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The Nature of Things

When my grandmother was born a horse was the normal means of transport.  When my granddaughter was born the International Space Striation was the brightest light in the night’s sky. In other words, things change.   When I sat on the couch and watched the first man walk on the moon with my grandmother she didn’t believe it was real.  When I tell my low information neighbors that the International Space Striation is the brightest light in the night’s sky they don’t believe it is true.  In other words, human nature doesn’t change.

To allow our leaders, our fellow citizens, our own kith and kin the charitable label of misguided dreamers is the closest I can come to innocently explaining their roles as either accomplices or instigators of our national decline.  I try to tell myself they are as Lenin and Stalin are reputed to have called them, “Useful Idiots:” well-meaning people who genuinely believe central planning will help the needy.  I try not to let myself think the Progressives and their supporters are actually extremely corrupt and evil people who are actively attempting to transform our beloved experiment in freedom into another forced labor camp striving to achieve Utopia.

The problem with utopian dreams is that they always end in dystopian realities.  Lenin’s dream of a worker’s paradise transformed itself into Stalin’s nightmare of the gulags, starvation, and the eventual destruction of their nation.  Mussolini’s dream of a return to the glories of Rome led directly to the loss of the empire they had and the destruction of their nation.  Hitler’s dream of a Thousand Year Reich led directly to the Gestapo, the holocaust, the worst war in History, and the destruction of their nation.

How can we believe we can follow a dream of utopia to any other end than the one everyone else has arrived at: the dust bin of History?

Some may say, “But we are Americans, and we have always done the things others could not do.”  You will find no more ardent believer in American Exceptionalism than I.   I truly believe, not that diversity is our strength but instead that the blending of all into a uniquely American hybrid has created the most talented, most dynamic, and most successful nation the world has ever known.  It is not the will or the talents of our homegrown American collectivists that I question; it is the very nature of collectivism that I maintain makes the accomplishment of their utopian dream impossible.

People can have the best of intentions; however, if they believe they can take from Peter to pay Paul without making Peter resent the fact that he has less than he had before they don’t know Peter very well.  And if they think they can set Paul up as a perpetual recipient of the swag taken from Peter without creating a pool of Paul’s who constantly want more and who resent those who do the distributing they have never worked in a soup kitchen, a food bank, or a giveaway store for more than a day.

The vast majority of people are not by nature altruistic milk cows, and they resent it when that is how they are viewed by the nameless faceless bureaucracy necessary to make the machinery of utopia crank out the shabby imitation they deliver.  Conversely the vast majority of people are not by nature perpetual mooches content to stand with their hands out waiting for the nameless faceless bureaucracy to deliver the bare minimum needed to survive which is always the bounty that actually drops from the utopian extruder.

I contend that a collectivist redistribution Utopia whether it is called Progressive, Socialist, Communist, Fascist, or merely the right thing to do is contrary to the nature of humanity.

People by nature want to be self-reliant.  They want to make things better for themselves and their children.  People want to strive for something noble, and they want to feel as if their lives matter.  Yet in an industrial world divided into haves and have nots it is easy to understand how the frustration of being a have not can convince someone that there needs to be a more equitable division of the material goods which modern civilization abundantly provides.

Having come from a blue collar family and having spent the majority of my life as a self-employed boom or bust house painter I can well relate to not having health insurance because you can’t afford it, I couldn’t.  I can relate to having mornings where you don’t know what you will feed your family that night because I have had those days.  I know what it is like to be a high school dropout who can’t get anything except a menial low paying job, because I have been that person.  Yes, I can relate to the situations which might make a person believe we need to spread the wealth around.

I also know what it feels like to have to get food stamps and other things from public and private assistance just to make it through the day because I have done so.  I know how the welfare people make you feel, the way they treat you as if you are trying to take their personal money or the condescension of pity.

What I can’t relate to is either thinking it is a good thing to consign our fellow citizens to such a life or to being satisfied with such a life.

Not only does a welfare state corrupt both the dispensers and the recipients it carries the seeds of its own destruction. Eventually the recipients will want more than the dispensers are willing to give, and revolution or collapse will be the end result.

In addition, since redistribution as a state policy always means stealing from Peter to pay Paul, ultimately the thief will need a gun.  Though Peter may be a nice person and at first say, “Sure I can contribute something to help poor old Paul,” if poor old Paul never gets back on his feet sooner or later Peter will wonder why Paul doesn’t start providing for himself.  At that point the contributions are no longer voluntary and they must be taken one way or another.  There is also the question of how many Pauls can Peter carry without either shrugging like Atlas or becoming a Paul himself in self-defense. As Margret Thatcher taught us, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

Plunder empires always collapse.  Utopias always end up eating the goose that laid the golden egg.  Central planning and collectivism: the Progressive dream for a Great Society has never, can never, and will never succeed. It just isn’t natural.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

Step by Step Inch by Inch

How do you fundamentally transform a nation from what it has been to what a clique of ideologues wants it to be?  The easiest way is to convince the general population that what the would-be masters want is what the people want.  Those seeking to subvert a culture must take a long view.  They must realize that this will be a multistage project that will take generations to achieve.

As an example that will strike home and ring true to every engaged American let’s look at how the Progressives have incrementally moved us from the best educated, most politically engaged population in History to a flock of militantly apathetic fans.  Couch potatoes waiting for the next game or reality show unaware how our government operates and impatient with anyone who tries to explain it to them.  How did they nudged us from the most self-reliant people in the world to a line of people waiting hat in hand for the next transfer payment?

The first goal was the educational system.  Capture that and it was possible to raise up generations who either thought as they did or who didn’t think at all.  Dumb it down, exchange confused thinking for critical thinking and soon the people who once asked hard questions will swallow easy answers.  The best place to start is at the colleges and universities.  If you can convince a generation of teachers that the snake-oil you’re selling will cure everything you will soon have them indoctrinating generations that the sickness is really the cure.

