Archive for July, 2009

Obama’s Plunging Polls Correspond To America’s Plunging Economy

July 31, 2009

President Obama’s biggest calender item yesterday was his scheduled “having a beer” with his good friend Henry Louis Gates and the man that both Gates (directly) and Obama (indirectly) called a racist, Sgt. James Crowley.  By sitting down for a beer, Obama was attempting to turn the giant turd he laid at his fourth prime time news conference in six months (which is how many George Bush gave in 8 entire YEARS btw) into a gold-plated turd.

I hope the three men clink their glasses to Obama’s plummeting poll numbers and America’s plummeting economy while they pondered why ‘Skip’ Gates is such a bigot and why Barry Obama acted so stupidly by claiming the Cambridge police “acted stupidly.”

Rasmussen has Obama at a -12 approval rating measuring the difference between those who strongly approve and those who strongly disapprove of his presidency; and he is now at only 48% approval – a far cry from his halcyon days of being in the high 60s.  Only 34% of likely voters think the country is headed in the right direction.  And 49% believe America’s best days have come and gone, versus only 38% who think the country will improve.

The hope that once swelled the hearts of Obama voters is fading fast – especially in the swing states he needs to win to have any chance at either future re-election or even current relevance.  “Hope and change” now means, “I hope I still have some change left in my pocket at the end of the month.”

As U.S. recession bites, Ohio hopes fade for Obama
Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:12am EDT
By Nick Carey

TOLEDO, Ohio (Reuters) – Hope and jobs are in short supply in Ohio eight months after President Barack Obama won the recession-battered state in the 2008 election with promises of a better future.

“People were looking for a savior to get us out of this mess and that’s why they voted for Obama,” said Jeff Fravor, 55, a retired train conductor on his way to breakfast on the outskirts of Toledo.

“I’ve nothing against Obama personally, but he’s new to the job and ‘hope’ won’t fix this mess.”

Candidate Obama delivered his message over and over again in Ohio, a politically diverse battleground state that often decides presidential elections. Obama went back to the state last week with an approval rating below 50 percent.

A Quinnipiac University opinion poll released on July 7 showed the Democratic president’s popularity in America’s seventh most populous state had fallen to 49 percent from 62 per cent in May. Even worse for Obama, 48 percent said they disapproved of his handling of the U.S. economy, with 46 percent approving.

The reason for the poll drop? Rising unemployment.

The downturn has pummeled Ohio’s manufacturing base.

“As jobs have gone away, that has created a true focus here on job creation,” said Andrew Doehrel, head of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. “People look at what’s been done on a federal level in terms of bailouts and stimulus and they see that this has not equated to anything more than lost jobs in Ohio.”

Ohio has not been the state hardest hit by the U.S. recession that began in December 2007, but it is not far off.

Unemployment in the state of 11.5 million people reached 11.1 percent in June, compared with the national rate of 9.5 percent, making it the seventh highest rate in the country. Michigan was first with a rate of 15.2 percent.

TWICE THE UNEMPLOYMENT

Ohio’s unemployment has nearly doubled from 5.7 percent in January 2008. That is not a good start for Obama in a state with 20 electoral votes that could be vital for his re-election effort in 2012.

“It’s not a surprise Obama’s numbers have fallen here and they’ll continue to go down as long as jobs keep being lost here,” said Jim Rokakis, treasurer for Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland where unemployment hit 10.1 percent in June. “Americans always want a quick fix to problems, but they are going to relearn patience this time round.”

Toledo in northwest Ohio has been especially hard hit by the recession, in particular because of the auto industry-related plants that dot the area.

“Obama set expectations too high here and six months later, things haven’t got better, so some people are losing hope,” said John Johnson, branch manager of the Southeastern Container Inc plant in nearby Bowling Green, which makes plastic bottles for Coca-Cola Co..

Johnson said he had to turn away qualified workers from auto-related plastic companies seeking work. “When people are out of work for a long time, they become very impatient.”

Unemployment hit 14.2 percent in June in Toledo, a city of about 315,000 people. Many of the roads in and out of the city are in a poor state of repair and many downtown stores have closed down. Manufacturing brought the city wealth, so plant closures have taken a heavy toll.

‘DEPRESSION’

“We’re not just in a recession here, it’s a depression,” said Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner. “This downturn has left Ohioans wondering if we’ve lost our place in the sun.”

According to a midyear survey from real estate service company CB Richard Ellis Reichle Klein, Toledo’s retail vacancy rate hit a record level of 14.6 percent.

“Everybody is having a hard time just existing right now,” said Bob Shelley, 72, who runs Shelley Rubber Stamp & Sign Inc for his father in downtown Toledo. “All businesses have been hit, so everybody’s giving everybody a break right now.”

Shelley said he felt Obama had an overcrowded agenda.

“He’s trying to satisfy everyone at once and he’s trying to rush everything through Congress,” he said. “But if you rush like that, you’re bound to make mistakes.”

Angie Carter, 32, a market research analyst in downtown Toledo, said she voted for Obama and he just needed time.

“This is a recession and we live in a manufacturing state,” she said on a cigarette break. “It’s going to take time to turn it around.”

When touting his $787 billion stimulus package earlier this year, Obama cautioned that a recovery would take time.

The president also has time to recover in Ohio if jobs come back. Aware of its importance, he was there last week to tout his healthcare plans. The last candidate who won Ohio but lost the election was Republican Richard Nixon in 1960.

Rokakis said Obama’s speech in Cleveland on July 23 was no accident.

“Obama is a smart man and he knows how important Ohio is,”

The article portrays Obama as having said that recovery would take time under his stimulus.  It fails to mention that the Obama administration – in pushing the failed stimulus package through Congress – predicted that unemployment would rise no higher than 8% if his stimulus passed.

As bad as things are now, there is no realistic reason to believe they will get better.  Meredith Whitney, the Wall Street analyst who gained much credibility in predicting the mortgage meltdown, is predicting unemployment will rise to 13% or higher.

The date for a housing market recovery stretches to 2015.

Obama’s deficits are soaring to stunning levels.  Back in March the Congressional Budget Office estimated that Obama’s “huge annual budget deficits that would force the nation to borrow nearly $9.3 trillion over the next decade — $2.3 trillion more than the president predicted when he unveiled his budget request just one month ago.” And that mindbogglingly ginormous figure doesn’t include the trillion plus hole we would dig passing Obama’s health care plan.

As the Wall Street Journal’s Michael Boskin puts it:

Mr. Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget blueprint, by his own admission, redefines the role of government in our economy and society. The budget more than doubles the national debt held by the public, adding more to the debt than all previous presidents — from George Washington to George W. Bush — combined.”

Obama has blamed President Bush for the deficits, but not only has he racked up far more debt than did Bush, but as a Senator Obama actually voted for the very Bush-budget that Obama is now blaming on Bush – including the $700 billion TARP bailout.

It is also worth knowing that the federal government has exposed itself to $23.7 trillion in risks with its bailouts since TARP (which is turning out to be a thinly disguised anagram for “TRAP”).

Those massive deficits guarantee future economic pain, but recent developments are beginning to show that our future pain may already be here right now:

Weak Treasury Auctions Raise Worries About US Debt Burden
By: Reuters     Wednesday, 29 Jul 2009

The U.S. Treasury sold $39 billion in five-year debt Wednesday in an auction that drew poor demand, raising worries over the cost of financing the government’s burgeoning budget deficit.

It was the second lackluster showing in as many days,  convincing analysts that the stellar results of debt auctions just a few weeks ago were a fluke and that Thursday’s $28 billion seven-year offering could suffer a similar fate.

Under the weight of the ballooning deficit, the government has raised auction volumes and analysts now wonder whether the strain on the market is showing.

“Obviously everyone is inferring that tomorrow’s won’t be good either,” said James Combias, head of government bond trading at Mizuho Securities USA in New York. “Maybe you will see more interest tomorrow but I think the increase in the auctions and the size of them may be starting to have an effect. These are very large auctions.”

We are witnessing a terrifying unfolding scenario in which “Interest due on the debt could easily be $1 trillion toward the end of the next decade.”

Like the Texas Hold’em player who pushes every last dime into the center of a poker table, the federal government is now “all in” with its commitment to push the national debt to 50% of GDP. The Congressional Budget Office believes that the Treasury will have to borrow nearly $2 trillion this year. None of that is new news, but what is beginning to emerge is a picture of a government which has narrowed its options for improving the economy down to one. Either GDP turns sharply up next year or the deficit will become an unmanageable burden. The Treasury will have to default on interest payments if sharply raising taxes in 2010 and 2011 does not bring IRS receipts to historic highs. That would not appear to be likely with unemployment moving toward 10% and American corporate earnings badly crippled.

You may not know it, but your government under Obama has gambled this country’s future – and gambled poorly.  Obama believed his $787 billion stimulus – which was actually scored by the CBO to be $3.27 trillion – would stimulate big, but it has been a total dud.  And as we continue to pile on debt on top of debt on top of debt, and combine that with continuing high unemployment and low economic output, the result is insolvency and doom.  And it is already beginning to rush toward us like an enraged Kodiak bear.

Some are pointing at the seemingly recovering Dow Index to argue that the worst is behind us and that we are on the road to recovery.  As reported by Reuters:

No Economic Recovery in Sight, Only Inflation
Mon May 11, 2009 9:01am EDT

FORT LEE, N.J., May 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The National Inflation Association yesterday released the following statement to its http://inflation.us members:

“Wall Street would like you to believe that the Dow Jones’ recent 33% rally from March’s low is due to improving economic fundamentals, but it is our belief this rally is due to nothing but inflation.

“Jobs data released on Friday shows that U.S. employers cut 539,000 jobs in April, the fewest since October. However, these numbers were artificially strong due to the U.S. government increasing their payrolls by 72,000, which included the hiring of about 60,000 temporary workers in preparation for the 2010 census.

“Government jobs are non-productive jobs that normally get paid for by taxpayers. However, because the U.S. already has a huge budget deficit with tax revenues likely to decline substantially, these jobs will be paid for through inflation. An increase in government jobs is not a sign that the economy is improving, but only a sign that we are digging our economy into a deeper hole that will ultimately lead to the U.S. dollar collapsing.

“Even Warren Buffett, who is a huge supporter of Obama and has defended his economic policies, said last week that with political leaders showing little inclination to raise taxes, the only way to pay for excess spending will be by inflating the currency and shrinking the value of the dollar.

The worst of the recession is not behind us. Nominally, anything can happen to the Dow Jones. If the Federal Reserve prints enough money, the Dow Jones could go back to 14,000, but it won’t mean anything if it costs $2,000 to fill your refrigerator with groceries.

Obama’s spending has put us into a genuine crisis: we are now in a situation where any recovery will be immediately followed by sharp increases in inflation, unless government either sharply raise taxes across the board (which will undermine the economy) or unless they sharply raise interest rates (which will also undermine the economy).  Both options are politically unacceptable.

You’d better be thinking about getting a wheelbarrow, because you’re eventually going to need to one to bring enough cash to the grocery store to buy your daily bread.

That was my long-winded way of saying that Obama’s polls are likely to drop to the point where angry villagers armed with pitchforks and torches start storming Castle Obamastein as the economy drops right along with his popularity by the end of his one-term presidency.

Man Who Doesn’t Know How To Sell His Own House In Charge Of Fixing Housing Industry

July 31, 2009

The video is hilarious – and devastating.

I couldn’t get it to embed, but if you’d like a laugh, watch it here.

The Wall Street Journal (which also posts the video at the link below) takes a moment to take the message that comes out of this skewering seriously: just what kind of fools do we have running our economy?  And we can answer by saying, “Turbo Tax Tim Geithner.”

Daily Show Gets Some Laughs Out of Geithner’s Home Troubles

By Conor Dougherty

Last night The Daily Show had some fun with the difficulty Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is having in selling his Larchmont, NY home, calling it a “toxic asset” and referring to his blue tile bathroom as “ghastly.” It also makes jokes that Mr. Geithner’s woes are the result of Fed policies “he helped to implement.”

