has lost the confidence of middle-class voters:

·    ObamaCare doesn’t help those in the middle. Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act, provides generous subsidies to low earners, but aid levels decline as incomes rise and phase out altogether around income levels of $47,000 for an individual and $95,000 for a four-person family. Meanwhile, the cost of medical care and prescription drugs has risen about 5% per year under Obama, as wages have grown by less than 2%.

·    College is more expensive than ever. College tuition and fees have risen by 5.2% per year under Obama, making the cost of higher education another huge middle-class expense that’s growing faster than wages. Middle-class families are mortgaging their future to pay for college, with the outcome uncertain, at best.

·    Obama’s stimulus spending didn’t trickle down far enough, or fast enough. Obama has basically admitted he overpromised on the $840 billion stimulus bill that was his first big piece of legislation in 2009. Jobs returned far more slowly than Obama predicted, and when they did, many paid less than the jobs lost during the 2007-09 recession.

·    Obama’s other priorities don’t help the middle class today. Obama may well establish a lasting legacy as the first modern President to make a difference on global warming and other environmental issues. If so, it will help Americans for generations to come. But it doesn’t put money in anybody’s pocket today, and Americans consistently say environmental concerns are less important than jobs and economic issues.

Obama is likely to get a natural lift during the last two years of his Presidency, as wage gains finally return and middle-class living standards begin to recover.  It may be Obama’s successor who gets credit for the widespread return of prosperity, if it actually happens.

(“How Obama lost the middle class” by Rick Newman dated January 17, 2015 published by Yahoo Finance at http://finance.yahoo.com/news/how-obama-lost-the-middle-class-150142099.html )

 

If President Obama believes that terrorists who identify as Islamic aren’t true Muslims, why does he treat them as if they are?  Media are fixated on the Obama administration’s latest ridiculous refusal to admit any link between Islam and terrorism, despite video of the Paris mass murderers shouting, “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad!”   The point here is not about Islam per se, but rather the irreconcilability of Obama’s words with his actions.  In his 2009 speech in Cairo, Egypt, Obama claimed to “seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world,” while at the same time divorcing al Qaeda from Islam.  Unsurprisingly, Obama didn’t mention Islam when he announced that Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children was killed.  If Obama didn’t consider Osama a faithful Muslim, why did he order the U.S. Navy to bury him at sea within 24 hours, according to Islamic law?  The administration actually hyped its considerable efforts to make sure that bin Laden’s burial complied with Islamic law.  Instead of being outraged that Obama treated bin Laden like a faithful Muslim, Obama got flak from Muslim leaders for not observing Islamic law sufficiently.  Why hasn’t Obama ordered the Marine commandant at Guantanamo Bay to stop providing an Islamic diet, prayer beads, prayer rugs, and Korans to prisoners affiliated with al Qaeda, ISIL and other terrorist groups if they’re not Islamic?  Gitmo detainees are some of the most pampered prisoners on the planet.  Islamic prayer beads and rugs are now “standard issue.” They get their choice of more than 10,000 Islamic books and videos stocked by a Muslim librarian, who also records soccer and Arabic TV for them. They even have their own clerics to preach to them in Arabic.  Why are American taxpayers forced to fund Obama’s Islamization of terrorists that he insists are not followers of Islam?  Obama has also isolated ISIL terrorists from Islam, referring to them as “formerly al Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq.”  Maybe Obama’s motive for annihilating terrorists with drones, such as the Muslim cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, who continues to inspire terrorists and closing Gitmo is to avoid awkward questions.  Two weeks after the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attack, Obama went to the United Nations to declare, among other things, that, “the future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.  Has it occurred to Obama that he “slander[s] the Prophet of Islam” by wrapping his mantle around those who are “not Islamic”?

(“Obama’s Islam Psychosis” by Jan LeRue dated January 16, 2015 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/01/obamas_islam_psychosis.html )

* There is so much published each week that unless you search for it, you will miss important breaking news.  I try to package the best of this information into my “Views on the News” each Saturday morning.  There are no updates this week to the issue sections.  

           

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/