A target of particular interest is of course was journalism schools.  Once these schools become factories churning out carbon copies it isn’t necessary to have an official propaganda ministry. The journalists themselves will self-censor anything that doesn’t fit the reality they imbibed along with the Kool-aide.  Once the editorial boards and the human resource departments are filled with clones none but clones need apply.  Today the portals of American media are filled with people who don’t even know someone who is pro-life.  They don’t know anyone who sympathizes with the Tea Party.  So those on the other side are always the other.  There is no understanding or compassion for thoughts and ideas they find foreign and alien even though they represent the thinking of the majority of Americans.  So as we cling to our Bibles and our guns the megaphones of the public discourse represent mainstream America as a fringe while holding up a cross section of the Jerry Springer Show or the Gong Show as the new normal.

The next target in America’s transition from a society built upon individualism, self-reliance and innovation into a centrally-planned experiment in utopian collectivism might have been the hardest or it might have been the easiest: capitalism itself.

As layer after layer of regulations entangled the economy there came a tipping point.   This was reached when government interference in the economy became the dominant feature.  Then business decisions were no longer made because they were right but instead because of how they intersected with government policy.  Look at the stock market today.  It no longer moves due to innovation or even speculation it instead moves like a marionette to the strings pulled by the Federal Reserve.  It reacts to real, perceived or imagined government actions.

No longer do we have Henry Fords or J. D. Rockefellers moving and shaking the economy to build industries.  Now we have crony capitalists who use their connections to get sweetheart deals, tax subsidies and bailouts.   Too Big to Fail has replaced Laissez-faire and it is no longer what you know but who you know that brings success in America.

The most insidious aspect of this incremental transformation of America is what it has done to truth.  Once thought to be an objective reality, in a centralized utopia truth must become whatever endorses and supports the efforts to reach the designated goals.  If necessary, good becomes bad, up becomes down and dark becomes light if that is what is required to make the assumptions and conclusions of the planners plausible.

War becomes peace.  Inequality becomes equality.  Pork becomes stimulus.   Stonewalling and taking the fifth becomes the most transparent administration in history and the destruction of the greatest health system ever known becomes affordable care.

As the meanings of words change it becomes increasingly hard to hold an intelligent conversation, because no one is sure what anyone else means.  This cannot be viewed as the natural evolution of language.  This is a direct by-product of the effort to centrally-plan a society.  Since all efforts must be bent to the centrally directed goals all thoughts must be shaped to conform to the politically correct thoughts of the leaders.  All other thoughts become suspect and are held up to ridicule.

The prevailing mood of cynicism and the general intellectual climate that this produces brings about the loss of even the meaning of truth.  Truth becomes relative.  It is wholly dependent upon political considerations as the spirit of independent inquiry itself disappears.   Under the constant barrage of the all-embracing central government and their willing allies in the media the belief in the power of rational conviction fades from view and only the official line seems to make sense to those who through either apathy or complacency swallow the party line and march in lock-step from freedom to serfdom.

The desire to force people to accept a creed and to salute the flag is nothing new.  What is new is the justification for doing so that lies at the basis of our current round of communal thought control.  It is believed by some that there is no real freedom of thought in any society at all.  The thoughts of the masses have always been and will always be shaped by what we now call propaganda or governmental advertising by the laws and regulations of the leaders and the example of the upper classes.  Those who wish to regiment thought and control opinion act as if since this is so it is incumbent upon them to direct the thoughts of the masses into a desirable direction.  Or in other words a direction that supports the movement towards the goals and objectives previously chosen by the central planners.

Incrementally, step by step, inch by inch the highly individualistic descendants of the pioneers have become a mob clamoring for bread and circuses.  Dependent upon government for their very livelihood a large portion, perhaps a majority of the electorate, eagerly embrace the thinking needed to justify robbing their fellow citizens through transfer payments to subsidize their lifestyle.  Society becomes rigid and any deviance from the proscribed way of thinking is ostracized.  Any attempt to break free of the stranglehold of political correctness on the thoughts and opinions of a once free people must be punished.   The best that we can hope is that since we have gone step by step and inch by inch eventually, slowly we will turn.

In George Orwell’s classic 1984 it was the thought police that monitored and directed the thoughts of an entire nation.  On a smaller scale the sadistic captain of the chain-gang in Cool Hand Luke phrased it this way when referring to people who tried to break out of the system, “You run one time, you got yourself a set of chains. You run twice you got yourself two sets. You ain’t gonna need no third set, ’cause you gonna get your mind right.”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

Political Action Follows Political Philosophy

The vast majority of human action reflects the thoughts, beliefs, and feelings of the actor.  There have always been and there will always be those whose actions are erratic or divorced from reality.  The actions of this small minority are best ascribed to pathology not philosophy.  For the rest of us we think therefore we are.  What we think about today we act upon tomorrow.

In the realm of political action this holds true.  The philosophies propagated today may not bear fruit or even appear to germinate during the lifetime of those who share them.  However, if they resonate with the thoughts, beliefs and natures of others they will bring forth a harvest in due time.

The time and effort involved in producing a coherent and logical body of work in the field of political philosophy may feel like a fool’s errand or wasted effort to the author working away often without recognition and in seclusion, never seeing the validity of their thoughts acknowledged by their peers or their intended audience.  However, anyone involved in such an effort needs to have a long view and the fortitude to plant so that others may harvest.

Having prefaced my thoughts and illuminated my actions let me plant some seeds.

For my entire life I have had Progressive instructors, politicians, friends and relatives admonish me that the reason for subverting the greatest experiment in human personal liberty, individual freedom and economic opportunity in the History of humanity is that we need to provide for the less fortunate.  They often refer to providing some type of economic security for those who cannot provide for themselves.  They often mean the leveling of society so that there is a minimum level of economic security.

