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Views on the News

December 18, 2010

Views on the News*

In 1991 the Soviet Union dissolved, but global communism has taken on the mask of reformism, and if they ever came to power, the mask would fall away again. KGB propaganda expert Yuri Bezmenov exposed the blueprint for this stealth transformation, which should serve as a warning for America. Bezmenov identified six areas of ideological subversion of a population which would go unnoticed by the average person.

·    Religion: A religious society can’t be subverted easily because of steadfast basic principles and values.

·    Education: Subversion is facilitated when hard subjects such as science, math, physics and foreign languages are replaced with “history of urban warfare, natural foods, and home economics, and sexuality.” Control the education, control its elite graduates.

·    Social life: When established links between individuals and groups of individuals are taken away and replaced by fake institutions the chances of subverting that system increases.

·    Power structure: Unelected groups of people can control elected representatives.

·    Labor relations: Unions destroy the traditionally established links between employer and employee leading ultimately to the traditional Marxist-Leninist exchange and “the death of natural bargaining.

·    Law and order: Subversion of society towards anarchy occurs through mocking and devaluing law and order figures breeding mistrust among the people whom law enforcement is traditionally engaged to protect.

The Cold War didn’t end, it just found new battlefields. This warning dates back 30 years, and it would take about 15-20 years for an ideology to become entrenched in a society, using the weaknesses in societal structures so America still has time to turn it back.

(“France’s Warning to America” by Rachel Marsden dted December 10, 2010 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=40500 )

The left embraces "social justice," a concept in which the State, not the individual, is the ultimate authority to determine the best interest of its wards with the intent to subvert the "evils" of the marketplace and create an "equal opportunity" for all citizens to be entitled to a piece of the pie.  The "commies" and "pinkos" of the '40s and '50s became the "libs" and "socialists" of the '60s, '70s, and '80s.  Presently, some have floated such evocative terms as "Fabians" and "progressives," while others have come to call the left "Democrats."  Further, top proponents hold that the State should manufacture the condition through legislation, progressive taxation, and the redistribution of wealth.  For social justice to apply, though, there must be victims.  The left draws from a pool of "victims" suffering ostensible injustices based upon class, race, the environment, gender, and diversity/multiculturalism.  If it can be said that successful capitalists produce a multitude of valuable goods and services, it can also be said that successful proponents of social justice manufacture a plethora of useful victims.  Under social justice, the State defines the victims and perpetrators of "crimes" and intervenes to punish the guilty and restore balance. Radicals and leftist university professors who fuel this ideology are not the most dangerous advocates for this movement.  The movement also needs the lifeblood of moderate but supportive "useful idiots."  It needs people who can view the 1977 Constitution of the USSR and see its guarantees of freedom of speech, equal rights, housing, and health care as attractive positives from a basically egalitarian form of government that somehow went wrong.  In sum, the social justice movement needs people who believe the USSR Constitution at face value. Social justice needs followers who believe that their path will enlarge the rights and freedoms of the world's citizens as surely as Socialism promised.  However, these "useful idiots" need never realize that such expansions are unlikely, if not impossible, under the system.  The left's true believers will likely scream bloody murder at comparisons between their philosophy and Socialism, even though birds of a feather have been shown to flock together in each of the last G-20 Summits in London, Pittsburgh, and Toronto.  What is needed is to unmask the uniting factor behind the social justice game's disparate groups that all share and wish to perpetuate a basic misunderstanding of two Constitutions -- a Soviet one that promised what a government would do for its citizenry, and an American one that guarantees what a government will not do to its people.

(“The Modern Left (Unmasked)” by Dmitri Ruthowski dated December 14, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/12/the_modern_left_unmasked.html )

 