Mr. Geithner, only a few months into his term, has already been through his share of late-night lampoonings, including this Saturday Night Live segment.

The Daily Show piece struck a little closer to home, literally. It starts by describing the thawing real estate market but noting a “tragic tale” about “a family forced to move when the father had to take a job in a different city, and now their well-appointed home remains unsold.” The house, of course, is Mr. Geithner’s.

The Daily Show interviews a real estate agent who says Mr. Geithner priced his house “way too high” but didn’t want to take a price reduction. According to the piece, Mr. Geithner bought his house during the 2004 peak for $1.6 million but, despite the subsequent falloff in prices, listed it for slightly more.

The Daily Show drags out Yale Economist Robert Shiller for a little perspective on the matter.

“Is it not like hiring a personal trainer who is morbidly obese?” Daily Show correspondent John Oliver asks Mr. Shiller, about hiring a Treasury secretary who can’t seem to navigate the real estate market.

“Its not that bad…but yes, it is bad,” Mr. Shiller says, in an interview where it’s not clear if he’s talking about the Treasury secretary or the broader real estate market.

And then it just gets silly, with Mr. Shiller critiquing the blue tile in Mr. Geithner’s bathroom and suggesting a piece of “accent furniture.”

Unfortunately, the only thing Geithner’s boss ever sold is community organizing.

If I may take a moment to be serious, also.  You could tell watching the video that economist Robert Shiller wanted to defend his personal friend Timothy Geithner.  But the comic – who likely did some significant editing of the interview – made mincemeat out of Shiller.

This is what too often happens in our “news” coverage.  A biased reporter manages to get exactly what he or she wants in order to spin the story to reflect the desired propaganda slant.  Journalists pick the stories they want to cover, pick the specific aspect, angle, or ‘slant’ they want to cover, pick the experts they want to interview, decide whether to be critical or accepting of the expert’s analysis, decide which questions to ask, and then edits both the interviews and the overall story.  The level of potential bias increases with each iteration.

I cited a significant passage of Bernard Goldberg’s book Bias in an article I wrote on media bias that is worth reading in the first block quote of the article.  A journalist exposes what has routinely passed for “journalism.”

In this rare case from The Daily Show, a Democrat named Tim Geithner is the victim of a highly edited humor piece.  The other 99.999% of the time, it is conservatives who suffer by this technique.

911 Caller In Gates Case Gets Death Threats As ‘Racist’: But Who Are The REAL Racists?

July 30, 2009

It is genuinely sad.  The woman who tried to help by stopping a possible crime ends up receiving death threats and denounced as a racist.

The now-demonized 911 caller never even mentioned the race of the men until she was ASKED by the 911 operator:

911: Were they white, black or Hispanic?

Whalen: Umm, well there were two larger men, one looked kind of Hispanic but I’m not really sure. And the other one entered and I didn’t see what he looked like at all.

And even then she didn’t say that the men were black.

But that doesn’t stop the REAL racists from attacking her.

Lucia Whalen tearfully said, “I was called racist – I was scorned and ridiculed because of things I never said.”  And the people who made her cry, the people who attacked a woman who performed a public service by getting involved and calling the police when she witnessed a possible crime in progress, are the ones who are racist.

911 caller in Gates case hurt by racist label

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — The woman who dialed 911 to report a possible break-in at the home of black Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. said Thursday she was pained to be wrongly labeled a racist based on words she never said and hoped the recently released recording of the call would put the controversy to rest.

With a trembling voice, Lucia Whalen, 40, said she was out walking to lunch in Gates’ Cambridge neighborhood near Harvard University when an elderly woman without a cell phone stopped her because she was concerned there was a possible burglary in progress.

Whalen was vilified as a racist on blogs after a police report said she described the possible burglars as “two black males with backpacks.”

Tapes of the call released earlier this week revealed that Whalen did not mention race. When pressed by a dispatcher on whether the men were white, black or Hispanic, she said one of them might have been Hispanic.

“Now that the tapes are out, I hope people can see that I tried to be careful and honest with my words,” Whalen said. “It never occurred to me that the way I reported what I saw be analyzed by an entire nation.”

Cambridge police Commissioner Robert Haas acknowledged that the police report contains a reference to race, but said the report is merely a summary of events. The arresting officer, Sgt. James Crowley, has said his information on the race of the suspects came during a brief encounter with Whalen outside Gates’ house; she contradicted that Thursday, saying she made no such description.

The arrest of Gates for disorderly conduct in his own home by a white police officer sparked a national debate over racial profiling and police conduct. The controversy intensified when President Obama said police “acted stupidly” when they arrested Gates, his friend.

Gates has said he was outraged and has demanded an apology from Crowley; Crowley said he followed protocol and responded to Gates’ “tumultuous behavior” appropriately.

Whalen, a Harvard alumni magazine employee who is a first-generation Portuguese-American, said she lived in fear during the immediate aftermath of the arrest when she was dogged for comment and maligned based on the information attributed to her in the police report.

“The criticism at first was so painful I was frankly afraid to say anything. People called me racist. Some even said threatening things that made me fear for my safety,” said Whalen, whose husband, Paul, put his hand on her shoulder in comfort her as she spoke. “I knew the truth, but I didn’t speak up right away because I did not want to add to the controversy.”

She said she felt more comfortable speaking publicly after the tapes were released. She refused to answer any questions about the police report or what she saw that day.

“I am proud to have been raised by two loving parents who instilled in me values including love one another, be kind to strangers and do not judge people based on race, ethnicity or any other feature than their character,” she said. [...]

“I was called racist and I was a target of scorn and ridicule because of the things I never said,” she said. “The criticism hurt me as a person, but it also hurt the community of Cambridge.”

Lucia Whalen was raised by her parents to love one another, to be kind to strangers, and to not judge people based on their race, ethnicity, or any other feature but their character.  Martin Luther King would have applauded her as everything he wanted to see in an American.

But the “Civil Rights” movement was long-ago hijacked by people who actively despise Martin Luther King’s prescription:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Unfortunately, we now have men like Henry Louis Gates, Jeremiah Wright, and the close personal friend of both men, Barack Obama.  And they are men who seem to have King’s standard turned completely around.

Watch Henry Louis Gates and tell me that he isn’t consumed by race and by racism, as opposed to concentrating upon the content of anybody’s character:

Here’s another little racist gem from Henry Louis Gates:

GATES: Probably. I didn’t know until — in 1959 we were watching Mike Wallace’s documentary called “The Hate that Hate Produced.” It was about the Nation of Islam and I couldn’t believe — I mean, Malcolm X was talking about the white man was the devil and standing up in white people’s faces and telling them off. It was great. I mean, it’s what black people did behind closed doors, but they would never do it in — I mean, they were too vulnerable to do it, say, where they worked, at the paper mill or downtown, as we would call it. And here was a guy who had the nerve to do that, and I think if I had been a character in a cartoon, my eyes would have gone Doing! — like this. I couldn’t believe it. As I sat cowering in a corner of our living room, I glanced over at Mama and her face was radiant. I mean, this smile — beatific smile started to transform her face. And she said quite quietly, “Amen.” And then she said, “All right now,” and she sat up and she said, “Yes.”

Gates describes his and his mother’s experience with hard-core racism – the labeling of an entire race of people as “devils” – as a spiritual epiphany bordering on a religious experience.  And what chance did Sgt. James Crowley have when a 911 call reporting a possible break-in have when he encountered such fanatic racist zeal?

And there’s absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Sgt. James Crowley – who appears to be a model police officer – thinks anywhere nearly as poorly of black men as Henry Louis Gates thinks of white men.  And it has been Gates who has made the incident not only racial but racist since the moment he first laid eyes on Sgt. Crowley.  Because Gates was a racist since long before the two men ever met.

Now add another racially biased man who “acted stupidly,” Barack Obama.  From the LA Times on July 25, 2009 (page A18):

Describing Crowley as an “outstanding police officer,” the president said: “Even when you’ve got a police officer who has a fine track record on racial sensitivity, interactions between police officers and the African American community can sometimes be fraught with misunderstanding.”

That’s nice, Barry.  Are you saying that even an outstanding (white) police officer is still racially biased, or are you saying that the African American community is so trapped in racism – like Obama’s own close personal friend ‘Skip’ Gates – that it doesn’t really matter how racially sensitive a white officer is?

Obama once said of his white grandmother:

“The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity, but that she is a typical white person. If she sees somebody on the street that she doesn’t know – there’s a reaction in her that’s been bred into our experiences that don’t go away and sometimes come out in the wrong way and that’s just the nature of race in our society.”

Maybe Obama is saying that Sgt. Crowley, as a “typical white person,” has his racism “bred into him”?  (Didn’t Jimmy the Greek get fired for saying something about racial “breeding”?).  Perhaps THAT is why Obama was so quick to jump to the conclusion of racial bias – even right after admitting that he didn’t know any of the facts of the case – in his now infamous press conference?

Let us not forget, in the first Jeremiah Wright sermon Barack Obama ever heard he heard Wright describe a world where where white folks’ greed runs a world in need. And something clicked for Obama so powerfully that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright became his pastor, his mentor, and his spiritual leader for the next 23 years.  And Barack Obama voluntarily submitted himself and his family to plenty of sermons demonizing the white man in the years since.

I listened to the tapes of the hateful sermons that came out of Barack Obama’s Trinity United Church, and I couldn’t get past the question, “How could Obama stay there for so long?”  Obama said that none of those hateful messages impacted him, but there is little question that they in fact affected him deeply.

This isn’t about whites vs. blacks.  There are plenty of decent people of both races.  Take a black female police officer who stood by her fellow police officer, was appalled by the racist displays she saw, and said, “I voted for Obama.  I will not vote for him again.”

And there are plenty of slimebags of both races too.  A Boston police officer who had nothing whatsoever to do with the Gates arrest called Gates a disgusting racist slur which I shall not repeat in an email.

There are racist white people.  There are racist black people.  And God knows we don’t need any more of either.  The question is, who showed their racism in THIS case?  Lucia Whalen and Sgt. James Crowley, or Henry Louis Gates and Barack Obama?

This isn’t about whites vs. blacks.  Rather, it’s about a terribly bitter attitude that holds on to racism and officially institutes that racism into social policy – this time just in reverse.  It’s perfectly okay to embrace naked racism, as long as you are a member of a “minority.”  It’s okay to embrace a “wise Latina” who thinks her decisions are better than those of a “white male”; but a white male who thinks the same of a minority be destroyed.  It’s okay to have a “Black Caucus” in Congress; just don’t you DARE have a white one.  And as a result the racism of that white Boston cop is rightly damned; the racism of a black Harvard African-American Studies professor is wrongly celebrated.

During his campaign, Barack Obama presented himself as a man who transcended race, and stood as the man who could heal any and all divides.  He spent 23 years in a racist church that demonized ‘white America,’ but we believed him because he gave a nice speech.  He selected a racially biased “wise Latina woman” who trampled on the rights of white firefighters in New Haven, Connecticut.  But that doesn’t appear to matter, either.  And now he’s demonstrating that he holds the same racially biased attitutudes as his “friends.”  And he doesn’t transcend anything.

That shows in a CNN survey of African-Americans and how they feel about race relations.

“During the 2008 election, 38 percent of blacks surveyed thought racial discrimination was a serious problem. In the new survey, 55 percent of blacks surveyed believed it was a serious problem, which is about the same level as it was in 2000.”

It is frankly amazing to consider that Barack Obama – the first black president of the United States – hasn’t done ANYTHING to change the racial attitude of African-Americans.  And the only possible conclusion is that this president has utterly squandered a truly historic opportunity due to his own increasingly apparent personal inadequacies.

I most certainly think race relations has become a serious problem due to Barack Obama.  Because he could not help but drag the ghosts of too many men like Jeremiah Wright and Henry Louis Gates with him.  And Barack Obama may have the political intelligence to say the “right” things in the future, but – to quote one of his speeches – they will be “just words.”

When Obama, Gates, and Crowley (who is reportedly bringing a lawyer and a union representative to the meeting) get together for a “beer,” you can bet that there will be a lot of empty and hollow “just words” floating around.  This entire meeting is nothing more than a political attempt by Obama to fix his own major screw-up.

