These three previously posted op eds need repeating.
Their message is clear. Liberal thinking and policies have proven mostly counter productive and have failed the empirical taste test.
Their ideas always sound good, they always tug at your heart, challenge your moral fiber and they tend to hoist liberals on the high and mighty pyre of caring versus those heartless conservatives. However, in the end their ideas are destructive and cause grievous harm.
Liberals take advantage of human hysteria , conservatives try to base their thinking on cooler heads prevailing. Both often result in extreme policies and actions but in the long run policies anchored in logic must prevail if only because they are more likely to produce better results.
When I look at how liberals respond I am reminded of the English Essay entitled: "The Burning of a Roast Pig" in which the author wrote about the burning down of the entire house in order to roast the pig.
I do not know what Obama thinks of the 2d Amendment because the press and media have not challenged him to say though we have a clearer view of Atty Gen. Holder's take on it. Based on Obama's 20 proposals one must conclude he does not care too much for it.
While I am at it I would also proffer that Obama seems to take far more benign positions with respect to The Muslim Brotherhood than he does with the citizens of his own country! (See 1, 1a and 1b below.)
What about gun culture versus fatherless culture and attacking video games but giving Hollywood movie violence a pass? (See 2 below.)
In the final analysis Obama arrogance and narrow mindedness is at the root of his, and now, our problems. (See 2a below.)
A train wreck ahead or have we already been on one and this is simply a continuum. (See 3 below.)
There are still those who believe we should be guided by some innocuous writings on parchment written by some old farts wearing pantaloons with powdered wigs.
Bet they never heard a rapper, drove a car, saw a movie or watched a Super Bowl Gaacme on TV. How disgustingly old fashioned.
Ah, but at least we have a contemporary self-confident president who could care less about what we the people think and that is the way to get his delusional goals accomplished!
We are so lucky to have him in charge for the next four years.(See 4 below.)AC
1) Liberals: The Necessary Delusion
By Christopher Chantrill
Normally, I can't get interested in the daily liberal partisan output, but when I saw RealClearPolitics' link to Andy Kroll of Mother Jones on "Revealed: The Massive New Liberal Plan to Remake American Politics" I decided to make an exception.
Normally, I can't get interested in the daily liberal partisan output, but when I saw RealClearPolitics' link to Andy Kroll of Mother Jones on "Revealed: The Massive New Liberal Plan to Remake American Politics" I decided to make an exception.
has been promising to take back the House in 2014: maybe the lefties at Mother Jones knew something I didn't know.
The "massive new liberal plan" turned out to be a meeting of all the to commit resources and staff to a three-point plan. The plan calls for:
- 1. getting big money out of politics,
- 2. expanding the voting rolls while fighting voter ID laws, and
- 3. rewriting Senate rules to curb the use of the filibuster to block legislation.
Nothing new, in other words, just the usual liberal push to marginalize and demonize anyone and anything that isn't liberal.
Kroll is full of the usual rubbish about "wringing our hands over the Koch brothers" and the "40-plus-year strategy by the Scaifes, Exxons, Coors, and Kochs of the world...to take over the country."
Now I like to say that there are only five things wrong with liberal thought and politics: its cruelty, its corruption, its injustice, its waste, and its delusion. The delusion bit begins with the need for lefty-liberals like Kroll to insist that those awful Kochs and Scaifes and Exxons are trying to take over the world, so they can demonize them.
Let's stipulate that Karl Marx had a point when he worried about capitalists replacing the landed warrior class as the overlords and oppressors of the . Way back then, who could tell how the power contest of the industrial era would turn out?
But the answer eventually became clear, at the very latest when the US government broke up Standard Oil a century ago. If the capitalists were really running things, why would they let the politicians smash up their capitalist corporations?
In our own time we have the recent evidence of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. When President Obama told BP to fork out $20 billion -- before any regulatory finding or legislative action, just on his say-so -- BP merely asked whether to pay with their usual eftps.gov account. If you are not living a delusion that act has to tell you something.