There have only been eight federal judges removed from the bench in the history of our country, but now may be the time to reassert Constitutional control over the Judiciary, because the federal judiciary is long overdue for a cleansing. Judge Thomas Porteous, a federal judge from Louisiana, appointed to the bench by President Clinton, was impeached by the House of Representatives earlier this year, and was convicted by the Senate on December 8th, 2010, removing him from the federal bench. The founders of our republic never intended for the unelected, lifetime tenure, judges to have the power that they currently have. The proper job of a federal judge is to interpret the law, not to make the law. However, over the last 80 years, the judiciary has taken it upon itself to act as an unelected Congress and decree from the bench the laws that they think our nation should have. They ignore statute and Constitution in the pursuit of their agenda, which is big government, and the redefining of traditional American culture. The FDR court grossly expanded the powers of the commerce clause, declaring that the government has the right to regulate any interstate activity even if it is not inherently commercial, and they have the right to regulate commercial activity that is not interstate. They also began the cultural crusade which is an unending war against Christianity, and the family. Then there was abortion where Roe vs. Wade nationalized abortion laws. Now we have gay marriage as an invented “right” by leftist judges because their personal beliefs are such that marriage is an entirely civil affair. The State of Iowa voted out the three judges who tried to make gay marriage legal by judicial fiat. An independent judiciary is a hallmark of a free society and shouldn’t be tampered with. However the judiciary must be put back into its proper Constitutional place. If there truly is an unconstitutional law then it is necessary for the courts to step in, but the cases in which they should have jurisdiction should be few and narrowly defined. They have no right to strike down a perfectly legal law, and then declare something new in its place so they can bypass the lawmakers and the voters. What needs to happen is that judges need to be held responsible for the actions, both in and out of court. Many more judges disgrace their offices by the half brained decisions they issue contrary to law or Constitution without ever falling into corruption. There must be consequences for attacking the Constitution to advance their personal agenda. If we impeach judges for activism then we should impeach Judge Vaughn Walker. In his decision for the Proposition 8 case, he completely ignored the law, the state supreme court ruling, and the voters of California to impose his own personal vision on the country. He did this for no other reason than he is a homosexual himself, and feels that the traditional idea of marriage is outdated and bigoted, so he simply made a new law from the bench. Activist judicial rule is harmful to the country, the constitution, and the judiciary itself, by taking them out of their constitutionally mandated roles and impeachment is the appropriate justice for their actions.

(“Judge Porteous Should Just be the Beginning” by Craig Chamberlain dated December 13, 2010 published by The Land of the Free at http://www.thelandofthefree.net/conservativeopinion/2010/12/12/judge-porteous-should-just-be-the-beginning/ )

 

The rise of government unions has been like a silent leftist coup, an inside job engineered by self-interested Democrat politicians and fueled by campaign contributions. The rise of the labor movement in the early 20th century was a triumph for America's working class. In an era of deep economic anxiety, unions stood up for hard-working but vulnerable families, protecting them from physical and economic exploitation. Much has changed. The majority of union members today no longer work in construction, manufacturing or "strong back" jobs. They work for government, which has become the only booming "industry" left in our economy. Since January 2008 the private sector has lost nearly eight million jobs while local, state and federal governments added 590,000 jobs. Unionized public employees are making more money, receiving more generous benefits, and enjoying greater job security than the working families forced to pay for it with ever-higher taxes, deficits and debt. Public employee unions contribute ($91 million in the midterm elections alone) primarily to the campaigns of liberal politicians who vote to increase government pay and workers. As more government employees join the unions and pay dues, the union bosses pour ever more money and energy into liberal campaigns. The result is that certain states are now approaching default. Decades of overpromising and fiscal malpractice by state and local officials have created unfunded public employee benefit liabilities of more than $3 trillion. Reformers should adopt three overriding principles:

·    First, we need to bring public employee compensation back in line with the private sector and reduce the overall size of the federal civilian work force.

·    Second, get the numbers right, because if government used the same established accounting standards that private businesses are required to use, we can finally accurately include unfunded liabilities.

·    Third, we need to end defined-benefit retirement plans for government employees, because defined-benefit systems have created a financial albatross for taxpayers.

The moral case for unions, protecting working families from exploitation, does not apply to public employment. Government employees today are among the most protected, well-paid employees in the country. Ironically, public-sector unions have become the exploiters, and working families once again need someone to stand up for them. If We the People are going to stop the government unions' silent coup, conservative reformers around the country must fight this challenge openly and head on.

(“Government Unions vs. Taxpayers” by Tim Pawlenty dated December 13, 2010 published by The Wall Street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703766704576009350303578410.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop )

 