Rampant Democrat Corruption Extends To Most Powerful Leaders

July 29, 2009

Right now, three of the most powerful Democrats are documented corrupt scumbags.

Charles Rangel, Chairman of the powerful tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee is a tax cheat.  Chris Dodd, the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, took corrupt mortgage loans from a corrupt mortgage lender at the epicenter of the mortgage meltdown crisis.  Kent Conrad, the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, also took such loans.

These men are incredibly influential in the writing of laws and legislation that will absorb most of the economy under their power.  And they are corrupt.

We were entertained at the beginning of the Obama administration as it became painfully obvious that it was hard to find an honest Democrat who actually paid the taxes that they hypocritically wanted everyone else to pay.  Many fell by the wayside, but “Turbo Tax” Tim Geithner’s personal dishonesty in paying his taxes didn’t stand in the way of his being Obama’s choice to become the Treasury Secretary in charge of enforcing tax laws.

Let’s start with the man who writes your tax laws but doesn’t want to follow his own laws and pay his own taxes: Charles Rangel.

The man has all kinds of issues, such as selfishly and greedily taking rent-controlled property meant for poor people.  It’s hard to say which is worse, but don’t forget to consider what he did in buying pricey beachfront rental property and then refusing to pay taxes on his substantial income:

JULY 27, 2009, 4:28 P.M. ET

Morality and Charlie Rangel’s Taxes
It’s much easier to raise taxes if you don’t pay them.

Ever notice that those who endorse high taxes and those who actually pay them aren’t the same people? Consider the curious case of Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel, who is leading the charge for a new 5.4-percentage point income tax surcharge and recently called it “the moral thing to do.” About his own tax liability he seems less, well, fervent.

Exhibit A concerns a rental property Mr. Rangel purchased in 1987 at the Punta Cana Yacht Club in the Dominican Republic. The rental income from that property ought to be substantial since it is a luxury beach-front villa and is more often than not rented out. But when the National Legal and Policy Center looked at Mr. Rangel’s House financial disclosure forms in August, it noted that his reported income looked suspiciously low. In 2004 and 2005, he reported no more than $5,000, and in 2006 and 2007 no income at all from the property.

The Congressman initially denied there was any unreported income. But reporters quickly showed that the villa is among the most desirable at Punta Cana and that it rents for $500 a night in the low season, and as much as $1,100 a night in peak season. Last year it was fully booked between December 15 and April 15.

Mr. Rangel soon admitted having failed to report rental income of $75,000 over the years. First he blamed his wife for the oversight because he said she was supposed to be managing the property. Then he blamed the language barrier. “Every time I thought I was getting somewhere, they’d start speaking Spanish,” Mr. Rangel explained.

Mr. Rangel promised last fall to amend his tax returns, pay what is due and correct the information on his annual financial disclosure form. But the deadline for the 2008 filing was May 15 and as of last week he still had not filed. His press spokesman declined to answer questions about anything related to his ethics problems.

Besides not paying those pesky taxes, Mr. Rangel had other reasons for wanting to hide income. As the tenant of four rent-stabilized apartments in Harlem, the Congressman needed to keep his annual reported income below $175,000, lest he be ineligible as a hardship case for rent control. (He also used one of the apartments as an office in violation of rent-control rules, but that’s another story.)

Mr. Rangel said last fall that “I never had any idea that I got any income’’ from the villa. Try using that one the next time the IRS comes after you. Equally interesting is his claim that he didn’t know that the developer of the Dominican Republic villa had converted his $52,000 mortgage to an interest-free loan in 1990. That would seem to violate House rules on gifts, which say Members may only accept loans on “terms that are generally available to the public.” Try getting an interest-free loan from your banker.

The National Legal and Policy Center also says it has confirmed that Mr. Rangel owned a home in Washington from 1971-2000 and during that time claimed a “homestead” exemption that allowed him to save on his District of Columbia property taxes. However, the homestead exemption only applies to a principal residence, and the Washington home could not have qualified as such since Mr. Rangel’s rent-stabilized apartments in New York have the same requirement.

The House Ethics Committee is investigating Mr. Rangel on no fewer than six separate issues, including his failure to report the no-interest loan on his Punta Cana villa and his use of rent-stabilized apartments. It is also investigating his fund raising for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York. New York labor attorney Theodore Kheel, one of the principal owners of the Punta Cana resort, is an important donor to the Rangel Center.

All of this has previously appeared in print in one place or another, and we salute the reporters who did the leg work. We thought we’d summarize it now for readers who are confronted with the prospect of much higher tax bills, and who might like to know how a leading Democrat defines “moral” behavior when the taxes hit close to his homes.

Charlie Rangel is a man who has been patently dishonest for his entire public life.  Not that it matters to Democrats.  If you’re a Democrat, you can be caught red-handed with $90,000 of FBI bribe money in your freezer like William Jefferson and actually get re-elected the following year.

That leaves Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad (at least, for me today).

AP IMPACT: Dodd, Conrad told deals were sweetened

By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press Writer Larry Margasak, Associated Press Writer – Mon Jul 27, 9:52 pm ET

WASHINGTON – Despite their denials, influential Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad and Chris Dodd were told from the start they were getting VIP mortgage discounts from one of the nation’s largest lenders, the official who handled their loans has told Congress in secret testimony.

Both senators have said that at the time the mortgages were being written they didn’t know they were getting unique deals from Countrywide Financial Corp., the company that went on to lose billions of dollars on home loans to credit-strapped borrowers. Dodd still maintains he got no preferential treatment.

Dodd got two Countrywide mortgages in 2003, refinancing his home in Connecticut and another residence in Washington. Conrad’s two Countrywide mortgages in 2004 were for a beach house in Delaware and an eight-unit apartment building in Bismarck in his home state of North Dakota.

Robert Feinberg, who worked in Countrywide’s VIP section, told congressional investigators last month that the two senators were made aware that “who you know is basically how you’re coming in here.”

“You don’t say ‘no’ to the VIP,” Feinberg told Republican investigators for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, according to a transcript obtained by The Associated Press.

The next day, Feinberg testified before the Senate Ethics Committee, an indication the panel is actively investigating two of the chamber’s more powerful members:

Dodd heads the Banking Committee and is a major player in two big areas: solving the housing foreclosure and financial crises and putting together an overhaul of the U.S. health care system. A five-term senator, he is in a tough fight for re-election in 2010, partly because of the controversy over his mortgages.

Conrad chairs the Budget Committee. He, too, shares an important role in the health care debate, as well as on legislation to curb global warming.

Both senators were VIP borrowers in the program known as “friends of Angelo.” Angelo Mozilo was chief executive of Countrywide, which played a big part in the foreclosure crisis triggered by defaults on subprime loans. The Calabasas, Calif.-based company was bought last July by Bank of America Corp. for about $2.5 billion.

Mozilo has been charged with civil fraud and illegal insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission. He denies any wrongdoing.

Asked by a House Oversight investigator if Conrad, the North Dakota senator, “was aware that he was getting preferential treatment?” Feinberg answered: “Yes, he was aware.”

Referring to Dodd, the investigator asked:

“And do you know if during the course of your communications” with the senator or his wife “that you ever had an opportunity to share with them if they were getting special VIP treatment?”

“Yes, yes,” Feinberg replied. [...]

Countrywide VIPs, Feinberg told the committees, received discounts on rates, fees and points. Dodd received a break when Countrywide counted both his Connecticut and Washington homes as primary owner-occupied residences — a fiction, according to Feinberg. Conrad received a type of commercial loan that he was told Countrywide didn’t offer.

“The simple fact that Angelo Mozilo and other high-ranking executives at Countrywide were personally making sure Mr. Feinberg handled their loans right, is proof in itself that the senators knew they were getting sweetheart deals,” said Feinberg’s principal attorney, Anthony Salerno.

Two internal Countrywide documents in Dodd’s case and one in Conrad’s appear to contradict their statements about what they knew about their VIP loans.

At his Feb. 2 news conference, Dodd said he knew he was in a VIP program but insisted he was told by Countrywide, “It was nothing more than enhanced customer service … being able to get a person on the phone instead of an automated operator.”

He insisted he didn’t receive special treatment. However, the assertion was at odds with two Countrywide documents entitled “Loan Policy Analysis” that Dodd allowed reporters to review the same day.

The documents had separate columns: one showing points “actl chrgd” Dodd — zero; and a second column showing “policy” was to charge .250 points on one loan and .375 points on the other. Another heading on the documents said “reasons for override.” A notation under that heading identified a Countrywide section that approved the policy change for Dodd.

Mortgage points, sometimes called loan origination fees, are upfront fees based on a percentage of the loan. Each point is equal to 1 percent of the loan. The higher the points the lower the interest rate.

Dodd said he obtained the Countrywide documents in 2008, to learn details of his mortgages.

In Conrad’s case, an e-mail from Feinberg to Mozilo indicates Feinberg informed Conrad that Countrywide had a residential loan limit of a four-unit building. Conrad sought to finance an eight-unit apartment building in Bismarck that he had bought from his brothers.

“I did advise him I would check with you first since our maximum is 4 units,” Feinberg said in an April 23, 2004, internal e-mail to Mozilo.

Mozilo responded the same day that Feinberg should speak to another Countrywide executive and “see if he can make an exception due to the fact that the borrower is a senator.”

Feinberg said in his deposition with House Oversight investigators last month that exceptions for the type of loan Conrad received were not allowed for borrowers outside the VIP system.

“If there was a regular customer calling, and of course you say, ‘No, we’re a residential lender. We cannot provide you with that service,’” Feinberg said.

Feinberg also told House investigators that Countrywide counted both of Dodd’s homes as primary residences.

“He was allowed to do both of those as owner-occupied, which is not allowed. You can only have one owner-occupied property. You can’t live in two properties at the same time,” he said.

Normally, Feinberg said, a second home could require more equity and could have a higher mortgage rate.

Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the senior Republican on the House Oversight Committee, had his investigators question Feinberg as part of a broader investigation into Countrywide’s VIP program.

Other names that have surfaced as “friends” of Mozilo include James Johnson, a former head of Fannie Mae who later stepped down as an adviser to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, and Franklin Raines, who also headed Fannie Mae. Still other “friends” included retired athletes, a judge, a congressional aide and a newspaper executive.

Conrad initially said in June 2008, “If they did me a favor, they did it without my knowledge and without my requesting it.”

The next day, Conrad changed course after reviewing documents showing he got special treatment, and said he was donating $10,500 to charity and refinancing the loan on the apartment building with another lender. He also said then it appeared Countrywide had waived 1 point at closing on the beach house.

Gaddie said Feinberg has previously made statements to the news media that Countrywide waived 1 point without the senator’s knowledge.

Feinberg testified that VIPs usually were not told exactly how many points were being waived, but it was made clear to them that they were getting discounts.

And, of course, Barack Obama has his own sweetheart mortgage deal with his own scumbag, Tony Rezko.  Not to mention all kinds of other skeletons in his “Chicago Way” closet that were never investigated by a clearly biased press.  A lot of the most obvious corruption occurs through his wife Michelle Obama, who kept getting paid more and more on hospital boards as Obama advanced politically.  On hospitals that did some really nasty things, such as patient dumping which she might have participated in.

Democrats cry day after day that what the world needs is more government.

But consider something: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

No entity wields more absolute power, or is more corrupt, than government.

Democrats tell us every day that they are out to save us from evil big businesses.  But there is no one to save us from Democrats, or the intrusive giant octopus federal government behemoth they are seeking to create and empower to rule over virtually every aspect of our lives.

AmeriCorps Pledge Challenge: Read It Out Loud Without Sounding Like A Little Marxist

July 28, 2009

The AmeriCorps Pledge.  Try to read it out loud, WITHOUT sounding like you just joined the Young Pioneers or the Hitler Youth.

“As an AmeriCorps member, you are expected to adhere to the AmeriCorps pledge. ( If you don’t have a pledge certificate, ask your project director for one.) The pledge represents the commitment you have taken to serve not just this year, but in the years ahead.”