The problem with “economic security” is that the term is so vague how do we know when it has been achieved?  Much like a war on terror it is open ended and can be interpreted in many ways.  What is considered economic security to one may not be to another.

If by economic security we mean security with regard to physical needs and a minimum amount of food that is one thing.  If by economic security we mean the guarantee of a certain standard of living or a pre-assigned social status we are speaking of something else altogether.

It seems clear that any society which has achieved the levels of sophistication and civilization that we have should be able to provide for the basic needs of our citizens who cannot take care of themselves without endangering the freedom of all.  There will be debates as to the levels of help which should be provided; however as to the belief that we should not allow our fellow citizens to starve or freeze I believe we are all agreed.

These questions will undoubtedly cause political debate and they may even cause tempers to flare; however that there is some minimum standard all will agree.  These minimum standards of economic security can be provided to those who cannot provide for themselves without endangering the wider economy and without unduly infringing upon the liberty of the productive members of society.

However, any attempt to guarantee the pre-assigned social status of anyone, or any group, the attempt to provide for those who can provide for themselves and choose not to do so will inevitably cause so many dislocations in the economy and require so many regulations both personal freedom and economic opportunity will be severely restricted.

This is where the debate heats up.  We have those who believe our society can and should protect and provide for those who cannot protect and provide for themselves and those who wish to use social welfare for social engineering.

The levels of taxation and regulation needed to support the minimalist approach can easily be borne by our society and our economy without compromising our freedom if they are applied evenly and fairly.  A flat tax without loopholes, subsidies or any of the other trappings of crony capitalism does nothing to inhibit innovation, enterprise, or competition.  Regulations requiring the equal treatment of individuals or the setting of safety or access levels likewise do not detract from opportunity as long as they are universally applied.

However, to attain the maximized levels of central-planning required to impose a Utopian vision of equality of outcome on any society require so many regulations and such high levels of taxation that they effectively strangle innovation, enterprise and competition.  Why couldn’t that gigantic prison house of nations, the USSR, compete with the United States?

Because they professed to seek a society wherein everyone was equal at all times.  Did they accomplish it?  No. The ruling Communists simply replaced the ruling hereditary aristocracy.  They killed millions to improve life.  They destroyed the incentive and creativity of their people in an effort to produce a more productive economy by fiat instead of freedom.  They eventually made working for the collective so meaningless that a common saying was, “They pretend to pay us so we pretend to work.”  Citizens ended up with worthless money, empty stores and services such as health care that only worked for the privileged government workers.   In any society that robs Peter to pay Paul eventually everyone changes their name to Paul.

As dire as the results have always been for Utopian experiments it is the morality of attempting to level society that needs to be questioned.  I contend that competition is a fundamental quality of humanity.  Striving to improve, to provide for one’s self and one’s family are basic instincts, and when governments interfere with these in an effort to ensure the success of some they have to limit the success of others.

This has a butterfly effect where a regulation for a positive action here about that affects something else over there about this negatively.  Multiply this many thousands of time and we have a cascading effect that restricts opportunity except for those who direct the effort to achieve the equality of all.  Or as the last remaining commandment at the animal farm eventually said, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

No one is as smart as everyone.  No set of central planners seeking the improvement of some can substitute their decisions for the millions of decisions made by free individuals seeking their own improvement.  It just won’t work.  It never has and it never will.  Therefore I contend that if it is inherently detrimental to society as a whole and since it is impossible to achieve it is immoral to attempt.

Man was created with free choice.  This is our fundamental nature.  Therefore what goes against that nature is contrary to the truth of who man is or is meant to be.

That the darker side needs to be restrained is generally agreed.  Every society condemns murder.  Even thieves have a code; at home they know theft is wrong.  Children should be protected and provided for as should those who cannot protect or provide for themselves.  No people has prospered or advanced by leaving their poor to starve or their sick to die.

Likewise no people have ever successfully built a society on the pipedream of equality of outcome.  All that has ever produced is the fever dream of a socially engineered stagnant society where the government picks winners and everyone except the choosers and the chosen few end up losers.

The idea that man is meant to be free birthed this country.  No matter how far we fall beneath the Progressive avalanche of regulation, taxation, and corruption this idea will one day once again take flight.  As long as there are those who will propagate the philosophy the action will one day follow.  Just as sure as a sunrise always follows the darkest night someday a free America will rise from the ash heap of History to which socialism inevitably leads.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

Over Half a Million Californians to Lose Insurance Under Obamacare

Debra Saunders of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that well over half a million Californians are set to be dropped from their current insurance plan as the Obamacare rollout continues.
According to Saunders, “as of December 2012, there were 491,977 covered lives in individual health care plans regulated by the state Department Insurance that are not grandfathered under the Affordable Care Act.”
In addition, “there were about 50,000 individual and 60,000 PPO policies that were not grandfathered at the end of the year, which would add another 110,000.”
That total suggests the number of patients who could lose their current health insurance–in contrast to President Barack Obama’s oft-repeated promise–could exceed 600,000.
Those dropped from their current plans would then be required by law to purchase health insurance through Covered California, the state’s Obamacare exchange, or else pay a penalty to the IRS of at least $95 or 1% of income, whichever is highest.
Update: The Los Angeles Times reports on Sunday that patients across California are struggling with the burden of higher insurance costs as a result of Obamacare, noting that “middle-income consumers face an estimated 30% rate increase, on average, in California due to several factors tied to the healthcare law.”
Some, Chad Terhune writes, are venting their frustration at the law–and at President Obama:
Still, many are frustrated at being forced to give up the plans they have now. They frequently cite assurances given by Obama that Americans could hold on to their health insurance despite the massive overhaul.
“All we’ve been hearing the last three years is if you like your policy you can keep it,” said Deborah Cavallaro, a real estate agent in Westchester. “I’m infuriated because I was lied to.”