If 2009 was the year of birth of the Tea Party movement, 2010 was the year of ascendancy of constitutional conservatism.  In many ways, the movements are the same, except that the Tea Party is a movement of political activism by people who weren't traditionally activists, and constitutional conservatism represents an awakening about the way back to American exceptionalism. For conservatives to emphasize constitutionalism is nothing new, since this emphasis is a bit of branding that helps distinguish them from establishment Republicans who stole the brand "conservative," or those whose policies are constitutionally limited only some of the time. The Constitution is the law that governs government.  It is a limitation on government power as much as a grant of certain power. It is the limitation part that is the Constitution's core, which is why liberals and the ruling class can't or won't wrap their heads around constitutional conservatism.  The Democrat Party, taken over by social Democrats, and the Republican Party, whose leaders like to call themselves Reagan conservatives but became the old Democratic Party, failed to honor the limitations. Federal agencies were given power to intrude on private property rights in the name of regulation for the public good.  Free markets ceased to exist and were replaced by crony capitalism partnered with big government.  Religious organizations, the nonprofit sector, and other institutions became partners with government, and they had little or no regard for the Constitution except as it protected them -- and even then, they were willing abettors in its erosion. The ascendancy of constitutional conservatism is a result of people's belief that restoring the Constitution is the only way we can save the country from becoming like the European nations. We have watched more or less passively for decades as government has broken the law that governs it.  Constitutional conservatives understand that America's exceptional nature is a direct result of the principles of our Declaration of Independence and the structural safeguards of our Constitution.  We understand that most of our national deficiencies can be attributed to the government's having broken our paramount law. The divisions of power created by the Constitution were designed to provide a system of order that protects freedom. The divisions of power were intended to protect private property rights and the bounty that flows from private property.  The erosion of the Constitution as a strict structure has resulted in a loss of rights that are the key to our moral and financial well-being.  American exceptionalism requires a return to our constitutional structure. Constitutional conservatism means that powers not delegated expressly to the federal government are indeed reserved to the states or to the people, which means that even conservatives must be restricted in the agendas they wish to accomplish at the federal level. It means that Constitutional conservatives will look to scale back government that has exceeded its legal limits -- first by reducing the powers of federal branches and agencies to their rightful places, and then by eliminating agencies not consistent with powers authorized by the Constitution and returning those controls back to the states. If in the 2012 election conservatives become more facile in their explanations of Constitutionalism and how it will help America return to exceptional status, then we will truly see an autopsy of liberalism.

(“Why Constitutional Conservatism Is Ascending” by Mark J. Fitzgibbons dated December 10, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/12/why_constitutional_conservatis.html )

 

There is bipartisan agreement across the country that the debt level is out of control and that as a result of previous spending and future, unfunded obligations, America faces two outcomes if nothing is done. The first possible outcome is an acute national debt crisis if creditors decide to stop buying our debt and overnight, government programs could literally come to a screeching halt forcing austerity measures that could spark social unrest and possibly much worse. The second outcome is less drastic but no less worrying, and involves debasing our currency by printing money to pay for spending obligations; destroying existing wealth and permanently damaging our prospects for economic growth. In response to this potential threat the American people must get serious about deficit reduction and more importantly, recognize that not all deficit reduction solutions are created equal. President Obama's bipartisan deficit commission presented a blueprint for reducing the deficit essentially by raising revenue through broadly lowering marginal tax rates and eliminating or reducing various credits and deductions. This nod to supply-side economics was viewed by some as the ultimate compromise: the Republicans would get a more friendly tax code, while the Democrats would get more money to spend. While the blueprint did propose to cap discretionary spending and modestly trim the biggest entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, it ultimately accepted the premise that the federal government should continue to do everything it does now. Under the commission's plan, federal spending and revenues as a share of the economy would both settle at 21% of gross domestic product (GDP). The bottom line is that beyond an optimum level necessary for protecting people and property, government spending undermines economic growth by displacing private-sector activity. Governments are not as good as markets in adjusting to changing circumstances and finding innovative new ways of increasing the value of resources. Social Security disability benefits are particularly subject to subsidy seeking behavior and SSDI benefit payments have soared 119% since 1995. Medicare is another sacred cow that accounts for 13% of federal spending, and like Social Security, the provision of ever increasing medical security in retirement leads to the same personal disincentives for beneficiaries. Medicaid and other programs considered more typical "welfare" programs currently account for 16% of federal spending. Clearly there is room to make dramatic reductions in the size and scope of government but first we must find the resolve to do so. If we can primarily cut spending than we can revive the American economy which has been the biggest engine of economic growth and prosperity the world has known.