This week we have the Boeing Dreamliner problem. Does Boeing tell the FAA and the flying public to go take a hike? They wouldn't dare.
The left needs the idea of vast corporate power to populate its tableau of oppression. It needs oppression to justify its lust for government power. And it needs to divide employers and employees to maintain its power.
However, advanced lefties realize that the old tableau of capitalists vs. proletarians needs freshening up. So Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri in their Empire-Multitude-Commonwealth trilogy declare that the capitalists are now merely surplus. In the new economy of "biopolitical production" the capitalists just get in the way of the spontaneous exchanges of the multitude, the "labor of the head and heart, including forms of service work, affective labor, and cognitive labor." Hardt and Negri call for an end of the power of both capitalists and the welfare state in favor of the spontaneity and self-governance of the multitude. But first we need a "global initiative to provide the basic means of life to all:" income, health care, and education.
Isn't it odd that a book advertising the wonders of spontaneous order among millions of "singularities" in the multitude wouldn't have one, not even one index entry for F.A. Hayek, who wrote the book on the subject.
Hardt and Negri call for revolution (of course!) to purge the "common" of its "corrupt form." They mean "the family, the corporation, and the nation."
One is reminded of Winston Churchill line that democracy was the worst form of government "except all the others that have been tried."
One day in the glorious future the history of the last century will be written as the repeated and delusional attempt by people like Andy Kroll and Hardt and Negri to force on us a society stripped of the most stunning and most beneficial forms of social cooperation ever established by settled science: the to organize generation, the limited liability corporation to organize production and service, and the nation state to create a society based on the tie of common language rather than common blood.
It's this combination of the common in its corrupt form that got us from $1-3 to $120 per person per day in 200 years.
There will come a day when people will ask of us, as we wonder about the Romans, how could we end up so stupid, so deluded?
1a)Liberalism Versus Blacks
There is no question that liberals do an impressive job of expressing concern for blacks. But do the intentions expressed in their words match the actual consequences of their deeds?
San Francisco is a classic example of a city unexcelled in its liberalism. But the black population of San Francisco today is less than half of what it was back in 1970, even though the city's total population has grown.
Severe restrictions on building housing in San Francisco have driven rents and home prices so high that blacks and other people with low or moderate incomes have been driven out of the city. The same thing has happened in a number of other California communities dominated by liberals.
Liberals try to show their concern for the poor by raising the level of minimum wage laws. Yet they show no interest in hard evidence that minimum wage laws create disastrous levels of unemployment among young blacks in this country, as such laws created high unemployment rates among young people in general in European countries.
The black family survived centuries of slavery and generations of Jim Crow, but it has disintegrated in the wake of the liberals' expansion of the welfare state. Most black children grew up in homes with two parents during all that time but most grow up with only one parent today.
Liberals have pushed affirmative action, supposedly for the benefit of blacks and other minorities. But two recent factual studies show that affirmative action in college admissions has led to black students with every qualification for success being artificially turned into failures by being mismatched with colleges for the sake of racial body count.
The two most recent books that show this with hard facts are "Mismatch" by Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor, Jr., and "Wounds That Will Not Heal" by Russell K. Nieli. My own book "Affirmative Action Around the World" shows the same thing with different evidence.
In all these cases, and many others, liberals take positions that make them look good and feel good -- and show very little interest in the actual consequences for others, even when liberal policies are leaving havoc in their wake.
The current liberal crusade for more so-called "gun control" laws is more of the same. Factual studies over the years, both in the United States and in other countries, repeatedly show that "gun control" laws do not in fact reduce crimes committed with guns.
Cities with some of the tightest gun control laws in the nation have murder rates far above the national average. In the middle of the 20th century, New York had far more restrictive gun control laws than London, but London had far less gun crime. Yet gun crimes in London skyrocketed after severe gun control laws were imposed over the next several decades.