The Uncivil War

In American schools the Civil War is a one trick pony.  It was all about slavery and that is all it was about.

There can be no doubt that slavery was a blight upon the History of the United States.  It was incompatible with the inspiring words of our Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The very idea of chattel slavery wherein one person can own another and their children, and their children’s children unto the furthest generation is an abomination.   The South saw this as their peculiar institution, and they had built an entire culture upon slavery as an economic necessity. For a variety of reasons even the Southern Churches supported and attempted to justify the practice.  However, all of this being said slavery was not the only issue at stake in the Civil War.

There was one other that took center stage in the minds of many: State’s Rights.

In the decades that had passed since the ratification of the Constitution slavery had been steadily abolished in the Northern states while remaining prevalent in the South.  This inexorably led to the issue of slavery becoming intertwined in the issues of States Rights, Federalism and the growing power of the Federal Government.

The proponents of States rights appealed to the 10th Amendment which states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”  This had been added to the original Constitution due to the intellectual and political pressure from the Anti-Federalists.  This Amendment was meant to reassure people of the limited nature of the Federal government and that with the few exception specifically delegated to the Federal Government by the States the States and the people were free to continue exercising their sovereign powers.

President Lincoln did not see the Civil War as a war to end slavery until that became necessary to stop European powers from recognizing the South.

Lincoln said in his 1st Inaugural Address, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”

Lincoln was on record as saying, “”My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.”

Lincoln also said, “Do the people of the South really entertain fears that a Republican administration would, directly, or indirectly, interfere with their slaves, or with them, about their slaves? If they do, I wish to assure you, as once a friend, and still, I hope, not an enemy, that there is no cause for such fears.”  Obviously his object was to maintain the Union at all costs and ending slavery (or not) was to him merely a means to that end.

That Lincoln himself was on record as believing that the invasion of the States was unlawful is shown by another quote from his 1st Inaugural Address, “That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.”  Yet in this same address he proclaims his belief that the Union is perpetual and the he has sworn an oath to preserve it.

However there were very basic and foundational problems with the entire effort to preserve the Union.  For one thing it was known by all that it was a voluntary union entered into by sovereign States.  It was also known that the Federal Government only has those powers which are expressly delegated.  Nowhere in the document does it say the Federal Government has the power to force States to remain in the Union.

In addition, three states—New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia included “resumption clauses,” which would allow the states to leave the union to “resume” their status as independent states.

New York declared, “That the Powers of Government may be reassumed by the People, whensoever it shall become necessary to their Happiness.”

Rhode Island said, “That the powers of government may be reassumed by the people whensoever it shall become necessary to their happiness.”

Virginia stated, “Do in the name and in behalf of the People of Virginia declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression.”

Everyone loves to quote Lord Acton when he says things like, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  Or, “Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.”

Most are not aware of the correspondence that took place between Lord Acton and Robert E. Lee after the Civil War.  In that correspondence Lord Acton said, “I saw in State Rights the only availing check upon the absolutism of the sovereign will, and secession filled me with hope, not as the destruction but as the redemption of Democracy. The institutions of your Republic have not exercised on the old world the salutary and liberating influence which ought to have belonged to them, by reason of those defects and abuses of principle which the Confederate Constitution was expressly and wisely calculated to remedy. I believed that the example of that great Reform would have blessed all the races of mankind by establishing true freedom purged of the native dangers and disorders of Republics. Therefore I deemed that you were fighting the battles of our liberty, our progress, and our civilization; and I mourn for the stake which was lost at Richmond more deeply than I rejoice over that which was saved at Waterloo.”

To which Lee answered, “I yet believe that the maintenance of the rights and authority reserved to the states and to the people, not only essential to the adjustment and balance of the general system, but the safeguard to the continuance of a free government. I consider it as the chief source of stability to our political system, whereas the consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it.”

I know that States Rights has been tarred with the broad brush of racism; however, I reject that attempt to restrict the speech of a free people along with all of the strangulating impediments of political correctness.

America was designed to be a federal republic which operates on democratic principles.  The continuing attempts to curtail the freedom of actions of the States and to transform the United States into a centrally-planned democracy run counter to our founding documents, our History, and, our nature.

Here’s another Lord Acton quote people seem to overlook, “Socialism means slavery.”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

When the Have Nots Become the Haves

have_have_notsSaul Alinsky the political thinker who seems to have had more impact on President Obama than any other was very clear in his most important book about what his motives were and what he was aiming at, “What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. ‘The Prince’ was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. ‘Rules for Radicals’ is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.”

With the November Revolution of 2008 which gave us one party rule for two years the Progressive Democrat party saw their chance and they took it.  Within the two years it took for the people to realize they needed some balance the Progressives passed Obamacare which effectively gives government control of 1/6 of the economy.  They passed Dodd-Frank which gives them extensive control over the financial sector.  When they couldn’t push Cap-N-Trade even through a rubber-stamp Congress the President imposed it by executive order.  When they likewise failed to muster enough of their own hacks to pass the Dream Act once again it was imposed by fiat.

The anti-capitalist programs of the Progressive Bush Administration’s final days were continued and amplified by the Obama Administration.  TARP was followed by the Stimulus.  The takeover of AIG was joined by the take-over of the auto industry and by force feeding money into the economy for years of quantitative easing as the casino we call the stock market soars.

Unemployment reporting has become totally unhinged from reality as the real rate stays at levels which would easily shine the light of truth on the fiction of a recovery.

According to the government’s own Bureau of Labor Statistics the real unemployment rate (U-6) has been continuously above 13 % for the last year.  This information is readily available (one click of the mouse) and yet the media (including Fox) have told us day-by-day that it is falling and is now down to 7.2.  This typifies the manufactured reality the federal government and the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media shovel into the public trough.  If the plagiarized opinions I hear my fellow citizens share everyday are any indication the average person accepts the fiction as reality.