The AmeriCorps Pledge

I will get things done for America -
to make our people safer,
smarter, and healthier.

I will bring Americans together
to strengthen our communities.

Faced with apathy,
I will take action.

Faced with conflict,
I will seek common ground.

Faced with adversity,
I will persevere.

I will carry this commitment
with me this year and beyond.

I am an AmeriCorps member,
and I will get things done.

Ah, yes, the Solemn Promise:

I, Barry Hussein Obama,

joining the ranks of the V. I. Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization,

in the presence of my comrades solemnly promise:

to love and cherish my Motherland passionately,

to live as the great Lenin bade us,

as the Communist Party teaches us,

as require the laws of the Young Pioneers of the Soviet Union.

And let’s not forget the rules.  Rules are important, you know:

  • Young Pioneer is a young communism builder, labours for the welfare of the Motherland, prepares to become its defender.
  • Young Pioneer is an active fighter for peace, a friend to Young Pioneers and workers’ children of all countries.
  • Young Pioneer follows communists’ example, prepares to become a Komsomol member, leads Little Octobrists.
  • Young Pioneer upholds the honour of the organization, strengthens its authority by deeds and actions.
  • Young Pioneer is a reliable comrade, respects elder, looks after younger people, always acts according to conscience.
  • Young Pioneer has a right to elect and be elected to Young Pioneer self-government institutions, to discuss the functioning of the Young Pioneer organization on Young Pioneer gatherings, meetings, gatherings of Soviets of Young Pioneer detachments and Young Pioneer groups, in the press; to criticize shortcomings; to submit a proposal to any Soviet of the Young Pioneer organization, including the Central Soviet of the V. I. Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization; to ask for a recommendation of the Soviet of Young Pioneer group to join VLKSM.

Yes.  We need more of THAT kind of thing.  That’s why we so desperately need the Obama Youth now.  I had this brilliant idea of militarizing the Obama Youth into little fascist Brownshirts.  But – as the the following video demonstrates – someone beat me to it.  Those nice boys sure do adore their fuhrer, don’t they?

Oh, liberals love to say that Republicans are fascists.  That’s in spite of the fact that fascism is clearly a disorder of the political LEFT, and it’s in spite of the rather obvious fact Republicans never had their children bask adoringly in the beatific glory of a new Reich under George Bush or Dick Cheney.  And I somehow don’t remember “the cult of McCain” marching around, either chanting creepy slogans, either.

But no matter how many frightening parallels there might be, you know what Democrats will always say:

Not-Fascism-When-We-Do-It3

I still remember this glassy-eyed little girl singing, “We’re gonna spread happiness! We’re gonna spread freeeeedom! Obama’s gonna change it, Obama’s gonna lead ‘em…”  That one made me realize that we’re really not that far from finding ourselves in some weird sci-fi flick involving weird children taking over one city after another.  Is it those vacant doll eyes, or the words she’s singing, that are scarier?

Children used to sing songs to another leader:

Adolf Hitler is our Saviour, our hero
He is the noblest being in the whole wide world.
For Hitler we live, for Hitler we die.
Our Hitler is our Lord who rules a brave new world.

I have never heard children singing the praises of Reagan, or either Bush.  But there were freakish children crawling out of the woodwork to sing about their messiah Obama.  This bizarre devotion to a politician is as mystifying as it is terrifying to a student of history.

I remember this political re-education camp for kindergartners:

I still remember Louis Farrakhan saying:

“You are the instruments that God is gonna use to bring about universal change, and that is why Barack has captured the youth. And he has involved young people in a political process that they didn’t care anything about. That’s a sign. When the Messiah speaks, the youth will hear, and the Messiah is absolutely speaking.”

And I still remember Spike Lee saying:

It means that this is a whole new world. I think…I’ve been saying this before. You can divide history. BB Before Barack. AB After Barack.

I don’t know about you, but that’s how I date things now.  It’s the year One AB.  It helps me better understand why the Mayans predicted the cataclysmic apocalypse on December 21, 2012 (according to that old “pre-BB/AB” calender).  Unfortunately, Spike Lee’s Before Barack-After Barack calender only has four years in it before liberals completely ruin the world.  It’ll be just like the Ghostbusters said: “Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes!  The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!”

Okay, maybe it will just be no jobs, no economy, government control over all health care and all use of energy, and a bunch of weird fanatic kids running around taking over the world for Dear Leader Obama.

The Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act (GIVE) will massively increase the Americorps program to the tune of $6 billion.  The money quote:

But the bill’s opponents — and there are only a few in Congress — say it could cram ideology down the throats of young “volunteers,” many of whom could be forced into service since the bill creates a “Congressional Commission on Civic Service.”

NO! Cram ideology down the throats of young “volunteers”?  PREPOSTEROUS! Never gonna happen.  Okay, maybe it will happen just a little bit…

Quite a shame that only a few opposed this in Congress, given the fact that the model this new “Obama Youth” program is based upon – Americorps – qualifies as “number one” in Heritage.org’s list of political slush funds.

A political slush fund to indoctrinate younp people into leftist ideology?  What could possibly be wrong with that?

House Passes Volunteerism Bill Critics Call Pricey, Forced Service: The legislation will expand the1993 AmeriCorps program to match the renewed interest in national service since President Obama’s election, which backers say is crucial in tough economic times.

Denial of Service: The battle over AmeriCorps

Obama Axes AmeriCorps’ Inspector General (see my article for more on why this was so blatantly political and wrong).

AmeriCorps volunteers used for political purposes

Obama’s AmeriCrooks and Cronies Scandal

Americorps has a recruitment ad (which your dollars paid for) that is pure propaganda, associating themselves with people and events that have nothing whatsoever to do with them as they attempt to leech more and more government funding.

Now, all that sounds well and good.  But just consider that the communist Young Pioneers depicted themselves as loving and cherishing the Motherland passionately; being a builder and labouring for the welfare of the Motherland; being an active fighter for peace; being a friend to workers’ children of all countries; upholding the honor of the organization, and strengthening its authority by deeds and actions; being a reliable comrade; respecting elders, looking after younger people, and always acting according to conscience.  It all just sounds so good; can I sign up and be a communist Young Pioneer or join Americorps too?

Now, Glenn Beck came out with a theory which would sound preposterous unless you watched some of the videos above and realize a few key facts:

1) The minimum wage increase forced through by a Democrat-controlled Congress will result in over 10% of the minimum wage workforce losing their jobs.  Young people ages 18-24 will be far and away the hardest hit.  Young minimum wage workers WILL be hurt by this program.

2) Americorps is competing for the same people in the same age group.  “Volunteers” are actually paid to perform activities which are in fact political.

3) MICHELLE OBAMA on 2/18/2008 is on the record preaching, “Barack Obama will require you to work. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.”

Glenn Beck says,

They are steering our youth into community service. Ted Kennedy and his ilk are even pushing the idea of forced service. They’re incentivizing working for the government with promises of paying off college loans. The catch, of course, is you have to federalize your loan before they’ll pay it. He wants you to be a bureaucrat slave to government.

It’s hard to believe that a President of the United States would deliberately torpedo minimum wage jobs to force young people out of the private workplace and into one of his government “volunteer” service organizations.  But it was awfully hard for me to believe a lot of things I’ve seen this president do.

Obama has talked about “fundamentally changing the country.”  He has said, “We’ll transform America.”

Obama has incredibly radical theoretical constructs:

But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent as radical as people tried to characterize the Warren court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted, and the Warren court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can’t do to you, it says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf.

Even the Warren Court wasn’t radical enough for what Obama wanted to do.  He wanted to radically take the country further away from the founding fathers.

But to implement such “transformation” requires an army of leftist foot soldiers (preferably foot soldiers who are paid by federal funding, such as ACORN and AmeriCorps).  You need to have mobs to protest every “lack of government social resources”, to challenge the status quo at every turn, to push for the liberal social agenda.  You need those foot soldiers implanted in neighborhoods and cities across the country who are at the call of Team Obama – whether it’s answering the call to shake down banks, or form a housing entitlement mob, or foster voter fraud, or create statistical shenanigans with the census.  You need community organizers and the bitter mobs they organize.

Enter Obama and the organization he’s building:

“We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

Michelle Malkin has just written Culture of Corruption to explore “ObamaCorps” and how this army is being created.

There is another, even more sinister cospiracy.  Because all of this reminds me of the Cloward-Piven strategy:

In their 1966 article, Cloward and Piven charged that the ruling classes used welfare to weaken the poor; that by providing a social safety net, the rich doused the fires of rebellion. Poor people can advance only when “the rest of society is afraid of them,” Cloward told The New York Times on September 27, 1970. Rather than placating the poor with government hand-outs, wrote Cloward and Piven, activists should work to sabotage and destroy the welfare system; the collapse of the welfare state would ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation; poor people would rise in revolt; only then would “the rest of society” accept their demands.

The key to sparking this rebellion would be to expose the inadequacy of the welfare state. Cloward-Piven’s early promoters cited radical organizer Saul Alinsky as their inspiration. “Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules,” Alinsky wrote in his 1972 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judaeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system’s failure to “live up” to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist “rule book” with a socialist one.

I genuinely believe that Barack Obama – a follower of Saul Alinsky as well as the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate when he belonged to it to go along with a long and deep relationship with leftist radicals – is pursuing a “heads we win, tails you lose” strategy. If the economy somehow picks up under all of this massive spending and even more massive debt, then Democrats win big and Republicans lose. If – much more likely – the economy crashes under its own massive weight due to hyperinflation as interest payments on the debt soar, then a starving, terrified people will scream for help from their government. And Democrats will win the pure-socialist totalitarian state they have always envisioned. Either way, Obama liberals believe they will win big.

When Bill Clinton was president, I disagreed with many of his policies.  But I have no memory of being literally creeped out by any bizarre cult-like followings.  And I certainly didn’t constantly have to suffer legitimate fears that he was trying to fundamentally transform the very essence of America.

Miniumum Wage Increase Means Maximum Employment Decrease

July 27, 2009

The Democrats raised the national minimum wage from $6.55 to $7.25.  They claim that the additional earnings will help the economy.  Just like their stimulus did (right?).

Of course, raising the minimum wage is effectively a tax increase imposed primarily on small businesses.  Things always seem so easy when your spending other peoples’ money.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, goes the saying.  Whoever first said that surely must have had Democrats in mind.

The economist who literally wrote the book on Minimum Wages predicts that the minimum wage hike will result in the loss of 300,000 jobs.  And that’s a HUGE number, consider there are only 2.8 million minimum wage workers; it’s 10.7% of the total minimum wage work force!

THAT’S the way to help the economy!  THAT’S the way to help poor workers!

Anthony Randazo at Reason.org has an article entitled, “My Plan to Save 300,000 Jobs by Monday,” writing:

Supporters of the minimum wage like to believe that they are helping to raise wages. But since the pool of earnings for any business is not infinite, any increase in wages decreases the firms profitability. Generally this leads to some people getting fired, and many, many others not getting a job in the first place. With an unemployment rate of 9.5%, the government should be doing everything possible to encourage firms to hire people. How does making businesses pay their employees more in this down economy help create jobs?

U. Cal-Irvine economist David Neumark estimates in a study for the National Bureau of Economic Research that the impending wage increase will kill “about 300,000 jobs for those between the ages of 16-24.” The White House has projected (not counted) that the stimulus money has created 150,000 jobs so far. Even if that is true, it will soon be wiped out by this new limitation of business development. It is pretty simple math. If you don’t raise the minimum wage, the jobs are saved. End of story.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is on the record essentially saying that the Obama administration’s claim of having “created or saved” 150,000 jobs is tantamount to looking at clouds and seeing animals in the sky.  Which is just one among many, many reasons to laugh at the Obama “job creation” record.  Sadly, 300,000 actual real jobs lost is twice as many as the fake pretend jobs Obama claimed to “create or save.”

The Wall Street Journal has another catchy-titled article, “Mandating Unemployment: Congress prepares to kill more jobs:

Here’s some economic logic to ponder. The unemployment rate in June for American teenagers was 24%, for black teens it was 38%, and even White House economists are predicting more job losses. So how about raising the cost of that teenage labor?