Although gun control is not usually considered a racial issue, a wholly disproportionate number of Americans killed by guns are black. But here, as elsewhere, liberals' devotion to their ideology greatly exceeds their concern about what actually happens to flesh and blood human beings as a result of their ideology.
One of the most polarizing and counterproductive liberal crusades of the 20th century has been the decades-long busing crusade to send black children to predominantly white schools. The idea behind this goes back to the pronouncement by Chief Justice Earl Warren that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."
Yet within walking distance of the Supreme Court where this pronouncement was made was an all-black high school that had scored higher than two-thirds of the city's white high schools taking the same test -- way back in 1899! But who cares about facts, when you are on a liberal crusade that makes you feel morally superior?
To challenge government-imposed racial segregation and discrimination is one thing. But to claim that blacks get a better education if they sit next to whites in school is something very different. And it is something that goes counter to the facts.
Many liberal ideas about race sound plausible, and it is understandable that these ideas might have been attractive 50 years ago. What is not understandable is how so many liberals can blindly ignore 50 years of evidence to the contrary since then.
Are Guns the Problem?
When I attended primary and secondary school -- during the 1940s and '50s -- one didn't hear of the kind of shooting mayhem that's become routine today. Why? It surely wasn't because of strict firearm laws. My replica of the 1902 Sears mail-order catalog shows 35 pages of firearm advertisements. People just sent in their money, and a firearm was shipped.
Dr. John Lott, author of "More Guns, Less Crime," reports that until the 1960s, some New York City public high schools had shooting clubs where students competed in citywide shooting contests for university scholarships. They carried their rifles to school on the subways and, upon arrival, turned them over to their homeroom teacher or the gym coach and retrieved their rifles after school for target practice. Virginia's rural areas had a long tradition of high-school students going hunting in the morning before school and sometimes storing their rifles in the trunks of their cars that were parked on school grounds. Often a youngster's 12th or 14th birthday present was a shiny new .22-caliber rifle, given to him by his father.
Today's level of civility can't match yesteryear's. Many of today's youngsters begin the school day passing through metal detectors. Guards patrol school hallways, and police cars patrol outside. Despite these measures, assaults, knifings and shootings occur. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010 there were 828,000 nonfatal criminal incidents in schools. There were 470,000 thefts and 359,000 violent attacks, of which 91,400 were serious. In the same year, 145,100 public-school teachers were physically attacked, and 276,700 were threatened.
What explains today's behavior versus yesteryear's? For well over a half-century, the nation's liberals and progressives -- along with the education establishment, pseudo-intellectuals and the courts -- have waged war on traditions, customs and moral values. These people taught their vision, that there are no moral absolutes, to our young people. To them, what's moral or immoral is a matter of convenience, personal opinion or a consensus.
During the '50s and '60s, the education establishment launched its agenda to undermine lessons children learned from their parents and the church with fads such as "values clarification." So-called sex education classes are simply indoctrination that sought to undermine family and church strictures against premarital sex. Lessons of abstinence were ridiculed and considered passé and replaced with lessons about condoms, birth control pills and abortions. Further undermining of parental authority came with legal and extralegal measures to assist teenage abortions with neither parental knowledge nor consent.
Customs, traditions, moral values and rules of etiquette, not laws and government regulations, are what make for a civilized society. These behavioral norms -- transmitted by example, word of mouth and religious teachings -- represent a body of wisdom distilled through ages of experience, trial and error, and looking at what works. The importance of customs, traditions and moral values as a means of regulating behavior is that people behave themselves even if nobody's watching. Police and laws can never replace these restraints on personal conduct so as to produce a civilized society. At best, the police and criminal justice system are the last desperate line of defense for a civilized society. The more uncivilized we become the more laws that are needed to regulate behavior.