New research from the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee shows that over the last five years, the U.S. has spent about $3.7 trillion on welfare.

“We have just concluded the 5th fiscal year since President Obama took office. During those five years, the federal government has spent a total $3.7 trillion on approximately 80 different means-tested poverty and welfare programs. The common feature of means-tested assistance programs is that they are graduated based on a person’s income and, in contrast to programs like Social Security or Medicare, they are a free benefit and not paid into by the recipient,” says the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee.

The minority side also states that, “The enormous sum spent on means-tested assistance is nearly five times greater than the combined amount spent on NASA, education, and all federal transportation projects over that time.”  And the staggering sum of $3.7 trillion is not even the entire amount spent on federal poverty support, as states contribute more than $200 billion each year primarily in the form of free low-income health care.

The goal has always been to get enough people receiving benefits to out-vote the ones paying for the benefits.  In the fourth quarter of 2011, (the last full year for which statistics are available) 49.2 percent of Americans received benefits from one or more government programs, according to data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau.

In total, the Census Bureau estimated, 151,014,000 Americans out of a population then estimated to be 306,804,000 received benefits from one or more government programs during the last three months of 2011. Those 151,014,000 beneficiaries equaled 49.2 percent of the population.

This included 82,457,000 people–or 26.9 percent of the population–who lived in households in which one or more people received Medicaid benefits.

At the same time a large number of Americans no longer pay any federal taxes.  Even the Progressive Huffington Post states, “Some 76 million tax filers, or 46.4 percent of the total, will be exempt from federal income tax in 2011.” (Using the same year as a way of fair comparison)

Just imagine an undisciplined out-of-control shopaholic whose credit limit has just been extended. Now they can continue overspending without any accountability. That shopaholic is the U.S. government.

In the week since Congress reached a temporary deal to suspend the U.S. government’s debt ceiling the Treasury department has added another $375 billion in new debt.

The suspension of a cap on U.S. debt, which was previously fixed at $16.69 trillion, means the Treasury department can spend whatever amount of money it wants.

How much money will the U.S. government put on our grandchildren’s credit card by the next debt ceiling deadline? At the current rate of deficit spending which is $375 billion per week, U.S. public debt will reach $22.70 trillion by Feb. 7, 2014.

All these transfer payments impoverish the working middle class who pay the biggest share of their income in taxes and empower those who receive the benefits, often being the same ones who pay no taxes.  Thus the have nots become the haves fulfilling the goal of the Alinsky inspired community organizing program which has become Americas master plan.

As the have nots rise to become the haves and the haves descend to become the have nots the cycle repeats itself in an endless spiral of social warfare and the only ones who really benefit are those whose goal is power irrespective of who has what.

This is why the President and his advisors seem so oblivious to the turmoil and destruction the implementation of their plans cause.  The goal of the President and of the other Progressive leaders has always been universal single payer insurance no matter what they had to say to sell it.  Obamacare was always seen as a half-step in the direction of total government control.    So what do a few speed bumps along the way matter when the goal is to totally transform America?

Our current administration seems to have no respect for the law.

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) forbids the federal government from enforcing the law in any state that opted out of setting up its own health care exchange.

The Obama administration has ignored that part in the law, enforcing all of its provisions even in states where the federal government is operating the insurance marketplaces on the error-plagued Healthcare.gov website.

Thirty-six states chose not to set up their exchanges, a move that effectively froze Washington, D.C. out of the authority to pay subsidies and other pot-sweeteners to convince citizens in those states to buy medical insurance.  However, the IRS overstepped its authority promising to pay subsidies in those states anyway.

The imperious leaders of the have nots now have the government, and tradition, laws, and history all take a back seat to the alliance of Progressives who want to have it all.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

It’s Worse Than You Think: Why the Administration Must Make the Shutdown Hurt

government-shutdown-make-it-hurt-politifakeThe word is out, no thanks to the unmanned drones who run the “legitimate media.” This administration is purposely trying to make the government shutdown as painful as possible. You’ve got to give them credit for creativity in this: With only 17% of the monstrosity being closed, you really have to search for ways this is hurting anybody.
Even the federal worker trotted out on NPR this morning, who has been relegated to building toy block castles with his young son during the days of furlough, will almost certainly get back pay to cover it all when it’s over. His time off is not a true layoff, but paid time off, with the timing of the payment the only thing still up in the air. Not only so, but it may be a learning experience for him, as the building of temporary castles is at least the production of something, which government workers generally know nothing about. See? Silver linings everywhere.
But whence cometh this desire to make it hurt?
Sheer spite? No doubt.
Or is it the gaining of political advantage, as the pain of the shutdown will cause the unwashed masses to rise up and demand that the House of Representatives give the President everything he wants? That’s a part of it, certainly.
But right here is where conservatives and Constitutionalists get bitten. We’re betrayed by our own failure to think as long-term as the Marxists think. We think the present battle is the be-all and end-all of what’s going on in our opponents’ heads. The articles and radio talk shows that prove this assertion are legion. Conservatives are incensed because the libs are pulling a cheap, crass, and even cruel political stunt. How dare they!