Sorry to say, but that’s precisely what will happen on July 24, when the minimum wage will increase to $7.25 an hour from $6.55. The national wage floor will have increased 41% since the three-step hike was approved by the Democratic Congress in May 2007. Then the economy was humming, with an overall jobless rate of 4.5% and many entry-level jobs paying more than the minimum. That’s a hard case to make now, with a 9.5% national jobless rate and thousands of employers facing razor-thin profit margins.

There’s been a long and spirited debate among economists about who gets hurt and who benefits when the minimum wage rises. But in a 2006 National Bureau of Economic Research paper, economists David Neumark of the University of California, Irvine, and William Wascher of the Federal Reserve Bank reviewed the voluminous literature over the past 30 years and came to two almost universally acknowledged conclusions.

First, “a sizable majority of the studies give a relatively consistent (though not always statistically significant) indication of negative employment effects.”
Second, “studies that focus on the least-skilled groups [i.e., teens, and welfare moms] provide relatively overwhelming evidence of stronger disemployment effects.”

Proponents argue that millions of workers will benefit from the bigger paychecks. But about two of every three full-time minimum-wage workers get a pay raise anyway within a year on the job. Meanwhile, those who lose their jobs or who never get a job in the first place get a minimum wage of $0.

Mr. Neumark calculates that the 70-cent per-hour minimum wage hike this month would kill “about 300,000 jobs for those between the ages of 16-24.” Single working mothers would also be among those most hurt.

Keep in mind the Earned Income Tax Credit already exists to help low-wage workers and has been greatly expanded in recent years. The EITC also spreads the cost of the wage supplement to all Americans, not merely to employers, so it doesn’t raise the cost of hiring low-wage workers.

For example, consider a single mom with two kids who earns the current $6.55 minimum at a full-time, year-round job. In 2009 she receives a $5,028 EITC cash payment from Uncle Sam — or about an extra $2.50 per hour worked. Other federal income supplements, such as the refundable child tax credit, add another $1,900 or so. Thus at a wage of $6.55 an hour, her actual pay becomes $10.02 an hour — more than a 50% increase from the current minimum. (See nearby table.)

But that single mom can’t collect those checks if she doesn’t have a job, and the tragedy of a higher minimum wage is that it will prevent thousands of working moms striving to pull their families out of poverty from being hired in the first place.

If Congress were wise and compassionate, it would at least suspend the wage hike for one or two years until the job market recovers. We know this Congress won’t do that, but someone has to speak up for the poorest, least skilled Americans.

Democrats speak up all the time, of course, but that’s just rhetoric and demagoguery.  They create mess after mess, and disaster after disaster, in the name of “saving the day.”  And then they ride off to let the American people suffer the consequences of their policies, realizing that with the mainstream media’s willing participation they can attribute the agony inflicted on the poor to the Republican’s “lack of compassion.”

Minimum wage hikes clearly have more impact at the lower end of the wage distribution.  They effect low skilled workers and the primarily small business employers who hire them.  Minimum wages reduce employment.  There’s been a substantial body of evidence accumulated over 20 years of recent research and still another 80 years of other research.  And it clearly shows that, essentially – just like when the price of gas goes up people use less gas, or just like when taxing cigarettes people smoke less – when you raise the wages of extremely low-skilled labor employers invariably will try to use something else.

The 300,000 jobs won’t hit tomorrow.  You won’t pick up the paper the day after the wage hike to read the headline, “300k jobs lost,” although given our level of media propaganda you might well see a headline that reads, “300k jobs not lost, dire predictions about the minimum wage hike false.”   But the fact remains that low wage labor market is filled with jobs that turn over very quickly.  And if an employer simply slows down his or her hiring, employment will nevertheless fall pretty quickly.

This is just another in a long line of terrible economic policies in the name of “helping the poor” that will invariably end up HURTING the poor.

According to polls, 57.4% of Obama voters had no idea which party controlled the Congress for the last two years when our economy went from strong to terrible.  That makes it easy for Democrats to demagogue fiction out of fact.  For the record, it was Democrats.  The Dow Industrial Average was at 11,986.04 on November 3, 2006 when Republicans were last in control of Congress. The unemployment rate for October of 2006 was at 4.4% when Republicans last ran things.  Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Harry Reid, and Chris Dodd brought us from 4.4% to 9.5% unemployment which by nearly all accounts is going to get worse and worse.

The fact of the matter is, the Republicans tried to regulate the housing industry, and Democrats – true to form – denied there was a crisis, blocked the Republican effort, and clung to Titanic-sized economic landmines in the name of “helping the poor.” Even right before the housing mortgage industry completely imploded, Barney Frank was claiming that Freddie Mae and Fannie Mac (which DOMINATE the housing mortgage industry) was “fundamentally sound.”

What we come to find out is that “fundamentally sound” just means that liberals are getting everything they want and it hasn’t completely blown up yet.

Democrats are like nurses who bring thirsty patients their very favorite brand of Kool-Aid.  It’s a tasty beverage; don’t worry about the fact that it is  contains arsenic (which just happens to be the primary ingredient in rat poison).  It’s ultimately a terrible way to die, but what the heck, it sure taste good going down.

Whose Country Do We Want: Our Founding Fathers’ Or Our Secular Contemporaries’?

July 26, 2009

This article consists as part of a much longer discussion with a self-described “Democratic socialist” found here (with much of the rest consisting over an argument as to what is or isn’t socialism and the supposed benefits of socialism to societies).  An argument over the significance of the founding fathers relative to “current Americans” provides for what I believed to be an informative article.

Poster: I profoundly disagree that Christianity has been the wellspring of America’s greatness. Christianity in American history has too often been the source of narrow-mindedness, intolerance and reaction.

I too love and revere the Constitution, and would risk my neck to defend it and the USA. But the Constitution is a living, organic document that evolves and pulsates. I agree with the late Justice Brennan that the only correct way to interpret it is as modern Americans. I don’t care about the “original intent” of the Founding Fathers.

Michael Eden: I could begin by simply stating that the Constitution has just “evolved and pulsated” to represent “the source of narrow-mindedness, intolerance and reaction.”  And now what the hell are you going to do – support the Constitution or rebel against it?  What you are REALLY saying with all your self-serving hyperbole aside is that you support your secular humanist worldview and are perfectly happy to twist and distort the Constitution – regardless of what the words actually say or what they historically were clearly intended to mean – until it “evolves” or “pulsates” into whatever you want it to mean.  And then you of course demand that the very “evolution” or “pulsation” you first demanded STOP so it can’t “evolve or pulsate” any further.  Which is precisely the reasoning you used to “evolve and pulsate” to Roe v. Wade only to then claim that now that we have so “evolved and pulsated” it is a matter of “settled law” and therefore cannot ever be altered.

That philosophical point made, let me begin with the historical words and clear historical meaning of George Washington in his Farewell Address given on September 17, 1796:

What are the foundations of America? After 45 years of public service, George Washington, our greatest patriot and the father of our country, gives his farewell address. He says, ‘We need to remember what brought us here. We need to remember what made us different from all the other nations across Europe and the rest of the world. We have to remember what our foundations are.’ It was the road map, showing us how we’d become what we were, and how to preserve it. It has long been considered the most important address ever given by any US president. President Lincoln set aside an entire day for the entire Union Army and had them read and understand it. Woodrow Wilson did the same during WWI. But we haven’t studied it in schools for over 45 years, so your lack of understanding is understandable. Washington said:

“Of all the habits and dispositions which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” — George Washington, Farewell Address

If you want your politics to prosper, the two things you will not separate will be religion and morality. If you want your government to work well, if you want American exceptionalism, if you want the government to do right, if you want all this, then you won’t separate religion and morality from political life. And America’s greatest patriot gave a litmus test for patriotism. He says in the very next sentence (immediately continuing from the quote above):

“In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars.” — George Washington

Washington says, Anyone who would try to remove religion and morality from public life, I won’t allow them to call themselves a patriot. Because they are trying to destroy the country.

And he wasn’t alone. I can well understand why you would throw out the wisest and most brilliant political geniuses who ever lived. I can understand because George Washington wouldn’t have even have allowed you to call yourself “a patriot” in his presence. What they wrote, what they thought, what they believed, utterly refute you. But it was THESE men, and not Marx, or Mao, or any other socialist, who devised the greatest political system the world has ever seen.

Statements by our founding fathers (who presumably understood what the Constitution that they themselves wrote and ratified meant better than Justice Brennan) announcing their religious beliefs, and stating the profound impact those beliefs had in their founding of the United States of America:

“We have no government armed with the power capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and true religion. Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” — John Adams

“…And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion…reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” –- George Washington, Farewell Address, Sept 17, 1796

“Religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness.” –- Samuel Adams, Letter to John Trumbull, October 16, 1778

“The great pillars of all government and of social life [are] virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor…and this alone, that renders us invincible.” –- Patrick Henry, Letter to Archibald Blair, January 8, 1789

“Without morals, a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion…are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.” —- Charles Carroll (signer of the Constitution), Letter to James McHenry,November 4, 1800

“Religion is the only solid basis of good morals; therefore education should teach the precepts of religion, and the duties of man towards God.” –- Life of Gouverneur Morris, Vol III

“Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age, by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, of inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity…in short of leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system.“ –- Samuel Adams, Letter to John Adams, October 4, 1790

“In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes, and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be republicans and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government. That is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by the means of the Bible.” —- Benjamin Rush, “A Defense of the Use of the Bible as a School Book”, 1798

“In my view, the Christian Religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed…no truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian Religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.” –  Noah Webster, Reply to David McClure, Oct. 25, 1836

“Information to those who would remove (or move) to America”: “To this may be truly added, that serious Religion under its various Denominations, is not only tolerated, but respected and practiced. Atheism is unknown there, Infidelity rare & secret, so that Persons may live to a great Age in that Country without having their Piety shock’d by meeting with either an Atheist or an Infidel. And the Divine Being seems to have manifested his Approbation of the mutual Forbearance and Kindness with which the different Sects treat each other, by the remarkable Prosperity with which he has been pleased to favour the whole Country.” —- Ben Franklin, 1787 pamphlet to Europeans

“Independent of its connection with human destiny hereafter, the fate of republican government is indissolubly bound up with the fate of the Christian religion, and a people who reject its holy faith will find themselves the slaves of their own evil passions and of arbitrary power.” —- Lewis Cass, A Brigadier-General in the War of 1812, Governor of the Michigan Territory, a Secretary of War, a Senator, a Secretary of State. The State of Michigan placed his statue in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall.

“God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift of God? That they are not to violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.” –- “Yes, we did produce a near perfect Republic. But will they keep it, or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the surest way to destruction.” —- Thomas Jefferson

“So irresistible are these evidences of an intelligent and powerful Agent that, of the infinite numbers of men who have exited thro’ all the time, they have believed, in the proportion of a million at least to Unit, in the hypothesis of an eternal pre-existence of a creator, rather than in that of a self-existent Universe.” —- Thomas Jefferson

“I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our fathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life; who has covered our infancy with His providence and our riper years with His wisdom and power, and to whose goodness I ask you to join in supplications with me that He will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measures that whatsoever they do shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship, and approbation of all nations.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens…” — George Washington, Farewell Address, Sept 17, 1796

“Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand.” — John Adams, Letter of June 21, 1776

“It is impossible to account for the creation of the universe without the agency of a Supreme Being.” —- George Washington

“So irresistible are these evidences of an intelligent and powerful Agent that, of the infinite numbers of men who have exited thro’ all the time, they have believed, in the proportion of a million at least to Unit, in the hypothesis of an eternal pre-existence of a creator, rather than in that of a self-existent Universe.” —- Thomas Jefferson

“I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.” —- Abraham Lincoln

“History will also afford the frequent opportunities of showing the necessity of a public religion, from its usefulness to the public; the advantage of a religious character among private persons; the mischiefs of superstition, and the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern.” —- Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Franklin, Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1749), p. 2

“I know, sir, how well it becomes a liberal man and a Christian to forget and forgive. As individuals professing a holy religion, it is our bounden duty to forgive injuries done us as individuals. But when the character of Christian you add the character of patriot, you are in a different situation. Our mild and holy system of religion inculcates an admirable maxim of forbearance. If your enemy smite one cheek, turn the other to him. But you must stop there. You cannot apply this to your country. As members of a social community, this maxim does not apply to you. When you consider injuries done to your country your political duty tells you of vengeance. Forgive as a private man, but never forgive public injuries. Observations of this nature are exceedingly unpleasant, but it is my duty to use them.” —- Patrick Henry, from a courtroom speech, Wirt Henry’s, Life, vol. III, pp. 606-607.