Many customs, traditions and moral values have been discarded without an appreciation for the role they played in creating a civilized society, and now we're paying the price. What's worse is that instead of a return to what worked, people want to replace what worked with what sounds good, such as zero-tolerance policies in which bringing a water pistol, drawing a picture of a pistol, or pointing a finger and shouting "bang-bang" produces a school suspension or arrest. Seeing as we've decided that we should rely on gun laws to control behavior, what should be done to regulate clubs and hammers? After all, FBI crime statistics show that more people are murdered by clubs and hammers than rifles and shotguns.
'Gun Culture' -- What About the 'Fatherless Culture'?
The face of gun violence is not Sandy Hook. It is Chicago.
In 2012, President Barack Obama's adopted hometown had 506 murders, including more than 60 children. Philadelphia, a city that local television newscasters frequently call 'Killadelphia," saw 331 killed last year. In Detroit, 386 people were murdered.
Since 1966, there have been 90 school shootings in the U.S., with 231 fatalities. Yes, Sandy Hook shocked us. But the odds of a child being killed at a school shooting are longer than the odds of being struck by lightning.
Of the 11,000 to 12,000 gun murders each year, more than half involve both black killers and black victims, mostly in urban areas and mostly gang-related. The No. 1 cause of preventable death for young black men is not auto accidents or accidental drowning, but homicide.
Rapper/actor Ice T ("Cop Killer") and I attended the same high school. In the 1991 John Singleton film "Boyz n the Hood," the teenagers attend that school, and car-cruise the South Central Los Angeles boulevard after which the school is named.
Crenshaw High opened in 1968. By the time Ice-T left, less than a decade later, Crenshaw had become, in the rapper's words, "a Crip school" -- meaning one controlled by that street gang. Because of the school's reputation for violence, Time Magazine called it "Fort Crenshaw." A powerhouse in basketball and football, the school lost its accreditation 2005, before getting it back in 2006 on a short-term basis.
In 1970, I was part of the second graduating class in the new school's history. Some kids, who started with me in the 10th grade, did not finish. But it was the exception rather than the rule. By 2012, only 51 percent of Crenshaw's students graduated.
Dads disappeared. Or, more precisely, to use Bill Cosby's term, the number of "unwed fathers" exploded.
In 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote "The Negro Family: A Case for National Action." At the time, 25 percent of blacks children were born out of wedlock, a number Moynihan called alarming. Fast forward to the present, 72 percent of black children are now born out of wedlock. In fact, 36 percent of white children are born out of wedlock. Of Hispanic children, 53 percent are born outside of marriage.
In "Boyz n the Hood," Tre, played by Cuba Gooding Jr., has an active father in his life. Doughboy, played by Ice Cube, was raised without a father. His mother resents him because she dislikes his father. On the other hand, Gooding's hardworking, responsible father, played by Laurence Fishburne, stays on his son. He warns him against hanging out with the wrong people and that becoming a street criminal was a trap. He lectures his son that "any fool with a (penis) can make a baby, but only a real man can raise his children."
Studies show that children of divorced parents can have outcomes as positive as those coming from intact homes, provided the father remains financially supportive and active in his children's lives.
But what happens without dads in the 'hood?
In 1979, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth found that fatherless kids were twice as likely to drop out of school and that girls who grew up without dads were 2.5 times more likely to become pregnant teenagers.
Rutgers University sociology professor David Popenoe published "Life Without Father" in 1996, where he describes the "massive erosion" of fathers in America. Popenoe concluded that boys raised without fathers were more likely to have problems with drugs, alcohol, behavior and social interactions. Several studies during the '90s found that disruption in family structures was a predictor of children's gang involvement.
Many on the left dismiss the importance of fathers as "right-wing," blame-the-victim propaganda. Well, the late rapper Tupac Shakur, in the posthumously released documentary "Resurrection," said: "I know fora factthat had I had a father, I'd have some discipline. I'd have more confidence." He admits that he starting hanging out with gangs because he wanted to belong to a family structure, and it offered structure, support and protection -- the kind of thing we once expected home and family to provide.