(“Thinking beyond the Deficit” by Andrew Foy dated December 12, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/12/thinking_beyond_the_deficit.html )

 

California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Arizona are rapidly careening toward bankruptcy and, unless spending is brought under control. Tax revenues are sagging as a consequence of a weak economy and high unemployment. The heart of the problem is the unsustainable level of government spending and indebtedness driven by a cornucopia of entitlement, health care and welfare programs, along with overly generous government employee payrolls and lavish pension plans that have dwarfed growth in private- sector compensation in recent years. The unfunded public employee pension liabilities are estimated to be as much as $3.574 trillion, which doesn't include the ancillary costs of retired public employees, such as subsidized health care and other perks.  Our federal government is also upside down financially, only with more zeroes at the end of the numbers. Given its relative size, the feds count red ink in trillions of dollars rather than billions. The crisis is more imminent for the states since states (like Colorado) are constitutionally prohibited from running deficits and don't have the option of printing money to make up the difference. Overseas governments are in a similar pickle, and their citizens are doing something about it: They're revolting. This may be a preview of coming attractions for the U.S. This may be an exercise in futility: a revolt against reality. This is about the inevitable collapse of the democratic socialist welfare state. In the name of "social justice," compassion knows no economic bounds. In the prophetic words of Margaret Thatcher, "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." Our current spending levels exceed our practical tax capacity. No nation can tax itself rich; it can only produce itself rich. Excessive tax rates are the enemy of production and a barrier to the creation of societal wealth and the economic solution is obvious: government must spend less on all kinds of things at the federal and state levels.

(“Revolting Against Reality” by Mike Rosen dated December 9, 2010 published by Denver Post at http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_16810133

Expose the Public Pension Mess” by Gary Jason dated December 17, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/12/expose_the_public_pension_mess.html )

Several recent revelations bring home how the American auto industry has become a cesspool of crony capitalism, completely subsidized by the federal government. The Obama administration and the UAW (Obama's major financial and political supporter) are running the show. First revelation is the news that the "new" GM walked away from the crony bankruptcy proceedings with a huge tax break -- one worth up to $45 billion. It was revealed in the paperwork filed for its IPO that the Obama administration gave the new GM a sweetheart deal: it will be allowed to carry forward huge losses incurred by the "old" GM prior to its bankruptcy. The IRS doesn't allow the new companies that emerge from bankruptcy to write off their old losses, but the feds decided to waive that rule for companies bailed out by TARP. Thus, the new GM will save about $45.4 billion in taxes on future earnings, which may allow it to escape taxes for the next twenty years. This "tax-loss carry-forward" is a huge plum, an asset most of GM's rivals don't have, and one that no doubt led to its artificially high IPO stock price. The second revelation: namely, the machinations by the Obama administration during the IPO that consciously helped the UAW make out like bandits. The UAW was given a big chunk of new GM in the crooked bankruptcy settlement, 35% of the stock in the new company. With the sale of the stock in the new GM, the UAW earned an immediate $3.4 billion in selling about one third of its shares. Moreover, if the UAW can get $36 per share for the other two-thirds of its shares, it will walk away breaking even -- meaning it will walk away with its outrageously bloated pension and health care fund fully intact. The Obama administration screwed the taxpayer just as thoroughly as it pampered the UAW. The taxpayer put $49.5 billion into GM in the bankruptcy, not to mention all the funds shoveled at the company prior to that. The Treasury recouped only a wretched $13.7 billion in the IPO, mainly because the Obama administration, in yet another unprecedented gift to the union, announced publicly that it would not sell any more stock for the next six months. This enables the UAW to dump its shares whenever it wants at a much higher price than it could get if the Treasury were also selling. The taxpayers will almost certainly get a lower payout, and they will never recoup their forced investment in these dinosaurs, all to enable the UAW to walk away made whole. Screwed even worse were the old secured creditors, the bondholders in the old GM have bonds as useful as scratch paper. The third revelation about the U.S. automakers was the news that the Obama administration changed the purchasing of vehicles for the federal fleet dramatically; again, apparently to benefit its supporters. It turns out that the administration itself has purchased a huge, unprecedented chunk of American-made hybrid cars assembled since it took over two of the loser companies, propping up the sales of hybrid cars in the face of widespread consumer indifference. It is interesting to note that of the 15,000 hybrids that the GSA bought, only 22 were from Toyota and Honda. All the rest were purchased from GM and Ford. Chrysler stopped making hybrids back in 2008 after a brief attempt. The GSA in total bought nearly 25% of all the American-produced hybrids made over the last two years. This is corrupt, crony car capitalism, all paid for by coerced taxation, from an administration that promised a new era of transparency and honesty in government; but at the end of the day, the Democrat cabal at the top behaves just like the dirty Chicago machine that spawned it.