Don’t be fooled. It’s deeper than that.
“Making sure it hurts” is the bald assertion of authority. We will, because we can, and you unelected folks out there need to be reminded of it.
Like when we were kids, assuming you were raised before civilization had evolved so high that it came up with neat, humane options like the dreaded Time Out, I remember sassing my Mom one day as we both stood at the kitchen sink. Before the final syllable of my clever comment had stopped resounding in the air, her hand shot out and lifted me a few inches off the ground with a loud smack. Lovingly, of course. But there was an unmistakable message in that staccato “Pow!” That message was, “I think you’ve forgotten who you are in relation to me, son. I’m going to help you recall that information.”
That’s what we’re really supposed to hear from Daddy O and Uncle Harry when they make sure it hurts. Discipline that doesn’t hurt will not be effective.
They are hoping to remind us all, even if it’s subtle for now, that they are always right and we really don’t get a say in the matter.
Rushdoony pointed out in his classic little work Law and Liberty that all socialistic or otherwise dictatorial governments must of necessity always be at war with some segment of its own citizenry. This is because those governments must, at all costs, protect the dictum that “the government is never wrong.”
They are the elites. They know better. About everything. Whatever meager scraps of individualism and free choice they leave you with, well, you oughtta just shut up and be thankful.
So when stuff goes wrong, even as a direct result of their own policies, overweening government must blame someone else. Political opponents are handy for filling this role. (Paging Ted Cruz.) So are outspoken critics, called dissidents and disturbers of the peace.
Someone must be blamed, and that someone must be punished. A truly socialistic paradise therefore is one in which the elites are always on the warpath.
Even as I write this, Fox News is foaming at the mouth about how “unfair” it is that proponents of immigration reform are being allowed to demonstrate on federal land that is closed to everyone else, due to the shutdown. Well, of course it’s unfair, but to protest about that is a grand exercise in Missing the Point.
You don’t think the government knows it’s being unequal in its treatment of citizens? C’mon.
You’re not hearing the message, which is: Agree with Big Brother and your life will go smoothly. Disagree and you will be punished. We’ll make it hurt.
Of course, the corollary to what I’m saying is this. Wage enough war against your own people and they’ll begin to think of you as a foreigner, a usurper who has no right to rule anymore. Not only must a socialist government always be at war with some of its people, but it must also be in constant fear of them. Children eventually grow up, after all, and might get tired of being smacked around.
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Check out Gordan Runyan’s book, Resistance to Tyrants: Romans 13 and the Christian Duty to Oppose Wicked Rulers, available in both paperback and Kindle formats.

Read more at http://lastresistance.com/3344/worse-think-administration-must-make-shutdown-hurt/#7Z9lfLYBky6TDlZG.99

Why Central-Planning Won’t Work

Failure to plan is planning to fail.  This truism has been a guiding light in my life and in the lives of countless others.  Without planning we would never accomplish much in life.  The haphazard serendipity of chance rarely adds up to a consistently positive result.  We all know people who seem like they can fall into a sewer and come up smelling like roses.  Most of us come up smelling like something quite different if we take the same fall.

On an individual basis planning is absolutely critical.  For society some things also need planning such as coining money, defending the nation, and delivering the mail.  All of these require planning and for all of these things it is possible to plan realistically and effectively.

There is no argument between the citizen supporters of constitutionally limited government and our perpetually re-elected Progressive collectivists and the fellow-travelers who support them about this. Some planning is both necessary and good.  However, this is where we part company.  Those who believe in a constitutionally limited government do not believe that it is possible or advisable to try to run an economy and a society through central planning.

The very attempt to use central planning short circuits the myriad of personal decisions which make up the routine functions of a free economy and that is the bedrock of a free society.  Every group that advocates central planning, no matter what they call themselves are Utopians who believe that they can do a better job making decisions for everyone than everyone can make for themselves.  That is the essence of the Nanny-state: government knows better and must protect us from our own bad choices.

There is one common feature that is clearly a part of all the various collectivist systems no matter what they call themselves.  They all call for the deliberate organization of society to accomplish identifiable social goals.  That a free society lacks this focus and its activities are guided by the personal whims and feelings of individuals all seeking their own good is always the complaint of the Utopians.

This brings the basic difference between the collectivists and the advocates of personal liberty into stark relief.  The different types of collectivists: Socialists, Communists, Fascists, and Progressives may differ as to the specific societal goals towards which they want to drive their populations, and they may differ in their methods depending upon the amount of control they exert over the choices of others.  However much they differ from each other they all uniformly differ from the advocates of individual freedom in that they wish to regiment all of society and all its resources to achieve whichever set of goals their particular brand of collectivism sees as the pathway to Nirvana.

Whatever the social goal is whether it’s called the great leap forward, a worker’s paradise, a classless society, the common good, the general welfare, or the Great Society it doesn’t take much reflection to see that these terms are so vague it’s impossible to determine their exact meaning so that any specific course of action could be decided upon.   It’s like a war on terror, or drugs, or obesity how are you supposed to know when the goal has been reached or victory achieved?

The welfare and happiness of people cannot be measured on a scale of more or less.  There are too many variables.  There are too many possible combinations of circumstances that can become either negatives or positives depending upon another set of widely diverse situations.  The “good” of any society cannot be expressed as simply or succinctly as the collectivists pretend.  It is just too complex.

To direct all of society’s energy and resource by one plan assumes that every need and desire is given a rank in order of importance and a place in order of time.  It also assumes that an absolute lineal order of occurrences must proceed from every action.  If this happens that will automatically occur.   Besides asserting through action that it is possible to order all things as one desires it also inherently expresses the idea that there is one universal set of ethics by which good and bad are obviously seen by the planners.  All of these assumptions, assertions and expressions are not only false they are obviously false.  No one is as smart as everyone.

The very idea of having a universally accepted and complete code of ethics is beyond the scope of human experience.  People are constantly choosing between different values as they go through their daily life.  What is best today in this situation may not be best tomorrow in that situation.  However, when all of society and all of its resources are to be harnessed and driven in one direction toward a preselected set of goals such a universal and complete set of ethics are not only a necessity they are a prerequisite for success.  Since this is unattainable success is also unattainable.  If this sounds harsh please view the tattered hulks and broken lives which litter the history of all Utopian collectivist societies.

Only God can plan the end from the beginning.  Only God has an ultimate and a true ethical code that is universally applicable to all people in all situations.  Only God has a right to order events to suit His purposes. He created all things, and all things exist because He holds them up. All things are His, and He has the ability and the right to do with them as He pleases.