“Amongst other strange things said of me, I hear it is said by the deists that I am one of their number; and, indeed, that some good people think I am no Christian. This thought gives me much more pain than the appellation of Tory; because I think religion of infinitely higher importance than politics; and I find much cause to reproach myself that I have lived so long and have given no decided and public proofs of my being a Christian. But, indeed, my dear child, this is a character which I prize far above all this world has, or can boast.” —- Patrick Henry, 1796 letter to daughter, S. G. Arnold, The Life of Patrick Henry (Auburn: Miller, Orton & Mulligan, 1854), p. 250.

“This is all the inheritance I can give my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed.” — Patrick Henry, From a copy of Henry’s Last Will and Testament obtained from Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation, Red Hill, Brookneal, VA.

“It is impossible to account for the creation of the universe without the agency of a Supreme Being. It is impossible to govern the universe without the aid of a Supreme Being.” —- George Washington, James K. Paulding, A Life of Washington (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1835), Vol. II, p. 209.

“While we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess, and to observe, the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to them whose minds have not yielded to the evidence which has convinced us.” —- James Madison, James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance (Massachusetts: Isaiah Thomas, 1786). This can be found in numerous documentary histories and other resources.

“Waiving the rights of conscience, not included in the surrender implied by the social state, & more or less invaded by all Religious establishments, the simple question to be decided, is whether a support of the best & purest religion, the Christian religion itself ought not, so far at least as pecuniary means are involved, to be provided for by the Government, rather than be left to the voluntary provisions of those who profess it.” —- James Madison, Religion and Politics in the Early Republic: Jasper Adams and the Church-State Debate, Daniel L. Dreisbach, ed. (Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 1996), p. 117.

“The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.” —- George Washington, 1778, upon seeing the divine hand in the Revolution against the greatest military in the world.

“Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise. In this sense and to this extent, our civilizations and our institutions are emphatically Christian.” — U.S. Supreme Court in Holy Trinity v. U. S. — Richmond v. Moore, Illinois Supreme Court, 1883)

“A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.” —- Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren dated February 12, 1779

“Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulties.” —- Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address

“I entreat you in the most earnest manner to believe in Jesus Christ, for ‘there is no salvation in any other’ (Acts 4:12). If you are not reconciled to God through Jesus Christ – if you are not clothed with the spotless robe of His righteousness – you must perish forever.” —- John Witherspoon, founding father and signer of the Declaration of Independence.

“I am a Christian. I believe only in the Scriptures, and in Jesus Christ my Savior.” — Charles Thomson, founding father and signer of the Declaration of Independence

“My only hope of salvation is in the infinite transcendent love of God manifested to the world by the death of His Son upon the cross. Nothing but His blood will wash away my sins. I rely exclusively upon it. Come Lord Jesus! Come quickly!” — Dr. Benjamin Rush, founding father and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Dr. Benjamin Rush, John Adams said, was one of the three most notable founding fathers along with George Washington and Ben Franklin. Benjamin Rush was the founder of five universities (three of which are still active today); he was the father of public schools under the American Constitution; he was also the leader of the civil rights movement, the founder of the first abolitionist society in America, the founder of the first black denomination in America, served in 3 presidential administrations, is called the father of American medicine, and 3,000 American physicians bore his signature on their diplomas, started the American College of Physicians, founded the first prison ministry, and started the Sunday School movement in America, started the very first Bible Society in America, etc.

“I rely upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins.” —- Samuel Adams

“An eloquent preacher of your religious society, Richard Motte, in a discourse of much emotion and pathos, is said to have exclaimed aloud to his congregation, that he did not believe there was a Quaker, Presbyterian, Methodist or Baptist in heaven, having paused to give his hearers time to stare and to wonder. He added, that in heaven, God knew no distinctions, but considered all good men as his children, and as brethren of the same family. I believe, with the Quaker preacher, that he who steadily observes those moral precepts in which all religions concur, will never be questioned at the gates of heaven, as to the dogmas in which they all differ. That on entering there, all these are left behind us, and the Aristides and Catos, the Penns and Tillotsons, Presbyterians and Baptists, will find themselves united in all principles which are in concert with the reason of the supreme mind. Of all the systems of morality, ancient and modern, which have come under my observation, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus.” — Thomas Jefferson, “The Writings of Thomas Jefferson,” Albert Ellery Bergh, ed. (Washington, D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XIII, pp.377-78, letter to William Canby on September 18, 1813.

“To the corruptions of Christianity I am, indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others.” — Thomas Jefferson, Albert Bergh, “Writings of Jefferson,” Vol. X, p.380, letter to Benjamin Rush on April 21, 1803.

“But the greatest of all the reformers of the depraved religion of His own country, was Jesus of Nazareth.” — Thomas Jefferson, Albert Bergh, “Writings of Jefferson,” Vol. XIV, p.220, letter to William Short on October 31, 1819.

“The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.” —- John Quincy Adams, 1837 speech

“Why is it that, next to the birth day of the Saviour of the World, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [July 4th]? . . . Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birth-day of the Saviour? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the corner stone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity. . ?” — John Quincy Adams, John Quincy Adams, “An Oration Delivered Before the Inhabitants of the Town of Newburyport, at Their Request,” on the Sixty-first Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1837 (Newburyport: Charles Whipple, 1837), p. 5.

“We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better that the builders of Babel.” —- Benjamin Franklin, appeal for prayer at Constitutional Convention, as cited by James Madison, The Papers of James Madison, Henry D. Gilpin, ed. (Washington: Langtree & O’Sullivan, 1840), Vol. II, p. 985.

“God commands all men everywhere to repent. He also commands them to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and has assured us that all who do repent and believe shall be saved.” —- Roger Sherman.

“God has promised to bestow eternal blessings on all those who are willing to accept Him on the terms of the Gospel – that is, in a way of free grace through the atonement. — Roger Sherman. Sherman was the ONLY founding father who signed all four founding documents (the Declaration, the Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and the Articles of Association). He is called “the master builder of the Constitution.” He came up with the bi-cabinal system with the House and Senate. He was a framer of the Bill of Rights. And he was also a theologian who got George Washington to announce the first federal Day of Thanksgiving proclamation, going through the Scriptures to show why we should do so. He was also a long-term member of Congress. A newspaper article on him (the Globe) dated 1837 quotes, “The volume which he consulted more than any other was the Bible. It was his custom, at the commencement of every session of Congress, to purchase a copy of the Scriptures to puruse it daily, and to present it to one of his children on his return.” He had 15 children.

“The Holy Ghost carries on the whole Christian system in His truth. Not a baptism, not a marriage, not a sacrament can be administered but by the Ghost.” —- John Adams

“There is no authority, civil or religious – there can be no legitimate government – but what is administered by the Holy Ghost.” —- John Adams

“There can be no salvation without it. All without it is rebellion and perdition, or, in more orthodox words, damnation.” — John Adams (And Abigail Adams was the REAL Bible thumper in the family, telling son John Quincy Adams, ‘You know how I’ve raised you. You know how you’ve been raised in church, how you’ve been taught the Scriptures, how you’ve been taught morality.’  She tells him that if he’s going to go to France and give up his faith, that the Lord seek him out and drown him to prevent that from happening).

“I am grateful to Almighty God for the blessings which, through Jesus Christ our Lord, He has conferred on my beloved country.” —- Charles Carroll, signer of the Declaration and framer of the Bill of Rights. He was the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, dying at the age of 95 years.

At the age of 89 (in 1825), he wrote, “On the mercy of my Redeemer, I rely for salvation, and on His merits; not on the works I have done in obedience to His precepts.” —- Charles Carroll

“Almost all the civil liberty now enjoyed in the world owes its origin to the principles of the Christian religion…. [T]he religion which has introduced civil liberty, is the religion of Christ and his apostles…. This is genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free constitutions of government.” — Noah Webster, History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), p. 300, Sec. 578.

And, of course, there is the assessment of the great political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville:

“Moreover, almost all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity, and Christian morality is everywhere the same.

In the United States the sovereign authority is religious, and consequently hypocrisy must be common; but there is no country in the whole world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility, and of its conformity to human nature, than that its influence is most powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.

The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other; and with them this conviction does not spring from that barren traditionary faith which seems to vegetate in the soul rather than to live.

There are certain populations in Europe whose unbelief is only equaled by their ignorance and their debasement, while in America one of the freest and most enlightened nations in the world fulfills all the outward duties of religion with fervor.

Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more did I perceive the great political consequences resulting from this state of things, to which I was unaccustomed. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom pursuing courses diametrically opposed to each other; but in America I found that they were intimately united, and that they reigned in common over the same country.”
– Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, (New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1851), pp. 331, 332, 335, 336-7, 337, respectively.

As to your socialism, de Tocquevelle wrote:

“Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood; it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances; what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?”

Poster: Whatever outstanding Americans said or believed in the 1700’s or 1800’s is no refutation of whatever I said. Big deal, so George Washington said that morality is not possible without religion. Just because I appreciate that he spearheaded the military efforts against the redcoats doesn’t mean I care for his views on religion.

Many of the Founding Fathers you constantly bring up were not even Christians. Men like Jefferson, Franklin and Tom Paine were Deists. Forget the Founding Fathers when dealing with today’s issues. The Constitution that they gave us has evolved into something quite different since then.

I care what Americans today think. I am not interested in what men who died when even my grandfather was not yet born believed.

Michael Eden: Actually, one of the quotes that you probably didn’t bother to read has Thomas Jefferson specifically declaring his Christianity. And I have numerous quotes from Thomas Jefferson on display. Quotes by Benjamin Franklin abound – clearly attesting to his FERVENT commitment to the need for not only religious but specifically Christian religion as a necessary and fundamental support for the country being founded. I would further point out to you that Thomas Paine was NOT a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and he was also not a delegate to the Constitutional convention. So that kind of blows a gigantic hole in your thesis.

You show the portrait of the Declaration of Independence signing, and it’s funny that people have been trained to be able to pick out the two least religious founding fathers (Franklin and Jefferson – notwithstanding Jefferson’s profession of Christianity he was not as devoutly Christian as the rest). And then we’re assured that the rest of them are just as irreligious. But of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, 54 were confessed Christians and members of Christian churches. 29 of them had seminary degrees and were ordained ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not bad for a bunch of atheists and deists.

No one would ever have thought this was a secular nation in the past because Americans knew their history.  An 1848 book used in public school for generations entitled, “Lives of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.” And in public schools for years children learned the faith and character of their founding fathers.

And again, everything they believed was an anathema to what you believe.

And that says something. Because what you say, what you think, what you believe, fundamentally doesn’t work – and never HAS worked. And what they said, what they thought, and what they believed, has stood in irrefutable proof of their wisdom.

Your argument is this: the Constitution has “evolved” into whatever the hell anybody wants it to mean. It is intrinsically meaningless. If the Constitution truly is a living, organic document that evolves and pulsates, it “evolves” into whatever you want it to become and “pulsates” into whatever form you want it to take. We might as well have a telephone directory as our Constitution, so that scholars in voodoo-fashion could discern “penumbras and emanations” wherever they wished.