(“Crony Car Capitalism” by Gary Jason dated December 10, 2010 published by Real Clear Politics at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/12/10/crony_car_capitalism_108212.html )

 

Obama is holding offshore drilling (and the American economy) hostage and demanding concessions to his otherwise-doomed, voter-rejected, ultra-liberal environmental policies. Obama is striving to cripple the oil industry, to the further erosion and debilitation of the U.S. economy, by reneging on earlier promises and banning offshore oil drilling until at least 2017. Following a year-long scientific and economic study, Obama conceded that America's competitive economic viability and U.S. job-creation required the expansion of offshore oil drilling. Obama has dashed any hope of drilling in the Gulf, halted drilling off the entire Atlantic seaboard (the Pacific is already off-limits) and cast doubt on exploration in Alaska. The cost of these decisions will be seen in major lost job opportunities, surrendered economic growth and increased dependence on foreign sources of energy, from nations often hostile to American interests. As Interior Secretary Ken Salazar explained, if lawmakers were interested in freeing an area for energy exploration, Obama might be "willing to entertain a discussion" - but "only if it is part of a balanced package that includes other energy priorities of the President." Obama has reversed one of his few sensible, moderate economic decisions in a last ditch effort to enact the final piece of his first-term, big-government agenda: Climate change legislation intended to cede even more of the national economy to the federal government. President Obama is willing to sacrifice anyone and anything in order to get his way, and with his Chicago gangster mentality he is comfortable using whatever means necessary to get his way, even holding up economic recovery through offshore drilling until he gets more economic control through climate legislation.

(“Nice Oil Business You Got There” by Justin Paulette dated December 14, 2010 published by Intellectual Conservative at http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2010/12/14/nice-oil-business-you-got-there/ )

 

There is a political, non-combatant wing of the global Salafi-jihad movement that acts as an international production line, routinely manufacturing thousands of Muslims with a Salafi religious orientation, a Salafi worldview, and the belief that they are part of an international movement designed to reform the world community of Muslims, bringing them back to what they consider “true” Islam, and bringing Islam back to global leadership. While the majority of the members of this movement do not commit acts of violence, they totally support the combatant wing of the movement. They make their own contributions to its success by proselytizing, preaching, and fundraising; forming new front organizations; and creating centers of jihad support in schools, mosques, and Islamic centers. It is out of this movement that the activists, committed long-term jihadis, and lone wolf attackers emerge. Unless we alter our approach to include aggressive investigations of the movement’s political organizations and elements, homegrown terrorists will continue to be radicalized and inspired to violence, and come to the attention of the authorities only after they have committed their crimes. Osama bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al Zawahiri, plainly stated:

·    The jihad movement must dedicate one of its wings to work with the masses, preach, provide services for the Muslim people and share their concerns through all available avenues for charity and educational work.

·    Zawahiri specified exactly the kind of non-combatant help it needed: educate the Ummah, showing the world’s Muslims the dangers facing them, inciting them to resist because al-Qaeda needs the active assistance of honest propagators, intellectuals, teachers, journalists, trade union men, and tribal elders.

·    He also directed students, missionaries, and professionals to conduct specific non-jihad tasks, such as making mosques, universities, colleges and high schools centers for jihad support; facilitating recruitment and fundraising; spreading the ideology; identifying jihad targets, providing intelligence, and disseminating propaganda; carrying out acts of civil disobedience such as strikes, demonstrations, and sit-ins; refusing to pay taxes; preventing cooperation with security forces; and boycotting U.S. and Israeli products.

In the United States, the non-combatants that Zawahiri describes as being so important to the movement will not be found by investigating small, violent jihad cells. Most will most likely never commit a violent act, but they will vigorously and enthusiastically convert, train, and support those who do, so they must be rooted out as terrorist enablers.

(“Terrorists: Just the Tip of the Jihadi Iceberg” by Brian Fairchild dated December 15, 2010 published by Pajamas Media at http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/terrorists-just-the-tip-of-the-jihadi-iceberg/ )

 

* 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. Updates have been made this week to the following issue sections:

·  Politics at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/intro/politics.php

·  Education at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/education.php

·  Election at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/election.php

·  Employment at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/employment.php

·  Health Care at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/healthcare.php

·  Homeland Security at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/homelandsecurity.php

·  Legal at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/legal.php

·  Africa at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/africa.php

·  Europe at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/europe.php

·  Terrorism at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/terrorism.php

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

www.ReturnToCommonSensesite.com