The formula for achieving middle-class success is simple: Finish high school; don't have a child before the age of 20; and get married before having the child. Preparing for the future requires dedication. It requires deferring gratification, precisely the kind of "discipline" that Tupac admitted he lacked because he grew up without a father.
Doing what you want to do is easy. Doing what you have to do is hard. Dads, by getting up and going to work each day, send a powerful message every day to their children: Hard work wins. There are no short cuts. The outcome is unknowable. But the effort is entirely within your control
Ivory-tower Obama Can't Abide Views He Doesn't Share
To judge from his surly demeanor and defiant words at his press conference on Monday, Barack Obama begins his second term with a strategy to defeat and humiliate Republicans rather than a strategy to govern.
His point blank refusal to negotiate over the debt ceiling was clearly designed to make the House Republicans look bad.
But Obama knows very well that negotiations usually accompany legislation to increase the government's debt limit. As Gordon Gray of the conservative American Action Network points out, most of the 17 increases in the debt ceiling over the last 20 years have been part of broader measures.
Working out what will be in those measures is a matter for negotiation between the legislative and executive branches. That's because the Constitution gives Congress the power to incur debt and the president the power to veto.
Obama supporters like to portray Republican attempts to negotiate as hostage-taking or extortion. But those are violent crimes. Negotiations -- discussions attempting to reach agreement among those who differ -- are peaceful acts.
What we do know, from Bob Woodward's "The Price of Politics," is that Obama is not very good at negotiating. He apparently can't stomach listening to views he does not share.
Perhaps that is to be expected of one who has chosen all his adult life to live in university communities and who made his way upward in the one-party politics of Chicago. Thus on the fiscal cliff he left the unpleasant business of listening to others' views and reaching agreement to Joe Biden.
Obama has laid down another marker in his puzzling nomination of Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense.
As the Washington Post editorial writers pointed out, Hagel -- though a nominal Republican -- has stood way to the left of Obama on whether a military option to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program is feasible.
Obama has said repeatedly that that option, however risky and unpalatable, is on the table. Hagel has said it shouldn't be.
It's not at all clear that Hagel has the experience and temperament to head the Pentagon. His vocal defenders tend to concentrate on attacking his detractors rather than make the affirmative case for his qualifications.
Hagel seems likely to be confirmed given his endorsement by Sen. Charles Schumer yesterday. But it's interesting that no Republican senators have spoken up for him and that liberal Democratic senators like Bob Menendez and Ben Cardin have declined to do so.
As defense secretary, Hagel seems likely to cut military personnel and capabilities. There's undoubtedly some detritus that can be swept away. But his nomination seems less aimed at managing the military than tormenting the Republicans.
Then there is gun control. Some recent media polls show majority support for further restrictions on guns. If you phrase the question the right way, you tend to get that kind of response, especially after a horrifying crime like Newtown.
But new restrictions are unlikely to have any significant practical effect. The ban on assault weapons -- a category defined mostly by cosmetics -- certainly had none in the 10 years it was in effect.
The fact is that we have many more guns and many fewer murders than we did 20 years ago. Allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons, as most states do, has not resulted in the street shootouts some predicted.
Strict state gun control laws did not stop the carnage in Newtown or the frequent killings on the streets of Chicago. The push for gun control is more a symbolic gesture than a serious attempt at governing.
Something better can be said about Obama's call for immigration law changes. The need for some change is clear.
That was also true in Obama's first two years, when he did nothing to advance legislation on the subject when Democrats had a solid majorities in Congress.
The question is whether Obama wants legislation or to stick it to the opposition. Many Republicans, like Sen. Marco Rubio, are ready to support legalization of those brought here as children but not immediate legalization for all 11 million illegals.
Negotiations and compromises will be needed to get a bill through Congress. A president interested in governing would not insist on getting his way 100 percent. Whether Obama is such a president is far from clear