Let’s take a look at the Declaration of Independence:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Your atheistic socialism has never worked and never will work because you fundamentally deny the SOURCE of the rights you claim: an objective, transcendent Creator God who created man with these fundamental rights. You have never had, and never will have, anything concrete or objective by which to secure the rights that our founding fathers’ secured. Furthermore, you would do to any such transcendent/objective rights exactly what you want to do to the Constitution itself: make them mean whatever the hell you – or the next dictator/tyrant on the block – WANT them to mean. And that is why your God-denying socialism has produced one despot and one nightmare after another, and why it always WILL.

What socialists ultimately pursue is power over people’s lives.  And so long as leftists hold such power, principles will not matter.  And frankly, even if there WERE any “binding” principles they would invariably be blurred into meaninglessness by a succession of “penumbras and emanations” to suit the will of the next dictator.  That ultimately becomes tyranny every single time.

And that is why George Washington would be kicking your butt across the floor as he shouted, “YOU ARE NO PATRIOT!”

You instead argue for a system of government that has NEVER worked and never will. I will tilt at the government handed down by my religious founding fathers and leave you to tilt at your godless socialist windmills.

Obama In The ‘We Don’t Mind ‘Cause You Don’t Matter’ Sub-50% Polling Range

July 25, 2009

One of the most readily understandable political calculus equations is the presidential poll: as long as a president is above 50% in the polls, he continues to hold a majority; but if he falls below 50%, he becomes increasingly irrelevant.  The nation is no longer behind him.  The lower he gets under 50, the more irrelevant he becomes.

Six months into the Obama presidency, Americans are already starting to say, “You see, Barry, it’s all a question of mind over matter.  We no longer mind because you no longer matter.”

For what it’s worth, the first time President Bush dipped below 50% according to Rasmussen was February 2004.  So Barry has to have set some kind of record for “sucking speed.”

Democrats and liberals feasted on George Bush like a herd of swine feasting on a trough full of carrots.  And in the case of the Barack Obama presidency, suppertime is coming very, very early.

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows that 30% of the nation’s voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-eight percent (38%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -8 (see trends).

Just 25% believe that the economic stimulus package has helped the economy.

The Presidential Approval Index is calculated by subtracting the number who Strongly Disapprove from the number who Strongly Approve. It is updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (sign up for free daily e-mail update). Updates also available on Twitter.

Overall, 49% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President’s performance. Today marks the first time his overall approval rating has ever fallen below 50% among Likely Voters nationwide. Fifty-one percent (51%) disapprove.

Eighty-three percent (83%) of Democrats continue to approve of the President’s performance while 80% of Republicans disapprove. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 37% offer a positive assessment. The President earns approval from 51% of women and 47% of men.

These updates are based upon nightly telephone interviews and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. Most of the interviews for today’s update were completed before the President’s nationally televised press conference on Wednesday night. The first update based entirely upon interviews conducted after the press conference will be released on Sunday.

Zogby has Barry Hussein at 48%.

Now, the last paragraph of the article becomes interesting because this means the poll does not take into account Obama’s truly suck performance at his July 22 press conference or the subsequent flap over his racially biased and frankly incredibly stupid comment about the Cambridge police “acting stupidly” in arresting an emotionally out-of-control African-American Studies professor.

So the easy money is betting that Sunday we’re going to see Obama down even more.  And then more.

Hot Air has a couple of insightful paragraphs describing the poll’s nuances on just why Obama is starting to poll as badly as he is:

It marks the first time that Obama has gone underwater since he started his remarkable run for the presidency in early 2007.  Undoubtedly, voters have now put the responsibility for the economy squarely on Obama’s shoulders after six months of worsening indicators.  The steep decline in support for his health-care bill represents in part a lack of confidence in his ability to deliver after the failure of the massive stimulus package, which he promised would put America back to work.

Even the Democratic gender gap has mostly been wiped out for Obama.  Although crosstabs are not available on daily tracking reports, Rasmussen’s poll shows an approval rating of 51% among women, just two points above the overall average.  If Obama had hoped to maintain the traditional Democratic inroads with women with his focus on health care, that appears to have backfired, as the survey on that issue earlier in the week showed women opposing it by a 50%-46% edge, with men more clearly in opposition at 53%-44%.  Why? Pluralities among both genders believe that their personal coverage will get worse under ObamaCare.

Unemployment is at 9.5% – and is expected to rise to 10% and beyond by the end of the year.  That sure isn’t going to help Obama become “Mr. Popular.”  And if that isn’t bad enough for him – and for the country he’s misleading – a new employment forecast by Obama’s own Federal Reserve foresees high unemployment numbers for at least the next five years.

But wait, as they say: there’s more.  Respected Wall Street analyst Meredith Whitney predicts that unemployment will rise to 13% or higher.  She’s the analyst with the nickname, “The woman who called Wall Street’s meltdown,” so right now I’m giving her more credibility than Obama’s people who said that if their stimulus passed unemployment wouldn’t rise above 8%.

And there’s yet even more.  We don’t calculate unemployment the way we used to.  We used to calculate unemployment based on the number of people who would like to have a full time job but don’t have one.  Bill Clinton changed the way unemployment was tabulated.  But if this were in the 1980s, we would be reading about 16.5% unemployment.  And if THAT number doesn’t frighten you enough, how about the possibility of 20% by the end of the year?

Remember all the talk about Barack Obama being compared to FDR?

Time_Obama-cover

Now we’ll get to celebrate Obama-as-FDR right – with Great Depression levels of unemployment, which will likely lead us into another Great Depression.  The first FDR didn’t fare so well with the first Great Depression; and I think the second FDR will do an even lousier job.

It will be fun watching Barry “ride the slide” to political hell.

It won’t be so much fun watching the Late Great U.S.A. sliding into economic hell right along with him.

Meet Thomas Schelling, Nobel Prize Winner and Global Warming Demagogue

July 25, 2009

We can go back and look at Al Gore, a documented fraud, a presenter of entirely false scientific claims, and the winner of a Nobel Prize for science.  A British High Court judge found nine “glaring” scientific errors in the Inconvenient Truth “documentary” that garnered Gore his scientific credibility.  But the only “inconvenient truth” was that the film was an example of “alarmism” and “exaggeration” and was not fit for viewing by British school children.

“Science” has officially and for the record made itself a propaganda tool to advance radical redistributionist social policies.

And now we have another Nobel prize winner doing the same thing to his own field of economics.

An Interview With Thomas Schelling, Part Two

CLARKE: I wanted to go back to the international climate-change negotiation process. So assuming we had a perfect U.S. bill — written by you or by 15 experts working on this full time — how would the international negotiation process work? It’s not obvious that averting global climate change is in the rational self-interest of anyone that is alive today. The serious consequences probably won’t occur until 2080 or 2100 or thereafter. That’s one problem. Another problem is that those consequences are going to be distributed in a radically uneven way. The northwest of the United States might actually benefit. So how does a negotiation process work? How does a generation today negotiate on behalf of future generations? And how do we negotiate when the costs are distributed so unevenly?

SCHELLING: Well I do think that one of the difficulties is that most of the beneficiaries aren’t yet born. More than that: Most of the beneficiaries will be born in what we now call the developing world. By 2080 or 2100 five-sixths of the population, at least, will be in places like China, India, Indonesia, Africa and so forth. And what I don’t know is whether Americans are really willing to understand that and do anything for the benefit of the unborn Chinese.

SCHELLING: It’s a tough sell. And probably you have to find ways to exaggerate the threat. And you can in fact find ways to make the threat serious. I think there’s a significant likelihood of a kind of a runaway release of carbon and methane from permafrost, and from huge offshore deposits of methane all around the world. If you begin to get methane leaking on a large scale — even though methane doesn’t stay in the atmosphere very long — it might warm things up fast enough that it will induce further methane release, which will warm things up more, which will release more. And that will create a huge multiplier effect, and it could become very serious.

CLARKE: And you mean serious for everyone, including the United States?

SCHELLING: Yes, for almost anybody.

CLARKE: And when you say, “exaggerate the costs” do you mean, American politicians should exaggerate the costs to the American public, to get American support for a bill that will overwhelmingly benefit the developing world?

SCHELLING: [Laughs] It’s very hard to get honest people.

SCHELLING: Well, part of me sympathizes with the case for disingenuousness! I mean, it seems to me that there is a strong moral case for helping unborn Bangladeshi citizens. But I don’t know how you sell that. It’s not in anyone’s rational interest, at least in the US, to legislate on that basis.

Well, let me at least agree with Thomas Schelling to this extent: yes, it is indeed hard to find honest people.  Especially from our “experts” whom we count upon to inform us of the facts, rather than leading us by the hand to conclusions based on false premises becauses they are arrogant elitists who think only they are smart enough to handle the truth.

The article goes on – read it here – with a seriously leftist-tilted back-and-forth about climate change and the degree to which America is morally obligated to commit economic hari kari in order to atone for its sins to the developing world.

Then we get to the moral nitty gritty to end the article:

CLARKE: I wanted to ask one more question, to go back to the moral issue here. It does seem to me that the strongest case for mitigating the effects of global climate change is a moral one. It is based not on our own interest but on the interests of people in the developing world who don’t yet exist. But it also seems to me that — while I don’t know much about game theory — collective bargaining theories generally assume the participants are rational and self-interested. So how does one go about making sense of an arrangement where we must set our self-interest aside? How does one make the moral case in a situation like this? Or is my description of collective bargaining just totally idiotic?

SCHELLING: Well, I think you have to realize that most people have very strong moral feelings. I think in a lot of cases they’re misdirected. I wish moral feelings about a two-month old fetus were attached to hungry children in Africa. But I think people have very strong moral feelings. In fact, I’m always amazed by the number of people who at least pretend they’re worried about the polar bears. [...]

SCHELLING: And I think the churches don’t realize that they could have a potent effect in not letting so much of god’s legacy — in terms of flora and fauna — be destroyed by climate change.

SCHELLING: But I tend to be rather pessimistic. I sometimes wish that we could have, over the next five or ten years, a lot of horrid things happening — you know, like tornadoes in the Midwest and so forth — that would get people very concerned about climate change. But I don’t think that’s going to happen.

Now, Thomas Schelling one the one hand tells us that we should feel intensely morally obligated to “beneficiaries [who] not yet born” – as long as they’re not “a two month old fetus” who is presumably about to be aborted – in which case we apparently have absolutely no obligation at all.  But stop and think: the moral logic of abortion means the future generation doesn’t matter unless we subjectively want them to matter.  No one who advocates abortion has any right to lecture others that they should not only care about but sacrifice for “beneficiaries not yet born.” Then Schelling proceeds to presume from his own massive personal arrogance that the American people’s moral intuitions are faulty, but that his are functioning perfectly.  Which of course justifies him in lying to us to steer us toward the conclusion dictated by his own superior moral reasoning.

And then this man who presumes himself to be so morally superior to everyone “beneath” him, who is entitled to “exaggerate the threat” of global warming because Americans are not responsible to make sound moral decisions if they know the truth, says he hopes “horrid things” happen to we the poor, the huddling, the ignorant and unwashed masses.

This economist seems to live more by the law involving the telling of a lie often enough that it is believed far more than by the law of supply and demand.

It’s funny that Schelling mentions polar bears, as an admitted global warming exaggerator now proceeds to run into the pseudo-science of another global warming exaggerator.  And you have – unlike Al Gore or Thomas Schelling, who have credibility in the scientific community without having any ethical integrity – a genuine scientist being persecuted because he cares about the truth:

One of the world’s leading polar bear experts has been told to stay away from an international conference on the animals because his views are “extremely unhelpful,” according to an e-mail by the chairman of the Polar Bear Specialist Group, Dr. Andy Derocher.

The London Telegraph reports Canadian biologist Mitchell Taylor has more than 30 years of experience with polar bears. But his belief that global warming is caused by nature, not man, led officials to bar him from this week’s polar bear specialist group meeting in Denmark.

Taylor says the polar bear population has actually increased over the last 30 years. He says the threat to them by melting Arctic ice — illustrated by a famous photo taken by photographer Amanda Byrd — has become the most iconic cause for global warming theorists. The photo is often used by former Vice President Al Gore and others as an example of the dangers faced by the bears. But it was debunked last year by the photographer, who says the picture had nothing to do with global warming, and that the bears were not in danger. The photographer said she just happened to catch the bears on a small windswept iceberg.