The problem we face is that collectivism puts the state in the place of God.  Collectivists believe that government, through its bureaucracy, can make decisions and take action that could only work if designed and carried out with the aid of omniscience and omnipotence neither of which qualities have ever or will ever belong to government.

A scientist once said to God, “You’re not so much.  We have learned how to make life in our laboratories.”

God answered, “Is that so.”

The scientist proudly said, “Yes it is and I am willing to have a contest with you right now to see who can make life faster and better.”

“All right,” God said, “let’s go.”  With that God stooped down and picked up some dirt and started molding it into a man as the scientist grabbed his test tubes and started pouring liquids from one to another.

Just as God was about to blow the breath of life into His creation, he looked at the scientist and said, “Hey!  Get your own dirt.”

There is one thing I have learned in this life: God is God and I am not and neither is anyone or anything else.  Sounds like a pretty basic lesson; however, it took me about half of my life to learn.  If we could only get those entrusted with our government to learn the same thing maybe we would stop our slow slide into that long dark night.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

On Both Sides, Syrians Make Pleas to U.S.

lobby1-articleLarge
By ANNE BARNARD
BEIRUT, Lebanon — The video from Kafranbel, a rebel-held village in northern Syria, has been sent by e-mail to members of the United States Congress and posted repeatedly on their Web sites — often in long strings of comments about Syria that have flooded unrelated posts about health care or the openings of new constituent offices.

White House Adds Arab Support as It and Assad Use TV to Press Their Cases (September 9, 2013)

In Sana, Yemen, a protester who opposed a strike on Syria. Via Facebook, campaigns seek Congress votes against intervention.
Quoting Ronald Reagan and Martin Luther King Jr., the video shows village residents who have lost family members in President Bashar al-Assad’s crackdown on the Syrian uprising as they plead for American military strikes on their own country.

“You have to say yes!” one little boy shouts. A young girl adds, “You should feel ashamed, because you can save our lives but you never want to try.”

On the other side, equally passionate messages are bombarding the offices of American lawmakers from Syrians and Syrian-Americans who support Mr. Assad’s government — or simply oppose the armed uprising. They use antiwar slogans and symbols and stress the growing influence of militants linked to Al Qaeda among the rebels.

“You shouldn’t be standing against terrorism in Afghanistan and Mali, and when it comes to Syria, supporting it,” said Johnny Achi, a Syrian-American electronic engineer who has lived for decades in Los Angeles. He is visiting Damascus as he helps run a Facebook-based campaign to mobilize Syrian-Americans to lobby their representatives against military intervention.

As Congress prepares to debate whether to endorse President Obama’s proposed strike on the Assad government, administration figures have spread out to press their case, including Secretary of State John Kerry, who on Sunday made an effort to line up Arab support for intervention.

Simultaneously, on a more grass-roots level, the publicity war among Syrians to get their own messages out about the issue is also reaching a crescendo — and is just as assiduously focused on Capitol Hill and the American public.

Each side has increased efforts to connect with Americans on what it sees as common values, with the opposition stressing the fight for political rights in the face of a violent state crackdown and Mr. Assad’s supporters stressing the secularism of his government.

The Syrian government is pushing hard, too. Parliament members have sent letters to their American counterparts in Congress, and Mr. Assad used a television interview with Charlie Rose to assert that his government was not behind the chemical attacks that have ignited international outrage.

Grass-roots activists are building on expertise developed over the past two years as they used the Internet and social media to get information out about Syria. Informal armies of antigovernment activists have long pumped out videos of dead children being pulled from rubble, of warplanes attacking neighborhoods, and of security forces torturing prisoners, even as government supporters have shared videos of rebels killing prisoners or desecrating shrines.

Yet with lawmakers primarily focused on their own voters, the limits of citizen media campaigns across oceans and front lines are being tested. The question for Syrians is whether their voices — those of the people most directly affected — will be heard.

Mr. Achi’s group takes credit for helping change the minds of some fence-sitters, like Representative Michael G. Grimm, Republican of New York, who recently withdrew his support from Mr. Obama’s plan.

But others are not sure. K. Ibrahim, 33, fled Syria after being detained twice for anti-Assad activism and now runs a social media campaign to challenge the government’s claim that its opponents are primarily Islamist extremists. Yet she said she doubted her work would affect American decision makers.

“But for us, what can we do?” said Ms. Ibrahim, who asked to be identified by only part of her name for her safety. “We have to keep on shouting.”

Both sides work from a common assumption that most Americans paid little attention to Syria until the question of direct American strikes came up. (One brief history of Syria on a pro-strike Web site begins, “There was once an evil dictator named Hafez al-Assad.”) They assume that American voters operate from a basic antipathy to Middle East interventions after the Iraq war, and from a fear of Islamist extremists.

“It’s perhaps the first time they heard about Syria or tried to find Syria on a map,” Ms. Ibrahim said. “And they’re like, ‘Qaeda, Qaeda, Qaeda.’ Come on, you’re getting this out of context. You don’t have just a choice between Qaeda and Assad.”

Ms. Ibrahim, a member of Mr. Assad’s minority Alawite sect, organized a response to a social media campaign by United States service members who were posting pictures of themselves with signs such as: “I didn’t join the Marine Corps to fight for Al Qaeda in a Syrian civil war.”

In her countercampaign, young Syrians have posted pictures of themselves engaged in decidedly non-extremist activities — drinking beer, wearing tight clothing, even laying out hashish on a table — with slogans like “I’m Qaeda? Seriously?”
Each side draws heavily on Syrians outside the country — not just Syrian Americans with the power of the vote, but activists elsewhere who have more security and better electricity and Internet connections.

White House Adds Arab Support as It and Assad Use TV to Press Their Cases (September 9, 2013)

Mr. Achi’s Facebook campaign is mirrored by others run by antigovernment expatriates in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, countries that have backed the rebels. Each side in turn accuses the other of lacking true grass-roots credentials — of acting as proxies for governments — and each denies it.

Yet some Syrians are reaching out from inside. Ugarit Dandash, a Syrian reporter for Al Mayadeen, a Lebanese television station that leans toward Mr. Assad, has posted videos of Syrians sitting on roofs and near military installations on Mount Qasioun, overlooking Damascus, saying a strike would happen “Over Our Dead Bodies.”

On the other side, in Kafranbel, Raed Fares, a former real estate agent, has won a measure of fame for his town with his humor-laced English-language protest banners aimed at Western audiences.

Working at first with cellphone cameras and sporadic and insecure Internet connections, Mr. Fares and his team eventually obtained video cameras and a satellite link, though they still struggle to find diesel to power their generators.

The video he personally sent to Congress, he said in a Skype interview, was his best and his most crucial.

“I think Congress and the American people need to know what the Syrian people inside Syria feel and think about the strike,” he said. “We are going to vanish if they leave us alone.”

Beyond the video’s heavy use of soaring music and images of children, its script aims directly at American skepticism about another war and recent protests that featured antiwar slogans.

“If you are really against the war, then you should support the U.S. strikes that can actually end the war,” Kenan Rahmani, a Syrian-American activist in Kafranbel, said in the video.

But that argument points to the extra challenge their side faces: The opposition is divided on the strike. The attack Mr. Obama seeks permission for is a limited strike, not the attempt to topple Mr. Assad or the full-scale supplying of arms to rebels that people in Kafranbel have often called for. And while some opposition activists see the strikes as too limited, others oppose any American intervention, saying it would undermine the independence of their movement.

Whether either side is having an effect is unclear. But an innocuous Aug. 29 post about health care on the Facebook page of Mike Rogers, a Congressman from Michigan, had garnered 1,962 comments by Sunday, most about the strikes, from people with Arabic names, many claiming to be inside Syria.

“Say YES!” one said. “Children need you.”

“NO,” another said. “It will only help Al Qaeda.”

EVIDENCE U.S. BRIBED MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD OFFICIALS

Document surfaces ahead of criminal trial of ousted leaders

by Jerome Corsi
money-list-brotherhoodOfficial Morsi government document: “Direction of Grants and Gifts for 2013,” submitted by Hamad bin Jasim bin Jabor Al Thani, former Qatari prime minister and foreign affairs minister
A question apparently being raised in next week’s trial in Cairo of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders facing criminal charges is this: Was the Obama administration paying bribes as large as $850,000 a year to the Morsi government that were distributed by top ministerial level officials to Muslim Brotherhood leaders, with the direct involvement of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo?

WND is in possession of an official document from inside the Morsi government that lends credibility to a report published in Arabic by an Egyptian newspaper in Cairo that lists the charges brought by the current military-controlled government against Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

As seen above, WND has obtained official records from the deposed Morsi government in Egypt, with signatures, documenting monthly “gifts” paid to Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt by the former prime minister and foreign minister of Qatar, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani.

The document was seized from Egyptian government offices in Cairo when the Morsi government was deposed by the military July 3.

As translated by former PLO member and native Arabic-speaker Walid Shoebat, the monthly “gifts” listed in the document amount to bribes paid by the Morsi government to leading Muslim Brotherhood members in Egypt, including an annual payment of $750,000 to $850,000 in U.S. dollars.

Shoebat explained to WND the names listed on the Egyptian government document correspond to information the Egyptian newspaper Almesryoon has just published in Egypt reporting that the Cairo district attorney’s office has begun investigating alleged bribes the U.S. has paid through its embassy in Cairo to the Muslim Brotherhood.

According to the newspaper: “A judicial source stated that the Attorney General Hisham Barakat received during the past few days a number of filed complaints accusing the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and leaders of the centrist party of receiving bribes thinly disguised as ‘gifts’ paid through the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.”

The sources of the complaint stated that among those receiving bribes paid in U.S. dollars from the U.S. include:

Mohamed Badie, general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood;
Khairat Al-Shater, deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and businessman;
Mohamed Beltagy, the deputy head of the Freedom and Justice Party, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party in Egypt, and the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood group, Essam el-Erian;
Abu Ela Mady, head of the Wasat Party; and
Essam Sultan, deputy head of the Wasat Party.
“What this document suggests,” Shoebot explained to WND, “is that the report the Egyptian newspaper Almesryoon published in Cairo may be correct in that it appears the U.S. government was paying monthly bribes in U.S. dollars, with payments as large as $85,000 a month, to top Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt, with the money being passed from the United States through the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to the Morsi government.”

Shoebat stressed to WND that the signatures seen in the document mean it could be used as evidence in the upcoming trials of key Muslim Brotherhood leaders, slated to begin Aug. 25 in Cairo.

Shoebat also noted that the names listed in the document match the names in the Egyptian newspaper Almesryoon, including Mohamed Beltagy.

Reading closely the Almesryoon report, Shoebat concluded the document is likely to be among the evidence the current government of Egypt plans to introduce in its prosecution of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

The charges being brought in Cairo next week include not only bribes being taken in U.S. dollars from the U.S. Embassy, but also murders and assassinations, prison escapes, sniping at and the indiscriminate killing of demonstrators, and spying or being a double-agent collaborating with foreign governments, including both the U.S. and Qatar.

“The criminal charge being reported against the Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Cairo suggest these are major trials about to start,” Shoebat explained to WND.

“And with government documents entered into evidence, like the one WND is publishing, the criminal charges will likely be construed as capital offenses, with death by hanging the likely sentence.”

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/08/evidence-u-s-bribed-muslim-brotherhood-officials/#xEPDt9V4QBQ8PX59.99

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