And we have the same types of people as Thomas Schelling suppresing the conclusions of science that show the opposite of what they want science to show.  Consider the White House’s suppression of a scientific report by the EPA.

Or you can go back to the “hockey stick model” to see just how far “respected” scientists are willing to go in order to pass off a bogus theory for mass consumption — and just how willing other scientists are to unquestioningly accept whatever “evidence” supports their preconceived ideological notions.

Harvard economist Martin Feldstein apparently lacks Thomas Schelling’s godlike view, and thus doesn’t seem to think he possesses the divine right to distort the truth in order to lead Americans to the conclusions he ordains as “moral.”

Feldstein simply looks at the economics – which, who knows, may be a strange thing for an economist to do these days – and concludes:

Americans should ask themselves whether this annual tax of $1,600-plus per family is justified by the very small resulting decline in global CO2. Since the U.S. share of global CO2 production is now less than 25 percent (and is projected to decline as China and other developing nations grow), a 15 percent fall in U.S. CO2 output would lower global CO2 output by less than 4 percent. Its impact on global warming would be virtually unnoticeable. The U.S. should wait until there is a global agreement on CO2 that includes China and India before committing to costly reductions in the United States. [...]

In my judgment, the proposed cap-and-trade system would be a costly policy that would penalize Americans with little effect on global warming. The proposal to give away most of the permits only makes a bad idea worse. Taxpayers and legislators should keep these things in mind before enacting any cap-and-trade system.

Aside from the fact that building scientific evidence indicates that global warming is a gigantic load of malarkey (just consider how the fact that the planet ISN’T warming has now led the alarmist movement to instead begin using the term “climate change”), global warming-turned climate change alarmists have an even bigger problem to worry about: the fact that the developing world has no interests in committing their own versions of hari kari for the sake of a theory.  China and India are poised to become “global warming polluters” on such a scale that any reductions in American and European greenhouse gasses would be utterly insignificant.  So why should we dramatically undermine our lives?

Chinese and Indians know what it’s like to live in a mud hut, which is the inevitable result of dramatically hamstringing our economic output to conform to the demands of the global warming alarmists.  The western radicals either don’t know what such deplorable conditions are like, or they believe that they – being the true arrogant elitists they are – will continue to live in their glass houses or ivory towers.

Laying To Rest The Myth That AIDS Is Not A Gay Disease

July 24, 2009

There’s an advertising campaign that goes by the mantra, “There’s no LOL in HIV.” The ads are your typical “public service announcement” caliber: you watch them, and figure a pack of hyperactive ring-tailed monkeys with a video camera could have pulled something off that was at least as good.

But the ad perpetuates the constant liberal stereotype that AIDS is not a gay disease.  Sorry, but the facts speak otherwise.

I normally don’t read my paper so thoroughly that I cover the obituary section, but I saw a headline that made me stop and read this one from the Los Angeles Times.  What I would like you to do is see firsthand the chronology of the very first AIDS cases:

Dr. Joel D. Weisman dies at 66; among the first doctors to detect AIDS

Dr. Joel D. Weisman was a general practitioner in Sherman Oaks in 1980 when he noticed that three gay male patients had the same constellation of symptoms. He wound up referring two of them to UCLA immunologist Michael S. Gottlieb, who had a gay male patient with a similarly strange array of afflictions. The two doctors then wrote a seminal report that signaled the official start of the AIDS epidemic.

The Los Angeles physician went on to became a national advocate for AIDS research, treatment and prevention.
By Elaine Woo
July 23, 2009

Dr. Joel D. Weisman, who was one of the first physicians to detect the AIDS epidemic and who became a national advocate for AIDS research, treatment and prevention, died Saturday at his Westwood home. He was 66.

FOR THE RECORD: An obituary about Dr. Joel Weisman that ran in Thursday’s Section A had the first name of AIDS-research pioneer Dr. Michael S. Gottlieb incorrect as Martin. An earlier version of the online caption also contained that error.
He had heart disease and had been ill for several months, said Bill Hutton, his domestic partner of 17 years.

Weisman was a general practitioner in Sherman Oaks in 1980 when he noticed a troubling pattern: He had three seriously ill patients with the same constellation of symptoms, including mysterious fevers, rashes, drastic weight loss and swollen lymph nodes. All were gay men whose problems seemed to stem from defects in their immune systems.

The physician wound up referring two of the patients to UCLA immunologist Martin S. Gottlieb, who had a gay male patient with a similarly strange array of afflictions. Recognizing that these were not isolated cases, Weisman and Gottlieb wrote a report that appeared in the June 5, 1981, issue of the Centers for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. That report signaled the official start of the epidemic that the federal agency later named acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

“Joel was a very astute physician,” Gottlieb said in an interview Wednesday. “In his practice he was alert to unusual symptoms in his patients. He had a sense that something out of the ordinary was happening.”

Gottlieb, who later treated perhaps the world’s most famous AIDS patient, Rock Hudson, received most of the credit for identifying the disease.

But Weisman “contributed his open eyes. He felt right away he was observing something that was never seen before,” said Mathilde Krim, a research scientist who, with Gottlieb, founded the New York-based nonprofit amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research.

Born on Feb. 20, 1943, in Newark, N.J., Weisman graduated in 1970 from the Kansas City College of Osteopathy and practiced in New Jersey for a few years.

In 1975, he acknowledged his homosexuality and ended a three-year marriage to start a new life in Los Angeles.

He joined a medical group in North Hollywood, where in 1978 he was presented with some puzzling cases: a gay Anglo man in his 30s who had Kaposi’s sarcoma, a cancer usually seen in old Mediterranean men, and several men with shingles, another affliction normally seen in much older patients. Weisman also had a number of patients with swollen lymph glands, often an indication of lymphoma, a type of cancer that originates in the immune system. But in these cases, no lymphoma was detected.

In 1980, he opened his own practice in Sherman Oaks with Dr. Eugene Rogolsky. Weisman’s sense of foreboding deepened with the arrival of two patients who had a panoply of confounding problems: persistent diarrhea, eczema, fungal infections, low white blood cell counts.

“On top of these two cases,” Randy Shilts wrote in his definitive AIDS chronicle, “And the Band Played On” (1987), “another 20 men had appeared at Weisman’s office that year with strange abnormalities of their lymph nodes,” the very condition that had triggered the spiral of ailments besetting Weisman and Rogolsky’s other two, very sick patients.

“It was dreadful. We didn’t know what we were dealing with,” Rogolsky recalled Wednesday.

In early 1981, a colleague put Weisman in touch with Gottlieb. Two decades later, Weisman recalled that he “had a feeling going into the meeting that what this represented was the tip of the iceberg. My sense was that these people were sick,” he told the Washington Post in 2001, “and we had a lot of people that were potentially right behind them.”

He sent his patients to UCLA Medical Center, where Gottlieb found they had pneumocystis pneumonia. Gottlieb had earlier found the same pneumonia in his own patient. He later diagnosed it in two gay men referred by other doctors.

A few months after their initial meeting, Weisman and Gottlieb wrote in the CDC bulletin that “5 young men, all active homosexuals, were treated for biopsy-confirmed Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia at 3 different hospitals in Los Angeles, California. Two of the patients died.” Eventually, the other three patients died too.

The report sounded an alarm heard around the world. AIDS deaths in the U.S. rose exponentially, from 618 in 1982 to almost 90,000 by the end of the decade. By 2002 the death toll surpassed 500,000 and was still climbing.

Weisman began to press for services for people with HIV and AIDS as founding chairman of AIDS Project Los Angeles in 1983. He also helped organize the first dedicated AIDS unit in Southern California at what is now Sherman Oaks Hospital and Health Center. He advocated for research dollars as an original board member of amfAR, which was formed in 1985, and served as chairman from 1988 to 1992.

Described by Shilts as “the dean of Southern California gay doctors,” Weisman continued to see patients, building his partnership with Rogolsky into the Pacific Oaks Medical Group, which became one of the largest private practices focused on the treatment of AIDS and HIV.

As soon as he became convinced that AIDS was sexually transmitted, Weisman began to warn patients that they needed to change their sexual behavior. But during the early years of the crisis, his warnings too often were ignored. “I couldn’t even make some of my friends listen, and they’re dead now and that’s disconcerting,” he told The Times in 1988.

Among the casualties was his partner of 10 years, Timothy Bogue, who died of AIDS in 1991.

Battling the epidemic on the front lines “made me look at issues of death and dying in a very different way,” Weisman said in 1988. “What makes somebody a good physician in this situation? Is it just winning? Keeping people alive? If I looked at every death as a defeat, I would not be able to continue.”

In 1997, he stepped away from the battle, ironically just as new drug cocktails were extending the lives of AIDS patients. In 2000, he moved to New York, where he ran a bed-and-breakfast with Hutton, but he returned to Southern California about five years ago. He was an active ambassador for AIDS Project Los Angeles until illness overtook him this year.

In addition to Hutton, Weisman is survived by a brother, Mark; a daughter, Stacey Weisman-Bogue Foster; a granddaughter; and two nieces. Memorial donations may be sent to amfAR, AIDS Project Los Angeles or the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Plans for a memorial service will be announced later.

Now, before I say anything else, I would like to say that Dr. Joel D. Weisman was a truly decent and compassionate man who heroically tried to make a positive difference with his life.  And I am sorry that such a great man has passed, and extend my sympathies to his family and friends.

This article does not attack Dr. Weisman or his work in any way.  Nor does it even attack homosexuals or homosexuality, per se.

It only tries to point out an important truth: AIDS is a gay disease.  It started out ENTIRELY as a gay disease – as the obituary article clearly testifies -  and it still IS a gay disease.

It is a documented fact that the liberal mainstream media falsified a myth that AIDS was a heterosexual boogeymanMichael Fumento is merely one among many who have documented the fact that there was a clearly deliberate effort to frighten the national population to fund AIDS research and further legitimize the homosexual lifestyle.  I read Bernard Goldberg’s book BIAS: A CBS Insider Exposes How The Media Distort The News, which goes into detail to describe both the fraud of heterosexual AIDS and the media disinformation to market the fraud as fact.  And the sheer number of previous efforts to document what were clearly homosexual men as heterosexuals makes any present claims of “heterosexual AIDS” dubious at best.  It’s like the boy who cried wolf.

To the extent that heterosexuals do get AIDS, there are at least two clear primary culprits: 1) bi-sexuality, and the spread of AIDS from men who have sex with men and then have sex with women; and 2) Drug use, particularly involving the sharing of hyperdermic needles.  A 3rd culprit would be the “down low” phenomenon in which men have sex with other men and yet do not regard themselves as homosexual.  Good luck getting them to tell you about their little secret lives.

It’s interesting.  In years past, I have heard homosexuals describe the terrifying devastation of AIDS in the gay community.  I have heard homosexuals describe the fact that literally dozens of their friends had become infected with HIV or died of AIDS.  And yet I have never known a single friend or family member who has ever had AIDS in my entire life.  And some time back, when I found the question interesting due to some propaganda media report, I proceeded to ask virtually every friend and acquaintance I had if THEY had ever personally known anyone who had ever had AIDS or HIV.  And there were only two friends/acquaintances who had EVER known such people – and it turned out that both of the friends knew that the men who had contracted HIV/AIDS were homosexuals.

I would not wish AIDS on anyone, except perhaps truly evil monsters such as Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein.  I would most certainly not wish it on a gay man merely for being a gay man.  There are simply too many homosexuals who are decent and kind people – like Joel C. Weisman – for me to ever wish such a terrible thing.  And while I believe that homosexuality is a sin – as God’s Word teaches – I also realize that I, too, am a sinner.  And I confess that sin has bested me very nearly as often as I have bested sin.

God Himself will one day judge every sin and every sinner; He did not commission me to do this work for Him.

But it’s one thing to sympathize with people bearing the result of a terrible, disfiguring, life threatening disease, and quite another to participate in propaganda for the sake of advancing the gay lifestyle.  I want to do the first; I most certainly have no intention of doing the second.


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